Tuesday, August 31, 2010

New Opportunities

Today marks the day for grand new opportunities. Yes, folks, not only is it my birthday but it is my 55th birthday which means on Tuesdays from now on I will get 10% off at Ross' not to mention that I can now qualify for whole new housing projects. And people think that getting old doesn't have it's advantages!

In case you don't have any ideas for a gift, I am registered at the U.S. Mint.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Self Pity

The other day when I was recovering from my surgery and I wasn't getting the attention that I thought I needed from someone who I will not name, I was starting to feel tremendously sorry for myself. Never mind that I have always been unusually strong and resilient after any kind of surgery and birthing and so this person knows that I can manage fine without the attention (which I really can); I still want to be coddled a little bit more but I am continually disappointed.

While I was in that familiar state of self pity, I had this exquisite realization. This feeling is all too comfortable and I think I might be addicted to this negative emotion. I also realized that it is significant waste of time that could be used for other meaningful activities. Bingo! There was an immediate change of attitude and change of feeling. Now I just want to feel grateful for what this unnamed person does do, which is call throughout the day to check on me and bring me home meals. Come on Tanya, isn't that enough. Let's be honest, if said person stayed home and held my hand all day, we would both be annoyed. I am going to be less comfortable with self pity and give up that emotional addiction.

One more little revelation. Self pity means I am not being responsible for my own happiness. Being dependent on someone else creates powerlessness and thus self pity.

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I tend to jump around but I want to go back to the MSG discussion. The need for excessive spices such as MSG is typical of our American lifestyle. I am certainly not pointing my finger at anyone else because it is definitely something that I struggle with. Let's face it, I have plenty of excess in my life--shoes, weight, bad habits, etc.

I have found that anything done in excess can lead to a sort of addictive tendency because it triggers a sort of euphoria that isn't really legitimately satisfying. Experts in addictions say that once the brain starts to get use to the excitement of excess, then it is difficult to be content without it and continues to crave more. Just like the excessive taste of salt in MSG leads to a tendency to overeat, so also does anything done in excess lead to a quest for more and can thus end in an addiction. True contentment only comes in restrained and balanced fulfillment. There is a time when there is enough of anything. Even enough shoes. I know that it is important for me to learn some restraint in everything.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sure Foundation

Helaman 5:12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.

I testify that this is true. I know that I have weathered some difficult storms and if it weren't for the rock of my Redeemer that has been my foundation, that I could have become very miserable and my life could have felt hopeless. What has truly happened is that I have found more joy and peace than I ever felt possible. I am eternally grateful that I was given the direction to study scriptures and to attend the temple in order to understand the truths of the gospel. Through those practices, I have come to know my Savior's love for me. What seemed like a dutiful checking off on a list of requirements, became my foundation and rescue. My faith in the activities I am asked to perform has been increased.

Friday, August 27, 2010

More Study in Pain

Everything I do or experience seems to teach me something. I guess without actually have to go to school, I am still a student.

I just recently had surgery to close off a defective vein and to have the rest of my ugly varicose veins removed. It is another great lesson in pain.

Since the pain hasn't been too bad I am able to exist without pain medication, which is a good thing. (I now have an unused Loritab perscription that will now go to the highest drug addicted bidder!) Because I can feel all the pain then it can serve as an indicator of when I am doing something that I probably shouldn't be doing. It is just like a vet told me years ago when our dog had to have surgery. He said he didn't want me to give him pain medication because the pain serves a purpose and keeps him from doing something that could do more damage. The increased pain that I have felt when I just stand in place tells me that I should either walk or lay down, so I have spent a lot of time laying with my leg up reading or walking in circles in our home.

Let that be a long-term lesson for me. Too much of any kind of pain means I should do something different.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Open Mindedness

I am learning the value of being open minded. I have discovered that the reason that I have been afraid of open mindedness is because I feared that listening to other ideas or opinions meant that I would thus have to sanction opposing viewpoints and couldn't keep my own beliefs. I can always still have my own beliefs, but in being open minded I can learn about more ideas and viewpoints and come to understand and appreciate other beliefs.

