Friday, March 23, 2012

Diet Update - Motivations and Milestones

I promised to post a few milestones on this journey - what I'm calling my "Last Chance Diet". My first milestone was giving up three food groups for Lent: bread, candy and alcohol.  [What? Those aren't food groups?] This has been easier than I thought it would be - only with God's grace I know. Then, DH and I joined a fitness center at our church.  Since both of us have been off this treadmill, so to speak, for a while now, it has been somewhat painful to start exercising again, to be sure. I also wanted to be diligent about writing down everything I ate, but hey, two out of three isn't bad, right?

The result: I've lost 12 lb. since the beginning of Lent.  Now that's what I call a motivation! My next challenge is continuing my Lenten diet restrictions even after Easter. I plan on continuing at least until the fall family wedding, but I guess the real question is, can I make this a life-long commitment and should I? Specifically I'm asking, can I give up bread, candy and alcohol for the rest of my life? Should I? I can make arguments both for and against. If I can give them up for a season, surely I could learn to live without them forever, but do I need to be legalistic about it? I'm sure there are other things I should give up eating too.

One consideration is whether I can simply limit my intake of these things. For example, I knew when I gave up smoking in 1979 that I could not ever smoke even one cigarette again. I knew how addictive that habit was and that I would never be able to stop at one cigarette. I'm afraid the same might be true for at least two of the things I've given up for Lent! [Can you guess which two? Ha!]

One more thing that I will put in the "motivation" category - I was riding in the car with one of my grandsons about a month ago when I told him that I was giving up alcohol, among other things, for Lent.  He immediately looked up at me with the biggest smile on his face and said, "That's what I've been praying for Gran."

Really? Really? How can I disappoint that boy? Sigh!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Life's Lists

I've posted on the topic of "lists" before - in relation to New Year's resolutions and bucket lists for example. But lists aren't just something we make once a year are they? My DH keeps a running list of groceries to buy on a small post-it note next to the coffee maker. Certainly when I have a big event to plan [can you say "wedding"?] I really start making lists! But even when I'm just feeling overwhelmed with the number of things I need to do, I make a list and then try to prioritize my "to-dos" to help motivate me to start somewhere!

The reason I bring this up again is I just found the most wonderful website: Lists of Note. It is a website devoted to lists made by notable people and it is funny, profound, surprising, mundane - depending on the list and the list-maker. Here are a couple of examples:
  1. William Safire's Fumblerules of Grammar - rules of writing which are humorously self-contradictory.
  2. Woody Guthrie's illustrated New Years Rulin's for 1942.
  3. F. Scott Fitzgerald's list of Things to Worry About [and things not to worry about] written to his 11 year old daughter Scottie. 
  4. Wartime Golf Rules - an incredible list of rules at the Richmond Golf Club in England during the Battle of Britain. The first rule is "Players are asked to collect Bomb and Shrapnel splinters to save these causing damage to the mowing machines."  They get better!
I'm serious; if you have even 15 extra minutes, check out the website and just browse through the archives.

Now unless we're famous our lists probably won't make it onto this website, but if you keep a journal and if you are in the habit of including lists in said journal, someone someday will probably read them. Don't you wonder what they will think?

A currently best-selling book called One Thousand Gifts [and the website by the same name], is described as "a celebration of grace and a recognition of the power of gratitude" and has inspired many people to contribute to online collaborative lists or to make their own. There is even an "App" for it! At the recent funeral for a good friend I learned that she was inspired by this book, and in the last few months of her life kept a list of all of the things for which she was grateful. Truly inspiring and as you might imagine humbling to hear the simple, everyday things that she knew were really important. And don't you know that her family is grateful to have this list and to be able to pass it down to children and grandchildren to help them remember an amazing woman?

If you don't need to make any lists at the moment, go check out the websites above for some inspiration, and happy list-making!