I have put my energies over here for the time being.

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It is 3:12 a.m. as I begin writing this. I have a 5k to do in about five hours. I am not sleepy. It isn’t because I’m excited about the race or that I had too much coffee (actually, not so much coffee today), but because I am thinking about what it means to be my best self.

Ever think about that?

What does it mean to exceed your own perceived limitations?

And why do that?

Why not?

Why aren’t you?

I know that I’m rather hit-and-miss. Some areas are rockin’ right along, others, well, my aim is not true and I’m not doing so well. And where I’m missing the mark – it’s all on me. No one else is to blame. At. All. Period.

I’ve made statements and promises to myself to hit that mark….and I have not done what I need to do to be successful. When this happens – belief and confidence in my self withers a bit. Every time I do NOT do what I need to do, a little more is taken away. It is a simple formula:

To excel and evolve:

Do –> achieve goal –> success –> confidence

To have to repeat the class:

Don’t do –> don’t achieve goal –> failure –> disbelief in self

Shit. It seems so basic. Why EVER have to repeat the class?

Many times our initial desire to change ourselves is for an event (wedding, reunion, trip to Fiji), or to get even (after a wedding, after a reunion or after our trip to Fiji), or to prove that someone was SO WRONG ABOUT US… “I’ll show YOU!!”

There is an element that is overlooked in many personal transformations.There is a deeper and longer lasting focus we need to attend to…

A reverence for our own self. Reverence as a deep respect and having a profound appreciation for ourself.

I’ve never thought about having self-reverence…I’ve never really profoundly appreciated myself.

I’m asking myself, “why not?”

Why wait for others to validated this inner knowing?

What does it take to revere one’s self? How would it reveal itself in my day to day living?

What can I do to profoundly appreciate my being?

Reverence – from revere: to show devoted deferential honor to : regard as worthy of great honor

profound – characterized by intensity of feeling or quality b : all encompassing

appreciation – sensitive awareness; especially : recognition of aesthetic values c : an expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude 2 : increase in value

By those definitions – If we begin to think of our selves with reverence and with profound appreciation… how can a transformation NOT happen?

Just a thought.

My last post brought up a point of taking personal responsibility for the choices one makes. I think there is some mileage BEHIND that thought to cover.

The first question to face is: Do I really want to get better?

Really. I have to do some deep thinking about that. I know I get a lot of pay-offs for not being quite at my game. Having people respond with sympathy to “my story” gets me a lot of attention and mileage. Sometimes I get MORE attention by sharing a dark and dreary story than by being a beacon of light.

Sometimes people act adversely to beacons of light. I have seen the looks on their faces… “oh sure…you are wonderful AGAIN…” (oops…there’s a “story”…)

Here’s another “story”… me in first grade…I was the only one to get a perfect score on a test…teacher takes me aside and tells me; “don’t tell any of the other children you got everything right…they will tease you…so be quiet about this…”

OK, so at a very young age it began for me. The conditioning to not be SO MUCH and to BE QUIET. What do you do when you can’t be SO MUCH…or TOO MUCH? You begin to create a story.

I am a quiet person because I WAS TOLD TO BE QUIET so that I wouldn’t get teased. The personal mythology begins.

That is just one example. We all have our examples. We perpetuate our stories by doing things to keep us wandering around in the same chapter.

So, me, a quiet person since first grade takes a voice class for acting. The teacher recognizes something in me…has me jump up, and as I land, to say my lines. Out of my mouth comes this deep resonating voice. And it’s LOUD. There is ENERGY in this voice…it is MY voice. The truth of me is that I have a voice, it is loud and I have things to say.

My first grade teacher…let’s not worry about her. It’s the past. I put down that luggage. Let go of that story…

The thing is…what is amazing about all of us…is our uniqueness. But we really are not unique if we all tell the same story.

The same Aches and Pains story. The same I Shouldn’t Eat This Donut But I’m Going To Anyway story. We tell these stories (and others) and spin and spin in one spot.

Sometimes we don’t want to get better because we really don’t know what a “better” story is!! Our books and pages are well-worn and familiar. We really don’t WANT to get better because

WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE WOULD HAVE TO TALK ABOUT. WE HAVE NO IDEA WHO WE WOULD BE……………and that scares the crap out of us.

So, the next time you embark on a plan of self-improvement (be it mental, physical, spiritual), first ask your self:

Do I REALLY want to get better?

ok. I’m done being quiet with this. I’m going to raise my voice. No…not about politics…not about religion…but another highly heated topic that is sure to rile up a few people.

How to lose weight.

I was going to wait until the weight was gone so that I was living proof of what I’m about to write about…then I decided to break THAT silence too. PAH! I did this to lose my first 80…now I’m working on the next 80.

By the way… I’ve lost 10 pounds since 1/5/10 by doing it “this way.”

FIRST: Losing weight is about personal responsibility. Losing weight is about your own power. There are no excuses. None. I won’t listen to them. Either you want to change, or you don’t.

THAT is the most difficult part to grab a hold of and run with. This first step is where most fail.

