MANDELOVICH's SparkPeople Blog MANDELOVICH's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Peeling my onion, learning how to fail!! "Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement." C. S. Lewis <BR> <BR> Today I listened to a wonderful podcast by Brooke Castillo. <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I was so moved by it that I want to sum up the key points before I forget them!! <BR> <BR> I've been on a journey now, for a long time, to heal my relationship with my body, with food and with weight. And for many years, my rigid perfectionistic tendencies kept me stuck in a binge/restrict cycle that ... Wed, 14 May 2014 09:52:45 EST That hit the spot! “He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing .” &#8213; Epicurus <BR> <BR> Today I listened to a conversation with Kathryn Hansen, author of the wonderful book "Brain Over Binge". <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I've been a fan of her book for awhile now, and her approach for overcoming binging by changing neural pathways in the brain. In essence, binging happens when we follow urges to binge, which come from the lower brain. When we recognize these u... Thu, 8 May 2014 17:58:37 EST Spring brings lovely flowers and a shift “When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” <BR> &#8213; Paulo Coelho <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Scenic Central Park with a nice view of Manhattan behind us. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Pre race smiles with a track club friend. I had no idea what I was about to do. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 15:32:43 EST New day, new week, new month, reboot!! “The chief beauty about time is that you cannot waste it in advance. The next year, the next day, the next hour are lying ready for you, as perfect, as unspoiled, as if you had never wasted or misapplied a single moment in all your life. You can turn over a new leaf every hour if you choose.” &#8213; Arnold Bennett <BR> <BR> Today is Monday, a day that signals the start of a new week and new beginnings. And tomorrow is April 1, a new month, hopefully spring weather will soon come to NY for u... Mon, 31 Mar 2014 08:00:26 EST Turning the page “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.” Emerson <BR> <BR> This past week was very loaded for me. March 13 was the 6 month anniversary of my husband's death. March 15 was what should have been his 44th birthday. And on March 16th, I ran my first half marathon. <BR> <BR> The sadness I experienced on my husband's birthday knocked me down. I cannot articulate the emptiness I felt inside and the extreme sense of loss and isolation that... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 17:55:50 EST Keys to Success “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. <BR> I'll meet you there. <BR> <BR> When the soul lies down in that grass the world is too full to talk about.” &#8213; Rumi <BR> <BR> Happy February everyone. <BR> <BR> This blog today is based on a Tiny Buddha blog I read and loved called "6 Lessons from Nature on Living a Peaceful, Fulfilling Life" By Alexis Evans <BR> <link><BR>e-living-peaceful-fulfilling-life/ </link> <BR> ... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 07:50:32 EST Reframe! "The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them." Ida B. Wells <BR> <BR> My truth: I've been struggling, I've gained about 13 pounds, and I've been hurting myself with binging. I've also been wrapped up in that behavior, obsessing about it, making it all that I am at the expense of taking in the world around me and enjoying life. <BR> <BR> But recently I had a great conversation with my best friend who said, "You know you keep calling yourself a binger, that you have binge ... Tue, 21 Jan 2014 09:00:45 EST It's already inside of us “We become what we repeatedly do.” &#8213; Sean Covey <BR> <BR> I’ve done a lot of reading and thinking about the brain, about binging, and about neuroplasticity. I’ve learned that binging is a habit, a deeply formed neural pathway, and that when I get an urge to binge and act on it, I’m reinforcing this pathway. I’ve also learned that these urges are “neurological junk”, thanks to Kathryn Hansen of Brain Over Binge <link> </link> . Her strategy for ending binge eat... Fri, 10 Jan 2014 13:17:10 EST Beliefs "Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed. It means the damage no longer controls our lives." Unknown <BR> <BR> Yesterday I listened to Renee Stephen's newest podcasts about Beliefs that Will Make You Fat, though I think they were really more about beliefs that will make you naturally slender. Anyway, she offered 3 core beliefs she feels are essential in order to become naturally slender and stay naturally slender: <BR> <BR> 1. It's possible for me to do this. I'm capable of making nat... Tue, 17 Dec 2013 06:31:02 EST Daily Reflections "With change, there is grief for what has been lost, but also opportunity-and the choice of how to see it. Choose wonderful." Suzanne McMinn <BR> <BR> I've been listening to Geneen Roth's on line retreats (highly recommend, very worth the investment). And there were some key non-food practices she suggests. I've decided to start implementing them daily. <BR> <BR> Here is the gist of it, with my own embellishments... <BR> <BR> 1. Breathe. Be present. Come back into balance. In this moment, ... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 05:52:35 EST Gratitude "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." Albert Schweitzer <BR> <BR> To everyone in the Spark community, you are truly the sparks helping Sasha and I through this transition. Thank you for your incredible compassion, generosity of spirit, and love. <BR> <BR> I enter into this day with the intention to be grateful for all I have: my amazing daughter, am... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 09:58:04 EST Opening to life and another ode to Geneen Roth “You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won't discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself. (p. 84)” <BR> &#8213; Geneen Roth, Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything <BR> <BR> “Bingeing is such an emotionally frenetic activity that no other concerns can exist in the same space. It is a hell that people who are food-sensitive are familiar with; and, because it is know... Thu, 21 Nov 2013 06:02:29 EST Learning Opportunities "We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours." -Dag Hammarskjöld <BR> <BR> I woke up this morning after another night of binging and I had two choices. I could either panic, get really mad at myself, be in a state of anxiety and self loathing all day (my default reaction after a binge), or I could take a deep breath and change my perspective. <BR> <BR> Renee Stephens of Inside Out Weight Loss always says, "there is no such thing as failur, only ... Thu, 31 Oct 2013 13:06:28 EST Wonderful Mantras "Happiness is equilibrium. Shift your weight." Tom Stoppard <BR> <BR> I'm participating in Renee Stephens online Fulfilled Course (for the third time and I will do it again for the next round). <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I find it to be a new experience each time I participate and like the Awakening Joy course <link> </link> , I always learn something new and connect with new people and ideas. <BR> <BR> It is the final week of the six wee... Thu, 17 Oct 2013 21:39:34 EST For my daughter <img src=""> <BR> <BR> “I have found the paradox that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt; only more love.” Mother Teresa <BR> <BR> Now it's time to focus on the living and all the good in my life. Namely, my amazing daughter Sasha, who is resilient, strong, magical, beautiful and such a blessing. <BR> <BR> I've been very up and down these past weeks since my husband died. And with the downs came many destructive bin... Thu, 10 Oct 2013 13:37:12 EST Gratitude to the Spark Community “Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all. For we are connected, one and all.” &#8213; Deborah Day <BR> <BR> Dear Spark Community, <BR> <BR> I just want to tell you that I'm incredibly touched and deeply moved by the outpouring of support and kindness you have shown me, not only now after my husband passed, but through the entire journey. <BR> <BR> You are all such kind, empathetic, and selfless people. Thank you for the mess... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 08:46:20 EST In honor of my husband <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Dear loving Spark community, <BR> <BR> I'm devastated to tell you all that early yesterday morning, my beloved husband died. We were holding hands and he died peacefully in his sleep. He is no longer in pain, no longer suffering, no longer struggling to do the simplest things. <BR> <BR> But my heart is aching. I miss him so much. It is profound an... Sat, 14 Sep 2013 06:31:11 EST Needing Spark Support "Don't you get it? This very second you could be doing something you love and dream about doing. So do it! NOW!" <BR> <BR> --Unknown <BR> <BR> These days I'm at home caring for my husband, doing home hospice. It's a sad but also beautiful time as there is such an outpouring of love, support and kindness. <BR> <BR> One thing that hasn't been helpful is that as my husband is getting sicker, I've been binging more and more. When I feel afraid, angry, panicky, I stuff nuts into my mouth inste... Mon, 2 Sep 2013 07:53:20 EST Gratitude for the lights in the darkness "To love deeply in one direction makes us more loving in all others." Anne-Sophie Swetchine <BR> <BR> My husband is at home, in his last stages of life. It is a profoundly difficult time for us, and yet each day, there are endless miracles, blessings, lights in this darkness. <BR> <BR> Today I found out I was chosen as a motivator. I'm deeply touched and all the support coming my way is yet another blessing. <BR> <BR> Thank you to you all. <BR> <BR> I'm so sorry but I don't have time to r... Thu, 8 Aug 2013 09:39:37 EST Ditching Diets in Difficult Times "That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved." --Ralph Waldo Emerson <BR> <BR> I'm reading a great book called "Ditching Diets" by Gillian Riley. I'm finding it a great support to the book "Brain Over Binge" by Kathryn Hansen. <BR> <BR> I just finished chapter five and found it especially helpful given what is currently happening in my life. My husband's cancer is getting worse and worse and his p... Sat, 20 Jul 2013 09:00:57 EST IOWL assumptions “Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world as being able to remake ourselves.” ~Mahatma Gandhi <BR> <BR> I’ve been listening to a great series from Renee Stephen’s Inside Out Weight Loss in which she shares the assumptions or presuppositions