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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 9

Friday, November 11, 2011

Savor every bite.

I have never been a fast eater. I'm the one that people used to yell at to hurry up at Thanksgiving dinner. My family had already finished their seconds and was waiting for me to finish so they could start dessert. It doesn't mean I didn't eat a lot, I would eat plenty, just slowly. The one thing that did do is keep eating, and eating, and eating.

By using the Principles of Mindful Eating I have been able to tone down the over-eats. I no longer eat until I'm sick because I'm so full. I use portion control and sometimes will throw away even that amount of food if I feel full.

By focusing on eating and paying ationtion to my body. I have been able to feel when I am full, or getting close to full.

By paying attention to the food I am eating: texture, smell, appearance and, the best part, flavor, I am able to enjoy my food and feel satisfied instead of just eating for eatings sake.

By truly tasting and taking my time, I can eat one small square of YUMMY dark chocolate (w-chili and lime) and not eat the whole bar. The second bite never tastes as good as the first, I have been working on that bar of chocolate for 2 weeks... and I still have several squares to go!

I'm putting a small challenge out to you. The next time you eat, take your time. Truly TASTE your food with your eyes, nose, mouth (hands if it's a 'touchy' food). Don't sit at the tv. Turn on some nice, soothing music. Heck, light a candle and break out the 'guest' dishes, even if you're alone or with kids. Make it a calm environment.

Take your time and think about your eating.
Does the first bite tast different from the second?
Does it taste the same while it's getting warmer/cooler?
Does the taste change when you drink in between bites?
Does the food bring memories/feelings of events that have happened?

Here is a link to an article on the "Principles of Mindful Eating":

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOBINVA 11/11/2011 10:38PM

    It was once pointed out to me that I chew slowly and breath really deep when I am eating. I was self conscious then and a girl told me. It is amazing how much more you taste when you breath and eat slowly.

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 8

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Make time for yourself. Pursuing personal growth is just as important as spending time with others. Pencil in some "me" time, even if it's just a few minutes each day.

I'm single, no pets, no roommates, have a M-F 9-5 job (if I'm not out on the course or at a special event).

My problem is not HAVING "me" time. It's making better use of "me" time. I have been spending too much time staring at a list of all the cool things that I could do. I have been spending too much time catching up on tv shows and watching movies. I have been spending too much time... wasting time.

What I need to do to make room for personal growth is Go Back to the Beginning... These are the key places I need to work on:

A. Clean off my art desk. Gather motivational quotes. Get my artistic self to work.
B. Clean and organize my house. So that my time at home is comfortable, not CHAOS.
C. Stop watching re-runs on tv. If I'm going to watch, I need to limit my time. Too often, I sit down in front of the box and just get drawn in, waking up several hours later, tasks not completed
D. Stop making excuses. I am in control of the food I put in my body. I am in control of the action (or inaction) I take at home, at work and at the gym. I am in control of my schedule, shopping, chores etc. I need to take responsibility and take action for my world.

Might as well make my "me" time work for me. Then I can be a better friend, better employee, better mentor, better person.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIKO1908 11/9/2011 11:48PM

    I need to work on improving my "me time" too...I'm thinking I should be doing this 30 day thing right along with you...hand in hand... :)

Keep at it Girl!! :)

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BOBINVA 11/9/2011 9:51PM

    Enjoy your you time.

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 7

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Smile! Grinning, even if you don't feel happy, releases serotonin in the brain, instantly lifts your mood and makes you feel better.

I try to do this as much as possible. Often, I am seen as weird stocker lady when I do emoticon. But it is true. Smiling makes you feel better, which can put the people you are with at ease

Here's an example. Recently, I went to a chain store. The poor lady behind the desk was dealing with a bunch of jerk customers. The line was slow, the process was slow, the computers were slow... and I was at the end of the line. I could have been grumpy bitch customer, but I opted to show some sympathy to the poor employee. It is not her fault that the computer made an error. It is not her fault that another customer bought the wrong size, product, color that needs to be returned. It's not her fault that the only manager on the floor had to deal with several issues at the same time and was running around getting everything done.

When I got up to the counter, she started the transaction by apologizing. I stopped her right then, smiled, and told her it was okay. Just take your time and we'll get the problem fixed. By the end of the exchange, I had my credit duly made to my account. She had done her job perfectly and we were both happier for it. I thanked her smiled again and she reached out patted my hand and thanked ME for being so nice.

"Plus, smiling people are viewed as sincere, attractive, and sociable."

Last Saturday I was sitting by myself at the bar of a local restaurant. Seemed like all my friends were out and about and I felt like not being home alone, so I wasn't. I could have easily ignored everyone around me. But I smiled at everyone who came and went while I was watching the football game and flirting (not seriously because he was maybe 25) with the bartender. Had I not chatted and smiled with the people close to me, I would have never seen the young lady I used to work with 8 years ago. We had a great chat, caught up on gossip and life.

