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Are you doing enough?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Are you really? For instance, when I was struggling about 10 years ago, I went back to Weight Watchers (WW). But I only went once a month. That was all I had to do, being a lifetime member. And I wasn't really all that far from my goal weight, either. But I just couldn't seem to lose weight. Oh sure, I'd lose some; then I'd gain it back.

Surprise, surprise. The backbone of WW is the weekly meetings. As a former leader myself, I certainly knew that. But I told myself I was too busy to attend weekly meetings; it cost too much.

How much has it cost me in the last decade? In frustration, I finally just stopped going. And slowly, over the last decade, I gained back all the weight I lost plus a few more. Even when I was only going to monthly meetings, I was still not too far away from my goal weight.

Of course I don't know if I would have gained the weight back regardless. But what would have happened if I started to attend weekly meetings again? How much closer would I be now?

There's nothing I can do about that now, but I can attend weekly meetings again. I still can't afford the time and money -- but I can't not afford it, either. Whether it will truly help or not I can't say. But I don't know it won't hurt.

What are you avoiding doing, that you know, in your heart of hearts, you really need to do? What's holding you back? How badly do you *really* want to lose the weight?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAL503 5/26/2008 12:07AM

    Wow, very insightful, and applies to many areas of one's life!
I am finally, for the first time in my life, doing enough, and it feels wonderful. I hope your weight watchers meetings, if you decide to go, bring all the motivation and support you desire.
Take good care of you, and thank you so much for sharing your insight and wisdom. It really helps so many people :-)

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MTER67 5/25/2008 7:05PM

    You can apply this to so many "desires" in our lives, not just losing weight. Thank you for another thoughtful post. You're the best!

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MUM2FIVE 5/25/2008 2:31PM

    I REALLY want to lose the weight. But I guess being happy with my life and making small changes at a time is the only way I can do it. I just could never give up Mexican food or Margaritas, nor do I want to...
I just want to try daily to make little changes and better choices. Otherwise, I will just gain and gain, at least I'm losing slowly or not gaining. I am happy with that for now. I may kick it up notch for a week or two and then just hang steady for awhile. I'm happy with my body and the fact that now I'm exercising when before I NEVER did!

Thanks for this post and all your "reflecting" posts. They make me think!! Sorry to BLOG on your BLOG! lol

This is my Lifes motto!
"Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use."
~ Earl Nightingale

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JLITT62 5/25/2008 11:15AM

    I wanted to edit my post, but SP won't seem to let me.

I forgot to add this quote from today's SP Healthy Reflections, which seemed pertinent to me:

"We should all be able to count on each other for help, but in the end, we can't expect anyone to change our lives except ourselves. Nor should we want it that way. It's natural to feel powerless and give up in the face of hardships, but complaining and blaming do nothing except prevent action. Without positive action, you're giving up your power and asking for more of the same--a world you did not create. Where you start may not be your fault, but the course you run is still your choosing. "

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Losing weight is like painting

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Odd as that sounds, it's true.

There is a lot of technique to painting. It takes practice, doing the same thing over and over again, until it becomes part of you and natural. We may not notice any improvement for a long time, but one day we look at something we've painted and we think hey! I've got it. I've really improved.

It takes motivation. We're all so busy, whether it's with jobs, family, animals, volunteer work, or all of the above. We've got to be motivated to show up and do the work.

There will always be someone who is a better painter than you. Instead of wasting time envying that person, we need to learn from them. Ask them what worked for them; what didn't work.

There will always be someone who is a more of a novice than you are. Share your knowledge. Give them a hand up.

Above is two of my paintings. The one on the left is my own design; it's my cat Gizmo, and he's painted on my luggage. My husband won't use that bag anymore, but I find it very comforting to take him with me when I travel. Not to mention it makes my black bag stand out!

The one of the right is something I painted in a class.

