Thursday, March 11, 2010

Who Put This Here?

I stumbled onto my own blog by accident.

I was checking my LinkedIn updates, on a lark, and happened to notice a link on my profile entitled, My Blog, and there was a hyperlink attached to it. Blog? I thought to myself, do I have a blog? And I clicked it on a whim, and was spun into this alternate universe which is apparently of my own creation, so here I am.

Evidently, I have not had much to blog about in six months. Apparently I did not have much the entirety of 2009, as there seems to only be six posts for the entire year. In fact, noting the number of posts per year beginning with the blog's inception in '07, one can see a pattern emerging. This is a person who has less and less to say about most things, or has too much to say about fewer things. Or perhaps it is that so many things were happening she did not feel led to share. Yeah...that was it.

This has been the most financially and emotionally challenging six months there ever was, this past six months. Let's review: in 2009, I lost my license--won't go into that right now-- all but lost my business, began working for crooked attorneys who ended up not paying me--the hubster was downsized in July and after months of unsuccessful job-seeking in his rather esoteric field, gave up and went back to college, so now we live on student loans and unemployment--may lose the old homestead if I don't find a W2 j-o-b rather soon--lost friends from being unavailable--lost transportation (transmission, kerplunk, savings account, kerplunker)--lost the chance to use my prepaid ticket to see my son graduate from Army Ranger school when his graduation got set back three weeks--lost a cat--lost the economy--lost the government--lost Michael Jackson--lost Monk--it was a year of big losses...but the worst loss came in late December, when for one week, I lost the ability to dream.

It was a black, black week. I only remember it as a blur now, a mere two and a half months later.

2010 started off on the same successful losing streak...funds did not arrive in time to prevent losing, for the first time since we had it turned on in 1996, internet access...but strangely it turned out to be the best thing that had happened since torn challah. I had barely begun recovery from my journey to the center of the existential void when it happened, that fateful day, January 20, 2010. I am convinced it was Divine intervention. By God's grace alone, no one had to be looking down upon my inert form, wondering what happened here?

I was blessed with a sort of total internet, no cable, no car, no work obligations... I felt like a monk on retreat from the world. First, I slept. Then I cleaned. Then, I shaved the dog. At last, Forced to turn completely inward, I looked around and discovered there were shelves and shelves from floor to ceiling of dusty, disarranged books, in two different rooms in my house...who knew? And, about a mile up the road, within walking distance, something they call a public library with more books, and internet (I still fear internet), and DVDs of a slightly less commercial nature...again, when did they put that there?

My book shelves are all neatly arranged and categorized now. I have discovered the joys of DVDs in Spanish, Korean, Czech, Japanese, and Farsi...I am just starting to make new plans for further recovery of my body and soul, and have secured the means to replace the transmission in my dear, old Miata, thereby enabling me to actively seek the j-o-b, whereby I may avoid having to vacate the premises I've been paying for the last ten years. I hope.

Which reminds me...I found hope again! I read a story this week, which had to do with a young Hebrew man who went to seek his fortune in a far-off land, where he had heard he could find diamonds. He spent years abroad, and all his resources, looking for those diamonds, to no avail. Finally, beaten and utterly defeated, he returned home with his last bit of will. He arrived at his old house, heartbroken and exhausted, and the next day, went out in his backyard to bury something...I don't remember what, I'm just winging this, stick with me...and as he was digging, he turned up...yep, you know it.

So seems that when we think we have to go far away to find riches, they are often right here, inside, the whole time. Or at least, maybe I'll go check in the back yard. It could happen.
Oh, and since I didn't get to tell you~~ Merry Christmas!
May we all be blessed with a sweeter year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hiatuses are Vastly Overrated

I awoke very early yesterday, about 2:30 a.m., and as my consciousness wandered through the melatonin- and serotonin-draped hallways of my mind, it began to compose this comeback post. Of course, I've forgotten most of what occurred to me to say.

I believe it had something to do with some insights gained in the past half-year, about this living-process thing. It's as if the gods took one of those mallets studded with half-diamond shapes used to pulverize cheap meat to make it tolerable to chew, and beat the living doodie out of me. As if.

First off, I don't believe in "the gods"... I am a Believer in the Judeo-Christian God of the Universe. That's just how I roll. Not to make light of it, but it is intrinsic. Secondly, I was sorely in need of something or someone beating the living doodie out of me, I have come to believe. Consequently, with all which has happened in my life the past six months--- though not special and unique--- I feel I've come out a better person. At least a different one.

One thing hasn't changed... my need to upchuck my personal journey through whatever in print. I still have this basic need to connect, and I know most of us do. I like to do it in writing. Well, talking too, but mostly writing, because I cannot go back and edit the words which sometimes escape from my mouth.


  1. I hate having people stand over me/tell me what to do/make comments about my life
  2. I frequently need people to stand over me/tell me what to do/make comments about my life...dammit
  3. I will never recover from the death of my parents
  4. Loss of parents is not a valid reason for over-indulging and under-living
  5. I can lose a lot of money and get by on far less than I thought, and be pretty happy.
  6. I cannot and will not work for crooked, unethical people or companies, even if it means a regular paycheck.
  7. No matter what anyone does, says, or consumes around me, I am the one completely responsible for how I react to that.
  8. Waiting for others to change is never a good reason to put changes needed in my life on hold.
  9. TODAY is always the best time to start changing anything in my life that isn't working for my good, because Magic Monday never comes.
  10. In the immortal words of Stevie Nicks, children get older, and I'm getting older, too.

NEW PLAN: More structure from a more flexible program......oh, that's still for getting healthy and fit.

Here's what I've done the last couple weeks: finished cleaning out a storeroom of accumulated STUFF from my old houses in New Mexico, and my parents' house in El Paso, which had been in commercial storage for A DECADE; in order to clean out my own flesh storeroom of accumulated STUFF, begun to eat increasingly more raw fruit and vegetables every day, phased out beef and junkfood which I let creep increasingly back in, began drinking more and more water all day, cut down on the frequency of martinis, signed up for Tampa Bay Adventure Boot Camp, am participating until next Sunday in Frederic Patenaude's FallCleanse 2009, and come upon the way I would like to feed my body and build muscle for a while, maybe longer if I do-- one that uses whole, clean foods, and can be tailored for when you're feeling a little vegany, all the way to feeling a little meaty. That would be Jon Benson's EODD, and he has a great toning/musclebuilding program too.

So I continue my eternal quest for returning my body to some vague semblance of what I have come to think of as its former glory. And to shed toxins, poundage, and old rotten pain and resentments in the process. Time to let go of all of that. I am seriously tired of carrying all the extras around.

I didn't seem to make much forward progress in the past six months, but I have begun to ask myself questions about the basic way I think, like, forward? into what? And let the answers to those kinds of questions inform my subsequent actions. So, in the eyes of the world, my hiatus from activity may have seemed "non-productive", but I am feeling a major shift in my thinking and even, yes, "worldview"... that seems to be carrying me in a totally new direction. Perhaps for reflection leading to life-altering changes, hiatuses aren't overrated at all.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Healthy Carol: The Ghosts of Successful Weightloss

Among the many things I find I love about blogging, there is one I don't...the level of personal shame one endures when facing the Blog/Blob for the first time after weeks of neglect.

Well actually I've been blogging at SparkPeople more regularly, and it serves to relieve my blogjones'in. I see these people who manage two, three, six blogs and I do they get paid for doing that? They must, because then there is no time for that annoying little hindrance they call w - o - r - k.
Enough intro...I am back hitting the health front on all six (or is it eight?) cylinders. Anyway, inspiration has been coming to me in threes … either that or I’m approaching a manic phase. Whatever. So last week I spent a lot of time studying, reflecting upon the theme of three, and I came up with an acronym that seemed to embody the spirit of my continued frontal assault.