SECOND: The practical application is simple. Calories in…calories out. A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It does not matter if they are carb cals, protein cals or fat cals. Dairy cals or leafy green cals or mooing on your plate cals.
They are all the same…a calorie is a calorie.

Nope…you can’t argue with me on this one…a calorie is a calorie. It is a measurement…

THAT being said…of course, the quality of the calorie DOES count for your physical and mental health. So, yes, you DO want those calories to be the BEST you can muster…for yourself. So maybe you need to have more protein calories…ok. Or maybe you can not tolerate wheat (that’s called Celiac Disease), so you can’t eat a lot of that – so you focus on rice…ok. Maybe you can’t take in dairy…ok…. all that is ok…there really is no magic formula…

Many will TRY to tell you there is this wondrous grapefruit…or beet…or cabbage…because if you want to believe them they make lots of money off of you (buying their books etc…)…but what you eat and the combination in which you eat…is very very personal. Like political views or religion.

ok…how MANY calories?

Use this: http://nutrition.about.com/library/bl_nutrition_guide.htm

That link will give you the info you need to know your numbers….and it gives you some other info as well.

What I have learned is that you need to EAT in order to lose weight. I know I’ve said that before…but if you do not take in the right amount of calories for your body, you will not lose, or stop losing weight.

Yes, this means you will need to read labels and track what you are eating. You can write it in a notebook or use an online tool. Spark People has a GREAT free program.

As an example of my 1600-ish calorie take-in for today:

Breakfast: 2 poached eggs and 2 turkey sausages
(you GOTTA eat breakfast…don’t make me write a post on that TOO!!!!!)
Morning snack: Drinkable yogurt
Lunch: home made potato soup, roast beef wrapped around cheese, veggies in Tzatziki
afternoon snack: yogurt
(but didn’t really want this, but I forgot to pack my Turkey Jerky)
another afternoon snack: 49 pistachios (yes 49 pistachios…VERY good for the body)
Currently eating dinner which is a huge bowl of taco soup WITH regular cheese and FF sour cream.

(note: tomorrow I will probably have more ‘fruit and veggie’ meals…I go back and forth so as not to get bored with the same ol’, same ol’…)

AND…I still have 259 calories to consume later this evening…a glass of wine? hm…I could have two glasses of wine… Maybe some ice cream… cookies? Meet a friend for coffee and have a mocha latte WITH whipped cream? hmmm I just looked it up…I could have a cup of coffee AND a chocolate glazed donut. Tempting. I will probably have A glass of wine and a few more nibbles…I’m satisfied just knowing I COULD have a donut if I wanted to put forth the effort to go get one.

See? By knowing how many calories I need to consume AND by tracking them AND by making the best choices for myself 80% of the time…I have room for treats…so that I can still enjoy those things I find yummy. 🙂

Enough with the deprivation and the sorrow. It isn’t about what we are “giving up”…it is about who and how we want to be…but like I said…THAT is the first thing to grab a hold of.

So…last I wrote I was committed to walking every morning through out December…

and then it got really really cold and I didn’t have the best clothing to walk to work and stay warm. So, I ditched my plan. I’m ok with that. Between the deep frost days and then the rain THEN a headcold, I decided to stay warm and dry until I felt better.

December brought in a LOT of work…three weekends in a row of craft fair vending – this while still working 40 hours a week. I was exhausted by Christmas. Made it to New Year’s, but still trying to get past a cold…

The very good news is that I was well by my birthday! Hu RAH! I actually had three celebrations…One day out with friends to see Avatar for the third time and dinner at an Indian restaurant. The next day Josh and I and a couple other friends spent the day in San Francisco…then on my actual birthday I met a new friend for coffee and then Josh and I went out to dinner.  A fantastic weekend!!

I took vacation time for the rest of my “birthday week” and just thought about a lot of things.

I’ve decided that this is the year of “Doing.” Enough said.

One thing I’ve been thinking about DOING is to paint. Here are some of my first pieces…none will win awards or acclaim, but I’m very pleased with them nonetheless. I tossed out the Editor and just painted.

Here’s a wild dragon fly. If nothing else…I feel I did well on the values on the body! What can I say, I was totally getting used to the paint! (Gouache – multi-color collection on sale at Michael’s for $3.00)

My first dragon fly painting

While painting the wild dragonfly, I had another idea…a lone leaf stuck to a tree. So here’s “Stuck”…

Yeah, like I said – no one will be buying these anytime soon!! 😀

THEN, yesterday literally without much thought I began to draw a mandala. It just “happened.” Not a lot of thought, it just flowed. The whole process was very neat. I plan on painting this in…

I am much better at always having a camera with me. I now carry my little Nikon Coolpix…here’s a shot I took that I want to make into a painting –

Enough writing! Time to go DO!

Either I didn’t set my alarm last night, or, I turned it off as soon as it went off…I don’t know. Woke up a bit late…but undaunted still pulled myself together and got out door EARLIER than yesterday…7:30am. Today I wore my Nike iPod attachment…a cool gizmo that counts up your mileage, pace and if you like, calories burned. All geared up andout the door.

