Figuring Out My Gifts

Star tarot cardI had a tarot reading today, the first in a long time that I didn’t do for myself. It became abundantly clear that my primary focus right now needs to be not about weight loss or professional development; it’s about healing my spiritual core. One part of that is figuring out what my gifts are, so that I can reclaim my power.

It sounded well and good when she told me that, and resonated as true. But I don’t really have a clue how to do it. It’s not as easy as opening a catalog and picking a few things out, trying them on for size, and saying, oh sure, THESE are my gifts. Is organization the same kind of gift as the ability to do jigsaw puzzles? What about being compassionate vs speed reading? What about things I may be brilliant at but have never even considered?

This seems like a good thing for me to be working on right now, but I could use some suggestions from you good people about how to go about looking at my life, my heart, my abilities, my talents, to somehow discern my gifts.

Any thoughts?

No Longer a Weight Watcher

Vegetable PeopleI did it. After thinking about this off and on for several weeks, I cancelled my WW membership for meetings and etools, effective mid-April when my current monthly pass runs out.

Eeeeeek. It feels really weird to have done this because I’ve been a WW member for almost six years this time. But I haven’t been working the program or staying for meetings and it was time to either DO those things or own up to what I’m actually doing. Which is not WW.

It’s a wonderful program. It’s the only thing that’s ever really worked for me long-term. It’s the reason I’ve been able to maintain at least some of my last big weight loss. I may be back. But it just was no longer a good fit for me now.

I’ve been enjoying using the SparkPeople site over this last week, seeing nutritional values of what I eat in terms of calories, fat, carbs, protein and fiber. That’s more helpful than arbitrary points, even if points are based on a formula of calories/fat/protein. Points are not created equal and the more complete nutrition shows me why.

I’m going to count Saturday morning weigh in as my daily number. I’m responsible for recording it myself, which I will do. And we’ll see how this goes.

For the last week, my food has been more balanced and I’ve been more aware of not only what I ate but how I ate it. Partly it’s the SparkPeople thing. But I’m also watching Paul McKenna’s I Can Make You Thin programs on TLC and trying to put his simple rules into practice:

1. Don’t starve yourself.
2. Eat when you’re hungry.
3. Eat what you like.
4. Eat consciously.
Plus the usual drinking lots of water, sleeping enough, and getting in some exercise.
There’s no magic involved in this process. Just making better choices than the day before, eating good food that’s good for me, and keep on trying. Wish me luck!

I am No Martha Stewart

Martha StewartI’m home sick today and have been alternating between dozing off with the cat and watching brainless TV. Right now I’m watching the Martha Stewart Show for no good reason except that I’m fascinated in a not good way by today’s craft project: dying Japanese glass pearls to the exact color you want, from green to lavender to pink to gold, and then threading them using satin ribbon and monofilament to make a unique necklace. Perfect to wear with leather, according to Martha. Who knew?

Elle McPherson is today’s guest and she looks like a thinner more beautiful version of the rest of bumbling Us, trying to follow Martha’s nit-picky instructions and getting frustrated when hers turns out looking less, well, perfect. At least she was having fun with it and not trying to take it so seriously. I think.

The last time I wore pearls was when I was dressed up as – aha! – Martha Stewart for Halloween. It was the month she went to prison and I transformed into her by wearing a long skirt, pastel twin-set, short strand of pearls, a white Martha Stewart kitchen apron with a wooden spoon stuck in the pocket — and a set of plastic handcuffs. Everyone knew who I was immediately. Too bad I didn’t know about these custom-designed fancy schmanzy dyed pearls strung on ribbon. Nothing says Martha like an overdone craft project.

Comparing Grocery Stores

Grocery Store AisleThere are two big grocery stores within a mile of my house, essentially across the street and down a few blocks from each other. Both are on my way home from work so it’s easy to stop and pick up a few things. But which to choose?

Store A, on the inbound side of the road, is next to Petco so on days when I need to pick up some of those cans of smelly cat food that Tessie loves, I go there and let one parking spot do double duty. Store A also has my favorite white grape fizzy water and a better supply of Fiber One bars and I like their ready-to-go rotisserie chicken better than the place across the street. Produce and meat are about the same. None of my boxed Corn Chipotle soup in this one, which is a bummer, and they turned their “Natural Dairy” case into something for other liquids but left the sign up which always confuses me. They do, however, have more variety of larabars.

Store B, on the outbound side of the road, is my choice when I need Fage yogurt. They are also the only chain in the region to carry Kim’s Light Bagels which are yummy and low cal/carb/fat/points. The natural food section seems smaller but has more stuff that I like, including my soup. They also have a special aisle where all the specials for the week are, which makes it easier to find them.

Prices in both stores are comparable, with sales on different things at different times. Both let you scan and bag your own groceries, though pretty much I end up bagging them whether a cashier checks me out or not. But Store B has a really cool service that I find I use most of the time now — a little hand-held scanner that you use as you shop, getting a running total as you go. Scan, bag, move on. By the time you’re finished, it’s a simple scan at the register to close the order and you’re on your way. It’s funny to be in an aisle and listen to the little “ca-ching” sound from carts and people around you.

So I find that I’m going to Store B more often than Store A, unless I want fizzy water – or catfood. It’s nice to have choices.

At the Zoo

Today I started out on a mission quest to BBW consignment shop, exclusively for women size 14 and over. I only got lost once, which was pretty much a miracle since I am sometimes geographically challenged, even when armed with directions and a map. The shop was empty – I guess people were out buying chocolate eggs or groceries for a big Easter dinner instead of shopping. There really wasn’t anything of interest today for me, but the nature of consignment is that merchandise is one of a kind and changes quickly. And now I have a good idea of what kinds of things sell, which means I can bring clothes and shoes there the next time.

Siberian tigersInstead of heading home as planned, I ended up going to the zoo. It was a perfect day for it, bright sun for a change, and chilly but not super cold or windy. I really love zoos when they’re not crawling with people who get in the way of connecting with the animals. My idea of a zoo includes lions, elephants, zebras, monkeys and assorted bears. I won’t go into a reptile exhibit if I can help it, and I usually can.

The Beardsley Zoo was a surprise because it’s so tiny for the only zoo in the whole state. No lions or elephants or big bears for me. But I did see the tigers and looked at animals of North and South America instead of the expected African veldt. They looked mostly cuddly, cute and accessible rather than fierce and exotic. In the center of the zoo is a Farmyard section with animals familiar to kids – goats, sheep, pigs, owls, ducks, and the like. No cows, though. There was even a barn cat.

The Siberian tigers were my favorites and I could have watched them for an hour except mostly they were sleeping, and my knee was hurting some after walking around for an hour. I missed the other big animals, though. When I go to DC next month, I definitely want to go to the National Zoo and see pandas, lions, tigers and bears. Oh my!