Monthly Archives: November 2010

What Losing Weight Taught Me About Blogging and How It Might Help You


Have you ever set yourself a writing challenge?  Today I have with the challenge of writing a blog post using an analogy.

Analogies, as I have always known, make writing more interesting and can leave a greater imprint in the mind than straight forward information sharing. Just ask Tristan from The Blogging Bookshelf and I’m sure he’d agree!! He also has a great guide to analogous writing if you’re interested. You can read it here.

So today’s post is my effort to draw the following two subjects together – blogging and weight loss and see what we (or I) can learn from the experience.

Why Blogging is Like Trying To Lose Weight

There are several key components to blogging. One is regular posting – at least 3 times a week – and although we all sometimes fall below that goal, as long as we ‘get back on the horse’ again and don’t let our blogging habits fall too far behind, we are still heading in the right direction.

Similarly with weight loss, the best and most effective habit to is to exercise at least 3 times a week.  This will give you the best results. However a workout once or twice a week is still a great practice and definitely beneficial to your overall success.

Something is always better than nothing.

Other important strategies to implement during a weight loss journey include those on the following list. The related blogging parallels are written in bold, next to or following them.

1) Having a schedule. Planning meals ahead of time helps avoid poor food choices.  Planning blog topics ahead of time also avoids last-minute posts where you end either not posting or writing a rushed or short post, rather than something that may provide value and information.

2) Keeping a food journal. Writing down everything you eat is a great practice for the serious weight loss achiever. Statistics have proven that those who keep a record of their food intake lose twice as much weight as those who do not.

Although most blogs are a journal all of their own, keeping a record of what and when you will post it is still a sensible and helpful tool for most bloggers.

I have just received my own Blog Planning Kit from Tristan at The Blogging Bookshelf and have already found it great for getting down my thoughts and plans for this blog.

3) Consistency of Effort. For a weight loss journey to be successful in the long term, there is no doubt that you must be consistent in your efforts to make healthy eating  and more activity your new lifestyle.

Having only short ‘health kicks’ where you stick to your goals for a day or two and then reinfect your lifestyle with food binges and/or other negative behaviours will not only frustrate you, but will result in poorer weight loss outcomes. NOTE: The above said, it is still very common for most of us to have the odd ‘bad day’, which is fine as long we don’t allow it to become an excuse for returning to our old habits permanently!

Blogging also requires consistent effort ! Not just in the form of churning out posts, but also toward nurturing your blogging potential.

This might include (but is not restricted to) reading other people’s blogs, accessing quality information about blogging (writing techniques, wordpress software, guest posting..etc…) and making the business of blogging part of your overall focus!

There is a plethora of information out there that can assist either the newbie or hobby blogger and help him or her on the road to blogging success.

Of course,the application of this knowledge is also important. Lots of knowledge and no action equates to only minor progress (in any endeavour!) 

4)  You need to stay positive!! 🙂  Are you a ‘glass half empty’ or a ‘glass half full’ kind of person. In other words, do you focus on finding the good in things?

Or are you critical – of others or of yourself ? Of what others say (or write!!) or of how they behave and react?

Being too critical or negative toward yourself or others can become somewhat of a habit if we allow it too. The Chinese call it Ying energy, as opposed to Yang (the good, positive life energy) but no matter how you label it, there is no doubt that looking for the good in things will benefit your emotional wellbeing and will also help you to focus on your achievements instead of your setbacks, thereby encouraging you to keep going!

Okay, so there it is for you – a brief comparison of blogging and weight loss.  Oh and I would like to add this one too – linking to others as often as you can.

In the blogging world this may mean linking to other people’s posts or commenting on their blogs. In the weight loss world, it may mean finding an exercise buddy or an accountability partner.

What’s that old saying that I often hear? Together Every One Achieves More.

 I think it’s true. None of us are an island – or if we are, we’d better get off it from time to time and visit a few other islands. The scenery will be better and the journey will be far more exciting.

Before You Go……

Why not leave a comment…….

Perhaps you would like to share some blogging or weight loss secrets of your own or maybe some other practices that you hold true or are committed to sticking with ?

