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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - Review of 1 through 5

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

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I've let myself down and it's over. I gave myself an extension on my project, and I ignored it. I let life get the best of me, and I stopped listening to my inner voice of reason. I am the worst motivator of self. But you know something, it's o.k. If I've learned one thing from this process that started in July, it's that I have to recognize where I'm at, forgive myself for any failure, and move forward.

These past few months have been filled with much stress and anxiety. I have to find a way to move forward in a positive direction or I will lose myself. The best way to do that is to take some time to review where I started. So here goes.

For those who didn't read my past blogs, which seemed like a long, long time ago . . . I began my Spark journey in July of 2009. I lost a great deal of weight, and I started blogging on a regular basis very much like Julie blogged Julia Child's recipe book. She gave herself a time limit and went through the book. I chose to take on a similar challenge with a diet book that had collected dust on a shelf. I had read only two chapters in the book more than ten years ago, and when it got uncomfortable, I put it away. So I dusted it off and gave myself 150 days to get through 50 very short chapters.

Guess what? Life happened. I got behind. As the deadline drew near, I was falling apart. I spent over 100 days revealing some very personal things in my blog, and then everything kind of fell apart. If I were to place blame, I would say that it is the time of year. From December to March I am usually the worst version of myself. it is the one time of year that I've learned to recognize, but not control, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is not a myth . . . trust me on this one. Each year I think I'm going to beat the odds on SAD. This was the year I really and truly thought I would have it beat. But unfortunately, it got the best of me.

And so my deadline passed. I lost a bit of myself in December, and as of about five minutes ago, I have found the strength to get it back. I'm being motivated by pain and anger, but it doesn't matter what the motivation. The point is, I have got to dig deep on this one. The point is, I'm going to dig deep on this one. I am taking my life back from the Seasonal Affective Disorder.

So I thought about giving up where I left off and perhaps moving on to another book. But why would I quit? Let's finish what you started, regardless of the deadline. The deadline is like a diet. A point of failure. So no more deadlines. Let's just get through the book. And let's do this the right way. Let's start with a bit of review.

The book . . . When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull up a Chair . . . by Geneen Roth. I left off at Chapter 40, but I start today with a bit of a review of Chapters 1 through 5.

1 - Whatever you do don't diet! I've got this one. Do not say the word. Just eat to live. For every diet, there is an equal binge. Deprivation will never lead to long-lasting change. Likewise, giving myself a time limit for losing weight (or finishing this book) is just opening up the field of opportunity to fail. So no diets and no deadlines for me!

2 - Cultivate curiosity! Ask yourself what you're feeling and why you're feeling it. Feel your feelings. Avoid swallowing your feelings with food.

3 - When you eat at the refrigerator, pull up a chair. Thankfully I don't eat at the refrigerator . . . that's never been one of my problems. But the bigger message here is to be conscious of what you're eating and why. Be conscious of what you're feeling and why.

4 - Give away clothes that cut off your circulation. Wear clothes that fit you now and that make you feel good.

5 - Consider Howard Stern and life "as if. Live as if you deserve everything that you think a size four woman deserves. As if you are worthy of happiness.

Let's work on these . . . and in a day or two, let's work on five more.

My goal is to get through the rest of the book. Remember . . . no deadlines and no diets.

Welcome back ME!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPIRITSEEKER2 3/4/2010 3:54PM

    Oh, I know SAD.. its ok. I had it in MD.. moved to SC and was better until this year.. the weather everywhere went wild..
When ever you feel up to it , I really liked your Blog.. so come on back.. we will be waiting.. hugs

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MYMAWSCRAPS 3/3/2010 11:44AM

    Yesssssssssss!! I've missed you, too. I knew something was up...just knew you would come around again. I feel the same way at certain times of the year and this year was incredibly tough. Took me too long to get that plaid wall painted. Almost quit, but just last week I got in there and finished it in a matter of hours...So Glad you were able to find your strength and get back to your friends here at spark. You are a "bright Spark" and I'm so glad you are back. I'll say a prayer for you today...is there anything elsa I might do to help? emoticon

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MJMONE 3/2/2010 7:01PM

    ooh! I missed this the first time around...I do hope you continue!



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In the Spirit of Julie and Julie - Extension Granted

Friday, January 22, 2010

With 8 days remaining, 11 chapters to go, and 10 days since my last post, I decided it was time to have a meeting with myself to go over my current status. So much has happened in the last 10 days, and I've not been 100% truthful with myself. I have just about hit the six month mark on Spark, and while I've had remarkable accomplishments, it's time to say "Hey!"

Hey . . . what is up with you right now?

Hey . . . are you slipping back into old, bad habits?

Hey . . . are you cultivating curiosity?

Hey . . . are you living "as if?"

Hey . . . are you acting on your own behalf?"

