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Old 01-12-2010, 05:54 PM   #331
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Bill - That is great news! Congratulations on your weight loss and I hope the rash clears up soon. That is interesting about your doc not telling you about aspartame before you mentioning it. I agree with Leo, that it's too extreme and the docs probably assume people won't listen or take the advice.

I love these religious rituals! They are ones I haven't heard of.

I don't keep sweets in the house either. No willpower. It's really cut down how much we eat mind you, since we have to go out and get something and seeing as it's minus 20 Celsius these days, DH and I stay put once the kids go to bed (whereas in the warmer weather one of us would head to the store to pick up a treat). But I am serious about ditching my sweet tooth, so it's just as well we have nothing in the house right now!
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Old 01-13-2010, 03:08 AM   #332
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Perhaps I'm just cranky today, but this morning I decided that I don't like our little motto--"We can do hard things." I think Ive been affected by some of the current posts on the Main Lobby as well as recent ones here about not being able to have treats in the house.

It's just that I think that we have to embrace what we are doing and stop thinking of it as "hard" or something that is somehow oppressing us. I keep reading things on the ML about people (often who've just begun to 'diet') who are "tired of abstaining" or eager to know how quickly they can lose the weight, etc., etc.

For those of us who are not trying to lose 5-10 lbs but have had weight issues all our lives, what we're doing has to be a life plan, a WOE that we adopt to preserve our health. I can't plan to "go off" on vacation or for holidays. I have to plan for those events as part of my overall WOE, even if they include more calories/carbs than I normally have--or don't, depending on how I've planned.

I'm not saying that we don't include special treats at times. But I think that we can't think of our WOE as constricting or "hard" because that's a mental state that leads to eating disasters.

Today's DD is not something to 'endure.' It is part of a plan that I have willingly embraced because it is helping me meet my personal goals. I follow JUDDD because it has been good for me, not just in weight loss but in helping me learn to deal with my food issues. If it were not good for me, I would be doing something else. And since it's good for me, my choices are not "hard" at all. They are simply what I do.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:09 AM   #333
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Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
Perhaps I'm just cranky today, but this morning I decided that I don't like our little motto--"We can do hard things." I think Ive been affected by some of the current posts on the Main Lobby as well as recent ones here about not being able to have treats in the house.

It's just that I think that we have to embrace what we are doing and stop thinking of it as "hard" or something that is somehow oppressing us. I keep reading things on the ML about people (often who've just begun to 'diet') who are "tired of abstaining" or eager to know how quickly they can lose the weight, etc., etc.

For those of us who are not trying to lose 5-10 lbs but have had weight issues all our lives, what we're doing has to be a life plan, a WOE that we adopt to preserve our health. I can't plan to "go off" on vacation or for holidays. I have to plan for those events as part of my overall WOE, even if they include more calories/carbs than I normally have--or don't, depending on how I've planned.

I'm not saying that we don't include special treats at times. But I think that we can't think of our WOE as constricting or "hard" because that's a mental state that leads to eating disasters.

Today's DD is not something to 'endure.' It is part of a plan that I have willingly embraced because it is helping me meet my personal goals. I follow JUDDD because it has been good for me, not just in weight loss but in helping me learn to deal with my food issues. If it were not good for me, I would be doing something else. And since it's good for me, my choices are not "hard" at all. They are simply what I do.
I hear you Leo. I have mixed feelings. I agree with you in that I have also concluded that it's best for me not to think about my food choices as "hard." However, that "inner peace" about my relationship with food was not an easy result, it was a hard-won battle. It was hard every day for a while. For a long while. And telling myself that I can do hard things helped me get to this place.

So maybe the "we can do hard things" is a transitory tool. It helped me get to this happy place where I am now, but I don't need it right now, either. But I think I'll keep it on the top shelf of my closet, where I know it will be, should I need it again.

