STEFIGURL's SparkPeople Blog STEFIGURL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community STUFF I just read my last post and had to laugh to myself...lololol. Funny the difference a month can make. <BR> <BR> I had to come back because I didn't simply want to disappear. I have been witness to the difficulty that disappearing can cause for some folks and I would hate to have people feel abandoned or left wondering. <BR> <BR> While I am still convinced this is the life I am supposed to be living...every scenario...each life seems to have gotten away from me of late. <... Mon, 3 Mar 2014 14:24:57 EST HERE AND NOW Today I had a moment of epiphany during what has become my work-day morning ritual. I was blindsided by the idea that THIS is the life I have been waiting for. <BR> <BR> weighing 252 pounds... <BR> a job I don't love, but I don't hate... <BR> the financial uncertainties that surround my husband and myself right now... <BR> the life or death health concerns those close to us are facing... <BR> my POS car...lolol... (that still makes me laugh) <BR> this perfectly, imperfect life... <BR> <BR... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 13:00:25 EST RETURN So I am convinced that I have returned to 'weight loss mode'. The last two weeks of NF-NS and the clarity that has returned with abstinence from compulsive eating have brought me back to the place I was when first I began this journey. It feels good...because it is good. Recovery for me is imperative to my health and well being on EVERY front...physically, mentally and spiritually. I have no doubt that the darkness which creeps over me around the holidays and my birthday is partly due to ... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 09:18:27 EST 8 LBS...1 WEEK I lost my way there for a while. It's okay. It was what had to happen. Had some stuff go sideways in my head and it took a couple months to re-wrap my mind around what was real. I don't regret my sojourn, but I'm so very glad to be back on the light side. <BR> <BR> And in getting back to Spark, I am getting back to my goals of health, wellness and a smaller frame, day by day. I NEED this...there is NO OTHER WAY to accomplish this idea and reality of healthy living, outside of Spark for ... Mon, 20 Jan 2014 12:59:37 EST I'M COMIN' OUT... Okay...time to come out of the closet... <BR> <BR> I have been flour and sugar free for almost a full week. Not Atkins...not carb free...just no flour and no sugar for five and a half days. <BR> <BR> This is a big deal for me for one reason. I have resisted this for over 20 years...lolol. And the weird part is, with a little's easier than I ever imagined it could be! <BR> <BR> My first introduction to NF-NS was in my early twenties at my first Overeaters Anonymous meeting... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 12:03:35 EST OUTSIDE I made a personal discovery toward the end of 2013 that made me think about being outside differently than I ever have before. <BR> <BR> For me, my backyard is church. I learn so much about nature just sitting in quiet observance that quite honestly, I never managed to pick up anywhere else in the world. And again, for me, in learning about the natural world, I make the most amazing discoveries about the Source that put it all here. And in learning about the Creator, I learn so much about w... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:25:58 EST THE RETURN I just gotta give a shout out to being BRAND NEW!!! <BR> <BR> I went through a really rough time for a couple of months. It happens. I usually leave the country for my birthday...solo. I fly, fly away somewhere far, exotic and devoid of what plagues me over the holidays. I couldn't go away this year with the gathering coming up, so I was kind of stuck with my stuff. I decided this time to give fully accept and surrender to the darkness that is associated with this time of year.... Wed, 15 Jan 2014 10:11:52 EST NEW Today is BRAND NEW. <BR> <BR> And I am brand new in it. <BR> <BR> Every day. Every present moment. A brand new chance to be brand new :-) <BR> <BR> Today is the beginning. <BR> <BR> It is ALL that matters. <BR> <BR> It is ALL I have and shall ever have. <BR> <BR> Thank you for being here with me TODAY :-) Mon, 13 Jan 2014 11:25:22 EST MY FIRE This morning, it hit me. I sat out burning, coffee in hand...simply observing the blaze in the chiminea. And all of a sudden, I knew what the*I* was, in a way I had not known before. <BR> <BR> Ray asked me on NYE as we burned up 2013's revelations in the fire pit, "What do you mean when you say you 'want to get rid of the I'"? I knew I could not explain it to his understanding...because it is not explainable to one who does not understand the duality of our existence here, bu... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 09:51:37 EST P-E-I-R PERFECTIONISM <BR> <BR> EXPECTATION <BR> <BR> *I* <BR> <BR> RULES <BR> <BR> Sounds like 'pyre'. And that's exactly were they went last night. :-) <BR> <BR> I wrote them in that order, and burned them in that order. <BR> <BR> 2013 made me more acutely aware of the presence of these tendencies in my life. I have no more room or tolerance for them. So I burned them up in the backyard firepit last night with my DH. <BR> <BR> Last night I concentrated on letting go of what came to light... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 11:46:41 EST KEEPIN' IT REAL Time for a reality check ;-)~ <BR> I'm not looking for anyone to 'make me feel better about this'. Believe me, I feel fine about it. Maybe too fine, and I am thoroughly examining my propensity to NOT be freaked out by this as well... <BR> SO...having stated all of that, I am telling MYSELF the truth. <BR> <BR> I have not tracked food for over a month... <BR> I have gained 8 pounds since 11-11-13... <BR> and I am completely convinced that as soon as Christmas is over, I will returning to ... Mon, 23 Dec 2013 17:47:28 EST NO CONFUSION I was reading yesterday, and I came across a sentiment, that I have to admit, I had forgotten all about recently. A young girl was bemoaning all of the negative feeling and emotion that surrounded her unfortunate life circumstances when an 'angel' said... <BR> <BR> "Never confuse how you feel with who you are." <BR> <BR> I had to read that sentence over and over again. Because it's true...and it works. Feelings are a snippet...a snapshot...and usually completely interchangeable as soon a... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 14:32:25 EST RUNNING I have been having quite a bit of difficulty lately with Sparking in general. <BR> But on further examination today, it is apparent that the difficulty isn't Sparking, or eating, or any other issue upon which I can pass off my challenges. I am having difficulty with ME. <BR> <BR> I just had to get that out. I cannot...and may choose not to...expand on what any of that means...but I had to admit it to myself and say it out loud. This simple fact is true...I have been lying to myself about ... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 15:19:16 EST THANK YOU Thank you...from the bottom of my healing each and every one of you, who has held my hand along this road we traverse. <BR> I couldn't be one bit more grateful than I am today for each of you...and for Spark! <BR> <BR> lovelovelove, <BR> stephi :-) Thu, 28 Nov 2013 09:03:01 EST SHAPES Different strokes for different folks. I have to start by saying this. I am not right. I am simply explaining what is right for me. If what you do is right for you, then it's right for me too. I mean that from the very bottom of my heart. No judgments, one way or the other. <BR> <BR> For me, Spirituality is my recognition of who we all are here, and how that effects my behavior while here in physical form. Period. The rest is COMPLETELY relative for me. My childhood bible taught me '... Wed, 27 Nov 2013 09:38:18 EST CLIFFS This is going be completely indulgent. I have had a hell of a few weeks and part of me feels like I've earned a pass I'm taking it. Feel free to close the window and move along :-). <BR> <BR> I'm sitting in the sunken living room, cozy in my pj's, Glee Christmas on the Pandora, with a roaring fire because in the last couple of got COLD here in the Pizzle (Port St Lucie). The rains poured down and the temp went from the low 80's this morning to the high 60's. For me.... Sun, 24 Nov 2013 17:11:58 EST WILL I have to 'say it out loud' by writing it here... <BR> <BR> I HAVE NO DESIRE LATELY TO SPARK. <BR> <BR> I don't know what's going on with me...except to say that this is last thing I want to be doing and the last place I want to be. That, in and of itself would be FINE. I enjoy the freedom and peace I find in placing no judgment on this development. But how is it that for the better part of six months, I was thrilled to log on to Spark almost every, single day?!?! And since the beginnin... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 13:58:41 EST THINGS CHANGE Today, I am accepting change...and letting go of judgments and expectations. <BR> What 'should have been'...was not. I need to let that go. I need to let it go because... <BR> 1. it's over and cannot be changed. <BR> 2. all I have right this second is the ability to change myself. <BR> <BR> I will ACCEPT what has happened and I will not blame or sulk. I will OBSERVE the current landscape...with clarity AND without that the next move is crystal clear. I will not allow my... Sat, 16 Nov 2013 13:06:59 EST CHAPTER 35 I felt compelled to dissect this morning's Tao. Intended Self spoke so clearly today, She was so fierce...I had to write this down. <BR> <BR> She who is centered in the Tao <BR> can go where she wishes, without danger. <BR> (alone to Peru for Mother Ayahuasca...even back to school...) <BR> She perceives the universal harmony, <BR> even amid great pain, <BR> (her own AND the world's: pain is ALWAYS a product of YOUR perception! Persistent Harmony is the reality.) <BR> because she has found... Wed, 13 Nov 2013 08:10:30 EST WORTHY Two weeks of 7a-7p shifts are over! :-) I am grateful for the hours and the money, but I am so ready to get back to some semblance of normalcy. <BR> <BR> I made a few discoveries during this time and feel the need to anchor them in word, so as not to let them fly away. <BR> <BR> 1. Grey is the new black...and white. <BR> <BR> Perfectionism has really ruined a lot for me over the course of my lifetime and I think I'm finally ready to let her go. She really has no use anymore and I have ... Sat, 9 Nov 2013 15:29:44 EST CRAZY So I'm just going to put it out there...I am struggling with surrendering my will to track all food daily. And that failure to surrender makes me want to avoid SPARK altogether?!?! I'm a crack-head, I swear...lolol. <BR> <BR> Proper food shopping and preparation has been such a sticky wicket for me lately as my TIME has been gobbled up with so very much to do. I really examined that statement as being a cop-out, but it's so true and crystal clear to anyone who has ever made the attempt to... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 14:29:20 EST MYSTERY Honestly...I cannot fathom what possesses me to stop surrendering. I cannot describe with words the RELIEF that comes when I do it. I felt like sh*t yesterday...and during most of the last week...and today, I feel like I've been born again. ALL over the mere act of SURRENDERING. I know how great this feels. I know how safe and secure I am in this moment. And yet the day inevitably comes when I deny. When I protest. When I fail. I don't understand this. And I know I don't have to und... Sat, 26 Oct 2013 12:15:21 EST CONFESSION's been a time! I learned a long time ago in recovery that 'the why' doesn't matter...what matters is my behavior in response to 'the why'. This week, I have behaved badly. So here is my confession. <BR> <BR> I got a little lost this week. I struggled to be Present. This throws EVERYTHING ELSE off for me. I also started seeing 'my will' again, despite our epic break-up a few months ago. He's a sneaky devil...really had my head turned around. I knew I should have been getting... Fri, 25 Oct 2013 11:28:12 EST THE ENEMY I read something recently which helped me come to a very important distinction and revelation. <BR> <BR> FOOD IS AN INANIMATE OBJECT. FOOD HAS NO POWER. FOOD CAN'T MAKE ME DO ANYTHING. <BR> <BR> I accept responsibility for who and where I am. I accept responsibility for my decisions and actions. I know that to look at food in ANY OTHER WAY holds me back from healing my relationship with it, with myself and with my world. <BR> <BR> I have been on this road of recovery for six months. ... Tue, 15 Oct 2013 12:36:04 EST AWESOME Life has been crazy. I have not been so. This is SOOOO AWESOME!!! :-) <BR> The details don't matter so much, but my life is BRAND NEW today. New