GRANDMABABA's SparkPeople Blog GRANDMABABA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Jetting off to paradise! No, I'm not heading to some tropical island or on some amazing trip around the world. I'm just going to visit my two sweet granddaughters ages 7 and almost 5. I get to visit them via Skype now and then, but there is nothing like a hug and then another and then another! Can't wait for the hugging to begin! I won't need to schedule exercise. They will wear me out in more ways than I can imagine. Can't wait! Sat, 30 Apr 2016 09:33:18 EST The best of the worst! I couldn't resist the puffy package of potato chips calling my name at the grocery store. <em>40</em> I picked it up. I put it back on the shelf. I picked it up, read the nutrition label. I put it back on the shelf. I picked it up, read the ingredient label. I put it back on the shelf. I picked it up. I put it in my cart. <em>39</em> I watched it sit there unopened on my kitchen counter for several days before it's voice overcame whatever desire to remain true to my eating plan... Fri, 29 Apr 2016 12:58:07 EST I love to watch my grown daughter ... she inspires me! Our daughter has run competitively, since she was nine. In recent years, running has kept her sane as she has met a lot of challenges with her three children (13, 11, 6)...all top students, black belts in tai kwon do, gymnasts, science fair winners, water polo champs, youth group enthusiasts, etc., etc. We love it when I get to babysit the little one while mom teaches a Bible Study class or when the kids stay with us because Mom and Dad got to get away or needed to accompany one of the kids... Tue, 26 Apr 2016 14:16:19 EST We did it! Both my daughter and I had events Saturday. I walked in a charity event and ended up walking more than 8 miles. I was so excited to be able to get so much in. I got to the gym with my husband after so a very active day for this grandma. <BR> <BR> Our daughter ran a marathon and won. At age 38 she was especially excited to have beaten out all the twenty-somethings. It was an exceptionally windy day and she wanted to quit a few times. But, as she pointed out later, "you can't win if you ... Mon, 25 Apr 2016 14:41:53 EST Tulip Festival Today I got to go to the local Tulip Festival with a group of ladies after our meeting and a sack lunch. It was a joy to visit with my little carpool group and lunch group and then the group I walked through the gardens with. There was some wind, but otherwise a perfect day for a long walk in a beautiful place with many thousands of tulips and other flowers, rock gardens, statue gardens and amazing waterfalls and other water features. I must go back again when two large under construction ... Fri, 22 Apr 2016 18:14:51 EST Is anybody listening? Some days I feel so invisible. It seems the people in my life who I really need to be there are not able to be for so many reasons. So, despite having people around I can feel very lonely. This has been a challenging week on many levels so I am ever thankful that I can come here to find others who share in this journey. I hope all my SP friends are having really nice weeks! Wishing everyone much success! Thu, 21 Apr 2016 21:24:43 EST HAPPY! to SAD! <em>67</em> <em>30</em> I had the best time with my six-year-old granddaughter this morning...breakfast at Kneader's, two hours of very active walking/jogging/playing at a favorite park, lunch at Leatherby's Ice Cream Parlor. It was a spectacularly beautiful morning and early afternoon. <em>126</em> <BR> <BR> After her mom met us and took her off to afternoon kindergarten I stopped to see a friend of 25 years. <em>220</em> <BR> <BR> <em>32</em> I found her in the courtyard ... Wed, 20 Apr 2016 19:28:12 EST Beautiful Days! It's been a joy to be outdoors this week and it will be even warmer in the days to come. I've gotten in extra walking and strength training lately. Am hoping I can continue day by day without any interruptions. As my husband recovers from surgery he is able to do a bit more each day. It is so nice to actually see some good progress. His improvement encourages us both to get to the gym more often in addition to the walking. Wishing everyone more beautiful days ahead! Wed, 20 Apr 2016 00:21:16 EST Jump rope, jumping jacks, and hop scotch A couple days ago I took care of my six-year-old granddaughter. Usually she gets pretty scattered and we do many different things in the four hours we have now and then. This time was different. For about 2 1/2 hours we played school....she loves kindergarten. Within that context her imagination ran wild and so did mine. During 'recesses' I played jump rope, hopscotch, did jumping jacks and other very active kinds of things. During 'class' time we continued many adventures in stories, a... Fri, 15 Apr 2016 17:33:32 EST Dragging I only got about two hours sleep last night. Pain level was high and dh was snoring. He'd taken a sleeping pill to get a better night himself as he continues to push a bit too hard as he recovers from double fusion back surgery. So, tonight if he is restless or snoring I will move to the guest room. I have too much to do to miss out on sleep night after night. I did get in a brief workout at about 3:00 a.m. and spent some time here in SP on my program, so not a totally wasted night. Tod... Thu, 14 Apr 2016 21:47:33 EST Don't Hurry...Small