Category Archives: focus


Look at these pictures!  Aren’t they amazing?  Great Sand Dunes, a lovely peak with aspens in full color, another view of the aspens against a cobalt sky, and a church on the top of a big hill.  You know what the problem is on vacations though…food.  I ate food.  I’m not supposed to eat food.  New Mexican cuisine, burritos don’t taste like Taco Bell here.  I even had duck for dinner once!  What does that mean?  It means that now I’m at 218 pounds.  Holy Crap!  Almost 4 years at the gym, averaging 1500 calories/day, and I’m 15 pounds heavier than I was when I started.  That’s measurable.  That’s progress–meaning I’m moving somewhere.  Let’s face it.  I’m NEVER going to be in beach body shape.  But I needed that sound of the wind in the trees, the hawks soaring over, even the Ravens cry in the early morning.  I needed that smell of pine and cedar.  I needed that rain, sleet, snow, hail, 0 visibility, long hours in the car, purse full of postcards and memories of hikes, museums and galleries, and last but certainly not least, time with my best bud, my husband.  We even lost power in the town where we were staying.  2 hours of darkness in the hotel.  They weren’t worried, so I wasn’t worried.  The power came on with little ado.

oooo purdy 178

So yes that’s snow…and it got so thick when we left that we couldn’t see anything but the tail lights ahead of us until we were about 50 miles west of Ogallala, NE.

One week later, I was at a Girl Scout Camp Alumnae Event and we did low ropes activities and archery.  Sore?  Ok, the tops of my feet weren’t sore, but everything else was.  I’m still toooooooo weak on my left leg.  Dammit.  Then of course I had gained all that vacation weight.  I couldn’t transfer weight from good to recovering leg, and couldn’t balance on recovering leg and move good leg.  Couldn’t get to 2nd of the bosun chairs.  Hands hurt, legs and back and tummy hurt, arms hurt, eyebrows hurt?  It was fun because my daughter was there.  It was also a reminder that I am not, and have not made my fitness a priority.  It always takes a back seat to whatever I’m doing at the time.  Dang it.  I don’t like having fitness a priority in my life.  I want my LIFE to have priority–seeing things, doing things, experiencing things!  But OOPS, I can’t see things, do things or experience things in my current condition.

I guess I have to make it a priority until I am in a condition that I can have a life…tomorrow.




I have discovered that when I’m on an elliptical machine, I don’t limp.  I also don’t have to use my hands to steady myself so I don’t lose my balance.  I cannot do that on a treadmill. I went to my PT today and worked on some stuff–my normal routine.  I stretch my hamstrings and my uninjured leg is tighter than my recovering leg.  I lie on my side and do leg lifts with a weight, then on my back.  I did grand battements en croix with both legs. (Not at the same time…) Then, I had to do the 10 second sit down exercise 5 times.   I tend to lean to the right to stand and sit so less of my weight is over the recovering leg.  I have to concentrate really hard to do this.

I added another exercise today.  I stand on a 4″ box with my weak leg suspending my strong leg over the floor.  I then slowly bend my supporting leg until I can touch the ground with my foot, then stand again.  This is very hard for me.  The therapist was surprised that my injury was incurred in August.  Just ducky.  You should be much further along than this if your injury was last year!  Well, I’m not.   So fix me.  Ok, last exercise…walk on the treadmill for 5 min and don’t limp.  Only hold the support with your left hand, adjust your hips and don’t swing your leg.  OK, Walk NORMALLY.



I am so disillusioned!  I thought Sinko de Mayo was when you ate mayonnaise by the sink!  Now I find out it’s a DATE?  5th of May…who knew

Apparently nobody.  Cinco De Mayo has nothing to do with Mexican Independence, that was September 16, 1810.  It is a celebration of an underdog victory–the Mexicans beat the French on May 5.  It is usually celebrated by military parades in Mexico.  In the US though, it is a holiday where all the gringos switch to tequila to get drunk.

