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Archive for the ‘weight loss’ Category

The Mind is the Ultimate Race Track

The Human Mind Makes the Indy 500 Look Like a Sunday Drive

My mind has been whirling so wildly, I found it impossible to pin it down to a topic or two for a blog post, but tonight I decided I needed to at least try.

I’ve been doing a lot of work on the inner me with both Winning the Game of Weight Loss (WTGOWL) and Winning the Game of Money (WTGOM). I’m actually on round two of the latter, and seeing even more changes, and yet, I still haven’t figured out what I’m going to do to actually support myself, and resources are dwindling faster than I’d like. I finally took pen to paper as it is said to be a better link to the brain. I started by writing an almost two page story called “My Compelling Debt-free Future”.

I followed it up by setting an intention which was actually inspired by one of my fellow Achievers (as we call ourselves in the private Facebook group). I will find a part-time or contract job that pays well, has a flexible schedule and allows me to work from home (or any remote location for that matter).

The Goals, They are a-Changin’

After I set my intention, I thought for awhile before deciding I needed to write down some goals. These seem to change somewhat every time I write them, but the current version looks like this:
1. Make an excellent living from my writing
2. Become a Motivational Speaker
3. Buy a large piece of property overlooking the beach with no neighbors
4. Start or support an existing cat rescue
5. Build an artist’s retreat
6. Develop strong relationships with other artists in a variety of mediums and support each other and our efforts

What Good is a Goal Without a Plan?

So now I have an intention and some goals. Reviewing my list, I realized that everything really depends on the first one so the next thing to do is to list the steps needed to achieve the goal. Naturally, as a lover of lists, I was happy to make another. The steps I feel will get me to my goal (subject to revision as I learn more, of course) are:
1. Learn how to pitch successfully
2. Complete what I’ve started (this includes books, stories and courses)
3. Commit to writing daily
4. Commit to studying daily
5. Commit to pitching daily
6. Develop a network of service providers including editors and cover designers
7. Hire a coach

Today, I’m 2 for 7, but the ink is barely dry on my list.

Using Small Wins to Harness the Power of Positivity

I realized after reaching two milestones this week in my weight loss (or as we say in the group, “fat release”) journey that I’m already doing well in an area that has thwarted me for all of my adult life. If I can be successful there, then there’s nothing to stop me from finding success in every aspect of my life. That is not to say I’ll get it right on the first try or even the 100th, but it does mean that if I continue to persevere and use the same principles I apply to the fat release journey: no blame, no shame no guilt, I can’t possibly fail.

What this means on a practical level is that I praise myself for the things I did well each day, but instead of beating myself up for the things I didn’t, I simply make a promise to myself to do better. In that vein, I’ve re-initiated the practice of climbing into bed at night and laying there for a few minutes thinking about the things that happened during the day for which I’m grateful.

Putting the Success Team Together

Essentially, I’m becoming my own head coach. I encourage, praise and note areas needing improvement. I also post both progress and areas in which I’m struggling in my support groups. This way, I get additional encouragement and even ideas which help me do better.

Asking for help has always been a difficult thing for me to do, but I realize that I’m not going to get where I want to go without some outside assistance of some sort. I’m also learning that there truly are people out there who want to support me achieving my goals, but they can’t help if I don’t ask or allow them in.

Embracing Change as a Driving Force

Stepping outside my comfort zone seems to be the theme for 2016. Whether it’s interviewing chefs, stepping into unfamiliar situations or changing up the schedule I’ve been keeping for years, the Universe is making it very clear that I need to try new things and wander away from what is easy. I need to forge new trails and break from routine. For a number of reasons, that seems to be what I’m doing.

I’ve even revamped my website a time or two. It’s still not exactly what I want, but each iteration sees some improvement. Eventually, that, too will be dealt with by professionals.

For now, I’m embracing change, being kind to myself when I don’t complete all my tasks, but still prodding myself to continue to improve and progress. Out of all this will, with any luck, come a real plan for reaching my loftiest dreams.

With Gratitude

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for the support I’m getting from the Neurogym community.
2. I am grateful for the outpouring of love and good wishes I received for my birthday.
3. I am grateful for the milestones I’ve reached with my weight and look forward to reaching some in other aspects of my life.
4. I am grateful for the time spent with my daughter and son-in-law this weekend. They always make my birthday special. And I’m looking forward to more time and endless walking with my daughter again soon.
5. I am grateful for abundance: supportive people, inspiration, goals, encouragement, the will to keep trying, release of fat, release of fear, friendship, love, joy, harmony, peace, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

Corralling the Monkey Mind

Cheetah on My Mind

Lately, my mind has been performing a constant series of mental gymnastics. It makes it especially difficult to sit down and put words to page as they flit by so rapidly, even my speedy typing can’t keep up. It took me three days to settle it down enough to produce a 1000 word post about the last event I attended with my photographer friend. Was it my best quality work? Maybe, and maybe not, but at least it got writ.

