Sunday, October 31, 2010

Living in the NOW ~ While Writing :)

Monday and Tuesday I tried to live in the now for a journal entry I planned to write. It isn't easy for me, and it's something I've only just been hoping to accomplish lately; but on these two days I really focused on living in the now so I could experience and write about it in Sherry’s NOW journal. It seemed mistakenly impossible at first (I believe that nothing is truly impossible...); so I chose to try it again, both days... during an activity that I thought would increase the probability. "Surely," I reasoned, "I can live in the here and now for even just a few minutes ~ while rollerblading!"  :D (Imagine, if you will… my eye brows raising and lowering now, if you have the imagination to do so! ;o).

I wasn't a pro at it by any means, but I began to develop some new mental skills; and I had fun! Interestingly, I ended up getting two journal entries out of the deal (though I wrote it all at once, then simply split it in two): one about rollerblading... and the other about writing. :D I already posted the writing about rollerblading. Here is the writing that flowed from my fingertips as I ended my writing about rollerblading and began writing about the experience I was experiencing right then and there... ~ while writing. I do hope you enjoy! :D
Corine  ;D

These past few minutes of writing have been, and continue to be... wonderful!
Sometimes when I write, I mange to totally and completely enjoy and live in the NOW. It is almost like a miracle for me; and I love it! I don't know why it happens then. Perhaps it is because I get so lost in my thoughts that nothing else exists. Or perhaps it is because writing is such a treasured experience for me that I become so absorbed... I practically entertain myself with my own reactions. :)

I love the way my mouth turns up without meaning to… a gentle smile of enjoyment emerges upon my face, as mind and hands just go... envisioning glorious phrases and a variety of wonderful occurrences to pen down... occasions I have been fortuned upon in two or three separate outings, which occasionally weave together in my mind to be expressed upon one solitary, magical memo. My mind is on fire with endless possibilities to write about. It is an art, to capture and forever preserve for future generations those gleaming moments in time; and all of this is astoundingly done with the use of simple, powerful, wonderful, glorious, words...

I love the feeling I have of being completely relaxed as my fingers flow across the keyboard. I sit cross legged on my wooden chair at my bedroom desk… it is quiet in here. The only things I hear are the small clicking sounds my fingers create as they gracefully press down upon the keyboard... inspired by the dreamy thoughts which linger ~ like a never ending dance within my mind.

All other sounds in the house are drowned out my my own beautiful thoughts emerging from my place of refuge; my ears are in blissful peace. It is just me, my thoughts, the computer and keyboard… And I am loving each and every solitary moment of it! My heart beats so slowly and peacefully that I forget it is beating; but I am reminded of it as it warms, and I find myself sighing as shivers radiate ever so gently up my body and travel to the top of my head. I am alive, and I am enjoying life here at my keyboard more than words can tell... or can they?

I could write forever... however, I have written much, too much already and do not wish not to overwhelm my readers. And so, with a content smile upon my face and my right leg still neatly crossed upon my seat, I raise my left foot up onto the chair in my own, “I’m nearly done” fashion. This is followed by placing my left elbow upon my left knee… my left hand reaching up to brush my hair back with my fingers, and then tuck some of it behind my left ear ~ perhaps then holding my hand under my chin ever so gently. I sigh again, because somehow,

I feel fulfilled...


My hand lowers from my chin, as it travels down to my knee and continues down my leg and then to my foot. I grab the toes of my left foot; I don’t know why… But it warms my toes; they feel good. I then place both hands upon my left knee and rest my chin upon them as I stare briefly at the page on the computer screen before me. I continue to smile :).

This is a wonderful experience, but I am ready to leave it behind - until another day… soon. It is time now to think about other things... like preparing dinner, and attending evening meetings and appointments.

And so I bid you all “adieu.” Good day; until we meet again!

PS. I WILL CONTINUE the dance I have experienced this day, the dance of living in the here and now... of savoring each and every tiny and lovely moment... and of taking nothing for granted. I intend to enjoy more frequently ~ the small things in life.

 I am so excited
to enjoy life more fully
as a result of this! :D

Thank you Sherry!!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Living in the NOW ~ While Rollerblading...

Hi. :D Mindy and I are both quite busy making journal entries for all of these circle journals we are working on. I thought I would show you the one I did today. I made a small book which I clipped together with letters spelling out the theme that the author of the journal chose (Now), then placed them in an envelop that I decorated slightly with raindrops and clipped shut with a cool paper clip. I have another entry that I am working on for the same journal and will probably post tomorrow.  

This is the first page...

This is the last page...

And now I will let you read the entire writing... without the page viewing...

"I don myself with protective gear in preparation to roller blade. As I prepare, I notice things… the sound of the Velcro coming together… the way my feet feel so scrunched, having to turn at just right angle to force themselves into the roller blades - and yet... they feel so good and fit just right once they get around that sharp bend and into the shoe... I feel the looseness of my elbow pads, which clearly must be shortened to actually protect.

I am padded down from head to knees. I head out through my front door, intending to experience the now more fully than ever before; ~ I can hardly wait to get started! :D

As I look around, I am determined to use each and every one of my senses to realize and experience more fully… what it feels like to roller blade in the rain, in Hayden Idaho... on a cloudy, peaceful, fall day.

I am determined to live in the now for this brief moment in time. Even still, thoughts continue to linger in the backdrop of my mind as they always do. I think of how wonderful it would be to have all of my thoughts and energies on just one thing… the current thing… the now… I think of how nice it would be to borrow the mind of a man… for just a day / nay… even for only a brief 10 minutes! “Oh to be a man… for even just a moment” I daydream.

