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The little things

Thursday, October 20, 2011

OK, strange topic.............but it is the little things that keep me excited everday about my new, healthy life. And this morning it was my toenails. Hard for me to believe in two months, something like my toenails would change, but they have. For the last few years, everytime I cut my toenails, they just break off, they are rigid and almost "crispy". Hard to really explain, almost like cutting a thin peice of bark, just dry with no bend or elasticity to them. Well this morning I cut them and they are normal again, just like they were when I was younger. Thick, bendable, normal. They wouldn't bend before, just broke off. Anyway, I know this is a wierd topic, but these little observations will all add up one day to become the big picture of a healthy body, MY healthy body. So, in the spirit of self observation, CHEERS to normal toenails!! Hip, hip, hooray!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ME_HERE_NOW 10/21/2011 9:44PM

    yay, it is strange all the things that change when we fuel and work our bodies the way they are meant to be!!

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RIDMYCOCOON 10/21/2011 7:04PM

    Actually, I don't think that is weird at all. There is more of us to see other than through the eyes. That is a great reflection of your health and wellness. Here is to happy toes!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/21/2011 7:05:37 PM

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PURPLELVR7 10/20/2011 9:35PM

    I agree it is a little different, but it is also great news that your eating is improving your health

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SWEETSOUNDS11 10/20/2011 8:38PM

    That is an amazing change and it is so wonderful you noticed! I think my fingernails have improved a good but...growing faster. It really is astonishing what good nutrition can do for our bodies.

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JONICACALDWELL 10/20/2011 6:31PM

    That's really great and reason to celebrate. Another reason to love yourself more! emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/20/2011 6:31:55 PM

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CROOKEDLETTER 10/20/2011 4:44PM

    Yay for good nutrition!

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RIVER331 10/20/2011 2:33PM

    I totally get this! I went through many, many small changes when I began drinking green smoothies and changing my food choices, so I know how you feel when you notice those toenails! You go, girl - blog away & keep us all updated on all your awesome changes! You're working for a better life and future for yourself, so celebrate each and every difference that comes with it! emoticon

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Definition of me (inspired by THEMIGHTYLILLIE'S vlog)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Just watched a very poignant vlog, from a successful sparker, and was moved to do my own blog on the topic. Wish it was a vlog, something I look forward to doing in the future. But for now, it's just fingers on keyboard.

Definition of me, Stephanie Rae Bassett, 31 years old, 249.8 pounds, Aquarius, married, step-mother, oldest of 4, daughter, grandaughter, niece, aunt, cousin, barber, teacher, anthroposophist, mystic Christian.

So those are the terms I use to define myself, but is that who I am? Sometimes yes, other times I am much more than these terms can hold. I am an amatuer philosopher, have been studying for most of my adult life. Have even been to Switzerland to study my own personal favorite stream of philosophy, also coined anthroposophy, or spiritual science. Founded by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner, father of biodynamic gardening, eurythmy, Waldorf schools, anthroposophic medicine, writer of 60 books and 6,000 lectures. I went to school to be a Waldorf teacher, which is what brought me to the Sacramento area after being raised in the Mojave Desert in Southern California. I taught pre-school and kindergarten for 4 years, got laid off, and haven't got back into it, yet. I also am a barber by trade, cosmetologist by lisence. Have done that since I was 19, whenever I was not teaching I was barbering. I now work in a quaint little female owned/run barbershop in the old town section of my city. I take my philospical/spiritual views into every area of life, and use my barber chair as my own personal soapbox from which to dispense/recieve pearls of wisdom every chance I get. I am currently very interested in getting to know more about hypnotherapy, with the inkling of a dream of possibly studying and practicing it in the future. I LOVE to talk to anyone about spirituality, life, loss, pain, growth, love, prophets, teachers, dreams, visions, journey's, death, angels, Christ, Buddha, Ganesha, Isis,Sophia(divine wisdom), archangel Michael, really anything to do with our life's experiences and what makes us who we are, where we came from and where we are going, both spiritually and in the everyday world.

I am a devoted wife, and am truly in love with my husband. He is my best friend in the world and I thank God every chance I get for bringing us together. We do not live the most glamorous life, we have had many ups and many downs in the last 7.5 years together. We don't always fact it's probably a 50/50 agree/disagree ratio, but we respect one another, and love eachother to peices. He makes me see the world in ways I never dreamed I would, and allows me to see myself in ways I never did. He is funny, quirky, sexy, different, loves Christ, loves me, spontaneous, and all around the very best husband I could ever have.
I have two step-sons that do not live with us. Causing a bit of sadness in my heart, but we try to be the very best long distance parents we can be.

