Sunday, January 22, 2012
Had a fun day yesterday. I took the kids out and ended up driving all over the place. We found ourselves at a little book store in one town, a giant book store in another, and walked around a flea market....something I haven't done in forever.
I bought a few books to add to my collection. My classroom library is going to have such an array of wonderful children's books. I know it's going to be so hard to let the collection of books I've spent the past 5 years building out in to the world of children's hands. But I'll do it. It's what the collection was started for in the first place.
I even bought a couple of adult books. Not that kind of adult, you pervs! I mean books written for adults. I don't do that very often. I'm quite happy diving in to a book that's written for 3rd+ graders... but yesterday, I took the plunge and bought two adult books. One was the complete collection of Edgar Allen Poe's tales and poems. I like Poe. Although the chances of me actually reading this book? Very doubtful. It's the size of two bricks stacked together side by side. It's huge. But it's a great book to have when I need snippets or poems of his work for a lesson I might or might not do and it was only $8. The other book was written by one of my favorite people: Ellen DeGeneres. The book is called Seriously...I'm Kidding. I hadn't planned on buying the book, but once I saw it - and read the back - I had to have it.
I started the book last night, and before I knew it I was halfway through the book. I just couldn't stop. The only reason I did stop reading when I did was because it was almost midnight and the words on the page started blurring together making it impossible to actually comprehend what the words were. It's the first book I've ever read where I was actually laughing out loud most of the time. She's hilarious. I already can't wait to get back to the book later today when I've finished cleaning my house. Yes, I'm cleaning today... but I'm not talking about it.
Anywho, the book...it's amazing. I would recommend it to anyone. Especially someone who struggles with just about anything: Work, appearance, family issues. Even though she doesn't target these things specifically - except the appearance thing - the way she writes make you think about any problem that may be plaguing your mind. She does a great chapter on becoming a CoverGirl model. While it's absolutely hilarious, she really hits the nail on the head about wanting to look good, but doing it in your own way without feeling the pressure of molding to the ideals of what you think you should look like.
Even though I'm only half way through the book, I already get a sense of the message she's trying to send. Live life. Love with all your heart. And laugh....often. She shares moments of triumph, moments that made her second guess herself, and moments of doing things she never thought she'd do. Despite being filthy rich, she doesn't give off that vibe that I often get hearing about celebrity "problems". You know, the ones where a celebrity goes on and on about their poor life when the whole time you're thinking "I wish I had those types of problems...you should take a second to live in my shoes". I could relate to everything Ellen was saying. They weren't surface issues, they were the issues that go deeper in to the soul. And no, this is not a tell-all book that reveals her deepest, darkest secrets.... unless they are in the part of the book I haven't read yet.
In just reading half of the book, my mood has lifted. The mood that has been dwelling in me and has spread it's face within the blog posts I've written lately. The poor me attitude because I just can't get in to the swing of losing weight again. I now know that my recent mood is one of the reasons I'm struggling so much. I spend so much time dwelling on the not-so-good. I don't like to use the word "bad" because when push comes to shove, I'm not in a "bad" situation... it's just not going the way I'd hoped. See, right there, I'm already turning my thoughts around. Amazing, isn't it?
Because I'm fixated on the fact that I'm not succeeding, I'm not succeeding. My mind is jumbled with the would-a, could-a, should-a's. Instead of focusing on the will. The I will succeed mentality. Not just that, but I'm too focused on the weight loss. Instead of spreading my mind out on other things - I'm back to being obsessed about what the scale might say, the fact that I'm not putting in my best efforts, and that I'm failing. It's consuming me and pulling me down in to a dark place which offers no escape... unless I just pull myself out of it.
I should probably note here that Ellen's book has absolutely nothing to do with weight loss. It's not a weight loss book AT ALL. It's not even a book that talks about what I just talked about.... dwelling on the bad.... it's just my translation of what I read and how it applies to me. So, don't rush out and buy the book because you think it's going to give you all the information I just spewed. It won't. But do rush out and buy the book if you love a good, humorous read. Maybe you'll be struck with an epiphany that's related to your life, maybe you won't. I just don't want to be held liable for claiming this book is a miracle worker - when it's just my personal miracle worker.
One of my most favorite chapters thus far talks about getting rid of stuff. Yes, as in actual stuff that's accumulated around the house that you no longer need. The stuff that supposedly holds sentimental value or the stuff that you might use one day, even though you haven't used it once in the 10 years you've had it. Boy, could I relate to this one. Hubby would probably say that I'm a closet hoarder. As in, my closet looks like the beginning of a serious hoarding problem. I have clothes that I've never worn but will wear someday. I have clothes that I haven't worn in years, but I might one day. And let's not mention the shoes. I don't want to reveal how many pairs of shoes that I own that I've never worn, m'kay?
Being in the rut of my weight loss plagues this hoarding problem. I have clothes that I deliberately bought two sizes two small because they were my "goal clothes". I look at them almost daily. I tell myself that I'll get in to them. Those I won't part with. Then, there are the clothes that I've had for years that I will probably never wear. They need to go. There's absolutely no reason to hold on to them, and I really have no reason to keep them. I did a great job of getting rid of the clothes that were way too big for me last year. I was happy to rid them from my life. When they went, I felt a weight lifted off of me. Even though I can barely fit in the clothes that I still wear, I don't regret for a second getting rid of those old clothes. Where am I going with this? Oh yes, getting rid of the no longer needed. I have to start letting go of stuff...and not just physical objects....regardless of how much I feel that I might need it one day.
One of the biggest things I've had a tough time getting rid of is the comparison of my life now to the life I had just two years ago. You may have noticed how much I compare myself now to what I was like when I lost 88lbs. How great things were then to how not-so-great things are now. I've realized that the more I do that, the more I'm slipping down in to my funk. OK, I gained weight again. I feel off the "I'm so wonderful" wagon. I don't need to focus on getting back on that same wagon... I need to leave that one in the past and focus on the new, updated model. I've got to dump the stuff I don't need anymore - and the first thing to go is that my life was so much better back then, and I'm an idiot for not still being there. I just have to realize that the perfect Joanna from back then was the person that let me fall off the wagon, it's now my responsibility to move on and completely start over without comparing anything with "the good ol' days". That's the first thing I'm dumping. Right now. This very second. Poof...gone!
Isn't it amazing how much a little book can change my mentality so much? I know. Totally crazy. It may be the fact that I've desperately been seeking for something to base this mentality on...and that it's been there all along just waiting to be set free. But, I'm also big enough to give Ellen some of the credit. I'm gonna probably finish the book today, so I'm sure you'll hear more about it.
Alright, got some things to take care of before I can read.
Till next time. ;)