Thursday, December 31, 2009

DAY 144 Choosing a Great New Year

Hello Journal & Friends,

This last year has been one of choices. 

The choice to be willing to change, to fight to get my health back by learning to eat responsibly and exercising. 

To be open to learning new lessons along the way... to being honest with myself as I face my stuff, instead of stuffing my face. Learning to DO it, not just talk about it. I stumbled along the way, but I learned.

I also learned that success does not depend AT ALL on how I feel. It is a choice. It is about Progress, not perfection.

I am not going to write all them here, now. My blog IS about what I am learning, living, choosing. 

So I just want to say thank you to all my fellow travelers on this journey to good health. I have appreciated your friendship more than I can say.

For your New Year, I offer this list of choices. Some of them, I have made good progress on. Some of them I am still learning.

New Year blessings on all of you!

CHOOSE to be at peace.

CHOOSE to follow your plan consistently.

CHOOSE to be patient with yourself if you don't follow your plan as well as you had hoped.

CHOOSE to focus on the positive, the beautiful, the hopeful, the miraculous.

CHOOSE to smile when you would rather scowl.

CHOOSE to relax and just enjoy yourself along the journey.

CHOOSE to aim for Progress, not perfection.

CHOOSE to live the new "healthy you" life--NOW!

CHOOSE an Attitude of Gratitude.

CHOOSE not to complain today--no, not ONCE, just for today.

CHOOSE to tell those you care about what you appreciate about them--TODAY.

CHOOSE to believe you are on the road to a new, wonderful, healthy, positive joy-filled life, and you will let NOTHING deter you from reaching your destination.

Enjoying the Journey into 2010,


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

DAY 143 Magic Wands & Our Words

Hi Journal & Friends,

What if someone told you that they were going to wave a magic wand, and from now on every word out of your mouth would, literally, come true.

What would happen to you?? Would you suddenly...

  • Become stupid (oh, I'm just so stupid)
  • Turn into a pig (I'm such a fat pig)
  • Be without hope (this is hopeless)
  • Make zero progress losing weight (I just can't do this)
  • Be miserable every time you try to exercise (I really HATE to exercise)
  • Never succeed at anything (I am such a failure)
  • Find the whole day went horribly (oh great, it's going to be one of THOSE days)
  • Be attending a lot of funerals (oh drop dead!)

Well, you get the idea. The stuff we say, and don't even hear ourselves.

I believe that words have power. Spoken words have power. Written words have power.

Someone once left me a comment (it was a nice comment) noting that they thought I didn't tell all, that I held back some things. Personally, I think it's a pretty dangerous thing to be blurting out stuff before I THINK. I have done that too often in my life, and the result is, someone usually ends up hurt. So now I try to consider my words before throwing them out there.

Why on earth would I want to put my half-baked thoughts out there to be set in stone forever, without considering them first? I believe the proverb: life and death are in the power of the tongue.
The other day MyGuy was trying to get some paperwork all together to send in for a rebate. This naturally involved me, since he is mildly dyslexic and paperwork is a major hassle to him. So, it's always my job to do any writing. 

Well, he was in a hurry, frustrated, and was confusing himself AND me. I wasn't helping the situation, either, by getting irritated. In typical guy style, he started losing his cool. But then he started doing something that I just refused to accept. He started muttering to himself that he was just stupid. He said it a couple of times, and I lost it! I told him "if you say that one more time I'll come over there and smack you!" 

And he DID say it again... and I jokingly smacked him on the back of the head. The tension dissolved, and I told him "no, you are NOT stupid... you are tired, in a hurry, frustrated... but you are NOT stupid!"

Words have power. We need to listen to ourselves.

Do you remember things that were said to you when you were a kid, or younger? 

I do. Hurtful words have a way of leaving a brand on you, seared into your memory.
As an adult, I can consider the source, resolve it and let go of the hurt... but I still remember. It took a lot of years to heal some of those scars left by words.


*Who do you think you are? (from an adult that was supposed to love and protect me, but was not)

*You are too fat to do as you say (from other children in the 5th grade, while I was doing an assigned task on the playground)

*Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about (from someone that could have used that opportunity to teach me how to deal with feelings in a healthy way rather than eating them numb)

*Oh look, a moo cow (from a man I walked in front of, on my way to a New Year's Eve party, after spending 2 hours getting all dolled up and feeling good about myself--until that instant)

And on they go. We all have them, and some people have had the unimaginable said to them.

