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Thursday, December 02, 2010

One evening, I picked a paragraph from the stories in the back of the book (Big Book of AA) that talks about acceptance and how lack of acceptance is what causes us so much torment. I thought this was so true (and still do). However, being the complex beings that we are (as you state), the meeting grew heated! People said:

If you accept it, you don't have to change it.
It's in the back of the book so it doesn't count.
Accepting it means you approve of it.
Accepting it means you are stuck with it.

And I thought, how can you move if you don't know where you are? Here I am. I am where I am. It's not good or bad. I accept my body as it is right now. That doesn't mean I am no longer responsible for it. I am acknowledging where I am. How ironic! My meeting topic of Acceptance was Unacceptable!

Other words for acceptance could be, make peace with it.

Oh no, I can't make peace with it. It is disgusting.

What are we saying? That we must fight it? That we must be not okay until we look the way we want to look? Body, go away and come back when you look the way I want you to look? Well, that won't work. Must we be miserable? Does that help us lose weight? A new diet: Misery makes you thin! Actually, misery makes me eat! So, why not make peace with it? I am where I am. Is that not the truth?

A number of years ago (I've never forgotten this), I looked at the money I had received from the person who had assisted me at the bank. I usually didn't check it. I just stuffed it in my purse and carried on. Like you, this one time I (for no reason that I can think of) looked at the money and at the receipt. I had been given ten dollars too much! For a split second, I contemplated my new-found wealth! This was a long, long time ago and ten bucks...well, anyway, my second thought took me back to the bank and I gave the ten dollars to that person.

You would have thought I had returned ten times ten dollars. That person was so grateful. She was so happy, so pleased, so relieved. She said they had a small amount they could be over/under each day and that my returning this money would make a huge difference when she closed her station. It was obvious that there were occasions when someone had made a different choice than I did.

It was just ten dollars--not as much as your food, Wispy, but it has the same root and we had the same thought process.

If this overpayment had happened when I was a kid, my mom and I would have celebrated it as if it was mana from heaven! I feel disloyal making that statement. Nonetheless, because my mom might have rationalized keeping the money, and her mom might have rationalized keeping the money, I feel blessed that I got to experience the relief of returning the money. It has taken me years and years to get over the idea that I am being disloyal if I do what I think is the right thing--not the thing that you think, or she thinks is the right thing--but the thing I think is the right thing--that is not disloyalty. In fact, that is the only loyalty that really matters.

And, just like your protecting your children, I, too, know what that means. Had anyone so much as looked at my children with an evil intent, they would have faced the wrath of someone who had left her normal social restraints back at home! I was so shy. But when I became a mom, a new part of Karen made itself known.

For approximately 50 of my 62 years, I judged myself lacking. I judged myself on what I did. I was a human doer, not a human being. I didn't know how to "be" very well. I don't know how to articulate it but, at some recent point, with frailties intact, I accepted myself as being worthy because I am. That's all. Not for what I do. But because I am. We are complex beings, says Wispy. And, she's right. And, yes, in our case, self-acceptance has been a hard-won thing. I feel myself filling up with joy as I write this.

Just maybe this life is to be enjoyed, relished, treated as an adventure. Perhaps, if we let ourselves make peace with where we are and know that we are doing what we can and where we are is just fine because, ta da, it is where we are, we can let go of the idea that our okayness depends on a number on a scale. Maybe we are okay anyway. If I get to do what I think is right (and where is the rule that says that is wrong?), then why not pick another song to sing and think of rainbows and babies and let things just continue to work out? It's worth a try, I think.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 12/15/2010 5:13PM

    I think you are right. Acceptance of where we are frees us to move forward from there. I hope everything is going great for you and you are having a wonderful December.

