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Tuesday, 10/11 After three plus years of Sparking...

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hi Everyone!!
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Time is really flying by--and I don't know if it is good or bad, but I was thinking that when I signed up for Spark People 3+ years ago that many things have happened that nobody, especially me, could have predicted.

emoticonI am still here and active in the community (at least as active as someone with my life can be.) I log in and post everyday--and I spend time in the message boards too. I blog and read blogs a little less regularly, but I get to them as I find spare time. My friends here are never far from my thoughts and the reason for that is two-fold. One, my spark friends keep me going when I am having a hard time with encouragement and reminders of both my past success and what works. Two, I have learned to care about my friends here and I am the kind of friend who doesn't let people down. I have told you before that you all are the best!!

emoticonI am still in onederland and "at my goal." This is the longest that I have ever maintained a goal weight in a lifetime of yo-yo dieting. I have more weight to lose since I have lost 2.5 inches of my height. I'm in an awkward place with my weight right now because I have lost 2.5 inches of my height and I have more weight to lose to be at the goal for this height. However, I am glad to know this and I am heading in the right direction.

emoticonI am back in school--at age 56! I am, in essence working on a half of a master's degree when I considered myself through with my "official" education in 2004 after I reached my masters plus 45 hours. I am so excited about the classes I am taking and it isn't easy adding this to my already busy life, but it is a really good thing for me. School has always been a positive in my life, and that hasn't changed. I am learning a lot about English language learners and the need they bring. Our area has had a great deal of resettlements of African and Asian refugees, and these amazing people who have survived attacks on life and limb deserve a quality education. I work with many of their children and I am proud to be stepping to the plate to give them my best.

emoticonMy health is sound and although weight loss cannot rescue my muscular-skeletal problems, my internal health is as good as anyone else. I no longer seem to have any issues with my heart or blood pressure. I go to my appointments and they are awkward while filled with good news. The doctors have no reason to even provide me with medication and their tests back up how I feel. I am doing fine with treatments for fibromyalgia, arthritis, and nerve damage along with vitamin D and B12. This is certainly indicative of what weight loss and healthy eating causes.

emoticonI have learned to stand up for myself. I am a worthy person and even though a person I work with who has "official" power has chosen me to pick at and on, I am standing up for myself. I am not "suffering in silence" anymore. As a child and a young adult, I was called names and picked on by a lot of people with their reason being that I was overweight and a great target for such things. As an adult, I have chosen to sit in the back of the room and stay "out of people's way." I am NOT that person anymore. I have been selected to be picked on by someone at work and it has reverted to some of that name calling from when I was much younger. I am different though. I now recognize my own value and my own worth and I do not have to accept this type of thing any more. I stood up to her and simply said, "This is not true." I have went over her head and have allies who understand how she treats others. Yesterday, a similar thing was tried with me again over my work evaluation. I held her accountable--and she backed down. It is amazing and I wonder how much suffering in my life may have been put to an end if I could have stood up for myself and defended my own worthiness. All I know is that I didn't even stand up to this same person who did similar things to me six years ago and the thing that is different is that I started sparking and I became healthier in many ways. I have lost 140+ pounds and I have taken control of my life and my world. I am worthy of decent treatment by others--just as any other person.

Today, I am about to go to my church for a while and help set up a two week reading program for the children of refugees before I head to the hospital for my mammogram and bone density test. I will go back to the church before my afternoon appointment with a doctor who is changing my life. I found her because I stood up against my previous back doctor who tried to bully me by ignoring my needs and condition. Learning how to take care of myself with people is a big deal. My new doctor listens to me and respects what I have to say. She acts on my information and understands that I am an intelligent and responsible person. I will find out today if my cervical spine is linked to the nerve damage in my left hand. I will find out today about the surgery and treatment I need to get the feeling back in my hand and how to best care for myself.

Mostly, today, I am taking care of myself. I am helping others. I am being the person I am and can be. Being overweight (still? again?) Walker or no walker. I am going to take care of myself and I am going to be my best without any bullies getting in the way of things. I am doing it without tons of medication keeping me going, without issues in my heart and with my blood pressure, and without over 140 pounds that used to be part of me. I am getting better everyday and I am in this for what is best for myself, my family and the others around me. I have a lot of gifts and I am able to share them.

emoticonThings are so much better for me than they were before I started Sparking. I am here for the long haul, one day at a time. I will keep tracking my food and activity and I will keep reading articles and getting even better.

