SLENDERELLA61   155,396
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Looking for the Before Picture

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I've been wanting to find a good before picture. I can say I lost over 80 pounds, but a picture can make it more real. Here are a couple pictures I was able to scan today. I don't think any of them are at my top weight, but you can still see quite a difference.

Here is my daughter at about age 10, so that would be around 1991. I was 42 years old and that's my hubby:

Not sure exactly when these other two pictures were taken. I think I was in my 50's in both of them.

Can't remember what we were doing playing around with those glasses, but I sure don't have those double chins any more!!

Eventually I'd like to make one of those pictures with a before and after side by side. Still looking for both a good before and a good now picture.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IDOOHULA 10/16/2012 12:18PM

    AMAZING! You are such a strong lady. You give me hope that I can do this too. emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 10/15/2012 9:52PM

    Oh, those are the pictures that you brought to our team dinner! I think people would be surprised at how slender you are in comparison. You've come a long way Marsha and all of your persistence and hard work is really paying off!

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GABY1948 10/15/2012 8:19AM

    YES! This makes it so much more "real". You are a beautiful woman in eithere picture but the only thing that I would recognize in the older picture is the famous SMILE! You Rock, Marsha! emoticon

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123ELAINE456 10/15/2012 3:42AM

  Congratulations on your 80 Pound Weight Loss. You look Great. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.

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NEW-CAZ 10/15/2012 3:02AM

    WOW! you look and ARE a totally different person Marsha emoticon

It sometimes pays to remind ourselves how far we've come and how much better we are for putting in the effort.
Keep healthy hun and have an amazing week emoticon

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LIFEISSOOOGOOD 10/14/2012 9:50PM

  Wow! What and incredible accomplishment!

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JOYINKY 10/14/2012 8:51PM

    What a transformation! I know how hard those before picures are to find. We weren't exactly seeing photo ops! Now, after pictures are a lot more fun! You look great!

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WATERMELLEN 10/14/2012 7:41PM

    Great before pictures! And of course you have a whole whack of great "afters"!!

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DONNABRIGHT 10/14/2012 7:23PM


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FROSTY99 10/14/2012 6:59PM


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NATPLUMMER 10/14/2012 6:58PM


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ONEKIDSMOM 10/14/2012 5:41PM

    Great "before" shots, Marsha. You had to go back a ways in time to find them. As I type, I am aware of some family portraits across the room... from when my son was a toddler. Yes, I was a lot younger, but the rolls of fat and double chins appeared below the smiles. Did we live parallel lives?

I may look more wrinkled now, but the smiles are every bit as real, too... it's a lot more comfortable being fit than being fat... and those of us in maintenance can attest to that! Now... to keep it this way... for a healthy rest of our lives!

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KITTYLADY1259 10/14/2012 5:38PM

    What a change! The pictures tell the story, don't they? You have done so well. You should be so proud of your accomplishments!

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JERIBERI1 10/14/2012 5:26PM

    What a difference!!

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/14/2012 5:08PM

    Good job!!! emoticon

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MEXGAL1 10/14/2012 4:45PM

    You have come a long way baby!
Woo hoo for you!

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MSLZZY 10/14/2012 4:30PM

    What an amazing change you have made. I need
to look for a before photo but I know that very
few exist. I was always behind the camera,
for good reason. Thanks for sharing. Hugs!

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MIRAGE727 10/14/2012 4:15PM

    Be proud! You done good, Marsha!

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LOSE4LIFE47 10/14/2012 4:12PM

    emoticon emoticon

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Kitchen Update

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Well, it's been two full months since we started renovating our kitchen, hiring a neighbor to do most of the work. It is about 95% completed and almost paid for. The neighbor is just being extremely slow about finishing the last couple items. I really like the new dishwasher and the new stove. The cabinets are a much lighter color and the overall affect is lighter and warmer at the same time. Very much like the color scheme. I also like that there is no particle board like we had, all plywood and better quality materials. The matt (not glossy) tile floor is attractive, the new counters are bigger and look good. The back splash tile is my favorite part.

There were several weeks when we didn't have water in the kitchen and it was difficult to cook and clean, but we are weeks past that. So the renovation is not interfering with my maintenance efforts at this point at all. Good.

