GRANDMABABA's SparkPeople Blog GRANDMABABA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community December fun I'm so looking forward to walking in town one evening soon. I always love the lights, the window decorations (Especially the Macy's candy windows), listen to the carolers and maybe do a little more shopping. It is such a festive time of year to join with the merry makers! Today I finished wrapping the gifts already purchased. I have just a few more to finish up before I can get it all to the Post Office. Then, I've got to get going on Christmas cards. I love it all!!! <BR> Merry Christm... Fri, 2 Dec 2016 19:23:52 EST Snow and Ice These are not my favorite things! I have a full day of meetings and events and appointments tomorrow, so the snowy forecast is also not my favorite. Still, It is a beautiful time of year. Perhaps I'll finally get to doing Christmas cards before the week is snow or ice in my home, thankfully. <BR> Wed, 30 Nov 2016 21:58:24 EST Christmas Preparations.....I'm behind I've never been so far behind in Christmas shopping and decorating as this year. I can remember having shopping finished in August, cards ready to send before Thanksgiving and in the mail right after, and decorating finished the day after Thanksgiving. This year I'm a mess. I've taken on a few too many responsibilities and not accomplishing all I would. I decorated less. I'm shopping simpler. I will get to the cards this week. Somehow I know these things are not nearly as important as ... Mon, 28 Nov 2016 18:18:16 EST Thanksgiving prep... My daughter is bringing some of the things that I most like to make for Thanksgiving - rolls, pies, family layered gelatin 'salad'. But, I'm having fun seasoning a lot of bread for dressing, have a 25 pound fresh turkey ready to go and have another family tradition broccoli casserole to make along with mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, and gravy. Today I'm making the cranberry sauce and doing some cleaning. I love this holiday, and hope to really pick and choose what appetizers and ... Tue, 22 Nov 2016 13:33:16 EST Leslie Sansone: Just Walk Today, I began using a video I won during the Fall 5% Challenge. Leslie Samson's Walking Off the Pounds is so easy to follow and I felt I got a good workout. It is the first walking video I've tried. There are three different mile workouts. I just did one of them as had already walked outdoors today and could really feel it as the first mile routine was finishing. I was pleasantly surprised that it focussed on legs, arms and some core as well. There's a bonus section for Healthy Abs and... Mon, 21 Nov 2016 17:21:48 EST More challenges to come... I finished the fall 5% challenge just short of my goal. I made that goal today...a day late. But, I'm excited to maintain my loss through the New Year when I can start the Winter 5% Challenge. I hope you consider this challenge if you anticipate a weight loss goal in the coming year. These challenges are so encouraging and truly celebrate success along the way. Not all successes will be scale related. Some may be related to exercise, sleep, stairs, and more. Come join the fun!!! See y... Sun, 20 Nov 2016 19:27:18 EST Very little exercise today Spent most of the day doing a needlework project. I was too sick to do much else. I did get in a walk waiting for grandson to compete at a swim meet. After doing more than 20,000 steps earlier this week, today I couldn't make 10,000. Tomorrow will be better. Wonder how this bug will affect my weigh in tomorrow - the last of our Fall 5% challenge. I think I'm close, but pretty sure I won't quite get there. Maybe I can do better for the winter challenge that begins in January. It is an ... Sat, 19 Nov 2016 00:34:41 EST Below par but still kicking.. I've been fighting a UTI since last Saturday. Despite my best efforts at washing it out without getting a doctor involved, I failed. So got an antibiotic today and hoping to feel less like a dizzy dame who can barely keep her eyes open. <BR> I did get most of my Thanksgiving dinner ingredients today from a couple stores and got down to watch one of our grandsons compete in a swim meet. Only was up to watching his first event, so was thrilled that he won by a big margin, more than 10 seco... Fri, 18 Nov 2016 00:30:43 EST What I Learned While the Grandkids were Here! It was an amazingly fun and often challenging five days. <BR> <em>386</em> I can exercise a lot each day. <BR> <em>102</em> I can get to sleep quickly when I'm truly tired. <BR> <em>594</em> I can keep going when I think I might not be able. <BR> <em>595</em> I can easily get in touch with my inner child with a little encouragement from the kids. <BR> <em>591</em> My husband and I can get all the kids to all of their activities, including school, for 5 days on less than 2 tan... Wed, 16 Nov 2016 13:06:34 EST This training is getting harder and harder... This morning I walked hills around my granddaughters school. This afternoon I walked/jogged those same hills for a total of about 8 miles. In between I got to help with a Thanksgiving dinner at a senior center where we served about 175 people. My feet are tired, but it was a good day. We took our grandkids home tonight and I think I'm going to bed very soon. Five days of