update

It has been a godaddy issue, not wordpress.org.

To make matters worse, is the way godaddy has handled this.  (or lack of how they’ve handled it.)  No honesty.  No explanation.  No apologies.  If it wasn’t for some serious digging on my part, I never would’ve found out the real story.  People, over a thousand who’ve even come forward on an alternative site this past week…have been deceived, ignored, or lied to by godaddy.  I REALLY object to that.

At this point, I’m going to stick with the other site.  No point in pointing my url to that site, because it’s a godaddy url.

Please adjust any bookmarks or blog rolls you might have me listed into, indicate my new home is now:

https://thesunnycoconut.wordpress.com/

I don’t expect perfections from a web domain hosting company.  I do expect honesty, sincerity, transparency.  Godaddy has failed in all categories.  Plus, they are sweeping it under the carpet, still, on both Twitter and their Facebook page.  I don’t want to be involved with a company like that.  I’m tied in with this domain registration for another 9-10 months, but…..

Anyhow, see you at the other site.  (and yes, I’m getting tired of moving.)

Thanks!

move

Stupid godaddy or wordpress.org has been down, AGAIN, for me twice today already.  I will be posting at my ‘back up’ blog site for the next week (at least), until whomever gets their shit together.

Location:

https://thesunnycoconut.wordpress.com/

Sorry for the hassle/inconvenience.

Gwen

TV Shows…IMO

Brooklyn99Insider-Halloween costumes

Hi everyone!

I feel like shifting gears today.  Flying ‘off grid’ a bit.  :)

We are getting to the point where TV shows are ending, and soon it will be time to learn which TV shows are returning, which aren’t.  I’m a nighttime TV nut.  We watch TV pretty much nonstop from 7:30 pm until at least 10 pm.  every.single.night.  So I have LOTS of opinions.  Time to share.  :)

TV I love:

The Middle:  BEST comedy on TV.  Hands down.  Also, best comedy secret on TV.  No one seems to watch it, yet ratings are great.  We love the Heck family.  :)

American Crime:  Holy cow!  AMAZING.

The Goldbergs:  oh, how we love this show.  Seriously love it.  Never fails to deliver on the chuckles.

State of Affairs:  I’m sad it probably won’t be renewed, like Covert Affairs.  I love female, kick-ass CIA agents.  TV needs more of them, not less.  Let alone a female POTUS.

The Voice:  love the coach banter.  The singing is almost secondary.

Fresh off the Boat:  favorite new comedy of the season, but ONLY because of the mom.  Please, give her her own show, let her star shine bright.  She’s hysterical.  (not so much this last episode, but she’s been fantastic prior.)

Modern Family:  ONLY for Sarah Highland’s Hailey (she is hysterical and getting better all the time!)…and to a lesser extent, Lily.  So over the rest of the family.

2 Broke Girls:  raunchy, and extra funny because of it.  Sophie owns more purses than I do!  :o

The Amazing Race:  Hate the ‘all star’ seasons, but when it’s fresh faces, NO show on TV is better.  You can’t write the kind of drama that occurs on this show, on a weekly basis.

Mom:  two great actresses.  What’s not to love?

Brooklyn Nine Nine:  this one is odd.  We watched one of the first episodes, and did NOT GET IT.  Then we caught it again during the summer re-runs, and fell head over heels in love.  I gotta see Chelsea Peretti LIVE some day!  Funniest show on TV, right up there with The Goldbergs, Playing House, and The Middle.

The Mindy Project:  My guilty girlie pleasure.  LOVE this show.  Best ensemble comedy cast on TV, imho.

House of Cards:  I don’t normally like villains.  But Frank Underwood is too deliciously played by Kevin Spacey NOT to love him.  Very well done come-drama.

Sirens:  Under the radar, but cute.  Really cute.

House Hunters International:  so intriguing to watch.  Best show on HGTV imho.

 

TV I Can’t Wait to Return

Game of Thrones:  TEAM KAHLEESI AND TEAM TYRION.  May they join forces and forever prosper.

Orphan Black:  ROBBED, ROBBED, ROBBED TWICE of an Emmy for best actress in a drama.  Are you kidding me?!  A travesty!  I am a little concerned about this coming season’s new ‘boy clones’ story turn, though…

Falling Skies:  final season coming up.  :(

Playing House.  FUNNIEST.SHOW.ON.TV.PERIOD.  OMG do yourself a favor and binge watch it via Netflix or just online.  HYSTERICAL.

How to Get Away With Murder:  delicious drama.  Until Shonda screws it up.

Sleepy Hollow (IF it comes back):  Tom Mison; a man I’d do.  Yes, yes I would.

Community:  Still not sure how to get it on Yahoo Screen, but love this show.

Reign.  I think.  LOL  Depends upon how they continue to play out the rape.  Overall, I’ve really loved it though!

 

TV I’m Getting Tired Of

The Good Wife:  Alicia/Julia….growing dislike for both.  I miss Will.  I miss the office interactions.  I HATE THE CAMPAIGN.

Downton Abbey:  I’m among the few who loves wicked, mean Mary.  I hate Edith.  I love Maggie Smith’s role.  LOVE her.