Sort of along that same way of thinking, I had a difficult afternoon and evening yesterday. Doc gave me Prednisone, and even though he warned me about the elevation in blood sugar, he told me that I was doing so well, I could "afford" the few days of higher blood glucose. I took one dose as soon as I got home from the pharmacy. A few hours later, my BG was still over 140 (high enough that it was making me feel bad, which is why I bothered to test). I was also ravenously hungry to a degree I have not experienced in months. I decided not to take any more Prednisone, and my BG was close to my normal this morning. I guess I did use the "I can do hard things" tool a little yesterday evening. I so much wanted to eat, but I am also so happy with my plan, how it's working and how I have been feeling, I didn't want to give that up because of a pill I took. I did "power through" my fast, and I feel better today because I did.

And kind of as a follow-up to what I've been observing (and preaching about) in terms of chemicals (artificial sweeteners): that tiny little Prednisone pill raised my BG as high as (and longer than, I think) my Thanksgiving meal when I ate potatoes, bread and a sugary dessert. I can't afford to go the "all organic" route (simply not financially possible for me, even if the product were available). Too, I live in the "Christmas Tree Capitol of the World"--where so many pesticides are used all over the area that the air, groundwater and wildlife (what of it there is left after decades of contamination) are all contaminated. Some of the local organic farmers grow their crops adjacent to their own (or their neighbors') Christmas trees or tobacco--so how chem-free can that be, especially after so much long-term abuse of the local ecology? When I was a boy, there were so many grasshoppers, spiders, butterflies, birds, fish (and yes, pests like Japanese beetles and potato bugs) that are now GONE. This is still a very rural area, not much has changed except the chemicals. There's a buffalo farm just a few miles from home, and I have often thought of buying their grass-fed meat. But their farm is practically surrounded on all sides by Christmas tree fields, so why bother? One of my old classmates is especially proud of his organic honey, but I wonder where his bees can get any nectar that isn't tainted? As Paul Simon said, "Sometimes I think, I think too much."

Redeemed, your televangelist sock story really made me think. I don't have much respect for the televangelist, who was (in my opinion) taking advantage of people. However, that your faith had you wear the sock and return it with money inside, speaks more (to me) about the strength of your faith than anything else, and makes your story completely different and actually, redemptive and inspirational. Like the Steve Martin tent revival preacher in "Leap of Faith" who knew he was a fake...that didn't prevent him from being a catalyst for good in the lives of others in the film.

You all rule. Thank you so much for being here.



--bill
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:37 AM   #334
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Bill-

Congratulations on resisting that hunger! Even though it was chemically induced and caused by your elevated BG, Jenny has reported that's the most difficult hunger to ignore, so you did great.

However, if that prednisone is necessary for you, shouldn't you take it as directed? I hate taking anything that powerful and upsetting to the body, but perhaps that's the only way to deal with that rash of yours? At the very least, I'd check with the doctor about it. If you explain how upsetting it was perhaps he'll give you something else that will also help.

I totally agree with you about the "organic" issue. I've read reports of other areas where this is also true, so in buying organic in the local supermarket, the produce may be just as contaminated as anything else.

As to the "hard" issue, I also agree. At times, as you just experienced, it is hard to do the right thing in terms of food, but I prefer not to dwell on the difficult (as a standard practice) but on the positive effects of this WOE.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:08 AM   #335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmandM View Post
What is an egg cream? Can you post a recipe? Thanks!
Egg creams rock!! My whole family loves them including the kids. The raw eggs might freak some people out, but I have been doing egg creams for years and it's never bothered me. The one I use most often is this one. I normally eyeball everything so I am going to try and give measurements.

3 eggs
2 tablespoons 1/2 and 1/2
1 tablespoon cream cheese
1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
ice
stevia to taste

The kids like when I throw 1/2 a banana or so and that's really good. I also like to put a dollup of whipped cream.

Blend in blender! Very creamy and tasty!

The variations I have used are coconut oil instead of cream cheese, maybe different fruits.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:10 AM   #336
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Well, my struggles yesterday turned my DD to a MD (about 900 calories)....but I didn't give in to the carbs. Had a spinach omelet with cheddar cheese to satisfy the hunger instead. Interesting Leo, reading your post about hard things....right now DD are REALLY hard things for me. You maybe right...hard in the beginning of this WOE but become more accepted as we go on.

