Thursday, August 26, 2010

Possitive "bug" Thoughts

The only thing that will stop you from fulfilling your dreams is you. Tom Bradley

Today I’ve been thinking about the power of positive thinking and just I’d like to increase positive self talk in my day to day life.

There are so many issues and responsibilities that I am confronted with each day that I often find that I have trouble sorting out all my priorities. Today, for instance… there is a RS gathering, a “swimlaxing” party. A friend ask (maybe even whined) if I was going. I responded that I did think I would. She asked why I don’t make going to these social gatherings a priority, after all, wouldn’t it be nice to get out of the house? Truthfully, sitting here writing this blog is all the relaxation I need… listening to a little Aeosmith on the side. (It’s actually my husband’s 70/80’s station on Pandora). LOL.

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt

That’s how I feel about most things. I just need to keep moving forward. I can only control how I respond to my situation. I can’t change teens attitudes. I can’t change a spouse’s insensitivity (thankfully that hasn’t been an issue lately). I can’t even change if the weather is too hot. But I can change how I respond to all the stimuli around me.

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. George Barnard Shaw

I am finding that each mistake I make is an opportunity to learn to be better next time around. I almost feel bad for my first born. She is the trial and error kid. The trial run. Thankfully, God is merciful and has made up for my short comings and she is turning out to be a beautiful, confident, fit, smart and creative woman. It will be a real blessing if the other four miraculously make it through my parenting so well.

Lately, I am in AWE of my natural ability to bring beneficial changes into my life! I have discovered that success comes in many ways, but the formula is almost always the same:

Success = Problem Solving + Practice + Persistence + Patience + Personal Kindness

What you THINK is what you GET! Change your thinking, change your life! I’m working on this concept. Sometimes it’s hard to say nice things about yourself when the “mean girl” voice can be so darn loud!

A KEY is to slow down every day for personal quiet time--time to reflect on life's journey. I am currently working on the following affirmations:

I believe in myself and my unlimited potential.

I feel confident in my in my ideas and abilities.

I am the creator of my life. I create through my thoughts, my words, and my actions!

I learn from every experience. I embrace new beginnings.

I experience the joy of being!

There is nothing to fear. I am safe, cared for, and loved. Everyone and everything will lean towards me to bless me and I will recognize in everyone my dearest friend. Ah...

I respect myself and like who I am. I have made the decision to win in my life!

I live in the now. Each moment is a present...a gift of life to me.

I am a success!

I celebrate life! I am contented and thankful.

Every morning: Gee, a brand new 24 hours! What a precious gift! I choose to live in peace and contentment.

I am willing to receive. I am worthy of my good.

I am naturally exuberant!

My body is my friend. I treat it with respect.

I take time for something FUN and different each day! I let my wild inner-child side out to play!

I am wealthy. I have terrific abundance!

I CAN do it! Bring life on! My potential is endless!

I now choose to enjoy my life!

I am free to be joyous!

I am TOTALLY healthy!

My current experience is a stage in the journey to fulfilling love.

I slow down the pace of my eating and savor the flavor of food.

All is well in my world!

Streams of abundance, blessings, peace, and contentment flow into and out of my life.

My Body radiates wholeness: My body is the temple of the living Spirit. Therefore, it is filled with wholeness. Every muscle, organ, nerve and cell is in perfect alignment with the function it was designed to perform.

God works through me: Today I am alert to the ways God expresses in my life. Everything I do is filled with harmony and balance as I let God's joy propel me through every action of this day. My day goes smoothly and joyously.

Food is my friend: Everything I eat turns to health and beauty. I am open to receive the good that food has for me. I eat only what my body needs to be healthy. There is no hunger or feeling of being deprived, as my every need is satisfied by Spirit.

Change comes easily to me: I accept new, fulfilling experiences each day as I turn to God for guidance. I know that in order for things to be different, something must change. I accept change easily and flow with it as I welcome expanded good into my life. (This one is hard…. But I’m working on it).

Some days are easier than others… but even baby steps are steps forward… Right?

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over... it became a butterfly! --Proverb

"I am a beauwtiful butterfly! And from way up here you all look like widdle ants!" Heimlich – A Bug’s Life

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Climb that Molds

I am not a fan of Hanna Montana, but it happen that I kept thinking of her inspirational song titled “The Climb” today as I dragged my body up and down the 2.4 mile hike around Silver Falls. It reminded me to keep pushing through the hike, and life, in spite of all the hardships and trials that I may encounter along the way as a parent of crabby teens and as I move toward greater health and well being. It lifted my spirit somehow.

Honestly, the weekend was a bit of a failure… with a little success… if you stretch the imagination. My husband and I were hoping to have one last summer hurray before school, activities, dance and football monopolized the family life in the next few weeks. But our children had better ideas. Two had a church camping trip that sounded more fun then spending time with family. One planned a date to an air show. One won’t be seen in the same vicinity as the family because family is not cool. Needless to say, only one child, the youngest, was excited to have a family adventure.

We settled on creating “family moments” instead. The two girls went to the church camp out. Two went for a 2.5 hour canoe ride down the river. I took the son to lunch before football camp. I enjoyed some quiet reading while I waited for the canoe crew. We then started a fire in the yard and roasted hotdogs and marshmallows. My husband opened the tent trailer and made up beds for the youngest to “camp” with him. We convinced the attitude challenged son to go to the drive-in movie with the family. We enjoyed the first movie, Toy Story 3, but was relieved that we could be spared from a fight when we could leave the second movie because I wasn’t feeling too well. It was not appropriate. Our son really enjoyed it and it would have been war if we left due to movie content, so my coughing and heavy chest turned out to be a blessing.

