Monday, October 21, 2013
I got back from Switzerland over a week ago and now am packing for Florida. What a contrast! In the middle of all the travel, I managed to get a UTI and a nasty cold. The UTI is gone, the cold is not but I'm feeling better and got more meds this morning at the doctor's office.
The trip to the Alps was wonderful and not what I expected. Usually, I spend the afternoons hiking and enjoying the views. I get up early and walk before breakfast, too. But we had thick fog the whole 4 days, except when it was raining or, on the second to last night, snowing. Everyone at the retreat agreed that it was a good thing because most of us ended up getting more rest that way. And many came to the retreat in serious need of that rest, both spiritually and physically. It was like a cocoon of peaceful, comforting fog that enveloped us. On the last evening, the sun came out between the clouds and we got our first glimpses of the snow-covered peaks. It was a much more dramatic sight than just streaming sunshine. Personally, I was happy to have had a chance to sing at one of the services. It was pretty much the first time I had sung in public since my dad's funeral.
Here's the song: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gmVzbjxwl4
Now, it's off to Florida. It's turning into a bit of a crisis trip. We were supposed to close on the deal to short sell my parents' condo on October 30. Now I'm not able to provide the potential buyer with the financial paperwork he needs from the condo association. The man who's been handling (or NOT handling) the books and finances since Dad died isn't answering my calls, nor those from my cousin, who is another of the 4 owners in the small complex. I understand that this man is facing foreclosure on his own home, and has a lot on his plate right now. But he is making this more complicated by not responding. If I can't get the information from him that I need to give the buyer, the deal will fall through. That would mean the condo would go into foreclosure which would be a negative for all four owners in the complex.
On the UP side, the plans for my father's art exhibition at the local museum. This, and not the condo deal, is the big reason why I'm traveling to FL at this time. The show opens on November 4. The young man who is organizing things there is really fun to work with, and seems even more excited about the show than I am. It is great that at least this project is falling into place nicely as we email back and forth about the details.
In ALL these things, I'm trying to stay positive and thankful. I know that there are lessons in these financial messes somewhere, even if I don't see them now.
In the eating and weight loss area, I'm still just kind of holding steady. I'm not able to participate in the challenges as I'd like to, or exercise as intensively as I'd like to. But it is what it is for now and I refuse to stay discouraged even if I do fall into that pit from time to time.
Today, I realized that I'll qualify for a senior pass for the public transportation system in Stuttgart in less than a year. I'm not sure how I feel about that!
Thanks for reading, dear Spark buddies! It may be awhile before I get to thank you for commenting, but do know that I read and appreciate each message! Hope to have time to check in again by next weekend, after the jet lag has passed!
Monday, October 07, 2013
I'm off to the Swiss Alps for a 4-day retreat tomorrow. It will be a 7-hour train ride. I look forward to it - time to relax, read, listen to music and some sermon tapes, enjoy the scenery. Good fellowship, times of worship, food and fun await me at the top of the mountain!
When I get back, it will be time to start the 5% challenge - my goal is to lose 7.5 pounds. I can do that. Glad to be back with the Firecracker team this time around - some familiar faces among the members and lots of enthusiastic new ones, too!
Go, Firecrackers! and Go, Azuritas!
Thursday, October 03, 2013
I posted September goals but with two big challenges and various sub-challenges going on and multiple ways to track, report and - of course - achieve them, I'm not going to make a separate list for October. My Is that OK with everyone? Good! I'm glad you all agree with me on that one!
Basically, the plan is to stick to the plan. On the BLC (Go Azure!) we post Course goals each Wednesday, then report back the following week on how we did. Then we post what we need to tweak, add, or change up. Here's my update for the past week
1. Track food and exercise daily.
2. Coke Zero reduction. It was a bit more than the week before, but still less than it had been.
3. 30 minutes of exercise a day. If the feet are giving me trouble, then do seated cardio a la Coach Nicole or ride my bike.
I got new insoles and new shoes to help with the plantar fasciitis and it's getting better! Got in a couple of longer pole walks last weekend!
4. No eating after 9 PM. All but one day.
5. Take my vitamins! Missed a day.
6. Minimum 6 hours of sleep per night. 7 or 8 is even better. Got only 6 on two nights.
7. Blog once a week.
8. Post on the Azure thread at least 3 times.
9. Post BLC Weekend challenge stuff.
10. File my German tax return.
In the week ahead, I've also committed to 15 minutes a day of housecleaning and 5 short sessions of ST together with my Azure buddies.
On Tuesday, I take off for a 4-day retreat in Switzerland. REALLY looking forward to that!
Saturday, September 28, 2013
I've been back to tracking my food on SP this month and have been doing well about 80% of the time. As I think I mentioned in an earlier post, I do well at the beginning of the week because I plan and prep meals on the weekend. Pretty simple strategy that just involves making a big batch of something, portioning it out, and eating the "leftovers" for packed lunches and/or dinner.
Towards the end of the week, though, around Thursday when my stash of little boxes starts to run out, I tend to get off track. Solution? Increase that stash of little boxes! As I get back in the big batch habit, this will happen, but I'm also thinking of investing part of my tax refund in a small freezer, something I've been thinking of getting for a long time. My tiny fridge's tiny freezer doesn't hold much! I think it would also be a money-saver in the long run because not only can I freeze casseroles and portions of soup, I can stock up on things when they're on sale.
Along with just plain ol' tracking, I've also started measuring again. With some of my go-to meals, I had gotten in the habit of just eye-balling the ingredients. My burritos (the meal, not the little donkey, Deeva!) were getting bigger and bigger: just a leeetle more avocado, what was supposed to be 20 grams of cheese was probably more like 30 or 40, you get the idea.
That was OK back when I reached goal and actually needed to increase calories a bit for maintenance. But that was a couple of years ago, hello!?
On the BLC this weekend, we've been challenged to track every BLT - Bite, Lick and Taste - of the food we eat, so this is good encouragement to me to be honest with myself and with my best buddies, the Spark trackers.
Good weekend, all!
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