Thursday, February 7th, Day 156, Winning
If you would like to join me in this journey from the beginning, please start with Day One.
It is 3:01 AM. It is bitterly cold outside. My husband and I let the water taps drip last night. My phone says it is 3 degrees Fahrenheit.
Though the day is cold, I am thinking about winning.
I was thinking just now about my father’s last days. I wonder how the Success Mechanism Maxwell Maltz described in Psycho-Cybernetics worked for him, if at all.
Fortunately, there was a woman who worked at his care center who really cared about him. Her name was Kara. As the activities coordinator, she worked diligently at getting games, activities, and toys to occupy my father. She renovated the outside patio areas and gardens with plants like strawberries and petunias to delight his senses. I saw her at my father’s funeral, crying–so emotional she could barely talk to me. Kara took a special interest in my father, whom she called her favorite, and it evidently pained her to see him go.
I have not cried much since my father’s passing. My aunts, uncles, and cousins gave our family a giant poinsettia, and Mom said my brother could drive it back to Colorado for me, so he did. My husband looks at the poinsettia often and says it reminds him of my father.
My father had a pleasing personality. He was always gentle and encouraging. He would often think of ways to make our work fun. One game he played with us was “pick-me”. He would say “pick-me,” and we would rush around and pick up stray items around the house. After repeated ‘pick-me’s, in almost no time, the house was straightened up again. After the game, Dad would put together miscellaneous items like chocolate chips into a treat for us to enjoy together.
Sometimes I would complain about doing my chores. Dad would sometimes ask me if I wanted him to do them for me. I would usually refuse his offer.
It is bitterly cold outside, so I will not be leaving the condo today. However, I am enjoying this time to write. My husband is up now watching TV. I just turned up the heat pump a couple of degrees Fahrenheit. We are very fortunate to have heat from the neighbors and from the heated basement garage. I may want to put on my sweat pants though because my legs are cold.
I did that. My husband went back to bed to get warm. He has on a hoodie, which helps. I think the heat pump uses an axillary heater when it is cold enough. Whether we are that cold yet, I do not know. The wind chills are below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. At least this is not Minnesota!
Cold From the Past
While I was growing up, my family lived in Ontario, Canada and later South Dakota in the United States. South Dakota was actually further north than where we lived in Canada. Both places could get pretty cold, but that was still nothing compared to Minnesota. My parents are from the Uintah Basin in Utah, which gets colder than the Salt Lake area, presumably because it does not have the effect of the Great Salt Lake, modifying its temperatures.
The Great Salt Lake area hardly ever gets below 0 degrees Fahrenheit. It can get very hot in the summer time though, quite often with temperatures above 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I think temperatures above 100 are almost unheard here. I do not remember any from last summer.
Grateful to Be In Colorado
Despite the cold today, I am very grateful to be here in Colorado. This community is upscale and nice. There are many parks and trails. When the weather gets warmer, I can do some things outside. I will need to get some sunscreen though. Colorado sunshine is wicked. Risperdal, a drug I take for bipolar disorder, which makes me sensitive to heat and cold also makes me more sensitive to sunlight. Last year my skin got quite red, and I was not even out that much. Kings Soopers has some Coppertone. I will order some with our next batch of groceries.
Getting Warmed Up
I think my husband decided to stay in bed. My hands are feeling a bit chilled.
I went back to bed, warmed up, and slept for a time.
Crisis Point — Turning Point
It is now 9:47 AM. This morning, I have been reading more from Maxwell Maltz’ Psycho-Cybernetics, this time about nerves or rather excitement during a crisis and the ‘winning feeling.’ What I did not know is that ‘crisis’ means a point of decision.
I was at a very important point of decision when I changed my mind and decided to return to my husband rather than return to Utah. It was appropriate to call the crisis line as I did. However, the crisis worker assumed that I had already decided to return to Utah and encouraged me to do that. She did not visit with me at length about the possibility of returning to my husband. She may have assumed that possibility was past hope.
