I have been focused on my weight from as long as I can remember, well into early childhood and it remains forefront on my mind. I am not a physician, nutritionist, psychologist nor dietician. I am someone with a food addiction who has successfully lost weight and has kept it off for most of my life. It has been my purpose to help others, even if that means just one person.
Many of us have received at least one dose of their Covid-19 vaccine. I have received my booster shot as well. The booster shot is to increase (“boost”) the effectiveness of the vaccine and increase your immunity.
While attending a recent workshop the word “boost” came to mind. The workshop was uplifting and empowering and just what I needed to stay on track with my weight loss battle. I struggle every day to keep the focus off food and not let those food thoughts control my actions.
I am always on the search for a something to help me to be successful. Sometimes I try a new diet, I’ll start a new program, I’ll buy new weight loss foods, or read a new book. When I start something, I’ll be successful, but it won’t last. I either get bored or have early success and then get “cocky” and think I can cheat.
The workshop I was taking was weekly via Zoom. So, every week I got this new “boost” of motivation and it had nothing to do with losing weight. It was about setting goals, being positive, having confidence, self-reflection, and a myriad of take-aways for the following week. I love great conversation with peers who are like-minded in philosophy. This is where I like to dwell, into where I settle.
My life has been a journey of finding the formula for losing weight and keeping off the weight. I have discovered that I need a booster shot at least once a week, if not more often. Whatever form it comes in, conversation, positivity Instagram posts, new diet foods, or whatever new discovery is out there for me.
I hope this article has given you a boost and you find more to keep you successful.
P.S. I hope you all get your Covid-19 vaccine as well!
I have been wondering what the “end” of the Covid-19 pandemic will look like. It will likely be different for each individual. The first vision that came to mind for me was the iconic photo of the sailor embracing a nurse in the streets of New York City on V-Day. One celebratory day in history.
I also could not help but think of the lives lost during the pandemic. The overwhelming feeling of tragic and unnecessary loss. If only the remedy, the vaccine, could have been here in time for them. For those impacted with tragic loss, would the end be a quiet solemn remembrance and reflection?
I think of those who have felt confined and isolated in the prison of their homes. Quarantined and not interacting with humans, and the huggers who have had to stop in their tracks from embracing. The image here for the end is that of Woodstock and the “love thy neighbor” attitude – whoever they may be.
Or perhaps the vision will be that of a sunset, so gradual a change that the horror of the pandemic will fade slowly from our days as we gradually remember what life was like. Will there be days with continued mask wearing, not really confident that all is safe? Perhaps mask wearing will continue to keep us protected from other illness, just as hand sanitizer became a common product to safeguard against the flu and colds.
For me it will be a combination of all. I work in an industry highly impacted by the pandemic with closings and capacity restrictions. I can vividly recall staff and customers silently standing and looking up at the lobby television, watching the Governor announce the closings that were to take place on St. Patrick’s Day. At that time, we did not know what to expect, what would be on the horizon. The day that comes removing all restrictions will be that one moment of jubilation and celebration for me.
I have experienced the loss of loved ones during the year of the pandemic. A day does not go by that I do not remember them and ache for the grief and sadness being suffered by all who knew them. I will surely spend time feeling a sense of being cheated on their behalf. It will be something done quietly and with reverence.
I have never considered myself a “hugger” as I am somewhat introverted. However, now when I see people, even from a distance, it makes me feel closer to them than pre-pandemic. It is, as they say, a great equalizer, and barriers be them physical or emotional tend to soften. I will greet people more exuberantly for sure and perhaps even become a warm hugger.
When it does end, I will never forget the time in history. This like many other worldly events will be cemented in my memory. I expect that there will be residual effects such as the mask wearing, or at least keeping them handy. I pray I am here to witness what will be the “End of COVID-19” as well as all who I love. I hope you will see it as well.
Please be diligent to keep the cases down. Move a kindness, not a virus. God Bless.
I continue to analyze and understand my food addiction. It’s an arduous task to break down my thoughts and feelings, even after a lifetime of trying. As I continue this journey, I observe many different types of behavior of others in addition to my own, to find solutions.
