Sunday, January 31, 2010

Check This Out...What Super Sizing Costs Us

You guys all know I am trying to watch my budget along with the waistline (funny how the two can actually have a lot of connections).

So when I saw an article about what supersizing food sizes really costs us, in terms of money and health, I was fascinated.

Check it out (borrowed from a Yahoo article):

Here’s exactly how expensive it really is whenever you go for the “bargain”:
  • 7-Eleven: Gulp to Double Gulp Coca-Cola Classic: 37 cents extra buys 450 more calories.
  • Cinnabon: Minibon to Classic Cinnabon: 48 more cents buys 370 more calories.
  • Movie theater: Small to medium unbuttered popcorn: 71 additional cents buys you 500 more calories.
  • Convenience store: Regular to “The Big One” Snickers: 33 more cents packs on 230 more calories.
  • McDonald’s: Quarter Pounder with Cheese to Medium Quarter Pounder with Cheese Extra Value Meal: An additional $1.41 gets you 660 more calories.
  • Subway: 6-inch to 12-inch Tuna Sub: $1.53 more buys 420 more calories.
  • Wendy’s: Classic Double with Cheese to Classic Double with Cheese Old Fashioned Combo Meal: $1.57 extra buys you 600 more calories.
  • Baskin Robbins: Chocolate Chip Ice Cream, Kids’ Scoop, to Double Scoop: For another $1.62, you’ve added 390 calories.

The bottom line on all this? For just a hair more than 8 bucks, you’ve bought yourself an additional 3,620 calories. If you ate each of these once a week, and you were to switch to the smaller size each time—again, still all your favorite foods, just in a more reasonable size—you’d save about $417 a year. It’s not going to buy you a new car, but it could put you on a plane to the Bahamas. But far more important than that is what it will mean to your waistline, because in saving that $417, you’ll also save 188,240 calories in a year—enough to shave a whopping 54 pounds of flab off your body! (Hey, take the 400 bucks and buy some new pants!)

How is that for an eye-opener?

So I'm working to get back into my normal pattern, which will help me calm down and not feel so panicked about what I've been eating. Thanks for the encouragement, Josie! I do indeed need my Vigilance Cape. Sometimes I forget that I have it.

And South Beach Steve, thanks for your sweet comment. That clammy hand you feel hanging on tight to your coattails is me!

I did a calorie calculation of all that I ate last week and came to the conclusion that I had not ingested an apocalyptic amount of food.

Sometimes I just freak out when things are not what I'm used to -- I think I've gotten kind of dependent on only eating certain foods. When things vary, I invariably feel panicked and scared that I'm going to sabotage myself and just go off the deep end.

We food addicts have a real vulnerability factor to deal with, don't we? I guess it's a bit like the alcoholic who is afraid to have even one drink, lest it lead to another, and another, and well.... a full-blown binge. Ugh. I can so relate to that fear.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Somebody Throw Me a Parachute

I'm sinking -- fast!

This week has not gone well. At all.

Some things are out of my control, like the weather. It's so cold here right now that walking to work is impossible. That's my default exercise, and I'm missing it.

But other things aren't out of my control -- I've allowed them to get out of control!!! Like my eating, which has skidded off track and become a runaway freight train.

Let me break it down in black and white so it can stare me in the face:

Tuesday was ok, but a big dinner out with steak frites. Not my normal nighttime consumption.

Wednesday was awful. I broke my golden rule at work and dipped into the digestive biscuits placed out on the shared food table, then had two slices of the chocolate rum cake I brought back from the Bahamas for the office. THEN I proceeded to have a sandwich later in the day, I think.

And we had our friend over dinner. That was a fairly ok meal, I just didn't need to eat anything at all at that point. I wasn't hungry.

Thursday was ok until I started on my way home. I had stomach pains, but don't know why. Stopped and got a bag (not huge, but not tiny either) of Combo cheese and pretzel snacks. They're complete poison, but I ate them. Then had dinner on top of it.

Friday was the worst yet, I think. The yearning for carbs was so strong. I had a scone around 10am -- after my usual very filling breakfast of cottage cheese and blueberries. Absolutely no need to eat it, in terms of hunger.

Then I got a bagel with cream cheese and salmon. The only thing I can say about this is that it was free -- but I didn't know that when I picked it up off the shelf with my coffee. I was just looking to eat. And I was already so full from the scone.

