Pod Save America

Have you been listening to Pod Save America?  It is helping keep me in touch and sane in a very difficult and tumultuous time in our history.  I highly recommend this podcast for the following reasons:

  • It’s funny – these guys are able to laugh at what’s going on and be funny in the face of some pretty awful stuff.
  • It’s informative – I learn a lot about the inner workings of the government, I like the inside scoop
  • It confirms my bias – some things I listen to when I want to broaden my mind and sometimes I just want comfort talk, that is what this is
  • They encourage action – that is the purpose of these pods according to the founders, they want us to be actively involved citizens and I highly support that

We all need to take responsibility for what is going on and part of that is becoming far more informed.  This pod helps me do that in the easiest way possible.  I hope you listen!

I have all the tools I need so why can’t I change?

I realized the other day that if I really want to become healthier, I really have all the tools I need.  I have been working on this for long enough that I have developed a tool box full of tools like journaling, understanding my irrational thoughts and reframing them, calming myself down through self-talk, telling my inner mean-girl to shut the f*$& up (which works surprisingly well), distracting myself, etc.

Not only do I have to change my thoughts but I have to change my behaviors.  And I have enough information now to do it.  All it takes is commitment to myself to do it.  That’s the hard part. This is where I find myself running to the thing that makes me feel better immediately, which is not the best thing for me.

I am wondering if this stems from a learned helplessness.  This is “passive behavior produced by exposure to unavoidable aversive events”.  Sometimes I have this overwhelming feeling that absolutely nothing I do will help, no matter how many tools I have in my toolbox.  I think what’s happened is that I often was helpless and that tendency has followed me along in my life, even though I am no longer helpless.  It’s weird, I can almost feel my balloon deflate when I begin to feel helpless.

To take this even further I often attribute any setbacks to my personal flaws instead of situational factors.  That makes it even harder to muster up the energy to change my behavior because in my mind, I am feeling defeated and hateful toward myself because of my helplessness.  So it’s a secondary feeling, a feeling about my feeling.

It’s like a double whammy of self destruction.

So this is my challenge.  Recognize when I am feeling helpless, determine if that’s actually true, and act accordingly, and don’t beat myself up for having the desire and struggling with saying no to myself.  And if I am in fact helpless, then letting go.  But if I am not, then taking the appropriate action.

For example, am I helpless when I have the urge to go out and get myself a sugary Starbucks drink?  No I am not.  It’s also not some personal flaw in myself that causes me to want the Starbucks drink, there are lots of factors that are driving me to it.  However, I can dip into my toolbox and choose another avenue.  My goal is to keep trying things until I figure out what works best for me in each scenario.  This seems overwhelming but maybe best for another blog post 🙂

This is weird

When I was pregnant I took really good care of myself.  I was able to do this because in my mind I was taking care of my child by treating my body well.  I went to water aerobics, I cut sugar almost completely out of my diet, I was diligent about what I was putting into my body, I ate lots of small meal-snacks, took my vitamins…all good stuff.

So I have been telling myself, just eat the way you did when you were pregnant.  So simple.

Then I thought, what if I took it a step further than that and imagined I was pregnant in order to really change my mindset.

Okay, this is the weird part…

Then I thought, what if I imagined I was pregnant with myself.

Okay, here me out here.  Have you ever heard of this concept where people almost go through a process with their therapist where they imagine being born again?  They get wrapped up really tight like they are in the womb and then do water therapy to simulate the womb.

I wouldn’t take it that far but it’s kind of the epitome of taking care of myself.  Doing for myself what I did for my own children.  Basically parent myself.

Anyway, it kind of works for me.  I struggle with how I can stay in this mindset but I think it’s worth a shot!

Some things I think a healthy person does

Here are some things I think healthy people do:

  • Exercise for half hour a day
  • Take the stairs
  • Choose not to eat a donut
  • Get up even when they don’t feel like it
  • Brush and floss their teeth
  • Eat breakfast
  • Drink water
  • Go to the dentist regularly
  • Go to the doctor regularly
  • Take breaks throughout the day
  • Take a walk and get some sunshine
  • Do what they can when they can #wycwyc
  • Take pride in their home
  • Recognize when something in their life isn’t working
  • Take steps to make their life better if something is not working
  • Value themselves enough to fight for their dreams
  • Sing a lot
  • Laugh a lot
  • Surround themselves with people that make them feel good
  • If they are lonely, reach out to a friend
  • Make mistakes and learn from them
  • Own up to their mistakes
  • Be honest even when it’s hard
  • Get to know themselves
  • Let go of society pressure and learn to like themselves as they are
  • Understand that there are some things they will never have and letting them go
  • Forgive those who have wronged them then choose to spend as little or as much time with those people based on how that person treats them now
  • Continues to search for things they love
  • Does something they love to do every day
  • Recognizes that time is fleeting so tries to enjoy each moment as it is
  • Takes pictures of themselves without scrutinizing
  • Renews library books on time
  • Meditate
  • Find down time to regenerate
  • Honor their needs

I could probably go on and on but it was interesting just to do this exercise and open my mind to what I believe a healthy person does.

