Receive the Gifts in Every Experience

I am learning to embrace situations and experiences that I used to judge as things to be dreaded and endured. Shifting my perspective doesn’t change the situation, but it does change how I experience it.

The surgery that I underwent in December was one of those times. Last week, I had my final post-surgery doctor’s appointment were my stellar recovery was confirmed. I am so grateful for this step on my wellness journey. Truly, everything about that experience has enriched my life.

Heading to traffic court today is another example. I think I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I was getting some obvious bonks on the head by the Universe reminding me to be present. Getting a speeding ticket a couple of weeks ago as I headed to coach training was one of those jolts back to reality.

I had set my cruise control to ensure I would stay within a reasonable speed . . . and then my brain checked out. When the officer brought me back to reality, I was no longer going a reasonable speed since it had changed twice without my notice. I thanked him for bringing me back to consciousness and was a much more present driver the rest of the trip. And have been much more conscious of being present since.

So today, I get to take the afternoon off from work, drive an hour there and back through our beautiful mountains on what is supposed to be a sun-soaked day, encounter people that I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten to meet, and look for the gifts in this experience. Because they are there if I will just open my eyes and my heart and look for them.

I expect to see those gifts and am looking for ways to be present and conscious enough to fully receive them.

When we stop fighting experiences and judging them as bad, and instead open our eyes and hearts to the gifts that are in every moment, we finally begin to receive them.

As Jerry Hicks used to say, “Everything is always working out for me.” No matter what, no matter who, no matter where, Source (God, the Universe, All That Is, Higher coach—whatever works for you) is always on our side providing the experiences that are unfolding perfectly for my—and your—expansion.

No matter what you are facing today, it is up to you to take this moment and consciously choose your focus and decide how you want to feel. You can endure it, let it crush you, or decide to thrive.

The experience will not change, but you change your experience of it.

Together we can do it!

Photo by bigjom / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Wellness Tip of the Day

Aside

Wellness Tip of the Day: Take time today to open your eyes and your heart and look for the gift in this moment. Expect to see it. Look for ways to fully receive it.

 

 

Take One Small Step

How are those New Year’s Resolutions coming? Are you still plugging away or have they been put aside to show up on next year’s list?

One of the things that can cause people to pass on meeting their wellness goals is the overwhelming feeling that can come from trying to go from chip-eating coach potato to food-measuring athlete all at once.

There really is no rule that says you have to change all of your behaviors at once to succeed.

I didn’t.

Three years ago, for various reasons I went from a runner to a walker to not doing any exercise at all. During that period of inactivity, I didn’t curb my eating and pretty quickly reached my heaviest weight ever.

I found myself starting over with exercise and losing weight—again. And it didn’t feel good.

It actually took some mental preparation and the support of a friend to overcome the inertia to get out of bed and start exercising. At first, all I did was walk. I didn’t even look at my diet. I just focused on getting out of bed every morning and moving. That is what I counted and celebrated as success.

To begin, I set a minimum goal of 10 minutes a day, and then I went up to two hours a week. Slowly and steadily, I increased my exercise goals until I was back up to a fitness level that felt good. By then, I had only lost 5 pounds and I knew it was time to take on the eating.

And even that was a process of cutting back on portions and making better and better choices. Heck, I’m still looking for ways to eat cleaner and healthier. (If you had told me three years ago that I had to drink protein shakes with spinach in them, I would have quit in in horror. Now that’s something I want to do, but it was something I had to build up to.)

Yes, it took me a year to lose 34 pounds and get back into great shape. But at the end of that year I was a lot happier having slowly and steadily made those small decisions towards a healthier lifestyle than to try to do too much at once and give up, only to be faced with the same goal and results a year later.

What small decision can you make today that will move you towards a healthier lifestyle? Do that for a week and then look for another tiny step to make. Do that consistently and you will build momentum and achieve your goals. Do that consistently and next January 1 you will be celebrating your success rather than being faced with the daunting decision to start over once again.

Together we can do it!

Photo by anankkml / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Accountability

In yesterday’s blog, I set out a plan for dealing with the mega-munchfest that I was facing last night that included being accountable to you Fabulous Readers.

The Plan

  • Eat healthy throughout the day.
  • Get in a workout.
  • Have a filling and nutritious meal before we go.
  • Look over all the food and choose one thing that I will indulge in. (This will probably be the crust-less fudge pie that my husband is planning to make. It’s totally calorie-worthy!)
  • Take a tray of vegetables and healthy hummus to give myself some nutritious nibbles throughout the evening.
  • Take some sugar-free gum along to chew if I start fighting cravings.
  • Go in determined to succeed and feel guilt-free.
  • Hold myself accountable by reporting to you all how I did.

