Posts Tagged ‘Reverb10’

This month I’m participating in 30 Days of Thanks (#30DaysofThanks) by writing a blog post about 30 things I’m thankful for. To join in, go to the link above. The best part is, you don’t need to have a blog or even be on social media to take part in the project; you just need to be thankful. I can’t wait to see how my life might change by spending the 30 days in November giving thanks for things in my life — every single day.

It’s getting to be the time of year for reflecting on this year and looking forward to next year, known as #reverb.  I’d taken part in #reverb10 and absolutely adored it.  Then, last year the people running #reverb decided not to manage it, and instead, I participated in #weverb11, to which I got to contribute several prompts.  So I went to Twitter to find out what was up for this year:

Today I’m thankful for Kat, @ I Saw You Dancing who is organizing one of the many #Reverb12 reflections going on throughout the blogosphere/Twitter/Instagram/FB.

So, this post is also a shout out for #Reverb12 – I hope you’ll join in on the fun.  The process is a rewarding one, which is why I do it year after year.  If you have FB, Twitter, and of course a blog, I highly encourage you to participate.  Who’s in?


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If you read my blog last year at this time, you’ll remember that I took part in #reverb10, which was a great way to reflect on the past year and then look ahead to the next one.  I enjoyed having a prompt to write about each day, and I found that it allowed me to get creative in a way that I don’t normally do on this blog. I was excited to participate again this year, until I got an email from one of the founders, Gwen Bell, who explained that due to a change in life circumstances, there would be no #reverb11 this year.  Luckily, several fellow #reverb participants decided to take up the cause.

With so many different off-shoots to choose from, I decided to go with the one that I felt most affinity towards.  I liked that Kimberly Michelle took up the cause so quickly and that she created a Google doc for us to help write prompts to.  I offered 5 or 6 of my own, and if we’re lucky, a couple of them might be used. Here’s a bit more about how #WEverb11 was born.

I’m excited to participate again this year, and if you’re interested, click here.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new
prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s
next in 2011. December 29 –
Defining Moment Describe a defining moment or series of events that
has affected your life this year. (Author: Kathryn Fitzmaurice)
2010 brought many defining moments: getting Lulu, deciding to move,
and choosing to apply for lap band surgery. Each of these actions
had positive ripple effects that will last into 2011 and beyond.
For this post, I’ll focus on the 3rd item – lap band surgery. In
late June of 2010 I finally decided to take my doctor’s advice and
look into lap band surgery. And that decision allowed me to move
away from the thought that wls was the easy way out. Far from it,
it’s a tool that aids in weight loss, but it only works if the
person is 100% committed. I feel strongly that lap band surgery is
going to be exactly what I need to finally take this weight off.
It’s not magic, it’s a method. One of the requirements of the
surgery is to lose 30 lbs (for me, everyone has individual goals
set by their surgeons). Faced with this seemingly daunting
challenge I started tracking in LoseIt and cut my daily calories to
Kaiser’s recommended 1200. I had lots of stops & starts,
but decided to eat frozen entrees for dinner as a way to control
portions. That, coupled with finding my “sweet spot” of 1400
calories helped me finally figure out how to start losing weight. I
can confidently write that I will have all 30 pounds off by March
2011. The most significant moment came when the surgeon told me I
had to quit smoking or he wouldn’t operate. Before that, I’d wanted to quit but wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to. That was the only impetus needed. I’ve been smoke free for 143 days!!!

And here’s that moment of definition: I proved to myself that if I put my mind to something and completely commit to it, I can do anything.