behind her program for releasing weight. I think they are very relevant and would like to share them with how they apply to my life and my experience. <BR> <BR> 1. All behavior is positively intended. <BR> <BR> This means that ev... Mon, 15 Jul 2013 13:51:46 EST Balance “Your hand opens and closes, opens and closes. If it were always a fist or always stretched open, you would be paralysed. Your deepest presence is in every small contracting and expanding, the two as beautifully balanced and coordinated as birds' wings.” <BR> &#8213; Rumi, Essential Rumi <BR> <BR> I recently listened to another wonderful Inside Out Weight Loss podcast by Renee Stephens in which she said that the most important tool for true weight loss is the ability to self-correct. <BR> ... Thu, 20 Jun 2013 20:21:02 EST Mindfulness and the Joy of Simply Being: “How strange that the nature of life is change, yet the nature of human beings is to resist change. And how ironic that the difficult times we fear might ruin us are the very ones that break us open and help us blossom into what we were meant to be.” Elizabeth Lesser <BR> <BR> “The only way out is through” –Robert Frost <BR> <BR> I've been thinking so much lately about mindfulness, about being with things as they are, about breathing through my life, my pain, my meals. <BR> <BR> Renee Step... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 11:14:24 EST Stress is my friend? "When you are caught in stressful thought-loops in your mind, you miss out on feeling the wisdom of your body."- Jena la Flamme <BR> <BR> “If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” &#8213; Amit Ray <BR> <BR> I recently started working with a wonderful life coach, Dr. Amy Johnson <link> </link> . <BR> <BR> She is helping me learn how to ignore urges to binge and let that neural pathway fade away. We work via email and each day... Tue, 11 Jun 2013 09:52:32 EST Leaving one bite The road to health for everyone is through moderation, harmony, and a 'sound mind in a sound body'.&#8213; Jostein Gaarder <BR> <BR> I've been trying an experiment of late. When I eat any meal or snack, I leave over at least one full bite of the foods I'm eating. <BR> <BR> I'm doing this for several reasons: <BR> <BR> I'm a person who has liked to eat huge portions of food, albeit healthy foods, particularly at dinner time. I learned way back in my Weight Watcher days of the 1970's and 198... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 12:05:40 EST Keys to Weight Loss Success...Keys to Life... "Change your thoughts and you change your world." Norman Vincent Peale <BR> <BR> I listened to a great Inside Out Weight Loss series on Keys to Weight Loss Success, and I loved it! <BR> <BR> (podcasts are here, they are the best!!! <BR> <link><BR>sts/216-inside-out-weight-loss </link> ), <BR> <BR> Not only do I find them to be incredibly true for weight loss, I feel like they are true for most positive changes we want to make in life. And lately I'v... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 14:37:39 EST Breathing “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” <BR> &#8213; Thich Nhat Hanh <BR> <BR> Yesterday I heard a great Inside Out Weight Loss podcast about the dangers of eating when stressed. In it Renee Stephens reminded me that when you eat in a state of stress, anxiety or guilt, not only might you be at risk for eating more (stress eating), but also, your body is in fight or flight mode and the food you eat doesn't get metabolize properly. She talked about... Wed, 29 May 2013 10:44:05 EST NSV's and Intention A healthy outside starts from the inside.-Robert Urich <BR> <BR> I listened to a great podcast by Renee Stephens of Inside Out Weight Loss in which she talked about what she calls the "pleasure principal" and setting intentions before we eat to thoroughly enjoy our meals. The pleasure principal refers to eating foods which give us the most pleasure over time, both when we eat them and for hours after. And setting intentions refers to the idea that before we eat, we should appreciate our mea... Mon, 27 May 2013 10:46:20 EST Finding my way back “You are your own worst enemy. If you can learn to stop expecting impossible perfection, in yourself and others, you may find the happiness that has always eluded you.” &#8213; Lisa Kleypas <BR> <BR> Last week was the memorial for my beautiful young friend who died tragically of pancreatic cancer. It's been a difficult time for me because not only is her death very difficult for me to accept, it also reminds me of my husband's illness and the gravity of my life as his caregiver. <BR> <BR> T... Sat, 25 May 2013 18:09:00 EST Living a quality life "As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters." --Seneca <BR> <BR> This quote made me think about a recent decision by my husband to halt his chemotherapy treatments. He said he needed to feel whole again and that he just couldn't continue with the toxic treatment that was destroying the quality of his life. <BR> <BR> At first I felt very anxious about his decision. He has stage IV cancer and the chemo cannot cure his illness. It has, thus far, not even ... Thu, 16 May 2013 11:01:50 EST My incredible, and oh so healthy mom! “All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” &#8213; Abraham Lincoln <BR> <BR> Today as we honor our mothers, I want to take some time to reflect on my incredible