NoMoreTomorrows

Surviving is not Living

Archive for the ‘Lessons’ Category

D is for Discipline

with 3 comments

I am participating in #tellyourstory2014. You can read about it here. I love this exercise. 2014 is the year of my breakthrough.

Not that I will have “arrived”. Just that there are things I’ve been trying to get hold of for awhile and this is the year it is going to happen. At that point, at the end of this year, those things that I have standing in my way, once removed will give way to the next things. There are things on the other side. Things for me to learn. Ways for me to grow, in things I can’t imagine, in areas I don’t even know I need to.

A recap so far.

A.. Attention, giving instead of seeking. Being others focused more than I am me focused.

B…Bravery, doing what makes me afraid.

C…Consistency , Still a daily struggle.

D..Discipline, AND finding joy in it.

A mentor did a talk on the joy of the disciplined life. It sounded much like me when he spoke of his past. Straight C student, waiting until the last minute to do homework.  He changed. Now he mentors others on many subjects. He teaches people to be successful. He is a multi-millionaire. I counsel with him and have access to learn what he learned. I must take him up on that.

Too many people talk about discipline like it’s a bad thing. Boring. It leaves no room for imagination or exploration. But it does. You can schedule those times. One thing I am working on in the area of discipline is to plan meals 15 days at a time. Then I spend one day making all of the meals. It takes about an hour to shop, 3-5 hours to cook, and then I don’t have to think or plan the rest of the 15 days on what I am going to eat, or take the time to cook it. It’s a time saver.  I wonder how much time we spend wasted on decisions because we are going for what we feel like in the moment. I am working on getting to the place where food is food.  It’s my nourishment and my fuel.

One thing my mentor advises is to sit down each night, write a list of what you have to do the next day, and place beside it the time that you’re going to do it. It helps to consistently fit things in the same time each day if your schedule is one that mostly stays the same.

The meal plan I am succeeding at pretty well. The list making and accomplishing I am failing at pretty well.

Consistently disciplined. It is at the heart of my goals for this year.

What is your D?

Written by No More Tomorrows

March 4, 2014 at 12:18 pm

Posted in Being Mindful, Lessons

Tagged with

C is for…

leave a comment »

“Be Consistent.

Expect Consistency.

Respect Consistency.”

I must say, I have always been pretty good at expecting consistency. Isn’t that the case? Isn’t it always easier to hold someone else to a high standard than it is to grow ourselves? I will admit though that my last relationship sort of wore that down a little. Okay, you said you’d call be back and a couple days later you still haven’t. The first few times were disappointing. The next few made me angry. Then finally I just stopped expecting it. “Let me call you back” became the equivalent of what “How are you” is in our daily lives. Just meaningless words. It was a way to end the conversation, not a promise of action. Recently I’ve been communicating a lot with a dear friend that I would like someday to be more. After becoming used to “I’ll call you back” meaning nothing, imagine my surprise when my phone rang and it was him! And then it happened again. And again. I had forgotten what it was like when someone follows through on his word to me.

This person is the same one who quoted to me, “Be Consistent. Expect Consistency. Respect Consistency.” His mentor quoted it to him, and I don’t know if his mentor read it somewhere or if it was a product of his own thought. But I wrote it down and I think about it often. We’ve already covered the expecting consistency part.

I struggle with being consistent. If you look back over this blog that will become evident. Promises made. Grand gestures that I couldn’t follow through with. A failed relationship in which neither one of us were consistent. Roller coaster emotions that make me think short term instead of into the future. Failing to follow through on my goals. When it comes to my promises to others I have a little easier time being consistent. But when it comes to promises I make to myself, and goals I set to change my life, there’s a lot of back and forth. And that is something I am striving this year to really change. It isn’t something that I will probably ever be perfect at. Who is? But it’s truly something I find value in. Because I know how important it is when someone follows through with me, I want to hold myself to that same standard. In being consistent to my goals, I will get further. What good is it to work out for 2 hours one day if I don’t work out again for a few weeks? What if it was just 15 minutes a day? Wouldn’t the habit of 15 minutes a day consistently over a year make a bigger difference than 2 hours every couple weeks?

Okay, so we know to expect consistency. And we know it’s best to be consistent. But what about respecting consistency? Do you acknowledge when you’re on the right track? Do you acknowledge and appreciate when someone is consistent with you? Perhaps the problem with all of this is that we don’t respect consistency. We don’t make it a priority. Our friends will understand if we can’t follow through with something. Our family loves us anyway. Is that an excuse? Does it make it okay to let people down because they understand and love us anyway? Do you respect the consistency? Or do you just expect it without offering anything in return?

