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Leave it to me to find a spiritual connection to Roller Derby.  *laugh*

Okay, Roller Derby itself may not have a spiritual connection but when I plug into and the circumstances surrounding me and the Derby are considered, then there is a spiritual connection.  And I just have to write about it!

Ever since I was a little girl living in a roller rink (a rink rat) doing figure skating, speed skating, and disco skating I knew I was meant to be on 8 wheels!  I watched the roller derby on TV and told my parents I wanted to do that.  Instead, I was put into soccer and softball.  Okay, I understand that there are no youth leagues for roller derby so joining at the age of 10 might have been a bit impossible.  It doesn’t change the fact that I don’t think my parents liked the idea.  Let’s face it, the outward appearance of a roller girl is a little rough around the edges and the sport itself (especially back in the 70’s) looked brutal!  What Southern Belle mom would want that for her little princess?

Fast forward a couple of decades..okay..almost 3 of them.  Boise started its own roller derby league, the Treasure Valley Rollergirls.  I remember when they started announcing this and looking for league members.  I thought, “Wow!  That sounds like fun!”  I’m pretty certain Tracy encouraged me to try out for it then.  But truthfully, I was scared.  Over weight….hadn’t been on skates in almost 10 years….and really knew nothing about it.  Then every year after that, when I heard they were training for a new season, I would say, “I really want to do that.  I have always wanted to do roller derby.!”  And every year Tracy would say, “You should do it.”  Scared.

Okay, so here is where the spiritual stuff comes in.  You know I have been reading tons of books, right?  I mean that is why this blog got started.  52 books in 52 weeks:  The God Project.   A blog about self-discovery and my spiritual path and finding my own answers for God in my life.  It was going to be about more than just the books; it was going to include my experiences too.  So I did a firewalk centered around breaking through fear; and my intention was about breaking through the fear of starting my own roller rink/community center for children. I read a couple of books and heard a couple of sermons/seminars about FEAR.  Fear is there to protect us, but it is also a false emotion.  It doesn’t just protect us it keeps us from taking risks that help us grow!    It keeps us from change.  “What if I fail?”  “What if I look like a fool?”  “What if I get physically hurt?”  “What if I die?”  Die?  Seriously?  I was once told by a teacher to first consider the worst (death) and then expect the best!  Deep down, our biggest fear is that whatever we are afraid to do is rooted in the fear of death.  I don’t think Death is high on the “injury lists” for roller derby!  I think my chances are death are higher just crossing the street!  So with the worst considered..its time to expect the best!  It’s time to face my fears and show them who is boss!

I went to my first “Fresh Meat” (that’s what they call newbies to roller derby) practice a week ago.  RaeZer (the coach) worked me hard.  She told me I would hate her at the end of practice. (I didn’t.)  She kept telling me that she was working me/us harder than she has all season, and for my first day I was doing really well.  I kept hearing from the other league members that were there hanging with the Fresh Meat that I was doing really well and I had natural skills that could be polished. (Boy am I glad I grew up on skates!)  It felt great.  Then at the end of practice I was told that I should be at 2 practices a week.  Fresh Meat practices are Wednesday 6:30-8:30 and Sundays 10:00-12:00.  Rut roh!!!  I can’t make Sundays; that is church day (and time).  RaeZer said, I could come to league practices on Tuesdays.  Great!  I will do that.  Then it dawned on me:  “I just signed up for my Science of Mind class at church and I am committed for the next 9 weeks!”  I was upset.  I just got my nerve up to do Roller Derby.  Mike bought all of my gear.  And now this…….

You know, life has a way of throwing curve balls at you.  When you are afraid of doing something, and you set out to do it, it doesn’t mean it’s going to come easy.  It doesn’t mean that all the obstacles will fall away.  However, if you follow your heart…if you listen to your intuition…and you do what is right and best for you, everything will fall into place.  The Universe does not give to you what you can not handle.  It will  not give you a challenge without an answer; you just have to be open to it and step out in faith!

I had this challenge in front of me. I had to make a decision.  My spiritual life is so important to me.  Obviously…look at my blog!  Yet at the same time, Roller Derby  has been my dream for my entire life!  There had to be a way!

So I made a decision.  I emailed the rollergirls and explained my situation.  I decided I would make every Wednesday practice and I would make every other Sunday.  I never did hear back from them.  So I went to practice last night.  RaeZer told me, “Church is very important.  I understand if you can’t make it.  Just show up when you can.”  I knew I had made the right decision, and by doing so, the Universe gave me the confirmation and life is great.  I can have my church and derby too!

