Thursday, January 28, 2010

Biggest Loser, Chichen Itza and other randomly related things

Hello!! I am back from the "missing" list.

Three weeks of the Biggest Loser contest are in the bag. My goal remains 5 pounds per week. At this point I am down 13.

The past two weeks have not gone according to my plans. Ever have a week like that? I'm sure you have. Things take longer than you expect, others come out of nowhere. And with them, lessons.

From a nutritional/diet perspective, the importance of water is abundantly clear. My food choices have not been significantly different in any of the 3 weeks. The difference between 8 pounds lost the first week, 2 pounds the second week, 3 pounds in week 3 ? Daily exercise and water. Simple, huh?

In the first week, I was diligent: weight / 2 = ounces of water per day, daily exercising with alternating workouts to keep my body from falling in to a routine.

Then life happened, as it always does. My zeal in establishing new habits was somewhat tempered. But that's fine...and here's why. It reminded me quickly and abruptly that unless I am Oprah or an actor preparing for a movie role, making good food choices, drinking enough water, making time to exercise, doing anything which leads to a healthy mind/body/spirit must be strategically incorporated into life. No one is going to put food in front of me or monitor my exercise. No one will come do household chores or run errands.

I have made that mistake in the past...focusing unrealistically on weight loss/exercise. And it might work for a period of time, but is also too much like a "diet" and not enough like a lifestyle change. Focus on the exercise, lose the weight, then get consumed again by everyday life...and POOF, it's all back on because while my pants size changed, my life didn't really follow suit. So what will make the difference this time?

My friend JoniBeth asked a question recently that helped me tremendously. She asked if I was focused on a certain number of pounds lost or on a goal weight. Are you thinking, as I did, that this is the same question? JoniBeth said, "it's not the same thing" and I nodded, but disagreed.

A few days later, while exercising, I suddenly understood that it is NOT the same question. My Wii trainer (ooo, she is nasty sometimes ) suggested I visualize the body I want - and the difference dawned on me. Each week I want to lose 5 pounds. That is a great metric to help me on a daily basis. But in certain moments, I can see the figure I want...can see that person swimming, golfing, buying clothes and not being disgusted by it!

Do you see the difference? Have you seen the steps at the Temple of Kukulkan in Chichen-Itza? For me, every 5 pounds represents a step, with the castle at the top being the equivalent to my ideal body image. Some days I need to focus only on the next step, sometimes I need to look to the top for motivation.

Same end, very different perspective in reaching it. Thanks JB! Very helpful.

So in the midst of life, in spite of the distraction and unexpected events, we press on. We understand that permanent improvements cannot happen outside the boundaries of a normal day.

This is not bad news. When we can incorporate changes we choose, it also makes us know we can surely adjust to the changes we don't choose. And Heaven knows we each encounter those.

See you tomorrow...Beth

Friday, January 8, 2010

Why does Jesus look like a taco?

Quick. What were you doing two weeks ago today? Hmm...let's see...

Opening presents? Preparing Christmas dinner ? Putting toys together?

Hard to believe two weeks have passed already. New year, new decade...and what is different? We put so much effort in to readying our homes for Christmas, to buying gifts in honor of Jesus' birth. What does that mean now?

My friend Jane displays a very simple Nativity set in her home. No elaborate faces or garments, but almost silhouette-like figurines which give us the opportunity to think about the real people represented - the simple carpenter and his young bride, the dirty shepherds, the baby who only wanted warmth and sustenance.

Several weeks ago, after studying the Nativity set, Jane's six year old granddaughter asked, "Grandma, why does Jesus look like a taco?" Jane admitted that, due to the stark nature of the set, the baby and his swaddling clothes did resemble a taco. We laughed about it.

It occurs to me, two weeks after Christians celebrate the birth of the Savior, a similar question can be asked by people who aren't laughing. It can be asked on any day by many people who don't know our Christ and wonder why they should, based on what they see in us.

