It's a long road, but I'm taking it one step at a time...

My Mini-Goal

8/08/10 to 8/31/10-to lose 6 lbs this month

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Feeling Lazy

I've been working a lot on my butt this week and I am feeling very heavy and lazy. I need an energy boost. Aside from putting on some Pagan music later after working to get me going and start some chores, I think I am going to do some light yoga this afternoon. I used to go to a yoga class and have tried to keep up with it over the years but the business of life has kept it falling by the way side as I never seem to get to class and I never seem to keep up with it on my own.

Maybe I should start committing to yoga again... starting with 1 day a week and moving up.

When my husband gets laid off this month, the whole house schedule is going to change. Right now his hours suck from 11 am to 7:30-- throws my whole day off because by the time he gets home and we all eat together and the dinner dishes are cleared and the table is wiped and the kids want a little attention, I end up getting to work late at night. And staying up late. Then he gets up with the kids and drags me out of bed around 10: am

Today's Meditation

Visualization is a very important part of Witchcraft. Creative visualization in meditation is a form of positive thinking. It's like brainwashing yourself, but in a good way. Creating your own self-fulfilled prophecy. Some might also say that you are sending out positive energy towards a goal to help bring it closer to you.

I'm not going to argue the physics or metaphysics of Witchcraft. Frankly I don't care if it's 100% supernatural or 100% psychological or some mixture of the two... as long as it works for me in some way.

So, the meditation for today was visualizing looking at a table piled up with the bad foods... the kinds I usually crave... only they didn't look too appetizing. So I watched myself get rid of them and re-set the table with fresh, healthy foods looking delicious.

I really need to start associating those bad foods with the "yuck" instinct. Maybe I should visualize a bug in them or visualize them making me sick or something. One time a dead bug in a frozen spinach packet turned me off spinach for years. One time some friends just joked that there were bugs or worms in chop meat or something like that it and took months before I could eat it. I loved cherries but I couldn't eat them for years after seeing the Witches of Eastwick (I still don't watch the cherry puking parts for fear I won't be able to eat cherries again). Or maybe I should watch something like "Meet your Meat" again... my cousins and I once watched some documentary about slaughter houses and another time I watched Meet your Meat, and I didn't eat a whole lot of meat for months after those shows. Not really vegetarian, I'd still have soup/broths, and fish, especially canned tuna and shell fish, but that's about it. Basically, if it evokes an image that is that strong of a turn-off, I can't eat it for a while. Maybe I need to do that with junk foods, fatty foods, fast foods like McDonalds.

That warding off temptation thing... I'm thinking of a talisman or some kind of mojo bag.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

A little bit of magic works wonders

I have dropped below the 360 mark, so I am making some progress. I pray, Goddess, it continues. We're still in the "easy" phases (given my track record).

We went to Disneyworld yesterday, and I got to thinking about magic. Not magic like spells and spiritual magic, but a different kind of magic... the kind of magic I get at Disney.

Now I know it's not for everyone. I know some people abhor the crowds and lines, see theme parks as greedy and unnatural entities, think old Walt was a fascist & every other thing. You are entitled to your opinions, let's just say I don't share them, so be prepared for me to talk about Disney in a positive light.

We had wanted to go to Disney for 10 years... ever since we moved to FL, and we're about an hour's drive. We finally got annual passes this year so we can go for a day or an overnight, and we are taking full advantage of them!

Anyway, for me, that old Disney magic really grabs me and folds me into it's hold when I am there. The beloved childhood characters become real. The world is clean and beautiful and perfect. Every moment is breath-catching fun. I feel like a child again-- or maybe ageless, as if age and time don't exist, it's all frozen inside the bubble of Lake Buena Vista, Florida, as I frolic with chipmunks and rabbits and space aliens, whirling through the air on a flying elephant or roaring down waterfalls in a carved-out log.

Yesterday we went to Animal Kingdom, the newest of the 4 WDW theme parks. It has a very old-world and natural feel to it. I was less than six feet away from a giraffe (a real one!) and I got to scratch Thumper behind the ears, bask in dappled life beneath the tree of life, was almost eaten by a dinosaur, and, on an expedition to Mount Everest, narrowly escaped the clutches of the Yeti.

The point is, it is magical in my mind if I let it be, and I can immerse myself in that magic, and it makes me realize that anything is possible, that life is how you perceive it. These thoughts and feelings are inspiring, they give me hope and strength to look to the future. And we all can look and and find this kind of inspiration. For me, I can't help but see it everywhere-- Disney, art, nature itself... you might see it elsewhere, but look for it. It's there somewhere.

On a more practical level, I burned up a lot of calories. Granted I did have some ice cream there and ate some Burger King when we left, but life is about moderation, right? That's what I'm trying to achieve here-- balance-- not one extreme to the other. But still, I probably walked (and rode) the calories off and then some.

We plan to go back next Saturday, probably to Hollywood Studios, then EPCOT the week after that, and we're going for an overnight for my son's birthday on February 10th-11th and we'll do the Magic Kingdom.

Lots of walking coming... maybe I should change the name of this blog from "losing Weight with Witchcraft" to "Losing Weight with Theme Parks." I am on the Witchcraft diet and the Disney exercise plan.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

It's Thor's Day

It's Thursday... Thor's Day. And I'm breathing in the strength of Thor with every pore in my being. And I am using that strength to battle the temptations... I want to smoke, and I want to pick on junk food. I am envisioning Thor here for me to support me and help me in my time of need as I call him... that he is using his hammer to smash those cravings and temptations to smitherines.

How can I lose with Thor on my side?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Tuesday night and I should be working or catching up on sleep.

I'm sick of hearing that weight loss is simply a matter of "eating less."

Because what no one realizes is that for many people, the question is, "well how do you do that?"

