Tuesday, May 24, 2011
The World of Spark is a wonderful place! I've been very neglectful of my beautiful friends who've been so kind and left messages on my page. I want to thank each and every one of you!! I haven't actually been to my page in a long time, and was just there to see all of the marvelous messages. While I don't have time right now on my lunch hour to respond, I hope to be able to very soon!
When I spoke at the rally, I didn't think that anyone would be interested in what I had to say. But the opposite was true. Thank you all for taking such an interest! You are wonderful, exciting, encouraging, gracious, and supportive to me. THANK YOU!!!
Like I said at the rally, I've known about Spark People for a while, but I hadn't been doing much on the website except for food and goal tracking. I had to be drug here...and now...well, I'm so glad that Beth didn't give up on me! Thank you, ~Indygirl! I plan to be on the site much more often, interacting more with all of you wonderful Spark People. You all ROCK!
Thanks for everything. It was such an eye-opening experience at the rally in meeting all of you that were there. We will make it to our goal on this journey and we will maintain a healthy lifestyle. No doubt about it! Keep sparking!
Love to all,
Tina (a.k.a. hoosiergirlindy)
Monday, January 17, 2011
When I heard "Microtel" I wasn't really sure what to expect...probably like many of you. The Microtel in Florence, Kentucky was more than I would have thought to expect at a price of $69.99 per night. I'm incredibly pleased to have been able to go to the hotel and see it in person so that I can report to you on the condition and amenities offered. I'm a bit of a germophobe, and with that being said, this is one of the cleanest facilities that I've seen! The hotel not only looked clean, but it smelled clean, as well. That is the most important thing to me when finding a place to stay. Please see the list of amenities below, and then the rest of the review below that. Photos of the hotel are available on my Spark Page at http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_photo_ga
•Free Wireless Internet access (Ethernet cables available also)
•Free local telephone calls
•Premium television channels
Hotel Amenities and Available Services:
•Free 18-holes of golf at adjacent golf course (miniature golf & swimming may be available by May)
•Free work-out at nearby health club (show your room card for free work-out)
•Free Continental Breakfast
•Cribs are available at an additional charge
•Rollaway beds are available at an additional charge
•Pay Washer and dryer available on first floor vending area
•Business center access (computer, printer, fax, etc.)
•Discount at select restaurants nearby
•Pets are welcome ($10.00 non-refundable pet fee)
The common areas of the hotel are simply, yet elegantly decorated, clean, and spacious.
There is a small sitting area centered around the front window. It has a couch and a couple of chairs with a lamp.
There is a business area where there is computer access, a printer, and fax machine. Charges apply to use the printer and fax, etc.
There is a lounge area near the check-in desk where there's a leather couch, chairs, a fish tank, and a television.
There is vending and ice on all three floors. The first floor vending area also has a pay washer and dryer available.
Near the vending area on the first floor is the breakfast area. It's a small room with a few tables. A continental breakfast is served in the mornings.
The conference center has enough room for roughly 100 people. We will have several rows of tables for guests, and two-three round tables for staff working at the rally. The conference center room is clean, and has adequate facilities for our event: pull-down projection screen, television, sink, two exits, and three temperature control units to keep the room at an even, comfortable temperature.
The first and second floors are all non-smoking rooms. The entire third floor is comprised of smoking rooms only. I couldn't inspect any smoking rooms, as all of them were occupied at the time, so I don't know if they are in a different condition than the non-smoking rooms on the first and second floors. There is an elevator that goes to all three floors.
There are both one-bed and two-bed rooms and suites available. We were shown three different types of rooms: 1-bed room, 2-bed room, and a 2-bed, one-room suite. All of the beds are queen-size. All of the rooms were immaculately clean. The carpeting looked new, and all of the linens were clean (although there was one small stain on one of the sheets). The bathroom was of adequate size and has a hair dryer and the normal bathroom amenities available. The bathroom is the same in each type of room. All of the rooms have one darkened-mirrored wall, which is above the head of the bed(s) in the room. I think the mirrors add to the room in making it appear larger. The mattresses were clean and didn't have any stains or abnormalities of any kind.
Both the one-bed and two-bed rooms are $69.99 per night, so when you call to schedule your room, if you want the two-bed room, be sure to request it. The staff indicated that the two-bed room is the one that they will assign to people when they call, but just to be sure that you get what you want, you should ask for it to reduce the possibility of errors in communication. The two-bed room is adequately spacious. The one-bed room would be adequate for one person, but it is quite small. I would not recommend the one-bed room unless you don't mind being somewhat cramped, especially if you have two or more in your party.
The two-bed, one-room suite is complete with the same amenities as the other rooms. In addition, it has a sink, refrigerator and microwave. It is quite spacious. This room is $79.99 per night. If you don't mind paying the extra $10.00, this is really nice.
The hotel allows you to bring your pet for an additional $10.00 pet charge per night. The $10.00 pet fee is non-refundable.
The hotel has deals with some of the businesses nearby that are advantageous to people staying at Microtel. For instance, there is a golf course nearby that allows people staying at the Microtel to play a free 18-hole course. Along with the golf course is a driving range. The golf course is adding a miniature golf course and swimming pool that is expected to be complete in the Spring.
While there is not a work-out area in the hotel, they do have an agreement with a gym accross the street. If you show the gym staff your room card, you can work out for free. I'm not sure what the hours are at the nearby gym, or what the facility offers, but there is a place to work out for those who like to begin or end their day with a work-out.
