Thursday, September 17, 2009
As I mentioned last week, I have begun to wear one-pound ankle weights for my water aerobics class. This is what they look like.
As I took the weights off at the end of class I held one up and said to my husband, "If we put 31 of these on each of my legs, that's how much less of me there is now." We both know how much I've lost, but to visualize it in those terms made a real impact on us. When I lose one pound, it surely doesn't seem like a lot. Even a two pound loss, in light of just how much weight I still have to lose, is not a reason to throw a party. Or is it? Those little increments of one or two pounds add up far more quickly than we realize sometimes. I have been here on SP since the end of May but began this journey into accountability Feb. 28th (and that evening severed my little toe on my treadmill). Here we are six and a half months later, and those baby steps have accumulated to a 62 pound weight loss. That's a lot of little one pound ankle weights, folks!
I want to introduce you to Whitney. She's one of my two water aerobics class instructors and a very nice young woman. She's expecting her first baby in November. Her grandparents, I would guess in their mid and upper eighties, are part of our class. Isn't that just too sweet?
We have gained weight one pound at a time, one poor choice at a time. Why on earth would we think we'd cast it off in any different manner? Why do we become discouraged about losing "just a pound"? NEVER minimize the benefit of losing "just a pound." Applaud yourself. Rejoice! Celebrate!!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I am so happy with my first milestone reward! As most of you know, for my 50 pounds of weight loss reward, my husband and I made the five hour drive to Florida to meet PepperLeah and her husband, Pepper. My husband and I have four children in our blended family, and we've raised them with no help or interference from our exes. For us to have time alone is a rare, rare thing. Friends of ours offered to take our children on Friday and return them at church Sunday morning. What a difference it is to travel without kids fussing at one another in the van, complaining that they're hungry, want the radio louder, lower, or on a different station, that they have to make a bathroom stop, on an on and on. This was a sweet and quiet trip! lol
Over the last 14 years or so, my husband and I have been involved with a small, family oriented chat network, StarLink-IRC. We have been part of the staff there, keeping it free of questionable influences. We've made dear friends there and have met many in person, some who have traveled here and some we have traveled to meet. Several of them have even moved to our area, are now family to us, are members of our church. For us to decide to travel to meet online friends is not uncommon, and I am so thankful for a husband who is so willing and eager to go and meet people, who is attentive to what is important to me. You, my dear SparkFriends, are important to me!! You have added so much to my life, helped me immeasurably on this long road of mine to a healthier body, filled my heart to overflowing with more good stuff than I could ever express.
For those of you fortunate enough to share SparkTeams with PepperLeah, you already know what a complete sweetheart she is. If anything, she is more precious in person than she is here online. She has such a heart for those who are hurting. Whatever her middle name is, it should have been Compassion. She extends the love of Jesus to everyone within her sphere of influence. She is mighty in the the Word of God and knows how to apply the promises and power of the Word to the needs of those around her. She is a woman of faith who inspires me greatly and I am so thankful that she is in my life. I want to share some photos from our trip with you.
Hugs, the very best part of the visit!
This is Leah's porch. What a green thumb she has!
Leah's Tomato Plants
A VERY cool cactus. Leah was kind enough to send one of these babies home with us!
Leah's Patriotic Ivy
The Birdie in the Blooms
Leah and the Peacock
Breakfast at Cracker Barrel before we headed home. Did you know that the first item on their breakfast menu is a healthy one? I was so happy to discover that! It's a feast of eggs, delicious turkey sausage, a multi-grain/apple muffin, low-fat yogurt, fresh grapes and a Gala apple. I applaud them for making that option available to us!!
This will not be our last visit to see Leah and Pepper. It will not be our last visit to meet more SparkFriends!! Again, I remind you that New Orleans is a wonderful city, rich in history, dripping with charm, filled with southern hospitality. Should you decide to reward yourself with SparkVisits, we'd be delighted to show off southeast Louisiana to you!!
