Sunday, November 24, 2013
Our BSG challenge for Week 3 is: Do you plan to control your portions on Thanksgiving? If so, how? If not, why?
Well, this year we are having a change in our previous Thanksgivings, which was having the holiday at our house for the last 25 years. But, since we sold our house and have been living in our RV, it is too small for a big gathering. So, for the first time we are eating dinner at my sister's house, and then we are leaving for our new home in Florida the next day. My sister is making the turkey for the first time, as well as the pies she has always made, and my parents and Dave and I will be making/bringing the side dishes. I am making two veggie side dishes. I do not intent to overeat, since I have a sensitive stomach, and I don't want to have bathroom issues the next morning when we will be on the road. I will have a little of everything and will not go for seconds, plus we do not plan on taking any leftovers with us.
So, I think it will be a good day, and I am looking forward to being with my family one last time before we head south.
I wish everyone on SparkPeople a happy and healthy Thanksgiving!!
Friday, November 22, 2013
I knew I wrote a blog on this before, so it was nice to go back and search for it and read it over again. www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of my current SparkFriends were around then and were kind enough to respond to it. I think I should revisit old blogs more often...I don't write a lot of blogs but they are usually long and bring back memories or make me realize things I should keep remembering as I continue to strive toward a healthy lifestyle!
Anyway, while I don't do the Tony Robbins Daily Magic routine that I talked about in that last blog anymore, I do try really hard to be grateful every single day for all the good things in life, even (and especially) when challenges and stress are part of my life. Finding a quiet time each day to meditate and think of all of life's blessings, as well as pray for others is important to me, and makes my days so much better!
At first I wondered what I could even add to the last thankfulness blog, but an idea eventually came to me that originated from many activities I did with my second graders over the years. I came up with an ABC list of A LOT of things. I started by jotting a few things down for each letter as I thought of them. I originally was only going to do one or two, but the list just kept on growing, and I had a lot of fun doing it. Here is my list! What things did I miss that have meaning in your life?
A – ART in all its forms , fresh AIR, A/C that keeps me cool on hot, humid days, and AIRPLANES that allow me to travel long distances in a short amount of time (like back and forth from Florida to PA this winter!)...oh, and A is for APPLES ...I do love them!
B – BEAUTY all around us , BABIES that can turn any frown upside down!, great BOOKS that I love to read, and wonderful BACKRUBS from my husband!
C – the spirit of CHRISTMAS that includes COOKIES and CAROLING , CHOCOLATE and COFFEE that are hard to do without, COMEDIES that make me laugh, people’s CREATIVITY, sincere COMPLIMENTS that make me feel good and appreciated, beautiful CLOUDS in the sky, CHANGES in our lives CHALLENGES that give me strength and determination and the COURAGE to take them on!
D – my DARLING DAD, who is so precious to me, DOGS of many breeds that always bring me joy, especially my own, DIVERSITY in people that make life interesting, excellent DOCTORS , and the pleasure from DANCING!
E – a quality EDUCATION, ELECTRICITY, which I take for granted until the power goes out! EXERCISE that keeps my body physically fit and full of ENERGY, my EYES that allow me to see, my EXPERIENCE that allows me to learn and grow, ENCOURAGEMENT from others that make me more motivated, and EMPATHY for others
F – FAMILY and FRIENDS, of course! a strong FAITH , FREEDOM, beautiful FLOWERS , FRESH FRUIT , FACEBOOK, which I enjoy checking out each day and has helped me reconnect with old friends, and FUN that allows us not to live life so seriously all the time!
G – GOD, GIRLFRIENDS to confide in and go out with, GIGGLES, and all kinds of GAMES to play.
H – my HUSBAND , who has been my partner and friend for 25 years, my good HEALTH, the wonderful HAPPY HOME I grew up in and the one I spent 23 wonderful years in with Dave and Sean and our pets, special HOLIDAYS , hands that can touch, pray and create, a sense of humor that makes life fun, warm HUGS , HONESTY, and the HELP that I both give to and receive from others.
I – the INTERNET and my I-PHONE that allow me to learn and connect with others, INDEPENDENCE to do things on my own , and ICE CREAM on summer days!
J – our JEEP with “Life is good” on the tire cover, decent JOKES that make me laugh, and lovely JEWELRY that I have received as special gifts .
K – all the cute KIDS who I enjoyed teaching for 30 years, adorable KITTENS , my thirst for KNOWLEDGE that is never-ending, KINDNESS from both friends and strangers, and long, passionate KISSES !
L –my LIFE! LOVE!!! LAUGHTER!!! my LEGS that allow me to walk, skip, hop and run , and great LEADERS.
M – my MARVELOUS MOM! MEMORIES that I hold dear, MUSIC!!! the good MANNERS and MORALS many parents teach their children, MAJESTIC MOUNTAINS, MEDICINE to ease and cure our ailments and disease, and precious MEDITATION time .
