Manifest Plainness

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I found this quote the other day and it seemed like the opposite of what I was told my whole life:

Manifest plainness, Embrace simplicity, Reduce selfishness, Have few desires. by Lao-tzu from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Manifest plainness,

Embrace simplicity,

Reduce selfishness,

Have few desires.

- Lao-tzu

“Manifest plainness,” in particular, was something that was NEVER taught me, either by my family or society in general. Instead of suggesting that I manifest plainness, I was told that I should stand out. Buy this and you will stand out. Excel in school and you will stand out. Get a prestigious job and you will stand out.

I never once in my life thought that “standing out” might be bad for me.

But that desire to stand out has HARMED me. I have sacrificed money, emotion and time to it with no change in my feelings about myself. I thought that if I went to a prestigious school that I would feel better about myself. I didn’t. I thought that if I bought these cool clothes that I would feel better about myself. I didn’t. I thought that if I got that cool job I would would feel better about myself. I didn’t.

No matter what I sacrificed on the altar of “Standing Out,” it didn’t help me. No Coach purse. No fancy degree. No prestigious job. NOTHING helped make me feel worthy. It was never enough. No matter how many degrees, fashionable clothes or jobs I had, there was always someone with MORE.

And then someone told me I had to be humble and everything changed.

HUMILITY has made it all better. The realization that we are all the same. We all are born. We all die. We all are mere humans on this big, blue, marble. No one is higher than me. No one is below me. We are all on the same level.

That concept made all of the “Standing Out” seem unnecessary. Suddenly, I could see what “Standing Out” meant. Anyone who was trying to show how much better they were was someone who was trying to prove something that just wasn’t true. It was like holding up a huge sign that said, “I don’t think I’m good enough.” THAT is what the tags on designer clothes say. They scream, “I don’t think I’m good enough,” so loudly that I can’t hear a word the person is saying. THAT is what bragging about your alma mater or your job is: chanting, “I don’t think I’m good enough,” over and over.

“Manifest plainness,” isn’t about making yourself purposefully less than others. It’s about NOT screaming your inadequacies out to the world. It’s about not desperately trying to prove that you are better. It’s humility and true humility is far more attractive than anything in a fashion magazine.


Halloween Temptations

By Laura Moncur @ 10:55 am — Filed under:

I did a Google image search for the phrase, “Halloween Temptations,” and this a snapshot of what I got:

Halloween Temptations from Starling Fitness

I really don’t know how I feel about this. The sexy girl costumes outnumber the candy images about three to one.

What does that mean?

Honestly, I think they are both related. We are tempted by Halloween candy, but we are also tempted by that idea that we could be the sexiest girl in the room. BOTH of those ideas are a problem. The first is misusing food as a recreational device and the second is feeding pride instead of humility.

There is nothing wrong with sexy Halloween costumes. It’s the feeling of wanting to be the cutest girl in the room that sets up a judgment that is unfair both to us and everyone else in the room.

For me, the Halloween candy and black spider cupcakes are a far less temptation than that desire to be the girl that everyone notices. Wanting to be the best has hurt me so many times that I have learned that it’s an indication that there is a problem in my life. Wanting to be the girl in the black cat costume is DANGEROUS. Ironically, it will MAKE me eat.

The next time you have the temptation to be better than the people around you, take a moment and remember that we are all the SAME. No one is higher or lower than you. We are all on equal footing and every time we try to prove that isn’t true, we are treading on dangerous ground.


Want To Eat? Help Others.

By Laura Moncur @ 8:32 am — Filed under:

I found this quote today on The Quotations Page and it really spoke to me.

I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty...This is my highest and best use as a human. by Ben Stein from The Quotations Page

It reads:

“I came to realize that life lived to help others is the only one that matters and that it is my duty…This is my highest and best use as a human.”

  • Ben Stein, E! Online, 12-20-03

The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous says that when you want to take your first drink, you should admit your problem to another person and then immediately try to find someone else to help. It doesn’t specify that you need to find another alcoholic. It doesn’t matter WHO you help, just that you help someone else.