The Report

It worked!

I ate clean all day, got in a 30 minute run/walk on the treadmill, and ate a filling soup for dinner before we left. I also included a serving of whole grain crackers and a low-fat cheese stick so that I would feel like I’d some “party” food.

Once there, I had a rye cracker out of one of the bowls of snack mix before I remembered my plan. After that I did great! I stuck to the carrot and celery sticks and home-made hummus, and avoided the cheesy, fatty dips that everyone else brought. (Mine was the only healthy dish there, so bringing something I knew I could eat was a life saver!) I was also pleasantly full, so I was definitely less tempted to stray.

I did promise myself a treat, and since David ran out of time to make the pie, I had three ginger-snap cookies that I spread out over the evening and 1 small chocolate covered strawberry. Another win was that I drank sparkling water with a squirt of lime-juice instead of wine or beer, and I did turn to the gum once when my stomach definitely wasn’t hungry, but my mouth still was.

So I did it! First time in months that I’ve left Bunco feeling good—and feeling good about myself.

Thanks for all your help! Knowing I would be reporting to you definitely helped me stay on track.

 

Back Up From the Buffet

Once a month we get together with friends and play the very social dice-game, Bunco. It’s always a fun evening filled with friends, laughter, and food. Lots and lots of high-calorie food.

In addition to all the food that people bring, our friends even put out bowls of salty and sweet treats right on the tables, making it so easy to mindlessly munch the night away.

And I eat. I probably eat more calories in this one evening than I typically do in a day.

So it’s one evening a month. What’s the big deal?

The big deal is how I feel about all that eating. While I’m perfectly happy to allow myself a weekly treat, it’s always my intention to eat moderately. When my thoughts are not in alignment with my actions, it generates negative catabolic emotion, often guilt.

This is important because your thoughts are directly linked to your body. Negative thoughts create draining, destructive catabolic energy that releases stress hormones and other harmful processes that literally eat way at your cells.

Positive thoughts release constructive, anabolic energy that generates physical processes that support—and rebuild—your body.

And just like thoughts can be anabolic or catabolic, food can be anabolic or catabolic, meaning it’s either supporting your body or it’s hindering it. You can bet that during Bunco night, most of the nibbles are not anabolic foods high in natural energy and nutrition. They’re just big on taste.

Just as important as the food we eat is what we think about our food. What we think can make our food more or less anabolic or catabolic.

For instance, if you eat something “healthy” but you resent it and feel deprived, how anabolic is that going to be? The negative catabolic energy from your thoughts can literally make it harder for your body to absorb all the good nutrition you’re putting into it.

If you eat something “bad” but feel totally satisfied, appreciative, and content, how catabolic is that going to be? What if you feel guilty about eating that same food?

Your thoughts need to be in alignment with what you’re eating.

My Bunco-binges probably wouldn’t be so bad if I allowed myself to totally enjoy every bite. But few of us have the mental ability to toss aside medical research, media reports, fat jokes, and thousands of diet books to truly be able to feel guilt-free after munching sugar and fat-laden snacks until Midnight.

I can’t anyway.

If I can’t shift my thoughts about my actions so that I feel good, than I need to align my actions with my thoughts. Meaning, I have to come up with a plan for tonight that allows me a little leeway to enjoy a treat, but to not go overboard. I will know that I have been successful at achieving this balance if I head home feeling mentally and physically great about how I managed the evenings munchies.

The good feeling you get from sticking to your eating plan is better and lasts longer than the fleeting flavor you would’ve gotten from eating the food you resisted.

Here’s my plan for Bunco tonight:

  • Eat healthy throughout the day.
  • Get in a workout.
  • Have a filling and nutritious meal before we go.
  • Look over all the food and choose one thing that I will indulge in. (This will probably be the crust-less fudge pie that my husband is planning to make. It’s totally calorie-worthy!)
  • Take a tray of vegetables and healthy hummus to give myself some nutritious nibbles throughout the evening.
  • Take some sugar-free gum along to chew if I start fighting cravings.
  • Go in determined to succeed and feel guilt-free.
  • Hold myself accountable by reporting to you all how I did.

I would love to hear what works for you when you’re facing food-laden situations, and how great you feel when you stick to your plan.

Together we can do it!

 

 

Photo by artemisphoto / FreeDigitalPhotos.net