Saturday, May 21, 2011
My brother, my only sibling...I love this guy, he is 1 year and 11 months older than me and he has been my hero since I was conceived!
Ok, enough extolling the love of my big brother...his second child, his oldest daughter, who will be 18 in July is graduating high school this year and then she will join her older brother in Seattle at SPU next fall - and is there this weekend for registration/orientation. The graduation party will be June 4 at their house. In light of the party, my brother wants his yard to look its best. He builds, remodels and does disaster clean up at homes for a living and has been a builder for 25+ years. He knows people in the biz..including a landscaper who he calls Hans and I call Hans and Franz...who sold him flats of flowering plants at what must have been a great price because my dear brother bought 7 FLATS of plants.
He is good at math, he really is, but he failed to figure that he had just purchased 18 DOZEN plants, that means 18 dozen holes to dig...bless his heart, even knowing that I was coming to help plant, he started on Thursday evening and planted the first 3 dozen himself. Then Friday he and his two youngest children (6 yo boy and 5 yo girl) planted 5 dozen more (bro had to re-plant those done by the children, they didn't put them in deep enough!) so that left a mere 8 dozen little plants and 2 dozen geraniums to plant today...no problem!!!!!
Oh my, no problem! I have two blisters, one popped and one not, and a bruised shin (ok, my niece, at a mere 5 years old decided to 'karate chop' Auntie Karen in the shin!) and some very sore knees, butt muscles, thighs, etc...
I obviously adore my brother and his wife of over 25 years...my oldest nephew at SPU, my niece about to join him...and their second family, when the children got old they had a few new ones! And I thank them for all my fitness minutes today in their yard that needed help...I hope it looks lovely for my niece's graduation in a couple of weeks.
Filled with love...blessings to my Spark Friends...and my family...Karen
Thursday, May 19, 2011
In my life Before SparkPeople (I guess B.S. would be appropriate!) I tried to drink diet soda, sugar free beverages, substitute a packet os sweet n low for sugar in my iced tea, etc. But I didn't drink the amount of fluids that I do now, in my A.S. or After SparkPeople era...
With the addition of water, really fluids in general to my lifestyle, I often, probably more often than I should have or maybe even realized, dumped in a Crystal Light pack or Wyler's packet of flavor to my cup. I kept all kinds of flavors on hand for just such occasions.
Early this week, in addition to having some pretty ferocious seasonal allergies going on, I had a RAGING headache! Pain I could not get away from...I took ibuprofen, naproxen, acetaminophen...in addition to the decongestants I was taking for the allergies. My wise husband sent me an article about the side affects of aspartame and ace-K...and it all clicked! I have literally been poisoning myself with artificial sweeteners!
Wednesday I got up without a headache, that's the way I usually start my day (head ache free), began my day with a coffee with real sugar (a little concern about calories) and then drank pure, no flavor water all day. I had a little trouble getting my water but I did not have a head ache ALL day! Today, I did the same, no artificial sweeteners, no headache but I did put lemon juice in my water and had NO trouble getting plenty in my body!
So, I would encourage anyone who is using a lot of artificial sweetener, if you have head aches, stomach issues, even runny nose or swollen eyes, please read about the side affects of artificial sweeteners and consider reducing or eliminating them. You might be really glad you did, I know I am! Two days without a head ache is almost unheard of for me - for probably the last year or two! And I've been blaming stress...
Blessings my Spark Friends. We have a lot to learn on this journey to health and fitness!
Monday, May 09, 2011
Next Saturday is the 40th Anniversary Celebration for the company that I work for and during that celebration they give out longevity awards, I'll be receiving my 10 year award and I will be presenting to my staff 1-10 year award and 2-20 year awards...so this is a big deal, a big event. I am expected to look nice, dressy professional nice. So, my 12 year old daughter and I went shopping.