In the morning my husband cooked breakfast in the camper. We lounged around and slowly got ready for the next adventure. One child went to the air show with her boyfriend and the ornery one grouched that I wouldn’t increase his computer time and refused to go to Silver Falls with the family. We picked up the “campers” and drove out for the hike.

The first part of the walk was lovely. The weather was nice and the path wound down into the beautiful valley. We passed beneath the waterfall and decided to make the loop to the next waterfall. I was surprised to remember that walking down hill took so much work. My legs burned and my sore ankle was not happy. I decided I couldn’t be a wimp and kept going. Besides, turning back or moving forward would still mean I had to go up hill. We made it to the second fall and began the assent to the top of the valley. I took many opportunities to pause and catch my breath and rest my burning legs. I was sweating and thirsty and tired of climbing. Wouldn’t it be nice to just sit and wait it out.

I started thinking about how this climb out of the valley was like my life. The more steps I took the more it looked like the mountain got taller and there were more steps to take. What’s with that?! Just when you thought you got to the top of the hill there was a switch back that kept you moving upward. In my life as a parent of teens, many responsibilities, and this weight loss journey I often find me wanting to sit on the side and wait it out. I often take three steps and rest my weary muscles and will... I often feel like I get to the top and find myself making a turn in a new direction and needing to continue climbing. Far too often I find that the more I think I can’t take another step the hill gets bigger. The only real choice is to keep going. Eventually the top is found.

Here’s the lyrics, try to read it and absorb its meaning. It reminds me that the only way to achieve success is to move forward no matter what obstacle I may encounter along the way. Burden and suffering is there, but it’s a much needed recipe for my success.


I can almost see it

That dream I am dreaming

But there’s a voice inside my head saying

“You’ll never reach it”

Every step I’m taking

Every move I make feels

Lost with no direction

My faith is shaking

But I gotta keep trying

Gotta keep my head held high

There’s always gonna be another mountain

I’m always gonna wanna make it move

Always gonna be a uphill battle

Sometimes I’m gonna have to lose

Ain’t about how fast I get there

Ain’t about what’s waiting on the other side

It’s the climb

The struggles I’m facing

The chances I’m taking

Sometimes might knock me down

But no, I’m not breaking

I may not know it

None of us are alone in this. Today I was able to lean on my husband to get through rocky parts of the path or to gain strength to keep moving up. We only see our lives and it is hard for us to remember that everyone around us has the same problems we do. Today my husband and three kids all shared the same hilly path. And we were not alone. Many families were navigating their way through the hiking trails. We think only of ourselves and it is difficult to remember that everyone else is on this climb with us. They might be going at a different pace, but we aren't alone. And while we have to fight our battles alone (just like the Karate Kid) we aren't the only ones fighting. Everyone is fighting. Everyone is climbing to a better self. And that gives me confidence. I just think about my friends and family and I remember I have a cheering section. I just look at other people and say "if they can do it so can I" and I look around and see others struggling and I say "I am not alone." I can even survive the “teen” years. I can succeed in finding the top of the health hill. The top isn’t all that counts… it’s the climb that molds us.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Walking in Water

Today I've been contemplating the need to just keep going - keep my eye on the prize.

 Many years ago I worked for BYU technical theater my freshmen year of college. I can't remember the exact department I was working in, but I remember working on Homecoming Spectacular that was to be held on in the Marriot Center there on campus. My main responsibility was to stretch tricot across giant steel frames that were to be hung from the extremely high ceiling as set pieces for the event. However, at one point in the assignment I was asked to run some gel up to a lighting tech that was on the cat walk far above the stage floor. I wasn't fond of heights, but my boss assured me I was safe and that it wasn't any different from going up the tower of stairs I climbed to run the giant arc spots light - my usual assignment.

Consenting, I began the long, exhausting climb up the stair case to the cast walk. Upon arrival I quickly went to the lighting tech to deliver my cargo. We exchanged a few words and I turned to leave. As I turned, my eyes fell to gaze at the catwalk and I froze. It was at that point that I realized that I was on a see through narrow bridge. It had holes! The floor seemed hundreds of feet below me and the people working on the set mere ants hustling around the crowded stage floor! I couldn't move. I gripped the hand rails with great determination and started to hyperventilate. My knuckles turned white with the overwhelming fear I felt; my eyes shut tight. I started to scream that I needed help.

At this point, my friend arrived in front of me. He spoke in quiet reassuring tones. He pealed my fingers from the rails and told me to squeeze his fingers. He said it was alright to leave my eye closed and that all I needed to do was to follow the sound of his voice, hold his hand tightly, and follow him. I needed to trust him. Calmly and slowly he led me across the frightening cat walk to safety. He hugged me and let me sob for a minute when we arrived at the safety of the door to the stair well. Then he helped me the rest of the way to the floor of the Marriot center, secured me a safe job on the floor, and winked at me before leaving me alone to work on me new assignment. He continued to check on me the rest of the day, just to be sure that I felt safe and was able to function. I did and I was. In fact, I worked so eshantley that I became the "tricot" crew chief on the set and me hard work paid off because I was promoted to a new position after that show was completed.

