All Who Are Following My Blog

I thought I had said this but I haven’t yet: Welcome! Thanks for signing up and joining me on this journey. I love having you here.

To those reading on the fly, stay awhile and share your story, or insight, or encouragement (I find I’m needing that lately!)

Take care,

Monique

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The Best Of Intentions

OK, OK, I KNOW I screwed up, I just don’t need anyone else pointing that out to me, no matter how well intentioned they may be. You weren’t doing that you say? Forgive me, it must be me still reacting to my mother hours after our last conversation. I’m still on the plateau this week, and I know it’s because I’m not exercising. Yes, I thought I could be the one who does not exercise and still loses weight.  Yes, I’m a resonably intelligent person who should know better.

So what am I doing about this? I’m riding the recumbant bike tonight. And I’ll do it again tomorrow, and the day after that. I’m not fond of plateaus frankly, nor am I fond of I-Told-You-So conversations.

So, today I ride the bike, make Vegetarian Chili, and look at I Pad ads while dreaming of a thinner future. Tomorrow I walk, despite all my protestations about the area I live in. And by next week, I will be off the mountain. (It’s growing in my mind) Think good thoughts for me, and if you are so inclined pass a word or two upstairs as I could use God’s help right about now. Thanks for reading.

Gaining While Losing

I have put off this post because I don’t want to face it. No, I didn’t plateau this past week, I gained. Two pounds. Now I know this is a normal part of the weight-loss process and journey, but that knowledge doesn’t make me feel any better about it. I looked over last week and I realize it was caused by several factors; I ate out a lot, I ate beef out, I didn’t exercise enough, I may not have measured my portions the way I should when I ate at home. So, I have been nursing my disappointment and avoiding the blank page was one of the things I did as a result.

With each set-back, be it gaining or plateauing I am renewing my committment to the program and to the goal, pushing forward, revising my plan, doing the next right step and looking forward to Sunday and a change in the scale. You do have to be vigilant on the journey and not fall into a complacency rut. I was beginning to think that this was so easy, and I stopped being hyper-vigilant about my daily interaction with food. Following through on things is new to me. In the past, I was good at starting things, but never really stuck to the plan of whatever I was doing to finish it.  This is a plan I have to follow through on all day long, since I can slip easily.

If you are experiencing the same things in your journey, or you know of someone who is, let me know. I would love to get some insight and shared experiences about this. I promise the next post will be more positive and informative.

 

 

Creativity, Midlife and Loving Yourself

Bluebirds 2011

One of my favorite authors is Julia Cameron and she writes extensively about creativity and spirituality. A very compelling writer, she makes you think about what you are doing and how you are part of a creative process both individually and as part of the world at large. Her writing has led to many creative people reaching their dreams and doing what they were meant to do. I tried to do the exercises she prescribed…several times over the years, and while I believed in her writing, I could never actually do what is outlined in the Artists Way. Now, I look back and see that I didn’t allow myself to do it. I never gave myself permission to let the creativity flow… To let the dreams come forth. I never gave myself permission to be an artist or a writer.

 

Mid-life

 

Now  at what is considered to be mid-life and I am looking forward, not back. And I am embracing so many things that I couldn’t when I was younger, for a lot of reasons. And today, I give myself permission to be both artist and writer. I can do both without grandiose arrangements, without degrees and without fanfare. I give myself permission to pursue dreams and I am doing the things I need to do to make those dreams come true. And Cameron is a big part of that. I am  doing the exercises in the Artists Way for my creativity, and I am  doing the same in The Prosperous Heart which is for your financial life.

 

Losing Weight

 

I am finally giving myself permission to lose weight as a part of this process. Tackling the intricate issues that have led to my present size. Becoming the woman I am meant to be in this half of my life. I am doing the things I have thought about doing all my life but have made excuses not to do. Completing baby steps till I get it done. So each day I make the decisions that lead me closer to my goal.  I use my creativity all the time now…seeking out recipes, cooking, approaching the day, setting up this blog. And it all feels right. Synchronicity is what I wanted when I was younger, but wasn’t meant to have until now.

 

Self – Love

 

This process is a way of loving one’s self. To become the person you are meant to be. To live healthfully. To live mind fully. It makes me cringe when I think of how much time has passed with me not loving or taking care of myself. In fact I will go so far as to say I hate myself. I use the present tense because I haven’t overcome this yet. It’s a work in progress. Every step I take is one that leads away from self-loathing and towards a healthy self-esteem. Each day I am closer to my goal in pounds, yes, but I am also closer to embracing myself completely. It is with the help of my support system and the guidance of authors like Cameron that I can accomplish these goals.

