Life is a Highway, I Wanna Ride it all Night Long

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Little Person Inside of Us

 A classic, timeless song! Autumn Leaves was written in 1945 in French, "Les feuilles mortes" ("The Dead Leaves") with music by Joseph Kosma and lyrics by poet Jacques Prevert. Yves Montand introduced "Les feuilles mortes" in 1946 for the film Les Portes de la Nuit. American songwriter Johnny Mercer wrote English lyrics in 1947.

It is amazing how the simplest of words and music can have such an impact. The metaphor of falling leaves symbolizing a lost relationship is so brilliant. The song became both a pop and jazz standard, recorded hundreds of times. Listen to a few of the great recordings of this wonderful song as sung by Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole and many other of the great singers of our are the words:

The falling leaves
Drift by the window
The autumn leaves
Of red and gold

I see your lips
The summer kisses
The sunburned hands
I used to hold

Since you went away
The days grow long
And soon I'll hear
Old winter's song

But I miss you most of all
My darling
When autumn leaves
Start to fall
Deep Thoughts...
Remember that SNL Skit?   I am such an introspective thinker.  I am not one to get stuck in the past but I am one to remember the past with fondness.  A close family member or friend who knows my past might say right about now "Really Val, with fondness, really, your past with fondness?"  Well everyone has a past, and it is what makes up our life story.  My past was not all a rosey picture.  My life as a child was incredibly lonely and sad, and yet I remember it fondly.  Maybe that is a healthy way of thinking?  I think I miss the innocence of time, the love that just was naturally in me and extended out to everyone, the childlike trust and forgiving person that lived in me, the Little Person I think lives in all of us, maybe we just suppress it as we age.  I wonder if we all miss that little person being a part of our everyday life.  Maybe all we have to do is reach deep inside and not let the world around us alter that little person as we let that part of us shine once again.  Our life experiences, good or bad,  may be the reason that little person innocence, love and trust is suppressed.  Callous grows over tenderness after many tough walks without some form of healing to take place.  

I happen to be a believer in God, and as I reflect on His word, it is a childlike faith that we are called to possess.  I am beginning to finally see that the childlike faith He calls us to,  has tremendous healing power and allows us to feel, trust, and love in a way that along with His sovereign love will sooth the callous we've grown as protection from the rough walks and turns our lives have gone through. Callousness as protective as it is, has it's place on the feet and hands from hard work but in our heart?  Callousness reaps resentment and bitterness inside us, whether we want to believe it or not, and we are warned of the toll it takes on our hearts.

"The Autumn Leaves..."
I get reminiscent at this time of year and think back to the wonderland that little person lived in.  That wonderland was a fun loving aspect of my life even in the worst of time, NO it wasn't fantasy, it was a faith that I was cared for and loved by someone far greater than anyone that could hurt me. Too little to make sense of it, just trusted it.   I still have that little person in me and I want to tap into the resilient spirit that came with those times.  Bouncing back, not letting every remark, action, or silent attack aimed at me, affect me in such away that I point the pain back at myself.  I want to bounce back on the path that gets me on Life's Highway and let's the best of that 'little person' shine and be a blessing to others.

Ok way to deep for today?  I know, right?  I promised honesty in my blog.  While this may seem too deep, it is this type of reflective thinking that is healing for me.  Healing is comforting to me and will help keep me on the road to success as I work to stay healthy in life. 

Getting Back On The Highway...
The words of the song, "The Autumn Leaves," that I chose to include as part of my blog today are meaningful to me, especially at this time of year. 
I'm inside our home, looking out our family room window at the beautiful landscape my husband created for us to enjoy.  I'm watching the leaves fall, thinking on the words in this song, and reflecting on things falling away in life.  The hope is to recapture the goodness of the past, heal from it, and embrace new growth as it comes around the corner.

The beauty of it all, is that...
The 'darling,' in my life, is that childlike faith.

"The sunburned hands, I used to hold"  This line reminds me that God's healing hands held my hands when I hurt as a child, and He still does the same today, I just sometimes forget that.

I am going to continue my pursuit down this highway, choosing to live my life out in faith, leaving the rest in God's hands.  It's just me, Val


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Live Like You Were Dying

Living Life To It's Fullest...

