PHOENIX2B's SparkPeople Blog PHOENIX2B's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 There's No Excuse There's no excuse for not being good to me. There's no excuse for putting myself on the back burner. It's a form of martyrdom where the sacrifice doesn't count for anything. If I sacrifice my health and my nutrition, my sleep time and my exercise time for someone (or something else), that doesn't help the other person (or the cause I pursue) any, and it doesn't help me. It's a false form of sacrifice, because no one asked for it, and it's not needed. Sacrificing the time it takes me to m... Sun, 7 Nov 2010 00:17:56 EST Time Slipped By July, August, September, October. Wow. 4 months of a blur passed and I once again put my own health on the back burner. How is it that I can wake up, like Rip Van Winkle, and realize that I've neglected myself for so long? This is where self reproach, guilt, and self disgust usually come in. <BR> <BR> But not today. Today, I'll be good to myself and just start again. One hour at a time at first. I counted my calories today so far, and I'll work on getting back to exercising. If I am ... Wed, 27 Oct 2010 16:39:13 EST Joy Comes In The Morning! I've had a rough month, but joy comes at a time when you least expect it. I had been working for months on coordination of a church event (with a small but energetic team) and I ran into so much opposition along the way! There were times when I felt like cancelling the event. But the event was the first our small church has done to reach out specifically to children and their families and to present the gospel to community children in a way they can understand. So, I pressed forward with ... Tue, 22 Jun 2010 00:59:16 EST What A Whirlwind... Can I Find My Stability Again? Boy, it's been awhile since I've been faithfully on sparkpeople. At least, it seems like a long time... it's probably been about two weeks. When life becomes putting out fires here, there, and everywhere, it's difficult (for me at least) to stay focused on being good to myself and continuing with my program. <BR> <BR> Whew, what a whirlwind it has been! My mother in and out of the hospital and almost at the point of death twice (praise God she is better now). Emergencies occuring at the ... Sun, 13 Jun 2010 21:58:40 EST God is "Gooder" Than Good Thank you Jesus! <BR> <BR> I'm sitting here crying, in a little awe, tears streaming down my face. <BR> <BR> It's been a trying week; my mother was ill and in the hospital, but the doctors gave her a relatively clean bill of health, minus her diabetes and high blood pressure of course. Long days and nights in the hospital, but all is well. <BR> <BR> We all know how bad the economy is. I will be finishing up my graduate studies at a California school, and the rates on everything have gone... Thu, 27 May 2010 10:44:29 EST Think It Not Strange 1 Peter 4:12-13 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." <BR> <BR> I've been away from my computer for what seems like a long time but has actually only been three days. Sunday afternoon, my daughter (who lives with my mom) called me crying to say that somethi... Wed, 26 May 2010 01:02:15 EST Keep Thy Heart With All Diligence; For Out Of It Are The Issues of Life I weighed in this morning for my weekly weigh in as usual. I gained a pound from my last weigh-in. <BR> <BR> Wow, what a struggle! I am learning about this "issue" I have (I won't call it a disorder). Mitral valve prolapse syndrome with dysautonomia can be very debilitating for some people. It can look like fibromyalgia in a way, because symptoms can include extreme fatigue, dizziness, chest symptoms, morning stiffness, etc. But in addition to that, I also sometimes have the symptoms of... Sun, 23 May 2010 11:28:23 EST The Spirit Is Willing, But The Flesh Is Weak The Lord is good, and His mercies endure forever. <BR> <BR> I feel blessed that Sparkpeople has helped me to get into an exercise and food regime that works for me, one day at a time. Sure, challenges come up, but so far God has helped me push through each one. <BR> <BR> Lately, I've been challenged in my physical body. Every so often, I have symptoms of chest pressure, dizziness, confusion, tingling in my left hand, and extreme tiredness. These come on and then last a day or two. I've ... Mon, 17 May 2010 14:05:06 EST Stepping Outside the Comfort Zone I LOVE the healthy reflections that are sent to us! <em>334</em> I need to meditate on the one that was sent today: <BR> <BR> "Are you afraid to try or are you afraid to fail? A well-lived life is not for the timid. The world was never meant to be approached with extra caution and fear of making mistakes. Kids know that you have to jump in feet first and be willing to take some lumps on the head if you're going to have any fun. When did we stop trying new things? Why did we stop taking ... Thu, 13 May 2010 12:24:00 EST What Is My Heart's Desire? I read the Healthy Reflection for the day and it really made me think: <BR> <BR> "Are you paying attention to how your time is spent? Days don't get shorter. Our attention spans do. How can summer be over in a blink while it seems like the weekend will never get here? Because we're not paying attention. Five days out of seven, we're waiting for something else to happen in the future, and we don't take advantage of the day that we hold in our pocket. Have you ever had someone ask what you di... Tue, 11 May 2010 10:17:29 EST A Mother's Day Prayer Lord, You brought someone special to mind. I pray You will bless her for the many ways she's been a