Changes = Great Habits! I just submitted this as a Secret of Success and decided to share it here, too. Each of us is on a very different journey. For me a big key to moving to a healthier me has been making one kind of change at a time until it becomes habit. Once a new habit has really taken up residence in my life, I've added another small change. In the past I've tried to bite off too much, too soon, gotten frustrated and often just gave up. I feel pretty good about my current journey and enjoy developing e... Mon, 11 Apr 2016 13:47:49 EST Weight Belt??? I walk a ton and sometimes can jog a little in the mix. I've walked an average of more than 10,000 steps per day for the past almost 12 weeks. I did walk quite a bit before I started tracking to assure I'd be over 10,000. However, I just got word that I have osteopenia and the nurse recommended walking and calcium. Well, I know I can't walk much more than I already do and I've taken calcium for years. So, wonder if a weight belt might help. I don't want to gain weight to improve bone de... Mon, 11 Apr 2016 12:43:42 EST Beautiful day Today was a joy. Began with worship and Sunday School. Went back to church this afternoon for the Spring Choir concert that included four amazing groups including one college group of about 40 voices preparing to tour France in a few weeks. Between all of these I got to visit with one of my care receivers who is doing much better than she was the last time we were together and I got to walk a few times with my husband and a few more on my own. It was the perfect kind of day for me to begi... Sun, 10 Apr 2016 21:39:31 EST Love those little red dots! I have just begun watching my fitbit tracker's dots for movement each hour. It is really fun to try and get some movement in each hour during my days. I have it set for a 12 hour period, but may increase that to catch other hours. I may even set at 24 hours if it lets me. Seems I'm up and down many nights and always walk a few laps around my home as long as I'm awake. I think this new piece on my tracker will really motivate me to get up and move! We'll see. <BR> <em>213</em> Sat, 9 Apr 2016 18:54:49 EST Mindless Motion Lately I've been moving without much thought while I'm doing other things. This morning as I watched/listened to a news program I decided to just walk around the room. Before I knew it I was feeling a little sweaty, my heart rate rose a little and I had walked more than 4600 steps. I still plan to go to the gym and go for a walk outside a little later. It's a great feeling to make progress on my 10,000+ step goal before I've really even started my day. <BR> <em>213</em> Thu, 7 Apr 2016 11:41:34 EST Back to the Gym I just got back to the gym last week when my husband's back had recovered enough from surgery to go there himself. I love to use the rowing machine and sometimes that's all I have time for as dh still cannot workout long. But, yesterday he got busy chatting with someone so I had time to do rowing machine, a quick circuit workout on the machines and also got in a walk/jog on the track. I was so excited to see that my fitbit actually recognized the last part as a run. That's the first time ... Wed, 6 Apr 2016 14:41:55 EST A Year of Healing, Sadness, Joy Today marks the one year anniversary of my mom's death. I moved 700+ miles from my home and family to care for her often during the last three years of her life. I provided care 24/7 the last six months. So, at the end I was sad, but also just so exhausted. It was good to get home. It has been a year of memories, of ups and downs and of moving on. There are the special things I would have shared with her but, sadly, could not any longer. There were the times I remembered sharing my fai... Mon, 4 Apr 2016 17:09:04 EST Time with our teen grandson We had such a great time getting to be with our oldest grandchild this weekend. We cheered on his JV Water Polo Team as they crushed all the opposition to win a 24 hour tournament during which he played eight games. He excels in several sports, is a straight A student, enjoys his church youth group and is a wonderful big brother to his little brother and sister. He won his school and district science fair and took first place at the regional fair. He may get invited to a special event in ... Sun, 3 Apr 2016 22:06:39 EST Fear of Calories I've tracked my calories for years. My weight has gone up and down. Despite advice to keep my calorie intake above a certain level, my fear has made me believe that eating less would be even better. So, repeatedly I've caused my metabolism to struggle. My 10,000+ steps per day, my additional movement and exercise have all been for naught as far as weight loss when my body has gone into starvation mode. Deciding to follow calorie advice to support activity and even just to support life ha... Thu, 31 Mar 2016 13:40:45 EST The Snow Can't Keep Us Down! We were a little afraid to walk outdoors today due to the spring snow and my husband's back. So, we did get to the gym and while he did a little on several weight machines and finished off with a short trek on the bike, I spent my time on the rowing machine. I love that it works out a lot of my body at one time. Knowing I can't be at the gym for long because of my husband's recovery from back surgery makes me focus on where I can get the most value in minimum