CHRISTURTLE's SparkPeople Blog CHRISTURTLE's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community This has to be goodbye, for a while. This is a really hard blog to write, unbelieveably hard, and one which is going to require a large box of tissues to write. <BR> <BR> For the past months my health has not been good - no one major thing, but just one health problem after another. These past weeks I have been having trouble with being able to eat anything and keep it down. No trouble eating, just that it wouldn't stay where it was meant to. Constant visits to my doctor who did all manner of tests and found nothing there to ex... Sun, 24 Apr 2011 17:27:19 EST Of sunshine, walking, Easter and an influx of tourists... I just want to thank those wonderful fellow Sparkers, friends and team mates who read and gave their opinion on the question I asked in yesterday's blog. Read them a short while ago, had tears in my eyes while doing so, but they were tears of gratitude for having people such as you in my life, telling me what I need to hear, giving their honest opinion when asked. You are all such a blessing in my life. <BR> <BR> I finally got some exercise yesterday - walked to the main street for a little ... Tue, 19 Apr 2011 17:20:31 EST My exercise yesterday? A giant leap of faith! What follows below is something I just posted on the Caregivers' team daily chat board. I am still so uncertain as to whether I did the right or wrong thing, keep telling myself I need this, I need time out for myself if I'm to be able to be there for Dad as I need to be. I would appreciate your thoughts on whether or not I have done the right thing... <BR> <BR> ..Yesterday I took a giant leap of faith, as a result of the constant reminders from my friends of my promise, and at the suggesti... Mon, 18 Apr 2011 16:41:20 EST Well, I 'think' life is back to normal... These past weeks seem to have been filled with one thing after another going wrong, but, as the old song says,' there is a season, turn, turn, turn...' <BR> <BR> Dad is holding his own, still just a matter of time, but the immediate danger has passed and although there is less of the Dad of old there than before, we are still blessed with being able to visit with him, and I go feed him his meals each day, sit holding his hand, and at least now he isn't in any pain, nor is he worrying about e... Sun, 17 Apr 2011 18:11:20 EST I'm back, briefly... Firstly, sorry about my complete disappearance from Spark People for a few days, but Dad needed me by his side constantly, and I also had to finish the floor to ceiling clean of the old house, which I fitted in when Dad was a little better and was sleeping while one of the wonderful nursing staff sat with him. Deal was that if he woke, they would call immediately and I'd drop what I was doing and return. As for sleep, I've managed to get a few hours each day, so doing ok. <BR> <BR> As things... Tue, 12 Apr 2011 18:48:53 EST Update on Dad Dad's heart is failing, he is on oxygen, he wasn't expected to last the night. I spent most of it with him, but when the meds took effect and the pain lessened to allow him to sleep peacefully and his signs leveled off and stayed there, I came home for a few hour's sleep, to feed the animals, etc. <BR> <BR> Dad was confused for most of the time, and in pain, but he did say three things clearly to me - <BR> first, that he is waiting for Mum to come and take him home and he wants to go with he... Fri, 8 Apr 2011 15:45:29 EST Positivity Blog #2... *First aid all day, something I dread as it involves lots of time kneeling, squatting and crawling round on the floor - I acutally SQUATTED without even realizing it - I haven't been able to do that in at least 5 years. Not saying it wasn't a little painful, but that has been a long term goal of mine, to be able to squat! Even wrote a blog about it many moons ago, lol.. <BR> * We were given our days for practical placement at Eventide, on the wards, working with real people (!) yesterday. My ... Thu, 7 Apr 2011 16:15:58 EST Positivity blog #1... - The sun is shining. <BR> - I slept for 9 hours last night - not in bed, but who cares, I slept. <BR> - Second last day of this term of my Aged Care course. After tomorrow I have a 3 week break. <BR> - Achieved a lot at the house yesterday. Can see things really drawing to a close now. <BR> - Looking forward to being free of the house, of embracing this new chapter of my life. <BR> - I am taking some of the slow cooked curried sausages I made yesterday for lunch at class. <BR> - Thanks to te... Wed, 6 Apr 2011 18:11:28 EST Of caregiver children, guilt, loss, and