Friday, July 31, 2015


Have you ever been on a diet and you were so good and you didn’t stray and you didn’t do bad - you made all the right decisions and ate all the right things and then one day… one day something happened?  You don’t really know what it was because you were doing so good - you were behaving so well  but this day was different.  You saw that bit of ice-cream or you saw that cookie and you thought that maybe you could do it.  Maybe it would be okay just to take a bit and then you could go right back on your diet.  And you would have been right.  You could take a little bite and you could go right back on your diet and REALLY it would be okay.   I don’t like to call it a diet because it shouldn’t be called a diet.  It should be called a lifestyle of eating healthy.  But I digress.

You reach out for the cookie or the ice-cream or whatever it may be.  You notice that your hands are trembling a bit.  You notice that your body feels a little uncomfortable.  You have done so good so far and you don’t want to blow it.  Slowly you reach out.  Slowly you grasp that thing that you want to consume.  So many mixed feelings.  So many emotions.

  And then it happens.  You put it in your mouth, you chew,  you swallow and...nothing happens.  The policeman doesn’t come out and grab you by the scruff of the neck and take you off to jail.   Lightening doesn’t come from the sky in billowing shrieks and strike you unconscious.   You don’t get ill and feel like your stomach is going to explode like a million little marbles in a paper bag made too small.  In fact nothing at all happens.

You were so focused for so long.  You were so careful for so long.  You  made all the right decisions and didn’t sway and didn’t get off the beaten path that somehow you thought that one small bite would be destructive to you in some way.  And suddenly there is a freedom that you have not felt in a long time.  Suddenly you know that you can eat and you won’t go to jail.  Suddenly you experience the freedom of being able to eat what you want to eat, when you want to eat because you are an adult and you are the master of your own body and it feels like you can  breathe again.  Suddenly…

You see, this would be okay if it was a calculated bite of food or you didn't continue to reach for the  box of twinkles.  I am not advocating living in a straight jacket or never eating unhealthy things you love again.  Food was meant to be loved and enjoyed.  In the confounds of discipline.

I have felt this before.  I have felt the freedom of being so disciplined and so careful and when I finally throw all caution to the wind,  it feels as if I have found some new found freedom and I love it.

Until that new found freedom gives me twenty more pounds around the waist and sends me searching for clothes that actually look good on me.   It’s an odd thing - this thing we call life.  Sometimes what we feel is freedom, sometimes what we call our right or our license is really that actual thing that puts us in bondage.  It’s a fine line really and we have to always have our eyes open to what we are sensing, what we are feeling and what licenses we are taking.   Sometimes what you deem as freedom is not really freedom at all and suddenly you realize 10, 20 or 30 pounds later that it was actually those actions,  those " freedoms" that were putting you in bondage again.  You feel completely wrapped up head to toe in the bondage of food again (or whatever holds you captive.)

 True freedom  comes only in finding that discipline of life.  Freedom comes in understanding the dance between what is real freedom and what is a lie - what is counterfeit. There are all sorts of counterfeit freedoms around you in this world.  Freedom to cheat on your spouse, freedom to cheat on your taxes, freedom to live unencumbered by what anyone thinks and before you know it, you can’t breathe, you can’t move, you can’t live because the very thing you thought was freeing you was actually sucking the life out of you slowly like a a python slowly sucks the life out of his prey.

Be very careful what you deem as freedom.  Be very careful of those fluttery feelings that come from being disciplined for so long and then taking a liberty in something.  Keep yourself in check and you will be okay. 

What we don’t always understand is that freedom doesn’t come free.  The very word freedom deems a sort of free life; a life completely absent of cares and worries and disciplines and  careful consideration.  But quite the opposite is real freedom.   Real freedom comes at a great cost and that cost is being intentional, being careful and calculated.  We work for freedom.  We strive for freedom.  We push for freedom; all words that seem opposite of what the words insinuates.  But without working for it you are left with nothing but the fake fleeting face of freedom.   Everything beautiful costs something.  Everything worth having in life, takes time and effort and so much work.

 Freedom will cost us a lot.

But the cost, my friend, is so worth it. 

Friday, July 24, 2015

Sandwiches are okay

Have you ever sat in a room full of ladies that were on a diet?   Everyone around you in the office is munching on various green leaves or some other form of rabbit food.  Slowly, almost timidly - hoping no one is looking your way - you slide out your....SANDWICH!!  G A S P!  She is eating bread?!?!  Doesn't she know that bread has carbs in it?  Doesn't she know that bread will make her fat?  Doesn't she know that if she WANTS to lose weight, then she can't eat that?!?!

