Friday, May 27, 2011

MAY 27th Spiraling UPwards

Hi there Journal & Friends,

I've been doing this blog thing since the middle of 2009. Today I'm going to do something I've never done before: base my whole post directly on one comment. First let me make it clear I'm not mad at this commentor. Oh sure, I was a little annoyed at first. Then, I remembered: this is an opportunity. To clarify, to make sure of what I believe,  to see if it passes inspection. MY inspection.

 In fact, I appreciate that this person took her time to leave a thoughtful comment. It's just that...well... in my opinion, she is wrong. She doesn't understand me or my philosophy. :-)

This is the comment that was left in response to the post I wrote after several days of soul searching, HERE. 

I don't want take anything out of context, so here's the comment in it's entirety. You can see the person really was trying to be nice:

Hi Loretta, I read your blog a lot. I just wanted to say, and not in a mean way but in a "helpful" way, that you're going around and around in circles here.

Read your blog carefully over the last 6 months. You're reposting new and interesting thoughts and ephiphanies that you actually had months ago. I'm only saying this to try to help you stop spinning your wheels and actually start accomplishing your goals.

Maybe list your goals and hang that list on the refrigerator to see everyday, then STICK WITH THEM!!!!! Believe me, I'm not perfect but I've realized that you have to stick with it long term to have any real success.

I read "All the Weigh" today where Kenz says the secret to her success is: "time, patience, and CONSISTENCY". I believe you also wrote about consistency recently.

If the blog helps you to reach your goals, than by all means blog. Is the blog a way of wasting time or procrastinating??? When I'm on the computer, that's what I feel like I'm doing, just prcrastinating and not doing anything to reach my goals.

You have so much talent and such a big heart. I really want to see you become healthy and able to move and walk and enjoy life before it's too late. Good luck and good health to you.


 Like I said, I believe it was meant to be a caring comment. But... she's wrong. Why? 

Because I am NOT going in circles. 
I am going in an 
UPWARD SPIRAL of growth.  

Meaning, while I may be still learning and processing same or similar ideas, each go around I am learning and making progress. I know it. I feel it. I am encouraged. If anyone else can't see it or doesn't agree, that's not my problem.

  • To feel more encouraged in my priorities, is progress.
  • To feel freer and closer to living my authentic life, is progress.
  • To not feel stuck any longer is progress.
  • To not feel like I have to please others in what or how or how often I write, is progress.
  • To let go of the fear that it's too late for me, is progress.
  • To choose optimism when it would be easier to give in to the doubts, is progress.
  • To swim UPstream when it would be easier to give up and float downstream like a dead fish, is progress.
  • To pull out 2 shirts last night that used to be WAY too tight to even think about wearing, only to discover they now fit quite comfortably, even loosely, is progress!

Back in the '80's, I lost about 80 pounds. Then I hit a stall... and decided I was a "failure", and gave up and re-gained it all back... and eventually 200 pounds more!!! It was that "all or nothing" thinking that did me in. It's taken me YEARS to recover from that type of thinking. So, I refuse to accept that now.

I said at the beginning of this year, and even put it at the top of my sidebar, that CONSISTENCY is my theme for this year. Well... think about it: if I had consistency in the bag, I wouldn't have to make it a theme. I wouldn't be needing to work on it. It would be a non-issue. So... of COURSE I would be talking about it more than once. I am a work in progress, like I've said ad nauseam. Of course I will be re-visiting ideas I am working on, to not just learn ABOUT, but to integrate them into my life. To LIVE them, not just yap about them. 

I said this back in December of 2010: 
"I am no longer searching for that "aha" moment, that next big revelation, some deep and mysterious "answer" or missing link. I already know what to do, for me. It's just a matter of continuing the journey."

So what I write about is not meant to be "epiphanies"... it's just stuff that is on my mind, now. If anyone feels it is a waste of their time to read my posts because I am not entertaining them with bright and shiny "new" ideas each time... well... I know lots of other great and creative blogs to which I can refer you. 

There seems to be a subtle idea that pops up now and then in Bloggyland that chastises those that dare to admit they don't have it all together... that talk about the stuff they are working on. And some people will point out their failings instead of their successes. I'm not talking about my commenter here, but it did make me think of this. It's been on my mind lately. It's as though unless you have your stuff together, you shouldn't have a blog... you aren't serious... you are playing games or just bullsh*tting.  

