IF I am being honest – 7 Lessons

This is the 7th post in my series, “IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness.”
Seven months into converting to an intermittent fasting lifestyle, I have learned 7 important lessons in mind, body, and spirit.

Lesson #1: Addiction

Intermittent Fasting is what I can only imagine as similar as entering a rehabilitation treatment program for drug and alcohol addiction. At first, IF seemed easy in its’ adaptation to withdrawing from food and fasting for prolonged periods of time at least in my personal experience. I felt almost immediate freedom from joint inflammation, insomnia, and I saw positive body composition results. I began losing more weight than merely water weight than I had in over twenty years.

If I am being honest, the motivation went up after seeing immediate results after just a few short weeks with intermittent fasting. But just like drug and alcohol addiction, food addiction is a lifelong journey. Notice I didn’t use the term, battle. I am not at war with my mind, body, and spirit.

Battles are won or lost.

A journey is to a destination.

My journey to wellness is for peace in mind, body, and spirit.

IF What waters

Lesson #2: The Spirit

If I am being honest, my journey to wellness began almost ten years ago. Traumatic life events that capsize one’s life rarely appear out of nowhere. They too are rooted in a journey that began even longer ago. The reckoning begins when God intercedes in that sinking, and in my case, I grabbed a hold of His life raft.

In my opinion, the mind and body can never be at peace if the spirit is not.

The spirit always leads the way.

Once I grabbed onto that life raft and began feeding my spirit with God’s help, my mind began draining of all the lifelong junk much like the junk food I was feeding my body. It is my spiritual life that ultimately feeds my mind and body.  Together, it is what encourages me to stay focused on the right path.

IF Weight

Lesson #3: The Mind

When I began daily OMAD (one meal a day) during the Lenten Season, I was not only purifying my spirit but my mind too. I began to feel the euphoria of fasting for prolonged periods of time and my craving for junk food turned into a craving for all things pure – free from self-defeating thoughts on auto-wind and free from processed foods and sugar that comforted those thoughts.

IF 7 fuel

So why do “rehabilitated” addicts’ relapse?

If I am being honest, my journey to wellness was only beginning in mind, body, and spirit because the doors of my self-imposed rehab treatment opened to the outside world after merely a few months into this intermittent lifestyle.

Lesson 4: The Relapse

July was vacation month. It meant enjoying all those things associated with relaxing, enjoying the sun, sand, and water – barbecues, macaroni salad, potato salads, cookies and ice cream. No one says that intermittent fasting must be restricted; however, it takes willpower of a veteran faster to overcome the temptation. I have more empathy for the reformed alcoholic or the junky who finds difficulty in mingling with family and friends at the bar or party.

While I continued to fast alternating between varying fasting time frames, I was slipping back into old eating patterns. While bypassing winter comfort foods were difficult early in my intermittent fasting conversion, I was now finding summer fun foods were not a breeze either. I was deluded into thinking that with fresh vegetables, fruits, and berries, I would have no problem with sticking to my IF regime.

How can I redeem myself?

IF secret

Lesson 5: Redemption

Currently, I am in my eighth month of intermittent fasting. Although I am not completely back on track, I still have too many days where I eat 3 meals. I have occasionally backslid into eating fast food for convenience, and if I am honest, for the pleasure of it too.

So how I do recover from my food indiscretions?

IF post 7 - photo 1.png

I have been writing in journals almost all my life. I have another blog, The Prayer Journals, Facebook page and a Twitter account for The Prayer Journals. Above is what I posted on August 5, 2019 and the topic of my prayer journal for that day. My prayer journal is where I go to help me keep going on my wellness journey in mind, body, and spirit.

Lesson 6: My Tribe

We all need a tribe even if one is described as a loner. If I am being honest, I have become more of a loner over the years by burying myself in my writing and poetry. I was also never one for support groups, especially the ones my physicians would suggest when trying to advise me in a variety of weight loss programs. I am just not a “joiner,” I replied.

Who is my tribe?

An Intermittent Fasting Facebook group I found is one. These intermittent fasting members from around the world post everything from there before-after photos, their fears, their concerns, their encouragement to other members. I never thought I would find such motivation and encouragement from a support group, and perhaps; if I am being honest, I don’t have to drive anywhere or mingle. But to give you an idea of the motivation in this group, a member whose first name is, Jenny posted this recently.

“I met my goal weight this morning of 120lbs my SW was 438lbs 4 years ago.” I cannot think of anything more motivating for an obese person to read and see someone else’s persistence in their journey to wellness.

