HLTHYETER   28,622
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HLTHYETER's Recent Blog Entries

5% Challenge--Day Two--Things I am Happy For

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope your challenge is going well. Some random ramblings about things I am happy for today.

1. New clothes, new sizes. I have gone from size 58 pants to 44 pants. Size 4X shirts to 1X. I bought new dress shirts for $7 on sale this week--in old days they would have cost me a minimum of $25 dollars if I could find them at all.

2. Warmer weather. I love to get outdoors, but was very limited during our recent cold/snowstorm. Snow shoveling was about the only activity I could get in. We have actually been in the 70's two straight days.

3. Ability to continue workouts and tracking even during busy/difficult times.

4. Being noticed. Went into a local financial business that I hadn't visited recently and got "the stare" and the you've lost a LOT of weight, haven't you!

5. Capable of work without exhaustion. I can work up a storm and not suffer for it.

6. Break from classwork. I am in an "off" session from teaching, so have a little more time for everything.

7. Health. I have not had a bad cold or the flu all winter--far different than previous years.

8. Strength. I can carry a 50 lb bag without my back hurting for days.

9. Friends. In "real" life as well as "spark" life.

10. My many blessings. To be involved in church, work, and activity, to enjoy living on a farm in the Ozarks, to be able to help others--just a few of the blessings I am thankful for, including this wonderful site--Sparkpeople.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KTACKEBE 2/21/2011 3:04AM

    it'a always good to remind ourselves of all the happiness we have. too many times we only see the darkness and forget that we're surrounded by so much light.

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NASCAR_CHICK 2/20/2011 10:39PM

    Great list... all very special things to be thankful for! Thanks for sharing them!

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BHSUZYCUE 2/20/2011 7:43PM

    You are one of the blessings I'm thankful for! I so appreciate your great attitude toward life. emoticon

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PERSISTANT123 2/20/2011 5:28PM

    What a great list! I think we could all benefit from sitting back and recalling our blessings. Thanks for who you are and your upbeat attitude!
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LAURIE9404 2/20/2011 4:43PM

    It is always good to remind yourself and the rest of us what you're happy about. It really helps all of us. Thanks! And Congrats on all those achievements!

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ECASPERS 2/20/2011 2:52PM

    You are such an inspiration! I have to read your blog daily and I am planning on it to keep me focused. emoticon

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CAPTHAMMER 2/20/2011 12:14PM

    Wonderful list. We should all devote time to taking inventory once in a while.

Congratulations on your weight loss. With you knocking at the door of a major weight loss milestone I'm sure your fellow Daisies are looking forward to applauding your continued successes.


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JIVEGRANDMA 2/20/2011 12:09PM

    emoticon For reminding us to be thankful for All of our blessings. So often we get so busy we forget that we have things to be thankful for. emoticon

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KALISWALKER 2/20/2011 11:30AM

    Life just gets better when you feel healthy and can appreciate all you have. Enjoy your break!

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MUEHLBBO 2/20/2011 11:14AM

    And you don't blog that often. When you can share things like this, it's awesome. I happy for you. Keep it up.

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69MUSTANG1 2/20/2011 11:10AM

    These are great things to be happy about. Thanks for the reminder to appreciate and be happy about all the things in our lives emoticon

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MUNCHIE718 2/20/2011 10:57AM

  What a wonderful list! Thanks for sharing.

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HAPPYSOUL91 2/20/2011 10:32AM

    What great reflections, amazing how losing excess weight affects all areas of our lives. So happy that you are taking me along on your journey

Carol

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BABYNURSE2000 2/20/2011 10:08AM

    And we are blessed to be called friends! Thank you Gary!

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RUN2BIKENOW 2/20/2011 9:48AM

    Wow - great job! I love the comment about the "stare"!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 2/20/2011 9:42AM

    emoticon You are doing GREAT!

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Stepping up to the challenge--5% team blog.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

This week on our Winter 2011 challenge my team earns points from fitness minutes and for blogging. I don't write frequent blogs, but for this week I will try to do my part. I do plan to keep them rather short.

This has been a difficult week with two family members struggling with illness and my stress level has been high. I have done the best I could--but no time for the gym and having to eat fast food several times. Amazingly, my body has kept on generating weight loss as my activity has been put into work around home and walking through hospitals and local stores. I am now at my halfway mark to my re-revised goal of losing 170 lbs. I have every confidence that I can do this. I hope to do it by my birthday in October, but whether I make it that quickly or not I am determined to succeed on this journey. Originally I set my goal at losing 100 lbs--thinking that was sheer fantasy--but here I am 10 months later and almost there! Beyond my imagining at the time I joined Sparkpeople.

This challenge will take me below 300 for the first time in many years. My driver's license says I weigh 290--but it has been an embarrassingly long time since that was true. Sooo--I am really looking forward to getting there. I hope you are achieving the goals you have for your healthy life--this is not voodoo or magic--just use the wonderful tools here and you can do it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THESILVERLADY 2/20/2011 9:08AM

    Sorry about the stress. Good for you keeping your eye on the weight loss prize despite life's challeges.

Your comment on the weight listed on your driver's license, I am reminded of my daughter. She has proclaimed her weight loss goal to be quote "weigh what my driver's license says I weigh.".

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FUNNINFIT 2/20/2011 9:00AM

    At least you're still losing & haven't lost sight of your goals, even when life throws upsets your way...hang in there! emoticon

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KALISWALKER 2/20/2011 2:46AM

    Sorry to hear there is illness in your family. Wow I know many of us wish we weighed the same as our driver's licence! Wish you all the best my friend!

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STUFFEDPUPPET 2/20/2011 12:49AM

    Sorry for family illness. Sending prayers of healing. Congratulations on all of your weight loss. Sounds like you are doing wonderfully with your progress. Keep up the hard work and take care of yourself.

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MUEHLBBO 2/20/2011 12:08AM

    I would love to see a blog from you everyday. You are such an inspiratation to me. If I remember correctly, you were the one that steered me to the last challenge. On one of you comments on one of my blogs, you told me about it. I am so thankful that you did. Not only did it help me those two months, it also let me get to know you better. Keep on blogging.

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NASCAR_CHICK 2/19/2011 11:20PM

    Sorry to hear about the stress in your life... hope things get better for you & your family members soon!

Congrats on the weight loss so far... I can relate to the driver's license weight... mine has said 200 all my adult life because I refused to go higher than that... but the last time I weighed that was the age of 20. However, I can now say that I weigh less than my DL! WooHoo!!!

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PERSISTANT123 2/19/2011 9:50PM

    I'm sorry to hear about the stressful time you are going through right now. Take care of you the best you can in the circumstances.

We'll all be doing the happy dance when you get below 300. We know that you are going to make it!
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BHSUZYCUE 2/19/2011 9:48PM

    You are such an inspiration. emoticon

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Shoveling Snow--Part Deux--with Pics

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What a Winter--to paraphrase Yakov! I lived for a year in Moorhead, Minnesota, just across the river from Fargo, N.D. of the movie "Fargo" fame. That winter was ridiculously cold and snowy--but the hearty Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish community up there would just shrug it off with sayings like "Ya well we do have 9 months of winter here and just 3 months of pretty tough sledding." I was there to teach at a local college.

When the college sent me on a trip to Memphis for a national convention in the middle of March and I had to dig my way out to drive to the airport I couldn't believe it! But when I arrived in Memphis I was truly awestruck--the grass was green, the trees were budding, flowers were blooming and spring was in the air! Add to that my trips to Beale Street and to local barbeque restaurants plus a cruise on the Mississippi with a big band playing I swore that would be my last winter there. And it was! I have nothing but admiration for the stoic folks who live in the far north and are well-adapted, but this Southern boy was not prepared for how COOOOLD it could be at -40 with a 50 mile per hour breeze and a snowpack that lasted through mid-April when the lakes finally began to ice-out.

