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Good Day, Then Not-So-Good Day

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

I have so many thoughts this evening. Some from feeling triumphant and some feeling somewhat defeated all rolled up in a confusing, tear-inducing mess.

- Today in yoga the instructor said, "Wow! Impressive" to me during one of the poses. After class she told me that she can really see the improvements I've been making, that I carry myself differently, more open and in balance. This really meant a lot to me.
- I completed C25K's Week 5 Day 1, which included 3 five-minute jogs. Yay!
- On Sunday, I completed C25K's W4D3 outside (as opposed to doing it on the treadmill with speed control and a handy water bottle and towel). My hubby and I did it together, which was really nice (even though he can run circles around me and actually literally did). I just charted our course and it turns out that we jogged/walked over 4 miles. Woohoo!
- I never knew how much pride and self-confidence I could gain through physical achievement either by increasing time, speed, intensity, flexibility, balance, etc. It seems like most days I accomplish something I haven't been able to do before and I am even more encouraged to continue improving my fitness level.
- On "The Biggest Loser" tonight the contestants completed a full marathon. I think that maybe one day I could do it, too. What once seemed utterly impossible now seems within the real of possible. I cried as each contestant crossed the finish line.

Not-so triumphant:
- A friend was laid off from her job today. I feel so bad for her. On top of that, it brought back so many memories and feelings of being laid off from work myself. I thought I had worked through a lot of these feelings, but here they are again.
- I still have not heard anything about the job I interviewed for. I know it is still early to hear, but the longer it is the less confident I feel about getting the job. I tell myself that if it is meant to be, then it will be, but I keep having to deal with this fear that just wells up and overtakes me. I talk it down and feel better, but then seemingly out of nowhere it wells up again.
- I think I'm feeling overly emotional today, which is never fun.

I don't know if there's really a point to this blog, but I feel less overwhelmed having written it, so for that I am thankful.

Now I'm going to go do the dishes, because life goes on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LMBARR1 5/19/2010 7:51PM

    Sherryl, you are doing amazing! I am so happy for may not be having a perfect emotional day, but just as you have come a long way with your weight and fitness, you have come a long way from your emotional low where you felt like this most of the day. It is hard to bear, but it is also a "pinch" to remind you that you aren't trapped there anymore. You may have glimpses of it, but you aren't a prisoner to it. You are doing great!

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JENNYPENNY29 5/19/2010 4:18PM

    The Biggest Loser always makes me cry!

I am so impressed with your running! I want to start C25K - it sounds like such an achievement, and running is such a good and cheap way to get in shape. Keep up the consistency!

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    I watched "The Biggest Loser" last night, too! I will be working toward my first 5K soon and got TRULY inspired by the Final Four running their marathons last night!!! emoticon

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MINIUM 5/19/2010 1:38AM

    Of course there's a point to writing your blogs - it is read and truly appreciated. I'm so glad you can gauge your emoticon progress! You're doing amazing!
At the same time, I perfectly understand your insecurity about that job interview and your friend's. This is tough. I'm lucky to have a job but if not, I'd probably be just like you and trying to apply to as many jobs as possible. I believe it's the same as exercising - if you do a little (exercise or job) then you are bound to feel much better about yourself. But there are so many other parameters to take into account that of course it's easier being said than done.
Have a great day because you are SO worth it!

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It's About Goals

Monday, May 17, 2010

I woke up this morning feeling unsettled. I had a dream where I was at a hub train station. I remember that I vaguely knew where I needed to go, but could not figure out which train would take me to my destination. I had a little time to figure it out before the next train was scheduled to leave, but I could not get on any train until I knew that the train I was boarding was THE train to take me to my destination. I felt immobilized. I did not want to make a mistake and board the wrong train. The dream then switched and I was in a hub bus station. I was waiting in line for a particular bus, but was not sure exactly where the bus was headed. I kept trying to ask people, but no one seemed to know the destinations of any of the buses. I started to panic. Hmm. I wonder what my dream means...

I have definite weight-loss and fitness goals with incremental goals and strategies to get me to where I'm going. But after waking up this morning, I wondered why I had not applied what I have learned on SparkPeople to my life in general. I can ride the waves of life, but I'd have a much higher likelihood of ending up where I want to be in the future if I knew specifically where I wanted to end up. If I had a more specific vision, I could also then set long-, medium-, and short-term goals to help me get there. In short, I need more than a vague sense of my destination so I can pick the right train. I need to know the path I should take so I can make sure I get on the right bus.

