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#115: Trying to Enjoy the Moment

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A short while ago as I sat and ate cantaloupe, my mind wandered to the stack of cassette tapes I had been sorting. The fruit was deliciously sweet and juicy and that's what I wanted to concentrate on. But the mind wanted to wander.

It seems there are so many distractions -- real or imaginary -- that call for our attention that it is often difficult to focus on the matter at hand.

I don't recall the name of the author (Wayne Dwyer maybe?) who wrote about present moment happiness, stressing that we need to be in the moment, using all of our senses to appreciate what we are doing right then at that time.

I turned off the TV, closed the laptop cover and concentrated on the joy of consuming such a delectable food. Even when some juice streamed down my chin, I concentrated on my eating. When I was finished, I cleaned up and smiled at the pure pleasure I had experienced.

Perhaps, sometimes, we do not allow ourselves to enjoy our present moment happiness, whether in the weight room, on the treadmill, walking through the neighborhood or eating a meal. We allow our mind to wander, thus depriving us of the joy of the moment.

How do you handle these situations?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOLLY1949 10/23/2009 8:46PM

    Too many times my mind is other places when I eat, and I don't really enjoy the food that way ....I can finish my plate and be surprised it is gone so fast. I need to start practicing mindful eating. Great Blog Lou.

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SPARKLOVE 10/22/2009 11:40PM

    I don't know about Men , but Women learned to multi-task in order to get everything we need to done in one day. This creates a absent mind when eating.....not good because food is the one of the important places to focus on what we are doing, take in the smells and taste and enjoy every bite because this helps us to eat slow and less , it makes us feel satisfied and turns off our hunger signal. I have been working on this very thing -trying to focus on doing what you done today - to be in the moment and enjoy the food I am eating. I still slip back into old habits some time but I am doing better at it.

Some thing's distraction works to our good but not when eating.
When I go for a walk outside I like to take in the sight and sounds but when I am on the treadmill distraction and or/multi tasking like listening to a book on tape....works to the good.

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YATMAMA 10/22/2009 8:49PM

    I think we miss out on a lot of the wonder around us for that very reason, Lou. Thanks for the reminder to be mindful!

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PLUSTODOWNSIZE 10/22/2009 7:07PM

    I had cantaloupe today too! I hadn't had it in a long time and did my best to enjoy it with my 2 1/2 year old running around.

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BIGDAD1211 10/22/2009 6:18PM

    It is hard for me sometimes to keep my mind on one thing. I start thinking of one thing and then I branch off into another. I mean if I have to focus on something, I can do that, but to sit back and just enjoy the sunset would set me to thinking about clouds, and then the rain that comes from the clouds, and then the puddles and so on. LOL I guess I almost got distracted here.
Great Post Lou!

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TLN-NOW 10/22/2009 5:51PM

    It's true that we really SHOULD be less distractable at times, and you sound as if you have a tendency to relax your powers of concentration, as I do, at times. However, where my friend the treadmill is concerned ~ we've been intimately involved for almost a year now, honestly, on almost a daily basis. And while I appreciate my friend, and am ever so devoted to it, after a year ~ the view is limited, and the conversation lacking. While I am grateful for the time with it and the hummingbirds that fly just outside the window next to us, frankly, I need a bit more stimulation. I've found that our experience is enriched by a favorite radio talk show in the morning, or last night's excess tv programs which were recorded so we could enjoy them together, or a book on the ipod, or a great music beat makes the time fly by. By now, we find the distraction such a plus, neither of us would have it any other way!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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#114: Can You Do One More?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"It's not that some people have willpower and some don't. It's that some people are ready to change and others are not." James Gordon

* * * * *

Often, we feel defeated. We feel we can't go any further, that we are out of energy and can't resist temptation any longer.

When these negative feelings overcome us, what do we do?

Many times we simply give up. We stop our workout. We quit our run. We reach for the food we know will make us feel miserable after we eat it.

But what SHOULD we do? If we are honest with ourselves we know the answer.

