Wednesday, December 21, 2011
…the brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr part sure has been true this year. We are freezing Well maybe not FREEZING but it’s been darn cold, wet, & windy along the sunny Southern California coastline. Lows in the high 30’s at night is COLD for us and since we don’t have any drapery up at the windows (I love the views) Old Man Winter has been breathing down our necks *shiver* literally…. so I’ve been exercising to keep warm and it actually works And with exercising first and Sparking second, I’ve continued to lose inches and gone down another two sizes as we bid a final farewell to Autumn and welcome the 1st day of Winter as I celebrate my 18 month Sparkversary today
I’ve had a lot of fun this month with my daily status titled “These are a few of my favorite things.” Now I have a few visuals to share with my SparkFriends as we slow down and envelope ourselves in the true meaning of the spirit of Christmas, so please enjoy some more of my favorite things….
My beautiful mother and all our children and their husbands and wives.
My DH and me with our five grandchildren on Grandparents Day, September 2011.
Our oldest grandson at 2, he's the middle Wiseman bearing gifts.
The best brother/sister act around... they keep us hopping.
4 years old and only 30 pounds she is our precious Tinkerbell.
The spitting image of his daddy he takes me back 38 years.
HO~HO~HO... our youngest little angel all ready for Santa.
Least we forget the reason for the season...........
As Shepards watch.
And for those of you who struggle with the question… “Is there a Santa?” Here’s one grandmother’s answer to her grandchild.
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid.
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so. It had to be true.
Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...."Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."
"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through its doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.
I was only eight years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.
For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.
I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.
I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-two class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat. I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat!
I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that. “Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down. "Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby."
The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.
That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat, and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.
Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially, one of Santa's helpers.
Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk. Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going."
I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.
Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.
Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were -- ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.
I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside: $19.95. ~Author Unknown
May you always have LOVE to share,
HEALTH to spare and FRIENDS that care...
And may you always believe in the magic of Santa Claus!
Merry Christmas SparkFriends
Sunday, October 30, 2011
I put a sticky note on my Spark calendar to write a blog when I reached 254.5 pounds. That’s my half way mark to goal and I figured a good time to Spark. But I’m not really half way because I have no idea when I’ll reach my goal and I’ll tell you why.
When I joined Sparkpeople the guide lines for setting up nutrition goals and a tracker required a starting weight and a goal weight. The starting weight was easy… painful to admit in public but easy… the scale said “326” so I entered it. The goal weight? Not so easy. Initially I wasn’t even sure I’d lose weight. So I checked the insurance guidelines for my height at 5’ 8”, honestly I think I’ve shrunk or my DH is growing because every time I braid his ponytail I have to reach even higher so I really must have my height checked the next time I go to the doctors. According to the life insurance underwriters the standard weight for a female my height is 155 pounds. On my wedding day in 1980 I weighed 151 pounds. I had just finished up a 9 month protein sparing fast and had lost 125 pounds. At that time I was half the age I am today, wildly in love, working two part time jobs and raising three children ages 6, 7, and 10. Frankly, 151 was too thin for me. Eighteen months later after having another baby at 35, I weighed 175 pounds and felt that that was the perfect weight for me…. and I was happy. Still not sure what the healthy weight for a 5’ something 64 year old woman was I thought hey, “143” would be the perfect amount to lose since I’d been using that special number online for over a decade. It’s an old pager code; remember pagers and beepers? It means “I Love You!” So one simple subtraction problem later I came up with a goal weight of 183 pounds. Close enough to 175, under 200, well into “Onederland” and maybe just “lucky” enough that I may reach it some day. So 326 minus 143 equals 183. I’m 254.6 today…. half way to goal.
Just the loss of 71.5 pounds is well worth a blog or two but more importantly than my weight are all the “NSG” I’ve realized. Maybe you’ve seen other Sparklers refer to that abbreviation and wondered what it stands for? I did, many months ago, but continued on my SparkAdventure hell bent on moving the numbers on the scale. Until one day when I realized how great I felt and how much more I was able to do and how completely my life had changed for the better. At the time I wasn’t even near being half way to goal but decided that there really are many, many “None Scale Goals” that earmark successes worth celebrating along our path as we continue the journey of living healthy.
Sparkpeople is a process that takes time and effort. The tools are available, the motivation is every where and the support is endless. Although I spin the wheel daily, enter every thing that crosses my lips and participate in team exercise challenges I no longer concentrate on how many points I can earn a day or measure my progress against others who exercise more, lose faster, or blog better.
Instead my journey has evolved to measuring my progress by beating my personal best and living life to the fullest. Granted some days are easier than others… I’m far from perfect but have enjoyed many successes and for one reason and one reason only. I have not quit. Oh, I’ve had my finger hovered above the post button more than once ready to declare that “I’m taking a SparkBreak.” I’ve had bags of candy in my shopping cart, second servings on my plate and tears in my eyes when the scale moves in the wrong direction. It’s scary how easy it would be to give up, gain weight and feel like crap again. But I’m half way to goal now and those 16 months it took to get here have been wonderful. The next eight months are enticing me to see what I can accomplish come my 65th birthday and second SparkVersary. Yep, I’m half way to goal and nothing is going to stop me now…. Not even me.
And especially NOT these............
Thanks to all my Sparkfriends who have celebrated with me this weekend. Stay strong and don’t let those Treats Trick you into making poor choices this Halloween.
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