Sunday, January 31, 2010

DAY 175 Day of Rest & Favorite Photos

Hi Journal & Friends,

Someone on another blog mentioned it would soon be spring... eek! I wanted to post more pretty winter snow photos. Guess I'd better get on that!

Here are two that Jim took a couple of years ago, right after a winter storm. We live in a "bowl" here in Oregon. We are down in a valley, surrounded by mountain ranges. Normally we don't get too much snow on the valley floor. But this time, it came down pretty good, and was beautiful!

Jim went to this tiny park right in the center of town and was excited about the "winter wonderland" he found. It was early morning with no one around, and he said it was gorgeous.  (click pics to enlarge)

Enjoy the Journey,


Saturday, January 30, 2010

DAY 174 Spiders & Looking in the Mirror Part 2

Hi Journal & Friends,

Quite a few years ago I was bitten by a Brown Recluse spider. Apparently it crawled into our nice warm waterbed, bit my hip during the night, and sneaked away before morning. I was fine when I went to bed... the next morning had a crater starting to form on my hip. The bite of that kind of spider causes necrosis of the tissue, and it keeps on dying, quickly eating a hole into you, unless you DO something.

I didn't know what it was, but it hurt, so I went to my doctor the next day. He took one look and said "I know exactly what that is, that happened to my son!" So I was able to get it treated right away, and it finally healed. Physically, that is. 

But it did something to "me". After that, if I saw a spider I would react in a physical way. I actually felt sick to my stomach, my heart raced, and I felt like I was going to pass out. It was sooo embarrassing, but it seemed I had no control over this panic-attack type reaction.

I finally told my doctor what was going on, and he told me how to get over it.. by using desensitizing techniques. I had to start by looking at pictures of a spider. At first even a PHOTO of a spider sent me into a panic attack. But I was determined to get over this, and gradually I could look at a spider picture, and not over-react. I still did not LIKE them, but they didn't set off a physical reaction. 

Later, as they appeared "in the flesh", I gradually took back my "power" by gleefully squashing them! 

Why do I bring this up?? Because I am still thinking of Dayne's post (here) about how we react to pressure. I first wrote about this Thursday (HERE). But this feels important to me, like there is more there for me, and I don't want to miss it.

It's as though this is a piece of my puzzle. I knew I used food as a drug, as an escape, a diversion, all that. Happy, sad, mad or glad, was a reason to eat. But the worst to resist, for me, was the stress eating. My reaction to pressure, or stress, was to escape... and my means of escape was food.

I can remember one time considering getting down that dusty bottle of rum from the cabinet. It had been there for probably 5 years, from the Christmas I made rum balls for gifts. 

But you know what stopped me?? The way I abused food, I just knew if I started back drinking, I would end up a raging alcoholic. In my B.C. days (that's "before Christ" for all you non-religious-fied folks) I used to drink and do the pot party rounds. I can even remember a couple of years ago wishing they would legalize pot, so I could "veg out" without calories! How sad and desperate is that?! I conveniently forgot that when you smoke pot, you ALSO get a huge case of the munchies. Sigh. Seems like I had to face my issues after all, and not run from them.

Back to Dayne's post ... The athlete he talked about had learned to interpret pressure in a positive light. He even went so far as to say he LOVED pressure!!  He connected it not with a negative, like I did, but with  the positive OUTCOME... with WINNING the game. He must have quite the competitive streak, because he seemed delighted about the fact that most people do NOT perform well under pressure, and that gave him a distinct advantage.

I am not interested in the competitive advantage, but I AM interested in how changing my interpretation of pressure will help me. If I really viewed it as a positive, I would no longer have that inner response to run from it, AS THOUGH IT WERE A SPIDER. If I can change my automatic response, then I am thinking it will remove a huge reason that pushes me to overeat.

I have learned all kinds of cognitive behavioral techniques that have helped me get this far, substituting OTHER things instead of eating. 

In fact, I had planned a whole post on it... new payoffs for new behaviors. The ways I have learned, without using food, to achieve emotional relief, physiological calm, and stave off the desire for immediate gratification.

