STRONG_SARAH   24,296
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STRONG_SARAH's Recent Blog Entries

It's about JOY!

Friday, September 12, 2014

I love this and I wanted to share.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SO_WORTH_IT 9/19/2014 12:10AM

    This is truly a great message!


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TERRACOTTAGE 9/14/2014 8:00AM

    I think this is a very healthy message for our kids to learn. emoticon

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NISSANGIRL 9/14/2014 7:18AM

    emoticon emoticon thanks for posting!

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CLAIREINPARIS 9/13/2014 2:25AM

    Love this! Thank you for sharing.

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/12/2014 8:16PM

    I love Pink!! She's great!

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FORZACHANDMATT 9/12/2014 5:42PM

    Thanks for sharing - it's a great perspective and I love PINK

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 9/12/2014 5:34PM

    emoticon

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STUDLEEJOE 9/12/2014 3:50PM

    emoticon

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ALICIA214 9/12/2014 3:17PM

 


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GEORGE815 9/12/2014 2:58PM

    Interesting thought of one focusing on joy!

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MOMMAPAM1 9/12/2014 2:45PM

    emoticon

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Walking lifts my mood

Thursday, September 11, 2014

One of the most valuable things Iíve learnt here on SP is that exercise can usually get me out of a funk. Yesterday, I needed it. I was home, bored, depressed and I needed to do something so I got my shoes on and did some walking, 8,000 steps to be exact.

I drove to a small mountain-top town nearby that I hadnít been to and explored. One of the cool things about Italy is that they try to keep their medieval architecture while incorporating the 21st century. It can lead to some cool discoveries, like this:

This is a cage that used to be used as a torture device. They would put their victim in and hang him up in the town square and people would throw things at him. I was taken aback when I rounded a corner and came upon it. Hopefully, itís used just for decoration.
Itís a little town called Mondaino that never advertises, no tourists know about it, and yet itís pretty to walk around and has a castle! Who knew?



It instantly brightens my mood to find treasures like this nearby. Add to that the endorphins from the exercise and the fresh air and I was ten times happier after.
And on the way home I came across this escapeeÖhope he got home safe!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERRACOTTAGE 9/14/2014 8:11AM

    It's been years since my trip around the Alps, and I did enjoy N. Italy, the people and the old world charm. Walking was the way to see and enjoy the small villages. Thanks for the memories... I shall enjoy you future blogs. emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 9/13/2014 4:36AM

    What a lovely little town! I loved the picture with the little street and the castle at the top. I so understand what you mean about walking making you feel better. And I am glad it works for you too! emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 9/11/2014 5:24PM

    Loved the pictures!! The little goat was cute!!

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FORZACHANDMATT 9/11/2014 12:23PM

    Me too - isn't it great?

Beautiful pictures

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holding it together

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

This is not a diet blog, this is about death, love, and personal growth. I lost someone dear to me this week. I also celebrated my anniversary, and saw friends I hadnít seen for a long time. In short, itís been an emotional roller coaster. I gained a couple of pounds, but Iím not concerned about that, Iím back on track now, and more important Iím trying to process everything Iíve been through this week.

A friend of mine died last week, on Wednesday. I hadn't seen him in about 6 years, but it really didn't change how close I felt to him. There was a period of my life where we were always together and I really treasured him. I was so sad when I got the news that he was dying, I called him in his hospital room on Tuesday but I didn't understand anything he said. Later I found out he was on a breathing tube and was heavily drugged, which explains it.

I like living in Italy, but at times like these, when I want to be physically close to someone, it's very hard.

On Thursday I spoke to some mutual friends and learned that his family was planning on lying about how he died (he died of AIDS, they wanted to say skin cancer), and that they left his partner out of the obituary completely. He had had a strained relationship with his family for years because of his orientation and his life was lived with his partner and his friends, ie. the people who loved him and accepted him. For his family to come in and try and manipulate how others remember him was, in my mind, terrible.

I went through a range of emotions from anger to sadness to protectiveness and drafted a number of wicked emails and facebook posts -NONE of which I sent. In the end I closed the computer and walked away, giving myself some time to grieve. I'm proud of this, when I was younger I'd have gotten all fired up and launched a crusade against these wicked people. What I figured out now is that they aren't wicked, they're sad, and in pain, and caught in a paradigm where they are convinced they're right and don't understand why the world is against them.