A huge thank you to Pepper and Leah for opening their hearts and home to us. Despite the stressful demands of their jobs, somehow or other we're going to get them here so we can do likewise!! We love you and miss you already!!
Friday, September 11, 2009
First, I want to apologize to you for being so scarce lately. As most of you know I was recovering from a big toenail removal. It's all healed up now, though it'll take a year for the nail to grow back, hopefully NOT ingrown, because I do NOT want to go through this again. As I scheduled it, with relief from that miserable ingrown toenail in mind, I thought, I've severed my little toe. How big a deal can losing a toenail be? Right? WRONG! lol That bugger hurt! I now understand why pulling toenails and fingernails out is a popular torture technique! Thank you to the many of you who prayed for me. I appreciate you!! I'm back in my water aerobics classes and SO loving it! My husband will join us for tomorrow's class. I'm excited about him getting to experience it with us!
Now, about my reward. *grin* I've read a lot on SparkPeople about the importance of rewards on this journey of ours toward healthier living. I decided to schedule my rewards starting with 50 pounds of weight loss, then 100. Beyond that is more than I can contemplate just yet. Since I've lost 62 pounds, I had my 50 pound reward planned but with my husband's schedule of being out on his ship 28 days and home 14 days, it's taken until now to bring the plans to pass. We leave in the morning for what we expect will be a five hour drive to Florida to meet PepperLeah and her husband. I'm so excited about getting to meet another SparkFriend!! Last time Bill was home we went down to the bayou, farther southeast of us, and had the great joy of meeting DBLDELITES. For my 100 pound reward, I'm hoping against hope to be able to make the trip to Virginia (12 or 13 hours drive, we're thinking) to meet DawnRobin2 and her family. I can't think of a finer reward than the chance to see my SparkFriends face to face, to have the opportunity to hug these dear friends who have come to mean SO much to me, who are so very important to my world. Should any of you decide to reward yourselves with SparkVisits, I'll remind you that New Orleans is a beautiful and charming city, and I love sharing it with friends!
Friday, September 04, 2009
Have you had any mangos lately? They are SO delish!
Our dearest friends (chosen family) are Vernon and Brandy.
Vernon traveled extensively in his years in the Navy and lived for a season of his life in the Philippines. He continues to broaden my food horizons. One of the best gifts he ever gave me is introducing me to this incredibly sweet and juicy fruit with a texture that is pure comfort food. If you haven't added this delectable treat to your menu, try it!!
Thank you so much for your prayers and your kind words of compassion as I've been healing from this big toenail removal. I never could have imagined it hurting this bad! I'm so thankful that the worst of the pain is over. I hope to be able to be back in full swing with my water aerobics class, with posting to my beloved SparkTeams, and enjoying your sweet company in a more meaningful way now that the fog of acute pain has lifted. I miss you!!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
First of all, thank you for your enthusiasm and for rejoicing with me over 60 pounds of weight lost forever. I meant to say that yesterday but my heart was very heavy and I failed to do so. You are a big, big part of me being able to face the very long road ahead of me. You make it not only endurable but you make it FUN and sweet beyond words. Thank you for being you, for bringing the many flavors of friendship that you add to my everyday life.
Thank you, also, for your compassion and tenderness at a time of sadness. I am continually blown away by how precious my SparkFriends are. You are SO one of my healthy habits and I am so thankful that you are!!
Glittergirl, active leader of Can't Do This On My Own and dear friend, asked me to write a post for the Healthy Living Forum. Sometimes, despite my best intentions, my mind begins to take detours of its own, and instead of writing on a topic related to needs our team members have shared, I found myself making lists in my head. I am a notorious list person. What spilled off my fingertips was a list of suggestions to make us better team members, getting the most and giving the most within the SparkTeam structure. For those of you on this team, I apologize for repeating myself! For the others, I hope these ideas will make your SparkExperience richer and more meaningful.
