DEDICATED2HIM's SparkPeople Blog DEDICATED2HIM's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Gratitude It's here!! Have a very happy - and grateful - Thanksgiving Day! <BR> <BR> This year we are doing things a little differently in my family. Today I will be cooking some side dishes--but our real holiday meal will be held tomorrow (Black Friday) when our daughter will be here to celebrate with us. I bought a pre-made Thanksgiving Dinner from our grocery store, since I am not able to really cook a big meal (physically). I myself will be eating some veggie dishes that I'm making to accompany... Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:57:10 EST My Reward I broke the 200 lb barrier today..(see the blog prior) and I was chatting with a friend who asked me what kind of reward I was giving myself. I never in the past rewarded myself. I felt like losing and wearing smaller clothes etc, was reward enough. But today I felt that I really do deserve a reward. So see the picture to see what I got myself...I got a cereal/rice bowl, a soup bowl and a mug..(see photo). I now wish I'd also gotten the plate. OH well. I'm very happy with the ones i did ge... Wed, 11 Nov 2015 14:59:56 EST A BUMPY RIDE Right now, at 2:39 AM, I am doing the happy dance. Why? -well let me give you some background first. I have been pursuing a vegan, no oil, no salt, no sugar, no processed foods diet as part of the ETL (Eat to LIve) guidelines. I had been doing amazingly well for the past two or three weeks; side-stepping temptations right and left. Making nutritious, healthy food: being about 60% raw and also using my Instant Pot: making my own soy yogurt and soy milk....and being very happy doing all this ... Wed, 11 Nov 2015 03:10:57 EST Choices I was just looking at the pic on the front of my Spark page when I was at my book signing. Wow,. Just wow. Talk about a wake up call.! I'm very happy to say that I am about 20-25 pounds less than that now...but I know: a mere "drop in the bucket". I still have not done any exercise as of yet. It's so hard to talk my hurting body into moving. I have been considering Leslie Sansone again. Is it possible? I know I could not make it through one mile. At least at first. But it would b... Sun, 8 Nov 2015 08:14:47 EST The Importance of Walking I thought this was very funny. I hope you all enjoy it! <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... Tue, 3 Nov 2015 03:00:10 EST Follow up from Most Popular Blog I just re-read the blogpost that was voted most motivational blog post for 1/29/15. As usual I can talk a good talk and write a good post....but can i really make right choices consistently? <BR> <BR> I just spent a month in the hospital for respiratory issues and was on a TON of IV steroids.....needless to say my belly ballooned and my neck had quadruplets. Even so, when I got home I had lost one pound rather than gaining 30. But--here's the rub--once I was set loose away from the hospit... Fri, 11 Sep 2015 15:39:02 EST Ramblings Hi. <BR> I have not weighed myself lately. At last check I had regained all the loss i had achieved over a year ago with the Eat to Live program. Now I am struggling to live by the parameters that eating plan lays down. I have really been struggling against cravings for products with animal proteins in them....which are really just lethal, destroying heart and causing cancer. I find it relatively easy to avoid oil ---except when eating out. Then there is little choice. This month I have... Sun, 23 Aug 2015 08:09:16 EST The Beast Unmasked So. When i was in the hospital on HUGE doses of steroids for a month....i actually lost a few pounds thanks to the portion controls in the hospital food. I was ALWAYS hungry there. So when I got home i went a little wild. Whole wheat bagels with tofutti "cream cheese:" are the current drug of choice. I have one bagel left. And i'm not buying any more. My face has never been more swollen than it is right now. I have several chins and no neck. <img src="http://photosaws.sparkpeople... Sat, 25 Jul 2015 09:02:57 EST Fixable---? I just completed 24 days in the hospital. In the hospital ---on tons of IV steroids--my appetite was mammoth. I would eat a full plate of food---as much as I could get them to send me---and would be hungry before I took the last bite. I'm the only person I know who can be hungry WHILE EATING. HOwever, despite the migration of fat to my face and to my middle (another gift of steroids) clothes felt loose. Sure enough, when I got home I'd actually lost a pound. ( a POUND??? SO WHAT?... Sun, 19 Jul 2015 06:16:29 EST Changing the Tide I just got out of the hospital where i was for 9 days on HIGH doses of IV steroids. Usually I can guarantee a 20 lb weight gain in the time spent in the hospital and then another 20 at home. HOwever this time, despite eating fairly hefty meals,...I actually LOST weight. 