BRIGHTSPARK7's SparkPeople Blog BRIGHTSPARK7's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Goodbye to the 140s and hello 130s! It happened. It really happened. The scale reads 139 pounds. Part of me is elated and part of me feels just the same. I was curious if my khaki trousers would now fit me. They have been hanging in my closet for years. I remember wearing them to visit Shakespeare's home in Stratford-on-Avon, England. Well. They zipped up and fit like they were tailored for me. Amazing. Thank you, Shakespeare, time to visit you again! To wear or not to wear, the question has been answered. Yes! <BR> <BR> I co... Thu, 18 Aug 2016 21:56:48 EST The small wins matter It was a day of celebrating small wins. <BR> The scale has not budged for three weeks but I am confident this is the breakthrough week. On the upside, I know what to do to maintain! <BR> <BR> This morning I decided to celebrate small wins all day long. That was the experiment of the day. You know I love experiments with my psyche (Greek for soul and butterfly). Lots of wins today: <BR> 1. Making the decision to practice the art of small wins. <BR> 2. Five minutes of yoga stretching first... Wed, 17 Aug 2016 02:52:47 EST Virtual model for Creating a weight loss vision for the next twenty pounds With some help from my sparkfriend WATERMELLEN, I found a virtual model online that shows you what you will look like after the weight loss. Here is a link to the site if you'd like to experiment for yourself: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I have posted my Before and Afters on my Spark page. Seeing one's body as it actually is has been part of the challenge for me, The extra forty pounds piled on over about four years, ten pounds at a time, and I stopped seeing mys... Mon, 1 Aug 2016 00:39:30 EST The Best Body For Now Even though I am on my way down (weigh down!) and have lost 22 pounds, I feel a kind of contentment with this version of my body. It is the best body for now. There is not an ounce of resignation in that statement. Only acceptance. <BR> <BR> This past week, I've had two people comment that I look great, slimmer, and so on. Interesting to be witnessed but I also realized that it doesn't matter to me what they thought of me. This re-creation of the body is my own experiment that I am doing fo... Mon, 18 Jul 2016 21:54:40 EST The secret to feeling energized during my walk Even though my weight is now in the healthy range, I found a new reason to walk today. I'm walking to help myself but I'm also walking for the people I serve. I had this thought during my walk and suddenly found myself with a surge of energy, great posture, and a brisk pace. <BR> <BR> My clients expect powerful results. And I want to show up fully, as my best. It realized it's not just about what I do during consultations. It's how I show up for myself that allows me to better serve others.... Fri, 1 Jul 2016 00:22:36 EST Busting through the Pesky Plateau The tag line at the top of the Spark Coach page reads, "You can create your life." <BR> I have a pretty wonderful life. Today I met with three amazing women coaches who are each up to great things, helping people achieve their dreams. We masterminded about our businesses and I left the session feeling enlivened and excited. This evening hubs and I walked our loop round the neighborhood. <BR> <BR> And then there is this pesky plateau. Twenty pounds down in twenty weeks and now I have been m... Wed, 29 Jun 2016 00:36:03 EST Experiments with Being My True Self Confession: Last year, I spent nearly three thousand dollars on clothes trying to look good even though I felt overweight and whale-like. This is the first time I've owned up to it. I put it on my credit card, over a period of months. I hired two stylists to work with me. Two. I didn't like what I saw in the mirror and I just couldn't get enough of other people's opinions. They had all kinds of formulas and ideas about what beauty is and how I could be more beautiful. We didn't talk about my ... Wed, 20 Apr 2016 20:22:47 EST Experiments with Fullness Recently, I have been trying to tune into the physical feeling of fullness, regardless of how much is left on my plate. My goal is to stop eating when I feel full. Although