My own daydream startles me into awareness. It seems a little "creepy" in retrospect, even after just a moment or two of thinking it. I have to wonder though… Do men ever experience this? Men are actually reported to think of only one thing at a time, quite often! Where as, women seem to be doomed to minds dead bent on things like efficiency, and multi tasking…perpetually thinking of several things at once; CURSES! I decide it best to let the idea go and to again simply strive to live in the now - while rollerblading in the rain. Yes… that is what I am supposed to be thinking about, the here and now. :D

Despite the lingering backdrop thoughts, something scrumptious is beginning to happen to me. My senses are heightened. I find myself more aware of my surroundings. I am enjoying, so much more than usual… not only rollerblading, but also the beautiful and tantalizing environment of my very own neighborhood. Actually, by this time I am on to another neighborhood nearby. The houses there are so lovely. And in autumn, the deciduous trees are radiant!

The trees are covered in beautiful colors… red, orange, yellow, and bits of green that still linger, swirling about with the new fall colors in artistic splendor. There are leaves on the ground as well as on the trees… all so breathtakingly lovely that I have to stop and pick some up to bring them home. So many different sizes, shapes and colors; I want a sample of each. I remember when the kids were little, coming in from gathering leaves and tracing them together on construction paper to cover the windows with. I miss that. I don’t suppose the kids would want to do that now, but still I gather leaves...

I notice that a couple of the trees have already lost their leaves; they are dark and barren, and remind me of spooky haunted forests on creepy Halloween nights. I begin to notice the Halloween decorations all about the neighborhood; it adds an element of fun to the air. I anticipate carving pumpkins and making chocolate chip pumpkin cookies, trunk-or-treating, apple juicing, and the chili cook-off with the ward. I remember where the candy for trick-or-treaters is safely hidden away so my husband doesn't have it half eaten by Halloween. But mostly, I think of the fact that the leaves will soon be gone, and I must enjoy them daily while they are still here. A fall photo shoot would be so grand!

I listen to the cars driving past, bringing up water as they splash about. I love that sound. And then there are other sounds as equally lovely. Birds chirping loudly, rain pattering upon the ground, my roller blades rolling to and fro… the sound of my blades hitting the ground just prior to sliding in an outward stroke upon the street.

I look at the trees again. They are radiant. I think of how lovely they look… and of how the leaves turn so beautiful just before dying. My husband and mother tell me that I get more beautiful with age. I think that perhaps the leaves and I have that in common. How strange though… to watch something become so beautiful, but not until so soon before dying. Perhaps that is true of us all... on the inside at least.

And then there is my body. It feels alive with movement. Movement makes my body sing; :D I’m just sure there are roller blades in heaven! As long as there are roller blades, I shall not be opposed to dying.

I feel the tightening of the muscles in my body as I move. Once arriving at an open parking lot and leaving the street, I do a little twirl and circle around in a backward motion (I love to do those!); it is so much fun! I smile with delight, as I usually do when I am in the moment on wheels. Sometimes I just go in circles… forward, and then carefully spin around to turn myself backwards before completing the circle. It is very challenging, and I am only just learning, so I often fall. On some of the turns I feel slightly afraid, or perhaps just cautious as I try to stay upright. But once I land that backward circle, I feel an incredible euphoria… the risk of falling is so worth the thrill!

I feel my body gliding through the air. I love to cross my legs, one behind the other, as I go in circles on my roller blades. I feel so graceful, and the wheels roll so smoothly beneath my feet. I dream that one day, I will do something of this sort on ice… in ice skates. I will learn to skate beautiful figures, and then entertain my family and friends as I love to be entertained by ice skaters. Sometimes, I do end up entertaining, on roller blades. Sometimes, my husband comes out and sits on a chair in our front lawn, when he knows I am rollerblading circles out front. He loves to watch me.

I like to imagine I am a figure skater wearing a white lacy shirt with cute puffy sleeves, and a beautiful blue mini skirt… skating on ice for crowds of people to watch as they cheer (Really, you ask?~ HELLO? NO! ~ LOL Not really… but I thought it sounded good, so I tossed it in for good measure! :) He he! ;) Actually, the clothes were a joke... but I do want to learn to ice skate; and so I shall, as soon as I get around to purchasing ice skates ;).

I eventually begin to tire. My body responds with less grace, and it is easier to fall; I know my body needs rest so I begin to head for home. I breathe in fresh clean air that smells of rain… deeply... slowly..., and just glide toward home to cool down. I again look at the beautiful changing colors of the trees I pass by on my way. It has been a wonderful hour and I already look forward to rollerblading again in the next day or two. :D"

...See you tomorrow with another post for the journal... "NOW" :)
Wishing you a Happy day enjoying the now!

Corine :D

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Traning my Husband to Save Money... A Comical Remembrance

Back in his bachelor days, my husband used to be a  big spender (until he ran out of big money to spend). I used to be a big saver (until I ran out of big money to save). Of course, things change when you get married and we all have things we need to learn from one another... so like all good wives, I strive to train my husband... :)

Here is a cute little conversation that I couldn't help recording in my journal some time ago on the subject of saving money, and of my husband's creative way of learning to save (while spending). I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when we had the conversation. :D Enjoy!

Miles – “Corine, where is your wallet?”

Corine – Pointing to my purse: “It’s in my purse. Why?”

Miles – “I need a 5 dollar bill.

Corine – “What about the money in your wallet? I put a bunch of money in there the other day; remember?”

Miles – “Yeah, I remember. But we were going to see how long I could keep it there; remember?”

Corine – LOL – “I see.”

Miles – LOL – “I just need 5 bucks more. Thanks!” (Big smile :)

*I’m still giggling. He can be such a comedian when he makes up his mind to be! ;D

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Healthy Living ~ Part Two / Mentally Healthy and Physically Lean

Part two… Before I answer yesterday’s question of how I became both mentally healthy and physically lean and healthy… let’s just remember I could truly write a book to thoroughly answer this question; but a book is not what you want to read on my blog today so the version of that answer that you are getting, is the tip of the tongue, first thing that pops into my head in this one sitting version…

Now that we have that established…
As I already began to show in this writing... I changed my thinking. I had to stop being extreme with myself. I tore up all my lists of rules about what I could eat, when, how much etc. and replaced it with a reasonable plan for maintaining a life of balance and good health. I was working on developing habits that I wanted to last a lifetime. One of the things I learned was that temporary changes bring about temporary results. If I wanted permanent results of being permanently lean and psychologically healthy, then I needed healthy, permanent habits. This meant all radical solutions were out the window. I was going to do this the only way it lasted permanently... the slow and steady way... the lasting way!

