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LIVINGSIMPLY355's Recent Blog Entries

My Garden

Monday, July 21, 2014

Hi all,
This blog if for those who have asked me about my garden.
I am finally getting around to putting some of the pictures together.
I have been doing a lot of work around my yard this year and these pictures give a kind of pictorial story.
Hope you enjoy them!

Sue


Our veggie garden...early this Spring.


One of the tomato planters.


Our newest raised garden plot.


Hanging planter with pink begonias.




Roses from our rose garden.





Apples and cherries in the trees.

Hope you liked the preview!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTRACHEL 8/2/2014 12:08PM

    Thanks for the pictures! The apples and cherries look delicious.

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SHAPNUP 7/30/2014 4:27PM

    Yeah! I love pictures. You have been busy. Hope everything grows lush and is fruitful for you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALICE_TENNIS 7/21/2014 10:34PM

    Wow -- you're talented with lots of different types of plants!

Hope you are enjoying your handiwork this summer! emoticon

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ALLENJOSEPH 7/21/2014 9:51PM

    Your labor of love shines in your hard work, Sue. You must have a very good feeling inside of you, with this lovely accomplishment.
Thank you for sharing it with all of us. emoticon emoticon
You have to be happy with all the accomplishments you are making!! I know I'm proud of you!
emoticon Janis

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YVETTEB57 7/21/2014 7:48PM

    What great pictures! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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BHENDRICK2 7/21/2014 7:15PM

    that looks like a nice garden :)

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The Joy of Finding that Sweet Spot for a Healthy Routine

Friday, July 11, 2014

Hi all.
I hope I am not sounding like a broken record with my blogs lately.
I am just so up and at it that I feel a need to get my thoughts written down somehow...

Last night I couldn't sleep thanks to the heat and a thought came to me...
Just how joyful I have been lately and how I have after a year or so of searching(this time around) have found my "sweet spot" on the health scale...
You know that spot you reach when the pounds are coming off at a good pace, your energy levels are higher than before and you just feel good?? emoticon

I was here before about 5-6 years ago. At that time I was eating a low salt, low protein diet prescribed by my doctor and putting in about 75 minutes of walking a day, 15 miles a week.
Things were going pretty well back then, before I went off the bandwagon. That was also before I found Spark People...

This time around, when I was trying to get going again on my exercise routine and nutrition, I tried using the same formula, working up the walking and keeping to my doctor prescribed nutrition program. It wasn't working as well and things were progressing very slowly.
So I needed to make some changes... But it took awhile to find the right ones.

Those changes came over the past 5 months when to start with I was challenged by my doctor to lose 10 lbs in a year's time. I also came to realize my need for the Lord's help with my health routine. I had been trying to do it all myself and I knew I could not do it on my own. Then there was the wonderful encouragement I got from my Spark friends to keep on trying.

Over the past two months, I have managed to find that "sweet spot" again...It is not the same as last time, but that is okay. The nutrition part is a little different, having to add some more foods to my watch list. The exercise includes walking, but I have added a variety of other activities including gardening and working out on an elliptical. Oh and by the way...that 10 lbs?? they are gone already and I have set another goal to meet. emoticon

Things are not perfect by any stretch of the word, for I know that there are still changes that I will need to make along the way, but it is just good to know things are heading back in the right direction. Every little bit of success is another step toward good health.
It is a good place to be: "the Sweet Spot".
For that I can be joyful and thankful!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 8/2/2014 3:16PM

    Thank you. Wonderful blog. Keep writing, cuz you are inspiring me to make some changes! emoticon emoticon

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MARIANNMC 7/12/2014 10:43AM

    Congratulations!!!

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NHES220 7/11/2014 5:04PM

    So glad you found your sweet spot! It is great when things really click! I have finally found mine too. Best of luck on your journey and hitting your next goal!

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MRSP90X 7/11/2014 8:04AM

    Awesome blog and I can totally relate. For me, the sweet spot came when my husband joined me on this journey. We pray before each workout, and our goal is to be fit to be better servants. The health benefits are phenomenal of my diet and exercise routine. Let's keep it going!!!

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WAY2GOCAT 7/11/2014 2:24AM

    Very good! It's working great for you! It does take a bit of hit and miss to find what works.Every "mimi" journey seems to be different! I've found in my personal liofe that I can't relive the past. It was great then, but new opportunities and challenges and successes await!

Happy you found your "sweet spot" and what works for you now, in the present! That's emoticon

emoticon on losing those "doctor ordered" 10 lbs already! emoticon All my PCP did was tell me I was overweight. DUH! She said nothing of where she'd like me to be and how many lbs she'l like me to lose. A challenge would have been nice. I'm always up for a challenge! They're always motivating! Thankfully, SP gives me the numbers, and on I go!
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KASEYCOFF 7/11/2014 2:17AM

    Yes, I think you've hit the nail on the head. Sometimes we need to change up the routines, not just because we need variety, but also because as we age or health issues crop up, what worked before no longer works. Change becomes crucial at that point. It's just that change can be so gosh-darned difficult, lol--! For me, at any rate... emoticon

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Sugar and Simple Carbs: What I have learned

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

It is a hot day outside and getting my exercise in has been a challenge. Succeeding in some,
but having to substitute in others. I am not a lover of the heat and so it tends to slow me down some.
The advantage of having good weather is we can get outside and do things we otherwise would not be able to do. So I had the opportunity to talk with a couple of my health cheerleaders the other day and learned some more things I hadn't thought about in relation to my health We were at our church picnic and were enjoying some fellowship and chat time.
They told me they noticed I looked a bit more healthier and so we launched into a talk about health and healthy foods for a time.

I have been doing some research on sugars and simple carbs lately. What I found out was mind blowing. I thought to begin with that getting off sugar and simple carbs was all hype and did not have substance. That is until I started to look at what it did to me... Then my kidney doctor mentioned pre-diabetes. I thought again that she was just joking. I was wrong. The main one being my waistline. Too much in the wrong place.

So I decided to try out something to see what the results would be. I stopped using white sugar, white flour and white rice in my foods. Cutting down the added sugar to below 25 grams a day as recommended for a healthy diet. The results were astounding! My energy soared and my waistline shrunk! Over two months!! Not to mention weight loss.
When I have added those foods in unintentionally, I start feeling sick and sluggish and just not well. I have found also that artificial sweeteners do the same thing for me. They are not an option for substitutes. Anything with added ingredients of the artificial kind does not bode with me well.

So with the holiday weekend past us, I am heading back to a natural foods routine. When I want sweets, it will be the wholesome natural kind. Nothing with additives for me. Gotta stay away from those processed foods with the processed ingredients, added salt and sugar and whatever else they add to 'em. More wholesome foods are in my current and future plans.

So I guess what I have to say to others is that if you find yourself tired, sluggish, not losing weight and without any energy, take a good look at what you are eating. The foods you are eating may be part of the problem. Lots of people have found that they are sensitive to different foods. For me, it is the salt, sugar and white processed foods. For others it may be something else. I have found another puzzle piece to my success in gaining health.
I hope this can help someone else find success as well.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 8/2/2014 3:07PM

    Great blog. I have noticed that sugars and simple carbs are a problem for me as well. Not only do they put the fat in the worst place, they make me crave more of the bad foods. Soda has the same effect on me. I have an on-again off-again love affair with soda. Glad to hear you are doing so well, my friend! emoticon

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GLORY63 7/9/2014 6:40AM

    emoticon

It is amazing what simple carbs can do to a body. By going to more complex carbs, it does help with the energy level and weight loss goals.

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MRSP90X 7/8/2014 9:55PM

    I am the exact opposite. If I eat too low of carbs, I am so sluggish and fatigued. Although I only eat oats, brown rice, brown rice cakes, sweet potatoes, whole wheat pasta, and fruit. I do have sweeteners, but they are not a problem for me. The main thing is to find what works for us individually. I also get vertigo going to low on carbs and my workouts suffer greatly and I get hypoglycemia. It can be a fine line to find the right carb level.

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My Inspiration to Keep Going this Year

Friday, July 04, 2014

I was watching the spark video about Arthur the US veteran today and got inspired by his story.
So I decided I would write what has inspired me all of a sudden to get healthy and lose weight.

My journey to health started over 10 years ago when I found out I had nephritis a type of kidney disease that affects my protein. In addition I was also dealing with high cholesterol and other health issues. At that time I was able to adjust my diet, start on an exercise program and was doing very well for awhile. Then I got sidetracked and have had problems getting back on track completely until this year. Even though I have been on Spark People since February 2010, I do not think I ever really got into the program completely even though I did everything I was supposed to.
I found myself encouraging others to eat healthier and get more exercise. When our son started having some unexplained health problems, I encouraged him to change his diet and start getting exercise. He took my advice and ran with it. He is now several pounds lighter and in much better shape thanks to taking up bicycling and eating healthier foods.
I continue to encourage other members of my family in their health journeys as well.
But I wasn't really accomplishing anything for myself. I would get exercise, and try to stay within my calorie goals, but I wasn't getting anywhere. I would lose pounds and inches, and gain them back again. That's what happened last year.

