Holistic Health

After the Fast: Results are In and More

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 9.05.05 PM

I wish I could say that things went just as I thought they would. That would be less than truthful. However, I do believe that I received just what I needed.

With each fast, there is always something that I learn about myself, the way I relate to myself and my life, and at the end it is like being at an impasse or fork in the road. Actually, there were times in the 21 days that I was at an impasse. Josei Toda is quoted as having said, “An impasse is a critical turning point. Do you give up and throw in the towel? Or do you stand up with indomitable resolve, determined to go on fighting? That difference in attitude is what determines victory or defeat.” There were times when I could barely drink water because of the taste – I didn’t stop. There were times when the toxins cause my skin to itch so bad – I didn’t quit. And, there were times when I was dizzy while teaching – I didn’t quit. Yes, there were times I wanted pizza, cheese, or a quesadilla (my favorite) – I didn’t quit. The impasse them was whether to stop or just manage how I could. I chose to manage how I best knew.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 2.26.57 PMWhat the Fork?

At the end of the fast there is always a fork in the road. My intention was to get to certain weight, clarify where I wanted to go with my life, and begin to takes steps clearly towards the life I want from here forward. One of the things you have to do when coming off of a fast is to consider how you want to eat. Yes, there is a process of returning the body to foods. I shared that in the last blog entry Behind the Fast with detailed information from Robert Johnson. When you cleanse the body there is the choice of returning to the pizza, burgers, cake and ice cream, and other things or going with healthier choices. Returning to the old way returns the body and mind to old problems. However, modifying your lifestyle to increase healthy choices intentionally takes declaring the choice, and living by that. “An impasse is a critical turning point,” where you look at the fork in the road and choose how to proceed. After all that work, I have no desire to regress, but will to move forward. Will I falter at times? I am sure I will. As I said before, I love quesadillas and Mercado Juarez. In fact, just today I shared with someone that I will be visiting Killeen, Texas and cannot wait to go to Yank Sing my favorite Cantonese buffet. What I have learned over the years is to choose wisely. I don’t deprive myself of the things I like, I eat them in moderation. And, I have broadened my interests in foods as well. So now that fork in the road leads to new, exciting, and fun foods that work for my health.

The Results Are In!

Everyone wants to know the physical results so I will share those – LAST. Briefly, the personal results are going to take time to manifest, but the choices have been made. What does that mean? What are they? Great questions.

  1. Career: I started a doctoral program and stopped it in November. During the fast I am clear that I will take the National Counselor Examination (NCE), become a Licensed Practicing Counselor (LPC), and incorporate concepts of health and nutrition into my practice fr a holistic perspective. That includes being trained in yoga, nutrition counseling (in some manner), and personal training.
  2. Finances: I have focused on obtaining a full-time position in my area(s) of interest, joined a group to support my focus, and am adding in other streams of income.
  3. Relationships: It is important to me to have an intimate relationship. I did not always admit that, but is something I enjoy. I enjoy having a person to share the journey of life with so I am willing to expand my circle and how I view myself.
  4. Parenting: I love my son dearly, and it is time to further loosen the strings so he can go further, bump his head, and learn to be stronger because of it.
  5. Holistic Health: It has become clear to me that ove the past 15+ years my health, spirituality, and persnal development have been a focus but unintentionally. It has not been integrated seamlessly, but now I see how much that is important to me and will further that integration. The way I eat, exercise, build a career, interact in relationships, and express my spirit are all one.
  6. Choose Happiness: No matter what I have to choose to be happy regardless of the circumstances.
  7. FAITH LIKE FLOWING WATER: BE WATER! One mantra I have held onto is “Be Water.” Bruce Lee said, “Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves…Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” I love that. And, I believe that I have to have faith like water to achieve my mission and vision. What does that mean, “The belief of some is like fire while that of others is like water. When the former listen to the teachings, their passion flares up like fire, but as time goes on, they tend to discard their faith. To have faith like water means to believe continuously without ever regressing (Nichiren Daishonin, Two Kinds of Faith, p. 899)” I want to be water.

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 2.47.35 PMHERE YOU HAVE IT: THE PHYSICAL!

January 1: 192lb; TODAY: 177lb

Arms: left – 13″,  right – 13.375″; NOW: left – 12.5″; right  – 12.75″

Chest: 40″; NOW: 39.25″

Waist: 35.25″; NOW: 33.5″

Hips: 43.5″; NOW: 41.25″

Thigh: left – 24″, right – 24″; NOW: left – 22.75″; right – 23″

OVERALL: 10″ and 15lb.

PICTURES TAKEN YESTERDAY AND TODAY!

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.38.15 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.38.57 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.39.20 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.39.52 PM

Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.54.05 PM

Is It Over?

Nope. This is just one part of the year. One part of my life. And challengeScreen Shot 2016-01-24 at 3.58.16 PM met. I’ve declared this my Year of Daring Greatly. Daring to be innovative, creative, vulnerable, and transform in the way I see myself, the results I get, and how I live my life. It is a new way of being in the world. A year of daring greatly is all about new experiences for me and those who know or meet me. It is about putting myself in new experiences, outside of my comfort zone, being willing to transform myself, and looking for something completely. Something I have never experienced in the arena of life. Many may have read the excerpt of “Citizenship In A Republic” delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910 by Theodore Roosevelt. It is often referred to as either “The Man in the Arena” or “Daring Greatly” either way, here is the excerpt:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

To complete a 21 day fast it takes daring greatly, being in the arena, and putting in effort. To take on the things that are struggles for me in life is Screen Shot 2016-01-24 at 4.14.22 PMdaring greatly. To take on myself in all arenas is daring greatly. But, if I am not in the arena I would not be giving myself the chance at victory. So, I am daring greatly in life, love, finances, and the arena of life. And, I invite you to do the same. Challenge whatever there is for yourself no matter what the critics (friends, family, or that voice in your head) say. Be vulnerable enough to ask for help, admit your desire for transformation, and just do it. Be water, flow with it. Go for what you have never had before. It is through the mud that we get the lotus flower! Go through the mud to blossom!

Thank you for following this part of the journey, but it come back – it’s not over!

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 6.39.16 PM

Advertisements
Categories: Holistic Health | Leave a comment

Behind the Fast: The Right Way to End it All – It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 9.05.05 PM

When I decided to take on my first water fast in 2013, I had limited knowledge of how to start, what to expect, and how to end it. Because I was in such a desperate state I started without knowing “how”, but spent many hours researching what expect, reading the experience of others, and came across the website of Robert Johnson – Fitness Through Fasting. The information on that site helped me to understand different types of fasts, water fasting, and the healthiest way to end a fast to minimize impact on my body as well as reduce the chances that I would return to my old ways of eating.

What follows is what Robert Dave Johnson wrote about ending a fast safely. Please take this seriously. Each step is important.

