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Thank you Tommy…..

Monday, August 30, 2010

Four years ago today my baby brother died from cancer. He was only 54 years old and was a healthy bachelor who played daily and was one of those guys who everyone loved. He had tons of friends from as far back as elementary school and still hung out with them and their families on a weekly basis. But his family was #1, and his nieces and nephews would brag about how c00l he was. He surfed and skateboarded and loved the outdoors. He had a wicked sense of humor and once we got started we’d laugh until we cried.

We grew up on the beach, towheaded and freckled, always barefoot with only a pair of shorts on for most of the year. Growing up in Southern California we worshipped the sun so we were brown as bears. He was one of those talented people who made a living doing photography but just enough to leave plenty of time for all the fun things in life while making sure we all participated. As our children became parents he once said to me. “I guess if I want to be a grandpa I’ll have to be a daddy first.” But he was too busy having fun and time passed and then he got sick.

It was from skin cancer of course even though he had begun wearing sunscreen as soon as it became available. Then it went into his bones and finally his brain. He fought it for years and years with our folks as his caregivers. Fortunately, we all live within minutes of each other so it became a family affair because my folks were approaching their 80s and they needed help too. We had years to say good-bye and in the process learned so much about living.

I’m no longer afraid to die. I learned that some peoples’ Hell is right here on earth and that God walks with us through it. I miss Tommy every day but I’m so grateful that he suffers no more and that gives me great comfort. I know we will all be together again and that fills me with hope. In the mean time I want to live the healthiest and happiest life I possibly can in honor of my brother, I promised him we all would. You taught me so much about living and dying Tommy, you are one of the biggest reasons I joined SparkPeople. So thank you little brother, I will always love you. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TAMMYJSIMPSON 9/14/2010 12:56PM

    Thank you.. My brother James has been battling cancer for about 15 months now. I know I am not ready to lose my big brother and I hurt every time I see him and see the toll this disease has taken on his body. The spirit and hope with which he is fighting is so inspiring. He never complains, he never gives up. I don't know if he will win this fight but I do know he is facing it with all the courage of a warrior and in so doing is giving me strength to fight my own battles. Thank you for sharing your story my prayers are with you and your family.

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SUGARSMOM2 9/5/2010 6:11PM

  nice words for a brother . am sorry you had to let him go . cancer takes so many from us way to soon .

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DELRAYGIRL1 9/4/2010 11:22AM

    This was a beautiful tribute to your brother. I too lost a brother to cancer and his name was also Tommy. I'm glad your brother is no longer suffering and that you take comfort in that. It gets a tiny bit easier as the years go by, but we never stop missing them. Take care. Ann

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HLTHYETER 9/4/2010 8:38AM

    A wonderful tribute! I lost my best friend to cancer two years ago but he lives on in my memory. Thanks for a loving remembrance.

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MRSSTUP 8/31/2010 12:29AM

    Thank you for sharing your very personal feelings. How fortunate you were to have had such a good brother.
And I'm glad you found Spark People too.

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JOANOFSPARK 8/30/2010 10:45PM

    What a touching triute to your brother....and what a great brother he must have been....
thanks for sharing.

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SUSIEPH1 8/30/2010 9:10PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your love for your brother... Skin Cancer is a deadly disease .. We have so much of of here in Australia too.. Unfortunately .. we still are learning so much about it .. My DH has had heaps taken from so many places on his body ... although he always wore a hat and kept his shirt on. He is in his 80's now and stays right out of the sun. I will say a prayer for you and your family ..
Cheers Susie

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/30/2010 5:13PM

    "Little" brothers have a special place in our hearts. Your love for your brother shines through your words.
My "little" brother is facing many serious health concerns at the moment and I worry about him.
Thanks for sharing,

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1THING 8/30/2010 4:56PM

    what a great tribute. This is what life is all about, cherishing each other.

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Team FLAB-u-lous…

Friday, August 27, 2010

I must start a new team called “Fit & FLAB-u-lous” for all us Sparklers who are leaving the 300’s behind and finding that we aren’t going to be reunited with that 20 or 30 year old gal who could shrink right back into their youthful figure like we once did. But that’s ok with me ‘cuz SHE doesn’t exist any more any way…. Thank God emoticon

I like being mature and knowing what I want and knowing how to go about getting it. I’m so much more than JUST what I look like and I’m not going to mind one bit being fit & “FLAB-u-lous” emoticon

I love the new transformation!! emoticonI wasn’t perfect when I was slim and I certainly won’t be once I reach my goal… but at least there will be less of me to love as I continue on my journey to a healthier and happier life. Yep, that’s me… for now... I’m getting Fit and I’m “Flab-u-lous” emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JINLYNN 8/28/2010 4:03PM

    I love your positive attitude and humour!
emoticon emoticon

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MRSSTUP 8/28/2010 2:24AM


emoticon Sign me up!! emoticon


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GRANPATTIE 8/27/2010 11:16PM

    I'm with ya Speedy. It'll be a while for me to leave the 3's behind, but I hope to accomplish it. I really enjoyed your blog.

