Monday, November 1, 2010

Get Your Head Out Of The Water!

"The wild gander leads his flock through the cool night,
Ya-honk!  he says, and sounds it down to me like an invitation:
The pert may suppose it meaningless, but I listen closer,
I find its purpose and place up there toward the November sky."

-   Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass, 1855, I Celebrate Myself, Line 238

I am well aware that the mallards in the reflecting pool on the Mall in Washington DC and the wild gander Mr. Whitman wrote about in the above quotation are two totally different types of fowl.   But oh, the analogy that jumped out at me as I recalled this post already half written while Mr. B and I watched the perfectly formed "V" of the wild gander leading his flock high above the expansive grounds of Biltmore Estate.  Then to find this quote actually contains the reference to the November sky screamed loudly to me that November will be a month of meaning for me.  The coincidence of all these things just to eerie to not sense something about to happen.  

I'm a simple girl trying to lead a simple life and it doesn't take much to entertain me.  We watched these mallards ducking their heads and sticking their tails up in the air for well over half an hour.  We laughed till we cried at how they were able to accomplish this totally in sync with each other.  (This all happened of course AFTER Mr. B tried to entice me to run fully clothed through the reflecting pool yelling, "Forest, Forest"....i.e. Forest Gump)  At the time, the mallards were just funny.  It was only after I looked at the pictures did I notice how much it reminded me of the avoidance tactic, "if I can't see it, it doesn't exist."  Just stick your head under water and your tail up in the air.  Or perhaps, in the case of the geese, just mindlessly get in line flying south in perfect formation and therefore avoid the cold, harsh impending winter. 

As Mr. Whitman says, the "pert" may find all this meaningless, but I choose to believe that in the great circle of life, all things are connected and I can find much meaning, purpose and place under the water, in the sky and during the month of November.  The mallards don't STAY under the water, the geese COME BACK in the spring and a very determined Sharon chooses to do the same in November.

November is a month in which we focus on gratitude and giving thanks.  I refuse to begin this month on a tone of discouragement as discussed in my last post.  On the other hand, I refuse to be anything less than honest by telling you that I've had a complete turnaround and a whole new start.  

Instead, I will say these things.  My head is out of the water, but I will not fly south mindlessly following any particular leader who with one "ya-yonk" orders me into a particular place in the formation.  I've always been one who marches to the beat of a different drummer and pretty much does my own thing really never caring if the crowd agrees with me or not.   There are some areas in my life far away from BlogLand in which I'm having to establish some new boundary lines and that is uncomfortable.  It is affecting my weight loss journey in a way I'm determined to change.   And where the change must begin is in my refusal to make excuses for poor eating that leads to discouragement.  It just doesn't have to be that way.   Diane wrote an excellent post this morning on Emotional Eating.  I know that in some instances, I overeat in response to certain emotions.  But I also believe it is deeper than just saying, boredom, anxiety, etc.  This is something I'm exploring right now and am certain that doing the hard work to pinpoint this particular emotion will open up some much needed insight into my current discouragement.  So, today, as neurotic as it may sound, I am much encouraged within the face of my discouragement.  Progress is being made and that's why this blog remains such an important part of my journey.

My long term goals remain the same and I am particularly grateful to those of you who forcefully reminded me that I have lost 45.5 pounds and maintained that loss for three years.  The remaining 20 will come off at the right time and my job for the month of November is to lighten up and focus on the successes while learning new lessons about appropriate eating, proper boundaries in relationships and coping gratefully with gains and losses as I see them through my eyes!

So get your head out of the water, your tail out of the air, your wings out of the "V" and come along for the ride.  Let's all march just a little bit differently than everyone else.  That's what makes each of us unique!  I am so thankful for every comment you take the time to post.  It means a lot and gives me courage to continue with both the writing and the weight loss. 

My November is going to be NO-NONSENSE!   What's yours going to be?