But... wouldn't it be great to REMOVE a huge chunk of the core problem, so I didn't even NEED to struggle with it?? I am talking again about the way I interpret pressure. If I didn't view it as a negative in the first place, I think a large percentage of my drive to overeat would be eliminated.

So, I am back to the question:
When pressure puts a mirror to your face... what do you see?

To help me remember my answer, I picked an acrostic:

S.A.S. (I like it... it sounds sassy)


Right now I am having to consciously think of this. But I am hoping that in time, it will really sink in and transform my response to pressure. Instead of wanting to dive head first into a tub of mac n cheese, I will be thinking: oh boy, I wonder what this will help me achieve??

I am still looking for a visual, since I think better in pictures. The picture of me strapped to a lit Roman candle or a rocket shooting up into the sky, crossed my mind... but nah. I didn't like the coming down part.  I'll keep thinking.... :-)

From Dr Phil's book: "Our filters powerfully influence the interpretation we give to the events in our lives."

My verse for today: "The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer."

My quote for today: "Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives." --William James

Enjoy the Journey,


Edited to add: If anyone is interested in the whole train of thought, here are all four parts to this epic: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Friday, January 29, 2010

DAY 173 Perfect 10 Update & Where's My Dinosaur?

Hello Journal & Friends!

It's that time again... the weekly update for the Perfect 10 Challenge (here).

My goal was to exercise 6 days per week, 3 days with a DVD, and 4 times on my rebounder. 

Did I do it?? Oh yeah. I did it. Barely. A couple of times begrudgingly. Once half asleep, I think. But I did it. Yesterday I was sooo wishing I had a legitimate excuse to skip it! I saw this sign yesterday and thought, that's me, I need a dinosaur!!

And that is exactly why I signed up for this challenge. I know me... and making that commitment would force me to do it, even on days I wanted to make an excuse. So I give a big Thank You to Steve, at South Beach Steve, for starting this Challenge.

Now for the random fact about myself you don't know... caution to all you foodies, clean eaters and health nuts... you might want to skip this next part... it's gonna get ugly...

I love SPAM!!

Crispy fried spam, cold spam, spam and eggs, left over spam, right out of the can spam... sorry, I'm hopeless. We had it as kids, and that ruined me for life. I don't have it too often, due to the sodium... but I DO have it. Not only does hot crispy fried spam taste wonderful to me, it brings back memories of Momma cooking it for us. :-)

Don't wanna eat it? How's about Spam Sculpture... mwa ha ha ha ha:

From Dr Phil's book: "Allowing emotionality to lord it over your behavior will cause you to fail."

My verse for today: "The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."

My quote for today: "Every now and then, dig deeper. Remind yourself why you desire what you desire." --Ralph Marston

Enjoy the Journey,


Thursday, January 28, 2010

DAY 172 Looking Into the Mirror & Changing My Mind, Part 1

Hi there Journal & Friends,

Years ago I read this quote from Norman Vincent Peale:

"Change your thoughts 
and you change your world."

It took me a lot of years to even understand the power in that quote, let alone start applying it.  I was thinking about this quote because last week I read a post at Dayne's blog, Coach Your Mind (HERE). And I have been thinking about what he wrote all week.

I won't quote the whole post here, but I highly recommend carving out the time to read it. It's not all that long, but it stopped me in my tracks.

It held up a mirror to my mind, and helped me see myself more clearly. And I saw a major flaw in my thinking... one I think I've had all my life, but had just never thought about in this new way.

The post title was "When Pressure Puts A Mirror To Your Face... What Do You See? And Dayne explored WHY some people do well under pressure, and why some don't.

I fell into the "don't" category. And I discovered WHY, and what I can do to actually change that. I love reading stuff that is useful. It doesn't just tell you what's wrong with you, but also gives you practical solutions.

And in this case, *all* I had to do was... change my thinking! Oh... is that all?? ;-)

I thought back over my life... and my typical response to stress and pressure. And I made the immediate connection with my weight, and how I used food as my escape valve, my release from stress... like that little valve-thingie on top of a pressure cooker.

I didn't embrace "pressure" as something that could be used to propel me forward, that could help me be more and do better. Instead of putting it in a positive context, I interpreted pressure as a negative to be avoided.

