Sunday, November 29, 2009
I need constant reminders of my commitment, so the following one is inspired today by the Motivational article by Coach Dean, Behavioral Psychology Expert, "Write Your Own Contract for Success - A Simple Way to Make Yourself More Accountable".
I, TAZMOMSGOL, hereby agree and commit to continuing to take the following steps to improve my accountability to myself and increase my chances for weight loss success:
(1) Return as often as I can to SparkPeople to read and use the tools.
(2) Use the Message Boards and encourage others.
(3) Daily recognize the things and people for which I am grateful.
(4) When I exercise, challenge myself to do a little more, a little harder, a little longer, a little newer and differently, and a little better.
(5) At the moment that I realize that I am being negative, I choose to think, act, and be positive.
(6) No longer agree to do something for anyone when I am being pressured - it needs to be MY choice.
(7) Spend more time doing things that I enjoy and consider using my strengths.
(8) Reread my SparkPeople Membership Pledge often - that´s why I keep it right by my computer screen!
(9) Only purchase foods and snacks that I know will work in my plan and within my calorie limits.
(10) Never, never, never allow someone else to push me into eating or doing something I know I should not!
I will not let one small slip-up convince me that I'm stupid, worthless, or a lost cause. I will respect myself by refusing to engage in verbal and mental self-abuse, and I will find positive ways to comfort and support myself when I am having a hard time. Specifically, I will:
(1) Realize that everyone has an off-day once in awhile.
(2) Give myself a break!
(3) Rest a bit or do something different for awhile.
(4) Find a pet to snuggle or brush.
(5) Have tea in the garden.
(6) Call a friend who I know will encourage me.
(7) Do some self-soothing.
(8) Watch a great movie or play a computer game for an hour.
(9) Write down my thoughts in my journal or blog.
(10) And if all else fails, go buy myself a reward (that is not edible!) at the mall!
I will not sacrifice my own needs to make other people happy, or do for them what they can and should be doing for themselves. When there is a conflict between my exercise and eating plans and what other people want me to do, I will tell them that I need to think it over and get back to them. Then I will take time to evaluate whether or not what they are asking me to do:
(1) Goes along with my goals.
(2) Is a reasonable request.
(3) Fits into my fitness schedule.
(4) Fits into my calorie limits.
(5) Is affordable to me.
(6) Is something that I want.
(7) Does not distract me from my goals.
(8) Is not something I will regret later.
(9) Enhances my strengths.
(10) Is not spur-of-the-moment and done without thinking carefully how it affects my life and what I know I need to do to be healthy.
I choose to be in charge of my own decisions and behavior. I will not talk, think, or act as if my friend, child, spouse, cravings, or subconscious made me do it. I will ask myself what is most important to me at that moment and make my decision. If I don’t like the consequences, I will try something different the next time realizing that I am now better equipt to make my own wise choice.
How Surfing the Web Helps Your Brain
I AM CHANGING - Jennifer Hudson (lyrics on the right under more info)
Sunday, November 22, 2009
This is a true story except names have not been changed to protect the not-so-innocent!
17+ years ago, our stereo was plugged into a 220V socket (we live in Brazil) and it was fried – too old to repair broken parts. So we put away the old vinyl discs and missed our music. I got a bright idea to start putting money away in a secret hiding place. It was and still is very difficult to set aside anything extra because (1) DH is THE boss in ALL financial matters, (2) Although I have tried repeatedly to have my own checking acct, have an allowance, or set aside pennies, he has shut them down, and (3) I give up way too easily to the nagging!
Well, so, with a lot of inner fortitude and prayer, I began to hide little bits of change and some payments I rec´d on the side for tiny jobs I did for others. Finally, we were travelling back to the U.S. for one of our furloughs. What to do with the dough? Well, the safest place I could find was in my old worn-out tennies, under the inner sole. I divided it. And just knew no thief would ever look inside an old stinky pair of tennies for money!
I asked my oldest son to help me find the best deal and we searched high and low finally finding exactly what I wanted at a BJ´s. So I counted my stash. I had enough, except the two twenties that were on the outside of each bundle, were rubbed away from friction – who’d a guessed THAT would happen?! I cried and prayed wondering what could be done. It took me a LONG time to gather that money and I would be short for purchasing the unit I had found.
On a day that the kids were in school and I had the car, I dropped by the bank and sheepishly took my two twenties to the counter. Almost crying, I asked the cashier if my two defaced bills were any good. She looked them over carefully, to my surprise, said that since the serial numbers were still legible, they were good! She traded them for me and I took off flying to BJ´s – quick before anything else happens to my little wad!
Oh yes, DH was in shock for a few days when he realized that his little wifey had sneakily hidden cash from him – he got over it and even helped me pick some CDs over the next several months. He carefully packed the player and speakers too. Little did I realize what was going through his mind though.
We returned to Brazil and the stereo went into the most logical place – the office. At that time, I occasionally got to use DH´s desk for paperwork and enjoyed listening to my music on MY stereo. Then he bought ME a desk as a surprise which didn’t fit in THE office. And the stereo remained. It didn’t fit anywhere else in the house. I spent most of my time with the kids – in the kitchen or family/school room and was asked, insistently and politely, of course, to keep the kids out from under foot, including their toys, and out of THE office, where DH was studying or counseling others. I couldn’t find time for just enjoying my music any more.
Fast forward 17 years, the kids are gone. I have my own office in a corner of the guest room and I REALLY want access to MY stereo! I asked and DH went into pouting – “Well, what will I listen to?” Hmmm….
Why would I share this story with you on SparkPeople? I just want you all to know that SP has affected ME in many ways, not just in regard to eating better. Along with making healthy and positive choices for oneself, comes exactly THAT! I needed to make a healthy AND positive choice in this super-stretched-out personal matter!
I gave it a bit more time – hey, what are a few more months after 17+ years, anyways?! I wanted to be absolutely certain that I would be firm and fair! My dearest friends and those SparkPeeps who’ve been walking alongside on this journey to wellness and well-being know that I have made countless leaps in the challenging areas of MY Life during these 3+ years as a SparkPerson. So here’s how it went –
I told DH I was taking my stereo in two weeks. I suggested he purchase his own ASAP. I told him he had gotten the best part of the deal and had no reason to complain. (I had decided to stop listening if he did!) Once that was done, I decided exactly where I wanted it and we went out to buy a new bookshelf for it. And now, I am in heaven – well, not quite, but you know what I mean!
This is MY Life, after all!
“Real freedom is creative, proactive, and will take me into new territories. I am not free if my freedom is predicated on reacting to my past.” - Kenny Loggins
“A life based on reactive decisions, made out of fear and limited options, is never going to be our path to our best life... but that's what many of us do.
If we want amazing then we need to do, decide and create (be proactive).”
“Being proactive usually means dealing with discomfort, lack of support, fear and even resistance from others.”
“Okay, here are my simple, let's-not-make-it-too-tricky suggestions for moving from a reactive to proactive existence.
(1) Think... but not too much... (you'll end up doing nothing).
(2) Consider (and visualise) the cost and the consequences of a life-time of reacting.
(3) Create a to-do list right now and start ticking boxes today.
(4) Deal with your fears.
(5) Stop looking for, wanting or needing... the approval of others.
(6) Have your goals and dreams wrapped around a realistic, practical plan.
(7) Set yourself dead-lines.. "I will do... by... "
(8) Get stuff done early in the day (when possible)... it helps get your head in the right place.
(9) Use an accountability partner (friend, coach, mentor) to help keep you on track.
(10) Have an opinion, get off the fence... stop being a spectator.
Okay.... now, ready... set... go.”
- Craig Harper: Learning to be Proactive not Reactive www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Learning
If No One Will Listen, with lyrics - Kelly Clarkson
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Not a crazy cat! Nope. Gonna be a wise guy from now on! I am committing to NOT buying and bringing home certain grocery store items for myself. Some are because I tend to get out-of-control; others because my body tells me the love affair is over; and still others because they are just plain bad for human consumption! Realize, too, that these are recently realized no-no´s and that some things YOU might consider listing for yourself have already been eliminated from MY pantry. I keep reading labels. Recently discovered info on MSG and how it is in some prepared foods and NOT listed on the label. That is frightening! Thinking that I need to find out more about MSG and me!
Here´s my list:
~candy (except 70% or more dark chocolate, tictacs or to gift)
~cereals (except for occasional granola)
~chips and similar items
And I commit to buying less of these, even for guests:
~meat and poultry
~white flour products
I really appreciate what one of the SP articles says - if you feel like you need a snack, start with fresh fruit or vegetable. When I remember, that works for me. Must become a habit!!!
I am in love with fruits and vegetables!
Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows by Leslie Gore (Oh I was a teenybopper then!)
Sunday, November 08, 2009
A few days ago, I did an exercise to help me with my self image. I made a long list of all the negative things that I can remember that anyone has said about me or what I “think” others think of me. Then – I rewrote every negative into a positive. As I began to do that, at about the 5th or 6th one, I realized that I wasn’t really doing that. What I was doing was defending myself for what I think!
No! No! No! Stop that! Shred that paper and start over! The 2nd time through, I got it!
As I wrote the 1st list, I felt deeply sad, as I do whenever I recall these horrible comments and the individuals who said them to me. Many of the times that I heard them, I tried to defend myself and to get the other person to realize that it was okay for me to think the way I did and do. I never was able to convince them. I continued hearing these same criticisms over and over for most of my adult life; they went around and around in my head and heart continuously. I desperately wanted people to have a good opinion of me, to respect me, and to listen to what I had to offer! And many times, out of ultra-frustration, I unfortunately did the TAZ-thing, for which I am ashamed. It was NOT cute at all!!! And it did not endear me to anyone!!!
