Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Now I've blogged my ABC's. Someone else can take up the theme and blog their own alphabet... or not.
But that leaves me with a feeling of a finish line... which is one of my danger signals.
This weekend and next weekend, the furnace / hot water heater, some work issues... too much peopling, the changing season... and lots of externals leading to the temptation to compare my life with the lives of others. Another of my danger signals.
In my head was the usual replay of things said, not said, social mistakes made on Sunday. I don't know WHY I do this to myself, but I should be prepared for the fact that I DO do this to myself. Then a succession of service people came trooping through my house. The bug spray guy complimented my house, the kind of social thing that people do (I do it myself): "You have a nice place here". And the plumbers did, too. And what does the dark side of my brain do with that?
Get this: the same thing the dark side of my brain does with compliments about my weight loss! Response, "I don't keep it up like I should!" Can you believe it? And this leads to the internal thought (NEVER said out loud, of course): "I don't deserve to live in a place like this, I don't take care of it."
And then my brain goes to the people I'm going to be seeing next weekend. Yes, THAT side of the family. You know the ones? Oh, you DON'T have people like that in YOUR family? These are the ones who have always been thin... who don't "get" that you struggle, even when you ARE physically thin? The ones that have money, and don't "get" that you have to budget carefully? The ones that talk / seem to brag about what's going on in their life. The ones you sit on the knife edge between envying and loving to hate, even though they are family and you know you "should" love them?
If you have healthy boundaries, you separate yourself from people in a healthy way: they are them, I am me, we each have our own lives and challenges... they are just choosing to talk about the positives, not the negatives! And that's OK, I don't have to be the star!
But what does the dark side of the brain do with people like this? The dark side of the brain wants to compare and compete. In this competition, there are two choices - to enter the lists, or avoid the joust. In entering the list, you end up in a "can you top this" thing, and end up doing things that socially you hate yourself for later (i.e. bragging, talking too much). In avoidance, you reject the good and the bad both, tell yourself you don't care and then overindulge (usually in private, before or after). All or nothing thinking, right?
I can't win with that kind of thinking, so it behooves me to start working at strengthening my boundaries NOW! Of course all of this is in retrospect. In the Monday that really happened, I allowed myself to be totally set up for overindulgence. It was like watching myself in slow motion as the pressures built over the day... and I succumbed. Confession good for the soul? I went after the leftover lasagna. And other things as well.
The good news: I tracked it all.
The better news: I've taken time to think about it and plan for the weekend ahead, seeing this as my "sign".
The best news: I am learning to accept even this "spinning" as a part of my personality... just something I have to adapt to - like a disability that puts a person in a wheel chair or requires a screen reader! I can see it. I can write about it... and I can make changes in my thinking. I don't have to stay stuck there. And I don't have to keep eating over it. Even if I started. My stay in the land of health is not over because of this one day.
And if you managed to read all the way through this self-indulgent rant... bless you, you probably identified on some level. We CAN overcome these things... one decision at a time. One day at a time. And this is a new day.
Monday, October 11, 2010
What, no foreign words allowed? But Zeitgeist is in my Webster's! It denotes the spirit of the age; trend of thought and feeling in a period.
Perhaps it is overreaching to use it in personal terms. Zeitgeist is huge... usually thinking in terms of the spirit of a century, an era, or a decade.
I've mentioned how my way of looking at my journey and motivation has changed over the decades of my life. That's the sense in which I am thinking of my Z word today... how attitudes and focus change over time, and there are periods in time as well as periods in our personal lives when certain things take focus.
So, question for all of you: what is the spirit of your time, meaning right now? Is it reaching for your goals? Is it defining them? Is it maintaining gains you've worked hard to achieve? Is it basking in gratitude for a life well lived?
As I leave the alphabet blogs behind... and contemplate "what's next" in terms of writing assignments... the spirit of my time is expressed in brief phrases "this time is for keeps", "I think I want to stay here"... and "this really IS the new me". The spirit is to recruit new folks to the neighborhood of health and fitness... not by force, but by example. "It isn't always easy... but it's SOOOO worth it!"
Sunday, October 10, 2010
MY will to the demands of my body?
my feelings of rebellion to not just obedience but joyful acceptance of my real needs?
What a concept! Now that is the intransitive verb use of "yield"... giving in to pressure. And believe me, when you start listening to it, a healthy body can exert a lot of pressure: it wants healthy food NOW when it's hungry. And it wants to MOVE a certain amount each day. Granted, most of the time, we want our mind to govern what we do... but sometimes it's important to yield to the needs of the body, because that body needs to be healthy to support that wonderful mind!
But then, there is the another meaning of yield (you know there always is). In this case, I am thinking of the transitive verb. Webster puts it this way:
1 to produce; specif., a) to give or furnish as a natural process or as the result of cultivation [an orchard that yielded a good crop] b) to give in return; produce as a result, profit, etc. [an investment that yielded high profits]
Yes, good old 1b! What is your investment in SP yielding for you? Are you profiting from your time here? I am! The yield for me of participating in SP is confidence, and motivation to keep going. The yield of my nutrition and exercise program is a healthier body... my doctor smiled a LOT at my annual physical. (Notice I'm now using it as a noun?)
Hopefully, my blogging my way through the alphabet will yield a greater understanding of what's going on!
May each of us yield to healthy impulses today, take care of body, soul, and spirit today... and yield blessings in the process! One day at a time.
Saturday, October 09, 2010
Yes, gang, she's back on the topic of body image! And from the direction of xenophobia, an honest to gosh real word that starts with "x".
It means "fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners or of anything foreign or strange". Well, what better word to describe how we might feel when we find ourselves in a "strange" size or shape? I rejoice that I've reached a goal, but I may not feel quite at home at first. Perhaps I'll try to hang on to some old comforting habits (or clothes) that remind me of where I came from?
lies that way, for some of those comforting old habits were what kept me in the land of unfit and yes, fat.
Assimilating into the "melting pot" of healthy lifestyle takes longer than just the time to drop the pounds. It takes living here for a while and becoming comfortable with the newer habits, levels of activity, and even sizes of clothing.
Last weekend my younger sister and her daughter took me clothes shopping for our niece's wedding next weekend. The "petite" department still feels a little foreign to me. I kept being drawn to the "plus" side of the store, seeing things that were cut in styles that flattered my former shape!
Still, I tried things on that really do fit, and I brought home a lovely little frock for the wedding. I'm looking forward to wearing it: but I also detect a warning message in the back of my mind: "You're a fraud, you're not REALLY this small". So, a "don't get cocky" and a dose of humility are in order. I think of all the times I have worn "cute" smaller-sized clothing only to blimp right back out of it, not feeling quite at home. Like an immigrant assimilating into the culture, I must adopt my new "home's" customs! Eating well, and being satisfied with "enough"; and giving in to the craving to be active are all customs of my new home!
Here's to reinforcing that this body size IS "home", not "foreign"; here's to overcoming xenophobia!
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!
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