I wish the answer were as simple, but the sad case is that it's just not.

Eating habits are something that are developed over a lifetime, they are fairly deeply rooted.

When you throw in additional issues, such as hormonal problems or drugs that make you resistant to weight loss, physical ailments that prevent exercise, or people who have psychological issues with food such as comfort eaters, as well as the fact of how hard it is to break bad habits (like, how you eat day in day out your whole life).

Think about it-- we are programmed to want to eat. Go back to cave men days... eating is pleasurable because it is a necessary thing to do. Your body-- or brain-- or both-- urged you to eat because you had to eat to survive, so it made eating enjoyable. A happy experience. It's the same brain with the same instincts, but different environment now. Now, food is in abundance, but that doesn't change the instinct. Maybe this is why the more food is in abundance in our society, the more convenient and readily available unhealthy food is, the more the problem of obesity grew. Think about it-- even back in the 1800s most people had to work their asses off for food. Much was still home-grown and home-caught. Preparing it was a bitch with gathering wood and lighting fires making everything from absolute scratch without any electric appliances. But the more food became a commodity in the 20th century, the more people lost the battle of the bulge.

One of the worst things is that when you are addicted to food, you still have to eat. I mean, what's the first thing they tell you when you're addicted to drugs or alcohol? They tell you to stay the hell away from them! They tell you not to go to bars, not to keep the stuff in your house, and not to hang out with your old friends or in old places if it involves drugs or alcohol.

Do you know how hard it would be for a drug addict or alcoholic to be told, "here, you can have just a little every day, but just a little!" How many people do you think would be successful in shaking the addiction? Huh? How many would not be addicts any more and be able to live a normal life with a beer or a joint a day but never any more?

Meanwhile, we live in this society with a drive-thru window on just about every corner, we are assaulted with food ads on tv and in magazines, we have to eat to survive which means we have to partake of our addition on a daily basis and still manage to control it somehow even though genetic, psychological, physiological, plain old bad habits and ingeneous marketing campaigns are working against us.

We are supposed to fight temptation, when by all standards the temptation is completely overwhelming.

Frankly, I don't think being fat in the situation our society is in right now is all that surprising-- I think it is almost amazing that anyone managed to stay thin! While I applaud many of them who probably just had better discipline than I did, I'll bet that for many others of them they just got lucky and didn't have to defeat as many environmental and social and phsyiological factors as I do. So many of them cannot imagine the challenge as I face it.

And then the offered solution is to just "eat less" ???!!!???

Being fat is just the symptom... not being able to eat less (at least not for long periods of time) is actually the problem.

I am so sick of people acting like there is just some simple solution to the problem. If it were simple, obesity rates wouldn't be ever-growing. If it were simple, there wouldn't need to be 100 different diet plans on the market, and people wouldn't have to try 99 of them, because the first one would have worked. If it were simple people wouldn't be living their lives feeling miserable and unattractive, people would not be dying from weight-related diseases.

No, it's not simple to just eat less when every cell seems to be screaming at you to shovel something into your mouth, when it makes you want to cry because you want to eat something you shouldn't soooo badly, when you toss and turn at night and are all agitated and you can't think or get anything done because your brain is telling you to EAT EAT EAT whether your stomach is hungry or not.

Maybe that is something society needs to work on first if we are going to solve this obesity epidemic-- let's stop pretending it's easy. Let's stop pretending it's a matter of some minor modification. Let's stop pretending that it's not a complex problems with many, many different factors leading to it. Let's be intellectually honest and admit that it is hard, that it is complex, that there is no easy single solution.

Me, I ate some things this week that I shouldn't have. One night I had Doritos, Pepsi & chocolate. I was stressing and PMSing. But you know what, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. It happens. It's okay to have those things, as long as it is occasional-- moderate-- rather than habitual. For the most part, I've been eating my veggies & fruits, trying to cut down on the butter and mayo and other such stuff in everything, drinking water. All good things. Not as much exercise as I like, but I've had to work a lot lately and I work sitting on my ass.

But I'm going to Disneyworld this weekend so I'm going to do plenty of walking and very little eating because I can't afford the food there (I live near by, we have passes, but I couldn't go if I bought food there for the whole family! $10 just for a round of soft drinks! $50 and up for lunch at a snack stand! Umm, I love Disney, but no way). But I'm hoping that couple of days of light snacking and light eating and heavy walking and having too much fun to worry about food will push me under the 360 line.

Wow, less than 2 weeks now and you get the next photo. I guess I'll take it on the last day of the month. I wonder if there will be any difference? Maybe I should wear the same clothes and do the same pose so it will be easier to judge. I'm not kidding myself though, it might take a few more months for a noticable difference.

So the spell I am doing is to fight that voice in my head-- to silence it when it tells me to eat. I don't need it egging me on anymore, I'm not a cave woman. I know enough to put some food in my mouth 3 times a day, I don't need that voice tormenting me beyond that. I'm going to work this week to write it and figure out the best timing for it, but in the mean time I will begin adding it to my daily meditations and affirmations.

Still eating enchanted grapefruit, by the way. I eat 2 grapefruits each day in place of one meal, and they are so delicious! No qualms about it! I will be sad when I finish them probably by the end of this month. They were free! I love that!!!

But we are coming into strawberry season around here, when the local growers have them everywhere and soooo cheap and they are huge and red and sweet. So I will probably start eating those for the month of February.

I'm also getting ready for gardening next month (here in zone 8 we get 2 growing seasons) to set out tomatoes & peppers. I also will be putting up zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, lettuce & of course a variety of herbs. Believe it or not, I don't even have an actual garden, I have a sunny screened-in porch that gets great southern exposure, and I grow them in containers. This year I am trying to grow them upside-down. I've actually known about this for over 10 years but never had the need to do it before (or a good place to hang plants). Now since I've moved and I only have the small porch I'm going to give it a go.