I've been on Spark for over 3 months, I've lost 26 pounds in 2011, I've worked out hard, I've been mindful of my eating but not obsessed, I've seen some victories and I've seen a few plateaus, I've read articles on health and nutrition and sizing specifically of women's clothes and it took me TWO SECONDS in a dressing room to be completely discouraged!!!!!
What in the name of all things good and right are clothing designers and manufacturers thinking!?!?! First, is ANYone out there shaped like ANY of these clothes? And do they really think that bright pink, purple, aqua or yellow flowers on any size OR shape of bun OR breast is really flattering??? Really!?!?! I admit it, I'm a 6 foot tall pear shaped woman - I'm not easy to fit on a great day but yesterday I tried on dresses, skirts/blouses, suits with skirts and suits with pants to the point that I was chafed in several of my lumpier regions and ready to call my 5 foot 2, size 4 (on a heavy day) boss and tell her that I will not make the celebration due to nothing to wear. That would have gone over SO well!
Nearly 6 hours of shopping later (my 12 year old owns several new outfits including shoes and hose that she was "just going to try on") - I did end up with a so-so skirt, a pair of quite attractive (with the right undergarments - think 'teflon foundation') straight leg black flowy pants with a camisole and my choice (yes, more than one!) ruffly blouse to choose for the top.
I'm relieved, thankful to my daughter for her endless running for sizes and unending, positive flow of comments in addition to laughing with me, to the point of tears, at some of the ridiculous 'options' we actually considered and to one wonderful, compassionate, helpful, JC Penney store clerk named Dora with the patience of a saint. I don't think I will go shopping again for another 25 pounds of loss...when the chafed bumps and lumps and bruised ego are healed.
To all my Spark Friends who nodded with me through this blog...I know, you all know...
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Throughout my life I've tried to be a positive person. I enjoy encouraging other people to do their best, succeed, grow...
One of the things that I've struggled with as an adult, especially as an overweight woman with perfectionist tendencies who manages staff in a tough industry (medical) and a tough field (collections) is feeling like I don't have a lot of successes to celebrate. That usually takes me to a place where I start thinking I'm not good at what I do or don't succeed or I'm not a good manager or worker or...all very negative messages running through my head AND when I think one negative thought, they multiply to two and then exponentially from there! Soon, EVERYTHING is wrong, NOTHING is right (classic all or nothing thinking!)
Today I was working away, too much to do, not enough time, not enough staff but I was good, in fact I was better than good, better than ok, I was great! I was getting it done, I was productive, I was drinking my water and snacking on fruit and feeling great! And I thought to myself, "I'm handling this well." "I'm getting a lot done today." "I feel good and strong." And like the negative messages, the positive messages started multiplying too!!!! I love that feeling!
So, I need this everyday. I need positive thoughts running through my mind, keeping the negative junk at bay all the time. I'm going to make a very conscientious effort to think positive, self-affirming thoughts about myself every day. I'm done with the negative and self-berating thoughts that have sometimes plagued me.
Blessings to all on your journey to strength and health AND POSITIVE SELF TALK!!!! Karen
Monday, April 18, 2011
I have been on Spark for 3.5 months. I've lost 22 pounds since the first of 2011, 16 of those pounds on Spark. So...what about your blogs???
I've been reading blogs about my new Spark Friends; gaining weight and losing it f-a-s-t, handling a child's birthday party with an ice cream cake (oh my!), losing friends in death from cancer but also every day life, grandchildren born with illnesses, jokes about weight loss (to really get us through!), traveling, challenges, frustrations, successes, goals met and so many other topics...and I've found endless inspiration in these blogs.
I am so very, very blessed to be associated with each and every one of you, whether we have "friended" each other or not, I'm so blessed to have you in my life. No matter where we are in this journey; year 1 or year 3. No matter where we are in our weight loss; at goal or 100+ pounds to lose. No matter if we are young or old, I am blessed to have each of you in my journey.
Thank you. Blessings to all of you in your journey to good health, a healthy weight, renewed energy and peace of mind. Karen
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