CATS_MEOW_0911's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=CATS%5FMEOW%5F0911 CATS_MEOW_0911's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ 2013 in Review: The Most Chaotic Year of My Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5574240 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1680025621.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The year 2013 was--by far--the most chaotic and difficult year of my adult life. My father passed away very suddenly on February 11th, sending a shockwave through my life at a point when I was approaching a high point. What ensued after with dealing with his ice-cold wife was what made the ordeal nearly unbearable, as my brother and I watched helplessly as she erased his existence (without our consult)... Sun, 29 Dec 2013 00:29:11 EST Quick Update (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5544169 I haven't blogged in quite a while! Part of the reason for this is that I have started focusing my efforts on paid writing gigs and developing a freelance writing business. I will be writing primarily for health and wellness and also for veterinary medicine. I finished my first article for publication (and for pay!) for a strength training journal and it will be published in January (details to follow). <BR> <BR> I am also working on a book (or possible series of books) on creative life cha... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 10:03:07 EST Saying Good-bye to a Gentle Soul http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5437958 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1217964075.jpg"> <BR> Dmitri <BR> 1999 (or thereabouts)-2013 <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I made the difficult choice to euthanize my dog Dmitri today. He was about 14 years old and I adopted him from the Humane Society 12 years ago, in July of 2001. He was a total impulse buy. I was a die-hard cat person. I NEVER thought that I would have a dog. I went to the Humane Society that day to help a friend pick out a reptile. While she was looking, I we... Mon, 29 Jul 2013 22:46:12 EST Beast Mode...ENGAGE http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5403944 We have all been in low places. Hopefully most of us haven't truly reached rock bottom before, but many of us have been there, too. I am lucky; I did not reach rock bottom this time, but came dangerously close. Fortunately, I had developed coping mechanisms that were strong enough to get me through even the toughest moments, even when my forebrain was wondering how much more I could take. I have been Depressed as Hell Erin for the past few months. Perhaps I had a right to feel that way, but i... Thu, 27 Jun 2013 20:55:02 EST The Martin http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5386508 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l157755485.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> "My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am." <BR> -Joan Jett <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wow. I haven't posted a blog since mid-April. That's probably a good indication of how stuck I have been. But today I had a really big problem. I'll get to that in a second. <BR> <BR> Of course I have been struggling a lot since my dad's death in February. Unfortunately, sadness... Wed, 12 Jun 2013 02:42:20 EST My "Spring" Garden http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5328814 Taken April 19th, 2013. It should be about 60 degrees and bright GREEN. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1587603609.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1247701161.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/6/l664725701.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1783130256.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 14:42:44 EST The Ever-Frozen Ground http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5324194 Minnesotans are know for being cold-hardy. We love winter. We think people from other parts of the country are babies when it comes to cold and snow. We joke about "Minne-snow-ta" and hunker down with hot cocoa as the flakes fall. When we do have to drive through ice pellets and the surrounding opaque whiteness, we shake our fists in frustration at people going too slow, figuring they MUST not be from around here. We bundle up until no skin is visible and venture out to sled and plop on the g... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 15:54:55 EST A New Journey http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5310925 Some events are so shocking and so significant that they change us to our very core. A few days after my dad died, it dawned on me that I would probably never be the same person. But sometimes the worst circumstances cause us to grow the most as a human being. By saying I will never be the same person, I do not mean that I will be some moping depressed person for the rest of my life. Actually, other than the meltdown a couple of weeks ago, I have felt pretty good. I had a great relationship w... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 02:30:34 EST The Week in Review: Putting Honey Badger to Shame http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5298773 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/0/l606791879.jpg"> <BR> Awww, how cute, honey badger is trying to be me. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> In reading over this blog before posting it, I can tell it has a pretty different tone from what I usually write. I wrote most of it while I was really pissed off. I also wish that SparkPeople allowed swear words. But as they say: Honey badger don't care. <BR> <BR> I am not normally an angry person. Of course I get upset, I GET angry, bu... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 22:06:56 EST Office Space: Creating a New Work Life http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5296817 "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now." <BR> -Chinese Proverb <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My career goal when I was a child was to be an astronomer. Astronomy was my hobby and passion. I started to pursue a degree in astrophysics by taking basic science and astronomy courses in college. I did okay in basic astronomy courses and got good grades in math courses until I got to calculus. I just didn't get it. I could not grasp chemistry and physics. My ... Sat, 23 Mar 2013 01:20:15 EST The Week in Review: Six Feet Under http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5273508 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/5/l1582622874.jpg"> <BR> My dad and my brother Brian when he was a toddler. We could not get them plots right next to each other, but my dad was buried in the same row as Brian. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As most of you know, my dad passed away suddenly on February 11th. The past few weeks have been an exhausting emotional roller coaster. I have felt virtually every emotion there is, sometimes simultaneously. <BR> <BR> I had finished watching th... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 22:29:09 EST In Memory of My Dad http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5261389 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1393550882.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/4/l942171704.jpg"> <BR> My dad in his early 20s. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As many of you know, my dad passed away suddenly on Monday, February 11th. I buried my dad a week ago today. This has been an overwhelmingly emotion time; I will address that in a later blog. I wanted to post a quick blog in memory of my dad. A single blog cannot, of course, encompass our ... Sat, 23 Feb 2013 19:33:56 EST My father passed away tonight. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5247240 I am in a little bit of shock right now. I went to the gym tonight, came home and showered, got out, and the phone rang almost immediately. It was a nurse at a hospital telling me my father had passed away and that I needed to come to the hospital immediately. Needless to say, I was pretty hysterical. I am very fortunate that I have close friends, and my best friend came right over and drove me to the hospital. <BR> <BR> My poor stepmom had been with him the whole time. He collapsed suddenl... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 03:24:54 EST Article Addressing Weight Loss Resistance http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5209953 Just wanted to share an article from Cathe Friedrich that addresses "weight loss resistance," or lack of weight loss despite doing "all the right things." I am glad that research is starting to address the fact that people can eat right and exercise and still not lose weight. Every body is different, so it is a matter of experimenting until the right balance is struck. <BR> <BR> Here is the article: <BR> <BR> <link>cathe.com/identifying-and-addressing<BR>-weight-loss-resistance </link> Wed, 16 Jan 2013 11:55:10 EST The Week In Review: Trip to Los Angeles (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5205524 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1370056228.jpg"> <BR> TapouT Training Center, downtown Los Angeles. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am not the same person I was a week ago. <BR> <BR> I knew that my trip to Los Angeles to do Jiu Jitsu training would be pretty exciting: I would be training at the TapouT gym, meeting and training with Jiu Jitsu master Eddie Bravo, probably meeting some famous people, seeing a taping of Conan O'Brien, walking by the ocean, and hanging out with... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 19:24:18 EST 2012 in Review: Gold Medal Year (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5184279 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l1327064614.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> I started my SparkPeople journey from a very dark place a little over 2 years ago. I was at a breaking point where I was willing to try anything to make my life feel tolerable to me. I started to be more active on SparkPeople and make small changes to develop healthier habits. Gradually, new habits became ingrained and I started to lose weight. I learned to treat myself better and that other people need to t... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 16:08:48 EST The Week in Review: Pants Around My Ankles (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5163121 *Please note: There are no pictures with my pants around my ankles.