JILLYBEAN25   24,319
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JILLYBEAN25's Recent Blog Entries

Yummy Tortellini Soup

Thursday, October 25, 2012

For "funsies" I made some tortellini to put in a delicious soup for dinner the other night.

I used round wonton wrappers and stuffed it with part-skim ricotta that I added some fresh chopped parsley and romano cheese to. I sealed the tortellini with a beaten egg.

In no time at all, I had about 35 tortellini, stuffed and folded and ready for soup.

The soup itself was loaded with veggies. I used a zucchini, onion, garlic, carrot, green beans, kale, and spinach. I stuck in a large can of crushed tomatoes (no salt added!) and seasoned the whole deal with a pinch of salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and Italian herb seasoning blend. I cooked the tortellini right in the soup. I accompanied it with a chunk of whole wheat baguette that I toasted with a bit of butter, garlic powder, and parmesan cheese (finished with a sprinkle of parsley) and sprinkled some romano cheese over the hot soup.

It was delicious and the leftovers made a perfect lunch at practicum today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANER2014 10/26/2012 8:27PM

    It looks really good! emoticon

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RAINYFRIDAY 10/26/2012 2:58PM

    Great idea and it looks so good! Perfect for the cooler weather we had recently. I may have to give this a try with the kids :D

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/26/2012 2:47PM

    Now that is clever ! I never thought of using a wonton wrapper to make my own tortellini. That's a fantastic idea. I'm stealing it !!



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ABB698 10/26/2012 12:03PM

    When I saw your pic on FB I wanted to eat it, now its only 9 am and you just made me hungry again! Actually, I saw someone have pumpkin butter from Trader Joes the other day, and I need to try that! Yum! Have a fab Friday Jilly!!

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JSALERNO 10/26/2012 6:06AM


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CANNIE50 10/26/2012 12:31AM

    Oh, yum! WHat a great idea.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/25/2012 11:59PM

    Delicious! I would have loved to join you...on a cool rainy night with your Meow Meow in our company! Oh a grand time we would have!
Love you, friend!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EVERYONESANGEL 10/25/2012 11:56PM

    This looks great :) great Job :)

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Advertising Flyers!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

I know they aren't much, but at least they're a start. I needed to be creative and get some ideas flowing.

These are works in progress, of course. All critiques/suggestions welcome. I have only posted these on my Facebook page for my friends and family to see.

Also, I'm really sorry they appear to darn tiny on this blog!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 10/26/2012 12:33AM

    They look great, Jill. Good for you for being energetic and creative about earning money. I wish you loads of success, and I hope people appreciate you!

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JBINAUSTIN 10/25/2012 6:00AM

    Those are catchy flyers! Good job. It's too bad you're in southern California. I could use some of your services.

It just occurred to me that I know a service that might be able to help you market your skills, if it's available in your area. It's an online service called TaskRabbit.com where people who are willing to provide services can connect with people who need things done. I know TaskRabbit has people who live in Austin (where I live) and LA and San Francisco, but I don't know about San Diego, which is where you live, right? That might be another way to advertise your skills and get work. If you have a skill that can be done remotely, like editing, planning, research, or travel arrangements, you don't have to be in one of their cities to become a TaskRabbit. I saw that someone hired TaskRabbits from all over the country for a product evaluation and to read documents and comment on them online.

I've hired two people to help me out so far, one to clean my house and another to help me unpack after a long, equipment-intensive scuba vacation when I was feeling to sick to deal with it when I returned. The unpacker was so speedy that she had time to help me start organizing some financial papers that had gotten out of control.

I like the security of being able to pay with a credit card that goes to the online service, not to the individual helper. And there is some recourse if the TaskRabbits don't perform to your satisfaction, plus they do some background checks so you're not inviting a newly paroled axe murder into your home.

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/22/2012 2:17PM


That's a great way to advertise your services !! Post the cooking flyers at your local church. that's a great way to get the word out.

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RAINYFRIDAY 10/22/2012 8:59AM

    Awesome! I hope you get lots of business from your flyers! I wish I had known a month ago that you were a notary. I drove to about 3 different places before finding one.