taking care of those three just about took care of us, I think. What a blessing! <BR> <em>213</em> Tue, 15 Nov 2016 21:56:24 EST Too much driving... Today our three grandkids went back to school. DH and I divided the duty so we could get the kids to their various starts and stops of school as well as to their various activities after that are far apart and everything is pretty far from where we live. Then I had a lunch meeting in a completely different direction that took me another 50 miles each way. I drove about 7 hours today so didn't get in nearly as much walking as I prefer. Still, I sneaked it in as I waited for one of the kids... Mon, 14 Nov 2016 21:41:57 EST A tough, but fun day! Today our youngest local granddaughter, age 6, wanted to go to church with me so she could go to our Sunday School class. She loves the teacher and the teacher loves her so whenever we are babysitting at our house she is eager to get ready early enough to walk over with me. We collected fall leaves on our walk home and did leaf tracings. She made a beautiful card for her parents when they get home Tuesday night. After lunch we trekked over to the arena for Disney on Ice: Passport to Adven... Sun, 13 Nov 2016 23:37:39 EST Enjoying the grandkids! Having such fun with our grandkids for a few days. Yesterday it was tae kwon do and dinner and some play time. Today it was the zoo, decorating gingerbread houses, movie (Trolls) and a quick dinner out, trip to the grocery store and home. I walked just over 8 miles and I feel every one of them. lol <BR> <BR> This is the last week of the Fall 5% challenge. Looking forward to the winter challenge that kicks off in January. Come join the fun! Sun, 13 Nov 2016 00:13:40 EST Grandkids tending For five days beginning a little later today we will take care of our three local grandkids (6,12,13). Hoping to get them to all their activities and school on Monday and Tuesday. Their mom, our daughter, is running the Las Vegas marathon again and her husband has time off so they can make a nice little trip out of it. She has won her last few marathons so we are hoping she will do well this time, too. But, I feel like tending those three kids will be like running a marathon, too. I have... Fri, 11 Nov 2016 18:00:51 EST I think I can...I think I can I just registered for a Thanksgiving Cold Turkey 6K event. I't a steep mostly uphill trek from home to start. The finish is closer to home and not so steep. But, that means that for me the total distance will be more than 5 miles. I decided to register as a walker and will jog some if I'm able. I'm excited for this as our daughter, son and daughter-in-law are all running races that morning, too. Plus, since the fall challenge will be over by then it will keep me working hard at least th... Mon, 7 Nov 2016 19:23:06 EST I Won...that brings a smile to my week! Actually, I won three times. I won a drawing for Cloverleaf 5% fall challenge - a cool video. I also just won a raffle prize of gourmet olive oil, aged balsamic, two tea towels, olive oil dispenser, kitchen towel and a gift card for dinner at a fun restaurant. <BR> <BR> I will enjoy all of these prizes. But, my biggest win is that today is a beautiful fall day and I got to walk a couple of times and am about to head out again. My mind and body both win in this one! <BR> <BR> I hope y... Fri, 4 Nov 2016 15:42:23 EST Active Watching I went to watch my grandson at swim practice and spent the time walking back and forth as he swam. I was high up at the top of the bleachers. Pretty soon our 6 year old granddaughter decided we should play Simon says and that got really active. Then, she wanted to race so we raced back and forth and up and down the stairs while I continued to watch her brother go through his paces. I ended up walking/jogging/climbing for an hour and really revved my heart. My granddaughter said she was g... Wed, 2 Nov 2016 15:08:35 EST First Holiday Goal Achieved! The holidays are officially here. My plan is to lose some weight despite all the temptations that will surely come. But, if I can't lose, I know I can maintain and that will be great, too. I am at a healthy weight, but want to drop a few vanity pounds and inches. I also want to become stronger as I go. My goal for Halloween fun was to eat no more than two pieces of candy while celebrating with our grandkids last night. I did it. I ate two small pieces of Halloween candy. It was a nice... Tue, 1 Nov 2016 13:59:31 EST Goal for today I have one goal this no more than two pieces of candy as we help at our daughter's house tonight. I bought none so that is good. Actually, I do busy some that my husband and grandkids like, but I don't like it so that is good for me. Have a safe and fun celebration. Mon, 31 Oct 2016 16:41:47 EST Fitbit back on track...and so am I! While my fitbit wasn't tracking I felt really out of touch with how I was doing. I continued my exercise. I continued my healthy eating. I continued drinking lots of water. I'm pretty sure I did what I intended to do. Yet, I've grown dependent on my tracker to tell me how I am doing hour by hour and day by day. I'm not sure if that is a good thing, but I do know that I am quite relieved to have it working again. I missed my little friend!!! <BR> <em>213</em> Thu, 27 Oct 2016 22:18:55 EST Thanks for ideas about fitbit So, as suggested I contacted the company to see if they might replace my broken fitbit. I don't really expect them to. I'd had this one for a couple of years before it stopped tracking and sending data. Still, I think I will replace it once I get a reply. I do miss it keeping me accountable. Today I walked more than 5 miles, but not sure how much more. Guesstimating by time and familiar routes for which I know mileage. It was a beautiful fall day and I felt well enough to move along pr... Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:05:18 EST Bye-bye fitbit! My fitbit bit the dust. It stopped sending some of the data a couple weeks ago and struggled to connect to charge. Today it is dead! So sad. I've enjoyed it and will probably replace it pretty soon. Will use other methods to track for awhile and see how I do with staying the course. It is nice to wear my pretty watches again. <BR> <em>24</em> <em>213</em> <em>311</em> Sat, 22 Oct 2016 13:48:39 EST Lost day! I had so many things planned for today. Alas, I got hit with a major migraine early and ended up unable to do any of the planned tasks. Now it's too late to get started on much, but so thankful I'm finally feeling much better. I hate wasting a whole day! Time for me to get dinner started. Perhaps dh will want to walk with me this evening. We'll see how he is feeling since he's still not well from his sinus infection. Tis the season. Hoping this isn't an indication of a challenging win... Fri, 21 Oct 2016 17:17:01 EST Climbing back on track... DH is trying to get over a sinus infection and then he passed a kidney stone this morning (about 60 since he started struggling with this about 40 years ago - at least far less often now). Poor guy is resting today. I've got a little bug. Nothing much, but it has kept me down a bit the last few days. So far this has been a better day. Walking and exercising indoors and not for very long at a time. Soon this will all just be a memory. I'm struggling in a couple fall challenges, but tryi... Tue, 18 Oct 2016 14:25:27 EST Under the weather Struggling a bit. I find it all too easy to snack on unhealthy fare when I'm sick. Glad it's not a major illness. Should be back on track in a couple of days...I hope. Meanwhile, upping the C and water even higher than usual. Hot tea is the best! <BR> <em>24</em> Mon, 17 Oct 2016 20:39:48 EST Need more strength training! My walking is pretty much on track. I get out there each day or walk indoors. Yesterday was my highest total in awhile...just over 9 miles. But, I've really slacked off on the strength training. I combine walking with so many other activities just getting from place to place. It's harder to plan the time for strength work before my body is too tired. I'm planning to be better at this day by day, week by week. I think we all have challenges. I'm so glad we have such great encouragement... Fri, 14 Oct 2016 20:43:48 EST Too many carbs, too much salt, not enough water.... These are my main food struggles these days. Whenever I notice a little edema on my legs I realize I'm on a bad trajectory for me. At the same time I notice a couple of pounds creeping up from that water weight. To get back on track I increase water, cut down on salt and carbs and soon I'm back where I want to be. I know this and yet I still mess up way too often. Not sure why I let myself fail, but so glad I know how to right this ship before it's too late. If I want the results, I nee... Thu, 13 Oct 2016 18:47:40 EST Fall Fun! We've had some beautiful fall days lately. Walking has been a joy. Life has been so full of a ton of volunteer responsibilities, but I wouldn't change a thing. I feel so blessed to be in a place when I can handle so much. But, fall fun also includes family. DH and I went to three water polo games (grandsons) Saturday before I had to get to one of my Stephen Ministry assignments. We saw a movie, went out to dinner and walked so many places. Our middle granddaughter lost two teeth last w... Tue, 11 Oct 2016 13:52:06 EST Tomorrow is not promised to any of us! The past week was hard. There were such highs and lows and I bit off more than I should have in a lot of areas. However, the hardest part was attending funerals for two friends who were both my age. One was about a month older and the other just a day older than me. I'm 63 for another few days and it breaks my heart that these sweet people left far too to heart issues that had been very challenging her whole life and the other to cancer after battling and winning a few times b... Sun, 2 Oct 2016 21:21:34 EST Thank you for your prayers for my friend! I so appreciate all the prayers and encouragement from SP friends. My dear friend, Connie, died last Wednesday and I went to her funeral today. When I visited her, her husband told me they would take her off life support in a couple hours. Still, I spoke to her and prayed for her and blessed her. Though her eyes were not focussed, they were open as I spoke. When I finished by blessing her with Gods peace she closed her eyes. It was as if her spirit was yet alive and well and eager to f... Tue, 27 Sep 2016 00:15:18 EST Please pray for my friend Please pray for my dear friend, Bible study pal, and prayer partner. Connie is on life support since yesterday due to heart failure. Her poor heart has struggled for years though she is only in her 60s. Previously, medications and procedures have gotten her back on track. Last Thursday she told me all was going well. She was hiking, eating well, staying in great shape, checking in on her elderly mother who suffers from Alzheimers and living her life with no concerns about her own current... Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:56:54 EST Plateau busted! Well, sort of. I'm in maintenance mode, but do want to lose some more pounds for vanity reasons. I got off the plateau the wrong way. I gained weight. Ouch!!! However, I'm pretty sure I gained mostly, if not all, water. I didn't get quite as much water as usual for a few days. In addition I was cooking and baking a lot for events and other people so I ate more of that than I should have for sure. I have two more meals to prepare for others in the next week or so. I plan to stick to ... Fri, 16 Sep 2016 14:21:02 EST Incidental exercise is probably my favorite. I chugged mostly uphill to our annual street fair to help with one of the booths. It's about 1 1/2 miles. (I thought longingly to the walk home, mostly down the hills.) Then I was on my feet for the three hours as I helped share information about our upcoming Scottish Festival. It was such fun. There were thousands of people, hundred of booths and bands at each end of the four block event. As I walked home I stopped at the grocery store near the fair and bought a pretty heavy bag of thin... Sun, 11 Sep 2016 08:39:32 EST Complacent! I've been in a bit of a rut lately. I'm way over extended at the moment with no end in sight. I love all I am doing. It's just a lot. Which brings me to my rut. I've not really challenged my body recently as I've worked out, walked, etc. I've slipped up more often than usual in eating some less healthy food choices. So, I'm resolving to do better and see if I can get more excited about this journey once again. After all, it's nearly a brand new season. This is a great time to get bac... Fri, 9 Sep 2016 16:30:13 EST Too much sadness...again! At the beginning of this year my grand nephew was violently murdered at work by a deranged co-worker. His body was found about a week later. His murderer sits in jail supposedly unable to stand trial at this time. Meanwhile our family is so sad and missing him every day. He was his mom's only child and was only 28 years old. <BR> <BR> About 10 days ago another nephew's finance's two brothers were shot and killed. Both were married and had young families. I didn't know them, but they we... Wed, 31 Aug 2016 21:49:44 EST Less time working out this week Due to increased pain, I've had to cut back a bit this week. Still walking more than 10,000 steps but not able to do much additional training right now. It is discouraging, but know it is temporary. Every day is a new adventure. I'm just enjoying the journey. Thu, 25 Aug 2016 21:32:41 EST One month later... I haven't blogged in a month. The first two weeks I was out of town and had a very challenging, but vert rewarding get away, We watch two of our grandkids compete in junior olympics water polo on two different teams. It was very hot so my ms did not do well. We also helped my mom-in-law celebrate her 101st birthday - a party with about 30 guests and we took her out to lunch a couple of times. She is so amazing! Still loves to read, watch tv, do jigsaw puzzles and have her kids, grandkid... Mon, 15 Aug 2016 22:39:25 EST Experiment I tried eating some unhealthy things early in the day to see what would happen with the scale. Even though my calories were where they should be, I discovered that for me, unhealthy equals added weight. Granted, some extra weight is no doubt due to increased salt intake, but some I really think has to do with how my body processes healthy vs. unhealthy choices. I'm back on track...mostly. I may try this again sometime to see if I get the same result. I thought it was interesting. My bod... Thu, 14 Jul 2016 22:32:03 EST One of those days I'm dragging today. I feel like I'm sleepwalking through my day. I got up early to watch my grandsons with their swim teams and then my granddaughter at her swim lessons. I pushed her on the tire swing a bit and got in a bit of walking. Then I visited a friend who has Alzheimer's. She was just finishing a chair chi class and then a wonderful musician came to lead a sing along with her guitar and a lot of old favorites. It was awesome to see joy on my friend's face and hear her singing s... Wed, 13 Jul 2016 15:52:00 EST Making progress...slowly I would love to be able to jog a 5K and to walk a half-marathon. I'm far from getting to either, but am making progress. <BR> Yesterday at the gym I managed to 'run' a mile without a break to walk. It was very slow, just over 16 minutes, but it felt like a victory. I went on to walk/jog another mile. After that I did some upper body strength training before heading home. I also got in two walks so a pretty good day. Today I'm not getting in so many steps, but have gotten exercise by wa... Mon, 11 Jul 2016 17:36:49 EST Two rest days! I hope this isn't an indication that ms is hitting a difficult stretch. I was so excited to have walked (some jogging, too) more than 30,000 steps two days in a row. However, the next day I could only walk a bit more than 13,000 and today I doubt I'll do much more than that. I'm hoping it's just a bit of recovery from a lot, and I'm prepared to see where I am in the next few days before I blame the ms. Hope everyone is having a great weekend! <BR> <em>213</em> Sat, 9 Jul 2016 19:32:34 EST I lost a day and then found it! I thought yesterday was Thursday and aimed to get 30,000+ steps. It was nearly the end of the day before I actually realized it was Wednesday. So, today I also aimed for the 30,000+ steps. I succeeded yesterday and am nearly there today. I may be ready for another increase, but time does not always accommodate all I would like to walk or jog. I love getting many steps between and with other activities. Still, I want to be sure to get in some strength training. I think the heat is affec... Thu, 7 Jul 2016 21:51:35 EST Fellowship Frenzy On Sunday my husband and I were in charge of fellowship hours after both worship services. I know my habits are well in place by the way I approached this opportunity. I baked for two days without even tasting many of my creations. I purchased a beautiful sheet cake filled with mousse and didn't do more that take a taste of a small piece. I prepared cream cheese/sour cream and spices dip for a variety of crackers and I prepared a few pounds of a variety of cheeses for those crackers, too... Wed, 6 Jul 2016 15:04:06 EST Holiday Weekend Success I was very active over the long weekend including leading a parade to pass out flags to all the people along the route. I took my husband and six-year-old granddaughter to help. She was so cute and fast. Then we walked back against the parade direction to see all the entries and let her gather up some of the candy thrown from the floats. She had such fun and so did we. We even took her to dinner before taking her back to her mom. I had no appetite - too tired from all the heat and exerc... Tue, 5 Jul 2016 17:56:43 EST I must increase intensity! I get in lots of steps each day, some walking, some jogging. But, there are only so many hours in a day that I can do this. I sneak in lots of steps throughout the day while doing other things. But, I think after just more than 5 months of 10,000+ steps per day, it's time to increase the intensity so I can burn even more calories. So, that is my next habit to work on. Doing SP videos more often will probably be a part of it. But, for now I'm working on my plan for next steps. <BR> <... Fri, 1 Jul 2016 18:01:15 EST Fitbit weekly report! This report is always so encouraging to me. Even if I'm having a particularly challenging day, when i see what I did last week I find points of encouragement and that gets me wanting to surpass whatever that was. Lately, it's steps. Last week was the first time I ever averaged more than 20,000 steps per day. So, this week I'm trying to meet or beat that total. So far I'm a little behind, but there's still time to catch up. I've discovered that I'm my own best motivator and Fitbit really... Thu, 30 Jun 2016 12:33:28 EST Moving right along Success! Out of nowhere my husband commented that my legs are really toned. I was thrilled. I have been doing some Spark exercise videos that I know are helpful. But, I believe the biggest thing is getting more than 10,000 steps each day for the past five months. I often include some jogging now and usually am well over the 10,000 base. The last two weeks I've averaged more than 16,000 steps per day. Yesterday, I got 26,637 steps including three short walks and a 45 minute jog. Consid... Wed, 22 Jun 2016 13:30:28 EST Just keep moving... This has been a challenging week. My body is struggling more than usual, perhaps because of the heat. Multiple Sclerosis doesn't like the heat. A lot of symptoms are a bit out of control right now. Thankfully, I've still gotten in my 10,000+ steps each day. I think the average this week in over 14,000. Still, those steps have been challenging. But, the point is...they have been done. Many other things I would have liked to do have not been done, but I've kept moving and have not cance... Fri, 17 Jun 2016 17:58:29 EST The green-eyed monster has no business here! I've read messages from, spoken with and been encouraged and discouraged by a variety of people in my world. I think the worst thing we can do is compare our journeys with others. Even if we begin a weight loss journey at the same time and on the same plan the variables are huge. One may begin with greater muscle mass that more easily burns through the calories. One may have time, energy, health to work out really aggressively several times each week while another may have time, energy an... Tue, 14 Jun 2016 18:14:28 EST Hot, hot, hot! That's the weather, not me. But, I can't do anything about the weather. I can do something about me. I may never be 'hot', but I can be the healthiest me that I can be regardless of the weather. Today I walked and jogged around my house and as soon as I get to 10,000 steps I'm heading to the gym to swim some laps. We have a busy weekend ahead so I am eager to cross off a few more of my healthy me goals before the day is done. Have a great weekend everyone! Fri, 10 Jun 2016 15:00:34 EST