I mention in my "About Me" profile located on the sidewall of this blog, that I am a people pleaser by nature.  This is so true.  What motives cause one to be like this.  I think life baggage is a culprit.  Baggage like:
  • Approval Addiction caused from being ridiculed in life
  • Fear of Abandonment caused from loss of loved ones through divorce, death and other ways
  • Rejection and hurt in general caused by those of us who experienced the "clickish clan" of life, leaving us with a feeling that we weren't good enough or that we didn't make it on their....."A" List of friends
  • Self Absorption leading to a "What about me?" mentality.  Many try to build a different image as a result of not feeling accepted for who you really are.
Truth is these 'causes' are actually just  part of life...all of us will have some experience like this and have to learn how to cope. How we cope and move forward truly shows what we're made of.

Is There A Problem?
In my humble opinion, 
(I know you didn't ask for my opinion, however you're choosing to read the blog)

A problem seems to be that many of us have not learned how to cope and deal with life, and instead, we begin to build walls of protection in defense. Maybe...Walls of Protection can be a coping mechanism and reaction, but not the best solution? 

In my life, I'm convinced...
Walls of Protection cause an adverse affect on our character, and ultimately our relationships. (Thank God for tolerant friends :) 

Maybe one's wall of protection takes the form of becoming defensive, callous, overbearing, and/or controlling.  Another form seems to go the route of becoming self destructive in some sort of way "pointing the pain at ourselves", adding more pain in the end to what we're feeling to begin with.  (Maybe we begin to seek approval from others by becoming "people pleasers")

Oddly enough if everyone is happy around me, then it is less stress for me, thus I find comfort and peace there. Problem is that you can't please everyone, thus this is an endless cyle of self infliction of pain and hurt in many ways, due to over expectation of others. 

Seems like many who haven't learned to cope with life's challenging experiences or have decided it's too much to deal with seem to have a wall of protection that takes another form.  Keep busy.  The busier life is the better, their minds don't shut down, life stays busy, one project after another.  Others may opt to turn to their drug of choice in the form such as nicotine, alcohol, or drugs to shut their minds down and relax.  

In my life, my Wall of Protection goes from people pleasing resulting in hurt, to approval addiction resulting in more hurt and then anger, to finally lashing out verbally or disposing the relationship, and so on down the path of self destruction. I end up coping with life most by comfort eating, shopping, or another form which really doesn't solve my problem long term. Then I turn to my faith and for me life stabilizes and I am able to cope with negative experience once again...UNTIL I relax on that, and then it all creeps back in, like some kind of demon...arghhhh!

So What Are You Suggesting?

Well, I'm not suggesting that if you aren't coping well, you're not good at life!
I am only suggesting maybe, if we identify with any of these negative coping mechanisms,  we need to take a deeper look at the cause, and embrace  a healthier alternative beginning with possibly even the need to forgive ourselves and others that we may be holding back forgiveness of as well.  Maybe this will open up a door that will ultimately lead to a healing process.

Just sayin-just thinkin

It's just me, Val


A Lesson Learned the Hard Way
Here's a joke someone shared with me funny as it is meant to be, this happens to us in real life...
we forget and end up on the wrong path because we just aren't getting it!
A 54 year old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. 

While on the operating table she had a near death experience.. 

Seeing God she asked "Is my time up?"

God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live." 

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift,
liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck.  She even had someone
come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth! 

Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it.  

After her last operation, she was released from the hospital. While crossing the street on her way home,
she was killed by an ambulance. 

Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 43 years? Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the 

God replies: "I didn't recognize you."   
Live Like You Were Dying
By: Tim McGraw 
He said I was in my early fourties
with a lot of life before me
when a moment came that stopped me on a dime
I spent most of the next days lookin' at the x-rays
and talkin' 'bout the options
and talkin' bout sweet time
I asked him when it sank in and
this might be the really real end
I said how's it hit ya
when you get that kinda news?
Man what'd ya do?
and he said 

I went sky diving i went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds
on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
and he said some day I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying 

He said I was finally the husband
that most the time I wasn't
and I became a friend
a friend would like to have
And all ‘a sudden going fishin'
Wasn't such an imposition
And I went three times that year I lost
my dad
Well I finally read the good book
And I took a good long hard look
At what I'd do if I could do it all
again…and then 

I went sky diving i went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds
on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I gave forgiveness I'd been denying
and he said some day I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying like tomorrow was a gift
and you got eternity to think about what'd you do with it.
what did you do with it.what did I do with it? what would I do with it? 