That's right. I learned in my college nutrition and weight loss classes that weight that comes off quickly, comes back even faster... with some extra weight along for the ride. If I wanted to lose the extra weight forever and fix my metabolism so that I didn't gain weight every time I ate..., then I needed to lose excess weight slowly and naturally, with maintenance habits that would last forever. I have always been blessed with the virtue of patience. I see that clearly now. This gift helped me to have the strength to take the long road ~ the road that led to where I wanted to go. (By the way... I have taken a few of these long uphill roads in my life. Thus the phrase on my side bar... "Life is a climb; but the view is great! ;)" The uphill climb may be hardest and take the longest, but the greatest beauty and best results are way up there at the top of the mountain. ;)

So I chose to start creating life long habits which would give me the life long results I wanted. That meant that the changes I would be making would be comfortable enough to want to continue; they would not be extreme. It meant making small changes; the cool thing is that these small changes actually added up to big results (and included simple things like healthy sleeping habits - IE getting to bed early and getting up early most of the time). It also meant that since I would no longer be making temporary changes, I would no longer be stuck with temporary results. My gradual and lasting changes would yield lasting results. :D BTW... I also knew that I did not have to be and do everything I wanted to be and do OVERNIGHT. I decided to make small, comfortable changes, and as I got good at those changes and was ready for more, I would make additional small improvements.

Here are a few of the habits I created:

*Studies showed that many times people ate when what their body was really asking for was water. So if I wasn't sure if I was hungry, I drank water (water is best... not soda and other high calorie high sugar drinks because they increase appetite causing us to over eat and are nothing but empty calories). If the hunger subsided, I knew I was actually thirsty (I now read my body easily... but this was helpful while I was learning).  If after drinking water, I still felt hungry, then I ate.

*I learned that our bodies are quite magnificent at knowing how much they need to maintain their current weight, and that to maintain, we need to Listen! Really listen So my new habit was to listen to and respond to hunger cues by eating when hungry and stopping when full, or satisfied… (Not stuffed!). ***This is so important! Eat slowly until satisfied, and stopping when full is one of the most important habits that I changed ~ I really feel that it helped me to relax and become really in tune with my body and what it needs.

Remember there is a difference between appetite and hunger. Eat when "hungry" not when you develop an "appetite" for something just because it tastes good. Save that appetite... that food that you want to eat just because it tastes so good... for when you are truly hungry; enjoy it then

*I learned more about the importance of exercise and made an effort to weave exercise into my daily life by making it a FUN part of my lifestyle again. This was an easy one for me (in some ways... time wise it took effort) because my husband and I had/have things we love to do which are active.

In addition to helping you to have a healthy heart... Exercise decreases appetite and speeds up metabolism. So when you exercise, you end up eating fewer calories and burning more. You also build muscle while exercising and muscle is where the fat is burned, so strong bodies burn more fat. A body that exercises also actually wants to be lean because it is easier to carry around less weight while exercising. Your body will simply decide it wants to be lighter if you exercise, and will speed up your metabolism to help make that happen.

My advice to anyone who doesn't feel like exercising but knows they need to, is to commit to at least 10 or so minutes of exercise, allowing themselves to stop after the 10 minutes is up, or to continue exercising at the end of 10 minutes if by then it feels good to continue. Usually, exercise makes you feel so good you want to keep going! So it helps to just make it easy on one's self mentally by committing to just 10 minutes. Chances are, at the end of the 10 minutes you won't want to stop! And even if you do stop… that’s 10 minutes to benefit from that you can feel good about! Everything good yields good results!

Another note about exercise...
I’m not a stick woman… even now while lean I have a ton of muscle, and enough fat to give some generous feminine curves; so with my body as it is, being lean helps me to look and feel good. I'm not one of those super lean people who can’t gain weight. My legs and butt are always full (the song “big boo dy, big boo dy” was made for me; but I don’t mind!). I have to exercise and listen to my body about eating to be lean, but since it is so good for me, I love it. Exercise is a privilege I give myself freely, it is not a chore. When I first began exercising regularly, 30 min a day consistently was an accomplishment. After having established exercise thoroughly in my life, my body loves it so much that 30 minutes feels like I am just getting started. I often feel that I am not even getting a workout; but I do know that I am maintaining. And I let myself exercise as long or as short as my body feels like exercising. Now and then, this means that some days I will roller blade for a couple of hours. Other days it may only be 20-30 minutes. Usually it is somewhere in-between. Just like I listen to my body about how much food it needs and when, I also listen to my body about how much exercise it needs and sometimes switch to another form of exercise for a short while when one form of exercise fails to meet the needs my body has of being pushed. I like knowing that my body is benefiting from what I do. This means that my mental and emotional states are also being taken care of. And like David O McKay stated... "the man who takes care of his body, also takes care of his spirit." :D I love that quote!

*I learned to stop telling myself that I "can’t" have something, and to… let myself eat! (Remember the forbidden fruit ;). I also learned to choose nutrient dense foods (foods with high levels of nutrients compared to calories) so my food can actually nourish my body. Doing this doesn’t mean you can’t have cookies etc.; you can and should. But make the best choices available (more living foods, high nutrient value foods, more fiber etc), while still allowing yourself to eat the things you love. Eat just a little bit better than you are used to eating. Eat one more carrot stick for the eyes, or a cucumber for that mid afternoon snack (if you like it and want it). Eat foods that you like and want, but if they are not all that nutrient dense, then eat them in moderation and be willing to try new foods and food combinations which are nutrient dense. Again, make the best choices that you have available while allowing yourself to eat foods that you like; let yourself be satisfied! You don't have to eat absolutely perfectly to progress; "better" is better regardless of how imperfect it is and better choices do yield better results. :)

*I also learned to eat sitting down... to slowly savor each bite... to enjoy food, to take my time with it. This is good for two reasons... One, it satisfies a need we have to enjoy food and helps to develop a good relationship with food. And two, it takes about 15 minutes for our brains to produce satiety cues that let us know when we have eaten enough. So if a person shoves their food down quickly, they are liable to continue eating even if they have indeed had enough, because those satiety signals haven't had time to send the "I'm satisfied" cue to the brain that tells you it's a good time to stop eating. I also set aside meal times to allow my body to know that it would be fed in normal intervals and when to expect food.

