Tuesday, July 26, 2011
It’s always the little things, isn’t it? I set a really good plan in place, make sure the “right” food is in the house, mark time off on my calendar to make sure I swim and do my stretches, and lo and behold, like a penny on a railroad track something so small and insignificant threatens to derail me? Does that happen to you? I pray, I meditate, I hold “good thoughts” in my head. I visualize myself as being healthy, active and well within my weight limits. (Often I see myself as rather “dashing” lol) I read all the right articles and blogs and study my goals. One tiny feather, one slight breeze blowing cross wind and whamo blamo my world is threatened.
I am learning that my life isn’t just what I put in my mouth or how many laps I swim; it is what I do when a huge ball of negativity rolls around the corner and threatens to squash all my best efforts. It’s staying within my calorie limits and grabbing the cup of water melon rather than the plate of cookies. I am learning not to turn to food for salvation and relief but rather to look inside, find the pebble in my emotional or spiritual shoe and work to remove it. Balance in my life is achieved when I look at everything, all the time on a daily basis and realize that my attitude is just as important as a food label. It means fear; anxiety and anger are issues to be worked out and dealt with gently and at face value.
I find that precious balance that is often fleeting when I repeat my mantra; “You are worth it, you deserve, it you are what you believe you are and you are who you hang around with.” Some days it swirls in my head continually and oh, those days are so magnificent. Other days its MIA, I couldn’t find it with a GPS if my life depended on it.
The precious balance in my life comes only when I look inward and out at those who love, support and nurture me, all at the same time..
Monday, July 25, 2011
Did you ever have one of those moments in your life where a thought comes crashing into your head and you wonder why you haven’t had it before? You ask yourself why you didn’t have the insight in the past to find this thought, and make it part of you? It would have saved you a lot of time and effort, not to mention pain, anxiety and all those other things that go along with our notion that we fail far more often than we succeed.
A friend and I were talking the other day about the notion of prosperity and abundance and how they often signified only material things. We talked about expanding the definition to include every aspect of our lives and that a person with rich and full relationships, health or knowledge for example was a prosperous and abundant person. We talked about material wealth and how so many people we knew believed they didn’t deserve to be wealthy. That’s when the thought hit me.
Most of us are conditioned to believe we have to “earn” what we receive in life. When we don’t hit some magic or mystical mark usually defined by someone other than ourselves, we believe we have failed in our effort and nine time out of ten either give up or rationalize how we don’t deserve to have whatever it is we want. We are flawed!! Take the word “earn” put an “L” in front of it and you my good friend have created magic, yes indeed you have. Now instead of striving, struggling and sweating to earn, you are endeavoring to “learn.”
Think of the very first time you attempted to do something, like learning to drive a car. You didn’t jump in the car turn on the ignition and immediately know what to do and when to do it in all circumstances. You “learned.” You made a few mistakes and the next time you went behind the wheel you remembered what not to do and then a whole new set of circumstances presented themselves and you dealt with them. Each successive experience helped you gain confidence, you took your driver’s test and you received a license to operate a motor vehicle. You “learned” what was necessary. Some people take a little longer than others to learn but the last time I looked no one was required to put a sign on their car that told how long it took to get a license and you can drive just as far and just as long regardless.
I am learning about my body, my mind and my spirit and I am learning that when they work together in harmony I am healthy and balanced. If you want a good definition of learning and you have a day or so, read my blogs from the past nineteen months. There are many peaks and many valleys but always, always I walk away from each experience learning something about myself and my behavior. I have some great successes and some magnificent failures but each time I’ve learned something about myself and my journey.
When I achieve my goals I will have learned a lot. Mostly, I will have learned that I have so much to learn. Adding one small letter removes all the competition and all the self-incrimination and thinking about the dreaded “F” word (Failure.) It means every morning I open the book of life that’s mine and study another chapter.