5 lbs in the hospital and 4 more since I've been out. I have not been doing ETL perfectly. In fact two nights ago I had a hamburger. And yesterday I had fried chicken pieces in a salad. And DESPITE that, I have been lo... Sat, 27 Jun 2015 08:06:17 EST Some thoughts Borne of a Long Hospital Afternoon. Today is day 7 of my hospital stay. Now the docs say I can (maybe) go home this coming Tuesday. My lungs are improved ...but my BP has been through the sky. The doctors want to try yet one more pill for Hypertension to try to get a grip on it. Today I finally got an order for a shower. My plan is to get one after lunch today. <BR> <BR> I have been uninspired to write. However a friend from online and I have been chatting up a storm via email and it is almost as good and cozy as a visit ... Sun, 21 Jun 2015 14:08:25 EST Where is my Spark? Yes, here I am once more: in the hospital struggling to breath. I have severe asthma and have been admitted once more for at least a week of IV steroids (Solule Medrol). This drug causes me intense hunger and can usually be counted on for at least a twenty pound weight gain. I want to cry. Honestly this struggle with my health and with my weight make me want to give up. I know if I quit the battle, it won't be long until I'm in the 300's or more. For the past year my health has made it ... Tue, 16 Jun 2015 03:39:19 EST DRATS: Computer Issues I had reached 40 + consecutive spins on the spark wheel. And then my computer cord died...only we thought it was the battery. So Ii ordered a new battery -only to find that that was not the problem. And for some odd reason- my Kindle refuses to let me sign on to Spark my streak of sign ons was broken ....sigh... Now i am working with a borrowed cord while I am waiting for my new cord to arrive. I used to love my Kindle....Now i HATE it....I am not a person who likes to use a ... Thu, 11 Jun 2015 01:03:07 EST From the Murky Depths.... <img src="">As I had reported in my last post, I've been floundering badly. BADLY---as in large soft serve cone with sprinkles....and then eggplant parm on a roll for Frosted Flakes for dinner. No folks. It doesn't get much worse than that. <BR> <BR> And you know what? I'm GLAD. <BR> Why? BECAUSE I gave myself a rude awakening. And that was this: ALL THIS WORK I've done, preparing good-for-me mea... Tue, 26 May 2015 08:32:25 EST Singlemindedness VS mindlessness It's been a week of ups and downs. I weighed last week and was at a new low...had lost two more pounds. Then. Well I got cocky....and every single day of the week there was some kind of diversion from the straight and narrow. I did not re-weigh because I know I will just be really discouraged. Instead I'm working hard to put a perfect day together...and then one more....and then one more. Today was almost perfect except I had a little of the brown sauce on my steamed veggies from the C... Sat, 23 May 2015 18:45:25 EST Learning New "Tricks" so I am proud to say that I have evaded every obstacle and every rogue temptation that has come along. I went shopping (twice) and spent WAY too much money. My already high bill was augmented by purchasing the ingredients for a yummy 3 Bean Veggie Chili which I'm making in the slow cooker for a pot luck supper tomorrow. The reason I'm going to so much trouble and not just buying soda or some cookies is because I NEED to have something there to eat myself....something that I know I can hav... Fri, 1 May 2015 16:14:33 EST Sunday Rest I am on Day 3 of my six week "induction" to the EAT TO LIVE program put together by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. So far I have stuck to the plan perfectly. This morning (3:00 AM) I had two mini whole wheat bagels with vegan cream cheese....which is allowable, however I will have to forgo anymore starches today. Yesterday I didn't have any at all so it is not impossible. I did not weigh myself today. Yesterday I was a bit unhappy to find that I did not lose anything....however in recalling my othe... Sun, 19 Apr 2015 03:10:46 EST A New Six Week Start 4-17-15 Day Two <BR> Yesterday I finally did it. I put together a perfect day. I went out to eat at a new restaurant where they had all kinds of yummies. I had a salad.: a giNORmous salad….and was satisfied. While a friend was driving me to the pharmacy, DH texted me that he had a piece of pizza with my name on it. OOOOhh boy. That one was tough. I wanted that pizza for dinner. Instead I had zucchini soup and the remains of a bowl of “pudding” made with almond paste (left o... Fri, 17 Apr 2015 06:02:33 EST Rebuttal I am not snacking on sugar. <BR> I am making recipes that conform to the Eat to Live program. A program that has helped thousands of people lose astronomical amounts of weight. I myself have lost 30 pounds on it. I know what i am doing wrong and it is not that I am not tracking. I do keep record of what I eat but I do not count calories....nor is it necessary to eat less food as long as I am eating the RIGHT food. <BR> <BR> I have to say...I was kind of annoyed by some of the comments on my... Thu, 2 Apr 2015 06:34:45 EST Assessment A week ago, after eating poorly for a couple of weeks (by poorly, i mean not perfectly. Meals were ok but too much eating out and some snacking). I decided to get in gear with the Eat to Live Program once again as it is the only thing that has helped me. I told myself I would not weigh myself again until 2 weeks had passed. Well today the suspense was killing me and I weighed myself. It was the same weight as I'd started at a week ago. <BR> <BR> I know that I'm still eating out too mu... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 16:20:56 EST A Good Talkin' to HONESTLY, I don't know why people keep reading my blogs here...It's the same old story: Get motivated, get determined and psyched....lose a couple of pounds....stumble a bit ...and regain the "couple of pounds." <BR> <BR> What happened? Well my DH bought me a massive brownie. Isn't he sweet?? But honestly --he KNOWS I'm doing ETL and he KNOWS I can't resist a treat like that. <BR> And last night I was all set to cook a healthy dinner....and he ordered pizza. I didn't want to cook only for ... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 06:04:54 EST New Discipline at Work I weigh myself on Wed. and Sunday. Yesterday's weight was at the "high end" of the three pounds I've been tossing around. So that's my starting point (from here on in,....I'm not replacing my initial weight).. i want to climb over this incline and leap from the plateau at the top. Three pounds. make it 4 and I will have put off another ten pounds and will have kicked that plateau's butt. LOL <BR> <BR> Yesterday and today I've done well. I had made out a week's menu for all three meals... Fri, 6 Mar 2015 16:56:21 EST A Confession I have still been messing around with the three pound yoyo my body plays with . Lose three, gain three, lose three, gain three....and repeat ad nauseum. I know why it is. My meals are pretty healthy. I've been eating a lot of greens and whole grains (not a lot of those, about one serving a day as per Dr Fuhrman.) But then, my husband comes home with a pizza...and I was out all day and I was definitely too exhausted to cook and we were out of fresh I had a piece of pizza. ... Tue, 3 Mar 2015 05:59:54 EST A GREAT idea I have been back on the EAT to LiVE program. I'm pleased to hear that a few of you have been following it also and are experiencing significant weight loss. It really does work....more than anything I've ever tried....even not eating at all did not give me results like this. <BR> <BR> Tonight I was in the mood for comfort food, but also wanted it to have nutritional value. Here's what I did: <BR> I had a box of Annies's Organic Mac and cheese. I read the box...the sodium is high but if y... Fri, 20 Feb 2015 17:42:50 EST I probably said it before... ....but I'm sayin' it again. JUST DO it. I've regained some weight (about 9 lbs--maybe a little less). I have NOT been eating according to Doc Fuhrman's plan. There is absolutely no excuse. It is true that there was nothing in the house to eat over the when my DH brought Chinese food home I gobbled it. He brought home some cereal yesterday....I'm hoping I have enough left of my salad for dinner tonight. Tomorrow my grocery order will be delivered and once more I will hav... Mon, 16 Feb 2015 15:12:03 EST Gimme Some Lovin'! I was just looking through my devotions and came across what I'd written yesterday about loving myself NOW rather than AFTER I lose weight. I wrote down some concrete ways I