Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Words of Wisdom from Arabian Nights - 2

Almost everyone is familiar with some of the stories Arabian nights (Alibaba and 40 thieves, Alladin and the Flying Carpet etc). They are a collection of stories that Shaharezaad tells her husband, Sultaan Shaharyaar, every night so he would be intrigued by the stories and would not kill her. (She was successful) My mother has collected many of them from various sources and published them on her website ( under Arabian Nights Stories. All stories are interesting and keeps one spell bound until the end.  Read them; I am sure you will enjoy them. Most are suitable for kids 10 years or older.

Lately I have been editing them for my Mom, and came across some very good learning moments in some stories. These are valid for anyone in any culture.  Here they are in two installments.

Again - this is from my Mom's website:
(Read part 1 here)

Part 2: This excerpt comes from the story of Haykar (link). This is really a good story of how despite good teaching one can become bad and how wisdom always prevails. In this story Haykar, a vazeer (the king's adviser), is try to train his adopted son to become a good vazeer. I am going to write some these in my own words as some of these are written in a very different kind of English.
  1. If a word comes to your ears, suffer it to die within your heart, never disclose to anybody, lest it becomes a live coal to burn your tongue; if you see something, do not disclose it to anyone; breed pain in your body, clothe yourself in shame and always fear from God. 
  2. Don't make haste in replying.
  3. Don't desire for formal beauty which fades away soon, but look for inner qualities which last forever.
  4. O son, be not deceived by a woman of immodest speech, lest you become a prey of her speech and die by a shameful death. Don't be attracted to a woman of art, her clothes and cosmetics etc, because they are the things of immodesty. Beware of her to give anything which is not yours, for she will robe you in sin and you will have to answer to Allaah.
  5. Do not be an almond tree whose leaves appear earlier than everything else and its fruit comes in the last, but try to be a mulberry tree which bears the fruit first and everything later as its foliage. 
  6. Bow your head even to your inferiors, always speak softly, be courteous, and tread in the paths of piety. 
  7. Never speak or laugh loudly, because if the house was built by the volume of the sound, the ass would eat many a mansion everyday.
  8. The transport of stones with a man of wisdom is better than the drinking the wine with a man blamed for his foolishness. You should pour out the wine over the tombs of the pious men than drain it in those who offend others. 
  9. Be with a sage who fears Allaah and try to be like him and learn his ways.
  10. If you have a friend or a familiar, make trial of him, then be with him; and without testing him, neither praise him, nor insult him, nor disclose your thoughts about him to anybody who is not wise. 
  11. As long you have a shoe to wear, walk always on thorns and tread a way for your sons and grandsons. Always keep a boat ready, lest the sea drowns you.
  12. When a rich person eats a snake, it is said that it is his delicacy; but when a poor eats the same snake, it is declared "it is because of his poverty." Be content with your status and your good, never be jealous with your fellow. 
  13. Never be friendly with ignorant, nor eat food with him; nor be happy when they are annoyed with you. 
  14. Even if your enemy maltreat you, meet them with kindness and charity feelings. (read such a story). 
  15. And always fear the man who does not fear Allaah.
  16. O son, the fool will fall if one slips, but a wise man does not even tumble, and even if he tumbles, he will rise quickly, if he falls ill, he will be healthy soon; but for the ignorant there is no remedy. 
  17. If a lesser intelligent man than yourself comes to you, protect him respectfully; and if he does not suffice you, the Lord will suffice you in exchange of him.
  18. Spare not blows to your child, for the beating the boy is like to manure the garden, to bind the purse mouth, to chain the cattle, and to lock the door. Withhold your child from wickedness and discipline him, lest he becomes stubborn and obstinately disobedient; and thus lowering your head in the society and you should be described as an aid to his wrongdoings.
  19. Let no word escape your lips without consulting your heart; nor should you stand up between two opposites, because if you talk to wicked people it will give birth to enmity, from enmity comes out the battle, and from battle arises the slaughter. 
  20. Wherever your testimony is required, flee from that place and be at rest.
  21. Never stand against a man who is stronger than you, but be patient; long suffering, self-control and treading the path of piety are excellent. 
  22. Do not enjoy over the death of the enemy because after a while you will become his neighbor.
  23. Do not hear if somebody talks to you rudely or makes a mockery of you; honor him and always greet him with Salaam. 
  24. When the water in the stream is high, the bird will fly sky-high, and the black raven will be white, then only the ignorant and the fool will talk. (don't understand this one well)
  25. If you are wise, control your tongue from talking, your hand from stealing, and your eyes from seeing evil, then only you will be called a sage.
  26. O son, suffer, if a wise man strikes you with his staff, rather than being happy when a fool anoints you with the sweetest smell. 
  27. Be humble in the years of youth so that you may be honored in your old age. 
  28. Do not stand opposite to a man in your office, nor try to stop a river. 
  29. Do not haste in the matters of marriage - because if it brings prosperity, the folks will not tolerate you, and if it brings ill, they will abuse you and curse you.
  30. Live in the company of the one whose hand is full, not in the company of the one whose hand is like a fist. 
  31. There are four things which are unstable - a king with no army; a Vazeer in difficulty for lack of advice amongst; the folks whose speech is discourteous and over the Kings. (?- seems incomplete)
  32. Four things also are never hidden - wit, the sage and the fool, the rich and the pauper.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Words of Wisdom from Arabian Nights - 1

