Monday, February 15, 2010
That's right folks I refuse to sell the fundraiser candy!!! Granted, we did participate in the school's Valentine's Day See's Candy Fundraiser, but only reluctantly and because we hadn't participated in any of the other fundraisers to date. But, the straw that broke the camel's back came with my daughter's cheerleading fundraiser. The fundraiser is to earn money to pay for the quite expensive uniform that is extra from the cost of the classes. The kicker is that in order to earn the uniform you must sell 72 See's Candy candy bars!!!! 72!!! 72!!! I cannot and will not inflict 72 candy bars on my family members, husband's co-workers, etc. What really gets me is that little beginning CHEERLEADERS (the girls who, by high school age, all the other girls like to say are suffering from eating disorders (true or not) ) are selling CANDY to raise money!!! But it is not just the cheerleaders, it is also soccer teams and school districts. What kind of message are we sending by telling kids over and over that candy is bad for you and then ask them to go out and sell their family members that candy in order to raise money for their SPORTS teams. You know those things we sign our kids up for so they can go outside and run around and get healthier?!! Those of you who have had to participate in these candy sales know the real danger of them though!!
You take this box of candy home and are then responsible for selling it and paying the money you earned from the sales. So, you've got this big box of candy sitting in your house and what happens??? Your family eats it and you are left paying for all that over priced candy!! And are you lucky enough to avoid eating even one bar of it? Not likely!! You are lucky if you get away with eating just one bar! And of course these are the moster candy bars, containing an entire day's calories in one neat little wrapper!!
Fortunately the cheerleading fundraiser is optional. You can opt to pay the entire cost of the uniform or sell candy to earn part or all of the uniform's cost. Well, we were hoping that the fund raiser would be something NOT candy related, but it was so we opted to NOT sell the candy. However, I still wanted my daughter to do something to EARN at least part of her uniform so we got creative! We created some little critters to sell to earn money!! They are hard to describe so I will try to get a picture posted but I'll try to describe just in case I can't.
They are small stuffed "animals"/"dolls" that we made from soft fabrics and are really cute and pillowey (word?). One we made was a purple bearish critter with a purple face and blue button eyes, another was a "monster" who was blue with bat-ish ears, little felt fangs, and really long arms that you can tie into a knot. Some were more doll like with girlish faces, embroidered "eyelashes", and pom-pom ears. We have sold 3 so far and have a few more we can still sell. If my daughter sells all of them at $5 a piece she will have earned MOST of her uniform. Daughter is only 5 so I did ALL the sewing, but the kids all helped design each critter, picking out hand, foot and ear styles for each critter and my son in particular was having a blast at our family get together last night showing off the creation and trying to sell them.
I feel better knowing that my daughter is learning that creativity can pay off and that there are ways to get to your goal without resorting to selling candy. It really concerns me how many fundraisers are centered around food and candy. I am sure, that with a little creativity, our organizations could earn just as much money or MORE without sending our kids the message that candy is okay if you are eating to earn money for school, soccer, or whatever. It really concerns me that sports organizations participate in this practice. How hypocritical is it to say "come play soccer, it makes you healthy, but hey, we need you to go sell boxes and boxes of high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and empty calories to other people so that we can keep the costs of you getting healthy down, and by the way the kid who gets other people to consume the largest number of calories will get a special prize." It is like the government saying "we need to find a cure for diabetes so we need every citizen to go out and sell 100 candy bars, or more, to raise money for that cause, and if you sell the most candy we will give you a break on your healthcare costs!!"
So here's a thought, maybe it'll catch on..why don't we find sponsers who, instead of pledging prizes, will pledge cash donations for each kid who walks to school every day, or walks the dog in the evening or gets some sort of exercise not involving just your thumbs and eyeballs. Kids can get donations from friends and family members equalling the cost of a candy bar and instead of getting a million calories in return we get healthier children, who have better self-esteem, will be less likely to develop diabetes and other illness linked to obesity, and understand that candy is candy and there is never a time when it is okay to encourage consumption of large amounts of the stuff no matter how good the cause or how big the reward. Maybe next Valentine's day instead of selling heartshaped boxes of heart disease waiting to happen we can sell the idea of making our children's hearts healthier through exercise and proper eating and our schools and sports organizations will still get the funds they need in order to function. Sound good??
Friday, February 12, 2010
Just some random thoughts today.
