Saturday, September 01, 2012
Wow! What a year of changes this has been. As I posted at the beginning of the year - I was determined to make this healthier lifestyle work for me and to take back control of my health and life. The year started out great and the pounds began falling off of me. So much so that I finally hit the 50 lbs lost point this spring/summer! In addition, my blood sugars have been well controlled and I have added new cardio options to my routines (hiking, skiing, jogging/walking).
Despite the healthy changes, though, this has been a very emotionally difficult year. At the end of April, we lost my Father in Law who has lived with us since 1993. This was a sudden death - preceded by the sudden death of his brother 5 weeks before. These losses hit us hard and came just as I was finishing the weight loss program I began in January. I determined that rather than let the emotions sabotage me, I would simply stop working so hard to lose weight and rather just focus on making good choices and maintain what I had lost so far.
Two months later I was finally ready to begin working hard again and began to lose again. Then, at the end of July, my father passed away. This was a difficult passing as he had a heart attack, fell and hit his head on a Monday morning, then the EMT's resuscitated him and kept him breathing (by machine) for 2 more days. While this allowed my brothers and their families to get here to say good bye, it was an emotionally draining process. I am still working my way through this loss. Spending a lot of time traveling to my mother's (about an hour from my home) to help her and still working to take care of my family (dh and three teenage children).
While all of this has been going on, I have had one child graduate from High School and one from Middle School. The third has just started his last year of Middle School. In addition to getting the kids to camps, tournaments and work. And, in the midst of this, my oldest son broke his big toe on his left foot by dropping a 20 lb. Hexagonal weight on it at the beginning of August.
Today has capped off the changes. Last week my daughter began her freshman year at the High School. Then today, we moved my oldest son into his dorm at college for his freshman year. I'm very proud of him, but sad at the same time. Just trying to adjust to the fact that he's not home and won't be for several weeks. I'm so thankful he chose a school that's only 45 minutes away, but, not wanting to be a helicopter mom, I will still miss seeing him each day.
So, it's time to get serious about this weight again. I have maintained my previous loss through all of this and persevered. Now it's time to crack down and start losing again. Thank you to all of my Spark friends that have been so encouraging despite my inactivity here. I hope you will be seeing more of me as this year begins to wind down.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Okay, I'm a disgustingly proud mother. I have three of the best kids in the world and am never afraid to share their accomplishments. I have to crow a little this week as all three of them have had some terrific achievements this week. We started with my oldest son who graduated high school this week. He will be attending UMass Lowell in the fall for Business. He received the Phillip S. Gilmore award for band at the end of the year and made the honor roll the last two terms of this year. He'll begin work this week. School has been a struggle for him the last 4 years but he's worked hard and done well and was accepted to all 7 colleges that he applied to.
My daughter, who is 14 just graduated the eighth grade last evening. She is becoming a beautiful young woman. She has been the starting pitcher on the school, rec and tournament softball teams for the past 2 years and began pitching at 8 years old. She also played goalie for the school field hockey team in 6th and 7th grade and in 8th - due to an injury - could not play, but was a captain and trained the new goalie. She received a Presidential Award for Academic Excellence last night. She has excelled academically, athletically and musically.
My youngest son just completed 7th grade. I was notified by his Spanish teacher, who I have contact with outside of school, that I should attend the Awards Ceremony for him today but not for what class. The teacher for each class got up and distributed about 5-6 awards to different students. He was not called up for any of these. Then, they all got up to award two students in the grade an overall award for Academic Excellence. My son was one of these two. He and I were both completely surprised by this.
I'm very sorry for being one of those annoying parents, but I just can't help being so proud of these children. Being that my dh and I both work full time and are involved in things outside of home and work - these achievements have been made much due to their hard work and dedication as opposed to a mother or father standing over them to excel. For this reason, I am extremely proud of all that they have done!
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Struggling to stay focused this weekend and just maintain. We have had a very sad event this weekend. Yesterday morning, my DH went to check on his father who has lived with us since 1993 and found that he had passed away, peacefully in his sleep. Although his health had not been well for the past year; he had a weak heart and had been slowing down a lot and in some pain for the past couple of weeks; it was still a shock. DH had taken him to the vascular Dr. just last week and he was advised that there were no blockages and his blood was moving freely through his veins. He looked peaceful, as though his heart had just stopped beating, there was no sign of struggle.
