ME!

ME!
Holding my "before" favorite shirt after losing 125 pounds on my journey to better health.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Smile lines?

My work had a professional photo taken of me for an "after weight loss."  It was funny because several of us received just head shots so it really doesn't show much.  I did notice that I have a lot of wrinkles. I knew that I was going to have some after my journey but not that many!!!!  I had to remind myself of one of my favorite quotes by Mark Twain....."Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been."  I hope that is what my wrinkles show.  Smiles, many, many smiles!  I sent the picture to my children and one of my son's who knew I struggled with the wrinkled look decided to photo shop it a little.  I did not realize it was so easy to erase years or living, learning, crying, and smiling with just a tap of a key. I didn't even notice he had done that. I just wondered why he had sent it back.  I have thought about it a lot and decided that I have earned these wrinkles.  Every single tiny line is a unique part of me. I was told by a friend that she considered her wrinkles as battle scars from the battle for her life.  Yes, they are battle scars from a fight I have been on for a few years now. A battle I will continue to fight for the rest of my life to be as healthy as I can possibly be. I guess I will just have to love and embrace these wrinkles because they are not going away and I wouldn't change that.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

What to give?

I have been pondering the question of "what to give" to family and friends for Christmas. I have been really bothered by this. I decided today to walk around my house and think about some of the things I consider precious to me that have been given to me. The list kept getting bigger and bigger. I then realized that most of them were not even Christmas gifts. They had been gifts given by people who love me and wanted to surprise and please me. They were unexpected but very cherished. I want to tell you about a couple of them. When I was first married my husband and I went to visit his parents in Cedar City, Utah. It was at Christmas time and there was a project going on. My mother-in law's neighbor was making beautiful little birds out of ribbon that hung on the tree as a ornament. The neighbor was a tiny little feisty red head(white by then) who had very crippling arthritis in her hands. She told me she made the birds to keep the limited movement she had. One evening she came over with ribbon and patience. She spent several hours teaching me and Grandma how to make the birds. I never could get them as beautiful as hers. The gift under the tree for me that year was a whole box of those birds to put on my own tree each Christmas. I still use them. Several years ago my Grand was helping me with the tree and took interest in those birds. He likes to create things like that and was very intrigued.  I gave him one and told him to study it and see if he could figure it out. I forgot the challenge and I thought he had too. A couple of days ago he comes flying out of his house and presents me with one beautiful perfect Blue bird. The one's I had on my tree were green. I love that bird and had him place it on the place of most importance on my little tiny tree. It is the crowning jewel on the very top.. One other gift that was given to me was a little tiny piece of china from my Grandmother Warner's china cabinet. She had many beautiful little pieces of china that were displayed in glass cabinets built into the walls of her dinning room. I would spend hours looking at them through the glass. (We were not allowed to touch.)  When she passed my Grandpa took each piece out and gifted us each one item. He had written our names and attached it to the bottom with some tape. I have so many things that I look at each day but have not taken the time to remember who they are from and what they mean to me and the person that gave them to me. As we are in the season of Thanks and Giving I hope that each of you take a stroll through your home and take that sweet special walk down memory lane that I was able to enjoy today.















Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Keep your words soft and sweet!

I had an experience the other day that reminded me of something that happened when I was a young mother to four busy children.  I had found a really fabulous teenage girl who would come and baby sit for me every Friday night.  I lived for those nights away. I was a stay at home mom and was also tending 5 other children to make ends meet. So I really needed that out. I loved this little teen and she was so good to the kids. They loved her too.  She came for a long time and then one day I got a call from a neighbor (just thought you should know.) She informed me that this young girl had been having some family trouble and wasn't allowed to tend  kids anymore.  She continued to give me the scoop and all the details of the family problems.  I said okay and hung up.  This little teens mother was a quiet person and did not know a lot of people in my neighborhood. I had talked to her a few times and felt like we were friends.  I called her and told her I had heard that her daughter could not tend anymore and wanted to let her know I would follow her wishes.  There was silence and then she became very upset with me. She wanted to know who I had talked to and why would I spread stories about her daughter.  She felt like the other woman and I had been spreading stories about her daughter all over the neighborhood. I assured her that I had not shared with anyone but obviously the other women had because she had heard from others. I was just heart sick.  A few words from someone else "just wanting to help" had really hurt this mother and I am sure the sweet teenager. I know that she did not believe I had not been passing it along. That young teen never did tend for me again. It truly was a sad loss to my family.  I think of that young girl once in a while. I wonder how she grew up. I am sure she is a wonderful mother because she was so great with my kids. I still am so sorry that I listened to my neighbor. I try very hard not to "share" things that are told to me. I try to take care of my own business and let other's take care of theirs even if I think I have the solution to their problem  I constantly remind my own family that everyone has a right to their own choices and that we need to let them follow their own paths.  I cringe with pain when I think of the damage that was done by that one phone call. I keep thinking of something that I heard as a child and I know that it probably doesn't go quite like this but here goes....
Be careful with the words YOU SPEAK
try to keep them SOFT and SWEET
because  you don't know when they're YOURS TO EAT!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

World Travel

I wanted to tell you about my travels this week. As many of you know my son Eric decided to do a cyber Monday sell on one of his Cd's.  My good friend FlyLady shared that information and it was a great success.  I do the shipping for Eric and I do it for a very selfish reason.  I have offers from people to  help all the time but I have to admit I really enjoy doing it alone. Yes, it is a lot of work and can be time consuming but I have a secret. I love to see where the Cd's are going and love to think about myself going too.  Now that probably sound a little strange but let me share some of what I am thinking when I do the addresses.  This week I have been to 5 different countries.  I have been to every state but Alaska and some of them many times. I want to share with you some of the fun street names that I have encountered.  I have been able to travel along the Chisholm Trail and the Overland Trails. I have been in beautiful Cypress Cove and also walked down Pinegrove Lane. I have picked a 4 leaf clover on Shamrock. I wondered how many birds and what kind I would see on Bird Road and loved the Penguins on Penguin Ave.  I felt all tingly and my hair stood on end when I got to Electric Lane. Mink Hollow Road must be a beautiful wooded area and Monkey Run Road just has to have some Banana trees! My almost favorite was North Star Drive but my most favorite was Yesterday Way because when I head for home I can say, "Well, I am headed back to yesterday."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fun with Dick and Jane

I was raised in a family of readers. I would read anything and everything. My kids still laugh at me when I tell them I would even read Children's encyclopedias because I loved to read. I think it is very important to be able to read and read well. I have been spending a lot of time with a couple of my grands and have had concerns about their reading skills.
    The older of the two (10) has been shuffled to many different schools and missed the essentials of reading. I knew he could do it because he is a very smart boy. He just didn't know how. I would sit  down and read with him and he would go slow and stumble over the words and point to each word he read. He was so slow and unable to finish a book so would loose interest. I decided to try something with him. I first of all told him he was not to use his finger any more.  I then told him I would read a page and he could read one. So off we went. I would read fast and with expression. He would  read his slower and more careful. Soon he was starting to skim over the words and gaining a lot of confidence. Several times he would start to point to the words again so I started holding his hand while we read. It didn't take him long. He was so excited to show everyone how fast he could read. He just finished a book in about a week. It is not a hard book but he FINISHED IT. He then asked me if I would get him more books. Yesterday we went and picked some out together. He then threw his arms around me and said "Thank you for buying me some books Granny." This morning he read out loud to me and he is fast  and proud as a peacock with himself.
  The other grand (6) is just learning to read but not interested. I had no idea how to interest him. I was thinking about it one day and thought maybe he needed a book that he can "finish" and read on his own. A few years ago out of nostalgia I bought a couple of books. Stories about Dick and Jane. Now some of us of a certain generation are very familiar with Dick, Jane, Baby Sally, Puff and Spot.  I thought "why not?"  I took out my two books that contain many short stories in the Dick and Jane series.  He just loves them.  Every day he wants to read to me. He can read most of the words on his own. Sometimes he likes to have a little help but gets pretty concerned if he can't have the time to figure them out on his own. He is about half done with the first book having read 75 pages. He told me this morning he "gets to read the purple one next."  He is getting it. I think by the time the school year is over he will be reading well too.  We have had help with their reading fundamentals. They both get help at school. The little one's teacher even spends time with him in the morning before school reading.   I have shared this with you to lead into something that we each need to realize.
   If you are reading my blog you are concerned about your own health journey. I have many people ask me, "What did you do?" "What should I do?" I want to say that you each need to keep trying and trying new different approaches to find your success. These boy's each needed to have small steps of success to see the big picture. They needed to be given some of the tools that would make it easier for them. They needed to find a hunger for what they were learning. They needed to have self pride that they are "doing it." They needed others to help them with some of the hard parts.  I can share with you, give you hope, encouragement, high-fives, hugs, and "great job." You have given me hope, encouragement, high-fives, hugs, and "great job." That is what keeps me going strong. After all ,"We all need a little help from our friends."