When Glittergirl asked me to do a Healthy Living post, I started praying about what I should write. I had a couple of ideas, and I hope to pursue them in the future. A different idea began to form as I went about my daily SparkActivities, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized that my very routines are part of my healthy lifestyle, very much so. My SparkRoutines make up a huge part of my everyday life. Through them:
I remain accountable to myself for my nutrition and fitness through my trackers and challenged to move more by the wealth of fitness articles and demonstration videos. So good for my body.
I gain invaluable information through the many articles, news stories, and blogs. So good for my mind.
I bond with my SparkFriends and SparkTeams in ways that give me so much encouragement, challenge me more deeply than I could ever have imagined, and feed my heart and soul. So good for my spirit.
This threefold approach that encompasses the entire being, body, soul, and spirit, is what, in my opinion, makes SparkPeople the outrageous success it is. It's what keeps all of us lit up about the program. It's what makes us want to tell everyone we know about this life-changing place.
I would like to make suggestions for being a good SparkTeamster. This is by no means a comprehensive list of things that will make your SparkExperience more meaningful for your own life and for the lives of those with whom you interact on a regular basis. These ideas are not in any particular order of importance. I welcome and encourage your responses! I am hoping you will be able to give me new suggestions that I can incorporate into my healthier habits within this magnificent community of like-minded folk.
**Whenever possible, log in every single day. When you can't, don't beat yourself up over it. Nobody expects more than your best effort.
**Track! Track!! Track!!!
**Join teams that interest you and participate in them. If a team is not a good fit for you, politely excuse yourself and leave the team. Being on many
teams and not participating serves no purpose for you or for the team.
**Read your Start page every day. It has lots of good information daily.
**Read your FriendsFeed often and comment frequently. It's such a quick and sweet way to let your SparkFriends know you're watching over them.
**Read over your SparkTeam Team Pages every day. Huddles and blog notices can alert you to a friend in need or someone due kudos. New topics and new members may need to be addressed.
**Take note of huddles and blog notices often. Respond with comments when you can. That affirmation feels SO good and keeps members posting.
**Subscribe to all the sticky topics of your SparkTeams.
**Occasionally read threads to which you do not subscribe. Post when you can.
**Read comments to DailySpark blogs and touch base with a poster whose words impressed you.
**Receive notification of new members and greet them on their SparkPage or in SparkMail. A greeting is a precious thing. It says you're important to us. You matter.
**Peruse the New Members section of your Team Page and leave an encouraging word for several of them randomly. A kind word from a stranger can be a big pick-me-up.
**Notice whether members have declared they're looking for a buddy on their SparkPage. Comment or SparkMail to extend friendship.
**Give Goodies liberally, sometimes for no reason at all!
**Post your status often and respond to the status changes of SparkFriends.
**Whether you use your blog for day-to-day journaling or only occasionally for matters that are especially important to you, blog. When your friends blog, if you have time, read them and comment. Read and respond to DailySpark blogs. We all have the need to be heard and acknowledged.
**Post web addresses into the Add a Link feature when it's available so that it hyperlinks directly to the web site you're sharing. That makes it easier for the less than technosavvy.
**Post your favorite recipes and tell your team about them.
**When you find an interesting story, quote or cartoon, share it! Be sure to cite your source when known lest you violate someone's copyright.
**Join your SparkTeam goals.
**Pray for each and every person whose posts you read, if no more than to call their name out to God and to ask His blessings, protection, and grace upon their lives that day. It's a handy, built-in prayer list! What a comfort to know your SparkTeammates are also praying for you as they read your posts.
**Pray for your SparkTeam leaders as often as the Lord brings them to mind.
**Thank your SparkTeam leaders for their hard work and offer your help to them. Like the rest of us, they have busy, demanding lives, challenges and needs. Expressions of appreciation and affirmation go a long, long way.
**Consider joining the Spark Community Team so that new Sparkers will know you're someone they can turn to for help.
**When someone consistently motivates you, encourages you, uplifts you, nominate them as a Spark Motivator.
**Review your SparkPoints page once a day to make sure you've at least touched base with the many tools that are offered to help us succeed.
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