Friday, October 28, 2011

OCT 28th Life is Now & He's A Keeper

Hi Journal & Friends,

I mentioned in my last post that Saturday, Oct 22nd, had been our 34th wedding anniversary and that it was a wonderful day all around. I'd like to tell one reason WHY it was so nice: we tried to surprise each other, and for once, we both succeeded!

Me: I spent several months filling out occasional online surveys for points. But instead of cashing them in, I saved them up until I had earned a $25 gift certificate to Target. I bought a little gift sack, decorated it, and inside was his gift certificate. That may not sound like a big deal... but usually I have to take money from his paycheck to buy a gift for him. This was a total surprise to him that I had earned it all by my little self. ;-) 

If anyone is interested in the deets about doing surveys... you can check it out to see if they are currently accepting any more participants, HERE.    Don't worry, they are legit. They send out surveys every couple of weeks or so, and offer points that gradually accumulate. Most of the surveys are quite short, occasionally one is longer (like the one yesterday, took me about 15 minutes!). You can cash the points in for stuff at places like WalMart, Starbucks, Target, Home Depot, etc.

MyGuy: He knew I was looking to add to my tiny collection of cute small plates and teacups. So he sneaked around to yard sales and thrift shops for the past couple of months, and chose ones he thought I'd like. Totally surprised me. :-D

This goofy handpainted folk art plate cracked me up.
He said when he saw it, he KNEW I'd like it. :-D

As we drove around on our anniversay day, we chatted and remembered. And both absolutely could NOT fathom that 34 years had gone by... no way!!

It goes by fast... so so very fast. Makes me want to get this "weight loss" portion of my journey OVER with, so I can shift my focus fully to the art of LIVING. In fact, that's what I've been focusing on more and more lately... living now. Now. Yes, I want to get the weight off and have better health. But I've come to a calm lately about it. It will happen, yes. But I need to focus on WHY I want it to happen, and live that life even now. 

Yeah, it's probably sounding rather redundant... I keep writing about this. But it's on my mind alot, and since it IS my blog... well, you know how that goes. ;-)

(can click to enlarge)

From Dr Phil's book: "You can create an internal dialogue that is healthy, constructive, and joyful."

My verse for today:  "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence."

My quote for today: "Art is created to encourage people to hang on, stand up, forebear, continue... We must infuse our lives with Art...We need Art to live fully and to grow healthy." --Maya Angelou

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 803

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

OCT 25th This Is Real Life

Hello Journal & Friends!

Today is my 800th day since starting my blog. Whoodathunkit!

For me, it's brought out a mixed reaction, seeing as how I am still not at my goal.  :-}

I was all set to write about what a roller coaster ride this last week and a half has been. My Sweetie was on vacation from work the whole time... which seriously interrupts computer time and alone time. I'm feeling the stress from being behind on EV-erything.

Let's see... I went Zero Wheat on Oct 1st. Did great, lost 2 pounds, two weeks in a row. 

Then, feeling all jazzed, was "willing" to lower my calories to 1400 and get All Serious. Did fabulous... til the following weeks weigh-in: gained 2 pounds. Say what??!

Then it was our 34th wedding anniversary this last Saturday, and it was a wonderful day all around. 

But... the next day I was tired and not feeling it, and slammed head first into the "I-just-don't-care-what's-the-use-it's-too-late-for-me-anyway" wall. So, I overate a bit... on-plan food, but too much of it. 

It's weird... I knew at the time it wouldn't make me feel better. But instead I chose plain ol' "escapism". In fact, I had a can of Spam sitting on the counter, ready to fry it all up with melted cheese. The only reason it's still in my cupboard is cuz I glanced at the clock, and it was 11 pm. I had to go to bed soon, and figured it wouldn't be worth it. I wish I could say it was for a more Mature reason that I stopped, but there it is. :-}

Then yesterday as I was looking forward to some "me" time when he goes back to work today, and about to post an Oh Poor Me Lament... it struck me that this is NOT some diabolical roller coaster ride designed just to get me sidetracked. 

It's. Just. Life.

Just plain, ordinary ups and downs of my life. I admit, I'd sure LIKE it to be all smooth sailing. I usually stay on track just fine, thank you very much, when things are all hunky dory. But when my routines are jerked out from under me, I flounder. I really really REALLY need to change that. I WANT to change that. 

Because it finally occurred to me that the Routine and Order that I enjoy is not always what Life has planned for me. I am not the center of the universe, and God doesn't check with MY daily planner before He allows stuff to happen. :-}

So, back to the journey. 

Back to the focus on being Consistent, and not using routine disruptions as excuses. 

Back to shifting more focus over to my art, and finishing up my sewing projects from this summer. 

Back to LIFE. 
Living it now, not waiting til I'm skinnier. 

From Dr Phil's book: "Our inner thoughts, beliefs, self-perceptions, and emotions can give us a lift for a positive outcome, or hold us back in complete inertia."

My verse for today: "You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you."