*To be healthy, I need to LOVE my body and be KIND to my body – today. - Speak and think positively and kindly about yourself. Go to bed early. Wake up early. Exercise regularly/ (I try to enjoy this privilivge pretty much daily with exception to Sundays and those days that are occasionally just too full etc) and make it exercise that I ENJOY. Exercise is a "break" from work for me; and I don’t usually call it "exercise"; I call it something like... biking, rollerblading, hiking, or dancing to Zumba (only did that one twice so far… but I loved it! I want to do it more!!!) etc… you get the drift! So mid day, when I am tired from schooling the kids and need a break - I usually roller blade to get that break! :D

Here is a list of a few other things that I learned...

I also learned that…

*Diets don’t work in the long run.
*It is futile to waste money and time on desperate thinking or dieting.
*Starvation, pills, exercise for hours on end, throwing up, and anything that is either a “miracle cure” or involves some kind of temporary nightmare ends in temporary results.
*Slow and steady wins the race.
*Today is the day to change your life. If I you live today in a healthy way... then you can be healthy every day.
*If I maintain the health that I have… it actually improves over time.
*Whole, living foods with real living water in them are the foods that best nourish and strengthen me.
*It is wise to avoid foods that make you feel groggy and heavy. If you are having trouble digesting it... what do you think your body will be forced to do with it? Besides, food should make you feel good... after, as well as while you eat it.
*Weight loss is not a race.

Love your life style TODAY and make today's life style a life style that you know would maintain a healthy body and mind; and that new healthy will become the new you. This is not a race... this is life - your life. And you were created so that you could be happy. So love yourself TODAY. Take care of yourself TODAY. Do things that you enjoy. And eat foods that taste good to you. Go to new places to eat to discover new foods.

There is a fabulous Café in Coeur d’ Alene called Café Carambola that serves amazing salads that will tantalize your taste buds and give you a nutrient dense meal that tastes better than any greasy sugary dead food ever could. Find restaurants in your area that serve real living foods (I realize this is rare - and you won't find it in a fast food joint) to expose yourself to better eating choices and provide variety. Eating good can mean eating both delicious and nutritious foods. You don’t have to eat “sawdust” to eat nutritiously. But when you do eat it... take your time... listen to your body. Don't starve. Don't force it to eat after satisfied. Don't rush your body to eat quickly, not allowing yourself to relax and enjoy the meal. And for heavens sake... stop eating when you are satisfied! (You can always finish it later...)

If you're not sure if you are hungry, drink water; you may just be thirsty. If you have an appetite, but are not actually hungry ~ drink your appetite away with refreshing water. Love yourself. Be kind to yourself. And you will find that your body will be a whole lot happier, and it will be kinder to you, too! ;D

*Be positive and remember... as you make small changes, your taste buds will change; your appetite changes; you change. :D Some people have lost incredible amounts of weight just by changing a simple little habit like replacing a daily soda with herbal tea or water. All consistent improvements make a difference.

Well, I've really rambled on enough. I'm sure I didn't tell all... but if anyone wants to know more, they can ask! :D

TTFN... and Happy/Healthy Living!
Corine ;D

PS. * I would just like to note that I find it really strange to have suddenly found myself writing these two blogs. I never think about weight, or dieting, etc. I'm NOT focused on physical bodies in the least (though I am committed to taking care of my body because it affects my spirit and mood so much). I don't imagine I will ever write another article about it again. But I hope that something good comes of these, and that if anyone reads them and needs the extra support or encouragement they will know that they can count on me. :)

***I also think it is cool that the subject did come up, however. It has reminded me that I got through a really hard time in my past. It reminded me I can do hard things. It reminded me there is no challenge that can't be overcome.

The eating disorder I went through before establishing these habits was the most consuming and excruciating experience I have ever gone through. I am amazed at how thoroughly obsessed I once was... and how completely over it I am.

In college I was told that once a person has an eating disorder, they never get over it. Sort of like, the alcoholic is always an alcoholic... But I don't believe that. I live by faith. Faith is more powerful than any habit, any drug, any addiction or disorder. I know recovery can be complete. And I love that! :D

I'm glad I remembered this old struggle that I overcame. It has caused my faith to grow and given me strength to continue progressing in other areas in my life. If I can do what I did... (and I did... :) ~
With Heavenly Father's help...

I can do anything! :D 
So can you! ;D

Corine  :D

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Healthy Living... / Overcoming Body Image Obsessions

I recently did a circle journal page that another woman sent my way with the theme that she chose of Passion. I realized that another passion that I truly have and failed to mention, is one that I have had for so long, that it is such a part of me I forgot it is actually a passion. It just seems like since I can see this blog is turning into a description of me and my life, this should be included. :) So here I am sitting at my computer today - to briefly write about and tell you that this just remembered passion of mine is healthy living - IE Taking care of myself in every way, including physically...

In all my life, I have never smoked, drank coffee, tea or alcohol, taken drugs (seldom even take pain relievers like aspirin... though I don't entirely oppose them) etc. I have, however, had to establish good eating, sleeping, and exercise habits. I have experienced eating disorders (97 % of women have some kind of eating disorder... so I feel very fortunate to now be part of the 3% of women who do not have an eating disorder); I have battled with my weight, and had to learn how to listen to my body. But because of a strong desire and commitment to taking care of myself so I can be as healthy as possible, I chose to study Nutrition in college and make taking care of myself and my family a priority. This has been an incredible blessing to me and my family!

