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Take the time to count your blessings

Sunday, November 08, 2009

With stores pushing the Christmas season into October it is often hard to keep our focus on the here and now. Sometimes it seems like the here and now is nothing short of depressing! The economy has tanked, gas prices are rising, healthy food is expensive, health care costs are out of sight and stress is everywhere! How do I achieve a sense of balance in the face of such chaos? We go about at a frenzied pace; working and struggling to achieve some nebulous goal - for what? Are we actually enjoying what we're doing? Are we filled with anxiety and stress? These are questions that I've recently asked myself. How do I want to begin to deal with all of this? What comes to mind is one of the first things I learned when I joined Spark People. I need to start with baby steps. Well, I don't know about you, but my first inclination is to jump in feet first and totally immerse myself; throwing caution to the wind, trying to fix everything at once. Whoa there! Time out! My time on Spark People has taught me that the only thing that approach will do is make me burn out. So perhaps there is another way.

Let's start with baby steps. Maybe I need to change the way I'm looking at things. Okay, I can do that! If I'm to start small, let me begin by looking at the blessings that I already have in my life. Sometimes I go through my day so quickly that I don't even take the time to notice those blessings. In fact, if I'm in the "poor pitiful me" mode, I may feel like I've been short changed in the blessings department. If only I had more money, better food, a nicer house, better clothes, a better job (or for some of us just any job at all), a better social life, more toned muscles, less fat, a better car etc., etc. Am I even listening to myself? What about the fact that I already have a house, car, food, clothes, a body that functions and friends? Don't they count? Maybe I should take a step back here and look more closely at my life.

I think November is the perfect time to re-evaluate my life and take stock of what is really important to me. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, perhaps I need to put my focus back on being thankful and counting my blessings. This morning, for example, there was a beautiful sunrise. The birds are chirping and the fall colors are abundant in all their glory. I live in a country that is founded on freedom; of speech, thought, religion and choices. Wow! That's a big blessing. Our house has electricity and running water. Many areas of the world have no electricity or running water. We are lucky to be cool in the summer and warm in the winter. I have food to eat, clothes to wear and a car to drive. I have a loving hubby, two darling dogs, a wonderful daughter and my body is fairly healthy. I have some sort of medical care. It may not be perfect, but I do have access to it. That makes me blessed! If I walk outside and look around, I see beauty. The sun is shining, there are flowers, trees and animals. These are wonderful gifts. If I take the time to look, I can see blessings all around me. As I begin to appreciate all that I have, a tremendous sense of peace surrounds me. Maybe this is what I've actually been missing in my life. By taking the time to look at how I have already been blessed, I have found the silver lining in my world. I have only to look for it and it will be there waiting for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2CATS2LOVE1 11/8/2009 5:19PM

    That was truly a beautiful post. More of us need to count our blessings and be happy and content w/ what we do have in the here and now. Little things are what make us happiest in life. The smile of a baby, the giggles of children, the antics of kittens, and our loved ones gathered 'round. What more could we ask or want? Life is good.

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    What perfect timing for that post. Judging from the replies I think there are lots of us that feel that we. We all need to stop- and take time to smell the roses! Thank you for bringing them to my attention. I do have so many things to be thankful for, so many blessings. emoticon

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WOLFSPIRITS 11/8/2009 1:59PM

    LOVE YOUR BLOG!!!!! IT SHOULD BE A POSTER. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYANNSCH 11/8/2009 11:08AM

    So True

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SLIMMERJESSE 11/8/2009 9:39AM

    So true! I've been concentrating on gratitude lately, along with a process of simplifying my life. It's a very freeing feeling. Have a wonderful day.

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SLENDERELLA61 11/8/2009 9:13AM

    With sincere gratitude for a timely and profound post, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving season. -Marsha

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CATE195 11/8/2009 7:51AM

    Your post is so timely. I was lying in bed this morning thinking about things I am thankful for today. Last night my husband, father (of 79 1/2) traveled one and a half hours to go to my oldest son's one year anniversary of the opening of his framing store, Preservation Framers. I feel guilty now that two years ago when he talked about leaving Corners to start a business, my husband and I freaked out and told him it was not a good time to start a business. Well, fortunately Corners went out of business and since he did not have a job he did tons of research and got professional support from family members and opened up his shop a year ago. The shop is doing great and I am so proud of him!