I remember a few years ago when we went to the Manti Pageant with our married student ward, I decided that I wanted to talk to one of the anti-Mormon protesters to understand why he was there. My intention wasn't to argue or debate with him but to be open to what motivated him to want to go out of his way to protest. I learned a lot and came away certainly not agreeing with what he believed or what he was doing, but with greater understanding. It is an ability and practice that I want to improve upon.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MSG Warning!

I was mentioning to my personal trainer how I had eaten at Five Guys early in the evening one night and then I continued to crave food and snack all night. She said that the food I ate at Five Guys probably contains MSG (essentially all fast foods do) because it has a chemical in it that triggers appetite. So then I came home and did a little research and found out some of the scientific findings about MSG. It is linked not only to obesity but to fibromyalga, arthritis, and other autoimmune illnesses as well as headaches.

I have been committed to omitting MSG from the foods I have at home for a long time but I haven't thought much about when I eat out. Now that I realize most fast foods have it, I will be more careful. I also discovered how food manufacturers try to hide their use of MSG in their products and so here is a list of the hidden names that I will want to avoid.

Hidden Names for MSG

Calcium Caseinate
Monosodium glutamate
Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HVP) Textured Protein
Monopotassium glutamate Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP) Yeast Extract
Autolyzed Plant Protein
Yeast food or nutrient
Glutamic Acid
Sodium Caseinate
Autolyzed Yeast
Vegetable Protein Extract

I realize once again how important it is to watch what I eat and by that it means more than watching the unhealthy food while I stuff it in my mouth. I know that if I want to be healthy that I need to do all I can.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Power Walking

It might look goofy but i've discovered that power walking is good for my knees and gives some great waist action. I might just have to do it after it gets dark.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Moment of Truth

The other day I went into a dressing room to try on exercise clothes. In the dressing room was a four-way mirror and now instead of thinking I need to only loose 5 lbs., WHOA BABY, I was faced with reality and realized that I need to loose more like 15 lbs. Mirrors don't lie and I have been deceived in only standing in front of a single mirror.

It came to me how ingenious retail stores are. If they had the same four-way mirror in most clothing stores, I probably wouldn't buy anything because I would see how unflattering I look from behind. But in a store that sells exercise clothes, the motive for more mirrors might be different. I bet they are thinking that once I see myself and all the weight I really need to lose then they hope that I will want to exercise more and thus be willing to purchase more exercise clothes. It didn't work, I just got depressed and wanted to go eat a dessert to cheer me up! Ignorance is bliss.

In reality, this moment of truth has increased my determination and now I will set my new weight goal a little lower.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Why I try to avoid Caffeine

As a young person, one of the first reasons I didn't drink Coke was because Root Beer was sweeter and I loved more sugar in my drink. Later I was led to believe that it was morally wrong to drink any caffeinated drink and thus to be brutally honest, as a Root Beer drinker I felt morally superior to anyone that drank that "vile caffeine liquid."

Now I realize that what we drink isn't a moral issue but just a matter of health and that the sugar in my Root Beer is possibly just as unhealthy as the caffeine in other soft drinks, and so I gave up drinking soda pop. Because I have never liked the taste of artificial sweeteners, diet drinks weren't an option and so I decided that I would rather just drink water instead or 100% fruit juice. Since then however, I have realized that even though it is a natural sugar, even drinking too much fruit juice will spike my blood sugar and so it really isn't a healthy choice. Now if I do want a little flavor in my water I will add just a small percentage of fruit juice with mostly water.

