About six months ago, we welcomed a new addition to our family. An eight week old Entlebucher Mountain Dog named Dulcinea Berlin de Tierra Alta. We just call her Nea (Nay-a) or as she seems to come to best Nene. Leave it to this family to have a dog that comes to the name of trashy reality TV star.
She is full of beans and very drivey. That means that her herding instinct is very strong. She is super bossy, especially with EB who she sees as that naughty small cow. That naughty cow really needs a lot of management.
So, very sadly, my father died about five months ago when Nea was around 3 months old. So, while she needed us to be strong and stable leaders for her, we were a total mess. This was a very bad combination of events and we ended up in a big mess with Miss Nea. She was out of hand.
My father dying has been a strange and unsettling experience for me. Please don’t think me callous or unfeeling, it was very traumatic and sad and heart breaking. But, my father and I had just reunited only a year prior after being estranged for over 20 years. He left me when I was 13 years old and was not a father to me after that. I have very happy memories of my childhood with my Daddy, but that was a long time ago and that man was no more. I had spent years in therapy getting over the anger I had towards him. I had let that anger create havoc in my life for many years. After settling these things with myself, I felt it was time to settle things with him as well.
When I saw him, I was so surprised that he wanted anything to do with me. He had never reached out to me before that, yet according to him he had tried to be there, but my Mom wouldn’t let him. As we compared stories, it was extremely upsetting for me. I didn’t know whose version of my childhood was true as we had three distinctly different versions. I was really angry with him and my mom because it was really apparent that neither one of them could put their own stuff aside long enough to see what would have been the right thing for me. What happened to going to court and getting shared custody like normal people? I know that they were doing what they thought was best at the time, but as a parent I simply don’t understand what circumstances could have led to such a debacle and I don’t understand how you can know your child is in so much pain and not do anything to help them.
But, I also know that I will never know the real truth as we all have been steeping in our perceptions for 25 years. My only choice is to forgive and move on and that is what I am doing.
When he died, I learned what grieving was all about. For many years I was so full of anger that I didn’t even know what it felt like to be sad. I lost all touch with my emotions. It was just all anger all the time. My therapist has been helping me a lot with sad, that seems to be the hardest for me. I still don’t feel like I have had the chance just to miss my dad and be sad. I hope that comes with the settlement of his legal affairs and the final and official removal of his crazy life from mine.
Unfortunately I have had to deal with this crazy woman who fancied herself his wife, although that was not the case and the way my father spoke about her as well as her behavior since his death has proven to me that she is in fact a little crazy, just like he said she was. It is so sad. I tried so hard to do the right thing and be respectful of her and their relationship, even though my dad told me time and again that she would pull all the things that she has and that I shouldn’t trust her and should prepare myself for what would happen when he died. I so did not prepare myself and he did not finish what he needed to finish to make sure I wouldn’t have to deal with all this.
Death does funny things to people and I have learned more than I ever cared to know about it all. Finally, I just hired a lawyer because it was all just too much. Losing a parent it hard enough without having to deal with someone else’s crazy bullshit. It brought up all that anger all over again. It has been really hard. I am looking forward to being able to spend some quite time with my dad and my thoughts and my memories. I am looking forward to letting go of the anger and being able to just remember the short time we got to spend together.
Life has just been crazy. I am working through my grief as the lawyer works through the estate. We are working very hard to help Nea recover from her complete lack of leadership and to become the strong, loving and stable pack leaders that she needs so badly. She has come so far.
On the exciting front, The Fellows is coming to the end of her first competitive gymnastics season. It has been a long and bumpy road, but we are so proud of her and all her work and look forward to years of gymnastics to come. She is our super star.
EB is crazy as ever. He is enjoying soccer and very excited to start Kindergarten in the fall. I can not wait to see who he becomes over the next couple of years.
Welcome to the new and improved Redesigned Mom. This will now serve to chronical our family journey. Take a look at The Redesigned Group to see what else I’m up to.
Take care and talk soon.
This is something I have really struggled with. In The Gabriel Method Jon talks a lot about envisioning yourself as a thin happy person. I have had such a hard time with this. Not only could I not see myself thin, but I didn’t believe I could ever be thin again or even that I deserved to be. This is the exact reason I took a break from actively trying to lose weight and concentrated on getting my head straight while continuing to improve my eating habits (nutrition and portion control) as well as learning to like exercising because it makes me feel good and not to punish myself for being overweight.
Isabel gets this too and the first chapter of The Diet Solution is dedicated to this. Today she sent an email that talked directly to this part of the weight loss journey with some really good ideas for changing these patterns.
The strategy that touched me the most was that we should be talking to ourselves like we talk to our children. Isn’t that so powerful?
We fill our children with love and support, we tell them they can do anything they put their minds to, that if they work hard and show passion they can achieve anything. And when they are scared or nervous or feel insecure, we give them the best, most heartfelt pep talks. We hold them close and tell them how proud we are of them and how we know that they are capable and brave.
