Tuesday, November 25, 2014
Monday, November 01, 2010
This is a story about people who lived in Unhappy Land and were very unhappy.
Their unhappiness dominated their lives and kept them from being able to walk or bend over to put on their socks and shoes. They were unhappy because they couldn't climb stairs without breathing hard and having their knees hurt. They were unhappy because they couldn't fit into seats on airplanes or at the movie theater. They were unhappy because they had to use a wheelchair to get around when they visited a theme park and other attractions.
They were unhappy because they were all overweight. Some slightly, some grossly obese. All of their extra weight caused them health difficulties such as diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure. But no one knew what to do about their situation.
Until one day when several slim, in-shape visitors came into town promoting a fitness and weight loss program called SparkPeople. They educated the Unhappies about nutrition, exercise and healthy living. Their enthusiasm and especially their own fat "before" pictures showed the residents of Unhappy Land that there truly was a way out of their unhappiness.
The visitors explained that the Unhappies' weight did not accumulate overnight and so it would not evaporate overnight and told them if the Unhappies would simply focus on one healthy meal, one exercise, one positive day at a time, then they, too, could become fit and healthy and in shape.
This news excited the residents who asked the visitors to create eating and workout programs for them. The next day everyone gathered in the town square and began walking around the block. Some made it only half way down the street, others made it most of the way around. Along the way they all cheered for and rooted for the others, urging them on, encouraging them to stay positive and take baby steps.
As the months passed from spring into fall the Unhappies began to realize they enjoyed eating healthy food and that they could exercise longer and with more intensity. Bending over, climbing stairs and other daily activities became easier to do. They noticed, too, that they all lost weight and were feeling, for the first time in their lives, HAPPY!
In celebration of their new lives the residents voted to rename their town Happy Land and started wearing t-shirts and buttons that had smiley faces on them. Signs appeared around town bearing messages such as, "You CAN do it!" and "NEVER give up!" and "Stay positive!" and other inspiring sayings.
The now Happies were surprised when reporters came to town after hearing of the residents' magical change. They were from "People" magazine, "Woman's World" magazine and radio and television stations and scrambled to interview and profile the successful transformation of Unhappy Land. The reporters all asked the same question: "How did you all change from being overweight and out of shape to being fit and healthy and happy?"
To a person the residents of Happy Land shouted in reply, "SparkPeople." Now they all tell strangers that they, too, can become a new person living emoticon lives if they will only try to change, if they will only take that first baby step to a more fulfilling and exciting life, a step all who are unhappy can take IF they try.
It was a message that passed around the world and changed scores and scores of people from being Unhappies to Happies.
Will you be one of them?
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Today is a milestone -- my 1,600th consecutive day logging in to SparkPeople. But during that time I'm currently only showing a 22 pound loss? What gives?
Actually, I was down from 290.4 pounds, my highest weight, to 235 at one point but then the addition of numerous medications, steroid injections in my back, subsequent limitations on exercise, operations, and a long bout with depression all combined to jack me back up to 280 pounds.
Frustrating? Definitely! Enough to make me give up the battle to lose 64 pounds -- my goal of four 16-pound bowling balls --?
Most of us have likely lost, gained, lost, gained, lost, and gained the same pounds over and over and over and over, haven't we?
But to give up is to admit failure and that is NEVER, EVER, an option!
We are NOT failures!
Success is ours for the taking! Yes, there has 'only' been a net loss of 22 pounds over 1,600 days but those 22 pounds represent nearly 1.5 bowling balls further toward my goal. My clothes are looser. I am in the last hole of my belt and need to punch new holes in it. People are complimenting me on the weight loss. Failure? I think not!
I will NEVER give up and neither should you.
One pound at a time, no matter how long it takes. Even if it takes to the next milestone of 1,700 consecutive days. The weight may go up then down again but the lesson to be learned is that:
We must NEVER GIVE UP!
We are NOT failures!
Wednesday, March 13, 2013
When discussing developing a positive outlook, many public speakers are fond of using the rhyming phrase, "An attitude of gratitude." To me, giving thanks for blessings throughout the day is a natural habit. Sometimes the blessings are small, sometimes so huge that merely saying, " ," is not enough.
Here is an example of a small (to me) blessing: Earlier this week the light bulb in my dining room burned out. I made a mental note to change it but promptly forgot. That happens often to us, doesn't it? Later, as I pulled laundry from the washing machine to put in the dryer, I turned on the laundry room light to see better. As the light came on, I recalled the burned out bulb, finished loading clothes into the dryer and then grabbed a new bulb to replace the burned out one.
I often receive "alerts" this way. Perhaps you do, too. Always, I give thanks.
A major blessing is what happened today. This has to rank as one of the most major blessings I have ever received. Maybe not on a par with not being killed, maimed or blinded in car crashes (not my fault), but major nevertheless.
I had parked in a library lot on my way to attend a seminar. For some reason, instead of putting my keys in a pocket, I went to retrieve several items from the front passenger side of the car and set the keys on the car's roof. I went inside and 90 minutes later searched frantically for my keys. Then I recalled that I had left them on top of the car.
Scared of what I would not find in the parking lot -- my car -- I ran outside without hope the car and keys would still be there. But they were. Praise the Lord! Cars around mine had changed so I figured either no one saw the keys (unlikely since they were so obvious) or were honest enough to not take them.
