SANDYDOLLAR201's SparkPeople Blog SANDYDOLLAR201's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Day 49 ~ Low Carbing it REALLY works! I have never been more pleased with how this new style of eating is finally agreeing with my body. I have been losing weight for the first time in 4 years and I feel very confident that I will finally reach my goal weight. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have been super busy with family, work, home and physio, so you will notice that this entry is actually a week past due. I am even down a bit more, but didn... Wed, 13 May 2015 17:51:19 EST Weight Loss )( with pics! So after 3.5 years of being on a plateau; or as I prefer to think of it as acing maintenance <em>211</em> I am finally starting to have success again with losing weight. <BR> <BR> Quick Recap; Joined Spark Jan/2011, lost 25 pounds by Aug/2011, stopped losing and actually gained back 12 of those pounds over the last 4 years. Not good, but so glad I didn't gain it all back. <BR> <BR> After much research and many hours trying to figure out why I couldn't lose weight, about 6 months ago I re... Wed, 1 Apr 2015 08:58:56 EST My 1st Geocaching Adventure I had wanted to do this for a very long time, and so finally, finally, I had my first Geocaching adventure yesterday. <BR> <BR> I got interested in Geocaching about a year ago when I first heard about it, and I was very intrigued to think that there were little containers hidden all over the world, with clues given for us to find them. A real live treasure hunt! How cool is that?!?! <BR> <BR> I simply felt it was too good to be true. Being an adventurous sort, this type of thing really got ... Fri, 12 Jul 2013 06:57:43 EST 10,000 Steps Challenge Time to step it up a notch, literally. <em>311</em> <BR> <BR> Sit down job and COPD will not stop me. <em>315</em> <BR> <BR> I aim to do 10,000 steps per day, every day, bare mimimum. <em>386</em> <BR> <BR> I did it yesterday; 10,120 steps, and I am going to do it again today. <BR> Going to post my steps right here on this blog, kind of makes me committed to not messing this up! <BR> <BR> Feel free to join me and challenge yourself too! <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> Results so far; <BR> M... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 06:04:32 EST Shocking News I knew my reading glasses weren't cutting it, that the strength needed to be upped some. So I had an appointment with my eye doctor (Nov 29) to get them checked. Turns out I did need to increase the strength of my readers, and this time instead of getting drug store readers, I got a prescription for them because my eyes differ one from the other so much. So the new glasses are on order, and I was pretty much expecting that. <BR> <BR> What I wasn't expecting was this..... <BR> <BR> I found ... Mon, 3 Dec 2012 06:13:49 EST Virtual Tour Australia ~ Done! with Pictures... In a followup to some earlier blogs about my virtual travels, I have now completed my tour of Australia. <BR> <BR> <em>244</em> <em>676</em> <BR> <BR> I started on January 1st and mapped out a 3500 mile route. I included many places that I had visited or lived as a child. My journey started in Bankstown, which is just 11 miles outside of Sydney. Bankstown is where I was born, so it was only fitting that should be where my virtual tour started too! I travel 'Minutes to Miles', so this 35... Sat, 17 Mar 2012 08:45:08 EST Scavenger Hunt ~ starts Saturday, March 17 On my Puzzle Lovers team I am offering a Scavenger Hunt and all are welcome to join in on the fun! <BR> <BR> The hunt will start on Saturday, March 17 and run for 2 weeks. The list will be sent out on Saturday morning to all Puzzle Lovers team members by Spark mail. <BR> <BR> There will be things to find, things to do, things to eat or things to figure out. <BR> <BR> At the end of 2 weeks, participants will Spark mail their answers to me and after the tallying has been completed a winner w... Thu, 15 Mar 2012 08:35:14 EST Day 100 of my Workout Every Day Streak! Today marks Day 100 of my Workout Every Day Streak that I started on December 2nd. Having this Workout Streak in place has motivated me on days when I didn't feel like working out, or was really crushed for time. This streak has given me the extra push I needed to get in a minimum of 15 minutes of some type of cardio, usually rowing, biking or walking which my body is grateful for. <BR> <BR> I have not been doing too good in losing any weight right now, but I know why. I have been