Today I have taken the stairs, chose not to buy a sugary coffee and meditated, all in the name of faking a healthy person.  Oh and I had a beautiful salad to boot!

WWHPD?

emilyvsuperyou

What would a healthy person do? This is my new mantra.  While I myself don’t feel like I am a healthy person, I can imagine what a healthy person would do and maybe I can just fake it till I make it.

This idea was suggested in a book I am reading (Super You by Emily V Gordon) which is awesome and comforting. I got the audio book which she reads and I have been listening to it on my morning commute which helps start the day off right.

She says:

Coming to a deep understanding about yourself does not always lead to a change in behavior. Sometimes behavior changes kick starts understanding.

I realized that I have been hoping that some great and deep understanding of my behavior would automatically translate to eating changes and the weight would just drop off without any effort on my part.  I wanted to skip the hard work.  And while I still think this is somewhat true (I need to listen to my body and wait for hunger and stop when satisfied) my food choices could be better by faking it for a while.  And then maybe I would be able to sidestep the “diet” trap that compels me to rebel and eat like total shit.

In a way, this information gives me hope, because otherwise I would have to just keep waiting for something (aka weight loss) that might never happen.

Tomorrow, a list of behaviors I think a healthy person employs every day.

Also, if you are interested, here are some interviews with Emily V Gordon:

Gems from Brian Grazer

Brian Grazer is a director and has had an interesting career in Hollywood.  He recently published a book and was interviewed on WTF with Marc Maron.  During the interview I was struck by the great advice he gave if you are a creative person.  Here are a few things I took away:

  • Get a #2 pencil and a legal tablet.  Their value put together is more than the separate parts.
  • You have no money, what is your value?  Your ideas.
  • It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to exist.
  • Generate ten ideas a day.
  • Create great titles with one or two words and then come up with an idea
  • Always have a sexy hook: a good title, a singular sentence that defines what you’re hoping to achieve, an emotional destination.  You have to be able to say it with some currency, even better if you already have a script done (even if it isn’t that good).
  • The cinematic destination is to ignite emotion.  Failure to ignite emotion means it fails to communicate in that art form.
  • Do something different than other people so it has a disruptive quality, create a trend.
  • Learn a lot to create a curation system that might be better than other people.  Learn about a subject and/or a person, marry with your curiosity, then comes a spark or inspiration!

Listening to him speak encouraged me to be curious, just put something down on paper even if I don’t think it’s any good (practice makes progress!) and doing something different comes from being curious and learning new things.

These bullets seem to highlight the difference between dreaming and doing.  I’ve done too much dreaming…

 

Sucess snowballs!

snowball-effect

Last week seemed to become a transition week.  We ate leftovers and processed food still in the cabinet.  We had trouble “wasting” the food we had while at the same time are attempting to eat more cleanly.

That seems to be over now.  We got rid of anything old or unneeded in the refrigerator and cleaned all the shelves.  We stocked it up with lots of delicious vegetables and homemade food.

We made Lasagna and ginger cookies, both of which turned out amazing and will be eaten all week.

I did my office exercises three times and ordered new tennis shoes.  I plan to implement 5 minutes per day on the elliptical and am introducing a 10 minute/day meditation.

In addition we cleaned the entire house, visited with family (including my brother-in-law who is fine now but had a heart attack and was in the hospital) and played ball and on the swing set.

In addition I started to record some projects we want to work on around the house to get ready for sale next year and to calm our house to a sanctuary broken down by

  • Organize and Purge (Laundry room, tools, craft stuff, etc.)
  • Organize, Purge and decorate (Hall bathroom, Living room, etc.)
  • Projects (paint bathrooms, paint bedroom, etc.)
  • To buy (barstools, organization tools, etc.)

In addition I gave some thought to actually using what we have.  First step is knowing what we have.  How many times do we save things for the future then they go bad or expire and we have never used them?  So part of my self-care mode is to actually use things until they are gone or toss them if I don’t want to use them.  This goes really well for craft stuff, toiletries and makeup, and clothes!

It was a good weekend and looking forward to building on this effort!