Monday, October 27, 2008

New Recipe

Bacardi Watermelon Rum+ cranberry juice

"the jollyrancher"

Yo whats poppin.
sunday night
at the house
wads too tight
purse too empty
chillin home

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dialogue about Chimera's and how to relieve the burden.

So here is a conversation i started to have with myself

me: you man i got this shit going on inside me this thing called an invisible complex.

you: a what now?

me: an invisible complex, you know that shit citizen activists get when there peoples have been screwed over...ya know in solidarity you start thinking you invisible in society..similarly opressed

you: really, well you know there is different levels of oppressions but it really doesnt have to do with that right

me:you know ive been asking around. others have noticed. so far i have uncovered that part of medical..

you: ya cant deny the fact that you havent been taking care of yourself.

me: well im going to doctor, thats scheduled

you: the other part of it is that feeling you always have gotten since you were small. feeling unappreciated. it kept going on in high school. the feeling of not trying hard enough...

me: shit dont down that elevator shaft. things can get ugly up in there.

you: why do you have to carry the chimora of everybody else ya know. loved that word in poetry 101

me: fucking baudailaire that crackhead...he was funny. i appreciate a man with humor

you: keep digging deeper so far we have checked list chimora's or adding other people's burden as your own....the medical shit thats far i know you cant focus and your carrying a weight.... lets explore that weight.. what's inside that sack....i keep thinking of that sack del chavo del 8 when he was going to run away from that barril

me; in that sack is the fact that I am going to support my family financially, im supporting gabe with his immigration drama, im supporting the immigrant youth movement as a whole as an organization, in vision, i feel like i can save everybody and everything, im the person that everybody gets to dump their shit on....basically

you; how is your body feeling?

me: my body hunches over, i stop breathing, i get tired thinking, i am a know i feel like nobody is looking at this direction. Like HELLO mofo's pay attention this fucking bag is heavy.

you: what do you want that bag to do

me: i want to give away the shit inside away like santa claus. I look inside the bag and I say shit this doesnt belong to me...that's your problem mister. but you know sometimes I cant fully transfer

you: what do you mean transfer.

Me: i hang on like spoiled baby not wanting to let go. I share stuff with people so I wont let go. i do that partly because I dont feel that the other person can do it right.

you: can you clarify.

me: i dont trust other people's competence.

you: i feel it goes back to that martyr complex. You take on the work but then you wont let go. you feel like its your only way to show yourself. can i ask how can you be visible and at the same time not carry that shit.

me: its only when i trust the other piece-do i let needs to be done right.

you: is it making everyone responsible that will make you free

me: it makes me happy when there is a job well done. when there is equal distribution of duties. when everybody takes responsibility and then the burden doesnt become so hard.

you: what is something you want to carry

me: i want to carry good memories. i think of it metaphorically like my own purses.
i love the feel goodness of a light tote and carrying vegetables and other goodies like chocolate mint muffin. of having a light lunch that is satisfying. I love focusing. i love meditating...and being in wellness. very few times i approach that feeling of wholeness.

it means letting go of you sometimes. im thinking of trying this out. A list of things to do considering agenda for next 4 days. and preparation and focus. that parts of the day consider the mind, the imagination, the body/physical, the food that goes into my body. It reflects in how i feel. I feel beeeeautiful ;-)

Carry on Marisol!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

GRE: Graduate Record Examinations Information

GRE: Graduate Record Examinations Information

I am studying for my GRE

I am not sure what day to take it.

I know I have to send my applications earlier my goal is October/early November

I have to figure out what to do next.....

This is the Harvard application deadline. They need to receive the GRE test score by then.
MPP, MPP/UP, Two-Year MPA, MPA/ID January 9, 2009

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Life markers

Back in 1960, 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men under 30 had attained the five milestones that mark a transition to adulthood: “leaving home, completing one’s education, starting work, getting married and becoming a parent.” In 2000, those figures had declined to 46 percent of women and 31 percent of men. One-fifth of all 25-year-olds live with their parents. “The passage between adolescence and adulthood,” Kimmel concludes, “has ­morphed from a transitional moment to a separate life stage.”