Scandal:  hate the whole kidnapping.  Like it better when she’s strong, not weak.  Shonda is ruining this show, as expected.  :(

Secrets & Lies:  hate the actress playing the detective.  Hate the whole obvious turn with the flashlight.  Still, intrigued for another episode or so…

New Girl:  me love long time, but GROW UP, MEN.

American Idol:  I am so confused.  This season seemed to have the best singers (as a whole) in a LONG time.  How did they all turn to shit once it went live, with maybe 2-3 songs sung as an exception?  Even Jax is becoming too singular in her approach…and other what I thought were strong singers are SUCKING it now when they get to chose their own songs/delivery.  I’m about done.

Dig.  Yes, only 1 episode in.  I’m not sold.

***

So there you have it.  What are your favorite shows?  Why?  Which ones are getting old, or are you getting tired of?

 

Motivation emphasis, & knowing thyself

5002Hi everyone!

It’s weird, but it’s been very, very freeing not weighing.  NOT in a sense of ‘hehehe, I can eat what I want, at least a little, now…’…that was always the earmark before of what would happen when I stopped weighing daily.

Now, it’s become crystal clear that my motivation now is eating for good health, not an arbitrary number on the scale, or on the label of my clothes.  Eating for good health does not take a break just because you aren’t checking your weight.  Or for any other reason.

It’s been freaking awesome!  And it’s only been a couple of days.

I’m reading for pleasure again.  I’m getting some gardening done, and decided to re-do our patio furniture.  We live in a town home, and we have a nice patio, but it’s over-stuffed with a resin/wicker 6 piece set of loveseat, two big chairs, coffee table, and two end tables.  Plus of course the gas BBQ, and a large umbrella.  (although we have a lattice patio cover, but honestly, those are for looks, not sunburn-preventing shade.  LOL)  My hubby rarely sits outside with me.  (no biggie.)  So it’s just me, on the loveseat.  It’s too much, I decided.  Plus, we’ve had the set about 10 years, and last season some of the weaving started to crack/break.  It’s structurally very sound, but meh.  I’m over it all.  So my oldest daughter and her hubby are going to take it.  We are going to get a chocolate brown (heh) set of a nice lounger with a comfy cushion (I love to stretch out when I read), and a table and 2 chairs.  The table is nice because its 22 x 42, not just ‘bistro’ size.  It will be nice to be able to eat outside again.  :)

I’ve just been happy busy.  Not obsessing over anything.

You know, people talk about eating food for fuel, and others who still subsist on the SAD (standard American diet) think IT (considering food fuel) means that eating is boring, joyless.

Nothing could be further from the truth!!

I don’t eat food…ANY FOOD…that I don’t love.  Truly love.  There is such a wealth of meats, fish, nuts, cheeses, veggies…who could possibly be bored, or forced to eat food they don’t thoroughly enjoy?  Not me!  I love cashews.  I get to eat some every day.  I love eggs.  I eat them 4-6 days a week….seven when I remember to keep some always hard boiled (not that easy without a stove top.  LOL)  I love beef, so I eat it almost every single day.  Usually steak.  Marbling and all.  YUM.   I choose fresh, organic garden salad ingredients that I love.  I don’t fret over BBQ sauce, mayo, or salad dressing.  Life is totally freeing eating this way, because the layers upon layers of guilt are removed.  When you eat healthy foods you love, oh trust me….it IS joyous!  :)

I have to be honest, I’m getting to where I eat less and less carbs.  Yes, I’ll never go zero carbs because I’m not giving up nuts or veggies…but I’m close to just saying “Ultra Low Carb” now when I still get the occasional question re my ‘diet plan’.  Primarian is confusing.  Plus, I really don’t eat much fruit at all.  I don’t ban it, but I rarely seek it out.  Sure, I like some red grapes, some cherries on rare occasion…occasionally a ruby red grapefruit a few times a year…a peach or nectarine once in a while when in season during the summer….but that’s about it.  I just don’t seek it out, especially given my strong paternal family history for diabetes.  I’d rather be safe than sorry.  :)

So….not weighing, is going REALLY well.  I eat well, nutritiously sound…because it’s good for my health and keeps me guilt-free.  I don’t really miss the scale at all.  Who knows….I might not weigh tomorrow.  I know I’m eating well, I feel great, so who cares what the scale says?  I think I spent too much time over the past couple of years associating with people who were, on hind sight, rather neurotic about the scale.  Because they were successful, I adapted that stance too, and developed that little bit of neurosis.   I think with my OCD tendencies, it wasn’t a wise choice. Like counting macros just isn’t a wise choice for me. I think a Laissez-faire plan is wiser for me, especially 18 months into successful maintenance. We each have to know our psyches, and take that into consideration.  Even a few days out, but still fully entrenched in healthy weight-loss-maintenance mode…I’m just not missing it (the scale habit) at all.  It’s become very freeing.  Yet it isn’t changing anything I’m doing, any food choices I’m making…just making me overall more at peace.  It’s a great place to be.  FINALLY, I’m committed enough, passionately, to healthy nutrition…and stepping or not stepping on a scale doesn’t affect that at all.

