Tuesday, April 30, 2013

be content.

i have decided that discontentment can be a hazardous mindset. always wanting more (of anything) leads to a feeling of not having enough now. which can lead to hoarding, over-eating and sadness. even wanting more health, lusting for fitness or the body you had in high school can lead to a roller coaster of emotions and set one up for disappointment. setting goals to reach the "perfect weight" is setting the sites too high. take a look around you sometime, look at the people in the store, in line at the dmv or at work. probably every single one of them wants to lose more weight, to improve their health, to look like the people on tv. well guess what. that's not gonna happen.
if they are lucky, and if we are lucky, we will lose 10 or 20 lbs. that's it. (for starters.) take it! be happy with it. congratulate yourself! you win! you've done something most people will never be able to do. don't beat yourself up and be dissatisfied that you haven't lost 40 or 100 pounds. that stuff is for made-for-tv reality shows, not real life. don't be confused. be happy. sit with your success for a while. pat yourself on the back. then just stick with your program, because now you feel better and are a success story. BE CONTENT. live with it. then later, when you are bored and looking for something fun to do, challenge yourself to lose 10 more or to hike to a higher place or learn an instrument. but first and foremost: be content! 

and if you think that that is not enough for you, do something nice for someone else and that will multiply your contentment. and maybe the something nice that you do for someone else is to truly be who are. maybe your gift is yourself, a song you wrote, a flower you picked or grew, a funny hat you wear that makes people smile. do your best to do your duty. and let your duty be to serve your community through self expression and love.. all while being content.

you may not be the beauty queen of the prom, or the movie star on the big screen and the person telling jokes in las vegas or the man walking on the moon. but MOST of us are not that. most of us are the guy at the check-out counter who has a band on the side, or the park ranger who loves to watch good films and may dabble in movie-making on the side. be content with who you are in the place you are. take the "i'm okay and you're okay" approach.

here's some information i found at the mayo clinc on happiness:

people who are happy seem to intuitively know that their happiness is the sum of their life choices, and their lives are built on the following pillars:
  • devoting time to family and friends
  • appreciating what they have
  • maintaining an optimistic outlook
  • feeling a sense of purpose
  • living in the moment

Friday, April 26, 2013

a search for passion is a winding road.

ultimately, this blog is a search for passion. it is a search for joy. it is a search for contentment. i thought that starting with the physical element, by way of nutrition and (i must admit) "dieting", that i would be able to see the change and have a leg-up on bringing body+mind+spirit into balance. i assumed that because i could see my weight in it's physical manifestation that this would be the most logical place to start. now i know that i was wrong. you can't just work on one isolated area at a time, when trying to bring a whole into balance. you need to work on the whole.

changing one's life is a holistic challenge. it's a juggling act. tweak a little here, tweak a little there. it's a process of simplifying. I like this quote that a close friend sent to me this morning:
The world is so complicated, tangled, and overloaded that to see into it with any clarity you must prune and prune.”  
-Italo Calvino, If on a Winter’s Night A Traveller
to prune and prune is what this blog is about. to simplify. to find foods that heal and eat them with no more interest in the result than knowing that this is the correct action to take. just as washing the car is correct action. focusing the mind is the first step of focusing the body/and vise versa! it all starts getting very zen. there just seems to be no way around it. another item the above mentioned friend sent this morning was this link about the process of meditation.

Monday, April 22, 2013

take action. (my first video post)

coffee vs. green juice

i have been struggling to get back on track. falling off the health wagon with a pizza here and some toast there has really screwed me up. having lost the weight, and then re-gaining some back, i really FEEL the difference. in every step and in how i move and think. part of the fall comes in letting coffee slip back into the equation. this is easy to do, as many diet websites encourage coffee as a good choice to drink and  some even suggest it has weight loss and insulin-stability factors. but! i have noticed that when i drink coffee in the morning, i do not drink a green juice. it is one or the other, as they really don't work well together. and missing out on the green juice is a bad way to start the day. coffee is sort of a false start, giving quick (nervous) energy instead of the slow sustained energy my body learns to crave.

