Love Yourself
- POSTED ON: May 16, 2011

I like the way I look at a normal weight.
I don’t walk past a mirror or reflective glass
without taking a look and admiring my handiwork.
Most of the time when I look in a mirror, 
my reaction is “Damn, I look good!”

I could offset that paragraph by telling you
about the imperfections my body still carries.
But I’m not going to.
I believe in focusing on the positive.
I’m not going to let the “flaws” negate the positive traits. 
 I love my body just the way it is, the way it was,
and the way it is will be.

I am no longer waiting for perfection that will never arrive
before I decide I can love myself.
If I could give one piece of advice
toward the goal of accepting your body,
it would be to let go of the idea of Perfection.

Let go of the idea that there is something wrong with you.
Let go of the notion that if you could look just a little better,
you would be able to love yourself.
Realize that self acceptance is a choice completely independent
of your physical appearance.
Realize that Perfection does not exist.

It has always been my choice what food I eat and how much.
It has always been my choices that created the shape of my body.
I have to choose to eat the right amount, not too much and not too little.
The hardest part of learning this was admitting to myself
that all the mistakes I had made were choices I made.
It would be really easy to place blame on outside factors,
but that would be false.

 I can’t control the circumstances of my life
or the actions and words of others.
I can only control my reactions.
I accept that many negative things that have gone on in my life
have been due to my own choices. At the same time, I forgive myself.
This comes back to not expecting myself to be perfect.

There is a huge difference between accepting responsibility and placing blame.
Yes, I’ve dealt with some difficult situations in my life in less-than-healthy ways.
But it was not the difficult situations that caused this.
It was my own choices in how I dealt with them.
By saying this I am not saying that everything is my fault.
I am only acknowledging that it is my choice to make changes.

It really is 99% mental.
Is losing weight or maintaining weight loss really difficult?
Yes.

But the actions to take are pretty straight forward.
Eat less. Move more. Everybody knows it.
Deciding to do it, believing you deserve it,
sticking with it… those are the hard parts.
Not because we don’t know how, but because we have
so many mental and emotional barriers in our way.

 We can love ourselves
and still desire to change our body size.
Let’s be mentally kind to ourselves while we deal
with changing the behaviors that determine our body size.


Making Mistakes
- POSTED ON: May 15, 2011

 

 

 

                      


We all make mistakes.
It is simply a part of every life.
This lifestyle change that we are involved in is not easy.
Anything of real value never is.

Success requires hard work, dedication and sacrifice.
It's a lot more than counting calories, fat or carbs.
It means there are days you look in the mirror
and you tell yourself that unless you alter some of your behavior,
you are not going to be the success you hope to be.

 I know, I am there. I am learning,
I am moving forward, even on the days that I feel like giving up.

We live in a world that suggests "magic" and "easy" at every twist and turn.
We have come to believe that if we simply buy a potion or pill,
subscribe to a web-site and buy a video, health and happiness instantly occurs.
But truly, it's very hard work and sometimes it’s hard work I don't enjoy.

A half-cup of plain 0% Fage yogurt
gets me to my goal quicker than several cookies,
but I don't always want the yogurt.
I have to talk myself out of poor choices daily.
But when I make the right choice
I am acknowledging that my goals have value.

I deserve success just as much as anyone else does.
I have to work for it, sacrifice for it.
We are not called to be perfect;
we are called to put forth our best effort every day.

It's not always glamorous.
Most days it's putting one foot in front of the other
and walking the walk.


Small Efforts - Setting Goals
- POSTED ON: May 14, 2011

Here are 4 Core Elements to consider when Setting Goals:

Make sure your goals stand up to the following tests:

Are they realistic, specific and measurable,
and do you have a back-up plan
for when things don't go as expected?

Realistic

The goals you set have to be real in the context of your life.
They cannot be based on some ideal version of your real situation
and more importantly don't base them on some change you are ‘going' to make
that will give you more time. Set your first goals according to what your life looks like right now!
Look for changes that you can insert into your current schedule.
If you are too busy to cook--then don't plan to cook at home every day.
Start by finding healthy calorie controlled prepared foods that don't take a lot of time to prepare.

Specific

Make each goal very specific.
Make sure that both the steps to achieving it and that the results are readily observable
so there is no guesswork or grey in your ability to know what to do.

As an exanple: “Today I will weigh and measure the kind and amounts of food I eat
and immediately enter every bit of it into my computer food journal.”

Measurable

In the example I just gave.
it is easy to measure the extent to which you completed the goal. 

Back-Up Plan

Once you have set out some realistic, specific and measurable goals
you need to set up a second set that mirror these goals but are a little more forgiving.
These are useful when the unexpected happens.

So for example, sometimes the unexpected occurs.
For these occasions, instead of doing nothing
(which feels like failure and can trigger a bigger slide)
simply carefully note the kind and amounts of food eaten,
jot that estimated information down and then enter it in your computer food journal later.

While this is less than ideal it IS still part of "the plan" and thus will have you feeling
psychologically that you succeeded whereas skipping altogether would feel like failure.


Loss
- POSTED ON: May 13, 2011

 

 

 

                         

At present I have a broken wrist
which causes the temporary loss of activities that I enjoy.

My injury is healing, which makes my situation temporary,
but all of us experience losses that are permanent.

Some of them are enormous losses, others are small.
People move away or die; relationships and jobs change;
children age, time passes and our own bodies begin wearing out;
favorite stores close; even favorite TV shows are canceled.

When we recognize we have lost something that was valuable to us,
and that it is gone forever, we feel sad.

When we can turn our thoughts to the future
and leave the past behind, 
we have accepted the loss and can get on with our lives.


Hope is the belief that things will get better.
Hope is the antidote to despair.

A positive way of looking at the losses in our lives
is that the loss helps us see more clearly the value of what we have lost.

When we suffer a loss, what remains after the loss
is the essence of that which we have lost.

If we have lost a person through death,
we have lost only the physical sense of that person.
What we will always have within us is the essence of that person.

Or if we have lost something that seems like a part of ourselves,
such as a job or a relationship, or a place etc.,
what remains within us
are all the experiences and memories that we gained
through that work, that relationship, or that location itself. 


Serenity
- POSTED ON: May 12, 2011

                           

Serenity means calmness and tranquality.
The Serenity prayer says:

“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference. “

Some things we can change,
and some things we cannot change.
How do we know the difference?

Recognizing the difference between what we can change
and what we cannot change will make our lives
more peaceful and more productive.

Wisdom is the recognition that our control is limited.
 The only thing that we have any power over
is our own behavior and our own choices.

For Serenity we must Accept that we have no power or control
over the behaviors or the choices of others.

Changing the things we can,
means mustering our Courage to work toward
the difficult task of changing ourselves,
specifically…changing our own attitudes and our own behaviors.

Many of us spend time feeling anxious
about things we cannot change:
things like the economy, the weather, traffic on the freeway,
or the actions of other people who are close to us.

This focus on things that are outside our personal control
drains from us the energy that we need
to make the most of our own personal opportunities.

The Wisdom I’ve found is: 
that Acceptance of this Truth
brings me Serenity and also gives me Courage.


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