Several of you noticed (and remarked) that I sort of skated past any explanation of my recent decision.  I wasn’t being mysterious or even trying to tease you, I just knew that it would take a lot more words than I can jam in to one post.  Also, I have it straight in my head, but that doesn’t mean I can explain it clearly in words.

              The house is littered with “diet” and “no more” diet books right now (and several more are on the library request list).  Apparently I have been somewhat obsessing over this topic*.  Ya think?!  Well, as it turns out, I’m learning from them all, and it’s a slow process.  Reasearch takes time!  And materials!

*Says that guy I’m married to and his overly damn smart kids.

              Here’s a passage that helped me come to one of my conclusions.  From Dr Judith Beck:

“It’s normal to feel overwhelmed or discouraged at times.  It’s natural to have doubts about whether you can keep doing what you know you have to do, but it’s not okay to let these thoughts overwhelm you.  When  you have discouraging thoughts, you have a choice.  You can allow them to erode your motivation, give up, and abandon your goal.  Or you can vigorously respond to these sabotaging thoughts, feel better, become more motivated, and continue to work toward your goal.”

            Good, right?  “…vigorously respond…”  Terrific way to come at this from a positive angle, don’t you think?  Yeah, me too.  And beautifully simple.  Very down-to-earth and reasonable.  She is like this throughout the entire book, and I like that lot.  Sadly, she isn’t sitting right next to me, and as Dan says, swatting the cookie from my hand.

            From the previous chapter, where we are giving ourselves a helpful response to sabotaging thoughts:

“I have a choice: I can struggle with what I have to do and feel bad, or I can accept that this is the way it is.  It doesn’t mean that I like it.  There are many things I don’t like in life.  I don’t particularly like paying bills.  I definitely don’t like getting up so early for work.  I don’t like straightening up the house.  But I accept them.  I don’t struggle with these tasks, so they don’t cause me much discomfort.”

           Now, here’s where we part ways.  I disagree that we should all just accept the way it is.  I think if we enlist some of those Extraordinary Life affirmations to help us see the blessings in things like services provided by those bills we all pay, and gratitude that we HAVE a fucking house to straighten up, then we are one step ahead in the Happiness Department.

              It also comes down to my recent decision.  I am willing to deflect, distract, accept (but only briefly and for a limited amount to time), and acknowledge the unfairness in life.  I accept that I am displeased and uncomfortable in my body.  AND I am wiling to do something about it.  However, I am NOT going to say that I can live this way forever.  I’ve set some not-outlandish goals, attainable hopefully, that I am going to aim for in the next month.  After that, I’ll reassess.  I’ll monitor my progress, as I have been, and see where I land.

              I will also be employing the Beck suggestions and working on reframing those sabotaging thoughts, bringing into the equation what we’ve learned from Cheryl and Louise.  Side note here, I also plan on finishing BOTH books and sharing so we can ALL learn a wee bit more in these areas.

              For now though, I have to go get Dan and Max up from their nap so we can head over the hill and toss some meat, plus not-meat, on the grill with my parents.  (In the next few posts I’ll also be telling you WHAT I’m eating right now, and what I’m not.  Because I know you guys actually care.)


             Here’s what I woke up to this afternoon.  A parade of my flamingos all lined up along the front porch deck.  There had been some yard maintenance happening.  Early.

To blame

             Oh, did I not mention that Max stayed over last night?  His girl had a late-ish event and an early morning work shift, plus there are moving-house events going on at their place right now so she delivered us a guest.  He usually sleeps super well (remember, he was trained by his Nana) but for some reason he was up before noon today.  I slept through this.  Daniel did not. Hence the pre-dinner nap.

            On our card altar is another Animal helper from the Land Category, but since we just did that one recently, I’ll skip it this time.  Feel free to scroll back if you feel it necessary, it’s only a few days or so.

“Lion  ~

Banish loneliness by reaching out to special friends.