I didn't eat for awhile after that, but late afternoon ran out and got two half sandwiches -- chicken and basil and a hummus with veggies. Ate those with soy chips. A bag for each half sandwich. Way, way way too much.

On the way home, a small bag of sesame stick snacks.

Home for a totally unnecessary dinner, which was small potatoes and a piece of lamb, since it was the B/F's night to cook.

Did I mention that I've been drinking wine almost every night this week? A few glasses, but still...that always leads to overeating. Whenever my French friend is around, and he's been here a lot this week, there is wine.

And we have a dinner tonight with friends.

In writing this all down, I'm now declaring the days of snacking and stuffing over. I'm not sure if I'm reacting to the week of almost no food, or if it's stress.

Since coming back we've been hit with lots of bad news vis-a-vis two dear friends' parents, plus I had to reintegrate into my anxiety-laden job.

Whatever the reason, it has to stop. Now.

Tomorrow I have plenty of time to spend at the gym. And Monday too. That will help sort me out, I'm sure. A good workout always puts things right.

And Monday night we have the opera! A fun excuse to dress up. More on that later.

But I've got to pull my head out of whatever swamp it's in. The food I've been eating has been doing me no good. Whatever my problem is right now, eating isn't the answer.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Muy Rapido

Did anyone else hear about the latest study from the Mayo Clinic?

Here's a decent enough synopsis from one of the network TV stations.

But in essence, it says that there are some 30 million Americans who are of a "normal" weight, but whose bodies have high (read "obese") fat percentages compared to their muscle ratios.

What does this mean? Well, many things, I think. First, another blow to the lie that "skinny" means healthy. And that heavier people are by definition less healthy/fit than more slender counterparts.

Second, and more important IMHO, is more focus on weight lifting and training.

If you are 20 lbs above what's considered your normal range of weight (by BMI charts, etc), but your fat/muscle ratio is at 25 percent, are you less healthy than the woman classified as "normal" but whose ratio is 32 percent? Me thinks not.

We'll see how this all plays out.

Also, I've been reading with interest the debate over heel/toe placement when running. I think I'm going to aim for flat-foot placement or toe strike when I start running. No more slamming down my heels first.

Right, gotta get ready to walk to work now. Trying to get back on track post-travels.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Guys, I wanted to catch up tonight with a detailed post and regale you all with stories of my recent travels.

-- By the way, a shout out to Beth, over at A Sense of Scale, one of my favorite blogs, for being the first to correctly identify the locale in my pics as Cuba, the island of beauty and mystery. Beth is a great writer, both literary and funny, which is no mean feat. --

But a dear friend called me today to say that he just learned that his father died. He has no family here, he is from France, and his father died over there. Nothing worse than being alone during these times, so he's come over for dinner tonight, thereby suspending my best blogging intentions.

Also, my BFF from college just called to let me know that the ovarian cancer discovered in her mom -- which the family had thought was taken care of with a hysterectomy -- has spread to her lymph nodes. Chemo. Surgery. Prayers.

So forgive me if all I can do is post this quick update: Since coming back from Cuba I've been to the gym or walked every day. I still don't know why I gained (in theory) 8 lbs in Cuba when we barely ate and walked for hours daily. But I'm not going to worry about it.

I am worried that today was not a good eating day. I was starving. Power of suggestion, or power of being without food for almost a week and suddenly having it everywhere? I dunno, but it's got to stop.

Last night we had a great treat: free tickets to the Jazz Standard, a club here in NYC, to hear Somi, an American-born African singer. She was gorgeous and talented. I'm not sure her album can compare to the power of hearing her live in an intimate setting, but I highly recommend her latest offering: If the Rains Come First. Be sure to check out the single Ingele. Very powerful.

The Jazz Standard is a great club in NYC. Small and cosy, with BBQ from the Bobby Flay restaurant upstairs (Blue Smoke). But not huge, heaping portions. It's small bites, manageable amounts, and you don't have to have all the hugely caloric sides added if you don't want (like mac-n-cheese and cornbread). I like it.

But we didn't eat there. Instead we went around the corner to a 24-hour French bistro, where my friend -- the one who this morning learned that his father had died in Paris -- proceeded to have a dinner of all his childhood favorites, including a tarte tatin for dessert. That's like a small apple pie with creme fraiche. He related stories to us about the tarte his sister used to make for him. Looking back on it now, it's almost as if he knew on some level that his father was going to go.