Life is a journey of learning, growing and change and it definitely involves other people, so your input to each and every discussion here is truly appreciated.

It also adds value to the discussion itself – these posts are my thoughts only, however your opinion and feedback is highly valued!  🙂  🙂

Could You Lose 2 kg by Christmas Day? or How To Give Your Health and Weight Loss Program A Boost,This Festive Season


 

Editor’s note: This post is written to encourage and support anyone who has begun a weight loss journey and is concerned that Christmas and the holiday season might be their downfall! If this is not you, then Happy Holidays anyhow and I hope you enjoy your Christmas cheer! If you yourself have any tips or advice to help those who might still be struggling with weight loss issues then please share them with us all in the comment box. Thanks….

P.S. I have written this post according to the traditons here in Australia where I live. I realise that many of you have just celebrated Thanksgiving too. I hope you enjoyed yourself and perhaps you should read this post after you have recovered!!  Happy Thanksgiving to you anyhow – it sounds like a wonderful tradition!

The Big Question

Could you lose 2 kg by Christmas Day? Of course you could! With exactly one month to go till the big day, a weight loss of 2 kg is definitely achievable, given that the expected and healthy loss for anyone on a weight loss plan or program is about 0.5 kg a week.

Trouble is around this time a lot of people on weight loss journeys start to worry because they know that pretty soon, food is going to be a very big player in every social event and get together. But relax…..really…with a little bit of forward planning and decision-making the ‘food thing’ or our ‘impulse control thing’ does not have to get out of hand.

It does however, take some conscious thought.

Planning Ahead For Parties

First up here’s an idea that a friend shared with me some time ago. I’ve tried it and it works. It’s also extremely simple.

It involves ‘visualising’ (which is basically just creating a mental picture) of the food you know or think will be offered at a particular event and then ‘seeing’ yourself either saying ‘no thanks’ or just shaking your head. By doing this you are creating a conditioned response to the food instead of just reacting to. You are being a ‘mindful eater’ instead of the opposite. All good, so far.

But what about liquid calories? These also need to be taken into account, so choose your drinks carefully and dilute them with soda or mineral water where you can. Or don’t drink at all. There’s a thought!  I know, it is CHRISTMAS ….so go ahead and celebrate, just be mindful of all you consume though and trust me you can still have a great time!

The Real Focus

Christmas really is about sharing and getting together with family and friends. The food is part of the tradition, but it’s not the essence of the day. Good conversation, catching up with the lives of those whom you don’t see often enough and simply sharing some love and laughter can all take place with or without the food. So if you are serious about avoiding a ‘weight loss blowout’ this Christmas try to reflect on the real and important part of the Christmas message and the ‘food thing’ will have far less emphasis for you.

More Tips..

So, we’ve taken care ( at least a little) of those good choices you are going to make at your office party or get together.  Another tip would be to take your own plate. Everyone always appreciates a beautiful healthy fruit platter on the table which is fine to nimble from any time! Similarly, you can bring fish to a barbecue, some low fat snack items from the health food store or anything else that you know is going to prevent a blow out of your daily calorie count.

Forward planning all your snacks and meals is always a great idea when you are on a weight loss plan, but it is even more important now when you may be feeling that temptation is all around you. Stick to what has worked for you already and you’ll be fine!

New Shoes, New Routine, New Energy

This month leading up to Christmas is also a great time to give your exercise routine a bit of a kick in the butt!! Rather than start scaling back your workouts (because you’re going on holidays) why not rev it up a bit!!

 Find some new hills to climb, choose a new machine to use at the gym or just spent an extra 20 minutes a day being active. I’m going to!

While you’re at it, why not visit the shops and treat yourself to some new workout gear? Perhaps a new pair of runners or gym pants. Anything that will give your ‘fitness psyche’ a little pick me up, is helpful.

One More Thought….

Another great idea is to start sourcing some beautiful low fat and low calorie dishes and recipes. There are loads of alternatives to ‘traditional’ dishes out there to try!

