Monday, February 27, 2012
A dear friend from my college came to visit last weekend and we broke bread together, enjoyed Fisherman’s Village, and checked out the Greek Festival.
He’s getting married in Sri Lanka later this year over the holidays. While I have not yet made up my mind, all I can think and smile about these days is travel to Sri Lanka. I enjoy some of the most beautifully gifted salwar/churidar-kurta-dupatta suits, regularly sip on the finest Ceylon teas, have developed a whole new (and healthier) style of cooking, and hold some of the best memories with friends from around the world. I’d be crazy not to go to this wedding.
Having done some shopping at the Greek Festival, I’m also thinking I should practice my belly dancing technique with the 3-Disc Bollywood DVD’s that I bought at Sam’s Club.
Here’s my thoughts for a summer goal and winter reward: July 14 will mark my One Year Anniversary of maintaining a 100-lb weight loss. I’m thinking this trip will be my reward for proving that it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle while giving praise and glory to my Lord and Savior for giving honor to his creation. I’m thinking that Phase Two of retirement may just have to be more about traveling to places I’ve already established key relationships in. This is my prayer.
Romans 8:39 -- Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Tomorrow, I turn in my first completed prayer shawl (lap robe) while beginning a second shawl for one of my newer church families where I celebrate weekly prayer gatherings and worship.
I hope you're making progress towards your goals. Do you have any daydreams on your mind that you can incorporate into a new goal or reward?
Thursday, February 23, 2012
I am now one of Coach Nicole’s biggest fans! I love her passion for healthy living through cardio and strength training. Coach Nicole was named Life Fitness and ACE’s top “Personal Trainer to Watch” and “Fan Favorite.” For the details on this DVD and a $3 coupon for use at Target, and other Spark Fitness DVDs visit:
In December, SparkPeople gave several active bloggers an opportunity to win Coach Nicole’s DVD (released January 1, 2012). I was thrilled to see I won a free copy. In return for receiving this DVD, I was asked to try the workouts and post my review of the DVD on my SparkPeople blog by February 29, 2012.
I should begin by writing that exercise and I have a love/hate relationship. I hate exercise! That said, I also know we are called, in the name of healthy living, to incorporate habits that we may not like. It’s all part of -- what I like to refer to as -- the personal responsibility I have to adequately take care of all that I have stewardship over . . . my body, my circle of influence (family, friends, and neighbors), my possessions, the environment, and the world. We are empowered people, who can truly make a positive difference by the way we model our lives. One of my role models, Joyce Meyer said it well, "Every time you feel like doing the wrong thing and you choose to do the right thing, you are growing and God is smiling!"
I feel better when I incorporate Coach Nicole’s 28 Day Bootcamp DVD into my routine. I am very pleased with this set of workouts for the following reasons:
METABOLISM BOOSTER: We need to change up whatever we are doing so that our bodies do not get set-in-their-ways. Doing something new will be just the strategy to invigorate your metabolism. Without these challenges, our weight can be affected negatively.
VARYING FITNESS LEVELS: Coach Nicole and her team showcase three levels of fitness and show how you can modify each routine to fit your fitness levels. I began with Jewel’s lighter workout in many of the routines and pleasantly found that I was able to advance to some of the higher levels after a week or two. This is progress in the form of a non-scale victory -- WooHoo!
FLEXIBILITY: I better understand the principle behind modifying an exercise to compensate for a personal weaknesses. I feel empowered to modify other fitness routines depending on my environment or ability. In some instances, I choose to remain walking in place to maintain my heart rate until the next challenge comes my way. Nicole’s seated abs exercises shown in the bonus features segment on the DVD, combine well with some of the routines I have learned with my Tai Chi and Woman’s Day workout (from a May 16 DailySpark feature) whether seated at home, office, or traveling.