A few years ago Pres. Uchtdorf mentioned that when we feel like we can’t keep our head above water we need to focus on what has been accomplished. My thoughts went directly to Peter walking to the Savoir on water. For the past few days I’ve asked myself, “Why settle for keeping my head above water when I can choose to walk on water?” When my day got crazy busy I’d say, “Choose to walk on water.” When my heart was heavy, I’d say, “Choose to walk on water.” When I didn’t think I had the energy to go for a walk today, I’d say, “Choose to walk on water.” When I’d wonder through the kitchen and stop at the fridge, I’d say, “Choose to walk on water.”

The day was still long. I am still tired. But I am safe. Like my friend so many years ago, I had the Savior to peal my hands off the rail and gently lead me to safety as I moved through my day doing chores and thought about all the things that are on my mind; I felt the gentle whispers of the spirit encourage me to go eat healthy choices, “You can do this. I’m here with you.” I felt the reassurance that I did have the power to choose the right for me and to walk away from the fridge. I gained a better understanding that when my thoughts are wholly centered on Christ, I too, can “walk on water”. If I take my eyes off the Savoir, however, I will be frightened by the boisterous waves and winds of the world around me. I must stay focused on Christ to avoid being distracted by the things of this world – failing economies, making ends meet, health and safety of family, general conditions of the world. Worries such as these often cause me to sink.

But “immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him.” When I’m sinking the Savior will help me too. As long as I’m trying to live true to my beliefs, his almighty hand does and will, always be stretched out to help me back again. I can walk on water to safety.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Reaping My Harvest of Health

Today I watered my garden and couldn’t help but marvel at just how nicely my garden is growing. The plants are flourishing. I can easily get a bowl full of raspberries or blackberries every morning. I have tons spinach, lettuce, swiss chard and snow peas. Beans and zucchini are beginning to come on. All my root crops are getting fat. I even have some cantaloupe and one mini watermelon. LOL. They won’t amount to much, but they are fun to try and grow. I’m looking forward to the butternut, acorn, and spaghetti squash ripening this fall.

My Life is my garden. I started pondering the process of nurturing my Garden of Well-Being. I need to learn how to become my own gardener (personal lifestyle trainer) for my own mind, spirit and health.

Joseph Goldstein & Jack Kornfield share in their book Seeking The Heart of Wisdom, "It is as though we are all artists, but instead of canvas and paint, or marble or music, as our medium, our very bodies, minds, and life experiences are the materials of our creative expression. A great sense of fulfillment comes from knowing this and from actively creating and fashioning our lives."

All of life is learning about how to use the power of choice responsibly. In gardening, if the conditions are right, what you plant is what you get. You also have to fertilize, water, and weed, if you want the seeds to grow and flourish. If you plant a tomato seed, you get a tomato. If you plant a dandelion seed, you get a dandelion. In life, if you plant seeds of well-being and nurture them, over time, you get well-being. If you plant seeds of dis-ease, over time, you get disease.

Whatever I cultivate, over time, is what I get. I need to look at the seeds I have been planting with my choices. If I need to start over I can uproot the plants that I don’t want to keep, just like in gardening. I need to learn what to "weed" out of my life and what to "cultivate."

Prepare the soil… trim and weed… use the right tools... water, fertilize, provide “TLC”...practice, perseverance, patience…

(seeds) ->Thoughts -> Actions -> Results (effects).

May I trust my limitless ability to grow and may I respect the progress I’ve already made.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Forward Thinking

God is a forward thinking and acting God.

I want to be a forward thinking woman.

I’ve been pondering this idea and luckily I found Jeremiah 7:23-24:

“But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and ye shall be my people. And walk ye in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well unto you.’ But they hearkened not, nor incline their ear, but walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward.”

Even though God led the Israelites out of Egypt, a place of oppression, wickedness, and idolatry, to a place of safety and refuge, in their hearts they never left. Their bodies might have been free in the Promised Land but their hearts and minds were still in bondage back in Egypt.

It occurs to me that we too often allow fear, emotional pain, and habitual sins to keep us chained to the past. All too often we forget that God has a plan. He sent Jesus to be a Savior, to set us free from all holds us back… even our own flaws, so we can move forward in Christ.

I believe we all want to progress forward, but we are not will to move forward without baggage. We want “new”, but still want to hang on to the old! But that just does not work: To experience change, we must change.

I see myself huddled in a dark corner, cold, scared, and lonely. I see God bathed in light and warmth just beside me. I sense Him calling me, inviting me to come to him and give him the emotional burdens that were literally are eat me alive. And yet, voices were whispering to me that it was safer in the darkness.

Imagine that: I actually feet safe in my misery sometimes!

What a blessing that God’s love is so strong that it compels me to turn around and look at him. When I look, I see beauty, gentleness, and strength. I can trust Him. Now all I really need to do is take His hand.

In order to receive real comfort and move forward, I need to let the false comforts go. Simple as that. Boy! Does it take courage! Yes, it is scary and yes, it is hard. But I just need to say to myself that I am willing to go to the other side of hard.

All it takes is a commitment to forward motion, step by step, day by day. And I will get there!

Losing weight is not just about dieting or exercising as proven by the countless number of failed diets and exercise programs. First, I need to identify and let go of the many Mental, Emotional, Subconscious, and Spiritual blocks that prevent me from succeeding. These limiting beliefs, thoughts, and fears prevent progress.