I also want to get a bike so I can drive less around the neighborhood. I can take my poor dog for better walks, too-- he's so damn fast and likes to run, and I waddle so slow behind him. I do bring him to the dog park and let him off the leash and he runs in big laps around it for 20 minutes so fast I think he was a race horse in a former life. I can tell he wants to go faster, a bike will help. I wonder what the maximum amount of weight a bicycle can take? I wonder if I can afford to get one that can take my weight after I get under 300 lbs or something?

Ah, I've just been rambling for quite some time now, so, till next time...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Moving right along...

So I've had a bit of a cold and am out of it yesterday and today. And my computer is going wonky, the internet goes in and out, or it gets really slow. So I've just been avoiding it. Now I have all this work to catch up on. Going to be a long weekend.

Yesterday, I ate probably more than I should have... I was feeling peckish. Nothing crazy, not like I went out and binged on Taco Bell and Dairy Queen or anything like that-- I just kept picking on things like popcorn, crackers & cream cheese, lemon sorbet (my son made some out of the fresh lemons we got-- delicious, and fat free, but not calorie free).

Also, I realized, I was craving a cigg so it was some kind of oral fixation of wanting to put something in my mouth. But today I ate my enchanted grapefruits for breakfast and got back on track.

I was going to plan a spell for weight loss this weekend. I've been doing some bits of folk magic and whatnot, but haven't really designed a spell for my goal.

But my husband is getting laid off next month most likely (well, they said they'd try to place everyone in different departments when they close his, but it looks unlikely, and he's really depressed about the idea of going back to customer service or some other crappy, draining position like that), so I'm going to put the weight loss spell on the back burner and help him do some work towards getting another job. It's a tough economy, he's going to need all the help he can get, so send out prayers and good energy if you're out there.

(I wonder if anyone is actually out there?)

But I've been spending some time meditating on things I can do and I think I have some ideas. So far I am out of the gate but it is still early. I want to really be ready for battle in a month or so, when things really get tough.

I'm pretty out of it right now so I'm going to go before I start rambling incessantly.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Technically, it's Monday night, but we've gone and crossed over that midnight mark.

So, my husband did see the comment made about Peter DeLuise. Ah, well, not like he didn't know... he has his little fantasies too. At least my pic of Peter DeLuise was dressed, unlike some of my husband's fantasy pics I've found over the years.

He laughed his ass off at me, actually, and put a big pic of Peter DeLuise up on my desktop wallpaper. LOL.

I worked like the dickens for 3 days, then took the night off the computer on Sunday while my husband used it so I could scrapbook for a while.

And I got to thinking how people keep looking for these big, mystical, unexplainable things when they want magic.

So few people understand magic.

Real magic has always been the practical. That's why our ancestors did it back in the day. They weren't looking for party tricks, they were looking to get through. That's how they learned that herbs heal, how chanting can help program your mind toward your goal, how sounds and scents can motivate a person.

So as I am scrapbooking, I am thinking how people are missing the real magic in life because they are waiting for the fake stuff to happen before their eyes.

The magic of creativity-- how the act of creation can recharge your batteries, how it can sweep you up in elation. How it can make the challenges seem easier to surmount when you're on that creative high.

There's a little magic for you right there.

And what I did all day today-- cleaned! Yes, cleaned. Something about January and the after-holiday aftermath, I begin to want to start fresh and get things in order... call it an early Spring cleaning. So today I focused on the living room, re-arranged the furniture, organized a lot of crap and got rid of a grocery store wagon full of junk.

So I feel lighter now, fresher, more at ease, more harmonious. Though physically the work was hard and I'm tired, it was rejuvenating and energizing just the same.

And today I laughed with my kids. My oldest is out on her own, but my boys are 8 and 11 and they homeschool so they were here all day with me. After they did their assignments they helped me get some things in order. We smiled together, and joked, and felt the love.

This is the magic. This is the energy that gets us going and gives us the fortitude to meet our goals. These are the moments we live for, and they are magical.

And unfortunately, people underestimate real magic like this. They are waiting for someone to turn a guy into a frog or someone to fly on a broomstick. For some reason, these feats would satisfy them, as if such things would actually be useful. But our ancestors didn't do magic as parlor tricks to entertain each other, but to keep life flowing unimpeded and direct their paths towards the desired outcome.

And when you can do that, that's real magic, and you'd be amazed at the results.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Not to get political on you...

Today Ben Says: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

That's why I love him. Boy, if I had one wish, it would be to bring him back to life and send him to Washington. Let him talk to congress, the President, and address the nation to remind them of what attitude made this country great in the first place.

And I will leave it at that.

So we got about 20 fresh lemons from someone in the neighborhood whose tree overfloweth with more than he needed. So my son, an 11 year old budding chef who got an ice cream maker for the holidays, is making a fat free lemon sorbet today. He just got done squeezing and the house smells wonderful-- all citrusy and lemony and fresh. I can't wait for dessert tonight. We're having veggie quiches for dinner and the sorbet afterward.

Thought I woke up with today: I really want to go to Disneyworld. We live less than an hour away and got seasonal passes this year and it's just my happy place, what can I say?

I feel like going to Animal Kingdom, but because of not working last week, we're behind on bills, and so I have to work this week and I have to be frugal this week, and the house cleaning needs some catching up too.

Ah, well. Maybe if I work really, really hard I will be able to make it next weekend. I could use a Disney fix.

Totally random thing: I don't have cable, so I went digging through the video cabinet last week for something to put on as "background noise." As I did some chores, and I pulled out my old 21 Jumpstreet videos. I like them better than the new DVDs because they have the original 80's soundtrack, I taped them when the show originally aired. I used to love that show, realize I still do. It's a dang good show. Johnny Depp is so young, he looks like a baby. And Peter DeLuis is amazingly mouthwateringly hot. I want to just put him on a silver platter and feast. Mmmm. I hope my husband doesn't read this blog.