job, new demands, new challenges, new schedule, new goals, new endeavors. I AM NEW too, apparently...which just strikes me as a mother-f'ing MIRACLE! Because this week, the old me would have had SEVERAL pity-parties...all of which would have included compulsive eating, telling my husband I need to be single, fights with my mother, poor perform... Sun, 6 Oct 2013 06:34:04 EST BRAND NEW I am so very grateful for SPARK. I am so very grateful for the journey I am and we are making here :-). What a gift this all is to me!!! :-) <BR> <BR> I have a BRAND NEW LIFE, each and every day in recovery. I couldn't be more grateful! <BR> <BR> My life is unfolding...blossoming. All I have to do is surrender... Tue, 1 Oct 2013 22:18:01 EST INSIGHT Today I am so full of emotion and gratitude. I look back over the last 5+ months on Spark and I have to admit...I should have GAINED 37 pounds during this time. Instead, thanks to recovery, I have lost 37 pounds. This is a DIRECT RESULT of the Presence I have found through Abstinence. I always KNEW what Presence was. I knew how IMPORTANT it was to my overall mental, spiritual, emotional and physical health. But I had only ever had fleeting experiences with it. <BR> The CLARITY inherent ... Mon, 30 Sep 2013 12:41:11 EST CHANGE CHANGE...what a powerful word! <BR> There are a whole host of adjectives that can be attached to this tiny, little word. One adjective that no longer applies for me personally is FEAR. I was always so terrified and intimidated by change. Even the mere prospect of change was sometimes more frightening than the actual change itself. just occurred to me that the prospect was ALWAYS more frightening...lolol. <BR> But not any more! <BR> I realized this through my most recent dance w... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 04:34:41 EST POTTY HEADS ;-)~ FIRST...let me all CRACKED MY FAT WHITE A$$ UP with all of the 'six inches and 'tool' comments...lolololmmfaolololol. I always thought I had a dirty mind...jeeez oh man!!!! Y'all are SOMETHIN' ELSE with the sexual innuendo ;-)~~ I LOVE IT! And I sure do love all of you! For the record, I don't even get remotely excited until about, there's THAT! <BR> <BR> ANYWHO...PERV's...lolol... <BR> <BR> Yesterday I stayed away from SPARK. I sat in my shop, knowing this is the ... Thu, 26 Sep 2013 13:03:15 EST NEW TOOLS Yesterday was what we have learned to call a 'teachable moment'. I made a bad food choice late in the day. But the weird thing was I didn't feel like I'd just fallen off a cliff. I had an odd sense that 'this is for now' and that it would come to a quick end. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing, but judgment is something I have discovered is unnecessary, anyway. AWARENESS...not my new tool. And in awareness, I KNEW that what was happening with food in that moment w... Tue, 24 Sep 2013 13:54:19 EST SIX INCHES I have believed for many years that there is no such thing as 'the whole wide world'. There is a space in which the 'idea' of the whole wide world unfolds, and that space is in the six, short inches that sit between our ears. Now, I have proof. <BR> <BR> I have lived in my home for five years. Over the last two of those years, circumstances beyond my control have conspired to make me leave that home. So in my mind...I did. I gave it up willingly in my head. The last few months have at ... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 14:35:30 EST HOME :-) I don't even know how to write this blog. I cannot discuss this mater without crying like a baby . But last night, I went to bed in a HOME for the first time in over a year. I spent the day today, outside in the most beautiful weather, cleaning and scrubbing and planting and purging things that I could not bring myself to touch because I had already left this home in my mind a long time ago. <BR> <BR> But SOMETHING gave me this home back :-). This is no longer a is HOME. We a... Sat, 21 Sep 2013 21:29:27 EST OKAY... :-) This is ALMOST impossible...except that it happened. I saw the THIRD double rainbow this morning from my garden, in as many days. It HAS been raining like CRAZY here in my neck of the woods...but this is just too weird. <BR> <BR> PLUS...there was one of those HUGE, bright-yellow full moons in the yard today, just about