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Watch your language!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ever notice how bad we talk to ourselves sometimes? We call ourselves "lazy", "failure" and say we'll never succeed? It's like a part of our personality has been taken over by all the monsters we ever imagined from childhood on: the bullies, the mean girls, the taunters.

Where's the nurturing voice in there? The "that's OK, they're just jealous", the "you'll do better next time", the "you're still lovable", the "you can do this" voice? The comforting arms the healing touch?

So... having a hard time with your program? Which motivates YOU better? The bully or the best friend?

Everybody's different, but the bully is not much of a motivator for me. If I'm not careful, I could start to believe what she's saying! I could go in to personal history, but the whole "I'm not worth it" thing plays in here.

The best friend is better for me. I have to be careful about choosing that "best friend"... some best friends are wolves in sheep's clothing, to use a cliche.

The best friend that says it's OK not to try? Lose her. The best friend that says "let's go get a pizza and blow off this workout"... well, shall we say, "limit contact with this one"? It's not like I can NEVER get a pizza and blow off the workout... but I need a best friend who gets that I only need one slice and I can only do this once a month, or every six weeks, if that often.

The problem with reverting to old means of coping with emotions in food is that, besides being scary ("is this the start of that downward spiral back to fat-land?"), it invites the bullies in. Sometimes it's better not to start.

The best best friend for me? The one that says, "let's go for a walk, we'll feel better", the one that says, "this, too, shall pass", the one that says, "you're worth it: look how far you've come", the one that says, "just for today, you can do this!"

Here's hoping the voice I offer to others, and the voice I give to myself, has words of encouragement... as a best friend!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 7/18/2010 11:31AM

    LOVE this blog... The BEST FRIEND is indeed the one who cares enough to keep you healthy!!! Having been the brunt of bullying for years and years, even now, I did internalize that voice. Maybe that was also what I was talking about this morning's blog. Maybe if I am positive I will fail and the bullies will be right. WHAT?!?!? That logic stinks! So, I'll keep working on the BEST FRIEND and leave the bullies behind. Perhaps this is my biggest challenge in all of this.

Thanks for sharing this. I need to listen.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/18/2010 11:15AM

    This is an example of why I keep coming back to your blogs Barb. You so get it - and you help me to get it too.

A lot of this is about how we present ideas to ourselves and to others about what our options are and the reasons behind our decisions.

Great blog!


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PEGGYJEAN13 7/15/2010 10:21PM

    There are plenty of those who try to sabotage our efforts. We should make sure we don't do it to ourselves. Thank you for saying this so well.

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THIAGRAM 7/15/2010 12:16PM

  So very well put! We are what we think and we become what we say. Thanks for your very encouraging, inspirational, and motivating words! Thanks for being my Spark friend!

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ANDI571 7/15/2010 11:21AM

    When I started gaining my weight back, the one thing my husband said he noticed was, when I was losing the weight before, I never beat myself up, or said negative things. He said he noticed I was beating myself up every time I would over eat, or not do something right.

You are right, we say things to ourselves, that we wouldn't say to a friend.

I have been trying to work on that.

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ANONALEE 7/15/2010 11:19AM

    I'm with you, Barb! Treating myself as a lovable friend is far more motivating to me than going all drill instructor on myself. Thanks for writing this.
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SMARTIEBEE 7/15/2010 10:01AM

    Barb, your blogs are always so insightful! And this one was, once again, very timely, and just what I needed to hear! I have been hearing that "best friend" voice, telling me it was ok to not do what I really needed to do. And the mean girl telling me " I don't know what made you think you could do this in the first place, you've never been athletic, you've never been a small person." But I argued back, and said "Yes, I was small once, no I wasn't all that athletic as a kid, but I AM LEARNING!" And then I went for my 4 mile run and loved it! So - Thanks for the motiviation!

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SHAPNUP 7/15/2010 8:04AM

    The words you offered to me recently were so needed and have been well-received. As you can see, I've been sucking some more encouragement from several of your blogs. Getting motivated! Thanks for listening, for responding, and for caring. emoticon emoticon

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HEIDE69 7/15/2010 8:01AM

    You are so right! We all should nicer to ourselves-sometimes it just easier to be the negative guy!

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CHELLESDOINGR8 7/15/2010 7:54AM

    Wise words of wisdom!!! Thanks for sharing!!!

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Day 22 of Blog-a-day for a month

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Goodness, it's been three weeks of daily blogs! I know I said "six days out of seven" for the next month, but I haven't missed a day yet. I think I'm getting addicted to these self-directed pep-talks!

And there are side benefits to the blogging pep talks... when I come and blog, I'm also likely to track. Tracking gives me confidence in my program.

Today's germ of truth: it's a process, not a project.

Weight loss itself can take on a little project aspect, BUT, if you notice, projects have an end point! Taking care of your health for your life time does not. So you have to cut yourself some slack, get over the deadline feeling, and do something right, just for today, or even just for the next five minutes. Then give yourself credit and hold yourself as a person with dignity.

These thoughts are not unique... you'll see them all over the Spark community. They are the reminders to ourselves that we are worth taking care of.