Or maybe you DID bring the green leafy goodness and you left the bread  to consume in the privacy of your own home.  You open the lid of your salad and "feel the gaze" turning towards your salad.  Where is the MEAT?  No wonder she is 432 pounds.  (I am not FYI.)   She doesn't eat enough protein!!!

The moral of these stories?  Do what's best for you and for your lifestyle.   I think the important thing is  to understand who you are and what you can do to KEEP it off forever.   Losing weight and staying fit and healthy will always be a battle between carrots and turtle cheesecake.   There will always be war and some days and seasons will be easier than others.  But realize this - once you fight the addiction of food, that battle will never be far way from you.   Once you can realize that, you can slide in  for the long haul and understand that this is a journey and not so much just about the destination of "goal weight."

For me,  I have decided that I am simply going to exercise more and eat less.  The reason that I am doing this is because I feel like I can do that forever.   If I choose something that I can't stick with forever,  then I am setting myself up for failure and tears over pounds coming back far too quickly and easily.   I already run the risk of crashing - but if I take bread  (or another food group) out of the equation and decide that's how I am going to lose weight, the risk is higher.   I want to minimalize my risk.    I want to make it as easy as possible for me to keep that weight off and keep myself healthy because lets' face it,  I really like easy.  I like easy much more than difficult.

But if you are up for a certain diet,  a certain fad,  I have known lots of people that have gone that route and have been super successful.   I have known people that have had operations and it's worked for them, big time.

Again, the idea is this: to know YOU;  to know YOUR body; to know the way YOU tick.    And then stick to it.  Make a decision and stick to it.   Don't get pulled into the latest fad or the latest book or the latest shake JUST because everyone else is doing it.  Do it because its right for YOU.    The reason anything works really is because we are just aware (no matter what kind of system that we are on) of what we are consuming and we are intentionally doing something different to get different results in our body.  What you choose to do in order to see those same results (health and weight loss) is entirely up to you.  Be comfortable with what you choose.

Once you have decided what you are going to do, you can hold your head high when you unearth your sandwich from your lunch kit or bring your salad with only a few scrapings of humble and measly tuna fish .  You can smile knowing that you are within your calorie range, or your point range or your nutrition range and you have a plan.  You have a goal and you are sticking to it.

Thai Lettuce Wraps

I fried onion and garlic and then two chicken breasts.  Then I grated carrots and added finely chopped cabbage to the chicken.  I fried them until they were very soft.  (My throat has been hurting and I have been having problems with my jaw so I wanted something soft.)  I then added a sauce that consisted of peanut butter, soy sauce, sweet chili sauce and crushed red peppers.   I also added cilantro and let that simmer until it was even more soft.  We scooped it up into big leaves of romaine lettuce and it was yum!! 


Monday, July 13, 2015

On closets and simplicity

 A few months ago,  I cleaned out my entrance way closet.  It was so cluttered and so messy, I couldn't fit my coats in there anymore.  I couldn't shut the door and I was always mortified when company needed to get in there.

When I cleaned it, it felt wonderful.   It felt like a piece of peace right there in my entrance way.  It was completely refreshing and absolutely freeing to all of us.

I think our lives are like that sometimes.  

Once in a while we need to take a good hard look at our lives and see what is working and see what is not.  Sometimes we have to weed out the things that aren't useful and that make our lives messy.  This is where the tricky part comes in.  Often we have to determine what that is.  We have to decide if it should still be in there but better organized.   Sometimes what worked in the beginning just doesn't work now.  You have to decide that.  You have to decide what will bring peace to your closet and to your life.

Do you have bitterness
?  Get rid of that.  It will only be clutter for you.

Do you entertain jealousy?  Throw that away.  There isn't any room in your closet for that.

Are you too busy?  Do you equate busyness with acceptance;  being crazy busy with being important?   Remember your kids don't need you to save the world.  They need you to be there for them.  Present and in the moment - in their moments.  Don't buy into the lie that the busier you are, the better your life is or the more loved or in demand you are.  

Are you leaving room for harmful relationships?  Sometimes when you have harmful relationships,  you leave no room for the good ones.  It's like the coat that hangs in your closet that is too big or too small or too something but you leave it there because you think that one day you can fix it.  Get rid of it.  Make room for the coats that fit you. 

Just because you can stuff it all in and close the door doesn't mean you can do it well.  It doesn't mean it looks pretty.

I want my life to be like that entrance way closet is now.  When I walk in the door,  I look to my right and take in a big gulp of peace.  It feels like I can breathe better when I see order.   I want people to look at me and feel the same way.  I want people to look at me and see peace.   I want to look at me and see peace. 

Take a look at your life now.  What are some things you need to toss out in order to restore peace?