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Time to Catch Up & Review -- If I can do this, you CAN too!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Greetings Spark Friends -

It's been a busy couple months. Have you ever got caught up in a whirlwind of life activity and all of a sudden you look up and 3 months have past? I've been wanting to write a blog for a while now - and there just hasn't been time.

About a month ago my sister had brain surgery for Arnold Chiari Syndrome. She is doing MUCH better now. The surgery was a success and she is starting to feel the benefits of having it done. She is still recovering, but she's doing great. This was stressful for me, not only because someone I love was going under a knife but because I have this genetic birth defect too and could one day need a similar surgery. So yeah - there's been a lot of thinking, soul searching, and stress going on but there's also been hope, achievement and progress too.

This same sister is a massage therapist. She works out of a co-op of alternative therapists. One of her fellow therapist is also an acupuncturist. She came to the hospital to offer my sister acupuncture as a way to get relief from the pain of the surgery. Long story short I ended up hiring this very nice lady to perform acupuncture on me for my Bell's Palsy. Yes, I'll have had Bell's Palsy for one year on August 31st. It's ridiculous. So I decided I needed to try something and Bev (the acupuncturist) said "Oh yeah .. Bell's Palsy is no problem to cure with acupuncture". I was skeptical, but figured at this point I have nothing to lose.

If you ever get the opportunity to try acupuncture I would highly recommend it. I've had 4 treatments over the past month and there is marked improvement in my facial muscles. I'm starting to be able to taste foods on the left side of my mouth. Everyone has commented on how my eye looks better, that my speech is better... I'm feeling really good about this. And really it's a trip feeling chi energy zoom through your body during the treatment. It's such a unique sensation - I recommend it to everyone. It's relaxing and exciting all at once. Finally I'm really starting to see the light at the end of the Bell's Palsy tunnel, hopefully just a few more treatments and I'll be at least 90% back to normal.

And finally - my weight ...

My friends - I have gone from 287 pounds to 174 pounds in 17 months time. I have lost 39% of my total body weight. I have gone from a size 28 Women's Plus size to size 14. The last time I wore a size 14, I was in high school some 26 years ago. Wow. Am I really that old? :)

My doctor wanted me under 180 pounds, check. I've gotten off the anti-depressants, check. I've inspired several friends, co-workers and loved ones to lose weight & think about what they are eating, check.

I have proved to myself that I can do anything I put my mind to. Even through the Bell's Palsy and the knowledge of the Chiari I have lost weight and reached my goals. If I can do this --- anyone can do this. I have another blog in my mind for my recipe for weight loss success that I hope to write sooner than later. I want to record this, in case I ever slip up and gain... although really - I just don't see that happening. I'm so much more aware now of food, food choices, the importance of exercise and now I weigh myself daily just to keep an eye on things ... it's amazing what you can do with a little bit of know how.

Thank you again to all my terrific Sparkfriends! Truly you are the reason why this all works. Knowing I'm not alone in my struggle to lose weight and that there are other supportive, caring people has really helped get me through some of those rougher days.

I'm going to continue to try to lose that last 10 pounds... I've got to spend more time strength training and firming up a bit more. I'm still eating a reduced calorie diet so the weight should start to come off again. I've actually gained and lost the same 4 pounds over the past two months -- it's time to re-focus on me and get rid of these last 10.

Thanks for reading .. and always remember:

Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up!!! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMER1023 1/15/2011 10:40PM

    I am glad to hear that you are doing well and you are so inspiring. I have been away from here for a while and am back to try to get back on the wagon - again, it is inspiring reading this. I hope you are doing well!

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SMATHEW 1/4/2011 3:03PM


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FITGIRL15 11/24/2010 10:43AM

    Wow, you have been through a lot this year!!! And look at how you've pushed through and continued to be BETTER!

You are amazing! XOXO

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NONNATERRY 10/5/2010 2:40PM

    You are a true inspiration!

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SCHWINNER! 8/23/2010 7:30AM

    Glad to hear all this good news, both for you and your sister! emoticon I totally know that feeling of looking up and going "whoa, where did all that time go?!" I feel like summer escaped me, as always...

