VHALKYRIE   16,233
SparkPoints
15,000-19,999 SparkPoints
 
 
VHALKYRIE's Recent Blog Entries

Why Philosophy?

Sunday, June 02, 2013

I wrote in my blog yesterday that I was taking a philosophy course this summer. I have transferred my college credits to a new university, but I need to take a few core classes that weren't required at my previous university. Philosophy was an option for my humanities requirement, but there is another reason that has to do with someone who inspired me.

I graduated high school in the top 10% of my class, and like many of my classmates, I went directly into college. I chose to go to an engineering school for computer science, but I experienced some difficulties right out of the gate. For one, I discovered that not all public school education was created equal. I went to one of the poorer districts, and even though I graduated at the top of my class, I was behind when I started college. Many of my classmates who went to other school districts already had college credit through AP level classes. I was shocked to discover this; it was never an option given to me. I was very disappointed that I was never given the chance to even try for it.

I took a number of difficult classes: Intro to Chemistry, Economics, Pre-Calculus, Earth Sciences, and EPICS (which was our school's version of English, and did not transfer to my current university). I wish I had cut back my course load so I could devote more time on fewer subjects.

Then I hit bad luck when I got chicken pox in my second semester of my freshman year. I missed three weeks of school. I should have withdrawn from the semester and started over, but I was too stubborn. I thought I could make it up. I finished the semester, but it set me up badly for the remainder of my years.

I was doing really well in my computer science courses, though. My database structures professor took a great interest in my class project, and invited me to work with her on a paid project with the local police department to modernize their record keeping. After that project was completed, I was referred to work with the Computer Vision graduate department managing their computer infrastructure. I gained an interest robotics, and took courses in Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.

My robotics professor was (is) one of the smartest women I have ever met. She held a bachelors in electrical engineering, a masters in mechanical engineering, and a doctorate in philosophy. Philosophy? It seemed out of place with her technical degrees. The more I learned about robotics, though, the more it made sense. In order to emulate intelligence, we first have to go back to the basic question: "What is intelligence?"

I started encountering difficulties in my personal life. That coupled with the rocky start at the beginning of college sent me spiraling into academic trouble. Both my database and robotics professors pulled me aside and asked me what was going on. They noticed a decline in my work that they both said they knew wasn't because of lack of ability. I was touched that they both cared enough to take this personal interest in me. I'm not going to explain it all here because it is personal, but I was clearly not in the right mental state to continue my studies. Unfortunately, both my professors ended up transferring to other colleges because of a very ineffective department head, so I was without my mentors.

It was a very painful decision, but I ended up leaving school. Some might ask, why not just press through? I couldn't. I was quite literally at the end of my mental rope. I needed to leave, so I went into work. With the great luck of my work I did with my database and robotics professors, I was able to good paying jobs even without a completed degree. I was able to pay the debts I had accrued and rebuild my internal spirit. I started taking a few classes at a time at a much slower pace as I could manage it. I took classes remotely, and also certification courses.

My last job ended when when my husband and I moved across country three years ago, and we thought this would be a good time for me to wrap this up. It's annoying that I am having to repeat a few things, but I have learned from my impatience from past experience. If I hadn't been in such a rush the first time, I might not have driven myself into burnout to the point where I could go no farther. But, things happen the way they are supposed to. If I hadn't crashed and burned, I would not have moved to Seattle to rebuild my life. If I hadn't moved to Seattle, I would not have met my husband.

