No Magic Spell🎇

What???????? No magic spell to cure ADHD and erase all the distractibility, and impulsivity that it drags along with this neurodevelopmental disorder. No wizardry that will ease the additional challenges that ADHD brings to the task of losing weight …

Self-regulation mechanisms – the deficits of self-regulation of attention, self-regulation of emotion, and the short-term memory are demons that I have struggled with …although now they are no longer phantom ghosts, I must now come to an acceptance of their reality for me, and find ways to banish them or at least keep them at bay …

They are like the sirens of old …singing the enticing music of beckoning carbohydrates …wrong signals about what is ‘right’ …the same deficit of impulse control that causes me to struggle with in interrupting conversations, making it more challenging to not respond to stress by stuffing myself with that wonderful dopamine feeling that is released with the sugary carby food that I crave in that moment …

I have hated myself for years …because I ‘knew’ what I needed to do …and sometimes for periods of time, I might have been able to contain the overwhelming desires …mostly through sheer willpower and situations that were supportive unbeknownst to me …but then the virtuoso’s that played the music in my brain, regained control …

I had come to have no faith or believe in myself …hate and self-loathing created such havoc …seas of despair ravaged my shores for decades …understanding the arduous tasks that must jealously guarded, give me the advantage of envisioning a possibility of reaching the shore of a healthy life…aka my the mountain top …so microscopic, yet it is there… but then I have lived my life in the embers of hope …my angels working overtime to keep the small fire burning in the midst of the gales of hopelessness that constantly blew across the landscape of my mind …

I have not come to terms with the diagnosis fully …I do not yet see the blessing or the positive aspects of having a non-neurotypical brain …it will take time to learn to love myself …A misogynistic father, a restrictive controlling cult and all my life challenges did not serve to plant the seed of self-love …I am not a victim to that anymore, and I will overcome this challenge, as I have others …

🤔 I have started researching the best way forward from where I am currently standing …just general scientific knowledge has shown the direct correlation between the fuel we put into our bodies and how the engine (brain) functions …the incorrect or substandard (Western type diet) will cause the circuits to misfire …

There are important ‘rules’ for me that I have found by testing and searching for the magic bullet with weight loss, which assist with my mental health …

  • Avoiding artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives in processed foods
  • Eliminating refined sugars. Who is surprised with that one😂The annoying refined sugar bugs impair brain function and really exacerbates my mood disorders …
  • Take Magnesium, B6, Vitamin D and Omega 3 (are helpful to me)
  • Morning Exercise. 30 minutes of an aerobic exercise that increases the dopamine to get me going in the right direction
  • IF 16 hours (intermittent Fasting). I don’t have to worry about what to eat or when to eat. I do always need to be mindful, to eat after that, because if I get too hungry, all impulse control goes out the window.
  • Support to keep me focused and on track. I recently enlisted a new trainer that is super supportive and understands where I am at …is gentle, yet still pushes me to go the distance. Being responsible to someone, other than my husband, is also a a supplement to the process
  • My ADHD medicine is necessary, along with support of a therapist that understands the struggle …

I had the ‘please, let me just die’ flu last week, so that did help with beginning the process of changing my eating. This week, I am focusing on creating exercise habits …it is more sustainable for me to start one habit at a time …

Routine is my secret weapon, it assists me with a sense of the time of day, as well as the day of the week, not to mention my goals and priorities. I don’t need to stress about what I need to do, when I need to do it …as much as I detest routines being a free-spirited Aquarian, it does increase my ability to cope and stay on my meandering path … And not every day lends itself to following the routine to the dots and tittles …but it is a skeleton that is flexible … perfection being unattainable, 80/20 is a lifesaving rule

  • Monday. Weight-In. 30 minutes 8am exercise. IF Fasting till 12
  • Tuesday. Gym Training 1:30 pm. IF Fasting till 12
  • Wednesday. 30 minutes 8am. IF Fasting till 12
  • Thursday is 8am exercise. IF Fasting till 12
  • Friday. Gym Training 1:30. IF Fasting till 12
  • Saturday. 30 minutes 8am exercise. IF Fasting till 12
  • Sunday is my ‘Rest’ Day…Breakfast and a fun day with my husband💕

There are additional changes that are in the wings …for flexibility and strength training …the trainer suggested swimming exercises classes at the gym and a ‘gentle yoga’ class …currently it sounds overwhelming … yet I only need take one day at a time…

Today, Friday is my second gym day …doesn’t sound like much of an accomplishment …but a rung in the ladder …a step ‘at a time’ on this long trek toward the top of the mountain … with courage I am taking each day slowly and with a deliberate focus …as much as possible with an ADHD brain 😂

“Courage wasn’t a matter of taking the whole mountain in a single massive leap. Courage was taking it one step at a time, doing what was necessary now, preparing for the next step, and refusing to worry about whether some step in the future would be the one that would break him.”

– Timothy Zahn, ‘Star Wars’.

I am documenting this journey with ADHD and weight loss at the awesome age of 60+, so if there is anyone that feels hopeless and lost in the gloomy obscurity of life…I leave a little of myself to shine✨ in the mire of despondency that we all feel burdened with at times …

“Don’t feel alone, because there is always someone out there who loves you more than you can imagine.” – Anurag Prakash Ray.

