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The Week in Review: Stealing from a SparkPal

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

My good SparkFriend MUSICALLYMINDED (Tracy) posts blogs about the good choices she's made. Her blogs make me realize how quickly positive choices can add up. I was going to blog about all of the poor choices that I had made this past week, but decided to take a cue from Tracy and focus on the positive. As a matter of fact, I won't even mention the ways I've screwed up over the past week, and I'll leave them where they belong...in the past. I feel like I have been feeding too much negative energy (both literally and figuratively) and I need to channel some major positive energy to push me in the right direction. I need to forgive myself for doing myself wrong and build up some positive Spark again.


So, positive choices I made this past week (and accomplishments):

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Ate lot and lots of fruits and veggies

emoticon Exercised consistently

emoticon Played some awesome jazz duets with my partner

emoticon Studied some meditation methods

emoticon Got lots of sleep

emoticon Drank lots of water

emoticon Drank lots of green tea





My goals for this week:

emoticon Track my food honestly, whether it is within my calorie range or not

emoticon Prepare healthy and satisfying meals

emoticon Practice meditation daily

emoticon emoticon Practice yoga or Pilates daily

emoticon emoticon Get to Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai at least 3 times

emoticon Strength training 3 days

emoticon Practice saxophone at least 30 minutes a day


So, here's to creating a better week with a more positive outlook.




"Without forgiveness life is governed by...an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation."
-Roberto Assagioli (fitting quote from SparkPeople's "Healthy Reflections" e-mail a few days ago)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MUSICALLYMINDED 2/11/2012 10:56AM

    Thanks for the shout-out! I don't think we're ignoring the facts, I just think we're focusing on the good things we did. What's the point in going over every mistake you made this week? Focusing your brain on the good things makes it more likely for you to repeat them.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 2/8/2012 7:22PM

    Great idea. We need to all do the same and start a trend.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 2/8/2012 3:26PM

    You got it goin on, Erin!
I think the positive is the way to go and what to remember!
You are one busy awesome Lady!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GEMINIAN1 2/8/2012 3:20PM

    I just thought of something.
"Pessimistic verses Negativity"
Just a quick thought I had.
(Am I being anal with words now? Yes! LOL! Over thinking this? Yes! LOL!)
emoticon

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GEMINIAN1 2/8/2012 3:11PM

    emoticonHi Erin emoticon
AAAAHHHHHH!
The word 'Negative'; how do I define you?
And I don't mean; how do I look you up in the dictionary?

My Husband and I used to go back and forth on if I was being Negative.
I loooove to talk Politics/Food Laws/Etc. and he would accuse me of 'being Negative' and I say, 'no, I'm stating FACTS; I'm sorry if it's not rainbow and sunshine'. This went on for a couple of years and now he accepts that I'm just talking and trying to be educated, not the black cloud bearer.

Anyway, I really struggle with this word because *I*, often, just feel that people need to "vent" or need to "state facts", NOT that "they're negative".
I often view other people, and myself, as a Realist or being Realistic, not negative.
I guess I need to work on being "positive"?
I don't know? See? (I just think, "I'm Realistic".)
Sorry for being all negative on your Blog, if that's what I'm being?
LOL!

emoticonon all of the positive choices you made last week.
Well, here we are trying to make it over the hump of the week; I hope that you're doing great and continue to do so.
Cheers ... to feeding the positive ... emoticon
Love the forgiveness quote.
Love yah ... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1HAPPYWOMAN 2/8/2012 12:51AM

    It seems like so much of this Spark journey is about picking ourselves back up and starting again, and again, and again! I'm so glad that you continue to take care of yourself, that you keep trying new things and persevere with your plans.

I hope you have a wonderful week.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMRANA 2/7/2012 6:45PM

  YAY for focusing on the positive!

emoticon

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JESSICA2140 2/7/2012 3:24PM

    I love the idea of focusing on the positives! It's SO easy to get bogged down in the "failures" and get off track because of them...much better idea to be positive about how great you're doing!

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APIRLRAIN888 2/7/2012 3:09PM

    Great job

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 2/7/2012 2:53PM

    Awesome choices Erin!
I love that about Tracy's blogs too.

