Saturday, October 01, 2011
Since I've started walking every other day and trying to increase my time and distance, I've been commenting about it in my daily chats and updates. Lise, my dear sweet Canadian friend, asked me if I live in the country. So, because we've chatted about it a little, I told her I'd post a few pics. For those of you who haven't guessed, I live in SE Iowa right in the middle of farming country--most of you will probably find the photos amazingly boring.
As I leave my driveway and get started down the highway (yes, this part of the walk is on a state highway), I don't have much competition for the roadway, as you can see. It's a quiet little highway, but great for walking. The house on the left is empy, but the family still owns it and visits periodically.
Down the road I go, getting to certain milestones I've used to mark my progress. But, mostly this is what I see. That's a soybean field on the left and the neighbor's buildings on the right. More about that later.
Here's the corner 1/2 mile south of my house and was one of my first goals. I was elated when I managed to do a mile in one day!
My turnaround point today was the electric pole on the left.
Sometimes I see this
I didn't get a photo of the really big tractors and wagons. This is a grain augur that is used to transfer grain from wagons to grain bins or other storage.
Here I am coming back up the road towards my corner and eventually home. See the farmstead in the distance? That's my neighbor's house. The grain bin that is bigger than the house holds a little over 100,000 bushels of grain!
If you look really carefully at this photo, past all the grain bins and slightly to the left, you'll see our house.
Finally I'm almost there! Huffing and puffing my way closer to home and a big glass of water!!! This is the house sitting right next to a corn field!
1.8 miles later and I'm almost crawling up the sidewalk to the back door! Don't pay any attention to the weeds...don't they say they are just misplaced flowers? So that, dear friends, is my incredibly boring walk! Lise, what do you think now? Seriously, we love living here and wouldn't be anywhere else (except in the winter when we like to go somewhere a little warm for a little visit)!
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Since I've been back on SP and found my favorite team (Over 60++) I've had a chance to get involved with the team challenges and to meet such wonderful and motivating Spark Sisters. It has been such a pleasure to get to know so many new friends!
Some of the challenges have been more challenging than I ever expected!! I've also learned a lot about myself and more about what it takes to turn this journey to better health into a success story. I have discovered that I actually have to do something to achieve success!
I have to plan my meals, make a reasonable grocery list, read the wonderful articles on SP, chat with friends because that is where I get so much of my support, and some other things that are even harder for me. For example, I have to track my food intake because I have learned that it is helpful to see how much I'm eating of all the things good for me, as well as all the things that are questionable. Tracking helps me to evaluate how each day has gone, what I need to work on for tomorrow, and it gives me a way to think about how to make better plans for tomorrow. I've even learned to like it.
But, what about exercise? No, no, no...not exercise!! I have to do exercise, too? Yikes!! I hate exercise and find it boring, time-wasting and often mind-numbing. It also means I have to do something more than eat right. Now I have to plan this into my day!! I've read all the articles and I know all the great information out there about how important it is to a healthy body and lifestyle. I know all that! I also know that you need to do it often.
When the team challenges came up that involved exercise, I halfheartedly participated by getting some done most days, but not all. I still couldn't walk very far and I didn't have much stamina. My balance wasn't the best and I didn't have much core strength (actually, none).
However, you might call me an exercise in progress! This journey of mine to better health includes more than shedding weight and eating in a healthful way. It includes EXERCISE! There...I said it!! If I can stop thinking negatively about the E word, but keep planning a way of life that includes more physical activity, and if I can begin to build stronger legs (this morning I walked 1.6 miles) and a good heart (soon to go off BP meds, I think), and if I can actually stand on one foot for 20 or more seconds at a time—then I can and will continue to move more and sit less, and maybe I'll even be an inspiration for someone else some day.
The thing is that it doesn't happen by itself—I actually have to get up off my backside and do it. No one else can do it for me. I'm the one and only one who can do it—NO EXCUSES! NO WHINING! Wishing won't make it happen. Regret won't make it happen. Just me, right now...today!! I don't want to live the rest of my life with regret over what I didn't do to help myself. That's why I'm trying my best to be accountable to ME and to my team mates, to challenge myself often and keep putting one foot in front of the other!! After all, I want to be around long enough to spend lots of time with my family, have a few more good laughs with friends, travel to great places, and do lots of other things I haven't even thought of yet!!
