JUNEAU2010   158,818
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Giving Thanks For an Early Christmas Blessing!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I have felt like crap all week because my lower back is chronically hurting and, whether it's the pain or something else, the nausea has been worse than the pain. I usually head for carbs when my tummy feels off, but I did not take the full plunge today.

More goodies today, including more of the fabulous sourdough-raisin-cranberry bread. It is a good thing the bakery, in San Francisco, is about 40 miles away or I would be broke and a blimp! I had a piece of the bread but left the brownies, tarts and other sweets. I did not go back - I would have grabbed more bread!

At lunch today, I still felt like crap but I took my walk. The walk did not make the discomfort go away, but I am glad I went. Ever since I was a child with my leg brace, I have always had a mental race either with myself or someone in the vicinity or a car or....If I would see a car coming, I would try to pass a pole or get in a certain number of steps before it passed me. Today, I heard a group of guys walking behing me and I was determined that they were not going to pass me (I am a turtle). Their voices got louder, I walked faster. I turned the corner and started up the incline. They were going to pass me! Faster! Faste! Heart rate is up! I look over my shoulder and they went straight instead of following around the turn and up the hill. It took a LONG time for my heart to settle back down, but it felt really good. My blog was going to be about the walk, but this evening happened!

I was hungry all day, all day, all day! When I came home, BF decided he had to go to the corner store. He came home with armloads of whole wheat super healthy bread. A guy donating bread to the local food pantry broke down. While waiting for the AAA tow truck, he started passing out the bread. I live in a very poor community surrounded by communities of great wealth. It was truly a blessing! Years ago, I bought a freezer that is both taller and wider than me and it had room. This guy was an angel and his generosity stretched my food budget for several months. The fact that it's good-for-me bread is fantastic! I could not afford this quality product.

BF went back and saw the guy driving to the food bank. A neighbor said he had just delivered at the homeless vets home at the VA.

I definitely have an attitude of gratitude tonight!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/23/2010 7:48PM

    What a nice present to get that good bread! Your walk sounds great, too.

Happy a wonderful Christmas!

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POORGIRL_DIET 12/23/2010 12:29PM

    May god bless that gentleman for his kind generosity!!

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JHADZHIA 12/23/2010 1:24AM

    That is awesome, on your fitness self challenge and the free great bread!!
A pleasant way to end your day! I guess all clouds can have a silver lining!
Hope you feel better tomorrow!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/22/2010 11:40PM

  That was really nice of the guy to hand out bread like he did. A true blessing.

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Shoes Keep Falling (Please Pray for Wendy)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I mentioned a few blogs ago that the season of layoffs has returned. I have not been counting, but I would guess about a dozen people have been let go. I don't know that they are all layoffs or how the departures are characterized, but it's hard not to be cynical. This does not include the students who are leaving.

One of my friends and coworkers called me this evening to say she has been fired or thinks she has been. She was pretty upset and the connection was not great, so she was hard to understand. She has been supporting her brother who has renal failure, she has been overwhelmed with two sisters who have cancer and has been having an unbelievably rough couple of years. There are few jobs where she is, so she is going to have to think about moving, but into that calculus is making sure her brother can get the care he needs.

I was absolutely thunderstruck and speechless when she called me. I don't know what happened, but I know Wendy and just cannot imagine what happened.

*******
Yesterday, I passed up on all the treats. Today, I had 3 quarter-sized pieces of sourdough bread with raisins and cranberries and a small chocolate rice krispie type treat. It tasted good, but I am not sure what made me dive in today after skipped all the temptations that have surrounded me since Thanksgiving.

I have had a really awful lower back ache for days and so have not done much exercise. Somehow, I got in over 9K steps, though...

Tired, not sure I can sleep. I have hated seeing people leave and would be less than honest if I did not say I am scared about being next.

I am going to miss Wendy!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 12/23/2010 1:21AM

    The ones who can least afford it seem to always be the ones hardest hit :(( So sorry for Wendy :(( Thoughts and wishes for a new job for her soon.. You have fallen victim to emotional eating, and who hasn't. Your stress about your job and you co workers losing theirs and your back pain just got the better of you. You will recover. For back pain I was told moving and walking is best, that sitting too long makes it worse. I hope you feel better soon.