here's some news i found on green juicing:

Green Juice

Green juices are a bit different than fruit and non-green vegetable juices in that they are rich in chlorophyll and low in sugar. Chlorophyll is a magical biomolecule, which allows plants to absorb energy from light. Yes, I know how COOL is that. Therefore, chlorophyll is HIGHLY energetic, which is why it is such a valuable supplement to our diet since most all foods are completely VOID of any life energy at all! Yes, if the food has been cooked, or has been manufactured, it is a DEAD food.
Chlorophyll’s ability to make us buzz is not the only thing it’s good for though. With a molecular composition very similar to hemoglobin, chlorophyll helps to purify the blood, build red blood cells, detoxify and heal the body, not to mention provide us with a quick source of energy. In addition, green juices often contain powerful detoxifying agents such as cilantro, which have even been shown to impact heavy metal toxicity. Therefore, the GREENER the BETTER – richer in nutrients, antioxidants, and cleansing properties.
(source: http://www.theholykale.com/2013/01/is-green-juice-the-new-coffee/)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Key To Good Health Is 'Peace Of Mind'

Good nutrition and exercise may be important, but the secret to good health and long life is all in your head, according to the Dalai Lama.

After participating in a Peace Walk at the Peace Bridge in Derry, Northern Ireland on April 18, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, gave a talk at the "Culture Of Compassion" event at Ebrington Plaza. During the discussion, His Holiness -- who quite literally wrote the book on happiness -- shared his wisdom on the importance of stress relief and compassion in achieving good health.

"Warm-heartedness is a key factor for healthy individuals, healthy families and healthy communities," he told the audience.

The Dalai Lama called for early childhood education in moral ethics, or as he calls it, "education for warm-heartedness," and discussed how positive well-being can contribute to vitality and longevity.

"Scientists say that a healthy mind is a major factor for a healthy body," His Holiness said. "If you're serious about your health, think and take most concern for your peace of mind. That's very, very important."

The spiritual leader went on to spread his message of tolerance, compassion and non-violence, and answered questions from the audience on such subjects as poverty, global conflict and the importance of maintaining a sense of humor.

Friday, April 19, 2013

moving out of your comfort zone

as strange it that sounds, once we start to change the way we live, get healthy and lose weight we will begin to move out of our comfort zone. we will no longer be the ordinary person on the street, eating at a fast burger place and watching tv. we will be the extra-ordinary person who eats an enlightened diet, is conscious of who she is and where he's going and active pursuing dreams and passions not watching them on tv. prepare yourself for this. prepare yourself for how great you are becoming every day. breathe into the moment, like a broadway star about to go on stage. this is your moment.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

know your reasons. stay in the moment.

we all have our own reasons for losing extra weight and getting healthier.
here are a few of mine:

1. having more energy to do the things i love.
2. clearer thinking in an unclogged mind
3. boost of confidence.
4. improved self awareness.
5. clothes fit better, feel better, and look better.
6. the ability to join friends on hikes and physical activities.
7. correct blood sugar levels, blood pressure levels.
8. more fun at doctors office when getting health reports.
9. knowing about nutrition is cool.
10. improved sex life.
11. sharing "how i did it" stories with friends and strangers.
12. more flirt-ability.
13. enjoying the changing scenes of nature on my daily walks.
14. shopping for clothes and food becomes and adventure.
15. improved self-esteem, self confidence and self worth.
16. relieving family and friends worry about my health issues.
17. the knowing that i am respecting my body as a temple.
18. being an example of health for others
19. dancing the tango is more fun when your thinner.
20. knowing that discipline is an important part of life.
21. not limiting myself: discovering new things and going to new places.
22. more open the possibility of being loved because i love myself.
23. renewing my fabulousness factor.
24. fitting into my seat on an international flight to somewhere edgy.
25. being the best i can be just because i can!

reasons for staying overweight:

