Sunday, December 27, 2009
Year 2009 was somewhat uneventful and yet I feel as though I’ve made great progress internally. I didn’t succeed in losing weight. In fact, I started out the year on January 4 at 195.6 and ended it on December 27 at 208.8. I had reached 200lbs. on January 25 and never got below it since. I mostly bounced back and forth between 202 and 209 the entire year. But I never gave up. I was constantly picking myself back up and re-committing. Reflecting back, I think it was a year that I had to do some inner work and introspection before I could succeed at changing my outer reflection.
I’ve come to realize that my weight isn’t the issue at all. It’s the parts of my life that have been unsatisfying that lead me to behave in a way that caused me to overeat and gain weight. If I don’t get to the root of what’s missing in my life, I will continue sabotaging my efforts. I’m coming closer and closer to knowing what that missing link is.
Although I was never okay with my body carrying 200+ pounds on my 5’6” medium frame, I have become satisfied with myself as a spiritual being. That’s something that has evolved over many years and during 2009 I truly came to know my inner self and I became content with who I am. I began to be more nurturing and wanting to explore just what truly gives me joy and inner satisfaction.
What I discovered is that the thing that is most important to me and is the indicator of how well I am lined up with my purpose and my truth can be summed up in one word: PEACE. Peace in all areas of my life. PEACE = simplicity, joyfulness, balance, and moderation in all things.
The main motivating factor for my quest to achieve a healthy body weight is peace. The peace that comes from having the energy to do the things my mind and soul want to do. The peace that comes with knowing that I am taking the best possible care of my body to prevent illness and physical pain. The peace that comes from feeling content with myself enough to rise above the actions and words of others that might otherwise tend to be hurtful.
I am working towards a peaceful indifference to food, meaning that food is not the main focus and centerpiece of my life. Food is fuel and food is also a source of pleasure; however, excess fuel and excess pleasure are never a good thing. There’s a spa in Skaneateles called Mirbeau that I love to go to. The waiting area for massages/treatments is a little bit of heaven on earth with a warm wading pool, recliners to relax in, a warm glow in the fireplace, soft lighting and melodic soft music. I also truly enjoy the dining experience there. The décor inside the dining room as well as the view outside the windows is extremely beautiful and serene.
Their meal presentations are as appetizing to the eye as they are pleasing to the taste buds. The one important significance is that the portions are extremely moderate. High in quality while low in quantity. Less is more.
Eating a moderate meal which pleases all senses of sight, smell, and taste; while eating it slowly enough to appreciate the flavor, is the ultimate in dining pleasure and yet it leads to temperance and not overindulgence. My goal is to duplicate the same feel and atmosphere into my own home and prepare my meals in the same spa-like manner.
Another component of peace is letting go.
Letting go of the past. Letting go of disappointments and hurts, thereby allowing forgiveness. Being okay with whatever is happening at this moment. Accepting every person unconditionally, just as they are. Accepting unchangeable situations exactly as they are and moving beyond the circumstances. The Serenity Prayer is one of the wisest pieces ever written.
Peaceful acceptance is a challenge and doesn’t come easy but the rewards are so great that it’s something I am striving to be constantly aware of and work towards moment to moment.
Another thing I learned over the year is that actions speak louder than words. A lot of my blogs earlier in the year contained all these details about what I was going to do and why I was going to do it. It all sounded great on paper. The problem being that I was spending a lot of time planning and writing about my plans and not enough time executing them. I realize that it’s more important to do something rather than to talk about it. The proof is in the pudding so to speak, and I’d rather show the results than talk about how I’m going to get there sometime in the future.
I’ve also learned that it’s better to listen and to feel and be reflective than it is to talk about myself and my so-called troubles and challenges. Dwelling on something almost always makes it bigger. Focusing on others makes my own problems fade away in the distance. Most times, while being supportive to someone else, a lot of it sprinkles back on me. I learn more about how to deal with my own issues from being present and helping someone else than when I try to figure out my own solutions in my mind. I’m too close to the subject to be of any use to myself. But when I reach out to another, the wisdom and blessings come back to me…the proverbial light bulb moment. It’s then when I am communicating from the vastness within rather than from the limited knowledge of the mind. I love that I have realized this and have been able to practice it more and more.
So looking back, I do believe I have made great strides and progress throughout 2009. I’d like to think I’m ready to commit and make the permanent lifestyle changes that will bring me to my weight goal by the end of the year. I have the desire and feel like I’m there, but only time will tell.
My mantra for 2010 is PEACE. Peace will always be in the forefront of my mind and it will be the deciding factor in all my decisions: will this choice bring me peace or will it push me away from peace? That’s all I need to know. As long as I am moving in the rhythm of peace, my life will flow as it should and I will feel a tranquility that exceeds any fleeting happiness that comes from the physical and the material.
Wishing you all a happy, healthy, prosperous and peaceful new year 2010.
The link below is to a YouTube video that I watch and listen to at least once every day. It makes me feel wonderful and warm inside and inspires me to live a healthy and peaceful life.
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.
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