Tag Archives: app

Meditation Recommendations

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Meditation Recommendations

Hi everyone! Something that I really enjoy doing is going to a meditation class offered by my local library. The woman who runs it, Joann Xi, is the founder of the Center for Health, Happiness, and Chan. This organization promotes a mindful and contemplative lifestyle and teaches the art of meditation to those in the greater Akron area. During class this week, Joann gave us a paper listing some helpful books, apps, podcasts, and websites that she recommends and I thought that I would share it with all of you. And, if you are interested in seeing Joann in action, check out my blog post which features her YouTube videos. She’s amazing!

From Eastern Traditions:

Books:

  1. The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation as Taught by S.N. Goenka by William Hart
  2. Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  3. True Love by Thich Nhat Hanh
  4. Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism by Chogyam Trungpa
  5. Bringing Home the Dharma by Jack Kornfield
  6. The Wisdom of No Escape by Pema Chodron

Podcasts:

  1. Insight Hour Podcast with Joseph Goldstein
  2. Ram Dass Hear and Now
  3. Heart Wisdom Podcast with Jack Kornfield

Websites:

  1. https://www.secularbuddhism.org/
  2. https://www.lionsroar.com/

From Western Traditions:

Books:

  1. Invitation to Love by Thomas Keating
  2. Intimacy with God by Thomas Keating
  3. Contemplative Prayer by Thomas Merton
  4. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
  5. Fully Present by Susan L Smalley and Diana Winston
  6. Mindful Work by David Gelles

Audio Books:

  1. Going on Being by Mark Epstein
  2. Going to Pieces without Falling Apart by Mark Epstein

Podcasts:

  1. 10% Happier with Dan Harris

Apps:

  1. Headspace (Westernized version of eastern meditation practices)

YouTube:

  1. Zen Den
  2. Cosmic Kids

Websites:

  1. https://www.cac.org/
  2. https://www.couragerenewal.org

Integration of East/West:

Books:

  1. Living Zen Loving God by Ruben L.F. Habito
  2. The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale
  3. The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

I hope that some of these wonderful options to help introduce you to meditation or further your practices prove to be beneficial to those who need it. Once a skeptic, I truly believe in the power of meditation and the amazing work that Joann is doing, so please enjoy!

Who else participates in meditation? What are some ways that help you to relax? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Pacer Update (Finally!)

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Pacer Update (Finally!)

Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I updated you guys on my Pacer pedometer app progress and, honestly, that’s because there wasn’t much. This past month and a half has been a total doozy. I was so mentally and physically drained, and the last thing that I wanted to do was commit to walking 10,000 steps per day when I could have been laying on my sorry behind watching TV!!

But, that wasn’t really getting me anywhere and, as soon as the events that were taking place in my life that caused me a lot of anguish turned around, I was excited to pick up the Pacer again. This past week, I have been really dedicated to getting my 10K steps in at least four days of the week and I have blown that goal out of the water. It feels good to get myself moving again and although a lot of progress hasn’t been made, I’m back on the horse and I’m proud of that. Take a look at my stats:

  • Steps Taken: 1,364,282
  • Calories Burned: 33,311
  • Miles Walked: 445
  • Hours Active: 211
  • Days As A Pacer User: 177

I was also really pleased to see that I’ve been more active than sixty percent of the users on Pacer because, the last time I did an update, I was at a measly thirty percent. I doubled that! Things are looking up, and my exercise regimen is back in full swing, which makes things seem like they’re looking up even more! I feel really happy, and I can’t wait to get my 10,000 steps in today! 😀

Who else uses a pedometer app? How do you get back on the horse after a hiatus from working out? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Duolingo Progress (Finally!)

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Duolingo Progress (Finally!)

Hello!! So for a solid month I felt like I was completely slacking not only on Pacer, but on Duolingo, too. I was feeling super unmotivated and depressed and, damnit, I just didn’t feel like doing anything. But, now that I’m back to my normal, chipper, go getter self, it was time to get back on the horse and start making some progress again.

I’ve recently began working on my advanced French and beginner Spanish again and, I’ve got to tell you, it feels great. The mental exercise that I get from spending time with my languages daily makes me wonder why I ever stopped practicing in the first place, because I feel so good afterwards. In fact, it has motivated me to start practicing sign language again, which I took a hiatus from after having difficulty finding folks to practice with. Regardless of regular use or not, knowing a plethora of languages is an amazing skill to have, and I want to keep sharpening those skills on the daily.

I was halfway nervous to start practicing my languages again after a depression break, because I was worried that I had lost all of my knowledge in one short month. But, like riding a bike, I was able to pick up right where I left off and have since been enjoying every second of it. I’m proud that I didn’t let my anxiety about forgetting my skills get the best of me in regards to whether I should bother practicing again or not. And, even if I did forget anything, the worst that could happen is that I relearn something – and what’s the harm in that?

