Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Aug 24th Uh oh...Another Gift Arrived

It's been a busy summer. Ups, downs and progress, albeit slow. Had another dental surgery, and healing up nicely. Only one more to go, yay!

I'm still enjoying my weekly Tai Chi class, and have gotten my little backyard therapy pool going for water aerobics about 5 times a week. Loving that!

I'm still involved with the support and accountability group called A Better Weigh, that I originally found through Sean Anderson, from The Daily Diary of a Winning Loser.

 This is new to me, being accountable this way, and it goes against my independent tendency. But submitting to that kind of accountability and receiving and offering caring support in return has been tremendous. These "strangers" have turned out to be kind and caring people on the same journey to health as I am. Very powerful!



For those who don’t know me well: I live in a powerchair. All waking hours. My overall goal is to regain health, strength and mobility. To walk again. I have a muscle/joint/connective tissue thing with blown knees, and the added weight makes walking impossible. So, weight loss is a prerequisite for walking again. I started at 460, and am now at 325. I NEED to continue. I still have dreams and goals, and need mobility to realize them.

Yesterday another Gift arrived, all wrapped up in a painful experience. My powerchair broke down. My Sweetie couldn't fix it this time, and it will take months navigating the Medicare/insurance "system" to get another one. When I ask the people I'm dealing with to get a new one what I'm supposed to do in the meantime, they just shrug. Sorry, that's the system.

Anyway, this loss of my ONLY way to get around, my powerchair breaking down, was devastating. And this morning I realized it was a Gift.

The Gift is a stark, clear look at what my future WILL absolutely be, if I fail at obtaining Recovery from food addiction. It felt like I time traveled to my future. I mean, intellectually, I knew this. But… now I’ve experienced it. It was not only physically painful, but terrifying. Waiting for help to get a drink of water. Waiting for help to get into the bathroom. Waiting for help to get to the computer... etc etc etc. It is not living, just existing. 

So I accept and embrace this gift of motivation. This gift of seeing crystal clear what my future could be - both ways, good and bad. And the powerful KNOWING that I can choose which direction I go. I guess that’s the real Gift: knowing and BELIEVING that I can choose my future by my choices, by what I DO. I'm very grateful for this Gift. I'm now sure it's an answer to prayer.



My book quote for today: "...the person who forgets the ultimate is a slave to the immediate." --John C Maxwell, How Successful People Think

My verse for today: "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

My quote for today: "...eating disorders tend to have in common the relentless attempt to control how we feel... the point is we often engage in potentially compulsive or addictive behaviors in a misguided attempt to 'manage' unpleasant feelings."


Retta

=^..^=


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

July 13th I Finally Did It!

I did it! I stepped outside of my comfort zone, and joined a Tai Chi class. And I LOVE it! I started yesterday, and am already hooked.




"Take care of yourself." 

This is something my Tai Chi instructor said in class yesterday. There were new people in the back rows who could not see her. She saw this, and tried to move back and forth; then suggested they move until they had a clear view. 

Then she STOPPED trying to do this for everyone, paused, and just said to everyone: “Take CARE of yourself.”

We need to not be victims. To wait for someone else to take care of us. To be pro-active and make healthy choices. 

To say NO when needed. 
To say YES when needed. 
To stand up for ourselves when needed. 
To let it go when needed.

To take care of ourselves.


My book quote for today: "So how do we keep ourselves from decaying? By changing the signals we send to our bodies. The keys to overriding the decay code are daily exercise, emotional commitment, reasonable nutrition and a real engagement with living. But it starts with exercise." -- Younger Next Year for Women, by Crowley and Lodge

My verse for today: "A cheerful heart is good medicine."

My quote for today: "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." --Neale Walsh

Enjoy the journey,

Retta

=^..^=

PS: for anyone interested in Tai Chi, here is a very nice demo on youtube.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Time for a Funeral

I did my usual first of the month weigh in thing: lost 7 lbs last month. Not exactly Rabbit speed, but a nice respectable Turtle. That much closer to regained health.

That makes 27 lbs since the beginning of Feb this year. In the past, I would dampen that joy with regrets:

I wish I had done this sooner.
Why did I re-gain?
I've been at the weight before.
Etc etc etc.

No more. I embrace the joy and hope.

Today I attend a funeral. I'm holding a ceremony, and saying goodbye to a presence that has been with me as long as I remember: 

Regrets. 

Today I lay them to rest.