On several occasions, it crossed my mind to add a post to my blog as well, but the very idea of sitting down and typing actual words sent the monkey into a screaming hissy fit of hysterical screeching and flinging of poo. (not a pretty sight, I assure you!)

I’m not really sure what allowed the furry fellow to settle down enough to let me work, but I got a good 3 hours worth in today and now, here I sit, putting more words to screen. Perhaps it’s the daily meditations. I actually completed 12 weeks of listening and have re-started at Level 1 of WTGOM. Meanwhile, I’ve reached Level 4 of WTGOWL and am slowly but surely releasing fat, thanks in part to a healthier diet, but aided and abetted by NEAT (a concept which says I must get up and move every hour more than just my regular bathroom visits), increasing time spent moving with the music and encouragement of my Wii Fit and of course, the incredibly supportive Neurogym Weight Loss community. With their help, I’m learning to stay on track, cheer my victories and accept the now very minor setbacks with an honest look at the behavior that caused them. No guilt and no blame makes it much easier to get back on track and discourages the binge eating which accompanies self-flagellation.

We and We Alone Are the Creators of Stress

As I sit here, monkey mind is still dashing off in many directions, further complicating my ability to hold a thought long enough to transfer it from brain to fingers. I’m thinking about the interview I’ve yet to turn into an article and questions I need to prepare for the next one. Then there’s my daughter’s graduation, a commitment I’ve made to a local wild animal rescue and the list goes on.

I was reading an e-book about recharging and how we cope with stress today. As I read, I saw how many things I’ve released over the last couple of years which should have brought my stress level down to nothing. But, in some ways, I guess I’m a modified version of a Type A personality as I seem to bog myself down with things I need to do, should do, want to do…and so on. In reality, there isn’t that much, but I’m finding even article writing isn’t simply a matter of looking at my notes and letting words fly. I tend to find, as I write, that I’ll find something I need to check on the net in order to make the article as perfect as I can. Then my mindfulness clock goes off and I know I really should get up and do squats or something.

If that wasn’t enough to rekindle a fire under my stress responses, I’ll suddenly remember something I forgot to do which means jumping up and doing it before I forget it again. Now, I’m further behind on all of my shoulda, coulda, wouldas.

Loving Myself, Warts and All

Ultimately I remember to just stop, breathe and give my little inner monkey time go gather his toys and his blanket and settle down for a nap. Because we really are in charge of that crazy, erratic, seemingly intractable mind running relay races in our head. We can stop our own insanity without shouting ourselves hoarse. All we have to do is stop, relax, take a few deep breaths and allow ourselves a moment or two to just be without accomplishing anything or making lists or berating ourselves for our shortcomings. In those few quiet moments, we can also add a couple of “I love you just the way you are”s. Because in those moments we give ourselves several times a day (or should be if we aren’t already), there is no judgement, no recrimination, no blame and no guilt.

Those moments of pure self-love calm the mental monkey because he feeds on our sense of uber responsibility. Giving ourselves permission to be less than perfect; to only accomplish as much as we reasonably can in any 24 hour period, to eat one small wheat and preservative filled cracker; to be what we really are, and that’s an imperfect but perfectly lovely human being.

Who Knew Letting Go Was the Real Solution?

Funny, when I stopped fighting the mental gymnastics, the words began to flow. When I stopped trying to figure out why a particular article was stressing me out, the answer came like a flashbulb going off. When I stopped worrying about what to write in this blog post, 800+ words found their way from my fingers to the screen. When I let go, everything began to flow smoothly again. Why do we make something so simple seem to difficult?

For those of you (and you know who you are) who are fighting with your own monkey minds as you push to get just one more thing done before you drop into bed at 2 or 3 or 4 AM, I challenge you to do three things: 1. Breathe 2. Let go 3. Give yourself permission to be imperfect. Because you know what? You’re much more beautiful when you’re just you.

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for learning to love myself as I am and not like some heavily retouched picture of perfect womanhood.
2. I am grateful for the lessons I’ve been learning and the conclusions I’ve reached while meditating to the WTGOM and WTGOWL audios.
3. I am grateful for the books and articles I’m reading that are written by people who, like me aren’t perfect.
4. I am grateful that I finally finished something I started and, in fact, started over with a new plan in place.
5. I am grateful for abundance: love, friendship, self-love, joy, productivity, creativity, motivation, words, peace, harmony, health, philanthropy and prosperity.

