SMARTIN77's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=SMARTIN77 SMARTIN77's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ On the Job Hunt http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5753708 It's been several months since I blogged on SP. I've gotten back to tracking my food and fitness again, and starting to see positive changes. Other things are changing, too. After 5 years out of the regular work force, I am searching for a job. <BR> <BR> For a long while, I was my mother's FT caregiver. She passed away in March 2013. I've also done a few freelance art assignments, sold some goods online, and did some odd jobs to earn money. But for the most part, we are living solely on my ... Tue, 5 Aug 2014 14:46:43 EST Making Changes...again http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5627197 I haven't been active on Spark People in over a year, only popping in to say "hello" once in a while. Last spring I lost 22 lbs. hiking the Appalachian Trail, and had a fairly active summer despite a leg injury. I enjoyed walking nearly every day and even rode a bike (pics in my gallery). But once winter set in, I got into a state of depression and also less activity. This caused me to gain back the weight I lost and then some. <BR> <BR> I've been making changes slowly in the past three wee... Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:42:33 EST It's Only a Paper Moon http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5627161 I created this video to highlight my love of vintage/antique photography, espeically the craze from the early 1900's of photographing with the Paper Moon. I used a winter/Christmas theme template from Animoto, and paired it with "It's Only a Paper Moon" by Ella Fitzgerald. Enjoy. :) This movie isn't related to weight loss, but rather reflects my creativity which helps keep me happy and motivated to succeed. Tue, 18 Feb 2014 09:05:16 EST Baby's Lesson: Coca-Cola :) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5465926 Someone shared this on Facebook. Precious! <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/5/3/l530952139.jpg"> <BR> Sorry for the fuzzy quality. Just in case you can't read it: <BR> <BR> #1 Look I'm having a Coke!! <BR> #2 Are you sure I'm old enough to have a Coke???? <BR> #3 Let's read the ingredients… <BR> #4 Are you kidding me?? You people drink this junk?? Can't you read?? <BR> <BR> (A gentle reminder I need to kick the habit for good) <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <em>262</em> Sun, 25 Aug 2013 17:00:10 EST Cracking the Case - Mystery Solved! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5450075 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/8/l1861674508.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <BR> Fri, 9 Aug 2013 15:41:03 EST Wind Beneath My Wings - Inspiring Video http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5397966 I found this inspiring video about a minister who lost 400 pounds and sang on X Factor. His performance caused a standing ovation. <BR> <BR> <link>www.godvine.com/Minister-that-Lost-4<BR>00-Pounds-Sings-an-Unforgettable-Song-<BR>a-Must-See-2160.html </link> Sat, 22 Jun 2013 03:32:56 EST Yeah, it's true sometimes..... http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5383952 Saw this on Pinterest and it cracked me up: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/4/4/l446640079.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Definitely been there. :-) Sun, 9 Jun 2013 23:51:15 EST The A.T. Diet - It Works :-) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5374454 I shared about my recent weight loss while hiking the Appalachian Trail. While it is true our trip was cut short by a leg injury, I still lost 22 lb. in six weeks. That includes having some slower days as I tried to build up my strength in the beginning, and of course later when I hurt my leg. <BR> <BR> Some hikers, especially the skinnier ones with very little body fat, were always concerned about eating foods with a high calorie density and fat content. That wasn't really my concern since... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 10:30:15 EST Appalachian Trail Recap - Week One (with photos) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5372850 I shared in my last blog how our trip got cut short due to my leg injury. I don't like being less active back at home, but I'm trying to follow doctor's orders. I'm looking forward to swimming and biking this summer once my shin heals completely! <BR> <BR> Some of you have been asking for photos. All this free time has finally allowed me to upload photos on the Internet. If you are on Facebook, you can see my A.T. album here: <BR> <BR> <link>http://www.facebook.com/CreativeCurr<BR>ents ... Thu, 30 May 2013 18:08:44 EST Back from the Appalachian Trail http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5371491 Hello Spark Friends! I really didn't expect to be back from my A.T. adventure so soon. If we completed our journey from Georgia to Maine, it would have taken 5-6 months. On May 8, I fell from a slippery rock face and tumbled down the side of the mountain. I was caught by a "net" of trees. My left leg was bruised and my shin swelled pretty bad. I tried to heal on the trail the best I could. Some days we would do less mileage (5-8 miles instead of 12-15). I also tried to take a couple "zero" da... Wed, 29 May 2013 12:41:04 EST Mourning the Loss of My Mother http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5298680 My mother passed away at the age of 65 on March 16, 2013. We laid her to rest on Friday here in Indianapolis and yesterday we had a beautiful memorial for her in her beloved Kentucky home where she grew up. As some of you know, I've been caregiving off and on for my Mom for the last 20 years, starting when I was 15 years old. The last decade has been the hardest as she has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes dealing with diabetes, the loss of one kidney and congestive heart failure... Sun, 24 Mar 2013 21:00:07 EST Backpacking Gear - Vision Collages http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5290056 When I decided to start prepping for our upcoming trip on the Appalachian Trail, I allowed myself to dream a little bit....... <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/3/l731578050.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Now mind you, the clothes featured here aren't all trail-worthy, except for the backpack and rain pants. The thermal shirt is 98% cotton which is a no-no, and those cute little boots from Macy's wouldn't last 5 minutes on a real trail....LOL. They would only be good for glamping,... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 16:39:18 EST Prepping for our Backpacking Trip http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5289385 I haven't been as active on Spark lately as I prepare for our backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail. There is soooo much involved in this process. We're buying tons of gear which takes time to select (whether we buy online or visit sporting good stores). I've been dehydrating part of our food for the 5-6 month trek, and we also must buy a lot more that is pre-made. To save money, we are trying to buy in bulk and eat simple foods like beans and rice, noodles, etc. <BR> <BR> I have to pla... Sun, 17 Mar 2013 00:39:16 EST A New Adventure Awaits - Walking the Appalachian Trail http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5268459 Wow, I can't believe it's already March 1st! It feels like a "new beginning" ~ a new month, a new start! For the past few weeks, I've been planning an adventure that seems like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - to hike 2000+ miles from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/6/l162299612.jpg"> <BR> <BR> <link>www.appalachiantrail.org/ </link> <BR> <BR> This is a rigorous challenge even for the fittest of hikers, but I am b... Fri, 1 Mar 2013 11:29:30 EST Learning to Care for Myself, Part Two http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5240872 Last week I shared about my emotional meltdown and trying to care for my loved one and get them the help they need. <BR> <BR> <link>www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo<BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5227305 </link> <BR> <BR> My mother has been in the hospital for a week now, but in a weakened condition. Her heart sometimes fibrillates and she has 100lb. of excess fluid and fat (mainly due to congestive heart failure). This is a cycle that is repeated in her life in the last several y... Wed, 6 Feb 2013 22:40:40 EST Learning to Care for Myself - Part One http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5227305 This past week or so I've been dealing with the flu. I'm almost back to normal. The first couple days I had a fever of 102-103 degrees at night. I don't mind the detox that happens, but afterwards, my brain feels like mush for days and days. This is the first day I feel like I can actually put words together to form coherent thoughts! <BR> <BR> At first, I couldn't eat hardly anything. Then I managed to eat a bowl of yummy veggie/beef soup I had made before I got sick. It was so nourishing,... Mon, 28 Jan 2013 14:35:02 EST Getting Back