MYSTERY4EVER's SparkPeople Blog MYSTERY4EVER's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Amazing How a Day Can Change in an Instant Another day, still the same knock-me-down cold. Usually on Sunday it is not a priority to turn on my phone. However, my son was returning from Machu Picchu today, so I turned it on first thing. Early on I got a text that my nephew's wife had given birth. I am now a great-aunt. This is the first baby for that generation of my family or my husband's family. I am so happy for them. My brother and his wife have been over the moon for months. There is nothing like a happy event to change m... Sun, 1 Feb 2015 17:22:33 EST Excuses I have had a bad cold all week. It is just hanging on. Wind chill temperatures in the single digits are not helping. But hot tea with honey is making me feel better. The reality is that honey is sugar. I love sweet things. So I am trying to justifying all the honey I have drunk this week. Maybe that is an excuse: it does make my head and throat feel better, but it is still sweetness and sugar. Today I am trying for moderation. A little less honey in each cup. This cold will end , t... Sat, 31 Jan 2015 14:55:24 EST Consistency is Not Perfection The other day when I wrote my first blog in a long while, I had planned to get back to my daily blog writing. Then life intervened. Monday we had the hardest kind of weather to figure out whether to cancel a meeting or not. We had a mixture of snow, sleet, rain and different mixes in different parts of the area. (This was the same storm that gave the blizzard to Boston and New England.) In the organization scheduled to meet Monday night, I have been trying to get the "younger" generation ... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 14:44:07 EST When Going Back is Going Forward Going back has a negative connotation to it. For me, now it means going back to what worked when I joined SparkPeople. One of the things that worked was adding a blog entry every day. I am going to try that again. Yes, it was rewarding when people read and commented. The real value was in adjusting my focus for the day. I am going back to that so I can go forward. Sat, 24 Jan 2015 14:40:35 EST Same Song Title--Two Very Different Messages I have downloaded on my exercise iPod Nano, "Try" by Pink. Its refrain works to do some intervals while warming up. Basically it is a pick-yourself-up-after-a-failed-love song. (With some very nice instrumentation.) <BR> <BR> There is a new "Try" out by Colbie Caillat. It has a very different message -- that you don't have to try to make others like you. One line is: "When you are all alone by yourself, do you like you?" There is a wonderful YouTube video that goes with the track. It... Wed, 10 Sep 2014 22:42:53 EST Misinformation How many times have you stopped and immediately read an article with a headline that screams "New Weight Loss Method" or "Secrets of Big Weight Loss"? Me - Every time. I am often disappointed or even worse, laughing at the ridiculous supposed medical research. But sometimes, I wonder if there is truth in the claims of the latest toxic cleanse, adrenal gland diet or supplement missing from the modern diet. <BR> <BR> An event this morning has brought this to mind. I had just parked my c... Sun, 24 Aug 2014 11:48:21 EST Measuring Mental Pain When I have had surgery, I have been asked routinely to give a measure of my pain on a scale of 1 to 10. On my personal scale, childbirth after the epidural failed and blocked gallbladder are my number 10's. They were such big things that all else has seemed much less. <BR> <BR> But there is no scale to measure mental pain. I have been struggling since last Saturday to get over the hurt of being totally ignored at a family outing where I did all the organizing work. During the even I kep... Fri, 22 Aug 2014 17:02:03 EST Why Does Hot Weather Slow Me Down? It's already 90 degrees and it is not even noon yet. Those of you who live on the desert are thinking, "What is she complaining about?" But add in high humidity and it contributes to what the weather people call the "misery index". <BR> <BR> But I am inside in air conditioning. Why do I feel like doing nothing? This year featured a very long snowy, icy winter that kept my new knee and I virtual prisoners in my house. But winter is over. The really short spring gave way to the full brun... Tue, 8 Jul 2014 11:51:10 EST When Life Makes You Check Your Thoughts I have been trying all week to get