Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday: I have a dream

It's a seemingly simple dream, but I fear it's one of those 'not in this lifetime' sort of dreams.

My dream: For people to stop apologizing for what they eat.

This whole looking at a meal and searching for the thing that's "bad" about it, or rationizing that the rest of the meal is "good" except this one thing.

Heck, as long as I'm dreaming, it'd be nice for folks to stop apologizing for working out, but 'only' doing X number of minutes or Y sort of exercise instead of more or less of something else... or worse, feeling guilty for taking a break, but that's a dream for a different day.

The way I see it, we already know that there's some foods that are lacking in the nutrient arena, and aren't the best things to be putting into our bodies. We also know that there's some foods that are knock your socks off nutritional powerhouses.

It doesn't mean one food is "good", and another is "bad". It just is what it is: food. Some food is a more ideal choice than another, but it's still just food... And there's room enough on your plate for both.

Putting a good/bad label on anything - food, exercise, spending, whatever, is just a form of control, and a reason to punish ourselves if we step outside of our tight little self or societal imposed boundaries.

The only thing beating myself up ever accomplished was putting me in a bad mood and keeping myself stuck in the same place for far too long.

I think we've all had quite enough of that, don't you?

Life is meant to be enjoyed, not to be complicated with a whole slew of rules, regulations and labels that can change at the drop of a hat...

Not sure what I mean? Here's an example: Eggs are good for you, right? Oh wait, they're bad for me now... Look! They're good for me again. See! It's enough to drive you crazy.

Keep it simple: Eat in a way that promotes a healthy, happy vessel - what ever that means to you.

The rest of the time: Just eat.

All of the time: Throw caution to the wind and *gasp* _enjoy_ what you're eating with wild abandon.

No guilt.

No judging.

No apologies.

Just love for yourself and the maker of the feast (that means a double dose of love if you're cook. ;)

So just for today - for me - don't apologize for what you eat. To anyone.

Let me know how it goes.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Get Real

Get real!

I'm gonna keep this short - or at least, I'm going to try, which for me is saying something!

The past couple of weeks I feel like I've been through the ringer but for a purpose. It all started when I asked myself the question of what the turning point was for me in this journey to get a grip on my health, my weight, and to some extent, my life. When did things change from "diet" to "lifestyle" for me? When did my progress /really/ start to happen? I mean, how am I supposed to help others get to this place when I can't remember how I got here in the first place?

I grappled with that for a while, then I realized when it was - it wasn't a single light bulb moment, but it was just as momentous: It was when I stopped looking outside myself for purpose, for reasons, for road blocks, for excuses. It's when I started doing some serious naval gazing and decided it was time to cut the cr@p and get to the heart - my heart - of the issues once and for all.

I got real. And it helped me.

"We must be willing to dive deep and feel, really feel what is underneath. This is where you will be set free."

I shared my fears, my faults, my frailties with others. It helped them.

"People gain so much hope when they know they are not experiencing something alone."
Joyce Rupp
Alive Now, pg. 35

In case I thought I hadn't quite gotten it right, the universe has rewarded me with many not so subtle clues that I hit the nail on the head. I got an amazingly powerful message that I want to share with you and ask 3 things of you at the same time:

1) go read this... now... don't wait, just do it, and grab tissue. Lots of them. It may take 15 minutes of your time, or a few hours, but it's worth it.

2) Go read the follow up, with more tissue:

...2a) if you feel compelled to do so, leave a comment.

3) Commit - to yourself and to others, to share, to be real, be vulnerable, be kind, and to remember you're not alone, you're not the only one.

After reading those two blogs and the heart wrenching comments, 2 things occurred to me:

1) We truly live in a global society. Because of the great internets I have friends that live across town, across the country, and across the pond. Amazing people I would never have met any other way. But being a global society can be big, and scary, and even more intimidating when you're already feeling small and insignificant.

2) Our society has come to a place of "Don't ask, don't tell" long before it ever became an issue in the US military. The list of Things We Don't Talk About has grown by leaps and bounds over the decades to the point that even the deepest of conversations amongst close friends can seem to be flat and shallow.

I think this is why, for me, I seek out people who are Real. People who talk about the uncomfortable things, who share the heaviness of their hearts - not to bring anyone down, but to lighten their loads. By letting go of that piece of darkness, they can start to see the light, and find joy.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You, too? Thought I was the only one.’” (C.S. Lewis)

Remember: Even in your deepest, darkest hours when you feel most alone, most alienated from the rest of the world, there's someone else out there who feels exactly the same.

YOU. Are. NOT! Alone!

Never _ever_ stop knowing that.

