REJ7777's SparkPeople Blog REJ7777's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community A question of identity I just visited a dear friend who's struggling with cancer. (She's doing very well at this time.) I hadn't seen her in several months, and when she asked me how I was doing, I answered, "I'm fat". She answered, "YOU are not fat. Fat is not who you are. You're so much more than that!" Coming from her, it was a potent reminder that having extra fat on my body does not define who I am. I'm so ashamed of my excess weight that I'm always conscious of it. But it does NOT define me! I want to get rid... Fri, 13 Dec 2013 21:57:36 EST New Year's evaluation I usually take advantage of this time of year to reflect on the past year, and plan for the coming one. <em>195</em> <BR> <BR> As I look over the past year, there are many things I'm grateful for. There are also disappointments, one of which is my lack of follow-through as far as my health goals are concerned. Maybe I should rather say lack of consistency. Some weeks/months, I'd give myself an A+ for physical activity (my biggest challenge), but at other times, it's an F, and that F can... Sun, 30 Dec 2012 21:42:02 EST Going on a SparkDiet I enjoy using a bit too much - reading and commenting on blogs, writing blogs and receiving feedback, earning SparkPoints, etc. I especially love interacting with my SparkFriends. I need to cut down on the amount of time I spend on the computer. Even as I'm writing this, I feel like trying to find a great picture to add to this blog, but I won't. It's not the best use of my time right now. <BR> <BR> I need to take a SparkBreak. I think that by pulling back, I'll be better ab... Sun, 27 May 2012 09:06:37 EST Walk on Mount Belleview My sister has been asking me to go walk at Mount Belleview with her. But I've been avoiding it because of that little word "mount". It's not a big mountain, but with all the extra weight I'm carrying, it's a challenge. Just last March, I could barely walk to the neighbor's house near my parents' house, just a few hundred feet away. And that nutty sister of mine wants me to climb a small mountain?! <em>40</em> <BR> <BR> Well, today she persuaded me to try it. It was pretty slow going. <BR>... Sat, 19 May 2012 22:16:04 EST Walk at the Open Air Base Rain was forecasted for today, but it turned out to be a sunny, humid day. When my sister 1st called me to go for a walk, I'd just gotten home from work and hadn't had lunch yet, so she went alone. I was surprised and happy when she called me back in late afternoon and asked if I'd been out for my walk yet. I hadn't. So off we went, me for my 1st walk and she for her 2nd. <BR> <BR> Just a couple weeks ago, everything was brown. It's great to see things becoming green again. <BR> <img src="... Mon, 14 May 2012 21:30:11 EST Walk on Fer-de-Lance Trail I was thrilled when my sister called early this morning to go for a walk. We were hoping that the Fer-de-Lance (Spearhead) Trail, at Orford Park, was now open. It was. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> It's a beautiful trail! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There are lots of stairs to climb. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's only 3.1 miles in length, but it's the most difficult trail I've done s... Sat, 12 May 2012 21:24:16 EST I understand what happened In my last blog, I wrote about the ugly nature centre that was built at the Cherry River Bog. As we were approaching the centre, I told my sister: "I'm so anxious to see how the nature centre is coming along!" She said, "You mean you haven't seen it yet? It was finished last year." <BR> <BR> It dawned on me that I hadn't gone to walk there a single time last year. I almost didn't walk at all last Spring/Summer/Fall, and I regained a LOT of weight. <BR> <BR> As we talked, I realized what ha... Fri, 11 May 2012 19:00:04 EST Walk at the Cherry River Bog The forecast today was rain, but the sun came out at about noon. I called my sister and we decided to brave the forecast. <BR> <BR> There were dark clouds on the horizon when we got to the Cherry River Bog. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Walking on a boardwalk is one of my favorite experiences. (I thought of you, Irene.) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The pleasant, easy trail is just a ... Wed, 9 May 2012 20:05:36 EST A very different walk... with grandma! My sister was babysitting 2 of her grandchildren today, a 3 yr.-old grandson, and a 6-month granddaughter. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, and she knew that I had taken one of my vacation days today. So she called me and asked if I wanted to go for a "different" kind of walk. Different indeed! We had all kinds of adventures on our almost 5-mile walk. <BR> <BR> We waited patiently, and <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> our patience was rewa... Mon, 7 May 2012 16:58:37 EST Walk at Andre Nadeau Open Air Base My sister and I went for our regular walk at the Andre Nadeau Open Air Base today. We didn't attempt more than that because I was sick this morning. (Turns out to be a reaction to a natural supplement I started taking. Second time I'm sick. I'm not taking that again!) <BR> <BR> Anyway, my sister is a bit taller than I am. A lot skinnier too! <em>211</em> I told her that our trail was over 9,000 steps. She put on her pedometer and told me it was 7,800 steps. So today, I wore the same pedom... Sun, 6 May 2012 21:24:37 EST Vandalism at Nadeau Open Air base. My sister and I enjoy walking at the Andre Nadeau Open Air base. It takes us about 75 minutes to walk the entire circuit. It's a lovely, quiet trail that crosses several streams. It's only about a 12-minute drive from where we each live, so it's a great place to meet and get in a quick health walk when our time is limited. It's free to walk the trails, even though people rent the installations for weddings, family reunions, etc. Today, a group of military cadets was enjoying an outing at the ... Sat, 5 May 2012 12:31:42 EST Grassroots struggle for GMO labeling I just read PENNYAN45's blog about GMO labeling, and I decided to write my own. It angers me that the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms requested by so many citizens has been blocked by the threats and political manipulation of companies like Monsanto. I was glad to read that there's a grassroots movement in California to require the labeling of genetically modified food. We have a right to know what we're eating! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>archive/2012... Wed, 2 May 2012 15:18:44 EST Attempt at Pekin Trail I had the day off today, so my sister and I headed back to Orford National Park. We attempted to hike a newly opened intermediate level side trail in the woods. <BR> <BR> There's nothing I enjoy more than walking on a carpet of pine needles, <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> and dry leaves. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Unfortunately, as the embankment got steeper, I was afraid to slip bec... Mon, 30 Apr 2012 19:03:11 EST Third Walk on 3-Pond Trail Forecast for the next 6 days: rain. My sister and I wanted to take advantage of this last day of sunny weather, so after work, we headed back to 3-Pond Trail. Third time this week. The trail is so beautiful that we just fell in love with it. I feel that I'm getting fitter. On Sunday, we did the 5.5 km trail in 2.5 hrs. On Tuesday, we did it in 2 hrs. & 15 min. Today we did it in 2 hrs., with no conscious effort to increase speed. <BR> <BR> Canada geese enjoying a peaceful swim on Lake Stuke... Thu, 19 Apr 2012 21:43:11 EST The creepy old house My sister and I are trying to take full advantage of the gorgeous weather we’re having. When my niece called us to join her for a walk on a trail where she likes to walk her dogs, off we were for a new adventure. <BR> <BR> It was a lovely trail in the woods. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Some areas were quite muddy. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The trail ends in a large, open field. ... Thu, 19 Apr 2012 03:13:49 EST Second Walk on the Three-Pond Trail Another amazingly beautiful, sunny Spring day! After work this morning, my sister and I headed back to the 5.5 km Three-Pond Trail. We had enjoyed it so very much last time we walked there. There are advantages to only working part-time (24 hrs/week). (The other side of the coin is the size of the paycheck.) <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> I need to correct something that I wrote on a previous blog. Orford is a national park, not a provincial park. <BR> <BR> This lovely brook is at trail's entranc... Tue, 17 Apr 2012 19:09:52 EST Walk on Three-Pond Trail We had another magnificent Spring day today. My sister and I headed up to Orford Provincial Park. We found a lovely 5.5 km (3.4 miles) trail marked "easy" near Lake Stukley. I enjoyed our walk so very much! I wish I could share the sounds of nature that surrounded us - the wind in the trees, babbling brooks, birds, crickets, and all kinds of other critters I couldn't identify. There's nothing like being out in nature on a beautiful day like today! <BR> <BR> We started our walk at Lake Stukel... Sun, 15 Apr 2012 21:44:11 EST Walk in the woods We were blessed with a beautiful, cool Spring day today. My sister, niece and I went for a 2-1/2 hr. walk in the woods with Grace and Rambo. It was rugged in some places, and muddy in others, but thoroughly delightful everywhere! <BR> <BR> Even though I've regained a lot of weight, and am no longer in shape, I find that I'm way ahead of where I was when I first started walking. That should be an encouragement for those who are "starting over". Our body "remembers" the gains we made, even wh... Sat, 14 Apr 2012 20:40:21 EST Unknowingly eating bugs? The more I read about what's in processed foods, the more I want to prepare my own meals so that I can control the ingredients. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ingly-Eating-Insects.html </link> Wed, 4 Apr 2012 06:25:23 EST Teddy Bear in the Spotlight It's FUN to be the Teddy Bear in the Spotlight, and to be receiving all this support and encouragement today! It's empowering and motivating, and it just FEELS great. Thank you to all the Teddy Bears who made my day so special. <em>304</em> <em>218</em> <BR> <BR> Go, Teddy Bears, Go! <em>174</em> Mon, 26 Mar 2012 20:49:06 EST First Walk This Year It's been almost a year since I last blogged. I lost my way last year, and regained my lost weight. I've become very unfit. I won't post my "before" photo from today's walk until I have an "after" photo to post next to it. <BR> <BR> My sister and I went for our 1st walk this year. We've had such unusually warm weather the last couple days, that the snow and ice are melting quickly. It was impossible to take pretty photos, because everything is so blah this time of year. But it's our first w... Mon, 19 Mar 2012 23:00:54 EST The most dangerous thing you'll do all day Because I have a sedentary job, and enjoy sitting at the computer (Sparking, etc.), I need constant reminders of how detrimental it is to my health. <BR> <BR> When I read NINJA-NED's blog, it reminded me of the heart attack I had a little over one year ago! <BR> <BR> I want to share this important information with my SparkFriends! <em>311</em> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4159991 </link> Sun, 8 May 2011 10:47:19 EST Why I want to lose weight On the 5% Spring Challenge, we've been challenged to blog about why we want to lose weight. So, here are some of my reasons: <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> To honor God by taking good care of the body He's entrusted to me <BR> <em>311</em> For increased credibility (no matter how unfair it is, obese people are often not considered as credible as fit people) <BR> <em>311</em> So that I can walk and hike, and do what I enjoy doing <BR> <em>311</em> To look good (excess fat is ugly and clothes... Sat, 30 Apr 2011 09:11:35 EST Your weight and your brain I'm as interested in keeping a healthy brain as in keeping a healthy body, so I found the article "Your Weight and Your Brain" very motivating. (It's the 2nd article on the page.) <BR> <BR><BR>ly-Apple-for-Heart-Health.html Thu, 21 Apr 2011 07:22:27 EST I've been struggling I've been gaining weight. I had gone down to 150 lbs. at the beginning of March, but I weighed in at 165.5 lbs. this morning. That means that I've re-gained 15.5 lbs. My ticker is going the wrong way! <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> As I reflect over the last couple months, I've been losing focus. I could make all kinds of excuses, but whatever the reasons, the result is that I've regained 15.5 lbs.! It's going to stop NOW! <BR> <BR> This afternoon, I took time to evaluate, refocus, and reset my go... Sun, 17 Apr 2011 16:58:17 EST 92-year-old marathoner breaks world record It's hard to use age as an excuse to being unfit after reading about this amazing 92-year old marathoner who just broke a world record! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>news-life/ </link> Wed, 6 Apr 2011 16:19:43 EST Let's dance! Enjoy! <em>218</em> <em>334</em> <em>218</em> <BR> <BR> <link><BR>_embedded&v=zlfKdbWwruY </link> Mon, 7 Mar 2011 16:19:55 EST Hit my original goal! <em>244</em> This morning, I weighed in at 150 lbs. That was my goal when I joined SP a little over a year ago. What makes it particularly encouraging is the fact that I hit the *magic number* at the end of winter. In the past, winter has been my Achilles' heel, a time when I've regained lost weight. <BR> <BR> <em>218</em> (happy dance) <em>104</em> <em>334</em> <em>248</em> <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> The support I receive on SP is a MAJOR factor in my success! <em>304</em> <BR> ... Fri, 4 Mar 2011 06:15:38 EST Great "At War" Blog! I was discouraged this morning, after the fiasco that yesterday turned to be. Not enough steps, and way too much stressful eating. Then I read this blog, and it was just what I needed! Thought you'd enjoy it too.<BR>ournal_individual.asp?blog_id=4006216 <BR> <BR> Here are a few more photos from my trip to Turks and Caicos. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sunset on the beach <BR> <img src="http://p... Sat, 12 Feb 2011 07:50:42 EST Wedding photos I finally got to see some of the wedding photos today. <em>224</em> I've been looking forward to showing them to my Sparkfriends. <BR> <BR> Here is my son patiently waiting for his bride. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Exchanging vows. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Cookie Monster tried to steal the bride. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <... Sat, 5 Feb 2011 18:22:51 EST Accessing Information <img src=""> <BR> - from Woman's World 1/17/2011 Tue, 1 Feb 2011 20:40:17 EST My week in paradise! I had heard about vacationing in the tropics, but never could I have imagined how wonderful it would be! My week on the isle of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos exceeded my highest expectations. In spite of the dire weather forecasts, we were blessed with 7 beautiful sunny days. <em>67</em> (Thank you for your prayers and encouragement to keep hoping!) <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Imagine having this exquisite tropical scene as a back... Sun, 23 Jan 2011 21:13:16 EST Leaving for my trip today My SparkFriends have contributed so much to my trip that I just had to stop by and say "Hi" before leaving for the airport! <em>213</em> <BR> <BR> It's hard to believe that just a few hours from now, I'll be getting a wonderful "mommy hug" from my son! (Our planes connect in Toronto. He's flying in from Alberta, and I'm flying in from Montreal.) And that shortly after suppertime today, I'll be in the Caribbeans for the vacation of a lifetime. It feels so unreal! <BR> <BR> I am SO glad I'... Sat, 15 Jan 2011 04:04:03 EST There's good news and bad news <em>47</em> <em>218</em> <em>298</em> <em>104</em> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> The good news is that I'm officially on vacation as of today, and on Saturday morning I'll be on my way to the beautiful island of Providenciales, in Turcs and Caicos, where my son will be getting married next Thursday. I'm looking forward to the sunny beaches. <BR> <BR> The bad news is that there may not be any sunny beaches! The future bride had commented that my son was a bit concerned about the weather ... Thu, 13 Jan 2011 06:59:40 EST Want to Slow Aging? Get Moving! I'm always amazed at the health benefits of a mere 30 minutes of physical activity per day. There's probably nothing in this article that you haven't already read on SparkPeople, but I find that I continually need to be reminded to get up and MOVE! <BR> <BR><BR>/article/want-to-slow-aging-get-moving <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>216</em> <em>342</em> <em>57</em> <em>318</em> <em>231</em> <em>34</em> <em>237</em> Mon, 10 Jan 2011 17:29:23 EST The Lord's provision I've blogged about the fact that I was having difficulty finding a dress for my son's wedding, which will take place in the Caribbeans less than two weeks from now. I did find a dress, but it wasn't the right size. When I took it to the seamstress to have it adjusted today, she told me that the top would have to be completely redone, and that the style was not flattering. She recommended I find something else. <em>40</em> <em>198</em> <em>46</em> <BR> <BR> I was grateful for her hones... Mon, 3 Jan 2011 22:39:12 EST SparkFriends kick butt! SparkFriends kick butt... and the butt that got kicked is mine! <em>198</em> <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I'm deeply grateful for the support I received in response to my last blog. I've experienced the "power" of having SparkFriends. Rest assured that I have no intention of giving up! Ever. That's why THIS time is going to be different. But I did recognize the "danger zone" and felt the need the step back and regrou... Tue, 28 Dec 2010 07:40:46 EST Danger! Danger! Danger! I've reached the place where I've always given up before. The weight just isn't coming off any more, in fact I'm gaining a little. I've always found Winter to be the hardest as far as physical activity is concerned. I'm not getting my 10,000 steps in, often not even 5,000. My focus and motivation are down. <BR> <BR> I'm going to take advantage of this week before the new year to work on new goals and refocus. The pounds come off fairly easily when going from morbidly obese to overweight, bu... Mon, 27 Dec 2010 07:13:23 EST What I have in common with Bernie Madoff I was sad to read about Mark Madoff’s suicide. It made me think about his father, Bernie Madoff, an old man in his 70’s, sitting in a prison cell (where he belongs!) deprived of all financial or relational wealth, his family the object of shame, hate and ridicule. What a pitiful man! And he could have ended his life in luxury, loved and honored by family and friends. I read that he was a millionaire several times over even before starting his ponzi scheme. Then he let greed take hold of him a... Sun, 12 Dec 2010 13:04:56 EST From size 24 to size 16! I haven't worn a bathing suit in probably over 20 years, but with my son's up-coming wedding in the Caribbeans, I figured I'd better get one. Today, I finally worked up the courage to get professionally fitted for some undergarments. I've lost so much weight, that I no longer knew what size I was. While at the boutique, I noticed that they had bathing suits - in December! The saleslady brought me one that I liked, but said that they'd just sold the last size 18. All she had was a size 16. I n... Thu, 2 Dec 2010 18:23:08 EST I still don't know what to wear! My son will be getting married on January 20th, and I have no idea what to wear! <em>198</em> <BR> <BR> The wedding will take place in the Caribbeans. I've been told