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ANNIESADVENTURE's Photo ANNIESADVENTURE Posts: 6,886
6/22/10 12:28 A

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I've been writing entries in my head, like while lying in bed in the early waking hours, but haven't made any a reality here.

The smell is diminishing. Was it the toaster? Perhaps. I moved the lower cupboards and stove out last week and cleaned. They move quite easily. Wish I could say the same for the refrigerator.

Dad is forgetting to use his walker. He uses it to go to the bathroom at night, then leaves it there, hanging on to furniture to get back to bed. If I wake up, I put it back by his bed. I am concerned that he'll fall. It doesn't help to talk about it because he doesn't remember.

We are blessed to have each other. My position was eliminated at work after 35 years there, and I am so glad to be home with him. I wish I could have been here for Mom, instead hiring a niece to come in while I worked. I hired her sister to come in for Dad the last couple years I was working.
He is 93 now, and I try not to think about when he won't be here. Every once in awhile when we have an outing, I wonder how much longer we will be able to do that when I sense his frailty.

I used to wonder when I became the mother to my parents. With Mom's poor health, the responsibility was heavy. Was I doing enough? Did I need to do something else? Second guessing myself. Begging God to intervene. Spending sleepless nights in prayer. Even after she passed away, I would wake up in the night, trying to figure out what to do for the next health crisis, and then realize I could now let it go. She is in God's care now.
Please, God, no health crisis with Dad. It's hard to know whether each new thing needs a doctor's attention. Sometimes I feel like a new mother with an infant, racing to the doctor. It was nice when we had the visiting nurse. I think we've only been to the doctor once this year, for Dad's allergies. Thank you, Jesus.

It is hard being totally responsible for everything. When things go wrong with the house, I am learning things I never paid attention to before. The house is lovely but aging. One drama after another this year: the sump pump noise, no hot water/hot water tank repair, the ants, the scorched smell.

I don't have a good network in place. Most of my siblings live too far away. They have expressed gratitude that I have been here for our parents.

Sis in Tennessee called tonight. Said she had a roast over, if Dad and I wanted to drop by. Haha. I'd love to. I wish she lived closer. We didn't go down for our Spring visit because the trip is hard on Dad. Being in a different house is hard. He has enough trouble remembering where things are here at home. Sometimes he has to ask me where the bathroom or bedroom is.
He sleeps a lot now. He falls asleep in his recliner during the day. Some nights I hear a little voice asking if it's time to get up now. I reply that it's 2:30, go to sleep for a little longer. Repeat in another hour or so. I used to say we could get up when it's daylight. Now that summer has arrived, that doesn't work. We don't NEED to be up at 4:30 in the morning.
Friday night was broken sleep. Dad finally decided he needed to walk, from the bedroom to the kitchen and back. That was a new behavior.
I think he's curing me of my bad sleep habits. Many nights I don't go to bed until after 3AM, sometimes when daylight is breaking. I try to go to bed earlier, but after two hours of tossing, I give it up and get up for awhile. Lately I've been so tired that I'm not having any trouble going right off to sleep when I crawl into bed!

We have a neighbor who has a hair salon in her home. We both had appointments with her Friday afternoon. Then we went to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions. It was too early for dinner, so we stopped over at brothers and sat outside visiting for awhile. I had planned on burgers, but when we drove past Dad's favorite restaurant, he brightened up so we had dinner there. Then we drove around parts of town that had been off limits before, and viewed more of the tornado damage. I didn't even know they had built a new high school 2 years ago. It's back in a residential area, not on a main street.

Sunday we went to church in the morning, then to a little restaurant not too far from church. They are so busy on Sunday. The wait staff know us well enough that she brought our beverages to the table before she even took our order. She also told me that every Friday night is all-you-can-eat fish because that is usually what I order. She couldn't believe no one had told me before.

Sunday afternoon I was hoping we could relax in the recliners for awhile so we would be rested before going out that night. Because it was Father's day, there were phone calls for Dad. The brother and SIL stopped by for awhile.

We visited a little church Sunday night to hear a college musical group. We enjoyed it.

Today was a stay-at-home rest day. I vacuumed and did laundry. I worked on my eBay stuff. Now it's after midnight, and Dad is sleeping. I'm watching the NY Yankees being trounced by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Getting my baseball fix. Detroit was off today. They play the Mets tomorrow.