But when we feel those same things, we turn on ourselves. I would fill my head with doubt and fear, blame and anger. I would tell myself how lazy and stupid I was for not being able to do it. I would get angry at anyone who tried to encourage me or support me, because I didn’t really deserve it anyway. Sound familiar?
Well, I’m done with that. I deserve to accomplish anything in my life that I set my mind to. I deserve to be happy and healthy and loved and supported. I deserve these things just as much as my children do and I can see that thin, healthy, happy, fulfilled person now and I’m going after it. And you can too.
Every day I am more and more impressed with Isabel. I really encourage you to check out The Diet Solution.
This is the email she sent today in it’s entirety. I hope it is ok that I shared it this way, I just felt it would be important for you to read.
I was remembering back several years ago when I used to do one on one client coaching, I had a great call with a client. It was actually her last coaching call with me and I wanted to be sure that I left her with all the “tools” she needed to maintain and continue her incredible weight loss success.
Me: “What do you think will be the most difficult challenge for you moving forward?”
I was expecting an answer like traveling, going out to dinner, maybe even cravings, but that was not the case.
Client: “Isabel, the absolute hardest thing for me is the mental part of losing weight. I see how successful I’ve been and I clearly see the results in the mirror, but I still find myself doing a lot of negative self talk. It’s almost like I know I’m going to blow it, just like I have so many other times.”
WOW! Talk about honesty. And I know she is not the only person who is going through the same thing. I can remember years ago when I first lost all of my weight, I would get compliments from people and I would always thing to myself, “Yeah, whatever, let’s see how long this really lasts.”
But there is a reason why the FIRST chapter in the Diet Solution Program Manual is about MENTAL PREPARATION because this is an ESSENTIAL first step. It doesn’t matter how good the information is, how easy I have made it for you, or how delicious the food is. If you’re going to talk yourself out of your own success all day, then you might as well just throw in the towel now (in this case, walk away from the computer and stop reading).
So how exactly did I overcome this common hurdle? Here are some strategies I use even today in my life that keep me focused, motivated and always working towards my goal.
1. I start each and every morning with a gratitude list. This is non-negotiable! It takes me no more than 3 minutes and it changes my spirits for the entire day. How’s setting aside 3-5 minutes for a joyous rest of the day? Worth it, right? I write “I am so grateful for…” and then just write, write and write. For me that list always includes my family, my health and my work. I wouldn’t start any day without this!
2. I go to sleep each night playing my personal mind movie in my head as I go to sleep. What is a personal mind movie? Basically, it’s you imagining yourself looking, feeling and doing whatever it is you would do if you achieved your health and weight loss goals. Imagine yourself in a particular outfit, at a party getting compliments, participating in some awesome athletic event. Athletes have actually used this strategy for decades with much success. This approach helps me to fall asleep happy and is much better than lying there thinking about all the things I have to do the next day or harping on stressful events. I sleep so much better at night like this!
3. Only talk to yourself as you would a small child (This one is my favorite and given to me by my best friend Jackie). Would you tell your children all day long that they were never going to achieve their goals, that they should stop trying or that they shouldn’t even try in the first place? No, I sure hope you wouldn’t. You would encourage them, give them hope, and tell them that anything is possible with hard work. Treat yourself, in your own mind, the way you would want to speak to your children or better yet, the way you would want others to speak to your children or speak to you.
Karin, keep your eye on the prize because the prize of the body you are dreaming about is within your reach! If I can do it, so can YOU! Tell yourself how awesome you are and how this time you are changing your life and there is no looking back.
Speaking of keeping your eye on the prize, I just got the most wonderful celebration email from my friend Joel Marion. He had set his goal to help as many people around the world achieve their own weight loss goals and getting his information out to every person that was ready to take his Xtreme weight loss challenge.
He has accomplished just that and is celebrating the Xtreme Fat Loss Diet system officially becoming the #1 Bestselling e-book on the internet right now!
To celebrate this monumental event in Joel’s life, he’s decided to keep the $30 OFF offer open for a couple more days.
If you haven’t secured your discounted copy, THIS IS THE TIME TO DO IT! (before Saturday).
I couldn’t be happier or more proud of him, and if you are one of the 20,000 people that has decided to take him up on his offer, I am proud of you too!
Take a look at Joel’s celebration page here:
The Xtreme Fat Loss Diet
And join me as we give Joel a big round of applause. Bravo…(clap, clap, clap).
Keep your eye on your own prize…and you will get there!
In health and happiness,
Isabel De Los Rios
Certified Exercise Specialist
Author of www.TheDietSolutionProgram.com
PS – If you enjoyed today’s newsletter, feel free to forward this email on to any of your friends, family, or co-workers that would also enjoy the information.
Have a really great day and remember to care for yourself, you deserve it.
Funny, that word changes. In the forum they teach us to differentiate between changes and transformations. Change is something gradual that you must apply will power and constant attention to to make it happen. Transformation is instant, more like an immediate shift that sends you in a new direction. These are the more powerful mechanisms for making significant differences in our lives and I have seen this in several areas of my life and now finally with my health.
