PRACTICINGPEACE's SparkPeople Blog PRACTICINGPEACE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Monthly Check In One month ago I decided to return to Spark People. The week prior I had visited my doctor and faced the reality that I was 50 lbs overweight. The first challenge was to accept this without shaming myself. That's why I rejoined Spark. Spark is filled with amazing people fighting for their health. You all are an inspiration to me. <BR> <em>252</em> <em>223</em> <BR> <BR> I set my goals and got to work: <BR> <BR> <em>249</em> I will continue to track my food every day. <BR> ... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 10:00:34 EST Working out, Health, and Family Dear Sparkfriends, <BR> <BR> I started my day with a great workout! I felt really challenged and really strong. After a few weeks of being sick and then dealing with a knee injury, my workouts had become less productive. I'm now in physical therapy and able to have safe and challenging workouts again. I am feeling stronger and stronger. <BR> <BR> I have also made a commitment to taking daily vitamins (particularly Vitamin D), fish oil. I have also been very diligent in taking my thyroid m... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 13:38:37 EST Barries to Peace in my Life In my last blog, I talked about needing to seek peace in my life. A wonderful Sparkfriend responded to my blog, and suggested that it is not that I need to seek peace, but that I need to become aware of the barriers I put in the way of experiencing peace. <BR> <BR> This is such an insight for me. Right now I am struggling with self-sabotaging behaviors. I know why, but I continue to do them. Perhaps making by asking myself: "Will this prevent or allow more peace in my life?" This is a reall... Fri, 21 Mar 2014 13:57:13 EST Getting Oriented What am I doing? <BR> <BR> Does anybody else feel like this sometimes? I am exercising, but overeating. I am paying attention to my choices, but making poor ones. I am prioritizing rest, but then once a week staying up really late. <BR> <BR> Reading your blogs and reconnecting with Sparkfriends, have helped me become more aware of how quickly and unsteadily I am moving. One of the ways to peace is equilibrium. I know this. I think I am going to practice this in the mornings. In addition to... Wed, 19 Mar 2014 16:56:59 EST Digging Deep Over the past couple of days I've been visiting a lot of Spark pages, and have been so inspired by how hard people are working and how much progress is being made in our shared journey for health. This really is an amazing community of people. <BR> <em>345</em> <BR> <BR> As I've scrolled through the pages, I've begun to reflect on my own journey and ask myself why I have made the progress I've made (what's working for me) and why I have not made additional progress (what is not working ... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 15:48:31 EST Approaching 40 I was chatting with a colleague on Friday and she mentioned that she just turned 44. I congratulated her, and mentioned that my 40th birthday was coming up. Her jaw dropped, she looked shocked and was silent. I laughed and said "Older or younger?" And, she said "Older. Definitely older." <BR> <BR> I always wonder how old I look. I teach college kids; being surrounded by 18 year olds all day, I often feel like I look 18!! So, I didn't think this woman's comments bothered me, except 24 hours l... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 19:30:52 EST Holiday Blues: An Intimate Look I have been focussing on my nutrition, my exercise, my family, and my job these past few weeks, but now the Christmas holiday has finally caught up with me. This is always such a mixed time of year for me -- moments of joy and celebration punctuated with feelings of loss and yearning. <BR> <BR> Having grown up in an abusive household, many of the images of family that are in Christmas songs, advertisements, pictures . . . well, they don't fit for me. The loving family of choice that I have ... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 17:20:00 EST Gratitude, revisited Its been almost 6 months since my last blog, and I've spent some time away from Spark people in that time. Yet, when I read that last blog -- Experiencing Gratitude -- I am so happy to say that I am still experiencing many of the positive changes in my life that I recount there. <BR> <BR> Over the past few weeks of becoming active on Spark people again, I have been most grateful for the warm and gracious "welcome backs!" No judgement from my spark friends, no explanations required. I've rec... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 15:26:38 EST Experiencing Gratitude Its been exactly a month since I last blogged. I prefer to blog more often in order to remain connected and to hold myself accountable to my goals. <BR> <BR> Over the past 30 days I have not been on spark regularly. I have taken up to a week away, without planning and without accountability. I am slowly working my way back to daily check-ins with spark, particularly because of all the support I find here through the teams I am a part of. I can't thank my spark friends enough for their compa... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 15:02:22 EST Ch Ch Ch Changes . . . Over the past few months, I've made a lot of changes in my lifestyle. I wanted to see how they were working out before I blogged about them, but since they are working out I want to share them with you. <BR> <BR> As some of you know I had been feeling very frustrated with a medical condition that brought on a lot of fatigue, weight gain, and depression. I am happy to say that the specialist I have been seeing for the past 6 weeks has been really helpful. I am on a different medication now a... Sun, 26 May 2013 16:08:26 EST Boston: A Month Later My last blog was written and posted a month ago, marking my experiences of the Boston Marathon Bombings. So many of you reached out to me to share your own experiences, feelings, and thoughts. I truly felt joined in community. Since then a month has passed and I am in a different place with this important event. <BR> <BR> I am a university teacher in Boston. Because our college is located ON Boylston street and our dorms are just a block from where the bombs exploded, our students were deep... Fri, 17 May 2013 16:52:16 EST What the Boston Marathon means to me Almost 75% of Boston marathon runners are running to raise money for charities. The Dana Farber team raises money for cancer research, the Horizons for Homeless Children team raises money to support their programs, the Children's Hospital team raises money for research on illness that are ending the lives of young people. 75% of the runners are there to raise money for these and so many other organizations. <BR> <BR> Then there are the Hoyts, a father and son team. They have run over 30 Bos... Tue, 16 Apr 2013 15:00:55 EST Picking Myself Up and Dusting off I've been down in the dumps lately. I've been frustrated, angry, and feeling sorry for myself. I have been throwing the equivalent of a two week temper tantrum. And, I am tired of myself! I am tired of this pity party, tired of thinking of all I can't do, tired of feeling defeated. <BR> <BR> A few weeks ago I discovered that I have a hypothyroid which causes me to retain weight, feel exhausted and depressed, and makes my thinking cloudy. I was so relieved to learn what the problem was; I ha... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 11:40:36 EST Most Recent Non-Scale Victory Spring is quickly approaching, and I had set a goal to wear size 10 clothes by the start of spring. A lot has happened since I set that goal, but I have remained focused on eating healthy foods in healthy amounts and exercising daily as often as I can. I have not been perfect by any means, but I have been determined! <BR> <BR> Most recent non-scale victory: <BR> <BR> Today I tucked a white shirt into my jeans, and liked what I saw! <BR> <BR> That's right -- I liked what I saw in the mir... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 18:15:05 EST Adjusting to Hypothroidism So much has been happening in my life these past few weeks. After discovering that my hypothyroidism is active again, I have been doing a lot of research on the disease and how to it is best treated. I have been dumb-founded to discover that many parts of my life that I have just been dealing with are linked to the disorder: <BR> <BR> fatigue, weight gain, foggy memory, foggy brain in general, depression, loss of libido, brittle nails, edema (swelling) <BR> <BR> I have attributed a lot of ... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 17:58:51 EST What a difference a week makes! A lot has happened since my last exercise check-in, and these events are making a BIG difference. Most importantly, I am going to bed between 9 and 10 p.m. and getting between 9 and 10 hours of sleep. I wake up rested now. <BR> <BR> I also moved my exercise time to the mornings. I didn't plan to do this, but I have found that it is working for me right now. I am feeling energized after my workout and drinking lots of water in the morning. <BR> <BR> After working out, I am hungry so this n... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 19:54:31 EST Get your check ups now! It had been a year since I had my last physical. I have been feeling a bit tired lately, so I went a day early to have blood drawn and requested a full CDC. When I went to see my doctor today, I discovered that my thyroid has all but shut down. It is functioning at such a low level, that we have to double the medication I am on to regulate it. <BR> <BR> It was such a huge relief to find a reason for my fatigue. Hypothryoid Syndrome means that my body is not producing the hormones it needs. ... Tue, 26 Feb 2013 19:13:40 EST Renewing Exercise Streak: More lessons learned Last week I explored how my lifestyle choices were setting me up for success or for failure. I found that a lot of choices I have been making are setting me up for failure: lack of sleep, not eating during the day, not prioritizing my meals or exercise. I did 4 days in a row of at least 10 minutes of exercise. Then, I took two days off and rested. <BR> <BR> So, yesterday I started my streak again. Actually, I started the day before. Because the day before I went to sleep early -- 9 pm. I gav... Sun, 24 Feb 2013 12:29:52 EST Check in on exercise streak Since I had not been meeting my exercise goals over the past month, I decided to make a new goal: 10 minutes of exercise every day. I have just completed day 4 and already I am learning so much about myself and my habits. <BR> <BR> 1. I need more sleep! Two days out of four, I have felt exhausted prior to exercising and then fallen asleep right after. I am getting about at least 7 hours of rest each night, but I need more. <BR> <BR> 2. I tend to over-do it. I will plan 30 minutes of exerc... Tue, 19 Feb 2013 22:43:12 EST New Exercise Goal <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <em>326</em> <BR> <BR> Valentine's Day and my wonderful husband were extra good to me this year. I received a Wii. I have taken up boxing! I love it! I am committing to working out, in any form, for at least 10 minutes a day EVERY day. <BR> <BR> While I had been aiming for longer workouts 3-4 times a week, I find that I am feeling intimidated an... Sat, 16 Feb 2013 22:06:37 EST Feeling Good I AM BACK! <BR> <BR> Endorphins are pumping, muscles are fatigued, and I am READY to go. No more fear of going to the gym. No more fear that I have lost all my muscle in 3 weeks. No more feeling too fragile to work out, to show 'em what I got, and to FEEL GOOD. <BR> <BR> This blog is my reminder that