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Riding The Horse.

Found a picture taken about 4 years ago.. All I can say is WOW.  I didn't have any idea I was that big. Poor Jessie,  she probably wondered what had happened to her to have me on her back.  Just wanted to share this.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tapioca Pudding Song

video
We use to have a family tradition that I want to share here. It is something that I have done ever since my children were tiny. Occasionally on a cold night I would cook a big pot of Tapioca Pudding. The kind you have to cook and stir while it boils for a few minuets.  We all loved it. Then while it was nice and warm I would add a BIG dollop of whipped cream to each serving.  The highlight of this treat for me was when I got to sing and dance the Tapioca Pudding song!!!! My kids loved it when they were small but when they got to be teens they thought they were to cool to enjoy it. In 2004 we were experimenting with a little video camera and it was decided that I should perform my famous song and dance. The other day one of my kids was going thought some old video's and found my dance.  I was not at my heaviest yet, add about 20 more pounds to what I look like on this video. I think I had some pretty smoooooth moves for my size. We have all watch it and remembered how much fun it use to be.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

S-U-C-C-E-S-S!

"S-u-c-c-e-s-s, that's the way you spell SUCCESS!"  That cheer I use to scream at all the high school balls games has been running through my mind the last couple of days. I have heard a lot about success lately and want to comment a little about what I think about success. I know that some people think that success is when you have a mansion, a sleek little sports car, money to burn, fabulous clothes and jewelry. I have always had a little different outlook about success. To me success is getting up in the morning and getting dressed down to your lace up shoes! Learning how to tie lace up shoes. Success is walking to the mail box and back if you have a lot of weight to loose or don't feel well. Success is going to work at 6:30 in the morning, teaching other peoples children all day, going home to your other full time job (mom.) It is following a very ridged strict diet and regaining your health. Driving by The Sugar Cookie and waving instead of stopping for a dozen cookie. ( Or just buying 2 cookies instead of 4.) Having your children bloom before your eyes when giving the security of a stable home. Changing to a job that is commission and giving it your all. Being honest in all your dealings with people. Starting a new job that keeps you home nights with your family even though it is working for someone else. Going back to school to be able to provide a more stable future for your family. Facing your fears and conquering them.  Accepting change and pressing forward with a new company. Having a  son that wants to get up and tell you goodbye and walk you to the door in the early morning hours just because he wants to see you. Going home at the end of the day and saying to yourself you have given a fair day's work for a fair day's pay. Getting 100% on a second grade spelling test. Learning to read. Memorizing times table.(I struggle with 7-12)  Playing hard. Laughing hard. Loving hard. Feeling good about what you have done. That's the way I spell success.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rich or Poor?

This post is a little different than most of them. It is not really on a healthy journey but more just on some reflective thinking. After having a conversation with one of my children I remembered some of the things that happened when I was growing up. Then later that day I was looking through a drawer for something and found an E-mail my sister had sent to my son. It was then I decided I needed to share this.
    A few years ago my son was going to record a Christmas CD and asked about some of the families favorite songs. My sister asked for Christmas shoes and so he used it.  She wrote to him about why she liked it. I quote her, " I love this song because it reminds me of your grandma." (my mother) "We weren't the richest people in town but she always made sure we got what we needed. I don't know if your mom remember this or not, but one Christmas was pretty slim. Grandpa (my dad) had been in and out of the hospital with blood clots in his legs. He was off work for over a year. Anyway, Kevin, your mom and I all got a new coat for Christmas (olive green corduroy for me and your mom.) I don't remember that we got anything else, but I'm sure we must have had candy but the coat was mostly it. I caught mom crying a few days later and come to find out she was crying because she felt so bad she hadn't been able to get us much for Christmas."
       I do remember that Christmas.  I want to share a little of my memories now. We really did not have a lot. Even in food. One of our neighbors worked for Meadow Gold Dairy and took care of stocking the stores with product. As one of the "perks" of his job he was able to bring home the outdated  milk, sour cream, and cottage cheese to feed as slop to his pigs. He had an old farm truck and he would just toss the stuff into the back of it  He would come home to change his clothes before he did the chores. I remember going over and digging through that truck bed to find any of the milk or cottage cheese that had not split open and take it home to use. We just did not have money for those things. Oh we had milk. It was mixed from powder. Never could we buy cottage cheese. Then the wonderful day happened. One of the freezers in one of the stores had broken and he brought home a whole truck bed full of  ICE CREAM!!!!!!  He let us know he had it because he knew we were using the other stuff.  I remember digging through cartons and cartons of melting ice cream. Carton's smashed, tore, and leaking everywhere.    I found several that I thought sounded good and  were intact but leaky. I took them home and washed them and refroze them.  I do not recall ever having ice cream in the freezer before this. I picked out orange sherbet with vanilla swirled through it and a chocolate chip... The orange to this day is my favorite. It was so good. My mother had a cousin who had a little market store on the other side of town. She would go there to do shopping. I think she must have been given the old damaged and dented cans of food because I don't remember many cans that we had that were not damaged. We were on assistance from our church for a long time and she would go put in hours of volunteer work to "repay" the food bill. My grandpa Johnny would bring us old brown bananas, wrinkled up plums, bruised and spoiling fruit. ("this part is still good. Just cut that bad off.")  I didn't know until a few years later that he was climbing into the store dumpsters and getting their old food. (I found this out the hard way when walking home from 9th grade one day with my friends we heard someone crying for help and it was him unable to get out of the dumpster) Thank goodness I had great friends who did not share that with the whole school. I did not like fruit and vegetables until I had grown and found out how good  fresh produce is.  I am not sharing this to say "poor me."  I did not go without. I did not know I was poor.  I share it because in looking  back I realize I was rich. I had a Mother who worked hard and provided the things we needed. I had a Dad who was very sick but still went to work whenever his health allowed him even while being in terrible pain. I had sisters and a brother who I had many happy days with. We had neighbors and relatives who helped in many ways.  If anything I am grateful for those experiences because they help me to realize how truly "rich" I am.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Stand by Me!

As I was out walking the other day the song, "Stand by Me" came on the radio and my mind was immediately flooded with memories of another time I heard that song.  One of the many tasks I was asked to do to help me continue on my recovery of Narcotic addiction was to attend at least 3 meetings a week at the local chapter of NA(narcotics anonymous.)  I decided when I started on this journey that I would do EVERYTHING I could to become well.  I did go almost every day for the year that they asked me to complete. I went and listened, wept, read, and was overwhelmed by the many stories that had brought others to those doors.  I learned many things there. I learned that every family is touched by addiction. Every age, gender, rich, poor, sweet mothers, hard working fathers, sons, daughters, young, old, grandpas, and granny's. It is everywhere.  Our Chapter was sponsoring a convention to bring in speakers who had fought the battle of addiction and were living the life of recovery. I decided to go and learn what I could. At the end of the day there was a general meeting for all those in attendance. The large ballroom was full of people in different degrees of addiction. They asked all of us to stand  in a large circle and hold hands with those on both sides of us. The granny holding hands with the large bald headed tattooed biker who was holding hands with the shaking 17 year old girl who was clean for 2 days. Every walk of life was in that circle. There was silence then the music began. "Stand by me'" softly played as we continued to hold hands and look into each other's faces. It was a very powerful moment.
      I have seen many of the people in that circle go on to reclaim the lives that they had  lost and do great things. Sadly many of them continue  fighting their addictions. Some are in jail. Quite a few have passed.   I know that much of my strength comes from my great family who stand by me every step of this journey. For that I am truly blessed.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hurry!