St. Patrick’s day is a solemn occasion that reveres St. Patrick who was instrumental in converting Ireland to Catholicism. But in the USA, everyone wears green and they dye the water in the Chicago river green as well.  There’s parades and pub crawls, and it has nothing to do with the celebration of St. Patrick’s day.

New Year’s Day is when we make our resolutions and reflect on the past year.  Unless you’re from the US, then you start drinking Dec 30 and get so blasted that they pass out and miss the momentous occasion at midnight on the 31st.

What is it about Americans that we use every excuse to get a day off work and get drunk or high to excess?  How is that fun?  Why do people look for occasions to escape their lives–either by running away from work or spouse or kids or becoming unconscious?  Being drunk isn’t fun.  You can’t see, you can’t talk right, you can’t walk straight, you throw up, you pass out, you lose your inhibitions and do really stupid things that you regret for a long time after.  Why do they have to make low-calorie beer?  Is it to entice you to drink more since you won’t then gain weight?  What is the matter with people?!

It has a lot to do with how people see themselves.  It is not with a small amount of discomfort that I refer to myself as fat and give my fat “sentience” and a name (Obie) and a personality.  If people see themselves as trapped in a job, or in a relationship, or by circumstance with a family, they will engage in escape behavior.  I’ve been good all week!  I deserve to have that cake, since nothing I do will ever make me thin…  Counter intuitive don’t you think?  I will engage in a drinking binge where I end up in a motel with someone I don’t know and have no recollection of the whole night.  That should fix my broken marriage.  What kind of idiot thinks like that?  Quit crying or I’ll give you something to cry about.  Wouldn’t the end result be continued crying at a louder volume and a longer period of time?  Nobody is addressing the root cause of the issue.    We shouldn’t have to feel a need to escape.  We’re not in a hopeless situation.  We’re not fleeing to Canada or Mexico.  (BTW, Are the anti trump celebrities still here?)  We have 46 million people in the US that are foreign born.  People want to come here.  All those other societies with free health care, and better schools and better understanding of immigrants etc, only have a fraction of the number of people going to the US.  How long will the myth of the American dream last?  Longer than you might think.

They all think we’re rich.  We consider ourselves living paycheck to paycheck and just barely scraping by…with a new car, a 52″ screen TV, food of every imaginable type available EVERYWHERE and for EVERYONE.  No lines for staples like bread and milk that run out.

Our WORST problem is that we’re all fat.  Poor Americans, they have too much food.  But we’re the ones trying to escape our lives?  Good morning America…count your blessings.

What a workout!!!

I went to a certification seminar in Orlando…yes, the same danged place where I broke my hip last August.  Really!  It was the exact same hotel for the exact same seminar.  I did skip the revolving door this time.  They said they only had video from the outside, and I walked in and there was the camera between the entrance and the concierge desk.  I wonder what that one showed?  I also now am curious how many other people walk into that glass thinking it’s the exit.  I talked to several of my fellow attendees and they said they did.

ANYWAY…I got in and got my bags up to my room and then went to find registration.  The 1st time I attended, in August, I thought, “Just get me to the registration desk!  I can tough it out for the next 3-4 days.”  This time?  I walked from the elevator, past the restaurant, down the escalator, past the meeting room and lounge, down a ramp, down a hallway, past the “city” rooms (named after cities) and past 3 entrances into the big meeting room to my door.  I was so glad I brought my cane!  It was close to a mile!  So NO, I couldn’t have crawled to the registration desk last time.  I would have been 3 hours late.  I was exhausted after we had our opening ceremony and then we walked another mile back to the elevators.

The food was good, and plentiful!  I had to remember to take mostly protein, but they had quinoa salad, (Monday) chicken or beef, (Tuesday) turkey, beef or fish, (Wednesday) fish or beef.  It was all soooooo good!  They also had potatoes and pasta and bread/rolls and little teeny deserts, none of which I ate, but they smelled and looked so wonderful.

