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NITA-BERRY's Recent Blog Entries

Painting Life - You are the one with the Brush!

Thursday, January 09, 2014

The year is a blank canvas. We can draw on it however we want.

We can color outside the lines and we can create a swirl of beauty.

Or we can draw a meticulously difficult city-scape, or a more leisure meadowlands.

But it the end, it will be a thing of beauty that we have created for ourselves and our family to enjoy. This is our journey of health. We will enjoy the process.

I've been pretty-much AWOL this last year. Scale-wise, I made almost no progress last year. I ate well, I obsessed about exercise, then I didn't. And nothing really changed...But me.

I did learn a few things last year: my health is important no matter my size. Healing and rest is important no matter what the scale says. And everything comes into balance when I keep my priorities of life in line with the one's meant for me. If I put things on "my plate of life" that are not meant to be there, I will be stressed and overwhelmed. And that is what causes just as much weight-holding on the body as eating!

So I started painting my life with rest, good wholesome food, vibrant story-telling cookbooks, joyful walks (alone or with one of my men, whether the 10 year old, the 16 year old, the 18 year old graduate, or my dear hubby), knitting, friendships, and balance. THAT is what I changed. My attitude. My stresses. My life. And that is what has brought me to this point of finally starting to lose pounds.

So, I share with you ... the year is yours to add beauty to. See the beauty before you (including the reflection in the mirror), and paint your world any way YOU want.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KADULAC 1/13/2014 8:22PM

    That is such a wonderful analogy. This is going to be a great year.

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NEW-CAZ 1/10/2014 6:45AM

    emoticon emoticon Karen sent me to your blog, so glad I came and read it emoticon


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SWAZY33 1/10/2014 6:16AM

    I LOVE LOVE this blog and the message with it. Thanks for re focusing me! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Love Yourself

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

It is amazing what happens to the mind and body once you step off of life's treadmill.

On Sparks, I have been a little absent. A little unpredictable. A little sporadic. But I did not abandon the basics of good nutritional choices or movement. And because I adapted the program to work for the stressed-out me, ... it worked!

My last blog was 6 months ago. And I did exactly as I planned. I stopped obsessing about EVERYTHING. It took a while, mind you, but it was so worth it. Oh, I'm not way down in my weight, but I am way down in my stress. My goal was to learn to love ME. The me in THIS matter it's shape, size, complications or limitations.

AND I DID IT. I was shocked the other morning: I smiled at myself in the mirror. I liked who I was. I was proud of my abilities. I appreciated the creative skills I have. I saw the potential in myself. I am finally comfortable in who I am. And I realized that I'd been feeling that way for a while now. Time does heal. We just have to put in the moments to make time count.

It's not an easy journey. And its not for the faint of heart. I really had to look at myself and my own bad attitudes. I really had to look at my viewpoint of myself and the viewpoint my Creator has of me and realize AND LIVE what I have written in my journals or on my mirror: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made". I gave myself accountablility for the negative comments and thoughts I was pouring out on myself; I made a SparkStreaks "To speak well of myself; do not berate or insult my size or habits - Do 7 times per week". Meaning everyday I had to CHOOSE to build myself up. Like everything - it was a good habit to develop.

I love me. And because I do, I notice it is easier to make the good choices so I can continue making a healthier "lighter" me.

Oh, when you begin to love yourself for the great and the wonderful IN you, the joy of such freedom makes the rest of the journey so much easier. Join me?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KATIEMAC726 10/6/2013 12:17AM

    Thank you for that important reminder. I just started Spark today, and I definitely need to feel worthy enough to exercise. I appreciate your positive insight. emoticon

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KADULAC 10/4/2013 3:23PM

    emoticon emoticon This is something I definitely need to work on. Thank you for the inspiration.

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FISHER011 10/2/2013 4:43PM

    Good for you! I loved your blog & insight!
I am doing the same in my life! emoticon

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NYARAMULA 10/2/2013 1:24PM


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DELIA38961 10/2/2013 1:17PM

    awesome blog emoticon im currently working on that part in my life right now emoticon

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Spark Sabbatical - a Healthy Viewpoint

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

I have learned so much from Sparks in the time I have been here, but I have also become 'obsessed' with Sparks: the points, the tracking, the posting, and reading everything I can in any spare moment I have.

Unfortunately, I have a perfectionist streak! If I do something I jump in both feet and do it with gusto. So ... I need to learn moderation. Since learning of my health complications a year ago, I have been obsessed and determined to "get healthy". I've made my life "busy", but not enjoyable. Life is streaking by and I'm not any healthier mentally (or physically).

Yes, the Spark tools are awesome. But everything should be in moderation. What good is a tool if it becomes an 'idol' in your life where it must be accessed and logged and read and involved in your every thought. It is not healthy. And that is what I have done. I continue to stress my body by doing this, which is the whole reason I gained weight! My stress levels at work were so out of control that I had to leave the "employment" world. The only thing I have done is exchanged work stress for calorie-count stress.

It's like owning a car. It's a useful thing to have, to drive and use, but if I'm polishing the shine out of it everyday, I'll soon not be driving the wonderful piece of equipment I have. I'll be too obsessively 'busy'! I've done the same with Sparks ... polishing all my points and calories, but missing the blessing of it's guidelines. And that's what they are ... guidelines. Learn from them. Incorporate them. But do not obsess about them!

Because I have become rather unbalanced and stressed about EVERYTHING I put in my mouth or EXACTLY how many steps or minutes I have done to burn calories, I will be more absent from Sparks. I'm taking a bit of a Sabbatical.

I still plan to eat well and exercise, but for the sake of living and enjoying my life. This body ... vehicle for my life will get "good fuel' and "regular maintenance". But I will enjoy the ride. I will relax and love myself a little more. I plan to park the car for a while, and enjoy the views of my wonderful life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

A_BIT_AT_A_TIME 4/20/2013 5:54PM

    I wonder if they took a poll how many of us would say we tend be perfectionists and if there's a correlation (statistically) between weight struggles and perfectionism?

Wise of you to recognize that even Sp can become almost a burden - something to consider for us newbies.

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D-ABBY 4/13/2013 7:22PM

    I agree and am the same way. I try to cut back, but my brain cannot do anything half-heartedly. I am planning a Spark break before long to get some perspective. Keep up the good work. Hugs!

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SAL1512 4/10/2013 7:03PM

    You have a good head on your shoulders so you will be able to find that balance.
Sally emoticon

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 4/10/2013 3:35PM

    Wishing you the best in finding the balance you need and deserve in life!

Comment edited on: 4/10/2013 3:35:48 PM

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KADULAC 4/10/2013 3:28PM

    I hope you find the balance you are looking for. Love the car in your picture. I think I would walk around that thing a lot admiring it. emoticon

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SWAZY33 4/10/2013 7:18AM

    We are always searching for that balance in life...everyday is a learning experience and we can tweak our plans to fit our specific needs. Sounds like you are closing in on finding that balance!

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YICHE12 4/9/2013 6:18PM

    Yep, I get you. It can become an obsession if you let it. I am sttill reading quite a bit on Spark People but with the limitation of time, I have learnt to moderate my activities. What I do is check up on my teams, record my food intake and exercise and answer any email I may have received. Apart from this, I move on with my life.

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INHISHOUSE 4/9/2013 3:44PM

    I totally get this. I've seen Sparks start to take priority and other vital elements of my life slip to the backburner as well. I also have concerns about weight loss and fitness constantly being on my mind. I want to submit to the Lord and be a good steward of my body without turning the good things that are happening to me physically into a new idol. You're in my prayers, sister! Trust God for the journey! And thanks so much for your transparency in this blog post.


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FARIS71 4/9/2013 2:06PM

    That sounds like a healthy idea. Stick with the principles - that's the important part. I kind of get the same way.

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Insight and Balance

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I've been spending some extra time just reading. Been searching for wisdom and balance. I have physically been MAKING myself stop "being busy" and sit & seek wisdom. Yes, the Good Book has much to say to me, but God also gives us some amazing resources that can help us in our journey. And one of those resoursces is a balanced view of health in the form of 'The Spark'.

Going back and re-reading The Spark has been a great thing for me. Doing so has helped me keep my focus on why I am trying to lose weight. It's not just to fit in smaller clothes (though that will be an amazing 'side-effect'!), but to BE healthy. I have just finished chapter three. It has reminded me of so many of the small things in my life that are affecting my health, especially the "stupid stress" Chris talks about. I have let so much of the 'perfectionist' side of me take over my actions, that I do too much with little results. The things I run around trying to accomplish in a day sometimes have little or no eternal or earthly value. They are just superficial actions that are not adding much value to the day or my family's life. Chapter 3 has been one chapter that I have really disected and took apart piece by piece. I really wanted to grasp each idea and concept that would better my life. There are so many nuggets of truth in this chapter that reflect how the whole physical LIFESTYLE I lead is part of being healthy:

1) Stop focusing (and stressing) whether or not I have made a trip to the gym for the hour and a half routine that I adopted! Instead, I'm breaking up my day and the stress of it, by going for quick 10 minute walks or stopping and doing a pilates routine. It has done wonders for the brain! Changing my mind and though process. Adding of physical activity, no matter how small, IS beneficial. Don't discredit the enjoyment and sense of accomplishment from the physial movement I apply to my lifestyle change.

2) The "stupid stress" I allow in my life, when all it takes is some organization and applied self-control and habit changes. A little planning goes a long way. Organizing papers and routines. Wow, what a difference!

3) Making sleep a priority...who'da thunk! What a concept. Pushing myself to "keep going" when I am tired and wore is really a useless point. I've learned that I am way more effective even after a nap than when I 'push through'! And with a clearer mind, I am more positve and less critical of myself.

4) Everything in the mind, the thought process and viewpoints I have, will have so much affect on how I proceed. Every positive action propels me forward on the upward spiral and mistakes are to be learned from (not taken and use to beat myself up with!).

I know all these things! I knew all these things! Having them summarized in this chapter really helped me see myself in a more positive light. And to go easier on myself.

So here's to moving forward, not just in physical muscle, but in mental health as well. And mental health includes the attitudd I read and commented on a friend's blog: "I want ... a pretty dress in a body that looks its best for His glory and that functions at its optimal good."

I love that attitude. Sometimes we keep our earthly wants and physical struggles as a separate 'ungodly' want, when in reality The Good Lord wants to be involved in EVERY aspect of our life. And that includes the beauty and joy we have and live everyday in our bodies.

Feel beautiful about yourself - where you are now. Feel the joy. I think I need to pull out a favorite dress or two and remind myself that God sees me as beautiful as those dresses. That's my insight for the week. It's all about balance.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

D-ABBY 3/31/2013 1:03PM

    What excites me is that God sees beauty we struggle to even fathom. May you hear the joy of the Lord singing over you today as He enjoys in you the beauty He finds so attractive and appealing. I see it. You are beautiful, lady! Hugs.

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KADULAC 3/28/2013 3:18PM

    emoticon I agree, being organized and ready to go is so less stressful. Now if I can just remember that all the time.

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MSKRIS7 3/28/2013 8:46AM


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ALL-IS-AMAZING 3/28/2013 8:17AM

    Great tips! Thanks for sharing.

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SAL1512 3/27/2013 11:58PM

    Thank you! And yes, it is all about balance!
Sally emoticon

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Crying Melt-Down, But Staying Motivated

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Last week had been a tough one. I PUSHED myself to get to the gym on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. My cardio days of Tuesday and Thursday had me pushing myself to walk the neighborhood. I even did a Sunday evening walk to de-stress. This week, so far has been a repeat! I'm finally migraine free for two days, after 4 evenings of sheer pain. But the mind numbing exhaustion is driving me up the wall. My fluctuating blood pressure and racing heart is frustrating me to no end.

Yet I know I am doing the right thing in exercising and eating well. I'm letting some of the old-must-do's go to the way side in order to heal my body and get healthier. The problem is my biggest battle isn't necessarily the scale, but my mind.

Though I had a couple of good cries on the weekend arguing with myself. "Why I am trying so hard to stay on track when I'm not seeing results on the scale." I argued with my old will to give in: "it's not worth it--nothing is changing." Oh, but it is!

I am stronger than that! I know that I am not as tired as before (Tired, yes. As tired, no.) I feel stronger. I've been able to up my weights in strength training. I can go a longer on the treadmill or elliptical. And I took some measurements this morning and I've lost a total of another 3 inches.

To stay the coarse, I have been feeding this mind (my worst enemy) 'good food' in the form of Psalm 139, health articles, True Identity speaker Jennifer Brommetís success stories, and 'The Spark'. Yesterday's reading in 'The Spark' just happened to be Chapter 3, where Chris talks about the 'tipping point' and sometimes it may be 3-4 months before the body accepts the changes being made. So, I am over half way there!

And today's SparkBlog is:

Perfect. And timely. (Isn't God good? He knows just what I need to read, what I need to hear, and when.) Just perfect timing.

So though some days are harder than others and I'm usually too hard on myself, the choices are getting easier!

Never. NEVER ever give up. Stay the coarse set before you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SWAZY33 3/27/2013 12:14PM

    The fact that you are losing inches IS great progress! Now if only those darn scales would start behaving! lol
and yes it's crazy the way the timing of things happen sometimes...i BELIEVE in divine intervention for sure!

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    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAL1512 3/15/2013 1:56PM

Three inches!!! That is quite an accomplishment!

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ALL-IS-AMAZING 3/15/2013 9:17AM

    emoticon on losing 3-inches! That is emoticon emoticon emoticon

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D-ABBY 3/14/2013 7:29PM

    emoticon I am with you; working to get my mind in line with this journey. God is faithful, and I am working to be faithful too. Keep up the good work. We will reach our destination is we faint not in the way. HUGS!

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KADULAC 3/14/2013 3:44PM

    I understand where you are. It is frustrating to work so hard and the scale shows nothing. The added strength and endurance, and the better fitting clothes are such great reminders that we are making progress. emoticon emoticon

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CHOCOHIPPO 3/14/2013 1:57PM

    Hang in there. It may take some time, but your good work will be rewarded.

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