1. the comfort of staying the same.
2. the ease of being invisible socially.
3. the glorious feeling of being out of control.
4. fitting in with mainstream america who eats too much too often.
5. i won't intimidate anyone with my good looks.
6. because ice cream tastes so good at night
7. cheap bad food is every where and so it's so easy to eat.
8. i have a good excuse for not being happy.
9. i enjoy beating myself up on a daily basis.
10. being over weight, and out of shape is easy.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

look within

If you start your physical transformation from a place of caring about yourself, loving yourself enough to treat your body well and stop abusing it, the changes are so much more likely to be permanent. You won’t be on this constant quest for something you can never find, but instead you’ll just be doing what feels truly good every single day. You’ll jump off the endless cycle of Must-Fix-Self–>Work-Hard-To-Fix-Self–>Yay-It’s-Better-But-Not-Perfect–>I-Give-Up–>I-Hate-Myself–>Repeat. Instead, you’ll fall into a daily routine of self-care, which will lead to a physical transformation that will be permanent and APPRECIATED by you.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

find the perfect weight for you.

find the perfect weight for you. accepting who you are means choosing to become the weight that is right for you. don't make your goal an unrealistic one that is only intended to satisfy some fantasy expectation of who you used to be. and don't diet. diets don't work because dieting is not a long-term solution. if you diet to lose weight, you'll gain the weight back once you get off the diet. you need to "behave your way to success". and set specific goals!

  • remember that losing weight requires a change in thought and behavior, so set goals for your emotions and weight.

  • don't set vague goals like, "I want to lose some weight." be specific: how much weight do you want to lose? how do you want to feel? close your eyes and visualize yourself after you've reached those goals. use this visualization to feel commitment and inner strength.

the journey

Your journey will be much lighter and easier if you don’t try to carry your entire past and future around with you. Take a break. Let go of your obsession with yesterday’s struggles and tomorrow’s to-do list, and simply enjoy the beauty of what’s right here, right now. Sometimes you have to stop thinking that some new richness will fulfill you, so you can fully experience the richness that's already yours.

Monday, April 15, 2013


moving forward is about staying in the moment.

being grateful for where i am.

taking care of myself just for today.

forgiveness. understanding.

and knowing that the mystery of life (and it's challenges) is a gift.

walk more. breathe more. give and be love.

Friday, April 12, 2013

failure is an option.

i don't know who said that "failure's not an option", but it is. some folks say repitition of failure leads to success. if so, that's great!  but for today, failing is good enough for me. for today, trying harder isn't and option. re-thinking it isn't an option. i am just going to fall all the way down too the bottom of the steps, and tomorrow? well, as miss o'hara says in gone with the wind, "tomorrow is another day."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

"leaning" towards yours goal.

leaning in the direction of your goal, is a choice we make 10 times a day.

sometimes i don't feel like being on a "diet". i don't feel like being perfect. but i also don't feel like going back to where i was, heavy and lethargic. in these cases, i am learning a new technique called "leaning". instead of asking what i should eat to "stay on my diet", i ask "which way would i like to lean today, toward a healthy body that functions better that the one i am in today, or towards the unhealthy body, the one i had before?" framing my decision in this light feels more like a nudge in the right direction, rather than a black and white ultimatum. i use my imagination and visualize the way i want to go. in this case, using the image above, do i want to go to the left or to the right? the action i take today determines that. but it's not like i have to cross a finish line or win a prize, just move in that direction. and i know that if i move in that direction most of the time, eventually i will get to that place.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

thinking about food.

for months i have been thinking about food. writing about food and talking about food. i know what's right and i know what's wrong, what i should and shouldn't eat. still, with out taking massive action very little happens. and taking massive action can lead to burn-out and binging. i saw a circle diagram a long time ago and on it was the list of the cycle of diet failure. it looked like this:

this is what i have been trying to avoid doing through out my nutritional eating plan. easier said than done. warning: doing a cleansing juice fast can lead to the undoing of your new eating program and lead right back to an " i deserve to eat attitude".  for me it is difficult to walk the line between obsessive healthy eating and a life where food is just part of the day. i can't forget about food, because i have to eat it. not eating it leads to the cycle. but obsessing about it is also problematic because this is unsustainable as well. looks like i am still in search of the balance.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

like a bird hunting for a worm, you have to work for it.

