Positively Charged!

bus

When I was growing up, my father was a HUGE Zig Ziglar and Positive Mental Attitude fan. He was also a bit of a latent hippie. It was the ’70’s and we rode around in a Volkswagen Bus with different colored flower stickers all over it. So, yeah, as a young girl being dropped off at school…well, it could be pretty embarrassing. Plus, when he would drop us off at school, he would park in the front and make us repeat a Paul J. Meyer quote:                                          

“Whatever I can vividly imagine,  ardently desire,  sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon must inevitably come to pass.”

Now, yes, there was a car line. And no, he would not let us out of the bus until we had repeated the quote word for word. Very embarrassing! I just knew the cutest guy in class was sitting in a car behind this blinged out VW bus watching me just sit in the passenger seat.

Jump ahead 43 years and I can still repeat that quote word for word. So can my children. It has helped me through so many difficult tasks in my life. In fact, two years ago at 460 pounds, when I decided to do something about my life…that was the first thing I wrote in my journal. And it is the first affirmation I say to myself every morning. 

After all these years, I have realized something. My father was pretty smart. At my lowest, when I thought there was no hope for me…I could still vividly imagine myself being able to walk through the mall with my daughter without losing breath and having to sit. I ardently desired to be in a more healthy body, oh did I ardently desire this! And then those last two: sincerely believe and enthusiastically act upon. 

After failing at so many diets and so many attempts to exercise, how could I possibly sincerely believe I could do this. And tell an overweight person to enthusiastically cut back on the carbs and see what happens. It won’t be pretty, trust me.

But Paul J. Meyer knew something that I did not know. Once I start imagining and desiring, then the “believing” and “acting upon” fell right into place. The more I saw myself being below 400 pounds and wanting that, the more I began to move and to eat differently. At 400 pounds, I began imaging 350, then 300, then 250 and now I am seeing myself at 200 pounds and going strong.

And a funny thing happened along the way, I began to stop hating myself. I stopped blaming my weight on my situation. I spent more time outside with my daughter. I traveled. And I SAT IN THE MIDDLE ROW FOR A PLAY (a really huge deal for a person who used to spill over the seat).

So when my father was trying to instill some positive thoughts into the mind of a 12 year old child, I doubt he ever thought that it would save that child’s life 40+ years later.

But it did. 

 

 

 

In One Year and Out The Other!

2019It’s that time of year, yup, you know what I am talking about. THE NEW YEAR! 2019 and New Year’s resolutions!

The gym memberships quadruple and all the salad foods are missing in the grocery store! I couldn’t find a parking place thins morning at the Y. I actually did my warm up by walking from the parking spot all the way to the Y door (I was going to take an Uber to the door, but..well…).

I walked into the gym and saw people every where. It was very nice to have people to talk to while i was ellipticalling (I am sure that is a word). Although, the people I was talking to did not seem too thrilled to be hearing about my latest adventures with our new dog. I guess I was so enthralling with my story that everyone wanted to hear it, because at least 10 different people got on the elliptical beside me and then got off almost immediately. They must have been wanting to make sure everyone had a chance to hear my stories! Right??

Seriously though, I was looking at all the new people at the gym and couldn’t help but get excited. Everyone is starting new and fresh. A clean slate. Those that overate during the holidays with the promise to themselves that they would “start exercising in January” were there this morning working it off.

It is always thrilling to start a new adventure in your life.  You feel excited, you feel unstoppable, you cannot wait to see what this change will bring to your life during the next year. And then it happens. The change isn’t as exciting and it becomes harder and it doesn’t seem worth it and that cheeseburger and fries were looking really good on that billboard.

Don’t let your New Year’s resolution become just a January resolution. Stay motivated! Don’t give in to temptation! Do get up another hour earlier to get that walk in. I know what you are thinking, “yea, that’s easy to say BUT…” I know all the reasons why you CAN’T keep up the commitment. I have used them all: my kids are sick, I don’t feel good, I can’t possibly maintain a house and exercise, my mom needs me, the cat ate my 1980’s leotard and legwarmers. Yup – I have used them all.

But I realized something about a year and a half ago. These excuses were for me, not for other people. I was trying to justify to myself why I wasn’t keeping up with my diet and with my workouts. Other people really don’t care if I am eating right or if I am on the elliptical or if I am at home watching “Judge Judy” reruns. I am the one that it bothered, that is why I always had a convenient excuse in my back pocket.

Until you want to make a change, it won’t happen. We have all heard that and yes, it’s true. But if you are in the middle of making a change to your life, I am going to tell you something that makes it  HELLA easy.

Surround yourself with support.

And not just any support. I didn’t lose over 225 pounds by chatting online with an agent from AT&T. I opened every door of my life and let the beautiful people in. The people who wanted to see me succeed, the people who believed I could succeed, the people who didn’t sabotage or discourage me. And it made it much more bearable. It wasn’t easy, but I had a net of support to fall into if I needed to.