The new cabinets look great except two cabinets won't stay closed. One hides two garbage cans and I really want that one to stay closed. The corner cabinet has a two-part door concealing a lazy susan. He needs to move the hinge because it impedes the lowest shelf of the turn table. He said it's no problem to fix, but hasn't yet. He is going to install magnets for the two cabinet doors that won't stay closed. He hasn't reinstalled the curtain rods yet either.

The new white porcelain sink is much deeper than the one I had before. I like the size, but had forgotten how porcelain stains and even my bleaching cleanser doesn't leave looking sparkling white. Maybe there is a trick?

Overall, I expect to be pleased with the kitchen when finished. Not sure my hubby and the neighbor will ever speak again after this ordeal though!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/14/2012 10:35PM

    Adding to the chorus requesting photos!! So glad the end of this ordeal is finally in sight for you! Hope the lemon works for your sink -please report on it as I have stains on my bathroom sink that won't come out..

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TXGRANDMA 10/14/2012 8:45PM

    WE WANT PICTURES!! emoticon

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AVANELL 10/14/2012 7:50PM

    Sounds wonderful! Glad you are close to being finished with the renovations! It can be stressful having your house out of order for any length of time. Hope you enjoy your new kitchen for years to come!

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FROSTY99 10/14/2012 7:08PM

    Sounds great. You will love the tile backsplash-I know I do.

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STRIVER57 10/14/2012 3:12PM

    sounds great. i won't tell you have long it took for the kitchen ceiling to dry from the leak from upstairs (but a year after the initial leak, the guy finally called his plumber to look seriously and he found a leak in the dishwasher that he'd never fixed :-() ... but it looks great now (makes us want to paint the living room). now the electrician's coming to see the state of the electricity damage.

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MEXGAL1 10/14/2012 2:10PM

    sounds wonderful. I know it's really hard when you engage a friend. I don't recommend it as there always seems to be trouble. Hopefully your DH and this person will get past everything and you can totally enjoy the kitchen.
Have a terrific day.

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KITTYLADY1259 10/14/2012 1:21PM

    Your new kitchen sounds so wonderful! I know you will enjoy it once it is finally completed! yes, please do show us pictures.


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FITCOFFEEMOM357 10/14/2012 1:12PM

    Sounds nice and friendly, but pictires please.

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DONNABRIGHT 10/14/2012 12:42PM

    Sounds awesome but I understand the waiting frustrations. We hired painters to pressure wash and stain the little cabin and it was supposed to be finished in three days. One day to pressure wash - wait a few days for it to dry - and then two days to paint. We waited 10 days for the pressure washing and it took 6 days for the painting to completed. The six days were spread over three weeks! In all fairness we had lots of rainy days here and they got behind and were trying to appease several customers at once. We have no complaints about the quality of the work-the cabin looks awesome but we are so GLAD it is finished finally! Hopefully, your kitchen will get the final touches soon and you will have that wonderful feeling of completion.

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PMFISH 10/14/2012 12:36PM

    When are you going to post pictures? Since we can't come over to see them. Bet it is beautiful! Enjoy.

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JOYINKY 10/14/2012 12:16PM

    It sounds like it will be wonderful when those final touches are done. I do hope you share with some pictures. Enjoy!

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GABY1948 10/14/2012 12:11PM

    Your kitchen sounds lovely! I am a fan of Mr Clean Magic Sponge...gets every mark I have ever even got permanent Sharpie marker (black) off a white leather chair where my mother had marked all over her beloved chair...that was when we decided she had to go into a home...bless her heart...that was 7 years ago...hope this helps too!

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123ELAINE456 10/14/2012 12:04PM

  Congratulations on your New Kitchen. Sounds like it is Beautiful. Enjoy it to your Heart Content. Why don't you post some Pictures of it so we can see it too. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Enjoy Your Day. Take Care.

