ZAIVALA's SparkPeople Blog ZAIVALA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community New Starts I'm not sure what I'll be doing here, if I come back, but I thought my friends should know... <BR> <BR> I got married 11/27/2016. Having a wonderful time. And yesterday was my 64th birthday (that's one fewer Beatles song I can sing). I have to spend the next few months and over $4000 getting the US Government to let my Canadian bride remain here. I'm still driving Uber, with ups and downs. <BR> <BR> I hope everyone is having a great life. <BR> <BR> Hugs, <BR> me Mon, 5 Dec 2016 02:57:57 EST Thankful As the year winds to its end, I am thankful that I have enough friends and family to remember and appreciate me (and be remembered and appreciated by me), enough funds to stay afloat (and enough credit to smooth out the rough patches), enough food to eat and share, enough outlets for my talents, and just the right amount of cats and musical instruments. May everyone on Earth be so blessed! So mote it be! Sat, 26 Dec 2015 14:06:09 EST Catching up I'm still getting settled in to my cabin, although a lot of the settling in is just feeling unsettled. I've been eating more than I "should" -- that year of living with my last girlfriend and starving myself down to 205 has resulted in a lot of "catching up", and I've caught up to 265 again. I'm in a situation where I easily could get exercise, like on my 7 acres of woods with hiking trails on the property I'm living on, and just haven't done it. I may have to be here a while longer before it... Mon, 23 Nov 2015 04:45:14 EST Been a while I have moved. I still have some things to move and need a couple bookcases to put my books away (two of the three I had were too flimsy to move) but my friends who are now my landlords say they have some and will bring them. I have until the end of July to get everything I'm taking out of there. <BR> <BR> I am now living in a lovely little cabin with all amenities on the edge of 7 acres of woods and walking trails, with three circles cut into the land (one of them needs to be refurbished a ... Sun, 5 Jul 2015 12:16:48 EST Moving right along I'm still doing the bounce. I managed to stay under 250 this holiday season, and am currently 2 pounds higher than I was prior to Thanksgiving. But the stresses are decreasing, including the fact that I should be completely out of debt by July (or so close that I can round it off in August). That's over $6000 worth of debt in 7 months! That indeed will be a huge stress relief, and if I can keep my job, I will be in the best financial condition I have been in for decades, maybe ever. Hope I ca... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 10:56:13 EST Lost ground Weights on Dec 24: <BR> 2007 - 252 <BR> 2008 - 266 <BR> 2009 - 246 <BR> 2010 - 244 <BR> 2011 - 242 <BR> 2012 - 227 <BR> 2013 - 208 <BR> 2014 - 246 <BR> <BR> I like the way it was going (although I was starving myself to death to get to the 2013 mark), wonder how I could slip so far. Wed, 24 Dec 2014 10:54:37 EST Stringing Myself Along My new teacher gifted me with a beautiful Irish harp, so I have something I can do enthusiastically every day. Learning a new instrument is always exciting. Still stuck on my geas and I need to get my articles done for Peppermint and Sage -- you have all been reading P&S, haven't you? Have I neglected to mention I've been writing for an online pagan journal for over a year now? Hmmm. <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> Hu... Wed, 8 Oct 2014 10:25:15 EST How come balloons are lighter... From the time I moved to my new apartment last March, I have gained weight. It's not that I'm eating too much -- I'm almost always under the calorie limits recommended by SP -- but it appears I was totally starving while living with my past girlfriend, probably only getting half the calories my body needed. I'm now working on getting the calories I take in to be healthier: veggie juice, cultured milks, less of the ramen and mac-n-cheese diet. <BR> <BR> In the past couple days, my desire to s... Thu, 2 Oct 2014 11:27:56 EST Bard Me I had a wonderful thing happen. I may have mentioned that my spiritual Family named me Bard last year, a position for which I have no training save my musical ability and occasional songwriting. The last Bard in the Family passed quickly due to cancer before he could pass the training on. <BR> <BR> Because of my feeling under-prepared, I joined ADF (Ar nDraoicht Fein, Our Own Druidism) in the hopes of getting some bardic training. Last week, the lady who has been head of the Bardic Guild de... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 10:36:42 EST Falling off Had several friends and a cousin visit me lately, all of them bringing or buying food. My scale broke. So am I. Going to be a few weeks before I can get another one. <BR> <BR> But I'm safe and happy and it has been a long time since those things have b een true. I have lots of SparkFriends and friends on Facebook and IRL friends. So I'm not in danger of eating my way back to anything, just took a side trip. I was hanging around 205-208, probably up as high as 215 now, but that's still in sh... Mon, 21 Apr 2014 11:48:31 EST Moved In All my stuff is in now. My stress levels are way low. I have tons of stuff to do, but I'm doing it one box at a time. It feels so good to be out on my own again. I hope it's a long time before I'm whining about needing somebody. I have lots of good friends, online and off, and a couple wannabe sweethearts that I can just keep away from. <BR> <BR> I'm still putting my new budget together along with my apartment. I lost my jacket, and it had a couple of my good pipes in it. Still not finding s... Wed, 5 Mar 2014 09:32:21 EST Moving Right Along I got accepted for an apartment! Yayyyy! I can move on with my life, and get out of the Big City. It means more driving to work every day, but when I'm home I can just walk everywhere. My health care, grocery store, bank, post office, library, etc. are in walking distance, even a pizza place! <BR> <BR> Thanks to all of my friends sending positive energy for this to happen! Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:00:08 EST Druidry here I come As a birthday present to myself, I joined Ar nDraoicht Fein, the main organization of druidry in North America. I've known Isaac's work for several decades, and helped as much as I could during his final year, and have become friends with his widow, Phaedra. I have been named Master of Bards by my spiritual family and felt in need of bardic training. I don't know what other signs I needed. So I bit the bullet. Have not received my intro materials yet but hope to be kept very busy with my new... Tue, 10 Dec 2013 01:40:06 EST No gain, no pain Well, maybe a little pain, but not my body. I managed to get through Thanksgiving with zero weight gain. The only negative is that I did not get to spend the day with my family as I had to work. The positive of that is that I got one plate of food brought home for me, not an all-day munchfest. <BR> <BR> Still at 205.4 this morning. Will I break 200? Will I remain below 220 over the Winter? And does Charlene marry Trevor? Stay tuned! Fri, 29 Nov 2013 11:24:28 EST Finally Did It This morning I stepped on the scale and saw <BR> <BR> 205.6 <BR> <BR> In early November 2003 I weighed 305. I was busting out of my 48 waist jeans and had to decide either to quit taking my psych drugs and take control of my own health or buy 50s. <BR> <BR> Today I'm wearing 36s. Still have a bit to go but hey, when you can say you're 33% less than you used to be, you know you can do it. <BR> <BR> Shoutouts to my wonderful Challenge Team at Pagan Place and The Lady Mary. Mon, 25 Nov 2013 11:28:21 EST Moving along I've been having a hard time at home, pretty much since I moved in in February. What I have to gain is enormous, what I have to lose if I fail is enormous, but day to day issues are also enormous. A good bit of the problem is that I don't make enough money and my fiance has no income other than food stamps for herself and her daughter. <BR> <BR> My SparkFriends have been almost bombarding me with SparkGoodies to keep my spirits up, and I adore them and appreciate the thoughts. <BR> <BR> I h... Sat, 16 Nov 2013 21:23:06 EST A Bit Premature Well, it was only a month or so back that I was lamenting the fact that I wasn't losing the weight I wanted to. <BR> <BR> Usually September is my last month of weight loss. Apparently this is not a usual year. <BR> <BR> I haven't hit last year's low of 209.8 yet... but was 210.0 this morning so I'm happy, especially as I appear to be continuing to lose. <BR> <BR> Not all of this is good news, as life has been very stressful, but I'll keep that to myself and my Team. <BR> <BR> Hugs, <BR> M... Fri, 8 Nov 2013 10:43:48 EST Yummier By Yule 2014 We just started another Challenge in Pagan Place. Same set up as usual, you get points for losing weight, doing cardio work, doing weight work, supporting other Team members, and, if your other points total 15 or more, you can count your Daily Login Spin. Going until Dec. 21. so it's not to late to get in. Email me at and I'll send you a spreadsheet which makes it easy as pie to keep track of your points; if you need to join the Team, well, join it! Never hurts to have ... Sat, 2 Nov 2013 15:05:01 EST ...But Holding Steady While I have not reached my stated goal of less than 200 pounds, or even reached last year's low of 209.8, I have been holding pretty steady around 217-220. I hope I can hold this over the Winter, although that may be wishful thinking based on past Winters... <BR> <BR> I have been trying to drum up support to run another Challenge at Pagan Place. So far we have 3 other people, but I know from lots of experience that this is not enough to complete a successful and stimulating Challenge, so i... Sat, 12 Oct 2013 12:53:07 EST Not getting there Well, my low this year has still been 218 in June, have been hanging 220-222 ever since. So I'm not going to make my goal of 200 or even 210 this year. It has been a very stressful season, with new responsibilities that I just don't seem to be rising to the challenge of -- despite the fact that people keep telling me I'm doing