Monday, February 24, 2014

Downton Abbey! I miss you already!

I'm finding through recent comments & posts on Facebook that you either love Downton Abbey or you don't get it.  I fall in the the LOVE category.  I was a latecomer to the show.  I heard a bit about it during Season 1 & 2 and decided to see what all the hoopla was about.  I caught up with Seasons 1-3 through Netflix & DVD's borrowed from the library.  Season 4 was the first season I watched on tv as it was being aired.  I loved having something to look forward to on Sunday evenings ( I think the last time I had a show that I looked forward to watching each week was when 'Friends' was on the air.  Yeah.  It was that  long ago).  So, I'm sad the the season is over already.  It was too short!

Last night I laughed OUT LOUD several times.  I almost never do that while watching tv or movies.  Here were some of my favorite parts of  last night's episode...

-Carson's face when the young American valet asked if he could speak to him 'man to man' in hopes of getting some information about Daisy.  Oh dear Carson!  He looked so horrified.

-  Daisy's response when the American valet asked her if she was excited about the upcoming events in the house.  "I'm never excited." she replied.

-Any scene with the Dowager Countess & Mrs. Crawley is always fabulous.  Their conversations are just hilarious.  I love that the show has developed their relationship from merely being bickering biddies with very different outlooks on life to the obvious respect & affection they have for each other despite their differences.

-Mr. Carson & Mrs. Hughes sweet interaction at the beach & holding hands while walking into the water.

A couple other thoughts....

 - Have you ever noticed that everyone has impeccable posture?  The women in particular are always straight as a pin whether they are sitting or standing.

-Will poor Edith ever find happiness?  I'm curious to see how the storyline will play out when her secret child is brought closer to home & is living on the estate with the pig farmer's family.

-Was anyone else annoyed that they skipped ahead 8 MONTHS from the previous episode to last night's?  I know they've made dramatic skips  in time between seasons, but it seemed a bit much for between episodes.  We never even got to see Edith looking pregnant.  There was a lot of story development that could have happened.

-A lot of new characters were introduced last night & I had to play close attention to keep track of who was who & how they were connected to the other characters & story lines.

What were some of your favorite parts from last night's episode?

I had Downton Abbey so much on my brain last night that I was dreaming Downton Abbey the whole night.  Even the show's  music soundtrack was playing through my sleeping head.  I had a rather bizarre dream with Lady Mary in it.  Except Lady Mary looked nothing like herself.  Instead of a filmy, elegant & exquisite dress she was wearing a hideous 80s version of the drop waist dress with large shoulderpads.  And, instead of a fabulous 20s hairstyle she had 80's feathered back hair.  Also, she wasn't the waif-like creature that she is in the  show.  In my dream she was rather....plump.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Slow & Steady

"Slow & steady wins the race, right? Years & years (since I was a preteen!) of being on the weight loss/weight gain yo-yo ride has been discouraging & terrible for my overall health & well-being. 

I've determined that I don't want to try any sort of weight loss methods that aren't going to have lasting results. I truly, truly want to change the way I think about food, act around food, the way I live. When I look at all the changes I can and/or should make for a healthier lifestyle it is so overwhelming. 

My past method has been to jump all in, be really gung ho for a couple weeks (or in my best efforts, a few months) and then not be able to keep it up, make a few mistakes & throw in the towel completely. I've been an all or nothing kind of gal. The problem is, all or nothing doesn't work for me. I can't live that way. I need to ease into things a bit. 

So, I've decided I'm going to start slow. I'm going to tackle one goal at a time. And, hopefully I can make some real, lasting changes. My first goal? To stop my night-time snacking. This is by far one of my biggest weaknesses...and honestly I think a lot of my weight gain recently has been because of this area. 

And, I've been trying to keep this verse in mind when those night-time cravings hit (and they sure do hit hard!)..."For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:7). Combining that knowledge & promise along with thinking about how much better I feel when I wake up in the morning without the bloat of night-time eating, I can usually hang on through those cravings. Continuing to pray for the strength in this area!"

This was a post I made  on Facebook this week.  And, I wanted to record it here so that I'd be able to come back & look at it when I needed to remind myself of my goals.

I actually started with another goal that I didn't mention in this particular post.  That first goal was to make it a daily habit to spend time with prayer, in reading His word, in worship.  This, has been a really, really hard thing for me over the years.  I'm not sure why.  But, I go through seasons of hungering for His Word, and then longer seasons of spiritual dryness and spiritual apathy.

I had been in another rather long dry season.  Oh, I was still going to church & feeling the presence of God & knowing I wanted more of Him.  But, during the week I'd get so caught up in everything that needed done, or distracted by 'more interesting' tv, the internet, etc that I really didn't spend time with God other than to throw out quick prayers now & then or occasionally listen to the Christian radio station.  But, it wasn't enough.

I'm not sure what signaled a change in me recently.  I guess it began around the time that I joined a group of women who were watching the video series that  accompanied the book 'Made to Crave'.  I had read about half of the book well over a year ago and came away somewhat discouraged actually.  But, I thought maybe I wasn't reading the author's intent properly...and maybe seeing her speak would bring clarity.

The whole premise of the book & the video series is that we have a spiritual yearning & need for God.  But, oftentimes we try to fill that spiritual need with other this case, food specifically.  I knew this to be true.  And, I really felt like my first step at making any changes whatsoever HAD to be making time for God.  Before I jumped into any other aspect of lifestyle changes related to healthier eating I HAD to tackle this issue first.

The first thing I did was write down 4 immediate goals...the idea was to tackle one a  week.  Those were...
1.  Time with God each day.  Even though the same time of day doesn't always work each day, I wanted to find a portion of time each day where  I could read the Word & pray.  I also didn't give myself a specific amount of time.  I wanted to set easy, simple goals.  The fewer parameters I put on myself, the less likely I was to fail.  So, some days I've really gotten into my quiet time and have gone half and hour...even up to an hour.  Other days it's been less...maybe 10 minutes or so.  And, that's ok.  I just try to find a time when no-one is around because I like to read the Bible out loud & I like to pray out loud.  I find I'm able to concentrate & focus better that way & I find it feels more like I'm really communicating with God instead of it all just  being in my head.

2.  Night-time snacking.  That's the main one I addressed in my Facebook post.  But, I didn't feel like I could even begin to start that one until I had #1 under my belt.  And, you know what, it hasn't been as difficult as I thought it might be.  The first couple nights were  rough.  Man those cravings hit me hard!  But, when I thought about how good I would feel the next morning if I didn't snack I was able to hold on.  Also, I've found that having a good book to read instead  of just passively watching tv has helped me keep my mind off food.

3.  Water.  I'm pretty good about drinking water throughout the day.  I always have a glass of water sitting on the kitchen counter.  But, I want to be more conscious of drinking even more.

4. Movement.  I want to do something each day to get my body moving more...whether it be taking a walk, sledding with my boys, playing Wii boxing, dancing.  I want to do something to get my heart rate up a bit.  Notice I did NOT call it exercise.  Exercise sounds so formal and...well, intimidating.  But, movement I can do.

So, I'm on items 1 & 2 right now.  And, I'm pleased with how it's going.  I'm not seeing a change in my weight yet.  But, I FEEL better.  And,  I'm going with that.  I'm keeping  in mind that the ultimate goal is lasting changes.  And to get there, it has to feel natural.  For it to feel natural, it will take time.  
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