blessing. Surround her with the love of those who care so much for her. Help her to see the many ways she's touched her family and the many hearts who are blessed by her life. <BR> <BR> In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy. <BR> Philippians 1:4 NIV <BR> <em>125</em> <em>87</em> <em>126</em> Sat, 8 May 2010 13:56:10 EST Sorry in Advance, But I Have To Vent About Fry's Electronics in Manhattan Beach CA I apologize in advance for this blog, but I needed to vent... thank God I didn't eat over this, but I chose to handle my feelings about it in an alternate way. So, warning in advance... long vent, proceed with caution... <BR> <BR> I have been a long time customer of Fry's in Manhattan Beach California. In fact, both my husband and I are computer buffs and have been shopping at Fry's for years. <BR> <BR> In spite of this, my last experience at Fry's was so horrible that I will never set f... Fri, 7 May 2010 23:06:52 EST Checking In I'm just checking in. I'm still progressing, but I know I could be putting in more effort than I am. I want to get to a place inside myself where I push past my comfort zone and do those things I never thought I could do physically. But that takes jumping into it. <BR> <BR> Ok... I want to leap... time to go deep! <em>216</em> <BR> <BR> Luke 5:4 - Now when he had left speaking, he said unto Simon, Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught. Wed, 5 May 2010 00:27:13 EST I'm Grateful Philippians 4:8 <BR> <BR> Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. <BR> <BR> As I sit here in bed today (I'm ill and couldn't go to work), I thank God for the little things. I'm grateful for being alive one more day. I'm grateful for a roof over my head, clo... Fri, 30 Apr 2010 20:26:56 EST The Spark is Back! About four days ago, I blogged that my spark had gone dim, and I was concerned about it. At the time, I felt like I didn't have the motivation or enthusiasm I once had about a lot of things I was doing, including my health program. <BR> <BR> Well, I'm happy to report that the spark is back! I'm learning through this experience that if I just hold on during the ins and outs, storms and rainbows, that eventually my spark comes back by itself! At the time it was gone, it felt like it would b... Tue, 20 Apr 2010 22:29:43 EST My Spark is Slightly Dim For some reason, I've been struggling the past two weeks to keep my spark ignited, and I'm trying to explore the possible reasons why. I know that I have been extremely, extremely busy lately. I know also that I caught a cold virus that led to sinusitis and I'm still recovering from that. During the illness, I was unable to exercise vigorously like before, and I wasn't hungry. <BR> <BR> But now I am too hungry, and exercising has become hard for me... mentally if not physically. I wake u... Fri, 16 Apr 2010 14:52:21 EST Healthy Reflection for the Day I read the Healthy Reflection sent out yesterday (Sunday), and it said: <BR> <BR> Are You Giving Your Goals Your Best Effort? <BR> <BR> Your dreams deserve better than a half-hearted effort. Meet your goals with a weak handshake and they'll soon be waving you goodbye. Since you probably don't want to look back on a life full of "almost made it" memories, it's time for total commitment. Leave it all on the field, don't hold anything back. Is there anything more satisfying than pouring out yo... Mon, 12 Apr 2010 13:39:59 EST Idiosyncrasies In the Merriam Webster dictionary, an idiosyncrasy is: <BR> <BR> 1 a : a peculiarity of constitution or temperament : an individualizing characteristic or quality b : individual hypersensitiveness (as to a drug or food) <BR> 2 : characteristic peculiarity (as of temperament); broadly : eccentricity <BR> <BR> I'm realizing that I have a few idiosyncrasies that probably contribute to some of the reasons why I would eat in the past. <BR> <BR> I went to the grocery store today, and the man in ... Fri, 9 Apr 2010 21:32:42 EST Where I End and You Begin Sometimes life is harder than others. For me, it's one of those times. I'm still ill from this cold. It's not a flu but just a cold. Yet, I'm still ill from it. I pressed on today at work, while I felt nauseous and my sinuses were still inflamed. Sometimes we go through something bravely, but then it goes on a little longer than we think (in our flesh) it should. Wait a minute, Lord... I can't take much more of this! This is more than I can bear! It could be anything. For one person... Tue, 6 Apr 2010 21:41:49 EST A Few Firsts... I haven't weighed in yet for the month (my weigh in is tomorrow morning), but I have a little anxiety that I may have gained instead of lost because of being ill the past week and a half. <BR> <BR> Nonetheless, I think this is a good time to remind myself of a few firsts that have occurred, so I can stay focused... <BR> <BR> 1. This is the first time in my life that I have ever gotten through a cold from start to finish without breaking my diet. I've eaten within my calorie limits the wh... Sat, 3 Apr 2010 21:23:34 EST It's Only A Test I still have a cold. Yesterday, I blogged about the cold, praising God for the opportunity to slow down due to the illness, to reflect on Him, and to learn patience. <BR> <BR> Those things are still true. But the bible says there's a time for everything under the sun... a time to be born, a time to die, a time to plant, a time to pluck up what is planted. The list goes on in Ecclesiastes 3. Yesterday, I took the time to rest, and this evening I rested some too. But tomorrow, Lord, I nee... Wed, 31 Mar 2010 23:24:02 