IRONBESS's SparkPeople Blog IRONBESS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community “The opposite of courage in our society is not cowardice, it is conformity.” This quotation has been attributed to psychotherapist Rollo May and to columnist/activist Jim Hightower. (HIghtower added, "even a dead fish can go with the flow"). Regardless of who said it first, it's food for thought. Thu, 19 Feb 2015 12:26:48 EST Had to have our old puppy girl put to sleep <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We knew it was coming. She was 16 last October. She was doing well until last summer, then too arthritic to go for walks but still able to get around. Then she had a spell about a month ago with vomiting. We had her checked at the vet after which we spoiled her with homemade food per the vet's advice. She had an occasional day of vomiting a few hours after eating again but not more than 12 hours. Wednesday evenin... Fri, 13 Feb 2015 21:10:00 EST A snack food find I never know how long I'll be gone when it's time for a trip to town (30 miles to grocery store). Taking healthy snacks along works well for avoiding temptations if a quick trip turns into a day of errands. I recently found a breakfast bar I like that's only slightly sweet, 140 calories, and just 65mg sodium. It's Nature Valley Trail Mix with almonds and cranberries. I like that it's not sickly sweet, and it keeps me from feeling hungry for a couple hours. Tue, 10 Feb 2015 21:32:10 EST Musings 1 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I’m a nature girl. I find inspiration in diamonds scattered across a night sky, in the quiet lapping of lake water on rocks down the hill from our home, in the flight of ravens and the whoosh of their wings, in the warmth of the sun, in the cool shelter of trees on a hot day, in the strength of the earth. So many, many things to list. My spirituality lies in the Church of the Great Outdoors. Moving here was a compr... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 20:01:47 EST Healthy portable high protein snacks When looking for high protein, low sodium snack ideas, I found this link. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>cks-portable </link> <BR> <BR> When I'm out and about running errands I like to take healthy choices along to keep me from temptation (saves money too), usually something with a few of the following: nut butter, celery sticks, whole grain bread or crackers, nuts, fruit. Refillable water bottle goes with me everywhere also. <BR> <BR> If you have a favorite h... Wed, 7 Jan 2015 23:49:36 EST Thankfully, the holidays didn't completely derail me My sister-in-law brought bags of homemade cookies and candy for Christmas. She spent two days baking! I gave that up a few years ago. I confess I sometimes throw away sweets people have given us. The thought is nice, but I don't need it. This time, however, I succumbed to temptation, and once started it's hard to stop. So after eating about a dozen (yikes!), I put them in the refer downstairs where my First Mate hangs out. His weight is in a good range, and he can pretty much eat anything he ... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 02:02:15 EST Article: Want to Lose Weight? Eat Before 8 Article link shared by a fellow sparker: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>/nutrition-weight-loss/want-lose-weigh<BR>t-eat-8 </link> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 14:29:51 EST And now for a little humor <img src=""> Sun, 14 Dec 2014 13:58:31 EST Taking a different approach Thinking about how bummed I felt last night, I wonder if I'm not my own worst drill sergeant and need to be less regimented attempting improved health and at least some weight loss. Working within physical limitations is in order along with a revised simplified approach. This is my new tack: <BR> 1. Trimmed list of nutrients and Other Goals to track. <BR> 2. I'm not going to focus on specific numbers by specific dates because it's never worked for me in the past and it is stressful. I will t... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 13:51:50 EST How do you cope with discouragement? I slipped a few days this week. Due to a heart condition I fatigue easily. When overtired I sometimes get discouraged about inability to exercise much, the challenge of low-sodium cooking, and difficulty taking off weight. This week I almost gave up, and I didn't track food for several days which will undoubtedly show on the scale. I don't know how to deal with the discouragement and despair that accompanies fatigue. Sometimes I can get out of it with music or being outdoors or if not too ex... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 02:03:01 EST Woo Hoo! Made it through Thanksgiving dinner! We had family Thanksgiving dinner at our house yesterday (family that couldn't come until Friday). I was exhausted from 3 days of cleaning and food prep and didn't log in yesterday so did it today. Even though I ate mindfully I still didn't think I'd stay within nutritional guidelines and calorie limits, BUT I DID IT! <BR> <em>334</em> <em>353</em> <em>356</em> <em>521</em> Sun, 30 Nov 2014 15:58:44 EST No Excuses & Can You Cheat on Your Diet? I had a 5th grade teacher whose standard reply to any excuses kids made for their behavior was, "There are reasons, but there's no such thing as an excuse." His words came back to me when I decided to renew my commitment to becoming stronger and slimmer. <BR> <BR> I will enjoy the holidays, plan ahead, and continue to Spark throughout the season. We're hosting Thanksgiving dinner. There will be traditional fare of turkey, stuffing, smashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry, veggies. Will also ma... Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:48:46 EST Monday, Monday; Spark Progress & Tips Not feeling so good at the moment but otherwise it's a beautiful Monday. Let's see, if I tell myself I feel great, will I? It's worked before. <BR> <BR> I feel great, I feel great, I feel great! Just reading those words makes me smile, unclench and relax my hands and shoulders, take a deep breath, and feel happier. It really works! <BR> <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> Monday is my weekly weigh-in day. The first two weeks there was no change on the scale. I started using the food tracker the se... Mon, 24 Nov 2014 13:59:09 EST End of week 2 No weight loss but exercising more and feeling a little bit stronger already. Decided I better use the food tracker again. Didn't want to bother but not losing weight and probably overeating without realizing it. <BR> <BR> Unwrapped a stability ball that came with some exercise videos I bought years ago and inflated it today. Just never got around to it before and then forgot about it. It's kinda fun. Mon, 17 Nov 2014 15:32:04 EST Using the computer to remind me to move I admit I can easily spend half a day on the laptop so I moved it to the office downstairs. That forces me to go up or down 17 steps every time I want to look something up, log in or out, check email, etc. I also created a screen saver with moving text that says, "Get up and move!" It comes on when the machine is idle for a minute. It reminds me to get off my duff and move more. Whatever little things will help. <BR> <BR> <em>521</em> <em>306</em> <em>381</em> Wed, 12 Nov 2014 15:49:23 EST Substituting negative thoughts with positive I tried something recently with surprising results. I easily get sick when I'm run down. Twice last month I felt crummy, had sniffles, sore throat, aches. When I'm sick I think things like "I'm exhausted, I feel crappy, my throat hurts," etc. But I wondered what would happen if I substituted those unwell thoughts with opposite positive ones. So instead I told myself "I feel good," "I'm having a great day." Even though I didn't believe the words, I said them over and over and guess what hap... Tue, 4 Nov 2014 02:01:50 EST Spinning my wheels & dreams come true <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Last fall, I took my beautiful turquoise mountain bike out of the cellar where it languished for 15 years. I cleaned and lubed it, pumped up the tires, rode a few short minutes a few times, put it away for winter, and anxiously awaited spring. Then I broke my wrist in January and needed surgical repair with hardware. My first question at followup was, "When can I ride a bike?" "At least three months, then we'll tal... Thu, 11 Jul 2013 13:42:27 EST Be kind to yourself & focus on progress You've probably heard this or something like it before: If a friend falls behind or trips, you would help her or him catch up and get up; you wouldn't be mean. Be as kind to yourself on your journey as you would be to a friend. Treat yourself with compassion and respect. Give yourself time to adapt to your healthier new lifestyle. Be a good friend to you. <BR> <BR> It can be challenging in our culture of impatience to not see immediate transformation. In the short time since joining SP, I'm ... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 15:57:24 EST Eating Mindfully Yesterday while reading at the table, I began munching mindlessly on some "healthy" crackers. After a time, I realized I had no idea how many I'd eaten. <BR> <BR> This morning during 5-15 minutes of daily inspirational reading, the next section I'd bookmarked was titled "Cookie of Childhood" from the book Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh, a 92-year-old Buddhist monk. When he was a child in Vietnam his mother would bring him a cookie after she'd been to market. How he savored a cookie! ... Mon, 20 May 2013 19:59:26 EST