I am not sure what it was that got me going... Maybe it was some comments I read on Spark People, or the challenge one of my doctors gave me to "lose just 10 lbs in one year". Or maybe it was the desire to stop eating all those bad foods that I was still inclined to eat...like white sugar, white flour and the like. Or maybe it was something completely different...like realizing that I could not do this on my own, that I needed God to help me achieve my goals. Or that I had helped my children get onto a healthy lifestyle and it was now my turn to do the same.
Or maybe it was what one SP leader told me...that I needed to WANT to get healthy and to get my attitude in line with my goals. Or maybe it was that great Spring weather that got me going.
I cannot say for sure, but I have learned a lot and started to lose weight and feel healthier than I have in a long time.

So this year somehow I got back on the bandwagon and in a big way...
I decided I would once and for all find out how to get things going and keep them going...
I knew I needed to stay with my low sodium diet and to get back on an exercise schedule.
My nephritis was in remission and in control and I was determined to keep it that way. I also wanted to keep my health numbers in the normal ranges.
But something wasn't clicking and something was missing. I did some research and found out that white processed flour, breads and white sugar were the foods that were blocking my success. I found that I was craving things like bread and crackers all the time.
So I took the bull by the horns and completed the Tame Your Sweet Tooth Challenge. I took the instructions to heart and learned all I could about what sugar and white processed foods can do to your health. Then I went off them cold turkey for about 3-4 weeks.
That in itself was an eye-opener.

My energy has returned in leaps and bounds and I am feeling stronger.
I lost 10 lbs this year...16 altogether and I am still losing. The pounds literally feel like they are melting off my body...really amazing!
I am back to where I was a year ago and then some, in less that 5 months.
I am finding lots of ways to get exercise, even non-conventional ways and wanting to do it every day. That is a big change for me.
Making small goals, reaching them and setting more have kept me going.
I have started and completed many outside garden projects over the past few weeks and months.

But I think the one thing that I have learned this year so far is that I cannot do this on my own.
Without God I am nothing and can do nothing. I would not be here without Him and the help He has given me. He is my main Partner in my health journey.
I also would not be able to do this without all the encouragement that the wonderful people on Spark People have given me. Getting back into SP challenges has given me the motivation to keep going. I am now doing the Summer 5% challenge and having a blast getting to know people and doing the weekly mini-challenges.

I've been on this journey a long time, but I intend on staying on it to see it to its completion.
I know I still have several unresolved issues and a long ways to go, but time and perseverance will take care of them.
I'm looking forward to getting healthier and meeting my goals in health and in life. I know with God at my side and friends on my team I can and will do just that.

God bless you all,
Sue

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSP90X 7/4/2014 6:55PM

    Yes! John 15:5! You are so right that the Lord has to be the center of our health journey as well as every other minute detail of our lives. My husband and I pray before every workout to keep Him in the center of us getting fit for Him to be better servants. We CAN do it! Serve Him until He calls UA home!

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Springtime: Coming out of the Hybernation Mode!

Saturday, May 03, 2014

My apologies to those who may be following my blogs.
I seem to have gone into hibernation for the past few months...LOL!

I do not know what happened this past month and a half, but something did!
I felt like a butterfly coming out of a cocoon or a bear coming out of hibernation.
...Like a freedom thing or something. Anyways it feels really good!!!
Maybe it was the sunshine and warmer weather coming back, or the flowers and greenery
making its appearance...not sure.

I do know that the week before Easter I was thinking of how spring was coming and I needed
to do a spring cleaning of my home. I decided to tackle the problem with gusto and succeeded!
I also got a little boost from a good friend on Spark People with my exercise and dietary routine.
I discovered I needed a spring cleaning of that too!

The result has been amazing! Here are some of the things that I have been doing:

Walking with my daughter several times a week taking our dog along with us.
Getting the garden planted and watching it begin to grow.
Mowing the lawn and cleaning up the yard a bit
Cleaning the deck outside and making it ready for Spring and Summer use.
Doing a deep clean of the house inside, one room at a time.
Hanging the clothes out on the line outdoors when the weather was nice.

I have all sorts of new projects that I am planning too for the next few months. They should
keep me up and going for several months. It is great to feel like I want to do things again.

Spring and Summer are showing promise for getting the ol' body movin' again.
Hoping the activities will help in getting me back in shape again.
Lots of things happening too, so do not see things slowing down much very soon.

Anyway, have a wonderful Spring and Summer, and keep on moving!!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 5/4/2014 8:02AM

    You go, girl! It's great to be moving and accomplishing things, isn't it? I fee the same way. I feel hope! This year is going to be a good one. emoticon

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ALLENJOSEPH 5/3/2014 8:48PM

    Happy to see that Spring has definitely sprung in your motivation. Happy for you, Sue.1 Keep on, you're in high gear now!
Hugs, Janis emoticon emoticon emoticon

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