JEM0622   30,129
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JEM0622's Recent Blog Entries

Giving Thanks

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

This year has been a tremendous year of growth for me in so many ways. I would not be where I am without the amazing tools here on SparkPeople, along with the friendships made and supportive teams. The web is a powerful tool and there is so much good that it can bring to a person's life. We hear so much about the negatives of the web and the bad people out there....but all you have to do is stop in here and see it differently.

As of today, I am 33 lbs lighter than I was at the start of the year. I'm journaling food and fitness. I witness the smallest and largest victories with folks who set and achieve their goals. The endless knowledge that I soaked up on all things running and marathoning is invaluable to me.

I still have pounds to go, but I reached my first and most important goal - a healthy BMI. I have races (plural) under my belt for the year - not bad for a girl who was often picked last or purposefully put in a PE position because of my size for so long. I seek out healthy ingredients to subsitute in recipes all of the time. I may have repetitive food choices but they keep me on track.

Thanks to all my Spark Friends. May you have safe travels and a Happy Thanksgiving!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TIGGER622 11/25/2009 12:13PM

    You are such an inspiration! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!!

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Miscellaneous

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ahhh this week. Ahhh this month. So much happening. So many dates of significance. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time.

I'm frustrated with myself because I set a goal to exercise daily and I am not doing it. I don't have an excuse (reasons are just excuses, as I say). I walked on the epic fail manual treadmill for all of 5 minutes yesterday. I did get a 5 miler in on Sunday, and I am really hoping to get the same distance in today. It would not be bad to log 15 miles for the week. Right? I am exercising, but I think I set myself up for something for many good reasons...but I keep hesitating. Maybe I am too complacent, too comfortable...because I know I burn a lot of calories when I run. So much to think about.

The weekend is going to be pure insanity, and I don't know where I will fit in my run. I will likely have to put it off until Monday. I could possibly squeeze it in on Sunday since my parents would be there to look after the kids. We shall see.

I'm doing well on my journaling, but I have a quandry. I'm not training for anything right now, so my mindset is not on the formula (100 cals extra for every mile, divided by 7, then add to my range for tracking each day). Maybe it should be. I set my fitness to only show cardio 3 days a week (which would be my running). It is not set for how many calories I burn. The range is the lowest I have had while being on SP and I might sound like a whiny kid...but dang does it seem low. I feel hungry all of the time. I am eating my snacks in between. Maybe it is an emotional thing since this month is filled with so many things that can put me there. I just don't know. My stomach is growling though...so it is not just craving or boredom. I am far from bored. Ha!

Today's anniversary (my late MIL's birthday) is easier than last year. Last year was the first of her birthday's in Heaven and that was hard. Today, I am happy for her. I feel more peaceful about the day and about her being in a better place. No longer struggling with her addictions and anxiety. I don't feel her restlessness is with her. And I see my FIL doing okay. I worry about him. His health is not so great. And he has a gorgeous treadmill and doesn't use it. Oh the blasphemy!

I've been looking at lighter options for Turkey day festivities. So many things I would enjoy, but that my parents would snub. Ugh. I plan to lighten up things as much as I can. It will be a busy day with my DH doing the Turkey Trot, and then cooking everything up.

I have not begun to Christmas shop. Thankfully I just have to do the kids (we only keep to 3 gifts per person so that Santa can give to other kids too), and my nephews. I bake for the adults.

This is the time where there are not enough hours in the day!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILAGIRL 11/18/2009 12:00PM

    Hey! I wanted to drop by and see how things were going post marathon. Sorry to hear that you're having a rough week!

Regarding the Thanksgiving recipes thing - here's one of my favorites and it would be great in a Thanksgiving spread: http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/r
ecipefinder.dyn?action=displayR
ecipe&recipe_id=780385

M
yrecipes.com has a bunch of recipes from cooking light and all of your nutritional info is listed so you can make choices that are in line with your goals. Hang in there!

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NINJALINDA 11/13/2009 4:32PM

    Daily exercise is a really hard goal to meet (says the woman who has it scheduled 6 days per week!). Realistically, if I didn't go to the gym on my lunch hour almost every day, I probably would have a hard time getting 3 times a week!

If your stomach is really growling, you really are hungry, so eat more! Sometimes I think SP's estimate of what our calorie range should be is unrealistic...or maybe I'm just content to lose a lot slower than most people! I set my calorie range by looking at the calories burned for a 4-6 week span (SP's estimate of the burn, my HRM doesn't do that), and then set my nutrition goals by entering this weekly estimate of calorie burning. That cranks my calorie range up on SP, but many days I come in over even that number (and have continued to lose weight still).