Congrats on the weight loss so far - you have done amazing!! I know you can get off those last 10 lbs. and reach your goals! emoticon I still want you to go roller skating with me :)

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_VALEO_ 8/23/2010 4:37AM

    I am so happy to read such great news from you and your sister.

39% loss in 17 months that's truly amazing. You are so committed to it that I am sure you'll lost the last 10 pounds--I know how those last pounds are difficult, I am at this stage right now.


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GIRANIMAL 8/20/2010 1:42PM

    So good to hear an update from you! I'm glad your sister's doing well. And meeting up with her acupuncturist friend is no coincidence! I am so very glad it's improving your Bell's Palsy symptoms.

emoticon maintaining your loss over this stressful and busy few months! I am in the same boat as you with the last 10 pounds and the ping-pong game with about 3 pounds over the past month or two. But I feel like I am more aware of the little food "sneaking" I was starting to fall into, which was certainly contributing, and am back on track this week to knock them out for good! I too need to focus on toning and such too. Even with this last 10 pounds, my thighs and abs will need more help! emoticon

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JANEDOE12345 8/15/2010 7:17PM

    Your story is so inspirational. Thank you for filling us in. There is no comment that fits except to thank you and to wish you even more progress.

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MADERINERUE 8/15/2010 1:33PM

    You are fab-fab-fabulous! So happy that your smile is on its way back to symmetry!


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BUNNYCATS 8/15/2010 1:16PM

    Your story is so inspiring. I admire your perseverance. Thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EUPHRATES 8/15/2010 1:14PM

    This is so inspiring - thank you for sharing!

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HIPPICHICK1 8/15/2010 12:49PM

    Isn't it amazing what you can do once you set your mid to it? We have proven to ourselves that we are strong, we are invincible, we are WOMEN! Ooooooo! (Thank you Helen Reddy for that compelling lyric.)
I'm really glad to hear that your sister's surgery was a success and that she's recovering and that you are getting acupuncture for the Bell's Palsy and it's effective!! YIPPEEEE! You must be very, very happy.
emoticon emoticon

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    Woosh, what a great blog. I took my breath away there's so much in so few words.

So happy to hear that your sister is doing well. Supporting her through it while you knew you could be facing the same thing someday must have been very stressful. You must be so happy and relieved that all turned out so well.

That's amazing about your acupuncture sessions. I am so very happy for you.

You have been such an inspiration to me and so many other people here on Spark. Your journey is an example for all of us. Thank you so very much.


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MCJULIEO 8/15/2010 8:55AM

    How wonderful you are doing!! Such an encouragement to me to keep on keeping on!

So glad that the acupuncture is helping... who knew!!??

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FITGIRL15 8/14/2010 11:05PM

    I am sooo excited to hear about all your great news!!! And I'm thrilled for you that the acupuncture is actually working! WOO HOO! I may have to restart my treatments as well!

Congrats on all your weight loss success as well! I'm so happy for you!

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KIMBERLEY60 8/14/2010 10:56PM

    I'm glad to hear that your sister is doing well and recovering from her surgery. You have done incredible on spark. The amount of weight you've lost is amazing. Way to go! It is a journey for sure, as I have had my ups and downs but know it works. I agree, sparkfriends are a huge part of what makes it work for me.

It is great that acupuncture is working for you. A good acupuncturist is invaluable. I hope it continues to help you improve. emoticon

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I have no words ...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Except to say that I have NEVER been so excited to be called "Normal" -

emoticon emoticonYES! HELLYEA!! OHYEABABY!!! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 8/4/2010 10:22AM

    How in the world did I miss THIS??!!
I love it.