Eulogy for My Lifelong Regrets

Today I say goodbye to My Lifelong Regrets. We’ve been together a long time, but now it’s time I let you go.

You taught me a lot.

You taught me about Humility, because my life didn’t turn out as I thought it would, yet I still have much for which to be thankful.

You taught me about Compassion, because I know how it feels to struggle and fail, repeatedly.

You taught me about Determination, because though I fell - a LOT - somehow by God’s grace, I got up again and kept going.

You taught me about Focus, because though there is pain in life, I can still choose to focus on the beauty, joy and goodness that is there also.

You taught me Gratitude, because though I didn’t get all I wanted, such as children and grandchildren, I got Love. 

But one thing you did not teach me was Brevity. 

No one is perfect. ;-)



Enjoying the journey, and letting go of regrets,

Retta


Monday, June 6, 2016

June 6th I'll Do ANYTHING... just not that.

I've written about this before. How I was "willing" to make changes, but I also had boundaries. Things/favorites/foods/routines etc, that were off limits. 

Whenever I got desperate enough to let go of something that was actually a hinderance to my progress... gee, guess what?? I'd make progress. You'd think I would figure out to let go easier and sooner, right?

During my weeks with Sean/Gerri/Kathleen's support group (it has no official name, so I never know what to call it) I realized I needed to once and for all let go of a LIFETIME habit: being a Night Owl.

I've given every justification in the book, and some even now sound legit to me: it's my biological clock; I enjoy doing my art then, it's quiet and peaceful; there are no interruptions; the phone never rings; the Husband is asleep and won't ask for this or that; it doesn't bother me to sleep in the light... etc etc etc.

Problem with all that is this:   It. Kept. Me. Fat.

I would end up tired and/or hungry, and eat too much. Again. After all regular meals were already done. Over and over I would try to come up with a solution to that. A compromise.

Now I accept and embrace this truth: 

There can be NO COMPROMISE 
with anything that is destroying my health.

It's that simple. Some things can be adjusted, changed a little, tweaked. 

Not this, not for me.

This is one of those things in life that truly is all or nothing. 

And I accept that. 
I surrender to that. 
I embrace my new identity as "a Morning Person." 
(okay, that last one was said with an eyeroll and cringe, I'll admit!)



When I started with this support group back in March, I committed to going to bed each night at 11pm. 

This I can control.

I don't control how well I sleep, so I allowed that I can sleep in if needed. But I CHOOSE to go to bed at 11:00. I might tweak that later, but for now, that's my rule.

For all you Early Birds shrugging and thinking "So what's the big deal???"...  this is a Big Deal to a lifelong Night Owl. A huge shift in body rhythms, timing, scheduling, thinking patterns. I'm surprised at all it seems to affect. 

But I am willing.

The result: for these last few months, though it does not feel "natural" yet, is that I have not binge eaten ONCE at night. 

Not. Once. 

If you don't struggle with night time overeating, then you don't realize how significant a change this is. It's a big deal to me. 

And I am extremely grateful for this breakthrough. More than I can get across here...

Today's quotes:
"You cannot rely on your feelings... you can act your way into feeling long before you can feel your way into action. If you wait until you feel like doing something, you will likely never accomplish it." --John C. Maxwell, How Successful People Think

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way." --II Thess 3:16, Bible



Today I am feeling Hopeful.

Retta

=^..^=

Thursday, June 2, 2016

June 2nd Still Squishy Concrete

I've talked so much about learning Consistency here because it was on my "to do" list. I wanted to learn it, apply it, master it.

But I never did.

Oh, I would be consistent "for awhile". Then I would let life interfere. 

Read: EXCUSES

Consistency needs to be welded together with Time for positive results.

That is one of the big things I've been learning from the accountability/support group that I joined recently. I am now officially re-upped for another 8 weeks. And I NEED it!

The things I've been learning don't feel rock solid yet. More like poured concrete that is still setting up, still squishy. But Consistency is a biggee to me.



I know WHAT to do. My plan is simple, but for it to work, I need to be Consistent. Hit and miss doesn't cut it. I'm too old, too broke down, tried this too many times. 

I can't play around, and think half-a$%ed efforts will get me anything other than half-a#@ed results!

I did my "official" monthly weigh-in on June 1st. Lost 9 lbs last month. For the 10 weeks I've been with this support group, that's now a total of 16 pounds down. Not because I didn't know what to do before. But because the Group helped me learn to HONESTLY be consistent. 

