VISUALLYRICS's SparkPeople Blog VISUALLYRICS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community My MIND is my greatest weight loss tool <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> ....or so I am discovering. <BR> <BR> Eight days ago, a dear SP friend and I began to hold each other accountable with weigh-ins. And as of today I am 3 POUNDS <em>55</em> down! Another dear friend and I spur each other on at the beginning of every month and have done so for ....a year or so, I think. <BR> <BR> <em>318</em> This monthly jump start has been amazing for... Tue, 1 May 2018 12:56:38 EST My Husband - A Grad! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> After much prayer, my husband decided to head back to college and finish the degree that he started long ago... - online. It took him only 14 months to complete his bachelor's degree and that was on a fast track - let me tell ya! LOTS of long nights, and complex assignments. <BR> He is on the president's list and holds a 3.98 GPA. And he just GRADUATED on Friday!! <BR> <... Mon, 5 Mar 2018 19:01:31 EST Looking for Opportunities! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>213</em> Hi Spark Friends! <BR> <BR> <BR> Boy! This week COULD have been one perfect set up for excuses - and my blog today "would have been" simply full of my tale of woe...:::of falling off the wagon <em>24</em> ...over & over - Except for the fact that <em>529</em> I AM a Sparker! <em>530</em> ....and because of SP, and lots of prayer and perseverance, I s... Fri, 9 Feb 2018 22:06:24 EST Time to Reset ....again. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I have been resetting this button since before Christmas - but that's the beauty of this amazing thing called "reset" - I can bounce back as often as I need to. <em>356</em> <em>244</em> <BR> I need to reset "here & now" for several reasons mainly due to "life/circumstances/teenagers" happening.....:::::Bahaha!! That looks SO funny written.... <em>334</em> But it is tru... Fri, 19 Jan 2018 11:19:33 EST Taking TIME to SAVOR every moment... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> ....saw this funny pic this morning - isn't that just like US sometimes during the Christmas season? ....speeding along. Lol! so many parties, recitals, programs, award events....and don't let me get started on the out of town drives to sports events....although I AM proud of our local schools competing in conference games! hee-hee. But it all adds up... <em>128</em> <BR> <... Mon, 11 Dec 2017 10:56:20 EST Time to Hustle! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I met a very fit and healthy looking gal (in her 40's!) at the gym the other day - told her how I admired how fit she was and proceeded to congratulate her on all of her success. She smiled....thanked me and said, "Can I tell you a secret ?'s not that I don't love exercise...because I DO, but if I didn't eat clean, I wouldn't be this fit or have so much energy." ((BooM!)) <B... Mon, 27 Nov 2017 16:47:07 EST Bloom Where You're Planted <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I woke up this morning in central Texas to 32 degrees! (I totally DO get excited about cool temps living in a primarily warm state.) Then I looked over at one of my small garden beds, and I noticed my sweetheart rose bush was still blooming....such lovely fragrant still! I plucked one to show my children at the breakfast table, and God spoke to my heart in that moment t... Sat, 28 Oct 2017 18:32:15 EST Enjoying Family & Fall! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Time flies when you're having fun! fact it I'm still flying here in October, but I put on my brakes to see that it has been exactly a month since I last blogged, Oops! ...:::I know how much blogging holds me accountable; so, here I go! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> So happy to repo... Mon, 16 Oct 2017 21:12:49 EST One Day At A Time <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I do. My favorite park pastime was the monkey bars where I could spend hours just there....monkeying around. I have always been active, and here I am again <BR> ​hitting my gym faithfully for 2 weeks now...started off carefully with less weight....alternating lifting weights with high impact cardio to achieve my own circuit training routine. The gym owners remembered me and welcomed... Sat, 16 Sep 2017 07:13:01 EST Joined a Gym::..making Progress! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> After 2 weeks of clean eating, I am feeling so much stronger....:::overall healthier. My taste buds are craving the good food which is a huge milestone for me! I am not struggling anymore with the challenge of nighttime cravings, feeling hungry after a meal, sugar cravings, feeling carb deprived due to my low carb meals, or feeling sluggish anymore. In fact my body has become accustomed ... Tue, 5 Sep 2017 08:23:03 EST Clean Eating = Results <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> As if going down a size weren't enough ((good news)) at the start of this week, I've LOST 3.5 pounds too this week! <em>104</em> ...:::and ALL due to clean eating. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> It all began with a heat rash...::which by the way is long GONE! <em>198</em> After... Fri, 25 Aug 2017 08:27:44 EST Down a Size! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> So flippin happy I went down <em>55</em> a as I find myself on a "scale plateau"...:::what a nice surprise! <BR> <BR> Recently, I began to have what looked like a heat rash ...:::no surprise here in this heat here in Texas. Still though....I usually don't get rashes. At first I thought it might just be how persistent I was in walking/running outdoors in the HEAT... Sun, 20 Aug 2017 11:25:01 EST When it rains... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> it pours....sometimes....and we make the MOST of it! <BR> <BR> This week has been quite challenging with: <BR> <BR> 1.) my husband's truck broke down, diagnosis..needs a new engine. <em>40</em> <BR> 2.) pc is locked up....and I CANNOT Spark! <em>39</em> <BR> 3.) A/C unit is backing up and flooding our children's bedrooms... <em>24</em> <BR> 4.) another leak sprang u... Thu, 10 Aug 2017 09:17:41 EST The Next Decision <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Decisions....decisions... every day we are faced with them. I used to be overwhelmed if I made a poor one, but NOW I know that one poor decision is NOT a fail. <BR> <BR> It's my NEXT decision that truly counts, and tends to shape my trend of decisions. <BR> <BR> Last week, the PIZZA monster got me. <em>40</em> ..:::really, he did. <em>20</em> <BR> ....ridiculous, really, I n... Wed, 2 Aug 2017 07:10:52 EST Reaching Small Goals! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am thriving through setting/meeting my DAILY small goals because I find myself succeeding EVERY day, and it feels GREAT to win. I remain accountable and motivated:::...never thought I would enjoy a "small goals list" though, as I am the kind of gal who must "get er' done" like, ...NOW...:::no, make that "Yesterday". <BR> My OLD lists consisted of mega goals, and I'd end up feeling... Wed, 19 Jul 2017 09:17:06 EST Progress Not Perfection <img src=""> <BR> <BR> ....:::I think I might be placed in the category of those that are perfectionists...:::as much as I don't want to be. When it comes to others, I am tolerant, gracious and loving - so why don't I treat myself with the same grace? <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> With my current 10# weight loss goal... Thu, 6 Jul 2017 10:19:09 EST MY Incentive to Lose! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Last month, when I reached my first goal - my loss of 15#, I rewarded myself with a gorgeous hand thrown turquoise mug. I do LOVE me some pottery...:::as Dorcas Lane (from BBC's tv series, Lark Rise To Candleford) would say, "It's my ONE weakness." Lol....::love that show. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <B... Sun, 18 Jun 2017 22:00:12 EST Self Care & How Our Choices Shape Us <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> You know how a flight attendant instructs you to use the oxygen mask on yourself -- before -- helping someone with theirs:::...well this analogy works well for so many other areas of our lives too. <BR> <BR> Recently, I have been re-learning how to take care of ME without feeling guilty or like I am letting others down. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 12 Jun 2017 23:18:11 EST Walk Run Walk::..being TRUE to myself <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I had a break through today...::actually it began on the morning of my birthday(June 6th) - I found out that I can still can RUN!:::.... <em>312</em> <BR> <BR> As most of you know, I have been walking with my dear walking buddy (who lives one block away) since the first week of February. We are the most consistent thing happening in our neighborhood LOL! ....we always d... Thu, 8 Jun 2017 09:46:54 EST Practice Makes Perfect <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> ...::::just back from a whirlwind of a weekend...:::full of Music and Adventure. <BR> <BR> <BR> My cello student families drove a long distance this weekend to compete at the state level in our annual music competition. My head is still swimming with pride for these students and the parents too. Such year long diligence/commitment deserves a crown of some sort, I think. They all m... Sat, 20 May 2017 22:51:36 EST Patience with the Process & with Myself <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My weight loss progress recently has been SLOW. Now, most of the time I am fine with ....:::slow::...but every now and then I need a pep talk, or an affirmation that I am still making matter how small. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> On the average, I am eating... Wed, 17 May 2017 09:54:54 EST What a healthy vacation looks like... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Thank you very much Spark Friends for reaching out to help me stay accountable while on vacation. It really meant a lot to get blog post reminders while on vacation:::...Lol. I read each one.... I not only stayed afloat, I thrived on our coastal vacation. <em>252</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 1 May 2017 21:07:30 EST A Vacation From Healthy Choices? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> ...:::nope, not me! <em>185</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Today, we are packing for our weekend family vacation at the coast. Our athletic gear is packed...::: healthy snacks, bottled water & beach gear is packed...:::an active fun itinerary is ready and reservations... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 14:59:57 EST Street Workers...:::or Walkers? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> ...::::do you need a laugh? I sure did this morning::::.... <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> "A Funny Tale From 2 Walking Buddies" <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> My walking buddy & I walk EVERY morning no matter the weather....::we are the most consistent thing happening in our neighborhood. (4 miles each morning...6 days a week) LOL! We laugh as we watch the local school bus change ... Tue, 18 Apr 2017 09:59:44 EST Celebrating HOPE During A Plateau! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> ....:::I wake up each morning and head out in the dark to meet up with my walking buddy who is always (amazingly) on time. <em>361</em> Our internal clocks are now waking us before our alarms do....:::due to the daily habit of walking! LOL. <em>128</em> ...:::which is a sensational SIGN that we are making Progress. Fitness IS our Lifestyle! I am thankful that I W... Wed, 12 Apr 2017 13:22:21 EST Increased fitness minutes foolin'! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Happy April Fools Day, Sparkers! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I have been pranked 4 times so far today....but I expected it...::::you have no idea how I have to watch my back. LOL!! <em>20</em> <em>40</em> <em>41</em> ...:::But it's all good! Now if only I could snatc... Sat, 1 Apr 2017 13:00:03 EST Celebrating Every WIN! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I feel like I am on a roll now....:::and it feels GREAT! <em>356</em> I keep tracking the mileage that me & my walking buddy <em>361</em> cover each day, and it adds up to an average of 20 miles/week!! <em>591</em> My fitness ticker here at SP has already moved beyond my monthly goal. <em>248</em> Time to reset goals...right? <BR> We are both so pumped mentally w... Mon, 20 Mar 2017 11:31:14 EST SO much progress!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Wow! <BR> <BR> Today marks exactly 1 month since I last blogged, and I am so elated to share my progress report with YOU. In that lapse of time I have covered 50 miles ~ ~ ~ <em>311</em> ~ ~ ~ <em>312</em> ~ ~ ~ <em>361</em> with my new amazing walking buddy! I am down 8# and feeling so empowered through cemented habits being formed!! Oh how good self discipline FEELS! LOL... Wed, 8 Mar 2017 21:23:10 EST When I make up my mind... ...things happen. God must have installed steel determination in me when He made me. <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am determined to shake up my scales....and no maybe's. <em>334</em> I have attempted to do this SO many ways: with church friends who gave up early on and returned to unhealthy ways, at a gym that was too far to drive to on a regular basis....on my own without tr... Wed, 8 Feb 2017 22:13:23 EST Carving Out Daily Fitness "At Home" <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> How are my goals for 2017 coming along? - - - Here are my goals from my last blog. <BR> <BR> 1.) Get that walk around the neighborhood in no matter how late it is ....enjoy it! Oh's crazy LATE, but I love the evening air....because that's ME. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> I am now one of "the" many walkers in our neighborhood. Recently the weather has been cold & rainy; so I ... Wed, 18 Jan 2017 11:10:14 EST If I Think I'm A Winner, I Am <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I'm still reminding myself that I have the power already to decide each day to make THAT day THE Best day! ....and yes, I am still on a personal learning curve. <em>20</em> From where I'm sitting, each day has the potential to be sprinkled with mistakes...:::right and left; however, THAT day also has the potential to end with me bouncing back each and every t... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 01:18:44 EST Volunteering & the Gym <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> My friend, Bill (BILLB000), inspired me to write about my volunteering. Bill, you couldn't know that your post came right as I was stepping down from my volunteer position. <em>39</em> It is such a hard decision to make, but I have peace about it. <em>41</em> <BR> For those who don't know, I volunteer for a substance abuse facility. <BR> <BR> I LOVE the ladie... Thu, 17 Nov 2016 00:47:24 EST Game Face Is On! It's time to make performance goals that will break my comfortable habits & set me free to soar! I'm not waiting for January 1st, 2017. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I've hit a plateau.....admit I need to break a few bad habits, and confessing that it's <em>128</em> TIME to put my game face on! The holidays are right around the corner... <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeopl... Sat, 29 Oct 2016 15:29:42 EST First 5K since my foot injury! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> LOTS of kids ran their hearts out too! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>312</em> <em>364</em> <em>312</em> <em>364</em> <em>312</em> <BR> <BR> Yipee! ...:::I so enjoyed my first 5K since my foot injury. Over 1,000 runners ran last night, and we all had a blast! W... Sun, 9 Oct 2016 20:15:45 EST glad I am able to run! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I was looking for an opportunity to run ....with someone or a group that would empathize with me and my fickle feet. <em>334</em> After much prayer and waiting on God to direct, I began to volunteer through at a ministry for recovering substance abuse users. They had a fitness program and needed someone to transport a group of 5-7 ladies to train for a <em>364</em> ....imagine m... Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:07:03 EST Addicted To Vacation & Better For It! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Having not been on a "solo" vacation since 1999, <em>40</em> I quite honestly forgot I even needed one until a friend suggested I take one. <em>334</em> And even then, I put the whole notion off as other important priorities stared back at me... <BR> You see, I used to travel all the time....loved it, and forgot just how much I missed it...:::being completely wrapped up in mothe... Sat, 10 Sep 2016 18:59:46 EST Moving right along - making progress! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am making Progress, but not obvious weight loss progress as pictured above.....the pic should read: "month1 ...month 2....month 3". But progress IS "progress"....and I am celebrating each small victory. <em>353</em> I have faith in my pace....I even see hope in every stumble....probably because I never stay down. <em>358</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photosaw... Thu, 25 Aug 2016 22:03:39 EST Honest With Myself ....last time I blogged, I was awaiting my lab reports - and ALL were fantastic, I am pleased to say! According to my blood count, there is no anemia, blood sugars are normal, sodium, potassium & triglyceride levels are healthy. My liver, kidneys and thyroid are functioning well, and my cholesterol levels are excellent. My doc added a personal note with the lab report....she said, " You're a trooper, Laura, have done well in the past in controlling your weight and maintaining.....I... Sun, 7 Aug 2016 19:52:51 EST Women's Wellness Report! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Well....I did have my women's wellness FULL checkup today, and :::::::.... <em>104</em> I received a <em>250</em> report! ((Thank YOU for your prayers!)) <BR> It feels good ...a relief really....that I am in good health....:::now to wait on my lab reports. <BR> <BR> One con is that my usual blood pressure that has "forever" been great was 96/50 today.....a bit low....:::bu... Fri, 22 Jul 2016 17:28:12 EST Taking My Health Back! After my initial inflammation scare in late June, the winds of research swept me away where I made a series of choices to be healthier. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> After I decided to cut out all sweets for 30 days, I felt the overall inflammation leave! <BR> I dropped 3# <em>192</em> ....and my fatigue slowly left as well. I am currently on Day 12 of no sweets...:::best choice ever! I ... Wed, 6 Jul 2016 22:50:52 EST Dealing with inflammation <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <em>67</em> Good morning friends, <BR> <BR> My energy levels are their usual high, my body from a physical standpoint grows stronger due to my daily 30 minutes of circuit training, and I eat a well balanced diet. My outlook is positive...:::mentally, I look for the good and find it in others, in circumstances and in myself. Life is good! My hope is strong, and it needs to be just... Sun, 26 Jun 2016 10:01:57 EST Spinning vs. Running <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am in the market for a reliable piece of gym equipment that will: <BR> <BR> 1.) enable me to get off of this scale plateau <em>334</em> <BR> 2.) be a safe way to exercise daily with little impact to my feet <BR> 3.) be the fitness choice that I could become addicted to <BR> 4.) be the choice that enables me to build lean muscles, burn fat and develop a toned body <BR> 5.) aid ... Fri, 27 May 2016 01:05:56 EST Getting Stronger & Staying Balanced <em>213</em> Hi Friends! <BR> <BR> Here I am on Day 28 of Spark People's 30 Day Jumpstart Your Workout Challenge, and I feel GREAT! I Love how simple, yet effective each day IS! ...and very little time spent on my PC <em>387</em> which is vital to a healthy lifestyle too! Lol! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> With 4 children going, Going....GOING, I stay mighty busy....::::happily engaged in family ... Sat, 14 May 2016 11:57:14 EST LOVING The 30-Day Jumpstart Your Workout Challenge! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Today is Day 5 for me......and already I feel and see results which also means, "I am SO sore!" LOL! <em>40</em> <em>334</em> But....I totally embrace the soreness as it reminds me of some of the <em>285</em> moments of my life....."gym time"....& hours spent running and weightlifting. <BR> <BR> I LOVE those days, and it's time for a comeback! <BR> For a month now, I... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 12:56:49 EST We have a CrAZy squirrel.... our neighborhood...:::he loves our residence in particular. Lol! <em>40</em> ...little scamp! I just caught him on camera this morning.....he KNEW I was there the whole time....and didn't care. <em>20</em> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> So here is ....climbing...up our house! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> climbing into one of our bird feeders! <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http... Wed, 23 Mar 2016 11:34:07 EST Happy Palm Sunday! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I love Easter week...::the highlight of the year for us! A time to focus on Christ and worship Him extravagantly! <em>104</em> <BR> <BR> The past month (since I last blogged) I have remained consistent with my goals: <BR> <BR> 1.) no evening snacking ....broke that habit!! <em>244</em> <BR> 2.) stayed in my calorie range <BR> 3.) consume 60% - 70% freggies/day <BR> 4.) getting ... Sun, 20 Mar 2016 11:37:48 EST Progress in My Daily Living.... .....::::and SO much to be thankful for! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This is an update of sorts (since my last blog in December....hee-hee) <em>40</em> <em>2</em> <em>334</em> - - - <BR> <BR> FAMILY UPDATE - My daughter, Fairlight, celebrated her 13th, and my "mother's" heart soared as she was blessed thru the fellowship of so many sweet friends. I can remember what a gem ONE true frien... Sun, 28 Feb 2016 21:16:59 EST Making My List & Checking it Twice <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> At first I was prepping to write about 2016 and "looking forward". Then I looked back and knew that the past year has been amazing and deserves a BIG <em>304</em> <BR> I am So thankful for how my God has blessed me, my family and friends this many answers to prayer. Some of the answers were like fireworks...instantaneous and amazing! But most of the time, He simp... Sun, 27 Dec 2015 21:37:15 EST Making Progress during the Holidays <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I passed so many signs like the one above yesterday as I drove my father to the airport. You have to understand that the weather was not favorable - the north wind blew at 25 mph, temps had dropped to 40 and the windshield felt like 30.....and did I mention that it rained the entire time?...:::to add to this - the traffic was ridiculous..Lol! <BR> So, I had the thought - I think I might "... Sat, 28 Nov 2015 10:19:42 EST Health Update Re: My Foot <em>213</em> Hi Friends, <BR> <BR> .....:::Lol! I am here at our local library ....writing my health update in a blog...feels funny not being at home writing it. However, our PC is being cleaned and polished. <em>334</em> I am grateful to have access to a library. <BR> <BR> My podiatrist had wrapped my foot in a compression bandage last week. I wore it 7 days, and at the end of those days we ruled out edema as a cause of "WHY" my transverse arch on my left foot was cramping.....m... Wed, 18 Nov 2015 18:39:17 EST