Magical talk later. For now, work. I will be back tonight.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Go with the Flow...


Sacred Element of life.

Water has the power to move mountains, to carve through the Earth, to alter the physical.

Physically, our bodies are mostly made up of water. The planet is mostly made up of water.

Metaphysically, Water represents fluidity, emotions, introspection, healing, purification, rejuvenation... the ebb and flow of life... water helps bring balance... water nourishes and nurtures us and shapes us from the time we are in the womb.

Western River,
Devotee of the moon,
Gentle sculpter
Of Babes in the womb
Spring of jubilation
Courage and Tears
Giver of the sweet love
That soothes all our fears
(from Reclaiming & Friends, Second Chants)

Ocean Mother healing
She is the healer of the Earth
Ocean Mother crying
She is the mourner of the Earth
Ocean Mother laughing
She is the brightness of the Earth
Ocean Mother birthing
She is the cradle of the Earth
(Inanna Arthen, Mother Tongue, All Beings of the Earth)

I woke up thinking this as I grabbed for a bottle of water.

Tarot of the day: 3 of cups. Coincidence? Possibly... or maybe there are no coincidences.

Today is Friday, the perfect day to build an altar to water. I will build it on the western wall, with a shimmery blue cloth, and place on it a silver cup, and sea salt in a sea shell, and I will invoke a Water Goddess and receive the energy of water. And I'll put my bottles of water for the day, and inscribe the bottles with the ancient rune LAGAZ which is associated with the element of Water and the human psyche. And I will cleanse that water and charge it to do what it exists to do... to transform and nourish and purify me inside and out... and go to that altar on Fridays to pay honor and make libations in gratitude.

(photo by me by the way... like it?)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just Peeking In...

I had planned mainly to write at night before retiring, but because I usually go to bed after midnight it posts as the next day. Maybe I should indicate night posts or day posts.

This is definitely a day post, I'm just peeking in, which I'll so sometimes if I sit to take a break and mess around with E-mail, web surfing or games. Last couple of days, this whole thing has been heavy on my mind though so I guess I keep wandering here as I make my plans of what to do next.

The urge to smoke has passed for the most part (though it does get worse at night, I'll admit). I'm at my mother's house and I'm happy to say I am not only not stealing one of her ciggs, I also turned down a can of Pepsi.

I did however indulge in a single chocolate covered cherry and let it just melt in my mouth while I savored it. I know I'm trying to lose weight, but really, a life without the occasional chocolate is just not worth living. Moderation, and all that.

That 10 of Swords is still making me nervous just looking at it. I guess I'm still sensitive from my meltdown last weekend, but I keep fearing that something is going to happen to cause another one. I know there is no real personal connection to the computer-generated "Tarot of the Day" in the sidebar, it's not like doing a personal reading, however that card gives me the creeps no matter where it shows up... maybe I'll get lucky and a more positive card will pop up tonight/tomorrow and I'll feel a lot better after getting through the day. And if we manage to get the rent/bills in order by the end of the week/week end, I'll feel a lot better by Monday.

I can't let these negative thoughts weight me down. I am a firm believer that when you act/think/feel negatively, you just draw more negativity to yourself. When you act/think/feel positively, you draw more positive energy to yourself. 2% of life is what happens to you, and the other 98% is how you react to it.

So I need to get a grip, stop being all tense and nervous and paranoid and start taking more control. I have tackled greater challenges in the past and I have rebounded from bigger set backs. I am capable and hard work/effort/planning will always win out. I need to go meditate to remind myself of all this and internalize it because there seems to be a part of me that is just resistant to it and the tension/paranoia keep creeping in. I kept tossing and turning last night dreaming of "worst case scenario" type dreams with everything I am worried about.

See you tonight.

Oops... I didn't need to think about that

Tarot of the Day: 10 of swords (shudder). A lot of people who don't understand the Tarot get freaked out by the Death card or the Devil, which aren't really that bad. But the 10 of Swords. (shudder again). That's one I really hate to see.

And it's not one I needed to think about tonight. If you look at the card in most decks, you'll see some poor guy lying in a pool of his own blood with 10 swords sticking up out of him . It indicates utter defeat. Game over, you lose, big time.

Food-wise I'm doing okay, though I'm not really on any majory restrictive diet. I'm eating in moderation, upping the veggies and water and lean meats, passing on more fatty and sugary things. Basically, following the food pyramid. I'm not counting calories or anything.

Take today's menu, for example. For breakfast, a cup of coffee with some sugar and fat free half & half, and a grapefruit with Splenda. For lunch, there was a big bowl of leftover mixed veggies (mostly broccoli, also peas, carrots, corn, green beans) from last night's crockpot chicken & veggie meal. No meat, no butter or sauces or anything, just the seasoned veggies-- must have been close to two cups. For dinner we had spaghetti (one of the few white-flour carbs I'll allow), but I had a smaller serving of the pasta, about half a plate that I normally would. I home-made the sauce (no meat) so it was basically pure tomatoes with spices-- just a small splash of olive oil to sweat the onions & garlic, but I made about 4 quarts so it doesn't amount to much per serving. Half the sauce is in the freezer now for next Wednesday (Wed. is almost always spaghetti night at our house). With it I made some baked zucchini with the tomato sauce, garlic and just a hint of low-fat mozarella cheese (about 1/2 ounce per serving). I didn't bread or fry them, though. Then we had fat free angelfood cake with Cool Whip lite and strawberries for dessert, and I had another cup of coffee. I drank crystal lite with dinner and water the rest of the day.

