MAURIZIA's SparkPeople Blog MAURIZIA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Assessment time...or, accept responsibility... ...for what I did and for what I didn't do. <BR> <BR> It is my belief that only I control what works and what doesn't on my journey to good health. I look for and listen to advice. I carefully weigh what others post as barriers and successful methods. I continually learn about nutrition, fitness, motivation, health care, and trends. Sometimes I practice it and other times, well, I'm just darn lazy and don't. There are barriers (see below) that do exist. What I need to learn is how to overcom... Tue, 25 Aug 2015 16:30:25 EST 2015 Summer 5% Challenge...Plan and ACTION, I hope... Time sure flies by faster day by day. I can't believe we are on the precipice of July 2015. I feel like I've lost months, though I know that my work consumes so much of my time that one day gets lost in another. I need to change that so it will be reflected in my Summer Challenge Plan. Prior to the start (tomorrow), each day we are asked to review and reflect on our nutrition, exercise, motivation, roadblocks, ways to overcome those roadblocks, etc. I'm way behind so hope to do it through th... Fri, 26 Jun 2015 08:41:52 EST Continuing to learn about me... Spring is here, they tell me, despite low temperatures. Hmmm...the question is whether I believe them. Ahhh, but the magnolia tree in our front garden is in bud, with a few flowers blooming. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> As spring advances, I feel my energy build a bit, I get back into my routines, and I smile more. It also kicks me in the pants (or skirt in my case today) to review how I'm doing on my healthy lifestyle journey. I spent time ye... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 15:05:55 EST SAD, sn*w fallen & coming...anxiety, anger & guilt WARNING! THIS IS NOT A POSITIVE BLOG SO JUMP TO THE BLESSINGS IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ MY RANT. THIS IS NOT EVEN A BLOG. IT'S A RANT IN THE HOPES THAT I CAN LET GO OF THE NEGATIVE FEELINGS. <BR> <BR> Each day I planned to blog but this morning I realized that my SAD has kicked in big time with the blizzard of this past week. Just looking outdoors & seeing everything still covered in sn*w & ice makes me sad. We are expecting another sn*wstorm tonight (8 to 14 inches) into tomorrow. If I cou... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 09:22:06 EST A real challenge today... It is a sn*wy Saturday here - or as Cheryl, leader of our Movin' It team, titled today's thread - Snuggle Saturday. <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> <BR> Today is a challenging day because of the sn*w. Even though I am not going out in it, it stills raises my anxiety level. i usually relieve it by eating so today I resolve that I will not do that. My Casual Travellers team is dependi... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 09:32:20 EST Love mornings... Since moving to my new apartment, I have learned to love mornings. My living room window faces east, so Katie & I get to watch the sun say "good morning." It is a quiet neighborhood, and so the silence of the outdoors, the sun when she rises (even if we don't see her behind the clouds), and the early hour creates a beautiful space in which I offer gratitude and for meditation...even for exercise. The is what greeted us yesterday morning. <BR> <img src=" Wed, 21 Jan 2015 07:50:54 EST Quite a week...a month...a year... If you had asked, I would have thought I only missed two days of blogging, not 5 days. Time does fly, I guess. Work sometimes gets into the way of life - though I shouldn't complain since, 1. I have a job, and 2., it is not as crazy as my fall schedule. <BR> <BR> I worked two 12 hour days this week, one was a wellness fair at a local company, and the other was because I had to report to our Board of Directors on our Community Outreach Program, including the Hope Bus, Pink Spirit, African Am... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 10:31:55 EST Struggles...sadness... Any of you who have read my blogs or posts on team sites know how much I love what I long as I'm not in the office. I work for a breast cancer resource foundation aboard the Hope Bus, which isn't a bus at all but an RV decked out in pink. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Aboard it we educate people about risk factors, symptoms, & screening methods. We also offer mind-body-spirit classes, such as making a touchstone, Zentangle, Reiki, chair... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 17:30:16 EST Gratitude...and taking things for granted... Each morning I try to start my day with moments of gratitude as Katie and I sit watching the sun makes its entrance, even if most days it's behind sn*w filled clouds. So it was a challenge yesterday morning. <BR> <BR> My first challenge was having no heat in my new apartment. On my 3AM bathroom run, I awoke shivering. Thought it was a symptom of getting sick since two co-workers were sick at the beginning of last week. Then I touched the doorknob and realized it was the apartment that was co... Sun, 11 Jan 2015 08:26:43 EST We are at the starting line... I am so excited to start the 2015 Winter 5% Challenge. It starts tomorrow and I am looking forward to taking this trip with our Casual Travellers team. It was last year's Winter Challenge when I began a successful journey to a healthy life Wish me luck! <BR> <BR> LESSON LEARNED: <BR> My least successful challenge last year was the Fall Challenge. Because of my long work hours, I was not connected to the team, checking in everyday, etc. This time around I will create a plan that won't go sout... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 07:28:59 EST The W's Work, winter weather & worry. <BR> <BR> These are my w's and they are leads to the other. I have to go to WORK. The WINTER precipitation, which seems to be happening every day, WORRIES me. WEATHER is probably the most anxiety producing thing for me. Still trying to work out how to lower its effect on me sine there is nothing I can do to control it. Deep breathing, mindfulness, mediation, prayer haven't yet worked...but I'm still exploring ways to reduce the stress. <BR> <BR> ... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 08:30:27 EST Back to work... It has been nice being at home for almost 2 weeks and though I had vertigo, it made a change to be at home the prior week to those two. Today I return to the office. I much prefer being in the community but being out is anxiety raising for me in winter. I am terrified of driving in sn*w, needless to say on icy roads as well. Being in the office isn't so bad since I can always do that work at home. <BR> <BR> The good thing about going back to work is that it will help with sticking to my 2015... Mon, 5 Jan 2015 08:27:44 EST Recovery... As I sat contemplating what to write today (besides listing my blessings), I realized that over the last month I have had no motivation to do much. Thinking about why that must be and several thoughts occurred to me. <BR> <BR> 1. My body was catching up with the tiredness that I ignored because of working 6 or 7 day weeks, with many days at 10 to 12 hours. <BR> 2. I ignored a cold that I had at the beginning of October because I just didn't have time with those work hours to rest. <BR> 3.... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 09:24:57 EST *Sparking* - how do I make it fit into my schedule? Each year I stop *sparking* when my work schedule becomes crazy with 7 day work weeks & long hours because of breast cancer awareness month, and its activities that spill into September & November. Then we are into the holiday season in December and time just goes so quickly at the end of the year. As I gear up for our 2014 Winter 5% Challenge, I have started *sparking* again. I realize how much I miss it. <BR> <BR> Reflecting on the changes in my life, I realize other factors besides brea... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 08:26:13 EST Motivation comes from where? As part of the preparation for the 2015 Winter 5% Challenge, we are asked to ponder what our motivation is and how we maintain it to complete the challenge. Here goes. <BR> <BR> In the past I have also said it has nothing to do with my physical appearance but about getting healthy, reducing prescriptions, etc. Now that I have eliminated 45 lbs. and have been hearing from so many people that I "look good," I have to admit that comment is definitely motivating. So, I'm not sure if it's vanity ... Fri, 2 Jan 2015 08:31:01 EST Reviewing 2014... Wow! I haven't blogged since June 1st, 2014. I seriously had no clue it had been quite that long. So much has happened since then so this will be a quick review of 2014. <BR> <BR> My Word of the Year for 2014 was "DO" and I did. Through my efforts in the seasonal 5% Challenges, I have managed to eliminate 45 lbs, though in full disclosure, a few of those lbs. have found their way back. I am responsible for that - no excuses. This last week of 2014 I have tried to slowly get back to what wo... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 10:03:57 EST Never too old to learn... Yesterday was the last day of the 5% Spring Challenge. I managed to eliminate a few lbs but nowhere close to my goal of 12 lbs. I'm keeping that goal for the 5% Summer Challenge. Though it may not have been a roaring success, at least as I hoped, but it was successful because I have learned some things. <BR> <BR> The most important thing I learned is that I was quite naive in making slight adjustments to my 5% Winter Challenge plan, thinking it would be enough to accommodate for my extended ... Sun, 1 Jun 2014 09:45:24 EST Days off... ...and not talking about days off from work. :) <BR> <BR> Yesterday was a holiday for most senses of the word. Though I did manage to get my exercise done, I didn't do much else. I relaxed - played on SP, played on, did some reading, and watched a couple of shows I recorded on Sunday while I was in Boston. <BR> <BR> This morning I awoke thinking that I didn't do much to move forward with my purging my apartment. Those guilt feelings began to rear their ugly heads...but as... Tue, 27 May 2014 09:26:21 EST Measuring success... So many articles on SP deal with ways to measure your success while using the tools available on the site. Those of us who are active on SP probably read a lot of these articles, nod our heads, post on our team boards, and intend to adopt these "other ways." Do we really? I'd like to say I have but until yesterday, success has always depended on those little numbers on the scale. Occasionally, I realize that I've succeeded because clothes are now fitting better, my refrigerator has healthi... Mon, 26 May 2014 12:37:03 EST April 22nd...REALLY? I can't believe my last blog was on April 22nd. Geesh! Time somehow flies so much faster now that I am older. Since my 5% Spring Challenge has spurred me to eat healthy, exercise everyday, and check in, maybe this week's LTGL Challenge of blogging each day will get me back in the habit. Decided to do a quick summary: <BR> <BR> 1. On May 10th, 2014, I officially outlived both my parents. It was a momentous occasion for me to have surpassed their ages...and scary. I continue to surpass them.... Sat, 24 May 2014 20:42:38 EST Where, oh where-e-e-e is...time? (Sung to the tune of "Where oh, where-e-e-e is love?" <BR> <BR> I have no idea where time goes. Well, if I sit and thought about it I probably do. Of course, the Hope Bus is back on the road so it is getting crazier with my work schedule and in an earlier time frame. <BR> <BR> Mornings: I exercise at least 40 minutes (well, that's the plan anyway); play a game of Trivial Pursuit & do a crossword puzzle online to stimulate my brain cells; feed Katie; cook breakfast for me; check in at SP; ... Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:22:16 EST How much is too much? Challenge is to what I am referring. What are my challenges? To list them, they are: <BR> <BR> 1. Work <BR> 2. Nutrition & exercise <BR> 3. Time <BR> 4. 5% Spring Challenge <BR> 5. Stress Busting Challenge - which I joined yesterday <BR> 6. Packing up the excess in my apartment. <BR> 7. Finding & moving to a new place after 30 years here <BR> 8. Finances <BR> 9. How to buy new clothes that will fit without money <BR> <BR> Well, at least my challenges number below a 2-digit numeral, right? I... Sun, 13 Apr 2014 09:06:58 EST Achievement is the best motivation... least for me. <BR> <BR> I have tried over the last couple of weeks since the 2014 Winter 5% Challenge ended to maintain the habits developed during it. Overall I think I did okay though at last Friday's weigh-in for me, I had found a lb. I thought was eliminated. Instead of being disappointed in me, I revisited both my nutrition & fitness trackers. During this week, I've been more mindful of what had worked and the lessons I'd learned about my body and me. Returning to what worked t... Sat, 29 Mar 2014 07:55:21 EST Will wonders never cease? Part of my work responsibilities include teaching breast health and breast cancer classes. Last week I was teaching classes at a local middle school. When in schools, I always share a story about a young man several years ago who sent me an email about a year later, thanking me for saving his grandmother's life. He went home and kept urging her to have a mammogram. To quiet him, she finally went and was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. She was successfully treated and, presumably, is e... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:21:03 EST Friend or foe? As I continue to track my food here at SP on their nutrition tracker, it occurred to me this morning that I've always seen food as an enemy. It's there to add lbs. to my body. It's not good for me. Food is unhealthy and tempts me. It tricks me into believing I will feel better the more I eat. This morning the little light bulb above my head shone brightly. <BR> <BR> Food is a friend. It is a good thing. It's there to SUSTAIN my body not act subversively in making it grow. It IS good for me... Sun, 23 Mar 2014 13:35:33 EST Overwhelmed by your support... <em>137</em> HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! <em>137</em> <BR> <BR> Feel the need to tell all of you who have commented on my last two blogs how much your support and encouraging words inspire me. Thank you all for taking the time to read about my 5% Challenge. It is overwhelming, and to see so many of my new "friends" here at SP commenting means a lot. To read comments from those of you who have become part of my SP "family" - you know who you are - I am so grateful for the years of support... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 19:49:19 EST How do you measure lessons learned? I arose this morning thinking about my successful 5% Challenge. That resulted in my realization that the real test of having learned things about me, adopting new eating & exercise habits, and if I'm really serious is going to be these weeks between the Winter and Spring Challenges. This is the time when I really have to engage my brain and knowledge to cement the lessons I've learned during the Winter Challenge. That was an eye-opening way to start my Sunday. <BR> <BR> Thank you to all of y... Sun, 16 Mar 2014 10:16:41 EST 2014 5% Winter Challenge - Would I do it again? Today is the last day of the 2014 5% Winter Challenge. If you read an earlier blog of mine, you know I really thought about whether I wanted to join it and be challenged to lose 5% of my body weight. I spent some time thinking about it because I'd been in other challenges and abandoned them. Somehow my mindset was different this time and I stayed to the end. Glad I did. I met some awesome women on my Casual Travellers team. They inspired me everyday as they dealt with life's ups & downs and s... Sat, 15 Mar 2014 09:37:10 EST Catching up is hard to dooooo... Somehow I'm still having problems with time management each day. Need to find some articles to figure out how to fit everything into my day. I know that part of it in the winter is that my SAD & the weather deplete my energy stores, mostly because of anxiety over sn*w. <BR> <BR> As a report to myself, here goes: <BR> <BR> 1. Really working the 5% Challenge and I find myself at my lowest weight (by a 1 1/2 lbs) since joining SP in 2007 (I think). Lesson learned? I CAN DO IT IF I FOCUS ON GE... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 12:56:02 EST Really? I haven't blogged in 13 days? Really? Time truly does just run away from me. Every day on my way to work & home, I think about my blog topic for the day. Problem is that when I get home from work (about 7 PM), I'm too tired to even think about hopping onto the computer. A quick synopsis of these 13 days: <BR> <BR> My winter work schedule isn't quite as crazy as April - November, but there isn't much rest this year. <BR> <BR> My SAD is being exacerbated by all the sn*w & ice that covers the ground. Just as I start to feel better... Sat, 8 Feb 2014 07:42:54 EST What is that light? Oh, it must be the <em>67</em> ! I love having it stream into my apartment...and evidently so does Katie who has repositioned herself to absorb its heat. Think I may do the same. Now I know why it's called SUNday! (ref. last Sunday's blog title) <BR> <BR> I've decided to take it easy on me today. I have done a few little tasks - put groceries away, go through coupons so I can recycle the pages I don't use, may fill a bag of books to donate this week, and just think about what to wear to w... Sun, 26 Jan 2014 09:21:43 EST The wisdom of Jimmy Carter... "You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can." ~~ Jimmy Carter <BR> <BR> My 2014 Word of the Year is DO! <BR> <BR> Yesterday ended the first week of our Winter 2014 5% Challenge. It was successful for me, but this morning as I read our destination for Week 2, I became curious on how much my habits have changed. Flipping around SP, I landed on the reports page. I had no idea how many and types of reports you can run to analyze success in w... Sat, 25 Jan 2014 11:13:54 EST Wondering how SUNday got its name... ...since I haven't seen much sun the past few Sundays. :) <BR> <BR> Had a lovely day with John & Katie yesterday. It was very low-key and since I have to give up my usual quiet Sunday today, I truly appreciated it. We watched two DVDs, including Woody Allen's "To Rome with Love." For me, I loved seeing the beautiful city of my family, watching for my favorite landmarks, i.e. Colosseo, St. Peter's Basilica, Trevi Fountain, and also the crazy little streets in the Eternal City. <BR> <BR> Spea... Sun, 19 Jan 2014 10:22:23 EST Just Saturday... It's just an ordinary, stay at home Saturday for