I have been able to walk my two grandson's to school a few times in the past few weeks. I walk them to school and then go on a long walk through the beautiful fields.  The older one goes out the door and is on his way. He has plans to get there and get a kick ball to play with before school. He wants to be sure they are not all gone. Sometimes they like to ride their scooters but today I said no. There were to many very tempting puddles to splash through.  They both reassured me they would miss all of them but they didn't know that I have experience in the little boy and wheels department and NO little boy can resist a great big puddle. So off we went. The younger one and I usually walk together. I will walk a little and stop and wait for him to catch up. He loves school and has no reason to drag behind so I constantly tell him to hurry. He would come running and off we would go again, and again, and again. I decided that today I would walk with him and see what was slowing him down so much. We headed out and the first thing that happened is we got about 2 drops of light rain on us. He had a big concern until I told him that if it really started to rain we could put his backpack on top of his head like an umbrella.  Off we go and I turn to look for him because he is already behind and he has already adjusted his backpack/umbrella on his head.  He had kept the arms in the straps and pulled the backpack up on his head. "Look it works great Granny." We made it past about 3 houses and he had to walk on the low retaining wall running along the sidewalk. Then a little more and we hear a big "thwack" as we startle a few bird and one flys into a window. We have to look for it to see if it is okay. Moving forward again.  Then I hear, "look at those cool snails." I have to admit they were pretty cool. They were tiny and had a long tapered shell. I had never seen that kind before. Next the question was, "can I smash them." No I told him other people might want to see how cool they are. Then a climb on a big rock and jumping down. Moving again. Next he stops and gazes into an open garage. He keeps saying something about a shiny Mongoose.  He really wants one of those. I realized that he was talking about a BMX bicycle that he has admired many times as we have walked by.  Slowly moving as he continues to try to spot the bike in the garage.  Then we hear honk, honk, honk. A flock of Canadian geese fly right over us in perfect formation.  They were low and slow. We had to stand and watch them until they were out of sight. As we continue walking we have to stop and look at all the different dogs that are looking out of their side gates at us. I counted about  7. He is very good to always stay on the sidewalk and not go into yards so just stands in the middle of the sidewalk and looks. Then we came to a house that must have a bunch of boys that like to do tricks on their bikes. There was an assortment of boards, bricks, and other boy type building materials in the yard and on the sidewalk. There was a piece of board propped  against the curb to make a small ramp. Of course he had to go up and down that several times. Then he found a piece of pipe that was flat on one side that  he could make a ramp to walk  down and now a ramp to walk up. Cool...  We are almost there. Off he runs because by now big brother has got a kick ball and would be out playing with their friends on the field. He didn't want to miss that. I continue walking  and thought of all the "cool" things we got to see. I don't know if he would have made it to school on time without a little prodding along but he sure had an adventure on the way.  Maybe we all need to quit saying "hurry" and slow down just a little and look for an injured bird, cool snails, Canadian geese, Mongoose BMX bikes, neighbors dogs, walls to climb, rocks to jump off, and ramps to build. And of course we need to all be sure to wear our backpack/umbrella!!!!!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Wrong blog post...

Apparently I posted MY update on my mom's blog. For those of you getting emails from her blog...sorry about that! Disregard the last post!

Emily

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

You can look like that!

I never know what I am going to hear on any given day that motivates me to keep going. I try to find ways to lift others up too. I know that many times just a small comment can make a huge difference in a person's day. I think it often lifts me up more that the person I am talking to.  Today as I was talking to my H20 aerobic instructor she mentioned the changes she had seen in me over the past three years.  She commented that she thought I was now smaller than her.......and I was immediately reminded of something that happened three years ago. When I first started in H20 aerobics I was so impressed with this instructor. She really worked us, had a lot of energy, and was very enthusiastic. She did not seem to mind that the pool was full of "Oldies." She just got going and kept going.  I was going every day and would often mention to my family that they should give it a try, that it was a great total body work out. Now my one son is very into the weight lifting and training at the gym. He would kinda smirk at me and say okay. I finally convinced him to try the class. So here he was this young, handsome, bearded, buff dude in the pool with all of us "oldies." He told me after that the workout was great. (what else could he say to his mother?) There was something that he said to me that has impacted me and given me so much drive. I commented to him about how strong and muscular the instructor was. I would love to look like her. He looked at me and said, "you CAN look like that." I just scoffed at him and said, "right!" He said. "No you really can. You have the potential to do that. You have a similar body type to hers.(under this layer of fat I thought) You will  not get as muscular as her but you can change your body if you want."  I have thought about that comment often, it has motivated me many times to keep going. I can look like that!!!!! I have to do the work but I can.  Now- I am not muscular but I have muscles.  I can not lift weights as heavy or as long as her but I can lift weights. I can not walk the many miles she walks as she does her dog walking job but I can walk.  Just that one little comment has motivated me into trying many different types of exercise and to work harder. Thank you son for teaching me. Yes, I can look like that.  One comment that gave me hope. I want you to have that hope and know you too can, "look like that."

Friday, August 30, 2013

Expect Miracles

You who have followed my blog know that I spent about 7 weeks four years ago in a facility to get off all the medications I was on. The main goal was to get off the Narcotic medications that were slowly taking my life.  It was in a beautiful home and there were beds for 8.  Everything was done as a group except private counseling sessions. We got to know each other quite well. As each of the clients would complete their rehab there would be a ceremony. As it was each clients turn to leave they would meet with a counselor and choose a large coin out of a basket that would contain an inspirational message that the client felt was written for them.  At the ceremony the coin would be passed about the circle of therapists and clients and each would share one gift that they thought the graduating client had. It was recorded and then given to the client when they left the home.  When it was my turn to pick a coin there was only one available that day. I read it and felt like it was for me. I sat in the circle and listened to the gifts the other's said I had.  Unfortunately my tape was not ready when I left and was to be mailed to me later. I never received it.
    I brought that coin home and it was made into a medallion that I could wear around my neck. I do not wear it often but it is always in my mind and heart. I also have a plaque that hangs in my home that says Expect Miracles. The message on the coin is one I want to share with you with the hope that you will also take it into your mind and heart.
      EXPECT MIRACLES......I not only believe in Miracles- I depend on them.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Update about Sue from Blog post...Do it for you.

The last few times I have been back at my H20 class my friend Sue has been there. I wrote about her in a blog post earlier (Do it for you.) about how she was being pushed to go to the gym and was very unhappy. I told her the other day that I loved all the colors and flowers on her swimming suit and would love to have one like it. She looked at me and said...I just want to look like you....ME????? Sometime I forget that I have lost weight and so was taken back a little. She then walked into the locker room. The next day I talked to her and told her how proud I was of her for coming to the gym and working hard. She said she was coming every day now and walking in the mornings before coming. She was so proud and she should be.  As I walked out I felt like I needed to go back and talk to her again. I asked her if she remembered when she met me. She said about a year ago. I realized she had not known me in my full glory. With all my weight. I dug out a couple of my before pictures and said look at this. This was before we met. This is what I looked like when I started here three years ago. She was really quiet for a moment then said, "you were so big." Yes I was I told her. I know how hard it is to be here in a swimming suit and how painful it is to walk but that it does pay off. I told her that a lot of us there in that class were proud of her and could see that she was working hard. I hope she continues with her journey and finds more of that happiness that I could see sparkling in her eyes. She deserves it.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Darling Dorothy

I have to confess....I have not been to the gym for a while. I had other priorities but have now been able to adjust my schedule to get back into the pool. I have been twice in the past week and let me tell you I am stiff and sore. It was so fun to see my group of "swimming buddies." The first one to paddle over to say she had missed me was Dorothy. I met Dorothy when I first started at that gym almost three years ago. She will be 80 soon and is spry and healthy. As we got to know each other she told me one day that when she turned 75 she was so weak and sick that she had to have help getting out of a chair. Her Doctor told her to get in the pool and get moving. She shared how hard it was to even go shopping for a swimming suit. But she was fed up with  not feeling good and missing out on life. She started going to the pool almost every day. She lost a bit of weight but gained back her strength and confidence. She loves to flex her muscles in her arm and have us feel it. I watch her climb up the ladder on the side of the pool and she is a tiny bit shaky but does fine.  She really is amazing. She could have said okay Doctor and not done it or just said to herself....I guess this is my life...but she decided to fight.  I have had people tell me that they look at me being able to do what I have done at...gasp...my age. I look at Dorothy and think of what she has been able to do at her age. I guess I just want to say. Don't give up. Keep on going.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Not for me!!