Take care my Spark Friends. Life is good--and it is getting better!!!
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/12/2011 1:06PM

    It has been so wonderful to watch you evolve, Sylvia, not that you were ever any slouch. But you have come so far and still managed to maintain your high standards. You take care of yourself and others and give your best. You are an amazing woman and I am so blessed to be able to call you my friend.

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WALKZWDOGZ 10/12/2011 5:05AM

    You're a marvel & you set very high expectations for yourself. emoticon emoticon emoticon This is a all a journey; don't know that we have a "set" timeline. But you're truly an inspiration! Happy Spark-aversary! emoticon +

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_LINDA 10/11/2011 2:42PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
That you are worthy is one of the most important lessons you have taken away from here. You can't treat yourself right if you hate yourself. Once you have changed that mentally, that inner fire of self acceptance can and will spread to other areas of your life. Well done for standing up to that harpy, just another bully in office clothing. As a person who also suffered bullying most of my life, not because of being fat (I wasn't), but because of being a gimp and ugly..
We don't have to take anyone's crap anymore. We are women. We are strong.
Keep that inner Spark burning!
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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EMRANA 10/11/2011 12:13PM

  WOO HOO! What an uplifting blog!

2 1/2 inches of height lost ~ wow. I didn't know we could lose that much. I know you will get everything balanced out again weight-wise. You rock!


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DETERMINEDJANET 10/11/2011 11:33AM


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Sunday 10/9 All About Me

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Hi there,

I think it is time for me to do something different. I am on our fall break and I have a lot of volunteering, medical appointments, and homework in my plans. However, there should be a few minutes in this next two weeks for something else. I have decided it is going to be about me. Yes, about lil ole me.

I am going to take enough time at the fitness center to do my work out and swim--and to use the hot tub, sauna, bike and anything else that crosses my mind. Why not? I pay for my membership and some of my time is mine.

I am going to read something besides school work. I think I have four weeks of my soap magazines around here that I haven't even touched. And speaking of soaps--I am going to watch some of them too. My favorite (Days of Our Lives) is still on the air even if they did cancel All My Children. I hate that it looks like the television execs are trying to kill the genre. I am not a big TV person and don't know anything that is currently on--but I like my absolute escape from reality soaps. I used to watch ER--and before that Dynasty, but I am not much of a TV person. There is so much to do in our lives that that is the thing that became disposable.

I want to go to an orchard and/or a pumpkin patch so that we can get some fresh fruit and have a bit of fun in the process. My youngest son will enjoy doing this with me. I think the idea of wearing jeans and a sweater if need be and picking some apples will be a nice trip from what we usually do. Tomorrow is a school holiday and maybe I can squeeze it in.

I also want to go to my son's school--I think it would be good to let them know I am still around and viable. I had class the night of his open house, so I didn't make it then. It might be the best proactive thing I can do for him.

I am also going to Spark a bit more and play online too. I may do some cleaning around here--but I am thinking that I might simply boss the others around. What do you think?

The weather's supposed to be beautiful--I have heard that temps might get into the 80's this week. Yummy, I love that idea and I hope it's so. I wish that you all can get what you want too, even if we all only get it for a day or two.

Be good to yourselves!
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/11/2011 12:04AM

    All that and good weather too! I hope it all works out for you!! Its about time you gave yourself some attention and focus!
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/10/2011 11:02PM

    I am so glad to see that you will be taking some time for yourself.

I really miss All My Children. They are taking One Life To Live off as well in January. I dread it. It is often hard to find anything to watch.

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LOULOUBELLE2 10/10/2011 11:32AM

    Sounds like a plan Sylvia and a true R&R for you. Go ahead and do some "bossing around", Mom's do that, and why not, we need help and "me" time every now and again. As far as Soaps go, I prefer GH, but don't get to watch it much. My TV time is Baseball, football or NCIS & CSI.
Enjoy your time off.

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ACIMPEGGY 10/9/2011 11:40PM

    It's been great weather, huh?

I'm loving 3 days off, too.

I'm alternating chores and me time.