Christmas and the holiday season can be a time when you really boost your weight loss efforts if you are willing to. And if you need any further support or just would like someone to tell you what a great job you’re doing (and you probably are!) then don’t hesitate to drop me an email or a comment!

 Love to help, if I can. 🙂

Do you find it hard to stick to your weight loss plan over the holidays? Maybe you’ve already lost weight yourself and understand how others might be feeling?

Perhaps we all should stay mindful of our food choices these holidays whether we are on a weight loss plan or not? What do you think?

Lastly, do you have any great low-calorie recipes for ‘alternative’ dishes for Christmas? Love to have you share them or any other tips or advice you may have….as always love to hear from you. 🙂

 

P.S.If you liked this post please share it !!

Blogging, The Family Way…or How To Write With Distractions


 

 

Don’t get it right, just get it written
 James Thurber quotes (American Writer, 18941961)

Writing Inspiration

I wrote a few days ago about how positive and supportive people can make a difference to your creativity, your energy and your overall view toward whatever it is you are trying to achieve.

I gotta say I am still relying on that support and still finding it – from friends and family that ask ‘How’s your blog going?’ to people in the blogosphere who reach out and make sincere efforts to assist you. It all helps.

One thing I have come to realise also is that not every post that I (or any blogger ) writes has to be inspirational, motivational or the ‘best post’ I’ve ever written. Why? Because not every blog post can be written whilst you are meditating under an aframe or even while you are completely alone, without a single distraction.

I think sometimes we just need to ‘cut ourselves some slack’ and have faith ourselves and in what we are doing.

If you’re looking for the best post I’ve ever written for example then perhaps it would be this one or this one. Both received positive feedback in the form of comments and improved stats.

Positive Blogging

Although this sort of feedback really pleases me of course and motivates me to write similar posts, being the ‘human’ that I am with multiple distractions and commitments outside of the blogosphere, I have decided that I am not going to put myself under any pressure to duplicate those outcomes. If I did that, I’d probably never write anything.

So instead I will write as honestly and openly as I can, as frequently as I can and about whatever topics that inspire me or motivate me.  That is for me what blogging is really all about. Writing and communication, honesty and sharing – all great tools for learning and self growth.

So today I am musing about the experience of ‘Blog Writing, Set to the Background of Parenthood”. It’s a laugh, I gotta say….

Blog Appreciation, Kids Style…

Whilst one of my kids is quite ‘web savvy’ for her age and actually understands what a ‘blog’ is (she actually has one herself), in contrast, my youngest child is completely ‘blogging nonplussed’, to say the least.  During the writing of my last blog post for example he spent about 1/2 hour chanting the words….”Are you finished yet, are you finished yet…..” in the background. Aaaaahh…..

Needless to say it may not have been the best post I’ve ever written. I’ll let you be the judge, if you want to read it here.

My kids, of course, always come first. Always have, always will, in every way. Rather than use them as an excuse not to write though today, I thought  I would make them a reason to write.

They really do inspire me to write as much as they distract me.

Oooops….Life is Calling

As life, at this present moment of writing, is imitating the content of this post and I have one child loudly sharing that  ‘I have nothing to do….’. I will close this post now with a happy sigh (I got to 600 words this time!) and go and hug my kids.

They are really all that matters !

I would love to hear about your adventures with blogging, a story about your family or whatever you’re happy to share.

I always have time to reply to all comments or answer a question.
And although this blog does not have one of those amazing plug-in things, called Commentluv (where you’re own latest blog post is linked to your comment) feel free to highlight or mention your own latest blog post, so others can see it.

Who needs a fancy plug-in for something we can add ourselves anyhow??? (okay, commentluv is awesome and it probably will come to this blog eventually, but in the meantime…..)

Love to hear from you. 🙂

Move Over Homer Simpson or Finding Happiness Through A Fighting Spirit


Motivational videos, speakers, books, music……it’s all out there! But that’s not where it needs to be, is it?

It needs to be right here, with you now, pushing you along to achieve whatever it is that you’ve set your mind to achieving. Sometimes the afore-mentioned will benefit you, sometimes it’s just not enough.