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KSGROTHE 12/2/2010 6:58PM

    This is a very interesting blog, Karen! I found the part about the reaction at your meeting to the subject of acceptance especially thought-provoking. I struggle a lot with self-acceptance, and I'm coming to believe that it may stem, in part, from a feeling that I was never really accepted by my parents for who I am. Or if they accepted me, I never felt like they (my dad in particular) thought I was good enough. As an example, when I brought home almost all As on my report card, my dad would question all the subjects I didn't get an A in (usually citizenship and handwriting). When I was getting all As in high school, he would ask me why I got some A-'s. I didn't get praise for the good things I did, I got "Why didn't you do even better?" No wonder I have so much problems thinking I'm good enough! Even now, I feel like he resents that I choose to continue living so far away from him (and only visit about twice a year) even though I'm the only one of his grown children who does not ask him for financial support and for help with my kids.

And so, I work on accepting myself, on being a more positive person, on being OK with imperfection. I don't have as much confidence in myself as I probably should have. But I'm slowly getting better at accepting myself.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

- Karen

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    I enjoyed your blog. Everyone is a unique special individual and should be embraced as such.

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JURI62 12/2/2010 5:17AM

    Karen-this is a great blog that evoked lots of feelings!
Acceptance is letting go of the hope for a better past!
That's what I focused on yesterday , my daughters 21st birthday...
lots of mistakes were made, regrets are there, but I did the best I could,
and I always did it with love...
I am enough, I have enough, I do enough!
and as a bankteller, I've got to say "Thank you" for returning that
money, you saved that teller time and anguish and possibly a bad
mark on her record! Kudos to you!

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Whether we smile or whether we frown, the next minute's going to :-)

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm glad I said some things in my last entry that were helpful enough to have some of you respond. It has been said that we teach what we want to learn. Therefore, I plan to keep talking. I have lots of stuff I need to learn.

Are you familiar with Louise Hay? She is so wonderful. She has a web site and her books are available there as well as at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and most other book stores. I just finished reading, "You Can Do It." Actually, I just finished listening to the CD about 30 times and I have read parts of the book many times. Parts of it often run through my mind.

Louise says that when a baby has a need, it lets everyone know. It even lets everyone in the neighborhood know! A baby is not afraid to ask for what it wants. All those thoughts I have..."I'm not good enough...I want it too badly...I have bad luck...I never get anything right...if I get this I'll never ask for anything else again." With thoughts like these, who needs enemies? A baby doesn't wonder if it's deserving of food, care and love. The baby loves everything about itself. What if you were in bed and you looked down and saw your feet for the first time? Hmm, what are those? And, then, without giving it much (any?) thought, you find that you can move your feet--all the way to your mouth! Whoa! What fun! It's great fun unless someone comes by and uses a tone of voice you know means trouble and says, "Get your feet out of your mouth. How disgusting!"

Do you think you are disgusting? Do you need to act a certain way, look a certain way, live a certain way before you will love yourself? When I am thin, I'll like how I look and then I'll be pleased with myself and then I'll accept myself and then I'll love myself. Coming from that place, I believe self-love is far, far away and all we have to look forward to is lots of hard work and low calorie meals!

I know it sounds hard. Heck, it is hard. I am trying, too. It is hard to accept and love yourself right where you are right now. Who says you have to be a certain weight to be beautiful? Who says you have to look a certain way or dress a certain way? Do you find rules like these coming from the mouths of our mystical and religious leaders? Did Buddha say, "Be ye thin and then shall ye be loved." I don't think so.

If you believe in anything bigger than yourself; if you believe in a creative force in the universe; if you believe that, at some level, we are one, then is it not an insult to all of us to insult yourself, a part of the connected whole?

I want to work on this. I want to love myself. I want to stop my thoughts when the words are nasty and mean. I want to stop and replace those words with my truth--I am a part of the whole. I am made out of perfect stuff, whatever names one might choose to give anything. I have a Higher Power which loves me no matter what. The guidance I need is here. The love I need is here.

I am tired of obsessing about weight. I am tired of thinking that I am less than you because I weigh more. And, boy, am I tired of reading books about weight loss. I could not even hazard a guess as to how many diet books I have read. Each one was going to be IT! Yes, yes, oh it was so exciting. I put my faith in each one and, with each one, I had temporary success and then the same thing happened over and over and over...the definition of insanity. Oh, but I didn't want to stop. Surely, the next book that told me it would be the LAST diet book I'd ever need, would actually BE the LAST diet book I'd ever need!