fine. <BR> <BR> So the goal now is to make sure I don't rise higher than last Winter's peak of 238. Can I keep it below 235? How about 230? I will be buying some new... Thu, 15 Aug 2013 10:43:49 EST Good day Got a bit of practice time in on my guitar last night. I don't do that enough, and it is important for my self-esteem. What is more, my honey got a free sample of a pain relief product in the mail and I tried it on her. She is in chronic pain, to the point of pain clinics and regular use of Schedule II painkillers... but after two applications of this stuff, she was up dancing. Any time my honey is happy, I'm happy. This is a one-time thing, we only have two samples of it, and I have no idea... Sat, 3 Aug 2013 10:00:28 EST Bearing Down For some reason, my seasonal weight loss has stalled. I dipped to 218 earlier than last year, but rebounded to 220-222 and am holding there. I only have 7 or 8 weeks before I start trending upward as Winter approaches. Hope I can drop some, but I'm not likely to break 200 or even 210 as I had hoped. So my goal is to hold my Winter weight lower and try again next year, meanwhile trying to get as low as possible in the coming weeks. Mon, 29 Jul 2013 09:01:43 EST Bear Report My Winter high was 236. Last Winter's was 248 if I remember correctly. And I'm starting my Spring Thaw -- down to 225.2 this morning. <BR> <BR> No, I didn't win the Powerball. Would have helped. <BR> <BR> I got a new diagnosis this Winter, one I should have gotten decades ago - Asperger's. I'm having trouble finding supports for this, except... <BR> <BR> I have a new job, one that validates me as an individual and lets me help other disabled individuals. The training is killing me, being a... Fri, 10 May 2013 07:43:34 EST Home At Last I am now moved in. I have moved my life, cat, TV, computer, etc. from tiny Blaine TN into the Big City, Knoxville TN (can you say Big Orange?). <BR> <BR> Since early December, I have gone from being alone and having almost nothing to having almost everything I ever wanted. I have a woman who loves me completely for who I am, not what she wants of me or thinks she might make of me. She respects me, likes me, loves me, is WAY attracted to me. She is the best friend, lover, Priestess, everythin... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 11:26:18 EST Going Musical Just wanted my SparkFriends to know that, at age 60, I finally got talked into going into the studio to record my first professional CD. Here's how it happened: <BR> <BR> I attended, for the second consecutive year, GAFilk (The Georgia Filk Music Convention), and got some time in on my guitar and vocals. (Filk is the music of Fantasy and Science Fiction, often folk-based as is mine.) The appreciation of my music, as it usually is at these kinds of conventions, was very high. <BR> <BR> I got... Sun, 20 Jan 2013 15:57:03 EST Doin' the Bear Thing It's January 2, time for my Official High Winter Weight. <BR> <BR> 231.8. First time I've been over 230 this Winter, but... <BR> <BR> Last January 2 I was 248. The January 2 before that I was 272. <BR> <BR> My Autumn low weight have been 234, 223, and , this year, 209.8. (All these weight are from memory, but I have the logs to check.) <BR> <BR> So it's a roller coaster. But I like the general trend. <BR> <BR> This year I blasted the heck out of my Goal Weight. Next year maybe my origina... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 15:16:11 EST Bouncing, Down Here's my recent weight history, thanks to keeping my Challenge Spreadsheets in the Pagan Place Challenges... <BR> <BR> 8/2/10 - 242 <BR> 11/13/10 - 244 <BR> 1/24/11 - 248 <BR> 2/3/11 - 243 <BR> 9/1/11 - 229 <BR> 10/22/11 - 228 <BR> 2/3/12 - 244 <BR> 5/2/12 - 230 <BR> 8/2/12 - 221 <BR> 8/21/12 - 215 <BR> <BR> Up in the Winter, down in the Summer. I'm getting FURTHER down in the Summer, now have to try to not bounce back up this Winter. Bears and all, ya know Tue, 21 Aug 2012 07:38:08 EST Moving along I had my big show yesterday. It went better than expected, not as well as it might have, and my energy ran out on me after my second set. I barely had the energy to drive home, and if I had stayed I might have had more opportunities to play. When I got home I hit the mattress and had a 2-hour nap. <BR> <BR> But I'm still losing. Eight pounds in the last 3 weeks, and I'm within sight of my goal weight, set 3 years ago and so long unattainable. I can't tell you how many times I have considered... Sun, 29 Jul 2012 10:14:51 EST Big Loser Four days ago I hit an all-time (last 30 years) low of 225-point something, and to show it was not a fluke, I had consecutive 225-point-somethings the next two days. Yayy me. This morning I was 22THREE-point-something. <BR> <BR> I now own 2 pair of size 36 waist jeans (see, it was so exciting I almost typed 38 and would have been happy). I no longer can wear my 42s or my honey's 40s. I will be buying Wranglers for now, until I stop shrinking -- the brand I prefer costs too much to shrink ou... Sat, 21 Jul 2012 10:37:34 EST Amazing Shrinking Man Well, the 42x30 jeans I was wearing just 6 months ago were literally