If you don’t feel like you have this support – reach out to me! I am an EXCELLENT supporter!

Et Tu, Peeps?

So it has happened. Every store in our country has special “holiday” treats. Pumpkin Peeps Christmas Chocolate Mousse Reindeer - 6ct/2.375oz - image 1 of 1Spice lattes, peppermint bark Oreos, hot chocolate M&Ms, hot cocoa Peeps (yes even Peeps are teasing me), candy cane Oreos, gingerbread Oreos (OK, someone needs to address this Oreo situation) and of course Starbucks has a whole menu dedicated to peppermint, white chocolate and caramel!

It used to be so exciting to me. I think I challenged myself to try and have one of everything that was holiday themed. I would grab an Arby’s mint chocolate shake on my way to buy everything at the grocery store that had either Santa’s jolly face on the wrapper or had peppermint in the ingredients. My kids would never know what would be sitting on the table in a decorative plate…cookies? maybe. Christmas candy? Maybe. A working chocolate fountain surrounded by various forms of sweets to be dunked? After all, I was showing my kiddos how “in the spirit” I was.

Why do the holidays have to be such a difficult time for people who are trying to stay on a certain eating regiment? Because food is associated with celebrations and social situations. And there is nothing wrong with that. There are people all over the world who do not have a problem eating what they want during the holidays. They can splurge and splurge and never suffer any consequences. I, however, am not that type of person.

Last year, during this time, I fell of my eating program with a massive rush. I wasn’t mentally strong enough to fight the gingerbread men and chocolate Santa. I thought I could sample a few sweets and breads and then not let it bother me. That does NOT happen.

This year, I AM strong enough. I have come too far to allow my self to give up even for one day. I can do this but the question is “can you”?

I you go out to eat with someone and they say they just want a side salad, do you immediately ask them “are you sure that’s all you want?” or “don’t make me eat all these cheese sticks alone!”? My eating program makes other people a lot more uncomfortable than it does me. The other day I met with a few people for lunch and I just had an unsweetened tea. I was immediately questioned to the point of wanting to jump up and scream, “NO I DO NOT WANT TO ORDER ANY RAVIOLI DUMPLINGS IN GRAVY!” But I didn’t do that. I simply say “I’m on a restricted diet at the moment” and then I pretend to wipe my eyes and look to the side very wistfully. They usually assume there is something majorly wrong and they do not ask any more questions.

If you are at a party this Christmas and you see someone passing up the Swedish Meatballs drizzled in caramel cream sauce, don’t immediately begin to question them or force feed them. They are being strong and they are attending the party how they want to attend the party.

Instead of making them try the deep fried chocolate clams, just talk to them. They may be interesting enough to talk to without food involved!

Peace out!

 

 

Outside the Comfort Zone

Exercise. It’s always been a dirty word to me. How many times have I heard: “It doesn’t matter how you eat, you have to exercise” or “move at least 30 minutes a day” or “exercise was created by Satan”. OK, I made up the last one but I am pretty sure it is true.

I started working out at the local Y. I haven’t stopped (OK, my son won’t LET me stop). I thought I was really on top of it. I was feeling a bit cocky, a bit too cocky (dramatic music…). Then I met “HIM”.

I went to a trainer. For the first time in my life. I was scared to death. Totally not something that makes me comfortable. TOTALLY! I made my husband go with me. I honestly had visions of them standing over me with a stop watch and a clipboard, shaking their heads and making funny sounds, like: “hmph” or “mmmmmmmm” or “dear lord in heaven why has this woman waited so long to get here”!

He pushed me harder than I have ever pushed myself. There is a bit of my brain that makes me stop my own workout at a certain point…oh yea, that is the point of passing out. I tend to talk a lot and joke when I am nervous. Always have. He fixed that problem!! I was breathless the whole time so I couldn’t talk or joke.

But you know what?

I went back. A second time. There are few times I have really felt proud of myself…the birth of my children, the first time I passed by a Chick-Fil-A without stopping and going back to this trainer.

My point of all this is that if we do not push ourselves out of our comfort zone, we will never grow or change. I have had to push my boundaries so many times over the past 2 years. I have always been very content in my little world..never venturing out, not passing GO and not opening myself to others. I thought I was content. I thought this made me happy. But I was wrong.

Someone said to me the other day, “There is a light in your eyes that I have never seen before”. At first, I thought that was so sad. I felt like I had been such a pathetic person. Then I realized that I cannot feel sorry for that person. I have to forgive that person and go on. That person was a scared woman who had no idea she could be anything else. And she couldn’t be anything else…until she pushed that comfort zone to it’s limits.

What keeps you behind walls? Is there something you need to break through? Share it with me…I have a hatchet…I can help you tear it down.