Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Teaching these old toes a new trick...................

My yoga instructor went to a workshop over the weekend.... Translation..... we learned a new yoga pose last night, called (spelling this the way it sounds) toegu/toga (ha, ha, get it?). It is a two part pose, and goes like this: Place the fingers of your left hand in between the toes of your right foot (from the underside). Now (if you are able to) spead your toes apart, and then spread your fingers apart. After alternating between spreading toes and fingers a few times, remove your fingers from your toes, and then place the fingers on your right hand in between the toes on your right foot (from the top). Repeat the spreading of the toes and fingers, remove the fingers from the toes, and repeat with the other foot.

If you just read through the above paragraph, I am sure you are saying "That sounds easy/simple...... If you actually gave it a try, you are probably grimacing and maybe evening whimpering (as I was doing last night), unless of course you are one of those freakishly flexible people that I have heard of, but never actually met.

I was amazed at how much it hurt to try and spread my toes apart (BTW, my fingers are not all that fat..... I carry my extra weight elsewhere), and how resistive they were to going "into" the pose ("You try and drown us yesterday, and now your trying to rip us out by the metatarsels..... knock it off.... we are perfectly content to spend the rest of our days snuggled up close together..."). I never really thought about the need to get my toes into shape, but apparently I need to work on it.

Are you wondering why I would choose to share this little adventure with you????? It is because I see this as one more example of something that sounds easy, but maybe isn't (or at least wasn't for me) at first. The more I work at it, the easier it will become. I can make that last statement with a strong degree of confidence because that has been my experience with other poses/areas of life.

It can be so easy to allow ourselves to be defeated, before really giving things time to develop. Often, we give up before we give something an (honest from the heart) try, because of fear. Fear is an extreamly powerful emotion, usually born from a lack of understanding. If we do manage to give something (new or old) a try, at the first sign of struggle we choose to listen to that negative voice in our head and throw in the towel, with the blief the we have failed yet again. If we can figure out how to work through our fears, our greatest desires will be ours for the taking.

I have a friend that has an interesting approach (in a VERY weird sort of way) to quiting smoking. She told me "I don't have any problem quiting, because I know I can always start again." I never understood this logic (it goes against my logic that it is a bad thing to go on a diet, because when you go ON a diet, you have to go OFF it eventually, which usually leads to going back to those old habits that made it neccessary to go on the diet in the first place. This is why I am trying to establish healthy habits that I can stick with for life.), but if it works for her.........

Today, I am offering you encouragment to take the risk of trying something you want to master. Try it with the attitude of adventure, looking forward to WHATEVER comes as an experience with no right or wrong attached to it, no judgement, no restictions. Think about how freeing it might be to tackle an old problem with this new approach. I believe every experience is given to us so that we might learn from it. Some lessons can be painful (if we accidently burn ourselves while trying to iron our clothes while wearing them, we learn that there are times when multi-tasking is just NOT a good idea), but even pain serves a purpose in our lives..... If we never hurt, we will never know how great it feels to not hurt!!!!!

There are so many blessings I would not have received had I not been willing to take a risk. Your blessings are out there just waiting for you, so the question of the day is : (In the words of Jana Stanfield) "What would you do today, if you were brave?"

Monday, January 30, 2006

Does she or doesn't she...... Read on to find out....

In the course of my reading (last week), I came accross a training schedule for a half-marathon. Since our hotel and plane tickets have been booked, I figured it was time to get serious about training. We all know how easy it is to commit to something when actually doing the event is still in the future. Mid last week, a ten mile run on Sunday (yesterday) seemed real do-able, so that was the plan.

Saturday night (well actually two am Sunday morning), after the party, my mind began to try and talk me out of it. When I woke my husband up to take the remainder of the night shift, my plan was to sleep until nine and then worry about the ten miles.

Just before seven am, fate woke me up (okay, it was my husband. Seems a certain sweet someone wanted only me to help her out of bed..... It is so nice to be wanted!), and after a half cup of coffee, the arguments began again. "You're suppose to run that ten miles today." "I know, but it's raining and yucky out." "You can always get on the treadmill." "No way will I be able to make myself stay on that treadmill for two hours all at once." You get the point..... To shut up the nagging, I began to get dressed to run, even though I had not fully decided to actually step outside the door. After getting dressed, I s-l-o-w-l-y began to get my stuff around, trying to decided if keeping my word to myself was really worth running ten miles in the rain. When I ran out of ways to waste time, I headed for the door. As I was leaving my husband ask me how far I planned on running, and I replied that I had no idea. Translation...... I might be going out the door, but I was still not sure I was actually going to end up running.

As I headed down the street, I realized that it was really only drizzling, and not all that cold out. I decided to run my five mile course twice. This way, if I wanted to quit at the end of five, I would be home. By switching my focus onto five miles rather than ten it all of a sudden seemed much more manageable. I got into a rhythm and before I knew it, I had gone three miles.

Right about this time, the rain began to pick up, as did the talk in my head. By mile four I had pretty much talked myself into going home and finishing the rest on the treadmill. At four and a half miles, my mind was made up, but I ask mother nature for a definite sign that going home was the thing to do. Just as I finished this thought, the skies opened and the rain poured down. I spent the next quarter mile envisioning how I was going to get out of my wet clothes and onto the treadmill without breaking my stide.

I rounded the corner of my street, and had gone about ten yards when I felt a tap on my shoulder (metaphorically speaking), and heard "you know, it isn't raining that hard anymore." I had to admit it really wasn't, and I thought "what the hell, I can do this" and I TURNED AROUND AND HEADED AWAY FROM MY HOUSE to do the final five miles. There are not words to discribe the powerful feeling that came over me. Just as I got back into my stride, I was rewarded with my favorite running song of the moment. It is by Madonna, and is called "like it or Not." The words go "this is who I am, you can like it or not, you can love me or leave me, cause I'm never gonna stop." As the song was playing I started thinking how true this was becoming, especially regarding my dedication to getting in shape. As the song was ending, I was thinking "Who I am is someone that gets up on a Sunday morning to go run ten miles in the rain. Not many people can put that on their life resume now can they?" Just as I finished this thought, the next song began (songs come up randomly and I never know what is next). It was "The Perfect Girl" by The Cure. Some of the words are "You're such a strange girl, I think I'm falling in love with you. All I could do is laughingly agree, as I picked up the pace. Stange as it sounds, the second five miles were easier than the first five. I know it was because I was riding high on the fact that I didn't listen to (all the good) excuses I came up with for not doing what I told myself I was going to do. Powerful powerful stuff, keeping my word to myself.

Mile eight, the rain began to pick up, but this time I knew that I was heading for home so I just kept going. By the start of mile number ten, I was pretty well soaked through, but the sense of accomplishment I was feeling kept me from really noticing. When my pinky toe hollered up to brain that the water was getting deep and he was drowning, brain replied "if you think it is deep down there, you should be in here. She is so full of herself, I can't decide if I should get waders or a pitch fork to shovel with!"

