Category Archives: Attitude
Every day we face obstacles to what we want to accomplish. Some of them may prove too difficult, and then we need to figure out another alternative.
But most obstacles are within us. Are you, like me, your own worst enemy on a lot of things? Do feelings of inadequacy bubble up to the surface, making you give up before really even giving it a good try? Our inner voices, past experiences, and uncertainty thwart our efforts to learn something new, stick our necks out to try something we’ve never done before, and more.
We need to separate obstacles we really do need to honor from ones we throw up as excuses to avoid going outside our comfort zone. Our world needs to get larger as we age, rather than allowing it to quietly get smaller and smaller, ‘safer and more certain’ until it implodes.
If you find that you can no longer do something you once enjoyed, take an active interest in finding something to replace it. Reach out to others, read voraciously, TRY things that are a bit scary.
Challenge yourself to acknowledge it when you discover you’re giving up on something and make it a point to meet it head on and widen your horizons.
I don’t think the above quote is Pollyanna-ish. The way you look at life, particularly the every day, goes a long way to shape it. I am consciously saying to myself, “Today will be a good day,” each morning and reminding myself to SMILE – if not at strangers I see during the day – I smile at my husband, my doggies, my cats, and even my fish! I try to concentrate on finding something that brings up my spirits. Many times I find it in the birds at the feeders that I can see through the window as we eat breakfast. Our pets make us laugh. We’ll see a pair of roadrunners, as we did yesterday – speculating together on why they ran in different directions as we drove down the driveway.
Particularly as we age, it becomes harder and harder to do this – and more important that we do.
We see mostly bad news on TV, the newspaper, the Internet news sites. We hear that someone we love is ill. We lose our friends, Our bodies become a challenge, rather than a help. We can either let all of this engulf us, or we can determinedly stick our necks out and find things that bring us joy in being alive.
Learning new things, trying to do something you’ve never done before, reaching out to friends and family, joining a new group, reading, painting, gardening, writing a blog, volunteering –
Find your own sunshine every day, stick it in your pocket and carry it with you. You might just brighten someone ELSE’s day, too.
The Little Engine That Could said something like, “I THINK I can, I THINK I can,” enabling him to get to the top of the mountain. I’m feeling cautiously confident that MAYBE I’ve broken through the plateau from Hell I’ve been on for a couple of months now.
The chat counselor was helpful, looking at my NuMi log. She said, (I’m paraphrasing and putting a bit of my own spin on what she actually said) –
- It didn’t look like I was eating enough (I had skipped the Powerfuel serving at breakfasts, for example)
- My snacks didn’t have enough calories many times, giving my body the message that it “needed to store fat for the winter”
- It might be a good idea to switch lunches and dinners – giving me ‘heavier meals with slightly more calories earlier in the day
I did these, and they helped a bit, but didn’t actually impress the scales or the tape measure much.
The message I’ve gotten is that I need to shake things up some, since doing the same thing each day expecting different results is stupid.
I’m changing WHAT I’m eating for snacks, thinking that the variety will cause my body to take notice, rather than acting like a slug. I’m doing my yoga each day, but I’m also changing some of what I’m doing for exercise, thinking that will also get my body’s attention for the better.
I started these changes 3 days ago and I’ve lost weight the past two days. It’s early to think I’ve found the answer, but at least it seems to be PART of the answer for me. I’ve been old and sedentary for a long time. I’m still old (and hopefully getting older!) but I CAN do something about shaking things up and moving more effectively.
“I THINK I Can….”
I’ve tried all my life to remain calm in an emergency and haven’t managed it yet. This beautiful quote and illustration suggests it’s a skill you can practice. Does that mean you have to find emergencies over and over and then try to solve them, trying to remain calm in the process?
When my husband and I lived in Tulsa, Oklahoma a million or so years ago, we bought our first house. It was a lovely two-story wood home with a very small lot in a nice area of town where most of the homes were at least 50 years old. There was a small, rectangular ‘swimming pool’ taking up most of the back yard that didn’t hold water. :0) It also had a garage apartment that we fixed up and rented out.