Can you see the kitty? He was grumpy.

brrrr…cold morning…getting up late kinda ruffled my focus…so it was good to be walking. Spied a white kitty hunkered down on a porch, wanted to get a shot, but that would mean walking on another persons property…so I took the shot above of a very grumpy looking orange cat. He’s been in the neighborhood for awhile. Not saying that is what makes him grumpy, he just has an attitude!

Folsom Blvd at 7:40 am...kinda empty.

Streets were empty….we have “furlough Fridays” around here…State and City of Rancho Cordova take Fridays off to ‘save money’.  I can think of other ways that the government can save money…but that isn’t the focus of THIS blog! 😉

I decided to cut through parking lots…walking more ‘as the crow flies’…by the time I arrived at Starbucks (close to work) it had only taken me 30 minutes to go approximately two miles. Not bad. I had time to sit down and enjoy my tall triple latte!

It’s all good…I’ll be walking back to the light rail station today, so there’s another two-ish miles and taking the train up to Nimbus Winery…we have a booth there – Josh will have been working there all day so I’ll need to get up there to give him a break.

Such is my “Day 2 of 20″…

See you on Monday (Day 3).

Preamble

I’ve been wanting to get focused on my work-out regimen…wanting, but not doing much about it. I’ve been allowing many other things to take priority. I watch The Biggest Loser faithfully, and after how many season ? , I  finally received the message that the participants have always come to realize:

Your own self, your being is the most important priority. Nothing else. Until you fully take care of your self you can NOT take care of others…

and I consider my own dreams/goals/visions to be a part of “others” to take care of.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to get some sort of work out in most days of the week, and I’ve been overlooking the obvious. It came together when I received an email at work…we were granted “Tennis Shoe” Days to the end of the year.

a HA  I can wear walking shoes…I can walk during breaks… OHHHH I can walk to work. 2.2 miles….and with three Starbucks along the way, plenty of ways to grab a cup of coffee… 😀

I have twenty working days until the end of the year. I will walk all 20 days UNLESS THERE IS A TORRENTIAL DOWNPOUR…but that isn’t likely. At the very least I will put in 2.2 miles. Most days I will attempt to put in another 2.2 miles on my way home (due to busy schedule hubby may pick me up from work on some days).

So, that is my plan. I’m posting this out in the world as a way to keep myself accountable…and perhaps, inspire a few along the way!

Day 1

Today…woke up EARLY. What’s up with that? Decided to go ahead and get up and make a pot of coffee. Poured a cup and went out front to sit on my porch. It was both frosty and foggy outside…the full moon blazing down from the Northwest sky. Just gorgeous. I had a quick conversation with my Universe-Self…and then went back inside to get ready for the day.

Left the house at 7:40am…not too sure that I gave myself enough time…we’ll see.

What a fantastic experience…the fog…listening to my iPod, Shiva in Exile and Azam Ali, the sun rising…all good. Very good. Stopped in at Starbucks and grabbed a tall triple latte…I think I’ll add a ‘take one picture’ feature to my plan here…that way I get a bit of photography in as well! 🙂

The other thing I want to offer up…I have received comments from others that they too want to get with a program…Feel free to leave a comment on what step you have done today to be active…yoga class? Zumba? Free weight workout? A few rounds of boxing? Whatever… leave a comment…let’s get a positive support system going!

Wow. I haven’t contributed anything to my blog for a week? Well, yes. I’ve been pondering many things. Keeping them internal – but now it is time for a few things to come out. WishCasting is going to kick these ponderings out into the open.

Jamie Ridler asks; “What is your winter wish?”

Well…in a month it will be my 49th birthday. Then, in a year, I will be 50. Six years ago, I made up my mind to let go of my extra weight for good…I made a GREAT start…but have gained most of it back. I SO want to be HOT HOT HOT at 50. No outside pressure to be HOT at 50…it’s my own decision.

With everything going on in my life I have found many excuses not to put the care of my physical being first. I have LIED about that…that icecream and hamburgers IS taking care of me. That hedonistic eating habits comfort me. But it isn’t.

This afternoon at work, we received an email that we are going to be allowed casual dress (which means we can wear athletic shoes!) for the remainder of the year. I live 2.2 miles from where I work…put it together. For the month of December I am going to walk to and from work…every day (rainy season really won’t start until Jan/Feb)…then after that, I will take up running again.

The plan is to stay focused, and to emerge 30-40 pounds lighter in the Spring…and then continue on with my work-outs…and once again…train to run half-marathons. I’ve run two…I know I can do it. I’ve done it before. I’ve lost the weight before…

So my winter wish is to stay focused on me. During a season where the impetus is to give to others, and that is a noble activity, it is so imperative for me to pay attention and give to myself. I can’t wait until January 1 (or even the 4th, my birthday)…the time to begin is now.

I know I’m off to a great start…I ate an apple for my evening TV viewing snack (while watching The Biggest Loser).

Jamie Ridler and her question “What Step Do You Wish To Take?”

I feel like I have taken so many steps over the past year. My business (well, not all mine, with my hubby too!), motorcycle riding, dancing, letting go of things, taking in new… step, step, step…

I am realizing that I have taken many outer steps…and I know I need to take some inner steps. Those things that only I can do inside myself for me.

Hm. I think I just took a step.