Sometimes our cynical self who seems to be able to dominate our thinking at will just shuts down our potential.

This sort of thinking, for instance, begins to prevail – “It’s no good, I’ll never change. I’ve tried before and didn’t get anywhere.”  Then we back up those thoughts with ‘evidence’ and memories of past failed attempts.

We convince ourselves. And then it seems like reality and every action (or inaction) that occurs after that is justified. We kind of end up HOMER SIMPSONIZING  ourselves.

But what if we saw those negative thoughts as ‘clever confidence tricksters’ like these guys…..

Bad guys. Con men. Sent to rob you of your goals and ambitions. 

How do you react to them now? Are you going to allow them to ride rough shod over you? Or are you going to fight back?

Okay, so this is all very interesting I hear you say, but how is this little analogy going to help me?  Well, it can bring you a new awareness, for one thing. An awareness that negative thoughts and feelings are just  ‘characters’, part-time ‘players’ in our life script, never to be taken seriously and never to feel threatened by.

Practicing this allows their intensity to fade and lessens their power over you. It changes the mental picture.

If it doesn’t have that effect on you, then maybe just doing this to them will….

The Final Thing

One thing for sure, doing NOTHING won’t change a thing.

It will keep you imprisoned (emotionally) and from that place positive change is very difficult to achieve.

So break down the walls, kick ass and fight back and don’t let that  happy, enthusiastic you wait in the wings any longer!!

He’s getting lonely out there……..

 

So what do you think? Have you ever Homer Simpsonized yourself? Love to have you share your thoughts. 🙂 🙂

P.S. If you liked this post, please tweet it!

Downtown In The Blogosphere or….How To Get Your Creative Mojo Back!


 

Hi all!! Long time, no chat! How’s everything going in your world?

Well, as you can see, I’m back in the blogosphere! Actually I have hardly left, come to think of it. Although I haven’t posted here I have been hanging out downtown in the blogosphere and reading some pretty cool blogs. I needed a bit of a creative pick me up and I found it – more about my that and those people and their blogs, in a minute, but first….

An Update

As I mentioned in my last post, I have recently been focussing my time on working offline on my print book, which has been going well….but still a long way to go, yet. 

I am choosing not to get too overwhelmed however. Instead I will stay in the moment and enjoy all I that I am learning and reading (in the self publishing world) knowing that with persistence I will get there  (I hope).  That last bit in brackets should indicate to you that I am indeed human. Like everyone else, I have setbacks and challenges, but I do believe in the power of persistence, the power of other people to support and encourage you and well, just the general optimism that I find surrounding me lately in the form of other people.

I really want to mention these other people here today, which is why I am taking leave from my self-created blogging sabbatical and posting!!

My Thank You List

First up, YOU are one of these other people. If you have subscribed to my blog or you read my posts often, thank you!! You’re awesome and I’d love to know more about you, so please don’t stay out there lurking in the cybershadows. Come out and say ‘hello’ !!  You already know a  bit about me (perhaps I should share more too!) but I would love to know something about YOU !!  If you’re reading this blog, then I already know that you are someone interested in self growth or achieving a weight loss or another similar goal. But there’s to know about you than that, right?? 🙂

Of course there is! Anyhow…when you’re ready, I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

Moving on now to the next most optimistic people I have met lately. One is lovely lady called Tina from Faith, Fitness and Fun. Tina is expecting her second child and writes enthusiastically about her passions and beliefs. I was reading one of her posts the other day,when she was nursing a sick child (and still blogging) and her overall positive attitude really hit a note with me. So thanks, Tina. I’m a fan!!

I’m going to have to start being brief here, but I will also quickly mention Tammy from The Tippy Toe Diet. Tammy is a great lady who is also ‘getting out of her comfort zone’ with new projects on the go. Very inspiring also.

Equally so is Karen from Waisting Time! All of these people are lovely ladies who are optimistic and passionate. Kudos to you ladies!!

And The Winner Is…..

