Saturday, January 7, 2012

More Freaking Lessons Learned

No matter how long I stay on this weight loss journey, I'm always learning something new.
  • Whatever type of journey I am on, it's always hard. Until it's over and then it seems like it was so easy.
  • Buying Russell Stover sugar free toffee squares is a BAD idea. I ate them all in two days.
  • The same applies for the Russell Stover sugar free coconut candy. And the mints. 
  • Changing our daily diet is time consuming. Everything is made from scratch now. 
  • Those Orville Reddenbacher 100 calorie pop corn packs are only 100 calories if you eat just one bag.
  • Changing to a gluten free/sugar free diet does not mean I get to stop counting calories. 
  • Turbinado and Coconut sugar have more calories than Splenda. But they are probably less likely to be a factor in contracting cancer. PLUS when I eat things sweetened with the Turbinado or coconut sugar, I don't crave more and more and more and, before I know it, have eaten 5 lbs of sugary goodness! In other words, these sugars are NOT saboteurs. Refined sugar is a saboteur.
  • Eggs are not eggs. God only knows what gets injected into them.
  • Beef is not beef. Same as above.
  • Even some natural, less processed/not injected meats spark in my microwave. ALL 'regular' meats do. WTH?!
  • If I don't go to bed when I get sleepy, I will eat to stay awake. I get sleepy around 8:00 pm. Again- WTH?! (In my defense, I do wake up around 5:30 every day).
  • When buying new underwear (because it's no fun when the old underwear slides down and the only thing keeping them from hitting the ground are my pants) make sure to measure. I went down one size. Should have gone down two sizes. 
  • Based on the above underwear fiasco, I bought two sizes down on new yoga pants. Won't it be fun holding those up while walking or not doing yoga? Should have gone down three sizes. 
  • I have given myself several time consuming projects to complete and am hoping they keep me so busy I don't fill the emptyonceagain nest with bad eating habits of old. I shouldn't, but I never know with me. I can be quite unpredictable. 
Don't think that I am almost home on this journey. I am not. It's going to be, at the earliest, Christmas this year before I reach that point. And that's IF I don't fall off the wagon. There are saboteurs all over the place out there- I just ignore them. My family and friends (and that includes every one of my most wonderful bloggy friends-all of you) are the ones who encourage and support. The rest of them can go suck an egg. A big, fat, rotten one.

Yes, it's a long, boring, drawn out, sometimesIthinkIwillnevergetthere kind of journey. But it's the one I'm on and it's one that I plan on finishing. Do I still get frustrated? Yes, but not very often. I just try to take it one day at a time.

What kind of journey are you on right now?

    Friday, January 6, 2012

    Dark Chocolate AND Another Birthday!

    Since today is my birthday (and yesterday was our anniversary and the day before was Breezy's birthday...Whew!), I thought it would be great to have Mari McCarthy share another guest post with us!

    But first, I want to share a quick review of her DARK CHOCOLATE FOR THE JOURNALER'S SOUL.

    To be honest, when I first discovered that Mari had put together some women discussing the whatwhenwherewhyhowtos of journaling, I thought, "How good can this actually be?"

    I mean, seriously, just some women saying, "I journal?"

    Guess what? WRONG. Again. No surprise there, eh?

    It was quite interesting reading all the different reasons and methods of journaling. 

    Women are learning who they are through journaling. They are working through various issues of all sorts and intensity levels. They are writing morning, noon, and/or night. They are writing a little. Or a lot. They are sorting out emotions and making spiritual connections to themselves. Journaling is providing them with a safe place to vent. To 'say' anything that is on their mind without fear of judgement.

    Ok, ok. Y'all know how important I believe journaling to be. But now you can read the opinions of others and get an even better idea on it. PLUS, you might just find some inspiration!

    AND NOW, Mari's guest post:

    Why Do I Always ______? Use Journaling to Find Out!

    by Mari L. McCarthy 

    You may think that a journal is a notebook in which you write down what happens to you. This is true sometimes, but there are countless other uses for journaling, as well. Like figuring things out that tend to elude you. 

    You know what I mean: the big questions of your life, like:

    ·         Why am I unhappy?

    ·         What does it all mean?

    ·         Is there a God?

    ·         How can I get more love?

    ·         Why do I always screw up/ trip over things/ get mad/ feel anxious/ say stupid stuff/ fall in love with the wrong type/ hurt the one I love? 

    You can create a journal which becomes your daily opportunity to reflect on such questions, to have a chat with your inner self. If you are honestly seeking answers, your journal is a likely place to find them.

    Taking the time for this kind of reflection – not just thinking, but writing or otherwise recording on paper the contents of your reflections – becomes an efficient therapeutic process that brings answers and improvements quickly. 

    Say, for instance, you ask yourself, "Why do I always spend too much when I go shopping?" Your journaling process might be something like the following:

    ·         Dedicate a notebook to the issue, writing your question out at the top of the first page.

    ·         Decide to devote the first ten minutes of your day, or your lunch hour, or your bus ride or whatever to writing in the journal.

    ·         Describe in detail what happens when you shop: the time, circumstances, the way you feel, everything you can think of that is relevant to the question.

    ·         Let your descriptions be impartial. This is not a confession, nor is it rationalizing. Just the facts, please m'am.

    ·         Besides descriptions, record your feeling responses to what happens when you shop. Have at it with your guilt, your bitterness, your rationalizing in these posts. And write entire entries about one tiny aspect, if you're so inclined.

    ·         Go back every week or so and circle the hot words or phrases you've written: the ones that jump out at you from the page.

    ·         Start weaving deeper explorations of these words or phrases into your ongoing investigations.

    ·         Be sure to reflect, as well, on how the journaling practice itself affects your psycho-spiritual wellness; and on how your perceptions and feelings are affected when you write.

    Along the way, you will notice that realizations about your question are manifold. You might suddenly see that there's a connection between your compulsive shopping and some condition of your youth. You might refine your approach to shopping as a result of describing it. You might make lists of alternatives to shopping. You might come to any number of surprising conclusions. 

    The possible outcomes are endless, but you can be sure the journal will produce new and useful information for you. If you truly want to move forward, and not stay stuck in harmful ways, journaling is the smartest tool I know!

    Mari L. McCarthy, journaling therapy specialist and author, owns Create Write Now, a website dedicated to all things journaling. The site includes hundreds of journaling prompts, personal journaling stories, interviews, a blog, and many other resources. Mari has published nine books to date. For more on ways that journaling brings self-knowledge, see Who Are You? How to Use Journaling Therapy to Know and Grow Your Life.

    OH! And, because Mari is so generous, and because it's my birthday, I'm hosting a giveaway of Mari's book:  

    Mari's Most Musefull Journaling Tips (spiral bound)

    All you have to do to enter for a chance to win is tell me that you want IN! 
    If you want a second chance to win, tell me whether or not you journal.
    Want a third chance? Tell me why you journal. OR, if you don't already journal, just tell me why you'd like to begin! 

    I'll announce a winner Monday!

     I'm linking up with Java at Never Growing Old for