The education I gained blessed me with the tools I needed to get out of obsessive thinking and behaviors which led to eating disorders; and helped me to have the moderation I needed to be physically healthy. I can not even tell you how much I LOVE having a healthy body and not have any obsessions with weight and body image in the least! I feel so incredibly free! (BTY ~ Wow... I just had an epiphany. I have another mental obsession and wonder if moderation is the key for me there, as well. I feel like such an airhead. (... I'll blame it on the blond hair ~ LOL) For months, I had a nagging thought telling me to do the thing I became obsessed with weekly rather than daily... I didn't listen, and perhaps that was my downfall. I need to listen to that inner voice!) Anyhow, moving on with healthy living...

I remember when I was in college studying nutrition to be a Dietitian (didn't finish... was only 12 credits and an internship away, with awesome grades, when husband finished school and got a job elsewhere... I went with him.). I realized I had an eating disorder, and I was NOT about to let anyone else know about it. I was, however, determined to get over it. So, as I learned, I took all the advice I was taught to give to persons with eating disorders to help myself get through (I'm so thankful to have learned early on!!! I am so blessed!).

"Corine, you're probably going to gain weight fast when you start to eat normally because your body is in starvation mode... Do Not Panic! Eat! You must eat when you are hungry to get over this, even if it makes you gain weight. Remember, your body will soon realize you are no longer starving it and will stop storing it for the next starvation once you are consistent enough to convince your body that you will not starve it again. Be patient. If you consistently eat, your body will figure this out and stop gaining hyper sensitively, and then you will lose the extra weight gained."

I reminded myself of this over and over again. I talked myself through this. I would scream and panic as I saw the scale increase... then remind myself again, "It’s OK. You knew this would happen. It is just part of the process. Keep eating when you are hungry, even if you keep gaining weight. It's only temporary. Your body will figure it out and stop making you gain weight every time you eat... as soon as it knows you are done starving it. You can do this Corine! I promise you, the weight will come back off... hang in there!" Simultaneously with talking myself into eating... I worked to establish good eating and exercise habits that would allow my body to be lean and healthy.

(Can I just take a moment to say I love being one of my own best friends? ~ I really am good to myself. ;D)

It's a little embarrassing to admit to this now. I was so afraid of getting fat. I gained weight every time I ate because I messed up my metabolism by under eating, then over eating (awful yo-yo) and playing mind games with myself to try to loose weight. My body clung to what I ate like it was the last meal. According to what I was learning in college, I needed to change my eating habits for my body to start behaving normally (ie not gain excessively ea time I ate). I was so miserable... always comparing myself to every other woman I saw and never happy with myself the way I was. I wanted to be able to eat a normal amount of food without gaining weight... like other normal women. According to what I learned, I needed to change my habits so that could happen.

Long story short... I did it. I ate... even though I knew I would gain weight in the short run, because I knew I needed to do it to get well, and it would come off in the long run. It was really hard. I was scared that it might not come off (you men can laugh… but our society and media teach women that lean and beautiful is what men want – and what makes women worth something! ~ and when a woman {or man} gets obsessed… it becomes a mental condition as well as a physical one). I didn't know for sure if it would work, I only hoped it would... but I was desperate to be freed from the mental agony I had caused myself; and took the leap of faith that these people knew what they were talking about and that what they were saying was right. I did gain weight, like I learned I would. I comforted myself with the hope that my body would eventually let go of the weight, and continued to do the things I learned I should do so it could happen... which including eating. Long story short... It worked! :D

It took a few years for my body and mind to get straightened out, but it happened. I became a normal eater again. I learned to listen to my body and take care of it. I stopped telling myself I couldn't have certain things. My “Don’t eat” list shrunk from a mile long list of everything fattening or sugary, to NOTHING. There are still some foods I don’t eat because I honestly don’t want to… (like foods that literally give me an allergic like effect or cause me to feel sluggish or fatigued. Actually, I even allow myself to have these as well... I just no longer want them). The key here is that I know I can eat them if I want to, which makes them less desirable (the forbidden fruit is tantalizingly tempting… and no one wants to feel deprived!).

Are you interested in knowing a few of the other changes I made to help me to become a healthy eater... which helped me to learn to love my body? “Love”…you ask...? Yes... I actually LOVE my body. Please don't get me mixed up with one of those women who are obsessed with their bodies and practically worship themselves... and just can't flaunt themselves enough - That is SO NOT ME! And I don't think I'm any hotter than the next girl. I just finally have sense enough to love my body and be thankful for it and good to it, and I'm not embarrassed to admit it. I'm happy about it! :D I am almost 40... And my body ROCKS! (yours does too... ;D These bodies are amazing!) I don't know what I weigh, because ditching my scale was part of my personal recovery process... I Probably (of course) more than I weighed in high school, before having kids... by about, oh, I don't know, 10 pounds or so?? I really don’t know. (BTY- do you think I loved my body then like I love it now? Heck no! I thought it was fat back then. Crazy!!) I haven't weighed myself in so long that the last two times I got my license renewed they just jotted down the same weight that was on my last license because I hadn't weighed myself to know. My goal changed from weighing certain # of pounds, to being healthy. I haven't owned a scale since... I love it!

So, how did I change things… stop being obsessed with lean, and still actually attain it?

You’ve got to be kidding? This post is already too long; come back tomorrow for part two. ;) LOL ~ That’s right. I’ll post it for whoever is interested.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Seasons of Youth ~ Enjoy the Now...

Fall is my absolute favorite season of the year. I love it so well that I find myself thinking of it far more than I do any other season. And yet... I do think of and enjoy the others, too... each and every one of them. I really do. I love them all. So I suppose it shouldn't have surprised me to discover that I also love each and every season of my growing children. But to tell you the honest and strange truth; it did. I sat thinking about my children recently, and in my little mind I found myself equating the stages they go through with seasons. And I realized that I actually absolutely love them all.

