Ep 0145 – Is it Life Affirming or Draining?

Laurie contemplates life from the Next to Top Zen Space
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I take a few minutes to feel gratitude that we’ve survived the fire, the heat, and the challenges we’ve had – and that I was able to once again hike up the mountain to speak with you.

Podcast Recap

Yay! Finally live from the Next to Top Zen Place on the mountain where temps are down and my optimism is up as I ponder a new way to look at choices. We greet 4 new BCs: Cynthia from the Netherlands, Carolyn from Oklahoma, BC Kat from South Jersey and BC North from Illinois. Shout out to BC Josephine for stepping right in to welcome new BC North! I share what I learn about myself from BC Kat’s brave and truthful call. Jo from the UK gives her colorful take on Foolish Fun – which triggers a happy memory about my time as an exchange student in Germany. Dawny and Stéfanie from Quebec comment on last show. Mark and I discuss some reasons to exercise given by Stéfanie from Quebec, Jo from the UK, Sue from the UK and Mary S. in the return of our feature, the BC Bravery Sports Report. Mark reveals his surprising new exercise plan.

View from the mountain - overcast clouds, dried grass, down the valley

Glad it’s a bit overcast – this is the view from the Next to Top Zen Spot on Day 145

Smoke and fire in the foothills

They smoke and ash from our front yard. The mountains you see are where the La Tuna Fire was burning. The mountains I usually hike in for the show are behind our house. Still scary time. The 210 freeway that was closed is between us and the mountains you see.

Flames in the nearby mountains at night

Same fire, same view at night. Scary.

New BCs


Last show and comments (Including Dawny and Stéfanie from Quebec)

The La Tuna Wildfire

The Instagram Video I recorded in Ventura that was used in the BC Bravery Sports Report

Our Social Media TAG is #CODBCS

Ways to support the show financially


Host: Laurie Weaver
Foolish Fun Announcer: Mark Weaver
Foolish Funner: Jo from the UK
BC Bravery Sports Report Intro Announcer: Mark Weaver
BC Bravery Sports Reporter: Laurie and Mark
Bravery Hotline comments: Kat from South Jersey

Main Theme: I’m Letting Go by Josh Woodward from The Simple Life Part 1 Used by permission of Josh Woodward under a Creative Commons License

Sounds used in Laurie’s Foolish Fun Intro

  • Slide Whistle sounds
  • Background Tune/Beat
  • Girl’s Laughter
  • Phone Ring

Sounds Used in BC Bravery Sports Report

    Sports music


    Sports crowd

Other Sounds

  • Crowd Cheering
  • Applause
Comments box:

20 thoughts on “Ep 0145 – Is it Life Affirming or Draining?

  1. Mary S

    First, yay to a new episode! Second… Wow! I love this question.. Is it life affirming? Seriously! I’m going to question this asap… It can be applied to everything! Thanks for this new nugget! I’m partially through the episode, but I had to swing by to tell you that!

    And new BCs… Hi!!!

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hey There Mary! I’m sooo glad you stopped by to AFFIRM that the affirming question resonates with you too. I really like this one and find it helps – even though I must be honest that I don’t ALWAYS choose the affirming route. But it still helps me redirect without as much negative self-talk when I think about rebuilding my life energy vs. paying the price when I do choose those formally ‘bad’ decisions. xoxoxox

  2. Jo

    Yay for a new episode …
    Mark – yoga is amazing and surprisingly challenging even the basics but definitely worth the time invested
    Welcome new BCs and well done on being so brave in reaching out to the BC community one of the most amazing group of people I have ever encountered!
    The pictures of the fire are scary and so pleased that the zen spot is recovering well – nature is remarkable that way
    Take care and so happy to have your voice as accompaniament again

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hi Jo! Mark loves that you can relate to his new challenge and he promises to keep us posted on his progress. Yes, the fire was pretty intimidating. It burned up most of the wild areas of the canyon that I drive through to get from our house down to Burbank, where many of our activities are. We also used to hike and mountain bike in the Verdugo mountains. Where I hike for the show is a different range of mountains, but still near to the fire zone. I was very glad to see that area was not devastated. Thanks too for the Foolish Fun! I really enjoyed it and the memories it triggered. Hope all is well with you and you are enjoying ‘our’ walks. xoxoxox

  3. Dawny


    Things have been extremely scarazy for the last 2 months. I’m finally skidding into home plate. Phew.
    In the final stretch of being settled into our new home, work is calming back down , the overtime hours are slowly weaning… what an adventure

    I’m proud to say despite my crazy life, extra stress, lack of intentional exercise lack of food planning n prep. My weight stayed the same thru it all. I’m still 10# over my ‘scream’ weight but at least it’s still only 10#. Bitter sweet. I’ve got this!!!