This is GREAT advice when I’m thinking of eating when I shouldn’t. If I just pick up the telephone and call someone else asking if they need help, I find relief. I don’t even need to help them, I feel better just calling. Ironically, I don’t even need to TALK to them. I feel better if I just leave a message. All I need to do is try to THINK about someone else and their problems and the desire to eat evaporates.

Overeaters Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous do not endorse anything on this entry or blog.


Hoping for a Taco Truck

By Laura Moncur @ 1:52 pm — Filed under:

I saw this screenshot from the video game, Animal Crossing on redribbonpresents and it made me laugh out loud.

Hoping for a Taco Truck from Starling Fitness

It reads:

I think I’ll just sit down and hope that a taco truck drives up and serves me delicious tacos.

That’s not a really good food plan, Ankha.

Then again, how many times have I done the EXACT same thing. I refuse to plan my meals because I want the “freedom” to eat what I feel like. That’s EXACTLY like sitting down and hoping for a taco truck to come along. If I want to eat what I feel like eating, I have to PLAN it! Why did it take a screenshot from a child’s video game to remind me of that?!


Like Threads of Silver

By Laura Moncur @ 11:12 am — Filed under:

I saw this quote today and it really helped me:

Like threads of silver seen through crystal beads Let love through good deeds show. Edwin Arnold from The Quotations Page

It reads:

Like threads of silver seen through crystal beads, let love through good deeds show.

  • Edwin Arnold

They keep telling us that to love ourselves, we need to repeat affirmations into the mirror, but they are WRONG. The way we tell ourselves that we love ourselves is by being NICE to ourselves. Dress in clean and mended clothes. Eat healthy food. Stay active in a fun way. Take a shower. Meditate daily. Doing all of these things will show yourself love far more than anything you could say to yourself in the mirror.


I’m Lazy

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I read this quote the other day and it really made me think:

I'm lazy. But it's the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn't like walking or carrying things. by Lech Walesa from The Quotations Page

It reads:

I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things.

For years, I have thought this to be true. I’ve thought that my laziness was a GOOD thing because it made me invent better ways of doing things. But when I look at it honestly, ONE important question comes to mind.

What EXACTLY have I invented?

Sure, I’ve found quicker ways to put away the dishes and clothes after they’ve been cleaned, but aside from that, laziness has done nothing but HARM me. It’s one of those character defects that I cling to with the flimsy excuse of finding a “better” way.

Guess what? There is NO better way to stay thin than to eat properly and exercise. You can’t escape it. There is no bare minimum to eat that won’t throw your body into starvation mode. There is no time when I will be so thin that I won’t have to exercise every day. It’s just not going to happen and clinging to that hope is just me living in denial and choosing laziness over recovery.

The next time you’re thinking of skipping your workout and deciding that there MUST be a better way, think about this. The next time you see an infomercial for an exercise machine or pill that promises a workout without the sweat, think about this. There is NO other way. Discard your laziness and come to the stark realization that a healthy body REQUIRES exercise, industriousness and work.


Who Among Us Can Truly Be Said To Be Good?

By Laura Moncur @ 8:00 am — Filed under:

I saw this comic fromThree Panel Soul the other day and it made me cry.

Who Among Us Can Be Truly Said To Be Good from Starling Fitness

It reads:

Owner: Who’s a good dog?

Dog: Whoah, that’s a hell of a question.

Owner: Who’s a good boy?

Dog: Who among us can truly be said to be good? What is goodness?

Owner: You are!

Dog: What?!

Owner: Yes!

Dog: This is amazing!

When I saw this, I felt like I was the dog, contemplating goodness and feeling completely unable to live up to it. When the owner said, “You are!” I felt just like that dog, in denial, yet, hoping it was true. “What?!”

ALL of us are like that dog. We feel that we are not good enough. We feel that true goodness is unattainable with our flawed selves. We just need that owner. We just need to know that someone thinks that we are good. Someone who is better than us thinks we are worth it.

Every one of us has that unseen owner within our own minds. It is the aspect of your mind that you are not able to access at all times, but you see glimpses of it when you are dancing or singing along with the radio. Maybe you can catch it watching you as you meditate or when you are working very hard on a project you care about.

