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Balancing Act - another yoga breakthrough plus an epiphany

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Woo woo.

I've been swapping out a little Other Exercise with my yoga lately but today I did an early morning practice. Since I am always a little stiff on the ankles when I first sit on my heels, I thought I'd just do the standing quadricep stretch before I tried to put any weight on them.

And that's when the break through hit me! whoa! I can do that stretch without holding on to something to keep my balance. Instead, I feel all the grounding in the four corners of my foot! Whoopee!

that lack of balance has bothered me no end, as I've gotten older and creakier. But regular yoga practice is helping me center myself, balance myself, and strengthen my legs to hold me up better!!

and that's when the epiphany came - because ... I hadn't FELT that balance - or at least hadn't noticed it - because I was doing yoga every day. Taking a break for a day or two made it possible for me to see my progress. Now, I will not be the first person to mention to you today that swapping things up and switching things out a bit is good for you - but I bet I'm the most delighted person to do so.

May you end up as thrilled as I am today on your quest for a healthier YOU! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/9/2010 10:10PM

    emoticon That's the best news I've heard today! Good for you!

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IPATRICIA 3/9/2010 5:37PM

    I just love those Ahha moments! emoticon YOGA...I wish

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CRAVE_FREE 3/9/2010 1:02PM

    YAY for balance, center and switching things up! emoticon

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JLITT62 3/9/2010 12:57PM

    What a great insight!

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TRACIWRIGHT79 3/9/2010 10:35AM


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JKTENTATIVE 3/9/2010 9:31AM

    Woo Hoo! Keep up this terrific progress...and it really is time for me to find a yoga class and get started. Thanks for the inspiration.

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Pollo Mole recipe from Weight Watcher's Cookbook

Monday, March 08, 2010

The first slip from the Surprise Jar was to go through my cookbooks and pick a new recipe to try. In Weight Watchers Cook it Quick! I found a recipe for Turkeky Mole that made my mouth water. Now I didn't have any turkey breasts but I don't really like breast meat anyway - I used bonless skinless chicken thighs cut into bitesized pieces. I also added a LOT more water to the sauce - it calls for 1 cup which you cook down for 20 minutes. I used 2 cups and sort of stewed my chicken pieces in the sauce after I'd pureed it in the blender.

The WW recipe comes in at 229 calories but I figured it at about 50 calories more since I used fattier meat. but I have enough sauce left over to make this meal all over again! Yippee.

Served over rice with steamed broccoli on the side. Yum. It WAS a little sweet, which I can only surmise comes from the raisins and cinnamon. You might want to add a touch more salt. I added hot pepper flakes to it for a little more zip.

this is the 2002 edition of WWs book and I see on Amazon that there are Other Editions. So - here's a link to bookfinder dot com's listings:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACIWRIGHT79 3/9/2010 10:36AM

    Yummy! emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/8/2010 10:38PM

    Sounds deliciou-thanks for sharing! I still need to make my Surprise jar!

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JLITT62 3/8/2010 2:26PM

    I'm not sure if I have the same edition, but I do have that cookbook -- and like it a lot.

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The Surprise Me Jar - because this is supposed to be fun

Sunday, March 07, 2010

My weigh-in this morning was not a happy number, but then, I didn't figure it would be. It's been a tough 10 days of straying, stressing and stuffing my mouth. Eh. Bummer.

But I'm tired of that and ready for something new, something inspiring and by golly, something FUN! Something that shifts my focus and gets me back on track in a joyful way and Friday morning, driving in to work, I hit on the perfect thing!

It's an adaptation of an adaptation of a super duper idea I found in a magazine years ago. I am calling it The Surprise Me Jar. On colorful strips of paper I have written down 25 fun things to do to celebrate my journey to a healthy body - one for each day for the rest of the month. I've rolled them into spirals and put them in a glass jar I'm keeping on the buffet. Every day I will pull one out and do whatever is on that strip of paper. It's okay if I put that spiral back, just in case I don't want to do it for some reason, but I have to pull out another one and do that.

