Monday, February 28, 2011

So Lazy I Followed the Speed Limit and Ate My Words!

I had the honor and privilege of taking a life-transforming workshop this weekend: The Shadow Process with Debbie Ford.  It's a little Landmark (which I have done for several years), a handful of Jungian psychology, and a big fat smidge of spirituality all rolled into one weekend where you literally get to unload years of crap.  I can honestly say I look younger today.

We were asked to be in silence for the three days -- no cellphones, no computers, no texting -- and silence when we were not in an exercise where we talked.  That means we had silence in every meal.  Have you ever eaten with over 120 people in a big ballroom in silence.  All you hear is clinking silverware. I wish in retrospect I had taped some of the clinking because it was so cool. 

Eating in silence is incredible.  I ate a lot slower, as you'd imagine.  I enjoyed my food much more, as you'd probably also imagine.  And, I just really enjoyed not "eating my words."  And that means I didn't eat my emotions either.  You know how eating out is such a fun past time with friends -- food, drink, laughter and chatter.  And it is literally one of my favorite things to do.   I love throwing dinner parties and I love going out with friends too -- in that order.  "Breaking bread" is good stuff. But, man, sometimes I end up overeating and eating my words and emotions --- swallowing far more than nutrients.  

I loved that this retreat was silent because in most transformational work I've done, during the breaks people let go of all the chatter that's been in their heads during the workshop -- judgments, tales of dis-ease with the process, complaints about how they are feeling or others are making them feel, etc.  Instead Debbie asked us to just do our own process and not engage with anyone -- ever!  "Free to just be you and me" as Marlo Thomas would say.

I got so many things out of this Workshop but I will say that one of the most extraordinary things is that I feel like I do when I would go to live in the ashram in India for a month of meditation, chanting and seva.  I feel so peaceful.

The 24 hours before I left town for a business trip and the retreat I was breaking something every couple hours.  I was literally completely off balance.  I feel unbelievably balanced, in my skin and at peace.  And, here is some proof.  I live in a tiny town that has no stop lights, only stop signs.  It's a sleepy little town.  And, the speed limit through most of town is equally sleepy.  My entire time living here I don't think I have ever followed the 25 mph speed limit in town.  I found it unbearable, stupid, and truly unreasonable and unrealistic.  Today I followed it, and I was more than happy to follow it and take my sleepy time.

Now, that, my friends, is transformation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Lazy Transformation

I am very excited.  The Shadow Process Workshop with Debbie Ford starts on Friday.  And, you know how it is with these things, once you register you have started.  So, this has been working on me since December, flipping life upside down and inside out.

I can't wait...Many stories to come next week.

I'm also STEEPED in listening to Marianne Williamson's "A Course in Weight Loss" which I have running in the car, which is just fertilizing the ground.  

The most inspiring thought of the day was that our parents are "containers" of our emotions when we are children, and if they didn't model how to "contain" our own emotions, then we have trouble doing that when we grow up.  

I can't believe that this simple thought was so eye opening for me.  I still to this day of my 48th year bristle when I have uncomfortable feelings.  I feel like I can't contain them actually....still!  Shocking!  I'm looking forward to the challenge of containing them ....all by my lonesome. 

Marianne talks about her teenage daughter losing a friend who very tragically committed suicide, and she said "Sometimes the worst possible thing you can actually think of ...happens."  And, she gave her daughter all the permission in the world to fully experience her grief, and gave her the power to contain these emotions, i.e., let them just flow through her.

This is a key to weight loss for me.  When I get stressed I want sugar and/or salt.  I need to just be stressed...or sad or angry and contain these feelings with no judgment, and no need to push them down with food.

Here's to Lazy Transformation, i.e., with the support and love of the likes of Marianne Williamson and Debbie Ford.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Weight Loss Inspiration: Trina Turk Dress

[Post-posting edit...just made this up...Treatspiration...when it's a treat that not only rewards you but also inspires you to lose more.  Treatspiration = Trina Turk in this scenario! LOL!]

I think it was the first week of this losing-my-grieving-my-father-passing-weight-gain weight loss journey that I found myself at Nordstrom Rack in front of the most incredibly cute Trina Turk dress.  And, not being able to pass up a deal, I sneaked a peek at the price tag and was jaw-droppingly shocked that it read $19.97.  What?

