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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #2

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #2

Days Remaining: 147

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

#2 - Cultivate Curiosity

I need to be curious. Curious about why I do some of things I do. Now this could get interesting.

First, I think I remember why I put the book down the first time I was reading it. I didn't really think that #2 applied to me, and I still wonder if it truly does. At least, I don't know that it applies to my eating habits. I always thought that I ate because I liked food, certainly not that it was stress related. But if I had read further, I might have seen that "cultivating curiosity" means that I should ask myself why I do some of the things that I do. Things I really wish I didn't do. Perhaps it is about other bad habits that I have, such as not exercising enough, staying on the computer way longer than necessary, and procrastinating odd jobs around the house. I should have a dialogue with myself and find out why I'm doing those things.

O.K. - this is something I can put into action. And I'm going to be very specific.

Why, "Girlie" (that's me) are you avoiding regular exercise?

Why, "Girlie" are you spending too much time on the computer?

Why, "Girlie" are you avoiding major household issues?

And now I am so glad that I incorporated 150 days to handle 50 items, because I can clearly see that answering these questions is going to take me another day. And then I have to answer the really big question.

Why, "Girlie" do you think that you don't have to ask yourself a question about why you overeat? Is it just because you didn't overeat yesterday, or anytime in the last month that you've been "Sparking?"

O.K. - I admit it. This really does apply to me! Just because it doesn't apply today doesn't mean that it doesn't apply to my entire life in general. These are four really great questions that will require at least 24 hours for a response.

Pardon me for another 24 hours or so while I "cultivate curiosity" with myself.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PFLEEG 9/15/2009 11:13AM

    Cultivating curiousity....what a great step towards enlightenment and healing!

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SPIRITSEEKER2 8/25/2009 12:23PM

   

I will also consider "cultivating curiosity", thanks for reading this book for us..

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #1

Sunday, August 23, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #1

Days Remaining: 149

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

That's the name of the book which practically required a vacuum for dust removal and nearly set off an asthma attack. I recall reading some of the pages, but where the book falls naturally open leads me to believe that I didn't get past the first of the fifty ways. So we'll start there.

1. Whatever You Do, Don't Diet

Interesting! This confirms something that I've mentally thought for years. So I'm guessing I did read this first one. I have not used the word diet to describe my eating habits in years. If people asked me if I were dieting when it appeared I was controlling portions or reading nutrition labels, I always denied. Deny, deny, deny!

The word diet has so consumed my life from the time I was a child and my mother put me on one. I remember Saturday morning trips to Weight Watchers where I was the only kid (pre-teen). I remember foods that were "diet" bought specifically for me , while the pop tarts were meant for my brothers. (This explains why I struggle to walk past the pop tarts in the grocery store.) It all starts so young. I think my first diet was before I was even ten years old. I am now 48, and if I gave up "dieting" around six or seven years ago, then I've spent the better part of 30 years dieting, thinking I should diet, or failing at a diet.

So this one is easy for me, because I no longer use the word in association with my eating patterns. In reading this first of fifty ways, there are reasons why I should not go on a diet. Apparently, for every diet there is a binge that follows. The message of a diet is that if you free yourself, you'll no doubt go crazy (with food). The guilt that follows will never lead to long-lasting change because having a bad day or going off your diet is instant failure. We need to be responsible for what we do and stop with the blame game.

I stopped using the "D" word years ago, but I'm not sure that I stopped it in my head. I know that I've had some really bad days where I've gone off the deep end, and then beat myself up the day after. So now I will truly make a conscious effort. I can have anything I want. I can have ice cream. I can have candy. Nothing is forbidden. But I'm going to write it down and track my calories every single day as my gift to myself. If I go over a little one day, then I go over a little one day. It just cannot and will not be a daily occurrence.

So that's it! It's simple. Whatever you do . . . don't diet. I can surely conquer the first of fifty.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYMAWSCRAPS 9/11/2009 4:56PM

    Travel On my Friend, You have "sparked" my curiosity and challenged me to get on the move and catch up with you. emoticon

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 8/25/2009 8:25PM

    I feel like a little mouse in the room. You have cultivated my curiosity to cultivate answers to those questions for myself also. You are challenging many of us.

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TALLTABBY 8/24/2009 12:28PM

  I love your blog. It seems like your book is heading your in the right direction. Like you said I think we all love the fact that Spark does not have anything that I can't have. Its just a matter of adjusting the rest of your day. I can't wait to see the rest of your series.

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 8/23/2009 8:12PM

    I liked your Julie and Julia post so I subscribed to follow the days as you explored your dusty self help books. Your entry today was right on. What a liberating concept. I can have absolutely anything I want as long as I track it. Just knowing that dashes a craving. I look forward to 148.

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SPIRITSEEKER2 8/23/2009 5:47PM

    Good start, yes I agree with the 'not saying diet' I say I am eating healthy

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RIPPEDPAUL1 8/23/2009 1:43PM

    Good! "Diets" are temporary, good lifestyle is key.

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KARRILEE 8/23/2009 1:39PM

    Awesome post!!! I too gave up on dieting... in actuality - I was never really good at it! I hated the idea of having to NEVER have something?! (which is probably why Spark is working for me!) Nothing is forbidden... I love that! I have had to learn that for me - it's all in the pre-planning! As long as I plan for it - anything is an option! Of course, in planning - it helps us to make wiser choices through out the day too!

Spark On! You are doing great!
~Karrilee~

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I recently saw the movie, "Julie and Julia." For those of you who have not seen it, the movie is about Julia Child and how she became a cook, and yet also follows the story of "Julie" who is a young girl in our time who writes a blog about Julia Child's cookbook. She gives herself one year to get through the entire cookbook, cooking things that I wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole.

Last night I was blowing the dust off of a stack of books, many of which were books about dieting or eating disorders. Most had barely been opened. Some of them I recall reading, but then when they asked me to search within myself for answers, or to take steps that I wasn't comfortable with, they ended up on the dusty shelf.

I had a thought. What if, in the spirit of the movie Julie and Julia, I wrote a blog about me actually getting through one of these books, chapter by chapter. Interesting, because I never really had anything that forced me to commit myself to them . . . no one "holding me at gunpoint" so to speak . . . I just never get past the first 20 pages or so. So by admitting that I'm going to write this blog, it will force me to get through one of these books and hopefully pick up some great habits. Right?

O.K. . . . so I grabbed the dustiest book of all . . . and I won't name the book yet . . . but I am going to put this plan into action. I am going to blog on a regular basis about this one particular book. There are 50 very small chapters in the book, and I am going to give myself 150 days to get through the book. Now, that seems kind of insanely long for a book that is only 211 pages long. However, I have to blog about the contents, getting into my feelings and drudging up old wounds, I'll need some time in between. And something could come up (not necessarily a crazy inner protest, but maybe I'll go on a vacation or something, and I have a job and a so-called life). To be honest, I'm not sure what this book is about (because it's been gathering dust and was never read). But I'm going to give this a shot.

So it begins now. My next blog will be focused on the first chapter.

Is this completely ridiculous, or is it totally cool? I have no clue. But I'm going for it anyway.

Days Remaining: 150


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYMAWSCRAPS 9/11/2009 4:49PM

    Hi, It's mymaw again. I'm running backwards here. I read Julie and Julia #6 first...seeing the movie (this weekend) and chasing after your blog messages now. After reading your #6, I had the thought of getting your book and a journal to get my thoughts down on paper. Now, I read your commitment and your willingness to share. Best of Luck and I'm cheering you on. emoticon

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FAITHORATZI 9/1/2009 2:09PM

    This is ridiculously cool!!!!! I love love love your idea. I'm on my way to work but I'd love to read the rest of your blog and see how you're doing. So I'll be back, probably with more comments too.

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 8/23/2009 11:42AM

    This is a huge commitment. By undertaking those things that you left undone in the past shows that you are ready to step into uncomfortable and uncharted subject matter in an effort to gain insight into yourself. Sometimes this is painful and that is why the books collect dust; we simply choose not to go there. You must be feeling emotionally strong and ready to tackle some beasts. I applaud you!!@#!!

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 8/23/2009 11:42AM

    This is a huge commitment. By undertaking those things that you left undone in the past shows that you are ready to step into uncomfortable and uncharted subject matter in an effort to gain insight into yourself. Sometimes this is painful and that is why the books collect dust; we simply choose not to go there. You must be feeling emotionally strong and ready to tackle some beasts. I applaud you!!@#!!

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 8/23/2009 11:42AM

    This is a huge commitment. By undertaking those things that you left undone in the past shows that you are ready to step into uncomfortable and uncharted subject matter in an effort to gain insight into yourself. Sometimes this is painful and that is why the books collect dust; we simply choose not to go there. You must be feeling emotionally strong and ready to tackle some beasts. I applaud you!!@#!!

