Friday, September 6, 2013

Time For To Make Art, saith the Cat

One of my favorite passages written by wise King Solomon says "There is a time for everything."

It goes:

There is a time for everything, 
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

I know most will skim over that due to time pressures, but I've slowed down many times and read it carefully, thinking about each line. And I think I know why I haven't felt the need lately to write on this blog.

See, I've been here for YEARS, asking questions, searching for answers. And now it feels like I have no more questions. It's that simple. I feel at peace that I already have enough answers... now I simply need to DO what I know needs to be done. Sure, there is always more to learn, but that's not my point. My point is: it's time to DO.

  • I've done the search for Understanding, in regards to my past.
  • I've done the tough job of accepting TOTAL responsibility for my situation.
  • I've made huge changes in what kind of nutrition I eat on a regular basis.
  • I've made peace with the fact that this is permanent; I can't "use" food like a drug, and still be healthy.
  • I've learned that in order for this to be permanent, my Heart must change.
  • I've decided to accept "what is", and totally let go of "what could have been."
  • I've learned I need to embrace my goals and refresh the vision I have for myself.

And I feel at Peace about all that. Finally. 

So I really don't have a lot to say right now. I am enjoying reading and supporting some other health/weight loss blogs, but mainly am spending my online time over at my art blog. I feel the freedom now to put my energies there. I don't need to spend tons of time looking for my answers here: I already have them, and need to DO them. Hmmm.... I said that before, didn't I?

For totally unrelated reason, this morning I was looking up word definitions, and it helped me in writing this post.
Here are some of those words:

Hmmm... see a pattern there?? Now you see why I'm tired of writing about ME??!!

Remember, this is where *I* am, after years of blogging around the same mountain. If you are just starting out, don't think I am telling YOU not to explore your own life, mind, heart, past, situation, etc.  May your journey be filled with discovery and new understandings!

But for me, it's time to pursue my passions... the things that get me up in the morning, and fill my day with joy!

See ya sooner or later.

Enjoy the journey,

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

JULY 30th Self-Pity is a Dangerous Thing!

It's a fact of life that some people insist on pointing out the flaws in others. Oh, they think they are helping, and are so sure about their insights. But the vibe can be one of judgement... a critical spirit. 

Then there are those who, while recognizing realities, still choose to UPlift others. To believe the best, to offer encouragement. They don't coddle, they don't enable. But they offer the one who struggles the sense that someone actually believes in them.

That's a powerful thing.

When we find hope and belief slipping through our fingers like sand... to have someone come along side and see potential in us is... well, it reaches down and grabs us, and pulls us back up. We stand again, shake it off, and go on. 

We stop indulging in self-pity, we stop playing the martyr, we stop acting like a victim.

We... as in... ME.

This is on my mind because I WAS indulging in self-pity today. The fires here in Oregon have gone crazy, the air is full of particulates, and breathing outside is hard for me. For a couple of days now I haven't been able to go outside and do my pool exercises. Boo hoo, poor me. :-}

So I was cleaning out old computer files, deleting stuff, and came across something that stopped me in my tracks. And it changed my whole attitude.

It was written for me in 2010 by my sister, Karen. She hadn't started her writer's blog yet , so she had left this in the comments on my blog:

Dear Sister:
I've seen you when you cried,
And when you tried to hide;
You'd always say you failed,
When the desired boat had sailed.
But that was yester-year,
After you shed many a tear;
A swan song now you sing,
Grasping on to everything!
You will not be put down,
Nor will you cast the frown,
You push away the strife,
And plunge straight into life!
For this you will prevail,
Though some might see a snail,
But the tortoise beat the hare-
On the race that was a dare!

Wow.... it felt like it was written for me NOW. Here. Today.

Thanks, Sis. I needed that.

Enjoy the Journey,


Sunday, July 14, 2013

JULY 14th Where's That Delete Button?!!

If I went with how I'm feeling right about now, I'd delete about 85% of my past posts!!! 


Because of pride. 