Grateful I Returned to Colorado
I am very grateful now that I returned to my Colorado home. My relationship with my husband is becoming more loving. I am finding my true self in this blog. My relationship with God is growing stronger. I am savoring life’s joys. I am moving forward in life.
If I would have returned to Utah, it would have been a giant step backwards. My blog probably would not have become the award-winning blog I envision for it now. I probably would have become lonely and depressed. That is the path I did not take. I do not have to face that direction.
So what is ahead now? I am thinking of doing some driving and exercising. Let me look at the Web site for the rec center to visualize my success there.
There is a big walking path and a huge pool with many swim lanes. I heard someone say that by owning this condo, I am automatically a member. I will have to check and see if that is true. Based on what I see online, it is likely. I will have to verify that however.
I looked around some more online. I can identify myself as a homeowner here, pay $8, and get a membership card. That may involve some work to get the documentation together, but it is doable. Wow! My membership is already paid for.
I had quite a lot to eat this morning. I was thinking of blowing off my Cronometer log today, then thought better of it and logged everything to the best of my ability. I did not get a weight reading again this morning, after everything I ate last night. That is not my usual way, but most experts say that is okay.
I could go for a walk in the hall. I would rather type, but I need to get myself moving again. I still need to post Tuesday and Wednesday’s blog entries. I think I have them ready to post. So should I post first or walk first?
I went on a walk, took my km Mineral Supplement, then checked my blood pressure (which fortunately was 129/79), made lunch for my husband and me, filled my pill containers (partially), and took my energy cocktail.
I have been feeling pretty good, and my husband says he is content. He is still drinking water instead of wine, so I am content.
Now I could post or do some more reading. I am fascinated with Maxwell Maltz’ book, and I believe it is already helping me relax.
I feel like lying down and doing some reading. It would be good to get those entries posted, but the sky will not fall down if they are not done now. I generally like to post first thing in the morning when my energy level is high, so I may wait until tomorrow.
I spent some more time reading about the “winning feeling”. Much of what I am reading can be found in books about the Law of Attraction, playing the matrix, the psychology of winning, etc. Maxwell Maltz never uses the term ‘Law of Attraction.’ Perhaps it was not in vogue back in the 1950’s. However, the basic principles of the Law of Attraction were known.
Let me think of how I can get the “winning feeling” in my life. First, I have been winning at many things. I can downplay my failures in my mind or at least change the way I look at them. Maxwell mentioned that boxers are trained by pitting them against opponents they can beat. They get in the habit of winning and that carries them forward to more and more winning. Success breeds success. I do not think I ever failed a test from grade school thru college, so I got in the habit of winning from childhood. I won speech contests. I got JV Life Tracker working, which was my first attempt to program for the Android. I won my Competent Communicator and Competent Leader awards in Toastmasters.
How I Have Been Winning Recently
What do I want to succeed at now? Recently, I succeeded in persuading my husband to buy this condo. I succeeded in getting good movers to get us here and in getting my Cadillac sold at a good price. (Mom sold it, but I started the ball rolling.) I have succeeded in posting to this blog regularly and have successfully established the habit of writing.
I successfully flew home to Utah for my father’s funeral and visited with dozens of friends and family members. After the funeral, I arranged for the successful arrival of our poinsettia in Colorado, thanks also to my generous brother. Since my marriage, I have kept my mood stable enough that I have not required hospitalization or emergency room treatment for it. That may not seem like a big deal, but it is huge! I succeeded in getting married when I thought I never would again.
Today, despite the bitter cold, I succeeded in getting out of the condo into the hallway for an extended walk. I also succeeded again at making an omelette for my husband the way he wanted it. Today, I succeeded in learning how to get a membership card for a local rec center that is already paid for by our Home Owners Association. I also continued my consistency streak since January 14, 2019 in keeping my JV Life Tracker activity checklist.
I Am Winning
The list could go on. The key is that I am winning. I can continue winning. To begin, I just need to get my desired end result firmly in mind. So what do I want? I am still working on winning at losing to 110 pounds. I have been there before for an extended period of time, so that tells me I can do it. I need a firm desire for it. One concern is that my husband may not want it. I have not mastered the art of getting things my husband is opposed to. I would like to win at that too. I believe I can win at that. I have won at all of these other things. Why not that? I know I can win at losing quite a bit before he even notices, so I may as well continue winning.
Rethinking My “Failures”
Though I got job after job before, I so far have not succeeded at getting a full-time job since I have been on disability. I could consider that a massive failure. However, the reason I did not do it is that I did not have the intent. I saw the danger of losing my benefits and possibly losing my job afterwards, and that scared me. However, I have had plenty of money and have done many worthwhile things instead, and if I want to call myself a winner, I can. In fact, I declare that I am winning.
I took down my first blog. I felt a bit like a failure over that. Then I put up a better one. I plan to continue this blog and make it award-winning or at least deserving of being so.
Last Saturday, I looked at my old vision boards. An update to my boards would be a good idea. My husband does not like the idea of putting things on walls, but I can look at them on the computer. That may not be as effective as a wall board, but I can put “Vision Boards” in my JV Life Tracker app to remind me to do it. I want to give my vision board some thought and make it part of my “winning feeling.”
Goals With My Husband?
It would be advantageous to have some goals with my husband. However, he is not that goal-oriented. He does have goals though, even though he does not talk about them much. I will have to think about what they are.
One of my goals is to encourage others to use a diet diary. Diet diaries have been very helpful to me. I believe they are essential for winning the weight loss game. Before I used diet diaries, my weight was in the 140’s and 150’s. Since I got serious about using a diet diary, my weight has never been more than 135 pounds. I got down to as low as 105 pounds and am about 125 pounds now. It is not just weight though that matters. I have been able to preserve my youthful look into my late 50’s, and I expect I will even beyond. Even though I was told in my early 40’s that I was at risk for developing diabetes, I never have.
I coached someone who had diabetes and wanted to lose weight and encouraged her to use a diet diary. She said, “I refuse.” I believe that was the one thing that could have turned her situation around, permanently. I did not press the issue with her. I had not found my real uninhibited personality yet. Now, I want to be more adamant about it. If you have followed my blog, you have noticed that I use Cronometer. I have used Cronometer to win at losing weight, but I think it offers a great deal more than just weight loss. Among many other things, it helps with your mood and energy.
So, in this blog you will see many references to Cronometer. There are other diet diaries out there, but I believe none are as comprehensive, nor are their data bases as complete and accurate as Cronometer’s. Cronometer is not perfect. I keep dreaming of tools that would be even better. I even intended to program an app myself at one time and actually started doing it. Doing that turned out to be a massive undertaking for which, as one person, I could only scratch the surface. Cronometer offers a lot of what my dream app would have done.
Cronometer’s essential functions are available for free. However, the paid version is so inexpensive, I definitely recommend it. The main cost, of course, is the time required to use it. However, that is an investment in your longevity and youthfulness. So, if you have not looked at Cronometer yet, I urge you to do so. Even if you cannot use it all the time, it still has a lot to offer. I introduce Cronometer in my free but valuable ebook, Joyful Vibrance: Transform Your Body Image, Energy, and Mood! I discovered Cronometer while I was writing the book and re-wrote part of it.
I am baking our dinner in the oven. Right now, I am at peace. I am gradually finding my voice in this blog. I envision many people benefiting from what I have written, not just my readers but also those they influence. That would be winning for me. Though I have written 220,276 words already since Day One, there are many more in the future.
Winning by Singing
I love the poetry of American Walt Whitman. Notice the images in this passage:
I Hear America Singing
I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,
The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand
singing on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as
The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning,
or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work,
or of the girl sewing or washing,
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day–at night the party of young
fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.