Now and then, I REALLY miss little kids. They are so cute and say the darnedest things! :D Little kids are like spring time, fresh, new, young, adorable :) … In the spring time of youth, little children are also cute, cuddly, and high maintenance! They require 24 hour care, but are so precious it is hard for mothers to tear themselves away from these little ones even for a hot date who may actually resemble the little cutie(s) in some strange way. ;D Yeah... I think there is no doubt about it. Little kids are so cute and cuddly that they are pretty much loved by all. :D

And then there is summertime. When children leave the season of spring time, they are no longer little children; nor are they young adults. They are somewhere in the inbetweens… and the season is short… very short. But it is also very exciting. :)  My Levi is near the end of this season right now, and I am loving it! :D In the summertime of youth there is so much going on and children begin to grow beyond "big kids." They aren’t as cute, but they are interesting and watching them is mentally invigorating. This is when they begin to say such intelligent things that their minds seem far ahead of their bodies. You wonder how a child could ever think such a thing, and as a parent or teacher it fills you with pride and wonder to think that you may have actually influenced it in some small way :D (Oh the foolish and unearned pride of an adult! :O he he!). This is also the time when they begin to surprise you by being willing to do another person’s chores ~ without pay ~ even though it is no longer fun (like it was when they were spring chicks)… This is a time when they learn that kindness is better than fairness and to live the golden rule without questions, (or at least with willing and eager hearts :) ~ even when it is hardest to do.

And then there is the fall of youth. That is where my older boys are now. In just 3 days they will be 16 and old enough to date (Wow!). In the fall of youth, these lovely "creatures" ;) change into women and men. This is the time when they don’t need adults to push them to take care of their responsibilities any longer. They are more independent and self reliant... when they want to be. ;) They actually remind themselves of the routine/schedule and do what they should be doing without having to be told!  (Again, when they want to... IE. when the personal incentive is there; I haven't figured out the random pattern to this one yet. :D)

I love watching my boys come home from Seminary and getting their books out to study… on their own… without having to be told… and doing all of their work for the day in a thorough and timely manner. IT IS AWESOME! This is by far the most amazing and wonderful homeschooling year I have ever encountered! (And thanks to these boys’ example, the summer kid is quite easy to keep on track and is doing quite well, too! :D) I only wish I understood the secret incentive behind it for those days in which it is missing. :O

The fall of youth is also when young women and men decide that life is better lived selflessly (if only they were capable of seeing when they are being selfish... oh they know it all but application is so much more!); boys begin to shave (heaven help me talk my boys into this!); and girls become more careful about not wearing their clothes too tight or their ornamentation's too flamboyant (oh the challenges). It is also nice when youth of both sexes begin to smile at mom and dad more than they had just previously, and argue less to boot! ;) I have found it to be true that they have also learned the rules and usually don’t push the limits like they used to… (*so long as they understand and agree with the principles behind the rules. Are we talking about the same species here?*), nor are they as stubborn for as long when they do occasionally push the limits. This I am loving! :D I am so enjoying the progress! :D

And then there is the youthful season of winter. Wintertime is so exciting! Everything changes again and in another way, the world seems so fresh and new all over again. :D But it can also be an unsettling and scary time. A time in which they wonder what they will be... how well they will be at it... when they will marry and to whom etc? Suddenly there is so much in front of them staring them in the face and daring to intimidate them. And we hope and pray that they will have confidence through it all.

~ My Mindy is currently in winter. She is working and preparing for college. She has her own car. She has her own job. And she has her own calling at church (Mindy teaches the children in Primary. She received this calling two months before her 18th birthday… and she loves it!). She is an adult now. She has more freedom than I ever imagined a child having in my home; I suppose I forgot they would become adults so soon. I love it! I love the extra set of wheels. I love the zest for life. I love the emerging creativity and all the beauty that I see in my young adult and in the world around her as she goes about improving her surroundings with her own creative touch. She is beautiful. And I am so happy to see how she is turning out. :)

When my children were very young and were all in the stage of spring at the same time... life was so much work watching after them! There was so much teaching, tending, supervising, laboring etc… But I LOVED IT passionately!

In the summer years of childhood things got a little easier. But for a time I still missed having those cute little spring time chicks under foot. For a time, I thought I would love to spend an eternity in that season. Now that I am older and wiser (ha ha! :), and I have no children in spring, one in summer, two in fall, and one in winter... I can honestly say, "I love each and every season." I actually no longer miss spring chicks (wow... that is an accomplishment for me!). And just as in the fall when gardens are harvested and leaves turn to beautiful hues; the lessons taught are harvested as we watch our youth turn into their own unique and beautiful beings... as beautiful young women and young men. I love the fall!
I have decided… my favorite season of all ~ is the season my family is currently in. Every season is beautiful. Every season has it's rewards. And no matter what season I find myself in...

there are beauties and joys to be enjoyed...
in no other season of life!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Circle Journal Sneak Peak ~ Theme Passion...

Hi! :D ~ I just came by tonight to post some sneak peaks for someone in the Circle Journal I am involved with who asked for it... (hi Kelly :)

These that I am posting today are journal entries that I created for a Journal with the theme of PASSION. ...a very cool theme if you ask me. It was fun to ask myself "Corine, what are you passionate about?" I came up with a few areas of passion, but made pages for only a couple.

The first page I created for this book has to do with my passion for hand written sentiments/ IE. snail mail. :D I ABSOLUTELY LOVE GETTING LETTERS IN THE MAIL! (HINT HINT... for those of you who know me ;) I suppose I should send more snail mail out myself. :O I have been collecting little bits of paper and envelopes again with the intention of doing just this. But honestly, many of the letters that I absolutely cherish and occasionally pull out of my closet from the crate box container they reside in... are actually written on simple notebook paper and have no pictures etc... no fancy print... just wonderful, glorious words! :D. I have a thing for words... (in case you hadn't noticed. :) I never throw letters away. I keep them all (well, the ones that are from close friends and family... the ones I cherish because I am so darn sentimental! :D I just love to sit and sift through them from time to time.