AL used to play AL. NL played NL. The winners of the AL championship games would meet the winners of the NL championship games in the World Series. After the upstart expansion teams were added a few years ago, the schedules are all mixed up with interleague games. We never played the Mets during the regular season. I could cheer for the Mets and the Cubs since they weren't our competition. Bah.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 6/22/2010 (00:32)



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6/17/10 12:59 P

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Annie good for you for getting the weight ticker down! I am always amazed how I can sometimes sit down and just drift off into a light sleep. Problem with that is that then I am not always ready to go to sleep when I should. Too bad about missing church but maybe you and Dad just needed to rest last night.
I wish my house was as clean as yours!!!!
Sounds like you have a good handle on getting the roof replaced. Good for you! Have a great afternoon SAL

and BREATHE!

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6/17/10 12:04 P

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I have been in a crazy cleaning mood for awhile. The excessive cleaning started after the horrible smell last Thursday.
This morning I threw out the toaster because I didn't like the smell when I made toast. Last week it quit popping up when the toast was done, though it did stop cooking on time so the toast wasn't burned. It is due for a replacement. No, there were no crumbs in the crumb tray because I always clean it every time I use the toaster. I'm a little over the top on having a clean kitchen.
Is the toaster the culprit of the horrible smell? Don't know, but I'm getting rid of everything that might be. I'm in doggie mode, sniffing everything.

I cleaned and arranged the shelf of CDs in the kitchen. Moved the Christmas CDs and Dad's tapes from the kitchen to the den. There has to be a better way to store CDs but I don't like dust-catchers so I use shoe boxes with lids. When I get to a store that carries plastic storage containers, I may check if there are any the right size to hold CDs and tapes. The drawback is that they usually take up more space than a shoebox.

I've been reading a lot of blogs yesterday and today. Been in a blog-reading mood. Some days I feel too drained to leave comments or visit friends, but this burst of energy is welcome. We know that exercise creates energy, so why wouldn't all this extra body movement with the cleaning craze I'm on do the same thing?

I am going to have to talk to Spark because I can only get into the list of new blogs when I first post a new blog. After that the button on my blog page changes to let me view the most popular blogs. Sometimes I want to support newbies or people who don't have four pages of comments on their blogs. We all need a little encouragement. It's discouraging to write blogs nobody reads. On my laptop I created a shortcut to that page of where the new blogs show up, but haven't done it on the desktop computer. I can only work on the desktop when Dad's sleeping because he likes to be in the same room when he's awake. That's why I got the router and laptop last year so I can work anywhere in the house.

I was so disappointed last night that time got away from me and we missed church. I had planned and looked forward to going. I was also looking forward to being out of the house and breathing better air! After all the cleaning, I showered and washed my hair. Dad was napping so I joined him in the other recliner, doing some Spark stuff on the laptop. When I looked at the time again, it was 6:38 PM. Prayer meeting starts at 7 PM, and takes 20 minutes to get there. I needed to get dressed and close all the windows, get Dad moving, and it was already past time to leave. Bummed me out. I was so looking forward to going.

We had warmed up chicken pizza and home canned peaches for supper. I only had one slice...and the scale is down again this morning, YAY! I am only 2 pounds away from my ticker weight, so I'll be able to start seeing that move again. That is so motivating.

Breakfast was yogurt and berries, juice and toast. Lunch for Dad will be the last piece of leftover meatloaf, restaurant mashed potatoes and gravy, and homemade squash. For me, a big salad with salmon on top. I might have some of the squash, too.

I finally called the roofing man again to find out what's up. He said he's tied up with tornado damage repair right now, but he'll start our roof late August. When I set this up last month, I had told him there was no hurry, just want the roof replaced before winter. It will be better toward Fall because there is less rain then. It's not leaking but it's due for replacement, a little soft in a one spot. I have to take on these projects one at a time.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 6/17/2010 (12:11)



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6/16/10 3:11 P

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Thanks, Sal. I still don't know what the smell is. I've gone through everything I can think of. Sis thought chemicals so I went through the cleaning supplies, though that was cleaned out a month ago. Threw out some smelly mothballs that were in a ziploc bag, but that's not the smell.
The smell is not overpowering but it bothers me when I'm home all day. The guys can't smell it at all.
Today is the third day I've had the windows open. So far Dad hasn't been sneezing and his eyes aren't running. The fresh air helps with the smell, but it concerns me that it's still here. It tells me I haven't found the source yet.