Sending love for your day … love is the magic that creates possibilities where there appears only an abyss of nothingness …Although you may not know me, and I may not have seen you in this physical world …I know you are there, and I walk beside you …may these words wrap a warmth and comforting blanket around your heart …💌

The Abyss of Despair❣

The monster Fear grabbed by hand and led me to the edge of abyss of despair …wrapping its arms around my shoulder, whispering …”there is no hope” ….”Make it easy and just give up”…”the pain will be unbearable” … “there is no way around or through” …”You have always failed, ALWAYS” ….

A recent professional diagnosis of ADD (ADHD) encouraging me to fall to my knees, one more time …some close to me denying the diagnosis …saying that it was incorrect … I do not outwardly exhibit the symptoms that people typically think of as ADHD …I appear calm and peaceful on the outside … not hyper or fidgety …feeling alone because others in my life, do not understand what it means to have to struggle every day with the inability to stay focused and the myriad other mental challenges that ride the coattail of ADD …  “It’s like being a cat with 100 people with laser pointers.” ― Jamie Hynds

“They said I could pass as normal, that I was clever and no one would ever know. They lied. Not about passing. The lie was hidden beneath, in the desire for me to be the same as them. I am extraordinary. They should have helped me soar, be more of me, not less.” ― Anna Whateley

Anna Whateley

Trying to understand myself …I recently read that ADHD can Drastically shorten a patient’s life …”ADHD can reduce life expectancy by as much as 13 years, but its risk is reversible.” https://www.additudemag.com/adhd-life-expectancy …and the darkness enveloped me …shrouding me with the coldness of hopelessness …

That’s all I could focus on … ‘Drastically shorten‘ … “and much higher in women as men” https://edgefoundation.org/does-adhd-shorten-life-expectancy Here I am… enjoying the “best” years of my life, after finding ‘my knight with only moderately dented armor’ and I am being handed a notice of eviction from life sooner than I had planned on …fear saturated every nook and corner of my mind …then I took the keys back …

“As they have taught me, I believe that without asking, we are given all we need. We must have the wit and wisdom to recognize the strengths and tools at our command, and find the courage to do what must be done.”

Dean Koontz, Life Expectancy

The second part of the quote reads, “but its risk is reversible.”… and reading further, “mainly due to accidents” …due to our distractedness and impulsive thinking …I raise my hand 😱…falling after a shower with a nerve damage from a deep shin cut, because I wasn’t paying attention,my mind far away on thoughts of a possible photographic setup …

Although my primary concern is with the health of being at optimum weight for longevity …Hallelujah!!! I understand now, why even though I always have known what I need to do to lose weight and become healthier …I have never been able stick with a program long to lose weight and then keep it off …or lose some weight and then gain it back when life became stressful …

Not only are people with ADHD wired for obesity, but also struggle with the routines that support health …😫ADHD is an executive function deficit disorder …which in laymen means that we lack (in various degrees) the mental abilities that people need to actively pursue goals …our self-regulation …our self-awareness, self-restraint, the ability to hold things in our minds (how we picture things mentally), our internal monologues, emotional self-regulation, and self-motivation, and our planning and problem solving abilities .

My brain craves dopamine (as most ADD brains do) …the neurotransmitter that impacts mood …although exercise increases dopamine …so does the bread, chips, and sugar …which is so much handier and easier to get quickly …

Symptoms like impulsivity make us more prone to give in to cravings for high-fat, high-sugar foods. And the dopamine rush we get from carbohydrates and sweets becomes addictive; it feels as if our brain needs that grilled cheese sandwich.

By ADDitude EditorsJohn Fleming, Ph.D.Roberto Olivardia, Ph.D.

This week, it was heart wrenching to hear again that the one person that I rely on for support had given up on my losing the weight and being healthy 💔…what is more devastating is the knowledge that there is no way to explain sufficently the difficulty that I deal with on a daily …a minute by minute struggle …when I am actively doing my absolute best to do what I know is supportive of weight loss …even more of a struggle, because I am also in an incredible stressful situation currently …

I had no idea, how much the ADHD worked against me with this goal of becoming healthier …

ADHD creates problems with self-regulation — of attention, short-term memory, and emotion—that extend to food intake. Trouble with impulse control keeps people with ADHD from thinking, “I won’t eat that because it’s not healthy, and I will regret it later.” Instead, we grab an unhealthy snack without considering if it’s a good idea or not.

The ADHD brain has low levels of two neurotransmitters: dopamine (responsible for feelings of reward) and GABA (responsible for inhibition). We crave sugar to stimulate dopamine production. This, paired with a lack of inhibitions, can set the stage for weight gain. https://www.additudemag.com/slideshows/adhd-weight-loss-tips

Still, possible …just more challenging …’Diets’ are not going to work …but that’s the case for even the 90% +/- of the world’s “neurotypical” … So where do I go from here???????????

