Tuesday, November 30, 2010
They say in real estate that there are three things driving the market: Location, location, and location.
In my mind, the secret to success in a maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a similar mantra of three things: Motivation, motivation, and motivation.
All the knowledge about nutrition available, all the cookbooks and healthy recipes, all the healthy foods at the market, all the gym memberships, home exercise equipment... are nothing without motivation! Nobody can MAKE you want to do this but YOU.
Is that true? Well, yes, and no. Until you know you want it, nobody can give it to you. But, once that tiniest spark is there? It can be nurtured and fed and brought to a burning flame by... one another!
The secret to maintaining motivation is a good support system of like-minded people... to give us encouragement when we have a "down" day... to remind us that we're doing this for a reason (even if it's not the same reason), and especially to remind us that we're not horrible people just because we aren't perfect at following whatever plan we've decided upon.
Perhaps your real life friends are sick to death of hearing you talk about it. Perhaps you are even tired of talking about it yourself. BUT... here on Sparkpeople... there are these communities of like-minded folks, walking their own journey, by your side. None of us is here on Spark 24 x 7... but almost at any time SOMEONE is!
So just now I'd like to shout out to everybody who writes in blogs or on message boards of their own ups and downs. To everybody who reads what's written, and to everybody who ever comments or writes messages of encouragement and support. Kindred Spirits All... reminding one another that we have the ability, we have the desire, and yes, we are worth it!
Have a great TUESDAY! And may you have your own daily dose of motivation.
Monday, November 29, 2010
He came and collected the (remainder of the) pie while I was at work.
Monday, November 29, 2010
After all that recognition of the success of the year, I must have got "cocky" yesterday, because I ended up baking another pumpkin pie. Ostensibly for my son, who likes my pies and only gets them this time of year. However, he didn't come over to pick it up, and... well, I hadn't tasted the first one I made him back on Veteran's day... and the holiday weekend was almost over... yep! Indulged. Not crazy about what the scale says this morning, but also not surprised.
BUT... the important thing about this whole deal is not that there are "slips" now and then. Perfection is not required. Diligence IS, however, and there are way too many opportunities to slip this time of year. I have to be careful about choosing when I indulge and in what. Yesterday I recognized that I was probably going to crave that pie until I *did* try a piece. And it tasted wonderful... and yes, she says with a little puff of pride, I still have my touch for the flaky crust!
I am glad it is Monday and I have a structured day and for that matter a whole work week. One choice at a time. Today is a new day. Today is a normal day. And I don't have to go into that whole perfectionist martinet voice verus rebellious voice thing, now do I?
Sunday, November 28, 2010
This morning my home is full of the scent of lit candles and the sound of Handel's Messiah. It is still dark outside, it is that time of year, and the bright stars stand out in the clear sky. Since the weather has been mild over the long holiday weekend, many neighbors have outdoor lights up and lit. What a difference from last year when we were already being socked in my slick and snowy weather by now.
A long weekend gives me more time to think about many things, and this weekend one of the things I was thinking about was goals and how they change. I went back over the photos from the past year, and was surprised. You see, last January, I met my original goal of 150 (on the JC scale). I had no expectation that I would be sitting under 125 (on the home scale) now. What I wanted to do was maybe lose another five pounds (adjusted goal) and then maintain for a year.
I was very proud of this photo, my starting picture, taken last New Year's Eve:
I'm still pretty proud of where I was then. I worked hard to get there.
Here is today's version, as it's the end of a month again:
As proud as I am of where I was a year ago, and that I was "working on it"... I'm even more pleased with where I am today... not because of body size, but because of health. I like feeling good far more than looking good. I'm big on comfort... and one of those oddities of life is that what you think is comfortable in an immediate moment doesn't always lead to long-term comfort.
Exercise may seem like a big commitment, but those ten minutes you work out in front of the TV? Lead to so many benefits! That walk you take away from your stressful job for ten minutes? I can't even begin to say... it leads to better decisions as well as better health.
And then, eleven months later, you gaze at the tree lights, the candle light, and the star light, feeling good in your own skin and recognizing the absence of pain... and an amazing thing called JOY and an internal thing called PEACE.
It's not always easy at the moment of decision... but for each little healthy choice... today I am truly grateful! And to each Spark friend who has posted in good times and bad... that intentionally or not encouraged me to make the next healthy decision? I have a huge debt of gratitude to pay back (or forward).
As so many say, "If I can do it, so can you!" Seriously, is my life so different from yours? Aren't you worth that ten minute decision? Isn't feeling good worth it?
We CAN do this! And... we are worth it. Never give up... that's the only rule.
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Yes, people, it's four weeks 'til Christmas... for those of us who celebrate it. And for those who live around us and have to put up with the cultural effects of it.
My personal countdown clock began on Thursday, as I hugged one of my nephews good-bye at the Thanksgiving family gather. He asked, "Christmas eve at your place?" I responded, "Yes." What's weird about this is that I may be the only person there who considers herself Christian.
Back a generation from mine, my mother's sister could never wait 'til Christmas day to open packages, so their tradition was to open the gifts around the tree that night.
In my growing up years, this tradition continued. It involved a soup supper, followed by Dad reading the Christmas story from the Bible, ending with the magi presenting their gifts. We were not well to do, and there were five of us kids, so the gifts we gave were small ones: a candle, a pair of slippers, a new spatula for mom's kitchen. It was usually something a body needed. Nowadays, what were our gifts would be advertised as "stocking stuffers" if they were advertised at all.
The joy of being together was the big deal. This Christmas eve, which was the "real" family Christmas for us, was followed by trips to the two grandmas houses, 60 miles distant, for Christmas breakfast with one grandma, and Christmas dinner with the other, and the car ride home, under the stars, singing in the back seat, led by mom, who could not carry a tune, but it didn't matter.
By the time I moved back here, the venue for Christmas eve had changed to my older sister's home. Mom was gone, Dad was better with going there, rather than trying to host. By this time, my brother was far away, and of the three sisters left in town, two had converted to Judaism. But we still gathered together as a family on Christmas eve, had our soup supper, and my sister would read from the family Bible, ending with the story of the magi, and the phrase "And that's why I give gifts at Christmas".
My "before" picture that I posted here on Spark is from one such gather: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_photo_gal
This is how my Jewish nieces and nephews have learned about the faith of their relatives and the traditions of the family. When my sister acquired a grandchild and started flying out to spend Christmas with that family... well, things changed again. One niece mournfully asked, "What will we do on Christmas eve?" This was last year... at the last minute, I acquiesced, and Christmas eve moved to my house.
Our religiously eclectic family will gather, I will read the Christmas story, and there may be a few small gifts to pass out, but the latest Christmas tradition is the announcing of what charities I have chosen to donate to, in lieu of giving gifts.
In the meantime, my home will start getting its holiday look, and I will fill it with Christmas music. Yesterday as I put up the tree and focused on the memories each ornament held, it was Handel's Messiah. I have gathered about ten or twelve albums over the years, and will change them and light candles and have moments to myself each day, soaking it in.
I choose to spend the next four weeks in the thankful frame of mind we just nurtured with the American Thanksgiving holiday... what a great way to arrange things!
My Spark friends (for whom I am grateful)... a wish for your Holiday season: may you consider yourself among the recipients of gifts, and give to yourself the gift of living in the moment. Soak it in. Love it. There's a reason for the season. Be kind to yourself, physically, mentally and emotionally. We are worth it.
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