I think there are still some spots left for this next 8 week session. They keep it small so you don't get lost in the crowd, but get the support and personal attention as needed.

If you are stuck like I was, or need help in learning consistency - or anything else from the trained Coaches, then check out Sean Anderson's post about it, here.

Like Sean says: Consistency beats intensity!

The weight loss numbers are motivating and made me smile. But what I am HUGELY thankful for are the things I am learning that will KEEP me consistent, and going in the right direction for life.

Quote for the Day: "We must embrace consistency... defend it from your emotions and circumstances at every turn." --Sean Anderson


Enjoy the journey,


Retta


Friday, May 27, 2016

May 27th Me n My Little Yellow Car - back on the road again!

Time to return to my original blogging purpose:

1) To help keep me focused
2) To keep a record of things I'm learning and/or thinking about

If anyone is still reading, I sincerely hope no offense is taken that the comments are disabled. It's not meant to be unfriendly or unappreciative of you. But for now my focus needs to be on the writing part. Thanks for understanding. :-)



Okay. I just completed what feels like the healthiest thing I've done in years: I finished all 10 weeks of the online support group I mentioned here a few weeks ago.

And it was fantastic! 

In a nutshell: I learned a bunch of stuff, and also lost 13 pounds. Yippee!

The Group is co-facilitated by online blogger Sean Anderson, from Daily Diary of a Winning Loser. Also Life Coach Gerri Helms, and soon to be certified Life Coach Kathleen Miles.

I can highly recommend it... The Coaches will be starting another session soon. Watch Sean's blog for details.

Overview:

-The group runs for a specific length of time, in my case it was 10 weeks. 
-We had a weekly tele-conference call with the Coaches and members. We went over our week, found ways to improve our progress, addressed any trouble spots, learned from one another.
-There is a private Facebook page, which was so valuable. We could share anything in private, and get feedback and encouragement from the group and Coaches.
-Most of us posted our daily goals on the private FB page, which lent a strong degree of accountability and helped me start to re-establish good habits. It really got me going again!
-We could call, text, or PM each other any time we wanted/needed to. The members were terrific; all there for the same reason, to get healthy, and to encourage and support one another. They made me feel welcome, even though some had been there before. There were no cliques; they were open and supportive to all.
-The group was not so large as to "get lost" in, and not get to know anyone. Yet enough members so there was always someone to contact if you needed to talk. I think that was wise on the part of the Coaches (about 23 participants that time, I think).


For the next few weeks, I plan to review things  from my time with the group. To refresh my memory. I don't want anything to slowly evaporate. I want to apply the things that are right for ME, and not lose them.



To visualize this leg of my journey, I used the analogy of a little yellow car on a road trip to Health. I had been stuck in a ditch, stalled out, and this group pulled me out and got me going again in the right direction.

Still on the Journey,


Retta

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

One More Chance

Desperation can be a good thing sometimes.

I was put on my first diet at 10 yrs old. Since then it feels like I've tried 'em all. 

Me at 10 yrs old

Yet I remember one time saying "I'll give up anything, except my Best Foods Mayo!" And I was serious.

I didn't think I should have to sacrifice; that was too Spartan; I refused to go on yet another "diet", because after all, it was a lifestyle change, so why couldn't I keep my mayo? And of course, it wasn't fair...etc etc etc. All that squirrely thinking stuff.

So...I lost, regained, lost, regained, lost, regained...

 Then, at 460 lbs I finally WAS willing enough to give up ANYTHING, even my favorite drug, my mayo (which I slathered on almost everything, of course). It took a long time to find my path. I lost over 150 lbs over the course of a few years.  Then I got stuck, and regained about 50 lbs. I came so close to permanently giving up. I was losing hope.

All that to say: desperation can be a good thing. 

I recently joined Sean Anderson's support/accountability group, yet I wasn't sure it would work one more time for me. I mean, come on, I'm now 65! But I finally was willing to try, one more time. I was again desperate.

My desperation has fueled my willingness to be teachable, to be honest with "strangers", to try again. To out myself when I see Me making excuses. 

More to the point: I'm just plain skeered to go off plan at this point! When I catch myself negotiating (out of habit, I now think, since it feels almost automatic), it shakes me up to think I could blow it that easily. 

I'd like to re-label that fear as a "healthy respect". A respect for the level of importance I need to put on STAYING on track, since I don't know how many do-overs I have left in me.

But for this day, I feel really grateful to have been given One More Chance.

Still on the journey,


Retta



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