Tawny monarch of the Savannah, Lion does not waste her days in needless physical exertion, but conserves energy by sleeping, resting, and companionably lounging.  Working long, exhausting hours for the money to purchase prestige goods leaves little time for the pleasures of friendship. 

Loneliness is spirit-diminishing – designer clothes make poor companions.  Lion has padded into your cards to remind you how vital friends and neighbors really are.  Reach out to those around you and be open to others.”

           Yes, that IS a male in the illustration and yet the definition says “she” – I noticed that as well.  I’m choosing to ignore it though.

            As much as I think of my crabby shellfish self elf as being anti-social, I do like visiting with friends and family from time to time.   It’s the balance of that solitude and togetherness which is key. 

          Lastly, the mention here of working for the mere fact of having name brand shit escapes me, just as that paragraph above about having to get up too early for work.  This is a concept that I have never understood.  When we visualize our perfect lives we need to keep those factors in mind.  To do what we love for money is a gift in itself.  But it’s also something available to all of us.  Reach for that too, as you reach for your well-balanced relationships.

Today’s Deck:

Animal Messages – Seek Inspiration From Your Animal Guides by Susie Green

Daily Movement:

5 mile bike ride was sweaty.  Very sweaty.  But not horrible.


15 thoughts on “Internal and External Villages.

  1. you are doing a much better job of wading through the Beck book and pulling out the good stuff than I am. I keep getting hung up on getting angry about her glorification of thin-ness. But I haven’t looked at it in a couple of weeks, so I shouldn’t even say anything. As much as I complain about it, her ideas (the good stuff) more than anything have helped me change my attitudes about food recently.

    and ditto about the name-brand consciousness. MadMax has just recently become aware of brand names and I have no patience with it. I bought him a logo sweatshirt last week because it was on sale and actually cheaper than the regular ones, but normally, NO.

    It was gorgeous here today, our first really warm day of the year. Hope that’s why your bike ride was sweaty. 🙂

    I finished it. Under-whelming, but still not bad. Never noticed that she was so pro-thin, but then I don’t always catch that type of thing. I’ll “review” it in another day or so.

    Yes, it’s been really nice here too.

    9:13 p.m.

  2. I would also note that we (us humans,that is) are amazingly adaptable creatures, and some of us intentionally try the grow and change route. That “something” (workout program, exercise routine, hobby, vocation, avocation, self-help program, etc.) has worked for a time and then “doesn’t work anymore” is just our adaptability, and we have to (gulp) outsmart ourselves and change things up occasionally. Good on you for not letting yourself get stuck.

    Gonna head off to get paid to do a job I love now…

    I do so love adaptable,
    rather than change! Gives a more positive feel. Thank you.

    9:18 p.m.

  3. I’ve spoken before about not liking new/different stuff, but things do change; if we don’t adapt we run the risk of getting old,stale and crabby.I may not be as comfortable adapting as some but I do see it’s vital, so hats off to you Julie for inspiring me with your courage to face the changes that need to be faced!

    Oh thanks so much Lizzie!!!

    (Hell, if *I* can change adapt….)

    9:20 p.m.

  4. I like the part about reaching out to special friends, because I do become lonely a lot. I want to make some of my casual friends (including Betties) into more than casual friends. And I need to connect more with the ones who are already special. (Like write a long email to Julie.)

    My stuckness is made up of so many things, but mostly fear. Fear that I cannot do what I used to be able to do, or as well as I once did it. Fear that I’ll run out of money. Lots of things like that. And the beliefs and self-talk that encourage those fears. So my reading material is all about how to change the beliefs and self-talk and be more rational and encourage myself in positive ways. There’s more to it than that, but there’s no point in going into too many details.

    We work on what we can work on when we can work on it. 😉

    9:29 p.m.

  5. Unfortunately for me, my lack of success at changing my eating habits is based not on lack of knowledge on the subject, but on a deep and profound love of chocolate. I’m working on it. 🙂

    I understand. Boy, do I understand!

