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!



Mantras I Have Known

Do I seem calmer to you? No? Well, it’s not from lack of trying.

I’ve installed a new app on my phone: Calm. It’s a meditation tool to help focus, calm, and relax the mind. Although I know how to meditate, I’m not doing it very well or consistently, so I’m currently going through the 7 Days of Calm program. It’s all good so far.

Sidenote: This company also has a great website if you just need a calming two minute break during the day. It’s called Do Nothing for 2 Minutes. If you touch your keyboard or mouse, the clock starts over. Ask me how I know that. :)

While my thoughts were drifting (calmly) along the meditative path yesterday morning, different mantras I’ve used from time to time kept popping into mind as the meditation coach did her smooth-voiced spiel.

Practice makes improvement.

I think this one came to mind just because the speaker kept reminding me that it was okay if my mind wandered, that meditation was a practice, yada-yada-yada. (Sometimes I want to tell her to hush, I just want to breathe. Which is a clear sign it’s working, I guess.)

Still, it was a good reminder to give myself a break when I don’t do something perfectly. Even when I don’t do it perfectly by my redefined version of perfection, which is “mostly right”. :)

We see it when we believe it.

which I always think of in tandem with

Something wonderful will happen.

I can’t remember most of Brian Tracy’s speech about the power of expectation, but these two phrases have stuck with me for over 20 years. I only wish I remembered to practice them every day. While I do believe that wonderful things are happening all around me, it’s difficult to remember to look for them when I’m pondering the future or reliving some past haunt.

My time is now.

When my friend Beth was struggling with Alzheimer’s, she couldn’t remember a lot of the past and knew she didn’t have an extended future (here on Earth, anyway.) All she had was Right Now, and she made the most of it. I sometimes (as in, frequently) have to remind myself that the most important time in my life is Now. The past is over, and I can’t predict the future. Other than that something wonderful will happen.

Own your choices.

After all these years (seven or eight now, I think), I realize that over the past couple of weeks, I’ve been blaming other peop–I mean, things for choices I’ve made. That needs to stop. Now. I’m in charge of me.

Because it’s the right thing to do.

The reward for doing the right thing is doing the right thing. It never ends, and I love it.

Break time is over.

I’m really feeling this one. I’ve not been far off track, but I haven’t been feeling entirely “me” lately, if you know what I mean. The morning meditation (and warmer weather, I’m sure) is definitely helping me straighten things out and focus on the here and now.

Do you meditate? What mantras have inspired you lately?