JACKSMIMI2   16,522
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Oh, The Food at Family Reunions!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What a wonderful day yesterday was! My 4 siblings and I were all together with my 87-year old mother and multiple nieces and nephews...and my mother's newest great grandson, Owen! (mine couldn't be there ;(

Now, my 87-year old mother, who weighs in at her same age...still loves a party (we were at a wedding Friday night and she danced her feet off :)... anyway, she loves a party...and loves to cook for one!

I had resolved to stay within my limits... but out came the chips and dips...and into my mouth they went. Out came the fresh fruit, cheese, pepperoni and crackers and into my mouth they went... then out came the buffet... ambrosia, cole slaw, lasagna, homemade mac & cheese (grandchildren fav), baked beans (with meat and bacon), kielbasa, sausage & peppers, great breads, and on and on and on...

I had totally resolved to eat within my limits... but just a tablespoon of each dish and my dish looked like a mountain (well, maybe a hill, b/c I was being good!) I was almost happy my mother didn't have a computer b/c I was afraid I would blow up the food tracker if I tried to enter everything I ate :)

Anyway, we were all sitting outside b/c it was a gorgeous summer Connecticut day...and all of us were relishing the deliciousness of every dish...and that's when it hit me... we were celebrating my mother through her cooking! Her grandchildren raving about her mac & cheese, me saying I won't eat anyone's coleslaw except hers, my brother-in-law from SC walking in the door saying he could smell the kolbas. After we ate, everyone was groaning about how full they were...but they were contented groans! We were keeping tradition (family get-togethers) and forging memories!

Of course, the grandkids wanted the desserts...so we had to clean up to make way for the those... Into the kitchen... dishes, washing, drying, laughing, sharing, reminiscing, forging more memories...

I had to leave (5 hour drive home) and chose to do so before I caved into the desserts - which were really insane...mainly b/c my sister is known for her cheesecakes, and another brother-in-law works for an incredible bakery!

As I was driving home, I realized not all my over eating is due to negative emotional eating...sometimes it's happy emotional eating. I was with my family - it was such a joyful, joyfilled day... and my mother, at 87 years old, was in her glory! She had all of her children, most of her grandchildren, her great grandson, and many of her friends around her...

I realized in the big scheme of things, how very fortunate and blessed I am...another memory forged - all b/c of the food at family reunions!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAG931 8/22/2010 6:49PM

    Great story and not caving in! I think a lot of people have most of there memories with there families with food weather it be home cooked or out of a box. My Mom always tried and that is how I will cook for my children someday I think sometimes we look at it as if you win a person over through there stomach or that is how you show them they are loved. We are all learning.

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LEXXA26 8/22/2010 12:15PM

    Sounds brilliant, I love family reunions!! That is one thing that worries me about diets and weight loss resources (although obviously spark is way more positive than most!) - people start to treat food as the enemy, and you lose the enjoyment you can get out of it, exactly like what you were saying. I think there's definitely a lot to be said for finding the balance between food for fuel and food for pleasure. Glad you had such a great day!!

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RIDLEYRIDER 8/22/2010 8:53AM

  Don't worry about a day of bad choices, just look ahead. You gained something much more important in your life experience here...well worth any extra calories. emoticon

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HAKIRBY 8/22/2010 8:51AM

  I don't think one joyful day is going going to blow the eating plan - one day the weight will be gone, but the happy memories won't

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Last Evening's Walk

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Yesterday was a great day! One it was Saturday, two the weather was perfect! Blue, sunny skies, 85...and no humidity - which is a major change from the high 90's (degrees and humidity).

I finished up all my chores - inside and out, took a 4 mile bike ride and wanted to take a walk at one of our local nature areas by a local river. I called a girlfriend and off we went. What a walk.

When I threw my purse in my trunk, I noticed l had left my binoculars from a previous kayaking trip, so out they came. We weren't a quarter of a mile in and I could hear the bald eagle chirping. We stopped, looked up and there he was - sitting on a branch not 8 feet above our heads - and he just continued to sit there calling to his mate as we handed the binoculars back and forth. It was almost as if he was putting on a show for us. We would train the binoculars on him and he would open his beak and scream and then stop and turn his head so it appeared as if he was looking straight at us.

Another 1/4 mile and we saw a warbler taking a drink - teeny, tiny - beautiful...golden-green head, moss green body.

But the best was the fawn... We were walking along, flapping our gums, and I looked off the path and couldn't believe my eyes...not 5 feet away from us was a fawn all nestled in the undergrowth. He was so well camouflaged that my girlfriend didn't even see him at first. We walked on and I looked out to the river and couldn't believe our luck, yet again. Sitting against a try was a buck and a doe! They were a little harder to see b/c they were farther away, but the binoculars helped. Walked a little farther again, saw another doe eating away. Then saw a yearling, again, not 10 feet away from us. It was an incredible nature walk - we even checked what time it was so we knew what time to come back next time.

Today, I have an errand in another county which has another great natural resource area. I'm throwing my shoes in the trunk with the binoculars and hope I have another day of seeing nature up close and personal!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAILEE_GRAVES 8/15/2010 8:49AM

    ....i want to go for a walk there!! and kudos to you for the bike ride and the walk!! way to go!


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KATHRYNLP 8/15/2010 8:32AM

    Sounds lovely and serene. Prefect place to walk. emoticon

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The 10 Best Things About My Walk Around the Block...