grief... I am a firm believer in things coming into our life at the time they will have the most positive impact. Yesterday was one such day for me, not for any huge, bolt out of the blue moment, simply because I was huddling first thing yesterday morning... <BR> <BR> I usually huddle first thing, staying completely focused on what I'm doing, then exit from the computer till later in the day. Yesterday I glanced below the list of my teams I was huddling with and found 'featured teams'. Normally I wou... Tue, 5 Apr 2011 16:59:46 EST 'The importance of walking', guaranteed to make you smile... The Importance of Walking <BR> <BR> Walking can add minutes to your life. <BR> This enables you at 85 years old <BR> to spend an additional 5 months in a nursing <BR> home at $7000 per month.. <BR> <BR> My grandpa started walking <BR> five miles a day when he was 60. <BR> Now he's 97 years old <BR> and we don't know where he is. <BR> <BR> I like long walks, <BR> especially when they are taken <BR> by people who annoy me. <BR> <BR> The only reason I would take up walking <BR> is so that I... Mon, 4 Apr 2011 19:46:08 EST Get it together! I had forgotten this song, suddenly wanted to hear it again first thing this morning, and think its lyrics are far better than any I could write, so far as 'getting it together' is concerned when it comes to the way we see ourselves. <BR> <BR> Please, click on the link, watch, listen, read... promise it will be worth your while if you are in need of a reminder about our own attitude and the way it shapes our life. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>feature=fvsr </lin... Fri, 1 Apr 2011 21:30:38 EST A simple way we can help Japan, no money involved... Copied from SIRIRADHA's blog, and yes, to me it is a day late, but surely the strength of our prayers, or their effect, isn't lessened simply because the date may be wrong... at least it's something we can ALL do to help. <BR> <BR> To All People Around the World <BR> <BR> Please send your prayers of love and gratitude to water at the nuclear plants in Fukushima, Japan! <BR> <BR> By the massive earthquakes of Magnitude 9 and surreal massive tsunamis, more than 10,000 people are still miss... Thu, 31 Mar 2011 14:52:49 EST Of mammograms and dental x-rays and protecting ourselves... (only short) Copied from a blog by SIRIRADHA, because it is worthy of being spread far and wide. <BR> <BR> 'On Wednesday, Dr. Oz had a show on the fastest growing cancer in, women, thyroid cancer. It was a very interesting program and he, mentioned that the increase could possibly be related to the use of, dental x-rays and mammograms. He demonstrated that on the apron the, dentist puts on you for your dental x-rays there is a little flap that, can be lifted up and wrapped around your neck. Many dentists... Wed, 30 Mar 2011 04:44:26 EST Revisiting the Hundred Acre Wood, and other completely unrelated bits & pieces... One of the teams I'm co-leader with is Finding & Loving Your Inner Tigger, which I first joined because even the name took me back to those childhood times when I would find a quiet place and read of Pooh, Tigger, Eyeore, Piglet, Roo, Owl, and their various friends. That is one of my favourite memories of my childhood - I lived and breathed Pooh and friends, I fell asleep at night dreaming of the fun and adventures I could have had, if I'd been able to join all A.A. Milne's characters... chil... Tue, 29 Mar 2011 21:06:05 EST Of Ned, walking, and excuses... I have been guilty of avoiding exercise, still am at times, specially just of late when there seems to have been many more urgent things needing my attention. At other times I have used the excuse of sore joints, a back ache, a headache, etc., to avoid exercising. Some times they are justified, other times not so. <BR> <BR> Last night I got a really good wake up call, a reminder that where exercise is concerned, it can take our minds off the things that are worrying us or causing us pain, an... Mon, 28 Mar 2011 19:03:51 EST I will survive! These past weeks since the wedding have been totally chaotic, for a number of reasons - <BR> <BR> 1. I missed two of the biggest days of my course, and am still struggling to get everything done and handed in by next week. The class did all the assignments in class - the largest, most time consuming one in groups, but I have to do it alone - my fault, and I will eventually get it done. <BR> <BR> 2. I have finally broken the lease on 'the old house' I love and didn't want to say goodbye to e... Sun, 27 Mar 2011 18:21:08 EST Echoes of 'Billy Jack', peace and love of fellow man... I came across the set