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FITGIRL15 7/6/2010 11:37PM

    YOU ROCK!!! I love that your Wii Mii looks just like you! It's crazy how they ALWAYS DO! LOL

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BUNNYCATS 5/29/2010 5:56PM

    Excellent Job! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REVJVH 5/29/2010 10:13AM


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GIRANIMAL 5/24/2010 5:03PM

    SWEET! emoticon

Normal becomes you, my dear! emoticon

I'm gonna go use the Wii for the first time in months to see if it will finally say I am "normal" too! I am at least very close. LOL

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SCHWINNER! 5/24/2010 7:21AM

    Woohoo!!! Congrats! Love that it's on the Wii too; that makes it extra fun in color and with a Mii and all that :)

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COLUMBINE2 5/24/2010 1:26AM

    Fantastic! It is soooo awesome to leave "overweight" behind in the dust. You've worked hard...and it's paying off. I'm doing a cartwheel in your honor! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 5/23/2010 8:55PM

    OH MY GOD!!!
I sooooooooo want to be normal, like you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DERTREFFER 5/23/2010 8:22PM

    Fantastic! I applaud you! I know that had to take a lot of effort, but you did it!


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REIGNWATER 5/23/2010 5:06PM

  Normal is so completely different than average. Normal is good. Congratulations. I recently calculated what it would take for me to be normal so I am absolutely in awe. Way to go.

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LLEWIS6879 5/23/2010 4:39PM


I'm almost there too!!! This has made me all the more excited to get my butt on the wii!!!!!!!!!!!

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PAMSPARKS 5/23/2010 4:10PM

    Inspirational! I never thought I'd look forwards to being called normal but now I have a whole new goal!

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*SUNSHINEDAYZ* 5/23/2010 3:51PM

    Woohoo!!! Congratulations!!! emoticon

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ROOBYBEGONIA 5/23/2010 3:30PM


Yee haw!



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FRANKLYN22 5/23/2010 3:04PM

    That's awesome!! emoticon

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ELSIE_BEE 5/23/2010 2:17PM

    YOU ROCK! emoticon

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HIPPICHICK1 5/23/2010 1:41PM

    Hey Normal! How's the Normal? Did you know that you can Normal your Normal in Normal time? It's Normally amazing!!!

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GRYPHON55 5/23/2010 1:23PM

    Freaking fantastic!!!!

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REDFROG25 5/23/2010 1:16PM

    emoticon Wow, Debra, you are awesome!

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    I am in awe! It was only a couple days ago that it stopped calling me obese - I can only imagine what it would be like to have the wii call me normal!

(I want to be just like you when I grow up)

emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 5/23/2010 11:31AM

    Whooo Hoooo!!!!!! Way to go girl!!

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PJGABRIEL 5/23/2010 11:24AM

    Congratulations, on a job well done.

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_VALEO_ 5/23/2010 11:14AM

    Hubba hubba! emoticon emoticon

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JUST_SIMONE 5/23/2010 11:09AM

    WOOHOOO!!!!! That's awesome! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MADERINERUE 5/23/2010 11:00AM

    Go, Normal Girl!!

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DALAI_LALA 5/23/2010 10:59AM

    Holy crap! THAT IS AWESOME! Congratulations and hugs all around! And more exclamation points for everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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ELSIE_BEE 5/23/2010 10:54AM

    Hooray for you!

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Observations ...

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Good Observations ...

Today, while taking a walk on my lunch break, the sunshine was shining brightly. My shadow walked with me - and what a skinny shadow I now have. Wow. I'm currently 2 pounds away from being in the "normal" range on the BMI chart. I'm so close I can taste it. But I'm simply amazed at how my LG t-shirt doesn't grip around my waist. I'm amazed at how my body feels. And I'm still stunned that I've been able to lose 110 pounds - even while dealing with Bells Palsy for the better part of 9 months. That feels pretty good. These last couple pounds are taking there good ole time coming off. And I'm ok with that. I'm thinner & healthier than I have ever been.

The Disturbing Observations...

I drive 16 miles to get to work every morning. Of those 16 miles - 5 are on the freeway. Today I counted the number of drive thru restaurants I pass every day. In 11 miles of travel I pass a total of 30 drive thrus. And people want to know why obesity is a problem. Unbelievable.

