Sunday, February 28, 2010

DAY 203 Day of Rest & Favorite Music

Hello Journal & Friends,

Instead of my usual Sunday favorite photo, I wanted to share some zydeco!  

PJ at  PJ's and Pounds  made a comment on Friday about some fun music she liked, and it revved me up for zydeco! Need a burst of energy?? Then these are for you!

Enjoy the Journey,


Saturday, February 27, 2010

DAY 202 Hope & Acting In Spite Of

Happy Caturday,  Journal & Friends!

When we move into our current home 16 months ago, it had been neglected for over a year. The grass was all dead in front and back, and some of the bushes were crispy dry and dead. The ones still alive were a mess, all overgrown and tangled. The house paint had seen happier days. So sad...

The house had been given up on... no water for the trees... earwigs and spiders were the  main occupants of the house. It wasn't a bad house, or a bad neighborhood. But the former owners fell on hard times, lost hope and moved out, selling it cheap.

We had all but given up our dream of ever living in our own home. We had been saving up for years, but a circumstance came along, and wiped out our savings. I won't go into all the details, but it is a miracle to us that we now own this home. We worked hard fixing it up, making it handicapped accessible, painting, and even coaxing new life out of "dead" grass and bushes. 

But if we had not dared to try, one more time... to risk... to be willing to work hard... then we never would have been in the position to see our "miracle." We took what tiny shred of hope we still had, and reached out. And were blessed way beyond what we could have imagined.

I think our weight loss journey is like that, too. 

So many times, I came so close to losing hope... to giving up. But that tiny spark of hope refused to die. I felt like God never gave up on me, so I just couldn't either. 

So I took that little bit of hope, and reached out, and started again on this journey. It's not been going lightening fast. In fact, it's been going much slower than I had hoped. But IT IS GOING.

Never, ever give up. If you are struggling, either to get started or to keep going, muster up all the hope you have, and CLAIM it for yourself. No one is going to do it for you. There is a saying: no one else can do your push-ups for you. 

CHOOSE to make the effort, daily, consistently.

CHOOSE to face down the feelings and stress that make you want to eat.

CHOOSE to make the right choices even when you aren't feeling it.

Last night, I was out of calories.
Last night I wanted to eat SO BAD.
Last night I was not still hungry... I was frustrated, sad, disappointed.
Last night, I drank tea instead of eating the bacon and cheese I wanted.
Last night, I was NOT feeling it, but stayed the course anyway.

It can be done. Was it easy?? Come close, and let me bite your head off... does that answer your question??

But feelings are not facts. Feelings are temporary. They are the caboose, not the engine. So... on the journey goes. 

And maybe tomorrow, I will be... enjoying the journey once again.

From Dr Phil's book: "Be willing to challenge every behavior pattern."

My verse for today: "Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

My quote for today:  "We need to practice acting in spite of fear, in spite of doubt, in spite of worry, in spite of uncertainty, in spite of inconvenience, in spite of discomfort, and even to practice acting when we're not in the mood to act." --T. Harv Eker

Enjoy the Journey,


Friday, February 26, 2010

DAY 201 Challenge Update & Another Unknown Factoid

Hi to my Journal & Friends,

Time for the update on The Perfect 10 challenge. It's Week 8 already! 

My goals, which were to exercise 6 days per week, were accomplished. A couple of times it was a struggle, and I KNOW that if I hadn't been in this challenge, I would have wimped out. So thanks to Steve for starting it!

And now on to that oh-so-fascinating Unknown Fact about myself... LOL!

I love all kinds of music... from Andrea Bocelli to Zydeco, and everything in between. 

But my alltime favorite music to listen to, when I am in the middle of a painting, is classic Yanni. The instrumental Yanni, before he added vocals. It is gorgeous, alive, and full of passion and emotion. 

It makes me want to PAINT like his music SOUNDS, if that makes sense. Here is a sample for your listening pleasure. It is called "Reflections of Passion."  

From Dr Phil's book: "Start behaving in ways that make you feel really good about yourself."

