SOPHIALARA's SparkPeople Blog SOPHIALARA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community It's About Time! I can't believe my last blog entry was dated 2012! I guess I haven't been very active on SP lately. It's a shame because this is one of the best places on the Web for me. <BR> <BR> I'm still paying around with different programs. Ever since I left OA 90 Day, food and eating have once again been a struggle for me. My weight goes up, my weight comes down. My binge eating disorder manifests itself for many days in a row, then it subsides for a while. This is all contingent on my state of mind,... Tue, 12 Aug 2014 15:02:16 EST Becky Lu Jackson I've been dealing with an eating disorder all of my life. It will never go away, and I will never be cured. Like a diabetic, I will always have this disorder (disease) and my problem is trying to find the right "medicine" for it. <BR> <BR> I thought that I had found the answer in OA90 Day. What I found was an excellent diet. I couldn't keep it up. There was no room for failure because we counted our days, just as they do in AA. Mess up, and you're back to Day One. I have had so many Day One... Thu, 13 Dec 2012 11:45:09 EST August 26, 2012 Had a green smoothie for breakfast yesterday morning and by the time I got to Nancy's house, I was famished (11:30). I did the morning step class, so that made me even more hungry than usual. Having no food with me, I went directly to the snack table and started snacking: corn chips, pretzels, guacamole, and even had a coke (12oz). Then lunch was served: Spanish rice, salad with Ranch dressing, a flour tortilla, a couple pieces of pork, birthday cake AND cheesecake. <BR> <BR> After I left N... Sun, 26 Aug 2012 11:36:23 EST Food Plan for Today Breakfast (8:30): Watermelon <BR> Lunch (11:30): Green Smoothie: Kale, banana, berries, flax seeds) <BR> Dinner (5:30): Hale to the Kale salad, brown rice, beans <BR> <BR> Come back and write about feelings (physical and emotional) <BR> <BR> Did well until I went to Valerie's house to care for the dawgs. I snooped into her cupboard and found some tortilla chips, lady fingers, cereal (had a bowl with soy milk), and a granola bar (which I didn't even really enjoy). However, I di... Fri, 24 Aug 2012 11:16:13 EST Time to Reinvent Myself It's time to reinvent myself. I'm stuck in a rut: eating too much, eating too much of the wrong foods. I shouldn't even call them foods. I should call them drugs, poison, evil; anything but "food." Food is nourishing and nurturing, the stuff God created for our bodies. <BR> <BR> I keep buying new books on dieting, new ways of eating, books with catchy titles that have nothing to do with dieting, books on changing your life, your habits. I buy new programs: Weight Watchers, Spark Coach, anyt... Mon, 20 Aug 2012 19:45:11 EST For Today For Today: I will track what I eat, I will stay connected to God, I will eat only three meals with no snacks, and I will dance or walk for at least 30 minutes. I will also check in with my Spark Teams and encourage another person, read something inspirational and share it, and be grateful for all of the gifts God has given me. <BR> <BR> <BR> Fri, 20 Jul 2012 10:10:09 EST How Do I React to Mistakes? As a piano and guitar teacher, my students make mistakes all of the time and they learn from them! I welcome their mistakes and use them as opportune moments for teaching. Actually, those are the best times to teach, because they really understand what it is they're doing wrong. <BR> <BR> If I could just apply what I wrote above to my weight loss journey, it would behoove me greatly! I've gone from losing weight on crazy, restrictive diets when I was a young woman (only one meal a day, zero... Fri, 1 Jun 2012 12:27:51 EST New Spark with The Spark I'm reading "The Spark" again and this time I'm going to post a blog everyday to keep myself accountable. My hope is that by doing this I will be able to keep my spark alive! I'm tired of trying everything out there. Yesterday I binged, so what did I vow to do today? Have a protein shake for breakfast and lunch and then eat a "reasonable" dinner. I know by past behavior that I get so hungry by dinnertime when I do this, I end up eating a very large dinner and then binge to top it off. So, tho... Thu, 10 May 2012 13:00:24 EST The Spark Cookbook and More I just finished reading the Spark Cookbook and I must say that the recipes look delicious, Chef Meg's advice and suggestions are wonderful, and it is made really well (the binding allows it to stay open when you lay it down). I'm looking forward to trying some of the recipes and I think I'll pay more attention to the recipes that Chef Meg offers on the SparkPeople website! <BR> <BR> I also have Stephanie Romine's Vegan E-Cookbook. I wish it was available in a hard copy. It's hard to browse e... Fri, 4 May 2012 10:31:52 EST Taking the Never Quit Pledge I just found this on another member's page (thank you, Karen!), It's just what I need! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and <BR> downs I pass through, <BR> I will continue on my journey. <BR> <BR> I pledge to make a NEW START today, <BR> and forgive myself for my past, <BR> and to stop being so critical of myself. <BR> <BR> I pledge to take control of myself, <BR> To stop making excuses, <BR> And stop blaming other people or... Fri, 4 May 2012 00:30:23 EST Searching, Searching, Never Finding I know it's all about the journey, not the destination, but I'm getting weary. I also know that the answer "lies within," but somehow it's still evading me. Do I sound discouraged and depressed? Well, yes, at least a little. I try not to stay in this kind of place very long. It's......well, it's depressing! And discouraging, too! And these are the last two things I need in my life right now. Yes, only I can change my attitude, change the way I think. That's why I'm writing here! <BR> <BR> He... Tue, 24 Apr 2012 11:46:34 EST No S Diet This has got to be the best there is: it's flexible within boundaries. No Sweets, No Seconds, and no Snacks except Sometimes on days that start with S and Special Days. The creator of the No S Diet, Reinhard Engels, writes very well and has an excellent website explaining everything. (Just Google it.) <BR> <BR> I love the concept, but, so far, the S days don't have enough structure for me and I've binged with complete abandonment. Reinhard warns us against this kind of behavior, admonishing ... Sat, 7 Apr 2012 18:48:03 EST Another "New" Beginning I've started my OA90Day program so many times since November 2011, and I've had an abstinent day here and there. But, mostly I've binged everyday and have gained 17 pounds. For today, I'm just going to eat healthfully and count my calories/nutrients here on Spark People. <BR> <BR> I've always been so grateful for SparkPeople. I debated going back to Weight Watchers again, and have decided against it. Spark People has everything WW has, except for the f2f meetings, AND it's free! Actually, I... Mon, 9 Jan 2012 13:21:36 EST One Challenge Over, New One Begins! Well, my little experiment of leaving OA90Day lasted for 3 days. With an eight pound weight gain and feeling physically, emotionally, and spiritually sick, my attitude has changed once again. <BR> <BR> Why do I think I can do this on my own? Over and over again I have proven to myself that I can't. When my will takes over, it only causes pain and self-destruction. I am a compulsive overeater. I binge eat. I must accept this. I have this dis-ease. The only remedy known for now, in this life,... Thu, 3 Nov 2011 12:55:33 EST New Challenge I'm leaving OA90Day and I'm very nervous about it. I have mixed feelings and really don't know quite what to think. But, I feel the need to prove to myself that I can do this on my own; that somehow I have the power within me to follow my food plan without deviation. Of course the power comes from God, as always. But my family is getting a bit weary of me weighing and measuring my meals wherever I go: restaurants (I usually just bring my own food) and while traveling. My daughter thinks that ... Mon, 31 Oct 2011 00:23:57 EST Words It's so funny how a few words can change my whole day! This morning as I was putting on my perfectly-fitting size 6 jeans, my husband told me that I looked perfect! Wow! My grown daughters are telling me not to lose any more weight, that I'm just right where I am. Wow! These words are nothing short of the miracle that can happen in OA90Day. <BR> <BR> I'm still weighing and measuring my food, calling my sponsor every morning, reading from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, going to meetin... Thu, 18 Aug 2011 13:55:19 EST Goal Weight I can't believe that I'm actually at my goal weight! I first joined Spark People in 2006. It's taken me much longer than that, really. I haven't been at this weight since I was in my 20's. I'd like to loose a little more, as there's still a bit of "padding" around my waist. It may be my age, I don't know. It may be my disease: never being good enough and not accepting myself as I am. In either case, I'm just thrilled to be on Day 52 of back-to-back OA90Day Abstinence. Still weighing and measu... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 23:11:03 EST Gratefully Abstinent Well, today is Day 22 for me, and I'm still gratefully abstinent. It's a gift from my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, and I'm so very full of gratitude. My life is sane right now, even though things can be crazy all around me (which they are!), because of this program and the 12 steps. <BR> <BR> My breakfast has been the same for the past few days, and I really enjoy it. I haven't been keeping track in my tracker because it's too much trouble. I write it down in my little notebook ... Sat, 2 Jul 2011 19:23:33 EST Temptation Oh my goodness. There is a huge loaf of Francese bread from one of our excellent local bakeries sitting on my table. What's more is that it has chunks ripped from it by my husband. This makes it worse, because no one would notice if I took a bit more from it. But I know what would happen if I did. I would want more and more. Then I would think, "Well, I've blown it now. I might as well just have a full-blown binge," and go to the store (I would make up some reason, of course: liar!), and buy ... Sun, 19 Jun 2011 19:11:03 EST Father's Day A huge thank you to all of the fathers who make sacrifices, commitments, and dedicate themselves to their families. God bless you all! <BR> <BR> Today I am on Day 8 of my OA90Day abstinence. What a blessing! What a precious gift! It is something to be treasured and protected. <BR> <BR> This evening my daughters, sons, sons-in-law and grandchildren will gather at my house for a Father's Day BBQ. My husband will be there, of course, and I'm so grateful for him and what he's done for us. <BR... Sun, 19 Jun 2011 11:32:23 EST The Golden Thread 1. State the facts about what is upsetting you, no feelings. <BR> 2. Complete these sentences: <BR> I feel angry that..... <BR> I feel sad that....... <BR> I feel afraid that............ <BR> I feel guilty that................ <BR> 3. Answer these questions: <BR> Are my expectations reasonable? <BR> Is my thinking positive ad powerful? <BR> What is the essential pain? <BR> 4... Tue, 3 May 2011 13:00:37 EST 90 Day OA I started 90 Day OA about a month ago. This is a "special focus" group of OA as they have their own food plan, much like Grey Sheet. I feel that their food plan is more balanced as they allow 2 or more servings of grain each day. And lots of vegetables! At least 24 oz per day. Everything is weighed on a digital scale and they read almost exclusively from the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous. I really need this structure with food. Also, I really need to stay close to God and my sponsor. I'm v... Tue, 3 May 2011 12:56:54 EST Update My goodness! I can't believe that my last blog post was in October! Well, here is my update: I am still with OA, working the program and doing pretty well. I had quite a few slips over the holidays and started back on "Day One" of abstinence January 7th. Yes, that's just 2 days ago. It's been a struggle, but I'm determined to stick with it because it's my last hope. I hit my bottom and realize that I am totally hopeless when it comes to this disease. It's only through my Higher Power, whom I ... Sat, 8 Jan 2011 22:29:56 EST The Courage to Change This morning I woke up with the realization of what "the courage to change the things I can" means for me. I'm having some problems with a very close, dear friend, and I need to confront this person about the problems I'm having so that we can continue to have a meaningful relationship. I have to use "I messages" which I'm absolutely terrible at doing! I would rather hide my feelings and stuff them down with food than have to face them. But, God is not calling me to stay in my disease. God is... Tue, 26 Oct 2010 12:02:06 EST Changes "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." --Ephesians 4:22, 23 NIV <BR> <BR> The Twelve Steps prayer for today had to do with changing: my attitude, my desires, myself. And I love the Bible verse that was given for today. It's exactly what I needed to hear! How wonderf... Thu, 21 Oct 2010 12:04:59 EST Peace in God's Will "Peace in God's