Tag Archives: Becoming

Synchronicity and the BMI

I believe in synchronicity because many times when I am ruminating about an issue up pops the information that I need.

The issue that I have been thinking about for a while is weight gain and obesity in older people (women in particular). And how obesity is defined by the use of certain parameters like the BMI.

I have noticed that as I get older I have accumulated weight with hardly any effort and find it very hard to lose the weight. There are many factors that contribute to weight gain in older women besides just overeating. Let me list a few.

Some of the factors are decreased metabolism, or we don’t need as many calories and don’t burn up the calories as efficiently. This also makes it difficult to lose weight by reducing caloric intake. I know with me my metabolism seems to slow down even more if I restrict calories. Another factor is the natural loss of muscle as we age. Muscle helps our bodies burn calories. Stress from worrying about weight loss, among other things I worry about, can cause increase cortisol which then results in my body wanting to hold onto weight. Many older women have hypothyroidism which again affects the metabolism. And there can be a genetic predisposition and your body’s natural make-up that leads to being a larger size.

For all these reasons and more older people (women) many times end up in the overweight and obese section of the weight chart at the doctor’s office. I say that there needs to be a change at the way we look at weight, and older people should not be compared to younger people when it comes to defining obesity.

There can be dangers with dieting. Dieting often leads to muscle loss instead of fat loss. It is actually dangerous for older people to lose muscle because this can affect balance which can lead to falls and worse. Studies have shown that low weight is worse for recovery from surgery than being overweight.

So today I found a great article on Next Avenue that really resonates with what I have been thinking called ” Why Our Culture is Obsessed with Thinness,” by Patricia Corrigan.

Here is just one of the many excerpts from the article I loved about how nutsy we are about diet that even when women were in hospice with cancer they refused to eat desert.

Consider this: A hospice chef in Wisconsin told a science journalist that many of the dying women who were still able to eat “refused bread, salad dressing, butter, chocolate, desserts and other ‘fattening’ foods.”

You’re on your last lap, and you think it is imperative to pass up salad dressing and say “no” to chocolate?

Another point Patricia makes, which I have been thinking about as well, is that people naturally come in all different shapes and sizes with different genetic make-ups and it is unrealistic and wrong to expect everyone to fit into these narrow parameters that are considered normal by our society.

She also shares information about another author who has written a book about this topic, Harriet Brown “Body of Truth,” which I intend to read. In fact, I could quote Patricia’s whole article verbatim but I will let those interested click on the link above to read for themselves. I will share this information in the article from Harriet Brown’s book:

  • dieting and weight cycling (aka yo-yo dieting) leads to unhealthy physical and psychological effects
  • physical and psychological damage comes from being rigid, chaotic and fearful about eating
  • people unhappy with their weight are more likely to give up on health-positive activities than heavy people who are satisfied with their weight
  • whether you diet or don’t, you are going to die

Patricia and others have made the point that weight loss has become a big industry with pharmaceuticals and all kinds of diet specialists and diet foods. I suggest, along with Patricia, Harriet and others that we take a critical look at the current cultural spin on weight  and start to “change the conversations about weight and health with ourselves, our families, our friends and our doctors.”

I intend to take her article with me to my next doctors appointment.

How to Find the Meaning in My Life

I have been thinking a lot lately about my life and how I want to make it more meaningful for me. This is a process of self-discovery as well. Tuning in and turning inward to myself.

For many years it was about the outer world and what was demanded of me, in work, marriage and motherhood. I had to fulfill certain roles, meet expectations, requirements, and others’ needs. Now I find I have more time to think, and to think more about myself. This is a new experience because for so long so much of me was given away. It’s like here I am, still here after everything.

My journey now is tuning into what feels right, in what I believe, where I want to focus my energies, to be aware of what energizes me, and what drains my energy. I want to devote more and more time to what energizes me, what I love. I want to be sure to spend more time on the relationships I really care about as well.

Even if you are in an earlier stage of life, I think it is important to carve out time for your own self discovery and enrichment. What do you think?

Image by O. Palsson via Flickr

Letting Go

“Although we have been made to believe that if we let go we will end up with nothing, life reveals just the opposite: that letting go is the real path to freedom.” –Sogyal Rinpoche

Letting go can be releasing long held negative emotions about things that happened in the past. Like perceived or real wrongs done to you by others, memories of people letting you down, or disappointments you have experienced.

When we have all this energy tied up in these feelings about past events it is not available for us in our life now. Part of us is still locked in that past and is unable to move forward to something new. Unable to fully experience our lives now.

There is another type of letting go I am thinking about now. We have to be willing to let go when something has not worked out for us or when we feel the need to move on to grow. When we experience disappointments or reach a place where we are stagnating.

There is a lot of resistance to letting go of the familiar when we do not know what will be there to fill that space. The familiar feels more secure even when we are very unhappy with our situation. It is known versus the scary unknown.

In the past, I have sometimes been unwilling to give up or admit something is not working out for me. It could have been a mixture of pride, fear of admitting failure, and thinking that it is wrong to give up. I have spent too long in many jobs because I thought I should not give up and admit it was not working out or that it was a bad fit for me.

I did not take the time to look inside at who I was and how that person fit with my work situation.  Many times it was like trying to force a puzzle piece into a place where it really did not belong. Parts of it might look like it should fit but it just wasn’t quite the right shape. If you keep trying to fit yourself in and it is not working you need to look at that.