Loving myself is the path to taking care of myself. Taking care of myself is the path to giving my body what it needs with love. I can brush my hair with love, fix my meals with love, dress with love, and I can bloom NOW and not try to do these things in the darkness of disapproval, hoping that, somehow, I can accomplish these things and then, somehow, achieve some acceptance.

So, let's not insult ourselves and each other any more. I shall tell myself that I love myself, that I am worth loving, that I am beautiful just the way I am. I will repeat that and repeat that and repeat that. And then, I'll smile at myself and I'll sing a happy song. In doing that simple exercise, I will be supporting you, too, because we ARE in this together-and I mean that in a bigger sense than whether breakfast was within our calorie range.

What have we got to lose? LOL, don't answer that!

Armed with my affirmations, I go in the bathroom and I look in the mirror. I smile. Gee, I don't look so bad. I say my affirmations and I say them with feeling. I say them with gusto. And then I sing one of my favorite happy songs. I made a list and then I got the lyrics online for some of them. I'm not done yet and some of them I don't even remember the title so I just have a snippet of a line.

Don't Worry, Be Happy (Bobby McFerrin)
So long as we have hands to hold (Grinch Christmas)
You can't hear the teacher with beans in your ears, but you can be happy if you've a mind to (Roger Williams or Miller?)
You are my sunshine
The sun'll come out tomorrow (Annie)
Sunshine on my shoulders (John Denver)
Never never land; happier thoughts, Michael (Peter Pan)
Here Comes the Sun
Sing, sing a song, sing out loud, sing out long
Happy talk, keep talking happy talk (South Pacific)
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens (My Favorite Things--Sound of Music)
The hills are alive with the sound of music (Sound of Music)
Somewhere over the rainbow
To life, to life, L'Chaim (Fiddler on the Roof)
Here Comes the Sun
When you wish upon a star

What you think about grows and, eventually, manifests. Turn your attention elsewhere for a while. Talk good talk. Sing happy songs. Laugh!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 11/26/2010 4:34PM

    Here Comes The Sun is one of my all time favorite songs and my hubby plats it on acoustic guitar.

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MEADSBAY 11/21/2010 10:07PM

This is another great blog and we have so much in common in our life and spiritual journey.
Every day I commit to loving myself as I love others and treating myself with dignity and respect.
Again, thank you.

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KSGROTHE 11/19/2010 9:21PM

    Great blog! You might like this video:

(I wish I could post it as a link in my comment!)

Keep up the good work! emoticon

- Karen

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JANC319 11/19/2010 6:43PM

  I'm so glad you'll be in my ear again.
I've missed your blogs.

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DEBBIEKAY1 11/19/2010 11:25AM

    emoticonblog Keep writing my emoticon


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RONNIEHUEY 11/19/2010 11:15AM

    Thank you! emoticon

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JURI62 11/19/2010 5:16AM

    I love Louise Hay...her books introduced me to affirmations which I use alot
and I firmly believe in...I love your I idea of finding lyrics for songs...I don't know a whole song, but I do make up songs sometimes (let it go, let it go , let it go-to the tune of Let it Snow!)-I think it's an old Quaker hymn..Tis a gift to be simple, tis a gift to be free...I'd like to know the rest of that one....
Tank you for a great blog!
Hugs, Judy

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TRACYZABELLE 11/19/2010 5:16AM

    I agree happy songs make you feel a lot better... or a nuzzle from a kitty, lol

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Humbled..some thoughts...I'm flying...

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


I am the featured Motivator of the Day and I am so humbled I could cry. What an honor.

We are all in this together and we have so much in common. This is where we can carry on about what's going on and we understand. Not much is bizarre to me. I've probably done it, thought of it, etc.

But you know what? It doesn't matter how many diets I have tried, or how many times I have been this weight, or a higher weight, or a lower weight; how many times this has seemed like a wonderful weight, a terrible weight, a good weight, a bad weight--and it was always the same weight regardless of how I was viewing it at the time! I remember when 188 was a horrid weight! I was obese! I remember when 188 was a terrific weight. Oh, if only I could be 188 again!