Then I checked out the size -- size 4.  Now at that moment I was a 10.  But, I looked at the dress and decided that it was actually much more like a 6 for most other lines of clothing.  A 6 is what I will be at my goal weight. 

It has a zipper on the side.  So, I put it on over my head and pulled it down over my body.  I didn't expect the zipper to close at that moment, but I wanted to see how far away I was from closing it.  Pretty far that first day.

But, each week I try it on -- even the weeks where the scale isn't matching up what I see are major changes in my body.  Like this week the scale only showed a .2 lb. loss but this was a week where my body really shifted and kind of settled into reflecting major changes in my tummy fat particularly.  So, I know the .2 isn't real. And the proof was in the Trina Turk!   I am definitely within a few weeks of closing this zipper.  My birthday is 3/22 and my goal is to be able to wear it on my birthday.  

It looks cuter and cuter on me each week.  This week my collar bones are finally visible for instance.  With a nice deep v-neckline that looks a lot nicer than it did 5 weeks ago.

I love trying on the dress every week.  I really do.  You'd think it might be depressing but it's not at all.  It's inspiring.   It was the best $19.97 I ever spent.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Takin' Care o' Business

The Marianne Williamson book on tape I'm listening to, "A Course in Weight Loss," is really working on me.  And, transforming my body is working on me.  It's making me want everything to work better. So, I'm starting to make things WORK!  Or should I say I am now open to lots of possibilities of things working better.  I think some of the pounds coming off were blocks, ounces of barriers...just dropping off.

First opening: I can see!  I can see!  It's a whole new world having a perfect prescription.   I actually thought that I wouldn't be able to get a prescription since the last one was so incredibly off.  I feel like I've had a medical miracle.  But, what I had was a great optometrist finally!  I love him.  If you are in LA and looking for a great one -- Dr. Vipapan on Lake Avenue is yo' man!

How did I find him?  YELP!  Thank you Yelpers for that recommendation.

I also thought it might be impossible to get the haircut that I wanted, but in fact I got better than the haircut I wanted.  Her name is Amy Edwards, daughter of the famed stylist Allen Edwards.  She works in Beverly Hills and Studio City. 

How did I find her? My friend Liz who literally time after time has had the most artistic haircuts.  Each time I see her it's something different and each time I think "Now THAT is my favorite haircut!"...Truly Amy is an artist.  She works with your face shape, coloring, best features, worst features, etc. and makes your hair just lift it all up and make you as purdy as possible.

So, I am continuing to be open to possibilities, and letting the barriers continue to fall, fall, fall...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lazy Weight Loss = Body + Mind + Spirit

Put on running shorts that previously used to always hike up on me and be annoying.  Why?  Because they were actually too small.  I was in denial.  Oy denial and the body, an endless story!

But now they fit, because my legs are slimmer AND my stomach is flatter.  And, I just realized it's really because of this full court press I'm doing -- unintentionally it all just fell into place that I am dealing with the body, mind and spirit of my weight loss.

Was it UNintentional though?  Not really.  I went to a Debbie Ford/James Van Praagh workshop on December 4th, came home and printed up two beautifully laid out, colorful affirmations up:  "Abundance flows into my life in surprising and miraculous ways every day" (Thank you Debbie Ford for giving us those exact amazing words!) and "I love loving my body" to which my boyfriend handwrote "Me too! Me too!" in pen.  My ex ALWAYS told me how much he loved my body -- no matter what it looked like!  How lucky was I?  

I digress.  I put up the affirmations and then three things came into my life:  1) Two friends reinspired me to join Weight Watchers which had worked marvelously for me in the past, 2) I came upon Marianne Williamson's book "Course in Weight Loss" with the supporitng book on CD and meditation tapes...I actually didn't crack the book, I just have been listening to it in the car (I'm on my second round), and 3) My accupuncturist mentioned for the second time her research on High Intensity Interval Training (aka "HIIT").   It is no mistake that these things came into my life, but I just got today that they are dealing with every level of weight loss I need.

I'm super impressed with all of them but today I'm geting an extra kick out of HIIT because I really see that my legs and stomach are visibly slimming -- faster than with normal Weight Watchers weight loss.