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HEALTHYELEPHANT 11/13/2009 2:14PM

    emoticon

Hang in there....it's a small rough patch (all of it), and you'll return to equilibrium soon....

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COUNTRYBUMKIN65 11/10/2009 4:46PM

    "Last year was the first of her birthday's in Heaven"

I have never thought of it in that way before.. But your right... The first of her Birthday's.. What a wonderful way to think of it.. Not to dwell on the passing or the missed Birthday's here on earth.. But to smile and say Happy 1st birthday In Heaven.. It kind of brings peace to the soul don't it:)

Take care of yourself sweetie... Keep going Strong!!!

Hugs!!
maryellen

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RHYNIC 11/10/2009 4:45PM

    Julie - if your tummy is growling, then you need to up those calories. Believe it or not, your body does know when you stomach is empty and fuel is depleted. If you are stress, plus hungry then that is double trouble! Be gentle with yourself.

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KASHMIR 11/10/2009 4:11PM

    Julie, I would like to know about the formula too! that is a new one to me. I always just added extra cals on long running days, but paid more attention to when I was getting my carbs and protein than anything.
Enlighten us when you have time?!

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SEEHOLZ 11/10/2009 11:40AM

    You are doing what you can, so don't be too hard on yourself!
I am curious about the formula- 100 cals per mile ( I get that) divided by 7 ( why???) and add to food tracker cals? ( i get that if that's what you meant... just not the part about dividing it by 7.. as in 7 days maybe? Maybe I figured it out... if not, please enlighten me-LOL.
You can do this, so keep doing it one step at a time, right?!

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A therapeutic blog

Thursday, November 05, 2009

I have a lot of things on my brain. If you read it, then God Bless You. It is more for me to get things out there and maybe it will cause me to further think some of these things through...and maybe not at all.

This month is always a rollercoaster for me. Of all the months on the calendar...this is the one with flashing lights around it. A week from now, my firstborn will be 17 years old. But it's a touchy subject. I chose life for her, and I chose a family for her. I was just 18 years old. My boyfriend (who was younger than me) had dumped me because he had his own fears. I knew what was best for her. And that is what it was all about. Her. It hurt like hell. I schlepped around in sweats for months. I actually lost a lot of weight after I had her (I was losing weight in an unhealthy way before I got pregnant and I swear she was God's answer to make me stop the downward spiral). You would think with all the calamity that led up to her birth...that I would take that as a sign not to give her up. Going through 3 lawyers, the adoptive couple being resistant to a few (and really simple) requests. I'm giving you my flesh and blood, and you can't meet me? I don't want visitation, but you can't send pictures? I could have backed out and chose other families who were flexible...all for the opportunity to welcome a brand new, healthy baby girl into their life. But I resisted because I was frankly worn out and I wanted to trust in them, even with their own crazy fears (I'd say they are crazy considering how little I was really asking of them...it wasn't the 40s, or 50s, or 60s...c'mon now). But anyhow...her birth, and giving her up...it immediately thrust me into a place where my focus changed. I did not want her to one day come back, on her own account, to find me tattered and standing still. I went to college and got my degree. I got married...and just prayed that I would be able to have more kids. I had no idea what I would go through having my first son...all the feelings and fears...but my heart hurt and I hoped that I could have a family.

My kids know all about her. I have showed them pictures. I have every intention of sending a gift to her just after her 18th birthday next year...but I am still torn and stricken with what to say, and what not to say (quietly hoping that one day she will want to meet me (and I will never be ready for it but would absolutely want it) and I wouldn't want to say everything as if it is the end).

On top of this...it's post marathon. The letdown. As if I need to have any other heart heavy feelings! I can see why there are marathon maniacs out there. You train up for that distance...why on earth would you want to 'lose' it and have to retrain? It would be so simple just to keep running one a month...or every other month...and everything in between is gravy. And then the internal dialogue of 'do you want to go 26.2, or is 13.1 enough?' Gah. So much to ponder. I'd love to do a sub 30 minute 5k. I'm ready to work on my speed. And I know I trained smart for the marathon and avoided injury b/c speed was not my focus...so I waffle between wanting to just focus on speed and not distance because you know the cliche'...can't have your cake and eat it too. Decisions, decisions.

