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SLIMPLIFY's Photo SLIMPLIFY Posts: 67
3/13/08 10:09 P

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Hi all!

Everyone subscribed to this topic, please switch over to the new "WEEKLY" motivation discussion, same forum.

Clearly wednesdays and I were not getting along :o)

Winn
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3/7/08 1:50 A

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You are so right about the importance of exhaling! Yoga sure has taught me about working in sync with my breath and it has changed my practice. (Plus, it's a great way to mindfully settle into one's body if one has been floating a bit outside of it!)

Ari

"Our marriages are real; all that is at issue is whether a majority will recognise them in law. The next generation already does. We shall overcome."

Andrew Sullivan

"Life is short, the world is big, and we're lucky to witness as much as we can." -David Quammen

"All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the bonds of experience." Henry Miller
SLIMPLIFY's Photo SLIMPLIFY Posts: 67
3/6/08 10:00 P

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It's thursday...so maybe I should call this the WEEKLY Motivational Thought. I'll have to figure out how to fix that, in the meantime:

Today's topic:
tuning into your body!

So this week I went yoga a few times and today was the first day I added an extra 10 minutes to my walk home (getting off the bus one stop early. As the summer months approach, this will become more pleasant).

The most important thing I've learned is...

to exhale.

I think we have all heard how important exercise is, but it can feel lousy and not worth the effort. Well, it's not worth the effort. It's the effort that's the problem! It doesn't have to be a part of moving your body!!! I know this is going to sound hokey, but learning to breath fully makes exercise feel like a totally different animal.

The exhale is the "cleansing breath" and also the one that lengthens our spine. If you can relax into your exhale, a wonderful lightness begins to take over the very core of your body, lifting your weight naturally into a better state of balance.

Focus on the exhale as you exercise, opening the chest and letting everything flow out with the breath. Let the tension in you body release in every exhale, making you lighter.

I believe our bodies have a natural affinity to lightness after my exploration with breath this week. By tuning into this natural quality in our bodies, one that occurs all the time, I think we can start finding it in other ways, including our overall weight.

Or maybe even just the weight on our shoulders!!!

Have a relaxing weekend everyone and let's all discover what it is to really exhale.

p.s.
-even when you are exercising!

Edited by: SLIMPLIFY at: 3/6/2008 (22:05)
Winn
SLIMPLIFY's Photo SLIMPLIFY Posts: 67
2/28/08 12:58 A

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I've checked out a book from my local library: 1001 ways to relax. I haven't read one of them yet. HA, but wanted to pass on that tip; I think I'm going to just buy a copy.

Winn
DONNAKHA's Photo DONNAKHA Posts: 1,364
2/27/08 9:54 P

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I don't have to untangle at least one of my emotions tied to eating... it's the anxiety caused by stress.

When I feel stressed, I want to comfort myself with food. I am currently trying to resist this urge by going and doing something else that will relieve the stress. I might walk or stretch or read or take a hot shower or veg in front of the TV or a computer game. Anything but eat. I'm still working on this one. It's a deep reaction for me.

"I'm beginning to know myself. I don't exist. I'm the space between what I'd like to be and what others have made of me." -Fernando Pessoa



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SLIMPLIFY's Photo SLIMPLIFY Posts: 67
2/27/08 9:45 P

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Thanks for your wonderful post, Donna!

Also, don't worry about sharing new ideas you get from books; it's a natural part of learning to repeat and practice the ideas and it doesn't sound weird at all. In fact, we're going to be a little brainwashed no matter what just from commercials and society. We're constantly fed information that, when repeated enough, we just absorb and unknowingly accept; It's part of our natural mental shorthand so that we can function! So you might as well have some say in who exactly is washing your brain and with what!

So for this post, I want to first recommend the book I'm currently learning a lot from:
It Was Food vs. Me ... and I Won by Nancy Goodman

Her mantra is "SAFE: Seperate Always Food and Emotion". So what we want to address is the feelings that food has become linked with and start to (gently) untangle them. But it's okay, while things are still tangled, to be a little distant with foods that cause you to binge. But of course you can set up some goals for the life you're growing into that includes having a really great relationship with foods. For example, I plan to one day master a structured way to eat cookies, (and I'm making progress!), but today I'm more likely to binge than my ultimate goal. The cookies aren't harmful, it is the way I use them than can be and has been in the past. It's getting better though, and I'm working my way through it as part of my overall health and self-care practice and planning. I do want to point out that relationships towards foods go through stages and if you're more comfortable with limiting or sometimes removing foods which you have weird feelings about, that's really okay. You're not permantly branding the food as trouble! In fact, start the attitude adjustment from where you are today! You can say, "I have a problem with eating this food in a way I feel good about. I'm going to figure out what's going on so that soon I can change that relationship." AND THEN....be a total sweetheart to yourself! It's okay to take baby steps, but a big "DO" is to talk to your spark buddies, read a good book about developing new skills and attitudes towards your mind, body, spirit, and all that is edible :o), and get excited about every little step you take. It's not neccesary to walk around in a personal minefield to make progress! Focus on the steps themselves and make your environment "do-able" for where you are right now with food and emotions. I think it's good to test yourself and see where you are on occassion, but even that involves being forgiving and willing to watch yourself objectively.