Tis that time of year...for sniffs, sneezes and other bugs!! Last week youngest child came down with an ailment that resulted in a 12 hour fever and just a general malaise for the rest of the day and then it was gone and she returned to normal. Middle child had it yesterday and missed school for the first time-she cried!! Son is generally feeling under the weather with the same stomach bug I've had the last couple of days. Gotta love it when everyone is sick with something different. Makes me wonder when the fever will hit those of us who haven't had it and when the stomach bug will get the others! If we time it JUST RIGHT we can all be sick with something different at the SAME TIME!!!
Hopefully everyone will be healthy this weekend though. Sunday is a HUGE family bash and we don't want to miss it. An Aunt and Uncle who live in Oregon are coming for a visit and my nephew and his wife who have been in Germany (he is an Air Force Medic) are finally home (will be stationed about 2 hours away in L.A. for the next 4 years (Yeah!!)) so...we are all congregating at my sis' house for Sunday dinner-my sister's 4-plus nephew and wife (and Koko the dog), my 5, my brother's 5, my mom, an aunt's 4, and the visiting aunt and uncle make 23 people, plus nieces' boyfriends might come!! The great thing is that we all have a BLAST together so it will be a fun day.
Had a GREAT walk today after taking two days off. Took the days off because I just felt like I needed them. My knee was bothering me Tuesday night (I like to sit on the sofa with my feet tucked under and I did it wrong and tweaked my knee (trick knee since college), and I've just been kind of tired fighting off the bug. SO-no guilt the rest was needed and felt good but this morning's walk was also needed and felt good!!
Going to Disneyland next week to celebrate Hubby's and son's birthdays. We are celebrating early but the timing is right-the kids have all next week off school (Abe (Lincoln) and George (Washington) get a week to celebrate their birthdays here in Hemet) and hubby gets paid, so early it is!! Son doesn't mind at all that he gets to get some birthday presents two weeks early!!
Making a definite goal to stay in calorie range and get enough water today. Already got the cardio checked off the list so doing great there!! I guess that means I should actually track what I eat today....I've kind of fallen of the tracking wagon, time to get back in the buggy though. Got a sneaking suspicion that some of the tummy trouble could have been avoided with better eating.
Anyways, hope everyone has a great weekend and a happy Valentine's day!!
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Well, I had another ditzy moment this morning. We had really just started our run-same route I've taken over a hundred times now. I was on this one stretch where I have to pass several culs-de-sac before the next street we turn down. Well, I lost track of where I was and turned too soon. It was one of those rare moments when I was actually ahead of my sister (the dog needed to pause and she had to stop for a moment) so there was nobody ahead of me to watch and silly me turned one street too soon!! I noticed my error pretty quickly and turned back but it did, actually, make me laugh out loud-LOL!! When she caught up my sister commented on my mistake and it was still funny. She said she was wondering what was going on when I disappeared for a moment and then reappeared!!
So, we continued on with our run and one long street later I made another detour, this one intentional. At the end of one long street we always turn left, but if I turn right, just a few feet away is my favorite place to stretch. A "bridge" (decorative not actually over any water). Something about the railings is JUST RIGHT. It's like Goldilocks, there are lots of places to stop and stretch, benches, curbs, etc., but this bridge is just right and I really do get the best stretch when I stop there. Unfortunately, on our regular route the bridge only comes towards the end of the run. So, today I detoured and hit the bridge right after my first interval and WHAT A DIFFERENCE!! It made a world of difference to my run today!! I even had a nice little sprint at the end that left me feeling energized and powerful.
Just like in life, sometimes we make detours that take us off track and are not the best thing for us, sometimes the diet goes astray or we find that our new favorite "healthy" smoothy has more calories than a hamburger. But, other times we take a detour and it is the best thing we could have done. It is just a matter of watching for those good detours and trying to avoid the bad ones. Hope you all have a good detour today and find something wonderful and unexpected in your day and may all the bad detours be on a different route than the one you take today!! :)
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
In a few months you will have been active on Sparkpeople (this time around) for a full year and I just wanted to check in with you and see how you are doing.
I understand that you have had some trials recently, sore shins, weight gain instead of loss, just a general feeling of ick and a renewed issue with sugar.
I understand how these things can affect how you feel and how much you accomplish. I just hope that you have learned, here at SparkPeople, that you are not alone in any of these issues. There are hundreds of Sparkers just like you who have experienced the same thing and found a way around it. There are even Sparkers who have had further to travel than you and are still finding success.
