chester1955 is doing 9 things including…

let go

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chester1955 has written 8 entries about this goal

More on making time for me...

My mother died recently and as an only child I thought about things for a little while and came to realise that for the first time, in a very very long time, I now have only myself to take care of.

The kids are grown, my partner LOL (Love Of my Life) is very independent and looking after themselves quite well and I don’t seem to have anyone to take care of any more.

It’s strange. My time is my own. No need to visit the nursing home every week. Wednesday evenings are now my own again. It’s been 5 years that I have been going there and now I can do whatever I want.

In a way it is liberating, but at the same time it means that I have lost connection to someone. Lost connection to the routine of doing something for someone else and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

What I do know is that it will mean a bit of re-structuring of things and a change to routine. Life might get a bit easier, less time pressure etc etc. My time will be my own again. I can choose what I want to do or choose to do nothing on Wednesday evenings and choosing what I want to do and not feeling obligated to ‘do’ for others is a new thing for me.



Letting go of my food obsession

I am on a journey to develop a healthier relationship to food. All my life food has been an obsession. My mother was a good cook, but she was also a WW2 survivor and as a post war baby I was fattened up as an over compensation for the rationing that occurred during the war.

I became a fat child and then a food addicted obese adult.

My obesity is not all my mothers fault, but the eating patterns that have lead to it were set down by her a long time ago. Having said that I take responsibility for the past 40 years which have been under my own control and fully admit that I have been obsessed with food. Shopping for it, cooking it, eating it, over eating it.

Over the past year I have lost 10kg. At tops I weighed 98.2kg. I now weigh 88kg. I need to lose another 18kg to be a NORMAL weight for my height, age and sex. 70kg is a good weight for me with 73kg being tops.

There was at time when I weighed 75kg. I remember it well. I felt so good.

Recently, as part of Living Simply, I culled my cookbooks. I don’t actually cook a lot from cookbooks. Cookbooks are more like ‘food porn’ for me. I love reading the recipes and looking at the pictures. So, my collection was taking up took much space, creating bad feng shui and annoying my partner, so I got rid of most of them.

Something funny happened when I did this.

It was like I cut the cord that bound me to my food obsession.

I still like food, but I don’t obsess about it. I used to wake up thinking ‘what shall I have for breakfast?’ then on the train into work ‘what will I pick up for morning tea?’ at work ‘what will I have for lunch?’ and then during work I would be planning dinner.

Breaking that hold that food had on me, letting go of that obsession has been so liberating. I am conscious that I have room for other thoughts.

At around the same time that I culled the cookbooks and let go of the emotional comfort they gave me, I began reading about the food industry and how we are influenced to eat mindlessly and to eat more, bigger and bigger portion sizes as well as high calorie.

I read about ‘mindful eating’ and I realised that I didn’t have a connection to my stomach other than forcing too much food into it. I didn’t really know how to feel if I was getting full. So I started practicing mindful eating.

I set myself up at the table without the distraction of the TV, magazines or the like and mindfully ate a meal. I was surprised at how different it tasted. I actually enjoyed my food for the tastes and colours. Then I also found that slowing down, chewing more made me connect with my stomach and I got this signal, that I swear was never there before, and I knew I was feeling full.

I now have a different approach to food.

We live in such abundance, there is no need to eat as if we are storing fuel for the winter. There is no famine in our society. We have more than enough on a daily basis to sustain us.

My partner is looking at me and I can see them thinking that I am on my way to anorexia LOL. I could never become anorexic. I love food to much to be anorexic. And that has been the problem in the past except that it’s been more like ‘I love too much food’.

So, I have let go of my relationship to food. I no longer snack. I eat only when I am hungry (although sometimes I have to eat to the clock for convenience) I slow down and eat my meal mindfully.

Having done this for the past 2 weeks, I find that I have had to dish up less food for myself. The servings I used to put up are now too large.

If I go out to dinner I de-construct my meal. Generally I can halve if not quarter the protein component and then halve the potato quantity. I eat all the vegetable.

When it comes to dessert, yes I still enjoy dessert occasionally, but I ask for no cream and ice cream and generally find I leave half of it on the plate.

I have finally let go of the addiction, the obsession I had with food. I am now eating the way our grandparents ate. I practice Hara Hachi Bu – I eat until I am 80% full.

Life is good.



Taking time for ME

I recently had to make the decision to take time for myself. I have been very ill due to an “allergic” reaction to a prescribed drug and it became an absolute priority for me to have to make time for exercise to be factored into my day.

This was hard for me. I am not used to putting myself first. I live with a most wonderful person and I have always maintained that our relationship is the most important thing in my life, number one, first and foremost. Now here I was mentally juggling times and trying to fit things in that I have to do for me and all the while worrying that I would be taking time away fro ‘US’.

I managed to come up with a compromise. I go to work early so I can finish early so I can get to the gym early and so not take away time from ‘US’.

Mostly it works OK. The upside is that my weight is dropping I am getting more energy and my health is improving.

I have had to LET GO of a paradigm where I am the big strong knight in shining armour, the strong one in the relationship and gently embrace my own fragile self.

This has meant that I have had to change the way I view myself and the relationship I have with myself. I have had to let go of a lot of things and realise my limitations. I have had to draw new, shorter, easier boundaries until I am in better health.