But now, as an adult, we have a choice... to choose if we will speak/think/write words of LIFE.

When I have issues, I don't run to the computer and blurt it all out immediately. I work it out first, between me and my God. Or at least, I try. Sometimes we just must accept the "mystery of why". We don't always get answers, at least right away. This journey is a learning process.

Anyway, that's the way my blog rolls. I choose to wrestle with things, for the most part, before they are forever committed to permanency. I want my blog to be encouraging... I actually go back sometimes and re-read certain entries. I NEED it to be encouraging. And I sincerely hope it helps others on this road. It can be a grueling trip some days! 

When I started, I wrote just to me. Later I realized a few people were reading it, also. And I hoped that others like me who had a lot to lose would be encouraged to never quit... to fight for themselves... that it can be done. 

I have been "given up on" by a lot of people in my past. And one thing I know, is that if you just keep going, you WILL get there, sooner or later. I wanted to pass on that hope, that determination, and not give up on people.

Words have power. Use them with care. Use them for life, and love, and for blessings.

The ancients knew this truth. They not only had curses to speak over people, but blessings they spoke over loved ones. 

Irish Blessing:

May the roads rise to meet you.
May the wind be at your back. 
May the sun shine warm upon your face; 
The rain fall soft upon your fields. 
And, until we meet again, 
May God hold you in the palm of His hand. 

From Dr Phil's book: "You talk to yourself more than everybody else in your life combined."

My verse for today: "Out of the heart, the mouth speaks."

My quote for today: "Is life not full of opportunities for learning love?" --Henry Drummond

Enjoy the Journey,


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

DAY 142 Oh Boy, A New Challenge!

Hello Journal & Friends,

 I enjoy the movie The Wizard of Oz. I watch it every year. The music, the artistry, the creativity, the special effects for the time, the munchkins, the horse of a different color, the message, Toto... the fun! 

Remember when the four of them...Dorothy, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and the Scarecrow... went walking through a field of red poppies? They got side-tracked from their main mission. They slowly became tired, sleepy, and lay down for a rest. Forgotten was the urgency of their journey.

I feel like that happened to me, and I only just realized it yesterday. I was so focused on mastering the "regulation of intake"... that is to say, counting calories so I didn't stuff my face, that I forgot to ask WHY I wanted to stuff my face. Even though I didn't, I WANTED to. Asking WHY is the core of my method. To change INSIDE, to learn to handle life differently without substituting food for feelings. 

Face your stuff, 
don't stuff your face.

I'm back on track now. Still counting calories, but trying to be aware of what's going on inside, too. Sheesh, it's easy to get off that Yellow Brick Road!

 Another thing I realized... at first I was having a hard time drumming up fresh energy for the New Year. Maybe it's cuz I didn't STOP my program for the holidays. So there wasn't anything new and fresh, a new start or anything...just more of the same. But... it's a New Year soon, a fresh new beginning. So...

Since the last challenge I participated in helped me so much, I jumped on the new one just started by South Beach Steve (HERE).   It's called "The Perfect 10" Challenge. And again, I get to pick my own goals... yay!!!! (Hurry and join, it starts January 1st)

In the last challenge (Countdown to Christmas), my goals were about exercise. That helped me tremendously, so I am going with that again.

But it can't be just more of the same... nope, I want it right at the edge, right outside my comfort zone. Hard, yet doable. Something I must WORK for, and yet not so hard as to set me up for failure. That's a fine balance, eh? After much thought, here is what I came up with...

My goal for The Perfect 10 Challenge:
To exercise 6 days per week. 

Here is how I broke that down:
1. Exercise with my Richard Simmons DVD's 3 days out of each week.
2. Exercise on my mini-trampoline 4 days out of each week.
3. As I get stronger, lengthen the time spent on each mini-tramp session (sorry, can't predict that ahead, will just play it by ear).

I will leave it open as to which days I get what done. That will be my needed flexibility, to conform to schedules and physical condition.  

By the way, for those of you who, like me, are not too strong yet, or have balance problems... I have a stabilizer bar to hold on to when on my mini-tramp, that is connected right to the wall (hubby made it, and it swings away to fold flush with the wall when not in use. 

Also, you don't need to jump too high to get the benefits of your lymphatic system being stimulated. My feet never even leave the mat!! I just do a gentle, rhythmic bounce. But believe me, all my muscles let me know, asking hey, whaddaya doing??? I can't do it very long yet, but want to improve that in the next 10 weeks.