I've gotten on the scale and exhaled--thinking maybe my breath weighed! LOL! I've weighed with different outfits on, trying to find the outfit that was the lightest. This was when I was weighing in weekly at Weight Watchers. I would joke that I was willing to weigh naked if it wouldn't bother other people!

Tell people that you used to weigh 300 pounds and they will exclaim over you and how wonderful you look and ask how you did it and tell others about you and they will be so proud of you! Otherwise, they will sneer at you and think you have no will power and wonder how you could let yourself go like that. And yet, you just stood there. You weighed the same with both versions-whether you were on the way up or on the way down.

If one more person tells me it's calories in and calories out, energy in and energy out, they better duck because I might throw my salad fork at them! Losing weight is way more than the sum of its parts. In fact, it doesn't add up no matter how you do the math--unless you starve. I've tried that. Wouldn't it be easier if we didn't have to eat at all? I'm fine--until I take my first bite! When I wanted to stop biting my nails and when I wanted to stop smoking, I would crochet and do other things with my hands. What if I'd had to learn to smoke five cigarettes--no more, no less. What if I'd had to learn to bite only four fingernails? No biting, no smoking, no feeding the bears! Piece of cake. Oops! There must be another expression that doesn't have food in it.

Everything is about food. Let's have lunch. Let's do dinner. Come over for brunch. No. I'm not eating this week. I don't bite my nails. I don't smoke. Hallelujah! I quit smoking on January 13, 1989, at 5:30 p.m.! TWENTY YEARS AGO. I quit eating. I quit eating. I quit eating. But I always started eating again. Rats!

Someone said, "food is my friend." Someone else said, "Well, food just hates me!" Is food your friend? How do you befriend food? It's an inanimate object, for heaven's sake! Geez. It's just sitting there. What gives it power? Well, I guess I do. I want my power back. What stops me? Big sigh.

Don't tell me about using a smaller plate. Don't give me platitudes about nothing tastes as good as thin feels. Poppycock. That one doesn't even make sense. Don't talk to me about small bites. Don't tell a compulsive eater that one may eat anything as long as it's in moderation. Moderation, schmoderation. If I could do moderation, what would be my problem? Are moderate people fat? I cannot eat one cookie. I cannot give up food. But I can give up cookies. Don't tell me about how I will end up bingeing on cookies. That doesn't change the fact that I can't eat one cookie. Shall I binge today or tomorrow? There is more to this problem than the lure of cookies.

Self love? Self care? I love and approve of myself. I take good care of myself. I give myself the gift of a pause. Pause. Before I go where I really do not want to go, I pause. A breath. Just a breath. Do I really want this? Will I still love me in the morning? And, if I go ahead? Yes. I still love me.

And so it goes...AND thank you, thank you, thank you! I'm the FEATURED MOTIVATOR! Woohoo, woohoo, woohoo! Hot diggity dog! I'm flying!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 11/26/2010 4:29PM

    Congratulations!! I'm really happy for you!

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JANC319 11/18/2010 3:04PM

  Ah, my dear spark friend - one of my very first spark friend's and, maybe, the only one left from way back when I first joined SP.
We are still here...that is all I can say.
We haven't given up, we start over every meal, we join this team and that team, read this book and that book, subscribe to healthy newsletters and are forever trying to find the illusive reduced calorie recipe's that actually taste good.
I'd hate to think how much I would weigh today if all of the above weren't true.

I'm so happy you are MOD - you have been motivating me since the very first time I saw that crazy hat of yours!

Much love to you, my dear spark friend

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TRECECOOKS 11/17/2010 11:02AM

    I love what you said, and I love how you said it. I'm up to 305, obviously am not treating myself well, or engaging in positive self-talk. But I'm still breathing. . .

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JURI62 11/17/2010 8:00AM

    Congrats on being Motivator! I miss fact I'm about to send you a message now!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PBGA456 11/17/2010 7:04AM

    Congrats emoticon

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TRACYZABELLE 11/17/2010 5:06AM

    How awesome.... I know I was shocked when I got it too! YOu obviously made a difference to a lot of people! You go girl!

