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PRACTICINGPEACE's Recent Blog Entries

Working out, Health, and Family

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Dear Sparkfriends,

I started my day with a great workout! I felt really challenged and really strong. After a few weeks of being sick and then dealing with a knee injury, my workouts had become less productive. I'm now in physical therapy and able to have safe and challenging workouts again. I am feeling stronger and stronger.

I have also made a commitment to taking daily vitamins (particularly Vitamin D), fish oil. I have also been very diligent in taking my thyroid medication. One of the ways that I sabotage myself is by not taking these regularly or not making sure my body has the vitamins it needs. That leaves me feeling tired and depressed. Its been a week that I have been very committed to this part of my health and I can feel a significant difference in my energy and moods.


I'm also wondering about my goal weight. I have been reading a lot about the limits of BMI as an indicator or health. Has anybody heard about the ABMI? I'm not sure I even got the acronym right, but this is a new way to measure health that includes muscle mass, fat percentage, bone density, height. . . I'm wondering because what if my happy weight is different than my goal weight? I don't know that I want to work out for 60 - 90 minutes a day for six days a week forever. (Just being honest here)!

Today my DH leaves for two weeks to be with his Mom as she undergoes knee replacement. She lives in India, so it is a long journey and we are both feeling anxious about her health and the operation. Any good thoughts you can send on her behalf will be really appreciated.

Thanks, Sparkfriends, for reading and continuing to support me through pursing your own journeys toward heath and happiness.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 4/3/2014 5:49PM

    Sending prayers.

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SUPER_CIARA 3/28/2014 11:13AM

    That's wonderful that you are working out again and feeling better! Taking vitamins can make such a difference in the way you feel and it's true, we often self-sabotage by not taking them. As for your goal weight, it may make sense for you to re-evaluate it if you don't think you would be happy working out that much on a regular basis in the long-term. Best wishes to your mother-in-law, I hope all goes well!

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    I'm so happy that you are able to work out again. It's a joy getting back to it when you can't do it for a length of time.

Your MIL will be in great hands with the surgeon and your DH there to help her through it. Knee replacement surgery isn't as drastic as it use to be. Someone I know had both replaced at the same time.

As to your weight, that is up to you to determine. We love our stats and all that but it boils down to how one feels at a certain weight. I feel best at 108 and can feel a big difference when it goes up to 111. Strange but true.

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Barries to Peace in my Life

Friday, March 21, 2014

In my last blog, I talked about needing to seek peace in my life. A wonderful Sparkfriend responded to my blog, and suggested that it is not that I need to seek peace, but that I need to become aware of the barriers I put in the way of experiencing peace.

This is such an insight for me. Right now I am struggling with self-sabotaging behaviors. I know why, but I continue to do them. Perhaps making by asking myself: "Will this prevent or allow more peace in my life?" This is a really different question than, "what do I want" or "what should I do".
I am going to practice this, and let you know how it goes.

Will this prevent or allow me to experience more peace in my life?

Thank you, Karen, for this opportunity to change my perception of my choices.


15 minutes of mediation daily
one hour of exercise daily
track all food
log onto Spark people and connect with Sparkfriends

no meditation
30 minutes of exercise (rest day)
tracked all food
logged on to Sparkpeople

90 minutes exercise
tracking all food
logging on to Sparkpeople

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 4/3/2014 5:46PM

    What a great idea.

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MAWMAW101 3/22/2014 7:00AM

    Thanks for sharing, great idea.

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    Wonderful choice Janet.


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Getting Oriented

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What am I doing?

Does anybody else feel like this sometimes? I am exercising, but overeating. I am paying attention to my choices, but making poor ones. I am prioritizing rest, but then once a week staying up really late.

Reading your blogs and reconnecting with Sparkfriends, have helped me become more aware of how quickly and unsteadily I am moving. One of the ways to peace is equilibrium. I know this. I think I am going to practice this in the mornings. In addition to my exercise and tracking, I need to nourish my spiritual self. I want this to be a life-long journey to peace.


What a relief! Peace, not perfection. Peace, not perfect body. Peace. What a remarkably blessed place to live.

My goals for the rest of this week:

1. 15 minutes of meditation every morning
2. one hour of exercise daily
3. track all food
4. log on to and connect with friends on Sparkpeople

I want to express my gratitude for all of you who are working hard to love yourselves and are sharing that journey through your blogs. Particularly when you share your struggles, I feel connected to you. You are inspirations to me. You feel like company on this journey.


A simple grapefruit can bring me peace if I allow it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 4/3/2014 5:45PM

    We can do it.

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DELIA38961 3/20/2014 9:33PM

    great goals emoticon

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    Yes it could and we can see Peace instead of this, but we don't and we get all goobered up about what we experience in life and ask ourselves WHY? Why do I continue to screw up and space out and do what I don't want to do/not do what I want to do. After all don't I want my body to reflect Peace and harmony and Love for all????

Yep my friend I can relate. However my path is a bit different than yours just because of this issue.

Our job is not to seek Peace, but to seek all the barriers we place to Peace and relinquish our attachment to them. Peace while still holding on to fears/guilt/grief/regret, etc is nothing but a band aide over a volcano wanting to erupt.

This is what causes more distress, not more Peace. Our unconscious mind has 3 parts: 1)the voice for fear, etc which represents our choice to be separate individuals and special; 2)the voice of Truth, Love, Peace, etc which is undifferentiated, eternal and unconditional from our Source, and 3)the choice between them. We cannot ignore the dichotomy because then #1 runs the whole show.

Please forgive me if you find this posting a little too confrontive or not loving enough. I assure you I am being gentle and I do feel your struggle.

Comment edited on: 3/19/2014 5:43:52 PM

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Digging Deep

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Over the past couple of days I've been visiting a lot of Spark pages, and have been so inspired by how hard people are working and how much progress is being made in our shared journey for health. This really is an amazing community of people.

As I've scrolled through the pages, I've begun to reflect on my own journey and ask myself why I have made the progress I've made (what's working for me) and why I have not made additional progress (what is not working for me).

Here's what I think is WORKING:
+ joining Sparkpeople
+ tracking my food and exercise
+ being active on Sparkteams
+ connecting with friends outside of Spark who care about their health
+ exercising regularly
+ prioritizing exercise
+ giving myself loving messages
+ blogging on Sparkpeople

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And, here is what I think is NOT WORKING


I haves struggled with weight and body image my whole life. In this latest chapter, I keep telling myself that I am "a little overweight" and its "just a little while". "I just need to get back on track." "I'm really not that overweight." "I can probably wear those (fill in 2 sizes to small) pants."

Actually, I have been 25-35 lbs overweight for five years. I have been 25 lbs overweight for three years. I have been eating more calories than I need and I have not been exercising consistently for five years.

This is not a temporary phase. This is a lifestyle that I have chosen and grown accustomed to. I need to be honest with myself about this. I need to acknowledge that I made choices and continue to make choices that effect my body's health. So when I look in the mirror, I'm not surprised anymore. I need to recognize myself in the body I am now.


This is NOT WORKING for me: If only I weighed less . . . I would be happier. I would be more attractive. My students would love me. I would be able to do things that I can't do now . . . etc etc etc The fantasies just keep coming. I don't even know what these amazing things that I think I could do are! But, there is a part of me that thinks my whole life would be better if I were thin.

Honestly, I don't think my life would not be radically different if I lost 25 lbs. I would not wake up filled with joy and freedom because I was at a healthy weight. I would not have long, luxurious hair that was already styled when I awoke. I would not feel free of worry . . . My internal happiness is up to me, not my circumstances. I can choose to practice gratitude and self-love now! I don't have to wait until I weigh some number. I have everything I need to be happy right now: love, friendship, oxygen, water, food, a home. I am blessed beyond measure.

Again, I need to get honest with myself about what is real in my life. I am overweight AND I am loved. and protected. and blessed.

This leads me to another thing that is not working:


Since I joined Spark People last January, I have lost 15 lbs and gained 10 back. I need to lose a total of 25 lbs. As I neared my goal (over half way there!), I quit on myself. I was tracking and exercising, and then I stopped.


Why am I afraid to take those sentences above: "I have everything I need to be happy right now: love, friendship, oxygen, water, food, a home. I am blessed beyond measure" and live in them? Why can't I add "I have my health" to that list?

What would it mean for me to be healthy again? What would it mean for me to feel more freedom in my food choices? What would it mean to feel comfortable in my body? What would it mean for me not to have something to beat myself up about?


I am punishing myself for all the good things in my life. I am punishing myself for finding a partner that I love, building a family that I love, and getting my dream job (this is all really amazing stuff, right!!???) I have so many reasons to be happy right now. But, I am so afraid that if anyone notices, it will all be taken away.

Does anyone else feel that way?

Some part of myself thinks I'm protecting me. Some part of me really believes that I don't deserve all this. I'm not really good enough for that job. That man is not really going to love me for the rest of my life. I'm not really beautiful.

I need to meet this part of myself and really get to know her. I need to understand how to heal these feelings. This is SO MUCH more than 25 lbs. This is me. This is the scared, injured me. I need to help her out. I need to love her through this. I need her with me on this journey.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 2/15/2014 8:45PM

    Great post. I have the same questions. we can do it.

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SUPER_CIARA 2/4/2014 3:29PM

    This is a wonderful blog. You are really in touch with your emotions and you are really being honest with yourself here. You know what you need to do and how to do it. You are seeing things as they really are. Now it's a matter of what steps you choose to take next and I believe you will take the positive ones!

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AWESOMECHELZ 1/30/2014 9:03AM

    Your blog is so powerful because you have learned a very important lesson that many of us miss - just because we lose the weight we want, doesn't mean everything will be rosy. The rosy starts inside of us, not the weight.

And, you are right about the blogs. I read several daily and write my own, and the process is SO powerful! I am in everyone's journey and I do a lot better, and those who read mine, are with me too. Thanks so much for sharing, Janet, since it means a lot to me today. emoticon

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MAWMAW101 1/29/2014 8:29AM

    What a powerful blog!
Yes lots of us are on that same journey and although I don't have all the answers yet I do know that it is the PEACE to know that no matter what, if all our good things and accomplishments go away, we will still be an ok person.
Bless you for putting into words what some of us know but can't express so well!
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UNSWEETMAMA 1/28/2014 4:17PM

    You've really touched on something for me here. Worthiness.

I have spent my whole life not really believing that I am worthy of love. Lots of folks feel the same about success, family, joy, you fill in the blank...

One of the biggest lessons I've learned on this journey is that I am worthy of the work it takes to get healthy and dare I say it... love myself.

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    great blog.

after you get your answers you'll find there is another layer of questions. our answer to peace does not lie in answers or seeking personal happiness. it lies simply in being at Peace. and isn't this the real goal?

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Approaching 40

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I was chatting with a colleague on Friday and she mentioned that she just turned 44. I congratulated her, and mentioned that my 40th birthday was coming up. Her jaw dropped, she looked shocked and was silent. I laughed and said "Older or younger?" And, she said "Older. Definitely older."

I always wonder how old I look. I teach college kids; being surrounded by 18 year olds all day, I often feel like I look 18!! So, I didn't think this woman's comments bothered me, except 24 hours later I am still thinking about them. What a bunch of crap! I feel so good about who I am and what I have achieved in my 39 almost 40 years, and yet I am still vulnerable enough about my appearance to let that outweigh my other feelings.

So, here's what I want to celebrate as I approach my 40th birthday:

Here's to looking and feeling great PERIOD.

Here's to all the steps I have walked, the miles I have run, the weights I have lifted, the risks I have taken, the people I have forgiven, the pain I have endured, the injuries from which I have healed, the friends and family I support, encourage, and love day in and day out.

Here's to caring for ourselves, loving ourselves, and making the best choices we can. Here's to kindness. Here's to recognizing beauty in all its myriad forms and shapes. Here's to seeing ourselves as we really are: loving, striving, vulnerable people who need one another.

And, for me, here's to 40!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 2/15/2014 8:41PM

    Great post.

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AWESOMECHELZ 1/30/2014 9:19AM

    Hi Janet! I turned the big 50 last April and I had a lot of thoughts about it and wrote the following blog:

I love your attitude about how YOU see yourself. YOUR view is all that really matters, deep inside. Don't get me wrong - I love compliments - but at the end of the day, I am with myself and feeling good about who I am, is what matters. So GOOD FOR YOU!! emoticon (And I don't ask people anymore how old they think I am either). emoticon Enjoy your day, my friend.

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KATWELL88 1/28/2014 4:56PM

    Happy birthday happy birthday to you... emoticon
I'm 45 .. i feel like am getting gain wisdom and appericate on life more... Some of us learn a bit later that all...

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come let's walk on our journey of wisdom and wellness.... emoticon

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MAWMAW101 1/27/2014 7:24AM

    And here's to you for sharing a wonderful blog! I sincerely hope you continue to see yourself as you really are, a caring, smart, talented, great person!
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Oh, yes and a very very Happy Birthday! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/27/2014 7:28:16 AM

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TURTLELADY56 1/25/2014 8:27PM

  me thinks she was talking about herself.....great blog....wait till you get to 50 i am so enjoying mine;-)

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    Great blog! Age is in the eye of the beholder. Her remark said more about her than you.

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