 

Written by No More Tomorrows

February 4, 2014 at 10:34 am

Posted in Being Mindful, Lessons

Tagged with

How do you measure a year?

with 2 comments

 

“You never know the biggest day of your life is the biggest day. Not until it’s happening. You don’t recognize the biggest day of your life, not until you’re right in the middle of it. The day you commit to something or someone. The day you get your heart broken. The day you meet your soul mate. The day you realize there’s not enough time, because you wanna live forever. Those are the biggest days. The perfect days. You know?”  Izzie, Grey’s Anatomy

 

I don’t know if I would say that was necessarily the biggest day of my life, but it was sure one of my top 5. It was the day I met a man who would forever change my life. I wrote about our first date here. It was one year ago today.

The year has been quite a year, that’s for sure. We had a good couple of weeks right away and then two months of not seeing each other. It was my fault. I did something dumb, and that could have been the end of that story, and I’m not sure who I would be right now if our story had ended there. But something brought him back to me.

I had seen people go from relationship to relationship without being able to be single. That wasn’t me. I spent my life being single, something that at times I hated, but I also am so glad I took the time to be alone with myself and figure out who I was. I didn’t get distracted with someone else, I was able to grow me, and be at peace with me.

That doesn’t mean I was perfect. Through this relationship I have learned so much more about myself, lessons that could only come from navigating through a relationship and figuring it out. It’s not been easy. But it’s been worth it all.  I’m not an expert on relationships, not by any means, but I believe that by being open to change, and by allowing myself to learn, that I am able to pass a few things on to others that might help.

Things I know for sure:

Women and men have forgotten what it means to be ladies and gentlemen. Our first date, he yelled at me for opening all my doors. He told me he doesn’t look at other women when he’s with his lady. I figured that was a line, but then I saw him back it up. When we are together, he looks at me. He doesn’t struggle with not looking other places, he just doesn’t do it. I see that it’s natural. I watched him in a store once when I was out in the car. He was surrounded by women, and he never looked at any of them. (And trust me they were all looking at him, because he’s hot.) He’s truly a gentleman. He treats me like a lady. He opens doors, carries in my groceries, checks the oil in my car, takes my coat from me and hangs it up. He lets me be a lady.  In fact, he expects it. It’s not some misogynistic outdated gender roles he forces on me. It’s just the standard he holds himself to. And in him being a gentleman, it naturally forces me to be a lady.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Communicating effectively means knowing when to speak up and when to shut up. Sometimes we have a disagreement and he pushes me to talk about it, because he cares about my feelings, and wants to know what’s on my mind. And sometimes he doesn’t want to talk, and doesn’t want to hear what I have to say, because what I’m saying isn’t constructive. Women, sometimes we need to shut up. Truly. Some things are not important to be said. If we’re overreacting about something, and making something about us that isn’t about us, we don’t need to vocalize that and bring negativity into our space. Some things really can just be let go. Talk about things that are important, but sometimes, remember to shut up.

Independence should only be exerted when single, not when in a partnership. I can change my own oil, fix my own toilet, take things apart and put them back together. I don’t need anyone to do it for me. That independence has carried me a long way. But exerting that kind of independence in a relationship would destroy it. If I want him to be my partner, I need to let him do the things that are important to him to do. Refer to my first point about being a lady and being a gentleman. If I never let him do things for me, he’d start to feel unimportant pretty quickly. So I don’t need him to check my oil for me. But I ask him to do it before I leave town, because it allows him to do something to take care of me, and that is what fulfills him in the relationship. Not exerting my independence does not mean I have become weak and needy. He’d run away fast if that were the case. He likes my intelligence and my ability to stand on my own two feet. He knows if we were to have a family and something were to happen to him, I could take care of our family. He is attracted to my strength. So I choose to be softer, and let him be a man.

 

 

The most important lessons in life, are not easy to learn, and do not come without pain. We have had some difficult conversations. And he has said some things to me that are hard to hear. It’s something that I love about him that he won’t beat around the bush, he cuts straight to the issue. My being the emotional person I am, it’s sometimes hard to take that, but I wouldn’t have him any other way. He has taught me to cope with my emotions, to master them so they don’t master me. Emotions aren’t bad, but nobody should live by them, and sometimes I’m guilty of gut reactions instead of thinking through things. He doesn’t coddle my irrational emotions. I’m a Cancer, and a woman, I have a lot of them. He’s a Gemini and a man, he doesn’t understand them.  Good relationships will teach you important lessons about yourself, and other people, if you are open to learning and bettering yourself.

 

Life is short. Have fun always. That is a pretty easy one. Don’t make mountains out of mole hills. Laugh a lot. Smile. Don’t hold grudges. Don’t pick fights. Enjoy life. Enjoy each other. Make memories.

