BESSHAILE   48,936
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Writer's overload - not writer's block

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I'm writing so much at work this week, revamping our webpage, that I just haven't been able to write much else. When I have I've added to my knitting blog LikeTheQueen - which is about 75% knitting and fiber arts blog and 25% Life-0-Bess stuff. It is not at all about diet and nutrition mostly because it's aimed at a different audience. It is also old, on an ancient template that doesn't have lots of features and it's too big (I am not called MsLoquacity for nothing) to move. I've been dithering between starting a new blogger blog or continuing with the behemoth or moving to a different blogging host with the end result .. I just dropped my poor castle and began devoting all my blogging time to Spark People.

But the happy news is that I am mixing up my exercising this week with days at home doing yoga, days at the gym doing more calesthenic type cardio and (I hope) at least one sweet 70 degree afternoon home early enough to take the dogs for a walk.

Happy Hump Day to you all

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/24/2010 12:47PM

    emoticon emoticon Keep it up!

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JLITT62 3/24/2010 9:44AM

    70 degrees. Oh, how I wish! Last week (one day) but we're back in the chilly, gray 40s & 50s for a while. And trapped downstairs while they install the kitchen cabinets (yippee! Finally!).

I've been blogging since before it was called blogging, actually, so I have my own Website. But I'm planning to let go the judysworld domain, and combine everything into cookbookmaven, which will take a bit of doing. But that is where my passion lies. At the moment.

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HARPERLADY 3/24/2010 8:54AM

    sounds fantasic with your workouts emoticon hope you get you blog running smoothly emoticon

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Come join me on The Daffodil Walk

Monday, March 22, 2010

Well, my friends.

Sunday was a day of such bliss, such relaxing happy leisure, such soul soothing comfort I believe my body grew 10 years younger.

I also accomplished something I've needed to do forever. I made a record of where I need to plant daffodils along the lane up to my house so that come next autumn I won't accidentally shovel into bulbs that are already in the ground. These are naturalized daffodils planted by the edge of the forest. I could never figure out a reliable way to mark the spots until it hit me - That is what a digital camera is good for.

And instead of taking still shots, I used the little video program so now I have a 10 minute clip that points out all the empty spots. I know what I am going to ask for, for my birthday in September. One bushel of daffodils!

If you'd like to take this walk with me, I've posted it on my facebook page.

(added later .. hmmmm. Let's see if this link works)

Happy Monday to you all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 3/22/2010 1:45PM

    I don't have a facebook account, unfortunately. But it definitely sounds like a good use of a video camera! And daffodils are so cheery.

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AEBROWNSON 3/22/2010 9:10AM

    Unfortunately, I couldn't see your daffy I have to be your facebook friend in order to see? If you want to friend me, my name is Ann Brownson and I'm at Eastern Illinois University.

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SCRAPMA 3/22/2010 9:03AM

  Thanks for your beautiful comments. I was just thinking about planting some flowers in the yard. Since I started Sparkpeople just yesterday, My husband and I went for a walk and he said "you used to work in the yard all the time, maybe you should start again, the sunlight would be good for you". I tend to hybernate due to chronic pain and that is the worst thing I can do.

Comment edited on: 3/22/2010 9:04:20 AM

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IFDEEVARUNS2 3/22/2010 8:08AM

    It sounds glorious! Can't head to FB during the day, so later today I'll check it out. emoticon

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Introducing Custard - my cowardly dragon

Sunday, March 21, 2010

If you are familiar with Ogden Nash's poem about Custard the Cowardly Dragon

you will recognize how much he typifies the Reptilian Brain. Afraid all the time, he's able to rise to the occasion if a true danger looms. I'll keep him around for those moments of real threat, but the rest of the time he can stay in his Nice Safe Cage.

This week's weigh-in did not offer up any good news for someone wanting to wear ThatDress by August but it also didn't come as a surprise. There was a small gain. That it was no larger than it was is no thanks to me and my poor choices. I certainly know why I ate out of control this week and I think recognizing Custard's role in my mindless eating will help me in the coming weeks.

The next time I have a project I dread - even fear - I will have a sober and reassuring chat with my little dragon, after which we shall both of us laugh and then tackle the task or find another way of dealing with whatever demanded it in the first place.

And that is that.

Today is now. Today I am going to eat such healthy food and in such exactly the right amounts as to lift my confidence up into the clear blue sky of this second day of spring. May you all feel and do the same.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEALUNA 3/22/2010 5:03AM

    Bob the Lizard had a moment this weekend, but he and I talked it through (No, I've no idea why my dragon is a boy dragon instead of a girl dragon. That's just the way he rolls.). He was much better behaved after that. I think these dragons need a lot of soothing that involves words not food!

