Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Giving Thanks

Here in the United States the Thanksgiving holiday is fast approaching. Over the years it has become rife with commercilization and focuses more on food than anything else. There's also lots of talk of how after the Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to survive in a new land, the Pilgrims repaid them by killing them and taking their land. For just a few minutes, let's set that aside. The first Thanksgiving was a feast to give thanks to God for bringing the Pilgrims through a harsh year in their new home. Their ranks had diminished, but those who were left knew that it was by the grace of their God that they were there.

This year, while you're scarfing down turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie, take a bit of time to truly consider what you're thankful for. Trying to make it in this world is the hardest that it's ever been. Death and destruction seems to mount with each successive day. Throughout history there has always been poverty, disease, and war, but we now live in an age where we can see immediately what is taking place half a world away. Seeing all of that can make a person despair of what the future holds. As long as you do what you know to be right and surround yourself with good people, you can endure anything that comes your way. As the saying goes, count your blessings, but not just on Thanksgiving day. Do it on any day when you feel life dragging you down. If your heart feels heavy, think of all of the people out there who love and cherish you. If your bank account is looking kind of empty, be happy about the fact that you have a residence that enabled you to open that bank account and that you're not living on the streets. If someone hurts your feelings, feel the pain then let it go. No need to plot revenge (although it can be lots of fun!), because the universe always makes things as they should be. Because we don't know everything, it may be hard to see the purpose of the things that happen around us, but trust that you and yours will be okay. Things aren't totally mapped out, but our actions do influence the outcome. We may not always get what we want, but we always get what we truly need. Be grateful for the choices and the opportunities you have. Don't squander them or weigh them against what someone else may have. At this moment you are exactly where you're supposed to be. Embrace that knowledge and send your love and joy out into the universe. I guarantee that there's someone out there who would welcome it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Weight-Loss Milestone

Those of you that know me or have been following me on Twitter know that I've been on the Weight Watchers Program since early January. For the most part, the journey has been a smooth one, but as I neared the 50lb mark, I started to ease up a bit. I'd fudge on my points when tracking my food or maybe I wouldn't track some of the extra points I ate and chalk it up to having exercised that day so those points would just count against the exercise. Because of the fact that I eased up, I was near the 50lb mark twice, prior to finally reaching it. On my birthday I was 0.2 away and the next week I gained 2lbs. A few weeks later I was 0.4 away and I gained again. Last week I was 0.8 away and decided to really work hard so that I could finally hit 50lbs lost. On Saturday I did an exercise tape that I hadn't done in a long time, but I knew it targeted all of the muscle systems. On Sunday I jogged around the lake. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are always devoted to the gym, but while I was there I made sure I gave it my all. When I went to my meeting last night, part of me knew that I had hit 50, but part of me was afraid to hope. When I stepped on the scale, there was a sharp intake of breath from my WW leader. That's how I knew I had made it! It was one of the proudest moments of my life. She told me that I was down 2.2lbs, which means I've lost a total of 51.4lbs.

One of the things that WW emphasizes is building healthy habits. Sometimes we're raised with healthy habits and pick up unhealthy ones along the way, but it's never too late to get back on track. I've always been a picky eater and there were certain vegetables that I wouldn't even try, but since I've been doing WW, I'm a bit more open to the food options that are out there. I'm almost at my goal, and once I get there, I'll let everyone know. Until then, to borrow a phrase from the 70's, I'm gonna keep on truckin'!