GABIRUSZCZAK's SparkPeople Blog GABIRUSZCZAK's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community touching base... January 24th... Gosh darn it - If I would just stop putting things into my mouth that I know I shouldn't be eating or drinking re-losing those pesky five pounds wouldn't be so darn hard! But alas, I haven't been able to sustain my obedience for more than one meal at a time. However I have reworked my resume and there is a Regional Job Fair next week in Rockford, so my job prospects are looking up. I know that once I start working I will have less time to ruminate over eating. <BR> If only th... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 16:10:22 EST O DEAR <link><BR>d-resident-overcomes-adversity-to-earn<BR>-her-niu-degree/ </link> Fri, 19 Dec 2014 13:02:28 EST The Fat Beast I am at my lowest weight in decades - 159-1/2 pounds and I feel amazing! I walk my pooch at least once a day and frequently we walk 2-3 times for about an hour at a time. It has really benefited him as well - he has slimmed down and the vet is thrilled with his physical condition. But still I have one quandary - although my calories intake is good I can't seem to eat withing my "fat percentage" allowance to save my life - HELP! <BR> I just don't know how to get this one number down and I... Fri, 10 Oct 2014 10:00:40 EST The sweet successes of summer 2014 I haven't weighed this in decades - I am 167-1/2 pounds on my super-accurate (even when I wish it would cheat) digital scale. I feel better and look better. Walking the dog three times a day has definitely helped, as has the increase in daily activity - turning housework into exercise. <BR> It's been a hectic summer with lots of ups and downs, but this is definitely one of it's highlights! Soon there will be more to blog about here on my Sparkpage, but for now I just wanted to share my joy. ... Sat, 5 Jul 2014 22:53:11 EST for all this I give thanks... THANKSGIVING DAY… Thursday, November 28th… I woke up early this morning, having gotten a good night’s sleep. I immediately began to think about the meaning behind this day – as I do every year, in part, I think, because I am a writer and archivist of the family. Two-thousand-thirteen was a tumultuous year – Angie has been sick and in-and-out of the hospital since early January; Ashley, Stephan and Daisy moved back into my house in early summer and are now waiting to hear if they have a hous... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 23:21:57 EST September 5th 2013... I am back at school and deliriously happy and productive. Better still I am sober, starting to exercise, and making some profound emotional changes with respects to how I view life, eating, and adhering to a "LIFE PLAN" instead of "DIETING" ~~~ <BR> By the end of this month it will have been 1 year since I regularly logged my food intake, or even refused myself unlimited quantities of foods I know are not in my best health interests. Gave myself the toxic permission to drink too much too oft... Thu, 5 Sep 2013 12:19:01 EST the last two years... a short summary This is a copy of the letter I sent to the Admissions Department of NIU... I thought I would share it here because I think it sums up succinctly what the last two years have been like... <BR> <BR> I began the Fall 2011 semester with a 3.893 cumulative GPA. I enrolled for 15 hours of coursework that semester – all of it at the Honors level. Sadly, one-third of the way into this semester, on October 13th, 2011, my beloved husband of 30 years, Erhard Ruszczak, passed away suddenly from a mass... Mon, 19 Aug 2013 15:13:10 EST Checking in - 08.17.13 <img src=""> <BR> August 17th, 2013 -- I keep resetting my weight tracker higher as I struggle to get the momentum required to return to logging my food. Even watching what I eat is becoming difficult. So much on my mind these days -- from going back to school (HURRAH!) to finding a source of employment, to managing my time effectively so I can get work done around the house. <BR> <BR> I haven't lost my sense of purpose yet though. I a... Sat, 17 Aug 2013 13:41:48 EST What I can't do on my own... my return to discipline June 24th 2013 ~~ After months of trying to do this on my own, only checking in to SparkPeople for some sense of accountability I find myself heavier than I have been in almost 5 years. SIGH. I know what to do and I also know what I am NOT doing... but without the benefit of tracking my food, alot of my choices have drifted back to the unhealthy way I used to eat. <BR> Come JULY 1st however, this will change as I recommit myself to living a SparkLife! I ask all of you for your support, p... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 13:05:13 EST 2012 – The Year the World Didn’t End It’s ten-after-three in the afternoon, December 29th, 2012 and I am contemplating the conclusion of another year. So much has happened in just the last few months that it almost seems like the first part of the year didn't happen. All this year there had been talk of the great Mayan Apocalypse of 12.21.12 – a day that actually slipped by almost unnoticed in the end. But so much has changed that maybe in a way my world really did end and I am just now coming to terms with just how different... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 17:37:57 EST CHRISTMAS 2012 It’s snowy and frosty outside… the quintessential White Christmas. Right now the house is quiet, neither man nor dog yet roused from their slumber. I am reflective maybe even melancholy as I gather my thoughts to write this. Last year this house was still reeling from the death of our beloved father and husband, Erhard. This was the day, one year ago, I found out my brother was in the hospital – the beginning of the ordeal that would eventually take him from us. This year they are both ... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 17:37:04 EST AUGUST 22nd 2012 In just a little under a week I will begin school again... the summer has gone by quicker than I had thought possible, but it was full and productive. Now in these last few days I turn my attention once more to my education – I have started to complete my previous semesters' work and by Friday I will have some idea about selling Erhard's car, making this month's bills, and registering for additional classes. Then a week from yesterday it's back to school! <BR> My weight continues to puzzle ... Thu, 23 Aug 2012 16:15:36 EST UP THE DOWN STAIRCASE … July 31st 2012 I have made real progress these last few weeks, checking items off my to-do list with regularity. I was scheduled to see my therapist today however she postponed our session until next Tuesday to take care of other matters. That leaves me to my own devices with regards to drawing up the next set of tasks for my agenda. These last couple of months have been an emotional roller-coaster, especially in the areas of school and finances. Financially, I have come to the end of any and all monies... Tue, 31 Jul 2012 15:48:22 EST PROOF OF LIFE I don't normally share the contents of my therapy sessions, but since little else in my life really feels normal anyway, I have decided to open my thought processes up to a little observation in the hopes of more accurately communicating just what's going on with me these days. I will not belabor the details of sadness but will admit to it still being a large part of my every waking and dreaming minute. Sadness has caused me to retrench back into myself in many ways that I thought I had lon... Wed, 11 Jul 2012 14:42:42 EST Coming To Terms With My C+ Life March 1st, 2012 -- I took a long drive this afternoon... and did a lot of thinking and re-evaluating of my entire present-day situation. Depressed, angry, completely ready to quit everything and just hide in a cave, I knew I needed to get away and make some decisions. Since today is the first day of March, and the first day of meteorological spring, it seemed like an appropriate time to consider my own rebirth into an identity forged by my hand. Coming to terms with being a solo entity and... Thu, 1 Mar 2012 21:17:58 EST 2011 The road not traveled 'til looked behind, <BR> to see the distance covered blind... <BR> the story of a year – two-thousand-eleven <BR> <BR> We begin each new year hoping it will be eventful and full of new experiences. Obviously we also hope those events will be jubilant, celebratory, highlights in our lives... yet we also enter each year with a bit of trepidation and wonder – at what will transpire during the next three-hundred-sixty-five days. How will it change us? Move us? Teach us? ... Mon, 2 Jan 2012 16:31:49 EST DREAMS AND RUMINATIONS... 