I was at a meeting where we were talking about how to get our activity up to help with weight loss. I was reminded by the teacher that we need to remember where we came from. That to get in front of a group of people and tell them what you are doing as far as working out, distance walking, etc. can be a real discouragement to them. My mind flashed back to a meeting I was in a few weeks ago and the group was really into the discussion and sharing ideas. The leader was a very fit 50 year old that had lost about 30 pounds on her journey.  She mentioned that she was doing triathlons and looking forward to her first Senior Game competition. She then mentioned that we should try a mini Tri... It was only so many laps to swim, miles to bike, and miles to run. I myself immediately shut down and stopped listening and the room became silent. She had no idea what affect it had on me and I think the others.  Most of this group had many pounds to go and it was just like she was speaking a different language. She lost all of us because she had not been so over weight that she couldn't walk around the block without much effort. I came back to the present discussion and thought about this blog. I hope that I am not speaking a different language when I write. I remember the pain, the sadness, the effort it took to move.  I know about clothes shopping, clothes rubbing and rashes. I remember my thoughts about myself when someone looked at me.(even when they probably were not judging.) I will never forget.  Don't give up. Each day you feel a little better. Especially mentally because you are loving you.  Don't find excuses that are not true. I hear a lot. I can't walk it is to hot, cold, windy, raining, or just looked like rain.   Just do something for 5 min.. That is how I started. I would even put a timer on and increase the time as I got stronger. I was my own mean trainer. Find your own mean trainer that won't take your excuses. Take that trainer with you and keep you going. You will see results and feel so much better and might even begin to like that trainer.........

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

FLY

A few years ago I meet a woman who has played a large part in my family. My three son's meet FlyLady when they were getting ready to perform at Good Things Utah. They came home and told me about meeting this person called FlyLady and her friends and she was really nice. I informed them that I had heard about her from a neighbor and I was going to find out more. I talked to my neighbor and heard all about the daily e-mail's sent out each day, about rubba scrubbas, feather dusters, 15 min. house work, and Finally Loving Yourself.  I was a little overwhelmed and a little confused but decided to wait and see just where this chance meeting would lead. As many of you know because you found my blog through my son Eric or FlyLady that a friendship was formed and Eric was able to participate with FlyLady when she spoke. He also was able to sing the song, "Why Not Today." for a CD she created. They have become close friends. As the years have gone by I have been able to spend time with her and know that she really does have love and concern for the people she comes in contact with. One of my favorite memories is of a time I had her staying at my house and she sat at my kitchen table and did her radio show. As she talked she smiled, got teary, and gave words of encouragement.  She has done many wonderful things for me and mine and continues to be dear to me. I realized that she was not superwoman that she has problems just like you and me but she sure is special. As I walked this morning I thought about that (maybe because I had just taken a drink out of her water bottle?) and about people who had helped me with my journey.  I thought of something that my friend Linda sent to me that goes like this. Friendship isn't about who you've known the longest. It's about who walked into your life, said "I'm here for you" and proved it.  I know there are many that I forgot to tell "Thank You" for not giving up on me.  I write this blog  to give thanks to them and to hopefully pay it forward and help others who need to know that someone has been though what they are going through and cares. I have made many friends as I have worked on myself and feeling healthy. I hope to continue making many more as we work together to continue this journey. Thank you for your kind words and comments they make me stronger. (even the rude ones. haha) So let's get FLYING.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Going to????

Today I was reminded of how I want to try to have a positive attitude.  As I was walking I heard the joyful barking of a dog who I have been hearing for years. This dog is a huge tan hairy dog that has the best attitude. Every morning and evening he and his owner drive by my home. He rides in the back of a big pickup and looks from one side to the other with keen interest. (I know some of you will be bothered by him riding in back but I have no control over that so no angry messages please.) He has a bark that you can tell is joyful and he will look around until he spots someone then he barks in regular intervals like he is saying, "Hey look at me I am going." It is usually about 8:15 in the morning that he goes by and the neighbor children are walking to the school by my house. He doesn't make a sound until he spots those kids and then he starts.  I told my grands that he is shouting out to the kids telling them he is, "going to work, going to do something, going for a ride."  That bark is so joyful and his tail is just wagging. He keeps it up until he is past the kids and then he stops. Then the barking is repeated at about 5:00 pm when he heads home. We live across from a college so there is always someone out that he can bark to. I hear him barking and again think about what he might be saying. "Going home, going to eat, going to rest." It has become a routine that I listen for often and chuckle to myself about that happy dog. I got thinking that there are a lot of joyful things that we go to do. There was a time that I was really down about not being able to work. I now work at my small job and enjoy it very much. I enjoy doing so much that use to seem impossible for me to do. I hope that as I do the things I can now that I convey the joy that dog gives to the world. Hey world look at me I am going to???????

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Basement Surprise.




Look what I found when I went downstairs and wondered why the bathroom door was closed with no one in there. This was a little gift from the grands. A spider web. Surprise to the grands. After having boys and a bunch of little grand boys I know to check out the seat before each use. They did not fool me on this trick. Maybe next time!!!!!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Pacing the Hospital Hallways.

It is so Hot. In my town it has been toasty every day averaging about 114 degrees.  That makes it a little difficult to get in my walk I like to try and do every day. Yes, I can and do get up and go about 7 am but what to do when I don't get going soon enough or work? I could swim but have found that breathing  the chemicals are causing a little of my problems with my asthma.  Last week I decided to try our little local mall and that seemed to work but with it being flat ground it did not give me the challenge I like to do of walking up hill and down then up again to give me some interval training. ALSO, I found so many things I needed to buy and I spent money as I was walking. THAT had to STOP!!!!! So I have been trying to think of something to do. I could go and do some Zumba classes or step but am still fighting this sinus, lung thing and don't want to do anything to wild until I am all better. So..... I need to walk.  Yesterday I came up with something that I thought was a wonderful solution. I live very close to our regional hospital and it has some long hallways that lead to the separated wings of patients rooms.  I could walk the hallways, enjoy the beautiful artwork, and be ahhhhhh in the air conditioning. The hospital has 4 floors and at the end of the hallways there are fights of stairs before the wings with the patients rooms so I would not be disturbing anyone. I could walk to one end go up the stairs and go to the other end and then use the stairs again. Why not? I was pretty pleased with myself and told my husband we were going for a walk and to put his walking shoes one. I then told him about my plan  and he just looked at me like I was crazy.  He thinks most of my schemes are crazy but he usually comes along.(sometimes he even accidentally has fun) So off we went. It worked great!!!! One of the stair wells  was painted beautiful colors and had many motivational quotes about exercise and self improvement.  We walked for about 40 minuets and then went out to walk around the building. We were rewarded with the sight of a roadrunner right in front of us. We use to see them a lot in our area but have not seen one for years. That was exciting to see. My walk was done and I was able to stay cool and also doing the stairs gave me the challenge I wanted.  I am sure I will be pacing the hospital hallways again.

Monday, June 24, 2013

This is so boring.....

Last night I decided to invite my family to a Super Moon viewing party. I wanted to have us all go out to the desert to the Little Black Mt. petroglyph site and watch the moon rise over the red mesa. I was so pleased when they agreed to give it a try. We met out there and took a little walk as we waited for the sky to darken looking at the petroglyphs  and listening to the wind singing through the massive boulders above us.  I had miscalculated the time and so we had a while to wait. That is when it began. T my grand who thinks that every thing in the world has to have an electrical plug began his usual commentary. This is so borrrrrring.  He was not having it and didn't want us to have it either. I told him to come for a walk with me and of course..Why? Where we going? I just told him he had to come if he wanted to find out and turned and walked off. Didn't take him long to wonder if he just might miss something. Off  we went. Walking down the dusty road just talking. Then I asked him if he knew how to skip? No he did not. We began to work on it and he tried a couple of times and just gave up.  " I can't do it." Yes you can try more. " No, I can't do it." On we went. He picked up some rocks and threw them looked at some bushes and trails and then decided to go back. He still was not getting the rhythm of skipping. " See Granny, I told you I can't do it." Back to the truck we went to wait. Not long after came the wail again...This is so boring. So. Off I went again with 4 kids following along.(They thought they missed something last walk.)  Not to far along I said let's skip and off we went all skipping and T doing a fabulous job.( See T you can do it.. ) By this time It was getting dark and we could see hints of the moon coming up. We got everyone in the back of a pickup and standing around it so we could here the music that my son in law had brought for the occasion. Of course all songs about the moon rising.  I walked away for a short distance and looked back and could not see individual faces but could see many silhouettes poking out and highlighted by the dusky sky behind them. Beautiful.  I could hear them talking and laughing. I did not hear little T make his wail again as we watched the moon, the space station that flew directly over us and was very spectacular to see, and just feel the isolation of the desert.  Yes, sometimes we find things that we think are boring but if we can take a moment to look at it through someone else's eyes it may be the moment we learn to skip, or laugh, or marvel at the skies, or just marvel at  family.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Take a deep breath.

 I am so upset with myself..... I went to urgent care today with a killer sore throat, sinus, gunky cough. I have not felt good and been dragging along for some time BUT decided I had enough and was going to see what to do to get over this. I have a horrible sinus infection, bacterial sore throat, and the cough???? The Dr. kept listening and asking me questions. Yes, I was diagnosed with asthma a few years ago and It had improved so much with my weight loss and getting off the narcotic meds. Yes, I have been coughing more I told him. Yes, it has been productive.(yuck) Yes, I have been tired and noticed wheezing. Especially when exercising and exerting my self. He then began looking on charts and pulled out a little meter to measure how hard I can blow out. He had me do it and looked  at the meter and said try again. After three tries he said you are not moving air very well. You are only about half the movement that a "woman YOUR age" should be doing. He gave me a big shot, put me on antibiotics and prednisone for a few days, and told me to use my rescue inhaler more than I usually do and to see my personal Dr. in a couple of weeks when things settle down to discuss options to get that air moving better. I came out of there so upset. I don't want this.....I don't deserve this.....On and on I went. Came home and called my husband bawling and complaining that I was so frustrated. He told me that it was not the end of the world that it can be fixed. He was with two of my son's and I soon got a call from one of them saying.....settle down....You know you have had this issue for a while and look at all you have done. You walk, hike, exercise, work, and keep going even when you don't feel good. He said think what you can do if you can get more air?????   I looked at the glass half empty instead of a glass half full. That is why I am so upset with myself. Where is my fighting attitude? I have fought through some of the hardest things life can give to me.  Why did I let this get me so down?  I need to focus on feeling better, educating myself about the options and (my favorite all time quote from finding Nemo) KEEP ON SWIMMING.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Lost and Found

Many of you who know me personally(I feel like you all do) know that I have been with my family on vacation for a couple of weeks. I had something happen that was not pleasant but was also a blessing in so many ways. One day we went to a small cove to play in the ocean. We had 4 cars and parked them all in a line on a very busy highway across from a large fruit stand with many vendors and buyers coming and going. I gathered up all my belongings but tucked my small personal backpack under the back seat. I have never left my purse or pack in the car my whole life and I had my arms full and it was just one more thing that I really did not want sandy and dirty. Upon returning to the car(you guessed it) the window was smashed the door handle ripped off and my bag gone. Packing for the trip I had lightened my load and left most of my stuff at home. I did have my drivers licence and one credit card. As I proceeded to cry and crumple my husband jumped on his phone calling the card company. One son was on the phone with the police. One son on the phone with the DMV. One son comforting me and his two small boys who were terrified about what had happened. They had everything locked up within moments of the discovery. When the dust had settled I also realized that my son in law had taken his family back to the house we rented and had left, searching garbage cans and dumpsters for ten miles looking for my bag.  The one thing that made me so sad is I was carrying quite a lot of cash that I had earned selling my little concrete turtles. I had planned on using it for the little extra special things I wanted to do with the whole family. That upset me the most.  I then began looking at the blessings I have. All of us had been leaving our wallets, phones, etc in our cars or having me carry then in my bag. I did not have anyones things that day.  I was the only one who had a duplicate card(my husbands) with the info we needed to cancel it at hand. If anyone else had been robbed then it would have been a disaster to cancel and put stops on all of their items.  The thief had been able to charge gas on it shortly after taking it but I hope they got a big surprise the next time they tried to use it.  We now know better than to leave those things in the car. I have many family members who love me and take care of me even when I am so upset I can't think to do it myself. None of us were injured. It is just stuff. I had a passport at home and had some great people back home who got it from my home, got it shipped, and I was able to get back on the plane with no problems.  The rental car company just gave us a replacement car without a big of concern.  There are fraud alerts on all my information and I have been able to get replacements for everything I need.  We were able to spend some time talking with the little grands and letting them understand how it feels when someone takes something that is not theirs and that granny was not hurt and able to fix everything. They seemed to settle down.  We were able to go on and have a great vacation. We were able to do all the fun things we had planned and it was just a bump in our trip and not a sink hole.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nap time.

My son went to a seminar this past weekend and shared with me some interesting things. (Of course I have told him these things for a long time but I am "just mom ranting.")  The online media world is taking over. We are not having the personal associations with people that we need. The phone has become our controller over all we do. As he was telling me this I got a text and immediately tuned him out to see if it was some "emergency" I needed to respond to. I though I was usually pretty careful with doing that but this time I wasn't. I was rude and put that little phone over listening to what my son was saying.  I have always felt that my family is way to involved in this media world. I have encourage some of them to follow the rule that my house is a cell phone free area. That games and texts need to wait.  My children are missing many special moments in their lives by reading a text. A smile from a baby. A cheer of joy with a child's job well done. A connection of the ball and bat at a ball game.  A frown of misunderstanding from a comment. The look of frustration when the phone chimes AGAIN.  I am not saying this to scold anyone. I am guilty too. My children already know how I feel about it. I just wonder what kind of message we are giving to these little ones. Will they know how to communicate in person? Will they know the meaning of facial expressions?  Will they know that it is okay to not jump and answer every little sound from a phone? That they can have the choice to answer or not?  It seems to becoming worse all the time. I have been in stores, a paying customer, and had the cashier carry on a conversation while taking my hard earned money.  Or I have to stand and wait for the call to end. Then a brisk "sorry" is suppose to excuse their rudeness.  Please don't misunderstand me. The technology is great. To have  a phone to call for help in an emergency is life saving.  What wonderful things we can do but it also is frustrating and controlling. I don't always carry my phone with me. I feel like my "free" time is my time and that if I get a message or call I can return it when I can.  I guess I am being ornery today.  For me personally I would rather not even have a cell phone. I also get frustrated with the hours that are eaten by E-mails, Face book, and just web browsing. I set a time and allow myself  to do those things but then I get up and leave it for the day. I use to check in the mornings, afternoon, and bedtime.. WHY?  Not many things need my "like" or comment immediately. I can see what has happened the next day. So that being said, I am going to put my blog down for a little nap for a few days or maybe even a couple of weeks. I want you to spend the time you would use reading my blog  to talk to a child,  pick up your phone and CALL a friend, go for a walk, sing a song,  take a nap,  eat a snack,  do something fun that you have not had the time to do...... I will be back.

Monday, May 6, 2013

My Mothers Pearls

My mother's pearls were her boys and girls. No greater treasure had she. Hands worn with care, I can still see her there. Kind and content as can be. When we would say she'd be rich someday. She'd smile at us tenderly. Her boys and her girls were my mother's pearls and no greater treasure had she. This is an old song that my mother loved us to sing. My sisters and brother and I would sing this in church and at reunions. We use to laugh at my mother about that song but now I am a mother I have found this song to be true. Our children are our greatest treasures.  I have 4 beautiful bright pearls. They each have a little different color to them but they all have that same brilliant luster that makes my necklace so precious. They each bring such joy to my life. I have been lucky to be able to add other pearls to my necklace.  My children's spouses and my little grandchildren have made my necklace grow into an incredible string of beauty.  As Mother's day is coming up I have had my mom on my mind a lot. She has been gone for a while and I miss her. Those of you who still have your mom's please take the time to love on them a little and let them know how special they are to you.   I  also had an experience about my mom that has been on my mind for a while. I feel like I need to share it with you to help you understand what a wonderful woman she was. When I was about 11-12 I had a friend that I spent a lot of time with. We would play at her house and all over the neighborhood but she would never come play at my house. I would always ask her why?  She told me one day that her mom would not let her come play at my house because my mother was fat, dirty, and lazy...I was just so shocked....My mother?  In my eyes my mother was beautiful. I did not think she was fat, she was not dirty(she was very strict about personal cleanliness) and lazy? NEVER. My mother got married at 16. Did not graduate high school but she always worked. (She later did get her GED when I graduated high school.) She had to do a lot of hard labor jobs but she did them. She worked in a cannery, a sewing plant, she cleaned houses for other people, weeded the cemetery, she worked in the school lunch program for years.  I do not remember a time when my mother didn't work until she retired. But back to my story.  I looked at my friend and began to bawl and left crying all the way home. When I got there my mom was right on me about what was wrong? Why was I crying?  I of course told my mother the conversation which I am sure broke her heart. She was a very proud woman and always worried about others opinions. I never spoke to that friend again and I now feel bad because she was only passing on what her mother had said. As I look back at this experience I realize that not to long after it my mother and my aunt joined TOPS (take off pound sensibly) They began to walk and would faithfully weigh each week. Oh, they were both so proud of the charms and awards they would get for weight loss. Mom would hang them on the wall and be so proud of them. My mother lost 60 pounds and became healthier. I don't remember how much my aunt lost but it was quite a bit too. Was this something good that came out of a hurtful comment? I want to think so. My mother found a way to take those hurtful words and turn them into something good. I know she must have suffered terribly from the hurt. My mom was able to keep her weight off the rest of her life. She was always very proud of that accomplishment. I was sure proud of her. She was a great example to me in many ways. Love you mom.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hard but Worth It

While working yesterday I had a great  moment.  One of the ladies who comes to the meeting told me that she follows my blog. I was really touched for a moment and had to fight back tears. She told me that I  inspired her to work on getting healthy.  That is why I write this blog to help you and help me. I have told you before that I am selfish and need this to keep me going. I have to admit I have been in a slump the past few weeks and have really been fighting with myself to eat better and get my exercise in. I just don't want to do it!!!!!  I know how you all struggle to do what needs to be done to get strong.  It is HARD. It is HARD to put you first. BUT you need to do that.  I know how it is to commit to doing good for just one day and then by 3-4 in the afternoon blow it. I have done that. I will still do that but I have to tell myself that is not the end of the world and to get back on the plan to health.  ANY small step toward better health is wonderful.  ANY amount of wt. loss is wonderful. Even not losing wt. but just eating better and moving better is wonderful. I need to quit beating myself up and you need to quit too. We need to be cheering ourselves on at every good little thing we do. As I weight the members that come in they are so hopeful and focused on that weight number. I do that too. I have had to remind them and myself that it is just a number. They know what they have done and not done that week. The body is changing and adjusting and should not be ruled by that scale. We all do it. We probably always will. Be proud of what you ARE doing. Be proud that you are trying.  Many times through the years I have sat in my recliner and said, "why even try, it hurts, I get so tired, it is to much to lose,  and on and on." I want to tell you TRY. I didn't know what I could do and how do you know unless you try.  Yes it hurts. Yes you will get tired. Yes it might be a lot to lose. It is not easy. It is very hard.  You can do it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I have mentioned my tortoises before. I have one that has a problem. He has a case of "the grass is greener on the other side." Our yard is fully enclosed with block. We have one chain link gate that we get into the yard with. The one tortoise has figured out that is the only way out of there. One day I found him wedged sideways in a small crack that is where the gate latches. He couldn't go forward or back was on his side and had all four legs, head, and tail wiggling trying to move.  I put him back in and off he went to find a new adventure. He has never tried that again but I check on them often and he is always sitting right there waiting for someone to open that gate.  He goes to eat and roam but always ends back looking through that small gap in the fence.   I mentioned this to someone and they said isn't that how life is.. we are never happy with what we have..he is fed and watered, has a huge yard free of predators to roam in. But he wants more. I hadn't thought of it like that.  It made me think of how many time's I have wished this or that and thought I would be happy if only this happened. Maybe I should just look around and realize what I do have. Maybe we all should.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Who are you?

We all go through life with labels or titles to identify who we are. We all started out as a son or daughter, then as we grew we became know by other things. Maybe good, maybe bad, or sad. I have struggled the past few years with some of the labels I have put on myself.  Weak, sick, sad, old,  discouraged, worthless, fat,. It took me a long time to find some labels that would be uplifting to me. I had to realize that I had many things I could contribute to my family and friends. Many of those moments came when others would give me a word of encouragement or mention to someone in my family something I had done in the past that lifted them up. I was so content in wallowing in my own pity that I had a hard time seeing the good. When I decided that I had to fight for my life or give up I had to really work at getting myself ready to accept the good I could accomplish for myself first then my family and friends. I had to grow up enough to realize that some of those labels were causing me more problems mentally than I needed. I know that everyone struggles with the labels that we put on ourselves. Now enough of that.  Today I received a new label.  I was walking into the post office and a lady about my age stopped and stared at me. I said "Hi" and walked on past her. She spoke up, "are you the lady from the gym?"  I went back to her as she said, "Gold's gym?"  I did not recognize her but told her that I did go to Gold's gym. She then began telling me how she and a group of others had been watching me as I participated in different classes and they wished they were as strong and healthy as I was.  I just stood there stunned.....ME..... I struggle through those classes and often pay for it for a few days. I even decided to skip the gym for a few days because I am fighting with my discouragement devil. She said that she was working on balance and had hurt herself and was ready to quit. I encouraged her to get in the water with me and see how that went.  NOW THIS is a label that I like and will keep... The lady at the gym... I am encouraged by her words as I hope she has been encouraged by mine. Isn't it great when a moment in time is just what you need to help lift you up and get you going on that path to wellness.. or happiness.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Garden Thiefs

 I have two Greek tortoises. They are so similar to our native desert tortoise that they only have one toe that  is different.  They are about the size of a softball and roam my back yard. Last year in November they both decided to hibernate in the yard. I knew where one was but not the other. It got really cold here and I thought they would both freeze to death. We decided to not bother them and see what happened. A couple of weeks ago we began carefully working in our garden and planted all the cool weather produce. We put a few baby cabbage plants out, planted peas, radishes, cauliflower. The next day while out checking the yard I noticed that both of the tortoises had come out of hibernation and found my little cabbage plants by climbing up into a 6 inch tall grow box and had really taken more than their share. Upon close examination of the plants I began to see something that really surprised me. Each plant had one leaf left. I am thinking that somehow those little thief's knew that if
they ate every bit of the plant it would die. They must somehow know that for them to have a reproduction of  food they have to leave a little. I was amazed.  I am now watching them as they straddle the row of peas and radishes that are coming out gobbling them as fast as they can walk. One friend mentioned maybe I might want to put a fence around the garden. I am not to worried about them eating all they want because I don't have to worry about feeding them myself. I am also getting free fertilizer. I just hope they like to eat the weeds too.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Wheat treats

Here is the info on the treats I make for my family. They do help with the                                             cravings and the fiber in them is helpful too.
Can't read all of the info. So here it is:                                                                                                     5 cups puffed wheat cereal
2 cups Fiber one bran cereal (original)
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3 Tablespoons light whipped butter or light buttery spread.

Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add marsh and stir until melted.
Pour into cereal and pat into bowl with wet hands (I learned to do this with butter on my hands and then lick good stuff off my fingers.....can't do that anymore. Water works well.)

I use 1/2 puffed wheat and 1/2 golden puffs . Make sweeter and no more in points or calories. I also double the ingreds and put in large cookie sheet. Cut into 25 and will be 2 pts.

Per serving of original recipe.  46 Cals, 1g fat, 32mg sodium, 11g carbs, 2.5 fiber, 4g sugar, 1g protein.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Joyful movement

I live by a wonderful track that is open for community use. One day I was sitting on my porch soaking up the sun when three large vans pulled into the track parking lot. Slowly, carefully, with  assistance a group of special needs adults climbed out of the vans. One van had a wheelchair lift and a young man was helping several people out that were in wheelchairs. I could see that many of them required a lot of assistance and was so pleased to see how the young people who were with them helped with many words of love and encouragement. One man climbed slowly out of a van and was very close to loosing his balance on the slanted parking lot when one of the assistants grabbed hold of his arm steadied him and with a hug sent him on his way. There were about 20 total that had come to the track to have a walk. Some had to be lead by the hand, use walkers, wheelchairs, and canes. The group went in slowly and then something amazing happened. I could hear laughing and cheers of glee as one by one they each took a turn walking across the finish line at the track.  They had not even began their walk but were already celebrating the joy that they were there and could move One girl was skipping and jumping and the others began clapping for her. I could feel the love and joy coming from them even at my observer distance.   I sat there and let the tears run down my face for the kindness of the assistants but especially for that group of joyful celebrating people who had once again taught me that even the simplest things that I can do should be cause for great celebration.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Spring at Little Black Mountian

 The spring equinox is today and brought with it memories of a site that I enjoy visiting. Little Black Mountain petroglyph site is just 13 miles south of my home. There are over 500 designs on huge boulders of black rock that have fallen from the 500 foot mesa that the site sits below.  You can google the site and it will tell you some information about it if you are interested. I first heard about it from my son. He had been out there many years ago with a friend's family and  had never told me. Three years ago he knew I was interested in petroglyphs and so told me about going there with his friend. So off we went. I have been there several times and have taken friends of my own to see this magical place.  He had heard that there was a place there that would indicate when it was time to plant crops in the spring. It was suppose to be on the day of the spring equinox. Of course having to see it for myself off we went in the wee hours of the morning on March 21 a few years ago. There is a huge rock about the size and shape of a bus that is flat on the top except for a little tiny area that is pointed up into the air. Like a triangle sitting on a box.  About 500  feet east of that rock up on a ridge is another  rock about the size of a truck that has a little tiny arch in the bottom area that you can see through.  Well, when the sun rises over the Hurricane mesa it shines through that little hole that is about 2 feet of an opening and it hits right on the little triangle that is on the huge rock. There is a petroglyth that has been tapped into that exact spot on that triangle and it lights up just like you were shinning a flash light on it. I don't know how or what could have moved those rock into that exact alignment. There are hundreds of huge black boulders scattered through the area. I now know that it lights up that little spot on March 21.  There are level walking paths that you can view the petroglyphs. The sign on site explains that it is believed to be a sacred place for the ancient people who lived in the area. I wonder as I wander if there was just one look out for the flash of light or if there were many who came. Was it a spiritual leader who returned with the message that it was now time to plant?  Many of the petroglyphs do depict what we believe to be farms, rivers, and crops.
    Now that it is the first day of spring officially by OUR calenders and by the ancient stone signal out at little black mountain I want to encourage each of you to evaluate yourself. How have you been doing? What more can you do? "What If's" have you faced and changed? Time to start planing  the little seeds in our minds and hearts that we can do the things we dream of doing........

Monday, March 11, 2013

Progress?

 I have been writing this blog for almost 2 months and the big question now is??? Have YOU made any progress?  If you are like me you get all fired up and know you are going to do something but then slowly your fire drops down to a little glowing ember. What are you going to do to blow a little life back into that fire and get it roaring hot again.  I suggest that you take a few moments to sit with yourself and reflect at what has worked or is working and what is not.  I had to try many different ways to exercise. I now eat many different fruits and veggies that I didn't even know existed a few months ago. Have you heard of jhicima?  One of my favorite treats now. If you want this you have to work at it. I am sorry I wish it was easy but it is not. I can tell you that you can feel better and your feelings about yourself can improve. You are worth it.  So many times we put others in front of our own needs. Love yourself then you will feel good enough to really love others. Please share on this blog if you have had success and what you did. Who knows? Maybe what you are doing is just what someone else reading this needs to hear. Let's get those fires roaring.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New swimming suit!!!

I really like this swim suit

Never thought I would wear a size 8
I guess I need to share my new swimming suit pictures.  Part of the journey is accepting and loving myself. Looking at these pictures I am very critical and see the lumps and bumps from the excess skin that I now have. I know that I have to continue to tone and work.  At my age I don't think there is much that my body will do to absorb and adjust my skin. Surgery for removal is not an option for me. That is one of the reasons I tell you young ones to do it now.   But here they are for the world to see.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Ready or Not here I come.


Okay, I have had a few people ask me if I would post my first official weight journey photos.  I have mentioned them before. I am in my swimming suit. I have shown them to a few friends and they say that looking at them have given them hope that they can change their bodies too.  As I have mentioned before, this blog is for me to help you and you help me.  I know how hard it is to get up the courage to do the things that need to be done to feel better. One of the hardest would be to get on that dreaded swimming suit. It was really hard for me to walk into that pool the first, second, and 500th time. I survived and you can too!!!!  Another is that you might have to do this journey alone. If you depend on walking, swimming, or exercising with friends then it becomes a disaster when conflicts of schedule come up. It would give me the excuse to not go if my friend can't on a certain day or time. I have to do it with me. I go alone to the gym but always meet up with my new friends I have met there. I walk alone most of the time. On occasion I do walk with my husband. I have just learned that for me I do better when I can meet my own schedule. This is my journey. This is my responsibility.  I did it and you can too.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sticks and Stones

As I write this blog I think of all of you reading about my crazy life. You are helping me so much just knowing you are there and you care about me. I wish I could give you the answer to how to find your own healthy you. I had to find that for myself. I had to get the fire in my heart that I wanted to do this so bad that I had to do it.  I have shared a lot of what I had to go through to get to that point. I guess with death knocking at my door I had to make that choice. I know how you feel because I have felt those feelings too. It is hard to go out that door and walk when you feel so heavy and sad. I know how really hard it is to put  on that swimming suit and worry about what someone will say.  I think I shock my kids sometimes when they say something about what will someone think about this or that. I tell them THAT is not their problem it is the other persons  problem. Let them think what  they want, let them say what they want. My mom use to tell me a little saying when I was little and had hurt feelings. "Sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me." The only way words can hurt me is if I let them. You all know what I mean.  Just know that there are many people out there wanting the same things you want and are cheering you all on in your journey for healthy living. Thanks for cheering me on.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Journey

