EJOY-EVELYN's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=EJOY%2DEVELYN EJOY-EVELYN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ A Challenge within a Challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5633946 For the 5% Challenge with the Teddy Bears, participants were again given the challenge (aka dare) to write and track our goals for the month. <BR> <BR> Here's my goals and updated report: Workout 30 minutes minimum and track food daily. Complete two prayer shawls. Try 14 new things. Publish 3 blogs. (WO=Workout) <BR> <BR> Accountability: <BR> Feb 1-29: Daily WO, Track <em>248</em> <BR> Mar 1-30: Daily WO, Track <em>248</em> <BR> Apr 1-30: Daily WO, Track <em>248</em> <BR> May ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 01:14:15 EST Dared to blog . . . Planning for Success! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5606548 My Spark is back! While I'm probably singing to the choir, the SparkPeople Community is one of the most positive and motivating you'll ever encounter! I'm glad to be part of an encouraging group of friends and teams. One of the things I like about being a fan of Joyce Meyers, is she has a loving way of spanking our behinds (verbally) in an attempt to bring us back into step with right and healthy living. Even well-meaning, constructive criticism -- when done with love and kindness -- is a... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 20:30:30 EST Healthy Habit #8: Stay Young at Heart! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5381655 This is more about a frame of mind we carry in life and how we treat other people than any one beauty secret we may hold tight to. Special thanks to the 5% challenges where my Teddy Bear Team is one of eleven supportive teams that encourage each other to live the healthy habits we practice during the weekly challenges. <BR> <BR> What is it that you do that brings a sparkle to your eyes or that special glow to your smile? It’s that activity, when combined with healthy habits I incorporate i... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 16:09:28 EST Paradise calls . . . with photos! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5327877 I am so lovin' my home away from home today! $20 at the farmer’s market today brought me a taste of Freggies heaven: 4.5 lbs tomatoes, 1 lb green beans, potatoes (Idaho, red, and sweet), 2 bunches of asparagus, 3 red sweet peppers, 6 medium zucchini, 9 oz fresh bean sprouts and a small to medium-sized watermelon. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l1209302699.jpg"> <BR> <BR> One free parking spot also provides me a delightful waterfront walk along the Caloosahat... Thu, 18 Apr 2013 17:54:39 EST Healthy Habit #7: Having Fun! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5278693 I have a knack of taking life a little too seriously. There’s more to life than reaching a goal if you can’t have a little fun along the way. I try to make room in my week to do at least three fun things. It's important to slow down and smell the roses! Many of these do not translate into a photo opportunity, so I’ll go back a little in time to pick a few fun photos: <BR> <BR> If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. -- Katharine Hepburn <BR> <BR> In between goals is a thing ca... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 10:30:20 EST Healthy Habit #6: Making enjoyable workouts! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5277251 I’ve professed this here before: I have a love/hate relationship with exercise . . . I like to think I primarily hate it! I don’t like to sweat and I don’t like to exercise for the sake of exercise. And oh, how I dislike that word hate, so I’ll strive not to use it again here. <BR> <BR> I have found several ways of working in quality fitness minutes to the point where I feel like I’m “cheating” a bit. To my fitness guru friends, you’ll concur with that thought . . . and that’s okay. I ha... Thu, 7 Mar 2013 10:40:47 EST Healthy Habit #5: Saying “no thank you” to caloric beverages! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5275767 This has been my personal mantra for years. I love food too much to log high-calorie beverages in my nutritional tracker. As it is, when I cook, I cook big. On Christmas Day, a friend and I bulk cook eight different curries (each recipe quadrupled or more) for a dinner party and for freezing. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/7/l274130519.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/9/l698265539.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Coach Nicole writes about it as... Wed, 6 Mar 2013 10:58:05 EST Healthy Habit #4: Being Generous! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5274275 Being generous is my worship and praise to the living God of my faith. Some of that is through my active SparkPeople participation and commitment to my Challenge Teams and SparkFriends. SparkPeople is a great resource for finding the most positive pe0ple I know. To God be the glory. <BR> <BR> "[Remember] this: he who sows sparingly and grudgingly will also reap sparingly and grudgingly, and he who sows generously [[a]that blessings may come to someone] will also reap generously and with... Tue, 5 Mar 2013 12:06:09 EST Healthy Habit #3: Eating quality freggies! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5272349 Healthy Habit #3: Eating quality freggies (fruits and veggies). The full color of the rainbow should be represented throughout the week to provide the most complete nutritional value. One great strategy I've used in the past is wearing a multi-colored blessed string bracelet to remind me of picking a variety of freggies. I choose so well now, the new half-plate visual will do just fine. <BR> <BR> Attending the Rhubarb Festival is a relatively new and great way to spend time with friends a... Mon, 4 Mar 2013 09:08:56 EST Healthy Habit #2: Making SMART Goals! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5270603 Healthy Habit #2: Make God-honoring, SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely) goals. <BR> <BR> As I enter Week Two of the Winter 5% Challenge (this week is all about blogging about healthy habits), I want to honor God as I continue to care for his creation (Rom 12:1 and 1 Cor 6:19-20) while I lose ten more pounds to reach a healthy BMI and about 25 pounds to reach a 22-23 BMI range. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/2/l929028281.jpg"> <BR> ... Sun, 3 Mar 2013 01:59:18 EST Healthy Habit #1: Being active in SparkPeople! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5269611 For the next seven days, I am challenging myself – thanks to my Winter 5% Challenge leaders -- to share with you some healthy habits that have led to my success: <BR> <BR> Healthy Habit #1: Being active in SparkPeople! SparkPeople.com is a great network to meet friends, while joining in many new and exciting SparkTeams and Challenges. <BR> <BR> What a thrill to meet another SparkFriend . . . and an international one at that. ZELLAZM calls Germany her home and has also enjoyed calling SW ... Sat, 2 Mar 2013 11:05:11 EST Successful Fall Challenge (A photo Journal) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5151643 If only I could blog in smaller segments -- I'll understand if you simply scan this one quickly. I’m happy to be in three challenges: 1) wrapping up Week 8 of 8 in the 5% Fall Challenge with what may be a maintenance weight loss nearing the desired 5%, 2) two thirds through the Jingle Bell Challenge with the Christians with 100 Pounds to Lose team, and 3) greatly exceeding my fitness minute goals for the Christians Maintaining Weight Loss team. <BR> <BR> I can confidently report that my Sp... Fri, 30 Nov 2012 12:27:13 EST Relishing the Team Challenges while Getting Back on Track! (a photo journal) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5091589 We have uniquely different journeys while taking control of our health. Lately, I can’t seem to shake this tendency to hold deep a mentality where I live to eat (vs eat to live). Will I ever break myself of this mentality? This makes my relationship with food on the cusp of an abusive one. <BR> <BR> On April 21, 2011, I celebrated the entry into the range of a healthy BMI. WooHoo! On July 16, 2011, I celebrated reaching my goal weight having lost 100 lbs with a 23.1 BMI. <BR> <BR> <... Mon, 8 Oct 2012 16:40:58 EST Living the Good Life (a photo journal) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4976457 My SparkPage is updated with God-honoring goals for faith, family, friends, food, fitness, and fun so allow me to take you to my last week in photos while living the good life and celebrating the one-year anniversary of maintaining my 100-lb weight loss. I so enjoyed all the well wishes from my Sparkfriends – Thank you! <BR> <BR> Faith: Baptism, Birthday Sing-a-long, Prayer Shawl at India Palace <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/1/l714942663.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img ... Wed, 18 Jul 2012 16:22:30 EST A Celebration of Life and Goals (photo journal)! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4963935 I’m walking a fine line with a good emphasis on quantity of fitness minutes for the Teddy Bear Team while eating a little too often at the high-end of my calorie range. In the month (30 days) since my last blog, the Summer 5% Challenge reminds me to incorporate all the healthy living habits. I enjoy a smaller plate for most of my meals, and continue to track my food and fitness enjoying breakfast, water, freggies, and fiber -- all great elements of healthy living. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> ... Tue, 10 Jul 2012 13:12:39 EST Preparing for the 5% Summer 2012 Challenge (Pre-Challenges #1-3) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4920976 In about a week or two, I begin an eight-week 5% Summer Challenge to encourage living a healthy lifestyle. Our first assignment is to answer the following five questions: <BR> <BR> 1) Have you got your gym clothes, runners, water bottle, etc. ready to go? <BR> <em>248</em> Walking shorts or pants <BR> <em>248</em> Athletic shoes <BR> <em>248</em> Water galore (bottles and a natural thirst for tap water) <BR> <BR> 2) What is your exercise plan? <BR> <em>311</em> Walking <B... Mon, 11 Jun 2012 01:33:30 EST SparkTeam Goals and Success through Pictures (Part 2) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4914172 A special thank you to the 5% Challenge with the Teddy Bears and the Spring Renewal with the Inspired and Challenged