Plain and simple it’s why I’m still here.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
I always know when someone’s insight made a direct and I might add, correct hit. In short, it stings and it makes me feel sort of silly. I haven’t blogged for close to a week. Most of that comes from preparing, traveling and conducting an eight hour seminar on Thursday. Some of it comes from taking stock of how I am living my life. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t one of those “Oh poor me blogs, whatever am I going to do???”
Two good friends cut right to the heart of the matter when they commented on my last posting. I’m going to paraphrase. One observed that I devoted so much time to helping other people I left little time for helping myself. But I mean, isn’t that we are called to do? Or is it, as I discovered after a lot of self-examination an excuse at times for me to avoid dealing with my health, my fitness and any other issue I don’t feel like dealing with? Ouch, that one hurt!!! The truth usually does though.
The second friend observed that she noticed many of the people who were helpful, supportive and offered good advice never saw their weight ticker move. That one hit a bull’s eye. Yesterday morning, I got on the scale. I was really surprised to see I hadn’t weighed in since early March. I’d weighed my self periodically at the gym, and yes I’d see a gain at times but you know it wasn’t a huge one!! Yes, my clothes were getting snug, but that was because Joan changed laundry soap or they shrunk in the dryer. It couldn’t be because I had grown, could it? The tale of the scale showed a 22.6 pound gain. If that’s not a wakeup call I don’t know what is.
The good news is I knew what to do. I felt sheepish; a bit over whelmed but giving up never crossed my mind. This journey is a real simple one. You keep track of what goes in your mouth, the quality of what goes into your mouth and then you make sure you do some sort of exercise on regular basis. When you do that you lose weight.
I became so caught up in everything around me to the point where I lost sight of me. Saturday becomes my regular weigh in day, good bad or indifferent. Fruits and/or veggies at each meal and lean protein, easy on the sugar and carbs. It’s no rocket science.
Sometimes a wakeup call is in order and I am grateful to those two friends who gently reminded me that despite what Dr. Phil often says, it is indeed all about you
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I have been preparing to teach a seminar I haven’t taught in a while. The class is a group of young managers who have shown potential to develop with their company and ultimately fill senior level positions. The first question I ask them is what weight or value do they put on their jobs and how valuable do they see themselves to their company and its future. Typically their initial answers devalue their importance. They speak of being easily replaced.
I woke up thinking about that exercise this morning and I realized it applied to me as well. Like most other people I minimize my importance in this wonderful world. I don’t often think I make an impact. As I looked in the mirror I had one of those “Ah-Ha” moments. The effort I put into myself is in direct correlation to how valuable I perceive myself to be. If I felt the entire universe depended on my health and wellbeing to continue functioning, I would probably honor and value my body and health more than I do. The fog in my brain parted a bit and I realized the true indicator of my self-esteem and self-worth was right in front of me. I didn’t need any tapes, or books or DVD’s. I didn’t need to meditate every morning to find the hidden truth of the cosmos, its right there in my bathroom mirror. Every time I look at myself I am performing a quick evaluation of how I see myself. The days I feel good and confident it’s easy to stay with my food plan. Exercise is enjoyable. The moment my world is shaken well “hello donuts.” It’s as if I am saying “I’m really not worth it any way.”
What we eat, how we eat it and how much emphasis we place on our own health is in direct correlation to how we feel about ourselves. Believe it or not, that’s good news if you are reading this blog. It means every day you log on to Spark People and you do the things you know are going to produce positive results. I am sure there are other things you could be doing with your time, but you have placed so much value in yourself, you make the sacrifice because you know you are worth the pay off. I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve read by people just like you who spoke of the struggle and sweat and pray and hope. Without you, my daily journey is a tough one. Without knowing that you have the same doubts and fears I have on a regular basis, well, I’m not always sure I could continue. When you have doubts because the needle isn’t moving and you just blew it at your high school reunion, I can relate.
The real beauty that I see in you is that you persevere; you honor and value yourself as a human being and as valuable person in this world. No, like me you don’t think about it that often. Like me you don’t stop to think what this world, the community would be like without you. When I first joined
Spark there were a handful of people who bottle fed me through my first six months. All but one of those dear people is no longer here. Maybe they reached a goal and moved on, maybe they became discouraged and left or maybe they didn’t see their own worth and value to themselves, this community and this world.
