Friday, July 09, 2010
LEARN TO BE CALM AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE HAPPY!
I flunked the business mixer last night so I decided to write about my interesting life today, Some of you have commented that my life is so interesting and I never thought about it much. I grew up a shy child with a popular older sister whom I always took a back seat to. I have taken many risks in my life and I believe that is what leads to an interesting life, being willing to take risks and invest in yourself.
In 1972 I joined the Air Force when many were boycotting the military and going to Canada to avoid the draft. It is one of the biggest and best risks I ever took in my life. For you see, I never think I am going to fail at anything that I set my mind to. Having said that, I realize that I haven't achieved weight loss because I haven't set my mind to it. Until now. I think I can succeed with WW.
When I arrived at my first base of assignment, Tyndall AFB in Panama City, Fl, I forced myself to go to the Officer's Club on Friday evening, dressed in my uniform, and sit at the bar. We were actually advised to do this at OTC which in today's army, would be frowned upon. The idea was that was how we would meet people and that is how I met my husband. Two months after we met and dated, he was assigned to Thailand. We corresponded and I flew to Bangkok where we got married in the American Embassy. Reason being, with both of us in the Air Force, if we wanted to be together, we had to be married. I was scared to death but we are still married 37 years later. We went to New Mexico, then to England, and then to Hurlburt AFB in Florida where we still live today.
In 1984, my kids were in school and I needed to find a job or something to do. I read about a Decorating Den owner in a WOMAN'S DAY magazine and the rest is history. I made the plunge to buy a business. There were many people who did not think I would succeed, one being my father who said I couldn't sell anything. I consulted with a Real Estate agent I knew for her opinion and she said, "If you don't take RIsks you never get anywhere." I bought the business and never looked back, becoming the top Franchise in Retail sales for 3 years in the early 90"s. My husband also bought a business in the late 80"s becoming a partner in a Travel Agency.
With all of my success and awards for design, I was fraught with worry and stress, low self-esteem and fear of failure. I never felt good enough and was always reading self-help books to improve on my faults. That was also when I started slowly gaining weight and dieting to get it off. In 1995, I literally had a nervous breakdown. I had 3 employees and I was the top franchise in Decorating Den. I was on top of the world with success but I couldn't control myself. I was diagnosed with Major Depression and had a rocky roller coaster of a ride for the next 8 to 10 years just trying to stay on top of things and not have a breakdown. Some of this I attribute to my recall in the Air Force during Operation Desert Storm in 1991. At that time, I was assigned to Mortuary Affairs in Panama City, Fl, not far from home. My responsibility was to help the families of any deceased airmen during the war with their funeral arrangements. That is another story but as I look back, I know that experience affected me very deeply emotionally and had something to do with my breakdown.
So you see, things aren't always what they seem to others. On the surface I looked like an extremely successful business woman with incredible decorating talents and was obviously making tons of money. So far from the truth as money was always a big issue in our family. We never seemed to have enough. My husband did not make that much as a Travel Agent and we all know what happened to that industry as the internet took over. In 1998, he left the agency and took a job with the Chamber of Commerce to sell business memberships. Now listen to this, he was on commission with a very modest salary of $500 a month plus health insurance and he had to sell 12 mbrships a month and would get a 10% commission on each one he sold. That wasn''t much but we were both willing for him to take that risk and see what he could do. WE were confident that he was a great salesperson and that he believed in Chamber membership so deeply that he was incredible at his job. Today he is the Director of Membership at the Chamber, got a nice bonus and promo last year and he is well respected in the community. We still don't make tons of money but we are both retired from the AF REserve and have those pensions and I took SS this year and I still dabble so we are fine. We don't live in a fancy new house but we love what we have.
For 26 years with Dec Den, I have traveled to many states and cities for our annual convention. Foreign places we have traveled to include, Acapulco, Cancun, Guadalupe, Italy, England, A baltic Cruise from London to Russia 2 years ago, and Greece. Most of these trips were of very little cost to us as I earned winner's points through sales to go on them. Our annual conferences have taken us to Alaska, San Diego, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Reno, New Orleans, Miami, Orlando, Dallas, Washington, D.C.and next year to Phoenix. Now you see, if I had not taken that risk in 1984 to purchase a franchise business, stepped out of my comfort zone and put forth the effort to succeed, I would never have traveled to those places. And most of it paid for through my sales winnings.
As a travel agent, my husband and I took numerous trips to lots of places including the Caribbean, Egypt, Back to London many times,Canada, Yugoslavia. As I said, we didn't have tons of money and our trips were always subsidized as a Travel agent fam trip or conference but we always took the opportunity that came our way. My sister's husband was a career Army man and they were stationed twice at SHAPE headquarters in Belgium. Twice we took our boys and went to visit them. That was really special and interesting.
One year my husband came home from work at the agency and said that there was a fam trip we could take on the Norway. It was a relocation cruise from Miami, to St. Thomas and across the Atlantic to Portugal, through the Straits of Gilbraltor to Marseilles in France. It was $25 per person per day for 10 days. He said he didn't think we could afford it as we had 2 kids in college but I said, we can't afford not to go. We went and it was a trip of a lifetime, something we will always treasure.