Scrubbed the kitchen today, Well, the floor and stove anyway. Vaccumed and cleaned the wood floors, too. Did some shopping, a press release for Toastmasters.

Last night Suz and I went to the show. We saw "Moneyball." Great movie. I'd rather watch a movie about sports than the game itself.

Enjoy tomorrow, too. emoticon

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Wednesday, 10/5 Just this week

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Hi all,

I wanted to take a few minutes to describe my accomplishments so far this week...

*I have gotten in two hours of exercise at the pool each day.
*I finished my 60 progress reports, made copies and sent them to the appropriate teachers.
*I attended a Webinar today to help pilot a PBS program for teachers that is coming.
*I have done my lessons for my students along with some up to date informal assessments.
*I helped to sort out issues for three needy children in our school today--and none of them were even mine.
*I have completed 5 homework assignments and read two more articles.
*I worked in my yard on Sunday.

That takes me to what is left for me to do...
*I have to attend parent teacher conferences tomorrow after school, Thurday from noon to eight, and Friday from eight to noon.
*I have a midterm, three chapters to read, and four more assignments to write before Friday.
*I have one doctor's appointment that conflicts with my after school work on Wednesday--I am going to the doctor.
*I have my regular Thursday night class that conflicts with conferences--conferences come first.
*I have my weekend class this week, Friday at 4 and Saturday from 8-3.
*I want to get to the pool each day and that will be tricky too.
*I have to plan what I am going to do during my reading club and at the church with RLLs
*Avoid the potluck/ eating frenzy that will be at school for parent-teacher conferences.

Anyway, now that I have made my list, I know what I have to do--so here I go. I am starting the second half of the week with a tough agenda. Knowing what is coming will help me to get myself organized and focused. I can do all of this, eat in a healthy fashion and give my body the activity it needs so that I can keep going. I know what is important and I can do it.

Take care!
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HOPEFULSNAIL204 10/8/2011 7:57PM

  What are you taking for energy? I want lots of it! Great job Sylvia!

Blessings emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/7/2011 10:14PM

    I can't imagine how you ever get it all done. Your "plate" is completely full!

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WALKZWDOGZ 10/6/2011 12:36AM

I think I burned calories & passed out just reading about this!

You're amazing! emoticon emoticon

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ANOVELGAL 10/5/2011 1:35PM

    Wow. You put my schedule to shame! I was exhausted just reading your agenda. I hope you are successful! emoticon

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Saturday 10/1 I am trying and winning!!

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Hi all,

You all know that I am having a tough go of things--and I have done more than enough whining here--but I have to admit that the outpouring of kindness and understanding from all of you make things a lot better. I had lunch with my best friend today (I also went to Weight Watchers, worked out at the pool, did chores around my house, worked on homework, went grocery shopping, took care of part of the pets, went out with my son, solved a couple of emergencies for my kids...and I walked 19027 steps today!!) Anyway, it is the good stuff that I want to talk about.

I want to talk about what I am doing that is right...
*I am working with pride and doing what one of the administrators told me to do--I am holding my head high and I am proud of all that I do for so many kids.
*I know that I will be having surgery at some point, as soon as we know what all is contributing to the carpal tunnel in my left hand--but I am making plans to take care of everything just as I always have with surgery. I will be taking a day or two off work with this surgery unlike what I usually do. I should do this for me.
*I am spending my spare time doing my enormous pile of homework for my grad classes and interestingly enough, I have an ally in the professor of the course. She told me that she is glad to have someone with my talent and experience in her class. That made me blush a bit.
*I have decided to do good things for others during my break and use my talent in ways that it will be appreciated. I will also have time to (finally) get caught up on my homework, lol.) I will also have time to take naps and visit with people I care about.
*I am exercising daily, eating 5-7 servings of fruits and veggies, drinking 10-12 glasses of water each day. I am happy with my eating habits. The only thing I ever overdo it on is having a second Weight Watchers 3 point bar on a given day. I also know that I have my bigger weight losses on the weeks when I have eaten more--and I need to learn how to manage that.
*I have great kids--I know each of their strengths and weaknesses, but when I listen to what other people are dealing with with their "young adult" aged kids--well, I am fortunate that my kids aren't doing all of those scary things. There aren't a lot of people who can say the same with 8 kids who all go to church,volunteer in the church, work and/or go to school, and who aren't doing nasty or illegal things.
*I have good friends in my life and online. They are kind to me and others, and they make my life better--I hope that I do the same for them!!
*No matter what, I am healthier than I have been in years, I can tell when something is wrong with me now and that is new to me. I am so much more in tune with my body.