A recent observation during an impulse to eat reminded me of my mother. My mother has dementia. Her condition has rendered her personality to be, what I consider, childlike. She does not have a memory of being my mother and cannot grasp the concept because she feels we are too close in age for that to be possible. We have a twenty-five-year age difference.
One of my mother’s rituals is to pack her suitcase as if she is about to travel. She also chooses unusual items to pack, they are random. She will pack saved greeting cards, framed photos, jewelry in boxes, etc. When I have witnessed this, I get the sense she is trying to keep as many items as possible that are part of her past close to her. It’s as if she is gathering memories that bring her comfort – pulling her past close to her to bring forth those warm memories.
When I went to my cupboard to grab something to eat, I wasn’t hungry. I physically didn’t need to eat. However, I was pulled towards satisfying something in me. Recently, while doing this, I had a flash memory of my mother standing in front of her suitcase packed with all her treasures. My memory related to that vision of my mother while I was on my way to satisfy something I needed. Perhaps I too needed to “gather” a memory. A memory of a time in my life when I had fewer worries and a simpler life. Many of life’s memories have to do with food whether it’s family dinner time or holiday feasts.
My mother has lost much of her memory and I believe there is a part of her that realizes that. She is trying to bring something back that her heart and soul remember while her mind and memory cannot. My overheating is me trying to bring comfort back that I remember from my past, even though for me my mind is aware that this is not the right thing to do. My mind is in cahoots with memory and they are a powerful combination.
My mother also needs to feel she is in control and capable. She does not want people to do things for her because she equates it with feeling “less than”. When I am feeling that the events around me are not within my control I likely feel as she does. I say “likely” because my mother cannot articulate exactly what she is going through, I am assuming based on her behavior and her irritation with us. This feeling of lack of control in my life, as with many overeaters, causes me to make a quick fix by having the power to bring back my comforted memory by eating.
Please know that in no way do I think there is an association between food addiction and dementia. As I mentioned in the blog opening, I am searching to find the answers to my food addiction and my behavior. As we all know, it starts with understanding before being able to correct.
Now the fun part begins with trying to replace eating with something that will be equally satisfying. It might not bring me back to a place of memories from the past but enough to regain control and being present and content with feeling healthy.
As for my mother we unpack her suitcase when she isn’t looking. We have also learned to suggest without telling. There are many wonderful resources to help families and caregivers for supporting a loved one with dementia.
I hope of have been a resource to help you with your health goals. Please stay safe and God bless!
It has often been said to “listen to your body, it’s telling you something”. This meaning any number of things such as you are hungry and you need to eat, you are tired and need to rest, you are not feeling and need to go to the doctor. I recently had the experience of “seeing my body” and it showed me something that I had not paid attention to in the past.
I am a food addict and obsessed with my addiction’s impact on my weight. I have a morning ritual of looking at my body in the mirror with scrutiny and critical review. I focus on my stomach and I can tell what I will weigh. If there is the slightest change I will be able to tell the impact on the scale. That is my goal with this ritual; to see if what I ate the day(s) before will impact how I look and what I will weigh.
Then, one day I saw something different. I would not say it was “new” because it could have been there for quite some time, but this time I stopped to appreciate to see what my body was showing me. I saw muscles along side my waste. I saw muscles in my thighs and on my arms. These were not the kind of muscles one would see from a “body builder” but they were visible muscles, nonetheless. I saw these muscles and I knew what they meant. They were from the exercise that I committed to do on a regular basis. They were from having an active lifestyle and choosing to move more, whether it was taking a parking spot further away from my destination or taking the stairs instead of an elevator.
This time I really gave pause to appreciate that I actually had muscles and I could see them. I reflected on what those muscles meant to me and the freedom they gave me. I could work in my garden for the day; much longer than the fifteen minutes that I could only tolerate before. Even the simplest things for most used to be a struggle for me such as cutting vegetables or whisking a sauce. I avoided buying fresh beets or squash because I knew it would be a challenge to slice them. The worst was Halloween and having to carve pumpkins!