Have you ever seen roller girls?  Alot of them are “thicker”, “stockier”, “bigger”, “solid” girls.  Yes, there are some thin and very fit girls, but I think this may be one of the only sports where a girl my size can play and even feel comfortable playing.  Last night as we practiced and I did my drills, I could hear the other girls in the line saying, “Look at Martha go!”  “She used to be a figure skater.”  I could hear them saying good things about me, and after one of the drills I got back in line to hear two of the league members trying to find a roller girl name for me.  I’m not gonna lie, that felt great.  AND…..I realize that I must not get cocky.  I do not say these things out of boastfulness, but out of a knowing that I found my spot in the sporting world.  It was just another confirmation that I am in the right place at the right time!  A girl can’t afford to get cocky in Derby, you will get your arse kicked…especially if you are Fresh Meat AND cocky!  Not a great combination.  A “tough humility” is a good thing :).

It feels amazing to be my size and living life to its fullest.  To find a sport that I love and seem to be a natural at.  I was never very good at soccer, softball, volleyball or even tae kwon do.  I’m not a great runner, even if I did finish a marathon (by walking of course).  But roller skating?? I am pretty sure I was born with 8 wheels on my feet!  So here I am 236 lbs and finding a sport accepts my size and doesn’t blink twice.  It encourages me to get out there regardless of my size or even skate ability.  They will train you.  They will get you in shape (not to get you in shape..but to help you become a better roller girl).  Losing weight, getting stronger, getting leaner will be a natural extension of a sport you love and practice.  This is the way life should be, in my opinion.  Instead of being called obese or fat, you care called “solid” and praised for having hips!  Jammers can’t knock you over or push you out of the way because you are “bigger” than they are.  I guess its kinda like the guys on the front line of a football line up…ya know those guys who want to be 300#….  No I am not looking to be 300# and I’m certainly not looking to stay my size, however, I am thrilled to death that there is a sport that I seem to be good at and I love…and I can do at my size!

Remember when I read the Geneen Roth book Women Food and God and there was another one that I can’t remember right now, and they talked about the “waiting game”.  I gotta lose weight before I can do that….and always putting your life off until “it” happened.  Well I am no longer waiting.  I don’t care how scared I am.  I don’t care how hard it may be to make those laps around the track.  I don’t care how silly I might look while trying to get my “derby legs” underneath me.  I am doing it NOW!!!!

I am taking the Science of Mind class, and we were just talking about Affirmations this week.  I was feeling a little down on myself about my fitness and health routine.  For whatever reason, I just have a hard time staying committed.  I went to therapy for this last year.  And here I am again.  I have gained alot of the weight I lost last year back.  This doesn’t make me happy. I am obviously missing something; I’m just not sure what it is.  So while we were working on affirmations Tuesday night, this was what I was working on.  Rev. Jackie said that everything we want has already been created and is already there, just waiting to be revealed to us.  My perfect health and perfect fitness are already there, I just have to first believe it and it will be revealed!  This I know to be true.  So I go forward with my derby practice and I hear them tell me how good I am.  More importantly, I FEEL how good it feels to be doing these things well.  The more physical things I do, and do well, the more I feel my body’s perfect health and fitness coming into being!  So my  new affirmation:  I am grateful, excited and KNOW that my perfect health and fitness already exists and are within me!

And how do I know this????  Because I am a roller girl!!!  I participate in a sport that uses and stretches my muscles and my stamina.  It uses and stretches my emotional well-being.  It uses and stretches my intellectual well-being.  It builds my self esteems and I KNOW I am in the right place!!!!

I love the fact that I can take seminary classes at church AND be a roller girl!!!!  My life is truly blessed!


“Your well-being is reachable, for its maximal potentiality has never left you.  You have simply forgotten where it lay.”  This quote can be found toward the end of Hanle’s book, but it states very simply what can be found in the pages of her book.

Last summer when I started on my weight loss journey (for the umpteenth time) I decided that I really needed to see a therapist.  I have done the yo-yo dieting since my teenage years.  I have done so much spiritual studying.  I knew that this wasn’t just a matter of the scientific method of eat fewer calories than I am expending.  My up and down weight issues are the result of something deeper.  Therapy worked to a degree.  I learned alot.  But there is still so much more to learn.  It was a great starting point.  This Blog project picks up where it left off.  And then this book comes my way.  This book talks exactly about what I have been feeling.  It takes the reader on a journey of awareness to the realization that our thoughts create our reality.  Yes, that means that our thoughts have created our obesity!  MY THOUGHTS HAVE CREATED MY OBESITY!  In the very last chapter she actually states that “obesity is a choice”.  It  may be an unconscious choice, but it is a choice I have chosen none the less.  Once we have this awareness, we can now begin to get to the root of the issue and change our perceptions!  Fantastic!

Hanle admits “this book will surely challenge everything you  have heard or read about weight loss.”  Well isn’t it about time that something/somebody does that?  Look around, America, obesity rates in adults and children are on the rise.  With all the diets, all the gyms, all the resources in this free country, we are STILL getting bigger and bigger.  What’s the definition of insanity?  Well it’s about time we start doing and thinking things differently!