 

BREAKING A FAST: INSTRUCTIONS ON BREAKING A FAST PROPERLY FOR MAXIMUM HEALTH, DETOX AND WEIGHT LOSS BENEFITS:

INTRODUCTION:

Not breaking a fast the right way is the top reason why people fail at fasting. I have seen folks sacrifice their time and resources to fast for long periods of time, only to succumb to hunger at the very last moment and wolf down a pizza or cheeseburger as the picture to the right depicts. The result is demoralization, shame, regret and, most of all, great danger to their physical health.

 

If a bear is asleep and you whack him on the head, do you Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.24.25 PMthink he will react positively? Probably he will come after you and be very angry.

 

The same is the case with the digestive system. When breaking a fast (especially one lasting longer than 72 hours), you have to remember that your body’s digestive functions have slowed down dramatically. Your entire digestive system has, in essence, gone into a period of hibernation.

 

 

The body has shifted its from feeding on the food you eat daily, to feeding on the fat storages. If you needed firewood for a fireplace, would you go out and get more lumber if you already had stacks of wood inside the cabin ready for the blaze? Probably not. So, when fasting, you are no longer cutting fresh food (eating), but the body is still “feeding” on the stored wood (fat).

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.26.54 PM

Making the transition from dormant digestion to feeding from stored fat takes anywhere from three-to-nine days and, in my mind, is a very sacred process.

 

If you had a loved-one who had spent months toiling to remodel a filthy, delapidated warehouse into a beautiful, clean office would you show up with garbage and dump it in the lobby? I’m sure you would not.

 

So why do it to your own body? What the body is doing on your behalf, I submit, must be respected. Breaking a fast has to be done properly and with much caution. If you allow hunger and desperation to grip you, you will no doubt diminish the effectiveness of the fast and possibly harm your body. Here’s a wall-of-shame moment from my own experience to help illustrate this point.

My Fasting Debacle

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.29.56 PM

Breaking a fast should definitely be planned in advance. Waiting until the last moment to determine what one is going to eat and drink is a recipe for disaster. Take it from me.

 

I have done amazingly-foolish things in years past. One time I broke a thirty-day water fast at a friend’s birthday celebration with burritos, pizza, hot dogs and soda. What a great guy, huh? NOT!

 

 

The “celebration” was short-lived. I was bed-ridden for almost a week afterwards and my stomach blew up like a balloon. I had severely irritated the digestive system which was NOT prepared for all of the trash I had abruptly dumped into it.

 

I thought I was giving myself a “reward” for reaching my fasting goal. Instead, I got egg in the face and one heck of a health scare. What I did was not only ridiculously foolhardy but also VERY dangerous.

 

At least my shame is now your gain. Those bitter experiences gave me motivation to research fasting and become as adept as possible in breaking a fast.

Let’s look at the best way to help you make the transition back to eating and active digestive-system function. I will start with instructions on breaking an extended water fast, then will bring in those who are breaking a prolonged period of juicing.

Breaking a Fast

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.41.45 PM

The most important thing for you to remember is that: Breaking a Fast has to be done in phases. It is not a one-day occurrence. So this process will require patience and self-control. You will basically still be fasting for another 1.5 weeks, with the exception that you will now be eating and drinking A LITTLE.

 

So don’t make reservations to a steak house for tomorrow night! In fact, why not consider changing your entire eating habits and lifestyle? Ok, enough said. If you have been WATER fasting for anywhere between 3 to 40 days, here is what to do:

 

Day One

Drink an 8-ounce glass of 50% water and 50% combination vegetable and fruit juice. I personally like tomato and grape juice, although I don’t expect that to become a popular recipe. Juice. Some 100% vegetable juice combinations are pretty good also. Here are some mixtures for you to consider:

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.45.02 PMHere are some recipes.

Carrot and Orange Juice

Celery and Carrots

Tomato, Celery and Lemon

Celery, Apple, and Fennel

Pineapple, Pear and Celery

Papaya, Lime, and Cauliflower

Carrots, Watercress & Orange

Papaya-Lemon

Carrots, Parsley, Green Pepper & Orange

Carrots, Pineapple

Grape, Celery

Spinach, Celery, Asparagus, Tomato & Grape

Carrot, Strawberry

Carrot, Spinach, Lettuce & Orange

 

You can, of course, make up your own. But whatever combination you choose for breaking a fast: Make sure the juice is watered-down! I recommend that you start with 50% juice mixture/50% water.
The digestive system has been sleeping and we want to take it real easy. Make it a point to use BOTH vegetable and fruit juices in the mixture.

 

Using too much fruit juice alone could spike your sugar levels, which is not what we want – especially if you have any type of diabetic or pre-diabetic condition. This is very important and should be rule of thumb you always keep in mind when breaking a fast. Let’s awaken the bear slowly and with “kid-gloves” ok?

 

Also, I’m not going to tell you that you MUST extract your own juice with a juicer. If you don’t have the time or disposition to do so, then go ahead and purchase natural fruit and vegetable juices at the supermarket. Obviously, it would be best to juice your own because of the huge shot of fresh nutrients that it provides.

 

Since your digestive system is clean from fasting, the environment is optimal. But if, for whatever reason, you cannot do this, then at the very least make sure to purchase natural juices (preferably organic). Breaking a fast with Kool-aid or any other type of artificial juice is unacceptable.

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.54.29 PM

I advice you to minimize the use of lemon juice, just because it is very acidic. One more thing: From here on, when I refer to juice, I am talking about the combination of both fruit and vegetable juice.

AGAIN: When you start breaking a fast, do so by FIRST drinking only ONE 8-ounce glass of the water/juice. Your appetite will sound alarms asking you to drink a gallon of the juice.You must use maximum restraint and not succumb to this urge. Now continue water fasting for another 4 hours.

Once the four hours have passed, drink another 8-ounce glass of 50% juice and 50% percent water. If you felt dizziness or stomach pains since you drank the first glass, then dilute it further to 75% water and 25% juice. Again, do not allow hunger to lead you to drink more than 8 ounces.

 

These two glasses of juice have begun to awaken the digestive system, and it has already started to assimilate and break down the nutrients. It hadn’t had to process any new nourishment for some time, so take it easy.

It is as this point that many people lose their resolve and just eat a sandwich, a salad or even a plate of steamed vegetables. Again, based on my experience, that is not the best way to go. Stay with me. Be patient. Drink the second glass of juice and continue water fasting for another 4 hours.

 

After 8 hours, you will have had two 8-ounce glasses of 50-percent juice and 50-percent water. Now go ahead and drink a STRAIGHT 8-ounce glass of juice. This will be the most amount of sugar your body will have received in a long time.

Drink it slowly. Look at a clock and make it a point to drink the juice over the course of at least 1 minute. Once you drink it, walk away … continue water fasting for another 12 hours. Time this in a way that the 12-hour lapse coincides with bedtime.

 

Days Two & Three

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.59.08 PM

The second day of breaking a fast will be similar to the end of Day One, although today you will be able to drink 4 more ounces of juice per serving. Upon arising, drink a 12-ounce glass of 100% juice.
In other words, you no longer have to water it down. But, make sure that the fruit/vegetable juice mixture is comprised more of the latter than the former. Go 85% vegetable juice, 15% fruit juice, is my suggestion. We’re breaking a fast and also watching our sugar levels, ok?

 

When drinking this first glass of non-watered-down juice, time yourself. Provide at least 2 minutes to drink it. This will be the first full taste nourishment you will have tasted for some time. The urge to drink rapidly will probably be strong. Resist it! Continue water fasting for 4 hours and then drink another 12-ounce glass.

 

 

Have as many as four 12-ounce glasses, making sure to wait a minimum 4 hours between each one. In addition, it is important for you to continue to drink at least half a gallon of water per day during this entire process of breaking a fast. So it should definitely NOT be just juice, juice, juice. Please add lots of water, water, water!

 

Be careful. You will probably feel great (possibly better than ever) and want to just eat solid food and get it over with. It is possible that at this phase of breaking a fast you may be hungrier than you have been for some time. You may even feel a sense of desperation related to food and eating. Don’t react to it.

 

If you have made it this far, then apply the same commitment and complete this process appropriately. After swimming for months in the deep blue ocean, why drown at the beach now? Be patient. Drink your 4 glasses of juice on day 2 and GO TO BED!

 

 

On Day Three, repeat EXACTLY what you did on Day Two. Today your digestive system is more awake and beginning to put the wheels in motion. You may even have a bowel movement at this point of breaking a fast. That is good.

The human body is soooo loyal. It always comes through for us even when we abuse it and eat irresponsibly. Do the right thing and the body will forgive you immediately. Therefore, give the digestive system as much time as it needs to wake up. Be patient. Don’t pout!

 

Days Four & Five
(If You Are Breaking an Extended Juice Fast (5 + Days), Start Here
) Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.06.52 PM

On Day Four the digestive system is a tad more awake and can process some fruit. For breakfast, cut up an apple or pear in four slices and sit down to eat.

 

Eat each half very slowly and chew it until it dissolves in your mouth. Resist the desire to eat quickly. Chew each piece of fruit at least 20 times prior to swallowing. Count each chew. DON’T CHEAT!

Spend at least 2 minutes chewing and swallowing each of the four pieces of fruit. That means that you should spend roughly 10 minutes eating your “meal“.

 

To wash down the fruit, drink a 12-ounce glass of 50-percent water & 50-percent juice. We just gave the body some solids for the first time in a while. It is best to water down the juice and be cautious. Now continue to water fast for 4 hours.

 

Once the time has passed, repeat the breakfast meal with another piece of fruit and another watered-down glass of juice. Wait another 4 hours. Have a third fruit/juice meal. Mix the fruits.

You can, for example, have an apple in the morning and pears in the afternoon and evening. Steer clear of citrus (you can drink orange juice but hold off on eating oranges). Stick to apples and pears for now. Go to bed. Eat nothing else. Stay away from the kitchen!

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.09.52 PMOn Day Five of breaking a fast you are to repeat the EXACT SAME process as day four – an apple or pear in the morning, afternoon and evening with a 12-ounce glass of watered-down juice.

 

Watch your thoughts and emotions very carefully.The mind will attempt to trick you into eating a full-course meal.

You may find yourself rationalizing why it’s ok to eat this, eat that, etc. RESIST! The digestive system is shifting back from feeding solely on stored fat to relying (again) on the daily consumption of food.

Bowel movements should appear with greater frequency by this time. We want the benefits you received from fasting to last, right?

 

 

Day Six

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.12.12 PM

On Day Six of breaking a fast you can introduce salads. Eat an apple in the morning with juice and have a medium-sized plate of lettuce, cucumbers and baby tomatoes for lunch. NO DRESSING OR SALT! You can get away with a tiny sprinkle of olive oil and vinegar, but that is all.

Do not go overboard on the salad. Keep quantities small. TIP: Go to the supermarket and purchaseScreen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.14.50 PM several pre-made salad kits. Choose the simple kits, which usually include lettuce (Sidney Note: kale, Romaine lettuce are acceptable), carrots, cabbage and the like, nothing more. We’re looking for a basic “bare bones” salad at this point. Eat half a bag per meal. That way you take away the need of having to prepare a salad and hang out in the kitchen. Half a bag of a pre-made salad kit is more than enough for starters. If the kit you purchased comes with dressing and croutons, DISCARD THEM! Add food types and amounts slowly.

 

When it comes to breaking a fast, slow is fast. What I mean by that is this: If you are thorough, cautious and meticulous from start to finish (without rushing), then chances are pretty good that you will not have to repeat the process.

 

Going through the sacrifice of a long-term fast only to gain the weight back later is truly heartbreaking. The time is now for you to start mastering your appetites and learning that just because the body says it wants it, does NOT mean you have to give in to it.

 

If a little baby got angry because you took away a butcher’s knife he was playing with would you feel bad about it? Would you feel guilty when the baby started crying and throwing a tantrum? Of course not. The same is with the stomach and our appetites. They MUST be disciplined sometimes forcefully.

 

Have another salad for lunch along with an apple or pear and some juice (you don’t have to water it Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.19.37 PMdown anymore if your body is responding well). For dinner, you can add a small plate of steamed vegetables without butter. I like broccoli, carrots, squash and cauliflower. You can sprinkle a tiny dab of olive oil for taste. Make sure to drink lots of water at least half-a-gallon daily. All in all, today (Day Six) you have given your body salads and vegetables in addition to the fruit and juices.

 

If at any time you start to feel stomach discomfort, add another 24 hours of just juices and fruit. When breaking a fast, always step BACK at least ONE day if you feel your body needs more time. Listen to what your body is really telling you.

 

Don’t make a decision based on hunger! Rather, close your eyes, go past the hunger and listen to what the body is saying. Is the digestive system processing the fruit, salad and vegetables properly?

 

Are you having trouble having a bowel movement? If you are straining to pass stool, then you are forcing the body to process way too much food, too soon. Slow down if you are in doubt.

Again I repeat: SLOW IS FAST!

 

 

Day Seven and Beyond

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.24.44 PM

On Day Seven of breaking a fast, you can start to eat small pieces of lean poultry. You can steam-cook a breast of chicken very nicely on a pan with its own juices, a little water and a tiny sprinkle of olive oil. Be very light on the salt when seasoning.

 

If you have a broiler, use it. This piece of meat is not intended to be a gourmet experience. In fact, it should be pretty bland. You are eating it not as a fine-dining experience, but rather to continue awakening the digestive system.

 

And very important: Chew slowly! Resist the urge to gorge at all times.

For dinner, try this: A small chicken breast with a salad and half a baked potato without butter. One Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 4.31.43 PMcup of brown rice is also a good choice. I like the boil-in-the-bag type because it cooks quickly and actually tastes decent. (Sidney Note: I recommend eating according to your blood type. This has been the best way for me to maintain my weight, eat well, and stay healthy. You can read more of my experience and get information here.)

Sprinkle a dash of Parmesan cheese on the potato for taste. The key at this phase of breaking a fast is to keep the portions small. If, after you eat a meal on Day Seven you start to have stomachaches, then you know you ate too much or you added some spice that was not permitted.