This time, as I rounded the corner to my street, I was thrilled thinking about being done. Now I could get in the hot tub and relax instead of having to get on the treadmill. The icing on the cake is that I comleted the ten miles in an hour and fifty three minutes..... seven minutes off my ten mile race time (last August). I am pretty (okay! VERY)proud of that!!!!!

The reason I wanted to share this run with you (besides I love to brag), is that I know and understand about letting one's mind talk one out of doing/trying things. If this is where you are, try breaking things down into pieces that seem more manageable to you. Once you finish that little nibble, take another small bite, and before you know it you will be full with a sense of accomplishment and success. I am finding out that this is one of the best feelings in the world, and can't wait to see what I will tackle next!

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Girls night in..... A good time had by all........

Last night I hosted a "girls night in" get together. I invited three friends, and ask them to each invite one friend. The other directions were to bring your favorite comfort food, and something to share that you find positive/helpful. The last two were optional, as the whole point of the evening was to be free of stress and presure. For aditional "entertainment" I had my Yoga instuctor come in and give us a demo class, my massage therapist gave everyone a thirty minute massage, and I borrowed a chocolate fountain to round things out. What more could a girl ask for?

Former me would have totally stressed out getting ready for things, ending up exhausted at party time. Current me, cleaned the bathroom (okay current me's husband cleaned the bathroom bless him!), and cleared out my exercise area so we had the space to do Yoga in. Let me add here that I did my lifting as I was clearing. I would use a weight, and them put it away. The last thing to go was the bench (I do bench push-ups and always do these last because they are not my favorite). I thought it showed big improvement that I didn't use the usual excuses to not work out, and didn't worry about stupid things like cobwebs and throw pillow placement. Good job self!

Enough about working out, let's get to the good part...... The food!
Did you guess that I picked pasta as my comfort food? Friday night, I drove all the way across town to go to an actual produce market, rather than my grocery store. My teen and I spent about an hour mother-daughter bonding as I gave her another lesson in picking out the freshest fruits and veggies (do we know how to have a good time or what???). The point I want to make here, is that this was a postive experience with food. The more I interact with food in this manner, the less junk I want to put in my mouth. The less junk I put in my mouth, the healthier I will become.

Party night..... One of my friends brought the stuff and taught us (for her sharing)how to make spinach pies (Oh! How I love these). Another friend brought avocado dip (the good fat), and the third one brought a yummy fruit and pudding salad. Yes! We had calories, but these foods were high quality high tastebud stimulating food. So much so that I was content with a much smaller quantity. BTW.... Mouth even listened to stomach, and I didn't finish all the pasta I had dished up.

I know what was really happening, is that I am getting much more filled up with the changes I am making in life. The community with my friends last night left me far more satified then any of the food did. My relationships have become the mainstay of my diet, and my diet has become dessert. Do you know how HUGE this is for me? It is WAY HUGE!!!!!

If you ask me how I reached this point, I am not sure that I could come up with the words. The closest I can come is to say that I made the commitment to try one little change at a time, and made a consious effort NOT to beat myself up when I was less than perfect. Refering back to Yoga....... When doing a pose, it is the tiniest of shifts in position that make it possible to gain comfort, and improve ability. My instucter is always saying "Less is more." I have incorporated those words into my daily life as well, and it has had a big impact on all parts of my world. So let that be your mantra this week....... LESS IS MORE!

Get excited.... In tomorrows blog I will share the details of my run earlier today.
Some really amazing things took place, that (I think/hope) will really motivate you.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Thought for the day...... WHATEVER You seek You will find....

Sometimes, my NIA instructor hands out little cards, that carry BIG messages. She gave me the following card last evening........


Go back and read that again......

Go back and read that again......

Go back and read that again.....

Now, print it out and put it on your fridge/computer/mirror/etc... and get ready to see that good manifest right before your eyes. It is there, I promise you it is. We just have to be brave enough to see it, and claim it for our own. Many of us have been playing false tapes in our heads for many years with which we have convinced ourselves that our world holds only pain/sorrow/struggle/etc... Replace that tape with the above message, and allow it to become your new favorite.

Approach it the same way you do when your friend gives you some new music to try. You must take your old CD out of the player in order to experience the new CD. Of course you don't simply throw the old CD away, but just put it aside. At first the new music sounds strange, and you are not sure if you like it, but you promised your friend (yourself) that you would give it an honest try. Before you know it, time has past, and one day you come accross your old CD gathering dust on a shelf. You realize that you no longer need to hang onto that CD because it serves no purpose in your current life (as now you only play/hear your new CD), and you are able to let it go. We call that growth!

Remember..... Change may be difficult, but change leads to growth, and growth is ALWAYS good!

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Everyone needs at least one hero................

As I was "doing time" on the treadmill last night (willing my mind to wander away from my labored breathing), my eyes came to rest on my Eeyore collection (that's right, the donkey from the Pooh storybooks), and that got me thinking about heros.

Yup! One of my hero's is a storybook character. How many of you just ask yourself "what has she been smoking?"...... Let me explain.

Pick up any Pooh video or storybook, and check out Eeyore. At first glance you might only note that Eeyore always seems gloommy and depressed, a "glass half empty" kinda guy. I used to see the same thing. One day while watching yet another Pooh video (Oh right! Like you don't watch Disney movies!), it occured to me that NO MATTER how sad and depressed Eeyore was he always showed up to lend a helping tail. That says a lot about his inner character, and I decided that I wanted to adopt that kind of attitude. I may not always know what to say to a friend in crisis, but (at the very least) I CAN be there to listen. I find that if I put forth the effort to show up, the rest takes care of itself. If my love ones decide to bury me (I have my funeral planned, but told them they could choose to bury or cremate me because I really didn't care what happens to my body after I am done with it. And yes,I am well aware that I will also be done with my body before the funeral. I will tell you why I have my funeral planned in another blog, another day.). Anyway, if I end up with a tombstone, I want it to be incribed "She showed up!" If I can earn the right to have this on my tombstone, then I figure I must have done some things right. Right?

Another hero that inspires me to be a better person is my son (refered to earlier as the joy portion of my pride and joy). If there is a better example of stick-to-it-ism, I have never met him/her/it.

My son has a learning disability, but he has choosen not to let him stop him from pusuing his goals and dreams. He has done this with a no nonsence attitude as well. When he was in third grade, his teacher ask him if he could tell her what time it was. He looked at the clock, and then looked back at her and simply stated "Nope! But I'm hoping to learn that this year too." How many of us would be brave enough to simply own up to our short comings instead of trying to cover them up and hide them.

When he was in high school, he played soccer in the positon of goalie. In his Senoir year, when it was time to move up to Varsity, his coach ask him to consider staying on the JV team because that was were he was most needed. Everyone knows that it is "way cooler" to be on Varsity then Junior Varsity, but my son made the choice to do what was best for the whole, rather than what might have been best for him as an individual. I don't think I was that mature in high school (maybe not even now). How about you?