I track my food with the nutrition tracker, I want my own awareness to be the ultimate tracker. The experiment is ongoing. After I've had a meal, I let myself feel the sensation of fullness, a full stomach, satiated senses, emotional contentment, satisfaction. The feeling of enough-ness. <BR> <BR> The other day, as I was... Sat, 16 Apr 2016 19:42:57 EST Not calling it exercise, nor training, so what is it? I really don't like the word exercise, though I do enjoy my walks, yoga, dancing, and hiking very much. I just don't want to call it exercise. Words are important to me, as is the meaning I make of them <BR> <BR> And I can't call what I do 'training' as I don't have a race or event for which I'm preparing. <BR> <BR> What I am doing is following my stream of most aliveness, vitality, Joie de vivre. Love is involved and sometimes love is not easy though it is always necessary. Should I just... Thu, 10 Mar 2016 02:47:01 EST Gaze of love When I look with love, Beauty arises everywhere. <BR> Tue, 1 Mar 2016 00:38:37 EST Walking along joyfully I really enjoyed my walk today. The key for me is not to walk like anyone else, or to try to think of how I should walk. I just find my own stream of most aliveness and follow that. <BR> <BR> For me this journey is not about losing or gaining. It is about vision and acceptance. <BR> <BR> Yes, I am weighing myself because I love metrics, but not more than the feeling of being energized, engaged, joyful. And that I can give myself right now, not when I am thirty pounds lighter. Yes, I plan ... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 23:43:02 EST Learning to walk again in my fifties: It's never too late. Dear Inner Wise Self, <BR> <BR> As i was walking today, I realized that even though I have been walking ten thousand steps daily, I mostly look down and shuffle along. I stare at the ground a yard ahead, as if I am looking for rocks, obstacles, things to avoid. My shoulders are up around my ears, and my chest is concave in an effort to protect myself ... from what? <BR> <BR> Today, as I was walking along, I had a memory of skipping along happily as a girl, curious and looking around at th... Sat, 6 Feb 2016 17:13:46 EST Some ideas for Rewards for every five hundred points earned Keeping a log of ideas here to keep me inspired. <BR> <BR> Earned: a faux mink hat for my daily winter walks. <BR> Earned: A music CD by Michael A Singer and Kathy Zavada. <BR> Earned: Goddess Oracle cards <BR> Earned: training with Sandra Ingerman <BR> <BR> <BR> Suggestions: <BR> a silk or mohair scarf <BR> Earrings <BR> Boomstick by Cindy Joseph <BR> A Yoga Nidra CD from Swami <BR> <BR> <BR> Lay on the sofa and listen to a favorite podcast with a shawl over me. <BR> Watch Miranda... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 01:07:48 EST How do you feel in one sentence? I am feeling a little disheartened tonight. Update: I am feeling much better. The winds of gratitude have blown away the clouds of disappointment. Thank you, all, for this rainbow of human feelings. Sat, 9 Jan 2016 21:41:01 EST Nutritious and delicious keepers Since I mentioned I'd like some help with cooking ideas a couple of days ago, the ideas have been coming. <BR> <BR> 1. Start the day with an omelette made from one whole egg plus one egg white. Add a tsp of extra virgin olive oil to the pan, then one cup of fresh spinach leaves. They will quickly wilt. Add the egg mixture. Before you fold it, place one ounce of cheese in it, then fold over and serve hot. <BR> <BR> 2. Healthy snack that tastes better than apple pie: <BR> Chop an apple int... Thu, 7 Jan 2016 23:40:50 EST 100% Effort during your workout? I did get out for a walk today, even though it was raining. Bundled up and took my red umbrella which always makes me feel like singing in the rain. <BR> <BR> I must confess that I like to stroll rather than push and walk fast. There is so much to see and think about that mind is not on how much effort am I giving it. <BR> <BR> I've read articles about interval training as a way of building stamina and strength. Recently, I was diagnosed with plantar fascitis, pain and stiffness in the ar... Wed, 6 Jan 2016 20:43:21 EST My biggest supporter is Me. <BR> Yes, my best self is urging