The Mountain is Me …

Mountains are often used as metaphors of challenges that feel insurmountable and impossible to scale, as we stand at the bottom viewing the craggy and jagged edges, piecing the sky … cloaked with an insidious mist clutching, hiding the prize that we seek …

The mountain is not so much outside of myself, it is the ‘old ‘self within …the fears, the traumas, the coping mechanisms that became my tools of survival …the bedrock of my life …an obstruction that keeps me from the healthy life that I want to live …

I must become the heroine of my story. Mastering myself and in the doing, mastering the mountain that has loomed over the landscape of my life for what seems like a millennium …

The last couple of weeks have been a fascinating learning journey…after two months of one of an extremely stressful periods in my life …I felt like a failure for not being able to accomplish the desired result that I had dreamed of …I sat there staring at all the little broken in pieces of my heart …

The very day that I came back home …another punch in the gut with news that was life altering …so I just sat and cried, and cried some more …everything within me shattered …then I surrendered …there was nothing that I could do the change the outcomes …Logically, I know that as humans, we do not have control over some of life’s bumps …but I have lived a great deal of my life with the uncontrollable need to try to control situations and people in my sphere …out of the fear of lost, being alone without the capability to survive …

A stressful situation has always triggered anxiety and fear that sweet and Carby foods were able to sooth in the moment …the challenge of becoming healthier now at 60+ has many additional facets that have needed to be addressed …most so neurologically engrained that stepping out of the grooved ruts to build new pathways seemed most difficult, if not impossible …

My being stubborn does have its advantages sometimes …I have dreams and goals that have not dissipated into the midst of the grey hopelessness and depression that often surrounds me, causing me to fall off the mountain so many times … they keep tapping me on the shoulder …’you can’t give up,’ …’you have things to create,’ “people to love” …my obstinacy would raise its head and with bloody nose, broken bones, bruised knees (and my angel’s help) I would get up …to try one more time …

There are few obstacles in life that will not succumb to consistent, sustained, intelligent, positive action. When you are discouraged after you’ve failed at something, remember Edison’s 10,000 failures before he arrived at the solution that forever changed the world ~Napolean Hill

I sat several days with the breath knocked out of me …surrounded by all the broken pieces …sitting there, trying to get my breath back …I kept telling myself “breath in, breathe out,” “breath in, breath out” as I viewed each broken piece that glittered in the South African sun …strange creative thoughts arriving of what a beautiful mosaic they would make …I picked up a piece and gratitude filled my heart as I viewed the memory of that piece of myself …

I cannot tell you what magic occurred during the last two weeks …but the mountain disappeared, and a previously unseen path materialized in front of me …as I relinquished my control over what was and will be …opened my heart with gratitude for the wonder and gifts of each moment …

The path, my broken heart opened, will not be without perils, obstacles, and challenges …for that is what we call “life” …I have gathered all the broken pieces and carry them all close to my heart, in a bag embroidered with a heart❤ with gratitude…I am slowing down, taking one step at a time …embracing each moment with graciousness and peaceful thankfulness of the present moment …finding the way to my destination with less fear and apprehension …

Each extra unhealthy pound that I carry holds an old emotion, hurt, or trauma that I pushed down …to be released, I must hold them to the light of love …until they are transformed and released …the journey is one that may be arduous and painful at times …but less so, than the previous ones of scaling the mirage of that unscalable mountain that I viewed through all the years of listening to the ‘diet industry’ …

“The difference between a path and a road is not only the obvious one. A path is little more than a habit that comes with knowledge of a place. It is a sort of ritual of familiarity. As a form, it is a form of contact with a known landscape. It is not destructive. It is the perfect adaptation, through experience and familiarity, of movement to place; it obeys the natural contours; such obstacles as it meets it goes around.”

 Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays

Still maintaining the habits that assist me on the path, such as intermittent fasting, low intake of carbs, and less stress in my life …I had lost almost 5 pounds …Christmas Eve with my South African family and Christmas Day were bumps …a charming Christmas Eve dinner with family and a tearful ‘missing’ the traditional Christmas that I observed in the USA with my kids and family …

“Light is to darkness what love is to fear; in the presence of one the other disappears.” – Marianne Williamson

My Christmas gift to you is shining the light of love, sharing the knowledge that you are not alone in the darkness of your struggles in the tempetuous and wild storms of life …you are loved beyond your imagination …love yourself …hold yourself tight …the magic will appear …hold on my dear one❣

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

Giddy Up…

WILLPOWER doesn’t keep a rider on the horse…at least not on this horse I’m currently riding..