Intentions are very powerful and VERY LAZY!  Use them, abuse them.  Debbie Ford suggests you put the ones you need most across from the toilet -- that's where my body love one is.  So you see it repeatedly.  My other one is in the window across from my bed so I see it every time I look up.  I made it very pretty too so it would pleasing to look at. 

Lazily yours, a little less of me...

Monday, February 14, 2011

Lazy Lovin' on Valentine's Day

One of the most valuable things I got out of doing the Landmark Forum many years ago (thanks to Beanie!) was the idea of creating possibilities.  I do it now on a daily basis, and actually have a call each weekday morning with a few other people where we create possibilities for our day and set up a few intentions.

Today, I created the possibility of being LOVE because today was the day we delivered scarves to the City of Hope.  I started The Love Scarf Project (see several years ago and today was Love Scarf Project 2011 Valentine's Day delivery to patients of all ages, shapes, sizes, backgrounds, religions.  We hand out handmade scarves, hats (and a few booties too!) to the patients so that they can  be reminded that they are very loved even when they are alone.

Everyone's hearts were so full of love.  My pilates teacher, Melanie came to help deliver -- and later her daughter, Riley, came too.  The second woman above is Carrie, who is responsible for 100's of scarves being knitted over the years, for a project starting in Salt Lake City and Chicago, and for helping the NY Love Scarf Project.  And the couple on the right are Perry and Nancy.  Nancy knitted FORTY FOUR -- yes that is forty plus four -- scarves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  We were escorted around by the two head nurses of the floors we visited and a with a wonderful Recreation Director, Edwin, who just made the adventure even more love-filled.

The patients -- even the most exhausted and weary -- were so grateful it was breathtaking.   We just wanted to shower THEM with love and yet so much love came back to us -- even as, in some cases, they struggled to just keep their energy up enough to receive us.

It really puts everything in perspective.  It's just all about love isn't it.  What else matters?  Nada.  Zip.

It's always a great reminder - if you aren't getting what you need, give it -- whatever it is that you are complaining about not having or not getting enough of....take a moment, and give it out and you will see it come right back to you.  It's the laziest way of all to get exactly what you want..and need.

Happy Lazy Valentine's Day to all.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Celebrating Weight Loss = Spa Day for the Lazy Woman!!!!!!!!!

Most important thing for me: celebrating the losses.  I'm about halfway to my goal of 17 pounds, and it's Valentine's Day time and I wanted to give myself some extra love too.

My favorite regular LA Spa, i.e., it doesn't break the bank every time you go is Olympic Spa:

For just literally $15 you can soak in the tubs, steam, sauna to your heart's content -- literally for hours upon hours!

I get the $70 combo of scrub + massage.  You get scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed so all the dead skin layers are gone, gone, gone, and then they massage you with oil, honey and milk (yes real honest to god honey and they finish the treatment with warm milk all over your body).  They also put grated fresh cucumber all over your face while they massage your scalp, shampoo and condition your hair.  It is as luxurious as it sounds.

If you want a little added luxury and about 20 minutes more treatment with Bumble & Bumble products you can go up to $100 or $120.  I do those every once in a while too, but honestly for $70 you get a lot of luxury.  The treatment is an hour long and very nurturing and refreshing.

And, before the treatment I soaked in the hot Mugworts Tea Bath, in the icy cold tub, sat in the Oxygen Stone + Jade Walled Steamroom, and the Himalayan Salt Sauna...and then I took a luxurious nap for about 45 minutes on the warm jade floor -- yes, very warm jade floor.  They give you pillows and blankets.  There is nothing like napping on a very warm floor.

Everyone is naked at the spa.  You actually aren't allowed to enter any of the baths with a bathing suit. So you get to celebrate ALL the different shapes and sizes, and take a moment to just love your own body, love your body moving in and out of the water, steaming it, taking care of it, nurturing all of you, inside and out. 

I thanked my body for working so hard, asked for forgiveness for overeating in the past, and for all my negative thoughts -- like it was a bad friend.  In fact, my body has been my loyal friend, giving me very little grief. It wasn't doing anything to me.  I was doing something to it.

If you are losing weight, definitely check out Marianne WIlliamson's "A Course in Weight Loss."  I am really getting a whole new relationship with my body and food out of this course.  Thank you Genius Marianne!