Not bad-- good food, home-made, satisfying, no excess fats, a little sugar today but nothing excessive. I also walked the dog for about an hour to and from the market, and spent a few hours doing a really good "Winter Cleaning" on my kitchen-- gave everything a good wipe & sweep & mop, from top to bottom, behind the stove, fridge, inside cabinets, pulled everything out of the fridge and washed it down inside and out, re-arranged some shelves though most of the cabinets were already organized so I just wiped them down... I'm tired. That was a fair bit of exercise if I do say so myself. I'm not the most active person, I don't go jogging or anything, but I'm not totally stationary, either... I go places with the kids, walk, I like to camp and swim when I can, and the cleaning seems to offer at least moderate activity each day.

So it's not so much the food/weight loss that worries me tonight. It's the smoking. I'm still having niccotine cravings. I think it's stress because of financial difficulties. We were already behind on some things, and then when I had my melt-down last weekend I didn't work as I had planned, so now I'm going to be about $250 short on the bills/expenses, and this is stressing me out because I'm afraid something is going to cave in, because my husband and I tonight realize we have to pretty much choose between food/laundry/gas, or rent & electricity. Not a fun decision and I just don't know where we're going to come up with the money by Monday. It wouldn't be so bad, but all the late fees have killed us now.

If we fail to pay rent, we're going to get tossed out fast-- it's pretty scary. The laws around here are in favor of the landlord, and we're in a very big, impersonal complex. The rent is due on the first and you have till about the 11th or 12th to pay it, and if not you have 3 days to get out. The sherriff shows up on the 15th, or that's what they tell me.

We're such good tenants... quiet, clean, take care of the place, friendly, don't pester the management office with minor things, and almost always pay on time. I think this is our 2nd time being late with the rent in the last 10 or 12 years, and only by a week last time. I've never even had a security deposit kept on me because when I've moved I give proper notice, wait out the lease, and the condition of the apartment is usually better than it was when I moved in.

But this place we just moved into last year is strict, you have to pay the water with the rent & electricity because they want to make sure tenants keep their utilities up to date. If you don't pay it all, they won't just accept the rent alone.

Like I said, we're about $250 short on that, and if we do come up with the money it will leave us penniless for another 10 days or so till I get paid for some work I did, so I don't know how my husband will get to work or how we'll feed the kids or clean the clothes once we pay-- but we can't go homeless I guess, so really there is no choice.

We pretty much earn too much to try and get any kind of assistance from the government, but too little to really pull ahead and get comfortable. We've had a few setbacks in the last year with this economy, my husband lost all his overtime and times are just tough... top it off, my husband is getting laid off at the end of the month so hopefully he'll find another job within the next 6 weeks. We're just having a bad month, really, I'm sure we'll be back on track next month, I'm sure he'll find something even if he has to take a couple of part time jobs for the time being stocking groceries or delivering pizza until something better comes through...

So yeah, sorry... digressing; but it's all part of the stress that is making me want to smoke, and that 10 of Swords is not making me feel very confident. I really don't know where I'll go if I lose this place, my whole family would have to move into my mother's spare room or something and it would be a scramble. i have never been evicted before so part of me would be mortified, and the other part would be really bummed because we moved around a couple of times in the last couple of years because we couldn't find a place we liked, and we really like this place.

So... I'm doing some little charms for money and holding my breath. Keep us in your prayers if you're out there reading this and got through this rather lengthy rant. Sorry to complain. Wow, I've been doing a lot of that lately it feels like. But I guess getting the things off my chest that make it difficult is all part of the journey, huh?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

My Little Runner is Out of the Gate

Looks like my little runner in my ticker up there is off to a good start. She's got a long road ahead. I'm looking forward to watching her progress.

Today is a day for cleansing. Little struggling yesterday, a bad struggle over the weekend. I've got a fresh sage smudge stick. I made it with my last harvest and it's been dried and is ready to go. I'm going to cleanse the vibrations in the house today, getting into every nook and cranny.

Of course, before I do that, I'm rallying up the troops to clean first. Metaphysical cleansing is really pointless without physical cleansing-- kind of like putting your dishes in the dishwasher without rinsing them off first. There is always bound to be some residual crud left behind.

I am lighting a candle to Hestia, my patron Goddess, on my small kitchen shrine to her. This shrine consists of a censer, a small bowl for offerings, and a red candle. I shall light the candle, burn some incense, make her an offering of milk and honey, and offer a prayer to her to help us do a good, swift, cheerful job.

My husband is cleaning my room before he goes to work (small job, and his mess, anyway). I plan to tackle my kitchen properly-- oh, how I love my kitchen bright and lemony-fresh!!!-- and the boys are picking up their room and the clutter that has accumulated in the living/dining room and their room. If everything else is in order it will be easier to take down and put away the window lights and Yule tree.

We have a small apartment and live in what is probably the bug capital of the continental US (Florida) so organization and neatness are imperative; not to mention, order and cleanliness really help my state of mind.

After cleaning I'm going to sage every nook and cranny and dark corner. Then I will probably sage myself and meditate. That is the magical act of today.

Tonight is spaghetti night. So I need to get my sauce on, too. Only home-made will do in this house.

Energy and persistence conquer all things

Ben (below) said a mouthful today when he said, "Energy and persistence conquer all things." Why do I have Ben Franklin quotes below my blog? He's a hero of mine. Seriously, I love the guy. He had the best attitude ever and was so wise. If I could ever be a 10th of what Ben was, I would be doing okay. A little random tid-bit: I named my dog Ben, after Franklin.

Today has been a little tough... no, not "melt down" tough like the other day. I'm over that particular incident, and you've probably seen me at my absolute worst a little earlier than I would have liked. I'm not one to melt down normally, or have a bad attitude; in general I love life and all things it offers, but it happens occasionally when I haven't taken any of the necessary vitamins in a while. When it's over, I sleep for a while and wake up better. I'm better now.