Almost everyone is familiar with some of the stories Arabian nights (Alibaba and 40 thieves, Alladin and the Flying Carpet etc). They are a collection of stories that Shaharezaad tells her husband, Sultaan Shaharyaar, every night so he would be intrigued by the stories and would not kill her. (She was successful) My mother has collected many of them from various sources and published them on her website ( under Arabian Nights Stories. All stories are interesting and keeps one spell bound until the end.  Read them; I am sure you will enjoy them. Most are suitable for kids 10 years or older.

Lately I have been editing them for my Mom, and came across some very good learning moments in some stories. These are valid for anyone in any culture.  Here they are in two installments.

Part 1: (Click here for the story it came from)

In this story a dying old father is telling his son how to live in this world.
  1. The first principle - Be over-intimate with none, nor frequent with any, nor be familiar with any, thus you will be safe from his mischief; for security lies in seclusion of thought.
    Meaning: Do not share too much information about yourself with anyone - that way they will not be able to use any of that information against you.
  2. The second principle - Deal harshly with none, lest fortune deals with you harshly; for the fortune of this world is one day with you and another day against you; and all worldly goods are but a loan to be repaid.
    Meaning: Deal fairly with everyone and treat everyone nicely. You never know when your luck turns around and you will need the help of others. Also, everything you have here stays here in this world and is a loan, so help others.
  3. The third principle - Learn to be silent in society and let your own faults distract your attention from the faults of other men; it is said that in silence lives safety and by speaking you will repent many times.
    Meaning: Learn to be quiet and train to improve yourself rather than finding faults in other people. Silence is golden;  if you say something bad you will have to repent it over and over again.
  4. The fourth principle - Beware of wine drinking because it destroys human wits, it opens the gates wide to sins that kill.
    Meaning: This is simple - be in control of your senses. Alcohol makes you lose control and makes you do things you would normally not do.
  5. The fifth principle - Keep your wealth and it will keep you, guard your money and it will guard you. Waste it not lest you become a beggar. Save your wealth to cure the wounds of the world. Because if you do not have wealth, you have no friends around. How many friends are there who lend their money to their friends?
    Meaning: Be wise with your money. Take care of it and it will take care of you. When you have no money you have no friends.  There are not many friends who will give you money when you need it.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Comparison is the Way of Life

Comparison is a strange beast. It can make you better at what you do or it can ruin you. Comparison would be similar to survival of the fittest. Although there are so many people who can just simply "exist" without giving a second thought to how they live (another blog topic). Comparison can give us competitive edge which if done well can lead to a positive ending.

Comparison starts from childhood, especially if you have a sibling. No matter if you have a sister or brother there will always be comparisons. Parents make comparisons and sometimes make it worse, "Your brother can do this - why can't you?" or they may love one child more than the other so one is feeling left out. Depending the on the age difference sibling rivalry can be severe or not happen at all. Large age differences will tend to have fewer comparisons - for obvious reasons - they are not in the same age bracket to compare. But later in life they can still be compared in terms of success in life and responsibility. The closer the age the more the sibling rivalry. Sometimes it lasts the entire lifetime!

Comparison gets worse as we get older. The worst is between friends - she has "this" and I don't! He gets to go to "this" and I don't! I got better grades than you! She got into medical school and I could not. Of course for girls there is the added comparison of physical beauty. She is prettier, has better hair, has more friends and so on. (Maybe guys have another comparison - like height or muscles). It does not end. I feel that teenage years are the worst years. There is the need to excel in studies to get into a good college, the need to have friends and so much peer pressure to try out new things. Crazy time.