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WATERMELN 8/22/2009 10:40PM

    I know what you mean about the books collecting dust. I subscribed to 2 magazines at the first of the year. Every month they accumulate in a stack. I am working on the "March" issue of one of them and will (maybe) make it through the 2 1-year subscriptions in 5 years or so. I am 66 now, so sometime in my 70s I should catch up. lol Susan emoticon

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TALLTABBY 8/22/2009 9:24PM

  Wow that is cook. I have heard about the movie, but I have not seen it. I wish I had the guts to try something like that. I tend to be picky about what I try. I wish you the best of luck.

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TRAVELGRRL 8/22/2009 8:07PM

    I hope you do this! I'll be following you!


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SPIRITSEEKER2 8/22/2009 7:59PM

   

I would love to follow your blog and see what comes of the book experience. I am a good one for getting books with good intentions ( recently got 2 art journal books for inspiration ...:0) ) and there they sit.. you should see my shelf's of cook books diet, healthy eating.. etc.. books too.... good luck on your venture !!

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Overcoming Challenges

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Wow . . . what a week. It was full of personal challenges which made it difficult to find time to stick with my goals. I did the best that I could and am feeling great about the journey.

Personal Challenge #1 was getting some bad news about my recent lab work and just working through that process in my head. I am making it my goal to look at additional items that I consume on a daily basis . . . saturated fat, trans fat, fiber, cholesterol and sodium. They've been added to my radar.

Personal Challenge #2 was just a busy, busy week at work facing some challenges I had not faced before. It made for a really stressful week, which I tried to manage by getting more sleep. I've really been trying to focus on getting eight hours whenever I can.

Personal Challenge #3 was just not having as much free time for exercise this week. I tried to fit it in where I could, but it was no easy task. Perhaps I was focusing on getting enough sleep?

Just the mere fact that I'm still working through this process is a good sign. I have now lost 16 pounds in just under four weeks. I will take it . . . knowing full well that the number is big because I'm in the early stages.

I will get there. I WILL GET THERE!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BIG_SCOTS_LASS 8/16/2009 3:20PM

    16lbs in one month is not to be sniffed at! Great job. You're obviously doing something right. Keep it up.

emoticon

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WISTFULVISTA 8/16/2009 1:16PM

    And I feel SURE that you'll get there! It sounds like you're already at work on Personal Challenge #1, and you've wisely added more sleep to #2 emoticon, and you've already isolated #3 for future work. You're actually pretty good at tackling those challenges - emoticon - Susan

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Keeping the Spark: New Friends and Inspiration

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Personal gain this week . . . getting inspiration from new friends.

I've nearly completed my third week of this new journey and I've lost 12 pounds. I'll certainly take it, but what I'm learning along the way is of even greater value. I have read others' blogs and in doing so have discovered some new things about myself - my thoughts, my hopes, my struggles, etc.

First, I've learned that in addition to weight loss, there are a number of goals that I need to list, which I will work on in the coming week. Not weight loss goals, but rather personal achievement goals. For example, to go to a movie and not worry if I'll be uncomfortable in the seat. To go out to dinner and not be self-conscious about being the overweight person who is eating. I overcame one such goal this week . . . not having the Wii Fit tell me that I exceed the weight limit. That's one that I'll take, for sure. So I'll work on those goals in the coming week.

Second, and in order to accomplish my goals, I've also learned that I need to start thinking of myself the way that I want to be. I have to start thinking of myself as a thinner person. That's going to be a great feat for me, because I've never been thin. But it's something I need to accomplish and work toward.

My third and final item this week was a revelation and an admission. I had my annual physical this week, and it was mentally draining. I have a great general practitioner, and I told her about Spark. She gave me encouragement, and for the first time in my three years of seeing her, she asked me if I had ever considered weight loss surgery. What obese person hasn't thought about it? I told her that if I can't get my head on straight, how could I ever consider weight loss surgery. How could I consider putting a lap band on, or gastric bypass, and then perhaps overeating to the point of making myself sick. The battle is in my head, not my stomach. She told me she thought I was a very intelligent woman. While it was a difficult appointment, her comment about my intelligence just made my day.

I definitely have given up dieting over achieving a healthy lifestyle. That is indeed my biggest accomplishment in the last few weeks. The even bigger accomplishment will be in sticking with it. In keeping the spark!

Let's all keep the spark. If we can find a supply of sparklers, let's light one a week to remind us to keep the spark.

  


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