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NEW-CAZ 10/14/2012 11:19AM

    sounds beautiful.
For cleaning your sink, I read this tip;

Use fresh lemons to whiten small new spots and stains weekly if possible. Lemon is a natural bleaching agent and can fade away small new stains without using harsh chemicals. Cut the lemon in half and rub it directly on the stain. Let the lemon juice sit on the sink for at least ten minutes. Before rinsing see if the stain has faded, if it has rinse, if not let it set for another ten minutes and check again

Read more: How to Clean a Porcelain Sink |

Hope that helps Marsha
Have a great Sunday

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SPARKLINGHOPE 10/14/2012 11:03AM

    Hope you are happy when it is done. I would be upset if cabinets wouldn't close too. Maybe not level?

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/14/2012 10:57AM

    That, of course, is one of the dangers of doing business with folks with whom you have another, different kind of relationship (family, neighbors, etc.) Hope your hubby and the neighbor work their way past it, and of course, that you end up very happy with your new kitchen. It sounds lovely!

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SLIM153 10/14/2012 10:56AM


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Showed Up Ready

Saturday, October 13, 2012

This morning I showed up to run. I was there promptly at 6am, with my new Amphipod hand-held strapped water bottle. Last week twice I dropped a bottle from my fuel belt, so I think I've solved that problem. I was dressed in my favorite running skirt. Okay, it's my only running skirt, but it's cute and the matching tank top is flattering, too. I had on my Balega running socks. Last week I bought three pair of cheaper seamless non-cotton socks, but they stretch during a run, and don't hug my feet like I like. Guess I've just been spoiled by the good ones. And talk about good ones, I had on my Moving Comfort Vixen black sports bra and Brooks GTS 12 running shoes. I had along some Gu Chews just in case, but thought we probably weren't going far enough today to try them out.

Yep. I showed up to run. But I was advised by my pace group mates not to run this week. My lower back (strained it Thursday lifting granddaughter) still hurts a bit when I stand up or sit down or twist or pick up something heavy. It's not hurting to walk now. So I walked for a little over an hour while they ran and then we all drank coffee together as usual. Next week we're schedule to go 13 miles, so I want to be ready.

Then my nephew called and wanted to walk, so I walked 2.84 miles more around the lake with him, his sister, and her dog. We are having gorgeous weather with lower humidity, no chance of rain, and at least a few degrees cooler than it has been. I enjoyed the reclining crescent moon at 6am and then the flocks of birds around the lake.

I like my two gym runs a week. Hope my back is ready by Tuesday. We'll see. For a gym run I don't have to get up incredibly early since Gwen can go to the nursery and I don't have to worry with sunscreen when working out indoors. But then my Saturday outdoor runs are extra special because I get a dose of nature. Today's walks were good, but I can't wait to run again!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNERKDB 10/14/2012 9:48AM

    Great decision to listen to you body! emoticon Karen

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SLIMLILA 10/14/2012 9:17AM

    Oh Wow, Marsha, you are talking hard core... not just a little run in the park... good to here your friends encouraged to take care of you too... Thanks for comments and encourage emoticon ment on my blog too... have a great Sunday and rest up..

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123ELAINE456 10/14/2012 7:25AM

  Im glad your back is getting better. Preceed with caution when to start running again. Your back should not bother you at all when you start again. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care.

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WATERMELLEN 10/13/2012 8:55PM

    Sounds like SUCH a cute running skirt outfit: you're as silly a shopping queen as me (and thanks for helping me celebrate those shoe scores!).

Hope your back is all better soon.

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MSLZZY 10/13/2012 7:00PM

    You are doing what is best for your back
now but soon you will as good as new. HUGS!

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GABY1948 10/13/2012 6:53PM

    I'm so sorry you couldn't go running but it really IS for the BEST! There will be other times so relax and have an awesome weekend!

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MAYBER 10/13/2012 6:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 10/13/2012 5:03PM

    I know how you want to run but it is better to be safe. You'll be back at it next weekend for sure.

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JOYINKY 10/13/2012 4:59PM


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AQUAGIRL08 10/13/2012 4:58PM

    I'm so glad that you listened to your body. Believe me, I know how hard it is to reel yourself in, when it comes to exercising! You are doing an amazing job! It's fun to see you develop your Inner Jock!

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_LINDA 10/13/2012 4:42PM

    That is great you are doing better and proceeding with caution -listening to your running mates was a good idea and at least you still got to socialize with them. Sounds just great that walk around the lake! I am impatient to get to Mom's so I can hit the trails. Its gotten to our high today, 50, but will be warmer tomorrow :) I am going to be so busy next two weeks I doubt I will get out again before the first serious snowfall..
Take care of yourself!

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MIRAGE727 10/13/2012 4:33PM

    Now that's a healthy day! Great job, Marsha!

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/13/2012 2:09PM

    As you become stronger, more recovered, you might just start to feel like a coiled spring... not being able to WAIT to run again. Recovery, strength, independence... we are women... ! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/13/2012 1:48PM

    Glad you are doing better!

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Celebrate Health!!

Friday, October 12, 2012

I have really been enjoying my Saturday group runs. I'm not in this picture, but it shows the setting for our comradery after running. Here are three people (full disclosure: all 3 of these people are faster than I) that run with our Galloway group:

It is 5.5 weeks until my half marathon, which is 13.1 miles. I've run 11 miles twice. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to run tomorrow as I strained my back yesterday. (Darn. Darn. Darn. Picked up the grandkid wrong.) I have had more challenges than I wanted recently. My skinned knee from the bicycle fall Sunday before last is not an issue. The digestive pain I had Saturday evening is totally gone. Now this back issue.

I'm thinking determination. I'm determined not to do anything stupid, but not to pass up a chance to train if I'm healthy enough. Yep, I've said it before. Celebrate any day you are healthy enough to run!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STRIVER57 10/14/2012 5:50AM

    i wish there were a galloway group here. i seem to have inspired a number of people to start running, now if i could get them to do galloway running-- with me. good luck with the back. sometimes that goes away fast. maybe a foam roller would help?

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/12/2012 6:55PM

    Totally agree... and run, walk or crawl... in 5 weeks, we SHALL cover that distance, together! emoticon

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JOYINKY 10/12/2012 11:18AM

    Yes, celebrate every day of good health! Keep making healthy choices!

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NEW-CAZ 10/12/2012 11:05AM

    1) skinned knee
2) digestive pain
3) back problem.

Well Marsha that's 3. Bad luck runs in 3 so you've well and truly had your quota! things are looking up my friend emoticon

Hope your back improves very soon, have a great weekend.
Looks like your running chums are great company, I'm pleased for you emoticon

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MEXGAL1 10/12/2012 10:42AM

    Yes indeed celebrate those healthy days!!! For sure they are a wonderful gift!
Make it a great day Marsha!

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123ELAINE456 10/12/2012 10:14AM

  Hope you have speedy recovery with your back. Be careful in what you do. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. Enjoy Your Day. Take Care.

Comment edited on: 10/12/2012 10:15:46 AM

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_LINDA 10/12/2012 10:06AM

    Looks like a great group! So sorry about the back strain -its so very easy to throw it out as I well know on many a time :( I hope you recover quickly. After warming up with gentle exercise, be sure to do some good back stretches. My favorite release is laying down with both knees pulled to my chest and gently rotating about in a small circle. Also laying down another good one is bending your knees and putting them on one side while stretching out both arms and looking in the opposite direction of where your knees are pointing to.
That is good the digestive upset is gone at least!
Have a good weekend!

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/12/2012 10:05AM

    Hope your back is better soon. Take good care!

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MSLZZY 10/12/2012 9:46AM

    One wrong move and you pay royally. I missed a
step last night coming out of the basement and
really hit my right toe hard but luckily, just
broke the skin and have a little bruise. Life
happens. Hope your back gets better soon.

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DONNABRIGHT 10/12/2012 9:37AM

    Wise choices!

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WATERMELLEN 10/12/2012 9:23AM

    NOTHING feels better than feeling healthy (and I'm still fluish, but recall faintly what that did feel like: looking forward to recovering it!!)

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BROWNCOFIDDLER 10/12/2012 9:19AM

    You're right. It's fantastic that you're doing so well. Hope you recover from this back strain quickly so you can get right back in the game. So happy for your healthy lifestyle. emoticon emoticon

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GABY1948 10/12/2012 9:15AM

    I agree totally, but don't overdo it, either! Hope it all goes well, however it goes!