PS: I've promised my team mates that if I ever say I “like” exercise, they can come over and beat me 29 lashes with a wet noodle. I just want everybody to know that I still don't like it—just acknowledging that it is important and I'm doing it!! LOL!!!
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
This morning I was prepping the crockpot for something I planned to fix for dinner. As usual, I got out the spray and gave the inside of the pot a healthy dose, noticing as I usually do that it looks like a fair bit of oil on the sides and bottom. I've always heard that using the cooking spray is a great way to save calories and besides...nothing sticks when you use it. I think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.
Out of curiosity I looked at the nutritional analysis for the spray I use. It says 0 calories for 1/3 second spray! You have to be kidding me!! 1/3 second??
Interesting...no calories were listed for a full second of spray...in fact, no calories were listed for anything. Now, I'm not naive enough to think there are no calories at all in that spray, and especially I'm not naive enough to think that I only use 1/3 second's worth of spray!!
What to do? Nothing, I think, except use less of it if I can. I still think it's great, and I'm not about to start buying plastic liner things to put in the pot when cooking—one more thing for the landfill, not to mention the cost. Besides...this hasn't been an issue so far in my journey to a healthier life. On the other hand, it is a good reminder to me to be sure to read ALL the labels, not just the obvious ones.
I may try to see how much 1/3 second of spray is, though...hmmm...how do I measure 1/3 second?
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Shedding pounds is great! There are all kinds of wonderful things that happen and we all know how much healthier we become as we move towards a healthier weight! This is our goal and something we strive for day in and day out.
But, is there a down side to this weight loss? I'm here to tell you there is! Oh no, you're saying...not possible...what could be “bad” about losing weight? Well...here it is: wrinkles and lost and wayward eyebrows!
As I hit the 30# weight loss milestone, I noticed something remarkable in the mirror! I have wrinkles! Not unusual, of course, in a woman my age. After all, I'm pushing 68. But, the truth is, I never had wrinkles before. Naturally, this is because I had plenty of subcutaneous tissue (AKA: fat) to fill those wrinkles out. I had smooth skin and NO wrinkles!
The other thing I noticed is that my wayward eyebrows (AKA: chin whiskers) seemed to be missing! Alas...they were NOT missing! I just couldn't see them because part of my double chin was gone!! I was always able to kind of push my second chin up a little further so I could see better, pluck the darned things out, and go on my way. Not anymore! Now I have to enlist the help of my unwilling husband to try to find them, tell me where they are, and then I hope I manage to get them trapped in my tweezers! I'm still working on a better way to do it.
Of course, wrinkles and wayward eyebrows are not enough of a detriment for me to give up my goal of reaching a healthy weight, and truthfully, they're a pretty small price to pay! I just have to learn to recognize myself in the mirror and like what I see, wrinkles and all!! Here's to more healthy “wrinkles” for all of us!!
Saturday, September 03, 2011
Families!! You just gotta love 'em! Especially when they're yours, right? But the day to day struggles and squabbles are interesting and challenging sometimes. Sibling rivalry when they're adults? A little tif between daughter and one of her brothers? Annoyances with your spouse, if you have one that you usually get along with? An elderly mother who calls to tell you she fell out of bed--3 days ago??!! What was she thinking??
Then you must add in the responsibilities and expectations of being the good daughter, helpful mother, and loving and caring grandmother, or whatever your life demands. Of course, I wouldn't trade any of it for even a second, because I know only too well how fleeting a loved one's presence is when they're no longer with us.
One thing I've noticed, however, is that when I want or need help, support, and above all, understanding in this journey of a lifetime called weight loss, I turn to my wonderful SparkFriends and Sisters! No one else can truly understand the issues and challenges as they do. No one except those Sisters has been or is where I am. If I need a hug or someone to lean on for a little bit, I know where to go. If I want someone to jump up and down with me because I shed 1/2 pound, I know where to go. If I need or want someone to listen to my woes about getting into those snacks I know I didn't need, I know where to go. If I just want to have a good belly laugh, I know where to go! And, if I am a good Spark Sister, I am there for others, too, because I know how important it is to me to hug and jump and laugh and listen to them, as well--because it helps me to grow as a caring and giving person and makes me feel good to be able to give back (or forward) in a positive and meaningful way.
Thank you Sparkie Sisters and Friends for being there when I need you most!! I couldn't do it without you and I love you all!
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