Friday, September 30, 2011

SEPT 30th I Am Excited For My Friend!!

Hi there Journal & Friends,

Today for Friday Favorites I am so excited to talk about one of my favorite success stories: author Mary Pax! 

When I first started blogging, Mary (known then as Antgirl) was one of the first people to befriend me, and generously shared from her own experience of losing and maintaining. One of the things that has impressed me the most is how Mary took the lessons she learned from her weight loss journey, and applied them to achieving her dream, her passion: to be an author. 

The lessons of believing in yourself, perseverance, keeping your focus on your dream, and so much more. 

Back in 2010, she told me in an email:  "When I want something, I go after it with the jaws of a pitbull. And, I don't let go."

Well, this last Wednesday, Mary's first novelette was published as an E-book!! Congratulations, Mary! 

The title is Semper Audacia and it's now available on Smashwords and Amazon (I'll give all the links below). I've read several things written by Mary, and loved them. I even did some artwork for one that some of you might remember, HERE. There is also a link there for the current story trailer for that story, Stopover At the Backworld's Edge.

Semper Audacia is a Space Opera, and here is the Description of this Novelette:

Alone. Leda is the last living member of the brigade, the sole defender of her world. War took everyone she knew, leaving her in the company of memories and ghosts. Or is it madness?
The siren blares. The enemy is coming. Or is it? The approaching vessel isn't a friendly design, but it answers with the correct code. Leda must figure out whether the arrival is reinforcements or the final assault. In an aging flyer, she ventures out to meet her world's fate, the last stand.

About M. Pax: Inspiring the words I write, I spend my summers as a star guide at Pine Mountain Observatory in stunning Central Oregon where I live with the husband unit and two loving cats. I write speculative fiction mostly and have a slight obsession with giant, man-eating reptiles and Jane Austen. I know, they don’t really go together, but it’d be interesting to insert Godzilla in the middle of Pride & Prejudice.

I'm so looking forward to reading Mary's story. But I am just as excited to see her dream coming true. I dunno... maybe it's partly from selfish reasons. I mean... she did it. That shows me I can do it, too. Very inspiring stuff! :-D

Okay, I promised the links. Mary's story can be downloaded for only 99 cents!! Here's where:


Mary's Blog is at: 
And her Website is  at

Oh, I can't forget to share her terrific story trailer for Semper Audacia, here is the Link.

 Another Paxism: "Never compare your journey to anyone else's. We're all different. Don't listen to negativity from anybody. Your journey, your way and in your own time is the right way for you."

Watching Mary follow her passions and reach her dreams has encouraged me to do the same. Thank you for that, Mary.

From Dr Phil's book: "Having specific, carefully mapped out, vividly envisioned goals is an absolute requirement for success."

My verse for today: "Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord."

My quote for today: "Getting healthier taught me about twists and turns and patience ... even when I have no more patience. It also taught me that if I am determined, I can figure out how to get to where I want to be." --Mary Pax, author 

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 775

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

SEPT 27th Challenging MySELF

Good afternoon Journal & Friends,

To paraphrase ShakespeareTo Challenge, or not to Challenge, that is the question.

At the risk of sounding redundant, let me say this yet again: This is a journey... we are at different stages, not all at the same place. I believe we need stay true to ourselves, and do what's healthy for ourSELVES, and not get distracted by what seems to be the current popular thing to do. Yup, speaking from personal exerience here. :-}

I love Challenges. I find them fun, motivating and well... challenging. ;-)  And when I first started this blog, they helped me tremendously. They added not only accountability and inspiration to my journey, but also an element of fun and companionship. So, I am "pro-challenges". Heck, I've even led a couple!

Having said that, lately I find that I have turned a corner. I don't know if it's temporary or permanent. All I know is that right now, I need to do this for ME totally, not for a Challenge. Not because I have to report in, or be held accountable, or meet a deadline, etc, etc.

I've written and re-written this next sentence several times... I'm finding it hard to explain.

I want my choices to be so important, 
so valuable to me that I do well 
FOR ME... 
and it doesn't matter who else knows. 

  • If everyone else decided to never do another challenge, I want to be so dedicated to my own healthy journey that it wouldn't matter one bit to me.