After several years, I came home from a day of teaching school to find the garage apartment in flames! My reaction was to freak out. I did make sure that our renters weren’t inside. Then I called my mom, only figuring out several minutes later I should probably call the fire department…
I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trying to do everything I could to AVOID emergencies. I guess that’s a good thing, but it doesn’t give you much help when you encounter the next one. I run around like a chicken with its head cut off, squawking and crying and panicking, rather than keeping a cool head and doing what’s necessary.
I admire people who know just what to do if someone gets hurt. My mind goes blank, forgetting everything I ever knew, other than maybe calling 911 – something my husband would rather DIE than do. HE wants me to get him into the car and go to the ER – the way he has done over the years (rarely, thank goodness) with ME.
Maybe I’m not alone in needing some practice.
It was suggested years ago that a good experiment was to consciously give a big smile to each person you met during the day and to see their reaction. I did this when my husband and I went to one of the shopping malls in Fort Smith.
I told my husband a corny joke. He groaned and I laughed, holding the smile as we passed several people. They smiled in return and my husband asked, “Who were they?” I replied. “I have no idea.” He said, “You don’t know them? Why were they smiling at you?”
This continued the whole time we were shopping. The thing that surprised me was that “I” felt good. My spirits were up. I was happy. I started the experiment – apparently brightening some other people’s’ lives – and had a happy day in return. I now remind myself to SMILE, even if I don’t feel like it.
A great lesson.
The Nutrisystem program encourages you to learn how to cook and eat in a reasonable fashion (unlike what we’ve been doing) by having us eat or cook one breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack on our own each week, preferably each on a different day during the week. They call these “FLEX” meals.
I really like this idea. We were on Nutrisystem before years ago before they added the flex meal idea (or frozen food choices) to their plan. We lost weight and then gradually put it back on because I went back to poor cooking habits from the past. This time they’re encouraging us to plan our flex meals for the week and work this idea into our new lifestyle.
So far, I’m having two problems:
- I’ve prepared a couple of flex dinners from their Leaf Recipes section. We each ate a serving of it and I froze the rest in individual portions so we can pull them out, nuke ’em, and eat. This is complicated by the fact that I’m eating “dinner” for ‘lunch’ at the counselor’s suggestion, trying to work my way out of a plateau on my weight loss. “I” pull out a flex dinner for lunch one day a week, but my husband either doesn’t think about it or the idea doesn’t appeal to him for HIS dinner. We can only eat ONE of these flex dinners per week, so the ‘reruns’ are lasting weeks and weeks!
- When I cook completely on my own, or we get something out, we gain weight back. Example, Sunday evening I cooked two 4 oz steaks. With them we had little bitty potatoes with a little bit of butter and no salt, plus cut up fresh tomatoes. I thought it was a good dinner and my husband thought it was ‘wonderful,’ but we were both up on the scales Monday morning. Last night we went bowling with friends and had a scoop of real ice cream afterwards as our “flex snack” for the week. We were both up AGAIN this morning. Friday we’re due to eat our flex breakfast (or lunch) at a restaurant with the “Breakfast Bunch.” This gain isn’t only for one day, either. It seems to take the whole week to get back to where we were.
My first reaction is to quit eating the flex meals because they’re messing us up. But then the more grown up part of me realizes that this is the whole point of the program. We’re supposed to be learning what a ‘portion’ is, how to choose foods more wisely when we’re out, and incorporating the ‘new’ healthier eating style into our lives as a regular thing.
I’ll probably get online and talk to a counselor about this, since I’m determined to learn the lesson and make it a larger and larger part of the way we live. Right now I’m frustrated, but hopefully a nice person at NS can guide me on a better path.
As I get older – and older – I see that this quote is true. It IS our choices that shape our lives.
- Do you choose to expand your life – try new things – learn something new?
- Do you choose to actively try to get healthier?
- Do you choose to reach out to a loved friend who needs you?
- Do you choose to tell – and show – people you love how much they mean to you?
- Do you choose to try to make each day count?
- Do you choose to look at life in a happier frame of mind?
- Do you choose look for ways to make others happier?
I’ve had several friends over the years seemingly make a conscious choice to allow their lives to implode. They resist change, refuse to learn new things, allowing their lives to get smaller and more insular until they’re gone. It’s a pattern I don’t want to follow. I’m choosing to live each day to the fullest. What choices are YOU making?
