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12 in 12 for July - just a wee bit late

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Alas, and just a wee bit chagrined about how I did in June with that month's selection.

Not So Well.

But then again ... if looked at from a different angle, pretty durn well after all.

June's selection was to pick a big life goal and do something every day towards achieving it. The motivation behind this habit which I would like to incorporate into my every day life is the desire to not let time pass without making a push to do the things I want ... and suddenly waking up and finding out it's too late. Behind THAT motivation was a vague sensation that some things ... not necessarily a bucket list of them ... but just things I'd always thought of doing were no where near happening. For example - taking a boat up a fjord in Norway.

The trouble is - I would get stuck there and couldn't think of anything else on the list and was too tired, too busy, and maybe just too chicken/lazy to move on that. The trip idea stems from a photograph in my 4th grade geography book, taken from the top of a mountain, looking down on a single boat steaming up a fjord. I have never ever forgotten that picture and how I felt the first time I saw it. So... allow me to pause and at least look up fjord tours on the internet ...

www.norwaynutshell.com/en/explore-th
e-fjords/sognefjord-in-a-nutshell/#prices


There - I feel a lot better.

Trouble is - throughout June I couldn't seem to even think of any other big life goals .... Big Life Goals ... that I wanted to achieve. Obviously I need to carve out some dreaming time to create such a list. I will do that this month - both for work and for my life outside of work - because ... I would love a destination.

But even though I couldn't come up with any New Ideas, in fact, I DID do something every day that moved me towards a Big Life Goal. I tracked my food DAILY. And there were days when I worked out hard. And I made serious progress in my weight loss and my nutritional health. And I drank water regularly. And I exercised when I was feeling healthy and did not exercise when my allgergy/cold was at its worse. And I got right back into the exercise routine immediately I felt better.

Every day I did something that got me closer to the Big Life Goal of a healthy body! So - it was a resounding success that showed up on the scale and in the red dress I wore on Friday to a wedding - a size 12 red dress from a shop that does not shrink the numbers on their size tags.


And I prayed positive good healthy prayers.
I also complimented staff - if not every day - frequently, in order to let them know that I value them and exactly why I do.
And I did this during a particularly stressful period of work and bad weather and upper respiratory crud.

What do you know - now I think about it - I did pretty durn well in June.

So what's on tap for July?

Well - I am going to pick something I already began adding way back in January - because I am still having stress and bad weather and even a tad bit of lung congestion. I choose:

4. The Charles Schwab list at work
At least he's the one credited with the idea - you list the top 5 things you need to do tomorrow. Prioritize that list. Then - do those 5 things first, every day, even if you do nothing else. If there is something on that list you did not do today, it becomes the top item on tomorrow's list. The key here is you do it every day. I've diddled with this and know it works - but - I've not been consistent with it.

I would absolutely love to end July with a string of successes behind me and a wide open August with some vacation time to kick back and play in. I actually have the accumulated leave - but I wouldn't take it if I was behind at work. There are 23 days left in July and I could take the 3rd or 4th week of August off ... and Stay Home!!!! ... if I felt that my desk was cleared at work. And I know that Charles Schwab list is just the ticket to stress free freedom.

So that's my 12 in 12 selection for July - See ya on vacation.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 7/8/2012 5:52PM

    Woohoo! Loved the dress and the enthusiasm to try
to think ahead and plan. Life will still interrupt but
plans can be changed and modified. Just the fact
that you are looking ahead is a huge plus. And all
those successes-well, nuff said! You are getting
it done. I find if I don't track daily, I feel like I am
missing a piece of the puzzle.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 7/8/2012 9:49AM

    Love the red dress & you look great in it! I didn't know that was the Charles schwab list - I've fiddled with it too, but am also not consistent with it.

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OTEN36 7/8/2012 9:17AM

    You look wonderful in your red dress.
Great Job


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Riding the Success High

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

And loving it.

Yep. Another small but significant weight loss posted at my weigh-in yesterday. I was just ever so slightly worried that I'd be retaining water due to a combination of extreme heat and a return to strength training after a 3 week hiatus. Especially after the powerful workout my trainer gave me on that first day back. This double high - great exercise and weight loss - is so dang much fun I am having a hard time coming back to earth.

