Friday, January 04, 2013
This afternoon we went to the Post Office to get mail then to make a quick stop at the Dollar store before going home. We had all three of the smaller boys with us and it was to be perhaps an hour trip tops. It turned into a lot more. Not because anything extraordinary happened, but because of something I am starting to take for granted. You see, I got out of the truck, walked into the store and walked around doing some browsing shopping, back out, and got into the truck. I did all of that by myself. Not a big deal, right? WRONG!! When I first visited Spark and clicked on register, I was basically housebound and power wheelchair bound. If I had a good day once in awhile, i could get by with a walker. On a REALLY great day (perhaps 2-3 times a year) i could get by with a cane. I have only had to use Roxie (my chair) once since June of 2012. Mobility is one of the things i have gained through Spark, a healthy life style, and weight loss. It is most likely the very most important. Oh, there are still a few things I'm not physically able to do, but the longer I continue on this journey, the better i get. At 66 years young, i stop any think: Hey! i wasn't able to accomplish this in my 50's! Heck I couldn't even do this well in my 40's before i was injured!!
Spending of some time thinking of when some gaining is a whole lot better than another type, the entire week seemed to flood back. I received more compliments on my size and how good i look this past week, than I ever have before. One lady that I was talking life style programs with at the New Year's Eve party, said she would have never guessed i ever had an issue with weight, that I was one of those people who stayed one size my whole life. So, I stood and wrapped my sweater clear around me to the back. It was then I mentioned when I joined Spark, that same sweater had been too small. She wanted to know how that could be. My response? Because I opened my mouth and put all sorts of things in it - non stop and then couldn't move well at all. That 270 pound frame is now 120 and feeling better than ever. Her mouth came open and she simply stared at me. So there are a few more gains for me.
Starting the new team with the new challenge of trying one new thing each week all year has shown me another gain. It's called friendship. It can also be known as support.
A lot of the time it's fun. it's all of that. its a lot more than one gain alone, but many comprising the one. I know i love it and is something I don't ever want to lose - no matter what.
Some of my gains I have counted by appearance, too. Like the first time my husband asked me if I knew I had cheek bones or the first time i could see my collarbone defined or when I had hollows again in my arm pits. December of 2011, the nurse was asking if i
needed the extra large gowns, because she had brought regular sized ones and then December 2012 when the sales clerk told me a large and medium were both too big and i needed a small or even an extra small and my last two pairs of jeans were size 4.
These are all part of my gain being a Spark person.
Sharing so much with all of my teams and Spark Buds has helped me gain back my self confidence and to be a lot more positive in life. Yes, my age and my two cancer journeys helped with that, too. I wouldn't be honest if i said otherwise. The thing is, without the gain in confidence from this site and the coaches and members, there is no way i could have kept that positive outlook enough to be able to share it. I am writing about it and talking about it and most importantly, living it. What a gain this is!! I'm letting myself open up to outside friendships and socializing - a gain from this wonderful lifetime healthy change.
What are some of your gains since joining our community? I'm sure you can concur that in these things, a gain is good. Do you know where you'll be going today? Will it be someplace new? Can i guess that it will be a continuation of this great Spark journey we all share? I believe that's where my path leads.
I love you all and wish the best for you and yours.
Peace Love Hope
Bob and me in 2005
Me in 2009
Me in 2012
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
What a week this has been! i have enjoyed so much and a lot were new to me - at least lately! And best of all - it's all been good.
Saturday I went to the Outlet Store to see if there was anything there i might like. Did I ever strike gold!!! They had started their end of the year sale and did I take advantage! I ended up with the following:
A blue jean jacket
A teal shrug
2 bras - one lavender and one black
A trumpet skirt in a pretty print
A Gators t-shirt with some sequins on the front
A dressier pair of pants in a houndstooth pattern
That's 7 items. And the bill? Are you ready? I got a little over $2 back from $40.00!! That averaged at $5 plus tax per item. I felt I did really well. And I found i wear a junior small or medium in dresses! I passed on all the ones I tried on, though.
Yesterday one of our neighbors came by and invited us to stop by this past evening. I decided to get brave and go. It has been nearly six years since I have done this. I have blogged before about missing female friendship in person. I decided since i was challenging myself to trying new things, I might as well start by doing something i haven't done in years. No, it isn't exactly new, but certainly a renewal! We truly enjoyed ourselves. Best of all - I got to spread the Spark by talking about my getting to goal in 2012. From the response i got from the ladies there, I'm pretty sure one is going to join Spark with the possibility of a second!! There it was - something renewed, meeting brand new friends, and getting to spread the Spark. it doesn't get any better.