It involves getting reinvigorated employing intense preparation—which I have neglected—and practicing visualization--- I had FORGOTTEN how powerful this can be! --- and staying committed through dedication and communication: commitication! (an homage to Bush--- miss you Dubya! I don’t kerr what they said about you being a moron… don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone?)
PVC - Preparation - Visualization - Commitication

PVC is an acronym for PolyVinylChloride. As a building material, PVC is cheap, durable, biologically and chemically resistant and easy to assemble. It’s also easy to remember. This is why I chose it as my mantra du mois (NOT thinking about toxic dioxin by-products in making it or carcinogens allegedly leaching out into the ground). I want my journey to be cheap, easy to follow, last a long time, be impervious to chemicals and certain foods, and be a little bit dangerous. Yeah. That sounds good.
There are not many people I can imagine being more prepared than Adrian Monk. He is my OCD Hero-- I can only aspire to his level of preparedness and organization. I did find a young woman who is in awesome shape and has done great things with her nutrition and physical health. She ranks a close second behind Monk in my book:

I’ll share some thoughts that have been gelling about preparation and how important it is, and how I have been falling a little short, partially due to finances, but partially due to me using “finances” as a welcome excuse to screw around. is a blog aimed at people who’re looking for sound ideas and proven strategies to lose fat. I came upon it and have added it to my list of blogs to follow about a month ago…written by Anna who decided to start blogging about everything she experienced in the process of fat loss in terms of nutrition, strength training, and mindset. She adheres to one of my favorite philosophies, which I’ve tweaked a bit to shorten:

“If you fail to prepare, PREPARE TO FAIL.”

Following Anna’s prep procedures, you won’t have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen the rest of the week. All she does is grab the pre-cut required ingredients out of the fridge, throw them in a pan and has a meal in less than 20 minutes. She says she prepares enough for her AND hubby to eat 5-6 meals a day plus enough to take leftovers to work for lunch or a snack. She didn’t start out doing all these meal preparations right away. She started with “small, baby steps which eventually became a habit. I can come up with many excuses not to prepare my meals but those excuses won’t do me any good. They would just prevent me from reaching my goals and living a healthier lifestyle.”
I had forgotten how powerful creative visualization could be until I read an article from Coach Nancy Howard. Suddenly I remembered how I had been introduced to was nearly two decades ago. I've always been in marketing and sales, and always been reading self-help books and going to seminars. I don't remember if I first picked it up from Think and Grow Rich, or The Magic of Thinking Big... but in one of those (which are old but both excellent) I ran across the concept. That was back in the day that I would scoff and snort to myself about any book that told me to go look in a mirror and tell myself I "loved me" to get over self-esteem issues...or close my eyes and imagine myself practicing my golf swing, perfectly, over and over and I would be able to actually hit the ball better...snort, harrumph!

Thank goodness my self-sufficient, all-knowing shell finally cracked enough to allow me to put some of these concepts into practice... it CHANGED MY LIFE. Literally. The first time I really did the CV thing all out, I copied my goals as affirmations on 3x5 cards, kept them with me and took them out 2-3 times a day and read over them, allowing myself to feel the excitement of actually experiencing what it would feel like IF IT WERE actually true. I also put post-it notes all around. AND I did the 10-15 minutes each nite before going to bed, picturing myself doing and being what I had written down. It did not happen overnight. I practiced this for about 2-3 months, then slowly dropped a lot of the intensity, but it had already changed me. I was thinking differently, feeling differently, acting differently. And within four years, most of what I'd written down? CAME true. I mean, from NIGHT TO DAY type of things.
As Coach Nancy says, "Visualization, [or] mental imagery, is so powerful, it can truly catapult us to our goals faster than almost any other technique. And don’t think this is just for athletes. Everyone can benefit from this technique. When you visualize yourself eating healthy, you will eat healthy. Visualize yourself making it through your workout; you will make it through your workout. Visualize yourself being successful and you will be successful. The irony is the brain essentially produces the same chemicals during visualization that it does doing the actual task at hand. Psychologists have shown that when we incorporate all five senses-hearing, taste, smell, touch, and seeing, into our visualization practice, our chance of success sky-rockets."
Finally, what Three-Spirit Visitation would be complete without an appearance from Janet Jackson, before her wardrobe ever started malfunctioning? I've always like little Janet, her music and choreography, her adorable little films...the persona/image she has branded of herself embodies health and vigor and determination. To me, she is the Heroine of COMMITICATION NATIONSunday was liftoff...C-DAY...the first day of an all-raw challenge that I've actually committed to in a long time. It has taken me several weeks to get psyched up this time, but I have finally reached a level of internal excititude that I hope to maintain, to sustain me through the next 3 (and maybe more, who knows?) weeks. Even though several other people are getting involved, once the ball got rolling I realized, it's for ME. If no one else suits up, shows up, and tells the truth on the forum each day, it is still about ME. I am really the only one I have to worry about getting her fluffy tuchas in gear each's a lot of fun when more than one are actually experiencing what you are, all at the same time-- kind of like Boot Camp, the thrills, the rewards, the sukky parts-- but if that doesn't happen, I STILL have to make MYSELF HAPPEN.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


"Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul"
~Simone Weil
... who, after a lifetime of battling illness and frailty, died in August 1943 from cardiac failure at the age of 34. The coroner's report said that "the deceased did kill and slay herself by refusing to eat whilst the balance of her mind was disturbed." Despite all her concerted efforts,
apparently the light never did flood her soul.

I decided to focus on the Healthy Reflections from Sparkpeople quote for the day because it was just so darn spot-on in what I've been thinking about since yesterday.

What we can learn about patience from a diamond
"Trying (but failing) to see your goals realized can be frustrating. Margaret Thatcher once said "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it," and she was absolutely right. You've got to believe that you will succeed! Never admit defeat as long as time and effort remain. Our greatest asset is patience; our greatest weakness is throwing in the towel. Banish discouragement and feelings of impossibility by working hard, doing more, and not giving in! A diamond was only made beautiful after millions of years as a lump of coal."

I was just thinking about how painful is the loss I feel after having released 62 pounds, to re-acquire 24 of them back. I realized I have been beating myself up, over and over again, every day, all day... when I notice the bulge at top of my legs that was gone, the little bloop of flesh around my knees that had disappeared, the extra fullness around my waist in the back which had miraculously smoothed out... and I keep mentally berating myself. I must QUIT IT.

I have to QUIT with the self-flagellation, I have to QUIT getting my hair shirt out every day and putting it on. If the rest of the world-who-actually-knows-me who has seen me regain some weight thinks negatively about me? What business is it of mine? The only way I can change it, is to CHANGE it. And beating myself up day after day about not being able to enjoy RIGHT NOW the benefits of shedding the particular amount of pounds I had, is not going to put me any closer to get that 24-pound battle won this time. And now is all I have right now.

I remember something somebody once said: "If you've got one foot in tomorrow and the other in yesterday, you can't help but piss all over today." So graphic, but so true. So I am HEREBY PUBLICLY FORGIVING MYSELF for being human, being like (unfortunately) 80% of all people who lose weight, and letting it creep back on. If any of those self-destructive thoughts come again, I have selected a suitable phrase I won't print here I'll use to get rid of them. And I will simply move forward, SET FREE from the tyranny of my own self-defeating guilt, and FINISH BANISHING THE 24 into oblivion!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Dangers of Rejecting Turkey

When I first glanced at this subject heading in my email inbox last week, I briefly thought, oh, heeeeere we go. Some idiot has decided eating turkey is absolutely necessary to the survival of the human race. Life as we know it, according to some scientist in god-knows-where Azerbaijan, will end, turning upon the mandatory consumption of a giant NorthAmerican fowl.

Imagine the jarring feeling I got when I read the first paragraph of the article: "Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan walked out of Davos in a huff last week during a discussion about Gaza in which he berated Israel..." and I subsequently discovered that the COUNTRY of Turkey is apparently hugely strategic, a NATO ally and a longstanding friend to the West. "What Turks do and think affects the balance of power in the world, positioned as they are between the Middle East and Europe, between Russia and the Arab-Islamic bloc, while serving as Iraq's conduit for trade and supplies in the south and Georgia's in the north." Oh. THAT Turkey.

Which leads me to my reflections for today, dear reader. How insulated I have become in my own mental construct, how completely attuned to ALL THINGS COMESTIBLE... that I automatically think of the food-related meanings with regards to all communications. I am truly food-centered. This has got to stop.

So I asked myself, what would the Prime Minister of Turkey do in this instance? Why not randomly take a look at my personal issues from Turkey's perspective? To start with, let's examine Erdogan's personal motives, the first and most important: "As the global economy tanks and brings Turkey with it, he needs to distract attention from the bottom line." So taking a lesson from Erdogan, I must begin to DISTRACT myself from FOOD. I came up with these strategies for this week:
  1. Spend as much time engaged in my work, my projects, and exercise as possible.
  2. Avoid ALL commercials and advertisements involving food.
  3. Think about NO recipes...engage in monoeating for the next several weeks.
  4. Plan for weeks, but execute the DAYS...mayhaps the HOURS.