Good for you for not getting down about your gain and instead putting on your big girl panties and getting on with business. Here's to a glorious, healthy spring!

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MSLZZY 3/21/2010 10:18PM

    Interesting friend you have there! Good luck and I hope today went as planned!

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CRAVE_FREE 3/21/2010 10:19AM

    Impressive that you both named your inner lizard and it has its own poem! I'm still trying to find the perfect name for mine. I think something pansy and froo froo will make my lizard weaker! Thanks the inspiration!

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/21/2010 9:39AM

    So simple and yet how it can trip us up! Thanks for reminding me of the importance of these simple steps.

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MOOOOW 3/21/2010 9:22AM

    I met custard the week before last. We had our talk this last week and my WI was good. I thank you for reminding me to meet the dragon head-on and with school beginning tomorrow I am sure that my students will place many dragons in my path. Together my students and I will walk right by them.
Pris emoticon

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JLITT62 3/21/2010 9:12AM

    If nothing else, you faced up to your fears & accepted the results of your action. And that ain't cowardly, that's HARD! So good for you.

We all have bad weeks, for whatever reason, and the key is just to keep on keepin' on. Which I know you will do.

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JKTENTATIVE 3/21/2010 9:10AM

    Be sure to drink lots and lots and lots of water. It will help you in many ways. I find that my level of struggle each day is directly related to my water intake. If I drink 4 - 5 cups of water by 10am, the whole day is soooo much easier.

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Have you named your inner lizard?

Friday, March 19, 2010

I am still reading Martha Beck's book (and btw, she has a diet book too, which I brought home from the library yesterday - I'll get back with title info later today)

And in it she focuses a lot on the Lizard Brain - the amygdala - which is a primitive part of the brain that prompts the emotional reactions of fight, flight, eat and procreate. She calls it the "lack or attack" part of the brain. It's an essential part of our survival, though it was far more important when we lived in caves and were likely to have to compete with bears or tigers for a favorable lease. While it's still essential to our survival, if we place too much dependency on it in nowadays, it can really ruin our lives.

It's crafty, too, about adapting to its environment. You are not likely to get attacked by a tiger today, but you might be daunted by a task at work that you're not quite sure how to accomplish. Or you may dread doing your taxes. As you feel the deadline approach, you'll feel more threatened so old lizard brain might just start shrieking in your subconscious "run! Run! RUN!" In other words - that is where procrastination comes from. That which you fear you flee - till it catches you anyway. Like a work deadline. Like April 15.

And, being part of the brain, which rewires to get more efficient about paying attention to what it is we focus on, the more we listen to it, the more we'll procrastinate or quarrel with people. That underlying impulse that tells us we're under attack AND about to run out of food immediately will thrum all day long. So - if you are like me - and you had a daunting task to accomplish this week - and you put it off till THURSDAY! because you were listening to your lizard brain - you might also snack around the place, derailing your weight loss efforts.

Because our lizard brains are where our mindless, emotional eating comes from.

And Ms. Beck says the first step in quieting your lizard brain is to name it - to even get yourself some sort of talisman or doll or piece of jewellery and call it by that name - so that when you are spiraling into fight or flight or overeating behavior you can have a little chat with your lizard brain. Calm it down. Assure it that there is plenty of food, no threat of being devoured and not really any place it needs to hide.

As for the procreation part - well - there. I am sure in that case, it's just a matter of being discrete with your appropriate partner.

May you calm your inner lizard and have a glorious weekend.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARPERLADY 3/23/2010 7:20AM

    naming my inner lizard pidgy, thanks for the info

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AEBROWNSON 3/19/2010 5:27PM

    My inner lizzard is named "Puffball"...I figure if I call her Puffball I can beat her!

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OPAL50 3/19/2010 12:24PM

    Thanks for sharing. Now, when my inner lizard brain takes over, I'm going to tell "Beanie" to STOP!!! emoticon

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SHERYLDS 3/19/2010 9:04AM

    I have a big lizard brain. So I am calling mine 'Iggy'.
Short for IgonnaEatIt Craveasaurus.
emoticon thanks for sharing

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MSLZZY 3/19/2010 8:25AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MUSYCLAU 3/19/2010 7:47AM

    I hope she credited Albert Bernstein who wrote Dinosaur Brains. In it he talks about the rules of lizard logic.

