BESSHAILE   44,032
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BESSHAILE's Recent Blog Entries

I just Thought I was busy ... what did I know?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Now it's crazier busy instead of just plain old crazy busy. summertime is the busy time at work and in the middle of summer (next week) we have our final board meeting of the year. this year there is a Big Issue that has to be faced. It's really big - but it's not an obstacle - just something that has to be worked around and worked with and will take time and money. a problem but one with a solution.

I have a small house guest this week - our 8 year old cousin (believe me, it's pretty easy to become a cousin here in rural Virginia - nigh 'bout everybody is a cousin somehow) is visiting for the week. Our place has long been known as a vacation spot for children because I have the kind of job where I can take reading kids to work with me. They love to put books away and help get the crafts ready for story times. They can also curl up in a chair with a newly discovered treasure and read for sweet uninterrupted hours. Lunchtime is easy with packed sandwiches on the river bank or only a walk away to several restaurants. After work we can go swimming in the river before the sun sets and dinner is always eaten on the porch.

Besides - I have the coolest toys. Good quality art tools and knitting tools and three spinning wheels and access to a fine ceramic shop where, if you stay long enough, we can make something to take home to mama. Most of the time little girls come to stay so after a while my husband began calling it Bess' Girls Camp. but little girls grow up and we haven't had any youglings in the family for over 6 years. Happily, it looks like we have a new crop now.

and this new little girl is a knitter!! woo woo. We're already making little stuffed bunnies and kitties.

It's fun being busy and the only way I can manage The Weight Thing in this hectic month is to cut sweets out of my life and double up on fruits -- which are abundantly delicious right now - in spite of a drought that has ravaged the farms around here. That drought, and it's accompanying heatwave, really sapped my mental creativity - one reason added to the aforementioned business that has made me fall so silent on this blog. I've been even worse on my knitting blog - with posts only maybe every other week.

But life is good even if it is so hectic - this is all fun stuff. I'm using the tools in James A Ray's book Harmonic Wealth to help keep me focused and on track - not just with health issues but with all the things I want to tend to. And one of these days I'll have synthesized some of all this excitement and be able to talk about it. For the mean time, though - I'm wishing all my Spark Friends the most joy filled summer ... or winter ... they can possibly have!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 7/14/2010 7:22AM


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JLITT62 7/13/2010 9:47AM

    Sounds like a crazy good time, tho. Enjoy!

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SHEILA1505 7/13/2010 9:28AM

    And while you're filling yourself with healthy food and fruit instead of sweet things, I'm sure your litte cousin is happily benefitting too. You make your Camp sound most inviting ...... :))

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IFDEEVARUNS2 7/13/2010 8:03AM

    Your 'camp' sounds like a heavenly place! I may have to claim kinship.....LOL

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EFELL123 7/13/2010 7:12AM

    It sounds like you have a great plan for controlling your sweet tooth and a fun job! I need to get out and buy some new produce today to keep my fridge stocked with good choices.

(Any tips for getting my 7 year old to read more!)


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Just a quick pop in

Thursday, July 08, 2010

to say I did 2 brisk miles at the gym yesterday in spite of the ferocious heat. well - the gym is moderately air conditioned. they don't keep it way down, but it's fresh enough to help you feel like moving. Today, in just minutes, I will do my 2 miles outdoors - because one of the things I want to do more of is Be Where I Am. I live in one of the most beautiful natural places and I work all day indoors. I need to feel a little more like I'm a part of my natural surroundings.

today it's back to the city for more doctor stuff for Himself. This is always a mixed situation. We wish that he had strong healthy eyes but we absolutely love having a day out of the routine to spend together going somewhere. go figure. He and I have ALWAYS had fun in a car.

A day in the city is always a challenge food wise - but I'm psyched up for it.

Hugs to you all. I'll be back to scatter spark goodies around in a day or two. Won 100 goodie points today on the log-in wheel.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 7/8/2010 7:32AM

    Have a safe happy journey
See you back soon

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Back in the swim ... at the pool

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Cooked spaghetti arms are typing today's post. I checked into the pool after work last night and swam laps for 15 minutes. Oh La! I had completely forgotten how lap swimming uses every single muscle in your body - neck, arms, forearms, the stuff hanging off your shins... toes... everything is telling me "hey!"

Mind now - nobody is complaining - those muscles are just surprised as heck. I guess they thought I had no more use for them. They were planning to pack up and shrivel away.