  1. Here's the other great thing about that V formation - the birds share the load. There is power in the group. Kinda like what I wrote about drafting not too long ago. And that of course reminds me that while we all need to find our own way and we each need to do this for ourselves, we can also draw strength from each other on our journey.

    That said, I love the no-nonsense for the November buzz word. It was a bit of a rude awakening today to realize the year really is almost over. So whatever it is that each of us out here wants to accomplish before 2011, we really need to get cracking on it TODAY!

  2. Thanks for your kind comment for me today. I guess we'll both have a No Nonsense November. Together. ;-)

  3. Here's to a Novem to Remem ...

    Be like a duck on th reflecting pond. Calm on top, paddling away like crazy (unseen) below the surface! Our diets are like that. People see our shrinking waistlines, and have no idea how much work went into making that happen! lol

    This November, I'm going to focus on remembering the little things - water intake, regular exercise (3x/week), smarter/healthier food choices!

  4. Hi, Sharon! I like the whole No-Nonsense in November" too. :D!

    Weight loss is not for cowards, that's for sure. It takes courage to dig deep and courage to face what we dig up! You have the courage that you need.

    And you have the heart, too. Thanks for your kind comment on my blog, too. Your heart shines thru your words.


  5. I like the idea of a No-Nonsense November. :-)

  6. Great post! My November will require some personal changes and adjustments that I'm hoping don't result in (upward) changes to the scale. :)

  7. Sharon, thanks for your very kind comments to me on the death of my niece.

    I am so happy that you are committing to introspection, because I love to hear about the discoveries that people make about their behavior. It often gives me a clue about my own.

    I'll be out of town for a few days but will check back on all your posts when I return Saturday from the funeral. Keep inspiring me!

    Thanks again for your generosity of spirit.

  8. You can do it!! So many times on November 1 I've thought things like "It is no use now to diet" or the even worse "I'll just maintain" through the end of the year. This year is different for all of us.

  9. Awesome post. We live next to a duck pond and I can sit outside and watch them for a long time. It is so peaceful!

    I like the no nonsense November theme! I plan on continuing to improve on my goals for the Hot 100 through November. Do some kind things for those less fortunate than me and be in an attitude of gratitude!

  10. Oooh, I like that... No Nonsense November!

    I was just thinking this morning, after I weighed in and saw I lost ZERO for October, that I wanted to do better in November.

    Here's to a great November,

  11. I think I will choose to be extra thankful this month. Thankful that my body can still move very well. Thankful for so many choices of healthy foods that are delicious. Thankful that I CAN still work. I guess its the obvious choice, with Thanksgiving coming up at the end of the month, but for me its a necessary discipline. I am not always thankful.

  12. HI Sharon,
    I am still catching up from my fall break on my blog reading. So this comment will cover a few of your posts. First, I do think it is amazing that you and Tish hit it off so well. Yes, I think the next time you meet you will both be closer to goal weight.

    Second, this is a life journey that we are on. One of the best outcomes for me is the understanding that I have about why I overeat in the first place. Sounds like you are experiencing that as well. I, too, am somewhat stalled in my weight loss, but, I know why, too. Don;t be too hard on yourself-you have come far already. Every bit counts toward your goals.

    Like the adage of no-nonsense November. We all have to remind each other to stay strong, Michele

  13. I like "no-nonsense"! I may adopt that.
    I think I'll go with "Marbear in November - kicking ass and taking names." ;-)

  14. Mine is also going to be as no-nonsense as possible!!! We're doing things all together different this year. One of those things is as much hiking (my new love) as we can fit in. I'm completely ready for our hike Sharon. We really need to pick a day and go for it...Mouse Creek Falls is calling my name...and yours too!!! It might be easier to plan our little outing if we talked. You can find my email on my blog. I hope to hear from you soon!!!

    Oh, and I can't forget to mention that I'm also still struggling with the whole boundary issue. It's not so cut and dry as I'd like it to be. It takes time and courage to put those boundries in place. I'm comforted to read that you're still working on this as well.