N – my sweet NEPHEWS, NATURE walks, my NOSE that allows me to breathe and smell wonderful scents, and the gorgeous NIGHT sky
O – OPTIMISM for the future , the incredible OCEAN with all its treasures , OPPORTUNITIES for growth, and the bright color, ORANGE !
P – PEACE on earth and of mind , PETS who give unconditional love, POETRY, PATIENCE to wait for things, PHOTOGRAPHS of loved ones and past events, PLUMBING that not everyone in the world has, PINTEREST, and PIZZA !
Q – QUESTIONS to ask and answer, great and inspiring QUOTES, beautiful QUILTS, and QUIET time.
R – RESPECT for and from others, REST and RELAXATION , RVING, favorite RESTAURANTS, ROMANCE with my hubby, beautiful RAINBOWS , and good ole ROCK and ROLL!!!
S – my dear SON, SEAN, SPARKPEOPLE and all my special SPARKFRIENDS , SMILES , nutritious SNACKS, SOUPS and SALADS , SPICES that make a dish delicious, SUNNY days , gorgeous SCENERY and SUNSETS, the different SEASONS , SPORTS to watch and/or play , SONGS that lift your spirits or nourish your soul, my SUCCESSES over the years, the STRENGTH of body, mind, and spirit, and…yes, SEX!
T – TECHNOLOGY, entertaining TV shows, amazing TEACHERS, benefiting from others’ TALENTS, juicy TOMATOES , and getting daily TEXTS from my son.
U – our great country, the USA , everyone’s UNIQUENESS, and UNDERSTANDING.
V – our country’s VETERANS, who serve and bravely protect our country, VEGGIES and VITAMINS to keep us healthy, all our wonderful VACATIONS over the years, and special VISITS from family and friends.
W – fresh, clean WATER to drink , the satisfaction of WORK well done, WONDROUS WILDLIFE , WORDS WITH FRIENDS, and a glass of good WINE !
X – hmmmm….XRAYS and XEROX machines, and the XO at the end of family and friends’ cards, emails and texts.
Y – YIN and YANG, which allows us to appreciate the good so much more by experiencing some “bad”, YOUTUBE videos, and wonderful YOGA stretches !!
Z –ZANINESS and ZEST for life and enough ZZZZZ’s to give me energy for a productive new day!
*I just realized that my assignment was to blog about the top 5 -10 things I am thankful for, so I guess my old blog fulfilled that one. If I had to pick the top ones from all that I wrote though, I would choose all the people in my life - family members and friends, my pets, my health, the blessing of being able to retire early and go to Florida, and this wonderful world we live in!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
My week 2 blog assignment for the A&I BSG challenge is: What are some Thanksgiving traditions you have done or now do with your family?
One thing I know is that family traditions sure do evolve over the course of your lifetime! When I was a child, we had Thanksgiving at my grandparents’ house on my mom’s side with my aunt and uncle and two cousins. We never did holidays with my dad’s family, so it was a small gathering back then. I have very foggy memories of what we did, but it was always about the food, of course, watching the Macy parade and football games, and being together. I remember my grandmother would love to pick the turkey carcass clean after dinner, as we made leftover packets for everyone to take home, and she made a delicious apple tart for dessert, along with pumpkin pie. My sister carried on the tradition of making them after she died.
My parents had Thanksgiving at their house a few times, when my grandparents were older and couldn’t do it anymore. And then when I was married the tradition shifted and we had Thanksgiving at our house for 25 years in a row! Everyone always brought something, and we pretty much had the same thing year after year, sometimes trying out new recipes. My dh, who is a great cook would make the turkey and sweet potatoes and creamed onions. I made a vegetable casserole, corn, cornbread and sometimes a jello salad, my mom made her delicious potato filling and cranberry relish, and my sister made the pies. My mom also would make fall flower arrangements inside small pumpkins, and I placed them on the table along with candles and cornhusk dolls. Our biggest gathering was 18, I think (small in comparison to some families, I know!) When my grandfather died, my grandmother came with her sister, and we had my in-laws, too, as well as my sister and her family, and my aunt and two cousins. But then my cousins got married and had families of their own, and the gathering became smaller again. My grandmother and great-aunt, and my in-laws have all passed away, so our Thanksgiving celebration is just Dave, Sean and myself, my parents, and my sister, BIL, and two nephews.
Now that we have sold our house this past June and are living in our RV, my sister is going to have Thanksgiving for the first time! It will be really strange, but I will be glad not to have to get ready for company or clean up afterwards! I have no idea what will happen with future holidays…we are moving to our new Florida home the day after Thanksgiving. I am sure there will be more changes as time goes on. Right now, I am very thankful to have my parents still around to share the holiday with us! I feel very blessed!
Friday, November 08, 2013
My assignment for this week’s BSG challenge is to blog about my progress the past month and my goals for this month. Oh, boy! I have been procrastinating writing this one since 1.) I haven’t blogged in several months, and I’m a bit rusty, and 2.) I feel like I should explain what’s been happening to me since August. I will try to sum it up without making this too long!