Right now I am struggling, just as I have struggled in my former attempts with JUDD at this point. I question whether the DD/UD triggers my "all or nothing at all" issues....or whether I use that as an excuse at this point to sabotage a program that works for me.

I know one thing I really need to do is to cut out the sugar/white flour in my diet. It is feeding my cravings and my hunger. My FBG levels have been creeping up too (insulin resistant) and it is beginning to scare me. Time to face the music about nutrition and exercise and start making wise choices before it's too late. Was watching the Biggest Loser last night and it really struck home regarding the whole diabetes issue....can't be in denial about this any longer.
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:43 AM   #337
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Sherrie-

You're not diabetic are you? I ask because one reason I have no problem giving up sugar and starch is that I'm hoping to avoid type2, which my sisters have.

Because I'm hypothyroid, my blood glucose numbers are higher than one would expect eating the way I do--fasting is in the mid-90s.

At my age, health is the primary concern, and I really think that sugar and grains are bad for me--hence it's "easy" to NOT eat them.

It seems to me that so long as you dwell on the difficulty of DDs, they will continue to be difficult--until you give up and abandon JUDDD.

Let me offer an example. A week or so ago, I woke on the morning of a DD really feeling as though I wanted (and needed) to eat. I wanted it to be an UD. But I decided that it was a DD, and that was non-negotiable. And what happened is that as I went through my DD 'routine' (coffee and egg whites for breakfast), that 'feeling' vanished, and it wasn't a really difficult DD at all.

My point is that I believe that 75% (or more) of this is psychological. We don't have to act on "feelings," and I know that my experiences of hunger are most often psychological. In fact, the physical hunger that I sometimes feel late in the day on a DD is actually quite pleasant.

You CAN do this, and I know this because if I can do it, ANYONE can. I didn't get to 300+lbs by being a small eater
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Old 01-13-2010, 06:44 AM   #338
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Bill Phenomenal weight loss!! 1401811yho44c9apr.gif

1401811yho44c9apr.gif


About the sugar thing. I never said I would obstain from the foods I enjoy. I would just like to have the willpower to save sweets for special occasions. I still eat bread and potatoes and fruit. I eat the way I was brought up and have still lost weight with JUDDD. In fact, I am losing easier with JUDDD than I did with Atkins. This is my choice. JUDDD is about calories. Others have tweaked JUDDD either out of necessity or preference. It's all good as far as I'm concerned. We need to give others grace to eat the way they see fit. Kesha coined the phrase "We can do hard things." She has come a long way in conquering addictions in her life. I'm willing to use "We can do hard things," as a group rallying cry, if it helps myself, Kisha and others feel confident about winning yet another battle - the battle of weight. I'm a big believer in positive self-talk. Just sayin'. You're all wonderful!!!

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:16 AM   #339
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Leo No one cast "We can do hard things" in stone for our motto. I say let's toss around some phrases we might want to use as our motto. I'lll go first. How about: "Happy Loosers." or "Lifetime Loosers" or "Diet with Enjoyment". Others, please don't leave me hanging on a limb here. Jump in.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:35 AM   #340
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I'm still kind of liking We Can Do Hard Things. I remember reading the original quote this came from on this board (was it October?) and really respecting the originators take on things. Yes this is my chosen WOE--and Leo, maybe after a year or so, it won't be so hard--but it is hard now and the fact that I can do this hard thing makes me feel so much more confidence in myself! So much of the time in my life it was too hard for me to make good choices--but something about this WOE enables me to make the hard choice--

So many people fail to change their weight because they are taken over by impulse. God knows I am and have been and will be taken over by impulse--but again, it is as if JUDDDD allows me to do a hard thing that other plans couldn't let me do. LC also allows me to do this hard thing because it is easier to restrict when your blood sugar isn't messed up. All my life, I could not do the hard thing until the right tools came along. old age, menopause, thyroid--these were all part of the picture that made the hard things undoable--but JUDDD changes that.