I worked every summer from the time I was 14 through college, and then at full time jobs as a teacher, reading clinic owner/teacher, administrative secretary. medical transcriptionist/bookkeeper, and website owner/artist for some 57 years all told. Now I am retired, and busier than I’ve ever been. I honestly don’t know how I used to have time to work full time!
Some people have real trouble adapting to a retired lifestyle. I’m very sorry for that. I have so MANY things I would like to do that I rarely have enough energy or time in the day to even make a dent in my list. I get overwhelmed with my ‘shoulds’ from time to time, and it’s been a long time since I gave myself permission to play in my art room, but I love the world my husband and I worked so many years to create. We also had the good fortune to inherit from our parents, so we’re comfortable financially if we don’t get stupid and greedy.
I love being able to decide my priorities for the day – being free to be really productive or enjoy NOT being. :0)
I’m happy that I can entertain myself. I guess I could be a hermit with little trouble, spending days and days up here on top of my ridge line with my husband and our animals, my flowers and my garden, my greenhouse and our shop, my books and my art room, my computer and my blog – plus the chat program that is a direct line to our son far away – one day spilling into the next – the weeks, months, and years flying past my head, making my hair blow.
I’m lucky enough to have relatives and friends that add so much fun, joy, and love to this hermit.
“I live in my own little world, but it’s ok, they know me here.”
“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” – Marcel Proust
“Happiness is a by-product of an effort to make someone else happy.” ~ Gretta Brooker Palmer
The BAD news is that I’m still old and still don’t look a THING like Julia Roberts.
The GOOD news is that with the help of the Nutrisystem counselor, I seem to have broken through the plateau from Hell I was on and am losing weight again!
To date, I’ve lost 16.3 inches.
Poundage off is now 14.4.
Other GOOD things –
- I’m getting used to drinking 64 oz of water daily, no longer feeling that my eyes are floating. (My husband – who is not even trying to drink any certain amount – is getting used to having to pause the movie several times, though, as the drinking catches up with me in the evenings.)
- I’m getting more confident about being able to adapt our life style to the Nutrisystem program, particularly as it relates to the flex meals and our social life. We like to bowl with friends on Monday evenings, for example. We use the trip to Braum’s afterwards as our FLEX SNACK for the week. We eat with friends every Friday for what we call “Lunch Bunch.” We were counting that as FLEX LUNCH, but are finding it easier to work it into the program by having it as our FLEX BREAKFAST for the week. I’m starting to prepare some of the “Leaf” Nutrisystem FLEX DINNER recipes, having fixed two so far. One of the recipes was an “OKAY,” but the latest one, the “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables” was a winner. Today, since I made it to 1100 subscribers – actually 1101 now) to my blog – HOOORAAAAAAAY!” – we’re going to Red Lobster for Lobster Tail as our FLEX LUNCH for the week in celebration!
- I’m starting to look forward to some of my exercising. I’ll never become like Jillian Michaels, who seems to live for exercise, or like annoying Leslie Sansone, who keeps talking about how much FUN her walking program is and how GOOD it feels, but I AM enjoying the half hour I spend daily doing my yoga stretches and then using my cervical pillow to completely relax for several minutes. I’m trying to do my elliptical trainer for 30 minutes every other day. I’m using all the vacuuming and mopping of floors as my exercise a couple of days a week or more, since I seem to have to devote my life to it to even THINK of trying to keep up with all the dog and cat hair right now.
- I’m starting to believe that if I keep on keepin’ on, I’ll eventually lose the lard, be healthier, and feel better as there is less of me.
My next goal is to earn my 20 lb Nutrisystem bear! One day at a time….
“Your attitude is like a box of crayons that color your world. Constantly color your picture gray, and your picture will always be bleak. Try adding some bright colors to the picture by including humor, and your picture begins to lighten up.” – Allen Klein
My dad taught me how important seeing the world with humor can be. He lived it, giving me a beautiful example on which to base my own attitude. I can stand back and look at what’s happening as if I’m watching a movie. This allows me to see the humor in the situation and give a big, hearty laugh at myself.
