Tuesday, October 02, 2012
I saw a cartoon the other day that pictured of an attorney talking on the telephone. The caption read, ďIím sorry mamí I never heard of anyone suing a mirror manufacturer.Ē Iím not a huge fan of mirrors. They point out things Iíd rather not see. They point out the here. Iím not always in the mood to deal with the here and now. Let me create a vision of the future. Itís much less threatening and easier to manage. Iíll only get a negative payoff from the future when it fails to come to pass and Iíll blame myself, just like I do for everything else that goes wrong in my life. Remain positive, listen to uplifting music create a collage of everything you always wanted and allow it to collect dust somewhere. Itís not real.
Wow John, thatís an awfully dim view of things. Iím making a point. We are so, so caught up in the latest and greatest feel good that we neglect to look in the mirror and love and appreciate the current version of ourselves. What do we think that weíll learn all that positive behavior and loving appreciation of ourselves once we reach our goals? We view it as a reward. ďI can finally beÖÖ.Ē Everything else in our world suggests practice makes perfect. We donít hop in a car at the legal age and take off down the road. We practice, we study and we gain experience.
Itís hard to look in the mirror and see the real value we offer this world. Weíre too caught up in reading other peoples stories and wishing that we somehow had the wisdom to ďbe like them.Ē The here and now cries out ďHere I am, warts and all. I have something unique and special to offer you.Ē Some days the mirror is clear, some days dusty and some days I swear itís cracked, but itís MY mirror, created just for that amazing, yet often flawed version of me. There is no before and after, there is only now and the now should be embraced, warts and all starting today.
On my bulletin board this morning: ďMy name is John. I am warm and witty and Iíll be the best friend you ever had. I am charming but I also believe that at times there is no one who knows any more than I do. My smile and booming voice fills a room when I enter. I do not suffer fools patiently and often wish the world moved at my pace. I take time to share part of me with everyone I meet because I know what itís like to feel abandoned and without a friend. I am a compulsive over eater, an emotional eater and I struggle almost daily with the fear brought on by panic/anxiety disorder. They are fears that almost never come true. I love to smile. ď
SoÖÖÖ.What about you?
Sunday, September 30, 2012
Itís hard to believe September has already come and gone. Itís time to account for my September health goals. I wrote a blog in early September where I told you, my dear friend and reader, that I was going to concentrate on three areas of improvement. I felt if I was successful in each area it would reflect when I stepped on the scale. Letís see how I did.( Iím as excited as you guys are!!!)
My first goal was practicing portion control. Iíll give myself a solid B in this area. Plastic measuring spoons and cups arenít all that expensive!!! For me, it was creating and taking the time to accurately measure and not saying ďYeah, that looks like a half of cup, donít it?Ē Was it a pain? Yes indeed it was, especially for the first week ,but like anything else we repeat it became a habit. I received a pleasant surprise at mid-month. Our daughter Katie is a lifetime Weight Watcher member somehow ended up with two digital scales. She gave us one. This is a major benefit for me. It accurately weighs anything you desire. During this time I began to practice substituting, also. I love butter!!! I started using butter substitutes and this will be one of my goals for Rocktober. (More about that tomorrow.)
My second goal was to keep moving. Joan and I swim each morning before work and I walked and cycled also. I took one day a week off and it can best be described as a ďfloating day off.Ē Iíd work it in around my schedule. The more I move the less anxious I am and the less anxious I am the less likely I am to abuse food. I am an emotional and compulsive over eater and I always will be. If I choose to be healthy, wealthy and wise I have to develop strategies to maintain a good balance in my life. Keep moving is one of them. I exercised no more or no less than 30 minutes each day. I give myself an A here.
My third goal was creating at least ten minutes of ďquiet timeĒ for myself each day. This goal was the most difficult to work towards. I give myself a C here because Iíd get so busy that Iíd look at the clock and wonder where the day went. When I took time to meditate for ten minutes each day I found I slept better and had a clearer focus. Taking time to accomplish this is taking time to slay the excuse monster deep inside of me that bleats out things like ďBut youíre a busy dude, dude.Ē or ďThere are only so many hours in a day.Ē Ten minutes, minimum, thatís all Iím looking for. I didnít attend the yoga class Iíd planned on. Well, let me say I went to one class and saw it as being much more advanced than I was ready for. No worries. When the student is ready the teacher appears.
So letís see how I did, hey? (Drum roll please!!!) During the month of September I lost 14.4 pounds. For a man thatís not a lot, BUTÖÖÖÖÖÖ I donít feel nervous, anxious or pushed into embracing the ďDĒ word. I feel pretty balanced right now. Tomorrow Iíll share my October goals.