Willpower does NOT work…A controversial statement for some people…yet an interesting concept…

As determined and stubborn as I am… there is a reason that I keep tripping up…yes, I didn’t achieve my goal of staying on track with my program…using that mulish streak I have kept searching for the key…

Praying…reading…praying…searching…digging…I have always felt that there is an answer to our questions if we are persistent in our seeking…”Seek and ye shall find”…showing life that we are not being swayed…

 “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius

Shedding a Little Light

The last two weeks have revealed two sources that “spoke” to me…one was in an audiobook and the other in an Instagram account…

Finding out that willpower is a finite resource that becomes exhausted with use explains the reason most of us don’t make it past the second week of resolve to eradicate any addiction that all human creatures struggle with…whether it be  being addicted to social media, current belief systems, personal comfort zones, and our excuses…behaviors that may contradict our goals.

So why would we even need “willpower” if our goals were… mountain top… flag planting …and life changing

In reading Alan Carr’s book Lose Weight Now…it echoed the statement that losing weight and keeping it off is not about “willpower”…it is more about changing the mentality (belief systems) …he says that it is 99% the mental beliefs that we hold…this from a man who chain smoker for 30+ years…smoking over a 100 cigarettes a day to 0 without any side effects

The nugget of wisdom that hit me in the middle of my forehead (after reading two of his books) was that we have a belief system that I hold tightly too…that I get some benefit from the very thing that is destroying my life…quite literally…statistically taking 3 years of precious life…and increasing life debilitating diseases such as diabetes, cancer, etc….

So why is that knowledge not impetus enough…so why cannot I not resist that one chip or candy that becomes a whole bag…why do I feel that I can’t “give up” the immediate short lived insulin rush of pleasure…

“You want to lose weight because it’s making you miserable, but you’re afraid that life will be miserable if you do.”

Alan Carr’s Easy Way for Women to Lose Weight

hmmmm…the thought of not having another chip or piece of chocolate does feel like the ultimate sacrifice…giving up my friend, comforter, therapist and everyone and everything in between…

“Why is the human species the only species on the planet that suffers with weight problems…”

The one particular “ah ha” moment was when I was listening to the book and he speaks about how we think beef is an optimum protein source and yet in a different country…a cow is considered sacred and dog is the protein of choice…does make one lose their appetite…and notice how it’s (impersonal) beef ..not the (personal) cow…but any how…

It’s changing my mindset that I’m not giving up anything…but feeling bad about myself…tired…unhealthy…does this mean that all is going to be perfect smooth sailing from here…probably not…the “human” factor is still there…but I feel so much freer…a door has opened and there is light sneaking through the cracks …a new surge of ability to conquer…to change

I still have to do the work toward my goal of feeling and being healthy…can’t give a definite number…I don’t want to kneel again to shrine of American beauty numbers…(130 pounds is where I was at 20)…a healthy weight…but at 66 it is now about being my healthiest…

My Precious Baby Girl💞

Second lesson relearned…going back to what did work for me. When I first arrived in my Shangri La here in South Africa…I was 50 pounds more blessed than I am today…

Losing 50 pounds…well…at least halfway there…I get so absolutely discouraged about the journey…when I think about it, I cry…it is such an emotional issue and I try not to let it affect my joy and happiness…but that’s not the truth…every day it feels like a failure…ok…pity party over…so much gratefulness for a healthy body…even if it is fluffier than I want (for the moment)..

I lost fifty pounds by tracking…eating low carb (none of the “white stuff”…and walking as close to 10,000 steps per day…which brings me to my second boost of encouragement this week…an Instagram account of a woman who lost almost 200 pounds by doing simple changes consistently… three things…Being calorie deficient every day…tracking food intake…and walking an hour every day…

I can do that!!!!…worked for me the first 50… July 17, 2021 I was at 199.5 (OMG…Onederland)…so why did I stop the program?

Good question to ask myself…I was tired…scary Covid was in full swing…and in September, my love was diagnosed with colon cancer…handling it alone in a foreign country (looking back on it…I did awesome by not gaining it all back) …

And the mental shift of not thinking that sugar and refined carbs were my cozy friends had not happened yet…

It’s been one hell of a ride the last year…fallen off quite a few times…but the road is hopefully a little smoother for a time and I can stay in the saddle and giddy up!!!

Much laughter, happiness and magic in your day❣ Lots of love❣

Thanks always for your letting me share….catch up later….Y’all come back now, hear?