As they say on those TV talent shows (with drums rolling, followed by tooo many minutes of silence….) the names I am mentioning are in no particular order. They aren’t at all. And despite the sequential order they come in, they are all winners, in my eyes. 🙂

However the final ‘optimistic and positively charged person’ I would like to mention is Tristan, from The Blogging Bookshelf.  Wow, this guy has creative mojo like I haven’t seen in ages!! The synapses in Tristan’s brain neurons must be moving at lightening speed lately given the extremely entertaining and informative posts he’s been churning out. Way to go, Tristan!!

So thank you to all of the above people. And to any of the other very creative bloggers I have not mentioned above: if I have not mentioned you, but we have made some connection lately, please let me know!!  I really do appreciate all the creative people I meet here in the blogosphere. 🙂 🙂

And I really appreciate YOU, for reading this far and staying with me!

The Final Message

So what’s the real take away here in this post?

Well, it’s simply this. Firstly, when you need a break (from anything) take one! Secondly, if you really want or need to feel uplifted, motivated, supported or just that someone cares, then seek it out. Go find it! Read, explore, read some more, comment on the blogs you read, ask people for help and most of all, give back to the people who give to you.

I hope I just did in some small way! 

Ciao everyone. See you downtown in the blogosphere (yes, this is a corny video, but those dance moves could make a great workout! ) 🙂

Oh and there’s just one more thing before you go……….

Why not share a brief story or remark about some positive, talented or creative people whom YOU know?  I would love to know about someone whom you find inspiring or who has helped you ‘get your mojo back’ in any way. 

Or why not just tell me a little bit about YOURSELF.  Love to hear from you.  🙂 🙂

I WILL REPLY TO ALL COMMENTS!

Also, if you liked this post, why not tweet about it?

 

Finding Focus and Determination With A New Goal in A Coming New Year


 

The Business Of Finding Focus

Have you ever been conflicted?  Not sure of where to lay your focus? Feeling committed, but not sure what to?

Well as I type this I am feeling that way, too. In recent months (since starting this blog) I have been on a journey of discovery and learning. I have joined and engaged in many social media sites, met some great people online and learnt so much from their perspectives and their work.

I have researched and written more this year than ever (most of which has landed here as posts). And I have met you, my readers and from the comments that have been left and the emails sent, I have learnt much about you. And loved it.

A Decision

So what’s all this end of year, reflection about? Well, as I said I am conflicted. All the same, after some thought and consideration, I have come to a decision (at least a temporary one!) that for the next few months (or possibly just weeks) I need to shift my focus.  I have a lifetime goal and I need to get working on it.

That goal is one of getting my e-book into print and this will require a lot more of my time, energy and focus and as a result I think I will have to give something up.

I love writing this blog. Love, love, love it!! Even on days when I don’t receive heaps of comments I always still derive so much pleasure and satisfaction just from completing the task of researching and writing about a topic that I love and am passionate about.

A Fork In The Road

However, my print book is calling me!!  The images for its design and layout keep popping up in mind! I dream about it. I think about it and I can almost see it on the table in front of me. I have always believed that this is where real goal setting begins – in your mind. From there,  the rest will follow, but as the e-book itself says – IF IT IS TO BE, IT’S UP TO ME!

This was my goal setting mantra during my weight loss journey and so now, it is still the same as I aim for my next goal of getting my book into print.

So I guess you know where all this is leading. Yes, I am going on a temporary break from writing this blog.

I may be back sooner rather than later. Who knows? I guess it all depends on how quickly I move through the mini goals I have currently in front of me (I start with mini goals or tasks and find that this way, I will eventually reach THE BIG GOAL – oh, just remembered – that’s another weight loss tip from my e-book!).

Part Time Participation

I will be popping in and out of the blogosphere all the same, to visit other people’s blogs and see what they’re writing about. I will also still try to participate in ICOMLEAV week, which starts next week, as I have already signed up for that and I am a big believer in committment, so I will stick to that one!

