Alphabet Soup: The ‘L’ Words

Alphabet Soup is a series of posts in which readers and I explore the words, concepts, and ideas that help on the path to weight loss/maintenance. Please join in with your insights!

Letter l
The letter L is a Very Big Deal for me, with respect to weight loss and to life in general. Lots of lessons learned in L-world.

I’ve learned a lot about loving myself over the past few years, primarily that love of self shouldn’t be tied to eating healthy and exercising, and it can’t be tied to a size or a shape or weight or bmi or any other physical attribute. While I’m great with having goals in all those measures, I have value and am worth loving at any size or shape or weight. I wish I had fully realized that earlier in my life.

I wish I didn’t sometimes still lose sight of it now. :)


I spent a lot of years in “when I…,then I…” land, putting off doing things until I’d lost some weight. I had a wonderful, magical click! moment of clarity a few years ago as I was taking a goal weight celebration ride on a jet ski along the gulf coast. As I breezed along on my first ever jetski ride, a couple on a tandem ski passed nearby. Both were significantly overweight, but they were out there laughing and having the time of their lives. They didn’t wait for some distant goal weight to have fun. I did, and I missed a lot of rides.

Cammy jetskiAnne Lamott says it so much better than I can: Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.

Let Go
Holding on to hurts, slights, and transgressions (mine or someone else’s) will only hold me back. As Malachy McCourt wrote: Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Let.It.Go.

Inspirational Quotes |

For most of my diet-y years, I made the process a mean, miserable, soul-sucking experience. (Gee, I wonder why I struggled so much?) Fortunately, somewhere in the early stages of my latest weight loss journey, I figured out that I could have fun with the process by making up games and silly challenges. As the Yiddish proverb goes: What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.

I haven’t said it in a while, but lifting weights completely changed the weight loss process for me. I saw results in the fit of my clothes long before I saw big losses reflected on the scale. I also saw the results in my posture, my attitude, my confidence, and my ability to deal with stress. I gained strength and toning–inside and out! :)

I suppose I should stop there. I think I’ve covered the most important L-words for me, but there are a couple more I might explore later. Unless one of you beats me to the punch. :) Your insights are welcome and appreciated!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend!

On Distractions and Focus

Do you ever go to reach for something and at the last second you’re distracted or focus on something else, so you end up missing your target? You’re off a fraction to the right or to the left. Or maybe too high or too low. You get it on the second try–or maybe the third–but you do get what you’re after.

That, in a nutshell, is how my life is rolling right now. I start out with a semi-determined day, get distracted somewhere along the way, and then play as much catch-up as I can. Some things get done; some things don’t. (Obviously, blogging isn’t happening regularly.)

My weight management efforts are generally following the same pattern. I have my regular way of doing things (5-7 fruits/vegetables daily, lean meats, whole grains, minimum 30 minutes exercise daily, etc.), and I’m on it most of the time, but I’m having too many “almost had it” days. That makes me uncomfortable.

I’m not sure why my focus is out of whack. Hormones, stress, spring, rainy days–could be anything. It could be all those things. :) I’ll figure it out. For now, I’m just trying to focus on what’s happening right now rather than what I did or didn’t do earlier.

Not all of the distractions are unwelcome. Here was a happy little diversion that took up most of a morning:

duncan phyfe style dining table

I was dithering between farmhouse-style or Duncan Phyfe-style for my dining room, and when this beauty showed up on my Facebook resale group for $25, I decided the Universe was giving me a great big hint. While the table is scratched and scarred, it’s still got style. Just like its owner. :) If I can’t clean up the finish, I’ll slap a tablecloth on it and just let the sexy legs show. LOL Now I just need seating and flooring (photo is from the original owner’s house), and I’ll have myself a proper dining room.

Alphabet Soup: K

Alphabet Soup is a series of posts in which readers and I explore the words, concepts, and ideas that help on the path to weight loss/maintenance. Please join in with your insights!

letter kRolling into the weekend, let’s continue the alphabetic exploration of words and ideas that help with weight maintenance/loss by playing with the letter ‘K’!

I don’t have many entries for the letter ‘K’, but the ones I do have are important for me.

Kindness – I’ve always been the sort of person who pokes fun at herself. It’s a fun way to diffuse the pressure when something doesn’t go so well, and it helps others see that I can laugh at myself when I do something laugh-worthy. And I do that a LOT. :)

There’s a point, though, that gentle humor crosses a line and becomes unkind, even when we ourselves are the recipients of the remarks or thoughts. I used to cross that line quite frequently, both before and after my weight loss. I captured one such instance in a post entitled, When Kindness Matters Most, in which I recommit to using kinder, gentler words when dealing with my emotions.

KISS – Most everyone is familiar with the acronym for “Keep It Simple, Stupid” (which I have kindly rebranded as “Keep It Simple, Silly”), right? Well, in the past, I apparently didn’t think it applied to weighty matters. I followed (or tried to) ridiculously complicated weight loss plans. You know the type. Eat from list A before noon, eat no more than 3 items from list B between 2 and 4 p.m., and so on and so on. And the exercise plans were no better. For me, keeping it simple by having a goal of lean meats, whole grains, 5-7 fresh veggies, and at 30 minutes of exercise each day seems to work better.

Kitchen – I can count on one hand the number of meals I cooked when I was losing weight. It worked for my lifestyle then, and it worked for my weight loss. (The trick was learning which restaurants to eat in.) Over time, though, my lifestyle changed and I was at home more often, so I began to play around in my kitchen. Fast forward a few years and I’m still no kitchen diva, but I find that I enjoy creating wholesome meals that are satisfying and energizing. I’ve also enjoyed giving up some of the convenience foods I was buying in favor of making my own versions. BBQ sauce, taco seasoning, and sandwich thins are just a few that come to mind. None of those are nutritionally awful in the brands I chose, but I like having control over the ingredients and the flavor. I’m just selfish that way.

Keep on Keepin’ On – That’s an old song title, I think. Something from the 70s? Anyway, it’s also a fun little reminder to maintain focus on the positive progress and keep on going.

Those are the ‘K’ words that have proven to be useful to me. I hope you’ll chime in with your contributions to the list!