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CARRAND 12/22/2010 8:52PM

    So sorry for your friend. I hope your back ache goes away soon, and that you have a wonderful holiday.

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KIMROID 12/22/2010 8:58AM

    Prayers for your friend and for you!

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HUNNNYBEE 12/22/2010 4:19AM

    Your friend will be in my prayers...along with the many who have lost their jobs. I'm praying that things will turn around soon. The past few years have been difficult ones.

The good that comes out of it, is the love and kindness in people. I have seen some beautiful things when one person reaches out to another during times like these.

God bless.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/22/2010 1:21AM

  Hope your lower back gets better soon!

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JAVALOVERTOO 12/22/2010 12:54AM

    Praying for Wendy and you and all affected. Anytime is awful to lose a job but this time of year is especially bad.

Cheryl said it best "I love Christmas, but also hate this time of year when everything that goes one seems to be magnified about 100x." I've been feeling this way for the past week.

I ran for the first time in a week and have been eating as fast as I bake, not a good combination. But today I did run again and ate more mindfully. All we can do is rely on God and try to keep ourselves together.

Praying for us all... emoticon

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CHERYLE51 12/22/2010 12:37AM

    I have been through what you are going through with the lay offs. It is so sickening. Regretfully, I ended up being one of them. It was a sad, upsetting day. But, as I am sure you know, something will turn up. I have been through many, many lay offs and none have been easy.

You seem to be doing good as far as passing up all the holiday goodies. I have been overeating a lot lately. I have been letting all of my personal problems get to me and just keep eating everyting in sight.

I am sad to hear in your prior blog about your friends cat. We lost our beloved dog about 7 years ago and our current dog is now 15, so we know she is in God's waiting room.

I love Christmas, but also hate this time of year when everything that goes one seems to be magnified about 100x.

Take care and hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day for both of us. emoticon

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DJ4HEALTH 12/22/2010 12:33AM

    Sorry to hear about your friend and will pray that she gets a better job.

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A "Moderate" Day

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today was a "moderate" day - nothing about it was particularly exceptional, good or bad. Early in the morning, I discovered the reason for the lower back pain, moodiness and unreasonable hunger. (TOM).

Everywhere I went at work today, the counters were covered with treats. Among others, our exec admin in the finance department brought in a spread. She is retiring and is the motherly, gracious type of person everyone will miss. She must have baked all weekend. In addition to that, she brought in chips, dip, a crockpot of hot apple cider and fresh veggies for the dip. I skipped everything except the veggies.

Am I virtuous? No. I could have just as easily plowed in and taken some of everything. It would have triggered a sugar binge, another round of self-hate and a scale consequence that I would not like. Today, I was not even tempted by chocolate brownies (home made!).
Tomorrow could be very different.

I did not do my usual longer walk at lunch, just a short one. Still, over 8K steps and almost 3 miles, so that was a nice surprise.

Today may have been the first day in which I was completely within range for all nutrition metrics. Closer to the top of calories than I want, but...wow!

I received the SparkPeople exercise DVD I ordered. I have not broken the seal on it yet. Belatedly, I remembered that I had not ordered it before because I have no room to move at home! Hmmm. I will have to work on this next week during the break.

I read an article on SP yesterday about setting micro goals. I want to join the Red Hat society ($20 is the cheapest level). I have to figure out which goal to set in order to earn that. Perhaps X minutes strength training every day (Different areas every day, of course) for a certain period of time.

Someone commented on a recent blog about how it's not good to track fragments of pounds. Well, for me, not true. I lose weight so slowly that a quarter of a pound can represent a victorious week. I hit a very long plateau in the spring when I did not even lose that! So, yes, I do count them, but I am not married to my scale either. What's more important? My energy level, attitude, how my clothes fit...But each thing contributes to the whole.

