STEELKICKIN's SparkPeople Blog STEELKICKIN's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Knocked Down to Size Spitting, wiping the grime away from my nose and eyes, I picked myself back up from the dirt and blinked rapidly. It wasn't the first time that I slipped on that particular rock and it probably won't be the last but DAYYY-um. Still tasting the grit and saltiness in my mouth, I could only imagine what a sight I was but I had no choice but to push forward. Going forward or backward was the same distance so I limped ahead, secretly hoping I wouldn't see anybody along the way. Feeling a welt ... Thu, 21 Aug 2014 19:51:29 EST Things You Probably Shouldn't Do Half Asleep I'm not a morning person. And by that I mean, if someone expects me to be coherent of thought and on my toes before 8 a.m., they are terribly misguided. I may be up and walking (I use that term loosely) but I'm pretty sure I resemble a zombie; dark puffy eyes, slobber coming out of my mouth and sounds that would please Chewbacca. I'm not sure why...I think we are all either morning people or night owls and I don't believe that we can change that. Usually when others are gearing down for t... Wed, 13 Aug 2014 19:49:18 EST One More Mile “It's not a workout until you want to stop.” <BR> <BR> Boy, is that ever true. It's when you push past that agony of not being able to breathe, of feeling your thigh muscles quiver with each climb. It's when you think to yourself, “I feel like I am dying” but something inside of you has an epic desire to keep moving, to keep pushing the envelope of self-imposed boundaries, and to just simply carry on. You haven't felt true euphoria until you realize that you ARE capable of more things tha... Mon, 4 Aug 2014 18:15:54 EST And Then There Was Today... Have you ever had one of those kick-butt kind of days, where everything seems to fall in place, with your meals, exercise and general attitude? I'm not saying I woke up with the intentions of being the model recipe for fitness but as the day progressed, I found myself WANTING to be a more adventurous. I had to push at first, to get that first leg of hill-climbing in, but once I got the rush of oxygen to my brain, I was hooked. I went off the beaten path quite a few times. But isn't that w... Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:28:51 EST Wishing and Dreaming... Have you ever wished you could wake up one day and have success fall right into your lap?? Such as getting out of bed and seeing those 10, 20, 30 pounds gone in the blink of an eye? Okay, maybe that's not “success,” but wishful thinking (or sorcery!), but do you ever wish it so? Or that you will walk into work that day and your boss will give you the promotion or raise that you are long overdue for? I could make a list of all these things we wish from infinity to beyond (!) but the truth ... Mon, 28 Jul 2014 19:41:24 EST Randomly and Relatively Speaking... <img src=""> <BR> I think my noggin has been in “stand-by” mode for the last few weeks. I've actually had several moments that I've caught myself drooling in the check-out aisle or have stared blankly at my husband while he has asked me the same question for the fourth time. I don't get too alarmed when this happens. It's a common occurrence. Imagine a computer, one that you have had for many years. It still works but it just takes a... Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:26:01 EST It's The Little Things... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The roller coaster of life. <BR> <BR> One day you are motivated, determined and insanely confident. The next you are procrastinating and flat. There are the emotions you experience in between the highs and the lows: elation, happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, satisfaction. The list goes on. <BR> <BR> These can all happen in the course of an ordinary day. <BR> <BR> So, how do we maintain the upswing... Tue, 17 Jun 2014 00:23:55 EST Kids, kids, kids... Never mind the fact that my grandgirls from Oklahoma showed up and messed up my hiking routine this week. I would gladly trade the hills for their cute little faces every day of the week and twice on Sunday if I could. I've managed to make it out to Pine Ridge a few times this week, plus today (it was rather late and I thought the park ranger was going to close the gates on me but he graciously just gave me stern warning) but these gals have given me alot of exercise regardless. I have one... Fri, 13 Jun 2014 