What life markers have I achieved:
+I completed my college education, I am still going to pursue my masters and law degree in the future
+I got married (check)
+ I started working full time

-became a parent- I dont want to do this. IN FACT, I am avoiding this all together
-left home-ideally I would achieve this by the time I am 30. Hopefully I can speed this up and achieve it soon

Saturday, September 06, 2008

al final de todo

In the end, one doesn't finish mourning. The memory has the bad habit of recalling things that you don't want. Im optimistic feelings eventually die off. I've seen them being taken to the grave never to return.

Today I need a warm body. Another person. A warm cup of tea. To stand outside in the rain and get soaked. I was stupid to think that i wouldnt go through this again. dont worry about it...not for a long time. Was this all to avoid that pain.

i guess. but to keep walking and never see the end, shit like that doesnt make sense anymore. i am paying a high price. this much i owe to my own stupidity. There are a couple of things I recognize though. I recognize that I push people all the time to be something that they are not. i manipulate. i use guilt. i push people down to boost my own shitty ego. and im a bully i pick on people who i can do that to. Why the fuck cant you be where I want you to be. I am recognizing it but it doesnt change the fact it doesnt change internally. I am the same stupid fuck as I was before I recognized it. Well at least im concious that it wasnt meant to be.

I think of how I use to dance to the oldies but goodies music. I used to love the the Ronnettes and all the all-girl bands. I want my beehive hair like that. Shit. I thought that feeling was supposed to last. Damn now that I think about it that feeling was so innocent. So naive. That's the sweetness of everything. You enter new stuff with so much anticipation. Like you are a freaking 5year old standing next a Mr. Softee truck. You know I actually look forward to this stuff.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

perspectives of xicana

Some inspiring quotes and poem

Xicana means Xi-People Ca-earth-Na-Yes

People Earth Yes. What do you make of that? Being open to the earth and people. But it pains me.

“Why am I compelled to write? Because the writing saves me from this complacency I fear. Because I have no choice. Because I must keep the spirit of my revolt and myself alive. Because the world I create in the writing compensates for what the real world does not give me. By writing I put order in the world, give it a handle so I can grasp it. I write because life does not appease my appetites and hunger. I write to record what others erase when I speak, to rewrite the stories others have miswritten about me, about you.”
-Gloria Anzaldua, “Speaking in Tongues: A Letter to Third World Women Writers.”

I lack imagination you say

No. I lack language.
The language to clarify
My resistance to the literate.
Words are a war to me.
They threaten my family.. . .

My family is poor.
Poor. I can’t afford
a new ribbon. The risk
of this one is enough
to keep me moving
through it, accountable.
The repetition like my mother’s
stories retold, each time
reveals more particulars
gains more familiarity.You can’t get me in your car so fast.

Excerpt from “The Bridge Poem” by Donna Kate Rushin

I am awake now, my lover still sleeping beside me, wondering how we can blend our two worlds. How to mend the holes in our pasts, walk away bravely from the nightmares.
. . .
We both have no choice but to be survivors though the fears are still there. Whenever i see a crowd of men, my heart sinks to my feet, whenever i hear sudden noises, sudden crashing, anger, male noises, their very laughter is abrasive to my ears I shrink inside, walk close to the walls of my soul, i look for a place to hide

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

All I see is water and oil. It translates to this mess I don't understand. A get the hell out of my face. Oh no this fool didn't just say what I think. Neutrality. I use that to make friends sometimes. My experience keeps asking what the fuck makes your heart happy. When does it scream on top of her lungs boy you don't make me feel lonely anymore.

so its all related

I just switched to a new birth control pill and Im a little scared cuz the side effects described dont sound too awesome. But then I wasnt fairing so well with the Yaz cuz it affected my mood as well. It made me cold with gabe and made my dry and fria all over. Wtf? Can i get something that is not going to be messing up my body.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

LESSON #1: Be more direct

Being direct is, for most everyday matters, the best way to interact. It has a number of benefits, including:

* It saves time
* Misunderstandings are reduced
* It enables genuine negotiation to take place
* You get more easily and quickly to a win-win solution
* Other people don't have to second-guess what you are thinking

Being direct is a much better option than not. Being direct is being honest and showing integrity.