I remember having to cut vegetables when I had become stronger. I did not think of my newfound strength when I went to cut them and was in awe how easy it was. At first, I thought, “why did I use to hate this?”, and then I realized I had become stronger.
I still have my ritual because it’s who I am. There are some things I have worked on and continue to work on in my life, but we all must “pick our battles” and that’s not one of them. That said, I now appreciate what my body is showing me in my ritual and smile when I think of all the things I can enjoy by staying healthy and by continuing to move. I hope that you will include some kind of physical activity in your life. Wishing you happiness with your newfound freedom!!
I heard it once said the English were not as demonstrative as other cultures. At the time I wondered if it was the result of the great plagues that were endured there and great loss of life.
I was reminded of that thought with what we are experiencing today with the COVID-19 pandemic and what will change for us in the future.
I thought of how life has changed in my lifetime following pivotal events and tragedies. My first memory of one such event was the Tylenol scare. The Chicago Tylenol scare were a series of deaths resulting from package tampering and replacing product with poison. Following this event was a sweeping change of how seals were incorporated into product packaging. To the post Tylenol population, it’s a non-issue. However, there is a little memory that resurfaces when I open my bottle of ibuprofen that now has a cover, a seal, and the familiar cotton ball. There are many brands and products that were unaffected by the tampering, yet precautions were put in place to relieve worry and worse case scenarios.
The most significant event and tragedy in my life, as with many my age, was 9/11 when four commercial airliners were hijacked and crashed purposely in an act of terrorism. A short month later the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was established forever changing the way we would travel across the globe. No longer would you be able to walk to a gate to send off or greet your returning travelers. A flight now requires extra time to check in and make your way through the long lines of security checks. This year we will now need a special identification license or passport with which to travel. It’s the “new normal” as they say.
The “new normal” is being said quite often these days as the result of precautions to stay safe from the COVID-19 pandemic. The new normal is one of many phrases we have added to the popular lexicon as with the phrases “non-essential”, “social distancing”, and “flattening the curve”.
So, what happens next? What will change for this generation either briefly or permanently? Will we no longer greet people with handshakes? Or will the loss of social contact cause us to embrace even stronger and longer? Will we reach for a face mask at the very onset of a sniffle; or “fight it off” because any common head cold will be “child’s play” compared to what we lived through?
As I sit here in semi-confinement, wearing my mask outside as I make basic errands and wondering if the person next to me without a mask is giving me germs, I want to break free from all of it. I want to go outside as if the world was just scrubbed clean and look into the eyes of every person I see with gratitude and kindness. I have missed people, people I know—and those I have yet to know. I have never been demonstrative (it must be from my English roots), but I would like to welcome embraces and have mine be welcomed back.
I don’t know what the “new normal” will be, but I hope it is nice. God bless and stay safe!
The current COVID-19 pandemic has crystallized the message of “The Power of One”. I am awestruck that the world focus is the result of one action by one person. The globalization of the world has created the condition for widespread permeation from a single source.
This current power of one has been tragic with insurmountable loss and anguish. Profound grief that I have never experienced before. It is unlike past tragedies such as 9/11 and others in that they were single events with response, recovery, and a grieving process. This pandemic has been ongoing and fluid. We hope for an end, but we are dependent upon each individual for the cure. As Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, stated, “the virus isn’t moving, people are moving the virus”. The power of one is perpetuating our condition.
While the power of one has caused pain, the power of one can also cause promise. With the power of one we may achieve greatness and good. If people can “move a virus” they can also “move a kindness”. Think of those great heroes of the world who have made a difference. I think of Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, and so many others.
One does not have to have the intention to make positive change on the entire world. Start with the power of one. It is a blessing to have lived a life that made an impact on even one individual in the world. I have been blessed by being the benefactor of much kindness in my life by mentors, role models, and influencers. Be that one person who “moves a kindness” and makes a difference.