Freedom.

It’s a heady thing.  :)

p.s.  my blog was down this morning for over an hour that I’m aware of.  In case something awful ever happens like that…or it’s down longer, know that you can reach me via the Facebook group, or at my ‘back up’ site:

https://thesunnycoconut.wordpress.com/

That’s basically an empty shell, but in worse case scenario, I can blog there.  (actually, it’s a pretty gorgeous blank slate.)  :)

So, that’s where I stand.  How’s life treating you?  :)

How do you know what’s good enough?

Hi everyone!

Another great article on perfectionism, and knowing what is good enough.  I have a few comments in purple, and more at the end.  Enjoy!

How can you tell whether something you’ve done is good enough? Or just what would make it good enough for you? Doubtless, personal standards come into play here. But where exactly do such standards originate? Is it possible you unwittingly internalized your parents’ unrealistically high requirements of you as a child? Or are your “good enough” criteria authentically aligned with your deepest beliefs, values, and ideals? And finally, how about situations that actually demand your performance be perfect?

Under three distinct headings, this post will attempt to illuminate what being good enough—or doing something well enough—involves, or ought to involve. The first category takes up what you feel you must do perfectly, even in cases where it’s hardly called for or reasonable. The second considers what you may be obliged to do perfectly, independent of whether you feel like doing it or experience it as gratifying. And the third division is what you freely choose to execute at a level much higher than necessary because it affords you genuine satisfaction, pleasure, and joy. Or you’ve decided that doing it helps pave the way toward self-fulfillment. To put it more simply, the three categories are distinguishable in terms of compulsion, obligation, and choice.

Described below are the three essential classifications of “good enough”:

1. The curse of perfectionism. Perfectionism is about doing things, or struggling to do things, in accordance with the loftiest of standards. And these standards, frankly, make very little logical sense. In a wide variety of situations, they compel you to put considerably more effort into tasks than is rationally justified. So you end up squandering your resources.  (YES.  I spend time researching about nutrition, frequenting websites re that or weight loss/maintenance.  Time I could be using READING FOR PLEASURE.  Dur.)  For driven to do things perfectly leads you to manage your time and energy poorly. You might, for instance, spend many hours refining a report for your boss, even though by now it meets all his criteria for acceptability. And you may miss important deadlines (and eventually get fired) because you just can’t stop working on something that’s already good enough. (thank god I am a perfectionist enough that I never ever miss deadlines.  I’m always EARLY.  For everything.)

If you can’t tolerate making the slightest mistake, if you constantly focus on negatives and strive to eliminate each and every one of them (Hello, Gwennnnn)—or if you set your goals so high that you almost never feel capable of reaching them—then you’re afflicted with the self-defeating malady of perfectionism. And an additional problem caused by such a dysfunctional mode of functioning involves a strong tendency to procrastinate. For you’ll hesitate tackling anything you fear you won’t be able to do perfectly. Endlessly obsessing about doing things just right, your neurotically distorted perspective leads you to lose sight of critical matters regarding such things as timing, appropriateness, and efficiency. (again, thank God, not me.  Except I never make time to read for pleasure anymore.)

So, where does such counter-productive—yet intensely driven—behavior come from? My experience as a psychologist for 30+ years strongly suggests that it’s “learned behavior,” compelled by all sorts of negative messages about self, received while growing up with overly critical caretakers. Their message would have been that for you to be seen as “good enough,” and therefore deserving of their commendation and support, you had to do everything superlatively. Having parents that either withheld positive feedback unless your performance was exemplary or, in fact, never offered you approval (no matter what the quality of your performance) typically suggests one of two things. Either they didn’t have it in them to do so because of their own parents’ deficiencies in this regard or, not having received such recognition or approval from their overcritical parents, to even think of offering you what they themselves were deprived of would open up the floodgates of their never- resolved emotional pain, bringing up feelings of hurt and vulnerability they still lack the resources to face.

Here are two (admittedly extreme) instances of what I have in mind—taken, sadly, from so many examples I’ve been provided with by past therapy clients.

In one instance, a client shared how as a high school student she eagerly approached her (super-critical) father to share with him her latest report card, which revealed that of the five classes she’d just completed she received four A’s and one A-. Her father’s response? He put his finger directly on the minus sign and said gruffly, “What’s that doing there?” I hardly need mention how crestfallen and hurt she was by this grossly insensitive remark, hastily retreating to her bedroom in tears.  (SHIT.  ME.  But I never saw a male therapist…LOL)

A second example is even more blatant as regards a parent’s stubborn refusal to validate their child’s worth. In elementary school, this client proudly brought home a report of all A’s. Her mother (who, I should add, was later institutionalized!) brutally beat her, stridently yelling at her and declaring that she must have cheated since she clearly wasn’t smart enough to get such high grades.

Get the picture? The habit of perfectionism can easily come from a child’s repeatedly receiving the message that being good enough—or even much better than average—really isn’t good enough at all.That nothing short of perfection will suffice to win the parent’s approbation and thus secure for them their urgently needed, but ever elusive, familial bond. Parental approval is extremely important to a child. So it’s certainly understandable that, unless they have it in them to rebel against their caretakers’ unreasonable dictates (and probably be left with chronic anger issues), they’ll eventually conclude that being adequate—for them at least—isn’t adequate. This is especially true if they were regularly inundated with such hypercritical messages very early in their development.

