Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A Masterpiece

I heard a message yesterday that impacted me. As I sit and ponder 'why?' about something there is just no figuring out, I realize, I was meant to hear this message. There are many reasons for funerals.  I believe one of them, is to help us reflect on the life before us. And here is a wonderful visual that will forever be in my mind.  

Imagine going in to an art gallery, and walking up to a beautiful piece of art.  You walk up to it, and you get closer and closer until your nose is almost touching. As you look at this art that is supposed to be so amazing, from this view all you see is maybe black...just smudges of black oil. And you are wondering, "why is this beautiful?"  But then you step back, and you start to make out other essences of the painting. And as you step back further and further, you begin to see the beauty and the wonder of this work of art.  

Some of us may only be seeing black right now.  There may be questions as to why things are happening to us, or the people we love and care about.  Some of us may be looking at the painting and not seeing anything at all.  I just want to encourage everyone to step back or forward or to the side a little, and look at it a little differently.  At some point, I hope you will see a masterpiece...a life that means something, that is something beautiful, no matter the size of the painting.  I learned this yesterday.  A young man's painting may seem way too small, but oh, the beauty of it...oh, the joy it created in the hearts of others.  

"Vulnerability to death is one of the given conditions of life.
We can't explain it any more than we can explain life itself.
We can't control it, or sometimes even postpone it.
All we can do is try to rise beyond the question,
"Why did it happen?"and begin to ask the question,
"What do I do now that it has happened?"" 

What do I do now?  I continue to create my masterpiece...and I LOVE HARD!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Love Hard

I was given some encouragement that I should get back to writing in my blog.  For now, I will just share my thought from yesterday.  

Someone wrote on the wall of a sister grieving the loss of her brother, to "stay strong and love hard". Love hard....I wonder what it would look like if I did that. Some of us work hard, play hard, party hard....but I have never thought of loving hard. Love is so often associated with 'softness', like flowers and clouds and cuddly things. I think I want to love hard, because here are a few things that 'hard' means, by various dictionary definitions:

Solid, firm, and resistant to pressure; not easily broken, bent, or pierced.

With a great deal of effort.

Intense in force or degree

With great force, vigor, or energy

Firmly; securely

To love firmly, intensely, with great effort. I think we would all like to BE loved that way, so wouldn't it be good to put forth the effort TO love that way?  Stay strong and Love Hard!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I've Lost Track of the Days

I don't even know what to write about anymore.  I'm finding it hard to discern what journey I'm on.  The drive I had to lose weight last year is gone.  I was hoping that a new 'drive' to be healthy, to find myself, to be content, would replace it.  I have the desire for all those things...but 'drive'?  Nope.  And I don't know why.  What does 'drive' me to do anything?

I have a couple bits of advice...DO NOT bring home a half gallon of your very favorite ice cream on Valentine's Day when your significant other is out of town.  It's amazing how quickly ice cream disappears as you scoop spoonful after spoonful in to your mouth.  Also, DO NOT go down the candy aisle at the grocery store at the end of a stressful trip with two youngsters in tow.  Not only do they have a ball throwing bags of candy in the cart, you are just harried enough to grab a large bag of Laffy Taffy and finish it off on the drive home.  Just two examples of how I am obviously not handling things so great with this food addiction I seem to have.  In these cases, loneliness and stress 'drove' me to go to the things I find most comforting...food.  And somehow, I give myself permission to indulge, because I 'deserve' it after the particular situations I have found myself in.  Those are two kinda big examples, but all day every day, it is like this for me!  "You worked so hard getting that floor clean...Of course you deserve a couple of pieces of pizza and a cupcake."  "Boy, that's a lot of laundry that has to be done...You better load up on some cookie dough before you tackle it."  Food is a reward, a motivator, an escape, rather than a fuel.

I was alarmed at the amount of strength I had lost by not working out for about 3 months.  It was almost as if I had not only lost all I had gained as far as strength, but I was starting out even weaker than when I very first began.  I was leaving my workouts feeling defeated.  And feeling defeated, well, is just another one of those feelings that makes me excuse some devouring of donuts or something.  Why in the world would a workout do that to me?  I started to wonder if I should just quit working out...just say to heck with everything.  I CANNOT DO THAT....I know too well that if I quit working out, and quit TRYING to do something about the food I eat, I will end up being in serious trouble as far as weight gain and health go.  I have seen how quickly my body puts on the weight.  I have to be thankful for the work I have already done and the work I am doing right now.

