Running a “dry burn”

“…After every five roasts, we recommend you do a system dry burn and interior cleaning. This is done to ensure there is no sediment buildup blocking a sensor…”

As some of you know from an earlier podcast, to foster weight loss I’ve gotten into home coffee roasting both for pleasure and for something to do that is loosely culinary, but doesn’t involve making food (like cookies) and eating it. We started with a popcorn popper (yes, a hot air popcorn popper) and then graduated to a real home roasting machine.

Anyway, the instructions for proper maintenance include those lines above about running a dry burn.

It struck me that this machine, and many of our home appliances and tools, all come with instructions for proper maintenance for better performance and longer life of the tool/appliance.

And when we pay money for something, we usually take pretty good care of it. Well, not always. (I spent my 20s going 7,000+ miles between oil changes….)

Now that I’m older, though, I understand better the value of things, that proper maintenance is often less expensive in the long run, and I make an effort take better care of my stuff.

But only now in my weight loss journey have I started taking better care of myself. Now as in – here in 2017, these last few months since starting this blog on losing weight.

I could beat myself up for not doing this 10-15-20 years ago. We all know we should eat right, exercise, practice moderation in certain things (fats, desserts, not eating 5 slices of pizza in one sitting), get up and stretch often, and so on. But we don’t, do we?

Until now.

Until now I wasn’t looking at my body objectively like a machine that could (or could not) carry me effectively into the decades to come.

Now I am. As part of my weight loss journey, I’ve created some distance between me and my body—and it’s been quite liberating.

You might think distance is bad.

But distance is allowing me to more objectively see how I was treating my body.

I was:

  • Eating too much (and pretending I wasn’t)
  • Not moving enough (and telling myself I could start at any moment, although years went by)
  • Sitting too long and too much (and telling myself the statistics didn’t apply to me)
  • Ruminating over things I couldn’t change in other people (and wasting the mental/emotional energy in the meantime)

And most of all, I was looking outside myself (at others) for the source of any discontent. Other people might be “a” source of discontent, but rarely “the” source.

And what’s more, you can’t control others; you can only control you.

It took me forever – these years and years and years – to realize I should do just that: Take control of myself.

I was making excuse after excuse and not giving myself my own time and space to listen to and understand what I (and my body) needed. I used to think it was selfish to do things for yourself when so many others needed your help — your kids, your husband, your colleagues, your parents. The bills needed paying, the house needed cleaning, someone needed to be driven somewhere. I put myself at the bottom of this list.

Now I’m starting to take the time for me, and not turning to food for happiness and comfort because that’s not where it is. And make space in my life for getting my sh*t together.

The time and space I need to “run a dry burn” on myself, for proper maintenance.

This isn’t what I was thinking about when I set out to lose ~40 pounds. I had no idea this is what I needed. But it’s where I am now and I’m very happy I got here.

Annie Roasting Coffee (yes, wearing Crocks, don’t judge)

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