back to my prior habit of blogging each morning. Of course, life has gotten in the way. Today on the way to church as I tried to avoid the bicyclists who seemed to be were trying to commit suicide in front of my car, I was trying to get in the proper frame of mind for the service. I committed to making sure that I did a blog today. I remember thinking about challenges. <BR> <BR> Near the end of the service, a loud child's crying came from the pew behind... Sun, 6 Jul 2014 15:44:57 EST I'm Back I always loved that line by Jack Nicholson in "The Shining" even though it is a very scary movie, at least to me. I have always been on SparkPeople, but I stopped blogging, I stopped many other Spark activities. Partially it is because I have had a number of surgeries in the past several years. Each one has made it harder and harder to exercise. I have had a lot of pain. But one thing I did that helped my prior success is that each morning right after breakfast, I logged in and updated m... Tue, 1 Jul 2014 23:57:35 EST Bad-for-You Food Why does food that is bad for your become so much more appealing when you are sick? I have been fighting "something" for several days. For the last 24 hours, it has been winning. Do I want to eat broth or eat fruit? No, I want sugar. Hot chocolate, cookies. My brain is fighting a war while my body is fighting the villains. I am trying to drink lots of water to stave off the urges, but it is tough. Hopefully my immune system will kick in and help today. Mon, 11 Nov 2013 10:30:55 EST Relaxing I am trying to work on relaxing more. I am at the hairdresser now. My hair is being conditioned and I am sitting under a heat cap. Very relaxing, but instead I am on my computer working - the usual multi-tasking instead of enjoying what should and is a relaxing time. Next time I am going to try to schedule this so I can enjoy the time. Tue, 1 Oct 2013 12:03:59 EST Monday - Never a Great Day for Me For years, Mondays are always a downer. This went far beyond that the weekend was over, Monday is never a great day for me. Whether it is the transition or something else, I have never figured it out. (Do not ask me what I am like on Tuesday after a three-day weekend - yuck.) <BR> <BR> I am trying to make a change in this. Before I went to bed last night, I made a short list of things to do right away. One of my new things is to try and do this blog early in the day. So far, I am doin... Mon, 30 Sep 2013 10:05:45 EST Feeling Alone Last night I was feeling all alone in the world. I had spent the day doing built-up housework from the week and laundry. I hadn't gone out except to get the mail. I didn't talk to anyone except my husband who was sick and went to bed early. Oh I exchanged a few emails with my daughter and actually got one from my son, LOL. But no talking with anyone, not even a neighbor. <BR> <BR> Then I looked at my blog from yesterday and saw how many people had taken the time to comment on my one lit... Sun, 29 Sep 2013 11:40:15 EST It Has Been A Long Time It has been over a year since my last blog entry just after my hip replacement. It has been a long a difficult year. I am trying to get back to the positive state of mind that I used to have. I realized that I missed reading about the success of others and hearing encouraging words from my Spark Friends. So I am back. It is going to take time, but I am back. Sat, 28 Sep 2013 17:44:45 EST The Power of Pain I have certainly had pain before in my life -- skinned knees as a kid, childbirth (but a great outcome), gallbladder removal. And then there is the dull pain in my hip since November 2010 which led to my hip replacement three weeks ago tomorrow. But all of this pain has been for a short duration even if intense. Or it has been dull and nagging, but not incapacitating. That is until this past week. For a week I had intense pain that even the narcotics dulled only so much while dulling my ... Sun, 22 Apr 2012 14:33:13 EST I Have Had Plenty of Time to Think This Week I spent four days this week in the hospital with complications from my hip replacement. There was a lot of time I couldn't do anything - couldn't read, couldn't needlepoint and I'm not a TV watcher. I listened to music, but I had lots of time to think and process things mentally. <BR> <BR> Last month my sisters and I visited our elderly aunt, our mother's older sister. With my mother's death last year, my aunt is the last living person of their generation. Through the years my aunt has r... Sat, 