* Don�t apologise profusely.
* Don�t beat around the bush, as it frustrates the other person
* Keep it short (making long-winded excuses can cause confusion)
* If appropriate give a reason for your request, but don�t make it a long-winded self-justification
* Don�t dress up your requests with flattery, which can come across as manipulation and make it more difficult for the person to refuse
* Don�t take a refusal personally

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

todays conversation

today i had several conversations with important people. From gabe, i gathered reflections of building a sustainable family and starting with my dad since he is the head of the family and more conscious one. From my part, I had to commit to engaging my dad 1-1 to develop his personal empowerment either through learning how to drive and opening his horizons to what is out there. from my parents they got excited about the prospects of getting a car. i told about getting a loan and my dad confessed that he wasnt sure where the money situation was at in the family or how much money he could afford to go to mexico. i reassured him that delta has grievances packages that can be purchased and changed.but it made me think and be cautious about a couple of things. how we going to run the house when they are gone! I have lived by myself before and I can handle things. the other thing is i wonder hwo their economic situation is now. how can we sustain things now. we need support or at least create structures of support. from my mom side she is more accepting. i dont think she can handle the logistics of things but she will be a valuable resource in terms of outreach and who to contact. we can handle the logistics. a couple of big purchases will be made. we should smooth the process before we move along. just a couple of thoughts for the night..

Saturday, July 26, 2008

my car

So now that I have my license( for reals this time yo) , I am considering buying a car. But first we should talk a little about this lovely car I tried out for a month my lovely prius. Oh woe how I treated it in the hwy and in the muggy streets of Miami.

Still I liked the quiet ride. The smoothness and if i had enough money i would buy it. I would have that money in the future but I really want to buy a used car at this point. We just need a ride at my house. It will be first car we buy.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

la victima

Sometimes I am happy he is not around and no I dont feel bad. Damn it I want to things that I love. Oh God! did you stunt my growth. My midget social life that is evolving into something different than yours. A sin! Ay dios mio nunca dije que era perfecta y mucho menos una santa jaja. Y pa que vienes en la noche damn it. pa cojer nadamas. No quiero cojer cuando me digas que quieres. Y tu no quieres que te coje cuando se me pegue la gana. Y no me gusta que me digas cuando vas a venir no me gusta la inbalancia de poder. Y tu no te gusta que este tan ocupada que no pueda dedicar toda la vida entera. Hay que fastidio. Tanta felicidad

this is where i am at

Today I took an official me day. One of those days I declare that I have had enough and that its time to break. But today was technically not that. I spent the morning sleeping. I re-cooked myself a healthy lunch and picked up my mom at the hospital to see my grandpa. I dragged her out the hospital and spent the rest of the day at the gym and quickly shopping for clothing. All in all it went well. Beyond the point that I would have otherwise spent the day walking around a queens mall, I think it was still not an official me day. I answer or at least looked at emails but thats that.Otherwise I am happy how things turned out today. Happy I finally got my jean skirt and can now don my ska attire for sunday! hurray jaja. I find it kinda sick that everyday im feeling better that he is not around. I was thinking of the egg and chicken question: the car or the apartment. The car means that I can drive anywhere I want (in theory of course jaja), run errands and at least make my life a little more adventursome. Shall we travel to NJ or upstate? we shall we shall we shall. I would feel a lot more confident as well and we would get to look for homes at our own time. The apartment. Well I want my own space. A place I can decorate and have my things. I did say my things right? Not sure I want him living with me if he doesnt contribute to the rent. So the apartment means a 1 year lease for 1700 max. Thats 20,400. Unless he is meeting half of the expenses its a definate no. The car. Im thinking of spending max 4000+2000 (insurance)+1000 (extraneous expenses)=7000. I have that money. I feel a little anxious in spending it...Oh and that dream of buying a house one day...I forgot about that one.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Compremen esto porfa....:-)

Friday, July 04, 2008


I absolutely hate chasing after grown men who act like kids. But then again I am one of them. Should I say I am not surprised? Hiding with his friend. Then his announcement also fell like cold water. But i wasnt surprised either. Im not sure why it hurt anyway. Ooooo in less traumatic events. I love etsy. I love decorating and finding new stuff in etsy. Its something my creative wing loves. Something I never get a chance. right? i am just being anal? Well congratulations now you understand the tilltilation of someone wanting you desperately

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

so lesson learned.

ive grown up fighting for my life.
since day 1 in my mothers womb
when the doctor let her know that i'd become an afterthought
well you did to save your life, she wasnt meant to be this time.
its one thing after the other
you know after a while one can lose hope easily

Friday, May 16, 2008

Blog post by Suzanne Vega- Man as Rose

Voices and Visions

By Suzanne Vega

Last time I blogged, I was about to go into the studio and see what snakes came flying out of my mouth, so to speak. No snakes this time. Just one little verse of the song “Pale Cowboy.” It’s a very restrained verse, kind of formal-feeling, which fits its subject.

