LADYIRIS313's SparkPeople Blog LADYIRIS313's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I'm Oddly Relaxed This has been my third 'true' Spark Journey (i.e. one that lasted more than a week), and I'm finding myself oddly relaxed. I think a couple of things are contributing: <BR> <BR> 1. I have restarted meditation & hypnosis pretty regularly, <BR> <BR> 2. I have stuck to the once a week weigh-in, <BR> <BR> 3. I haven't really created any absolute NO's ala food, BUT <BR> <BR> 4. I've switched to a mostly whole food diet. I confess that I'm not a morning person so there are Lean Cuisines i... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 15:55:51 EST Good Medical Karma All my blood tests came back fine, except my lousy cholesterol is a wee bit high. The doctor noted that all of the lipid numbers went the wrong direction a few points since I stopped Sparking for so long (big surprise, eh). <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> But because he has seen how I have improved my numbers before, he said, "I'm not worried. You can do it again." Wow.. confidence from the doc. That made me happy. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I saw a physical therapist, Andrew. He was pretty delightful ... Fri, 24 Jan 2014 11:03:37 EST Happy At The Doctor's Appointment You know, I didn't expect to be happy after a doctor's office visit. But, ever since my three (yes 3) different trips to a new facility, I am finding myself quite pleased. <BR> <BR> Maybe it's just me, but I liked my physicians to speak well of me or to be complimentary about my health. When I was sparking before and was 50+ pounds down, I knew my doctor would beam. She did. After my husband selected a new physician and really liked him, I decided to follow suit, and while hubby said that t... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 13:09:41 EST Less Crazy Making I have to say, I LOVE that the Spark Start page shows my short and long term motivational goals. There's something really terrific about re-reading them every day. "Oh yea, that's why I'm doing all this... ok, got it!" <BR> <BR> One of the things that was SO hard for me in coming BACK to spark was admitting that I had fallen off that bandwagon, and the more I felt SHAME about it, the worse things got. In fact (confession time), I went UP a size. I don't mean up from my lowest, I mean UP fro... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 23:41:57 EST Resisting Wellness Have you ever noticed how criticizing someone else's choices can often come back and smack you in the face (or is that just me)? <BR> <BR> My husband's work as a union electrician has been quite erratic the last two years, mostly due to California's weak economic recovery. When he does work, his insurance is odd - the union office doesn't report the work hours for the previous month for about a week, meaning that eligibility for medical insurance for that month is delayed. One must also have... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 12:00:41 EST Hobbled Have you ever "put off" your health or diet routines until the time was "better?" I did. I felt too stressed and had to spend far too much time in a chair either reading textbooks or writing papers for the last two years of college. I felt certain I would get back to it with vigor after I graduated. <BR> <BR> Putting it off meant gaining back most of my weight. Yuck. My body looks lumpy and I have felt weak and frumpy. BUT... I know how to do this 'diet' thing, and the hypnosis I have been... Sun, 14 Apr 2013 18:25:27 EST What was I thinking? This has been an off sort of day. I went to a hair appointment, which I normally really enjoy. It wasn't that I had a bad time, it just felt kind of ... flat. I'm not sure I love my hair style either. I give my stylist freedom to do whatever she wants.. well, within reason. I'm usually thrilled. I asked her to go a bit more conservative because I am thinking that I want to get a part time job while I attend the hypnotherapy institute. Oh yes, I decided to take at least the first course and ... Fri, 1 Feb 2013 21:45:15 EST You're Getting Veeeeeerrrry Sleepy Well, not you ... me. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> Yesterday I did the hour and a half drive to the hypnotherapy school in Lafayette. It is not the easiest building to find because while the address claims that it is on a main street, I actually had to find a dirt road beside a construction site and wind up a hill. Thank heavens my husband had been in the complex of buildings the week before doing some work or I might never have found it. Still, I was grateful for a really light traffic d... Thu, 31 Jan 2013 19:46:27 EST Hit and Miss and Still Ok The past few days I have been a lot more social. I got out to see one of my former classmates last week for lunch and yesterday I had lunch at Panera with 3 more of them. It was so good to be around these women. For some odd reason I turn into a stand-up comic around them. We all laughed so much that tears were streaming out of our eyes and I suspect we might have been annoying to the tables around us. Oh well! <BR> <em>20</em> <BR> In fact, we were there so long that late afternoon coff... Tue, 29 Jan 2013 14:10:12 EST What She Didn't Say .... I just realized that I'm not talking much about food or diet or exercise. <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> I guess my mind just isn't really 'there'. Although I have checked my tracking and I have been within my range every day. I will say that yesterday's food choices were not as high quality as I might have preferred - not enough fruit and veg. Exercise was only a few weights and cleaning house. Still, I'm feeling good. <BR> <BR> I've been truly pondering the 'whether or not' of graduate schoo... Sun, 27 Jan 2013 14:21:34 EST Mind Games I went with a friend to check out a Psy.D program she was looking into and a Masters in Family Therapy at a school I had not heard of, but that has a local satellite. I'm not sure what prompted me forward, but I suspect it may have something to do with three different people asking me in the past week, "What ARE you going to do with your Bachelor's degree?" The program is a good one, but it is a private school and terrifically expensive - about 2.5X as much as the state university I graduate... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 16:58:28 EST Wine O'Clock? Thus far I have been really pretty consistent with the trance work. The only ‘skip’ I had was on Wednesday night when I thought was going to the Open House at the university. My plans changed last minute and then I found I was quite hungry and Carl was arriving home and would want dinner shortly. I got involved in dinner prep and forgot to do the pre-meal session. After dinner I found myself wanting to have some popcorn or some fruit, but I was able to sort of pause and examine it before I a... Fri, 25 Jan 2013 15:00:21 EST Exercise and Food-Pretty Interesting ..... 1/23/13 <BR> <BR> Seriously, this is really interesting. Ok, I got myself to exercise yesterday. I can’t say that during it there was any great love on my part, and in fact I had to sort of curse my way through it (and I’m somewhat humiliated that it was only a 30 minute DVD that used to be cake). Afterwards I sat down to cool off before my shower, and I found myself really concentrating on how my body felt. First I noticed that pleasant sensation of circulation pulsing through various area... Wed, 23 Jan 2013 13:52:24 EST No Nibblies Now that I have done the morning, pre-dinner and bedtime trances I can see where this therapist does seem to cover all the bases. He reinforces drinking water, eating healthy, being positive, daily exercise, and any practice that supports the ‘magnificent makeover’ that I am working on. <BR> <BR> What I can say so far is this – my food cravings seem to have vanished. That voice that nags at me to eat (that can be so hard to shush) just isn't there. In fact, my husband asked me if I wanted a ... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 16:13:43 EST You Are Getting Very Very Sleepy ...... <em>102</em> <BR> Ok, not exactly. <BR> <BR> But, a few months back I took an introductory hypnotherapy course that lasted a month. The reason I took it was because I have been seriously considering training to do this professionally before I do grad school. I read a lot about hypnotherapy's uses in my psychology classes and I have had such great experiences with re-setting my emotional and mental state with meditation that hypnotherapy seemed like a natural step. However, as much as I e... Tue, 22 Jan 2013 00:05:47 EST Funny Motivators I wish I could say that I've been minding my weight the last few months. I wish I could say that I've been steady with my workouts. Neither are true. <BR> <BR> After I graduated college in late May, I sort of fell off the boards, in more ways than one. Here's the thing - I thought I knew, for certain, what I would be doing after graduation. I was going to grad school to become a counselor. I also thought that somehow, I would feel different after graduation. Graduating at 51 meant doing so 3... Mon, 10 Dec 2012 15:59:06 EST The Scale Tried To Eat My Brain My meditation teacher