Day 6, Music and Entertainment

 
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you” (Luke 10:8).
 

Morning

 
Last night I ate supper, forgetting I had a social engagement with my neighbors across the hall.  She contacted and reminded me, having prepared a feast.  It was our first get-together with each other.  Quickly, I decided to eat it all, including the apple pie.  I do not know yet what effect it had on my weight.  However, I am determined to go on with my “100 days to 50 kg,” even though I may have to extend it.
 
Fortunately, I brought part of the food home to my husband.  He loved it and told me to tell my neighbor that she is a great cook.  He did not come to the dinner himself.  Do you refuse food?  I think my neighbor would have been very disappointed if her hard work had been for naught.  As it was, we talked about food, and I gave her a copy of my cookbook, which makes the ideal hostess gift.
 
Now is another day in which to carry on.
 

Food for Thought

 
Tony Robbins says in Awaken the Giant Within, “Without a doubt you will make wrong decisions in your life.  You’re going to screw up!   I know I certainly haven’t made all the right decisions along the way.  Far from it.  But I didn’t expect to.  Nor will I always make the right decisions in the future.  I have determined that no matter what decisions I make, I’ll be flexible, look at the consequences, learn from them, and use those lessons to make better decisions in the future.”
 
I may have made the wrong decision for my diet, but I think I made the right decision socially.  Later, my neighbor and I can talk about diet, which may affect what we eat together.  I have already shared my cookbook with her.
 

Fasting

 
I could fast to burn off the extra calories I ate last night.  I could fast until supper time this evening and eat a single meal for the day.  That 20-hour fast may be sufficient for me to recover from my social engagement. Let me commit to that.  I entered a fasting record in Cronometer.
 
Name
Duration
Start
Finish
Comments
Current Fast
           
Feeling Good Fast
20 hours
Sep 18, 2020 8:30 PM
Sep 19, 2020 4:30 PM
Recovering from a social engagement.
 
 
How do I structure my day when it does not revolve around food?  I can focus on spiritual things, read the Bible, pray, walk, and do service.  My husband will need some loving attention today.
 

Hot Towel Ritual

 
To start my day, I will perform a simple ritual I learned at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition:  the hot towel scrub.  A complete description of this is in my FREE ebook Joyful Vibrance:  Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood!
 
I will not burn a candle this morning.  I will do the washing part.  Let me do it, and I will return.  There.  That made me feel positively royal.  The sensation of hot water evaporating from my body was joy-producing.  Today, I did not play music.  However, I sang to myself.  After that experience, I feel like I would never want to abuse my body.  This ritual helps you love yourself.
 

Music

 
Speaking of music, let me play iTunes.  iTunes has some of my favorite music.  I am listening to Enya’s Shepherd Moons right now, which is very peaceful.  Now All Creatures Praise from Sharon K. Cooper’s Carry the Light album is playing.  The music will continue.
 
In Beyond Sugar Shock, Connie Bennett suggests that music can replace the sweetness you give up when you pass up sugar.
 
Now sounding is Amazing Grace from my Apollo 100 album.  I could dance to that.  What happened to the days I used to move to my music?   Now when I dance, I usually sing my original songs and perform for my husband.  However, that part of myself has not been expressed much in 2020.  I have had a lot of depression.  Now that I have broken out of that, this part of myself can come out again.
 
Now playing is Amen JJ from Jonathan David Clark’s The Second Collection.  When I was living in Utah, Jonathan himself knocked on my door and put earphones on my ears.  I liked what I heard so much that I bought a CD.
 
The music will go on for a while.
 

JV Life Tracker

 
I am ready to score JV Life Tracker, which I now call Vibrancy.   There.  I got a whopping 240 points for yesterday, even though I messed up on my diet.  Every day this week has been immense.  Here is a graph of how I have been doing.
 
 
I had a few days recently that I did not score at all.  I was so down.  However, my “110 Days to 50 kg” project has launched me into the stratosphere.  I have scored more than 200 points for each of the last four days.  
 
I need to get the new version of JV Life Tracker published on Google Play.  However, getting down on myself for not having it done already will not motivate me to complete it.  I need gentle encouragement.  I could set a date for getting it done.  November 30, 2020, might be a realistic date, which gives me almost two and a half months.
 