I'm liking the restart of my weight loss. It would be great to hit my goal by New Year's. I would be floored to be so small (in my eyes, it is!). I will appreciate any progress and not worry about the 'number'. I'll forever Spark in some way to ensure that all this hard work of 2009 is permanent. My thinking has definitely changed. It isn't just 'oh yeah I'll lose weight and then I'm done'. You are never done. Never. And if you allow yourself to believe it then you'll be at square one in no time flat.

A lot of thought in just one blog, but it felt good to get it out.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARKAMURKA 11/14/2009 7:04PM

    You chose LIFE for her. Not everybody does. You also arranged her a family.
If she stayed with you it's very probably you wouldn't have four beautiful kids now...
Tough. You will think about her in every single November of your life, you can't help.
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You are very fortunate, you don't have to think about how-it-would-have-beens because you have a great family and you can show your care and love to them.

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COOPSM 11/5/2009 4:51PM

    Julie---what a strong women you are with a heart of gold...I can understand why this is a tough month..but God bless you!!!
Keep on with your goals...that is life...we set one, meet it, go for another....enjoy the journey Julie---you are doing awesome!!!

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TAMTAM64 11/5/2009 12:07PM

    {{{HUGS}}} to you... I want to say so many things but words just do not seem sufficient today. Sometimes it just pays to listen (or read a blog) and to let the person know you hear them and are here for them.

Hang in there Julie and may the desire to meet your daughter come true in the next few years.

Tammy

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1972ROSES 11/5/2009 11:34AM

    Wishing you all the best. Any maybe a marathon or two.

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RHYNIC 11/5/2009 11:21AM

    Julie, I really don't know how to respond to your blog. I just wanted to let you know that i read it and that I am very touched by it. Love gail

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KIRSTY1306 11/5/2009 11:18AM

    You are such a strong lady , I cant even begin to imagine how it must have felt to have given up your little girl, but the fact that you did through love and that you made something of yourself ready for (hopefully) her return is courageous. I really hope that when she is 18 you get to see her and hug her. You will be a family one day I am sure.
Good luck and hugs
Kirb xx

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KASHMIR 11/5/2009 11:15AM

    Julie, this is one of those, "you never get over it, but you get through it" times.
emoticon to you!!!

Post Marathon blues, are you feeling those moments of jealousy when you read about someone's 18 or 20 miler in their training blogs? Sigh...I am!
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TIGGER622 11/5/2009 11:14AM

    WOW. This blog really really really touched my heart! I was adopted. My birth mom was 18 when she had me and she did not get to finish high school. I met her when I turned 18 and had been asking about her my whole life. I always at least wanted to meet her and thank her for giving me my family and allowing me to live such a wonderful life. So, thank you! It is so wonderful to hear from your perspective! I am sure your daughter is out there thinking of you too, every birthday and every mothers day... I know I was! Hang in there! I hope blogging today helped you work some things out :)

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PINKIEB1 11/5/2009 10:56AM

    We adopted our daughter when she was 18 months old. We went through the classes, made a book about ourselves, our life, and our family, and then we got an adorable little blond haired blue-eyed 1/4 Filipino girl who looks just like her older (and our biological) brother. She was taken away at birth with drugs in her system, nursed back to health by an amazing foster family, and found us to make our home complete.

I can't imagine how difficult it must have been, and still be, for you. You made the most amazing, life-changing, generous decision that any human being can make. Your daughter is lucky to have you as a mother! And since I can't thank my daughter's mom, who is usually on drugs and homeless and couldn't remember her name the last time I heard, I will thank YOU!!!!!!!!!

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LIGHTNINGRUNNER 11/5/2009 10:31AM

    Julie,
WOW you did pour your hear out here. I can understand why this month above all others is so hard for you. You were a brave young lady to stand up for what you wanted and needed in order to let some other family raise your daughter in a way that benefited her. You are one of those individuals who put the needs of others above your own. I applaud you.

I can believe that she will one day come around to find you, just out of curiosity of knowing the whys. It isn't easy to understand, but you gave her not only life, but a life you couldn't give her at that time.

Sorry to hear about the post-marathon let down....I wonder if that is true with a half too....Oh no, I better start being prepared for it.

Great job on the weight loss coming back around. You will reach your goal with the same perseverance you did training for the marathon. Find a new race pick one that sounds fun, has a great T-shirt, etc. Do it because you can run and enjoy it.

Hope your days in November get easier.... emoticon emoticon

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RUNTRILAUGH 11/5/2009 9:43AM

    WOW - I can't even imagine what you must go through each November. I'm sure it was hard, but it sounds like you did the right thing for you and her at that time.