So, yesterday was spent notifying family and meeting with the funeral director. Today, will be making arrangements with the restaurant for after the funeral and I'm sure making more calls. My oldest DS was quick to remind us all that we need to eat through this process, even if we may not want to. He has been great trying to keep everyone focusing on good memories of Grampa and take care of everyone. Pretty amazing for a 17 - almost 18 year old.
My youngest ds, at 13 has probably taken it the hardest. He unfortunately found out when he came out of his bedroom yesterday morning and overheard me telling dh's aunt. He was extremely close to his Grandfather and just collapsed in tears.
My dd, at 14 is quietly dealing with her emotions - helping to find pictures with Grampa for the DVD at the funeral home and sharing her own memories. She chose not to participate in her opening day softball game. Grampa used to drive her to practice and games all the time. It's hard for her, thinking of that.
My Father-in-Law was such a special man. He never said a lot, but his love for his family ran deep. He loved his sons, his grandchildren. He was a simple man, a farmer at heart, raising chickens, caring for the cats and dogs. Spending time with his brothers and sister that were all nearby was important to him and he was always there to lend a hand to family, friend or neighbor. He loved the outdoors, hunting and fishing. He and his brothers built this home we live in, so his memory will always be with us and his spirit will surround us. He will be greatly missed by all of us.
I will be doing the bare minimum of sparking for a few days here while we work through this time of mourning.
Sunday, April 15, 2012
Okay, so, I've always told people that my daughter was the athlete in the family. It's true - she is an athlete: Fastpitch softball pitcher, field hockey goalie - she doesn't like a little pressure with her sports. Today, I had to tell her - she's not the only athlete in the family anymore. Today, I am an athlete too.
What a great feeling! I started out the day hitting the local golf course with my husband for 9 holes of golf. I walked the course and carried my clubs instead of using the pull cart. I had my best game yet and actually got a 5 on the 8th hole which was a par 4. Last year, by the time I got to the 8th hole - I was dragging myself along the fairway. Today - I finished strong and was ready to go around again.
We got home in time for lunch - I made a tuna sandwich, then took off for Mt. Wachusett with my oldest son and my daughter. They really wanted to go the opposite way this week - which meant climbing the stairs to the top - the steepest path. I agreed to try it and we got to the top in 29 minutes. Coming down was a little slower since it was the billy goat trail over all of the rocks. I had to back down some area's, but we got to the bottom in just 38 minutes!
Once we got home, I had a snack - then got in day 14 of Coach Nicole's 28 Day Boot Camp and some upper body strength training.
I feel great right now - a bit tired - but not stiff. I think some ibuprofen may be called for tonight though.
A few weeks ago - the exercise physiologist at UMass weight center asked our group to write down what we wanted to be or what our goal was with this program and our lives. Mine was to be an athlete. After a day like today, I think I can say - I am!
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Today, I decided to face a fear. I chose to climb Mt. Wachusett with my two oldest children. Last summer we attempted this and I was nervous of taking the Bicentennial trail to the loop due to the tree roots and rocks. We attempted the Pine Tree trail which goes pretty straight up the mountain via a set of "stairs" made from the rocks. I huffed and puffed my way up, stopping several times with difficulty breathing and barely made it to the Summit Road. Once we reached Summit Road we had to turn back as they were doing construction on the road.
Today, we tackled the Bicentennial trail to the Loop, to Mountain House trail to the summit. Once we got beyond the tree root section (which I was less nervous on as my coordination has improved a lot), we faced the steep rock climbing session - At times I was on all fours climbing these rocks - thus the title of the blog. There were much fewer stops and we made it to the top in just 40 minutes. My kids were happy because I really only stopped climbing once near the top and it was for only a moment to catch my breath. I didn't even feel like collapsing at the top. The view was beautiful, although the wind was pretty strong, so the kids wanted to head back down fairly soon.
We went down the Pine Tree trail via the rock "stairs" commonly called "Jacob's Ladder". As we were beginning our descent, another family began their descent as well - cutting in front of us and moving very slowly. My kids were a little frustrated because they didn't want to rudely pass them, but felt that they were being held up. I suggested that they go ahead and I would get there eventually and they said, "Mom, we think you can go faster than they are too." When we reached a wide point on the trail, I went to the other side from the family in front of us and passed them. From there, my son and daughter took the lead, expecting to have to stop and wait for me at a couple of points, however, each time the looked back, I was pretty much right behind them. It felt great to complete the climb up and down in just over one hour. I am a Billy Goat and I have conquered Mt. Wachusett!
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