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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Here it is the last week of 2010.  The time has flown by, especially since September!  The latter part of 2010 has brought with it so many positive changes, which I know will continue well into 2011.  There’s so much going on this week, and I can’t believe I’ve already been on my Winter Break a week and a half. Her’s a bit of what’s been happening for me:

  • I saw Black Swan with my friend Alice last Tuesday, and it was better than I’d hoped.  It was a haunting, dark movie that showed the seedier side of the ballet world.  It depicted psychosis, obsession, compulsion, and manipulation.  It was intense and shocking, and Natalie Portman definitely deserves a nomination, if not the main award for her portrayal.  If you like psychological thrillers,  go see it.
  • I helped my sister pack, and as we added dishes to boxes, we started imagining how wonderful her new life (and by extension of how close we’ll live, my new life) will be.  It’s overwhelming and exciting, all at the same time.  It’s well past time, but the perfect time. Everything has fallen into place and it’s definitely meant to be.
  • Christmas Eve I went to my parents’ house and had a delicious cioppino dinner with my parents and my mom’s cousin and his wife. We spent a nice evening catching up on all of the events of the past few months and looked forward to the new year.  They came back to my house for dessert, and really made me feel great with all of their compliments.  They were amazed at the size of the place, but also extremely impressed with the way I had set it up.
  • The morning of the 25th I finally unpacked the last of the 10+ boxes of books that it took to finish my bookcase.  It feels good to have that task completed, and while the room still looks under-furnished and undecorated, it’s filled with a bit more pizazz now that the  bookcase is done.
  • Christmas Day my sister, nieces, and Minnie arrived and we had a great time.  Dinner with my parents at their house, games played, presents unwrapped, and love all around.  Then LC and the girls headed back to my place for the night.  Once everyone was settled in, I felt a contentedness that I haven’t felt in so long.  It was nice to know that everyone was safe and sound and about to embark on a whole new future.
  • The 26th the girls’ father picked them up (an hour and a half late, ahem) and LC and my dad spent the day painting their new bedroom.  Meanwhile, I took care of the pups.  It was nice to have my sister to myself that night, when she stayed over.
  • The next day, LC & my dad finished painting, transplanted LC’s roses and calla lilies.  They look fantastic, and will look even better when everything is in bloom.
  • I’ve been reading an amazing book, The Last Will of Moira Leahy, by Therese Walsh.  If you’re looking for something smart, quick, mysterious, and captivating, definitely check it out.
  • Lulu & Minnie have become fast friends, and they play together all day long.  Here’s a little sample from last night, before bedtime:

The rest of this week is sure to be a blur of activity:

  • LC and my nieces move in on the 29th, and I’ll spend that day helping her unpack and get the house organized.  I am so excited!!
  • I still have to organize my closets, and I’m while I’m really dreading it, it won’t be as daunting as I’m making it out to be.  2 hours, tops.  It’s one of those things that I just have to start, but once I get going, it will be faster than expected.  I’m going to get to that today, for sure.
  • Sometime before Monday I have to find time to grade those 45 essays. Yuck.  But, it has to be done so that next week and the one after aren’t miserable.  I’ll be able to carve out a couple of hours on Thursday and Friday and get them done.
  • I’m seeing my friend Di on NYE day, which will be nice.  She’s a single mom so it’s not easy for us to find time together, but she’s anxious to see my place, say hi to LC, and catch up.
  • My yoga studio is offering free classes on the hour all weekend, so LC and I are definitely going to attend a Bikram class (or two).  It’s the ideal way for her to start her new life, and for me to start the new year, refreshed, renewed, and balanced.
  • I’ll be finishing up my Reverb10 posts this week.  I’ve enjoyed writing them immensely, and while it wasn’t always easy to find the time to write each day, I did it, and I’m glad.  A few themes/topics were prominent in my posts, as Carina pointed out to me.  (She said the same was true of her Reverb10 posts, too).  I agree with her assessment that this means that “we have a good perspective on the past year and lots of drive to ACHIEVE the goals we’re setting for 2011.”  I’m hoping to find some other writing prompts like Reverb10 to write throughout 2011.  If anyone has any suggestions for sites, please let me know.  The Reverb10 creators mentioned something about it continuing periodically into 2011, so here’s hoping.
  • I’m looking forward to writing two other posts this week – my 2010 wrap-up post and my 2011 goals post.  Look for those soon.