Although, I am excited to be working on my print book, I am also happy that I have already achieved another goal of having it available here on the net. By the way, please forgive me, but I may as well give it a plug 🙂 – if you (or anyone you know and love) needs a little extra weight loss inspiration this coming Christmas and New year, don’t forget about my e-book!! 

It’s only $3.99 !!!  Now that is a good price!  The print book will cost much more and most copies I believe will be sold off-line, so the e-book alternative is great for social networking users like you and me!

The Last Bit

Anyhow, that’s my update, friends. I will definitely still be around the blogosphere trenches, as am sure I will miss it too much to keep away altogether!!  But perhaps my presence will not be so apparent here on this blog, in the form of my writing. I won’t be too far away though 🙂

Before I close this post, I would also like to take a minute to say thank you. Thank you to all of you for being here, for reading and for your participation and contribution on my blogging journey. God bless, you all.

I also would like to personally wish you all the very best with your own New Year commitments and goals. You can do it!! 🙂 🙂

If you would like to chat to someone else who is also working toward a New Goal for the New Year, please do!! I would be very pleased to hear from you 🙂

Do you have any lifetime goals you would like to start work on? Not sure when it would be a good time to get started on them?

Love to hear about it or from anyone who would like to share any specific ideas or strategies that have helped them reach their  goals. All ideas shared are very much appreciated. I adore hearing from you, guys! 🙂 

Happy Holidays Everyone and All The Best For Your Own Goal Setting and New Year’s commitments!!

God Bless and Lots of Hugs,

Mon

xxoo

 

Melt Away Your Fear: Society Does Care and Accepts You Just As You Are


 

Have you ever started a sentence with ‘but society says…’ or ‘society makes me feel like I …’? If so, have you ever stopped to wonder exactly who is this character (called society); this player in our life stories, whom we sometimes direct criticism at or apportion blame to?

It occurred to me the other day, after reading a comment on another blog, that many of us may be constantly trying to ‘live up to’ an illusion of society, one we have self created, one full of expectation, demands and comparisons. One that may actually not even exist.

The particular comment I am thinking of came from someone who (although he was reading a post about self improvement and personal empowerment) was not a happy chappy. At all. He was, sadly, a little disillusioned, full of blame and anger and more than a little cynicism.

The Reality

In his words though, he was trying to ‘get real’. The way I saw it was that the only reality he had created was one of self exclusion and isolation. Somehow he had managed to convince himself that he was not ‘good enough’, coming to this conclusion via various comparisons with who or what he called ‘society’.

It was a sad conclusion, to say the least. He had obviously decided that, rather than make any personal changes or take responsibility for his life situation, that it would be easier (and might I add, less effective in terms of bringing happiness and a resolution to his problems) to blame someone or something, in this case, ‘society’.

When we stop to think about the fact that society is largely made up of individuals we will never meet or know and will never have a relationship with, how strong can the argument that this faceless group is ruining our lives, be? How can we sit and blame a whole sector of humanity for everyday things that we ourselves can take responsiblilty for? That we ourselves can change?

Excuses Begone

I know for some this will continue to be an excuse for sitting on their thumbs, for not getting things done and for not finding the happiness and love that might otherwise await them.

But for others and I suspect and hope that you are one of them, we will all continue to try and be the change, we want to see in the world.

Maybe then, the disillusioned can trust us again. Maybe then, we, the faceless members of an impersonal group called ‘society’, can melt away the hurt, the anger and fear and dispel the frightful notion of a society who doesn’t care.

I don’t know about you, but I feel as if it is my duty to do so. Because I do care and I am part of society.

What are your thoughts about society ‘being to blame’ for things? Is this a legitimate argument in your life? Why do you think it is that so many do not trust ‘society’?  Is humanity breeding distrust, rather than hope, a sense of belonging and worthiness? If so, how can we change that and start doing better?

Also, where do you get your sense of self worth from, if not from society?

Love to know what you think. Please feel free to continue this   conversation via the comment box. I’m sure you all have some valuable thoughts to add and I would really love to hear them. 🙂

Also, if you liked this post, why not take a minute to share it with your friends on facebook or twitter, so more people can ‘value add’ to this discussion.