minutes. I'll get through a ... Mon, 28 Mar 2016 17:24:03 EST Resurrection Day Adventure This afternoon I took my husband to our daughter's house about 45 minutes from here. I was nervous for him to go so far because of how limited he has been since back surgery. However, he insisted we go because he was feeling really cooped up here. So, off we went. He found a comfortable partly reclining position in the car and did great. He was ready to come home after about two hours of fun with the kids and grandkids. It was a great way to spend Easter afternoon. We are so blessed to... Sun, 27 Mar 2016 20:19:41 EST Easter Eve There is so much in my heart and spirit today. I was blessed to prayer walk through nearby streets and trails today. Though it was a different date, it was last Easter Eve that my mother died at just about this time. So many things changed. It was April 4th, but it was Easter Eve and I had moved more than 700 miles from my home and family to care for her the last six months of her life after many trips to care for her for weeks at a time the previous 3 years. I think of my Lord today and... Sat, 26 Mar 2016 21:27:47 EST Cabin Fever! DH has been stuck here for more than three weeks now since his double fusion back surgery. We do walk every day and today I took him to the gym for a very short workout. He has so much pain still that sleep is fleeting. He wants me to drive him to our daughter's on Sunday rather than have them come up here. It's about 45 minutes each way. He struggled with the half hour each way trip to see his surgeon earlier this week. I'm nervous about taking him so far and how he will feel for a lon... Fri, 25 Mar 2016 18:14:42 EST Oops! I missed my 10,000 steps goal yesterday. I was so tired with caring for my husband and then a migraine hit and I was operating on very little sleep. I only got in one short walk, but I'm so glad I did that much, at least. I know I will be back on track today, so I won't stress over the miss. I averaged nearly 14,000 steps per day last week. I probably won't do that well this week, but am confident I will average above 10,000. I hope my SP friends are having great success whatever goals ... Tue, 22 Mar 2016 17:57:04 EST Watching the Healthy Ones! In recent months I've been watching more closely the actions of those who are fit and healthy to see what they do that is different than what I do. My adult daughter is a great example to me in so many ways. She is rarely still. She is an elite runner, runs pretty much every day. She says it helps keep her sane when she provides supervision and taxi service for her three children aged 6-13. When she eats, she chooses wisely all the time. She drinks lots of water, some coffee and tea and ... Mon, 21 Mar 2016 17:49:18 EST Challenges I love the various SP Challenges and am currently enrolled in several that I started at different times. They help me focus on areas where I have some particular struggles. Some I've done before and may do again in the future. I'm working towards walking a half marathon so the exercise ones and nutrient encouraging ones are of particular interest just now. I hope my SP friends are enjoying some of those challenges as much as I am! <BR> <em>311</em> <em>34</em> <em>45</em> <em>2... Sat, 19 Mar 2016 21:19:31 EST Stress Walking? At least that's what it seems like. I've been walking more than 10k steps per day for more than eight weeks...ever since the day before a huge tragedy hit our family, followed by several others in rapid succession. Yesterday, I did nearly 19,000 steps and today I'm feeling it a bit. Still, I believe exercise is one of the healthiest ways to deal with stress so will keep on with as much as I am able to do day to day. Hope all my SP friends have a great weekend!!! <BR> <em>213</em> Fri, 18 Mar 2016 11:01:22 EST Birthday Treats.... I ate a yummy cupcake a friend brought in honor of two ladies in our group with upcoming special days. I sometimes say no to such treats, but today I decided to join in. I think because life here has been somewhat stressful with my husband recovering from some serious back surgery and some of that reality has begun to hit. He's 16 days out from surgery and has lost 15 pounds. He was pretty thin to begin with. Now that he can't go to the gym several days each week, I fear he is losing mus... Thu, 17 Mar 2016 18:31:10 EST Science Projects I went up to the university to see my 5th grade grandson present his science project after winning school and district awards. Tomorrow his 7th grade brother presents as he also won his school and district for middle school. I hope to get to the awards ceremony Friday evening if my husband is doing well enough for me to leave. It's so fun to get to be a part of the grandkids' exciting accomplishments. These two are straight A students and both are 2nd degree black belts in TaeKwonDo. Bot... Wed, 16 Mar 2016 14:56:11 EST Wish it was me instead of him... Two weeks ago my husband had some serious back surgery. Since then he has lost 12 pounds and he was not overweight to begin with. Wish I could give him a few of my pounds. Hope he's feeling like eating more soon. I'm pushing protein and calcium as his surgeons urged, but I still think he must be losing muscle at this point. Why is it that it is hard for those to lose weight who need to and easy for those who should not be losing? Seems