Thursday, June 11, 2015

Physics, Scriptures, and Why I Won't Weigh Myself.

(Note: I'm really just starting to wrap my mind around all these ideas I'm talking about, so I am sure there are other sources out there that can explain it better, and at the end of my post, I'll list the few I've been reading. And again, I'm not trying to educate anyone or convince anyone or anything.  I'm just explaining my journey and my thinking)

I do no like science--I mean the study of it, not the actual function of science.  I am very glad science works.  And I am equally glad that there are people who want to understand it and work with it. I am not one of these people, and I do not care to become one.

Alas, the public school system forces science upon all of us, and after taking various science classes through elementary school, jr. high, high school, and college, I can honestly say I know very little about science, and I care even less (there's not judgement here. I'm sure those who are scientists and study science view my intense study of The Great Gatsby and Harry Potter equally boring and unimportant, although I did predict the financial collapse in 2008 purely from looking at historical patterns in The Great Gatsby. But I digress).  In all my years of scientific study, I can honestly say I remember and understand only one thing:

Newton's 3rd Law of Motion: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

This is a law, which means it is accepted by almost everyone in the whole of forever to be true. This particular law means that if I throw a basketball on the ground, it will bounce (I'm sure there is someone out there who would give a much more accurate example).

So why does this law mean I won't weigh myself?  I'll get there.  Just stay with me.

This is a widely accepted law of the physical world.  There is no argument about this law, mostly because people can test it for themselves and see it come true.

This law, just as it works in the physical world, also works in the metaphysical (or, as I like to call it, Spiritual) world, except with a little twist.  For every spiritual action, there is a multiplied reaction.  Meaning, every time I put a spiritual act out there in the universe, I will receive it back, only multiplied.  This sounds kooky, I know, and many people just don't believe in all this universe-spirit stuff, but if you think about it, we as a culture kind of have already accepted it.  Think about some of our common sayings: What goes around comes around.  Karma's a bitch. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. This is all based on the idea that for every spiritual action, there is a multiplied reaction.

I believe this. I believe that what we sow we will reap.  So, if this is true, one must ask, okay, then, what qualifies as a spiritual action?  

Prayers. Thoughts. Words. Focus. Fears. Worry. Actions. Complaints. Faith

So, wait, you ask, basically everything I think and do is a spiritual action causing a multiplied reaction? Yep. I know.  Mind blown.  

But think about it.  Ever heard of Murphy's Law?  Basically, anything that can go wrong will go wrong?  Ever asked yourself why that is? It's because people spend their time thinking of everything that can go wrong and worrying about everything that can go wrong.  If you're putting all your time and energy into thinking and worrying about what's wrong, then your going to trigger a what's wrong reaction--only multiplied.

Every heard of "Expect the best but prepare for the worst?" With that approach, how many times have you actually received the best?  In my case, not very often.  Usually because preparing for the worst uses more focus and energy, therefore triggering a bigger return.  

Have you ever decided you wanted to buy a certain kind of car, and then all of a sudden, you see that car everywhere?  You're desire for that car had produced a return of always seeing the car. I know. Newton's Law, my friend.  Or as those granola-kooks out there call it, the Law of Attraction.

Or as all us religion freaks call it, Matthew 21:22: "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."  Now, most of my life, I would read this scripture, and I would automatically think of "prayer" as formal, on your knees, prayer.  But I never considered there were other types of prayer.

Prayer is essentially communication with Heavenly Father.  There is formal prayer, both personal and public, but there is also your every thought.  Heavenly Father knows your heart and your thoughts (Job 21:27; Matthew 9:4; 3 Nephi 28: 6).  If he knows how your feeling and what you're thinking, isn't that communication? And if it's communication, couldn't that be called a prayer? And if so, aren't those informal, sometimes unintentional prayers just as valid as formal, intentinal prayers? Therefore, shouldn't these prayers be subjected to the same promise mentioned above?  