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EDWINA172 3/19/2010 7:01AM

    Thanks for sharing this. Great info to know! I'm gonna' name my Lizard-Lucy. How about you?

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SHEALUNA 3/19/2010 7:00AM

    LOVE IT! I am SO naming my Inner Lizard. emoticon

Thanks for this wonderfully informative post!

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Cells that fire together, wire together - or - Why you need a vision

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ever wonder who those "scientists" are when you hear something that begins "Scientists have shown ....."?

Well, I tracked down the one who showed us this one and his name is Donald Hebb.

Or perhaps I should say he is the one who showed the way for other scientists to prove it and their work is based upon his seminal thesis, known as the Hebb Synapse

"When an axon of cell A is near enough to excite a cell B and repeatedly or persistently takes part in firing it, some growth process or metabolic change takes place in one or both cells such that A's efficiency, as one of the cells firing B is increased."

In short - this is the guy who showed us that if we think different thoughts our brains become different - will rewire themselves. So we really do need to think like a healthy fit person as often as we possibly can. We need to see ourselves doing the things a fit healthy person does and feeling about ourselves the way a fit healthy person feels about herself so that our brain can become the brain of a fit healthy person.

I've suspected this all along - that I have to believe what I want is possible and then "see" it in my imagination in order to get there. And that takes time out of my routine. Time in addition to meal tracking and exercise and shopping for healthy food and reading labels. It takes quiet thoughtful time and ... it's the easiest time to shortchange because it looks like, seems like, sounds like daydreaming.

And that is because IT IS! I've been reading Martha Beck's book Steering by Starlight: Find Your Right Life, No Matter What!

and she's filled it with lots of exercises to do to help you start thinking like the person you want to be. She's aimed this at people who are far more dissatisfied with their lives than I am, but there are still nuggets throughout the book that are useful for me. It was her quote about cells firing and rewiring that got me to look a little deeper into the scientific literature. It was also that quote that reinforced my own belief that if I go to my thin self often enough in my mind, I'll eventually get to my thin self in actuality - and stay there - at last, and forever.

So - let us all become brain electricians and see just how much fun we can have with our new wiring systems!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/18/2010 5:57PM

    I think brain electrician might be better than being a rocket scientist. There are almost as many jokes about them as there is about blondes! Have a great evening!

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JLITT62 3/18/2010 3:10PM

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about Martha Beck's book. I enjoy her columns in "O". If I didn't already have 7 books out from the library (and no hope of reading them all in the next 3 weeks), I'd request it now. Hopefully I'll remember it when I get around to needing new books!

Most of the time I believe this . . . sometimes when you're stuck, it's hard to believe.

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SHEILA1505 3/18/2010 10:52AM

    Imagine the harm we do to our children and ourselves when we put a stop to dreaming in class, dreaming when we are doing the housework, or anything come to that.

Although my decision to emigrate to South Africa all those years ago came as a shock to my family, it should have been all too clear to them as I had been dreaming of it, "smelling & tasting it", etc for years on and off. It seemed the most natural thing in the world for me when the timing was right.

The same is happening now with my trip to Paris - I have been hearing, seeing, tasting and smelling it in my memories and trying to describe that to my daughter. Now I am going to be able to share her first experiences of it with her.

It's such a powerful thing - and it's good to know it's a real scientific process not just me going off on one of my mind-travels again!

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JKTENTATIVE 3/18/2010 8:47AM

    Interesting blog. It makes me remember how I felt the first (and only) time I lost all the weight I wanted (7 yrs ago). I remember feeling in some ways like I was a different person. Though I REALLY liked what I saw when I looked in the mirror, I also had some discomfort in not really knowing who I was anymore. Several men "came onto" me at that time too, which really shocked me. Who was this slim, attractive woman that men were interested in (despite my obvious wedding ring)? I actually wonder if that whole discomfort thing had something to do with me eventually gaining most of the weight back. This time around, I am relying on my belief that SP will help me get through the emotional ups and downs of being on maintenance once I reach my goal. What is clear to me is that it is important not to under-estimate all those changes that are/or need to go on in the brain in order to sustain a healthy lifestyle. And, this whole brain change thing is helping me to be more patient with my slow, but steady weight loss.

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BETHGILLIGAN 3/18/2010 8:13AM

    Interesting comcept! It's just so hard for me to rid myself of the negatives! I will work harder on this! Thanks for sharing this info and giving me something to think about. emoticon

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