well, i may be onto something here, as this is the third blog post on the same topic: laziness. in conversation with a friend today i was discussing the topic in the context of not only food but life. about being tired and the times when one doesn't feel like choosing the right foods and then have to chop and prepare them or when one doesn't feel like going for a walk and she reminded me that there is so much joy in these processes. for instance, taking a walk and noticing that what was no more than a little seedling yesterday was a flower today. these simple pleasures, that are the food of life, are lost when we choose instead to stay home and sleep or spend just a little longer checking our facebook profile updates like status. and then she said something that may stick with me for the rest of my life, she said, (in regard to whole living practices)
"health is my first job. just like a bird needs to go out a catch a worm to eat in the morning."

i love that: "it's my first job". my first job is to take the action required to keep my body+mind+spirit in good working order so that i may truly be present and serve in some way on this planet. you have to work for it. that's very different from being lazy. in our culture we are taught that you earn money (or acquire money) and then you are entitled to buy things. the more you have the more you can get. you can have what you want, pre-fab food, a sedentary lifestyle,and mindless consumption. why? because you can pay for it!
to have stuff is to prove you are worth stuff. more stuff = more self worth. really? i could get into the whole hoarding culture thing here, or obesity/self worth thing here, but that's not really the point. it's simpler than that:

matthew 6/26
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

mindful action

yesterday's post included the word lazy. "don't be lazy" was the message.
and although this is the point, i believe the way i presented the information was incomplete. but also the way our culture perceives laziness, and busyness is loaded with trap-doors. there is a "you gotta win" thing connected with everything these days. happiness is associated with winning, which implies being better than the next girl or guy. but life is not a race. it is a path.
there is a finish line, but it is not owning the biggest house or being on the cover of Vanity Fair. no, the finish line is death. our task, if life is a task, is to find purpose and passion along the way. life is about connecting with ourselves so that we can better connect with others. (first take the thorn out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.)

it is easy to let thing get complicated. it is difficult to keep thing simple. simplicity is the key. but don't get confused. simplicity is not being lazy about how you think or what you do, rather, it is being diligent about taking mindful action.

the body+mind+spirit is one. meditation does not always mean sitting on a pillow in a quiet dimly lit room, it may mean saying yes to the right things to eat while letting go of the urge to satisfy one's "love me now flavor sensation of corn chips and chocolate". not being lazy means doing your homework, shopping and chopping, walking out the door with a 2, 4 or 6 mile goal on your mind. it's not only knowing what you should do, but taking the action to do what you should do.
mindful action. being present in the moment. moving more & eating less.  simplicity.        connecting with others.   taking risks, doing new things. becoming our bigger selves. sharing our gifts.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

dont be lazy

this kind of poster, this kind of thinking, is easy to post on a blog, but hard to do in real life. real life is hard. it is usually filled with unforeseen challenges, deadlines, due dates, parking meters, easy-access junk food, and hard to find whole food. after month's of steely resolve and planning and doing the right thing, it's temping to find an excuse to slip back into our old, bad habits. a little at first and then a little more. it's comforting to move in familiar ways and feel the dull comfort of a clouded mind. but! we have been down this rosy garden path before and we know where it leads: unhappiness, self-loathing and eventually a certain kind of disconnected-hopelessness. 

so, if you must, rest!  but not for too long! stay connected and re-connect to those who are moving in the direction that you want to go. then, pick up your pace, appreciate what you have and take a few deep breaths. yes the path you have chosen is harder and steeper, but it leads to a better place. have faith. 

And most important of all: DON'T BE LAZY.

(ps: there is an important addendum to this post here)