And my mini-tramp is not a lightweight cheapie. It is the heavy duty model made for larger folks... called "folding, hard-bounce for people over 300 lbs".  Quality built, and I never feel unsafe. And have NEVER yet had a spring break, and I've had it several years! I got mine from Needak (HERE). Not cheap, but very durable and safe. Instead of me going on and on about the benefits of rebounding, I'll just put the link here for anyone interested (HERE, a great read!).  Just count this as a freebie Friday Favorite! ha ha ha.

As per the challenge, I will be reporting in each Friday on my progress. Did I mention there is a PRIZE???!!! Well, a random drawing at the end, and anyone completing the challenge will be in the drawing. I looked up the prize on the Interblogosphere... cool!! I would LOVE to win those. Curious?? Ha ha ha ... gotta go see South Beach Steve to find out (HERE). Tee hee hee hee

I NEEDED something to liven me up, to give energy and enthusiasm. To propel me into the new year, and Steve's challenge was perfect! 

Since it'll be a new year soon, I decided on another change. I have a chart in my sidebar called the Weekly Shrink. Starting January 1st, I am changing it into the Monthly Shrink. I'll still post a Monday weigh in, but only update the Shrink the first of each month. 

By the way, I love the main message of the Wizard of Oz: You've been able to do it all along. For a long time, I didn't really believe that. Oh, I would get all revved up and try in spurts, only to fizzle out and fail. And with such heart-wrenching failure, over and over, it got harder each time to muster up the gumption to even start again.

This time I am not letting anything, not even Flying Monkeys, stop me!

From Dr Phil's book: "You have within you everything you will ever need to be, do and have anything and everything you will ever want and need."

My verse for today: "Taste and see that the Lord is good."

My quote for today: "A plan without action is a daydream. Action without a plan is a nightmare."

Enjoy the Journey,


Monday, December 28, 2009

DAY 141 Weigh Day & So Much More to Learn

Marvelous Monday, Journal & Friends!

I'll get business out of the way first:
Regular Monday weigh in: 359, for no change. That restaurant food from Saturday GOT me! But, it's just water gain, cuz I have been tracking calories, and know I should've lost about 2 lbs. Lots and lots of sodium, and not enough fruit and veggies. So no big deal, since it's just temporary slosh weight.

I still feel wonderful about reaching my exercise goal, and the added bonus of the earned reward. Whenever I see the soft amber glow of the Salt Crystal Lamp, it reminds me of the good feelings that come when we set our minds, and accomplish a goal (and there are times I really need a physical, in-yer-face reminder). So actually it turned out to be a great symbol to me, a daily reminder to keep reaching for my dreams.

BUT... I still have sooo far to go when it comes to learning a "normal" relationship with food. Saturday was our Christmas dinner with family at a restaurant. I had allowed extra calories for the Christmas dinner (for two days of the year actually, Thanksgiving and Christmas). I didn't go over my calories at all. At home afterwards, I was feeling so happy thinking of all the past Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners that were excuses to stuff myself. This was the first time in... ever since I can REMEMBER... that I didn't feel like *I* was the bird that got stuffed! I was feeling so grateful for that good feeling, and the progress it represented.

BUT... I now realize I have been stuck in the mindset that tells me "you have x number of calories left, so it's okay to eat". So in the evening I nibbled my way til bedtime. Carefully... not in excess of my calorie budget.

BUT... I wasn't really hungry, at least not all of the time. So obviously, this will be on my "to do" list to learn. It's a learning process, I understand that, so I'm not beating myself up... too much. 

I'm glad I read Dawne's post (here)  talking about "That's What Skinny People Do", eating to "just before full", and not eating if not hungry. Otherwise, I might have just skipped along feeling all smug that I stayed within my calorie budget, not aware of more work to be done!

Learning... always more to learn. I'm excited about 2010. It's a fresh new year. I wonder what I will be saying later in the year?  Hopefully... "oh lookie here, at this new thing I have learned!!" I appreciate walking this journey with so many others of like-mind... I learn so much from you.

Tomorrow, I plan to talk about SouthBeach Steve's Challenge (HERE)  for the New Year, "The Perfect 10".  Just what I need for an exciting fresh start!

From Dr Phil's book: "Every success or failure you will have flows from that self-determined personal truth."

My verse for today: "...when he, the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth."