OK, I'll post the journal entry, but you should know that mine aren't really pieces of art... just unusual journal entries. Ah well, if I can thoroughly enjoy and love "all words" and no art... perhaps you can enjoy this too; so here you have them (Please don't fuss about the awful handwriting! I really should have done the writing first rather than last in case it didn't turn out well, but I didn't; and since I didn't want to redo the page - I left it in all it's imperfection! Try to enjoy it if you can ;)...

A few other things I am passionate about (besides giving and receiving snail mail... or emails, even though snail mail buries emails) are: family, friends, traditions, journal writing, being thrifty, life, genealogy and family history, travel to visit loved ones, feelings (I'm not strange - am I?), thinking... which also goes along with meditating, introspection, receiving inspiration and learning truth, (OK... maybe I am just a little strange! LOL), celebrating holidays (is that better?), being patriotic (better yet?? ;D), enjoying nature, being physically active out in nature by way of hiking, rollerblading and other lovely outdoor activities, and of course... passion itself. OK, to say I'm "passionate" about all of this may be a bit of a stretch. :) And since it's getting late and I want to go to sleep, I'm not going to talk about all these passions tonight.  

I will reiterate though, that I love traveling. I especially love to travel to visit family and friends. This is among one of my favorite enjoyments in life. I wish I could do it so much more than I do. All in good time, I'm sure.

Would you like to see my other passion pages? The next two have to do with family and journaling. OK, here they are...

This has an old photo on it that we took with our tripod (like we always do) while out hiking a couple of years ago. The oldest boys are bigger than their dad now, and the youngest is almost as tall as I am (which isn't saying much since I'm a shrimp... but he is growing!)
We really need a new family photo!

I'm really enjoying creating these pages, but am also very nervous about posting them and sending them out because the other ladies in this circle all seem to be amazing artists, and I'm NOT. Aggg! (As you can see, I don't even "attempt" to do art. The best I can do is come up with simple embellishments. :O ~ I really hope the ladies who end up with these journals will enjoy my pages regardless.

I just received another journal in the mail today with the theme of emergence. I am so excited to get started on that one, too! What a fabulously introspective and fun project this has been! :D 

I'm hoping to talk my family into joining me in a circle journal. I'm trying to think of a good family based theme for that one. I'm pondering themes (as of 5 seconds ago...) "Traditions," "family memories in the making?" Or maybe the theme could be "family history" where each shares old family stories they have heard about that would be fun to pass on to the rest of the family. Na... not fun enough. It should be something crazy! Maybe... silly moments or "Laugh Aloud's!" Honestly though, if it is from family it won't matter if it is serious or crazy... we are sure to treasure them. :)

I wonder what other people have done with journals. Have you ever kept a family journal or done a circle journal of sorts? Or maybe you have ideas for a family journal theme. I'd love to hear about it! I even think it would be great to do a family blog. I wonder if I could talk my family into that. Family ~ Are you there?? ;)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Gummy Bear Song With Lyrics

Hi. I'm super overwhelmed right now. I have a list of things to do which are about nine miles long... I need to prioritize and get to work so I don't freeze and get further behind. I may also need to take a break from blogging for a bit to free up some time to help me catch up on things, but I will be back. For now... I'm going to watch a little laughter eliciting video... and then get to work! I hope you enjoy this too! :D


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Twenty One Years, and Counting...

Last month, no, a month and a half ago, was my husband Miles and my 21st wedding anniversary. I began writing a stroll down memory lane/tribute which I never finished and published. It really needed to be done (as do those Blog Pages I still plan on writing about each of my kids! One kid writing down, and 3 to go!) ;) ~ So, here it is today... Better late than never!

Twenty some years ago... My (then single ) husband, Miles...:

* knew he wanted to be married... ASAP, and was determined to be married before his 27th birthday (this is a man who sets goals and then aggressively goes after them with incredible faith and determination).

* swore (along with his friends) he would NEVER date another teenager (IE, 18 or 19 yo), EVER again!

* met me at a church single young adult dance... which I attended with another guy... which secretly bothered Miles, as he really wanted to make a move on me but felt he must refrain from due to the circumstances. But oh... the three of us had fun talking in the kitchen! I of course, agreed with everything Miles said, and continually told my "date," "Yeah! Listen to Miles." (By the way... Miles says we danced once at that dance, but I don't remember. I wish I had a better memory!)

* saw me again a couple of months later at another single young adult church dance, in which I was "without" the previously mentioned "guy" (yeah, I dumped him. :o). I watched Miles look over at me, then over at "the guy" and then back at me. He then walked over to "the guy" and talked to him. After which, he immediately walked a very determined walk, directly over to me. :)  Miles openly rejoiced; and while smiling the biggest smile I had ever seen in my whole life, he spoke to me,"
I heard about you and "the guy;" that's too bad."
My response, I'm sure, was also one of sincere delight,
"I can see you're really crushed."
My expression, I am also quite sure... also accompanied a very large smile. :D

You wanna read some more? OK. Twenty some years ago... My (then single) husband, Miles...:

* didn't know my family or friends (we single dated - and he only visited me once while living with my family, as I moved out of my family's house the day after high school got out for a job in another town).

* didn't know much about me at all... except that he knew he wanted to marry me. :) So, on our first date, he said to me, "One day I'm going to marry you." I laughed out loud to cover up my true thoughts and feelings, responding with, "yeah, right!" Only in my mind I was thinking, "You really are going to marry me, aren't you?”

* fell head over heels for me (must have been some amazingly strong gravity pulling him towards me); he knew he wanted to pursue a relationship with me (I really can't imagine why... even though... {chuckle, snort} my hand writing analysis clearly states that I have a "natural charm which the opposite sex finds... 'irresistible!'" ;)

* It was after this great gravity pull took place that Miles realized... he didn't know my age. Upon finding out I was only 18, he responded, "What?! You're only 18?"    (He silently paused; I calmly and quietly responded with an innocent little, "yeah." Did I mention the fact that he was 26.5?)