    I’m also really excited to know I’m one of the fastest in the west lol. Literally from the day I got approved for a home loan to the day I closed signed and got keys and moved in was the 30th day. Lol. Day 1 applied & approved. Day 2 saw house made offer. Day 4 offer accepted. Fast forward with a lot of anxiety and stress day 30 signed papers. Loaded my last 17 years into a uhaul Got keys. Moved in. Scarazy.

    If I never have to buy a house and/or move again it’ll be too soon! And I’m okay if I never do lol.
    The Washington Department of Transportation was extremely generous financially for displacing us after 17 years for their freeway project. It enabled us to buy our first home and my first mortgage payment won’t be due until may 2018. The funds they provided were excess of needs so I allocated they be applied to my monthly payments. Yessssss!!!

    Hoping to regain some normalcy in life now.

  4. Petra

    Helloooooo 🙂

    Sorry that I have been quiet for a while. It’s just that I’m crazy busy, but I’m still listening and considering myself a brave companion.

    I wanted really do a combined comment on the last and this episode. I mean if you ask about exercise, how could I not jump in :-)?

    So, I’m apologising up front, if I will waffle on a bit…..

    The answer covers a bit of the last two episodes. As you know, I’m working very hard on the mindset to make my health and fitness a priority without falling into a diet/binge or diet/anxiety circle.

    For more years that I can count my weight determined how I felt. When I was on an eating regime (mainly Weight Watchers and I also tried Slimming World), what my scale said in the morning set the day, if I was in a good or in a bad mood, if I felt proud or disappointed in myself.

    When I stopped smoking, although I was exercising regularly, I put on weight rapidly and it ended in a nervous breakdown, where I was just shouting and crying, which scared my poor husband to death.

    He was quite right, when he said that I needed help. So I went to the doctor, got anti anxiety tablets and also went to therapy for a bit. I actually quit that pretty quickly, because I didn’t want to take the place of someone, who needed a more badly than me. (I know, this alone says it all…)

    But the tablets helped and gave me the ground to be calm enough to work on my mindset and feeling of self worth.

    Exercise has and still plays a HUUUUGE role in this. My husband and I work out 6 times a week. We get up at 4:45am every morning in the week to get it done before work. It helps me immensely with my self confidence and with my anxiety (I’ve been off the medication for about a year now, and going strong).

    I had to learn to love and accept myself completely separated from what the scales said.
    I learned to exercise purely for the reason that it makes me feel amazing and strong and not for a calorie burn, to earn “activity points” to either see a lower number on the scale or so I can indulge in sugary and fatty foods.
    I had to learn not to care about, what other people think about me. That I was OK, just the way I was, and that I was just wasting my time and energy to wonder, what people might or might not think. If it’s important, they will let me know 😉
    I’m learning that I’m capable of so much more, than I ever thought.
    I’m learning to do things, although or even because they’re scary
    I’m learning that it’s OK not to be OK

    And those are all things that need practising. But slowly but surely I’m finding peace.

    And now I’m ready to take the next step. I’m ready to work on my nutrition. Again not to hit a certain number on the scale that magically will make my life perfect. But again, because when I eat the right foods, that my body needs to run smoothly, that don’t cloud up my head, or drain me rather than energise me, I feel amazing!

    As I said this part of the journey is pretty much in the beginning still, and is not perfect by any means, but I’m so much further than I’ve ever been in my 46 years, and I’m feeling great.

    When Oprah said that she can’t accept herself being 200lbs, I can understand it in that way that it’s not acceptable to just give your power away, but that you are capable of changing behaviours, although it’s freaking hard work, and there’s no handbook to follow. And even if there was, I would have found a million reasons, why this book doesn’t apply to me.

    Day by day I’m believing a bit more in myself, and even if I have a binge (and they still happen, even if not as intense), I know now that that doesn’t mean failure and establish more and more good habits, mentally and physically.

    Hubby and I are even making the jump to become Beachbody coaches, which will possible from end of next month on! We love their workouts and have been doing them for over 3 years…

    I mean this scaredy cat deluxe does not only finally start to believe in herself, but even thinks she can work on her own health, knowing it’s not a fluke or temporary thing, but also believes that she could help others on their journey!!! I mean WHAT??? Just the thought of it would have scared the living daylight of me before and would have run the other way as fast as I could!!

