Sunday, January 11, 2009

Finding your inspiration

So. You've made a decision. Now how do you walk that out day by day to achieve your goal? How do you find inspiration to get there?

Before I changed my eating habits, several things happened. One was a slight push out of the darkness of denial.

My husband and I had tried to get life insurance for the both of us. We'd had a lot of red tape and issues due a move and change of doctors. It ended up that I was eight months pregnant by the time I was getting all the tests to obtain the insurance. I hadn't been weighed the whole time I was pregnant, I just told the midwife no. I knew I was fat and just gaining weight so why suffer and get on scale every week at the appointment? So back to the insurance clinic, I told the nurse that I just didn't want to know how much I weighed. She did something that I was NOT happy about at the time. She wrote the very high number in red marker on a blank sheet of paper and circled it. She put it right in front of me on the empty table. No more denial for me!

Then I had baby #6. I expected all of the aches and pains to go away after I had her. Well, they didn't. I'd never been at such a high weight and couldn't handle the knee pain, the constant tiredness and all the rest. I felt like I was 85 when I was days away from my 34th birthday. I couldn't look in the mirror, I didn't even recognize myself - forget about having my picture taken, I just couldn't face reality.

It surprises me now, but these negative experiences were not enough to change my habits.... or thinking.

Although I knew I had to do something, I didn't think that I could loose weight. I've tried and tried again. I just loose some and fall off the wagon and gain it all back. It's so difficult.

Then I had a surprise spark of inspiration. I was looking thorough the on-line library catalog trying to find books on a certain topic for my children. I came upon a new dieting book by a famous exercise guru that I loved years ago. I put a hold on the book, just to see what it was about.

As soon as I checked it out, I read through it, page after page. She gave all sorts of little tips and ideas. And, to tell you the truth, this is what got the ball rolling. I was encouraged by her words and began following her suggestions on eating. One thing that really stuck in my mind was getting away from sugar and balancing carbs with protein to keep the blood sugar spike from happening.

Another helpful find was a big stack of Weight Watcher's magazines my husband bought me. What fun it was to read those! I came away from many articles with new inspiration.

Then I found calorie counter plus on line, started a free account and began logging everything I ate, every day. I could easily find information on most any food.

I also went on line after the kids went to bed to read success stories - people who had done just what I wanted to do. They often added little things that they had done along the way to help them achieve their goals. I made note of them and if tried to add them to what I was already doing.

All of these positive, encouraging and informative avenues helped to give me the push I needed to get started. They were what I needed to just do the things I needed to.

I will leave you with one more thing. It's an article written by Pamela Spurling. I hope it encourages you to just do it, as it did me.

May 7, 2008 by Pamela.

The longer I live, the more I think that when people ask questions, they're not truly looking for answers. Not really. O, they may want results or they may want things to be different than they are — and they may ask questions regarding how to get there — but they don't really want answers. I guess, to be fair, I should say: we. We want good results — we want good conditions — but we don't really want to have to apply ourselves to the task or the answer to our question. We may think we do, but our actions betray us.

I'm thinking of lots of things today over which I've had conversations with mothers and friends, acquaintances and strangers. Sometimes I even think that what seem like questions or what seems like a desire for answers is really only a rhetorical question — maybe even a hypothetical question — so that if the answer given to that (hypothetical) question isn't an appealing answer, it can be dismissed as not applicable or impractical.

For example, I have had many women ask me, over the years, how to keep laundry done or how to tackle the problem of a mountain of laundry. In short I tell them: Just do it. If they're still with me, I tell them how to keep it done. Usually, women will tell me how my solution is impractical for their schedule/situation. You know… they'd be able to do it if they didn't have so many young ones, that they could do it if their laundry wasn't in the opposite end of the house, that they could do it if they had bigger/better/more machines. I tell them if they want to get their laundry done, and stay on top of it, they need to: Just do it. And after they do it one day, when they get up the next day, they need to: Just do it. And when they've done it two days in a row and have stayed on top of it, on the third day they need to: Just do it.

Now if the woman is still with me, then I tell her some keys to doing it and keeping it done — because, the longer I live, another thing I've learned is that people are looking for the secret. We all want to know that. I mean, consider the billion dollar diet industry… the billion+ dollar cosmetics industry… the billion+ dollar movie industry… the billion+ dollar romance novel industry. Everyone wants to know how to be thin, how to look beautiful and how to live a romantic life — but the truth is, no one wants to really do all it takes to be, do and have all that.

So back to the laundry — I guess I should say: there's a no excuse laundry solution; it is this: Just do it. Every day. If it's your first day of the plan, it starts like this. Get up… do your stuff and in that doing, start a load of laundry. After breakfast, switch the load from the washer to the dryer and start another load. Do more of your stuff. An hour later, *FOLD* the clothes right out of the dryer *AT* the dryer (not the sofa - the sofa is the great abyss and the bane of a mother's existence). When the clothes are folded into stacks according to their destinations, switch the load and start another one. GO put the clothes AWAY — or send a *reliable* helper to *do it* or to do it with you. Go do more stuff. An hour later, go back and… yes… sort of like lather, rinse, repeat — till it's done. For you it might be all done. For another woman, it might take another load or two. If you have older children who are capable of the task, then teach them to *do it* just like that. It's a good plan. It works if you work it.

So… the secret (since everyone is really looking for the secret)? The secret is to just do it… everyday… do it every day. One load, two loads or seven loads. Everyday, just do it — AT the machine and *put it all away* every day. You may then have a day where you just *don't* do laundry. It may be Sunday and Wednesday or whatever. That is a decision you can make and stick to… bcz you know you're *going to* do it the next day. That's not poor planning or poor performance, that's prior planning — that's time management — that's wisdom at work. But it's sort of like credit card use… if you don't regularly pay it all according to plan, then that's not a safe plan for you — time and actions speak louder and show more than words and intentions. Think of good housekeeping as good credit - you want high scores in both areas.

Well, at the outset I typed: No answers; just get me results, please. Well… I gave a TNT (tried `n true) answer… I know it's TNT bcz I do it and have done it and I don't have a laundry pile and a laundry mess (note: I didn't say I don't have a pile of laundry or that I don't have messy laundry — for I do have both — every day). A long time ago I wanted answers to this dilemma *and* I *needed* results… and when I was willing to apply the solution to the dilemma, I *got* results. And I get them every day. Good results in one area of homemaking quite literally leads to good results in other areas as well.

Last night… as I snuggled into my warm bed, I heard the lulling hum of the girls working away. One girl in the kitchen and two more in the laundry area. One was doing the dishes and one was washing clothes and one was drying them — all humming away like a well oiled machine (quite literally), I drifted off to sleep — telling my husband as I do many nights: thank you for those great girls, I so appreciate the blessing they are. When I woke up this morning, I was mindful that they had done a nice job… It's very easy to have the day already smoothly underway if you: have a plan that works and *work* the plan that works. Whatever your plan is - plan your work and work your plan.

As the morning chores routine was underway, I reminded the children that the "girls" had been busy once again while they were sleeping and had left them partially completed work to carry on. Our plan was already underway… we all just needed to keep working the plan. If we really and truly want solutions to our problems, we will be glad to find and apply answers .

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