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Fitness Challenge - I'm rocking it!

Friday, August 08, 2014

At my job, the company started a 12 week fitness challenge and it's just what I needed to get myself back in shape! I'm just thrilled it's not a 3 week challenge and that it is for 12 long weeks! I really feel that it is a long enough time to REALLY see and feel a difference, as long as I put in the effort. So, I've made a personal goal to do a minimum of 3 miles a day. Now, personally, I do the Leslie Sansone walking tapes because they are low impact and I have degenerative arthritis in my lower back, three herniated discs in my back as well, arthritis in my knees and am currently dealing with bursitis, tendonitis and arthritis in both shoulders (not fun!). This challenge started on the 4th (this past Monday) and on Monday and Tuesday, I did her 3 mile walking workouts. I not only did that, but I walked on my breaks at work. On Wed, Thursday and Friday, I walked her 5 mile workouts and also walked on my breaks. I've lost 5.5 lbs since Monday as well.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I hope to get outdoors and walk our local lake, which is 3.5 miles around and I'm not sure yet, but I may attempt to walk it twice tomorrow... My son will go with me and he'll run it at least once and he'll probably just sit down and wait for me the rest of the time! LOL

With this boost to my exercise, my diet has jumped right back to where it should be. I rarely feel like eating poorly when I'm in the exercise mode. So, I've been feeling pretty good, except that early this week, my legs were cramping up alot when I slept. I have been going to the physical therapist for my shoulders and they said to keep well hydrated and stretch very well and that my body is just adjusting to the new fitness and diet (as I was not very faithful to it for the past few months as I used to be).

A friend from work who I had turned on to the Leslie Sansone tapes has lost over 60 lbs since using them and watching her diet came to visit and talk with me the other day. She is constantly thankful to me for introducing her to these tapes. She let's everyone she comes across know that she has lost all the weight due to my influence on her (which is sweet of her). She and I were talking and she told me that her sister and niece saw her at a family gathering not long ago and never said one thing about her weight loss... although everyone else were gushing over her. I told her that it was not at all a reflection of her or anything to do with her, that I came across that all the time. Since I've lost about 140 lbs myself, I see this all the time. I know that some people are just not ready to "see" weight loss in someone because it's almost like them seeing themselves all too clearly. That isn't something they are ready to do.

What almost all those people don't understand and REALLY get is that I KNOW them! I was them. For about 20 years, I was who they are. I've had people hear me talking about my weight loss to someone and walk away. I've had them go to another part of the room, so as not to hear me, while many others want to know how I did it. When I've put my mind to losing the weight, the weight usually came off. The key to my success with weight loss was usually me, my mind. The mind is soooo very powerful. There are tricks and key things that I've learned along the way that help me out but basically it boils down to just plain discipline.

When I start to hear the excuses, then I know they aren't ready. Excuses? Do you think I'm being harsh? I'm sorry, I don't think so. I was near 400 lbs for near 20 years. I KNOW excuses. I used to give them! I haven't heard one that I haven't used myself. Let's put it this way. There isn't one that I haven't heard that is new to me. But, when people are ready? That's when I'm excited! I'm absolutely ready to help out.

My friend is one of those people. She came up to me. She had huge back problems. She told me that she couldn't exercise. I told her that when I started, I felt that I could not either. She told me that she had a bad back. I told her that I did, too. She told me that she had disc problems and it kept her from exercising. I told her that was an excuse. This is the part of the conversation where people usually walk away from me. But, she stayed. She now tells me that she knew that I had some secret to share, because she saw that SOMETHING was working for me, so she stopped to hear what I had to say and that was someone who was ready to listen. For me, the Leslie Sansone tapes were perfect for me and my low impact needs. So, I told her about them... told her the moves I used to have a problem with, told her that Leslie tells you that if you can only do minimal moves, that's ok, just to move. She must have kept up with the workouts, because she's down more than 60 lbs now! She gives me the credit daily, but it was really her! She did all the work and she was READY! She was determined.