I have asked, “Do I want to be a writer or a programmer?”  Trying to be both is frustrating and succeeding at both is probably unrealistic.  I enjoy writing more.  However, there are things I cannot do without being a programmer–like writing apps.  The precision of thought required for programming can help me in my writing.  However, you, my reader, are not a computer.  You understand things a computer cannot.  We shall see what the future will hold.  I am glad I know how to program.
 

More Music

 
I am still listening to the music I started earlier.  Pachelbel’s Canon in D is playing.   Now it is Compassion by Jonathan David Clark.  I am looking at my music library in alphabetical order.  I tend to get very familiar with certain songs rather than listening to a wide range of music.
 
I had 1.3 grams of garcinia cambogia this morning.  Maybe that will facilitate my fast.  So far, I am not very hungry, and it is almost breakfast time.  I have already served my husband some food.
 

Feeling Good

 
How will I fill my day if not with food?  I am starting to feel hunger pangs.  Today is Day 6.  I hope you have the opportunity to read through Days 1-5, which you can do by clicking on the arrows to the left of the page.  I plan to reach Day 110 before I publish this.  Then you will know from the beginning whether this worked.  I want the confidence that it will.
 
However, I am weighing my values, which is what we all do.  Sometimes, we overeat because we simply want to feel better.  Eating to excess, however, can make us feel awful.  It can lead to self-loathing, which is the worst effect of all.  Fortunately, today, I have a great deal of love for myself.  That feeling goes up and down with my moods.  Now I am feeling good.
 

Persistence

 
What is the secret of staying up?  Perhaps it is persistence.  When depression sets in, I sometimes let go of meaningful activity and sink into despair.  It is almost as if the depression is telling me, “Give up.  Quit.  You can’t do it.”  Sometimes that voice is amplified by others who tell me I need a break.  So I give myself a break.  And then I may never get going again, or it may take months to do it.  I am not saying that holidays are not okay, but rest needs to restore our ability to go again.  Giving-up-breaks are entirely different.  They crash your mood.  From now on, I will
keep going.
 
But can I?  This urge is so strong.  “Give up.  Quit.  You can’t do it.”  Even writing those words is dangerous.  However, maybe I can inoculate myself against those words.
 

Even More Music

 
Today, I am taking a music break, but that is part of the program.  I am using music to uplift me rather than as an excuse to quit.
 
Fascination is playing.  I spent hours learning that on the piano and never perfected it.  But wow!  It is beautiful.  I have also struggled over whether to get a piano.  My friend and coach from Hawaii suggested I get one.  Days ago, I sold my ebony baby grand in Utah, where I lived before Colorado, to marry my husband.  It was heart-wrenching to have it go.
 
Will piano playing water down my efforts at writing and programming, or will it enhance them?  What can I do about my damaged ears?  Do we even have space in our condo for a piano?  Do I have room in my life to play it?  What does my husband think?  I have not answered all of these questions in favor of getting a new instrument.  However, I miss having a piano.  I am willing to revisit the possibility of buying one and squeezing it in somewhere.  Maybe I will not right now.  However, if the longing for it does not go away, I may act and get one.  For now, the answer is not yet.
 

Walk in the Park

 
More people than usual walked along my path to the park and within the public garden, play area, and library.  I checked out a DVD.  After trying four different applications, I got the DVD running on my desktop computer.  It is a story of a Hispanic family in New Mexico: Bless Me, Ultima.  
 

A Day of Media and Entertainment

 
Before watching the movie, I got my husband’s lunch, meditated, and listened to my self-hypnosis Weight Loss mp3.  Then I re-heated lunch for my husband’s snack and watched more of the DVD.  I have gradually become hungrier and hungrier.  Now, I have only 2:20 hours until supper time.
 
I resumed iTunes.  That is where I started this morning.  I hope that by filling my day with media, I will not get too hungry.  My mood sometimes goes down when I do not eat.  That is happening to an extent, but my desire to do this project propels me.  
 

