When I read this title on a Facebook article (SA PROMO magazine for South African’s abroad) I wasn’t sure what to think, especially when I saw the first photograph. When I looked through the rest of the photographs and began to understand what French artist Julien Berthier had designed it made me realise that without really considering anything, we always think inside the box … here we have an artist who has designed and built a boat that looks as though it is sinking, but it’s not!

Lakshmi Mittal said ‘Always think outside the box and embrace opportunities that appear, wherever they might be.’ This is certainly true of Julien Berthier. He has taken the ‘conventional shape and style’ of a yacht and created a boat that appears to be sinking. Looking at this picture he looks so comfortable sitting there, so it makes me wonder ‘what did you first think when you saw this photograph?’ and ‘what would people on other ships, boats think when they see this boat from a distance?’

Gautama Buddha said ‘We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts we make the world.’ It’s so true! Following on from my previous article on the Laws of Attraction – we are truly what we think. As you will know from my previous articles I have been over-weight and over the past 18-24 months been losing that weight … but I can remember landing in Australia on one occasion to visit my parents for their Golden Wedding Anniversary and my mother saying ‘don’t you think it’s about time you lost some weight?’ As always my response was ‘I’m happy with my weight as it is.’ I didn’t see myself as someone who was overweight, I saw myself as someone who was happy with what they looked like; as looks weren’t that important to me at that time.

What changed 18-24 months ago? As you’ll know from my articles on the 1st November, 2010 one of my closest friends – Julie – made a comment as we were walking along the promenade in Jardim do Mar (Madeira), which made me look at myself in the way that others would see me. So although I had always said I was happy with the way I looked, suddenly was seeing myself in a different way. Ellen DeGeneres expressed this clearly when she said ‘Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.’ This is exactly what was happening to me – suddenly I was hearing what I was being told, and seeing what others were seeing. There is a wonderful quote that is often found when you are searching for quotes on reflection, by an unknown author which says ‘Seeing yourself as you want to be is the key to personal growth’. So yes I set a goal that said that I wanted to be a size 12 and no more than 60 kilos in weight. But and it was a huge BUT, how did I go about this?

Dieting … not the most positive word in my dictionary! Although there are many, many definitions of the word dieting in the dictionary – the one that relates to losing weight is ‘such a selection or a limitation on the amount a person eats for reducing weight’. The word limitation really doesn’t help as you immediately think ‘I can’t have …’, which in a number of ways makes you crave whatever it is that you can’t have more! So I left the whole question to the universe and just asked ‘how do I do this?’ It’s a case of trust … if you trust that the questions you put out to the universe are answered, then you know you’ll get the answer and I do! Napoleon Hill said ‘We are what we are, because of the vibrations of thought which we pick up and register, through the stimuli of our daily environment’.

I was working with my journal a few weeks later and suddenly realised that there I was writing down the answer – Granddad! Richard Carlson said ‘No-one knows exactly where thought comes from, but it can be said that thought comes from the same place as whatever it is that beats our hearts … it comes from being alive.’ As you can imagine it was a huge surprise and it wasn’t anything that anyone would have considered when thinking about ‘a diet’! So what was the thought that was coming to me? How did the word ‘Granddad’ answer the question ‘how am I going to lose weight’?

In the same way that Julien Berthier designed his boat – thinking outside the box – here I was thinking outside the box. I suddenly remembered something that my Granddad had said many years ago and that was the famous quote by Adelle Davis – ‘eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.’ So what did this mean to my lifestyle? Still writing in my journal I wrote down how I planned my meals on a daily basis right now … breakfast was quick and easy (always feeling as though I am rushing around, so rushed through breakfast); lunch was generally something I could grab from a coffee shop, supermarket, or something that I could make quickly (still rushing), and dinner was ‘whatever was in the deep freeze’ that I could prepare freshly and quickly (yes still rushing). At the time I was making changes to my life that would take me out of the environment in which I was in, so that I could stop ‘rushing around’ … so I wrote down ‘how do I plan meals if I’m not rushing around?’ Interesting answers came to me – the first of which is ‘what’s the reason I have to feel as though I’m rushing around, after all I can plan my own time?’ Enlightening thought! So I wrote down in capital letters ‘THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX!’

Napoleon Hill said ’Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve. Thoughts are things! And powerful things at that, when mixed with definiteness of purpose, and burning desire, can be translated into riches.

Working with my journal a few days later, I found myself writing down ‘breakfast needs time – cereal and fruit, with fruit juice (as I’m not allowed to drink/eat milk). Lunch – as I work from home, what stops me from planning in my working day an hour out to create a proper meal and sit down to eat? Dinner – if I’m eating properly at lunch time, then a snack is great for dinner, as that is all that I would need.’ I thought about this in relation to how my body works – for example, blood sugar levels, energy, physical health.

Now I’m a size 14 … and just working my way down to the size 12 that I have set as my goal. So how did I do this? To help me make this change, I realised that I had to start writing out menu’s – a lot of work, so I had to find the time to make this happen. Time! Again back to thinking outside the box … and I found the time. I sat down and decided that I had to write out very specific menus for the first four weeks, so I did. It was May and I started on a blank sheet of paper and wrote Monday at the top – the next line was breakfast, under which I wrote cereal and fruit with fruit juice (summer breakfast). The following line said ‘lunch’, under which I wrote ‘griddled chicken in tomato and onion sauce, with green vegetables and rice’; which was following by ‘supper’, under which I wrote ‘scrambled eggs’. Then I started on Tuesday, then Wednesday and onwards for the next four weeks. It wasn’t an easy exercise but I achieved it. Rather than following a ‘traditional’ diet, by just changing the way in which I planned and ate meals meant that I lost the weight I have lost to date. The real secret to my success has been proven when I’ve not worried about what I’ve been eating (for example over Christmas and New Year) and I haven’t put on any weight! Thanks Granddad!

This year we will experience 4 unusual dates … 1/1/11 … 1/11/11 … 11/1/11 … 11/11/11!
NOW figure this out…. take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year.
“I got 111!” What did you get?

© 2011 Barbara J. Cormack
First published under Cormack’s Capers in Magna Intuitum