That's the determination I currently feel in this challenge. I have done this before and lost 150 lbs, then gained some of it back... now I'm ready to go forward again and this 12 week challenge is going to help me do that. The last time I pulled out Leslie's tapes, I only exercised 4-5 days a week and I'll be honest, it was probably 4 days a week. I also probably averaged 2-3 miles a workout... well, maybe 3 miles. I saw results... but I want MORE. You have got to put in the work if you want the results, you just have to. It doesn't come if you don't work for it, but it's soooo worth if it you do!

I'm so looking forward to how I will look and feel at the end of these 12 weeks and since I have about 70 lbs to lose, I'm pretty sure that I'll make another daily challege for myself after these 12 weeks are up!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRIMSONFYRE 8/13/2014 9:09PM


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MEWHENRYSMAMA 8/8/2014 11:56PM

    Wow, how amazing to be someone's inspiration and that you have insight and appreciation for her adulation!
The walking tapes by Leslie are great...a small amount of money for something you can do at home without equipment!

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RODRIGUEZ41508 8/8/2014 11:14PM

    What an Inspiring Blog ! emoticon
It is definitely motivating when we sign up for a fitness challenge and challenge ourselves into it. You are right, that it's all in our mind and how determined we are to focus on our goals. Once we get our mind into it and know what it takes to get results, then everything else falls into place. Thank you for sharing your blog and inspiration about not just you but your friend as well. I have a Leslie Sansone DVD (Walk and Kick) and I Love how she motivates and encourages you to follow her along through the work out. I wish that we had a 12 week challenge at my work too, but like you said and I know that it's all in our mind and Believing in ourselves.....I will make my own challenge to challenge myself for 12 weeks too !!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Hopes for our blog and how we want to live our life.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

It is so hard to continue to go to work everyday knowing the life we want to live isn't exactly what it is now. We want to live one that is more on our terms. We always do have fun and make the most of what we have, but we desire more freedom. To cut our living expenses down is key to being able to bring things to a manageable level for us. When you are able to look for a job and not have the stress of needing the pay to be a certain amount but knowing that you can take a job that will make you happy and being confident that the paycheck you bring home will actually cover your expenses. Now, that is security!

I'm not sure about you but I've watched those tv shows like Cedar Cove or Haven (well, not Haven so much if you have actually WATCHED that show! LOL) but shows with beautiful landscapes and thought to myself... "now, I'd really like to LIVE in a place like that!" Well, with RV Living, I might just be able to! I can then relocate and move to another gorgeous place and try that out. How cool is that? That's part of the dream. To experience an area, really experience it. Live and work in it, meet the people, KNOW it! That's part of the dream.

Since we've lost a considerable amount of weight, we've both become more active. We used to just sit in front of the tv and not move... EVER! Well, now that we are more active, we'd like to take that and BE more active out in the world. That's where the blog comes in. The direction I want to take the blog is to go into these communities and then write about our experiences... write about their hiking trails, their biking trails... the farmers markets (that'll keep us healthy) and any other healthy type of thing I can think of.

My son was involved with local theater and that gave me a love for local talent and I'd like to explore local talent wherever I am, so I'd like to check out local theaters, free concerts, festivals and things like that.

We live in a town with the most amazing library. Actually two. A wonderful Children's library and an Adult one with some amazing programs like Author lecture series and just some amazing things they offer the community for free. We'd like to explore other libraries in the country to see what they offer their community. My husband reads books constantly and will possibly give a review or two of books.

We are nerds and geeks and if there are science conventions out there or something like that, we'd find them and go to them as well.

I love photography and day trips to things that even the locals never seem to know about, so I tend to find those types of things to do.

We don't drink and we would be living frugally, so we probably won't be reviewing bars and restaurants that much... although Ivan does love coffee and I love Chai, so that may be on the agenda from time to time.

I'm looking forward to the kind of website/blog we'd be writing and the kind of life and explorations we'd be making! Do you see now why it's so hard to go to work every day???