As additional information about what I quoted about caffeine causing irritability is that actually anyone who drinks caffeine daily will feel irritable when they stop. A doctor explained to me that caffeine mimics a chemical that our brain naturally produces that creates energy and euphoria. When someone drinks caffeine daily then the brain eventually thinks that it no longer has to make that chemical and thus it becomes necessary to continue to take in caffeine in order to feel good. This doctor told me that it takes 21 days of going off of caffeine cold turkey before the brain will start to realize it needs to make that chemical again. So for those 21 days, the person will feel somewhat miserable and yes, even irritable, which is ironic because using caffeine is said to create that same feeling.

That is the interesting thing about some of my unhealthy habits that I have like my addiction to sugar. Temporarily, going off sugar is somewhat painful, but in the long run I can feel so much better than how I felt getting that temporary "high" off of sugar. For me it takes a lot of will power to trust that I will eventually feel even better. If sugar is this hard for me, it is a dang good thing that I haven't tried heroine.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Comfort Zone

Working on not being shy means that I challenge myself to get out of my comfort zone and stretch. It is always good to be with people that inspire me to work harder at being more than I am. Recently I decided to go back and meet with a personal trainer again because I realize that my current level of weight lifting has become my comfort zone and I need the challenge that a sadistic trainer can give me. Even just being at the gym and on the treadmiill next to someone else who is running faster gives me the incentive I need to push myself just a little more. I am always grateful for family and friends that challenge and inspire me. I am going to challenge myself with goals that push me to be more outgoing and friendly.

Friday, August 20, 2010


I am not very shy when I know people, but put me in a crowd full of strangers and I am quite intimidated. I can also be rather quiet and inward focused around people that I do business with. I am always impressed with some of my friends that have that unique ability to be outgoing with people they just meet or with casual acquaintances.. I remember meeting my friend Patty for lunch and being late as usual and there she was chatting it up with the waiter. I assumed she already knew him because of how outgoing she was being, but NO, it is just how naturally outward focused she is. It is something I want to be better at. Otherwise, my shyness can be mistaken for being stuck-up. (Is that just a high school term or does that exist in real life?)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

4th Bad Mood Buster

According to the article in Spa Living Body & Health magazine based on the Book "The Food-Mood Solution" by Willey, WATER is the 4th bad mood buster. "Artificial sweeteners and caffeine act as stimulants and contribute to irritability and impulsive behavior."

Now, if any of you diet coke drinkers don't like their findings, don't get mad and act rash because then you will just prove their conclusion. I am going to continue to make water my liquid of choice (with a little lemon or lime added).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Bad Mood Busters

I ran across an article in the Spa Living Body and Health magazine about the 4 Bad Mood Busters, and it is certainly been helpful for this month because I realize that August is my least favorite month. I chalk that up to the heat and the end of Summer and how off track and unorganized I continue to get the longer Summer goes. I'm not going to lie, I am one that craves the order and structure that routine gives (pin a note on my back that says, "Kick me") Anyway, here are three of the bad mood busters:

"1. EAT LUNCH-Skipping lunch can lead to blood sugar crash, resulting in mood swings. Eating protein midday will help you feel full longer and stabilize sugar levels, but avoid deep-fried or prepackaged meats."

"2. EXERCISE-Researchers have long known that physical activity can ease symptoms of depression by reducing cortisol, increasing endorphins, and improving metabolism."

"3. TAKE SUPPLEMENTS-Anxiety, depression, and an inability to stay focused can be attributed to a deficiency of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that relay messages between cells. Vitamin B, omega-3 capsules, and GABA (gamma-aminobutryic acid) supplements can all help brain cells better communicate with one another." Question: Does this mean that when I walk down to the basement and am standing there perplexed, will one part of my brain answer when I ask, "Why did I come down here?"?

I have to say that ever since I restocked on my vitamins and have been faithfully taking them, I feel so much better and now my hair is long and thick. Okay, I was exaggerating on the hair a tad, but I do feel so much more content, motivated, and energized. Taking supplements make a difference for me and I have to think it is more than the placebo effect just because I believe they will.

