STEPHLOKI's SparkPeople Blog STEPHLOKI's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Update on Rheumatoid Arthritis Flare-up The good news is something seems to be working. <BR> <BR> Now my days are ok and pain only increases in the evenings. The same applies to the feeling feverish and the extreme exhaustion. <BR> <BR> Have been able to exercise quite a bit. <BR> Saturday I tricked myself by limiting my walk & cutting it into 2. I realized should I take my usual routes I would be tempted to extend and do too much. So I decided let me go to the Gold Club 3.75km from home and have breakfast there. This way I did a... Mon, 2 Feb 2015 01:41:20 EST Rheumathoid Arthritis rears it's head again For the last 10 years I had RA pretty well controlled, with only minor flare ups. <BR> I had to make minor adjustments to my life and one big one: <BR> <BR> 1. First I changed from running continuously to the run-walk Galloway method and still did a couple of half marathons. I did however realize that doing another full marathon would hurt my joints too much <BR> <BR> 2. I use solely fresh vegetables in my diet, if frozen then froze by myself, to eliminate all artificial preservatives from ... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 05:09:11 EST Frustration and Joy at the same weekend over the same things.... My good friends daughter is getting married. We had one of the traditional functions last weekend, where the grooms female relatives come to visit the bride & her female relatives. So I thought I's wear one of my dresses. <BR> <BR> Well I had been wondering, that I am wearing trousers that i wore with 10kg less than now... now I know where the weight is: my arms, my tummy & generally my upper body... <BR> <BR> I tried 2 dresses, gave up and put on a trouser & an Indian blouse. Driving to th... Mon, 27 Oct 2014 02:47:24 EST Something that motivated me this week I saw one of my beloved Aunty Acid posts on FB: <BR> <BR> "Never use scales Ladies.... because scales don't measure sexy" <BR> <BR> Wishing all of us a feeling sexy kind a weekend..... Sat, 18 Oct 2014 05:26:41 EST Golf - great fun & great frustration Yesterday was one of those days. I felt like the greatest Idiot on the golf course. I took many air shots and topped many of the balls. Did I mention "head up"????? Need some weight around my head to keep it down.... <BR> <BR> I was even asked my Caddy whether I am too stupid for this game. I just felt like I forgot everything I ever learned. <BR> But luckily I did count my points. I am not handicapped yet (golfer's will understand this), but I counted assuming I am playing of a handicap of ... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 02:12:39 EST Senior Golfing Society Annual Dinner Yesterday it was time again for the Senior Golfing Society annual dinner. That is the one event in the year where they all come with their wives, all dolled up to have a dinner and some serious fun at the prestigious Muthaiga Country Club. <BR> <BR> As usual it was lots of fun. This was now the 4th time that BF took me along. <BR> <BR> By now I know a lot of them quite well, since I have come along to a lot of their golf weekends. After the dinner (great food), there is always dancing. <BR... Sat, 11 Oct 2014 02:35:13 EST Westgate Terror Attack - 1 year later The anniversary has come & gone. I think it was good I was not in Kenya last weekend, since I think I would have watched too many things on TV about it. <BR> <BR> Overall I am very happy that I have recovered well from the trauma. When I watch the things they are showing on FB & TV I am sad about the attack, the many severely injured & traumatized people but it doesn't hurt me any more. I feel now panic. <BR> <BR> It is a sad day in the history of Kenya, but it also pulled people together. ... Sat, 27 Sep 2014 03:02:16 EST Wow.... am still in a daze After overworking myself for 6 months on the new job and feeling at times like I am on the wrong boat here yet accomplishing a LOT suddenly it has become so much easier. <BR> <BR> Well Monday I lost my temper with the procurement guy and went home feeling like I am the biggest twit ever who just does not know how to do things. I send my immediate boss an email telling him I am resigning, since I honestly felt I am the wrong person. <BR> <BR> Well the next day I did not go to work obviously,... Fri, 29 Aug 2014 05:35:30 EST Weddings Galore We started on Tuesday with a dinner fir all the visitors from overseas. But things quickly got more elaborate & interesting. Lots of ceremonies, lots of fun, lots of food..... <BR> <BR> Official Engagement (the 2 families actually sign a certificate in the temple). The bride was nervously watching.... <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> then afterwards she was given many presents to welcome her to the family. <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sp... Sat, 19 Apr 2014 15:56:46 EST I'll throw that scale away!!!! Ok now after all these months of hard work the scale is still not budging. <BR> <BR> But when I look at the pictures I took when I tried one of my new Kurtis on I think I am finally toning up again. What do you think? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Side view: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Yeah I know that Stomach is still sticking out, but only 1/2m not, not 2m like before.... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 12:49:17 EST Getting Ready for another Indian Wedding Next week I have 2 weddings to attend. One will last a week and one the usual 1 day. Both religious ceremonies are on Saturday. <BR> <BR> Now how is someone expected to find time to work inbetween?...LOL <BR> <BR> <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> Ok First the simple 1 day wedding: A friend from my time at German School is finally tying the knot with his long time life-in Girlfriend with whom he has 3 kids. So I will go for the church wedding and then excuse myself. His Relatives will have to fig... Sat, 12 Apr 2014 12:35:41 EST Changing Jobs Wow this is a different expereience all together..... <BR> <BR> When I finally got the job offer after the long wait, I kind of deflated. It was all I wanted, but instead fo being Happy I was just tired. Must have really been under tension. <BR> At my old job, everything was going crazy as well, so i was more sure than ever that the move is the best thing for me. <BR> Well the happiness did set in after a while. <BR> Now I am winding up at the old job. Only today & Monday left, then I am do... Fri, 21 Feb 2014 04:10:02 EST Another beautiful Trip in Kenya - Nanyuki & Meru National Park - with photos I was privileged to go on another wonderful trip with BF. <BR> <BR> We started out with a nice lunch in the Trout Tree Restaurant near Nanyuki. A restaurant build into a tree like a tree house on a trout farm. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> From there we went to Nanyuki, we stayed at the Sports Club, one of the quirky old Clubs started by the Colonialists. <BR> <img src=""> <BR>... Sun, 5 Jan 2014 12:47:57 EST Not loosing weight OK, so far I have lost 1kg, and am frustrated since I put in so much effort. <BR> <BR> Even during parties & functions I have been good. But did go slightly over my goal at times. Well several things I have realized: <BR> 1. It is much harder to loose at this point - I guess Perimenopause is not planning to leave me any time soon.... Yikes 3 years is already enough...... <BR> 2. I really need to find the money to go for a gynae check-up with hormone tests (insurance does not pay for it and ... Thu, 12 Dec 2013 02:42:35 EST Starting again - mixed feelings Yep I have to start the weight loss again!!! Not funny, am right now at my heaviest ever according to my new scale (the old one was showing less). I do not look as big as I did when I was 86kg, 6 years ago. That time, when I had turned 40 I was still doing long distance running, doing an average of 60km a week. I had not changed the way I ate, but suddenly the weight just started piling on. I think it probably has to do with hormonal changes & your body needing less as you age. <BR> It took ... Sun, 17 Nov 2013 01:45:42 EST Sights of India Even though this 2.5 week trip was mainly for family visits & Poli sorting out issues, we still did get to see quite a few sights. Just enough not to feel cheated and enough to make me want to come back. <BR> <BR> We went ot the Golden Tempel in Amritsa <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Some people take a dip in the pool or take water home, since some claim... Sun, 10 Nov 2013 01:24:12 EST A Sikh wedding in India After the fun & interesting Sikh wedding in Mombasa I got a chance to expereince one in India. BF & I had already booked our flights before the Westgate Mall attack happened, so the holiday came just at the right time when we needed a break from all. <BR> <BR> We traveled to India, to the village in Punjab where Poli's family comes from and stayed most of the time with his cousin and her family. It was so much fun. Poli's brother also came & stayed with his In-laws, since there was a wedding... Sat, 9 Nov 2013 08:05:35 EST A big Thank you to the Spark Family for caring I am touched, so many people responded to my last blog, people from teams I am in, but we had never talked, people we have been friends with in SP, but have never met, the SP Team themselves. <BR> <BR> Thank you for caring! It means a lot. <BR> We are trying to piece our life's together, every day there are things that shake you up again, but also things that touch you. <BR> Stories that come out and touch you. Like the one terrorist, who allowed little children to leave, from the supermarke... Sat, 28 Sep 2013 13:48:52 EST Terror Attack on a Shopping Mall in Nairobi Yesterday I was going to meet BF just for a quick cup of coffee in a mall in our area. He had some banking to do. When i got there he was just finishing banking at one bank, so I went to buy airtime for my mobile (not sure what made me buy that, but it helped later). AT that time the lights went off, so I bought the airtime from the vendor at the light of the computer screen and we laughed about it, since this happens frequently. <BR> Then I got out BF was finished with that bank, but still h... Sun, 22 Sep 2013 01:41:53 EST Pictures Finally I am able to upload pictures <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> Here the area in the Hotel Garden which was fixed up as a Temple. for the religious ceremony. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> BF wondering what I am up to <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> The groom has reached. His face is covered with a bead veil. Now the bridal party welc... Fri, 30 Aug 2013 03:43:49 EST A Sikh Wedding in a Mombasa Hotel The Hotel were the wedding was hosts Asian Weddings quite frequently and really do their best to make it not only beautiful & serene but also private. <BR> <BR> Hmm for some reason I can't upload pictures. <BR> <BR> But let me just say it was beautiful! The make-shift temple was set up on the coral cliff facing the palm trees & the ocean, for privacy they had screened it off with palm leaves. <BR> <BR> People dress up so beautifully for these occasions and there were some adorable little g... Thu, 29 Aug 2013 02:51:53 EST A new sofa set coming up soon After living for over 10 years with my second hand sofa set I didn;t really like, I am now finally having a new one made. <BR> I love the style of the Lamu Beds, so my sofa set will be done in that style. I am having 1 pieces made, that will fit together in an L-shape. <BR> The material for the cushions & mattress covers are bought, the cushions are cluttering my spare bed room & I have already sewn 3 cushions covers. <BR> <BR> Yesterday I went to see Martin the carpenter who is making it ... Sat, 27 Jul 2013 08:00:09 EST putting yourself down yep I am one of those, who tend to think badly of themselves. Like when I stand in front of a mirror I often think of myself as the fat & ugly cow.... <BR> Well this morning I was waering my running tights and getting ready for a run and I saw my stomach is getting smaller, hanging less over the waisband... Yeah!!!! <BR> Here is one story how I surprised myself: <BR> When I went to Nursing School I never thought I would manage and pass the final exams, I thought I am not good enough to get t... Sun, 30 Jun 2013 13:57:32 EST Exam Fear I have never enjoyed doing exams, they just freak me out..... <BR> Now I have this major online exam coming up, PMP in less than 2 weeks. I am slowly getting butterflies in my stomach and feel like I need to go to the loo all the time. Yeah, it is exam fear alright..... Happens every time. <BR> Only this time I am "preparing" for an exam without havign time to. Pressure at work is so high, I am totally mentally exhausted in the evenings. Weekends there are all the things I didn;t do during t... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 01:09:00 EST Mindful eating When I analyse where I slip up it boils down to 2 simple issues: <BR> 1. When I eat mindlessly and give in to cravings <BR> 2. When I am out with friends and drink alcohol. <BR> <BR> There is a simple lesson to learn from both: <BR> Stay away from the alcohol, since it has lots of empty calories, unless you are sure you can get away with only 1 glass of wine, and pay attention to what you eat. <BR> Make sure you have healthy snacks in the office and carry your daily food items from home. <... Tue, 18 Jun 2013 01:36:19 EST Amazing Day in Nairobi National Park Just want to share my amazing day in the Nairobi National Park. This is a wildlife game reserve within the boundaries of a Mega City. <BR> We do game counts every 2 months from the Friends of Nairobi National Park (FoNNaP) and they are a lot of fun. <BR> <BR> Basically you are allocated a piece of the park and count animals you see at the same time as everybody else. I love it if I am allocated a piece on the other side, since you will drive through the whole park and get a chance to see a l... Mon, 3 Jun 2013 02:00:03 EST It's official - another pound down Yep, I have lost another pound. I weighed 2 days in s row with the same result. <BR> <BR> So let's keep focused Thu, 30 May 2013 06:51:49 EST Need for snacks I think this expereince can help others. <BR> The year I turned 40 I gained a lot of weight while still running 5-60km per week and I had not changed my eating habits. My blood pressure also went up and for the first time in my life (my blood pressure has always been on the lower side) I had several readings above 140/80mmHg. I think it was changing hormone levels, which made my body need less food. <BR> I reduced my food to 1600kcal per day but still on 3 meals a day and increased my exerc... Sat, 25 May 2013 05:08:41 EST Need to get focused again Ok, now after 2 months of letting myself go I need to get back in the rut of regular exercise. Have made a start this morning by going to the gym early before work for the first time in 2 months. This works better for me, since the evenings tend to be hectic and unexpected long site meetings etc. throw my plans often over board. I had switched to evenings when I was trying to study in the mornings