I have the BEST mother/siblings/grandpa/sister-in-law/niec
es anyone could ask for. They are all my closest friends, and adore spending as much time as possible with all of them. They are smart, open-minded, creative, artistic, musical, funny, crazy, health conscious, environmentally aware, and SUPER cool. I love that we all live in the same county now, after years of being apart. They are a constant source of love, and support for me and I don't know what I would do without them.

I am an artist, both in my profession and as a hobbyist. I LOVE photography, always have, at one point I was going to go to Brooks institute of photography, and probably would have if I had the 30,000/year tuition! I also knit and crochet and make up my own patterns, or sew whatever it is my heart dreams up. I love to collage, with magazines and with photos, and have also enjoyed scrapbooking. I LOVE to write, part of the reason why I have blogged nearly everday for two months! I have been writing consistantly since I was about 10, and have journals from every year of my life since then. I wish I could draw/paint, and sing, those are desires I want to fufill as years go by. I also see cooking as an art and strive to learn more about using varied ingredients/spices/culturally diverse items in my everyday cuisine.

I love unique anything, wether it is an object out of nature I've never seen, or an artist, musician, movie, photograph, place, author, person, shoes, clothes, you name it really, if it is rare, beautiful and unusual, I am drawn to it.

I LOVE to listen/share with anyone. Part of why I enjoy my profession so much and don't get too bummed that I am not teaching anymore. One thing about barbering, you NEVER know who is going to walk through that door, or what they are going to share with you. I think I have learned more standing behind that chair, asking questions, than I have reading most any book. I love people, always have. When I first read Christ's two main commandments, love your God with all of your heart, and love eachother, I really took that in deeply and I strive to do that every moment of my life. Now, I am not perfect, but perfection doesn't exist, so that is an impossibility.

Although it is hard to admit sometimes, this is a part of what defines me, I am bi-polar. I did not come to terms with it fully until the last year or so. I was diagnosed in 2007 after some pretty devastating manic episodes that led me to being hospitalized. I take medication everyday, and have lived the last two years realatively stable. I do not feel ashamed of my condition anymore, and recently have turned into a bit of an advocate for the illness. I have met so many people with my condition and realize that most of us are very intelligent, creative, sensitive, interesting people, with vary lovely views on life and the world around us.

And, lastly, as of the last two months, I am a spark person. Very much so. Not a perfect spark person, but as I said, that is impossible. I try to be the very best I can be, every day. Sometimes my best one day, is pretty low key to someone elses best, but for me, it is where I am and what I can do for that day. Just one day at a time, one meal at a time, one step a time, one breath at a time. I have really learned alot about myself these last two months. I am dealing with my emotions as an ex-emotional eater. And at first it was VERY hard to face these emotions head on, especially because I am bi-polar, and my emotional range can be very wide from moment to moment. But, the more I face these emotions, sort them out, deal with them in a healthy way, the more I get to really know who I am, and the more I really adore and cherish the person I see emerging from the rubble heap of years of overeating.

So, for now, this is my defintion of me. Not complete, I could really go on and on, I always seem to have more I could say on my daily blog! But for tonight, this writing has been much needed therapy. And I thank THEMIGHTYLILLIE so much for the inspiration to do this. I didn't quite know how much I would enjoy it until just now, as I wrap this up, must admit that felt good.

Thanks for reading, spark on lovely people.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLYCHRISTI 10/22/2011 3:56AM

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful blog I was very tuched and inspired to do the same as soon as I am ready.
Thanks again!!!!!

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THEMIGHTYLILLIE 10/20/2011 12:28PM

    Fantastic thoughts! Defining ourselves is a very, very tricky thing to do.... we have to ask ourselves "I I define who I am without without saying WHAT I do?" We are all so much more than our roles in life-- our decisions define who we are.

This was a great blog and I am glad I could help inspire you to look deeper....... if you are looking for another blog to help you look deeper, I humbly suggest looking back to early January... I wrote a blog about "what are you good at" and it was the blog of the day. :)

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MAESTRACH 10/20/2011 9:41AM

    Wow...I have no writeable comment. I'm just sitting here smiling with the proud friend grin on my face, a song in my heart and the overwhelming feeling of home after reading all that.

May God bless your day as you have mine.

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FREETHEGODDESS 10/20/2011 12:20AM

    Wonderful blog. You are a very creative and passionate person. I am sure if we were to ever sit down for a conversation that we could talk for days about all the things we find interesting!

I noticed that you never once mentioned what you look like...that is very interesting. That means you realize that your physical qualities don't define you! Good for you!!!