falling off me without a belt. So I was wearing 40x30s, and they were feeling loose. Saturday I went jeans shopping at Voldemart (The Store Which Must Not Be Named) and tried on somed 38s. They felt a bit loose still, so I got some 36s. They fit! Granted they were "relaxed fit" but that still counts! <BR> <BR> I haven't stepped on the scale for several days, but I've been hanging between 227 and 233... might have dropped a... Sun, 24 Jun 2012 19:42:59 EST New theory I have been tracking my weight for years, thanks to the fact that I run a series of Challenges in a SparkTeam. I have noticed that my weight goes down in the summer and up in the winter. That appears to be something I have no control over. My goals are for the RANGE to get lower and maybe narrower. If I expect myself to maintain the weight I get down to in the height of summer, that is an unreasonable goal because my body WILL start storing fat as the weather gets cooler. <BR> <BR> So. In th... Sat, 26 May 2012 11:18:18 EST Job Interview I've been on Disability since 1998... for a mental illness from which I have largely recovered but still have some challenges. I have not been able to find work to supplement my SSDI, and it's not enough. I got trained in January of 2009 as a Peer Support Specialist... but all the jobs available at that time were full time, so I could not pursue them. I obtained my certification as a Peer Specialist effective December 29, 2010, and started applying for jobs...only to hear silence. <BR> <BR> ... Wed, 30 Nov 2011 11:14:58 EST Part-Timing I've been on SparkPeople for a few years now. Have an impressive number of points. Still not to my goal, but not that far from it. <BR> <BR> What have I lacked? Commitment. But in my case, it is because I have so bloody many things to commit to that I do each of them as a part-time job. I put in the hours I can when I can, and hope that I am advancing toward my goal of being the man I want to be. There is some evidence that I'm succeeding, and some evidence that I need to put more work into ... Fri, 11 Nov 2011 12:18:24 EST Whack-A-Mole This has been a very hard time for me. I keep getting knocked down, and get up again. Maybe I'm whining a bit less each time, so that could be a good thing. But this has gone on for months now. <BR> <BR> I got a place to live. It's nothing to write home about unless your parents are demolition experts. Now I'm finding all the deposits for water, electric, TV, Internet... I'm already having to get most of the money for the move from my mother, which galls me that I still need to do that at my... Sat, 27 Aug 2011 15:08:20 EST Getting by Not really getting back into my work, either weights or cardio. Hopefully as the weather warms up I will have fewer excuses. <BR> <BR> I'm about to jump to the next Trophy, get that tomorrow (today if I post a lot of messages to people). Always wonder what I'm doing to deserve it, but that's a jalapeno pudding so I won't eat it. <BR> <BR> I love my SparkFriends, y'all keep me going. Fri, 25 Feb 2011 16:02:42 EST What I Did With My Weekend I tried to post a blog here... the system kept telling me "No profanity please" but refused to identify which word(s) it felt were profanity. So please, especially if you are one of my friends or in one of my SparkTeams, go to and read the blog there (it's also on my MySpace blog if you're on my friends list there, but Xanga lays it out so much better and is my primary blog). Mon, 22 Jun 2009 15:40:12 EST Bleh, Winter So I got my new bicycle... just in time for the coldest Fall ever. My weight has increased over the holiday season. Time to get serious and get into the gym, which I promise to do either later this month or first thing in February. <BR> <BR> And what is it with SparkPoints anyhow? I tried to give thousands away in SparkGifts, and my total didn't even budge. I'm only a few hundred away from the next level, which I have perhaps earned by participation but certainly not from meeting my weig... Tue, 13 Jan 2009 05:45:11 EST Oh, I've Been Out In The Woods All Day... Well, actually, a long weekend... Sapphire Spirit picked me up around 4:30 on Thursday afternoon, and we went to Splendor Hollow for SerpentStone Litha Gathering. Had an absolutely stunningly wonderful time, but I still had to watch my energy levels and take more naps than I'd like... it also threw my daily schedule way out of whack. <BR> <BR> Good news -- I ate almost no meat over the weekend, lots of starch (which is OK on my diet), some salad... with all the walking I had to do and all t... Tue, 26 Jun 2007 01:28:17 EST It's The Binge OK, I do not binge all the time... just the last couple hours of the day. Yes, I've read that you should have NOT eaten four hours prior to sleep. Doesn't help yet. <BR> <BR> I'm also a cigar and pipe smoker. If I could afford the cigars, that would not be a problem -- I do not smoke around others (very rarely do I find someone who doesn't mind), smoking a cigar is a 45-minute commitment (re-lighting a cigar, at least what I've been smoking, is a baaaaaad idea)... so when I have a suffici... Wed, 20 Jun 2007 17:36:50 EST