BROOKIEWINS's SparkPeople Blog BROOKIEWINS's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I just had the most surreal feeling I made a great recipe today in the crockpot for an Italian stew for dinner tonight. We were sidetracked because my MIL's brother and wife were in town (from Oregon), and we ended up at our favorite restaurant (and sigh, look it up, it's a 5 star: <BR> <BR> we love love love the service, the people, and the food there. unfortunately, even after a delicious meal, my MIL said in the restroom, "Have you lost weight?" to which I said "Yes, thank you, I'm really try... Thu, 27 Jan 2011 08:16:30 EST 1/23 - A week of reflection, living, and learning I think this week's quote goes to my mom: "Once you have a brain tumor, you see everything differently. Get rid of all that stuff that weighs you down; you have lots to live for." <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's hard to believe that a week ago mom was in the ICU, just hours out of a life saving surgery. This week, she's home, walking, talking, and with the exceptio... Sun, 23 Jan 2011 15:49:14 EST "BEFORE" pics, starting the 28-day bootcamp, and mom's health I had intended to write the 28-day bootcamp challenge blog last week, but I decided to wait until after mom's surgery to do now this blog is for both! <BR> <BR> So first of all, the big update: Mom came through the brain surgery amazingly well. A tumor the size of a kiwi was removed from behind her right ear, and she's been in the hospital since the operation on Thursday. We're hoping she can come home today instead of going to an inpatient rehab (fingers crossed). <BR> <BR> Here'... Mon, 17 Jan 2011 13:57:23 EST one year on SP, and some reflections (technically, it's been a year and a week now, but i was on my honeymoon then!) <BR> <BR> Boy oh boy - a year on SparkPeople! I can't begin to tell you how I've changed. No wait, that's exactly what I'm doing! <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> Last January, when I joined SP, I was like so many, wanting to start a new year out right, with gusto, returning to the plan, getting on track, yadda yadda yadda. I was ready to throw myself into exercise (again) and eating right (again). What i wasn't ready f... Mon, 10 Jan 2011 17:20:56 EST post-honeymoon blog: how i made my week successful so, we're back to reality now, and i have some observations about myself that in some ways surprise me, and in others, reaffirm that i'm headed in the right direction. <BR> <BR> first, despite a couple of days where the wifi connection kept dying in the hotel, i logged in and spun the wheel (at the very least!) every day. just being in contact with y'all made the decisions a little easier every day, because i felt my support team with me everywhere! <BR> <BR> second, i made good on my promi... Sat, 8 Jan 2011 22:06:16 EST pre-honeymoon blog: how i will make this week successful <em>144</em> <em>212</em> <em>129</em> <em>144</em> <em>212</em> <em>129</em> <BR> <BR> we're leaving in the morning for a week of fun and relaxation, and for the past few days i've really pondered what kind of discipline to apply to a trip that's generally designed to go through beer and wine tasting, good romantic dinners, and general indulgence. at one point i realized i was starting to stress about this, not wanting to lose momentum, or confidence that i can still enjoy myself if ... Sat, 1 Jan 2011 22:38:05 EST the month in numbers - it's not always about the scale this is the first month in a long while that i've really been consistent, if not perfect, and am feeling GOOD about how i'm looking and feeling. while i didn't lose weight this month, i wanted to share some other numbers that made me feel good, and hopefully will help others to see what a little change can do! <BR> <BR> DECEMBER NUMBERS: <BR> <BR> # of pushups done: 1110 <em>320</em> <BR> # of miles walked: 12.93 <em>311</em> <BR> # of inches lost: 1.25 (and this is arms only) <em>7</e... Thu, 30 Dec 2010 15:38:45 EST digging deep and asking the hard questions - feedback, please! i've had so many "aha" moments this past week that this one really just seems to be the next logical step! <BR> <BR> twice this week i've found myself in bed, hiding under the covers in the dark (my cat hides out with us briefly in the mornings when she's cold!), actually expending energy to rearrange my schedule so that i can stay in bed another hour. "if i do this, then i could do this...". mind you, during this