As always thanks for your love. Namaste
Thursday, September 27, 2012
Weíve been working with a young couple; helping to plan a banquet. They work for the facility hosting the banquet and in the last six weeks between meetings, phone calls and email, weíve come to know them pretty well. She is an administrative coordinator and he works there part time. Heís in graduate school studying to be physical therapist. They have the cutest six month old son. They are struggling. Joan suggested we get a gift card from one of our grocery stores and mail it to them in an anonymous fashion, so to speak. I reflected on this in the wee hours of this morning, when all my cares and woes decided to visit all at once and a voice, very clear, but gentle spoke to me.
ĎWhat if youíre the answer to a prayer?Ē
This journey towards health can be a very selfish one. Itís often a ďMe,me,meĒ sort of thing. MY weight, MY diet, MY exercise, MY accomplishments. Yeah, we have teams and challenges and warm fuzzies to make us continue, but often we put on blinders to the rest of humanity.
Havenít we suffered enough, though? Donít we deserve to devote that time we squandered in the past solely to ourselves? We have our own worries and woes, right? What if, in all the struggle, and pain and confusion our lives produce; what if during all the aches, pains and plateaus, God, however you conceive Him or Her to be calls on you to be the answer to someoneís prayer?
Itís not all about ME and I struggle with that until an angel or two, in the form of a physical therapist and his wife, remind me that WE are often the answer God supplies to anotherís prayer.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Being overweight is not a punishment for some past transgression. Youíre nodding your head in agreement but the first time there is a misstep the mind monkeyís start making all those monkey noises and suddenly youíre reliving the second grade when you pilfered your best friendís dessert. Iím not preaching, Iíve been there and I have done that. When I joined Spark close to three years ago and lost weight in massive chunks I was, as Travis Tritt once sang ďTen feet tall and bullet proof.Ē I was never going to hit one of them there plateau things nor was I going to ever regain any weight either. Wanna know whatís worse? I would sorta-kinda look down my nose at those folks who did have ďissues.Ē Poor people, they just didnít get it. Well, my plateau lasted close to two years and did I tell you during that time of self-punishment I regained all the weight Iíd lost?
We punish ourselves for so many things that go beyond our control. We are overweight for a variety of reasons but lack of character and moral fiber isnít one of them. (I know lottsa skinny people who are mean.) When things donít go as planned we donít look at adjusting the plan to suit our own circumstances we immediately stare at the floor and pull out the whip and begin telling ourselves to ďDo better,Ē whatever that is. I mean, we had to do something wrong, right? If we hadnít then weíd be like all the beautiful people we envy so often.
Question for you, do you ever take your car to the mechanic, tell him your check engine light is on and then proceed to let him know it probably happened because of something you did when you were 18? Nope, you let him diagnosis the problem, repair the car. You ask what caused the situation. You donít pull over to the curb and look in the rear view mirror and say ďYou nasty, nasty person you!!!!!Ē This journey is yours and yours alone. Itís like going to buy a suit or a dress. We all donít walk around wearing the same thing because our tastes are different and some things fit other people better than others.
We stumble, we fall and get back up and say ďHmmmmmm what do I need to adjust here?Ē Real health is about establishing mindful behavior. Itís about looking at yourself, no matter how painful that process may be and making corrections to move you towards balance. Iím in the middle of that process. I am an emotional eater. I have started asking myself, why? I wonít bore you with all the details but Iíve found my thoughts and ideas are linked to my behavior. Tara Brach writes that things that are real arenít always true. We may feel hurt and alone and engage in all kinda of destructive behavior because we believe that we are not capable of being loved. The feelings are true and real. We hurt, we suffer and we are in pain. Are we unlovable? Uhmmmm, no. As long as there is a Divine Presence in this universe we are bound and joined by love. Our pain is real; our reasons for being in pain arenít always true.
Okay, enough Saturday philosophy. That will teach Joan to leave home all alone while she goes to a craft show!!! (I know I coulda gone but Iím not in a crafty mood today.) I tell you all this stuff to illustrate a behavior. I changed my weigh in date from Sunday to Saturday. It fits my schedule and my comfort level much better and I just feel more relaxed doing it that way. I listened to myself and my body and soul. I became mindful to the real purpose of this journey. Itís for me to be happy and healthy. They go hand in hand.
Weight loss is not a punishment and nutrition should not be a restriction because we donít see ourselves as other people see us. It is our loving practice of making the whole us all we can be and during that process we find the real love inside of us.
So I weighed myself this morning and there is two pounds less of me then there was Sunday. Itís almost inconsequential. Iím learning so much more the second time through. Itís all about me. You Too!!!! Listen to yourself, love who you are and then go out there and light a dark corner with one of your best smiles.
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