That's it. Oh, I won't go into how two-faced Erdogan is behaving in the world arena. In all of this, it doesn't matter whether the Turks are right or wrong, wise or ill-advised in their sense of grievance. Or how Erdogan is certainly playing a dangerous game. What may bear ill omen: the West is not in the game at all. As Melik Kaylan says in his Forbes article this week, "While Russia has become Turkey's main trading partner, Iran a partner in the struggle to contain Kurdish separatism, Syria ditto, and Arab oil money a major investor, the West [keeps standing Turkey up at the dance,] while Turkey waits, publicly humiliated."

He was, after all, a mere pawn in my arbitrary choice of a blog topic.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Validation and A Pity-Pot That Will Leave a Mark

Apparently up until about a week ago, I had been utilizing a pitypot built for my convenience, since I had been spending so much time on it. First of all I was stressed because I had an extra marketing project to get done, working in an arena in which I hadn't been for several years. Then I was pissed when they removed it from me after a week. Then I got stressed about jumping back into, complete immersion as it were, my own business I've had for the past seven years, and taking complete responsibility for making it work. I haven't lost all hope, but I am very concerned about finances. As they say, have said, and most likely forever will say, Things right now are tough all over. My industry is particularly cut-throat-- that is disheartening in itself-- and at this point there are so many of us who were accustomed to making a good living and have had to learn to w-w-w-w-o-o-o-o-o-r-r-r-rkkk harder for it, that when you finally get a good prospect, it is tantamount to throwing a bone into a pack of starving Dobermans.

So I'd been struggling within myself all week to stay off that PityPot, when I got an uplifting comment from a drive-by encourager the other day on my Sparkpage, that reminded me even when life gets crazy, how GOOD it feels to at least be in control of one thing, and for me, right now, that's being on track with food and exercise. It refocused me on the things I can absolutely much time I spend working in my business productively (as opposed to just working at it) and how much time I spend planning and executing a healthy lifestyle. Then I got another email right after that about a video on YouTube called Validation. If I could figure out how to embed it, you could see it right here, but you'll just have to click the name and link over to it! Validation is a short narrative "fable" about the magic of free parking., starring TJ Thyne (from Bones) & Vicki Davis, by Writer/Director/Composer Kurt Kuenne, and well worth the 16+ minutes you'll spend to view it. Seeing it, really lifted my spirits, and I resolved to spend more time and energy on trying to make life easier for other people.

I set about acquiring and implementing some new marketing tools. I'm designing a new campaign, and began getting back in touch with previous clients. I got back to eating and exercise-walking consciously through planning. I joined a couple of walking groups, the Clearwater Recreational Walkers and Friends, Fitness & Fun, which have interesting outings, and imported the planned walks and hikes into my calendar. I began calling and checking on people I had not heard from in a while. I renewed a habit I had begun years ago of always acknowledging aloud that special something you can see in every human being you meet-- thanks Kurt Kuenne, for reminding me! I, in essence, began validating my own life again by simply infusing it with positive, productive energy and remembering the importance of others in it. By crikies, after only a week of trying out that "new" plan, I feel about a thousand percent better!

Oh, and I did away with the more enticing pity-pot, and installed one with a STUDDED SEAT.

Monday, January 5, 2009

FREEDOM's Just Another Word for Something Left to Lose

I'm hot on FREEDOM today... the fear of it, the responsibility of it, the sheer joy of it! I collected a few quotes that really spoke to me.

Ultimately we know deeply that the other side of every fear is a freedom. ~Marilyn Ferguson
As far as your self-control goes, as far goes your freedom. ~Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our fear,
our presence automatically liberates others. ~Marianne Williamson
Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus
In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

I have been thinking a lot about the missing link in my weightloss program, and what I really desire. First, I still have pounds left to lose, weight of which I want and need to get FREE. I decided I really desire to feel FREE, inside and free as I did when I was a child! I figure I can have that feeling, but now I must pay a steeper price for it. I must pay the price of honoring all my obligations to others and myself, and in doing that I find freedom. In that freedom, I find the impetus to do the most positive thing for myself and release these toxins that are imprisoning my body. But as I pursue this freedom, I want to do it lightheartedly, without a sense of being driven. More with a sense of joyfilled determination. Pressing on, firmly yet with ease. There is a fine line between being enthusiastically engaged, and being an unbalanced zealot.

One of my obligations to myself is to put myself in the best position possible for success in regaining a healthy body. That includes putting into practice on a daily basis ALL the things I have learned and doing it NOW. If I know clutter leads to confusion... leads to despair = depression = emoeating, I have to tackle clutter immediately. Same thing with things left undone. Same thing with tempting foodstuffs.

Today I'm making a list of the things I know lead ME to failure in my healthquest/weight-release, and use them as a personal challenge for the next 21 days, along with my Liquid Feast cleansing, which I LOVE to do when I am prepared for it! So here goes, prepping for THE LAST DAY ONE:

  • Clutter
  • Things Left Undone
  • Free Myself From Gnoshing In Front of the TV
  • Trigger Foods Out-of-Sight
  • Healthy Raw Food Eyelevel in Fridge
  • LEARN how to use Juicer!
OKAY... I ended up with seven on my list, which is a perfect number, so the Monk-side of me is satisfied and at peace with that. I may not end up with seven every day, but hey, I'm FREE to have as few or as many things on my Freedom List as I want. I put these on a yellow legal pad-- doncha just LOVE a yellow legal pad?-- so I can have my personal focus list separate from my business calendar. Should further eliminate some of the complication which will invariably throw me into limbo about taking specific action. Limbo is the single most dangerous place I can be in this journey, and not a destination that is healthy for me, ever.

I'm excited to see how the rest of the day and tomorrow pans out!

Oh heck, let's just go ahead and say it: I'm excited to see how the rest of my life pans out!

Monday, December 29, 2008

A Cat Fell Out of My Bra

Know how when you first get up in the morning and it's dark and you're eyes are half-open and your melatonin levels haven't dropped yet, so you may tend to not see things as they really are? I think that happened this morning.

I suddenly awoke a little too early, realized I had to go to the bathroom, rolled up on my bed and began stumbling across the room. As I got up I noticed my sportbra (I usually wear to bed because I'm too lazy to pull it off over my head by that time) was sort of twisted on my body, and began adjusting it on the way. Then it seemed as if something penny-sized and black dropped from somewhere in the vicinity of my head down into the bra. I reacted by stretching the bra out from the bottom away from my body and twisting rapidly to cause whatever that was to fall through, and the next thing I SAW was a black cat running out from under my feet. So my BRAIN read that as, a cat fell out of my bra. And this perception was reinforced by the fact that no small black items were subsequently discovered by quick glances, in the bra or on the floor.

Which brings me to the point of how adept our brains are at distorting the truth, or taking several streams of input, and delivering erroneous conclusions. It goes hand in hand with our cunning ability to deceive ourselves. I tackled my advent list with great fervor, but never really read the whole thing and applied analytical thinking skills to it. MY GOODNESS... have you really read or thought about that onerous taskmaster? Well, no doubt you haven't, because, after all, it WAS my own assignment for myself. And in my usual inimitable fashion, I fell back into old ways of setting nearly impossible assignments and simply expecting that I would sail through and if I didn't I would label myself a schlub.

Here are the assignments I missed the past five days:
Day 15. Spend Less Time on E-mail. Remove yourself from mailing lists that bring you nothing. Check e-mails only once or twice a day.
Day 16. Simplify your life. Go through everything you own. Eliminate anything that no longer serves you. Give it away to people who may need it, and be grateful for what you have and what you are able to share.
Day 17. Give More. Find a way to contribute your resources, time, energy and talents to a noble cause.
Day 18. Be Flexible. If things don't turn out the way you wanted, just readjust your approach. Day 19. Watch Less TV and Rent Less DVDs. Consider getting rid of your TV entirely, but try going on a TV fast at least one day per week.
Day 20.Take a 60 minute walk every morning. Don't Go Anywhere By Car You Could Walk or Ride a Bicycle.

Wonder what ever led me to believe I could accomplish all that, one a day, in the heighth of the holiday rush, while starting a new work project, and running a business? I still think they are really good goals...the 60-minute walk thing, that is what I usually do, but let slide since Wednesday (of COURSE I have (a) perfectly MARvelous excuse(s)!!! Dare you ask?) The be-flexible thing, I am always working on that. The give-more, I started about a month ago with a little book called Every Monday Matters, but my community charity needs a bit of stepping up. I am trying to do the spend less time on email...less dawdling time...get through it in one sitting and check personal only one time more. I have actually been practicing the pare-down-everything-I-own one. I started going through my closet when I went on the Initial Weight-Release Push last October, and have eliminated copious amounts of clothing.