My company has had a well-being program all year. They got some rate consideration on insurance for instituting it. It was announced that we could earn points for various activities and get a cash incentive. When it was announced, I was focused on that reward. Very soon, however, (Thanks, SP!) I looked at it as a support for the life changes I needed to make. I got points for the "age appropriate" exam when I had my colonoscopy this summer, for drinking water, for eating fruits and veggies etc. Every month, there were different challenges. The charity walk earned some points. I registered my final points today and send a thank you email to the HR rep who's handled the program. I copied her boss and her VP and recommended that she be given an award for her outstanding performance. (We have Excel awards, but I am not in a position to give one). She thanked me and said that it was not a successful program. Presumably not many people participated or had the results that were desired. I told her that, while I did not lose as much as I thought, I had the best year ever in terms of making sure I had the preventative care, making lifestyle changes etc. I achieved the gold level in points, so I will get the maximum reward. But, as I told her, what I gained may be a healthier lifestyle, a better quality of life and, maybe, a longer one. This is only the first year of this journey. Next year will be even better.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/22/2010 9:22PM

    Your "moderate day" sounds good to me. It was nice of you to compliment that woman at work to her boss. You always sound like such a nice person.

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How Did This Happen?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This morning, I discovered that I made an error when I entered my weight last week. When I recorded it this morning, an email from my friend feed showed I had lost over 1K pounds! I went back and looked. I had forgotten a decimal! Unfortunately, the correction created a different error. The tracker says I lost a pound when the scale says I gained a pound.

Nonie_C saw her beloved Nisa cross the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. I lost my Bug 2 years ago right before Thanksgiving. I can still feel him resting against my shoulder while I am on the computer and sleeping on my hip at night. He was 19.5 when he died and I'd had him for about 18 years. My BF's cat, Cilantro, will be 16 next May and we know her days are numbered. My heart is with Nonie_C because I know how that loss of a beloved cat feels.

I spent most of the day working on something that has a court-imposed deadline. I am only halfway through it but I had to stop for the day. My brain could not handle more! So I logged off and spent a while working on my Christmas cards. I usually have them done long before now, but this year it has not worked out that way. And I am going to bed early so I can start tomorrow early and get to the Post Office before they close tomorrow evening (package notices).

I did not feel well today and was a couch potato. Not only that, I ate. I was stunned to see I had eaten over again today........GRRRRR!

I am already thinking about my New Years resolution(s). I am going to make it something about strength training. Exercise is still the weakest of the elements of my SP journey. But I actually feel good about this resolution. I had stopped making them because they had no teeth behind them. This time, it is something I need to do. I need to exercise for me. For my other goals. For my health. For my life. I must implement this change and not play around with it.

I also need to think about how I blew the sky off my calorie limit today (& 2 other days last week). I have been on the edge of a depression and I am not sure why. Writing my cards did not help because there are so many new names in my address book that I cannot send cards to because they died this year...I was not prepared for the reaction of seeing the names there...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/20/2010 10:10PM

    You have had an unusual number of losses this year. I'm sure that's making you feel down. I like your idea of an exercise goal for this year. Exercise is good for you on so many levels. I went over my calories today, too. My family took me to Outback Steakhouse today for my birthday dinner and I had the Chocolate desert. My actual birthday is tomorrow, but my husband is scheduled for some minor surgery tomorrow and won't feel like going out to eat, so we did the dinner tonight. I didn't do the treadmill today, either, but I plan to go to the gym early tomorrow morning as the surgery isn't until the afternoon. We can't always follow our plan. I think the important thing is to be mindful of our eating and exercise.

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ACIMPEGGY 12/20/2010 12:32AM

    Sweetheart, you'll make it. Calories are tough for me, too, with the parties, etc.

I understand about your losses....my kitty is 13. Arthritis...can't jump as much. Wants to sleep and stay by the heat register...oh, my.

For strength I started with Coach Nicoles resistance band routine. I still do some of that, but have added dumb bells. Hopefully soon I'll have the wherewithal to join Curves.

Have a blessed holiday...even though we have regrets, we do have lots of blessings.