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KATRIONAH 8/27/2010 8:20PM

    I like your blog. I didn't quite make 300...but, darned close to it. I am happy with ME too....for the changes I am seeing. And, ya know...FIT and FLAB-ulous sounds like a cool group.....LOL Caught my attention for your blog. Tee hee hee

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/27/2010 8:01PM

    Good for you! We're not the same people we were back then - WE'RE BETTER!

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JOANOFSPARK 8/27/2010 5:56PM

    emoticon emoticon I totally agree; what I am becoming is so much better than what I am now or was in the past few years....okay, more than a few, but especially since I had to retire because of disabilities...but we are transforming and becoming a much healthier and slimmer version of ourselves..which is emoticon


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I’m losing it….

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The ABC’s of things I’ve lost since joining SparkPeople!

A. Attitude
B. Butt
C. Calories… at least 1000 per meal
D. Digestive disorders
E. Excuses
F. Fatigue
G. Gas
H. Headaches
I. Indecision
J. Justifying my failures
K. Knots in my stomach
L. Lethargy
M. Moaning & Groaning
N. Negativity
O. Overly sensitive
P. Pounds
Q. Quarrelsomeness
R. Resistance to change
S. Struggling with poor choices
T. Tight fisted
U. Ugly
V. Venomous
W. Weakness for high caloric foods
X. X-rated language
Y. Yo-Yo dieting
Z. zzzzzzzzz’s too much

And good riddance to all of it emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSSTUP 8/25/2010 1:11AM

    I agree, "good riddance to it all". Just a lot of weight off your shoulders.


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TUBLADY 8/24/2010 9:32PM

    This was very creative, have never seen it before, but I bet I will. Coming up with the word to match the letters great. I don't like to say can't, but I'm not sure I could.
Those are good things to have lost.
Keep on keepin' on. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LBEEKMA 8/24/2010 8:52PM

    Creative and truthful...yes, there's the good and the bad!

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SUSIEPH1 8/24/2010 6:49PM

    One word Wonderful!! emoticon emoticon

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CHRISTYD921 8/24/2010 3:58PM

    Love this!!!

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VGIMLET 8/24/2010 3:47PM

    Heheheheeh, that picture is so me. :P

Great list.

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KATRIONAH 8/24/2010 3:33PM

    I LOVE IT!!! Great list! Thank you for this blog. emoticon

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GYPSYGOTH 8/24/2010 3:18PM

    emoticon thanks for this list- it's great!

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Two Month Sparkversary

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21st, two months & counting.

Weeks 6-9... emoticon

The last week of July was the half way mark through our families 11 week challenge. I’m right on track for the goals I set and just might win my share of the spoils. If not my daughter and her DH will for sure… she’s a “Sparkler” too and doing awesome!!!

emoticonAugusts’ weather was very mild here in Southern California so I didn’t suffer from much water retention. I did have an injured foot which hindered the exercise program I started for my second month but I slowly reduced my daily caloric intake so they balanced out and I was able to move the swimmer on my weight ticker right along emoticonGo Speedy =]

As I keep my Spark points up so I can be a “Generous Goodie Giver” I’ve learned so many new things about nutrition, health, and exercise not to mention becoming more self aware of food triggers and new ways to comfort myself. July and August are heavy with family celebrations so I was actively learning how to handle the new me with all the extra party foods & drinking. Actually, it was very good practice for the up coming holiday season which starts around here at Halloween emoticon and runs helter skelter through Valentines Day emoticon

I know now that it’s ok to be proud of myself for sticking with SP for two whole months! emoticon I’m excited and motivated and know that my ability to stay focused comes partly from encouraging others. Chris and his SparkTeam really do offer the complete package and I have to give kudos to all of them as well as my new SparkFamily… yes that’s YOU!!! emoticon

Little side note: My husband quit emoticonsmoking on July 1st and I’m so proud of him but you can imagine, since he doesn’t have any weight to loose, what a pair we’ve been this past month as he feeds his monster while I'm taming mine. XXXOOO to my DH emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANOFSPARK 8/22/2010 10:18AM

    Happy 2nd month Sparkaversary!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonI just love SP, don't you? and I am sooo glad that I found it... emoticon

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SURFKITTY 8/22/2010 12:52AM

    Sounds like you're doing great, keep up the good work, and congrats on your 2 months with SP.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 8/22/2010 12:18AM

    emoticonCongratulations to you and your family! It's wonderful that you're working together to change your lives for the better!
I hope you all feel very proud of yourselves - you definitely deserve to!
Stay positive!