Monday, August 02, 2010

.. which .is almost 4 miles!

I live more or less in the middle of nowhere - but it sure is a beautiful nowhere! I went out for my walk tonight and thought, yet again, how absolutely lucky I am to be able to walk where I walk b/c these are the things I see on a regular basis on my walks:

1. Deer - the last few evenings it's been a doe and her twin fawns - about 20 feet away!
2. Baby bunnies - everywhere and too many to count
3. Birds - yellow finches, red cardinals, blue birds, purple martins, buzzards, hawks, sparrows, swallows, and last night's favorite - a hummingbird along the pine trees.
4. The 3 Amish farms - complete with cows, mules, horses, and a donkey (they were teaching it to 'drive' the other evening - thing brayed like no tomorrow :)
5. Flowers - every color of the rainbow - I'll make the list another day (but at least 25 different ones - and that's just the wild ones. I also pass cultivated gardens - that's another huge list.
6. Trees - More kinds than flowers - I'm not too good at recognizing trees - so I just look at all of the varied shades that green can be :-)
7. Cats, dogs, horses - every color, every size!
8. Neighbors - I'm out so often we are all waving to each other now :)
9. Two brooks (creeks) which I stop at and use as an excuse for a 7th inning stretch - but it's really so I can look to see if there are any fish or critters getting a drink!
10. The clouds - if I time my walk just right, I'm walking home when the clouds are orange, pink, and purple...it just doesn't get any better than this!

Tonight, two of the huge beautiful golden Amish work horses were playing (fighting???) - and rearing up on their hind legs so it looked like they were standing on 2 legs... it was amazing... and they did it at least 5 or 6 times before they went back to the business of grazing... I felt like I was in the middle of Wild Kingdom... I actually stopped as did a truck driving by - they had to have stood at least 12 feet tall...and I got to witness it.

I could drive to one of the many different parks we have around here - but with the scenery I have, I happy just to walk around my block every day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAKIRBY 8/4/2010 10:45AM

  What a lovely walk!

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Reclaiming My Sundays

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Looking back, I don't know how or when it started but I suddenly realized I was going, going, going 7 days a week... constantly working, cleaning, painting, cleaning, gardening, cleaning - and always with a "To-Do" list a mile long. Saturday I would get up at the crack of dawn, go all day, and do the same thing on Sunday... My friends would howl at my "To-Do" book - it was a 5-divider notebook which I carried with me everywhere I went. Monday am would come and I felt as if I never even rested for 5 minutes! My constant lament was that I wished I had 48 hours in a day. I always seemed to be pedaling as fast as I could, but I never seemed to get anywhere.

Then I joined SP! I realized after a while (slow learner here :) that my 'life style' change also included changing my insane perpetual motion. As few weeks ago, I decided to make a drastic change in my schedule... I was going to 'give myself Sunday's off'. No planned work, no lists, no shopping etc.

The results have been amazing. Admittedly, the first few were difficult, and I didn't quite make the whole day - but I also realized that's okay b/c I also learned flexibility is a major element for success. Now, if I want to 'do' something, I do it, but I don't make any 'To Do' lists for Sundays. I now save Sunday's for me - if I want to read all day, that's exactly what I aim for. But I have found that once I gave myself permission for an entire day - I read for an hour or two and then have to stretch, so I might take a walk or cook some meals for my week. Maybe I go shopping or maybe I decide I'll paint that room after all...But they are very relaxed decisions b/c they are voluntary ones that I can say 'no' to.

I truly believe I have only been able to achieve this b/c of the SP concept of 'it's a lifestyle'... My Monday - Saturdays are so much more sane now - which has allowed me to reclaim my Sundays. I think the eating right and the consistent exercise has given me better focus and more energy so I am accomplishing more in less time.

So, thank you SP for giving me my Sundays back :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NAVYNURSE 7/31/2010 12:14PM

    This is amazing. My running partner and I also take sundays off. Every now and then she tries to push me into one...but I want my sundays off!!! Now I work some sundays too, but as far as my workouts it is a NO WORKOUT ZONE..:)

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LEXXA26 7/31/2010 8:49AM

    I love this blog! From what I've learned about you, you're the type of person who is always looking out for other people, which is amaaaazing (and I know I'm definitely grateful), but I love that you're spending Sundays focusing on yourself :) keep it up!!

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It's too hot to eat!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

I can't believe I'm say it, but there it is!... Usually I can 'graze' for hours and never even get the slightest signal that I'm full.

I just ate my dinner and I still have almost 500 calories left and the idea of eating one more mouthful is just too much.

This on-going heat is wreaking havoc w/ my eating... I have to be outside b/c I have gardens, the lawn, etc. But a couple hours outdoors and my appetite just gets up and goes somewhere and doesn't return for hours or even days.

I don't know if it's because I drink so much water or what... is anyone else experiencing this?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAILEE_GRAVES 7/21/2010 8:23AM

    ....I've had days lately where I've felt exactly the same way. It's a struggle to get in those last calories! We had a horrible winter here in NC and I swore I wouldn't complain when summer came but as each day passes.....it's just getting harder and harder!!

Hope a cool breeze comes your way today!


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TRINIGAL22 7/18/2010 6:40PM

    I am sorry to hear it is to hot to eat. I recommend eating cold meals and fruits it will help. Where do you live? Good luck.

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