Our Lady of Weight Loss

Our Lady of Weight Loss

Winter Solstice: A Time for Rebirth, Regrowth and Renewal

Birthday of the Unconquered Sun by Janice Taylor
I was chatting with a few of my weight loss clients about the holiday season. Inquiring, of course, how they were going to celebrate their holiday, whether it be Christmas, or Chanukah, or Kwanzaa or the New Year. Perhaps Festivus?
One word led to another and the Winter Solstice entered the picture. A perfect day in that it is not infused with gift buying, nor forced celebrations, but rather a day that is ripe with opportunity for rebirth and renewal.
In the northern hemisphere, winter solstice has been an important time of celebration throughout history. It marks the shortest day of the year as well as the longest night. The sun is at its lowest and weakest point, and from this day forward, the light will grow brighter and stronger. It is the turning point of the year. The Romans called it the Birthday of the Unconquered Sun.
To our ancient ancestors, it seemed as if the Sun and Moon had stopped dead in their tracks as they made their way across the sky. The Sun was believed to be a celestial ruler, a male divinity. And the Sun’s rebirth was believed to come out of the Goddess. This predates Christianity. The Church felt that by assimilating this holiday into Christian beliefs, it would help bring in those who followed the old ways.
Winter Solstice is also called Yule. It stems from the Anglo-Saxon “yula” or “wheel” of the year. In pagan rituals, the Yule Log was lit on Winter Solstice’s Eve and burned for twelve hours. This year the winter solstice falls on December 21 at 7:04 AM EST and 12:04 UT (Universal Time).
The Winter Solstice marks a central part of nature’s cycle. It is a time of new growth, rebirth and renewal. It is a reminder that in order to begin anew, the old must end.
It is the time of year when we pay homage to the darkness of life’s mysteries, while still keeping our faith. Spring will come again.
Symbols of the Winter Solstice
Many of the symbols used to celebrate the Christmas season originated from the Winter Solstice celebration. They had deep spiritual significance.
The Yule Log
Lighting a fire acknowledged the return of the sun; its warmth and light and the lengthening of the days. The Pagans believed that good luck would come if the log was lit on the first try and burned for twelve hours.
Kissing under the mistletoe originated in the late 18th century. The “kissing bush” was an evergreen: either holly, rosemary, pine or yew. Since these plants thrived during the winter, they became symbols that life continued even on the shortest, coldest and darkest of days.
The use of candles symbolized light and helped to focus the spirit.
The Feast
Food has always been associated with winter celebrations, whether it was Saturnalia of the Romans, the Solstice or Christmas dinner. The winter reminds us that there are lean months ahead. To take part in this feast was a life affirming act. It showed that one had faith in God and Goddess and believed that light and warmth would return once again.
So – set your clocks for Sunday and at 7:04 a.m. Eastern time, join with me in rebirth, renewal and reinvention.
Happy Holidays!
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, author, seminar leader and 50-pound-BIG-Time-LOSER!
For more motivation and inspiration, join the Kick in the Tush Club: Beliefnet Chapter.
Pick up a copy of Janice’s latest: All Is Forgiven, Move ON ~ Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville!
” . . . . kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you.” ~ O, The Oprah Magazine
ART heart.jpg about Janice


Grace Eventually: The Mozzarella Stuffed Pretzel Story (God works in mysterious ways.)