I've also recently seen the movie Food Inc. It's changed the way I shop. It's very disturbing to me how our food industry is so messed up. And really - it's all centered around the fast food industry. Not only are they every where but what they've done to our food is disturbing, disgusting and horrifying. Animals being packed on top of each other. Antibiotics being used to the point that the human handlers have developed allergies to all antibiotics. The modification of animals - is just not right. And what I really want to know is what is "natural flavors"? Really. The next package of meat you buy - read the ingredients. I use to buy a lot of ground turkey. I thought I was getting ground turkey. Turns out the package includes "natural flavoring". What the hell is that??? Why can't I buy my own "natural flavor" to add to my recipes??

So now I'm buying a LOT more organic items. I spent more than $3 for a dozen free range, organic eggs yesterday. And was happy to pay it. I've bought organic tofu too. And I'm going to eat more fish - while you have to be careful about mercury & other chemicals in fish - it some how feels like a safer choice than the meat.

Here's to getting healthier my Sparkfriends!! Every day is a challenge -- and that's what makes the journey fun!

Remember -- Never, ever, ever, ever, ever give up!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERODIBLE 5/16/2010 9:28AM

    YAY! Good Job! I've got 7 lbs to go for a "normal" BMI. Weird feeling isn't it?

Not only are our food sources mistreated, but our food workers are as well. Horrible treatment and conditions abound in the produce picking and meat packing industries. (Read, or watch the movie, "Fast Food Nation" by Eric Schlosser.) The USA uses less of our income for food than almost any other country - but we certainly pay for it in other ways.

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SLARTYB 5/11/2010 3:31AM

    I travel to Houston a few times a year & am always shocked by a) the size of people & b) the endless, in-your-face food promotion. Fast food abounds! Shops heave with gloppy goodies! Portions are HUGE!

Even back in Europe I wonder why, when I get in line at a till in a shop or garage, I have to move slowly past endless rows of brightly coloured choccy bars. Where’s the healthy alternative if you are really feeling peckish & on the go? The whole food business sucks & when you find a small oasis of people (shop, cafe or restaurant) who care about food & nutrition it’s such a blessing & they should be nurtured. I guess we are in the minority on this & always will be.

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GIRANIMAL 5/6/2010 4:54PM

    I saw Food Inc. recently too. I am really trying even more now to find a way to fit more organic choices into my budget (which has decreased sharply with the BF being away). It's insane that it's cheaper to eat a Big Mac than fresh broccoli. A carton of organic eggs I think cost us nearly $5 recently! I just can't do that all the time.

Anyway, fantastic observations. The fast-food one is scary indeed. But your skinny-girl shadow is pure awesome and inspiration! I can relate to the surprise though, as we've talked about before -- am frequently surprised by being able to feel my hip bones. emoticon

emoticon emoticon

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MDMNINA 5/6/2010 9:57AM

    Food, Inc. opened my eyes too! Thanks for sharing!

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SCHWINNER! 5/6/2010 8:00AM

    Congrats again on 110 lbs.!! You ROCK!!

That is a LOT of fast food restaurants, wow. Nice observation there.

I still haven't seen Food, Inc., but it's on Netflix instant and I have it in my queue! I think I've been putting it off a little bit because I know it's going to scare me :(

I'm about to plant my garden here in another week or so, so I'm looking forward to having my own veggies. Ideally, I'd love to be able to grow ALL of my produce, and I'd really like to have some chickens for fresh eggs!

I got a handout at Earth Day that lists farmers' markets, local farms, and other local produce/food sources. It was through the Central Ohio Valley something...crap. It's at home, but I'll have to find it. I'm sure there's a website - it had a lot of great resources for local/organic/fresh foods.

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BUNNYCATS 5/6/2010 7:15AM

    Very nice blog! Isn't it great how the little things about being healthier and thinner make every day moments so incredible? emoticon emoticon

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KIMBERLEY60 5/5/2010 11:04PM

    Your weight loss is truly inspiration! Kudos to you! I looked on your sparkpage at some of your before photos and then what you look like now, amazing. I bet you are really proud and deservedly so. It is no wonder you are more interested in what you are eating...going organic is a great option! emoticon I read this week that the three most important produce items to buy organic are apples, bell peppers and peaches.

