BE-THE-CHANGE's SparkPeople Blog BE-THE-CHANGE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Join our Challenge <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am the co-leader of a Biggest Loser team (no relation to the show except for the name) called the Purple Passion. We have room for a few members for the Winter Challenge. If you are looking for a small team that is very encouraging, this may be what you want. The teams are private, so what happens on our threads stays on our threads. <BR> <BR> These are the team expectations: <BR> <BR>... Wed, 8 Nov 2017 09:00:20 EST Purple Passion I am the co-leader of a Biggest Loser team (no relation to the show except for the name) called the Purple Passion. We have room for a couple of members for the Summer Challenge. If you are looking for a small team that is very encouraging, this may be what you want. The teams are private, so what happens on our threads stays on our threads. <BR> <BR> These are the team expectations: <BR> <BR> We compete against 10 other teams to be the Biggest Losing Team over the course of our challenge... Sun, 21 May 2017 15:23:42 EST 02-18-2017 I feel like I am starting to turn a corner. I have been pretty down for a few months now. But today I am feeling better than I have in a while. <BR> <BR> I made a few small changes this week to make it easier to manage my time and keep track of everything I need to do. It really feels good. I am going to continue this for the upcoming week until I have things somewhat "under control". I have figured out how to get my personal, work, and volunteer calendars to all sync in one place. That shou... Sat, 18 Feb 2017 23:25:31 EST 02-07-2017 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tracking... Tue, 7 Feb 2017 14:00:08 EST 02-05-2017 So far so good - have tracked all my food for five days now. I forget how much it helps - and how quickly the calories can add up! It would be easier if I didn't have high blood pressure and need to watch my sodium. Lunch at work is the most difficult meal for me. There are so many frozen meals out there that are great as far as calories and nutrients go, but they are just loaded with sodium. <BR> <BR> I am working on getting more steps in, but it is so easy to slack there since I sit at a ... Sun, 5 Feb 2017 19:01:44 EST 01-31-2017 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I hereby agree and commit to take the following steps to improve my accountability to myself and increase my chances for weight loss success: <BR> <BR> 1. I will not let one small slip-up convince me that I'm stupid, worthless, or a lost cause. I will respect myself by refusing to engage in verbal self-abuse, and I will find positive ways to comfort and support myself when I’m having... Tue, 31 Jan 2017 18:07:24 EST 01-05-2017 Today I signed up to walk a 5K at the end of March. "Just a Short Run" is the first place I met some Sparkers in person. The 5K is the day before my birthday - I have 79 days to get myself in good enough shape to do this. I know I couldn't do it right now. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 5 Jan 2017 17:54:17 EST 01-04-2017 <img src=""> <BR> Today has been a series of "fails" but I am determined not to let it get to me. Wed, 4 Jan 2017 23:40:48 EST 01-03-2017 I am working on those baby steps to get things back on track. This holiday break was a particularly difficult one. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 3 Jan 2017 19:18:22 EST 01-02-2017 <img src=""> <BR> My grandsons went home today. I am slowly putting my house back in order. I still need to get my journal set up, but my thoughts are not entirely in order yet. Mon, 2 Jan 2017 20:58:04 EST 01-01-2017 This is my song for the year - "Everyday People" - and a version I had never seen before, with the Family Stone and Prince. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>u7l0u8 </link> <BR> <BR> My word for the year is "determined". I am going to achieve my goals for this year. <BR> <BR> Ten years ago, I had a list of 10 resolutions. The first five had to do with my health. The next four were personal items. The last was to be nicer to my one SIL. <BR> <BR> Eight years ago, ... Sun, 1 Jan 2017 15:11:27 EST 12-31-2016 <img src=""> Happy New Year to all my Spark friends. Let's make 2017 our year! Sat, 31 Dec 2016 23:55:46 EST 12-30-2016 I didn't get much of anything done. It was my middle son's birthday and my other kids came over, as well as my niece and her family. We spent the day visiting. <BR> <BR> I am down to the biggest items on my decluttering list. I have to finish paperwork and clean out the pantry and the fridge. I will not get these things finished until my grandsons head back home. As long as it is done before I go back to work on Tuesday, I'll be happy. Sat, 31 Dec 2016 06:24:13 EST 12-29-2016 These are the two men I have been spending the past few days with: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Gino, age 4 <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Frankie, age 2 Thu, 29 Dec 2016 21:56:32 EST 12/27 - 12/29/2016 Continuing my discarding/purging/decluttering - <BR> <BR> Done on 12/27 <BR> <BR> 1 Old CDs <BR> 2 Gifts you don’t want/use <BR> 3 Old electronics <BR> 4 Purses you never use <BR> 5 Change purses/wallets you never use <BR> 6 Old phones <BR> 7 Knickknacks that are taking up space <BR> <BR> Done on 12/28 <BR> <BR> 1 Worn out sheets <BR> 2 Old pillows <BR> 3 Frayed or stained towels <BR> 4 Frayed or stained washcloths <BR> 5 Tattered/worn sponges <BR> 6 Promo t-shirts you never wear <BR> 7 ... Thu, 29 Dec 2016 21:54:06 EST 12-26-2016 - Part II I have a friend, also named Deb, who is just about a year younger than me. Our oldest boys are the same age (now 34) and we met each other when they were 4 and in the same YMCA pre-school class. She and I have struggled with our weight over the years, although I was always larger than she was. <BR> <BR> Just before Thanksgiving she was diagnosed with aggressive renal cancer. She spent the holiday in the hospital after they removed one of her kidneys. <BR> <BR> Thankfully she is doing very w... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 22:15:43 EST 12/26/2016 My discards for today: <BR> <BR> 1 Books you don't enjoy <BR> 2 DVDs you don't watch <BR> 3 Delete music you don't enjoy from library <BR> 4 Cancel digital services you don't use <BR> <BR> Although I have done the electronic deleting, I think I am going to make another run through them before the end of the week. I deleted several more email subscriptions today and it feels good! The books and DVDs went into my donation to the vets, which was picked up this morning. Tomorrow I tackle the wo... Mon, 26 Dec 2016 22:09:15 EST 12/25/2016 <img src=""> Sun, 25 Dec 2016 15:29:37 EST 12/24 - 12/25/2016 Catching up for the past 2 days: <BR> <BR> 12/24 <BR> 1 Holiday lights that don’t work <BR> 2 Boxes <BR> 3 Broken or scratched sunglasses <BR> 4 Scarves that you never wear <BR> <BR> 12/25 <BR> 1 Wrapping paper scraps (yes, I was still wrapping today) <BR> 2 Empty jars or storage containers <BR> 3 Delete/unsubscribe to store emails <BR> 4 Ragged tshirts <BR> <BR> I have now done 36 out of 60 in 9 days. I am right on target. <BR> <BR> <BR> 60 THINGS TO TOSS OUT (OR DONATE) <BR> IN THE NE... Sun, 25 Dec 2016 15:25:59 EST 12-19 thru 12-23-2016 It's been a very busy week, but I didn't think it had been this long since I posted. I have been working on getting rid of things each day. I have created some mess with all the presents I have to wrap but that will be done tomorrow. <BR> <BR> Here are my tallies for the week: <BR> <BR> 12/19 <BR> 1 Out of date magazines <BR> 2 Tarnished jewelry <BR> 3 Make up bags you never use <BR> <BR> 12/20 <BR> 1 Worn out shoes <BR> 2 Ragged nail accessories <BR> 3 Hair accessories you have multiples ... Fri, 23 Dec 2016 21:00:46 EST 12-18-2016 Today I worked on clearing away some paper in my office. <BR> <BR> 1 Old receipts you don't need <BR> 2 Scraps of mail <BR> 3 Expired coupons <BR> 4 Old gift cards you can't use <BR> 5 Product samples <BR> <BR> TOTAL - 14 out of 60 done in 2 days. I do expect this to slow as I get into more difficult areas, so I am trying to get the easier items done first. <BR> <BR> I did some old paperwork, but that is not finished yet. That is going to take me a bit of time. I did get some things to hel... Sun, 18 Dec 2016 19:58:46 EST 12-17-2016 - Part II I cleaned out my dresser and hit a number of items on the list. I filled about 1/2 a trash can and came up with a few items to donate as well. <BR> <BR> I got 9 items done - <BR> <BR> 1 Worn out hair ties <BR> 2 Unmatched earrings <BR> 3 Worn out or unmatched socks <BR> 4 Out of date makeup products <BR> 5 Out of date hair products <BR> 6 Out of date skin care products <BR> 7 Worn out undergarments <BR> 8 Expired medications <BR> 9 Old nail polish <BR> <BR> <img src="http://ph... Sun, 18 Dec 2016 17:47:58 EST 12-17-2016 As part of our Purple Passion challenges, we have one this week that I always like. It is getting exercise in while decluttering the house - we are challenged to sort, clean, move, and toss. <BR> <BR> Try as I might, I always fall behind on the clutter and so this challenge is always needed! I also came across this list on Facebook today and I have decided to incorporate it into the rest of this week's challenge. I want to start the new year off right, so I am going to accelerate things on ... Sat, 17 Dec 2016 18:33:26 EST 12-08-2016 <img src=""> <BR> Our tree has been up for a week, but still not decorated. I did get new lights, which my husband put on the tree yesterday. It's hard to tell, but they are all purple! Thu, 8 Dec 2016 21:51:27 EST 12-1-2016 <img src=""> <BR> It's still the 1st if you haven't slept. Fri, 2 Dec 2016 02:15:48 EST 11-24-2016 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I am thankful for my daughter, Angie, and my sister/friends, Di and Dawn. These