Friday, January 27, 2012

Chili..With A Little Bit Extra

I'm pretty sure everyone has a favorite chili recipe handed down from hunting fathers, doting grandmothers or spicey moms. I know I do. Chili is one of my favorite things in the world to eat, and I can make a mean batch. A couple of years ago my recipe for chili included lots of ketchup and even a little brown sugar to offset the heat and spice of the peppers. The ketchup and sugar gave it this great texture and depth of flavor that I had a lot of trouble duplicating when I began to make the recipe healthier. For a several months I simply made the chili and missed the old flavor with its sweet undertone. Since I always make a huge batch and freeze some, when I would heat up a bowl, I would add a couple of large handfuls of spinach to up the nutrient ante while I was at it. Finally one day, I decided to use my blender and add the spinach in the beginning, and then there was this head of cauliflower in the fridge heading to bad that I didn't want to go to waste. I decided to throw it in the blender and add it, too. I'll be darned if those two veggies, blended and thrown into the pot didn't add that depth I had been missing!...and gave me a great way to add some veggies at the same time.

The venison that my buddy bagged for me this hunting season didn't hurt either.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Green Eyed Monster

Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality . Wake Up and Live!
--Bob Marley

Somewhere along my way, I found this creature in my soul--this woman who wanted what someone else had. There was a time when she began to smother me, to take away the joy I had in what I had. She told me that what I had was not enough. I wasn't tall enough, thin enough, smart enough, successful enough. Nothing was enough. I was not enough.

I could be happy for my friends as they accomplished things but certain accomplishments seemed only to punctuate my own inadequacies, or at least the ones that I perceived. Others' weight loss was one of those things. Friends seemed to be able to simply say they were planning on losing weight and POOF! five pounds instantly evaporated from their asses. Meanwhile, I had to fight for every half pound that I lost.

With time, though, I have come to understand that everyone has their own battles and their own victories. While I might look at someone else and think about how unfair it is that they are dropping weight like stones, they might very well be looking at me and wishing their husband looked at them the way that mine looks at me or that they could live as freely as I do. Their journey is not mine. My journey is not theirs. This epiphany came to me quite a while back.

The natural progression of enlightenment from there took a little longer. If my journey is different from another's, why would I expect the points along the way to be similar? Why would I expect the obstacles to be the same? For some reason I did, and at times I still do. Tonight for instance, I noticed that a good friend is really making progress with her weight loss despite the chips and beer and bread and...well, I can't even really tell you what she's actually giving up. My first instinct was to be jealous of her. Her weight loss pace is about 50 times faster than mine despite her being fifteen years older, perimenopausal, and not that chunky to begin with. But her path is not mine. Mine is not hers, so I'll just be thankful for mine. I can only truly be happy for mine when I am not looking at the scenery lining another's.

Now it's me smothering the monster.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

What a busy week this week! Four BUSY nights at work, week one of mentoring with LE, a 4 hour webinar, baby showers, dinners with friends and all the other "stuff" that is life.

Despite the busy-ness, I was able to keep up with the forums pretty well, and already this group of lean eaters is started to coalesce. They are a bright, strong group of women who are going to be quite inspiring, and I get the impression from some of the other mentors that the other group is the same way. What fun this year is going to be!

Today's thoughts have been about self-imposed limits and the following of guidelines. How many times do we not try something or not start something because we don't think we can do it? What could we accomplish if we started anyway and gave it hell? How many times do we give up because someone says we don't have the right credentials? What could we do if we proved to others credentials aren't always something we can put on a piece of paper or in an email? Certainly life sometimes isn't fair. Often it's not a fairytale, but more often than not, we defeat ourselves before the game even starts. I'm just as guilty of this as the next gal...or I have been in the past. But times...they are a-changin'.

Luna helps me pay attention to the webinar:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Plan. Execute. Adjust.

I suppose I have officially weathered yet another holiday season since I head back to work tomorrow after two weeks away. I got to go home to TN for several days, our first Christmas without my dad. Christmas is typically a quagmire of guilt for me, filled with "should haves," and "if only I were mores..." but this year I gave myself permission to simply show up and be satisfied with that. And it was enough. I did my best to sit in the moments and appreciate and be thankful for them, to breathe and not pay too much attention to the elephant who was not in the room while honoring him in my own way.

I ate a few too many things that weren't planned over the last couple of weeks. In retrospect, I went into those weeks without a definite plan of action. Not the wisest move ever...but I'll count it as not having been an entire loss as long as I come away having learned a lesson. That lesson is to "Plan the dive. Dive the plan." I would never get in the water without a plan, so why does it somehow make sense to me to approach a day without a plan?

Plan. Plan. Plan. Execute. Execute. Execute. Adjust as needed.