Monday, July 15, 2013
I got this idea from fellow sparker LDRICHEL.
If, at any time, someone were to ask me, I would say "I'm a happy person" and I am. But I also struggle with nagging worries that, when looked at closely, are not really worries at all. They're more like distractions from the responsibility of living joyfully. Most of the world's cultures, and most of our philosophers, push us to think that the world is bad and life is bad and it's much smarter to expect the worst so that when it doesn't happen, you will be pleasantly surprised. There's something so backwards about that I have actually quit reading the philosophers - and yet I'm always seeking new ways of eradicating those niggling anxieties. Because not being grateful for all the riches in my life seems even more stupid than being naive.
There is something in my nature that loves exercises, check boxes, forms, trackers, and practices. Right now I am exploring several of these. Obviously it's time to put a new ritual together. I am not sure if I'm ready to jump into this particular one - but I thought it was so good - that it holds such beneficial possibilities, that I just had to share. Here is LDRICHEL's Happiness Experiment boiled down to 5 essential steps. I'm sure she won't mind me passing it along.
1. Three new gratitudes each day will teach your brain to retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first.
2. Journaling about one positive experience you've had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to re-live it.
3. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters.
4. Meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we've been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once.
5. Random or conscious acts of kindness - send a positive e-mail to thank or praise someone in your social support network.
Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Yep. It's Day One of a new streak for me. I'm concentrating on only one streak this year - to make each day as healthy as I possibly can. Not as perfect as I can ... though the inclination is to obsess over reaching or not reaching perfection. I'm pretty good at dismissing the perfection imp. Doesn't mean I don't feel his pinch - just that - I can tell it to sit down and be quiet.
No - what I want is to eliminate - or at least drastically limit the number of days when I blank out, eat all over the place, remain inactive and make other bad choices by default. Mindless eating, eating when my body says "please, no more", eating because "It's dinner time", eating because it's there.
To tell if I'm making each day as healthy as I can, I have to track. I wear an exercise monitor so that takes the burden of tracking off my shoulders. LOL. I wish I had an eating monitor I could slip over my teeth that would do the same with tracking food. But I can write down everything I eat. I have a pretty open plan for making sure my days average out to the right amount of food to keep me healthy. There's a daily caloric total and a daily activity total but I can go a little over or under in any given day just so long as I stay within the total week's allotment.
that's the plan
so far I've been pretty good at sticking to it.
But not last week.
Last week I just plain ate more calories than I burned up. Each day the tracker showed the excess but it wasn't till Sunday that I hit the red zone. I could have made up for it with a little more exercise and a limited, but healthy, amount of food. But I didn't. By lunchtime I found myself spreading butter on a second roll at the restaurant. The thought floated through my head "Hey Bess - isn't this how you got to be 173 lbs - and 187 lbs and 200 lbs?" I answered "Yeah - it's the end of the week. I already blew it. I'll start tomorrow ... at Tara" and took a big bite into soft fluffy wheat and dairy.
There you have it.
Today is different. Today I am hearing this old Jerome Kern song - one my mama used to sing to us. Here's the Frank Sinatra version:
Saturday, July 06, 2013
I loved the article in Best of Spark People this morning. The one titled "25 Ways To Get Back On Track". The suggestions were such little things. Easy-peasy things. Things you can do without exhaustion, fear, or shame. They're not the sort of things that remind you of how bad you've been. They're not the sort of things that demonstrate how out of shape you've let yourself get. they're just little sweet pleasures you can toss into your life like croutons in a salad or sprinkles on a donut. Or should I say INSTEAD of croutons and sprinkles.
Take a walk
drink some water
exercise for 10 minutes ... or even just 5
go shopping for healthy food
Doncha just love it? As I read this list of little trim tabs that you can flick to put you back on course I was reminded of this old Kitty Kallen song:
Saturday, June 29, 2013
It's the last Saturday in June and real hot weather summer is upon us. Of course, it's nothing like last year's real hot summer weather which was more often over 100 degrees than not. This summer it's different - like the Start page on Sparkpeople this morning.
I'd had a tip off from a spark buddy I met up with yesterday (first time ever!!!) who told me the roll-out had happened yesterday. I see some folk don't like the changes but I agree with the editors. This is a much more streamlined page and it still tempts me to explore. I tend to use SP from a serendipitous point of view. I always begin with Best of SparkPeople email - and follow the leads it presents. I've met more new people, gotten more new ideas and just all around enjoyed myself going with the flow. It's a little surprise gift first thing in the morning.
I say Thanks SP for keeping it fresh. (I'm also glad the swapped around the points earning options - again, just for the variety factor.)
Meeting up with SP friend CLBENS was fun. She looks great too! And we both ordered the same lean protein rich lunch - without even discussing it first! Next time, though - we will probably meet for something more active.
For a long time there didn't seem to be any sparkers who lived close enough for me to meet up with but this summer several have swung into my orbit. I'm looking forward to hooking up with them.
Last night there was a wine tasting in our local wine shop - She does these about twice a month on Friday evenings and they're like little parties. Afterwards there was a free bluegrass concert down the street at a riverside park. These are sponsored by our local main street organization and this is their second season. Last year I bought tickets for all of them and then never got to go to one - and gave my tickets away. It was fun to stroll down the street and listen to the music after sipping my wine (carefully calculated to fit within the days calories/points)
It was the last day of the fiscal year and though I believe I've tied up all the strings, I have a funny feeling that maybe I did not. It all seems too easy this year. Of course, there have been huge personnel changes this year, both in the library and in the county government - so maybe that's what's giving me that odd sensation. At least I know the changes are for the better, so I will just throw out my blessing hook and expect the best.
Ah well. a meandering blog with no real insights or words of wisdom - just a few thoughts fluttering around on a Saturday morning. Hope your Saturday is full of joy.
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