My assignment for now is to try and figure out why I seem to be afraid of succeeding.  Why else would I continue to sabotage myself?   For the last 20 years, I've felt my weight is holding me back from truly being me...from reaching my potential.  But maybe I am afraid of not having the excuse of the excess weight keeping me from achieving other goals.  So I'm afraid of succeeding at the weight loss, because then, I will be expected to actually work on something else!!

Lots to ponder...lots to figure out.  And while I ponder and figure things out, I will continue to go work out, and I will continue to try and increase the good food and decrease the bad.  All I can do is keep trying.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Days 28-31

First of all, Happy Valentine's Day to everyone!  Love or hate this day, I don't think it's a bad thing to take a day to deliberately think about giving love...and it doesn't just have to be about two love birds!

I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm not writing on a daily basis anymore.  I may get back to that or I may not...I find myself not really wanting to 'fess up to what I'm eating these days.  I'm not saying it has all gone to hell....I'm just not really limiting any certain things.  I'm just trying to keep from snacking on junk, and limiting my portion sizes.  Some days are better than others!

I made it to the gym Friday, and took a long walk outside on our beautiful Colorado Saturday morning.  I didn't feel so hot yesterday, so stayed at home.  My rash has decided to return...so much for the 'cycle' hypothesis.  It is certainly not time for my cycle to start, so the rash just seems to be coming and going as it pleases.  If this continues much longer, I guess I'm going to have to start returning to doctor's offices to see if we can figure it out.  As much as I try to stay calm about it, I end up freaking out.  Although it has been a fairly small area these last few times, I am terrified of it returning to its full blown glory that it was the first time it reared its ugly head.

One really great thing about the last week...I made dinner five out of seven nights.  The dinners weren't the greatest as far as lean protein and veggies or anything, but they were not fast food, or pizza...so I am happy about that!  Amazing what a little planning ahead can do!

I'm not really even considering myself a part of the challenge at the gym anymore.  Last year, this challenge helped me to lose about 10 pounds in 12 weeks...I was feeling really good!!  This year, however, I consider myself on Day 32 of an entirely different kind of challenge.  Yes, you can tell by the new title what part of the challenge is....contentment.  But as I reflect on the last month, I am beginning to realize I am being challenged to live my life right now...to not keep thinking I will be living my best life once I am the weight or size I want to be.  And I'm learning to love me for who I am now, and not who I used to be.  Although there are some qualities of the younger me that I would like to see return, I can't be that Kari anymore...I am who I am now because of the life I have lived.  It has been a good life..it IS a good life, and I want to celebrate it every single day, and not dwell on trying to return to some kind of Eden I tend to picture the life I had as the skinnier me.

I love that I can google search for anything these days..and I get wonderful quotes all the time.  I never  know who has really quoted certain things, but I do think a lot of them are worth passing along!
"You, yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection."  

I'm challenging myself to remember this...maybe you can challenge yourself to remember it too!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 27

Nobody stuck to the floors last night!  I do like having people over to my house...so why in the world do I need keep it presentable enough to do just that?!  Just another little something to work on.....

Guess what?  It's almost Valentine's Day.  That means there are cherry and cinnamon hearts at the store.  And I bought them to have in little bowls to serve at the meeting last night.  Yep, uh huh...that is exactly why I bought them.  Darn it if those things aren't so yummy.  You know what else is yummy?  A $5.00 heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy's.  And you know what goes well with that yummy pizza?  Well, a yummy beer, of course!!  By now, I think you have an idea of how yummy the meeting was last night!  :)

I was busy yesterday so I didn't have time to mess with snacking...I had oatmeal with a banana for breakfast, and that kept me full for a very long time.  I did a vigorous 30 minute resistance workout, but was unable to do the cardio after because my legs were shot.  I washed our floors on the main level, which is a nice little back and arm workout....lol!  (I got down on the floor and scrubbed...no mop!)  I have totally drawn a blank on what I ate for lunch...let me go consult livestrong.com and see if I recorded it.  Please hold....Oh yeah...I grabbed a Starbucks veggie, egg, cheese sandwich and a tall non-fat vanilla latte.  Other than a handful of pretzels at about 4 pm...that was all I had until the meeting.  I drank lots of water during the day...always a good thing!