On the 22 of December, my husband and I were slated to tackle a storeroom for which we have been paying for NINE YEARS. Talk about a decadent waste of resources! It is going to be tough because there are a bunch of things from my late parents' home and from his parents...he says he's ready. However he did not push to start on that day. I have simply been dragging my emotional feet. Maybe I can find a book on how to let go of the "things" of dead loved ones. Just thinking about facing it makes me tear up.

And maybe I'll find when I finish, it will have some heavy emotional benefit that removes some invisible barrier in my weightloss journey. We'll see.... meanwhile, if the cats are going to be crawling into my undergarments while I am wearing them, in my sleep, I'm going to have to go invest in larger sportsbras.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Princess Comes Full Circle

Wow... time has flown...NOT. This year has felt like a decade. Ups and downs and spirals. But I guess that is pretty much how most people have felt recently.

On Tuesday I am planning to get up early, go down to my polling place, Palma Ceia Baptist Church, cast my votes, and promptly go on my 2008-campaign- and TV-fast for the rest of the day, whereby any visual clue of anything remotely related to Campaign '08 will be met with a turned head, the hand, and if audio is involved, possibly the lalalalalalalalala-I-can't-hear-you treatment. I will place myself in a controlled environment where my senses do not have to be assaulted by political pollution, where I am in control of the sounds wafting to my ears, and will remain out of touch with news of the outside world for at least 24 hours. I will go into my happy place and wait until the shouting and screaming is all over. I will wake up the next day and discover in what manner the American people have chosen to be screwed the next four years, and then I will go shopping for the appropriate lubricant, and carry on.

That being said today is the official re-launch of my detoxifying plan for my body and mind. I've already begun, nay, I've never completely abandoned the plan I began last October. I was able to shed 62 pounds of toxins by the end of February this year, and felt and looked pretty darn good. Alas, I've allowed several pounds of toxins to re-enter my temple, and now they must be summarily dealt with, in addition to several other toxic closets which need removal.

I know what works, and there are so many good places to go and find support for basic healthy living whether you want to shed weight or not...I just discovered Doug Kaufmann, with his highly informative experts like Tullio Simoncini, M.D. (a good doctor) and Suzy Cohen, a pharmacist who thinks 'outside the pill,' and believes though prescribed medicine is needed at times, natural solutions exist and are often safer than drugs. Doug's site is fabulous, with videos, and articles and fascinating discoveries about the link between cancer and fungi. He offers detailed advice about how starving fungus would reverse the symptoms that contribute to so many health problems we Americans suffer from! And of course I continually find great info on Dr. Mercola's website--- I use his sublingual vit-D spray and am looking forward to getting the Krill oil. All of these resources fall right in line with what I'd discovered about sticking with mainly raw fruits and veggies, alkalinizing my body as much as possible--- that meant cutting out acid-producing foods -- not necessarily acidic foods!--- which would mean eschewing meat and dairy, and not turning to substitutes which could cause as many problems, like processed soy products. Easy on the good fats, too, even EVOO, walnuts, almonds, and I have read grave warnings from many sources about avoiding things grown IN the dirt that have a high degree of contamination, like peanuts and mushrooms and corn. Basically I eliminated the FIVE EVIL WHITES (at least for the initial detoxifying stage)-- flour, sugar, salt, dairy, and meat-- oh but all meat is not white, you say, to which I reply, it is all permeated to some degree or another with white fat. When I'm red hot and rollin' on this hot tamale train of a program, I will treat myself with raw wild salmon from time to time and fermented juice of the vine.

Okay, I didn't just shed the weight that way, I also began walking every day at least one hour, and although to say I was faithful every day would be a lie, for five months I never went longer than one day in between without walking-- and sometimes adding toning exercises. And I stayed in touch with others who had similar goals, which I shall do again this time. I have a very special friend, who is my JEWEL, who has shed more than 80 pounds of toxins and kept it off for a few years now. She is my mentor and my coach for the rest of this journey, and has been a rock for me throughout. I've also had the support of several dear friends and family members, and I am so blessed and grateful to be able to count on them as well.

So with no further ado, it is time for me to finish my alkalinized water (I also love to use the Super Green powders from time to time), don my running shoes, and get the bod down to the bay for a wonderful walk in this delightful crisp fall weather. I've come full circle from a year ago, but I'm a few levels up on the spiral, and I can see light above.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Won't See You In September

It is fairly pathetic when one's blog becomes about why one hasn't blogged.

Okay, I'll dispense with it summarily: I skipped September.

And most of October.

Look, if I knew how to deal with all my problems easily I wouldn't be blogging them, right? Trying to vomit out on paper all the various and sundry emotions, thoughts, and analyses and picking through the pieces, one by one, to see what my last verbal meal consisted of--- yep, I'm leaving that prep dangling there on purpose, so, nyah.

A close friend died sometime in the night Saturday. On vacation in the Keys. Just laid down and went to sleep, and didn't get up Sunday. That's why I'm back on my blog today. Not to work through the emotions, but because of things unfinished. Her sudden death reminded me of those.

Reminded me of all the times we spent together, and all the times yet to spend we thought we were going to have.

Reminded me of the robust bottles of wine we'd shared over the past several years, and the martinis, and the Southwestern stuffed olives I'll never pull out of her fridge again.

Reminded me of the last overcooked meat patty she fixed me a few weeks ago, which I shouldn't have had but I didn't want to burden her with my raw demands because she seemed so pleased to be barbecuing in her new-found freedom from a relationship...and I am so glad I ate it.

Reminded me of the adorable skirt she was wearing, that the other three of us there coveted, and how I joked with her I'd like her to leave me that in her will. I really didn't want it that bad.

Reminded me of the exercise classes we didn't get to take together after I joined her gym so we could. Reminded me of the walks we were going to take together the past few weeks, but we just didn't manage to synchronize our schedules to do it. Reminded me of the sunsets I'll never get to enjoy with her speedwalking beside me along Bayshore.

Reminded me of all the other projects I've started and left dangling, and I still have time to do something about.

Seems like I'm always doing things in memoriam.

I look forward to the day I just do them, in futuriam.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Escaping the Mind-Storms...Gonna Stop That Emo-eating Right Now

I was reading an article by behavioural psychology expert Dean Anderson today, and once again was totally perplexed by this guy-- I don't care how many times I change the password, or what difficulty level I set it to, he always seems to find a way to hack into my journal and see exactly what I'm going through. Then, by golly, he makes it the topic of his next article, without fail!

Today it was about emotional eating-- go figure. He claims it is the single most common problem those of us who are calorically-challenged (I personally am bipolar: calorically- and kinetically-challenged, alternately and sometimes simultaneously), and furthermore if we are to enjoy any success at this, we're all going to have to get our act together and learn to deal-- tell me more, Dean, I'm listening.

Well, he goes on to put his money where his keyboard is. Pretty basic stuff-- we dieting geniuses have heard it all before: Keep a food journal to help identify emo-eating triggers, create a healthy mental environment by practicing prayer, medititation, body-mind control exercising, focusing and my favorite, getting massages. Then there is always turning to message boards and friends for support. THEN... he casually tosses out the phrase "Developing good problem solving skills."

Really, Dean? Okay, I'll just run right out and do that...why didn't I think of that before? I'll hop on down to the corner Goodproblemsolvingskills-R-Us store, and pick up two boxes of that stuff. But before the harshly cynical little imp in me could get really wound up, I discovered he actually had some very good tips for working on this deficiency in my make-up, which I am now looking forward to implementing, with great hope, dare I add.

He is promoting this 3-minute solution, which is fabulously attractive to me. I seldom have the attention span of more than three minutes to solve my major psychological problems. The first obstacle I encountered was, it took more than three minutes to read what I should put into action within three minutes in order to derail emo-eating. So this is going to take some effort on my part, I'm thinking. Huh. Alright, well let me go over this again to break it down for myself, in easily digestible brain-bytes.

He advocates during the first critical response minute following the overwhelming urge to give into emo-eating, to focus upon staying grounded. We eat emotionally when we lose connection to our grounded selves. So, basically, force oneself into mental slow-mo at the onset. I was really impressed with how he broke it down. I had never taken time to go beneath the level of recognizing I was eating due to stress. My solution up until now has been, well, get rid of stress. But some stress is necessary in order for change to be taking place. I cannot paraphrase it better than he did:

"Nine times out of ten, what really leads to emotional eating is getting caught in a "mind storm" of worst-case scenarios, projections, misinterpretations, and all the emotional overreactions that come with these thoughts. This "storm" turns a manageable challenge into something that makes you feel helpless, overwhelmed, ashamed or afraid—and sends you to the kitchen to find something to stuff those extreme feelings. When you can stay grounded in the moment of stress, you have many more options."