can show myself some love. I will share a few of them here. <BR> 1) I will not talk derogatorily about my body...not even to myself. <BR> 1a)I will not THINK unkindly about myself...but wil look for reasons to mentally high five myself. <BR> 2) I will go through my lingerie drawer and take out all the ripped or stained... Thu, 12 Feb 2015 10:51:09 EST Lovin' the Fattie 2-11-15 Diet and Such <BR> Today’s food list: <BR> Smoothie with some juice , assorted frozen fruit. One frozen banana, plain homemade soy yogurt, and almond milk. <BR> Some pastries from Starbucks. UGH <BR> Lunch …..a salad some bacon pieces and bleu cheese (Probably undid all the good in the salad) <BR> A naval orange <BR> Collard greens steamed with grated carrots steamed. Sauce made of cashews, balsamic vinegar and raisins. With slices of cucumber seeded and all arranged in a ww wrap.... Wed, 11 Feb 2015 18:14:35 EST My day of Stardom It took me quite by surprise to find that my blog was featured in the Community Highlight this week. I've gotten to meet a lot of Sparkers as a result of blog comments, page comments and Goodies. Thank you all for this amazing support. <BR> <BR> Now , two months after I wrote that blog---I've now lost a total of 19 lbs. Unfortunately it's coming off very slowly. And I know why that is: it's the fact that I'm making a few too many "exceptions to the rules"-- I have to begin to answer... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 04:50:42 EST The State of Dis-Union I had a stomach virus about a week or two ago....and I lost 6 lbs in short order. ...And then I gained them back and then some. <em>24</em> It started a couple of days ago when my husband "thoughtfully" brought me home Taco Bell as a gift. So, okay. I ate it (I mean I couldn't be rude and pitch it in the garbage could I? Especially since it was sort of a peace offering consequent to us working out some issues and beginning to get along well), <BR> <BR> Then I had an MD appointment ... Sat, 31 Jan 2015 04:05:26 EST later In case you were wondering how on earth I lost five pounds in three days --I did it by jogging. Jogging back and forth from the bathroom to either puke or poop or do them both at the same time. YUCK what a mess. <BR> And now my daughter and my husband are feeling sick and miserable. My heart goes out to yeah. 5 pounds in three days? Do you think I will be able to maintain it? I hope so. The trick will be to follow Dr Fuhrmans plan to the letter. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I go for ... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 14:45:34 EST Give or take a Hundred My daughter is very sick...flu or a bad upper respiratory infection. My husband and I were just talking about how I never get colds or viruses....But mycoplasma Pneumonia, endocarditis MRSA, or Encephla-spinal meningistis..? Bring it on! Go big or get out! <BR> <BR> I am hoping not to catch my daughter's illness...with my asthma it would be a serious problem. <BR> <BR> I just weighed myself. 19 lbs gone!...11 more pounds to Onederland. I was at this point last December (a year ago)...I ... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 06:02:00 EST Why the Heck not? The whole world is crazy busy. I know that because if I need to find a friend to drive me to the pharmacy - a ten minute trip- everyone I ask is too tied up to help. And it's not because it's no fun to go to the pharmacy. I've invited people over to sample from my enormous collection of tea...and still the reason (excuse?) that they are too busy. <BR> <BR> I am not busy. <BR> <BR> Other than an occasional shower and washing the dishes and feeding myself...I have nothing but free time. ... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 14:32:06 EST It is a New DAY!! The New Year is breathing down our necks.....and it is a time traditionally of evaluating our year past and setting goals for the coming year. I looked back on my blog, Treasures from Darkness ( <link> </link> ) at last New Year's entry and I discovered that I had met every single goal that I had set last year! I think that all of us could do the same thing if only we wouldn't forget about it in a week or two. What I did last year was to turn some of my r... Mon, 29 Dec 2014 05:33:50 EST Another Feeding Catastrophe Averted Today my friend Ralph and I went to a nice restaurant in town. It was packed. My decision to go there was based on the knowledge that I can get a large garden salad with a veggie patty to