I wrote what I was thinking about at the time, but after just reading a fantastic post  by Marion at Affection for Fitness, I think I'd be embarrassed to go back and re-read them now. In fact, I just noticed one of my tags says "victim mentality". Aargh... I am NOT going to go back and re-read them!

It all started with a comment Marion wrote on another of her posts. I asked her about it, since I didn't really understand her thinking. 

That comment was: 

"Overeating is a clear sign 
of acting victimized."


Which, of course, made my pride bristle, since I never thought of myself as a victim! But I really DO want to be teachable, so asked her to explain. And Marion, being the caring person she is, DID!

I'm not going to recap her whole post here. It was just too good, and would not do it justice. But I will give you the main topics: 

  • What is a victim?
  • Do you think you are a victim?
  • Are you BEHAVING like a victim, even when you don't THINK you are one?
  • The negatives to living with a victim mentality
  • How NOT to think like a victim
  • The ultimate benefits of ditching the victim mentality
ha... even my bullet points kinda fall short.

Really, truly, honestly... if you are at all still struggling to get this weight thing totally figured out, please consider budgeting the time to go and read Marions post. I most definitely think it could be a huge piece of the puzzle for many of us. 

There is gold there!!


Friday, June 28, 2013

JUNE 28th Compassion & Respect

I'm about to share one of the many MANY events that occurred in my life caused by me being Fat. 

Wait... no. 

Caused by the REACTION of others to me being Fat. It's a personal story, that I haven't told often. You'll soon know why. (If you are offended by a little too much information, please skip this post.)

And I have a reason for sharing... it has to do with a TED Talk I watched yesterday, given by a young doctor named Peter Attia. Here's the link  to the 16 minute video, but I know most are too busy to watch. So in a nutshell, here is my synopsis of it:

Dr Attia is a surgeon. Young, strong, healthy. Called to the ER to check on a diabetic woman who had an infected foot, to decide if she needed an amputation or not. He gave her quality medical care, but now admits that back then he judged her harshly for "being Fat", and basically bringing this on herself. 

Fastforward a few years.This strong, exercising, Food-Pyramid "healthy" eater started gaining weight and discovered he was Insulin Resistant. He finally started questioning everything he had been taught about Diabetes, and realized his lack of compassion and empathy for that diabetic woman and indeed, all those "fat people that just didn't care enough to take care of themselves better" (paraphrasing him).

The end of the TED talk touched my heart. He looked into the camera and said if that woman was somehow watching, would she please forgive him for his attitude towards her. For while he did his best as a physician, he had failed her as one human being to another.

This TED talk triggered a flood of memories for me. I've had my share of run-ins with doctors and so-called Experts over the years. I've tried all my life to get a handle on this weight thing. I've done what They prescribed, yet gained weight. I've gone to "counselors" who, as it turned out, were more messed up than I was. I've paid thousands of dollars over the years, trying this and that... I'm sure many can relate to that.

The event with a doctor that hurt me so badly happened when I was about 22 years old. I was trying to be responsible, so went down to the Free Clinic (I was low income) to get some birth control pills. They wouldn't prescribe them without an exam. You ladies know which exam... THAT one. For you gentlemen... it's where you strip buck nekkid, put on a flimsy paper gown open in the back, lay on your back on the exam table, put your feet up into stirrups, and open your knees apart to expose yourself to a total stranger. Yes.... THAT exam.

Bad enough for most of us, on any given day. But when one is already ashamed of their body, it's beyond humiliating. Got the picture so far??

The nurse had me all set up, then in comes a young male doctor, in a hurry, businesslike. The first time I meet him is in this exposed position. He says little, and starts. As he struggled to get the instrument inside me, he mutters loudly "you're just too damn fat"... and...  "are you sure it even goes in??" referring to my partners anatomy.

I lay there in stunned silence. On the outside, I just froze. On the inside, I was dying of humilation. He left, I got dressed. I left. As I drove home the dam finally burst, and I sobbed all the way home. I couldn't stop. When I got home my partner was alarmed and finally got out of me what had happened. It took all the persuasion I had over him to stop him from going down to the clinic and beating the s*%t out of that man, or worse. And yes, back in those days, that definitely would have happened if I hadn't been able to stop him.

