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Lent I love it

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Its true. I love lent. While the grand climax at the end of the Lenten season is a triumphant victory over death, these 40 days to prepare for something wonderful have always filled me with the knowledge that I, too, have a role to play if only in coming to understand what the meaning of sacrifice is.

In the past I have given up sodas (twice, because the first time I was such a nasty crabby thing that though I fulfilled the deed, I did not fulfill the spirit), chocolate, criticizing my husband, gossip a score of different things. From time to time I also/instead add something to my life. It just depends on where I feel I need the most work.

This year Lent caught me by surprise and I had to scramble to find something I can give up and/or add to my life. Im doing a lot of little things already as I work towards better health and I didnt want to be so ambitious I failed either in a Lenten sacrifice or in my healthy SP life. And then I hit on something that is both a subtraction and an addition and Im excited about it.

I have a besetting sin of grousing to myself about Bad Things. I dont do it all the time there might be whole days when I go through life seeing only the bright side of things. But I have my dark gloomy grouchy complaining moments and if I used them to make positive changes in my life they might be good for me. All too often, though, they just decay into rants and ugly mutterings that leave me feeling sorry for myself and blaming Other People.

And so, for the next 40 days I am going to wear a little rubber band on my left wrist. The moment I catch myself grumbling and muttering and grousing about something in my life that I hate I will snap that rubber band lightly - but snap it enough to notice and from that moment on I have 1 hour to find a piece of paper and pen and to spend 10 minutes listing all the ways that I can actively change whatever is bothering me for the better. The snap of the band is to get me to STOP grousing. The hour is because I may not be at a point where I can grab a pencil and paper but I am sure I can within an hour. The 10 minute limit is because I just want to flood my brain with possibilities, positives, solutions and choices. I dont have to actually DO any of these things but I have to discover them, think about them and admit that there ARE choices in every situation.

This year I have a subtraction and an addition - for I plan to subtract the minutes I spend muttering and grumbling and add lots of good choices. And this is why I really, really love Lent.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/18/2010 7:55AM

    Excellent idea! I think I could do that too! Lent is such a wonderful time to reflect on sacrifices and realize how little I am sacrificing in comparison to the ultimate sacrifice-hmmmm! Pretty small.

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ELLENB10 2/17/2010 6:46PM

    What a wonderful Lenten discipline. I've heard of similar ones - trying to go 20 days without complaining - but I like the idea of actively writing down positive solutions to problems or situations. Best wishes for a challenging Lent!

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JLITT62 2/17/2010 3:38PM

    Good luck on your subtractions & additions! I'm sure you will be a happier person after 40 days.

Someone else's post about Lent got me to thinking about what I could give up (altho I'm not even Christian), and that led to my thoughts on the BLTs.

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OPAL50 2/17/2010 2:24PM

    Great thought. I may need to try this also. I, too love Lent. emoticon

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    Great idea! Good luck!

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HJFOGARTY 2/17/2010 12:58PM

    what a great idea to stay positive! thanks so much for sharing you are an inspiration!

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Back in the saddle again

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thanks for the encouragement about all my medical stuff. I'm just at the beginning of getting a handle on my situation - with every confidence that I will find a way to deal with this health issue that I can live with. Happily they were able to perform all tests back to back with no waiting and I was out of there by 2 o'clock and went back to work. (still feeling virtuous about that)

Back at work things moved slowly but there was movement - and today is Wednesday and Wednesday means story hour day - my favorite day of the week. And my knitting group is meeting for lunch at the library so I'll reunite with friends I haven't seen in a month. All in all - not a bad work week.

but I discovered something that I'll have to think about and blog about later - having to do with snacking and the SORT of snacking I crave .. and what I might be able to do about it.

but that will have to be for tomorrow - I stayed up till 5 a.m.!!! reading a delightful book - and then fell alseep for a few hours and now I am late late late again! I feel like the mad hatter.

Till Tomorrow - at Tara

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 2/17/2010 10:26AM

    I've just discovered there's a knitting group at the library twice a months . . . planning to go to the next one.

Can't wait to hear about the snacking . . . and a book that kept you up to 5 am!

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SHEILA1505 2/17/2010 8:29AM

    Keep on keeping on
And know that you have lots of friends at Spark


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Back to work - and just in the nick of time too

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The weather and some personal issues kept me home all last week and I'm proud to say that, even with Valentines Day thrown in, I have done remarkably well sticking to my nutritional plan. Doing Yoga every day has been more than a pleasure, it has been an adventure. But long hours indoors so close to the kitchen always holds the potential for overeating and yesterday I found myself succumbing to that.

Today I have hours worth of tests at the hospital, having to do with a health issue that cropped up in January and derailed my exercise plans. When they are finished with me there I will stop by my office and prepare for my return to the working woman's world. It is wonderful that I have a good job that I really enjoy with lots of scope and freedom for self expression. It will make re-entry much easier than if I were going back to some unpleasant place. Still and all - it means I no longer have leisurely mornings to while away here AND get in my morning yoga - and these days Yoga takes pride of place over most other activities. But it also means I shan't be tempted by that refrigerator door and the freshly baked loaves of bread in the bread basket.