Anyhoo--it is fine if everyone wants to change our motto--I just wanted to say how it is for me

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Old 01-13-2010, 07:45 AM   #341
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmandM View Post
What is an egg cream? Can you post a recipe? Thanks!
I got left in the dust again, which I'm sure will be typical for me....I think I saw that Michelle already answered this. I have mine with Designer Whey protein mix(chocolate)...one scoop with a cup of Almond Breeze (no sugar...only 40 cal) and an egg. 240 calories. I will do one early evening, then another later and that's all on DD's. Yesterday, I had one early evening while I was making dinner for my family (tacos!) but didn't add the egg. Later I had about a cup of taco meat with a little cheese and some lettuce and salsa. I don't know how many calories I ended up with but it felt right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo41 View Post
Perhaps I'm just cranky today, but this morning I decided that I don't like our little motto--"We can do hard things." I think Ive been affected by some of the current posts on the Main Lobby as well as recent ones here about not being able to have treats in the house.
Leo, I don't completely disagree with you but I liked the title the first moment I saw it because my daughter just finished reading a book called "Do Hard Things". It's written to teenagers mostly to challenge them to up their standards and quit following in our societies expectations of them (which is pretty much nothing) I have been reading parts of the book and feeling like we could all do with a little "doing hard thing" in our lives. It's good for us....it stretches us.....it makes us better....gives us character. I'm not against doing hard things or calling hard things hard. At the same time, I understand the psychology of not wanting to always look at your woe as hard but as something you've chosen. You might also look at the fact that you've CHOSEN something HARD and that's ok! In fact, you do what most people don't.....because if they did, we wouldn't have these boards.

I dont' know if I am making much sense, but for the record, I'm here whatever we decide to call our thread! I'm hooked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillB View Post
I hear you Leo. I have mixed feelings. I agree with you in that I have also concluded that it's best for me not to think about my food choices as "hard." However, that "inner peace" about my relationship with food was not an easy result, it was a hard-won battle. It was hard every day for a while. For a long while. And telling myself that I can do hard things helped me get to this place.

So maybe the "we can do hard things" is a transitory tool. It helped me get to this happy place where I am now, but I don't need it right now, either. But I think I'll keep it on the top shelf of my closet, where I know it will be, should I need it again.

Sort of along that same way of thinking, I had a difficult afternoon and evening yesterday. Doc gave me Prednisone, and even though he warned me about the elevation in blood sugar, he told me that I was doing so well, I could "afford" the few days of higher blood glucose. I took one dose as soon as I got home from the pharmacy. A few hours later, my BG was still over 140 (high enough that it was making me feel bad, which is why I bothered to test). I was also ravenously hungry to a degree I have not experienced in months. I decided not to take any more Prednisone, and my BG was close to my normal this morning. I guess I did use the "I can do hard things" tool a little yesterday evening. I so much wanted to eat, but I am also so happy with my plan, how it's working and how I have been feeling, I didn't want to give that up because of a pill I took. I did "power through" my fast, and I feel better today because I did.

And kind of as a follow-up to what I've been observing (and preaching about) in terms of chemicals (artificial sweeteners): that tiny little Prednisone pill raised my BG as high as (and longer than, I think) my Thanksgiving meal when I ate potatoes, bread and a sugary dessert. I can't afford to go the "all organic" route (simply not financially possible for me, even if the product were available). Too, I live in the "Christmas Tree Capitol of the World"--where so many pesticides are used all over the area that the air, groundwater and wildlife (what of it there is left after decades of contamination) are all contaminated. Some of the local organic farmers grow their crops adjacent to their own (or their neighbors') Christmas trees or tobacco--so how chem-free can that be, especially after so much long-term abuse of the local ecology? When I was a boy, there were so many grasshoppers, spiders, butterflies, birds, fish (and yes, pests like Japanese beetles and potato bugs) that are now GONE. This is still a very rural area, not much has changed except the chemicals. There's a buffalo farm just a few miles from home, and I have often thought of buying their grass-fed meat. But their farm is practically surrounded on all sides by Christmas tree fields, so why bother? One of my old classmates is especially proud of his organic honey, but I wonder where his bees can get any nectar that isn't tainted? As Paul Simon said, "Sometimes I think, I think too much."