for the course I was taking. But I am not studying in the mornings. Need to figure out when to s... Tue, 21 May 2013 03:03:59 EST No weightloss this week This was one week of bad eating. Mindless eating, poor choices. <BR> <BR> Ok, I had the usual work stress, <BR> then mental stress - a cousin of mine passed away and I didn;t even know she was sick, she had lung cancer <BR> the frustration - the company offering me the job has withdrawn the offer, because of the work permit issue, this is the second job within a few weeks because of that <BR> <BR> So I did not concentrate on eating at all, and also only did minimal exercise. during the wee... Sun, 19 May 2013 11:56:24 EST Down to 83kg Lost another pound! The 80kg barrier is coming closer!!!!! <BR> Am happy, that I lost even though I am still not able to exercise as much as I would want to. <BR> Job front also looks hopeful: <BR> <BR> Had the third interview for a job I am being head-hunted for. This job sounds interesting and challenging with good future, even though it won't give much of a salary increment right now. <BR> <BR> Also touching conversation with one of the site foremen today. I went to visit his project sit... Thu, 9 May 2013 15:30:31 EST NO weight loss this week Yep, that's the truth, this week I did not loose anything. But also did some bad food choices. Works still as stressful and frustrating as ever, now also highly unmotivated and every morning starts with a crisis in one of the projects. <BR> I really need another job, so I can get a normal live and some routine again Fri, 3 May 2013 08:19:32 EST overcoming weight gain in the last few months Having gained weight over the last few months for a number of reasons (hormones, snacking, stress at work, no time to exercise) I knew I needed to get serious again. <BR> <BR> What I did: <BR> Ordered the Spark Solution book (got the 3 months free Spark Coach) <BR> Try to reorganize myself to get exercise in <BR> Got serious on hunt for new job <BR> Started tracking food again <BR> <BR> It has paid off, even though I manage to exervcise much less than I would want to. <BR> I have lost 3 po... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 06:01:45 EST Wow Strange, I overate yesterday and felt full & heavy this morning. BUt I am still another pound down. At this rate I will get my Immersion Blender soon.... LOL <BR> Work has been so stressful and issues that called me back to the office at all hours (like 3:40am....) have kept me from exercising much, but somehow I must be doing something else right..... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 15:05:39 EST Another pound down Hmmm strange. I seem to be another pound down. And I haven;t even had much time for exercise this week. Was totally stressed out at work and then disappointed with not getting a job I had good chances for, just because of the work permit issue. <BR> <BR> Well will see how it developes. I really need that Immersion Blender I promised myself for getting down to 80kg, which is 4kg to go. My old blender is wearing out and I love my veggie soups. With cold season just around the corner I will be ... Fri, 19 Apr 2013 05:37:34 EST Exercise I love my exercise, but right now I have a real hard time to stick to any schedule: <BR> 1. I am overstressed at work, so I am so tired, i don't work out as much as I would in the mornings. BUt at the same time I don't manage to get out of bed in good time to exercise in the morning <BR> 2. I am suffering from RA, currently I am in a flare-up which has several side effects: <BR> - I am very fatiegued <BR> - I can't run the way I would want to and do not have enough time for walks long enough... Wed, 17 Apr 2013 02:32:43 EST Down 1 pound! For the first time this year the scale has agreed to go down instead of up. It is little, only 1 pound or 1/2 kg, but it is something. together with the fact that my trousers are feeling loose and looking lose (colleagues have commented) this is success. Hope it continues. <BR> <BR> This perimenopause things affecting my weight is NOT funny and I need a break Sat, 13 Apr 2013 15:43:06 EST I need a break! Right now things are just tough once again. <BR> <BR> 1. At work pressure is so high <BR> 2. the engineers supposed to work with me on projects need to be reminded constantly <BR> 3. My supervisor is so busy, he doesn't get around to helping me sort out issues <BR> 4. Projects are sprung on me left right and center as if they were emergencies and if I want to delay the actual start to allow for planning, they are presented to me as "hypersensitive projects" that need my "personal input", "o... Mon, 11 Feb 2013 05:40:05 EST My thought for the day! <img src=""> Mon, 7 Jan 2013 08:03:30 EST Sewing again It has been years since I last really used the sewing machine. Mine old one was spoiled by my ex and I left it behind. <BR> Then I bought a used one from a family that was leaving Kenya. Unfortunately it wasn't working (had not tried it out, since I trusted the family). I just couldn't get the tension adjusted. Then I couldn't find a place to have the