I started training for a new job yesterday. I can't believe I would ever work again. I have been going to weight watchers for the past six months and one day as I was weighing the leader said. "Come work for us." I said okay not really thinking they were serious. They were!!!!!!! I will train this week and if all goes well I will be a receptionist for a couple of meetings a week.  Not much but enough that it will let me be with others who are working on a healthy journey and keep myself going. I remember when I had to give up my nursing licenses and all the training and work I had put into that career seemed lost. I don't know why that was a lot of my self worth, but it was. I have struggled with that for a long time. I have been asked why I don't try to return to nursing but I have very little sensation in my hands and arms. I could not do what a nurse needs to do. I don't know if my fibromyagia would cooperate either. I have new doors to open and new hope for opportunities. I know that all the things I have had to fight through have had a reason. Sometimes I just wonder why it had to be so hard? So.....here I go on a new journey and excited for it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dogtown 5K

We did it. My daughter, son, and I completed the dogtown 5K this weekend. I finished 5th in my age division (out of 5 that had registered.)  I guess you could say I came in last again.  It was a lot of fun doing it with my son and daughter this year.  She is doing really great in her healthy journey. Has had a few bumps in the road but picks herself up and keeps on going. Just wanted to let you know how it went.  I am so grateful for the strength that I have been given to do the activities that I wanted to do for so many years. I am amazed at the miracles I have been given.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Frenzy

  A few years ago I went to a Transformer movie with my little red headed grandson.  At one point in the movie this little creepy mumbling robot comes crawling out. I physically shivered and "red" said, " are you okay granny?"  I clenched my fists and continued watching the movie but told him later that "frenzy" really freaked me out.  A few years later when I was at the rehab I received a package from my family and there was a little tiny frenzy toy packed in there from red.  I began carrying that around and realized that he and I had both recognized some feeling that I had when looking at frenzy. At the time I first saw frenzy my  life was a real frenzy. My mind, my health, my pain and my pain pill addiction.  I was out of control and on a fast track to death.  As I continued with my rehab I would get letters and little packages often and always tucked inside somewhere was a picture of frenzy. I studied him long and hard trying to figure out why he bothered me so much. I came to the realization that I felt just like that inside.  I didn't like what inside looked like or how I felt. It was just not good at all.  I made a little necklace that the frenzy toy hangs on and wore it for a long time as a reminder that I never want to feel or look like that inside again. I use a lot of little tools like frenzy to help me keep on track. I am so grateful for that little boy and the sensitivity and fun he provided for me in a very frenzied time of my life.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cousin Mark and two half marathons.

My son and my friend crossing the finish line with me.
I have lost about 70 lbs. since this photo. 
I read a post by my cousin Mark one day in Sept of 2011. He was throwing out the challenge for family and friends to walk with him in a Half Marathon. The date for this event was the middle of Jan. 2012. Many years ago I had helped the runners of our towns annual marathon and had always had great admiration for the work it took for them to be ready for the event. So I got my mind going. What if I just try? What if I can't finish? What if I can? Can I train and walk over 13 miles in the time allowed of 3 and a half hours? I decided to start walking. I printed out a schedule from the Internet and began following it. I walked through September, October, November, and December. Each week going a little longer on my distance. Finally the big day was here and It was pouring rain and sleet. I was NOT going to let the weather stop me, so off I went. I was able to cross the finish line 3:30 and 32 seconds. Not quite under the time limit but oh so close. I  then decided that since I was conditioned I should do the 1/2 marathon that is held in our neighboring town that is in Feb. so I kept walking. I was able to cross that finish line before the deadline and I am proud to say I hold the record for finishing last!!!! At least I have something that is unique. It was a lot of hard work and a lot of time but I won so much during my training. I did not lose any weight which I had hoped for but I  won the beauty of nature. I won the fresh air and the singing birds. I won the blue sky and the cool breezes. I won the knowledge that I can do anything when I really put my mind to it and take it a day at a time with little steps. I won knowing that my body could do much more when I gently coaxed it along. My knees were stronger and did not hurt. My hips felt better. I was stronger. I am so grateful that Mark threw me that challenge and I caught it.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Dancing Queens

Linda and I can shake it up!!!
I had an acquaintance who became a dear friend. Her name is Linda. When I started going to the gym I realized that she was going there also. Linda was on her own healthy journey and had done wonderful things with diet and exercise. She lost a lot of weight and gained a lot of health. She is one of my faithful cheerleaders. We decided that we wanted to try out a Zumba class. We KNEW that we would probably be the oldest ones there and I knew I was going to be the biggest. We went and placed ourselves in the very back. We tried and we stumbled and we laughed at ourselves and each other a lot. We keep trying and eventually decided that to make it more fun we wanted to wear the little Zumba skirts over our work out clothes. The ones like belly dancers wear that have all the little jingling coins on them. We knew we would probably feel like fools but we did it anyway. We wore those skirts and we shook our hips.  Much to our surprise we found out that we were getting a better work out with the skirts as we would move our hips more to make the coins jingle. Eventually there were 7 or 8 gals that wore those skirts and we had a lot of fun with that. I have been told many times that someone had looked in the window at us and thought, "if they can do it I am going  to try." I have since that time tried many of the classes. Some I love and some are not for me. I have had  to find that out by trying. Linda has had to miss the gym for some time with a terrible wrist break but she was back by my side the other night doing Aqua Zumba. She has some catching up to do for her healthy journey but she is there working hard and doing it.  Love ya Linda.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blogging for a month!

I  have been writing this blog for a month. I am so surprised by the many, many people who have looked at my blog. People from all over the world. The U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, India, S. Korea, France, Greece, Italy, Malaysia, China, Switzerland,  Greenland,  Netherlands,  New Zealand,  Czech Republic, Turkey, Brazil, and Japan to just list a few. I guess wanting to be healthy is a world wide desire. I just have one wish and that is that you have taken the time to love yourself.  To find healthy foods and begin moving.  Thank you for the many wonderful comments and messages of love you have sent to me. We are in this journey together and I need you to keep me going on this healthy way of life. Thank you again.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Favorite shirt.

Have you ever had a favorite shirt? You know the one you love and never want to part with. I found mine at a little place on Whiskey Row in Prescott AZ.  Not what you would expect to find in an old western town but there is was... Men's 3X and professionally tie dyed. Not the material they have now but the real thing. I had to have it and I loved it. It fit me just right. A little snug on the belly but that was how all my clothes fit. I wore that shirt with great pride to and felt beautiful in it. It was a little long and had long sleeves so I had my neighbor who is a Tailor fix the length and cut off the sleeves. I loved that shirt and still love it. I can't part with it and wanted to share it with all of you. I guess you could say I have grown out of it.  Time to get out my tie dye equipment and make a new favorite shirt.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Jumping off the Plateau.

I had lost 50 lbs when this was taken.
I was thinking about my weight loss journey and remembered some of the frustrations I had with my wt. loss. At first the weight seemed to come off pretty fast but I eventually ended up sitting on the edge of a Plateau.  I was very careful with my eating and exercise and  the scales kept saying the same thing. I even changed the batteries in them once thinking that maybe they were broke. My body settled into a pattern that was pretty strange. I would plateau for about 6 weeks then drop 5 to 6 pounds over 2 days. Pretty strange and terribly frustrating. That went on for about 6 months then I ended up on an even higher plateau.  I keep thinking that I was just doing my 6 week trick but no.  Two months, four months, yes even six months went by.  I finally decided that what I was doing was not working for me any more. At that time I decided to join Weight Watchers to see if maybe I was not doing what I needed to do as far as my healthy eating. Well guess what? I started dropping the weight but this time weekly not like I did before. I had lost about 51  pounds doing my own food adjustments and I had lightened up on myself and was slowly adding a little more food into my day. I am lucky I did not gain weight at that time. I guess the exercises helped me to maintain. Since I have joined Weight Watchers  I have lost 69 more pounds since the middle of July. A total of 120.  I know how frustrating it is to stand on those scales and expect a loss. I know how heartbreaking it is to gain a pound or two. But I know that as I continued with my healthy eating and exercise that eventually I lost the weight. I have also learned that my weight is a number. I have so many other things that reward me with my healthy life. I have energy. I have muscles that don't hurt with Fibromyalgia. I am stronger. I am happier. I feel good. I can now climb the beautiful Plateaus in my area and not get winded. And guess what...I don't mind sitting on THOSE plateaus for a while.