He goes on to prescribe some actions: take a few deep breaths--a quick mental time-out-- look around and physically ground yourself by taking in the objects around you and acknowledging to yourself where you are, and last, identify exactly what physical sensations you are experiencing. I suppose the purpose in that would be to journal them, and after repetition, it would become second nature to recognize yourself going into this mode so that you can launch the counter-offensive. What a lot of trouble just to conquer a little life-long addiction, right?

That was supposed to have used up no more than about a minute. The second minute, after calm has been restored, he suggests performing a reality check. A check-up from the neck-up, I like to say. What thoughts are going through my head and do they help right now? Am I engaging in all-or-nothing thinking? Stop it. Better not over-indulge now, then I have less to make up for later. Am I over-reacting to someone's non-supportive-- oh, let's just say critical-- remark? I know I'm alright, whether they acknowledge it or not...or is it me being overly critical of myself? Stop it. I love me just as I am right now, I'll just love the good choices I've made that lead me to a healthy mind and body even more when I reach my goal. And last but not least, am I stressing because what I'm about to do is get all up into someone else's business? STOP IT. I never learned anything when someone in my past stepped in to "save" me...except where to go next time I needed an easy mark. I learned by working through my own problems, one day at a time. What makes me think other people are any different? Or am I trying to involve myself in their life to avoid working on the real

Now I'm sliding into that final minute of learning to cope with emo-eating. So I've stopped the blow-up, done some self-analysis. Now it's time for application of principles I've learned work. I can do that after I've really put this situation to bed, and again I love the questions he suggests I ask myself:

  1. How big a deal is this, anyway? If I knew I was going to die in a week, would this be something I would want to spend this minute of my remaining time on?
  2. Will any bad things happen if I postpone thinking about this until I have more time to figure things out?
  3. Do I have all the information I need to decide how to respond to this? Do I really know what’s going on here, or am I making assumptions? Am I worrying about things that might not even happen? What do I need to check out before taking action?
  4. Is there anything I can do right now that will change or help this situation?
  5. Am I trying to control something I can't, like what other people think, say, or do?
  6. Have I really thought through this problem, and broken it down into manageable pieces I can handle one-at-a-time?
I am going to read over and over this and try to remember to apply it the very next time an opportunity to avoid emo-eating arises. But I know that nightly I am faced with my personal most difficult time, and that is when I sit to watch TV after I've finished everything else. It's as if I sit down, and there is something in the cushion of my chair that injects my butt every 30 minutes with some invisible propelling agent which shoots me out of the chair, through the hall, across the front-room into the kitchen. I've put counter-attack measures in place that result in, once my body finds itself in front of the fridge and the hand attached to the arm has opened the door, there is really nothing I could abuse myself with... oh, okay, if I wanted to consume giant spoonfuls of mayonnaise mixed with dried tomatoes and refrigerated pie dough, but, come on, you can only do that so many times.

I generally return now to the chair with a bowlful of baby carrots or raw mushrooms or a half cup of non-fat cottage cheese. But that is not the issue. The issue is the habit. It must go. Must I restrict myself from TV altogether until this is whipped? Must I return to enforcing the rule, I don't eat unless I am sitting down in an appropriate eating location, like the dining room? Well, slipping back into half-measures have availed me nought. It is time to bring out the big guns and go commando on my addiction's butt.

Maybe I could talk Coach Dean into articalizing on that topic. No...wait! I've written it in my journal. The hacker minions he has assigned to my life will no doubt report back, and it is already fait accompli.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Becoming Princess Phatso, One Year at a Time...or, I can start my year over anytime I wish

...and I wish it to be right now.

If an advanced degree could be awarded in starting over, or if they had a Bounce-back B.A., I'd have so many skins on my wall, it would bleat at nighttime.

Actually I am not starting over so much as I am tightening up, because since I began my weightloss efforts in earnest last October, I have never truly let go. I did think I'd be at goal within the year, but apparently that is not to be the case...this year. The thing I am most pleased about is how I am unable to abuse myself with food to the extent I once was. I am definitely a progressionist over perfectionist, so I'm going with that as a positive accomplishment. And I have managed to keep 51 of the 62 pounds I lost, off.

I am more returning to the spin cycle of my life laundry... it is time for once again devoting the extreme attention to wringing out the last 50 or so pounds of my journey. I have paused halfway for way too long, and enjoyed the progress I've made too much, as opposed to getting on with it so I can enjoy the complete triumph.

I have always enjoyed Tom Venuto's blog-- what an intense, driven, honest, gut-level, caring and giving guy he is! I have read him for about three years now and I think he and the work he has done and what he has given back to people at large is just phenomenal. I am not into eating the amount or kinds of protein he mainly advocates, but I am not saying it's not healthy...and different things work for different folks. He is great on bodybuilding and recovering one's physical health. He had a powerful motivation strategy I'm adopting right now... I always knew it worked. Being reminded of it is just one of the primary examples of how and why we ought to continually keep ourselves in front of some sort of audience to provide enough external motivation for us to keep on keeping on. Because not one of us--- no, not one--- has sufficient, continual internal motivation to do what we need to do in order to keep the heat turned up on achieving difficult goals, and they are ALL difficult. So, as Tom reminded me, if you don't have an external motivation, create one.

My new goal is to have lost fifty pounds by December the 1st, this year. 90 days. Yep, I'm doing a 90-day transformation. Stick around to either have your betting against me doing it validated, or to cheer me on despite all odds. I'll take both as motivation! I'll post a link to my fitday log at the bottom of the blog, and a new goal counter so you can see where I'm at... oh, and I'll take before and after pics, but not in a swimsuit with my gut trying to escape down to my knees, oh, hell no!

And I'll actually share some of my real dreams I'd like to make happen after I get what's left of my body back. Hope to be getting feedback soon. And thank you all for's been a lovely post.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

OMG I cannot Believe...

...this is the first post since mid-April.... where did I go in my head? How could I just ignore myself and my own goals for that long?

Well, it happened. I think I tried to return for a while to a life I was loath to leave. I think I could not believe that I truly had a problem with food... I had just become overweight for nineteen years...those just slipped away too.

I am finishing working on my body, and then I'll work on whatever other changes I need to make in my life. I am ultrasimplifying myself, that is, write my daily notes and follow them, but keep it simple, and don't overplan. I have one giant goal to reach, and that is to continue to drop the extra weight and toxins until I feel right... I'm not even going to tell myself a particular weight or size anymore, I'll just know when I get there. And as far as exercise, I'm a member of a lovely athletic club, and I live within four miles of one of the places I go for business, and I intend to walk everywhere whenever possible. Which will have the added benefit, along with contributing to my physical health, of reducing my carbon footprint in the world... something I do care about greatly.

So if anyone thinks they can return to any old behaviour in the middle of recovering one's life and health, and continue to be successful, I'm here to vote no. And if you have food issues-- anorexia-bulimia-overeating-comfort-eating- think you can do very at controlling it for awhile and then it went away, I'd say I disagree. And if you've been successful at weightloss and you think surely I would never gain the weight back again after I've lost it and seen how much better life can be, I'd advise you to, no matter how insane that would be, think again.

One thing I've learned, if it's possible for one of us to do these things, it's possible for any one of us to do that... I did.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Time Doesn't Wait for Me... or musings upon how much weight I could have lost the past seven weeks if I'd been present in my life keeps on going. Time. Just walks on past whether you notice or not.

I've been a lousy blogger, a mediocre wife, a less-than-sterling mother, and fairly non-participatory in my own thoughts the past seven weeks. How did that happen? Guess I just got too caught up in chasing a buck or two and the issues of others, and a new business project I am hoping will bear some fruit... and speaking of fruit, I'm back on the cart. Betcha didn't even know I'd been dragging my toe in the dirt, didja?

Perhaps after I hit Onederland (that's when your numerical weight reaches the centennial range) I went a little stir crazy, got a touch of carbo fever, I dunno... thought I'd play around with, hmmmm, how is it going to feel on maintenance once I get there in another 40-50 pounds? Wonder if that happens to everyone... I'd love a poll from any of you weight-release addicts out there. I've read others having a similar reaction at various watershed moments in their weightloss journeys... so I'm not alone I'm pretty sure. But I'm certainly glad to be back in the saddle and riding out of this Valley of the Wasteland of Entropy.