Bottom line: it's OK to mess up. It's NOT OK to GIVE up!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 7/15/2010 8:01AM

    This is just the thing I need to hear today. I'm cutting myself some slack and focusing on doing something positive!

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PENNYAN45 7/14/2010 8:12PM

    What a GOOD idea - to blog every day for a month.

I have found that when I write a blog - it keeps me so much more focused on this PROCESS (not project). (I completely agree with you that this is a process -- a LIFELONG process for me.)

At the end of your month, I would love to hear all the benefits you have derived from your daily blogging. And I'll bet there are more than just getting you to log in and track your food daily. There is something about writing that stimulates thinking in new ways.


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ANONALEE 7/14/2010 3:50PM

    Agreed! Doing the next right thing is a simple solution that many overlook for the big score, but it's a sure winner in my book and, I suspect, in yours.

Cheers,
Debra
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MSLZZY 7/14/2010 11:31AM

    I like the idea of this lifestyle being a process! You've expressed it in a very positive way. Thank you! emoticon

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THIAGRAM 7/14/2010 10:43AM

  Your blogs are such a great example and inspriation! I love the idea that this is a process not a project! Thanks!

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/14/2010 8:49AM

    I like that saying-I might steal it! I sure have had lots of experience with messing up, but I have NOT given up. Thanks for the reassurance. I'm looking forward to the rest of the month's blogs.

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PATRISNA 7/14/2010 8:44AM

    emoticon You are so right about this.



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POLARBEAR63 7/14/2010 8:13AM

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Keeping it green!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Random thoughts this morning - I read a newcomer post in my team "At Goal and Maintaining". I highly recommend reading newcomer posts as a way to keep your motivation and memories green. It dawns on me that it's been about six months since I started with that team.

Maintenance always scares me... because I'm a repeat loser, and a repeat re-gainer. I know from experience that for me, keeping healthy habits is a matter of caring, and a matter of doing, and a matter of energy and general health.

It's taken me forty years to get from where I was as a teenager worried about snide comments from classmates to the "little old lady in training" that I am today. Some of those years have been spent fit and happy. Some have been spent fat and miserable. And some have been spent in the other quadrants, too: fit and miserable, and fat and happy!

Disconnecting emotions from fitness and the number on the scale is probably one of the hardest things to do. Why is that? I think for me, it was easier to put the blame on the fat, than it was to address what else was wrong in my life.

So when I was miserable, not only did excess food serve as a comfort and as a way to mask feelings, it also served as a punishment. Once I had misbehaved with my eating, and gained weight, I could blame my unhappiness on the weight, and live with the fantasy that losing weight would solve all my problems.

Over the decades, I've learned better. I've addressed other health issues, and am continually working on things like my tendencies to perfectionism and imbalance... binge eating, binge cleaning, binge anything... I just seem to have that kind of personality: work on something to burn-out, then collapse in a heap for a while, and move on to the next thing to focus on to burn-out.

emoticon That game has stopped. Well, not completely, but at least I can see that I'm playing it, and give myself some caution signs. emoticon

That said, just for today... I am feeling grateful for a sense of balance. Just for today I will live my life one breath at a time. I will love life, because it is precious. May all who read share in that blessing, of living today just for today.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 7/14/2010 7:05AM

    Very honest and enlightening from one perfectionist to another!Have a great day! emoticon

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THIAGRAM 7/13/2010 10:35PM

  this is so awesome that you realize all this and can put it into words so well! Bless you!

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FATESLADY 7/13/2010 1:48PM

    Sounds like the way to be. Thanks for the post.

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FIT-AT-50 7/13/2010 11:54AM

    What a great message. I like to post motivational quotes in places that I spend a few minutes a day. Your last paragraph is probably going to go on my bathroom mirror.

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Diane
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ANONALEE 7/13/2010 8:59AM

    A wise and wonderful post, Barb. Just returning from a 2 week stay in the hospital with serious complications that almost pulled me off the planet, I can testify to how sweet it is to be alive and to live in the day. My recovery, like yours and everyone's, is a long, non-stop process of learning to care for ourselves and be our own best guardians.

Cheers,
Debra<
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PEGGYJEAN13 7/13/2010 8:15AM

    Our emotions depend on much more than how much we weigh. It is a consistent battle to balance everything in our lives, and be comfortable in our heads, as well as our bodies. Knowing that does not make it easy, but should help to know that weight loss does not solve everything. I think that is a monumental realization.

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GOHUSKERS2 7/13/2010 7:58AM

    That's a hard thing to do but I thank you! And keep up the good work. I see you've lost 66 pounds, if my math is accurate. That is awesome!!!

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PATRISNA 7/13/2010 7:52AM

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The problem with cleaning

Monday, July 12, 2010

I think I'm the same kind of cleaner as I am an eater: I binge. I'm manic - depressive. I get the house in shape (just as I get my body in shape) and ask "now what?"

I never thought of myself as having manic cycles, but my infrequent bouts of housecleaning could be taken as a sign. Housekeeping, like healthy habits, is a never-ending job. I rather imagine that the same goal-setting, motivational things that one uses to lose weight and maintain a loss might also be applied to housekeeping!