lives in Los Angeles. <BR> <BR> I do not. <BR> <BR> So, in order to be with her as she leads groups, I call in with Free Conference Call. This morning she began a new deep meditation series that will only last for two weeks. I set my alarm, had a restless night, but managed to get up in time and do my routine -- vitamins, stretch, make tea, find my phone and headset, go settle in. <BR> <em>414</em> <BR> <BR> I have two minutes remaining ... b-r-e-a-t-h-e. <BR> I di... Fri, 17 Aug 2012 12:20:46 EST Inner Child - Come Out And Play I don't know about You, but I don't play the way I used to. For one thing, I don't have children, and for another, even when I was a child, I tended to be that 'book reading' kid. Being harassed and teased for being the chubby... ok fat kid ... didn't help. <BR> <BR> As an adult, I need to exercise. I've spent years, YEARS trying to find what is 'fun'. I know Other people have Fun exercising, but it has been elusive for me. I'm rather uncoordinated for things like Zumba and I am not a 'go to... Thu, 16 Aug 2012 14:46:02 EST Whew! I have been hoping to get away on a trip ever since graduation. It was such a long slog that I felt like I needed -- I don't know -- a Reset? We kept trying to plan something but life and uber-tight finances kept getting in the way. Hubby landed a sweet assignment in the Bay Area, but there is a three week background check period. At the same time, he found a travel deal in the newspaper for a hotel in Jenner that we could never normally afford. When I called, there was a room left! When th... Sun, 12 Aug 2012 16:15:54 EST Be a friend! Maitri ... or My Tree... or you don't have to be Buddhist to appreciate a good idea. <BR> <em>47</em> <BR> This morning's meditation referred to maitri, pronounced my tree - a new word to me and a concept that would be good for me to take to heart. In the simplest terms it means <BR> Unconditional friendliness to oneself. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> I know, right? How do we do that? What is it? That's the discovery, isn't it? A Western meditation teacher explained to the Dalai Lama that peo... Tue, 24 Jul 2012 12:01:41 EST One week in .. I've been back for a week and so far, so good on the food front. It really is pretty easy when I'm not working because I can plan and prepare pretty easily. So, while unemployment is heck on the pocketbook, it does allow one to focus. The garden is coming in well so I have herbs, tomatoes, peppers, green beans and cucumbers aplenty. It is so nice to just walk outside and get a good portion of at least one meal a day right in my own yard. Honestly, I think everyone would benefit from a garden... Mon, 23 Jul 2012 17:27:51 EST Graduation and New Beginnings <img src=""> <BR> Yea Baby! <BR> I finally did it - first in my family. I graduated from college, summa cum laude no less! <BR> It was an overly hot day (who thought it was a good idea to make graduation gowns black and out of polyester), but it was still an insanely happy moment. *looks around* Did I admit that? <BR> <BR> I won't lie - when I saw my graduation photos I realized quite fully how much I ignored my body the last year. A... Mon, 16 Jul 2012 22:23:46 EST Progress slow, but steady. Well I lost 1 pound last week. Frankly, that's just fine. My focus has been on being balanced, and squeezing it all in -- exercise, good food, school, meditation, chores ... most days that is an accomplishment in itself. <BR> <BR> This Mindfulness class I'm in deviates from Kabat-Zinn's in some respects and this week is an example. Miles incorporates Chi Nei Tsang deep abdominal massage in the mix. We were all instructed on the process by watching his wife do the practice. The first thing ... Mon, 6 Feb 2012 22:23:57 EST Self Trickery Is Good (sometimes) I missed the deadline to apply for graduate school at my university by about two weeks. Why? Well, because when I should have been gathering materials and letters, I was up to my neck in 5 final exams/papers. Also, I wasn't (and am still not) entirely sure that I am up to the task, nor completely convinced of where I want to go, IF I go. And ... there is the expense ... realistically $50k, not counting the cost of surviving until I'm done. <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> But I did take a look at ou... Mon, 30 Jan 2012 16:33:28 EST Body Scan -- interesting week I was having a very orderly and structured week, until Tuesday (laugh). My Tuesdays at school are long - I leave the house at 10:30 and don't get home until 9pm, even though I only have two classes. The reason -- it takes an hour or more to get there, find