 

Beyond Day Seven, continue to eat the same foods I have just described. (Sidney Note: Or according to your type.)

You can exchange chicken for fish. You also can eat different fruits according to your taste. If you eat red meat, I strongly encourage you to NOT eat any for at least ONE month after breaking a fast. Your body is clean!

 

This is a great time for you to take some serious stock of where you have been, where you are and where you want to go. If you look back and realize that you do not want to go back to the way you were, then as I said earlier the TIME IS NOW to make some definite lifestyle changes and pay whatever price you have to pay for the sake of your health.

 

A FINAL RECOMMENDATION

Screen Shot 2016-01-17 at 9.21.26 PM

When breaking a fast the body is clean of toxins and is thus much better able to absorb nutrients. For that reason, I want to recommend that you try Himalayan Salt. Himalayan salt has very powerful properties that can give your body a powerful boost once you have finished fasting.

Add two tablespoons to a half-gallon of water and make it a point to drink it in its entirety over a 24-hour period.

You can do this EVERY-OTHER-DAY for the first SEVEN days after breaking a fast. Then continue to do it semi-weekly at least once. Make sure to have plenty of plain water also as the salt will probably make you extra thirsty.

 

Himalayan Salt is known to contain energy and healing properties that assist in bringing the body’s regulatory system (homeostasis) into balance. This fosters improved blood pH, digestive system functions, brain activity, respiration, and it also helps remove heavy metals from your body, another of the powerful benefits of water fasting.

 

***Sidney Tip: Now that you know what has to happen, focus each day on drinking your water. Begin to research juices that you would like to use. I am partial to pear, carrot, orange, and pineapple. Carrot and orange I usually mix together. Specifically, I buy Bolthouse Organic Carrot juice, Evolution Orange juice or Simply Orange, and mix them. Do not forget to add in vegetable juices as well. Because I do not own a juicer, I blend vegetables in a Ninja Blender. You can buy juices as well. I’ve been told that Evolution vegetable juices are good. Look for recipes that suit your taste, AND be adventurous. Two years ago, I was adamant that I would not like any juice that included beets. I was proved wrong! It is one I love, and here is a recipe close to it (I do not use lemon in mine at all). Here are some other recipes.

Please feel free to leave questions. See you on Friday….maybe Saturday!

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 6.39.16 PM“Some people are afraid of what they might find if they try to analyze themselves too much, but you have to crawl into your wounds to discover where your fears are. Once the bleeding starts, the cleansing can begin.”

-Tori Amos

Categories: Holistic Health | 1 Comment

21 Day Water Fast: No Mud, No Lotus

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 6.39.16 PM

The secret to happiness is to acknowledge and transform suffering, not to run away from it.
– Thich Nhat Hanh

Fasting, for me, starting as a desire to rid myself of the depression, fears, frustration, guilt, grief, and anxiety that had been plaguing me for may years. I could rehash a variety of stories, but I will simply share with simplicity.

In 2002, my mother died; 2004, my maternal grandmother died; 2004, I moved with my son to Georgia; 2007, my father died; 2008, two of my homes were foreclosed on; 2009, I ended my relationship; 2010, I moved back to Ohio and began graduate school; and 2011, we moved to Texas. Now you have a snapshot. Here are some tidbits, when I got to Ohio I had $700 to my name, we left Ohio with 4 bags and shipped everything else, and during the majority of this time I was overweight and not confident. Off and on I worked out, but also could not find employment even with a degree. When the fall of 2012 came around I was overwhelmed, sad, anxious all the time, frustrated, and tired of it all. I purposely stopped communicating with many people – a self-imposed desert experience. In December 2012, I decided I needed to do something drastic and the only thing that came to mind was a fast. It was the most drastic thing I knew to do that could possibly reset everything. So, I took it on for spiritual, mental, and physical reasons.

                                  Me (2012)

During that 40 days, I did not have a car, was not working, and remained in graduate school. In fact, I traveled to Atlanta for a Residency while fasting. The whole experience showed me what was possible for me. I had people who thought I was crazy for taking it one, others who thought I would damage something, and, then, there were those who completely understood the stance I was making for myself and my life. One person asked me why and I said that I felt like if I wanted something I had never had before I needed to do something I had never done, and the fast was it for me. I lost 48 pounds, my skin cleared up, my tastes changed, I saw clearer both physically and mentally, and haven’t turned back. It has not been easy, but I am aware when the depression comes, when anxiety shows up, and I regulate it with diet and exercise.

            First picture after the fast. February, 2013

I am committed to being healthy in every area of my life that takes attention and balance. My commitment is evidenced by my withdrawal from a doctoral program for Industrial and Organizational Psychology to pursue certification as a personal trainer, investigate homeopathic medicine and/or herbology, and pair them with my Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling. However, before that my desire was to meet people in my area since I was new. I started running at a local park and one day I saw a group of Black women running. It struck me because I had been to that park before, but never had I seen so many Black women there. When I inquired I found out that they were a group from Black Girls Run! Dallas. That was the end of June, the next month I ran 100 miles by the 31st! I pay attention to what I eat by following the Eat Right 4 Your Type plan for my blood type as well. My life has changed drastically since February 2013, and my first water fast because I was willing to take on the mud of my life as well as do something drastic.

                   Comparison: 2012 and October 2015

“No mud, No lotus” is a reference to Thich Nhat Hanh and the lotus flower. Often when we go into a fast it is because we are coming through the mud of life looking for something new. A lotus flower grows through mud to expose its beauty. It is the muddy water, a metaphor for suffering, that makes the lotus so unique. Thich Nhat Hanh acknowledges that because suffering can feel so bad, we try to run away from it or cover it up by consuming. We find something to eat, turn on the television, spend time in large groups, or avoid facing what needs to be faced. But unless we’re able to face our suffering, struggles, challenges, and at the basic level, ourselves we can’t be present and available to life, and happiness will continue to elude us. It is through fasting that we can recognize the strength in ourselves, uncover the wonders that we are, see the possibilities in the world and become happier and healthier. Come through the mud to reveal the lotus.

Screen Shot 2015-12-31 at 2.38.12 PM

“It’s like growing lotus flowers. You cannot grow lotus flowers on marble. You have to grow them on the mud. Without mud, you cannot have a lotus flower. ”-Thich Nhat Hahn
Categories: Holistic Health, Motivation | 4 Comments

3 Home Staples: Taco Seasoning, Onion Soup, and Ranch Dressing.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 4.43.26 PM

Make your own Taco Seasoning, Dry Onion Soup Mix, and Ranch mix and store in small mason jars. These are healthy alternatives to those in the store. I have made the taco seasoning and kept it for a while, it is amazing! These are often seen on FB and other sites.

Recipe from Metabolic CookbookTaco Seasoning:
1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt
Put ingredients into a jar and shake.

Dry Onion Soup Mix:
2/3 cup dried, minced onion
3 teaspoons parsley flakes
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

Mix all ingredients in a jar, then give the jar a good shake. I’d recommend shaking the jar to mix the ingredients well before each use.
Use 4 tablespoons in a recipe in place of 1 packet of onion soup mix. Store this in a dry, cool place.