2. The Prerequisite of Perfection. There are certain things in life that literally demand perfection. If you’re a brain surgeon, the slightest failure at absolute precision could have catastrophic consequences for the patient. If you’re building a house (even something as simple as a log cabin), should your measurements be only marginally off, the whole structure might end up so out of alignment that it eventually comes tumbling down. If you’re an accountant and accidentally overlook a single detail in preparing a client’s tax return, that individual might wind up being audited (and leave you with one less client!). And so on.

In short, what might be good enough in most areas might not be good enough in others—not, at least, where nothing short of faultlessness, or flawlessness, will do. Generally, people who enter fields where 100 percent accuracy is de rigeur have a penchant for precision anyway. But anyone else would feel enormously frustrated in having routinely to adhere to such perfectionist standards. For here there’s no margin for error, no possible wiggle room, when what needs to be done must be done “just so” or it could put someone, or something, at serious risk.

This is why, in contrasting perfectionism with behavior good enough for the job at hand, it’s critical to add the caveat I’m describing. Although almost all the literature on perfectionism rightly conveys a strongly negative bias toward it, it’s yet essential to point out that “good enough” simply isn’t good enough in certain circumstances. So in evaluating how well you might be required to do something—or even whether you’re adequately qualified to do it—you need first to carefully assess just how good in this or that case “good enough” really is.

3. The Selection of Perfection. There are times when you might consciously choose to transcend “good enough,” to strive (discriminately!) toward perfection. Let’s say you’d like to do something much better than what would be, well, “perfectly adequate.” In such instances,you might be in the process of completing something acceptably—whether it’s writing a “thank you” note, letter, or report; teaching yourself a foreign language or a musical instrument; practicing your skills for a recreational game of tennis or softball; setting up decorations for a party; or any task or project you might be engaged in. For any number of reasons, you’re inclined to go considerably further—genuinely desiring to learn something, or make something, “just right.”

What I wish to suggest here is that—for the sheer challenge, or maybe even joy of it—doing something far better than necessary may be intrinsically satisfying to you.

I might use as an example my own predilections as a blogger for Psychology Today. Even after I think I’ve made a post “good enough”—that is, it’s reasonably clear and coherent, and I’ve included all the points I had in mind—I’ll continue to work on it. For I’m motivated to make each sentence as lucid, cogent, and forceful as I can. Why? Simply because of the pure pleasure and satisfaction I derive from endeavoring to get my piece “just right” (at least, as much as I’m able to get it!). My keen desire to share my knowledge and point of view with others, and in the most helpful, comprehensible way possible, reflects something intrinsic to my core values. That is, it really matters to me.

Another way of saying this is that my writing is an expression of my passion to disseminate whatever hard-won insights I may have achieved through many years of clinical practice and professional contemplation. So I can’t resist—nor do I want to resist—giving each of my posts as much time and consideration as required to make it as persuasive as possible. Doubtless, such concentrated attention takes away from the time I might devote to other pursuits. But it yet affords my life a balance—or creative outlet—that, personally, feels just about ideal. And regarding my writing as a welcome intellectual challenge, I’m grateful to have the opportunity to influence vastly more people (currently, my 200 or so posts have garnered close to 4 million views) than the limited number of individuals I can work with professionally. Additionally, I think all the thought and research I put into my writing actually enhance my therapeutic effectiveness.

I believe that there are many things in life we’d work harder at if we deemed that doing so would afford us with a truly gratifying, joyful, or even jubilant, experience. And it’s precisely when we’re willing to rouse ourselves and aspire to do something that just might turn out exceptional—when, that is, we labor to transcend mere adequacy and strive to accomplish something affirming the very best in us—that we can genuinely perceive ourselves as “special.” And in a way that virtually all of us yearn to feel. Such striving may well deprive us of immediate gratifications elsewhere, but we’re still very likely to regard such “sacrifices” as eminently worth it.

To me, this highly selective pursuit of excellence is both mentally and emotionally healthy. And I see such striving as altogether different from the dysfunctional dynamics of perfectionism. When someone who quests after excellence achieves it, they almost literally jump for joy. But when a perfectionist manages to do something extravagantly well, they can only breathe a sigh of relief. This time,at least, they’ve avoided failure—which nonetheless continues to haunt them, as time and again they joylessly struggle to do the next thing perfectly . . . and the next, and the next. For most of them, they’re endlessly trying to “earn” their (now internalized) parents’ approval. So their efforts have little to do with self-expression, self-satisfaction, or -fulfillment. Rather, they represent desperate attempts to avoid the deeply felt hurt of further (now self-) disapproval or -rejection.

But with those choosing, selectively, to pursue excellence—to achieve something truly outstanding—their adventurous “flights” typically arrive at a far happier destination.

Source:  https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/evolution-the-self/201310/how-do-you-know-whats-good-enough

***

I really loved reading this, and particularly the third category.  I can see that at play in my life.

