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PAMATX's Recent Blog Entries

11 Months

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hi, Sparkland. I've been a bit absent of late. Life has knocked the $hit out of me, once again. Recall my oldest brother died on April 10, 2012 at age 56. Six months later, on October 18, 2012, my father died. He was 83 and had a long, full life. I spent 5 nights with him in hospice saying my goodbyes. That was a gift. Now, five months later, my remaining brother, age 52, died on Monday March 25 of acute myelogenous leukemia. It came on fast. He was admitted to the hospital last Tuesday, where he'd gone because he felt very fatigued and weak. They did a CBC and suspected chronic myelogenous leukemia. They did a bone marrow biopsy and got the results on Monday. It was not chronic, it was acute. Monday afternoon we got the call that he'd taken a turn for the worst, had been moved to ICU, and had been intubated. He wasn't expected to make it. I left work, went home, pulled myself together, and threw some things in a bag. I drove to Houston heading straight for the hospital. My brother died 15 minutes before I got there.

My heart will stop aching eventually. Or so I'm told. But for now, I'm just hanging on. I'll still be logging in, hopefully have some fitness minutes to track, but it's going to take some time before I feel okay again. Thank goodness for kitties.

It's been a rough 11 months.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THECHAUFFEUR 4/10/2014 12:13PM

    Pam, I am so sorry to hear about your brother. Leukemia is truly awful - my husband is a survivor of Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia, and April 25th will mark one year of my boss' passing from Acute Myloid Leukemia. I had been so hopeful that he would make it though because my husband had, but my boss, my mentor, died just one week after diagnosis. It is still hard, every day.

I know a boss is not a brother, but I feel for you. The sudden onset of an illness in someone you love followed quickly by their passing is almost too much to bear. I hope that in the time since this post you've begun to heal, even just a little. It sounds like you and your family have been through the wringer the last few years. Here's hoping the times to come are more kind. Just try to take care of yourself the best you can; things will get better someday.

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HEALTHYASHLEY 6/27/2013 9:56AM

    Oh Pam I am so sorry to hear of the lose of your brother. Hugs.

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TMCK-40 6/24/2013 11:52AM

  Oh my friend. I have absolutely no words that would ease your pain.

My heart aches for you.

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ANAJAK 6/1/2013 7:49PM

    Oh Pam. I am so sorry you hurt. Are your 3 wee kittys giving you enough love? I hope you are feeling better and stronger every day which I'm sure you are. Missing you xxxx

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DONNA0256 5/19/2013 8:05AM

    So sorry to read about your brother and the tough year it's been for you. Sending lots and lots of

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Keep putting one foot in front to the other and hang in there.

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WILLIAMV3 4/3/2013 3:31PM

    I am so sorry for your loss. Praying for peace that passes all understanding. emoticon

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SIMONEKP 4/2/2013 8:48AM

    Very sorry to hear of your loss. I lost my three older brothers so I know your pain. Please know that eventually the pain subsides and they will forever be in your heart.

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ADARKARA 4/2/2013 8:00AM

    I am so, so sorry for your losses. emoticon

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WENDYSPARKS 4/2/2013 5:43AM

    Very Sorry....you are in my thoughts and prayers.

hugs, Wendy emoticon

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BUBBLEJ1 4/2/2013 4:47AM

    Sorry babe. Nothing we can say will make your losses any easier, but know that we are here for you, and we love you! If there is anything us people in sparkland can do, let us know!

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*MADHU* 3/30/2013 12:13PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GIANTMICROBE 3/30/2013 11:46AM

    I am so, so sorry. emoticon

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MAGGIE805 3/30/2013 10:20AM

    Oh no! Pam, I am truly and deeply sorry for your loss. emoticon

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MT-MOONCHASER 3/30/2013 9:22AM

    Oh, Pam, my heart aches for you. I don't have many words for you. You will have good days and bad days. You will manage to get through the bad ones by taking one step at a time.

Your heart will never stop aching, it will just become less acute as time passes, but not for a while. Hang in there.

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/30/2013 9:04AM

    Oh my God, so very sorry to hear! Any one of those is tragic, all 3 of them so close is draining.

Do what you need to to take care of yourself!

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View from the mountaintop

Saturday, March 02, 2013

Ventana Canyon

Here's the view from the top of my hike. Two days in a row. My dogs are tired. What a spectacular way to earn those fitness minutes.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VTORIA3 3/30/2013 8:00AM

    The vista is a nice reward for your hike. Happy Easter, friend!