It’s going to be one beautifully, blessed day …or minute, or second at a time …even a nanosecond, if necessary … because I have not come through burning hell to lie down now …I am determined to live … I will fight for that privilege with every breath that I have … if a few more scars are incurred…I am willing to pay that price …my scars are my beauty

Always sending love, happiness, and magic for your day … for those who are struggling …please hold on and find beauty in the darkness …it is there, if you search …You are never alone …I promise❤

“My thoughts are like butterflies. They are beautiful, but they fly away.”
― Anonymous

Should I Just Give In…and Up

Daily tripping over myself and rolling down this steep mountain…over bruising rocks and broken twigs poking holes and leaving long bleeding scratches in the skin of my soul and spirit… continuing fighting for a goal, that appears unattainable, every single day seems counterintuitive …so when is it pure foolish dogged grit and when is it time to let something go…

Photo by Sander Sammy on Unsplash

Is being a healthy weight at 66…almost 67…an unhealthy obsession? …I have fought with my weight issues for most of my life …starting with the dissolution of my first marriage …gaining weight as I stuffed emotions of every kind … feeling that I wasn’t worth loving …I was inadequate as a woman (my own Father pounded that in…I wasn’t a good enough woman to keep my husband from cheating …I had no skills to combat all the despair and depression …wanting to just to die because of the incredible pain that enveloped me every moment of every breath…

…I digress …this writing is not about delving into the situations that occured to cause emotional overeating …and more about where I go from here …I wanted so much to make this the “last” and final time to try and get healthy …I live with a vision of being healthy and fit …just sliding into a dress and not worrying about which lump or bump that might show …of being able to get up of the ground when I want to take a photograph from an inspiring creative angle… taking hikes with my Mr. P …and on and on …the desire is there

Thirty years of “dieting” hasn’t worked …there is always a stressful situation that arrives knocking on the door …that is the siren’s call of fatty, sugary, and carby beckons ….bringing all the comforting numbing and pleasure of earthly fare (however fleeting) whispers …you know …the legal substance to anaesthetize overwhelming emotional pain …

When I first arrived here in South Africa in 2019 …I weighed the heaviest that I had ever been in my life …and with support I lost 50 pounds …it was such an incredible feeling …it wasn’t easy …but walking, exercising, and low carb eating it came off without too much pain …although the first month my body ached every day as I started moving after about 3 years of dealing with PTSD and just surviving day to day …so, it is possible …

Then life smacked us all ridiculously hard with Covid lock-down …here, we couldn’t even leave the house for walking for a fleeting period of time …then my knight was diagnosed with colon cancer and the next year, and a half consisted of an overload of every conceivable emotion and anxiety that one deals with in this situation…topped with being alone in a new and unknown country with a new partnership …needless to say, that knocked me off the healthy lifestyle that I had developed …falling back to my lifelong coping mechanisms …

I have never fully recovered …and although I didn’t lose all the ground, I had gained with my endeavors …I am now in another challenging situation that is continuing to sabotage the loss that I had …and I am concerned …currently losing ground rapidly

So …should I just let go … and just say, “f*** it all” and just live the shortened life that I will have (if I give up) …

There are days that it feels that it might be such a relief to just float into oblivion of not caring anymore …

Yet …there springs the smallest flicker of hope that I can still beat this …so tired of fighting …is there another way to find peace and health at the same time …the paths that I was walked before …definitely didn’t lead me to the place that I wanted …just more frustration of failing one more time …belief in myself dissipating …

The situation is not going to change for a little while …it is a situation that I am caring for a young girl who is hanging on for her own life …I won’t abandon her when her loneliness and despair …I know too well her journey … her heart is beautiful and shines through …

So now what …unfortunately or fortunately …I have never been able to give up on something that is important to who I as a person …I still want a life filled with joy and happiness and the longer I ride this planet …the more glimpses of that magical joy I can stuff into my pockets of memories to warm me when life is cold and the blustery winds curl their tendrils around me …intent on pulling off the cloak of my peace …

The process has to be different than that the greedy businesses of weight loss tries to sell us …the pied pipers of the perfect body …companies that “peddle fad weight-loss products.” to line their pockets with the hopes and dreams of people believing the lies that are spun …

I know that there are no easy fixes …no quick diet …I do not have enough fingers and toes to count the times that I’ve believed and spend my blood and sweaty tears for a new hope filled scheme …

It’s only a long term…exercise and calorie deficit lifestyle …living life …80/20 and not perfection that laughs in my face with the impossibility …I have a meeting with a trainer that I meet with last week …not for losing weight specifically …but to increase those sly muscle tissues that keep disappearing somewhere in the wild blue wonder as I age …and the flexibility that would support less chance of injury ….yada…yada …yada…things we all know are important for a better life as we age …

Bottom line …I just want to feel a whole lot better than I do currently …and the rocking chair doesn’t entice me at all …is it too late …I don’t think so …as long as I have breath, it is not too late …more difficult, but possible …

I had tried a trainer last year …but it wasn’t the right fit …he was a buff guy that just knew how to do that …”buff up” …not a long-term, slow healthy journey…a sustainable lifestyle for the rest of my life …a lifestyle that supports the attainment of my goals and dreams that I still carry tucked away in the deepest dark corners of my mind from the prying and grubby hands of those that say, that I must release them and let them go …you’re too old …

I have worked really Damm hard to get this far in life …to survive … maybe not thrive as well as I would have liked …but I survived and that is a victory that I can celebrate …and I am not too old to be what I want to be or at least enjoy the journey …

So I am putting on my “big girl panties” …and go to work …one more time …”I can do all things through Him who empowers me” …maybe pure foolishness …but often in history, what the world saw as foolishness became a greatness that enhanced the life of others …

Sending so much love, laughter, and magic for your life ❣…

Here’s Looking At You 😁 from Penelope

Flying Free …

“If you want to fly in the sky, you need to leave the earth. If you want to move forward, you need to let go the past that drags you down.”