When i got home and did some thinking, I started a new team for those who wish to join me in my new challenge of trying something new each week all year. I named it "New Year, New Things 52 in 2013." This is the link for it: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
I am inviting anyone who wishes to give this challenge a try to join the team. Most likely I'll spend some time today coming up with a list of suggestions of things you might wish to try. I would also like to extend an invitation to anyone who might like to help out as a co-leader to let me know, and I'll be happy to add you. It won't take much other than visit once or twice a week to post and see if there is anything you would like to start, ie: other challenges, games, questions. I haven't decided what my very first challenge will be yet. That said, i've never started a team from scratch, so doing that is already a new thing in the new year.
My Spark journey continues on, working on maintaining. One of the new neighbors i met last evening, teaches an exercise class 3 times a week at our community center. She told me each year draws less members. Isn't that sad? At one point - when i first moved here - everyone knew everyone else and it was like a big happy family with an occasional hiccup. But the makeup of the area is changing, and this is one of the things gratefully affected. There are a lot more young families where before it was more of a retirement community. That said, she tells me many of the ladies will simply leave if they find an exercise too challenging. I told her she may find a lot of Coach Nicole's videos containing things she can use that would have different levels to include everyone being able to do them without problems. All of this has been on my mind and may be something else new for me to try - helping out with the classes. This new year of 2013 seems to me that is going to be one of the best ever, no matter what happens. It is already starting in a very positive way and that is the most important thing. Each day can bring a new challenge, and how we handle things, is what helps determine our success. Hopefully we can all meet whatever is thrown at us with in a positive way and with grace.
My January Goals:
Health and Fitness:
1. Continue to maintain goal weight
2. Track both food and exercise daily
3. When I mess up, not to be hard on myself, rather pick myself up and start brand new with my next meal, exercise, etc.
4. Continue with weekly weigh-ins and immediate corrections if i gain more than 5 pounds.
5. To try to make the wisest choices I can for myself to remain as healthy as i can be.
1. To stay as positive as i can no matter what comes my way.
2. Make a real attempt to "downsize" and organize.
3. Stay in close contact with my family an friends.
4. Write! Write! Write!
5. Try my very best to give more than i get in this journey we call life.
We all make choices in our life. What we chose and when we chose them determines what our lives will be and how successful we are for what we want in - or sometimes out - of those lives. I declaring a weekly challenge for the year. But in truth we all face a challenge each day. Some are new, others we see over and over. Once more it is how we react that helps determine our outlook on life. Gee, it only took me 63 years to reach these conclusions, but at least i did. Since then i have become a much happier, healthier individual.
My wish for you, my Buddies, is to have the best year possible in 2013. May you achieve all you want, continue your own journeys in a positive way, make all those wonderful, wise choices, and be the best you as is possible.
Peace, Love, Health, Joy, and Hope
Bob and i in London 2000
Bob and I in 2012
Friday, December 28, 2012
This week I have been considering 2013 and the making of resolutions, goals, things like that. To me it seems to be an interchange of words for the same thing. We often talk about being realistic for both when setting them and to be sure not to set ourselves up for failure. That is likely to become an end result when we get too eager or enthusiastic in our plans for a new year.
How often have you or perhaps someone you know, said or thought, if something isn't done now it will never be done. So, a time limit it placed on it no matter if it can be done or not. Even not allotting time for the unexpected can be a deal breaker plunging one into the failure part. Or at least convincing the one trying, to give up or become really depressed because there is a feeling of "can't" do or accomplish. Rather than to say or write, I want to reach my goal by the end of the year, wouldn't it be easier to think/say/write I want to reach half or one quarter of my goal by the end of the year? That is so much more realistic and doable, plus it gives time for the unexpected that may draw you away from accomplishment. Things like, a twisted ankle, unexpected crop losses sending up produce prices to make them unaffordable, unexpected severe weather that damages your garden, etc.