Yesterday was one of those days. At approximately 7:30 a.m. my 92 year-young mother, Harriet, called me and said, “I’m going to the hospital in about twenty minutes. I called the super to take me; I’m not up to driving myself. He’s taking his kids to school first, and then he’ll come and get me.”
She continued. “My heart has been racing for a few days, and now my whole body is shaking too. … No. Don’t come. No, I won’t call an ambulance. I don’t like the noise, and I don’t want ‘them’ to be coming for ‘me.’ Everyone will be talking about it. No! Do not come. It’s nothing. I’ll call you when I know something.”
We hang up. I sit and stare at the wall for a good 15 minutes. I’m not a panicky, fast to react type of person. Since I was a little kid … it’s just how I’m hard-wired. My mind goes blank, and I stare for a bit before I move into reaction mode.
And THEN I move into action mode. In this particular case, I wrote out a check list of things to do and I was on it: Call the hospital; see if she’s arrived (in one alive piece); get a doctor on the phone; access what’s happening; clear my calendar; check the train schedule. (We live in NYC; no car! Imagine that!! We would have liked one yesterday, although driving when you are preoccupied with your mother’s demise isn’t a good idea.)
Thankfully, my husband is home. I say to him, “What book are you bringing for the train.” He tells me, and I think I’ll bring something that is going to make me feel good, something I bought some time ago and haven’t had the time to read (I figure this is no time to be reading hard-core hypnosis or coaching books; maybe something light – maybe something that will get me through the day). Grace (Eventually) Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott is my pick. I adore Anne Lamott and have even gone to hear her speak! (I’m picky about my authors.)
We head off … and when we get to the train station, I am in charge of purchasing the train tickets and Peter, my sweet and supportive husband, is in charge of breakfast. I tell him to just “pick me up a plain bagel.” (NYC bagels (due to their ridiculous super-size) – without butter or cream cheese – are about 552 calories (about! HA!). But if you gut the bread out of them, you can enjoy a relatively fat-free 400 calories, which at the end of the day is not a bad breakfast when on the run.)
When we get to the hospital, we find my mother in her emergency room cubicle, and she is having the time of her life. The hospital is a teaching hospital, and my mother is being examined by 3 ‘newbie’ doctors. She is flirting with each and every one and giving wise-crackin’ answers to their overly serious (as she sees it) queries.
Doctor A (for Adorable) asks, “Are you taking any drugs, illegal or otherwise?” And my mother says, “You mean aside from the fifth of scotch I drink every day?” He is writing down, 1/5 of Scotch (blank faced; practicing his non-judgmental doctor face.)
My mother smells wine and gets drunk. I’ve never seen her have more than a glass of Manischewitz grape wine. She spies me walking in and starts laughing so hard, that she starts to cry, as do I. The ‘newbie’ doctor is concerned that she’s having an ‘attack.’ “No,” I explain. “It’s a mother/daughter moment. And by the way, scratch off that scotch from your list.”
We visit in the ER for hours and hours. More doctors, more laughs. They are adjusting her high blood pressure medication and, at the end of the day, since she won’t allow anything more than that, we are hoping that the adjustments are enough to carry her through another 92 years.
It is at that moment that I realize that I am hungry and ask for the bagel. My husband is a hard-core Brooklynite from the old days and his family (old school) used to call pretzels bagels. Yup, he bought a bag of NYC pretzels from a fancy bakery at the train station.
I bite into the pretzel and much to my surprise, I find that it is stuffed with Mozzarella cheese.
I go nutzo … “What’s in this? I wanted a bagel and had to settle for a pretzel! Saboteur!!!” I continue on my tirade, “How could YOU buy ME a Mozzarella Stuffed Pretzel? How many calories, how much fat is in it? Could ‘they’ make anything worse for us (the American public).”
At which point my husband cuts me off and says calmly and slowly, “Grace, my dear … eventually.”
This IS a moment of grace. God has provided me an opportunity to express my upset about my mother, indirectly. An opportunity to yell and scream about Mozzarella Stuffed Pretzels. An opportunity break the damn pretzel in half and eat it, slowly, savoring the fat (by the way, knowing that I’d missed both breakfast and lunch – so really, no harm done, and the protein and fat would probably do me some good).
And I smile, Anne Lamott is right. Grace arrives Eventually (in this case, 3/4 of the way through the day … not such a long wait); and it arrives in unexpected forms. No angels singing. Just me yelling in the face of a mozzarella stuffed pretzel!!!
Sometimes a Stuffed Mozzarella Pretzel is a God-send, packed full of unexpected grace in an unpredictable form! And my husband – a form of grace, as well – shining the light on this miraculous moment of ‘grace.’
I wonder what unpredictable moments of grace will avail itself today. Long live the ‘Mozzarella Stuffed Pretzel.”
Spread the word … NOT the icing!
PS: Anyone want to leave a comment for my mother, please do so. When I put the first video of her on the site and read her your comments, she got such a huge kick. With each and every entry, she laughed, and said … “Are these your friends?” “Yes,” I responded, “although I’ve not met most of them.” Peels of laughter … “Oh,” she said, “This is a funny new world. … Read me more.”
Janice Taylor is a Life & Wellness Coach, author, seminar leader and 50-pound-BIG-Time-LOSER!
For more motivation and inspiration, join the Kick in the Tush Club: Beliefnet Chapter.
Pick up a copy of Janice’s latest: All Is Forgiven, Move ON ~ Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville!
” . . . . kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you.” ~ O, The Oprah Magazine
ART heart.jpg about Janice