I could go on and on with other examples, but I think I have made my point; The example my son sets, gives me something to stive for. This is my definition of a hero.

What is your definition? How do you pick your heros? Do you even have a hero? If it is someone in your everyday life, have you told them what they mean to you? Everyone wants to believe that they make a difference. To hear first hand that it is so, is one of the best gifts one can receive. So if you have (a hero), and you can (get in touch with them), give them this gift before your day is done and you will make both of your days.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Someday....... I'm gonna write a book.........

This thought passed through my mind this morning as I went in to get one of my residents started on his day. In addition to his good morning,I was greeted with the discovery that his cathater bag had leaked (AGAIN)all over the place (Okay! just in one place, but it went through ALL the bedding in that one spot, translating into four additional loads of laundry and a shower [which by the way is not greeted "warmly" - pun intended - in our current cold weather].

They say that everyone has a book inside of them, waiting to be written. I have several, and thought it might be fun to share a few of my ideas with you. Below is a partial list:

1). Adventures With a Cathater (101 ways they can AND DO make a mess)

2). What I Learned as a Home Healthcare Worker (this one containes chapters like "How to dispose of a dead squirrel without touching and/or looking at it", and "How to wrestle a dead rabbit out of a dog's mouth without touching and/or looking at it (see how helpful the first chapter was?)

3). How to Get Anyone to Eat Healthy Whole Foods (My secret; Just make enough for your dinner and everyone else will want what you're having)

4). There is the whole "body" series: A Day in the Life of: mouth, stomach, ears, eyes. I thought about brain, but decided that this was would be to scary to subject others to.

5). My "Senior" series: 101 ways to love, assist, honor, learn from, make the day of, respect, enjoy..... this list could go on for years.

6). Twenty-five Reasons to Get Out of Debt (Reason twenty-three - To make others jealous, Reason eleven - If you are not paying interest on credit cards, you will have hundreds of extra dollars each years to spend on shoes, Reason number one - To get back at the credit card companies (if everyone stopped using credit cards, they (the card companies) would be the ones spending sleepless nights wondering how they were going to manage)

7). The Power of Positive Thinking (How to ignore what is staring you right in the face)

8). How to ALWAYS Get Your Way (cleaver approaches to changing your mind about what you "really" wanted in the first place)

9). Two Steps Forward, and One Step Back (one woman's journey through life)

10). I _________ Exercise (a compilation of descriptive words to revitalize your work out)

I could go on and on, but duty calls (or in this case is trying to stand up without assistance and isn't safe to do this alone), so I will end my list for now.

Look for something special to happen today, if we keep our eyes open and our hearts aware amazing things WILL happen.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

It's official...... I am definitely stronger......

When I went to my NIA class last Thursday, I felt much stronger than I remembered feeling in past classes. It had been three weeks since I had been to class (Christmas break and all, not laziness on my part.... but I know how one might jump to that conclusion), and I thought it was a fluke. Last night when I went to Yoga (after the same three week absence)I was STILL strong, so it MUST BE SO! And it is only January, I still have the whole year ahead of me to continue to gain strength (and better balance).

I have been taking Yoga (once a week give or take) for sixteen months now. The first couple of months of classes are burned in my mind forever to be remembered as torture. Though I was able to hold most of my comments (a grunt or two managed to escape) inside my brain was active...."She wants us to do what? You've got to be kidding! I knew I was out of shape, but this is down right embarrassing." The absolute worse was when after twenty minutes of this punishment, the teacher sweetly said "Okay! I'm going to put on some music, and we will start now." I can remember it being a toss up as to whether I wanted to kill her or myself. Somehow, I managed to make myself go back week after week (I actually paid money for this pain and frustration), and little by little I began to do a few of the poses without wanting to pass out, and I thought I noticed a carry over into my daily life. After about three months, I was doing downward dog in one class, and glanced over to the side and noticed ACTUAL BY GOD TRICEPT DEFINITION! Not much, but if I held my arm just so others could also make it out (once I pointed it out to them of course). After a couple of weeks of bragging (Yes! I even showed aquaintances in the grocery store.... Have I no shame?), I began to connect that I was also calmer inside (which led to less outbursts of emotion.... let me tell you, my teenager loved this benefit), and I found myself doing yoga breathing whenever I felt stressed (Like when I was in the backseat of the car while above teenager was taking her driving test and rolled through the first three stop signs, after I had endured MONTHS of twenty minutes pauses at every single stop sign so she was postive she had stopped). These were benefits that I hadn't even planned on, but have been life changing (in a good way!).

Last October was when I added weight training to my yoga and NIA classes, and I have kept on running. Now four months after faithfully lifting three times a week (actually since the beginning of January I have been lifting six times a week, doing legs one day arms the next, because I can do this in twenty to thirty mins per day rather than sixty every other day), I am really feeling the benefits of my hard work. Being a person that is CONTANTLY working on increasing her patience (with minimal success), it has not always been easy to keep plugging away without seeing big results. I guess maybe those that maintain "it is the slow consistant results that have a bigger overall impact when one looks backwards", might know what they are talking about after all. How long does it take a catapillar to turn into a butterfly? Longer than overnight that's for sure! At the very least, they say it takes a minimum of two months to form a new habit. I keep asking myself when I will begin to LOVE working out like some people (claim to). I do it, not because I enjoy it, but so I can brag that I am doing it. Whatever works.... didn't we decide that was okay?

One more thing to take note of..... I was feeling hungry and had my oatmeal by NINE AM today. This means that either stomach is learning to speak up, or I am doing better with not eating at night, so I actually AM hungry in the morning. Either way, this is another good thing that I will celebrate today!

Blessings to each of you.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Did we (I) learn anything from yesterday's Blog?........

Could it be, that the name of my blog isn't totally truthful? It WAS at the time I wrote my first blog( I promise you I was), and if you (re-)read it, I know you will understand what I was going for with that name choice. Maybe it is an example of my thoughts creating my reality. Act/speak/think/ like you want to be, and before you know it, you will be.

Soooo, maybe my mouth is still into food. But! Just because I "Can" get pregnant, doesn't mean I am going to. As I fugured out ways around that (except for that one time, but that's another story), I CAN figure out ways of keeping my mouth under control. That is part of why I am writing this blog, and even mouth agrees that I am doing better than I was.

I think you will agree, that for the most part, I eat a pretty good/varied diet. I prefer eating whole/real food in it's simplest form. My blog entry was a bit low on protein, but I usually eat beans, peanut butter, or cheese (which is one love that I have been trying to limit because of the fat per ounce). I have also discovered protein powder that I stir into juice, and this helps me be sure and get enough protein) on most days.

Let's get to the real issues about my eating habits, of which there are two big ones; Eating without paying attention, and portion contol. In a way, they go hand and hand, because I tend to eat too much when I am not paying attention. If I take time to eat, I know I tend to eat less overall. So why don't I take time to eat you might ask? Now would be the time that I might begin to defend my habits, by saying "I am lucky to find any time to myself so when I do, I NEED to cram as much into it as I can." If I could choose to either eat OR read during the day, I would read, but we have already established that not eating during the day makes me eat too late at night, so this really isn't a healthy option is it? Maybe, I could try eating for two minutes, and reading for three etc....

