Jan_22 Art Lessons Gleaned from Weight Loss . . .
Over the last 3 years I have lost 40 pounds! The first 20 were unstructured, but with strong motivation. I was preparing for a left hip replacement and my surgeon had recommended weight loss as something to strongly consider. I did - and was delighted with the results!
Day 7 of recovery . . .
Several months after the operation, I noticed that I had slowly regained 7 of those pounds and once again felt motivated with the possibility of a second hip operation foreshadowed in the future. I decided to do whatever I could to lose more weight. With that in mind, I joined NOOM as a way to get support to accomplish this task, since this second 20 pounds wasn’t dropping away as easily as the first.
In addition to eating less, I increased my exercise regime to tone up my muscles and gain strength, which did make the weight loss much easier.
My daily time on the stationary bike . . .
Time on my new rowing machine . . .
This program taught me many things. One of the main lessons was that weight loss “plateaus” were normal and the best thing to do is carry on knowing that things will eventually change if I continue doing all the things I need to do to reach my goal. I stopped feeling discouraged, self-critical, and especially not tempted to revert to old behavior and declare this goal impossible!
Daily weigh-in . . .
This is a long preamble to me talking about art. I usually produce an average of 8 paintings per month, which I know is very prolific. It’s been that way since December 2014 when I picked up my painting tools after many years of inactivity. I love that the smallest bedroom in our home is converted into my studio and I enjoy spending time there. It has always felt effortless and fun - never a chore.
So you can imagine my surprise when I suddenly felt disinterested in entering my studio. November 2, 2021 was the last time I completed a painting and although I’ve wandered in on several occasions, I have never felt drawn to stay and actually spend time painting. I did some dabbling, organizing and preparing canvase, and then I would wander off and not return for days. This is very unusual behavior for me and I kept wondering if I ought to be concerned. Was this a form of "painter's block?" This is the longest pause in art that I had experienced and although I didn’t want to begin "forcing" the process, I did wonder if my career as an artist was ending as suddenly as it began.
My studio sitting idle . . .
I played around with the concept of “block,” but decided that I would do what I have done on my weight loss journey. I have named this period of time a "plateau" and will do what I learned to do around my body. I am trusting that there will be a time in the future when the "plateau" will end and that the creativity will naturally and spontaneously flow again. Until then, I am not going to judge the process but trust that "Spirit" will guide me back to the studio when the time is right. For now, I can only imagine what lies beyond this "plateau."
I will continue this process of trusting my body, my creativity and spontaneity and let you know how it unfolds. For now, I am enjoying making fermented beets, soups, exploring a plant-based diet and generally expressing my creativity in other ways.
Making fermented beets . . .