Sky diving i went rocky mountain climbing
I went two point seven seconds
on a bull named Fumanchu
And I loved deeper and I spoke sweeter
and I watched an eagle as it was flying
and he said some day I hope you get the chance
to live like you were dying 

Friday, October 22, 2010

What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?

To Juice or Not To Juice? That Is The Question...

Wow it has been quite a ride.  Today is day number 5, and I have to decide do I go the whole mile or not?  Truth is not a change in weight loss overnight from day 4.  So is it a 24 hour plateau, OR have I gained all the benefits I am going to from this Juice Fast.  10 pounds in 4 days is nothing to sneeze at!

Plan A - Juice till Dinner, take a walk
Plan B - Juice, Train, Shake, Dinner
Plan C - Eat Clean, Train, Eat Clean, Cheat Meal for Dinner

I have had my first cup of coffee in 5 days this morning.  It's ok, not what I thought I was missing.  Think I need my skinny latte or iced coffee with lowfat milk and two splenda from Starbucks to spoil myself :)

What to do???  Argggghhhhh

Interesting Cravings Summary to Report...

While I am aware of a starving hunger several times a day, especially at night, I am NOT craving any particular type of food any longer and I am able to quiet the head noises, tune them out.

Stay Tuned...

I seem to be closing in on lifestyle changes that will benefit me as I progress through this process.  While the jury is still out as to whether I juice today or not, I feel like I walk away with a 'new' trained thought...Am I really hungry?  Is now possibly a real question I can ask myself and honestly make the right choice.

Taking a Ride Into The Future?

I am considering the positive affects of...

  1. Juice fasting two days a week, Tuesdays and Thursday
  2. Clean eating 3 days a week 
  3. One cheat meal a week,    
  4. Training - Monday, Wednesday and Friday,
If I follow this plan successfully I'll give myself a...

A Bonus Cheat Day a month

What am I doing the rest of my life?  Balancing it all and riding the highway to Health, Enjoying Life along the way....Care to come along for the ride?
I welcome your opinions, advice and encouragement along the way!  Thanks for visiting and have a great weekend all!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes...


  "Try doing it for one more day:" 
Bob (hubby) and Gabe (trainer) both think it is a good idea.  I, as many know have to decide for myself, truly don't take advice and run with it until I've thought it out, prayed and am passionate about my next move. 

YOU guessed it, taking one more spin on the juice fast. 

Or at least have some form of pull towards self deprivation,  one of the two.

de·pri·va·tion definition
The act or process of removing or the condition resulting from removal of something normally present and usually essential for mental or physical well-being
AND my head knows this definition!  It keeps screaming "I'm Starving, Feed Me!!!"
Of course it is because it is normal for our bodys to crave, desire, and need wholesome food.  The four food groups, right?  

So why am I doing this to myself?
That is a great question!  And, it won't surprise most of you to know that I do have an answer.
My goal is to eliminate carb and sugar cravings that are annoying invaders of my late nights, HOW RUDE!
My head continually reminds me of the invaders by screaming, whining, begging, it goes something like this:

 Val's Head talking...
  • Bread and sugar?
  • Where are my chips ahoy? ( They're in my hubby's lap floating in a bowl of lucious Hagendaas Ice Cream!)
  • Where are my Oreos?
  • What about those chips you used to give me nightly??? Or the Bagel with Peanut Butter???
And then my head lays the guilt on my asking, "Where's the love?"
Do you feel my pain and agony yet?  Arggghhhhh, so I resort to ridiculous tactics like texting a picture of my FB status with the words "I'm Starving",  in the comment bar to both Bob and Gabe, and then posting it on my wall.  Can you feel my pain yet? Then suddenly, a noise, a familiar noise, I turn around in my chair after I realize I hear one of  Bob's mannerly slurps.  He immediately hides a bowl behind the table, I jump up and look..."Aha!  It's the chips ahoy and ice cream!"  "Your Killin Me," I lament in exhaustion.