21 Apr 2012 00:15:54 EST Giant Chopsticks and Other Adaptations This past year first with my foot surgery, then hip problems and now the hip replacement, I have developed a real empathy for people who are permanently disabled. When all is said and done, I should be better than I have been in a long time. My disabilities are temporary. <BR> <BR> Being disabled requires many changes. Some are simple - such as letting go. This morning when I went to get a measuring cup out of the cabinet, two fell on the floor (you-know-who had emptied the dishwasher).... Mon, 9 Apr 2012 12:19:01 EST There is No Place Like Home I came home from the hospital yesterday. I felt better just walking into the house. I slept so much better. <BR> <BR> I have always had problems of eating too much comfort food when I am sick. What is the easiest food to get out and that doesn't spoil easily - baked goods. I love carbs. Yesterday in the hospital, the lady who brought my lunch had found a gluten-free cinnamon bun. She was so proud that she had found it. I had eaten only a little because it was 390 calories. I had to... Sat, 7 Apr 2012 21:08:33 EST My New Hip My surgery was yesterday and everything went fine. This hospital has a whole floor just for joint replacement patients. Everything has been measured to keep track of how far you have walked. In three walks I have walked 915 feet. Sure there is pain, but nothing as bad as I expected. <BR> <BR> What about weight loss? I am not worrying about tracking food. Even with the SparkPeople app I find it difficult on my smartphone. But I am watching what I eat. Gluten-free gravy on my turkey. ... Thu, 5 Apr 2012 17:48:43 EST It's Time to Say Goodbye ... to My Hip My hip and I have been together for over 61 years. We've traveled all over the US. We traveled many times to Canada. We have traveled to England a number of times, to Italy five times, to Turkey, Romania and Mexico once each. We've hiked in the Alps in Switzerland. We did a 60-mile Avon Breast Cancer Walk together after training for it for months. <BR> <BR> We've danced and skied together and been in the ocean and the pool countless times. We gave birth to my twins together and walked ... Tue, 3 Apr 2012 19:17:41 EST Withdrawal I quit my health club as of the end of March. I have been a member of the same club for about 12 years. I could probably walk from the locker room through the shower room and into the pool with my eyes closed. <BR> <BR> The reasons I left had to do with management issues. I am joining another club, but it made no sense when I could not be in the pool for two months to pay. This left April 1 - 3 including today. It has been awful to not be able to go to the pool. I almost paid the $20 a... Mon, 2 Apr 2012 23:11:49 EST Hip-Hip Hooray for Hip Replacement Humor I keep forgetting to post this. I can't figure out how to copy the cartoon into my blog, but this is the link to the "Speed Bump" cartoon page: <BR> <BR><BR>p <BR> [I can't seem to get the final "p" in php to come up the line above - it is needed for the link] <BR> <BR> If you click on 3/19 you will see a great cartoon about hip replacement. <BR> <BR> Humor helps when you are nervous about something like this and are trying very, very hard not to... Sun, 1 Apr 2012 18:46:55 EST Reflections on a Friend I had a meeting out in the far suburbs today at a college I have only been to one time before. I was not coming from home, so I used my GPS to make sure I was going the right way. The route chosen took me by the street that leads to the house where a friend had lived until her death two years ago. <BR> <BR> We became friends when our four-year old daughters started taking ballet together. Even then my friend was very overweight. She was a neo-natal intensive care nurse. One night at the ... Sat, 31 Mar 2012 22:46:47 EST Achieving a Goal With Real Meaning The first thing that happened when I joined SparkPeople is that the computer set a goal weight for me in a year. I am near, but still not there almost two years later. <BR> <BR> The first goal I set for myself was to fit into the "Goal Coat". This is a beautiful Burberry raincoat bought more than 25 years ago. I had not had it long when I got pregnant. It has never fit since then. <BR> <BR> I was scrounging around the upstairs closets looking for something for my husband. There was the... Thu, 29 Mar 2012 00:17:01 EST Why I Value SparkPeople There are many things that have been valuable to me since I joined SparkPeople