COACHPENNY's SparkPeople Blog COACHPENNY's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Oh Happy Day! Oh Happy Day (taken from Oh Happy Day...when Jesus washed....see link below) <BR> <BR> Oh happy day, Oh happy day <BR> Oh happyday, Oh happy day <BR> When he was elected <BR> Oh when he was elected <BR> When Barack was elected <BR> He took our cares away <BR> Oh happy day, Oh happy day <BR> Oh happy day, Oh happy day <BR> When he was elected <BR> Oh when he was elected <BR> When Barack was elected <BR> He put our fears at bay <BR> Oh happy day, Oh happy day <BR> Oh happy day, Oh happy day <... Mon, 21 Jan 2013 23:07:18 EST I AM SO PROUD...... Of my President, of my country and of the freedom we share to be together in one nation, working as one people, for the benefit of all people. Mon, 21 Jan 2013 12:38:44 EST Effort Christine and I are here together on Marco Island. <BR> <BR> Yes, we share a common bond because of our beliefs....BUT, it takes more than that to sustain a friendship. We certainly are from the same "pod" and were probably separated at birth BUT, we make the effort, we nurture the link that makes us pod sisters....we created a sisterhood from a spark. Some things are meant to be, unquestioned. <BR> <BR> I never ask why. Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:29:11 EST Happy Halloween! I should have taken a pic of myself, too....I looked like Elvira in leopard and feathers.......My little ghoulish graveyard and daughter & SIL's Halloween Wedding scene will have to do. I think they scared more children than I did. One kid didn't even want to past the Bride and Groom! <BR> <BR> <BR> HAPPY HALLOWEEN! <em>333</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <... Wed, 31 Oct 2012 20:54:56 EST Wedded Bliss On a beautiful October day 29 years ago this month, I married my love, my partner, the man of my dreams. This weekend our daughter did the same. Bliss! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Mon, 29 Oct 2012 14:26:28 EST Change Does A Body Good! <BR> I have changed a lot of things over the years....I no longer drink pop, stay away from commercially baked products and prepared foods, use whole grains, eat more veggies and fruits, rarely eat fast food and get regular exercise. <BR> <BR> The result is that I am healthier than I've been in years. I rarely get sick, don't have high blood pressure, cholesterol numbers have improved considerably, my allergies and asthma are minor issues. I have my aches and pains from old injuries but, ev... Mon, 15 Oct 2012 10:55:58 EST What the Republicans are saying. <BR> It's all about the economy and blaming President Obama for the mess that the Bush administration created and the house Republicans worsened by their obfuscation of the facts and obstruction of anything the President tried to accomplish. They have created fear and division in their quest to make President Obama seem like an alien presence, hell bent on stealing America from "Real Americans". <BR> <BR> As a REAL AMERICAN, I resent that the Republicans have wasted so much time and energy ... Wed, 12 Sep 2012 13:15:03 EST It's a beautiful day..... so much like that day, 11 years ago. Cloudless skies and sunshine. When the horror started the skies did not change. We stared in disbelief and shock, willing the day to return to the peaceful serenity of just a few hours past. All day and into the afternoon, the sky remained a crystal blue as though in defiance of the heartless attack on humanity that occurred on that beautiful day. <BR> <BR> We honor and remember the brave souls of 9/11, every day...but especially on a beautiful day li... Tue, 11 Sep 2012 11:55:18 EST Wealth The very wealthy accumulate wealth. <BR> <BR> The middle class creates it. <BR> <BR> The poor will spend it if they have it. <BR> <BR> From the bottom up, everyone is lifted, everyone benefits. Trickle down doesn't get to the bottom and doesn't spread evenly along the middle. It keeps the rich on top, resting on the rest of us. <BR> Tue, 4 Sep 2012 17:05:16 EST At Peace <BR> Our kids have friends that come and go, <BR> some that we will hardly know. <BR> And once in a great while, <BR> one will charm you with a smile. <BR> They leave their mark, <BR> on your heart....even after they are gone. <BR> <BR> Rest in peace, young friend. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Thu, 30 Aug 2012 15:41:05 EST Right, Left and Center We have choices to make in this election. Right, Left and Center. <BR> <BR> Mitt Romney is no more the conservative extremist than President Obama is the far left, program pushing socialist that the right consistently portrays. Romney tries to paint himself as a conservative’s conservative by talking the talk and spinning the facts of his ever changing persona. That said, with Romney’s choice of Ryan as his running mate he completes the transformation from “Easy Right” to “Tea Party Dream... Wed, 29 Aug 2012 16:11:59 EST How I got here...... My husband and I were in the restaurant dogs and fresh cut frys, Italian beef sandwiches(homemade), sausage, polish, soft serve ice cream. I never ate a whole order of frys......just one at a time.....all day. I loved pop from the dispenser with crushed ice...another downfall. We worked long hours and weekends and stopped going to the gym. <BR> <BR> Believe or not, we met playing volleyball at the YMCA. I weighed 102 lbs and was always very active. Played a lot o... Fri, 17 Aug 2012 04:28:58 EST Sad News My son's long time friend has been fighting a brain tumor for quite some time. This funny, charming young man is only 24 years old. <BR> <BR> After numerous treatments and surgery he had been in rehab to work at getting back on his feet so, he could return home. He took a fall and was transferred to the hospital where they found he now has a new fast growing tumor, wrapping around his brain stem. This doesn't look good. They are weighing the options, trying to keep him comfortable and g... Wed, 1 Aug 2012 02:41:35 EST Extreme Thinking I originally posted this as a response to my friend Ev's blog but, I thought I'd re-post it on my own blog as well. Here it is.......... <BR> <BR> I don't know why the extremists have seemed to taken over. It's almost as if an alien ship landed and replaced a whole lot of people (that we know and love) with some other life form. I too, try to avoid political subjects, except for specific forums (such as teams here where we debate issues). I do not send negative political forwards and ask... Sun, 20 May 2012 01:26:53 EST Cold and Wet Speed walked a 3K benefit walk/run today, for the American Brain Tumor Association down at the Chicago Lakefront. Just a bunch of cousins hauling butt for a good cause. For some reason, each year (except for one) that we've done this event, it's been really horrible weather. Yesterday was just beautiful and today, NO surprise, it turned UGLY. We were walking very fast because it was very cold and rainy and we really needed to get back to a bathroom. I knew we wouldn't get lucky so, I lay... Sat, 12 May 2012 17:55:32 EST Dowtown Birthday Surprise Hubby told me on Thursday that he was taking me someplace special for my birthday on Friday. " Dressy or casual", I asked? "Dressy", he said, giving me no other clues. "Just be ready by 2:30pm". <BR> <BR> The 45* weather was not typical for February in Northern Illinois. We caught the train to Chicago, then took a city bus to our destination. At the John Hancock Building we looked up, up, UP. And then we took the elevator up, up, the 95th floor. Dinner at the 95th overlooking the... Sun, 19 Feb 2012 15:06:40 EST Clean Soup Winter Doldrums and I am still struggling to get off this platform I'm stuck on. In a professional E-Newsletter, I received information about detox. Now, I am not a big fan of extremes which detox can be but, I also know I have to push my body and my brain to get with the program here. If I don't, the risk is that my weight will bump even higher. <BR> <BR> This particular plan isn't too extreme, is basically cleaning up the food you eat in order to give your digestive system a rest and flu... Mon, 13 Feb 2012 16:08:21 EST Some Days It's Hard to Just Keep Moving.... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I woke up today in a funk. The day was mine and I should have gone for a long walk. We've been having unseasonably warm weather for Chicago this winter and the sun has been shining so, no excuse there. I think I am just disappointed in myself for letting an eight pound loss slip away. It's easy to tell myself that vacation is supposed to be fun and indulging in good food and spirits is all part of the plan. It's... Tue, 10 Jan 2012 01:59:55 EST More pics <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 28 Dec 2011 14:25:12 EST Back From Vacation And Holiday Stress <img src="">I've decided that coming home from vacation is almost as stressful as leaving for vacation. <BR> <BR> Leaving.....must get all the bills paid, the house in order, bags packed, subs lined up and check in with the moms. Coming home.....must get the bills paid, the house in order, unpack the bags, thank the subs and check in with the moms. <BR> <BR> I know I shouldn't complain, it IS after all VACATION. But, this vacation, comi... Tue, 27 Dec 2011 17:30:09 EST Goals and The Trials of Keeping Them Changed my goals in October. I did pretty well...logged five pounds lost and then three more which, I hesitated to log.....our upcoming vacation was just around the corner and I had a feeling this trip, would trip me up. We left the day after Thanksgiving. Took the train to California and had a lovely time. I did not exercise as much as I would have liked and of course, ate wonderfully indulgent food, gaining back what I lost. At least I had that cushion. <BR> <BR> So now.....Back to... Tue, 27 Dec 2011 17:03:20 EST Changing My Goals I've tried a lot of different things to lose pounds and maintain the weight loss. They all work until a surgery, injury or medication sets me back to square one. It's easy to blame one thing or another but, so much harder to find the solution that will make my goals not only attainable but also, permanent. So, I've made some changes to my goals. Nothing too radical, just mostly common sense. <BR> <BR> First of all, I've made my current goals an easy reach................... Lose 20 pound... Thu, 13 Oct 2011 01:04:01 EST Without a Trace...... To all........ <BR> <BR> You may have noticed that one the members of our teams, "Trace", better know as Steelers Girl (different spelling), has been absent. She is not currently on Spark. I've been in contact with her and she wanted me to say hello to all and tell you she hasn't moved to Costa Rica and is still on Planet Earth. I miss her brainy wit and acerbic humor within these threads. <BR> <BR> Spark is a better place when people share ideas, rants and laughter. In every success, eve... Sun, 17 Jul 2011 14:48:23 EST Feeling Better and It's Good To Laugh I've been down lately because I blew two disks in my lower back, L4 and L5 to be exact. I haven't worked or driven or exercised for a month now. Thought this was going to be a two or three week thing at the most...just a little sciatica, see the Chiro, heal up and be back at it. It has been an excruciating, frustrating, down for the count, kick in the pants. <BR> <BR> After seeing all the docs, MRI, exray and various opinions and meds, I am having decompression treatments. This pulls the... Tue, 12 Jul 2011 20:19:16 EST Visualize Your Goal Dream up a visual of yourself (or use a photo) of the weight you'd like to be. Every night before you go to sleep I want you to see that picture in your mind. I want you to see yourself walking barefoot, in a beautiful meadow. The sun is shining and you feel the warmth on your skin. A soft breeze is blowing through your hair. You feel content and serene. Take this feeling into your dreams and believe this is who you are. <BR> <img src=""> Fri, 22 Apr 2011 16:35:01 EST Serenity Lately, I have been choosing to let go of the chores and even some things I enjoy to find a bit of escape in a good book. It's an escape, for sure from the everyday hum of living a busy life but also, a way to achieve a state of mind that has no connection to real world obligations. <BR> <BR> The household responsibilities will wait. The clutter is patient, even if I am not. My jobs, don't literally come home with me but, there are always routine tasks that must be completed. They can a... Mon, 28 Feb 2011 13:32:12 EST The Hard Way To Learn About Food Science. I have team member LadyIrish to thanks for this blog. Her fantastic blog about lessons had a Doritos reference that made me laugh and remember. <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4002588 </link> <BR> <BR> I use to do taste testing for a major food company.....for seven years. Let me tell you, I can't