If your friend is an orchid then you are a rose.
Upright and thorny against your horizon.
Still solitary with all petals closed.
In the heat when the heart’s desert sun is arising.

I wrestled with myself for a while about whether the word “heat” should be “cool.” After all, flowers open in the warmth and stay closed in the coolness. And if the sun is arising in this person’s heart, then it is morning, and morning tends to be cool, not warm, so that’s why the petals are closed. Well, it will be hotter later and that’s when the petals will be open, probably. So there is an expectation set up in the song.

When I talk about “morning,” I am talking about this person’s age and experience — if his lifetime is one day, he would be approaching the noontime of it. Well, now that I think about it he would be approaching the afternoon of it — he is a young man but still past 30. As I said, not someone I know well. So I think “heat” is O.K., and it sounds better next to “heart.” Which is important.

The guitar part is tricky and I have to practice it. I had Britt, my engineer, repeat it three times so we could see how long the finished song might be. And so that I could figure out, does it need a bridge? Maybe a section that would become a real chorus? You should know that this clip is not here just for your entertainment but to illustrate the problems I am wrestling with — that’s why I left it as it is, and didn’t just fade it out — so you can hear what I am doing in real time.
Suzanne Vega and Britt Myers in the studio recently. (Photo: Brittany Barney)

So the main image in this song is that he is a “rose.” Most songs begin for me with an image of some kind in my mind. A man is a flower in this case. If you have an image in your mind, what is another word for that? Some people might call it a vision. It is usually some kind of metaphor, which I feel reveals a deeper truth. You can say a man is just a man, but if you say he is like a rose, that gives you an idea of what kind of man he might be. Thorny and fragile. And the other man, his friend, is an orchid — open-petaled, exotic, more of a hothouse flower.

I had a cat whose name was Cow. And that gives you an idea of what kind of cat she was — fat with black spots. I had to defend myself once against a couple of Italian journalists who demanded to know, Why do you always lie in your songs? You are not a small blue thing. What is all of this about a queen and a soldier? Why don’t you say what you mean? Well, I say what I mean, but sometimes I am attempting to write something that I see in a world beyond this one, and the metaphor is the way to get there.

Many times a song will begin with a clear image in my mind, but sometimes a song can begin with a melody popping into your head. How does it come? On an instrument? With a voice? On something unearthly that is neither, maybe. It could be a clear voice that says, for example, “Men in a war, if they’ve lost a limb, still feel that limb as they did before.” I heard that line clearly in my mind and it sounded like a voice to me.

But voices and visions are scary to admit to. And also you have to make time for them, or they go on to someone else.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

about cooking and eating

My goal is to learn how to cook. Lets say 3 meals?

Alright my commitment is that by June 7th I will perfect 3 meals that my adult self can enjoy.

And since I have a vegetarian book, they will be very splendid vegetarian meals.


pragmatic politics

reading through an interesting article about obama's coalitional pragmatic politics has got me thinking about liberalize language acquisition. All this time I have been employing confrontative politics, a bit centrist in the radical tradition and have been willing to "compromise". Im interested in the reservation of the spirit to true intention a kind like Iago in Othello but with greater intentions. But what are the intentions? 2 faced? or are you pragmatic and true to a larger vision

Now what do I want to be said of me. I want adjectives: fierce, determined, intelligent,