I've always loved swimming and I still play in the river in the summertime - but river swimming is not the same thing as laps. River swimming ends up being a few strokes out or some serious treading to keep from floating away with the tide. Lap swimming is .. well - you know what it is and the part of my brain that likes calesthenics also likes laps. but in 2005 I hurt my shoulder and neck very badly in a serious fall and it wasn't till this spring that I began to suspect I was getting full range of motion back. Recent diagnosis of osteoarthritis in my spin at both the neck and lower back explains some of the issues I've been having with my regular workouts and my doc suggested swimming, so, though I'm also sensitive to chlorine, I gave it a go yesterday and WOW - that's all I can say.

The pool was mildly unpleasant with it's chemical scent. I'm going to be careful that, in typical Bess fashion, I don't overdo it right from the start - but boy oh boy - it was wonderful to see that I can do a good crawl across and back, that 15 minutes of it burned a heckuva lot of calories, and that I can now tuck this refreshing form of exercise back into my daily life.

Especially since it's going to hit 103+ today. that's 39 for my celsius friends. Tomorrow we're expecting a cold snap of 91. It hasn't rained real rain since the first weekend in July. Drought is tough but drought plus days and days of temperatures in the triple digits means we've lost the corn crop. The only money we'll get from that is from the crop insurance. Late beans won't even germinate. I suspect they've been cooked in the ground so rain probably won't help them either. But we need the rain. My beech tree has lost almost all its leaves, as has the redbud and dogwood. Poplars will be next and the sweet gum is already turning red.

So. Lord - send us rain Please!

hugs to you all.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMSMILEY88 7/7/2010 9:16AM

    My pool doesn't smell of chlorine, either. And, I have a salt-water pool in my backyard. Too bad yours smells!

I am sorry to hear about your drought! I was just "complaining" that the rain is causing me to miss another workout in the morning. But, I'd rather have the rain than the drought. I will send up a prayer that you get some rain soon!

And, congrats for getting back in the pool! I have only swam once before (in 2003 when I was going to do a tri - I took lessons once a week for 8 weeks). Anyway, I've now been swimming laps for about 3 or 4 weeks. Trying to get 3 days a week in, but with my runs and the weather, I'm getting 2 or 3.

emoticon emoticon

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LILPAT3 7/7/2010 8:10AM

    Good for you! Did you know that a proper chemical balance in a pool leads to a pool with no chlorine odor! Wish you could come swim in the pool I work at.

(((Sending SKINNY Vibes)))
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Fake or real?

Monday, July 05, 2010

Beyond the very busy schedule I've been living the past month, I've been wrestling with the dark side of my weight issues. And my opponent is a pretty formidable adversary. She knows my weak spots and she has weapons in her arsenal. Her name is doubt. The 4th of July really hit me hard with the truth that I am pretty much the same weight I was 6 months ago. I have to ask myself: Is my desire for weight loss real or fake? Am I serious about this or do I think it's just something I'm supposed to want, something I'd sorta like ya know if I didn't have to work too hard at it.

I'm not trying to beat myself up about this what I really want is to live my life as honestly as I possibly can. I don't want to write inspiring pieces about healthy living while choosing too much of the wrong food or lolling about instead of strengthening flabby muscles. I also don't want to give up on myself when the going gets tough. What I really want to do is be honest, encouraging, flexible and patient with myself, just like I'd be to any friend who was having a hard time reaching a goal.

There are some real issues and perhaps I ought to admit them up front.

First off, I'm not at some sort of plateau. I'm not doing everything right and being tripped up by some unknown metabolic issue. I'm eating too much food and exercising too few minutes. I pretty much like how I look. At least, I like how I think I look. This is largely because I live in the rural south where I am comparatively smaller than more than half the women around me, and maybe 3/4ths of the women my age around me. It's so common for us to look like the world around us dress like they do, fit into the mold. In my world, the mold is very roomy. I have to want the change a lot and be willing to fight the tide to achieve it, and as far as looks go dress size, appearance, the outside stuff, I don't really think I do want it enough at least, my behavior for the past year hasn't demonstrated that I do.


I have arthritis in my spine at the neck and the lower back with a disc that is trying to slip out from between the vertebrae. This really limits my ability to exercise, especially in ways I'm use to. Careful change is required but it also makes exercise even more important than ever before. Besides, the extra weight hanging on my skeleton is putting stress on my spine. 20 fewer pounds would make an enormous difference.

And doing nothing is going to leave me more and more crippled till I can't move, can't stoop down and pick up something from the floor, reach high and get something off a top shelf - sleep through the night without an aching back. Mobility really is a motivator. My dear crippled mother, almost bedridden now, is the warning I should heed.

I think the biggest issue for me, though, is portion size and speed-eating. Deep down I know I should not be eating dinner in front of the television. It's a routine my husband and I have gotten into and it's really taking its tole on my efforts. I eat too fast. The food is gone before I'm ready for it to be. I miss the taste of a lot of the food on my plate so it's not uncommon for me to eat more, looking for the taste I missed.

So. It looks to me as if the desire is real, but it's the desire to be strong and mobile, not slim and fashionable. A first for me, I believe as I have loved the outward appearance all of my life. I still do love it, but more important, I love the freedom of choice I have now, and resent the impeachment of that freedom that has begun to creep in. It's time to fight back.

As a first step I plan to wean us from the dinnertime television hour. For this week we'll eat every other dinner on the porch or anywhere else that is TV-less. Next week we'll see if we can add to those days. Who knows by August we may not even want to eat any meals there. Let's see if this baby step will help me get a little more real with my life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIMESSA 7/6/2010 6:45PM

    YOU CAN DO IT!! I have total faith in you! I think your plan to do baby steps is a great one!! Best of luck to you!

I will miss you when I am away...I will be MIA for about 2 weeks and will not be reading any blogs, please try and keep me updated on your progress by Sparkmailing me or leaving me a comment on my SparkPage!

Wishing you a great couple weeks!!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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LMSTRAW 7/5/2010 1:05PM

    I like that you are being honest with yourself. I didn't loose weight for vanity purposes, although, at a younger age, that was my motivation. I did it for my health and well being, and to get me mobile again. You don't have to worry about your looks. I too live in the south and we were all raised on grease! It's been a real challenge to me to make food taste good without fat back meat, bacon, lard, and all the horrible stuff we've used all our lives.
You can do it. But, you're right, you have to make up your mind to do it! I wish you luck and send you love.

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JLITT62 7/5/2010 1:02PM

    For me, it's most definitely more about my health than my looks. Yes, I like how I look now too.

We don't eat with the tv on. Period. Which makes for some nice fights when I want to eat after DH is done with his lunch (or dinner, for that fact) & he wants to watch tv. I am adamant about it. It makes a HUGE difference.

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SHEILA1505 7/5/2010 12:54PM

    Hi Bess
Working on your health and strengthening your body to protect your spine is great motivation and far more important than any amount of vanity.

Strength hugs and love

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GREENAMETHYST 7/5/2010 12:45PM

    I think you are on the right path to changing old maybe not so healthy habits. Just the fact that you are honestly acknowleging habits that you know are not the best is progress. Self awareness is the first key to change! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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DAWNDMOORE40 7/5/2010 12:23PM

    I think that is a good idea that you are doing some soul searching about your desire to change your life! I know sometimes I have the best intentions, but then I don't put the actions into practice! I think that is the hardest part is actually doing the work! I used to tell my doctors I was doing the "best" I can to loose weight! I was doing "MY" best, but not the best I can! There are going to be days that aren't so perfect, but you have to ask yourself, "AM I WORTH IT?" Of course the answer should be, "YES YOU ARE". You have to make time for yourself in order to live a happy, healthy life! We are here to support you, but you have to do the rest!
I am proud of you for wanting to make changes! emoticonNow it's time to do the work! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MERALO 7/5/2010 12:23PM

    I think the desire is definitely real. But your slump is too.

First up - are you perhaps at a weight that your body is comfortable with and that you are comfortable maintaining? Maybe you don't need to LOSE anything but just get yourself moving and break a few bad habits? Just asking because I found myself deciding on an ideal weight back in Jan and it took a lot for me to accept that my ideal weight is actually heavier than the calculators and books say it should be...the thing is, I'm a big person and no diet is ever going to change that...I don't know your stature but could that be a possibility?

From my own experience, the exercise has been my biggest ally in the war on weight - on days when I don't eat well (and there are many!), or when I actually pig out, or the alcohol that forms a big part of my social life gets consumed - the one thing that's kept me on track is the exercise. And that you need to get back to pronto...before anything else.

So, my last comment - JUNEBUG suggested the official 10 minutes daily exercise team and it's a GREAT concept. For you, where you are now, I'd recommend you start there until you build momentum again.

And don't get down on yourself, you kept the weight off for 6 months too you know!

