MARYANNGI   67,486
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Saturday, December 13, 2014

This evening a fellow Spark member and I were discussing a friend. The friend is having difficulty with self image and asking for help. My friend said that this person doesn't blog about her feelings so others aren't aware of what is going on.

My reply was this: " Maybe she is a lot like me. I have a very difficult time asking others for help" Her reply was you usually figure it out. But what she doesn't realize that sometimes I really need the support from others but don't know how to ask.

Now my friend will tell you that I am the world's worst blogger. Many times I don't ask simply because I am afraid of what people will think. OMG, can't that woman get her life together????

There have been many times when I should have asked for support, but that fear held me back. Or, I would blog after what ever was going on was over. And I lost a valuable tool to help in this lifestyle journey that I have bee struggling with for the past 12 months. It is my loss, and the only person I hurt was myself. If I had asked for that support I would be further along in my journey than I am now.

So today, I am asking for that support. I am looking at hip replacement surgery in the Spring. I want and need to be the healthiest me I can be. I am learning to cope with the pain, and will be talking with my former personal trainer. But I have lost my self confidence and drive. Most Spark workouts are geared for people who don't have mobility issues. Any help about workouts that I can do to help me get back on track would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to the Spark Community for being there even when you didn't know I needed you.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOULDSGRANITE 12/18/2014 1:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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68ANNE 12/17/2014 12:36PM

    I've has mobility issues and the bf has had both his hips replaced (one this year and one last year)
They will give you exercises to do to strengthen the hips and legs. I found a few videos here that do work great. Try searching for seated exercises.

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DIANEDOESSMILES 12/15/2014 10:23PM

    HI Friend,,,,, I am here for you all the way. As you know, I am not facing this, but have soooo many other issues. In those,,,,, we do not know the future, but do the moment.
I try to not fear the things I haven't done yet. That was what it was I was talking to you about tonight,,,, with this and the other thing,,,, go moment by moment,,,, so I hope you have enjoyed the day (Tues). I do not do that stuff,,,, it'd wear me out,,,, but I know you do,,,,,,, and so I hope you had fun.

Plz do talk to Cheri and others as u go thru it. they will help you with pracical advice,,, and gal,,, KEEP ON BLOGGING !! :)

LOL I am the friend who keeps urging Maryann to BLOG For HELPFUL advice.

Plz know that most wil NEVER hurt you with cruel words. I've been blogging quite a bit, since I came on in the Wintah of 10 (WOOHOOO we met then and it's an AWESOME Friendship, I CHERISH you ! Ur thoughts often help me) so why not allow the community of SPARKLERS (notice that word again ) "SPARKLERS" SPARK ur thoughts, which can lead to action,,, this is a COMMUNITY of people who CARE hon.

Hope to see you blog again soon. Especially when the WINTAH Challenge (my 5th wintah one, been a leadah now for 4.75 yrs ! YO THANKS ALSO For helping me to be the BEST I can be,, with ur thoughts, encouragement,, and for "allowing" me to help DRIVE YOU NUTS !! That's just for fun !

Comment edited on: 12/15/2014 10:40:29 PM

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IRON_RESOLVE 12/15/2014 12:56PM

    Oh MaryAnn, I could not agree more with how hard it is to blog. I don't always say the right things when I put fingers to keyboard. I acknowledge that. Even so, I have begun accountability blogging. Not knowing quite what to say, I tend to ramble, and I do worry about saying too much, being too honest about my mistakes, an avoid talking about them, mostly I worry about boring people. But the support is incredible. And I do always feel lifted by everyone's comments. So for that reason alone, we should all blog, once in a while, but really weekly, is better. I work with elderly people, and I rarely hear anyone have a complaint after surgery. I also am shocked to see folks in their late 70's and in their 80's having a knee or hip done. Wow! Who knew they'd recover so quickly. The main thing is, you are going to get more out of life, once you have the surgery. And if you get used to speaking about it, and your life happenings, you will also get used the support. I know, our generation was taught not to blow our own horn, but if we don't who else will? Besides, we will always enjoy listening to others toot theirs, so why not speak up, and join the conversation. I'm convinced, it's going to help us reach our goals. Both Social, and weight loss. Shared strife, and camaraderie. It's how we remain connected.

Comment edited on: 12/15/2014 12:59:26 PM

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JEB03253 12/15/2014 7:52AM

    I've had both hips replaced and after the first operation, I jokingly said to my physical therapist that I should have come in before the surgery for therapy. She replied that some people do.

