Response Ability

I’ve been thinking about this since my first cup of coffee.

What does “responsible” mean? Some people might be using the word “responsible” for past mistakes. The word itself is loaded with multiple and misleading meanings. Not surprising as we often here as children, “Can’t you be more responsible? (aka mindful)” .  “Who is responsible for this mess (guilty)?” “You will be responsible for making sure this gets done in time. (in charge)”

If I messed up, then I use the word blame,  guilty, or mistake. If in charge of something, then I’m in charge.  If I didn’t plan well, then I wasn’t mindful or forward thinking.

I now use the term responsible like two words response + able.  I am able to respond to events in my life. It is how I respond to things that are out of my control that matters.  A football player may be tackled, but he can respond by diving forward to get an extra yard.

Shit happens that I didn’t cause.  Car wreck comes to mind. Irate students and parents. Other people’s feelings and experiences.  But I am only in charge of my feelings, my thoughts and my response. I choose my actions. Others choose theirs.

So with past mistakes, and I’ve made many, my response now is “What is my take away? What did I learn?  And do I have to apologize to anyone for it? And do I have a mess to clean up, debts to pay, or something else?”

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When shit happens that I didn’t see coming, I don’t waste time blaming or getting pissy.  I think “How can I respond in a way that is useful, helpful and effective? What lesson is there to be learned here?” Everything that happens, and has happened is to teach a lesson.  

I don’t dwell on the past.  What is done is done. My focus is what is now and where am I going.  What makes me happy and what doesn’t? And what do I need to respond to to insure that I’m more happy than not?

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I choose not to hang with people that are negative.  I choose to surround myself with people who seek the better way of living (men’s groups). I choose to do things that are good for me, and learning to avoid things that aren’t. (Sugar, carbs)

I read and listen to inspirational stuff daily, retraining my thoughts, learning to look on the positive side of every event.  And not assuming control of things that are none of my business. My business is my mind, my thoughts, my beliefs and my actions and reactions. Other people’s stuff? Not my business.  Out of my control, out of my circle of influence.

I can’t control what others think or do.  I try to be supportive. Mostly though, I’m learning to be the best me I can be.  And hope that others do the same.

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In alanon, they say “the best gift you can give your family is your own recovery”.  The happier I am, and the longer I can maintain that level of happiness, makes it easier for loved ones that might on occasion worry about me.

 

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Laugh ’til you cry.

Do you like football? Especially high school and college football?   A home run by the underdog team? If so, then you have the type of personality that would love to be sitting in the Rose Center to watch a hysterical David and Goliath, sweet love story, complete with mystery, and happy ending and lots to talk about on the drive home otherwise known as “Adam’s Eve.”

What’s so special about live community theater? Besides a wonderful story, you see your neighbors and friends, or names you’ve seen before but didn’t yet befriend, risk being criticized, or even failure.  Just so you can enjoy a couple of hours and forget the day’s problems. And much like college football, you are not watching professionals. You are watching amateurs, digging deep in themselves to transform and present a character, knowing there exists the possibility of criticism, and maybe even failure.  

 

Actors know that living a full life, both on a personal and professional level involves risk.  It involves winning and losing. It means being on a team, with a higher purpose other than one’s own personal happiness.  It means contributing to the happiness of every person in the audience and every person involved in the show that is depending on each actor giving it all they got.

If you want entertainment, then come see the show.  You will love it. And if you want to see your neighbors giving their all,  then come see these brave people, who demonstrate courage, hard work and talent.  For whatever reason, please go see Adam’s Eve, starting this weekend at the Rose Center.

Read more about the play here.  http://www.theatreguildinc.org/adams-eve/

New Tradition Time

Image may contain: fruit and foodIs it time for a new Thanksgiving tradition?  I don’t mean food. I’m talking family activities, like watching football, shopping on Black Friday, board games games in the parlor. And what is a parlor anyway?  

Here’s one idea that will make the whole family laugh, and give them something to talk about. Take in a show put on by your local community theatre.  In this particular case, I’m suggesting The Theatre Guild’s “Adam’s Eve”.  No, it is not a rehash of the story of the first human beings and the first ever recorded lover’s quarrel, but a more updated version.

Without telling you too much, Adam, an avid sports enthusiast, opens his closet and is shocked to find a beautiful woman, claiming to be the second Eve, sent to tip the balance of the world to the good.  But can she convince Adam, his mother, aunt, and his goofy best friend Mark? Maybe, but the bigger challenge will be convincing Adam’s girlfriend Marla, and her co-worker, Dr. Griffin, both psychiatrists?

Like many of our favorite movies the family watches, Adam’s Eve will bring you lots of laughter but also inspire you.

If you need more convincing, the bottom line is this.  It will be good wholesome fun for everyone. And you know how difficult it is to find that these days.  In addition, you will support the arts and the creative endeavors of your friends. You might even want to try out some day. I promise, you won’t be disappointed,Guaranteed.