* <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I reached 66 pounds down this past week, which is about halfway to my goal weight. All of a sudden it seems that a lot of my clothes are way too big. My winter coat is very baggy. I have noticed shirts especially becoming very loose. I decided to go shopping in my own closet. I have a pair of brown corduroy pants that I had been waiting to fit back into. This week I wondered if they fit.... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 10:40:15 EST The Week (and Month) in Review: 60 Pounds Gone and Gold Medal Wins http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5158188 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/7/l1729979923.jpg"> <BR> My podium gold medal win at Jiu Jitsu competition on 11/17. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> November marked one of the most defining moments in my entire life: winning a competition. Not just participating, but winning. If you had asked me a few years ago, when I was still the fat kid in gym class getting bullied about my weight, I would have said that winning a sporting event was out of the question. I still kind of can't belie... Thu, 6 Dec 2012 12:15:52 EST The Week in Review: Guts, Glory, and Gold http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5141042 The end of October marked a year of doing Jiu Jitsu. My journey of Jiu Jitsu started with taking a small chance by trying out 1 class. I kept showing up, trying my best, and worked through the frustrations of the long learning curve of learning a martial art. After a year, I feel like the moves are becoming more intuitive and flowing together naturally. <BR> <BR> I won second place in my division at my first Jiu Jitsu tournament in June. Afterwards, I consistently told my coaches that I was... Tue, 20 Nov 2012 00:46:36 EST Learn About Maintenance Before Losing Weight http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5125181 I was happy to come across an article on CNN that discussed a study that demonstrated the importance of understanding weight maintenance before weight loss begins. Most people worry about losing the weight and then either mistakenly believe that maintenance will be natural, or, that "being thin is it's own reward" and that they will be so ecstatic to be thin that they will not let the weight come back on. The unfortunate truth is that a lot of people who lose weight regain it (myself included... Mon, 5 Nov 2012 17:26:14 EST The Week in Review: Laziest Blog Ever http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5116130 I have a lot to say, I have a lot on my mind, but I have been too busy/distracted to blog. I am feeling a little stuck. In any case, I wanted to get something down for the record. So, I will let some quotes do the talking. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l1627809303.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/4/l1405675042.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/3/l131262046.jpg"> Sun, 28 Oct 2012 22:26:26 EST The Week in Review: California Girl (w/ progress pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5097432 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/8/l583735449.jpg"> <BR> Image from http://www.10thplanetjj.com/ <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My gym has planned a trip to Los Angeles to take classes with Eddie Bravo, the founder of 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu. After a couple of weeks of waiting for plans to be finalized, the trip was finally set for 1/7-1/11/2013. I purchased my ticket to get to Los Angeles yesterday, waiting to purchase my ticket with my coach Nate so we could travel together. There abo... Sat, 13 Oct 2012 10:41:11 EST The Week in Review: Happy Butt (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5081482 Hah! Not the kind of pics you might think. <em>211</em> I'll talk more later about diet and exercise in another blog (all is going pretty well), but wanted to update about what has been consuming my life over the past few months: my dog Dugan's tail. <BR> <BR> My dog developed hair loss on the tip of his tail a little over 2 months ago. Then he started to act as though it hurt when he was wagging it. I noticed he started to chew at it, so I put the cone of shame on him, hoping that the i... Mon, 1 Oct 2012 01:06:50 EST The Week in Review: The Student Becomes the Teacher http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5064087 This past week was pretty good. I had a good birthday on Tuesday. It was a training day, so I didn't overdo the eating. I got a 90 minute deep tissue massage and then met my mom for lunch. Tuesdays are my long training day at the gym, so I got there and warmed up with some weights, did Muay Thai and had a great workout, and then had a fun Jiu Jitsu class. I couldn't think of a better way to ring in this next year of life than training at the gym with some of my favorite people. <BR> <BR> I ... Mon, 17 Sep 2012 22:45:05 EST Happy Birthday to Me: The Gift of Promises http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5054376 "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." <BR> -Henry David Thoreau <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am not anxious about aging. My best days are not behind me; they are ahead. I truly believe that life is what you make it, or rather, life is how you perceive it. I feel like I am getting way better with age. I finally have the independence AND the wisdom to enjoy it. I have learned (and will continue to learn) who and what needs to be in my life. Challenges present lea... Tue, 11 Sep 2012 12:33:20 EST The Week in Review: I'll try not to injure myself, my dog, or anyone else in the process... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5051661 ...of writing this blog. <BR> <BR> It's been like The 3 Stooges 'round these parts this week. First, my dog apparently whacked his tail on something ("happy tail") and then proceeded to chew off the tip of his tail. Normally I try to treat simple stuff myself (I am a vet tech) but it was clear he needed antibiotics. So, we went to the vet on Friday. He now has a giant cone of shame and a bandage on his tail and looks rather pathetic. Now we just need to hope it heals up well and that he does... Sun, 9 Sep 2012 21:58:37 EST The Week (and Month) in Review: I can't do it. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5041349 "I can't do it." <BR> <BR> No word in the sentence has more than 4 letters, but those 4 short words have stopped us from trying and doing so many things throughout our lives. Just the thought of the sentence causes us to lose some momentum when we are trying to decide whether to attempt something. It excuses any attempt to try because we have already shut down the idea that there is a possibility of success. I wonder how many thousands of times I have uttered those 4 little words, shutting o... Sun, 2 Sep 2012 15:44:14 EST The Week in Review: The Girls Take Over Jiu Jitsu (w/ pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5032069 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/8/l888598335.jpg"> <BR> Group picture of Jiu Jitsu class taken Saturday. We had a record-breaking 4 women in class. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> During Jiu Jitsu class this week, a couple of the guys were talking about how they admire women who do Jiu Jitsu. They said they understood how intimidating it must be to walk into a class for the first time. It's intimidating for a guy to start doing Jiu Jitsu, so it must be even more so for a woman. Then ... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 18:52:12 EST 2 Years of Sparkin': 2 Year SparkVersary Celebration! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5025629 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l451558288.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> A little over 2 years ago, I saw the number 298 on the scale. I found this number utterly overwhelming. I knew I could not keep letting that number climb, but I didn't know where to begin. I already enjoyed exercise, but I was debilitated by a bad right knee and could hardly do any exercise. On the other hand, I knew my knee would probably get better if I lost some weight. So, I slowly start... Tue, 21 Aug 2012 22:49:57 EST The Past 6 Weeks (or so) in Review: The Short Short Version http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5022332 I have been trying to hammer out a blog for a couple of weeks and it just ain't happening. So, I will post a super-quick update blog. <BR> <BR> I just haven't felt much like blogging recently, but I hadn't realized that I hadn't written an update blog in about 6 weeks, since my Jiu Jitsu tournament. I have mostly been in a holding pattern...no change in weight (hey, still better than going up), eating has mostly been good, still pretty consistent with workouts. I was a little down for a cou... Sun, 19 Aug 2012 20:41:36 EST The Coolest Olympian: Sarah Robles http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5014067 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l113197117.jpg"> <BR> Weightlifter Sarah Robles. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I often feel out of place calling myself an athlete. This isn't as much the case as it used to be, but sometimes I feel like I'm in a game of "Which One Doesn't Belong?" Granted, I don't feel like I'm treated this way (at least not anymore), but I still feel a bit awkward in my martial arts classes. I don't often see other big martial artists, especially women. I do my be... Mon, 13 Aug 2012 19:17:06 EST Fifty (or maybe "Fitty") Things About Me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5012462 Hmmm, it has been a while since I have blogged. I have not been posting a "Week in Review" blog like I should, but I am working on a blog post. In the meantime, I came across this "50 Things About Me" deal on BAZOOKABOBCAT's blog and it looks fun, so here it is: <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? <BR> Nope! Came close to being named "Gladys" after my great grandmother, though. <BR> <BR> 2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? <BR> Haha, probably at some point over the past w... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 18:35:52 EST Cool article on Mindful Eating http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4965876 I came across an article discussing mindful eating, which is kind of what I talked about in my blogs a couple of weeks ago ("The Impossible"). <BR> <BR> <link>greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/ite<BR>m/better_eating_through_mindfulness </link> Wed, 11 Jul 2012 17:07:11 EST The Week (and Month) in Review: Tournament Time! (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4951633 "There is no losing in Jiu-Jitsu. You either win or you learn." <BR> -Carlos Gracie Jr. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/7/l773394489.jpg"> <BR> Me vs. "Smashlee" in the Advanced Women's division. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> The above quote by Carlos Gracie Jr. hit home with me because it actually sums up a lot of this journey for me. I stopped viewing myself as a failure, and began seeing learning opportunities in mistakes that have been made. Choosing to l... Mon, 2 Jul 2012 10:00:39 EST The Week in Review: Competition Countdown http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4940486 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/9/l394473018.jpg"> <BR> Picture of some of the Jiu Jitsu guys after class last week. I'm behind the guy in the "Aloha" shirt. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am participating in my first Jiu Jitsu competition next Saturday. I have never actually competed in a sport before. I have done numerous triathlons, duathlons, and running events, but it is fair to say I wasn't competing against anyone except for myself. This time, it will be just another person... Sun, 24 Jun 2012 18:14:39 EST The Week in Review: Jeff http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4930481 "When he worked, he really worked. But when he played, he really PLAYED." <BR> -Dr. Seuss <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/4/l748126592.jpg"> <BR> Jeff. As my boyfriend said when he posted this, "I wish you could hear this picture." <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I had been thinking about quitting my sax lessons. I hadn't been putting in the practice time, yet have been getting frustrated that I am not improving a lot. I convinced myself that I didn't like my te... Sun, 17 Jun 2012 19:38:58 EST The Impossible (Part II): Breaking my lifelong addiction to food http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4927648 "Respect your efforts, respect yourself. Self-respect leads to self-discipline. When you have both firmly under your belt, that's real power." <BR> -Clint Eastwood <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> This post is Part II to a previous blog entry, "The Impossible": <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4916586 </link> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> When I was 11 years old, my mother took us to Michigan to visit a friend of hers. We were eating dinner one night an... Fri, 15 Jun 2012 11:29:19 EST What does it mean to have a "positive attitude"? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4923370 "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty." <BR> -Winston Churchill <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I was given the honor of being voted a SparkPeople Motivator this week...I had to read and reread the notification e-mail. I was shocked. Then I realized that I do deserve such an honor for sharing my journey in an open and honest way. I have lost 50 of the 136 pounds I have set out to lose. It has taken me a year and a half to lose... Tue, 12 Jun 2012 13:31:23 EST The Week in Review: Cassandra http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4920966 “Life is the dancer and you are the dance.” <BR> - Eckhart Tolle <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/7/l873797967.jpg"> <BR> Cassandra Shore of Jawaahir Dance Company. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I talked about the impact of belly dance in my blog "The Impossible" that I posted last Thursday. This art proved to be life-changing for me and was the gateway to everything I now do fitness-wise. Belly dance provided the first glimpse of the person I was m... Mon, 11 Jun 2012 01:20:19 EST The Impossible http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4916586 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/9/l996188702.jpg"> <BR> Image from http://weheartit.com/animelover118 <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> When I started using the SparkPeople website, I had a goal of losing 136 pounds. I wanted to improve my relationship with food in that process, learning to make better choices and to "fight" my constant hunger. I haven't been surprised that I have been willing to push myself with exercise (martial arts, weight lifting, running, etc.), but I ... Thu, 7 Jun 2012 16:41:19 EST The Past 2 Weeks (and May) in Review: Where to start? (w/ pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4910031 I got caught up in a lot of other things last week and didn't post a "Week in Review" blog. I've been gardening, writing, working out, and spending time with my boyfriend. My brain is all over the place. Overall, I am in a pretty contented place. <BR> <BR> The month of May was decent enough. I had the leg injury that took me out of hard workouts for a couple of weeks, but should be better now (more below). I have backed out of the Muay Thai fight I was scheduled for on June 16th because I wa... Sun, 3 Jun 2012 13:36:53 EST Bitten by the creativity bug http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4908744 I'm not sure why, but I have been seriously bitten by the writing bug recently. It has been a while since I have done writing other than my blogs. I have been working more on my sci-fi novel, which is about the discovery of a second co-existing species of humans. My sci-fi novel has mostly been a brainstorm for the past couple of years. I have been jotting down ideas and writing bits and pieces of the 3-part series, but it has not been until the past week or so that I have had a clearer pictu... Sat, 2 Jun 2012 12:49:02 EST The Week in Review: The Lake House (with pics) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4893599 "A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in." <BR> -Robert Orben <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/5/l453144725.jpg"> <BR> View from the porch at my family's lake house. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I was at the end of my rope by Friday of last week. I had a crappy training week due to a dumb injury, and that dumb injury landed me in the emergency room (don't worry, it is fine now). Then Friday was an extremely rough night at work that involved ... Tue, 22 May 2012 20:55:22 EST The Week in Review: It's Impassable http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4880206 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/1/l519198168.jpg"> <BR> Image from http://classicdisney.tumblr.com/post/41687<BR>85237 <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> One of my favorite books as a kid was "Alice in Wonderland." I was thinking about possibilities this week and how far I've come, and I recalled when Alice is chasing the white rabbit down the home. She has taken a potion that made her large, and she comes upon a door. She can see the rabbit through the keyhole and the doorknob sta... Mon, 14 May 2012 02:33:52 EST The Week in Review: Heavyweight Fighter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4868336 So as of this week, I am officially a Muay Thai fighter. Well, I will be after June 16th. My coaches encouraged to sign up to fight, so I will be doing an exhibition match on June 16th. Only about 6 weeks away. Ahhhh! <BR> <BR> I will be fighting provided a suitable opponent is found. There is a good chance that another woman my size will not be found. Either way, I will train as though I am fighting. As long as I train as hard as possible, I don't really care if I win or lose. Although it w... Sat, 5 May 2012 23:49:24 EST The Week (and Month) in Review: Defending the Championship http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4858512 "I don't train just to be better at training. I train so everything else in life is better." <BR> -Lauren Brooks <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/9/l896882307.jpg"> <BR> My pal Nick (the shirtless one) getting ready for his fight on Saturday, with our Muay Thai coach Eric. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> One of my martial arts buddies, Nick, had a fight on Saturday night. He was defending his chamionship belt that he earned at his last fight. He did lose the figh... Mon, 30 Apr 2012 00:53:41 EST The Week in Review: Letting Go http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4847285 “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.” <BR> -Steve Maraboli <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I do animal poison control for a living. Most of the time I find it very rewarding to know I am helping save pets' lives, but sometimes, pet owners are not so grateful for our services. A lot of people are unhappy that we charge for our service (we don't receive any public funding/tax dol... Sun, 22 Apr 2012 22:48:06 EST The Week in Review: Not Sorry It's Over http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4838458 Last week was not overly horrible, but not really eventful, either. I felt like I hardly worked out at all since I skipped Jiu Jitsu on Wednesday and Friday because my upper back and neck hurt, but I still apparently burned a good 3,000 calories. I'm not sure if I hurt my neck doing something in Jiu Jitsu last Monday, but it still hurts now. I am finally caving and am taking naproxen. I felt like I overate a lot, but my weight remained steady. It was just kind of a "blah" week, and I'm lookin... Mon, 16 Apr 2012 22:24:31 EST The Week in Review: I'd tap that. ;) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4826086 I had the most productive week I've had in a while this past week. My eating may not have always been spectacular, but I had a great workout week, practiced my saxophone quite a bit, and overall felt pretty relaxed. <BR> <BR> I got through almost all of my planned workouts this week, which is pretty good considering I plan on at least 3 Jiu Jitsu classes (did it!), 1 Muay Thai class (didn't do it), 3 strength training workouts (did it!), and 3 runs (I did 2 runs; I made the second one a lon... Sun, 8 Apr 2012 21:17:41 EST The Week (and Month) in Review: Boyfriend and 50 Pounds http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4815230 March was all over the place. I had about 2 weeks of allergy issues and some blues that came with it. Of course, this was in the latter part of March right after I had surpassed the 50 pound weight loss point and was feeling very strong. I was a little afraid of losing momentum and backtracking. Although I did have a few days of of overeating and missed a week at the gym because of the massive allergy attack, I snapped out of it pretty quickly and returned to the gym last week as soon as my e... Sun, 1 Apr 2012 15:57:29 EST