Beyond Fitness contends that to really start changing our lives and living healthier lifestyles, we must first understand 4 Universal Principles.

  • The Core Thought Principle:  the beliefs on which we make our choices.  There are only 2: Love or Fear.  If all of our choices are coming from a Self belief of Love, then our choices will be healthy (physically and emotionally).  If our choices come from a Self belief of Fear, then the result will likely manifest in health issues such as being over weight.
  • The Cause and Effect Principle:  “Choices create actions.  Actions create reactions.  Actions and reactions are consequences.  Desiring another consequence implies choosing differently.  choosing differently implies creating new possibilities of thinking.”  This section also talks about how addictions are created and you really start to see how the yo-yo dieting is perpetuated by your thoughts (or at least I did).  I also started to see that I have to really take responsibility for my own actions.  I can’t blame my parents for this.  I can’t blame anything or anyone for this.  What I do and what I see are direct effects to the actions to make based on my beliefs.
  • The Common Denominator law:  Many of us tend to live our lives in victimhood.  Why do I always end up with a broken heart?  Why do I always get involved with the “bad boy”?  Why is it that these diets just never work?  So take a look at your failed relationships (whether romantic or platonic) and take a look at your diets.  What has been the “common denominator” in all of them.  YOU.  Or when I look at myself…”ME”.  It’s not the relationships that fail me or the diets that fail me.  Its ME that fails me.    “What happens to you belong to you.  You are either the unconscious or the conscious creator of your perceptual reality.  Nobody can claim this ownership and no one can undo what you  have done.  So, embrace your creative power and start to make the changes in your Life that will make each of your days a blessing……Be the one who makes the difference in your life the one who makes the difference in other people’s lives.  Let your example of courage inspire others on the same path.  Be this someone who experiences a Life that is free of the burden of misery.  this existence that we all deserve is success, and peace will lie within.”
  • The Impermanency Law:  Life is fluid and always changing.  NOTHING stays the same.  We can choose to follow the flow of the current evolution.  We can decide that we like what we see right now and continue to make the same choices every single day that perpetuate the state of living that we are living now…OR..we can decide to make a difference choice that completely changes the path of our own evolution.  Which would you rather?  “Life, in some ways, repeats itself, as long as the need for understanding remains.  but a wider consciousness can lead our hope for happiness to a great level, by opening doors to a multitude of possibilities we previously feared.”  When I read this section of the book, I thought about the cycle of physical, emotional, sexual abuse in my family.  I decided when I found out that I was pregnant with my first child that I would break this cycle of abuse.  Well my family also has a cycle of obesity; and I have decided to break that as well.  Plain and simple.  What kind of life do you choose to live?  What in your life needs to change in order for you to live the life of your dreams?

This book also comes with a practical guide to help change your beliefs.  This process is called the F.A.C.T. Factor Strategy:  Forgiveness, Attitude, Courage, Time.  Hanle suggests that you read through the book before doing the exercises she gives you…so that is what I have done.   In this section of the book, there are numerous deep thoughts and amazing quotes, and I will leave you on your own to discover them for yourself.  They will mean more to you that way :).

“The energy we use to create our Life can not be destroyed, but its movement can be redirected.” In her chapter called “The Modus Operandi of Empowerment” she shares with her readers all of the things/beliefs she felt were important for her own weight loss journey:  Faith, Visualization, Affirmations, Repetitions, Prayers, Synchronicity/Coincidence, Curiosity, Meditation, Finding a Mentor, Relaxation, Discipline, Water Intake, Breathing, Muscles, Flexibility, Food Intake, and Books.  (BTW…I LOVE her list of suggested reading :))

Hanle also talked about the power of your words.  This is the same kind of concept as discussed in The 4 Agreements.  Your words are how you create your world.  Be careful with them.  Mean what you say and say what you mean.

When she talks about the differences between creation and limitation, her words created a beautiful vision for me, and I would like to share that with you.  “Fully express your self by being free of limited paradigms and limited perceptions.  the beauty of our reality lies in its impermanency and its endless possibilities.  reveal the limitless resources within by setting its boundaries out of sight.  Empower your very center and build your body like a cathedral.  Be your own architect and design the temple you foresee.  Enjoy the journey.”

She ends her book by talking about our future…..our children.  Let us not pass on our own fears and insecurities to our children.  Let’s leave them a legacy of  physical and emotional health.  Let’s break the cycle of Obesity in America!  It starts NOW.  It starts with you and me!

There are so many great quotes and thoughts in this book.  I swear Hanle was writing my life story in her book!  It truly spoke to my heart.  (Is it  just me, or do I say that about all the books I blog about. *laugh*)  She continuously says that this book is filled with Truths, not THE truth by A truth. You get to decide if it’s Truth for you. As for me, it is absolutely Truth.