So the good news is that I didn’t gain any weight, and the bad news is that I didn’t shed any weight.  But this was the part I wanted to stress.  Of the 5 faculty at the seminar, 3 of them had paragraphs in their speeches about how they had lost 50-60 pounds.  Richard Simmons lost a lot of weight before he began his career.  Tim Gard has lost lots of weight and is a professional speaker.  What do I get from this?  Shed weight and become a professional speaker/coach!  What the heck!  I’m certified now so I could do that!

Wait…do you become a professional speaker/coach and THEN shed the weight or Shed the weight 1st.  Dam!


All that work.  I’m a failure.  How useless am I?  Why even try?

Wow, I read this from a friend of mine and thought that sounded familiar.  Oh yeah.  I said that.  I jumped into my teaching/coaching mode and asked some questions to change the direction of his thinking and then formulated a plan of instruction to lead him to a better conclusion.  Silly me.  I should have done that on myself!!!

Why didn’t I?  It’s harder to get perspective when you’re in the middle of the mess.  When you’re stuck in a hole, all you can see is hole.  You don’t see the birds and the clouds and the trees and the snow and the… see?  All you see is the hole.  Someone yells down the hole, “YOU SHOULD SEE THIS LOVELY SUNSET!”  And of course you’re thinking, “What’s a sunset?  I’m in a hole.”  Someone else yells down, “I JUST HEARD THE MOST BEAUTIFUL BIRDSONG!”  I’m hearing dripping noises.  “YOU SHOULD TRY THIS MARVELOUS DINNER!”  I’m in a hole–there’s no food down here.  The people outside of the hole think that motivating you will get you out of the hole.  Send someone down with a rope!

Failing at something is a normal process.  If you were good at something from the beginning, you wouldn’t grow, you wouldn’t add to your knowledge or wisdom, you wouldn’t get stronger or more flexible.  A failure is not someone that tries and goofs up. A failure is someone that doesn’t try anything new.   Too much psychology spends time in labeling people and situations.  All those silly tests and quizzes on Facebook tend to help you explore your giftedness and then slap a label on you.  Which villain are you?  Which Celtic myth are you?  Which Harry Potter professor are you?  Why do we do these quizzes?  How do you feel when you discover that you’re too wimpy and kind-hearted to be a villain?  Are you disappointed?  What if you find out your not Celtic?  What if you turn out to be the janitor in Harry Potter?  Does that make you feel bad?  I took a Hymn quiz and got 100%.  This meant I was the elite of Catholics.  I took the same test that said I was in the top 1% of Lutherans.  Wait…  It was the exact same questions!  So what does that mean?

We have been led to believe that we must fit into a category or a description.  We belong to this group or that group.  We succeed or we fail.  But that is not the case.  In order to succeed, you have to fail.  It is not the million dollars you’ve saved, it is the person you had to become to save it.  It is not the marathon you finished in record time, it was the hours and hours of trying and failing that allowed you to run the marathon.  It is not the straight A’s, but the student you have to become to get them.  Each journey will have failures in it.  You have to fall short in order to grow enough to succeed.

I failed in my diet yesterday.  Yes, it was mostly protein–cheese, summer sausage,ham and cheese ball with Triscuits.  Then I had homemade eggnog.  Wow!  I love that stuff!  But I am not a failure.  I will eat well today.  I will do my PT exercises.

Failure is not a character trait, it is just a measure against a goal you set that tells you how far you need to go.  Have you reached it?  “Not yet.”

And if you know someone in a hole, get in there with them and work things out together.  Happy New Year.

Resolutions and Reflections

At this time of year, most people are saying to themselves, “Next year is going to be different!  I will NOT be doing such and so, I will NOT look like this,  I will NOT procrastinate (starting January 2nd because I’ll be too hungover to start January 1.)  How many reflect over the past year and see the successes?  Don’t most people make resolutions in January and by February or March they’ve already abandoned them?

I decided to reflect 1st.