Questions

 
Antonio, the young star of Bless Me, Ultima, asks a lot of good questions.  After reading The Four Tendencies by Gretchen Rubin, I decided that of the four tendencies, I am a Questioner.  My neighbor, whom I visit on Sundays and Thursdays, keeps telling me that I second guess myself.
 

Decisions

 
After making a decision, I often go through the process of deciding it all over again.  Sometimes, that is a waste of time.  Other times, it gives me some insight I did not have the first time.  Sometimes, I want to validate myself as having made the right decision by cataloging the reasons I decided in the first place.  However, this can lead to regret as I realize that another option could have possibly been better.  If I could be more careful only to spend time deciding things that need resolution now, that would save a lot of time.
 
Decisions are important and often demanding.  A real decision means to cut off alternatives and make a commitment.  I try to keep my options open.  However, that is not always possible or desirable.  What can I do going forward to mind my current decisions and let go of the past?  I could simply stop myself when mulling a past decision by telling myself I cannot do anything about it now.
 
I have sometimes found myself taking another option that I decided against in the past–exploring the other fork in the road.  However, that seldom works out.  I decided between computer science and chemistry when I was about to start college.   I chose computer science.  Decades later, I returned to college to study chemistry.  My allergies to chemicals in the lab cut my new endeavor short.  Did I have to do that to determine that I made the right decision the first time?  I learned a lot from the experience, but I did not get a chemistry degree.  Maybe I did not need one.
 

Current Decisions

 
What is in front of me right now?  Of course, as long as I do not buy a piano, I could still buy a piano.  Deciding over and over, though, is exhausting.  For me, it is not just second-guessing.  It is third, fourth, fifth, and sixth guessing, ad infinitum.
 
I have gone back and forth about losing down to 50 kg.  Since my daytime weight is about five pounds higher than it is in the morning, 50 kg is not dangerously thin.  Besides, I have been there and liked it.  I have let people talk me out of this goal and have even given up some of my good habits leading to it.  Why did I not stick with my original decision?  I had not committed enough.   Now I am cultivating a greater sense of commitment.  Of course, I decided to eat last night, even after having supper.  Does that mean I have not committed after all?  Instead of re-examining that decision, which was a weighing of values, let me carefully consider the decisions I have going forward.
 
As Tony Robbins says, it is not a matter of what we want to have and become.  It is a question of what are we are committed to having and becoming.   I can make a decision, sure, but what I have lacked sometimes is the commitment to stick to it.  I am still exploring the same options years later.
 

Values

 
We all need to determine the values by which we live.  A slender body is one of my values, but it is not the only one.  What do we do when decisions require us to put one of our values above others?  We can even sacrifice our lives in pursuit of quality of life.  Freedom is a value most Americans say they have.  But what is the price of their liberty?  Is it worth sacrificing a relationship?  For some people, it is.  Other people put relationships at the forefront of their value system, even jeopardizing their happiness for them.  Is happiness greater than survival?  Is survival greater than happiness?  Is it worth it to survive if it means we can never be happy again?  Is there a way to maximize all our values?  Sometimes one gives us a greater chance for the others.
 
I do not have the answers to all of these questions.  I am only a Questioner.  Many people rarely have their survival threatened, so they do not think of what they would put on the line for it.  My medications have possible fatal side effects.  Is that the price I pay for my mental health?  It may have to be.  I can learn how to minimize the potential danger but prevent it entirely?  I cannot.
 
On the other hand, bipolar disorder can be deadly.  I can weigh the danger of the disease against that of the treatment.  For now, I have decided to take my medicine.  I would rather be stable and not in the hospital all the time.
 

Self-Control

 
My music continues to play.  I now have 1:17 hours before dinner time.  Is my value to lose weight, or is it self-control?  Hopefully, I can achieve both.  Even if the scale is not lower tomorrow, I have at least gained some self-mastery.  A day’s worth of weight loss is probably not worth fasting.  However, self-mastery is priceless.  Jesus fasted 40 days and nights in the wilderness and then turned down the devil when he suggested making stones bread.  I would like to have Jesus’ self-control.  Whether He was slender or not, who knows, but he probably was.  I picture him that way.
 