EST Still Ill, But Praise God Anyway I still have a cold... I caught it from a sweet little old lady last Wednesday night, and I still have it. Now my head is clogged, my nose is stuffed, and my chest is congested. I did exercise yesterday after resting for a few days, and the exercise went ok. I'm trying to listen to my body to see if and when to exercise. <BR> <BR> So, I didn't go to work today, and I'm still in bed. But, praise god. God has a way of slowing us down when we need slowing down, and the Lord knows I was off... Tue, 30 Mar 2010 15:01:37 EST 15 Pounds in 2 Months... Yay! Well, I just got on the scale this morning as usual on a Sunday, and I've lost 15 pounds since starting Sparkpeople on February 1st. <BR> <BR> The good news on the scale came at a perfect time. I've been a little discouraged this week. I am starting a 3rd part time job next week and I have been stressed about it. And, a few days ago I caught a cold. In the past, I was never successful at continuing a weight loss program if a cold or flu derailed me (I'd stop the exercising for good, or e... Sun, 28 Mar 2010 10:46:17 EST Any Suggestions on Staying Successful With A Cold/ Flu are Welcomed!!! Ugh!!! <em>24</em> I feel awful! Last night, I went to church, and a sweet little old lady came to church also, but she arrived ill. I love her to death, but I kindly, jokingly (sort of) asked her why she came to church ill. She said she was determined to press her way to the Lord's house that night. Praise God. That's a blessing, but... but I immediately caught whatever bug it is she had, and I've been getting steadily sick since last night. <BR> <BR> This comes at a most inopportun... Thu, 25 Mar 2010 19:43:53 EST Going Down Memory Lane I haven't blogged for awhile, so I thought I'd do so today. There's not much going on different right now... I'm still exercising, still eating in my calorie limits. I'm still losing. I feel like I'm in a wierd space where I feel smaller, but it's not really noticible on a large scale. I don't get winded anymore when exercising, but I still feel like a beginner. I'm able to complete an exercise DVD now, but I still can't do more than a few push-ups. <BR> <BR> I'm going down memory lan... Tue, 23 Mar 2010 23:42:53 EST An Introvert Living the Life of an Extrovert... I ended the day today feeling tired and drained. My food and exercise plan is going well, and I am becoming more aware of my emotions and how they impact my desire to eat. Today, I had to go to a job-related conference. I mingled with the staff I supervise, I mingled with other people from other agencies. I went up to people and met them for the first time and exchanged business cards. Outwardly, I'm sure I looked calm, collected, capable. I've learned over the years how to present as a... Fri, 19 Mar 2010 20:23:27 EST I'm Finding Myself on This Journey It's interesting how a little thing like changing health habits can affect so many other aspects of life. I had one primary goal - to get these extra pounds off. But I'm discovering "me" during this journey, and I never realized that I needed discovering! <BR> <BR> I've been a people pleaser most of my life. I've tried to be a good daughter to my parents, a good student in school, a good co-worker, then later good wife, good mother, good child of God. There's nothing wrong with doing pos... Tue, 16 Mar 2010 00:43:32 EST Chapter 2 of the Spark: My Ah-Ha Moment My real reason for losing weight is to be the professor I imagined I would be as a child. At age 8, I used to imagine myself in a lab, mixing chemicals together. Although I eventually moved toward social science instead of physical science, I am still in the research lab doing research projects. In my vision as a child, I saw myself as a thin, sophisticated, and educated adult. Being fat was never a part of my destiny. <BR> <BR> I have one year left before I walk the university stage, ... Thu, 11 Mar 2010 02:02:43 EST Feeling Guilty Makes Me Wanna Eat, Eat, EAT!!! Funny how life is... sometimes, I'm blogging about my wonderous insights and epiphanies, and how God blessed me to see something so beautifully or clearly. Next time, I'm feeling guilty about some evil thought I'm having about someone. But, I noticed that it's the times that I'm having these funky thoughts that are dangerous for me... these are the times when I might emotionally eat. <BR> <BR> So, instead of eating, I'll blog and get real with myself. Today, I learned that an arch enemy o... Tue, 9 Mar 2010 21:32:05 EST The REAL Blessing... Lately, I have been feeling quiet and reflective. It's not a bad place to be, surely - just different. The past week, I have been quietly working this program while last month (my first month at it), I was more anxious about the program. Now I've slipped into a quiet, peaceful understanding (just for today). I am still exercising, still writing down my food, still staying within calorie limits, but quietly. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a blessed day. We had a church program scheduled at 8 in... Sun, 7 Mar 2010 11:01:14 EST Just Happy... No Reason I'm happy. I'm not doing anything but sitting in my bed, in the house alone now. Hubby's out taking a class. My dog Jack is lounging on the sofa. But, I'm in bed, doing a little of nothing, enjoying a laugh while watching a re-run of The Office. Why do I feel so happy, just doing nothing? I know my nutrition program has a lot to do with it. <BR> <BR> This feels like peace. "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."... Tue, 2 Mar 2010 22:58:41 EST