I've been anxious about those tests, obviously, because I had bad dreams last night that woke me at 3. I never did go back to sleep so it's good that I don't have to make important decisions today, but I wonder if lack of sleep will effect the results all those medical machines will pull out of me. Eh. so it is. No escaping the inevitable - best just get through it.

I suspect my basic discomfort also helped me eat More Bread when I Wasn't Hungry. I wish I could report that I realized what was happening and stopped myself. Alas. I only realized what was happening and watched. Well there - life will always be throwing me these little curve balls and the best thing I can do is to brush my teeth and start a brand new day.

The good news is ...there is time to get in my morning yoga! I am sure that will make the rest of this day sweeter.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WEDDWT 2/16/2010 12:34PM

    The tests will diagnose your physical parameters but you know that your spirit will remain strong no matter what and will overcome. Go get 'em!

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JKTENTATIVE 2/16/2010 11:21AM

    Good luck on your tests. Please let us know how you are doing. As far as the bread goes, put it behind you and drink water, water, and more water today. It will physically and mentally clean you out!

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MOTHERBEAR4 2/16/2010 8:05AM

    Hope everything goes well. Good Luck today! emoticon

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JLITT62 2/16/2010 7:54AM

    Hope the tests go well. We all fall into bread baskets sometimes. Yes, yoga will definitely help you find your back out of that basket!

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BETHDISCOUNT 2/16/2010 7:25AM

    hope all goes well

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SHEILA1505 2/16/2010 7:24AM

Strength and hoping for good test results for you.
Hope you enjoyed the Yoga

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TRACIWRIGHT79 2/16/2010 7:06AM

    I will be thinking about you and your tests today. I hope everything goes well.

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Moving to Stage 3-it's all about being true to that First Self

Monday, February 15, 2010

emoticonAgain, I want to thank all of you who shared my excitement by commenting on yesterday's blog post. I hope your valentines day was sweet and there are no chocolates left to lead you astray.

This week I begin Stage 3 of the Spark Plan Diet. I've been at Stage 2 a long time because I wanted to be sure I was serious about staying with this program all the way through to a new way of living.

I knew I could stick with it all the way to a weight goal. I've done THAT before. But I wasn't yet sure I would stick with this all the way to a new life. I really wasn't sure I wanted to change me or even if I could.

I don't quite like calling this a lifestyle change because that word feels too much like magazine jargon and pop culture language. It's true, I realize. We all do develop different lifestyles and they shift in time from youthful to responsible to whatever.... Believe me. I have changed my lifestyles several times - though, perhaps not as many times as I have changed my weight.

What I wasn't quite positive about was ... could I change Bess in a permanent way so that she would be slim, strong, supple, steady - in short - could I be different from now on?

Whenever I have something daunting to do at work I create an external structure to help me get it done. I have time lines and gant charts and to-do lists. There are all sorts of artifical deadlines I set up so that I can keep moving forward. I do this because I know it's easy for me to procrastinate my life away. Stage 2 of the SP was like my external structures. It's very mechanical with it's nutrition tracker and the calorie counts and the potassium charts. The daily exercise routines are there and if I submit to them I will progress.

But what I am longing for is a Bess who doesn't need all that external structure to live a healthy life. Oh - not that I won't want access to it when my path has bumps or curves that throw me for a loop. I want all these things to be here for me, as tools for when there is a job to be done. But I would like, most of the time, to just BE the sort of person who eats healthy food but only as much as her body needs, and who exercises her body - not because exercising is something she has to tick off a list - but because ... that's just who Bess is! A woman who exercises her body.

Because once, long long ago, when I was about 5 years old, I was that kind of woman. I ate till I was full and ran around all day till I was tired. Ha! Who knew!? I sure didn't, when I started writing this blog. Lordy! If you had asked me I would have told you I have struggled with my weight all my life. But that's not true! There was a time when I always made the right choices for my body. So I want to be 5 years old again. Well. At least I want to approach each day like that 5 year old.

So. So maybe I don't want to change myself at all. Maybe what I want is to be true to that first Bess - that little girl who went all day long doing what was good for her. What a happy thought to take with me into Stage 3.

Hope you find your inner 5-year old today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 2/15/2010 2:29PM

    What a great concept! I wasn't an overweight child. Never skinny, but never overweight, either. Frankly, I'm not sure I can ever quite get back to that child. I actually probably enjoy exercise more now than I do then -- I was always a quiet child, never much in motion, nose always in a book, altho there were some physical things I enjoyed.

The exercise part is no problem for me. Eating is a different story. I'd really, really like to be the sort who is naturally thin and just eats til I'm satisfied -- but I think my sense of satisfaction has just been so skewed that I'll always have to be uber-aware.