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HIPPICHICK1 5/5/2010 8:01PM

    Oooh, I know what you mean. It's quite disturbing. I've been buying organic foods for years and years, but where I live now, well, it can be difficult to find organic produce in town. I sometimes buy organic when I go to the city. I would LOVE to grow my own veggies and plan to make a start this year - building raised beds, maybe grown some lettuce and tomatoes. Last year a raccoon stole my bestest tomato ripe off the vine! Gotta keep an eye on the critters.

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IDEBORAH 5/5/2010 6:42PM

    My new coworker has chickens! I now have an egg source for free! I'll think of you and your amazing progress as I work through this dozen. 2 lbs. The shadow thing is really wonderful. It helped me exercise early in the morning, just so I could see my shadow as I walked/jogged (walking at lunch = no shadow).

You are sooo wonderful, thanks for another great blog.
emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 5/5/2010 6:40PM

    Wow- it is discouraging when 'they' (the Inc.s) make it so difficult to eat healthy!
I can't wait till my farmers' mkt reopens this weekend.


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ALICIA0099 5/5/2010 6:16PM

    I LOVE food inc, I wish I could afford to buy organic, I just can't, but, I am vegetarian and eat vegan as much as possible. and I dont' get the 'natural flavors' thing either. it's bizarre, I mean, the fact that they are washing our meat in ammonia to kill ecoli instead of just feeding the cows GRASS as opposed to corn was really a wake up call for me (I had already gone veg, but I may have gone back to eating meat eventually if it hadn't been for that movie!) while it's not specifically a 'go veg!" movie, it definitely strengthened my resolve!

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MADERINERUE 5/5/2010 5:57PM

    This is an inspiring blog in so many ways. Thank you for being a voice of reason in the throng and for modeling (by walking the walk, literally and figuratively) how to live a healthy life.


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_VALEO_ 5/5/2010 5:33PM

    Like the skinny shadow! How great it is!

I haven't seen this movie, but seen others. We had the mad cow over here, now animals are fed with GMOs, etc. not to mention how animals are killed.
Paul McCartney said: "if slaughterhouses had glass walls, everyone would be a vegetarian."

The list of ingredients are worst and worst, we went shopping today with DH, and now we have to check each can! Eating healthy is not easy. And don't get me started with restaurants!

Kudos to you for buying organic eggs, other hens are debeaked.

Comment edited on: 5/5/2010 5:39:27 PM

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LUNALIFE 5/5/2010 5:06PM

    Thanks for sharing - I get really worried about the state of the food we eat too.. Congrats on your a-MAZ-ing achievements. It's been great to follow your successes, in body and mind.


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MELTEAGUE 5/5/2010 3:47PM

    wow,that is a lot of Drive Thru's !
good job for making those healthy decisions about food, I too get annoyed at all the "additives~!"

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  What a great blog! I enjoyed reading it. It was inspiring to see how wonderfully you have done!! Yes, those last few pounds are always stubborn, but don't give up! emoticon

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Healthy Survey - Stolen from SCHWINNER (I just had to play)

Friday, April 30, 2010

1. What did you eat for breakfast?
Kashi Go Lean, sprinkled with added cinnamon and 2% milk

2. How much water do you drink a day?
60 oz of Green Tea, 20 oz coffee, and usually 40 - 50 oz water

3. What is your least favorite "healthy" food?
Legumes - I try & try but I can't get past the texture of black beans, kidney beans and the like.
I know they are good for you - but ... *ack*

4. What is your favorite fruit?
This week - blueberries

5. What is your favorite vegetable?
I can't pick one - asparagus, tomato, and lately I can't get enough cucumbers

6. How many calories do you burn a week?
1800 is my goal.

7. How many calories do you eat a day?

8. What are your favorite healthy snacks?
Skinny Cow Chocolate Ice Cream Cone

9. What do you usually eat for lunch?
I try to make different types of salads using a variety of veggies. This week a fav is chopped cucumber, onion, plain greek yogurt, dill weed, garlic & tuna all mixed in big bowl with a side of high fiber whole grain crackers. YUM!