a parking space, and run across campus to class. After my first class I have a 5 hour break, but to drive home and back would waste gas and I would only be home 3 hours, so the plan is to use that time for study. Of course on week one ther... Sun, 29 Jan 2012 02:24:14 EST Mad Meditation When I started this 8 week mindfulness class our instructor said, "Remember interest is doing something when you want to whereas commitment is doing that thing no matter what." This was important to tell us ... on may levels. <BR> <BR> Meditation isn't always relaxing or serene, because sometimes the mind is mad... not crazy, but angry. My mind was angry last night, and again this morning over a struggle with another person. I avoided and avoided and avoided meditation this morning until I... Sun, 22 Jan 2012 18:10:48 EST Interesting ... interesting ... Namaste .... <BR> One week back on Spark - sort of. I haven't tracked every meal as my week went a little bit pear-shaped. I was offered work for a couple of days that was unexpected. I also found myself focusing on my newly re-established meditation practice, as it is my big "Commitment" at the moment. Nevertheless, I managed to lose 2 pounds last week, and I suspect the practice is the major contributing factor. <BR> <BR> Here's is what I can tell you so far. The first week I was oddly ... Thu, 19 Jan 2012 14:35:45 EST False Starts, New/Old Journey I see from my blog entry that I had great intentions back in August, before my insane over-booked fall schedule dragged me under the tide. <BR> <BR> Against my better judgment, I overloaded my schedule with classes and took one course, "Violence Against Women", that I felt would emotionally flatten me - I was right. Long story short, I found that being assaulted with classes filled with information on inequity, discrimination, and violence ended up emotionally battering me. I tried to get in... Wed, 11 Jan 2012 13:38:02 EST Let's Press On! Since my last entry I have been more focused, and less likely to binge ... but I have also really... REALLY resisted having any sort of plan. I think being back in college where I have to be so very organized and so very structured in order to succeed causes me to really rebel on the few weeks I have off in the summer. The thing is, I've Sparked long enough to know how to succeed, but the thought of logging my food, exercising up a huge sweat most days of the week ... etc ... on my wee little... Tue, 9 Aug 2011 16:26:13 EST Fresh Start Wow, it was hard to reset my goals ... I really, REALLY didn't want to lose that online affirmation of the success I've already had. But, I also know that noticing that I regained 20 of the 55 pounds I previously lost would bug me every time I looked at my reports. So... BASTA! Fresh Start .. New Day ... <BR> <BR> Here We Go! <BR> Fri, 27 May 2011 19:55:55 EST You are BEAUTIFUL! There are a number of films made by Jean Kilbourne - the "Killing Me Softly" series that examines the influence of the advertising industry on us -- especially women. I got to attend a lecture by her this afternoon, and she was incredible. She was updating the work she started in the late 1970's. I was shocked at how images have been increasingly sexualized over the years, and not in positive ways. The statistic that is really shocking is that we are .. on average.. exposed to 3,000 images... Wed, 30 Mar 2011 22:11:35 EST Fire Cracker Woman I almost didn't go to the Women's Self-Defense class on campus today because it has been raining here for the past 10 days. I figured the ground would be all soggy, and it was outside. But, on second thought, I figured I would at least go and see if it was being held at all. I found the instructor, Midge, standing outside, with only 1 student in the quad, which is a cemented courtyard bordered by grass. We decided to post some signs, and wait a bit to see if more students would arrive. We en... Mon, 28 Mar 2011 18:58:18 EST Eating Humble Pie I have been on spring break this week and I have hunkered down inside the house. It has been me and Netflix and popcorn. The weather was ripe for a slowdown, with constant rain and high winds -- it really seemed more like winter break! As usual, I had a list of chores that I really had no intention of completing until the last conceivable moment - mostly because they were those things that are serious 'no fun' activities -- gathering all the materials for the tax man and completing his quest... Sun, 27 Mar 2011 16:30:36 EST Dusting off the Blog* OMG, it has been a long time since I Sparked -- I see it has been over 2 months. How did that