Will" <BR> <BR> "My Higher Power, quicken my spirit and fix my thoughts on your will, that I may see what you would have me do and contemplate its doing without self-consciousness or inner excitement, without haste and without delay, without fear of other people's judgments, and without anxiety about success. Knowing only that it is your will and therefore must be done quietly, faithfully, and lovingly, for in your will alone is my peace." <BR> <BR> "Jesus said to them, 'My ... Mon, 18 Oct 2010 11:26:10 EST So Grateful Today was my weigh-in day. I lost 4 pounds last month. In the past, this would have been discouraging news. However, today I feel encouraged and happy. I have been abstinent and not had one binge, though came close a couple of times. We call these "slips" and don't count them as part of our abstinent days. So, it's been 60 days, by the grace of God and the wonderful program of Overeaters Anonymous. My sponsor has a huge part in this, too, as I wouldn't know how to work the program without her... Fri, 15 Oct 2010 13:08:51 EST Letter to a Friend Hi M, <BR> <BR> I wanted to send you an excerpt from "The Love-Powered Diet" by Victoria Moran. This is just one aspect of the book that made so much sense to me. <BR> <BR> "We're about to explore a lifesaving and life-affirming way of eating that I believe mirrors spiritual growth and emotional stability. It's a way of eating that study after study has shown to 'do your body good,' and it sends feelings of deprivation packing. Expecting any foodstyle to cure a food addict would be like exp... Sun, 10 Oct 2010 10:40:52 EST Thank God for This Program Though I have much to be grateful for, Spark People being one of the many, I am most grateful for the OA program. I would be caught in the claws of this disease and would be suffering from all of the maladies that accompany it. Today, even with a small weight loss (I don't know exactly because I'm only weighing once a month), my knees don't hurt anymore. I was truly afraid that I would never be able to walk again. (I have severe arthritis in my knees.) For Today, I am able to walk and remain ... Sun, 26 Sep 2010 10:57:21 EST Still Going One Day at a Time Thought I'd post my daily food plan. I've been eating this food for about 3 weeks now and feel healthy and light. Feels great! Don't want to boast about it, though, because it's not me who's able to do this, but my Higher Power, whom I call God. Glory be to Him! <BR> <BR> Breakfast: 1/2 c. raw oats soaked in 1 c. soy milk, 1 tbsp. ground flax seeds, 1 large grated apple. I cup of black tea w/ 1/3 c. soy milk. <BR> <BR> Lunch: A sandwich made of 2 slices sprouted whole grain bread (if you ha... Thu, 23 Sep 2010 11:11:59 EST One Day at a Time I'm on the 35th day of my journey with the H.O.W. Overeaters Anonymous program. It's so wonderful to be free of overeating. This morning at an OA meeting we shared our strength, hope, and experience about the Freedom from Bondage. To me this meant the freedom from the bondage of overeating. I hate myself when I overeat, and so what do I do? I overeat more! It's insanity, and I take the first step: admitting that my life is unmanageable. I don't ever want to forget the feeling I've experienced... Sat, 18 Sep 2010 18:30:22 EST The Wonders of OA Last month I was at my absolute lowest point in my career as a compulsive overeater. Stuffing food into my mouth while my stomach ached, I was crying inside, not knowing what to do or how to go about finding healing. Then I remembered Overeaters Anonymous and I started attending meetings. After two weeks of attending all of the meetings I could handle, and praying for a sponsor, a woman walked through the doors after a year of being overseas. She marked the "sponsor" box on the phone list and... Mon, 13 Sep 2010 20:44:42 EST Reset Goals Okay, I've reset my goals again. I love this feature that Spark People provides because I can start again anytime, any day. So, my hope for today is that this is the last time I will reset my goals! Or, perhaps I'm approaching this the wrong way....... <BR> <BR> By continually resetting my goals, I'm feeding that "perfectionist" within me. I want my record to be "perfect", and so I keep erasing it until I finally get it. The problem is that I have never "gotten it" to this day. I'm not quit... Mon, 1 Feb 2010 12:29:58 EST Fresh Start Ian and Alex have both moved out. Chris and i have the house to ourselves and are rather