00:07:05 EST Trusting My Gut I don't know. <BR> <BR> I knew it wasn't going to be easy, that's for sure. <BR> <BR> For the most part, I've been excited about my new journey, watching the small changes taking place in my body. By “small” I mean TINY. Like, TEENY-tiny. Like, if you look close enough I have one less dimple on my badonkadonk and MAAAAAYBE a little muscle in my calves. I don't know why I thought when I made the decision to start over again, it was going to drop off overnight. <BR> <BR> But I woke u... Thu, 5 Jun 2014 23:32:38 EST Second Step: Own It The most difficult thing about this particular journey is the fact that I want to keep making excuses. <BR> <BR> “If my job had not been so stressful...” <BR> <BR> “If I didn't have to have surgery...” <BR> <BR> “If I had time to cook more wholesome foods...” <BR> <BR> “If I just had more time to HIKE...” <BR> <BR> ...then I would not be where I am today. <BR> <BR> “If McDonald's didn't exist...” <BR> <BR> “If my lupus would stop flaring up...” <BR> <BR> “If stress didn't make me ... Wed, 28 May 2014 23:17:19 EST First Step: Acknowledge It. Blah. <BR> <BR> Blah. <BR> <BR> Blaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhh. <BR> <BR> Right? <BR> <BR> How many have been here before? How many times? Let me see a show of hands so I don't feel so dumbfounded by this situation I'm in ONCE AGAIN. What is it with me? It's like a challenge within a challenge. Let's see how many times I can get to my goal weight, gain it back, lose it, gain it back and lose it again. I'm going to give out the usual excuses too. My work was killing me. (One day off a month, ... Thu, 22 May 2014 22:35:01 EST Embrace Who You Are... Life reflections. These happen as you grow older, when you begin wondering what made you YOU. I came from humble beginnings, a little tomboy who grew up in the middle of the deep country, surrounded by woods, vegetable gardens and grape fields. (I actually lived in the midst of The Louis Jindra Winery and will admit to sneaking off from my designated play area and eating my fair share of the gorgeous, plump fruit that hung from the abundant vines...) I was blissfully happy to play barefoo... Tue, 17 Sep 2013 01:03:43 EST Playing Hookie! <img src=""> <BR> I've missed it. I've missed it to the point of taking a vacation day from work and throwing myself head-first into the swanky weeds and chigger-infested grass and breathing in the woodsy air around me. I actually hugged a tree too. Sniffed it. Felt it. Took off my shoes and felt the blades of grass between my toes. The weather was just right. High seventies. Low eighties in the sun. I busted loose a few times on... Tue, 3 Sep 2013 21:41:32 EST Reflections of Summer To me, Bre's departure for college marks the end of summer. I have had the blessing of her presence in my life for most of those days and have had a chance to travel and see my grandchildren. Along with work, writing and doing a few projects on the side, I've seized the opportunity to grasp onto a new hobby. My camera does not leave my side. As I get older, I'm realizing the importance of capturing moments because, in all honesty, my memory isn't what it used to be. I also want to leave ... Sun, 25 Aug 2013 17:17:29 EST Letting Go She came home for the summer. When she lugged in her suitcases and the odds and ends of blenders and mismatched socks, I was ecstatic. Yes, I worked alot but I was bound and determined to make time to spend time with my girl. It was going to be like old times, going places, doing things, bonding even closer than ever before. I even made a list of things that we were going to do and posted them on my closet door. Our first evening together we were inseparable... <BR> <BR> She was differe... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 13:15:29 EST My Circle of Fathers (Originally meant to be posted for Father's Day but better late than never...) <BR> <BR> Even though I was only five years old when my father passed away, I still have fond memories of him. He was a hard-working, tall, slim man, with piercing brown eyes and jet black hair that stood out from his weathered face, along with a smile or scowl that made you stop and take in deep thoughtful breaths. My mother absolutely worshiped the ground he walked on. But knowing my mother, as he did VERY we... Mon, 17 Jun 2013 17:04:50 EST I'm In Here Somewhere This is a rare moment for me. <BR> <BR> As of right now, the phones aren't ringing, the emails are silent. Texting is at