Why does Jesus look like someone who is nasty to the grocery store clerk then leaves his cart in the middle of the parking lot?

Why does Jesus look like someone who doesn't tip well?

Why does Jesus look like someone who sits in the break room judging, criticizing, gossiping...or sits at the church dinner doing the same?

Why does Jesus look like someone who has so little peace that he goes off on his kids, his spouse, other drivers, anyone who crosses his path?

Why does Jesus look like someone who is racist, sexist, or any other -ist that hurts so many people?

Why does Jesus look like someone who is close-minded about what "church" should be, who we should welcome, how they should dress?

Just because "he" is the pronoun used doesn't mean women are not perpetrators as well. And these aren't issues one might see as huge and life-threatening.

But they are behaviors people observe. To paraphrase the Apostle Paul, I can sponsor 10 children through World Vision and tithe half my money to the church, but if I am a nasty neighbor, no one is seeing the Jesus I celebrate. I can wear my Jesus shirt, and have the bumper sticker on my car and the cross around my neck, I can sing L-O-U-D-L-Y about how I loooooove Jesus, but when I treat my friends and family badly, none of it means anything.

Think about it. What have you done in the past two weeks to continue the celebration of Christmas? What have you done that makes folks think you have no idea what Christmas is about?

Why does Jesus look like a taco? Maybe we should ask ourselves that more often.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snow, peace, extravagance, sensory perception..and stuff

I am so blessed with loving people who encourage me. And with positive people who inspire me.

Already today I have received these three nuggets of wisdom:

1. God loves without caution or reservation. He loves EXTRAVAGANTLY. How amazing is that visual image!?! Extravagant like a $100,000 car or a 10 carat diamond ring or the house of your dreams equipped with every gadget and convenience available. THAT is how the God of the universe loves me and you.

Now here's the rub... He wants us to do the same.

2. Inner peace =

A tendency to think and act deliberately, rather than from fears based on past experiences.

An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.

A loss of interest in judging others.

A loss of interest in judging self.

An increasing tendency to allow things to unfold, rather than resisting and manipulating.

The list Brandie sent was longer, but you get the idea. How can we ever expect to have peace in our homes, our country, our world, when we have no peace in our own hearts?

And let me tell you this...having peace in your heart is SO WONDERFUL!!! Beyond explanation.

3. The Washington Post conducted a study of perception and priorities. The paper arranged for a world-class violinist, Joshua Bell, to play in a Metro subway station for one hour. Approximately 2000 people passed him. Six people stopped to listen, but very briefly. Children wanted to stop but their parents generally pushed/pulled them on. The previous night Joshua Bell had sold out a Boston concert hall at the average price of $100 per ticket. In his hour of subway playing he received $32.

We are so quick to judge, and so hurried that we miss amazing happenings all around us, every hour. Instead of walking barefooted in the grass, we complain about mowing it. Instead of listening to the nature sounds when the world is blanketed in snow, we complain about shoveling it. I shoveled three times yesterday...maybe I lost a pound, maybe the reward was watching my dog run with glee.

What if I become consumed with showing extravagant love to people... what if I covet and become diligent about maintaining and reflecting inner peace, what if I open every one of my senses to the wonders of each day...WHAT IF? clearly life would improve...and I am betting I would never again have to think about what the scale says!

What do you think?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Not thin yet- still a great day!

Don't feel like I have much to share this evening.

Today has been a terrific day. I exercised for the 4th day in a row (varying my workouts). This is also one of the days I volunteer at a local elementary school. Then off to a meeting at church.

I have been mindful of what I eat but not so crazy that i will burn out by next week. One thing I need to improve on is getting better rest.

So as I head off to bed, I will pass this along...from Dan Robey:

The most important decision you can make in your life is

to take personal responsibility for it.

If you are overweight and unhealthy get fit and in shape.

Read books about healthy diets, healthy lifestyles, don't

accept anything but the best for yourself.

Be proactive!

