Tuesday, July 12, 2011
It has been four years ago that I started my journey with SparkPeople. It was an immediate adventure and one I don’t just enjoy, I love.
I had just been diagnosed with Pre-Diabetes 2 and given no other specifics so I was on a quest to find a calorie counter to start a new lifestyle and I was full of apprehensions and fear. Surfing the internet for a calorie counter and all the information on diabetes 2, that I could find, I accidently fell over SparkPeople.
I had some criteria on what I was looking for. First: it had to be FREE! SparkPeople fell into that category. Second: it had to be user friendly and FREE! Again SparkPeople fell into that category. The fact that there was a “support group” attached to it didn’t hurt it either, even though I wasn’t looking for that at the time.
I joined SparkPeople and immediately read the SparkDiet. I learned a few things in my hasty approach to the start line. I could see my goal way off in the distance and I was willing to run as fast as possible to get there as quickly as I could.
At the same time I joined SparkPeople, I had discovered that I could no longer tolerate Pepsi or Coke, with or without caffeine or sugar. It was hurting my stomach something terrible and I stopped cold turkey, spent day’s reeling with migraine headaches but managed to get past them. We changed to water, which I can’t stand, and then found an additive that had no calories or anything else but flavor and color. At the same time, I stopped eating red meat and we switched to ground turkey. I was a chicken lover, but I still loved meat (which included fish, chicken, turkey, and pork) and potatoes. I had to ditch the potatoes! I’m Irish! I still eat one, occasionally, but I am learning that no matter what, they make my blood sugar levels soar so it is becoming easier and easier to stop eating them.
I started my SparkPeople Lifestyle journey when I was at 250 pounds. I had been about 260 pounds before I found SparkPeople. Now I am at 210 pounds. I have lost 40 pounds with SparkPeople and it has taken me 4 years. I have been working on the last 10 pounds that will put me under 200, which is my intermediate goal because at that point, my doctor has advised I can get off the meds that cost us more than we can afford and not worry about Diabetes 2. I will continue to my goal, but when I get to 180, my doctor and I will revisit the issue and make a determination on my goal and maintenance, which will always include exercise and healthy eating.
One thing I can claim is that I lost 40 pounds and I did it with SparkPeople. I have also learned more than I can remember (a senior joke) and the neat thing is that I can go back and find it on SP. It’s there all waiting for my digging and reading and enjoying. My husband has lost nearly 40 pounds, too, and we do a lot of things together and because we are losing the extra weight we never needed in the first place we will continue many more years of doing together.
The “support groups” are fantastic. They are the SparkTeams and I love my SparkFriends, which I have to credit for getting me where I am. I quit SP once when I fell and could not do any exercise for almost 6 months, then I finally came back because I missed my friends. I opened my page to “public” and started getting SparkGoodies and comments on my page that encouraged me to keep going, no matter what.
I have to say, I love SparkPeople and all my SparkFriends. You are the reason I am losing weight and why I will finally release the 10 pounds I have left to go to beat a disease that is not controllable as far as I am concerned. I cannot begin to tell you what SparkPeople means to me. I’ve tried so many times. Now you know what an author feels like when they can’t put something into words. Thanks SparkGuy for SparkPeople and thanks SparkFriends for all your support. I’m now a SparkMotivator and I can only say, Thanks and I just love SparkPeople and maybe, just maybe, I figured out how to put it in words.
I want Chris Downey to get the Pulitzer Peace Prize - We all know how positive and wonderful SparkPeople is and it's worldwide making so much of a difference in the lives of people all over the world!
I wish all of you Sparkling success in reaching all your dreams and goals, health, wealth, and happiness.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
You know how, when you are a kid, your mother does certain things that drive you up the wall? Now I find myself doing something and it dawns on me that my mother used to do that and how irritated I would become.
My mom had this thing about the kitchen. She was a grand cook, but she was the sloppiest cook West of the Mississippi, well at least the south side of the Green River (as in killer). She would leave every cupboard door open (she was never through with the cupboard even hours later), every drawer was left sticking out at various degrees, which gave it a haunted look. Occasionally, a towel would be draped over one as though thrown there in haste. But her floors and counters were the cleanest in the world. She was always smashing her head into the overhead cupboard doors she left hanging open. You would think 3 stitches in the top of her head, the pain and suffering it apparently gave her, and a definite nasty bruise would have caused her to reconsider her inability to understand that hinges swung both ways. As a kid, I always considered it the way she was brought up. Grandmama didn't have cupboard doors. Just open cupboards so she could drag out and put back without the doors getting in the way. I always thought that was weird until my dad told me that she'd had them removed years before I was born. She left them open, too, apparently, but had learned her lesson and had them removed. Nobody was going to make her shut those cupboard doors!