Not that I'm in any hurry - It's fun to feel delighted and excited and proud. But I want to solidify my gains and add to them, and this week there are shoals ahead - happy shoals, thankfully, but they must still be steered around. Today there is a July 4th picnic and Friday there is a wedding. And the weather continues to soar into the triple digits with no coolness and worse yet, no rain, for a week.

So. How am I going to manage? Happily, today the picnic is at my house so I can make sure there is lots of friendly food around. We're offering steamed crabs which are not only low calorie food but finicky to eat. Fun, messy, delicious - but ... it is impossible to get full on steamed crabs. They are the afternoon snack before we go swimming. (This will double as a trash run, too, since we have to canoe over to the swimming beach and can dump the shells along the way.)

Then - I am making the hamburgers. I can make some smaller ones and I'm offering sandwich thins for those who would like less bread. And I bought potato chips - since I can't stand them. I know I can keep within my calorie range today or if I go over it'll be only a little. And as for the wedding? For that I will use every extra point I can save and you will find me at the gym on Saturday. My goal is to post some sort of weight loss. It can be as little as 1/10th of a pound - but I want to have my (Wedding) cake and lose it too.

Now - all that's left is to choose what to wear ... Will it be the hot number in red and black or the cool summer item that looks like a garden party?

Happy July 4th to you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 7/4/2012 10:17AM

    I'm actually expecting a (hopefully) small gain tomorrow due to preTOM bloat - but I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised!

Today is easy for me since it's just a quiet day at home, since we stopped at my parents on the way home.

Great job! And make sure you get photos at the wedding!

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MSLZZY 7/4/2012 9:15AM

    Great positive vibes coming out of you this morning!
You certainly are having a good time with staying
active. You are planning ahead for 2 big events this
week and I know you will make healthy choices and
are even trying to offer the same to those around you.
Have a wonderful 4th of July! HUGS!

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BESSHAILE 7/4/2012 8:41AM

    Lawsee! What was my computer doing this morning. Posting the same blog 3 times?!! I've deleted one but I'm going to leave the second one up since I got such a nice comment on it.

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PATTOMMC3 7/4/2012 8:37AM

    emoticon Have fun at your party!

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Riding the Success High

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

And loving it.

Yep. Another small but significant weight loss posted at my weigh-in yesterday. I was just ever so slightly worried that I'd be retaining water due to a combination of extreme heat and a return to strength training after a 3 week hiatus. Especially after the powerful workout my trainer gave me on that first day back. This double high - great exercise and weight loss - is so dang much fun I am having a hard time coming back to earth.

Not that I'm in any hurry - It's fun to feel delighted and excited and proud. But I want to solidify my gains and add to them, and this week there are shoals ahead - happy shoals, thankfully, but they must still be steered around. Today there is a July 4th picnic and Friday there is a wedding. And the weather continues to soar into the triple digits with no coolness and worse yet, no rain, for a week.

So. How am I going to manage? Happily, today the picnic is at my house so I can make sure there is lots of friendly food around. We're offering steamed crabs which are not only low calorie food but finicky to eat. Fun, messy, delicious - but ... it is impossible to get full on steamed crabs. They are the afternoon snack before we go swimming. (This will double as a trash run, too, since we have to canoe over to the swimming beach and can dump the shells along the way.)

Then - I am making the hamburgers. I can make some smaller ones and I'm offering sandwich thins for those who would like less bread. And I bought potato chips - since I can't stand them. I know I can keep within my calorie range today or if I go over it'll be only a little. And as for the wedding? For that I will use every extra point I can save and you will find me at the gym on Saturday. My goal is to post some sort of weight loss. It can be as little as 1/10th of a pound - but I want to have my (Wedding) cake and lose it too.

Now - all that's left is to choose what to wear ... Will it be the hot number in red and black or the cool summer item that looks like a garden party?

Happy July 4th to you all.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XFITSTRONG 7/4/2012 9:05AM

    Keep riding it high!!!! Have a great time at your party. I love how you have a plan! You are gonna look fabulous. Enjoy your day!

