VISUALLYRICS's SparkPeople Blog VISUALLYRICS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 Disheartened But Not Defeated <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> Good health is such a gift! My prayer is to do all I can to be healthy....and I know it is truly the daily consistent healthy habits that pay off in the long run. Honestly, I have been a bit disheartened about my fluctuating health with "stuck scales", foot issues & our ever changing family schedule that doesn't seem to allow me to stick with a steady gym routine. ....hint... Thu, 12 Nov 2015 22:47:47 EST Chess: The Healthy Lifestyle Game <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just found this gem of an idea recently. Since, I cannot attribute it's originality to will remain anonymous for now. <BR> The game of chess consists of 16 different pieces: 1 king, 1 queen, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights & 8 pawns. And in the clever "healthy lifestyle" chess game, the players are motivated through the symbolism of each player as follows: <BR> <BR> <BR> <i... Sat, 7 Nov 2015 21:18:28 EST Soaring With My Cello <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Today I played my cello for our 4 church services....:::first time a cellist has been a part of our live corporate contemporary worship service. Within 5 minutes, I knew that this is what I was created for.....::::I had such a blast! To worship the Lord with my instrument in such a unique way was amazing! <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 11 Oct 2015 15:06:15 EST Choosing JOY! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> My podiatrist increased the arch height in my sport orthotic yesterday at my appt....:::I hope this helps. It is challenging to find ways to work out when my foot is not 100%. LOL! ....kinda funny that my heels feel great...but something is tweaked in the middle of one foot. <em>40</em> BUT I'm looking to Jesus though...the Author and Finisher of my Faith. He reigns! <BR> <BR> <BR> <im... Fri, 2 Oct 2015 11:45:17 EST Choosing to ride a positive wave... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Hi all! <em>213</em> <BR> <BR> I just updated my numbers, and have what appears to be a short distance to get back to my goal weight....:::but I KNOW how hard/long it can take to lose those last few pesky pounds. So here I go, anyhow:::....time to brush myself off, celebrate my post-injury status and take wise small steps forward! <BR> A wise friend recently told me that, "Maint... Sat, 12 Sep 2015 18:13:09 EST Believing I CAN is the first step... <BR> <BR> What a splendid 1st week of school it has been. The children have had fantastic attitudes, eager to learn, and willing to be challenged again & again. We have ended either on time or a bit early each day. I feel as if I have been given an award simply due to their good spirits and our progress! <em>150</em> <em>244</em> <em>205</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> My cello studio has r... Thu, 27 Aug 2015 18:58:25 EST A Salute To Friendships <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Thanks to SP friend (PRESBESS), I am inspired to maintain thru her own faithful example. I also recently jump started my journey with her through a "no sugar challenge"...:::it was just what I needed. It seems sugar has been in abundance everywhere I turn this summer....and I needed to make a clean break with it. I in fact do feel stronger! <em>362</em> <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http:... Fri, 14 Aug 2015 22:32:28 EST Laughter is the best medicine. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring my mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens my burdens, inspires hope, connects me to others, and keeps me grounded, focused, and alert. So bring on the laughter...I sure could use some. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:11:03 EST Remember When? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Do you remember back in the 'old days'....when being "active" was just about everyone's lifestyle? I find it refreshing to look back & learn from the past. How healthy those days were! ....::and she's even wearing a dress! <em>36</em> People chose walking and cycling over driving. <BR> Whether then or now, making my lifestyle an active one is my goal. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src="http... Sun, 31 May 2015 23:23:40 EST PROGRESS!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I have seen so much Progress in my journey since I got back on track mid-March. <em>356</em> I am so excited to announce that I have lost 7 pounds <em>535</em> already!! <em>104</em> I began my new journey when I received my orthotics inserts from my podiatrist. <em>312</em> <BR> Being able to run jump started my desire to embrace my beloved healthy lifestyle once again, and get SERIOUS... Thu, 30 Apr 2015 08:55:40 EST Spring 5% Challenge Exercise/Nutrition Commitment <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Spring 5% Challenge Exercise/Nutrition Commitment <BR> <BR> <em>362</em> <em>324</em> Circuit train at my gym for an hour 2 days/week <BR> <BR> <em>318</em> <em>312</em> 30 minutes of cardio daily <BR> <BR> <em>4</em> "Out of sight/Out of mind" Keep only healthy foods handy. <BR> <BR> <em>521</em> 70% daily consumption of Freggies <BR> <BR> <em>274</em> 10 glasses of water daily... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 22:22:45 EST Good news regarding my foot! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> You may remember that just about a year ago, I felt like I had injured my foot. <BR> My update has been long in coming, but I am so glad to report that my foot is recovering. I did everything I knew possible to help care for that foot, but finally I was able to afford to go to my podiatrist...thankfully!! <em>20</em> <BR> If you need a refresher, here is my blog a year ago... <BR> <BR> <link>www.spark... Thu, 5 Mar 2015 21:50:32 EST Maintaining an Attitude of Wholeness Here I am settling down to write my usual monthly blog. . .and I thought I was busy last year. LOL! ...I really was, but must have shifted to a faster gear this year. <BR> So, veteran moms/dads, you travel thru the junior high and high school years, do you travel at light speed? <em>3</em> <em>334</em> I am guessing the answer is YES. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> I hope Lucy is right because I am one... Sat, 31 Jan 2015 01:33:10 EST Our Mystery: SOLVED! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> <BR> ....:::Our tale of mystery:::... finally SOLVED! <BR> <BR> We had been smelling an odor not unlike that of a dead animal for months. How frustrating our search became as we cleaned every inch of our house searching for the culprit. <em>20</em> <em>40</em> From unearthing furniture, to moving the fridge, cleaning under the water heater deck and heating/cooling unit's deck, searching the attic, ... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 21:21:12 EST So Much To Be Thankful For! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am so so Blessed....just needed to pause and express my gratitude! <BR> <BR> The Bible says, “In everything give thanks for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”. (1 Thessalonians 5:18) <BR> <BR> How effective it IS to Live this verse out daily. My life has been enriched through speaking words of gratitude. This exercise has changed me. <BR> Our family played a thankful game yesterday where... Wed, 26 Nov 2014 13:21:41 EST ...:::Progress! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Look how time flies::::.....almost a month ago, I blogged. I used to blog weekly. <BR> Well, I suppose I'm a monthly blogger now - what a schedule we have with children now in junior high & enjoying Youth Group events! Praise God for ALL He provides in our lives - Blessings abound everywhere. <em>144</em> And I love this time of year - Autumn has always been my Favorite season. <BR> <BR> <BR> <img s... Fri, 24 Oct 2014 22:54:16 EST