Dayne's post got me thinking. I have answered his question from an intellectual point of view, what I would LIKE to feel:

When Pressure Puts A Mirror To Your Face... What Do You See?

 I see Strength, Achievement, and Spunk.

That is what I want to see. To believe. To be my automatic response to pressure. I'll admit it's a work in progress. But I'm excited and encouraged.

One week ago, I didn't know I had this flaw in my thinking, in my perception of pressure. 

Now I know. 

Now I can DO something about it.... and I'm workin' on it.

And that makes me smile with anticipation. 

From Dr Phil's book: "One of the most critical ways to stop this behavior is to change the way you think and how you interpret events in your life."

My verse for today: "It is God who arms me with strength."

My quote for today: "Pressure makes diamonds." --General George S Patton

Enjoy the Journey,


Edited to add: If anyone is interested in the whole train of thought, here are all four parts to this epic: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

DAY 171 Lady Susan & Who I was Born To Be

Hello Journal & Friends,

I am a Susan Boyle admirer. She moves me to tears. Not just her voice, which is wonderful. But the whole story.

I watched a video of her saying that when she first went on Britain's Got Talent,  they (both the audience and the judges) laughed at her at first. But then, when they heard her sing, they started to accept her.

They judged her by her outer appearance first. And judged her harshly. Then she earned their respect with her God-given talent.

I guess I relate to that kind of story. I have been judged harshly all my life by my outer appearance. And sometimes people are surprised that someone "like me" can actually make some decent art. I can't tell you how many times in my life this has happened to me. Sometimes it was subtle, but sometimes it was blurted out!

Knowing that people struggle to accept a larger-than-normal sized person, I didn't pursue my art career for many years. I had a fair amount of confidence in my art, but not in ME, if that makes sense. I was just too self-conscious. I kept putting it off, waiting to have the "whole package". But time slipped on by...

My dreams faded, and almost died. I have always done creative type projects of one type or another, but didn't pursue fine art painting too actively. Not publically, where people saw "me". I didn't feel ready to face the rejection of meeting gallery owners in person, or attending openings or art fairs, where people met me, the artist. The few times I did try, I was shot down. I allowed that to stop me.

(click pic to enlarge)

How people judge ME bleeds over into how they judge my art. Some people pursue their passion regardless of how they look. But for a lot of us, being overweight has affected many areas of our lives. We were not "victims"... but we were affected by our own limiting beliefs.

After Susan Boyle gained her fame, a song was written for her that is beautiful. The title is "Who I Was Born To Be". Here are part of the lyrics that I find meaningful:

When I was a child
I could see the wind in the trees
And I heard a song in the breeze
It was there, singing out my name

But I am not a girl
I have known the taste of defeat
And I have finally grown to believe
It will all come around again

And though I may not know the answers
I can finally say I am free
And if the questions led me here, then
I am who I was born to be

And so here am I
Open arms and ready to stand
I've got the world in my hands
And it feels like my turn to fly

Even though I am not to my goal weight yet, I am pretty much no longer afraid of what "they" think about how I look. I am discovering who I was born to be... and feel like maybe, just maybe, it is my turn to fly.

From Dr Phil's book: "Heal your feelings so that your eating is no longer fueled by harmful emotions."

My verse for today: "Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world."

My quote for today: "Time is all you have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think." --Randy Pausch

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DAY 170 Toon Tuesday Time

Hi Journal & Friends,

Yay, it's my favorite day of the week... Toon Tuesday!

Last week on Toon Tuesday, I mentioned making a toon for my Theme for 2010 (HERE), and showed a sample.

I finally got mine finished! Just for fun, I took pictures of it in progress. First is a rough pencil stage, working out the details (click to enlarge).

Next it's been transferred to nice paper, and I've started inking it in (click to enlarge).

And lastly, here is my finished Theme for 2010, all colorful and purty (click to enlarge).

I would love to see what others have made. They don't have to be fancy, just fun!

From Dr Phil's book: "You make the choices that create your emotional state."

My verse for today: "Happy are the people whose God is the Lord."

My quote for today: "There are always flowers for those who want to see them." --Henri Matisse

Enjoy the Journey,


Related Posts with Thumbnails