Who has shown you kindness in the world? Who has been your “power of one” in your life and your community? Let them know and honor them by being a power of one.
Now more than ever I need to focus on my health. It’s not easy for someone who is a “stress eater” and likes to self-medicate and pamper myself with unhealthy food and binging. It’s usually times like these that I give up and it’s a “free for all” in terms of eating.
I have some challenges and events that are testing me. Here is my rundown:
I have been working weekends to help our property company do an “abandoned inventory sale” due to a retail tenant that decided to give up on their business and walk away. This left our company with a broken contract and several months of lost rent.
While working I received a call that my brother-in-law suddenly and unexpectedly passed. He was to celebrate turning sixty in just a couple of months. It has been completely devastating to my entire family. We cannot even grieve “normally” and with others during the restrictions surrounding the pandemic.
My job as operations director for the property company also includes a restaurant. The restaurant is struggling with only doing take-out and I had to take myself off getting a paycheck. I have filed for unemployment.
I am also caring for my elderly parents. My mother who is 82, has dementia. My father who is 87 and caring for my mother has proclaimed he is ready to die. Seeing his wife deteriorate and having to listen to her childlike repetitive dialog has left him weary and depressed. It is heartbreaking to watch a woman who was brilliant walk into a room with a cup a detergent ready to consume, and a man who could run circles around men half his age decide he is done living.
So, yes, I’m a little stressed. I keep reading Facebook posts of people taking walks in their neighborhood and having lovely conversations from across yards. They are reporting how they are making the most of the situation. The was another post from a woman who showed her large box of toilet paper stock with her son perched on top with the message “make me an offer”. It was meant to make light of the situation but it is difficult to laugh when you see posts of the elderly standing before empty shelves.
They say to “meet people where they are” and I get that. We are all experiencing this emergency coming from different places. Some panic, some use humor, some try to look at every situation with a positive spin. I am trying to catch up with that spin. More importantly, I am trying to stay physically healthy so my body can stay strong for the emotional impact. My mind is currently in the state of being “unwell”.
To keep my health, I made sure I had my go-to items such as protein bars, dried fruit, and yogurt. I have lots of water and I continue to take one tablespoon of Fire Cider every day as well as a vitamin. The gyms are closed so I pulled out my Jane Fonda workout video from the 1980s. It still is a great full body workout with cardio. I started journaling, catching up on my reading and my dining room is filled with craft projects. There is so many things I can’t control so I will focus on those I can. It starts with taking care of me physically and mentally.
My sincere well wishes to everyone around the globe to make it through this emergency. However you may be impacted, please do the best you can to make it through to enjoy the glorious celebration yet to come when it has passed. God Bless.
I have read countless self-help books. The one thing that I noticed is their message(s) are repeated throughout their writings. In one book the author actually lets you know that he will repeat his messages. As he explains, it’s to reinforce the importance of the message as well as help you remember.
I’ve listened to influencers who do this as well. One influencer responded to someone telling him he repeats himself by saying, “I only speak about what I know. I only speak about what is true. I’m not going to talk about things I don’t have knowledge on.” I believe this response to be refreshing and brilliant.
I had worried that after blogging for a year I might sound repetitive. However, I am only telling you my truth – what I’ve done – what I think. I do not want to give guidance that I have not tried myself or do not believe in for the sake of filling a page and gaining an audience.
I have read so many inspiring books and their messages do overlap. I appreciate these messages because it reinforces to me their effectiveness and my hope is that they will always be in the forefront of my mind. I am always in search of those who inspire. Sometimes, I’ll hear just one new word that clicks and have everything make sense.
It’s hard to listen to words of wisdom and let it really sink in and resonate. It’s even harder to start with negative thoughts, recognize them and pivot to more positive thoughts. Furthermore, it takes work for the mind to pull up that wisdom and let it influence your actions.
This is where the read repeat comes in. Training your brain to remember to pivot to positive as immediate as possible, have it become rote, if you will.