Trust… Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding… In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy path. Proverbs 3:5-6.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Leaping Walls in a Single Bound

I may have built a brick house too fast… I feel like I hit a brick wall! I’m sporting a massive headache… I feel like I’m moving in slow motion… pretty much everything aches. I’m not panicking. I know it comes with the territory of a complete cleanse. I’ve done this before and I know this is normal when toxins are released. The second day is always the longest and the hardest. So… on to tomorrow.

I feel a little stumped emotionally too. Struggles with life especially teens, is taking its toll. I’m not good at handling the fact that my children are coming to the age where they refuse all my opinions and values… internet use, education, dating, chores and even religion. I think rejection of religion is the hardest for me. I’m just not sure where they get these ideas that go against everything we have every taught. The stress is nearly over whelming.

At any rate, finding this scripture is helping me put it all into perspective”

“For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness. For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall. As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. (2 Samuel 22:29-31).”

I love this!

The Lord is my lamp. He light the way to true and lasting happiness. He lights circumstances and brings things into perspective. Light always wins. Darkness doesn’t have a chance.

I have a confession to make; I am seeking to be a super hero. As a kid I saw TV shows like Wonder Woman and I loved seeing Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman defeat the bad guys. My favorite part was always when she would transform from humble Diana Prince to Wonder Woman by removing her glasses and spinning around. Her transformation was instant. Wouldn’t it be cool if I could turn into Celestial Girl every time I took off my glasses and spun in a circle? Not happening though. Taking off my glasses happens uneventfully hundreds of times of day and spinning in circles only makes me through up.

Would it be cool if “down sizing” was like that? All you would have to do is spin around, God would zap you, and all of the fat cells would disappear. But it doesn’t happen that way… not with weight… not with Celestial Girl. Instead God gives you the endurance to run against troops and leap over walls. That’s what King David discovered.

David wrote this scripture after God delivered him from King Saul, who had been trying to kill him for years. (Almost sounds like parenting the teen years). Even though David had defeated Goliath and God had anointed him King over Israel, he still had to fight battles before he could claim what was his.

Rats… these teen years are going to be long!

A strong, healthy body is mine. But I will have to fight for it. Scripture tells me that I do not fight against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers (Ephesians 6:12).

God has and will strengthen me with the endurance to run against troops, like my habits of the past. The way I can run with endurance is by giving myself a vision of what I am running toward, keeping a clear picture of my future healthy self in my mind’s eye at all times.

God has given me the ability to leap over walls, like my fears and limiting beliefs. Like emotional turmoil. Like food allergies.

I have had to leap over a fear or two by recognizing that every person is responsible for him or herself. I have had to become a good steward of the body God entrusted to me. I am not released from this responsibility… to God, to myself, and to my kids. The best thing I could do for them is to strive to be a good example and demonstrate that there is a better way to live.

Today, I recommit to recognizing that I have extraordinary abilities in God through Christ. Today I recommit to increasing my faith by receive God’s blessings and using them in my daily decisions. I may not be Wonder Woman (or Superman), but I will get to Celestial Girl one choice at a time… all in due season!

Monday, August 9, 2010

The House I build... little pig style...

Today I came across the following scripture:

“The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.” Proverbs 14:1

I can’t help but think about the story of the three little pigs. In the story, the big bad wolf was hungry for a nice ham sandwich (forgive my indulgences with the story) and he knew where the three little pigs lived. He was real hungry so he invited himself to the 1st pig’s house for dinner. This little pig lived in a house made of straw. Piggy wasn’t ready for guests for dinner. The wolf begged for the pig to let him in. But the little pig would not, so the wolf huffed and puffed and blew the straw house in. But the 1st pig escaped by running to 2nd pig’s house.

After all that work the wolf was still hungry. He still wanted that ham sandwich, but thought a nice BLT would be a nice addition to his dinner. The wolf headed to the 2nd pig’s house, which was made of sticks. “Mmmm,” he thought, “maybe I’ll get lucky and there is a BBQ here tonight!” But the 2nd pig wouldn’t let the wolf in either. So the wolf huffed and puffed and blew the stick house in hoping to start a hot fire. But the two little pigs escaped the inferno and ran to the 3rd pig’s house.

The wolf was starving now. He came to the 3rd pig’s house hoping for a Luau. This was going to be even harder than he thought. This house was made of bricks. He asked the 3rd pig politely to let him in but the 3rd pig would not either. He was fully supported by the other two pigs that were desperate to save their hides. So the wolf huffed and puffed and blew with all his might. But the brick house stood. The wolf blew all day but the house never budged. Finally the hungry wolf went away and settled for a foot long at Subway, determined to get an easier meal from other pigs in straw and stick houses in the future!

It got me thinking, what about me? Is my house (body) made of straw, sticks, or bricks? That is a scary thought. My body is only as strong and healthy as the materials I put into it. My body turns the food I eat into my bones, blood, skin, liver, and other vital organs in my body. Hmmm… Wouldn’t I have more confidence in a body built on lean protein, vegetables, and fruits than one built on Twinkies, Ho-Hos, and candy bars? LOL. It’s little like the wise man building his house on the rock and the foolish man building his house on the sand.