My verse for today: "So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

My quote for today: "Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude." --Ralph Marston

Enjoy the Journey,


Thursday, February 25, 2010

DAY 200 Just Thinkin...

Hello Journal & Friends,

I visited a blog recently, Ornamental, that affected me deeply. Not a weight loss blog... it is more a "creative" blog. Nina shares her artistic pursuits, and also writes of her daily creative and personal life, and inner thoughts. 

I tried to contact her for permission to show you a bracelet she made that I fell in love with, but haven't heard back. Here are the words that she incorportated into that bracelet:

But what grabbed my attention originally was Nina's response to a scathing critical comment she had received. The commenter denounced Nina's use of I, me, and mine in her writing... and informed Nina that it was not all about HER, that she was spoiled and selfish, etc etc.

I loved the Nina's answer: this was her blog, sharing her inner thoughts and feelings, and of COURSE it would contain I, me, and mine. How could it not?? 

And she shared her own inner truth, her experience of her creative life, and her determination to live and share ALL that life brings, both the joyous and the painful. She felt life was rich, a circus, and refused to write an insipid, phoney blog.

That was the part that grabbed me: that word INSIPID.

It exploded inside me... revealing a whole host of emotions hidden within.

INSIPID represents all that I do NOT want to be... shallow and stale. Colorless and drab. Trite and anemic. Bland and boring. Wishy-washy and lifeless. SHALLOW.

And I'm not just talking about this blog... I felt her words penetrate me deeply, to include my LIFE. I want so much to live the FULL, rich life that I have missed out on. To experience the full tapestry that life can be... rich with color and shape and texture and deepness...

Being so overweight can sideline you from life... you watch it go by, hurting on  the inside, longing... wishing... hoping... not daring to believe... seeing opportunites slip by... hiding your real feelings...

Over the years your own dreams slowly shrink... smaller and smaller... you even feel foolish talking about them to anyone... embarrassed... and few people listen anyway... you are mercilously judged by outward appearances...

You know from remarks and glances how you are perceived. They don't see you as having depth, like a treasure chest just waiting to be opened, full of beauty and treasure to offer up... we are all like that, for those with eyes to see...

Then, one day, the miracles start. Something, someone, some influence, finally  all begin to coalesce inside you... it is your turn. 

It is your time.

It does not "just happen". Yes, it starts... and you can't even say where the "spark" came from... you are just grateful it came. You thank God. 

But then it is handed to YOU... to nourish and grow with hard work and commitment... or... to let it slip away, AGAIN, maybe never to come your way again.

You think... this might be my last chance. And I WILL NOT LET THIS SLIP AWAY. I am grabbing on this time, and NOTHING, NO ONE, NO CIRCUMSTANCE will take this from me.

You accept that the responsibility has been handed to you. Yes, you pray for strength and guidance. But no more cop-outs... no more "oh I am just so humble, and I can't do it, I am so weak, and so God is just going to have to do it for me" crap. 

No more dodging accountability for your choices. No more excuses. This time you say "I have been given everything I need to do this", and now you accept the mantle... you accept the responsiblity for your own success or failure. 

You know now that you can choose to succeed, or you can give in and take the easy way out... the familiar way... the less scarey and safe way. The way you always took when pressure or pain or fear or uncertainty presented themselves... you ran back to the familiar, to safety, to your place of hiding, of escape... to the food. 

But not this time. 

Never again. You step out in faith, not knowing exactly how to do this, but knowing this is YOUR time. And you want to live this life you have been given to it's fullest... and at last be able to open your treasure chest and offer up what has been hidden there all the time.

Those who have not experienced the powerful, vise-like grip that an addiction can have on one, cannot possibly understand... they would write this off as melodramatic, self-dulgent drivel. I no longer care what "they" think. 

I am listening to a different drummer now... I am choosing to take this gift of Time and live with Passion and Purpose, becoming who I was meant to be.

From Dr Phil's book: "When you choose the behavior, you choose the consequences."

My verse for today: "The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life."

My quote for today: "I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not to shrink to a grain of sand. Henceforth will I apply ALL my efforts to become the highest mountain of all and I will strain my potential until it cries for mercy." --Og Mandino

Enjoy the Journey,


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

DAY 199 Good News!