I hope all of you have a fabulous week.

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 28 – Achieve
What’s the thing you most want to achieve next year? How do you imagine you’ll feel when you get it? Free? Happy? Complete? Blissful? Write that feeling down. Then, brainstorm 10 things you can do, or 10 new thoughts you can think, in order to experience that feeling today. (Author: Tara Sophia Mohr)

What a great prompt!  I love that it asks me to not only think about a goal (which is easy), but also to experience the “feeling” associated with it, and it wants me to give myself that feeling today, right now.  Love it!

So, it will be no surprise to you that the thing I most want to achieve in 2011 is significant weight loss.  It’s a 3-step process: 1. lose 30 lbs to get on the list for lap band surgery, 2. have the surgery, 3. use the lap band as a tool to achieve weight loss success.

How will I feel?  Relieved, satisfied, accomplished, overwhelmed with happiness, and (to take one from the prompt) blissful.

So how what can I do/think today so that I can feel those feeling right now?  Hmmm, this is a bit more difficult:

  • Relieved, satisfied, and accomplished – I can reorganize my closets and have that sense of a job well done.  The new-found organization will make me feel very relieved, I’ll be satisfied that I got rid of some clutter, and I’ll feel a huge sense of accomplishment that I finally completed the task, and I can cross it off my “to do during Winter Break” list.
  • Overwhelmed with Happiness – This is a pretty tall order, especially for an ordinary Tuesday.  I suppose that walking Lulu makes me feel extremely happy because I love seeing the neighborhood through her eyes, I love getting out in the fresh air and taking a long walk, and I enjoy our bonding time.  As I write this Lulu and Minnie are wrestling/playing with each other, and it’s the cutest thing ever to see them so happy.  I also think I’ll feel this way when my sister has moved in tomorrow, but since this is today (and not tomorrow), that can’t count.  😉
  • Blissful – After a long day of managing two puppies, cleaning & organizing my house, and helping to prepare for the impending move, I think a relaxing bubble bath with a big glass of wine sounds quite blissful.  Actually, it sounds exactly like a plan to me!!

What about you?  How can you make sure that today, right now, you feel the way you would when you achieve your biggest goal?

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 25 – Photo – a present to yourself
Sift through all the photos of you from the past year. Choose one that best captures you; either who you are, or who you strive to be. Find the shot of you that is worth a thousand words. Share the image, who shot it, where, and what it best reveals about you. (Author: Tracey Clark)

There were very few photos taken of me by other people, other than the ones my sister took of Lulu & me for our Christmas card (some of which you can see in my previous post). That’s one thing that I’d like to work on for 2011: go to more events where I’d have the opportunity to have people  take photos of me.  (Obviously, not for the photos but for the event).

This photo I’ve chosen is a sweatyface photo (sweatyface = a photo after you’ve worked up a sweat by being active/worked out/exercised).  It’s a self portrait of who I strive to be.  I hope to take lots of sweatyface photos in 2011.  In fact, I just might make it a regular feature.

I took this in my car after an incredible bikram yoga session. Notice the very rosy cheeks and forehead.

What would your photo be of?

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 23 – New Name
Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why? (Author: Becca Wilcott)

This one’s easy: I wouldn’t change my name, because I love it.  My real name is wonderful (although I won’t share it with you for privacy’s sake), and I would never want to be called anything else in my real life.  I’ve already changed my name to Bella for the purposes of this blog and Twitter, and I like that name too.  It means “beautiful” in Italian, and I think that’s exactly what I am – a beautiful, caring, pretty, intelligent, fun, warm, compassionate, spicy, outspoken person.

My name is my identity, and I couldn’t see myself as anyone else.  To change my name would mean I’d be changing the most primal part of myself, and I have no desire to do that.

Names are important, and I think people choose names for their children with care.  I know my parents did.  My mom said that she knew before she had me that if they had a girl, they were going to give her my name.  And then when they saw me, they knew it was going to fit perfectly.