I’m getting back to feeling great mentally and physically after a rough past month and I am ready to continue making daily progress again just like in the good old days! 😀

Are you learning a new language right now? Who else utilizes Duolingo? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Pacer Progress (Or Lack Thereof)

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Pacer Progress (Or Lack Thereof)

Hello everyone and happy Thursday! This past month has been a total and complete shit show and, needless to say, my activity level has been pretty low. All of my motivation to make big gains on my pedometer app has essentially flown out the window, and I’ve been having a hard time peeling my depressed self off of the couch. So, my stats for the month are definitely not the best. 😦

  • Total Steps: 959,262
  • Calories Burned: 23,591
  • Hours Walked: 148
  • Miles Walked: 315

And, to make matters worse, my activity level dropped from being ninety percent more active than the people using Pacer to a whopping forty-three percent. Whomp freaking whomp.

Now that I realize how low I let my movement get during my depression stupor, I am SO ready to get back on the horse and keep going until I start making good progress again. It’s going to be difficult, because I’ve been feeling so sluggish lately. But, once I get started, it will go back to being easier to get my 10,000 steps in no time. So, here we go!

How do you get yourself back on the horse after a stint with depression? What motivates you? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

More Pacer Progress

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More Pacer Progress

Hello everyone and happy weekend! My last Pacer pedometer update was written on May 19th with a step total around 600,000. That’s a pretty big number, so I wasn’t expecting a huge amount of progress to be made in twenty-four days. So, imagine my surprise when I checked my stats for this post and ended up adding an extra 275,000 to my step count! I couldn’t believe it either, but I’m so happy about it! Here are the rest of the stats for this month’s update:

  • Steps Taken: 874,580
  • Calories Burned: 21,546
  • Hours Active: 135
  • Miles Walked: 287

After seeing such great results, I found myself wondering just what I was doing to get myself there. And, it has a lot to do with the wonderful Metro Parks that Ohio has to offer. For the past few weeks, I have gone on nice, long hikes at least twice a week if the weather allows it. Dogsitting for my neighbor and walking her pups twice a day for a week didn’t hurt, either!

For the most part, I have been exceeding my goal of 10,000 steps per day and I’m really proud of that. It feels good being more active, and completing my goals almost daily like it’s nothing now makes me feel such a huge sense of accomplishment. I had no idea that downloading one simple app would work such wonders on my self esteem, but I am so thankful for it and am looking forward to reaching my goal of 1,000,000 steps soon. 😀

Who else uses a pedometer? How many steps do you walk or run per day? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Birthday Freebies

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Birthday Freebies

Hi everyone! As you all know, Lil Red balls on a budget and that means embracing rewards programs at my favorites stores and eateries like it’s my job. So, it’s no surprise that when my birthday month comes around, I get bombarded with all of the deals and freebies like nobody’s business. If you sign up for the different apps and rewards programs listed below, you can get in on the freebies, too!

  • Small popcorn at Regal movie theaters
  • One burrito from Moe’s
  • Free dessert from the Olive Garden
  • Small smoothie from Robek’s
  • Drink of choice from Starbucks
  • Makeup product from Sephora
  • Makeup product from Ulta
  • Bread sticks from Pizza Hut
  • Medium pizza from Hungry Howie’s

Obviously, I have been eating REALLY good lately and the price has always been right when you don’t pay a cent for it! Happy birthday to me, INDEED! 😀

What other stores and restaurants offer birthday rewards? Which rewards programs are you registered to? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Proud Pacer Update

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Proud Pacer Update

Hello! This past year has definitely been a struggle as far as my weight goes. As a recovering bulimic and a lover of binge eating, my weight jumped to a number that I was not happy with this year. My life has been extremely stressful, and binge eating did bring me a lot of comfort when I did it – but, the weight that I gained was totally not worth those before bed snacking sessions.

As someone who is recovering from an eating disorder, I had to *gasp* try and shed this weight the healthy way. And, let me tell you, it was a real bitch at first. From self harming to purging, my ways of feeling good were a quick fix. And, we all know that that isn’t what weight loss is in the slightest if you want to do it the right way!

I knew that I was making slow and steady progress as I attempted to complete 10,000 steps per day and work on my portion sizes during meals. But, I didn’t realize how much progress until I finally gained the courage to get on the scale, which is my worst enemy. I stepped on, took a deep breath, and was so happy to see that I lost twelve pounds!

I may not be loosing weight as quickly as I would like, but that doesn’t undermine my accomplishment any less! I am really proud of myself for actually doing this the “right” way for once in my life – totally self harm free. I am hoping that I can lose another ten pounds to get back to my normal weight in the next few months. But, for now, I am super happy with my progress so far!

Pacer Stats:

  • Days Active: 73
  • Steps Taken: 604,994
  • Calories Burned: 15,000
  • Active Hours: 93
  • Miles Walked: 200

(And, this is pre-written so the above stats are slightly higher!)

Who else uses a pedometer to help keep them active? What are your methods for losing weight? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah