The Difference Between Fluff and Stuff

Yup! If you were here last week, you know that picture to the left means I am down 6 pounds this week. Pretty cool, huh? Not really. Think I worked out 4 hours a day or counted calories or practiced ancient mind tricks that laser melt body fat? Nope. Does that make me super cool? Nope – it is evidence that I was, in fact, “lazy and complacent.”

I will tell you that I made better choices. I ate 3 meals and 2 snacks a day. Good foods with some redeeming quality to them. Stuff with lots of color and little fat. Lots of protein little sugar – Outside aisle grocery shopping kind of foods. I did cut out sodas. I did not cut out beer. You choose your sacrifices, I’ll choose mine.

Most importantly, I focused on finding the root issues causing the symptoms, lazy and complacent, which was causing the weight gain. I was kind to myself. I was kind to others. I cut a lot of slack to anyone who needed it. I focused on my part and responsibility in any ill adventure or wondrous win – and I attempted to own them both.

Interestingly enough, I discovered that the 6 pounds I lost this week was made of the exact same crap my mental self talk is made up of – FLUFF. Non important, non real, non meaningful, non sustainable fluff. That’s why the weight fell off this week. It was the jump start and fluff is always the first thing to go. It has no substance, no real purpose. When you get ready for it to go, it just can’t hold on, it is just fluff.

This next week, I am certainly not expecting another 6 pound weight loss. I am also not expecting to make huge strides in the emotional well being department either. Most of the fluff is already gone. That which remains made up of STUFF. There is a big difference between fluff and stuff. All the things that fluff isn’t, stuff is. Long standing, meaningful, foundational, historical , rooted. Notice I didn’t say purposeful, truthful or useful – not all stuff is.

Some stuff is wonderfully positive. We have to remember to hold on to that. I would look ridiculous and, more importantly, I would be unhealthy, is all I focused on was losing as much weight as possible. I would be an emotional wreck if all I focused on were the places in which my brain and my heart are broken. It isn’t about the weight or the damaged – it is about the desire to be a better person today than I was yesterday.

But the fluff and the negative stuff are in for a whoopin’…

New Year’s is Overrated!

<<<This is what I woke up to this morning. But I am not an idiot. I knew this was happening. I have ignored it for quite sometime. But during my morning meditation (which is really prayer time, but I understand this practice is different for everyone), I knew that I had to confront it. And everything that went with it. And I knew I had to pull back the curtains as well.

Curtain pulling is important. I have been watching the confessions on Scary Mommy and it is easy to see the biggest problems are not the actual things confessed, but the feeling of isolation and aloneness. So many folks feel like their demons are special only to them and they are a failure in some way. The truth is, we all have them. Fear prevents us from naming them, refusing to name hinders support, lack of support hinders the battle, lack luster battle hinders victory. To me this says that we have to take out fear first. I am not afraid.

I am particular about my physical appearance. I make no excuses or apologies for that. I accept no judgement for it either. It is the way I am wired and I appreciate the barometer that it provides for other aspects of my life (we will get to that in a moment). Therefore, as it is beneficial to me and it is not a quality I require in others, I own it and value it.

I have gained 15 pounds in 6 months. For my height, this puts me on the outer limits of “normal” on the BMI scale. Not that I have ever put a whole lot of stock in “normal” but in this instance, the value refers to scientific guidelines on “healthy.” In that regards, “normal” is pretty important.

Understand, I am not a person that believes there is a certain dream weight or size that we should all strive to attain. There isn’t. I have been a gym rat size 2 in my late 20’s. The husband didn’t like it and good thing – the regime was so strict, I would have never been able to maintain it. Interestingly enough, I have come to the conclusion that if it is that hard, maybe it’s not my right fit. Don’t get me wrong – I appreciate hard work and dedication to the science of healthy – it just shouldn’t be a near impossible feat.

I am a person that believes that most things are consequences and symptoms – not necessarily the main issue. My weight gain is not the issue – it is the barometer speaking to the issues.