Amit Ray, World Peace: The Voice of a Mountain Bird

This is difficult writing …my diagnosis of having ADHD … I started therapy for support and tools for finding out why I could not climb the mountain of weight loss …and then suddenly, I found myself in the twilight zone … wrangling with a mixed bag of emotions that I am still untangling …

I’m 66 years old and just now finding out why I have struggled all my life is heartbreaking …Exhaustion, both mental and physical, has been a constant companion in my life…pushing hard to accomplish my goals and dreams …yet never quite attaining what I felt I could do … I would get tired and would give up for a period when I didn’t have the ‘umph” to try that day …yet, the minute ember of hope for my magnificent and heartfelt dreams would not die …

“Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength.” ~Ghandi

I mourn for all the self-hatred, self-criticism, low self-esteem …heartache for the impulsive decisions that cost me years of happiness …resentment and grief for the years that I struggled alone…sadness for lost opportunities … for thinking that I just wasn’t strong enough …a lifetime of depression …there is grieving to walk through …

Don’t recall. Don’t imagine. Don’t think. Don’t examine. Don’t control. Rest.

Tilopa

… Now there are answers and new shining possibilities … as I accept and understand what Adult ADD is, there is Hope …I’m not broken …it is a quirky, fascinating thing that’s just part of who I am; and is manageable …

“All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary” ~Sally Ride

I have only been on the medication for less than a week …and it already makes a difference in the goal of becoming healthy …before I received the diagnosis, I still had been trying to figure out why I felt mentally resistant to losing weight …and a part of the stubbornness and refusal to be consistent appeared to be from coming from the point of view of weight loss for beauty …or the common social media type of beauty …

Becoming thin for the accolades of people (in particular the male species) …for beauty only …seems to be more effective short term …and that does not work for the long-term healthy life that I want to create for my future… I am modifying my ‘why’s’ for climbing the weight loss mountain …

It takes a great deal of pressure off …it’s not about losing weight quickly for the vacation and then gaining it back again …but gradually learning new healthy habits that I can be consistent with day-in and day-out …changing how to relate to food so that it becomes an aspect of my life that I enjoy …that I don’t need to obsess about every single moment of the day …

A much easier path to take …longer and more circuitous …but the path is easier and less stressful to walk daily …for lifelong sucess, it will be the slow building of self-care habits … I started last week by Intermittent Fasting …not every day, but most days (80/20) make life more realistic …it’s been easier this week to maintain consistency …not worrying or tracking every bit of food …but learning to be conscious of what I eat …even enjoying a wonderful date night with my husband relishing wonderful flavors of well-prepared food …

Exercising began with just a 1-mile (15 minute) exercise in the morning …dog walking in the afternoon if not raining or recovering from a fall on slippery tile …last week was a definite win …not perfect, but I’m giving myself grace to not be ‘perfect’ …especially since it’s an impossibility …

I lost less than a pound …it’s ok …I moved forward toward my goal …this week is another step forward …a little more practice with consistency and just learning to function with my diagnosis …I read that ADHD can contribute to health problems such as compulsive eating, substance abuse, anxiety, chronic stress, and tension …all which causes emotional eating (in my case) …

I had lost hope of things working out the way I had dreamed (I am incredibly blessed to have my Mr. P and his loving support) …my big goals had been reduced to faint misty illusions …I had fallen into a tenacious holding pattern … just keeping my head above water, so no one knew how close to drowning I was…my dreams had kept collapsing …now there is a gleam of light through the streaky dirty window that my spirit looked onto the world with ….for me it now suddenly feels even more awesome and incredible …a beautiful journey ahead …

I have lived enough of life to know that it is not going to be all smooth sailing …but now I remember who I am … that my story is important, eternal, and sacred …I may have been taking the longer route … the sights along the way are going to be pretty incredible, now that I can see more clearly …

Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “life is a journey, not a destination”

“Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go.”

Mandy Hale

A word of Advice from a dreamer …NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP! Life is challenging with its twists and turns …when you least expect it, the world will open into the most magical of places

This was a Magical Hidden Place in Hogsback, South Africa❣

“Life can be so unpredictable, always remember that!
The rain can pour down and the winds can blow hard,
sweeping away those peaceful moments you had.
It’s never the end of the world when things go wrong.
Just keep faith in yourself, keep going and stay strong.
Never give up on your dreams and never give up hope.”

― Mouloud Benzadi

Blowing magic your way with Love ❣ and Hope

Burning to Emerge…

When I started writing about my “climb up the mountain” of weight loss…there was nowhere in my wildest and crazy thought processes that I could envision where it would take me on my soul’s journey…

 “Don’t hoard the past. Don’t cherish anything. Burn it. The artist is the phoenix who burns to emerge.” – Janet Fitch.