on Track & Cleaning House http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5213811 I haven't been Sparking much for the past few days, including tracking my food. I don't feel a tremendous amount of guilt for not tracking calories. In fact, I realize I'm still making pretty good choices for the most part, and still practice portion control. But it seems like the longer I stay away from Spark, the harder it is to stay on the "straight and narrow", so to speak. I realized last night what a valuable tool tracking has been for my nutrition and fitness goals, but more importantl... Sat, 19 Jan 2013 01:34:05 EST Changing My Perspective - Big Girl to Butterfly http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5203604 The past few weeks have been difficult as I reached a plateau on the scale and dealing with the crazy symptoms of PCOS. It's hard to be happy when I have hair falling out and also growing places I don't want it to, making me feel like a sideshow attraction. (Bearded lady, anyone?) <BR> <BR> I've gone through every emotion imaginable. I started Spark on November 12, 2012 feeling like nothing could stand in my way or deter me from reaching my goals. And in some ways, this is true. I'm still he... Sat, 12 Jan 2013 12:49:17 EST Sleep Diary, Week 3, Day 4 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5200963 Didn't get my entry in for yesterday, so just continuing on.... <BR> <BR> I lay down around 3:45am and woke up at 7:45 to go to RR. Lay down until 1pm in afternoon! <BR> <BR> Bedtime Routine: I took a shower and had spoonful of raw honey and took one magnesium pill. I drank a lot of water because I dehydrated myself yesterday. <BR> <BR> Last foods eaten: I ate an Oats and Honey granola bar for a snack last night. (and ate honey mentioned above) <BR> <BR> Exercise: I walked a little over ... Thu, 10 Jan 2013 18:12:31 EST Sleep Challenge, Week One Day Two http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5198499 Forgot to fill this out last night. Instead of a questionnaire, I'm just creating a checklist/info sheet of the questions asked on the Sleep Challenge. <BR> <BR> Sleep Challenge Official Spark Team <BR> Monday January 7, 2013 <BR> <BR> 1/8/13 <BR> <BR> I woke up 9am on the dot. I took my resting heart rate. It's 65bpm two days in a row. (I believe the exercise is helping bring it down). <BR> I went to sleep about 2:15am. <BR> <BR> Bedtime Routine: I didn't get my fitness minutes ... Wed, 9 Jan 2013 09:58:59 EST Be the Change You Want to Be (even with PCOS) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5196902 A couple days ago I just about had it. I was so tired of tracking my calories and trying to stay on the straight and narrow with my health and fitness and seeing little results. I was angry! I was whiny! And I let my husband know it! <BR> <BR> So why did this happen? What set me off? Part of this may be hormonal....the PMS this month is dragging on for-ever!!! (a nice symptom of PCOS) <BR> <BR> Or, it could be the emotional roller coaster I set myself up for when I started researching diff... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 12:10:10 EST Sleep Diary Week 3, Day One http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5196181 Sleep Challenge Official Spark Team <BR> Monday January 7, 2013 <BR> <BR> Daily Questionnaire: <BR> <BR> 1/7/13 <BR> <BR> 1.What time did you wake up today? 12:15pm (didn't get to sleep until close to 6am) <BR> 2.What time are you lying down to go to sleep? 1:30am <BR> 3.What, if any, was your bedtime routine? I did my walking and exercise/stretching earlier in the evening. I took a hot shower and watched a relaxing documentary. <BR> 4.What were the last food(s) you consumed tonight? PB... Tue, 8 Jan 2013 00:42:05 EST Letting go of my Coca-Cola Addiction http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5187459 *Visit my blog for the slightly edited version with additional charming pics from vintage ads* <BR> <link>bluebirdsongcottage.blogspot.com/201<BR>3/01/letting-go-of-my-coca-cola-addict<BR>ion.html </link> <BR> <BR> I've enjoyed the cool refreshing taste of Coca-Cola as long as I can remember. I loved opening a fresh bottle, and seeing the smoke rise up. I poured some in a glass and heard that satisfying fizz sound ***wa-goooosh***. I drank that first sip, the carbonated bubbles still tic... Thu, 3 Jan 2013 04:07:50 EST 2013 - Destination:Over The Rainbow http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5183993 Hi Spark Friends~ <BR> <BR> I hope you are all enjoying your New Years with friends and loved ones. I'm taking a moment to reflect on what's to come. I'm hoping this