PHOENIX2B's SparkPeople Blog PHOENIX2B's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 40 Day Strength Challenge - Day 13 Just checking in. This week has been difficult. My mom had a massive stroke on Saturday, and on Thursday we took her off life support. She is still alive but in a hospice situation awaiting her transition. Her advanced directive said that she did not want to live a low quality of life (on life support indefinitely), and at 85 she lived a great life. We are abiding by her wishes, but of course it still is not easy. <BR> <BR> I didn't exercise for three days in a row. I slept at the hospital w... Sat, 30 Apr 2016 13:12:29 EST 40 Day Strength Challenge - Day 9 It has been a little while (4 days) since I last blogged, because life has been a whirlwind. Four days ago I visited my mom and she had a stroke while I was present. I thank the Lord so much that I was there with her at the time, because otherwise she would have passed away in her bathroom. The past three days have been so emotional because we will find out today if there is any hope for mom or if we should take her off life support. The doctors are all pessimistic (they say she had multiple ... Tue, 26 Apr 2016 11:22:04 EST 40 day strength challenge: Day 4 and 5 Day 4 was yesterday (Thursday), and was a scheduled rest day. I will rest one day a week from exercise. Yesterday was such an emotional day for several reasons, that it was a very hard day and I wanted to binge. I felt the brunt of grief that I feel for several loved ones and friends in my life that are elderly and close to death, and I felt very helpless in terms of helping a couple of people with dementia symptoms, for example. So, I wanted to binge. I ate more than my allotted calories in ... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 12:38:40 EST 40 day strength challenge: Day 2 and 3 Yesterday (day 2), I exercised to CIZE. I did the next to the last DVD for the first time. It was very difficult for me to catch onto the choreography that first time, and I did 20 minutes of it. But I feel ok about stumbling and bumbling around at this stage in my journey, because I know that I will get it eventually... I will try again during my next scheduled CIZE workout. <BR> <BR> Today (day 3), I exercised to the FIRM to do strength training. I did the kickboxing DVD which also incorpo... Wed, 20 Apr 2016 14:22:51 EST 40 day strength challenge: Day 1 I completed my first 30 days of exercise (in a row) yesterday. Now, my new goal is to exercise 6 days a week and to incorporate strength training into my routine for 3 of those 6 days. <BR> <BR> Today was my first day. I worked out to The FIRM, and lifted weights during the routine. I kept thinking the routine would be over, but it kept going on and on! I wanted to quit, but I didn't, and 40 minutes later, I was finished. It is amazing how incorporating a different type of exercise can wear ... Mon, 18 Apr 2016 17:51:35 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 30 Today is my last day of my 30 day exercise challenge, which was to exercise every day for at least 10 minutes a day. What an experience! It was the first time in my life that I have exercised every day for 30 days. I am so glad I did it. I was an exercise newbie... I had no desire to exercise when I started out. <BR> <BR> Thirty days later, I lost 4 pounds. I expected more (I had in my mind 2 pounds a week like clockwork, since I also tracked my food within calorie limits each day). But, loo... Sun, 17 Apr 2016 10:49:15 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 29 Day 29...tomorrow is the last day of my 30 day exercise challenge. I planned on going full out with exercise today and doing the 40 minute DVD this morning when I got up. However, I struggled a great deal today and ended up doing only 15 minutes because of asthma. However, the good thing I am learning about exercise is that even little bits help (so 15 minutes is better than none), and there is always tomorrow. My goal was still met of exercising at least 10 minutes a day for 29 days. Hopeful... Sat, 16 Apr 2016 10:35:14 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 27 and 28 Day 27 and 28... getting close to the end of my 30 day challenge! Yesterday was day 27, and I exercised 20 minutes. I was so extremely exhausted because of my work schedule that I needed to be good to myself and not push myself too hard yesterday. This morning, day 28, I did the whole CIZE DVD again (In the Pocket) - 40 minutes. I really like the choreography of this particular dance routine... the minutes are over before I know it. <em>248</em> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 19:48:32 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 26 This morning the exercise was much easier. I got through the whole DVD (40 min) and even added a little flair to my dancing. About 25 minutes in, I wanted to quit, but somehow I ignored that thought and kept going. My blood pressure is lower and my body feels better... I haven't lost much weight yet but I feel like I have lost inches. <em>248</em> <em>386</em> Wed, 13 Apr 2016 14:54:29 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 25 This morning I wanted to lay in bed a little longer, but I shook myself, got up and exercised to CIZE. I