Several years ago, I began to recognize what I was up against. One of the eye openers occurred when I went back to get my bachelor’s degree at the age of 51 (6 years ago). One of my classes helped me visualize my place in my life and in my career. The conclusion of my prof was that I needed to change lives and jobs!!! Wow!! As I weighed his words and the truth of what had happened to my life, I made a HUGE decision to stay put, as hard as it was, is, and will be. I KNOW that THIS is my calling and where I need to be. So…it is a continuing learning experience which keeps stretching me and not without gaping wounds, I can assure you.
So back to my recent list of negatives turned positive. The list that follows is the positives and they are true about who Vicki is today. The other list, well, I had a tiny one-person burning ceremony. As I burned that list, I realized that all those things are lies about me! Those things were said to me to stop me from interfering with status quo, to keep me in line so the choices of others (right or wrong) could be maintained, and to manipulate me into serving a master (whether that master was conscious of it or not) instead of making my own choices.
For most of my adult life, I have not known that it was okay for me to be an individual thinker, to express my opinion or my creativity, or been encouraged to do so. I am still dealing with the ramifications of some of this and may never find answers or help for some things that need changing. What a wonderful realization that I am NOT the person defined by those statements! THIS is MY Life, after all!
I am productive and energetic.
I am cooperative.
I am respectful.
I am courteous.
I am strong.
I am loving and warm.
I am caring and sensitive to the needs of others.
I am calm and reassuring.
I constantly stay away from bullies and manipulators.
I am proficient in both English and Portuguese.
I know how to communicate well.
I face up to troublemakers.
I am thrifty with money.
I am slim and attractive. (Hah! Working on this one!)
I am artistically adept and creative.
I know my limits and get my needed rest. (Struggling a bit with the rest part at this time in my life!)
When I am rested, I feel energized.
I am a wise nutritionist and an excellent cook.
I take life issues seriously and never criticize underdogs, under-privileged, or handicapped.
I enjoy church services.
I love relaxing at a good hotel or resort.
I expect the best behaviour from others especially from those who say they love me and care to show it.
I empathize with and encourage those around me.
I love giving and receiving gifts.
I am considerate and helpful to others.
I am tactful and kind.
I am calm and rational.
I like church and want to enjoy the company of those who want to worship with me.
I am friendly, concerned, and sociable.
My ideas are great and many of them come to fruition.
I value my freedom, independence, and strength.
I am sympathetic, empathetic, and tender to the needs of others.
I make healthy food choices. (Most of the time!)
I make clear and precise requests for what needs to be done.
I am an uncomplicated woman.
I have my own preferences and tastes and make my own choices.
I am strong and healthy.
My tastes are exactly what I prefer and are good for me.
I permit others´ differences of opinion and I encourage their expression even when I disagree.
What I want is important: working towards my goals and reaching them is worthwhile.
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” – Anais Nin
One of my faves is “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” I guess because of the hope I feel when I hear it AND because OZ may be somewhere in the Kansas farmland where I was born!
Norah Jones with words:
Celtic Woman with lyrics -
Charlotte Church -
Israel Kamakawiwo'ole -
Olivia Newton-John and daughter Chloe Lattanzi -
Judy Garland (lyrics on the right under more info) -
And this Christian song has been an encouragement to me when I´ve felt confused and haven´t known what to do - Casting Crowns - Voice of Truth (with words) -
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Thought I´d share why I chose my nickname as TAZMOMSGOL.
TAZ can do whatever he wants to do and is still considered CUTE! At least in the cartoons! I´d like an earthling to love ME in such a way that even when my dark side shows through, I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, that I am still loved. I am certain it would be a safe place with no fear of rejection. I would not hafto hide the real me under a costume of whatever suits others. I could let my hair down, so to speak, and relax. I suppose most people want this kind of acceptance.
For a few years, I had a car that I assumed was really truly mine. Turned out it was only mine to use. Alas, it was sold so that my husband could purchase a brandnew pickup. Anyway, at the time I joined SparkPeople, I was using this cute little Brazilian VW Gol. And I had freedom to go where I wanted when I wanted if I wanted. Sure do miss that car!
So, um, sorry! Got off the subject for a moment!
So, putting the words together, I came up with TAZMOMSGOL.
The word GOL has another significance for me. Here in Brazil, in Portuguese, "gol" means goal. So whenever I see my page or my posts, I am reminded that I have made goals and that I have lots of choices to keep making that will lead ME to MY goals. In the past 3+ years as a SparkPerson, I have recognized that I AM A WINNER. I will continue to be just that so that THIS Mom WILL reach all of her goals! That´s ME! I will get the prize pay-offs as long as I keep right on making those positive and healthy choices.
Now things have changed a bit and I have been thinking about changing my SP nickname, just haven´t found any that suit me more than this one. And, besides, everyone here already knows me by this special name. Kinda fits.
I think I´ll keep it for now. After all, THIS is MY Life!
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great. -Mark Twain
The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what we want most for what we want at the moment. – Anonymous
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no ones definition of your life; define yourself. - Harvey Fierstein
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. ~ Dr. Seuss
If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. -Henry David Thoreau
The bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet notwithstanding, go out to meet it. –Thucydides
All progress has resulted from taking unfavorable positions. -Adlai E. Stevenson
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