consuming ... Sat, 10 Mar 2012 07:16:12 EST Keeping the Streak Alive! Every day I workout. It doesn't have to be a ton, I strive for 60-90 minutes per day through the work week (broken down into 15-30 minute segments throughout the day), and then on the weekends too, but as long as I get in a minimum of 15 minutes of cardio, then it counts. <BR> <BR> Yesterday, I woke up not feeling too energetic, I slept in longer than normal, was rushed to get ready for church, and didn't have time to workout before getting ready to go. This day would make it Day 80 of my wo... Mon, 20 Feb 2012 07:58:52 EST Traveling Through Australia Yesterday I posted the blog Virtual Travels, and in it I mentioned I sent postcards via email to my family and friends. I was asked by some of my Spark friends to post pictures of my travels here, so here is my blog with pictures. <BR> <BR> If you didn't read yesterday's blog called Virtual Travels and you want more context, please check it out; <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4728359 </link> <BR> <BR> I hope you enjoy viewing some of the ... Thu, 9 Feb 2012 06:51:21 EST Virtual Travels A great way to travel when you can't get there directly. This is a superb way to keep yourself moving. A great motivator! <BR> <BR> In October, I started a virtual trip and traveled Route 66 across the US, from Chicago to the Santa Monica Pier. It was great! Miles converted to minutes and so it was 2448 miles, which converts to about 41 hours of exercise, which included walking, rowing, and biking. <BR> <BR> I was able to do the trip in about 6 weeks, and I sent postcards to my family and... Wed, 8 Feb 2012 07:18:36 EST Approaching the 1 year mark As I approach my 1 year anniversary with Spark this coming weekend, it is good to reflect on my accomplishments as well as the setbacks that I have had this past year, and to look towards my goals for 2012. <BR> <BR> My Accomplishments <BR> ~ I gave up pop for water, I wouldn't even think of getting pop these days when I find water so much more satisfying in so many ways <BR> ~ I lost 25 pounds, which is more than half of my total goal of 47 pounds <BR> ~ I eat fruit and veggies, something I... Mon, 23 Jan 2012 08:52:15 EST Resetting my Weight Ticker to reflect my Weight Gain! Yes, it's true, I gained 5 pounds since the beginning of December. It's okay, I'm not devastated, but I am not complacent about it either. <BR> <BR> I do know why and how it happened, and I aim to fix it. <BR> I am coming up to my first year anniversary with Spark, and unlike last year at this time, I know HOW to fix it. <BR> <BR> You know how you should never go into a grocery store hungry? Well, I shouldn't have gone into the Christmas season with my old desires either. <BR> <BR> Warnin... Sun, 8 Jan 2012 08:59:16 EST I Cannot Erase... I cannot erase the fact that when I got a sweet tooth yesterday afternoon, that I ate an entire Mars bar. <BR> I cannot erase the fact that when I got home last night from Christmas shopping and had the munchies that I ate from the bag of potato chips. <BR> I cannot erase the fact that I didn't get enough sleep last night and felt so very tired this morning that I skipped my usual 30 minute morning routine which I haven't missed in I can't tell you how long. <BR> <BR> I can however, move for... Thu, 1 Dec 2011 08:52:09 EST Size 10 Blue Jeans About 3 weeks ago, I posted a blog asking for some ideas for some alternate exercises or ways to shake things up so I could lose this last 20 pounds. I got some great responses and ideas. Also, since that time, I purchased The Spark and the new Spark Cookbook. <BR> <BR> At the very least, this blog will serve as a great way to update my friends, especially those that offered ideas on my last blog to let them know where I am now at. It could also serve as a way to help others that may have co... Sat, 19 Nov 2011 21:26:31 EST Need Your Assistance Please... I haven't blogged in a while, and so it's time for an update as to where I am and how you can possibly help me. <BR> <BR> By the way, today marks my 9 month anniversary with Spark People!! <BR> <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> First of all, life is busy for me, as I am sure it is for you too. Work is very demanding and the days I put in are long and stressful. I still get my 30 minutes on my treadmill each morning, and 15-30 minutes on my rower at lunch along with another 15-30 minutes on my rower ... Sat, 29 Oct 2011 10:28:44 EST It's Sept 11th... This was read in our US