You can do this you are a strong and determined person who will find the success you are looking for as long as you keep looking. Let's do a little review and see how much you have to be grateful for.
Sparkfriends...you have met so many awesome people here and quite a few of them have become true and honored friends who have stood by you and given you great advice, some of them were with you during the great 40th birthday debacle and some of them are new and you are still forming that bond of friendship. Caz NR Heathrow, The New Melissa, Wboyak, Lauranav, Firenut34, Rain Sis and Riteebee, Phdmam06 and so many more-sorry if you weren't named but the list would go on forever-trust in the fact that your friendship is cherished. Some of the friends you made in the beginning are no longer active and you miss them and hope that someday they will return, it is all a part of the process.
Blogs, you have written down your emotions, your trials and your triumphs, your blogs are numerous and each comment left by a reader is a treasure of support, love and advice. You have read many blogs and found something in each and every one that has helped you along your journey (yes even CAZ's funny blogs that have been there just to make you smile). You have met some awesome people through their blogs...Billalex70, Botzzz, Karvy09, and Pinkcoconut just to name a few.
Challenges-you have fed your competitive nature by joining a challenge or two and there are challenges still coming in your future. The challenges have been a fun way to keep that spark alive.
Successes- there have been quite a few of these. You ran your first 5K at DISNEYLAND none the less. A few months later you ran on Thanksgiving day and the view of the Pacific Ocean as you ran towards the finish line is a sight you will hold in your memory forever. You have lost some of the weight that you want to lose and more of that will be going too. You got into hiking and accomplished something not everyone has...you hiked to the top of a mountain and stood at the peak and savored the view of the world at your feet. Your family is eating healthier than they have in the past and your children, unlike so many, know what many fruits and vegetables look like in their natural form-apples that aren't sauce or pies, pumpkins that are not soup or pie and potatoes that haven't been frenched and fried. You took immense joy recently as you watched your 3 year old munching a carrot a la Bugs Bunny. A real carrot, not one put on a lathe and whittled down to look like a baby version of itself!! You have spent more time with your sister on walks and runs than you have spent with her in all the years since you left for college combined!! You have learned that you can keep going even when the elements have combined against you, conspiring to make you quit, give up and throw in the sweat soaked towel. You have found a new way of living.
Well, my friend, it has been a long journey thus far and there is still much of the journey left ahead, I am glad we get to make this journey together and can't wait to see what you will have to say next.
Have a good evening and a good run tomorrow. Remember your positive imagery-you are a runner, you run easily and lightly, slowly and steadily, you might be a penquin but you are NOT a couch potato. Keep up the good work friend.
Love you, Good-night.
Sunday, February 07, 2010
"Be like the bird who, halting in [her] flight on a limb too slight feels it give way beneath [her], yet sings knowing [she] hath wings." Victor Hugo
I read this quote a week ago and it has been rattling around in my brain since then. I found such peace and comfort in this quote.
"Be like the bird"...how many times have I felt like the fledgling leaving its nest, not knowing what awaits. I felt it when I first signed up for SparkPeople many, many moons ago. I felt it when I came back over and over. I felt it when I started running. I feel it every time I run a race.
"who, halting in her flight on a limb too slight feels it give way beneath her"...every time I run a race, everytime I run and feel my shins getting tight, every time some of the weight comes back, everytime I crave salt or chocolate or have a bad day and want to binge through the emotions.
"yet sings knowing she has wings"...it doesn't matter if that branch shifts under me and leaves me feeling uncertain or even frightened of what will happen next, because I have wings. I can fly and find a branch more suited to me. I can run intervals until I heal, I can fly away from the cookie, I can land in a tree filled with other Sparkbirdies who also are finding thier wings and learning to fly!!
I have the skills, the knowledge and the support system to make this work. I can sing my song of joy and faith because I have wings to take me where I want to go. Birds have to weather the storms of life just like any living thing, but after the storm comes the morning and I can sing again.
My spirituality plays a big part in my life and though I usually leave that aspect of me out of my blogs, I know that my Creator loves me and wants me to find success because it makes me happy. I can rely on Him and though it always won't be easy He will bless me for my efforts. I have to do my part but He will make up the difference.
I want to be like the bird, who halting in her flight on a limb too slight, feels it give way beneath her, yet sings knowing she has wings!!!
(photo from http://www.clipartguide.com/)
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