MDMNINA's SparkPeople Blog MDMNINA's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community I'd forgotten My sister posted these old photos on Facebook today. It was 2003 and I was still living in Minnesota, but I flew down to Tampa to attend a "Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic" party on the local dinner cruise. We had such a good time. And the captain invited us to sit at his table. Probably because we were so well costumed. No, I don't look like that anymore. I am older and heavier. The last decade has not been kind. LOL However, I am on my way back to that weight. I may just... Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:06:33 EST Nice article<BR>hem-author-historian-actress-storyteller/ <BR> <BR> I had a nice write-up in the Pinellas Park Reader. I guess you'll have to do a copy and paste with the link. It doesn't come up as clickable. Sorry. Thu, 3 Apr 2014 11:37:39 EST One goal met My intermediate goal was to be under 140 by April 1. I really did not think that I would make it, but sure enough, the scale this morning said 139.4! New intermediate goal is to be under 135 by May 1, with my final goal to be under 130 by June 1. After that I just need to maintain it. Which is almost as hard as losing it in the first place. <BR> <BR> Also I am down one inch off my waist and and inch and a half of my hips! Tue, 1 Apr 2014 11:44:22 EST Lessons from my brief vacation Things I learned in Sedona in 2014 <BR> <BR> We need to get back there more often. We had forgotten how much we love the place. It feeds my soul. <BR> Hiking at over 4,000 feet is harder than running at sea level. <BR> Never believe the guidebook when it say the hike will take three hours. <BR> Good hiking boots are worth their weight in gold. <BR> Good hiking poles are worth their weight in platinum. <BR> There is no shame in sliding down a few of the ledges on Bell Rock on your bottom. ... Tue, 25 Mar 2014 14:32:00 EST Queen Elsa in Minnesota Signe watched "Frozen" again last night. So this morning she decided to recreate a scene. She is as big a ham as her grandmother. <img src=""> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 19:12:57 EST Thanks! I have just become a Spark People Motivator. I think that is pretty cool! So to all of you who voted for me to have this honor, thank you so very much. If I have helped anyone in anyway, or made their day a little brighter, that is very special to me. <BR> <BR> We all motivate each other!! Tue, 11 Mar 2014 13:04:39 EST Oscar Night <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> We had a great time at the Oscar Viewing Party at the Tampa Theatre. Red carpet, champagne, and watching the awards on the big screen! Tue, 4 Mar 2014 18:34:39 EST Some Short Term Goals I like to set mini-goals for myself on the way to my final goal. It helps to break things up into manageable bites. Last week my weigh in goal (Wednesday) was to be under 150. I made that, weighing in at 148. By the weigh in on Wednesday, March 12 (almost 2 weeks from now) I want to have my BMI be in the "normal" range instead of overweight. I am so close! By April 1, I want to be under 140 pounds. Fri, 28 Feb 2014 11:37:19 EST It seems to be working The physician assisted weight loss definitely seems to be working. Both weight and percentage of body fat keep going down. I can't say as I can SEE any difference yet, but I'm sure that will come. And I am wearing a pair of size 12 Capri's that did not fit me a month ago. <BR> <BR> Has anyone heard of Walden Farms products? They make calorie free salad dressings and dips. Yes, I said calorie free, not low calorie. Of course, they are sweetened with artificial sweeteners, specifically ... Wed, 26 Feb 2014 14:25:32 EST Yesterday I drove down to Bonita Springs yesterday to visit with one of my Minnesota friends who also has a home in Florida. Spent most of the afternoon floating in her pool. I don't think floating on a noodle and gently kicking your feet counts as exercise. Didn't do too badly on the diet though. Just a little bit of cheating, and no damage done. LOL <img src=""> Tue, 25 Feb 2014 10:40:16 EST Nassau We had been to Nassau a couple of times before, so didn't want to do a city tour, so we swam with the dolphins. We had about a half an hour of hands on with "Mickey". Then we had about an hour to swim in a deep water enclosure with seven dolphins. It was really cool! <img src=""> Thu, 20 Feb 2014 10:33:31 EST Snorkeling on St. John's <img src=""> <img src=""> We are back from our Caribbean Cruise. And I didn't gain any weight. Didn't lose any either, but I think no gain on a seven day cruise is a victory. My hubby was getting a big kick out of the underwater camera! Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:05:13 EST Florida StoryFest I got the letter yesterday that I will be telling for the Sunday morning story concert at StoryFest in Mt. Dora this year. It's not quite as much an honor as it sounds. Each local guild recommends a teller or two. Then there is a random drawing among those names to see who actually gets to be a teller. <BR> <BR> Now I have to decide which story to tell. It needs to fit the category "Stories from the Heart". And it must be less than 10 minutes in length. I'll need to think about this a ... Fri, 7 Feb 2014 11:30:05 EST To do the Impossible That is my task over the next week. Most people gain a pound a day when they take a cruise. I plan to actually lose one to two pounds over the course of the week. I have a plan. Lean protein for breakfast. Salad with my no calorie dressing for lunch. At dinner I will order whatever I want, but I will only eat half of it. I plan to have one glass of wine with dinner every night, and no other alcoholic beverages. And I will work out everyday. I can do this! <BR> <BR> And Happy Birthda... Thu, 6 Feb 2014 16:15:43 EST It seems to be working Had my weight loss meeting this morning, and I am down another 3 pounds. Which means I have lost a total of 11. I am one third of the way to my goal weight of 130. <BR> <BR> Does anyone else watch "The Biggest Loser"? Did you think the girl who won last night looked too thin? I don't know how tall she is but she weighed only 105. I thought she looked anorexic. Wed, 5 Feb 2014 12:26:30 EST Retired I met with my boss from the ghost tours today and told him I wanted to retire from being a tour guide. I think he knew this was coming. He said we had a good five years working together, and he understands my wanting to devote full time to my writing, and to doing some traveling. I gave him a copy of "Haunted Tampa" as a parting gift. I feel suddenly a whole lot more free! Tue, 4 Feb 2014 17:10:38 EST Busy I often wonder what my life would be like if I had a "day job". It seems like I am always busy. Today I had to go to the jewelers to get my Mother-in-law's ring appraised for estate purposes. I ended up spending about an hour there. Got some other jewelry cleaned, etc. Didn't buy anything new...which is a good thing. LOL Then I stopped off at Bealls Outlet and bought a few things for our cruise. <BR> <BR> Tomorrow I have lunch with my ex boss on the ghost tours, followed by an appoint... Mon, 3 Feb 2014 18:29:13 EST A new low in lows I weighed just under 153 pounds this morning. That is the lowest I have been since my son's wedding back in 2007. It's a good feeling. I guess this "physician assisted" stuff if worth the expense. Yesterday, the dietition and I even went over how I could go on a cruise next week and still lose. <BR> <BR> We are back in Florida, and even though it is cold by Florida standards, it is so much warmer than it was in Minnesota. It's been very rainy though, which makes it hard to get in my out... Fri, 31 Jan 2014 13:19:14 EST Brrrrr! We are getting ready to drive down Rochester for the memorial service for Craig's Mom. The wind chills are in the range of 30 below zero. Actual temperature near 15 below. I hope everyone who attends gets there (and home again) safely. Thu, 23 Jan 2014 11:47:24 EST I know it's hard to talk about.. But no matter how old you are and no matter your state of health, take a few moments and write down your wishes for your funeral and final arrangements. Craig's mother left us a lot of instructions and that helped a lot, but there were still several unanswered questions. What hymns did she want song? What scriptures read? <BR> <BR> I am going to take the time and take care of this. <BR> <BR> Craig's Mom's memorial is tomorrow. We are flying back to Florida on Saturday. Wed, 22 Jan 2014 15:50:00 EST Another Gray Day Wow, I really need to get back to Florida. Another gray day here today, and too cold to walk outside. We will be flying home on Saturday. I need my sunshine. Mon, 20 Jan 2014 14:56:38 EST Feeling Down I am really feeling down today. i think that the reality of my MIL's death is sinking in. And I am missing my sunny Florida. Got a little seasonal affective disorder going on here. The sun is actually shining in St. Paul today, but with the wind chill it is far too cold to go outside. <BR> <BR> I have managed to stick to my diet plan. I have no idea if I have lost anything, because my son and daughter-in-law do not own a scale. Maybe I'll have to pay a visit to my other son's house. Thu, 16 Jan 2014 