Saturday, April 26, 2008
In the beginning of my SparkJourney, and on occasion even now, I struggled to give myself permission to take care of my health and well-being. In fact, after awhile, I realized that this was a serious challenge I would need to resolve if I was going to progress toward the goals I wanted to reach. I always thought that by depriving my own needs in order to give time in service to others, I was a better person and followed more closely the Christian pattern. I did not recognize that I was actually malnourishing and depriving my physical and spiritual self so that I was not experiencing optimum health and was constantly exhausted. I had begun to NOT look forward to growing older, rather, I was telling myself that I had to accept the aches, the inabilities, the hunching over in pain, the dull looking person that looked back at me in the mirror.
Now, I may not word this just right to get everyoneīs approval, and Iīm not out to get that. I just want to say that it took me from the age of 23 to age 54 (two years ago, if you donīt know) to gain just over 75 lbs, some of it lost and regained many times! Thatīs what? 31 whole years of my life! Never before had I taken much time to dedicate myself to doing what needs to be done to stay in shape. Oh, a few times, for a few hours, for several months, I did some exercises and some dieting. I did NOT stick with it!
I THOUGHT dieting was for a period of time and then I could go back to the way I had always eaten and do basically no exercise except maybe chasing the kids around. I THOUGHT that once I was back to where I used to be as a young woman, Iīd stay there! Instead, whatever I had lost in weight came back and MORE, and what I had gained in muscle tone, I completely lost. I THOUGHT something was wrong with my body because I was doing the right stuff. Thatīs what I THOUGHT!
Now I know better! Itīs a lifetime determination and commitment to taking care of the life that was given to ME. I am pretty sure that it wonīt be long before I begin to hear someone critically question me about the good sense of spending what they see as too much time on selfcare. Iīve read this from some of the SparkPeople who have reached their goalweight and preferred body tone referring to this happening to them at some point.
I already know that a few people are not feeling particularly comfortable when I get all excited about my progress (virtual races, increased weight-lifting, better performance, greater endurance, weightloss, and so on). Iīd like everyone to jump-up-and-down with ME cuz this is miraculous to ME that Iīve come so far and keep on doing it! My SparkFriends and SparkTeamMates do cheer me on!! That was certainly missing in my preSpark days. Of course there are THOSE days when Iīm not well - I had a few this past week and I determinedly plodded through.
I have lost 1 1/2 lbs this month and several inches and Iīm pleased with that! The point is that in spite of how long it is taking me to get into shape and get down to a reasonable weight, it doesnīt look like it will take nearly as long as it took me to gain the 75+ pounds and get into the achy, breaky condition I was in when I joined SparkPeople 2+ years ago! It is, however, taking TONS more determination, persistence, and lifestyle changing than it took to get into the worst shape I have ever been. I do NOT want to ever return to that!
So, letīs just say that if it takes somewhere around the amount of time it took me to get into bad shape, about 30 years times roughly 10 hours a day, then any amount of time less than that to get my body, mind, soul, and spirit properly aligned and tuned (like a car - my hubbyīs a part-time mechanic!), is NOT an exaggeration at all! I havenīt been taking THAT amount of time, but I hope you get the point!
Monday, April 14, 2008
Noone wants to be a quitter. We ALL want to be winners in this SparkJourney! Itīs hard on all of us to watch someone slowly slip away and stop returning to the site. Itīs even more difficult if that someone is you or me!
Well, yes, we all have good days AND bad days in regard to our journeys to wellness. You hear it said repeatedly. You know itīs so from your own experience. When we acknowledge that weīve had a bad day, itīs not so that we can sluff it off as if it was no big deal. It really is a big deal. After all, if it was nothing, why would we bother to let it get to us? Why even mention it?
The thing is, by admitting failure or a less than acceptable procedure or response, we take responsibility for our actions, good and bad. Then, getting up, whether alone or with the able assistance of others (SparkPeople, family, coaches, doctors, whoever!), we move on with the knowledge of what happened. We are better equipt for either avoiding future slips altogether OR abbreviating the lapse period. AND we have an understanding of the experience so we can share it with each other here on SparkPeople.
Because of the high index of foul language, I wouldnīt recommend that everyone watch the movie "Men of Honor". This is the story of Carl Brashear (played by Cuba Gooding Jr.), Navy-Diver. What an amazing, moving, inspiring true story of a manīs dream and how he made it happen - with hard work, determination, and persistence. I am encouraged to keep right on doing what I know in my heart is healthy by the song "Win", from the film, sung by Brian McKnight.
Dark is the night
I can weather the storm
Never say die
I've been down this road before
I'll never quit
I'll never lay down, mm
See I promised myself that I'd never let me down
 - I'll never give up
Never give in
Never let a ray of doubt slip in
And if I fall
I'll never fail
I'll just get up and try again
Never lose hope
Never lose faith
There's much too much at stake
Upon myself I must depend
I'm not looking for place or show
I'm gonna win
No stopping now
There's still a ways to go, oh
Whatever it takes, I know
I'll never quit, no no
I'll never go down, mm, mm
I'll make sure they remember my name
A hundred years from now
When it's all said and done
My once in a lifetime will be back again
Now is the time
To take a stand
Here is my chance
That's why I...
Mmm, I'm gonna win
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
Sometimes, we have issues in regard to safe water here in Brazil. High standards and quality control are not a priority in many places in the world. Iīm not sure I could live in a place where water was lacking for what I consider essential: drinking, hygiene, and cleaning. What we have recently faced with the more-than-average rainfall was disconcerting mainly because we were not advised. DH happened-upon a broken watermain being shoddily repaired bringing brown water into the clean water coming into our neighborhood. After a week, the pipes continue to be surrounded by brown water.
Our first response was to stop drinking it and use a reputable brand of bottled water. Next, we found out how much bleach to use in the water and DH put it into our waterboxes. After several days of highly chlorinated water, we are back to drinking the water filtered through our home water filter. We only filter drinking water.
All of this got me thinking about the shortage of potable water in the world. Poor folk simply must drink whatever water is available, clean or not! Many times, we have witnessed people washing vehicles, laundry, animals, and drinking water from the same lake! The main reason that water is not available to the populous in poorer countries is a lack of funds to build and maintain whatīs needed. According to Wikipedia, in some countries less than 20% of the population has access to safe drinking water! "The problem has reached such endemic proportions that 2.2 million deaths per annum ocur from unsanitary water - ninety percent of these are children under the age of five."
Having safe water is a blessing that most of the time, we donīt acknowledge. I will gratefully drink my 8+ glasses of water with these things in mind for many days to come.
Saturday, April 05, 2008
My latest successful experiment -
Turkey Inside-Out Sandwich
2 slice reduced-calorie, rye Bread, cubed
3 oz chopped Turkey breast meat
1/2 cup shredded or chopped Zucchini
2 tbsp chopped Sweet red or yellow Bell peppers
1 tbsp Sunflower Seeds, w/out salt, w//out hulls
1 tbsp Hellman's Light Mayonnaise
1 tsp Yellow Mustard
Mix all ingredients except mustard and bread. Place in one-serving salad bowl. Top w/cubed bread and mustard. Enjoy!
Number of Servings: 1
Itīs in SparkRecipes - recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
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