three ladies are my strength. <BR> <BR> I am thankful for Red, my daughter's husband, who loves her as much as I do and takes great care of her. I don't have to worry about her as long as he is there. <BR> <BR> I am thankful for my two grandsons, Gino and Frankie, who always make me smile. <BR> <BR> I am than... Thu, 24 Nov 2016 06:37:06 EST 11-23-2016 For many, it's been a rough year. Sometimes it's hard to see that we still have many things to be grateful for. I find that this list helps me. <BR> <BR> 1. What are the things you use every day that you are thankful for? <BR> 2. Who are the people in your life you can talk to about anything? <BR> 3. Who are the people in your life who always make you smile? <BR> 4. Who are the people in your life who always make you laugh and forget your worries? <BR> 5. What energizes you? <BR> 6. What are... Wed, 23 Nov 2016 07:53:50 EST 11-21-2016 If you pray, please say a prayer for my Mom. If not, send some good thoughts her way. My stepfather passed away yesterday. It was their 37th wedding anniversary on November 11th. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 21 Nov 2016 08:08:37 EST 11-18-2016 One of my favorites... <BR> <BR> Desiderata by Max Erhmann <BR> <BR> Go placidly amid the noise and the haste, <BR> and remember what peace there may be in silence. <BR> <BR> As far as possible, without surrender, <BR> be on good terms with all persons. <BR> Speak your truth quietly and clearly; <BR> and listen to others, <BR> even to the dull and the ignorant; <BR> they too have their story. <BR> Avoid loud and aggressive persons; <BR> they are vexatious to the spirit. <BR> <... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 18:19:04 EST 11-14-2016 <img src=""> Mon, 14 Nov 2016 08:17:15 EST 10-31-2016 Purple Passion - The Winter Challenge I am the co-leader of a Biggest Loser team (no relation to the show except for the name) called the Purple Passion. We have room for a couple of members for the Winter Challenge. If you are looking for a small team that is very encouraging, this may be what you want. The teams are private, so what happens on our threads stays on our threads. <BR> <BR> These are the team expectations: <BR> <BR> We compete against other teams (usually 10 or so) to be the Biggest Losing Team over the course ... Mon, 31 Oct 2016 18:18:07 EST 09-11-2016 If you have known me for a while, you have probably read this blog before. <BR> <BR> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ <BR> <BR> I had a brother, several step-brothers, a brother-in-law, and a step-uncle all of whom worked on Wall Street and whose companies had offices in the World Trade Center. I spent 9/11/01 desperately trying to reach family members to make sure everyone was OK. I learned that the brother who worked in Brooklyn - not Manhattan - was on his way to a meeting at the Towers but was tha... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 22:20:27 EST 09-07-2016 I know the date says that today is the 8th but it's 3 a.m. and I haven't been to bed yet. I just spent 6 hours at the ER with my niece. I came home when they decided to admit her. They don't know what's wrong with her but her heart rate is too fast and her blood pressure is too low. Good thoughts would be appreciated. Thu, 8 Sep 2016 03:02:08 EST 09-06-2016 I came across this using SparkCoach today and I really like the imagery. I need to keep this in front of me at all times. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here is a link to the original image. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ramid.asp </link> Tue, 6 Sep 2016 22:23:47 EST 09-04-2016 and 09-05-2016 I was planning on a quiet weekend at home. My husband is out of town, helping my son and his family get settled in their new home. I was planning to spend Saturday with my daughter (which I did) and then the next two days were going to be spent cleaning and working. Instead I watched my soon-to-be 4 year old great-niece Sunday evening and overnight into Monday afternoon. Then I watched my two great-nephews this evening so my niece and her husband could go out for their anniversary. I got some... Mon, 5 Sep 2016 22:02:29 EST 09-03-2016 My daughter (PRETTYKITTY26) is getting married three weeks from today. It is going to be a very laid back, casual affair, but there are still things to be done. We spent this afternoon together, taking care of some things and planning what to do about others. I feel much better now, and I think she does too. <BR> <BR> I have had lymphedema in both my legs for many years and I can't remember the last time I wore a dress. I wore fancy pants suits to both of my sons' weddings. However, my daugh... Sat, 3 Sep 2016 21:18:08 EST 09-02-2016 I live in Pittsburgh and it is a city of bridges. Today there was a fire on one of the main bridges into the city and the bridge has been closed indefinitely due to structural damage. <BR> <BR> No one was hurt and at first people were posting on social media about traffic delays, etc. But eventually people started to develop a sense of humor about the situation. What else can you do? I liked this image the best. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 2 Sep 2016 22:58:54 EST 09-01-2016 It's been a rough summer and I am glad it's over. September will be very busy, but I am hoping it won't compare to the past two months. <BR> <BR> I've been thinking about having my DNA tested and I finally did it a few weeks ago. The results are now in, and I am almost disappointed that there were no real surprises. I've always thought I was more Irish than anything else, with German not too far behind. A while back we learned that we were also Slovakian. My results showed: <BR> <BR> <img ... Thu, 1 Sep 2016 22:46:05 EST Purple Passion - The Fall Challenge I am the co-leader of a Biggest Loser team (no relation to the show except for the name) called the Purple Passion. We have room for a couple of members for the Fall Challenge. If you are looking for a small team that is very encouraging, this may be what you want. The teams are private, so what happens on our threads stays on our threads. <BR> <BR> These are the team expectations: <BR> <BR> We compete against other teams (usually 10 or so) to be the Biggest Losing Team over the course of... Wed, 10 Aug 2016 16:25:19 EST 06-17-2016 I've been having a tough time since Sunday. It should have been a great day. My daughter Angie and I are co-founders of Proud Haven, an organization that works to help homeless LGTBQ+ youth in our area. Eventually we plan to open a shelter. Sunday was our organization's second time participating in Pittsburgh's Pride activities. We had an awesome day at Pittsburgh Pride - we could really see how far our organization has come in just a year. Last year it was just Angie and I - this year ... Fri, 17 Jun 2016 23:20:37 EST 06-12-2016 <img src=""> <BR> My heart breaks. Sun, 12 Jun 2016 22:17:09 EST 06-01-2016 We had a very enjoyable weekend with my grandsons. On Saturday, all three of my children were here as well. These days, being surrounded by my family is all it takes to make me happy. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Gino will be 4 at the end of August and Frankie will be 2 in November. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here the boy... Wed, 1 Jun 2016 20:03:52 EST 05-11-2016 <img src=""> <BR> Today is the 2nd anniversary of my dad's death. I miss him more than ever. Wed, 11 May 2016 23:17:36 EST 05-10-2016 We went to my great-nephew's orchestra concert last night. Nelson is in 4th grade and plays the viola. He had a duet last night while the larger bands were changing places. He did very well! I would have been a nervous wreck. <BR> <BR> I couldn't get both of them from my vantage point, but this is Nelson playing the duet. <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 10 May 2016 13:39:31 EST 05-02-2016 There is a really interesting article in the New York Times today. It is titled "After 'The Biggest Loser,' Their Bodies Fought to Regain Weight". A scientist at a federal research center had the idea to follow the Season 8 'Biggest Loser' contestants for six years after the final night. The project was the first to measure what happened to people over as long as six years after they had lost large amounts of weight with intensive dieting and exercise. They may have gotten some insights in... Mon, 2 May 2016 13:12:47 EST 05-01-2016 If you asked me, I would have said I hadn't posted a blog in a month or so. Boy, how time flies! <BR> <BR> I've been busy at work, with tax season, with some Spark guests, and then sick. This week I attended a conference for my nonprofit work on Thursday and Friday and still worked both evenings after the conference. I was also working just now, because no one reviews anything until the last minute. And I'm not perfect. <BR> <BR> It's been a big week for our nonprofit. On Wednesday we h... Sun, 1 May 2016 19:56:47 EST 02-22-2016 Wow, I didn't realize I missed the whole weekend. My husband was feeling sick all weekend so we didn't do much. We both worked a lot of hours last week and pretty much crashed on Friday night. <BR> <BR> Saturday I spend working on tax returns. I generally don't mind doing taxes, unless the person owes a lot of money and didn't realize it before I tell them. I always want to say "don't kill the messenger". I know they are angry at the situation, not me, but it still feels lousy. <BR> <B... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 20:25:38 EST 02-19-2016 <img src=""> <BR> This is how I feel. Fri, 19 Feb 2016 23:15:09 EST 02-18-2016 I apparently fell asleep in the middle of posting last night. It was another long day at work. Fri, 19 Feb 2016 07:25:18 EST 02-17-2016 There is a water main break near the end of my street. Right now we have no water. Here's to hoping we can shower in the morning! UPDATE - we have water this morning! Wed, 17 Feb 2016 23:56:29 EST