Keep going. Hang tough. Be strong, physically and mentally. Do not give up. Resist temptation.

Easier said than done, isn't it?

Although many of us will falter occasionally, the answer is: Not really.

When you feel the end is near, ask yourself if you can do ONE MORE repetition, even with a light weight. Ask yourself if you can take ONE MORE step or resist that food for ONE MORE minute?

Sure, a time will come when you can't go farther but the point here is that until we push ourselves we will never know what our limits really are.

Until the first time I ran two miles I thought I could never run that far. Admittedly, the last few laps on the track were at a shuffle but the last half lap was at a sprint. When I stopped, I then wondered if I could have sprinted three-quarters of a lap instead of a half, or maybe even one full lap. I never knew because I didn't push myself.

When you feel your resolve slipping, picture having to walk or jog ONE MORE block in order to save a life. Picture yourself needing to resist taking that next bite for only ONE MORE minute in order to to lose that next pound.

Could you do these things? If so, then you haven't pushed yourself to your limit.

You might be amazed at what your endurance truly is.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYSUPPORTS 10/22/2009 7:01AM

    I do struggle with this. I need to push myself way more than what I do.

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SPARKLOVE 10/22/2009 12:04AM

    When I walk on the treadmill ...I have to push myself just to get in 30min. When I start feeling that urge to quite I tell myself that I am walking to ward off diabetes that runs in my family or to improve my circulation....these thoughts help me to keep moving .

When I do weight bearing exercise 3xaweek ....I could easily quite after one set but push my self with thoughts that I am working to improve my bone density and up my metabolism as muscles burn more calories . These benefit thoughts keep me pumping.

When I think about my desire to remain flexible as I age then I think about getting off my butt and doing some yoga . For me thinking of the benefits gets me moving.

Why don't the same thoughts help me with food - emoticon
When I eat all I can think of is how hungry I am or how good the food taste etc.

Thanks for this blog, now you have the wheels of my brain turning again. That is where it all starts....in our brains.

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LINDA25427 10/21/2009 9:56PM

    Great blog:
I needed the reminder thank you . God bless. emoticon

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JOYATLAST 10/21/2009 9:52PM

    My history includes very little limit pushing. I am willing to embrace the habit!!!! Great Blog!

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BIGDAD1211 10/21/2009 9:48PM

    Great Blog!
I know I need to push myself just a little bit further sometimes.
Thank you!

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PEPPERLEAH 10/21/2009 9:32PM

    Oh Lou, another wonderful blog! You are so right; I think too many times we stop ourselves before we push to our limit. I love this perspective. Thank you so much for posting this!

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#113: Thank You

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Today has been quite a surprising day.

I learned I have been appointed to a County Commission committee to assist the area's elderly.

Another county invited me to make five presentations to 9th-12th graders on Drinking and Driving/Highway Safety.

And, the letter that brought tears to my eyes:

"The SparkPeople Community thinks you are a motivation to others!

SparkPeople Members can vote for SparkPages that are motivational, based on Community involvement, personal accomplishments and more. You have received enough votes to become a "SparkPeople Motivator."

I am truly appreciative that so many of you thought to express your feelings about the encouragement and support I have tried to give to others on the SP site.

It has been four months of expressing heart-felt compassion for those enduring financial and other hardships, of praying for those against whom the world has turned, of trying to lift up with my words all of those who have felt defeated and unworthy of being a success.

I have answered the call to take over leadership of two groups, "Bowling For Weight Loss" and "I Can Do All Things Through Christ!" Both groups have shown an increase in membership, the latter from 284 to 361. That some of you are interested in these teams is not because of me, it is because there is something special occurring within the teams and with their members.

During my time on SparkPeople I have laughed at your humor, commiserated with your troubles and felt your disappointment. You, in turn, have been an inspiration to me more than I can express.

I am uplifted when I read your huddle comments and your blogs and posts. I am inspired by the number of members who respond with hope and prayers when a fellow SparkPeople member needs them. And I am amazed at the times I, myself, feel down and then receive a Goodie or a kind post on my profile page.

