Thursday, September 01, 2011
September is normally BACK TO SCHOOL month.... truthfully, my grandchildren all went back to school in mid or late August, but I always went back to school just after Labor Day. We looked forward to the end of the school year because we wanted to enjoy the FUN of summer... then by the end of summer.. we looked forward to Labor day for the big family cookouts followed by BACK TO SCHOOL. Despite my advanced years and having long since stopped going to school, I always feel nostalgic about getting back to the old grindstone and furthering my education.
THIS MIND SET has sparked the idea for my 50 Pound Challenge Team's September Alternate Challenge. It's my idea that we get back to basics...Using our Food & Water Trackers daily, Using our Fitness/Exercise Trackers daily... and then BLOGGING 1 time per week about how we are "furthering our educations" through Spark. I am hoping that folks will use their imaginations and share their experience, strength & hope with all of us. We can learn by reading one another's blogs. We can learn by reading articles here on the SparkPeople website. We can learn be reading the posts of our team members. Remember...it never hurts to try new things, experience new foods & fitness techniques, ask questions, share ideas. OPEN YOUR MIND and expand your program. We're NEVER TO OLD to learn!!!!
August was a very VERY busy month for me. It was stressful & difficult but it was also BLESSED. Paul is still unemployed but has been job hunting daily. He did get approved for unemployment benefits AND he has a job interview on Saturday morning for a full-time position. (Please keep him in your prayers) We were blessed because his boss at AutoZone DID give him an extra day per week so he has been working part-time 2 days a week instead of 1 and that has helped. Becca, my DIL, is still working full-time at her new job and is liking it. She's been up and ready every day and despite the fact that I've been having to get up really early to drive her to work (before 6am daily) it has been a real blessing that she has been working all month AND helping with the bills. The YMCA Child Watch program has just started back up and those hours will help replace the summer outdoor pool hours that I will be losing this week. This is a BIG blessing because every hour counts and I am so blessed to have a job that I LOVE so dearly. The Y has truly saved my life on so many levels. Michael, my son, is not working but has been being "MR MOM" and helping around the house. I have been babysitting Aurora (the youngest granddaughter) daily when I get done working at the Y and that has been a blessing too. She is keeping me young and shows me more spontaneous love than I have ever received. She has definitely got my heart with both hands! The other grandchildren are all back in school & we are back to our routines of meeting the bus, doing homework, playing at the pool and just having fun being together. Despite the stress of all the running around sometimes.... my grandchildren are absolutely the greatest blessing in my life. Savannah, the eldest... was baptised last Sunday... Aurora, the youngest... was dedicated last Sunday... all of my "Martinsville" family was in church at the same time & THAT was amazing.. and followed on the footsteps of a week that included an earthquake AND a hurricane in VA. Speaking of the Hurricane.... I have a son, 5 grandchildren, and my best friend & her family all living in Tidewater VA which was very hard hit by the hurricane. ANOTHER BLESSING is that everyone seems to be safe & sound with little damage that I have heard about. I haven't heard from a couple of them, but I am believing that no news is good news.
It's September 1st. August is behind us. Summer is all but gone. Have I lost weight? NO. Have I worked out daily? YES. Have I tracked my food & fitness? YES. Have I drank my water & plenty of it? YES. Have I Sparked to the best of my ability? YES. AM I HAPPY????? YES YES YES AM I BLESSED? YES YES YES!
My PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) is soaring! I am counting my blessings. I am focusing on doing BETTER and trying harder and letting go of my worries and stress. Thank you for being here for me my friends. WITHOUT YOU... my life would be "less". YOU... my family of choice.. are DEFINITELY counted among my greatest blessings! I LOVE YOU ALL!
Bright blessings to you all, Dawn
Monday, August 01, 2011
July was a rough month for me. I spent most of the month overstressed, overtired, run ragged, depressed and frustrated. TOO MUCH DOING & not enough "being". I used to have a therapist who would remind me that I needed to spend more time as a Human BEing and less of a human DOing. I've spoken before about my feelings that if I keep moving "they can't get me"... whomever they may be.
The worst of July was the HEAT combined with the fact that I spent 5-nights a week sleeping in the van in Stuart where my DH was working. It was really dragging me down. I was hurting all the time & it was getting worse. I was having to use my cane all the time again. Much prayer was lifted up that I would not have to continue to make that long drive & sleep in that van.....
Be careful what you pray for..... Thursday my DH lost his job. On the bright side.. I no longer have to make that long drive & I don't have to sleep in the van anymore! That is DEFINITELY prayers being answered. The fact that I now have to figure out how to support a family of 6 on less than $800 per month adds to stress... but after only 3 days of sleeping in my own bed, I am already hurting less & able to leave the cane alone more and more.
