Sunday, November 9, 2014


It's amazing how many voices are in my head at any one time -- it's a very busy place. I never realized how much I talk to myself.

So I've been listening and identifying my voices for a couple of days. Then I've been trying to redirect those voices in a positive direction, if necessary. And you know what? It's not easy. But it's definitely a valuable exercise in self-evaluation.

I've also been doing as President Uchtdorf suggests: slowing down and taking time to get to know myself better. When I notice that I'm in a hurry to get somewhere or move on to the next task at hand, I stop what I'm doing, close my eyes for a minute and breathe deeply. I've been more diligent in my prayers and scripture study. When I go for a walk I try to notice my surroundings instead just walking to get it done.

I wouldn't say I've had a life-changing experience, but it's helping. When I slow down it gives me time to think about what I really want, how I really want my body and spirit to feel. I think about those days when I over-indulge and go to bed feeling uncomfortable -- and then wake up feeling the same way. Those are rough nights and I honestly don't want to experience them anymore.

The past two days have been particularly good days. I've kept my promises and that's worth 1,000 ice cream sundaes -- or at least that's what I tell myself when I'm feeling really strong. I feel more confident when I keep promises and that confidence encourages me to try another day, and then another, and then another... Check the comments for tomorrow's promise(s) and feel free to shout out one of your own.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Sometimes I have way too many voices jabbering away inside my head. Does that ever happen to you? My most common voices seem to be rationalization, judgment, and comparison.

"It may seem odd to think of having a relationship with ourselves, but we do. Some people can’t get along with themselves. They criticize and belittle themselves all day long until they begin to hate themselves. May I suggest that you reduce the rush and take a little extra time to get to know yourself better. Walk in nature, watch a sunrise, enjoy God’s creations, ponder the truths of the restored gospel, and find out what they mean for you personally. Learn to see yourself as Heavenly Father sees you—as His precious daughter or son with divine potential." (Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Of Things That Matter Most," Ensign, Nov. 2010)

I. Love. That. I want to hear less of those voices and more of the voices of acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness. So my promise for tomorrow is to recognize and name the negative voices. Next step will be to replace the negative with the positive, but I don't think I can handle both in one day. First recognize -- then replace.

Monday, November 3, 2014

You Are Stronger Than You Seem

One of my favorite Disney characters is Winnie-the-Pooh and here are some of his wise words:

"You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think."

All I can say is "amen" to Pooh.

I had to repeat the phrase "Just for Today" many times, but I did it. No sugar, strength training and a walk with Hannah this evening. Anyone else try one today?

Check out my promise for tomorrow in the comments section -- and shout out your own if you have one.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Just For Today

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I first proposed this challenge. I learned a lot that first time, held on to some of those things and completely fell apart in other areas. How about you? Similar experience or did it lead to life-long changes?

I need to commit myself to my physical well-being, really commit for the long term. But it seems so overwhelming. There are good days followed by one rough day that leads to twenty more. Then I beat myself up and commit to try again. This past week, however, has been a little different and here’s why.

I’ve been part of a group that my sister started about three months ago. The premise was to choose a long-term project to work on and complete over the next 300 days. Once everyone declared their project, my sister divided us into smaller groups: projects ranged from creative to spiritual to health, among others. I was part of the health group, as was my sister. About two months in, she realized that those of us in the health group had special issues that needed to be addressed privately and more frequently so she made a sub-group. It was better, but still no real progress was happening for any of us.

 Last week she introduced a new idea, and I can honestly say that it has made all the difference for me. The idea is nothing new, just simple and effective. Here’s a quote she shared from fitness trainer and author Chris Powell:

“The more you honor your integrity, the more dignity you have. Your promises to yourself must be so important and easily kept that you'll reach out and grab them every single day -- because you want what you've promised yourself!

“Keeping each promise to yourself has to be your focus, because it shows you that you are your own top priority. Each promise made is another step toward valuing and loving yourself and a brick in the foundation of your transformation. Each promise kept – your integrity – is the mortar that holds the bricks together, and the more promises you honor, the stronger the foundation gets. Transformation happens when you honor your promises over your reasons.”

It’s that simple. How many times do you make and keep promises to others? Breaking a promise to others is something I don’t even think about doing and yet how often do I do that to one of the most important people in my life – me?!?”

Making and keeping promises – it’s that simple. But there’s one other important part to it: your promise is “just for today”. For me, the most self-defeating part of getting healthy is the overwhelming thought that once I start I have to do it forever. Will I really never be able to have another Andy’s custard? Is this the end of family pizza night? Will I ever be able to eat a piece of chocolate fudge cake without feeling guilty? It becomes too much and so I either never start or I promise myself that tomorrow will be “the day”.

But this promise is “just for today”. If today I promise not to eat sugar, tomorrow I can promise that I will. If I promise to go on a 30 minute walk, tomorrow I can make it 15 or skip it all together. The key is not what I promise but that I keep my promise. Start simple: make a promise you know you can keep. But make it real. My first promise was not to eat sugar and walk 30 minutes. The sugar one I knew would be a challenge, but exercise wasn’t too much of a stretch because it was already a regular habit. When I got to the end of the day and both promises were kept – WOW! I can’t even begin to describe how I felt. You would have thought I had solved world hunger, traveled to the moon and back, and run a marathon. And all I had done was keep a simple, but real, promise – to. myself.

I have posted the challenge from a year ago so if you want parts of this to be your promise feel free to use it. If keeping track of credits on the daily log is part of your promise, than do it. If you want to throw in a spiritual aspect, it’s your choice. You do whatever you think is most important for you, just for today. I have found that it’s helpful to write it down the night before and hold myself accountable the following night. I will be posting regularly and invite you to do the same – but only if that’s something you want to do. This is about your integrity, your transformation. And we are here to support and encourage each other in whatever way we can. (Look for my “just for today” in the comment section.)

Try it! See what happens. See how you feel. Don’t be afraid to make it a little challenging but always remember to be gentle with yourself. Don’t ever give up! I know that with the Lord’s help ALL things are possible.