BUT!.... This blog is NOT about excuses or justifying habits. Rather, it is about helping me to make the changes that I want to make. One of my favorite sayings is "Change represents growth, and Growth is ALWAYS good." Even if mouth fights brain, brain is ultimately in control, and I am confident brain will win the war.

Until that time, I will plug onward. I appreciate your help (by being here), and if you noted anything that I missed please share it with me. Let's see if we can teach this old dog some new healthy tricks. Thanks for being here!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

A day in the mouth of.......

5:00 am - My tounge is hanging out I am so ready for some water, and I wait in anticipation to see if brain will read the message or ignore it, as is often the case. What's that smell??? Mmmmmm toothpaste...... Gosh that feels good! Don't just swish and spit brain! Drain that glass!...... I guess that was better than nothing, but it is also the signal to brace myself for what comes next.

Not so bad this morning, brain got enough half and half in the coffee to knock most of the bitterness out of the first sip. If it tasted like this every morning, I could learn to live with it. Not that I'm complalining, but the guy that makes the coffee needs to work on his technique. Seems it is usually either see-through weak, or so strong it could grow hair on the back of my throat, rarely just right.

6:30 am - I know your busy brain, but a gal could die of thirst around here. That's it.... the sweet taste of water I crave. Only a couple of ounces? What am I, on a diet or something?

7:20 am - Yum, a bite of egg.... eating left-overs again. Pay attention to me brain, I'm talking to YOU!

8:00 am - 1/2 of a banana, a multi-vitamin, and a calcium chew. You call that breakfast?

9:30 am - Just when I was thinking of recruiting stomach into action, I smell oatmeal cooking (thank goodness for microwaves, they are so much faster than the stove). Just as I conclude "THIS MUST BE FOR ME", I hear the phone ring and .... NOTHING!

9:40 am - Brain just doesn't get the whole mindful eating thing. How is a gal suppose to enjoy oatmeal while talking? Not that there is much to enjoy anyway. The oatmeal is cold and sticky, and there isn't enough Splenda brown sugar in it. The cinnamon and vanilla brain added are pretty tasty though, and I suppose it's better than nothing. Bring on the water!

10:15 am - At teeth bite down, pure bliss explodes inside of me. the sweet juice of grapefuit fills me to overflowing, and dribbles down chin, but I don't care; I've died and gone to heaven! Once I swallow the juice, there is still the exercise of chewing the flesh of the grapefruit. Oh I LOVE exercise! I enjoy this pleasure for close to ten minutes, and when it finally ends, I feel completely satified, and in need of nothing. Good job with the mindful eating thing brain. And thanks to the residents for not interrupting my mini-meal.

11:00 am - Drink brain drink...... 12 ounces of water, that's more like it.

12:00 noon - two bites of lima beans, and a couple slices of an apple. Brain and I have worked out an agreement. Once the residents plates are prepared, the dogs get the meat left-overs, but she is willing to let me have the fruits and veggies (sometimes). I can live with that. I understand that we can't pratcise mindful eating while working, but I am so bored, and ready to exercise again. At least I am getting sips of water while brain/body works, and the 16 ounces consumed over the resident's lunch time gave me something to entertain myself with. I know that lots of mouths proclaim that they "hate the taste of water", but water is my drink of choice, and over the years I have convinced brain of it's benefits and gotten her on the bandwagon as well.

1:30 pm - A little behind schedule, but lunch is ready. Since it is one of my favorites I am not going to hold a grudge, but instead enjoy the moment, I deserve it (Brain HATES it when I say this. She blames me, and my desire for pleasure, for body's weight problem). As teeth tear into the nappa cabbage salad I feel like an addict getting a fix. Talking is not only neccessary, but enjoyable. We all know that kissing comes with it's own set of pleasures, but it is eating that I LIVE FOR! Getting back to the nappa cabbage (which is really a lettuce of sorts) salad... It is one of those perfect foods. Crunchy (from the mixture of sesame seeds,slivered almonds, and crunched up Ramon noodles that are then browned in a lttle butter with 1/2 of the noodle seasoning packet added. Too much sodium, but well worth it), salty (from the seasoning), and sweet and tangy (from the dressing of sugar, vinegar, and olive oil (brain lets me have olive oil now that it has been proclaimed the "good" fat)). While I am eating, brain entertains herself by reading, listening to a talk radio show, jumping up every other bite to attend to one of the residents, and checking her bank balance. I whispered to her about mindful eating, but not too loudly because why brain is busy, I am focused enough on the enjoyment of the salad for both of us. In fact, I am so lost in the moment that before I (or brain) even realize it, the salad was finished(with brain being so busy while I ate, the experience was much less pleasant than eating the grapefruit had been), and stomach was calling out "enough already! Pay attention up there!" This woke brain up, and she soothed stomach (and herself) with a nice cup of peach tea (with a little half and half) which reminds her of the summertime treat of a bowl of peaches and cream.

The afternoon passes, and my (near constant) nagging is rewarded with lots of room temperature water (I can drink more if it isn't cold). The memories of the food consumed earlier keeps me pretty satified, and I don't whine for ice cream.

7:15 pm - Yippee!!!! The residents have been fed (a couple of them ate twice because when they smelled my dinner cooking, they wanted to try some. This pushed my meal behind, because there's has to be mashed beyond recgonition.),and my dinner is ready. For some mouths, this would seem late, but there are LOTS of nights when 9:30-10:00 is dinner time. I will say that brain is making a real effort to take better care of me (by eating earlier), and lately has been doing an okay job of it. As I was saying.... dinner. Pasta (is there anything better? Okay maybe eggplant parmesan, but I digress), with lots of onions, broccoli, and tomatoes (I kinda missed the green peppers and mushrooms, but brain didn't think they were fresh looking enough the last time we went shopping), seasoned with grey sea salt, fesh cracked pepper, and fresh lemon juice. Slowly, brain is tuning into the delights of good quality ingredients.... it makes eating much more of an experience, and helps me be satified with less. The pasta was served piping hot with just a little (maybe a 1/2 ounce) fresh grated Asiago (like parmesan) cheese on top. I was in hog heaven, and must have eaten like a pig, because again (way before my taste buds were sated)stomach was screaming "Stop! Put down the fork! I can't hold one more bite!" To which I replied, "Shut up! There's only a few more bites, and I'm eating them." Which I promptly did. Am I selfish and spoiled?..... YOU BET I AM! Brain let's me get away with too much, but I like to remind her that if she paid more attention to eating rather then trying to multi-task while I exercise, I would be easier to control.