So why philosophy? It came up as an option for my humanities requirement. A professor who had a great impact on me is still inspiring me. She thought it was worth getting a doctorate in, so I can at least complete the introductory course to see why. We have to write a research paper on a philosophical topic, and I am choosing to explore machine intelligence because of her influence.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAHINTZY 6/4/2013 4:26PM

    an excellent story :) I chose to go to a university instead of an art college so that I could take the wider range of courses and was grateful for it. I was never able to take part two of the medieval philosophy class that I loved but I still have my text books. My painting professor once said to me that you can't create in a vacuum - I would think that should apply to robotics just as much as it does to painting.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITGIRL15 6/3/2013 11:30AM

    Awesome story! I never would have thought! You will do AMMAZING in this course!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 6/3/2013 9:12AM

    Way to overcome. I congratulate you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 6/2/2013 4:49PM

    Aristotle almost scared me off of the whole thing, but this week we're going into the modern philosophers. We'll see if they can salvage this for me. ;)

Comment edited on: 6/2/2013 4:49:24 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 6/2/2013 3:49PM

    You should try psychology! I might be a little biased... but it's A-W-E-S-O-M-E!

I loved my philosophy class.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HONOURIA 6/2/2013 3:21PM

    Best wishes.

Comment edited on: 6/5/2013 4:57:08 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
DESERTJULZ 6/2/2013 2:31PM

    The fact that you were inspired by a mentor gives the class a special meaning for you!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYTURN11 6/2/2013 1:13PM

    Why not Philosophy...You are amazing and I wish you the very best in your endeavors. The road which you traveled was exactly in alignment with you doing the next right thing on your journey and becoming the strong woman you are today. I have do doubt that you will be rewarded many times over with much success.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 6/2/2013 12:37PM

    WOUBBIE: I tried to drop after my disastrous quiz, but I was past the penalty free drop date! So now I'm stuck with it! I am not planning on taking any of the others anymore!

Comment edited on: 6/2/2013 12:40:15 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
DDOORN 6/2/2013 12:35PM

    Philosophy sounds like a glove-perfect choice. Go you!

Don

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 6/2/2013 12:19PM

    I still remember my intro History of Philosophy course (it was initially my minor). I would read an early philosopher's work and nod and say, oh, yeah, that makes a lot of sense, only to read the next one chronologically who completely opposed the first one's work, and on and on it went. By the time we reached Hobbes and Hume I was pretty jaded to the whole business and the next year I switched my minor to Fine Arts, lol!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GIANTMICROBE 6/2/2013 12:02PM

    This is exactly why I want to teach- it's amazing to think how teachers shape our lives. I love it. Enjoy your course!

Report Inappropriate Comment


Second Spin in College

Saturday, June 01, 2013

A few months ago, a Spark friend asked me to write about how my second spin at college is going. I wrote about why I'm going back to school in a previous blog, so I won't go into it in detail in here. In a nutshell, I've been working on my degree off and on for a long time.

I recently transferred my credits to a local university and have been taking classes since January. I'm obviously not the typical student. I actually have 95% of my Junior and Senior level classes completed. Because I transferred to a new school, I'm having to take a few core classes that weren't required at my old school.

I'm also 38, but at the school I'm attending, that actually isn't quite so odd. There's a guy in his 50s in my philosophy class. Most students are the traditional high school grads, but there are also more mature students who are seeking degrees for various reasons.

Last January I signed up for Calculus and English Composition. I couldn't convince the department to accept my English credit from my previous university. I completed Calculus a long time ago, but I haven't done it in so long, I decided I better take it again since I need it for my Physics credit remaining. I chose to look at it as a primer for getting back into the school mindset. I have taken mostly online and distant learning courses in the past decade with independent study, so returning to lectures took a little adjusting.

There were only a couple of instances where I felt uncomfortable or a little out of place.

On the first day of class, my professors made an adamant point that cell phones and texting were not allowed in class. This caught me off guard. Was this really a problem? Why go to class if you can't unplug for a 50 minute lecture? I found that this really was a problem, and several times I was annoyed by ringing or vibrating phones. The worst was when this happened during an exam.

In my Calculus lecture, my professor broke us up into groups for a mini lab at the start of the semester. When I sat down with my two teammates, the girl asked me in a very accusatory and unfriendly tone, "So what's your story?"

I said, "Excuse me?"