    So, what I would like to say… lol… I don’t accept anymore that I’m helpless. That yes, I can work on my fitness and nutrition, not to hit a number on the scale (although surprise surprise, if you work on fitness and nutrition the chances are that the number goes down..), but in a way that it’s life affirming and not draining 🙂

    Have a lovely day everyone!!

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hello Dear, Brave Petra! I’m so happy for you that you have found a path that resonates and brings you joy. As you say, there is no handbook in life (or diet and fitness) that works for everyone. There is also no system of measures that tell you when you are feeling good inside and out. That is something that only we can do inside for ourselves. It sounds like you have discovered your way to balance the goals and dreams that are important for you.

      It’s especially cool that you and your hubby are in this together! I never thought in a million years that Mark would join me in yoga and meditation! It is sooo cool and affirming to have a partner to share these things with.

      I also loved your point about anxiety and exercise. My tendency toward depression is one reason I like to get outside and hike and bike and swim etc. When I do, I feel better and studies have shown moderate exercise can be just as effective as antidepressants for some people. When I can’t get outside, it’s always been yoga. It helps my mind calm down and helps my mobility.

      I love your take on Oprah’s statement and also agree that we should not believe that our power is gone. I know and practice for myself that it is possible to change our mind and our behaviors. That free choice is available in every minute of every day when we wish to access it. It’s one of the main tools I use to avoid the trap of feeling stuck. I think what’s important for me, and where the affirming vs draining option comes in, is why are we choosing this action or that?

      As I said in my Survivor example. When I am choosing to affirm my life all things are possible. When I am falling into habit, distraction, or an idea that comes from outside of myself for the goal of happiness, I get into compulsive trouble. You can bet that my diet and exercise will change as I get closer to my Solvang 50, because to train for a long bike ride takes different nutritional needs than to watch survivor and I’m cool with that and it doesn’t trigger my personal compulsive rabbit hole. When I go on vacation, I eat very differently than I do day to day – and likewise, it doesn’t trigger any negative feelings about myself anymore. This makes my path very worth it for me. You dear Petra, have found a focus (and new career) that makes you feel wonderful and affirmed. That is what being a BC is all about! xoxoxox

      1. Josephine

        Laurie….I love what you said to BC Petra that feeling wonderful and affirmed is what being a BC is all about. That really is IT in a nutshell…..for the first time in so long I am feeling, (dare I say?) wonderful and affirmed. Almost makes me giddy because I thought such things were beyond me at this point in my life. Thank you, thank you, thank you! xoxoxoxoxox

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          It makes perfect sense to me that you are enjoying this unexpected companionship. I was just saying to another BC via Instagram message, that I am SO grateful that I made some real life besties through my pursuit of voice acting. It was so unexpected at my time of life to find really good friends and such a great reason for gratitude. I also think that we BCs are close because we feel safe to share real feelings that might not always be the most appropriates to slip into conversation in our usual busy lives. And I believe that feeling heard and understood is one of the best gifts we can receive. So thank YOU dear Josephine for giving that gift to me. xoxoxoxox

  5. Amy from WI

    Hello Laurie,
    I love the idea of life-affirming or not. I think that can apply to just so many areas of life. In fact, for me, I think I will be applying it mostly to the thoughts that I have and ruminate on, and to the time I spend on facebook and the things I choose to click and read there. See, Facebook has become my Survivor binge watching. I can spend hours reading, liking, commenting, clicking, etc. But, I realize that very little on FB is actually life-affirming. In some ways, I want to give it up completely, but there are those nuggets that ARE life affirming, that make me want to stay. So, I am working on paying attention to what I am looking at and using up my time on while I am there. I will be doing a lot more scrolling and a lot less clicking.

    I am relieved to hear that most of the spaces you spend your time in were un-scathed by the fires, but I do agree that watching nature come back to life after a wild-fire is pretty darn awesome.