me, Katie and John. Caching up with Netflix DVDs - British mystery & a Woody Allen film as well as the Critics Choice Awards that I recorded since John doesn't get the station on which they were broadcast. <BR> <BR> Our lunch is put together and just needs baking later. <BR> <BR> *SPARK* RESTART PLAN: <BR> 1. Tracked food/analyze nutrition - done <BR> 2. Visited my 4 teams - done <BR> 3. Blogged - done <BR> 4. Exercise - 30 minutes so far tod... Sat, 18 Jan 2014 11:05:26 EST All my bags are packed... ...I'm ready to go... <BR> <BR> No, not on a vacation. No, not moving...yet. Tomorrow begins our Winter 2014 5% Challenge. I am so excited about this challenge. I received an invitation via Spark Mail about the challenge. As I posted on our Casual Travelers thread where we can share our obstacles and our progress, my process was thought out - especially given my limited time because of my job. I'll share with you: <BR> <BR> This is my process for joining this challenge... <BR> <BR> <em>... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 17:25:45 EST DO! Do bee do bee do... The word "DO" always makes me want to sing a Sinatra song! <BR> <BR> My 2014 Word of the Year is DO! It is a simple word, just two letters, but it has such impact on our lives! We are always doing something - We work; DO housework; DO gardening; DO cooking; DO...DO...DO. As I examined my *SPARK* RESTART Plan that I created in May 2013, I realized that the most important part of it is DOING. I can plan a lot of things - but if I don't DO them, the planning is useless. So for 2014, my word ... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 08:11:22 EST Trigger was a horse... ...when I was a child. I loved watching Roy Rogers & Dale Evans, but my favorite "character" was Roy's horse Trigger. He was a beautiful, graceful creature. What got me thinking of him is today's activity for our 2014 Winter 5% Challenge team. The challenge was to think of the triggers in our lives - food, exercise, people, life - that send us of track on our way to a healthy lifestyle. Using the questions one of the leaders posted, I thought that would be my topic here today. Maybe answerin... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 10:33:05 EST Happy 2014! Wishing you all a successful journey as we continue towards our healthy lifestyles in 2014! <BR> <BR> This will be a short blog for me...since I have to head out the door in the next 5 minutes. Just needed to note some things for myself as I begin this journey in 2014. <BR> <BR> *SPARK* RESTART:: <BR> <BR> 1. I am starting 2014 a total of 17.5 lbs. lighter than I did 2013. Giving myself a trophy for that, even though I am 2 lbs more than the goal I set to reach from May 1st. <em>209</e... Wed, 1 Jan 2014 11:09:03 EST The Hope Bus... So many times when I blog, I mention the Hope Bus on which I work from April to November. You also know, if you read my blogs regularly, that I love being on it - even if it does get exhausting from long hours, particularly from September through November. The Foundation for which I work is presenting a series, "Behind the Ribbon," on our local PBS station. The first two episodes covered our Young Survivors (40 & under) Program and our Fashion Show. The 3rd episode is about the Hope Bus. I w... Mon, 30 Dec 2013 07:02:34 EST Stunned, shocked, and sad... <img src=""> <BR> My beautiful Gracie is gone. How can it be that just 9 days ago she was waking me, walking with me to the pantry, and "singing" to me for her breakfast...and today she is gone. How did that happen? It was so fast...Her thyroid and kidney issues were under control. She saw the vet on August 30th and all was well. Today she is gone. My heart literally hurts...I can feel the hurt in my chest. Here's what happened...and this... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 07:31:35 EST Tempus fugit... Time sure does fly! Foolish me thinking that my work schedule would be lighter in November. I'd forgotten all the events I pushed to November to not turn folks away. I love being on the Hope Bus, but I think I've reached a breaking point since I can feel my alterego, "Mean Mauri," really pushing to the surface. Not so much with visitors to the RV, since I can't help but be compassionate as I listen to their questions and stories. It's more people with whom I interact - read that as "co-worker... Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:06:10 EST Best laid plans... For those who read yesterday's blog, you know I was very excited about visiting the Dunbar Tea Room...well, the best laid plans...Here's how the day went... <BR> <BR> When we arrived on Cape Cod, our first stop was to drop off the pet food at Collections Gallery in Sandwich. While there, John mentioned that last year he received a call that he won a prize. Believe it or not, that was last December...and they were holding it for him. It was a $25 gift certificate so he bought a beautiful hand... Mon, 11 Nov 2013 07:28:39 EST Gratitude... Each day I check FB my home page has posts from friends/colleagues listing something for which they are grateful. My PB team also has a November challenge of listing daily thanks, and I have been participating in that daily. I love that the PB challenge also asks for a random kindness we have done for someone & a random kindness that was done for us. I think of the 3 things we list daily, the act of a random kindness done for me is my favorite part of the challenge. It has helped me to unders... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 07:47:17 EST It's a learning curve... ...trying to get back into the swing of my normal life. Somehow work always puts a kink into does life. <BR> <BR> Though I though work was going to be maneagble in November, the past two days were a bit on the hectic side. Taught classes on breast health at a local high school, meeting a new survivor who shared part of her story with them. Always amazed at how differently each person reacts to their disease. <BR> <BR> Tuesday was a non-stop day on the Hope Bus and I love that one ... Fri, 8 Nov 2013 16:44:58 EST I survived! I'm baaaaccckkk! I survived October...I think. It was a frenetic month, primarily because everyone wants to observe Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We had 34 visits in 28 days with the Hope Bus, with some very long days. We met lots of folks, heard lots of stories, taught lots of classes, answered lots of questions, made lots of touchstones, and connected lots of women with the state's free women's cancer screening program, financial resources, or with others who have fought breast cancer and... Mon, 4 Nov 2013 08:11:14 EST Where to start?... Can't believe my last blog was September 25th. In my head, I thought I'd written at least 2 since then. As a result I don't know where to start so will hit highlights. <BR> <BR> October arrived fast & furiously for me. Our Hope Bus has 31 events in 28 days, with 24 of them happening between Oct. 15 and 31. Looking forward to it...with some trepidation about how well I will plan to stay healthy, have energy, and get my rest with this more than the usual hectic schedule. <BR> <BR> Today is on... Mon, 14 Oct 2013 11:18:52 EST Letting go... Yesterday our daily challenge was to turn a negative into a positive. I thought about it in lots of ways, since I'm physically and mentally exhausted...and we haven't yet reached October for the Hope Bus. Between Hope Bus outings and spending time with my cousins from Italy who are visiting, I truly am struggling for energy. So for me, that was my challenge - how to restore my energy. Of course, sleep, healthy foods, exercise, and avoiding stress were the answers that quickly came to mind. Y... Wed, 25 Sep 2013 13:27:09 EST Difficult decision... On Saturday evening and yesterday, I thought hard and long about our Positive Bloggers' Fill-A-Meter Challenge. My challenge for September was to blog each day...and then I added visiting my 3 teams, two of the goals on my *SPARK* RESTART plan. I was doing well until the Hope Bus hit the road everyday and my cousins from Italy arrived. Those two events totally derailed me. <BR> <BR> Last week, the Hope Bus was on the road for six days. Most mornings I left home between 7:30 & 8 AM in order t... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 06:45:06 EST Surrender, Dorothy... Somehow I lost track of Wednesday. It was a hectic was an emotional day...and by the end of the day, I felt like I had run into a block wall. <BR> <BR> The day began at 7:30 AM as I headed across the state to do a presentation on Community Outreach with the Hope Bus & education to an advisory board for a non-profit health service that provides care to low-income and minority populations. It should take about 25 minutes but I allowed an extra half hour in case of traffic. It took 1 h... Thu, 12 Sep 2013 16:40:15 EST My heart hurts... My heart hurts today. A lot. My landlord of 30 years died this weekend. I wasn't expecting it. I think he missed being home and I know he hated being in the nursing home. So he left. When I met his youngest son in the yard yesterday, I asked how he was, since his back was hurting when he left my apartment after fixing the bathroom. He replied, "Okay, considering Dad." I asked if Lindy was back in the hospital. That's when he told me Lindy had died. He didn't call me because his older brother ... Tue, 10 Sep 2013 06:56:31 EST