10. What is usually for dinner?
Tofu Stir Fry, Turkey Burgers and broiled chicken breast with sweet potato & asparagus are house favorites

11. What is your favorite body part to strength train?
my core

12. What is your least favorite body part to strength train?
my arms

13. What is your least favorite exercise?
push ups

14. What is your favorite exercise?

15. What is your "bad" food cravings?
Anything frozen from Starbucks or Wendy's Chocolate Frostys ... evil... pure evil.

16. What is your go to workout song?
While I LOVE music - I don't really use music while working out. Unless you count the background music on the Wii -- which ... is really just background noise.

17. Do you take vitamins or supplements?
Yes. I'm a big user of Fish Oil not only for it's heart & metabolic advantages but I've learned that it really helps stabilize my moods. I also take a B-Vitamin supplement as it's suppose to help the nerve damage that's brought on by my Bells Palsy.

18. How often do you eat out?
Maybe once or twice a week.

19. Do you eat fast food?
Only occasionally. I really, really try to avoid it. Not only is the food generally crap - the fast food industry is directly responsible for our crappy food industry which is really terrifying once you start learning about where our food comes from. I try not to support fast food with my money -- but *sigh* sometimes it's unavoidable.

20. How do you stay motivated?
I'm a Taurus. I'm stubborn. When I get a thought in my head I never stop till I get to my goal. Simply seeing so many obese people at the stores or on the streets is enough to remind me that that is not a healthy way to be. And I want to be healthy.

21. Who is your biggest supporter?
My boyfriend and without a doubt my Sparkfriends! This place rocks! And without the support of others who are trying to do the same thing as myself - I don't know if I would have been as successful.

22. How much weight have you lost?
One Hundred and Ten Pounds. So far ;)

23. How did you determine your goal weight?
Originally I picked a number in the middle of the BMI chart to shoot for. Since then I've talked to my doctor to determine a healthy range for me to be in.

24. Do you have a gym membership?

25. How often do you work out?
4-6 days a week, depending on what's going on.

26. How did you find Spark?
A Google search for a calorie tracker brought me here.

27. How much sleep do you get a night?
At least 6 hours, but I love to get closer to 8 when possible.

28. Are you a morning or night workout person?
I'm lucky to be able to lift a coffee mug to my mouth in the morning .. I'm seriously an evening exercise person.

29. Do you have a "cheat" day?
I generally give myself a "cheat" meal once every week to 10 days. I've only taken 2 full days off the program in the past 16 months. Both were holidays and ... I just said no to counting & measuring. Everyone deserves a break now and again.

30. Do you drink soda?
Not really. I've never been a big soda drinker.

31. Do you drink alcohol? How much?
I'm a seriously cheap date - two glasses of wine and I threaten to get nekkid. So -- no - I only drink occasionally - usually for a wedding or other social function.

32. What is your favorite thing about Spark?
Tracking of food and workouts, my friends, the resources

33. What do you not like about your body? What do you love about your body?
Right now I'm not happy with the left side of my face - it's still effected by the Bells Palsy. But other than that my belly could still shrink a bit - but I'm starting to like my arms (the bat wings have disappeared) and my boyfriend is really enjoying the curves of my hips to my waist.

34. Do you have a workout buddy?
My boyfriend enjoys going on walks with me. But the rest of it I do on my own without a buddy.

35. What is the best thing that has changed about your life since committing to this Healthy Lifestyle?

I've gotten off the anti-depressants. The reaction of my loved ones has been pretty good too. But really I'm loving how my body is feeling. Like a well oiled machine -- I really didn't know how bad I was feeling - until I lost all this weight and feel great! Every day I'm noticing a change in my body or an ability I didn't know I had -- I love the adventure of it all.

Enjoy my Sparkfriends! You guys ROCK!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANVIXEN 5/3/2010 7:41PM

    Hey babe, don't eat legumes if you don't want to. The whole Paleo/Primal movement avoids them based on the fact that legumes are toxic in their raw state. You can still get plenty of fiber from fruits and veggies without having to eat beans!

