SUMTHINGSPECIAL's SparkPeople Blog SUMTHINGSPECIAL's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Are You Ready to Be Challenged? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> For the past 8 weeks, I have been a part of the Spring into Summer 5% Challenge on SparkPeople. I’ve never been a part of a challenge, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Essentially – we track our weight each week and we track our fitness minutes each day. We also track other special health-related topics (a new one each week) like fiber, water intake, and calorie intake. So, I started the challenge hoping... Mon, 8 Jul 2013 14:29:25 EST YOU are being TESTED ... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> There are definitely times in life when we are tested. We are tested by weakness, by illness, by family, by friends, by goals unmet, by anything. You name it – it can be a test. What determines the quality of a person – what determines our success is not the struggle – it is not perhaps even reaching our goal – but it is in how those struggles change us – how they improve us and help us become better than ... Wed, 3 Jul 2013 13:08:23 EST A Simple Update (for those who want to know) <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Went to the doctor today . . . <BR> <BR> <BR> This week, I have found out: <BR> <BR> 1. I have excellent lungs <BR> 2. I have more breath output than they expect for someone of my age/height and the altitude <BR> 3. I have a strong and healthy heart <BR> <BR> <BR> I have also found out: <BR> <BR> <BR> 1. I am not having problems with asthma. I can stop the steroids. <BR> 2. My breathing problems... Thu, 27 Jun 2013 19:54:38 EST On the Road to Recovery . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Breathing is nothing to take for granted - seriously! <BR> <BR> <BR> There's been a lot of things bothering my lungs this year - I've been inundated with allergens seemingly all at once! I already mentioned the wildfires - and then there's the pollen shooting through the air - but I also noticed that it is definitely time to clean the air vents in the house. Well, I've noticed that before, but dh has been... Wed, 26 Jun 2013 14:44:19 EST Things That Make You Go Hmmmm... <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Well – lately I’ve been using my exercise time as time to watch something while walking on the treadmill. It hides the fact that I don’t really love walking on that thing – but the treadmill keeps me away from the allergy problems and asthma I have been having lately. I don’t exactly know why – but I love Documentaries. Not necessarily all documentaries – but I definitely love those that make you think. ... Tue, 25 Jun 2013 17:48:58 EST Breathless <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Well it has been quite a week. Got stuck being a single parent again last week - had all 4 kids to myself and my - they thought they were on vacation! Well, they are - technically - on vacation - but that doesn't mean they don't have things to do! My kids fight chores - I'd almost venture to say that they would try to convince someone that they are allergic to them - and should avoid them at all costs or i... Mon, 24 Jun 2013 18:59:42 EST Rome was NOT Built in a Day – Why Expect Immediate Progress? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Everyone thinks you just have to burst through those doors – take it Biggest Loser Style or they will be a big loser. Everyone is reaching for the newest and awesomest exercise package out there. There are whole companies out there – relying on that. Now – that isn’t necessarily a bad thing – because having variety and trying out new things (especially when we are in a rut) could be really helpful – also d... Thu, 13 Jun 2013 13:12:38 EST Let's Build Ourselves a Home . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> On this journey, there is pain and tears – strength and hope – obstacles and triumphs. Each day – we know not which one we face – but it will be there, sure enough. Truly, patience in spite of the storm – hope in spite of the pain – and success in spite of the failures shall bring us through. We cannot grow through this unchanged – we will never be the same again – but that will make all the difference. <... Mon, 10 Jun 2013 14:32:14 EST Turn your CAN'Ts into CANs <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I’m a Whiny Lady – I’m a Whiny Lady <BR> <BR> <BR> Yep – that song is playing in my head – to the tune of “Single lady.” ‘Cause, that’s what I am lately – and I hate it. I’m not dying – things are pretty good – it is summer – the kids are wonderful – dh is understanding and loves me to pieces. So, why the heck do I feel so whiny inside? Seriously! Wake up woman! <BR> <BR> <BR> It’s that time – well, ... Fri, 7 Jun 2013 23:57:08 EST What Doesn't Kill You - Makes You STRONGER . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Being busy is not all it’s cracked up to be. Anymore, we pride ourselves on how busy we are – as if how busy we are is equivalent to how important our lives are. We thrive on rushing from one thing to another. Oh, and if you haven’t figured out yet – it also adds stress and promotes other unhealthy habits. Because . . . if we are too busy rushing from one thing to another – we don’t have time to take care... Thu, 6 Jun 2013 11:31:37 EST What a Pain in the . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Knee. <BR> <BR> <BR> Jeez! Just when I thought I was doing well, too. On Saturday we went to the mountains and found another gem of a park - man, lots of walking/riding trails. Of course, our walk date started out in our favorite Indian spot (again) and dh actually found out that the meal I usually eat has cream in it (no wonder!) After eating a different curry without a trace of milk – it was awesome.... Sun, 2 Jun 2013 23:02:34 EST Hey SparkPeople, You CAN do this! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Living healthy - living right is a struggle. It is not easy - nor is it meant to be. So much easier is it to sit on the couch all day long - to eat - to soothe our discomforts with food, drink, lethargy. However - it is a growing process for you and I - one we must go through to get to where we want to be. It is a struggle - but a necessary struggle - and one worthwhile. Just ask anyone who has been ther... Sat, 1 Jun 2013 15:23:23 EST Finding the Beauty Within . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Somewhere along this journey - hopefully sooner than later, we all have to learn to love ourselves a little more - to find the beauty within. It's not that it was never there - it's not that we never had it - but (perhaps for different reasons) we never were able to see it in ourselves. <BR> <BR> <BR> It was always there - but we were blind to it. Of course - we know what beauty looks like - we see it all... Fri, 31 May 2013 12:55:43 EST How I Stopped the Insanity . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> As I mentioned in yesterday's blog - I started tracking my foods recently. I have been enjoying it more than I thought I would - for if you have been following my journey - I have had problems with tracking. Why - You ask? Well, because I have seen my Mom struggle with her weight - I have seen her track - and deprive - and starve - and deny herself only to come out of the gate much larger than when she sta... Thu, 30 May 2013 19:22:23 EST A Fool with a Tool! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I don't know why - but I love gadgets. I don't really have a lot - I guess the most impressive one is my FitBit. I have a SmartPhone and sometimes I think it should be called the Waste My Time Phone. There are a lot of apps that can just waste time easily - and most of them came ON the phone and you can't really get rid of them. They weren't installed by me - because I don't need other ways to waste time... Wed, 29 May 2013 16:34:20 EST Weekends are made of these . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This weekend was just the way I like it – active and fun. We don’t always have weekends like this – because dh or someone else is sick with something or perhaps the weather doesn’t cooperate. This weekend was nice – it was warm (but not too warm) – dh was feeling a bit better – and the kids and I were itching to get out of the house! <BR> <BR> <BR> First – we went up to the mountains on Saturday. My frie... Tue, 28 May 2013 17:35:31 EST Spring into Summer 5% Challenge # 2 - COMPLETE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> So we finished the second challenge in the Spring into Summer 5% Challenge. Woohoo! We are already leaving for a new destination, but what kind of friend would I be if I didn't share my "virtual vacation" photos? Where did we go this week? A favorite place to me - New York City! When I was a child - I lived in New Jersey. On school trips we would go to New York - see the city - it was fun and I loved it!... Sat, 25 May 2013 12:03:41 EST That's the Way (aha aha) I like It (aha aha) . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> It seems rather strange - but also perhaps a little logical about what I found out today. A break was good for me. This week - as I've said, I've laid low. I've been doing some - but not all the things I used to do. I haven't pushed - I haven't pulled - I haven't climbed a mountain or strove to walk mile upon mile - I've just been active with the kids. I've been going out with the kids and playing - or l... Fri, 24 May 2013 17:06:28 EST I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Well - there's hope in the air. I'm going to go walking with the kids at the park this morning after they finish breakfast. They are all learning to roller skate - so that will be fun. Two of them keep spending most of their time on the ground but they keep getting back up. Perhaps there is a lesson to learn there? <BR> <BR> <BR> Got a call my friend yesterday - she is the one who watched the kids when ... Thu, 23 May 2013 11:22:47 EST Comfort is Not Always What I Should Seek <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This past week I have been dragging - and when I say dragging - I mean, for me. I don't mean I have been sitting on the couch every day - doing nothing. I have still gotten in fitness minutes - I have even climbed on the treadmill to get in enough steps. Oh, and yesterday I crazily climbed that trampoline and tried to get in enough steps - but once I saw it was impossible to make enough of a dent - I gave... Wed, 22 May 2013 13:36:14 EST Memories - and My Recipe Nutritional Info. <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Well, I just got back after having a sandwich with the kids. There's this small place nearby - owned by really nice people and they have tables outside. We sat in the shade and just relaxed and ate. It was nice. Did I ever tell you how much I love to spend time with those kids? They are awesome! Right now they are relaxing and watching a movie while I am going to prepare dinner and clean up a bit. Aft... Tue, 21 May 2013 18:30:26 EST A Family that's Chosen . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Today I am going to visit a dear friend - someone who has been adopted into my official family years ago. I love her with all my heart - so do the kids - and I wouldn't have it any other way. I wish she was closer to us - that she didn't have to live in a nursing home - that I could see her trudging down the street from one appointment to another - but we must all accept that sometimes change happens. <BR>... Tue, 21 May 2013 11:29:27 EST Recipe: Definitely Not My Mother's Oatmeal <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I know you have been waiting for the recipe - and I finally found the time - so here it is! I actually don’t like oatmeal (we ate it a lot as kids and it was always the kind you just pour the packet and add water). I can stomach eating those – but I can’t fathom the idea of eating that much sugar anymore – besides, I am finding that healthier means homemade. I then got dh to purchase some steel-cut oats... Mon, 20 May 2013 12:35:49 EST A Challenge Not Taken . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This week I was given the opportunity to take a challenge - no, not the 5% challenge - but another one by someone who cares about me. The only problem was - that even those who are around us day after day - who see us struggle - don't always know what is best for us - what really helps/hurts us - they just care (but sometimes that isn't enough). <BR> <BR> <BR> What I mean is - what they may want to give y... Sun, 19 May 2013 14:14:05 EST Week 2 ~ Spring into Summer 5% Challenge <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Yesterday was the first day of our next Challenge week. Let's go Firecrackers! This week we are focusing on exercise minutes and counting calories. I'm going to be meal planning as suggested - and not so much the counting of calories (my body seems rather aware of what it needs/doesn't need - I know nutrition and continue to learn more - and as long as I listen to my body - I do pretty good). For more in... Sun, 19 May 2013 11:09:42 EST Do what YOU need to SUCCEED <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> For those that wonder - no, I do not count calories. There, I've said it. If anyone has fainted - please pick them up. It is okay - I understand, because it goes against conventional wisdom. It is not because it doesn't work for weight loss - because it does help (a lot for some people) - it is because it doesn't work for me. Perhaps you are the kind of person who is de-motivated by the scale (every time y... Fri, 17 May 2013 18:54:34 EST Say It Isn't So . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Today - in my mind - it is the first day of summer. I talked with our teacher - and while I have some things I need to accomplish over the summer - WE ARE DONE!!!! I am so excited - and don't read that as "I am so excited" - say it with a sing-song voice because that's the way I wrote it! Woohoo! <BR> <BR> <BR> So, today we learned about our new challenge for next week on the 5% Challenge. If you didn'... Fri, 17 May 2013 16:54:02 EST Oatmeal-Almond Topped Blueberry Greek Yogurt <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I know I told you that I grew up with unhealthy habits. It's so funny, when I think of it - where I am now. I used to think I was healthy eating oatmeal - you know, those little packets that I grew up with. It's good for your health - isn't that what they say on those commercials? But have you ever seen the amount of sugar in one of those packets? I haven't eaten them since and I struggle to eat homemade -... Thu, 16 May 2013 11:58:31 EST Warning - Unhealthy Foods You Might Not Know About . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Sorry - had no intention of making another blog today. I stopped by to look up the weather (yes, SparkFriends - I'm going to cut grass to get my steps in today!) While there - an article there was just begging to be clicked on - oh, and another. <BR> <BR> <BR> I just had to share - for all of you who truly care about your health: <BR> <BR> <BR> The Worst Foods at Restaurants: <BR> <link>htt... Wed, 15 May 2013 14:25:49 EST Spring into Summer 5% Challenge # 1 - COMPLETE <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> In my lazy days - a vacation meant just that - a vacation. We would go to some nice hotel - lounge around and perhaps even see some sights. There was no work involved. Nowadays - though - I have a different perspective. A vacation is a chance to explore - discover and have adventures you couldn't have where you normally live. We go hiking - boating - fun stuff. I usually stay away from doing too many t... Wed, 15 May 2013 12:20:50 EST Why Does it Matter? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I wrote my post in a bit of a hurry yesterday - as dh wanted to watch a movie. Sorry, I probably didn't pay as much attention to what I was writing as I normally do. Sorry. . . So, Yesterday was surprising. I guess I was trying to get rid of all that pent up energy from being sick last week and taking care of sick kids the week before. Seriously - I was stuck in the house for 2 weeks! Last night I just ... Tue, 14 May 2013 10:44:44 EST My FitBit Should Be Considered a Dangerous Weapon! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am starting to think that I am the kind of person that likes a challenge. I work hard – I do quite a bit, but I don’t always see the stronger side of me – or at least, perhaps I am usually blind to it. I kinda like seeing that side of me – pushing toward a goal and actually achieving something more tangible. I mean 1– as a Mom you can’t really say “Okay, today I am going to change 5 diapers. Wow! I ac... Tue, 14 May 2013 00:42:10 EST Not So Skinny - Girlfriends Guide - to Exercise on a Budget <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I know not everyone can afford the latest and greatest exercise gear - me neither. I am fortunate that I have found the things I need with a limited budget. It has taken a few years - but it was worth the wait. <BR> <BR> <BR> My biggest secret is how to find exercise videos on the cheap. Now, I know my suggestion is going to seem archaic - especially for those who quickly embrace the newest gadgets - b... Sun, 12 May 2013 19:38:52 EST Day 1 ~ Spring into Summer 5% Challenge <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Today is the first day of the Spring into Summer 5% Challenge. I'm on the Firecrackers Team! I am excited - this is my first challenge. However, I am a bit sad because I've been sick for most of the week and taking care of sick people for 2 weeks now. I'm "feeling better" - well, a bit better - but I am not completely. Still having lots of drainage - sinus headache - sore throat. <BR> <BR> <BR> This w... Sat, 11 May 2013 22:40:36 EST Finding Our Inner Warrior <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Most of us are on this journey - for the long haul. This is not a party of people just doing what it takes to fit into a smaller dress size just for a special occasion - or so that we can strut our stuff at our high school reunion. I mean, it's great too look good - but that's not all there is to it. At some point - we came to realize that this is serious - we made a commitment - for better health - good food, ex... Fri, 10 May 2013 20:05:19 EST Lookin for Love in All the Wrong Places . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As everyone knows - we've been sick here. The kids were sick first (last week) and still are sick this week - and now Mom's down. Oh, don't worry - it's not the end of the world and fortunately we were hardly sick at all this winter. I can't complain. <BR> <BR> <BR> My darling oldest daughter volunteered to make breakfast this morning and she is doing an awesome job. She wants to learn how to cook - so I'm al... Thu, 9 May 2013 14:35:31 EST Sweet Dreams are Made of These . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Okay - I'm sick, but I can't help but dream of what I am going to do when I get better. Now, everyone here should know by now that I love me an elliptical (pardon my English - it is for effect alone). I want one so bad - I think my addiction for one is worse than someone's addiction for cheesy fries or chocolate lovers cake. I mean - I love that thing. <BR> <BR> <BR> All that aside - I won't be getting o... Tue, 7 May 2013 18:43:54 EST Re-Energized - okay, not really <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Man - for all you moms and dads out there with young kids - a word of advice: <BR> <BR> <BR> (1) never - ever - let you kids lay their sick little heads on your chest and then allow them to cough right in your face <BR> <BR> <BR> (2) never - ever - let your kids use your shirt - your neck - your arm or any other thing that you plan to keep near you - as a tissue <BR> <BR> <BR> (3) never - ever - leav... Tue, 7 May 2013 12:36:42 EST Reborn - Re-energized - Renewed - Really! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am a woman reborn! I have cool, fresh air racing through my lungs and I have blood pumping through my veins. This is the most alive I have felt in a long time. There is no feeling quite like this - and I feel I can tackle anything today! <BR> <BR> <BR> I was sitting around waiting for these kiddos to get going (we were going to do a lesson or two this weekend) and they were just going so slow. Serious... Sun, 5 May 2013 20:15:40 EST Learning to Sail in Stormy Weather . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Man - yesterday was rough! I guess I'm used to older kids being sick. When they are young - ouch! My little guy is a mama's boy - I would be lying if I said I didn't love every minute of it. Love my little man to pieces. He sure is whiny when sick - though (not much different from dad). He clung to me yesterday like you would not believe! <BR> <BR> <BR> I sat stretched out on the couch and he laid in... Sun, 5 May 2013 16:31:55 EST Even the Best Laid Plans of Mothers Can Be Derailed . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> So, DH came home last night with my new bike. He had to drive 30 minutes to another town to pick it up. You could say he was working hard - but he also got to stop at our favorite Indian restaurant (by himself) and enjoy a great meal there - so I think we evened things out there. Can you believe that man called me 3 times since picking up the bike to brag about it? The bike is 6 years old but the woman to... Fri, 3 May 2013 18:41:32 EST Welcoming my New Baby . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> It may seem strange - but I actually think of my machines as my babies. Well, not all of them - the treadmill is something the kids enjoy. I put up with it. Now I sound like a bad mother! What I mean is - I appreciate them and take care of them the best that I can. In turn - they take care of me - allowing me to do what I need to live a healthier life. Strange, I know - but I've never been one to foll... Thu, 2 May 2013 14:03:27 EST Recipe for Stuffed Naan (As Promised). . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> As promised in an earlier post, I will share the recipe for Stuffed Naan: <BR> <BR> <BR> Now, I want to start by saying - this is not going to taste exactly like the Naan you will have at a restaurant - those are made with white flour. This recipe is 100% Whole Wheat. For those of you who do not know - whole wheat does not taste like products made with white flour. In my mind - they taste better - but I know t... Wed, 1 May 2013 14:00:09 EST Being Thankful . . . <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Tonight I need to start with the fact of how wonderful it can be to be a positive influence in someone's life. If you haven't done so already - you should definitely try it. It is truly a gift and a blessing. While we worry about our struggles - we look sadly at our situation - we fail to realize that no matter where we are - there is always someone else who is much worse off than we are. Why not try to f... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 23:00:07 EST Learning to Challenge Myself - More <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I've signed up for the 2013 Spring into Summer Challenge thanks to the invitation by a dear friend, CRUISEBOUND2013. I would never have gotten around to finding out about it on my own - or would have heard about it just before it ended - so thank you! <BR> <BR> <BR> One of the things we were tasked with doing is to make a meal plan. Why bother? Well, because when your meals are planned - you have more po... Mon, 29 Apr 2013 11:29:36 EST Eat and Be Merry! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tonight dh decided he wanted to test my skills. I've never made it before - but I have made Naan. We love to make bread to sop up the juices sometimes and this recipe seems to be a family favorite - it is Whole Wheat Naan (sorry for those with gluten intolerance!) <BR> <BR> <BR> Well, tonight dh says, "Boy, I'd love to have some stuffed naan like we've had before in Indian restaurants. Could you make so... Fri, 26 Apr 2013 23:53:13 EST Does Your Food Make You Want to Dance? <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This morning we are eating French toast. Dh brought some delicious whole wheat bread and we made that for breakfast this morning I would prefer to make my own bread - but sometimes I have to realize that I need a break too! Now, it's not our healthiest breakfast (in fact, I am going to make myself an egg sandwich) but the kids love it - so every once in a while. . . One of the girls actually made it - they ... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 12:54:59 EST Be Inspired to Move! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> I am one of those people who feel more comfortable moving - just don't tell the "old me" who was happy enough to sit all day. Since getting the FitBit I have been moving more - and it is great! I am not only moving - but it has inspired me to move to feel it - not just to move. Now, what do I mean? I mean - I could move my steps slowly side to side - but now I am jogging around, jogging in place, walking... Wed, 24 Apr 2013 18:28:08 EST I May Not Move Mountains <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> Okay . . . I don't know if I have ever told you this - but I HATE taking medicine. I hate taking medicine unless I really need it - you will more likely find me taking a nap for a headache or drinking water than you will find me grabbing medicine. It is my tool of last resort (and usually when I am dying). When I was younger - Dad remarried to a lady that popped pills and drank. She "taught" me that you ... Tue, 23 Apr 2013 11:30:55 EST I Hate Being Selfish <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> This past week has passed rather uneventfully. I was able to get in "some" steps running around the house barefoot - but there's nothing like going full-speed on the bike - or whatever might be your exercise addiction. I missed it. A lot. <BR> <BR> <BR> Fortunately I guess, my foot is good enough to wear shoes again. Yesterday I already had 2000 steps by the afternoon. I was teaching the kids - jogging... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 15:09:36 EST