No, today was normal tough: crunched for time and didn't get all the chores done, a transformer blew so the whole block was blacked out for an hour when I was supposed to be working and it set me back... that kind of tough. Led to a little nic fits here and there.

So my husband helped me cleanse my energy. He does that for me every now and then (sometimes it even helps me come down from a melt down if I let him). Basically he brushes away the negativity and helps balance my aura. It's very relaxing for me and it's pretty much helped settle me for the night.

I still kinda want a cigg but not so bad. I'm hanging in there.

Still doing my affirmations & drinking my water & eating my enchanted grapefruits.

I'm down about 6 pounds in 6 days. In case you've never been seriously obese, no, that's not an unhealthy loss. It's pretty normal for a fat person like myself to lose what seems like a significant amount of weight on the first few weeks of being on a weight loss plan. I think I read it's mostly water or something. The bigger you are, the bigger that initial loss will be.

However, a pound or two per day is not something that keeps up (and would not at all be healthy-- yes it would be nice, but I'm in no rush. I'm not trying to fit into a pair of skinny jeans, I'm in this for my health for the rest of my life); the longer you go on losing, the more weight loss will slow down to a reasonable, healthy amount, about 2 to 4 lbs per month or so. It's at this point where one like me can begin getting impatient, because even though I know this is the real weight loss-- the real burning of fat-- the scale isn't going down as rapidly as it did in the beginning.

At some point, it's common to hit "the wall" when your body begins to shut down a bit, wants to hold on to it's energy reserves, you're gaining muscle/losing fat and things are redistributing, all this is going on and basically you stop losing weight for a while... this is when it can get really frustrating for me. This is where I've abandoned hope many times in the past. If you can get over the wall, you will resume with a healthy weight loss and the sun will seem to rise again, however, it's a long, dark night before the dawn, and I don't think I've ever gotten through that night before.

Picture it: You were losing quickly, then it slowed, now it stopped. You can lose energy, the scale isn't moving, you're hungry and about at the point when you're a little sick of this new lifestyle and miss old habits and are ready for the comfort of converting back to your old ways. This is when I'm really going to need a safe harbor to ride out the storm because this kind of discouragement can be hard to deal with. I'm looking for signs of that wall coming, I'm planning some ways to deal with it already.

Like Ben said... Energy & Persistance Conquer. I must Conquer.

What was good today: the kids had fun with the black out, lighting candles and roaming the complex with neighbors wielding flashlights. Even as a child, black outs were always fun. I remember the big one of 77 in Brooklyn as a child. But the best thing about black outs is that you know, eventually, without a doubt, light will return. I have to keep telling myself that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Water, Positive Affirmations & Big Citrus Score

I am drinking more water. Coffee is cut to two (all right, large, but just two for now as opposed to four or six!) cups per day with fat-free creamer instead of half & half, I'm having some Crystal Lite or herbal tea when I crave some flavor, and water the rest of the time.

I am making positive affirmations in the morning & night, and whenever I go to the bathroom or bedroom and look in the mirror. I say things like, "I am a strong and capable person who can defeat these challenges," or "I have the power to control my own life, my own destiny, and my own body."

Affirmations-- like chants, and those neat rhymes people often associate with spells-- have roots in psychology. Neurolinguistic programming, self-fulfilled prophecies-- basically, positive self brainwashing of sorts. This is part of Witchcraft.

A lot of people think Witchcraft is "supernatural" but that's just the myths, legends and fiction that have grown up around Witchcraft. Real Witchcraft, throughout the ages, is using techniques that work for various reasons-- whatever has an effect on the mind and redirects it towards the goal. This could be a scent, a sound, a color, a symbol, a word.

Finally, BIG SCORE...

I used to rent a house with citrus trees. I hated them, but damned if I was going to let good free food go to waste. So, I trained myself to like them* and I used to go out every morning in the yard and sit with my coffee, in the beautiful, mild, sub-tropical weather, the air laden with the scent of my growing herbs along the side of the patio, pick a grapefruit dripping with sunny pink-and-yellow fruits, and eat it for breakfast. We've moved to an apartment since, and while I still have a great porch with Southern Exposure for a small herb & salad garden, fruit trees are obviously not an option.

Well, a friend has a grapefruit tree and doesn't eat grapefruits. So she picked her tree clean and gave them to me! I have 4 big grocery store plastic bags full of them! I am going to juice some, peel & freeze some, and leave some in the fridge for the weeks to come.

Grapefruits are high in Vitamin C, have fiber and electrolyte potassium so they are good for hydration.

Grapefruit is ruled by Saturn, and Saturns influences can help you break bad habits, but it also contains the planetary metals of Jupiter and infuenced by the the element of water. Grapefruit has a lot of healing properties, particularly as a natural anti-depressant and stimulant, so of course I want to take full advantage of this by enchanting them tonight.

Enchanting is giving them a sort of magical boost (or "magickal" as some people like to write, but I really hate using that "k"... it just feels so wrong to deliberately misspell it!). I am basically aligning the plant's natural energy with my goal so that it will bring me maximum vitality and energy that it can. Hopefully this will get me going a little more so I get some more exercise in.

*(mind over matter-- I have done this over the years with most vegetables and fruits. If you've read my post about what I turned up going within, you'll know that veggies and fruits were not a big part of my childhood. But in my adulthood, I have learned to train myself to like what I want to like. This comes in handy as I really think eating a variety of fresh, wholesome foods like fruits and veggies will be important to my goal).

I "Went Within".... And here's what I turned up...

So, I did a meditation/creative visualization.

I began to relax and clear my mind by my usual method, and went to my sacred space (that place inside your mind that is like your own personal Club Med). There, I called for the Old Wise Woman to come to me.