me on day by day, choice by choice. <BR> <BR> I tell my husband every time I lose a pound and he says, " Great." But I'm the one who is enjoying the feeling of coming into greater integrity, awareness, love and wisdom. <BR> <BR> Truly, I have come to love the tracking tools on Spark. I was exercising five or six times a week but I was just eating too much. A little too much every day for three years adds up to forty pounds. <BR> <BR> I am so excited... Mon, 4 Jan 2016 21:09:39 EST How do I love thee, my body... Let me count the ways. <BR> I am grateful for my skeleton, my muscles, organs, tissues and cells, that allow me this joyful experience of life. My blessed bod, God-pod, took me to the creek today, where my amazing legs and feet planted themselves on the bridge. My awesome eyes looked out over the flock of mallards playing in the water. My ears took in the rush of the water. My hands rested lightly on the metal railing and felt the cold. I inhaled the expanded sense of the place and my spirit... Wed, 30 Dec 2015 19:28:24 EST When my clothes are too big... What will I do? <BR> <BR> I have some elegant, silk pants which I love to wear these days, in shades of mocha, black and cocoa. I plan on taking them to be altered, taken in at the waist, by a seamstress I know. The thing is, I have figured out the best way to dress this overweight body, so that she looks stylish and elegant. And I have invested in a beautiful wardrobe. It has been a part of loving myself as I am. <BR> <BR> I will take what I have learned into the future. <BR> <BR> My o... Mon, 28 Dec 2015 22:44:42 EST 5 Reasons that inspire me to workout 1. Yoga is like inner massage for the body. Afterwards, I feel so relaxed, alive and rejuvenated. <BR> 2. I am bringing more awareness into all of my body. This is improving my posture. Also, more awareness means better health, less tension, more skillful choices in the moment. <BR> 3. I like to look beautiful not in comparison to anyone else - just my unique expression of beauty - as a daily practice. I like giving and getting compliments. And I like to approve of myself. Even at my curren... Sat, 26 Dec 2015 19:45:50 EST If I had an extra hour in the day... I would read a good book by the fire. <BR> <BR> I would hold my Beloved in my arms. <BR> <BR> I'd write my next book. <BR> <BR> I'd go on a long walk and tune into nature. <BR> <BR> I'd meditate more. <BR> <BR> I'd phone my Dad in England and have a long talk, sharing from my heart. <BR> <BR> I can do all these things now and have the time of my life. Fri, 25 Dec 2015 01:18:52 EST Passing up on temptations A dear friend has invited hubs and I to a party at her house on Christmas Eve. I wanted to contribute something and I found myself saying, "I'll bring a salad." This feels like a win. For one thing, I enjoy making salads and serving them to everyone. Lots of greens, walnuts, grapes, cheese crumbled. And I will enjoy it too. <BR> <BR> My friend is a very good cook and fun to be with, stimulating and kind. And also health conscious as she is an integrative medicine doctor. This season, I am o... Tue, 22 Dec 2015 21:55:19 EST Health means ... A great blessing that I can cocreate with the divine. Yes, I can do many things to invoke it, eat right, exercise, drink water, and then there is surrender to divine will. Change me, Dear Mother Father God, into the best version of myself, that I might be a light in the world, have more fun, and serve others. Thank you. Om, Shanti. Mon, 21 Dec 2015 20:52:59 EST I know I've had a good workout when... I feel enlivened, rejuvenated, flexible, stronger. I stand taller, my cheeks are flushed, my eyes are bright, a pleasant glow suffuses my body and I feel more joyful. <BR> <BR> I want to remember this. Sat, 19 Dec 2015 22:24:28 EST It's the little things Saw the Star Wars movie tonight as a celebration of sticking with the trackers for three weeks solid. <BR> <BR> Great to see Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher and a new generation of Jedi. <BR> <BR> I am making a list of nonfood rewards for every 500 Spark points earned. Of course eating for nutrition and exercising is its own reward. Yet I find giving to myself in other ways is adding a rejuvenating ooomph to life. The