You might consider a visit to a PTist to see what they suggest. It would give you a chance to see their setup as well since you're sure to have PT following your surgery.


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MORTICIAADDAMS 12/14/2014 9:55PM

    I have R.A. and my doctor allows me to walk or swim. I can also do gentle things like qigong, yoga, tai chi. And dance within reason. I hope your surgery goes well!

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CHERIRIDDELL 12/14/2014 1:33AM

    I am waiting for hip replacement surgery right now. I have been told it is important to keep as much movement as possible in the hips Swimming is one of the only activities I can do much with my legs at this stage but I have numerous injuries not just the hips.I have been told to keep doing weights with my arms because I have to be able to use my arms to support my body weight.I go on December 17th for a full day of teaching before the surgery.I can phone you and you can ask me any questions you would like if it would help you in any way.

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DBEAU57 12/14/2014 12:33AM

    Dear Friend, I'm glad you are blogging today. It's hard to bear our fears publicly. Every time my hip twinges, I think of you and hope I don't have hip replacement in my future too. I agree with PRAIRIECROSCUS that swimming may be an answer. I'll be anxious to hear what your trainer thinks about that.

emoticon Hugs!

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PRAIRIECROCUS 12/13/2014 11:22PM

    You are emoticon
Do you know how to swim ?
Swimming is a great, no-impact activity, that wouldn't bother your hips.
In fact, the buoyant water would probably feel good !
Swimming is very refreshing, and burns lots of calories.
Talk this over with your personal trainer, and see what you can come up with.
Then, please write a blog about it !

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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Today is one of rare days that I read through blogs. And boy did I learn some awesome things.

I learned that looking at the big picture can make things seem bigger than they are. Member STEPH-KNEE said she needs to lose 32 pounds. But instead of that number staring her in the face she said "I just have to lose 1 pound, 32 times!"

Another member's blog made me realize that what I see and feel inside is so much more important than what I (and other's) see outside. That I will never be a certain size, and I would never look healthy at what some people think I should weigh. Can you imagine a 56 year-old, 5'6.5" woman weighing 130 pounds?? I would like someone on drugs!! I have had 2 children, enjoyed them and the things they brought into my life. The weight is just a number, and the number MUST be something I am comfortable and healthy with.

I learned that it's ok to start over and what ate the why's I am working for.

All this from reading the blogs of 3 amazing Spark members

Thank you all for sharing such important things.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

68ANNE 10/10/2014 5:39PM

    I so agree with you. Let's let others help us by reading blogs!

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JUJUH51 10/9/2014 4:48PM

    Great blog! I am inspired each time I log into spark people. After doing many diets and being on other websites, I finally feel like I found a "home" on Spark!

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IRON_RESOLVE 10/9/2014 12:34PM

    Yes MaryAnn, Spark has some amazing people, and I count you as one of them. I agree, it's great to have member blogs posted. I have learned so much from them. I am at the stage of 32 pounds to go, and love the idea to just love one pound 32 times,
Thanks for posting this.

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    I totally agree and am happy to see that you have realistic weight expectations. As we age we look better with a few extra pounds on us and we live longer according to studies. I don't want to be obese but I don't want to be emaciated either.

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CHERIRIDDELL 10/9/2014 12:28AM

    I find it fascinating reading blogs so many Spark members have faced so much with courage and they live the world over I get to experience fascinating places all from the comfort of my computer room !

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KNEEMAKER 10/8/2014 11:34PM

  Awesome so let's just keep on keeping on. It is a Life Journey so let's enjoy every second of every minute of every day. After all we get a total of 86,400 daily to use however we so desire. Why not make those seconds wonderful for ourselves and all those we love! Good luck on your journey. emoticon

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Saturday, September 27, 2014

OK, seizures dealt with, I have been working on my 4 very important life changes. Had my levels checked and only 1 needs to be tweaked.

Now I am having to deal with some strange side effects to my new meds. I go from wanting to cry, to very angry, or wanting to sleep sometimes 12 hours a day. I am really hoping that these things even themselves out soon. Some of the things I was angry about were justifiable, but they were extreme to the max.

I have started walking every other day and feel awesome that I am up to just over a mile. As long as I take my time and don't rush I will be fine. Still need to work in strength training, but that will come with time.

