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…and trying to get through it. Eating is ok, but I wish I had a fallback menu that is both low-calorie and easy to fix. That’s a question of building a good habit, I suppose.

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Just finished reviewing my progress for the past year, and I’m thrilled with my new skills. I’m now capable of talking myself down off an emotional ledge, finding hunger, waiting to eat until I feel physical hunger, and more.

Now I want to build a new positive habit. My goal is to eat healthily in such a way that I lose weight. OK, that goal could be worded more positively. Here are some possibilities:

  • Eat to lose weight – too negative
  • Eat intuitively to lose weight – not where my head really is right now, although intuitive eating is definitely what I’m doing
  • Eat delightful foods – warming up
  • Eat delightful foods to lose weight – bleh
  • Eat delightful foods that bring me to my weight goal – better
  • Eat delightful foods that bring me to my weight goal and make me feel great! Yes!

OK, goal defined. I think this time I’ll use the Four Day Win method. Take four days to define and work on easily achievable sub-goals. Reward yourself at the end of each day, and specially at the end of the 4 day cycle.

Sub-goals for the next 4 days:

  • 5-10 minutes of positive, silent meditation each day
  • Turn off the computer early at least once each day
  • Choose an extra vegetable each day to find out if it delights me
  • Choose to pass on a non-delighting food each day
  • Eat chocolate every day

Daily rewards:

  • Throw away something I “think” I should keep, but don’t really want to keep
  • Read something I want to read for fun
  • Go car shopping with my teenager
  • Day 4: buy myself the Sabotage Self-Sabotage guided journey from Renee Stephens

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This is working really well for me right now. When I am eating and can’t stop, or when I’m thinking about getting food and I know I’m not hungry, I follow these steps.

  1. Stop what I’m doing. Even if I’m bringing food to my mouth.
  2. Breathe deeply, sometimes several times.
  3. Close my eyes and sense all of my body parts, from toe to head.
  4. Ask myself, “What am I doing that I don’t want to be doing?” The first answer is always about food.
  5. Ask myself, “Why am I drawn to food at this moment? What thoughts am I avoiding?” It’s always not about food.
  6. Choose an action to take to fix the second question.

Sometimes the action also includes eating the food anyway, but with love and positive intent for myself.

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One, two, three, four, five crocodiles, each in their own stalls. Two on either side of me, and one just ahead.

The crocodile wrangler assured me that there were no worries. The crocs wouldn’t do anything unless their mood changed. After several tense moments, my discomfort turned to curiosity.

Somehow, something changed. The wrangler decided I better leave the pen, but it was too late to do it smoothly. The oldest croc was starting to give me the kind of attention I gave to chocolate when it’s been a long day, and no chocolate was available. I felt myself in danger.

The wrangler acted quickly. He grabbed the protective cage, which he had assured me would be perfectly safe. Safe? It was a large plastic dishpan and had a home-made chicken wire cage to place on top of it.

Having no other choice, I stepped into the dishpan, squatted, and pulled the cage over me. I fit perfectly, except the cage was made for a shorter person than my 5 foot, 5 inch frame. Perfect fit? That means that my body shape is normally slender, slender enough to fit into a large dishpan.

The wrangler pulls my dishpan out of the pen to safety. And thus ends my first thin dream.

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scale junkie (see http://blog.scalejunkie.com/) plans her meals weekly. Pretty cool. When I read her post I realized it’s a pretty nice way to care for yourself, because it acknowledges that you are willing to work to provide yourself with the foods you love.

I’m going to try some more planning myself. I already plan my basics, because I buy food for a week ahead, but I think I can increase my enjoyment even more by planning consciously.

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Do you think that words can make a difference in your life? Just listen to the two New Hampshire ending speeches by Hillary and Obama. The words in the speeches and the responses of the audiences show exactly how Obama has moved so far forward in this race.

Hillary’s speech:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/22565110#22565110

Obama’s speech:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22425001/vp/22564863#22564863

Obama’s speech is a study in positive engagement, and his audience is spontaneously chanting the very words of his speech. Imagine what that can do for you if you can build that commitment in yourself. I’m rewriting the words in my life to take my own lead in the race for a fuller life.

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I can’t

I can’t.

When I can’t, I want to eat.

My boss is driving me absolutely up the wall. It has reached an impossible point, and I cannot (will not) save her.

Type A is an understatement with this woman. She has worked through the night having teleconferences on various subjects that weren’t even necessary for her to attend.

Once, we worked as peers. Then, it was ok for her to take on whatever she wanted, because I was able to work in my own way, which is highly process-oriented.

Then she became the boss. Normally this is great, because she was my boss earlier for a short time, and it was fine too. She’s very personable and I really admire many of her abilities to talk to people and freely make contact to solve problems.

What’s gone wrong now is she has taken on way too much work, and the shit is sliding downhill.

Back when she didn’t have enough to do, she took on a database installation and setup project that is actually for another department. She will not let this go, and brought me in on it when she became boss. My initial concerns that this took valuable time that we didn’t have were all pooh-poohed and that we could handle for for another month. Another month has become 6 months, and she is continuing to take on the next phase of this project even though she is not following through and leaving big portions to me.

We have a big project that is our main work, and it is coming due within the next 6 weeks. She has recently broken agreements with me and others about how the scope would be limited. Just today, she dumped a task on me that she has not been getting done, which is mission critical to this project. Now she wants me to do it, unassisted, with first release on Friday. It’s again someone else’s job, but because she made the commitment to a third party, she’s dumping it on me.

We have a third project, customer surveys, that she has been dealing with for months. Now that something has to be done (work with 300 sales engineers to find 500 customers to survey), guess where the job has ended up.

I worked for several hours today on a problem in the database project, and cannot solve it. I’m not interested in working further on it, since it’s not my job.

Push has come to shove. I have to say I can’t. I can’t do all of these things. There’s simply not enough time. I am not willing to put in overtime. I have to say I can’t and I HATE saying I can’t. One of my strongest self-identifications is with being smart and capable.

I’m smart enough to know I can’t, and to say I can’t. But I hate doing it anyway. It makes my stomach cramp, and I feel like I am failing.

When I wasn’t writing these things down, I kept thinking of things to eat. It makes me think back to the Helen Hunt/Mel Gibson movie, “What Women Want,” when he is standing at the fridge, looking inside, while he struggles with sadness. “It’s not in there,” he says, and closes the door.

It’s not in the fridge. It’s not in the pizza. It’s not in the cookies.

it’s only in saying, “I can’t.” And meaning it. Arrgh. My stomach hurts again, just thinking that.

<<<fast forward a few hours>>>

I’ve gone home, did chores, went swimming, grabbed a pizza, and went home to watch a DVD. Amazingly enough, staying away from food helped me see more clearly. Now I understand that I can look at the situation without so much drama, and remember that my boss just wants to do the best she can. It’s my responsibility to set boundaries, which I feel good about doing tomorrow in a kind, loving way.

Maybe sometimes saying “I can’t” leads to be better “I cans.”

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