Later today I plan on sending out some Goodies to the people in my life here at Spark who helped make a difference. Yes, in many respects my life is in a series of knots right now, but I’m here every day drawing strength from YOU. That’s how valuable you are. You are one of the many people who hold this fragile community together. You mean so much to me.
So……………… LOL…………………. Get up, go look in the mirror, RIGHT NOW, and see what I saw, the amazing, wonderful person looking back at you and remember that until you value yourself, love yourself and respect yourself…………. No one else will.
Finally…………. Thank someone for simply being there. Maybe they aren’t aware of how important they are to you. It will make their day. I promise.
Monday, July 18, 2011
I thought about Doug Murphy this morning. When I worked for Doug he wasn’t much older than I was. We were both “children of the sixties,” and for the most part we got along with one another quite well. That’s not what I’ll remember about Doug. Doug had a unique ability to put any situation, especially the negative ones in perspective. Anytime our part of the operation would take a turn for the worse Doug would stand directly in front of me and ask one question, “Have you done everything you can possibly do to correct the problem?” When I’d answer that I had Doug would throw me two quarters and say, “Then I guess there’s not much more we can do is there? Go get us a Coke.” I realized then it was his way of motivating and affirming me all at the same time. After a while I learned to ask myself the same question long before Doug did. When I reached a final “yes,” I’d slip back into my routine and just keep plugging away. Doug’s advice is one of the reasons I became a successful manager and ultimately a successful person.
Doug never gave any great or grand speeches, never yelled and screamed, and his office was pretty dull and boring – No quotes or inspirational posters. He asked one thing and one thing only and that was the best you had to give on that given day. Some days it was more, some days it was less but all he wanted from you was the assurance you’d done everything you could do to make a situation better. I’ll admit that at times I came into work ready to coast through the day. There is only five years difference in age between our last four kids and only thirteen months difference between the last two. Some mornings my tank was empty before the day even started. Somehow though, I’d do what needed to be done, whether I really felt like it or not.
Doug crossed my mind this morning because his words came drifting up from the recesses of my mind. I was looking at my food and exercise trackers and I asked myself if I was doing everything I could to assure I am going to live a long and healthy life. The answer was no, I wasn’t. I get tired, discouraged, bored, frustrated and a host of other self-defeating emotions and I use them as a crutch. After all it is not my fault I have tendinitis in my hamstring muscles now is it? Any one going through all of these emotional issues would naturally turn to food, wouldn’t they? But rather than being harsh on myself, I remembered that Doug was never harsh or critical either. You see there WERE times I wasn’t doing everything I could do and he’d cause me to think. By the time he came back to talk to me I’d usually come up with a few activities to correct a negative situation. Doug taught me that when you have done everything you can do it’s ok to have that “emotional Coke” and quit beating yourself up. Life is simple, we find a good path of behavior, we develop good habits, we stick to them and after a while we find success. There are days, maybe even weeks or months where we find ourselves doing everything right and seeing everything turn out wrong!!!
Fruit and veggies aren’t always glamorous, exercise can be painful and boring and stepping on the scale can be like going to the gallows. They are all part of doing everything I can do. Some days it’s not fun and some days I feel like everything I touch falls apart on me. Yet most days I realize that all the effort I’m putting into myself right now is going to pay off big down the road.
Doug never talked to me or compared me to other supervisors. He knew I was more capable then some and less capable then others. What concerned him was my little piece of heaven I’d been given responsibility for. It’s hard some days to read a blog that trumpets and triumphs those folks who have happily reached a goal. It can be discouraging because we often don’t see the progress in ourselves. It’s really hard not to compare. So when you can look in the mirror and say you’ve done all you can, and nothing seems to gravitating in a positive way, take a really deep breath, relax and smile, success might be just over the hill.
Ask Doug Murphy.
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