Friday, October 08, 2010
I chose "wholeness" as my W concept to remind myself that none of us is one- or two-dimensional. Any program of self-improvement, be it weight loss, organization, time management, or education has to consider the whole person.
Whole is another of those interesting words with many meanings:
1 a) in sound health, not diseased or injured b) healed
2 not broken, damaged, defective, etc.; intact
3 containing all the elements or parts; entire; complete
4 not divided up; in a single unit
5 constituting the entire amount, extent, number, etc.
6 having both parents in common
7 in all aspects of one's being, including the physical, mental, social, etc.
I'm mostly thinking in terms of definitions 3 and 7: the completeness of a program, addressing all the elements that make up a meaningful life. Hopefully addressing physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and social aspects of life in a healthy lifestyle program leads to both 4 (a whole night's sleep, on a more regular basis) and 1 sound health!
So in thinking about my journey over the decades, these are the things I have been seeking - a program that doesn't just give mechanics of what to eat and how to exercise and so forth to drop pounds. It has to also address the fact that I eat for reasons other than physical hunger! It has to included "what do I do with all these emotions?" It has to include some social support that goes beyond applause for numbers on a scale.
I believe that a good deal of what I love about SparkPeople is the social aspect of the blogs and teams: we support each other. We've been there. We speak our individual truths, share our struggles and triumphs... we're almost... dare I say it... a "spiritual" community of sorts. This is an element that commercial programs nod at but rarely achieve.
So... is your program "whole"? Do you feel supported in it here on SparkPeople? I certainly do!
Thursday, October 07, 2010
I'm back into The Solution (by Laurel Mellin, M.A., R.D.) for my v-word. One of the size causes of weight problems she writes about is "poor vitality". And its corresponding solution is "good health".
The point that the author makes is that in order for even a walk around the block to be a pleasure, not a chore, requires vitality, or health! Believe it or not, with my own particular upbringing, this was an eye-opener: I really had to pay attention to my body and what it was telling me, and get some things fixed! I first read this book in the mid-1990's, and I buried my head in the sand and ignored that chapter for another five years!
With my personal background this was a huge hurdle. Those of you who know a little more of the story know there was a religious element involved... I was raised in a faith where you "don't go to doctors". I left the church a full four years before I overcame that hurdle. Trust me, when raised from childhood with non-standard beliefs, it's hard to come into the mainstream. I was over 50 years old by the time I went in for a baseline assessment!
Funny thing, long before that, I had tried various things to address my weight issues. But this was always a hurdle for me: the prohibition from seeing a doctor, having him or her sign off on a goal weight interfered with just about every weight loss program.
Today I stand grateful for having moved beyond those childhood limitations. As with so many things it life, it wasn't easy. But it has been worth it.
May those who come across this contemplate "what's limiting you?" Are you holding on to old prohibitions... way back to childhood? Have you adopted habits and beliefs that don't hold up in your life today? Is it time to let some of them go? Are you ready to take up the challenge?
Here's to a vital and vibrant life, for all of us.
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
'FOUR THINGS IN MY LIFE' QUIZ - shamelessly copied from Chris Turtle, MeddyPeddy, and others!
Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Newspaper carrier
3. Telephone operator
4. Computer analyst/programmer
Four movies I have watched more than once:
1. Apollo 13
2. Chariots of Fire
3. You've Got Mail
4. Sleepless in Seattle
Four places I have lived (all US):
1. Fairbury, Nebraska
2. Endicott, New York
3. Indianola, Iowa
4. Lincoln, Nebraska
Four Places I have been:
1. Rome, Italy
2. Baltimore, Maryland (USA)
3. Lewiston, Idaho (USA)
4. Boston, Massachusetts (USA)
Four of my favorite foods:
1. Broccoli Sandwich (from the YOU: The Owner's Manual book)
3. Omelets with lots of fresh veggies
4. A good cut of lean beef (steak)
Four TV shows I watch:
1. NCIS, Los Angeles
2. The Big Bang Theory
3. Big Brother (addicted, now the secret's out)
Four places I would rather be right now:
1. Quite happy to be where I am right now.
2. On a beach, gathering shells and watching the sun rise (so that means an East coast, somewhere)
3. Snuggled under the covers, sleeping in.
4. Hiking around a State Park with companions... but maybe not RIGHT now... about mid-day!
Four things I am looking forward to this year:
1. My niece's wedding
2. The Run to Remember at Fort Hood
3. Enjoying the holidays with a PEOPLE focus, not a food focus.
4. Knowing I have the strength to shovel the snow this winter. Again!
Enough about me..................how about you???
