ISTRALOUISE's SparkPeople Blog ISTRALOUISE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community An exercise in circular thinking "Always we begin again" <BR> <BR> (And again)..thus begins the rule of Saint Benedict and the Benedictines. I am still extremely fascinated by them.. and it seems especially apt for this blog. Blogs are a nemesis to me because I’m not consistent enough to keep them going. My lack of constancy in general over days, weeks, and months, was surprisingly repetitive over a period of years. Strangely enough, I live and learn in “cycles,” one thing striking my fancy for weeks and days, only to be ... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 09:48:21 EST Spooky Halloween Devotion Now how ever would one get a devotion out of Halloween? <BR> I will pass on the gist of a small devotion I heard this morning.. <BR> <BR> There are three major holidays in Fall.. <BR> Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas (and I would argue that they segue into the New Year) <BR> <BR> In Halloween we deal with all the fears that Satan may have in store for us. We focus on the good things about the harvest and give to God the core of darkness that is the holiday. <BR> <BR> After our fe... Thu, 31 Oct 2013 01:14:35 EST Log of Excuses Jul-Aug2013 As I make excuses, I am going to add them to the list, post comments and answers. The idea being that once I've used one excuse in a goal area, I can't use it again. <BR> <BR> As much as I've hated this down time. It became apparent to me that my goal areas have all shifted in priority level. The only thing that is the same is that my book reading is on the bottom of my priority list.. but its hanging in there. <BR> <BR> So, without further ado, in list of priority: <BR> <BR> Bible/Devo... Sun, 21 Jul 2013 09:16:13 EST Making Good Habits - Breaking Bad Habits I started reading in the introduction of the Joyce Meyer book of the same name as this post. Even at the beginning of the book, before you get into techniques and types of habits, she wants you to write up a list of the habits you want to make and the habits you want to break. So here is mine: <BR> <BR> Good habits I want to make: <BR> I want to get up at 7am each morning. <BR> I want to got to bed at 11pm each evening. <BR> I want to start drawing in the morning. <BR> I want to eat at reg... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 00:28:43 EST SparkCoach Challenge Step - My Three Things Today, my challenge is to write down at least 3 things that I've accomplished recently that I'm proud of. <BR> <BR> Sunday, June 16, 2013 <BR> 1.) I agreed to see one of my accountability partners, who is going to school and has a certificate to be a life coach, to be her first practice client.. for a christian life coach experience. <BR> 2.) I've started taking the initiative to get us all outside and walking at least once a week, hopefully more as summer starts. <BR> 3.) I put together a s... Sun, 16 Jun 2013 19:08:12 EST Silly Reaction Really.. but I can't seem to control it (need support) Well, my adventures with Avon continue. Almost all the product I ordered came in, but the acquaintance that I started using Avon had her order not come in at all, she's not happy about it. And I've decided to try to open an account again at a credit union, but I'm not sure I can, because I used to have one about 10 years ago there and it ended badly. If not there then I know where I can open one up, and even if they saddle me with the "fresh economic start" type checking, it will be half of t... Sun, 5 May 2013 21:44:03 EST My Story So Far <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is my picture, five years ago in 2008. You can tell I have a double chin, even though I have tilted my head upward. Although I probably weighed less back then than I do now, I feel better both physically and mentally. Mentally I think I carry my size better. I've also started wearing makeup again and taking better care of myself than I did back then, so hopefully my pictures will reflect that in the near fu... Sun, 28 Apr 2013 21:24:37 EST SuuuuuuuuuperGoals This was part of a correspondence with a friend on SparkPeople, but I thought it would make a good blog entry. <BR> <BR> I'm trying to be gentle with an over 100 lb planned weight loss.. celebrating each pound and rewarding 5 pound increments. I want to be healthier, have a better appearance, and a longer life than I would otherwise have. I want to be able to easily ride rides at the fair and to not worry whether the middle seat seatbelt will reach far enough for me if I wear my fluffy coat.... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 03:15:54 EST Sleep Struggle Most challenging was having an unstructured day and ending up spending NEARLY ALL of it in bed AGAIN.. Really, if I can''t get up and go, so many other things seem pointless because with sleeping, nothing else constructive is going to happen in that time. In some AA-related things I came across (not an alcoholic, just a fan of the 12 step, moderate lifestyle) they talk about knowing the will of God and making it simple based on things known. Earth-shattering and simple as it is, for an alcoho... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 20:52:48 EST SparkCoach Action Step-A Phone Call to the Past, Part 2 The next part of this exercise has me deciding what my future self would tell me at this moment if she was to reach back into the past and give me a phone call. <BR> <BR> What I would tell myself at this point is, life requires that you get more independent and creative. These are scary things, but completely accomplishable and doable, and your life will be so much the richer for it. Sure getting a car is a scary, big expense, but the wheels will do so much for your life. Forrest, Nan, othe... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 23:14:09 EST SparkCoach Action Step-A Phone Call to the Past, Part 1 First, in this action step, SparkCoach asks that we fast forward to ten years in the future. <BR> <BR> 10 years in the future <BR> ==================== <BR> It is 2023 and I am 47 years old. I still live in Auburn, WA in the apartment with my significant other, and no, we still are not married. We continue to be committed to each other solely however. <BR> <BR> My parents having given up driving every day out to Auburn, and we have saved up and procured a car. We have given in and gotte... Sun, 7 Apr 2013 05:18:55 EST SparkCoach Action Step - Shaking up the Routine For my action step today I'm supposed to pick 1-3 new goals off a list. So here are two that I just decided today and 2 that I was already going to do. <BR> <BR> 1. I am joining WW to meet people face-to-face (Spark is still better) <BR> 2. I am starting the #riseandshine challenge for April. <BR> (Having a healthy breakfast and exercising first thing in the day.) <BR> 3. I am trying a new recipe each week. <BR> 4. I am going to learn about adding Strength Training to my routines. Mon, 1 Apr 2013 01:57:43 EST All About Me from A to Z Recently seen and borrowed from CINDHOLM's SparkBlog: <BR> <BR> A. Are you at all artistic? Years ago and every now and then it crops up, but Artists create great messes difficult to contain and I am trying to learn how to better contain, organize, and un-mess myself, so being artistic is difficult. <BR> <BR> B. What are your favorite burger toppings? onions, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, ketchup, and mustard, sometimes relish if the pickles aren't there <BR> <BR> C. If you were a cray... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 01:38:27 EST SparkCoach - The Five Things You Want in Your Life This was the SparkCoach visualization exercise for February 1st: <BR> Picture five things you want in your life, whether they are people, goals, experiences or things. How will reaching your small goals today help you achieve those dreams, too? <BR> <BR> The five things I want in my life right now are: <BR> <BR> 1. My family <BR> Roger, Mickey, Parents I want them all in my life right now and I want to devote enough time to them to make them feel appreciated and let them know I love them.... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 14:51:32 EST SparkCoach - Mistake As my community action step today, SparkCoach has asked me to say a few words about the last time I made a mistake on my diet and what I could learn from that. <BR> So without further ado: <BR> <BR> The last time I made a mistake in my diet was actually today. I really did well exercising but I didn't eat very healthy. I ate out of a box (3c of Tuna Helper) because we are low on groceries right now. That doesn't look like it is going to change much this next month because our food assistance... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 01:09:15 EST Spark Coach - Goal Setting and Action Steps Part I So the first goal that I want to work on is the one that drew me to the site initially, which is I want to lose 134 pounds. But that goal is at least a little over one to two years away. <BR> <BR> I'm a visual learner, so I liked this goal sheet, available at <link><BR>sheet.pdf </link> <BR> <BR> The goal I am trying to accomplish is a healthy BMI of 22 or 116 lbs. <BR> <BR> This goal is: Achievable, Important to Me, Concrete and Specific, Able to b... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 03:48:17 EST SparkCoach Action Step - What I Would Tell Myself This is an entry to tell myself what I would write in a letter if I was my own best friend. <BR> <BR> <BR> Dear Istra, <BR> <BR> I know you have trouble believing in your worth to society after your diagnosis changed to schizoaffective disorder. It felt like your world crashed, and sometimes you still feel that way, but I would say that you are so much more than what you can produce at a job. You are a daughter, a friend, a volunteer, a babysitter, a neighbor, a niece, a granddaughter, an... Fri, 22 Feb 2013 03:59:32 EST Getting to Know You Thanks, KOFFEENUT, for passing this along! <BR> <BR> "Copy and Paste into your own blog, change the answers to suit you. Get an easy three SparkPoints, and help your SparkFriends get to know you.” <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Where is my cell phone? <BR> Somewhere in my house, I'm not sure where <BR> <BR> Spouse? <BR> Also at my apartment, probably on the sofa, watching tv <BR> <BR> Your hair? <BR> long (past the shoulder) length, brown hair that is scraggly and needs a haircut <BR> <BR> Your m... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 22:09:57 EST SparkCoach - True Motivation So, SparkCoach has asked me to blog a little about my true motivations for weight loss today. <BR> <BR> I think my primary reason for wanting to lose weight is aesthetic. I have this skinny image of me in my head and every time I see myself in a mirror it is a big shock. I want to be able to see myself without all the fat rolls. I realize, at my weight, that the fat rolls may be replaced by big skin folds, but that's a risk I'm ready to take. I don't feel desirable and I know I've lost my... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 14:32:35 EST SparkCoach - Negative Thoughts and Emotions So today's SparkCoach Visualization was all about the negative thoughts and emotions of the past week and what can be done if you can let go of all the negativity.. <BR> <BR> <BR> I think of the last week and how sick I was with stress over the Apartment Inspection we have annually.. people that know me from the various teams are probably sick of me talking about it.. but I was so scared.. and not just that we wouldn't pass.. I thought I wouldn't be able to punch through it and do my part a... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 18:33:52 EST SparkCoach - Meal Ideas SparkCoach has asked me to put together a list of meal ideas using the plate method of designing meals. For me, this looks like 1 quarter protein, 1 quarter starch, half fruits and vegetables, using a 8 or 9 inch plate, with a small source of dairy or non-dairy calcium on the side. <BR> <BR> First I'd do a plate of sandwich fixings.. One slice of Italian bread (starch), 3 oz deli turkey (protein), 1 oz pepper jack cheese (dairy), 3 large leaves romaine lettuce, tomatoes, onion (vegetables) ... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 22:25:00 EST SparkCoach - Bucket List So when SparkCoach asked me to elaborate on 3 things I'd do off my bucket list if anything was possible, I had to stop short and think hard... Bucket List? Do I have a bucket list? No, I guess I don't. If I did have one, what would be on it? I think I've gotten in the habit of just slogging through days without much in the way of overall dreams. My goals are all mini and microgoals, other than losing weight. So what would be on it? <BR> <BR> 1. I want to take Roger to Disneyland or WaltDi... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:39:41 EST Feast or Famine.. Binge Sleeping or Insomnia? So far all I know is there has to be a better way. I sabotage myself with excuses why I can go back to sleep and then I sleep an entire day away instead of the 30 min to an hour nap I was planning. I go back to bed in the evening and repeat for three days straight (canceling going to church and having a 3 day weekend) and then have a night or two that I can't sleep at all. <BR> <BR> There has to be some balance here. So I'm cutting back caffeine to before 1pm except eve tea, even that may... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 15:39:52 EST What I Learned Watching the Falcon vs Seahawks Game I learned that I give up way too easily. <BR> <BR> It was the second half and I thought the game was over because the Falcons were up by 20. <BR> <BR> It was the fourth quarter and I thought the game was over because the Seahawks still needed at least another touchdown to win. <BR> <BR> Within the last two minutes of the game I thought the game was over, the Seahawks scored the touchdown and made the extra point, which left them up by 1. <BR> <BR> The Seahawks were up by 1, with only 31 s... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 17:18:21 EST Writer's Block Today has been uneventful. I'm on a volunteer's lunch break at a small private school where I volunteer. My iPod has been a distraction. At least it was yesterday, so I left it home today. It emits a noise each time I get an e-mail notification that someone has responded to one of my posts. I get caught up in listening for it and being absent minded. At the moment, I'm unsure what to do about it, since I really do need the added support. <BR> <BR> Roger's donations are being accessioned (gi... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 16:28:14 EST IMHO Everybody Needs a SparkPage When you are on Spark, community support is very important. Without support people fall away and don't get back up again (metaphorically speaking) Community support provides motivation and feedback on your goals and how to accomplish them. Hopefully three heads are better than one and between everyone we are wiser as a unit than we are alone. --Which is why I think they start us out in SparkTeams. <BR> <BR> So what happens if you get to the SparkTeam Community board and say you need support... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 06:45:03 EST Very Little Patience I have very little patience for blogs. I have to admit I don't know why I'm writing one. Maybe it is the clamoring of the senses to be let out onto the page for a little while, or maybe it is just a desperate attempt to leave some trace, something that says to the outside world "I was here" even if only for a little while. <BR> <BR> Elsewhere on SparkPeople I have started a weight loss group for friends, family, and sufferers of schizophrenia and schizoaffective disorder. I named it Butterf... Mon, 29 Aug 2011 03:33:57 EST Heavy I just finished watching the episodes of Heavy and realized that I really didn't do my trainer justice when I was at Vision Quest that one and only time I went. Trainers push you past where you would know instinctively it was safe and into the realm of "I don't know if I can do this" <BR> <BR> I've heard the show explained like this. Biggest Loser's concept was a show made to look and operate like a fat camp, while Heavy is a fat camp made to function like a show. Each person is paired up ... Fri, 12 Aug 2011 22:59:42 EST Day 11-Audience as Accountability Partner Day 11 VLog - depends on the viewer whether the mouth is synced up or not. VLC plays correctly. The first viewer we were using didn't. Lighting is better but I am looking into the sun so I'm squinting a bit. Thu, 11 Aug 2011 19:54:38 EST Day One - Audience as Accountability Partner Hi, Today is day three of using the audience as an accountability partner. Roughly every 10 days I will be doing another vlog and hope to see great results. Further vlogs should be in better quality as I'm switching from using my webcam, to using either our digital camera or my ipod. Sat, 6 Aug 2011 10:29:58 EST 90 Day Fitness Challenge ch.1 Q& Personal A's <link><BR>nge-Program-Lasting/dp/0736929495/ref=<BR>sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1312343110&sr=8-1 </link> <BR> <BR> ch.1 Questions with my answers <BR> <BR> 1. If I were at a healthy weight, what would that look like? <BR> That would look like me being able to tie my shoes without being out of breath. Being able to rest in child pose without worrying about not being able to breathe. It would look like me being able to walk for more than a mile without being fat... Wed, 3 Aug 2011 00:03:17 EST Rewards I'm going to use this thread to keep track of all the rewards I get for myself when I lose weight! <BR> <BR> Starting weight (242.8) July 2011 <BR> <BR> 05# lost (237.8# or under Total Weight) August 2, 2011 <BR> downloaded YouCam 5 trial version so I can do video blogs <BR> (will need to budget money into October budget so I can buy full version) <BR> started a disc only subscription to Netflix for workout videos <BR> <em>91</em> <BR> [EDIT: uninstalled YouCam and bought a card for camer... Sat, 1 May 2010 21:47:24 EST Hundred List Check-in 20APR2010 This is a work in progress. To see what I managed to complete today you may want to come back tomorrow. Also it would probably work best to have both the 100 things I can do for myself list open and this blog entry open at the same time, so you'll probably want two tabs or windows to do that. <BR> <BR> 1. used Nutrition Tracker <BR> 2. still sick <BR> 3. still sick <BR> 4. still sick <BR> 5. not today <BR> 6.Missed appointment today because I couldn't sleep last night. <BR> 7. not today <BR... Tue, 20 Apr 2010 08:30:28 EST Hundred List Check-in 19APR2010 This is a work in progress. To see what I managed to complete today you may want to come back tomorrow. Also it would probably work best to have both the 100 things I can do for myself list open and this blog entry open at the same time, so you'll probably want two tabs or windows to do that. <BR> <BR> 1. Used Nutrition Tracker <BR> 2. Still sick <BR> 3. Still sick <BR> 4. Still sick <BR> 5. not today <BR> 6. Entered Dental Appointment into Planner <BR> 7. Wrote this journal entry based on o... Mon, 19 Apr 2010 17:25:48 EST 100 Things I Can Do For Myself 1. Meal Planning and the Nutrition Tracker <BR> 2. Fitness Planning and the Fitness Tracker <BR> 3. Walk around the Park <BR> 4. Pop in an exercise DVD <BR> 5. Pop in a relaxation DVD <BR> 6. Enter appointments into the Planner <BR> 7. Write a journal entry <BR> 8. Take photos of myself and update my SparkPage <BR> 9. Write a blog entry. <BR> 10.Respond to posts in teams and message boards <BR> 11.Chat in MEC <BR> 12.Take a long soak in the bath <BR> 13.Take a shower <BR> 14.Track Spending in... Mon, 19 Apr 2010 12:35:11 EST