NO MORE EXCUSES: I’ve already confessed that I’m not crazy about exercise. However, there’s no excuse to ignore healthy habits regardless of what shape we’re in. At some time or other, we all have limitations. If you are regularly in a wheel chair, you probably should not buy this DVD. I would, however, like to challenge you to change up your fitness routine to make sure you regularly work in both cardio and strength training, as approved by your doctor. SparkPeople.com has many supportive SparkTeams so that you can workout at your own fitness level. This is where I find great motivation and encouragement. Research shows that we get quality information and referrals from our fellow SparkPeople.
The Apostle John writes, "...I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." (John 10:10). By completing my journey to lose one hundred pounds, with seven (plus) months of maintenance, God has blessed me with a tremendously improved quality of life. I love and respect God’s role in my life to never want to go back!
This 28 Day Boot Camp with Coach Nicole DVD is already becoming a regular part of my healthy fitness routine. This will be one strategy to help me remain within a healthy BMI.
What workout(s) do you most enjoy?
Friday, February 10, 2012
Every time I turned around today, I felt truly blessed by my Lord and Creator. I was uniquely blessed by the breath of God and his incredible grace through every relationship, both new and old. It was as if we were in continuous dialog throughout the entire day. “Pray Continually” (1 Thes 5:17)
Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful smiles this day brought through the gift of music as coordinated today by Bob and Sue from my Dad’s church! “speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit.” (Eph 5:19a)
Thank you for the abundant food you provide for our consumption. Here is part of my breakfast, an Easy Bean Salad (based on a recipe inspired by GINGERGOLD) on a 4-oz bed of cut oranges: recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
l.asp?recipe=1765053 “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.” (Ecclesiastes 9:7)
Thank you for the sunshine on my face as I enjoy another breath-taking moment at Amnicon Falls. "For thus the Lord has said to me: I will be still and I will look on from My dwelling place, like clear and glowing heat in sunshine, like a fine cloud of mist in the heat of harvest." (Isaiah 18:4)
Thank you for being able to recognize one of NORTHWOODSMOM8’s best friends who happened to be celebrating her mother’s birthday today.
Hudda sits at my Dad’s table for all the weekly sing-a-longs. Thank you for Hudda’s family -- so much love here and a daughter who loves the beautiful rocks that transform into polished gems from Lake Superior!
Thanks for allowing me to sing with my Dad. At 88, he has the voice of an angel! I thought of VISUALLYRICS’ blessed gift of music as we sang. “Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalm 100:2)
Thanks for allowing Dad and I to continue to find joy with the ever changing Lake Superior. “By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.” (Job 37:10)
Thank you for the trees that grace our dear land with their elegant beauty. "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; But its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit." Jeremiah 17:7-8
While the lens of my camera was packed away, I also thank you, Lord,
. . . for the smiles on so many beautiful peoples’ faces today
. . . for seeing my brother’s classmate as she arrives to visit her mother,
. . . for the ease in conducting business at three financial institutions for my Dad
. . . for a great dinner at the Chinese buffet
. . . and for one happy papa, ready to call it a great day knowing tomorrow is a welcomed day of rest.
. . . for the additional blessing received in sharing PANSYLADY2’s devotional blog with friends and in reading DIDMIS (Irene’s) Daily Devotions for Dieters, MAMMA_LITTLE's Blog on her Daughter’s (incredible) Pay It Forward Experience, and SPARKYCARLEY’s blog on having seen an Angel. God is alive and well right here on our SparkPages.
May you find joy in your heart this day!
Monday, January 23, 2012
Here were my goals for the 5% Winter Challenge:
1) Maintain a healthy BMI (130-174) by maintaining my goal of 161 lbs.
2) Track fitness daily.
3) Average 70 minutes (or more) of daily cardio and strength training.
4) Track food daily.
5) Eat six or more servings of freggies daily.
6) Drink at least 12 cups of water daily.
7) Satisfy 4-7 recommended levels of: calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, calcium, and sodium daily.
8) Sleep 7-9 hours a night six days a week.
9) Actively participate (6-7 x wk) in Living The Good Life weekly healthy habit challenges.
