Friday, December 04, 2009
The holidays are once again upon us. I've struggled with holiday blues almost every single year for the last 20 or so years. It's not a happy time for me like is often depicted in the movies. It's a time when I find it especially hard to resist all the baked goods and extra food. Not only because food is more plentiful during this time, but I also feel more negative emotions (tension, stress, sadness, and melancholy) which trigger emotional eating.
I mostly find myself going through the motions and feeling quite relieved when January 1 arrives. I said to myself this morning, "Just 4 more weeks and it's over." Then I realized that's no way to live. I want to embrace every day and feel happy no matter what the circumstance.
Not that it's an easy thing to do, but by changing my perception and attitude regarding the holiday season I can feel serene and even joyful during this time. It's entirely up to me. I can think about those things I lack or I can dwell upon the positive things in my life that I have to be grateful for. I can choose to see sadness, grief, and dreary days ahead or I can look at every day as a miracle and see with the eyes of a child all the simple things in life as wonderous, exciting miracles.
The same goes for my goal of weight loss. I can approach it with an attitude of difficulty, drudgery, deprivation and hardship. Or I can get up each day with a sense of pride and exhilaration that each day that goes by I am moving towards feeling better physically and emotionally. I can want to only put life sustaining foods in my body. There's a big difference between abstaining through sheer willpower versus not having the slightest desire to partake in foods that harm my body. I can look forward to how my body responds to exercise and gets fitter as the days and weeks go by.
Wayne Dyer says, "When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change".
What do you choose to see?
Old woman or young lady:
Old man and old woman or young man serenading young woman:
Woman looking into a vanity mirror, or a skull:
They're all there. It's how we choose to see things that counts.
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Holiday time is upon us, and it's typically one filled with mixed emotions for me. It stirs up feelings of sadness and grief for my parents who have passed on, and also brings up feelings of emptiness and lack because it wasn't in the cards for me to have children of my own. Then there's the stress of shopping in crowded places, finding the right gifts, and spending money on a retirement budget.
My pattern has been to turn to food for comfort, which isn't hard to do because Thanksgiving and Christmas are holidays very much centered around food...more socializing, large banquet-type meals, pies and fancy cookies. My average gain during November and December has in the past been as much as 5-8 pounds.
So I thought about going into this year's holiday season and how I can make this one different.
The first thing that comes to mind is portion control and moderation. ..
remembering beforehand that those second helpings make me feel bloated and sick...
The best strategy is to just take a taste of the fat-laden side dishes while filling the majority of my plate with more healthier fare...
(sometimes the fresh juicy apple IS just as delicious as the apple pie with the crust made with lard)
It's important to plan ahead to make healthy dishes available and budget calories wisely...don't just leave it to chance and hope I don't gain.
But If I don't do perfectly, don't throw in the towel and give myself an excuse to keep on overeating. It's just one meal, or one day, I can get back on track at any moment.
Holidays are meant to be enjoyed so allow yourself some special treats...this is not the time to swear off all desserts and go cold turkey.
Also most important is making sure I exercise daily no matter how busy the day gets...
And drink lots of water to fill me up and flush out toxins
Don't put attention and focus on food; instead put it on connecting with family and on gratitude for all the blessings that I have.
Take time to breathe and meditate and keep my peace throughout the season...
Enjoy and take notice of the miracle of nature..
Keep my attitude positive...
And, at all times, keep my eye on the prize....Do I want to eat extra food and lots of goodies....or do I want this:
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Yesterday I watched the Oprah show and she had on a woman who was attacked by a 200 pound monkey. The monkey was a pet who belonged to her friend /employer, and she said she had always feared him. Yet, when her friend called her to ask for help when he got out of his cage, this woman got into her car and drove over without the slightest hesitation.
It's miraculous that she survived the attack and a blessing that she has no memory of it. She will never see again, and she wears a hat with a scarf attached to cover her face because she "doesn't want to scare anyone". She is missing all her fingers, except that they were able to re-attach her right thumb.
As I watched this beautiful spirit, tears streamed down my face. How does someone who experiences something like that go on, let alone have such a great attitude about life? Never once did she complain or blame or feel sorry for herself. Here I was, feeling bad that I have to have surgery on the side of my face that may leave a one inch scar. She put things into perspective for me. Hearing her story and seeing her courage has helped me to not fear my surgery next week.
My husband and I talked about it this morning as we sat at the kitchen table. Seeing her had touched both of us and we became extremely grateful for all that we have.
So many people endure such horrendous things and I marvel at their strength. There is a contestant on The Biggest Loser who had lost her husband (who she refers to as the love of her life), her 5 year old daughter, and her baby boy who was only 2 and 1/2 weeks old. They were all killed in a horrific car crash. I can't even wrap my mind around that kind of grief. Her whole family wiped out in an instant, and yet she is so full of faith and hope and simply beautiful inside.
Knowing there are many people in the world who have suffered unimaginable tragedies and come through it with such grace makes me realize even more that the outer layer of our being is not important. Who we are is that spirit inside that knows no limits and has no vanity...just pure unconditional love.
While it's good to work on the outer me, I want more than ever to work on the inner me. To stay ever-mindful of what's really important in life. To keep my peace and show my love even when things seem difficult....allowing my beauty to come from within and shine outward towards everyone I come in contact with. That is my desire, and that is my daily prayer.
Sunday, November 08, 2009
What a polar opposite to how I felt just 4 weeks ago! Back in control of eating, logging in my calories, exercising every day, and starting to feel like I'm back in it. I've only lost 5.6 lbs. since 10-11, but the other benefits are priceless.
I LOVE my Polar F6 heart monitor. Now I can accurately assess how many calories I'm burning as well as how many I am taking in. I did a 2 mile WATP and burned 167 calories last Wednesday. Thursday I did a 3 mile WATP and burned 242 calories. Skipped Friday but did a 51 min. outdoor walk Saturday and burned 336 calories. Today's walk was 52 min. and I burned 317 calories.
I'm re-discovering the joy of fresh fruit and vegetables and cooking healthy entrees. I'm enjoying the good feeling of watching tv in the evening with a comfortably satisfied feeling in my stomach with no need or desire to raid the fridge.
I have an overwhelming desire to take care of myself in all areas of my life. I have sufferred Seasonal Affective Disorder for several years now and just muddled through it while going through terrible bouts of depression during the winter and early spring. I know 100% that I have it because when the sun is shining, even on a cold winter's day, I feel upbeat and energetic and ready to seize the day. On those dark, damp, dreary gray days, all I want to do is curl up on the couch and not face the world. Even in the summer I get depressed when we get too many cloudy days in a row. I decided to stop just getting by and try a light box. They're quite expensive, but Dr. Fuhrman just advertised one on sale and I'm going to bite the bullet and get it.
All I have to do is set it up on my computer desk and keep it on for 30 minutes while I'm on the computer. If it doesn't work, at least I tried something to take control. And, best case scenario, it might make a big difference in the way I feel. One reason to conquer this ailment is that I generally tend to eat more and slack off on exercise when I'm feeling down. But the best reason is that I deserve to feel good each and every day. I have the right to get up each morning no matter what the circumstance of the day and look forward to each moment of precious life.
I want to do everything and anything to start feeling good about me.
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