We can all do as much as we can and no more. And we can all do too little or nothing at all. The end of the year still arrives in 365 days. Whether or not we stay the same or challenge ourselves in making life long commitments to a healthier life style changes, the end appears on December 31 at midnight each year. We live through the same amount of time. It seems we would be not only healthier, but also happier, if we became proactive rather than sticking to the status quo which may possibly shorten how many of those years we are around to see come and go.
Nothing good is ever easy, so the saying goes. I believe at least the first few times of doing anything is rarely easy. I tend to compare the exercise and eating changes to a new job. When first starting out, it is never all that easy. Even if you have done the work for years, you must learn new expectations, additions, subtractions, to what you have always done. It takes time and practice. Rarely do you succeed the very first day. Same way with changing from bad eating habits. You have always eaten. But now you need to change to learn all you can about what your body needs and the best way to get it to be successful in getting the biggest body value for what enters your system. No one else can do that, but you. When i first came to SparkPeople I didn't think i would ever be able to exercise in any of the ways normally thought of because most of my time was spent in a motorized wheelchair. Then I discovered the Chair Exercise Team. The leaders there have done so much of the work for all who have the same issues. There are reviews of books, videos, newsletters, dedicated web pages, it's all good. The sharing and support of fellow members is wonderful. How good it is to know others in the same position have improved so much, some to the point of not having to use their chair with some even participating in runs! I am out of my chair for the most part. Running still is a ways off. I keep aiming for it, but I don't include it in goals or resolutions anymore as I realize it may never happen for me because of my health issues.
Learning so much on my Spark journey and cancer journeys since joining the site, I have decided to be different in 2013. No more resolutions, I'm not even thinking goals this time around. I reached my goal in August of this year. Yes, it is 150 pounds gone since April 2010 when I got serious, but i intend to stay with everything I have done in those 2.5 years to accomplishment of the final goal. I still intend to reward myself for maintaining what I am over time. However, this year - 2013 - I intend to make a year of weekly challenges to achieve. It is something that I can accomplish in those 365 days that I haven't thus far. My plan is to challenge myself to do something new every week. That will be 52 new things by next year at this time. It might be trying a new fruit or veggie or exercise or even a food. But whatever it is, it will be new to me. While I'm at it, I'm going to also challenge myself to blog about what I have done each week. That should do well to make myself accountable. I learned to do web pages in Front Page, which is no longer supported by our host. I know so little HTML and have no knowledge of the other programs that are supported. Because of that, I have been totally dependent on Bob to keep my pages updated and sadly that hasn't been working too well because I can't seem to explain exactly what I want. So it is possible one of those new things i try will be to learn to take care of my own web sites/pages. As of now I haven't decided exactly what I'll do or when. But I do know it will be different and a learning experience.
Should I decided I want to make goals, they will be monthly rather than yearly. They will also be realistic and doable. This is another blog entry to show them at the end of one month and a blog entry at the beginning of the next month to show how much I have accomplished. It's all just another way to keep myself accountable! The blog challenges i do, also count in those goals. I have really enjoyed the ones I participated in this past year. I'm thinking my followers have, too, by comments and notes I receive.
If anyone likes my idea of a new weekly challenge of trying something new rather than making resolutions for 2013, won't you join me? LEt me know you are interested in the comments, on my Spark page or Spark mail, and if there is anything at all I can to to help you be accountable for this. Perhaps some of those who wish to join me will want a team. All you need do is let me know and we can see who else wants it and who would like to be a team leader and simply go for it.
No matter what is decided, those 365 days will still go by no matter if you do your best or sit on your hands. So you might as well be the best you of all!! What do you think? Do YOU have any ideas or thoughts? Everyone already knows how I feel about wanting to learn new ideas and thoughts from my Spark Buddies. Step right up and post your thoughts in the comments!
Love Peace Hope
Tuesday, December 25, 2012
ACCM: December 23, 2012
Christmas Sweetheart Memories
Do you have a special memory of a first Christmas present from a sweetheart? How did you spend your first Christmas together?
1. I do have the memory! The first Christmas gift he gave me was a reversible winter jacket. One side was plain white and the other paisley blue and green on a white background! It also had a detachable hood. i loved it and wore it for years.
2. The first Christmas we spent together, he was on leave from the Army. We had Christmas Eve dinner with my family and Christmas Day with his. On the 26th we got engaged! That was also our last Christmas together. The next Christmas he was in Viet Nam.
ACCM: December 24, 2012
How did you, your family or your ancestors spend Christmas Eve?