INCREDIBLY PRECIOUS hour that i'm already wasting, i'm NOT sleeping, which i a... Wed, 29 Dec 2010 15:24:26 EST the power of 10...cents, that is i am the richest woman in the world!! <em>432</em> <BR> <BR> last week i read a great blog (and forgive me, i can't remember who wrote it now!) by a fellow sparker about how she's collected several dollars' worth of money just by finding coins during her runs. and even she said that $11 is quite when you find a penny at a time. <BR> <BR> i thought, "now that's a cool way to remind yourself of runs - i should do that!" and clearly the idea stuck with me, even though i didn't make a firm co... Mon, 27 Dec 2010 16:46:55 EST teeny tiny victory of the week, or maybe of my life even now, i feel silly for writing this, but i just have to give myself kudos. <BR> <BR> yesterday i took the fast food quiz on SP, and while i didn't answer all 12 right, i did get 10. here's the thing - most of those right answers actually were implanted in my brain from reading the SP food challenge emails (like who would've thought that McDonald's kiddie cone was lower in calories than the apple slices??). and i felt pretty good about the quiz. <BR> <BR> so then today, when i opened my ... Tue, 21 Dec 2010 16:56:02 EST finding motivation in everything - even mystery novels! <em>203</em> <em>149</em> <em>203</em> <em>149</em> <em>203</em> <em>149</em> <em>203</em> <em>149</em> <BR> <BR> so i usually find myself close to bedtime with a good book - it just helps my mind relax and clear before i close my eyes, because sleep is often hard for me if something's nagging me. <BR> <BR> i just had to share this passage from robert b. parker's "family honor" (sorry, can't underline), because this just crept right in to my brain and stuck there. have i always fe... Mon, 20 Dec 2010 17:02:53 EST holiday cookies and sticking with it <img src=""> <BR> <BR> these are what i spent my spare time making this weekend - all the sugar and gingerbread that one girl can handle. today i brought mine in for our holiday cookie exchange, and... <BR> <BR> this morning i felt absolutely positive i could manage not to eat any cookies (or fudge, not a huge fudge fan due to the instant sugar coma it causes). when i brought my house in and set it on my desk and didn't even break a lit... Thu, 16 Dec 2010 16:37:51 EST mom has a brain tumor - how do i keep up with this madness?? update 12/21: we're still waiting to hear when the surgery will be, but at least i have some information. mom has an acoustic neuroma (actually, she has two), and she's having most difficulty with staying awake, smell and taste, and equilibrium. she's due to undergo both surgery and gamma knife, though not at the same time. i'll keep everyone updated - thank you all so much for your support!! <BR> <BR> guys, i've put forth my best two left feet this week, with your support. tonight my mom an... Thu, 9 Dec 2010 21:42:59 EST streak of 1, and how much I love being here first, to those who responded to my last blog... <em>304</em> <BR> <BR> last week was a bitter low for me, fighting through weight gain and wacky hormones. and i wrote a blog about feeling tired of beating myself up, asking for support to help me start a fast streak. i had no idea how incredible that support would make me feel. <BR> <BR> LILLYPILLY24 suggested that getting a one-day mini streak helps make the next day easier. and ISLANDBETH says getting up 10 minutes earlier to walk in pl... Tue, 7 Dec 2010 15:32:43 EST tired of beating myself up - seeking support and motivation it's so amazing to think that it's been almost a year since i joined SP. and i've had some of the highest highs and lowest lows this year, and it's just as amazing that a year later, i find myself fighting at ground zero. <BR> <BR> it's been a unique year in terms of life events - we bought a house, my sister got married, i had a thyroidectomy, we got married, and i got a new job (in that order). and really, while i said i didn't want to use any of those things as an excuse, i really have do... Fri, 3 Dec 2010 16:34:07 EST yes, delores, we've found the track... what a whirlwind it's been! and now with 7 more weeks remaining this year, i think it's time for a long overdue blog... <BR> <BR> thanks to everyone for all your comments and support for the wedding! i'm so overwhelmed by the well wishes. considering the moments where i thought that my mom and sister would implode, the entire day was spectacular, even the weather (a breezy 68!). the