All in all, I feel that this hotel is exactly what we need for our rally. It's a moderately priced, clean hotel. It has the cleanliness and most of the amenities of a 3-star hotel at a 2-star hotel price. The only thing that would have been nice is to have had a health room and pool on-site. Even without those two items, I think one would be hard-pressed to find a better place to hold our rally. I give this hotel an enthusiastic thumbs-up!
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
Today was a successful spark day. I think I've found my spark again! Thank you all for your support and encouragement. I LOVE SPARK PEOPLE!!!
This was the very first day in weeks that I went without a Pepsi or a Coke. It was a small success, but the first of what I plan to be MANY!
It occurs to me that blogging is one way to remain accountable to myself...and to get that encouragement and support that Spark People are so famous for...and offer the same to others.
I so hope that I really will be able to offer encouragement, hope, and motivation to someone else and pass on the spark!
Have a beautiful day and keep sparking!!!
Tuesday, September 07, 2010
Have you ever been in a situation of your own device that renders you feeling completely embarrassed and ashamed? That's where I am today. I've struggled with my weight my entire life. I've been overweight as far back as I can remember.
In 2004, I underwent bariatric surgery to assist with weight loss. I did incredibly well for about 4 years. I went from 382 pounds in 2004 down to 196 pounds in 2008. In January 2008, my hubby and I went through a separation. By May of that year, we'd moved back in together. Soon after, things went back to the way they were before. I coped with this by testing my limits, pushing the limits, and finally shattering the limits of the amount of food my smaller stomach would hold. I started drinking soda again, I started eating foods that contained a lot of fat and sugar again. Amazingly, I suffer very little dumping syndrome, so that hasn't served as a deterrent to my self-destructive behavior.
From July 2008 to the present, I have gained back up to 273 pounds. I'm incredibly discouraged, embarrassed, and ashamed that I have allowed this to happen. To add to that shame, my father gave me the "talk" about my weight this weekend. He reminded me that when I'm in my 50's the weight is going to take a much greater toll on my well-being. Heck, it's already taking a toll on me. I hurt constantly from the weight. That's compounded by the rheumatoid arthristis that I've been recently diagnosed with. I can't believe how much it hurts...and to think that I'm still over 100 pounds lighter than I was when I started! If I allow myself to gain any more weight, I'm afraid that I'll altogether lose the will to live.
I've been involved with SparkPeople on and off in the past. My friend Beth is a spark FANATIC! She has lost over 130 pounds with the help of Sparkpeople. So, finally, I've pulled my head out of the sand and decided that it's time to get back to sparking! I don't know where to begin, so I'm beginning at the BEGINNING again. I'm going to start changing one small thing at a time and continue adding on to that as I can. I'm hoping that I can do this. I felt so good when I'd gotten down below 200 pounds... and it hurts so much again now... I've gotta lose this weight again. I realize that I will never be a skinny person, and that's okay with me. But I need to be healthy so that I will be able to see my son grow up.
Does anyone have any words of wisdom, encouragement, or advice? I could really use it now. Thanks so much!
Monday, December 29, 2008
In November, after having met all my insurance deductibles and having enough money in my health savings account to cover it, I scheduled a "routine" hernia repair surgery, as one of the common side effects of weight loss surgery is an incisional hernia. The routineness of the hernia repair came to an end when I got another common side effect of surgery, an infection. After rounds of two different antibiotics, and finally draining a large amount of infected fluid off my abdomen, it was determined that I have MRSA. MRSA is commonly thought of as a viral infection. However, it is not at all a virus. It is a bacterial infection that is resistant to many penicillin-based antibiotics. There are different types of this infection. In my situation, the surgeon went back in and took out the infected mesh that was used to repair the hernial originally. He replaced the mesh with a biologic mesh, taken from a cow. The incision was left open this time, and now I'm attached 24/7 to a thing called a wound vac, a miracle of modern medicine. With the wound vac, a medical sponge is inserted into the wound and covered with an air-tight adhesive and a tube attached to a vacuum to suck out the fluid that the wound creates (it truly is amazing, even if I am resentful of being attached to it at all times). In addition to the wound vac, I also have to take intravenous vancomycin (a very strong, broad spectrum antibiotic) twice a day. With any luck, this will all end by January 8, 2009.
My day took a real turn when I read my email this afternoon. My BFF, Indygirl~ was featured as today's motivator, I was so filled with pride!!! She is the best friend a person could ever have! She is also a very motivating force in my life. She's fantastic! She's one of the strongest people I've ever met. If you talk to her, she would completely deny this...as would most people that other people see as heroic in their lives. I see ~Indygirl and everything she goes through on a daily basis...she has lost over 100 pounds all on her own....no surgeries, no pills, nothing except sheer willpower and willingness to make changes in her everyday choices. I am so in awe of her that it makes me sick that I sit here and feel sorry for myself!!!! How dare I do that??? She has issues that limit her mobility and I can walk freely with the exception of my wound vac, that will be off of me with any luck early next year. ~Indygirl is exceptional, and she has motivated me today to stop feeling sorry for myself, to pick myself up, dust myself off and move forward with life and with weight loss. I've known ~Indygirl for 20+ years now, and we've been through good and bad together. We will conquer this weight loss thing together, too! YOU GO, ~INDYGIRL!!! I am so honored to know you and count you among the best blessings that I've been so mercifully given!!!
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