College days are better. One starts to be their own person. Hopefully they know what they are doing. But after graduation comes job hunting. Another BIG challenge. We compare ourselves to our peers to see where we stand in our employment. Did we get job in a good company, how hard was it? Did we have to use our network or were we good enough that we got in through a competitive process? Do we work for a big company or a small no name one. What is our status at the company? Etc etc..... Anything can be made out such that one can brag about it. I still brag about my first two post docs and my first job that I got because of my networking skills. And now I can brag about being selected through a competitive process.

Not to forget that with job comes money. How much are you getting paid? No asks that but everyone wants to know and tries to estimate. Money has become our biggest comparison factor these days because it gives you a status in the society. Family members get to brag about you if you make good money.  So it is a matter of pride for everyone.  Whether you have education or not, or you are a good person or not is not as important as how rich your are.

And then comes the family. How well did you marry? How well to do is your spouse? Do you feel a sense of pride introducing your spouse to your friends? We compare our spouses to everyone elses' - its just human nature.

And for someone like me - unmarried - I compare myself to my married friends and vice versa. And for couples who don't have children may compare themselves to the ones with children.  Parents with two girls may have wanted one boy and will always compare themselves with the ones who were lucky enough to have a boy. Comparisons never end.

As we get older, we become parents and the cycle goes the other way. First we were under pressure to do well, now we put our children to do well. Our measure of success is in the success of the children  So the cycle continues.....

The bad part about comparison is that it can really cause depression, jealousy or anger. This can lead to uncommon behaviour in a person which might result in harm to another or to self. The negativity spills into all aspects of our life and destroys relationships.

On the other hand comparisons can be healthy if dealt with in a positive manner. It can make you perform better in education, in sports and other competitions. It can make you push to do things you may not have thought you could do. It could lead you to having a more fulfilling life.

As time goes on we compare our old self to younger self - oh we could so much when we were young! Oh I could have done this if I was single! Well sure. Some people manage to remain as active and involved as they were in their youth. But it is also equally fair to keep moving on in life rather than looking back and be in competition with ourselves. We may get better in some ways but worse in others (knowledge vs stamina respectively!).

No one is perfect, no one's life is perfect. We can compare as much as we want but unless we know the other person's story we will never make a fair comparison. The best thing is to appreciate what others have, acknowledge their life and try to live ours in such a way that it becomes an example to others.

Lastly, we have all come in this world to live our lives; we are not all supposed to lead the same lives as others. There are certain norms and expectations  of a society but for most part our life is unique and needs no comparison.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Expectations in Life

Our expectations from other people and their expectations from us are the cause of most emotional upheavals in our lives. All of us expect certain things from certain people and if those expectations keep on meeting then we take them for granted.  But if those expectations are not met then we will always blame the other person; not ourselves.

In Bhagvat Geeta, Krishna tells us to just do our work and deeds (karm) as we are supposed to and not expect anything in result or think about the outcome of those deeds.

Well....this is one of the hardest things to do.

Our whole life is motivated by having goals in life and meeting them. When we fulfill our goals we feel a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to go on further to the next goal. If we don't meet our goals then we feel like a failure and it takes a lot of effort to get up and try again or go on to another goal.

Expectations are fundamental to our being. As soon as you perform an act, there is some expectation of result. It can be as simple as when I am thirsty and I drink water, my thirst should be quenched (that was the goal).  When I go to teach my students, I expect them to learn and do well on their exams.  It is tough for me to accept that there will be no result from my hard work. Even a mother, who is expected to have selfless love for her children, expects them to take care of her in her old age. 

Same goes for all people in our lives. We expect something in return from people because they are sensible and should know that one should always give back if you have received something. We don't even excuse strangers! We expect even strangers to be kind to us because obviously why would they be rude to us? They don't even know us! So if someone does not hold open the door for us after going through it, we think - how rude!

As part of my happiness training I am also learning to let go of this "expectation". It has been hard to do, but I am teaching myself to let go. As time is passing by I am gaining a lot of relief and a general feeling of lightness. There is no weight on me of emotions that used to weigh me down because I am waiting for someone to do something for me.

So how am I doing this -  expecting less from others and meeting other people's expectations?

The first thing I tell myself is everyone is born with their destiny - as am I. So I have to keep doing what I am supposed to do and let the other person do what they do. I cannot control their actions. I have to believe that there is a higher power somewhere keeping an account of all this (as said in Bhagvat Geeta).  There is also an English saying, "what goes around comes around", which most people think happens in this life, but Hindus believe happens over multiple lives (reincarnation).