  1.  I have been eating much more healthy than I did the previous year.
  2.  I have started drinking more water than I did daily the previous year.
  3.  My endurance on the stationary bike has increased over the past couple of months.
  4.  I am gradually weaning myself off my crutch after my hip surgery.
  5.  I am gradually getting back to doing things for myself like cooking and dishes.
  6.  I have read John Maxwell’s 21 laws 4 times and studied and passed the speaking platform training to become certified with John Maxwell Team.
  7.  I have started studying the coaching platform as well.
  8.  I finished the study of Revelation and have begun the study of John.
  9.  I have co-written a book and got published.
  10.  I am currently collaborating on a 2nd book.
  11.  I have taken on the duties of Division D Director for District 24 Toastmasters.
  12.  I have joined a 4th club.
  13.  I am close to finishing 2 more Competent Communicator manuals, a Competent Leader manual and 2 advanced manuals.
  14.  I have done more investments for my clients in the past couple of weeks than most in my company have done in a year.
  15.  I have replaced 4 of the 10 students I lost due to my hip surgery.
  16.  I have seen marked improvement in some of my special needs students.
  17.  I haven’t played a computer game for over 8 months now.

Hmmm.  That doesn’t look like the work of a loser.  Then I look at the stupid scale and I think to myself, “This machine cannot tell the whole story of my life over the past year.”

OK, so resolutions now.

  1. I will schedule more time in the gym to increase my strength, endurance, and cardio health.
  2. I will continue to eat healthy and continue to keep track of my food.
  3. I will continue to study the Maxwell information and get certified in March.
  4. I will begin Master Mind Groups and start Personally Coaching.
  5. I will finish the study of John and begin a new study this Fall.
  6. I will have my office cleaned and organized by June.
  7. I will polish my chapter for the 2nd book and begin a 3rd book.
  8. I will continue to work with the clubs in my areas to promote their progress and build up their membership, and will investigate possible new clubs as well.
  9. I will get a triple crown award for educational goals met in Toastmasters.
  10. I will continue to work with my clients regarding their financial needs and seek out more people that would like my help.
  11. I will continue to add more students to my studio, and foster a feeling of accomplishment in all of them.
  12. I will seek to be efficient in my time.

Hmmm.  My resolutions last year looked like this:

  1. I hereby resolve that I will not pet Polar Bears on the Nose. (success!)
  2. I will not plant anything in my garden that demands weeding (Failed that, planted potatoes)
  3. I will always use revolving doors.  (Changed my mind on that one!)
  4. I will not drive down the Dodge Expressway blindfolded and backwards.  (another success!)
  5. I will not audition for American Idol. (success again!)
  6. I will spend no time in the hospital.  (oops.)

They were silly resolutions.  I had no plan, but I accomplished a lot.  What would happen if I made a plan and followed it?  I will post my resolutions where I can see them every day.  And of course, I will keep you informed on my progress.  Both of you!

Since it is the Holiday, everyone have a Merry Happy and a Christmas New Year.

Worthy goals

I have had some serious thoughts lately about goals.  Goals are very hard for me.  I actually set very few goals because, why bother?  I can set as many goals that I want, but if they involve other people, I won’t reach them.  If I set a personal goal, it always gets to the place where I question my motives.  I can do A and B and C!  *pats self on back* And then the “realization” pops in:  what stupid things to be good at!  I can do 39 push-ups, 90 crunches and am stronger than I look.  Who cares?  I can play every instrument in the orchestra, the drum kit, the piano and I also can sing.  I sightread really well and can transpose on the spot.  So what?  I can analyze contracts, do market trending research, work out budgets and investment recommendations and not break a sweat.  Who would want advice from you?  I can teach anything.  Who would want to learn anything from you?  Sigh.

