GIRLIE603   23,514
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Who from Whoville

Saturday, October 03, 2009

I can't help but remember the story of the Grinch, who attempted to steal Christmas from the Who's down in Whoville. He was stunned that after all was taken, Christmas still came. I recall him saying, "It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes, or bags."

Well, I am not stunned, but rather enlightened. I reached the 30 pound mark today. At just under the 11 week mark, I have lost 30 pounds. I feel like a Who in Whoville. Why? Because . . . It came without dieting. It came without pills. It came without surgery, gimmicks or any bills.

I found a free site that has changed my life. I've found support from so many people just a click away, and you all inspire me to do my best. I'm eating healthy, and I'm making changes. But I'm still living my life. What amazes me too, is that in the last eleven weeks since being a part of this site, I have been through some very stressful situations and I am still here. I lost my sister very suddenly, just a few days after joining Spark, and then another dear family member just one week later. Yet here I am feeling stronger than I have in a year or so. I'm dealing with stressful situations better than I ever have in my life.

I spent some time today looking at my goals on my Sparkpage, and I made some changes to them. I am gearing up for another milestone and will be working to set additional goals.

My sincere gratitude to all of you on the journey with me who encourage me each day. I hope that we all reach our goals together. And please know that if you ever need encouraging words, I am just a click away.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TALLTABBY 10/7/2009 9:07PM

  I am soo glad to see that you are thriving here on spark. Just think there are more suprising things to come. But here is you bow for your weight loss emoticon

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SPIRITSEEKER2 10/4/2009 11:22AM


so sorry about your losses and so close together..
but congrats on loosing the weight !! wa hoo !!!!!

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MINXXA 10/3/2009 10:14PM

  Sorry about your sister doll! You are amazing to be dealing with so much, and 30 pounds that's freaking amazing!!!

You're a strong lady, don't forget that. And if you need reminding, you know where we are.

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DESERT_BIRD 10/3/2009 1:39PM

    Great blog post! I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sister and other family member. You are incredibly strong! I look forward to reading more about your journey. Keep up the good work!

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #13

Thursday, October 01, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #13

Days Remaining: 111

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

#13 - Retail Therapy Is As Important as the Other Kind

For those of you who check in on my blog regularly, I hope I didn't scare you off with yesterday's post. The timing of a post about lying just couldn't have come at a more opportune time, and unfortunately I used it to vent. Today I am feeling much better after deciding that perhaps I need to move on and find a new position. Amazing that once you find a decision that works for you, even though you might disagree with the events that got you there, how you breathe easier.

But moving onto #13 . . . I promise to be a bit more lighthearted. But I have to tell you. I'm stumped on this one. Really, really stumped. They're suggesting I go shopping as one of the fifty ways to feel thin, gorgeous and happy? In all honesty, a shopping experience might make me feel fat, ugly and unhappy. Seriously!

When I was younger, there was nothing better than a trip to the mall with friends. It was what you did. Almost like a rite of passage. After I was married and had kids, shopping was what we did on the weekends to get away from the house. Pack the kids into the stroller and go. I actually recall enjoying it. I think I even used to enjoy Christmas shopping. But when money was tight, or when I argued with my husband over big purchases, shopping became something negative for me. I always wanted things I couldn't see, and frankly, window shopping just isn't for me.

The author of this book obviously loves shopping, and so for those of you who also love it I will pass on to you that shopping ignites your senses. If it gives you pleasure and makes you feel beautiful, then it is worth doing. Take advantage of the sales where you can and enjoy.

But If you're like me and prefer internet shopping (where Annie's Cinnamon Pretzels and Mrs. Fields are not lurking around the corner), then by all means . . . join me as we browse the internet. Take advantage of free shipping wherever you can. And tell your husband to "pipe down" about the shipping boxes.

I hope that #14 has a little more substance for me. For now, I'm off to surf the net for scrapbooking supplies. I believe that #13 just gave me permission.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPIRITSEEKER2 10/2/2009 6:32PM


I had always been strapped for money, so shopping is not something I can get happy about- and I want everything- so window shopping which my mother thought was great was just upsetting for me...