Redeemed, your televangelist sock story really made me think. I don't have much respect for the televangelist, who was (in my opinion) taking advantage of people. However, that your faith had you wear the sock and return it with money inside, speaks more (to me) about the strength of your faith than anything else, and makes your story completely different and actually, redemptive and inspirational. Like the Steve Martin tent revival preacher in "Leap of Faith" who knew he was a fake...that didn't prevent him from being a catalyst for good in the lives of others in the film.

You all rule. Thank you so much for being here.



--bill
Bill, the fact that you took Prednisone and didn't chew your arm off amazes me! I have had to take it in the past for chronic hives and boy, let me tell you!!!!!!!!!...................I know that hunger. You rock!....and that's all I have to say, lol!
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:47 AM   #342
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I went to the ML and read the thread I believe Leo was referring to. The OP was venting about her SO making her woe difficult. She needed to vent, that's all. However, I see Leo's point of view more clearly now, after reading that thread.

Quis I am so glad that you are happy with JUDDD. I am so drawn to your screen persona. There's a genuine sincerity that surfaces. Like you, I am hypothyroid and postmeno. I am achieving greater results with JUDDD than anyother woe. I need to point out though that I'm optimized on the dose and brand of thyroid meds that works for me. This combined with JUDDD (and the fantanstic support here) have been factors contributing to my success.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:56 AM   #343
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Originally Posted by Redeemed View Post
I went to the ML and read the thread I believe Leo was referring to. The OP was venting about her SO making her woe difficult. She needed to vent, that's all. However, I see Leo's point of view more clearly now, after reading that thread.

Quis I am so glad that you are happy with JUDDD. I am so drawn to your screen persona. There's a genuine sincerity that surfaces. Like you, I am hypothyroid and postmeno. I am achieving greater results with JUDDD than anyother woe. I need to point out though that I'm optimized on the dose and brand of thyroid meds that works for me. This combined with JUDDD (and the fantanstic support here) have been factors contributing to my success.
Redeemed, just thought I'd tell you that you have been responsible for me going around humming the old hymn "Redeemed" (not sure if that's the name) the last couple of days and I've already started today after seeing your name. Not a bad song to have stuck in my head.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:02 AM   #344
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Redeemed, just thought I'd tell you that you have been responsible for me going around humming the old hymn "Redeemed" (not sure if that's the name) the last couple of days and I've already started today after seeing your name. Not a bad song to have stuck in my head.
That's nice. My DH was playing this Jim Reeves song when I woke up this morning. DH is well into retirement years and loves the older hyms.

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:06 AM   #345
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That's nice. My DH was playing this Jim Reeves song when I woke up this morning. DH is well into retirement years and loves the older hyms.

YouTube - Jim Reeves - The Flowers,The Sunset,The Trees.
Aw, I sent that to my dad. It reminds me so much of him. thanks!
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:14 AM   #346
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Redeemed!

Wish me DD luck today everybody!

xo

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:16 AM   #347
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About those egg creams...I just can't bring myself to drink one. I know the chances of contracting salmonella poisioning are quite low; however, there still is the possibility.

DD blessings to Quis! 736345xys1961mlm.gif

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Old 01-13-2010, 08:17 AM   #348
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I told you I was just cranky today

I didn't mean that you should change the motto; it's just that I worried that if people dwell on the "hard" part, they might give up before they experience the benefits of JUDDD.

Ouis--Clearly you can think of it as "hard" all you want because you now know what it can do for you.

I just worry that thinking about it as hard can work against someone who is struggling to achieve the low calories of DDs. Personally, I've always identified with The Little Engine That Could (OK--you already know I'm old, so I can risk dating myself). "I think I can, I think I can---I KNOW I can!"

Sherrie--and anyone else struggling with a DD--THAT should be your motto for your DDs--

"I KNOW I can!"
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:29 AM   #349
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I told you I was just cranky today

I didn't mean that you should change the motto; it's just that I worried that if people dwell on the "hard" part, they might give up before they experience the benefits of JUDDD.

Ouis--Clearly you can think of it as "hard" all you want because you now know what it can do for you.