My point?? Even if we think someone "brought this on themselves", they are human beings with feelings, hearts, hopes and dreams. No one wakes up each day thinking "oh boy, today I want to be hugely Fat and in pain, and have people treat me like crap and judge me". 

No... we all deserve to be treated with compassion and respect.

Maybe if I hadn't gone through a lifetime of my own struggles I would be one of those who looked down their nose on the "pathetically weak" people. I dunno. But what I do know is... EVERYONE deserves love, acceptance and forgiveness. Everyone can use some encouragement. Everyone has dreams and hopes and are worthy of our respect. Not for what they "do", but for the fact that they ARE. 

We tell ourselves we are "doing them a favor" by blasting others with what is "wrong" with them. Like a fat person doesn't KNOW they are fat?? Like that doctor was letting me in on some little secret as I lay there in that vulnerable position?? 

Well... everyone has a story. 

It sounds cliche, sure, but we ARE all fighting our own battles. I'm thinking if we tried to remember that, maybe we could muster up a little more compassion and respect for others on this sometimes rocky path we call Life... I'm sure those of us still on this journey to health would appreciate that. Well, for that matter, EVERYbody would. :-)

Enjoy the Journey,


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

JUNE 26th My Weird Workout Buddies

My little pool is finally up and running this year, and my new workout buddies are birds, bumblebees, crickets, dragonflies and the wide blue sky! How cool is that?!

Last year I showed you photos HERE   of the iPool I bought and was all excited about. 

Well... I didn't write much about it after that because everything that could go wrong DID go wrong. By the time the pool was going, the summer was almost over. And I couldn't get in by myself, which meant I could only exercise either before or after my husbands work, both of which were colder times (my muscles seize up in the cold).

But THIS year MyGuy built a hoist thingie so I could get in and out all by my little lonesome... and I finally got to start my new pool exercises a couple of weeks ago... yippee!! It is heated to about 85 degrees and my muscles are loving it. 

Here's the ramp leading up to the pool... it is still covered here; I have a pulley system that I use to remove the tarp and solar blanket:

My "chariot" that I ride in and out of the pool, suspended from a hoist motor above :

I LOVE my dumbells and noodle! Those little dumbells are super bouyant and it gives my muscles quite the workout to hold them underwater and do exercises. I can sit on the noodle, which takes pressure off my knees, yet still allows me to do water walking and a dozen other exercises:

Ha ha, tried to show me using a dumbell, but couldn't get the camera aimed right (almost dropped it in the water!)

The view out the back side of the pool:

With my Noodle, wearing my Scuba vest... it really keeps me warm on cooler days! (ha ha, bags under my eyes; need to get more sleep!):

What a view!

This is the other side of the pool, the tarp canopy; when the weather gets cooler, I plan to leave it half closed to keep in some warmth:

Wet faced... yay, the sun broke thru the clouds!

That's what I've been up to these last few weeks. 
Were there days when I didn't "feel" like exercising? Sure. 

My commitment was tested several times, believe me. The only time I skipped was when I was actually physically sick. I'm just now starting to see a little progress from the regular exercise, and I feel encouraged. :-)

Never, ever give up.

My book quote for today: "God's love contains the power to heal our emotional wounds. His love strengthens us to press on in difficult times, and it softens our hearts, enabling us to show more love to others." --Joyce Meyer, from Love Out Loud

My verse for today: "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you."

My quote for today: "Don't waste your time looking back on what you've lost. Move on, life is not meant to be traveled backwards." --Jack White, artist/author

Enjoy the Journey,


PS: As of April 2013, the Comments are turned off. 
Please enjoy just reading, no pressure to respond. 
I hope something Encourages you, or sparks Hope or interest. Or not. 
But either way, I want to continue to document my Journey to Wellness. 
The "numbers" do matter, since they are the result of Consistent good choices.
But it's not ALL about the numbers. 
We are more than that... we are whole people! 