Never in my life did I imagine myself with someone like him. If I had looked at my “list” (if I had even made one) he might have met half of my criteria. But I had no idea what I should be wanting in a man, and I’m glad I could see to open myself up to the possibilities with someone who was so different than I was. As social as I can be sometimes, I never thought my favorite nights with a man would be spent staying in, fixing a meal, and listening to lectures. Sharing knowledge is hot. Sizzling. Trust me.

And one more thing, cut the cord from your phone to your hand. Turn it off, put it down, and put your eyes and your attention on each other. Facebook can wait.  I promise.

Written by No More Tomorrows

December 6, 2011 at 11:18 am

Living Up to an Impossible Standard

with 3 comments

Click image to see difference

 

Yesterday, someone I follow on Facebook posted a link to this photo. From there a discussion followed about how we should never compare ourselves to fake images of people.

More examples of photo-shopped images.

My first thought was to say, yes, we shouldn’t compare ourselves to fake images, but we also shouldn’t be comparing ourselves at all, to anyone. I have definitely been guilty of this.  I started my journey around the same time that other people started, and some of them are farther than I am. They’ve lost more weight, can run further distances, and have gotten farther in their journeys. It’s easy to judge myself against their success and feel like a failure, like I’m not good enough. The truth is, I didn’t always put in the effort I could have, and they did. That’s why they’re further along.  It doesn’t make them better and me worse. It simply means we made different choices. I can’t compare myself to others. I can only compare myself to me.

Before – I couldn’t walk up the stairs to my apartment without getting winded.  I couldn’t go on a 5 minute walk, or complete more than a couple minutes of a workout video. I was eating fast food at least 3 times a day and drinking 600-1000 calories of soda most days. I had outgrown size 24 jeans.

Now – I can run up and down my stairs with ease. I can complete a 30 minute walk/jog with 1 minute jogging intervals. I can hold a plank in yoga. I never drink more than 1 soda per day and am working on limiting that also. I love fruits and veggies and eat fast food only a couple times a week. I am wearing size 22 pants that are starting to have give in them.

I look at that progress and I’m pretty happy. And when I look back again 3 months from now, I know I’ll have even more to report.

My other thought came from misinterpreting a comment. I thought someone was saying that the media will never change how they edit images. And I responded that that was true. The media is not going to change. Photo shop will continue to be used. And I don’t think our energy should be used in battling them, but in loving each other and reminding each other daily to live up to our own expectations. We can’t change the media, but we can change ourselves.

I challenge all of us to continue to remind each other that those images aren’t what we should be aspiring to, because they’re not real. What we should be aspiring to is being the best version of ourselves that we can be.  Stop berating yourself for not living up to an impossible standard.

I promise to remind you of that if you will remind me too. Deal?

Written by No More Tomorrows

December 1, 2011 at 2:43 pm

Posted in Inspiration, Lessons

Is “fat” a bad word? My response

with 4 comments

Yesterday there was this.

I shared the post on my facebook and I responded with:

Since when does obesity take away someone’s humanity? Are we not still people who matter in this world? Fat people make him money everyday. If all he wants in his facilities are fit people maintaining their fitness, than he’s doing a good job at guaranteeing that’s what it will be.

And today came this.

I have tried about a dozen times to post my response but it keeps telling me there’s invalid information. I am tired of trying so I’m posting my response here and will drive the traffic to me instead. 😉

I am not offended at the word fat. And to reduce the outrage to being simply about a word is to entirely miss the point of why a community is angry.

 Essentially, the way in which it’s written says this, “Society doesn’t like fat people, and you’re not going to get ahead while you’re fat, so get thin so you can be accepted.”

 Is that the reality? Yes, it is. Should it be? No, it shouldn’t. It is not up to me to lose weight so that I can be accepted by society. It is up to society to stop being ignorant and judgmental and realize I don’t care who accepts me, because I accept me. I have never lived with the idea that I couldn’t achieve something because I am fat. And I have been fat my entire life. I see the looks. I hear the name calling. I was 136 pounds when I was 9 years old. I broke 200 in middle school, and 300 since I turned 25. I know what it is to be fat. That’s all I have ever known. But I never let it stop me. I played sports. I went for jobs I wanted, and was hired to every single job I interviewed for. I have dated men that would make other women drool in jealousy.

 If name calling and bullying would make me lose weight I’d be thin by now. It doesn’t. It doesn’t work. And if it does, that’s not right. Why is okay to shame somebody into a socially acceptable size? It’s not. I started my journey to health because I made a decision that I wanted to live, and I wanted to have healthy babies and be around to see them have babies. I did it for me. Screw society and it’s ignorance.

 If McDonalds was to say that people who eat fast food are losers, I imagine they’d lose business. It’d be a bad move by them to do that. But essentially this is what the book has done. Hey, we’re going to tell fat people they’re not good enough to make it in life and hope they come flocking to our doors to give us business. And to even consider the notion that my mother should have been put in jail because I was an obese child is ridiculous, and far more offensive to me than telling me I’m fat.