Take yesterday, for example.  Since I didn’t get to enjoy the patio Saturday, I was hell bent to do so yesterday.  I got out around 1 pm.  It was beautiful.  I had a nice tall glass of iced tea, my Kindle all charged, the pink jasmine was wonderfully scenting the yard, I filled up my water fountain and turned it on, the breeze was making the long wind chimes sound gorgeous:  IT WAS PERFECT.  I plopped myself down on my patio love seat, opened the first page of my book, read for a minute or two, looked up, and saw weeds.  A bunch of spring weed sprouts, all around what part of my garden ‘floor’ was available for viewing.  I tried to read some more.  I looked up.  I couldn’t stand the weeds.  I got up and weeded.  I swept up the weeds.  I sat back down with the book.  Hubby came from a walk with the dogs, and I heard him brush by the hibiscus that keeps over-taking the gate’s path/flow.  I thought about how he’s complained about that overgrown plant.  I got up, got the shears, and started whacking at it.  Before I realized it, it was a SEVERE prune.  I decided the bush just needed to go, and eventually get replaced with something smaller that wouldn’t be a thorn in my wonderful hubby’s life, or the dogs and their leashes.  I went and told him.  I didn’t ask for him to remove it then, but he was so delighted I’d given my okay to remove it, he came out immediately and dug it up.

It was a good hour, hour and a half before the garden was presentable enough for me to be able to enjoy focusing on my book.  How freaking stupid!  Yes, I’m glad I took care of the visible weeds.  I’m glad my hubby doesn’t have to grumble about the overgrown bush anymore.  But seriously?  Dumb.  That’s how my brain works, though.

I can’t say all that without letting you see the NICE view of my pink jasmine, chimes, pretty turquoise umbrella…once I got (more) seriously down to reading…(although, clearly looking up and taking a photo.  LOL)

11014682_10153064317415502_8972602634012560613_n

I’m incorrigible.  Why am I struggling so with reading?  Anyhow, I did get a couple 2-3 hours in, finally, and then enjoying a little snooze, curled up on that loveseat.  It was HEAVEN.  So restorative.  :)

Have a great week!  :)

 

Perfectionism vs. Healthy Striving

I found this AWESOME article, and I had to share.  I’m using the strategies as a blueprint for getting off this ‘numbers game’ hell re my weight.  Enjoy!  Source at the bottom of the page.  (a few comments of mine in purple.)

Perfectionism versus Healthy Striving

Most people experience an inner drive to improve their performance on some tasks, whether running a faster mile or earning a higher grade. Perfectionism, however, is not a healthy pursuit of excellence. Those who strive for excellence in a healthy way take genuine pleasure in trying to meet high standards. Perfectionism, on the other hand, results in struggles with self-doubt and fears of disapproval and rejection.

Perfectionism

  • Setting standards beyond reach and reason (yep)
  • Never being satisfied by anything less than perfection (yep)
  • Becoming depressed when faced with failure or disappointment (to a degree, yes)
  • Being preoccupied with fears of failure and disapproval (failure-yes)
  • Seeing mistakes as evidence of unworthiness
  • Becoming overly defensive when criticized

Healthy Striving

  • Setting standards that are high but within reach
  • Enjoying process as well as outcome
  • Bouncing back quickly from failure or disappointment
  • Keeping normal anxiety and fear of failure within bounds
  • Seeing mistakes as opportunities for growth and learning
  • Reacting positively to helpful criticism

Perfectionism: Myths and Realities

MYTH: I wouldn’t be as successful if I weren’t such a perfectionist.
REALITY: Although some perfectionists are remarkably successful, what they fail to realize is that their success has been achieved despite—not because of—their compulsive striving.

There is no evidence that perfectionists are more successful than their non-perfectionistic counterparts. In fact, there is evidence that given similar levels of talent, skill and intellect, perfectionists perform less successfully than non-perfectionists.

MYTH: Perfectionists get things done, and they do things right.
REALITY: Perfectionists often have problems with procrastination, missed deadlines, and low productivity.

Perfectionists tend to be “all-or-nothing” thinkers. They see events and experiences as either good or bad, perfect or imperfect, with nothing in between. (Oh hell yes.  For sure!)   Such thinking often leads to procrastination, because demanding perfection of oneself can quickly become overwhelming. A student who struggles with perfectionism may turn in a paper weeks late (or not at all) rather than on time with less-than-perfect sentences. A perfectionist employee may spend so much time agonizing over some non-critical detail that a project misses its deadline. (personally, procrastination isn’t an issue for me.)

MYTH: Perfectionists are determined to overcome all obstacles to success.
REALITY: Perfectionistic behaviors increase one’s vulnerability to depression, writer’s block, performance and social anxiety, and other barriers to success. These blocks to productivity and success result from the perfectionist’s focus on the final product. Instead of concentrating on the process of accomplishing a task, perfectionists focus exclusively on the outcome of their efforts.  (YES)  This relentless pursuit of the ultimate goal can seriously hinder their efforts.