of' Billy Jack' DVDs last night while searching for another movie, and just seeing them again put a smile on my face. I'd spent years tracking them down, finally managed to get a copy of each of the three decidedly hippie era movies which I loved so much when they were first released. <BR> <BR> Never thought much about them at the time, but woke this morning with 'the' song running through my head. Up out of bed at 5am, made myself a big mug of chai to take outside to ... Mon, 21 Mar 2011 15:42:36 EST Week 1 of the Bootcamp Workout Challenge completed (again)... Last time I started the 28 Day Bootcamp Workout Challenge I was doing ok for the first week, then started to come down with a whole pile of symptoms than made me feel really dreadful, robbed me of energy and made it hard to even get up out of bed in the morning. Next, as I was getting over that, was Fiona's wedding, and the nightmare of making sure everything was going to be organized, that nothing was going to be forgotten, so far as taking Dad from the nursing home to a new and completely u... Sun, 20 Mar 2011 17:35:42 EST Yummmmm... WOOHOO!!! <BR> <BR> I have just finished eating dinner, but not just any dinner, it was the biggest dinner I've eaten since returning to Spark People last April! Autumn is happening here in Australia, and in our town its hit with a vengeance - cold mornings that make you want to snuggle back under those bedclothes, sunny but not always warm days, and from about 5pm the cold starts creeping in again... <BR> <BR> I love summer, but I absolutely loathe being cold, and detest winter. I have gr... Thu, 17 Mar 2011 05:49:13 EST Still no more on the wedding... Think I'm 'weddinged-out' somehow. Not that I didn't have a wonderful time, not that it wasn't enjoyed by everyone there, its just that I feel in need of a break from all things wedding while I give my mind and body a chance to recover. <BR> <BR> Feeling better today than yesterday, and thankfully felt better yesterday afternoon than I did in the morning. Got all my exercise in yesterday, and today other than the walk to see Dad this afternoon and home again, I'm done. <BR> <BR> Today is ... Tue, 15 Mar 2011 22:27:39 EST Just so exhausted..... This is not Part 2 of the Wedding blog I intended to write. I feel I need a few days to recover from the wedding, not that I did much to organize or help, think maybe it was just all the stress of wanting everything to go to plan for Fiona and Chris, and that Dad would cope with what to him was a huge undertaking. He doesn't even like coming home here for lunch any more - says it makes him too tired. <BR> <BR> Whatever, I slept like a log yet again, and woke still feeling like I could sleep... Mon, 14 Mar 2011 17:21:13 EST Wedding blog (part 1)... <img src=""> <BR> Dad, looking wonderful, shortly after Chris gave him the rose for his buttonhole <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Chris and the celebrant waiting for Fiona's arrival, the You Yangs in the background. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Fiona walking up the 'aisle' past Dad and I. Definitely happy! <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spark... Mon, 14 Mar 2011 00:12:35 EST Going to be MIA till probably Monday... Today I didn't go to Eventide to do my Aged Care course because there is just too much to do in preparation for our departure tomorrow morning sometime just before lunch. If you aren't already aware, my youngest daughter Fiona and her wonderful Chris are to be married on Saturday, about 3 hours from home, in a paddock on one of their farms - her favourite place. If the weather is kind, the ceremony will be held by a fence dividing their property from the You Yangs Regional Park, an area of hi... Wed, 9 Mar 2011 18:01:00 EST Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows... My daughter Fiona called me this morning, surprising me after our conversation yesterday. She sounded so down and not at all well yesterday, and I was seriously concerned as to whether she would actually make it to her own wedding on Saturday. Seems every time something good happens, she ends up back in hospital because of a flare up of her fibromyalgia symptoms. She kept insisting everything was ok, that she was feeling fine, no need to worry, but as every mother does, I did worry. <BR> <B... Mon, 7 Mar 2011 19:43:25 EST I've arrived at my destination, and plan to stay here - forever... Something has been on my mind these past weeks, but I couldn't decide whether to go with what I felt, or continue with my original plan. Then I looked back at my reasons for joining Spark People - to