Hmmm.. can you do zipper replacements? :)

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SMILINGTREE 10/21/2012 10:21PM

    They look fantastic! I especially like the border around the cooking classes one.

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/21/2012 9:52PM

    There is a place in Mira Mesa that was hiring a part time notary recently. Are you interested? If so, I'll find out for you. If you are giving cooking lessons, I may at some point contact you. Very clever idea and be prepared to market yourself like mad. Especially to single guys who'd love to know how to cook. (easy stuff) Thank you for the goodie and kind message.

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DSHONEYC 10/21/2012 8:24PM

    emoticon I admire your creativity.

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WOLFKITTY 10/21/2012 8:17PM


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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/21/2012 7:59PM

    Sweetie, I think they look great! Once you have taught some cooking classes,or completed some work, have people comment and get permission to use their comments on your flyer or website! Do you have "Angie's List" there? Might be another possibility!? I would sure want your services if you were near me! I know many people need alterations but do not know where to go/or dry cleaners charge to much! Did you check out Adult Ed or Community Centers?
I wish you much luck!
Love & Hugs,

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JSALERNO 10/21/2012 10:14AM


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PROVERBS31JULIA 10/20/2012 11:46PM

    They look nice!!

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DIANER2014 10/20/2012 11:03PM

    They all look great! emoticon

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ABB698 10/20/2012 10:22PM

    Looks great! The notary one seems a little plain compared to the others. The cooking and seamstress ones shout what you're offering, but the notary one does not. Maybe make the word NOTARY the focal point? Good luck!

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LASKIE2 10/20/2012 5:26PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PINKSPIRITT 10/20/2012 4:34PM


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Mental Health and Physical Health

Friday, October 19, 2012

I think mental health is a very important part of any health journey. I don't want to use this blog as a place to b**** about everything. This is Spark after all and I usually like to use this as a place to work through my exercising and eating habits. But, mental health- including stress- is so tied in to the health habits of people (good or bad), sometimes it makes sense to find an outlet to lay out thoughts and feelings in order to analyze these habits. And that's what I'll be doing today.

Once again, it all comes back to roommate issues. This time, oddly, it isn't much about He-'mate. Nothing has changed with him, and it won't in 2.5 months, so nothing new there. I will say he needs a serious lesson on how to clean. He doesn't seem to know what "thorough" and "effort" mean.

But, this is about She-'mate. She has been "sick" pretty much since July. I'm not sure what the problem is with her. It started out as dizziness and has only seemed to grow from there, most recently a pain in her side in the general vicinity of her kidneys. She's seen specialists and been to the ER twice. She's been on all kinds of crazy meds. Nothing seems to be helping. I can't fault her for any of this to a point.

See, with her illness(es) sticking around for so long and symptoms that wax and wane so often, I've been picking up the slack for her with regards to the house chores and grocery shopping, etc. Of course I would expect anyone to do the same for me, but this has been going on for some time now. Since we instituted our new chore system, she hasn't actually been able to do any of her chores. So, He-'mate and I are splitting her chores between us. As I've previously said, He-'mate doesn't do so great at this stuff to begin with, so I end up picking up the slack on his end, too!

And I've had to do the grocery shopping myself. She doesn't cook and what she does cook is absolute junk. Chicken nuggets and french fries and hot dogs (she always eats 3-4 hotdogs at a time) with chips. She wants to eat healthier, I want her to eat healthier, AND its easier for me to cook for more than 1 person so I like cooking for the two of us, so we decided to split groceries and I'll cook. Well, I always end up forking out more money for groceries than she does, even though we both eat them. When someone has to make a quick run to the store for a missing ingredient or two for dinner, it is always me that has to go get them and me that pays for them. This last time I went grocery shopping, she was going to pay me back for the groceries on her list. But, I went ahead and got ingredients for a few dinners. She also used half my lunch meat that night. She only wanted to pay me for what was on her list, regardless of what else I bought to cook for the both of us. My grocery budget per month is dismal- usually around $120 or less. So, since this has happened on more than 1 occasion just this month alone, I'm totally broke. I don't even have money for the bus to get to practicum for the remainder of this month. I have one more bill due on Monday and I have no money to pay it. I'm totally broke and there's how long left of this month? Seriously...