Wouldn't it be nice if my home was always "company ready"? Or at least close enough that it would take only five or ten minutes to get it there?



And yet, once I get it there, I find that I have just shifted the clutter to another room (like we shift the neglect we had for our bodies' health to another area of our lives). Hmmm.

Will I ever grow up? Sigh. I doubt it. Meanwhile, I'm working on it... "I deserve to live in a dignified manner... and that includes a healthy body and a functional home."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 7/15/2010 7:59AM

    Oh my gosh! I have manic cycles, too. Do you think it's hormonal? It must be. But once I get a bug up my, er, nose, look out! I'm not stopping til I'm done!

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ART_ROBOT 7/13/2010 11:57PM

  This really spoke to me. I could have cried when I got to "will I ever grow up"

Will we all ever grow up, seems there are a lot of us around who could very easily have written this post, though yours is definitely more eloquent than mine would have sounded.

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/13/2010 8:20AM

    I am a "project" person. I focus on somethng until I complete it and then wonder "what's next"? I wish I wasn't such an "everything in it's place" person because I think I miss out on a lot of fun because of it. I think the key is being okay with how it is.

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MSLZZY 7/12/2010 11:24PM

    I could have sworn it was me talking! I'll keep working on it if you do. emoticon

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NELLIEC 7/12/2010 5:45PM

    I tend to be a off-and-on tidier also. However, since I am officially handicapped, it is nice to have a choreworker most days to help me out.

It will probably be somewhat more challenging when I have my flooring replaced, section by section, since that will involve lots of furniture moving. The worst will be the bookcases, since they have to be emptied first!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/12/2010 5:16PM

    As you said, twins on another continent - I was just saying to someone at work today, as I tidied my desk before some time out, that I seem to vary between untidy and clinical. I've never thought of it like this before but I'm a yo-yo tidier!

Perhaps this is my next challenge.

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ANDI571 7/12/2010 11:47AM

    I refuse to grow up, that just makes you old. House cleaning never goes away. I had the kitchen all cleaned up, then we came in from shopping over the weekend, and it's all back on the counters. It just never goes away.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 7/12/2010 11:24AM

    Oh, I'm just like you -- and ever since I discovered that if I miss cleaning the toilet one week or skip changing bed linens one week that no one dies, it's gotten worse. LOL!

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PATRISNA 7/12/2010 11:23AM

    You were busy this weekend. The house looks great both indoors and outside. I agree that we tend to move our clutter from one place to another. I also have the pack rat gene so I have trouble finding a place to put all the stuff we collect. DH calls me "The Queen of Stack." Now about growing up, I don't think that will ever happen to me.

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ACROSONIC 7/12/2010 10:41AM

    I have a pack rat husband, which makes it hard to clean and find places to put things. I've been doing flylady.com and it helps. I've got my morning and afternoon routines pretty much down, now need to work on a few more baby steps!

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SUNNY332 7/12/2010 8:10AM

    I wouldn't worry about growing up. We will grow older but growing up will always be an option. Enjoy your clean house and don't worry if it's not "company perfect" all the time. Homes are homes when someone lives in them.

Hugs, Sunny

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Deterrent from yard work

Sunday, July 11, 2010

OK, yesterday it was the $$$ and the embarrassment, spurring me to "do something" about my overgrown plants in the yard. Today the tug is in the opposite direction: the sinus after effects of both that and some indoor cleaning/reorganizing has me wanting to hide from all elements!

Before & after of a couple of shots I posted yesterday... first the deck corner:


By no means "done", but at least I can walk to and down the steps without brushing the weeds!

And, the patio, as shot from the South:


Again, far from "done", but I see progress. The huge weed that was attacking my television cable lead-in to the house has been cut down to size.

It rained overnight which might make today's effort dicey.

Meantime, inside the house... I picked up this little book on feng shui off a bargain table at the book store. Self-help junky. Yep. And I rearranged my parlor and discovered a couple of deficiencies. So... no formal exercise, but a lot of work, yesterday.

Today... recuperate and contemplate.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 7/11/2010 9:13PM

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/11/2010 7:53PM

    Don't you get a great feeling when you take charge and get something done? Sounds like you got a lot done.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/11/2010 5:17PM

    You made a big difference in a short time. Well done.

I like the de-cluttering aspects of feng shui but I'm much better at the theory than the practice!

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MSLZZY 7/11/2010 1:47PM

    Very wise-form a plan of action for another day.

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SUNNY332 7/11/2010 1:30PM

    Good for you. I too am going to take a rest today - headed out fishing. If they are not biting, I will come back to the house and ride the bike.

Hope they are biting. emoticon

Have a GREAT day, Barb.

Sunny

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KASEYCOFF 7/11/2010 10:51AM

    Hey, Barb, it really looks like you got a lot done already! And considering how much money you're saving, you are doing great. Looks like your yard is laid out really nicely. Does feng shui apply to outdoor living spaces as well as indoors? :-)

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