I like to embellish my own life with song, making tunes up as I go along, sometimes to entertain my husband, sometimes just to express myself or my joy, sometimes while dancing, sometimes while working.
Today, I have been quiet, feeling a little more sober, but tomorrow I may sing a new melody. It may be a victory song when I realize I am winning. Maybe I will even sing tonight. I never know where the songs come from. They are part of the fabric of my life.
We finished our dinner and watched some old-fashioned TV. I actually left some food on my plate! I have not noticed myself doing that. Since a couple of days ago, I have been more relaxed. Maybe that is what allowed me to leave some food on my plate. Perhaps I was just full. I do not notice myself getting full too often either.
It is 7:57 PM. I could clean the kitchen or wait until morning. For now I will write.
The Psychology of Winning
I read a short book once titled, The Psychology of Winning by Denis Waitley. I told my sister, a psychology major, about it, and she bought a copy for herself and read it. My copy is in Utah right now, but I remember that it talks about the inner game with the self.
Training to Increase Winning
Maxwell Maltz mentioned the importance of training in relaxed circumstances instead of the heat of competition. Training in stress restricts learning. It tends to enable only a single or a few neural pathways to the solution rather than many possibilities. I did not remember that advice from my prior readings of Psycho-Cybernetics. Perhaps I can apply that idea to writing my blog. Practicing my writing now, before I have a large number of readers, may be advantageous in the long run, as long as I keep writing regularly.
My husband has gone to bed. Again, he asked me for water rather than wine. I think he has gotten it that wine was the cause of his vomiting the other day. He realizes he needs to at least cut back or he will experience more vomiting. My prayers are at least partially answered. I want to get the “winning feeling” about that as well.
With a burst of energy, I went in the kitchen and did up the dishes. The day is winding down. It has been a winning day. The keyword for today is obviously ‘winning’. I want every day to be a winning day. However, I must admit that most days I will just practice, preparing for a win. I can do that in relaxed circumstances.
Before I go to bed, I want to record a prayer:
Thank You for my life, my winning life. Thank You for my husband. He thanks You for me. I am blessed to have him as well. Bless him with vigor and strength.
Help me to live one day at a time. I get excited about the future and sometimes start living in it. Help me to enjoy and savor this very moment.
Lord, I am so grateful Maxwell Maltz wrote his 1960 classic, Psycho-Cybernetics. It is probably the only book besides the Bible that I have read three times. I must have missed so much of its content the first two times I read it. I had a professor in college who used to say, “Anything worth reading is worth reading a second time.” I might add, “Some things are worth reading three times or more.”
Maxwell was successful as a plastic surgeon, but he saw that inner scars were also in need of healing and did not necessarily heal automatically once he removed outer scars. He wrote the book to teach people how to give themselves emotional face lifts. He did a lot more than that.
People formed study groups to apply Psycho-Cybernetics. I do not know if any of those study groups remain. 1960 was a long time ago, even before I was born. Successful people have taken these principles, applied them, called them something else, and made money off of them.
Lord, will You help me win at the things that are important to me? Can You help me teach and encourage others to win also? You are one of the main reasons I was successful at losing weight. I asked for Your help, and You gave it. Now I have more at stake than just winning at losing weight. I have my marriage. I have my vibrant energy and joyful mood. The big picture is that I want to help others obtain vibrant joy.
Today, I have experienced joy, especially when my husband asked for water.
Though I thought I needed a step-by-step recipe with instructions on how to obtain these goals, now I know I do not need that, nor will one work. I simply need my built-in Success Mechanism described by Maxwell Maltz. It requires that I form a picture of what I want; build a desire for it; act; make mistakes; visualize a corrective, successful try; act again; remember my successes; forget my failures; and keep learning and progressing, trusting the Success Mechanism to work without forcing it. I do not have to know how to accomplish my goals before getting started.