little things matter. Fri, 18 Dec 2015 23:27:12 EST What was the best part of the day? Lots of moments: <BR> <BR> Looking into my eyes after I got dressed for yoga and seeing how bright they looked. <BR> <BR> Three parcels arrived in the post, including new slippers from Vionics. They have excellent support for my arches. My feet carry me about all day so I want to nurture them. Love is in the details. <BR> <BR> A lovely meeting with my mastermind buddy, reviewing our themes for the year. Taking time to celebrate our successes of this year. Yay for women owned businesses!... Thu, 17 Dec 2015 21:15:14 EST How do you feel in five words or less? Optimistic. <BR> Glad I found Spark. Wed, 16 Dec 2015 19:30:00 EST What does health mean to you? This is the question from my SparkCoach. <BR> <BR> H having the freedom to be mobile, active, walk, make love, skip and dance. <BR> E ease in my body. <BR> A An opportunity to fulfill my dreams while in this body <BR> L Loving myself no matter what. <BR> T Thankful for all the blessings, grace and miracles I experience every day. <BR> H Having it all and staying humble. <BR> <BR> Also, my body has taught me today that good form, posture affects function. And that is something to pract... Tue, 15 Dec 2015 21:45:58 EST Relationship with food Assessing it dispassionately on a scale of 1 to 10, I would say it is a 6.5. I tend to choose taste first and think about nutrition as an afterthought. Having said that, I know I'm good at making changes. I gave up coffee several years ago when I saw that it didn't agree with my body. I have a passion for good food, for flavor, and I am rewiring my mind and behavior about what quality calories are. This reflection is an assignment from my SparkCoach. There is room for improvement. I am a vege... Mon, 14 Dec 2015 00:30:50 EST Inspiration from John Muir about walking Returned from a walk in the rain feeling invigorated and enlivened. <BR> I checked my email and found the following from John Muir, the founder of the national parks movement. <BR> <BR> "It was not like taking the veil, <BR> No solemn abjuration of the world. <BR> I only went out for a walk and finally <BR> Concluded to stay until sundown <BR> For going out, I found <BR> I was really going in." <BR> <BR> Wow. Going out I found I was really going in. Yes, going out clears my head, remin... Sun, 13 Dec 2015 18:51:12 EST Review goals after eight days back <img src=""> Inclined to rest this evening. DH and I went for a long hike in the woods yesterday. I was struck by the majesty of the trees. My friend Blue Jay called again and again, tracking us on the trail. Great, to be one with the forest. I read an article on Spark people that felt kind and compassionate to me. It suggested a weight loss goal of 10%, rather than a more difficult seeming forty pounds. So, bear... Sun, 6 Dec 2015 20:17:04 EST The time is now On Friday, a dear friend died. My heart has broken open into a new level of commitment to living without limits, full embodiment of my most cherished values. She was and is an amazing soul, a kindred spirit. <BR> So here I am again, after three years away from Sparkpeople. <BR> I used to think it was about embodying the light, regardless of the body. Now I see that the body is condensed light. How could I not love that? So now, the mission is to be love. <BR> <BR> I wrote this poem for my ... Sun, 29 Nov 2015 21:17:39 EST Today's walk The hubs and I walked three miles around the neighborhood today. The wild cherries and ornamental plums are in bloom here in Northern California. It got blustery and really windy at one point and I wanted to take the shortcut home. Having a walking buddy kept me going. As we rounded the corner a flovk of robins crossed our path, darting among the bushes, hopping along the path, flitting through the tree branches. Cheerful. I was filled with wonder to see them migrating through our community a... Sun, 19 Feb 2012 00:16:35 EST On the scale after a week A week passed without weighing myself. I'm glad I didn't check the scale every day. No change. I'm holding steady. Exceeded my walking goal today. <BR> Wed, 20 Jul 2011 23:26:35 EST To weigh or not to weigh? The past: I've been at a plateau for over three months. I have