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MISS_VIV 11/16/2010 8:37PM

    Awesome blog. Something to savor over and over again. So well put.
Congratulations on being motivator of the day.


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KSGROTHE 11/16/2010 5:08PM

    emoticon on being a featured Motivator of the Day!

I can relate to much of what you said here, especially how you don't think "nothing tastes as good as thin feels" makes any sense! That line has never motivated me in the least, especially since I've never really felt like I was thin!

Keep up the good work, including taking good care of yourself! emoticon

- Karen

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AKIMBERLYQ1 11/16/2010 4:42PM


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KATHI214 11/16/2010 1:43PM

    Thank you for saying all those things I have felt about being overweight and losing weight! You expressed it all beautifully. Only someone who has gone through the same thing would understand. emoticon on being made MOD, you have a healthy perspective on all this and it helps others to share that. emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 11/16/2010 1:29PM

    Well, well, well...I certainly will still love you in the morning. emoticon
and the next one, and the next one, and the next...
Whether you are 300 pounds or 130 pounds.
You have articulated the journeys of so many of us, my friend.

Comment edited on: 11/16/2010 1:36:01 PM

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CARLI_MAE 11/16/2010 12:50PM

    Well, looka here who popped into my mailbox today!!! Hello Madam Cookie Monster ... hmmmm ... I could go for one right about now, but alas, no cookies. Maybe I can eat these digital ones collecting on my computer with every letter that I type ... I'll let ya know how they taste ;)

Enjoy being a motivator for the day.

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BETHIE_BOO 11/16/2010 12:12PM

    I fully believe that only people with addictions can understand what it is like to be a compulsive eater. Great post!

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RONNIEHUEY 11/16/2010 12:10PM

    emoticonWay to go! Good thoughts spoken here. emoticon

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JELLI-LEAN 11/16/2010 12:09PM

    WOW...that blog blew me away! I believe that is just how everyone of us who are overweight have felt at one time or another. I really wish that every person here at Spark could read this blog! Thanks for sharing!

{{Hugs}} ~ Janel :)

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Alive and well and busy counting...ah one and ah two and ah...

Monday, January 18, 2010

Hi, gango!

'Tis the first quarter of the year. In the office at which I am employed, the first quarter of the year is busier than the holiday season. Shall I bore you with a list? I'll compromise and bore you with an abbreviated list: quarterly payroll; annual payroll; interest 1099s, msc. income 1099s...and, thanks to an unexpected piece of office business which ran through the first two weeks of January, I am two weeks' behind.

There, wasn't that exciting? No?

So, I shall be absent as I play bookkeeper but good thoughts and hugs are going out daily from me to my pals in the World of SparkPeople. Keep up the good work so I can think of you, be motivated, and not nosh while I compute!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JEN169 2/9/2010 12:01PM

    Do you do taxes? I am a tax preparer/accountant, and this is truly my busy time of year! I have not been on much, but I thought I would take a few minutes to try to catch up with my friends!

Wishing you well!!

Comment edited on: 2/9/2010 12:01:56 PM

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AZIMAT 1/27/2010 11:14AM

    we'll keep the fires burning...

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KALATHIA 1/26/2010 11:55AM

    Just so you know, you're missed. We'll all be here whenever you catch up.


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JANC319 1/19/2010 3:49PM

  Being very busy at work can be invigorating! And, it can make the winter days pass more quickly.

Always good to hear from you, my friend.

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    I hope you are able to find some time to rest!! Take care.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI 1/18/2010 6:51PM

    Good luck on catching up. Take some time each day for yourself. Make the best decision for you, each time!

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ANSING 1/18/2010 2:39PM

    Good luck, Karen!

Don't work too hard, and try to avoid the "noshing"!

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2CATS2LOVE1 1/18/2010 1:12PM

    Keep in touch and don't work too hard...find time to SPARK!!

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USARUNNERGIRL 1/18/2010 12:44PM

    Ummm....have fun! I think....LOL

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JURI62 1/18/2010 12:24PM

    keep in touch!

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The past has gifts

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

There was a little girl
Who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.

And when she was good
She was very, very good

And when she was bad,
She was horrid.