I know that I should probably break my arrangement with her and each of us just fend for ourselves. I can't afford to feed two people. Plus, its only for another 2.5 months. I'm just not really sure how to broach the subject. I don't know how to talk about this without sounding like a total jerk. If you all have any ideas, please send them my way. I know a huge part of it has to do with me needing to assert myself. That's something I'm not good at doing, particularly when it comes to people like my friends and family. But, I can't do this for 2 more months and I certainly can't do it forever.

I need my practicum to be done with (but it won't be until mid-December) so I can start working already. I was going to get some menial job until then at Jack-in-the-Box by my house, but it closed down. I still need to get some advertising out about my cooking classes, notary, and seamstress things. I think I'll start on that after I get done with this blog.

So, needless to say, all this stress is taking it's toll. I'm pretty sure it led to me getting this wicked cold. I have this nasty post-nasal drip that I keep choking on. Sorry, I know that's really REALLY gross. And some sinus congestion. My head is POUNDING. It hasn't stopped hurting. My face feels like it's cracking open. And, of course, I'm totally exhausted/fatigued. Luckily, I still have an appetite.

Not-so-luckily, I am not eating the greatest. Of course, I'm sick, so that's somewhat understandable, but still. The time you should be eating the healthiest to get back to being healthy, is the time I'm not doing so great. Yesterday I had leftover gyro meat and pita bread for lunch. For dinner I had a bowl of egg noodles with some butter on them. For a snack I had a metric f***ton of watermelon. That watermelon was damn good, too! Today, I've had a bowl of oatmeal with a bit of brown sugar and real maple syrup. An hour later, I was starving again. At least that was pretty healthy. For a snack, I had an apple with a big chunk of triple-sharp cheddar (aged 4 years). That cheese was amazing. For dinner, I've had a half sandwich- pastrami, pickles, mustard, smoked gouda, and whole grain bread... that I slathered in butter and grilled. I'm also having another snack of watermelon. Who knows what else I'll be eating later. Normally I'm pretty healthy with my food. Always having some sort of veggie with lunch and dinner, some sort of fruit with every lunch, whole grains only, etc... This stress has me turning to more junk. Things with butter, white breads, chips, cookies. Not cool. The problem is letting the stress take over so I eat this way. I hope by typing this out, I've identified a recent trigger and can work on it or fix it. Probably not today to be perfectly honest, but I don't like eating this way. It makes me feel like crap when I am healthy, so I can tell you it's making me feel REALLY crappy now that I've got a cold.

Since I'm sick right now, of course I wouldn't be exercising. Not with the intense pain in my head anyway. I do want to get to exercising again, but with She-'mate constantly home (she's missing- or ditching- A LOT of school) I can't get into the living room to use the Roku (I get YouTube on it and therefore a lot of workout videos at the ready) or the Wii which I do Just Dance for cardio. Normally. Before I got sick I was feeling really well and wanted to get into an exercise routine. With the heat outside zapping the rest of my energy, I knew outdoor workouts wouldn't be for me for a bit. Plus, I get shin splints, so I can't really walk on the sidewalks for too long. So, I'm still working on a solution to that. Any suggestions ya'll have for that one, too, would be great.

I really am sorry if my blogs lately have been very whiny or b****y or they seem so negative. I'm usually not this type of person. I consider myself pretty positive and upbeat most of the time. I'm just in a really crappy situation that I have to tolerate, at best, for the next few months. I try not to take it out on people or dump it all on anyone. I just don't really have anyone to talk to about it, so that's why I write it down. I know others here have offered to listen, but I don't want to constantly be a negative friend. If that makes sense.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CANNIE50 10/23/2012 11:55PM

    I had several thoughts which I will share with you and then you can take them or leave them, dear Jill. First, your aching head/sinuses. I used to be plagued by frequent sinus infections. I swear by saline rinses. I know it sounds uncomfortable and gross, but, honestly after you do it a few times it isn't so different from flossing and brushing, and it REALLY helps. Plus, sinus infections are uncomfortable and gross by nature, so it makes sense the solution would be a bit of the same.

Roommates - ugh. It is hard enough living with people we love and adore. Living with quirky, sickly, untidy semi-strangers is really challenging. She-mate is playing the sick card. Unless someone is bed-ridden, the chances are they are not to sick to spend some time doing laundry, dusting, doing dishes, vacumming, etc. Not feeling like it is not the same as not being able to handle it (obviously ; ) As far as the uncomfortable discussion about food and money, I wouldn't turn it into a conversation. I would boil it down to a one word statement: "We have different tastes in food, and my food budget is tight, so I will just buy my own groceries from now on, and you won't have to worry about this anymore." Done. Subject closed.
As far as the messy guy roommate, there are some neat and tidy men out there, who can really clean a room (especially if they were in the Navy at some point - the whole "shipshape" thing). However, I have never married or birthed or been related to a man who can clean the way I think of cleaning. THink of this as practice for marriage - if you want someone to help with the cleaning, generally they probably aren't going to do it to your standards but to their own standards.

In general, if I had roommates, I would make my bedroom a lovely refuge - as comfortable as I could possibly make it, so I would have a place away from the annoyances. I hope you get some work, and some money, really soon. Take care!!! PS SOOOO glad you stayed at SP!!

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ARCHIMEDESII 10/22/2012 2:16PM

    Goodness. Hate to say this, but the She-mate may be taking advantage of her illness to get out of doing chores. her illness might make it difficult to do heavy lifting type chores, but what about doing the laundry ? how about folding clothes or just tidying up around the place. that doesn't take a whole lot of effort.

She should also NOT be taking advantage of you financially either. I'm sure that paying for her medical visits and prescriptions aren't cheap, but that doesn't mean she should shirk her responsibility to her fellow room mates. She needs to pay her fair share of the food costs. You may have to consider keeping your food separate from their food so they don't take away. It stinks that you have to do this, but you shouldn't be supporting them. They need to both step up and take some responsibility. Your not their mom.

As far as stress, I'm a firm believer that stress is a neglected aspect of weight gain. if a person could reduce their stress, they'd automatically reduce their waistline. Because you are under an unusual amount of stress, now IS the most important time to take care of your body. Stress breaks a body down. So, you have to do your best to eat wholesome foods that nourish your body.

Think of it this way,"if you eat crap, you're going to feel like crap". Try to stay away from the treats. I know that won't be easy, but find other ways to reduce your stress that don't involve food.

Have you looked into local focus groups in San Diego ? Participating in a focus group could get you anywhere from $50-$150. That's another way to make some easy money. look around, you'd be surprized.

Mostly, do the best you can to take care of yourself. try to eat right. Try not to let your room mates take advantage of your decent nature.


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RSTM99 10/22/2012 10:33AM

    Roommates can be tough, being sick sucks, not having enough money bites - BUT - you are aware of what's happening, know there's an end point and you need to do something. Sounds like you pretty much know what you want to do from your blog - talk to her. You're maybe just working up the courage? Hopefully it doesn't have to be super confrontational, unless for some reason she doesn't git it and then you may have to escalate a little until she does. Some people are clueless, combined with some (un)conscious happiness of someone else taking care of them - easy to get where you are since you are kind. Take care of yourself first. Always. Including getting that cold beaten down and eat the food you know you need to :) It will all come together.

Exercise-wise - do you have your own room where you do a few minutes of one of those pin-interest type of workouts, even the mini ones? There's tons out there that have some squats, leg lifts, jumping jacks basic stuff that be fun with loud music.

Hang in there!

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PROVERBS31JULIA 10/21/2012 11:28PM

    Ditto what all these lovely and blessed friends you have.

And having once or twice taken the vow of poverty as a student, I remember going on food stamps (that's what they called it back in the day. Didnt want to and embarrasing but I also knew I had worked before and paid into the System, and would likely do so later. Even two months support is better than nothing, and assuming (I know that is kind of dangerous) you actually have a humane worker for your case, they know that practicum situations can be sucky. At least, my social worker was like that... Which was really nice, because she just winked on the "looking for a job" scenerios, because she knows you can't look for a job and be full time student (even if there is a crack-in-the-box nearby. Err Jack... Oh wait, you said it closed already. Yaaay. Ooops mustn't let my bias slip out...).

That national comparison? Said I was closest to a woman in Tonga. I think not.

Sounds like she-mate either needs to move back to parents for more intensive nursing to find out what is wrong with her, or she needs to scale back on the hyperchondriac posturing and stop taking advantage of you. That living room and Roku comes out of your rent and she can put her sorry self to bed in her bedroom of she is sick. If she is not sick, she needs to pull her weight. Maybe you and he-mate can present a united front on this issue too? Or just go give her advance notice that at such and such time you need the Roku so you can get some exercise done because at Y:o'clock you have home work, house work, errands, fill in the blank, and sorry if it interferes with un-Reality TV, this is real Reality and you three have three equal parts access to the living room, etc.

But there is a lot I don't know so far as what else is going on with she-mate etc so you'll need whatever comic relief you can get and moderate this "advice" into a more realistic outlook - meditate and write out pros and cons, if need be... Just "i'm sorry Chicka, you still owe me from last meals, you ate up X percentage of the foods I preparers from foods on my list and refused to pay your share of that. Game Over. I can't support you. That's what your parents are for. Grandparentd. Whoever she has... But she can't be taking advantage of you. And do the Kung Fu on Wii Fit Plus with a bloodthirsty ferocious screaming HAI YA! Chop! Whenever you are there using it, because YOU.MEAN.BUSINESS.



Hee Hee !

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SMILINGTREE 10/21/2012 10:18PM

    Goodness, Jilly, if you are whiny, I don't like to think what that makes me...I understand your hesitancy to bring he whole thing up with shemate. It makes me nervous just to think about those kinds of conversations. But, the other commenters here have made some really good suggestions and talking it out might help both of you.

Knowing that mental health, happiness, and physical health are all part of our well being means that you are a wise woman. This is a place to come to work through these kinds of problems and get advice from a supportive community that very often offers up excellent advice.

I'm glad you didn't decide to quit Spark a year ago. That post was the first of yours I read, I think. So if it had been your last, we wouldn't have had the pleasure of sharing each other's lives.

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WOLFKITTY 10/21/2012 8:31PM

    For the roommate situation, it might be best to try to script what you're going to say (plan it out a bit, think about what you really want to focus on so that you're not making it up too much on the spot and are able to make your point). Like Heather wrote, you need to explain (without blame) that it isn't working for you, and your budget. The TRUTH is that you need your pennies for essentials like school and transportation, so start there. It's usually easier for other people to see what we're going through more objectively and nudge us in the right direction.

These (everyone's comments) are those nudges.

It's good that you're acknowledging what isn't working in your nutrition. The next step is how you're going to handle changing back to what makes you feel better. Maybe for you it's like me - when I feel out of control (dealing with the roommate), my eating slips a little out of control, too. Maybe it feels easier, but eventually you need to take the reigns and do what's healthy for YOU.

You deserve it.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/21/2012 8:27PM

    First, Girlfriend,you are not whiny or bitchy and you are not being negative...you are explaining some real situations you are in/dealing with and need advice/support to deal with....very real and understandable! But know, even as I write this, I totally understand as I, too, am the sameway! LOL!
I think you must talk to the she-mate....I get it she is sick and think it is lovely to care for her...but not support her! Just be honest..."I need to talk to you for a minute. The arrangement we have for food is not working for me. I have to cut my expenses and I can't do it with someone else. I am going to be taking on some work soon and may not be able to cook! If you need me to pick up some food for you, I could do that with a list and the money up front"....would that work?? Is that reasonable? You are still offering some assistance but in the way you can handle it.
You are a strong woman! I think of you often taking all those buses! I don't know how you do it! Your situation with your Mom, your surviving on such a limited income! Be kind to yourself...you are loved...even by someone you never met! You are in my prayers!
Hang in there...you can email me anytime....let me know if you prefer using my email address!

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DSHONEYC 10/21/2012 8:21PM

    Hi, first I will say thank you for the sparkgoodie salad. That was very sweet and I am glad you are here another year. It is ok to use this as a forum for venting issues that interfere with your health and well-being and asking for help (and encouragement) from your SparkFriends.

I am so sorry that all this has been dumped on you, but now that you have gotten it all out it is time to sit down with your roommate(s) and tell them is an honest way what you need. If you say it in an honest and non-judgemental way you will not be a jerk at all.

I know that when I feel overloaded I seek His Presence. I won't presume to preach to you, just sharing what works for me. It is so much easier to face things when you have someone on your side :-) and He will never leave you.

So friend, talk to them when you are feeling a little better. You are giving them permission to use you, take back your power, sister. You deserve only the very best...I will be praying for you and sending positive thoughts your way.

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NEWSGIRL2177 10/20/2012 8:13PM

    I don't think you'd be a jerk AT ALL for standing up and saying, This is what I need or This isn't working for me. I mean, in the end, we're all responsible for ourselves. This is clearly having a negative effect on you. I hope things get resolved soon with splitting from these fools, but in the meantime, I really hope you can tell them what you need. Do you think they'd do the same? My guess is yes.

You're not a jerk, you're strong!

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JSALERNO 10/20/2012 7:39AM


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ABB698 10/20/2012 12:52AM

    Wow Jilly, you're plate is loaded once again! Okay, think of the food/money situation with "she-mate" as part of your health journey-mental, financial and physical...so you need to fix it-and quick! Just tell her financially splitting the groceries is not work with your budget, so you're going to have to do your own thing. And the food you do buy, is for you only, since you have a strict budget to stick to. I know you want her to eat healthy, and enjoy cooking, but let her eat her 3-4 hotdogs (gross!) and deal with it on her own. You can't lookout for her anymore, you need to put Jilly first! I know that sounds simple to *me*, but tell yourself it's your reality and your mental, financial and physical health will all benefit from it. 2.5 months-you can do it...hang in there!!! emoticon

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RAINYFRIDAY 10/19/2012 10:20PM

    I don't think you should be concerned with your blogs sounding whiny! You need an outlet, this is a good place for that. If you were to go without expressing your frustrations you'd implode for crying out loud.

You're 100% correct in saying that physical and mental health are tied together, there's no question in mind there, staying physically healthy when your brain and emotions are tapped is damn near impossible.

I wish I had some words of wisdom to help with your current situation, but I'm not assertive at all. I have a tendency of letting every one walk all over me until I can't be in the same room as them anymore. I still don't assert myself. That being said, I have to tell you that along with your physical and mental health your financial health is a pretty big deal and I really hope you can find a way to let "she-mate" know that she's taking advantage and it has to stop.

((hugs)) Take care, feel better.


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Fig Jam Fun!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I had 3lbs of figs from my granny's tree. I couldn't think of anything to do with them except stuff them with blue cheese, wrap them with prosciutto, bake them, and then drizzle them with a bit of honey. Unfortunately, I only had figs and honey. So, I made jam.

Just FYI: 3lbs of figs makes A LOT of jam. Mine yielded just a bit more than a quart. Yikes!

So I made homemade fig newtons. WIN!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WOLFKITTY 10/21/2012 8:35PM

    Yum. fig jam in oatmeal for breakfast! :)

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 10/15/2012 1:47PM

    Wow, 3 lbs of figs!! That's a lot! The homemade fig newtons look delish!

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NEWSGIRL2177 10/15/2012 11:57AM

    OMG, yum!

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RAINYFRIDAY 10/15/2012 9:07AM

    Wow! I love fig newtons, you're one smart cookie, it would never have crossed my mind to do that! Enjoy :D

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DIANER2014 10/14/2012 3:13PM

    Yum! It looks really good!

emoticon Diane

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ABB698 10/14/2012 1:38PM

    Those looks so yummy!!! emoticon

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MERRYMARY42 10/14/2012 11:29AM

    sounds great, I made fig preserves this year, not real successful, not quite sure why, but it sure tastes good, even though it did not set up as well as I wanted.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/14/2012 9:49AM

What a great project...Yum!
And that is some Jillybean Newton!
If I lived near, I would be over for tea and jam!
Love you!

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JSALERNO 10/14/2012 6:00AM


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BUTEAFULL 10/14/2012 1:24AM

    good call with all that jam

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Only Continuity

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I've always noticed among my Spark Friends (and others, for that matter) that their blog posts or status updates regarding their journey setbacks always sound something like this:

"I blew it yesterday!"
"I'm starting over!"
"I'm trying this again!"

When I first started on Spark in 2008 and for those first few years of being on here, I would feel the same way. "I'm starting this journey over." It hasn't been until this year or so that I've completely changed my mindset on this. And *truly* believe in the way I think.

I no longer feel that any setback is a major event that prevents me from just picking back up where I left off. I feel like even when I'm not doing anything like exercising or eating healthy, I'm still moving forward on this journey- it's never stopped. Its hard to describe in words. And I feel like its a victory!

Its so discouraging to feel like you've failed and have to start over. So, don't start over. Just keep going. I had a super "I totally blew it" lunch yesterday. I went to a restaurant in Fashion Valley Mall called Stacked. Its a burger, pizza, salad, and mac 'n' cheese joint. You can customize each completely and you order off an iPad (and pay on the iPad, too! Woo! No more waiting for a slow waiter/ress to bring you a check!) I ordered the mac 'n' cheese and created it with bacon, ground beef, green onion, and parmesan breadcrumbs on top. I had a small side of french fries (I actually wanted salad, but they don't let you customize the small side salad and there were a few things I didn't want on it) and I ordered a 'toasted marshmallow milkshake'. I ate half my mac 'n' cheese (took the rest home and ate it for dinner) and ate all my milkshake and most of my fries.

Did I "blow it" as far as diet goes? Yeah, I guess so. Do I feel like I blew it? No, I don't. I had a fun food day of indulgence. Just like it fit right in to the rest. I don't get to eat out very often, so it was just a nice little thing to do to break the monotony. 95% of the time, I eat homecooked, healthy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I eat salad or veggies with every dinner I cook. I eat fruit with my lunch. I only eat whole grains and my breakfasts always end up being lacto-ovo-vegetarian. So, is one day of unhealthy eating a reason to "start over" or feel defeated on this journey? Hell no! I ate it and moved on pretty much immediately.

I haven't gotten any continuous "real" exercise since my surgery at the very end of May. I am still active, doing fun Spark Rallies (like standup paddleboarding or hiking) and I'm always walking everywhere to run errands, get to school, get to practicum, etc. I'm on my feet for 6 hours at a time at practicum. Do I feel like when I get back to an exercise routine that I'll be "starting over" with that? Nope. I'm just picking up where I left off, like I never skipped anything. Like the last few months have never happened. I'm just continuing on the journey that I've already been on.

I wish my Spark friends that struggle with "blowing it" or "starting over" would re-set their thinking. Its so defeating and discouraging to think that way. But, we're all human beings. Perfection is not expected nor should it be desired. We're all flawed, we all have other needs, and sometimes life throws you a bit of a curveball. Learn from your journey to make better decisions when it happens, but never feel like you failed at it. You didn't fail at all. You were breathing normally, you got the hiccups, held your breath so they'd go away, and then went about breathing normally when they disappeared. No big whoop.

That's not to say you shouldn't let it be an excuse to constantly "blow it". I had 1 milkshake this week, and it was just a hiccup, so I can have another one later this week 'cuz that'll be another hiccup, too! No... no, no, no. You still have to remember all the things that will lead you to successfully get to your goal. Calories in vs. calories out (that milkshake WILL mean more time on the treadmill!), healthy eating involving mostly plant-based foods (after all, animal products like meat, cheese, sour cream, ice cream, milk, etc. have saturated fats and cholesterol- not so heart-healthy), and exercise will burn that fat off your body faster than anything else you could do! Don't forget the non-weight related health benefits of eating right and exercising either. They should be just as important to you as a number on the scale. And you might not be at "that point" yet on your journey, but I think you'll figure that out along the way.

I had the pleasure of going to a SparkChart SparkRally with 8 or so San Diego Spark Team Members on Sunday. I'm so grateful I got to go. I got hear many stories of successes, tips for overcoming trials, meet people for the first time in person and meet brand-new people, as well as see old friends, and I got to actually be aware in a more personal way that there are other people working towards goals and better health. It was wonderful! If your town has a team, encourage them to rally and do events, even if it's meeting at a coffee shop for a talk. It's worth it.

Photo Courtesy of Jocelyn (aka WolfKitty)

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROVERBS31JULIA 10/21/2012 11:38PM

    Ha ha hah I was getting woozy reading what you ate (what a fun restaurant ! We never get anything cool like that in Kansas!), thinking of that song "We would not be so all alone.. EVERYBODY MUST.GET.STONED!!" (Bob Dylan)

But you are right. I've been slogging through SP off and on since 2007 and... Well... It's a process. Life happens... Just got to keep going, even though I also yell at myself for making a really poor decision.

And if that milkshake was made with real nutritious ice cream etc you can get some basic nutrition even as it slides down so fine.



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JBINAUSTIN 10/12/2012 7:51PM

    I try not to post negative statuses, feeling like they sort of define me in a negative way. If I think something negative needs to be shared with my SparkFriends, I blog about it. That way, I investigate the feeling thoroughly and often come to see it's not as bad as it seemed at first.

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ABB698 10/12/2012 12:18AM

    I'm with ya on the negative status updates- we all have good AND bad days, but let's choose to focus on the good!
Stacked looks yummy, glad you got to enjoy a treat!
Missed out on spending time with you all Sunday, I'm so bummed my plans changed, but hope to see you soon!!

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DIANER2014 10/11/2012 9:50PM

    That's a great way to look at it . Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 10/11/2012 4:12PM

    Hey Jilly,
You already know from my last blog (anyone feel free to go to my SparkPage and read) that
I believe this approach, attitude, belief, too! I think being a Sparker is an educational process...if you get a D/E on a test, you did not fail the class, you need to learn from your errors and do it differently next time! Or, you have a great time eating a special meal, and move on! This is what my thin friends do! This is all a learning process and it is for a lifetime...you do not "do over", you learn and move on! It is the start/stop process that causes us to binge and feel we "blew it", and have negative feelings about ourselves and the act of dieting...thus...it is a lifestyle change!
Love you, Jilly!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/11/2012 4:13:37 PM

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JSALERNO 10/11/2012 5:51AM

    You are right. I love how your mindset has changed since you started with spark. emoticon emoticon

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RAINYFRIDAY 10/10/2012 11:16PM

    I feel as though I sit on the fence between both ways of thinking. Some days I wake up feeling like I'm trying again and others I feel as though I've indulged and am continuing on my journey.

So, umm, how was Stacked? I've heard about it before, but hadn't committed to going. Should I make a date to get in there soon? :D-

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ARUNNINGKAT 10/10/2012 4:36PM

    Love this approach! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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40LESSOFERIN 10/10/2012 4:32PM

    What a great way of Thinking! Thanks for sharing
emoticon your dinner looked yummy to btw

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TRISHAKAY17 10/10/2012 4:18PM

    Having just posted a blog yesterday that was titled "...I blew it today", I quite enjoyed reading this. I will take what you said here and let myself off the hook a bit more when I have the occassional hiccup. Because as you said: it's just a hiccup. Yesterday was a hiccup for me, and today I continued breathing normally.
Thanks so much for the wise words.
~Trisha emoticon

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STUDLEEJOE 10/10/2012 3:43PM

    Great mindset. I am one that always feel I blow it when I don't follow my plan.

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