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PFLEEG 10/2/2009 9:01AM

    I think the author is suggesting take time to treat yourself. So, if shopping is not for you, maybe get a manicure or pedicure, an hour massage, take in a movie, go to a museum, sign up for a class, etc. Take the time to treat yourself to something that lifts you up. :)

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MINXXA 10/2/2009 1:53AM

  I too used to love shopping. But now it's a little frustrating, especially with trying to pay off bills and save money-- unscrupulous impulse buys are not my friend!

What I've learned to do is enjoy buying the things I really need. Like grocery shopping. I love going to Trader Joe's and getting a box of sweet tomatoes... some hummus, simple things but things I love and that are good for me!

Also, I have a list of things I want/need... and when I feel the need I go and purchase one of those. I take my time, find the one I REALLY want, and the best price... and go for it. Right now I have my sights set on this really cool two level metal "tiffin" (it's a stainless steel lunch box so that you don't waste bags and don't use so much plastic). You can fit a lunch and snacks in there for work, and you can get a little carry case that it slips into to take with you wherever. It's a bit of a splurge, but I can use it for years and it reinforces me packing my lunch and makes it more enjoyable--- I can see spending money on that!!

Anyway... those are my retail tricks, I know there has to be more out there!!


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MYMAWSCRAPS 10/1/2009 11:50PM

    Yeah, Try , that's my place. I shop there often. The wish list is great...I always have at least 25 items there. Then when I feel the need for retail, sign into paypal and race home from work to get the box and toss it in the guest room before my hubby gets to the porch. Oh PLEASE...DO NOT refer me to Blog #12. This is therapy...not a lie. Love ya!

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #12

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #12

Days Remaining: 112

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

#12 - Do Not Sneak Food or Feelings

Have you ever snuck food? I've snuck food. Sometimes because I didn't want to answer to anyone. Sometimes because I didn't want to have to share. Sometimes because I didn't want my kids seeing me having something that I told them they could not have. When you sneak food, you send yourself a message that you can't be seen. I'm a firm believer that the more you lie, the more difficult it is for you to see the truth. You forget what is really true and you can't find yourself.

This particular chapter is all about sneaking and lying and the effect it has on your psyche. How appropriate this one is, as I've just come off of a week full of lies and deceit. The path of destruction it has left behind is unbelievable. In an office situation, there were some things said by some which were stretched and exaggerated, and then comments made by others over those exaggerations which lead to more things said that were also stretched. And it goes on from there. A web of expanded truths.

The problem with much of this, for me, is that I usually will ignore things and try to move about my day without confrontation. However, I will step up if it is really important. I pick and I choose my battles. In my particular work situation, I'm now being asked to do something that makes me really uncomfortable. I'm being asked to be part of an "intervention" with the boss, to explain her weaknesses and give a list of our needs. Likewise, she is going to present myself and co-workers with a list of her needs from us. What terrifies me about this process is that it has been a three year battle of he said, she said. All through these three years, I've picked a few battles to fight with her. Some I've won. Some I've walked away from shaking my head. But this one can't be won. How do you tell a superior that she twists the truth? How do you tell her that she puts words in your mouth? How do you tell her it's inappropriate for her to discuss your peers with you? How do you tell her it is inappropriate to yell at you in a staff meeting? How do you tell her that she doesn't listen. How do you tell her that just because you didn't disagree, it doesn't mean that you agreed. And how do you tell her these things in an "intervention" setting and expect her to hear them, when she's never heard them from you one on one?

And so coming off of this week, I feel it imperative that I give this one my best shot. So I am going to make a commitment to myself that once a day, I will tell the truth when I might have lied, either by eating what I want in front of whoever is there, or by speaking the truth when I might not have. I might tell someone they've hurt my feelings when I normally would just move on. I might stand up to the boss and tell her that I disagree with how she is handling something. I might fight back a little harder when I realize she has misconstrued my words.

The hard part in this is that it's easy to tell the truth to the people who you care about, and to those who care about you. But it's very different to tell the truth to someone who really doesn't care. I truly don't think that this person really cares.

Eating a piece of candy in front of someone who loves you is highly different than eating one in front of someone who doesn't. The person who cares about you isn't thinking bad thoughts about you. The person who cares about you may know that you took the time to hold back on calories before making the selection. The person who cares might know that you had a stressful day and cut you some slack. But the person who doesn't care might think you are weak and might judge.