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Tracking Galloway and Varying Miles and Activities

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I posted this question to the Get Help Here Fitness message board last week:

I went 6.2 miles on treadmill in 70 minutes. 5 minute warm up and 5 minute cool down. The 60 minutes was one minute running intervals followed by a minute of walk. Mostly I ran at 6 mph and walked at 4 mph, with a few faster intervals thrown in.

Which will give more accurate calorie burn info:
* tracking 70 minutes for 6.2 miles
* tracking 10 minutes at 3 mph, 30 min at 6 mph and 30 min at 4 mph ??

I got the following answer:
"I'd track using your second option. I think that would be more accurate.
Coach Jen"

So today I did 50 minutes on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the stationary bike. I tracked it this way:

Running/jogging: 5.5 mph (11 minutes per mile) 11 minutes = 88 calories
Running/jogging: 6 mph (10 minutes per mile) 10 minutes = 89 calories
Running/jogging: 6.7 mph (9 minutes per mile) 4.5 minutes = 40 calories
Walking: 4 mph (15 minutes per mile) 15 minutes = 60 calories
Walking: 3 mph (20 minutes per mile) 10 minutes = 33 calories
Stationary Bike 12 mph 10 minutes = 62 calories
Total Calories 372

If I don't want to go to all that trouble, I've learned that I can estimate 90 calories per mile, with a little greater burn for more running and a little less burn for more walking. That gives me a pretty good indication of calories burned.

I think the important point is getting the exercise in. Precise tracking is secondary. Nonetheless, I thought it was interesting.

SparkFriends, Do you strive for the most accurate tracking or does a rough estimate do it for you? Would love to know your tricks for accuracy and for estimating!! Appreciate your input!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOBYCARP 10/11/2012 9:49PM

    I'm in the rough estimate camp. I weigh myself daily, and when the weight trends up or down, I adjust my nutrition range down or up. I can't get anywhere close to a maintenance range on nutrition from the calories burned calculations on the fitness tracker, so I basically ignore the calories burned aspect and use the fitness tracker as a motivational tool to get myself to actually *do* the exercises.

As my sister says, reality trumps Spark Points. To get the fitness tracker to generate a calorie burn number that balanced my nutrition needs, I'd have to spend so much time tracking stuff I don't count as exercise that I'd actually move less. And that's the Wrong Answer for me.

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OFFANDAWAY 10/11/2012 11:00AM

    Typically I've estimated 100 calories per mile, which is more or less what my Garmin estimates. That being said, I look more out of curiosity, not because I need to know. Those who do I'd recommend a heart rate monitor.

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MEXGAL1 10/11/2012 9:36AM

    rough estimating I believe is the only way for me. I can't get too anal about the exercise and calories burned as it always disappoints me. I would rather concentrate on the calorie count I eat.
Have a terrific day Marsha. You are doing great.

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NEW-CAZ 10/11/2012 2:45AM

    I think when I was first trying to lose weight calories in verses calories burned was a bigger issue. Now I have a better idea about keeping the weight off and how to maintain it's not so important.
But I know runners and cyclists who want in improve on stamina and Personal Bests down to recording 10th of seconds and find SP frustrating from that point of view. They have to resort to their own ways and means.

Have a good Thursday Marsha. Great workout!!!

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JOYINKY 10/10/2012 8:59PM

    I'm good with estimating and then tweaking once in awhile. I'm working toward building as much exercise into my day as I can and not relying as much on "workouts". Although I do enjoy my yoga classes and will go back to the gym once yardwork comes to a halt for the winter.

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WATERMELLEN 10/10/2012 8:45PM

    The elliptical and the rowing machine at my gym will tell me the calories tracked . . . if I wanna believe them!! I'm thinking the elliptical is more accurate because I put in my weight; rowing machine doesn't request weight. But I actually (in terms of "perceived rate of exertion") believe that I"m burning more calories on the rowing machine.

And as for ST: it doesn't track calories burned, and heaven knows it feels like I'm burning lots!!

Key thing for me is calories in: that' at least 70% of weight loss/maintenance for me every time.