It is you who has to live in "YOUR" skin!

You have to live with the consequences of

not taking positive steps to prevent sickness

and disease in your life, and it is you

that can take the steps to bring wellness back to your life.

It is "YOU" who may have chosen to live a life of mediocrity.

"YOU" have the power to change every aspect of your life.

"YOU" can choose to study the laws of success and

change your life to one of amazing success.

The tools are all yours for the taking.

Here's to intentionally choosing excellence!

See you tomorrow,


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Biggest loser, intentionality and other light subjects

"Instead of giving myself reasons why I can't, I give myself reasons why I can." --Unknown


This quote (thanks JoJo)speaks directly to my choice to stop focusing on the food ... think about the things I can do, instead of the foods I can't eat. Besides being a foolish choice from an emotional standpoint, giving thought-energy to my longing for food is selfish. Waa Waa Waa I can't have OreosChipsPoptarts and Pepsi to wash it down. Really? REALLY? How about what I CAN do - which is choose high-octane fuel foods every day. Many people in the world don't have the option. So the focus on food is ridiculous. And over.

Let's focus on cleaning...mind, body, and spirit. Great way to start a new decade, isn't it? And it's really not much different than cleaning the garage, which I did in early November. Did I do it because I was bored or didn't have 12 other things to do or wanted dirt in my sinuses? Nope- just wanted the car to have a snow-free home.

You know the routine- keep pile, give away pile, throw away pile. Sometimes in the midst of this cleaning, I discover things I wish I had, items that would benefit either the organization process or some aspect of my daily life. But far more often, I find items that are broken, out of place, out of style, or simply not necessary anymore.

Isn't your life like that? Mine is. I don't mean it to be that way. You don't either. But life happens, a few things get out of place, dirt accumulates. And there is a my garage, in my spirit, in my body. Do you know this story?

I say I don't mean for messes to happen in any part of my world. But maybe that's part of the problem. Messes are unintentional...but what IS intentional? What am I intentional about in my life? Think about that for your life.

Life is all about choices. In this new decade, I choose to be intentional about the health of my mind, body and spirit. To rid my world of toxins, ones I contribute and ones I abide. I choose to be intentional about pursuing excellence in my work and my relationships. I choose to be intentional about the fuel I put in this amazing machine God has given me to live in - choosing high octane fuel and exercise not so I can reach a number on a scale, but so i am healthy and able to complete the work He has for me.

I would love to hear about your efforts to be intentional. Together we can lift each other, be cheerleaders pointing to the goal when someone stumbles.

Right now, sleep calls.

G'nite...see you tomorrow,


Monday, January 4, 2010

Biggest Loser Day 2. Losing weight or bitterness or what?

Day 2 is almost complete . I believe I have lost 7 pounds...hey, it's my story - I will tell it my way.

I have made good food choices. And I did more research. The human body is a constant source of amazement, don't you think? Such intricate processes from the time food enters the mouth until it passes through 35 feet of intestine and is expelled. And I wonder yet again why I choose to put all sorts of nasty fuel in this machine??

What I know, however, is that overeating and bad eating is rarely about the food. You knew that too, didn't you? Being overweight is not simply about eating too much - losing the weight is not as easy as not eating.

Sunday's sermon topic was bitterness. I wonder how many weight issues have bitterness as a major contributor...I wonder if it contributed to mine. That's part of the goal. Not just treat the symptom (too much weight) but identify the source. Bitterness, boredom, lack of self-esteem...a cup of each?

Focus on weight loss and seeking out the underlying cause? That's rather demanding. Perhaps unrealistic.

I asked myself this question today: which will be more effective for the long haul? Focusing on losing weight or seeking the underlying cause? The answer is: I am giving up the focus on weight loss.

Maybe it's not the same for you. Maybe you need or want to focus on the weight loss. And that's cool. But for me, in this time and place, I choose to stop giving thought energy to the food and seek answers to questions like why I would NEVER allow my house, vehicle or yard to become overrun with garbage, but I have allowed my body to accumulate 60 pounds of fat?

