SAPHRAEL's SparkPeople Blog SAPHRAEL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Patience <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I started a new meditation series this morning about patience. <BR> <BR> Patience is always with us. You only feel it lacking when impatience is present. Noting is a process to make space between you and your thoughts; seeing them clearly and choosing to let them go. Acknowledge, process, let go. <BR> <BR> How good are you at making more room for patience? <BR> <BR> #itsapractice Mon, 18 Jun 2018 08:57:54 EST Responding Versus Reacting I’m moving through a Headspace meditation series on prioritization. We prioritize in our life all the time. Sometimes it’s less intentional, sometimes it’s incredibly deliberate. I’m looking at you, fellow listmakers! <BR> <BR> Setting priorities are good. But what happens when something comes up that you need to address? Do you react or do you respond? The difference is in the timing. Reacting might be stopping what you’re doing to reply to an email or text you just received. Responding w... Mon, 4 Jun 2018 08:59:47 EST Quest for the Unassisted Pull Up <img src=""> <BR> Despite my recent foray into powerlifting and my existing ability to do push-ups, I have yet to master an unassisted pull-up. I’m totally okay with that because I know I have not practiced. Easy is earned. Consistency earns easy. That which I want to be easy, I practice daily. <BR> <BR> To help with the daily practice, I got some pull up assistance bands. Oh boy, what a humbling experience! I th... Sun, 3 Jun 2018 22:13:01 EST Memorial Day Gratitude My sincerest, deepest gratitude to all who have served and sacrificed that we may continue to live in the greatest nation on the planet. 🙏 🇺🇸 <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I’m enjoying my Memorial Day morning fully. I’ve had my ginger lemon water, I’ve updated my journal, meditated, and had a great cabbage bowl breakfast. <BR> <img src=" Mon, 28 May 2018 11:09:02 EST Still Lifting Heavy <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Hi there! How are you! I’ve missed my SparkPeople community! <BR> <BR> I went to a local tulip festival earlier this month. That was amazing! It was just a sea of color everywhere you turned! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I’ve also been learning about solitary bees. I bought a bee hotel and some cocoons to hel... Sun, 20 May 2018 08:15:23 EST April Showers Bring May POWER Who’s up for a challenge to finish April STRONG? 💪 <BR> <BR> My new job is demanding my usual workout time in the morning. I could really use the help of this group to keep me honest and continue my powerlifting workouts. <BR> <BR> Is anyone interested in doing an every other day strength workout with me? I’m starting this tomorrow: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> Mon, 16 Apr 2018 22:56:30 EST Tiny Habits <img src="">. I discovered this amazing Ted Talk a few years ago. I like rediscovering a good thing! Here’s a link to the Cliff’s notes version. <link><BR>Jxjn-R8 </link> <BR> <BR> Keeping things simple is a key differentiator in my life. I actively pursue eliminating complexity. Don’t want it, don’t need it. Complexity can lead to failure, added stress and guilt. Simpli... Sat, 31 Mar 2018 19:50:29 EST My Funny Face <img src=""> <BR> <BR> About a week ago, I realized I started finding my sweet spot in my weight training program. I'm doing the 5x5 beginner program at The lifts start with an empty Olympic bar (45 lbs.). It's a super simple routine of squats, deadlifts, bench press, overhead press, and barbell rows. After each successful workout, you add 5 more pounds. No complicated math, just lift, lift. <... Wed, 21 Mar 2018 19:16:16 EST Planning for Retirement <img src=""> <BR> When I was in Florida visiting my parents this week, I spent some time talking to my mom about retirement. She recently decided to retire. In fact, her last day of work was the first day I arrived. It all happened pretty fast, so she’s dealing with how to adjust. In the course of our discussions, it occurred to us that there’s a book somewhere in this experience. I think I’d like to help her wr... Thu, 8 Mar 2018 09:18:53 EST Breaking in the Power Rack Wow, I had such an effective workout this morning, thanks to this baby! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I’ve been following a simple routine and adding five pounds to each lift every time I workout, but it started getting trick... Sat, 24 Feb 2018 10:39:38 EST March Singular Purpose Challenge: WallSits and Meditation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There are only 5 days left to plank and thank in February! Wow, that went by fast! We are going to roll right into March like a lion with a brand new challenge: wallsits and meditation! <BR> <BR> Anyone can get on board with this challenge. For wallsits, all you need to know is how to lean against a wall, sink down and hinge at the knees and hips, like you are sitting in an imaginary ch... Fri, 23 Feb 2018 10:07:57 EST Where Are My Plankers? Who’s planking with me? <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Time: 1:18 <BR> Today I’m incredibly grateful for <BR> 1. Silly surveys that make you go hmm 🤔 <BR> 2. The health and safety of my family. <BR> 3. Telecommuting. Tue, 6 Feb 2018 09:31:49 EST What Motivates You? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This question was recently posed in one of my Facebook groups. What motivates you? Progress toward my goals motivates me. Seeing others succeed motivates me. Many external inputs inspire me. But I think that’s the wrong question. <BR> <BR> The question that needs answering is, “How do you stay motivated?” <BR> <BR> ASK QUESTIONS <BR> If we believe motivation is self created, we know we a... Sat, 3 Feb 2018 05:21:06 EST My Annual Bariatric Check Up I just attended my one year bariatric check up. I was only 6 months late! Long story that involved health insurance, surprise, surprise! That’s all back in order, so I wanted to get my labs done to make sure everything is working properly. I’m happy to report that everything under the hood is functioning normally. <BR> <BR> I’ve slowly gained about 20 pounds over the last few months, signaling that the bariatric honeymoon is truly over. I weighed in at 184.2 midday with clothes on. My fat ... Thu, 1 Feb 2018 08:29:23 EST February Planks and Thanks Challenge In February, I want to continue the theme of simplicity with a Planks and Thanks challenge.  <BR> <BR> In our hectic lives, it's important to pause and appreciate all that we have.  So, each morning, we will add gratitude to our daily routine. If you don't already keep a journal, this is a good time to start.  Each morning, open your journal to reflect on yesterday and the day to come and identify three or more things you are grateful for. The more specific, the better. <BR> <BR> I've seen... Sat, 27 Jan 2018 10:22:37 EST Pressing On The 30 Day Squat Challenge is coming to an end soon, no pun intended. I did fairly well committing to the daily squats and affirmations, despite the squat count getting rather ridiculous. It was 140 today. I think I owe myself one more set to meet today's goal. <BR> <BR> Next month, I'm hosting a Planks and Thanks challenge. It will be another simple challenge. Each day, we will reflect on all that we are grateful for, something I know many of us do already. <BR> We will also set our ... Sat, 27 Jan 2018 01:00:43 EST Creator of My Own Enthusiasm <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I had some motivation issues yesterday. Despite thinking ALOT about it, I couldn’t bring myself to get up and move. I wasn’t sore or tired. I just didn’t want to. <BR> <BR> My personal experience tells me that one day will often lead to two. But I’m here to tell you, I don’t focus on past behavior. I keep my thoughts firmly planted on right here, right now. What can I do now? What can I d... Tue, 16 Jan 2018 11:46:11 EST Do I Need it? Do I Love it? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Once again I'm inspired by the wisdom over @primalpotential. <BR> <BR> I have a second word I'd like to add to my focus this year. My first word is #elevate for reasons described in my bio. And it remains my priority to keep my priorities a priority! But I've also been watching signs that are leading me to SIMPLIFY. Simplification in all things is definitely a passion of mine. Instead of gl... Sat, 13 Jan 2018 13:52:39 EST The Words We Say and the Thoughts We Think <img src=""> <BR> If you’re following the 30 Day Squat Challenge I posted earlier, we made it to Day 12! We’ve affirmed and squatted our way to another rest day! Hooray! Continue to use affirmations to confirm the truth you wish to manifest in your life. <BR> <BR> Now is a good time to evaluate affirmations. Are they highlighting the good you want to bring in or are they reminders of the bad you are trying to le... Fri, 12 Jan 2018 09:03:16 EST Fitbit Adventure Races and a Yummy Dinner I’ve had a Fitbit for years, so those adventure races aren’t new, but oh my gosh! For whatever reason, this week’s NYC Marathon has me running with my hair on fire! I normally have been getting no more than 7k steps. But this challenge has motivated me to over 16k per day. Wow! I hope to keep up the streak going into the work week, but it will definitely be tough when I’m at my desk all day. <BR> <BR> I tried a new recipe tonight. I forgot to snap a pic. But it was so good, there are no le... Sun, 7 Jan 2018 21:52:05 EST Chia Pudding and Homemade Alfalfa Sprouts Yesterday was a rest from the squat challenge, but continuing our affirmations. Today is all about the food for me. I made a chia seed pudding today. I’ve tried it before, but this time I let it get a good set in. I really enjoyed the few bites I had. A little goes a long way! The recipe was keenly simple too, which is always a plus. 1/3 c almond milk, 2 Tbs chia seeds, 2 tsp cocoa powder, 1/8 tsp vanilla, Stevia to taste. Well, here, see for yourself! <BR> <link> Fri, 5 Jan 2018 18:28:13 EST Turkey and Zoodles with a Side of Squats <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Day 3. My knees are feeling warm from the squats. <BR> <BR> I just made this dish last night on a whim. I was searching for recipes, saw I had all the ingredients, and proceeded. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>turkey-sausage-meatballs-in-sage-cream<BR>-sauce/ </link> <BR> <img src=" Wed, 3 Jan 2018 08:06:16 EST Resolve to Ask Questions Daily <img src=""> <BR> <BR> If you’ve read my previous blogs on Sparkpeople, you know I’m a fan of Elizabeth Benton. One of my Miracle Morning tasks is reading. Podcasts count, so I popped in to see her latest podcasts. I found this 15 minute gem that I wanted to share and discuss with you. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Now that we have our 2018 goals, EB suggests cementing t... Tue, 2 Jan 2018 10:09:23 EST Challenge Binging <img src=""> <BR> <BR> How many challenges are you participating in? I admit, I tend to get sucked into the novelty of starting anew. This new year is no different. I wanted a simple fitness and mindset challenge I would stick to, so I created my own. <BR> <BR> I wanted to clean up my plate, so I joined a Keto diet challenge. Yes, they used the word “diet”. I’m okay with that. Words only have the power you... Mon, 1 Jan 2018 10:54:48 EST Plan Do Check Act <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm learning that everything we do is practice. When I approach things with that in mind, it makes everything easier. I don’t need to clutter my mind with worries of perfection. My intention is simply set to get in there and practice. <BR> <BR> When goal setting, I like the Deming Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle. Start by measuring your baseline, set some goals, and periodically check in and re... Sun, 31 Dec 2017 10:01:25 EST Intent <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Intent is deliberate, meaningful, on purpose. You don’t arrive magically on purpose. Results aren’t lucky when there was intent. Results are achieved because we have a vision for something better and we take deliberate action to get it. <BR> <BR> What areas of your life are moving forward with intent? Which areas could use more focus? Sat, 30 Dec 2017 19:23:57 EST 30 Day Challenge: Squats and Affirmations <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm hosting this challenge on Facebook, but I thought I'd share it here too. <BR> <BR> I find the best challenges are those that are easiest to knock out. My 30 Day Singular Purpose Challenges are meant to be simple, simple, simple. Perform one or two tasks daily. Boom! You’re done! <BR> <BR> The challenges are designed with this singular purpose: to set the tone for a fabulous day! By... Fri, 29 Dec 2017 10:27:41 EST Elevate <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I chose my word for the rest of this year and next. My intent in choosing this word is to elevate what is important to me. I’d love to hear about your word and what it means for you. <BR> <BR> 1. My husband. I want to put my number one back in his rightful place. I love him and I want him to wake every day to that truth. <BR> <BR> 2. My compassion. I want to bring a kinder version of mysel... Fri, 29 Dec 2017 09:50:18 EST Squats and Affirmations I've been using the Way of Life app to track some daily tasks that are important to me (affirmations, gratitude, water intake, fitness). It's not perfect though because it's a yes/no completion. Many of my tasks are on a spectrum. No, I didn't meet my water goal of 64 oz., but I did get know what I mean? Do you have an app that you enjoy? <BR> <BR> I've been meditating regularly for over a week. It's no surprise that I've been on holiday break for about that long too. I hope I... Thu, 28 Dec 2017 14:55:22 EST Farewell November 2017 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> 2017 was a year of spinning wheels for me. I had my first weightloss surgery anniversary. Within the first 5 months, I lost 50 pounds and have maintained my weight for over a year. I didn't set a weight loss goal, but I achieved the doctor's expectation. I workout less now than when I was at my heaviest. I can't explain why after having surgery I feel so stuck, unable to renew some health... Thu, 30 Nov 2017 03:57:47 EST Yesterday, I Ran I ran, not because I wanted to. I ran because I was tired and wanted to get home! I took a walk to listen to a webinar on self publishing. I AM writing a book this year! More on that in a second. First, my run…I was on my walk and the webinar was winding down as I approached what I thought might be a shortcut. They recently built a new high school near my home. The property is quite expansive. When I walk my 4 mile block, that includes walking around this new campus. I was certain tha... Tue, 29 Aug 2017 12:28:49 EST Renewing My Zeal for Bodyweight Exercises It looks like I'm tracking to monthly blog intervals. I hope to pick up the pace a little this