Dr. Laura; whether you love her, or hate her, she had a heck of a good call a few years ago. The topic?
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For the third time, I hit the back button on the podcast in iTunes, while re-reading an older email, from a dear friend and mentor who used to coach me when my life/food/balance was starting to slip. Her words to me when I confessed to not doing what I knew I should
“Do you know why? Is it that you're not hungry? Or that you're distracted? Your only weakness is that you allow others to disrupt your rhythm. Never forget to protect your habits and rituals the way you protect anything else that's important to you.”
She probably doesn't know it, but I still carry those words with me on a notecard in my bag
— — —
“Self Discipline. You don't find it anywhere. Instead, one practices it” ~ Dr. Laura
The caller, a college student, was having trouble focusing on school. Life had taken a left turn at Albuquerque, and she'd pretty much unplugged. I waited for her list of problems. Of course, once the problems were solved, the rest would naturally fall into place. Not so much ..
“So why do you think everyone else was able to get their school work done, in spite of their own distractions?”
“Which do you want to do? Go on and on about all the distractions, or talk about how you cave in?”
“This is an important question. Do you believe that our conversation about how to persist through things that are distracting would change based on what the distraction was?”
Not so much
I pushed pause and sat quietly, staring at my screen
For me, a bad day will be one of two kinds
There's the movie kind, sort of like One Fine Day where everything is terribly unfortunate and just won't stop going wrong. You just sort of make it through
You show up late to exercise class, wearing your breakfast stained tee, searching for your bra that you swore you grabbed on your way out the door. You duck under your yoga mat while the torrential rain pours. You redeem the day with something carb-laden before starting again tomorrow
I get these kind. I'm really pretty ok with these kind. It's survival of the fittest
Then there's the other kind. The kind that doesn't show up in the movies, because there'd be nothing to see on the screen. You're wearing a clean t-shirt, and it's really only raining in your head. Except you're not even sure that it's rain. Could it be a blustery wind? Snow? Sleet? Hail? Maybe a tornado is on the horizon?
And where in the world is the sun?
— — —
That was this week
I can't tell you one thing that went wrong, but rather, a strange series of things that were just a little bit wrong. The tiniest little-bit-offs.
I burned the rice pudding. My new pedicure chipped. Clouds rolled in the minute I wanted to photograph something delicious. I mustered enough courage to make a phone call and then made awkward attempts at small talk; knowing I've already been written off ..
I tried a few down dogs with the puppies on the living room floor. It was if we were all just sort of going through the motions. So very clearly not really into the day
It's funny, I get into these moods, and they instantly transfer to all of the pets. Maybe it's my perfume (or lack thereof)? I wonder if they know because my eyes are kind of vacant. The gears turn slower. The fuse burns shorter
I hang up the phone; a tear slides down my cheek. Harry gently licks my face
It could just as easily have been me calling to complain about all of the things that get in the way of eating well and caring for myself. The woman whose life has been an open book, reflected in the size of her behind. When it's going well, I'm ok. When it's not? Well, it's no secret sugar has been my drug of choice
I read from my notecard, “Your only weakness is that you allow others to disrupt your rhythm. Never forget to protect your habits and rituals the way you protect anything else that's important to you.”
“And so the question will be, can you persist through them? This will ultimately make the difference between somebody who is successful and ultimately happy, and someone who's ultimately not successful and not happy?” ~ Dr. Laura
But Dr. Laura wasn't done just yet ..
“What mattered most is when something upset you, your response was to stop. When there are obligations and responsibilities, you have to follow through. Plus, now you've developed the attitude that when horrible things happen, you'll screw yourself over in other ways
No matter what it was, no matter how horrible it was, you have to rise above it and move on anyway. Don't you? Or else you let it win. Bad guys and bad luck won. They took out your life. You shouldn't give up on yourself that easily. The bigger lesson for you is to fight through it.”
So very well said
The next thing then
A nap. A book. A walk. A favor for a neighbor. A few more ice cubes in my water glass. A single birthday cookie. No extra trips to the refrigerator. A course correction of the smallest degree
And, most of all, a phone call to someone who always makes me smile. “Grandma, I learned a new joke at school today!”
Will you remember me in a year?
Will you remember me in a month?
Will you remember me in a week?
See? You forgot me already!
— — —
A whispered prayer that we don't
For my friend and mentor, who nudged me ever so gently to be kind to myself, to recognize when I've had a bad day and have a tendency to slip, to have the discipline to keep going on this journey of feeding myself well and moving some every day
“You shouldn't give up on yourself that easily” ~ Dr. Laura
— — —
This week marked the half-way point in the 10-week challenge at the gym. A brief update on my progress. I haven't gotten on the scale, so I'm not certain how much (if any) weight I've lost. I've made it to class (at least) five days a week and going feels like a habit again. I feel so much stronger and better than when I started
Every week a new recipe is posted on the bulletin board, and this is one of my favorites to-date.
If you love a good avocado dressing, it's definitely one to try. A blender dressing fragrant with fresh cilantro, seasoned with garlic, and lemon, and boosted with greek yogurt. It's brimming with good-for-you ingredients, yet tastes exceptionally decadent.
It's the sort of dressing that is ideal on a wedge of lettuce (or grilled lettuce), but I imagine it would be a brilliant complement to any veggie platter.
I used it for a simple lettuce and mixed veggie salad with toasted nuts and (more) herbs. Other ways I can imagine putting it to use? Drizzled over tacos, as a generous dollop on a baked potato (or sweet potato), or even as a sandwich spread.
I guarantee your first batch won't be your last
A few notes:
~ To kick it up a notch, add some jalapeno pepper or a splash or hot sauce
~ If you're doing a Whole30, substitute Paleo mayo for the greek yogurt
~ For a little extra zing, add a Tbsp of ranch powder mix
~ Not a cilantro fan? Try a combination of parsley and dill, or really any herb or combination of herbs you love.
~ The Dr. Laura podcast .. March 4th, Hour 3
— — —
~ Adapted from Okios Yogurt
Avocado Cilantro Dressing (That You'll Want to Put on Everything)
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted
- 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
- 1 small clove garlic
- 1 tbsp lime juice (or lemon juice)
- sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
- Pulse all ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth
- Thin the dressing with a bit of water, depending on your desired consistency