I try a lot of different classes, different styles, different mediums. Just like I am constantly trying to learn about nutrition, figure out what works for me, and what doesn't.

Yes, losing weight really is like painting!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CJROMB 5/26/2008 2:55PM

    What a great correlation! That's a great thing to keep in mind. It's like playing an instrument, too. Takes LOTS of practice, and there's always someone better than you. Thanx for sharing your paintings, too.

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RENA1965 5/24/2008 11:42PM

    Agree with you losing weight is like painting.

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VAL503 5/24/2008 7:18PM

    Fabulous blog, thanks! And I love Gizmo on your suitcase :-) Thanks for the insightful post. It is so rewarding to read things like that, and then apply it to life.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 5/24/2008 9:46AM

    Your title caught my attention, and I am glad it did! Great blog and great insight. Very inspirational too. Thanks for that!

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MTER67 5/24/2008 9:38AM

    Neat. I bet your bag is easy to find on the carousel! Love the cardinal, too. It is one of my favorite birds. I like your analogy. Both art and losing weight take time, patience, & technique--and you also have to believe in what you're doing and have some idea what you'd like the "end product" to be. When its successful, both art and weight loss result in something worth hanging onto, right? Great blog, thank you.

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KARBIE18 5/24/2008 9:32AM

    Like the cat, but LOVE the cardinal. I admire your talent so much! I've always had the need to create, just did't have the skills. Since I discovered gardening, I have found that I have the ability to "paint" with plants and flowers. Now I'm hooked on garden design. It feels wonderful when it turns out just the way you visualize it, doesn't it? I think it's interesting that you made the connection between painting and weight loss. I was thinking the same thing about my landscape just yesterday - it's always a work in progress, always changing and improving. There are setbacks along the way (deer, rabbits, ground squirrels, beavers........), but despite them, it ends up more beautiful each year. Keep up the great work, and keep sharing your messages. You have wonderful insight.


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Friday Fit Tip: No cheat days

Friday, May 23, 2008

Everyone "cheats". Of course you should be making a lifestyle change, not following a diet, and that means there will be days you don't make good decisions.

One really poor decision, for most people anyway, is to have a cheat day where you eat anything you want. You probably won't gain weight from one cheat day, but it will hold you back. Because it's telling you that this isn't really a lifestyle change. That it's something you're just doing until the weight comes off, and most likely you're going to slip back into old habits when you get to your goal.

I like what Tosca Reno wrote about a planned cheat day in "Clean Eating":

The extra calories from one cheat meal or treat are a lot easier to burn off than several hundred -- or even thousand -- from an entire day of overindulgence.

Clean eating is a healthy lifestyle. Bingeing for an entire day isn't. Bingeing, cheating, over-indulging . . . none of these belong in the clean-eating lifestyle.

Which doesn't mean you'll never "cheat" or over-indulge. But you shouldn't plan to just throw all your good efforts to the winds. If you want something, plan for it. Eat healthier during the week. Figure out what you'll eat at the restaurant ahead of time. Learn a lower fat version of your favorite treats.

But don't go too far in the other direction, either, never letting a chip or cookie or ice cream touch your lips. That will only set you up for more over-indulging eventually. The trick is to figure out how to get your favorite treats in while eating healthy most of the time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAL503 5/23/2008 1:02PM

    Great blog. I agree wholeheartedly! I still have to remind myself not to think of my new life as a diet, and that it will be over someday. I am going to live this way for the rest of my life, and this is why I know I will be successful with getting healthy :-)
Thanks for the inspiring post, it really helps to read thing like this.

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Conscious eating

Thursday, May 22, 2008

It's rather funny that Oprah had Kathy Freston, author of Quantum Wellness, on the other day. When I was on vacation, I walked over to a strip mall one day, and I took a look at the book (before Oprah mentioned it!) in Target. It looked very interesting, but I already have about 20 unread books waiting for me, including one "diet" book, so I resisted. Books are a weakness for me; they're my latte factor (the little thing you spend too much money on).