My quote for today: "No one lives long enough to learn everything they need to learn starting from scratch. To be successful, we absolutely, positively have to to find people who have already paid the price to learn the things that we need to learn to achieve our goals." --Brian Tracy

Enjoy the Journey,


Sunday, December 27, 2009

DAY 140 Me & The Bear

Good Morning Journal & Friends,

This big black bear lives at the Wildlife Images animal rescue facility in Grants Pass, Oregon. Jim took this photo in the fall. He looks so... ready to hibernate! 

(click to enlarge)

That's how I feel now. But, the busyness of the holidays is about over, and I'm ready to get back to business as usual. A New Year soon, new short term goals, new enthusiasm.

Enjoy the Journey,


Saturday, December 26, 2009

DAY 139 Photos, Moose Munch & Moderation

Hi there Journal & Friends!

I have really been enjoying this Christmas. For the first time in... well, probably EVER, I didn't stuff myself and feel bad afterwards. I traded too many veggie calories for nut calories and other stuff I don't regularly have, so I don't claim to have eaten the most balanced the last couple of days. But at least I can feel good that in spite of it all, I stayed within my calorie budget. That's a first!

We will be having our Christmas dinner today at a restaurant, and the two days of the year that I allow extra calories are Thanksgiving and Christmas (yep, copying Sean Anderson's idea... and since he's now lost 230 lbs, he's not a bad example to follow!). It will be a nice family time... I'm looking forward to it.

My Christmas Eve Tea Party was soo much fun. My two nieces and my sister were here, and my great-niece, Jude, who is almost 2 years old. And of COURSE I must brag on her, and show pics!

Christmas Day was the end of the Countdown to Christmas Challenge (thanks Bella), and here is a pic of my earned reward, my Salt Crystal Lamp. I love it!

My hat is OFF to all of you who post good pics taken with your own camera pointing back at ya! I must've taken over a dozen, and they were either blurry, off center, or just plain cross-eyed looking!!

Well, off to eat me some sugar free Moose Munch... wowzer, that stuff is good. Don't worry, I'm counting the calories, and even used a measuring cup for accurate portions, something I'm still learning! I'm  THOROUGHLY enjoying that Moose Munch!

It's taking time, but I AM learning moderation. Or maybe I should say I am learning ABOUT it... we are on speaking terms, and learning to become friends. It still doesn't always come easy, and at times I WANT more, but choose to say no, instead. I am hoping that in time, it won't even be an issue. That would be nice!

From Dr Phil's book: "When you are on the right track, there is an enormous energy that uplifts you."

My verse for today: "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?"

My quote for today: "Do not go where the path may lead; go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." --Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enjoy the Journey,


Friday, December 25, 2009

DAY 138 Christmas Day

 Hello  Journal & Friends,

 I got up early, so MyGuy and I could share Christmas morning before he had to leave for work. Today is the end of the Countdown to Christmas Challenge.... I made it!! I exercised 5 days per week. Some weeks it was hard, but I WANTED to accomplish this, to have that feeling of pride and self-respect that I knew would come with doing something that was just outside my comfort zone.

My reward was a Salt Crystal Lamp. MyGuy wrapped it all up in Christmas paper, and even managed to stick some ribbon on the top. It was so much fun unwrapping it. We plugged it in, and ooohed and awwed over the soft amber glow. Tomorrow I'll have pics! 

And of COURSE I'll have pics of our Christmas Eve Tea Party... gotta brag about the smartest, cutest, most advanced 2 year old great-niece in the whole world, right?!

Wishing you all a blessed
 and joyfilled Christmas!

Merry Christmas,


Thursday, December 24, 2009

DAY 137 Christmas Eve

Hi Journal & Friends!  

It's Christmas Eve... and I am excited about company coming today for a Tea Party. We're going to try out the holiday flavored teas from Celestial Seasoning: 

Gingerbread Spice
Sugar Plum Spice
Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride

Don't they sound fun??

I didn't do any fancy cooking or baking this time for the Tea Party. Just little cups o' fancy nuts, and some sugar-free Raspberry Chocolates. No one coming needs to add any more pounds! It's a nice feeling to be focused on family, and not on "oh yummy, what's to eat?" for once.!! 

Traditional holiday food is lovely, and maybe next time I'll do that... but I think I needed to LEARN how to focus away from it, so this will be a new experience, LOL!

Have a lovely Christmas Eve my Blogger friends. :-)

Enjoy the Journey,


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