100,000-149,999 SparkPoints 137,849

Joanna through the years

Me at my heaviest in 1998

Me at 18





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2016 Goals
- lose 15 pounds
- get under a BMI of 30
- read one book a week
- hike 3 days a week
- ST 3 days a week
- do yoga or tai chi at least one day a week

More INFO about me...

I am 56 years old and I started at 264 pounds in 1998 and have been trying to get down to 150 pounds since then.

I have rheumatoid autoimmune disease (RA), which sometimes makes it difficult to exercise but I know that I always feel better afterwards. Sometimes you just have to push yourself to get going and once you're going, the pain often goes away.

I've been married for 32 years and counting. We had one 18-year-old cat named Ogoni who died in March and no kids by choice.

I'm close to my family. I have dinner and play Scrabble at my Dad's house every Friday night and visit with my 4 younger sisters regularly.

I'm a music-a-holic especially alternative-rock and classic rock.

I love reading. My favourite genres are mysteries, romantic suspense and YA fantasy and sci-fi novels.

I also love reading cookbooks and fitness books.

I love exercising to DVDs and have over 150 workouts. My favourite forms of exercise are strength training, dance, kickboxing, hiking and swimming.

I love native art and most of the art in our house is of the native sort.

I used to love gardening until my RA took a lot of the joy out of it so now all my gardens are in pots. I usually grow various herbs, tomatoes and geraniums.

I enjoy cooking when I have the time and I love trying new recipes and I have a filing cabinet drawer full of recipes plus two shelves on the bookshelf filled with cookbooks. I typically cook all my meals for the week on Sundays so I don't have to cook after work, which I hate doing.

I hate being cold and have told DH that more than anything, I want to become a snowbird when we're retired (live somewhere warmer than Canada during the winter months). In the meantime, I go to the Caribbean with my dad for one week every February.

I have a wonderful job working for wonderful people. I'm the Admin Secretary for our municipal water and sewer maintenance department. One of the perks of my job that I especially like is that I'm the only woman and get treated like the Queen Bee and that makes me very happy.

I had a bad 2015 that started with a cough at the end of February which I still have, lots of changes at work that were made worse by the number of times I took sick days due to the cough so that I ended up having a nervous breakdown at work in August so I took 3 months off from work on stress leave. I lost the hearing in my left ear at the beginning of November and it's still that way.

However, on the plus side, I lost 18 pounds during the year, most of it when I was off on stress leave since it turns out that when I'm stressed, I don't eat and I'm restless so I move more.

Additionally, I rediscovered my love of hiking in the woods behind our home and found it to be a wonderful stress reliever and I get depressed if I don't get any hiking for days on end. It's my meditation.

Although, feeling so stressed all the time was not a pleasant feeling at all and prohibited me from enjoying life to its fullest, I was extremely lucky to have wonderful support from my family but especially my husband who was very protective of me and when anyone stressed me out, he offered to be the point of contact so I wouldn't have to deal with them.

I also spent more quality time with him. He often hiked with me (and still does) and we just enjoy hanging together and listening to music and talking and laughing. In the normal day-to-day grind, having fun with each other often falls by the wayside so it was nice to rediscover our friendship as he helped me cope with things that were stressing me out.

Hopes for 2016
- get rid of the cough
- get my hearing back
- find a new family doctor
- work full-time with fewer sick days and less stress
- be more positive and not complain so much

Member Since: 9/8/2007

Fitness Minutes: 136,206

My Goals:
To lose 15 pounds by the end of 2016.
To read a book a week in 2016.

My Program:
To follow the SparkPeople program.
To exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day 5 times a week incorporating strength-training along with cardio.
To drink 6 cups of water a day.
To limit junk food/bad fats.

Personal Information:
I live in Ontario, Canada with my husband, named Jake. I have no kids by choice but 13 nieces and nephews, whom I love and spoil. My birthday is May 12, 1960 and I've been married to Jake since March 24, 1984.

I'm an Administrative Secretary for our local municipal government. I work in the section where our guys repair watermains and sewers and I'm the only woman in our section and I LOVE it!

Other Information:
Favourite colour: red
Favourite book: The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence
Favourite movie: Benny & Joon
Favourite season: Spring
Favourite number: 8
Email: bkwerm@gmail.com

Read More About BKWERM - Profile Information moved here. (Updated September 3)

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 Pounds lost: 75.0 
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    Thanks for stopping by my page! :) I am working with some new health problems so I won't be joining BBC yet but will tell you if and when I am ready again! :) Have a lovely evening!
    192 days ago
  • v SAASHA17
    hi Joanna

    thank you for the goodie..you had me tear up..thank u for being such a wonderful friend!!! and thnak u for the support...hopefully soon...

    yes definitely need a vacation..I was thinking of maybe planning a weekend cruise with Prasanth soon...
    204 days ago
  • v KAREN2LOSE55
    Yes, it is my 3rd time to change my name. A gal said how my Seattle name was confusing, with me living in MN now for years. I'd been thinking that too, for a long time. I had many people confused. So here we go with being on a new venture. emoticon
    211 days ago
  • v _LINDA
    I have had this before, its benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It can only be treated by a trained physiotherapist with special equipment. I had been to see a specialist and was misdiagnosed with Meniere's but that wasn't it, and thankfully someone in his office gave me the tip of going to a dizziness clinic. Crystals in the middle ear that are needed for balance get into the wrong place. With head manipulations and a special helmet that monitors eye movement, they can tell when they are moving (from eye movement) and generally know which way to move the head to get them back into position. I was hoping they would go back into place on their own, but looks like they won't. This is the longest I have had it :-( If I don't move my head too much or too quickly its not bad.
    225 days ago
    Joanna, Thanks for the SparkGoodie and thinking of me. I'm fine... my DH and I were on a pilgrimage trip with our pastor to Lourdes, France then across Spain.
    I logged in to SP on the app to track and keep my streak going, but didn't have time to even look at the Friend Feed. Don't know if you've ever gone on a group tour (it was our first) but it was a whirlwind... we walked up to 3 hours a day, then were often in Masses, vespers, rosary processions where cell phone use was not kosher except for sneaking some photos.

    I'm so glad you have a diagnosis at last. I have needed a stronger Rx than the 1st line one, that should hopefully be easy to find. And a good thing too, because untreated it can cause damage that can cause cancer of the esophagus later.

    Hope this cures the cough and ear problems. Be well!
    256 days ago
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