year will be different - that I will not merely make resolutions to be broken but real and lasting change. <BR> <BR> Part of my reflecting comes in the form of praying and journaling. I've been asking God His will for this year, and He's given me a tiny glimpse of what's to come. One way He encourages me is through dreams. Som... Tue, 1 Jan 2013 13:47:57 EST Thoughts on 72-Day Challenge - Team IndyGirl http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5182284 I've been part of the challenge for 30 days. I didn't meet all my goals, but I have no regrets. It was a great experience, and I loved the positive atmosphere on Team IndyGirl and the energy of Joyful78 who iniated the challenge. <BR> <BR> My original goals were to lose 2 lb. a week (8 lb. total). Instead, I plateaued this month and kept gaining and losing the same 3-5 lb! <BR> <BR> I also wanted to watch my sodium and cholesterol intake. I've done pretty well staying on target. I'm learn... Mon, 31 Dec 2012 13:33:20 EST Goal-setting for the Coming Year: Putting Together the Pieces http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5178347 It's been a few days since I've blogged...not even my daily sleep diary. I've been joining Spark Teams left and right, but at the same time I've been too busy to Spark like I want. I honestly believe that there are many puzzle pieces in my life right now, and God is going to show me step by step, piece by piece, how to fit this puzzle together. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/1/0/l1001035189.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Looking back on 2012, I see my failings and my strengths ... Fri, 28 Dec 2012 01:19:13 EST Sleep Challenge Day 10 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5171595 Daily Questionnaire: <BR> <BR> 12/19/12 <BR> <BR> 1.What time did you wake up today? 9:30am <BR> 2.What time are you lying down to go to sleep? tonight around midnight <BR> 3.What, if any, was your bedtime routine? hot shower, brush teeth, no exercise or journal tonight, chamomile tea and 2 magnesium caplets <BR> 4.What were the last food(s) you consumed tonight? soup around 8:30pm <BR> 5.Did you exercise today? (Include the type, duration, and time of day if you exercised.) taking a br... Thu, 20 Dec 2012 00:12:59 EST Sleep Challenge Day 9 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5170545 Daily Questionnaire: <BR> <BR> 12/18/12 <BR> <BR> 1.What time did you wake up today? 9:30am <BR> 2.What time are you lying down to go to sleep? tonight around midnight <BR> 3.What, if any, was your bedtime routine? did exercise earlier. plan to use foot spa for a bit, take hot shower, brush teeth, pray & journal for few minutes. Put on a little lotion and night cream. Play soft worship. <BR> 4.What were the last food(s) you consumed tonight? a glass of milk (post workout) and a small b... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 22:07:53 EST Sleep Challenge Day 8 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5169578 It's Week 2 of the SP Sleep Challenge. Here's a recap of Week One goals and progress: <BR> Week 1 didn't seem as successful as I hoped. Sometimes I didn't follow through with my goals. Other times I believe I was dealing with health issues, i.e. hormone imbalances from hypothyroidism and PCOS that bring on insomnia, and high blood pressure that makes it difficult to sleep. <BR> <BR> Here's my goals and how I fared: <BR> <BR> ~Break the midnight snack habit: I've done quite well with this ... Mon, 17 Dec 2012 22:17:08 EST Fast Food Diary - Learning from Mistakes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5168440 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/8/8/l882029755.jpg"> <BR> I started a goal last month when I joined Spark People to break my addiction to fast food, particularly those fattening, sodium-laden combo meals. I've had many setbacks, but my longest streak without fast food is 22 days. <BR> <BR> I already shared about my McRib experience in a previous blog entry (Sleep Challenge Day 6 & Fast Food Woes). The past couple days, I've had a hankering for a chocolate shake from White Cas... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 20:40:37 EST Team Indygirl 15-Day Challenge, Day 1: Focusing on Others http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5168210 I joined Team Indygirl's 72-Day Challenge around the first of December, giving me 30 days to focus on goals until the New Year. My goals focus on weight loss, health, hydration, and kicking bad habits. <BR> <BR> Joyful78 sent a delightful email and post about some of the things we can do for the remaining 15-Day Challenge. She encouraged us to make plans that would not only keep us focused, but also take the focus off of ourselves and put it on others. I know there is a great principle in t... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 15:28:13 EST Sleep Challenge Day 7 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5167782 Daily Questionnaire: <BR> <BR> 12/16/12 <BR> <BR> 1.What time did you wake up today? noon (didn't get to sleep until 5:30am or so) <BR> 2.What time are you lying down to go to sleep? 1:30am <BR> 3.What, if any, was your bedtime routine? brush teeth, pray for few minutes. Put on a little lotion and night cream. Play soaking music from SoulKeeperRadio.com <BR> 4.What were the last food(s) you consumed tonight? I ate half a turkey sandwich on Ezekiel lo-sodium bread around 10-11pm. Dran... Sun, 16 Dec 2012 01:27:10 EST Sleep Challenge Day 6 & Fast Food Woes http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5167013 Haven't been able to post my sleep diary lately. It's Day 6, and 3am. I'm still awake. Shannan and I went to a late movie last night (The Hobbit) and then I gave in to temptation and ate a McRib. It was tasteless and horrible. I guess my tastebuds are adjusting to real food now. Had to reset my ticker from 22 days w/o fast food to 0. *sigh* <BR> <BR> So, I'm up and I have a tummyache. I'm also really thirsty. I ate a few bites of popcorn and drank about 12 oz. Sprite at the movie. Maybe thi... Sat, 15 Dec 2012 03:21:13 EST Sleep Challenge: Day Two http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5163796 Last night I managed to get to bed a little earlier (1 am) and didn't give into midnight cravings. <em>224</em> <BR> <BR> Daily Questionnaire: <BR> <BR> 12/11/12 <BR> <BR> 1.What time did you wake up today? 11:45am <BR> 2.What time are you lying down to go to sleep? Midnightish <BR> 3.What, if any, was your bedtime routine? I'm taking a bubble bath and drinking fresh lemon ginger tea. I'm going to write in my journal for at least 5 min and pray before bedtime. <BR> 4.What were the... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 23:14:17 EST Funny Cartoon - A Pyramid Scheme ;-) http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5163787 <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/6/9/l695551043.jpg"> Tue, 11 Dec 2012 23:04:53 EST Sleep Challenge: Day 1 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5162748 I joined the sleep challenge on Spark People in hopes of getting my sleeping patterns under control. I know this is a worthy goal for good overall health. <BR> <BR> Daily Questionnaire: <BR> <BR> 12/10/12 <em>249</em> <BR> <BR> 1.What time did you wake up today? after 12pm <BR> 2.What time are you lying down to go to sleep? don't know. Probably 1am or so (last night didn't get to sleep till 4-5am) <BR> 3.What, if any, was your bedtime routine? don't currently have one, but going to dri... Tue, 11 Dec 2012 00:02:03 EST Overdid It...feel like Self-Sabotage http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5159869 I had yesterday's menu perfectly pre-planned, which isn't something I normally do. But things started going haywire shortly after midnight. I've been staying up late each night this week, so I start having cravings for a midnight snack. For the most part, I've been honest about these snacks and add the calories to that day's tracker. <BR> <BR> That is where the problem begins. I'm on a limited calorie range because I'm trying to lose 2 lb. a week, so I have to make wise choices at every mea... Sat, 8 Dec 2012 04:01:38 EST Feeling Hunger Pangs...and it's a good thing! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5155464 I've been actively tracking calories for close to a month, and one thing I notice is I'm actually starting to feel hunger pangs at times. I'm not freaking out, because I know I'm not deprived and I'm getting a reasonable amount of calories each day and a lot of good nutrients. <BR> <BR> In the past, I would fluctuate between binge eating (or at least careless eating) or practically starving myself. Both of these extremes messed up my hunger signals. When I overate, or ate a lot of fatty foo... Tue, 4 Dec 2012 01:11:47 EST Midnight Confession: I'm (sometimes) Afraid to Exercise http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5153200 I've been tracking calories for a few weeks now, and really starting to see results. The weight is coming off, albeit slowly. I'm making wiser, healthier choices. But I'm still having trouble with the other side of the weight loss coin: fitness and exercise. <BR> <BR> Since Memorial Day of this year, I've been experiencing heart palpitations from time to time. Their severity made me think I was having a heart attack, and sometimes I would lose my breath or go into panic mode (which only made... Sun, 2 Dec 2012 02:46:17 EST Bacon Donuts & Deep-Fried Koolaid....what?!!??? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5150120 I was looking up some info on tracking calories and stumbled upon this slideshow by Telegraph (UK). It's titled: "Only in America" and features the oddities found at a state fair. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople.com/nw/7/8/l787334207.jpg"> <BR> <BR> Bacon Donuts, Deep Fried Snickers....really, who is thinking up this stuff? I have not, nor will I ever try any of these "delicacies". I love to try new foods, but I'd go for bizarre low-cal bugs or grub kebabs before reaching... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 01:26:10 EST Tracking Adventures: Texting http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5150106 I've been tracking calories again for about two weeks. It is challenging at times to get everything recorded that I've eaten, especially when I'm on the go in the holiday rush. I don't have a smart phone at the moment, but I started texting myself notes about my daily nutrition and fitness. <BR> <BR> The first time I tried this was on Thanksgiving Day. I walked with my husband after dinner to burn a few calories. We were out of town, but as we turned right or left on various streets, I woul... Thu, 29 Nov 2012 00:48:57 EST Rest on My Pillow: A Page from My Prayer Journal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5142458 This morning I was so blessed to watch my first Spark People video by Lynn-Loves-Life. She shared a bit about her journey of faith and weight loss, but most of all her gratitude for life and God. I received a boost of encouragement, and it also prompted me to look back at a digital collage I created over a year ago and posted on a blog. When I first posted it, I felt led to add a page from an old prayer journal, where I wrote down exactly the words and riddles I heard God speak to my heart. I... Wed, 21 Nov 2012 10:45:55 EST Making a Fresh Start http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5134191 I am returning to Spark People after a long hiatus....well, since December 2010! <BR> <BR> I still have huge weight loss goals, but my main focus right now is improving my overall health. Since Memorial Day 2012, I have had some major heart palpitations that take my breath away. They often occur at night, and they're terrifying. I've been to the ER three times, because I thought I was having a heart attack. I am learning how to stay calm during the palpitations and not enter into a panic at... Tue, 13 Nov 2012 15:32:22 EST Moving at a Snail's Pace...but still in the Race! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3828856 When I used to work at a preschool, the other teachers jokingly called "SlowMo." I'm not the first one to jump into something new, or enjoy a flurry of activity and lightning speed conversation. I tend to "chew the cud" and ponder things, and observe from a safe distance. I definitely relate to the Tortoise rather than the Hare. <BR> <BR> But the same teachers were amazed at how much I accomplished at my laid back pace. I tried to keep my hands busy, cutting out items for the bulletin board... Mon, 6 Dec 2010 23:04:48 EST Eating right? Check. Exercise? Well that's a different story! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3826677 This week I've really got my eating habits under control. I'm learning to eat healthy portions. Haven't drank Coca-cola (my weakness) and eliminated a lot of dishes normally made with hamburger. And when it comes to fast food, I'm learning to eat lighter at other meals to accomodate the extra calories, and I try to choose more wisely. <BR> <BR> For example, Friday night we decided to eat out. Instead of waiting until we get to the drive-thru and choosing the greasiest hamburger I could find... Mon, 6 Dec 2010 01:58:03 EST Day 3 - Feeling a little lighter and a little better despite PCOS http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=3816701 The scale showed that I was two pounds lighter this morning. That doesn't seem like much, and I'll have to see how this compares to my first week's official weigh-in. But I feel lighter in spirit than 3 days ago when I started this adventure. What a change in mood when you know you are doing something good for yourself! <BR> <BR> It's so easy to get depressed when dealing with PCOS, especially the difficulty losing weight associated with this disease. For years I felt helpless, thinking ther... Wed, 1 Dec 2010 11:08:15 EST