My quote for today: "Be miserable. Or motivate yourself. Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." --Wayne Dyer

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 800

Saturday, October 15, 2011

OCT 15th A Short Word of Caution

Hi Journal & Friends,

I haven't eaten aspartame in over 20 years. Brand names include NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. I don't bug others about it... but I do care. So, even if ONE person reads the article below and is helped, it would be worth it. I especially cringe when growing children are being fed aspartame.

I'm not a purist, and yes, still enjoy sweet stuff. My main sweeteners these days are stevia, xylitol, Z Sweet, erythritol, and Splenda. And I'm gradually reducing my Splenda intake (hard to give up those sugar free daVinci syrups, dontcha know!). It takes practice to get good results with some of the natural sweeteners, but it's worth it.

Below is an article by Dr Mercola that I PLEAD with you to read if you still eat aspartame. It's in diet soda, sugar-free jello, and tons of other stuff. Please please at least read this, and then you can make up your own mind. If it's not for you, then okay... at least you made in informed choice. 

I've met so many wonderful people in Bloggyland, and I share this info not out of judgement, but from a place of caring.  I'm not the Food Police. I'm just sharing the info, not looking over your shoulder to see what's in your basket (I've actually had that happen to me!).


Here's a teaser about the article:

Story at-a-glance

The artificial sweetener aspartame (Nutrasweet) 
was found to induce cancer in both mice and rats

Past studies have also concluded aspartame is carcinogenic, 
and its toxic effects increase if exposure begins in the womb

There are over 900 published studies 
on the health hazards of aspartame


If you read this and decide you want to drop aspartame from your menu and need hints about using other sweeteners, I'll be glad to share some tips and links with you. I'm no expert, that's a for sure! But, I've been dinking around with stevia for 20 years, and have been asked many times for info. I finally put it all together on one page. See PAGES at the upper right of my blog, in the sidebar, and click on All About Stevia for some suggestions. This is important enough that I am willing to invest the time for your health's sake. :-)

From Dr Phil's book: "Your food plan sustains your commitment in the absence of emotional energy."

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

My quote for today: "Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can." --Danny Kaye

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 790

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

OCT 11th A Book, A Rant & A Video

Howdy Journal & Friends,

Still poking along here in Oregon. I've been a little frustrated with all the recent controversary in the paleo/primal/lowcarb/diet world. Everyone has an opinion (me included, lol). But too many seem to think what works for THEM should/does/oughta work for EVeryone. So they take pot shots at each other, rather than remember we all have the same goal: to get healthy.

So, I admit to being a little burned out on blog reading. At least, the know-it-all blogs that enjoy promoting themselves and their oh-so-insightful latest revelation/opinion as being such Hot Stuff. 

Gimme a break! NO ONE has ALL the pieces to the puzzle. No one. It's like that old story about a bunch of blind men trying to describe what an elephant looks like... each one describes the part THEY are touching, and forgets that there are many pieces to the puzzle.

I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the book Wheat Belly, by Dr William Davis.  He offers tons of research and draws upon years of his own practice of treating thousands of real-live patients. Yet Dr Davis has the humility to say many times throughout the book that there is still research to be done, and admits that some of the conclusions are speculative. 

Nevertheless... many have jumped on the let's-bash-DrDavis-bandwagon. What is it about human beings that seem to enjoy tearing others down???!!! 

Anyway... eat the meat an' spit out the bones, says I. 

In other words, take what works for you, and leave the rest. Personally, I found Wheat Belly a fascinating read. A little disturbing, to be sure. Add the expose' in it to all the rest of the crap I was told all my life about how I "should" be eating, what I "should" be doing... and I feel pretty duped by the so-called experts. 

So... once again, I am back to saying the same thing: do your own thing. Do what works for YOU. 

You know those folks that annoint themselves as the WeightLossPolice and make drive-by comments on your blog to let you know you are doing it all wrong??? Ha ha ha... just hit delete, and then dump them from your reading list. I did... and I feel sooooo much better!!!!

Hint to those who think it's their job to go around Bloggyland and dish out un-asked for Tough Love: Don't! 

Post whatever you want on your own blog... in fact, let 'er rip! I know for me, I read those and find them inspiring. But... unless someone one has signed up for your tongue lashings and actually ASKED for it, then who do you think you are going around smacking others on their own blogs with uninvited "Tough Love"???!!! You mean well, but it is counter productive to pound people who have NOT ASKED for your thrashing!

Don't you get it??  

It's. Not. Your. Job. to go around 
and dish it out to everyone, 
to those who did NOT ask you 
to become their own personal Jillian. 
Come down off your self-appointed throne!

Ahhhhhh... yes... finally got that off my chest. Whew!...REALLY feel better now.

Okie Dokie, rant over. :-D

Nope... nuthin else going on here. I'm still poking along. I do an informal weigh in each Monday, so know I was down another 2 pounds yesterday. Seems like ditching the last bits of wheat (like from my low carb wraps and crackers, that type of occasional thing) has helped to finally break my stall. I sure hope it continues!! I'm not insisting that's the path for everyone... it's just that for some of us, it could be very helpful. 

I got the Kindle e-book version of Wheat Belly, which was cheaper. Amazon has a free Kindle reader to download, HERE.   