It's always easier to ask the questions of yourself then to actually say . . . out loud . . . I am not acting on my own behalf!

I could give you my excuses. I could tell you that I came into this year feeling so incredibly positive, and yet it all went down the tubes. But I can't tell you the reasons. I honestly don't know. It started with something very small, like a tiny seed. Then it grew. It became bigger and bigger. And then, to make things worse, when I didn't know why I was struggling, I had a medical over the last two weeks that was very stressful, and it was like giving up completely. So here is some validation.

Yes, you had a right to be scared. Did you have the right to treat yourself with a complete lack of disrespect? Probably not. But now let's move forward. The medical scare is over, and it's time to bet back to the business at hand. Let's start from square one and realize that we haven't failed, we just jumped the track a bit. Those resolutions are still right there, and while I've lost a bit of time, in the scheme of a lifetime it is nothing.

So I've granted myself an extension to finish this book and then move onto another. I'm forgiving myself for the way that I handled the last few weeks of chaos.

My next post will be #40 in the book, and with 11 left to go I am giving myself another 30 days.

Days Remaining: 30

The Book: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair - 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But), by Geneen Roth

Stay tuned for #40.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYMAWSCRAPS 1/25/2010 8:41PM

    Hi Girlie,

Glad to know you will be back blogging and that you will finish "reading" my book to me. You are very couragous and very strong...I believe you can overcome whatever falls in front of you...you may not jump over it right away but...you amaze me by finding your way around it. Best Wishes.
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FREELADY 1/23/2010 12:36PM

    I am applauding you! Look at how you "handled the last few weeks of chaos" !! You did not quit! You came back to blog, and you wrote candidly about it. These choices are huge. Please give yourself CREDIT! Also, I am hearing you tell yourself a number of very healthy thoughts.

I'm really looking forward to #40!
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FUNNINFIT 1/22/2010 9:26PM

    Looking forward to it! Glad your 'derailment' was temporary!!!
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SPIRITSEEKER2 1/22/2010 7:54PM

   
and we will look forward to it... thanks

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia #39

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia #39

Days Remaining: 18

The Book: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair - 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But), by Geneen Roth

#39 - Be Willing to Lose the Suffering Contest

Throughout this process, I have been "spot-on." I've read the various chapters in the book. I've felt connected.

It's been one week since I last posted, and feel anything but connected. For all the months I've been on Spark, I've done so well. And now I hit a bump in the road and I can't get my bearings. Not posting has made it worse, so today I decided to quit avoiding and post on my blog. I'm running out of days, so I at least have to get to the next chapter. How appropriate. "Be willing to lose the suffering contest."

For some reason, I have been suffering. I'm not sure why. I'm not sure how it came about. I'm not sure when it will end. I really wish with all my heart that I could put my finger on the exact reason. Unfortunately, I just can't. I ended 2009 feeling like a million bucks. I started 2010 feeling so inspired by myself. BY ME! Isn't that crazy. And then suddenly, it all came to a crashing halt.

As I read through this chapter, I wonder if I was too happy. Is that possible? I really don't think so. Although I did have this glorious, successful weekend where I spent the entire time being creative and working toward some of my goals for the new year. I was happy that very first weekend of 2010. I have been abundantly unhappy at work these last two weeks, but I've been unhappy before.

What happens when we are happy is we lose the suffering contest. It's cool to suffer. I'm suffering right now, to the tune of putting some weight back on. It's not pretty. It's not fun, and unfortunately, the only person I'm hurting is myself. So I need to find a way to end the suffering and be happy again. I was always so good at separating my Monday to Friday job from my weekend job from my personal life. But in the last few weeks it has not gone well. Nothing has changed. It's always been bad. I think that the constant hope for things to get better has finally taken its toll on me. So I need to end my suffering and just ignore things and do my job. Hard as it may seem, it's what has to be done.

When we end our suffering and lose the contest, we will win in the end. We get to be happy.

So starting tomorrow, when I go to work, I will work on ending my suffering. Hopefully that is where my problems lie, and I will get back on track.

And in the meantime, I've got less than three weeks to get through this book. Hmmm . . . may need to apply for an extension.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNNINFIT 1/13/2010 7:56PM

    I, for one, would miss your posts/blogs if you stopped...we all hit those bumps in the road-like you, I was 'on fire' a year ago-saw myself at goal weight by summer of '09, but then something in me changed-couldn't figure out what, but I've been floundering ever since-I've managed to maintain, but I want those 'feelings' back-my Sunday School teacher once told us that when we feel most like NOT being at church was when we needed it most-feelings come/go, but true commitment carries us through the good/bad times-even when we don't FEEL it, if we go through the motions/keep up our good habits, it'll come back to us eventually! I believe that'll happen with us...hang in there!
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SPIRITSEEKER2 1/13/2010 1:24PM

    I think this is a great blog-- you can get an extension... you took on a big endeavor..

