DONANDMARY77's SparkPeople Blog DONANDMARY77's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Biggest Loser <img src=""> <BR> It feels great to be on target with weight loss again. I just won a $200.00 gift certificate for losing the most weight with Ideal Protein last month. I lost 25 pounds in 1 month. I am planning to get a massage! Tue, 23 Feb 2016 20:21:32 EST Women's Retreat <img src=""> <BR> The theme was Believe. I wasn't planning on going, but got a phone call that someone dropped out and I had a free place if I wanted it. I was at the Grand Hotel in Fairhope Alabama. It was very relaxing. I treated myself to a massage and soaked in the jacuzzi until I resembled a prune. I walked miles. The pain and swelling in my feet and legs is bad. I took fluid pills today and hope the swelli... Sun, 21 Feb 2016 17:20:58 EST The Coaching Edge <img src=""> <BR> One more year and I had to gather the courage to take steps towards a healthier weight. I have enlisted the help of a wellness coach. He has totally invigorated my resolve. I don't know how to explain the mental edge of not only seeing a coach every week, but also the feeling that he believes that I can do this. I have some serious accountability too. The coach waived his fee because of a mutua... Fri, 12 Feb 2016 20:09:04 EST Cheddar our rescue cat <img src=""> We adopted Cheddar a 4 year old tabby. He has had the most personality of any cat we ever had. The holidays are here and I am dealing with some over the top stresses. I am so thankful for all the friends that I have here. It has been a real help. Wed, 16 Dec 2015 15:16:48 EST Busy Month It has been over a month since posting my last blog.... It has been a busy month! <BR> The Bible College let out for a one month break, so things finally quieted down, just a little. I taught on Praise and Worship. We had a blow out day the last day of class. Students brought hand made instruments and we had 4 groups lead some really awesome times of praise. They pulled me up to dance with them. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The fi... Fri, 26 Jul 2013 05:14:58 EST Memories of Nursing School One of my classmates from 1981 Nursing School just posted a couple of photos. Photo one was my first year of school. We had to wear our student uniforms. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> There I am sitting in the front left, next to our first year nursing instructor. I still remember the first day of classes. There were not enough seats for everyone. It didn't take long for the class roster to thin out. 50 down to 30...but only 12 of us were ... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 07:50:34 EST Keep a positive attitude <img src=""> <BR> I think we all have weeks or months when maintaining our weight loss is actually a success. Life happens! We set ourselves up for failure if we do not allow room for less than perfect days. We can do everything right and still struggle to lose. I guess I am writing this for those who are like me. I have lost a considerable amount of weight this last year, but seem to be at a plateau. <BR> <BR> So what am I going ... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 08:16:46 EST Goodbye Robbie <img src=""> <BR> My dear friend Robbie died last night. Amy and two children are left behind. It was some hard news to take, but he has had major illnesses for about 8 years. Kidney failure had him on dialysis 2 times a week and they initially refused to put him on the transplant list because of his weight. He had gastric bypass and lost well over 100 pounds getting him n the weight range, but then he had side effects from gastric by... Fri, 24 May 2013 13:13:28 EST What a week Thank you for praying for my mom. She is much better. She had a very rough transitional season of her life. I was so burdened for her. My brother had good intentions to move her to live with him in New York, but there were some issues he did not count on: <BR> 1. My mom is NOT a City Slicker. She has been a small town girl her whole life, so moving her next to city park was not really her dream. <BR> 2. Mom is MOM...she grew up during the Great Depression and had to evacuate during Ka... Thu, 16 May 2013 05:26:08 EST Mom <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I love my mom. She is not only my mom, but my best friend. <BR> This has been a hard week for her. It makes my heart hurt to see her struggle so much. Please pray for her. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=... Thu, 9 May 2013 06:07:45 EST News articles related to the church bombing yesterday I am still in shock over the very first church bombing in Tanzania history. This is also the first time Arusha churches have been attacked. We are praying for justice to prevail. <BR> <BR> IPP Media: <BR> A Huge blast rocked Arusha yesterday morning after an explosive device was set off at a Roman Catholic Church, killing one person and injuring more than 60. <BR> <BR> The deceased, Regina Loning’o Kuresoi, was among the large congregation that had gathered for Sunday mass and to also wit... Mon, 6 May 2013 03:27:19 EST 1 killed many dozens injured in church bombing today <img src=""> <BR> ZANZIBAR, Tanzania – A Tanzanian police official says a woman died and 44 people were seriously injured when a bomb exploded in a Roman Catholic Church in northern Tanzania. <BR> The regional police Commissioner of Arusha, Magesa Mulogo, said Sunday the woman died in hospital as a result of the bombing in the Arusha church just before mass. <BR> Mulogo said eyewitnesses report that the bomb was thrown from a motorcycle... Sun, 5 May 2013 14:50:36 EST Climbing Kilimanjaro <img src=""> <BR> This is a photo of Mount Kilimanjaro. I live about 45 minutes away from this mountain. I have been thinking about the challenges I have faced. To me it is like climbing Kilimanjaro. It took determination deep inside of me. And lots of help from friends along the way. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I had to face joint issues since childhood. I can't even count the numbe... Tue, 30 Apr 2013 09:14:00 EST What a friend <img src=""> <BR> Don and I went to see a movie a few weeks ago. I was just thinking how blessed I am to have such a good friend and partner in ministry. <BR> I was at a women's retreat over the weekend. It was wonderful! I feel so refreshed, but after hearing so many other women, I have come to realize how special my husband is. <BR> <BR> Just want to do a quick shout out to having a wonderful husband! Mon, 29 Apr 2013 05:18:26 EST Overcoming Obstacles <img src=""> <BR> Teaching a fitness class after years of overcoming different hurdles is truly something I am thankful for. <BR> I don't take for granted the ability to move and do what I do anymore. Years of pain and lack of mobility nearly took my courage away. It was not easy to convince myself that I could ever do much more than endure life anymore. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> That... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 04:15:44 EST Bringing Light to one Bright Student <img src=""> <BR> Lillian is the top student in her class in a Tanzanian government school. She is exceptional. The conditions of her environment are challenging. She is part of a Masai family, who are dependent on farming as their only source of income. They live in a mud house without electricity. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Lillian's mom, sister, and twin nieces are in this photo. ... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 05:06:15 EST Be Light in a dark world Lillian is one of the teenagers in the youth group I lead in our home. She lives without electricity in a home made of mud. My desire was to help her in her studies. They have a very important test next year. Only 14% of the students passed the last exam like this one. They cannot go to the next class unless they pass..... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 04:11:10 EST Oranges, Mango, and bananas! <img src=""> <BR> Don and I went to the market yesterday, and found some of the most wonderful imported Oranges. These are like the enormous ones I used to get in Louisiana! We bought a bag of them, which was a little expensive, but it is cheaper than buying junk food. It has been over a year since I had an orange like this. This is Tanzania, but even local oranges are out of season. I was craving mandarin oranges, but they are nowh... Sun, 21 Apr 2013 12:51:28 EST James 5:13 <img src=""> <BR> Thanksgiving: <BR> 1. For wonderful friends who help me along the way <BR> 2. Such a great salvation! <BR> <BR> Prayer: <BR> 1. We are still waiting for the biopsy report for Don. Please agree that there is no trace of cancer. <BR> 2. My mother. My brother moved her to New York about 2 months ago. We have only had one short communication from her. Please pray for her to get settled and start to bloom again. <BR>... Sat, 20 Apr 2013 05:07:56 EST God wants us to soar <img src=""> <BR> 3 years ago I had both knees replaced. It was really a hard time for me emotionally and physically. <BR> <BR> To be brutally honest...I really had such a hard time and so many hurdles that I had decided I was just going to be "Chubby Granny".... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src="http://photos... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 11:23:33 EST Tanzania news at a glance Tanzania for Jesus <BR> <BR> 16 Story Building Collapse on Good Friday and Mining disaster <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> April 2 there was a disaster right here in Arusha. 13 people were killed after rainfall triggered the collapse of a rock quarry. Heavy rains were blamed for this disaster. This is after the collapse of a 16 story building o Good Friday, where 36 pe... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 10:50:07 EST The Culture of Tanzania vs Weight loss <img src="http://photos-ak.spark"> <BR> We are not in Kansas any more..... <BR> Faced an unusual weekend. Two different Tanzanians came up to me to congratulate me on my weight loss, but made it clear that I shouldn't lose more weight. It is not a good reflection on my husband if I get too small. I have gotten a few concerned glances from others who don't know I am actually trying to lose weight. <BR> These comments have reminded me of how individual the g... Mon, 15 Apr 2013 14:54:48 EST I Can See! <img src=""> <BR> Kaleb is one of the teenagers that comes every week for youth group at my home. The group started 2 years ago. It has gotten smaller, but the kids coming are serious about school and learning. It has been a learning curve for me, since their level of math has surpassed mine. UGH!!! I have been looking for resources to help these bright teenagers get the skills they will need to pass the national exam next year. <BR... Sat, 13 Apr 2013 05:21:41 EST House of Horrors (warning...very disturbing news story) Please forgive me for needing to say something about this issue. I am very sensitive about this myself. I found the article hard to read, but can't overlook the need to speak for those without a voice. I am not asking you to change your political views, only to take an objective view of this article and pray for our nation. I pray for God to shower His goodness to lead all of those involved in this clinic to see the error of what they are doing. That it will somehow awaken the country t... Fri, 12 Apr 2013 08:42:32 EST Baby Steps = Lasting Change <img src=""> <BR> That was really me last July! It was not my heaviest weight, but I was sure out of control. It was not a pretty moment of my life. I was not planning to get this out of control. I was free falling. In lots of denial. I was acting like someone without hope. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> That photo was taken Saturday! about 9 months after the first photo... Tue, 9 Apr 2013 08:42:35 EST Praise Time In Tanzania This is where we ministered this morning! Tanzanians really know how to rock the house for Jesus! Seriously think we are missing a concept for a new exercise class. Move over Turbo Jam. <BR> Here is Jesus Jam! WooHoo! <BR> <img src=""> Sun, 7 Apr 2013 12:23:04 EST Saturday <img src=""> <BR> Today has flown by. Day off from working out, but was active. Don has been bragging on me since yesterday. He took me out to dinner to celebrate. We split a fish sandwich. He ate the fries. I ate the salad. Today we went to see the movie, The Impossible. The movie about the Tsunami in Thailand. Wow! What a movie. Don't think I cried that much since Titanic. <BR> <img src=" Sat, 6 Apr 2013 15:22:46 EST The honor and accountability! <img src=""> <BR> That was me at least 10 years ago. It takes my breath away every time I see that photo of me. I threw away photos of me from my highest weight of 308. I still remember going to the doctors office that day. Dr. Yoman found me in the room in tears in response to that startling number. Never weighed in the 300's before. She tried to comfort me, but I was inconsolable. It was like a shot of ice water in the face. Th... Fri, 5 Apr 2013 04:19:46 EST Shopping that proves a point <img src=""> <BR> New workout pants! My new ones on top of the old ones. Old size 3x American. New size 2x South Africa- this is more like XL in USA. <BR> <BR> We took our trip to Nairobi to shop and rest. It was a bit frustrating to shop for sizes when the sizes in African countries and not the same. I was about to give up on finding a pair of jeans that fit. The first ones zipped, but I was pretty sure I would not be able to sit... Wed, 3 Apr 2013 09:31:15 EST Update on Tanzania <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Arusha, Tanzania: More than 20 people are feared dead after rainfall triggered the collapse of an escarpment above a murram mine site at Mushono in Arusha Region. <BR> <BR> Eye witnesses said heavy rains have been going on at the area in the past few days.The acting regional police commander, Mr Hemed Kilonge, told The Citizen that the accident o... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 10:24:52 EST Pray warriors please read! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Asking for my friends to pray for survivors of a quarry that collapsed this morning. They have no idea how many were buried alive. Very few bodies have been found. Thousands are gathered right now trying to help. It happened right near Vineyard Church, the pastor David Owens, said that even the Chinese have come with heavy equipment to help. <BR> This is for real! <BR> <BR> The photo is not from today, but is of... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 08:14:43 EST Vegetable Soup and Edison <img src=""> <BR> I was just pondering the process of lasting change. For instance…I am wearing a pair of pants that used to be very tight, but in the last 7 months, now dragging on the ground. It reminds me of Alice in Wonderland when she shrank. The difference is that the clothes did not shrink with me. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I talk to people who are just starting this jou... Tue, 19 Mar 2013 05:34:10 EST We've Come a LONG way BABY! We've Come a long way baby! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Happy to report that the fall I had last week didn't do serious damage. I did 50 minutes of cardio yesterday. It was a timid start, but ended up on the stair climber to finish. It helped to calm my insecurity about leading class tomorrow. It really feels good to know how far I have come in the last year. <BR> <BR> I did something very brave Saturday. I went through my closet... Mon, 18 Mar 2013 09:04:09 EST Thankful during the journey The truth is that we all have trials and downright hard times. I believe one of the greatest keys to keeping your head above water in the midst of hard times, is to be thankful. <BR> <em>304</em> <BR> Thank you is a real way to turn your frown up side down <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> Test this theory out the next time you go to the store and pay. Say a heart warming, "Thank you", and smile. I have to say 99.99% of the time you will get a smile in return. Not only have you made their day... Fri, 15 Mar 2013 10:45:57 EST Motivational Quotes <em>306</em> <BR> Impossible = I’m possible <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Fail to plan = plan to fail <BR> "Never, never, never, never give up" - Winston Churchill <BR> <em>386</em> <BR> “Just Do It” Nike <BR> “If you don’t take care of yourself, you can’t take care of anyone else.” Father Richard Lesnick <BR> <em>20</em> <BR> “The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It’s your mind you have to convince.” Vince Lo... Thu, 14 Mar 2013 08:18:40 EST Tanzania Missionary Life In Pictures <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is the paper that packed the shoes that came yesterday...It is very seldom that we get papers from the USA. Don was so excited he started smoothing out the treasured papers and reading. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Electricity is very unreliable and unstable. We had a fire that destroyed our offices in 2004. It was caused by one of the phases jum... Wed, 13 Mar 2013 04:41:15 EST If these shoes could talk <img src=""> <BR> <BR> WooHoo! Perfect timing to have the new athletic shoes arrive today. I was feeling a little down about not being able to lead the exercise class this week, but new shoes have a way of making everything look better!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> These are the old ones. I think they are only a year old, but if shoes could talk these would have a lot to say.... Tue, 12 Mar 2013 05:03:21 EST The Bionic Woman Keeping a positive attitude can be a challenge when we are facing difficulties. I slipped and hurt myself on Saturday evening. It was because of a rug that I stepped on. Kind of stupid, because I had only recently put them back in the bathroom floor. <BR> <BR> I got good news today. That I didn't cause damage to my titanium knees. I was worried because of the swelling and pain. But I have proof that it is only the other stuff surrounding the knee that got a beating during my not so gra... Mon, 11 Mar 2013 10:25:44 EST HELP...I have fallen and can't get up- slipped on rug in bathroom-OUCH! Well..I went and fell in the bathroom. Slipped on the rug on the way to washing my hands. I wouldn't normally have worried about a fall, but after having double knee replacement, the left leg flexed at a high speed and my heel touched my glute...That hasn't happened since I was a little kid... <BR> <BR> I tried to go to the hospital, but there is no orthopedic surgeons on duty on Sundays, and no I am stuck at home worrying...trying not to worry. I feel pretty beat up the... Sun, 10 Mar 2013 04:42:28 EST 78 pounds lost! WooHoo! <img src=""> <BR> I finally got Don to take a new photo of me, since the last one I posted was a month old. It is pretty amazing that I am now at the 78 pound loss mark. I am so close to my next goal I can smell it. <BR> <BR> Dr. Vino Raj, who has been instrumental in helping me get the medical hurdles removed that hindered my weight loss, also is the one who gave me the initial gift of a gym membership. We talked yesterday. He told... Sat, 9 Mar 2013 02:59:05 EST March News From Tanzania <img src=""> <BR> It has been 2 months since our last newsletter. There is so much happening, that it is hard to know where to start. The ministry of New Life Outreach had a difficult transition at the end of the year, which was good, but very hard. We felt in our hearts that we needed to stay in Tanzania to help with this transition and to help everything run smoothly. This is the main reason we are not traveling to the USA in 2013. ... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 02:29:04 EST Moving the mountains of life a little bit at a time <img src=""> <BR> This journey of weight loss and fitness can seem daunting sometimes. How do we move the mountain? One little bit at a time. The photo is a good example. That big boulder has been moved. People push it and put stones in front of it to keep it from rolling back. The amount it has moved each time is barely noticeable, but over time you can see the path of the boulder has gone for many feet. <BR> <BR> We can be discourag... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 14:14:15 EST Vacation-but not vacation A vacation is long overdue. We are just going to go over the boarder to Kenya for 4 days to relax, shop and enjoy being disconnected from all the normal stresses of life. I am working on exact dates with friends who are traveling there too. We are going together to save on fuel costs and also because we love our friends. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Vacations are not an excuse to turn into a cone head and devour everything in si... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 08:18:21 EST Some funny photos taken in Tanzania <img src=""> <BR> This photo was taken at a pay toilet at the boarder of Tanzania and Kenya. It describes the different fees for the toilet. <BR> 1. For normal use of toilet <BR> 2. To vomit in toilet <BR> 3. To hide in toilet <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This photo is an amazing example of how many Tanzanians can get on a motorcycle...and still not get in trouble...Police ... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 11:30:38 EST Global Warming...or is it MENOPAUSE???? This last year has been something of a change. I have lost over 75 pounds since beginning this fitness journey. I have also entered the time of life that is called, "Menopause". I still don't know why it is called, "Menopause", since "MEN" don't go through it....well, I do feel sorry for my husband when I have a sudden hot flash while I am next to him in bed... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It would be nice if someone could figure out ... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 14:40:40 EST Mary's Little Lambs <img src=""> <BR> Two years ago I started meeting with a group of Tanzanian teenagers. They all go to government schools here in Tanzania. These are the greatest kids, but meet the most extreme challenges.... I have to confess, these kids have stolen my heart. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> We have done many things together in the last few years. This is a photo I took the day of ... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 04:37:56 EST Virtual Hug Day! <img src=""> <BR> There is an amazing feeling of security to be hugged and give hugs. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Don't forget the angels that surround you today! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <... Wed, 27 Feb 2013 04:27:24 EST Comic relief- I am more than a number on a scale <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Well, it was bound to happen. I was hesitant to even record my weight while I had the flu, but did because I was so happy to see how close I was to breaking a barrier that I haven't crossed in a very long time....I did record the weight and now I am dealing with the post-flu weight gain. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 26 Feb 2013 02:32:24 EST Collage of Tanzania <img src=""> <BR> I thought you might be interested in a collage made from a friends recent safari. It is just a small snap shot of what you see when you go to the game parks in Tanzania. <BR> <BR> I have lived in Tanzania 13 years. It is a lot of fun to see what other people see when they go through the parks here. It is funny that when you live only 7 hours from one of the modern wonders, that we have only had a glance of the beaut... Mon, 25 Feb 2013 04:37:40 EST Storm in Magugu This is a storm that came up suddenly in Magugu Tanzania. It was fierce and nearly shut down the ministry. My husband is one of the men up in the speaker tower trying to secure it, so that it didn't tip over. <BR> <BR> We all have storms in our lives. I know that when the winds blow in from who knows where, that I have an Anchor to keep me from falling. <BR> <BR> One thing I know for sure. We can do this together. God didn't create us to fight the fight alone. Victory will come. It... Thu, 21 Feb 2013 07:59:30 EST