FRUGALSUE's SparkPeople Blog FRUGALSUE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Simplifying I've been in my new little rental house for three months today. I moved from a 3400 SF suburban McMansion to a 700 SF alley cottage in a smaller city. I got rid of huge amounts of stuff before my move. Even so, I have found that I moved things here that I thought I would use, and now I'm not using them. So now I'm cutting down even more on my possessions. I've rented a table at a flea market this coming weekend and hope to sell some small kitchen appliances, books, and other items that I... Thu, 15 Apr 2010 13:00:29 EST Beginning to Feel Better It's been almost three months since I left my husband and moved away to a different town. The first couple of months, I was an emotional wreck, reacting to everything my ex said and did and wishing that we could repair the damage in our marriage. This past month, I've been moving into a place of acceptance, and now I'm beginning to get excited about a more positive future. <BR> <BR> The best change is that I'm actually beginning to enjoy each day. I get to decide what I'm going to do ea... Sat, 10 Apr 2010 11:59:08 EST Another Reason I Love SparkPeople I had about three days in a row this week when I could not eat anything close to the number of calories that my body requires. I'm not sure why. I think it may have to do with my being highly motivated to achieve some other successes in my life, and I got distracted and didn't eat much. <BR> <BR> Then there was yesterday, when there wasn't enough food in the world to satisfy me. I went over my nutritional needs by several hundred calories. Yesterday, I was dealing with my can't-be-my-ex-... Fri, 9 Apr 2010 11:54:07 EST My Emotional Eating Patterns Are Changing Yesterday was a tough day in several respects. I had no particular plans with anybody for Easter, and that was very different for me, because I had been married for a long time before recently separating from my husband. And also I had some communication difficulties several times during the day with my ex concerning scheduling times that I could spend with our 17-year-old daughter. <BR> <BR> In the past, emotional difficulties often contributed to my overeating. I got very heavy during... Mon, 5 Apr 2010 11:36:04 EST A Simple Easter This is my first Easter as a single woman in a very long time, like since my twenties. I already got several nice email Easter cards this morning, plus a text picture of my daughter enjoying her Easter basket with her dad. My plan for today is to make a healthy Easter brunch and then head off on a hike. I hope the weather cooperates! Happy Easter to all! Sun, 4 Apr 2010 11:58:04 EST London! My sister and I took a one-week trip to London. I was so grateful that she and I have both been conscious about our health, weight and exercise, because we were able to walk and walk while we were there. We were very compatible travelers, both having about the same amount of energy. We also enjoyed mealtimes, because we would share a dinner. It worked out great! And we got to see and do things that neither of us had ever done before. I'm going to upload my pictures tonight, and I'll put... Fri, 2 Apr 2010 21:43:44 EST A New Me I've been through some rough months since I last blogged about my life. In my last blog, I shared that I gave up my part-time job to concentrate on self-employment. That was late last summer. <BR> <BR> My husband pretty much freaked out when I quit my job, even though I had been talking to him about it for many months. Somehow he had never taken me seriously when I told him this was what I planned to do. We ended up in counseling and found out that we had been talking past each other ... Thu, 18 Mar 2010 11:57:15 EST Self-Employment I haven't blogged in a long time. I was really busy wrapping up loose ends at my job during much of August. For 10 years, I worked about half-time, editing a journal for a law school. Then about two years ago, my eBay business really blossomed. And in the past year, I've grown a lot as an artist. I was getting too busy, and something had to go! So I gave my notice at the university early in the summer, but kept working until a replacement was hired and trained. <BR> <BR> Since my last ... Tue, 15 Sep 2009 12:57:04 EST Ready for the Art Show! I have been really busy wearing all of my various hats recently--working mom, eBay seller, mosaic artist, etc. Tonight is the monthly Art Walk in my town, and I have just finished the