Ranch:
5 tablespoons dried minced onions
7 teaspoons parsley flakes
4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Mix together and store in an air tight container.
For dressing: Mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 1 cup mayonnaise and 1 cup buttermilk or sour cream.
For dip: Mix 2 tablespoons dry mix with 2 cups sour cream.
Mix up a few hours before serving, so the flavors all blend.

In my opinion, since I love to cook, these can also be used as seasonings for other dishes like a ranch chicken, taco seasonings can be used in chili, and onion soup mix is good to season beef or fish as well. And, you can mix a few tablespoons of them together to create a whole new flavor profile and add some lemon or lime zest for a little kick.

HAVE FUN!

Look out for new blogs! I’m firing it up!

Categories: Baking, Cooking, Holistic Health | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Sea Salt…Benefits Made Simple.

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 8.19.05 PM

Straight from the pages of Health magazine comes information that I sorta knew, but am now paying attention to because I’m on my Phyne ‘n’ Forty quest. The list I originally wanted to share was about the hidden saltiness of certain foods and with the way I write it turned into “benefits of sea salt”. Go figure.  I’m no nutritionist, dietician, and I’m not going to make this a blanket statement because you may not be a 6′, 200lb., Black female, whose had hypoglycemia, asthma, or, to make it simple, you aren’t me. Best course of action is to know your body and what’s good for you, I’m just sharing information for those who are interesting in making healthy choices.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 4.47.45 PM

So, salt. My friend salt. Salt of the earth. Are you salty? All of that. I like salt to a certain degree because it add to the taste of certain things. Butter without salt is just good for baking, in my opinion. I started using sea salt about 9 years ago, before there was a big fad around its use. It was all because I wanted to cook, eat, and live healthier. Sea salt is obtained naturally from the sea, and does not go through any processing that alters the natural make-up of the salt. It’s because of this that sea salt has a variety of essential  minerals that the body needs to be healthy. Tessa Pennington of Ready Nutrition shared these 10 benefits of sea salt.

Strong Immune System – Sea salt naturally helps you to build up a strong immune system so that you can fight off the cold virus, the fever and flu, allergies and other autoimmune disorders.

Alkalizing – Sea salt is alkalizing to the body, as it has not been exposed to high heat and stripped of its minerals, nor does it have any harmful man-made ingredients added to it. Thus it can help you to prevent and reverse high levels of acids in the body, which in turn eliminates the risks for serious and life-threatening diseases.

Weight Loss – Believe it or not, but sea salt can also help you in weight loss. It helps the body to create digestive juices so that the foods you eat are digested faster, and it helps to prevent buildup in the digestive tract, which eventually can lead to constipation and weight gain.

Skin Conditions – A sea salt bath can help to relieve dry and itchy skin as well as serious conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The bath naturally opens up the pores, improves circulation in the skin and hydrates the tissues so that your skin can heal.

Asthma – Sea salt is effective in reducing inflammation in the respiratory system. Thus the production of phlegm is slowed down so that you can breathe easier again. Some say that sprinkling sea salt on the tongue after drinking a glass of water is just as effective as using an inhaler. But the great thing about sea salt is that it has no side effects when taken in moderation.Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 7.06.00 AM

Heart Health – When salt is taken with water it can help to reduce high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and help to regulate an irregular heart beat. Thus sea salt can help to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.

Diabetes – Sea salt can help to reduce the need for insulin by helping to maintain proper sugar levels in the body. Thus the salt is an essential part of the diet if you are diabetic, or at risk for the disease.

Osteoporosis – Just over 1/4 of the amount of salt that is in the body is stored in the bones, where it helps to keep them strong. When the body lacks salt and water it begins to draw the sodium from the bones, which then eventually can lead to osteoporosis. Thus by drinking plenty of water and consuming salt in moderation you can prevent osteoporosis.

Muscle Spasms – Potassium is essential for helping the muscles to function properly. Sea salt not only contains small amounts of potassium, but it also helps the body to absorb it better from other foods. Thus it is effective in helping to prevent muscle pains, spasms and cramps.

Depression – Sea salt also has shown to be effective in treating various types of depression. The salt helps to preserve two essential hormones in the body that help you to better deal with stress. These hormones are serotonin and melatonin, which help you to feel good, and relax and sleep better at night.

I hope this helps you in your journey in the kitchen and gives you some facts you might not have known.

YOU ARE INVITED…. join me on FBScreen Shot 2014-02-24 at 6.43.42 PM

Categories: Baking, Cooking, Holistic Health | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

You Don’t Know My Type.

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 8.19.05 PM

I’m no Florence Griffith Joyner, Wilma Rudolph, Cathy Freeman, or any other woman who runs regularly. What do know is that being an athlete has been a part of my life since I was in kindergarten. The first sport I played was soccer; from there it was tee ball, softball, basketball, volleyball, track, and participating a sprint triathlon. However, the combination of eating and sports has always been elusive. A recent introduction to Eat Right for Your Type has begun a consideration that eating according to my blood type might be the right way.

Since losing 50 pounds last year maintaining the weight loss has happened though paying attention to what I eat, but also incorporating some elements of ER4T. It has made a difference, but now that I have time to dedicate to intentionally following it and working out it’s going to be interesting. My 40 ‘n’ Phyne Quest will be a part this too. Anyway, for those interested in the notion of eating according to your blood type below is a brief summary of your type and personality. What do you think?

 Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.32.11 AM

 

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.31.44 AMType O– People with type O blood fare best on intense physical exercise and animal proteins and less well on dairy products and grains, says Dr. D’Adamo. The leading reason for weight gain among Type O’s is the gluten found in wheat products and, to a lesser extent, lentils, corn, kidney beans, and cabbage, Dr. D’Adamo explains. Ideal exercises for Type O’s include aerobics, martial arts, contact sports, and running. Type O’s are outgoing, and very social. They are initiators, although they don’t always finish what they start. Creative and popular, they love to be the center of attention and appear very self confident. Eating chart available here.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.30.48 AMType A– While outwardly calm, they have such high standards (perfectionists) that they tend to be balls of nerves on the inside. Type A’s are the most artistic of the blood groups. They can be shy, are conscientious, trustworthy, and sensitive. Those with blood type A, however, are more naturally suited to a vegetarian diet and foods that are fresh, pure, and organic. As Type A’s are predisposed to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, “I can’t emphasize how critical this dietary adjustment can be to the sensitive immune system of Type A,” says Dr. D’Adamo. Type A’s prefer calming, centering exercise, such as yoga and tai chi. Eating chart available here.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.31.12 AMType B– Goal oriented and strong minded, type B’s will start a task and continue it until completed, and completed well. Type B’s are the individualists of the blood group categories and find their own way in life. Type B’s have a strong immune system and a tolerant digestive system and tend to resist many of the severe chronic degenerative illnesses, or at least survive them better than the other blood types. Type B’s do best with moderate physical exercise requiring mental balance, such as hiking, cycling, tennis, and swimming. Eating chart available here.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.30.14 AMType AB- Type AB’s are the split personalities of the blood groups. They can be both outgoing and shy, confident and timid. While responsible, too much responsibility will cause a problem. They are trustworthy and like to help others. Blood type AB, the most recent, in terms of evolution, of the four groups and an amalgam of types A and B, is the most biologically complex. For this group, a combination of the exercises for types A and B works best, says Dr. D’Adamo. Eating chart available here.

