Friday, April 13, 2007

TGIF, but sigh...

...I'm up over 2 pounds this week. I think I need to realize somehow that what I'm doing is just "maintaining". I'm not sure how that's possible since (while far from perfect) I've cut back so much and am exercising so much more than I was in January. It's very frustrating.

And I've been trying all the things my doc suggested for the constipation (warm prunes, stool softener, oatmeal for breakfast) and nothing is working yet.

I guess maybe I just don't WANT this enough yet. I feel gypped that I am doing what I did 13 years ago to lose weight and it's not working this time (of course, I have less to lose this time). It's gotta be hormonal...speaking of which, I'm PMSing right now too. Oh fun.

Anyway...I'm going to try to moderate a little more on the booze this weekend and see if that helps...losing during the week and gaining it all back on the weekend seems not to be working!

On this topic, here's a little story that I got by e-mail from my mom the other day that spoke to me and this journey/struggle:

Several times my daughter had telephoned to say, "Mother, you must come to see the daffodils before they are over." I wanted to go, but it was a two-hour drive from Laguna to Lake Arrowhead. "I will come next Tuesday", I promised a little reluctantly on her third call.

Next Tuesday dawned cold and rainy. Still, I had promised, and reluctantly I drove there. When I finally walked into Carolyn's house I was welcomed by the joyful sounds of happy children. I delightedly hugged and greeted my grandchildren.

"Forget the daffodils, Carolyn! The road is invisible in these clouds and fog, and there is nothing in the world except you and these children that I want to see badly enough to drive another inch!"

My daughter smiled calmly and said, "We drive in this all the time, Mother." "Well, you won't get me back on the road until it clears, and then I'm heading for home!" I assured her.

"But first we're going to see the daffodils. It's just a few blocks," Carolyn said. "I'll drive. I'm used to this."

"Carolyn," I said sternly, "Please turn around." "It's all right, Mother, I promise. You will never forgive yourself if you miss this>>>experience."

After about twenty minutes, we turned onto a small gravel road and I saw a small church. On the far side of the church, I saw a hand lettered sign with an arrow that read, "Daffodil Garden." We got out of the car, each took a child's hand, and I followed Carolyn down the path. Then, as we turned a corner, I looked up and gasped. Before me lay the most glorious sight.

It looked as though someone had taken a great vat of gold and poured it over the mountain peak and its surrounding slopes. The flowers were planted in majestic, swirling patterns, great ribbons and swaths of deep orange, creamy white, lemon yellow, salmon pink, and saffron and butter yellow. Each different-colored variety was planted in large groups so that it swirled and flowed like its own river with its own unique hue. There were five acres of flowers.

"Who did this?" I asked Carolyn. "Just one woman," Carolyn answered. "She lives on the property. That's her home." Carolyn pointed to a well-kept A-frame house, small and modestly sitting in the midst of all that glory. We walked up to the house.

On the patio, we saw a poster. "Answers to the Questions I Know You Are Asking", was the headline. The first answer was a simple one. "50,000 bulbs," it read. The second answer was, "One at a time, by one woman. Two hands, two feet, and one brain." The third answer was, "Began in 1958."

For me, that moment was a life-changing experience. I thought of this woman whom I had never met, who, more than forty years before, had begun, one bulb at a time, to bring her vision of beauty and joy to an obscure mountaintop. Planting one bulb at a time, year after year, this unknown woman had forever changed the world in which she lived. One day at a time, she had created something of extraordinary magnificence, beauty, and inspiration. The principle her daffodil garden taught is one of the greatest principles of celebration.

That is, learning to move toward our goals and desires one step at a time--often just one baby-step at time--and learning to love the doing, learning to use the accumulation of time. When we multiply tiny pieces of time with small increments of daily effort, we too will find we can accomplish magnificent things. We can change the world .

"It makes me sad in a way," I admitted to Carolyn. "What might I have accomplished if I had thought of a wonderful goal thirty-five or forty years ago and had worked away at it 'one bulb at a time' through all those years? Just think what I might have been able to achieve!"

My daughter summed up the message of the day in her usual direct way. "Start tomorrow," she said.

She was right. It's so pointless to think of the lost hours of yesterdays. The way to make learning a lesson of celebration instead of a cause for regret is to only ask, "How can I put this to use today?"

Use the Daffodil Principle. Stop waiting.....Until your car or home is paid off.
Until you get a new car or home
Until your kids leave the house
Until you go back to school
Until you finish school
Until you clean the house
Until you organize the garage
Until you clean off your desk
Until you lose 10 lbs.
Until you gain 10 lbs.
Until you get married
Until you get a divorce
Until you have kids
Until the kids go to school
Until you retire
Until summer
Until spring
Until winter
Until fall
Until you die...


Lori said...

Hang in there, Helen. I know this is frustrating for you to do so much and get 2 pounds back.

I love the daffodil story. For a lot of reasons, not just the moral. My aunt used to have double-sided jonquils all over one side of her yard (someone else planted it, trust me). It was always so beautiful. Thanks for the reminder.

Vickie said...

tell your mom that I loved this and added it to my link page to save it. I am in the midst of the archives of one of US that just turned 30 - it is so much easier for her - the same amount of easy it would have been for me - at 30. At 46 - not so easy - but probably easier than 56, 66 and 76. You just have to start where you are and move forward.

Read this:

and, if you do sugar substitutes, read this:

I don't know - your low fat worked before - but you are a different person - now - maybe you need something slightly different.

Vickie said...

The second link is all there - copy down to the next (blank) line and it should pick up the whole thing.

Helen said...

Thanks, Vickie! I've read that Jack Sprat post before and it's pretty much what I was getting at with my post. I know that if I ate one egg for breakfast, lettuce for lunch and a can of tuna for dinner that I would lose weight. But for what? Life would be much less fun! ;-) But I do want to I need to find a happy medium between all fun all the time and all good eating all the time.

The sugar thingee was interesting! I'll try that sometime. ;-) I actually found what I will now be calling "the McDonalds Solution" this morning: caffeinated coffee and a breakfast burrito AND hash browns. Worked like a charm. Gotta find some other way though...

It's surely an adventure!

Vickie said...

did you ever try switching your vitimins? Not sure i spelled that right - it looks odd - but you know what I mean. I TOTALLY understand how awful/annoying a sluggish GI track is - that might be what is going on with your weight - I have heard that a sluggish system can make you vary anywhere from 1-10 pounds.

Vickie said...

If you could meet any historical character, who would it be? And why. What would you two talk about? Would you bring them to your time - or go back to theirs?

Favorite all time movie/play and why - what it meant to you - can be one you were IN or watched.

What is the weirdest "patch" together thing that you have done - rather than take the time to mend/hem/alter a particular garment for you or yours?

When you were first "out on your own" - what was your first major purchase?

What is the new habit of which you are the proudest?