This must be my week for simple and easy to read small books.  At 113 “meat of the matter” readable pages, this book is another one you can read in a couple of hours.  It’s simple, easy to understand and very informative.

As a woman who has been dealing with weight and food issues all of her life, I truly appreciated this book.  It’s not about taking away and depriving yourself to get healthy, but rather adding simple things to your lifestyle that will result in better  health and more energy!  Who doesn’t want that?

I’m sure you have heard all the general rules:  60 minutes of exercise, eat 5-6 small meals a day, drink more water..and you might have even heard meditate, meditate, meditate.  Simple Health Value, is a fan of most of that, but it won’t require a huge change in your schedule or for you to go out and buy new exercise equipment or join a gym.  As a Beachbody Coach, it may seem counter intuitive for me to tell you not to buy extra exercise equipment, but as a woman with weight issues and a busy life, I love what Dr. Myers says and I will  pass it along!

According to Dr. Myers there are 5 Simple Health Values that you can add to your life with very little effort.  They are:

  • Drink more water
  • Eat fresh
  • Move daily
  • Sleep and Rest
  • Breathe

Drink More Water:

You might be just like me, and regularly ask for diet soda before you ask for water.  It is a habit.  I remember when I was a kid, if you ordered a soda at a restaurant the drinks were not refillable.  So we were always given a glass of water and 1 soda.  Water was refillable.  Naturally, we drank more water back then.  I remember the day that Chili’s opened in Dallas and I found out that I could drink an unlimited amount of Dr. Pepper!  It was like the heavens opened up and rained down this beautiful gift of unlimited manna from heaven!    It was the beginning of the decline of my water drinking (not that I drank alot of water anyway).  My parents were not water drinkers so I never got used to drinking water.  I’m not blaming it on my parents; I’m just saying it wasn’t a habit I formed as a kid.  Our culture, our commercials, encourage us (and our kids) to drink anything BUT water….soda, sunny D, Capri suns, energy name it.  With everything else out there, water can taste a bit flat and unexciting.  Yet, water is so very important to our bodies.  It lubricates our cartilage.  It helps with our blood flow.  It keeps us clear thinking.  It helps detoxify our bodies.  It does so much.

We NEED water.  But how do you know if you are getting enough.  I know I have heard about a dozen different theories.  8-8oz glasses of water a day should do you.  Well, for most of us, that is alot more than we drink now.  But also for alot of us, that is not nearly enough!  That is only 64oz of water a day.  Dr. Myers gives a great water calculating example:

  • Take your body weight and divide it by 2.  So I weigh 236.  I should drink 118 oz a day.
  • Divide that number by 8 (8 oz per glass).  For me that is about 15
  • I need to drink 15 glasses of water each day to be properly hydrated

That may sound like alot.  So  how are we/me going to get all that water into my day?  Dr. Myers gives some great suggestions.  Drink 2 glasses right when you wake up in the morning..before you drink anything else.  Carry a water bottle with you in your car.  Make sure there is a water bottle on your desk at work.  At restaurants get in the habit of drinking water.  The waiter will keep it filled up while you eat and talk; that should get you a couple of glasses of water right there.  Drink a glass of water before you  hit the bed :).

Remember that water is a good appetite suppressant.  When you think you are hungry, before you eat, drink a glass of water…then see if you are actually hungry!

If you don’t like the taste of water, if it’s not exciting enough for you…try putting lemon and/or mint in your water.  Try sparkling water and add lemon to it.  You can also drink herbal/noncaffinated tea :).  I drink herbal tea to help me relax before bed :).

Eating Fresh:

You should be getting 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day.  Last year, I read this great book called Extreme Spirituality, and one of the exercises it suggested was living/eating simply.  This meant to eat fresh and put away the processed foods.  I know that as busy moms’ the processed foods offer us convenience, but those chemicals are killing us.  The fresh foods give us more than just nutrients.  They give us the energy and vitality that is within them.  It is better if you can get your fresh foods from some place local where they  haven’t been sprayed with chemicals to make them last longer, and you know they are fresher.

So, how in your busy life are you going to get more Fresh Food into your body?  Add some fresh fruit like bananas, strawberries, blueberries to your breakfast cereal, yogurt or even your desert at night.  You might like to grate a carrot into your scrambled eggs in the morning.  Take baby carrots or celery sticks to munch on at work.  Take raw nuts like almonds to munch on; you can keep them in your car and eat them while you are driving. (Okay that goes against what I read in the book Women Food and God…but I thought I would throw it out there).  I know when I am eating a sandwich for lunch, I like something crunchy like chips to munch on too; so I replace the chips for carrots :). Instead of that chocolate bar, you can replace that with an apple or an orange.  Or heck, keep the DARK chocolate on the menu and eat it WITH your apple :); it’s a great combination!  Another one of my favorite ways to get the leafy greens in my diet is to add fresh spinach to my sandwiches.  This isn’t about taking away the things you love; it’s about adding to them.  I bet once you start to feel the benefits of eating more Fresh, the cravings you get for the other stuff will go away.  I know that in my life; that has been true.  (That is until I start eating the unhealthy stuff again.)