an hour before my rainbows appeared. Those moons are rare and MAGICAL TO ME when I see them. <BR> <BR> Something's up...lolol. I don't know what, but I walked Smokey in ... Thu, 19 Sep 2013 15:52:48 EST CHANGE Presence fixes everything. Sometimes...I forget that. I let myself take a trip today to fear and worry. It is not a pretty place. Everything around me is changing. There are pieces of me that wish this change were not necessary. And then I remember that change is what we do here. People for whom change is not part of the program, are lying in a coffin, or resting in an urn. Then I remembered this too...chapter74... <BR> <BR> If you realize that all things change, <BR> there is nothin... Tue, 17 Sep 2013 22:18:39 EST PRESENCE Today, once again, I am ever so grateful for Presence. It is such a gift to have the option and the ability to just this moment. <BR> All of the judgment, attachment and expectation that surrounds projection into another time VANISHES in the instant I remind myself that IN THIS MOMENT...there is not a SINGLE issue or concern :-). <BR> This keeps me sane and abstinent today. Not that food would or could fix anything...but the inability and unwillingness to simply... Mon, 16 Sep 2013 15:06:44 EST LAZY SUNDAY Today was a wonderfully lazy Sunday :-) I spent my whole day with the HandsomeMan and the HandsomeBoy cuddling, laughing and loving. It was beautiful! Sun, 15 Sep 2013 20:28:15 EST THE KEY Today is one of those days I drempt about for YEARS...lolol. A day in which I moved through my experience with serentiy and peace, full of joy and faith. <BR> <BR> Something occured to me last night...and I laughed at the fact that it only took me 40-some years to figure out... <BR> <BR> The world in which I want to live... <BR> The life I want... <BR> The person I hope to be... <BR> The Divinity that loves me so... <BR> <BR> are ALL in the six-inch space between my ears. They exist NOWH... Sat, 14 Sep 2013 11:31:21 EST SMALLER Everything is becoming smaller. My wants and needs...the *I* that has been constructed over 45 years with adjectives and labels (a.k.a. 'ego')...the propensity of compulsive thought...ALL less and less and less of each, in every new day. <BR> <BR> I am grateful for EVERY loss I experience here on Spark! :-) <BR> <BR> I live at peace...with love! It is an EASY existence today! <BR> <BR> <BR> Fri, 13 Sep 2013 14:17:30 EST CHAPTER 64 What is rooted is easy to nourish. <BR> What is recent is easy to correct. <BR> What is brittle is easy to break. <BR> What is small is easy to scatter. <BR> <BR> Prevent trouble before it arises. <BR> Put things in order before they exist. <BR> The giant pine tree <BR> grows from a tiny sprout. <BR> The journey of a thousand miles <BR> starts from beneath your feet. <BR> <BR> Rushing into action, you fail. <BR> Trying to grasp things, you lose them. <BR> Forcing a project to completion, <B... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:39:48 EST 5 MONTHS Today marks five full months of RECOVERY on SparkPeople :-) <BR> <BR> Here's what has changed on the outside: <BR> <BR> I used to weigh 282 pounds, now I weigh 246. That's a loss of 36 pounds. <BR> I used to wear 26/28 sized clothes Today, my size 20's are loose. <BR> I used to wear size 9 underwear. Now I wear a size 7. <BR> I used to dread the idea of HAVING to walk Smokey. Now I look forward to it...and to his prompts every morning and evening that we go...lolol :-). He EXPECTS it ... Tue, 10 Sep 2013 12:22:20 EST TUG OF WAR So weird to be away from you all!!! I got a virus on my home computer which disabled me from SPARKing this weekend. It's so nice to be back online!! :-) <BR> <BR> And there have been developments! It was decided after the feedback from customers and my Landlord, that I shall continue to have The Soap Box...only in a limited capacity! <BR> My little shop is directly next a little niche where there is a 12' gazebo, tropical plants and lots of shade. It is HERE that I will continue my litt... Mon, 9 Sep 2013 17:02:24 EST WEIRD Today I had people in The Soap Box crying because it was closing. <BR> I am a little fragile right now, as I don't know how to respond to that. I want to cry too...lolol...and yet, I know deep down in my heart and soul, where only REAL things exist, that