Secondly, they are my soul-sisters, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers who share my Christian faith and who lift me up in their presence and prayer in my journey for wellness in mind, body, and spirit.

And thirdly, and most importantly, is my husband and our two sons. I love and adore these three men who have put up with so much from me in so many ways. Yet, they still love and support me in all ways on this life journey. While my journey is mine alone, if I am being honest, I want to live long enough to share in their journeys as long as God sees fit.

Lesson 7: Perfection

Perfection is impractical. This is but one of the most difficult lessons for me to learn. A planner/perfectionist personality is always analyzing every move, every event, and every failure or misstep. If I am being honest, it is going back to all these lessons I have learned to this point in my journey to wellness and more lessons I am sure to learn that will help me to overcome any relapse or wrong turn.

Failure is not the opposite of success; it is part of success.

Peace is possible.

IF 7 truth

I have God. I have my tribe. I have you, my readers. I am grateful for all of you.

Until next time…

I will continue to post monthly in this series, IF I am being honest, my journey to wellness until January 2020. I will then post occasionally until I reach my weight goal.

Blogging my progress helps me to keep it real for me in mind, body and spirit. If you need me to be a part of your tribe for wellness in mind, body and spirit, I hope you will reach out to me. I would love to hear from you. I sincerely appreciate my readers following The Blogging Owl and my other blogs too. Please feel free to leave a comment or contact me by email at Hoot@TheBloggingOwl.com.

Peace,

Head shot 2019 - revised

The Blogging Owl

Any Book Recommendations?

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(c) 2017-2019 All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finding Joy – A Photograph

No doubt you awoke this morning to see friends and family post all their merry holiday photos on social media. For many, it is a time of joy in family and friend seasonal traditions. You cannot help but notice the smiles, wonder, and merriment on the faces of everyone big and small, old and young in these holiday photos.

Where most find joy others find sadness, loneliness and loss. Someone may be missing from the photo for any number of reasons – death, divorce, or a decision. There are empty chairs. Or chairs now occupied by someone else. Time passes. Things change. And so, do we.

Change is an opportunity to find Joy

Sometimes it is difficult to find joy when reviewing social media timelines from this past year. Others seemingly enjoying vacations, new additions to the family, and opportunities in various ways all the while we may be stuck in a rut in one way or another in mind, body and spirit.

While our individual pursuits may not be as happy, significant, or wanting such as a finding spouse, having a baby, deciding on a career, getting hired, obtaining a college degree, finding a literary agent, or still chasing elusive answers to health or whatever may be keeping each of us from finding purpose or pleasure in our lives, there is still JOY to be found even in this chaotic and corrupt world.

Finding Joy

Starting today and every day going forward, post a photo of where you found joy on your social media feeds. If you don’t use any type of social media, take a photo each day with your phone to remind you of where you found joy. If your phone doesn’t have photography capabilities, write down in a pocket-size Moleskin journal where you found joy. Carry joy with you every single day!

Joy is different for each person.

I find joy in the silliness of my dogs playing. I find joy in a hot cup of black coffee. I find joy in the breakfast my husband serves me even if the bacon is too well done for my taste. Who cannot find joy in someone making breakfast for you? I find joy in helping someone at work find an answer or solution to a problem. I find joy not only in the grand things of life when my oldest son receives a promotion, or my youngest son who is now getting healthier; but in the very simple things we take for granted, like the beauty of a red cardinal sitting on a bare tree limb in wintertime – a season I am not fond of to be honest with you.

prince of peace

Where I found joy today

I found joy today in writing this blog post and sharing my love of writing with you. Whatever your passion, whatever your gift, use it to find joy in your day.

I found joy in a pecan pie square that my husband made and a cup of hot black coffee in an owl mug that was a Christmas present from a co-worker.

Christmas mug

I found joy in the love of family and my four-legged ones too. Someone out there needs your love – volunteer, foster, adopt – young, old, two-legged or four-legged. You will find not only joy but love too. I know it. Don’t forget to post photos when you do!!

I found joy in your photos of people smiling and finding joy. You don’t need to know their personal names to find joy in photos.

I found joy today in many ways. I found joy in celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ. Though you may celebrate differently than I do, I pray you find joy today.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Sheri Head Shot

The Blogging Owl

 

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved – The Blogging Owl – SL Prielipp-Falzone

2019 – Three Words to Live By

A year ago, I posted my three words to live by for 2018.