been weighing myself daily. <BR> The present: I have decided to not weigh myself for the rest of the summer and shift my relationship with my body. Less criticism, more acceptance. <BR> The future: I am in awe of all the things my body can do, and the miraculous way it supports me. I celebrate my health daily. I am in a state of wonder in relationship to my body. <BR> <BR> I still plan on wearing my pedometer and walking tall.... Wed, 13 Jul 2011 01:08:52 EST Start of a new streak I was listening to an interview with one of my favorite authors, Marci Shimoff, whose book, "Love for no reason," came out earlier this year. She suggested asking yourself a question throughout the day. "What's the most loving thing I can do for myself right now?" Or another version of the question is, "What's the most loving way I can be with myself right now?" <BR> I felt more prompted to be more loving to myself today and started a new streak of working out ten minutes a day. I'll do yoga... Fri, 3 Jun 2011 00:39:31 EST Expanding truth in my life I came across this marvelous quote from Mahatma Gandhi today: <BR> <BR> "Your beliefs become your thoughts. <BR> Your thoughts become your words. <BR> Your words become your actions. <BR> Your actions become your habits. <BR> Your habits become your values. <BR> Your values become your destiny." <BR> <BR> He is a teacher for me, showing me how one man can make a difference in the evolution of the world. My goals are modest in comparison. But I'm a fan of Gandhi's concept of soul-force... Sun, 29 May 2011 20:35:57 EST Mother's Day Flowers <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Roses, stock, carnations and daisies! My favorites from my daughter, with love. <BR> <BR> And a message in dominoes: <BR> <link> </link> Sun, 8 May 2011 22:35:45 EST Two pounds down for April so far Six more days to the end of April and the goal-setter in me is wondering if the scale is going down another pound. It can happen. <BR> <BR> Last week's theme was being wholehearted in exercising, eating, in working, and in relationships. Logging food on the tracker while also paying attention to how I feel is really working for me. Last night, I felt hungry at around 9:30pm and I usually have a rule not to eat a couple of hours before going to bed. My food tracker reported that I was under ... Sun, 24 Apr 2011 16:36:35 EST On being wholehearted I've been mulling it over for a couple of days -- what it is to be wholehearted about my choices -- and the concept is still evolving. So far, I've been observing how I feel about my activities. Can I get fully behind what I'm doing, be in integrity with a thing, whether it's a food choice, exercise, a choice at work, or in relationship? <BR> <BR> I've seen Duke being wholehearted when it's time to go for a walk. He pants with eagerness and his entire body wags from the tip of his tail to h... Mon, 18 Apr 2011 01:38:25 EST Monday's notes on life, struggle, and order 1329 Calories <BR> 14566 steps. <BR> <BR> It was a sad day at the hospital today, so many patients in pain. May they be free from suffering and be restored to health. I talked it over with the hubs when we went for our evening walk. He said how important it is to take care of yourself so you can be of service to others. The sad place in my heart didn't shift. As I sit here writing, though, I also remember the bravery I saw. And resilience, the will to go on. In reality, there are as many di... Tue, 12 Apr 2011 01:02:23 EST Experimenting with no sugar for a day <BR> Calories: 1268 <BR> Steps: 9626 <BR> <BR> My experiment to give up sugar for a day went really well -- considering I hadn't prepared my pantry or fridge for this specific challenge. I had made some wise shopping choices at the weekend, so I had plenty of fruits and veggies. I read the ingredients on the nonfat greek yogurt and found that it listed sugar -- so I had to forgo that. My intention was to refine my own tastebuds by going without the extra sweetener -- to explore the actual t... Fri, 8 Apr 2011 00:18:35 EST Quality in, Quality Out 1340 Calories <BR> 12825 steps <BR> <BR> Advanced planning really helps. I took my favorite green drink to work with me today. That helped me stay away from the free chocolates. I