She said, "How long has it been since you've had a math class?" Very blunt and rude.

I replied, "A while. You?"

She said she received her psychology degree four years ago, decided to travel after graduation, and was now back in school for her Masters.

I said, "Oh. Good luck."

After her abrasiveness, I was underwhelmed by her achievements.

The professor gave us our project that we were to work on together. It's been at least a decade since I've formally worked with algebra, but surprising to me, I remembered what I needed to know about factoring a polynomial. I even showed the guy on my team a few details. The psych girl was staring off into space, and wasn't writing anything down. I asked her if she was doing ok. She said no. So I tried to help her out, but it was obvious that her algebra skills were non existent. Since her first words to me were very unwelcoming, I wasn't inclined to help her any further. Tough luck - better get a tutor. She ended up dropping the class after the second exam. I finished the class with an 'A'. (I thought I got a 'B' because I didn't think my final exam grade was high enough, so I was pleasantly surprised when I got my official semester grades!)

On the opposite end of the spectrum was a high school student who was taking the class for college credit. She sat behind me, and we worked together during lecture. We both showed each other mathematical tricks for working the problems. It was very collaborative. Interestingly, she was youngest person in class, and I was the oldest. I discovered that my memory of trigonometry was VERY rusty, and she was very helpful with reminding me of things I had forgotten. Trig was still fresh in her mind. She was exceedingly bright, and delightful.

The English composition class was easy. It was just reading and writing essays (little time consuming, but not hard). If we did the reading, the tests were a cakewalk. However, I was dismayed by some of the students, one girl in particular. You might remember me writing about the research paper we had to do. Some students were told to rewrite their papers. They were supposed to use five peer reviewed sources. Wikipedia is not a valid source! Well, that was this girl. She basically cried on her way out of class that she didn't think the grade was fair, with my prof yelling after her she was welcome to talk to him privately about it. I showed up to all the classes, did the readings, and turned in assignments on time. She had an excuse for almost all of the due dates on why she couldn't get it done. The printer jammed; her cable was down; email wasn't working; etc. In each case, my prof seemed to be over accommodating in allowing her to make it up, which really irritated me. I'm singling her out, but she wasn't the only one. There were a few others as well. I facepalmed on more than one occasion overhearing these excuses as I packed up my bag to leave class. I was an old lady thinking to myself, "And these are supposed to be the college grads of the future? Lord help us all." I ended up with an 'A' in this class, too.

I didn't want to take a three month break from school, so I'm currently taking a philosophy course over the summer for my humanities requirement. It has turned out to be a lot more difficult than I expected! I *almost* dropped the course because I panicked. We have daily quizzes, and I had no idea how to answer a question that was asked over our reading assignment. Yes, I had done the reading, and I thought I understood it, but I still couldn't answer the quiz question. After class, I immediately went to the registrar to pick up a drop slip. I was informed that I would not get a refund because the last day to drop was two days prior! I was ticked off! I decided to wait until after the first exam to decide whether I was just going to forfeit the money and bail. After I took the exam, I contemplated what would be the lowest grade I would accept before dropping. I settled on 75%. If it was below 75%, I would drop the class because even with doing all the readings and attending lecture, I still wouldn't be able to understand it. I got my exam back, hesitantly turned it over, and... it was a 92%!

emoticon

Well, I guess I have to finish it now! I still don't think I understand it, though!

That's how things are going to date. I'm not taking a full course load, so I do have more time to work on the subjects. Part of my difficulties the first time through college was I took too many classes, and I wasn't able to do as well as I wanted. I'm not making that mistake again.

"Never avoid doing something because of the time it will take; the time will pass anyway." That is how I view my college work now. This is about me, and what I want to do for myself.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HONOURIA 6/2/2013 3:08PM

    Not all youth are the same.