After being so badly behaved, I let up on brain and stomach for a few hours (it helped that brain kept me well supplied with water). Around 10:00 pm, I tried a few of my old tricks to get a treat. It is this little power struggle that brain and I go through often, but especially late at night. Brain grew up in an environment in which food was used as a reward, and used as a way to show someone you loved them. I use this information to get my way. "You've worked hard today, just a litte bite won't hurt. How bad can a couple of cookies be for you? If I don't get me something salty RIGHT NOW, I cannot promise that I won't kill someone! If you loved me, you would feed me." I have a whole arsenal I use on brain. Tonight though, I was pretty satified from the quality food I had consumed throughout the day, and it only took one small piece of See's candy (again, only high quality chocolate for us)to get me to shut up and let brain drift quickly off to sleep. I don't mind giving in sometimes..... There's always tomorrow!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Death is a part of life........ So why do we all avoid it?

Now that I have your attention, let me quickly assure you I am not suicidal. Of course we (most of us) strive to live as long as possible. That is the point of all that healthy eating and exercise right? What I am refering to, is how most people are uncomfortable being around death and dying. What do you say to a dying person? Is it okay to touch them (especially if they have lots of machines and wires attached)? How do you find the courage to say good-bye? What if you can't?

Fifteen (or so) years ago, I was very proud of the fact that I provided labor support to friends of mine giving birth. What a special thing to be a part of, bringing a new life into the world. At that (same) time in my life, it was almost impossible for me to go to someone's funeral. I managed to, out of respect, but I stayed waaaay in the back of the room, except for a very (and I mean very) quick trip up front so as not to offend the grieving loved ones. At this time, I had not processed all the fear and miss-understanding that surrounded the death of my parents when I was a child.

Flash forward to PTA school (physical therapist assistant) 1995, and cadaver lab. I half expected to take one look, and run from the room screaming. But, I had too much riding on the whole "new career" thing to back out now, so running (and or screaming)just was NOT an option. As with most things in life, the worst part was the anticipation of it all. The actual experience was so amazingly interesting (and so clinical.... the faces are covered in case you have never been - which de-personalizes the whole thing)that It didn't bother me at all. After graduating (with high honors, thank you very much) I got a job working in a nursing home. Again, I worried a little if the whole "dealing with death" thing would be a problem, and again I worried for nothing. As the years passed, death became more and more a "normal" part of my life (without me even realizing it, and definitely without me consciously thinking about it).

One thing that I did note, that made me sad, was that most of the touching a dying person receives is painful. Shots, tubes being placed in or removed, repositioning, trying to gag down pill after pill. Not that these people were ignored, loved ones visited. It was just very clear they (loved ones)were not sure what to do, or how they should go about doing it.

During this same time frame, Hospice services became more and more the norm. People began to be more involved in choosing their death experience (home, hopital, medical intervention or not). Hospice volunteer are trained not only to help the dying person, but also to help his/her family. The more I saw this wonderful service at work, the more I wanted to give this gift to others.

My husband and I have (with the help of Hospice)had the honor and privilege to offer end of life support to two of our residents and their families. By providing a calm peaceful environment, and assuring family members that not only was it a good thing to touch, kiss, talk (even if your love one doesn't appear to hear or understand you)cry; it was a helpful thing to do. We all want to be helpful, and the death experience brings out our most helpless feelings. Participating in the death experience, however small the participation, often helps one feel a tiny degee of control within a mostly un-controlable situation.

Now, having come full circle so-to-speak, I am very proud of being able to support (and be a part of) a person's death. I believe it is just as speical a thing to be a part of as birth is, just in a very different way.

To change the subject..... and end on a lighter note..... I have been keeping track of my food/liquid intake today, and will share the results with you in tomorrows blog. Speaking of eating.....Mmmmmmm

Friday, January 20, 2006

Counting my blessings....... I am a very lucky girl!

I went to my NIA class, which is a movement form of exercise. I (think I) have put a link to their site so you can check it out for yourself. Anyway,during one of the moves (reaching out with purpose and intent), the instuctor gave us the instuction to take what we needed (metaphorically speaking). When she said this, what came to my mind was sleep! This got me thinking today, that if lack of sleep is the biggest worry I have, things must be pretty good... and I began to count my blessings.

Some of the things I am thankful for everyday (I spend with those around me)include: being able get up and walk without even thinking about it. I can bend over and pick up something if I drop it, and when I do bend over I can straighten up without falling over. I have teeth to chew any food I want to eat, I can see to read, and hear to carry on a conversation. When I read/hear basic directions (most of the time)I can understand and follow them without frustation or difficulty. These are things that most of us take for granted, as I did before I entered into my current line of work.

Next time you bite into a thick juicy steak (or a big juicy apple for those of us that prefer fruits and veggies to meat), think about having to have it ground up before you eat it. You probably wouldn't enjoy it as much, but you would have to choke it down somehow, knowing you have to eat to stay alive.

Next time you are having a rousing debate with someone, imagine only hearing every third word they were saying, or imagine that you needed an extra thirty seconds to figure out what he/she said, but as you were doing so, they kept firing new thoughts at you until you had no idea what they were saying, let alone how to respond to WHAT they were saying. I doubt it would be very long before you were opting out of debates, and maybe even turning down social engagements because it was so difficult and embarressing to ask people to repeat themselves over and over.

When I was doing homecare therapy, I can't tell you how many times I made phone calls for my clients, because they couldn't understand/manage the automated phone systems. I wish our legislators would come up with a law that makes it so at least doctors offices would HAVE to have a person answer the phone instead of a machine. I wonder how many of our seniors could have avoided a 911 call, translating into a trip to the hospital and lots of tests; because they couldn't get their needs conveyed to their health care provider?

If you have an elderly relative and/or neighbor, spend some time with them and note if they are having any difficulties managing their world. Many people could stay in their homes (and retain their dignity and independance) longer if they had a helping hand now and then. If you see a driveway that is filled with snow (if you live in a cold weather state like I do) a couple of days after a storm, dig it out. It is good exercise, and you never know when an emergancy vehicle will need the access. Our world will become a better place one kindness at a time.

Take sometime today to count all of your blessings, and to think about how you could be a blessing to someone else. You will love the way it makes you feel.

By the way..... (from yesterdays blog) I recieved an e-mail today informing me that my phone bill was available for veiwing and paying, proving that one department doesn't know what the other is doing. The money has been taken out of my checking account though, so the bill has been paid, and it is all good (and behind me). Thanks for the empathy, it DOES make a difference.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Short on time (and patience)...... So no real thoughts today, just ranting......

Today, I took something personal.

Two months ago I set up an account to pay my phone bill online, thinking it would save the time of writing the check, and waiting longer for it to clear my bank. I did so, and got a nice message with a confirmation number telling me my payment has been accepted. Problem was it hadn't been. I kept watching for the payment to clear the bank, and almost three weeks later (on the day the payment was due), I called the phone company to check on it. Seems the payment was returned for some reason, that (forty minutes on hold later) nobody could really explain why. As silly as it sounds they also could not tell me 1) why I recieved confirmation if it really wasn't (I can kinda get this one as you need to have something to let you know the process went as it was suppose to even if it didn't go all the way), and 2) if (as the very nice - third person that I waited to talk to - lady on the phone told me) the check was returned as "no account found" TWO days after I attemped to make the payment, WHY WASN'T I NOTIFIED???????

Could it be that the corporation makes more money on all the fees they get to try and put past us if we don't pay close attention and/or endure agonizing time (if we even have the luxury of being able to spend agonizing time) on hold? Or is it because it is the consumer's responsibilty to "prove" that payment was made, therefore why should the corporation spend money on staff to assist customers with problems, even when IT IS THE CUSTOMER PAYING FOR THE SERVICE????? What have we allowed to happen to us? Talk about giving away your power!

Okay! Okay! I will get to the point of today..... Recieved a new bill (that nice lady I was talking about above was able to take my payment for first bill, and last month the whole online payment thing worked out fine) today, and it says in big bold letter with asterisks for emphasis "CASH ONLY". You have got to be kidding me? Here I have to say, that paying my bills early (not on time) is a big deal to me, and my checking account/debit card (I have not used credit in close to three years, because I believe many of the credit card practises are criminal, so I choose not to do business with them) was NEVER the problem, and some computer is telling me that I have to go out of my way to find a (phone) store to give them a cash payment. YOU BET I TOOK THAT PERSONALLY!!!!! And to get to the point, after spending sixty-five (no kidding) minutes - the last thirty-five waiting for the third person to pick up before giving in and hanging up -waiting I contacted customer complaint to insist they get that insult off of my bill.

Of course, there is no way for the computer to fix the mistake until the next billing cycle, but Scott (ALWAYS get a name and phone number) promised he would remove any charges incurred because of the problem. Of course it is my responsibilty to notify him if I need him to take any charges off.... and we let them get away with calling that customer service.

Isn't it interesting that he told me to make a payment by phone with my debit card ( which I did without problem), but couldn't explain to me how I could do so with a "cash only" notation on my bill? When I am in charge of the word.......

I bet you have been reading this saying "been there, done that" (or some form of it) haven't you? The bigger question here is, "What's a comsumer to do"????

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Don't take anything personally.....Is the second of four agreements introduced in the book "The Four Agreements", by Don Miguel Ruiz.

His reasoning for this is: "Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themsleves. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world" (how we think, feel, believe), "and we try to impose our world on their world."

In plain english (my take anyway), he is saying that when someone gives you their opinion, it is "their stuff" causing them to do so. Looking at things this way, may help you deal with a crabby____ (fill in YOUR blank). What is interesting (and something that I have never really made a connection to before), is that you should not take ANYTHING personally..... Not even the positive, feel-good feedback most of us crave from others. I've worked long and hard not to take the negative comments of others to heart, but it has never occured to me not to eat it up when others tell me how great they think I am (even if I attempt to appear modest).

This conditioning begins in childhood when we: go potty/eat our veggies/learn to tie our shoes etc... so that we get to hear that "good girl/boy," and feel those warm fuzzy feeling that accompany those words. By the time we are heading towards adulthood, we have bought into this need for validation instead of trusting what is inside of us. Have you ever bought an outfit because a friend told you "how good it looked" when you thought differently? Or better yet, bought an outfit that you thought looked great (and felt great on) only to have someone important to you make a less than favorable comment about? Which one is still hanging in the back of your closet with the tags on???

I was talking about this topic with a friend that has used positive comments from others to keep on track with her weight loss goals. I was (playing devils advocate) trying to get her to admit that she "needed" those comments to keep her going, but she would only admit to "liking" them, and then added "is that a bad thing?". Which sent me back to saying "See! There you go again needing validation, (and yes, she is still talking to me today..... she knows that was just "my way" of pushing her to "own" her feelings).

Of course, there is no ONE right/wrong answer to any of this. Each of us needs to make choices that benefit us as an individual. Once we get past the feelings of fear that tend to rear up whenever we lack confidence in our ability, personal choices are well within our grasp. I have mentioned the music of Jana Stanfield before. Another song of hers that speaks to me is titled "If I Were Brave" and asks the question "What would I do today, if I were brave." What would you do?

Since feedback from people I trust help me to move forward, and out of fear, I can't see myself doing anything but taking their comments personally (at least for today..... but who knows what tomorrow will bring?).

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

If at first you dont succeed...... Try, try again!

I gave my husband some art work for Christmas (because I would NEVER spend that kind of money on myself), and in order to have a place to hang it, I needed to take down what was on the wall, and patch (and paint) the holes to ready the wall for the new paintings. Sounds simple right?

When we re-did our home to ready it for the business, we painted three of the rooms in subtle shades of the same green (what was I thinking?). I opened one of the cans and rolled the paint on the wall as I tried to recall if paint dries darker or lighter (it has been three years since I last painted, and since it is not one of my favorite activities I must have blocked it out). Well, if that isn't the right color, this one must be it. Okay, I now know that paint dries darker.... On to paint color number three......a perfect match (I guess not bothering to label the cans when I knew what went where is my idea of living on the edge). I promise that I am going to plan better before I pick up the hammer to hang the pictures....... I AM learning, really I am (one of the three cans in now labeled).

As I am learning, I am trying to expand those lessons to all the areas in my life. Often, I end up taking one step forward, and two back. Yesterday, I was talking about "always checking the gauge", and this morning I jumped right into painting without any pre-planning or checking. I managed to muddle through (thank you angels), and I will preceed with more care through the rest of the project.

I would benefit, if I applied this "painting" lesson to my eating habits. I know that it is better for me (and my body likes it better), when I consume most of my calories early in the day. In spite of this knowledge, nearly every day it is a fight to force myself to eat in the morning, even though I have proven to myself over and over that not eating in the morning is a guarantee that I will be eating in bed that evening. I have spent lots of time making excuses as to why I can't manage to eat early in the day, but those excuses are not helping me reach my goals of being at a healthy weight and keeping my word to myself. I am hoping that by saying this "out loud" (in this blog), I will have the same results as I did when I "confessed" to eating when bored. Believe me..... You will be the first to know (how it worked).

Monday, January 16, 2006

"Take the time to always check your gauge." Those instructions are on every knitting pattern, and if you are a knitter, you already know what they mean. For those of you that are not knitters, What it means it to knit a sample with the yarn you will be using following the pattern, number of stitches, and size needles specified. The directions tell you how many stitches and rows equals the correct gauge. If your sample does not make the correct gauge, you find out before putting all the time and energy into knitting something that doesn't fit. You can tweak the number of stitches, and/or the size of needles you are using early in the knitting process, to end up with a perfect finished item. If you choose to begin knitting without checking the gauge, your knitting MAY turn out fine, (and lots of people do just this). I guess it depends on how comfortable you are with risk taking.