I dont want to understood as standoffish or standard politician

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Remember who you are

ooo I really love that. I really like remembering how I used to be and how im becoming which is all about living in the present. I love sleeping in late and going to sleep late. Im learning to love the beach. I like surprises. I like being discrete and witty (is this reallya british thang). I want to travel to Europe and get paid with Euros. I used to love sex before it began hurting. I like feeling fit and and getting high from the now everyday run. i love walking and feeling the air cool my face. I love reading. I love reading stories about other countries and about young people from other places. I m fascinated by murals and street art.i love things made by hand especially paper mache toys, frames, artwork mexican, colorful work, leather journals. I love colonial city streets and getting lost in the small rincones. i wont admit it but i love traveling and meeting new people. i love coffee shops. i love my cats. i love my family. i get excited about black and white classic cinema, ska music, an energetic concert. i love my hair. i love trying make up and new clothing and having them fit perfectly :-). i love feeling sensual. the color of red is matte satin. Matte everything-photographs, makeup, art. i love jumping and energetic music. I love my eyes especially with thick black liner. i love laughing and making other people laugh. I love colorful photographs in unexpected background colors. i love the taste of mamey and rose in ice cream that i found in teotitlan del valle. I love paris in black and white. i love oaxaca in full blown color. i like the term remittance baby and the poem i have forgotten. i love blue rooms.

Monday, March 31, 2008

I feel upset sometimes because I realized that change happens inevitably. Yesterday I had the most beautiful exoerience it felt like love being engraved in a stone listening to his words and not knowing how to respond. He broke down the feeling of loving in a different language. How do I tell you that I love you in a way that made me feel loved like my mom. But this love is different

Sunday, February 24, 2008

just feeling sad again

I am feeling sad again. Today I cleaned up my grandfather in the hospital as if he was a baby. He twisted in pain both physical and emotional. One does not imagine such things to happen. At least i wasnt expecting it. He cannot speak and he barely recognizes us. He wakes up in and out of his own darkness. My mother observes him all day. I push her to think about her life and herself. As a last resort I ask her to think about the family. Most days she is alone. Yesterday she confided in me that she cries when she eats alone.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

...we gotta dance to keep from crying...

What an interesting day today...dancing and pilates....walked around...such a perfect day...drinking sangria in the park and then later a movie and then home.....

its gonna be some time before that fire inside me comes out like a note, finely perfected into a tune that I can sing to my own beat.

The body is reshaping herself. I can feel her ribs curling up in the sie of my body. I can feel the wieght of food in my body when i eat it and when ive had more than my fill. I can feel hunger and relief when eating. It feels very beautiful. yesterday, when i went to visit my grandpa at the hospital, the nurse was telling me how beautiful it feels to have a child inside of you. I thought about it on my way home but then i realized that Im not intune with my body. What makes me feel really beautiful inside?? I think that the simple processes of listening to my body and understanding its cadences is beautiful in itself. When I exercise I let my body suffer through a little stretch to wake it up. It is actually pretty joyous to feel my body change.

And touch has definately changed. Today when we made love and yesterday when we made love. I could feel that his body was willing but tired. I wrapped my self around him and my skin tingled when i rubbed next to him. my face to his face. My body has become a lot more flexible now and I feel like I could jump for joy. I have tons of energy. I feel a lot more and feel very heart beats faster in anticipation

I look forward to strengthening my body and my heart in my own terms.. I feel like I should reward myself for taking care of myself. Stay away from dairy because it makes me super bloated and stay away from my beloved cheese. I wonder if there is anything that can replace that tangy taste. Thai food has been treating me bad ultimately. Good things are coming for my body. Good things are coming into my well being again and I very happy about that!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

and then there where none

And in the end it didnt matter. All that work. All that time spent dedicated to them so that they wouldnt have to suffer one day. Its like it never mattered if I worked hard or if I didnt work hard. It didnt matter. It was all the same. they treated me like i never had a voice to begin with. I just had to take care of them when they got older that is all I did. That was all of my responsibility.

I dont understand him either. I dont particularly miss him not being in the house. He was always moody and occasionally helped around the house. There was no space in my bed. He complains that he doesnt have a place to sleep in. He complains that the chinches bite him but that is where pride takes you. Its not impossible to live in my house. He missed his friends and his privacy. I missed the me time. Those r things that just happen and make or break a relationship.

As for my parents they could make their life simpler ifthey didnt get so involved with other peoples lives

Thursday, January 24, 2008

How to prepare for weight loss

Lasting weight loss isn't just about the body, Kripalu's experts say. You've got to get your mind on board, too, and take an honest look at your life. The following exercises will help.