And besides, what could I do from where I am? He wasn't a man who would have fought for himself, he never made a fuss. He really was someone who loved peace and God and his family. He wanted everyone to get along and I know deep down he'd have loved to introduce his partner to his family, but he wasn't a fighter. What right did I have to become one on his behalf? I debated about this for days. In the end I didn't need to though, it all turned out well, even beautifully.

His numerous friends left lots, I mean a huge number of sweet loving tributes to my friend, his partner AND his family on his facebook page and then the funeral home guestbook. No accusations, no recriminations, just love, sympathy and acceptance. The love everyone expressed for my friend and the memories were overwhelming. I can't describe to you how amazing they were. It was powerful reading each tribute that contained memories of his partner, and of his family in the same paragraph. No one left anyone out. In doing so they effectively erased any chance the family had to marginalize his partner and his lifestyle.

They bombarded the family with love during the last 4 days, and it worked. The family spokesperson made a powerpoint of photos to play during the service yesterday and his partner was included in many of the photos. The service (officiated by his father, who is a minister) was about love. About Godís love, love for each other, all kinds of love. My friendís partner was there, the family was there, only kind words were spoken. I couldnít be there, but the people I heard from afterward said it was an amazing ceremony. That theyíve never been to a service so loving and peaceful. My friend would have been thrilled. Heíd have been thilled at the maturity of his friends, who didnít respond to ugliness with more ugliness, but who responded with love. He'd have loved to see his partner included in the powerpoint presentation played in his father's church in front of everyone. And heíd have been thrilled with his brother who, last night, wrote a long, heartfelt response to all the messages with kindness and maturity.

I know it sounds cliche, but this week I learned that love really can win some battles. And that life is short, so love each other out loud, and tell people how you feel, often.







  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GETSTRONGRRR 8/19/2014 6:42PM

    Thanks for sharing....and sorry for the loss of your friend

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/19/2014 4:13PM

    I'm sorry about the loss of your friend. emoticon

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LAILATN 8/19/2014 12:55PM

    Lovely, heartfelt post. I am very sorry for your loss.
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IRISHBEANERGAL 8/19/2014 12:05PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss.

What a wonderful tribute to your friend - I'm sure he'd be pleased too.

Be well.

~Irish

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/19/2014 6:43AM

    Oh Sarah... I am so sorry for your loss... but so grateful for this beautiful blog which made me cry. Thank you for sharing it with us. emoticon

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 8/19/2014 6:04AM

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Demonstrates the power of love.
I am very sorry for your loss.

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DEW1960 8/19/2014 5:44AM

    emoticon


Thanks for sharing your blog post today.

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May God richly bless you & your family, today and everyday!

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Love,
Daniel Walker

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GHOSTFLAMES 8/19/2014 5:38AM

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The dangers of vacation

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

It starts with a day at the beach. Plenty of water, fruit as a snack, fresh air, playing in the waves - sounds healthy right? About 3 o'clock in the afternoon we get a call from friends who are at the beach too, about a half a mile up the coast. A nice healthy walk in the sand to look for them, and when we arrive we find them, at the bar! LOL
I'm on vacation, right? So ok, I order a martini, then an hour later another, then the bar snacks start to look good, then we decide to order some appetizers, next thing I know it's 8 o'clock and I'm drinking beer and eating nachos. emoticon
Oh dear, I want to enjoy my vacation but alcohol seems to loosen my resolve to eat well.
I need to be careful!


On the plus side, with all the fresh fish in the area, it's amazingly easy to eat healthy at the local restaurants.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WIZKEY 8/12/2014 1:24PM

    Alcohol is always my downfall. More than one drink and I become a snack monster!!

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NISSANGIRL 8/12/2014 11:15AM

    emoticon just had a set back with my eating and plan on getting back on track! U deserve to enjoy vacation , u can indulge a bit , Have fun and enjoy your vacation! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORTICIAADDAMS 8/12/2014 10:49AM

    Ah!! The beach looks wonderful!!!! Very inviting!!

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LULUBELLE65 8/12/2014 4:29AM

    Story of my life. Although, I rarely gain much on vacation, I think because I walk so much, and tend to eat a lot of fruit instead of a heavy breakfast.

Enjoy your vacation!

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PASKALINI 8/12/2014 3:30AM

    Where did you go for holiday?

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/12/2014 2:52AM

    emoticon Yes, vacations are dangerous! And I remember well how delicious food is in that part of Italy!

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I am doing it!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The scale is consistently going down. For the first time in my life I think I really have found the key. You know what it is? Veggies. Seriously.

When I counted calories, I didnít lose weight. When I did the wheat belly diet I did, but it was too overwhelming, because of all the cooking and prep and it made travelling a nightmare.

The dietician gave me this low-carb, restrictive diet, yes, but I really think something clicked in my head when she said ďeat as many vegetables as you can, at least 200 grams each mealĒ. 200 grams is almost half a pound. 200 at lunch and 200 at dinner is a pound of veggies a day. When that sunk into my head I was shocked. A pound of veggies a day? Is she mad?

That right there turned out to be the best diet advice Iíve ever gotten. And Iím doing it, and loving it. For example, yesterday at lunch I grilled some zucchini and a chicken breast on the stove. How much zucchini? Three whole zucchinis. THREE zucchinis, sliced thin, grilled, with a dash of garlic salt and a drizzle of olive oil. They were delicious, and because they were so good I ate them first and then was full and almost didnít want the chicken breast.

My vegetables have become the main dish and the meat has become the side. Last night, I ate a small steak and some swiss chard (cooked with some butter and fresh sage, yum!), and ended up having seconds then thirds of the swiss chard. The steak was almost an afterthought.

Iím so excited because I really believe I will reach my goal. I may end up at my pre-pregnancy weight in September if I keep this up. 130 pounds has seemed like an unattainable dream for so long, but now I feel like I can really make it happen.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEEHOLZ 9/9/2014 9:46PM

    I like the veggie part- good reminder to eat more

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NISSANGIRL 7/15/2014 3:05PM

    emoticon emoticon girl!!!!! I think u are going to reach your goal!!! CORRECTION.... I KNOW U WILL!!! Keep up the emoticon work!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAILATN 7/14/2014 11:58AM

    Wonderful! I think I'm going to have to commit to prepping and cooking veggies!

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GOCALGAL 7/14/2014 10:32AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I agree veggies are the way to go! They fill me up, nourish me and give me energy. When I stay away from the veggies and eat too much processed food, I feel crummy and start to gain. Veggies rock!

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SLIMBOT 7/13/2014 5:35PM

  Oh, Sarah, I've watched you struggle since we first signed up for Spark, so I am just thrilled about your breakthrough!! Way to go for sticking with it and changing things up until you found something that works for you.

I'm pescetarian myself, and really only eat fish when I'm in restaurants; veggies are the bulk of my daily intake. I agree, veggies are THE BOMB!

Comment edited on: 7/13/2014 5:40:10 PM

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PENNYSAVER2 7/13/2014 5:09PM

    I'm so glad to hear that you are doing so well!! emoticon emoticon

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STEELHEAD01 7/13/2014 4:11PM

    emoticon You are an inspiration. Doing what I am working on doing. Adding more veggies. And it is working for you. Keep up the good work.

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SIRIUS2014 7/13/2014 2:52PM

    emoticon report Thanks for sharing!

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GYPSYGOTH 7/13/2014 10:44AM

    emoticon Super happy to hear that you are finding success!
I always eat GOBS of vegetables. Like, a salad that looks like it would feed a family. ALL MINE! emoticon
Keep up the great work!

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A_RARE_BEAN 7/13/2014 9:45AM

    vegetables are the best! emoticon emoticon

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LUNORZAHRA 7/13/2014 7:52AM

    You always make veggies sound so delicious!!! Thanks again. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 7/13/2014 6:56AM

    That's fantastic! We love veggies and do the same thing....keep at it!!

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JUSTECROYEZ 7/13/2014 6:26AM

    emoticon
Thanks for sharing.
Must try this! emoticon emoticon

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GHOSTFLAMES 7/13/2014 5:39AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JAYKAYSTRONG 7/13/2014 5:35AM

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MARYJOANNA 7/13/2014 5:12AM

  emoticon Thanks for the veggie tip!

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