Thursday, September 16, 2010

Why You Should Stick to a Schedule

Two things play havoc with my body and continued weight loss, lack of sleep and an erratic meal schedule.

Yesterday I got breakfast late -- around 11:30 AM. So, I was not in the mood for lunch, and I did not really get any late day urges. But then I had my art class last night at 7 PM. At around 7:20 I was starving, and I was starving for stupid things like a pastrami sandwich! I have not had pastrami in 10 months! Don't worry I didn't.

My system was out of whack since I got very little sleep the night before. Now I was very tired, and hungry. Not a good combo.

The art class is pretty interesting - clearly I am swimming in the deep end with zero formal training. The Russian art professor is of the ilk, and when said in a thick accent it is quite funny, "I don't want to (he makes a hand jester like a bird's beak) chew up food, and give it to you!" Meaning, he does not want to lecture, he wants to guide us through the process and let us fail on our own and he'll help out.

As mentioned with everything in life I am more the team player who thrives on rigorous instruction. If I am playing football I prefer a fire and brimstone coach like Vince Lambordi to a laid back Rex Ryan. I thrived with a frightening teacher like Brother Hinger, and not so much with the long-haired instructor who wore his baseball cap backwards in class.  Consequently, the only way for me to lose the weight I did was to be in a strict environment - eat vegan, exercise, period. Only after many months of that could I begin to utilize my own judgement and moderation.

Leonid Gervits painting of our model
This teacher, Leonid Gervits, is a well know artist and was instructed in the strict Western European tradition, so I was hoping for more instruction. However, after two classes I see how it works, and so far, I like it. We have a live model that we first sketched in charcoal - many, many sketches. The giant, old easels are set up around a 135 year old paint studio, and everything from the stools to the walls are wood, paint-splattered, ancient, and breathing history. I love the environment! As we sketched, the instructor would walk by and would say only, "Her head is too big." And move on. Erase, erase, and continue again. Looking around the room I can see I fell right in the middle as far as drawing talent is concerned. Soon, I became aware of him again, this 60 year old man looking over my shoulder. "Bend the torso more, the left breast is too small!" "Yes sir!"  It is a pretty intimidating environment because I have no formal training...I'm winging it!  Now we are painting a smaller version of our best sketch. I have never worked with oils in my life and have no clue! We were instructed to pick up four different types of oil and I have no idea which ones mix with the paint. I basically guess, too afraid to tell the Russian, and continue on. The next whisper over my shoulder, "Dat's good." Whew! That is all I was looking for, some positive feedback! Although he semi-scolded me for, "painting too intensely," I like the class thus far.

So, it's 7:20 and I am starving. Around 8:15 we are given a :20 minute break and I sprint to the diner around the corner and gobble down a granola bar and tuna fish sandwich.

Had I planed my meals appropriately, and got plenty of sleep I would not feel so off it stands, when I feel off I opt for lesser healthy food. It's a bit of a vicious cycle, but I'll make sure to break it today.


Vegan Epicurean said...

Your class sounds like a blast. I would really enjoy this too.

I also make bad food choices if I get too hungry. Carrying snacks with me seems to help a lot. I try to keep things with me like: trail mix and fruit, cut up veggies and hummus or nut butter and fruit. They all seem to keep me from going from hungry to starving. The later is when I go off course.


Terrence said...

great suggestions!

Anonymous said...

Hi Terrance,

Why not take a banana or two with you when you know your usual rouinte is out? No mess, no fuss. That should hold you over for a while and help you make better food choice later on in the day.


Terrence said...

Pete - your suggestion, though valid, requres intellect and foresight on my part - two things I am lacking!

Yes, I certainly should be a bonobo gorilla during those times and stuff my bag with bananas!

Anonymous said...

I am really proud of you for taking this art class! You took a big risk ten months ago. And with your workouts, your writing and now your art -- you're continuing to make leaps of faith. Have you always been the type to put yourself out there like this, or do you think your vegan metamorphosis has given you the courage to take more risks?

- Lisa R. in Bucks County, PA