mother. <BR> <BR> My mother is many things to me and is one of the most positive, generous, energetic, and selfless people I know. But since this is Spark, I want to focus on the amazing healthy habits she has instilled in me, because I feel she is also a wonderful role model for health. <BR> <BR> My mother will... Sun, 12 May 2013 09:13:07 EST Self acceptance “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.” &#8213; Diane Von Furstenberg <BR> <BR> This week I've received the gifts of an Awakening Joy course on loving ourselves. <BR> <BR> Awakening Joy: <link> </link> <BR> <BR> What I kept hearing over and over again, is that the better we are at accepting ourselves now, as we are, the better care we will take of ourselves. It's not about being complacent, or lazy or self-destructive. When you love yourself, you... Fri, 10 May 2013 10:11:15 EST Receiving the gifts along the way "Men succeed when they realize that their failures are the preparation for their victories." Ralph Waldo Emerson <BR> <BR> Today I listened to a great Inside Out Weight Loss podcast in which Renee Stephens talks about the power of learning from mistakes with self acceptance and love. In other words, using mistakes as opportunities to improve, with a focus on the valuable lessons to be gained, and letting go of being angry with oneself. <BR> <BR> I loved this podcast because I realized that ... Thu, 2 May 2013 10:23:35 EST Ode to Geneen Roth Geneen Roth is one of my heroes. I love her writing, her workshops, her audio tapes, her amazing presence, and the work she does to help so many women and men heal their relationship with food, eating, dieting and weight. <BR> <BR> I've been reading her books since I was a teenager, and now that Facebook exists, it's a real treat to get messages from her on an almost daily basis. Her messages are full of a zen wisdom that really speaks to me. <BR> <BR> Here are some of my favorites of late ... Sat, 27 Apr 2013 12:19:26 EST Feeling free "Peace and contentment are feelings that take practice to achieve. They are not a consequence of being successful or being in love or being thin. They are, among other things, a consequence of stopping in the present moment and looking around." Geneen Roth <BR> <BR> It's been 16 days since I started on a new path of accepting myself now, as I am, at this weight. It's been 16 days of allowing myself to eat portions that truly satisfy me and make me feel wonderful. And it's been 16 days in whi... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 13:23:43 EST Letting Go “Letting go doesn’t mean rejecting what is here. Rather it’s an attitude of letting things be without picking up what we don’t need.” James Baraz <BR> <BR> Letting go is the theme of my Awakening Joy course this month. <link> </link> It’s a profound theme and practice, in which James Baraz suggests we let go by simplifying, by letting go of the stories we tell ourselves, by being generous, and by letting go of expectations and excess. I know I have room to work on all... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 10:51:08 EST A new way “No problem can be solved from the same consciousness that created it. We must learn to see the world anew.” Albert Einstein <BR> <BR> Today is my 9th day binge free and I'm really pleased. I've been reading Brain Over Binge, learning so much about how to finally recover from binge eating, and I'm feeling very free from this 31 year issue. One thing the book taught me is that restricting my caloric intake is one of the causes of urges to binge. <BR> <BR> So, after several days of considera... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 13:28:11 EST Committing to habit change "People become successful the minute they decide to." --Harvey Mackay <BR> <BR> Oprah and Deepak Chopra did a wonderful 21 day meditation challenge called "Perfect Health". <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ellers/LandingPage2.aspx?BookId=178 </link> <BR> <BR> I found the meditations to be extremely soothing and helpful, so went ahead and bought the download so I could repeat the experience whenever I wanted. <BR> <BR> This morning I listened to day 8: Restoring B... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 11:02:52 EST In defense of hunger "A well governed appetite is the greater part of liberty." Lucius Annaeus Seneca <BR> <BR> Last night, I woke in the middle of the night and was so happy that I felt hungry. After a week with several binge episodes, feeling hungry was so welcome. I was thrilled that I'd really enjoy my breakfast today, that I'd have energy and vitality from eating just enough, and that I was back in the zone of caring for myself. <BR> <BR> I read this great post by Laura Kattleman-Prue, author of Skinny Th... Wed, 10 Apr 2013 10:52:56 EST Slowing Down to Choose the Longer Lasting Happiness "In practicing integrity as a support for happiness, we’re not just doing the right thing because we’re supposed to. We’re actively choosing to act wisely and kindly because it actually brings a greater sense of well-being." James Baraz <BR> <BR> I went back to my wonderful awakening joy materials today and read more on integrity. I find this topic so useful in understanding my journey to health and well being. <BR> <BR> Some more key points: <BR> <BR> 1. Integrity is about coming into wh... Tue, 9 Apr 2013 14:24:01 EST Reframing: I get