And to quote the book, "The reason to tell the truth is to be kind to yourself, and part of being kind to yourself is being able to discriminate between the people who love you and those who don't. "

I'm so confused. But I'll take the high road. Once a day I will tell the truth. But I will start with those I love and those who love me first.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PFLEEG 10/2/2009 8:57AM

    What an empowering blog and challenge you're taking on! I see real growth and increased confidence for you in your near future. (((hugs)))

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MYMAWSCRAPS 10/1/2009 9:41PM

    Hey Girlie,

It's me again...I'm with you on confrontation. I walk away whenever possible. I try to take time to think of all the things I "need" or want to say and go to battle if need be. Most of the time I just carry on, without the battle. I often feel like what I have to say isn't as important as "keeping the peace". In times of possible confrontation I always hear the words of a wise lady (my "other" mother...or step mom for those who don't have "other" mothers). She has said to me once or twice, "Pick your battles carefully and if you can't decide how important the issue is...Say to yourself, "Is this the hill I would want to die on?" She knows me pretty well after all the years she has been married to my dad. One thing she knows is that I like to "keep the peace" and "fix" things. So when she can tell that I'm okay doesn't REALLY mean I'm okay she just says..."I Love You, Please try and take time to do something for yourself today, I trust you to make the right decisions and pick the hill that's right for you. Remember not to let someone elsa choose your hill for you". So...While your week has been tough and chocolateville may be the place for comfort today. I'm just gonna say...You are a wise lady, I am envious of way you see things about yourself and others, envious of the way you seem to handle things, with so much grace and poise. I believe you have picked your hill wisely and for today try take some time to do something for yourself, here's the emoticon, my mom would send me. Thanks for all the things you say in your blogs that remind us we are not alone and for sharing with us, you ARE an inspiration.

Comment edited on: 10/1/2009 11:37:30 PM

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TALLTABBY 10/1/2009 6:15PM

  I am so sorry to hear that your work situation is not getting any better. If wish I had some great piece of advice for you, but I don't. To be honest I don't think that I would have the guts to walk into a meeting with a supervisor and tell them what needs to be said. I would make sure you bring HR into the meeting, other wise it could turn ugly.

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 9/30/2009 10:39PM

    Holy Moly girlfriend that was quite a post. I see no one has responded, they probably don't know where to start. I've read a lot of your posts as I am enjoying the chapters of this book you dug out and dusted off. I'm not sure where to begin with my thoughts. Let's go to sneaking food. We have all done that. What a hoot. The calories are the same whether someone sees you eat it or not so we know we shouldn't be eating it but we want to do it anyway and we don't want to face opinions. That is just us doing something we know is wrong, or stupid. Like sneaking cigarettes or hiding porn. If it's okay then do it right out front and tell people to mind their own business.

This boss of yours sounds like a nightmare. I think the real bottom line here is that nothing you can every do or say will change her. Good grief we can't even change ourselves, etc... But she's just plain ole' mean, a bad supervisor and not good at her job. So remember nothing you can say or do will change her. Until she quits, gets transferred or gets fired you need to focus on YOURSELF. Your survival is what is important here. How do you continue to go to work every day feeling good about life when you don't know what is going to come down the pike at any given time? What a bully!!

So, you take a stand for your values. If you need to disagree with her it would be best to do so in private; as you know it never helps to embarrass her in front of others. If she yells at you or is hugely out of line stay as calm as possible and tell her you don't feel free to express yourself while she is angry. You can try to say why don't we all take a short break from this and come back with cooler heads to discuss the matter. Believe me I do know this is not an easy thing to do. Hostile work environments are tough to prove but she is making that easy.

If you do have to go to her office to tell her what she is doing wrong, perhaps that would be the path to take.. Rather than you do this, you do that it can be presented as a hostile work env.; there is a lot on the internet re this topic. Check it out. But just because you can remain cool does not mean you have to allow her to beat up on you. Walking away while she is screaming at you speaks volumes. Tell her, As long as you are out of control, I cannot hear what you are saying. So I'll step away and give you an opportunity to focus your thoughts in a productive way then we can sit down.

You're a mom right? So, this is just like your kid throwing a tantrum. You can't spank her but you are the adult so you remove yourself from her tantrum arena. If she pushes you to speak your peace then do so as diplomatically as possible. ]

We have a hard time being efficient or concentrating on our work because we never know when you are going to lose control and verbally attack us. It is intimidating and it does not help us work better or faster. If we can't do our work, we can not make you look good.

Good luck to you.