Strange, isn't it?

I managed to do OK at the restaurant. I craved protein, so I had steak frites. I'd like to say I ate only the steak and not the frites, but I'd be lying. Still, it wasn't a huge portion, and I avoided the bread basket. The fries were my carb for the night.

No dessert, save two bites of the tarte tatin.

Today was not a good day, however. Lots of digestive cookies, two small half sandwiches, and several slices of chocolate rum cake (cake that ironically I brought back from El Caribe myself for the office but ended up noshing on).

But it's ok. I'll work it out. Got in a good long walk today.

More later.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Walkabout is Over

Back to work soon -- back to the weight loss battles.

Truth be told, I did pretty well on my trip -- mostly because there was almost no food to eat! And what food there was..well, it wasn't all that appetizing.

And yet, strangely, the scales showed an 8 lb gain when I got home!

I'm chalking that up to airplane bloat, and the huge meal I had last night on a stopover. I think it will go away. Seriously, I walked loads everyday and was lucky to get two sort of square meals. Forget about three!

More on that later, but for now -- a special shout out to anyone who recognizes where I went from the pics below.

Glad you are all well - have been doing a quick check of blogs and everyone seems on track.

So gorgeous, no? And check this one out below:

More details later, am now going to get some sleep. It's been a long time since I closed my eyes in my own home. So sweet to crawl into your own bed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Vacation's All I Ever Wanted ....

I'm away from the computer for a week. How will I survive? It's going to be weird.

Back soon, and my goal is to report a fun trip south of the border that helped many people and did not result in a weight gain for me! Hoping all goes well until I return.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy 101

Hi guys,

Beej very kindly tagged me for Happy 101.

I'm kind of overwhelmed right now with all the sad news coming out of Haiti. Consequently, I'm very happy at the moment with our working water system, heating system and the fact that I'm lucky enough to live in a developed country with a strong infrastructure!

Sounds silly, I know, but ... gosh, sometimes you can't help but think, "There but for the Grace of God go I."

But on any given day, these are the things that make me happy:

1) Coming home on a cold night and settling into my cosy place, with my cat, and my boyfriend.

2) A good sweaty workout

3) Seeing the scale go down (it does make me sooooo happy!)

4) Spending time with my nephew and family

5) Traveling, especially to Latin America

6) Reading a good book

7) A glass of full-bodied red wine while chatting with friends

8) I love an underdog story -- always makes me happy to see someone beat impossible odds and succeed

9) The opera

10) Playing tennis or going hiking.

What about you? I think I'll tag Peridot for this one.

Quick update: Managed to squeeze in gym yesterday, but not for very long. Had a weird spike in blood sugar or something yesterday, ate a fage yogurt with honey and then got the shakes. Bad.

Ate too much after that at home. Healthy food, but waaaaay waaaay waaaaay too much of it. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Halfway to my mini-vacation, which starts next week! I'm going to be frivolous for a moment and talk about that.

Very excited, just bought a new pair of sneaker/sandals that I think are going to be awesome. In the past, I've always had to wear my sneakers when traveling, no matter what the temperature. My feet got too sore if I wore anything but really supportive shoes.

Things aren't quite as bad anymore, so I have these to sport around in:

Notice the huge radiator in the back -- definitely needed in these cold climes! I won't be wearing these shoes around NYC for many more months to come.

Also, did anyone happen to read this story in the papers today? I've linked to the BBC version, which is a bit cheeky, but it's quoting a UK study that says carrying some extra weight on your hips, thighs and buttocks is actually good for your cardiovascular health.

If that's the case, my friends, I am going to live to be 200 years old!! Woo hoo! Who knew my family tendency to pack it all on the lower half was a good thing? Even my slim Mom, nary an extra pound on her frame her whole life, always had what we (the British half of us, anyway) would call a wide bum. I inherited the same genetic tendency.

And apparently that's a very good thing. Hah! Take that, childhood tormentors.

On two more serious notes, I'd like to thank everyone for their sweet feedback on my last post. I almost didn't publish what I'd written because I felt like it was too silly and boring and nobody would want to read it. So I'm quite chuffed that many of you found it worth commenting on. Thanks!

This morning, although I'm being lighthearted and all, I have the poor people Haiti firmly in mind. The earthquake that ripped through there yesterday was devastating to an already destroyed land, and the suffering in the aftermath will be cataclysmic. The earthquake is bad enough, but what comes after is truly terrible -- lack of water, food, medical supplies leads to terrible diseases and often a slow painful death for people and animals.