Well, if you have made it to the end of this reading, I applaud you. Yes, I have had an interesting life with lots of opportunity for travel and we have seized a lot of it. But at the same time, I had demons to battle, tough times, not enough money and weight gain, just like everyone else. And maybe my demons were just a little bit worse. One of the other things about me is that I have compassion for other people and I don't mind sharing. If I can tell them about my experiences and help someone then I do. I don't want to leave out the Lord, because it is in him, that I have learned to be content. I have leaned on him daily, especially when tough things are happening and he pulls me through.
So that is some of my story and someday I would like to write a book. Actually, I have written some of that book in these blogs and if someone can tell me how I can go back and save or print some of these blogs off, I wouldn't have to rewrite everything. Until next time, Have a Happy Decorating Day!
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
LEARN TO BE CALM AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE HAPPY!
I joined WW online last week because ANDE1571 said she loved WW and i was encouraged to try it. I hesitated in spending the money on yet another program that I didn't follow but since I haven't been losing, I decided to give it a shot. I had briefly encountered the points program last November but didn't get into it before my time expired and counting calories doesn't seem to work for me. I'm always choosing something to eat that is low calorie but not good, like a bag of 100 calorie cookies. SOOOO, I joined WW on Wed. Then our friends came this weekend and it sure didn't seem like I was on any kind of a diet with eating out all the time but I did adhere to points counting for 4 or 5 days. And this morning as I stepped on the scale, it registered a few pounds lost. NOW, I am not going to enter that weight loss in the record books until Monday when it is my actual weigh-in day. But I am sure going to be serious about point counting until then and choosing a healthier option and more fruits and veggies.
Last night we met my sister and her husband at the local Yacht Club where we are joining. I"ll have to be careful as I had 2 beers that are 2 points each. But they have free food on Tuesdays and last night was a big salad and lasagne and I had a small portion. Anyway, as I've mentioned before, she lost a lot of weight a couple of years ago on one of those strict metabolic diets. She's kept it off until recently when she has gained about 15 lbs back. Actually I think she looks good as she was too thin and she still walks and exercises. She has been trying to lose again and says she will probably have to rejoin the diet. I mentioned I had joined WW online. She said, "That doesn't work." Great encouragement, but that is my sister. I have learned to let things like that just gloss over me.
My friend Pat called yesterday and we have scheduled to start our early morning walking again. We were so good at keeping up with it and have gotten really lax. But we have an appmt for 6:00 a.m. and now I am excited to keep that date. I know that walk will help me with my new found attitude. I'm actually leaving the house today. An appmt this morning and lunch at the Republican Women's Club. Later.
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
LEARN TO BE CALM AND YOU WILL ALWAYS BE HAPPY!
One of the best things I have learned on this Spark journey is that fresh fruit is lovely! This morning I made a fruit salad of watermelon, strawberries, blueberries and banana. One cup with WW is only 1 point and I had a slice of whole wheat toast with 1 T of peanut butter for a total of 4 points! I'm learning. I could never figure out how some diets would limit fruit and certain vegetables like tomatoes and broccoli. They said it is the sugar in these foods that is dangerous. Come on. How can broccoli be dangerous to eat, like it is going to make me want a slice of chocolate cake.
The Sonoma Diet is a good one, based on mediteranean foods. I did lose 18 lbs but, well, you know the rest. But Sonoma limits you to 2 fruits a day because you can't eat sugar or artifically sweetened foods. I think that is ridiculous not to be able to eat a piece of fruit. My fridge is so loaded with fruit and fresh veggies right now. You have to eat them or they spoil quickly.
We had a fabulous fourth of July. Our city has a beautiful park with a gazebo and a stage and playground equipment and a dock on the water. It is on a body of water called the Sound and then across is a streth of peninsula called Okaloosa Island and then the gulf of Mexico. You can almost see the Gulf from the park, we are so close. My husband was the MC at the 4th of July celebration so we got there at 4:00, put out our folding chairs in a good spot and enjoyed the show until 9:00 when the fireworks were over. This was his first time being the Mc and he did a great job! I'm sure they will ask him again. During the show, we had intermittent rain showers, lightly raining for about 5 min and then stopping. It is pouring right now as I write this, lucky we didn't have that on Sunday. Hubby's Barbershop chorus was the first act and they were great! As usual. The last act was the community band and we heard lots of patriotic tunes. We were even blessed with an F-16 flyover of 4 jets from Eglin AFB. That is so exciting. I love living in a military community. Of course, we enjoyed hearing the Armed Forces Salute where they play the tunes of all the services and I get to stand up when they play the Air Force Hymn! Then we came home in time to catch Capitol Fourth and The Boston Pops playing the William Tell Overture while the fireworks went off and the cannons boomed! Can't be any more patriotic than that!
So far, I am really glad that I joined WW online. I struggled with that, whether I would do it or not but I like it. And I love looking for 0 point foods. There are so many, like skim milk and fiber-one cereal and many fruits and vegetables. Still trying to increase veggie's and fruit as they want you to eat 8 a day. That is really difficult. They also have a recipe tracker where you can enter your favorite recipes and it will calculate the # of points it has in a serving.
I've got to get dressed and to work. Have some decorating details to clean up and place some orders. Later.
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