last of my pieces that will be on display (and for sale!) at a local gallery. I'm glad that now I can slow down a bit and enjoy the process of making art a little more, after a frenzy to get a bunch of work done. <BR> <BR> I have almost a week now to have things be a little more back to normal before I take a... Thu, 16 Jul 2009 15:25:45 EST Busy with Art Activities I haven't blogged in a while because I have been really busy. I'm going to be in my town's Art Walk this month, so I'm getting a bunch of mosaic pieces finished so I can get them into the gallery next week. It's also been the busiest time of the year at my work. AND I've been very involved in a nonprofit arts/sustainability/wellness/global understanding nonprofit that a friend has started. Whew! <BR> <BR> The good news is that none of this has deterred me from eating right. If anything... Sun, 5 Jul 2009 16:15:16 EST Weekend Retreat I was at a Benedictine priory this past weekend for a solo retreat. I'm not Catholic, but it didn't matter. The priory offers a hostel-type setting for anyone who wishes to have a little peace and quiet. <BR> <BR> I had a really lovely, relaxing, and rejuvenating weekend. I spent most of the time alone, doing some reading, journaling, meditation, planning some art projects, walking in the woods, etc. I only saw the sisters at meals, and they were very pleasant to spend time with. It f... Mon, 22 Jun 2009 21:08:54 EST Mosaic Pieces Ever since I came home from the Spark Your Life and I Can Do It! Conferences in San Diego, I've been upping my game as a mosaic artist. I've repurposed several rooms in my house so that I have a mosaic studio to work in. I was in my first-ever show as a professional artist and I sold some pieces. And now I'm going to be in my town's monthly Art Walk in July, so I am scurrying to create more inventory. I think the conferences in early May were just what I needed to get my life going in thi... Tue, 16 Jun 2009 15:06:28 EST Balance Is Not Always in the Center As an SP Community Team member, I get occasional blog prompts, suggesting a topic to write about. This week, the suggestion was moderation. In what aspects of my life do I have it or lack it? <BR> <BR> Something I heard at the "I Can Do It" conference that was held in San Diego in conjunction with the Spark Your Life conference was this: Balance is not always in the center. I can't remember who said it or in what context, but this phrase has really stuck with me! I like it so much. <B... Wed, 3 Jun 2009 19:48:03 EST Mosaic Studio I haven't blogged in a while because I've been really busy accomplishing stuff. I wrote a while back about how I was reconfiguring my house. I turned my stepson's old bedroom into my eBay office. It's big enough for me to do all aspects of my eBay work, listing, storage, and packing. It's great! My old office wasn't big enough for me to accomplish all of this. <BR> <BR> Now that I've moved my eBay business out of my old home office, I'm turning it into a mosaic studi... Sun, 31 May 2009 17:03:54 EST Reducing Salt I never really thought much about salt before I started using the SparkPeople nutrition tracker more regularly a few months ago. <BR> <BR> The only time that I was really aware that salt was a problem for me was once several months ago when I was eating these fabulous Utz organic multigrain pretzels almost every evening for a while, and then my arthritis worsened. I started getting a lot of swelling around my artificial knee, and that hurt! So I stopped eating those pretzels, even thou... Mon, 18 May 2009 22:03:41 EST Losing the "Baby Weight"--Finally! I forgot to mention when I blogged about losing a couple of pounds on Mother's Day...this is the least I have weighed since I gave birth to my daughter in 1992. I weighed 213 after she was born. Now I weigh a tiny bit less than that. <BR> <BR> So, nearly 17 years later, I am finally losing the baby weight! Just in time for my baby's graduation from high school last week. <BR> <BR> My daughter graduated early and is spending what would have been her senior year at home, working on her po... Sat, 16 May 2009 20:01:57 EST Planning for Success I am going to have a very long day at my office today. I have a full day of work ahead of me, and I also have to go to a mandatory budget meeting to learn about how my department is going to absorb a 12% budget cut. So I'll probably work a little into the evening. <BR> <BR> I've packed myself a lunch and two snacks. I've found a really nice radio