Since my bout with postpartum depression after the birth of my second child, mania and manic have been my demons to contend with. I am fortunate. They have been named, there is support and the battles – so far – have always resulted in my victory.

Since forever I have feared failure. In my family, in my social circles, in my professional life – this fear can be paralyzing. But it is named, there is support, and there is victory.

There are obviously other nuances in my self talk that create issues, but I think you get the point. I do not find glory in brokenness. There are no kudos for having the most demons. I do not believe that one person’s accomplishments are more heroic simply because the adversity was more great. I do not believe that a person must be in a gutter for us to appreciate their ability to climb to the apex. So I will not wallow – I will simply provide example so that you will be assured – you are not alone.

While I am fortunate to have victories, many demons take many victories to be completely conquered. And those battles can be exhausting. It is easy for one to become lazy and complacent. It is easy for one to justify lazy and complacent in the light of “don’t I deserve a break?” Of course I deserve a break…but breaks are uplifting and supportive. Lazy and complacent is sabotaging and enslaving. Obviously not the same thing. I have obviously allowed myself to slip into the latter.

Forget New Years…time to engage in this battle today…

 

David vs. Goliath

I am currently reading Max Lucado’s Facing Your Giants. Let me go ahead and be on record saying it is a very uncomfortable read. I am constantly finding myself having to put the book down and make excuses to do something else. I can’t read it right now because I forgot what page I was on and it would simply take more time than I have to find my spot – you’re buying that, right?

This particular Lucado installment takes the story of David and Goliath and relates it to those things that makes you want to stay in the bed with your covers over your head. You know what they are. That thing that freezes you up, tightens your chest, stings your eyes. Those things that you have a hard time telling anybody about but are certain everybody – even strangers – know about you. These are obviously your “Goliaths.”

We are billed as David. Max walks us through the story of David and how we are probably more like him than we think. I am gathering this is a good thing. David is a man of many faults, but he is chosen. He messes up over and over again, but he is called “a man after God’s own heart.”

Sounds simple enough to maneuver through…yeah, if you have no giants staring you in the face. Unfortunately, I have them. I’ve named them Fred, Stanley…seriously, introspection into those things I perceive as weakness is not high on my feel good list.  In fact, the only reason I am writing this now is for personal accountability in moving through the process.

I am supposed to talk about the Goliaths I face. I am not ready to put that out here yet – I may never be…

I am supposed to talk about how majoring in God overcomes Goliath…still a bit personal at the moment…

So what can I talk about here? I can answer Max’s question

Is your list of blessings four times as long as your list of complaints? Is your mental file of hope four times as thick as your mental file of dread? Are you four times as likely to describe the strength of God as you are the demands of your day?

Sure I am – not. Oh yeah – publicly, I am putting forth the sunny face. I think it is important to be positive and uplifting. It is the way I want to feel. It is the person I want to be. My inner dialogue is something else entirely. Something tells me a good bit of us are that way.

So here and now, I am telling you that I am a blessed, hopeful, strengthened woman. I am thinking I need to set that up as an every five minute auto text to my phone…

The Chaos gets kicked in the Factum

Tim Johnson called Beautiful Chaos his “favorite find of 2007.” Yes that Tim Johnson – yes this Beautiful Chaos.

It must be Lani.

As appreciative as I am, I am more humbled and convicted. I made a promise. I think I am dangerously close to breaking it. Tim, among others, have been incredibly supportive. I have been complacent.

I could sit here and tell you how busy I have been – but we are all busy.  I could tell you how wrapped up I have been in my Chaos – but we are all wrapped up.  I could ask your forgiviness – but knowing most of you like I do, you already have.  Thanks.

Or, I could live up to the lofty compliment bestowed upon us (Tim, the check is in the mail 😉 ).

Hmmm…stretch yourself to do things you didn’t think you could do and have a great time doing it…seems like I have heard that some place before.

I quit smoking

Just now…and that’s all I have to say about that.