I just worry that thinking about it as hard can work against someone who is struggling to achieve the low calories of DDs. Personally, I've always identified with The Little Engine That Could (OK--you already know I'm old, so I can risk dating myself). "I think I can, I think I can---I KNOW I can!"

Sherrie--and anyone else struggling with a DD--THAT should be your motto for your DDs--

"I KNOW I can!"
"I KNOW I can!" I love it!! 19_trein.gif
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:39 AM   #350
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Personally, I've always identified with The Little Engine That Could (OK--you already know I'm old, so I can risk dating myself). "I think I can, I think I can---I KNOW I can!"

Sherrie--and anyone else struggling with a DD--THAT should be your motto for your DDs--

"I KNOW I can!"
I use this all the time when I am doing my hills training (up and down a hill once a week between 6 and 12 times for my 10 km training)!

Michelle and LBishop - thanks for the info. on the egg creams. Can't comment on it since i haven't tried it but yes, the thought of drinking an egg raw does give me the heebie jeebies! I'm sure I have eaten worse though and I trust you two and you seem to like them!
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:22 AM   #351
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Good Morning JUDDDers!

Well, these last few days have been a breeze and I have had rather easy DD's and UD's. I CANNOT say the same for today. It has been pretty hard and not so sure I can make it a Fast Five DD. I might need to go ahead and eat something. I know from past experience when I am this hungry I am about to have a loss. My pants are a little looser today. I usually can feel the loss before I see it on the scale. I am really hoping!

Anyway, I think I might have to have my yogurt!
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:39 AM   #352
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Personally, I've always identified with The Little Engine That Could (OK--you already know I'm old, so I can risk dating myself). "I think I can, I think I can---I KNOW I can!"
I was totally thinking about this in the context of the "we can do hard things" when I came across your post. My mom was (for 40 years) a kids' librarian; she and I share an enduring love for kids' books from long ago until now.

--bill
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:43 AM   #353
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"I KNOW I can!" I love it!! Attachment 27354
I kinda think it's like this with a process, like a day in the weight loss journey (or any hurdle)....you think you can until you do, and then after you do it, you know you can do it again.

However, Yoda did say: "Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'"

I guess that is the difference between pragmatism and Zen.



--bill
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:50 AM   #354
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The Rabbi's Gift--Scott Peck

I'm not going to say much to preface this; it's a story that was read in class by the professor who became my mentor. It has haunted/inspired me in the best possible way over the last 20 years.

THE RABBI'S GIFT

by Dr. M. Scott Peck


The story concerns a monastery that had fallen upon hard times. Once a great order, as a result of waves of antimonastic persecution in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and the rise of secularism in the nineteenth, all its branch houses were lost and it had become decimated to the extent that there were only five monks left in the decaying mother house: the abbot and four others, all over seventy in age. Clearly it was a dying order.

In the deep woods surrounding the monastery there was a little hut that a rabbi from a nearby town occasionally used for a hermitage. Through their many years of prayer and contemplation the old monks had become a bit psychic, so they could always sense when the rabbi was in his hermitage. "The rabbi is in the woods, the rabbi is in the woods again " they would whisper to each other. As he agonized over the imminent death of his order, it occurred to the abbot at one such time to visit the hermitage and ask the rabbi if by some possible chance he could offer any advice that might save the monastery.

The rabbi welcomed the abbot at his hut. But when the abbot explained the purpose of his visit, the rabbi could only commiserate with him. "I know how it is," he exclaimed. "The spirit has gone out of the people. It is the same in my town. Almost no one comes to the synagogue anymore." So the old abbot and the old rabbi wept together. Then they read parts of the Torah and quietly spoke of deep things. The time came when the abbot had to leave. They embraced each other. "It has been a wonderful thing that we should meet after all these years, "the abbot said, "but I have still failed in my purpose for coming here. Is there nothing you can tell me, no piece of advice you can give me that would help me save my dying order?"

"No, I am sorry," the rabbi responded. "I have no advice to give. The only thing I can tell you is that the Messiah is one of you."