Move Daily:

Okay, this is a big one.  So many people tell me that they just don’t have time to “work out” or “exercise”.  Dr. Myers isn’t talking about setting 60 minutes aside a day to work out.  He isn’t talking about the 15 minute drive to the Gym plus the added cost of a Gym membership.  He is talking about taking the dog for a walk, instead of letting him out the back door.  First thing in the morning, get up and do some crunches and push ups to get your blood pumping.  Take the stairs at work instead of the elevator or escalator.  Park further away at the grocery store or on the way to work, and walk.  At work, when you take your breaks, take a walk around the building or up and down the stairs.  When you clean house, make a point of making more movements, bending down further, lunging while vacuuming.  Your garden/yard work counts!  Just add more movement to your day.  Instead of driving the kids to school; walk or ride bikes with them.  Go the park to play with your kids or dog.  Simple, easy additions to natural movement in your life.

Sleep and Rest:

As adults, we tend to get busy and stay up too late and wake up too early!  Our bodies NEED sleep.  This is the time when our bodies get the most oxygen; from that deep breathing we do when we sleep.  Our body regenerates and heals. The muscles heal from the day’s exercising.  Our brains get a reset switch.  We NEED sleep.  Dr. Myers suggest setting an alarm clock to remind us that its time to go to bed.  You need enough sleep to go through all 5 cycles of sleep, and each cycle needs up to 110 minutes to be complete.  You do the math!

So how are you going to get to sleep earlier than you normally do?  Stop drinking coffee/stimulants so late at night.  Instead, replace it with a nice herbal noncaffinated  hot tea that promotes rest and relaxation.  Create a “going to bed” ritual that your body will recognize and say “hey!  it must be time to sleep!”  That might include the tea I mentioned and a nice relaxing book or a hot bath or aromatherapy (like lavender) in your room or meditation before bed.  Just create one and do it every night, and it will send a signal to your brain and body to shut off and sleep well.

So what about rest during the day?  Rest is different from sleep. Sleep you HAVE to do (eventually) but rest is a choice.  You body needs a break from the go go go that it does.  Take 2 rest breaks a day..whether that is stepping away from your desk or your computer and going some place quiet to just relax..or going out side to watch the clouds float by.  This may be a time when you decide to get some of that natural movement in by taking a walk around the building at work..or maybe a time when you decide to get some extra deep breaths in.  The beautiful thing about this book is that it talks about adding things to your life, and often these things can be added at the same time.  It’s actually time-saving!  During this break, you can walk, deep breath, get the fresh food or extra water in :).  But you need to step away from the go go go and relax your mind and body :).  Or…if you have time and extra money..schedule a massage once a week.  I realize this doesn’t help every single day, but it will help with the detoxification process that the water does, it will help with the breathing, and help your muscles and body functions work better :).


We take this for granted every single day. I mean let’s face it.  From the minute we were born, we started breathing on our own.  We don’t really control it.  It does it on its own.  Yet it is vital to our living experience.  Without it, we would die!  But most of our breathing we do during the day is shallow.  We spend a great deal of our day yawning.  Why?  Because we are not getting enough oxygen.  We need to be conscious and include deep breathing into our day :).  First thing in the morning, when you wake up, take some deep breaths….from your belly.  Put your hand on your diaphragm and feel it rise and fall.  That is the kind of breathing we are talking about.  When I was a massage therapist, I used to have my clients lay on their back and practice this to  make sure they understood what deep/belly breathing means.  Not only will this help you feel more refreshed and help you with your short-term memory, but it will help with the muscles in your neck that are being used to help you do that shallow breathing you do so consistently.

So how are you going to get this into your daily life?  Dr. Myers suggested setting visual or audible cues.  Like when you see something, it reminds you to take a deep breath.  Or when the phone rings, before you answer it, you stop and take a deep breath before answering.  These breaths should be in through your nose then out through your mouth.  I had a mentor once that suggested we take 5 “ha” breathes.  Inhale through our noses then exhale through out mouths making that breathy noise you make when you spread moisture onto a mirror to clean it off…”hhaaaaaaaa”.  Do this 5 times in one sitting; it will give your more energy and revitalize you!  It works!  I promise!  This will help with stress relief :).