this is not anything over which I should cry. <BR> <BR> Some of you have lost someone dear to you recently. <BR> Some of you have cancer. <BR> Some of you are suffering in utter silence with illness that is AS debilitating as cancer...just ... Fri, 6 Sep 2013 17:52:58 EST SURPRISE Today my youngest brother and my niece were here in Florida, visiting from their home in NJ. We had a lovely time together! :-) <BR> Once again...still somewhat was NOT the focus, as it would usually be during any joyous, family gathering. <BR> I am SOOOOO GRATEFUL I get to live my life this way. I actually got to spend PRESENT time with my family. It was WONDERFUL :-). Thu, 5 Sep 2013 21:55:14 EST FOR REAL Please know that the content of this blog, is indeed precipitated by NUMEROUS queries regarding its topic. NO ONE PERSON is being singled out; I promise. No TWO people are being 'singled out', either. I have received NUMEROUS requests about this subject matter over the last two weeks, and I felt compelled to address it here, for as many people who could gain something from its writing. <BR> <BR> People want to know if all this LOVE is real. My love. Your love. The love we have become s... Wed, 4 Sep 2013 17:26:48 EST FUN! The HandsomeMan and I just spent two and a half days DOING NOTHING. Not nothing, as in <BR> 'I wonder if the neighbors next door are dead? Bob, have you seen Steph or Ray?'. lolol. We had our FIRST, OFFICIAL STAY-cation as a couple :-). <BR> <BR> We did stuff....just unimportant and fun stuff...lots of napping, which is always awesome, and a few movies. We took Smokey on a couple adventures where he got wet and dirty, his two favorite things, and we even had adult time away from the dog... Tue, 3 Sep 2013 18:45:26 EST OVERWHELMED Today I stand smack in the middle of two different realities... <BR> <BR> My mother became my financial responsibility earlier this month. This places me in a position to have to return to full time employment in order to cover her expenses. That means, I can no longer to afford to work at The Soap Box for free. My little business pays for itself, but is not yet income producing for me. I have NO DOUBT it would be some day, based on what I've seen it do thus far. This little shop is a M... Sat, 31 Aug 2013 11:21:06 EST LOVE Today I woke up with an overwhelming, overflowing of love. I carried it with me on my walk with the Poochey and shared it with my neighbors on their way to work. I took it to The Soap Box and I gave it away to strangers and friends. I brought it on Spark and spread it all around. I called my brother and wrapped him up in it. To be honest, I had a hard time laying some on my Mom when she showed up at the shop, but I did the best I could. I got home and gave as much as I could to my Hands... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 21:56:41 EST FRIENDS :-) I am so grateful for Spark Friends today. I am so grateful to be recovering here. I am so grateful that food is not the answer or the boss ANYMORE :-). <BR> <BR> Thank you to every one of you who walks down this road with me! Thank you for sharing yourselves so honestly, so openly and so generously!! I love you...each and every one! <BR> <BR> love, <BR> stephi Wed, 28 Aug 2013 21:49:04 EST CONNECTED Today I am grateful for so much. <BR> This life I live really is nothing short of a miracle. <BR> A Friend of ours made a statement here on Spark the other day about how she never saw the magic all around her. I can relate to that on a certain level these days. <BR> <BR> The more I lose, the more grateful I become for what remains. Because I have discovered this reality. Most of what I had, the things that I was convinced were so valuable and important...turn out not to be neither valuabl... Tue, 27 Aug 2013 21:45:11 EST 'FEARLESS' 'FEARLESS" <BR> <BR> That really is a misnomer...lolol. I did something yesterday that scared the living sh*t out of me. I was crying...and shaking...and hearing a voice tell me I must be crazy...the entire time I made myself do this 'fearless' thing. And I learned a BRAND NEW the ripe old age of 45. <BR> <BR> SOMETIMES, A 'FEARLESS' ACT CAN BE TERRIFYING. <BR> <BR> I have lived fearlessly. I have, through all of life's twists and turns...while 'asleep' and 'awake'.... Mon, 26 Aug 2013 12:50:41 EST