I want to examine that scripture and the wording a little closer.  The first phrase, "and all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer..." What percentage is all? 100%.  ALL things.  Good and Bad.  I can  hear you now, "Wait a minute.  Heavenly Father would never give me bad things on purpose."  Here's what I think, and keep in mind, this is theology according to Sarah, and I have absolutely nothing other than my own faith to back my up on this, so take it for what it's worth: 

This law, ask and ye shall receive, is a law of Heaven, and the law of the Universe.  Heavenly Father and the Savior don't want to give us all the crappy things we are thinking and unconsciously asking for, but they perfectly understand the law of the universe, and know when we focus on crap, we receive crap. So, because They love us, they put in helpers so we can get as many good things as possible.  

1. Scriptures.  How many times does the Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, and modern revelation emphasize to have faith, don't rely on the arm of man, have no fear, ask for things that are good, be of good cheer, do kind things to others, follow the will of the Lord, etc?  ALL. THE. TIME. Because they perfectly understand how ask and ye shall receive works, the scriptures are filled-- FILLED, my friends, with admonitions to think good things and do good things and ask for good things.  Because They love us so much, they only want good things for us.

2. The Holy Ghost.  The Holy Ghost helps us make good choices.  He comforts us and sends us positive thoughts.  He lets us know when we should help another person.  He is sent to help us attract good things into our lives.

3. The Savior. The Savior took upon himself all the bad things of the world: the sins, the bad thoughts, the bad feelings, fears, worries, everything, in the hopes that we wouldn't have to feel them.  Because He loves us, and he understands this law, and he wants us to experience all good and happy things.

And this, the Law of Attraction, helps me understand the answer to one of the Big Questions by unbelievers: Why would God allow bad things to happen to innocent people?  Because of the Law of Attraction: He must follow the law, and grant us what is being asked for.  Because the collective energy of the world is so focused on hate and divisiveness and wickedness and evil, the whole world, the human race as a whole, is attracting hate and divisiveness and wickedness and evil en mass, and some people innocently get caught up in the crap.  And it's not fair.  And they will be loved and blessed and rewarded for their struggles later.

But, I know you are asking, I ask for good things, and I still get crap.  Let's look at the second half of the Matt. scripture, "...whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (emphasis added).

Let's say someone wants lots of money. You can ask for that, right?  I mean the scripture says "anything," so money counts.  So let's say I ask for lots of money in my formal prayers. It's not enough to ask--I have to BELIEVE.  What's easier to believe: that I will somehow get lots of money, or that I will continue to struggle to pay my bills?  I know what's easier to believe on my end.  I understand struggle and no money so much more than I understand wealth, so that's where I put my belief.  So even though I've asked for it, I'm really putting my belief in the negative outcome, and pretty much, I get the negative outcome.

Once I started to understand that all my thoughts and feelings were part of my conversations to Heavenly Father, and I realized that those were essentially prayers, I started thinking consciously (that sounds weird, right?  But how many times have we had thoughts just pop up out of nowhere?).  I was so surprised!  All my thoughts (aka prayers) focused on how fat I was, how much I disliked what I looked like, and how much money I don't have. My twice-a-day formal prayers, of course, asked for help with weight loss and money, but how can two formal prayers combat HUNDREDS of informal prayers? 

No wonder I felt like I was stuck!  I was CONSTANTLY asking the universe to make me fat and poor. Guess what?  It delivered.

Basically, what I'm trying to say is that when you focus on bad things (through worry or fear or thoughts) and believe bad things will happen, then you attract bad things.  It happens to me all the time.

The good news is the opposite is true: When you focus on good things (through joy, faith, and thought), and believe that good things will happen for you, you attract good things.  It's happened to me before.  When I started learning these ideas, I decided to put it to the test.  I decided I wanted more money, so I doubled my fast offerings.  My husband got a better job like the next week. About a month ago, we bought new rose bushes, and one of them looked like it wasn't going to make it. In fact, Joe was ready to pull it out and throw it away.  I told him to give it more time. I wanted to see if I could trigger the Ask and Ye Shall Receive Law into action.

 Every day I went outside and talked to the roses (I know.  I felt silly while I was doing it, too).  I said things like, "I know you are beautiful.  I know you will fulfill your calling to beautify the earth.  I'll ask Heavenly Father to send some angels to help you." I had my little girlies bless the roses in our family prayers, and whenever we walked passed them in garden, I would say loudly, "Look! Aren't our roses so pretty!" (so the roses could hear me) even though they were just bare stalks. It wasn't a week later when that sad, little Charlie Brown Christmas-Tree-ish rose bush began sprouting new, green growth.  It has flourished, and I know it's because I asked and I believed.  And dog-gone-it, I received.