So this may all seem like alot to do in one fell swoop.  I know I tend to swing in major pendulum motions.  An all or nothing type of mentality.  That is not always healthy.  As a matter of fact, it is a fool-proof way to ensure that you quit!  So, Dr. Myers suggest taking one of these Values and start with that.  Once you have successfully incorporated this into your life, add another one.  Slowly……

His book has so many wonderful suggestions and tips. I highly recommend his book.  It can be found on his website:

I will leave you with this quote from Dr. Myers, “Remember any amount of forward momentum in simple health decisions is a success.  And success is my hope for  you.”

All of my life, I have either been over weight for FELT like I was over weight.  Why?  Because my mom told me I was fat.  My dad told me I was fat.  My brothers told me I was fat. And the kids at school told me I was fat.  When I look back at my high school pictures, I see a completely different story; I was gorgeous!!!!  I have spent my entire life believing this story.  Which means I have spent my entire life (from time I became a teenager to now…at nearly 41 years old) on some kind of diet or thinking about being on a diet or thinking about how fat I am or that I would feel so much better if I was thinner.  I would say that I became conscious of my body shape and size at the age of 5; 36 years is a very long time to not like yourself/body image, don’t you think?

To try to change things I have been on numerous diets.  As a teenager, I would take dexatrim like it was candy.  I would binge eat then exercise like crazy to work it off (exercise bulimia).  As an adult, it started with “Medical Weight Loss Plan”.  I lost 60 pounds on that, I think.  Then I joined Jenny Craig; didn’t do so well with that one.  Then I took Phen/Fen; thankfully my heart was unaffected.  Then I tried just the “good” part of the Phen/Fen; that didn’t work at all.  Then I did Weight Watchers…..twice.  Then I just did my own thing; eating healthy and exercising; it worked great.  I even saw a therapist.  I felt great.  I even became a Beachbody Coach and started selling workout systems and coaching other people.  Yet, I gave up the eating healthy part and even my exercise routine has dropped.  I have gained back 10 of the 40# that I have lost.  Now what?????

This is where the email from Oprah came in.  She suggested everyone read Women Food and God.  Now I’m not one of those people who drops everything and does what Oprah says to do.  But this one intrigued me.  Probably because I was already on my 52 books in 52 weeks journey; and this book sounded interesting.  Besides, it might actually help, right?  So I ordered it…..

I have to be honest and say that before I started reading the book I felt pretty jaded.  What is a book going to say to make that much of a difference in my eating/weight issues?  I have been through almost every diet out there; at least every type anyway…except surgery (and that is only because that scares the heck out of me).  But I read it anyway…  And what I found was spot on!  This book is such a worthwhile read.  It’s not just for those of us with weight/food issues.  It talks about Compulsive eating, but I think this book would help anyone with any kind of compulsive behavior like smoking or drinking.

“Compulsive eating is an attempt to avoid the absence (of love, comfort, knowing what to do) when we find ourselves in the desert of a particular  moment, feeling, situation.”

One of the biggest concepts this book talks about is “Bolting”.   “Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron writes, ‘Never underestimate the inclination to bolt.'”   Bolting; this is something (I realize now) that I  have learned from my father.  Whenever the going got tough, he ran.  He ran from churches, from places of employment, and from his emotions.  Me?  I have bolted from friendships, emotions, and sometimes even volunteer work.  When things don’t go my way, I have been known to throw a temper tantrum and run.  How does this pertain to food?  Well, when things go bad, I like to eat..and eat alot!  This is “bolting”.  It’s the way we run from our emotions or “stuff” them as some people say.  Instead of staying present and feeling what we feel, we “bolt”.  This was a huge Ah-ha moment for me.  I have done this alot in so many ways.  But it stops here!

Like I said, I have done alot of diets..some were very successful it helping me lose weight.  But it has never been about the weight; well okay part of it is.  Mostly its about what caused me to put on the weight, until I could figure that one out and go from there, I would also put the weight back on.  Figuring out that I use Bolting to “protect” me is a big step in figuring out why I eat the way I do.  “Saying where you are with what you are feeling or seeing or sensing is the first step in ending the obsession with food.”  Yes, indeed it is.  “Staying requires awareness of the desire to bolt.  Staying requires being curious about who you actually are when you don’t take yourself to be a collection of memories….When you stay,….anything becomes possible.  Even living through the extraordinary pain.”

Roth says it’s not about the weight.  We spend so much time in what she calls the “When I Get Thin (Change Jobs, Move, Find a Relationship, Leave This Relationship, Have Money) Blues”.   We wait for something before we start living our lives.  I am so guilty of this.  I say, “When I get down to my perfect size, I’m going to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.”  Well you know what?  I can do that now.  Sure, I will pay a bit more, but I can do it now!  I don’t have to wait!  What does jumping out of a perfectly good airplane represent to me?  Freedom. When I say I will do it when I lose my weight, I am saying that I am STUCK.  Well I’m not stuck, and what a horrible story to tell myself.  My weight may make it uncomfortable to do things, but it certainly isn’t going to stop me from  living a full life!  And it shouldn’t stop you!  Yes, get healthy!  Yes, use food as nutrition to fuel your body.  But STOP putting things off until you get to whatever it is you think you want to get to.  This kind of thinking has you believing that you are not worthy of your dreams right NOW…and You are..I am.. WE ARE!!!  Start living today..stop waiting for that perfect time.  If we can start living today, the rest will catch up!