didn't expect today's session to be so fun... It sped by and I was done with the dancing and cool down in 40 minutes. I needed this boost, because yesterday was an embarrassing day. I was going to get a dental surgery done, but they didn't have the larger blood pressure cuffs. The dental hygienist was so insensitive. He yelled down the hallway "is there a bigger blood pressure cuff anywher... Tue, 12 Apr 2016 10:56:30 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 24 Day 24. The ups and downs of life. I haven't been feeling that great (emotionally, not physically) yesterday and today. Lots of challenges yesterday and requests to act outside of my comfort zone, which was good for those I was doing service for but tiring and anxiety producing for me. Because of how I felt, I was extra hungry for foods I shouldn't have. I have to deal with my emotions when I am hungry, angry, lonely or tired... I haven't quite figured out the answer to that one yet. I exerci... Mon, 11 Apr 2016 21:55:21 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 22 and 23 Yesterday I was excited to weigh in (after 3 weeks), but I was initially dissapointed, because I had not lost any weight from the week before. I see other ways I have improved, though. I can tell my weight has shifted, and I can now wear clothes that I could not three weeks ago. Also, I was able to get through the entire DVD yesterday, and that was a big deal. <BR> <BR> This morning I got up early and started the 4th series of CIZE DVD's - "In the Pocket". I did 23 minutes of it. It takes me... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 11:50:23 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 21 Day 21 of the 30 day exercise challenge. I did 20 minutes this morning. I am trying to work on patience. A thought came to me... Why am I still winded and struggling when I have been exercising for 3 whole weeks? But then I shut that self-damaging thought down. Three weeks is a lot for a beginner, and the body does not change overnight. I had the other habits for years... I will be nice to myself and realize that it might take months to feel "athletic". <em>248</em> <em>386</em> Fri, 8 Apr 2016 11:58:33 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 20 Day 20. An exhausting day. Scraped by and did 11 minutes. So sleepy... Goodnight! <em>248</em> Fri, 8 Apr 2016 00:10:14 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 19 Day 19. I always surprise myself, and I think I routinely underestimate myself. This is day 19 of my 30 day exercise challenge. I have been doing CIZE, and I am on the video "Full Out". There are lots of high impact moves in it, and I was sure I wouldn't be able to get past the 25 minute mark on that DVD. But today I finished the DVD and did the cool-down - 37 minutes. I was actually shocked that I was able to finish it. So why do I underestimate my ability to grow and adapt? I think inside a... Wed, 6 Apr 2016 11:11:41 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 18 Day 18. As I traverse this daily journey of commitment to daily exercise for 30 days straight, I am noticing that I have to face, head on, the situations that used to trip me up. Illness (a cold, flu or just not feeling well) used to trip me up and sabotage my exercise goals, but I haven't allowed that to happen for these 18 days. Free food was another red flag for me, but I have been avoiding social situations at work like the plague. I just got sent an invitation to celebrate a colleagues' ... Tue, 5 Apr 2016 11:39:27 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 17 Day 17. It was really difficult getting up this Monday morning to exercise... It felt like pulling teeth. I am noticing that emotions may wane, and zeal, excitement and motivation may fluctuate. Sometimes I just have to ignore my thoughts and emotions and stay consistent. This month - April - is a month of buckling down, gritting teeth and getting things done. I have overwhelming amounts of job-related work that needs to be completed and several deadlines this month. But I am learning to pers... Mon, 4 Apr 2016 09:51:35 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge day 15 and 16 Things are moving along. Yesterday I exercised and did the third CIZE video for the first time - Full Out. Whew, that one is high impact! At my present poundage, it took a lot to exercise with that one, and I got winded easily. Yesterday I did about 14 minutes before tiring out. <BR> <BR> Today I woke up at 4 in the morning. For some reason this cold won't go away, and I woke up to closed nasal and throat passages... I could barely breathe. So, I just got on up at 4am, and decided to get in... Sun, 3 Apr 2016 09:38:29 EST Exercise by a newbie: challenge day 13 and 14 I didn't blog yesterday... It was one of those days of being extra tired. I did exercise 15 minutes, though, so I still kept my personal commitment to exercise daily during the 30-day challenge. <BR> <BR> Today is the last scheduled day for the CIZE video "You've got this". Tomorrow I am supposed to move onto the third video, "Full out". So, today was the last day that I would do "You've got this", at least for awhile. Thus, in spite of being tired today (this flu is really hanging on!) I wa... Fri, 1 Apr 2016 17:01:56 