By smiling at strangers, I have met some amazing people. I have made tiring situations tollerable. It has made days that can be lonely, wonderful.

The more you smile, the more smiles you’ll see in return.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANTISHANTI 11/11/2011 1:38PM

    emoticon...gotta remember to do this on an hourly basis.

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BOBINVA 11/9/2011 11:49AM


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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~ Day 6 (one day late...)

Monday, November 07, 2011

Find meaningful work.

I know that I need to re-evaluate how I do my job. It's an okay job, but I need to be more organized at it. Seems like I'm always playing catch up and the piles of paperwork on my desk are beginning to not only look bad, but get really frustrating.

We were asked by our CEO last week to come up with a "Mission Statement" for our postion and goals and objectives for our department departments.

(Once again, I think that SparkPeople is spying on me!!)

Part of what I will include in my plan will be "A positive attitude and a focus on the meaning behind your work more rewarding. "

What I do won't change the world. I don't save lives or cure cancer or anything like that. My job is running the Course Rating (Handicapping for Golf Courses) Department. It affects every member of the Oregon Golf Association (about 42,000 people). My job is to train and recruit my pool of volunteers, organize and assess all courses to be rated, conduct and release ratings for 30+ golf courses a year, and be sure that all information is as updated and as current as possible.

I found a great article on "Happiness At Your Job Through A Higher Purpose"

"Without such purpose, all you have are miserable, lowly, repetitive, unrewarding tasks. With purpose, you lead a high and noble life that is filled with meaning and purpose and value."

I need to re-evaluate and re-purpose my attitude for my job. I know that will make the days easier to wake up, get ready and drive to a job where I have purpose.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DTSOBEL 11/8/2011 2:06PM

    Making any job more meaningful is important. I am glad you are finding a purpose.

I need to work on those piles of papers on my desk too.

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ALASKASKY 11/8/2011 6:01AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BOBINVA 11/7/2011 8:58PM

    Volunteer? It can be pretty meaningful.

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30 Days to Greater Happiness ~Day 5

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Take action. It boils down to this, if there is something in your life that you don't like, make a plan, take charge and change it.

Some days I think the staff at SparkPeople are spying on me!?!

I have never been good at housekeeping/organizing. My apartment has gotten totally out of control to the point where I didn't want to come home. It was so overwhelming that I didn't know where to start. Living in CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) was taxing me to my soul.

A friend of mine suggested FlyLady . The system is a bit like SparkPeople in that you start with small steps and build. I started with the "shine your sink" philosophy. I make sure every night before I go to bed that my dishes are done and the sink is clean.

It's amazing how it just builds from there. Wash sink, clean counter, fold the clothes you were going to wait until one tomorrow or another came up.

When I'm done with the sink, I set up breakfast, get my gym bag and lunch ready for the next day. I sleep a bit better with the knowledge that I can relax a little in the morning and not run around like a chicken who can't find her cut off head.

Today I took an extra step an cleaned out my closet of clothes that are too big, or that I just won't wear. First time through and I took 3 giant bins of clothes to Dress for Success. It's a program that trains and finds jobs for women who are returning to work. Wether stay at home moms re-entering work world or people coming back from addiction or injury, the program provides training and professional clothing for women who need a hand up. I felt so good bringing all those clothes, good, clean,business attire, that I can't wear anyway. All it was doing was slowing me down and clogging up my closets. Now I can see what I have, what I need to get, and what is available. I feel better and I got to help someone.

I still have a long way to go. But I have hope. And I'm looking foreword to the day I can have
friends over again.

Part of my Take Action initiative will also be re-evaluating my goals and methods of getting healthy. I know that slow is the best way to go. But I've been making too many excuses. I have come too far to stop now. I know that I can maintain, but I still have more to lose and more exercise goals to meet.

So there it is SparkFriends. New plan coming soon. I'd do it now, but I have to remember Day 2s blog and get to sleep. It's almost 11:30! And I have planning to do tomorrow!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANTISHANTI 11/11/2011 1:39PM

    Make a plan, take charge and change simple yet I make it so complicated at times. Awesome!!!

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BOBINVA 11/6/2011 5:16PM

    If we keep moving forward, no matter the pace, we will make progress.

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ERIKO1908 11/6/2011 5:11PM

    I suffer from CHAOS too!! I reside on the edge of it...not a fun place to be...Good luck on these changes you are making. I've clicked to follow FlyLady on Twitter, but haven't gotten much further than that...HUGS to you!! Happy Sparking!!

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TINATC26 11/6/2011 7:55AM

    Gretchen, I love this blog!! I love CHAOS!! Well, I don't love it, but I love the name and am afraid I suffer from so much of the same!

Keep up the good work, my friend, it is helping you AND inspiring me! You know, many years ago, I had a thought about the very work Dress for Success is doing! I think I might even have found out about it, and was looking around to see if I could find a place to put one..then life changed again and I forgot about it, until just now.. hmmm....

Off to my Sunday, my friend, but a great big thank you for a great blog!!

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