WORKING OUT MAKES ME FEEL GOOD! <BR> <BR> I broke through this wall, and I FEEL SO PROUD OF ME. <BR> <BR> <em>362</em> <em>362</em> <em>362</em> <em>362</em> <em>362</em>... Sat, 9 Feb 2013 18:53:43 EST Accountability: Checking in on Goals It is time to check in on my goals. I feel prepared to assess where I am, discern what I need to continue to do, and find out how I can make things easier for myself (i.e. how I can get out of my own way!). <BR> <BR> My original goals were to meditate daily, exercise 4 times a week, and eat and track all my food. I expected this to lead to a 1-2 lb per week weight loss. Easy, right? <BR> <BR> No! I have not met these goals. I asked myself to change A LOT right away. I changed some things,... Tue, 5 Feb 2013 11:51:31 EST Pressing Re-boot: What I'm Learning I've been off track for the past couple of weeks, first with the flu and then with a slow recovery into exercise. Thankfully, I've been eating healthy (to get healthy), but have had so little energy I am only doing the basics: sleeping, eating, drinking, working. I'm finally feeling a bit like myself again, and have an appointment with a friend at the gym tomorrow. Even if I don't do a lot, I know I will get a workout in. <BR> <BR> Its been a little over a month since I've joined Sparkpeople... Sun, 3 Feb 2013 22:27:09 EST Out of Patience! Well, I did it. I gave in to that damn scale! I have been working hard, getting in 4 days of exercise with cardio and weights, eating within my range, and have been feeling all the benefits: more energy, pride, self-confidence, looser pants, more room in my bras. I have been on track! <BR> <BR> And, then, this morning, I weighed myself. I know from past experience this is not a good idea for me in first month of re-starting exercise and proper nutrition. Its interesting I decided to weigh m... Thu, 17 Jan 2013 14:14:42 EST Choosing my priorities Its the end of the weekend and the end of my long winter break. I'm a professor and have been away from school for one month now. In the past I have spent this time preparing for the holidays, throwing parties, and doing everything I could to give my family the "perfect" holiday. Then I would crash, worn out from all the attention I was giving to everyone else. <BR> <BR> This year, I started my holiday the same way. I immediately began planning parties, menus, and was ready to start holiday ... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 20:47:14 EST New Spring Goal This morning I have been inspired by one of my Sparkfriends to set a goal for the first day of Spring. March 20th is 72 days away, and living up north, I am going to be counting down those days anyway -- I might as well count away a few lbs, too! <BR> <BR> Two years ago I visited my best friend and her family in Germany. This year, my husband has a conference in her town on March 22-24th. So, I am taking some vacation days and tagging along. I will be in Germany with my best friend, her ado... Sun, 6 Jan 2013 14:16:04 EST Lovin this body! A few days ago I realized that meditation is going to be an important component in my weight loss journey. Although I have been an athlete most of my life, I've also had body image issues since I was in my early teens. In fact, its one of the "secrets" that many athletes carry: we are obsessed with our bodies and "making" them as fit as they can be. We are perfectionists for whom good is never good enough. <BR> <BR> Well, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! <BR> <BR> I am not returning to that mental lifes... Fri, 4 Jan 2013 15:19:15 EST Mindfulness Happy New Year! <BR> <BR> I have been on/off Spark People for the last two days: New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. In those two days I have made healthy food choices, healthy sleeping choices, but I have found myself feeling down. Taking a few days of rest from the gym was my plan, yet it created a sense of panic in me. I am afraid that if I don't work out every day, count every single calorie, and meet every single goal every single minute I will fail. I am creating such horrible pressure... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 13:55:24 EST Feeding Me Today is my day of rest. <BR> <BR> I will treat my body gently, spend some time in meditation to rest my mind, and enjoy being in every moment of the day. I will practice compassion toward myself. <BR> <BR> I will breathe and eat slowly, reminding myself of how lucky I am to have this time of rest and these sources of nourishment. <BR> <BR> I will connect with friends and my husband to feel the nourishment of their love. I will share my love with them. <BR> <BR> Today is the day I feed... Sun, 30 Dec 2012 13:38:45 EST Gratitude for Today Its a good day when I can feel my muscles from the inside out (code for: I'm sore!). I know my workouts are working when that happens. And, this morning, every muscle south of my own mason-dixon line are alive and well. This means today is a recovery day for me: long, slow walk that gets my heart rate up, releases the tightness in my muscles, and allows each part of me to relax. <BR> <BR> I'm really looking forward to eating today, too! The kitchen is stocked with fresh oranges, apples, kal... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 12:40:29 EST Motivation and Exercise This is my third day on Spark People. In the past two days I have been feeling very motivated and focused. I know how to lose weight and keep it off. I am just out of practice. <BR> <BR> When I've been working out I can feel how out of practice I am! I've taken two spinning classes in the last two days, and I can actually feel the extra weight on my body. I also feel how clumsy I am on the bike. It was great to feel some of that clumsiness recede yesterday. Even after 1 day of spinning I ca... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 14:36:25 EST