Get in touch with that part of your brain. It thinks you’re good. It wants to tell you that every day, but you can’t hear it because the noise on the television is too loud and the headlines of the newspaper are blocking your vision. If you can teach yourself to listen for it and listen to it, then the appeal of food won’t attract you as much anymore. It will be a dull attraction rather than a siren song.

For more info, I have an entire category of posts to get you in touch with that unused portion of your brain: Starling Fitness – Inner Workouts


There’s No Pumpkin In Pumpkin Spice Flavoring

By Laura Moncur @ 1:55 pm — Filed under:

I knew that there couldn’t possibly be actual pumpkin in Pumpkin Spice Lattes and Pumpkin M&M’s, but this video made that stunningly clear to me.

So, pumpkin flavoring is made from a concoction of chemicals that mimic the taste and mouth feel of pumpkin. Even the option that I suggested in my entry, Beware The Pumpkin Spice Latte, is the same concoction of chemicals, they’re just provided in a sugar-free format that is much less expensive than the coffees at Starbucks.

More importantly, is the manipulation from the food industry with LTOs. Limited Time Offers are foods that are only available certain times of the year. This is NOT a new thing. Cadbury Creme Eggs and Peeps during Easter, fruitcake during Christmas and even turkey and stuffing during Thanksgiving are all foods that are only available for limited times. How many times have I overeaten because I thought that I wouldn’t be able to get that food again for a year?

Too many to count.

The problem is PERCEIVED SCARCITY. We could cook a turkey any time, but we only have them at Thanksgiving. We could buy that Torani Pumpkin Pie Sugar Free Syrup for our coffee at any time, but Starbucks has somehow convinced us that it is only available in the fall. None of these things are actually scarce. The food manufacturers use marketing and self-imposed limits to make them scarce and even create hoarding.


There is no pumpkin in pumpkin spiced lattes. There is also no limit in Limited Time Offers. Cans of pumpkin are available ALL YEAR LONG. Don’t fall for their marketing techniques. Make yourself a REAL pumpkin pie with this recipe and you’ll be out only 170 calories, as opposed to the 510 calories in a Starbucks Venti.

Wouldn’t you rather have the REAL thing? Then don’t settle for the chemical concoction.


The Healthiest Verse of All Time

By Laura Moncur @ 7:21 am — Filed under:

I absolutely adore this picture I saw on Facebook the other day:

The Healthiest Verse of All Time from Starling Fitness

It reads:

this carrot bout to drop the healthiest verse of all time

I want to see the animated version of this!

Of course, a quick YouTube search for rapping carrot brought me this:

And this…

I have never in my life loved a vegetable enough to write a rap about it. I don’t think I’ve loved any food enough to write a rap about it. I was too busy eating to be that creative.


Love Yourself with Healthy Food

By Laura Moncur @ 7:50 am — Filed under:

Love Yourself With Healthy Food from Starling Fitness

Whenever we talk about self-esteem or learning to love ourselves, we never talk about one of the most POWERFUL ways to show it. My whole life, I’ve felt that the way you tell if someone loves you is by their ACTIONS, not their words. If a guy said he loved me and then insulted me or tried to get me to do things I wasn’t comfortable doing, I instantly knew that he didn’t love me. I got this from an old quote:

What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This holds true for ourselves. We can do all the self-esteem exercises in the world. We can meditate and recite our affirmations all day long, but if we don’t DO what we say, then we are LIARS. The only way to prove to ourselves that we actually love ourselves is by DOING loving things.

  • Eating healthy food
  • Giving ourselves exercise
  • Pampering ourselves with a shower
  • Grooming ourselves to look beautiful
  • Wearing mended and clean clothes
  • Surrounding ourselves with people who are NICE to us
  • Making our minds better by learning new things
  • Entertaining ourselves with uplifting diversion

You don’t show that you love yourself by repeating the phrase, “I love and cherish my unique self.” You SHOW it by taking good care of yourself. Start SHOWING yourself that you love you today and eventually you will notice that you no longer have a low self-esteem. And, more importantly, when you HATE yourself, do these things anyway. It’s the only way out of your well of self-hatred.

Original image via: Hi., Perfection.

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