Doing the "right thing" is not always easy, we make the best decisions given our circumstances, our values and our intelligence. Keeping that thought in mind, I keep doing what my heart tells me to do (and my heart is usually right). I don't have many regrets in life. I am certain I have hurt people during my life but I can only hope they have moved on in their lives.

The harder part is when someone expects something of me and I am not able to fulfill that. I feel bad when I find out that I was supposed to do something and I did not do it.  Most times people don't really tell what they are expecting of me, they think that I should just know.  I am very careful in what I do and how I behave but I am certainly not a mind reader. Being able to fulfill others' expectations is part of what is called emotional quotient. Higher EQ scoring people are more self aware, have more empathy and tend to manage their situations well. All this leads to living a more emotionally fulfilled life. These days it is considered better to have a higher EQ than IQ.

I will have to do more study in Psychology to know if we are born with certain EQ and IQ or it changes over time. From what I have seen in people is that some things never change, but the educator in me says that EQ can be improved by our experiences and by training ourselves to observe more. But then again, many things never change.....

So the part about meeting other people's expectations has to do with high EQ. Higher EQ people will know what to say (or not), when to say and what to do (or not) in a given situation.  That is why a number of the older generation people who never had any formal education, were still "wise" because they knew what to do and when to do it - that was their high emotional quotient. (Click here to take a simple - about 15 questions - quiz to see how you do on your EQ). I will not tell you whether I scored high or not :-)

Sometimes we are just not able to meet other people's expectations because their expectations will never end. Its just one thing after another and another.....At that point I just have to say, "Enough", I am done with this now. I have, in my own ways, found a way to get around these people otherwise they will completely drain me of everything I have.

With self education and patience we can all coexist happily for the short time that we are on earth.

I have not written much about taking people for granted....that will be another blog.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Happiness - Privilege or Right? Part II

Personal Happiness: This is what I am really getting to from my previous blog on Happiness.  How does one live a life in which you feel happy, you feel you have achieved something, you feel you have not let yourself down, and you are at peace with yourself?  As I am growing older I am realizing there is no way I can make everyone happy. So I have resolved to make just one person happy - ME! I have also realized that if I am happy I am a nicer person, I have less burden of the world on my shoulders and it is easier for me to make other people happy.
(Again - I am sure there are tons of book on happiness - but this is my blog!)

I am not always happy - obviously! But I am training myself, slowly.  And I have seen some good results from my self-training.  So....What have I done to stay happy?

Well first I must say that it has taken a long time for me to let me feel what I feel. We (including me) tend to feel what other people want or expect us to feel.  One has to have the self confidence and faith in themselves to let themselves feel what they naturally want to feel; or one will be leading a fake life.  I have had to let go of a lot of emotions, a lot of negativity and some responsibility (in a responsible way).

So these days this is what I do...
  • I take care of my health - I diet and exercise to a point where I feel satisfied, not to satisfy anyone else - just me.
  • I make sure that my "career" is taken care of.  My job is what is paying the bills and helping me live the life I want; so I make sure that I don't slack off there.  I do what I am supposed and more if I can - but only if I want to. I don't let the petty day to day events get me down.
  • I have hobbies that help to occupy my mind so it does not wander off into the negative world.  I keep my hands and mind busy with crochet, writing or cooking. And occasionally cleaning! 
  • Try to do something new at least once a month. It could be something as small as trying a new recipe, or learning a new software - variety is the spice of life. So I always keep learning.
  • I don't take responsibility for other people's actions anymore. This was a hard one. I used to keep feeling that I was somehow responsible for how the other person was talking to me or behaving towards me. But in time I have come to realize - everyone has their own life to live, their own destiny, their own sense of well being.  I will not hurt anyone deliberately but I will not take responsibility if someone loses their temper for no reason at all. I will walk away from negativity.
  • I don't expect other people to make me happy. It is not their responsibility. I am responsible for my own feelings. And the truth is that so many people do make me happy! 
  • I surround myself with people I like, people I care about (and who also care about my well being), people I can enjoy life with, laugh with (and sometimes vent with). The more positive, creative and good people I have in my life the better I feel.  I don't feel obligated to hang out with negative people just because I "have to". I have friends because I want them in my life.  I don't want people around me who suck the life out of me. My contact with such people is minimum.
  • I volunteer my time - giving back to the community always makes me feel like I belong in this world and I am making a difference even though it might be minuscule. Time is a valuable gift to give - more than money, so I always make sure I give my time to organizations whose mission I believe in. 
  • I travel - what a waste of life if one has not seen the creation! Traveling opens up minds and hopefully hearts! At least for me it has. I enjoy it, I see it as a personal growth. It is culturally enriching and intellectually satisfying to learning about other countries and cultures. 
  • Read read read - books take us through so many adventures. So let the imagination fly. I love reading! 