Fast forward about 30 years and I am nicely situated near where I grew up and living on a small farm in the beautiful Ozarks of Southern Missouri. I have been semi-retired for a year and a half and supplement my income by teaching online college classes which do not require me to leave the house--although I love to get out and explore my surroundings. This winter has brought back those memories of winter in the far north--although I will confess this is nothing compared to what they have on a regular basis. But for Ozarkers--this is a record-setting winter--with the largest snow totals in either 20 or 40 years depending on which cafe you visit to talk with the local coffee club.

I have already blogged about many phases of my journey from 385 to 304, but I would like to reemphasize that this is not just about weight loss. I am more physically fit than I have been for many years. By regularly working out at the gym (I am in mourning because it is 35 snow-packed miles from here), taking regular walks, doing strength training and now shoveling snow I can take on challenges that would have frightened me out of my wits 10 months ago. I wrote a blog about my last episode of snow shoveling and I was hoping that would be my last--but here I am for part Deux.

Last night we got 10 inches of new snow.


That was to go with the 18 inches we already had which had melted somewhat for a new total of 21 inches as you can see in this picture.

Sadly, I had been carrying our snow shovel in the car which, as you can see, is some distance from the house.

Alas--I would have to use our much smaller shovel to cut a path out to the car. I am not quite there yet, but much closer than I was--after all I need cardio for tomorrow too! Here is the proof that I am a changed man once again--a man wearing size 44 jeans instead of 58, 81+ pounds lighter, who can shovel snow with the best of them.


I have no desire to move back north and I am anxiously awaiting the balmier weather predicted for next week (50's instead of the present 14!). But one way or the other, I am grateful to be a stronger and healthier man right now. If you think it can't happen to you, I am living proof that you should never give up--in the words (allegedly) of Churchill--never never never never never give up! Have a great winter--and we can welcome spring back very soon.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLWOF1 2/10/2011 7:59PM

    Well at least you found a new way to get some cardio in this winter! Glad you're able to do it! Healthy is the way to be!

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BABYNURSE2000 2/10/2011 1:26PM

    So proud to have you as our motivational and inspirational Joplin team leader - you're the BEST!!!

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THESILVERLADY 2/10/2011 10:17AM

    EXCELLENT: Your physical achievements. Your perseverance. This blog. All excellent.




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HAPPYSOUL91 2/10/2011 9:19AM

    Loved what you said " I can take on challenges that would have frightened me out of my wits 10 months ago" Amazing what drive and determination to do to our brain!

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KTACKEBE 2/10/2011 3:49AM

    Awesome! You've come a long way baby! emoticon

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ERIECANALGAL 2/10/2011 12:34AM

    Well, at least you can use the snow shoveling as cardio and you get two days worth yet. Isn't it great to be able to do it and he healthier and stronger!
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KALISWALKER 2/9/2011 10:57PM

    I am far north and -40 is quite normal in the winter... summer it thaws a bit LOL. I am moving to Vancouver, Canada this year and hopefully little snow if any. You are right about the shovelling, it great exercise and the cold is an incentive to do it quickly. After all that shovelling no sense going to the gym, just time to rest before the next snowfall. I always enjoy your blogs!

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MUEHLBBO 2/9/2011 9:50PM

    Well, Gary, I am in that lovely ND country. We have been blessed this past week with no new snow, but plenty of the old stuff blowing around. Yesteray, some schools closed early because of poor conditions. The rural people are really struggling, as roads are constantly plugged. You hear people talking all the time about only one road open between "here and there". There's just no place to put the snow. Add the terribly cold weather and it's been tough. Things are looking up though. They are talking about it being in the 30s and possibly 40s next week (and that's above zero!!) I'm really glad that you are improving and getting healthier. I, too, and handle a shovel a little easier. I have to be carefuly because of back and neck problems and I just can't stand the cold, but if need be I can shovel some (not like you have though). Have a good time tomorrow finishing up!