Exercise matters: but it's more about cardio fitness/ strength and toning/balance/flexibility and above all endorphins/mood!!

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MAGGIE101857 10/10/2012 7:24PM

    I'm good with an estimate; I am more interested in my speed and distance, and most importantly, how I feel during my workouts!

Great job on the workouts!!!

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MSLZZY 10/10/2012 7:21PM

    I try to get as close as possible and will err on the
low side, just in case. Someone sent me a link for
another place to accurately track calories but
the list seems too short to do me much good. I
still need to check it out more thoroughly.

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/10/2012 6:42PM

    I am a lazy tracker. I track mileage. I tell the tracker I did 4 miles this morning, and the clock read 43 minutes. I care little how much was walking / running... I'm not trying to be a perfectionist, just make sure I get my time and miles in.


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BLUE42DOWN 10/10/2012 4:52PM

    I do the splits if I know how much I did at what speed (such as treadmill work) and the differences in the speed are large enough. Otherwise I tend to lump the entire time on the most average version of the activity.

Then again ... I don't expect accuracy out of SP's tracker. Whole minutes, huge leaps in speeds at some points, and more mean it's just a general idea. I aim for consistency so I can estimate from that where I'm really likely to be.

(Some day I hope to get one of the HR monitors that does calorie burn calculations and get a more accurate multi-activity measure.)

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_LINDA 10/10/2012 3:43PM

    I would tend to track more accurately if I could. Running on a treadmill makes it much easier to keep accurate track of the speeds you are going though. There is no increments given for the elliptical like that which I think is unfair.
I also have no real way of knowing how fast I am walking as I have no way of measuring the distance accurately (maybe I have to get the GPS watch my Step Dad is trying to get rid of. Its troublesome though -for the longest time we couldn't try it as its memory was full and we didn't know how to clear it (it had to be done on the computer and it seemed the only way was to restart it from scratch losing all your data, not good if you are trying to improve speed or distance etc) So right now I am stuck with guesstimating. The problem with my fitness classes is a lot of them incorporate ST, but I never track that as quite often the exercises they do are not in the data base anyway and I don't have time to write down how many reps etc. A lot of the moves are functional, multi moves often balancing on one leg, which Sparks has none of. So I guess when you look at it that way, I am not a very accurate tracker. But I am not going to stress over it. As long as my weight is constant, then I am eating enough for what I am burning and that is what is important in the end.
As long as you are following your program and progressing as intended, I don't think you have anything to stress over either. You are accurate enough if your weight is holding steady..
Keep up the great work!!

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AQUAGIRL08 10/10/2012 2:36PM

    I have to break it down too. Sometimes I just do water aerobics, sometimes I do water aerobics with interval water jogging training and there are times when I do mostly water jogging. I've started looking at the clock when our class does interval training so I can accurately log my exercise. On days when I do walking too, I have to judge my speed. I usually underestimate it to be on the safe side. I think you're doing a great job, Marsha!

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GABY1948 10/10/2012 2:05PM

    I'm fine with estimating also. I actually tent to get a little obsessive if I allow myself to about ANYTHING and am old enough now to know that I don't want to waste time in my life doing that...

Each of us is different and only do what you are comfortable with! Either way, have a great day!

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XFITSTRONG 10/10/2012 2:03PM

    Good info.... I'mt the point where tracking makes me crazy, so I no longer even bother. I like your point about simply getting the exercise in.... That's all that matters! You are doing great!

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KANSASROSE67 10/10/2012 1:42PM

    I tend to estimate and it works ok for me. Interesting info, though...thanks for sharing it!

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123ELAINE456 10/10/2012 1:38PM

  I do not have anything to track with. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week.

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NATPLUMMER 10/10/2012 1:28PM

    I wear my heart rate monitor and use those calories burned.

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MIRAGE727 10/10/2012 1:24PM

    I really enjoyed getting educated through your blog, Marsha!
I really don't strive for accuracy. I'm good with an estimate. I do watch my calories and exercise to make sure I fuel up properly. But I'm cross training with biking and playing tennis every morning. My positive results on the scale and seeing body development are good enough. My running is more for my health. I do try to improve by training better and running against my self. This is just me.

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