12:50:54 EST Thank You Thank you to everyone who expressed their condolences on my previous blog. We are holding up alright. Arrangements have been made for the memorial service. We have to go meet with the lawyers regarding the will etc. on Friday. We will be staying in Minnesota through January 25. At least it isn't quite as cold as December and the first week of January. Wed, 15 Jan 2014 14:03:44 EST Bad Day Yesterday Craig and I arrived in Minnesota on Saturday afternoon and went right to the nursing home. Craig's Mom was sleeping in a recliner. We talked to her for a bit. She never spoke or opened her eyes, but she nodded her head. A bit later both of our sons and their spouses arrived. Signe came too. We all spent a couple of hours with her. <BR> <BR> When we visited again on Sunday she didn't look any different, but she did not respond to us in anyway. <BR> <BR> Monday morning at 3 am we got ... Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:51:11 EST Emergency change of plans We got word this evening that Craig's Mom is going into acute renal failure. They think she probably has 24 to 48 hours. So we are frantically packing. Flight to Minnesota at 10 am. Should be there by 2 pm. Hope we get there in time to say good-bye. Fri, 10 Jan 2014 23:28:15 EST A free weekend Wow, I looked at my calendar and I actually have no plans, appointments or obligations until Monday afternoon. What shall I do with all this free time? <BR> <BR> Organize the office, now that we have all the new office furniture <BR> Exercise <BR> Write <BR> Go to a movie with my husband and/or some friends <BR> <BR> Sounds like perfect weekend to me! Fri, 10 Jan 2014 11:40:10 EST Doctor assisted weight loss I started a program of doctor assisted weight loss today. It's a pretty strict diet, but I see the doctor every week to monitor my health and progress. I will keep you posted on how it's going. Wed, 8 Jan 2014 13:21:49 EST Signe and the Water Slide <img src=""> While we were up in Minnesota we took my son and granddaughter for a two day visit to Breezy Point Resort. Signe discovered the joys of a water slide for the first time. I just think the expression on her face is priceless. Mon, 6 Jan 2014 12:01:39 EST Coming Back Well, I just missed this too much to stay away. And I don't think I really saved that much time. So, I am back. I think I will cut back on my teams, and maybe read fewer blogs. But I am definitely back. Thu, 2 Jan 2014 12:09:34 EST Taking a Break Hey, Spark friends, I have diecided to take a break from Sparking for awhile. I have been using my fitbit for tracking exercise, and I find that I spend way too much time on SP. So I'm going to see what happens if I ignore SP for a few weeks. I promise I will post something again in the future as to whether I will come back or deactivate my account. Sun, 15 Dec 2013 13:59:01 EST Santa and Me <img src=""> Did a gig at the Tampa Theate on Sunday in my "Holly Berry the Elf' persona. It was fun. Mon, 2 Dec 2013 14:21:19 EST Signe at 5 <img src=""> Can you believe how big she is getting? But I'm sure you can see why we brave the snow and cold of Minnesota every December to have Christmas with her. Sun, 24 Nov 2013 12:03:35 EST The 5k <img src=""> For some reason I can only get one picture to upload. More later. Sat, 16 Nov 2013 14:49:23 EST Off to Orlando We are meeting my sister, brother-in-law, my two nephews and a friend from Minnesota in Orlando this afternoon. Dinner at Raglan Road in Downtown Disney this evening, and the 5K race first thing tomorrow morning. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Here is a picture of e doing a ghost tour at John's Pass on Tuesday evening. I look kind of creepy. But I guess that is a good thing. Fri, 8 Nov 2013 12:06:20 EST Logging food I have got to get back to logging my food. Let me say for the record that I HATE doing that. Time and effort. Boring. Yuck. But when I don't do it, I eat too much. Little by little I fall back into my old bad habits. So I am getting back to logging my food today. <BR> <BR> Everything else is so automatic. My fitbit syncs to SP all of my exercise. And I even now have the Aria scale, which sends my weight to my fitbit dashboard. But food logging requires effort. Oh, well, I know it's ... Thu, 7 Nov 2013 13:12:26 EST Marquee <img src=""> Here's a better picture of the marquee. You can see that I actually had my name up in lights. A lifelong dream fulfilled. LOL <BR> <BR> I ordered the Aria scale to go with my fitbit. I have it all set up and synched with my account. And I'm down a couple of pounds. One step at a time as they say. This is the lowest weight that I have achieved since my nephews wedding three years ago. Sat, 2 Nov 2013 14:49:45 EST Tampa Theatre My storytelling night at the Tampa Theatre was a success. We had about 50 people and I think nearly everyone bought a book (or two). I felt like a celebrity with people lined up to get me to sign there copy. <img src=""> <img src=""> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:46:44 EST Crazy Busy Sorry that I haven't been around much. I've been crazy busy with ghost tours and book siginings and promos. Today, I have a bit of a breather. Just having my hair done this atternoon and a Bucs game tonight. Thu, 24 Oct 2013 12:00:34 EST Are you jealous? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Here is a picture of the Tower of Terror 10 mile medal. I have now done this race both times it has been held. I plan to keep my streak going. Tue, 15 Oct 2013 14:28:42 EST Pictures from the Tower of Terror Here are a few official pictures from my 10 Mile Race. Don't let the smile fool you. It was hard!! <img src=""> <img src=""> <img src=""> Mon, 14 Oct 2013 19:14:10 EST New Running Outfit Well, I did decide to do the Tower of Terror Ten Mile. The doctor said it wouldn't hurt anything. So I figured if I got dizzy or if I was in pain, I could just stop and get transport to the finish line. But I actually had a pretty good night. I was pretty tired my mile 9, but I did finish. Maybe it was the cool new running togs my hubby bought for me at the Expo. <BR> <img src=""> <img src=" Mon, 7 Oct 2013 13:42:03 EST No wonder Signe is so cute Here is the latest "head shot" for my DDIL, Nicole, who is Signe's Mom. <img src=""> Gorgeous, isn't she? Thu, 3 Oct 2013 17:30:09 EST Vikings win in London <img src=""> I apolgize to any of you Pittsburg Steelers fans out there. But it was just an extra icing on the cake for the Vikes to pull out a win when my son and hubby were there to see. Craig gets home this evening. Tue, 1 Oct 2013 12:17:51 EST Unexpected Trip No, I am not packing up to go somewhere. This time it's my DH. Our son Stephen, who still lives in Minnesota, is such a Viking fan that I think he bleeds purple. He and my DDIL Nicole had purchased tickets quite some time ago to go to the Vikings/Steelers game in London this coming Sunday. They decided that they couldn't afford the trip after all and tried to sell their game tickets. No luck. <BR> <BR> So, rather than let the tickets go to waste, my son and my hubby each got a plane tic... Tue, 24 Sep 2013 14:58:18 EST It worked! All of that postive thinking and hitting "I've reached a Goal" on the team huddles must have helped. I have actually reached two goals. I got my level 19 trophy from SP, and my weight is down to 158. Which means I actually match my ticker on SP. LOL Hopefully, I can soon be posting a loss from there. <BR> <BR> I've been quite pleased with "The Body Reset Diet". It delivered exactly what it promised. Quick weight loss in the first week, followed by slow and steady weight loss thereafte... Mon, 23 Sep 2013 12:54:01 EST Old Picture One of my friends from Minnesota just posted this picture from a play (Laramie Project) which we did about 10 years ago. Got me thinking about maybe going blonde again. Bear in mind this picture is old, and the last decade has not been kind. LOL <img src=""> Fri, 20 Sep 2013 15:37:29 EST FitBit and SP Let me officially say, "I love my Fitbit". I find it so motivating and helpful. I just realized (or maybe this is new) that I no longer have to enter my exercise minutes on SP. There is a button on the fitness page that allows me to sync the Fitbit data for that day. So, time, steps, miles and calories burned are all entered in SP automatically. The wonders of modern technology! Fri, 20 Sep 2013 12:32:11 EST New Spark Trophies I got some SP trophies today that I think did not exist before. First, I got a 1,500 exercise minutes in a month trophy. I think they only went up to 1,000 minutes before. But I now see you can earn a 2,000 and even a 2,500 execise minutes monthly trophy. Not sure I'll be getting there anytime soon. <BR> <BR> Then I received some new "lifetime" awards for miles run or walked. I got a 25 mile, a 50 mile, and a 100 mile all in the same day. I wonder if there is a 500 mile? <BR> <BR> <... Thu, 19 Sep 2013 15:36:12 EST Had to share <img src=""> Ok, this made me laugh out loud. Particularly funny for anybody who has been watching "The White Queen". Wed, 18 Sep 2013 18:09:04 EST I've reached a goal ...well, no actually I haven't. But I've decided to use that as my phrase when I "huddle" with any teams. I am convincing myself! Tue, 17 Sep 2013 17:45:21 EST