Blessed Be

I invite you to visit my Facebook pages, Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author and HLWT Accounting. Please also drop by my website, www.shericonaway.com and check out my Hire Me Page. I’ve created these pages as a means of positive affirmation and would be very grateful if you’d “like” them or leave a comment! Thank you!

October 15, 2014 Accountability is an individual thing #shericonaway #blogboost

Self-monitoring tools can be more effective than you realize.

Here it is, Day 3 of “getting back on track”. I’ve been to the gym twice so far, picked up my harvest box, planned a healthy dish from its contents, but most important of all, kept track of food and exercise using MyFitnessPal.

As I basked in the glory of the loss of a few tenths of a pound, it occurred to me that tracking my activities is not only making me more aware of what I’m putting in my mouth, but of how long I’m sitting, and how much I’m really moving. I spend more time doing things like cooking and cleaning than I’d realized. Simply putting the dish for some of this week’s dinners together meant standing for the better part of an hour, and that doesn’t include the time it took to clean up my mess afterwards, nor to package the leftovers in single-serving containers.

Despite the fact that I watched a few hours of television last night (Tuesdays are the heavy night for my DVR), I found that I was more aware of how long I sat (though the ache in my right thigh from Monday’s pilates class contributed to my inability to sit for very long), and got up to do dishes or just walk around the house much more often, knowing that I had to log it and make sure I exercised enough to cover everything I put into my mouth and then some.

I have friends who swear by Weight Watchers because they love having to be accountable to someone else. I won’t argue the fact that many people see wonderful results, but you have to stay with it forever so you don’t fall off the track. I, myself, lost about 30 pounds on their program many years ago, but since I didn’t continue attending weekly meetings, I gained it all back and then some.

Motivation is similar to validation. Find what works and do it!

I have the utmost respect for people who use Weight Watchers or Jenny Craig or any other program which helps to remind them to eat healthy and stay active while giving them recognition for their success. I just don’t have the patience to stay on someone else’s schedule for the long term, so I have to find ways that work for me, and feed my own motivational needs. The last time I religiously logged all of my food and activities on MyFitnessPal, I lost over 30 pounds, and, in fact, have not gained it all back!

By now, it should be crystal clear. Find what works and that you’re most likely to stick with for good. One way or another, you need to be accountable to someone, even if it’s just yourself. Think of it like a To Do List for a healthier lifestyle.

More time in the day means more moving

I have to say that once the motivation kicks in, everything begins to work better. Healthier eating means more energy and less sleeping in. More time means more things get done, and more movement happens. Since the pain in my thigh turned into pain through my IT band, I decided to give my body a gym break, but iced and foam rolled the painful areas several times today. Doing everything just before I headed out to get the rest of the ingredients for my Veggistrone meant that I got to walk out the kinks, and by the time I got home a couple of hours later, I felt a lot less pain.

In my search for a recipe that used a lot of cabbage, I found one for Veggistrone. Of course, I modified the bejeebers out of the recipe and ended up with something even lower in calories than the original, but high in allMinestrone soup with cabbage manner of vitamins and minerals, made even better by my super fresh veggies. I decided to double the recipe so I’d have some to freeze. Silly me! Even with my modifications, I got exactly what the recipe promised; twenty servings. I had one for dinner, put seven in a container in the refrigerator, and the rest in single servings for the freezer. I might be eating the stuff all winter, but it could be a lot worse! However, the promised prep time, start to finish of 1 3/4 hours was a little low. All told, it took me 2 1/2 hours to put the soup together and get it cooked, but think of all the calories I burned in the process (more, in fact, than the bowl I ate for dinner!)

Last but not least (then I’ll shut up about this, I promise) I put my FitBit back on just before I left to go shopping. Despite the fact that I didn’t put it on until after 11AM, I still walked over 5,000 steps and nearly 3 miles! I’m getting so psyched about improving my health that I just can’t stand it! (and I’m sure, by now, you’re rather sick of my raving too!)

My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful that I decided to join CSA. Getting a harvest box every week means I’m eating a lot more fresh fruits and veggies and a lot less crap.
2. I am grateful for my increased energy.
3. I am grateful that I am now actively rejecting the idea of being completely lazy or indulging in take out food. I’m sure my body will be thanking me as well!
4. I am grateful that making positive changes is easier than it seems when I’m at the bottom of the mountain looking up.
5. I am grateful for abundance: energy, health, stamina, joy, motivation, inspiration and prosperity.

Namaste

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