Comment edited on: 6/5/2013 4:57:41 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 6/2/2013 10:01AM

    If you have students who do the work, they go on to get degrees. If you have students who abuse the system, they go on to get degrees. What then is a degree worth? In my industry, they are requiring more certifications in addition to degrees because of the number of graduates who are not able to do the work.

Also, the rude girl in my calc class was 29 years old.

My frustration with the English class also had to do with the students were clearly trying to take advantage of the professor. He was a nice guy, but not really the kind that exudes authority. Some of the students were trying to push the boundaries. They were not respecting him. My frustration was with him as much as the students. I think he should have been more firm, especially with the girl who was a repeat offender. She was being passive aggressive with him.

I have high hopes for the 17 year old high school girl who had both talent and a good work ethic. Multiple schools were competing to give her a full ride scholarship to attend, and I know she'll do great!

Comment edited on: 6/2/2013 10:18:36 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BILL60 6/2/2013 9:24AM

    Congrats on your academic success. Let's not be too hard on the youngsters. After all, they are what the parents taught them to be.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 6/2/2013 9:20AM

    WOUBBIE: I know what you're saying! Continuing on to the workforce, though, some of these kids don't grow out of it, and still come up with a myriad of excuses on why they can't get anything done. They claim they are so overwhelmed with too much to do...and yet aren't doing anything at all. This gets passed on to the people who are actually productive AND really overwhelmed! I was annoyed with the girl in my English class because she literally tried to cry her way out of a deadline. I wonder if she'll reflect on this as something very stupid one day...or continue this pattern.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELPIE57 6/2/2013 2:17AM

    As a teacher, I can only shake my head, and agree...... but not all students have entitlement issues!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 6/1/2013 10:09PM

    We live in a decaying age. Young people no longer respect their parents. They are rude and impatient. They frequently inhabit taverns and have no self-control Words inscribed on a 6,000-year-old Egyptian tomb.

What is happening to our young people? They disrespect their elders, they disobey their parents. They ignore the law. They riot in the streets, inflamed with wild notions. Their morals are decaying. What is to become of them? Plato, 4th Century BC

The young people of today think of nothing but themselves. They have no reverence for parents or old age. They are impatient of all restraint As for the girls, they are forward, immodest and unladylike in speech, behaviour and dress Peter the Hermit, 1274 AD

When we were their age, we were.... their age. Same stuff, different technology.

emoticon

I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that most of the folks posting here are NOT parents of teenagers or young adults.

Welcome to Zits! The guys who write this MUST have cameras installed in my house:

http://www.arcamax.co
m/thefunnies/zits/s-1329529

Comment edited on: 6/1/2013 10:13:11 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
HONOURIA 6/1/2013 9:59PM

    There is self interest happening, sure.

Comment edited on: 6/5/2013 4:58:50 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 6/1/2013 8:08PM

    Aaaaahhhhh, that's my LIFE! I am very disappointed in this generation of college students. I take great pleasure in marking them absent for using their phones in class.

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 6/1/2013 7:54PM

    Thank you all for your comments and support!

TRINIITY1: My degree will be in computer science! I may have enough credits to swing a math minor - we will see! There is a reason why I'm taking the philosophy, but I'll explain that in another blog! But one of the reasons why I was certain that I bombed the philosophy exam is because I have been debating with the professor (respectfully, of course) about the logic! However, I seem to have been able to convey what he wanted on the exam (to my surprise!)

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRSP90X 6/1/2013 7:31PM

    emoticon with the calculus and physics! My degree is in mathematics, and I totally miss school right now. i would so love to be a math prof, but I will settle for a homeschool mom. I would probably go nuts trying to relate to the kids now a days, how you are finding it. There has always been that slacker crowd, but it is probably getting worse. The rise of non-sensicle courses I think are getting out of hand too. I include philosophy is that, but love logic emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRIANGLE-WOMAN 6/1/2013 7:11PM

    emoticon

Glad to hear things are going so well! Hope you won't have to deal with the "freshman 15" !!

emoticon

..*) ♥.*)
(. .♥ (. .♥ (.*`* ♥☆.*`*♥☆
;.*
`*♥☆ Keep Spreading the Spark!!!

Comment edited on: 6/1/2013 7:12:52 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITGIRL15 6/1/2013 6:49PM

    Good for you, Girl! You rock for going back to school a second time... and making it look EASY! LOL
emoticon
I agree, the kids of this generation lack a certain je' ne sais quoi! I have two younger brothers from THIS gen. and I have such a hard time relating to them at all!

The thing about philosopy class... well, it's so darn philosophic! LMAO
Hard to understand because the course goes beyond the typical walls of our normal thoughts! Good for you for taking this class as an 'option' just for fun! Keep doing what you are doing, it sounds like it's working!
Challenging things are what keep us on our toes and improving!

Report Inappropriate Comment
UMBILICAL 6/1/2013 6:30PM

  It's never too late.

Report Inappropriate Comment


Cooking is my Salvation

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hello, Sparkfriends!

I just noticed I wrote my last blog about needing to keep writing...then I stopped writing. Oops.

As you may remember, I am a big fan of Michael Pollan. I've been reading his newest book, "Cooked." As usual, Pollan's writing is invoking self reflection and chock full of concepts to think about. I mentioned in my last blog that I'm taking a philosophy course, and Pollan's book is surprisingly dovetailing with my class. The age old philosophical question, "What makes us human?" is usually something along the lines of "I think, therefore I am." However, Pollan uniquely suggests that "cooking" sets us apart from the animal kingdom. Well, it's true! No other animal steams, broils or bastes their dinner.

The book is really about how our declining health as a nation corresponds with fewer home cooked meals. I could not agree more.

I grew up a young girl as the heir apparent to the women's liberation movement from the 60s and 70s. Women marched, burned their bras, and changed American society to accept women in the workforce. We weren't going to be wards of our husbands anymore. Women tossed out their aprons and frying pans and traded it for a three piece business suit and a briefcase. I saw Dr. Sally Ride become the first woman astronaut, and Geraldine Ferraro became the first woman vice president nominee. My supermodel Barbie was a doctor or a lawyer, and she earned the pink Corvette herself, gosh darn it. My Barbie was no Paris Hilton - in my world she was a self made woman.

Somewhere along the way, I took this to the extreme. Since the saying "Women belong in the kitchen" was an archaic pejorative, I never took an interest in cooking. Embarrassingly, there was a time when I seemed to think being a terrible cook was a badge of honor.

So I became obese eating chain restaurant food. Cooking took 'too much time,' or 'cost more money than eating out.'

I don't think it was ever a conscious thought, but I wonder if there was a subconscious aversion to cooking as beneath me as a feminist. (BTW, I mean feminist as a female who believes in equal rights, not as the slander that it has unfortunately become.)

Would a home cooked chicken cause me to set back the women's rights movement 60 years? Well, I had roast chicken last night, and we all seem to be doing fine today!

After I gained 40lbs, at some point I realized home cooking was my only path back to good health. I bought a set of knives and a frying pan.

The rest, my friends, is history.

Even while holding my corporate jobs, I cooked. It didn't need to take nearly as much time as I once believed. 15-30 minutes on most occasions.

And no, a box of macaroni and cheese is not cooking. A perfect grilled steak takes practice, but there's not much easier or faster to cook than beef stir fry.

If thinking makes us human, then THINK about where your food comes from and how it relates to your health. When I cook, I make food with ingredients, not formulas.