Start with Intention
Journal about your deepest wishes and hopes for where you will be in three months, six months, and a year. Don't think in terms of scales or sizes, says Aruni Nan Futuronsky, senior life coach at Kripalu. For example, maybe you see yourself taking long hikes or planting a garden. Maybe you see yourself simply full of energy and joyful.

3 months (FEB_MARCH_APRIL)
My goal is to gain independence by driving and driving well and confidently.
I want to feel comfortable in my body understanding that it is a process of recovery.

6 months

12 months

Determine Where Your Energy Goes
Before you shift your habits, draw a pie chart that shows how you've spent your time in the last six months. How much of the pie goes to work, your family, your friends, yourself? How might you reallocate your energy to make room for changes?

Think Positive and Start Small
Base your changes on self-love, not deprivation. For example, instead of resolving not to eat ice cream at night, sign yourself up for an evening Pilates class. And keep in mind that for many people, "details ground us in success," says Futuronsky. Rather than saying, "I'm going to get in shape," think about how, when, where, and with whom you'll exercise.

Choose Wisely
Eating a whole-foods, plant-based diet sets you up for healthy weight loss, says John Bagnulo, Ph.D., Kripalu's fitness manager and nutrition instructor. High concentrations of the essential amino acids found in animal proteins, particularly red meat and dairy, slow the body's metabolism, says Bagnulo. "There's room for small amounts of animal protein," he says, but aim to make 75 percent of your diet plant-based.

Think Fresh
Load up on veggies and fruit in the produce aisle or at a local farmers' market. Make veggies and whole grains -- barley, quinoa, brown rice -- the centerpiece of your meal. That said, don't force yourself to eat things you don't like. If you hate broccoli, for instance, try new recipes with a vegetable that you love -- perhaps Swiss chard? Snow peas? Eggplant?

Find Healthy Replacements
If you're hooked on pasta or white rice, start by substituting a whole grain a few times a week. If meat usually takes center stage at mealtime, experiment with vegetable proteins like beans and legumes (curried red lentils, for instance, cannellini beans with escarole, or black bean soup). "Beans are a great weight loss food," says Bagnulo.

Eat Right
Managing your blood sugar helps reduce cravings and binge eating and keeps insulin levels low and steady. "When insulin levels are high, your body will store more of the food that you've eaten as fat," says Bagnulo. "Keeping your insulin levels lower allows your body to use your fat stores as fuel for your energy needs."

Go Easy on Sweets
Minimize consumption of added sweeteners, such as sugar, fructose, honey, and especially high-fructose corn syrup.

Eat a Hearty Breakfast
Try to eat at least 25 percent of your calories at your morning meal, says Bagnulo. And choose low-glycemic foods (those that won't spike your blood sugar), like whole-grain oatmeal and blackberries or poached eggs with a slice of whole rye bread. "Studies show that when people have a low-glycemic breakfast, they're not as likely to binge on the wrong foods later in the day," says Bagnulo. They're also more likely to choose whole foods for the rest of their meals.

Avoid Flour-Based Foods at Dinner
Flour puts glucose in the bloodstream, so eat flour-based foods like breads or pastas only when you're more active and will burn it off-after breakfast or lunch. At night, even a couple of slices of bread can "counteract the weight loss you're after," explains Bagnulo. Don't mix fats and simple carbs. "Fats consumed with insulin-raising foods are more likely to be stored as fat," says Bagnulo. When eating avocado or olive oil, for instance, choose whole-grain breads and brown rice over refined carbs. When eating beef or lamb, Bagnulo advises avoiding flour-based foods, choosing whole grains or beans instead.