a minimum with short reminders from my children who want me to know they love me. Work has loosened its grasp on me and I am enjoying the solitude of a quiet evening at home. "Enjoying" is perhaps not the word...possibly "tolerating" is the correct term as I am feeling foreign and out of place in these four walls as I tap out these letters on this keyboard. My writing ... Thu, 23 May 2013 23:28:58 EST Awkward Family Photos I was going through my camera and ran across some pictures today. Who says pics have to be "picture perfect" to be great ones??? I decided that since yesterday's blog was kind of "deep" I would lighten up today with some "Awkward Family Photos" of my own. Welcome to the first installment...just don't tell Bre that some of these made it out to the public! <BR> <BR> "Wake up Bre!! The Easter Bunny was here!" <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR... Tue, 2 Apr 2013 19:43:38 EST Get Real Dear Self: <BR> <BR> Who are you? <BR> <BR> If you were able to peel back the layers of your life, disrobing the learned behaviors and shaped beliefs that you have carried with you throughout your life, would you do it? Who are you behind closed doors, when no one is speaking, when no one is listening, when no one is watching? What is your innermost dialogue that seems to be speaking with every heart beat, your true definition, your real purpose, of your life here on this earth? <BR> <BR... Mon, 1 Apr 2013 22:38:38 EST Sticks and Stones We are defined by our words. How we say them, when we say them, if we even say them at all. Our tongues are our most powerful attribute...they say that actions speak louder than words, which is very true in most cases, but words have the power to build up or tear down just as well. The old childhood taunt of "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" has lost its strength as we are faced with the reality that bullying in our schools has reached an epidemic level. ... Sat, 16 Mar 2013 14:54:09 EST Trampled By Elephants My old man and I both work the same shift so everyday before we leave we try to spend as much time together as possible. Whether we go out for lunch or just cook together we talk about our kids, grandkids, the bills, our health or what's going on in the news. But there are some days we get bored and that's when stupid stuff happens. (Like seeing who can make the most points tossing cashews into the other's mouth. You get double points if you don't choke them doing it.) Or watching reruns... Sun, 17 Feb 2013 14:31:40 EST It Doesn't Take A Brick To Fall... We've all seen her. The little girl in the corner at the party with her arms folded across her chest and a pouty mouth, mad because something didn't go her way. The people around her are trying their best to make her smile, to reassure her that it's going to be okay, just come out and have some fun. She won't look anyone in the eye and quickly turns away from them with tears in her eyes, defiant and a little testy. All she can think of is how "unfair" life seems to be... <BR> <BR> A coup... Tue, 12 Feb 2013 22:24:27 EST A Little Ramble One of my challenges in life has been my illness. Most of you know, I have lupus. I always carry a low-grade fever and deal with muscular and joint aches on a day-to-day basis. I have been on every medication that treats it and have had to discontinue them because of the side effects. I have also used home remedies, herbal therapies, modified my diet, etc., etc., but still have to deal with some very bad days when it just wants to rear its ugly head and make my life, well, hell. <BR> <... Sun, 13 Jan 2013 15:28:55 EST Husband For Sale It all started with the Steelers/Bengals game December 23. That all important game that would determine if the Steelers were still "in the hunt" for the AFC playoffs that could ultimately take them to the Super Bowl in the new year. Being married to a Bengals fan has never been easy. They are a different breed all of their own. My husband is a different breed all of his own. So combine the two and you get a really-weird-psycho-mix of, well, psycho. <BR> <BR> The Bengals won. As I sat... Wed, 2 Jan 2013 16:58:02 EST Bethel Ridge/Liberty Township Hike I could do it. I did it once yesterday, braving the frosty air and silver white skies to hike the trail that snakes through my woods. But today brought more beauty that took my breath away. The sky, after the storm moved through, brought some of the bluest skies I have seen in awhile and one of the