stomach most commercial snack products because of that experience. Do you know how many different food chemicals it takes to make a snack chi... Wed, 9 Feb 2011 11:54:19 EST It's Not So Easy To Be A Loser. I'm not giving up but, wanting to be a loser is not the same as being a loser. I have been exercising vigorously, have upped my veggie, fruit, protein and fiber intake and am working on the carbs. Still, no permanent weight loss this month. Winter has always been a hard thing for me. I usually gain 10 pounds and then lose them in the spring. <BR> <BR> Last March I started on a new asthma medication (which works quite well) and since then, the weight won't budge (much). It jumps up a bit a... Tue, 1 Feb 2011 22:59:05 EST Eating Out Again - Greek Night Eating out is never an easy proposition when trying to keep within the parameters of healthy eating.....calories vs. choices. Eating out two days in a row and eating restaurant prepared food that you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE is going to have an doubt there. So, my choice yesterday, was to limit my calories earlier in the day to make room for the Greek food orgy of last night. Not ideal but, better than just giving up entirely. <BR> <BR> I also made semi-wise choices about what I ate A... Sun, 9 Jan 2011 15:42:38 EST Feeling SMUG and then..... Well, up to yesterday I had a pretty good week. I was feeling PRETTY SMUG! Dinner last night....did me in, put me over the edge, hung me out to dry, added more Crisco to the get the picture. <BR> <BR> I had a salad w/Italian dressing, bread, pizza and a glass of red wine. 1071 calories total! Now IF I had NOT had the bread and the wine(I could go to communion instead), I would have been at 740 calories for dinner and I would have been just under the high end of my suggested calo... Sat, 8 Jan 2011 15:34:15 EST I WANNA BE A LOSER! The good news is, I did not gain during the holidays BUT, <BR> <BR> I WANNA BE A LOSER! <BR> <BR> I want to see the scale move again......NO, I want to see the scale move downward again. Late last night (really, very early this morning) I caught up with logging fitness minutes. All the little scraps of paper that were piling up on my desk are gone. So, all I "lost" in December was some clutter. I want to lose POUNDS, INCHES, FAT CELLS and this sugar stupor I've found myself in. <BR> ... Sun, 2 Jan 2011 13:50:42 EST The Caregiver Needs To Take Care. Ah, good advice from my sparkfriend, Tracy. Take care of me too. I do get it and I'll explain why a little further down. <BR> <BR> Mom is pretty much following the protocol right now. The first few days home were hard and I have to keep on her to remember to take the pain meds before therapy so that she can do the "work". She has already said she didn't think it would this hard and doesn't want to do the second knee. All the more reason to get her in the water. Even if she doesn't have... Wed, 22 Dec 2010 02:10:02 EST Mom's Recovery Mom came home from the hospital yesterday with a new appreciation for the peace and quiet within her own set of walls. While she had very good care and rehab recovering from surgery, spending three weeks in any kind of care facility is not a restful state of bliss for anyone. My mom has not been hospitalized since shortly after the birth of my brother and sister, over 60 years ago. <BR> <BR> Although she has her issues (arthritis, bad knees and back, high blood pressure & cholesterol ) and... Sun, 19 Dec 2010 22:43:38 EST Life is...... What is on your mind each day when you put on your shoes and walk out the door? Are you thinking about the day ahead, how many errands to run, what bills to pay, what to make for dinner? Are you counting steps, calories and minutes? Are you rushing from home to work to gym/library/ grocery store and home? <BR> <BR> STOP! SLOW DOWN!..... Life is more than that. More than an endless stream to dos, checkbook entries and ATMs. <BR> <BR> Life is......a little kid with a goofy, sweet smile a... Tue, 24 Aug 2010 02:03:19 EST A Nice Day Connecting with an Old Friend I picked up the phone one day last month and a voice so familiar said,"I've been looking for you." An old friend, a girl that used to work for me when she was a teen, had looked me up and we caught up on our lives over the past so