My mother-in-law gave me a reminder when we were driving her to a retirement center in Tulsa. Her whole life was changing. Her husband was dead set against the move. She was giving up much of her previous life and activities. She knew no one at the center. I asked her how she felt about the move. She smiled a bright smile, her eyes twinkling, and said, “I’m going to LOVE it!” I looked at her, silently asking her to go on. She said, again, “I’m going to love it. I’m going to make friends, find fun and interesting things to do, enjoy fixing up our rooms a bit, and make this my new home.” And she did. Everyone soon knew who she was and loved her.
I’ll never forget this, and hope to embrace changes with this same enthusiasm. Attitude colors everything. We can look at things with the idea of new opportunities and wonderful surprises ahead. I want my life to keep expanding. I would like to reach out, savoring what remains of my life with gusto. The more colorful, the better.
What color is YOUR attitude?
A pet peeve of mine is misuse of the word ‘fact.’
- a thing that is known or proved to be true
Too many people say things such as, “This is a true fact.” What rubbish!
The word ‘fact’ is much like the word ‘pregnant.’ Either you are or you aren’t.
End of rant. :0)
Today marks the end of Week 8 on Nutrisystem. I did pretty well for an old, fat broad the first month, but I’ve stalled in the second, as far as any real difference in weight or measurements. To date, I’ve lost 12.5 pounds and 16 inches. I’m pleased to have any results at all, but I’m frustrated that my progress seems to have stalled. I’m fighting with the same 3 lbs.
One great thing about Nutrisystem is its online CHAT. Today I talked to Allison J. I explained my sad problem to her. She wanted to know what I ate yesterday, meal by meal. When she analyzed it, she said
- she noticed I was skipping my Power Fuel (PF) at breakfast. I admitted that I was skipping it, sometimes making up for it later in the day. I didn’t realize that WHEN you eat stuff – and in what combination – is very important for your results. (Today for breakfast I ate a Nutrisystem (NS) Blueberry Muffin, and then 2 tablespoons of Cashews).
- we decided that I was probably eating too much salad dressing during the day, since I eat it with my lunch veggies and also with my salad at dinner. I’ll cut WAY back on the ‘dip’ with the veggies at lunch and try to watch it better at dinner.
- she suggested that I swap ‘lunch’ and dinner’ entrees for a week and then get back with her next Thursday. I’m guessing that the dinners are higher calorie and that it might be best if I ate those during the day, rather than in the evening when I’m less active.
- she asked if each of my snacks (PFs and SmartCarbs (SCs) were at least 80 calories. I looked at my log on NuMi and found that my PFs were okay, but my SC was only 65 calories. She suggested that I eat 1-1/2 oranges, instead of just one, to bring the calories up. (Weird, isn’t it? – The idea of bringing the calories up.) I’m supposed to be eating 1200 calories each day, but I routinely came up with up to 200 short.
Thanks to Allison J., I now have several changes to try to see if this breaks through my plateau from Hell. Hopefully, by the time I report next week, the changes in eating will have wrought some changes in ME!
My husband and I were on Nutrisystem once before, years ago. We were successful in getting a lot of our lard off, but we stopped because Nutrisystem kept discontinuing the foods my husband liked until he got fed up and wouldn’t continue. Since then, they have revamped their programs, so we’re trying again, fingers crossed that they continue providing the foods my husband likes.
One of the things they haven’t changed is a nice reward for progress. When our non-frozen items were delivered today, a cute little bear was in my box. It’s a fun, happy way to show you’re trying and you’re starting to get some results. I had saved the bears I got from the last time, so I gave one of them to my husband. He is underwhelmed, but I wanted to pat HIM on the head for his efforts, too. So here are our matching ‘First 10 Pounds Off’ Bears.
Tangible things are important when you’re changing lifestyles. For us, the biggest change is in learning what constitutes a ‘serving.’ I, of course, glanced at labels on the items I buy at the store, and I’ve noticed that many of the labels tell you the nutrition count for 1 serving, but the bottle or package actually contains at least two, if not more servings. I think almost NO ONE actually eats or drinks 1 serving of most things. This was a huge eye-opener for us. The fact that a serving of rice is 1/2 cup, for example, and one of our favorite meals was chicken chunks and soup over a large bowl of rice, meant that we were each eating enough to feed an army.