Show dates are November 16, 17, 18, 23, & 24 at Rose Center’s Prater Hall.  Consider becoming a sponsor too. For details, visit http://www.theatreguildinc.org/.

 

Reaching out for support

march 2011While I’m making progress, I suspect there are others out there that are looking for support too.  Not finding one easily, I posted this on Facebook, and the feedback has been very positive, with at least a dozen folks interested.  I’ll have to wait until this play I’m in is over but looking forward to creating this support group. Fourteen people have responded with interest in just a couple of days.

From Facebook:  Not optimistic that I’ll find what I’m looking for and might have to form a group. I’m looking for a place that offers support for healthy eating and inspires fitness, something of a 12 step approach but also welcomes ideas about changing habits, mindfulness, and addressing the emotional foundation to unhealthy and self destructive lifestyle.

This group would provide support, non-judgement, anonymity, compassion, and inspiration.

Also, if you can suggest a venue, such as a church or meeting place open to use in the evening, maybe one day a week.

(Pictures are from the internet. The guy is not me. I’m overweight but much better looking.)

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Better Health as a Goal

I’m the last person in the world to tell you how to get healthy. It has been the one area of my life where I have been least successful (so far). But all of us have experiences and knowledge about success in some areas.

Charles Duhigh wrote a great book called the Power of Habit.
I listened to it a couple of years ago and considered it one of the more transformational books I know of. In his story, he lost weight not by depriving himself, but by substituting one positive behavior for another, by giving himself a reward when he did something noteworthy, until the habit was solidified. Here is a short explanation of the book but if it resonates, there are TED talks out there too. Duhigg is well documented. What have you read or heard that motivated you. One more.
Lately, I’m trying to be mindful of my emotions and using them to move forward. Lately fear is up there. I’m in a play and don’t want to humiliate myself, or let the staff down by not knowing my lines. But a fear years ago when I lost weight, it was after listening to a tape by Brian Tracy. He is a very successful entrepreneur, and has inspired others to become successful themselves. He has a 12 step process of goal setting. The most important to me, after writing down all the benefits of achieving the goal, is to VISUALIZE having achieved that goal, and feeling how great it is. He, and many others, say that it is the emotion that truly is the fuel in the engine of positive change.
I’ve got to get on with the day but I plan to start compiling a list of benefits to better health. I wonder how long a list we can come up with. Everyone’s list will probably be different but I suspect there will be some shared items, such as confidence in appearance, longer life, higher quality life, longevity, sense of achievement, energy level, reduction of aches and pains, and oh year…that annual trip to the beach, where you have to wear a swimsuit, and often go shirtless? I dread that part. I admit. I am embarrassed.
What’s on your list?

WWJD

Not what you would think. I have a brother, who will remain nameless here but his first name starts with J, thus, WWJD. The guy is a veritable wealth of information. As he should be. He enjoys retirement and now hoping to supplement his pension with book sales, and wood shop creations. He has lost about 20 lbs and still going strong. He is within 10 lbs of his goal weight.

The picture below is just someone off the internet. It can be done.

You are stronger than you know.

From my brother.  “Here are a few of the people I have been listening to just in case you’re interested or want to get a better understanding of what I’m doing.  All too often with YouTube, the information is good but the goofballs delivering it are virtually intolerable. I found these people to be informative, easy to watch, understand and tolerate.  Anytime I had a question regarding anything about insulin, intermittent dieting, fasting, apophagy, what foods to eat, etc., I would usually look to one of these experts. I know it’s a lot, so save this email to use as a reference when you have the time.

Twelve Signs You’re Eating Too Much Sugar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A01SVcqQOC4
How to quit Sugar & Unhealthy Habits https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olEMIohTgzQ

How Carbs Make You Fat https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4QY9yU6Inc

How Carbs Turn to Fat: Weight Loss Secret- Thomas DeLauer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-5Y9om1Nfw

Coming Soon

Random thoughts but no time to put it down yet.

1. Using character strengths according to survey at Authentic Happiness.com
2. Understanding how using a fixed mind set to hinder and a growth mindset to help.
3. Brene Brown on shame and weight loss. I might have to just interpret what I know about that one.
4. Generating enthusiasm through visualization.
5. Using your higher power to garner strength, if you believe in that stuff (I do).
6. Forget about blondes; fit people have more fun.
7. More on the skill of changing habits according to Duhigg.
Would you like to write something? I can add you as a contributor.