It was hard to think of 25 fun things to do but I managed and here's a list of them:

1 Give a smile to 10 people today
2 Eat a tropical fruit
3 Look in the mirror - preferably in the buff. Identify my least favorite body part. Make a promise to it that I'll eat and exercise to make it beautiful
4 Eat a dark leafy green I've never had before ( or haven't had in a long time)
5 Use a champagne glass to sip a glass of water
6 Add something different to my salad today
7 Search a cookbook of low fat recipes, select something new and shop for the ingredients. It's okay to cook it on a different day
8 At 3 p.m. today do 10 minutes of seated yoga stretches
9 Cook something different tonight
10 Make myself a BIG omlette with eggbeaters and mushrooms and onions. Use Parmesan cheese which adds a lot of flavor for few calories ... 1 TBS = 21
11 Massage lotion into my feet - 5 minutes for each foot
12 Eat a red, green, yellow and orange vegetable today
13 Cook a pear or apple, sprinkle it with cinnamon and drizzle fat free half and half on it
14 Look in the mirror and say "I love you, you beautiful woman."
15 Indulge in my favorite seafood today. Shrimp scampi? Baked salmon? Indulge!
16 Write myself a letter praising 10 specific things I've done for my health since January first. MAIL IT!
17 Have a cup of fat free hot chocolate
18 Ask your best friend to tell you her favorite 3 things about you - offer to do the same for her
19 Take a walk and come back with Signs of Spring
20 Slip away from work one hour early and go to the gym
21 Share Spark People with someone you love
22 Pull out spring clothes and try them on - Keep only the ones I love. Get rid of the rest. Make a list of what I need to fill out my wardrobe (this is a weekend thing)
23 Take a candlelit champagne bubble bath before I go to bed. (What doesn't everyone keep a bottle of champagne handy?)
24 Indulge in one ounce of high end cheese - at 120 calories - just weigh it first. Fontina? French Corbier? Stilton? Eat it slowly and truly I N D U L G E
25 Take a walk around town - guaranteed 1 mile at least - and take my camera to photograph interesting sights

I've done this before with suggestions to stimulate my creativity and I also gave this away as a Christmas gift one year with 52 questions and a pretty journal for people to write down their memories. The fun thing about this is that just the act of thinking up Fun Things To Do to for ME helped put me in a happier frame of mind and got me back on track again. I've already poured over my Weight Watcher's cook book and planned out this week's meals using new recipes.

So. It is a new week, all sparkley and crips and full of possibilities. I'm read to pull magic out of a hat - or a surprise out of a jar.

Just so you get the idea of what it looks like, here's a picture of my Creativity Jar with comments from my BirdsWithOpinions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 3/8/2010 5:49AM

    But you didn't share with us what you pulled out!

But thank you for sharing all the fun things . . . such food for thought!

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TRACIWRIGHT79 3/8/2010 12:16AM

    What a fun idea! This list is great, I am totally going to steal it from you! emoticon

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IPATRICIA 3/7/2010 5:58PM

    This is a brilliant idea, must do that next week. Thank you so much.

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SHEILA1505 3/7/2010 3:02PM

    Clever Lady!
I have a Job Jar for projects around the house - and some of those strips have "take the day off" on them or "veg in the garden"

But I am definitely going to "steal" this one &send it to my BFF and my Energy Buddy, too


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OPAL50 3/7/2010 12:27PM

    Wonderful idea to jump start a stalled program. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOOOOW 3/7/2010 11:36AM

    Great idea, maybe when Spring break comes up in two weeks I'll have time to play with this idea.

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PATHUMPHRIES 3/7/2010 8:37AM

    What a great idea. Thank you for sharing!

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STARDUST53 3/7/2010 8:29AM

    emoticon A brilliant idea!

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/7/2010 8:16AM

    This is truly motivating. I love the surprise me jar. Great little tips and tricks. Thanks.


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DOITAGAININ2010 3/7/2010 7:38AM

    This is a great idea and thanks for including your ideas for 25 fun things. Since this is a life-long journey, we have to make sure we have some fun along the way, and this is a great way to do it! Your birds are right on with their comments.


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LIZ-GS 3/7/2010 7:31AM

    Way Cool! I LOVE the Jar idea, it's far more concrete than my '48 in 48' birthday idea (spend one week focusing on one idea for 48 weeks while I'm 48). Thanks for sharing!
emoticon Spark on!

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PUDLECRAZY 3/7/2010 7:31AM

    I love your surprise me jar! What a great idea!

Wishing you many happy surprises, including ones your hadn't even thought of.