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TKAYSMILES 3/21/2013 4:57PM

    beautiful! that is what is nice about Austin...you at least have some hills!!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 3/12/2013 1:22AM

    Hiking is definitely one of the best ways to get your fitness minutes in! Love the pic!

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TMCK-40 3/6/2013 2:24PM

  That is absolutley gorgeous! I am striving to hike pikes peak this year! I'll make sure to take a pic and post as well.

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ANAJAK 3/4/2013 3:11PM

    Now that's what I'm talking about. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could travel round our respective countries taking pics - like a competition?? Ahhh dreams are free :) Well done Pam! I'm proud of you.

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LISAINMS 3/3/2013 7:54PM

    What a great view!

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UWHK8STER 3/3/2013 6:51PM

    Very nice!

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INIT2LIVEIT 3/3/2013 2:22AM

    emoticon

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SHRINK71 3/2/2013 11:19PM

    That would motivate me too.... Awesome...

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MAGGIE805 3/2/2013 9:39PM

    What a beautiful view! Thanks for sharing, Pam.

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ADEWYN 3/2/2013 8:33PM

    that is beautiful!!

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/2/2013 8:25PM

    WOW, fantastic pics! And what a great opportunity to be able to do this twice in a weekend!

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SUSUSUZZZIE 3/2/2013 8:22PM

    Wow! That is beautiful!

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LMB-ESQ 3/2/2013 6:38PM

    Beautiful!!

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RUNNINGAL425 3/2/2013 5:52PM

    What a magnificent view! Lucky you!

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New Year, New Goals

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Yes, I allowed my eating (and drinking) to get a bit out of control the past two weeks. Yes, I slacked off big time on the exercise. But guess what? I'm going to be okay. Even if I've gained a few pounds, they'll come right back off. So, moving on to my 2013 goals.

Last year was a super ginormously $hitty year. But I managed to hit my goal of 12,000 fitness minutes for the year. It was a modest goal, but with the year I had, it was a tiny bit challenging. I also did 438 miles of walking and jogging for the year. That's about 8.5 miles per week. I'm fairly certain I could top that with one hand tied behind my back. I did 5 today.

Here are the 2013 goals I've settled on:

15,000 fitness minutes for the year
700 miles for the year

Here's how it averages:

1,250 fitness minutes a month
288.5 fitness minutes a week (let's call it 290)
41.5 fitness minutes a day

13.5 miles per week on average

At the end of every quarter I'll reevaluate.

Moving on to food. I did pretty well beginning in July last year. I ate between 1000 and 1400 calories a day. I lost 40 pounds. I want to lose 20 more by the time I turn 50 on May 20. (50, Yikes!) That gives me exactly 20 weeks. Which means 1 pound per week. Very doable if I stay focused. I shall repeat what I did the last 6 months (save the last 2 weeks), and that should do it. That means track every morsel, weigh and measure, and keep alcohol to a minimum (even if it fits in my range, it metabolizes differently and knocks me out of whack). I also plan to increase veggies. I've learned if I've got a bunch cut up and bagged, I'll just chow down on them raw. Yum yum. Also key, getting 8 hours of sleep. My sleep has gotten out of whack of late--staying up too late and sleeping too late.

To kick-start the year and get me back on the straight and narrow, I'm going to keep my calories at the low end of my range for the month of January. And get my fitness minutes back up where they should be.

I need to plan a 2013 birthday beach trip as a reward.

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HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANAJAK 3/4/2013 3:17PM

    OMG how did I miss this post!! I think alcohol might do the same to me. Whenever I think I can have a couple it turns into a month long up and down on the scale. Madness!!

So LMB and PAM look younger than they are. They both study and practice law. I am on the right track!! I was at School the other day and a 21 year old struck up a conversation. I started talking about "my son" and she said aren;t you a bit young to have a child. I must've looked dumbfounded cos she said "No offence intended". I then had to tell her he is 15!! The look on her face = priceless. She doesn't talk to me anymore though haha maybe she thinks I'm of the "mature student" breed. Which obviously I am not.

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TKAYSMILES 1/30/2013 4:57PM

    Great to see you on track!! And woo hoo on today's weigh in that puts you above schedule I'm sure!!!

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WILLIAMV3 1/17/2013 9:27AM

    Sounds like you are on track.
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DONNA0256 1/8/2013 7:22PM

    Awesome plan! You can do it - no problem!

emoticon m emoticon emoticon

BTW - 50 is Fabulous!

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TMCK-40 1/5/2013 2:03PM

  You've got this. The attitude is great, especially coming off the yuck year. I can totally relate! Stay strong, stay focused!