The positives in my life for July....
I had 4 grandchildren celebrate birthdays! Mallory, Lilianna, McKayla & Aurora. That's something to be grateful for!
My friend Ruth, who also celebrated a birthday in July, came out of the coma that she was in & while she is suffering from pretty extensive brain damage, she is doing much better than was expected. More answers to prayer. I got to visit her on Saturday at an assisted living facility where she is now staying. We had a wonderful visit & she DID recognize me while I was there so that was special. I made her a photo album through the 25 years of our friendship & she & I spent a long time going over and over the pictures... sometimes she'd recognize folks and sometimes not. I hope that it will help her. I am so grateful that she is doing as well as she is. It is a GREAT blessing to remember July for.
I didn't lose any weight in July but I didn't GAIN any weight in July. Another blessing considering all the birthday parties & the stress I have been under.
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT AUGUST.....
1. It's still hot so I am concentrating on drinking plenty of plain clear water!
2. Fruits & veggies are plentiful so I am enjoying them to the fullest!
3. The outdoor pool is still open so I am spending as much time there as I can enjoying the fun & fitness I find there.
4. I am saving gas by not having to drive to Stuart!
5. I have the opportunity to get better & MORE sleep. I am going to TAKE THAT OPPORTUNITY & try to let this old body do some healing.
6. I have put my foot down & told all the ADULTS in my house that they need to get JOBS! I am going to keep that foot down.... or perhaps I should put on a boot and apply it to some bottoms!
7. I am remembering to be grateful for all the many blessings that I have... a great job, family & friends that love & support me, grandchildren who are all healthy, a house to live in, a vehicle that is drivable... life is GOOD!
8. August is going to be the month that I break this plateau. I AM DETERMINED!
Bright blessings to you all. I'm committing to posting MORE blogs and to doing more Sparking. Let's ROCK August! Love, Dawn
Monday, July 04, 2011
A water aerobic student/friend of mine, whom I admire very much for being very fit & in shape, asked me a tough question after class yesterday . She said that while she has heard my story & knows that I have lost over 100 pounds, she wanted to know HOW I LET MYSELF GET THAT BIG to begin with. Good question. Tough question. A question that I have asked myself over and over through the years as I have gone up and down the scale.
I really didn't know how to answer. I gained a lot of weight when I stopped drinking. In 12-step programs we call that transfering addictions. It's just another excuse. How does any SANE person get to weigh 450 pounds? Reality for me was/is what I call "DEATH BY SPOON". Self abuse. Self loathing. Emotional eating. Stress eating. It all boils down to negativity in the long run.
Someone I really love & admire made a comment to me back in the fall. It has been eating at me ever since. He said that I had a "martyr core". GOSH. Is that right? In 12-step programs we are told that when something bothers us it must ring true & it is something that we need to work on. That statement has been gnawing at me since he said it. I don't know what to do with it. Is the stress of that partially responsible for my plateau? I have only lost 9 pounds since Jan 2011. Am I punishing myself again? Do I need to head back to the therapist?
This is NOT supposed to be a negative blog. Today is July the 4th. In America it is the celebration of our Freedom! Today I am celebrating the freedom that I have found from the bondage of uncontrolled emotional eating! I am a survivor! I haven't come this far to give up now! I am NOT going to commit DEATH BY SPOON! I am NOT going to give up or give in. It doesn't matter what other people think about me or assume to be true about me. I am what I am and who I am and I will lift my head and celebrate it. I will try harder & beat myself up less. I will STOP giving in to negative thinking! I will NOT allow others to define who I am. Let Freedom Ring!
Yes, I suffer from depression. Yes, I have a lot of stress in my life. Yes, I need to be tougher and to use tough love on many of those folks in my life. Yes, I could do better. TODAY... I proclaim here & now that I am NOT going to give in to negativity! I will not allow darkness to envelope the Spark that I have found. I will nurse that Spark along until it blazes brighter than ever and I am able to find my way off this plateau & out of this "funk" that I have been in lately. I will make better choices for myself & I will stand up a little bit taller every day. I am worth it. I deserve it. SO DO YOU!!!!!
Today... take a look at yourself and your life. Embrace the freedoms that you have. Most importantly, remember that you have the FREEDOM TO CHOOSE! Choose good health! Choose to eat healthy & to exercise. Choose to track your food & fitness. Choose to spread the spark instead of hiding in the darkness of depression & despair. LET FREEDOM RING!
Happy 4th of July everyone... thanks for asking the tough questions! Remember to count your blessings! Love, Dawn
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