GRANDMABABA's SparkPeople Blog GRANDMABABA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 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 "Does Mom know?" Lately, my six-year-old granddaughter has asked me this a lot. She's wanted to know if Mom knows that I exercise, that I go to the gym and that I lift weights. It's so cute. My answer is that, yes, I'm pretty sure she knows. She knows because I'm much more active than I was when ms kept me out of the game a lot. She knows because I have much more energy for fun with her daughter and two older sons (11 & 13) than I did for her and her brother when they were young. She know because I'm so... Wed, 8 Jun 2016 11:56:45 EST Twice the encouragement! Recently I wrote a couple blogs that got some interesting responses. I shared that I've agreed to many more opportunities than I could ever succeed at on my own. I received written and verbal positive and negative reactions. Interestingly, I found both kinds very encouraging. If I only agreed to things I knew I could do I would never need the Lord. Since He gave Phil. 4:13 as my life verse it has truly changed the way I look at my options day by day. If He calls me to it, I know He will... Tue, 7 Jun 2016 11:34:23 EST Why I don't say NO if I can say YES... So, some friends are asking why I haven't said no to some recent opportunities. True, I'll never be able to do all I have on my plate on my own. But, I know the Lord led me to these choices and I am confident He will continue to lead, direct, encourage, strengthen and bless. There were many years when I had to say NO to so many things because the MS was limiting me so very much. Today I can do so much more and I relish every chance I have to reach out to help others along my way. I know ... Fri, 3 Jun 2016 11:38:23 EST I've bitten off more than I can chew! I was just discussing my over committed life with my husband and trying to figure what I could eliminate. But, for reasons not immediately clear to me I've taken on more. So besides already being a Stephen Minister (despite expectation of one assignment at at time, I currently minister two three women in very difficult circumstances), Home Owner Association Board Officer, member of a philanthropic educational organization providing scholarships and loans to women, involved in two studies th... Thu, 2 Jun 2016 21:48:45 EST Beautiful weekend Daughter and three party - 1 piece for me. In fact, lots of goodies that I ate very small portions of. But, I tasted it all and had seconds of watermelon and fresh strawberries. Loved the corn on the cob today plain just as it cooked up. My sweet husband and I had wonderful quiet moments each day. We took a beautiful hike.and some long walks including to nearby mall to shoe shop. Worship yesterday was such a blessing and the class our senior pastor taught from Voice o... Mon, 30 May 2016 20:43:40 EST Eating more, weighing less! I kept seeing the red letters on my fitness page, but ignored them for a very long time. Finally I realized I needed to update my info because I was able to be much more active the past four months. Interestingly, I've been pretty stuck on the weight loss and I thought it had something to do with perhaps adding some muscle back. But, when I did update and found out I was not eating nearly enough calories, I started adding in more. And, happily this week I lost a pound. I have little to l... Fri, 20 May 2016 13:58:37 EST She set the record, but we got the prize! Our daughter (38) set a half marathon course record this weekend losing only to a 21-year-old male competitor. It wasn't huge, about 400 competitors. It was fun for her to be interviewed after for local media. But, I feel like we got the prize as we got to spend the weekend with her three children while she was out of town. I'm tired today, but so enjoyed all the extra activities including watching two water polo matches, shopping, a picnic, lots of games and a late lasting slumber party ... Mon, 16 May 2016 11:49:09 EST My feet hurt! It has been a joy and a challenge to walk more and more steps on average since I was suddenly able to walk 10,000 steps consistently nearly four months ago. I thought that would never happen due to restrictions of ms and the fact that both feet and legs have been rebuilt just to keep me upright. My achilles tendons were split and lengthened, tendons in both feet moved around for strength and all toes fused. So, I'm still quite thrilled to be walking consistently. In fact, this week I've b... Thu, 12 May 2016 22:04:12 EST Back in the real world After vacation with granddaughters, I'm still recovering from the many different activities. I'm discovering that this real world is pretty wonderful, too! I am so grateful that my body allows me to do so many kinds of things each and every day. Some are clearly more fun than others, but remembering times that were much more physically difficult reminds me to do the very best I can each day to be the healthiest me I can be. Have a great day, SP friends! <BR> <em>213</em> Tue, 10 May 2016 13:46:47 EST Home recovering from so much fun! I had such an amazing time with our son's family the last 9 days. It was an extremely active time - lots of play, hiking, walking, dancing, jogging, etc., inspired mostly by our almost 5-year-old and 7-year-old granddaughters. I love Skype, but there is nothing quite like a hug. <BR> <BR> I was so pleased that my daughter-in-law cooked really healthy fare. We did enjoy some wine tastings and amazing meals in fun restaurants that were not quite so healthy. Still, I didn't gain weight. In... Mon, 9 May 2016 15:03:53 EST Elementary, my dear! I got to go to the elementary school program (band, beginning and intermediate strings, play, k-3, 4-5, and honor choirs). It was fun to watch and listen to my first grade granddaughter sing in the choir. It was also National Day of Prayer and the kids had prayer walked their campus earlier. Still, they needed bathroom breaks, couldn't keep hands, feet, bodies or mouths still, and otherwise gave into mass wiggles and giggles. The program was opened in prayer by one of their clergy leaders... Fri, 6 May 2016 00:59:33 EST So much fun, so little time! I'm having such fun on vacation with my son, his wife and their two little girls. Keeping to mostly healthy food choices and getting lots of walking and other exercise. Today we did some dancing games on X-Box. I really felt the burn. Then my sweet dil made a yummy dinner of spaghetti squash, green peppers, and sausage. I splurged on a glass of red wine. It's been four days, never enough time for everything. DH flew home yesterday to rest and continue to recover from back surgery. He ... Tue, 3 May 2016 21:01:43 EST 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