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NOLACHERIE 2/9/2011 8:55PM

    Not as much here because we only got 6" from the blizzard last week. I was oohing & ahhing at the great depth of snow then, but we got about 10" or so from this one. I laugh now at the difference! Truly amazing. My Honey shoveled this time (I did most last week).

Hope Spring comes soon! High 50's will be here Monday so warmth IS on it's way, even if for a brief period. It's a start.

Hope you thaw quickly & nice job on the snow shoveling.

emoticon

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MARCHEM 2/9/2011 7:26PM

    We only got about 5 inches in Joplin, but it still is crazy. I'm looking forward to this weekend and the warmer weather.

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LOUANN22 2/9/2011 5:14PM

    Thats a ton of snow. Great cardio exercise for sure. I think thats the only reason I was looking forward to snow this year. So far I've only had to shovel twice. (my whole driveway) Heres to you and a healthy life style :) emoticon

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SAISHA100CJ 2/9/2011 4:08PM

    Oh my, Gary, that's a lot of snow! Pretty awesome photos, though. We may even have a little snow tonight!
Congratulations to you for being stronger and healthier. You are right - we must never give up! Enjoy your evening and I hope you do not receive too much more snow!

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80--Finally!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

I am so glad to write this blog--it won't be a long one, but I just wanted to share how I am feeling about FINALLY breaking through this number. If you have followed my saga you know I thought I was nearly here some time ago, but then realized I had a malfunctioning scale. I ordered a new one, and my heart sank when I saw the 312 pound figure--up 7 from where I thought I was! Thankfully, this is a great scale and gives me consistent readouts, so this time I am not hesitant to report my results.

The holiday season has not been kind. I did not have major food bad days, but just the fact that my gym was closed extra days, the cold and snow precluded the only alternative for cardio that I enjoyed and just a general mental struggle because the weight was higher than I had thought.

Then, beginning January 6 I increased my teaching work load and a week later added a third class--this meant a lot of additional time and made getting to the gym (I drive 35 miles to get there) much harder. Further, the software learning curve for the new school has been a lot worse than I expected, I have had to deal with some family illness, and combined with a naturally difficult season I have had the worst struggles of this whole change in lifestyle here at SP.

The motivation I get from this site and my SparkFriends has been enormously important to keep me going. Several times I have been very blue and someone has sent me a goodie or expressed appreciation and encouragement--or I have read a motivating article from the great folks here at SparkPeople--and have had the courage to "keep on keeping on." So--despite all my problems, I finally got a day back at the gym, worked hard on eating nutritious food and the weight began coming off this week. And when the scale showed 304.6 this morning--I really needed it and it came at just the right time. My original weight just before joining Sparkpeople was 385, so this brings me to 80.4 lbs lost. I have blogged before about the tremendous changes this has brought to my life, so I won't go into everything here again, but my life is definitely so much better now.

If you are feeling blue or needing encouragement I urge you to share your situation with friends here at SP--no one else will understand those problems like they do. When I see friends I haven't seen for a while they will comment on my loss and want to know what I am doing and that is great, but it is not NEARLY the motivation I gain from this site. I know I still have a very long way to go, but I know that with God's help, the help of family and friends, but most of all from my SparkFriends that I am going to make it all the way. I hope that you find the help you need today, and please know that if I can do this at my age and condition when I started, anyone can. Don't ever give up and don't let anyone convince you otherwise--you can do this!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LIGHTHOUSEGIRL1 2/1/2011 11:19PM

    Great job Gary....Amen to keep on keeping on !!! emoticon emoticon huge accomplishment Gary..... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DGIBSON02 1/31/2011 10:25AM

    That's incredible. It's so much more rewarding to reach milestones when we have to work so much harder for them.