enjoying it. We have re-discovered each other and have become much closer. But I still have a binging problem and last night I ate so much, I was uncomfortable all through the night. <BR> <BR> I once again started Spark and will stick to the plan. I'm going to continue to read "The Spark", as I took a little break and read some of Suzanne Somers books, and a few others. They all say the same thing. Eith... Fri, 22 Jan 2010 12:56:56 EST Ian's Going Away Party Last night about 60 people came together to wish our youngest son God's blessings as he ventures forth on his new life in the Marine Corps. He leaves today, and I have so many mixed feelings about it, it's hard for me to write right now. But I feel the need to connect to my Spark People community because I feel that it's the only thing that's helping me stay focused on my main goal for this year: to lose weight so I'll be able to walk in my old age! My arthritic knees are a real problem. <BR>... Sun, 10 Jan 2010 10:33:18 EST Commitments I recently found some character-building bookmarks my children brought home from school long ago, and found the following commitments: <BR> <BR> On Endurance vs. Discouragement: The inward strength to withstand stress and do my best: <BR> I will...... <BR> Not be a quitter <BR> Accept both instruction and correction <BR> Not waste time, energy and talent on meaningless pursuits <BR> Bend instead of break <BR> Put my whole heart into everything I do <BR> "Endurance is nob... Fri, 8 Jan 2010 14:12:12 EST Encouragement "Supposing you have tred and failed again and again. You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."-----Mary Pickford Tue, 29 Sep 2009 12:29:21 EST Weight Watchers vs. Spark People Well, last Monday I paid WW $40 so I could get weighed every week and join their etools. I have to say that the etools is difficult to use and not half as versatile as the Spark People site. Okay, there are no advertisements, but you have to put up with all of the Weight Watcher ads for all of their products. I feel ripped off, but it was my own stupidity. I do like the meetings, however, and their advise is very good, but not a tad bit better than anything you can find on SP. <BR> <BR> So ... Sun, 30 Aug 2009 17:10:57 EST Sayings from Orthodox Daily Thought Our greatest enemies are the demons, who fight to conquer us through our passions. The most powerful weapon against all their evil machinations, snares, and arrows is humility. They are the creatures of pride, and are able to conquer those who—in their own pride—think that they can do battle with them. However, the demons cannot stand up against humility. Elder Macarius of Optina <BR> <BR> Don’t glue yourselves before the television. Don’t forget that the button is not only used to turn... Thu, 9 Jul 2009 11:22:00 EST Xristox Anesti! Alithos Anesti! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am filled with joy today, as Holy Week is over. The midnight Pascha service is over, and our picnic is cleaned-up. I'm ready for this new time in my life. I anticipate it with joy. <BR> <BR> In the picture, on the far left is Dr. Nicholas Itsines, the Greek master psalti who is my teacher and mentor. Continuing in the back row: my youngest son, Ian (17); husband Christopher, and Christopher Constant... Mon, 20 Apr 2009 17:39:37 EST -------Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow; The Prayer of the Optina Elders A Prayer for the Beginning of the Day <BR> <BR> "O Lord, grant unto me, that with Thy peace, I may greet all that this new day is to bring. <BR> Grant me grace to surrender myself completely to Thy holy will. <BR> In every hour of this day, instruct and guide me in all things. <BR> Whatever tidings I may receive during this day, teach me to accept tranquilly, in the firm conviction that Thy holy will governs all. <BR> Govern my thoughts and feelings in all that I do and say. <BR> When thi... Tue, 3 Mar 2009 16:59:27 EST Apokrias Apokrias is like a Mardi Gras in the Greek tradition. Lent will be here soon, with prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Apokrias gives us a chance to get our merry-making out of the way in preparation for the serious nature that Lent brings. <BR> <BR> At the Apokrias Sunday night, my husband sang a love song to me in front of everyone. There were about 50 people there and he sang "Till There Was You" a capella and completely impromtu. I stood near with tears in my eyes. He's