I just have to remember to take one day at a time and that will be VERY difficult for me. There are things I am having trouble with and I am hoping that time is all I need.

One Step at a Time, One Day at a Time. My new goals to add to the other four.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

68ANNE 9/28/2014 10:38PM

    I hope the side effects aren't worse than the problem

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CHERIRIDDELL 9/28/2014 12:27AM

    Everyone has given you excellent advice so I will just say you are in my thoughts and prayers Take care MaryAnn ! emoticon

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GOULDSGRANITE 9/27/2014 11:51PM

    emoticon emoticon That's me walking right along beside you MaryAnn! emoticon emoticon

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DBEAU57 9/27/2014 11:45PM

    If things don't level out on that new med, let your doctor know. I had those same issues with an antidepressant and when, after a week of it, I called my doctor about it, he lowered my dosage and then I was fine.

Let me know if there is anything I can help you with!


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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/27/2014 10:21PM

    I hope everything works out for you. It often takes a while to get used to meds.

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MOTTAMAMALOU 9/27/2014 7:05PM

    emoticon I wish you the very best!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

This entry has taken a while to figure out how to write what I wanted to say. So here I go and I hope it comes out making sense.

Many of you may not know that I am an epileptic and have 2 types of seizures. It's not something I generally share because is has cost me jobs, friendships and relationships. I actually had 1 gentleman friend tell me if I had another seizure, he would leave me. Needless to say, I left him!

Occasionally stress or lack of sleep might trigger a seizure, but I always have an aura (a type of warning) before a seizure. But boy did I have a duzzy of a seizure on September 5th. My family had never seen anything like this seizure and it was nothing like anyother seizure I had ever had. There had been quite a bit of stress during the 3 previous days, I was fighting a serious infection as well as taking an antibiotic. Any of these things could have triggered that major seizure

By the end of that Friday, I ended up at Dartmoth-Hitchcock Medical Center. I was unconsicous for over 30 hours. That doesn't even count the time I was in the local ER. After I regained consciousness, I was in the hospital for another 3 days. I had a lot of time to think during those days. Needless to say, I won't be driving for at least 6 months which is fine by me. When I stop and think that 10 minutes before the seizure I had been driving, it scares the living daylights out of me! Especially since I had been seizure free for more than 5 years.

During the time that I did that serious thinking, I decided to make some changes - very important ones - in my life. Here they are:

1. No more putting myself last. I make sure everyone else in my family is OK, but tend to take care of me last. My health needs have to come first!

2. Work with neurologist, primary care and the surgeon who will replace my hip (yes I decided to have it done) to become the healthiest me I can be. I know that running is no longer an option, but I can walk, hike, ride a bike and another very large list of the things I CAN DO to become a very healthy me.

3. Create a daily ME time. I haven't done any type of crafts in a very long time and these have always been my stress busters or ways to relax and wind down.

4. Keep my life as stress-free as possible. This may sound strange as part of a slife-style change, but it's what I need to do the most for me. If this means cutting back on certain things, or staying away from certain people for a bit, then it's what I will do.

I hope that this all makes sense. I am not usually a blogger, but I needed a way to put my thoughts in print.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DBEAU57 9/27/2014 11:50PM

    I'm not glad you had the seizure. But I am glad you had an opportunity to really think about what you want your life to be like. That is so important and you have done very well at it. You have strong goals set that will make you a happier person. Go for it!

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STONE815 9/20/2014 10:38AM


You are a brave lady. You need to take care of yourself and enjoy life, I find doing anything I enjoy reduces my stress. Surround yourself with positive friends and family and live the life you love.

All the best.


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68ANNE 9/18/2014 6:00PM

    You did a wonderful way of saying it exactly. I hope you are seizure free for years to come!

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MSGRANNYMAE 9/17/2014 11:26PM

    emoticon emoticon

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RUFFIT 9/17/2014 9:49PM

    Thanks for posting! You are important and dont ever forget it. Be self caring because without yourself you have nothing. Major hugs. emoticon emoticon

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GOULDSGRANITE 9/17/2014 2:04PM

    MaryAnn - I am so grateful for your presence to write such an important blog. Be strong and stay true to yourself. You have all the skills to put this list in action. You are so worth it! Woo HOO to being alive and being the best you can be! Make your home exactly what you need to stay positive and focused on your goals. Tranquility Now!!! Awesome, friend. We are all here for you. Reminds me of the saying I heard Oprah had on the wall in her office, "You are responsible for the energy you bring to this space". I think that is close, you get it. So glad you are getting better. emoticon