Today I cleaned the bedroom window inside and out, washed curtains and rehung. It's time to replace them. Hope I can find some lightweight semi-sheer tie-backs, white with tiny blue flowers. I'm tired of pinch pleated drapes but my frugal nature won't let me replace until necessary. That means all new rods.
The kitchen curtains may not stand another washing. There are four windows, two different sizes, so that makes it hard to find matching curtains. Penney's had a nice valance, no tiers. Maybe I'll make them.

What does all this have to do with weight loss? I have been getting a lot of exercise with all the extra cleaning. I'm doing laundry now, but there's only a few batches.

Scale was down again this morning because we only had two meals yesterday. Dad didn't wake from his nap until late, so it was almost 5PM when we had lunch.
I'm not entering my weight yet because I didn't change it when I regained some pounds in April. I should soon be back to ticker weight, and will start entering it then.

Today we had fruit and cereal, and juice for breakfast. Lunch was around 2PM, from the restaurant take-home box. Dad had ordered meatloaf (which was thinly sliced), mashed potatoes and peas. Leftover was 2.5 of the 3 slices of meatloaf, more than half of the potatoes and peas. I shared a slice of the meatloaf and added coleslaw and ice water, with a few nuts to end the meal. I warmed up the rest for Dad, and he ate all of it but 1 slice of meatloaf. He must have been hungry.
We may split a roast beef sandwich for supper before going to church.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 6/16/2010 (15:20)



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6/16/10 12:57 P

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Hey Annie
Weird about the smell. Over time we have had a squirrel die in the wall. Absolutely awful! One time some mice moved into our gas stove and made a nest on top on the oven. It happened right before Thanksgiving which we were hosting. We had to pull apart the stove. We have a camp in the mountains and the mice are always moving in. I wonder if it could be a nest of the little critters? That can be a subtle but sickening kind of smell. Anyway back to the big black ants. It was an ortho brand in a big green jug with a spray handle attached. Unfortunately we do not have the container anymore.
I agree with you portion control is the key. We have to learn to live in the real world which occasionally presents us with fried food and sweets. Moderation is the key! Sal
PS Hope the smell goes away soon!

and BREATHE!

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6/15/10 2:22 P

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Thanks, Sal, for reading and sending a message. Do you know the name of the spray your husband uses for ants?

We have been going out every day to escape the sickening smell. Brother suggested opening the windows, but Dad has too many allergies. Last night after he moved into the living room, I threw open the windows closest to the kitchen.
It was 70 degrees outside when I woke this morning, so the windows are open again. Dad doesn't like to be cold so I expected he'd want them closed after he woke. His only comment was that the breeze was nice. Thank goodness the humidity is less today. With the fresh air, I'm breathing better. I'm disturbed that I can't locate the source. Never had this happen before. The house is clean so I don't understand.

The irritating smell is not overwhelming. Funny that only us girls can smell it. I am concerned that it is making me sick. Who knows what airborne things are invading my body?

This morning I finished scrubbing around the water heater. I don't think there was any mold.

While scrubbing down there, I finished cleaning the basement windows that I had started before my surgery last Sept. *laughing* I still had one window to do. I went back over the others I had already cleaned. I'm debating whether to rehang the curtains, change to a valance only, or leave them open.

We had scrambled eggs, Bob Evans biscuits, gravy, and fruit juice for breakfast. Lunch will be warmed leftover: sauerkraut, sausage and potatoes dish. We usually have a very light supper, like soup or pie or strawberries. Sometimes Dad and I split a sandwich. Sometimes we never get around to the third meal because we eat when hungry, not the regular three meals a day. Many days lunch is closer to dinner time. It's already 2:30, and Dad is napping, so lunch will be when he stirs. That gives me more time for Spark:)

Regular food is fine in moderation. It's the snacking that packs on the pounds. Eating out can do it, too, if I eat beyond full, which is a temptation when it's sitting there in front of me. It's surprising how little food it really takes to reach that "approaching-full" stage. I'm quicker now to stop eating and put the rest in a take-home box.