I was once told by a wise and kind person that each person has five areas in which to learn and grow as an individual. The five areas are: physical, emotional, intellectual, spiritual, and social. To be a balanced person, the ideal is to have balance within and between these five areas. Since joining SP, I have a pretty good handle on what I need to do about the physical and how to go about doing it. My weight-loss and fitness journey, interestingly, has been helping me to grow and mature emotionally, and has given me insight into where I would like to be, which is at peace with my past and being a good parent to myself. That leaves the intellectual (which, for me, includes career), spiritual, and social. Figuring this out may take a little time, so I'm setting a goal to reflect daily until the end of this week and see what I can come up with by then.

Speaking of goals, last Monday I set goals for the past week. They were:
- complete all three installments of the C25K Week 4 program emoticon
- exercise each weekday and one Sunday -- 5/6 days complete
- eat within my calorie range -- successful 6/7 days
- finish reading the partial draft of my novel-in-progress so I can begin writing again -- not nearly complete

To keep me on track, I'm going to set a few goals for this coming week:
- complete C25K Week 5
- exercise daily M-Sa
- eat within my calorie range
- read at least a chapter a day of my novel's rough draft
- update my federal government resume
- apply for at least one new federal job

Here's to a joyous and productive week!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MINIUM 5/18/2010 8:27AM

    emoticon I wish you a very pleasant and successful week!

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LEASIM1231 5/17/2010 4:41PM

    Nice post...I need to take time to write down some more goals...

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SHERRYLHBB 5/17/2010 4:06PM

    Lynne (LMBARR1),
Do you want to lose more weight or to focus on fitness? Would a non-weight goal be helpful? For example, a goal of inches, clothing size, time or distance jogged?

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    Sounds like your dream was telling you that you lacked focus in some areas. And here you are ALREADY setting up some plans to meet that balance in the 5 areas you were told about! emoticon

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LMBARR1 5/17/2010 2:39PM

    Great insight. I am thinking about what to do about setting a new goal. I am not really sure how I want to go about it after I reach my -30 goal. I feel like I should set some number, but I'm not really sure where I want or should be. I am sort of planning on just keeping going and continuing to see progress. I don't really feel I need to reach anywhere by any certain time after I reach this goal. So...I am giving it some thought...any suggestions?

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Only Time Stands In My Way

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I'm relaxing in front of the television, catching up on national and world news and the latest political wrangling. I think back on how different things seem even from the beginning of this year. Yes, I mean pre-Supreme Court Justice nominee, pre-oil catastrophe, pre-volcanic eruption, and pre-attempted Times Square bombing. But I also mean pre-light bulb moment, pre-shedding of 20 pounds, pre-feeling healthier, happier, and more in control of my life regardless of what is happening in the world, nation, community, or in my own life. What is humbling is the only real thing that stands between me here now and me there then is that time has passed and life has continued to unfold.

When I was in my late 30s, I had to make a decision of whether to attend graduate school. I really wanted to, but was concerned that I was getting older and what it would mean to completely change jobs/career. My decision came down to time. I would eventually be 40 no matter what I did. I could be 40 with an advanced degree or I could be 40 without an advanced degree. Time would march on regardless. So I made the choice and today I am so pleased that I made the decision to go back to school because my 40th birthday came and went, but when it did I had my advanced degree.

In February, I had a choice; I made the decision to take care of my body. I continue to make that choice daily. I look into my unknowable future and see a time when I am fit, healthy, and active. Because of the choices I make daily, I am already there. The only thing that stands between me and that day is time. I am going to enjoy the journey, because I take comfort in knowing that the destination is inevitable.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEASIM1231 5/17/2010 11:44AM

    Hard to imagine life before I knew what an ash cloud was! I am tired of it!

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SHIMMYHIP 5/16/2010 2:03PM

    Great Blog. Keep up the good work!!!!!!! emoticon

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MINIUM 5/16/2010 1:53PM

    I liked reading your blog. Keep up the great work!

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MISSLOIS 5/16/2010 1:33PM

    Way to go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Food Review: Butternut Squash Ravioli (Lean Cuisine vs. Eating Right)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

I've been reading on an SP message board about how delicious Lean Cuisine's Butternut Squash Ravioli is, so I decided I had to try it. The ravioli dinner is from the "Spa Cuisine" line and is described as "butternut squash ravioli in a creamy sauce with walnuts, snap peas and carrots." The picture of the ravioli looked less than appetizing, but the pictured vegies looked fresh and crisp.