I will post the 4th bad mood buster tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I did it all by myself

I typed in my heading and I got this great picture of a cake that obviously someone "did all by themselves."

I figured out how to get rid of the little while square that was interfering with my blog and got my cute little side flourish back ALL BY MYSELF! Wow, two newsworthy events in just two days. Really, can you believe the genius? I'll be standing by my phone for all the offers that will be coming in. If I can do that, there ain't nothing I can't do. I'll start working on fixing our economy.

Monday, August 16, 2010


Okay, I tend to be an extremist. I go from not cooking meals to today I cooked not only a nice lunch but dinner also. CALL THE NEWS--this is more exciting news than having the oil leak plugged and it probably took me more effort also!!! Anyway, that's how I roll. I tend to go from one extreme to the other. I've always liked roller coaster rides and this is a cheap one. Someday I'll find the healthy balance but until then I'll enjoy the ride.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Back to Basics

I have been struggling somewhat with my motivation and then I realized that sometimes it is time to get back to basics. In a world when bigger is better and kids aren't just content with going out for a hamburger but now they need a toy and a playground to be happy (and thus the name, "happy meal"), sometimes it is important to just enjoy the simple thing. It is the simple little daily accomplishments that can bring me so much satisfaction, just like a little puddle brought my grandson the other day as he jumped in it over and over and laughed and laughed. He didn't need to go to a water park as originally planned to have a great time.

It is making a good meal, or getting all the wash done, or cleaning out a closet that can be so satisfying. I don't always need a grand vacation or a new outfit to be happy. Happiness comes in the little basic tasks done well, and then I have motivation for even more. I am getting back to basics.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Looks can be deceiving

While I was hiking this morning I came across this beautiful patch of green ground cover. After learning the hard way, I now know that this is poison ivy. It grows abundantly in the gully behind our home and our kids and their friends all had miserable rashes because they too were deceived by it's natural beauty. They didn't know the danger of it until too late. We had to learn the hard way.

On our property there is also a natural vine that grows wild and it now covers the fence around our sport court making the court private and naturally beautiful. The leaves on this vine are very similar to the poison ivy leaves and every once in awhile I will spot a sneaky poison ivy plant that is lurking unsuspiciously among those safe leaves. It is the same kind of deceit that the adversary uses.

It is the way with life. That is why a loving Heavenly Father protects us with commandments and directions that can protect us from danger. I would be a fool if I resisted that loving safety.

Friday, August 13, 2010


I realize I have always unconsciously wanted a bit of a challenge. I make such a mess when I cook (as best as I remember) and I feel like it is so that I have the challenge of cleaning it all up and the good feeling that comes from creating order from chaos. I also do that with my desk. I let it get really messy and then love it when I get it back into order.

I did enjoy having new babies and wanted a large family but I have to honestly admit that, in having six children I also created a challenge. Not in the same way that I mess up my kitchen; I mean, I didn't try and mess up my children, it just happened naturally. :-) Seriously though, it was kind of fun figuring out how to organize my home and life in a way that I could gracefully handle each new addition. (sometimes not so gracefully!)

But...this need for challenge can be a whole lot less painful and even more productive if I now channel it into something a little more beneficial (I am saying more beneficial than a messy kitchen not my family). Let's face it, getting thrilled out of cleaning my own disorder is just not THAT fulfilling and heaven knows I won't be having any more babies so that productive challenge is gone (literally).

So here was my challenge for the day. This morning when I took my dog on a run/walk, the route usually takes 1/2 hour but today I tried to run faster to challenge myself to do it in less time. That a good start. I need to continually challenge myself.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Time Management

When I was in elementary school I always got poor grades in the category "uses time wisely." I also remember my fourth grade teacher telling my mom that it didn't matter who he sat me next to in class that I would always talk. I was gifted at gabbing and frankly still am. I think at a young age I realized that social interacting was important; maybe more important than using my time wisely and doing school work!