12.04.11 My body aches from a weekend spent diligently working to clear the dining room table and living room of stuff in order to ready the house for Christmas decorations. Even parts of the basement are neat and organized. I am proud, but tired. Interspersed with this burst of cleaning there has been the usual work of grocery shopping and fixing meals. On the surface the days seem to progress from one to another in relatively stable fashion. But underneath it all there is a reservoir of anguish... Sun, 4 Dec 2011 21:20:41 EST BABY STEPS... It had been a month since Erhard, my beloved husband of thirty years, suddenly passed away after a massive stroke. The past month had been trying... there was all the minutiae and detail required of filing a dozen different forms and writing countless letters. There was the gnawing sorrow that ebbed only occasionally... there were the long nights. <BR> <BR> But last Saturday we finally had his funeral mass... there had been a delay to allow for organ and tissue donation as well as crematio... Wed, 16 Nov 2011 23:07:39 EST In the Blink of an Eye… There are few things in life as capricious as life itself. This can make life an adventure or fill it with dread depending on what kind of surprise it bestows. This weekend life handed me both. Yesterday, a gloriously sunny and cool Saturday my oldest son Stephan got married to his beloved. While the wedding was not a surprise by any stretch its jubilance and celebration took me off-guard. <BR> <BR> The reason sadly was that just a little over 48 hours prior to the wedding my beloved hus... Sun, 16 Oct 2011 18:20:33 EST October 1st 2011 9:30am... I have weighed myself on both the mechanical scale in the bathroom and the digital scale from the front room that I brought into the bathroom. They are 14.5 pounds apart. The mechanical scale reads 185 pounds. The digital scale displays 199.5 pounds. I am disheartened by both, but devastated by the second. My body contours most closely approximates the first, but some of my clothes fit like I weighed the second. Either way I am a long way from 172 pounds, and it's time to get ba... Sat, 1 Oct 2011 10:59:21 EST Thursday, September 29, 2011 Here it is the second-to-the-last day of September and I haven't posted a blog in almost 6 weeks. I can tell I have been busy with school. <BR> Had a wonderful 54th birthday on the 9th of September... <BR> I am currently getting all A's in my classes... <BR> October 1st -- I weigh myself officially and change my tracker to reflect reality! <BR> Life is getting busier now that the semester is in full swing, but I still hope to check out the NIU Gym to see about working out in-between my cl... Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:24:49 EST 1000 DAYS... August 15 2011 -- As of today I have been a member of SparkPeople for ONE THOUSAND days... I have learned so much, battled so long, accomplished more than I could have dreamed and owe my persistence to the support and direction I have found here at this community. I have dieted in one form or another since I was 9 years old, but this is the first time in my life I have made a solid effort towards approaching this as a life choice instead of a temporary trial on my way to a "perfect Mon, 15 Aug 2011 05:12:43 EST NO MORE EXCUSES... 08.10.11 -- Enough stalling already... spent 10 minutes on the stationary bike, biking a little over a mile... it felt wonderful, even though my body complained... time to just DO IT! Wed, 10 Aug 2011 19:14:51 EST July 29th 2011 The last two days have been filled with celebration and lots of food. While yesterday went well at TGIFriday’s®, tonight we ate at the Old Country Buffet and I was hungry. While I don’t think I ate too terribly, calorically it was a bust… But it almost felt good to just relax and eat, not having to count or watch – and as much as I know that diets are not to be postponed until the first of the month or week, the fact that August begins on a Monday is definitely causing the wheels in my head... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 23:37:36 EST Monday, 07.11.2011 It's been months since I started eating below my allotted caloric range. Yet my weight loss is stalled and I am growing impatient and frustrated by its lack of progress. Checking my Sparkpeople Tracker Charts only makes this apparent disconnect more confusing. Although I know there have been days on end where my recording was done from memory and many days I have been blank, I also know that I did not spend every waking minute of those days eating. What am I doing wrong? I just purchased... Mon, 11 Jul 2011 16:41:19 EST Time For Movement... 