Coping Strategies

1. Make a list of the advantages and disadvantages of trying to be perfect.
When you make your own list of costs and benefits, you may find that the costs are too great. You may discover that problems with relationships, workaholism, eating and substance abuse problems, and other compulsive behaviors (plus the accompanying anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, and so on) actually outweigh whatever advantages perfectionism holds for you.

2. Increase your awareness of the self-critical nature of your all-or-nothing thoughts, and how they extend to other people in your life.
Learn to substitute more realistic, reasonable thoughts for your habitually critical ones. When you find yourself criticizing a less-than-perfect performance (whether your own or someone else’s), make yourself stop and think about the good parts of that performance. Then ask yourself questions such as: Is it really as bad as I feel it is? How do other people see it? Is it a reasonably good performance for the person(s) and circumstances involved?

3. Be realistic about what you can do.
By setting more realistic goals, you will gradually realize that “imperfect” results do not lead to the punitive consequences you expect and fear. Suppose you swim laps every day for relaxation and exercise. You set yourself the goal of 20 laps, even though you can barely swim 15. If you are a perfectionist, you soon may feel disappointed at your performance and anxious about improving it. Because you’re focused on the outcome, you gain little sense of fun or satisfaction from your efforts. You may even give up swimming because you’re not “good enough.”

A healthier approach would be to tell yourself that 15 laps is good enough for now. So you continue swimming without anxiety. You don’t necessarily stop trying to improve, but you swim mainly for exercise and relaxation—for however many laps you can.

4. Set strict time limits on each of your projects. When the time is up, move on to another activity.
This technique reduces the procrastination that typically results from perfectionism. Suppose you must find references for a term paper and also study for an exam. Set time limits. For example: Decide that you will spend only two hours looking up references, then four (and only four) more hours studying for the test. If you stick to your time limits, you won’t spend the entire day searching for elusive references, nor try to study late at night when you are too tired to be effective.

5. Learn how to deal with criticism.
Perfectionists often view criticism as a personal attack, which leads them to respond defensively. Concentrate on being more objective about the criticism, and about yourself. Remind yourself that if you stop making mistakes, you also stop learning and growing. Remember that criticism is a natural thing from which to learn, rather than something to be avoided at all costs.

Source:  http://cmhc.utexas.edu/perfectionism.html

***

GREAT strategies.  I’m going to begin to incorporate them.  I realize this is a process, and it will take time to break this bad habit.  And I must be gentle with myself as I work through the process.  But I want to get back to the great sense of accomplishment I had when I first hit my healthy weight.  Instead of fretting over staying at a healthy maintenance weight, I want to enjoy life more.  Worry less that it might be fleeting.  It’s not fleeting.  I’ve been here 18 months now.  All this doom and gloom about the statistics re weight maintenance, and people warning about all the dangers of how to stay in maintenance…has pulled me down.  Yes, one must be cautious.  But when you’ve adopted a totally passionate view on what are healthy foods to eat, and LIVE that way day in and day out….I think you are THERE, and have the biggest part of the battle won.  Time to ENJOY IT.  And I intend to.  :)

And now, a look at our weather forecast for the next 7 days:  (try not to hate) (LOL)…

yeehawp.s.

didn’t get out on the patio to read yesterday….we had to go pick out our kitchen cabinets instead.  When we got back, I did get out and clean off the patio furniture, water the garden; it’s ready for today.  But our favorite out-of-state restaurant (Texas Roadhouse) opened a restaurant about an hour away southeast of us, so we left at 4:30 (figuring on a Saturday, it would be packed.)  Yep…45 minute wait but worth it.  Picked up 2 bottles of their awesome steak sauce, so we don’t have to buy online anymore.  Delicious steak dinner, and we both got the biggest sizes, so enough leftovers for 2-3 more dinners.  I’m hitting the patio this afternoon, Kindle and iPod on hand!  Going to fire up the fountain…life is exceedingly good.  :)

Have a glorious Sunday!

In Pursuit of the Elusive

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Well, let me start by saying how freaking AMAZING you guys are!!!

Every time I express some turmoil, you guys are right here to HELP.  In big ways!  I cannot thank you enough!

As I continued to ponder things yesterday (expressed quite well with your help in yesterday’s comments section)…I came to realize a few things about myself.

One:  I was raised by perfectionist parents.  First, let me say, I’m not blaming them.  They did the very best they could.  But I remember how a B+ or even an A- was never good enough.  Hey, it’s fine for parents to push their kids.  To want them to rise to challenges and be the best that they can be.  Perhaps mine browbeat me a tad too much in that regard, but I turned out okay.  I’m not super wealthy or have a fantastic career, but I’m pretty darned okay and despite their sometimes severe parenting…I have done fine.  That said, when you are raised with that mindset, it can screw with you (in sometimes subtle ways) for a long time.

Two:  I obviously do tend to obsess about things.  Not off-the-hook, but I do.  Or persist in things long after I should’ve just given up and walked away.  To this day, whenever counseling is mentioned, if appropriate, I re-tell the time my counselor when I was going through divorce, and we were in the ‘talk about your parents and get it all out / blame them’ phase…well, hearing what I had to say about my parents’ real preference for my baby brother, and how I persisted to get more love from them and less ‘you can’t match up, ever’ from them…that counselor said “Gwen, how long are you going to continue to beat your head against the wall that is your parents?”  Literally, those were her exact words.