7 Things that Sap Your Spiritual Energy

Non-Emotional Spirit Sappers! by Janice Taylor, Life & Wellness Coach and 50 pound big-time-loser.
Sometimes things get in our way and weigh us down, stop us from moving forward, muck up the works and inadvertently send us to the fridge, and these things may have nothing whatsoever to do with our emotions.
Some of these non-emotional spiritual sappers fall below our conscious radar and are computed by our subconscious. So take a moment to stop, be aware, look around, listen, and take note. Particularly important to do during the holiday season, when your energy is being pulled in so many different directions!
What is seriously sapping your spiritual energy? Your resolve? Your energy?

Our Lady of Weight Loss’s
Top Seven Things that Sap Your Spiritual Energy

1. CLUTTER silently gnaws, bites, and nibbles away at your calm center as it takes up valuable air and space.
What to do? Clean up, of course! Make order (humans love order). Read “Miracle of Clearing Proportions.”
2. LOUD NOISES grate, aggravate, annoy and irritate and can wind you up and drive you mad!
What to do? Wear ear plugs! From $1 to $187.50
3. AIR POLLUTION can negatively impact on our health, cause coughs, burning eyes, breathing problems and even death (which would surely sap spiritual energy).
What to do? True, we have no choice but to breathe, however, we can avoid high-traffic industrialized areas on poor air quality days (my head is spinning that we’ve created such a planet). Protect yourself and the air you breath!
4. DEHYDRATION dries, shrivels and depresses. Our bodies are more than 75 percent water, our blood is more than 80 percent water, our muscles more than 75 percent water and our brains more than 76 percent water! We NEED water to think!
What to do? Bottoms up, plain and simple. Drink 6 to 8 glasses every day! Our Lady has plenty to say on the topic!
5. WORRYING clutters the mind, drains, takes up valuable thinking time and carries some heavy-duty negative health effects with it.
What to do? Meditate, listen to music, chant!
6. SLEEP DEPRIVATION brings on feelings of irritability, impatience and depression. It weakens the immune system and leaves dark circles on ones eyes.
What to do? Get a good night’s rest! (Duh!) Stanford U. has some tips on sleeping!
7. TELEVISION deadens the mind and puts you into a non-active, non-thinking state. You disappear all right, but not in a good way.
What to do? Escape into a book. Or into something interactive that teaches. I highly recommend Have FUN!
Spread the word, NOT the icing,

For more motivation and inspiration, join the Kick in the Tush Club: Beliefnet Chapter.
Pick up a copy of Janice’s latest: All Is Forgiven, Move ON ~ Our Lady of Weight Loss’s 101 Fat-Burning Steps on Your Journey to Sveltesville!
” . . . . kooky genius ~ see if her idiosyncratic diet plan will work for you.” ~ O, The Oprah Magazine
ART heart.jpg about Janice


A Video of Janice Taylor on WCBS Radio!

Hey everyone, I was ‘on’ the Pat Farnack Show, WCBS Radio, a few weeks ago. The radio station ‘filmed’ us informally. In other words, they set up a camera and let it roll. There’s no editing, no lighting, no complementary angles, no hair or make-up. It’s me arriving early in the morning … talking for about 8 minutes.If you are curious as to what I have to say, how I look, are a fan of Pat Farnack (she has a lovely radio voice, and is a wonderful person), then hit the play button!!! Let me know what you think! Spread the word … NOT the icing,Janice

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