 

 

While you cannot change your blood type, you can use knowledge about its nature to implement a dietary plan biologically suited to your makeup. If you want more information feel free to go to the Eat Right for Your Type website. You may be wondering if there are any studies about this, and you should, look at this study published January 14, 2014 pertaining to genotype diets.

Now, to get recipes, workouts, and groceries! AND IT CONTINUES! (Does it ever stop?!)

NOTE: May people wonder what blood types are compatible. Here is list:

Compatability by Blood Groups

A is most compatible with A and AB
B is most compatible with B and AB
AB is most compatible with AB, B, A and O
O is most compatible with O, and AB

Categories: Holistic Health | Leave a comment

333,916 Hours and Counting…

Screen Shot 2014-02-23 at 8.19.05 PM

”The difficulties which I meet with in order to realize my existence are precisely what awaken and mobilize my activities, my capacities.” – Jose Ortega y Gasset

There are transformations afoot which require me to awaken distinctive aspects of my personality, create another level of freedom, engage in fun, increase my well-being and health, and express love wholeheartedly. Nothing happens overnight, but it is a gradual awakening with the intention of living fully expressed to spite circumstances. I believe that it is awakening myself will propel me to the next phase with power and bring some folks along with me. Marianne Williamson said it best “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? ….And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

I’m no Marianne Williamson or Tony Robbins, but I am Sidney Y. Gaskins, and the best one there is to date. Yesterday I decided to get back to working out. I have this dream of being sleek and sexy by my 40th birthday, in November. It’s far enough away to tweak things, make mistakes, and get back on.  My first task was just getting up, and when I saw 55º I wasn’t so sure it was a good idea. What I remembered was that when I lived in Cleveland I would run in the snow. With that thought, I suited up and did my 3 miles; after which I felt pretty good. What has occurred to me recently are the many opportunities that have passed me by. Well, let me strike that and say it like this, “the many opportunities I have passed by.” Why do I say it that way? Easy.

 333,916

That number represents the approximate number of hours I’ve been alive. And it is approximate. What I know for sure is that there are many lost opportunities because of fear, guilt, shame, lack of knowledge and confidence. Each one of these can be detrimental alone, but together it’s a virtual powder keg waiting to explode with the ignition of one. In the past 3 months I’ve taken the time to intentionally explore myself, why things have not turned out how I thought they might, and to focus on transforming situations and circumstances. It can’t happen without being open to the truth. Truth is I’ve been inconsistent, but consistent about being inconsistent. Does that make sense? When I decide to do something I consistently assess, reassess, question, think, act, react, stop, and sometimes don’t move at all. I believe in inspired action, and seeing how much I get inspired, take action, and have moved on things in my life has become a source of pride. I didn’t get to where I am without taking action, risks, and moving forward. I do have to acknowledge that there are times that I’m concerned or anxious, but it is a part of the journey.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 10.13.52 AM

With all that said, I endeavor to awaken the giant within me, live, live healthy, love wholeheartedly, and shape m destiny with intentionality. My life continues with intentionality in the face of uncertainty. I’m preparing for the completion of graduate school, developing things that will help others in their life; already researching health, the combination of healthy eating and the mind, workouts, business ideas, partnerships, love and relationships, and preparing to unleash another level of life. This week, I’m taking on reading The Four Agreements and if Buddha dated, along with working out, and researching healthy living while sharing with others the real deal of it all. It annoys me when people say “let the journey begin” especially when it has to do with life because it is continual so I’ll say, “the journey continues”.

 

Recommended Reading:

Click book to purchase at Alibris.com.

Screen Shot 2014-02-24 at 11.58.46 AM

Categories: Holistic Health | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love: A Contradiction, Conundrum…the Puzzle of It All

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 8.06.47 PM

The Love Paradox

Why more people feel in love and more people feel they are compromised
Published on April 21, 2013 by Aaron Ben-Zeév, Ph.D. in In the Name of Love

“Love is in the air, everywhere I look around, Love is in the air, every sight and every sound.” John Paul Young.

“Weirdly, I want the unpleasant situation between me and my husband to change. But then again I would not have an excuse for a hot lover. Just being honest….” A married woman

The love paradox in current society arises from a combination of the following two seemingly opposing claims: (a) a greater percentage of intimate relationships are based on love; (b) a greater percentage of intimate relationships involve romantic compromises. Since romantic compromises are considered to run counter to love, how can these two claims co-exist?

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 8.08.27 PM

Love is in the air

In order to explain this apparent paradox, I begin by referring to the larger role of love in contemporary society. Romantic love is everywhere these days; wherever you look, whenever you listen, and whatever you read, the subject of love is likely to. Love occupies a central place in people’s expectations and wishes, but these often remain unfulfilled. Love songs, novels, and movies have emphasized the great hopes and profound happiness associated with love, as well as the great disappointments and profound pain that love generates. Our hearts are enlarged by love, but by the same token they can also be broken.

Modern society has witnessed an increasing discrepancy between the desire for an enduring romantic relationship and the probability of its fulfillment. Breakups, rather than marriage, are the norm in dating relationships. In addition to the fact that in many societies about 50% of all marriages end in divorce, the majority of the remaining 50% have at some point seriously considered divorce.

A major reason for this crisis in marriages is the increased role of love in our life. In contemporary society, love is a highly significant issue; it might be called a time of its renaissance. It is no longer possible to dismiss it as a silly fantasy, and its presence is a major criterion in the decision to stay or leave a given relationship. It is perceived as both realistic and feasible—not merely by those who are in a loving relationship, but also by those who are not and who yearn for it. Nowadays, fewer people than ever before are willing to live without love.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 8.09.30 PM

Romantic compromises are in the air

In romantic compromises, we give up a romantic value, such as romantic freedom and intense passionate love, in exchange for a nonromantic value, like the wish to live comfortably without financial concerns. Nevertheless, in our hearts we keep yearning for the road not taken—the one with greater romantic freedom and a partner who is we perceive as more romantically attractive.

We may discern two major types of romantic compromises: (a) compromises on romantic freedom, which takes place when entering marriage (or other committed relationships), and (b) compromises on the choice of partner. In addition, we may discern two major perspectives of romantic compromises: (a) yearning for a better possible alternative, and (b) accepting negative aspects of the partner and the relationship. Yearning for the possible is the dominant perspective prevailing in the first type of compromises, as giving up romantic freedom essentially means giving up alluring alternatives. Such yearning is especially intense when the negative aspects in our current relationship are significant. In compromises concerning choosing a partner, the yearning for the possible is still dominant but the issue of the negative features of the partner gains more weight.