You can find inspiration everywhere, in music, in social media sites, and being around like-minded people. Below are some of my favorite influencers that I have learned from throughout the years. Look them up to get more information. Please feel free to share yours. I love new sources that either give me new insight or reinforce what I know.
Dr. Wayne Dyer was my first source of inspiration. When I was 18, I read “The Erroneous Zones”. The late Dr. Dyer has many wonderful books of which I have read and been inspired.
Gabrielle Bernstein. I’m reading the “Super Attractor”, and just finished her 21-Day Manifest Challenge.
Natasha Hazlett. I’m doing the “Unstoppable Influence” challenge and she is the author of the book with the same name.
Gary Vanyerchuk. Has authored books but I follow him on Instagram. Love him!
Mel Robbins. “5 Second Rule” . Just starting this book and already learning.
Katy O’Neil Shea. Daily Facebook post “Soul Shine 365”. Love this daily read!
Did you notice the double entendre in the title? This is deliberate in that I want to encourage you to try working on a creative project over grabbing something to eat. In addition, I am hoping with a creative distraction it will keep you from “overeating”.
Truth is my mind is in constant thoughts about food, but I love the creative process so much it’s probably one of the few times I’m not thinking about it. I have learned that when I’m working on a creative project I get lost in the project and forget about eating.
As I mentioned in previous blogs it’s not the food itself, it’s many things. One of those is the presentation of food. I tend to really appreciate something made well and plated beautifully. I guess you could say I like to “eat art”. In art I love color, textures, designs, the emotion, the message, the memory evoked, depth, sometimes aroma and scent – I like to take it all in. With food I’ve realized I respond similarly.
Over the holidays I found myself ramping up on the creative projects, not just decorating the tree but creating flower arrangements, ornaments, etc. It was an uplifting season and rolling into the new year I vowed to keep the creative momentum going.
You don’t have to “break the bank” working on projects, it can be as simple as penning a letter to someone using your most flowery cursive lettering. You could even rearrange furniture in a room. Anything that brings out that creative mindset and beautiful distraction.
I have been sharing my thoughts about my food issues for one year now. I appreciate all those who have followed along. It’s still a battle but I am still learning new things about myself and finding new sources of inspiration to stay the course.
I’ve decided to change up my blog somewhat and post shorter thoughts on my Facebook Page. The posts might not all be inspiring and at times frustrating. However, it will be my truth as someone obsessed with food and the day to day victories and struggles. You will never read that I’m giving up because I never will. Never.
It’s no secret that you need the proper tools to get the job done. This is true whether its construction, carpentry, or you’re an artist creating a painting or sculpture. It’s even true having the right software program to execute a project or a mechanic repairing a vehicle. Think about any profession and you will think about the vast number of tools that are required to perform the job.
Apply that same principle with being successful with eating healthy and dieting. Last week I was without my tool bag and not a single tool to be found. I had been laxed at going grocery shopping. On the positive side I was so focused on other projects and really didn’t think about my next meal. However, I also didn’t make time to go to the store. Consequently, I let the cupboard run bare… or I should say run bare of anything healthy. I was home sick and emotionally feeling that need to pamper myself as well.
I rummaged through the cupboard and found a jar of Cheeze Whiz. So… that’s what I ate. Yup, as my father would say, “that’s the worst thing you can eat”. It wasn’t pretty, actually pretty disgusting, and it sunk like a lead balloon in my belly. I could feel the calories just ooze through my veins. Yet, there I was slathering the Cheeze Whiz on yet another slice of bread.
It was almost immediately afterwards that I realized I didn’t have my tools. I didn’t take time to buy my healthy staples – my go to, easy “don’t have to think about” foods – my tools. I was too busy with projects and didn’t make time for balance. I can’t say I didn’t take time for me because the projects I was working on were fun. But as they often say you need to balance!
The other tools in my toolbox are the emotional and intellectual tools – the self-talk. I allowed myself to feel sorry for myself for being sick and didn’t find another mechanism to pamper myself. Lesson learned – stock up on the good stuff and remind myself every day of my strength and power! Affirmations and apples, baby – that’s how to roll!!