When the abbot returned to the monastery his fellow monks gathered around him to ask, "Well what did the rabbi say?" "He couldn't help," the abbot answered. "We just wept and read the Torah together. The only thing he did say, just as I was leaving --it was something cryptic-- was that the Messiah is one of us. I don't know what he meant."

In the days and weeks and months that followed, the old monks pondered this and wondered whether there was any possible significance to the rabbi's words. The Messiah is one of us? Could he possibly have meant one of us monks here at the monastery? If that's the case, which one? Do you suppose he meant the abbot? Yes, if he meant anyone, he probably meant Father Abbot. He has been our leader for more than a generation. On the other hand, he might have meant Brother Thomas. Certainly Brother Thomas is a holy man. Everyone knows that Thomas is a man of light. Certainly he could not have meant Brother Elred! Elred gets crotchety at times. But come to think of it, even though he is a thorn in people's sides, when you look back on it, Elred is virtually always right. Often very right. Maybe the rabbi did mean Brother Elred. But surely not Brother Phillip. Phillip is so passive, a real nobody. But then, almost mysteriously, he has a gift for somehow always being there when you need him. He just magically appears by your side. Maybe Phillip is the Messiah. Of course the rabbi didn't mean me. He couldn't possibly have meant me. I'm just an ordinary person. Yet supposing he did? Suppose I am the Messiah? O God, not me. I couldn't be that much for You, could I?

As they contemplated in this manner, the old monks began to treat each other with extraordinary respect on the off chance that one among them might be the Messiah. And on the off off chance that each monk himself might be the Messiah, they began to treat themselves with extraordinary respect.

Because the forest in which it was situated was beautiful, it so happened that people still occasionally came to visit the monastery to picnic on its tiny lawn, to wander along some of its paths, even now and then to go into the dilapidated chapel to meditate. As they did so, without even being conscious of it, they sensed the aura of extraordinary respect that now began to surround the five old monks and seemed to radiate out from them and permeate the atmosphere of the place. There was something strangely attractive, even compelling, about it. Hardly knowing why, they began to come back to the monastery more frequently to picnic, to play, to pray. They began to bring their friends to show them this special place. And their friends brought their friends.

Then it happened that some of the younger men who came to visit the monastery started to talk more and more with the old monks. After a while one asked if he could join them. Then another. And another. So within a few years the monastery had once again become a thriving order and, thanks to the rabbi's gift, a vibrant center of light and spirituality in the realm.
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:58 AM   #355
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QuisI am so drawn to your screen persona. There's a genuine sincerity that surfaces.
I know this was specifically what Redeemed was saying to Ouis, but it certainly struck a chord with me. The sincerity and realness that everyone brings to the community and the discussion here is why I participate and appreciate everyone so much. Online, it's easy and even tempting to be a flake, or to project something that one is not, or create a persona to shield the real self. I just don't get that here. And I am very grateful.

This is The Honesty Room.



--bill
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:32 AM   #356
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Thanks, Bill, for that beautiful story and your lovely post. I don't know how this developed, but it is true that this board is special!

It's probably because Kisha started it and has been such a big part of it until now. Where are you, Kisha? We miss you!
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Old 01-13-2010, 10:54 AM   #357
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:53 AM   #358
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Bill--I loved your story--and I want you to know you just helped someone very much--a stranger to you--

you know I am a neuropsychologist--and I just read a patient of mine your story--because it very much answered some pain she was experiencing right now about some unbearable losses she had experienced--I can't tell you the details, but truly it was the right thing to hear at just the right time.

Many thanks to you for this gift--and I join you in truly acknowledging what a safe and thoughtful space we have created here.

Kisha, come back!
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:13 PM   #359
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All I gotta say about today's posts is, WOW!

Thanks, everybody.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:16 PM   #360
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Bill--I loved your story--and I want you to know you just helped someone very much--a stranger to you--
That makes me incredibly happy. It kind of goes along with the idea of "Practice random acts of kindness and senseless beauty"--I can't take credit for any kindness or creating any beauty, but I did recognize the senseless (and simple) beauty in that story, and for some reason felt moved to "pay it forward" in this forum...so glad I did.

Thank you for letting me know it was a ray of light for someone.

--bill
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