by Joyce Meyer Team. Setting, tracking, and advancing diligently (with joy) helps me to stay focused in achieving the goals. Part 1 focused on how I fared in my goals of faith, family, and friends. Please join me as I show in pictures the attainment of my goals in food, fitness, and fun. You’ll see there’s a lot of overlap between them all, and that overlap is what I call bal... Wed, 6 Jun 2012 04:25:00 EST SparkTeam Goals and Success through Pictures (Part 1) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4912404 A special thank you to the 5% Challenge with the Teddy Bears and the Spring Renewal with the Inspired and Challenged by Joyce Meyer Team. Setting, tracking, and advancing diligently (with joy) helps me to stay focused in achieving the goals. Since I haven’t blogged for a while, I hope you'll enjoy some of the many photos that represent the attainment of goals. <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> <em>26</em> FAITH: Spend 15 minutes daily in the study of God’s word, knit one prayer shawl each month, ... Mon, 4 Jun 2012 23:07:39 EST Two Week Update for the 5% Challenge . . . Success! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4812749 <em>248</em> FAITH (and FUN): Spend 15 minutes daily in the study of God’s word, knit three prayer shawls with each 5% challenge (10 wks), and honor God by making faith an active verb. The cream color shawl worked on under the Tiki hut this week is now fringed and ready turn in to the church. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/4/l748493817.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> FAMILY and FRIENDS (and FUN): Spend quality time (be present) with family and friends weekly.... Fri, 30 Mar 2012 20:14:45 EST Confessions of a Hungry Girl . . . Pizza is Good Food! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4792727 During the last nearly six years, I said farewell to the typical diet mentality that called for the denial of several foods. Weight Watchers (WW) encourages us to find workable solutions – to learn to work any food into our plan (within moderation, of course). <BR> <BR> Some foods are hard to give up . . . and pizza is one of those foods. While I refuse to allow myself to return to the insane madness that I once called my norm, I do have a hungry-girl appetite for eating healthier, yet f... Sat, 17 Mar 2012 23:05:17 EST The 5% Spring Challenge: Writing My Goals http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4781339 My theme of, “Achieving Balance” is to remind me to stay on track and chose to live healthily while honoring the God who gave me this creation to take care of in Romans 12:1. When we run the good race, we don’t do it without a good plan. 1 Cor 9:26a: Therefore I do not run uncertainly (without definite aim). . . . <BR> <BR> THECRAZYMANGO captured me here at Lupis 5K along Lake Superior. Looks like I’m running, but I actually walked just under a 14-minute mile and am just about to clock in... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 22:37:00 EST Creating God-honoring Goals! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4776333 As I get ready to set my 5% Spring Challenge Goals for the challenge beginning March 17, I want to honor God as I continue to care for his creation (Rom 12:1) after losing 103 lbs and maintaining healthy BMI primarily in the 22-23 range. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/2/l929028281.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Romans 12:1 -- I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all you... Wed, 7 Mar 2012 21:07:54 EST Seriously daydreaming of travels afar http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4760727 A dear friend from my college came to visit last weekend and we broke bread together, enjoyed Fisherman’s Village, and checked out the Greek Festival. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/0/l405106545.jpg"> <BR> <BR> He’s getting married in Sri Lanka later this year over the holidays. While I have not yet made up my mind, all I can think and smile about these days is travel to Sri Lanka. I enjoy some of the most beautifully gifted salwar/churidar-kurta-dupatta su... Mon, 27 Feb 2012 23:05:13 EST Review: 28 Day Boot Camp with Coach Nicole http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4753705 I am now one of Coach Nicole’s biggest fans! I love her passion for healthy living through cardio and strength training. Coach Nicole was named Life Fitness and ACE’s top “Personal Trainer to Watch” and “Fan Favorite.” For the details on this DVD and a $3 coupon for use at Target, and other Spark Fitness DVDs visit: <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness<BR>_articles.asp?id=1121 </link> <BR> <BR> In December, SparkPeople gave several active bloggers an opportunity to win Coach... Thu, 23 Feb 2012 17:16:04 EST God’s blessings . . . Everywhere today! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4731683 Every time I turned around today, I felt truly blessed by my Lord and Creator. I was uniquely blessed by the breath of God and his incredible grace through every relationship, both new and old. It was as if we were in continuous dialog throughout the entire day. “Pray Continually” (1 Thes 5:17) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/2/l523930598.