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A quest for a Healthier Balanced Life

Hi! I am a Georgia girl, and have lived here all of my life. My mom and dad raised us on a semi-rural farm where we raised our own cattle for beef and chickens for laying eggs (when they were too old to lay any more we slaughtered them too). We had three gardens. One small one that my grandmother managed, and two large ones that my dad managed. We grew organic vegetables such as black-eyed peas, green beans, tomatoes, okra, yellow summer squash, silver Queen corn, potatoes and sweet ...
Hi! I am a Georgia girl, and have lived here all of my life. My mom and dad raised us on a semi-rural farm where we raised our own cattle for beef and chickens for laying eggs (when they were too old to lay any more we slaughtered them too). We had three gardens. One small one that my grandmother managed, and two large ones that my dad managed. We grew organic vegetables such as black-eyed peas, green beans, tomatoes, okra, yellow summer squash, silver Queen corn, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sometmes we grew pumpkins, strawberries, sugar cane, and sunflowers, spinach and turnips. We also had an heirloom apple orchard that was rarely sprayed for pests. We used it for jelly, juice and slush (which is a fantastic treat to eat in the winter time). We had a few small grapevines that produced just enough grapes for homemade grape jelly and a little grape wine that my mom toyed around making for a year or two. We had a couple of blueberry bushes, and a four fig bushes. The railroad tracks ran back behind our backyard and my mom would send my brother and I (4 and 6yo) to pick wild aspargus, and plums from the plum trees that grew there also. To top that all off, my mom had grown up in a homemade cake business, so she was always baking breads, cakes, pies and cookies.
Ok...I think you get the picture. Growing up, my life was centered around food. Even though it was good, organic, homegrown pesticide free food, my life was centered around food. My dad lost his dad shortly before the Great Depression when he was 4 and so he grew up with very little. He was the youngest of four children. They lived on a farm and that was their lively hood...the source of their survival. So, when he married my mom he told her he didn't want to see the pantry get bare, Lord willing. So, she worked putting away the produce that he provided. Food was at the heart of our home.
When I entered the world, I was a stout german looking little girl. My mom suffered being underweight all of her life and worked very hard to gain weight. I on the other hand, being the oldest of four children I was the odd ball. I was the only one in the family with weight issues, and being the shortest didn't help any either. During my eighth grade year, my mom got me started on Weight Watchers. Back then the program was quite strict. I had a cousin who was a director of W.W. at the time. I lost just over 25 pounds and maintained it by the time I was in the tenth grade. By then I was so involved in sports, that I didn't have to worry much about being on W.W. anymore. I had learned alot about foods, the ones that had become my enemy, such as bread (which I ate my mom's homemade whole wheat bread, and homemade busuits every eve with supper). If I had more than 2 slices of bread or, really, more than 2 servings from the bread category a day, then I would gain for that week. I also learned how to make my own yogurt. That was fun, cause then my mom would let me put a spoonful or two of our homemade strawberry jelly or peach preserves into a cup of it. As I continued to grow up, through highschool and college I continued to stay very active in sports, which kept the weight down. Then, when I was 23, I got married. I became more and more sedentary and the weight crept back. My husband lost both of his parents at a young age. One of the first things he said to me was that he didn't want to see the pantry get bare, Lord willing. Wow! Isn't it funny how somethings repeat itself. ok. So, at 25 my dh and I began our family. For the next ten years I was fighting the pounds that kept creeping up on me. I gained 10 pounds with each baby. We had five very healthy children. And then I continued to gain about 5-10 lbs. a year. I still ate alot like I did at 20. I just didn't want to give up my foods. During those years, when the children were young, I broke ground in our back yard to start a garden. My dh just watched from the window and would laugh at such a wacky wife...pregnant and digging out weeds and rocks from the large plotted out square garden. I grew most of what my dad did. The difference was that my dad did the hard labor while my mom put up what my dad produced. Here I was doing it all, along with raising the children and homeschooling. It was what I thought was the best thing to do at the time. Well, the children and I have been fairly healthy through the years. In December of 2007, dh had a heart attack that was followed with a cardiac arrest. I thank the good Lord above for giving him another chance to live. Prior to this time, because of my background, you can understand my plea with him to eat healthy, and to make healthy choices. (please don't misunderstand me, I dont' ALWAYS make healthy choices, but it is my goal in life to continue to STRIVE to make positive choices. This wasn't my dh goal in life.) His goal was immediate satisfaction. If he wanted cake for lunch, that is what he ate. If he wanted to sit in front of the TV and drink two liters of Diet Coke or Pepsi that is what he had. It is so hard to watch a loved one throw away good health. Oh, it is so painful. And so, this is leaving our house divided, in that my children are growing up with the same disrespect for their own bodies.
Over time, I have had to learn that I can't change them, but I can make sure that I continue to strive to make healthy choices for myself...including healthy lifestyle choices. Since my dh's heart attack, he is slowly becoming more aware of my choices, and seeing that He can make them too. Now, I just pray that our children will understand this before too much damage is done and before it is too late. Dh and I have not gardened for several years.
I have been studying herbs and alternative mdecine for over 20 years. This has been a hobby of mine and I enjoy toying around trying to grow herbs from seeds, and occationally purchasig potted herbs in the summer. My favorite is basil, thyme, chives and mint and parsley.
I have tried many differnt weight loss programs, such as, Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, the Gold's Gym Apple a Day diet. I have read up on the Atkin's diet, South Beach diet, and the Seven Pillars Maker's Diet. I have studied different types of detoxing programs, such as Dr. Coldwell's detoxing diet, and Dr. McCombs. But what has made the most sense to me, and is the most practical for me, is the Hallelujah Diet. I follow this loosely, as it is difficult to expect the family to eat the same. Small changes, small steps wins the race. The key focus is incorporating vegetables into your daily menu. It requires a little pre-planning for me, because I tend to want to revert back to my average Standard American Diet. In my world thereare no two days alike. I tend to find joy living spontaneously. So, I keep a variety of vegies and fruit in the refridge. I grab many of my menues from the American Diabetic Association Month of Meals book. They are flip cards that you can interexchange for your meals, breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. All of the meals follow a 1500 calorie/day menu. If your daily calorie intake is lower, all you have to do is follow the very simple elimination; leave out one carb for breakfast, one fruit for lunch, and one fat for dinner.
Spring and Fall is a very busy time at our house as we usually have three or more of our five children are playing ball. Now that they are becoming older teens, some can drive which is a big help in easing the stress of juggling the ball schedules. When I take one to ball practice, I usually spend the time walking.
Currently Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I spend late mornings working out with the Wii Fit Plus, and Wii Dance 2 programs, and Hip-Hop Abs. On Tuesday Thursday, I follow the Biggest Looser Challenge program, and use SP to log in my daily calorie and activities. I do timed interval walking 3-4 miles on Tuesday and Thursday at the local mall. On Saturday, I walk for endurance, walking 5-10 miles. I try to work it out to find a GA hiking trail nearby to walk. Sometimes my kids will walk with me. But for the most part, I am on my own. My oldest daughter and I may be walking in some marathons this spring and summer. I am hoping this will work out.