You are God's perfect creation and you are like no are SPECIAL!
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BUTTERFLYAT38 10/20/2011 12:02AM

    Loved reading your blog. When we stop learning we stop growing and we start dying..i love to learn new things as well. I get caught up with other things but when i can tell when my soul needs rejuvenation and i look to expand my mind whether thru people experiences, reading or classes. i love that you show who you are no apologies and really am grateful we have become friends!! emoticon emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/19/2011 12:57PM

    Great blog! What a cool thing you'll have to look back on as the definition of you continues to evolve!

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RIDMYCOCOON 10/19/2011 12:28PM

    I just wrote a comment and it disappeared. SO I'll write another here:

Stephanie! The "crown"ed. You can write on and on about yourself? Well, I could read every bit. You fascinate me. You are Unique. Ernest, frank and divine in all your doings. Very rare in this world. I thank you everyday for showing me that sharing that truth in your heart is possible. It just plain feels good. And does (a body) good.

You are so lucky to have family surrounding you now. I miss that connection. I love hearing you talk about them. You have a special thing there. Not surprised since you are so special.

oh, yeah, and I think I also said in my lost comment that perfect is boring. Thank you for being all that you list above and for being more than that too!

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WENDYLEE15 10/19/2011 11:48AM

    That was great!! What a beautiful blog about who you yourself feel that you are.I understand a lot of what you said.As far as being bipolar..I was diagnosed in 1993 and have been hospitalized a few times because of some"manic" episodes.I have ,over the past few years, embraced it as a gift and try not to look at it as anything but that.It helps to form the person who that I have been and am becoming.We live we learn we grow.and oh how wonderful it can be if we allow it!!
You are an incredible person!!
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EMRANA 10/19/2011 10:46AM

  Wow! I knew I liked you, but reading all this, I like you even more! It's inspiring! We should all do this writing exercise, even if we don't publish it. It is surely very thought provoking.


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CROOKEDLETTER 10/19/2011 7:19AM

    It was lovely to read your definition of you! Cheers!

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Funny observation

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

So there is a bag of Ruffles potato chips in my cabinet that has been there for 2 months.............since I started. I forgot about it, and my husband obviously forgot about it, and although it had a chip clip, it is now a stale bag of Ruffles. OK, not so extraordinary to most people, but to me..................well, let's just say a bag of chips has never lasted in my house long enough to go stale. Just days before starting on here I remember eating a half a bag (BIG bag) by myself one night. Yeah, stale, uneaten, forgotten.............HAAAAAAA!!! In your face salty/greasy/addicting chips! So glad you aren't my friend anymore.

BTW, am slowly getting introduced to the other faccet of exercisers in my community, we have the MES (morning exercise society) now I've been introduced to the EES (evening exercise society), and they seem even more friendly than the previous group!! Pretty cool stuff!! Love my new life!!!

Oh yeah, and I ran a mile and walked a mile, two days in a ROW! And the running wasn't hard, like at all, thinking I might be able to run the full two miles pretty soon! I have NEVER been a runner.........EVER! I was the 15 minute mile girl in high school, run three steps/walk 20. OK, to be honest, don't think you can call what I'm doing "running", probably more like slow jogging, but still, it's more than I've ever wanted/been able to do in my life!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLYCHRISTI 10/18/2011 4:00PM

    You feel and do just like I feel and do!!!!

Lets do it together~~!!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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RIDMYCOCOON 10/18/2011 3:54PM

    Awesome. You just keep pluggin' away! I don't love running. Someday I hope to. You are inspiring me emoticon

ps in your face chips!! emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/18/2011 2:14PM

    Great job avoiding those chips! I find that happens to me now, too!

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VALERIEMAHA 10/18/2011 12:55PM

    That is TRULY impressive. You are an inspiration you know!

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EMRANA 10/18/2011 12:31PM

  Great job!!! That's a big accomplishment, actually. I've done the same with most of the junk I used to eat ~ but that evil Miss Vickie and her special brand of potato chips....oh my. My husband will bring the balsamic vinegar and sweet onion ones in the house sometimes, and I always end up eating a couple of portions. I've learned to put them in a bowl already measured out so I won't overdo, but that's as angelic as I can get with Miss Vickie!

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CAZANN2 10/18/2011 8:27AM

    I had to laugh about the chips ! You sound just like me....but good riddance to them I say ! lol. Congrats on the running too emoticon

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POOKASLUAGH 10/18/2011 8:10AM

    Even now potato chips (well, certain kinds) cannot be in my house or I will just eat them. I can't forget them like that. Maybe one day...congrats!

