EXPAT_EMMA's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=EXPAT%5FEMMA EXPAT_EMMA'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/ My friend's death taught me to live http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5008625 I have not blogged for a while. I have been living in a daze. Just as things in my life were going well, the worst of life hit my good friend. Lung cancer. All she had was a persistent back ache - and I thought acupuncture would help. <BR> The doctors told her that her condition was terminal and they could offer treatment to prolong her life but the side effects were bad. She chose to live on her terms. And so for the last two months we laughed, watched great (and really bad) movies, walked (... Thu, 9 Aug 2012 18:05:15 EST Lucky, lucky me!!! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4897107 I have just returned from paradise!! <BR> Paradise is 2 weeks in a little, slightly rundown villa on the turquoise coast of Turkey, just big enough for 2 with its own path to the sea. Every day the sea breeze cooled the warm skies. With no internet access, we got into a new relaxed routine. Mornings started with a dip in the sea, followed by a breakfast of the thick local yoghurt, honey and fruit. We walked into town to the daily market for fresh bread and ripe produce for simple lunches - s... Fri, 25 May 2012 06:25:09 EST In search of sweeter dreams http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4867214 Recently, I have been thinking alot about the importance of sleep - mainly when awake at 2 in the morning. I had been having trouble with a bout of insomnia, because of dental pain from surgery. It brought out the very worst in me - I was self-pitying, downhearted, muddle-headed and very, very hungry. <BR> That's when it became very clear that lack of sleep has been one of the major reasons my diets have failed in the past. My body was screaming "I am tired and I need lots of fuel" whilst... Sat, 5 May 2012 06:15:49 EST Letting go of the fear http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4855773 Just got back from visiting my parents in England. They must be the only people in the western world without a computer / wifi. They were not best pleased when I told them about this blog. Sharing my feelings with strangers? "That kind of thing is not for us" <BR> Looking back over the conversations I had with them over the last few days, I am struck by how many times they criticized anything new or adventurous. Please don't misunderstand me, I do love my mom and dad but they always play it ... Sat, 28 Apr 2012 03:47:12 EST Simple joys http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4846093 Just got back from a walk in the early morning sunshine. Currently crunching on a juicy apple as crisp as the morning air and watching the birds in my garden. <BR> Happiness truly does come from the simple things in life and on this morning all I simply need to say is - thank you!! <BR> Sun, 22 Apr 2012 02:58:14 EST Feeling better - doing better http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4841574 To my complete joy, the post-operative pain has diminished! <BR> My heel has also healed nicely, so off I went for a walk. It was pouring with rain but I did not care. The happiness I felt in moving my body was tangible. <BR> Having experienced how low I felt this week I now know for sure that exercise is vital to my mental health as well as my physical wellbeing. As I walked on, I felt empowered, in control and strong again. <BR> So my face may still be swollen, but thank goodness it's smil... Wed, 18 Apr 2012 21:04:50 EST Time for a change - big decision http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4835699 Since my last post I have undergone dental surgery. The surgeon was a lovely guy and was quite unfazed by having a clearly terrified woman in the chair. <BR> Only when it was over, he gave me an apologetic smile and explained that due to my antidepressants he could not give me the pain medication he usually prescribed - there were contra indications with my pills. All he could offer as the advice to take a few paracetamol and put an ice bag on my jaw when it got unbearable. <BR> So I have sp... Sun, 15 Apr 2012 08:30:54 EST Root canal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4829708 Over the Easter break, an old dental problem reared its ugly and uncomfortable head. To wit - today I have to go and have root canal surgery. Yippee!! <BR> I am a complete coward when it comes to things that are going to hurt. Added to that is my slow recovery time in the past from any dental procedure and the fact that I have to be very careful with pain medication because of my antidepressants. <BR> Pfff.....it's going to be a tough few days ahead. Wish me luck!! Wed, 11 Apr 2012 03:01:33 EST All kinds of celebrations! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4825289 Well happy Easter to everyone and happy birthday to my Dad! I look like him – my sister got all my mother’s sylph-like grace and figure and I got to look like a scrum forward (big bloke who plays rugby). I had short hair growing up and on more than one occasion was mistaken for a boy. You cannot imagine the relief I felt when puberty struck and I grew some breasts. <BR> I was still on the tall and chunky side of womanhood though. As a teen I voraciously read those romances when men swept wom... Sun, 8 Apr 2012 06:03:18 EST Bending not breaking http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4821362 Yesterday I came home from my walk with a blister and overnight it just got bigger. I swear it grew a face and well, there is some gunk in it (sorry for that detail - yuck!). I already had the feeling yesterday that I would have to call a halt to the walking for a while. The usual thoughts of "oh typical, just when I was making some progress" etc..etc...popped into my head. I made a cup of tea (I am British and therefore believe that tea cures everything) and looked out at my back garden. I... Thu, 5 Apr 2012 06:42:48 EST Plans, plans, plans. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4818411 Over the weekend, some alien came and took over my body - ok, maybe that did not happen but there has to be some explanation for the bizarre urge I had to clean my old stuff up. I have these boxes in the attic and while I am very good at adding to them, organizing them has always put on the back burner. <BR> However, armed with a very large cup of tea and some time to spare I sat and went through some of them. One box had my old journals in them from the days when I did not tell anyone but my... Tue, 3 Apr 2012 11:19:08 EST I ate mud pie and I liked it... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4813102 I went to the birthday party of a good friend yesterday and I did not go empty handed. I had baked the dessert - a luscious Mississippi Mud Pie. I don't say that I am good at many things but I know I am a very good cook/baker. And this pie was a very, very good one. <BR> So I had a slice. A small slice with no extra cream. And that's when one of the other guests, someone I don't know, asked (pretty loudly) if I should be eating that. She did not ask anyone else that question. Awkward silence ... Sat, 31 Mar 2012 03:50:12 EST On the road again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4810071 Back to walking - hooray!!! <BR> I did not intend to go very far, but I happily (and slowly) walked my usual 5 mile loop, although I sat down on a bench for a rest midway. There is something about being outside that lifts my mood. I think it may be because I feel a part of nature and it's bursting into life right now. <BR> Came home smiling and then went to YouTube and played Simon Webbe "Coming around again" which is hands down the most uplifting song I know. <BR> My body is stronger, my spi... Thu, 29 Mar 2012 04:59:10 EST Food glorious food! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4808424 Feeling much better - my brush with the flu or whatever nasty little bug attacked me seems to be over. <BR> Still I did learn something over the last 5 days - how deeply grateful I am for the food that helps me to feel better. <BR> So thanks for the cups of tea that sustained me, for the soft boiled eggs that coated and soothed my sore throat, thanks for the tomato soup that nourished me and the freshly squeezed juice that brought a little sunshine orange into my life. <BR> And here's the thi... Wed, 28 Mar 2012 05:55:49 EST Sick.... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4802222 Woke up this morning with sore throat, runny nose and a fever - and it's ideal walking weather. Bah! <BR> Hate this, but am going to sit quietly in the sun. I guess I cannot expect everything to go my way and my body needs to rest right now. I am trying to see this as a good lesson in doing what's right for my body and not just what I want to do. <BR> Signing off to go and make a huge cup of green tea.... <BR> Sat, 24 Mar 2012 05:19:33 EST In search of the (th)inner me http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4796231 I have been doing a lot of walking - I must have covered about 20 miles in a week. I find it helps me think things through. It's no surprise than many cultures believe if you have a problem you should go for a walk until you can solve it. <BR> This morning I was thinking about starting my second month at SP: how to keep up the momentum of change from month 1. It occured to me that I had spent a great deal on that first month making necessary external changes to my lifestyle, but that now was ... Tue, 20 Mar 2012 06:38:18 EST If they don't quit, I won't quit. http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4790102 The weather is turning warmer. Although I love the blue skies, the warmth brings a whole set of issues for me. I am overweight and the prospect of losing