So back to the thankful part. I am thankful that my Mom and Dad are still living independently (except for the occasional need to have some home repairs done). I am thankful for my husband who does those repairs willingly, and is such a loving supportive guy. I am thankful for my three sons, who I saw last night and for the truly lovely wives and girlfriend that they have. I am thankful for my grandchildren who are all healthy and growing way too fast. I am thankful for 6 sister and my one brother who I saw last night.

You are so right. With all the turmoil in the world today, I am still thankful that I live in the United States. That we have a comfortable home, and a beautiful area to enjoy nature. We have everything we need, we don't NEED everything we want. Enjoy your day and thanks for reminding us to count our blessings!

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MARLIZG 11/8/2009 7:43AM

    u go girl

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Capped off the week with a 2 mile walk

Saturday, November 07, 2009

I made it to water aerobics 5 times this week! Yay! I capped off my week with a 2 mile walk with our local Spark team followed by walking the mall for an hour and a half. Altogether, I spent a over two hours in motion! The down side is that I'm really getting stiff. So it's off to bed for rest time for me. I will say that I feel energized from all of the exercise. Now if I could just get those joints to stop getting stiff, I'd be really satisfied!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VICIOUS421 11/8/2009 5:50AM

    You are doing really great!

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PEGGYANNSCH 11/7/2009 11:53PM

    Sorry i miss that walk maybe next time.
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SLIMMERJESSE 11/7/2009 4:09PM

    Good for you! Sounds great. Have a wonderful day.

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KIMS76 11/7/2009 3:41PM

    I'm lovin' it! What a way to get movin' on a Saturday! Are you ending your exercise with a cool down and stretching? That might help the stiffness. emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 11/7/2009 2:53PM

    It was a great walk. Have you tried warm baths for the stiffness? Also, massage is really good. I know a great Massage Therapist should you want a referral. Might be able to get you a discount.

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Trying Something Different This Week

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Since I seem to be so full of energy this week (I don't know where this is coming from!), I decided to try doing a water aerobics class every day (a total of 5 classes). Today was day four and I'm feeling fairly good! So far I'm not sore (keep those fingers crossed) and I'm watching for signs of fatigue. The first two days were a little rough because I has lists of chores to do after I got home from my class. By the end of the day on both days, I was stumbling around and was asleep in bed by 9p.m . Yesterday when I got home, I lay down on the bed and rested. I think that is going to be key for me. The mid afternoon rest made it possible for be to get up after a little while and fix a healthy dinner, work on the computer and complete some daily chores. I didn't go to sleep when I rested, I just pampered myself a bit until I could get my second wind. One thing that has become obvious to me is that I sleep better when I do these daily water workouts. Since I have a tendency toward sleep and fatigue problems due to hypothyroidism, the afternoon rest does help and I can still go to sleep at night. So in addition to the other goals that I posted earlier this week,, I am going to try to rest, read or meditate for about one hour on every day that I do an intense workout. We'll see how this works out. Day 5's workout is tomorrow and lets see if I'm still okay at the end of the day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAEBEALL 11/6/2009 1:09PM

    I wish that I could find that bunny! I really need him.

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YATMAMA 11/6/2009 11:19AM

    Discovering water aerobics has changed my life. I hate exercise. At my weight and with a bum knee, floor exercise kill me and I avoid pain! Water aerobics is something I so love and look forward to consistently. I'm so pleased it's working for you, too, and that you are balancing out rest and cardio. Good for you!!!


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BEAMISH7 11/6/2009 10:24AM

    What a great energetic blog this is! You go girl!

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WOLFSPIRITS 11/6/2009 9:57AM

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PEGGYANNSCH 11/6/2009 9:09AM


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1AVERY 11/5/2009 4:04PM

I love aquafit and I used to go everyday but Sunday and some days I went 2 or 3 times. I like your nap idea I may start having one when the baby has hers. See if that helps with my fatigue. I was at the doctor this morning. I am going for bloodwork on Sat. I went to an arthritis chronic pain workshop last night and it was great. Showed relaxation techniques and imaging. It really helped take you away from your pain. They also said that arthritis can cause fatigue. I also have fibromyalcia so could be anything but my problem is when I lay down I can't keep my eyes open. Keep up the good work with your aquafit you will miss it if you stop. I miss my daily workouts I can only go 3 times a week now because of my babysitting schedule. Teri emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 11/5/2009 2:46PM

    That is a great plan to rest after workouts. Let us know if it works out for you. Glad you are feeling so energetic. That is great!

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BARBSBRIGADE 11/5/2009 1:59PM

    That is awesome! I too have a problem with fatigue (due to ms)and I have found that if I do activities in the early am then take a little nap (I set my alarm) then I am usually good for the evening with the family comes home. I hope this continues to work out for you!! emoticon

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I feel like the Eveready Bunny today!