such a romantic! I f... Tue, 24 Feb 2009 11:24:40 EST New Start I keep trying to do this "my" way, which really is not working at all. I need to follow a tried and true, no fail plan and I know what it is: Weight Watcher's CORE plan for me. I am going to do my best, with the help of my God and Savior, to succeed at reaching a healthy weight for my small body: at the most 120 lb. I was happiest at 112 - 115 in my younger years, but my body hasn't seen that little fat in about 22 years! So, at this point, I'll be happy with 120. Then, if I need to, I can l... Sun, 8 Feb 2009 19:59:14 EST Introduction I live in a small house on the Monterey Bay in CA with my dear husband of 28 years. We have five children: our oldest daughter is a nurse, has three precious children, and a handsome fiance; our second daughter teaches at a Middle School, has one dear son, and a delightful fiancé. Our oldest son is an electrician, has 2 children, and a sweet finance. That leaves our two youngest sons, 17 and 20, who are still at home. The 20 year- old is a glazier and enjoys playing the electric guitar.The 1... Fri, 14 Nov 2008 11:05:31 EST A New Day Well, I've tried not dieting and just eating according to my body's "feelings", and what has happened? I've gained weight. I'm almost to 140 lb. once again. It's time to reign in the "feelings" and teach those feelings some new things, like it's okay to be hungry. I'm afraid that my health is suffering from all of the sugar and "white" foods I eat when I'm just "eating according to my feelings". So, today, I'm going to make the effort to eat according to the CORE plan, but with a little revis... Thu, 6 Nov 2008 10:21:06 EST Judith Beck's The Diet Solution I'm going to create some new goals for myself here on SP, and give myself credit for doing them. I love this saying: "Do It Anyway: Even if I don't feel like using a diet skill, I have to do it anyway. If I do only what I feel like doing, I won't be able to lose weight and keep it off." Right now I feel hungry, but Renee Stephens says to embrace that hunger and tell myself that it's a good thing: it means that I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing. And that is to let myself get hungry twice... Mon, 7 Jul 2008 18:59:06 EST Inside-Out Weight Loss With Renee Stephens. She's really great at helping me to see how to create "inner balance". How my "want to's" and "shouldn't's" create an inner conflict and how to bring them into harmony with each other. I can't explain it, but listening to her podcasts is changing the way I'm thinking about myself. <BR> <BR> July 21, Episode Ten "Continuous Improvement" Part 2: <BR> <BR> "Kaizen" Intention for this episode: healing and breakthrough. Notice how i've already started to become the person I... Mon, 7 Jul 2008 18:53:28 EST Birthday Dinner My dear family made a lovely birthday dinner for me this evening. My husband, two daughters, two of my sons, and three of my grandchildren were here. Also, my oldest daughter's latest beau. A very nice man who did the barbecuing and gave me a bunch of beautiful flowers. I ate way too much. Especially after yesterday, when I weighed-in at Weight Watchers at a pound more than I was the week before; after I had tracked my food for the whole week and stayed on plan. I felt so discouraged, I didn'... Wed, 25 Jun 2008 00:36:42 EST Boys on a Backpacking Trip Early, early Monday morning, Christopher and Ian left for a four day backpacking trip in the Ventana Wilderness near Big Sur. What does that have to do with me? Everything! I feel very free, and yet odd. I have absolutely no commitments, except for a few piano lessons here and there (it's summer). And yesterday, the first day alone, I ate 1000 calories. There's all kinds of CORE foods in my refrigerator: even a nice big green salad! So, I don't need to cook or go out to eat. I have good fruit... Tue, 17 Jun 2008 11:45:59 EST Weeding and Feeding I read about "weeding and feeding" today in my Bible Study: we stop doing the things that wage war against our soul so that we can start living by doing things that are pleasing to God. <BR> <BR> "Just as we pluck the noxious plants that occupy a physical garden one weed at a time, we also eliminate the destructive behaviors that keep us in defeat and despair one destructive behavior at a time. Then, having pulled the weed, we plant a flower in the now vacant space. We weed and then we plant... Tue, 10 Jun 2008 11:36:35 EST