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BHSUZYCUE 1/30/2011 7:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENNYAN45 1/28/2011 3:38PM

    WOW!!! What a HUGE accomplishment!! Congratulations!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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*ERICA* 1/28/2011 12:33PM

    emoticon

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JLWOF1 1/28/2011 9:15AM

    I'm so glad that you find emotional support here on Spark! I hope you know what an inspiration you are to all of us! Congrats on reaching that 80 lbs. goal! I hope things calm down in your life soon. If there is anyone on this site that can reach their goals, I truly believe that person to be you!

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KTACKEBE 1/28/2011 2:23AM

    Way to go!! As soon as I read this I had to get up off my hiney and do some excersise! You are an inspiration to us all!
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MUEHLBBO 1/27/2011 7:03PM

   
I'm so happy for you. You give us so much encourgament and motivation. It's so heartwarming to see that you finally get the satisfaction of reaching a goal you've worked so hard for. Continue the great work. I'm watching you!

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KALISWALKER 1/27/2011 3:33PM

    emoticon80 pounds! What a wonderful accomplishment!

Thanks for the pep talk Gary! I need that today and I am looking forward to hearing about your next milestone. emoticon

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BABYNURSE2000 1/27/2011 1:50PM

    Happy dance here emoticon

I had no doubt in your abilities. Cause you are THE man of fitness! When I think it's over, I think of how far you've come, and that I can't give it up.

Happy dance again - because you CAN!!!!

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MARCHEM 1/27/2011 12:40PM

    Congratulations, Gary! Thank you for all the support you've given me. I'm glad I can return the favor!

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69NURSE 1/27/2011 12:38PM

    emoticon blog Gary!! emoticon emoticon on the weight loss. YOU are such an inspiration to others. I can only try to imagine how good you must feel having gotten this far. You have endured so much but you have gained far more - improved self esteem, improved self image, more energy, tremendous health benefits - dude, you are truly AWESOME!! I am so very proud of you and know you will eventually meet all the goals you have set for yourself. I am sorry to hear you have had some family issues, but I hope they are being resolved as well. Spring will come eventually and then you will be able to get back out to walking the farm. I complain about a 7 mile drive to the gym - not sure I would be as good as you if I had to drive 35 miles!!! That is what I drive to work each day (70miles a day) - yikes. That in itself deserves an extra KUDOS to you for your determination. Have a great day Gary and good luck with your increased work load. emoticon emoticon

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MINDY502 1/27/2011 12:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/27/2011 12:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 1/27/2011 11:14AM

    I love your thought process. You faced stressful situations, discouragement but came through and thought of your health.

Good job on being determined and continuing your drive to success.

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STANBUSH 1/27/2011 10:55AM

    Way to go.. good for you... keep it up...

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LEYETTE 1/27/2011 10:55AM

    emoticon Congratulations!!! emoticon emoticon

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WALKITOFF101 1/27/2011 10:44AM

  emoticon Keep up the good work!

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Shoveling Snow with pictures

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Snow is not a frequent visitor to our small farm in the Ozarks, but when it comes it can shut down everything for a few days until it ultimately melts. This morning I awoke to about 4 inches of new snow and it was a beautiful sight from my kitchen window. Normally, in the past I would have waited a couple of days to try and get out in the hope that the snow would go away on its own. But now, my life is very different.

Today, I knew I needed to get in some exercise time and that shoveling snow is a pretty good cardio and strength workout. A year ago I would have been frightened to death that I would take about one scoop of this very wet snow and have a heart attack. I also feared losing my balance and falling on my face.

Since April of 2010 I have not only lost close to 80 lbs, I have gained a great deal of strength and stamina. By joining a yoga class, my balance is improving every week. So, I was really looking forward to facing something that would have been my nemesis a year ago.

The snow was very wet and heavy, but it was also beautiful and fluffy--and my two cats jumped into it and began to play. Here are some of the tracks they left behind.

I am proud to say I shoveled my back porch rather quickly, then my sidewalk and the area around my cars.