10) Spend at least 15 minutes daily in the study of God’s word.
11) Do something fun at least three times a week
12) Knit two prayer shawls.
For my next 5% challenge, I will incorporate the above goals into my Fabulous Five goals for Achieving Balance: 1) Faith, 2) Family and Friends, 3) Food, 4) Fitness, and 5) Fun.
Today, I celebrate my SparkFriends! Thank you, thank you, thank you! It means so much to me to know you are an active part of my SparkJourney and living the good life! So many of you bless my SparkPages with your praises, gratitude, and prayer needs. God smiles broadly on you!
It’s so grand when the opportunity comes up where we can break bread with fellow SparkFriends. Yesterday, Savannah (THECRAZYMANGO) and I celebrated the Eve of the Chinese New Year, The Year of the Dragon:
I’d like to leave my SparkFriends with a health tip from today’s Dr Oz show regarding SLEEP. The more sleep deprived you are, the lousier your metabolism is. Dr Oz says, ‘If you do nothing else differently but increase your sleep from 7 hours to 8 hours a night, you could lose up to 14 lbs a year.’ Here’s four suggestions to help improve your sleep:
1) Set your alarm clock to go to sleep (at least 7.5 hours before you have to get up).
2) Supplement your diet with calcium and magnesium.
3) Tame your tummy with antacids (ie silent reflux may be pulling you out of sleep). Take for 7 days 30 minutes before sleep.
4) Sip a combo tea with valerian root and passion flower
Happy New Year, my friends! It’s never too late to write your goals. A future blog I have in my heart to share reflects how we set God-honoring goals.
Friday, January 20, 2012
This blog cheerfully concludes a week-long SparkTeam challenge to share an element of my weight-loss journey (now 100+ lbs) with my friends and team mates. I chose to feature how faith, family, friends, food, fitness, and fun play significant roles in my life.
My faith tells me that God doesn’t make mistakes in creation. We are made in his image and he has a unique plan and purpose, as well. For that, I am in awe of the beautiful diversity that surrounds me.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)
What we do with that which God created is another story. Caution: Some of you will not understand this poor thinking of mine, while I suspect many of you will. I must confess that I have been overwhelmed by some of the beautiful compliments I have heard from people. You have truly touched my heart with your loving words!
I was such a DORK growing up. My self-image was unbelievably poor: I knew several people in several cliques, but for the most part, I was part of The Outcast Clique. Dork is defined as: American/Canadian slang for a quirky, silly and/or stupid, socially inept person, or one who is out of touch with contemporary trends. Right up to sharing a border with Canada and often wearing the same ole’ school dress many times a week, I often felt I qualified for ALL these definitions. Blah, blah, blah . . . I’ll not bore you further with the sad details. This would probably require years of therapy. Nevertheless, I had “major” self-esteem issues growing up, most likely tied to being overweight 98-99% of my life.
Please, however, do not confuse this incredibly lousy self-image with the joyful, happy, and confident person I am much of the time. In these areas, my living faith have become my best therapy. Regardless of how I look, I know my value within the Kingdom. I can be the proverbial “happy fat person.” My heart and mind have been awakened to that which is truly important, and I learned that who we are should not be tied to how we look (no matter how glamorized the media may promote a particular image).
Through life-long learning, we continue to learn and re-learn what is important in life. No matter what our age, we are forever being influence by the people and research around us. Thank goodness! For example, I once remember a child asking if their passing parakeet would be in heaven and Momma answered, “if you want to see Chippie in heaven, you will most certainly see her.”
Be strong, be focused, and stay the course for healthy living, and your body will say “thank you” over and over again. Do not be discouraged by what one or two weeks on the scale may have to offer you. Here’s my official before and after photo, along with a terrific rainbow that blessed my path as I was leaving Ashland.
God's covenant with Noah: "Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." (Genesis 9:16)
“Beauty really is deeper than what the eye sees.” – JR Martinez (Dancing with the Stars mirror-ball trophy winner of Nov 2011)
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