Loving you, loving my body, loving losing, and loving CELEBRATING the loss!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

It Takes a Village to Lose A Pound

Ten days after break up it's clear that the ex is doing some serious soul searching and is on the brink of some possible huge transformation.  Don't know how this will all pan out, only know that we started talking about potentially seeing each other.  Within a couple hours of this talk I decided I needed popcorn.  My favorite these days has been Orville Redenbacher's Salt + Pepper.  It is divine and couples nicely with light beer. But, this mini-"meal" = 8 points. 

So, I thought I'd do air-popped popcorn with a couple teaspoons of melted butter and salt.  Yummy. 

But I haven't used my air popper in a while so I ended up with a huuuuuuge bowl of popcorn.  I didn't go so far as to it eat it all, but I will say I ate more than I normally would and I saw it was definitely unequivocally emotional eating.   I watched myself doing it, was conscious of what was really going on, and took myself to the bathroom where I made myself take a hot bath instead.  I still ate more than I should have, but at least I got it together, and identified the real issue.

Next time, I am committed to cutting off the emotional eating faster.   And, the time after that even faster.  Pretty amazing that this was the first time in 5 weeks that I've had an emotional eating outburst.

I think this is in large part due to Marianne WIlliamson's book on tape that I've been listening to....and the meditation keeping me centered.  It takes a village.  It takes a full court press -- spirit, mind and body -- to lose weight.

Thank you Marianne Williamson for being part of my village. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Lazy Woman Loses Weight But Remains Foodie

I've lost 8.4 pounds in 5 weeks.  That's a good, healthy pace.  But, the most important thing to me is I have not forfeited one iota of my foodie-ness. 

The amazing thing about Weight Watchers is that you can literally fit any craving into your plan.  My favorite sandwich on the planet right now is LA restaurant, Mendocino Farms' Veggie BLT Melt.  It has veggie bacon, jalapeno cheese, crunchy organic arugula, tomatoes..all on crunchy toasty chewy yummy sourdough bread.  What does it cost me in Weight Watchers points?  15 points out of the 29 I'm allotted each day.  Everyone also gets 49 extra weekly points to use over the course of a week.  But, the bottom line is that I can work my way around the plan to fit every single thing that I want to eat into my plan and still lose weight.  I've been to two of my favorite restaurants a few times over the weeks and I still lost weight.  It can all be fit in.

So, for those of you who are NOT trying to lose weight, you can still find yummy food ideas here.  Also, even though I mention Trader Joe's a lot, I promise there is an equivalent in everyone's grocery store or health food store, so if something strike's your fancy, you can google it, i.e., Trader Joe's Creamy Goat Cheese and see the nutritional counts, etc.   Everything you can find at TJ's is somewhere on the net.

This morning I was craving something cheesy and fruity and crunchy, so I toasted up a Josef's Sprouted Wheat Bagel and slathered the TJ's Creamy Goat Cheese on it and then added the Organic Superfruit Spread (preserves). 

Those Superfruit preserves are incredible.  It has Morello Cherry, Red Grape, Blueberry and Pomegranate. I really don't like sweet jams so this is the perfect balance of sweet and tart for me, and you get nice bites of whole or nearly whole berries too.  Combined with that goat cheese...Oh My God!

How many points for this #WWgasm (foodie orgasm for she who is on Weight Watchers) = 11.  But, for me it is absolutely totally worth the 11 points AND it will keep me filled up for a good long while today. 

Buon WWappetito!

Monday, February 07, 2011

Lazy Transformation Amidst Emotional Chaos

If you didn't read "The Celestine Prophesy" in the early 90's when it came out, you probably heard about it.  It was on th NY Times Bestseller list for quite a long time, and it was transforming lives left and right.  It changed my own.  I was reading it while on vacation in Venezuela.  It was going to be my last vacation in a long time as I was about to start -- from the ground up -- the first drive though cappuccino place in Los Angeles.  Starbucks, I learned from an insider, had it in their 5 Year Plan so they weren't even on my heals, and I had raised the $400,000 it would take to get it going.  It was an exciting time.

We arrived home from vacation around 1 a.m.   Four hours later the Northridge earthquake hit and the two houses across the street from us went down the hill, so the neighborhood gathered together to save, support and comfort.  It was a life-altering event and, in fact, it became crystal clear to me that I didn't want to be working with hot coffee, food service employees, etc.  I think reading the book combined with such a dramatic thing as being situated at the end of a fault line (confirmed by geological maps a few weeks after the earthquake) made me wake up and truly pay attention to the synchronicities in my life.  And, the magic ensued!