This segment of the path is not completed…yet, I have come further than I would have imagined in a short about of time…

Tears have fallen like a molten lead flame…rising from a broken heart…sliding from beneath my eyelids…the soul rendering grief as I whimpered…sobbed convulsively…moaned…and cried seemingly endless tears…the agony of grieving hurts like hell as the saltwater of tears burns through the wounds… burning past chapters of my life…some I have saved and hold tight within my memories…most I am burning and letting go…“Even a spineless arthropod sheds what’s no longer useful and leaves it behind them. Are you not greater than they?” ― Jason Versey

 “Darling, you’re not falling apart. You’re getting rid of the pieces that no longer serve your purpose, this is a surgery of the spirit, and it can be painful as hell.”

Kalen Dion.

Excess weight has been a survival mechanism that I needed…and I find myself still “eating” as a means of grounding myself when the world “feels” overwhelming…why?

Being an empath is difficult and has often felt like a curse, more than a blessing…how do I explain what an empath is…it has become a more commonly accepted way of being…so much that neuroscientists and psychologists now accept and use the term…

“The term ‘Empath’ has become popular in recent years, often used to describe someone with a higher-than-normal degree of empathy. Empaths absorb others’ energy to the point where they feel like an ‘emotional sponge’. They do not have the filters most people do, and they seem to feel other people’s stress and feelings in their own bodies”https://eggshelltherapy.com/empath/

Probably brought on due to the trauma of my childhood wounding and “growing-up” years…it became a survival mechanism that I needed to have to tune in to how my narcissistic parent (which is also caused by his own childhood wound) was feeling so I could do what I needed to be “safe”… Being empathic makes it easier to notice other people’s emotions, thoughts, and feelings

I didn’t understand what was happening and as life progressed and I continued to draw narcissistic people into my life…the emotional load became too much…I always felt overwhelmed and not grounded in my own body….the food that I have craved…are heavier vibrationally dense…foods and drinks that are processed and lost all of their natural energy…alcohol, caffeine, dairy products, GMO foods like corn or soy, soft drinks, beverages with added sugar, wheat and products containing gluten, unhealthy fats and oils…the added weight adding an additional benefit …serving also as an added blanket of protection…both physically and emotionally…


“Highly sensitive people are too often perceived as weaklings or damaged goods. To feel intensely is not a symptom of weakness, it is the trademark of the truly alive and compassionate. It is not the empath who is broken, it is society that has become dysfunctional and emotionally disabled. There is no shame in expressing your authentic feelings. Those who are at times described as being a ‘hot mess’ or having ‘too many issues’ are the very fabric of what keeps the dream alive for a more caring, humane world. Never be ashamed to let your tears shine a light in this world.”
― Anthon St. Maarten

So, what’s next on this journey…definitely continued healing…releasing the outdated offensive energy blocks (the pain and hurt) that I carried for years…and filling those empty spaces with more love…learning how to serve as an empath without losing my own identity…it is a process that I must be patient with and love myself through…

I had my first meeting with a psychologist last week to help guide me in this continuing expedition up the mountain…the first meeting was more about mapping out the journey of my life up until now …I was blessed to connect to the right one for me…her suggested reading was The Source written by a South African Tara Swart…“a neuroscientist and MIT lecturer that shows how science supports the Law of Attraction as a tool for discovering the authentic self”…

How synchronicitous is that…it is a rather exciting process for me…like the cage doors are opening and I can finally be free…do you have any idea of what even the thought of freedom means for the Aquarian freedom loving person🤣…like air…necessary

I haven’t lost any weight yet …but it really is ok…I will as I learn new skills to cope…and I know that my optimum weight is about 130…I have so many exciting things to look forward to…and losing the weight is just a fraction of the blessings that I am in anticipation of…

I choose to share the journey to be brave and bold …to view my scars is to know you are not alone …much love, joy, and magic for your day❣

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.”

 Brené Brown, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead

There is a new story that will be written from the ashes of the old…

The Fork in The Road For the Empaths

Dear Empathic Soul

It is terribly challenging

to live with little or no filter;

To hear every drop of tears from near and far away;

To see human and non-human expressions of sorrow;

To every day have the world’s pain piercing through you;

To sensing the lies and hypocrisies when others don’t;

To feel trapped in your heightened sensitivity and perception.

At some point, you reached a fork in the road

where you had to decide:

Either to stay here with us, in this imperfect world, or you float up, dissociate, and leave.

I bet you have tried them all:

The spiritual bypassing, the closing down, the tuning out, the numbing using addictions, or dulling through drugs.

The desert offered transient tranquillity, but eventually led you down a path of emptiness, deep aloneness, meaninglessness and eventually,

despair.

Boredom is a result of fear—

It was all too edgy to sit with, so you left.

As you withdraw from the heartache, you also leave behind your hope and love.

At some point, you will reach another fork in the road

where you have to decide:

To stay, or to leave.

A yes or a no to the marriage with life.

The key to moving forward is ‘commitment’;

You either commit to being a part of humanity, or you divorce yourself from it all.