I know there are more things that I am winning at, but since I woke up after having written this much, I am thinking this is a great start that I should keep adding to.
Thanks for all you do for me.
Gentle hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORTICIAADDAMS 10/7/2011 10:12PM

    The professor is right, of course. You are doing amazing and pushing on to accomplish a lot even in the presence of pain.

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WALKZWDOGZ 10/3/2011 1:50AM

    emoticon to you --and that professor! (Sounds like you scored a good & perceptive one!) emoticon

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_LINDA 10/2/2011 11:24AM

    Your children are so fortunate to have you for a mother and the children you are teaching to read are lucky to have you as a teacher! Happy to know at least some of the adults you deal with in your life are recognizing that!!!
Its nice to hear you are giving yourself something of a break in your time off. I would like to see more people doing things for you instead of always the other way around though.
Take care of you!
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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EMRANA 10/2/2011 10:56AM

  Always good to count our many blessings ~


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Monday, 9/26 EMG and My Update

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hi all,

As my title says, I had my EMG today. I will have a complete report with my wonderful spine doctor on October 11. (We are on fall intersession that week. I volunteered to teach at both my school--for primary kids interested in a week-long reading club and at my church--to teach reading to the ELL children while their parents have English classes.) My doctor appointment had to fit in between all of that. Anyway, she told me that she didn't have a full and complete report but she could tell me that my right hand which she used as a base--has a mild case of carpal tunnel and that we will most likely need to treat it with me wearing a night splint. She said that she already knows that my left hand has a serious case of carpal tunnel that will need surgery without a doubt. The problem at hand is that with such a big problem, she won't be surprised to find that it is getting a "double whammy" from the nerves on my neck. I will find out the entire story when I see her then and we will discuss what will help.

Yesterday, I noticed that my numb left hand was feeling some "thickening" around my thumb and it was hard to bend. Today, I notice the same feelings in my fingers. My hand is also swelling now. That strange numbness was my red flag that these issues were coming.

I am also having a personal struggle--too much stress and weather induced pain is giving me too many negative feelings. I have to admit that my 9/21 blog had so many kind comments and support that it helped me a great deal. Thank you all for your kindness and support. I feel badly that I am struggling with my feelings when I know a few other people who are dealing with big, life-changing issues. Carpal tunnel surgery is not a big deal for most folks and it would be something like surgery #48 for me in the past 8 years. Being picked on and called names by my supervisor is not a life changing thing either. She is simply giving me grounds for a grievance or litigation or something that can ruin her life. I do not intend to sink into the dark hole that depression has been for me and I don't want any meds either. I need to avoid becoming exhausted or overwhelmed. I can do this, especially with all of the cheerleaders I have here. Thank you all so much.

Gentle Hugs,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 9/28/2011 1:16AM

    Oh Sylvia, so sorry you are so in a bad place right now, but why, why why take on more work??? Instead of volunteering at the church and school, you really could have used that week off to rest and recuperate..
This can't be helping your stress any :(( You really need to find a way to put your needs first for a change. You are running yourself into the ground taking on so much all the time. It doesn't help your health any.
Stand up for yourself, in all ways!!
Take care of yourself, as no one else is going to..
{{{gentle hugs}}}

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    Sylvia, I am always here for you. I know you won't let life get you down. You are important to us and we know your true worth. You bless us with your friendship and your fortitude in the face of challenging times. We love you.

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MALKS_ARIA 9/27/2011 9:02AM

    *Deep Breath* Goodness that's a lot to take in!! Hope the EMG shows all that you need to know! As far as the surgery... if that's what ya gotta do... tiz what you gotta do....

YOU CAN DO IT!!! You are doing a lot that allows you to keep pressing on!! You are an inspiration! You keep pressing on with work, and through the pain, and frustrations.... I honestly couldn't imagine doing so... but you do it, and you are a far better person for it!!! Keep up the great job!!!


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