In the grocery store next to the Lean Cuisine dinners was the Eating Right dinners, a Lucerne product that I think is a Safeway brand, but don't quote me on that. Anyway, Eating Right also has a Butternut Squash Ravioli dinner described as "tender ravioli stuffed with butternut squash topped with golden walnuts in a creamy sauce." This picture looked much more appetizing than the Lean Cuisine box, because the ravioli filling looked bright and creamy and it seemed to have more vegies per serving. I decided to conduct a head-to-head comparison.

Bottom line: Lean Cuisine raviolis were far superior in taste and texture.

The Lean Cuisine raviolis were tender and the filling was delicious and flavorful, especially when compared to the chewier, nearly tasteless Eating Right raviolis. Aside from the raviolis, both had crisp, fresh vegies and a nice, creamy sauce. Even so, I think I'll have to agree with the recommenders on this one. I purchased two more of the Lean Cuisines today. I don't plan to purchase the Eating Right raviolis again (although this brand does have some other delicious entrees).

Just the facts:
- Both dinners have 280 calories, although the Lean Cuisine is a slightly larger serving size (280g vs. 238g).
- Lean Cuisine's sodium is slightly higher (490mg vs. 330mg).
- Lean Cuisine's total fat and saturated fat content is lower (7g vs. 9g/2g vs. 3g).
- Both dinners have 10g protein.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRANNYS5 5/16/2010 7:54PM

    Thanks for the great info.

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LEASIM1231 5/16/2010 12:51PM

    I think you are right about the Eating Rights...they are the Safeway brand. I used to eat them often.

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LOSLUWOM 5/16/2010 11:06AM

    I have tried it and think it is pretty good.

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KIMSTUTZ 5/16/2010 6:26AM

    i haven't tried it but agree that the box didnt show an appetizing picture. i had the salmon, basil, spinach and orzo and it was excellent. thanks for the info. emoticon

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JOKNOWS 5/16/2010 2:10AM

    Thanks for the great info. emoticon

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LMBARR1 5/16/2010 1:43AM

    That is so funny that you wrote about that. I was just buying a bunch of the frozen Entrees at Safeway since it is the best sale I have ever seen on both of these brands. I remember how delicious the butternut ravioli was and was going to buy one and couln't remember which one I had tried. So, the verdict is the Lean Cuisine which I find very interesting. I thought they were both probably identical, just packaged differently. Next time I will get a Lean Cuisine Butternut Squash Ravioli...mmmmmmmmmm.....

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MINIUM 5/16/2010 12:42AM

    They sound quite good. I wonder if we could make them from scratch so that we could control what's inside...
It's a good idea to compare two products like that.
Have a lovely day!

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Trust The Untrustworthy To Be Untrustworthy

Friday, May 14, 2010

A few days ago I read something online at that has been wiggling around at the back of my mind ever since. The article was by Martha Beck and the topic was Trust. Beck discussed the meaning of a quote by Lao Tzu that included a phrase about trusting people who aren’t trustworthy. When I first read this, I thought it was a crazy bit of advice, because only a fool would trust the untrustworthy. After all, it wouldn’t take too long before said fool was shown why the untrustworthy are labeled as such. But Beck went on to explain that her interpretation is that you can trust the untrustworthy to be untrustworthy. In her words, “if someone in your life . . . [is] perpetually failing to keep promises, tell the truth, quit drinking, or show compassion, this is exactly what you can depend on them to keep doing.”

My translation: the likelihood of someone acting differently is far less than the likelihood of that same individual acting as they usually do. Therefore, to keep hoping that someone will finally treat you as you dream or hope they will is highly unlikely. Accept people as they are. Trust that people will continue to be who they are and act how they have acted in the past. Trust that past actions are a very strong indicator of future actions. If past actions have not or would not provide you with what you need, then accept that and accept them as they are. Or don’t. But don’t expect them to change. How absolutely simple. So why have I been hoping that certain people would be and act other than how they have always been and have always acted? It is time for me to grow up, to accept reality, and to trust that, for better or worse, people will continue to be who they have always been.

Reference: “Who’s Never Going to Let You Down?” by Martha Beck in O, The Oprah Magazine, February 17, 2009 (

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEASIM1231 5/16/2010 12:53PM

    Sounds pretty plausible...

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JOKNOWS 5/16/2010 2:24AM

    How true and I know a number of living examples to prove it!

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JANNIEWANNIE 5/15/2010 11:54AM

    Great advice. I did not see the show, so thank you ever so much for sharing the wisdom from it. Hugs from Janet in central Illinois.

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SUNHOME 5/15/2010 12:05AM

    That's when I remind myself that the only person I can change is me. Everything (and everyone) else is out of my control. I know, I know, easier said than done.

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