Monday, August 09, 2010
I was just reading a blog but it could have been any number of blogs that talk about fresh starts or beginning again... when this thought popped into my brain: "Are we really beginning again... or are we continuing?" . o O (Uh-oh, she's going philosophical on us again!)
The path of self-care began when we were children, infants, even. When we first reached to feed ourselves, or started to crawl, we began didn't we?
It is a journey of enlightenment, of learning, and of discipline. Our personalities play into how we perceive it, big-time. To me, it's all about choices: learning to make ones that will take us where we want to go. Everything from learning how to walk to school or which way leads to the park as kids to more adult choices: what to buy at the grocery store, what career path to follow.
While learning what to do to get us where we want to go... we need first to understand where it is we want to go. What is our heart's desire? Only each of us can know what that heart's desire is: perhaps even figuring out what we want / are meant to do in life is part of the journey.
I may not even be able to express my heart's desire in words. When I was a kid, and people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I had a one-word answer in my head: "Happy". What I most desire is inner peace... freedom from fear. To feel contentment. I know what it feels like, I've felt it... but it is elusive. It can slip away when the picture around us changes! If you're a sensitive soul, it can slip away from simply seeing someone else struggling! If you're a controlling personality, it can mean you start trying to fix life for everyone else!
Responding to others, then, is also part of the journey. Because we are not alone. Self-sufficiency also requires community sufficiency. This journey never ends. Even when "beginning", we are really "continuing". Continuing to learn, to grow, and to work to achieve our heart's desire.
For today, I will put aside the things beyond my control, and do what I can. I will nurture my body and my mind and my soul. I will be kind to others but I won't try to live their lives for them. I will accept the grace of contentment without complacency.
May all who read feel a peace within... that elusive contentment... and be kind to yourself.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
One of my major themes in this journey is learning to treat myself gently when I'm not "perfect" about the plan. But another major theme that I subscribe to is, indeed, what Marenamoo says "Be ever vigilant."
I was whimsically thinking of what to blog today and this title popped into my head: "Being vigilant doesn't mean you can't be gentle!" Just to be sure, I looked it up!
Vigilant, according to Webster, means "staying watchful and alert to danger or trouble." That's it. Being aware of what's going on around us, and in us. This is not an impediment to being kind to ourselves.
I like to think of parenting my inner toddler at times like this. When I slip and slide I imagine a little girl with red curls stomping her patent leather-clad foot and putting her hands on her hips and saying "No!" Yep, Toddler Barbie wants what she wants!
I don't know about you, but when I discipline a toddler, I have trouble keeping the twinkle out of my eye because they are so darned CUTE, and you can't help being crazy about them! Besides, it becomes a "teachable moment". I can talk about WHY a behavior is wrong, and how it benefits to behave differently. I can give Toddler Barbie another way to look at the world. There is nobody more adorably serious and remorseful than a toddler learning to make sense of the concept of "being good".
So, that's what today is about. Vigilance with kindness. I actually feel pretty good this morning. I slept well.
Saturday, August 07, 2010
It's Saturday, and it's a lazy weekend. My attitude has continued to be one of dissatisfaction and rebellion. Not good blogging material if you're trying to be positive.
I had my maintenance weigh-in consultation this morning. This should have put me in a good mood, as I have continued to lose slowly, even during maintenance. I fessed up to my insecurities, and all the craziness going on in my life, thought I had a good plan, and then came home to the blahs.
I was hoping to see my son on line. But he wasn't there. Frustration.
Held it together until after lunch, then fell apart with food. It started innocently enough... all healthy stuff. But then my son did show up on line with the message that I should not count on him necessarily coming home early as we'd been thinking he would. I was just adapting to that plan and like a yo-yo... it might not happen.
Napped in front of the TV, but not before continuing my little binge. In the end, I consumed about double my calorie range on the day, and did stop before it got as bad as it COULD get. And strange as it may sound, felt kind of OK about the entire episode. OK about a minor binge?
Yeah... kind of like: "I knew it was going to happen. It's happened. I can put it behind me."
And the major element of the binge? Lean ground beef! I was low on iron anyway, per the blood bank, on Monday. So, maybe I'm just responding to the urging of my body? And then again, maybe the little devil in my head got its way.
Friday, August 06, 2010
We talk a lot about comfort foods, the ones that make us feel good, take us back to childhood memories… but do we also have “comfort clothes”? Maybe it’s a particular style or fit, rather than a specific piece of clothing, but I'm thinking I do!
As a “large” person, I often had to buy things that did not fit me through the shoulders, simply to get the length and girth to cover my torso. Once I lost the weight, I still love several of these shirts and sweaters, but let’s be honest, they don’t really fit me.
While it’s wonderful to see my thinner self in clothes that fit, I have to admit that it is comforting to wrap myself up in an article of clothing that is “too big” for my new frame. It was cold at work earlier this week. I put on a sweater that I have hanging there because of the unpredictable nature of office air conditioning and heating. The sweater is now too big for me… even the smaller sweater that I bought a few years ago wraps amply around my tinier self.
I wrapped in around me like a blanket and felt… comforted. It made me feel protected, somehow. Like a little kid wrapped up in mom or dad’s shirt. Then when I took it off, and found myself in clothes that fit, I was OK with that, too.
I want to wear things that fit. I really don’t need to buy the bigger size any more. I want to trust myself to stay this smaller size. I find myself a little more willing to get rid of things that are bigger, too.
But I will keep a few “comfort clothes” around, despite the advice to discard it all. Because sometimes I need to feel like a child again.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Yes, slumps: where do they come from?
I don't know. They just show up sometimes. Those times when I just say, "Why am I DOING this? I'm tired of all this effort! Can I just stop?"
I've never been particularly good at monitoring my feelings, but I currently believe that a slump starts in the emotional part of me. They start with a feeling. If I don't pay attention to that feeling and "do something" about it, it can escalate into a slump.
Yesterday was such a day. Out of the blue, it seemed. But if I think back, it's part of a bigger picture. Hot weather. Fatigue. Irritation... yeah, I was feeling irritated at work. A few physical discomforts... I won't call them "pain"... didn't really rise to that level, but nagging little things like a not-quite headache and those silly tingles that I've been dealing with of late.
I came home bushed. I went through the motions of my exercise. I didn't overeat. But I was conscious of this "why try" attitude. This could easily become a slump if I let it!
So: how do they end?
Ever notice that sports stars go through slumps? How do theirs end? Well, they keep on playing, game after game. They might get some extra coaching, or take some extra practice. And eventually, their slump ends and they are back!
How do Sparkers get extra coaching? We come here! I did... I was reading the blogs of a few of my spark friends... and they resonated. Reminders of why we're on this journey in the first place. Reminders that we only live one day at a time. Reminders that each of us is worth taking care of. And that the only one who is going to take care of me is me! THANK YOU, fellow Sparkers!
So, in the interest of self-care... figure out what is really bugging me... what do I need? I needed a good night's sleep for one thing. Let's address the fatigue. Went to bed early. Got up on time. As I'm fond of saying, there's not much in life that isn't helped by a good night's sleep.
And I'm contemplating rewards, too... often the feelings that lead to a slump are the result of feeling unrewarded! I foresee a browse in the office supplies, looking at gel pens might be in my near future. It's one of my favorite inexpensive non-food rewards. I buy my own pens and take them to the office where I can take my notes in colors that please me! It's kind of the office joke.
But to get out of an attitude slump... it's the little things that count! Here's to a very short slump... a smiley in color... and keeping on keeping on!
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