station that plays great background music, and I can listen to that while I work. <BR> <BR> I'm looking forward to coming home tonight, wit... Thu, 14 May 2009 11:17:24 EST Cutting Back on Coffee My husband and I have been having a lot of discussions lately with our teenage daughter about signs of addiction to watch out for. For example, when you want to feel better, do you turn to a substance rather than doing something more healthy to improve your mood (such as call a friend, get some exercise, write in your journal, or whatever)? <BR> <BR> We seem to be getting through! The other day, my daughter said she wanted to stop drinking coffee first thing in the morning because she fe... Wed, 13 May 2009 20:37:15 EST My Mother's Day Gift--2 LBS!!! Well, the scale finally moved again. It's been about 6 weeks since I'd had any weight loss, and I've really been having to concentrate on all of the other good things in my life and try not to worry about the number on the scale. I've been pretty successful at that, but I can tell you it was a relief to see some weight drop off. <BR> <BR> I now weigh the least that I have since I gave birth to my daughter nearly 17 years ago. <BR> <BR> I started gaining weight after I joined A.A. and... Sun, 10 May 2009 11:46:27 EST The Art of Extreme Self-Care One of the reasons I was so excited about the prospect of going to the Spark Your Life Convention in San Diego last weekend was the fact that Cheryl Richardson would be speaking. When I found out that both she and Marianne Williamson would also be speaking at the "I Can Do It" conference on Sunday, that clinched the decision for me. I admire both of these speaker/authors so much! I'm a member of Cheryl Richardson's online forum and have been reading her most recent book, "The Art of Extr... Fri, 8 May 2009 12:21:48 EST Consistency I got home this evening from San Diego. I really made a great vacation out of the Spark Your Life convention, which was on Saturday. I went to San Diego a couple of days early and did a lot of walking and biking, which is pretty miraculous. I had a right total knee replacement in October 2007, and this was the first time I had been on a bike in many years! It was great! <BR> <BR> I also stayed for an extra day-and-a-half after the convention. I attended some of the events from the "I Ca... Tue, 5 May 2009 03:28:14 EST My Life Was Sparked Today! It's late on Saturday night and I had the most awesome day at the Spark Your Life Conference. <BR> <BR> There's no way I can describe it all in one post, but I know that the influence of this day will be reflected in all of my future involvement in this site/community/movement. <BR> <BR> I got to meet Chris Sparkguy today and I want to report that he, along with all of the other SP staff, are very genuine, nice people. <BR> <BR> The conference was absolutely everything I hoped for, and mor... Sun, 3 May 2009 01:37:38 EST Shopping for New Clothes! Today after I got a bunch of important work stuff done, I went looking for some new clothes so I could have a new outfit or two to wear in San Diego at the Spark Your Life Convention. <BR> <BR> When I first started my weight loss a couple of years ago, I wore a size 20W. The last time I went shopping for pants, maybe six months ago, I bought size 16W. <BR> <BR> This time, I fit into a Misses 16 and didn't need the Women's 16. So that's progress! It means I have a lot more choices, sin... Mon, 27 Apr 2009 22:22:17 EST Maybe the Scale is Stuck I've been eating moderately, within my ranges, and doing moderate exercise, and there's been no changes in the scale for a while. <BR> <BR> I'm a little disappointed, but really not much. Even though I'm in a period where I'm not losing weight, I'm reinforcing my positive, healthy habits. Making healthy choices is becoming the norm rather than something novel and uncomfortable. <BR> <BR> As I read somewhere else on SparkPeople recently, we are all going to have to eventually have a m... Sun, 26 Apr 2009 16:01:12 EST Getting Ready to Go to San Diego! I have less than a week now until I get on the plane to go to the Spark Your Life Conference. I'm very excited. <BR> <BR> I also have a lot to get done in the meantime! I have a part-time job for the University of Washington that is very flexible. There is no one to do the work when I'm gone, so I can just work extra hours before I leave town and when I get back again. <BR> <BR> There are a lot of other things that I would *like* to get done, but I think some of