Luckily I did no real damage to what I'd accomplished, with the help of my wonderful online support group and several wonderful ladies who email and call me and encourage me regularly. And I am prepared for the second half of the onslaught. ... the chocolate's lovely, dark, and sweet, but I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I eat... with apologies to the late Mr. Frost.

Friday, February 15, 2008

How Did I Not Love Me? Let me count the ways...

The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep...
~~Robert Frost

Reading Lynn Bering's Weightloss Blog...she puts it exactly how I feel/felt/found, and I'm going to paraphrase her:

"I’ve done this before, this little dance of denial, and I’ve always gotten back on course. But when I’m in the midst of stress and that irrational voice tells me I’ll find comfort in [a bite of c*******, a spoonful of rice, a few c**** or some evil salt], it’s hard to hear that rational voice that says, 'STOP! Go meditate, walk, brush your teeth, chew gum, eat a Tic Tac…something other than eat that which you did not PLAN.' I’m one of the most stubborn people I know and still I have a hard time telling myself “no” when I need to hear it most of all. I get there eventually, but not without sincere self-discipline, sitting myself down and asking myself what’s really wrong, what’s causing me to eat instead of cope."

I figure today the scale will be up...I'll go check later this morning when I can get to the gym... but I know I can feel it in my stomach. It's the last place it comes off, and the first to go back on. Anyway, I woke up at 3am, after going to bed about 11:30, and could not get back to sleep...too much on my mind...and I knew I had to have a long talk with myself and jerk myself back into reality again. I knew I had to commit to re-commitment and quit beating myself up about having to constantly re-commit. I mean, isn't that just life? I knew I had to quit waiting for someone to call me on the phone and shock me back to my senses. To quit using backpain as an excuse for not sitting down in front of the computer after I'm done working and getting to the forum more and revealing myself to my support group. I knew I had to get up and just return to all the things I've done for months which have carried me this far... to fitday-ing everything so I can see what I’ve eaten in print, and share it with others. I knew I had to pull myself back in, hand over hand, to my lifeline to shore, my peeps on the forum where I post with other women trying to lose large amounts of weight eating healthily, and mainly raw vegan.

No more being seduced by the seemingly innocent woods, no more temptation to just rest for awhile, to quit pressing forward... if I give in, I run the very real risk of being covered by my blanket of denial, and slowly, slowly slipping into caloric unconsciousness, then death. No more denial. I committed again to choosing to listen to the re-programmed Skinny Brain, and not to Little Voice, whom I've discussed before in this blog. I’ll get up, get out, and walk, even if it is the third time in a day...this means keeping my athletic shoes on, all the time! Or I'll tackle one of several projects I've thought up to help get my asthmatic mortgage business revived. It worked for me, maybe it will breathe life back into it!

It feels good to at least feel back in control. It feels good to have made some decisions about what I plan to do with the rest of my life--- well, for this week anyway. I’ll knock whatever I gained back off in no time, probably on the Five-Day All-raw Cruise. And I feel safe and hopeful again, because I know I’m doing all I can to stop those pounds from inviting their friends for a party inside my skin... I'm the ONLY one who'll be doing that! Before I'm done, surely, I'll be more seductive than some old snow-laden grove of trees.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Are there Fireworks in Heaven? and other Random Thoughts from tonight's walk

Not every day raw is marked by profound revelations or progressions. Some days are just...days. It doesn't prevent me from wanting to fulfill my commitment to myself to blog more this year. Some of my favorites started out as a collection of musings and ended up having a point, after a fashion. This post will probably fall into that category.

When I ate mainly cooked food, I noticed I was usually starving in the morning or at least thought I was. Believing that I needed to eat was so strong, that I have no remembrance of actually feeling hungry, for, oh, I don't know how long. When I started eating raw, I started noticing that when I get up, my first thoughts are not of food. All of us BREAK fast at different times... and I continue to lose weight and get healthier and healthier, and upon occasion am not truly hungry until noon, or even early afternoon! Also the longer I eat raw definitely is having an impact upon my becoming increasingly attuned to my body and learning from it. When I was eating all cooked food and low-nutrient/high-fat/high sugar food, I seemed to be totally out of touch with my body.

Yesterday I let the day get away from me before getting to the gym to exercise before it closed, and it was chilly and rainy all day, and my precious baywalk was closed for this year's Gasparilla Extravaganza Children's Parade. So tonight I was especially determined to get outside to walk. I get down to the seawall, and it turns out they had closed Bayshore Drive again from Patriot's Corner where I usually stow my car while I do my run, northward, so I head south to my old starting point, El Prado. I begin a walk south towards Ballast Point, 3.6 miles roundtrip. The concrete walk along the seawall narrows toward the end of Bayshore, continuing alongside brick-paved streets gently winding to mimic the unseen curve of the shore just the other side of the townhomes on the east, ending up at Ballast Point Park.

As is always true after missing a day of exercise for any reason, I spend the first five minutes allowing Fat Brain and Skinny Brain to duke it out about who is driving Body, and whether or not we're going to "turn this body around and take it right home!"...Skinny Brain, as always, wins, even though Fat Brain had Faceskin and Fingers on his side, and Shrinking Torso was undecided. Then I start opening my mind to various and sundry thoughts to see what would come, and this is what I ended up with tonight:

  • I'm so glad I have all my extremities still with me to be able to feel anything, including cold. No matter how I might feel about war as a philosophy or in general, God bless you, co-citizens of this country, who have ended up losing any part of your body in the line of militaristic duty to which you felt called or honor-bound to perform you believed to be in the pursuit of freedom for your countrymen and countrywomen.

  • Pushing myself to complete the daily efforts to reach my goals is part of it... it never stops and I can never quit, unless I want to stop trying to reach goals.

  • After the first five or ten minutes, it's a moot point anyway--- I'm going to finish at that point.

  • Even if you're half-frozen, always take time to stop for a surprise fireworks never know if it will be the last one you ever see.

  • I've never seen fireworks dropped by planes flying in tandem before! The Red Baron Squadron's aerobatic performance was an amazing sight, especially the sparkly contrails...but watching them caused a tension within which detracts a bit from my unabashed enjoyment, because they fly too close to each other and I'm afraid of some tragic occurrence...

  • Are there fireworks in Heaven continuously? That's probably thinking too small...from what I've been told....I love fireworks.
  • Why does watching fireworks make you want to drink alcoholic beverages and light up a cigar and swing your hips around in hulahoop fashion and cry WooHOOO! Or is that just me?

  • Why are most of the shooting sparkles the colors of Christmas? Does magenta and hot pink and chartreuse cost more? Are our city coffers a bit constrained--like my own--- in the fireworks-display budget right now?

  • It is marginally more fun to watch fireworks displays--- especially when I'm experiencing physical discomfort--- with someone than without...but it's alright alone, too. Alone in a crowd.

  • It's tremendously cold for the Floridian species...47 degrees windchill back at the house, probably colder down here at the bay.

  • My tailbone hurts, perched on one of the concrete seats curving bayside at intervals along the seawall, and my hands form cloth-clad stumps inside the ends of each sleeve and are plunged inside the pouch at the front of my red and black hoodie. But if I leave now, I won't get to see the big finale...they always have a big finale... it is a battle of will to stick it out, especially as others begin to give up and move off towards the assured warmth of their respective rides or homes.

  • I want to see the big finale.
The evening walk ends up being a metaphor of my weightloss experience-- I tend to turn everything into a metaphor of my weightloss experience--- but it really was: if I can endure the momentary discomfort, I'll get to experience the pleasure of the Big Finale! And after I started to walk on to my car, after the big, wonderful, unusually explosive ending, a minute or so elapsed, and they had one more encore! Which I related in my mind to maintenance... more reward for continued effort.

Sitting in queue at the railroad tracks, it occurred to me the day ended up being a feast for the senses...face-deadening, finger-stiffening cold, startlingly awesome pyrotechnic display, delicious new fruit to taste, the sound of fireworks exploding, both shooting up and being dropped from planes into the night skies, the loud blare of the locomotive I had to wait for on the way home, the heater air slowly warming my toes, while the cold air above kept my nose and cheeks numb... of all the days there've ever been, this certainly has been one!