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Ever find one of those words that you can't define without using the word itself or its root or derivative? "Use" is one of those words!
As a software designer (one of my hats), I once took a course in "usability". Bear with me, this does have a Spark connection. In this course, about 20 software / hardware engineers sat together and were asked as an opening exercise to design a "usable" hot and cold water faucet: what direction the handles would turn, which side things would be on, etc. Also included were controls for a stove-top.
So, any predictions for what designs came out? Did I hear a voice in the back saying, "you designed what you already used!"? In fact, that's true. Each of us ended up drawing the faucet control or stove controls that we had at home. Whoa! To US, they were usable. But they certainly were not identical.
This exercise was to wake us up to the fact that to design something usable, you needed to understand who was going to be using it, what their background and experience was, and so on.
Which brings me to Spark, diet, and exercise. Each of us brings to Spark a wealth of experience. There are a lot of content experts here on Spark who know nutrition and know exercise very well. But each of us will find the tools here more or less usable based on what we have already experienced.
Extending this to eating plans and exercise plans and mind-work: nobody knows YOU better than you! (Well, maybe your mom or your spouse... but I digress!) Tools and programs have to work into your life. I just saw a blog by SLENDERELLA61 yesterday where she was adapting her schedule to fit in the things that have become priorities to her program, so that she can continue her maintenance journey successfully.
I had to do something similar last Winter / Spring / Summer when a large work project interfered with my energy levels... I had to adapt my expectations and my plan to fit the way my life needed to work for six months or so. Change isn't always easy. But it's seldom absent. Adapting things in a program to make them usable where I am RIGHT NOW in my life is essential to long term success.
That means considering, re-considering, and adjusting... you know, those that I see setting monthly goals have something there. When I sit down with an adviser (maybe even that internal adviser in my brain) and discuss upcoming events in life and how I will fit my program around them, I am doing the same sort of thing: planning and adapting.
So this is my wish for all of us today: Here's to keeping our weight management and fitness and nutrition plans fresh and usable... with periodic reviews of "how it is going".
Monday, October 04, 2010
Time. We only have so much of it. Yet each of us has exactly the same amount each day. How we use it is important to our health and well-being, but also to those who rely on us. There are a vast number of "time management" systems, from the Franklin Covey systems to the One Minute Manager system to you name it that purport to help us learn to better manage the time that we have. But it dawned on me this morning (yes, in the shower, post-workout, endorphin-influenced)...
I do one of three things with a given moment in time: I think, I avoid, or I act. OK, that IS an over-simplification, but it will do for the purpose of this entry.
Thinking in a moment can be simple observation of my surroundings, but it often involves the past, the future, and judgment of what I am observing or thinking about. The "thinking" is where those of us with problems beating up on ourselves get in trouble. This is when we don't just observe our behavior, remember the comment someone made to us yesterday, or contemplate the wedding that's coming up in a couple of weeks: we make judgments about it!
More acceptance, less judgment in thinking about what's going on in my life has been a blessing of my program.
Avoidance is something that I do. I think others with compulsive issues (be it eating, drinking, cleaning, gambling, working, whatever compulsion is your favorite) do this too. We behave compulsively to avoid facing something. Or to avoid doing something we consider unpleasant. My little "binge" on Saturday was partly avoidance behavior: if I'm eating I can't be doing something else (cleaning).
By the way, for those of you waiting for the next chapter in THAT saga, I spent a good deal of Sunday doing what I had been avoiding on Saturday. That leads right into the third thing to do with my time: act. Since I have a new furnace and hot water heater getting installed today, I needed to get the area of the house where they are going to be cleared out to give the workmen space to work. And while I was at it, I started in on another chore I've been avoiding... for three years!
Yes, the kids moved out three years ago, leaving a lot of clutter behind. It has taken me until now to address parts of that clutter, and yesterday I did! It just so happens that a good chunk of that clutter was near where the work needs to be done today. I'm rather pleased with myself.
Moral of the story: thinking does not require one to stop acting. You can think while acting, and sometimes that casts a more positive spin on the thoughts. It helps work out anger. It helps wash grief. It helps heal the scars of that "beating up on oneself" that some of us are so prone to inflict.
This is not to minimize the importance of restoration thought, meditation, relaxation... those are needed too. To STOP the thinking. To relax the muscles that have worked well today. To rest and sleep. And I did, very well, after my day of action.
Here's to a healthy use of our 24 hours today! May we nourish ourselves, have some activity, and take time to restore... may we live a life of Mastery, just for today.
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