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WENDYLEE15 10/18/2011 7:11AM

    Incredible..You go girl!!You are so lucky to have those exercise options near you..that's great!! Nothing like having fun and enjoying your time working out!!
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FREETHEGODDESS 10/18/2011 2:50AM

    Awesome job! I have diet soda that has been sitting in my pantry for 4 months. I used to drink about 3 cans a day and that was pretty much all I would drink in a day. Now I drink water all day long. Growing up we drank soda with everything and water was for washing stuff! LOL

Great job on the running/jogging! I can barely jog for 1 minute...literally!!! YOU ROCK!

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ANEWME42012 10/18/2011 2:27AM

    Isn't it a great feeling when you lose your taste for the rubbish food and start craving the healthy stuff? Oh and if you are running then you are a runner. It's not about how long it takes it's about that brief moment when both feet leave the ground...
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MRSJOCCO 10/18/2011 1:18AM

    You got it goin' on! emoticon

So glad you're having fun, too!

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GODDESS181 10/18/2011 1:03AM

    Keep it up. You Go Girl!!!!
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My sparkversary celebration day (pics)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Spent my 2 month sparkversary at Bodega Bay, small coastal town North of San Francisco, where they filmed the movie The Birds! I've been there once, about 10 years ago, and have one infamous photo hanging in every relatives house from that is a good one, but I was really anxious to go back and get more. I must admit, ten years ago I used real film, not onto digital, and as a film lover, I do think you loose the small nuances of feeling/warmth/true to form texture when you go digital, but for now, I'm OK with it, because it is SO much easier!!
I woke up this morning and weighed one pound less than yesterday, so it's official, I've lost 15.2 pounds in 2 months and 1 day! That is VERY close to 2 pounds a week. I really am proud of myself, and have to admit I can't believe it's been as easy as it has. So, heres a few shots of my celebration. It was really nice to go back somewhere I haven't been in so long. Got to see the famous sites from The Birds movie this time..............thought I did last time, and now I know I was mistaken!!

Shot of the coast just north of Bodega Bay

Sis on the cliff

Got lots of pics of surfers, this was one of my favorites.

Just found out my photo program does black and white............ my first love was black and white photography.

Peaceful meditation

Never have I seen anything like this before, still don't know what it is called. Only in Valley Ford, CA.!

St. Teresa of Avila Church, made famous by Ansel Adams and Hitchcock in The Birds

School from The Birds

The Bird!

Had such a great day with my sister. She and I have lived apart for about 14 years, so since she moved to my town 6 months ago, we have been making up for lost time!!! Go, girls go!! I love her so much, and LOVE to photograph her! Thanks for reading/looking at my blog. I love to share my photographs, it really makes me happy. Hope your week is starting well, spark, spark, SPARK!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ME_HERE_NOW 10/18/2011 10:27PM

    so cool that your sis moved back and you get to go on sister adventures! i always wanted a sister! great shots, love the movie 'the birds' too - so great, and that is ONE CRAZY FLOWER!! have fun playing with digital :D

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CAZANN2 10/18/2011 8:32AM

    Loved looking at your pics , they're awesome. I love photography too, especially of flowers and birds, well, anything really Congrats on your weight loss and your 2 month sparkversary !

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FREETHEGODDESS 10/18/2011 2:57AM

    Incredible photos! That flower photo is great! I love photography too. I took a class in college a million years ago. I prefer 35mm film too! But, you are is easier and gives instant gratification!

Love the last one of the bird. LOL Now I will have to watch the movie again so I can compare your photos.

Looks like you had a fun day. You deserve it! You are doing great!

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LUCYLIN101 10/17/2011 9:05PM

    Loved your blog and your pictures! Even though that movie creeped me out when I was younger! Thanks for sharing!

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SAPHRAEL 10/17/2011 5:45PM

    Happy anniversary!!

Those are beautiful pictures! The picture of the school is kinda spooky :)

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WENDYLEE15 10/17/2011 5:02PM

    Beautiful pics..thanks so much for sharing!! How great you and your sister are getting to catch up!! You have a wonderful sparky week too!!
Congrats on the weight loss!! emoticon

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RIDMYCOCOON 10/17/2011 12:30PM

    I love that you guys are taking these little jaunts here and there! Great photos!! The surfing shot has some really pretty color.

(by the way...that is a Passiflora a blue passion flower which some associate with Jesus or Krishna. It happens to be one of my favorite flowers as well. Take a read, I am sure you will become more intrigued. They remind me too of those whistle rings. Did you ever have one of those?)