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEWHENRYSMAMA 8/3/2014 11:14PM

    I do understand...but think of this as the time to fine tune your goals and planning time...your doing it already....I look forward to your the people you meet, things you find and do and pictures to go with It....see, I am planning with you! LOL.
Do a count down board....

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Today's Trip to NYC - Trumpet City 2014

Saturday, August 02, 2014

Today, I took a trip into NYC. I watch a site called and it basically tells all the goings on about NYC. Since it's a town I often like to visit, I like to go there to see things that are unique and different and inexpensive. Well, this month, NYC is doing a "Summer Streets" program and today they were doing a Trumpet City installation. You can read about it here:

Christopher is due home today from his time away at PGSS (Pennsylvania Governor's School of Sciences) and I know that he'd have truly enjoyed this (plus, he loves going into the city for ANY reason!)... but he wasn't home today. So, I asked a girlfriend of mine from work, as Ivan was working tonight. So, we headed out and really enjoyed ourselves!

Usually when I go into NYC, I head into Greenwich or Chelsea and hang out down that way, but this time, I was over in Upper East Side. The Trumpet City installation was showcased on Park Avenue between 46th and 72nd. We found parking on 63rd between 2nd and 3rd Ave for only $10 using the Best Parking app! Love that!

I noticed, when I was looking at the map this morning that we were very near the Roosevelt Island Tram and I had seen it before but have never been on it, so I googled it and saw that it was only $2.75 each way. The tram station is located on 60th and 2nd Avenue. We were able to head over there after checking out Trumpet City and then we walked around Roosevelt Island for a bit... not long, as I had to get back for Ivan to get to work, but we truly had a great day today!

Not the normal activities for a trip into the city, but for a quick trip, it was very artsy and very inexpensive! LOVE THAT!

To see a few photos of the day, go to my blog . You might not "get it", but as we walked up (or down) Park Avenue, the sounds of the trumpets as you walked by and another trumpet taking over the notes/tunes, blending in with the sounds of the city... it was just such an awesome experience... one I won't forget and one I am glad I got to experience! BTW, my son would have LOVED it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    The weather here in NYC has been absolutely wonderful this summer - glad you were able to have a great day walking around and enjoying different parts of the city!

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SWEETNEEY 8/3/2014 12:23PM

    Sounds like a very nice day. Love your profile photo. Very nice.

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 8/2/2014 10:19PM

    I think it's great you took time for yourself and had an Inexpensive but great time!

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Our plans - We can't wait to get started!

Friday, August 01, 2014

Lots of plans and they basically started with our weight loss! March 2012, we took a look at ourselves and decided that we wanted to live longer and healthier lives. We started the 17 Day Diet and then about 34 lbs later, I started exercising and today, we are over 150 lbs lighter between us... I'll have an exact figure on Monday when we are both getting back into gear with the diet and the fitness, as we've both been a little slack with it lately.

When we lost the weight (at one point, near 200 lbs between us), I had hopes (still do) of writing a book, I had started a blog and also a facebook page and called it Extending Our Happily Ever After (thought the title just FIT perfectly with our situation!). and I even started writing the book, but then work and life got in the way and it got moved to the back burner.

Then we've both been busy doing our daily lives, as does just about everyone. We all seem to get up, go to work and come home exhausted. Isn't that what you do, too? Aren't you tired of it? Well, so are we! LOL Plus, my son is 17 and going into his senior year of high school, which is a very busy time for us, so we have that going on as well, with college visits and then thinking of which college to go to and which major to pick. Lots of decisions!

In the middle of all of this, my husband's company decided to close up shop and move it's workforce to China. Luckily for us, they gave us notice. So, his last day will be the end of September. Like a growing number of people living in America, we struggle with finances and we live paycheck to paycheck. Add to that my hip replacement last year and my car accident only 6 weeks later and well, it's not been easy.