  • If everyone else reached their goals and quit blogging, I want to be so totally committed to reaching my own best level of health possible, that I persevere no matter what.

  • If everyone else found their true joy in life and stopped focusing on weight loss, I want to feel at peace within myself that it's okay, because I have made this a priority and answer to only ME.

Okay, those are extreme examples, but you get what I mean, I hope. :-)

I remember years ago reading something to the effect that the true measure of a person is revealed not in what they did when someone was watching, but what they did in private, when they knew NO ONE was watching. 

That's what I'm talking about... I want to have that kind of determination, deep down in my heart, that NOTHING will get in my way... even me, LOL! That I don't need to know someone will see my challenge check-in, but I am reporting to ME... and that's what counts the most.

Stuck on my computer is a little yellow post-it note, with these words from Chris at A Deliberate Life:

"The only thing standing between 
you and victory 
is you."

For several weeks now, I've watched all the Challenges gearing up for the fall and holiday seasons. And I considered joining one.

In fact, one that appealed to me the most was from Steve at Log My Loss (he requested we NOT link to him, since his site is having slow loading problems already). He is not able to personally lead the Hot 100 Challenge this year, but suggested this one: a do-it-yourself type Hot 100, referring to the last 100 days of 2011. Each person is in charge of their OWN challenge, choosing their goals and hooking up with others doing the same... deciding to end this year with a Bang. 

For those interested, here is the badge for the DIY Hot 100:

But... over and over, I keep going back to the fact that for me, at this place in my journey, I want to build up the strength to stay the course without depending upon an OUTside source of motivation. I want to cultivate that INside motivation.

Like I said, I enjoy challenges. And I am all for others doing them, if that's what they decide. But there is a time for all things, and for me, it's Time to embrace this journey joyfully and independently... meaning not depending upon a Challenge to carry me successfully through the holidays. But rather, because I have declared to myself, FOR myself... that I will choose what is healthy and right because I am valuing and honoring myself.

And I feel peaceful and good about that. 

From Dr Phil's book: "What I want you to focus on is requiring more of yourself, starting right now."

My verse for today: "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!"

My quote for today: "Figure out who you are, then do it on purpose." --Dolly Parton

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 772

Friday, September 23, 2011

SEPT 23rd Yay, A Breakthrough & A Most XLNT Video!

Howdy Journal & Friends,

After several more days of ups and downs, I feel like I've finally come in for a landing. And not a crash landing, LOL! A quiet, peaceful landing. I had been circling a thought, a feeling, an inkling that I was missing something. And I finally figured it out, thanks to a fellow blogger.

I recently said I was going back to my roots, to do what I did in the beginning. But still, I struggled. Something wasn't right.

I had been charting my nutritional data for almost 3 months, til a few weeks ago. I resisted at first, and did a lot of whining and complaining. But as frustrating as it was at times, I felt like if I just hung in there long enough, it might yield some useful information. And it did. I had to face my inconsistencies. After all, it was right there, in black and white.

But then, the more I tried to adjust my program, the harder I struggled. I'd get "stricter", and make more rules. Only to fail again. The first year I started this blog, I had lost around 50 pounds. Not a blitzkrieg, but with my age and physical restrictions, it was acceptable to me. 

But I have to face it. I am not where I want to be, and have fought the feelings of disappointment and frustration. This last year "seemed" like a bust. 

Then, a couple of days ago, the breakthrough.

I was poking around over on Facebook, and happened to read a blurb by Sean Anderson. For those of you who don't know, he started at 505 lbs, and now has reached his goal, having lost around 275 pounds. He was one of the first bloggers who reached out to me when I started this blog, and encouraged me. I related to him, not for the nutritional approach-- we have different plans-- but because he "gets it". That's it's not about the food! It's about changing from the INside, about a new and healthy relationship with food... not abusing it as a drug. He understood that for someone to reach the sizes we had (I started at 460, he at 505) there a LOT of INside changing to do... some squirelly thinking to fix.

Consequently, he started simple. A calorie budget and a simple plan to walk for exercise. He didn't push the nutrition, he let it naturally improve over time, making healthier choices as he changed on the INside. And yes, he took heat for his approach. I'd repeatedly read "concerned" comments on his blog that kindly tried to straighten him out. And some not-so-kind criticisms that told him how he was all wrong in his approach.

They didn't get it. He wasn't ready to set up tons of rules and rigid laws about what he could and couldn't eat.  He'd repeatedly tried and failed with that approach. So, he kept it simple. Improvement would come in time... but in HIS time, not the timing of others.

Here is part of what Sean posted on Facebook a couple of days ago (bolded emphasis mine):

Consistency is key... Make it about you, not about the food, not about the exercise... because when you focus energy on redefining your relationship with yourself--the good choices with food and exercise evolve naturally...

...every time I made it all about the food and exercise in the past--it made it really hard and frustrating, and then I would self-destruct. Focusing on me, with a relaxed, albeit controlled, approach with food and exercise--and it honestly became pleasurable, these changes...

It's very interesting how a shift in perspective can dramatically change our course--making what once seemed impossible, not only possible, but accomplished!!

I had to keep reminding myself to stay in control and within the bounds of my calorie budget. I've always been my own worst enemy--I had to change that dynamic, and start making the choices that made me successful. If I had immediately started putting all of the focus on the food and exercise... I would have driven myself nuts--and I would have quickly retreated to my old behaviors.

Deciding that I COULD change my old behaviors and patterns with food--I could break free from the clutches of food addiction and emotional eating--involved more of the mental change, than the change to my grocery list. It was about getting to know myself on a level I spent years avoiding...

The difference was within me--and by keeping it simple, with a calorie bank and a simple walking schedule--I was able to put the majority of my attention on me and my issues that drove the insane cycle that kept me above 500 pounds.

... after awhile of this relaxed approach with food and exercise--and a more focused approach on the mental dynamics, keeping me consistent-- my choices started naturally improving... Without being able to use food for comfort--I had no choice but to confront issues... The transformation is biggest in the non-physical side of things, for sure.

I read Sean's words over and over, realizing I had taken a detour from the path on which I had started.  I "thought" it was an improvement, but now I see I was getting the cart before the horse. I thought I was "ready" to move on... I was tired of all the "navel watching", and felt like I was going in circles, just thinking the same stuff over and over, and so figured it must have sunk in. 

I thought it was okay to relax a bit, and give all this thinking stuff a rest! I started to "entertain" my mind. A little tv, a little radio, some books on CD. I mean, it was a better diversion than food, riiiiggghhtt?? But then a little more... and a little more (and I have nothing against those things, just not all the time instead of working on my issues). 

Then, I reached a cross over point, where it became escape FROM the thinking, asking the hard questions, listening for answers.

I was no longer focused... and had never conquered consistency. But, I didn't know why. I'd read about it, made posters, written about it, thought about it. Heck... it was supposed to be my Theme for this year! (blush, blush) Yet, didn't know why I couldn't DO it.

Until I read Sean's Facebook words. 

My focus had shifted. From the INside journey, to the OUTside stuff. 

And I started to struggle much more than I had been. I had already established that for me, personally, my body doesn't handle carbs well... sugar and wheat mainly. So I had a simple nutritional plan mapped out that works for ME. But I strayed from my simple beginnings, and added layer upon layer of "rules". 

The result? Crash and burn time!

It's no one's fault but my own. I allowed what others were doing to influence me... to make me feel guilty, or wrong, or whatever. THEY didn't do that... I did. I tried to rush it, and do it the way "they" did it. 

And I finally have to just admit it... I am not mentally READY for it. Do I want to eat "clean" and all health-i-fied?? Sure! But when I force it and set up too many rules, I react.  A lifetime of "diet" experiences come boiling up to the surface, and my squirrely thinking takes over. 

Some people can get there fast... maybe they have less to lose, or are farther along mentally, or are just "ready".. I dunno. But occasionally some of them like to pronounce their "rules" and declare what is and is not right for others to be eating. Honestly, that is just dumb... wrong... annoying... counterproductive. I'm sorry, but it's like a college kid berating a kindergartener for being too immature. Give 'em time!! They'll get there. They'll learn, and figure out what their OWN triggers are, and what plan they need to be on, and will make their share of mistakes.

But if they never quit.. and always keep going, they'll get there. 

*I* will get there.