most amazing thing other than the marriage itself was seeing so many friends and family come together and work... Wed, 10 Nov 2010 16:23:58 EST thank you, and thank you again <em>252</em> <em>252</em> <em>252</em> <em>252</em> <em>252</em> <BR> <BR> this year has just been tremendous, busting the seams of what i thought i knew about myself, stretching my capacity and my world, and sometimes - kicking me in the butt. <BR> <BR> and through the past few months, through the move, the surgery, and now the wedding, sparkpeople has been a place that i come to. sometimes with only enough energy to log in, others to read amazing stories and recipes and feel inspire... Tue, 28 Sep 2010 00:52:21 EST rebound is not a bad word well, folks, it's been an exciting, interesting, frustrating, and exhausting 7 weeks since my thyroidectomy. i have yet even more knowledge to pass on, and for me to remember: <BR> <BR> 1. don't ever let your doctor tell you nothing's wrong - no one knows better than you that you don't feel right. as much as it sucks, keep testing and testing and pursuing it and don't feel bad about doing it. my blood tests were normal, my neck was normal, and yet my thyroid weighed almost 100 grams, buried ... Tue, 14 Sep 2010 17:13:27 EST spark-ing the family <em>205</em> <em>205</em> <em>205</em> <em>205</em> <em>205</em> <BR> <BR> today, with 10 days before surgery (and another month of disability after) i decided to play a game. a family challenge. <BR> <BR> for 28 days, everyone buys into the competition for 10 bucks - i'm inviting mom and dad, DH, my sister, and her DH. here's the jist: <BR> <BR> four goals - you can shoot for one or all (based on what's important to the group): <BR> 1. most miles walked <BR> 2. most AF days <BR> 3. ... Thu, 15 Jul 2010 14:50:25 EST day 1. again. at last i have returned. <BR> <BR> i stepped on the scale this morning, and was momentarily disappointed by the number, but then something amazing happened. i felt energized, determined, and focused. not guilty, not afraid, not defeated. <BR> <BR> and now i know that i have truly changed. it's not about the numbers, it's about feeling healthy and strong and motivated. about spreading that feeling to others when they face their own struggles. <BR> <BR> i have surgery scheduled in 20 days (a... Tue, 6 Jul 2010 16:26:53 EST daily blog 8: change in meds and 'tude changing the medication to right before bed is working. <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> i've made it through two days with minimal pain and dragging, and in the interim, have been working my butt off on wedding plans and all my work projects, even my BA class! i'm trying really hard to balance the pace and the body, but even with the slowness, it's a significant improvement... <BR> <BR> last night the zoo (eg, me and DH, sister and her DH, and the dgos) went for a short but really nice walk after ... Tue, 29 Jun 2010 18:30:17 EST day 4-7: summary and looking forward i know it's cheating a bit, but i'm still really liking the daily blog, so i'll pick up and move right along... <BR> <BR> on friday, my doctor changed my BP meds (again, this is #4 for those who are counting), added an NSAID for chest pain, and scheduled an echo stress test (which i'll be doing later today). i guess, when it came right down to it, i guess i FELT like a patient, symptoms abound, and pumped full of drugs. this is SO not me! i spent so much of the weekend sleeping or feeling po... Mon, 28 Jun 2010 14:29:17 EST daily blog 3: from the sickbed i had to leave work early yesterday because the body was just not cooperating - hot and cold, sweats, lightheaded...just got to be too much, too distracting, to actually get anything done. so i came home, and for the past 36 hours, i've slept and slept and on occasion, i've eaten and had water. <BR> <BR> blergh. <BR> <BR> i'm up now, fed and showered and somewhat coherent, but even taking a shower almost drained my energy, and it is just so disheartening. i'm not giving in for always, but i... Thu, 24 Jun 2010 22:07:13 EST daily blog 2: strength in family bad sweats night (sigh, again), but after having my own internal battle in bed, i got myself into the office. feeling less than terrific, but i'm motivated and have already finished my first 64 ounces of water. <em>91</em> carry on! <BR> <BR> last night was a really cool night for me, and it's carried over into my happy state today. two weeks ago, my sister (9 years younger) and her husband and their