prettiest sunsets that winter time could offer. I set off on my trail only to end up a few roads over in Bethel Ridge. The air, brisk, chilled the tip of my nose. I hoped I wasn't pushing my ... Sun, 30 Dec 2012 20:17:55 EST I Hiked, I Saw, I Conquered When I got up this morning I looked out my bedroom window and buried my face in my hands. I had promised myself that today I was going to stop being such a wuss and brave the cold for a brisk hike on my trail. (The treadmill was not cutting it. I dearly missed the solitude and peace that I always felt outdoors, that "no-feeling-like-it" feeling as I merged with nature.) I pulled my robe tighter around my waist and headed for the kitchen to make a warm cup of tea. The house was quiet, exc... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 20:03:18 EST Christmas Pics About a month ago I was caught admiring this leather jacket at our local Harley-Davidson shop... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Then this showed up in my stocking this morning! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> I LOVE it and can hardly wait for milder weather for when I can put it on and ride my Lowrider down the highway. :) <BR> <BR> But some of my biggest reasons for loving this time of year are belo... Tue, 25 Dec 2012 17:56:38 EST Virtually Visiting You If I could visit each one of you this holiday season, I would. I would arrive at your doorstep, knock loudly and unceasingly at your door and smile broadly as you opened it. I would then, most likely in a loud and exuberant voice, (some call it 'obnoxious') say, "Waail, hello, sweet thang, ya just gonna stand there?! Invite me in and let's have some fudge!!" And as you stand there in your curlers and house slippers, wondering what the heck just happened, I would blow right by you and make... Sat, 22 Dec 2012 00:51:14 EST Season's Greetings! I really wanted to lick the spoon after stirring my holiday fudge. I had it in mid-air, almost to my lips, when my brain screamed, "3.5 pounds! On your badonkadonk!" The spoon inched a little closer, my mouth salivating, when the phone rang, jarring me back to reality. It was a telemarketer. "Would you like to purchase a water filtration system?? No?? Well, why not?? Do you LIKE drinking dirty water??!" Back to the pan. By then the fudge had hardened and there would be no licking in... Tue, 18 Dec 2012 20:57:08 EST Giving Thanks EVERY Day... It's been awhile since I've blogged. Time has been whizzin' by so quickly these last few weeks that at certain points I've forgotten to breath. A new job, a newly-found excitement in my relationships here at home have all taken up the majority of my time although I still sneak in here and spy on yer all's pages from time-to-time. Yeah, it's like that. It's my way of staying connected and keeping an eye on all of you trouble-makers, lol. <BR> <BR> Another Thanksgiving has come and gone ... Sat, 24 Nov 2012 11:53:39 EST I Met My Husband Today I had no idea. <BR> <BR> I had no idea that my lifestyle has felt "threatening" to my husband. <BR> <BR> I had no idea that my time writing, painting, hiking, has left him feeling so ignored, unneeded and often times, unappreciated. I've spent so much time trying to find MYSELF that I left HIM behind. I had no idea. Until he TOLD me. Allow me to rephrase. Until he screamed it at me. Out of frustration. MANY hurtful things were said on both sides. I felt at the end of my rope. I... Thu, 8 Nov 2012 21:15:45 EST Just One Thing At A Time You know it's gonna be one of those days when you wake up and give yourself a black eye. Shuffling around in the dark at 5:30 a.m. is never a good idea especially when your intent is to make a cup of tea. That means leaving the cabinet door open, forgetting you leave it open, then turning around and driving your eye into the corner of it. What made it really scary for a moment is the fact that when the pain shot through my socket, I fell back and stepped on a grape on the floor. Pop and s... Tue, 6 Nov 2012 17:23:12 EST It Is What I Am Not That Makes Me Who I Am... So many times... <BR> <BR> So many years I've given to bettering myself. I've been on journey after journey to find my personal Nirvana, longing to find that tender balance of spiritual, mental, physical stability that we ALL crave as soulful creatures. Even as I write this I am still searching for my place in this big wide open world... <BR> <BR> I could tell you who I am until my voice is hoarse and my face turns seven shades of blue. I can tell you my favorite time of day (and night),... Sun, 4 Nov 2012 14:16:37 EST "Small" is Big I was awakened at 4:30 a.m. by a loud "crash" that sat me straight up in heart pounding, I shook Brian awake and saw a bright light burst through the bedroom blinds. We both jumped to the window. Brian said it was snowing and I pulled the slats down to see for myself. "But what was that light," I asked and the "explosion" happened again. Lightening. I've seen it only once before during snow and it has always struck me as odd. Yet, for some reason, I found it beautiful and unabl... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 17:54:14 EST Balancing Act I am diligently praying for all of those in the path of Hurricane Sandy. My thoughts and wishes for your safety are abundant in my heart today... <BR> <BR> This past weekend was frustrating in many ways but little hiccups in the road only serve to make us stronger. Knowing this seems to make the sting of disappointment a LITTLE easier to take. But, I've realized, as well, you cannot "make" someone eat healthier because you want them to, that the choice for change has to come from within t... Mon, 29 Oct 2012 18:04:01 EST Just For Kicks... Today was laid-back. Just wanted to switch it up a little. <BR> <BR> 1. What song do you love to dance to? <BR> I will pretty much dance to just about anything but if I had to choose, it would be Alejandro by Lady Gaga. It moves my groove. <BR> <BR> 2. If you could have a drink with someone from history who would it be? <BR> Mae West. <BR> <BR> 3. If you were assigned a seat on a plane beside your favorite celebrity, what would you do? <BR> Most likely choke on the peanuts and pass o... Tue, 23 Oct 2012 18:07:53 EST Mick Jagger Was Right There is a song by the Rolling Stones that says, "You can't always get what you want. But if you try sometimes, you might just find, you get what you need." I'm pretty sure he was meaning it in a different context than what I am about to use here, but the premise is still the same. <BR> <BR> I was very excited Thursday about finalizing my plans for Bridge Day in Fayetteville, West Virginia at the New River Gorge. It is a place for BASE jumpers, rappellers, and zipliners to exhibit their a... Sun, 21 Oct 2012 15:30:04 EST Perhaps Hypnotism? My husband has always been slim...except for a little muffin around his middle, he has never been overweight. In fact, he's worn the same size jeans since we were married 20+ years ago. He can eat anything he wants, whenever he wants it and how much he wants OF it. I'm not saying that is good for him, as my advice seems to fall on deaf ears anyways, but he's just wired to burn calories as fast as he can put them in. There are times I just want to, well, be childish, pound my pillow with m... Thu, 18 Oct 2012 22:19:43 EST Screw The Past I stopped talking to my mother-in-law six years ago, for reasons I won't disclose here. It was both sides, a refusal to admit our own parts in the problem that ultimately led to a breakdown in our relationship. <BR> <BR> That being said, I learned the other day that she was in the hospital. At 78 years of age, it is almost never a good thing and to say that my heart didn't feel pangs of sorrow would be a lie. Suddenly the reason for not speaking with this woman didn't seem nearly as imp... Mon, 15 Oct 2012 17:52:28 EST Will It Ever Really Be Okay? I seem to be having a difficult time today, feeling out-of-sorts, physically not up-to-par. My hike this a.m. didn't yield the desired results such as exhilaration or feeling refreshed. It was cold, damp, foggy; my body ached tremendously and still does. It is so defeating to me and my spirit. Sometimes it makes me want to give up physically, mentally and spiritually. It really does. I look at others who are able to do so much more and it is not for lack of trying that I don't do the sa... Tue, 9 Oct 2012 17:41:38 EST My Last Blog Until I get back from Florida, that is. <BR> <em>100</em> <BR> Do you realize how long I've waited for this vacation to get here??? Sunday morning at 4 a.m. I am leaving to catch my plane. Hallelujah! <BR> <BR> I'm only taking one bag. A DUFFEL bag. That's like, the first time EVER I've packed so light. Just the bare essentials this time. Like, travel size shampoos and soaps. No fancy crap either, like conditioner or socks. The old man is looking forlorn. I asked him what wa... Thu, 27 Sep 2012 22:40:07 EST The Biggest Surprise Ever! You guys seriously have