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Thank you, Lord, for the beautiful smiles this day brought through the gift of music as coordinated today b... Fri, 10 Feb 2012 00:56:10 EST The 5% Winter Challenge: It’s a wrap! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4699532 Here were my goals for the 5% Winter Challenge: <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> 1) Maintain a healthy BMI (130-174) by maintaining my goal of 161 lbs. <BR> <em>248</em> 2) Track fitness daily. <BR> <em>248</em> 3) Average 70 minutes (or more) of daily cardio and strength training. <BR> <em>248</em> 4) Track food daily. <BR> <em>248</em> 5) Eat six or more servings of freggies daily. <BR> <em>248</em> 6) Drink at least 12 cups of water daily. <BR> <em>248</em> 7) Satisfy 4-7 recom... Mon, 23 Jan 2012 17:24:16 EST Achieving Balance . . . Ugly Duckling to Swan http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4694037 This blog cheerfully concludes a week-long SparkTeam challenge to share an element of my weight-loss journey (now 100+ lbs) with my friends and team mates. I chose to feature how faith, family, friends, food, fitness, and fun play significant roles in my life. <BR> <BR> My faith tells me that God doesn’t make mistakes in creation. We are made in his image and he has a unique plan and purpose, as well. For that, I am in awe of the beautiful diversity that surrounds me. <BR> <BR> <img src... Fri, 20 Jan 2012 19:18:20 EST Achieving Balance . . . Day Six http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4692234 FAITH: We peeled, cut, made crusts, and assembled apple pies for both a community dinner and fund raiser. Our missions leader here is working the convection oven. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/7/l370496038.jpg"> <BR> <BR> FAMILY: I spent the day with my Dad today. Here we dined at Maggies in Bayfield and enjoyed their Lake Superior Trout (blackened) with rice, black beans, salsa, and a sweet potato fries appetizer. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.spark... Thu, 19 Jan 2012 22:07:58 EST Achieving Balance . . . Day Five http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4689453 FAITH Yesterday, God’s children shared God’s word, discussed the annual report, and cut mittens for a community in need. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/9/3/l9354631.jpg"> <BR> <BR> “I needed clothes and you clothed me . . . “(Matt 25:36a) <BR> <BR> FAMILY: I’m really pushing my luck in getting my husband to join me for another photo (after our church directory photos yesterday (done only every five years or so). Lately, he’s been wanting a sweat suit and all the... Wed, 18 Jan 2012 15:36:05 EST Achieving Balance . . . Day Four http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4687051 FAITH: Today is Church Directory Photo Day at my church. Here’s the photo we last took for this directory: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/8/l685720416.jpg"> <BR> <BR> FAMILY: Here’s a little Florida family time at Fisherman’s Village. Hubby’s cousin is in the middle. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/6/l26553132.jpg"> <BR> <BR> FRIENDS: Last night, I enjoyed Moo Shu served at the China Inn where I was able to take the remaining thr... Tue, 17 Jan 2012 14:31:42 EST Achieving Balance . . . Day Three http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4685040 FAITH: One project this Missions Group took on was making diapers out of old t-shirts to send to Honduras. Now we cannot keep up with the requests we get from our local Salvation Army and Goodwill Industries. If you’re ever in my neighborhood, bring me your old (but clean) t-shirts! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/1/l219258029.jpg"> <BR> <BR> FAMILY: While with my Dad last Friday, I came across this earlier photo with my parents and two brothers. How fun to s... Mon, 16 Jan 2012 17:57:40 EST Achieving Balance . . . Day Two http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4683049 I should preface this blog by the fact that week’s blogging is compliments of the 5% challenge where we are asked to blog every day for one week as part of our Living The Good Life challenge. Being blessed as a visual person, I will likely concentrate this week of blogs through the lens of my camera. You will see -- in yesterday's blog in more detail -- that I am concentrating my efforts on achieving balance through a healthy combination of faith, family, friends, food, fitness, and fun. <B... Sun, 15 Jan 2012 21:40:25 EST Achieving Balance . . . Day One http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4680134 FAITH: Spend at least 15 minutes daily in the study of God’s word and complete at least two prayer shawls. My goal is to continue to make my faith an active verb – a living faith -- full of ways where my personal relationship with God is enhanced. I take to heart the words of Jesus when he forgives Peter’s denial of him and says, “Feed my sheep.” (John 21:17b) <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l161240602.jpg"> <BR> <BR> FAMILY: When living within a hundred mil... Sat, 14 Jan 2012 12:27:07 EST Confessions of a Food Addict . . . Trigger Foods (Pt 1: Freggies?) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4603159 After enjoying THETURTLEBEAR’s blog today, I understand that a trigger food is one that gets you off course for the next hour and you are not eating because you are truly hungry. I wish I could say I’m more like CROOKEDLETTER and don’t have foods that I want to over-indulge in, but I know better. Besides, jealousy and envy are so unbecoming. (smile, smile) Because there is an “and” in this definition, it may be more appropriate to admit that I’m food addict. <BR> <BR> Let’s face it! I h... Mon, 28 Nov 2011 18:11:16 EST Ready and Set for the Winter 5% Challenge! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4601415 December 3 will be here in six days. Bring it on! <BR> <BR> Assignment #1 Be Prepared <BR> <BR> <em>248</em> Clothes (I love those 80% off sales at Younkers) <BR> <em>248</em> Equipment (A minimalist here . . . body ready to work!) <BR> <em>248</em> Water (Lake Superior Water (or purified water) . . . ready to rock!) <BR> <em>248</em> Exercise (Dance, March, Walk, Tai Chi, Leslie Sansone DVDs) <BR> <em>248</em> Diet (Weight Watchers, SparkPeople, continued healthier eating (le... Sun, 27 Nov 2011 16:56:25 EST Fall 5% Challenge . . . it’s a wrap! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4600112 My very first 5% challenge that began in the Fall of 2010, was the start of a great impetus to lose the last half of my desired weight loss. Thank you, Ceri, for introducing me to such a great group of people. When I look through my Spark friends, I’m amazed at how many of my friends cross over into so many of the 5% teams of the challenge. Regardless of what team you’re on, Spark people rejoice in each other’s joy, are saddened when we fine a friend in mourning, and tend to offer a kick, ... Sat, 26 Nov 2011 14:05:06 EST It’s been a delightful “Freggie” Week! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4580681 My 5% SparkTeam Challenge encouraged the teams (I’m a Teddy Bear) to a week of freggies (fruits and veggies). I made it my personal best averaging 28 freggie servings over seven days by ending on my highest ever note of 43 freggie servings while remaining within my calorie, protein, and carbohydrate recommendations. WooHoo! Speaking of protein, I seem to be doing much better reaching the 60 grams daily while in maintenance mode. During this week's 5% challenge, I do not count my legumes o... Sat, 12 Nov 2011 10:41:31 EST Gift of Love Ministry through Prayer Shawls . . . http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4548530 Love does not boast (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). I do not write this for the purpose of boasting, but to share with so many of you my labor of love in one of the ways I serve others through Christ. Several of my Spark Friends have asked me about the prayer shawls I make, so I thought this might be a good opportunity to devote one of my blogs to this topic of service. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/6/l868268087.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Personal Responsibility (Part of my Spar... Sat, 22 Oct 2011 23:39:35 EST Blessed by Fellow Sparkers! . . . and a 5K Lupus Walk/Run for Hope! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4513870 Back in September, I had the opportunity to join TheCrazyMango thanks to our regional connections in the area. SparkPeople is a major influence in our lives, in that we have both lost 100 lbs. WooHoo! We celebrated with conversation, entertainment and dinner at the new Japanese Hibachi steakhouse in the area. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/5/l858643487.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Today, I walked a 5K, met up with THECRAZYMANGO a second time, and met another new Sparker, VPO... Sat, 1 Oct 2011 15:40:25 EST Why am I in the Fall 5% Challenge? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4491805 The actual question in our 5% Pre-Challenge #3 is, “Why do you want to lose weight?” You might say I'm becoming a regular at this: This is my fifth challenge. Just as I began the Summer Challenge, on July 16, I lost my last three pounds and reached my 100-lb weight loss goal, making my last 5% Challenge my first challenge in maintenance mode. <BR> <BR> This list is intentionally not prioritized. My reasons for having made this weight loss journey are as follows. <BR> <BR> 1) SparkPe... Sun, 18 Sep 2011 21:48:36 EST Preparing for the 5% Fall 2011 Challenge http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4490336 On September 24, I begin an eight-week 5% Challenge to encourage living the healthy lifestyle. Our first assignment is to answer the following five questions: <BR> <BR> 1) Have you got your gym clothes, runners, water bottle, etc. ready to go? <BR> <em>248</em> Walking shorts or pants <BR> <em>248</em> Athletic shoes <BR> <em>248</em> Water galore (bottles and a natural thirst for tap water) <BR> <BR> 2) What is your exercise plan? <BR> <em>311</em> Walking <BR> <em>311<... Sat, 17 Sep 2011 22:38:26 EST Dad time (Photos) and Spark Friend Dinner http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4474814 I enjoyed the day with my Dad, where we took care of some business and attended the monthly birthday party and sing-a-long at a local nursing home. My Dad still has an incredible voice! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/2/l123539655.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/6/l763840640.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/2/7/l271259977.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l161542202.... Fri, 9 Sep 2011 01:34:58 EST More joy and walking on campus! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4472874 I’m so thrilled to be part of a vibrant campus this week. One meeting yesterday . . . another meeting today . . . and now planning is done for a Lake Superior sailing trip Sunday with the Office of International Programs and World Student Association. <BR> <BR> I walked all over campus again today. I even joined a friend’s computer class (after being dismissed) so I could see her brand new digs in Swenson Hall. We made plans for a family day and picnic on the Madeline Island (part of Lake ... Thu, 8 Sep 2011 01:50:02 EST Walking with Joy! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4470804 The 5% challenge is all about moving more and for me, I move a lot more around the house, as well along nature’s path. Today, I had lunch on campus with friends. This is both my alma mater, as well as the place I was employed at for twenty years. The campus is alive and well with a flurry of students attending their first day of classes. The new academic offices in Swenson Hall are nearly in full operation. I was most grateful for a table of traffic aides while the signage to find office... Wed, 7 Sep 2011 01:57:11 EST 2011 is my Year of Umami! . . . Hold the anchovies, you say? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4468647 Experts have now defined a fifth element that our taste buds can detect to now decipher sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. When I first heard the news earlier this year, the only word I could visualize -- in order to remember this relatively new discovery -- was Ooh-Mommie! Wikipedia.org is a great resource for further study about umami. <BR> <BR> I know there are a lot of people who cannot tolerate “monosodium glutamate.” However, MSG is a natural occurring ingredient that gets a b... Tue, 6 Sep 2011 01:08:20 EST You have unbelievable power . . . Use your Spark! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4466830 Yesterday, a very special friend of mine celebrated a very special birthday! Her name is Susan. She shares with me and those who visit her page, the very essence of her life, her joy, and her spark just by sharing the way she does through these very vibrant SparkPages! <BR> <BR> Susan lives a life that I strive to model. Her priorities are in order: Faith, Family and Friends! Because of our frailties, we often fall short in maintaining the richness and abundance of life that comes with ... Mon, 5 Sep 2011 02:45:40 EST A Healthy Binge! . . . What’s up with that? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4465236 I have a tendency eat rather light (200-300 calorie) breakfasts so as to leave enough room so that I can splurge (or even binge) on healthy foods later in the day. I’m working to find strategies where it’s possible to remain within nutritional ranges without thinking about eating or my next meal during my necessary “down” time. I guess this is what one might call emotional eating – something I need to work on further. <BR> <BR> It seems that due diligence continues at every level of our we... Sun, 4 Sep 2011 02:46:09 EST There’s Joy in reaching goals! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4463620 I thought it best today to begin with looking at my September goals: <BR> <BR> 1) Maintain my goal weight within two pounds (WooHoo!) . <BR> 2) Average an hour daily cardio and strength training <BR> 3) Track food and fitness daily <BR> 4) Eat six or more servings of freggies (fruits and veggies) daily <BR> 5) Drink at least 12 cups of water daily <BR> 6) Sleep 7-9 hours a night six days a week. <BR> 7) Satisfy 4-7 recommended levels of: calories, fat, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, c... Sat, 3 Sep 2011 02:31:15 EST Two beautiful walks today! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4457730 I walked back from the grocery store and carried four bags of fresh veggies, of which I hit a super sale on eggplants and bought 11 of them. Along the way, I did a little strength training while enjoying the view. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l185536109.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/1/l112271577.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/3/1/l315701613.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkp... Wed, 31 Aug 2011 03:01:44 EST Oh my . . . What's up with the neighborhood bandits? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=4455720 This is one week I’m able to excel in the Living the Good Life challenge: Drinking Water. I apparently have been blessed with a natural thirst, and able to up my typical gallon each day to over well 20 cups. WooHoo! <BR> <BR> I also monitoring all seven of my nutrients and met my requirements for all seven today: calories, fat, carbs, protein, calcium, sodium, and fiber. <BR> <BR> These bandits are so cute! <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l167409027.jpg"> <... Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:41:25 EST