We're really working on being OBJECTIVE. And amazingly, that includes being able to take into account our current biases and beliefs while we work towards change.

Have a great week, guys!!!! I'm so glad we're in this together!!!

Edited by: SLIMPLIFY at: 2/27/2008 (21:49)
Winn
DONNAKHA's Photo DONNAKHA Posts: 1,364
2/26/08 7:39 P

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Ari... good question!

I am currently taking the "Living Lean" challenge, which involves a lot of learning about changing thought processes about eating and making healthy choices not just during a weight loss program, but forever.

The program strongly emphasizes that food is generally neutral, but our choices about the relationship we have with it can definitely be harmful to us.

Eating anything is a choice. How much and when and why we choose to eat something is what adds the good or bad element for us. It's so true that whenever I have been really strict about my diet and refused to touch food I was craving... eventually I would binge. This was pretty frustrating and left me feeling hopeless. I think everyone here would agree that bingeing is harmful, but it's HOW I am eating, rather than WHAT I am eating during that binge that is the real issue.

A very interesting point in the program is that it is a mistake to deny our urges to eat. Instead, we are to learn to understand the emotional cause of the urges. I am being encouraged to "take responsibility by acknowledging that [ I ] have an urge to eat certain foods at certain times because [ I ] trained myself to eat these foods in these circumstances."

I hope I don't sound like a brainwashed idiot spewing doctrine. These ideas seemed annoying to me at first, but I am "giving it the old college try" and already have noticed a change in my attitude toward food. I can even embrace my desire to munch and redirect my response to that urge.

I used to want my snacks to comfort me. According to Living Lean I conditioned myself to make that connection. Now I am taking out the emotional power of snacking so that when I am tempted I acknowledge my need for emotional comfort. Somehow that has eventually translated for me into not feeling the hunger and being able to focus my desire on a healthy me instead. I lost the desire to snack at that moment because I wanted something more positive for myself instead.

OK... now I am afraid I just sound crazy. I'm just trying to underscore that food is not evil... and that we can find strength within us to break the emotional connections we feel toward food. It's work, but it's worth it.

Support on message boards like this one can be a big part of our success. Please... everyone and anyone chime in. We care that you are here.



"I'm beginning to know myself. I don't exist. I'm the space between what I'd like to be and what others have made of me." -Fernando Pessoa



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FIERCEBALANCE's Photo FIERCEBALANCE SparkPoints: (0)
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2/26/08 7:17 P

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I really enjoyed this interesting post! It was very thought provoking in terms of the lies we tell ourselves about why we are eating what we are eating. I also think the message about awareness and kindness and making sure that we are being gentle with ourselves (because somewhere, a part of us IS REALLY listening to that negative stuff and taking it in) was right on.

I wonder though--does food (in general) "harm" us? That seems like the analog to guns killing people, instead of people killing people. I guess some food is "bad" like food with transfats, but I shy away from labeling food "bad" or "good." I tend to think of my choices around food as wiser or less wise, but don't think of the actual food in a valued way.

I'm curious about what other people think....would love to see some dialogue.

Thanks for taking the time to write this and keep the list alive!



"Our marriages are real; all that is at issue is whether a majority will recognise them in law. The next generation already does. We shall overcome."

Andrew Sullivan

"Life is short, the world is big, and we're lucky to witness as much as we can." -David Quammen

"All growth is a leap in the dark, a spontaneous unpremeditated act without the bonds of experience." Henry Miller
SLIMPLIFY's Photo SLIMPLIFY Posts: 67
2/15/08 10:54 P

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Thanks, Donna!!

OKAY I'm back!! And let's pretend Wednesday is Friday and get going again!

So today's topic is:

one step forward, one look back.

I think I fell off the leader wagon because I'm not perfect and I was expecting myself to be. I've been making some progress with my eating habits and exercise, but there's times where I get myself back to the habits I want to move away from.

What I have to realize is that I've made progress even when I do something I'm smacking myself in the forehead for.

I'm reading two very good books and working through my food issues. I'm going to post more about them this weekend so you guys can check them out as well.

But for now I want to focus on one of the ideas from the books I'm reading: Food lies. These are the things we tell ourselves so we can be around the foods that we know harm us. I've read that some people are the type that can have one cookie and leave it be. Some people can't stop eating the whole package. I'm somewhere in the middle, but the important part is what I'm telling myself before and after the cookie crumbles.

Tonight it was three chocolate covered marshmallow type treats. My "food lie" was that I HAD to eat all three to compare the flavors. Somewhere in my life I appointed myself official Taste Judge and I'm realizing how bogus this particular justification is (it's not like I lift up score cards after I eat.) It's just one of those things I say to get the food in my mouth. I'm actually really glad I became aware of it recently, because I can finally see how silly it is!

I really was beating myself up over my self-proclaimed Marshmallow Festival (and wish it wasn't preceded by Lay's potato chips, for that matter) not because I want to villianize marshmallow confections, but because of the ways I talked myself into it. Meanwhile I'm trying to give you guys pep-talks on health? I felt like such a cad.