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ITS_MY_TURN_NOW 9/17/2014 11:06AM

    Oh Dear Lady,
I am sorry you had to go through that. But putting yourself first is a great idea. It is about time, too! emoticon
You can do it!
Best wishes for a speedy recovery. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.
Huge Hugs.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I agree with the others, you deserve and should be number one in your life. The changes sound like great ones to me. Doing crafts or games, reading whatever you like is a great way to de-stress. Doing whatever it takes to keep stress out of your life is extremely important. Don't be ashamed or afraid to share your epilepsy with friends. The knowledge can save your life. If it bothers them then they aren't really friends. Hugs, take care. I for one would love to be your friend and have added you as my friend.

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CHERIRIDDELL 9/16/2014 10:57PM

    This was a wonderful blog.You are worth being put first.All I have to say about friends who would discard you because you are epileptic is you are better off without them,for no real friend would do that. I too am having my hips replaced so perhaps we can share that part of the journey.You are a strong person and I think we are lucky to know someone as resilient as you. Take care of yourself and if we can help you in any way do not hesitate to let us know. I am so glad you are back and feeling better and that you escaped serious injury when you had your seizure. (Driving at the time would have been horrid !) hugs,Cheri

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    Ahh yes, my dear friend,, you DO need to make YOU #1 ,,,, I had pointed this out b4, not just because of health, but LOL What little bit of "Sanity" you have left (oh yeah, and watch out for the TYPES of friends you make ! LOL)

I love the changes above,,, esp the doing crafts,,, that I had 'planned on during my recovery, but never did it, its been 11 weeks,,, almost 3 months ! So yes my friend,, we both need to encourage each other, and others on the team to do so.

It scares the wahhhhh woooo hoooo outta , that you had been just driving 10 mins b4. Remember that Weds night (ur seizure was on Fri) you said you didn't feel right,,,, I asked you specifically if it felt like "you might have a seizure"? You stated no, next time, my ears will be DAWGGIE UP ! I will be paying morah attention to how U are feeling,,, I do so carah.
Lets start to LAUGH more ,,, we both need this.

HUGS Sweet friend.

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MM11113 9/16/2014 9:08PM

    When I figure out that I need to truly de-stress, I like a cup of fragrant hot tea. And, I like your craft idea.

I waited 30 years to elevate myself toward the top of the list. Don't make that mistake, the family needs to learn to be supportive, caring, and independent. Balance.

Good luck. I would be terrified of driving, too!

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    After a seizure like this you are fortunate to be alive. I hope they can find the reason for this and prevent it from happening again. i think you are on the right track and need to tke very good care of yourself. I am sending a prayer for you!

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Sunday, August 31, 2014

Ok Diane, I know that this will be a shock to your system. I am blogging!! This is so unusual for me.

Fall 5% Challenge Exercise Commitment:

Minimum of 20 minutes of cardio daily. This will probably mean that I will be doing 2 10-minute walks at first, but I will get there and more. I am also rejoining the gym.

Strength training every Monday, Wednesday & Friday. I will find exercise videos that work for me

Check List:
Gym clothes - check
Exercise plan - check

Fall 5% Challenge Nutrition Commitment:

Tracking and measuring will be my main nutrition tools. Due to a health issue, some of my daily requirements are set higher than normal. I typically stay within a specific calorie that works for me.

My Fall 5% Challenge Commitment to Me:

I MaryAnn will follow through with exercise, tracking and team participation. I have come to far to slip back. When I need help, I will ask. When family members attempt to sabotage, I will stand firm.

MaryAnn Gilbert
Spirited Underdawgs EL and 5 year Spark Member

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSGRANNYMAE 9/14/2014 7:26PM


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68ANNE 9/7/2014 1:48AM

    Loving the plan!

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STEVEN2GO2 9/1/2014 8:23PM

    Hey my Mom's name is Mary Ann! Good luck with your goals. You may find coach Nicole's fitness videos useful. Her seated exercise videos are about 10 minutes long and she offers modifications and includes information about prper breathing breathing and stretching after you strength train.


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    MaryAnn - Great Blog! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Great goals! Good luck with them!

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CHERIRIDDELL 9/1/2014 12:18AM

    Sounds like a great plan.Don't let anyone sabotage your success !

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