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MRSSTUP 8/21/2010 11:34PM

    Congrats to both you and your husband! It's nice that you have such family support. I sure am glad we found SP and have been learning how to handle some of the rough situations that could arise over the holidays. (Lots of party food emoticon and drink emoticon) Continue the great job you are doing with the family challenge!

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SUSIEPH1 8/21/2010 11:14PM

    Way to go !! That is Awesome !
Please tell DH he has done the right thing ..My DH had part of his jaw removed due to Cancer from smoking ... He had stopped Smoking in 1979 ... and the cancer reared its ugly head in 1998 . so the sooner he gives it away the better ... Operation was successful ..DH is now 81 ... But I have my doubts he would have still been here if he hadn't stopped Smoking when he did ... I think you are both fantastic in your goals ...
Cheers Susie emoticon emoticon

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JAMER123 8/21/2010 9:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Family orientated goals are fantastic!! Congrats

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MEYLOSE 8/21/2010 9:38PM

    HAPPY Sparversary to you

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Praise the Lord and pass the fruits and veggies!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

emoticonI’m eliminating the enemy (pounds) by increasing fiber with more fruits and veggies. They have become my ammunition in the war against fat.

We all know these dietary warriors can lower caloric intake and body fat which leads to less body weight. Fiber stabilizes insulin and blood glucose which leads to lower risks for diabetes and helps in the fight to lower high blood pressure too emoticon

Less weight = a healthier body which = a happier life!!! It’s a vicious circle SparkFriends and I’m happy to say I’ve got caught up in it emoticon

emoticon emoticonSummer fruits are still plentiful and reasonably priced when you compare them pound for pound against other non fat burning foods. Not only are they naturally sweet and satisfying but they make you FEEL good too.

I’m looking forward to all the yummy fall choices from our local farmer’s stand… there’s some root vegetables I’m excited to try roasting and soups galore, including our family’s traditional pumpkin soup in hollowed out acorn squash bowls for Thanksgiving emoticon

Mmmm, mmmmm, mmmmmmm… summer fruits and fall veggies….
Praise the Lord and pass those bowls of ammunition emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINE4GIRL 8/19/2010 8:45PM

    emoticon Love the mental pictures! Nice blog and thanks for the Thanksgiving idea.

Bon Appetite!

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MRSSTUP 8/19/2010 8:44PM

    Thanks for writing such a good blog. It makes you think about what we have.

When I come home from the market with all the beautiful rich colors of the produce, I realize that I am so very blessed to be able to enjoy these luscious fruits and vegetables. It is not a hardship, I am not being punished, and it is definitely not a "diet".

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SUSIEPH1 8/19/2010 7:02PM

    Love it! I live on fruit and veg.. also fish ...gotta be good for you !! Cheers Susie emoticon emoticon

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GINGER1OF16 8/19/2010 6:13PM

    Ah, the old memories keep rising to the surface. We have a very musical family history so your blog title spoke to me. I love your variation on the theme...it will certainly make our tomorrows more fit and safer.
emoticonThanks for the memories. Ginger

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THEWINNER33 8/19/2010 5:28PM

    Very well said. I now find myself craving fruits and veges instead of old favorites. I agree. Praise the Lord and pass those fruits and veges

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1THING 8/19/2010 5:18PM

    emoticon we had a very excellent salad for dinner last night with at least 6 veggies. Nice!

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KATRIONAH 8/19/2010 5:17PM

    This is a great blog. Love the "Praise the Lord and pass those bowls of ammunition. LOL GOOD one.

I am loving the farmers market this year. AS well as the farm stands. It is a daily trip to the stands. Nothing like FRESH fruits and veggies.

I discovered I actually like eggplant. LOL Still struggling with Asparagus. But...working on it. And this year the sweet corn seems sweeter than ever. No need for butter or salt. Just yummy!

All this fiber has good and bad...LOL effects. GOOD that it keep me full and is making me healthier. BAD....cause my body is still adjusting to all the extra fiber. I drink lots of water and MAY take stock in beano. Tee hee hee

Have a great day...... emoticon

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