be comfortable in my own body, to be less reliant on pain meds and anti-inflammatories, to be able to stand one each leg, one at a time, for at least i minute, without holding on to anything for support, to be able to tie my shoes easily, to be able to bend down to pick something up from the flo... Sun, 6 Mar 2011 20:06:00 EST My day.... Had a much better day today than yesterday. Still definitely lacking my normal energy levels, and then some, but I did get a whole lot of stuff done round the house this morning, went for a walk to take some of my now too-big clothes to her, plus most of alarge bag of potatoes I'd bought and only needed a few of. <BR> <BR> I used my Nova, my wheeled pull along trolley, so named because it came from the Nova radio station stand at the Royal Melbourne Show a few years ago. I always take it wh... Sun, 6 Mar 2011 05:48:36 EST You won't believe what I was called in class yesterday! As part of our course we were working on the Occupational Health and Safety Guidelines for health workers. We were discussing safe lifting, and how there are no longer any set weight limits for persons of different ages or weights, rather it is up to the individual to have enough sense to determine whether or not a weight is safe to lift before attempting to do so. <BR> <BR> The teacher pointed to our 'token male', Gary, and said 'now someone as tall and well built as Gary would formerly ha... Fri, 4 Mar 2011 18:29:07 EST Yesterday, today, and the future... Super fast blog today - its 5.30am and I need to be out of the house by 7am at the very latest. Cooking breakfast this morning at the nursing home for the residents with one staff member (the leisure and lifestyle lady, who organizes outings and activities) and another resident's wife - its a regular thing - bacon, eggs (fried, poached, scrambled, boiled - there are choices here, lol), tomatoes, sausage, toast, fresh fruit salad, and the usual hot drink choices. The residents don't know when ... Thu, 3 Mar 2011 13:45:18 EST My pasta problem solved - for all time, YAY!!! The one aspect of living and eating the Spark People way I have for the past 10 months or so that I was having trouble with was, admittedly, only a very minor one, and was of my doing rather than SP's. The problem? Pasta - I have always, in my pre-SP life enjoyeda bowl of pasta- a very large bowl of pasta. I tried reducing my serving size to fit in with my calorie and carb allowance but it left me feeling I'd rather go without any than just have such a small serving. Ok, I know I could have c... Wed, 2 Mar 2011 15:01:04 EST These shoes weren't made for walking.... I did it again. Should have known but went with the whole 'these look better' thing instead. Why? Don't ask me, cos I have always placed comfort above appearance. Maybe its since I've been feeling so much better about myself since losing weight... who knows... <BR> <BR> Months ago I decided to force myself to get in some extra exercise by leaving the car home and walking everywhere. Short distances at first,butas I got used to it, upped my pace, got a good cardio workout whenever I walked, a... Mon, 28 Feb 2011 15:27:57 EST DEAL WITH IT NOW! I lay in bed last night trying to decide why, if I eat so well, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, I should suddenly be feeling so darn unwell. I was hit at the beginning of last week with constant tiredness, a headache that continually wavered from mild to downright painful, body aches and pains, then progressed to nausea, stomach cramps. for the past few days I have had an incredibly sore throat, aching ears, a voice which disappeared completely... <BR> <BR> It occurred to me that... Sun, 27 Feb 2011 17:55:38 EST So what if I'm not feeling so great? I used to take every movement being painful for granted. I used to struggle to do things and assume that was how life was for me. I got through each day by relying on the wide array of medication my doctor prescribed for me for what seemed to be an ever increasing list of medical complaints. I was unable to work due to the pain of osteo arthritis. I was depressed, had all but given up hope of life ever being better than this. That was 12 months ago.... <BR> <BR> Today I found myself feeling ... Sat, 26 Feb 2011 17:32:17 EST Something to think about... This photo and the text below are from a facebook page - Inspirations by Sudhir Krishnan, something I love reading daily. Always there is something worthy of my attention, and this time it took my breath away with the simplicity of what it said and the clarity of its intention. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A wise man once sat in the audience & cracked a joke. <BR> <BR> All laughed like crazy. <BR> <BR> After a moment he cracked th... Fri, 25 Feb 2011 21:31:20 EST Chaos or calm, or a little of both? Didn't get the chance to do much Sparking done yesterday, and today is looking even busier. Still have an assignment to complete for 9.30am today and its 7.3am and I'm still in my pjs cos I forgot(!!!) to set the alarm to wake me at 5am to get everything done. <BR> <BR> So... what am I blogging for, instead of doing something that will get me to class on time, assignment neatly printed and healthy lunch in my chiller pack? I need Spark People, and to blog in order to get myself and my thoug... Thu, 24 Feb 2011 15:48:30 EST A day of positive changes... This morning I decided that instead of spacing my workout sessions throughout the day, I would give things a bit of a shake up and try doing them one after another, all except one. So, this is what I did - the 10 minute Day 3 Bootcamp Workout video, followed by 10 minutes of wall pushups (not allowed to do floor cos of back/neck problems), 30 minute Leslie Sansone 2 Mile Walk Away the Pounds for Abs dvd workout, and 15 minutes of cardio twisting (1000 steps). <BR> <BR> Now all I have on my '... Tue, 22 Feb 2011 19:15:57 EST Ok, before and after garden photos... In answer to requests to show the garden I created yesterday, still with only the red flowering eucalypt which has only recently started to regrow after having been cut down after a storm brought it down, and my newly planted, still tiny golden conifer, here are some before and after photos. The chain wire fencing was put across the rear property line, and to divide the back and front yard areas so the dogs were safely kept at home with plenty of space to exercise while not being walked. In ... Mon, 21 Feb 2011 20:30:30 EST Exceeding my target and taking on a new Challenge... Yesterday for once I went beyond my plans for the day - in one area at least. I not only moved the pieces of cut up tree trunks round to the front yard and stacked them neatly in preparation for making another small garden bed round another of the cut down trees (storm damage mid 2010), a red flowering eucalypt, I did more still. I was feeling great after that huge workout - some of the pieces were about 18inches in diameter, 2 feet long, and HEAVY! Lifted them (safely and carefully, learned ... Mon, 21 Feb 2011 16:02:33 EST My two brilliant ideas, well, sort of... Ok, maybe some of you will find the following two things helpful at some future time, maybe not... all I know is that I will, which is what really matters, lol. One thing I discovered out of pain and desperation while trimming the grass growing up through the fence, the other I woke up suddenly realizing this morning... obviously my brain has its own thing happening while I'm sleeping. <BR> <BR> Anyway... <BR> <BR> My knees were really giving me grief cos of the OA while I was kneeling on ... Sun, 20 Feb 2011 16:34:35 EST Of fences, grass and life... Ok, they say we learn something new every day, and I just learned today's lesson outside. <BR> <BR> For weeks the grass growing between the corrugations of the fence has driven me crazy, cos I knew I was going to have to get down on my hands and knees and trim it using some small garden clippers, which are the only things able to do the job. <BR> <BR> Did I do it? No. Was I happy about not doing it? No. <BR> <BR> So, yesterday came the crunch. I decided it was making the entire yard loo... Sat, 19 Feb 2011 23:30:45 EST Day 1 of my second 5% Weight loss Challenge... Well, after the motivation of the last 5% Challenge getting my scales moving downward, and maintaining the momentum since, today marks the first day of this my second Challenge. <BR> <BR> What are my expectations? Of myself, to eat wisely and well, to exercise regularly, to report daily, to support and encourage others. Of fellow Spirited Underdogs team members and other teams' members - to keep the momentum up, to work as hard as possible to achieve their goals, and to put in the effort req... Fri, 18 Feb 2011 17:28:03 EST At the end of my Sleep Challenge... I have finished my 4 Week Better Sleep Challenge, which I started on hoping to be able to at least add an hour or two extra to my 3 or 4 hours of sleep I was getting when I started. Well, I did that and way, way more than that! <BR> <BR> I now generally (there have been a few exceptions when I couldn't get something off my mind) now go to sleep at my allotted bedtime, not having eaten for 2 hours previously, take my book and mug of chamomile tea with me and after 30 minutes of reading I swit... Thu, 17 Feb 2011 15:28:37 EST Ahead is the only way to look... I decided that I wanted my goal weight to be set at a level which would give me a BMI reading in the exact middle of the 'healthy' range. That means I need to weigh 126 pounds to achieve my goal. I currently weigh 136 pounds. <BR> <BR> I am taking part in the Winter 1 2011 5% Weight Loss Challenge, during which we aim to lose 5% of our total weight. 