If the negativity of the relationship is significant, e.g., it involves domestic violence, the perspective concerning negativity becomes most dominant and the decision to end the compromise should be taken immediately. However, if the negativity is not severe, then yearning for the possible will typically be the dominant perspective. Often the two perspectives are combined and the feeling of romantic compromise is an outcome of both perspectives.

Consider the following candid description by a married woman: “I didn’t feel that I was compromising too much when I married my husband. Initially, the positives outweighed the negatives by quite a lot. Over time, the negatives started to increase, but it was years of this that caused my feelings of love to start to weaken. I want to improve the negatives, but I also begin to realize the value of the alternatives. I go back and forth between these two options!”

Yearning for the possible is more dominant in romantic compromises than in most other compromises. Romantic compromises are typically not characterized in absolute terms of “good” and “bad,” but in relative terms of “better” and “worse.” The focus of concern in compromise is typically not upon the partner’s actual bad situation but upon a possible better alternative that the agent decides not to actively pursue because of its possible cost. Giving up the better alternative is not related to its intrinsic value, but to external circumstances that could make this alternative painful. A person can get used to the fact that her partner is not as honest as she is; one can still love an imperfect person and even a villain . Since it is impossible to significantly change the partner’s personality, there is no choice but to accept the partner as she is and try to love her. Something that is beyond our control typically generates less emotional intensity, as there is no action that we can take that could alter the situation.

Screen Shot 2014-02-12 at 8.10.37 PM

Greater romantic freedom

The new circumstances in our current society have made the issue of romantic compromises, and in particular the perspective of yearning for the possible, more central and more complex. The main reason is that greater choice among many feasible alternatives makes it more difficult to be satisfied with your own romantic lot. Since the realm of infinite romantic possibilities so overwhelms us with tempting alternatives, we are unable to reasonably consider the present situation as romantically satisfactory. The perspective of yearning for the possible becomes more and more central than the perspective concerning the quality of the person you are with.

Having the freedom to choose between many alternatives has its own cost; excessive freedom can increase people’s uncertainty, insecurity, dissatisfaction, and depression. Therefore, the availability of a greater choice can be a mixed blessing. Indeed, sometimes adding options makes the task of choosing less attractive and more cumbersome; consequently, there are people who (occasionally) prefer others to make choices for them. For example, many people in loveless marriages would be happy if their spouse decided to initiate a separation, rather than them having to raise the issue. As Barry Schwartz shows, too much freedom from constraints is a bad thing, as unconstrained freedom leads to paralysis and becomes a kind of self-defeating tyranny. He argues that due to the multiplicity of choices available at all times and on all fronts, people no longer know how to be satisfied with “just good enough.” They always seek perfection. Such freedom also undermines the notion of deep commitment and social belonging to groups and institutions, bonds that are vital to our mental health. Freedom constrained by ideals and boundaries may in fact be more satisfying and less dangerous than unconstrained freedom.

As there are now many available valuable alternatives around the corner, we are constantly called upon to make compromises, particularly in circumstances where opportunities are almost limitless and when success stories abound of people who refused to compromise and were able to improve their situation considerably. The prevalence of such stories makes it harder for other people to accept compromising, and they may end up remaining alone. In light of the many alluring possibilities, we may say that today people experience more romantic compromises and romantic regrets.

Conclusion

The greater number of alternatives helps many people to find their true love and consequently increases the percentage of couples in committed relationships who are in love. However, the greater number of alternatives frustrates many others who stay in their existing relationship since the cost of switching is too high and has no “Satisfaction guaranteed” certificate; these people are more likely to experience romantic compromises. The increase of alternatives forces people to feel they are compromising themselves when they do not pursue these alternatives.

The above considerations indicate the complexity of lovers’ situations in contemporary society. In most cases, the solution will not be a simple one-direction advance toward happiness. More often, the solution will be to gradually revise their situation, sometimes moving back and forth between available alternatives. In most cases, it is difficult to decide whether to give preference to life or to love. Love is important, but love is not all you need in life.

Categories: Holistic Health, Relationships | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

40 Day Fast and Fail!

Screen Shot 2013-12-22 at 8.25.15 AM

Last year I embarked on a 40 day fast and it was a breeze compared to this year. And, I’ve been wondering why that might be. What I’ve come up with is not profound in any way. It’s simply a revelation to me. I’ll share this as it pertains to me only, not one of those existential readings that forget about the application to the writer and puts every issue on the reader. You know those statement like, “When people…blah, blah, blah…” Not that at all. Just my simple revelations for this year.

My fast started on February 10 with fanfare and a little trepidation. Last year was easy for me. I had been dealing with depression, anxiety, and was overweight to the tune of “Fat Lady Sing”. I was unhappy with just about everything going on, but I was doing darn good in graduate school. That was the one thing that I knew I had a handle on. If nothing else was successful, I could say I was spanking graduate school to the tune of a 3.9GPA at Walden University and being in the counseling honor society. But, everything else was just mediocre at best. And I could not see the end of it. What I did was to take a leap and do something I had never done before to make a huge change. I studied, kept my pulse, went to the doctors office, and kept my focus. This year it is not the same and at day 19, I’m seeing why and it ain’t pretty.

Screen Shot 2013-11-25 at 1.31.19 PMWhy? Why? Why? Over the past 19 days I’ve seen myself be critical, unforgiving, frustrated, lackadaisical, lenient, sneaky, excuse-filled, and permissive. Yes, all of that. All of it. It’s like a rollercoaster! Who can succeed in that? Who can survive with all of that going on? I find that I am extremely hard on myself and, then, I become lenient making excuses for why something has or has not been done. For example, I had some grapes (and a few other niblets) and almost had a breakdown, then, I rationalized it like it was fine and has no impact. The fact is the more I rationalize my choices that are not in line with what I want the greater the impact on my life, the less progress I make towards goals, and the easier it becomes to be satisfied with mediocrity. How can I achieve goals when I have the ability to succumb to the lesser or weak side and rationalize it as being acceptable? That’s hard to conceive. But, there is an answer. At least the least I think I have found one!

Mediocrity is playing in the middle, just getting by, and not making too many waves. Achieving goals takes failure, assessing situations, adjusting, and getting back in the game. There are days when I succumb to the lesser. Let me rephrase that, there are times or moments when I succumb to the lesser, but it is recognizing that and shaking Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 12.46.12 AMit off quickly that will make the difference. I could succumb to the lesser, sit down and eat some tortilla chips and salsa right now, but there are consequences to my body and mind. In the end, I’m the one who suffers the most, literally and figuratively.  The opportunity to purge myself of the indecisiveness, mediocrity, excuse-filled ways of being and unleashing a huge game of life is now. It’s not later, when I feel like it, when there is time, or someday. The things I have seen change, the relationships that are emerging, my insight to who I am and what I want, and powerfully choosing to get back in the game I’ve already begun to create  are what will propel me to the end of this journey. Additionally, a healthy dose of honesty with myself about what is or is not happening will kick things up a notch.

