Monday, February 27, 2012


I'm thinking that this one just about says it all.  
Found it on Facebook...where all good things come from!  (Hahaha!)
And I love this new word in my life.


No more hindsight where I beat myself up about choices that
another version of me made long ago.
(A version who is gone and not ever coming back, by the way.)

But instead...


Looking back and discovering what I was learning along the way
that brought me to where I am now
and will lead me on the rest of the journey.


I HIGHLY recommend this way of thinking, friends.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Selective Editing and Recall...

Have you ever just thought a moment about all the "stuff" that comes into your life from other people?  The things they say...the looks they give..the insinuations they make.  For the most part, I'd have to say that those are positive things, depending upon the people you surround yourself with.  I know that I receive some wonderfully positive and uplifting things from the people in my life.

But there are times that the message isn't positive or helpful at all.  Perhaps the words of a well-meaning, but decidedly curmudgeonly grandfather, that you "really are getting fat and ought to watch your weight" stick in your mind like they do in mine!  No?  They don't come to your mind?  Well, I'm glad for you.  But that particular comment from about 15 years ago is on repeat in my brain.  And sometimes, I just can't get it to stop playing!

Chatting with one of my newer friends this week, this idea came out of our conversation: selective editing and recall can be very, very important tools in our lives.  This was very liberating for me.  This one idea means that I don't have to have my grandfather's words on a recall loop playing round and round in my brain if I don't want to!  That's POWERFUL!  That's FREEING!  That's me deciding WHO and WHAT gets the right to be replayed in my life.

I don't have to replay all the negative crud that people unload on me.  Let me restate that. 

I don't have to keep reliving and replaying negative things in my mind.

Whether it's about me or not, or just about life in general...that kind of negativity is harmful to my life...the one I'm re-creating.  It's not that I don't want to be supportive if people need to tell me tough things.  It's not that at all.  I don't mind when friends...or even strangers...feel the need to unload.  I'm a great listener and sounding board.  I even really appreciate the opportunity most times.  I don't mind hearing honest things about my own life, either...if they're coming from people I love and who I KNOW love me and want what's best for me. 

BUT...I don't have to replay it again and again in my mind.  I can selectively edit and recall!!!  That's powerful. I can choose what I bring to consciousness in my mind. 

And so, Punky (the name I called my grandfather...and he called me...appropriate, huh?!?)...NO MORE!  I know you're gone said those words years ago!  But now, I'm letting go of them.  Selective recall lets me.  And I won't be replaying them anymore in my mind.  I am NOT fat...I know you said it because you were concerned about me...but you should have found another way to express that. You really should have.  And because you didn't, I choose not to continue to remember it and beat myself up with it anymore. encouragement to you is that you do the same!  Choose wisely what you play on the replay loop in your head.  Fill it with wonderful thoughts and ideas...happy, positive, upbeat things about yourself and others.  Remember with joy the amazing things about you. 

And then...let the rest go.

Go have my permission to selectively edit and recall!  :-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Life Invades...

Ever have one of "those" weeks?  I sure have.  This week, in fact.  It began when I woke up Monday morning, unable to swallow around the huge, red tonsils inflamed in the back of my throat. Fighting that all week while holding multiple parent/teacher conferences has made for a tiring, busy week.

My schedule for life, much less the gym, has been interrupted greatly.  In fact, tonight was the first night I got to be in the gym at all this week!  And friends...I have to be honest.  Stepping foot on that treadmill felt like I was finally coming home.

Yes, it was difficult to walk my 2 miles, mostly because it's still a big challenge to breathe in the first place with this clogged up head.  But also, I could tell that I've lost a little bit of my cardio fitness.  That happens when you're away from the gym for a week or better.  But the good thing is that it comes back quickly.  By the end of my walk this evening, I was back in my regular zone.  I was able to grab a few 17 minute miles...not quite my quickest miles, but certainly FAR from my slowest! 

I guess the point I'm making is this:  Life invades your plans.  It just does.  People get sick.  Schedules are changed and interrupted by events.  And you know what?  Once you've made a commitment to things like a healthy diet and regular exercise, getting back to them feels like coming home again. 

At one time in my life, it was so hard to imagine how I was ever going to fit in 5 gym visits every week, how I was going to survive on a limited calorie diet.  Now, skipping those gym visits feels so unnatural! 

If you're there in your journey...where you just can't see how you're ever going to make some of the changes that you know will make you healthier, take heart.  One day, when you want it badly enough, you'll make those changes.  And then you'll understand what I now do...that NOTHING life can throw at you is enough to take you back to your old habits!  Not sickness, not busy-ness, not anything.

Happy Weekend, my friends!  Hope yours is sweet.  I know mine will be!

Friday, February 10, 2012

The Weight Loss Paradox...

A paradox, as defined by the dictionary, is a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd, but in reality expresses a possible truth.  This week, I believe I may have discovered one.

Weight loss is the hardest...and easiest...thing you can do.

I'm sure those of you who've ever tried to lose weight would agree that it's one of the hardest things you can do!  It seems unlikely that anyone might agree with me that it may also be the easiest.  You'd more likely readily agree that my statement is indeed a self-contradictory, absurd proposition.  But let me explain.

