Fat Girl Wearing Thin

Life beyond the loss.

   Jan 01

Welcome to Day One of Hate Loss 2013

Happy New Year, everyone – and WELCOME to Day One of the Annual Hate Loss Challenge. I am so glad you’re here!  Taking this first step to being attentive of the way you treat the most valuable person you know – YOU – is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. It is my hope that by the end of this month you’ll be well on your way to:

Being mindful, which will allow you to meet each moment with full awareness. 

Becoming more compassionate with yourself.   

Eliminating insecurities that are weighing you down by giving yourself the love and respect you deserve.

These may seem like trivial exercises at first but if you aren’t used to reinforcing the goodness within, they can be quite tricky to downright difficult to do.  Pick up any self help book or simply Google the words self-esteem and you’ll find study after study which proves that having a non-judgmental, appreciative opinion of yourself is crucial to your overall well being. 

To show my appreciation to everyone who completes the 31 Days of Gratitude and attends all of our group therapy Thursday sessions, you will be entered into a drawing to win an 8×10 print from one of my paintings:


I wrote a quote which reads: “I am both imperfect yet, perfect. My branches may bend and twist, but I am beautiful, still.”  I think this is a perfect reminder of what this challenge is all about.  If you’d like more information on this print, head over to my Etsy shop.  Please note that if you are interested in this drawing, you’ll need to officially enter your intention of committing to the challenge in the comments section of this post to be considered. It’s my way of keeping track of everyone Smile 


Thirty One Days of Gratitude begins today!

By now you should have your Gratitude Jar in place; by bedtime tonight you should have a slip of paper in your jar or container with a sentence or two about what you were thankful or grateful for today.  

For my gratitude container I decided to use a large flower vase I had in storage.  I dressed it up a bit with ribbon and a pine cone, and put it on my night stand, complete with a pen and note pad:



There is only one rule for this exercise: Please try to remember to add to your gratitude jar daily. If you forget a day, no worries – just add when you can so that you get the most of what this challenge has to offer. Remember, you’re attempting to create a habit with the intention of enriching your life!   What you write this month is completely up to you, and there is no wrong answer.

What if you should have a day when nothing goes right and it’s been a completely awful, terrible, horrible I hope to never, ever have another day like this again! kind of day and you’re in such a state that you simply can’t get past it to be grateful for anything? Well, I have an answer for that, too!  Ask yourself this question before you write your moment of gratitude: 

What didn’t happen to me today? 

Answering that question will provide you with a moment of gratitude.  Right now I’ve got three things in mind that I could put into my gratitude jar:  a) I didn’t have to bathe my dogs today.  b) I didn’t spill any tea on my clean shirt today (something I do ALL of the time!) c) I didn’t come down with the cold that’s been going around today.  ALL things to be grateful/thankful for. 

Need more inspiration?  Here are some wonderful quotes on gratitude that I found which should totally put you in the mood for this exercise:


“He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” – Epictetus

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”

– William Arthur Ward

“To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant. To enact gratitude is generous and noble, but to live gratitude is to touch heaven.”  Johannes A. Gaertner


In addition to doing 31 Days of Gratitude, we will be working on self esteem throughout the month.  On Thursday, January 3rd, I’ll be posting information about our next exercise.   Don’t miss it! 



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  1. Brandi says:

    I am really ready for this! This could not have come at a better time in my life. Even today, I read something that made me go right to a negative place. I am so tired of the cycle and ready to move on. :)
    Thanks Ellen!

  2. Hanlie says:

    Happy New Year, Ellen! I had to laugh at the reference to messing on your shirt – a day that I don’t do that would definitely merit a slip in the gratitude bucket!

  3. NewMe says:

    OK, Ellen. You’ve got me on board. As soon as I press “post comment”, I’m going downstairs to get my jar and I already have something that I’m extremely grateful for today that I’ll be noting and popping in the jar.


  4. nancy says:

    Hello. I don’t have a blog and I’m a bit timid so it’s taken me until today to let you know I’m here and interesting in participating. Yes, please count me in. I haven’t yet decided whether I’ll use a vase or a notebook, because I’m interested in beginning a gratitude journal and the notebook might work better for me. I have each, so I’m set either way.
    Also, I’m hoping the things for which we’re grateful don’t have to be specific to the one day. For example, I’ve lately noticed a few things of the ‘didn’t happen’ variety you mention that are actually changes, differences between life now and life a year ago. They count very much to me, and I’m hoping they count for our purposes here as well.

    • Ellen says:

      Hello Nancy, and welcome! I know what it feels like to make that first comment – it’s a huge step and I congratulate you for making it here with me for this challenge.
      And YES, you are absolutely correct – gratitude means different things to different people and the point of the exercise is just to be more mindful of what is happening in our lives that we sometimes take for granted. Re-training that thought process takes time, effort and different paths for different people. This is YOUR challenge – I’m just here to help (and of course, participate, myself because I need it just as much as anyone!)

  5. Brenda says:

    I’m in Ellen :)
    I already knew what my grateful comment would be today..my 2 kids and spend a safe/relaxing evening and new years day with them.
    I made it my post today in my blog, really looking forward to this challenge and where it will take me!

    • Ellen says:

      Brenda, you are awesome!! I’m always grateful when participants are as excited about these challenges as I. Thank you for setting your intention to join :)

  6. Beth says:

    Your jar is a lot more creative and pretty than mine Ellen…I was just going to use a plastic peanut jar with a screw on top. Maybe I’ll stick a Christmas bow on top or something to liven it up a bit…lol. I’m sticking with what I thought my first bit af gratefullness would be…I am so grateful to have good health when so many around me seem to have weird illnesses! (oh, and I’m grateful that I don’t have to give dogs baths..heehee, I don’t own dogs) Love you friend!

  7. teresa says:

    I’m totally in! I am using the gratitude box I made with my daughter for our year of gratitude. I’ll still do mine every day. this 31 days should set me up for the habit of doing it all year. She led the way already, of course, and drew a picture of her gratitude today. So, so far, there are two slips of paper from two 5 year olds (Em and her friend). How sweet is that?
    It cracks me up seeing that Van Gogh book in your photo! I read so much about you reading it that I will always associate it with you.

    • Ellen says:

      Thank you so much, tree (and Em…and Em’s friend) xoxo
      I love that book so much. It was the last thing Patty ever gave me (and I’m so proud to admit that I read all 880 pages – out loud!) lol

  8. Looking forward to it! I’m grateful that my back is feeling much better than yesterday! {Inserting in jar now. } 😉

    • Ellen says:

      Yay, Carrie! You’re a sweetheart :) And I’m SO glad your back is feeling better. I know that kind of pain and totally sympathize. ((hugs))

  9. Vickie says:

    I am pondering use of word “didn’t”. Seems like it is a psychological difference to rephrase to positive – what you DID instead of bathing dogs, shirt stayed clean, stayed healthy.

    • Ellen says:

      Yes, I can see your point on this, Vickie. Speaking personally for a moment, I have been in that ‘life feels so despondent that I can’t find any goodness in it’ place before, where all I could do to bridge that wide gap between negative and positive thinking was to take small steps like that in order to help break the cycle. Eventually, what ‘didn’t’ happen gave me the tools I needed to begin turning those words around so I used it as an example. Perhaps there is a better way of bridging that gap since I’m only an expert on what worked for me; it’s my hope that no one feels the desire to convey their gratitude in that way, but I put it out there just in case.

  10. didi says:

    Definitely in on this, and I hope that after the 31 days end I keep adding to my gratitude jar forever. What a wonderful idea! I must now go post pictures of my gratitude jar, and possibly make a dreams and goals jar. I want some kind of happy jar on BOTH floors of my house. That way if I forget about one I’ll probably see the other one and remember. Foolproof!

    • Ellen says:

      I think it is SO cool that you’re taking this into other areas of your life – your creative life, subconscious life, etc. Fantastic, Didi!! I just slipped in my third note and already I’m finding myself looking forward to spending that moment or two at night thinking of what I want to add, which means that I’m finding more than one thing to be grateful for – which is the whole point of the exercise in the first place so it’s working!!

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