Finding Inspiration

If they can do it, so can I.
My belief in the sentiments of “Seek and ye shall find.” and all the other law of attraction and verbiage about “manifesting your own destiny” continues to be affirmed, day after day. I’m open to, and looking for inspiration, but not going out of my way to find it. But it finds me. The other day, a new friend revealed to me that she lost 70 lbs in the last year. Holy Moly!. And then yesterday, a friend from 46 years ago revealed nonchalantly the loss of 50 lbs in the last 9 months. Wow to them and others.
The how-to of weight loss has been well documented. Find something you are comfortable with and feels right. For some, weight watchers, for others, low carb, for others, Ketogenic.
The real battle is in the mind, and maybe the heart, and the soul. My friend was kind enough to share their thoughts in a long text message and there were three statements that jumped out. They said:
  • I gained all the weight when I was unhappy.
  • I want my body to feel authentic to me.
  • I have reclaimed my life and my body.
“I gained all the weight when I was unhappy.” I was a fairly unhappy kid, and we ate lots of sugar and carbs. Sometime in elementary school, the TV became my friend, second only to a large bowl of ice cream. I packed on the lbs, and those closest to me were either unaware or too absorbed by their own pain to bother. Dad drank. Mom was depressed, and tried to fill the empty feeling with food. Siblings were trying to find their own happiness.
In high school, I decided to lose weight, and did. And damn, life got more fun. Dances, ice skating, roller skating, biking, swimming, scuba diving, jogging, racquetball, skiing and more. I had more confidence, and when bored, I could always “do” something, usually outside to bring me around. On the occasions that I took off my shirt, I wasn’t embarrassed. It felt good to be strong.
Must have been about 18. Plenty of energy for just about anything.
And then (dum, dum, dum, dum), adulting. Stressful job. Unhappy marriage. Gradually put the weight on. There were ups and downs of course, a few years here or there where I rallied and made some progress. Later in my single days, stress of parenting, and my career, I packed it back on. At my peak, I was over 240. Yikes. Even now at 215, I don’t like what I see. I don’t like feeling like this.
Almost hiding my double chin.
I’ve gotten pretty happy over the last ten years. Finally learned how to teach in such a way that it was mostly fun. Found a wonderful partner. Retired and pursuing other hobbies and interests. And now, I am ready to reclaim my life, make it possible to do all the things I can do, including keeping up with my very active partner.
I’m taking back my body, to serve me and enable me to pack as much life in the next 20 years as possible. I have grandkids to watch and help grow, a partner with a eye for excitement and adventure, hiking trails to hike, hills to climb, bikes (both bicycles and motorcycles) that need riding, and who knows? Maybe even a horse to be ridden.
So I ask you.
1. Are you happy?
2. Are you comfortable in your body?
3. What’s on your list to do before you give up the ghost and start counting worms?

Mindset: Fixed or Growth as it relates to healthy eating.

The battle is not in the kitchen, the fast food restaurant or even a fork. It is in the mind.

It occurred to me that the same beliefs that hinders people ability to learn is the same that hinders success in health and weight loss. If you haven’t heard of growth mindset by Carol Dweck, it is transformative to learning. It is not lack of brain power, it is the mindset that enables some to learn, and others not.
I’m guilty for sure. My faulty habit of thinking says I can’t do this. it is too difficult. What’s the point? Other people feed me incorrectly. And finally, even if I succeed, after all the effort, I’ll just gain back the weight I lost. And even worse, even if I get healthy, it won’t matter, I’ll still be unhappy.
It ties into the Brene Brown theme of shame. I’m not strong enough, and ultimately good enough to succeed. And if I do, I’m still the same unworthy person I was before, and no one will love me.
Maybe getting healthy has more to do with loving oneself, and expectation of being loved, if in fact that is the strongest motivator. That’s a blog for another day.
By applying, and I admit, near reprogramming of our brain and self talk, a growth mindset as it relates to healthy eating sounds like this.
  • I can acquire the knowledge and skills needed to do this.
  • I like to try new foods and learn how to prepare new dishes.
  • I like a challenge, and over time can succeed.
  • If I mess up, back slide or slip, I can restart the next day.
  • We are allowed to make mistakes.
  • Feedback, e.g., the scale, clothes fitting looser or tighter, is just feedback and can guide me to continue on the path of success or tell me I need to do something different.
  • There are others out there who have succeeded and will cheer me on and help me.

I am going to think more, and encourage you to think more about what limiting beliefs get in the way, and what statements and truths I (and maybe you) need to remind myself.

Fed up.

Feeling pretty done with politics and the feds in general for now. White male privilege, misogyny, manipulating the timing of SCOTUS confirmations, , by either delaying one confirmation, and accelerating another, the hypocrisy of the religious right, the values voters, the swamp of “highly qualified” people, and a narcissistic, pathological lying president, too far gone mentally or psychologically to think or care about anyone other than himself.

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This is the world we created when we fund education as little more than daycare, taxation that makes the rich richer, healthcare for those that can afford it, victim shaming, rule by intimidation, and all the while, much of the government hiding the fact that they have supported the spiraling down of what could have been great.

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It is no wonder that many of us operate with a fear based, us versus them mentality when we have more resources at our disposal than ever, if not for the hoarding by the rich.

Sooner or later, the legislators will have to answer about the lies, greed, backroom deals, unfettered corporate donations, and ties to hostile governments.

Yes, I will vote, and do what I can to get others to vote for integrity, for love, compassion, transparency, with the next seven generations in mind. The clown show and the whole circus is temporary, one way or the other. I’d like to be around long enough to see and help make it happen.

And if you need a little picker upper like I do, what this.

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