many years. <BR> <BR> We made a date to meet and that was yesterday. She and her four girls and grand baby girl, traveled a couple of hours back to our neck of the burbs visit. It was a lovely sunny day, breezy and warm but, not hot. She is exactly as I remem... Tue, 8 Jun 2010 10:19:45 EST Souping it up, Smoothing it down. Trying to incorporate more fruits and veggies is always a challenge. Not because I don't like them, I do. It's just the washing and the cutting and the peeling and being consistent about making the time to have good stuff ready to eat. My Sparkfriend, STLRZGRRL is on a smoothie a day kick and she's got me motivated to have a smoothie a day too. An easy way to get a lot fiber and color in a delicious way. I'm replacing one meal a day with a healthy smoothie. <BR> <BR> Another Sparkfriend,... Thu, 13 May 2010 17:48:20 EST The Larger Cosmos Is At Work Here The larger Cosmos is at work here. We need to keep our inner cosmos on track to appreciate that. In other words, keep it all in perspective. Sometimes it's hard work to look for the positives when a rain of negatives is pelting our protective self. <BR> <BR> Now is not the time to hunker down and cover our collective heads. It's not the time to eat a donut. Go out, take a walk in a beautiful place. Dig in the dirt and make something grow. Watch children play. Do something wondrous in the... Tue, 4 May 2010 09:48:31 EST A Key West Tale A Key West Tale <BR> <BR> I am not a spooky person by nature but, I have been presented from time to time with experiences beyond my own reasonable explanation. Staying in Key West, it wouldn't be far-fetched to assume that sooner or later, I would encounter something otherworldly among the historic clapboard buildings and cobbled streets. I had such an encounter at Heron House Court, a lovely Bed and Breakfast establishment on a sleepy street near the Seaport. <BR> <BR> Late one night, af... Sun, 11 Apr 2010 20:16:02 EST Slowing Down To Zero My speedometer is stuck on zero. Oh, I have a good enough excuse....having a bad episode with my asthma which, is pretty unusual. For the last two weeks I have felt like crap. <BR> <BR> At first, I still pushed myself to exercise but finally, I slowed down to zero. Actually took off off work for four days....don't remember the last time I allowed myself to do that. The good news is that I haven't had much of an appetite either so, I am not gaining. Just stuck with that same 9-10 wint... Sat, 10 Apr 2010 22:35:52 EST Zozo's Challenge My new friend, ZoZo has challenged me to get back with the program. Step up my routine once again and lose these holiday add ons. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.........this is how I did this week. <BR> <BR> Starting 1/24 <BR> stretch 5 minutes <BR> heavy cleaning 90 <BR> 1/25 <BR> Stretch 10 minutes <BR> circuit 25 <BR> elliptical 15 <BR> stationary bike 30 <BR> 1/26 day of rest <BR> 1/27 <BR> Stretch 10 minutes <BR> calistenthics 15 <BR> circuit 20 <BR> st bike 50 <BR> elliptical 25 <BR> 1/28 <BR> stre... Sun, 31 Jan 2010 01:16:47 EST Stop Whining, Get Moving and Shut Yer Piehole! I'm feeling my youth slip away. That's little dramatic I know, but these last few months have taken a toll. We took on a project which has taken longer, cost more and involved way more work than we had originally planned. I gained some pounds and am not getting enough exercise, which seems to happen almost every winter. The dreary, cold days are getting on my nerves and I am CRANKY. Like some OLD person. <BR> <BR> We bought a foreclosure house right across the street from our own home las... Mon, 25 Jan 2010 00:43:37 EST Excuse me, I have been drinking.... <img src=""> <BR> Just a little though....but, enough to let loose a flood of emotions that need a place to land. <BR> <BR> This next week will mark one year since the my cousin Kristine's passing. Tonite we spent the evening with our cousins and she was here I know, in faces of her children and in our thoughts that speak louder than our hugs that last just a little longer.... and in our tears that start on the way home.... Sun, 3 Jan 2010 23:30:21 EST Metaphorical Clutter Since it's come up on one of our teams, I've been giving some thought to this process getting rid of the junk that clutters up our life. The