    Take care, because I really, really, care, too!
    Amy from WI

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Love it Amy! I can find myself doing similar, so I can relate! I love to see your quilts on FB, but I don’t like to see all of the bad news and negativity that gets mixed in with the cute kitten videos on my feed. I’m also laughing at myself because RIGHT NOW I’m typing on my iPad while drinking coffee on a balcony with a nice view of the ocean. Am I enjoying the rare view? Noooooo, I am here after checking my skimpy social media. Lol. But I do love having discussions with YOU, so I guess I’ll cut myself slack, enjoy the thought you’ve given me to ponder, close down the iPad (for now) and enjoy my chance to watch the ocean and hear the seagulls that remind me of home.xoxoxo

  6. Josephine

    Dear Laurie,
    I’m so thankful that your home was not any closer to the fire than it was. How scary for sure! Also, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts about life-affirming and life draining instead of good and bad, right and wrong. I have been trying pretty successfully to make the switch in how I talk to myself and it really does make a difference! Don’t you just love those little nuggets of wisdom that make your life so much better? That’s pretty much how I feel about you, Laurie. I know I’ve told you before but I say it with all sincerity….you are such a blessing to me. I hope you don’t think it’s too presumptuous but I consider you a dear friend. You share your heart with us BCs and to me, that is what friends do. I loved all of the segments of this episode and could write a book if I talked about each one….so I’ll limit myself to my favorite which is the one where you interview Mark. You two obviously have a special relationship and I think it’s so dear and sweet to share a bit of it with us BCs. Happy first day of autumn! xoxoxo

    1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      Hello dear BC Josephine! Thanks for sharing YOUR heart with us. We just got home from a fun few days bike riding and sunset watching by the Pacific Ocean in Ventura and so I finally have a moment to reply. I don’t think it is presumptuous at all that I seem to be a friend to you (and to all the BCs). My main focus just a few episodes in, when I realized that people really WERE listening and responding to my ponderings, was to talk to you as if we were on walks together discussing life and weight and challenges we might have. I used to have a very good friend who regularly walked with me around the famous Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and we so enjoyed the combo of walking and letting our hair down. When she moved back East I missed that feeling so very much. It has been my privilege to replicate that just a bit with you. Also, when I have had a chance to actually meet up with BCs in person, we are all surprised at how at home we feel. I am very much in life as I am on the show – except I have a little more tendency to let out the bad language now and again. Mark too is very much as he seems – though I think on the show we veer a little more toward our best behavior LOL. I’m glad you liked this episode, it was a joy to me to be back on the mountain with so many voices and ideas to share with all of you. It is an example of MY favorite kind of episode too. xoxoxoxox

  7. Josephine

    Sorry Laurie….I thought of one more thing that I just had to say to BC Kat from New Jersey. Kat, when you were talking about starting over for the millionth time (and on a Monday) haha……I just wanted to let you know you are not alone. As you were saying that I thought to myself…I’m exactly the same! But since we are BCs….we are brave enough to try ‘just one more time’, yes? Well, I think so, especially since we have this wonderful community of BCs to be part of. Thanks again, Laurie, for making it happen! xoxox

    1. Katherine Giovetsis

      Yes Josephine…one more time…I’ve stopped counting and I’m sure you have, too. Doesn’t matter. What’s important is that I will never stop trying to live the healthiest life I can live.

      1. Katherine

        What a thrill it was to get a shout out from you, Laurie! My debut! Feel like I should take a bow. LOL

        Great episode as usual. I am going to TRY to ask myself “Is this life affirming or life draining?” before making any decisions today whether it’s a food decision or just a basic life decision.

        Mark, I love that you’re trying yoga. My bf has back and neck pain and I keep telling him (more like nagging him cause I’m tired of hearing the whining) that he should try yoga. Until you’ve done it, you have no idea how hard it is because it really does look easy. NOT!

        Thank you both for the laughter which is always so good for the soul. I might listen to the whole episode again on my ride home tonight.

        With love and gratitude,

        1. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

          You absolutely should take a bow dear Kat! And print out your bravery report certificate so you will always remember and celebrate your bravery in sharing your story and your voice with us. Mark enjoyed your description of trying to get your bf into yoga – feels strangely familiar to him….. But he recommends it as the most non-yoga type man in the world, that it is helping him with his back, his flexibility AND his patience.

          1. Kat

            Well then…I will keep bringing yoga into the conversation when dear bf tells me his back, neck, etc hurts or feels stiff. I might be nagging, but I also care and refuse to think that there’s nothing you can do. There is ALWAYS something you can do!

    2. Laurie@CompulsiveOvereatingDiary Post author

      LOL you never have to say sorry for sharing thoughts here! Especially when your thoughts are in support of brave BCs like Kat who share their stories here. I’m also raising MY hand as a Monday starter when I’m in the do-over mood. Though lately, I have been learning to take action in the moment I decide to make a change and that, while scary, also is giving more of a sense of life continuity vs. being on track or off. xoxoxox


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