I loved this quote; “Because until you understand who you take yourself to be, true change is not possible.”….”The shape of your body obeys the shape of your beliefs about love, value, possibility.  To change your body, you must first understand that which is shaping it.  Not fight it, Not force it.  not deprive it.  Not same it.  Not do anything but accept–and, yes, Virginia–understand it.”

This is what I was saying earlier.  Until we understand who we are and what shapes our beliefs, our body will not change.  We need to understand what is making us run, hide, stuff and eat compulsively.  The same can be said for alcohol, drugs, smoking……..  “Truth, not force, does the word of ending compulsive eating.”  We can’t force it with a strict diet, by counting points, by eating premade frozen meals, by taking shots, or swallowing pills.  We must find the being curious, by inquiry.  Asking ourselves, why we feel like eating.  What is that food going to “fill”.  Where in our body are we feeling?  What does it feel like?  What color is it?  Once we can recognize this, give it a name and sit with it in truth instead of trying to run from it or stuff it, we will realize that it’s not going to kill us..and guess what..we don’t want to eat anymore!

Just when you think you don’t want to feel those things that hurt, comes this quote from Roth: “the medicine for the pain is the pain.”  Last weekend, when I did a Firewalk, I heard myself say, “you need to feel the pain.”  So I let myself feel the hot coals beneath my feet.  Walking fire can be “easy” and painless, or you can choose to make it  hard and or feel the pain.  I chose to make it easy AND feel the pain?  Why?  Because I need to feel the pain in my own life.  I need to recognize when I feel sad, lonely, hurt and FEEL it instead of stuffing or bolting from it.

One of the ideas in this book also blended well with The Fifth Agreement by Don Miguel Ruiz.  Ruiz says to listen and be skeptical.  He was talking about doing this with others, but you should also do it with yourself.  According to Ruiz, we have been “domesticated” from the time we were children.  It was important to be thus so that we could learn not to put our hand on a hot stove.  We were domesticated for our own safety.  But these teachings also went further than this.  These teachings also taught us who we think we are based on someone elses’ perceptions of who they think we are.  Roth suggests the same kind of thing with the practice of Inquiry.  Be still and curious..ask..but don’t believe everything you hear.  Remember that what your mind tells you is what you have learned from the past..from other people..  Inquiry is body based.  What is the Body feeling..not the mind.  Listen..and be skeptical.

Roth calls this banter inside our heads “The Voice” (what Ruiz calls domestication).  The Voice has been running our lives.  Telling us that we are fat, our thighs have too much cellulite, we are quitters, we are losers..yadda yadda yadda.  Those are lies!  We are so much more than that.  We are the very essence of GOD; we are LOVE and JOY.  When The Voice talks, tell it to shut the heck up!  And get back to feeling what you feel in your body.

Another practice Roth suggested in this book is to meditate…..ON YOUR BELLY.  Think about what you belly feels like.  Now I know that as women, we try very hard NOT to think about our bellies..  But if I told you NOT to think about your belly, what is the first thing you think about?  YOUR BELLY!  So instead of pretending not to think about it, embrace it.  Your belly is your place of personal power.  It is your 3rd Chankra..your solar plexus.  This is what balances you and gives you power to speak your truth.  You NEED to focus on it, and love it and listen to it.  It is where you intuition resides.  It is an amazing part of your body, and by ignoring it, you are mistreating  it and yourself.  You deserve better than that :).

There is so much more to this book than what I have typed, and I have typed ALOT!  She goes on to talk about whether you are a Restrictor or Permitter when it comes to food (or even life).  She goes on to talk about the Sufi’s 3 ways to God and how that pertains to our eating.  And she gives us her Guidelines for eating, remember that you can eat anything you want and still get to your NATURAL weight.  To learn more about these, you will want to read for yourself.  I just can’t do it justice.  But I will leave you with a couple of quotes…..

“Bliss occurs by arriving where you are.  When we are not reconstructing the past in every nanosecond, what is here is so satisfying, so loving, so unbelievably simple that once tasted, it changes everything.  because then you know what’s possible and you refuse to settle for anything less.”

“There is nothing like having chocolate cake three inches away to reveal your fear of chaos or your desire to melt into it.”

“Once ou realize that it’s possible to feel good by not eating certain things and including others instead, the compulsion begins to fall away because you’ve found something better:  getting your life back.”