So.  This is why I refuse to weigh myself.  I know every time I step on the scale and see 2 - -, I'm going to think, "Goodness sake I'm fat." or, "Wow.  That number is big." And basically, those thoughts turn into what I focus on: fat and big numbers.  And, because I've seen the number, I will be believe that all I am is fat and big numbers, and that's what I will eventually receive: more fat and more big numbers.  And that's what I don't want.

Instead, I want what happened today: I looked in the mirror and thought, "Hey, I look better today.  My running is paying off!" and I believed it because I saw it.  I don't know if I've lost weight or any inches.  And I don't care.  I didn't want to step on the scale and see no weight loss, because then I would just believe that all my efforts meant no weight loss, so I would attract no weight loss.  No.  Not this time, Universe! I want to believe I'm prettier and thinner and my efforts are paying off! I want to attract more better looks and more results from my running! 

So no scales and no measurements for a while.

As a side note, I have taken my measurements, and I have weighed myself before I started my serious focus on exercise and eating, so when I'm done, I will have statistics for you.  But I'm not checking up in between unless I KNOW it will be a positive experience.  

One last thought for everyone: since I have been learning about this, and since my perspective has changed, and I have been conscious of the truth of the Ask and Ye Shall Receive Law, I have felt so powerful

I have always had this belief that Heavenly Father didn't want me to have a rock star body, or that he didn't want me to have money, because I had something to learn, or that those desires weren't in line with His will.  Now, I see that is just ridiculous. Why wouldn't Heavenly Father want me to love myself and take care of the temple He gave me? Why wouldn't He want me to take ownership of my actions and stop whining? Why wouldn't that be His will for me?  Why wouldn't Heavenly Father want me to have enough money to take care of my family, with enough left over to bless others?  Why wouldn't that be His will?  Isn't His will that I have joy?  I also believe that wickedness never was happiness, and through scripture study, I can learn what wickedness is. And if I desire things that are not wicked, like reverence and respect for my own personal temple, or money to give and bless others, I can ask for it, and with faith, I will receive it.

I now understand that I don't have to sit by and watch life happen to me, and then deal with it. Instead, I can create, with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, the life that will bring me joy. The freedom and power that gives me is unbelievable.  With God's promises, I can create my life any way I want it. 

Books that I read and Can Explain Better Than Me:
LDS Scripture (Old Testament, New Testament, Book of Mormon, D&C)

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

The Rules

I am a rule follower by nature. I like rules. I like to follow rules. I mostly like to make up rules and then make other people follow them (which is why I became a teacher and a mom. Total power). Starting on this journey without rules would feel incomplete and superficial and not real. So rules must exist.

But get ready, because these rules have very little to do with food or exercise for two reasons.

1. I'm not a nutritionist and making arbitrary food rules without a lot of research doesn't sound like a good idea to me. And besides, I've been on a lot of diets, and failed at them all.  And they all had food rules. The least common denominator, folks.  A lot of food rules doesn't seem to be working in my favor.

2. This approach isn't about what I can and can't eat. It's about loving my body and listening to what it wants.

So I only have one food rule. The rest are...well...they're not normal... (by the way, these are my rules for me, and not for anyone else to follow. I'm recording a journal, not recommending a program, people).

Rule #1 (the only food rule): Eat protein for breakfast
This is the one diet rule that I have learned from my many, many attempts at diets that I have found to be very easy, and also very beneficial. When I start my day with protein, it seems that is what I crave the rest of the day. Protein=good for my primitive Native American DNA. So protein shakes, eggs, bacon, ham, that kind of stuff. And maybe a steak and eggs once in a while. YUM.

Rule #2: Listen to Uplifting Music When I'm Spending Time with My Body.
That sounds a little weird, I know.  Let me explain. When I say "spending time with my body," I mean those times of day when I'm specifically doing body stuff, like putting on makeup, doing my hair, taking a shower, exercising, etc.