office on Friday morning at a memorial service for 9/11. <BR> <BR> This really touched my heart, and I had trouble reading it as tears were filling my eyes. I know a dear lady that lost her son in 9/11, I also know a man who lost his son-in-law. This is for Elsie, and this is for Max, and this is for everyone, those who lost, those who comfort, and all of us who remember. <BR> <BR> May God be with you today AND always. <BR> <BR> Tanya <em>247</em> <BR> <BR> 'MEE... Sun, 11 Sep 2011 07:44:09 EST Spark ~ A Double Edged Sword I'm taking back control, because I have to.... <BR> <BR> Seven months ago when I joined Spark it was because I finally found something after many unsuccessful attempts at trying to lose 45 pounds and get healthy. Spark is definitely a gift, but lately I have squandered it and I must get back on track. I have been having so much fun sparking with my new found friends, joining teams, starting teams and running challenges that I forgot about why I joined Spark in the first place. <BR> <BR> T... Thu, 1 Sep 2011 20:36:17 EST Our Day at Niagara Falls On Sunday we had a family day at Niagara Falls, my hubby, our two sons (16 & 17) and I. We are very blessed to live so close and so I thought I would share some photos and this video with you, maybe you can feel like you are right there with us too! <BR> <BR> The bad weather was definitely moving in and in between a couple of huge downpours I was able to take some great photos of the gardens that we walked past and we were able to enjoy a nice game of Mini Putt. <BR> <BR> The garden photos... Mon, 22 Aug 2011 18:07:31 EST I.Y.Q.Y.Q.R. As the school year was progressing, a teacher was distressed that more and more of her students were beginning to tease and make fun of one another. She decided to do something about it. When they returned to the classroom after Spring Break, they saw a mirror on the wall with a sign next to it. <BR> When one of the students came to her crying about the names she had been called at recess, she sent the girl to the mirror with these directions: Read that sign quietly to yourself. Repeat it ove... Fri, 5 Aug 2011 21:32:12 EST YOU TOOK MY PARKING SPACE AT CHURCH Borrowed from my very good Spark Friend, MILLYMOUSE1 <BR> <BR> YOU TOOK MY PARKING SPACE AT CHURCH <BR> <BR> This should wake us up. <BR> One day, a man went to visit a church, He got there early, parked his car and got out. Another car pulled up near the driver got out and said, " I always park there! You took my place!" <BR> <BR> The visitor went inside for Sunday School, found an empty seat and sat down A young lady from the church approached him and stated, "That 's my seat! You took... Mon, 1 Aug 2011 08:42:22 EST Feeling very beat up Some of you already know that I started the 30 day shred DVD 3 days ago, and let me just say right now, if you are doing it, then my hat is off to you. <BR> <BR> The first day I was out of breath pretty bad, but I did it. My hubby reminded me that my doc told me not to ever overexert myself and get my heart racing too much. <BR> <BR> On day 2 I got smarter and used lighter weights and modified the jumping jacks and jump rope ~ I'm not good with jumping. <BR> <BR> So today is day 3 and sho... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 21:28:40 EST A New Team! You gotta come and see.... Hi Everyone! <BR> <BR> I started a new Spark Team yesterday that is called Puzzle Lovers. It is a team dedicated to those of us that love all kinds of puzzles! <BR> Some cool things will be added over the next couple of days, so please if you are interested I would love you to join. <BR> <link><BR>ndividual.asp?gid=52265 </link> <BR> <BR> Of course, if you know me from my Amazing Race team, there will be some fun challenges coming soon. <BR> <BR> Wha... Fri, 29 Jul 2011 08:58:43 EST A Very Scary Moment As many of you know, my 2 teenaged sons have been away this week at youth bible camp as camp counsellors. <BR> <BR> Yesterday was pickup day and so as we were driving up the lane to the camp a pickup truck went across the lane about 20 yards in front of us and stopped in front of some of the cabins. However, as this truck went ‘off-road’ my husband said to me, “He just drove over someone’s luggage”. I glanced to my right and saw the familiar pillowcase on top of the familiar duffel bag bes... Sun, 24 Jul 2011 14:03:02 EST A Video Blog for My Amazing Race Team We dropped our sons off at camp today for another week. This time as counselors instead of campers. I took out my cell phone and