BESSHAILE   48,814
40,000-49,999 SparkPoints
BESSHAILE's Recent Blog Entries

Sunday afternoon sketching

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Just because August is over doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying to learn how to draw. Of course, just because I drew 31 days in a row doesn't mean I'm an expert, either. I'm still drawing every day and mailing my picture to a girlfriend. We thought we'd like to try color and boy - is it HARD. Who knew something that feels so much like play was going to take so much work.

What else is hard is having a crisp cool day at home and NOT chewing my way through the kitchen. All I can think of is fresh baked goodies and maybe hot soup. Hmmm. Soup would probably be a good idea for tonight's dinner. At least goofing off here on SP is keeping me from snacking.

And tomorrow something wonderful will come into my life. something that should distract me from needless snacking. I'll write all about it on Wednesday.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 9/10/2012 7:49AM

    Can't wait to read what that is. You have such a gift
that I know you will continue to turn out beauties like
this. HUGS!

Report Inappropriate Comment
JLITT62 9/10/2012 5:03AM

    Truly, you're very talented.

Geez, tease us why don't ya. A new puppy?

Report Inappropriate Comment
NEWMOMOVER40 9/10/2012 1:59AM

    What a neat idea. Are you scanning in the pictures and emailing them to one another, or actually mailing them via postal mail?

Report Inappropriate Comment
THEBETH43 9/9/2012 5:55PM

    Beautiful drawing. I also like your flowers on your spark page background.

Report Inappropriate Comment
LUNADRAGON 9/9/2012 5:39PM

    Nice, I was just heading up to my studio to get paper : )

Report Inappropriate Comment
BESSHAILE 9/9/2012 5:19PM

Thank you. I am just at the dawn of my efforts. Learning to draw is as challenging - but also as fun and interesting - as learning how to eat properly.

Report Inappropriate Comment
CHICCHANTAL 9/9/2012 5:08PM

    that's fabulous. Can we see more please?

Report Inappropriate Comment

September 12 in 12

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Yes. A Brand New Month - and Birthday Month at that - and I'm still thinking I can add another good habit to my life. I've been trying to make small step improvements to an already good situation all year. Looking back, I remember it was hard to come up with 12 habits given the criteria they had to meet:

take little time
be done every day
make my life more fun, happier, better

Of course I'm always enthusiastic about New Years Resolutions. I simply adore the idea of things being better tomorrow - at Tara or at home or on the job. I love progress and movement and the joyful spiral of Better Things. Habits, the experts say, are formed when one does the same thing for 21 days in a row. The trick is ... if you miss a day, those same experts say, you have to start all over again with day 1. So perhaps I did not, in fact, create new habits in all cases. Truth is - I am not a metronome and can neither tick nor tock with perfect consistency. But since the real aim is improvement, progress and Better Things, (after all - should I achieve perfection, that would mean the end of Better Things, right?) I am okay with my B+ efforts Since the October board meeting is when I report on the status of the 5-year plan I think it behooves me to add this one to my life in September.

5. Read my 5-year play every morning - because it is so durn easy to forget what I'd planned to do until it's review time and then I have to confess to all the things I failed to do! (a corollary to this is - have each of my staff read it at least once a week too - but that's another list)

Wise readers might think I ought to have added this much earlier in the year - and perhaps I could have but there were Other Things I wanted more. Also - most of these habits were not things I had never done before - were not steps into entirely new directions - they were things I sort of did slap dash, hit or miss and now or then. The idea was that if I did them more consistently, made them daily habits, I'd make More Progress and have Fewer Moments of Horror when I realized I was late for something, missing something, about to crash and burn. In short - I already did all these things sometimes. I just wanted to do them more often.

Also, I put this one off so late in the year because I feared I would get bored with my plan. I needed to figure out how to go about reading it. It's actually a pretty lengthy document, full of definitions and explanations and ... well ... words.

Maybe too many words. Maybe it needs to be given a serious overhaul. Or maybe it's a really good plan. But whatever - I am going to focus on it with deep and concentrated thought from now on - not just because it is Good For Me, but because I'm moving into a late stage in my career and it's time to think about succession - and about what must be done in the next few years to make a smooth transition into retirement for me - and what I hope will be an exciting opportunity for someone friendly and creative.

This is not to say that I haven't looked at my 5-year plan since last January. It just means that now it gets daily attention, sharper focus and more time. And if September will be to study the 5-year plan, October will be when I begin making daily steps towards fulfillment of that plan. That was another of Good Habits on the original list. It all fits in with the Back-to-School feeling of autumn.

And should you be curious about how well I am doing with the Other Habits - well here's an update:

August - draw 20 minutes every day - which I did - and watched my skills improve.

A+ for me

July - Charles Schwab List - August grew very fractious and difficult and though I'd make the list every day ... I didn't always follow it the next day. I will just say, I did my best and got through a rough month as lightly as possible. A- for me

June - One Step Towards a Big Life Goal ah well - See August, because a BLG for me is to become a better artist. So that's a pro forma A for me.

May - Compliment someone at work each day - Why this is so hard to do I don't know. I believe I am kind and thoughtful - and I certainly DID compliment someone sometimes. But I always felt that little moment of "Ah Ha" whenever it happened. This is not a habit yet. But I am aware of it when I do it. I'd say ... D+

April - Exercise - well. I love me some exercise and I get in 4 days a week almost every week. On other days I am just active period, so I give myself an A on this one.

March - Water .... Yup. I'm good with this one too - perhaps not perfect - but certainly I deserve a B++

February - Prayer ... daily prayer. Here I have to admit that with a month as difficult as August was I am sure I prayed Every Day - if not many times a day. Of course - I believe the idea was to pray thankfully more often than I prayed supplicatingly. I can't give myself an A since I only acted in deed, not in spirit. I shall, instead, give myself a fat C+ and try a little harder this month.

January - Journal my food - another A for me here - I am, if not the perfect weight, at least aware of how I got where I am. And I'm close. And my dining is healthier and better and I feel better for it. In fact, I wonder how I would have made it through Awful August without being nutritionally strong.

So. There you have it. 9 in 12 (so far)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 9/6/2012 11:09AM

    I don't even have a 5 year plan. Is it too late to start one now?
I am at least 8 years from retirement. Another thing to add
to the list-sigh! Maybe, someday...
Thanks for the wake-up call. HUGS!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BESSHAILE 9/6/2012 10:31AM

    Oh dear - - emoticon emoticon
I don't have one - it's my work 5-year plan. LOL but I ought to write one. in fact, the more I think about it the more fun it sounds like.

Report Inappropriate Comment
USMAWIFE 9/6/2012 9:37AM

    rarely do people have 5 year plans. congrats on what you are going to achieve.


Report Inappropriate Comment

The Weekly Weigh-In

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

I managed to get my weight back down to it's lowest since I joined SP - 153 - by taking myself seriously. I'm now 1 lb from not having to pay for WW meetings and 3 lbs from the official goal and maybe 8 lbs from where I plan to come to rest.

This is good. Especially since I took a 2 day road trip with Himself, which usually makes me inch upwards rather than down. This time, though, we packed our meals and at the continental breakfast I had oatmeal instead of something cheesy and eggy or sweet. I thought about making a different choice. Then I thought about how much I wanted to be at goal and the oatmeal leapt up with both hands waving - and it was quite delicious too.

So. Yay Me!

While perusing the SP website I stumbled upon the concept of a Gratitude Journal and I became excited about logging my own gratitude. It's the first time I've really felt like starting a 'streak' in a long time. Not that I'm not doing all sorts of streaky like things in other areas of my life - but - I thought it would be fun to see how many days I can go saying 'thank you' every day. Especially since my personal style of prayer always starts with a gratitude moment - where I say thank-you for whatever I can think of. And daily prayer is something I am having trouble turning into a habit. But if I track my moment of gratitutde I am half way into my daily prayer and it will at last become the habit I want it to be.

Another thing that will help me to do Other Things on a daily basis is that the home computer is in the computer hospital having anti-virus check-ups and infusions to prevent blue screen of death stuff. It's an older model and it's used hard. It will be much better soon. But I won't have much private computer time this week - so I can spend it praying and drawing and being oh so grateful.

I'll still be able to pop in on a daily basis - but for much less time. So. Ta. Till we're up and running agian.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAHGRET 9/5/2012 12:17AM

congrats on the weight loss!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSLZZY 9/4/2012 5:07PM

    Hope all the issues get fixed with your computer.
WTG on incing back down, road trip included. I will
have to remember to order oatmeal the next time
I am out of town. Sounds like a very wise choice.
I am lloking up the Gratitude Journal right now.
Thanks for sharing. HUGS!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Pushing the Envelope - in the Wrong Direction

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It's true. I have been pushing the envelope lately, telling myself that so long as I ate within my calories I would lose weight - but knowing that if what I ate came out of a Cheeto bag or a pizza box (or worse - both) the salt, preservatives and grease would push my weight up, even if it was water retention. Eating this kind of food on a Sunday evening certainly will keep me bloated through Tuesday weigh-in and I was up .2 lbs yesterday.

Serves me right. I didn't even like the pizza that much. It was okay but ... it wasn't food that made me feel energetic and happy. The Cheetos, otoh, are more like crack cocaine. I should know better. I DO know better. I told Himself that the next time he sees me holding a bag of them, he's to smack my hand and take them away. We are taking a short trip this weekend and I have vowed there will be NO CELLOPHANE BAGS IN THE CAR!

So we have begun talking about what we would like to take and the first thing he asked for was a vegan pasta dish I make, chock full of vegetables and with either peanuts or cashews for the surprise protein. One serving of this (about a cup and a half) comes in at 6 WW points or about 300 calories, and it's loaded with nutrition, leaves me feeling strong, ready to get up and go.

What it doesn't do is make me feel full. Instead I'm left feeling No Longer Hungry. This largely plant based diet has never yet left me feeling full - feeling stuffed. It does leave me feeling satisfied, but that is different from feeling full - even from feeling replete. All of these adjectives carry slightly different nuances and for me - I'd rather feel energetic after I eat than stuffed (or worse - bloated).

I am so seriously close to goal - 4 lbs (yeah ... 2 weeks ago it was 3.5 lbs) - I just hate the thought of nibbling my way back up the scale. Yesterday at my WW meeting one of our at-goal members commented on how he'd gained 5 lbs and was determined to get back into his "free membership" range. He was serious and truthful about everything he ate and dropped 4 of those extra 5 lbs. He's a guy and he did it in a week. I'm not a guy but I can be as dedicated, truthful and serious as he can.

This week I plan to push my envelope below the line where I don't have to pay any more. I know I can do it. I can do it even if we are taking a weekend road trip. I have the tools. I just have to use them.

But enough about being serious. It's time for a laugh and I found this site via a friend on facebook. Thought you'd all get a chuckle:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 8/31/2012 5:20AM

    I get bored on trips & that makes me munchy . . . so make sure to have fruits & veggies to munch on!

I will never lose 4 lbs in a week or even a month . . . and that's ok with me as long as the general trend is down. Slow & steady.


Report Inappropriate Comment
MAHGRET 8/29/2012 9:59AM

    I always think that if the world were fair, we would lose more weight if we eat healthy while on a trip than on a normal day. Just remember how crappy junk makes us feel, and maybe you can avoid it this week.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MSLZZY 8/29/2012 9:36AM

    Keep working at it! You have all the right ideas to set
yourself up for success.
So glad that it was a man that was pictured with the
Tummy Tuck LOL!

Report Inappropriate Comment
REDHATSHAPELY1 8/29/2012 8:43AM

    Loved your honest blog. I was in your place last month 4 lbs from goal. I reached my goal and am now working to maintain. You can do it! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment

Deepening My Relationship with the Elliptical Machine

Friday, August 24, 2012

I've had a love relationship with the elliptical machine for several years. It's my favorite, go-to cardio exercise machine and if I didn't know it's important to surprise my body by switching in different types of workouts, I'd use only that.

I remember the first time I got on one - I was good for about 3 minutes. It was so challenging I vowed I'd work up to half an hour. I added one minute each time I used it ... which was every time I went to the gym till - I'd worked up to half an hour - then 45 minutes - then 55 minutes.

Then I started exploring the different programs. My gym has several types of these stand-up bikes, some with built in heart monitors, some with more elaborate programs - but all of them with settings that let you punch in your weight and age and select different workouts.

Then I had a bad fall and injured two areas of my spin - one neck and one lumbar - and I really thought I'd never be able to use an elliptical again. There was always a little bouncing up and down as I cycled away on the machine and that frequently aggravated the two injuries. I'll admit it - I even sometimes sort of hunched over the handles just to keep going - even though I knew it was truly bad form and I know that form is 85% of exercise.

Eventually enough healing occurred, a better form developed, I did serious core strengthening with the help of a personal trainer and I could get back into action and I have worked up to going 45 minutes at level 9 on my favorite machine with only maybe 6 more levels available.

But there is an uber athlete who works out at my gym, frequently at the same time I do. She's very nice and now and then, in the nicest way, offers up a little advice. And I always notice her because she really is ripped. And I have noticed that when she uses the elliptical - her upper body is utterly still. Though her arms still pump the handles, her head and torso never go up and down. Nearly all of the work she does on that machine is from the waist down.

So yesterday, which is a weight training day for me, I did a little cardio to warm up and decided I'd try to use the elliptical the way she does.




This is an entirely different workout. I was sweating in 60 seconds. I was breathing heavily in 4. I did it for only 5 minutes.

But I now have a New Plan ... a New Relationship with that elliptical machine. And a New Goal.

I plan to use it that way from now on - adding, as I did once before, one minute each time, till I, too, can go 30 minutes working only from the waist down - I see I've just added a new workout to my week and it'll be a killer - but it will be MUCH safer for my back and my goodness - push me to a brand new level of fitness.

And no. I will never be an uber athlete. It's not a goal. It's not a desire. I was never a tomboy. I don't like to compete with anybody but me. But I sure love being fit.

And it's sure fun to fall in love again with an old friend.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANSASROSE67 8/24/2012 8:51AM

    Sounds like a great goal! Mine is now to run a 15K this fall. It's good to stretch ourselves, isn't it?

Report Inappropriate Comment
WELLNESSME09 8/24/2012 8:50AM

    I just resently bought an Elliptical and just like you I'm doing one minute each time.
It's sure not like the treadmil lol.

Your doing a great job! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SHEILA1505 8/24/2012 8:27AM


Report Inappropriate Comment
MSLZZY 8/24/2012 8:01AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TORAMPAUL 8/24/2012 7:51AM

    I recently tried an elliptical machine (for the first time, really) at a hotel we were staying in. Now I want one!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 Last Page