I also lifted the 25 lb bag of ice melt and applied it to the sidewalk, and I did all this without even breathing very hard. It was cold but bracing and I really felt alive--considering last year I would have spent the time cowering inside and barely able to get out of my easy chair. Here is my sidewalk.

The strangest things become exciting as I travel this journey to a better and healthier life. If you think you cannot join me, you are wrong! If I can get my body out of my chair, deal with my diabetes and charcot's foot, track all my food, get in daily fitness no matter what--then you can too. I encourage you to start today! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BHSUZYCUE 1/22/2011 10:33AM

    What an amazing person you are, Gary! I am so proud of being a member of SP with inspiring people like you!!! emoticon

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HAPPYSOUL91 1/21/2011 12:03PM

    Look at how far you have come, you are really doing an excellent job!

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JLWOF1 1/21/2011 10:48AM

    You've come a long way in such a short period. I can't wait to see what the next year brings for you! Great job with the snow!

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KTACKEBE 1/21/2011 2:53AM

    You are an awesome inspiration! I love the snow and love walking in it cause I don't have to get all sweaty like in the summer time! Keep it up Gary!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX10 1/21/2011 12:30AM

    emoticon What an inspiration you are. Way to get out there and get it done.

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ERIECANALGAL 1/21/2011 12:28AM

    Great blog! It is true for me too. A few years ago I would never shovel or even go out much if it was snowing. Now I'm proud to be able to shovel, carry heavy bags around, and count it all as exercise. Isn't it wonderful to be able to do all this.
emoticon
Dottee

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LESLIE_2B_LESS 1/21/2011 12:18AM

    You are such an inspiration! I just loved this blog -- to think that a year ago this wouldn't have even been on your radar! What a difference a year of healthy eating & excercise can make.

You are awesome! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALISWALKER 1/21/2011 12:15AM

    Thanks for the pep talk Gary!

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GOGIRLOLDER 1/21/2011 12:01AM

    Good for you!! It is great to be alive!! and moving! emoticon emoticon

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LIGHTHOUSEGIRL1 1/20/2011 11:46PM

    Great blog Gary ! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THESILVERLADY 1/20/2011 10:07PM

    Awesome! emoticon

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MUEHLBBO 1/20/2011 8:01PM

    Way to go. I still can't stand the cold, but I know what you mean by being able to handle the actual shoveling. If it's nice, I'll tackle it. Cold, no way. Anyway, congrats on your great journey. You are doing so well.

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BABYNURSE2000 1/20/2011 8:01PM

    Inspiring Gary! I adore your upbeat attitude, and your encouragement. You're an awesome team leader, a great spark friend, and a MOD to me, even if not the "chosen one" for SP! BTW, I have a friend who was just diagnosed with Charcot - it's been quite a blow for him. Maybe I can get him to join SP, and join our team. He & his wife live in Galena. Be blessed this year!

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BECKA525 1/20/2011 7:46PM

    I like shoveling snow if it wasn't so darn cold. emoticon

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8KAREN 1/20/2011 6:41PM

    Good for you! All your Spark friends are proud. What a difference a year can make...especially nice when you are going in the right direction. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BECKYLYNNE77 1/20/2011 5:40PM

    That is alot of snow

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PRINCESSNURSE 1/20/2011 5:40PM

    It is those non-scale victories that mean so much! WTG! Now...come to Indiana and shovel my very LOOOOOOONG driveway please emoticon

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HEY_STEVE 1/20/2011 5:04PM

    Atta boy Gary! Enjoy your snow, it can lead to all kinds of fun too! Snowshoeing, sledding and skiing. We are forecast for 9 to 13 inches tomorrow, so if you get bored, come on up to Maine. We got plenty to do!

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ISHIIGIRL 1/20/2011 4:56PM

    Shoveling snow is a great workout. It is even in the fitness tracker. Great job, you killed two birds with one stone, you got your walkway cleared and got in a good cardio workout Way to go!

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WILLIAMV3 1/20/2011 4:54PM

    emoticon

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