Friday, May 17, 2013

MAY 17th Pressing On

Sometimes we need to remind ourselves to never give up, never surrender. 

And there are those days when I just need to counter the doubts and fears with Truth.

A favorite verse of mine that I find encouraging is:

"Those who hope in the Lord 
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."
Is 40:31

Enjoy the journey,


Friday, April 19, 2013

APRIL 19th A Different Point of View!

For all those who roll your eyes whenever I post a new "aha" moment... get ready to rock an' roll 'em! 

I read a post by Marion at Affection for Fitness that stopped me in my tracks. It's titled: Why I Don't Believe In Willpower for Weight/Fitness

Now, I've been  looking for answers for YEARS, trying this and that, going down many dead end paths, reading umpteen different books and trying to learn from the "experts". Everyone has an opinion. But I can't recall reading THIS idea before, from quite this angle, that Marion wrote about.

I highly recommend you read the whole post yourself, but for the sake of discussion, here is what I got out of it, in a nutshell:

Stop trying to find ways to stay all excited/highly pumped up/motivated every single day as a way to get you to your goal, or you will burn out!

That's my summary... she said it better. But I had to stop and think about it. Cuz I've been doing the OPPOSITE of what she is saying. Trying to find ways to keep that "motivation" level all hyped up; to "feel" motivated. But Marion made the point that NO ONE can "feel" highly motivated for long periods of time, without ending up feeling tired and wanting to take a rest, a break from it all. 

She said what we need is STAYING POWER, not will power. And we get that by not depending upon "feeling" all excited and motivated, but from just having a plan of what we need to do, day in and day out, then DOING it regardless of how we "feel". 

Bingo! That's when I saw she was right... that IS how I've been feeling lately, tired and burned out. Actually, for a long time! I just never saw it in quite this light before. I won't repeat her post here, but she does explain the answer to all that, so if you find you are feeling kinda burned out, I really do suggest you read her post HERE.

After thinking of all the posts I've written here about motivation, attitude, determination, energy, passion, positive thinking, getting strength, being a Warrior, willpower, blah blah blah... I wonder if I've made it clear that I am a SEEKER, not an expert??

 I don't HAVE the answers, I am SEARCHING for the answers. I know that I've said that before, but not with every post. And I suspect that I must come off as some kind of know-it-all, due to some "feedback" from certain folks. For someone who has turned that corner and has finally "gotten it", I guess I can see why they might feel impatient or frustrated with those of us still trying to "get it". I mean, even *I* get tired of feeling like all I do is talk it, not walk it!

Let me make it reeeeaaalllly clear: I am ON this journey to wellness. I have NOT arrived! I am still learning, and I like to write about stuff that I am interested in, and that--at the time--I am excited enough about to want to put it into a post. Yes, I hope someone else might find it helpful, too. And I'm sorry--truly-- if my communication skills make it sound like I'm thinking I have all the answers, or that I'm saying everyone should do it "my" way. Cuz that's the opposite of what I think! All plans do NOT work for everyone. We all have to find what works for us.

But there are some overall "principles" that do seem to apply to most everyone. And I'm thinking that this post by Marion is one of those. At least... it rings true to me. So I'm pointing it out, in the hopes that others might also find it helpful. If it contradicts anything I've previously written, then definitely ditch what I said, and listen to someone who IS successful at this journey to wellness!

 I really mean it when I say... do yourself a favor and take time to read her post. It's a keeper!

My book quote for today: "All inputs contribute to who you become as a person! Nothing is neutral. Every exposure either overtly or discreetly influences your personality, your character, and the choices you make during the day, even though you are consciously unaware of most of them." --Tommy Newberry, The 4:8 Principle

My verse for today: "May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer."

My quote for today: "The reason why you aren't interested in "deep motivation" is because you know that success in the long run is about pacing yourself and not emotionally exhausting yourself." --Marions daughter

Enjoy the Journey,


PS: As of April 2013, the Comments are turned off. 
Please enjoy just reading, no pressure to respond. 
I hope something Encourages you, or sparks Hope or interest. Or not. 
But either way, I want to continue to document my Journey to Wellness. 