Portion control is more important than eating or avoiding certain foods. Of course, we can eat more and reach a more satisfactory level of satiety if we eat healthier because it's usually fewer calories than junk food.
Portion control is the one thing we are not good at, or we would not be here at Spark, but we are learning.


Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 6/15/2010 (14:30)



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6/14/10 11:54 P

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I have been off on another detour. It's ironic that my weight is going down during this time. It may be because it's an effort to even make something to eat. It's been one thing after another, irritating at the time but kinda funny. Who would think annoying house-things could make me eat less.

It started with the attack of the big black ants. They boldly dance on the kitchen porch, so it was a matter of time before they snuck in the door. I don't have peonies or anything that should attrack them. They came. I put out the ant traps. They were still there. I bought different ant traps. I still found them in the kitchen, so I bought the deluxe "2 foods ants love" traps. Bah humbug. I threw out the sugar and flour canisters and put the sugar and flour in plastic cartons with snap on lids. I took the cookies out of the cookie jar and put them in a Tupperware carton with snap on lid. I scrub everything. I started vacuuming the kitchen floor more often, like every time we eat.
I've always kept things srubbed down, washing dishes while I cook. I've always said we have the cleanest trash in the neighborhood because I wash everything out before throwing it in the trash can. Leftover food or vegetable peels, etc, are tied in an old bread wrapper or baggie before putting that into the trash.
I don't see any ants for a few days and think, aha, victory. Then I'll see another and maybe another...
The next step is doing something outside to stop the source. I even have an ant trap on the kitchen porch but it's ineffective.
One brother recommended getting estimates from bug people for spraying outside, like a 3 foot perimeter around the house, to stop all bugs.
The brother who does our yard work said he will bring a dust to use around the kitchen porch and stop the problem. If he remembers! He is so busy. He's still helping in the clean up from the tornado.

So the ants are reason number one that keeps me from snacking and even makies me not want to cook.

Horrible computer just ate the rest of this message that I didn't save. I'm too tired to type it all back out.
In a nutshell, the second reson for no appetite is a very unpleasant, worrisome smell in the kitchen. I can't locate the source. I thought at first that it was the scorched smell of a motor going bad. I was afraid to leave the house in case of fire, but the smoke detector would have alerted me if there was a problem. The smell started last Thursday. I'm still exploring. Sis thinks it smells like chemicals. Brother and Dad can't smell it at all.
Now I'm wondering if I stirred up some undetected mold when I cleaned the dark area around the hot water tank Thursday morning. I was upset that the repairment left a mess, and water seemed to seep for a few weeks after they repaired the hot water tank. I was going to call them back but it dried up.

I've been scrubbing and cleaning and trying to air out the house. I am feeling sick, sore throat and metallic taste that I can't get rid of. Saturday I was sipping and munching to change the taste. I'm not munching today. Food is unappealing because I don't feel well.

After the weekend munching, I was surprised to see the scale move down 3 pounds this morning. I have five more pounds to lose to get back to where I was in April.


Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 6/15/2010 (00:50)



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6/5/10 3:36 P

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How is the first week of fasting from negativity going? It is making me more conscious of my thoughts. It makes me question the tears. How do we move from grief to possibilities to reality?

Life is schizo. In some ways I've had a charmed and sheltered life. I haven't walked on the dark side. I claim to be an optimist by nature. I prefer carefree and happy-go-lucky, sunshine and walks in the park and kindness.
The other side? Life has a way of deflating our balloons. Many health issues are unavoidable. Some are genetic. Some are results of living too carefree and happy-go-lucky. Sometimes life just happens. Our lives can change in a heartbeat, and there's no way to turn back time.

This morning I was thinking about how long I've been a caregiver for various family members, and reliving moments. There have been losses. Tears were mingling with the dishwater.
We are family. We care for each other.
I am the end of the line. Who will be there for me? I feel helpless and scared in the quiet moments of introspection more often than I want to admit. I feel out of control the longer I try to lose weight. I have little to show for the effort.
When I feel like that I get into late night munching, which is totally irrational.

A caregiver's life is a very small world. Outings are limited. One can't do whatever they want whenever they want. But that's true of most of our lives when we are involved with our families and work.

I feel paralyzed to do the feel-good creative things that add zest to life. I curl up in the recliner with the laptop, resorting to games when I'm too drained to leave encouragement on my friend's blogs. I don't get enough sleep. There are holes in my self-care.