It was a HUGE wake-up call.  She taught me, in that moment, that continuing to persist in things that are not only NOT serving us…but that actually hold us back, or harm us emotionally is, well, in a word, STUPID.

A waste of time, energy, and soul-killing.

And in that instance, she gave me the permission to STOP persisting in things that cannot be resolved.  That it’s okay to give up, and walk away.  For your own sanity.

Yesterday, I realized (thanks to Monique playing the role of my therapist:  THANK YOU) …that I needed to apply that to a couple of unrealistic goals I have held sacred about the precise weight I’d like to be.  There were three levels to that goal.  The semi-realistic level said I should be able to get back to 126 again.  The more lofty goal said “why not 115?”  and the clearly delusional one said “you were 104-106 in your 40’s…you should be able to achieve that again, too!”

And since I climbed into the 130’s after our 17 days of vacation last July, I’ve been in various stages of mental gymnastics with myself, beating myself up for not being able to at least achieve the easiest one, back to 126.  True, I wasn’t stupid enough to starve myself to get there, but every morning I stepped on the scale and would register disappointment if there wasn’t a loss.  Every single morning.  How is THAT a good way to start a day?

It’s NOT.

And I realized yesterday I was beating my head against the wall over idealistic goals for the number I should weigh.

And realized it’s a mild form of masochism. I have no real reason to be beating myself up over this.  I’m a very healthy weight.   I need to STOP IT.

That goes with my obsession to stay in size 4P or size smalls.  It’s a nice goal.  It’s also not the end of the world if I can’t maintain it.  (other than the fact I don’t want to have to buy all new clothes.)

I need to let GO of things that don’t work for me emotionally.  The focus needs to be solely on HEALTH.  Not a precise number.

Worse than that, I need to stop wasting time that I could be spending ENJOYING MY LIFE TODAY.  That is the greatest regret.  I should be thoroughly enjoying being a healthy weight.  I have a full commitment to healthy eating.  That’s not going to change.  Just because the rest of my life has been a nutritional failure, doesn’t mean the future will be.  It might mean I have a bigger risk than someone who’s never been fat, but I don’t have to fear it every single day.  NOT that I’m sitting in a dark corner of the cave and sucking my thumb over it.  I’m not.  But I do go through a fair amount of emotional hamster wheel spinning thinking.  And I’m wanting to get OFF that wheel, and begin to focus, instead, on stopping and smelling the flowers.  Enjoying life more.

So, as of today, I’m going to make a concerted effort to drop kick these scale number goals truly to the curb.  Not just talk the talk, but walk the walk.  To that end, I’m switching the Scale Accountability Club to Saturdays.  You can still weigh in on Fridays if you want…and give me that number on Saturday.  But for me, I have decided to go to twice a week only weighing.  Saturdays and Wednesdays.  I said yesterday 3 times a week….but to break these bad mental habits, I need to cut back even further.  Twice a week it is.  Saturdays and Wednesdays.  You weigh whenever it feels right for YOU.  We all have our own psyches and needs and are at different points in our journey.  I respect that.

p.s.  today’s weight is 132.0.  Big loss from yesterday…1.4 lbs.  :)

Tomorrow, I’ve got a great post lined up about strategies for how to overcome perfectionist traits.  It’s a good one.  It’s helping me shape my ‘down time’ today.  I want to focus on putting more quality on my down time.  Those ‘carved pockets’ of peace.  Make them BETTER.

Thanks for being here for me, and helping me figure out how to live better.  It truly does ‘take a village’, and I hope I am able to be half as good a friend on your journey as you have been on mine.  :)

Friday Scale Accountability Club

Scale AccountabilityHi everyone!

Well, I’m not happy.  I had, Thursday, what I thought was a stellar day.  I ate really perfectly for me.  Right ‘in the zone.’  I exercised 40 minutes.  I drank over 30 oz. of water after dinner.  I slept solidly for 7 hours (a good hour more than usual.) (so the dropping the tea drinking off at 4:30 worked like a charm.)  Everything set up for a really nice loss.

Instead, I’m up .8!!!  Sitting at 133.4.  Yes, overall, down for the week.  But early in the week I was down 2 lbs….so I’m not happy.

Frankly, I’ve been fighting the scale.  Not wanting to get on it as often.

EVERY time that has happened, it’s been (on hind sight) a VERY major red flag that I was in avoidance.

Although it’s avoidance any time one ignores the scale, it feels, emotionally, different this time.  I feel like I’m fretting too much (even though much less than I used to) over every single nano ounce.  That can’t be sound emotionally, can it?  Does it really matter if I wear a 4P or a 6P?  (I’m not that tight in my clothes, but another 3-4 lbs. and I would be.)  If I’m a PS or a PM?

Yes, that COULD become a slippery slope.  I’m well aware of that.  But this time, it really doesn’t feel like it.