the layers I wear in winter is something I dread. I like to be anonymous. Showing skin of any kind is difficult. <BR> I opened my closet to have a look at the options for Spring. My clothes are a sea of black sacks, with the occasional dark blue sack or green sack and one purple sack for when I am feeling daring. <BR> I have lost some weig... Fri, 16 Mar 2012 06:53:30 EST Looking on the bright side http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4786114 Heard a song on the radio today from my youth. I thought back to the days when I was fearless and there were so many things I was going to achieve. I wondered where that girl went. Regrets flooded in - why and how had I wasted my life? <BR> But there is more than one way of looking at things. Allowing regrets to come into my mind so easily had burdened me with sadness and blighted my life and the lives of those I love. So I told myself: what if I looked at this differently? What if I celebrat... Tue, 13 Mar 2012 19:23:39 EST Not giving up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4781833 Another bad night with my back but the sun is out so I went for a walk. Just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Can't give up fighting the black clouds... Sun, 11 Mar 2012 11:13:21 EST Scary stormy weather http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4780175 Sunday's sunshine has been replaced by rain. Despite my best efforts to stay upbeat, my back injury is dragging me down. I hate being helpless and my sleep has been severely disrupted. I have to be very careful with pain medication as I am on antidepressants. <BR> I am getting more and more frustrated and that is turning into negative energy. There are dark clouds gathering over my previously sunny mood and to be frank I am scared. I can already feel myself shutting myself off from people aga... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 06:27:01 EST Just wanted to say that it's a good day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4769570 There is a gentle warm breeze today and the birds are singing. I have opened the windows fully for the first time this year and taken a deep breath of the fresh spring air. <BR> I wish I could bottle my feelings on a day like this for future use but seeing as that is not possible I am going to savour these precious moments. <BR> Very happy - that's all I have to say... Sun, 4 Mar 2012 07:03:35 EST Positivity beats panic http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4766596 So - end of week 2 and despite the busted back (see previous blog), I am keeping to the diet and a modified fitness program. I am also finding my way around the site - what a lot of inspiring people there are out there. One short entry really caught my eye - simply "panic attacks are no fun". That's true, but one attack I had changed my life for the better. <BR> Christmas Eve 2011, 4:00 in the morning, found me floundering in my kitchen. I had woken up and been hit with an attack - nocturnal ... Fri, 2 Mar 2012 06:59:38 EST Getting over the bumps in the road http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4760299 One week in, full of plans and enthusiasm, all systems go...or so I thought. I have picked up an injury. I was not thinking and tried to take a heavy box from a shelf and it went wrong. In short I have badly hurt my upper back and right shoulder. <BR> As I sat with an icepack waiting for the painkillers to kick in I heard it - that inner voice. <BR> The one that always popped into my head when things went wrong or I failed. Always saying the same thing: "Well, what did you expect trying to ma... Mon, 27 Feb 2012 18:15:36 EST Kind words can make such a difference...but you have to listen to them! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4755010 Oh my gosh! 2 wonderful people read my blog and left such kind comments. Thank you, thank you! <BR> Encouragement, compassion and kindness can make such a difference to your life. The trick is to allow others in your life so they can help you. <BR> I had the wrong idea about being strong. I thought it meant building a fortress inside of me, hiding behind the walls so that the world could never get close enough to hurt me. That strategy was lamentably unsuccessful. What I had done was trap my... Fri, 24 Feb 2012 12:10:40 EST First day determination http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4749027 So this is it - day 1 of ...well, a lot of days. Like so many people I have been trying to lose weight for years and have done some monumentally stupid things to try to achieve that weight loss. The weight always came back on. <BR> I am one of nature's introverts - I have always thought I can handle things on my own but the fact that I am obese is showing me the opposite. I had a terrible time with depression and hid it (and tried to eat it) away. I have now learnt the overdue lesson that o... Tue, 21 Feb 2012 08:13:06 EST