I hope things are better at work.. finances have brought me down and off course.. I need to get over it...

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FREELADY 1/13/2010 9:05AM

    Great to read your blog again! Please keep posting. Your reflections are a help, whether buoyed up or in a low spot.

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MYMAWSCRAPS 1/12/2010 9:21PM

    Extension Granted...Possibly? I'm not looking forward to not having your blogs, your voice, your inspiration, your willingness to share... (your suffering, your good days, your honesty). You always seem to have the strength to get through, I'll say a quick prayer for you and hope that you find your answer soon. You can do this...you've got it in you. emoticon

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #38

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #38

Days Remaining: 25

The Book: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair - 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But), by Geneen Roth

#38 - Practice Saying No

I don't know about everyone else, but the older I get, the easier this one gets. We really need to learn to say no to the things we truly don't want to do. Sure there are still times that I say "Yes" when I don't want to, and this is usually a work related thing. There are some things you have to do, and you have to evaluate each situation. But I think we can all commiserate about the tasks or activities we've gotten involved with because we weren't strong enough to say, "No, I don't have time." or "No, I have other plans." (even when those other plans are laying around watching television.

True, we are always trying to please everyone. But we need to be good to ourselves. When we learn to say know, we can start saying yes to the things we do want.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYMAWSCRAPS 1/7/2010 8:11PM

    Arghhhhhhhhhh, You are right again. If you didn't grow up in the garage or the closet...then you have have some underground tunnel to my house. I now practice "sitting" on my hands at meetings and gatherings. Sometimes I just say Yes to be accepted or so my kids aren't disappointed with the way things turn out. I'm so bad about it...I've even taught my daughters...As their mom (who is getting smarter)...I'm already trying to unteach them.

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SPIRITSEEKER2 1/5/2010 11:11PM

    emoticon that right !!

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CUPCAKE954 1/5/2010 6:30PM

    very nice blog. I enjoyed reading it! emoticon

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #37

Sunday, January 03, 2010

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #37

Days Remaining: 27

The Book: When You Eat at the Refrigerator, Pull Up a Chair - 50 Ways to Feel Thin, Gorgeous, and Happy (When You Feel Anything But), by Geneen Roth

#37 - When You Are Not Hungry, Beauty Is Better than Bonbons

"We put so much emphasis on function and efficiency that we forget to surround ourselves with beauty."

So true!

We live in this world where we want to get everything done. How often do we take the time to stop and smell the roses? Our lives are a constant rush from one thing to another. I personally know that I work a five day workweek, and then I need to get a healthy meal on the table (and a hot one, which I learned from #9), try to get a workout in . . . it's so hard to ever find time to relax.

Beauty is something that just is. It has no measurement. You can't weight it or try to figure it out. But if you have a single moment, I find that seeking it out can be amazing.

One day many years ago I was taking my normal drive to work. It was a freezing cold day and on the top of a mountain that I used to cross in my travels to get to work there was this pond. It always amazed me that there was this small body of water on the mountain. Some days I would make the drive with much on my mind and not realize I even passed it. Other days I would be amazed by it. And then one particular day I hit it just right. There was sun. There was a bit of mist and fog. And there was a reflection of trees and brush. It was the most beautiful and stunning thing I had seen in quite some time and I recall stopping my car and just sitting and looking at it. It fed my soul for the day.

I get glimpses of that day every so often. I'll see something that's beautiful. But I'm not sure I'm ever affected like I was on that day.

"When you're not hungry, beauty is better than a piece of cheesecake. Better than mashed potatoes. Better than a hamburger and milkshake and french fries. "

Look for beauty in everyday things. It truly feeds your soul!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYMAWSCRAPS 1/7/2010 8:03PM

    It's amazing to me that...we (all of us) need that constant reminder that we need to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life...Beauty, laughter, "snuggles" just to list a few. Thanks for the reminder and for sharing yourself in such a positive way. emoticon

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FREELADY 1/3/2010 4:47PM

    I just found your blog. I am so impressed with your streak of 37 posts in the spirit of Julie and Julia. How inspiring. I am going to show this same determination with my current endeavor, which is the Beck Diet Solution. I am on Day 5. For me, that is quite a streak to be consistent on something, I am embarrassed to say. It's a six-week project, so I have 37 days to go. If you can be that consistent, I can too. Thanks, and keep it up! I'll look forward to reading more from you. emoticon

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SPIRITSEEKER2 1/3/2010 2:51PM

    emoticon

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FUNNINFIT 1/3/2010 11:10AM

    My pit bull reminded me of things of greater importance than food when she just wanted to 'snuggle' after her breakfast this morning! Thanks for sharing!

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