Now, the Old Wise Woman, you might think of Her as my "Higher Self," or as a "Guide" or perhaps the Goddess Herself. In a way, She is all three. I first met Her in meditation about 15 years ago. I asked Her if She were the Goddess. She answered, "I am the part of Her that is part of you." Whatever you decipher that to me, She is the one I look for when I have problems and seek answers to tough questions.

So I called to the Old Wise Woman, and She came down the path as usual. And I told Her I needed to figure out some of the moments in my life that helped set me on this path to the point I have come to (375).

And She took me by the hand in some kind of Ghost-of-Christmas-Past type journey through my life.

Issues #1 - 12: My parents & my childhood diet. Yikes, my parents. Did they just set me on the wrong course from the start... soda pop like water. Oreo cookies for breakfast. Not just a few cookies-- one whole sleeve of the 3 packaged sleeves that come in the box. That's like 20 cookies. Another popular breakfast: graham crackers, evolving to half a box at a sitting. Midnight snacks: more cookies, ice cream, soda, etc., every night, because my mother thought you shouldn't go to bed hungry. This was all before I was even 8 years old. The issue is not that they fed me snacks, but that there was practically no limit to junk and sweets.

To top it off, meals were not at all healthy. Large portions of protein, often fried, and really big portions of carbs laden with fat and salt. Lots of fried stuff. Their idea of a vegetable was a can of corn dripping with butter and mashed potatoes along side your deep fried chicken cutlet. Lots of cold cuts. Lots of mayo. Lots of fast food. Lots and Lots and Lots of pasta. Huge portions. Ever growing. No limits.

The extent of actual vegetables I ate: occasional (once a week or so) salad consisting of iceberg lettuce, cucumber and tomato, or just cuke & tomato with oil. Occasional tomato on sandwiches. Occasionally, I ate spinach, the one green vegetable I like, but my mother fries it with about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil & garlic. The spinach soaked up all the oil. And I liked to crunch on carrot sticks sometimes.

Okay, I think you get the picture. 'Nuff said.

Issues #13: eating for attention. I loved attention. Part of it is, well, I'm a Leo. Partly maybe it's because my parents sometimes gave me too much and I became addicted to it, or partly because sometimes they gave me far too little and I starved for it, but I ate a lot for attention.

Let me elaborate. I was a skinny little girl with a huge appetite. People somehow found this amusing. So when I'd eat a lot, they'd "Oooh," and "wow" and "look at how this little girl can eat!!!" And they'd say I had some healthy appetite, and must have a fast metabolism and offer me more.

And I liked the attention. Sometimes I'd stuff myself beyond comfort for more of the attention.

Also, if my mom was busy, or my aunts were visiting, one of the greatest ways to get one of these Italian women who loved to feed people to give you attention was to tell them you were hungry.

Issue #14: Ignoring body cues. Not only was I aways offered bigger portions, but my mother would always say things like, "it's jsut a little left, why don't you just finish it?" instead of letting me learn to listen to my natural body cues. So I became pretty deaf to my body cues, if I ever had any (I don't remember). I got into the habit of "you eat till all the food is gone" compounded by the habit of "always cook for an army." Two bad habits that when they go hand-in-hand can be quite destructive to one's womanly figure.

Issue #15: Bad Food Habits. Food as the ultimate reward or consolation prize for anything and everything. Feeling bad? Have a cookie. Feeling good? Go get a treat. Sad? Some ice cream will cheer you up. Lonely? Bored? Have a sandwich, it'll keep you company and give you something to do.

I carried this over from childhood into adulthood, realizing that EVERYTHING in life has come to revolve around food. No freakin' joke! Consider these:

  • a holiday is coming. What shall we eat? We should bake. We should make our traditional favorites, and some new stuff. Lets make enough for lots of leftovers. We should do a nice breakfast or brunch early before we start cooking for the holiday meal!
  • Wanna go bowling? Yes! And lets get some cheese fries and cherry Pepsi! Staple bowling foods!
  • How 'bout a movie? Okay. Lets hit the concession stand. If you get an extra-large popcorn, and an extra-large soda, they let you refill them as much as you want.
  • What do you say we go for a walk in the park? Sure. I'll pack a picnic lunch. How about some chocolate covered strawberries, they're in season. Fried chicken. Biscuits. Cole slaw. This rocks, we should have done this yesterday.
  • Ummm, the beach, then? You know it! I love the beach! I love to swim. I love to lay in the sand. We should bring some pork and barbecue!
  • Err, how about just doing some shopping instead? Excellent-- I know a great little coffee shop with the best maple walnut scones! Perfect for a shopping break!
  • On final thought, let's just stay in. Maybe watch a movie. Sure. Let's stop for some pizza on the way home. How about Doritos and a Pepsi? Or make ice cream shakes.
See? It's sad, isn't it. I mean, planning to eat a good meal with friends, or enjoy a snack, well, that's part of the fun when people do things. But for me, the event, no matter how grand or how minor, seems to just set the stage for a new adventure in dining. My Goddess, after this I feel like I need to get a life.

Issue #16: Sexual Abuse. Yes. Ongoing. Starting at about age 6. I will have to reserve details for later because it's difficult to write about. I read somewhere that women who were sexually abused as children subconsciously put on weight because on some level they want to be unattractive in hopes that no one will try to take advantage of them. I don't know about that... but the Old Wise Woman did say that it was a blow to my confidence and self-esteem. This led me to always be too hard on myself, but also to give up on myself too quickly. I was not able to accept or love myself for a long time (maybe 15 or 20 years) after the abuse happened. I wanted to care, but couldn't. Also the stress probably triggered my neurotransmitter deficiency to first begin kicking in, which is genetic, but is exacerbated by stress. I have to think more on this one. This one is a tough one. I'm not sure if I'm completely over this, but then I wonder how do you get over something like that? What does it feel like to be over it? I mean, I get on. But I must admit, it still haunts my dark dreams occasionally.