Fast forward to the near present. After years of being somewhat indoctrinated that using my time wisely was some kind of magnificent achievement, I started to be a time management nerd and I think I switched my priorities. I became somewhat obsessed in trying to finally be able to use my time wisely to make up for my painful elementary failure. Thus I became an accomplishment addict sometimes at the expense of relationships. I even remember once turning down an invitation to go skiing so I could catch up on my ironing so that I could redeem myself and feel like I was finally able to make wise use of my time. (WHAT A NERD!)

Now fast forward to now. I am back to spending most of my time talking and not getting things done. I am ready to stop the pendulum swinging and get to a healthy balance. I know that time with relationships is a very wise use of my time but I also want to retain just a little energy for a few other accomplishments like combing my hair or maybe even cook dinner, but hey let's not take this too far.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Short Hair Cut

If I had a face like this I would definitely enjoy having a short hair cut. However, I don't have the face but because I have been neglecting my vitamins and thus my even limp frail thin hair got even limper frailer and thinner; I decided to get a short cut and then start over. I am now convinced that vitamins do make a difference and so I will RECOMMIT to eating healthy and taking vitamins. Is it as amazing to you as it is to me how easily I can veer off from the plan? For me, life is just a series of re-commitments. The good news is that I always have a challenge.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Painful Shoes

Google images is such a treasure. Today I googled painful shoes and got this little gem. Anyway, I am into comfortable shoes, but even the most comfortable shoe worn day after day doing a lot of walking can be hard on my feet and then when I change shoes, it feels better. That is the way with my life. It seems like anything comfortable can eventually become uncomfortable which indicates to me that it is time for a change because a change is as good as a rest.

Today I am doing some changes to my attitude, home, and routine to create new comfort and motivation because some change will do me good.

Monday, August 9, 2010


The other day I was at the dentist office having some teeth drilled down to be capped. Since I hate to have my face numb and spend the rest of the day acting like a stoke victim and drooling, instead I just have them give me a little gas and then it helps me cope with the pain. In that state, I still feel all the pain but I just don't care. My time in the dentist chair is a great study in pain (believe me I have spent enough time there to now have a master's degree in pain).

I realize that we are all born with this innocent trust that life will be carefree and then in that relaxed state, we are surprised when pain hits. After a few connections with those painful nerve endings, we start to get anxious and on guard. That is what my life in the dentist chair use to be. Now with the gas I am relaxed and having a great time and even when a nerve is touched, I just think wow that hurt but who cares.

It is exactly what someone could do with emotional and physical pain. It is tempting to just use some kind of drug to help deal with the pain; but because the source of the pain isn't eliminated and then the drugs loose their effectiveness, the need for more drugs escalates.

Because when I am in the dentist office I know where the source of the pain is (dentists are sadistic) and that it won't always be there, I can temporarily use the gas and then walk away not using it as a coping mechanism for life. In life, on the other hand, it is important to understand where the pain is coming from and try and eliminate it or if it is not in my power to control; learn coping skills that are natural and productive. I want emotional pain to be my signal to reach out to God and get His support and help instead of breaking into my dentist's office. The more I learn to trust Him, the more I can relax knowing that I will be able to cope with the pain that life gives me.

I have to honestly admit though that each time I am under the influence of the gas, even when I am just sitting and waiting for the torture, I completely understand why someone would want to use drugs especially when they are in pain. It feels great and it is just like it says in 3 Nephi 27:11 "But if it be not built upon my gospel, and is built upon the works of men, or upon the works of the devil, verily I say unto you they have joy in their works for a season, and by and by the end cometh, and they are hewn down and cast into the fire, from whence there is no return."