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Since I'm having adjustment problems with the time change anyway, I decided to get up and get started at 6:30a.m. this morning. (That was after waking at 5:30 a.m. and lying there for an hour!)
I started with packing my gym bag, and fixing breakfast. I make a special effort to eat a good breakfast so my day gets off to a healthy start and it really does help. After eating breakfast, I got on the computer and did my morning Spark People routine, then read my private emails. At this point hubby needed the computer so I decided to tackle some chores. By 8:30a.m. I was dressed and ready for water aerobics. The problem was, I don't need to leave the house until 9:45a.m.! So I spent an additional hour and fifteen minutes doing odds and ends around the house. Then I left for my class. As luck would have it, there was no traffic from our house to the pool. (Where was everyone this morning?) It was very cloudy and it finally occurred to me that maybe class would be cancelled. So hubby and I agreed that I'd run in and check before he dropped me off. Class was on but it was cloudy and overcast. Since I've become addicted to water aerobics, a few dark clouds weren't about to deter me! So I checked in, changed and went out to the pool. When I glanced up at the clock, I saw that I was 30 minutes early! I used that thirty minutes to do some water jogging before the class began. It was a good thing too because the temperature had dropped and a cool breeze developed. I spent most of the class trying to follow the routines in the deeper water because it was warmer there. (The water temperature was 84 but the outdoor temperature was 74!) We had a great class! After class hubby picked me up and we drove home. I spent the next hour making homemade pizza for lunch. This was followed by a trip to Wal-Mart, where I made it my mission to walk up and down every aisle as quickly as possible while tossing my items into the shopping cart. I got plenty of strange looks as I zoomed around the store (trying to use my grocery shopping trip as an excuse for exercise). I arrived home, unloaded the groceries and lined up two cooking projects. My husband gave me a puzzled look and asked me if I was in a hurry. I realized at this point that I must really be operating at full tilt and I found it difficult to slow down. So I created turkey/bean chili for dinner and baked chocolate chip cookies for my girlfriend and her family. I found myself washing the pans as I went along and when I finished, there was a plate of cookies and a container of chili for my friend, a pot of chili for us and the kitchen was otherwise cleaned up. But, I was too keyed up to eat dinner! My legs are tired and swollen from too much activity but my brain and my heart are satisfied with a job well done. I really felt like the Eveready bunny today... going and going and going! Here it is 7p.m. and I'm on Spark People and still haven't unwound enough to eat some of my chili! I sure hope I can sleep good tonight! I think I need it! Tomorrow I have a massage so I know that I'll at least have to slow down for an hour. And just yesterday I was thinking that my energy level was low and I was wondering what was wrong with me! lol
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 11/4/2009 2:44PM

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WOLFSPIRITS 11/4/2009 9:18AM

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XHASTEDMOMOF2 11/3/2009 11:43PM

    Can you bottle and send some of that energy my way??? Please????

BTW, you're doing awesome so keep up the good work!!


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MAEBEALL 11/3/2009 7:55PM

    So what did you do to get so rev'd up? I need an energy boost like that!

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What are your November goals?

Monday, November 02, 2009

I can't believe it's November already, can you? The fall colors, the cooler air and the impending holidays make November a pretty exciting month! It's also an opportunity for a fresh start. We can do this; we owe it to ourselves to commit to health. We are worth the effort it takes to get healthy.

My goals for November are to eat 5 fruits/veggies daily, drink 8+ glasses of water daily, sleep for 7+ hours a night, do at least 3-4 water aerobics classes per week plus walking, track my food and exercise and stay in my calorie range. Sounds like a lot doesn't it? I know I can do it! What are your November goals?

Just remember, together we can achieve more. If I can be a support to you in any way, just ask me. I'm here for you and I know that you're here for me too.

So....... here we go!!!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 11/3/2009 10:20AM

    My November goal is going to the Gym Monday. to Friday

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2CATS2LOVE1 11/2/2009 7:34PM

    Here in SoCal you'd never know it was Autumn. Our leaves are brown from the hot sun in the summer and today is 90 degrees!! I am hoping it cools off soon. My goals this month is to continue eating low carb (no sugar, no flour), walking and cooking more meals at home. This year I am determined to treat myself well by losing weight and eating better. Thanks for the reminders. We will do this together!!

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WOLFSPIRITS 11/2/2009 6:23PM

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