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PEACHTEACH50 7/4/2012 8:51AM

    Wonderful post. I love the idea of the sandwich thins with hamburgers! You could even use a smartbagel.

And you are SO LUCKY that you hate potato chips! :)

I want to come to your party!!!!!!




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SPARKLED146 7/4/2012 8:29AM

    Great plans! Enjoy!

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FORBANDE 7/4/2012 8:05AM

    AWESOME!!! It's fantastic how you can live a healthy life and participate in such wonderful events!

The crab sounds soooo good!!!

Have a great time!!!

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Psoas Major - or - Get the Support You Need

Friday, June 29, 2012

When I was in public school, 99% of my teachers would write on my report card "She's a nice girl but she doesn't work up to her potential."

I used to HATE that comment because I was working as hard as I could, given the circumstances of my home life - alcoholic father, 5 hours of music practice a day, normal childhood desires. For the most part I was a B student. I never understood how those teachers could decide what my potential was anyway.

In college, I did find a teacher who drew from me my fullest intellectual potential and it was an amazing experience. The mental flights I had in her classes were soaring and she actually created a special class just for me and one other student. She even offered to help me further my academic career, but in true B student fashion, and because I was tumbling into a family crisis, I turned her down. If only I had kept my eye on my potential, no?

Ah well - we all learn at our own pace, in our own fashion, only as much as we choose. And it's like that with our health too. We can choose to eat well 100% of the time and have A health or we can make choices that give us B health. And sometimes we have gotten mad at someone, hated something, crashed and burned through a family crisis and sunk down to D health. After all - that is why we are here at SP - working our way ... in our own pace ... to something better.

So - what's with the Psoas Major? Ah well - I found this definition:

Psoas major arises from the bodies of the lumbar vertebrae, runs anterior to the pelvis and inserts on the top part of the femur. Iliacus arises from the entire internal iliac fossa ("bottom lip" of Iliac crest). In the lower part, its fibers merge with those of psoas and insert on the femur via the same tendon. Because they share the same tendon and have the same action on the thigh, iliacus and psoas are often described as a single muscle (ilio-psoas).

spot.pcc.edu/~lkidoguc/Topics/core.h
tm


They are the deep muscles that run along your lower spine in the lumbar region - the part of the back that takes the most stress - the part of my back that has a bulging disk, that often gives me pretty intense pain, that could use some support.

I love weight training. I love the way I can actually *feel* the individual muscles as they engage, tense, and relax. I love how working those muscles actually releases endorphins that make me almost giddy with joy. I get utterly enthused with the process. I may be sore the next day (I am today) but even that feels good - a good kind of sore. Yesterday the personal trainer I'm working with gave me an exercise for balance that totally engaged both these deep muscles and the quadratus lumborum, which "originates from the posterior iliac crest and inserts on rib 12 and the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae" ... or may I call them the outer muscles of the lumbar region...?

Well. For the first time I have found exercises that make those muscles work to their full potential. This is the first time they have had to work as if they were A muscles! It felt so good I was almost crying because these are the muscles that need the most attention. It's all good, I know, this strength training, but like some Prodigal Son, these are the muscles that have not been involved in the process, that are now going to get the fatted calf. Fortunately, the rest of my muscles, far from feeling ignored or hurt, are cheering home this set of muscles.

Ah well. please forgive all the metaphorical references. I am just still high as a kite from the exciting discovery I made at yesterday's workout. Today is a down day - calm, restful, the day the body does it's own rebuilding. I'm going to enjoy this part of the process too. Oh Hey. And it's Friday! Woo woo. It really doesn't get much better than this.

Happy Friday to you - may you, too, get the support you need.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FORBANDE 7/4/2012 8:07AM

    The passion and excitement in your blog is fabulous! I am just starting my strength training and it's because of people like you who enjoy it and share. Thanks!!