21 Days. What now?

Screen Shot 2013-11-27 at 12.22.08 AM

There are 21 days left and in that time I fully expect for life to explode to another level because I experienced it last year. That means I have to be vulnerable, bold, allowing, being, in action, present, and patient. It will all unfold the way it is supposed to, I believe that. It’s a new journey, a new way of being, and it is developing with each day, drink, and thought. As a result of this fast, I’ve taken on praying daily beginning at 6:05am, in fact, I’m leading it via conference call! I didn’t see that coming, but also endeavored to experience an new level of leadership personally, professionally, and within my spiritual community. I am also working with business partners to develop fantastic products and opportunities.  My relationships are blooming in many areas. To spite the things that seem to be unmanaged or surfacing there are things that propel me to continue to see what the end will bring.

An opportunity to contract with a company has opened up, I took it, and it is actually the answer to a prayer, in more ways than one. I came to Texas because I wanted to be in a warm weather state, love San Antonio (though I don’t liveScreen Shot 2014-01-31 at 12.38.33 AM there), have lived here before, and just felt it was right for me. At one point things just seemed to be going awry, were chaotic, and I felt alone, terribly alone. Because of that I chose to start looking at returning to Ohio, my home state, to be around family and friends, and to make it work there. All the while wanting to stay, but not knowing how that could play out. It has been during this fast that things have moved quickly, clarity is emerging, and I am at peace with putting it all together without having to control it all. That is the excitement in it all, allowing it, letting go of things and relationships that are not working, and taking the next steps trusting that it can be handled – it has before.

With all that said, I look forward to amazing things that are to come. Not just the material things, but mostly the perceptions that change for me, the relationships that will be transformed, and the new beginning that will continue to unfold in the face of it all. Failing a little is not all that bad when it leads to revelations that propel me into the perfect place. So, here’s to failure, quickly getting back at it, honesty, creating an amazing game in life, and an amazing 21 days coming!

RESULTS: 14lbs down.
Feel free to ask questions! And, yes, it is only water…minus those grapes… you know what I mean.

 

Categories: Holistic Health | Leave a comment

You are Close: Don’t Give Up Now.

An entry from a previous blog that I found inspirational and reminds me to keep going. I hope you find it to be just as inspirational as I did.


My quest for the body of Laila Ali has been in progress for a while. And this morning I felt the push, excitement, and anxiety of it all. After walking with weights for 40 minutes, I came into the house, got something to drink, and began participating in Total Body Sculpt with Gilad on FIT TV.

As I participated, it came to me that I had been here before! Literally and figuratively, two years prior I worked out daily; running 3 miles and 3 times per week I participated in spin classes. And now, I find myself at the same place again. What happened? I gave up. It got to be too much, instead of making it a part of my Life it was something else “to do”. At the moment that came to me, I was on the floor doing crunches just as I had done before. My spirit, said to me “Don’t you give up now!”

Many of life’s failures are men who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Edison.
Often times, we spend our time looking at how far we have to go or what has to be done to get to the end of our vision or achieve a goal. When we do that we end up defeating ourselves. Sometimes it happens when we are within reach of the goal, yet we do not know it. Surely Thomas Edison did not know how close he was to creating the light bulb when he did it; he only has a feeling that it was close. When Charles Brooks was working on a new way to have streets swept, imagine what it would be like if he had given up before creating the street sweeping truck. Our world would be a different place if people simply gave up when they were close to reaching their goal. What drove them to continue, in spite of the challenges?Screen Shot 2013-12-09 at 2.16.59 PM

Challenges are not unique to anyone that is simply a fact of life. How challenges are dealt with happens to be unique to each person and it begins in the mind. Jack Canfield, one of the authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul, was featured in The Secret. He talked about how his Life was with family dysfunction, hard times, what he had been taught by parents about money, etc. all the things that make up our “hard luck” stories. The poignant moment in his appearance came when he stated all that “story” and stuff is “So What?”. “So What?” your parents were divorced, “So What?” you failed last time, “So What?” they do not like you, “So What”? Every person has challenges to deal with in Life, challenges are not unique, it is your mindset about those challenges which determines how you will come out one the other side. There are four ways to be when going through Life which if taken on in all areas of Life, at all times, will guarantee that you will meet and overcome challenges.

1. Be Diligent: Never give up. Diligence is giving consistent effort to accomplish a goal. Take the stand that there are going to be challenges no matter what happens. And that challenges are neither good nor bad, they just are a part of Life. Be consistent and continue, NEVER GIVE UP!

2. Be Patient: Patient is “bearing provocation, annoyance, misfortune, delay, hardship, pain, etc., with fortitude and calm and without complaint, anger, or the like”. How is that for a definition? Know that things are going to happen and take them as a part of the journey. Being patient builds your ability to be calm and refrain from complaining. The phenomenon of attraction is true whether you like it or not. The more you complain about something the more get more of that something. Be patient, refrain from complaining. Be patient.

3. Be Faithful: Faith is not Belief! Faith is active, belief is passive. Put motion to what you want. Use your faith, step outside of the box and your comfort zone! Make each day a day to stretch closer to your goal. Have faith that what you are setting out to achieve will come to pass.

4. Be Focused: What are you focused on? Be focused on the things that you want to happen. Do not get overwhelmed by the things you cannot change. Take on the laser view of where you are headed. Focus takes knowing what you want and being attracted, paying attention, and taking action around it. What are you focused on? Line your focus up with what you want!

There is a way to “be” going through Life. The word “be” is defined as “to exist or live, to take place; to occupy a place or position”. You are able to exist or live and occupy a particular place in whatever challenge you face. You determine what that is going to be.

I can’t give up now! Don’t You Give Up Now!

Categories: Holistic Health | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

NAMI Notes on Public Policy

Keeping you updated on current mental health policy issues.

thetexasfoodnetwork

This page is for everyone who loves food. If you love to cook, love to eat, love to talk about recipes, this is your page. Regardless of your cooking skill level there will be recipes here for you, and feel free to share your own here as well.

NERDSTEAK

Food and Culture Shenanigans

The Diary of a Lapsed Athlete

Reclaiming fitness...if the cupcakes don't get me first!

StaceyTheFabulous

Your favorite blogging afro as seen on Dr Oz! Nutrition & Fitness Coach. Founder of Gotham City Elites, NY's premiere members only club for FitPros

Pieces of me............

Everywhere and nowhere at the same time.

Catherine Cuisine

Gourmandise assumée, plaisir assuré...

DrJulissa.com - Official Website of Julissa Hernandez, ND

The ultimate resource for blunt, direct, and trusted information on natural health matters from Julissa Hernandez, ND.

Our Legaci

Celebrating Black Culture & Life with J.A.M. Aiwuyor

Push Pray Grind

Philippians 4:13

wellfesto

hacking health, designing life

healthyrelationships2013

This Word Press site facilitates discussion about healthy relationships

missjessamy

my eye review.

Soulster Vibes

Spotlight on Independent and Underground Music Artists

%d bloggers like this: