SARAWALKS   47,444
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I ought to be writing something else...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bonjour, dear spark friends, I missed you this weekend! emoticon

But the weeds are gone from my garden, and I have some new plants to put in, as soon as I can summon energy to dig some peat moss into the old dirt and move some old plants around. It will happen, sometime this week...

I have not been terribly good since I hit my weight loss goal. It all started with the Cheez-its...but they are gone now. I made them last for 3 whole days which isn't bad for me! The gardening WAS exercise, I am still sore actually...and I did walk 1.6 miles last night, after a day of running about, so I'm hoping to find that I haven't gained when I weigh on Wednesday.

I should be writing about myself and my life as a musician and a person of faith. I have promised to give a presentation on this in a month, and frankly it is traumatic, since I have never really talked about this to anyone. My journeys to being a professional musician, to being a believer and then a Catholic believer and musician, involve many twists and turns and detours and it is hard to think of conveying even part of the truth in an hour-long presentation.

But I woke up this AM with a title in my brain and a voice in my head, so now I am busily listening to and transcribing the voice. It is a bit scary.

This is not exactly a Panic Button Blog, but I will simply ask that you think good thoughts/pray good prayers for me to continue to hear what part of this journey I should share, and to have the discipline to continue and finish it. There is much else to be done, but this has been hanging over me for too long.

I heard an incredible recital yesterday by a 30-year-old dramatic mezzo whom I knew when she was an undergraduate. She is going to Germany to audition for opera companies, and I think she has an excellent chance of having a career. It brought my own singing (in recital and opera) back to me so forcefully. I am happy to have done it, not entirely sorry that I no longer have to experience the stressful part of doing it - but I miss communicating in that way. It was a bittersweet thing. And perhaps that is why this writing is a bit hard for me. Singing will be part of the presentation.

But the time is right and I will write. (Sorry, that was BAD!)

I will be back soon, hopefully still at 140 lbs., and ready to lose another 5...

Bless you all! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOOKLOVER60 8/31/2010 12:24PM

    Just keep your bottom in the chair and let the thoughts flow. Don't concern yourself at this point with what you should and shouldn't share. Open up and let it rip. You can revise it for content and focus after you get the big stuff down.

All the best to you!

emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/31/2010 12:30:05 PM

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SARAWALKS 8/31/2010 12:24PM

    Thanks, Susan, Claude and CJ! I appreciate your encouragement, it does mean a lot! I maxed out on the project yesterday so today am focusing on other stuff. The big project can simmer on the back burner until it's ready to go to another stage. And yes, CJ, I was feeling that once I get through writing the entire thing, I will be needing to narrow it down and focus on the essentials. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 8/31/2010 11:50AM

    Hello Sarah - I've been thinking about your upcoming presentation. Talking about one's life journey pushes the memory button into overdrive and that brings up major mixed feelings. I don't know about you, but for me, when I'm in that kind of quandary - it feels like my brain is in the spin cycle and I seriously want to plant my feet on solid ground.

One thing I have noticed is that you express yourself very well, so I am trusting that no matter it feels right now, you will find what you want to say in the way you want to say it.

And I'm wondering what you would tell me if we were sitting together and I asked: What is one thing that you want me to know about your journey? Something that you've learned that you value enough to want it remembered.

I'm with you and willing to help in any way that meets your needs.

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CLAUDECF 8/31/2010 9:22AM

    emoticon emoticon I will be thinking of you and will even go back to practicing singing at least until I leave for Berlin (that is the day after tomorrow) and when I come back. Will try to go back to five minutes a day. Not sure this encourages you but I will definitely back up your efforts as much as I can emoticon emoticon

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SUSANS111 8/30/2010 11:52PM

    emoticon emoticon
Thinking happy, musical thoughts for you.

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Praxis Power!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wow. I was going to wait until later to blog this but I just can't wait.
Goal attained - 139.5 today - 5 lbs. lost in August, nearly 15 lbs. lost since I started early in May!
BUT of course I am pressing on! It is so fun to be 139.5 that I'm going for 135, but at a slower pace - by the end of October will be fine by me. That allows me a few more calories per day and will give Body and Mind time to get used to this new weight.
I have been 135 before - for about a month, back in 2003! A dim memory.

OK, Praxis! Dean Anderson's article was wonderful (# 10 in Mind/Body series) & when I read it last night, it described my realization of the day - which could NEVER have happened without Sparkpeople.

Praxis (meaning practice) involves these 4 steps:
1. Observing your own actions and their effects
2. Analyzing what you observe
3. Strategizing an action plan
4. Taking action

That happened to me yesterday. As my stress level mounted (reading through new hymns to choose some to add this year, seeing that this will take longer than I thought/hoped, watching my time disappear), I felt STRONG desires to munch. Not too hard to analyze this... emoticon
but what to do?

I let myself munch a bit. It felt good. I got through another bunch of hymns. Dinner time - I decided I really needed a nice filling dinner to combat this munchie thing, so I had salmon, sweet corn, tomatoes.

Whammo! Calorie allowance all gone.

NO possibility of munch. Weigh-in tomorrow, not going to ruin it! The day before, I had held my evening snack down to 1/2 cup of cereal with 1/4 cup super skim. I CAN DO THIS AGAIN! Steps 3 & 4...

Did 2 Leslie miles and 12 minutes on the jog trampoline, took in the waist of another pair of jeans that I had bought a year ago - which finally LOOKED GREAT! Had a cup of watermelon for my bedtime snack.

And today, goal attained. You know, if the numbers had not gone, I'd have been fine, because I was so pleased that I had managed to detect a HUGE AWFUL syndrome (yeah, pretty obvious, but when you really SEE it, it helps you to act!) and take action to deal with it.

I have been putting off addressing my nighttime snacking -- well, since 2003 -- no, probably since birth...

And we haven't even gotten to the wine habit yet!
More anon...

I am buying a Sparkpeople T-shirt to celebrate! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIMELESSCRONE 8/29/2010 7:32AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Congrats on hitting goal! How exciting!!! And, how did I miss that in my feed?!

Even better, look at how you have accomplished "the lifestyle!" It's right there in your plans to set more goals and continue the journey -- evidence that this is not a short-sighted, "I need to lose XX pounds, goal accomplished, see ya later."

I love the concept of PRAXIS - I will go look for the series!

Thanks, too, for the Key goodie. I hope I figure it out soon!

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SUSANS111 8/25/2010 12:02PM

    Congratulations on your goal!!! emoticon emoticon

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SARAWALKS 8/25/2010 11:40AM

    Thanks, CJ and Connie! You both have been part of this process and I am so grateful. And yes, I can sure USE a "tackle the wine habit" buddy! That will be my next blog...

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BOOKLOVER60 8/25/2010 11:36AM

    Excellent job! emoticon

(Maybe we can tackle the "wine habit" together....) emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 8/25/2010 11:36AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
YES!!! Congratulations Sara - I'm excited that you have challenged yourself and done the hard work of getting where you want to be. Woo Hoo! You speak transparently about what it is like to be in the process of change. I applaud your courage and willingness to share. This is no easy journey and I see you beckoning me to keep going too. Thanks. CJ

And the deep deep green on your page .. Ahh - so lush and full of life.

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CLAUDECF 8/25/2010 10:28AM

    Wow! That is wonderful! emoticon emoticon

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SARAWALKS 8/25/2010 10:05AM

    emoticon Carol, that's so true. As I was writing this, I thought "DUH, it's not like this is hard to understand!" Yep, it's denial - which could be described as "avoiding self-awareness." So that old "being aware" of your food has a great deal of power.
Mutual inspiration, what a joy! We will get there! emoticon

(I am wondering if you see this comment on your feed, or if I should go to your page to post. Let me know...)

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CAROLINAMUSED 8/25/2010 9:55AM

    I'll have to look for that article. The concept of praxis seems to be one of those concepts that's so obvious, yet is so difficult to integrate (or rather, is one we might deny - refusing to face the idea that actions have their consequences). I love to see your joy! I have the same goal weight, and you are inspirational to me.


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Working it into the busy...

Monday, August 23, 2010

OK, it's been a busy day...raining...nearly 8:30 and cardio not done...and I ALWAYS watch The Closer at 9, and Rizzoli and Isles after that...what to do, what to do...

Dived into Leslie's classic mile and fast mile. Got it done by 9:03, did stretch and cooldown while watching. Ramped up the classic mile by adding lots of arm moves with 2 lb. weights. Ramped up the fast mile by doing the easy jog when Leslie was walk-walk-walking. YES!

But that was still only 26 minutes and my challenge says do 30. Hm.
Jog trampoline, while I finish watching Brenda make the short list for LAPD Chief!

AND probably thanks to John, I am just sure that I can do 10 minutes in succession. I've never done this before. Last time I tried it, I pooped out after 4 minutes. Could do it in 4-3-3 segments with rests in between. That was February, I believe!

BUT John says it's all mental. And I DID IT!
Now wondering, hm, could I actually run a mile?

And the other funny thing was, Maura Isles started this episode (set in Boston during the Marathon) wearing those crazy little Five Finger Vibram shoes that look like hobbit feet! I want those puppies! Has anyone tried running in them? She chickened out in the show....

OK, back to some well-earned recreation!
And NO snack tonight! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOHNTJ1 8/24/2010 10:09AM

    I agree with John, LOL

I have always found that if I do the stuff that enhances my health, the stuff I enjoy is much more fun. I hate going to the gym some days and I forgot to pack a tee shirt to work out in when I headed to Nashville. They can become excuses or they can become opportunities.

What remains to wonderfully fantastic to me is that we learn so much from each other and support each other so very much.

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SARAWALKS 8/24/2010 9:28AM

    Thanks, Lisa and Claude! Tuesday is always the real test...but my jeans were looser today! emoticon

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TIMELESSCRONE 8/24/2010 7:05AM

    Good job at staying focused on your fitness goals! I bet you CAN run a mile!

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CLAUDECF 8/24/2010 3:58AM

    Wow! That's really the test! Getting to put good resolutions into practice emoticon emoticon

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Trying on an OLD dress...

Monday, August 23, 2010

I'd almost forgotten this dress. It's been lurking in the back of the closet, probably since 2004 - eek! I wore it on a cruise to Canada, 3 months after breaking up with a guy I had dated for two years. The bodice was just a tad too big-looking at the time, even though I was not at my lowest even though I like the dress, I just sort of forgot about it.

Since 2004 I have taken a bit of a journey through and out of depression - not only about this relationship but also about my job, getting older, feeling that "nothing will ever change, this is it," and other such feelings and thoughts.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

My first wake-up call was losing my breath to sing because I had gotten to be such a couch potato! So the day after Christmas in 2005 I joined a gym. The first time I got on the elliptical, I could only do 3 minutes, and at the end of that I was puffing and panting! So I started trying to get there as often as I could, doing elliptical, some weight training, and a series of floor stretches for cooldown. It took me about 2 years to begin to enjoy it! emoticon

Now I am going to skip, since the focus of this blog is going to be weight training. Somehow I got away from it after my trip to France in 2008 (a real highlight of my life!) but I started walking much more regularly and taking photos in my neighborhood. My pedometer replaced the gym, and I would use my cardioglide a couple times a week, which added some arms exercise. I didn't miss paying for the gym OR having to exercise next to some person coughing and sneezing who should have stayed home! But I did kind of miss the free weights. emoticon

Then when I discovered Leslie Sansone's DVDs, I found some that worked arms WHILE you were doing cardio! Oh fun! Especially fun since I used to do ballet and modern dance, years ago, and the arm/leg coordination was sometimes a challenge for me. It was easy to work this with Leslie and it really upped the cardio. emoticon emoticon

You're wondering, what about this bloody dress? OK! Well, the point is, when I tried on the dress yesterday, the bodice fit EXACTLY right and looked great. And I had not even been especially focusing on arms, and overall I weigh less than I did in 2004. An unexpected free gift that said to me, "You don't always have to max out to get results, sometimes they just creep in when you're not looking." emoticon

I needed that realization since I have had to learn to listen to my body and not push myself so hard on this journey to fitness and weight loss. In the beginning, I wanted results so badly that I had a little overwork/ do nothing cycle going. Not good. Now I have a "work smart" thing going which is not nearly as draining, which I hope I can maintain during the busiest time of my work year! emoticon

AND I've realized, "Golly, if that happened when I wasn't trying - suppose I got back to my weight routine more regularly?" So today, out came the 5 pound weights, and I am going to add them. emoticon

The DRESS is going to look even better! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAUDECF 8/24/2010 1:49PM

    You haven't shrunk lengthwise but if you have shrunk "sidewise" of course the dress won't be a tight fit and will be longer. That is actually good!

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SARAWALKS 8/24/2010 9:29AM

    Actually, now I have to HEM this dress - how did it also get to be too long? Have I shrunk lengthwise? Maybe! emoticon

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CLAUDECF 8/24/2010 4:04AM

    That's wonderful and so encouraging. Keep up the good work emoticon

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DEWACHA 8/23/2010 9:30PM

    At goal weight - how awesome.... You are the one who got yourself there. WOWOWOW and I'll bet that dress looks amazing - can imagine the smile on your face when you look in the mirror.

...and I bet you have been to Versailles too - also on my bucket list!

Your paragraph bout all or nothing with the exercise rings the bell as well. Better to be in for the distance

Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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New shoes! New energy! Intervals! Woo hoo!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Well, there they are! My new dance sneaks! I have put off buying them since 1995. DUH. I used to come home from 2-3 hours of contradancing and have to soak in the tub for a half hour. And the next AM, my feet still hurt a bit! I was not wearing terrible shoes - but they weren't good either.

Finally, after having one of my flat ballet-type shoes slip off my feet in the middle of a dance, I said "enough, it will be worth the money." And it is. These are Zumba shoes, but they really mold to your feet and allow for such comfy turning and twirling. I got home from almost continuous dancing last night, feet felt fine, and this AM I was ready for more exercise.

The story could end there. I thought it would, after I did 3 Leslie Sansone miles (and blogged about the DVD, my fave). But then I got a call from a friend, asking if I could come pick up some DVDs he is lending me. Well, I didn't want to DRIVE there! How boring. So I headed out for another walk...

And found myself running! Now I have tried walk some/run some before. And pooped out. And not enjoyed it. At all, really. But this time I had the folk show on iPod, and the beats seduced me. I ran 6 segments and walked 6, in a 2 mile walk. Now maybe this is not much, I don't know, for those of you who are Real Runners. For me, a victory! And only in the final segment did my legs start to tire.

OK, I didn't have on The Shoes. But the energy from the shoes and the dancing has spilled over. I enjoyed these intervals! Incredible!

And not to bore you or anything, but I do think that Leslie's great DVDs got my legs ready to do it...

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARAWALKS 8/23/2010 9:14AM

    Thank you, Lisa! emoticon

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TIMELESSCRONE 8/23/2010 9:01AM

    Congrats on the new shoes! AND the "extra" 2-mile walk-run!

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CLAUDECF 8/22/2010 8:07AM

    So happy for your sake! I'll have to look into that interval exercise stuff. It must make life more interesting. emoticon

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SARAWALKS 8/21/2010 9:54PM

    Hee hee, puns are good! Thanks for visiting! emoticon

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CJWORDPLAY 8/21/2010 8:45PM

    New Shoes! What could be better. Looks like you found just the right ones to support what you love doing. Smooth move! (pardon the pun).

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