month. I love the quote "the best workout is the one you actually do." It's so incredibly true, which is why I'm so in love with bodyweight workouts. They're the ultimate no excuse workout because you always have the equipment right there with you! And unless you are extremely fit, you will get benefit from bodyweight exercises alone. <BR> <BR> I reinstalled the 100 day pushup challenge on my ph... Sat, 8 Jul 2017 10:12:26 EST Weekend Reflection My daughter spent the evening with friends last night, so I was on my own for working out. I skipped the walk, but I DID do my back and bicep workout AND I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. I didn’t meet my step goal, but seriously, you guys! If you were with me on the sofa minutes before I went downstairs to lift weights, you would know how close I was to not doing anything. Big win! <BR> <BR> Food was on point until the evening…mini ice cream sandwich and some cheese puffs. OMG, those... Fri, 9 Jun 2017 16:00:38 EST Focus on Now and Next Yesterday went incredibly well. I pulled a few things out of my hat late in the day. Inspiration was coming at me in all directions. Reading the BLC Resolute Renegades team thread was definitely a motivator! Surprisingly, my husband was also a source of motivation. He went outside after dinner to keep working on the deck we’re rebuilding. I literally had my head on the pillow and looked at my cat who is always snoozing on the bed and decided it was far too early to end the day. So, I g... Thu, 8 Jun 2017 12:44:28 EST Wrapping up May For those of you following, this is my daily journal template. I'll be checking in later to make an update! <BR> 5/31/17 <BR> <em>26</em> GRATITUDE...Today I'm incredibly grateful for the health and safety of all of my babies and their babies. I'm grateful <BR> <em>52</em> JUST FOR TODAY...Take a walk in the evening <BR> <em>536</em> AFFIRMATIONS... <BR> I live my life with intent, leaving nothing to chance. <BR> I practice impeccable self care. <BR> My choices reflect the life I wa... Wed, 31 May 2017 12:54:30 EST My New Workout Defies Excuses! I recruited my daughters and sister in law to doing a 28 day workout with me. I have no idea if they will follow through, but knowing they are watching has motivated me to make sure I do!! <BR> <BR> My page used to read "Being the Model" because it occurred to me that I had a few habits I wasn't proud of and the only time they showed up was in private. I would be embarrassed to do those things in front of people (insert any number of bad eating habits here). So, that was when I coined the... Thu, 9 Mar 2017 21:41:53 EST Plugging Away Just for today… I promised myself I'd work out. Before I could get out of it, I did 75 jumping jacks and one set of pushups, shoulder presses, weighted squats, and deadlifts. It wasn't much, but it was far more than I've done lately. My goal for Sunday will be to increase my step average, which is woefully low. But that's alright. I'm alive and well…and present, so I have an opportunity to be the change I want right now. <BR> <BR> Today I'm incredibly grateful for…weekends, time to prac... Sun, 5 Mar 2017 04:55:06 EST Change...the One Constant I logged in today, experiencing a bit of euphoria, reminiscing about my Sparkpeople experience since I joined in 2005. <BR> <BR> Logging in and sharing my journey used to fire me up. Now, I feel like I'm on my own path of discovery and it has less and less to do with health and weight loss. It's kind of lonely out here though. <BR> <BR> Anyway, I just wanted to drop in and thank those that have reached out to me. I'm still here, lurking on the fringe, trying to find which end is up with a... Mon, 6 Feb 2017 16:19:57 EST You Must Write a Book "You Must Write a Book" is the latest book I'm reading. Well, who am I to argue? I've decided she's right. I must write a book, and so I shall. I know some stuff. In addition to my professional training and experience in Accounting, Finance, and Project Management, I also know that: <BR> Practice makes habit <BR> What you put out into the world is reflected back upon you <BR> Our words and thoughts manifest in our reality <BR> Drive can be cultivated <BR> Everyone has potential, but not ... Fri, 25 Nov 2016 00:07:58 EST Reflecting on Journaling and Reviewing October Do you journal daily? I usually do, but I let October get away from me. I didn't have a plan in place when I travelled. I have a hard cover journal and didn't want to bring the extra weight with me. Big mistake. It's coming with me next time. My October entries are sketchy and many have no more than a list of foods eaten, if anything at all. That's disappointing. Since the beginning of the year, I've practiced journaling, not just tracking what I eat, but a number of other things to get ... Sun, 30 Oct 2016 07:48:39 EST Wisher, Wanderer, Warrior...Which Are You? Which Do You Want to Be? I have shared before that my favorite podcaster, hands down, has been Elizabeth Benton at She does it again in her recent podcast. Don't let her passion scare you off. She's the real deal and authentic in her mad desire to help people. Her latest podcast is jam packed, but in it, she talks about three categories of fat loss fighters: wishers, wanderers, and warriors. You can kinda guess how each are characterized. But what I loved about her preamble was this: no ma... Fri, 23 Sep 2016 08:24:49 EST Empty Calories My focus this week is avoiding empty and unnecessary calories. I planned and tracked my food for today. So, if I want to eat off plan, I need to pause and assess the hunger...and track it before I eat it. This will be good practice. I can do hard things. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:26:17 EST 102 Days Post Op It's been 102 days since I had my vertical sleeve gastrectomy. I'm down 30 pounds and still working hard. Below is the format I use in my hard copy journal. I thought I'd post it here today. <BR> <BR> <em>26</em> Today, I'm incredibly grateful for a new day to try to do things differently. I'm also grateful for leisure time to spend with my husband and recharge for the upcoming week. <BR> <BR> <em>52</em> Just for today, I will pause and assess hunger before snacking. <BR> <BR> ... Sun, 18 Sep 2016 18:44:52 EST Miracle Morning I scanned the Spark Teams for a Miracle Morning Team and didn't find one, so I created one. Here's a link if you'd like to join. I'm not sure where I'm going with it yet. I just felt like having a team of accountability partners might be a good start. If you join, stop by the intro forum and share if you are new or have some experience with the Miracle Morning. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=67833 </link> <BR> <BR> My fat loss challenge this... Sun, 4 Sep 2016 19:05:37 EST Preparing for Success <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The next round of the Biggest Loser Challenge is about to begin next week. I've been reflecting on life in general lately, so this is a perfect time to reset what I want and how I'm going to get it. <BR> <BR> I recently bought Hal Elrod's Miracle Morning. I've been practicing the daily Life S.A.V.E.R.S. already, but figured it was time to spring for the book to see if I could reach a deeper... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 15:02:09 EST Mantrabands An ad crossed my Facebook feed for these bracelets with engraved mantras. I loved so many of the sayings, it took me awhile to decide! They arrived yesterday and I absolutely love them! I picked these two (to start): Choose Joy and Live What You Love. I seek joy in all situations because...why not?! Isn't that better than the alternative? And thanks to my fat loss coach for opening the door for me to explore my ideal life. I wish to keep both of these things top of mind, so that's why ... Sat, 20 Aug 2016 15:23:14 EST For Workers Not Wishers Sharing this note that came across my desk this morning. Seems like a great printable to post on your mirror for you to see each morning, doesn't it? <BR> <em>52</em> <BR> <BR> You won't find a long strategy or motivational email from me today. <BR> <BR> Here's what you need to know: you win if you work. <BR> <BR> Wishing, hoping & learning don't lead to winning. <BR> <BR> If you want to win, get to work. <BR> <BR> Get out from behind your computer or your phone, figure out what y... Sun, 14 Aug 2016 10:35:35 EST BLC 32 - Are You Ready to Make Lasting Change? As you may know, I've been participating in the Biggest Loser Challenge at Sparkpeople on and off since BLC17, possibly earlier. I had an on and off relationship with the challenge until BLC 24 or 25, when I joined the CAMO Crew. Up to that point, I felt a bit like Goldildocks trying to find the team that fit just right. I finally found it with CAMO because I was able to work my own fitness and nutrition plan and I wasn't pressured to keep up on the latest weekly challenge. I'm now on the... Sat, 13 Aug 2016 23:23:48 EST Identifying Opportunities to Live My Ideal Life My friend's struggle with depression that led to her suicide has shined a light on my values: to be relentlessly positive, to find joy in every situation, to be present, to practice doing hard things, to be the model, even when no one is looking. I'm actively finding ways to reflect those values in what I do every day. <BR> <BR> I just did a 30 day review of my journal to help me refine my 30 Day Goal. After looking at what went well, what I can improve on, and where I want to be, my 30 da... Sat, 13 Aug 2016 09:11:14 EST The Finality of Suicide A classmate of mine passed away this weekend. I got more news yesterday. It was suicide. I'm baffled. I don't pretend to understand depression. It's disturbing to know this fiery, determined woman who would do anything for her kids would shoot herself in the head and leave her family to pick up the pieces. It must've been a dark place indeed, one where she felt suicide was the only option. <BR> <BR> I was tempted to find more information to understand why. Did she leave a note? Does i... Tue, 9 Aug 2016 08:29:08 EST