Even when I was choosing a name for my new puppy, I knew Lulu was it.  I wanted something that evoked personality, fun, and lightness, and that’s exactly what the name Lulu means, to me.  And Lulu lives up to her name every single day.

Would you want to change your name?  To what?

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 15 – 5 Minutes
Imagine you will completely lose your memory of 2010 in five minutes. Set an alarm for five minutes and capture the things you most want to remember about 2010. (Author: Patti Digh)

I like this prompt because it makes me take stock of the year in a really short amount of time, so the most important things will bubble up to the surface first.  Here goes, setting the timer on my iPhone for 5 minutes and typing furiously:

  1. Lulu!
  2. I moved into this great new duplex.
  3. I decided to have lap band surgery.
  4. I was accepted into Kaiser’s Bariatric Surgery program.
  5. I finally gave up on WW and started counting calories, and it seems to have made all the difference. For me.  I’m not knocking WW, because it’s a great program for most.  Just not for me.
  6. I learned how to breathe properly when I swim, and find swimming to be one of the best “almost spiritual” activities I can do.
  7. I explored new exercises: Zumba & belly dancing, and realized how much I enjoy exercise classes.
  8. I discovered how much I love taking daily walks with Lulu.
  9. I have a knack for decorating, and I started showing that off more in 2010 by redoing my living room and decorating for the fall and winter seasons.
  10. I have the best support system in the world: my family, friends, and most of all, all of the online friends I’ve made on this blog and on Twitter.

I did that list with 1:07 to spare.  Because really, those are the most important things that happened to me or that I want to remember.  Sometimes less is more.  It’s kind of fun to drill down the year into 5 minutes, into 10 things, and realize that life doesn’t have to be as complicated as we make it.

What would you capture in your 5 minutes?

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For the month of December, I’ll be participating in Reverb 10. Each day gives a new prompt, which is a chance to reflect on 2010 and manifest what’s next in 2011.

December 10Wisdom
What was the wisest decision you made this year, and how did it play out? (Author: Susannah Conway)

I feel as if I’ve made many wise decisions in 2010 – moving to an amazing duplex, encouraging my sister to move back to our hometown, getting Lulu, switching from WW to counting calories (not that I have anything against WW, it just didn’t work for me, personally), deciding to get Lap Band surgery, etc.   But one of the best decisions that I made came in the middle of the year.

I quit smoking!!!

I’d been wanting to quit for some time, in fact, I tried to quit on Jan. 1, but that attempt failed miserably.  It wasn’t until the head of bariatric surgery at Kaiser said that the would not, under any circumstances, perform any weight loss surgery unless we had quit smoking that I actually knew I HAD to quit.  And so I did.

Other than a bit of a struggle on the 3rd day, it really wasn’t that difficult.  Granted, I have gained about 10 pounds since I quit, but that weight is coming off and when I compare that to the boost I gave my health by quitting, it’s a small price to pay.

It’s been 4 months (122 days!!) now, and I can honestly say that I don’t miss it, most of the time.  There are twinges now and then when I know a cig would be ideal, but those are few and far between.  The other day my mom commented about how happy she was that I’d quit, and I can say with all honesty that I hadn’t even thought about smoking for at least 2 weeks until she mentioned it.  It’s actually surreal how quickly I’ve let that part of my life go.

For so long I thought I’d always be a smoker.  Even though I knew it was bad for me, I felt so tied to it that I seriously didn’t think I’d have the will to stop.  And yet I did.  Just like that.  So it gives me the pride and the confidence in myself to know that if I can do that, I can do anything – including lose the required 30+ pounds to qualify for Lap Band surgery.  So I KNOW it will happen in the first quarter of 2011.

A while ago Carina asked me at what point would I consider myself a non smoker vs. someone who had just been smoke free a certain amount of time.  And I can say that as of today I completely consider myself a non-smoker.  I know I’ll never go back, and it feels fantastic to be able to say that I’m over my dependence on nicotine.

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