I'm pleased to say I pay attention to synchronicities to this day but it is second nature now.  Every once in a while though you have a series of dramatic synchronicities that are beyond your imagination.  One was that I met James and Salle Redfield -- for a second time -- at an event I produced in 2006 and we realized we had something in common -- they had a Coton de Tulear dog who they wanted to possibly mate and I had a Coton de Tulear girl dog who I was dying to mate so I could have another girl puppy.  Our "families" have been intertwined since.

And, I've been reading his books ever since -- including his latest "The Twelfth Insight" which I read over the evenings of last Thursday, Friday and Saturday -- during the culmination of the Egyptian conflict.  Outrageously, the book also culminates in the midst of a strife in Egypt.  And, equally stunning, the book mentions the exact strife that occurred in our country after the Giffords shooting.  Talk about synchronicity!

But, on a personal level, I gained many things from this book.  First, I take a couple minutes each day to simply send love to Egypt.  They need so much, but I think we can all agree that sending love their way cannot hurt.  "The Twelfth Insight" shows how love, that purest, highest, ego-less love, that comes from us here on this planet, as well as from the "other side" is healing beyond our wildest dreams, has power beyond our knowledge, and that we are vastly under-using our love everywhere in our lives.

The book also had me become clear upon reading one pivotal page that it was as if my dad (who died 10/10/09) were sitting next to me saying "Put down the book and talk to me!"  There is wonderful guidance in the book about listening to the wisdom of our friends and family who have passed before us.  I did put the book down and did listen to him, and I found that it created an opening for action with my break-up.  That opening has lead to a ray of hope, a light that my ex has stepped into with great courage, embarking on a brave, brave journey that may lead to our getting back together.  I have no idea how things will end up, but the opening I found would not have been possible had I not read this book.

Not every book is for every person, but I am profoundly grateful to have read this one.

It also, synchronistically, lead me to read about this blog: which I highly recommend for real time, real life account from the ground in Egypt from an American living there currently. 

In the midst of chaos finding whatever peace you can find is good, but tapping into love in all its many manifestations is supremely healing.

Grateful am I.

With love....

Friday, February 04, 2011

Lazy Healthy Eating Amidst Lazy Grief

Really what I want to do is escape from the world right now.  I just broke up with my great love, and it is a sad, sad, sad time.  So, I took mostly to my bed for a few days, but realized it's time to start stepping outside. 

You can tell I'm depressed when you see I'm not eating.  I always eat. I love food, as you know.   So, for me not to eat, you know I am hurting.  Today I knew I had to eat something with protein and goodness. 

The deliciousness above is fit for a good WWgasm -- only 7 Weight Watchers points for a lot of flavor and bang for the point buck.

Two slices of Sprouted RYE Bread -- toasted
Creamy Goat Cheese -- about an ounce -- This one is from Trader Joe's, of course
Sliced Olives -- the equivalent of about 5 olives
Baby Heirloom Tomatoes -- several sliced
A sprinkling of Pink Himalayan Salt...but any salt and/or pepper will do.

I made myself take it out to the sun to eat and photograph.  We may be the only sliver of the country that isn't dealing with ice, snow, or rain.  I acknowledge everyone dealing with the inclement weather.  I wish you warmth in your cozy homes.

With love in my heart,
lazily yours,

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Trader Joe's Tuesday -- Instant Hot out of the Oven Chocolate Brownies!

Please forgive me for not taking pictures of the pre-baking and post-baking!  But, the item you are looking for at Trader Joe's is the Gluten Free Brownie Mix.  It comes in a brown bag with orange writing on it.  You only have to add an oil, water and an egg or two. 

I had left my 8" square pans at my boyfriends so I baked them in muffin tins and they were so cute!

The key is taking them out soon enough.  They still look pretty "wet" when they are done, so pay attention to the timer. 

They are so fudgey and so good for you.  And if you are on Weight Watchers they are only TWO -- yes TWO -- points.  It's a lot of yummy -- HEALTHY -- goodness with very little effort!

Buon Choco-appetito!