Thanks for a thought-provoking blog, as always!

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SHEILA1505 2/15/2010 8:37AM

    I do hope you find your way to being able to play like a kid again - I've done it a few times this year already - playing in the sea with my grandson on his birthday (I even blogged about it) and again with my Energy Buddy's daughter

It's such fun and makes a huge difference to ordinary days - just knowing that we can play and giggle till we ache - and it's not even a case of wanting to get away from our responsibilities. We can handle those too

Well done for changing Stages when you are good and ready for it!

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HARPERLADY 2/15/2010 8:31AM

    emoticon, moving thru

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Bye Bye Belly Flap

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Virgo Horoscope for today says : If all you want, this week, is a situation that looks good to a casual outside observer, you can easily create one. But you've got your heart set on something deeper that. And if you're only willing to let go of the idea of 'superficial success' you can enjoy that more meaningful kind!

I love to check my horoscope each day to see if I like what the stars are offering. If I don't like it I forget whatever they say but if I do I like to pass it on to other folk. I really liked today's horoscope especially because the scale did not budge this morning at weigh-in. I wanted it to and I have been active and careful about what I ate all week long. But the scale just sat there where it was last Sunday even though I got on it several times just in case it changed its mind. It didn't.

And I wish it had because it would have been an added bonus at the end of a wonderful week.

Note that, though. I said ADDED. It wasn't the more important and deeper progress made this week. This week I bid goodbye to my Belly Flap.

If you have, or have had, substantial weight to loose you probably know what I'm talking about. Excess weight will accumulate your belly and after a while it will hang down in a fold. I've gotten into the habit of slipping my fingertips beneath that little fold every morning as a gauge of ... well .. as part of what I really look like. It's a way of knowing. And one morning this week, I noticed it just wasn't there. Oh my belly isn't flat but it doesn't fold over onto itself any more. My belly flap is gone.

At first I didn't believe it I'm still a little awestruck at the thought, because Belly Flap has been with me for a long time. But several appraising looks in the mirror, trying on some tighter clothes and just plain touching has convinced me. I'm flapless.

And somehow that's more valuable to me than a scale victory. This is a victory that reinforces my belief in the program and my confidence in my eventual success.

And for those of you who might wonder how I did yesterday with my Exist in the Moment day well, it was a wonderful day. I had to catch myself now and then, as I started to take another bite before I'd swallowed what was already in my mouth or paw through my stash looking for aNOTHer Different ball of yarn before I'd even finished the project I'm knitting but I flowed gracefully through my entire yoga workout doing each step at a time and also thoroughly enjoyed taking a nice soaky bath after the Saturday housework. I will continue to try to let go of my crazy multi-tasking habits and maybe one day, like I said to my belly flap, I'll say bye bye to trying to live on speed-dial.

Happy and Love Filled Valentines Day to you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 2/14/2010 4:38PM

    I'll bet it snuck away when you weren't looking! WTG!

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JLITT62 2/14/2010 2:05PM

    Now THAT is an extremely important NSV! Much more important than some number on a scale.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 2/14/2010 10:52AM

    Right On! Almost felt like I was reading my own thoughts! That's great! I am so proud of you, and your outlook, and your achievements!

I love the peascefulness that flows from your typed words!

Have a wonderful Valentines and week to follow!

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JKTENTATIVE 2/14/2010 10:31AM

    Very inspirational posting for those of us who also did not have a cooperating scale. Thanks for sharing and congratulations to you! {Time for me to go get that tape measure).

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SMILES4383 2/14/2010 10:25AM

    emoticon Your efforts are showing !!!

(I kept getting the wrong emoticon ...... emoticon is PERFECT)

Comment edited on: 2/14/2010 10:26:48 AM

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CHATERJOY 2/14/2010 10:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HARPERLADY 2/14/2010 9:30AM

    way to go!! that is super!! emoticon emoticon when something like that happens it makes it that much easier to stick with it, what wonderful victory

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SHEILA1505 2/14/2010 8:27AM

    I do know what you mean about that belly flap - how I have envied long distance runners their flatness between the hipbones and hollows in various parts of the body.

Congratulations on finding something other than the scale to confirm that you are well on your way!


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SEACHELLEFLY 2/14/2010 8:11AM

    What did you do to loose your flap? I would love to know any tips you I got a flap of my own I would like to send on permenant vacation with yours!

Life on speed dial is fun and a daily adventure....I do stop to smell the roses often.....making it more of life on speed dial with some long conversations interspersed throughout the day. (like today I noticed how much clearer my little one was speaking today...big breath in of beautiful scent!)

Fly high, Fly strong....I will Fly Flapless!

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ANTOINETTA46 2/14/2010 7:50AM

    what a wonderful blog! happy valentine's day to you,too! you have a great attitude! you will succeed and reach your goal weight! have a fantastic day!

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