Making these changes is difficult. It’s much easier to continue on, mentally excusing your behavior, rather than stopping and really looking at what you need to be doing in order to get healthier, feel better, and hopefully increase your quality of life for as long as you’re here.
The scales are tangible, but ‘she giveth and taketh away’, making you happy one day and disappointed the next. My husband and I refuse to stop weighing every day, though, as it is one reality check that we need to keep on keepin’ on with our efforts.
The measuring tape is tangible, but as I’ve whined before, even with going into the bathroom and looking in the mirror while I measure, I’m not always accurate. I’m telling myself that even if my numbers aren’t completely accurate, it’s the DIFFERENCE I’m looking for. Any numbers showing less are welcome.
Looser clothes are tangible. Women’s sizes have always been a joke, though. You can be a lot of different sizes depending on the store where you’re shopping. Again, I’m looking at the actual clothes I have. I’m able to buy some smaller jeans and shorts now, shopping in the same stores, and usually going from the same brand. That’s tangible progress.
The cute poundage bears are a cute, tangible reminder that we’re on our way to being healthier. The more bears we collect, the better we should feel. At least, that’s the plan…
I love this picture. I identify with it, and yet the sweet little thing makes me smile. Wonderful photography!
I just gritted my teeth, writing down a quick list of what I would like to accomplish today. I didn’t even write down all of it, and I stopped – overwhelmed yet again by the number of things I ‘should’ be doing. And it doesn’t include the fun things I would like to do, like get up to my art room and play. :0(
This reminder by Brian Tracy is going on the side of my file cabinet close to my computer. I’m going to try choosing something I feel is the most important for the day and let that be IT as far as things I ‘should’ do. If I accomplish that one thing, I’ll treat myself to some FUN or RELAXING time. If there is time or energy left after that, it’s gravy.
(At least I’ll TRY to do this.)
WEIGHT: 12.2 pounds down. I have to admit I’m a bit teed off because my husband doesn’t take any responsibility for even thinking about what he’s eating or when, just says, “Thanks” when I bring him the next snack or meal; doesn’t drink the water, doesn’t exercise, and he’s lost more than I have…
MEASUREMENTS: Down 16.3 inches. My husband has no interest in measuring, but he just ordered shorts that are 2 inches smaller in the waist. He put them on this morning and looks GOOD.
I had high blood pressure even with my medication. I’m now showing normal with my meds. “Normal” is such a beautiful word!
My husband is a Type II diabetic. When we started monitoring his blood sugar, it was at around 353 or higher. (Normal is under 100.) This week it was 113!
Each week we’re supposed to have one FLEX meal for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack, preferably on different days. Our flex SNACK is ice cream after bowling with friends on Monday evenings. Our flex LUNCH is Lunch Bunch with long-time friends on Fridays. We usually don’t do the flex BREAKFAST, since my husband likes Nutrisystem’s oatmeal and prefers to just stick with that. Flex DINNER – I’ve broiled a thin steak cut into 2 pieces and we’ve had little bitty baked potatoes. We’ve also shared a small container of chicken fried rice from our local Chinese restaurant.
Yesterday I tried cooking our first flex dinner from the Nutrisystem website. It is called “Meat and Potato Casserole.” It makes 6 servings. We ate two and I froze the other 4 servings in labeled individual dishwasher-and-microwave-safe containers. We found the casserole a little dry, but the flavor was good. We had a salad with it. Today I stopped and got some packets of low sodium brown gravy. The package makes 1 cup – way more than enough for the one tablespoon of gravy I plan to pour over each of the remaining servings when we eat them.
I’m not a wonderful cook. The amount of preparation for this meal seemed like a lot to this lazy woman who would rather do almost anything than spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I used a food processor as they suggested to prepare the carrots and potatoes, but I think the next time I’ll just use my hand-held shredder because clean up will be a lot easier. It seemed that I had half the kitchen messed up by the time the casserole dish was finally in the oven.