I've written about this before, but another goal of mine, a bigger goal of mine, is to move back to California, where my parents are. My mother is battling early dementia, which is getting worse and worse and my father is basically her only caregiver and both are in their 70's. My mother is riddled with arthritis and both of my parents are obese. I learned all of my eating and fitness (lack of) habits from them. I've been wanting to go home to help them with their weight, now that I have figured out what to do, hoping that I can help them. I know I can't help my mother with her mind, but if I can help them lose weight and help my mom, then maybe the weight loss can help her get her knees operated on (due to the horrible arthritis)... she can hardly walk as it is.

Well, that has been a goal of mine for a few years now, but it's so expensive to live in Southern California. Not to mention the cost of moving cross country from Northeast Pennsylvania and with us barely getting by now and then taking the job loss hit soon, well, we had to think of something and fast.

My husband came up with an idea that we both took to immediately. RV Living. Due to his age and him losing his job, we are going to use his 401K to buy an RV outright and a truck to pull it. Also, we'll outfit the RV with solar panels. Then, we'll move out of this house, which is financially killing us (two mortgages and a huge electric bill and oil bill).

We want to start up the blog again and the Extending Our Happily Ever After actually still fits as a great title to this lifestyle. We are starting this weekend to take each room of this house and sort through our belongings... we will SELL, DONATE, and TRASH all of our belongings til hardly anything is left. We only need what will fit into the RV.

We will document along the way. I have ideas of what I want our website to be once we are IN the RV, as I have been thinking about this non-stop for the past 6-8 weeks! lol Initially, our main focus is to get out of the house and save money. That's our primary focus... We'll still work full-time, so that we can actually keep saving money. Once we feel we can move to California, then we'll make the trek cross-country and both of us hope to take time doing that, to actually enjoy the RV a bit and get a taste of the life that we are dreaming of. We have friends and family across the country that we'd like to visit and this is what we'd like to do, but once we end up in California, then we do hope to settle near my parents, although we'll be living in parks that we may have to move from one to the other from time to time. Ivan will most likely get a full-time job for a while and I will either get a part-time job or a full-time job, depending on how I can be able to also fit in caring for my parents, which is my primary objective. We would like to end up full-time RV'ing and retiring early, if at all possible... that is our dream.

We looked at some RV's and very early feelings are 26', people are suggesting 5th wheel and a truck strong enough to haul it. We don't want the mobile RV at all.

Ivan and I are still discussing getting a dog. I don't want one and he does. I think "let's just save money and they cost and plus, let's just be free and not have any ties" (btw, we aren't going to kill off the cats, when they are gone, though, we are not planning on replacing), so this is still an ongoing discussion. At the moment, he talked me into the 2nd cat and he's been regretting it for years... so I am throwing that at him... his argument back to me "it's probably because you wouldn't let me get the dog"... ball in my court... "Probably?" Really? we are going to base a decision on "probably???" I think not! ;-)

So, what do you think of our BIG PLANS???

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CINNAMARIE 8/1/2014 7:57PM

    Mary, actually I love the idea of starting the book about the weight loss and then writing about how that turned into the going out and living life! I'll blog more about the direction of where I want the blog to go... We've both been looking at other RV'ers and their blogs and I pretty much have a good idea of the direction I want my blog to go in... I'll be sharing that in either my next post or the one after. Then it's down to brass tacks and the downsizing will pretty much be a huge monopoly of this, as we hopefully see money come in from the selling off of things and go out to the bills we have currently, and the hope is that it sees our current paychecks go further for savings for our RV life!

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Will be looking forward to following you...maybe your book can be about this adventure!
Best Wishes!

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GEORGE815 8/1/2014 7:13PM

    Great plans. Lots to to.

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Catching up - News from us...

