Thursday, September 29, 2016

Diet Week 1: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly


Over 15 years ago, after I gave birth to my second son, I wanted to lose the baby weight plus some extra weight I had been carrying. Going it alone had not helped me before, so I decided to try Nutrisystem. The food was bland compared to the fat-laden, sugar-infused junk I had previously been shoving down my pie hole, but after about a week, I adjusted to it. What I liked about it was that it helped me curb my carb and sugar cravings (it's low-glycemic, high in fiber), and in about a week I was used to the food. I also added in fruit, veggies, salads, nuts, skim milk, and tons of other healthy options along with the meals. I lost all of the weight I wanted to and felt amazing! 

So years later after putting on quite a bit of weight (I've discussed the why's in my recent blog), and trying to diet many times on my own, I decided I needed Nutrisystem again. For me, it keeps me in control and on track. They even have a NuMi app to log in all of my meals, water, and exercise. They also have frozen meals now and they are tastier. No, I'm not doing a commercial for Nutrisystem, I'm just sharing what I'm going through right now, because that's part of what this blog is about! I am eating about every 2-3 hours. I also drink a bucket load of water every day (64 ounces or more) and green tea.



I ordered a month of meals online, and I was already getting my mind motivated to trim down. I didn't want to wait the week for the meals to arrive, so I went to Wal-Mart to get their 5-day starter kit. I was pretty sure I would start feeling hungry and cranky after day 3, but this time the first day was a struggle! I'm starting out at 1,500 calories a day. In my last diet, I was only eating 1,200 calories a day, yet it was harder this time. It made me realize how much I really had been eating. But I feel determined, and I know I will get through this until I reach my goal weight.

I really wanted to stay off the scale all week, but I just couldn't do it. I had to see if I could actually lose weight again. When I was trying on my own, every time I would get on the scale it would go up. This time, by Saturday I was down 3 pounds. I was so excited! I thought that by my first official weigh-in on Monday, I would be down 4. I wasn't. Cue sad face. But I knew I was being ridiculous. A 1-2 pound weight loss per week is healthy, and 3 is more than enough, especially since it had been going in the other direction for so long. So I got over myself, and will keep going. I am also going to try not to get on the scale every day. I know how it works, our weight fluctuates all the time. The weekly read is a much better judge of how I am doing overall. 

After a couple of days on the diet I started feeling larger than I have ever felt. It's kind of interesting that overeating gave me a warped perspective on my appearance. It's not that I didn't know I was overweight, but something was kind of masking reality. My eyes had apparently been clouded over with glazed donuts and frosting. All of a sudden I saw my size and it wasn't a good feeling. I feel better now. I know how much I need to lose, so it wasn't a shock, it was just an uncomfortable feeling for a bit. I also started feeling nervous for a couple of days. My anxiety was heightened. I thought back to when I lost weight in the past and I remember feeling more anxious thinner. Which of course indicates that a big part of my overeating was to push away those feelings. However, this time I have more tools than I did in the past, and meditation, prayer, and exercise should help quell those feelings. They did subside towards the end of the week.


One of the best parts of the diet this time around is that I'm not trying to do it by myself. Not just having the structure of Nutrisystem, but I have such a strong support system right now. My husband has always been a kind support. He has never said anything negative about my weight ever, except in terms of my health. That has been an enormous gift. It is difficult enough to feel embarrassed about myself, but if I didn't have that kind of unconditional love, I would probably be 500 pounds. I am very grateful. 

My other major support are my friends. I have one forever friend who has lifted me up since we were little. We are both on this journey now with different weight plans and she came up with a beautiful way to inspire each other. She suggested we text each other positive things we do for ourselves regarding our weight loss. This is such a great way to celebrate what we are doing right, instead of beating ourselves up.  I have another friend who has shared in my struggle and is pretty much my long distance coach. She checks in and is always so positive even when I've fallen (as I said before, I've tried losing this without a program and it just wasn't working). 

When I came out of the spiritual closet a few years ago, what I was met with was not what I expected. I didn't share my journey initially because of fear. I didn't know what people would think. I ended up finding that more people felt the way that I did. Being my authentic self and speaking my truth brought far more beauty into my life than what exited. And I am finding the same here with my weight loss journey. Speaking about what I am going through has brought more support, love, and kindness than I ever could have hoped for. It is much easier to live who we are, then what we think others expect. We are here to be ourselves.

Thank you so much for everyone who has been positive and supportive in my journey, it helps more than I can say!

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Things Are Getting Sticky Around Here!



I have been following My Sticky Quotes on Instagram for awhile now. Businesses and individuals who bring positivity to the planet always inspire me. The founder of MyStickyQuotes is a recent college graduate and started the company while still in college. Quite an inspiring feat! Michael Russo was a Philosophy and Business Management major and wanted to "make the world a happier place." He began by writing inspirational messages on sticky notes and leaving them everywhere. He ended up teaming up with some friends, won a college business plan competition and was able to start his business.



A few months ago Michael posted a reach out to bloggers who might want to test his products. I immediately sent him a message and soon I received three sets of My Sticky Quotes in the mail. They are fantastic! I have Love Letters, Words of Wisdom and Motivational sticky quotes. Each pack of 50 sheets contains 25 unique quotes. They include motivational and inspirational phrases such as "Be who you are," "Whatever you are, be a good one," "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it," and so many more.

As you know, I have been running the Kindness...Pass It On Mission for the past two years. I am always looking for new ideas to spread kindness. And I also believe that you don't have to spend very much money (or any!) to be kind. My Sticky Quotes are an inexpensive and easy way to spread kindness everywhere. I had so much fun leaving these all over town. My first stop was at Walmart. I left one on the Redbox and another on a bag of Skinny Pop popcorn:





A few days later I stopped to fill up my car, and left My Sticky Quotes on the gas pump.





On my visit to the dentist, I left one there:



And I left quite a few at my son's college too:



After I left my stickys, I took a picture and tagged @mystickyquotes on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook with the hashtags #TheMotivationMovement to spread more kindness and help their mission grow.

One of the great aspects of My Sticky Quotes is its portability. I can pop a pack in my bag and take them along with me. They are easy and quick to use, plus I can leave them anywhere. Now I leave kindness and inspiration wherever I go. These are great for teachers, churches, clubs, organizations and just about everyone who likes spreading love and kindness. 

You can visit My Sticky Quotes at: https://mystickyquotes.com or click on the links in the blog. Use code: SUITABLEGIFTS for 30% off your purchase. Suitable Gifts is not receiving a part of the sales, this is just another beautiful kindness from My Sticky Quotes!


In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Book Review: The Mastery Of Self by don Miguel Ruiz Jr.


"The human journey is a process of the Divine becoming aware of itself." 
- don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

This May I had the honor to attend an evening with don Miguel Ruiz and don Miguel Ruiz Jr.  It was a magical night as you can read about in my May 19th blog. That night I purchased don Miguel Ruiz Jr.'s latest book The Mastery of Self - A Toltec Guide To Personal Freedom. I was thrilled to have him sign the book that night. There is energy everwhere, and along with the energy of the book, there is energy in his signature. And from what I felt in the church that evening, his energy is pure love.

I was very excited to read this book. It looks like a small, quick read, but it is packed and overflowing with wisdom. I really took my time with this one because he provided exercises in each chapter, and I wanted to do everything. As you can probably tell by now, one of my passions is self-improvement and learning to be my best self. What I learned through don Miguel Ruiz Jr.'s book, is that my Authentic Self is already perfect. I just need to let go of the masks and unconditional love for myself and others (and a few other very important things, but you'll read about it in the book yourself!).

"As a Master of Self, the way out is to remind yourself that you are perfect in this moment and you don't need to do or achieve anything in order to be complete."
- don Miguel Ruiz Jr.

The biggest challenge in my life has been forgiveness. It is the biggest obstacle I have been avoiding. However, I knew that I would have to face it eventually if I wanted to live my best life possible. It's amazing how life works when you tune in and see how everything is really guiding you home to your true nature. I recently had a really heartfelt conversation with my bestie. I was telling her about a pivotal, heartbreaking moment in my life. She said she felt like this was the final piece, the one thing I needed to let go of to be free and to essentially live the life I was intended here for. Our conversation was just after I read Chapter 4: Unconditional Love For Others. The exercises in this chapter put me on the path to freedom in this area. I don't want to give the book away, but I will say the first part involved writing a letter (something I've talked about doing for awhile) to the person that caused that "thing", that "moment" that feels like changed everything, and not for the better. I had been avoiding the letter. But I did it this time, I saw it through. For the first time I got it all out, I told my story from the perspective of the young girl I was. It wasn't as difficult or frightening as I thought it would be. The next two parts of the exercise are what set me free. Thank you don Miguel!



The other huge thing that this book helped me with is weight loss. This is yet another struggle that I just wrote about in my last blog. Again, I was just thinking about my struggle with losing weight, and there comes Chapter 8: Goal Setting. This chapter taught me that I am perfect already and I need to love myself as I am whether I achieve my goals or not. This chapter provided a beautiful approach to setting goals in a positive and healthy way. It's been of immeasurable use. Thank you again don Miguel!

As I've mentioned, there is so much packed into this book. I wanted to give a couple of examples of how it helped me, but there is so much more. There are grounding exercises, mantras, reflections on our attachments, the roles we play, the projections we put onto others and more. 

I know for everyone reading The Mastery of Self, it will hit at the core of something in your life that really needs to be brought to the surface and released. It will give you an awareness into something profound in your life, and will give you a new perspective. It will reveal the truth and give concrete steps to awareness and freedom. And above all, this is all done with love. Obviously I highly recommend this book! I also highly recommend checking out don Miguel Ruiz Jr.'s book signing schedule and events

You can click on the links in the blog or click here for more information:
To order The Master of Self: click here
For don Miguel Ruiz Jr.'s Book Signings & Events: click here

In Gratitude & Love,

Kerri Mulhern
www.suitablegifts.com


From Getting Reiki To Giving It

It's been awhile since I've written, so I'm going to begin where I left off and then next week I'll give an update of th...