But the journey to health is a journey of awareness and of kindness. The most important thing to focus on when you talk yourself back into a harmful relationship with food is to hear what you're saying to yourself. I said something untrue before I ate my marshmallows...but I said something equally untrue after; that I failed or that I'm a fake or bad leader.

The habit I really want to break has nothing to do with marshmallows. It has to do with honesty and being kind to myself. The same negative voice was still going strong when I started to feel bad about myself.

The point is to turn it around and start saying kind, loving, and truthful things to yourself as soon as you can. Keep practicing! Even if starts with saying those things after a little slip, you're getting in the practice and that's what matters. Soon you will feel comfortable saying those things when you start thinking about eating something that's not on your plan or that you've had a destructive relationship with and would like to abstain from now.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, guys! I'm so glad I have you all and thanks for your patience while I adjust and grow into my role...especially realizing I don't have to be perfect to fill it!

Have a great weekend!

Edited by: SLIMPLIFY at: 2/15/2008 (23:00)
Winn
DONNAKHA's Photo DONNAKHA Posts: 1,364
2/15/08 8:55 P

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Winn... come back and help us. Your posts are awesome!

"I'm beginning to know myself. I don't exist. I'm the space between what I'd like to be and what others have made of me." -Fernando Pessoa



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SLIMPLIFY's Photo SLIMPLIFY Posts: 67
1/31/08 1:51 A

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Sorry all; I missed last week due to a nasty cold...and I'm going to post a little late due to...a horrible sinus infection from the cold. Now I'm on heavy duty antibiotics, and things are finally getting better.

Will be back soon!

Today's super fast Motivational Thought:

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH YOUR DOCTOR TO CHECK IF YOU NEED ANTIBIOTICS WHEN YOU CATCH A COLD!

and also, being sick is a wonderful time to meditate and listen to some inspiring podcasts!

take care, team!

Winn
SLIMPLIFY's Photo SLIMPLIFY Posts: 67
1/17/08 9:45 A

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Hi all!

I almost forgot to do my motivation! Ha! Slow start to this, I think. Anyway, let's make that the topic:

When You Forget To Do Your Plan:

It's important not to see a setback or a memory lapse as a "failure". It's more of a learning experience if you can take what happened objectively and start coming up with ideas for how to make it work in your favor next time. Try to keep your long-term vision in focus when thinking about a slip-up and what you'd like to see yourself do as a new habit.

So for example, I'm making a note on my calender to remind me to write this every Wednesday. Another nice thing about coming up with a plan in advance is that you have the freedom to try it and if you come up with something better, change your plan as well. So maybe the calender thing won't be all I need to remind me or maybe I will switch to something entirely different in a month. The important thing is that I can enjoy a more relaxed attitude NOW by 1) seeing my goof objectively and 2) doing a quick brainstorm and setting a creative solution into practice.

At step two, this is where we can help each other out as Sparkbuddies. I recommend coming up with some sort of plan on your own (for that confidence you need to recover and chill out your knee-jerk negative response), but then come on over and ask for some ideas and have a group brainstorm with all of us at Bay Area Sparksters and some of your other favorite groups.

Please use this Motivation and Inspiration forum to share some of your experiences with this "learning process" and the solutions you come up with, as well as giving your team mates an opportunity to share their ideas.

Also, if anyone has overcome a trouble spot, I'd love to hear about your success,what worked, and how you feel about it.

Have a great week, team!


Winn
SLIMPLIFY's Photo SLIMPLIFY Posts: 67
1/9/08 11:03 P

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Hi guys! So a new feature of our group will be a motivational message every wednesday.

I think I'll start this week by explaining my username.
"winningone" is something I came up with to remind myself that it's the little things that count and to take things one day at a time, one step at a time, one goal at a time. This is a very healthy way to approach your challenges and the changes you want to make. It's also the most productive and relaxing way to go about it.

What I want to remind everyone this week - and myself - is to really see these small daily goals as big wins. It's easy to blow off the "little goals", if you reach them or not, by comparing our actions against somebody else's or worse, against what we "should" do. I want to tell you that your goals, no matter how they compare to anybody else's, are special and important. When you succeed, even at small changes, success doesn't get any smaller. Success just is. You have every right to be proud of your success, no matter where it comes from.

Start celebrating the little things you're doing to change your life for the better and create a healthier you in the future. Celebrate now!

Let's all pick a clear "little" goal that we can practice every day (writing it down is highly encouraged) and then, most importantly, really get excited and congratulate yourself (maybe in some tangible way) when you've done it. If it's something you'll be doing many times, congratulate yourself every time you do it. Pick some special way to recognize your progress that lets you feel good about yourself. It can be as simple as breaking into a smile and holding onto it for a few minutes.

Focus on one goal...and when you do it...know that you are winning one!

Go bay area sparksters!

(ps, please call me "Winn". My shorthand gets even shorter, ha!)

Edited by: SLIMPLIFY at: 1/9/2008 (23:21)
Winn
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