them are going to hav... Sat, 25 Apr 2009 14:56:08 EST Tulip Fields Today my husband, daughter and I are heading up to Washington's tulip fields. We have a beautiful day to go. My daughter has to work a few hours this morning and then we're off. I hope to have some great pictures to share afterward! <BR> <BR> One of my most memorable trips to the tulip fields near LaConner, Washington, was when I was pregnant with my daughter, so that would have been 17 years ago. I wore a bright magenta top that matched some of the tulips. I was humungous! <BR> <BR> ... Fri, 24 Apr 2009 11:30:06 EST Some Days Are Easier Than Others I haven't figured out why, but some days I eat more than what my ranges allow and I'm still hungry. Then there are days like today, when I feel like I've eaten all I could possibly want, and I am below my ranges. <BR> <BR> I know that it sometimes has to do with being satisfied in other aspects of my life, not just with my appetite for food. Today I got to do some gardening and exercise and spend quite a bit of time talking at different times during the day with my husband, my daughter, ... Sun, 19 Apr 2009 22:49:34 EST Qdoba Mexican Grill I really enjoyed a stop at Qdoba for dinner tonight. They offer "naked burritos" where everything that would normally get wrapped up in a 330 calorie flour tortilla is served in a bowl instead. I had the roasted vegetable naked burrito, and it was healthy and delicious! Sun, 19 Apr 2009 00:53:11 EST Off to Physical Therapy I have to blog quickly this morning because I have a PT appointment. Just wanted to let you all know that PT seems to be helping my neck and shoulder pain. It's been one week since my first appointment, and I definitely am not in pain as constantly as I was last week. <BR> <BR> I did some gardening yesterday and felt goood while I was doing it. However, about two hours later, I was miserable with neck pain and had to go lie down for a while. So today I will ask the physical therapist h... Fri, 17 Apr 2009 10:53:12 EST Gardening It's an unexpectedly beautiful morning today and I just came into the house after planting two new raspberry bushes in my garden. I used the pitchfork to get some compost out of my compost bin, moved the compost around in the wheelbarrow, dug two big holes, did some weeding, etc.--I definitely get a work-out from gardening! <BR> <BR> I bought the two blueberry bushes that I mentioned in my blog about No Easter Candy, plus some nice pots to plant them in, so potting them is a good project ... Thu, 16 Apr 2009 13:27:23 EST One Foot in Front of the Other Today I have one of those days when I would rather pull the blanket up over my head and hide than do what I have to do. I have to go get a cavity filled at the dentist's office and then go to work. <BR> <BR> I'm going to make the most of my day, though. I work on a beautiful university campus. So I will do my cardiac exercise today by walking on campus. There are lots of ornamental trees on campus and many of them should be in bloom right now. I'll bring an umbrella along just in c... Wed, 15 Apr 2009 11:25:22 EST My Thought Patterns Are Changing The way I think is changing, and that's a good thing! <BR> <BR> I work several different part-time jobs and do a lot of my work from home. So sometimes when I get up in the morning, my first thought is, what the heck is it I'm supposed to be getting done today? I really like the variety, so I'm definitely not complaining! I did many years of the daily commuting to a 9-to-5 office job downtown, and I like my life better today. But, the point is, sometimes I wake up and only think about ... Tue, 14 Apr 2009 10:56:37 EST No Easter Candy My husband asked me a week or so ago whether I wanted some candy for Easter this year, and I said no. I asked him if instead we could go to the nursery and pick out a couple of compact blueberry plants that we can grow in pots on the deck. We're planning to downsize to a smaller home in a year or two, so I think about that now when I buy plants! I want to get things that I can bring with me if I choose to do so when the time comes. <BR> <BR> Larry has to work today, so we're going to th... Sun, 12 Apr 2009 14:08:06 EST Started Physical Therapy Yesterday I went to my first PT appointment yesterday concerning the neck and shoulder pain I've had lately. I liked the therapist and I felt very hopeful after the appointment. He said that to stop arthritis from making me stiff and sore and limited in what I can do, I need to move