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Day 11 – Yes be Yes

09/19/2009

         So is it coming? You know the ebb and flow of something new? I have been so excited about my new choices, blogging and even writing that I’m now waiting for the other shoe to drop. I’m waiting for the enthusiasm to wane. Will it happen on the next Wednesday weigh in? Will it happen on the ride home when I mindlessly pull into a drive-thru and order a double of everything? Justifying the purchase because I’m too tired to cook. Will it happen on a day that my last ounce of patience was used up by 10 am? Will it happen when I’m finally tempted by a perfectly baked corner piece brownie? In the past I was successful for a while but I would always lose steam and surrender to the temptation to just give in.

BUT NOT TODAY!

        It was a working Saturday for me.   This usually meant that I committed to something during the excitement of the new school year. In the past I would commit but then back out at the last moment. One thing I want to do within this venture is to be truthful to you and myself. Most of all I want my “Yes”  be “Yes” and my “No”  be “No.” (Matthew 5:37)   Truthfulness is the key!   No more lying to myself.    So as this day approached I was tempted to just bail. Especially since it was going to be an incredible fall day. You know those crisp fall days where the sky is a crystal blue with big fluffy clouds and the trees a fiery yellow. I did not want to spend a day in a computer lab especially since I was going to get a nice lunch but no pay. 
       My new plan for my life got me to the school today. The whole sum of my decisions this past week made my early morning rather routine. I didn’t argue with myself or try to negotiate for a better deal, which would have been a day of me just relaxing in my chair. I prayed for a day of good decisions and a positive attitude.
       I HAD SO MUCH FUN TODAY! Every lesson was geared right for what I needed for my students. The exchanged between colleagues was uplifting and informative. I guess like-minded people meet on Saturdays for a computer conference. But what I did notice was that following through with my plans for the day allowed me to follow through with my healthy choices. During the catered breakfast I chose a wonderful assortment of fruit and during lunch I was completely satisfied with bypassing the bread in the sandwich and adding everything to nice toss salad. The best part was that I also passed on the perfectly baked corner piece brownie. It had no ownership of me today. I was not tempted in the least. I made a plan and I stuck to it. In the past I would have went back for seconds and even squirreled a brownie away for the afternoon session. Great choices all day long even allowed me to enjoy a wonderful walk after the conference. The day was just as beautiful and I probably even enjoyed it more because of my accomplishments throughout the day.

Small victories are so important.

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Day 6 – Finances and Weight

09/14/2009

       I have spent the past 3 years learning how to live within a budget.  I never took the time to learn about money.  I avoided the subject at all cost.  I just unconsciously paid bills and then charged everything for the rest of the month.  I took on more and more side jobs in order to account for the short fall but I never really could make ends meet.  I never cut back my spending or set a limit.  I just worked harder.  After 15 years of wayward spending I was in over my head to a tune of $45,000.  This is a perfect example of living with no boundary.  When I could not work  any more hours in a day and my credit cards were at their limit I made the struggle public and set a budget.  I became a student of a  friend who had made smart financial decisions. I made graphs and posted them all over my house and classroom.  I read books and listened on the radio to financial experts such as Dave Ramsey.   I became the cash queen and my mantra was “Credit Cards are Bad!”  I lived within a budget and paid cash for everything.  Every dollar had a purpose and destination.  Believe it or not I had freedom within that boundary.  I had “if then choices.”  I worked it so I could choose where the money would go and shuffled as needed.  I was determined and unrelenting.  To this date I have paid off 90% of this debt.

I bet you know where this is going .

       Isn’t it interesting that my financial history is very similar to my weight story?  It’s amazing to see the similarities.  My family knew that my weight gained was not a topic up for discussion. It wasn’t fair to them because they were coming from a place of love. But I would become very hurt when the topic arose.  When I spoke with friends about my weight I approached the subject as if I was a victim, “Oh whoa is me.” I felt defeated because I believed that this was an area in my life that I would never achieve significant success in.  I tried to white knuckle it many times but I would always defeat myself once again.   I would reach that certain milestone and then turn around and eat more and more.  I’d learn about healthy eating but I would never take any ownership in what was going on, so the pounds just piled on and on and on. 

   Financial and Weight Gain Similarities
1. Topic off the table
2. Continue as if nothing was happening
3. Play the “Whoa is me,” card

    I made the connection today when I was talking to a friend about my success this week.  I was reviewing with her my calorie options and if I budget correctly I could have certain foods according to my calorie allotment for the day.  She had witnessed my financial journey and said, “If you can be on a cash budget you can surely budget calories.  Lets see can you say “LIGHTBULB MOMENT?”