Anyway, great trip. Special memories. emoticon

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LUNADRAGON 10/17/2011 11:58AM

    Great pictures! Thanks for sharing.

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CHLOE453 10/17/2011 11:56AM

    Absolutely love your pictures....thank you so much for sharing them. Kelly

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EMRANA 10/17/2011 11:51AM

  Breathtaking photos! What a perfect place to celebrate your accomplishment! Thank you for sharing your day with us here.


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/17/2011 11:40AM

    Great pics, thanks for sharing!

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POOKASLUAGH 10/17/2011 11:01AM

    I love those black and white photos! Especially the first and last ones. I'm always in awe at people who can take good pictures. I'm terrible at it!

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CROOKEDLETTER 10/17/2011 10:44AM

    Lovely images. Glad you had such a great day with your sister.

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2 month sparkversary

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Wow, can't beleive it's been two months already!!!! Well, the results are in, 14.4 pounds and 17 inches lost!! Pretty happy with those numbers, especially since I'm only really hoping for a 1 pound loss a week..............guess I'm overshooting my goals for now!! Must admit this journey hasn't been perfect so far. There has been days of poor eating, days without exercise, days without enough water, days without enough sleep. I have eaten out a few times, and even had a donut one day. But, you know, I am human, and this is the rest of my life we are talking about here. Here are some things I don't do anymore.

Drink soda (only once in the last two months, and it was diet)
Cook things in butter (I have a really good olive oil spray for cooking eggs and things that I used to use butter to cook)
Guess about how much of something I am eating, I pretty much measure EVERYTHING
Overeat at night in front of the computer screen
Eat mindlessly(think I had one bad day that I can think of these last two months)
Eat emotionally (OK, I'm not perfect at that yet, but a LOT better)
Beat myself up for not being perfect
Have bad dreams everynight(since I've started SP I've had the best dreams, interesting, but true)
See my future as a lost cause
Talk bad about myself (I usually catch myself building myself up these days)
Waste time doing nothing/overeating/over sleeping(I stay pretty busy, exercising, taking photos, cleaning, cooking, reading, sparking on SP, chatting on phone)
Blame others for my situation ( I now see why I was the way I was, how I got there, and what I need to do to change it)
See exercise as a four letter word

Things I do now:
Eat whole grain/lowfat or nonfat options whenever possible
When eating out split meal into two portions and only eat half
Measure/track/make recipes for every meal so I know exactly what I am eating
Exercise atleast 3 times a week, usually much more often
Get strenght training as often as possibly (goal 3 times a week, don't always hit goal, but I try)
Drink a minimum of 6 cups of water EVERYDAY, usually a good deal more
Attempt to eat a fruit or veggie, or both at every meal. I have my good days and bad days, but it is always a goal for me.
I have calculated how many calories in/out I need to get to where I want to be in a timely manner (1400 in/day, 200 out/day) I definitely don't stick to this everyday, but it is a goal and I am working towards it.
Weigh daily (I've heard mixed opinions on this and for me it just helps, I know for others it might not, but when I gain 2 pounds overnight, it's nice to look back and really reflect on what I might have done to cause that, or when I loose I like to also think about what I did to make that happen.)
Measure weekly (I know it says to do it once a month, but by doing this, it really helps me stay motivated. Even a half inch loss feels like success to me.)
Eat consciously
Stay positive ( I have my days, that 's for sure, when I am just down, but overall I try to focus on the beauty of the day, each day)
Create beauty (my photography and writing has increased dramatically since I started on here, and it is a great source of joy in my life.)
Inspire others ( I talk about my journey nearly everday, to whoever will listen!)

My lists could go on and on, but for now, I will stop here and use the rest of my free time before church this morning, to go on a nice walk. Thanks for being there for me, I love you all tremendously. Have a lovely weekend.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RIDMYCOCOON 10/17/2011 12:33PM

    You are an inspiration! emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 10/17/2011 1:51AM

    Wow, look at all you've done in just 2 months! You are awesome!!
emoticon+ emoticon= emoticon

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CROOKEDLETTER 10/16/2011 7:34PM

    A lovely list! Kudos to you on your Sparkversary!

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EMRANA 10/16/2011 11:52AM

  YAY!!! Such a good list ~ your two months have been fabulous!


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MAESTRACH 10/16/2011 11:32AM

    I am so glad to hear that you're finding success! Life is rarely easy, but its nice to have a support network. I'm glad you've joined us and I'm looking forward to reading your success story on the weekly blog! Keep up the great work!!!

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WOLF648 10/16/2011 11:24AM

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