nearly two years ago. But the last several days have reminded me of how much value SparkPeople has added to my life. <BR> <BR> Members have been very supportive through my ordeal (mainly mental) leading up to my hip replacement next week. But the support and encouragement I received from my blog yesterday made me feel so much better. I cannot begin to thank all of you who have commented on this and other blogs.... Wed, 28 Mar 2012 09:39:30 EST Losing Weight Doesn't Change Everything I have been in a serious "funk" for several months. Why? In mid-January the intravenous cortisone injection I had in December wore off - at least two months earlier than it should have. The pain management doctor did another one in early February, but told me that it was the last. All it was doing was buying me time for a hip replacement. That injection really didn't work. I reluctantly, OK let's be honest, very reluctantly agreed to the surgery. I have been going through the motions ... Tue, 27 Mar 2012 09:34:07 EST All the Rest I had another doctor's visit today. Just routine, but it was a mental burden nonetheless. I realized that the medical stuff is becoming a mental burden. Everything surrounding the hip replacement seems to be taking over my life. I was trying to get organized to go to the pool because my trainer cancelled because he was sick. <BR> <BR> I just had another realization, that what I needed most of all was rest. I needed some quiet time during the day far more than I needed to workout. As I ... Mon, 27 Feb 2012 14:41:39 EST The Slippery Slope I am going through a lot emotionally to come to terms with the fact that I need to have hip replacement surgery. (And now today it looks like I need to have a root canal.) Between the emotional angst and the pain, I have been finding it far too easy to take comfort in food. Today I realized that there is another hidden danger. <BR> <BR> The other day my husband made a casserole. It called for a small amount of heavy cream. I am allergic to cow dairy products. To make the recipe, he ope... Thu, 23 Feb 2012 12:22:49 EST A Positive Step or Admitting Defeat? I just did it. I just called the orthopedist office and asked about what are the next steps towards a hip replacement. The last several months have been a huge physical and mental turmoil. In the fall I finally saw a new orthopedist about my hip pain. She was highly recommended and took my insurance. She sent me to a pain management doctor for a guided cortisone procedure. Although the procedure was painful, within a day I had tremendous pain relief. In several days, virtually no pain. ... Fri, 17 Feb 2012 10:44:34 EST 100th Anniversary Gift to Myself I am very active in Girl Scouts which will celebrate its 100th Anniversary on March 12. For some years, we have been having massive sing-alongs on the Mall here in Washington every five years. They are simply wonderful. Just being in a crowd of 125,000 singing Girl Scout songs is just plain fun. <BR> <BR> But I digress. Today I had a meeting for the sing-along this summer. I dug out my t-shirt from five years ago because I thought it would be fun. I thought it would fit fine now becaus... Thu, 16 Feb 2012 23:47:46 EST 100th Anniversary Gift to Myself I am very active in Girl Scouts which will celebrate its 100th Anniversary on March 12. For some years, we have been having massive sing-alongs on the Mall here in Washington every five years. They are simply wonderful. Just being in a crowd of 125,000 singing Girl Scout songs is just plain fun. <BR> <BR> But I digress. Today I had a meeting for the sing-along this summer. I dug out my t-shirt from five years ago because I thought it would be fun. I thought it would fit fine now becaus... Thu, 16 Feb 2012 23:47:45 EST Dead Battery Several weeks ago I forced myself to go to the pool. The whole thing felt like a chore, but I had to do it. I had been in the pool every day for about three weeks without a day off. I got in the pool and turned on my wonderful waterproof iPod Shuffle - and nothing. The battery was dead. That hour in the pool stretched forever. Singing the songs in my head was just not the same. A few days later I read an article recommending that it is important to take days off from exercise. I have ... Sun, 12 Feb 2012 17:48:33 EST When a Goal Becomes Routine Two years ago when I first started this weight-loss journey, one incentive or goal was a new program offered by my health insurance company. For 120 visits to the gym in a