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JULIEGIL 1/2/2013 8:33PM

    I love the way you have commited yourself to your goals and arent beating yourself up about the holidays.You are very encouraging to me. Keep up the good work you are very motivating! emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHYKIM101 1/2/2013 7:46AM

    Your goals sound good to me! I know you can do it! You GO GIRL!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHANGINGMORGAN 1/2/2013 7:35AM

    Love all of these goals! Sounds great!

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SPEEDY143 1/2/2013 2:40AM

    50 ROX!!!!! What a great birthday gift to give yourself... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Spark On!!!!! emoticon

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ABETTERBETTY 1/1/2013 9:13PM

    I fell off the wagon the last two weeks also. I worked out yesterday and today. So, it is possible to get back on the wagon. You can reach your goals. Go for it!

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NEWMOM20121 1/1/2013 7:18PM

    You can do it. Love the goals.

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SHRINK71 1/1/2013 7:15PM

    I really like your goals... and your attitude!!!! Way to turn 50!!!
I think 1 pound a week is what I am going for too, so let's be there for each other as we finish what we started!!!!
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no... wait...
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There... much better!!!!!!
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LMB-ESQ 1/1/2013 7:00PM

    My goal date is May 19. We can kick each other into gear. Ditto BubbleJ1 below; you do not look 50. I don't look my age either. Must be our chosen career path emoticon

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MT-MOONCHASER 1/1/2013 5:19PM

    Great goals...

I know that you can do it!

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BUBBLEJ1 1/1/2013 4:35PM

    Awesome goals. Challenging, but doable! I am sure you will smash them!

BTW you do not look almost 50. At all. What a hottie emoticon

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Confessions of a Holiday Binger

Sunday, December 23, 2012

The title of this blog post says it all. I have been eating with great abandon. It all started last week with a box of chocolate covered hard toffee sent to me by my financial adviser. The day the package arrived in the mail, I had hefty amount. Since then, I've had a couple of nibbles more here and there. Why just nibbles? Because a few days later a giant box of assorted Dean and Delucca chocolates arrived in my office, including more chocolate covered hard toffee, caramels, cherries, espresso beans, malt balls, and nuts. I ate the toffee the first day and the caramels the second. Then there was the morning someone brought breakfast tacos. And the afternoon that same someone ordered Mexican delivery from Chuy's, complete with creamy jalapeño dip and tortilla chips.

I'm great at avoiding seeking out these temptations--but when they're brought to me, whole nother story.

So I escape the temptations of the office only to be faced with them at home on Friday. I had a party. I made a fish ceviche and a crab ceviche, I was going to make Paula Dean's fried crab balls, but at the last minute, came to my senses and made ceviche. It was delicious. I also had lots of cut up veg, hummus, baba ganoush, guacamole, and smoked salmon. But there was cream cheese for the salmon and a cheese board with red grapes candied walnuts, and truffle honey. And then there was the artichoke dip. Still, not too bad. Then there were the mini cupcakes--red velvet and chocolate peppermint, one dozen of each. You'd think that would have been enough, but when I picked them up I had a Bavarian chocolate, full-size. I rationalized it because I hadn't had lunch,

For drink I bought a case of prosecco and pinot grigio.

Here are a few things my guests brought: chocolate truffles, fudge, iced sugar cookies, homemade peppermint bark, meatballs, beef empanadas, spinach in pastry, Brie with fruit compote, and pâté.

Yesterday, the morning after the party, I had empanadas and cupcakes for breakfast, nibbled on the cookies and fudge in between naps, and still ate dinner. This morning I had fudge with my coffee.

Today I am packing up to head to Houston for a couple of days. I'm bringing what's left of the sweets (except the toffee that started it all), and leaving it there. I'm also bringing the veggies, ceviche and salmon to snack on while I'm there. I will make garlic mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts for Christmas dinner. I will go for a walk with my friend on Christmas Eve morning. Which is another thing--I've gotten very little formal exercise the past few weeks. I've been plenty busy, cleaning, bringing stuff down from the attic in two houses, decorating, hanging lights, filling boxes for Goodwill, changing light bulbs and a/c filters. And working. But strength training only once a week and no walking or running. And zero tracking.

I can't wait for this to be over. Next week after Christmas, I have one get-together with the girls on Thursday, and that's it. I have no New Years Eve plans. So after Christmas I lace up my shoes and hit the pavement. No waiting until NY Day. I'm champing at the bit to get back in my groove and hit my stride.

Also, sugar makes me feel very tired the next day. Odd I never noticed before. I've been more hung over from the sugar than the bubbles (also sugar).