I think of the unhealthy foods as “tongue ticklers” but I don’t attempt to build my body with them as I once did. I’m trying to eat more whole foods. I’ve been real careful to stay away from wheat, milk, soy, and the like since I found out I have allergies. I was disappointed that my weight didn’t just begin to fall off. After all, I can’t eat too many “tongue ticklers” because everything has wheat, milk of soy… even potato chips! I was getting real mad. It just doesn’t seem fair. Then it dawned on me that made I needed to clean house… to clean out all the “crap” I had ingested and must be still clogging my insides. Today I fasted in order to gain better insight as to how to approach the following. I decided I needed to do a juice/soup fast for a couple days and give my intestines a chance to clean out and recover. Wish me luck.

What will I do when I’m done with juice and soup? Continue with whole foods. Maybe it will help… maybe it won’t. At least I’m doing something. With my hands, I have the ability to feed myself with foods that turn me into a brick house. Go ahead… disco on… “’cause she’s a brick… house”… thanks Commodore’s!

Today, I commit to be a wiser person by building my house with the highest quality building materials, by eating foods as close as possible to the way God made them.

Friday, August 6, 2010

D is for DEVOTION... oh to be a hummingbird...

It’s hummingbird season. I have a butterfly bush outside my family room window. I planted it there on purpose because I like to watch the butterflies and hummingbird come and visit the lavender blosoms.

These little birds are amazing. Their average weight is 1/8 ounce. Their wings beat between 40 and 80 beats per second. They breathe approximately 250 times per minute. Their heart rate is an unbelievable 250 beats/min at rest and 1200 beats/min while feeding. Finally, in flight they reach up to 63 miles/hour. Most researchers seem to accept the fact that those who migrate to the Caribbean Islands and Mexico cross the Gulf and Atlantic Ocean waters during a non-stop flight taking 18-20 hours. No wonder they require a lot of food for energy and strength!

I could only dream of burning that kind calorie intake! I could only dream of being that tiny!

This journey to better health begins when we wake up to the false promise our society has sold us, namely, that our happiness resides in the size of our bodies. This promise of happiness in thinness is part of our culture. Many see their DEVOTION to thinness more like a religion, including beliefs, images, myths, rituals, and moral codes that teach us to define our value and purpose through the pursuit of a "better" (please read: thinner) body. Learning to recognize and critique this "Religion of Thinness" is a crucial first step on the path to overall health and well being.


The word “dedication” is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “devotion, surrender, commitment.” In order to release my fat cells I must surrender to this task. I must be devoted to eating a healthy, balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise. I must be committed to making lifestyle changes and sticking with them!

Maybe I just confuse dedication with discipline. I have been under the impression that without discipline, I cannot “lose” weight, much less keep it off. Then I began to take apart the meaning of the word “discipline.” In Webster’s New Thesaurus of the English Language, “discipline” is equivalent to “punishment.” No wonder I continue to have trouble with this project! It feels like a never ending time out! Other words that are synonymous with discipline are “subdue,” “subjugate,” “restrain,” and “bridle.” I like bridle best. It suggests that I just need to control things. Discipline invites perfectionism and extremism. I find myself bullying myself into submission. Does that sound like a recipe for success? LOL.

D is for DEDICATION… not the punishment of discipline.

I need DEDICATION --not discipline-- is what I need! Dedication is clearly the way to go!

I don’t particularly enjoy exercising. I come up with all sorts of excuses to skip a workout: “I don’t have time to work out this morning!” “I’m too tired!” “It’s raining!”

However, I getting serious (really! I’m working on it) about wanting to shed those extra pounds and keep them off. I need to get serious about my plan. Once you have devised the weight loss plan that you wish to follow, dedicate yourself to that plan! Make a commitment to yourself that you will make every effort to follow the diet that you have chosen. Surrender to a regular exercise routine of your choice.

There may come a day when I eat a little too much (like tomorrow? Let’s hope not) or indulge in that bag of chips that has been taunting me. Or, perhaps I miss a workout because of illness or an appointment. When I am DEDICATED to my health quest, I will pick up where I left off! I will go back to healthy eating and/or my exercise regimen! I WON’T give up completely because of one lapse in my weight reduction efforts! I will develop a healthy lifestyle and stick with it!

D is for DEVOTION…

Maybe I should focus God with my DEVOTION…

People Need God… Why do we fight it?

When David came face to face with the giant, he relied on God’s presence for strength. David was clearly aware that God was with him and that the battle was not his, but God’s.

During David’s battle, he focused on God’s presence, not his circumstance or problem. David’s knowledge of God’s presence prevented him from becoming discouraged or giving up.

I can do that.

If I focus on life’s challenges and my opposition in the battles I face, I am likely to lose hope and give up. When I stay in God’s presence and keep the focus on him, he gives me optimism and the strength I need.

Remember, with God, all things are possible.

Well… maybe not making me a hummingbird, but he can help be become a thin, fit and trim ostrich! (wink).

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

So many Choices...

“… I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore CHOOSE life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days…” Deuteronomy 30:19-20.

We are advised to cling to God because He is life and the length of our days. Without God, it is impossible to gain the wisdom needed to apply health knowledge to each unique situation. Plus only God knows about the mental strongholds that may be sabotaging all good intentions – and only he gives the power to take them down!

It’s all about choice.

I read once that every day, we have to make over 200 choices that impact our health and weight…choices like what to eat, whether to exercise, how to respond to stressful situations, and others we encounter each day.