In truth, I can't FOCUS on that either...more like open my heart and mind each day, listen, uncover.

Sleep calls.

See you tomorrow...Beth

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Overweight vehicles must stop at weigh-station...GAME ON!!

So here are the ugly numbers: weight =214/waist 39/ hips 46.5

When I started my first "cubicle" job in August 2002, I weighed 148. Wow. I had a dream last night that my midsection suddenly began making a humming noise. A doctor listened and told me it was the sound of my distended bowel. She said the humming would continue until I lost significant weight. Nothing Freudian there, eh?

I am astonished by these numbers. But there are what they are, so the other adjectives in my brain will not be given a voice. The key now is to change them, not talk about how bad they are.

We'll talk later today...I am off to church...praying for strength against potato chips ;)

"You wander from room to room

Hunting for the diamond necklace

That is already around your neck!"

-- Jalal-Uddin Rumi

The diamond I seek is already present...just buried. Here's to uncovering!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

T-minus 8 hours...first step toward Lightness of being

The Biggest Loser contest is but a night's sleep away. And I am READY!!

Today I went to the movie theatre and fairly screeched "YES, it's my last chance" when asked if I wanted butter on the popcorn...

Don't send me emails - I know it can't be that way. Extreme doesn't work. In any situation.

What I am excited about is being more healthy, not feeling like a slug, having a new /old wardrobe. I could bring myself down with "how did I get here" talk - but I AM here so the reasons only matter so I understand how to keep from being here again. Negative self-talk will not benefit me at all! I also look forward to this step being the initial one in a year of positive change in many areas, moving toward lightness of being in body, mind, and spirit

The most encouraging thing for me right now is that I can clearly visualize how I will look when it's time to wear shorts. In the past, I have wished for it or hoped for I can see it, which makes the path more clear.

Tonight, the sand man is on my heels. Look for an early edition tomorrow - first weigh in then taking measurements (for my own benefit). Time now for good rest.

Thanks for walking with me - see you tomorrow.

Beth =)

Friday, January 1, 2010

T-minus 32 hours and other January plans

10:45 PM 01/01/10...T-minus 32 hours.

The Biggest Loser contest I have entered has its first weigh-in Sunday morning. And I intend to win!

This is deja vu all over again because I won the women's portion of a BL contest at the start of 2009. And yet, here I am.

What can I do this year to make sure the result is different? Internet searches and leafing through books and magazines brings some inspiration, and some helpful tips. But am I determined? Have I decided?

That's the key, isn't it? Because I do get to decide...every minute of every day, I decide what I will put in my body and what type of energy I will exert. So this chance is exciting. I am inspired by the opportunity to have others looking over my shoulder as I choose new eating and exercising habits.

You see, I watch The Biggest Loser every season, but I don't find it to be especially inspirational. The trainers or contestants pretend I should be able to lose weight because folks on "the ranch" do. Really? REALLY??

Dig this, Jillian - I am not on a ranch, with a personal trainer in my face, with a chef to prepare my meals, and all other daily obligations removed. You put me on that ranch and I will leave in sizzlin' hot shape.

What should inspire me is the genetic ties to diabetes and heart disease, my increasing problems with asthma, and the discomfort caused by the 50 pounds of junk that has accumulated in my midsection. There is a beloved dog who needs to walk more, home projects to be completed, fun clothes that haven't been worn for 2 years. And they are currently buried under fatigue-inducing fat!

So I have decided. Drawn the line. Frequently visualized how I will look and feel. I am going to share this journey...right down to listing my weight and measurements. Maybe it will help someone else.

I have been thin, and I have been identified by the Wii Fitness Board tyrant as "obese" - I like thin better. My eating habits will change. But for most of us, it's not about the food. Food is the self-medication, not the issue...we'll talk about this along the way.

Come along. It will be fun for both of us!

See you tomorrow...Beth