I think next year I need a pre-planned strategy. Managing food on the fly didn't work. I feel gross. And fat. And out of control. I don't like it one bit. But the season isn't over yet. Maybe I can do some salvage work over the next week and a half.

Any and all comments or suggestions are most welcome.

Okay, if you've made it all the way through this food orgy, thanks for reading and Happy Holidays.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VTORIA3 12/29/2012 7:10AM

    Been there, done that, and I'm sure it won't be my last time. It takes enormous strength to make it through the holidays on plan. Shake it off, what's done is done; Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best:
"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."
"Carpe diem!" emoticon

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PEACOCK15 12/26/2012 3:34PM

    Tis' the Season! Working in an office environment, treats and desserts galore! I've experienced my share of food comas and sugar hangovers, but the important thing is you haven't lost site of what it truly important. Put it behind you and embrace your need to "get back in your groove". And look on the bright side, you have almost a whole year to plan for next Christmas. Know that you're not alone in this either!

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CHANGINGMORGAN 12/26/2012 1:08PM

    OH man, am I totally with you on this one. The last two nights of meals... Holy mother of... Yeah.

But we got this. Life doesn't stop and neither do we!!!

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GETSTRONGRRR 12/24/2012 9:41AM

    I'm with you, this is a tough time of year. Here's how i handled it.

I gave in! I just told my self, "OK, you've led a disciplined life these past 6 months, enjoy the holidays"

So I have....I've tried not to go hog wild, but I've made a conscious decision to eat and enjoy the season. the real key is to get back on track, which will be tough, but I've done it before and I'l do it again; cut out the carbs, no indulgent eating, steady workouts 6 days/week, etc.

Good luck....enjoy your time off......and get back up on that horse after you've dusted off all the sugar!

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CARRAND 12/23/2012 8:59PM

    One of my husband's co-workers sent him a tower of boxes of Fanny Mae candies for Christmas. I couldn't believe it! The chocolate covered toffee candies with almonds were so good, I went crazy, and ended up with a belly ache. Why do we do it?

I am keeping up my exercise routine over the holidays. I did yoga and weights today, and I have a spin class tomorrow. An hour of spinning should burn off those toffees.

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LMB-ESQ 12/23/2012 8:28PM

    Ugh.. exhausting, isn't it? This is why I really hate this season. So many expectations, our own of ourselves, and others' for us. We try to be perfect, and we beat ourselves up when we aren't, even if we are much kinder to ourselves the rest of the year. I don't know.... it's just... exhausting.

I've been eating like a pig too, WAY too many carbs, forgetting that sugar = poison for me. I have managed to avoid the whole Christmas celebration thing, but it's hard work. And I feel like stuffing myself like a sleepy bear and then hibernating. It doesn't help that my pool is closed until after New Years.

No advice here, except to say, you're already feeling the itch to improve, so let it take you. You know what to do, you just have to let yourself do it. Don't make the excuse of "it's a holiday today, I'll do it tomorrow." Start with the Christmas Eve walk with your friend and go from there. And remember that all the work you're doing in two houses has to be worth something.

Happy Holidays my friend.... Try to enjoy a little without the guilt trip

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 12/23/2012 5:39PM

    Sounds like my dream sequence ;-) We should party together (or at least run a 5K!)

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INIT2LIVEIT 12/23/2012 4:57PM

    Love you Pam - major HUGS!!!!

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CANDOSUE52 12/23/2012 1:23PM

   
I don't know if this will help you, and know that I am a binge eater of about 40 years.
I think it's okay, even when you are in holiday mode, even when there is a party, to have loving limits and restraints. Choose some things you "must have", and say "no" to yourself about one or two items. No reason why you can't start today.

I believe in you. Merry Christmas!

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MUNCHNIT 12/23/2012 1:14PM

    emoticon

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Adversity

Sunday, November 25, 2012

I saw this on a Spark friend's page and it resonated with me so much, I just had to share.

There is in every true woman's heart, a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity, but which kindles up and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.

Hat tip CANDOSUE52!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WILLIAMV3 12/11/2012 11:30AM

    emoticon

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TRICIAE2 11/30/2012 10:27AM

    emoticon

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TMCK-40 11/27/2012 1:30PM

  Very nice quote, thanks for sharing

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VTORIA3 11/26/2012 8:22PM

    Love this quote, too! Thanks for sharing it.

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*MADHU* 11/26/2012 11:54AM

    emoticontip & true too!
emoticonfor the spark-a-versary goodie & kind words emoticon

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MAGGIE805 11/25/2012 10:01PM

    Hmmm, so true. I like this.

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LMB-ESQ 11/25/2012 6:09PM

    Yeah... I like that...

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