You might have thought that you were too weak, too porous, too soft

for such a commitment.

Yet something magical happens when you say ‘I do.’

The words clear your path, the intention gives you strengths.

How does this work?

By committing to staying with the world, you must also live with other people’s limitations and dysfunctions.

Then, you come face to face with your shadows and your own dysfunctional parts.

Your heart softens, and you learn the art of unconditional love and acceptance of yourself and others.

By committing to cohabiting a space with others, you deal with the daily irritants, inconvenience, and transgressions.

In doing so, you come to embrace life for what it is, rather than constantly trying to change it to the way you want it.

Eventually, you become strong.

With all the terrors comes glory.

As your commitment to the world ripens, it rewards you with richness, joy and strength.

So you were born an empath.

Where do you go from here?

Do you rise to the occasion, yield to the path that you were given,

let it shape you, and allow Life to use you as a vessel,

Or do you hide, shrink, and leave?

Ultimately, you root to rise

not because it is moral, or even particularly honourable,

But because it is the only way to go.

https://eggshelltherapy.com/empath

Walking the Path…

When I started writing about my weight loss journey…little did I know that it would take me through this dark journey…and never would have thought about sharing…but I do so in the hope that it may be a guiding star in someone else’s darkness…

I cry almost every day, right now …and often feel like I have no skin and my innermost being is raw … screaming internally with every breath of air…irrationally I am not depressed…I know that there is an end…this is only the beginning to a beautiful ending …this is the beauty of the darkness

 When you feel like you need to cry, when you want to just get it out, relieve some of the pressure from the inside – that is true pain. Because no matter how hard you try or how bad you want to, you can’t. That pain just stays in place. Then, if you are lucky, one small tear may escape from those eyes that water constantly. That one tear, that tiny, salty, droplet of moisture is a means of escape. Although it’s just a small tear, it is the heaviest thing in the world. 

Chase Brooks

The analogy that comes to mind is the treatment needed for third degree burns …my past traumas caused damage to the very depth of my being …I hadn’t realized the severity …I numbed the pain to survive…the best way I could …anaesthetizing the deep inner wounding and brokenness in whatever way I could manage… now the scar tissue must be scrubbed clean …and it hurts like the dickens …

Instinctively I knew that this healing would be painful …I humbly submitted to God that I would walk the path …it is my “valley of death” that I am walking through …not to live in or die here …but to walk through …releasing the infectious thoughts and beliefs that have kept me small and hidden (out of fear) …definitely, “It would be easier to keep playing life without being whole …it is done all the time …but that is not what I choose …

My first session with the a registered clinical psychologist and pastoral therapist is still about 10 days away …I am responsible for my own life and have been experimenting with spiritual practices to find what works for me …EFT tapping helps with anxiety …many people swear by its weight loss attributes … I haven’t gone that far with it yet definitely helps in several ways for me…

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience”

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

EFT Tapping has been used successfully in PTSD survivors … a lot like acupuncture without the needles …EFT uses fingertip tapping to apply pressure to the meridian points …points in our body which the Chinese believe that our energy flows through …

There are several steps …but the one that spoke to me first was the “setup phrase”… a common setup phrase is: “Even though I have this [fear or problem], I deeply and completely accept myself.” …affirmations are about what we want to become … not acknowledging where we are and loving ourselves in spite of those imperfections …

So much of my issues stem from not knowing how to love myself …something I never learned as a child to do …that statement I deeply and completely accept myself” along is very healing …self-acceptance even when I am not that “perfect” version of myself I feel I need to be to be accepted and loved …EFT tapping has worked for me in shorting the overload of anxiety when I use it …

Learning to heal the inner child …is my biggest challenge …. “adulting” is not something I really learned to do well …I had no role models …and my parents were unable to provide the knowledge I needed to navigate the world due to their own traumas …and being kept secluded in the cult” gave me no other options to come across any …

“When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.” ― Jess C. Scott

Today I completed a YouTube Video Yoga for trauma healing …a gentle yoga not focused on hard poses to master …a way to safely connect with my body …slowly starting to release the lower vibrational energy that I have stored in my body …helpfully liberating tension

That is how I view the extra weight that I carry with me …a lower vibrational energy that I stored with every bite of food that I used to stuff anger, hurt, fear and all the other negative emotions and feelings that food helped me to manage in a more societal acceptable way …

“The fact is, all of us are living with the invisible wounds of some kind of war. Yoga helps you to let go of the things that don’t serve you anymore.”
Dan Nevins, yoga ambassador and US Army veteran

Tomorrow will be a new day …new hope …a gift to be opened with grace and gratefulness …this is not the end, only the beginning…there is a reason that I wear a butterfly tattoo🦋

Across the miles ..I send you love…with prayers for all the laughter and magic you can hold❣

Conversations…My Dragon & I

“Don’t fight your demons. Your demons are here to teach you lessons. Sit down with your demons and have a drink and a chat and learn their names and talk about the burns on their fingers and scratches on their ankles. Some of them are very nice.”