So, I'm thinking, I can't wait to see what kind of days this journey will bring me in the months ahead, and I want to stay...until the end, and beyond!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

All I Gotta Do

My Fat Brain got some bad news in the last few days. A growing awareness in Thinbrain has led to the conclusion that the beatings will continue...the exercise will be increased in frequency, duration and intensity. This year is all about simplification, honesty, accountability, cleaning up and cleaning out. I am continuing to intensify my walking, and now running, exercise by now doing it twice a day, once easy, once a little more intense. Now I am also thinking about adding in extra toning and strengthening exercises. The focus is: I don't have time to play around with the weightloss... GET THESE TOXINS OUT NOW.

I've been paying more and more attention to the ladies I'm in contact with who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off successfully. I've also begun to research the subject, because me dealing with it this year is a reality, and I need to begin to prepare. The general consensus is, the more you lose, the more you have to exercise in order to lose more! Because there is less mass to burn the calories than there was before, and even if you strengthen and build muscle mass to replace and burn calories more efficiently, its very efficiency cannot make up for the volume that was formerly inside the body maintaining itself. The White Queen would no doubt tell me I've been living in a slow sort of country, because now, it takes all the running I can do, to keep in the same place. If I want to get somewhere else, I "must run at least twice as fast as that!"

In sales, you set goals and then you set quotas. You set the goal far out, and then you break down time in between now and when you want to reach the goal into quantifiable quotas which will accumulate over regular intervals during the given period of time to yield the goal amount.

I have a goal of 126. I know when I want to be there. I have now gone back and set weekly quotas for toxins to be released, which will result in reaching the goal when I initially planned. In order to effect that release, my intake of calories, which must remain fairly constant within a range of 1000-1200 calories, is less manipulable than the exercise. The amount of exercise I must do in order to work within the range of calories, given the projected weight my body will be on any given week, is therefore identifiable, quantifiable, and DO-ABLE! I have to burn a certain amount of calories, and there are fairly static basal rates for a given weight, and there are set calories expended by various types of exercise with relation to intensity and duration, and that is identifiable...ALL I HAVE TO DO IS STICK WITH THE PLAN AND MY GOAL IS A FOREGONE CONCLUSION!!!! You don't know how much comfort that gives me.

Now... I just have to WANT to stick with the plan hour by hour, day by day, week by week, for the next 22 weeks! That's all I have to do, and I will have completed the first step in restoring That Seventies Body to becoming Princess PHATso...and then the next tough part begins, but for now, all I have to keep my eyes on is doing my exercise and eating my fruit and veggies for today, so I can meet this next week's quota! I'm on my way!!! 22 MORE WEEKS!!! Two fiscal quarters! A pittance! A snippet of time!!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What I Learned at Raw Food Boot Camp

All ten of us who read this blog may have noticed my absence the past, oh, let's just call it six weeks and be done.

Well, my goal was certainly to blog more often, and one of my new year's resolutions was to blog nearly daily, but a funny thing happens on the way to the resolution forum every year. I start early in late November-- to get the jump on the rest of the hoi polloi, you see-- but I suspect I have a hidden agenda about that, as well. I believe that the part of my brain (Fat Brain) where Little Voice dwells, lurking behind some algae-covered synapse, has subscribed to the RSS-feed--- I'm not exactly even sure what that is but I know it has something to do with instant notification of updated information--- of the other side of my brain (the side where Glenda the Good Witch stays when she comes to visit), and goes into overdrive to immediately counter-attack any planned positive changes. Therefore, the jumpstart on new year's resolutions serves as a counter-counter response to any insurgency on the part of Fat Brain, which results in said resolutions actually taking effect about...the first week or two of January, same as everybody else.

Then there is the whole maddening December thing my head goes on a tirade about, on any given year, ever since I lost both my parents and a favored dachshund during that season several years back. A few Decembers since 2000, I have absolutely had all I could do to function for the entire month. Much less make the journey, alone, into that head of mine, a necessary evil of the blogging process. And this year, I also had to deal with the contemplation of the end of a career path, continuing the raw food path, etc, etc, waaaah-waaaah, ad nauseum... there are my excuses, and I'm sticking to it!

Now we've got that out of the way, I had taken some time to reflect upon what the Raw Food Boot Camp experience had done for me after it ended November 21st, besides help me lose about 28 pounds. Fortunately, dear reader, I made a few notes and saved them in a text file for future reference for when I wrote my report, What I have learned as a Result of Boot Camp.

Three major things come to mind: getting back "in touch" with ME; uncovering and tackling some inner "work" that needed doing I didnt' know was there; and how to open up lines of communication with my husband, the benefit to the latter of which being re-evaluated on a daily basis. The biggest thing I took away was the realization it can be done, and it can be done by me. I had pretty much given up on getting below the number on the scales the ginormous amount of weight I managed to accumulate inside my skin afforded me. But I proved to myself I was about to give up right before the change. Now, I know it is possible. Now, I know that I can lose the weight--- it takes determination and sticking to the plan but I can do it. I am starting to see the old me, that I imagine I was at some point whether that has any bearing upon the actual truth or not, start to shine through. Now I am taking the excitement of knowing there is something that absolutely does work and converting it to action to shed the pounds! I really am so thankful for this experience!

I have also learned to incorporate exercise and keep it a priority in my life, because I have come to believe and admit that exercise is key to any successful weightloss program, and to keeping it off once you've lost it... and that harder isn't always the best if its the pounds you're really looking to lose. I've learned that I really can set goals and follow through. I've also learned that exercise is good and can elevate my mood more than ice cream ever could, or, as Dr. Stephen Gullo says, exercise keeps my moods out of my foods. I've also learned that all fruit is the best, most efficient way to lose weight, for me, for right now-- fruit always tastes delicious, it's portable, it delivers live nutrients at a moment's notice, it's beautiful to behold and it fills me up..... physically and emotionally.

Oh, a couple more aphorisms... after enduring a particularly difficult December:

It is better to be thinner and miserable, than fat and miserable.

There is no value high enough to be placed upon friends, cyber and flesh alike, who help you keep an attitude of gratitude....SPEAKING OF WHICH, please be good to yourself today and visit an AMAZING SITE that belongs to my new cyber-friend, Christy Murphy. She has tapped into something that is one of the major cures for depression, and has almost become a lost art in our society today...expressing thanks.

And if you are reading this, thank you.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Fear of Feasting Alleviated by Veggie Porn

"And although it be not always so plentifull, as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God,
we are so farre from want, that we often wish you partakers of our plentie."
---Edward Winslow writing in Mourt's Relation,
one of only two primary sources for the events of autumn 1621 in Plymouth, MA
We were planning to go to The Pub Waterfront Restaurant, over in Indian Shores, for Thanksgiving dinner...I really did not relish the thought of the whole two-day food-prep rigamarole, for food I wasn't going to eat, anyway. I discovered while either reading Creative Loafing or *tbt that they were serving TD traditional roast turkey with all the trimmings. Knowing that Ossie is all about tradition-- we've had the same things at Thanksgiving Dinner for twenty years, an amalgamation of what my mother (and her mother) made and what his mother made, with a few creations of my own added over time-- I thought, what a wonderful way to preserve my rawtiety and not make the family suffer unduly! With the added bonusii of being waited on, no cleanup, and the certain appropriateness of traveling to a place called Indian Shores on Thanksgiving, I excitedly called for reservations.

Despite all that, we made some last-minute changes to TD dinner plans when Ossie returned from Boston this week. Maybe it was something about being closer to the area the actual first Thanksgiving took place, I don't know. But when he returned, his resolve to go out for TD had waned, and after very little discussion, I agreed. We are going to stay home and cook, again, but a streamlined version of all the other years. Ossie is going to help prepare. He is actually an excellent cook and enjoys it, so we are dividing the duties. I'll handle the veggies, he'll handle the meat, and we'll come together on the dressing. There was some momentary angst, when discussing just purchasing a turkey breast for the whitemeat lover, and a leg for the darkmeat lover (alas, the poor turkey, he loved all of his meat!), and Ossie worried about not having giblets for the gravy or dressing. I reminded him that, he hated giblets, and so did my son, and the only person who ever gobbled them down was...mois. This cheered him up greatly, and the modified plans are in place and widely accepted. They make more sense for everyone, now that I have gotten over my fear of cooking.