For the past 22 months, I've been on the journey to a new Angie.  That journey has been about more than weight loss, to be sure, but dropping 107 pounds (so far!) has been an integral part of finding that new me.  There have been moments on this journey that the weight felt like it was just shedding itself off of me...and there have been times that I thought I might never lose another pound.  So how can I make that paradoxical statement?  My own experience and the experiences my friends shared with me this week is how!

This week, I was blessed to hear from 3 different friends how their own journeys have begun and are progressing.  Each of these friends has been important to my success because of their support and encouragement.  And now I'm blessed to be returning the favor.  I love that I can do that for them!  What each of them shared with me is that the weight is coming off now for two basic reasons:  they are eating less and moving more.

That's it.

Eating less calories and exercising more.  Period.  No specialized diet.  No expensive weight loss programs.  Nope.  Take in less food, expend more energy...and the weight is dropping off.  It's exactly what the doctors and dieticians have always said it is. Eat less. Move more.

This is why I can make the statement that I made. This is my own experience over the past almost 2 years, too.  After 25 years of unsuccessful sustained weight loss, I've figured it out.  I'm done making excuses.  I'm done believing it's beyond my ability to lose weight.  I'm done thinking men can lose weight easier than women so I'm doomed to be a big girl.  I'm just done.  It's easy to lose less and move more.

Losing weight, though, is also the most difficult thing I've ever done.

It requires that I deal with the physical, emotional, and spiritual reasons that have prevented me from losing weight before now.  I'm still doing that.  That process is long, intense, and sometimes painful.  To lose weight, I have to be willing to use more self-discipline than I thought I had.  And waiting patiently for the numbers on the scale to move...not fun.  At all.  Truly, these past two years have been hard.  Unbelievably hard.

So there ya go...the weight loss paradox.  Losing weight is the hardest...and easiest...thing you can do. The key for me is to focus on the "easiest" part of that paradox...and let the "hardest" part of it take care of itself.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

You've Got to Know When To Hold 'Em...

...and know when to fold 'em!

Thursday night was a tough night for me in the gym.  I was in about 5 out of 10 pain using the scale Angie has me use to describe my knees to her when I arrived.  I know the shut down point is 6 or more, so I planned on doing a light work out anyway.  I also figured that having physical therapy in the morning on Friday would erase much of the pain I might create, so I decided not to skip the workout on Thursday.

The workout began normally for a treadmill workout...sore knee that loosened up a little bit as I continued to walk.  But at the usual "all better" point...which for me is about 1/2 mile actually was tightening, not opening up.  That was my first signal that this wasn't going to go well.

I kept going up until the mile mark...which I walked in 18:10...slower than usual, but a lot better than back in September when I was begging to break a 20 minute mile.  I reassessed at that point.  The knee was now about a 7 out of 10...not getting better.  Getting worse.  So I shut the workout down, despite the fact that I hadn't reached the goals I had for it.  I went home soon after and began about 4 hours of on and off icing for my knee and anti-inflammatory/pain relievers.  By morning, I could walk again.

I'm sharing this story for a few reasons.

First...I think it's important that we each know our body's rhythms and routines.  To understand these things, you do have to push yourself and pay attention to what your body does.  6 months ago, I'd have never gone to the gym feeling like I did on Thursday night.  I'd have said the pain was too much and just gone home after work.  As it was, I did get the chance to at least get about half of my workout in...and any moving is good moving!  I got that, though, because I understand the way my unique body works.  I know, for example, that my knees on a treadmill generally open up at about the half mile mark.  If I just listened to the pain up to that point and stopped, I'd have never learned that it's significantly better after the first few minutes.

Second...I also think it's important to DO WHAT YOUR THERAPIST TELLS YOU!!!!  I am saddened to hear stories of people who take the time to see a physical therapist, get treatment for whatever they need to have fixed, and then DON'T do the stretches, exercises, etc. that the PT gave you to do on your own.  Really?!  Why bother going at all if you're not going to listen and do what your PT is asking you to do??  My PT is saving my life.  LITERALLY.  I trust her with my life and my health.  When she tells me it's OK to work through a certain level of pain...that I really NEED to push through it, but then stop when it reaches another point...I listen!  And I do it.  There's a reason we go to see doctors, shouldn't we trust them and do what they ask us to do to heal?  I'm just puttin' that out there...!!!

Finally...and I'm still learning this one...I think it's OK to change up your routine a bit when you encounter pain.  You really do have to know when to fold.  And this weekend is a "FOLD" for me.  I'm not going to the gym.  Didn't go last night.  Won't go today.  Therapy yesterday helped my left leg...but it also hurt...and right now, I'm trusting my own interpretation of my body and what it needs.  It needs rest.  I'll walk today...leisurely...around a mall maybe...or possibly even outside before the bad weather we're expected to get tomorrow.  But I'm not gutting it out on a treadmill or an elliptical.  And you know what?  It's really OK.  I'll be back on routine soon enough.  This week was only a 4 workout week...and it's gonna be fine.  The world isn't going to end.  (Well...not because I missed a few workouts!)

Hope you have a great weekend, well!  :-)


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