Charles Bukowski

Making peace with one’s self is so much easier than making war…well, maybe not easier but less bloody…Incredibly adverse to the hatred that it takes to kill something…even the thought of killing something within myself was abhorrent…

So how to reframe it all… losing weight…which is letting all the trapped trauma go…self-sabotaging…self-hatred…to lose weight without limited massive willpower… and keep it off means changing something deep within myself…so here I am taking the time to talk to my big personal dragon of self-sabotage…why does he decide to burn down every attempt to cross this mountain…

My Protector and I

It made no sense when I was so confident that this was the time… Determination was at an optimum level…I was going to conquer the mountain of weight loss come hell or high water…becoming healthier, more confident, and happier…and then I quit…BLOP…sat right now and quit…doing the same thing over and over gets exhausting…

During introspection, I realized that I had been in a situation that triggered all of my fears of being “not safe”…being “pretty” when I was younger brought attention that was dangerous and hurtful…the fear (Fear is a powerful, deeply wired reaction that is designed to keep us safe from perceived threats) of being taken advantage of again caused the “inner child” to freak out again…huge anxiety…

There are several reasons (smaller dragons) that have caused me to sabotage my weight loss…feeding worry and anxiety… a way to soothe, rewarding myself and suppressing feelings…but the biggest one is fear in all its incredible glorious form…

Recognizing it is the first step…the fear is irrational…I am in a safe place with a man that loves me for who I am… understands and is supportive of where I’m at…acknowledgement has been a good beginning…I have started talking with a therapist and we’ll see where that leads and if it is helpful…

The trauma of when I was younger apparently was horrible enough that my self-protection has blocked my memory of most of my life between the ages of 5 and 18…our brains are such beautiful… I don’t know if I even need to remember or if I ever will…and that’s ok…I have forgiven and I am no longer a victim…my focus is staying mindful and being in the moment…”sucking the juice out of every moment that I am blessed with”…

Now it is taking one step at a time…loving myself and the dragon that I live with seems to be a smart step right now…gently acknowledging the fear and learning to love myself…

Daily self-love is being gentle with myself…focusing on doing at least one productive thing per day that I can do towards my goal…living the fact that being healthy makes me less vulnerable, not more…

Helpful Book-The Mountain

This week I have been Intermittent Fasting 16/8…it’s easy and I enjoy the feeling of not being weighed down with food or worrying about what to eat…even though there are periods of hunger…I have made an appointment with my nutritionist for Friday…I will meet with her once a week for support…

Making friends with my dragon so we can learn to fly together …my dragon and I

Much love, laughter, and magic for your day❣

Setting Our Mountaintop Goals

I recently wrote this blog post on my beautifultapestryoflife site…and I thought I would republish it with added updates for my countdown for weight loss…127 days

The weight loss goal seems more elusive than even this way out photography (career/life) goal…I am having a momentary pity part..but a massive one…I did well for two weeks my lose of 3 pounds after coming back from vacay…

I thought I’d get smart and fine tune the program and cut-out all wheat and sugar…more keto than low carb…and my body just doesn’t appreciate the extra fat in my lifestyle…my Resting heart rate increased drastically over the last week…till it has gotten to what it was 3 years ago…even Mr. P mentioned that my body seems extra sensitive to what I eat…

Pity Party Over😉

Sometimes being stubborn can be useful if channeled in the right direction…there are so many reasons to accomplish the goal of losing the weight…one is that I will need the ability to be healthy and move effortlessly to accomplish being a master photographer…laying flat on the ground to take a photo and getting up gracefully is not an easy feat when you carry extra pounds beside the camera equipment…

There are some that might say…you’re getting older…just relax…I can’t, and I won’t…there’s still so much I want to see and do…life has only begun for me at retirement…every cell in my body yearns to be set free…

So now what???????? I can only reset and go back to doing what works and be patient…low carb, exercise, and counting calories…no shortcuts or listening to what Facebook…Instagram or any other social media outlet has to suggest…only my body can tell me what is right for me…and I need to listen…there are no shortcuts in life…I always get lost when I take a side road with a sign that reads “Shortcut –Weightloss and Sweatless Quickie“…no more detours…no more side roads…

You can beat the grind…life knows how much you invested, and it doesn’t give us the mountain tops without the sweat equity…whether mental and/or physical…

Master Photographer Blog continued…

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.”

—Andrew Carnegie

How do YOU define success…which achievements would make you sing with joy…it is as different for every person as there are stars in the sky…? what goals do you want to really go for with all your being …it may change with time and need to be changed…that’s where I am at… redefining and refining my vision of what “success” means to me during this new chapter of life…what audacious goal should I set my sights on…

THE WHAT: The primary kickstart for goals…what knockdown…knockout personal achievement would make you feel like you made it to the top…

This is mine
Ultimate Goal – Honours Laureate Gold

Currently after 1 year…I have accumulated 28 from entering the monthly …needing 40 club points to move to a three-star rating…

Goals map out where you want to land…but they can be ambiguous and you may never achieve your desired end result…Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to end up somewhere else…” I’ve been there before when I’ve set goals and then never achieved them…

  • What is your story, why do you do what you do? 
  • What keeps you awake at night? 
  • What inspired you to pursue your business?
  • What makes your heart race?
  • What was the moment that changed your life as you know it?
  • What’s been the biggest challenge for you on your photography journey?