HA! Made ya smile!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Unapologetic Change... Cont'd

Change: [cheynj] verb, changed, chang·ing, noun
–verb (used with object)
1. to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone.
2. to transform or convert (usually fol. by into ).
3. to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind.
And a boatload other definitions

I know! Ya don't hear anything from me for weeks at a time then it's nothing but blog, blog, blog. LOL!

What can I say? When the God-breezes are blowing, sometimes ya gotta put up the sails and go with it. ;)

Which actually brings me back to my last post - I feel like I got caught up in the 'Why are we afraid of change' rather than the actual point I wanted to make of, 'It's ok to change.'

So there, I made my point: It's ok to change, and there's no need to apologize to anyone for it, especially yourself.

But because I'm me, y'all aren't getting off the hook quite so easy. I mean, come on, I'm not one for short and sweet... Nope, I'm the long winded and wordy type... but it's why y'all love me... right?



Anywho, lets talk about changes... and choices.

I had an interesting experience I wanted to share. Yesterday a co-worker got a salad at the nummy shop next door where every order comes with one of their to-die-for fudgey walnut frosted brownies, which she plopped on my desk because she's nice like that.

Now, I'm usually a cakey brownie person, and prefer the edges to be crispy, but there's something about their brownies that are... NUM! ::drool::

But I digress... If you recall from my previous post, I mentioned that, due to some silliness, I'm currently wheat, egg and dairy free.

And what do brownies have? Eggs and wheat for sure... and I'm bettin' there's dairy in that frosting.

Yep... there it was, sitting on my desk, waiting for me to figure out what I was going to do with it... staring back at me from it's parchment paper wrapping... kinda like the creepy Geico eyes.

Lets put this in a bit of perspective, too. Yesterday was day 3.5 of my freedom from specific ingredients. By default, I've also drastically reduced my sugar intake as well. Not that I was chowing on sugary treats right and left, but there had been some consumed in the course of day to day living that are now absent. On top of it, I've been having some tummy issues and been slightly cranky about not having my usual eggy goodness at breakfast.

So to say that this lump of sweet goodness was tempting, is like saying the Hoover Dam is blocking a stream.

I figured I had 3 choices:

1) "Graciously" give it back to my generous co-worker... and by gracious, I mean refraining from pitching the "WHAT are you doing to me?! I can't have this! I'm not eating this stuff right now, why would you do this to me?!?!" fit.

2) Just eat the d@&m thing and get over it.

3) Shrug, remember that I know what it tastes like, remember that I'm giving my body a break for a while, and take it to another co-worker who's being begging chocolate from me every half hour for a week.

Ok, truth be told, I toyed with options 1 & 2 for about, oooh, 30 seconds before leaping on option 3 and not giving it a second thought... till today when I had said breezey experience about this post. ;)

The only reason I did have a second thought was to realize how far I'd come in my thinking: The "old" me would have probably picked Option 2 while *thinking/stewing* on Option 1, and maybe grumbled at the co-worker for a while before finally getting over it, proving how accepting I am of myself and forgiving I am of my own transgressions, rather than making the better choice in the first place.

What changed? *I* changed... or rather, I changed my mind.

::transition to quotey-quote overload mode… complete::

There a so many people every day who decide that they want/need to/have to make a change in their life. Be it losing weight, getting out of debt, stop smoking/drinking/some other addiction (::coughbloggingcough:: ;) get organized, etc…

But they want to go about it by staying exactly as they are.

“You cannot solve a problem from the same consciousness that created it. You must learn to see the world anew.” – Albert Einstein

One thing I’ve realized is that, if you can concede to make _one_ change in your life, just one, the biggest favor you can do for yourself is to change your attitude.

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter their life by altering their attitude.” - William James

Most times when you’ve reached the end of your rope, hit rock bottom, hit that “ENOUGH” point in your life… the next action you take feels more like a punishment than a reward.

I don’t fit into my fat pants, so I’m going to exercise my brains out and subsist on carrot sticks and green tea; I am sooo far in debt I can’t see straight, so I’m going to cut off ALL spending; My house is SUCH a mess, I’m going to spend ALL weekend in a marathon cleaning session.


“How’s that workin’ out for ya?” – Dr. Phil

Here’s a suggestion that’s going to sound really trite and hokey, but stick with me… kay?: Instead of looking at your steps to get out of your situation as a punishment, or what you’re giving up, look at it as an opportunity for something good to come your way, as some sort of reward you’re working toward.

Change your perspective/attitude, change your life.


You’re not giving up fries, you’re _choosing_ a salad so you can fit into your skinny jeans. [Side note: I have to say that when nothing else worked to haul my a$$ out of bed to go to the gym or for a walk, the thought of looking fantastic in my wedding dress…. So NEVER under estimate the power of a seemingly superficial goal.]

When you change your perspective, you realize you have a choice in not only your actions, but also your REactions.