This is an honor I will not forget.

Thank you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIBBLES5 10/21/2009 3:11PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOLLY1949 10/21/2009 3:06AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SPARKLOVE 10/21/2009 12:48AM

    emoticon On your appointment to a County commission committee to assist the area's elderly. I think helping the elderly is so rewarding . I enjoy singing at Nursing Homes and uplifting them in spirit . They are so grateful for anything anyone does for them. You will be blessed.

emoticonon your invitation to make five presentations to 9th-12th graders on Drinking and Driving/Highway Safety. That is such a important and needed thing.

emoticonOn your letter from Sparks , you are so deserving of it! Woo Hoo! What a amazing day you have had!

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LINDA25427 10/20/2009 10:12PM

    Lou I am so happy for you . You so deserve this . Congratulations !!! . God bless . emoticon

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PEPPERLEAH 10/20/2009 9:26PM

    You SO deserve this! WOO HOO!!!!! Congratulations to you! I am so happy for you!

God bless you with exceeding abundance!

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TEDYBEAR2838 10/20/2009 9:01PM

    emoticon emoticon on being a spark motivator. It is a emoticon honor for which you should be proud!

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PAPERARTSY 10/20/2009 8:50PM

    Congratulations! What a wonderful honor!

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3CATSLEP 10/20/2009 8:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You deserve it, Lou!!!

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JOYATLAST 10/20/2009 6:23PM

    Recognition is earned. Appointed, Invited and Chosen. The masses have spoken. People know you to be capable, caring and inspiring. You are a faithful, giving man. Whatever you set your hand to do will prosper! :)

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SUSAN134 10/20/2009 6:14PM

    You are SO deserving of this award!! emoticon emoticon emoticon


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YATMAMA 10/20/2009 4:13PM

    FINALLY! I nominated you MONTHS ago. lol It could not have been more aptly awarded, my friend. I love the opportunities you are having in your community, as well. See what happens when you start peeking out from under your lovely shell?!! I can't WAIT to see what other goodies God has in store for you!!


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BIGDAD1211 10/20/2009 3:58PM

    Great Job! You are a true motivator!

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2BSALLYB 10/20/2009 3:55PM

    Congrats! You so deserve to be chosen as a Spark People Motivator!!

Comment edited on: 10/20/2009 3:56:35 PM

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#112: Early Thanksgiving

Monday, October 19, 2009

This has been a good day.

As I enjoyed an unusual cool Central FL morning, I was thankful for the peaceful quiet while I enjoyed a hot breakfast and I was thankful for a house to live in and food to eat.

As I prepared to get ready to run errands, I was thankful for the hot water of the shower that soothed and relaxed.

As I dressed, I was thankful for the stray dogs and cats that are now my beloved pets that climbed on the bed to watch me put on my shoes.

As I roamed the grocery store aisles, I was thankful to live in a country that offers so many options and for the employees who keep the store clean and who are always smiling, pleasant and helpful.

As I drove home I thought of my parents, now deceased, and was thankful for the strength of character and self-pride, the compassion for others and the work ethic they instilled in me.

As I sit now at the computer, I am thankful for the technology that allows me to have instant "pen-pals" and for the daily support and encouragement I receive from all of you.

I am thankful for being able, in turn, to offer inspiration and prayers for those of you enduring difficult times.

I am thankful for being relatively healthy and for being able to see and hear and read and write.

I am thankful for having belief in a higher power that carries me through trying times and gives me a vision of a better world to come.

I am thankful that even though it is not yet Thanksgiving in the U.S. that I can freely offer appreciation for my life and some of the things in it. Even though there are many tough times, life is generally good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARYSUPPORTS 10/20/2009 7:16AM

    I too am Thankful for so many things! Good blog!!!

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JOYATLAST 10/20/2009 1:51AM

    That flowed so eloquently!

I am learning to control my thoughts when they try to run off and fret about something by listing off a gratitude list. Sadly, I have to work at it. With practice, I can be as good as you.

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PEPPERLEAH 10/19/2009 11:44PM

    There is always so much to be thankful for! Thanks for another great blog, Lou!

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LAURIES_PLACE 10/19/2009 9:15PM

  Yes, I am thankful for you, and for the wonderful blogs you write. I am also thankful for the team, "I Can Do All Things Through Christ," and your leadership there. Many blessings to you, Lou.


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3CATSLEP 10/19/2009 7:08PM

    And we are thankful for you! emoticon

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SPARKLOVE 10/19/2009 6:41PM

    Wonderful Lou! Keep counting your blessings every day. emoticon

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YATMAMA 10/19/2009 5:49PM

    Awesome blog. There is great benefit in counting our blessings one by one!

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 10/19/2009 4:20PM

    You have such a lovely way of looking at things. I've never thought to be thankful for the grocery store staff who keeps the store clean and stocked. That's an important part of my life that I take for granite. Thank you for opening my eyes to see things in a new and brighter way.


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ELISELOVE1 10/19/2009 4:11PM


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#111: A New Beginning

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Today is the new beginning I've been searching for.

For lunch a grilled cheese sandwich sounded tasty. So I made two of them. Why, when I knew inside I'd eat both of them and then feel miserable about myself and my failure to exert self-control? I'm not sure why but I did and ate both of them. A miserable feeling amid my self-loathing followed.

But then the old fire began burning. I washed dishes, cleaned the kitchen and donned my gym shoes. The treadmill beckoned. It was tough at first. I have severe bone spurs in both heels and deteriorated discs in my lower back. I may physically pay for the exercise later but at the time I felt energized by the thought of burning off some of the excess lunch.

Total calories gone: 355, more than one sandwich.

Many years ago I had a trick I used while jogging on the track. No matter how far I'd run, if I passed the track's half-way mark, I'd make myself jog that last half lap. Many times it was a very slow jog, but I always felt mentally tough afterwards and a great number of times I was able to continue even further, although at the half-lap mark I thought I had no reserves left.

In the recent past, injuries have limited the aerobics and new medications have contributed to weight gain. But, after today's episode, I again feel energized and mentally tough. Perhaps it's the endorphins talking, but I don't think so.

Isn't it amazing how epiphanies hit us? After languishing for the last three months I feel that I am finally back on track, mentally and physically.

To hold me to it, I'll commit to regular updates on the "new" journey.

May I ask you to help me stay the course?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLOVE 10/19/2009 12:13PM

    I am here for you Lou, to give you a kick in the butt when you need it emoticonto laugh with you emoticonto cry with you emoticonto learn with you emoticonto exercise with you emoticonto lose weight with you emoticonto deepen our spiritual life emoticonto learn to eat healthy emoticon
to encourage each other to drink up that water emoticon
to get needed rest emoticonencouragement to emoticonbad habits and to give you emoticonand emoticontoo!

Spark Friend, Joy

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MARYSUPPORTS 10/19/2009 7:51AM

    Way to go!!

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3CATSLEP 10/18/2009 10:38PM

    Go, Lou!!! We will be helping you!!! emoticon

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PEPPERLEAH 10/18/2009 9:51PM

    You're going to make it! We're going to cheer you on, the whole way. And when you cross the finish line, we're going to celebrate your victory with you!

Blessings to you!

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YATMAMA 10/18/2009 5:40PM

    Oh, Lou, I just love the sound of determination in your voice! GOOD for you!!

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BIGDAD1211 10/18/2009 4:22PM

    Great blog my brother and I will do my best to help you stay on track as that will help me to stay on track also.
Thanks for the post!
In Jesus Name

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JOYATLAST 10/18/2009 3:59PM

    My epiphanies always come on the heels of "languishing".

There is nothing harder to beat than a man with an epiphany and a plan!

I can feel your energy! I'm so happy for you!!

Keep inspiring us with your blogs,

Comment edited on: 10/18/2009 4:06:07 PM

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