I’m 100% committed to primarian eating.  In fact, I’ve even ‘tightened up’ in the past week or so.  More eggs and super low carb veggies, less nuts and cheese, and almost no starchy veggies of any kind whatsoever since Monday.  I’m not snitching on nuts when I get home from work.  I’m making a real, committed effort to get to bed at 10 pm, not 11:00-11:30, so I’m getting more sleep.  I exercise faithfully 6 days a week, from 40-50 minutes a day.  I’m (just starting to) drink more water.  Seriously, I couldn’t be much more faithful to my passion for good nutrition and doing the best to take care of my body.

Why my scale is preferring mid 130’s to low 130’s or even 120’s now…I’m not sure.  I’m not ‘letting up’ in any facet of my life.  Other than not being happy with the number on my scale, I’m feeling great, and totally committed to it all.  I don’t feel any slippery slope slide.   At ALL.  I am just not sure if it’s in my best emotional health interests to fixate on that scale number every single morning.  It’s easy to say ‘don’t let it bother you so much.’  (and/but I AM better about it than I was, but…not as good as a person who doesn’t have OCD would be.)

So what is the best thing for me right now?  The obvious answer says that since I can’t change my psyche, and it’s not adversely affecting any other facet of my life, I should just modify what’s giving me the grief.  That’s the scale.

But given my history with the scale…I think I need to ease into this.

So, starting immediately, I’m only going to weigh on Saturdays, Tuesdays, and Fridays.

See if that improves my emotional health.  As long as I don’t see a steep climb on the number…I will consider it a success.  But I’m going to approach this slowly, so if it starts to head south, I can round it off ‘at the bend.’

I’m keeping the club open.  I am going to remove my ‘daily’ weight widget.  I am still going to track personally and record it, but it will no longer be daily.  I won’t be fixating on it here, publicly.  Why I thought that was necessary, as I look at it now, is beyond me.  More proof of my obsession, I guess.

I am, obviously, still struggling with a personal goal issue of wanting/needing to be 120’s-131.  I don’t know WHY, other than that my first year of maintenance, I was able to sustain that, so I believe I still should be able to.  It might be totally arbitrary (and therefore ridiculous.)  I haven’t convinced myself either way.  I guess that’s my own internal (demon) struggles.  I have consistently kept 136 (my healthy BMI upper number) as my strict line in the sand.  When I get within a couple of pounds of that, I want to scream.  So you can see 133.4 is getting too damned close.

Is that emotionally healthy?  I “know” BMI is not the end-all, be-all.  It’s a good line in the sand, or so I’ve thought.

Then part of me wonders if:

1.  is this 136 line in the sand too low?

or

2.  Am I justifying a slow weight creep?

I could see #2 if I was eating poorly.  Making poor food choices.  Stopping my exercising.  Snacking on calorie-dense foods.  Burning the midnight oil.  Doing other non-healthy things to start to slowly unravel.  I’m NOT.

So either the slow weight creep is just nature, or it’s #1?

I don’t know.  Any feedback here would help.  Seriously.  I’m open to suggestions, and ‘from the outside looking in’ opinions.

I do know that I’m eating optimally for me.  I’m exercising well, and with the TIME CHANGE tomorrow, those hilly brisk walks start coming back into play, which is freaking awesome.  So what do you think?

ANYHOW, ’nuff about me.  How was your week?  What are your upcoming challenges?  How is the club working for you?  Don’t be afraid to say/admit you are having the same issues, and maybe this Club needs to disband.  It won’t hurt my feelings.  :)

Love you guys, and thanks for your support.

p.s.  looking for today’s quote, I came across this perfect one:

sms-3456

 

No Mas, x 2

Hi everyone!

Well, I’m stopping two things today.

No more candy dish on my back credenza for co-workers

Yes, I should’ve stopped this LONG ago.  It’s totally contradictory to the way I live/eat myself.  Has been for over 2 years now, with only a few slip ups in the past six months.  I like to think I kept it going because I’m just too nice.  I enjoy having people stop by and chatting while they ‘sneak’ a piece of candy.  BUT ENOUGH.  I am no longer going to be a source of a chocolate or sugar fix for them.  NO MAS.   I’m going to get an air-tight container, a cute little scoop, some cute cocktail napkins, and start supplying nuts instead.  I’ll rotate between peanuts, cashews, almonds, macadamia nuts.  Sure, some may have industrialized oil, salt on them.  Not perfect.  But WAY better than sugar.  Today is it.  :)

No more tropical iced tea after dinner

On Monday, I got a cute 32 oz. plastic mason-jar container with matching straw at Target.  It replaced my 16 oz’er’s.  I fill up at lunch, and again before I leave for the day.  I nurse the 32 oz. through dinner, and watching TV.  I had a rough night trying to sleep last night.  Clearly, too much caffeine.  So, I’ll drink it at lunch and in the afternoon, but I’ll pitch it and fill with iced water instead for dinner and the rest of the night.  Easy peasy fix.

So two things I’m changing to make me or the world around me a healthier place.  Both will help me get more Zen, by being more inline with my philosophies on nutrition.  Two, positive steps/changes to make.  Life is all about tweaking things to be better.  Living Kaizen.  :)

 

kaizen