So I was watching a video on why people don’t reach goals, and one of the points the speaker made was not if I was good enough, smart enough, industrious enough, ambitious enough or resourceful enough to reach the goal.  The point was if the goal was worthy of me.  That was completely backwards!  A friend of mine posted a new message on her blog that said, “In a society that PROFITS from your self doubt, Liking yourself is a rebellious act!”  Before mass communication (before blogging, internet, twitter, Facebook, telephone, tv, radio) if you were trying to measure up to others’ standards you were wasting your time.  Standards were standards.  Are you a person of integrity?  Do you have a good work ethic?  Are your values displayed in your life?  These are not the standards we see now.  Are you a person of relative integrity?  Can you get paid without working?  Values change too much to adhere to for any length of time, do you offend anyone?  Are your shoes up to date?  Do you look like a model?  Do you have the right phone/computer/tablet/house/car/entertainment center?  Does anyone know how much debt you’re carrying?  Do you sweat–you’re not supposed to… Is your hair the right color, style, or length?  Is it too straight or too curly?  Does your house smell like flowers?  Do you cook like a gourmet?  Can you perform surgery on any surface in your house?  And here’s the latest picture of you and a celebrity at an exotic location.  And here’s your latest thoughts on everything you’re experiencing right now in 140 characters or less.  We over-communicate.  What does the deodorant you use have to do with your work ethic?  Why does everyone have to know the most intimate details of our lives?  They don’t.  We are made to feel inferior, chastised for not measuring up.  Our society does not tolerate diversity.

You heard me correctly.  It is ok for someone to be perceived as a person that is different in culture, religion, physical characteristics, but if they do not ACT exactly the same, there’s something wrong with them.  Consider an elementary classroom.  How diverse are these children?  Some sit in their chairs and listen dutifully to the teachers.  Some daydream.  Some play pranks.  Some misbehave.  Only 5% of the students will be attentive and sit quietly drinking in everything the teacher says and does.  Yet we require that 100% of them do exactly that.  It doesn’t matter what culture they come from, or their physical differences, or their home life, or their mental age, or their learning style.  If they don’t conform, we drug them or put them into special programs.  It is the same in body image. “We love you just the way you are!  Now go to the store and shop in the corner of the store where we have the awnings, um tents, um clothes that might hide your imperfections because all women should wear a size 2.” We don’t endeavor to reach our ideal weight because it feels good, helps us live longer, gives us more energy, and allows us to enjoy life.  We do this because we don’t conform to what our society says we should look like.

We set goals because we’re expected to.  We focus on accomplishing the goal and getting onto the next one.  The point of the goal is NOT to GET to the goal.  It is the person you must become in order to reach it!  If your goal does nothing for you, it’s a task.  You need to evaluate how much you are worth.  Given your education, experience, knowledge, insight, and skills, what is your time worth?  Is your goal worth the period of time in your life you have to give up to reach it?  You are trading your precious time and resources for this goal.  Is it worth the sacrifice?  What will accomplishing this goal do for you?  for your community?  for your family?  Will this goal add value to you?  You cannot pass on value to someone if you don’t have it yourself.  What kind of person do you have to grow into in order to reach this goal?  If the goal is worth your time and resources, if it is worth the sacrifice, if it grows you and adds value to you, you most likely will accomplish it.

How does she DO that?!!!!

When I decided to start walking, I got walking shoes.  My friends and my daughters that run got running shoes.  There are training shoes, tennis shoes, cross training shoes, dress shoes, dressy shoes, comfortable shoes… So in the “ideal” woman’s day, she should carry about 3-5 pairs of shoes around with her.  As she walks from the parking lot to the office building, she uses her walking shoes.  From the office to the 5th floor, she uses her cross trainers because trying to do stairs in walking shoes makes no sense (she says with tongue firmly placed in cheek.)  Once she gets to her office, she changes into her dress shoes.  She finishes work, changes into her cross trainers, runs the stairs, changes into her walking shoes, finds her car, changes into her dressy shoes for dinner out (those are the ones with the 4″ stiletto heels) and then into comfortable shoes for the drive home where she takes OFF her shoes and massages her poor aching feet.