Hidy Ho Journal & Friends!

I have Good News to report today: I got the report back on my tongue biopsy, and it is NOT cancer, like he had suspected. :-)

It is actually something much more mundane... oral candidiasis. Ick!

It's usually no big deal, except that it can get dicey for people with immunosuppressed systems. Then, it can travel to organs, or heart, or blood, or brain, etc. So, they are going to give me "stuff" to take 5 times a day, and all should be well soon.

I feel like I have dodged a bullet... that it is not too late for me to get my health back, and continue on my journey. I am very thankful.

I have often quoted Michael Beckwith here: 

"In every life circumstance, 
look for the Blessin' or the Lesson."

I've thought about that these last few days, waiting for the biopsy results. And even before I knew the outcome, I realized I had already received a benefit from this... I have been seriously thinking of my priorities, and Time Management. Yeah, again.

  • There are the not very important things that I waste time on.
  • There are the necessary things that I must do whether or not I want to spend time on them.
  • There are the good things that I enjoy doing, but not necessary.
  • There are the BEST things that would move me closer to my authentic self, and my ultimate goals.

I need to stop talking about Time Management, and start DOING it. And even writing that, to me sounds like a broken record. I think I've typed that very sentence before!!  It's deja vu all over again... ;-)

 My favorite mind coach, Dayne, wrote an excellent post on that very subject recently (HERE). Methinks I'd better pay attention.

Anyway, one thing I had to reluctantly give up, that I really enjoyed, was responding to each individual comment on my blog. I appreciate them so much, and I really enjoyed making that connection. But then I didn't have enough time to visit blogs, too. So, I had to choose. And I decided I loved blog visiting even more, and that is what I do with my limited time now. 

I hope those of you that leave comments don't feel unnoticed. I truly love hearing your opinions and comments. It's like we are all on this great adventure together, and when we touch bases with each other, it's a reminder we are not alone as we travel that road.

From Dr Phil's book: "There is strength and power in support."

My verse for today: "Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise."

My quote for today:  "To have the thing you have never had... you must DO those things you have never done before."

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

DAY 198 Taxes Trump Toons & No Excuses Mentality

Hi there, Journal & Friends,

Well drat! I don't get to play with Toon Tuesday this week... I am knee deep in tax preparation. 

That reminds me of reading a good post recently by Chris, at A Deliberate Life (HERE). She talked about doing what is necessary. What I WANT to do is play with my art... what is NECESSARY is to to work on the taxes.

Our weight loss journey is like that too... I'll let you read Chris's post on the subject... she said it well.
Bottomline: If we want to succeed on this difficult journey, we have to ditch our excuses, grow up and do what is necessary. Consistently. Period.

By the way, the first time an online friend called me on my excuses, I worked up quite a huff! I was irritated, defensive, and downright prickly. Yet my reaction told me she was hitting a sore spot. So I finally laid down my pride, and really took a look at myself. I got honest. And yes, I was chock-full of excuses. 

I hadn't done it on purpose. I didn't think I had excuses. I had "reasons". After all, I thought, you don't understand my situation... my health... my age... my injuries... my finances... my upbringing... my lack of support at home... my my my my. Need I go on with examples???

She busted through my greatest hindrance with the truth. My greatest hindrance? My own thinking. I had constructed all of these "reasons" to explain away my failure to DO what I kept saying I wanted to do. She "dared" incur my wrath. She told the truth, whether or not it would be appreciated. And it was NOT, at first.

Now, I am very thankful to my friend, B, who lit a verbal stick of dynamite under my big pile of excuses, and blew it all to smithereens. It took awhile to work through them all, but when I started to look at my life with new eyes, with self-honestly and awareness, I could see what SHE saw: excuses.

And then it took awhile to change my approach. I adopted a SOLUTION oriented approach. I decided that excuses were no longer going to have the power to stop me... but they were simply challenges to be SOLVED. This has helped tremendously, just looking at it in a different perspective, with the intention of NOT allowing a thing to stop me.