My work is still not done.  There is always this nagging feeling of - if I had just "this" more I would be happy.  When I fill in the blank with "this" then I think I will want "that", then once I have "that" it will be "something else".  The wish list will never finish.  So I have to learn to just enjoy my life and the world as it is at present with all that it has to offer me and vice verse.

Even great sages have to go off for meditation to rejuvenate and come back to spread wisdom.  So there is no harm making a little time for yourself when you see yourself sinking. (Yes, I am saying there is a great person in each of us who has something to offer to this world!)

Are you happy? Do you permit yourself to be happy? I don't know! It is up to you to figure that out for yourself. Believe in yourself, know who you are and live the life that YOU want to live not what someone else wants for you (that would be a fake life). Do all the little things that make you feel good from the inside - it could be as little as opening the door for someone. But do it. Make small changes to the positive side of the life.

If you are happy then the world will seem beautiful, everything will seem to be in harmony, problems will seem to be meaningless and you will try and make other people happy! You can make other people happy only if you are happy from the inside.  And don't be that fake happy where you are smiling outside but are sad or irritated inside.

I would say happiness is a right. No one should take that right away from you. And you should exercise your right to be happy. I know sometimes sacrifices have to made - but then make them consciously and with full acceptance so you don't regret it.  Be happy with your decision for your sacrifice and learn to enjoy it.

Be happy - inside out.

Happiness - Privilege or Right? Part 1

Be happy...
Stay happy...
Hamesha khush raho (always be happy - a very common Indian blessing)
Happiness is the key of life...

What the heck is this happiness? And why does everyone want you to be happy (yet in some ways not also).  My thinking is that happiness is a state of mind where you feel you have no problems, you are at peace with the world and everything feels good.

How to be happy? One only has to Google it and find so many resources on how to be happy! There has be a conscious effort to be happy and stay happy. Most of us are not happy because
  • we may not be valued at work
  • other people are not happy with us
  • we did not get what we wanted
  • we can't seem to please anyone
  • we have so many responsibilities and we are too stressed to be happy
  • nobody is listening to us
  • someone did not recycle the paper! They just threw it in the trash!
  • and so on............
Even the smallest incident in our life becomes a huge mishap and thus a cause of unhappiness. So really....we don't give ourselves permission to be happy because we have surrounded ourselves with so many issues. 

Then there is this whole other factor of this world where everyone says you should try be happy but no one really wishes it for the other by heart. Because what will they do if you are happy and they are not! Misery loves company - right?

Happiness seems to be a very fleeting emotion. It seems that as soon as one is happy someone else comes and takes it away - not to make themselves happy, but just so that you are not. Again, it is as if they they are saying how could "YOU" be happy when "I" am not? Or how could YOU have something that I don't have?  And there are so many people who suck away the happy feeling.

So even though people can be happy they are afraid to show their happiness lest others get jealous,  or ruin it by saying something petty and selfish, or sucking it away.

So why do we wish "Happy" everything when we really don't mean it?  I don't have the answer to that question. Or maybe everyone surrounding us is just pretentious.

What are some of the reasons that people are not happy? (I know there are gazillion books out there on this topic - but this is my blog and my take on things!)  Here are just some of the reasons I can think of right now. In my Part II of this blog I focus more on the self.

Happiness at Home: I should not pretend to have authority on this since I don't live with anyone :-) Although from all the divorces, affairs and marriage counselors out there I can take a quick guess. We spend majority of our time at home. So if there is no harmony at home - from the spouse, children, extended family and living conditions then there will be constant irritants in life. This is also the hardest to change because how do you change your situation which was made permanent by a vow or by blood?  In my case, living alone has given me the freedom to make changes and live my life as I want to; it has given me a different perspective on things. Although in both cases (living single vs family) I feel fate/destiny is responsible. I have noticed some people are just sad and they will contine to live a sad life whether they are single or in a family.  They cannot seem to make the small changes in life that can give small happy moments. They almost seem afraid of life.