Yesterday I went to Borders before my hair appointment, and read the first couple of chapters in the book. I figure I've certainly spent enough money there to just sit & read. I'll probably buy the book at some point anyway. But for now, my plan is to read a chapter at a time in the store.

Freston's conscious eating is a bit different than what you might think. She goes beyond being conscious of what you're eating, to how that food got to you in the first place.

And that is something I struggle with. I'm a flexatarian. I eat mostly vegetarian, sometimes vegan, sometimes raw; but I still eat meat, too. Generally only when my husband is home. He is a real meat and potatoes kind of guy. In some ways, living apart is good: I get to eat what I want, when I want, and I don't eat any beef when he's not here. The only meat I eat, generally, is a chicken sausage wrap I get at our local farmer's market.

It's not that I don't like meat; I do. But when you think about how beef (or pork, or any animal) is slaughtered . . . it's horrible. I believe in God, although I'm not a deeply religious person. And I often ponder the difference between humans and animals. With all the similarities, the differences are still palpable. And I wonder why.

I also don't think I could give up fish. I love sushi. But the way fish is caught is probably even more cruel than the way animals are slaughtered.

And dairy? Cheese and butter and milk; no animal harmed, right? But to get that dairy, of course the mommas have to be separated from their babies. I do drink soymilk. But I occasionally use butter, and I love cheese, although I do try to limit dairy in general, because I think beyond the ethical considerations, it's not really all that good for us. We're the only animals that drink other animal's milk; the milk that is produced to grown healthy babies, not keep adults healthy.

So at least I'm aware of my dilemma. I'm a work in progress.

And I still work on "regular" conscious eating. Eating mindfully. Being in the moment. No tv. No reading. Sitting down & taking my time. And I still must think about that with every meal, because even though I eat slowly, it's often not slowly enough. I find myself gobbling my food sometimes. Why? What am I in such a hurry to get to? When I realize it, and slow down, food tastes so much better.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTER67 5/23/2008 8:27PM

    I would be a very happy woman if I lived near a Whole Foods store. Just shopping there makes you healthier, I think. It is such a beautiful place. Raw peach cobbler sounds wonderful. I would like that. I knew a lady once who followed a raw diet; she would crunch on raw potatoes, which makes me shiver to think about. She reminded me a little bit of a rodent...nibbling away in someone's garden, ha ha! I like raw seafood, fruit au natural, but I have my limits--they plop raw eggs on stuff over here and I don't care for that.

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VAL503 5/23/2008 1:47PM

    Great blog! Very informative. I eat a wide variety of things too, depending on what is fresh, available, local, organic, etc. I love Whole Foods, you can find so many great things there.
This year, we are spending more time on our garden. We have a huge garden space but the last two years we got lazy and just grew a few things in pots on the patio and just grew weeds in the garden. This year, we are trying to grow more of our own food, so we know for a fact it has no chemicals. So far, we are a little behind. The only things we have going are peas, tomatoes, strawberries and garlic.. oh and the herb garden, with rosemary, chives, marjoram, and oregano. Still have a lot to plant, but we're tired! :-)
I like reading at Borders too!
I will have to check out that book.

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JLITT62 5/22/2008 10:06AM

    While the author of the book is now a vegan, she wasn't always. It isn't a weight loss book per se, more of living a fulfilled life. She has 8 pillars of health; I don't remember them all, but things like conscious eating, meditation, self work, having fun every day! She has a very down-to-earth style.

And you'd be surprised at raw food -- it isn't just about raw veggies. And there can be a lot of preparation that goes into it, actually. Some of it's really delicious. We have the flagship store for Whole Foods here (something I'm going to miss terribly when we move), and they have a small raw food bar. They used to make a raw peach cobbler that was absolutely delicious, and I don't even like peaches!

I dabble in everything, and I eat everything. But I do struggle with that.