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In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #11

Sunday, September 27, 2009

In the Spirit of Julie and Julia - #11

Days Remaining: 115

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

#11 - Whenever You Feel Fat or Ugly or Worthless, Ask Yourself Whose Instructions You Are Following

In the last few weeks, I have experienced an amount of control over my eating habits that is an absolute personal high. I have survived some stressful days without binge eating. I feel more in control of my life than ever before. And, I'm eating real food. Something is really working, and this control I feel is absolutely unbelievable. I've been Sparking for just over two months and have lost 28 pounds eating real food. Who knew?

So now I come upon #11, and they're asking me to dig. This assignment starts out with a scenario about a grown woman who is following her mother's instructions in her life. It is a way that we supposedly stay connected to our families, even if they live miles and miles away. One short paragraph in the book really resonated with me. "When as children, the people around us were depressed or angry or lonely, we learned that being joyful or feeling good about ourselves was not a great idea. Not if we wanted to be loved."

So we censor our happiness and tailor it around the people we are with. Yes, I think we do. When someone is feeling down or lonely, you don't want to show how happy you are because you want to be supportive of them. I think that is a natural reaction if you are a caring person. I know that for me personally, I will usually try to make people laugh. When someone is in pain over something, my natural reaction is to act like a goof ball and lighten the situation with laughter. Those are my own instructions. And some find it odd, but that's what I do.

But where guilt comes into the picture, that's where it gets a little crazy for me. I feel a lot of guilt. I had a past blog where I talked about the guilt I feel over my house not being clean enough. I'll be the first to admit that it's not a priority, but I'm not going to lie and say that I don't feel guilt about it. At work, I was asked to step up and be "the back up" to the boss. I'm not going to lie and say that when a decision is made, usually that I disagreed with, that I don't feel guilt because I wasn't able to turn her head around to a different line of thinking. I do feel guilt. I can give my opinions, but she's not always listening, and she indeed twists the things that I say.

We need to keep an ongoing list of instructions that we obey or feel guilty about not obeying. So perhaps anything we feel guilty for is something imbedded in our subconscious, and we take it to be the truth. Writing them down is the first step toward disengaging from them. These instructions that make us feel guilt diminish our capacity to feel joy.

So . . . at the top of my list is the guilt I feel over not cleaning on a weekly basis. I have a bucket of guilt over that one that I've filled and emptied countless times through the years. I think there is a pond somewhere filled with just that guilt. It's an instruction that came from mom, who actually cleaned daily. It's not really her instruction verbally, but it's what I came from, and comments she made in my adult life about the way I keep my house have made it her instruction.

I encourage everyone to start a list. Pick your number one . . . put it at the top . . . and in the coming days add to the list as other items come up. List the instruction, and then who it belongs to if it isn't yours. Identifying these items is the true key to moving away from them.

And I leave you with two quotes appropriate to this particular subject.

He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away. ~Raymond Hull

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. ~E.E. Cummings

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYMAWSCRAPS 10/1/2009 11:31PM

    So, Why couldn't that whittling ones self away really work? emoticon I think my #1 would have to be...the guilt I feel about my weight, that I haven't taken care of myself and "let" myself get heavy from lack of whatever thing I've heard about myself over and over from my mom...Her size 3 self owns that one. emoticon Today...I'll just start "trimming" because I want to for myself.

Comment edited on: 10/1/2009 11:33:14 PM

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SPIRITSEEKER2 9/27/2009 6:58PM

    I would have to think about the guilt thing- but as far as joking to lighten a spirit- I defiantly do that !! I did it today when my friend that was moving was over stressed and crying, because her sister and friend were helping and her husband was working- anyway I tried to joke and make her smile and feel better by laughing- she was a hard one- she has a lot of illnesses like me so she just did not feel well too- it was hard on all 4 of us. but we cared about her enough to do it despite our pains...

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I Ate the Whole Bag?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

I'm blogging outside of my book project today. And I have to confess first thing this morning about the bag of candy that I ate last night.

First, let me say that I had the most stressful day ever at work yesterday. It was a day where my managers lies caught up with her, but only after she stirred the pot for weeks and then delivered a bomb shell, throwing members of her staff under the bus to each other over a period of days.