I have a tendency to talk too much, in this case, write too much. But I hope that you have seen through the information shared here that we are all seeking a similar goal. A goal to find a healthy balance in our own lives. Everyone can handle different levels of stress. Stresses can be, of course, healthy or harmful. I hope that I have been a bit encouraging sharing some of my own struggles and how I have learned to overcome them. I trust that you all will feel welcomed to share insights, and comments. That we can all learn and grow from each others strengths and struggles. However, keep in mind there is power in Possitive thinking and writing. Blessings to you all, and thanks for visiting.
Read More About 5BLUEBIRDS (Updated February 21)




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Member Since: 4/23/2010

SparkPoints: 10,111

Fitness Minutes: 12,156

My Goals:
Loose 65 pounds to be in the 'healthy' zone.

Loose about 1 lb./week.

Drink 8- 8oz. of water a day.

Take vitamins and supplements daily.

Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a day.



My Program:
ok. I began my second round of work with SP, daily logging in foods and exercise from January through March. In April, I turned all of my efforts solely to the Spark! I bought the book, read it front cover to back. Then, I read it again...slowly. I have been using the program since April of this year, following the diet AND exercise program. Because of my eclectic background in diet and nutrition, I occasionally pull a meal or exercise routine to add some personal interest...but let me tell you. The exercises here WORK! They are challenging and interesting. I like to do them in the mornig and evening. I am constantly looking for times to walk/jog. This time of year, I am usually working in my yard (about 3-5 hours/week).
Back to the diet, Being a mom of 5 teens, our meal schedule is very sporatic. So, I have found that the SPARK is very flexible to use. I look a week ahead and on either Sat. or Sun. I do some pre-cooking to prepare for the dinners. For instance, I p

Personal Information:
-lived in GA all of my life,
-Married for 24 years
-have 5 kids
-struggled with my weight all of my teen and adult life

Other Information:
-love to learn about herbs, hope to have a garden of herbs one day
-love to bake goodies for people, especially my family
-right now, my favorite music is Modern Country

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Member Comments:
CORINNEMOMMY
12/27/2011 7:17:26 AM

Hope you are having great holiday time this week!



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CORINNEMOMMY
11/23/2011 9:40:00 AM

You probably don't need hat and gloves but GREAT WORK ON TRACKING YOUR GOAL:

Get outdoors with your kids for at least 30 minutes 2 times per week
Don't forget to track the calories you burned! http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/calori
es_burned.asp?exercise=149


KEEP IT UP!



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CORINNEMOMMY
11/16/2011 7:35:58 AM

Keep up the great work! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!



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LAURA1970
8/8/2011 11:45:42 PM

Thank you for your insightful comment on my blog. I've been all over the place with calories. It's especially hard because SP has its formulas and they are based on certain amounts of activity, etc. I exercise a lot sometimes, but sometimes not as much, so it's hard to figure out how to gauge calories. Right now, I'm drinking 3 Boost drinks per day with one healthy meal. It's working for me and I like it because it's so hot that drinking just feels better than eating. Anyways, thanks for your comments.



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CRAZYGAGRANNY
7/8/2011 10:52:03 PM

Hi, I hope you are still on line my Georgia Friend. Sounds like you love doing things right up my alley.
I live in southeast Georgia on a farm. I love working in the garden and having fresh veggies all the time.
I would love to hear from you!
Barbara



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