Strangely enough, the mini-vacation the B/F and I are taking next week is actually a humanitarian mission to that part of the world. Not Haiti, but in the vicinity.

I would like to go to Haiti, but I've been close there (the Dominican Republic, which shares a border) and it's no joke. If you don't go in with some UN protection, you don't know that you'll be getting out. But we will be bringing supplies today to the Haiti Relief Mission here in NYC. I hope it can help in some way.

Blessings, everybody!

PS Gym everyday for the last two days, but my back is sore. Eating mediocre -- a bit more maintenance than weight loss. Working on that today.

Monday, January 11, 2010

My Goals

Am kind of pleased with myself because I got up and hit the gym this morning right after breakfast even though I had to be somewhere around 11 o'clock in the morning.

Normally I'd have told myself I didn't have time to workout before my meeting, and then made a half-hearted attempt to squeeze it in later.

This morning I zipped right over -- kind of did it automatically. Didn't need to think much. Always better when you don't need to think -- gives you less of a chance to back out.

So. Goals. What do I have in mind?

Well, there are some really nifty things floating around in my head in terms of physical fitness and body challenges and stuff like that. But at the risk of sounding coy, I'm going to hold back on posting those until I get back from my mini-vacation next week. More on that later.

I want to be able to really focus on my physical goals for the coming year and be clear about them before I put them down on (blog)paper and commit to them.

But I've got other goals in mind too. One of them comes directly from the post I put up yesterday. It's my challenge to myself, but other people are welcome to jump on the bandwagon.

My goal is to find a way to celebrate my healthy lifestyle every day --- even the days that don't go well (especially the days that don't go well).

What do I mean by that, exactly? Well, it's very cheesy and self-helpy, but here it is:

There are things I do now around food that I would never have done before. And these are not diet tools. These are life tools. These are changes that I want to be permanent.

I started this weight loss journey for two reasons: I wanted to be fit and healthy and happy, and I wanted to break the stranglehold that food had over me.

It felt like I was always eating, or wanting to eat, or regretting what I just ate. And I couldn't stay at any weight -- I really just gained, and gained, and gained.

I blogged a few days ago about reframing -- that's one of the food control tools I use (reframing is a way of changing your mental perception of something to a more positive outlook).

I also use delaying tactics. For example, last week when I got caught on a long phone call and couldn't leave to get my lunch at my normal time and ended up absolutely STARVING when I did go, I started having all sorts of urges.

A little voice was saying, "Don't just get the soup -- you're so hungry that won't be enough. Get the soy chips too." Luckily another voice piped up and said, "No, get the soup. Eat it slowly, sitting down, like you always do. If you are still hungry 20 minutes after you've had the soup, you can get the chips."

Naturally, once I'd eaten the soup (slowly) I was no longer hungry. If I had been, I really would have gotten myself the soy chips. But if I'd gotten them earlier -- filling soup or not -- I'd have eaten them, no doubt about it.

Even on the days I have "blown" my diet, I have done many positive things. Even the days I've skipped the gym, I've still made other good choices.

And even on my worst, most insane day ever, I'm still a fairly decent human being who genuinely tries her best. My negativity is my own worst enemy.

Let's be crazy optimists! Let's assume that it's all going to work out. Let's believe in ourselves, and in our bodies. Let's have some faith. Let's embrace our fantastic achievements, and cheer ourselves for effort, and forgive ourselves our human moments.

Let's celebrate our health, each and every day.

That my friends, is my philosophical goal for 2010.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Reality: Friend or Foe?

On this fine Sunday morning I've read some very courageous blogging from two of my old-school faves: The Next Hundred Pounds and PastaQueen.

Both are women who have lost tremendous amounts of weight. Both are struggling right now with some regain.

PastaQueen, who lost close to 200 lbs, has regained about 50 lbs. Cindy, the blogger at The Next Hundred Pounds, isn't quite sure how much she has regained, but knows her favorite jeans are very tight.

Each blogger has a different way of dealing with their current reality. PastaQueen's gotten back on the scale, faced the figure, and is now committed to peeling that weight off again.

Cindy's not getting on the scale, but is using her jeans as a measure, and ramping up her already impressive fitness regime to become even more fit (if humanly possible!).

I think either approach is fine -- whatever works for you, keep doing.

What I appreciate from both these bloggers is their honesty, and their willingness to share.

It's very hard to remember that weight control/management is NOT just weight loss. And a regain does not automatically equal failure, a complete loss of control, or an abandonment of good healthy habits.

Sometimes I really think it can be helpful to put the weight loss in a remote corner of your brain and just start living your life -- with all the good habits intact, of course.

I mean, we want to eat light and healthy because it makes us feel good and strong. Even if the scale doesn't drop, aren't there still benefits for us? We want to be fit and supple even if we're not at our "ideal" weight, right? Because then we can go hiking and walking and play soccer with the kids and all those other wonderful gifts of life.

There is so much more to a healthy lifestyle than "just" weight loss.

Of course weight loss is important. Of course we don't want to let any weight gain get out of control.

But a person's got to live! And by that I don't mean stuff one's face -- I mean be happy in a healthy lifestyle, whether the scale cooperates or not.

The funny thing is, that's more of a challenge than many people realize. Everyone thinks weight loss is the hard part, and maintaining is easy.

Sometimes I wonder. Is it?

P.S. Status update: after I wrote this post I went to the gym, did an hour on the elliptical AND 20 minutes on the stairmaster. Got on the scale -- am one pound over my pre-Thanksgiving weight, meaning I've finally lost the 6+ pounds I put on over the end of November and early December.

P.P.S.: Peridot, in answer to your comment question about my eating the other night, I did eat more for dinner than the cottage cheese. I also had yummy cous and beans.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Finding My Way Back

Had an early assignment today that forced me into the street at a frightful hour.

For me, 7 am is like...ow!

I fortified with cottage cheese (lowfat), 380 calories, before leaving home. Blueberries too. They're out of season, and I normally don't buy them in winter b/c they're always flown in from Chile (I try for local first, organic second). But I gave in. And ohhhh boyyy. These are good. And a coffee.

Didn't get a chance to eat again until about 1pm. Only option was a greasy diner in Queens.

Got a veggie omelet. Lots of veggies, and it was good. Got homefries with the dish -- only ate 1/3. Did eat the two pieces of wheat toast that came with, and it was buttered. I try to avoid butter on my toast usually.

I didn't eat the toast just because it was there. I ate it because I was hungry, and I was going to be outside again in the cold for the afternoon.

Got home earlier than expected, around 5pm. Gave myself half an hour to rest, then hit the gym

20 minutes on the stairmaster (currently icing my knees) and 30 minutes on elliptical.

More cottage cheese for dinner (380 cals).

Also 1 oz baked chicken.

Maybe will have a lowfat berry yogurt later, if I am hungry enough.

Right now I'm wiped out. Am thinking that I'll be in bed before long!

By the end of this weekend, my freelance project should be done. Hallelujah!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Mastered by the Stairmaster

Guys, I'm really and truly almost done with my freelance project.

Can. Not. Wait.

Slogged in the computer all day, but still made time -- as I have for the past three days -- to get to the gym.

Today I chose a bad time, right around 7pm, and all my fave machines were taken.

So I hopped on the stairmaster.

Holy high steppers -- that thing can sting.

It took all I could do to stay on 20 minutes, and I was puffing like a blowfish, and dripping sweat.

Maybe it's time to add some of that in on a regular basis? I've been hanging out in easy elliptical land for too long, methinks.

Hoping to finish this project tomorrow after work. One more big push and it should be done.

Here's to hitting deadlines and extra pay checks!

Monday, January 4, 2010


One of my goals for this year is to strengthen my habit of checking to see if I'm hungry before I eat.

When I look back over 2009, one of the biggest changes I see in my behavior is in my awareness of what I'm eating, when I eat, and why I eat.

It doesn't necessarily shield me from my own ability to make bad choices. It just means I don't make them on auto-pilot. And that's important.

For 2010, I want to make my rule to not eat when I'm not hungry even more ironclad.

How will I do this? For me, it comes down to a mental switch. I need to reframe the issue in my mind so it comes from a place of power, of positivity. Not from punishment, and denial.

I'm too prone to looking at "dieting" and "weight control" as a punishment that's visited upon me by the unkind Gods -- or my parents and their bad DNA, depending on my mood.

But you know the mentality...poor me, why can't I be like everyone else, why is it so hard for me? Etc etc etc.

That way of looking at things doesn't get me anywhere!