    9:32 p.m.

  6. Re: the name-brand reference, this is a very strong peer issue among middle/high school kids, part of wanting to belong/being part of the herd/not being an outsider. From there some folks grow up and self-identify with “things” to prove worthiness, having the best/most expensive/newest/exclusive to reflect themselves as being the same. Even an extreme introvert as myself felt the need to “belong” during the school years, and I witnessed my own daughter’s hunger for label goods, especially during her middle school years when she felt like an outsider. I’ve gotten past that a long time ago, and her desires tapered off as she grew older and comfortable with herself.

    Welcome Kim! And yes, great point. When our maturity stalls out as we grow up, sometimes those old misguided “must belong” thoughts do stick around. The goal is to teach our children that being an individual is FAR more important! 🙂

    9:37 p.m.

  7. To take your thoughts a little further – you are willing to do what you need to do on a temporary basis. I understand that and it’s something that bothers me about all modern diet literature. You have to change your life, your lifestyle or you can’t maintain any weight you lose. Worrying about maintaining weight loss before you’ve lost it, is putting the cart before the horse, imho. It’s also living in the future and the point of power is never in the future. It’s right now. To live in the moment I don’t need to worry about the rest of my life. (Of course, this doesn’t work with everything. I can’t live in the moment and spend the rent money I need next week.)
    But the whole thing would be less overwhelming if I knew it was temporary, I think.

    I always hated that idea of change FOREVER too. And even though a few things are going to last, I don’t believe it’s reasonable for the majority of us to just STOP being who we are in regards to food. We can learn to make better choices, sure. But as my son pointed out, I will never NOT crave frosting. It’s like heroin to me, and that addiction doesn’t fade. Ever ever ever……

    9:46 p.m.

  8. My goodness, a bunch of wise folk like to comment here. I can’t seem to get through even one short day. Today I ate sugar free candy and then no sugar added ice cream, which gave me horrible, horrible gas and liquefied the contents of my stomach. Three hours of pain and now I’m better – so what am I thinking about? what I can eat now. I never learn!!! But I am amusing.

    How do you feel about sorbet? (The GOOD clean kind?!)

    And no, it’s not that you never learn at all. It’s part of our make-up, it’s part of who we are and how we focus on things that are within our control. Sure, mine is an obsession, but probably yours isn’t.

    Oh, you are VERY amusing! (And talented too, don’t leave that out.)
    9:49 p.m.

    1. If you’re going to indulge…small quantities of high quality stuff. If you eat really good, high fat content ice cream, the absorbption of the sugar is delayed by the fat, and a small amount is really not a bad option. The fake stuff they put in the sugarfreenonfat garbage is harmful. Same thing with butter vs. margarine. Eat the good stuff, just not a lot of it.

      I totally agree!

      (But I didn’t know those science-y bits, so thanks.)

      10:44 p.m.

      1. Excellent advice, xenatuba. Small amounts of the really good stuff. And I always eat butter. Margarine makes my skin get all patchy with dry spots.

        1. Margarine makes my skin get all patchy with dry spots.

          That’s because it’s made of petroleum products, and not really food. 😕

  9. Too cranky to be helpful. But you have lots of smart people before me. Pictures of Max and flamingos always good.

    No worries. 😉

    9:52 p.m.

  10. So glad you are making breakthroughs and adapting! You really do have the right to be proud of yourself for your determination. How long have you been doing daily movement, now? I know it’s been a long time, and you’ve done it come rain or even snow! That really is an accomplishment, Julie! You are doing great, and don’t you forget it!

    Ha ha… I spent a wonderful weekend adventuring, playing, taking in the beauty of nature, and talking about healing and spirituality with my Leo friend… Hi, Lion! 😉

    I started the walking when I got word of the pool closure…. August? And then added the bike pretty quickly after that. So, less than a year for sure. Thanks for the pep talk. 😀

    I’m so glad that you got to go adventuring with your OWN Lion!

    10:41 p.m.

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