happen? <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> The truth is that going to a bigger university and being there full-time (and having a currently unemployed hubby who is home most of the time) has had me running like a maniac. I'm having to learn again how to balance everything. I attempted to throw another meditation class in the mix and had to drop it -- I can squeeze in the meditation time, but not the instruction... Thu, 11 Nov 2010 13:46:10 EST A new school year, a sore back! I started my classes at state university yesterday. All I can say is, WOW! I really scheduled myself tightly - of course, with budget restraints, I really had no choice. I start classes at 9am and I go straight through until 4:30 - with only one short break. Guess when I run to find a bathroom? <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> I went from a small University satellite campus to a large state campus, and the crush of students was dazzling, and overwhelming. Still, I felt incredibly blessed to even G... Wed, 1 Sep 2010 15:28:03 EST I say YAY! For those of us who have battled with, whined at, cried over, or tossed out the window our SCALE ... I found the perfect one. <BR> <BR> The YAY Scale. It will remind me that I'm sexy, hot, marvelous. Now that's what I call a scale. <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>k-pink-sparkle-p-952.html </link> Tue, 24 Aug 2010 16:10:42 EST Listen to My Body .. WHA???? When I left for our camping trip, I tucked a few books into my bag. Inevitably, I take more reading material than I can ever possibly get to. I also put a lecture and meditation music on my mp3 player, which was terrific -- especially when DH was driving us to the campground up a switchbacking one lane road that turned into dirt in total darkness ... it was nice to have my mind elsewhere! <BR> <BR> One book I didn't really think I would get into, but ended up devouring, was one by Tolle. Yes... Sun, 22 Aug 2010 15:37:50 EST New Detour, Same Destination My goodness -- for all my intentions, I have managed to be a Non-Sparker this month. And, while we're at it, where did summer even GO?? <BR> <em>67</em> <BR> The month of August has been busy busy busy. I finished several projects, including mucking out the excess goods that had taken up residence in closets, drawers and the garage. I also finished painting, while hubby finished setting up new shelving and storage units in the garage and creating secure locked tool storage and a nice pantry... Fri, 20 Aug 2010 01:04:58 EST What Is Failure? Rethink. I woke up this morning with the best intentions. DH was gone for an hour and a half or more, so I would have the house to myself. Digging through drawers, I pulled out my yoga pants & a sports bra, scrounged my mats from where they were stored, found my DVD, and got set up in the living room - the only place in our tiny house with enough floor space to do yoga. Then, I got interrupted by a telephone call that couldn't wait. Ok, Ok, Ok ... there should still be enough time. I roll out the mats... Thu, 15 Jul 2010 13:25:11 EST I Can't Worry About My Underarms OR Life Is Too Short Yesterday I read a hysterical little essay by Joel Stein entitled, 'Relax! I help my mother celebrate her 65th birthday & learn the secrets of spa life.' After many not at all subtle hints of her desire for a spa visit, Mr. Stein books a trip for the two of them to the a lakeside resort. His mother was, understandably, surprised that he wanted to go along. To make it a bit less weird, he invited his sister to go along too. If you ever wondered just how different men are from women, you onl... Mon, 12 Jul 2010 00:40:25 EST Rumors of my demise ..... are highly exaggerated! <em>211</em> <BR> <BR> I have been quiet lately ... a near impossibility for me. The thing is, DH's job rolled up last week and we both immediately roared, "I NEED a VACATION!" So, I madly cobbled together a camping/visiting friends trip. Then, the 'to do's' mounted! Our camping book was out of date, so we went to the bookstore and bought a new one. Our camping bins were stuffed out of the way because of the remodel, so we had to dig them out, only to find our cam... Fri, 25 Jun 2010 23:21:54 EST Warp Speed Good heavens! I thought that when school got out for summer, my life would slow down. It has done quite the opposite. <em>198</em> <BR> Of course, it started with the exterior remodel of the house and that continued this week when I had another section of fence put in, to separate us from our noisy neighbors. Money well spent, I say! I still have painting to do .. in fact I have more than I originally bargained for. The new