two dogs moved into our house. my sister, who's a FT student, offered to make dinner for a... Wed, 23 Jun 2010 14:53:13 EST daily blog 1: trial and error this morning i logged in to find a wonderful message of support on my post from yesterday, and after visiting BAYBELIEVER's page and reading her posts, i'm going to try a daily blog for a week and see how it goes! thank you for the motivation! <BR> <BR> today has been both really average, and really bizarre at the same time. when i woke this morning, i had the bad chills and sweats and utter exhaustion that have been bugging me since last month. not every day, just some days, and it makes ge... Tue, 22 Jun 2010 14:56:25 EST the mini journey i took my 5 minute inspirational pep talk for a long walk this morning... <BR> <BR> over the past two weeks, i've been trying so hard to find a place in me that feels good, physical or otherwise. i've been up and down, and all the while, finding myself in what i thought was unknown territory. i've been scared about what it means to have a mass in my chest/throat while all tests come back normal. i've been referred to the cancer center as a preparation for surgery. and even though it doesn't ... Mon, 21 Jun 2010 13:26:26 EST perseverance, that's a hefty word well, the ride is bumpy, but at least my butt doesn't hurt. <em>20</em> <BR> <BR> i have the good, the bad, and the ugly to share, but really, it's all part of the ride, and i'm persevering. i feel a bit more like the tortoise than the hare right now, but i'm here! <BR> <BR> last week was a bit of a derailment - while the heart is healthy, and the BP meds seem to be a better fit, i found out that i have a mass on my parathyroid. next steps are still unknown, but likely at least a biopsy a... Mon, 7 Jun 2010 15:20:59 EST remember the creed i've been reading many inspirational blogs today, and when i thought about what i wanted to say, i realized that what i need to do is stand up tall, be proud of who i am, and remember the warrior creed. it feels so good to feel the fire again after that tough week - i couldn't have done it without all of you! <em>304</em> <BR> <BR> I am a powerful Warrior. <BR> I can weather any storm. <BR> I am fierce; I am fabulous; I am unstoppable. <BR> My tenacity comes in many forms. <BR> <BR> I her... Thu, 27 May 2010 12:59:00 EST can't keep me down forever! ok, so last week was not exactly what i'd planned. in fact, since the whole blood pressure medication fiasco started (at which point i felt fantastic), life pretty much hasn't been anything that i'd expected. a romantic day in the ER, five dr appts, four different kinds of medication, and here i am three weeks later, recovering, getting my energy back, and trying to unbreak the broken healthy cycle i've so carefully built for me. <BR> <BR> i'm still a bit dazed, but the blood pressure is now... Tue, 25 May 2010 14:40:22 EST emotional eating victory - me and the monkey battle well, it is monday, and it is strange may weather here in sacramento. i guess the natives were feeling restless, and decided to stir things up and see how i fare in the wind! <BR> <BR> things have been hectic this month - first house payment and the joys of realizing we'll never have money again, the blood pressure medication, my sister's battle with endrometrosis and moving to our house - but despite all this, i've really taken a strong foothold in my focus. so as a reward for all of us, i ... Mon, 17 May 2010 14:48:13 EST celebrate the fight last week, my doctor started me on blood pressure medication. me. i'm 36, i'm 65 lbs overweight, and i just had a huge reality check. <BR> <BR> my dad had a heart attack at 52, and had a stint put in to remove the 95% blockage in his anterior artery. when the cardiologist told me i was at serious risk because of my genes, i took it to heart, but i was also 28 and not afraid. <BR> <BR> today i am afraid. <BR> <BR> what does it really mean for me to be happy and healthy? that's one of the ke... Tue, 11 May 2010 12:12:47 EST the first 10 is the hardest well, it's been 4 months and 3 days since i joined SP. and today, i weighed in 10 lbs less than i was when i started. <BR> <BR> some things i've learned along the way: <BR> <BR> 1. i discovered how much i was deceiving myself in not counting those calories. getting on the scale is not a magic trick - it's science. <BR> when calories consumed is less than calories burned = loss, plain and simple. <BR> <BR> 2. i was (still am, but working on it!) completely