So..... I am starting a new sweater (jacket) for my husband for Valentine's day, and as I was looking over the directions I got to thinking that if I had taken the time to "check my gauge" in other areas of my life, I could have avoided lots of false starts and back-tracking to make things turn out. I have started many diets, because someone else said they were great and had worked for them. Not once did I follow the small print that says to check with your health care professional before starting the diet. As far as I know, I have not done any real damage to my health, but I will also never know if some silly diet I went on in my twenties will come back to haunt me in my senior years. If I had taken some time to check my gauge before dieting, I may have been able to tweak the diet to suit my specific needs so the diet could become a healthy life style that I could adapt as a way of life. Instead I made the choice of going on a diet, which always always entails going off a diet. As soon as it was over (sometimes in just a day or two), I went back to my previous habits, and beat myself up for failing yet again. NO MORE DIETS FOR ME..... No matter how promising they sound. Instead, I am going to fuel my body in moderation, and listen to my bodies response to what I am putting in it. Along the way, I will tweak what needs tweaking, and end up all the better for it.

Last year, when I made a commitment to get on the treadmill five times per week, I did check my gauge in a way. What I mean, is I started off slow, and did what felt right for my body each time I got on the treadmill. I choose not to have a lot of rules (as to how fast and far I would go overeach day), and slowly a pattern that worked for me emerged. As time went on, I began to set goals that were lofty enough to give me something to work towards, while not being so lofty they didn't "really" seem attainable. First I ran a six mile race (I had already ran a 5-K in the past), and completing that, I was able to believe in the possiblity of being able to finish a ten mile race. When I completed that, I was brave enough to commit to running a half-marathon this coming March. I'm thinking about the possibility of a marathon, but twenty-six miles is a really looonnnng run. Today, I "decide not to decide" about the marathon. Check back in early April after I have the completion of a half-marathon on my list of accomplishments.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Well! I made it through the night without surrendering to my urge to eat junk food! Congratulations Patty.... Good job.

Who am I kiddin? The only reason I didn't give in, was because I knew I would have to confess my sins in this blog. There I go again..... Caring what a bunch of strangers think of me.

Why is it so much easier for us (me) to keep commitments (be accountable) to others than it is to ourselves? I would never dream of blowing off plans with a friend once I give my word, but there have been countless times I made a commitment to myself that I was going to work out, only to let something else (usually doing something for someone else) interfer with my commitment. I have to own this, because the people around me are (and always have been) very supportive of whatever goals I set for myself, be it fitness, business, or pleasure. Therefore, there has to be something inside of me that makes me choose not to carry out activities that I have decided are good for me (or else I haven't fully bought into the idea that they are good for me?). Could this be an absence of self-love/worth, or do I love myself sooooo much that I am unable to deny myself things that are more enjoyable to me than working out (like reading and napping)?

Regardless, I have to start somewhere towards changing, whatever works. If putting my word on the line in this blog helps me along towards this goal, then it is all good. I am a big believer in the placebo effect. Something/anything works if you believe it works. By the same token, lack of faith and belief can make any acomplishment more difficult to obtain.

For the rest of the day, I am choosing to believe in myself and my right to spend the time and effort on myself that it takes to get fit and healthy..... And I am going to start doing this right after I get dinner ready for the residents and my family!!!!!

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Well! It's official..... I eat when I,m bored....

Last night I needed to stay up all night (but that is another story).

One can only watch so much TV, and do so much knitting, and with the rest of the household sleeping, I found myself turning to my former best pal... FOOD. Interesting, that I can't buy into carrot sticks being exciting enough to overcome my boredom, though I do like a good carrot stick (as much as the next cronic dieter does... Ya! Right!). Nope, not me..... I went right for the Oreos, then followed them with an ice cream chaser. Major excitment for my taste buds.

It is clear to me that I was eating because I wanted to, not because I was hungry... That makes it okay right? I am not sure that I can go far as to say it is okay, but what it does say (to me) is that I am at least practising "mindful eating", and I am "owning" my food habits. As Dr. Phil likes to say, "one has to identiy and own the problem, before one can begin to fix it". There was a time (not that long ago), that while I didn't really "hide" everything I was eating, I was very good at hiding (from myself) ALL of what I was eating. You know, one bite here, a little nibble there..... it only counts if you take more than three bites/ it is between the hours of ____ and ____/ you're sitting at the dinner table/ your eating with someone else.... You know what I mean...... The first thing I had to face was there were many times I was putting food into my mouth without even being aware of it..... tasting while cooking/ grazing while putting away leftovers/sampling in the grocery store.... You're telling me this counts as eating???????

Anyway, in addition to trying to practice mindful eating, I am trying to pratice self love and forgivness rather than self incrimination, so rather than beat myself up for consuming calorie laden worthless (from a health perpective) junk food, I went to the libary and checked out some interesting books to combate the bordom that is sure to overtake me as the hours slowly pass tonight. I'll let you know if they helped.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dont cry over spilt milk...... That saying came to me as I was cleaning up milk (as usual) at lunch today. While I cannot say that I have actually cried over spilt milk, I will confess to yelling over it often when I was in my twenties, with two small children. Isn't it interesting that these days the only emotions spilt milk elicit from me are compassion and (maybe) sadness.

When I was in my twenties, I still had much to prove, so I tended to take everything personally. While I was still trying to figure out my role in the world, I was also dealing with the HUGE responsibility of getting my children ready to become productive members of society. Looking back on the things that were so important then, I can only feel sorry for that scared kid bound and determined not to let anyone see that she didn't have all the answers.

In my world today, the hands that spill the milk are not chubby toddler hands, but rather hands riddled with arthritis, or directed by cataract filled eyes and/or memory deficient minds. When a toddler spills his/her milk, it is cause for laughter, and discovery (watching the milk spread out and disappear over the table edge, at the same time mommy shreaks and "flys" towards the paper towels is a great way to see ones effect on the world around them). When a senior looses contol of their glass, it is just one more loss of contol over a world that they used to be on top of. As we age, there are so many losses we must endure, being treated with dignity and respect from those around us should never ever have to be counted among our personal loss.

Every human being deserves to be treated with dignity and respect, but it is especially important to do so with people that are in need of assistance (whatever that level of assistance may be). This might be a good time to recall the Golden Rule, as it is a fact that if time continues to march on, one day each of us may find ourself crying over milk spilt by our hand, while relying on the kindness of another to dry our tears with grace,while wiping up the milk with a compassionate heart.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Who gets to decide when a person (pet, article of clothing, relationship, etc....) is no longer of any value? I think that we can all agree that relationships that have become dangerous/unsafe would have questionable value right????? But what about those (of us) that refuse to give up hope and might choose to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to improve the health of a beloved pet? What dollar amount puts that situation into the "no longer of value" catagory? Who gets to decide that. At what age/ability do we (humans) loose value to others? When we no longer bring in a pay check? When we need to rely on others to dress, feed, care for us? When we stop breathing? Again, who should be "in charge" of making that decision?

I have made the comment more than once that I want to live until I am no longer able to make a difference in this world, then preface that with the prayer "please let me notice all the little differences I make each and every day."