 

Achievement vs Success and Broken Plateaus

My mother drew a distinction between achievement and success. She said that ‘achievement is the knowledge that you have studied and worked hard and done the best that is in you. Success is being praised by others, and that’s nice, too, but not as important or satisfying. Always aim for achievement and forget about success.’

Helen Hayes (1900 – 1993)

I’m back to liking Sunday weigh-ins…I lost 2 lbs last week! I know I intended to exercise daily, but only did so on two days. That’s not good. What I did do was track my food carefully and plan my meals. Still not so good with veggies, have to get back into the groove with them.  This week will be focused on continuing last weeks achievements and adding more exercise, and getting a couple of new recipes . I’m also going through the massive amount of clothes my sister lent to me. I’m needing new outfits now.  So thanks for checking in with me…

Do you have any achievements you want to share with us? Or challenges you need help with? 

 

 

 

Accepting Body Image During Weight-loss

About a year ago, I saw Jennifer Hudson on Oprah talking about and showing off her weight-loss. She went from a size 16 to a size 6, and wouldn’t disclose how many lbs that was. Strange. Anyway, she looks fabulous. She talked about her mind not catching up with her body….I so know what that feels like. I was lost in that place. A skinny body and I wasn’t ready for it, despite working my butt off for it, I felt scared. I’d go shopping and just like JH, I would go to the larger sized clothes, instead of the small size that I was. My head never caught up with my body…until I was fat again, then all felt normal. Fat feels comfortable even though being  this fat is uncomfortable.

Acceptance Begins Now, During the Weight-Loss Process

Improving body image is not something that can be put off till after a weight-loss goal is achieved. I did it that way and failed miserablyIt’s something to be done now, in preparation for the massive loss. Body image is a learned belief propagated by our life experiences and the input from the people around us. Lots of different beliefs went into shaping our present self-image. To change this, we have to find out what we believe.

How Do You Change Body Image?

Exercise

For one week, keep a journal nearby and write down the thoughts that pertain to self-image. Don’t censure them, just chronicle them.

At the end of the week, see what you have. Look at this self-talk and think about where each thought originated from. Was it something your mom said to you? Did your schoolmates say this to you? Did you read about it? Or is it something you came up with when facing the cultural images of perfection that are thrown at us each day?

Now, write a positive and loving statement for each negative one. These are your new affirmations that you will essentially brainwash yourself with. This positivity is being created by you, not by an outside force. Keep this new list of beliefs near you and refer to it frequently, and when a negative message pops into your consciousness. Eventually, the new will replace the old.

Changing body image doesn’t end with this exercise, you have to make changes in your routine as well. Make sure when you do this that you take steps to achieve the goal of a better body image. Set yourself up for success by making goals that are quantifiable and achievable.

  • Eat well and drink lots of water. Eat foods that are delicious as well as healthy. Enjoy your nourishment and keep to a schedule of three meals a day plus two snacks
  • Exercise daily if possible. Attune yourself to the pleasurable feelings that accompany a good workout.
  • Pay attention to your clothes. Wear things that make you feel good because you look good in them.  Don’t try for perfection, just go for feeling good.
  • Continue to work on the inside…improved body image radiates from within.

 My Goals

I revised my ultimate goal when I set out to lose weight. I know I had the wrong goal the last time I lost. This time I’m shooting for a size 12. Not too thin.  I should be approximately 150 lbs. My focus is on the size rather than the pounds.  Totally attainable.

  • Have a goal of 30 lbs to lose, 1-2 lbs a week to achieve it. Do that 5 times.
  • Exercise 4 times a week for a minimum of a half hour each session
  • Put together five outfits that look good and make me feel good and plan my week with those outfits.
  • Journal daily about the negative voices that cloud my self-image. Do the exercise above and challenge the negative script running through my head

Better self-image is a journey just like weight-loss is. So, I’m adding this to my blog focus this year.

How do you view your body? Have you changed your body image and if so, how did you do it?

 

Great articles to read:

http://kalimunro.com/wp/?page_id=1048 Changing Your Body Image

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/mental_health/hic_fostering_a_positive_self-image.aspx Fostering a positive Self Image

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/guide/love_your_body_inside_and_out  Look and Feel Great At Any Weight

http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/bhcv2/bhcarticles.nsf/pages/Body_image_issues_for_men Body Image – Men