Rethink What You Eat When -- and How Much
Undereating, especially at midday, can backfire, says Bagnulo. "I'm not a big fan of having just a salad at lunch," he says. A plate of lettuce may make you feel full temporarily because "you've eaten a lot of bulk," he says, but you'll crave those calories later. At lunch, toss tuna and avocado with olive oil and lemon juice and pile it on a slice of whole-grain bread. It's fine to include salads with your meal, but save main-course salads for dinner. As for portion control, Kripalu takes a novel approach. With a whole-foods diet -- vegetables, whole grains, healthy protein -- "you have the freedom to eat until you're full," says Bagnulo. On the other hand, flour-based products like pasta and bread or refined foods like white rice require more attention. These foods affect your blood sugar, so keep the portions small (half a bagel, a cup of whole-wheat pasta)

Prioritizing exercise is essential for weight loss, but that doesn't mean you have to become a gym rat. Kripalu's fitness philosophy is "do what fits into your life," says Jennifer Young, director of Healthy Living programs at Kripalu. "We try to give people things they can do at home." Get your heart rate up. Cardiovascular exercise is critical for weight-loss, says senior fitness trainer Bianca Wallen. Jogging, speed walking, and biking are all good choices since they're "portable." When setting priorities, choose three intense workouts each week over five gentler ones. "If you're walking and having a nice conversation, you probably aren't walking fast enough," says Wallen.

Build Strength
Strength training helps weight loss because it builds muscle (which burns fat), says Young. If you don't go to the gym, keep a set of three-and five-pound weights in an accessible place at home. (For a starter routine, visit Body+Soul's Weight Loss Guide.) Need a break from what you're doing? Instead of heading to the fridge, put on one of your favorite songs, grab the weights, and do a few sets of arm exercises. Need a change of scenery? Embrace yard work. Mowing the lawn with a push mower, digging in the garden, and carting mulch around in a wheelbarrow will get your muscles working.

Practice Yoga
Maintaining a regular yoga practice can enhance your weight-loss regimen, says Wallen, primarily by toning muscles and reducing stress. (High levels of stress hormones, such as cortisol, may be linked to abdominal weight gain.) Aim to practice for at least one hour, two times a week. Wallen recommends varying the type of yoga you do, from gentle to more intense styles.

"We can't know if we're full if we aren't connected to our bodies," explains Futuronsky. Breathing exercises and meditations will keep you grounded in your senses and help change habits.

Life-Force Breathing
You can increase your energy and connect to your body by learning to breathe more fully, says Futuronsky. Take 10 minutes a day to practice the following exercise: Lie on your back with your hands on your belly. Relax your abdomen, chest, and face. Let your bones get heavy. Then draw a breath in through your nostrils and feel your belly rise and expand. Next, direct the breath to your ribcage and feel it expand. Then fill the top of the chest with air. As you release the breath, feel the upper chest, then the ribcage, relax and fall. Let the belly release and fall at the end of the exhalation. Squeeze the last bit of air out of your lungs, and then relax and start again.

Conscious Eating
When we disconnect from our bodies during meals, either because we're multitasking or using food to numb our feelings, we tend to overeat and choose foods that provide quick rushes instead of long-lasting nourishment. Find one meal a week to consciously slow down, says Futuronsky. If you can, take the meal in silence. Turn off the TV and radio, and light a candle. Put the food on the table and then take a few minutes to breathe deeply. Notice the smells and colors of the food. Then slowly take your first bite. Take time to appreciate the taste and textures in your mouth. Chew slowly and thoroughly. Set your fork down between bites. Take your time. Listen to the signals your body sends as it moves from hungry to full.

Ten Truths

1. Gratitude is the most transformative force in the cosmos, because gratitude is love. Sarah says, "When our hearts our broken, we don't think we have much to be thankful for. We don't have to be smiling when we say 'Thank you.'"
2. Your happiness increases the happiness of everyone who knows you. "We have so much. All we have is all we need. All we need is the awareness of how blessed we really are."
3. Whether we live passionately or not is a choice we make. When writers write, the most important emotion is conveyed between the lines. "I want to live in between the lines, where the depth is."
4. Those who live passionately teach us how to love. Those who love passionately teach us how to live.
5. Big changes come with small choices. "Little changes [and] little choices add up to be revolutionary changes in your life."
6. The more risks you take, the luckier you become.
7. Nothing hurts you more than your expectations. "If you trust life and learn to embrace it and try not to control everything, then life can be more wondrous than you thought it would be."
8. Our relationships with others are only as emotionally healthy, happy, holy and content as our relationships with ourselves.
9. The only wound your soul never recovers from is regret. "What I know for sure is that we don't have the luxury of regret any more. The past only asks to be remembered."
10. Cherish each morning and give thanks for each evening. "I think the greatest gift September 11 can give us would be that we learn to cherish our imperfect lives."

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