I work with senior citizens, and often encounter people that have forgot that a smile and a kind word can have far greater value than being employed or able to walk, if those things are missing from someone's life. I joke to my seniors that if nothing else, their very existance is "job security" for those of us in that field, thus they are valuable. We have so much more to gain from our Seniors, that we will not have forever. People that lived through the great depression and WWII are passing without their stories being recorded for history, and this makes me so sad. Maybe this is because I was orphaned as a child, and crave to know more about my family.

If you are fortunate enough to have a grandparent or aunt or uncle, pick their brain for information on life, and take what works for you. Look for value in things that others have discarded. I L-O-V-E to poke around Goodwill and find things that I can lovingly "bring back to life", or get more use from. In this day of disposable everything, it can be fun and invigorating to try and see value in what others have dismissed as worthless.

There is a saying that goes "One person's trash is another one's treasure." I challenge you to find three items (and/or people) over the next week that someone has trashed, and help the rest of the world to see the hidden treasure in them. If you take my challenge, I am positive that you will be the one receiving something of great value.

I value the time you gave me to read my blog! Thank you.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Thanks to the kindness of a stranger (who wants to remain anonymous) I feel like I've made it.... that I have arrived..... That what I have to say is important...... In other words, someone commented on my blog.

Isn't it interesting/amazing/strange/funny how we seek outside validation regarding what is inside of us? How many times have I said "I don't care what _______ thinks."? Did I mean it, or was it said to cover up just how much I did care? I had not really thought about what I might feel if someone really did comment, but had I thought about it, would I have focused on the positive feelings I experienced, or prepare to handle the possibility of someone having negitive things to say?

The lesson I choose to take away from the received comment is one that I feel strongly about..... one never sees the full impact of their actions (both positive and negative) bestowed on another human being, but that doesn't stop them from existing. Things that we do without a second thought can and do set up chain re-actions (again both positive and negative) that continue far into the future. Think about this chain the next time you interact with someone.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Some food for thought not nurishment.....

Part of my morning routine includes checking my e-mail and banking activity. When I attempted to do so this morning, I discovered my server was down. With the server down, I also discovered how much the internet has become a habit to me. I am not one of "those" people that surf the web for hours out of the day. Add this blog sight and paying most of my bills online to the above mentioned, and you pretty much have the list of what I use the web for.

I guess what occured to me this morning, is that without even thinking about it, the web has snuck into my life on a daily basis. I am not saying this is a good thing or a bad thing.... just that it has. This got me to thinking about all of those little things that can sneek up on us and become part of our lives without our concsious consent. Some of these things can be classified as good (daily exercise, vitamins, that 1/2 of a banana that I grab first thing), some as bad (that four dollar latte, or my addiction to shoes), and some just are (I wake up at 5:30 am no matter what day it is). Of the afore mentioned, the only ones I made a consious commitment to was the daily exercise and vitamin. Does this lead to the conclusion that it's the things that might not be so positive for me that tend to sneak up on me? Is this a truth for you?

There are so many stimulations for our senses each and every day, that we need to be on gaurd and be aware of what we are allowing into our lives. Each of us need to make these choices on an individual basis, rather than let clever marketing, or others do this for us. Invite what you need into your life, while being sure to gaurd against unneeded things sneaking in.


Monday, January 09, 2006

I am waiting..... not so patiently for someone to stumble on, and then comment on these writings of mine. This has got me to thinking about why I am recording my thoughts on this sight? Is it for my benefit???? Or is it to get noticed, encouraged, complimented????? And.... if this is my goal, what is missing from my life that I need to seek these things from a stumbling stranger???? Makes me sound like to complete looser doesn't it?

But, I can't be a complete looser, because those last twenty pounds just keep hanging around. Maybe they are my saving grace in disguise.

Not so long ago, some friends and I went for a day of pampering and I ended up getting a different treatment then I had signed up for. I could have made a big deal out of it, but for some reason it wasn't important to me so what I told the person delivering my treatment was "Sometimes we get what we need, not what we ask for.". Remember what I said yesterday..... "Nothing I can do about it now". It takes so much less energy to go with the flow then it does to get all riled up about things. Energy I can save for really important things in my life..... Like training for the half marathon I plan to run with my daughter this spring. Now that is something worth focusing on.

In conclusion, let me say if you have discovered my blog, enjoy and take what you need from it. I will continue to write, because I truly believe one never knows when what they do makes a difference. I simply choose to believe I am (making a difference), and that is enough for now.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

I wanted To share something that has made a big difference in my outlook on things.

There is a singer by the name of Jana Stanfield. She writes music about life, and one of her goals is to empower women. One of the songs she sings is entitled "Nothing I can do about it now". Talk about enpowering!! How many times have you beat your self up over and over about something you said or did..... something you wish you could take back????? It is very liberating to simply let those things go and move on. How much time we waste trying to undo things when eventually, the only thing we can do is to just move beyond them?

While I was on the treadmill with my ipod I heard another of her songs entitled "Next Right Step". Some of the words are "What do you do when troubles get you down.... Thank that trouble then find your way around. Turn to the right, move ahead, just keep taking that next right step.". By taking these words to heart, I have been able to move forward rather than remain stuck in a situation that is not producing feelings of happiness and contentment.

To remind ourselves that we CAN take control of things is one of the best things we can do for our health, well-being, and happiness.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

Background..... I am a 48 y/o female that has always wished for the magic "whatever" to change my body into something other than what it has been (except for a short time in 1985 when I stressed off a a bunch of weight going through a divorce. As my happiness returned, so did the weight)

2005 was a year of internal change for me. It began when I decided to log 1000 miles of running, which I completed in nine and one half months. Yah! For me. At the end of the year (October) I hired a personal trainer to teach me about weight lifting for this years goal of increasing my muscle strength. I told him about the stangest thing I experienced after Christmas dinner this year. The responce he gave me was an interesting one, and ever since I have been trying to figure out if I just didn't explain myself well enough, or if what I experienced was no big deal. So let me know what you think......

Christmas dinner has always been a big deal around our house. I make everyones favorite things, so consequently the table looks as if no one has eaten at the end of the meal. I love(ed)pecan pie, but I am the only one that does, so I only make it at Christmas time. Well, this year nothing on the table held much appeal for me. I am not sure why, but something has changed. As I told my trainer..... " Have you ever had a freindship that at one time was very important to you, but one day you looked at it, and the importance of the relationship was gone? Not that you had anything against the relationship, or even wanted to end it, but just that it had changed, and your focus had shifted to a new experience without you even realizing it"? This is the closest I can come to explaining how I felt after Christmas dinner. Pecan pie has lost its appeal! What my trainer told me was "You should not have a relationship with food.... food is an inanimate object". Of course he was right, and I knew/know that on a logical level, but that had not be my reality in the past. I think that this was a huge breakthrough in my quest to get into and stay fit, and I would like to hear other peoples thoughts on the subject of people's relationship to food.
Thanks in advance for your responces.