Even though my medications make me gain weight, even though 49% of people with bipolar disorder are obese, not just overweight but obese, I intend to continue my program.  I will for another 104 days–longer if need be, though I want to commit to a timeline.  Today, I will deepen my commitment further.  Is it worth it?  It has not made me happy not to do.  Now that I am doing it, I am happy.
 

Happiness

 
Happiness is one of my top values.  Paul Dolan, Ph.D. in Happiness by Design, defines happiness as pursuing purpose and pleasure over time.  Pursuing pleasure often leads to unhappiness later on, so ‘over time’ is an integral part of the definition.   Weight loss has some less pleasurable aspects to it.  Dieting may seem purely a pursuit of purpose that often does not bear lasting fruit.  However, there are some joyful rewards:
 
 
JOYFUL REWARDS
 
 
  1. fitting into a new outfit that you could not wear before, especially one you really like
  2. feeling more comfortable in your clothes
  3. receiving compliments from family, friends, and social media “friends”
  4. feeling your flesh where some of that flab has disappeared
  5. not having indigestion as much
  6. decreasing joint pain
  7. getting photographs taken of you that look fabulous
  8. gaining self-control
  9. developing a taste for healthy foods
  10. increasing your sensitivity to sweetness
  11. not getting heavier and heavier
  12. avoiding prejudice, overweight people often experience
 
     
 
 
There.  I am revisiting my old decisions.  This time, though, I am working on my commitment.  Now it is only 47 minutes until dinnertime.  I could put a frozen dinner into the oven.
 
I took care of my husband, put dinner in the oven, and swallowed some garcinia cambogia powder that I bought from nuts.com.  That is getting easier to do; the powder is almost tasteless and not bitter.  I can take it with water.  I measure it with my tiny scale that measures to the nearest tenth of a gram.
 
The music plays on, this time Creation from Jonathan David Clark.  The music is soothing.  Dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes.
 

Food Diary

 
My food diary does not have much to brag about except a sizeable calorie deficit, which I am committed to keeping until tomorrow.
 
 

Intermittent Fasting

 
I named my fast until tomorrow, “Commitment Fast.”
 
Name
Duration
Start
Finish
Comments
Current Fast
Commitment Fast
15 hours
Sep 19, 2020 5:22 PM
Sep 20, 2020 8:22 AM
No comments.
 
 

Recapping My Day

 
Today was not all music and entertainment.  I wrote a lot and thought about commitment, which is a concept I need to ponder on.  I fasted for 20 hours, committing to it and sticking with it, even though it got uncomfortable.  Now that it is over, I am glad I did it.  If I lose weight, that will be even better.  However, I designed this fast to deter weight gain from the feast last night.  You might ask, “Are you aiming to lose weight or to prevent gaining?”  Both.  Sometimes it seems like I make no progress in dieting, but if I can stop gaining, that is a splendid achievement.  Since college, I have netted a loss of about seven pounds.  However, who at 58 can say they weigh less than when they started college?
 

Prayer

 
 
EVENING PRAYER
 
Dear Lord,
 
What I have been missing are persistence and commitment.  Whether a more profound commitment would have changed my decision last night is doubtful.  I am also weighing competing values.  Fasting today to compensate was a sign of my commitment.  Though it was difficult, I am glad I did it.
 
Lord, on the mount of temptation, you demonstrated supreme self-control.  After 40 days of fasting, you did not change stones to bread, and you were hungry.
 
What can I do to build my commitment?  Some of my projects need a little more work, and past ups and downs have discouraged me from finishing them.  If I can bind commitment, I can complete my projects.
 
Lord, what can I do for my readers?  Complete this project?  Yes, I plan to do so.  I am committing myself to it.  One reason it is a secret, for now, is to prevent well-meaning people from talking me out of it.
 
Amen.
 
 
If you would like to join me on this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.  If you wish to download a FREE copy of my ebook (with no need to enter your name or email), click on the book below.  Please continue this journey with me by clicking on the arrows at the right of the page.
 
 
This information, with its diet diary, shows what worked for me.  I do not claim that it will work for you.  Consult a licensed medical provider to determine your diet and medical care.  These blog entries do not diagnose or treat any disease.  If I provide any clues for you or your provider, I will be happy.
 
 
 
 

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