To reframe the issue, I'm going to look at my eat-when-I'm-hungry-rule as a budgetary matter.

So it's not about food, and it's not about me or my weight.

It's about my budget, and how I want to invest (or spend) my very hard-earned money.

I don't want to waste it on grabbing bad food that will give me no nutritional value. I don't want to waste my money on a mad impulse that will be over in 20 minutes (or seconds) and leave me feeling regretful and unhappy.

What do I want to spend my money on? I want to spend it on food that really fuels me, that keeps me healthy, that makes me feel like I'm doing myself some good, and hopefully, possibly the environment as well.

Before I buy any food that's not part of my weekly shopping trips, I'm gonna ask myself, "Are you hungry?"

If the answer is no, my next question is: "Is it worth your money to buy something to eat when you are not hungry?"

I'm hoping by reframing the issue to focus it on something other than food, it will help me stay on track.

In other news, am almost done with freelance project #1.

Man, I'm tired of it! I'll be excited when I can go back to losing weight as my full-time second job!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

At Last -- My Airport Photo Essay

JFK Airport, Dec. 23, 2009

I do love the holidays, but thank the great diet gods they are now over!

I know airlines are all about making people "fly the friendly skies," but do they have to force feed us in the terminals as well?

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that as airlines have cut back on serving food and meals on flights, they've filled their terminals with umpteen million gazillion places to stuff your face? (At very high prices, I might add.)

I feel that marketers have gotten really savvy about pushing people's buttons to consume, consume, consume. And I'm talking food specifically.

As I walked the gauntlet of choices in JFK this December, I really started to feel a sensory overload --- actually a sensory assault, I think. Everywhere I glanced I was prompted to eat, and eat, and eat.

Take a look. These are just a few of the pics I snapped just as I strolled from one end of the terminal to another (just one terminal, not the entire JFK airport). About every 400 feet, there was a different option beckoning.

This one above almost got me. I'm a sucker for the faux-French bistro thing.'s ALLL about the marketing. There were at least five full-on restaurants like this in the one small terminal, not to mention a huge food court and about a half-dozen small deli-like shops.

Even at the far end of the terminal, where people are at gates and about to board, you can grab a last-minute high-calorie snack for your flight.

At the computer stations so handily placed along the main walkway, you can't escape the presence of food. God forbid you should think too hard and suffer a blood-sugar drop.

I'll admit I'm very susceptible to this kind of spontaneous placement. To see food is to want to eat it, for me.

In fact, one of the most eye-opening tools for me in the beginning of my weight loss journey was writing down everything I ate -- and everytime I was tempted to eat something.

I was shocked to see how often I responded to external prompts to eat -- without ever checking in with myself first to see if I was even hungry. Often I wasn't even fully aware of what I was doing. I'd walk by a bagel shop and smell them and think, "Oh, a bagel, yeah I could eat one of those -- and they're pretty healthy. Much better than a huge muffin."

And without thinking about it a second longer, boom -- that bagel was consumed, probably with a creamy spread. 400 calories in the gullet, and no conscious thought of having just eaten something.

Although I didn't do great at my parents house over Xmas, I did navigate the outer world much better than I ever have before.

My No. 1 Rule from 2009 that I want to take with me to 2010, and apply even more strongly than ever:


Friday, January 1, 2010

Lost Insights

Dude, where's my epiphany?

Aren't we supposed to get hit with a smart stick or something on Jan. 1, 2010 and suddenly figure out all our life's challenges?

I'm waiting for my moment of zen enlightenment to come. It's not cooperating.

I think this is kind of like all those years when I wanted to lose weight, yet felt powerless to do something about it.

I yearned for it, yet I wasn't willing to make the changes. Worse, I didn't know I could make them. I didn't see my own possibilities. I felt like my body was a cage. I felt trapped. I didn't link my obesity to what I ate and what I did -- I assumed I was obese because that's just how I was made.

We are always looking for change to come from outside ourselves. Especially me -- it's an old habit of mine.

What comes first -- a change of mind, or a change of habit? If you change your actions, will your mind follow, or does the heart/head have to go first, followed by the body?

I suspect it's a combination of both -- sometimes one, and sometimes the other, depending on your circumstances.

But it's essential that you be the source that drives your transformation. It can't come from the outside.

Here I am again -- waiting for my New Year's epiphany to drop down on me from the sky.

It's not going to get here that way, is it?