But we are not all at the same place along this road to wellness!! Duh!! Those just starting out will probably be talking about a lot of their stumbles to get going, their struggles, trying to find their own path, and maybe when the newness wears off, their fight to continue.

Those in the middle of a long journey might be feeling the LONGNESS of the journey. They might feel impatient at times, discouraged, frustrated, and need to dig deep for their second wind (ask me how I know!).

Those at the end, or in maintenance will be sharing a whole OTHER set of experiences. Personally, I find those people encouraging to read, because it helps me envision where I will be some day, and maybe how to handle some of those hurdles.

My point? Watch out how you evaluate someone elses journey. You might not understand them. They might look at it differently than you do. My commenter meant to be helpful. And she was. She helped me to solidify how I really feel. Maybe some people can change a way of being, a lifetime of habits, in 6 months... but I'm not one of them. It's taken me YEARS to get even this far. For change to be permanent, it's got to come from the INside. 

I feel solid, encouraged, and NOT stuck going in circles. Maybe that is what my commentor sees, because I've talked about similar stuff before. Obviously that's because I am still processing that stuff! Like I said, I am in an UPWARD cycle of growth. Like a spiral staircase, going around but UPward. (Thanks to Deb for that idea, I love that word picture).

For me, learning is a process. It's not a once and for all done deal. What kind of an artist would I be if after I learned the basic color wheel, I figured I had it all down, and there was nothing else to learn about color. Same deal here... this is my LIFE I am working on. And not just weight... spiritual, family, husband, goals, purpose, friends, work, play, dreams, health, neighbors, church, community... you name it, and it comes into play. It's all affected by how I choose my priorities.

I write what *I* need to read. This is my journey. So if I repeat myself... well, so what?? 

From Dr Phil's book: "Ultimately, only you--and you alone-- are responsible for getting your weight under control."

My verse for today: "But as for me, I will always have hope; I will praise you more and more."

My quote for today: "Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm!" --Winston Churchill

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 651


Mary said...

Remember what I once said about folks projecting their issues/thoughts on us? I think that's a very easy thing to do in bloggyland. It's easy to inject our own ideas between the typed lines and give someone's words unintended meaning.

There are very different communities within the blogosphere, so I discovered as I transitted from WL to what I really wanted to concentrate on. WL was part of a bigger journey for me, as you know.

You're right in that it only matters how you perceive your journey and we're all different. I was reading a writer friend's blog earlier, who had an author guest-blogging, who said it's all about confidence. Well, there's a little more to it than that [so I've learned], but confidence is a huge part of getting wherever we're determined to get. We're supposed to say -- my story, my way. So, your journey, your way. The application may be different, but it works on whatever you're trying to achieve.

What works for me may not work for you and vice versa. Annoying. That's what makes it tough. Personal growth points are wonderful milestones. That growth helps us succeed. It may not be as tangible as pounds lost, but it's just as important. I think so any way.

What I've really noticed about you, is that if you really want something, you wholeheartedly go after it. Such spirit and determination, and you really study how to go about something. I admire that and it's why I've always been convinced you'll find your way.

Life is more than weight loss. Yes, we must attend to our health, but it is part of a full, daily life. Yours should be as filled with spirit as you are. Gift yourself that and envision it as part of a 'fully' healthy life. One that takes care of you in every way.

Once I figured that out, sticking to a healthier lifestyle became so much easier. Because it allows me to go after the things I love and don't ever want to live without.

Cinner said...

Loretta, what a powerful post today. I do agree with you about your struggles, they are my struggles to...sometimes I think ah I should quit blogging because I am not getting there as fast as others, but it is no competition as I have learned...I loved your list, your reasons for continuing....if it were all just about weight loss it would be simple, but it is about changing our ideas and learning from our bad days so we have more good days. You have already lost 126 pounds, you need to be applauded for got to be doing something right and you know what I feel from you that you will make it. My sister lost over one hundred pounds only to put it all back on in about four IT is not about how quickly we can do this, but also how we will be after at maintaining and living. Don't feel you are going round and round because the days you don't you make keep doing what you are true to yourself. hugs to you. stay strong.

colenic said...