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JENNIFER124 5/22/2008 9:07AM

    i guess conscious in all aspects of life... even down to the buying of books that never get read...(i can relate)!! thanks for the blog.... jen

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MTER67 5/22/2008 8:17AM

    We are all works in progress. Nobody wants to actually be finished, do they? In the book you write about, does the author promulgate a vegan lifestyle? I am not familiar with the book at all and am curious what she says about meat. I eat meat, but not every day. And, although it is probably not PC to admit it, I try not to think much about how it got to my table. I like to eat foods as close to natural as I can, but I am not a "raw" person (I like sushi; I mean raw veggies.) Part of the fun of eating for me is in the preparation.

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Another success?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Above is the design I'm working on. It's meant to go on a plain white tshirt, eventually, and is nowhere near finished. Noticed the bluebonnets without gold dots? Those won't be there; they're a mistake. But otherwise, I'm pleased with how it's turning out. They are all TX wildflowers.

I do mostly decorative painting, although I've done some landscapes and some oils, too. This particular design is rather stylized & freeform. I'm working on another one that's also stylized of a cat, but it's just in the drawing stages right now.

The flower design just started to emerge as I was playing around, painting for the first time in almost 3 years.

Ok, on to my next success. I had a sort-of weird encounter this morning. I was walking the dogs, about a mile or so away from our home. A guy who lives down the block from us, who's a handyman, happened to drive by and beeped at me.

I don't really know him all that well. He has a couple of dogs that were really annoying us when they were running free, but now they're fenced in. I see him occasionally as I'm walking the dogs. And he's been very nice to us, and helped us out in a jam a while back, even though we really don't him well.

So anyway, he beeps at me & I wave to him. Then he comes over to me & gives me a hug -- that's the weird part; we don't have the kind of relationship. And then he commented that I look like I'm losing weight. It was almost a come-0n, and I don't usually get come-0ns. I have to admit it made me slightly uncomfortable, despite the compliment.

Now, I was wearing my "skinny" jeans, the ones in my photo at the start of the swimsuit bootcamp. A few months ago I could technically get into them, even zip them up & breathe, but they weren't comfortable enough for me to wear all day. They're still just a tad tighter than I'd like, but I wear them to remind me to be mindful of what I'm eating.

My "normal" jeans are really getting too loose, but the next size down, aka my "skinny" jeans, are still just a tad too tight. I'm at that in-between phase. It's really annoying.

So I think it was more that I was wearing slightly tight jeans as opposed to my normal slightly baggy jeans.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VAL503 5/23/2008 1:56PM

    This may sound strange, but I think after reading Tolle and his concepts, we radiate beauty. Our energy attracts people because it is real and positive. Get ready for more attention :-)
Love your flower painting! I am artistic, but not with drawing or painting.. I just can't seem to replicate what I see!

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MTER67 5/22/2008 3:31AM

    I think it's neat that you get up early to spend time with your cats before the dogs make their appearance--what a mom you are after all!

Way to go on your stranger (or pseudo-stranger) compliment. I suspect you will begin getting more of those in the days ahead, but hopefully minus the unsolicited, slightly lecherous hugs! LOL!

I love your painting--do you often paint on clothing? I love to paint in oils, too, but I haven't picked up a brush in almost 2 years. I used to go once a week when we lived in Hawaii to be mentored by an 87 year old who was amazing; after we moved here, I missed him so much, I didn't want to keep it up, so I haven't. (Sigh) Someday!

Your flowers are beautiful and I love how you describe the design "emerging as you were playing around." The best things result when you aren't thinking about them too hard, don't you think? Whenever I take painting or writing or myself too seriously, the results are never quite what I was hoping for! Thank you so much for sharing!

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LSFBOOK 5/21/2008 6:14PM

    Your painting is beautiful! You are so talented. I think it's great you can get into your smaller jeans. Keep up the great work!

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