year, the company would reimburse $150 of the cost of the gym. I can remember thinking that I think I could do this and it would be fun to get $150 out of the company. When I joined SparkPeople it became one of my first goals. <BR> <BR> That year despite having major surgery and being unable to go the gym for several mon... Fri, 6 Jan 2012 22:24:18 EST Humor at the Gas Station As I left town early this morning for a day trip, I stopped at a gas station/mini mart where I often buy gas before I get on the highway. Usually I just use a credit card at the pump. Occasionally I have gone in to buy a water bottle, but that is about it. <BR> <BR> The mini mart is a typical one with wall coolers of soda, rows of potato chips and candy. High calorie, high sodium and greasy. Probably the healthiest thing sold, other than water, is trail mix and beef jerky. <BR> <BR> T... Thu, 5 Jan 2012 22:46:52 EST Resolutions I didn't really think about any resolutions for the New Year except my usual two: no parking tickets and keep losing weight. <BR> <BR> Today as I left my health club I waited for the elevator. Usually it is empty. Today the car was full of people getting off for the club. I laughed to myself that they had made a resolution to get fit. I reflected that I have missed exercising only one or two days the past month - a typical month. I even found a hotel with an indoor pool close to my in-l... Tue, 3 Jan 2012 22:16:35 EST "I Will Survive" (Gloria Gaynor) Last week in the Washington Post there was an article about how someone found an iPod Shuffle. The author posted a list of the music on it in an attempt to find the owner. <BR><BR>style/lost-and-found-ipod-shuffle-reun<BR>ited-with-owner/2011/12/20/gIQAVmcy7O_<BR>story.html <BR> <BR> The guesses based on the music varied widely. <BR> <BR> I have had an iPod for a number of years. When I bought it, I loaded my favorite CDs. Mainly I have used it ... Tue, 27 Dec 2011 23:32:06 EST Three Motivators in One Day! Today I had three things that happened that are providing even more motivation. First was a "measurement" bonus. My new swim shoes bothered me a little yesterday. I had thrown the old ones away. I had a pair of swim sandals that I hadn't worn in a year that I took to the pool today. I put them on and had to tighten all the buckles. I hadn't really noticed, but I have lost weight in my feet. <BR> <BR> Then one of the aqua fitness instructors stopped me and asked how much more I had lost... Thu, 22 Dec 2011 19:29:48 EST Diet Saboteur or Food Pusher? I had to drive to Baltimore this morning. Usually when I drive I flip the radio channels so I don't hear ads. But a discussion between to DJs caught my ear. The woman DJ has lost 10 pounds on Weight Watchers. One of her long-time friends ridiculed her at a party last night and tried to get her to eat. The woman has dropped off food at the station. The DJ thought her friend was trying to sabotage her diet. The male DJ didn't think this was a big deal. <BR> <BR> Callers to the station ... Tue, 20 Dec 2011 22:11:46 EST A Good "Fever" When I exercise in the pool in the winter I often wear a lightweight swim shirt over my suit. I am a "cold" person and I find I stay much warmer when my shoulders go in and out the water if I wear the shirt. Lately the water in my pool has been about 84 degrees. Because the air is cooler, I still have felt the need for the shirt. (Trust me - I am a really cold person. I even have a neoprene jacket if I feel colder.) <BR> <BR> Yesterday I was exercising with my new waterproof iPod Shuffl... Mon, 19 Dec 2011 10:35:25 EST The Power of the Written Word As I exercised in the pool this morning, I planned my blog for today - but it will wait until tomorrow. When I checked my e-mail, I had received a message from another SparkPeople member thanking me for blogging about food pushers. The writer had searched on SparkPeople and found my blog. <BR> <BR> On SparkPeople we communicate with one another by writing, sometimes in real time. But there is a great wealth of writing that exists from the past. It still has the power to help people eve... Sun, 18 Dec 2011 19:02:48 EST "I'm A Believer" My birthday is this week. For those of you whose birthday is around Christmas and New Years will probably have experienced the getting-forgotten-in-the season that I have. I solved that a number of years ago by each year buying myself a birthday gift - something I would really like, but have a hard time justifying. This year my