06.01.2011 -- A new day, a new month...and so many goals. Now that I am done with school for the Summer I can turn my attention to all of the goals I have set for myself regarding the other areas of my life. Spring semester 2011 was a successful one – I ended up with a 4.0 – five A's! <BR> Erich, Erhard, and I are going on Atkins. Erich wants to lose the last ten pounds of body fat he feels is standing in his way of feeling really feeling good about himself; Erhard needs to do something b... Wed, 1 Jun 2011 23:33:22 EST May 9th 2011 It has been just shy of a month since I last took the time to journal here...the last weeks of a school semester are always so hectic and I have been solely focused on completing my work. All I have left to do is complete my 15-page LGBT Honors paper, my 3-5 page LGBT take-home final, take my in-class Psychology of Sexuality final, and attend the last Psychology Lab meeting. Then I will be free to pursue my summer break...I have several important goals and plans ready to be put into practic... Mon, 9 May 2011 15:36:40 EST Another day and so much work ahead of me... My mind is swirling with ideas – fitness and dieting thoughts, schoolwork that has to be done, money woes and solutions... I don't want to backslide and I am terrified that I have started to regain some of the weight I've lost. I have decided that I am going to buy myself a scale with a digital readout at waist-height... no more bending over to see, will probable read for hours today and have a Statistics assignment due tomorrow... need to follow through on my financial goals and plans...espe... Sun, 6 Feb 2011 14:02:23 EST NEW YEAR... NEW ME I know this blog is coming kind of late to the party, after all it's already the 25th of January, but it has taken me a bit longer than usual to gather my thoughts and aspirations for the new year ahead. Last year was so providential – signaling a major shift in both my and many of my closest circle's thoughts about our lives. Yet much of the year was also static, as thoughts gathered with no practicable outlet for their expression. This year will be different, as many of those gleanings a... Tue, 25 Jan 2011 09:42:19 EST Just a Couple of Days... I did absolutely nothing yesterday, in direct opposition to what I had set out to accomplish...SIGH. Today has to be filled with something more...there are only two days left until this year ends and another begins. Two-thousand-eleven will arrive and with it the start of the second decade of the twenty-first century! What a time of recollection then these last few days bring on...of the last year, the last decade. So many things have much to recall! I know that one of my mo... Wed, 29 Dec 2010 14:13:32 EST December 18th The semester is over and I am eating everything in sight... I have eaten out almost every day and the calories are really adding up... <BR> My "lucky jeans" are uncomfortably tight and this really depresses me. I have to add more exercise back into my schedule - I am not really sure why I avoid working out... clearly I enjoy it - the fitness counts from the last two years should be proof enough that when I put my body into motion I love it! <BR> My grades are in - 4 A's, and a B in Calculus... Sat, 18 Dec 2010 11:46:28 EST Vacation Day One: December 13th 2010 It's Monday and my grades still haven't posted completely...the three grades that have posted correspond to my Existentialism class, Human Learning & Memory, and Linguistics – all of them A's. I am worried about why my Personality grade hasn't posted beyond BlackBoard – although it does say I received an A in that class there... My Calculus grade on the other hand is a complete toss-up and I am sweating that detail. I have decided to retake the class immediately should the grade be a D – a ... Mon, 13 Dec 2010 14:52:59 EST December 8th My world is uneven right now... almost done with school, but not quite; eating well one day and everything in sight the next; moments of calm determination interspersed with panic and the distinct temptation to run away from my life; my clothes still fit although I have not yet weighed myself, my grades seem good but I think I messed up my last psychology examination – I simply ran out of steam and motivation; SIGH. So today my world will center on finishing the last lab report for school –... Wed, 8 Dec 2010 12:35:23 EST **DEPRESSION** Unconscious irresponsible eating just beause I felt lousy and was bored...still reeling from my dismal performance on my much-studied-for, yet dreaded Calculus exam - my head hurts from all the thoughts swirling inside - bumping into the sides of my brain until it's bruised and sore. I want to shut off the world and just hide, curl up and forget that I still have much to do and almost an entire half semester left...