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Learning Styles

I am becoming more respectful of different learning styles. Our learning styles don't just affect our academic experience but I now can see that it affects our choices. I can read about or see a bad experience and learn from it but that doesn't mean that I am more righteous than someone else that is a more hands-on learner. Some people learn best by experience and even have to learn the hard way. What matters in the end is how we discover how much Heavenly Father loves us and how we can change for the better. Growth comes about differently for everyone. I am learning to honor the different ways that people have to learn and grow. My way isn't the only or the right way.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Beautiful Thing

My herbal tea thought for the day is "Whatever you are doing is the most beautiful thing." That was perfect for me because so often I am always thinking about what I should be doing or what I need to do instead of enjoying the moment and realizing what I am doing at the moment is beautiful. It just came to me that a negative focus on the past can create regretful feelings and a negative focus on future can create anxiety. Also a resistance to enjoy whatever I am doing creates ingratitude and frustration. The cure is to relish the moment and make the best of it knowing that it will create wonderful memories for the future. I am committed to take a deep breath and feel the relaxing, joyful moments right at this very moment and feel gratitude for the beauty of it. Wow, that is a great way to connect to my Heavenly Father and my own spirit and feel such peace. I also felt so much tension in my body dissolve.

Friday, August 6, 2010

What's Missing?

Kev and I have been having an amazing experience each weekend away from home learning some amazing principles and tools for better relationships and life, but unfortunately I haven't been able to attend church at our home ward. I miss it! Sometimes it takes having something gone for me to really appreciate it. I love our ward and know why it is important to have a ward family to study and learn with and from. I also know the value of having church callings and given the opportunity to teach, serve and be taught and served.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I loved going to school, and I think that what I loved about it was the assignments. I know there are people that hate to be told what to do, but I realize that I actually like being told what to do because it gives me direction and purpose. I mean, I don't want just any person to tell me what to do, but I like someone who I trust and who has my best interest at heart to tell me what to do. That is also why I like programs like the young women's personal progress because it is someone telling me what to do and it gives me direction and growth. I am going to work on that assignment.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Ebb and Flow

My life is an ebb and flow process. I am ebbing right not. I'm kind of going backwards and normally I would get somewhat frustrated with myself, but instead I'll relax and let it be and soon I will start flowing again. Ebbing can be a good thing; more seashells can be discovered.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eye Contact

I have just learned something that is incredibly amazing. When trying to have a heart-felt conversation with someone, it is important to look left eye to left eye. Research has suggested that this is the method to stay in the emotional part of the brain rather than in the logical side. Staying in the emotional part means that we are then dealing with feelings rather than seeing in the right eye and dealing with logic which creates the tendency to fight for who is right and who is wrong. Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are; and when we deal with and accept each others emotions, then we can come to a greater understanding and bonding.

Hey, I'm trying this the next time I get pulled over for speeding.

Monday, August 2, 2010


Today my word is "fresh." I have been away from home a lot and came home to a smelly refrigerator. Now I'm longing for freshness and so I will clear out the fridge and start fresh. It seems to be something I want to do in all aspects of my life. Start fresh.

Fresh means "not previously used or known; recently created or experienced and not faded or impaired; having just had a particular experience."

Yes, the word "fresh" suits me perfectly (not my fridge right now but it will in just a minute). I have come from some miraculous experiences and now I look at life in a fresh new way. What a tremendous gift I have been given.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Be Who You Are

It's lovely being old. I finally have discovered that I get to be me, and I don't need to worry about what anyone thinks. There are so many things about me that are quite nerdy but I love discovering the things I love to do and celebrating my own quirky ways. I am an explorer and a conqueror. I love to discover new places and things and I am always trying to make something easier and better. Nothing ever notable, mind you. Just dumb little things that can bring me such simple joy.

Someone recently asked me to list some of my major regrets and one of them was this.

I put too much emphasis on outside authority or approval rather than my intrinsic, God-given motivation and inspiration. I focused too much on rules and pleasing other people instead of internal feelings of joy to guide me. In essence, I haven't always been who I was meant to be. The only way to know that is to listen to my own heart and the quiet inspiration from above and within.

Another regret is that I didn't invent facebook.