gift to myself is a waterproof iPod Shuffle. It arrived yesterday. I managed to get it hooked up and loaded with some favorite music last night. <BR> <BR> Today ... Thu, 15 Dec 2011 22:00:14 EST Retread A big part of my exercise is in the swimming pool. I have a whole routine of aerobic and strength exercises. For many exercises my feet are on the pool floor. Like many people I have found that I need to have swim shoes to protect the bottom of my feet. I have had many different pairs. Many of the popular shoes just don't fit me. This past spring I bought a pair of swim sandals from Lands' End. They have been great. A month or so ago I noticed that the elastic was getting a little str... Wed, 14 Dec 2011 20:22:19 EST Finding Inspiration This is one of those days - a zillion things to do and I have the blahs, no energy, no get up and go. I just checked my e-mail and there was a link to a program on Good Morning America about a woman who has lost 282 pounds: <BR><BR>51/extreme-weight-loss-woman-loses-282<BR>-pounds-27563061.html <BR> <BR> In it she says she has been using Weight Watchers, but the big takeaway was portion control. This reminds me of the one big change I have done wh... Tue, 13 Dec 2011 13:06:03 EST Dopi or Dopey? I bought an iPod perhaps four years ago. It was primarily for travel, but in part, it was because my old car didn't have a CD player and I was able to hook the iPod to an adaptor and run it through the radio. Then my laptop died, I got another car with a CD player and basically, I stopped using it. I even have been taking CD's and my Sony Discman on travel. <BR> <BR> This weekend I ordered my birthday gift for myself, a waterproof iPod shuffle for the pool. It made no sense to me to reloa... Mon, 12 Dec 2011 21:55:34 EST Dopi or Dopey? I bought an iPod perhaps four years ago. It was primarily for travel, but in part, it was because my old car didn't have a CD player and I was able to hook the iPod to an adaptor and run it through the radio. Then my laptop died, I got another car with a CD player and basically, I stopped using it. I even have been taking CD's and my Sony Discman on travel. <BR> <BR> This weekend I ordered my birthday gift for myself, a waterproof iPod shuffle for the pool. It made no sense to me to reloa... Mon, 12 Dec 2011 21:55:31 EST A Kiss is NOT Just a Kiss Last night I went to an "informal" buffet dinner. Correctly I had assumed that this was not a casual affair - caterers, waiters circulating with food and all the trappings. The dinner included a number of foods that I cannot eat because of allergies - which was good because they looked delicious and high-calorie. There were plenty of raw veggies and I drank only water. <BR> <BR> Later in the evening I was sitting around a large cocktail table on which a large platter of veggies had been p... Sun, 11 Dec 2011 15:30:24 EST Small Steps Yesterday I was in a class from 9-5 right on K Street here in DC. Yes, the same K Street where the Occupy protestors have rallied against the lobbyists. (The class had nothing to do with lobbying.) K Street and the neighborhood are home to many wonderful restaurants as well as many sandwich shops and delis. <BR> <BR> In my quest to be below 200 by next Friday, I thought about what to do for lunch on Thursday night. My conclusion: bring it, don't eat out. And so I did. I brought a sand... Sat, 10 Dec 2011 09:15:44 EST Fitting In - Part II I wrote several weeks ago how I could now easily fit with two other people in the very small side pews in my church that seat three people. Yesterday I had another "fitting" experience. When I went to lunch, I was shown a table in the middle of a long banquette. In the past I would have sat in the outer chair, not on the banquette. Why? Because I could not get through the space between the tables without knocking something off of one of them. <BR> <BR> Yesterday the outer chair was a ki... Fri, 9 Dec 2011 22:31:53 EST Avoiding Sin, "Sweet Sin" That Is I had to go to Baltimore today. After I finished I realized I had time to go to the Baltimore Museum of Art, get a late lunch and see an exhibit I had been wanting to see. The museum has a lovely restaurant and I was very good. I had extra cole slaw instead of french fries with the barbecue (no bun) sandwich. I had dressing on the side of my salad and only put a few drops on. The waiter had gone over the dessert list with the table next to me. It included flourless chocolate cake. Now ... Thu, 8 Dec 2011 21:19:33 EST