In general, my state of mind is pretty positive right now.  I will just keep plugging away at balancing good and bad food.  I'll keep reminding myself to watch portions, and care about what kind of fuel I'm giving to my body.  I don't feel so foggy right now...I am totally gonna be watching this, because if hormones are whacking me out so bad, I'll need to be getting some help with that.

A question I am asking myself....."Do you choose to simply know the path, or do you choose to walk it?"

Here's to walking the path, ya'll!!!   

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 26

Let me just start by saying that I shouldn't be blogging right now.  I have a mess of a house, and a meeting to be held here tonight.  So, I'll make this short and sweet!

Yesterday, I made it to the gym for a half hour on the elliptical.  It was TOUGH....my legs are jello.  Sure hope this improves soon.  My workout today wasn't much better...I had to cut it short.  No more time off...it's too hard to make up for the time I missed.  My body seems to regress much quicker than it used to. Is this one of the beautiful challenges of now being 40 years old?!

I did pretty good with eating yesterday, and drank lots of water.  I did break in to some ice cream last night, but I kept it at 1/2 cup (the serving size on the container) which is much smaller than I am used to dishing up.  My daughter ate half of it while she sat next to me, so I think I actually only had a 1/4 cup.  Just a taste, and almost enough to satisfy me at that time.  Until I grabbed about 10 reduced fat Pringles.  I sure wish somebody hadn't left those out on the end table....But I was ok with even these little food trysts...I had eaten sensibly the rest of the day, and done my exercise.  I'm allowed!

I never really felt fatigue set in yesterday.  I worked out in the afternoon when I usually get a snack attack.  I was definitely hungry after the workout, and ate some cereal to fill up since the protein bar hadn't been enough.

Crap...didn't I say this was gonna be short and sweet today?  Here I am still typing, and the floors are calling me to scrub them....To the ladies coming over here tonight...Please forgive me if you stick to the floor....

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Days 23-25

I kinda forgot about blogging for a little bit.  Wait, that's a lie.  I thought about it, then I decided I didn't want to do it for a couple of days.  

I made a return to the gym yesterday after more than a week off.  I'm sore today, and a tad mad at myself for not going for so long.  BUT, the mood I was in last week made all kinds of things difficult.  Taking the pressure off has helped me.  I feel like I made better eating choices yesterday just because I wanted to feel good physically...not because I was desperate to see the scale move.  And I did feel better...not so sluggish!!  Amazing how that works!

The last couple of days, I've had fun keeping myself occupied with something other than thinking about my weight.  (It is actually pretty crazy to realize how much my mind thinks about that....)  I decided to spend a little time dropping by on people's walls on facebook, just to say 'hi'.  I know I like it when an unexpected message shows up on mine, so I thought why not connect with a few people every day?  It's been a fun thing to do every time I log on...I just write to 2 or 3 people pretty much at random.  I am really very thankful for the people I have connected with on facebook.  I just want to make sure they know that.  It's been a positive way to redirect some brain power :)

I did not have a good night's sleep last night.  A loud noise woke me up approximately 1.5 hours after I fell asleep.  After taking a walk through the house to see that everything was ok, I returned to bed only to   be awakened after about 2 hours to a child hopping up in to my bed.  Another 2 hours, another child.  This is not so rare an occurrence.  I decided to do something different today though...I decided I would not use any fatigue that I begin to feel as an excuse to grab something crappy to eat....a conscious decision to realize when I am feeling tired and choose something different at that moment.  So that's my assignment for the day...if I can accomplish that, I'm on my way to tackling some of these things that cause me to run to the cupboard.

A great quote I came across yesterday: "How you feel is up to you, not to anyone else in your life. Peace is the result of choosing to focus your mind on what is true and honorable and right. When you choose to do that, it is amazing how much peace will overtake your mind and heart."
—Jan Silvious

Here's to peace, people!!!