to... “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” <BR> &#8213; Ralph Waldo Emerson <BR> <BR> I'll start my blog with a confession. I didn't manage to go binge free yesterday. I'll spare you all the gory details, but sadly it was not a great day. <BR> <BR> However, today is a new, glorious, sunny day here in NY and I fee... Sat, 6 Apr 2013 15:18:22 EST Day 3 of 14, The Urges Aren't Me "Complete peace equally reigns between two mental waves." Swami Sivananda <BR> <BR> Today in Brain Over Binge, by Kathryn Hansen, I learned an important mental strategy for living binge free. The author shares the fact that in the past, she would try to fight against her urges to binge, using "white knuckling", desperately trying to resist. She found that she might be successful resisting one urge with this method, but because it's so exhausting, when a second or third urge came, she'd cav... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 11:29:48 EST Day 2 of 14, the power of habit “We become what we repeatedly do.” <BR> &#8213; Sean Covey, The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective Teens <BR> <BR> Today is the second day of my binge free streak. Hooray. I feel dramatically better already! I slept soundly, I woke energetic and hungry for breakfast, and I felt strong during my workout. <BR> <BR> I'm continuing to read the book "Brain Over Binge" and today I read about the fact that though binges start out as an urge, often in reaction to deprivation diets, because our animal or... Thu, 4 Apr 2013 09:49:53 EST Brain over binge, day 1 of 14 I've started reading the book Brain Over Binge by Kathryn Hansen <link><BR>entional-Recovered/dp/0984481702 </link> <BR> <BR> I've struggled with binge eating since I was 11 years old (I'm 42!) and I've read countless books on the subject, seen therapists, been in eating disorder groups, and on and on. This summer, I was sure I had beaten the monster, when I discovered Inside Out Weight Loss, and went for about 4 months binge free. It was incredible a... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 06:54:33 EST More on integrity For one who leads a virtuous life, <BR> it is a natural law that remorse will not arise... For one free of remorse, <BR> it is a natural law that gladness will arise... For one who is glad at heart, <BR> it is a natural law that joy will arise. Buddha <BR> <BR> This month's Awakening Joy course is all about integrity, or what James Baraz (and the Buddha) call "the bliss of blamelessness". Every year I take this course (I think this is my 5th year), I find this particular theme the most usefu... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 10:17:10 EST Making new friends “A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” &#8213; William Shakespeare <BR> <BR> Food isn't my BFF, though I've been asking that of it for many years now. Food really doesn't comfort me when I'm sad, listen to me when I'm in crisis, make my pain go away. All food does is nourish me when I'm hungry and/or make me feel completely sick when I'm not. <BR> <BR> I'm going to keep this in mind wh... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 18:58:10 EST Letting breakthroughs come “Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” <BR> &#8213; Thomas A. Edison <BR> <BR> Yesterday I heard a great Inside Out Weight Loss Podcast in which Renee Stephens reminded me that just before breakthroughs come, we often experience challenges. In other words, just in the moment where we feel like giving up, what we want is about to manifest itself. The trick is to keep going, to push through, and trust that positive change wil... Wed, 27 Mar 2013 11:07:35 EST Live life like you're already there! "The measure of a man's real character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out." Thomas B. Macaulay <BR> <BR> " yourself because you have a body and it's worth loving and it is perfect. Be healthy, which is perfect at whatever size healthy is and at whatever size happy is." Jen Larsen <BR> <BR> I've been thinking a lot lately about how impatient I was for the past 5 months to dissolve the weight I had gained in an instant. And every time I got on the scale, my ent... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 09:44:49 EST Rules for Life Success "Know your power...learn how to use it." Nancy Pelosi <BR> <BR> I read a great article in the March issue of Health Magazine about life lessons for success. <BR> <BR> I felt they easily transferred to the world of healthy living, so I decided to blog about them today. <BR> <BR> 1. Think big and small: success is the culmination of a series of mini-successes. Rather than focus on losing 100 pounds, focus on 5 pounds at a time and celebrate at each step of the way. For example, I plan to get... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 14:04:35 EST Integrity, the virtuous path “Be faithful to that which exists within yourself.” &#8213; André Gide <BR> <BR> I reread my notes yesterday from the Awakening Joy course on integrity, or what James Baraz calls "the bliss of blamelessness" and I again saw many connections between how we live and how we eat or take care of ourselves. I wanted to share them here because I think he has so many valuable insights. <BR> <BR> Here is a link to the amazing course, for anyone interested: <BR> <BR> <link> </link>... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 08:48:49 EST