There was a little girl who grew up in a home where the mom could go into a diabetic coma at any time, and the father (stepfather) could turn into a violent alcoholic at any time. The changes in personalities brought on by this uncontrolled behavior tends to make one not feel because who wants to feel good, then horrid; good, then horrid? The pain is too much, too startling, too unpredictable.

In this atmosphere, there is not much energy to give to children. Alcoholics tend to suck all the air out of a room (in my experience). The best survival technique is to be invisible. To call attention to oneself is dangerous and scary because the consequences of being noticed can be good, then horrid; good, then horrid. 'Tis better not to feel at all.

Over time--years and years--some things are likely to happen:
I will be good.
I will do anything to please you.
If I am good enough, maybe you will love me.
I will be numb so that I can't feel and you can't hurt me.

Since everything is consumed in the family dynamics, certain things go out the window, such as a mind-body connection. Do I know when I am hungry? Do I know when I am full? Do I eat for nourishment or do I eat for comfort? Do I believe I have the power to change my life or do I believe I am at the mercy of others? Do I have opinions or do I just accept yours?

The "good child" tends to be a perfectionist. As someone once said to me, "Karen, if you can't get an 'A', you won't play." I stamp my foot and I say, "I want an 'A' and I want it now." I got A's because I took classes I knew I would excel in. If that turned out to be an incorrect assessment, I dropped the class.

No wonder my weight "battles" have been just about life long. How do you plan when you don't know what's going to happen in your house the next minute? How do you plan when you're not going to get an A immediately? How do you plan when the first diet, second diet, 75th diet, doesn't work?

Nonetheless, I have learned and accomplished many things. I do not consider my life a failure. I know that you have learned and accomplished many things. We are here at SP, learning and accomplishing things that are good for us. We are paying attention to ourselves, to our well being, to where we are NOW.

We have memories--they run the gamut from horrible and frightening to magnificent and beautiful. We cannot remove even one of them because where would we be now? I can't regret my crappy first marriage because that's the marriage where my twin boys were born. Something absolutely incredibly wonderful came from a really lousy relationship.

I invite you to join with me in appreciating every yesterday and in enjoying every moment of today. I am grateful for this day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 1/28/2010 9:50PM

    Catching up on your blogs, my dear friend. This one really hit home. I am proud of you for being able to put it out there.
Also been reading the "episodes". Again, go you! for putting things out there honestly.
My life continues to suck, but I keep trudging forward. Love, me

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    Many of us have come from less than healthy childhoods but we are survivors. emoticon

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CARLI_MAE 1/13/2010 12:30AM

    You have indeed come a very long way, with what you've had to learn and work at un-learning, to be able to stand up and say that there is within everything -- however it may appear at the time -- something of value to be found. So I join you in appreciation & gratitude for all the yesterdays, today, and days to come.

WTG, my friend!

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AZIMAT 1/12/2010 6:25PM

    What a gift it is, to be grateful for the day, because it is truly full possibilities to be who you truly are. No matter what happened in the past.

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ANSING 1/12/2010 6:11PM

    I understand the numbness. All too well. And yes, I tend to not want to try things unless I can get it right the first time.

But I've learned that not getting it right the first time isn't failing. As long as I am alive, I always have a second chance.

And I am today what the past, and my own determination, have made me.

I am learning gratitude.

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JURI62 1/12/2010 5:04PM

    Acceptance is letting go of the hope for a better past.
I'm grateful to the past (including the alcoholic that played a big part)
because it is what brought me here. Today is an excellent day.
Hugs and blessings to you my friend. Judy

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USARUNNERGIRL 1/12/2010 2:02PM

    I can feel your pain as a child. I am seeing a counselor at work to help me through some things. This is a the Year that I am "nice to myself" and stop beating myself up for my imperfections.

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MISS_VIV 1/12/2010 1:50PM

    I am grateful for every day. I am blessed with relatively good memories, and relatively good health. I do the best I can do with what I have. Some days are better than others, but they are all good.

thanks for a wonderful blog.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/12/2010 1:43PM

    Great Blog Karen! Great Blog!

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