I first saw this in action when I quit smoking. We had heard of this book (The Easy Way to Stop Smoking) that supposedly could help you quit smoking with little effort or withdrawals. Now, I had been a smoker for over 15 years and had quit and started countless times. My problem was that I liked smoking, no I loved smoking. But, I hated being a smoker. There is a very distinct difference there that I think most smokers can relate to.
So, we had heard stories of several people who had read this book and then simply stopped smoking forever. At this point what did I have to lose, so I gave it a try. Basically the book tells it like it is, separating you from your addiction and helping you to see how it is standing in the way and certainly not serving in any way at all. But the funny thing is that it is really more about the act of reading the book than even what the book says. At the end they have this list of questions and if you can answer yes to any of them you need to start the book over. It took reading the book twice to get through the list, but then I put down the cigarettes and haven’t had another since and it wasn’t even hard, like at all. My best friend even looked at me the other night and said she can no longer even imagine me as a smoker. Amazing.
Do you need to quit? Get the Book!
The point is that it was my first introduction to the instant transformation I am talking about. It wasn’t hard to quit like it had been the many other times I had tried. It was like something shifted and I just didn’t need it any more. Quite the transformation.
Back when I was depressed and having regular debilitating panic attacks my therapist would tell me to differentiate and identify the depression and anxiety as separate from myself. “That’s the depression talking”. It was amazing how quickly I started to feel better once I started doing this. I kept telling myself that it was just anxiety and depression and that what it was saying was not true and that I could keep going even though I thought my heart would explode out of my chest and it eventually just disappeared. In the moment that I realized that I wasn’t the awful person my depression told me I was, it just dissipated and I started feeling better and soon I was better.
At The Forum I learned to separate my stories from my actual experiences and found forgiveness and peace with my past.
Do you see a pattern here?
Well now it has reached my battle with my weight. I was noticing last week that my whole outlook was starting to change. But this didn’t happen slowly over time with a lot of will power. Yes, I have been thinking a lot about it and have made some changes to my diet and have obviously been working on the emotional aspects, but I was feeling really frustrated that it didn’t seem how much I worked at it, I still wanted to the sweets and junk food and couldn’t keep myself from eating it. And I still had no desire to work out at all.
I hit my peak of frustration as I scarfed down a brownie on the way to therapy last Monday. Two bites and I was feeling nauseous, yet I still ate the whole damn thing. What is going on?
So I was talking to my therapist about it and she taught me how to differentiate this as well. There is was again. She recommended stopping when I felt these cravings and looking at them from another angle, identifying the intensity of the craving by giving it a number 1-10. Then if you decide the number is high enough and eat the craved food, then identify how much satisfaction you got from eating it by giving it a number 1-10.
During this therapy session, something just clicked and since then I have been following her advice, which has unfortunately taken the joy out of several sweat treats I was really looking forward to, and yet again transformation has happened. Not perfection or magical weight loss, but a totally different outlook that seemed like it came out of nowhere.
I have been almost jonesing for exercise and food has lost its power over me. I am even down to just one Diet Coke a day, a miracle in and of itself.
It is just a craving and separate from myself. That craving has nothing to do with my body’s need for sustenance or nutrition or even something yummy to eat — it is emotional and completely separate.
I think this is part of the message the Jon Gabriel is trying to convey to us. Just give your body what it needs and realize that you are emotionally separate from your need to eat and your body will start asking for what it needs and giving back what you want from it.
The real test will be how this plays out over the next couple of months. Please let the weight loss finally come. I create this possibility for myself and for all of you too.
Why is it that I allow something so inconsequential to get me so riled up? Probably because it isn’t inconsequential. Not because of the specific situation but because of the feelings of loss that it brings up in me. Loss is a very sad emotion. It’s one that I’m not sure I have ever fully addressed.
The good thing is that I am feeling the sadness, boy am I feeling it. And it is all muddled with anger and resentment and the need to slug someone in the gut. The problem with this kind of emotion is that it interferes with everything.
It seeps into all the little crevices of your life and start to mess with you. It’s just wrong. But it needs to be done. Opening a nest of pent up emotion is a scary thing and not always the most pleasant for those that you love, but it needs to be dealt with. I have no choice to but face it all and look it directly in the eye. Be brave. Be brave. Be brave.
I also know what needs to be done to put all this current messy business behind me as well, but doing it is also pretty scary business. I am wired for flight and turning to face my fears is not something I do with ease. I am a person who has walked through life in fear. Not any more.
Sometimes what needs to be done, just needs to be done. Sometimes there is no salvaging it. And sometimes, even if you could salvage it, that isn’t the right or best thing to do. I am done with situations that are not healthy for me. I am done pushing my true self aside to please others. I am done feeling bad about who I am. I’m just done. I want it over with. I am ready to move on. Too bad that all comes with a bunch of ugly consequences.
Just for the record, this has nothing to do with my marriage. Karli is my rock and I would be huddled in a corner right now if it weren’t for him. He is everything a husband should be and so much more. I wish everyone had the opportunity to walk through life with their soul mate.
Someone told me something really important once and I repeat it to myself often.
I have everything that I need and I am getting better and better every day.
I am grateful and hopeful and full of love.