In other posts, I believe I have covered how my own family, my parents, and my paternal grandparents celebrated. I mentioned my maternal grandparents didn't celebrate, but i never went into it much. My grandmother's family didn't celebrate for several reasons. One was because her family didn't approve of some of the English customs of the wassailers going door to door and all the drinking that went on. They also didn't believe the date to be Christ's real birthday. There were some ministers in the family who had forbidden the celebrations in their own churches in both Ireland and Scotland. When they came to the US in the 1700's up to 1820, they followed the habit of not following the Christmas customs. At the end of the 1800's the family started to follow the customs again, but by the late 1920's, my great-grandfather and my grandmother, along with my mother's sisters stopped celebrating once more. My mother continued because not only did my father and his family celebrate, but also because she believed in the spirit of Christmas and the joyous gift God made to us of His son.
DO you have memories of your first gift and first Christmas sp4ent with your sweetheart? Any other Christmas family/ancestor memories to tell? I really love hearing these. I believe it is one reason I love genealogy an history so much.
Our Christmas was beautiful as we celebrate the peace and joy the day brings. The weather was not very clear, but no rain either. It was about 70 degrees F. We waited until about 7PM and drove around the small area where we live to view decorations and lights. We didn't even have to go a mile from home! We took all four dogs with us as they don't often get to go for rides, especially all of them at one time. We talked tomy brother and his family plus Bob's sons called. Mostly we watched Christmas movies! I have to tell you about one of my gifts. My beautiful niece and her family gave me Coach Nicole's newest DVD!!! I am soooo excited and can't wait to get started with it soon!! Bob also got me a new pair of walking shoes that I needed. They are New Balance once more. I seem to do well with them.
How was your day weather wise and how did you spend it?
May the peace love and joy of the season be with you all year round.
Blessings to you and yours.
Saturday, December 22, 2012
ACCM: December 22, 2012
Christmas and Deceased Relatives
Did your family visit the cemetery at Christmas? How did your family honor deceased family members at Christmas?
1. My family visited the cemeteries where ancestors were buried every holiday. I can't remember doing so at Christmas, though. That's not to say they didn't, I simply cannot remember.
2. There have been several ways we honor our deceased at Christmas time. Since Bob and I have been married, we always get luminaries that line the waterfront for the Christmas program that is done each year. We usually get four - one for my parents, one for his, and one for each of families in general. Mine says my dad and mom family names just as Bob 's says his dad and mom family names. Sometimes I'll order poinsettias for the altar at church in memory of my family members who were members there. The Christmas after my dad died, my mom gave money to the Criminal Justice ASsociation at Kent State University where i was a student. it was to be used for a scholarship for a student majoring in criminal justice/law enforcement. The students voted to name the scholarship in his honor because he had been a deputy sheriff in the county and the money that enabled them to give the very first scholarship from the Association. The Christmas after our mom died, we donated the children's books to the Head Start in our community in her memory. I was invited to attend the community program and make an official donation of them. Then in January, I was invited back to read some of them to the students. I really enjoyed doing that. I believe both of my parents would have been very honored by these. My mom especially would have grinned from ear to ear to know this was done in her memory. Education was very important to both of them, but it was also my mother's career field. She loved teaching! The only things she loved more was her family and children, and of course her faith.
These are some of the ways we have honored our ancestors during the holiday season.
Do you have ways of remembering your family members who are deceased? Tell us about them, please. I am really enjoying the memories that you draw when you read some of mine from the Christmas season.
The weather remained cooler her in NE FL today. Tonight may go to 32 degrees F, but they are predicting 34. Bob is still going to cover the orange tree, just in case. He has tried to grow so many and each time they are near producing fruit, there is a freeze that kills them off. I'm hoping this year will be different. The major tree is in the front yard and was a gift from the young man across the street. He is such a good kid. He calls Bob "grandpa".
Enjoy your weekend and the joy that Christmas brings. The gift that God gave us that first Christmas was the most wonderful gift of all - His son. It is this "gift" that we are celebrating this week. No matter what you do to celebrate - whether it is quiet family time or busy, noisy family/fried time, remember to do several things. Get enough rest, make the best choices you can, treat yourself with non-food treats, take pride in helping others feel good, and as always, smile.
My love to each of you. You are the best!!
Peace Love Joy
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