Happiness at Work: This is where we spend the second big part of our life. We are considered more successful not by the quality of our personal life, but by the number of promotions we get or the pay raise that we get at work. If you get a promotion/recognition you must be good otherwise you are lacking something.  It also means that whatever you do at work is never going to be sufficient; there is always one more step to go, one more promotion to have and then another and another.....If there are no more promotions at the current job then you are advised to change jobs and start moving up the ladder in a new place....or why don't you start your own company? There is no end to this. So we spend our lives trying to attain the unattainable. How can we be happy? And then to top it all off when we are the pinnacle of our career we are supposed to retire! Well...there goes all the hard work - what am I supposed to do now?

Of course all the above is not true for anyone who loves their work, enjoys it and finds happiness in it. And these are people who have a pleasant disposition and are a joy to work with.

Happiness from Parents: I don't know how many parents are completely satisfied with the lives of their children.  As soon as one becomes a parent, there is no other job for them but to take care of the children, make sure they study well, get into the right career path, settle well in life with a good partner, have children of their own.........the list goes on.  Which means there is no end to the desires there.  All parents in the world believe they have sacrificed so their children could have a good life. All parents - even the drunk father or the absent mother. So they have a right to expect something in return from their children. All that sacrifice has to be paid back by meeting the parents' expectations.  Tough luck!! Hardly any children can meet those expectations so the cycle of low self esteem and of getting no acknowledgment goes on.  There goes that happiness in the dumps!!

Selfish Happiness: I also want to point out that some people are so much into their own happiness, self-gratification and convenience that they overlook their responsibilities. I consider such people to be selfish. That happiness which leads to other people being inconvenienced, made fun of, or not taken care of (if you are responsible for them) is not happiness - that is selfishness.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Weight Loss Challenge 4

Okay! So I did my weight challenge for about 6 months.  Sadly I did not lose any weight:

  • I kept track of what I was eating
  • I went for walking etc whenever I could
  • I changed my diet to a high protein instead of a high carbohydrate one
  • I limited my sugar intake to a minimum (that I could do)
But nothing worked. The first 2-3 weeks were the hardest on my digestive system. I ended up having mouth sores so badly that I could not even eat anything.  Once that was better then I got on track. I would have milk, salad, nuts etc all day and one meal in the evening.  The nutritionist would give me feedback as to what I should eat and what I can decrease.  Occasionally she would suggest some variety for the foods I was eating.  It did not help much as I am not such a big eater.

In any case.  My routine went on for 4 months. I had paid for 6 months.  After not losing any weight for 3 months, I contacted the nutritionist over the phone. She was not very friendly - in fact at some points she was just downright rude. That was not helpful.  When I did not lose any weight later also, then I contacted her again.  She then said that I should get some blood work done for certain key chemicals like Vit D and iron etc.  I got mad.  Why had she not done this before? Especially if she thinks this was important in weight loss. 

I did not remain quiet after this - I wrote her a long email chastising her about not doing her job properly and not advising according to my body type.  She just made a diet plan like she does for everyone and hoped that I would lose weight.  That was not the agreement.  She kept defending herself, but I was unmoved.

I went back to my beloved carbohydrates and within one week I lost 3 lbs!! So now I am convinced that one really has to see your own body type and then fix a diet.  There is no one fix for everyone. I went back to my regular diet, which really was quite rich in protein to begin with, but I added some more carbos to it. It really helped to improve my mood and made me feel better.  And the fact that I lost about 5 lbs after I stopped doing the "Weight Monitors" diet plan really put the skip in my step.

Slowly I am coming to terms with the fact that I may never lose the weight that has so lovingly attached itself to my body. So be it. I will keep doing what I do to have healthy lifestyle and not overeat on sugars.  But to hell with dieting and to hell with monitoring my food intake! I know when I am full and I know when I am overeating.

One last comment I would make regarding any dieting plan anyone undertakes to make sure that the nutritionist creates a plan just for you and not a generic plan.  The feedback should be more meaningful than "you need to include dairy product" or "you should have eaten only one cookie"  - you can see that yourself when you are writing the diary. I would not recommend the service I used to anyone as my plan was not personalized.  She did not get enough background information on me to guide me properly. Although in her favor, her feedback was immediate and she was very good in responding.  I also started including in my diet more nuts than I previously ever had. Overall my health has been fantastic.  The other major problem (second to not losing weight) was low energy level.

Someday my goal of losing the 15 lbs will happen and if it doesn't then I just hope to still be healthy and happy!