Friday, December 23, 2011

  • ‎30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself  (would love to reference this but I have no idea - received from a friend in an email)

    As Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Nothing could be closer to the truth. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
    Here are some ideas to get you started---

    1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

    2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

    3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves. Read The Road Less Traveled.

    4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

    5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

    6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

    7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

    8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

    9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.

    10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else. Read Stumbling on Happiness.
    ‎11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

    12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

    13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

    14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

    15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

    16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

    17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

    18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

    19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

    20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

    21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

    22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

    23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done. Read Getting Things Done.

    24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

    25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

    26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

    27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

    28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

    29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

    30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I just did the very thing that illustrates to me that internalized hatred is alive and well!  We definitely internalize the things we hear and sometimes, even, believe that it is okay to repeat them.  I saw a picture of a buffalo in an online support group - totally benign thing.  But I immediately thought of a fat joke - and a racist joke - the minute the picture came up.  AND, I told it!  What in the world is wrong with me?  I know exactly what is wrong with me - we have been taught that saying negative things about fat people and people of color is FUNNY!  IT IS NOT!  Not in any way - differences are not funny.  They have no value at all - they just exist.  Difference is not deficient!  I must remember this!  We all must remember this!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So, this is the bumper sticker that I saw on a truck the other day.  You know the truck; big, and jacked up - wench in front, heavy duty tires, 5 miles to the gallon in gas, full of dirt, and sometimes with a flag from the antenna.  This is the type of 'comedy' that is still allowed in this world.  I have realized that there are many 'funny' things out there that are hurtful, and this journey of really changing my life to be a different person - a different identity other than fat chick - has made me very aware.  I have seen others:  a Native American person dancing and the slogan "White man can't dance" -  the movie from the 80's "White Men can't jump" - "NO FAT Chicks" - etc. etc.  It's disheartening that a world as diverse and educated as ours still finds crude and mean things like this funny.  I have, myself, participated in things like this.  I happen to love t-shirts with funny slogans.  I currently have two that I am going to really consider never wearing again - "Blondes might have more fun but brunettes can read" and "Shuffling:  another thing the White Man stole."  I don't know what compels us to scapegoat another's differences to make us feel better.

I had the wonderful experience of participating in a mindful eating exercise last night.  It was interesting.  People didn't like not talking and didn't like the exercise at first.  I think that overall it was an okay experience, and I had one person who verbalized it was tough for her because it was the VERY first time it became aware to her that she might have an issue with food.   Internalized hatred is part of this type of experience.  Large people have learned to hate themselves, because of bumper stickers like the one above.  They have learned from the world that they aren't acceptable - it's a generalized learning about not being acceptable in ALL areas.  I mean, in reality, the essence is that being fat is bad, but as people we compartmentalize and turn the general statement regarding the disgusting nature of fatness   into general disgust for oneself.  Psychology has studied this for years. Internalized hate and oppression leads to depression/sadness/fear/anxiety/helplessness and hopelessness.  When a person feels completely ineffective in changing the emotions/actions of themselves or the opinions of others - they often get stuck...  Stuck in the bad food cycle, stuck in the ugly emotions of feeling and being different, and stuck in the guilt/shame/eat cycle that leads many of us to obesity.

I have had someone remind me over and over again (Thanks, Beth!) that it was never about the food.  It's about these things - it's about our minds, bodies, and spirits.  It is about getting the rest of the world to understand that our differences doesn't make us something abhorrent and disgusting.  Nothing about human is abhorrent and disgusting (well, maybe a few things), but not about the nature and existence of them (no matter size, race, age, creed, color or custom).  When this issue is tackled, many of us can be free.  Unfortunately, I don't see the world changing quickly.  So, freedom comes from thinking about freedom.  It comes from thinking that leads to the emotions brought out by stickers like the one above - so simply - STOP THINKING, it ONLY Hurts the Ball Club (Thank you Kevin Costner and Bull Durham).  Let your actions be your guide.  Eating and health is serious business.  Become aware of your feelings (they won't kill you), don't hide from them with food, make intentional and mindful decisions, and LOVE YOU!