When you are able to admit that you need to make a change, it does take courage to let go. To let go of that dream and start looking for a better fit for you. In the beginning it is scary because you may not have any idea where you are going or what is the right direction.

At this point, it is good to listen to your inner voice and let it guide you in the direction that feels right to you. Trust that as you start to explore your horizons you will find the right path to where you need to go.

You will probably need to sit with the not knowing for a while as well. Many of us, including me, have a tendency to want to find the answer as soon as possible and embark on a new course right away. This can cause us to jump into something too quickly that is truly not the right fit. It is better to take time for reflection and exploration. To feel your way along through the process and check in with yourself to see what feels right. You need to be open, trust, and have faith. Then take the first step on the next part of your journey. The first step is letting go.

” Mystery is what happens to us when we allow life to evolve rather than having to make it happen all the time…Just to see. Just to notice. Just to be there.”–Joan Chittister


I am out of town for a few days. I wrote this a few days ago but felt it went well with Stream of Consciousness Saturday for “go.”


Introduction to Me and Blogging

I started blogging to get practice with writing and as an experiment to see where it would lead and if I would like it. I started out blogging with a generational theme as a boomer then decided that I did not want to limit myself to one age group or topics related specifically to one age group. There are issues I am concerned about related to age, women, life and others.

When I was younger I always wanted to know people of different ages and backgrounds. So now I want to still do that  and not limit my writing. Only in that it applies to being human and my experience. I  can be funny, I think, but did not want to have that type of blog either where I made a joke of everything I am experiencing. I did do some writing like that at first.

I do not want to be an advice blog. I could probably manage to do that as well but have not wanted to so far. I would like to have a universal appeal and not be limited and not be preachy. I don’t want to have to write in a way that is calculated to appeal to an audience but is not really authentic to me.

Now we know what I do not want to do. So no one will want to read what I write? 🙂

The  main thing for me is to develop my skills and find my voice. I see the blog as a way to do that and to connect with other writers who may share my interests or enable me to develop some new interests as well.

I do like writing about my interests like movies, books, California, my life and some of my early life experiences and issues important to me now.

I chose the name of my blog, Notes Tied on the Sagebrush, based on an image that came to mind  of someone writing and not knowing who would read it, or if anyone would, and the notes being a way of self-expression.

I may want to begin a more ambitious writing project as in a book eventually. And would not like the blog to take up a lot of time that I could use to do research and other writing.

I have found I do look for feedback with the blogs I have written already. That can get to be unhealthy though, in that one can spend their time looking to see who likes their posts.

Wasn’t Facebook involved in a project like that to try to influence people’s behavior by giving them what they had liked in the past? I could become addicted to “likes.”

Featured Image of Blog Writer by Mike Licht, NotionsCapitol.com

Birthday Flower Image by jinterwas

Birthday Flower Image by jinterwas

Now Voyager

“ Now, Voyager, sail thou forth to seek and find.” Walt Whitman

It can be a struggle to find our voice, to come in to our own. It can take a long time or never happen at all.  We all need role models and stories about people who have gone through what we are going through and come out all right. That is why I love stories about late bloomers or people overcoming obstacles and finding their true selves and voice. They are so inspiring and life affirming.  Like Susan Boyle who stood up in front of those “judges” with her heavy eyebrows and a bit dowdy looks, opened her mouth, and out came this angel voice.

I’ve always liked old movies on this theme as well. Those with strong women characters who have overcome obstacles.  One is “Now, Voyager” with Betty Davis. In it she plays a woman who is so oppressed by her mother that her true self is almost lost. When we first see her she looks frumpy with heavy eyebrows. What is it with the heavy eyebrows?  Then after having a  breakdown she goes to this beautiful sanitarium and is treated by this humanistic psychiatrist, (today with our improved healthcare system, she would be given a prescription for Prozac and told to come back in a month).  She then goes through a metamorphosis and becomes, what was inside all along, a beautiful woman who has sensitivity, a brain and a great Orry Kelly wardrobe.  Her new self is very vulnerable and she almost gives up.  But she receives support from someone who loves her for who she truly is and this gives her strength to face up to her critical disapproving mother and relatives. It helps to have support of at least one other person who accepts us for who we are becoming.

It is not just the outward appearance or physical makeover that is important in itself. The outward appearance means nothing if inwardly you have not changed. In this movie, the outward change is a symbol of what is going on inside as the butterfly emerging from the chrysalis signals inner transformation.

Another movie about finding yourself is  “ Pat and Mike” with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy.  Pat is a very talented woman athlete. She excels at golf and tennis. Spencer Tracy plays Mike her mentor, manager and coach. Pat is very sensitive to her boyfriend Collier’s disapproval. This boyfriend is her kryptonite. Every time he is watching her perform she falls apart and can’t do anything right when he is around. Mike says Pat is like a thoroughbred racehorse, very sensitive and high strung. His support of her and belief in her abilities help her to build her self-confidence.

It is so important for everyone to be able to find expression for their true selves, abilities and passions. In his book “Cancer as a Turning Point” Lawrence LeShan  describes his work with many people diagnosed with cancer. He found that it is crucial for people to mobilize their immune systems in fighting cancer. To find “what is his (or her) special and unique ways of being, relating, creating , that are his own and natural ways to live…” Not doing what we think we should do but what we need to do for our lives to be fulfilling. That this gives us a zest for life and makes us glad to get up in the morning. He says, “Do not worry about what the world wants of you. Worry about what makes you come alive because what the world needs is people who are more alive.”