So today, I'm in the kitchen. No, the cupboard doors were all closed, I'm a fanatic about that, and the drawers were all closed, but I was wiping the counter for the umpteenth time and it reminded me that my mom used to wipe her countertops every time she went by. The kitchen in her house was smack in the middle and you passed through the kitchen often. I remember there was never a drop of water, or piece of goo anywhere on her counters, but she'd be mopping those counters all the time.
Was I mopping the counter, yes! There were little puddles of water running across them, but that wasn't the point. The point is that I felt like I was channeling my mother, again, and I wondered, "Is that Okay?"
My mother was a sweetheart to everyone but me. That is not an exaggeration. She was a self-admitted meany-at-heart and she would take it out on me because her oldest sister lived in CA while we lived in WA. Since she was so far away from her oldest sister, she took her meaniness out on me. I never understood it. I didn't hate my mom, now gone since 1999. I, somehow loved her and to this day wonder why as I don't take that kind of crap from people, but I guess it was the way I was brought up. I still love her. I can stand here and point out the failing point of my mother, after alI we all have failures, but I can look back and not be upset, angry, or resentful. It was part of life and I pray I didn't inherit that part of her. I dislike meanspirited people and manage to find ways to avoid them.
I keep telling my DH, "If I do that - just shoot me as I'd rather be dead than be that way!"
So is it okay to channel my mother. Maybe in small, insignificant, harmless ways. I hope so, otherwise I have a lot of work to do.
Friday, July 08, 2011
I hate breakfast. It's not the time or idea of breakfast, it's the food. I don't like traditional breakfast foods, except Bear Claws, which I haven't had in months, if not years, an occasional waffle (flaxseed and whole wheat are preferred), bacon and eggs are acceptable, but Yawn! There has to be something better!
This morning, so far, I have had a cup of coffee and 1/2 peach. So I'll go in the kitchen and rummage through the refrigerator, make something for my DH and stand there wondering what I want.
I don't like cereal, oatmeal is okay, but is also so over done for me that I'm sick of it. The same is true for just about everything else I have had for breakfast for the last 4 years.
I am looking for suggestions on breakfast foods that will entice me as much as a bear claw, flax muffin, or whole wheat waffle. but is not the tired and over done "normal" breakfast. I guess I'll go have a piece of 7 grain bread with tuna and cheese on it, lightly broiled in the toaster oven. That's different and not normal. Maybe a thin slice of tomato on top will add a little Pazaz.
Friday, July 01, 2011
Our 3 guys go to Loretta’s and start out being the 3 stooges. I would think they would want to be somewhat normal around a super star like Loretta, but she is nowhere to be seen and they wear western hats and sing off key & “twangy”. They fade from our threesome’s voices and into Loretta’s song, In This Haunted House. Loretta does a couple of spots with the 3 guys that suddenly take on a very reverent attitude and spirit around Loretta, during the historical interviews, with manipulated film and reenactments.
At one point, Loretta tells them not to make “them” mad.
And of course the obligatory woman in white is haunting the place along with some rebel soldiers. Our lady in white is moaning, wringing her hands, and wandering the balcony grieving for her baby, which is buried beside her in the cemetery next door to the mansion.
A man dressed in black (Johnny Cash?) is seen by Loretta’s daughter and granddaughter. There are also footsteps heard on the back stairs by hard soled shoes and heels, every night. The public is not allowed upstairs as an employee was pushed down the stairs by unseen spirits upset with her straightening the pictures on the walls. There have been touches to employees so most don’t hang around in the house long.
Loretta claims the ghosts are happy there and they treat her right, so she treats them fine, too. Then she tells our guys, “don’t try to make ‘em leave, they’ll be making you leave.
Megan, Loretta’s granddaughter wants nothing to do with hunting ghosts with our trio (good choice). She’s seen enough of the black ghost and hearing footsteps all night.
There was a small battle on the property during the civil war and so they traipse down to the mill to check out those stories.
There is a slave pit under the house, with it’s entrance under the porch swing in front. Of course we know who gets locked down there all night while Zak and Nick wonder off to plan stuff - tricks on Aaron, no doubt.
No ghosts appear for cameos, the ghost box is used and sends them chasing from house to cemetery and back without any levitations, or anything else.
At one point, I thought Zak was going to get aggressive, but he seemed to remember Loretta’s admonitions in time and simmered down.
Silliness returns at the end of the show with Nick and Aaron packing up and leaving Zak alone on the front walkway, dreaming of spending the rest of his life on Loretta’s ranch.
Go to Google Maps and enter Hurricane Mills TN and you go right to The Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum. Not much else in the town. Look a bit south of the PO and you will see Anderson Cemetery. It’s on Loretta’s Ranch and her house looks to be just northeast of there.
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