I lost the weight and regained control of my health. Cooking was my salvation out of obesity.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYOTIC 5/31/2013 9:54AM

    I do have to get this book now, I was a little over Pollen and his last books, they felt a bit repetitive to me....(I really enjoyed the Botany of Desire, and the Omnivore's Dilemma...In Defense of Food was good, but seemed a bit of a rehash...) but I've come back to cooking over the past couple of years, and really think it's helped a lot in my being able to stabilize my weight (and even lose 10 more pounds). I've stopped buying frozen dinners and started making my own lunches (I still freeze them), and will branch out to making other things that I currently buy (I've got quite a stock of snack bars right now, but think I should start to try new recipes to see if I can find one I like that is easily stored and tastes good).



Report Inappropriate Comment
BERGBA7 5/31/2013 3:24AM

    yep... cooking your own meals is the key to healthy living and stable weight. This is true for me to. Very good point.
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KELPIE57 5/31/2013 3:24AM

    Interesting, however, I had an rather different upbringing, where my mother taught both boys and girls to cook, and I wasn't allowed to drive on my own until I could show my father that I could change a tyre (and I am now 56). I have tried to do th same with my own kids. My weight problem is more complex, and I too should blog a bit more!

Report Inappropriate Comment
VHALKYRIE 5/30/2013 9:10PM

    BTVMADS: Have you already read "Cooked"? LOL! That's EXACTLY what Pollan surmisses also! This is just my anecdotal account of why I didn't cook, and my mea culpa.

Comment edited on: 5/30/2013 9:10:49 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
BTVMADS 5/30/2013 9:02PM

    I would like to suggest the following: the demise of the true home-cooked meal came long before the women's liberation movement. Campbell's first cookbook, full of recipes relying on condensed coup, came out in 1916 (called "Helps for the Hostess"). The first Bisquick cookbook came out in 1933 (published by Betty Crocker!). In the late 1940s, after WWII ended, our food system became far more industrialized than ever before. The first frozen chicken pot pie came out in 1951, and the first TV dinner in 1953. Feminism was not a widespread movement in this country until the very late 60s and early 70s, and even then it's not like mother's abandoned their kids with hot dogs just so they could go burn a bra. Women who couldn't cook weren't really commonplace until the late 70s, when Yuppies started taking over. That's a solid 25 year gap between the downfall of "real" cooking and the rise of women's liberation.

It's so tempting to blame working women for what happened to food, but the simple fact is that it's manufactured reason. The real reason Americans rely on processed foods? Because that's what's been marketed to us for the past 85 years, starting with "Helps for Housewives." If you want to blame someone, blame Swanson, blame Kraft, blame Con-Agra, blame Coca-Cola, blame Nestle. (Blame Don Draper!) They're the ones buying Monsanto corn, pumping food full of extra sugar and salt, getting gov't subsidies so it's cheaper than whole foods, and selling it to us for a tidy profit!



Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 5/30/2013 8:31PM

    Interesting....gender & kitchen roles! It took me a couple of years to finally admit that SWMBO is a better cook on the grill than me....she gets the perfect scald on everything from salmon, to chicken , to beef. I've got her beat in the stir fry department, so we've accepted each others' strengths & weaknesses...I can even admit to my manlier friends that i have relinquished control of the grill...and when they come over to dinner they know why!

I remember reading a while ago, that our primate ancestors thrived on the cooked proteins they ate....the chemical changes in the protein chains were much more nutritious....not to mention the bacteria it killed


Yeah, keep blogging....my new minimum is at least one a week!

Comment edited on: 5/30/2013 8:32:04 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
CBLENS 5/30/2013 7:59PM

    Yes, we eat so much healthier when we d the cooking.

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 5/30/2013 7:53PM

    Ah, I wish I liked cooking. Alas, I got stuck with KP duty starting at 13 and have never (other than 3 of my 4 years in college) not HAD to cook for myself and/or family. I'm actually even starting to lose interest in eating to some degree as well. The mere thought of shopping makes me shrug my shoulders and go "Meh". I TRY reading peoples blogs about recipes, but it just ain't there.

emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
HONOURIA 5/30/2013 7:43PM

    I have never been a fan of the processed food movement.