So this morning I was watching the news and there was a clip about the 8% budget cuts for Idaho Schools.  Teacher’s pay will start at a little over $29K.  I was very upset about this.  Our kids are our future.  They deserve better than this, and the teachers who mold our children’s minds deserve better than this!  OUR FUTURE DESERVES BETTER THAN THIS!!!

Usually on my Facebook statuses I’m a very positive person, but today I posted my frustration.  Then later, as I was looking for an uplifting quote to post as my new status message, I saw a quote in The Laws of Spirit by Dan Millman that shifted my mood:

“I’m filled with faith.  Real problems exist.  But even as we address the issues that cry out for help, it seems wisest to focus on positive outcomes and on our human potential.  The Law of Expectation teaches that what we focus on expands; fighting problems only strengthens them by giving them energy.  So focus on the solutions, not the problems.”

As I was taking my shower, I couldn’t stop thinking about this quote.  And I couldn’t stop thinking about my “Fierce Dream” and my “Fierce Light” (see my blog about Fierce Light) and I remembered a quote from one of the other participants at the workshop I attended.  ‘Instead of thinking how hard something can be, why not think of how EASY it can be!”  Wow!  Okay….  So I started thinking about ways to fund our children’s education.  I started thinking about solutions to a teen center and what my focus should be on…creating PHYSICALLY HEALTHY CHILDREN!!!!  And I got excited….

So hear me out…

What if….

Funding Education:

What if private corporations funneled money into the schools?  Like a sponsorship.  It could be local corporations or even national ones.  So like here in Boise, we have Micron and HP.  What if they gave money to the public schools to help fund reading and writing?  I realize that sometimes they donate computers and stuff, but what if they gave MONEY to the schools to help the school buy books or whatever is needed in that way?  Or what if they started their own schools?  I don’t really know how this works was just ideas flowing through my head.  I don’t have all the answers, but what if?  What if they created Public a charter school…  What if ALL of the major corporations did this instead of spilling all of their money into costly marketing campaigns?  The community service/schools would be the marketing campaigns.  The success of the schools they created would be a HUGE marketing boost for them.  Make this accessible to every/any child..not just a private school with kids who have money.  The same can work for major corporations…MICROSOFT, APPLE, GOOGLE, or any other major corporation.  I was about to say CocaCola..but what if Coke want to put their bad for your drinks and foods in the schools..that wouldnt’ work would it?

What if the major/local sports franchises put money into the schools for Physical Education?  So PE wouldn’t be cut from the budgets…and our kids could stay healthy?  They would be giving back..not just “token” amounts of time or money..but serious money that really made a difference.

Would this cost something on their ends?  Would it create sacrifices on the companies ends?  Maybe…but in the long run, wouldn’t they create smarter more successful future employees?  It’s just a thought.  I don’t have all the answers, but what if this could be part of the solution.

Okay, so I am gonna say something that maybe some of you might not like.  I know people don’t like Big Government…or like alot of Government in your lives.  I can understand that.  And I don’t know if what I am about to say is going to sound Socialist..and actually, I just don’t care what it sounds like.  But here it is my thought…since that is what Blogging is about, right?  What if the government mandated that all major corporations (who made a certain amount of money) give back a certain percentage of their income to the public school system?  Same thing with sports franchises?  What if they were told they had to give back in order to support the full circle of order to have a great country of qualified, smart, valuable employees, they would have to invest their money into the future.   Sure some of those kids would not end up working for them, but some would..its an investment in our country’s future!  It would come back around.  The USA could catch back up in the technology race.  And the community at large would be supporting itself.  We would be back..careing for…  How amazing would that be?

Instead of looking out for number one..we look out for each other..for the country at large.  It’s possible.  Anything could happen.  What if it was that easy?????

My “Fierce Dream” of a youth center:

So for years I have had a dream about owning a roller rink or a laser tag center.  I have dreamed of a community center for youth.  I have dreamed about healthy children (both physically and emotionally).

What if…….

What if the community center I create doesn’t look like any other community center out there?  Ya know the typical rooms filled with computers, tv, video games, maybe a gym to play ball in,  maybe a dance studio.  What if, my community center is a facility with a roller rink AND a laser tag arena?  What if it also had a room to serve as a dance/aerobic dance studio.  What if, instead of serving sodas and cotton candy, it served smoothies and healthy snacks?  What if it also allowed for quiet spaces to do homework and open conversations with mentors.  It could have a couple of video games and computers, I suppose.  But the major focus would be on team building, healthy relationships, homework, mentoring, and physical activity!

Currently, there is one roller rink and one laser tag arena here in town, but they are both FOR PROFIT. What if my facility was a 501c3…NON PROFIT!!!!!  Created for kids and families to create a healthy lifestyle and a safe place for kids to hang after school and on the weekends and on holidays.  That would rock!!!!!

So, my very appreciated readers, what do you think about my what ifs?  I would love to hear it!