convinced it won't happen, and it... Mon, 3 May 2010 17:07:55 EST bloggin' bloggin' bloggin'...keep those fingers bloggin'.... i haven't written a blog for a couple of weeks, and i need to catch up! i have some very cool news.... <BR> <BR> first, i am working on week three of my 28-day challenge, and starting to really pick up speed: <BR> - week 1 really focused on getting dinners planned and eaten, and getting into my tracker full speed. <em>341</em> <BR> - week 2 i spent adding in some time on the bike and walks after work. <em>316</em> <BR> - for week 3. i've added in coach nicole's fit, firm and fired up (i... Mon, 19 Apr 2010 15:37:26 EST 28 days - week one! i am ready. <BR> <BR> fast track goals: <BR> 1. prepare healthy lunch every day <BR> 2. eat breakfast every day <BR> 3. focus on positive, reaffirming thoughts (not the scale) <BR> <BR> how i'll get there: <BR> 1. planned dinner and have the pantry loaded for the week <BR> 2. cleaned up the kitchen and found more things in boxes <BR> 3. talked with my honey about supporting me <BR> 4. joined the local, convenient gym <BR> <BR> how i'll make it happen: <BR> 1. write down my fast track goals... Mon, 5 Apr 2010 15:50:31 EST reflections on a month of learning and living this month has been one of the busiest i've had in a long time. closing on the house, moving in, setting up shop, finding my socks and bowls and hairbrush. my sister got married in las vegas. we shopped for alarm systems and sealed the garage floor and found a couch. <BR> <BR> every day during this time, i thought of sparkpeople. even when i didn't have an internet connection, i constructed blogs in my head and used them as my 5 minute pep talk. and while i thought of sparkpeople, i tried ve... Mon, 29 Mar 2010 15:29:06 EST status report - midweek goals assessment <em>243</em> <BR> <BR> (how very work sounding that title is!) <BR> <BR> this week i've known that "normal" wasn't an option, so i made a deal with myself - i'll start learning how to reward myself for real, if i start learning how to follow through on a commitment to a goal. <BR> <BR> this week's goals: <BR> <BR> 1. do 10 pushups a day <BR> 2. get up and go to work every day <BR> 3. do not feel guilty about any choice i make (#1 and #2 notwithstanding, those are part of the deal) <BR> ... Thu, 4 Mar 2010 11:05:50 EST read this again later (because you'll need it) to me: <BR> <BR> i've been composing this blog in my head since last night, when i fell asleep in the middle of NCIS and woke up bewildered at 9:30pm. i've had a lot to think about these past weeks, with the added stress of closing escrow, buying expensive appliances, and getting ready for sister's wedding. seems like there's never enough time, especially at work. it's taken its toll on you, both physically and emotionally, and i want to remind you of a few things while i'm thinking about it... Wed, 3 Mar 2010 19:22:40 EST i forgive me last night when i was lying awake crushing myself with all my worries, i spent some time trying to focus on what things i've done to make myself proud, and not so much on the fact that when i stress, i eat. and drink. and eat some more. i just couldn't find it in me, though, to let go of all the bad. <BR> <BR> i rolled back my memory to a great SP article on breaking habits; another about living, learning, and improving; and finally i came to a shocking conclusion - i hadn't ever given mysel... Mon, 22 Feb 2010 12:11:51 EST EEK! ack! i did it! OK, this time is different. that was post i responded to, and i meant what i said. but how do i do that? what does it mean to be committed, and to hold myself accountable to me for beating my own expectations?? <BR> <BR> it came in my email box this morning - the Giants 5K plate to plate run in San Francisco, June 12th. can i run a 5K? not today! have i ever tried? heck no! <BR> <BR> am i scared to death? absolutely. <BR> <BR> am i going? you beat your sweet bippy i am. <BR> <BR> <em>300... Wed, 17 Feb 2010 13:49:31 EST boy have i missed this! i've spent the past three days in a hospital room with my fiance, who's undergoing testing for seizures. sleeping when i can, eating when i can, and stretching as often as i can. yesterday i walked/ran the stairs and just jumped in place because i was so agitated, but i can't do it in his room because the poor guy's wired up and can't even walk to the bathroom without supervision. <BR> <BR> so i got home around midnight last night, exhausted and unable to sleep. i