crumble into large pieces on the salad. I ate that....and then the bakery area near the cash register was calling my name. I ordered a gingerbread girl for my daughter and was feasting my eyes on every imaginable calorie laden concoction ....and then I saw it. A HUGE bowl of fruit salad...all fresh frui... Sun, 21 Dec 2014 15:07:09 EST Practical Means of Eating Well in a Crowd Last night went well.. <BR> Before I left I had a personal pizza on a whole wheat pita with black olives on it. Then I had a bowl of homemade vegetable soup I'd made the day before yesterday. This really helped me. After I ate the salad I was not at all tempted by the lasagna. <BR> <BR> The hostess filled up plates and we passed them around the table till every one had one. I just kept passing them and didn't keep one (the meal was lasagna with meat sauce and garlic bread). I did have one... Sun, 14 Dec 2014 14:27:19 EST Making BETTER Choices--when the Best ones are not Possible I've been struggling this week. I"ve "caved in" a couple of times while eating out. It was my birthday and a friend took me out for dinner to the Olive Garden. MMMmmm breadsticks!! and I was having fantasies of pasta Alfredo...However when the time came to order, I had decided on Grilled Salmon and broccoli, and we had two bowls of salad and (sigh) I had three breadsticks. <BR> <BR> Then yesterday while eating out with a friend, I had fantasies of fried chicken on a biscuit with gravy. B... Sat, 13 Dec 2014 04:57:34 EST Choices All you are today, is the consequence of your choices. It is true that things happen about which we lack control...sickness, financial issues, etc. But it is true that we have choices in how we will respond to such difficulties. You know the expression, "That which does not kill me, makes me stronger"? That is true for most people but there are people who cave in under pressure. That too, is a choice. It can be hard to pick yourself up from the ground and get going again, but truly, it i... Wed, 10 Dec 2014 02:50:52 EST Ho Ho Hum My house does not have the tiniest bit of Christmas about it. I should at least change the table cloth and get the one with the autumn leaves off of it. I honestly cannot go out to the garage and bring in boxes. I cannot take all the current decorations in my house down into the basement. My daughter had said she would help but she hasn't been home long enough to do anything. She is working today and tomorrow so it will not get done this weekend either. <em>39</em> <BR> <BR> A coup... Sat, 6 Dec 2014 05:16:53 EST Back in the Saddle Well I had a week of poor choices. Fortunately for some reason I did not have much appetite so that helped to keep it from being a catastrophe. Then on FRiday I bought some veggies and fruit because we were out of everything. Last night I cooked collard greens with shredded carrots and a raisin, balsamic, cashew sauce over the greens and carrots. (You blend those ingredients in the blender with a little water and it makes a lovely sauce). I really did not expect to like the greens. I tho... Sat, 22 Nov 2014 16:09:07 EST Re-Start the Motivation yesterday was hard. I went to NY to see a neurologist following some visual disturbances I've been having. And she didn't have good news. I left the office with a fist full of prescriptions for MRI, EMG and bloodwork....all to be done by next Wed. I don't drive and all of these tests are in NY plus on Monday I have a dentist appointment and I think I need a crown and maybe a root canal. <BR> <BR> Can I quit now? Because I'm really so done with all of this stuff. And I confess.....I at... Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:27:13 EST Satisfaction and JOY--the long run destinations How cool....and how affirming, to be voted as a featured blog post. HOnestly, there are a lot of other blogs I've written that I thought were better than yesterday's...but hey, I'll take it as I can get it! <BR> <BR> I was reading an article on Spark recently--about making goals. And the writer said that he/she had made a list of daily goals for themselves and they rewarded themselves with stars as they accomplished the items....and for every hundred stars, they rewarded themselves. I tho... Wed, 19 Nov 2014 04:17:31 EST Never too Late to Get Back up Again! I don't know if my weight has yet reflected it, but I've made some really horrible choices in the past maybe four days. I need to do something NOW or I will regain the 14 pounds that I'd lost. <BR> <BR> What