windows we installed means repainting three more rooms, and now I n... Fri, 11 Jun 2010 19:43:08 EST Did you see it? Jillian Michael's new show... I had no real intention of watching "Losing It" because I don't really enjoy Jillian, and I'm probably one of three people in American who find "Biggest Loser" really distasteful. However, I was waiting for some stripping compound to dry and the show was on in the background. Yes, it was formulaic, and as always Jillian was featured screaming her lungs out at people three times her size, telling them that they could, in fact, squat lower, run faster, do more push ups and what not, and she was... Wed, 2 Jun 2010 14:58:05 EST I have a FAT head! I took a big breath this morning, after only a day fully 'back', and guess what.. I didn't gain any weight! <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> This is astonishing, as I really had at least one blow out day ... can you say corn chips and bean dip, anyone? I also went over my calories for several days and had very little coordinated exercise. <BR> <BR> I suppose being on pins and needles for two weeks as workmen banged all over my house, may have made me feel more out of control than I really was. I a... Thu, 27 May 2010 14:51:46 EST An Absent Week I've been away for a while. Finals had me twisted up for a while, but school is all done now and I survived and got good grades. Now, I'm dealing with all the hoops I have to jump through because of switching universities and they seem endless. But, I've missed Spark! <BR> <em>46</em> <BR> What's more shocking .. I've missed exercise... <BR> <em>40</em> <BR> Ok ... I miss the BENEFITS from exercise, not the actual huffing and puffing ... truth be told. <BR> <BR> I've had a hoard o... Mon, 24 May 2010 11:24:15 EST Healthy Food & Exercise! Nothing like having finals upcoming.... make EXERCISE and staying on track seem like preferable activities! <BR> <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> Seriously, I'm back at it and really happy about it, actually. Being buried beneath homework and juggling with DH's schedule has been a challenge and after my big research project, I took a wee break... that turned into a wee bit longer than I intended. I never went too far off track, but I was assuredly sidling as close to the line, and often a bit over it, as often as I could. You know... Tue, 11 May 2010 22:23:40 EST Mother's Day Proclamation the origins of our modern Mother's Day... In 1870 Howe was the first to proclaim Mother's Day. Happy holiday to all mums out there .. and here's to my own. I still miss you almost every day, mom. <BR> <BR> <BR> Julia Ward Howe <BR> <BR> Arise then...women of this day! <BR> Arise, all women who have hearts! <BR> Whether your baptism be of water or of tears! <BR> Say firmly: <BR> "We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies, <BR> Our husbands will not come to us, reeking wit... Sat, 8 May 2010 20:13:48 EST USE the view, when you step off the bus! One thing that I have heard over and over again is that we are not on a diet, or doing a temporary fix, we are creating a new life(style). Because of that, we absolutely will have 'off' days. Sometimes we stray from the path because we become complacent, or lazy, or unconscious. Other times, we change our behaviours, and perhaps fall into old habits, out of choice... yes .. vacations, birthdays, and days may occur when we are socked with unexpected celebrations or stresses and we may choose ... Mon, 3 May 2010 17:46:03 EST Was blind... but now .... I see. <BR> <BR> And, yes, I lifted that line from "Amazing Grace." I need to be working on my paper, but something has been rattling around so hard in my brain, that it keeps clanging against the side of my skull. The noise is making it impossible to think. So, in the interest of making my deadline, I will post this entry and hopefully clear out enough space to continue ... I beg your indulgence. <BR> <BR> The last day or two, after killing time looking at Facebook albums posted by frie... Mon, 26 Apr 2010 20:20:33 EST Why "Tomorrow" is not the right answer I'm climbing back into my routine, and getting better each hour. I realized something after I wrote the last desperate entry ... my habits were slipping and affecting me in an adverse way. <BR> <BR> - On my spring break, I was eating less and less whole food, and while I wasn't eating 'fast food', I was not eating normally. In fact, as I was sorting beans for soup, I was particularly struck at how colorful and beautiful the food was.. and it reminded me that this IS how I want to eat; <BR> ... Mon, 12 Apr 2010 15:50:30 EST