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MSLZZY 3/7/2010 7:29AM

    I am going to give this a try-great idea! Later I'll find a jar and start with my surprise jar strips.
Such a positive thing to do! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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NWLIFESRC 3/7/2010 7:23AM

    Cool anything to spruce life up good luck

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Finding my footing again

Friday, March 05, 2010

I have a non-epileptic health condition that is rare, benign (so they say - "they" should experience this), with no known cause and no treatment other than "Live with it". It is a neurological thing that has visible symptoms that seem to be triggered by exertion and/or stress. These identified triggers mean that there are probably ways of preventing more episodes and I also believe that there are ways of creating a structure so that should another episode occur, I will be safe.

the first neurologist I went to said "It never happens, when it does it never happens again. go home live long and prosper hey cool man"

so when it DID happen again it never crossed my mind to call him about it. I called my GP who is pretty good, but very young and though he didn't say so, in his voice (Hey, I'm a mom, I know a "voice" when I hear it) I could discern a panic-like hint of "How should I know? that's why I sent you to a specialist." The upshot was that I went to a new neurologist who at least seemed to take me seriously, although the diagnosis and treatment plan are still very much the same.

It is funny to listen to medical people find ways of telling you "we haven't got a clue what this is, what causes it or how to prevent it or how to treat it" without giving up their god like status. Or rather - it is funny in hindsight to remember that's what they were saying.

I have often been grateful that I was born in the post penicillin age when medicine could do serious good. This was especially so after I became a mother. When I think of all the cuts, dirt, germs out there just waiting to suck your children under - and a glance back at mortality statistics will tell you this is not just my imagination - I am particularly glad I live now. But the downside to this is that we expect medicine to have all the answers all the time. It may be that (some) doctors have become a tad arrogant because they do hit bullseye so often, but that's hardly unexpected.

Our bodies can throw up all sorts of surprises and medicine still has many unexplored frontiers. In a way I feel somewhat medieval as I find my footing on the path to dealing with my own condition so thank goodness I am the type who has always sort of forged my own path anyway. From religion to school to marriage to even running a library - I have always had my own approach - my own way of doing things, seeing things, understanding things. Now that I've been told to ... figure it out myself but get enough sleep and don't quit exercising, just go slow - well - I suppose there's nothing for it but to ... figure it out myself while getting enough sleep and going slowly.

so of I go - with a new day and a new path.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAVE_FREE 3/5/2010 9:51AM

    I agree with TIDEFAN911; you have a great attitude and you are inspiring. I hope you find some answers.

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HARPERLADY 3/5/2010 9:39AM

    never head of it, do you sieze? if stress can cause it to happen do they put you on anything for nerves? you definitly have the right attitude because in the long run you have yo figure it out for yourself anyway at least figure out what works best for you, say a prayer for you

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SHEILA1505 3/5/2010 6:56AM

    Yes, well - it's the same old story isn't it - if it doesn't fit their own field of "expertise"

go to a pharmacy with a headache, they'll give you headache remedies
go to a GP - you'll be told it's stress - take a rest
go to a neuro surgeon, they'll give you a CAT Scan &you'll worry about brain tumours
go to a chiropractor, they'll either tweak your neck or do kinesiology (which I love BTW)
go to an optometrist, they'll test your eyes and sell you new spectacles

Glad that you are doing your own research and look forward to your findings


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TIDEFAN911 3/5/2010 6:44AM

    This is inspiring - GOOD LUCK!! Keep up the great attitude!

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The mathematics of failure

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Well. MissBess has certainly been having a hard time these past several days, staying within her calorie limit. I wasn't too hard on myself last week because ... well, my straying behavior had only just begun, but in the past 7 days I have topped my calorie limit 3 times for a total of 820 calories. So. Let's do the math.

800 calories over the limit
x 52 weeks
41,600 excess calories in a year

Now - 41,600
/ 2,500 calories in a pound
16.5 lbs GAINED in a year!!!!

More than 1 lb a month.

In thinking back over the past few days - especially yesterday - the day I really went over the top - what was I doing? Thinking? Feeling!?

Last Wednesday I was legitimately hungry BUT ALSO thirsty in a place laden with temptation

Sunday I was only 20 calories over the limit - but if I were to do that every day I should gain 3 lbs in a year so it's good to remember that even a calorie here or there can really add up

Yesterday - the really baaaaaad day - well. Well I was absolutely starving ALL DAY LONG. Just flat out hungry. If I had been younger I'd have thought it was TOM - but I am past all that. What made me so hungry? And worse yet - what made me eat 3 skinny cow ice cream sandwiches for desert after dinner? emoticon

Besides the fact that ice cream is my favorite food in the world and they tasted so good? emoticon

Only of course, the 3rd one didn't - so you know - there was the brat factor in action. "I've been hungry all day! Fruit didn't fill me up. I even tried almonds and I was still hungry so there. nya! I will have ice cream if I want it and ha ha ha - try to stop me".