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge day 12 Today was a great start to the day, woo hoo! I exercised to the second CIZE DVD (You've got this) and I was able to get through the whole thing today! That is a big feat for me, it has been a long time since I have exercised 45 minutes straight. Plus, the dance moves really were easier for me today (except a few stumbles here and there). I am so glad I got it in before I started my day! <em>345</em> <em>248</em> Wed, 30 Mar 2016 12:24:29 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 11 Day 11 of my new life. I woke up "on the wrong side of the bed", so to speak. I had a bad sleeping night, and when I woke up the absolute last thing I wanted to think about or do was exercise. For the first time in this 11 day journey, I felt that old feeling of "ugh" when thinking about getting up out of bed and moving. This is my busy day at work, but I wanted to just turn over, fluff my pillow and go back to sleep. <BR> <BR> I forced myself to get out of bed and turn the DVD on. For 10 mi... Tue, 29 Mar 2016 11:05:59 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 10 Exercised first thing in the morning, just 22 minutes because I still am recovering from a cold. Gotta go, today is a busy day! Mon, 28 Mar 2016 10:50:21 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 9 Day 9. I'm still sick with a cold/flu and I missed church this Easter Sunday. Being home alone while other family members are enjoying the festivities at church was difficult, but I didn't let it get me down. I hauled my sick self to the grocery store this am and bought some extra healthy foods. I cooked myself some seasoned kale, fresh salmon and brown rice. I babied myself and took care of me. I set limits and boundaries for myself. And when I was able (about 8pm), I did some exercise until... Sun, 27 Mar 2016 23:34:08 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 8 So, I finished my first week - my first seven days - of my 30-day exercise challenge. I am so amazed at the benefits that I have experienced this past week. I am 51 years old and never in my entire life have I exercised 7 days in a row. I have had bouts of exercising 3 times a week, and maybe even 6 times a week in my younger years, but never 7 days. For some reason, I had the myth in my mind that my body would break down if I exercised 7 consecutive days without a break and that my body real... Sat, 26 Mar 2016 15:15:39 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge day 7 Day 7 of my month-long exercise challenge. Last night was a very difficult night due to the flu, and I barely had any sleep. But I woke up determined nevertheless. <BR> <BR> I exercised at about noon today (instead of my usual first thing in the morning), after I had eaten and allowed myself to feel a little better. Today is the last day of "Crazy 8's" of CIZE, which is the very first choreographed routine. I have gotten to a place where I know the whole routine, so when I started exercising... Fri, 25 Mar 2016 17:09:12 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge day 6 Just a quick blog today. Day 6 of my 31 day challenge. I woke up feeling very ill (cold or flu). So, I waited until about 7pm to exercise. But I put in 15 minutes before feeling like I should stop. So 15 minutes is good enough! <em>527</em> Thu, 24 Mar 2016 22:46:22 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge Day 5 Day 5 of CIZE. I did 32 minutes on Day 3 and could only do 15 minutes on day 4. In the past, something as simple as that would confuse me and discourage me. But, I accepted the 15 minutes yesterday - at least I did something. I began to realize later on that day that I was fighting off a cold. I had a tickling throat, a cough, and a few other initial signs later that day. <BR> <BR> This made me realize that I am too hard on myself. Why, in the past, would I get so frustrated with myself if I... Wed, 23 Mar 2016 11:32:20 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge day 4 Day 4 of CIZE. My body is really protesting! I know if I can just get passed the next few days then things will get better. I did 15 minutes today before I started to have mild chest pain. I am listening to my body today.... I certainly have not been listening to it in the past, or I wouldn't have the medical issues I have today. Fifteen minutes is fine, and there is always tomorrow. <em>386</em> Tue, 22 Mar 2016 11:43:24 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge day 3 Day 3 of the CIZE challenge. My body was completely agreeable with my exercising on day 1 and 2, probably because I had not exercised in such a while. But on today, day 3, my body realized that this might just not be a fluke. My body said, (if it could talk), "uh uh, no you didn't wake me up early to exercise again!". When I started exercising today, I was winded at minute five, and shocked by that. But I pushed forward. My body is not the boss of me. <BR> <BR> By minute 10, I was still wind... Tue, 22 Mar 2016 00:01:38 EST Exercise by a newbie: Challenge day 2 Today is day 2 of my 30-day exercise challenge. I am doing "Cize" by Beachbody, committed to doing these first 30 days to get the exercise ball rolling. I was attracted to Cize because of the testimonies of older folks, heavier folks, and folks who always hated exercise in the past. I don't hate exercise but I never liked it either. It felt more like a task than fun. <BR> <BR> Anyway, day 2. I knew I had to get up extra early to do exercise since I needed to leave the house in the early am f... Sun, 20 Mar 2016 11:34:25 EST Day 1: A new beginning Today is the first day of the rest of my life! I admit that I have used that old saying many, many times when it comes to starting a healthy eating and activity plan. Thus, there was some fear in starting over yet again. <BR> <BR> But, I need to shake that off, because everything starts somewhere. If I want to be healthy, I need to start... I just can't magically be healthy without starting the process. If I want to be off blood pressure meds, I have to start somewhere. And today is my start... Sat, 19 Mar 2016 22:24:47 EST A year later... This blog post is a year after my last post. Last year at around this time, my husband had a stroke and needed my care for months. That was one rocky year! I was caring for my husband in a state away from relatives and loved ones. I got sick myself (due to the crazy weather and arctic freeze that occurred in Chicago and other places), and I was ill with sinusitus and asthma the whole winter. Also, I had to continue to produce at my job - I still had to teach classes, I still had to engage in ... Thu, 7 Aug 2014 14:59:18 EST Joys and Sorrows, Ups and Downs (continued?) I just read my blog entry of April 15 (the last time I blogged), and I was amazed at the similarity of that blog to today. Yes, ups and downs continue in life, but in spite of them, can we remain faithful to our commitment toward health? <BR> <BR> My ups and downs are my primary struggle when it comes to weigh loss. Since last posting: <BR> <BR> Joys - my car got fixed after being down for 5 months (needed a new engine) <BR> Sorrows - I had minor surgery <BR> Joys - the semester ended and... Tue, 30 Jul 2013 11:35:52 EST Ups and Downs? Keep Pressing We all have ups and downs in life, and I am no different. Situations that have affected my weight loss efforts over the years have included getting a cold or flu, going through a period of not having money (to buy the food I need), or spraining an ankle (affecting the exercise). Also, birthdays, weddings, funerals, free food at the job, free food at church, free food at a friend's house, you name it. Emotions that have tripped me up include excitement and joy, depression, anxiety or fear, ... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 09:10:26 EST The Words "Me First" Are Not Dirty Words I've had a disappointing week - until today. I'm a college instructor, so every day is filled with activity, even on the weekends. This week was Spring break, and when it started last Friday, I was happy and excited. "Finally, I'll get some rest, and I'll go to the movies, and I'll call old friends, and I'll sleep late... I'll have so much fun this week!" <BR> <BR> Well, none of that manifested. I realized that I had so much academic work to catch up on that really, my days still were 8 ... Sat, 30 Mar 2013 17:27:09 EST Whew! I feel great! I've been diligently following the Sparkpeople "way" since January, and I feel good. I lost 18 pounds since then, and I have quite a few benefits. I am able to walk up the hill to my job without getting winded. I feel more alert than I did when eating the foods I used to indulge in. I am able to get into some old suits and dresses that I couldn't wear for over a year, so it's like I have "new" clothes without having to buy any. My pants keep slipping down... an irritating ... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 12:25:11 EST The Wrong Side of the Bed Whoo! I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. The past week, I have been feeling what is called the "Imposter Syndrome". I was blessed to get a job teaching and doing research at a university a year and a half ago. But this week, I had the sneaking suspicion that my being hired was just a "fluke", that I wouldn't make it, that my teaching wasn't effective, that I wouldn't be able to succeed in my research agenda. Insecurity bombarded me this week so much so that I didn't get... Wed, 20 Feb 2013 11:34:32 EST My Last Mistake Sparkcoach asked me to answer the following question: "Think about the last 'mistake' you made that left you feeling upset or off track. Now re-frame that event as a learning opportunity. What did it teach you? How can you be better going forward? Share your insights in a blog post". <BR> <BR> My last "mistake" was just this past week. I had had three difficult weeks prior (had food poisoning, sprained my ankle, my car broke down) and I thought I had handled it well. But last week I was c... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 15:05:50 EST The "Before" in my Before and After Story Since I love reading other's success stories, I finally worked up the courage to start my own! Here's to new beginnings... Mon, 18 Feb 2013 10:20:48 EST Reflecting on Exercise Goals In Sparkcoach, I was asked to state a new exercise goal... something that is fun and that can motivate me to attempt to attain it on a long-term basis. I have never been a sports lover or an active person, which is why I'm probably in the weight-loss situation I am in right now. Very few exercise activities seem exciting or fun to me. Thus far, exercise has been a vehicle that I accept (I don't hate it) in my life to get the job done. I have never thought of exercise as fun, in and of its... Wed, 13 Feb 2013 12:36:42 EST My Motivation for the Weight Loss In Sparkcoach, I was asked the following question: "Spend a few minutes writing about the reasons behind your fitness and weight-loss goals. What is your true motivation? What do you hope to achieve or experience after reaching your goal?" <BR> <BR> Wow. Surprisingly, I realize that I don't really know what my true ultimate motivation is. Sure, I desire certain milestones. I'd like to be slimmer to look nice in a mother's outfit when my daughter gets married this July. Also, a colleague... Mon, 4 Feb 2013 10:20:41 EST Peace Be Still Whew. It's my third full week of being consistent on Sparkpeople, and this week had so many challenges, now that I look back on it! Early in the week I had a serious stomach flu (so much so that I thought I had food poisoning), so I was pretty ill for at least 4 days. As a result, <BR> <BR> * I didn't even want to look at food for three days. In the past I would have comforted myself with some ice cream to "soothe my throat" toward the end of being ill, but nope, didn't do it. <BR> * I h... Sat, 26 Jan 2013 10:56:24 EST Jinxes and Other Superstitions I was reading a section on Sparkpeople this morning which suggested that I blog about the non-weight loss changes that I have experienced since being consistent on Sparkpeople these two weeks (as self-motivation). As I thought about blogging on this, I realized that I have a lot of superstitious fears about stating, out loud, some of the changes I've experienced this early on in the program. Some of the fears include: <BR> 1. What if what you've been doing the past two weeks is just a fluk... Thu, 24 Jan 2013 12:48:32 EST My Thought for 2013: You Don't See Me, You See My Residue Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <em>104</em> Fri, 18 Jan 2013 23:54:05 EST Creative Procrastination This is my first blog entry in a long time. I have been amazed, recently, at finding out how creative I can get when procrastinating! Procrastination occurs on so many points: <BR> 1. Avoiding thinking about issues that need to be resolved (and for me prayed about). <BR> 2. Avoiding maintenance and avoiding being a good steward (maintenance of my body, maintenance of my car, maintenance of my household, maintenance of my marriage and other relationships) <BR> 3. Avoiding work that needs ... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 12:46:36 EST Thanking Jesus for Monday So happy, so grateful! It's a "sin" to wake up this joyful on a Monday! <em>211</em> Jesus is so good, so kind, so wonderful, just because He is. There are so many people dragging into work today, feeling sad about the long weekend's end. But I feel energized in Him this morning, and I'm ready to face the day with a smile. For all who know Jesus, enjoy Him today! Mon, 28 Nov 2011 10:25:31 EST Things Change, Yet Still Stay The Same Wow, I've had a lot of changes in my life since my last entry. It's been exactly six months. The time slipped by, unfortunately, without my awareness. Since March, I have worked feverishly on my dissertation, completed it, defended it, and graduated with my PhD. Since March, I have ended three part time jobs, moved from the State I was born in, moved to a new state with my husband, and tearfully left my adult children and mother behind to start a new life in another state. Since March, I... Sat, 17 Sep 2011 15:35:17 EST Launch Out Into The Deep Sometimes we go through steps without even thinking about the implication of the steps. One foot forward, one foot forward, and then we hit a crossroads. Why do I become surprised when I hit a crossroads? If I put one foot in front of the other and move, then hitting a crossroads is inevitable. <BR> <BR> I've been putting one foot forward in my PhD program for seven years. There were many times when I didn't see the finish line, but I kept pushing forward, one small milestone at a time. ... Sat, 5 Mar 2011 22:22:23 EST The Challenge: Fasting Every January, our church goes on a 31 day fast to start off the year. It is a corporate fast for unity, to consecrate ourselves and to start the new year fresh spiritually. <BR> <BR> I have a history of having personal problems with the fast, to be honest. I want to be in unity, but I have compulsive tendencies when it comes to food. In years past, I have found myself doing ok for awhile, but by mid January I would fast until 4pm (which is what the fast asks), and then glutton out on foo... Wed, 5 Jan 2011 14:28:31 EST Be Still and Know I went to the beach with some church friends last Saturday - five of them (the number of grace!). We drove about an hour and a half out to a beach in Ventura, although we could have driven fifteen minutes to a more crowded beach near us. But we were on a mission - we needed to hear from God. <BR> <BR> We were tired, a bit drained. We needed some rest, some relaxation, and some spiritual rejuvenation. The Lord is always good, but life sometimes gets a bit bogged down. On the clean sand, ... Wed, 17 Nov 2010 13:30:27 EST