so strange. Anyway, I hope you are having a good w... Wed, 16 Mar 2016 00:22:45 EST Ready, Set.... Time to get going on this new week. I know I will walk more than 10,000 steps today, but I think it's time to get going on other activities more consistently. For example, SP has some great videos and I want to get going again with some of those. I want to get going with my weights and body weigh exercises. I think it is time to make these things into habits as I have the 10,000+ steps over the past eight weeks. I've joined some challenges and I've marked my calendar. Now it's time to g... Mon, 14 Mar 2016 13:38:06 EST Better Night = Better Day After 10 very difficult nights caring for my husband who was up every half hour or so and just miserable following back surgery, we finally were only up once last night. It was for a couple of hours and I got in a lot of steps while helping him, encouraging him, and getting him back to bed. Laps around my living room are not my favorite mode of getting steps, but in the middle of the night it was heavenly. I still don't feel 'caught up' with sleep, but I know we are in a better place now a... Fri, 11 Mar 2016 17:16:59 EST Need Sleep! Caring for husband recovering from back surgery takes a toll on my sleep and I think it is beginning to crack my armor. I continue to get in my steps indoors and/or out and that helps me through the long days. I do wonder how this will affect my weight. It will be interesting to track it through this process. Meanwhile, I pray I don't make any serious errors as I sleepwalk through my days. Still, my struggle is so much less than what my husband is going through.. I hate that he deals wi... Wed, 9 Mar 2016 09:09:22 EST Half Marathon Walk? I've decided to walk a half marathon (maybe more than one time) this year. When I think about it, I realize I've already gotten close several times over the last seven weeks. I routinely get in more than 10k steps. Some days I've gotten close to 20k. They are just spaced out throughout the day. So, for now will work at getting larger numbers of steps at a time and build up to the half marathon. My husband tells me I shouldn't because of challenges with the multiple sclerosis, but I only ... Mon, 7 Mar 2016 11:36:31 EST Snore.... Now that my husband is home recovering from double back fusion surgery (surgery was 5 days ago) I find his snoring comforting. It is so interesting that something that has most often been a bit irritating and sometimes sent me to another room to sleep is now affecting me so differently. He must sleep on his back for now with his legs up on a wedge so snoring is not at all surprising. My tracker says I only got about two hours sleep again last night. But, that was not due to snoring. It w... Sun, 6 Mar 2016 12:42:46 EST Very short walks Taking some really short walks (1/4-1/2 miles each) with my husband as he recovers from double fusion surgery on his back. This is the 4th day after surgery. He's chomping at the bit, but must be cautious. Has a lot of pain but we definitely see some progress. So, since the surgeons advised me not to leave him alone the first week home, I've been getting the rest of my steps in our little condo. Glad I've done that some already this winter or I might be discouraged at the prospect. My 1... Sat, 5 Mar 2016 19:13:32 EST He's getting bored already! I brought my dh home from the hospital about two hours ago and he tells me he is already getting bored. It's going to be a long recovery for him, I'm afraid. His back fusion went fine. He does have twice the incision of the last one as they took out previous hardware before working on the new area. All went well, though, so we are optimistic the recovery will not have any surprises. Our condo is tiny so I know the walls will close in. I'm so thankful the weather is warming as he will be... Thu, 3 Mar 2016 17:03:31 EST I'm Tired! We had two of our grandkids Friday morning until late Sunday evening. We had such fun, but we were going constantly. One had water polo camp for a day and a half run by an Olympic goalie. He was exhausted, but of course, recovered pretty quickly. Our time was spent walking, playing tag, shopping, going to several restaurants, making pizza here, doing craft projects, going to the zoo, planetarium, Starbuck's, a park, having a balloon sword fight, blowing bubbles in our roof garden and driv... Wed, 2 Mar 2016 00:39:10 EST A Beautiful Day! The sun is out. The snow covered mountains are sparkling nearby. I will be out walking a bit today to be with my Bible study/care group. However, will only get to stay for a short piece of it today as I've promised to help serve at the Senior Center with my fellow Exchange Club members in the city where we used to live. It is always a joy to see the appreciative crowd gathered for a shared meal. Then I'll be getting things ready at home to welcome two of our local grandkids early tomorro... Thu, 25 Feb 2016 13:12:04 EST Being Present The sun is shining. I'm nearly at 10K steps and it is still morning. I've finished several items on my to-do list for the day. I've felt a wide range of emotions as I've gone about my tasks this morning. From deep grief to abundant joy and many things in between. It has been a journey during which I've worked hard to be present moment to moment. I am thankful for so much in my life. Being present as I experience so many thoughts, activities, memories and hopes is certainly near the top... Tue, 23 Feb 2016 14:00:07 EST One month ago... It is always interesting how a major event can change my perspective and my temperament in so many ways. When my mother died last April I felt a strange combination of sadness, loss and freedom. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer more than 16 years ago it changed my self image. When my children were born, married, had their own children my perception of who I am changed in beautiful ways I could not have anticipated. Today is the one month anniversary of our nephew and niece's son be... Mon, 22 Feb 2016 14:38:33 EST Right, Left, Right, Left...REPEAT It's the weekend. I have a love-hate relationship with it. Sometimes it is easier for me get in my steps and other activity...sometimes not. The last few weekends have worked out pretty well for the activity level. So, my plan for today is to remember the recent past successes and determine to add to step at a time. <em>521</em> <em>213</em> Sat, 20 Feb 2016 11:29:25 EST Spring is in the air After a fast moving storm (snow, rain, hail, thunder, wind) came by yesterday afternoon the sun came out and we had a beautiful sunset. Today was the warmest of the year. I so look forward to getting outdoors with my husband this weekend. We've both had a lot of stress lately and there is more on the horizon. This will hopefully be a time to rest and prepare. Hope everyone has a beautiful weekend! <em>213</em> Fri, 19 Feb 2016 20:05:53 EST 4 Weeks of 10K and beyond! Despite many challenges, I just realized that this is the first day of my fifth week of walking more than 10,000 steps per day. I've fallen below one day each week. Even so, I've averaged more than 12,000 steps per day for 28 days. I've never before been able to do this. My knees, hips and back have caved early in the daily step challenges. I'd never gone more than two days in a row of 10,000 steps before I had to rest for a day or days. For whatever reason, the Lord gave me this abilit... Thu, 18 Feb 2016 17:39:46 EST Stress!!! We visited family over the long weekend. My mother-in-law is 100 and visibly less well than we last saw her. Still, she is amazing. We went out to lunch with her twice and spent a lot of time visiting and doing jigsaw puzzles at her house. Our hotel was really nice. But, yesterday just as we flew home the memorial was being held for our nephew's stepson who was brutally murdered on 1/22. The murderer is in court today to plea unless it gets postponed. We got to have lunch with our neph... Tue, 16 Feb 2016 15:15:53 EST Inversion Sickness! The past few days I find myself getting so dizzy and nauseated later in the afternoon after I've walked/jogged my 10.000 steps or more. I try to get more steps in the late afternoon and evening so have averaged more that 13K per day for the past 19 days. However, we now have a disgusting inversion and it is making me sick. Warnings are out there to not exercise outdoors but with it being so cold I walk/jog indoors. Still, the pollution is wreaking havoc with my health. My head is in the ... Tue, 9 Feb 2016 17:17:13 EST Our Superbowl Guest My husband invited a 90 year old friend to watch the big game with us. He is pretty deaf, but would have been alone this year as his son didn't invite him this year. He used a set of our TV Ears over his hearing aids. Worked pretty well for him. I had fun preparing a mix of fun foods - leek soup, wild salmon salad, cookies, light artichoke dip and other things. Also, bought a few standards. He enjoyed it all, even the pretty spicy offerings. H had intended to just stay for part of the ... Mon, 8 Feb 2016 21:44:37 EST Big Weekend! Oh, yes, there is the Superbowl thing. But, I'm more excited that my granddaughter (age 6) has her third tae kwon do class after which her big brothers have their black belt (they are 2nd degree black belts) classes and sparring and I get to watch. Then our oldest of the two boys gets to spend most of the weekend in the pool training for a national water polo championship competition that will be the end of the month in California. I am so proud of my local three grandkids. They are not o... Fri, 5 Feb 2016 14:29:31 EST Two weeks does not a habit make....but.... I've walked an average of about 12,000 steps per day for the past 14 days. This is so much longer than ever before. In the past I've been so sore and tired after a couple of days of this that I've backed off for long stretches. I don't know what the difference is this time, but I do have more energy, feel stronger, sleep better and cope better with some pretty dark challenges in my life. Most of my steps are around my condo. Some are outdoors crunching through snow at times. I know that... Wed, 3 Feb 2016 14:43:03 EST Back after 10 months Greetings friends. I've been away since I cared for my mother until her death last April. It is so good to be home and able to do things with my husband, kids and grandkids. I'm still healing and disappointed that I can't seem to get my strength back. Discovered that the multiple sclerosis lesions in my brain increased while I cared for my mom the three years prior to her death, probably the most change during the last six months when I moved into her home in another state to care for her... Mon, 1 Feb 2016 14:00:34 EST