Monday, April 8, 2013

APRIL 8th Oh noes, I Forgot!

I was thinking earlier today about how I am learning to be more honest in my art, to take the risk of "going deeper", being more vulnerable and not just doing only light-hearted stuff. It's all a part of my Journey to Wellness. To pursue the true passions of my heart. 

And it dawned on me, that I forgot to share what I've been up to over at my art blog! Now, I realize not everyone is interested, but some might be.  Back in Dec of 2012, I joined the Virtual Paintout  gang, and each month we travel via Google Street View to a new location. We get to pick whatever spot we like, and use it as the inspiration for our painting. For people who can't travel for whatever reason, this is sooo much fun! I feel like my wheelchair has wings, and I am traveling the world. :-)

So, below is my March painting. I call it "Moonlit Dreams Come True".  

I had started out planning a light-hearted "safe" painting. Then I read a wonderful guest post at Jules Joyce's website Phenomenal Living.  It was called Bravery & Art, and I realized that to grow I had to stop playing it safe, and be authentic. I had been thinking about dreams, hopes and yearnings of the heart; so I changed my concept to reflect that idea.

"Moonlit Dreams Come True"
Vilnius, Lithuania
9 x 12 acrylics 
on wrapped canvas

If you'd enjoy seeing all the photos of the "making-of" process, I invite you to visit my art blog, Art By Retta. 

My book quote for today: "Don't make light of little victories. Small successes breed large ones. Remember, you have nothing to prove to anyone but yourself." --Joyce Meyer, Love Out Loud

My verse for today: "Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles."

My quote for today: "Art is, in the final analysis, a window on heaven." --Don Hudson

Enjoy the Journey,


PS: As of April 2013, the Comments are turned off. 
Please enjoy just reading, no pressure to respond. 
I hope something Encourages you, or sparks Hope or interest. Or not. 
But either way, I want to continue to document my Journey to Wellness. 
The "numbers" do matter, since they are the result of Consistent good choices.
But it's not ALL about the numbers. 
We are more than that... we are whole people! 

Friday, April 5, 2013

APRIL 5th Back to Consistency

I read a terrific post by Chris at A Deliberate Life (HERE)   

a while back. She said a LOT of great stuff, and I highly recommend it. But the word that reached out and grabbed me the most was CONSISTENT

I thought of all the times in my life I've "dieted". All the "tries", all the repeated efforts, programs, methods. Fail, try, fail, try, fail, try, ad nauseam. 

If I had just picked one and been consistent, I would have been done with this thing EONS ago. 

Out of curiosity, I looked at my own blog index and found I'd written about Consistency/Consistent 85 times!!!!!!!! EIGHTY FIVE!!

It was even my "theme" for 2011... sheesh...

My first reaction was... exasperation at myself! 

My second was... sadness and embarrassment over all the wasted time.

My third was... I just shook my head, smiled sheepishly to myself, and decided to read each and every one of those posts. To see if there is anything helpful there for me. Because I still WANT to learn consistency. 

It's not a matter of "need" to. 
I WANT to.
And I hope that will make the difference.
In fact, I BELIEVE that WILL make a difference.
I want to Consistently DO, not just talk. 
Talk is cheap... it's what I DO that will make the difference.

My book quote for today:  "The true story of every person in this world is not the story you see, the external story. The true story of each person is the journey of his or her heart." --from The Sacred Romance, by Brent Curtis & John Eldredge

My verse for today: "Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me."

My quote for today: "Consistency. Doing it day in and day out and not letting it be optional." --Chris Oursler, A Deliberate Life

Enjoy the Journey to Wellness, consistently,


PS: As of April 2013, the Comments are turned off. 
Please enjoy just reading, no pressure to respond. 
I hope something Encourages you, or sparks Hope or interest. Or not. 
But either way, I want to continue to document my Journey to Wellness. 
The "numbers" do matter, since they are the result of Consistent good choices.
But it's not ALL about the numbers. 
We are more than that... we are whole people! 
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