I love that you responded in such a positive way. I am glad to be on your spiral staircase....whether all is going up or you take a few steps back...there are people around who will support you on your journey....hugs to you..

Sugar Bush Primitives said...

I, like you, believe that the commenter really was trying to help. When I go back and read my blog, I find myself repeating the same discoveries, but . . . and the but is very important, these discoveries come at different points in my journey so even though they seem the same, because I am in a different place they affect me differently. Does that make sense? It's like reading the Bible. It's the same Truth each time I read it, but because I am at a different place in my life I see another aspect of the Truth. Again, I hope that makes sense.

MargieAnne said...

The Spiral Staircase is such a good analogy.

We do seem to go round in circles. I think everyone does this in some degree in aspects of their lives.

But each time we learn something and build on it .... unless we are unbelievably unteachable.

Even if it appears that we've slid down the bannister and hit the starting point again, we have all the previous experience to build upon and we use it.

I may appear to be repeating my journey over and over but each time life experience has meant I am different and my progress upward is not based on epiphanies but how I how I process and use that experience.

I am fascinated by the way people grow as they progress through weight loss. Even those who do not appear highly successful, (at losing weight), at first come to terms with who they are and learn to feel better about themselves. It's amazing.

Life is a growing and changing process and not one of us duplicates another. The wonder of our uniqueness can be celebrated.

Sorry I think there is a lot of waffle there. Maybe I should start again but then would I get it right 2nd time around?

Thanks for your encouragement re visualization. I'm a real dunce in this area and may blog about it one day soon.


JoAnn said...

Hi Loretta, I'm glad my comment gave you some food for thought. That's all I met to do. I wasn't "projecting my issues" or whatever. I just really want to see you succeed. I'm not the greatest writer so it's hard for me to get my point across. I think you do half get what I was saying which is good enough.

I actually read your blog because you don't have it all together all the time. I find your writing and art to be very interesting and I don't expect you to "entertain" me. I never believe those blogs where the writer is perfect anyway.

After I wrote my comment I saw that you've lost like 20 some pounds this year which is awesome! I hadn't noticed a post on your weight loss it awhile and I guess I assumed you had stalled.

Also, having all warm and fuzzy comments is great, but seeing something that gets your dander up once in awhile is not such a bad thing either. :) Thank you for responding to my post. Oh, and congratulations on fitting into those shirts.

Mary said...

This was great, Loretta - the part that hit me the most was "Watch out how you evaluate someone else's journey." It's something I've been struggling with lately - people say I'm doing so well because the weight is coming off, but when I've been struggling emotionally, that doesn't feel like a complete success - that's a much more important part of my journey, I think, than the weight loss itself. I love writing, and I know you do too, and it's nice to have readers - but what it comes down to is writing for yourself above all, because only you truly know yourself and your journey. ♥ Keep on inspiring us, Loretta!

Anonymous said...

So glad you "half get" what JoAnn was saying. you must be proud. chuckle. chortle. LOL!

A well-written post, Loretta, but I can't stop snickering. sorry...


Christine said...

Well, I think it's 7 habits of highly effective go round on the grow some, then you move on and on and then come back with growth in God...first you start working on something really not being angry over small things. Then it moves to learning from small things...then when bad things happen, you become a person who is looked up to in a crises...and then you start teaching through your doesn't start that way, but once God starts a work he will finish it. Good post.

JoAnn said...

For Deb's benefit (ha!), I will explain a little about "half getting" what I was saying.

I wasn't saying that by repeating yourself you were boring me. I wasn't saying that any of what you write is for "my" benefit and not yours. What I was trying say is: are you writing these things and also doing them? Walking the walk? or just talking the talk? There has been other times where you have said you were talking the talk but not walking the walk.

Also, I get that by writing this stuff it helps you to work it out in your mind. I do the same thing with lists all over the house that sometimes say the same things. Once it's on my list, I remember it. Once you blog about it you do it, right?

Rettakat said...

Trust me on this... Deb doesn't need any help understanding your comment. She is one of the most insightful, intelligent and honest friends that I have in Bloggyland. I count her a dear friend, and not because she always leaves warm and fuzzy comments, either.

She is opinionated. I am opinionated. In fact, we've butted heads a few times. But she is a woman of integrity, and I have nothing but love and respect for her, and we aren't threatened when one of us looks at a thing a little differently than the other. I totally support and appreciate her.