Have a Sparktacular week!

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KKINNEA 2/7/2012 2:33PM

    Nice, I'm finding weekly goals help me too!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 2/7/2012 2:09PM

    I know EXACTLY what you mean! I posted a blog just last night that was along the same lines...I had planned to write down all the crap things that I've done or have been done to me...but just thinking about blogging them seemed to do the trick, so I didn't have to write down the negative stuff! My goal for tonight is to write a POSITIVE blog and put down some goals as well. The past is the past....

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JSALERNO 2/7/2012 2:04PM

    emoticon Great Job!

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The Week (and Month) in Review: This plan will self-destruct in 5...4...3...2...

Thursday, February 02, 2012


Image from themoderatevoice.com



The month of January started out very strong--I felt in control and like I could truly keep up the momentum I had built. Then, come mid-January, we (finally) got a blast of truly wintery weather, and my arthritis flared up with it. Between being stiff, sore, and achy, the cold made me want to snuggle under the blanket with something warm and chocolatey. I still did a lot of my martial arts classes and stayed consistent with activity, but off course had to back up a little bit because of the arthritis. And then my eating went downhill. I had several binges. I weigh as much now as I did mid-December.

If I'm honest, I actually actively CHOSE not to make good choices. There were no particular stressors leading me astray. At least with stress and other strong emotions, I feel as though I am just coping with overeating. My joints were a little stiff, but not painful to the point of being truly stressful. I couldn't identify what triggered me to binge, but the urges were irresistible, and I caved frequently.



My January plan:


Image from http://www.flickr.com/groups/firesfiresfir
es/discuss/72157611303095575/



The urge to binge comes out of nowhere, when I am in any mood. It seems I am just as likely to binge when I'm having an otherwise good day as I am when I am very stressed about something. I know I have made progress--the binges are less frequent and usually less severe in the amount I eat, but I still cave to emotional eating far too often. A friend told me about how meditation has helped him learn to focus and has even decreased pain. He is much more even-keeled now.

I started learning how to meditate a few weeks ago, using DVDs from Rodney Yee and Maritza ( www.gaiam.com/product/meditation+dvd
+gift+set.do
) and some downloads from iTunes. I have been trying to do some every day. I have a long way to go, but it does really help. It has decreased the racing around in my head significantly. I have still been overeating, but am much more conscious of the urges. I've been able to, a few times, re-channel that focus from the meditation session and quiet the urges. I look forward to delving deeper with meditation and doing it on my own without a DVD or audio.

I purchased a book quite some time ago titled "Enough!: The Buddhist Path to Finding Release from Addictive Patterns" by Choyni Taylor, but never picked it up. I started reading it this week and I can already say that I highly recommend it. The book discusses how meditation can be used to build mindfulness, introspection, and equanimity (or "non-judgmental thinking"). Not only are these skills be developed through meditation, they can be enhanced during "emergency" situations. The book also discusses forgiveness and denial. I'm glad I started reading this now because it will deepen my understanding of meditation as a tool to not just decrease stress, but to stop it in it's tracks by having a neutral reaction to stressors.

I have also started working on my sci-fi novel again. I had a few ideas that rolled around in my head, but couldn't find how to fit them in. I have had floods of ideas over the past week or so and have actually sat down to do some writing. I hope to write a couple hundred pages over the next few months.

I have been practicing my sax a lot more over the past few weeks, and it is paying off. I think meditation may be helping stay a little calmer when I'm playing, too. Last week I played the best I ever have at my lesson. My teacher Jeff and I played some jazz duets, and people in the shop complimented me on my way out. It is the first time that I have been complimented on my playing since I started re-playing (well, except for my mom, but she doesn't count).

My plan for February is to focus on choosing to meditate whenever I feel a craving for a certain food or the urge to binge. I don't want to meditate as a distraction, but rather, to start to more deeply understand why I get these urges in the first place. I hope to deepen my mindfulness and focus this month, and start to get a better grasp on overwhelming urges to eat.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILINGTREE 2/7/2012 9:21AM

    My January followed roughly the same path as yours, minus the martial arts work outs...And my weigh in at at the end of January was higher than my weigh in at the end of Dec. Oh well. Onward.

It is not really surprising that meditation seems to be enhancing your creative endeavors. It's almost like you "make space" in your mind or something when you meditate. I so admire the fact that you don't use lack of time as an excuse. You want to do something, you make time for it. It's inspiring.

Thanks for the update, and the inspiration. Make February fabulous :)

ps. I'm calling BS on the thing about your mom. It totally pisses me off when my girls say that compliments from me "don't count." Of course they do. I wouldn't give a compliment if they sucked at something. I'd suggest a little more practice.

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CANNIE50 2/3/2012 3:24PM

    Hi Erin: It makes such perfect sense that meditation would be an antidote to binge-eating since, when I binge, it feels like I am in a bit of trance (as a Sparkler above put it so eloquently - "disassociative eating". It is definitely a quiet but firm voice in my head that prevents binges - a quiet "no, that is enough". PS Compliments from mothers DO count, in my humble opinion. I think daughters, in particular, tend to outsize any hint of motherly criticism yet downplay motherly compliments, a practice I, as a daughter, am working on discontinuing. Just a thought.... So, grab hold of February with both hands, Erin, and kick January to the curb. emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 2/3/2012 3:00PM

    I meditate but need to do it more consistently. I'm going to check out this method.

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DDOORN 2/3/2012 8:27AM

    Good for you to "dig in" and come up with some great resources & strategies, ala meditation & writing...sci-fi...how about that? You have so many talents! I used to read sci-fi all the time as a teen and in college took a stab at writing poetry, sci-fi & other stuff. AND you're keeping up with the playing too...whew! I have a hard time doing so many things at the same time...if I was the circus juggler spinning plates on sticks I would have a train wreck of debris scattered 'round me tackling so many things as you do...lol!

Don

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 2/3/2012 2:31AM

    That is awesome that you are using meditation. I have been hearing for years of how beneficial it is. I have tried it in the past but wasn't very good at quieting my mind. I should probably try it again.
Congrats on your sax playing!
I have no doubt that you will rule February!

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APIRLRAIN888 2/2/2012 4:30PM

    You can do it

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 2/2/2012 1:03PM

    You got it Erin! Look how you came up with a great positive plan to help yourself, in a great example of being your own best friend! Terrific! I want to add a book for you to check put on meditation. It is called "Real Happiness: the Power of Meditation A 28 Day Program" by Sharon Salzberg. It is actually an interesting easy read and comes with a CD to use as an example of meditations. I took Transcendental Meditation (TM), when it was popular, and I love Sharon's book even more. It's the best I have ever read/done regarding meditation. It is about $10. I thought you, or anyone else, might be interested. I do think meditation is an excellent way to cope with many things, from stress to giving yourself a stronger creative process!
The very best of luck. We are all on this journey together!
Love,
Mary
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALISHAB3 2/2/2012 12:35PM

    I highly recommend meditation. I have a book called "Yoga for depression." by Amy Wientraub that you may find illuminating. It wasn't very expensive, unfortunately, Borders went out of business, so you will probably need to get it on Amazon. I also use a free guided meditation podcast called "healing journey." I like to do that one before bed. It helps prevent nightmares.

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KKINNEA 2/2/2012 11:47AM

    Great resources, I'll have to check those out. Let's make it a great February!

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HIPPICHICK1 2/2/2012 8:11AM

    Honestly, it sounds like you have picked yourself up, dusted yourself off and you're ready for a spectacular February.
My partner and I are studying Buddhism and frequently listen to Dharma talks or Zencasts. They're free!
www.zencast.org/

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EMRANA 2/2/2012 7:26AM

  Meditation is a truly beautiful practice. At the very least, I meditate before I go to bed, to clear my head and put myself into a peaceful state to drift into sleep. It enhances the quality of my sleep.

I've been a regular meditator for many years, though I hadn't thought to use it to avert a binge. I have been looking for a part of my yoga practice to use for that purpose ~ well, really, to use before eating anything, so that I don't go into dissociative eating mode as I am prone to do.

Congrats on the sax progress! YAY!

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EMFRAPPIER 2/2/2012 6:11AM

    I struggle with binge eating and have always found Buddism to help in those times. My binges are very rare now because I am mindful of my feelings and triggers. I'd like to get more into meditation. It sounds lovely. Congrats on getting back on track. My January looked a lot like yours, and I am trying to get back to healthy me. I love that you're a writer! I had not written anything for months and was feeling pretty low about it, but I have also just started writing again. It is such a great stress reliever! Congrats on getting complimented on your playing! I hope February is great for you!!

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1HAPPYWOMAN 2/2/2012 1:59AM

    It's so wonderful that you're trying meditation as a way of curbing emotional eating! I still find it extremely difficult to identify binge trigger thoughts, because it seems like a binge is preceded, for me, by a state of non-thought -- as though I'm just viscerally reacting to inchoate stressors. But I've figured out a few of my triggers, and hope to identify some more.
I'm so sorry that your arthritis has been giving you pain. But good for you for continuing to do all those things that you love: writing, playing sax, and kicking butt! emoticon

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The Week in Review: Approaching Good

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

I was actually excited to go to my saxophone lesson last week. I had put in a lot of practice time, and had some extra practice due to working at home. I actually felt pretty confident walking into my lesson, for once. My teacher Jeff is not exactly Mr. Compliments, so I'll take what I can get from him. I blasted through one of the exercises and only made a couple of mistakes. Jeff nodded, "Huh, well that was...approaching good."

I started laughing, because I know that's about as close to complimenting as Jeff gets (although I have also gotten "not horrible" and even the coveted "not bad" before). Then again, I appreciate his honestly; I don't want someone singing accolades if I haven't earned it. I liked feeling so confident from having worked so hard the week before and to be able to show that to Jeff. I knew that even if I was approaching good, I will need to start putting forth more practice time to actually be good.

It's not just my saxophone. It's my eating, It's my Muay Thai and Jiu Jitsu classes. It's my other workouts. I have realized that I have been putting in as little effort as possible with all of these things. I overeat, and then I don't track it so I can pretend that it didn't happen (somehow the scale always catches it, though...hmmmm...). During my classes, I keep wondering how much time is left. I have been slacking during my workouts. I usually dread picking up my saxophone and hearing myself. It wasn't until this past week that I realized that I have been putting forth so little effort. Well, no wonder I haven't been getting far recently.

I can't even claim that I've been doing my best or trying my hardest recently. Needless to say, I am tired of approaching good. I want to actually BE good. I have been half-assing for long enough and I need to have some conviction about eating better, about practicing my saxophone more, about putting forth more effort at the gym. I have been in denial with my "I can quit whenever I want" attitude when it comes to overeating. I am not mad at myself at all, and I would not even say I am disappointed in myself, but I have reached a point where I am no longer satisfied with the changes I have made over the past year. I need to make some new changes. It dawned on me this week that I have been approaching good for quite some time now. It is time to surpass good and move on to excellent.





"A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes."
-Hugh Downs

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 1/25/2012 9:00PM

    Excellent blog. I love the way you are thinking. You can push yourself to your ultimate best.

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DOODIE59 1/25/2012 9:18AM

    I really like your end quote. Thanks!

Choose the one thing you are going to do your very best at this week. I suspect your effort will ease over into your other endeavours. Win/Win.

And enjoy yourself:)
Deirdre

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CANNIE50 1/24/2012 11:16PM

    "Um, you are approaching good" - oh, I cannot wait to tell this to my kid. I tend to be a bit of an overly enthusiastic encourager and complimenter, so I am going to use this phrase to dial it down a bit, once in a while. It is good to strive. You are clearly ready to move on to the next level. As always, thank you for an excellent blog.

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GEMINIAN1 1/24/2012 8:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MUSICALLYMINDED 1/24/2012 6:22PM

    I feel the same way...I haven't been putting forth enough effort lately.

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1HAPPYWOMAN 1/24/2012 4:28PM

    Well, you are already at excellent in the blog-writing!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Thanks for giving me so much to ponder. As always, I deeply value your insight.

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MISTYBLUE716 1/24/2012 2:56PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 1/24/2012 9:12AM

    I can relate...one gets into a routine and sorta coasts...! Good to remind ourselves to push beyond the humdrum!

Don

btw, message to Jeff: you get more flies with honey...at least a TEENSY more honey...? :-)

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JSALERNO 1/24/2012 7:50AM

    ALWAYS REMEMBER THE MORE YOU PUT IN THE MORE YOU GET OUT. emoticon

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EMRANA 1/24/2012 7:28AM

  Good for you! Recognizing that we want to change a pattern is the first step to doing it! YAY!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 1/24/2012 6:13AM

    ERIN,
AH, SELF ENLIGHTENMENT! IT IS SO EASY TO FALL INTO THAT
"APPROACHING GOOD", BUT, YOU ARE RIGHT, IT IS NOT ENOUGH. I
MUST TELL YOU THOUGH, PLEASE REALIZE YOU HAVE TAKEN ON SO
MUCH THAT I AM IN AWE YOU MANAGE IT ALL! SO REALIZE THAT YOU
ARE REALLY AT A MAX. I AM SO GLAD YOU ARE NOT BEATING YOURSELF
UP AND ARE TAKING THIS INSIGHT AS A WAY TO GET MORE ON TARGET.
MY BEST WISHES TO YOU FOR CONTINUED SUCCESS.
MARY
emoticon

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Yeah, I'm kind of a big deal. (workout pics)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Hah, well, I don't know about being a big deal, but I'm glad that my coach Nate took some pictures against my will over the past couple of weeks. He snuck up on me and I turned and he had a camera pointed at me. My immediate reaction was to stop what I was doing, "No, no, no, don't take my picture!"

"Why not? You're doing a bad-ass move, everyone will see it."

Now granted, I WAS doing a bad ass move, GHD sit-ups, but I am still not keen on having my picture taken. "Come on, keep going, I want a picture." So, I continued to do GHD sit-ups, and he snapped a picture. I looked at the picture and said, "No way, you're not posting that."

"What? Why not? I want to post some pictures of you guys doing your workout." I was working out with one of my Jiu Jitsu buddies, and Nate was also taking pictures of him. I let him take the pictures, but still didn't like any of them. Nate seemed genuinely baffled as to why I didn't like the pictures, and I didn't want to say, "Umm, can't you see how FAT I am?" I don't like thinking of myself like that, and I would not think anything of seeing someone working out at any size, but pictures put reality right in front of my face, and I don't always like what I see.

Apparently Nate only saw a martial artist working out. At first I just saw how overweight I am, but now I just see someone working out. So, if my coaches and my fellow martial artists view me as a real athlete, then I guess the proof is in the pictures.




GHD sit-up ( www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k4UQtuXnXc )




Leg extensions.






Kettlebell swings.




A light set of clean and press with 65 pounds.






Muay Thai class (my teacher Eric is by the bag). Unfortunately, no kicking pics, and this chick is afraid of me, so it was a very light class.




My Jiu Jitsu BFF Bob--we were practicing something, can't remember what.




Practicing sit-up sweeps.




Going over techniques.




Getting ready to roll.




Rolling--this guy was getting frustrated because he couldn't break my hand grip, hehehe...



After seeing the pictures posted on the gym's Facebook page, I liked them better. They were posted side by side with my fellow gym members, and I just look like another athlete working out. I still don't LOVE the pictures, but I do like the proof of my bad-assness.
emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAPHRAEL 2/13/2012 3:38PM

    Wow, those pictures are amazing! Very inspirational!!

You are going to be so glad to be able to reflect on them later.

emoticon

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FLUFFY22801 2/13/2012 3:30PM

    You're doing GREAT! Wow, I wish I could do that. You're bad-assed like honey badger :)

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ELPHYY 1/23/2012 6:05PM

    "Unfortunately, no kicking pics, and this chick is afraid of me, so it was a very light class. "

That made me giggle!
Action pics are the best! Looks like you have a lot of fun classes!


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BOE4LIFE 1/23/2012 3:56PM

    Awesome keep it up.

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CHRISTINA791 1/23/2012 3:42PM

    Badass is right! Great pics!

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SYZYGY922 1/22/2012 11:54PM

    You look so strong!

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SPOONGIRLDEB 1/20/2012 12:50PM

    emoticon nuff said emoticon

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DDOORN 1/20/2012 11:31AM

    Great pics of one SPARKIN' gal! Thx for sharing!

Don

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BRDGT262 1/20/2012 5:48AM

    So awesome, thanks for sharing! You rock!!!! :)

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 1/20/2012 4:11AM

    OH YOU ARE ONE AMAZING, AWESOME BAD ASS, ERIN!!!
I AM SO BLOWN AWAY BY WHAT YOU DO AND IMPRESSED AT YOUR "SPUNK".
THERE YOU ARE HANGING WITH THE BOYS AND DOIN ALL THE STUFF THEY ARE DOING AND THEY REALLY SEE YOU AS A FELLOW ATHLETE...AND IN THAT IS SOMETHING JUST AS IMPORTANT AS THE EXERCISE, AS YOU ARE STARTING TO SEE YOURSELF DIFFERENTLY, AND THAT IS A MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT.
EXCELLENT...ROCK ON, GIRLFRIEND!
emoticon

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WOLFKITTY 1/20/2012 12:10AM

    Nice!! :D
Jocelyn

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MISSIFISH 1/19/2012 10:37PM

    WOW! You are doing so many things I've never done! Very motivating. I'm so impressed!

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GEMINIAN1 1/19/2012 10:19PM

    Well -I- LOVE the pictures ...
emoticon

..."Why not? You're doing a bad-ass move, everyone will see it."
emoticonCoach Nate! Go Nate!

I agree with Nate!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/19/2012 9:50PM

    Loved the pictures! You are really working hard.

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CROOKEDLETTER 1/19/2012 7:46PM

    Followed someone 1HappyWoman here. The pics are great. I especially like the one where the guy can't break your hand hold!

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1HAPPYWOMAN 1/19/2012 6:55PM

    So wonderful to hear how your feelings about the pix changed! And wonderful to see you in your element, working your bad-assness!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HIKINGSD 1/19/2012 6:28PM

    Woo hoo! You go girl!

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CANNIE50 1/19/2012 6:03PM

    An athlete among athletes, taking your rightful place at the gym (and bad-@$$ing your way through some bad-@$$ workouts). PS Are you going to go see the new movie "Haywire" where the lead is not a waifish actress pretending to be a martial artist but an actual MuyThai and MMA fighter, acting in her first movie? I love the quote by a character she is hunting down: "don't think of her as a woman, because that would be a mistake". When I read about her, I immediately thought of you, of course. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EMRANA 1/19/2012 5:09PM

  LOVE THEM!!! You are so completely and magnificently AWESOME!

emoticon

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MISTYBLUE716 1/19/2012 4:34PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 1/19/2012 3:20PM

    You are AWESOME!!!!! I love the pics...you look so great!

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SMILINGTREE 1/19/2012 3:18PM

    It's jarring to see pictures of yourself. Even when I was thin and generally happy with my size and shape, I found things to dislike in photos. It's the same with hearing a recording of your voice. It just feels weird.

This is awesome proof of your bad-assness, and thank you for sharing it!

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GIANTPANDA 1/19/2012 3:11PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NEWSGIRL2177 1/19/2012 2:51PM

    Whoa. Badass indeed! I'm glad you posted these. You look strong and happy!

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 1/19/2012 2:51PM

    You are doing awesome!!! I see someone committed and motivated and DOING something to make herself happier and her body healthier and stronger!!

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JSALERNO 1/19/2012 2:43PM

    I CAN HARDLEY HOLD 20 POUNDS OVER MY HEAD MUCH LESS 65. THAT'S emoticon

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BITTERSWEET100 1/19/2012 2:21PM

    Very cool. Situp sweeps are really hard and the best ab workout ever. You realize quickly how important those abs are!

I can see all the muscle tone you have. It is very apparent you have been working hard, soon those pics will look totally different. Keep it up.

I wish my dojo had all the equipment. We work strictly on the mats.




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JILLYBEAN25 1/19/2012 2:21PM

    I totally get ya!!! But, I think the same thing when I see those pics- its a bunch of athletes doing their thing at a great gym! emoticon

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BENTONHEALTHY 1/19/2012 2:15PM

    I see a person who is getting strong and working hard. One that I respect and makes me think I need to step it up a notch. emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 1/19/2012 2:10PM

    You bad a$$!!
emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KKINNEA 1/19/2012 2:05PM

    Kettlebell is the only thing I can do in your set of pictures! Nice job - this looks tough!

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SWEETSOUNDS11 1/19/2012 2:03PM

    I totally understand the love/hate relationship with pictures of yourself. I too see an athlete! If you don't like the way you look now in the pics, eventually you will continue to progress in your lifestyle change and weightloss journies and you will come to love theses photos as progress pictures. I think you are kind of a big deal! Yay for you!
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The Week in Review: Just...PLAY.

Monday, January 16, 2012

"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced."
-James Baldwin



This week at my saxophone lesson, my teacher Jeff got mad at me. He didn't raise his voice, but he was as pissed as I've ever seen him. I'm not sure what it is about playing my sax, especially playing in front of Jeff, that makes me want to be so damn perfect. I want to hit every note perfectly, or not play at all. I totally freeze up trying to play in front of Jeff. Day-to-day, I'm not too afraid to make an a$$ of myself, but I really want to play the sax well. In any case, I kind of start to panic at the beginning of every lesson, and my attempts at hiding this probably make me look dumb. In my lesson on Tuesday, I was once again freezing, and Jeff looked at me and said, "Erin...just...PLAY."

Jeff had never talked to me sternly before, and the man is intimidating enough without the stern talk. I did my best to blast through the exercises without stopping and without worrying too much about making mistakes. Even though he had talked really sternly to me, I felt more at ease. I had driven him nuts with my desire to be perfect to the point where he snapped at me. Maybe that means I've been driving myself crazy, too. I made a sincere attempt to practice in this manner all week--just fly through the piece, not stop if I make a mistake, to just keep going.

I had an okay week at the gym--I have to say, though, I really got my a$$ kicked. I don't know if I'm getting better, therefore the guys feel okay laying into me, or if it was just an off-week. I think I am at an in-between stage with learning Jiu Jitsu--I know a few things, but not enough to be proficient, or I remember when it's too late. In any case, the guys continue to be patient and helpful. I also got in a bit of lifting at the gym this week and have found that I enjoy lifting more at the gym working out with some of the guys than being at home with a video. So, I will stick with strength training at the gym for now.



Some of the Jiu Jitsu guys and me--I'm in the purple shirt in the back row. I'm in between 2 of my Jiu Jitsu BFFs.


Mt eating this past week was okay. There was several days of "overeating," meaning I ate over the allotted calories in my tracker. However, I lost 2 pounds. I did not binge over the past week, but I burned close to 10,000 calories with my workouts, so I wanted to fuel up. On the days that I ate over my calories, it was with nutritious foods to fuel recovery. I have had good luck adding a day or 2 of higher calories amping up my weight loss. Hey, I won't argue with that.

I was at the grocery store on Wednesday and saw a beautiful bouquet of orange roses. I have almost forgotten the beauty of fresh flowers in the dead of winter. I do not normally buy flowers for myself, but I just felt compelled. They were not a reward for anything in particular...I bought them just because. Whereas I used to "treat" myself by buying a bunch of junk foods, my "treats" are now often completely non-food related, I have realized more and more.



The bouquet I bought for myself...just because.



Bouquet with my vision collage.



My vision collage--I should consider making another one.


I should just show up...play...move...do my best...buy myself a big bouquet of flowers...just because. Because it has finally sunken in that I deserve to treat myself right. It isn't that I haven't been treating myself right, but it has always been with some purpose, not just because I deserve it. I deserve flowers, I have earned the right to play my sax with some mistakes, I can choose not to get caught up in small mistakes day-to-day. Jeff put it best, that I should just...PLAY.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIANTPANDA 1/19/2012 11:38AM

    Great blog. I am at the stage in kickboxing where I am overeating on kickboxing days but seeing more of a drop in BMI than in weight. I think I am still finding the balance. The orange flowers were so beautiful I wanted to run out and find some of them for myself. Orange roses--so beautiful! Have a wonderful week!



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MORTICIAADDAMS 1/18/2012 11:12AM

    I think you learned a valuable lesson from Jeff. Stop worrying about being perfect and enjoy yourself. There is no perfect. Even professional musicians make mistakes.

Congrats on the weight loss.

I loved the roses. So beautiful!!

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GEMINIAN1 1/17/2012 12:09PM

    ... 'the man is intimidating enough without the stern talk'
The visual made me laugh.
Like he's on the verge of whipping out the, stereotypical, ruler.
... 'Maybe that means I've been driving myself crazy'
I love that.
Well, not that you've possibly been driving yourself crazy my friend; you know what I mean ... the insight.
... the gym ...
I think you ruffled some of their: struttin' around peacock feathers, with your: bad, take 'em down, ace, and now they feel okay with laying into you.
But, totally, in a good way laying into you!!!!!
Love the pic. of the crew. Awesome.
You rock.

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SUNFLOWERSAVAGE 1/17/2012 1:22AM

    You DO deserve pretty flowers Erin!

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1HAPPYWOMAN 1/17/2012 12:57AM

    This blog made me so happy! you deserve so many flowers and songs and playful times! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MUSICALLYMINDED 1/16/2012 6:17PM

    You've made me want to go buy some flowers for myself! They're so pretty. Do you ever move when you play? Sometimes when I really get into the music and start moving I can forget that someone's there watching me. It works great during lessons or during performances. You have to be careful, though, and not let your embouchure become less rigid or bouncy. It's great! Be carefree when you are in a lesson - you're performing! If you mess up, you fix it during your practice time...whatever's done is done by that point, anyway, right?

About the moving - you don't even have to move while you play to start - just listen to some sax music (or any, really), close your eyes, and move with the flow of the phrasing. I used to consider listening to be part of my "practice time" because you learn so much by listening to others play. Eventually you'll just get into the flow so that you'll just do it while playing. Sax players can be funny when they try to move though - it's like their elbows start flapping like they're taking flight! lol. I understand getting nervous during lessons...it's tough to perform as you normally would with someone staring you down two feet from you. You kind of just have to forget they're there until it's time to listen for their input.

I like the title of your blog. Just...play. I may be interpreting it differently than how you meant. I want to stop being so darn SERIOUS. It's no fun. I think I get caught up in the seriousness of working out HARD, like you said before, with this steely-faced determination. I'm going to move a lot this week and have fun doing it. I began realizing this while my friend was here this weekend - I'm not goofy like I used to be. I wanna get goofy! We had a hilarious moment...we were just sitting in my living room and the song "Sexy and I know It" by LMFAO came on my iPod and we just stood up and danced and acted dumb and sweated our butts off acting nuts! I loved it! I want to be ridiculous and silly and forget that someone could be watching and thinking that I'm an idiot. It's ok to have fun.


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EMRANA 1/16/2012 4:51PM

  Absolutely! Just play! That's better than Nike's thing...

Your flowers are beautiful, and congrats on the loss! You always inspire me with your fitness level!



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CANNIE50 1/16/2012 3:50PM

    exactly emoticon

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DDOORN 1/16/2012 3:39PM

    Great week...! Always nice to treat oneself. I think if Jeff could "chill" you would find it much easier to hang loose and let those notes fly with all your heart!

Don

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JSALERNO 1/16/2012 6:07AM

    YOU SEEM TO HAVE ALOT OF FUN. ENJOY.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 1/16/2012 3:18AM

    LOVED THIS BLOG...AND I THINK IT APPLIES TO SO MUCH...JUST PLAY OR JUST DO IT, DON'T WORRY SOMEONE IS WATCHING, LISTENING, OR IF YOU AREN'T PERFECT!! I LOVE IT! AND I LOVE THE FACT YOU BOUGHT THE ORANGE ROSES (BEAUTIFUL) FOR YOURSELF...JUST BECAUSE...YOU ARE WORTH IT! BECAUSE YOU ARE!
HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEK, ERIN!
emoticon emoticon

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 1/16/2012 2:48AM

    Just Play. :)

Love your flowers and that you bought them for yourself. I used to do that.


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