Issue #17: Genetics & hormones. If I had been brought up in a family with better, healthier eating habits and attitudes, or if I could have gotten control of myself at an earlier age, things might have not gotten so bad. As it was, I had both the genetic factor and the environmental factor working against me. Hormones, she said, also played a part... puberty was when I first began putting on weight, and most of the weight I gained after that came after (not during) my 3 pregnancies. I have to look up the connections between hormones and weight gain.

Issue #18: Physical Limitations. I've had a few times in my life when I have been unable to move. I was once rear-ended in a car, my back was injured and I was laid up for almost a year. In the last 10 years, I've had allergy-sparked pneumonia that laid me up each time for four or five months, unable to breathe-- let alone move. I was at one time more physcially fit, but these things led to my muscles getting flabby & me becoming more lethergic. It got harder to get back up and move after these bouts.

So there you have it... some of the things in my life that contribute to my current problem. I wouldn't say I'm looking to blame anyone, or scapegoats. I am looking for reasons why this current problem came to be so I can figure out the best course to overcome it. I know it's more complicated that just "putting down the food and getting up to exercise" -- as some say-- because if it were that easy I'd have been okay when I tried that over and over. I just was never able to keep it up for long. Maybe now, with some insight as to why it was so hard to keep it up, I can move on.

At least, I pray I can.

Back on Track

I had a really rough couple of days, but I'm back on track.

I figured I'd have to get into this eventually, so let me explain a bit. I have a neurotransmitter deficiency. Sometimes, this can lead to obsessive/compulsive behavior, paranoia and depression.

My over-eagerness in setting myself up for my new challenge was one stress; the fact that I woke up and small things didn't go as I had planned make the house of cards tumble.

Plans are a touchy subject with me with this condition... when plans go to pot, in a normal state of mind, I can brush it off. But, under stress, if the chemicals are imbalanced and plans go to pot, it can lead to a nuclear melt down. This is what happened the other day. I woke up and my husband did some things in opposition to my plans... And in a more calm & normal state of mind, I'd be like, "babe, what were you thinking?" and move on. But I was under-slept and over-stimulated about this "new start"... so this opposition began to hit me like a cold slaps in the face, one after another, until I crumpled up into a pile of goo on the floor.

If you're wondering, he used up all the eggs so I couldn't poach mine (I planned to eat poached eggs), left me cold & rubbery left-over eggs from a couple of hours before I woke up (yuck-- ruined breakfast!), made fried bologna with the eggs (what happened to healthy?!!!), and had another pack of fresh ciggs at the ready when we promised to quit at midnight New Years Eve (why did he buy them?!!!!??!!!)... like I said, he didn't do anything terrible.

I feel kinda bad that he had to endure the melt down, I keep trying to remind him to think ahead & check with me and my plans, but he forgot.

Neurotransmitter deficiencies (NTDs) like I have are commonly treated with SSRIs (you know, drugs like Prozac?) , but I don't take them. SSRI's don't always work on NTDs. They can make them worse, or they can work for a while and then dosages or meds need to be changed so it can be a constant up and down.

The treatment I've found to work best for me is amnio acid therapy. Basically vitamins, mainly amino acids.

See, your body makes neurtransmitters, uses them and disposes of them. SSRIs help you use and dispose of neurotransmitters in hopes that your brain will compensate by picking up the production. Amino Acids & the right vitamin combination helps your body produce the neurotransmitters. Some people will need SSRIs no matter what, but the vitamins take care of me just fine so I stay away from the chemical stuff because in my case it's unnecessary.

My NTD is part of my problem... especially when it went decades undiagnosed. Some symptoms are chronic insomnia & fatigue (hard to have energy to do anything when you can't sleep and you're always tired, so your days are "lazy" and you get used to being lethargic), cravings for things like sugar & carbs (which help stimulate neurotransmitters-- basically, your body figures out it's a self-medication, even though it's unhealthy chow and results in weight gain), and depression (which can be a bad situation for a comfort eater).

So controlling NTD is going to be a pretty important aspect on my road to recovery. But, since vitamis aren't covered by insurance, I can't always afford to buy them so I lapse once in a while. And I've lapsed a couple of months ago. I need to go shopping for them.

Anyway, I'm back on track, and I've had some insightful meditations when "going within," but I will describe those in another post because this one is already too long.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I don't think I can do this

I think maybe I made a mistake. I don't think i can do this... all the pain. There's just so much pain in my past and too much to deal with when i try to face it. they touched me and raped me and my mosther said i lied. they fed me oreos for breakfast and soda instead of water and put the tv on and left me alonek and made esxuceses.s

I needed help so bad but i don't have any and i am afraid to ask because whenever i ever did to the people who were supposed to care about me they said use but didn;t4

I begged my family for their help again and they yes me again and blew it off again as if i am just being a fussy,spoilet child.

I was desperate but now I'm thinking this just may not be possible in any way. Now I'm thinking maybe i am just the stupidest freaking idiot on the planet to think it's possible.

The only thing i do sknowis that i don't want to live like this. i pray to the goddess to take me now because it's all just going downhill faster and faster and it keeps getting harder to try and climb back up. I think i just might be at the bottom it is futile and i would rather not live than live here.

i'm just sick right now. sick of my freaking husband and his freaking ciggarrettes and fried balogny as his way fo starting the new year right. I am so stuid to think i could dot his because i cant do it without help and he has proven iiover andover that he will yues me and never help.

goddd i want to die so bad and stop facing this every passing year i just wnat todie more.

i don't know if this is going

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