Hugs.............
.. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 12/19/2010 11:02PM

    You said it, the fact you have lost so many co workers dear to you. It has been a really bad year that hits home at Christmas time when you know they are no longer around to enjoy their families and friends. This is the time of the year when a lot of people get depressed. You will have to try and focus on the ones you still have and put your energy and thoughts into them.
Don't put too much stock into New Year's resolutions. They are fleeting things that get quickly forgotten when life gets in the way. You should be setting mini goals, easily attainable, set up for every week, and may be every day. Ease into it. Strength training should only happen 3 X a week, or every other day, to give your muscles a day of recovery. This makes it a bit easier to get into, as you don't need to do it every single day. Sparks has lots of great articles on getting into it safely, be sure to peruse them. This will be a wonderful addition to your program. You will like how it makes you feel and look..
All the best,
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Wizard of Oz - Spark Style

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Tonight was TNT's broadcast of the digitally enhanced version of The Wizard of Oz. I did not see all of it, but what I did see was gorgeous. Every time I see it, I get something more out of it. It's hard to believe that it was first released in 1939. My parents were not even in school yet!

Before SparkPeople, I was the Cowardly Lion. I did not think I could lose this weight again. Even now, I am still sometimes not sure. But I will celebrate my SparkVersary on January 27, 2011 and that will be like receiving the medal of courage. While I have not lost as much as I wanted to or thought I "should" have by now, what I have gained and learned has been worth more than the number on the scale. What have I gained? Knowledge about nutrition, exercise, life. Confidence that, if I have a rough day, I do have coping skills that do not include stuffing my face. Confidence that I can reach this goal.

I was also like the Tin Man. I had the heart and compassion, but not the validation. In my SparkPeople community, I find that. When I have rough days, at least one of you will pick me up. And at least one of you will remind me to be grateful for my situation because your challenges are greater than I could handle. I have been amazed, moved to tears, laughter and day-long joy as I celebrate your victories with you. I pray for you and I think of you often. I carry thoughts of you in my heart and, as I go through my day, whether walking at lunch or choosing my lunch. Your interactions with me help me think. "What would ___ say if I blogged about this choice?" "What would _____ choose?" You help me be accountable for those choices and, most of all, you have opened my heart in ways in which I could not have imagined.

While the Lion is my favorite character, I have always identified with Scarecrow. Before I started school, I had to take an aptitude test of some kind. Back in those days, children did not usually read much if at all before first grade, so the test was mostly something based on eye-hand coordination. I did not have much of that so I scored very low. Mother believed the results that said I was retarded. That was her favorite name for me. There. I said it. Even now, decades later, I can't breathe. But my first grade teacher did not believe it. (She had been my brother's teacher the year before, so she knew the family a little.) She refused to put the test results in my permanent file and told the principal that, if she did, it would follow me all the days of my life. I am not the smartest person in the world, but, like the Scarecrow, I have reserves heretofore untapped. My SP journey is revealing a freedom I could only vaguely imagine.

In my SP journey, I am learning to integrate those Wizard of Oz characteristics into the new me. As I said in a previous blog, the chrysallis is cracking and the butterfly will emerge.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/19/2010 3:44PM

    Wonderful blog! I'm so glad you had a teacher who believed in you. You seem like a really kind, caring, intelligent person to me, and I'm proud to be your friend.

Our family loves The Wizard of Oz. That's the first series of books my daughter read.

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JHADZHIA 12/19/2010 12:14PM

    Wonderfully spoken! It has been quite the journey! Thank you for taking me along for the ride! I love watching people grow! You have come a long way..


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EMPTYNESTER60 12/19/2010 8:09AM

    Great blog! I think a lot of us can relate to what you have shared so well. You should be very proud & ROAR loudly over the things you have accomplished in your personal life & on Spark. I'm glad to have you as my SparkFriend emoticon

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/19/2010 1:57AM

  I love the Wizard of Oz.. and, I love the way you have put it to fit it into your life and what you have gone through & stuff. This is such a great blog!

Comment edited on: 12/19/2010 1:58:10 AM

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POORGIRL_DIET 12/19/2010 1:45AM

    I love this blog, you had me in tears!!

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NONIE_C 12/19/2010 1:14AM

    My heart just wells as I read this. You are such a wonderful, powerful, amazing human being. I am blessed to know you and call you a friend. You've come a long way down the yellow brick road to better health...so roar, Lion, ROAR!!!!
emoticon (ok, not a lion, but it was between this, a tiger, and a pink panther LOL)

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