Frugality (updated to minimalism). Grace. Truth.

I will continue to live by those three words in 2019 and I will be adding to those words three new words. I wrote this post three weeks ago on November 26th, but after reading what I had written I posted the following on The Blogging Owl Facebook page:

“Sometimes you just have to remove your hands from the keyboard and allow what has been written to marinate for as long as it takes be become tender.”  – The Blogging Owl

While my three words to live by in 2019 are the same, this post is much different than the one I wrote on November 26th.

Wisdom (seek)

The world demands our immediate response because of the fast pace of technology. My three words to live by in 2018 – minimalismgracetruth – have taught me to slow down in mind, body, and spirit.

How often have I given an opinion or posted a comment here, elsewhere or in person that didn’t legitimately seek to understand but resulted in derision and divisiveness?

While owls are supposedly known for their wisdom (I don’t include myself here), I have chosen my first word to be – Wisdom.

To seek knowledge of what is true or right, coupled with just judgment as to action, discernment, or insight. (Dictionary.com)

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.”  – e.e. cummings

In this owl’s opinion, if a person does not feed the brain, the person becomes greedy. If a person does not feed the heart, the person becomes needy. And in both cases, the person becomes self-serving in spirit.

Proverbs 2:6-11 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
6 The LORD gives wisdom.
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
7 He has reserved priceless wisdom for decent people.
He is a shield for those who walk in integrity
8 in order to guard those on the paths of justice
and to watch over the way of his godly ones.
9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—
every good course in life.
10 Wisdom will come into your heart.
Knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.
11 Foresight will protect you.
Understanding will guard you.

Honor (speak)

My second word to live by in 2019 is – Honor. Honor goes hand in hand with wisdom.

“To speak with honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions.” (Dictionary.com)

Bold convictions do not require me to be unkind, but rather with emotional intelligence to reach understanding. There is a difference between understanding and acceptance that must be said. We are all made by God and I accept that person. Period. My goal is to do my best to understand that person or circumstance.

The best place to be at in any given moment is when I am surrounded by people who support me and lift me higher in mind, body and spirit whether they are family, friends, church, community or where I am employed. Even so, in or out of that cocoon, they and the world will challenge my opinions and even my heart. I accept, and I understand that reality.

Proverbs 4:6-8 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
6 Do not abandon wisdom, and it will watch over you.
Love wisdom, and it will protect you.
7 The beginning of wisdom is to acquire wisdom.
Acquire understanding with all that you have.
8 Cherish wisdom.
It will raise you up.
It will bring you honor when you embrace it.

Joy (share)

For. The. Love. of. Scotch!

JOY! Is all around us if we just take the time to look for it, believe it, and feel it.

“To share happiness caused by living in the present, of finding delight in what is good.” (Dictionary.com)

“Self-confinement makes joy impossible. Feed my fears and my faith will starve. Feed my faith and my fear starves.” The Blogging Owl

Feeding my faith every day in mind, body and spirit helps me to find joy and share it even when it is purely the simple act of sharing a smile, opening a door for someone, or  just listening to someone who is struggling in mind, body and spirit.

The smallest act of kindness toward someone maybe the biggest part of that person’s day. Be the biggest part of someone’s day. – The Blogging Owl

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh

Looking forward to 2019

There was a reason for taking my hands away from the keyboard 3 weeks ago. God still had much to teach me with my words to live by in 2018 in minimalism, grace and truth. After attending two separate funeral visitations of people who left this earth too soon, I have been called to write something very special in 2019 and to share that joy will take those 3 words to live in 2018 and plenty of wisdom and honor.

Words to Live By 2019.jpg
“Your profession is not what brings home your weekly paycheck, your profession is what you’re put here on earth to do, with such passion and such intensity that it becomes spiritual in calling.”  Vincent van Gogh

Writing is my calling.

In the words of the poet, June Jordan,“As I am a poet, I express what I believe, and I fight against it whatever I oppose, in poetry.”

In minimalist fashion, may I write with grace, truth, wisdom and honor and with the understanding of sharing my joy with you.

Peace,

Sheri Head Shot
The Blogging Owl

Whether it is here at The Blogging Owl, on my poetry site TheOwlPoet.com, on my journal site, ThePrayerJournals.com and on a new blog, TheCorkedOwl.com, I hope you will follow, share, and comment on all of the Owl blogs.

 

(c) 2017-2018 All Rights Reserved – The Blogging Owl – SL Prielipp-Falzone