Chocolate Frosty's. Wow I haven't had one of those in the longest time! I remember having a large on top of my value meal... and to think each one has 1000 calories!!!

Go Taurus! I'm super stubborn as well. When is your birthday??

And like Schwinner said, 110 lbs!!! Wow lady, you ROCK! haha. Keep up the great work :-)

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IDEBORAH 5/3/2010 6:15PM

    You are so amazing. And a fellow lover of Skinny Cows. Thanks for sharing. Now I have to go see what Schwinner is about!

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MDMNINA 5/2/2010 8:04PM


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HIPPICHICK1 5/1/2010 12:17AM

    You are simply amazing!!
Lots of love and hugs to you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 4/30/2010 10:49PM

    Why, thank you, dear Debra!
What a fun way to get to know a sparkfriend a bit better.
You are a simply amazing and inspirational woman.

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SCHWINNER! 4/30/2010 1:39PM

    110 lbs.!!!! WOW lady, you ROCK!!! Congrats on all your progress...isn't it amazing to find yourself answering things like this with enthusiasm? Vegetables?! Exercise?! And we LIKE those things?! :D

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RIP Chief Wilma Mankiller ....

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

I did not know Chief Mankiller personally, but she has touched my soul. I listened to an interview with her on NPR's Fresh Air program and I had to learn more. Chief Mankiller was the first female Cherokee Chief. The following is a link to a recent news article about her life and death from cancer:


The following are quotes from Chief Mankiller that I wanted to share and remember. Truly words of wisdom ...

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“Optimistic, hopeful people view barriers and obstacles as problems to be solved and not as the reason to give up or turn back,” she said. “Positive people never, ever give up.”

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“The happiest people I’ve ever met, regardless of their profession, their social standing, or their economic status, are people that are fully engaged in the world around them. The most fulfilled people are those who get up every morning and stand for something larger than themselves. They are people who care about others, people who will extend a helping hand to someone in need or will speak up about an injustice when they see it,” Wilma said.

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In a 1993 interview on Fresh Air, Mankiller described how a 1979 car accident that nearly killed her completely changed the way she viewed her own life. She says that accident helped her adopt the Cherokee approach to life.

"I think the Cherokee approach to life is being able to continually move forward with kind of a good mind and not focus on the negative things in your life and the negative things you see around you, but focus on the positive things and try to look at the larger picture and keep moving forward," Mankiller explained. "[It] also taught me to look at the larger things in life rather than focusing on small things, and it's also awfully, awfully hard to rattle me after having faced my own mortality ... so the things I learned from those experiences actually enabled me to lead. Without those experiences, I don't think I would have been able to lead. I think I would have gotten caught up in a lot of nonsensical things."

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In an e-mail statement in early March, Mankiller wrote,

"…I am mentally and spiritually prepared for this journey; a journey that all human beings will take at one time or another. I learned a long time ago that I can't control the challenges the Creator sends my way but I can control the way I think about them and deal with them. On balance, I have been blessed with an extraordinarily rich and wonderful life, filled with incredible experiences…"

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRSMIKEJG 4/8/2010 8:46AM

    Thank you for sharing.

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MEADSBAY 4/7/2010 10:14PM

    I heard that program.
I had heard her name but knew nothing about her.
The world has lost an amazing person.
She was so wise.
It takes a lot to rattle me, too, I think because I have lost 3 younger siblings in 3 different ways and I know that each day is a gift.
Thanks for sharing.

Comment edited on: 4/7/2010 10:16:25 PM

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    Thanks for sharing this.

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F8CONE8 4/7/2010 3:51PM

    She was an inspiration to all!

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IPA-RAY 4/7/2010 2:15PM


Thank you for posting this. I did not see it in the news. She was an amazing woman whose spirit will live on.

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STLRZGRRL 4/7/2010 2:14PM

    Thank you for sharing the wisdom of a truly bright light...

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