He continued, "My friends and I all swore we would NEVER date another 18 year old, EVER again." (Another pause was taken before continuing... I wasn't one bit worried though; he was SO hooked! LOL :D). Miles sighed and then continued... “Oh crud." (Sigh again) "I thought you were at least 21." (Insert another pause here. I was too amused to say a word, so I just smiled and took it all in). Poor Miles continued to try to pull himself together and accept the reality of being in a situation he just could not bear to leave. "Too late... I've already dated you; oh well to never dating a teenager again!" (I've always loved his flattering honesty and determination to get through obstacles. :D)

* proposed to me on our third date (we never saw each other in between these dates, as he worked, I was in school, and we were about 150 miles apart). Fast acting... I know! But by then we had talked about what seemed to be absolutely everything. Honestly though, we really did feel as though we had known each other forever; (I know that's impossible to understand unless you've been through it). However, I did phone him a couple of days later with the news that if I couldn't bring myself to tell my parents... I must not be ready to be engaged. I just thought things were moving too quickly. :O You understand, don't you? - The shocking thing is, only two weeks later I was secretly ready and waiting for another proposal. :O! :O! :D!

* proposed to me again 4 weeks after the first proposal (8 weeks after the first date) (smart man to wait 2 whole weeks after I was sure I was ready to marry him... you have to let a girl "want" you, at least a little!). This time, he proposed to me on the Seattle Temple grounds... on one knee..., with a ring... And I said yes.

After a lengthy engagement of 2 months (which is also the length of time in which we dated before becoming engaged - giving a grand total of four months courtship from first date to wedding day), Miles took me to the Portland Oregon Temple where we were married. (Isn't it amazing what crazy things a person will do when they love someone? ;)
As I'm sure you already know... Despite all of those long talks we had in which we thought we discussed EVERYTHING, we still didn't know each other nearly as well as we thought we did.

After 21 years of marriage, we have come to know a great deal more about each other. The crazy thing... is realizing that the things that really mattered, we actually had discovered during that short courtship we shared before we were married.

After married life together kicked in, we learned a lot of “other” things. We came to know - in addition to each others beautiful potential which we saw before we were married - each others pasts, habits, weaknesses, faults, etc. That's when things got tough. Thankfully, we learned to be OK with these "other" things. We learned to look away from them. We learned tolerance, acceptance, and unconditional love. And because of this, we learned to again see each other the way our Heavenly Father had helped us to see each other in the first place... as the amazing and wonderful people He had created us to become. That's when things got easier.

Some say that love is blind. I agree. Love is beautifully blind to faults and weaknesses, and so beautifully aware of beauty and potential. That is why love/commitment is so beautifully binding.

Like Moroni said,
“And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity bur rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”

Early on in our marriage, I began to discover things about my husband that I didn't like. I would go to him and tell him what bothered me, and then I would ask him what I could do to be a better person for him. His response was always the same,
"There isn't anything I don't love about you."
After a few times of this I was deeply humbled, and a repentant heart emerged. I learned what real, unconditional love, is all about. I made an effort to stop telling him what bothered me, and start telling him what I love about him... I learned that love is more than a feeling; love is action... love is choosing to serve and do kind acts to bring happiness to another person; the more you think about and serve a person... the more you love them.

And so it is with great appreciation that I publicly announce today that I LOVE MY HUSBAND back.

For our 21st anniversary, Miles took my ring in to the jewelers and had the diamonds tightened etc. (expensive) so that I could wear the ring again (I have worn it very little for the past couple of years to avoid losing the diamonds).

As of August 26th 2010, we have been married for 21 years. And as long as my husband continues to love me...

...I will continue counting.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Award being Awarded...

Hi. :D ~ I have been procrastinating again. I still have my pages to write up about my sons (I will do this),... and a blog award to I received from Jewels (thanks again Jewels!) @ Trying to Get Over the Rainbow which needs to be passed on. I'm taking care of the easy one first! ;D (BTY - I created a link to her blog through the award. You can find it on my side bar).

So today, though there are so many lovely blogs out there... I will pass on the lovely blog award to two of my blogging friends...

Patty Ann @ Pitterle Postings,

and Jolynne @ JoJo's Whimsical Cottage. This one is in the making, but it is already lovely, and besides, I'm terribly partial to Jo. ;) (That's really not fair, is it? ~ Oh well... such is life!)
Check out these blogs people... I think you will like them! :D

Corine :D

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Mom - Please Don't Embarrass Us!

A quick expert from a conversation with a couple of kids this past summer...

Mom (Waving cheerfully to the half of the family that stayed at the beach...): "See ya all later!" :D

Levi (Groaning): "Mom, please don't embarrass me!"

Me (Totally taken by surprise... of course.): "What? I didn't do anything embarrassing..."

Levi (Waving gleefully and rather girlishly - as he mimics me in the most overly feminine high pitched tone possible): "Bye ya' all! :D"... never mind the rather EXAGGERATED wave WHICH LOOKED LIKE IT CAME OFF OF A 4TH OF JULY FLOAT WITH MISS AMERICA ON BOARD!

Mindy (...adding her two cents): - "Mom, we were all embarrassed."

Levi - "Yeah. Why do you and dad always have to embarrass us?"

Me (I walk over to Levi while laughing, and put an arm around him.) - "You don't have to be embarrassed. I never got embarrassed from my parents."

Levi - "Well, could you please allow your children the same privilege?"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Motherhood: An Eternal Partnership with God

I talked to a mother online who is going through a tough time right now. Being a mom is hard. Being a homeschooling mom is hard. She is worried that she is not enough... I know she is not alone. We all go through these feelings, as mothers, as teachers, as people. I hope my friend remembers that going through these feelings and worries does not make her a failure; it makes her human, and it's OK. I hope she knows that she is magnificant. :D