So I went to Jurassic World movie.  THIS IS NOT A SPOILER!  Do you remember the scene in Romancing the Stone where Jack takes Joan’s shoes and chops off the heels so she can walk in them?  This is a running gag in action films.  Our hero, Owen, tells our heroine she should go back to the safety of the center because she couldn’t keep up in those ridiculous shoes.  She rearranges her clothes (and does nothing with the shoes) and then poses.   He’s confused.  She says she’s ready to go, then proceeds to tromp through the jungle, run through mud and muck, out runs dinosaurs and whatever in her 3″ heels!  How in the world (even in the Jurassic world) does she keep them on?  How does she out run dinosaurs that have been clocked at 30 mph after having spent 15 hours in these shoes?  How does she still have feeling in her toes?  She jumps over rubble and lands in a roll to a standing position and NEVER loses her shoes!  I’m thinking super glue here.  The soldiers and dino hunters and everyone else seems to have jungle boots on.  They all die.  Maybe if they wore the heels…

I decided if she could spend 15 hours in the shoes and still outperform Usain Bolt over rough territory, I should try it.  I put on my 2″ heels and my comfy socks and started out to walk.  I got to the end of the driveway.  Note to self, always trim toenails before wearing heals for any length of time.  Another note to self, do not attempt to walk long distances in shoes you have worn only to church and walking from car to building and back.  Another note to self, just because they look cool doesn’t mean they fit right.  Now I have sticky notes all over my closet door.  Hmmm.  Husband takes notes down and looks me straight in the eye, “NOTE TO SELF,” he says with a wicked smile on his face, “what you see in the movies is not real!”  What?!  Those weren’t real dinosaurs?  There really wasn’t a Jurassic Park let alone a Jurassic World?  Star Lord didn’t become friendly with velociraptors?  Groot was not an extra in the jungle scenes?  Most likely then, she didn’t actually do all those things in her 3″ heels.  I’m disillusioned.

Finally out in the open!

1st good day I have to walk AND I have time!  I’m so excited.  I went on the Lied trail, I’m still going clockwise so that I don’t pull stuff in back.  Much to my surprise, I had NO pain!  If not for my lesson, I would have been able to walk a couple of miles.  The clover and the roses are blooming.  What a fantastic smell!  I wanted to make doubly sure I got my credit for actually walking so I entered it in my fitbit and in my runkeeper.  I wonder if I get double credit that way… hmmm.

I am basically on the Atkins diet.  It is a “Keto” diet where you replace all the sugar you were eating before with fat.  Then the body runs out of sugar and carbs to burn, it starts burning fat.  We like that.  Today I had a super protein breakfast.  2 eggs, 2 sausage, 2 bacon, cottage cheese and coffee.  Filling!  worked and then came home and had a lettuce taco.  It’s a Romaine lettuce leaf filled with home made chicken salad.  Went back out to work, and then took my lovely walk.  Picked up a cucumber, a pepper, a tomato and some colby/jack cheese and a dozen eggs.  Got home and boiled the eggs, then ripped up some Romaine, added the little broccoli florets, some celery, 1/2 the cuke, the tomato, 1/2 the pepper, about 2 cups of the chicken I processed yesterday (boned, skinned, cubed, and grilled with seasoning salt) and about 8 slices of the cheese, and about 3 slices of bacon (chopped).  The recipe feeds 2.  Hubby and son and I had it and had leftovers.  Blew my diet then?  No!  still have 388 calories I can eat!!!  I like this diet.  🙂  We’ll see if it works.  But my carbs are way way down.  For the WEEK, I have 307g of carbs.  That’s about 1/2 of what I was averaging 2 weeks ago.  I’m astounded.   2 weeks ago, I’d eat 1 meal, check my totals and know that to stay under 1200 calories, I could only eat one more meal.  Now I eat 3 squares, and I’m still averaging between 850-900 calories per day.  Consequences:  way more saturated fat.  Fascinating experiment.