What I'm saying, to be perfectly clear, is that she has earned the right to call me out. You have not. I don't know you, don't recall your other comments (if any) and don't feel an obligation to explain or defend myself to you.

Having said that... sure. I ALWAYS do just what I say. I always walk the walk. After all, I'm perfect. (yes, you do detect a little sarcasm there).

Really though, that IS my goal. To learn consistency, to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I do better at some times than others. But it's still always out there, as the goal. And as long as I get up 8 times after falling 7 times, I will get there.

If you feel the need for further explanation, may I suggest you start a blog of your own. It can be very useful, and give you a forum for your ideas. You express your thoughts well, and you might enjoy it.


Bringing Pretty Back said...

Loretta- I read the post that "started " all of this! and i loved it and iZ completely understood it! Then, I read the comment that you received in response to it , i completely understood that as well. And yes- I do believe she was offering encouragement and support . Maybe even tying to get you to really look at yourself.
Now, I read this current post - and i understand that as well!
As long as we are moving FORWARD that is the goal. That is the point.
You are doing great and you are an awesome inspiration.
Thank you!
Have a pretty day!

Di said...

Loretta, you are doing this for you- and that is the only person any of us should be doing this for. Weight loss is a part of life, and a real authentic life never moves in a neat, orderly single direction fashion. You are exactly right- this is a spiral staircase. Keep on keeping on- you are doing wonderfully - and just gained another follower :-)

Anonymous said...

Awww, Loretta, thank you. And right back at ya. Deb

Anne H said...

Onward and downward - and upward!

Becky Baker Horn said...

I loved the spiral staircase analogy! Some therapists like to use the analogy of removing one layer of an onion at a time when working on your problems. Each layer is similar but different. But I like the steps in a spiral staircase even better because it celebrates the upward journey!

dailyseeking said...

I enjoy your blog and wouldn't dream of putting someone's heart under their own microscope. Love the spiral stairway idea--!

Beginning Anew said...

I'm so glad to be reading this post today of all days. In my blog today I got a little "nasty" in my addressing of the nay-sayers and I almost deleted it so I didn't offend anyone. Then I realized, this is my blog. It is my true feelings and if someone is offended they have choices, they can continue to follow me or drop off. I said what I needed to say, and I said it the way I (that's a huge I in bold with some kind of flashy graphic to make it really stand out)needed to say it.

I know the comment was left in good faith but I am glad you had the wisdom to digest it and decide if it was needed to be kept as fuel or flushed. It's good the person who wrote the comment was accepting of your response - no harm no foul.

I too tend to write about the same things. I tend to face the same challenges and I know this is just gonna take time and determination. the fact that you haven't given up is a testimony to your strength! This is what I love about the blog community, we are all doing things our own way. Be true to you! your acceptance of who you are is so encouraging!

Many thanks for a great blog!]

Princess Dieter said...

Learning is absolutely an ongoing process. Anyone, including ME, who thinks they KNOW IT, GOT IT, HAVE IT, will learn in a year that they have to change or refine something they know. I think of the changes just in medicine. I've been sickly since I was a kid. When I was little, it was "asthma is psychosomatic, and in your head." Then when I was an adult, 'Oh, it's not in your head, it's actually an airways disorder with XYZ." Then they learn it's mostly inflammatory and inhaled steroids become standard treatment, better than acute dilators. They find genetic factors, etc.

I remember when PMS was "in women's head, psychosomatic". Then, they find out, oh, it's not in their heads.

I have been sickly long enough, fat long enough, to see changes in diets from THIS IS GOOD, No THIS IS GOOD, not eggs bad, no eggs good, not blah blah. Even know-it-alls find they don't know it all.

It's great to learn, even relearn. It's great to grow. I know that the 3 years I spent losing little (at least not regaining all) were deceptively fertile years (like the field that's left alone so it eventually can yield a really good crop). I was learning, watching, observing, trying stuff, growing a bit here and there, experimenting....that upward spiral, if you will.

I'm reaping some good things from those years, frustrating years, years of tears and desperation.

I hope your time of reaping great bounties is THIS year, Loretta. YOu're a kind-hearted person and I want to see those bountiful yields reported right here.

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