shot this video just for you. <BR> <BR> Let me know what you think! <BR> <BR> <em>247</em> <em>432</em> <em>9</em> <BR> <BR> Oh....Turn up your speakers! Sun, 17 Jul 2011 21:15:30 EST Getting To Know Me... Getting to know me (borrowed from PurpleSpedCow by way of CANDOK1260 and Belle0308 and KRISTENTRAVELS) <BR> <BR> Following suit here as some people on the Amazing Race team have been doing this questionnaire so here's mine! <BR> <BR> 1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? <BR> Yes. Tania Verstak who was Miss Australia 1961 and later crowned Miss International 1963! <BR> <BR> 2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? <BR> The other day, I was feeling a bit down <BR> <BR> 3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWR... Sat, 16 Jul 2011 17:38:15 EST Italy In March of this year my oldest son went on a 10 day trip to Italy with his schoolmates. It was a trip designed for the musical students as they performed in various places and had an amazing time. <BR> He had taken over 1600 pictures on his trip (!) and thought I would share a handfull of some of my favorites with you. Enjoy.... <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img s... Sat, 2 Jul 2011 08:42:27 EST Our Amazing Race ~ Season 1 (with pictures) On May 15th I launched a virtual Amazing Race for our team; The Amazing Race Fans. <BR> <BR> Racers could use their fitness minutes as mileage to travel around the world. Extra fitness minutes were awarded for eating fruits & veggies and drinking water too. <BR> <BR> There were no eliminations as long as people kept going, there were 7 legs in this race and racers took anywhere from 1 to 3 weeks to cross the finish line. <BR> <BR> True to the race were detours and roadblocks and everyon... Fri, 17 Jun 2011 08:24:40 EST Your shampoo....please read! My sister emailed me this morning, and I thought it was too good not to share... <BR> <BR> It's the shampoo I use in the shower. <BR> When I wash my hair, the shampoo runs down my whole body. <BR> Printed very clearly on the shampoo label it reads, "FOR EXTRA VOLUME AND BODY." <BR> <em>15</em> <BR> <BR> I have gotten rid of the shampoo and I am going to start using Dawn dish detergent in the shower. Its label reads, "DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE." <BR> <BR> Proble... Sun, 12 Jun 2011 09:43:55 EST Thank you, yes....YOU! I am on a bit of a high right now. <BR> Why you say? Well it's because of you! <BR> <BR> Yes, YOU, not someone else, but you, right now, as you are reading this. <BR> <BR> I joined Spark People just a short 4 months ago and am in awe of what a life changing experience this has been for me. <BR> <BR> Today marked by 15th pound dropped since I started with Spark People. Kudos you say, or perhaps you say what took you so long to lose a mere 15 pounds? <BR> But I am thrilled!! Yes, I want... Thu, 2 Jun 2011 19:45:25 EST The Sand Dollar This little poem has always captured my heart, and it wasn't until I was speaking with a friend this morning that I realized that perhaps not everyone has heard it... <BR> <BR> The Story of the Sand Dollar <BR> <BR> There’s a pretty little legend that I would like to tell <BR> Of the birth and death of Jesus found in this lowly shell. <BR> <BR> If you examine closely, you’ll see that you find here <BR> Four nail holes and a fifth one made by a Roman’s Spear. <BR> <BR> On one side the ... Mon, 9 May 2011 11:40:56 EST My first attempt at Zumba... So I tried Zumba this weekend, and as soon as I watched the beginner disc, I immediately remembered a time, quite some years ago, when I was dancing and dislocated my hip, LOL <BR> Yes, I can laugh about it now, but boy did it hurt! Funny how watching this DVD reminded me of that, but boy do they move fast!! <BR> I watched the DVD a couple of times before I tried it and then when I tried it I had a good laugh at myself. I am going to keep at it and I am determined to get the Meringue down... Sun, 1 May 2011 18:54:27 EST Living with COPD I had a bit of a slow-down in my progress this last week and a half. I wouldn't call it a setback, but rather a speed bump in the road. <BR> <BR> I have COPD and for the most part it is under control and I rarely use any medication for it, but sometimes my breathing gets very labored and then it is all I can do to catch my breath and simply breathe. Even the simplest of tasks can cause an issue. I find carrying laundry up from the basement is one of the worst things I can do. <BR> <BR> E... Fri, 15 Apr 2011 08:21:39 EST