**SIGH** <BR> So there was Cream of Wheat made with whole milk and Cocoa Powd... Sun, 24 Oct 2010 08:57:29 EST Journal Entry October 10th, 2010 Coming to terms with my lackadaisical recording, I have flashes of foods eaten and not recorded almost every other day – which have become quite disconcerting. As soon as I am able to nail a particular infraction down, I record it in the Nutrition Notes provided beneath the Nutrition Section, but lately it just feels so out-of-control. My weight appears to be stable – but only as measured by the way my clothes fit and how my body feels – I don't dare creep near a scale... <BR> <BR> I must ... Sun, 10 Oct 2010 16:24:25 EST 9.21.2010 I can't believe it's been a month already... I always tell myself I want to post something, check in... but then the days get so long and I am exhausted by the time I get home from school... Life is good overall -- but tiring and the days are long. <BR> <BR> I now weigh 172 pounds - at least on one scale - and my clothes are loose. I can get really depressed when I get on other scales though - they average 15 pounds heavier... but I KNOW that can't be true because my "skinny" clothes simp... Wed, 22 Sep 2010 23:15:17 EST 8-30-2010 ... School has started and I practically elope to the Northern Illinois University campus in DeKalb, IL each day. August will soon be a memory - Autumn is coming! Although money is extremely tight there is a renewed sense of contentment surrounding me. I am presently taking 5 classes for a total of 16 hours. Between my Honors contracts and the piggyback Math course I am taking as part of my Calculus class I am putting in the work of someone pulling NINETEEN credit hours! I spent all last week in ... Mon, 30 Aug 2010 04:48:13 EST 08-17-2010 My last week of Summer Vacation before returning to school - SO much to do! Fighting fatigue and an almost constant headache has made exercise and housework difficult to motivate... I really am beginning to think I am in flare... my weight is stable but I am eager to lose more weight, get back on track... I have no emotional patience for stasis. Craving sweets like they were leaving the planet and alternating between wanting high protein foods and tons of carbs... SIGH... just not sure what... Tue, 17 Aug 2010 02:06:38 EST Rediscovering My Roots, Unfurling My Wings… Over these past few weeks I have done something extraordinary. I have cleaned the entire first floor and have made a considerable dent in the basement. With Erich’s assistance I have even managed to make inroads into the upstairs rooms. With Erhard’s help I have donated vast quantities of unused and neglected but still serviceable items to charity and for the first time in my adult life I am almost completely devoid of the mountains of receipts that at one time seemed so important to hoard... Tue, 10 Aug 2010 17:38:15 EST 08-05-2010 What a mixed bag... on the one hand I have reconnected with friends close to my heart that I have lost touch with these last years... on the other, my eating and exercising have been terrible and I am stalled on my cleaning progress due to pain and lethargy. Don't want to blame the Fibromyalgia and Lupus, but my head is in a fog and I am plagued with a perpetual headache and hip pain... as a result I have been eating junk and way too much and turning to alcohol to numb the pain - which is a ... Thu, 5 Aug 2010 02:27:37 EST 07-13-2010 Yesterday was one of those ravenously hungry days that happen every so often... but this time I simply recorded it since I have vowed to no longer "fudge the numbers" of my tracker... I am tired of cheating - it does me no good bcause both my conscience and my body don't really forget... Since these days are truly random and not at all frequent, it becomes a matter of just being honest and moving on... life can't just be a struggle of calories... I will continue to be diligent, but I am cutti... Tue, 13 Jul 2010 12:57:53 EST ORGANIZING CRAZINESS… How many pots and pans does one family need? This isn’t a rhetorical question – I truly don’t know anymore – all I