every one of my joints to its full range of motion three times a day. He said it doesn't matter how I do that--through formal exercise or just doing things around the house. I can do that! <BR> <BR> He also gave me s... Sat, 11 Apr 2009 14:51:54 EST I'm Getting Organics Delivered to My Door Recently I attended the Seattle Green Festival and was able to sample many different healthy products in one place. One of the booths I visited was Mother Nature's Organic Delivery, which is based in the town next to mine (I live in Edmonds, WA--they're in Lynnwood). After I got home and looked at their information more closely, I decided to sign up to have a box of produce delivered to me every other week. <BR> <BR> I got my first box this week and I'm very pleased. I got a wide variet... Thu, 9 Apr 2009 18:51:13 EST Some Improvement Today Yesterday I wrote about going to the orthopedic surgeon's office to have my neck and shoulder pain diagnosed. He says that, although most of the pain is in the shoulder, it's actually a neck problem. I'm starting physical therapy on Friday and will probably go twice a week for a month or six weeks. <BR> <BR> I am taking Aleve now instead of Advil and that is probably going to be easier on my stomach, since I only have to take one pill twice a day. And I went out yesterday and bought a ... Wed, 8 Apr 2009 12:18:45 EST Ignoring Pain Isn't Working I've had some neck and shoulder pain for months that I've been trying to ignore because I was afraid the doctor might suggest surgery. But, of course, if I don't go see him, I can't know that for sure, can I?! <BR> <BR> The pain used to only bother me when I laid down to go to sleep at night and would have difficulty finding a comfortable position, but now it's become constant. So yesterday I finally quit letting my fear get the best of me and called to get a doctor's appointment. I'm g... Tue, 7 Apr 2009 12:13:44 EST Spring Planting Yesterday was the nicest day we've had so far all year, and I got out my rototiller and tilled a long row for Sweet Ann snap peas. Today it looks like we will have another great day, so I'm going to look at my seeds and figure out what else can be planted early. It is great to get started on this! <BR> <BR> I recently joined a CSA and will begin receiving deliveries of organic, mostly local, produce every other week. But hopefully for parts of the summer, I'll be able to provide a lot of ... Sun, 5 Apr 2009 13:39:30 EST I Still Love a Buffet I used to love to go to buffets because of all the fattening foods, especially the desserts. Now, though, I enjoy going to buffets because of all the great salad bar items that I don't have to chop up myself! <BR> <BR> I went to Old Country Buffet with my teenage daughter today for our traditional Saturday breakfast out. I had a bunch of salad and fresh fruit, a poached egg, one pancake with fruit on top of it instead of butter and syrup, and two small pieces of bacon. My total calorie in... Sat, 4 Apr 2009 15:30:16 EST Confusing Tiredness with Hunger I got back kind of late last night from our short spring break vacation to Victoria, B.C. Today I have been tired and I've felt like eating everything in sight! But I am familiar with often happens when I'm tired. I think food will pick me up a little. And when it doesn't, I think maybe a little more food will do the trick. This is exactly how I got overweight in the first place! When I was a very busy working mom with young kids and had no time for myself, I was always eating... Fri, 3 Apr 2009 19:15:28 EST Continuing to Learn We are on vacation in Victoria, British Columbia, this week. This evening we head home to the Seattle area. <BR> <BR> When we checked into our hotel, we were given coupons for half-off the breakfast buffet at one of the hotel's restaurants. So yesterday we tried the buffet. It was great--lots of healthy choices such as fresh fruit, yogurt, grilled vegetables, and eggs. This filled us up and kept us going all day, until evening when we went to a Thai restaurant for dinner. So I ate two me... Thu, 2 Apr 2009 12:04:06 EST Sparking on Vacation It's a beautiful day in Victoria, B.C., and we're about to leave our nice hotel room to go take a city bus out to Butchart Gardens. I'll be walking all day! <BR> <BR> The hotel where we're staying does not have a complimentary breakfast, so we brought along our own fresh organic fruit and Clif Bars. Then we bought some yogurt once we found we have a refrigerator/bar in the room. <BR> <BR> Last night