SAPHRAEL's SparkPeople Blog SAPHRAEL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 What's Most Important? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This weeks challenge is to explore your values and principles. Do you know what your core values are? You aren't alone if you don't. It's not something people spend much time thinking about. Coach EB put it this way, "if you had a terminal diagnosis, what would be most important?" Once you identify those values, ask yourself if your life reflects those values. Again, if the answer is no, ... Thu, 4 Aug 2016 23:28:43 EST Unexpected Entry I wasn't planning to post a blog today, but after what I just saw, I had to come by and document for posterity. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <em>530</em> 'Nuff said! <BR> <BR> Well, nah, I always have more to say! Lol! First, despite my previous blog about living my ideal life even while on vacation, it may one day become that easy, but I'm still a work in progress. I'm 7.5 weeks post op from weight loss surge... Sat, 30 Jul 2016 10:36:04 EST Doing Hard Things - Vacation Style I hiked Mt. Rainier yesterday! <em>244</em> <em>256</em> We started at Reflection Lake and began a hike to Paradise. I turned back with my daughter because she wore flip flops, silly girl! Then I conquered Comet Falls Trail, which is rated as moderate difficulty. I'm not sure who rates these trails, but it was a pants kicker! The trail was nothing but switch backs, up, up, up! But the views of the river on the way up were awesome! I led the pack and encouraged everyone to press on w... Mon, 25 Jul 2016 12:43:09 EST Quick Vacation Check in <em>244</em> I'm six weeks post op and feeling fabulous!! I graduated to real food and was cleared to do strength training this week. I tried pushups and realized it's still too soon to stress my core. That's okay though, I have a bunch of other body parts that are ready to be flexed! <BR> <BR> HW: 254 <BR> SW: 220 <BR> CW: 200.6 <BR> <BR> I haven't found a food I can't tolerate, unless we're talking about the Celebrate multivitamin with iron. I was only able to use them if I took them... Thu, 21 Jul 2016 08:51:02 EST Defining Your Ideal Life - Who Would You Be? I've been meaning to write about a very moving coaching call I had this past week. There was a ton of wise nuggets, but I wanted to share one in particular that was eye opening for me. Coach Elizabeth posed a question: "If you could be the ideal you, who would you be?" Have you ever thought seriously about your ideal life and what a day in the life might look like? I think many of us at some point stop dreaming altogether and get caught up in the daily grind, we forget that we've always be... Thu, 14 Jul 2016 11:21:49 EST Vacation Prep and Adjusting as a Bariatric Post Op I just realized today is still Saturday. I thought I had to go back to work tomorrow. What a boon to find that I have an entire day left!! <BR> <em>104</em> <BR> I have oodles to do before my mother in law arrives on Tuesday. We recovered quickly from the plumbing break in the master bath. We upgraded the valves in both bathrooms and had a pressure regulator installed. There was no regulator and the pressure was 95 psi. So, they installed one and reduced the pressure to 75. Tres bien... Sun, 10 Jul 2016 04:00:51 EST Self Talk is Dress Rehearsal. What Script Are You Practicing? As I'm in between Fat Loss Fat Tracks, I'm catching up on the podcasts and blogs over at I really liked her blog imploring us to stop being dramatic. <BR> <link><BR>atic/ </link> <BR> <BR> In the blog, she says she wishes everyone would practice winning in their mind. Her followers ( <em>213</em> , hey that's me!) prove every day that positive thinking works, whether it's through affirmations, visualization, or any other number... Tue, 5 Jul 2016 17:16:55 EST How I Spent the 4th of July I slept in until 8:20 this morning. That was almost ten hours!! <BR> <BR> I've only had 24 ounces of water by 4:30, so I'm woefully behind to get to 48, let alone 64 ounces. <BR> <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> I laid vinyl tile in our entry way and kitchen all day. The kitchen is still in work, but here's a pic of our small entry way. It was incredibly easy! The vinyl is temporary until I want to spring for stone tile. Don't mind the lack of trim. That will come later this week. <BR> <BR>... Mon, 4 Jul 2016 19:58:27 EST VSG Post Op Check In <img src=""> <BR> Here's a brief update to document my weight loss surgery journey. I'm in the pureed / soft food stage right now, but honestly, I'm doing some real food and just pulverizing it to a paste before I swallow. I thought I would need to use my vitamix, but I haven't yet. I pan seared a defrosted piece of cod for dinner last night that was rubbery. I should've tossed it when I realized it wasn't fork te... Sun, 3 Jul 2016 08:22:09 EST What in Your Life is Not Optional? This love note crossed my desk from Elizabeth Benton this morning. It moved me to action, so maybe it will move you too: <BR> <em>87</em> <em>87</em> <em>87</em> <BR> Rise and shine! I've got some questions for you this morning! <BR> <BR> What things in your life aren't optional and why? <BR> <BR> Which things do you allow yourself to debate or conditionally complete? <BR> <BR> Which things do you do not matter what? <BR> <BR> Seriously. I want you to sit down for a few minut... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 09:39:21 EST Finding My New Normal in the Kitchen I'm tempting fate by crafting my blog on the sparkpeople's website instead of using Word first. <em>244</em> Living dangerously! <BR> <BR> So, I've been struggling to figure out what kind of food to cook in the soft food post op phase. I'm attempting a deconstructed chicken parmesan right now using ground chicken, mozzarella, parmesan, and a pasta sauce. I browned the chicken and portioned it into four ramekins to control portions and measure protein. <BR> <BR> I had a bland cup of m... Sat, 25 Jun 2016 16:50:31 EST Bullet Journals and My Level 10 Life I really hate sparkpeople sometimes. I was just writing a blog, left the page, and lost it. WTF?! I don't curse often, but WTF?! <BR> <BR> Okay, so where was I? Oh, wondering if I was late to the party. I just discovered this entire subculture of bullet journalists. It's the perfect marriage of doodling, planning, tracking, and a love of long hand. My first reaction was that I'm not creative enough and don't have enough time. Yep, if I put it that way, I'm right. But honestly, it's ... Wed, 22 Jun 2016 11:36:27 EST What Can I Do? I was just reviewing a past webinar from a private fat loss coaching group I participated in. The focus of the talk was "What can I do?" It started off by asking if you tend to focus on external factors that are beyond your control. When we do this, we tend to get negative and start telling ourselves stories, excusing our own behavior because of these external factors that really have nothing to do with our choices. What do you think about that? I thought it was a little harsh at first. <... Mon, 20 Jun 2016 10:08:00 EST One Week to Go I have one week left to go on this liquid diet. It isn't the worst thing, but it is pretty bad. I'm off yogurt and jello. There's absolutely no appeal there for me. So it's just water, protein shakes, and broth. I bought some calorie free flavored syrups and drops, so that helps change things up a little. <BR> <BR> I had a celebration in the bathroom today. After four days, I finally got results. Things slowed WAY down after surgery so these wins are big!! <em>236</em> <BR> <BR> I'... Sat, 18 Jun 2016 11:18:57 EST Recovery I'm home after my bariatric sleeve surgery Wednesday. I feel really good! I stayed one night at the hospital. The surgery and recovery have been pleasantly uneventful. My blood pressure was somewhat elevated, so they treated for that. And I had a mild reaction at the hospital. I think because they gave me double dose of delaudid, despite me only asking for one. They gave me benadryl for that, which did nothing but knock me out. I took one dose of narcotic upon arriving home and that was i... Sat, 11 Jun 2016 15:32:34 EST Surgery Scheduled My weight loss surgery is scheduled for next Wednesday. As I sit here thinking about what lies ahead, I'm not altogether giddy, thinking about what I'll do as a skinny person, in part because I never stopped thinking I was! Even when I was at my highest weight and bumping my rear into everything, my internal vision of myself was never as a fat person. For me, this procedure is a reset button I should've considered years ago to get me back to my normal. <BR> <BR> I'm a little nervous about ... Sat, 4 Jun 2016 23:47:09 EST Final Review I had my final review with the bariatric surgeon yesterday, so the clock starts for the insurance approval, which could be two to four weeks. We went over the risk factors. Other than the inherent risk of any surgery, there are unique risks for bariatric patients. Those are minimal for me since I've made so many improvements already and my BMI is on the lower end of obesity that's eligible for surgery. <BR> <BR> My vacation plans in July are in flux, making my decision on a date easier. I... Sat, 21 May 2016 07:58:55 EST Surrender the Story Surrender the Story. That's the challenge for the week. What does it mean? Well, the story is simply the excuse, the justification we tell ourselves to make us feel better about our bad choices. Think about how you typically describe your day or week to someone. What are some of the things you say? I was so busy I skipped my workout or I made less than stellar food choices. My best friend passed away and I stopped doing all the healthy things. Those are all stories I've told. There'... Tue, 17 May 2016 13:44:12 EST Gate #2: Midpoint Appointment Below is a recap of my weight loss surgery journey. If you have issues with that, keep scrolling. <BR> <em>253</em> <BR> I briefly considered not blogging about it because I'm beyond hearing advice and opinions from others. You don't know me if you think I haven't thought this through. <BR> <BR> I bought a starter kit of Unjury protein powders. They have the usual chocolate, vanilla, strawberry flavors, and also, unflavored, and a chicken soup flavored one. The kit came with a shake... Tue, 10 May 2016 18:52:58 EST Doing Hard Things My Sparkpage was previously titled "Being the Model" because my goal was to be a healthy role model for my daughters and those around me, even when no one is looking. <BR> <BR> This year, I've adopted a more assertive goal and retitled the page "I Do Hard Things" Avoiding extra helpings at dinner, limiting sugar intake, eating normal portions in the evening, feeling in control, these were all hard things for me. I've made them a priority of daily practice and continue to do so until the ha... Sun, 8 May 2016 08:57:02 EST 100 Pushups Challenge Revisited <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I can't seem to tear myself away from this simple, extremely effective strength challenge! I worked on it a few years ago. I never got to 100 pushups, but the training was worth the changes to my body. My mammogram tech did a double take when comparing the prior year pictures and asked if I'd been working out. "Why, yes, I have, thank you for noticing!!" I noticeably transformed my body... Sat, 7 May 2016 11:02:07 EST It's Clicking <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's getting easier! I've been tracking in a hard copy journal since January. I just recently started tracking in my fitness pal to be more precise with macro nutrients. Yesterday, I really thought I blew it because I made a sauteed with collard greens and ground turkey. Measuring mixed items is challenging, right? It's not just me? Anyway, I splurged and had two helpings and also had a... Thu, 5 May 2016 08:15:06 EST My Level 10 Effort <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This week's Primal Potential minisode was spot on, just what I needed, right when I needed it. How does she do that?! Here it is, have a listen. I promise, it's worth your 13 minutes. <link><BR>he-next-level/ </link> <BR> <BR> I'm done looking behind me in disappointment because I didn't stay the course. It was a minor diversion and I'm back to my n... Tue, 3 May 2016 11:39:14 EST New Month, Refined Goals I've decided to ramp up my fitness because it's a big mental motivator for me to other acts of kindness for myself and doing some activity in the morning really sets the tone for the day. <BR> <BR> My goals for the week: <BR> 1) <em>318</em> 30 minutes of daily fitness <BR> 2) <em>550</em> Plan meals and meet 110 / 80 protein and carb targets <BR> 3) <em>4</em> Practice key bariatric eating habits (eat slowly, avoid water during and 40 minutes after meals, avoid eating 2 hours bef... Mon, 2 May 2016 11:38:11 EST Let's Do This Again Tomorrow Today was a complete 180 from yesterday. I met my protein and carb targets, closed the kitchen after dinner, and didn't feel the slightest tug of a craving. I think yesterday's cravings might've been due to my period. I'm grateful it didn't extend to today. I need to study what I did today so I can do it again tomorrow! <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 1 May 2016 23:53:46 EST The Indulgence is a Rerun, so I Won't Miss It! What a great first of May! I started my day with a walk to one of my favorite podcasts. Now, I'm sitting here fine tuning my goals for the month. Last month, I think I did fairly well, but setting food oriented goals typically backfires on me. This month I'll have a simple nutrition goal, but I want double down on my fitness commitment. It's a big mental motivator for me and helps establish a baseline of good choices. <BR> <BR> This week's fat loss challenge is to consider your good, bette... Sun, 1 May 2016 11:18:52 EST A Good GP is Hard To Find I had a low food day yesterday. I rarely eat so little. My protein and carbs were 79 /46. I was targeting 110 / 80, but I just wasn't hungry. The two days prior, I had well over my goal, so I figure one low day won't hurt. It's unlikely to happen again! I could've bumped it up a little with an evening snack, but I knew I was tired and wouldn't stay awake much longer. One of the habits I'm practicing is to avoid eating two hours prior to bedtime. <BR> <em>248</em> <BR> <BR> My husband... Sat, 30 Apr 2016 07:36:42 EST Fear of Missing Out <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I listened to a good podcast this morning about the Fear of Missing Out. People with food relationship issues sometimes get anxious at the thought of not being able to eat certain foods. Elizabeth suggested, as she often does, changing your perspective. Instead of fearing that you'll miss out on an indulgent food, think about what you are missing by eating the food. We... Thu, 28 Apr 2016 14:01:42 EST Next Stop: Midpoint Appointment I had my bariatric matrix appointment at Swedish today. I'm not sure why it's called that. I suppose because I'm seeing a matrix of specialists? I met with the dietician and the psychologist. I passed both with flying colors! <em>246</em> They were both impressed with the work I've already been doing. Two weeks ago, they asked me to track my food. I was able to bring them four months worth of tracking info since I've been keeping a hard copy journal since January. The dietician st... Mon, 25 Apr 2016 19:20:32 EST Making My Own Inspiration <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My hard copy journal has become my home lately. Honestly, there isn't much going on there either. I will say this: I have my first appointment with a registered dietician on Monday. I thought knowing I had that meeting would keep me on my toes, so I could show her my stellar eating habits. But alas, I don't know if it's performance anxiety, but I'm dealing with some major self sabotage ... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 16:49:31 EST