Can I do this?  Stick to it?  If I don't go to bed soon I can't, I'm too weak, my head and Bob are both playing with my hunger buds....ahhh finally it's 9:45 and it's now socially acceptable to say I'm going to bed :) ( "yeah! I can go to sleep now and get to the next day, most of all my head will shut down and stop screaming!")
Morning call and Trigger Analysis (yes Val is a big analyzer.  Anyone who knows me knows this)
I get up feeling pretty good and all the head noise has subsided. Got on the scale....Hallelujah I am down 10 pounds!!!  3 days 10 pounds, oh my, I think I have to give this another try.  So today is my 4th day and counting.

It's the evenings that really are challenging my stick with it mentality is shaken by the head noises
Triggers?  Can there be more triggers?
...hand to mouth, a laptop, and a tv with my husband and I am satisfied...and now I realize I actually have two triggers:
  1. Bread cravings leading to sugar cravings (wrong carb choices)
  2. Hand to mouth sensation  
Lollipop, lollipop oh lolli, lolli, lolli, Lollipop, badumbdumbdumb...

Will it all come down to pharmaceutical lollipops to get past this?  Do they even make a Lollipop like this?
I've never been one for drugs.. just isn't me.  I just want to end all the cravings for good and take that new highway, ride it forever my way and enjoy life...So tomorrow we'll see what a difference a day can make?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Squeezing the Juice out of Life - Keeping Your Eye on the Goal

Blogging?  Not so much.  Journaling is my thing.  I find it encouraging to journal but not appropriate to fill up my Facebook wall with long journals that all my friends might not be interested in.  In an effort to share my journey as I take a new ride down the highway of life, looking at things a little differently...

Whala - Welcome to my first attempt at blogging.  

Where do I begin?

I train 2-3 times a week.  Hard work too!  Not just a circuit of machines, infact no machines, this is Core Training with an MMA Champion, who does this as a career.  I started in March and did well up until our daughter Lyndsi's wedding, (btw, my trainer was actually hers and still is)  Then suddenly my passion for eating right, in this case called 'eating clean' diminished to morning and afternoon with a snack fest at night while enjoying our fav series which include: MadMan, Greys, Weeds, Dexter, the Office, and a host of Blockbuster movie rentals.  Yes just me on my chair, a laptop in hand opened to Facebook, and a tray with a snack and beverage at my side.  Yep, I was set for the night.  Almost 6 mos. later, no a terrible weight gain but the fat layers that I had successfully toned began reappearing.  Still doing my 2-3 days  a week training and this?

The Question I had to ask myself...
So last week I looked at myself and said, "Val, how this working for you?"  
After shedding a few private tears, realizing that this isn't working, certainly doesn't look good, and I am heading nowhere fast, I decided to make a change.  I chose enter into that change with a Juice Fast. My plan was to stay on this for 3 days, rest and not workout, and then return to clean eating and working out once again following my first fast.

It's been challenging...

Just drinking homemade juice from greens to fruits to roots, all day along with water and lemon as well as green tea. Thankfully we have a great juicer.

The1st day was truly tiring...I lost alot of energy and felt wiped.  The second day my body ached as if I had the flu from head to toe, aching all the way from my feet to my neck.  Today I feel abit of the aching still in my back muscles but it is really much less than yesterday was and I think the worse maybe over.  The detox period is what wipes you out and zaps your strength as well as makees your muscles ache I guess Lactose acid or whatever they call it plus all the toxins releasing cause that.  Oh and then there is the morning headache I get from no caffiene.  I was a 'pot a day' girl!  Sometimes I've had those moments that scream "feed me" but have fought them off. 

Preliminary Results are in... 

Today is my 3rd day and as of this morning I am proud to report:   
A 9 pound weight loss!  That's just in two days!!!

Where do I go from here?

Today was scheduled to be my final day, still weighing the value of adding one to two more days onto this.  Prior to falling off my 'eating clean' program, I had a nasty wall I hit and couldn't get past it but by tomorrow morning I think I will have more than passed it.  Once I decide, I have to move back to introduce clean eating to "ME"

Still on a very wobbly fence...pray pray pray...that is what will help me to stand firm in this journey.

Oh well there you have my first try at this blog...hope it is the first of many and if you are struggling with weight like me, make a choice and keep on keeping on!  Life is a Highway, I'm gonna do it my way!