we went to an excellent seafood restaurant, Nautical Nellie's. I had a lovely curry swe... Tue, 31 Mar 2009 12:11:42 EST Seattle Green Festival! Yesterday my husband and I went on a great Eco-Date. First we spent a couple of hours at the Seattle Green Festival and then we had a vegetarian meal at The Sunlight Cafe. <BR> <BR> This was only the second year of the Green Festival in Seattle, and I hadn't attended last year, so it was new to me. And it was great! There were lots of interesting talks and a big exhibit hall with many products to see and try. I brought home samples of granola, dog food, soaps, etc. <BR> <BR> This mo... Sun, 29 Mar 2009 12:10:11 EST Staying the Course I haven't lost another pound in a while, but I am staying within my ranges nearly every day and learning so much about what works and what doesn't. I feel good about hanging in there and working at this, even when I'm not seeing any results right now. My weight loss journey is a long one and I am intent on losing the weight slowly so it is gone forever. <BR> <BR> I read other people's blogs and so many talk about "being on a diet." I don't believe in diets. I know myself well enough to... Sat, 28 Mar 2009 11:37:27 EST Okay, I Did It! I just finished booking my reservations for the Spark Your Life Convention in San Diego. I've been watching airfares ever since I first heard about the convention...and when they got to where I felt I could afford it, I did it! <BR> <BR> I'm going to be staying at the Hostelling International-San Diego hostel a few blocks from the Convention Center. I stayed there a number of years ago on a homeschooling trip with my daughter. I like staying at hostels because of the affordability and a... Tue, 24 Mar 2009 01:30:20 EST My Appetite is Decreasing I have noticed recently as I've been tracking my nutrition that it's been getting easier to stay within my ranges. I think my appetite is getting more easily satisfied than it used to be. It's really great when I'm able to help myself to healthy snacks because I know I can afford the calories/carbs etc. <BR> <BR> This past year my 16-year-old daughter and I have created a tradition of going out to eat for one meal over the weekend. We do this because she's much more independent than she... Sun, 22 Mar 2009 11:49:47 EST I Hit the 40 Pound Mark! Today I have lost 40 pounds from when I started my weight loss journey a little over two years ago. I am very grateful to SparkPeople for helping me get back on track after I got off for a while. <BR> <BR> What initiated my weight loss was the fact that I had a bad knee--so bad that I could barely walk anymore. About two-and-a-half years ago, I had day surgery to remove some bad cartilage. The hope was that this more minor surgery would prevent my needing to get a total knee replacement. ... Wed, 18 Mar 2009 10:33:11 EST Spark Your Life Convention? I am seriously considering going to the first-ever SparkPeople conference in San Diego on May 2nd. I am excited not only about the conference itself, but also the opportunity to go to parts of the "I Can Do It" conference at very reduced rates. Between the two conferences, I'd be able to hear three of my very favorite inspirational speaker/authors...Marianne Williamson, Cheryl Richardson, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. <BR> <BR> I spent some time yesterday figuring out a budget of what it would cos... Mon, 16 Mar 2009 11:11:50 EST Self-Care Sometimes when I go to bed at night, I have difficulty getting comfortable because I have some discomfort in my neck and shoulders. I've had arthritis my entire adult life. Losing weight and exercising helps a lot, and I feel good during the day, but at night it's hard to get into a comfortable position. <BR> <BR> So yesterday I went and had an upper body deep tissue massage. And I had no problem falling asleep last night, and woke up feeling good today! Yay! I'm going to go again next ... Wed, 11 Mar 2009 11:33:25 EST Yay, Down Another Lb! I have been using SparkPeople every day to log my food and nutrition for three weeks, and I've lost 5 lbs. <BR> <BR> I've actually been losing weight for a couple of years, and have lost a total of about 40 lbs. But I was kind of stuck and needed more motivation and support. I'm sure glad I started really using SparkPeople! It's helping a lot! <BR> <BR> Logging my nutrition helps me make better choices, and logging my exercise makes me realize I need to get up and get going. <BR> <... Tue, 10 Mar 2009 10:53:17 EST