If you enjoy free podcasts, here are some links to Dr Davis interviews that Jimmy Moore compiled. I like to listen to podcasts while I work around the house. 

My favorite book review was done by Dana Carpender, a well known cookbook author and blogger. This is the review Here,  that convinced me to actually READ Wheat Belly! 

Lastly, many many years ago, I ran across a poem called Don't Quit. Well, someone recently made it into a short video. 

LINK TO VIDEO (I couldn't get it to load here).

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

My verse for today: "You gave abundant showers, O God; you refreshed your weary inheritance."

My quote for today: "There is nothing like a blog to help you realize you have nothing new to say." --Penelope Trunk, entrepeneur and blogger 

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 786

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

OCT 5th No Trash!!!

Good evening Journal & Friends,

No trash! Bad dog! NO TRASH!!

She freezes, drops the trash, backs away, hangs her head in shame... then after I've cleaned up the mess, she slowly comes to me, looking at me earnestly with her expressive brown eyes. And yes, once again, I am a puddle, melted by Joey's trust.

(Joey is a mini-schnauzer)

She trusts that I will forgive her, that I will not hit her or hurt her. She trusts that I love her, and that after I have given her a command (like Sit) that I know she can be successful at, I will enfold her once again in cuddles and praise.

She is only 10 months old, yet she KNOWS, without a shadow of a doubt, that she is loved. We've worked hard to teach her good manners, yet there are a couple of things she just finds irresistable. One is Doggy Delicacies (eating kitty poop! ewwww). The other is the trash. Any trash. All trash. We've put lids on them, sprayed them with abracadabra-magic-keeps-dogs-away spray, watched like a hawk and caught her in the act, to make sure she understands which action is unacceptable, etc etc. All to no avail.

Caught in the act!

After she is caught and reproved--a firm NO TRASH! with a frowning shake of the head is big stuff to her-- she is always repentant and wants to please me. She promises to do better next time... okay, that's the interpretation I give to her big brown eyed look, and her need for cuddles and reassurance.

So I've been thinking... you KNEW I'd tie this ramble in with weight loss, yes??! :-D

Do I treat myself with that much firmness yet love when I goof up? 

When I do that thing that I KNOW I'm not supposed to do?? 

Do I face the music, accept responsibility, then move on, and give myself a hug and encouragement, determined to do better next time?? 

Do I not beat myself up and instead feel secure that I am my own best friend on this journey??

I want to learn to be a better friend to myself. Yes, to reach up for a higher standard. To succeed, to do better, to make my goals. And to do all that not with harshness or threats or punishment... but with honesty, encouragement, understanding, and yes, Love. 

I don't believe that kind of Love is namby pamby, wishy washy. Because it knows how heartbreaking it feels to keep falling on my face. It understands how disappointing it feels that this has taken soooo long. That kind of Love is strong and wants the best for me. It will tell me the truth, but will also tell me I can DO this!

I'll never give up on Joey, and will continue to help her learn good manners, so she can have a happy and healthy life. Likewise, I want to never give up on myself. 

Sometimes... I get discouraged, and can see the edge of that black hole. You know, the one that says "just accept it, this is the way it's gonna be". But I repeatedly turn my back on that black hole, and walk the other way... as many times as it takes.

I choose to believe in myself. I choose to believe that God has never given up on me. And I won't either. 

Call this Lessons From A Puppy # 9

Treating Myself with Love and Respect
and Holding On To The Belief 
That I Can DO This!

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

My verse for today:  "When I called, you answered me; you made me bold and stouthearted."

My quote for today: "If it's ever going to change, we have to accept the challenge and rise above our circumstances." --Sean Anderson  

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 780

Saturday, October 1, 2011

OCT 1st Finally Headin' in the Right Direction

Hi Journal & Friends,

I was all excited this morning to see that I had lost 6 pounds in the last two weeks... until I looked at the BIG picture. Last month on Sept 1st I was 335. This morning I was 342. Sigh... but truth is truth. No excuses here. :-}

The trick is... to see ALL the truth, not just part of it.

Like I said in an earlier post, I've been having to find my footing again after a bit of rebellion on my part. I had bounced all the way up to 348, and I skeered myself! 

I'm now past that, doing well. Not perfect, but well. I've done a lot of thinking, and WANT to follow my plan. I WANT to stay within my calorie budget. I WANT to exercise. I want to do it all because I WANT to, not for any other external reason.

There was a time in the beginning, that I did it all because I knew I needed to, that I SHOULD. Transition has been a long time coming, a gradual growth, but I feel the stirrings of genuine WANT TO. Oh yeah, there are still those "stubborn" times. But it seems it's more good times than bad finally. 

So, I'll cling to the knowledge that I'm on the way down now. That's the rest of the truth. Yes, more than last month.... can't do anything about that. But less than last week. And I want to keep it going that way!

From Dr Phil's book: "Change your thinking to change your weight."

My verse for today: "I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me. The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation."

My quote for today: "Be like the bird who, pausing on her flight on limb too slight, feel it give way beneath her, yet sings, knowing she hath wings."  --Victor Hugo

Enjoy the Journey,


DAY 776

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