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hello everyone! Well, lots has been happening. Where to start? Weight, I guess, since we started with weight, we'll touch base on that. I've gained some back and so has Ivan. I'm about 250'ish now and not too sure what he's at, but it's not pretty. Looking back at my previous blog, I'm about what I was before, but up a few pounds... but with me, the real setback has been my fitness. I wouldn't say it's been non-existent, because I still do things like walks and go hiking, but the daily exercise, that has pretty much gone out the window. Food has been all over the place. That's been Ivan's problem and since he never really did the fitness thing (a bit of a cause for us to get into "discussions"), that has helped him with putting on the pounds.

My job at UPS is starting up a fitness challenge on Monday and I'm in charge of it... so I'm DEFINITELY looking forward to it! It's a 12 week challenge to track your daily fitness and this is JUST what I need! I plan to do a minimum of 3 miles of walking, either with my Leslie Sansone walking DVD's or just by walking outside and if I do more, so much the better! I know that with the fitness, the diet will follow and the diet I always feel very comfortable with is the 17 Day Diet, so I feel that my weight will start going the direction I want it to. As for Ivan, well, he should follow suit with the food and hopefully on the weekends, I can get him to go on the occasional hike with me. I'm still working on him with the fitness. It's a struggle, I tell ya!

Health-wise, I've had a few issues. I found out that I have arthritis in my right knee, but we aren't going to do anything with it, it's bearable and weight loss and fitness should help it. A few months ago, my left shoulder started really acting up and by acting up, I mean, it started not moving much... and then radiated over to my right shoulder. I let it go and eventually it just about stopped moving altogether. I can't even put my own bra on un-aided! A huge thank you to Ivan for stepping in to help in that department! Anyway, I finally went to see my Orthopedic Surgeon and found out that I have bursitis, tendonitis AND arthritis... isn't that LOVELY? So, now I'm going to physical therapy! BTW, the gang over at PT said that I could have just called (they are the same ones that helped me through my hip replacement last year). Let's see, what else? Oh yes, I was told that both of my carotid arteries had blockages, so I had to go to the hospital to get an ultrasound and see just how blocked they were (thankfully, 1-15% and they say to just get back to eating healthy and start up with my exercising)... and I had bloodwork and that came back good. So, it's been pretty eventful with me and doctor's offices and I'm pretty sick of it!

Not sure if any of my previous posts informed any of you that my son won a scholarship for this summer? Anyway, he did! He was selected about of over 450 kids in Pennsylvania to be one of 62 chosen students to win the Pennsylvania Governor's School of Sciences Scholarship. For the past 5 weeks, he's been dorming at Carnegie Mellon University and he comes home on Saturday! We have been so very proud of him! He starts his Senior year of High School on September 4th! Whew... BIG YEAR!

I think I mentioned that my husband is losing his job at the end of September? Well, he still is. He's chosen to get the free training to get his CDL License... so that's what he'll be doing after that. We have been thinking about our future lately and have a huge announcement, but I wanted to catch up this blog to what we've been up to before I let you all know our plans for our future... so, stay tuned and tomorrow night you'll get to hear all about our plans... it's something Ivan and I have been talking about for the past 6-8 weeks non-stop but we were hosting a French student and we were really just too busy to do anything about it. So, we've been planning things and our French student just left yesterday morning and now we can proceed with the little details...

It is VERY EXCITING FOR US! Hopefully, you'll all be excited for us as well. Talk to you tomorrow.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRIMSONFYRE 8/1/2014 7:11AM

    Life definitely has you busy! Congrats on the scholarship your son got. Good luck t your hubby finding something before his job runs out. Also don't beat yourself up for a few pounds gained back, I know you will bounce back and have it off in no time!

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MEWHENRYSMAMA 7/31/2014 9:20PM

    Wow, you do have lots going on! Sorry with your health issues but sounds like you have a good handle on things!
I am waiting for your news on your plan!
There is money to be made driving trucks...I used to put people in the training for thing I suggest, if it is an option...we had a school who sent people to learn to drive on black ice...including jack knifing the truck...had a number of clients, ESP women, who said that was what gave them the confidence to know they could do it!
Looking forward to your next blog!

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