I wonder how many I’d count. 30? 60? 80? 100? Maybe I’ll count tomorrow… if I remember.

The scary thing is that I think I make these health choices without thinking about them…influenced by advertising, other people, or just simply repeating the habits of my past.

Counting them may not be easy… being as I’m mindless when it comes to how I make health choices each day.

On the bright side… I’ve got between 78-200 opportunities every day that can change your health for the better. Every choice moves me closer to where I want to be. That is…if I choose wisely.

Tomorrow I want to make a conscious decision to choose life regarding my health. I am deciding that I am going to be more determined to be strong and healthy no matter what. And then I will seek God’s wisdom in every choice that I make. That way, I can live to the fullest and inspire others to do the same.

Freedom is man’s capacity to take a hand in his own development. It is our capacity to mold ourselves. ~ Rollo May

Freedom is a beautiful thing when we choose well but when choosing poorly it can be life threatening. It seems that the nation is in the middle of an economic disaster. Yet, as I drove through town today I couldn’t help but notice all the parking lots and drive thru window of the local fast food restaurants. They are jammed packed with those who have not made health a priority. I could have easily fallen prey to the call of a burger, burrito or some fries too! I was late getting home from taking my son to meet my dad and thought I was hungry. Fast food seemed to be the answer. But I was triumphant and drove home for some fish and Thai soup.

The choice is mine to choose to have a longer more productive life enjoying family, friends and the things I love.

Today I got early and attended a meeting… I came home and eat oatmeal for breakfast… I got through some e-mails and bills and took my daughter to the eye doctor… I ran around the doctors’ offices trying to get paper work done… took the kids and I to the chiropractor… entertained a few extra kids… gave one Shiatsu adjustment… drove a couple hours delivering my son… returned home… ate dinner… and blogged. Now I think I’ll head to bed.

Good health is a choice and I hope that we all make it a priority while we still have the freedom and ability to do so. I’m working on making it a priority for me.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Longing to Be Extraordinary

My bad attitude is persisting into today. Rats!

I was brushing up on some Facebook and catching up on blogs I enjoy reading and suddenly was overcome with a longing to be extraordinary. I see so many people I follow succeeding in their quest to down size and I am not only at a standstill… I’m bouncing back and forth with the same blasted 8 lbs.! I really not interested in posting pictures because it is very evident I’m not making progress physically. (Up to today I felt fairly confident that I was making progress spiritually and emotionally… then a serious case of “pity party” moved in which I’m determined to kick to the curb). On Facebook I watch a former student of mine do extraordinary things as a professor at a major university. I barely teach at a local dance studio… 8-12 kids, tops. I got the alumni magazine for my university today and the thing was full of people doing extraordinary things. I live day to day keeping within my 50 mile radius. Woman in my stake are all training for triathlons… I’m not. I’m nursing a sore ankle that is determined to cause me great discomfort.

As a teen I dreamed of being extraordinary. I dreamed of starring on Broadway… until I discovered I didn’t really like being on stage. I liked bossing people from the side line. In college my dreamed changed and I dreamed of being a fabulous director of spectacular ground breaking productions… then I got married and discovered that raising a family was far more adventurous. As a newlywed my husband and I dreamed of huge estates and attended all the Parade of Homes in the area daydreaming of the perfect house to raise our family with all the niceties of life at our finger tips… then reality hit. We had to pay bills. We dreamed of visiting exotic far off places such as New Zealand, the English countryside or Japan where my husband had spent 3 years living and enjoying the culture… until I discovered I was a home body and didn’t really enjoy living out of a suitcase even to go visit family. After I had children I dreamed of becoming thin, fit and trim… then I had more kids and the stress of paying for and caring for five kids took a toll on my body. Then I started my journey to better health – more than once I might add – and I dreamed of becoming famous for the speed and skill in which I accomplished the task. I even dreamed that I’d become a famous author and articulate just how I did it and it would be a huge hit… than the never ending plateau hit and I blog with a hand full of reader (thanks guys! It does make a difference).

I dream of making a difference in this world and so far I see myself surviving the laundry room, trying to find a clean cup for a measly drink of water and hollering at my kids to pick up their stuff or finish their school work.

This morning I felt very ordinary and most definitely not extraordinary.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who are we to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a Child of God: your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you." --Nelson Mandela

You got to love that! I’ve been taught that I am a Child of God my whole life at home and at church. I’m pretty sure that Nelson Mandela does not share my religion, but how wonderful that he shares the same belief in a beautiful principle!

Maybe what we think is a need to escape or be entertained is actually a God inspired longing…for the extraordinary. If that is the case, than it could explain why many people turn to addictive behaviors to satisfy their longings. It also explains why those who turn to God for the help they need seem to satisfy that longing more permanently.

Think about it. There are all kinds of ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things:

David was a mere shepherd boy until the day he was anointed by Samuel. From the top of his head to the tip of his toes he was covered as a providential sign of his calling. From that pivotal point on, his life was rocked. An ordinary shepherd boy began to do extraordinary things. Oh, you know, like killing beast of the fields and slaying giants. Average stuff for a teenage boy called to greatness.

Deborah was part of the tribe of Israel until she was called to be a judge in the land. To painfully point out the obvious, she was a woman. But this ordinary wife was a leader, foreseer, and motivator to the masses. She led Israel into a successful battle, when women of this time were non-entities of society. No matter what other people thought, she did was God called her to do. She was extraordinary.