And I need to clarify "uplifting music." I do not mean listen to the MoTab or any other boring stuff. When I say "uplifting," I mean music that makes you dance and music that makes you feel good. Listen, it's really hard to not be happy when you're listening to "Happy" by Pharrell Williams. Here are a few of my favorites:
1. "Uptown Funk"  I'm sorry.  I just can't not dance to this song. There is nothing so fun as cutting a rug to this song in the shower. Not to mention the calories you can burn by dancing.
2. "Happy" by Pharrell Williams.  Again.  You can't mentally berate yourself when you're too busy clapping along because you know what happiness is to you. And again, the dance/calorie factor.
3. "All About That Bass" by Meghan Trainor.  It's really hard to abuse your body when you're dancing around to a song that glorifies your fat butt.  I mean, the first verse says, "It's pretty clear I ain't no size two/ but I can shake it, shake it like I'm supposed to." I totally relate to that, especially when I'm shaking it in the shower and no one can see it.  And what about this one, "If you got beauty just raise 'em up/ because every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top." How can you not like your body after that? And how about "boys like a little more booty to hold at night"?  Truer words have never been spoken.  Even I, I, who has more treble than bass, I whose husband affectionately calls my butt "asprin ass" (round and flat with a crack up the middle), can testify to the fact that boys like booty to hold at night (but they're not going to complain about boobie, either).
4. "Lips are Movin" by Meghan Trainor.  Basically anything by her.  Her stuff is naked-dancing gold.
5. "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. I don't think this needs any commentary.
6. "Eye of the Tiger."  There has never been a more fighting/winning/effort/I-Can-Do-It song in the world. Just punch and drop kick that negative thinking out of your life!

I like to use Amazon Prime Music to play in the bathroom--it has great free songs, if you're a prime member.

Rule #3 Walk Around My Bedroom Naked or Change My Clothes When My Husband Is Watching
Okay.  This might be TMI, but there is a very good reason for this. Since I have had babies and gained weight, I don't change in front of my husband any more. I've been ashamed of my body, which, when you think about it, is ridiculous.  I mean, I've had three babies--two through the hoo-ha, and one with C-Section.  My husband has literally seen me inside and out.  He's seen parts of me I have never seen.  For heaven sakes, he's seen the doctor pull out my intestines and stuff them back in, and then sew me up, yet I don't dare change my clothes in front of him because I don't feel like I'm pretty? How stupid and totally illogical is that?  Well, no more. When my husband wants to look at my body, I'm going to let him, because he loves me, he loves my body, and he thinks it's beautiful no matter what.

He is very happy about this change of events, to say the least.

Rule #4 Dance Naked Once in a While
Ever seen that "Friends" episode when Rachel dances around her apartment naked? It's fun. And nothing lets you get comfortable with your body like dancing.

Rule #5 If I Catch Myself Saying Bad Things About My Body, Stop and Say Thank You
It's a hard habit to break, folks, saying mean things to yourself. I do it without even really thinking. Yesterday, on my way out the door to church, I caught a reflection of myself in the glass of our door, and I thought, "Wow!  My arms are fat!" I didn't even realize I had thought it until after I thought it.  I quickly followed it up with a thank-you statement, something like, "Thank you, arms, for being strong enough to carry my cute baby boy around." Remember, I'm trying to appreciate my body for what it does right instead of berating it for what it does wrong.

Rule #6 No Weighing
This is a whole separate blog post, so come back and later and see why I refuse to weigh myself.

Rule #7 Wear Nice Clothes and Look Nice
For about 6 years I have refused to buy clothes that actually fit me because I thought that keeping my body in a perpetual state of being uncomfortable and self-conscious would motivate me to lose weight.  All that did was make me feel uncomfortable, self-conscious, and ugly to boot. If I'm loving my body, I should let it look nice the way it is. I should do my hair and my makeup, not because I'm covering up the way I look, but because I'm done settling for looking less than the best.

So those are my rules. It's hard to change the way you think about yourself. It's hard to shift your focus from the traditional lose-weight mentality.  Most people, when they embark on losing weight, they are always thinking about food and exercise all the time, and they don't give their body credit for what it is right now. I realize I'm approaching this backwards, but there's a reason my body isn't it's best self.

And that's because I've never allowed it be be good enough.

Us in Jackson Hole

Us in Jackson Hole