excess paper, collectibles, furnishings, clothing, etc. that we find so hard to part with. It's hard work, slowly purging the unnecessary from our path. <BR> <BR> I wonder sometimes, if we clutter up because, we are afraid some part of ourselves will get tossed with the trash? To be honest, some of me DOES need to get tossed with the trash.....Stinkin... Wed, 30 Dec 2009 14:06:35 EST Peace and Quiet on Earth This has been a most enjoyable Christmas holiday. We usually have the whole family over and little time to accomplish the extreme makeover our house always needs this time of year. The busier we get, the messier the house gets. The messier the house, the more stressed I become. By the time company arrives, I'm spent and the rest of our family is annoyed. <BR> <BR> We spent the day differently this year. Due to a family wedding less than a week before Christmas and a house project which h... Fri, 25 Dec 2009 20:58:24 EST People Smarter Than You or Me Make the Big Decisions Lets face it. We can always say that we'd do things differently if we were the President and had the power to make the big decisions. That's a hypothetical and we are armchair warriors. There isn't any way to test the hypothesis so, we can safely and smugly sit in our chairs and pretend to know how to proceed with, running a war or revamping healthcare or responding to global warming. <BR> <BR> As smart and smug as we are....we just don't have the big picture, nor do we have the weight of ... Tue, 1 Dec 2009 01:39:47 EST Even Those of Us Who Are Perfect (LOL) Have Baggage Well at least the part about baggage is right. We all have it no matter what face we put forth. It's there behind the facade of our normal everyday selves. It hides behind the carefully constructed comfort zones we create. It resonates below the surface calm of a placid personality. <BR> <BR> So, the next time you think you see someone who seemingly has it all, remember matter how charmed, successful and content they seem, they are hiding something too. No one has the perfec... Wed, 14 Oct 2009 01:00:42 EST Thoughts about the Nobel Peace Prize This started out as a supportive response to my friend Morrisdatter's blog about President Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. In writing this, I realized that we all have to stand up for the promotion of peace in the world. The prize itself is not an achievement in and of itself. It is a call to action to all of us....not an accolade to our President. <BR> <BR> People who don't give much though to the importance of the Nobel Peace Prize sure have a lot of negatives things to say about ... Sun, 11 Oct 2009 11:15:33 EST Get on the right side of left I don't usually use this blog for political discussion but, I am thinking now is the time. Our country is at a crossroads. The need for change was evident but, now we need the will to pursue it. <BR> <BR> Our economy is going through the pains of withdrawal from lifestyles and greed that were unsustainable. The state of our national health is at risk because of those unable to put themselves in the shoes of the uninsured and under insured. Our moral code is threatened by the sins of the pas... Tue, 25 Aug 2009 11:54:14 EST Ch-ch-ch-changes Just when I think that maybe I'm just destined to fit but, somewhat occurs to me that I've changed a lot more than I thought this last year on Spark. <BR> <BR> I've changed how I look at food. I've changed the shape of my body, I've changed how I feel about my body and I've changed my goals. The weight loss has become secondary to health gain. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Ch-ch-ch-changes. They feel pretty good <BR> <BR> Tue, 11 Aug 2009 22:37:04 EST Ten More Steps, Ten More Minutes, Ten More Hours Leads to Health In the end I think that is all about exercise and fitness. We can and do watch what we eat. We can create better habits. But food does set us up for disappointment when we choose to indulge. <BR> <BR> Exercise or any physical activity, on the other hand, has the potential to change our shape, our body image and the way we look at ourselves, even if we are still overweight. It also has the added benefit of releasing chemicals into our system that ward off depression and discomfort. <BR> <... Sun, 12 Jul 2009 17:25:33 EST