5% of my weight would be 6.8 pounds. That would take me down to 129.2pounds. I have decided I am going to throw caution to the winds and put in... Thu, 17 Feb 2011 00:47:38 EST Looking forward, looking back... Today is officially 'Day One' of something I have longed to do for as far back as I can remember, not a conscious decision as such, just something I knew inside I wanted and needed to do - but always lacked the self-confidence, determination and finances to do so - begin to officially work towards achieving qualifications in the field of Aged Care. Thanks to Spark People and specially my wonderfully supportive and encouraging Spark friends and team mates, I have found the self-confidence, I ... Wed, 16 Feb 2011 13:41:53 EST Copied from a Spark Friend ... Rules from God for "YOU" - Thank you April! <BR> <BR> This was sent to me and It made me ! <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. Wake Up !! Decide to have a good day. <BR> "Today is the day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" Psalms 118:24 <BR> <BR> 2. Dress Up !! The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks. "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appearance; but the Lord looks at the heart." I ... Mon, 14 Feb 2011 16:59:11 EST I am reclaiming my life - on my terms! I just read a quote by Mark Twain, one I used to often use to justify my inaction regarding things I needed to be doing but which I lacked the motivation to tackle - <BR> <BR> 'Never put off till tomorrow what you can put off till the day after tomorrow' - Mark Twain. <BR> <BR> Well, Mr. Twain, you are wrong, You are so very wrong! It is that way of thinking that saw me pile on the pounds, turn into a human vegetable who was as unmotivated to do anything as I could possibly be while still ... Mon, 14 Feb 2011 02:07:22 EST Winter 2011 5% Weightloss Challenge. I am looking forward to taking part in this, my second 5% Weightloss Challenge, which begins next week. Before the first Challenge, my weight was remaining within the same few pounds, not moving down as I wanted it to. I was charting my foods, well most of them, but the enthusiasm and will power wasn't there. I was just going through the motions of Sparking, and the exercise was becoming more of a burden to find excuses to avoid. <BR> <BR> Thanks to Acrosonic all that changed - she blogged ... Sat, 12 Feb 2011 18:12:01 EST When your body disagres with choices... After my day in Ballarat on Thursday with friends, I was tired, feeling overly full, and went to bed after Sparking. I imagined a wonderful night's sleep would follow - wrong! <BR> <BR> Two hours after my head hit the pillow my body decided to express its disapproval of my food choices of the previous day, well more the 'treats' of the previous day. How? Migraine, complete with the constant need to dodge the huge black balls and static filled flashes of light rushing at me endlessly. Two sho... Fri, 11 Feb 2011 18:15:25 EST Didn't quite stick to the plan, but... Well, so much for my plans for today I made sure to post on the Tiggers' message board... <BR> <BR> 'Thursday, 6.40am and I am determined to stick with my plan today (any plan really, lol) rather than just drifting - <BR> I am spending the day in Ballarat with a friend who is there for a series of checks for heart problems she may/may not have. <BR> I will ensure I eat a bowl of oatmeal with ginger and orange for breakfast before leaving, thus avoiding the planned fat and salt laden breakf... Thu, 10 Feb 2011 03:53:40 EST Just 17 words... Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain. Tue, 8 Feb 2011 17:46:45 EST Changes for the better... Another productive day, yet still with that same laid back, relaxed attitude. Maybe I needed to reach the point where my mind needed to take over and present me with that weird occurrence of a few nights ago before I could see just how much pressure I was putting myself under. <BR> <BR> I have taken note, I have made changes, I feel better.The pressure I didn't even realize I was feeling is now noticeable by its absence. I achieved a lot today, sorted through a lot of stuff I had previously ... Mon, 7 Feb 2011 06:23:25 EST