How did I react to yesterday's events? Well, I thought I reacted well. On Friday at 7:30 p.m. I was still at work. I ate an apple. I came home at 8:00 p.m., had a healthy dinner. Amazingly enough, I was still way under my calorie count. So I decided a treat was in order. From the "Eat This, Not That" book I had a serving (one serving) of the Oreo Fudgee cookies which were on the "Eat This" side (and yes, while the book says it is by no means a health cookie, the Fudgees have 20 fewer calories per serving than original Oreos). I actually am not a fan of Oreos, but my daughter had a package before she went to college and asked me to try one. She was excited because she discovered they were vegan. And while I'm not an Oreo fan, I have to say, those things are the bomb. So I bought the Fudgees as a treat . . . the lone "crazy" item on my grocery list. I packaged them into two per baggy and was testing myself.

I've done well. Those cookies arrived on Tuesday, and I've eaten four total, all planned and all within my calorie budget for the day. And yesterday, I handled the day well. However, this morning, I awoke to a starting revelation. Get this folks!

Did anyone know that Reese's and Heath Bar teamed up to make squares that are similar to the Ghirardelli filled squares. They are smooth chocolate, filled with a peanut butter filling, but have bits of toffee that are able to surprisingly come through in taste over the salty taste of the peanut butter. I critiqued them to myself as I ate an entire bag of those delicious little squares. I dug my hand into the bag, and I pulled two or three at a time. I opened their little individual packs and I savored them. Smooth chocolate, peanut butter, and those bits of toffee. They were absolute heaven. I popped them one after the other and just enjoyed.

I was in my scrapbook room (in my house) just in heaven with those little things. And I didn't think it was odd that the scrapbook room was transformed back into my daughter's bedroom. And I didn't think it was odd that my co-worker "Deb" asked me how many I was planning to eat and then chuckled with a snort when I stressfully replied in my sarcastic tone, "Maybe the whole freakin' bag." And I didn't think it was odd when another co-worker (NessaGirl167) countered right after Deb's snort with "Oh, Lawd" in a sing-song tone.

Yes - I ate the whole bag.

Folks - I saw the logo of Heath and Reese's on the package. I tasted it. I experienced it. And then I woke up in horror thinking that I just consumed over 1,000 calories of chocolate. It was a quite the dream.

I'm taking this away as a positive. I'm taking this as a sign. Yesterday was a day that I could have fallen off the deep end completely with the amount of stress. Yet I didn't really even think about it. I just went about the rest of my day, picking up the pieces of my shattered head after a hideous day that is going to be followed in the coming weeks with even more hideous days.

And here is the positive. Twenty-one years ago, I quit smoking. Let me define it further: over two decades ago, I gave up a 10 year, pack and a half habit. It is where much of my weight gain came from. However, to this day I still smoke in my dreams. I started out bumming cigarettes from people in a dream or two, but now I carry my Merit Ultralights in my purse. I've noticed it's an endless pack. I never dream that I'm buying cigarettes, and I often am down to the last few (it's never a full pack). And in my dreams, I go into a small sense of panic that I'm down to the last few and need to buy more. It's always that same pack with just a few of those little white sticks! I've woken up so many times wondering whether or not I really smoked. I've been smoking in my dreams for 21 years. But I've never touched a cigarette in my waking hours.

I take this as a sign. I didn't wake up craving chocolates that don't even exist (although perhaps I should send a note to Reese's and Heath and get them in their test kitchens together). I woke up with slight sense of panic, and then I realized. Oh, that was just a dream.

Ponder this one, if I can smoke in my dreams for 21 years, perhaps I can binge only in my dreams as well. I have to believe it is a sign.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYMAWSCRAPS 9/26/2009 10:51PM

    What a GREAT way to end a stressful day...Chocolate. Actually...I ate a 3musketeer the other day...really ate it. I'm gonna try to dream mine next time too. Maybe then I won't be "Grumpy". Oh!! by the way the 3 musketeer didn't make me "Happy".

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TALLTABBY 9/26/2009 5:35PM

  WOW that is one heck of a dream. I am so glad that was just a dream. When I read the title of your blog I was already to tell you to get back on track. emoticon

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LOVELYANGE 9/26/2009 9:51AM

    Great story...I think you may be onto something! However, I didn't need to know about the Reeses/Heath I'm off to find them emoticon

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CRANBYRRE 9/26/2009 9:39AM

    Wow, that's an incredible story! I think your right, its a sign.

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