It wasn't as if I bothered to make pies for a long time, anyway. Grocery store bakeries do such a good job, more cheaply. Traditional pies at TD never were a huge draw for me... I only suffer the pie to get at the whipped topping, and left up to the other two family members, they don't even want the topping! (You can see on top of having a food addiction, part of my curse was to live in a house filled with non-foodies, with no sweet tooth, who forget to eat on a regular basis---in other words, I've been forced to cohabitate with beings outside my species.) Now, a great treat will be an extra smoothie that day... a fresh cranberry-apple-orange one in the morning, and a watermelon-papaya-pineapple one later in the day. For the actual dinner I can just share the nice big fresh-fruit salad I make for everyone else to enjoy. I look forward to that, because I haven't taken the time since I've been raw to actually cut up fruit and make a mixed salad! I tend to be a mono-eater, one of the reasons I find eating raw food so appealing. That might mainly be due to the fact I simply enjoy eating one food at a time-- sometimes the same food over and over again for weeks until I move onto the next one--or to my extreme laziness when it comes to getting nutrients and fuel into my mouth when it doesn't involve preparing for anyone else.

As Boot Camp has progressed, I've learned more and more, and I'm starting to loosen up about this new way I eat, and live, and think. I was feeling so magnanimous, I made dinner again last night... the previously-dreaded rellenos. It was so alright, I didn't even crave one-- not ONE, I tell you! Part of dinner involved making the pintos from scratch, which I started in the morning, seasoning blind, had hubby taste midday, they were pronounced fine, and I didn't have to worry about them again, except to keep an eye on them just simmering a few more hours. No big whoop with the legumitude is, to forego the good but not fantasy-inspiring flavor, I can do without the after effects. I crave them not.
The other part-- a prior subject of fear--- was preparing the actual chile rellenos. They are my absolute favorite dish, ethnic or otherwise, of all time. I was able to avoid a dangerous part of the Relleno Ritual, because they had already been roasted and frozen. After they were half-defrosted, I peeled them and then, it became more like an art project. Since they had come from the tailend of the crop we harvested from our backyard garden this fall, they were so small, the usual Mexican-cheese strips with which I stuff them would not fit. Each chile had to be laid out on a board with the Queso Blanco strip beside. In order to make the chile relleno, or 'stuffed', I then had to carve the exact shape to fit that chile and carefully slide it in. I was partway through this process, when it occurred to me-- I was sculpting little phallic shapes and slipping the little chile condoms over them.

That pretty much did it. Took it right out of the realm of food for me. The rest was a snap. After I finished dipping them into the batter of blended yolks and eggwhites beaten stiff--- oh, no... I won't even go there---and frying them in the hot, melted vegetable grease---which caused me to ponder, how does one render a vegetable in order to extract its fat?---I immediately tidied up, wiping all the ceramic down with my homemade cleaner-- a mixture of a little bit of purple Fabuloso (a wonderful cleaner originally from Mexico, now manufactured by Colgate-Palmolive and pissing off the people at who fear their sweet-smelling and luscious-coloured product may entice small children to drink and die), water, and a bottle of alcohol. I was Suzy-Homemaker for a few moments, again-- even filled (but failed to start, which I discovered this morning) the dishwasher, then walked out to the back landing to do my 57 wall push-ups for a challenge at Rawk Village.

Let me tell you, when it was all over, and I had gone out front for a moment and come back in, I realized it was the first time I had smelled any of the cooking odors! Made me wonder about how deeply I breathe normally. It also dawned on me how much easier it was to stand for all the time it takes to prepare them, and how my back didn't even start to hurt until the very end. That's understandable, since I'm just two pounds from my goal of releasing thirty during this first Boot Camp. What a difference from seven weeks ago when it would start hurting within the first five minutes, standing bent over the countertop, to do any type of food prep. Maybe my body remembering that associated pain was the real reason I dreaded making chile rellenos, after all.

But now...Piece of cuke!

Delusions Revealed and the Princess Pricks Her Consciousness


I feel I'm entering a season of knuckling down and persistence. The pink cloud/rosy glow is waning, but being supplanted by an even more solid belief in what I am doing with raw food to recover my life. It is obvious now, it is working. Undeniable. It seemed the weight release was slowing, still steady, but slowing, earlier this week. I immediately began Plan B thinking, telling myself I needed to gracefully segue into this phase and adjust my mental approach accordingly. But deep inside, I began thinking, What am I doing wrong? I am pushing myself consistently every day. I am eating what I should be, and haven't broken raw. I'm now playing with how often I eat the fruit, and what kinds of fruit at what time of day, etc. I am up to 41 minutes on the treadmill, on the weightloss program, level 3 in the morning, and an hour of walking 3-3.5 mph in the evening. Yesterday I drank 110 oz water on top of the eating and started adding in the greens.

I realized that, somewhere in the back of my brain-- my Fat Brain? My still-fetal-stage Skinny Brain?-- I felt if I was perfect, if I did everything I could, the weight would continue to drop at a phenomenal rate, despite what everyone in the whole world said. But no---My reality is the same reality that everyone else has to deal with-- it will only come off as fast as it can, and it takes a certain amount of time passing. And, time takes time. Oh, I gave mouth service to the fact I knew it would take at least nine months, if not more, but I secretly believed Maybe it won't for me! Yeah, I'm SO special and different, why, I'll just wish all this weight away, now that I have the proper keys! Hmmph. Looking back, I am very pleased with the results overall, and any disappointment comes as a result of my Magic Magnifying Mind getting ahead of itself.

Then Thursday was serendipity. I got kind of excited, and a little scared at the same time: excited because the scales showed a good release number, BUT scared at how I was thinking all week long, and how quickly a little bit of negative thinking can creep back in without me even realizing it! I didn't even notice that my head was already bowing down mentally, until I saw the loss and was restored! It hit me, the depression that had snuck in without my knowledge, the tiny bit of belief eroding, wasn't that I was losing faith in the raw eating. Rather, I still remain immediately ready to throw myself under the bus. Furthermore, Little Voice--- who I assume has been hiding under a rock since about the first week of HR1, was ready, willing and able to pop right back out again and resume his destructive murmurings. Yeah, raw works, but what if it doesn't work for you? You've always been different, weird... maybe your body will only go so far with this and stop losing...maybe-- SHUT UP ALREADY!!!! What was scary, I didn't even realize he was down there, hissing vitriolic little doubts inside my head!

So, there it is... I've still got a LONNNNNG ways to go. The weight is coming off, the body is healing, but the Fat Brain is lagging behind. I've got a feeling Little Voice will not be exorcised quite so easily, and some remnant may always reside within. But his re-emergence this week has warned me, put me on guard, and I'm tuning up the settings on my nega-dar to HIGH-SENSITIVE... in hopes he wont' escape my immediate notice next time. So now I'm gearing up, full speed ahead, for the next phase, Raw Food Boot Camp, Holiday Rush II, beginning the day after TD, on November 23rd.

Although they are making some improvements in expanding the variety of Boot Camps they are offering, I actually did not even toy with the idea of doing a different version of HR for part II. That might be partially due to the price of stinkin raw walnuts and raw almonds being sky-high, coupled with the fact that in the two-to-three weeks before I started HolidayRush I, I pigged out on avocados... I ate at least one a day, and we have some HUGE ones here in Florida! I actually bought one the other day by accident from an unmarked bin of them at Garden of Eat'n, mistaking it for a Central American papaya, fka "Fruit of the Angels"! Which reminds me, and I'm going to give this to you free of charge: Ever heard of the Heavenly Trifecta of Fruit? That's because I just made it up...the name that is...according to another popular diet, which only allows fruits the first ten days (ah, too soon they stopped), papaya softens body fat, pineapple burns it off, and watermelon flushes it out! But, I digress...back to the ginormous Florida avocado in papaya's clothing---had to give it to my friend when I brought her back from the airport--- it would have made guacamole for eight, and would have rotted at my house with Ossie out of town for a week. I burned myself out on them for the time being. And beans... hooboy! Don't get me started! Can pass on the aftereffects. The thing is, I really believe there is so much of a variety to eat within a 100% LowFat-Raw diet, I just cannot figure out how to rationalize to justify an excuse to slow the release down by adding high-fat things right now.

Maybe it will be more of a struggle with that issue when I've dropped 60 or 80, I cannot predict how I'll feel. I've been very thin before, but I've never become slender after gaining this much weight, so I don't know how I'll think. Now that I find something that works for me, it just seems so counterproductive and wallow-ish to mess with it. For instance, I have found when I crave something crunchy, cutting up fresh veggies and taking the time to blend part of them with some fresh citrus and herbs and garlic, maybe adding a bit of Bragg's Liquid Aminos, and then kind of coating them in the resulting "salsa" does the trick.

But maybe it's just because I want it so badly... "it" being the body I've desecrated for the last two decades... whew...saying that just made me cry. Let me take a moment here.. I'm all verklempt... heah's a tawpic... Corinthian or Ionian architecture? Tawk amongst youahselfs...