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Bess goes to the spa

Sunday, June 27, 2010

The past 2 weeks have been crazy busy. Besides it being the end of the fiscal year ... where you have to spend all your money, but at least as much as you got last year, and not more than you got, and not more than you'll get next year while also paying all the bills ... it is also the beginning of the vacation season so all the children are out of school and their mothers are looking for something to do ... and the vacationers are showing up wanting beach reads while they're at their cottage. Oh. And yes. We had the last of the school tours, because ... the children didn't get out of school till last week. Yup. crazy busy.

And as I wound things up, hit my targets, got my summer staff settled in - the lure of a real reward ... a Spa Day reward grew way beyond my ability to resist. I have some good things to talk about and share that are weight related, and I will, with another blog post, but this reward was for a job well done in my whole life and here's the Cook's tour.

We began here, in a shady parking spot at the Williamsburg Inn in my favorite tourist town: Colonial Williamsburg. Nothing anybody ever says about it being a reconstruction (It's fake! It's not real) will ever dim the delight I find in this wonderful brick covered bit of Virginia, and American, history. I seriously heart this place and visit it every chance I get.

My gf S and I always enjoy a shady walk among the glorious gardens.

These fabulous wisteria vines inspired thoughts of knitted cables.

Cool fountains tempted us to linger outdoors

Obviously we weren't the only one enjoying this lovely garden.

Inside everything was all cream and tan wood

My locker came stocked with goodies and I quickly took advantage of them.

I had never had a massage before and this was a sampler massage - 60 minutes of the different types of massages the spa offers. My favorite was the hot stone massage and I will go back for a full hour of those, but the reflexology massage was a close second.

I've been fighting off a sinus infection (with anti-biotics) - had even considered postponing this because I was pretty tired, but after a glorious salad and lots of fruit infused water, Juanita came to get me for my facial. I mentioned my sinus issues and she worked an acupressure miracle on my head. By the time she was through with me I could feel everything opening up inside my head. In fact, I am so over that sinus infection I'm beginning to wonder if I never really had it. Thank you Juanita - I know where to go next time one of these things comes along.

Well. durn. Somewhere on this computer are edited photos of before and after bess - but I can't find them. emoticon the unedited ones are too dark to see. The visible shots are up on Facebook, though, so you can have a look there if you need visual proof.

Well - you'll just have to take my word for it. I felt fabulous - totally pampered and detoxed. And I'll write about that later.

The coming week is going to be similarly crammed - heck - the whole summer will be - but I can think back on this sweet day of relaxation whenever I get stressed out and maybe, come fall, I'll treat myself to another one.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALIMESSA 6/27/2010 10:12PM

    Glad you enjoyed yourself...sounds heavenly!!

Have a great week!

As always,
Stay Strong!!

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EDWINA172 6/27/2010 1:49PM

    Sounds like you had a lovely time. Well deserved! Enjoy your summer.

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SHEILA1505 6/27/2010 1:26PM

    Oh Bess - you can also have a Manual Lymph Drainage facial and that clears the sinuses wonderfully well.
I am so glad that you enjoyed everything - also love the Hot Stone and the Reflexology sessions. I am not a spoiled brat though - I go to two of the best local beauty schools where treatments are a fraction of the cost of salons - and I get a pensioners discount too. Sometimes (as earlier this year) I am invited to participate as a "model" for exams or for research projects - 10 sessions of non-surgical face lift - worked wonders but I wonder how long the effects will last.

I hope you manage to commit yourself to a treatment once a month - you have earned it!


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WEDDWT 6/27/2010 1:23PM

    Go for it! Schedule one for the Fall season now!

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DEBNICU 6/27/2010 11:39AM

    How fantastic that you gave yourself that wonderful reward. I need to think of a reward. I just reached the 30# gone mark and when I lose another 6.7# I will be in onederland.
Way to treat yourself.

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JKTENTATIVE 6/27/2010 11:13AM

Sounds heavenly....think it is getting to be spa time for me too!

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JLITT62 6/27/2010 11:13AM

    OMG, how have you lived this long with a massage? Sadly, it's been a really, really long time since my last professional one (like a couple of years), but I just love massages. My mom doesn't like them -- doesn't like to be touched -- I don't understand!

Glad you had a good time. Looks heavenly.

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SLIMTHICK2 6/27/2010 9:23AM

    I was treated to a spa once totally enjoyed it. Yours is so much better. I loved the outdoor photos. Good that you treated yourself.

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SANDRAFIVE 6/27/2010 9:12AM

    Since I only live 20 mins. from Williamsburg you got me to wondering why I haven't been there in a while. Thanks for the reminder, it is a great place. emoticon

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