Well, it’s easy to say how my October went - there was no progress at all because I was not sparking and also not concentrating on eating well and exercising!!! But, I need to back up and briefly explain what happened before October. We were away the whole summer, full-time RVing in Bar Harbor, Maine for a month, and then Petoskey, Michigan for two weeks. I tried to stay sparking for awhile, but sometime in mid-August, I decided I needed to take a break. I wasn’t sure if I would be back or not – I didn’t even let anyone know, I just stopped logging in. I realized that I didn’t have the time to give it my full attention like I had in the past. I have to say though that it was a fun and busy summer and I had a blast! I had hoped to have time to write travel blogs to share my trips, but for some reason it never happened. Then when we came back to PA in September, my focus changed to three things…helping to clean out/organize my parents’ house (which I am still doing,) getting paperwork done for my retirement, and going to Florida to buy a home to live in for half of the year when we aren’t RVing (we went down for two weeks, the first time in September to find a home and the second time in October to make settlement.) Being retired from teaching has been wonderful so far! I am enjoying each day and too busy to really miss it! The challenge is that I don’t get enough exercise since I am not in a routine, and since we are in a transitional place, I can’t join a gym right now (we have moved from campground to campground for almost five months now!) But, at the end of October, I suddenly realized how much I missed SparkPeople and how I really needed to come back and focus on a healthy lifestyle again, along with joining my favorite Aspire and Inspire team’s BSG challenge.
So, here I am in November, back to square one! I redid my SparkPage with a new introduction. I feel like I am starting all over again, since I am back at my highest weight ever and have to remember all the things I used to do so well! I am going to make my goals for this month pretty simple – getting back to my old routines!
1.Get back in a meditation routine to start my day out right. I am focusing on gratitude this month, and trying my best to live in the present, enjoying each day, and savoring my time with my parents and son, before we move to Florida, the day after Thanksgiving.
2. Get back to eating better by tracking my food, eating 5 fruits and veggies a day, limiting bad carbs, and watching my portion size.
3. Get back to exercising each day, for at least 10 minutes, preferably 30 or more: 2 or 3 days of strength training and long walks outside or an exercise DVD for cardio.
So far, I haven't been perfect, but I am making progress! I know that this time next month, when we are in Florida, I will be well underway to a healthy lifestyle, which will continue to get better once I am settled in and have many opportunities to be active!
Monday, August 05, 2013
I have not made SP goals since May, so I can’t say I made any progress, besides getting out to take walks as often as possible, sticking with SP and not giving up, and doing the BSG challenge for half of the month with the Daisies. I am at my top weight again, so I definitely need and want to get my act together! July was DH’s and my first whole month RVing full-time. First we went to Ocean City, MD with a group of friends for 10 days, then back in my hometown area for two weeks to go to doctor’s appointments and help out my parents, and then we headed up to Maine, where we are now- staying near Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park for a whole month. The first week and a half we had friends with us, doing different activities each day, but also eating out and drinking a lot! My biggest challenge is to get in the mindset that RVing now is a lifestyle and not an endless vacation with snacking and happy hours every day!
I am determined to start losing weight and getting back in shape. I don’t have a certain amount of weight I expect to lose in all. Instead, I want to gradually change my eating habits and up my exercise, and in that process, I hope to see a 1 to 2 pound loss each week. Last week I started tracking my food again with my RV Enthusiasts Team challenge. Even though I was over my calorie allotment each day last week and gained a pound, I became more aware of all I’m eating, and now I’m starting to do better – I’ve been tracking nine days in a row so far, so that’s pretty good, and the calories are going lower, so that’s good!
Next up is tracking my water to make sure I get 8 glasses in each day. That’s pretty easy in the summer since I have a glass or bottle of water wherever I am, so I am confident I will do well in this area.
For exercise, I have recently only been walking – sometimes power walks or hikes with friends, plus walking my two dogs around the campground three times a day. I have a fitbit and have noticed my numbers are way below 10,000 steps now that we are in the RV though – I am doing too much sitting in between those walks. So, I am going to get out for longer walks or do WATP inside the RV on rainy days. I also am going to start back with ST every day for 10 minutes, so I stay consistent. I have a book that I used a long time ago (8 Minutes in the Morning) that really worked for me, so I am going to use that again and see how it goes-I purposely packed it in the RV with a set of hand weights! I also am going to remember to track my exercise - I have always been very inconsistent doing that.
Sleep – I know how important it is, and I am doing better now that I am retired and have less stresses on me. Still, I do worry about my parents and son, and I find myself having bad dreams and waking up, not being able to go back to sleep. My goal for this month is to shoot for 7-8 hours each night. I haven’t been tracking it, but I will starting tomorrow.
Finally, I am going to get back to meditating by doing Oprah and Deepak’s 21 Day Meditation Challenge. It starts tomorrow, so I am excited! I did two of them before, and I really liked them, because they are short and sweet and a great way to start out the day. It is free (although you have an option to buy it at the end.)
My last goal is to come back in the beginning of September feeling lighter, more energetic and proud of my accomplishments!
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