Honestly, though I didn't actually form those thoughts into words, those were my emotions last night! True brat behavior.

but wait! Wait! I didn't drink all my water till late in the day - in fact .... I bet I drank 4 glasses of water from dinner time to bed time. ooooooo.

is there a lesson here? I do think so - I believe I was thirsty yesterday - I believe if I had had more water while I was at work ( on a project I dread and on which I made absolutely NO progress ... am I finding another correlation going on as I ruminate here? Could be.) I might have staved of some of that cavernous empty feeling. It may be that I was not hungry all day but thirsty!!

hmmm. I do believe I must reinstate my old program of drinking 8 glasses of water before I go home from work. Let us see if I can stem this tide of over-eating now - and prevent the math of failure from swamping my best intentions. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/3/2010 4:44PM

    The brat factor-loved that! I'll have to remember that the next time I am tempted to go overboard. Put that baby to bed!

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CRAVE_FREE 3/3/2010 12:34PM

    Great numbers to be aware of. I love your mention of the brat factor. I didn't have a name for that before, but I do it too. Lately I haven't though; I've been telling the brat to back down if she wants to see those scale numbers go down too.

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SHEILA1505 3/3/2010 11:48AM

    Did the fact that you wanted to be finishing your shawl and not at work have anything to do with it???:))

This week has been constantly hotter than the rest of summer - 34C - as usual. In February, the wind dies down so there's less of that cooling factor - so my water consumption is way off the charts - it's 6.30 in the early evening and I have already drunk 3litres and that's not counting the black coffees. And yes - I am going to have to force myself to balance my food intake before I get to bed otherwise Thursday is going to be difficult with non-stop munchies because of not hitting the numbers today. Today it has been a salad and fruit day, with FF yogurt but that's not enough to keep body &soul together.

Sounds like your water levels need topping up - have you tried a glass of hot water with lemon juice first thing in the morning. It counts and it kickstarts the system too.


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JLITT62 3/3/2010 10:17AM

    I know for sure if I don't get the majority of my water in fairly early in the day, I get really hungry. The very first thing I do when I get up is get a glass of water, even when the house is chilly. And if I'm going out? I try to make sure to get about 6 glasses of liquid in, so I'm not tempted by anything I see.

And oh yeah, working on something you don't want to be working on can definitely push your buttons, too.

Good for you for figuring it out! Good luck doing the right thing, too.

Me, unfortunately, I still gotta deal with TOM. What I can't figure out is why some months I'm starving then, and other months I sail right thru. Guess it must be those fluctuating hormones.

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JKTENTATIVE 3/3/2010 8:47AM

    I really like the way you put your thoughts into words. And, although you were disappointed with yourself for going over your limit, you should realize the achievement of recognizing what you did and connecting your thinking with your eating. I do believe that is THE key to long term health - i.e., strengthening the mind-body connection. We will all have times when we don't eat as healthy as we would like...but that is part of life. What is crucial is that you recognize it, and get right back on track. I think your plan to drink water early in the day is something you should make a commitment to yourself to do. I know it is what makes the difference for me.

Comment edited on: 3/3/2010 8:47:56 AM

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ALEXTHEHUNN 3/3/2010 8:44AM

    Applying the numbers to the calories vividly puts it into perspective! Thanks. Excellent message.

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MOOOOW 3/3/2010 8:38AM

    WOW! Again you have hit it on the nail and jolted my cognitive thinking.
Thanks.I emoticon Yesterday I stuck to my meal plan carefully until...last night I was faced with eating an unplanned piece of birthday cake during a board meeting. Those are things that are difficult to anticipate. I have a perfect excuse for saying no as I am a diabetic..but no emoticon I dove right in. What you say about water is correct and something I need to start doing again. I use to make myself drink a glass of water every hour throughout the day.

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CELEST 3/3/2010 7:27AM

    Yup a lesson alright and the lesson is this.....we have ALL the KNOWLEDGE here as well as the COMPANY, if we don't learn how to eat protein with every meal and good foods with every meal and fruit in between, we will be here 10 yrs from now crying. The sooner we kick in and get it done, the sooner we can be enjoying life without the difficulties that come with being overweight. You on the other at 75kg look fabulous so its harder for you to be as diligent as you need to be to get those last few kgs off. But still......those kgs aren't going to move themselves. emoticon

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KENP22 3/3/2010 7:26AM

  you are so right. little calories DO add up over a year's time.

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PASTORJEFF2 3/3/2010 6:51AM

    Spread your water throughout the day and it will help control your hunger. Also add more fiber and protien to your meals, You can do it!!

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