My heart was beating wildly with relief . Imagine the trouble a stolen car would have caused -- lack of transportation, loss of hundreds of dollars of bowling equipment, office files and more. Plus dealing with the insurance company and police, finding a way home, having to get rides to look for a replacement car, not being able to bowl league until I could afford new equipment, missing doctor appointments, etc.
The list could go on and on.
All I could do was look into the blue sky and say, "Thank you, Lord. Once again you saved me."
You may have different beliefs but if you develop the positive outlook of "An attitude of gratitude" and give thanks for every daily blessing (traffic lights on green, dropping something and not having it break, and so on) your life will be enriched.
Being grateful for blessings does not eliminate money woes, trouble at work, rude drivers, a disrespectful teenager, poor customer service or other things that could aggravate us daily, but giving thanks to God or to the universe for blessing you will allow peace into your heart and soul.
But don't take my word for it. Try giving thanks for everyday blessings for a week and see how life becomes more positive for you. It works for me and could for you, too.
And, yes, from now on I will put my keys in a pocket as soon as I get out of my car.
Sunday, January 13, 2013
We all have things we don't like and things we do. Here are some of my thoughts about what I don't like and the positive side of what I do like. Maybe you can relate.
I don't like the way I look , but I do like the goal weight picture I keep in my mind and realize that goal can be achieved, despite setbacks, if I work diligently, day by day, inch by inch, pound by pound to get there.
I don't like that I sometimes overindulge as with the last two days, but I do like that new beginnings are unlimited and may start at any time which I will do every time I backslide.
I don't like that there is so much housework and yardwork that needs to be done, but I like the feeling I get when I have totally cleaned a room of the house or have raked several bags of leaves knowing I am making progress.
I don't like being alone, but I do like knowing that if there is a special someone meant for me to meet that it will be so and if not that I am comfortable living life anyway.
I don't like being in everyday pain from back problems, but I do like being able to still get around on my own without a walker or wheelchair although some days are more difficult than others and that I can still work out, within limits.
I don't like that money often seems in short supply, but I do like knowing that when unexpected repairs or other bills pop up that there always seems a way to pay for them.
I don't like that my normal positive attitude sometimes isn't , but I do like knowing that those down times don't last and that I have friends I can call to talk to and your blogs and posts to read to perk me back up .
I don't like the times when the words don't work and I don't make progress on my book , but I do like how far I've come with it and how writer's block doesn't last .
I don't like that I procrastinate, but I do like that it is a habit that can be broken, one task at a time.
I don't like that I will probably never meet all of my SP and Facebook friends in person , but I do like those I have met and the new friends I have made knowing that meeting more of you may happen in the future .
I don't like the frequent feeling that my life is empty, but I do like believing there is something important for me to do waiting for me and that I can pray for it to be a mighty mountain of challenge as I keep my eyes open for opportunities to serve others.
I don't like that I need to keep this short, but I do like being able to share more thoughts another time.
Be well. Let peace fill your hearts.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
When I last blogged in February it was to say goodbye to Little Thang, one of my kitties.
Today it is to say goodbye to Brownie, my last kitty , the second one to pass on this year and the third in two years.
Brownie and Little Thang were strays that came to the house a number of years ago, about six months before Kitty who passed on last year. All three were amazingly compatible with each other and with my dogs.
During the past week Brownie ate less and less and became lethargic. When I took him to the vet today, she said Brownie likely wouldn't make it through the day so we said goodbye, she gave the injection, and we watched and caressed Brownie as he quietly left us.
Brownie was about the friendliest cat I have ever seen; no one was a stranger to him. A couple of years ago a friend stopped by. He hadn't seen Brownie before but as soon as he sat down in the living room Brownie was on his lap, purring and doing the paw kneading thing cats do. A couple of minutes later he was asleep in my friend's lap.
One of the things Brownie loved the most was stretching out on the kitchen window ledge, especially when the window was open with a breeze blowing in.
He loved deli turkey and chicken. No matter how quiet I tried to be to trick him, he always heard the bread being unwrapped and I would hear "Meow, meow, meow," because he knew what was coming next. So as I made my sandwich I would have to pull apart a piece or two for him because his hearing couldn't be tricked.
But as much as he liked turkey and chicken, what he loved the most was being cuddled. When I was at the table Brownie would climb up, curl next to the computer and wait until I cupped his head in one of my hands so he could sleep. The problem was that he stretched his rear legs across the keyboard so I had to keep moving his legs with my free hand while trying to type one-handed at the same time. There was no way, though, that I would wake him; his head felt too warm in my hand and with his kitty motor purring, waking him would have been thoughtless.
I'll give a neighbor the cleaned out litter box and the leftover food and treats for her four kitties.
And, as before, I will notice how quiet the house is, and probably will forget Brownie is no longer with me when I call his name. Baby and Thumper, my dogs, know something is not right. They saw me leave with Brownie and then watched me come home crying without him. They haven't left my side as they offer their sympathy, sensing, I'm sure, that Brownie will no longer bless our house.
But one thing is certain -- Brownie, as with all the other pets that have shared my life over the years -- will always remain in my thoughts and in my heart. Brownie. I love you and miss you.
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