do know is that everywhere I turn there is more extraneous stuff to go through and more clutter. This is disheartening and panic-provoking. My first and strongest inclination is simply to toss EVERYTHING away and start over, but I realize the impracticality of that plan of action so I am left to consider which items I truly need and want to keep and why… Erhard is of course wo... Thu, 24 Jun 2010 20:54:25 EST VICENNIAL CORN FIELDS TO STRIP MALLS <BR> ADOLESCENTS TO ADULTS <BR> STRANGERS TO FAMILY <BR> TRANSFORMATIONS INNUMERABLE <BR> ON A WHIM AND A PRAYER SO LONG AGO <BR> KNOWING NOT A SOUL <BR> SHAPED A LIFE BETTER THAN ALL PREVIOUS <BR> FILLED WITH GRACE <BR> HELD SECURED BY DESIGN <BR> <BR> BIG FISH IN A SMALL POND, THEY SAID <BR> LITTLE DID THEY KNOW <BR> BIG CITY DRESSED LIKE SMALL TOWN <BR> MY HOME, MY HEART <BR> HUMAN TREASURES LIKE DIAMONDS <BR> FACET EACH REMEMBRANCE <BR> NICHE NEIGHBORHOODS LENT... Tue, 15 Jun 2010 23:22:43 EST ANOTHER DAY, ANOTHER POSTPONEMENT No matter what level of enthusiasm I wake up with these days, by the middle of the day I discover that I have done nothing more than watch television… there has to be more to my life than this, even though I PLANNED to take a complete week off and vegetate…I wish I could make up my mind. <BR> <BR> I am chomping at the bit to get back to the YMCA and work out…with or without anyone else, but I would like to have someone go with me. I think I still weigh 180 pounds, my clothes still fit the ... Fri, 11 Jun 2010 22:20:59 EST THE PLAN BEGINS... Part One of Phase One is completed. I straightened up our bedroom, folding all of the clean clothes and putting them away and with Erich’s help brought all of our laundry downstairs. The room already feels lighter and airier. In the process I was surprised to discover exactly how much clothing we have all been holding on to that no one has worn or will wear in the near future. SO much to purge (an act of removing by cleansing; ridding of sediment or other undesired elements) But I am looki... Tue, 25 May 2010 00:25:33 EST A PLAN OF ACTION… The semester is over and it’s time I turn my attention back to the things that haven’t been attended to around here. First of all is my own fitness and nutritional health, which really seems to have taken a beating these last couple of weeks as I have been eating everything in sight. I have been fortunate that my body has been merciful, because it appears I haven’t gained any significant weight – I still weigh 180 pounds or something in the near vicinity and my “skinniest” clothes still fit... Mon, 24 May 2010 01:18:56 EST ALMOST HOME... 04.19.2010 I am eating too much of the wrong things in too large portions for it to be hunger alone... I am stressing about everything and at the same time accomplishing very little. Need to breathe, focus... work instead of daydream and futz...can't give up so close to the end of the semester, after all of my other hard work... but panic leads to confusion and too much food... sometimes I just need to remind myself of what I have already accomplished... anyone else feel this way sometime? ... Mon, 19 Apr 2010 16:54:03 EST MARCH MUSINGS... March 4, 2010 <BR> I am sitting here at 2:15pm in my nightgown and a pair of grubby sweats. Whatever virus has entrenched itself in my repertory system continues to plague me with rolling, hyper-productive coughing episodes that leave me gasping for breath. The medicine I have been given – a Prednisone burst, Robitussin AC cough syrup, a Z-Pac antibiotic, and a ProAir inhaler have yet to make a measurable difference. I missed the entire week of school and since I was sick most of the time ... Fri, 5 Mar 2010 17:59:43 EST THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: An ounce of action is worth a ton of theory. <BR> Friedrich Engels <BR> German socialist & economist (1820 - 1895) <BR> Wed, 3 Mar 2010 04:37:01 EST FEBRUARY 23, 2010 I want so much to see that scale move, but it refuses. 184pounds…46 pounds lost since June of 2008…not bad I know, but not as good as I had hoped. I am trying to be patient, telling myself over and over that maintenance has always been the hardest part of staying fit and that this time I am learning how to make this a lifestyle change, but after awhile I just get depressed because I really want to hit that big 50 pounds lost mark…just 4 pounds to go… and I can’t seem to eat few enough calor... Tue, 23 Feb 2010 04:41:40 EST