Thanks so much for your honesty. Maybe someone will read that and be motivated to better themselves, too. You never know!

As for the post marathon let down - OMG, is that ever real!!! Have you figured out your next race? (Can't remember if you have, and if so, I apologize - I am SUPER SLEEPY TODAY! )

Hope you have a great day!
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Plan B for Daylight Savings Running/Training and Colder Temps

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

So...this daylight savings thing is really putting a damper on things. I was fine to run in the dark when it was just before sunrise. But not sundown. Sigh. I don't have a bucket of money to afford an electric treadmill. We can't afford to even belong to the YMCA or a gym. Just too spendy. Gotta be 'fiscally responsible'. Bah!

Call me a quack...and it is just an experiment for me...QVC (we call it quickly vanishing cash here) has a MANUAL (yes...my body moves it) treadmill. Under $200 and on easy pay. Think of layaway, except you get the item right away instead of waiting to pay it off. I'd like to give it a try. After reading reviews, it seems that we can adjust the tension to be loser and or tighter. Keep it oiled. We might have to use a cinderblock or two if we want to bump up the incline. I've never liked having to mess with the incline or speed buttons...so this would be mindless and that works for me. Plus, it folds in half and is a lot less bulky than the electric type that fold. So I'm going to be adventurous. Stay tuned!

My neighbor has an electric one that she honestly never uses...but I don't want to wear out my welcome. KWIM?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 11/5/2009 9:55AM

    Ummm, I wouldn't go for the manual one... rather wait and save up. It makes a huge difference as in quality--- manual treadmills are $200 for a reason..
But, maybe go do some googling to find out what people think- my only experience was with my MIL's manual treadmill from 10 yrs ago... I certainly didn't get a good run on it. If you neighbor doesn't care, why not use it? I mean, tell her to be honest if you are asking too much and see what she says.
For $200, you can join the gym for 4 months or you could try those 1 month free trial memberships at those corporate gyms. My new gym membership cost me $25 per month-- and it's a full facility gym with full classes. Also, the Y has a scholarship program if you can't afford it. As long as you come in so many times per month, you can get a reduced rate or even a free rate. I also like the idea of craigslist and/or free cycle. I never see free treadmills on our freecycle, but I do seem them in the paper sometimes.
Good luck finding what works for you!!!

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NINJALINDA 11/5/2009 8:39AM

    That sounds like a good idea for the manual one, but have you checked freecycle? I belong to the group in my area, and in just the mast couple of months I've seen 2 or three treadmills offered free (I would have jumped on it if I didn't already need to get RID of stuff-ha-ha!). It's a thought anyway...

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RUNTRILAUGH 11/5/2009 8:31AM

    Have you thought about looking online or on something like craigslist? Sometimes you can get great deals!

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TIGGER622 11/4/2009 9:12PM

    HEY! Sounds like a great idea to me!!! I have been wondering how to do this myself... i would love to give up myminimal gym membership fee for a permanent fixture! let us know if you do it and how it goes!!! i kinda like that you could run at your own pace... good luck!

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The Mayonnaise Jar

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

My mom sent this to me and I appreciated it...so I am posting it here:

Mayonnaise Jar & Two Beers

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the 2 Beers.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him..

When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full.

They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar He shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.

They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.

Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full.

The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'

The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand.

The students laughed..

'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car.

The sand is everything else---the small stuff.

'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.

The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you..

Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.

Spend time with your children.

Spend time with your parents.

Visit with Friends and grandparents.

Take time to get medical checkups.

Take your spouse out to dinner.

Play another 18.

There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal.

Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter.

Set your priorities.

The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented.

The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'

The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNERMOMTO3 11/4/2009 6:48PM

    Love it!! Great way to look at your life and puts it all into prospective

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SSDOWNS 11/3/2009 9:22PM

    I enjoyed that. Thanks

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DEVITIA 11/3/2009 7:02PM

    very nice! Thanks. Just the kind of story I needed today!

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TIGGER622 11/3/2009 12:23PM

    I always love this story! Thanks for posting!

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SEEHOLZ 11/3/2009 10:25AM

    I've heard this a ton of times, but it always is a great reminder!

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ANNIE_1015 11/3/2009 9:04AM

  What a great way of looking at things. Thank you for posting this.

Annie

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MAINEACK 11/3/2009 9:02AM

    I have read that one before and I just love it! Thanks so much for the reminder. Have an awesome day :-)

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