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MSLZZY 6/29/2012 10:49AM

    You should be high as you are finding something that
works and is good for you. Learn those lessons well
and continue that ST. It is the best thing you can be
doing for yourself right now.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Sometimes It *Is* A Number

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Don't get me wrong. I am serious about focusing on Health and Quality of Life and The Bigger Picture - but all of these are made up of little bits - ideas, actions, thoughts, images ... and sometimes - a number. My personal number, for a very long time, has been 160 - as in 160 lbs - a weight barrier I've danced in front of for months. This week I finally burst through that numerical wall and boy does it feel good.

Of course, this triumphal moment didn't come about in a flash. It was the result of weeks of baby steps and avid observation, attention to my surroundings and awareness of the moment, and most of all - the result of a deeper honesty with myself.

The baby steps included almost daily exercise - certainly regular, expanding exercise. It included tracking what I ate. I'm still torn between wanting to be the sort of person who doesn't need to track and accepting the fact that I will have to track for the rest of my life. It's not important now. It's a topic for reflection at some future date.

The observation included noticing how I feel and what I want whenever I'm in a food situation. Those 21 minutes of pause, about which I wrote a few weeks ago, are still part of me. It also involved noticing bad habits - in others as well as in myself:

. The snack habit
. The "I deserve a treat (i. e. junk food)" habit
. The "It's just a taste" habit

It involved noticing good habits too:

. The "It's 5 o'clock - time for the gym" habit
. The Take Time To Plan habit

Attention to my surroundings included both noticing where I was as well as how I felt. In fact, the *feeling* part of it is more important than the where I am - though two evenings ago, when the air was sweetly soft, the last of the sunset was glowing in the west while the crescent moon pulsed a white light from above - I noticed - and I suggested an evening walk with Himself, down the dirt lane, between the 10 foot tall corn stalks, basking in the fragrance of sweet grain ripening ... even though I'd already been to the gym. Yes. I noticed my surroundings. I paid attention to the possibilities of the moment. I stored up sweet moments to savor as precious memories.

In the end, it all came down to being honest with myself. If I'm honest, I'm "here". I'm noticing things. I'm thinking. I'm not zoning out. I'm not vegetating. I'm actually desiring something and acting upon those desires. I think of how many times I've eaten More Dessert and never even really noticed if I enjoyed it because I didn't really desire it. I just ate it. I think about how hard it's been to set goals because I've not allowed myself to want anything. Heck - for all that I adore arts and crafts projects - I haven't YET made a vision board! I really do have a hard time permitting myself to play with art toys.

But for sure, this past week I was really honest with myself. I admitted that I wanted to be slender and strong, fit and energetic. I wanted to wear that pretty dress and I craved the admiration it is going to bring me. And it was OKAY to go after that. It was ... and is alright to want to fit into that dress and to choose to pass on the dessert. It's okay to spend the afternoon at work playing with the animation software ... even though it's an arts and crafts project and I have junior staff who can learn it and I'm really an administrator.

And it really is ... not just alright ... but Super Fantastically Great to be OUT of the 160's. I know it's just a number. I know I'm only .5 lbs out of there. I even know this is just a milepost along the way to another goal. But woo hoo - there is nothing that feels so good as bidding goodbye to a number you really don't want to see again.

May you bid your milepost number farewell.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 6/28/2012 5:41AM

    Well said! Of course it's about feeling good & being satisfied with yourself, but it's also about being happy with looking in the mirror.

emoticon

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OPAL50 6/27/2012 12:49PM

    Thank you, thank you for this blog! I am struggling but right at the moment doing better then I ever have before. Your blog is an inspiration... urging me to keep working at the baby steps. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAINYC 6/27/2012 12:27PM

    emoticon

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KAYYYDEE 6/27/2012 9:48AM

    emoticon

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SEPTEMBERSPIRIT 6/27/2012 7:25AM

    I so know how that feels as I too struggled for ages to get out of 160Ville! emoticon on making it into 150Ville even if it is by .5lb...

My new goal is to get to 140Ville (after playing with the same plateau I had in 160Ville for about 3 months now). Hoping to hit it by July but tracking is definitely key for me too.

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MSLZZY 6/27/2012 7:01AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
With a positive attitude like that, you are doing awesome!

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