But at the same time I have had to become strong about taking care of me. I have had to make as strong a commitment to myself as I have to my relationship with the beautiful T. I have had to ‘love myself’ and invest energy in myself as well as in ‘US’.

I have had to let go of a lifelong habit of putting myself last and learn to put myself equal to those I nurture.

LOL – I have had to let go of martyrdom and self sacrifice and learn that it is OK for me to look after ME as well as everyone else, but in a healthier way.

And so, I have promised myself that I will continue to look after ‘ME’ when my recovery is complete. That is something that I will not let go of because to do so would be to stop valuing myself.



Wot-eva !

Life it too short to be arguing the fine points. From now on, if someone wants to argue the minutiae I will be like yeah yeah Wot-eva !



I stole this from another 43Things user, but it says it all for me right now.

Life is never simple – it never turns out exactly as you expect, you meet, fall in love and somehow life itself gets in the way.
I am lucky to be with someone that no matter how tense things get sometimes – I still love them.
They put up with all my funny ways and I am learning at 55 that two people in a relationship need to be themselves.
Its a hard lesson because human nature is always to change the other person to your way of thinking and that is not love.

Accepting your partner is possible when Love is the foundation.

Jokingly a friend once told me -I love my husband , but I don’t always like what he says or does. It can be like that sometimes huh? Parents that love their kids but don’t like what they are doing, same goes for friends and partners.

The important thing, I think, is when you go through that period of ‘not liking’ your partner, that you do it with grace, and understand that at that moment in time, they probably don’t like you a lot either. The secret for not getting bogged down in negativity over this sort of thing? LET GO. Agree to disagree and behave like it doesn’t matter. Don’t hold on to having to be right.

My partner once said to me “How right do you have to be?” and you know what. I don’t care about being right anymore.



Monday 21st Nov 2010

Yesterday I had a breakthrough. I took Douglas to the dog wash while the beautiful ‘T’ went to the mall to have a massage and do some shopping. Then we met up later to go to the movies together.
While this sounds pretty normal, for me it was a small step in letting go, because in the past, I would have been hurt or disappointed when my significant other didn’t want to accompany me to wherever I was going. Mostly the times when I have done something separately to someone else I have been in a relationship with, I have done so grudgingly. I have had this weird idea that you do everything together, so when they haven’t wanted to do what I wanted, I would have been hurt and angry they could be so ‘selfish’ and go off and do what they wanted to do.
Yesterday, I wanted the beautiful ‘T’ to come to the dog wash with me and see what it is like, how great the staff are, how they all know Douglas and laugh at how he behaves when he is there. The ‘BT’ said no. Now, in the past, I would have pushed the point because I wanted to share the moment but this time I just let it go.
Douglas and I went to the dog wash and the ‘BT’ went for a massage and some shopping.
I took no slight from it, we just each did our own thing and we were both happy because I let go.



Let your clarity define you

I love the Rob Thomas song Little Wonders. I saw him in concert not knowing who he was and this song actually made me cry. The first verse is the one I love the most:

Let it go,
Let it roll right off your shoulder
Don’t you know
the hardest part is over
Let it in,
Let your clarity define you
in the end
We will only just remember how it feels

And that is something I need to do. Find clarity about this issue of control and being opinionated.



The first step to change

Monday 15th Nov 2010

Letting go of the parent in me. So, I have just found out that I am too controlling. A very interesting statement was made “You have lived most of your life with children. You haven’t really lived with an adult on your own before.”
True statement. I tend to slip into parenting mode all too easily. I have spent years, too many of them at that, forward thinking, anticipating every need and averting injury and trouble. This is why I get frustrated when people go at things like a bull in a china shop. I can see the probable disaster ahead and then when it happens, I am frustrated that an adult can’t think ahead the way I do. Well, some adults don’t and I just have to accept that.
Letting go of the parent in me is something that will help my relationship with a lot of people, not just my partner. Apparently others see me as controlling and some even think my own son is scared of me … in the scared of making a mistake while he is around me sense.
These are pretty hard core revelations.
Also, I am opinionated. And I am loud in my opinions, battering people with my opinion until they see things my way. The question “How right do you have to be?” was thrown out to me to illustrate my need to have everyone agree with me.
Now, while this felt harsh at the time, I have to admit, it’s true. I’m surprised people like me really. Living with or being friends with anyone as opinionated as I am and who plays the parent all the time can’t be easy. It’s got to lower your self esteem and make you feel you can never get it right or do the right thing.
So things have to change. I have to learn to let go of the nurturing side of my parent that sees ahead and tries to prevent injury, loss, accident, physical and emotional pain and just watch it all happen and that’s not easy for someone who spent far too many years trying to keep other out of trouble.
The issue this raises in me is if I just sit back, say nothing and watch ‘the most likely disastrous outcome’ manifest itself, I need to learn to not show my frustration. You know the usual, deep sighing, distainful look or obvious sign of ‘sheez’ coming over my face or into my body language.
Then there is the post incident reminder “Didn’t you learn from the last time?” re-hash. Definitely got to stop that.
What to do, what to do.
Ok, so I will give this some thought and make a plan of action.



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