So what about you? Join the conversation, on his blog if you can post it, or leave a comment here. Are you offended by the word fat? Do you take issue with the way any of it is worded? 

Written by No More Tomorrows

November 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Posted in Lessons, Weight Loss

A little less talk.

with one comment

I use words. I don’t know big words. I never read the dictionary until recently when the guy in my relationship brought it out to look through. He’s into the etymology of words and I’ve learned quite a bit, but overrall I keep it simple. There are a few friends who, when I speak to them I usually have a dictionary close by or pulled up on the computer so I can look up all the words they’re using in order to understand them. I don’t know big words, but I do know how to craft the words that I do know. I can cut people down, encourage people, explain myself. Maybe that means I’m a writer, because I don’t often have to think much about what I want to say or how I want to say it, it just normally comes, easily and without struggle. And I can ramble on with the best of them. I’m detailed and often will explain myself in three different ways just to make sure that people really know what I’m saying and that I’m not misunderstood. If you’ve read my blog for any amount of time, you’ve seen that. I don’t do short posts. I do long drawn out ones. Some would say that’s a no no in the blogging world, that it turns people off. I’m still learning how to blog to get followers. I hope one day to be successful.

But I use words. I can craft a put down that makes your momma cry, and say words to encourage and make people feel good. I can paint a beautiful picture of myself and what I am learning and growing in and I can make everything seem fine and wonderful. I can put together words of inspiration about weightloss to make people actually believe I’m in it and not sitting at the computer eating donuts. I can speak in love and softness and also in anger and frustration. I can use words.

I believe it’s a gift. But I also believe it’s a curse. Sometimes words aren’t needed. Sometimes they do nothing but keep me stagnant. What good are words of inspiration if I’m not letting them change me? What good is talking without action. I can apologize in the most eloquent of ways but what does it matter if I’m not really sorry, if I don’t change what it was that caused the offense in the first place. I can promise to be better, and move people to tears, but what does that matter?

I am thankful for my gift of writing and expressing myself. I’m happy that people find it encouraging and helpful. I’m proud of the work I’ve put out.

But the true beauty is in action, that’s when things happen. That is when progress is made. Words paint a pretty picture, but without action that picture will just sit in the closet and collect dust.

I don’t like being dusty.

 

Written by No More Tomorrows

November 9, 2011 at 11:37 am

Posted in Lessons, Writing

You with the sad eyes…

with 2 comments

I’ve watched you on the train before. You always sit in the same seat. Head down, hair falling in front of your face. Today I really looked at you. I hope you didn’t catch me, because I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable that I was staring. I know what it’s like to be stared at, and how it makes you feel, and I don’t want to add to that. Your sweater shawl was cute. It looked warm. It wasn’t that cold out yet this morning, but you still tugged at it and wrapped it around you tightly. I understand. I know what you were trying to hide. Maybe you feel like you can wrap up inside yourself and be smaller. I’ve been there. You look out the window, and you look down, but you don’t really take in the world. Your eyes show your unhappiness. I saw your eyes today, usually you wear glasses. Me too. Of course it’s mostly for the sun, but it’s also to hide, pretend that nobody sees me, that I can slip by unaware, unnoticed, be small, be hidden, be missed. My biggest fear in life is to not matter, not be seen, and yet ironically being fat in public makes me shrink into myself and not want to be seen.

I want to say something to you, tell you I understand. I want to give you my phone number and ask you to work out with me, motivate me, let me motivate you. But I’m too scared. I don’t know how you’ll take it. I don’t want to offend you, and I’m too insecure to approach people I don’t know, even people who look like me.  See, I don’t know if you can see me from where you are, but I’m fat too. And unhappy. And uncomfortable. It’s getting cold, and I hate cold, because as big and bulky as I already am, I don’t like adding a bulky coat to the equation. Sometimes it’s easier to be cold than to be uncomfortable.

But I do want  you to know it’s possible to change your life. I haven’t gotten there yet, but I’ve had a taste of it. I’m struggling, and sometimes the more I struggle the more hopeless I feel. But sometimes the struggle makes me feel strong, like I really can defeat this weight. I hope you know it’s possible. You look slightly younger than me. You could spend the majority of your 20’s healthy and happy instead of fat like I did.

Maybe I’ll say hello some day. Or maybe I was supposed to really see you today so that it would spark something in me to get back to work on myself, so that someday I can be an example to people like us, and I can have the confidence to walk up to people and ask them to let me help them change their lives.

I don’t know you, but I want better for you, and I want better for me too.

We deserve it.

 

 

Written by No More Tomorrows

October 25, 2011 at 10:54 am

Posted in Lessons, Weight Loss