felt I was nurturing myself with each flavorful sip. For tomorrow, I have some organic strawberries and blueberries which I plan on eating with cottage cheese. The tracker tells me I need to eat more protein. <BR> <BR> This evening the wind was blowing but we put on our warm coats and went for a walk. Our walks g... Thu, 7 Apr 2011 00:18:36 EST Weight ticker down a pound this morning Weight: 131 pounds <BR> Calories: 1300 <BR> Steps: 8215 <BR> <BR> <BR> The scale was a pound lower this morning so I amended my weight ticker, since I record all changes. What will it be in the morning? We'll see. <BR> <BR> Our evening walk was cut short since it got cold and windy and hubs was in his shirtsleeves. Fortunately, I had walked earlier in the day and hubs had a lunch time walk too. Still, I'd like to walk more tomorrow. <BR> <BR> My Poetry Circle met this afternoon. This is... Wed, 6 Apr 2011 01:29:16 EST Celebrating the colors of Spring at the Holi Festival 1500 Calories <BR> <BR> On Sunday, the hubs and I went to a fundraiser celebrating the colors of Spring, the traditional festival of Holi, a sacred and fun day for people of Indian origin. It was fabulous to have a festival that was not centered around food. There was music and dancing. It was held in a field on the campus of Stanford University. The major activity is putting colored powder on people, as a symbol of blossoming with the season. It also celebrates the victory of light over dar... Mon, 4 Apr 2011 13:29:41 EST What can we celebrate today? 1246 Calories <BR> 13155 steps <BR> <BR> What can I celebrate today? <BR> <BR> The sun shone and I put my lemon pickle out on the brick wall to catch the rays. I have two gallon-sized glass jars full of chopped spiced lemons. They sat in the sun for about five hours. The glass was warm when I brought them inside, toward the evening. I have to thank WATERMELLEN for a link she gave me a couple of weeks ago, when I was looking for inspiration. The lemons are juicy, fragrant and seedless. This... Sat, 2 Apr 2011 00:44:30 EST Last day of March 2011 Ten pounds from goal weight. <BR> 1380 calories today. <BR> 11389 steps. <BR> <BR> Reviewing the month: It's been great. Two weeks ago I started tracking nutrition again, and that is supporting wiser choices day by day. I'm feeling really motivated to reach my goal weight, improve my cholesterol numbers, look better and feel great. Blogging my steps is helping me stay on track, so I plan on doing that more consistently. <BR> <BR> It was also a successful month for my work. I've been wor... Thu, 31 Mar 2011 23:36:39 EST Getting better day by day Ate within calorie range today: 1198 calories. I made some healthier choices today, including a tablespoon of flaxseed oil. In the middle of the afternoon, I was volunteering at the hospital and noticed how thirsty I was. I took the time to go to the cafeteria and get myself a bottle of chilled water. I didn't choose the high-calorie green tea soda. It did cross my mind that I liked the flavor of that but I generally stay away from sodas. There was a vitamin water in the cooler. I read the in... Wed, 30 Mar 2011 23:47:06 EST Back on track After using the nutirtion tracker faithfully for ten days, I let three days pass without tracking. Today, I logged everything I ate. Total calories 1248. And walked 9568 steps. <BR> <BR> The calories weren't all healthy. I ate (and logged) four mini donuts -- 110 calories each. Sometimes, I just crave sweets. I came across some information today that eating more omega 3s helps to stop the craving for sweets and carbs. Fish oil and flaxseed oil are both rich in omega 3s. I have some flaxseed... Tue, 29 Mar 2011 23:24:27 EST After tracking nutrition for a week I stayed within my calorie range this week, eating between 1200 and 1420 most days. I am shocked to find that brown rice is so high in calories. It's one of my staples, and my typical portion is about two cups, twice the recommended serving size. I'm logging it and working on reducing the portion, too. <BR> One of my challenges is getting enough protein. Spurred by the tracker, I bought some hummus, cottage cheese and nonfat greek yogurt today. The other vegetarian option is to make a stock ... Sun, 20 Mar 2011 22:30:21 EST