can I do? <BR> 1) exercise <BR> 2) try not to eat out <BR> 3) If I DO eat out make wise choices. <BR> <BR> I need to detox all over again. I was just getting to the point when my tastes were being renewed so that healthy foods were tasting good and junk food was horrible. And I'm dri... Tue, 18 Nov 2014 05:28:53 EST random thoughts well, today was a mixed bag ....I didn't eat anything BAD except for some sweet potato fries.....and no, they weren't baked. And then I made a vegetable/bean/rice soup that had too many starchy veggies in it so it wasn't idea. But I didn't go nuts today like I did yesterday. I was praising God that after I polished off a bag of cookies in the overnight---I still lost a pound. <BR> <BR> I need to cut up some veggies to accompany the avocado dip I made for them yesterday. Maybe if I do th... Tue, 11 Nov 2014 18:12:36 EST Better than NOthing today is day 4 of my return to the Eat to Live program. I made the mistake of weighing myself...gained two pounds since i began....I have some reason to think that that weight is not fat....we'll see how it resolves if you know what I mean. <BR> <BR> Anyway I've gone over board a couple of times and had two starches in a day instead of one...and mostly that occurred in the middle of the night when I had some whole wheat crackers. And worst of all, I ate some sugary cereal in the wee hour... Thu, 30 Oct 2014 14:34:23 EST Day three Today I go to see a new pain MD. I am hoping that he will agree to take me as a patient and that he will be willing to help me meet my pain management needs and goals. That makes two MD visits in two days. I am really feeling wiped out...not at all like showering and getting dressed and taking the hour long ride to the MD. The only good part about it is that my dad is driving me. I love spending time with him. He is my superhero. <BR> <BR> So this marks day three of my Eat to Live plan.... Tue, 28 Oct 2014 04:33:09 EST Back to Dr Fuhrman When I took a good look at the photo on the previous page, I realized how much weight I've gained and how it has badly affected my appearance. I am also not feeling well...chest pain which may or may not be gastric in origin. Hopefully that's all it is. <BR> I know that the only way I'm going to lose weight is to go back onto the Eat to Live plan. I doubt that my husband will join me...he has too great of a death wish....even worse than mine. He is eating junk. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I ma... Sun, 26 Oct 2014 05:46:35 EST My Memoir Well, my goal for four years has been to complete my memoir. And a couple of weeks ago my dream was realized. Treasures from Darkness is available at Amazon and Barnes and Nobel. (search for Cynthia Lott Vogel, books and you will find it). I am very proud of the book and have gotten wonderful reports of people who've read and enjoyed it. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I could not afford to pay an editor and there are a couple of t... Sat, 25 Oct 2014 08:44:13 EST Let's give a hand for.... after two of the worst days in recent history, I looked at my hand that was throbbing....I'd rubbed some pain cream on it and then LOOK AT THIS!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Time to start taking those steroids that the doctor ordered, ya think? Fri, 17 Oct 2014 17:37:07 EST Self Pity? The following is a paragraph from John MacArthur's study Bible. I found it to be captivating and pertinent to the questions I'm asking today. <BR> <BR> “The basic theme of Psalms is living real life in the real world where two dimensions operate simultaneously; 1) a horizontal or temporal reality. 2) a vertical or transcendent reality .Without denying the pain of the earthly dimension, the people of God are to live joyfully and dependently on the person and promises standing behind the he... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 17:56:16 EST A Word from my "Other" blog As I have mentioned in the past has been a big part of my life in my attempts to lose weight and regain strength. IN the past several months it has been all I can do to drop in on the RAD team (Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease) where I am one of the leaders...and just update them on my current status and trying to encourage those there who are struggling. It used to be a really active team with posts appearing every hour at least. Lately's been dead. AS dead as m... Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:17:32 EST