Comment edited on: 6/5/2013 4:59:36 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
MYOWNHERO 5/30/2013 7:24PM

    Excellent blog!

My copy of "Cooked" just arrived but I haven't cracked it open yet. I'm a big fan, too.

I am noticing that among young feminists, cooking is becoming more "cool." Now I'm talking 16 - 25 year olds. They are often fascinated by old fashioned techniques like home canning and windowsill herb gardens. Since I'm an OLD feminist, I'm delighted to see this come to pass. Back in my day we could bring home the bacon AND fry it up in the pan. The young ones now are making sure their bacon is locally sourced as well. Bravo!

Report Inappropriate Comment


I Must Keep Writing

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I survived my finals, and I'm back! I'm getting an A and a B for my classes, and I can't complain too much about that. I have a short break until I start the summer sessions next week. I'll be taking philosophy and global economics courses.

I have to admit that I didn't do so great sticking to my routine in the past few weeks. My eating is the same as always, but I fell off the wagon with my exercise. I've been feeling like a blob. Yesterday I got into my workout clothes and took a bike ride. I felt energized and my spirits lifted almost immediately. So I'm back in the saddle again!

I've been doing some introspect regarding why diet and exercise blogging seems to keep me on track with my goals. I have not followed the Spark nutrition plan in over two years, but my writing keeps me on the straight and narrow when it comes to fitness. I think it's because if I put it out there, then I feel some obligation to follow through. Although I've never met any of you, I don't want to let anyone down. I really want my message to be, "Hey, I lost 40lbs and kept it off! And you can do it too!"

But in a less infomercial kind of way. emoticon

I have lost and kept it off, though. I really dislike how the media seems to portray weight rebound as inevitable. I don't think there is anything special or different about me compared to anyone else. I have failed as much as I have succeeded in trying to get here. But every positive change I made I have carried forward with me.

Reading blogs from other Spark members also seems to build enthusiasm. For those who are succeeding, it makes me want to join them. For those who are struggling, I want to encourage them. Though I'm going to practice more thinking before writing as I suffer from chronic foot-in-mouth disease.

Starting this week, I'm back on track with food and fitness. I have a few topics that I've been itching to write about.

Let's go Summer!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 5/17/2013 5:02PM

    There just ain't NOTHING that can compare to the boost I get from getting back on the bike!

Kudos & keep those wheels turnin'! :-)

Don

Report Inappropriate Comment
TRIANGLE-WOMAN 5/17/2013 6:58AM

    I know the feeling! I love writing but fitting it in can be a challenge. Healthy living is a full time job sometimes and when I sit down I feel guilty now!

emoticon



Report Inappropriate Comment
PAHOOT 5/17/2013 6:23AM

    Don't know why but it is very true. The writing helps to keep it on track.

Report Inappropriate Comment
HEALTHY-SPARK 5/15/2013 12:57PM

    That's so true isn't it? I have found the blogging to be a good tool for me to try and stay on track -- if only because I've already professed, hey, this is my plan -- then like you said, it's out there and people are reading it. So it helps me stay accountable too. Way more than if I weren't blogging. Whatever works.. right?
Have a great day!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ARCHIMEDESII 5/15/2013 12:51PM

    emoticon

Great job on those grades. That's excellent. You're magna cum laude so far !! The philosophy and economics classes over the summer will be an interesting match up. Feel free to consult me. I always got As in philosophy. go figure. ;)

Now that I'm back to working full time, my fitness schedule is going to be changed too. On the plus side, I'm working out less so an injury I've had is feeling much better. However, like you, I need to figure out how I'm going to juggle my schedule since I sit at a desk for 8 hours. This is another reason I haven't given up the gym jobs. they're keeping me active ! LOL !!!

Glad to see you back.









Report Inappropriate Comment
KAYOTIC 5/15/2013 9:47AM

    You hit the nail on the head with the reason for your success! I've had similar results, by following new practices, not "dieting" and then going back to the old way of eating. Being active, cooking healthy foods, and making health a lifestyle not a temporary scheme is the key.