machine serviced. So ti just sat there for a few years. Then one day I decided to go again to the haberdashery in a near-by mall. They sell one... Sat, 29 Dec 2012 12:03:28 EST Pictures of Nairobi Marathon 2012 <img src=""> <BR> Just a few impressions <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The big screen, something new in this part of the world: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The crowd: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The guy who did the HM with a crutch on the right on the finish stretch: <... Tue, 30 Oct 2012 05:08:27 EST Standard & Chartered Nairobi Marathon What a start to a marathon: <BR> The Night before it was pouring proper tropical rainfalls. In fact the noise of every new down-pour woke me up, so I didn't get all that much sleep. <BR> When I finally got up at 5am, it was still raining heavily. Dragged myselve out of bed and kept wondering how this will go. I don;t run in rain any more because of the RA, joints hurt too much if I do. <BR> But then I said the weather in town can be different from where I live, so I went. <BR> When I reached... Mon, 29 Oct 2012 03:35:01 EST Mwea Classic Marathon 2012 - HM Finally I can get into the creating bloggs, Let me copy and paster here what I wrote for teh Galloway Team Mates: <BR> <BR> I was an awesome experience once again. <BR> <BR> When I woke up this morning (got up at 4:45am) it was cold and when I came out of the shower it was pouring. My hope was that that would only be in Nairobi. <BR> <BR> Then I got ready and collected my friend. <BR> We reached the start just in the nick of time, but then the announcement came that the starts are postpone... Mon, 10 Sep 2012 07:19:01 EST No Perimenopause you are not going to win!!!! Oh the joys of being a woman in middle age.... Just 10 days after I wrote my last Blog I stepped on the scale and "waaaaaahhhhh" I was up 2 kg. Can't be true..... tried again, still the same. Then I stopped to think: <BR> Moody - tick <BR> swollen feet - tick <BR> bloated stomach - tick <BR> water retention - tick <BR> chocolate craving - tick <BR> Hotflashes - mild but tick <BR> <BR> So here we go again. After a few months of being back to regular and little sypmtoms, here we go again. I ha... Sun, 24 Jun 2012 11:33:01 EST Finally the scale moved again! It took me 4 months, but I finally made the scale move again in the right direction! Looks like maybe I have busted the plateau. When I weighed myself yesterday I didn't really believe it since it had taken so long. But this morning the scale showed the same! I have lost1kg. Time to celebrate! Hopefull I will be back in the 70s soon in terms of kilograms. Sun, 3 Jun 2012 13:55:32 EST Life with exercise induced asthma When I was first diagnosed with exercise induced asthma I was shocked. It had started like a joke, with a bad flu and coughing fits every evening. Then I realized I get coughing fits after about 20 minutes of running. First I was in deep denial, after all I wasn’t wheezing, and then am I not a bit old for getting exercise induced asthma? I have exercised most of my life and about 10 years ago I was exercising a lot more than now…… After all that’s the time I was doing most of my halfmarathons... Mon, 23 Apr 2012 05:57:21 EST Back to the gym With the payrise I got end of last year I finally am able to afford the gym again. Looked for a new one near my office and have found one I like. When I went to look at it they gave me 2 vouchers to go for free. So now that the eye Doctor has given me green light to start exercising, I used the vouchers and enjoyed myself. The gym opens early enough that i can go before work - that is if I get out of bed in time.... :), but also from work I can be there in 5 minutes. It has a nice mixed crowd... Sun, 22 Jan 2012 12:12:41 EST A new Year, a New beginning Wow I can't believe it is so many months since my last blog! <BR> Last year was challenging in many ways, with all those changes on the job front, the crazy inflation here in Kenya (food goes up every time you shop) and the new health challenges. <BR> Hope this year my health can stabilize a bit. <BR> In September I developed a wheeze, then it got better, but I developed now a wheeze on every run.... Gosh don't want to have to deal with tat, but I guess this is just another thing to be tackle... Tue, 3 Jan 2012 12:53:00 EST What a difference! Those who know me, know that i was really frustrated in the job at the School and hated it. Also was loosing my last bit of selfesteem. <BR> So starting with Connected Health had made a difference already, even though the Kenyan Project was on an unstoppable downhill path, the fact that my boss would tell me he likes my work helped me. in the beginning I caught myself looking over my shoulder to find otu who he is talking to.....LOL <BR> Then when the Kenyan Project was folded up and we were ... Fri, 18 Mar 2011 07:09:55 EST What makes a warrior? Warriors take chances. Like everyone else, they fear failing, but they refuse to let fear control them. <BR> Ancient Samurai Saying Wed, 23 Feb 2011 06:34:43 EST