That said, I’m delighted to be able to have recipes at my fingertips to help us stay on the good start we’ve made on losing the lard. To complain when I cooked once and had servings for the two of us for THREE meals is a LOT more “poor me” than any of us need or appreciate…. :0)
All in all a good week’s progress. I’m hoping to get off the plateau I seem to be on, but I’m doing healthy things for us.
Okay. I KNOW that weight loss – particularly as it is reflected by the scales – is a fickle thing. The fact that it’s MORE than yesterday shouldn’t be a big thing. Maybe I retained water. Maybe I gained muscle. Yada yada yada. According to a lot of people, I shouldn’t even be weighing myself every morning – that I should only weigh once a week. Well, I weigh each morning to keep me on track and honest. This morning I weighed MORE than I did yesterday and it’s ‘weighing’ on my mind (hahahahaaha).
It’s one thing to “KNOW” the facts and quite another to deal with the emotional reaction when you hope/expect to be down another .2 lbs and find that you’re actually UP .8 lbs. I feel that ‘someone’ snuck (is that a word?) some lead into my underwear.
Since I also “KNOW” that I ate only what I should have eaten yesterday, did my exercises, drank my water – the poundage may come off tomorrow. Since I’m old, though, I’ve also learned that it may take 4 days or more to get back down to where I was only yesterday…
Since I know, also, that I won’t get any awards for fast weight loss, and that, in fact, my body will actually do better at keeping the weight off if I lose it gradually, steadily – I’m talking to myself this morning, reminding myself of all the things I SHOULD be concentrating on –
- feeling good that I’m down 11 lbs and over 13 inches from when we started Nutrisystem
- that I’m not sitting around feeling hungry
- that I like MOST of the foods we’re eating
- that both my husband and I are getting healthier as we lose the lard
- that our blood test numbers should show significant improvement in August
- that we’re doing what we can to avoid the health problems we can control
- that we’ve both gotten shorts one size smaller than we were wearing a month ago
- feeling grateful that we are in a position to afford a good weight program
Hopefully, tomorrow morning the scales will show me something I like better than what I saw this morning. In the meantime, I’ll continue talking to myself, trying to act like a grownup. :0)
My dad had a great sense of humor and he was kind enough to give it to me in a lot of different forms – stories, jokes, puns, sarcasm. He taught me to stand back and look at things as if it were a movie. Many times, when you do this, you are able to see the humor in the situation.
He also used laughter as a defense. When he was 3, he fell off a horse, breaking his arm so badly that the doctors barely saved it. The result was a left arm much shorter than his right and a curled up, essentially useless hand. When kids at school bullied him, he made them laugh. They decided they liked him and wanted to be around him, so the bullying stopped. This ability served him well his whole life, allowing him to get married, have two kids, provide for everyone using his humor and talent to create radio commercials for his clients. He won an Addy Award for lifetime achievement in Tulsa. When he died, he scrawled on a piece of paper, “Remember me laughing.”
He gave us love and a priceless tool for handling many of the tough things in life. I can’t count the number of times that being able to see and share the humor in a situation has helped me – plus those dealing with me.
This morning is a good example of how being able to see the humor has saved my husband and our marriage! We were upstairs trying to program our ‘smart’ thermostat to cool down in the evening before we go to bed, keep it cool while we sleep, and then turn off during the day. The idea is that you set the time and day of the week, then start with day 1, setting heat and cool for each ‘period’ of the day – morn, day, afternoon, and evening with temp for heat and then for cool. When you finish one day’s programming, you can then copy it to all the other days and then get out of programming mode, setting it to ‘cool’ or ‘heat.’
We have just tried to do this four times, laboriously going through the long list of directions. When we finish, we get out of the programming mode, putting it to ‘cool.’ And it immediately turns on the a/c and starts to cool it down. WRONG! Plus – the ‘prog’ mode indicator is flashing. We don’t know if the thermostat is messed up or we’re having a serious case of user stupidity or what. We started getting really frustrated and angry, and then I was able to stand back and look at the two senior citizens – frustrated and angry – arguing over the thermostat being smarter than we were, and I started to laugh. When my husband asked, ‘what the hell are you laughing about?” I laughed even harder. Finally, he started to laugh, too. It diffused the situation – even though it’s still true that the thermostat is smarter than we are. We have now called and left a message with our go-to guy on heat and cooling…