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 5/14/2013 11:09PM

    Congrats on the finals and welcome back!

Glad the bike ride kicked you back in gear....now back to the New Rules of Lifting routine!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 5/14/2013 3:35PM

    Missed you! Glad you did so well in your classes!

Sometimes I feel a little guilty for spending so much time on SP, but it truly does do wonders for keeping me focused and aware of what I'm doing.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITGIRL15 5/14/2013 11:34AM

    I think weight rebound IS inevitable... IF one reverts back to their former BAD habits/ terrible lifestyle!!! You can't just diet for 3 months and maintain a healthy fit body for life!!! (I think that's the better message!)

I agree, Blogging and 'putting it out there' keeps me honest and motivated too. I (like you) am driven by my "I say what I mean, and DO what I say!" attitude! It has taken me very far in life!!!

Keep writing, Val!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HONOURIA 5/14/2013 11:13AM

    Glad to see you back.

Comment edited on: 6/5/2013 5:00:18 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
MADLYINLOVE 5/14/2013 10:31AM

    You made it! Happy you're back and in the saddle!

Report Inappropriate Comment
KIKKI-G 5/14/2013 9:52AM

    i start summer classes today.great job on your finals! &here is to year round school! hahah


Report Inappropriate Comment
PRETTYPITHY 5/14/2013 9:36AM

    Glad to have you back! I also find blogging and reading blogs to be very motivating. I don't plan to stop any time soon.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANASARI 5/14/2013 9:09AM

    Welcome back! Glad you survived finals! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment


Away Until May

Monday, April 22, 2013

Things are going great so far with my body reboot. I've only been able to get two strength training workout days in per week, so it's going to take a little longer to see gains there. However, my low intensity cardio and low grain diet are doing a good job of trimming fat off. Lift heavy things and lots of slow movement, ya know? The scale hasn't changed much, but I have seen a noticeable change in my measurements.

I'm going to be off Spark for the next couple of weeks, though. This is the last week of classes, and I have finals next week. I have A's in both of my classes, but now isn't the time to take anything for granted. I'm going to have to put in the work to finish strong.

I'm going to continue working on diet and exercise, though, because lifestyle habits means it happens no matter what else goes on in our lives. If I want to keep what I have gained so far, then I have to keep doing it.

So see you all in a couple of weeks!

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 4/25/2013 3:33PM

    Finishing Strong...bet that is your MO! :-)

Don

Report Inappropriate Comment
BEECHNUT13 4/24/2013 6:13PM

    I'll miss you - good luck with finals! :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
GETSTRONGRRR 4/22/2013 8:48PM

    Got it, press with studying up, it's your smartest move before finals.

Study hard, workout between study sessions, ace your tests, eat right while you're doing it...then blog all about it!

Report Inappropriate Comment
CAALAN23 4/22/2013 5:15PM

    Will miss your presence but best of luck to you!

Tina

Report Inappropriate Comment
PRETTYPITHY 4/22/2013 1:23PM

    Good luck with finals! I know you'll have a ton of progress to share with us upon your return!

Report Inappropriate Comment
HONOURIA 4/22/2013 1:21PM

    I wish you the very best .

Comment edited on: 6/5/2013 5:00:42 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
WOUBBIE 4/22/2013 12:48PM

    Good luck and see you soon! (It all goes so fast these days....)

Report Inappropriate Comment
FITGIRL15 4/22/2013 12:45PM

    Good Luck on your tests!! I know you will ACE them!!!

See you soon! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANASARI 4/22/2013 12:32PM

    Aw boo, will miss your updates, but good luck with the tests, and see you when you are back!
emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
SAMMI4444 4/22/2013 12:14PM

    Keep it up!

Report Inappropriate Comment


First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 Last Page