woke up extremely groggy th... Wed, 10 Feb 2010 16:19:58 EST i eat out and win! so my number one goal of the challenge is to really learn to eat out and be proud of the choices i make (my favorite quote is "if you're eating out to celebrate - celebrate. if you're eating out to replace a meal, be sensible, and don't have the dessert!"). <BR> <BR> so today was my first attempt at conquering the party beast within me. we went to BJs, which is my favorite stop off down the street from the office. they brew their own beer, which is a distraction unto itself, but they also s... Fri, 5 Feb 2010 19:02:34 EST dealing with the stress <em>52</em> <BR> <BR> so next week we're heading down to the bay area for a seizure lab study, and my fiance will be hooked up to electrodes and video and other assorted machinery for several days. because his seizures are nocturnal, someone has to be there to push a button when the seizures start. i'm really glad he's having the evaluation; hopefully he'll be a good surgery candidate after we learn more about where and how and why. <BR> <BR> but i'm stressed. i have to take my work on th... Thu, 4 Feb 2010 17:55:00 EST the support does make a difference after sitting down post-dinner and doing all my entry, i found myself wondering what was going to be available to have for snack later because i hadn't eaten enough to feel satisfied, but i was willing to give it some time to come. well, the tracker doesn't lie, and i'm just touching the upper end of my goal for the day (calorie wise), and was right in line with everything else. i felt good about it, but all of a sudden i felt deprived. <BR> <BR> but that's not how it's supposed to be. never... Tue, 2 Feb 2010 22:59:08 EST you can do anything in 28 days believe it or not, this was said to me yesterday by a coworker, completely out of context for the challenge, but even as i heard it, i said, "well of course i can!" <BR> <BR> so what does 28 days mean for me? in the context of the conversation, it was a huge win for extending a project deadline, and felt like way too little time. when i look at the challenge, however, i still see that glimmer of fear: "can i make it that long?" "what happens if i fail?" and all the rest of those negative tho... Tue, 2 Feb 2010 14:53:50 EST when you have lemons - merengue, or something... so last week i really wanted to eat well and see how the nutrition tracker worked for me, only I spent most of time with a box of tissue, some nyquil, and my blankie. i didn't even have the energy to change the channel, and ended up watching the PSX90 infomercial at least twice. blech. <BR> <BR> so my SP buddy karen wrote me this weekend, and gave me the pep i needed to make the last hurdle over my cold and get back up on my feet. i didn't lose any weight last week, but i'm here and motivate... Mon, 25 Jan 2010 19:04:06 EST it's always an adventure yesterday was the first day i tracked nutrition on spark, and i was really excited to try it. i downloaded the app for my phone, and tracked every last morsel throughout the day (although we ate out, so it didn't take much!). <BR> <BR> when we got home, i could tell that i'd be very sick by today, and just as i was drinking my nighttime airborne, my fiance announced that his divriticulitis had flared, and off we went to the ER. when my head hit the pillow at 3am, i hurt everywhere, and i jus... Mon, 18 Jan 2010 21:04:58 EST reading is good i spent a good portion of the day yesterday feeling sorry for myself over not having the energy to feel good. and i thought, but why? not feeling good is part of life, and i can tell others it's ok, but why not me. <BR> <BR> i got my copy of the spark today, and reading just the introduction was enough to remind me. if i can't tell me what i want, how can i tell anyone else? and really, i am my own worst critic. <BR> <BR> so my motto today is - take a chill pill, my dear, and give yourself ... Sat, 16 Jan 2010 21:34:33 EST it's another day i've been focusing so much on keeping sources of inspiration around me, and i know it's been working. ironically, while (finally) getting to my breakfast this morning - yes, i still want to keep that protein coming - i was perusing a success story online, and the woman's advice was to "savor and appreciate everything you eat". i looked down at my fruit and greek yogurt for the first time since i'd picked it up and started shoveling. <BR> <BR> it was a really nice moment, realizing that while... Thu, 14 Jan 2010 14:14:12 EST