What lights you up…Going “niche” makes you stand out…which reduces your competition… increases your visibility…stokes your creative fire…and hones your expertise…remember the old saying “jack of all trades and master of none”…

I’ve tried various niches…street, night, nature, portrait, wedding, black & white, boudoir, macro, candid, landscape, wildlife…some I lose all track of time…I find myself getting lost in creating the magic in nature and wildlife…adding artistic and creative techniques that help tell a story…yet still in the process of defining my own visual and artistic style…

Before & After – My “style” in progress

Always take time to play…“All work and no play doesn’t just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery, and openness to change and flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention.” – Joline Godfrey

What are your fantastic magical goals…shoot for the moon🌙…my darlings…you have nothing to fear…at the very worst you’ll fall among the twinkling laughter of the stars…love, laughter and magic

Vroom.. Vroom

Like a souped-up car at the starting lineup of an illicit street race…a little more battered and poorly maintained than most of the participants in the contest of losing weight…but here I am…gunning my engine…

Ok…it’s more like turtling along …a nostalgic cruising with the oldies…

It took me awhile to get to the starting lineup this time…keep making a wrong turn…getting caught in dead ends or facing a brick wall…needing to back up, turn around and try another route…my map was quite out of date apparently…

Here is the map that I am using to find the that I am seeking…a healthy mental and physical body that I feel confident in and my added desired benefit… An age-appropriate black dress sexy …

SMART GOALS

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.

Why? Why is this important to me …especially when some people in retirement are ready for the sideline rocking chair…Because I AM NOT…I just found my Prince and want to spend as much quality time exploring life with him…being an example to my granddaughters…being able to pursue my passion of photography (getting flat on the ground to take unique perspectives with my camera is easier with a healthy and flexible body)…each pound lost removes 4 pounds of pressure off my poor grumpy back…and knees…and most importantly…brain health “a person’s weight goes up, all regions of the brain go down in activity and blood flow” …”This study shows that being overweight or obese seriously impacts brain activity and increases the risk for Alzheimer’s disease as well as many other psychiatric and cognitive conditions,”

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/08/200805110127.htm#:~:text=on%20brain%20function-,Higher%20BMI%20is%20linked%20to%20decreased%20cerebral%20blood%20flow%2C%20which,Alzheimer’s%20disease%20and%20mental%20illness&text=Summary%3A,a%20new%20brain%20imaging

I had been on anti-depressants for a period for time when I was faced with dealing with my husband’s cancer surgery and chemotherapy during Covid in a new country…slowly coming off took about 4 months… and this week I am back to feeling like myself…the good, bad, and ugly😁

Found that EFT really is a great support for releasing anxiety that causes emotional eating and the need for wrapping myself up in a blanket of fluff…meditation was a great start…but this seems to be a better fit for me and this sensitivity that I have been blessed with (HSP/INFJ)…

Be Consistent with Logging and Exercising for 146 days (20 weeks)…that’s when we’ll be flying into the USA after being gone for 3+ years…I don’t want to put a specific weight because I do not know exactly how quickly my body is willing to release the curvaceous aspects of itself…

“Do it again and again. Consistency makes the raindrops to create holes in the rock. Whatever is difficult can be done easily with regular attendance, attention and action.”

Israelmore Ayivor, ‘The Great Hand Book Of Quotes’.

Tracking weight in Fitbit every Monday and daily logging in MFP Food Dairy I use Fitbit for logging weight because it is connected to my scale and I like other features such as my sleep score…but for some reason it is easier to record my food intake with My Fitness Pal

Goal of 1365 calories 80% of the time…I want to be mindful without being obsessive…more fruits and vegetables…less sugar and refined carbs…I feel so much better when I eat this way…

Walking 5x a week…gym twice a week…for me that’s achievable…my goal steps per day is minimum 5,000 to 10,000…

I commit to being accountable for the 146 days…and will review at that point what my long term goals will be…so for the next 146 days I will post daily in this blog…what I ate before and my exercise log…and how I am sputtering along

…And here we go

Much love and laughter for your day…sprinkled with magic

144 Days…Gym Day

Gym Rule #1: If you want to know the correct way to perform an exercise, the answer is: Whatever hurts most.” – Jason Love

That is how I felt yesterday. It had been awhile since I had hit the gym …yesterday the gym hit me right back for being absent😂

I have been out of commission with a grumpy lower back…an hour of weight machines was probably a little much…came back home and had to go and comfort my grumbling back.by laying down…I had planned to go for a walk to at least get 5,000 steps on a gym day…but as you see that didn’t happen…something to keep working on…

“The most annoying are those people in exceptionally good shape at the gym. I’m like ‘What are you doing here? You’re done.'” – Jim Gaffigan

Way to many carbs…my resting heartrate always increases with extra carbs…today it went increased a beat…back up to 68…not stressing…just monitoring…the goal was accomplished of eating less than I used…I’ll just keep fine tuning…

The nutritionist told me that stress is harmful to weight loss… “When you’re under stress, your body boosts production of the hormone cortisol. Chronic stress and persistently high cortisol levels may be associated with increased appetite and weight gain.“…another reason that EFT is helpful for me…

Steps for the Day

Keep Turtling…