Peter was a fisherman. No… not like Captain Ahab. Fishermen at his time were over-looked by society, but this ordinary fisherman was chosen to be an extraordinary fisher of man. He walked on water, participated in miracles, and gave one of the best apologetic defenses of the gospel even today.

How? How do you take ordinary and make it extraordinary?

When God calls us, He equips us. These extraordinary individuals relied upon the work of the Holy Spirit to fill them... to do the extraordinary.

John 14:12, Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that beleiveth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…

Maybe I can be extraordinary. With God everything is possible. It occurs to me that extraordinary is really EXTRA-ordinary. I can be EXTRA-ordinary. I just need to have an EXTRA dose of ordinary. LOL. When I go the EXTRA mile I am EXTRA-ordinary. When I spend EXTRA time with my kid I am EXTRA-ordinary. When I triumph over EXTRA chocolate chips or that EXTRA helping at dinner I am EXTRA-ordinary.

I guess I don’t need to be a Broadway star or a famous director or fabulously rich or “model” thin. I don’t need to be a professor at some university or have all the money in the world to spend. I can be EXTRA-ordinary (emphasis on the EXTRA) in my own little world. I can be EXTRA-ordinary to my 5 kids and the people I teach, and the people I serve at church and the people I meet. I can be EXTRA-ordinary for one person at a time and it will be ok. Besides, it is God that take ordinary and gives it the EXTRA!

The question is simply, am I willing to stop living an ordinary life?

Nope… I want EXTRA-ordinary!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dinner Without Whine... could it happen?

Ok… While in the grand scheme of things I have nothing to whine about–I’m healthy enough, I have a job I like (voice lessons and mom… ok I like that most days), have a great husband and kids, a nice home– but today has been a long day and I’m gonna whine.

WHY is it I ate 5 cookies—ARG!!! Now I gotta walk to California.

WHY is it that you can eat lettuce and veggies for more than a week and not lose one pound, but eat one freakin’ cookie and it will require ten hours of treadmill time to remove it from your butt? Who made up stinkin’ that rule?

And WHY is it that every time I’m ready to go somewhere I cannot find one or more of the following–my purse, my sunglasses, the car keys?

Calgon, take me away! Wait… I don’t have any Calgon. Just WHY is that?

And WHY must we have FOUR remotes for ONE tv?? And WHY can I never find the one I need–but the other three are right there, laughing at me (I know they are)… even if they don’t have batteries.

Who decided that French fries and chicken wings would be fattening and artery clogging and Lima beans wouldn’t be? Who decided that a serving size of potato chips is 3 chips? Have you ever eaten just THREE potato chips?? I can’t! ARG!

And please tell me who decided that the seats in theaters should only be wide enough to hold the butts of 7 year olds–that person needs to have their rumps squeezed in a vise.

Why are the misogynistic, violent lyrics of some songs lauded as art? And WHY does my son like to listen to that crap? When did it become cool for young, underage girls like Taylor Momsen and Miley Cyrus to parade onstage wearing next to nothing? Who makes up the rules that say those things are okay?

And WHY is that my kids whine about doing the chores, or about how unfair it is that one got something and the other didn’t, or that they have to do more than the others? The truth is none of them really have to do that much. Today was no exception. Everyone complained about everything I asked them to do. At least one daughter did the dishes here.

And WHY is that I worked all day… I adjusted 3 people… carted my son around… worked on my Stake Seminary assignment… taught 6 voice lessons and I made a nice dinner to boot! WHY do they all complain that they don’t like what I made and get up and make something else? On top of that, WHY do they never clean up after themselves?

WHY is that I saved my money so that my son could have the birthday party at Oaks Amusement Park that he wanted and it was expensive so I didn’t get him lots of cool presents… but he complains that he liked the party but his presents weren’t that impressive?

WHY do kids whine?

I guess whining is something that we all do, but the question is WHY? When you whine nothing really happens other than you sounding like a baby. And if you sound like a baby then you are probably going to be treated like one. But seriously, WHY do people whine?

Enough whining already!

When I whine my problems don’t get solved because I’ve spending all my time whining instead of fixing. So now what?

Think positive! Count blessings!

Today I got a short bike ride in… impressive since I didn’t remember until 8:30… my dishes are mostly done… I got a new student… my foot isn’t aching as badly this evening as it did last night… my husband got the cost of living raise we desperately needed… my son is 15 today and I haven’t killed him for his bad attitude (just kidding… he’s a great kid and I love him tons!)… I got lots of good work for seminary done today… my garden is growing well… I ate oatmeal for breakfast; mixed nuts and Reese’s pieces (oops I caved again) for a snack; pepper salami and carrots for lunch; 5 wheat free cookie my daughter made for a snack (at least them were yummy); and a new recipe of Creole Black Beans and rice for dinner… yummy!... I stayed within me calorie goal… I studied some scriptures…I got 3 loads of laundry washed waiting to be folded in the morning… I watered my flower garden… I’m about to go to bed and my house is mostly clean. Not a stellar day, but respectable none the less.

Ok… a little whine with some cheesy goodness makes everything better.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Allergic to Change

As I sat listening to testimonies today the thought came to me that I know what my whole problem has been these past few months. I am allergic to change. Seriously… I sit on the same bench in the same spot every Sunday… I’m pretty sure I consistently bounce back to the same haircut time after time and wonder why I am in such a despite need of an update… I’ve lived in the same house for the past 15 years and I don’t plan on moving any time soon… before that I went to college and lived in the same spot there and before that I lived in the same house for 18 years… I turn to the same food (chocolate) even though they really don’t hit the spot… I resist pretty much everything that causes me to change.

I’m not sure why I resist change so much. Hello! My life is full of change: I have one adult child in the process of making major life decisions; I have 3 teenage kids at home (they can throw change at you like quick firing practice tennis balls); I have a 7 year old who feels she is going on 21 (until she is disappointed and then she wants her mommy); I have a revolving door of people coming to my house constantly throwing change into my day; I even bring it on myself like when I tore the house apart and painted just last week. Yet I still resist change; kicking and screaming all the way about how much I don’t like this (hmmm… reminds me of the day I first met my husband and my friends were dragging my kicking and screaming into a play audition. That should have been a “wake up” call for me and “Run for the hills” sign for him. LOL).

I’m a little perplexed about the whole thing. Why is it that when we head in the right direction, when we are about to get what we have been seeking for, we resist it?

Curious about this topic, I did a quick Google search after church and found that more than 36 million web pages refer to people's resistance to change. I was disappointed to find out I was not the first person to notice the people can be allergic to change.

Grace Murray Hopper was quoted saying, “Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight that. That’s why I have a clock on my wall that runs counter-clockwise.”

Rats! I guess I won’t be getting rich coining that phrase. Someone beat me to it!

I wonder what is the key factor in resisting change especially “change” for the better?

Perhaps it is fear; fear of the un-known; fear of success; fear of being less loved.

Perhaps it is the God-complex; the I-must-know-everything syndrome; the I-must-be-right axiom; the I-must-be-right-every-time law; the I-know-more-than-them-so-I-am-responsible-for-everything jeopardy.

It’s not like I catch myself wandering around muttering “I-am-perfect; I-make-no-mistakes.” I am far too well brought up (well read, programmed or conditioned) for that. Most of the time I am not aware of the underlying belief that I am not allowed to fail.

Wait a second… this sound suspiciously like the “natural man” complex.

I am reminded that the point of this life is really all about change. (I better find a way of getting over my change allergy). Mosiah 3:19 says, “For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”

I have been placed here to overcome my natural tendencies; to discover the real me, the celestial me. In fact, the uncomfortable process of change is to help me. I wonder what the little piece of coal is thinking as the pressure and heat of change challenges its very make-up until it stops being coal and becomes a diamond.

I think the most difficult thing about change is having an open mind; a mind willing to learn from and because of the opposition I face in change.

“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so… righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one…” (2 Nephi 2:11).

Resisting change is like holding your breath; if you succeed, you die.

LOL. Goofy but true! When you really stop to think about it, the only reason I have for making it through the change is the Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the catalyst that allows the chemistry to change; the pressure to be bearable; the light at the end of the tunnel. Through a complete embrace of Him and His saving grace becoming a diamond it not only doable it far shorter than when I resist change. In fact, the point of all change is to become more like him; more charity; more obedience; more humble; more diligent; more purity.

If I could develop this attitude of welcoming and embracing change in life, stress and resentment will be a thing of the past. I could succeed in shedding the “natural man” and become “Celestial Girl” (thanks my little friend Janay who just stopped by my house and gave me a Celestial Girl starter kit for my future shirt. You made my night. I’ll for sure make a cape and wear this Halloween!)

Sometimes I panic and think I can’t “do” change because I’ve been trying all my life in to build security and permanence. I just need to take solace from the fact that nothing in this universe is permanent accept God. Trust in Him. He can make change happen in the quickest and most painless way if we trust Him. I also need to remember that my body is changing every single second; nature around me is changing every moment; everything is changing. Seriously… isn't it foolish on my part in trying to resist change? Won't it relieve me of a huge burden when I start accepting change?

When it comes to my health I am a success at resisting making healthy changes in my diet and mostly, my exercise regime.

Whatever you resist persists – if I didn’t have resistance I wouldn’t understand the desire for the opposite of what I’m currently doing.

Come on Wendy… resistance is futile!

I did remember that I committed to riding my bike everyday for a week while my ankle healed. I went for my bike ride this evening with the family… and I lived to report it here. (Although my seven year old was greatly distressed when her dad ditched her at the corner and she had to ride the whole half a block to her house by herself. Thanks dad. ;(). I also waddled up the street, past three houses to the church this morning. My ankle only aches a little and I know I can do it again.

Today was Fast Sunday so I didn’t eat until late in the day. As part of my fast I prayed for family members, my health, and those I know that are struggling with change. When I did eat I kept it under control. My husband tried a new crock pot recipe: Chicken and Green Onion Curry. It was fabulous! I wanted more, but I knew it was only my body responding to the fast so I stuck with one serving. We had rice and I only served up ¾ of a cup and I filled the rest of the plate with salad. It was awesome!

As I finish up my day with my blog I am reminded of these two basic rules of life:

(1) change is inevitable and

(2) everybody resists change. The only person who likes change is a wet baby.

Even at that, most babies I have ever changed still resist the process of getting clean pants. However, when all is said and done everyone benefits from the dirty diaper going out with the trash. Guess it’s time to embrace change.