When you encounter an excuse, ask yourself:  So, what am I going to do about it? And make a plan to eliminate the excuse. 

Need examples (from my own life)?? Some Excuse Busters??

Excuse: But I'm in a wheelchair...or knees bad...or other part injured, so "can't" exercise.
Solution: Nonsense. Do chair-dancing, exercise in a pool, move the UNinjured parts. Do SOMETHING. Move. Consistently. Make it non-negotiable. Period.

Excuse: But I don't have any support at home... he/she/they resists my efforts.
Solution: So? You still have control over what and how much goes into your own mouth. Sure it's better to get it out of the house. But if you can't for whatever reason, then bring in stuff you CAN eat, and make this a high priority. Then get yourself online and hook up with like-minded, tough, success oriented people. 

Excuse: But I don't have time.
Solution: We all have the same 24 hours in each day. Some have more on their plate than others, true. But if you want to succeed at this, you MUST put in the time. That's the trade-off. You must. Or admit that it's not a high enough priority right now, and that you are not ready. But either way, be honest with yourself.

Excuse: But I can't afford to eat right. Eating "healthy" is more expensive.
Solution: Baloney. No, I don't mean EAT baloney... I mean that is an excuse. You may not be able to afford all the fancy schmancy stuff, but if you stop buying the pre-packaged junk and convenience foods, and eat moderately and wisely, and make the effort to search online for economic healthy recipes, you CAN do this.

Excuse: But I am older... my metabolism is so slow... I have medical problems that make it hard to lose weight.
Solution: It is never too late to turn it around! So...your metabolism is slower, and you are a decrepit old fogey, huh?? So??? All that means is that it might take a little longer, and you might have to try harder! You might have to learn (gasp... the P word) patience!!

I know this all sounds so tough and hard. But what did easy and soft get me?? It got me 460 pounds. I had to get past wanting a "softer, easier way", as they say in AA. I had to become willing to DO WHATEVER IT TOOK.

Doing whatever it takes is not always easy. And some days doubt creeps in. And impatience. And frustration. And weariness. But those are temporary storms of the mind... for then the sun comes out again, and the journey continues.

It is not always easy, but it is worth it. 

 From Dr Phil's book: "Have the willingness and courage to throw off your past, go after your weight-control goals, and pursue a life that is defined as healthy and fit."

My verse for today: "Behold, you desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart."

My quote for today: "If you really want to do this, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse."

Monday, February 22, 2010

DAY 197 Week in Review

Hello Journal & Friends!

When I first got up this morning, it was an uphill battle, attitude-wise.

After making MyGuys two meals to take to work, then mainlining, er, drinking my coffee, I decided to go blog visiting before I post. Usually I do it the other way around. Today I'm glad I went visiting. It was like chatting with friends over morning coffee. And it lifted my spirits. 

Especially this wonderful video that Stacia posted, at Swimming It Off (HERE).  Watch all the way to the end, and I guarantee you will smile. I wanted to be like that guy!

I hadn't intended to write much today because somehow over the weekend, I irritated both of my wrists, and they are really hurting. I am wearing my wrist guards, and typing carefully... that helps. (Thanks to all you who have turned off the word verification feature! It's that much less typing... unless you are plagued by spammers or trolls, it's not really necessary to keep it on).  Just use this instead:

Week in Review: 

On track as far as calories counts and exercise. Okay mental wise, though it was a definite struggle when I did the sneak-peek weigh-in last Friday.  I was UP 12 pounds. Good griefus, Charlie Brown!! I know, I's only temporary water. Since my tongue biopsy last week, I've been eating soft stuff, like shakes, soups, and such. And some of it was much more sodium than I usually eat. And less fiber... which means... you know... clogged plumbing, LOL!

So, just a bump in the road. But sure glad my monthly weigh-in isn't til NEXT Monday!

Well, I think I might even go get dressed now. :-D

From Dr Phil's book: "You and only you choose how you feel. Others may provide an event or behavior for you to react to, but it is up to you to choose how you feel about them."

My verse for today: "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God."

My quote for today: "Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been." --Mark Twain

Enjoy the Journey,


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