You can choose to pitch a fit, be miserable, resent every. single. minute. of what you’re working on, or you can choose to accept it, roll with it and *gasp* even make it kind of fun.

It’s all in how you _choose_ to think about it.

There’s one of my favorite Tom Venuto-isms that really made things click in my brain about how much our thoughts and attitudes impact our lives: It’s making choices based on your goals, rather than how you’re feeling at the moment.

Let’s say you have a goal of fitting into a bikini by December… (ONLY an AZ girl would think about swimming in December. ;) And let’s say it’s the third time this week a co-worker has brought in delicious smelling home baked goodies and is pushing them in your stressed out face letting you know they’re on her desk.

You look at the goodie and ask yourself 2 questions: 1) If I eat this, is it going to get me closer to, or further from my goal? 2) If it’s getting me further from my goal, AM I OK WITH THAT?

Just taking a couple of seconds to go through that exercise not helps you refocus your thinking, but also shifts your focus to something bigger and better than a momentary experience.

Oh, and here's the kicker with that exercise: If you choose to go ahead and do something that gets you further from your goal, you have to make the choice to really be ok with it. Really.

“You don’t have to think what you’re thinking!” – Joyce Meyers

And remember, if Worst Case Scenario Girl can do it… YOU can do it!

So, what’s one thing YOU can choose to look at differently to make this journey a little easier? Have you already gone through an attitude adjustment?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Basics: Unapologetic Change

Basic: [bey-sik] –adjective. Something that is fundamental or basic; an essential ingredient, principle, procedure, etc.

—Synonyms1. elementary, essential, key, primary; basal; underlying.

Back in my SCA days, at any event, around any firepit, a story or three would be shared that invariably would start out, “No *bleep*, there I was...”

That’s how my life feels some days... “No *bleep*, there I was... minding my own business when life, the universe and everything happened. And what’s with the fish?”*

It’s interesting how you can really grapple with something, finally come to terms with it, accept it and yourself and share those thoughts with others - case in point, my unapologetic eating treatise. It drives home the fact that, when ya put something out there that, it’s like you making a Double Dog Dare to the Universe to point out the error of your ways.

The Universe, being what it is, looks at you and says, “Ok.”


Well, it wasn’t as dramatic as that, but you get the idea.

Basically in re-embarking on my quest to get brilliant with the basics, and come to terms with some issues that have been niggling at my brain, I also decided that it was time to start doing the things I know I need to be doing, and stop doing the things that, well, I know I need to stop doing.

But that would require me taking action to change - which I wasn’t - not digging in my heels - which I was.

I was *finally* /comfortable/ darn it... I was just getting to know who I was, right here and now, dang it.

::points back to the Universe/challenge thing::

Yeeaahhh. The short-ish story is that I was SO confident and SO comfortable in my unapologetic eating patterns that I pushed it one day and went waaay overboard ::coughbreadbendercough:: and paid dearly for it. For. 3. Miserable. Days.

Those things, that I know I should/shouldn’t be doing... and wasn’t willing to change my actions? Guess who been bread free for a week? And just cuz it threw /everything/ out of whack, guess who’s also egg & dairy free at the moment? And guess who is extra miserable at breakfast?!

Yeah, that’d be me…

Fine, so I’ve been through some serious intestinal upheaval... but it gave me a compelling reason to finally make the changes that I know I needed to make to keep from feeling like poo.

Food and tummy issues aside, it brought up an interesting question that I’m still pondering... what is it about human nature that so bitterly resists change? Yeah, we’re creatures of habit, but when the need for change is staring you in the face, when there is compelling, meaningful evidence supporting it, when your current life is making you miserable and the change is for something so much better... still we resist. We resist change until there’s a really compelling reason not to.

I mean, my hubby smokes - he knows it’s bad for him, he knows it’s bad for me, he /knows/ the health dangers, costs, etc... but he’s not ready to make a change. A few years ago *I* knew that the way I was living, eating, not exercising was bad for me, held serious health dangers for me, but I hadn’t hit that point of *enough* until I had a reason to make a change.

Here’s the thing: If that change is meant to be in your life, it’s going to happen...

With or without your participation.

That saying of identifying what you want and the Universe will conspire on your behalf to make it happen... It should come with a disclaimer of: Really! We’re serious! The Universe WILL conspire on your behalf...We can do this the easy way or the hard way. /Either/ way, hold on and get ready for the ride!

My lesson - or at least 2 lessons wrapped into 1 - learned from this: The time that I’m finally content and comfortable with who I am is the time that the Universe has me right where wants me: most ripe for change to move to the next level.

What level?

The level that’s a bit closer to me being the person I’m meant to be - physically, mentally, spiritually.

The level that takes me closer to being the most basic me.

What changes are you resisting making in your life? Is the Universe dragging you along for the ride?

*Bonus points if you got the reference... here’s your towel. ;)