And that's why I'm feeling peaceful now, finally. I've been following my simple plan again this week, and it feels right. For me. Others need to do what THEY need to do. I need to do this simple approach for now. I had been discouraged, and eating too much, and starting to put on pounds. Ugh...

But what Sean shared help clarify things for me. The nagging thoughts that were just at the edge, that I couldn't quite make out, are now in focus. Sean and I are not on the same nutritional plan. But we ARE on the same wave length about keeping it simple, and changing the INside first, and allowing the OUTside to naturally improve over time. His first book "Finding Transformation Road" is due to come out real soon, and it's definitely on my "must read" list! 

For my Friday Favorites, I want to highly recommend Sean's short video.

Have you seen it, on his website at Transformation Road??
It's wonderful, and I think it will give you a taste of what his book must be like. Do yourself a favor, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and spend 10 minutes of your life to be thoroughly encouraged by a sincere and genuine guy, Sean Anderson. 

Do I sound like a "fan"? You betcha. :-D
Thanks, Sean.

PS: I know this post was long... more navel watching, LOL!  I understand why not many will be reading it... and I am totally okay with that. I wrote it for ME. I simply want to get this down, here and now, because I fully expect to someday look back and see this as a turning point, and I want it on record. I want to remember this, and KEEP ahold of my focus this time.  :-)

From Dr Phil's book: "It's about changing yourself from the inside out, so that being what is fit and healthy for you is as natural and as normal as breathing."

My verse for today: "I will praise the Lord, who counsels me..."

My quote for today: "I don't know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody." --Bill Cosby

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 768

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SEPT 18th Progress... & Time to DO!

Hello Journal & Friends,

I finally did it. I did what I kept SAYING I was going to do... take a Blogcation. 

I discovered that I was so used to coming and reading blogs every day, almost like a dependency or something, and it was hard to stop... I might miss something! I found it extremely difficult to actually disengage. I finally did, and have only read a few here and there for the last few days. 

I've been up and down... hot and cold... encouraged and discouraged. 

And finally, after a lot of thought, I decided to just do what I did in the beginning... what worked.

 KISS... Keep It Super Simple.

I've learned how to offically count grams of carbs, calories, fiber, fat and protein. I found I was doing pretty well in those percentages. 

But after months of that... well, I think I just burned out on all the record keeping. I rebelled, and didn't count ANYthing the last couple of weeks. Dangerous for someone like me who is still learning portion control. :-}

So... back to KISS. Super simple... just keep tabs on the calories, and not sweat the fine print. :-) The rest will come in time.

It always cracks me up when I feel like I'm chasing my tail going nowhere, and then someone goes and quotes ME! Happened this morning. I had just finished reading an old post of mine, and it had thoroughly smacked me, in a good way. It was written when I was feeling more spunky than now: Grumpy Schmumpy? Just DO it! 

So, there I am, feeling all sheepish but encouraged over that post, and I get an email from a fellow Oregonian, Joy at Nuggets of Truth, telling me she quoted one of my comments I left her. Oh, the irony!! I just had to laugh. Thank you, Joy, it helped me, too!

Progress... that's how I'm looking at this. Another leg of the journey, another bend in the road. Here is part of what I said to Joy... I must've been in a Smarty Pants mood that day!!!

"... don't let those doubts win.

I have doubts come a-knocking at my door all the time. Most of the time I don't invite them in for a tea party! Let alone let em move in and unpack! Kick em out, is what I have to remind myself to do. I DO have a choice as to whether or not I believe the lie.

I truly believe that the battle is won or lost between the ears...

...the SuperHeroes of weight loss are simply farther down the road as some of us. So, don't compare yourself to them. When you get all your stuff worked out, and it "clicks", you'll be one, too!

Once we find our path, and work out our method, alls left is to do... and I don't think we have to have it all ironed out perfectly, with 100% hot-shot belief before we can DO the doing.... ya know?? Because the more we DO, the more we will believe, because we will have created a New History to prove to ourselves we can DO it. :-D

...until I totally See It, I'll continue to just DO it."

Ummm... methinks it's time to follow my own advice!!

From Dr Phil's book: "It's all about changing..."

My verse for today: "Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you..."

My quote for today: "The birds they sing at break of day, 'Start again...' I hear them say." --Leonard Cohen

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 763
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