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BRAVELUTE's Recent Blog Entries

#1 Desiring to become addicted to nutrient dense food and sweaty workouts

Friday, November 02, 2012

I have decided I'm going to track my journey toward becoming addicted to nutrient dense foods and sweat producing workouts.

I guess that also means that the addictions to sinful sweets and sitting in the recliner are extinguished. So I used to crave sweets (donuts, ANYthing with frosting, etc). That would have been okay if I went in to Mr. Donut and bought only one donut. But I'd buy half a dozen. And eat them all myself. Or smelling chocolate frosting would send me on a "sweet frenzy."

I became addicted to sitting in the recliner after the cancer diagnosis in 2007. And surgeries, radiation, chemotherapy and 2 more major surgeries in 2008-9 AND chemotherapy that continued from Nov. 2007 until Nov. 2011. Sitting up in the recliner was a step up to all the recuperating in bed. It was better scenery than the bedroom when dealing with fatigue or pain.

But all of that is over. I have had clear PET scans since 2009. Life is good. Except for all the weight I gained. I know. I didn't lose my hair, either. Not what you'd expect for a cancer survivor. But I blame it on the steroids themselves, and the fact that I always felt hungry.

So I want to be healthy. Eating nutrient dense foods is one aspect of my idea of a requirement of transforming into a body of HEALTH instead of sickness.

As long as I stay at home, I am very happy eating nutrient dense foods, shunning processed, enriched, chemical filled, sugar laden, fat charged foods. I don't even think of them.

I think the true test will be the next two months with the holiday opportunities to present a dearth of nutrient dense foods.

One sign I am on the right track is that I no longer stress over what to fix for meals.
Another, I'm checking to see if I have enough veggies for Saturday.
Another, I was frustrated because the bananas at the store were either bright green and hard or brown and mushy. AND I WANT (NEED?) bananas for a smoothie tonight.

Now as for the sweat-producing workouts, I don't think I'm anywhere near even approaching exorcising (spelled wrong on purpose) because I want to. Intellectually, I know my body NEEDS to workout. But I don't think there's anything intellectual about addiction. Perhaps physical, or emotional, or spiritual.

So intellectually, the decisions I make to exercise are to provide my body with what It needs, but there is no passion about the activity.

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't miss my morning walk. But not because of an emotional high I get because I walked my buns off. I would miss the sunrise, the newness, the people I meet and greet, the birds' morning song.

In Sept. I was in training for a virtual 5 K when a foot problem prompted my podiatrist to pull me off of the walking circuit. But everytime the training upped the ante for distance, I was amazed that I could do it, and then do it in less time than the last time. When I logged in the 2 miles at one time, I realized that I had never walked 2 miles at one time before in my life. That was a real high.

Perhaps exercising will become something I NEED EMOTIONALLY after my new orthotics come in and the podiatrist gives me the all clear to be active again.

And then there are the compression stockings. They make me break out in a sweat, but that's not the kind of proof of addiction I'm looking for.

I want to Really Want to Do exercise. My inner child remembers being skinny and being very active. So I try to incorporate the kinds of things I did as a kid-biking, hula hooping, water activities. Forget the pogo stick, but I could do a rebounder. I hate the noise of a treadmill. I haven't given up on hula-hooping but I just don't feel the love for continuously picking it up off the driveway. I love the pool but currently just do strenuous treading and aerobics when there. It helps leg circulation and tones everything. But I love it because of the water, not the activity or benefits.

One sign that addiction might be looming on the horizon is that it rained today when I had scheduled to go to the pool, and I was very upset.

Another sign is that I was able to go an hour later, and I did my usual treading/aerobic schedule. AND I broke into actually swimming a couple of laps and I didn't die of a heart attack!!

So today I walked for 40 minutes, and went swimming for 30 despite how cold it was when I got out. No sweating for either activity, but I DID have fun.

And that might be the vehicle to get to the ADDICT stage: approach it from the fun angle. Swimming, biking, rebounding are fun. Focus on the fun and see if I get closer to being addicted to the activity!!

I'll tell you what I AM addicted to: Putting on something in my closet an it doesn't fit because it's TOO BIG. emoticon Seeing the scale go down another half pound. Spark people doesn't register a half pound, but for me, I visualize another 2 sticks of butter melting in a frying pan. And that's a wonderful thing.

I had originally started this series of blogs on a community journal. But as usual, I was in the wrong place. That was for results, and I'm just learning how to be an addict. No time for results just yet, So I'm bringing the topic back here to my Spark Page Blog.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAGELADY2 11/7/2012 6:31PM

    I like this. I found that being sick the past week or so, I've not had time to get in my usual walks or stair machine. It feels so weird and uncomfortable NOT to be doing something.

Now I'm trying to figure out the cheapest way to get swimming in during the winter time. Man, has the YMCA gone up in price!!!!

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CBRINKLEY401 11/2/2012 11:58PM

    Great plan!!

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Soul Collage Card 2: The Addict

Thursday, November 01, 2012

2nd in a grouping of soul collage cards for the journey:



I am the Addict.
Through me, you know when you start to think that time or the job or that sweet snack is more important than life itself.
Through me, you will recognize when you are slave to work, when you are putting effort into non-rewards.
I am the one who helps you see when you and those around you are slaves to the philosophy that ďIím not sure if this is the best choice but itís what I know now, so letís do it some more, bigger and better.

I am the one who will help you know when the effort required to change IS worth it.

--Collage and statements by Sue Atkins

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NSTARSMITH 11/1/2012 7:39PM

    Addiction is indeed a teacher, whether we wake up to the lessons and actually learn them or not. Thanks for sharing this!

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BRAVELUTE 11/1/2012 7:24PM

    Thanks. It wasn't my idea to do the twist. The creator of Soul Collage Cards writes that a seemingly negative character that appears on your card can be responsible for positive and negative ways to view your world. And she encourages you to listen for both types of messages. I thought this one would be good for all of us because I often see our bloggers beating themselves up when they eat something that sets off a binge.

I wonder what it would be like if I could become addicted to healthy food and exercise?? I'll have to work on that.

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SAGELADY2 11/1/2012 6:19PM

    Very good thoughts. Good twist on seeing something that normally traps people. Use it for your good instead of detriment. Paradigm shift of the soul.

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Change my profile name???

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

In early September, one of my teams offered sparkpoints for changing our sparkpage to reflect a back to school theme, and more for changing our profile picture.

I managed to do all of that, but switched my picture back when no one attempted to figure out which kid I was in the 4th grade class pic.

Besides, the picture of me playing the harp has a lot of meaning for me. I had learned to play the summer before my cancer diagnosis when I was in such pain, I'd lie o my bed with a smaller harp on top of me and play. It seemed to help me cope with the pain.

And in the summer, I started playing the harp in the picture as a calming sleep inducer during the SP sleep challenge.

So, the harp is important to me.

Then, it seems that there is a rash of people I know completely remaking themselves on SP: their profile pictures, spark page, AND their user name.

I don't know what is prompting that, but for me, I visited fullplatediet.org today. They have developed what they are calling a "game" for people following their diet. I guess they are working toward having something like Spark People.

I do like the way the game awards points for activities relevant to your goals and there are ways to have your goals fit you, as opposed to making your goals fit them. I should think about this some more, but that was my impression today. One thing they led me through was thinking about my user name, and why I would pick it.

So, instead of decluttering the entrance to my studio, I waxed creative with my profile name. I came up with BraveLute. This name is inspired by my 3 favorite harpists.

The BRAVE part of the name comes from Deborah Henson-Conant, a fierce electric harpist:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=VZNz8IM__9M&
feature=related


And even more phenomenal:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vXtywOlayc

And when I watch these girls playing music from my favorite set of books and movies, I imagine being one of the elves dancing in rings.

So, if I were going to remake myself, I'd take a fierce elfin name because when I'm done with the healthy weight loss, I'd like to look like one of these women, and be able to play like them, too.

Now, if I could find a pic of an elf playing a harp, I'd do it.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=O6iAaVY1G_c

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LVSHOPE 11/1/2012 4:49PM

    As long as I can find you. Love the way the harp has been part of your life.

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SAGELADY2 10/31/2012 6:17PM

    BraveLute is good. I've always coveted having a harp. I grew up playing piano and flute. I still have a flute (actually bought it a few years ago since my first husband hocked my pricey one).

I'm keeping my name, like it. Even though I don't technically grow herbs for retail any more, I still grow for my own use.

I believe in naming yourself what is you on the inside. I'll always be in the dirt, at one with nature. At home in the woods and rivers and oceans.

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KIWIANN 10/31/2012 9:26AM

    BraveLute has a nice ring to it, and it fits the impression you make on SP !
And the videos are amazing - thanks for sharing!! emoticon

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MOSTMOM1 10/31/2012 7:09AM

    Fierce Electric Harpist--okay, that has to be one of the coolest titles, ever.
For real.
BraveLute is cool. Let us know if you do decide to change it. That always throws me for a little while.
Music is so powerful, isn't it? Honestly, my little ukulele is good therapy. I totally get how the harp could sustain you. Harp on!
emoticon (insert elf emoticon here)

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NELLIEC 10/31/2012 12:54AM

    Someone commented to me that I have never changed my screen name and I said that is because I know who I am and am no longer searching for myself.

I think the name you chose should be one that really you feel comfortable with. If you do change your name, at least warn us on the friend feed, so we don't get confused! emoticon

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DJ4HEALTH 10/31/2012 12:28AM

    I changed mine after about a year but only to shorten it to make it easier for me to remember. I am glad that you like to listen and play the harp. It is such a soothing sound.

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Soul Collage, The Comforter

Sunday, October 28, 2012

At a weeklong writing workshop at Campbell Folk School in NC, I learned about Soul Collage Cards. That was not the topic for the classes, but I went home, researched the what and the how, and started creating a set of cards. I had no idea what the cards would be as I started each one. I seem to have created "Committee" cards. Then 2 years later I got my cancer diagnosis and I have been amazed at the cards I created, the words that went with them and how much they have meant to me the last 5 years.

I feel there is a friend on SP who might benefit from seeing my cards, so I'm going to post some of them in the next few days.

You can learn more about creating your own cards at www.soulcollage.com

And there appears to be a Soul Collage team here on SP.

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=33398





I am the Healer and Comforter.

I am not like the medical doctors you know.
I heal just by being.
Imagine wrapping up in a warm cozy blanket when youíre cold.
Imagine a warm cup of tea flowing throughout your body and soul.
Feel the hope as you see my loving smile.
Take comfort in that rough lick and know that I AM the one who will bring the sunshine back into your life.

--Sue Atkins 2005


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAE_HENNINGTON 11/2/2012 9:51AM

  Oh, I like this very much and I really needed to see this today

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LVSHOPE 11/1/2012 4:52PM

    Wow! Such a treasure!

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Is Life a Mountain

Saturday, October 27, 2012

I received a notice that one of my teams has a new member. I visited Jae_Hennington's SP page to get to know her. I found her SP Page information about her to be very interesting. She talks about life's mountain and must really be worrying about getting old because she referred to how much she hated it several times.

Interesting thoughts about the "Mountain of Life." I have always compared my life journey to a journey west, kind of like the pioneers. Always one more mountain to climb, a new vista at the top, the unknown on the other side. At times struggling for a foothold, at times lazily crossing the flatlands, though possibly a little boring. I looked at the valleys as the down times when times were difficult like grandmother or grandfather or dad's death or my cancer and its return. I looked at the whole journey as an exciting undertaking with risks, and always a sense of expectancy to find out what would happen next and lots of opportunities to help others along the way.

I even had groups of students at school and church do timelines of their life, with time on a horizontal middle line. Then dots above and below the line with absolutely wonder events way above the line and absolutely horrible events toward the bottom. So teenagers might put graduation or getting their driver's license near the top, or breaking up with a boyfriend near the bottom. They then connected the dots showing mountains and valleys.

Jae talks about how time is flying now that she is older. Perhaps that little bundle she is holding is responsible for all of this worry about time left.

For me, sometimes Mondays came around a little too quickly, but I've always looked at my life that I was just one day older, every day. Most times when someone asks my age, I have to do the math or I tell them when I was born and make them do the subtracting. Sometimes in the valleys time seemed to drag too long. Like waiting to finish radiation treatments. Like waiting to lose the desired weight. Now there's something that seemed to happen faster that the speed of light--putting on the pounds while I was taking steroids. My head was spinning. Every Monday I'd go for chemotherapy. Scales first which always registered 1-2 more pounds added. Then the steroid added to the mix to help my body handle the effects of chemotherapy. 70 pounds later, I finally said ENOUGH!! Let's see if I can do this without the steroid.

But I do understand my body not being able to do what it used to do. I was blaming that on all the radiation and chemotherapy. But I think I need to blame it on not taking care of myself, not eating properly. Thinking that I was invincible. I smoked before we knew how horrific its effects were, and had a difficult time stopping once we DID understand the dangers, even with the prescription for nicorette gum and chomping that for a whole year.

I definitely ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. I'm still waiting to see how much of that I can blame on the food manufacturers like I blame my smoking and subsequent addiction on the cigarette manufacturers who knew exactly what they were doing.

Well, I'm eating healthy whole foods, being active, losing weight, following doctor's orders, asking questions, searching for answers, and continue to be a child of the 60's. I've even planted a fall garden with LOTS of salad greens, for the first time in my life. Now, I believe harvesting my first salad will be a mountaintop experience.

I am going to work hard to keep on moving and thinking and remembering and contributing and loving. My age has no bearing on those things. I used to equate memory loss with old age. But my middle school students couldn't remember what day it was. We understood each other, even though there was about 3 generations separating us.

How do you look at aging and your life's journey?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-VIXEN- 10/27/2012 7:27PM

    I am pretty darn happy about aging simply because I get the opportunity to do so. I have lost friends and family members who didn't get to make it past what is considered middle age, so I have chosen to celebrate the journey and honor it by committing to a healthy lifestyle and an attitude of gratitude. :)

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DINGESSD 10/27/2012 5:17PM

  age can be as you would have it to be

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