to check this out! The joy this woman must have felt! <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> How were YOU proposed to? <BR> <em>100</em> <BR> <BR> Wed, 26 Sep 2012 20:05:33 EST The High Of Hiking Hiking has become my meditation, my peaceful sliver of life, my inner sanctum of calm. It is my zazen, my time to be in the present and breathing in the moment. Meditation is very crucial to me for two reasons. It gives me time to reflect on my life, my goals and about what is important for me. As my feet strike the ground I am able to concentrate on my breathing, how my body feels, the smell of nature around me. I am centered. I am in the presence of the here and now, stumbling into sp... Tue, 25 Sep 2012 21:24:34 EST Just Take The Time To Listen To Your OWN Heart... First, there was the initial misunderstanding. Brian looked me square in the eyes and opened his mouth. <BR> <BR> "Better not buy meat in New England." <BR> "What??! Why? What happened??" <BR> "I don't know. I didn't watch it." <BR> "You didn't watch what? The news??" <BR> "The game." <BR> "Wait...what did you say??" <BR> "I SAID Baltimore beat New England!" <BR> "Oh. I thought you said...never mind." <BR> "Are you hearing things again?" <BR> <BR> These things seem to be happening alo... Mon, 24 Sep 2012 20:07:11 EST Tragic? Or Magic? I didn't want to do it. <BR> <BR> I didn't want to get dressed, stretch and go walking. I didn't want to fool with it at all. I decided in my heart-of-hearts that I could "get by" without one day of hiking. Plain and simple. Whatever. Yada, yada and yada. Then I saw the box of donuts that Brian had bought for his lunchbox. Hmmm. Looking around, not seeing anyone, I took a step closer. Pinching my bottom lip between my thumb and index finger, I toyed heavily with the one... Wed, 19 Sep 2012 20:10:07 EST A Little Dab'll Do Ya I was trying to clean my bathroom last night when I realized I didn't have enough space for "my stuff." When I say "my stuff," that means lotions, creams, serums, oils, shampoos, conditioners, the usual things that women accumulate here and there for a "youthful glow," "younger-looking skin" and "bouncy, youthful hair." (I'm a junkie. I should have bought stock in Avon years ago.) I've got banishing creams, dramatic firming creams, tonics, spritzes and sprays. Got crow's feet?? Heck, I g... Tue, 18 Sep 2012 17:45:15 EST Wanna Hike With Me? This may look like a mess of leaves and trees to you but to ME it is my hour-long get-away to another world! Nestled deep in my woods is a place where I find contentment and a place that gets my heart pumping. <BR> <BR> Leaving my house, I trek up the hill to the opening of the minuscule forest that awaits me. <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The outskirts are lush and green... <BR> <img src=" Mon, 17 Sep 2012 17:17:34 EST Yeah, Hiking Does THAT! It is my haven. My meditation. It makes me feel some sort of connection to everything that is on this big blue ball of life and energy. I feel what it is like to be away from the noise, chaos, interruptions of the every day. I get to be comfortable in my OWN skin, my OWN little world of, well, ME. I learn alot about myself in these 45 minutes. Sometimes I hike longer just for the heck of it. Sometimes I sit down on the rock beside the pond and just listen. To what? Nothing but the so... Sun, 16 Sep 2012 16:01:54 EST There's Steel No One Like You Seriously, would someone PLEASE remind me that other social networks don't compare to SparkPeople?? That although the "other" social network might OFFER fun, encouragement and a good time, it doesn't necessarily mean the fun, encouragement and a good time that is normally associated with OUR ideas of fun, encouragement and a good time? Several months ago I joined a network that promised these things and I got "bidded" on. Some guy from New Mexico outbid several competitors and gleefully se... Thu, 13 Sep 2012 21:47:00 EST Gerard Butler Sent Me Roses Have you ever had one of those mornings when you "wake up" but yet you are in that little space between the dream and being ACTUALLY awake? That portion where you are thanking God that you won the lottery? And you are mentally spending your lottery winnings on all the things you always wanted? I was ecstatic that I was going to be able to buy my '69 Shelby Fastback and new kitchen towels, when *!Poof!* the fog was gone. I opened my eyes and saw Brian's mouth wide open on my pillow. I wat... Mon, 10 Sep 2012 23:58:42 EST