Sunday, November 06, 2011
Last week I wrote a blog about brushing my teeth with my left (non-dominant) hand and how difficult it was. I wanted to report that I am making progress. I think I've done it for 5 days now, and while I'm getting marginally better at it, I still have to go over the teeth using my right hand when I think I'm done. So, while I seem to be learning how to use my left hand for brushing my teeth, I haven't noticed any changes in improving my will power, which after all was the reason I started the whole process. Maybe it's too soon to tell—I think I'll keep trying for a while. If you wonder what I'm talking about, check out my last blog!! LOL! I can tell you that it IS giving me a new appreciation for all those folks who have had to learn to do things with the opposite hand (stroke and accident victims, e.g.).
We live about ¼ mile from a major highway that we can see from our front windows. It is called the Avenue of the Saints because it was built to connect St. Paul, MN to St. Louis, MO, and because of that, the original highway, which runs right in front of our house, became a rural state road with little traffic. That's why I can walk on a paved road with a great degree of safety. But, I digress...every year about now we can easily see the traffic on the busy highway because the crops have been harvested and there's nothing obstructing our view.
The semi-annual migration of snowbirds is visible on the highway! RVs of all descriptions are migrating south—motorhomes towing their toads (that's what they're called, honest), usually with a ladder and bicycle strapped on, pickups towing the 5th wheels with bicycles and lawn chairs on the back, and various and sundry vehicles towing travel trailers. They're all looking for somewhere warm to spend the winter months, and many traveling in this area are heading to south Texas. Once they get to Texas they're called Winter Texans and they spend their time going to flea markets, pot lucks, music jams and dances, volunteering, and visiting and shopping in what may be the last safe place in Mexico (Nuevo Progresso). They have to come back home in the Spring to rest up, which usually begins happening about mid-March. I know all this because we used to be Winter Texans, but last year ventured a little further (? farther) afield to Arizona. We'll go to Arizona in January for a couple months again this year, but we no longer have an RV so have to rent a place to stay.
Lastly, we had our grandsons for a visit this weekend. Isaac (8) and Ian (5) are typical rambunctious boys who still like to come see us for a few days. There is one regional restaurant chain they like to visit called the Pizza Ranch, which serves pizza, broasted chicken, salad, etc. Saturday evening we took them for dinner and they both ate a good meal, including milk and salad. Isaac was trying to eat a couple more bites of pizza when he said, “I'm so full my stomach hurts.” Before I could say anything, Ian said to him, “Well, Isaac, if you're full, stop eating!” For heaven sakes...how come no one ever said that to me? I can't believe a 5 year old would get it and I still can't seem to get it through my head!
I think that's enough of today's mindless wanderings. At least it isn't mindless eating at the moment! Wishing you all a wonderful week and many successful days ahead!
Monday, October 31, 2011
Got your attention, didn't I??
Have you read one of today's daily blog post about developing or improving your will power? If you haven't, check it out. I heard the author who was quoted on an NPR program a while back and thought his ideas on will power were pretty interesting.
He says we can start with two things that will help us to develop more will power. One is to sit up straight (Mom was right). The other is to brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand..
Okay, I'm thinking...I can try those things. It was time to brush my teeth anyway. I'm right handed, so I decided to try my left as advised. First of all...I couldn't even decide how I was supposed to hold the brush. After I finally got that figured out, I managed to poke myself in the nose with the brush—full of toothpaste, of course. Okay...got it in my mouth and I was stuck again. Which side of my mouth should I brush first? I know it didn't matter, but it was like being in a foreign country where you don't speak the language. I couldn't figure it out, but perseverance pays off and soon I was brushing away on the upper level. More or less, that is. After many gyrations and many minutes, I decided I had done a half-way decent job. But wait...half-way was the key here, as I hadn't done the inside of the teeth yet. Back to work with more gyrations and minutes, and finally I decided I'd done it. Sparkling clean and fresh!!
I'm not entirely sure how this is supposed to help improve my will power, but I'm all for making it better. The one thing I do know is that it took me almost 10 minutes to brush my teeth...10 minutes that I wasn't spending eating and or thinking about eating, and I also got a little exercise at the same time with all the physical activity needed to get the job done. I think Roy Baumeister might be on to something here. I can't wait to find out if I have good results with this new method!
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
What is it that is often said...into evey life a little rain must fall? Yesterday must have been my day for rain, as it certainly wasn't the best I've had recently! In fact, the other evening I was at a meeting where someone did meditations using the book "Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" and my day was sort of like that!!
I had some wonderful and thoughtful comments on yesterday's blog where I described my angst with the Monster that resides deep inside, and to those who wrote, I can only say loudly THANK YOU! It is so awesome to have support and help a few finger-clicks away.
Here are a couple things that you said in your comments, some came from my thoughts during my morning walk, and some from the Healthy Reflections here on SP and from my Friend Feed.
1. Sometimes our journeys take some wrong turns, and when that happens we have to stop, regroup, figure out where we are going and how to get there. Then we return to our planned route and keep heading in the right direction.
2. Life is a journey that doesn't come with a road map--we have to decide for ourselves what and how we are going to get where we're going.
3. The mind is a powerful thing...it can sink us into the deepest of despair. But, if we can get into those dark places with our thoughts, we can surely get out of those places, as well.
4. Today's SP Healthy Reflection: Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do. John Wooden
5. We can put these kinds of slip-ups behind us and learn from it and move on rather than throwing in the towel completely! As we learn to deal with them they will happen less often and further and further apart!
6. Just saw this in an email from a dear friend: Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we might as well dance!
Thank you dear friends! This is what makes SP so special! And...I will continue to dance!
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
I've mentioned before about coming and going on SP for over 4 years. I never totally left, but I often didn't do anything for many months at a time. For some reason, last May a Spark was lit within me and I have been sailing along pretty well since then. In my very first blog I wrote about my previous weight loss efforts and how I've lost and gained hundreds of pounds over the years. I also confessed my dirty little secret about being addicted to food—certain foods, that is. (Is anyone ever addicted to apples?)
Recently a Spark friend wrote a blog titled “I blew it” with her story about making poor choices one day in her journey. The real message, though, I think is that she mentioned that in the past she has lost weight and then gotten to a point where all that stops and nothing more happens, and in fact, the weight creeps back on (in my case, there is no creeping...it jumps back on by leaps and bounds). Her comments got me to thinking about myself and has brought me to acknowledge something I've not been willing to deal with—at least not until now.
I've managed to shed a bit more than 40 pounds since May of this year. As I mentioned, I've lost lots of weight before. I'm so grateful and thrilled I've come this far this time. But, always in the deep dark recesses of my mind, there remains this nagging feeling that it is only a matter of time before I let go and give up and slink back into that dark place where I'm doing nothing to become healthier. My fear of failure is sometimes strong, and possibly it is what has motivated me to a certain extent. My thinking is sometimes skewed (well, maybe lots of the time...LOL) and I wonder how long it will be before I screw it up royally and regain all the weight--again.
So today I had to stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things. On the way past the canned vegetables, my eye caught the display for “French Fried Onions” (with the emphasis on fried, of course). You know the ones I'm talking about—you use them in green bean casseroles. I absolutely love those things! Crunchy, greasy, salty and oniony—totally disgusting to most of you, I'm sure. A package jumped off the shelf and into my cart (with a little help, I'm afraid). After I got home I ate the whole bit...3 oz of junk that figures out at 480 calories, 240 of which are fat calories! Now the self-disgust and beating myself up has started and I am so totally scared that I've set off the Monster within me! That's my real fear...I can sort the rest out as as far as the calories and understanding that one mistake does not have to set the tone for the rest of the journey. I just don't know if I can fend off The Monster and unfortunately, the fear of my failure is looming large right now.
I'm curious to know if those folks who have been so successful at losing so many pounds, including a hundred or more in many cases, have these thoughts, questions and fears? I can understand a fear of gaining it back after reaching our goals, but I'm a long way from being at my goal. Am I the only one who struggles with this? If nothing else, at least I can vent about this in what I consider to be a safe place among understanding and supportive friends.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Earlier today I mentioned that we were planning to go to the potato bar for lunch today. The youth group at church sponsored it as a fundraiser. Several of you have asked what it is and I thought I'd just tell you!!
No...you don't go to a bar and ask for a potato! No fries or chips allowed! Maybe if I'd called it a baked potato bar it would have made more sense. Basically, baked potatoes are served with all kinds of different toppings...everything you can imagine, and of course, it varies according to choice. Today they had the following: chili, taco meat, green onions, black olives, bacon bits (real bacon, not the bitty things from a package), salsa, shredded cheese, broccoli, cheese sauce, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sour cream and butter. Mine was quite healthy, as I chose the broccoli, about a tablespoon each of black olives and bacon, a very small amount of the shredded cheese (maybe a tablespoon), and a couple tablespoons of the taco meat. I added several spoonsful of salsa, put some shredded lettuce on the side with a little chopped tomato and light dressing. So, very yummy!
It's always a free will offering, but the kids do it as a fundraiser to use the money for the holiday projects--the Salvation Army angel tree, shopping for some less fortunate kids at the local schools, etc. I saw several $20 bills in the basket and we were some of the first through the line.
Oh yes...I must confess...I did have a small piece of apple desert that was wonderful and probably not low fat. I aways have trouble trying to track that kind of thing. I finally went with apple pie, even though that isn't what it was.
We've had potato bars for fun evenings with other couples, too. We bake the potatoes and our friends bring the toppings. Lots of fun! So...there you have the potato bar!
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