that the weather is usually around 26 degrees during the day, but that I might need a light sweater at night. The ceremony will be held in an open air chapel on the beach, so it won't be as formal as a church wedding. The bride will be wearing a short, white dress. I plan to call her mother next week, in order to ask what she'... Sat, 27 Nov 2010 21:46:24 EST Short-Term overeating could make long-term weight loss tougher <em>213</em> Hi! <BR> <BR> The SP health article "Short-Term overeating could make long-term weight loss tougher" was a real wake-up call for me! I want make sure that all my SparkFriends know about the effects that even short-term overeating can have on long-term weigt loss. It's important information, especially with the upcoming holidays. <BR> <BR><BR>th_news_detail.asp?health_day=642452 Wed, 17 Nov 2010 18:59:27 EST Need another reason to floss? In the November 15th issue of Woman's World (Ask the Doctor column), a woman asks how she can convince her husband that it's important for him to floss his teeth. <BR> <BR> The answer: "This might get his attention: Our study suggests that flossing helps ward off Alzheimer's disease! Gum inflammation may contribute to brain inflammation and impaired mental functioning, which up the risk of Alzheimer's. Because regular flossing and brushing can keep gums healthy, it also may preserve the hea... Fri, 12 Nov 2010 21:30:26 EST Am I the only one who gets confused? I get so mixed up with all the conflicting advice we get! <BR> <BR> For example, I just finished supper, and am far from having gotten my 10,000 steps in for the day. I'm trying to decide whether to put on a Leslie Sansone walking DVD or not. <BR> <BR> I've heard both: <BR> - Never exercise right after eating, because it will divert the energy from your stomach that's needed to digest the food you've just eaten. <BR> - Two people have told me recently (including a nurse): Walking after e... Sun, 7 Nov 2010 19:08:57 EST Your body's big enemy? You're sitting on it! I just read one of the best blogs ever on the need for physical activity. I wish everyone who's struggling with their weight could read it! <BR> <BR><BR>_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3741194 <BR> <BR> Sat, 6 Nov 2010 16:59:32 EST I can hardly believe I'm finally overweight! <em>218</em> Happy dance! <em>218</em> <BR> <BR> At my highest weight (about 4 years ago), I was morbidly obese. At 5' 3", I weighed 243 lbs. and had a BMI of 43.1. I was so out of shape that it was painful to just walk around the block. I started walking and eating well. Then my sister introduced me to hiking and I lost 50 lbs. Unfortunately, when I got down to 179 lbs., I hit a plateau and got very discouraged. I became negligent and regained about 25 lbs. <BR> <BR> When I had a hear... Wed, 20 Oct 2010 19:59:26 EST Fall hike up Mount Belleview Today is Thanksgiving Day here in Canada, and I have so much to be thankful for! One of those things is having the health and stamina to hike up small mountains like Belleview. The foliage is so beautiful this time of year! It was packed with people on the main trails though. We’ve been there when it almost felt like we had the whole mountain to ourselves. That was not the case today! Great! That means people are getting out there and enjoying nature. <BR> <BR> We chose some lovely trails o... Mon, 11 Oct 2010 18:34:45 EST Delightful walk at Johnville Bog and Forest Park Today was a beautiful Fall day. My sister and I finally got to take that walk at Johnville Bog and Forest Park. (Last time we’d planned to go, it started raining. <em>24</em> ) The Park was created to protect the long-term ecological and cultural heritage of the area. <BR> <BR> It was a delightful walk on a trail carpeted with colourful leaves. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> A boardwalk was built to facilitate passage over parts of bog. <... Sun, 10 Oct 2010 19:30:53 EST I know how Andi feels! I do NOT know how Andi feels when Defiant1 gives her a hard time about being a slacker. <em>246</em> <BR> <BR> But I do know how she felt when she "went shopping" in the back of her own closet! <BR><BR>_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3689070 <BR> <BR> The zipper on my Spring/Fall jacket broke. <em>24</em> It was a good jacket, and I hadn't planned on buying a new one this Fall, even though it IS getting somewhat loose. (I'm saving my pennies for... Fri, 8 Oct 2010 17:15:52 EST Time to evaluate and refocus I've been sparking since March. During the last 7 months, I've lost 41 lbs., become much fitter and have lots more energy. I've lost 4.5 inches off my waist and 5 inches off my hips. The doctor has, twice, reduced my medication by half. <BR> <BR> But in the last week, I've been losing my focus. I gained 3.5 lbs. this week. I haven't been getting my 10,000 steps in. The fact that it's been raining for the last week doesn't excuse my choices! That's why, today, I decided to evaluate and refoc... Sun, 26 Sep 2010 20:50:12 EST