I have been putting good things into my head this week:
Joyce Meyer: the Power of Words, a DVD with teaching notes
Joyce Meyer: I am Determined, 1st of 6 CDs in the series
Joyce Meyer: 12 Reasons Why People are Overweight, videotape (gave me something to think about, especially being socially unfulfilled)
Alvin Slaughter: Reinvent Yourself, a book
Julie and Julia, a movie
The Last Holiday, a movie
Patrick Morley: Second Wind for the Second Half, a book
Numerous upbeat magazine, online, or Spark articles
Meditating on Scripture, and prayer

I have a stack of powerful and uplifting books, DVDs and CDs yet to go through. I've ordered more books from the library.

Wednesday evening we went to visitation for a friend at the funeral home. On the way home I stopped at Kroger to pick up a few items I had forgot to get when we shopped. Dad waited in the SUV.
It was a vulnerable moment. I've been hankering for chocolate cake. Yep, I know the solution is to order a dessert when we eat out and be done with it. It's not good to have a whole cake sitting around.
The refrigerator is too full for the cakes in the bakery section but there's room for a small Pepperidge Farm chocolate cake.
Then I irrationally added a candy bar, bag of chips, caramel popcorn, and a pint of ice cream. I was feeling down by the time I got home, so I decided to throw the cake in the freezer. There, that's taken care of. No obligation to indulge.
Later after Dad went to bed, I ate the popcorn. Cable was out so I watched a movie, played downloaded games on the computer, and went to bed too late.
Thursday night I sipped ice water and went to bed around 11:30 PM, woohoo.
Last night after Dad went to bed, a program came on that brought back memories and made me wonder why women stick in wrong relationships as long as they do? So I ate the pint of ice cream, played computer games, and went to bed around 3AM.

I can't control when others do things that make me feel bad, and I can't change the past. Can I control my reaction and change my perspective?
Why am I doing things that make me feel bad?

I eat right more often than not, but the occasional off plan behavior makes me feel bad.
I handle things much better when I get enough sleep.
I feel better when I exercise. I am frustrated that I can't go the gym like I used to. I am frustrated that chronic pain limits my physical abilities.
I hate losing so computer games can make me feel bad. Sometimes I get so mad at Jack (my regular opponent) that I switch to another player or wipe out his score and make him start over. Ha, I have the power!
Creative pursuits make me feel good: writing, sewing, painting. I have several crochet and embroidery projects to finish.
When the scale moves in the right direction, I feel good. When my clothes feel loser, I feel good.

Joyce Meyer was talking about how bad we feel when our clothes get tight or we gain a few pounds. I knew exactly what she was talking about.
She said overweight people may like feeling full. Been there. I used to hate feeling hungry, and it was a surprise to learn that hunger pangs or a growling stomach aren't fatal. That was a big turnaround for me since I've been at Spark. I learned to love feeling slightly empty. I move better when there's a hollowness in the midsection. It affects my emotions and spirit. It's a good place to be.

This is the month of fasting from negativity. What does that mean? What do I expect? What do I want?

A friend called yesterday to chat. She is almost totally homebound because of her weight. She uses a motorized chair. She has been dieting off and on for the 30+ years I've known her. It gets harder each time. Ironically her husband said he would put her in a nursing home when she got to the place where she couldn't care for herself, and then he died before her.
We were co-workers, and she taught me to overeat. No, she couldn't make me overeat, but she made it easy and encouraged it by bringing in food and going out to eat after work all the time. We became close friends and traveled together. She is the sweetest person, a kind soul...but pick your friends wisely because you may become more like them, rather than changing them like you.
She has been treated for depression. Indulging in bad food choices has not made her happy. It doesn't make me happy either.




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5/31/10 2:15 A

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Dad seemed a little better tonight, so we went to Bob Evans for supper. I was going to run into the grocery store for a few items and leave him in the SUV, but he decided he wanted to go in with me. I tried to remember everything on the list and did the regular shopping since I didn't have to hurry back to him in the car. The store wasn't busy, and he seemed to enjoy riding the cart and looking around. We ran into my brother and SIL while there, cool.
I added things to the cart to make a holiday picnic for Memorial Day. We'll picnic indoors and watch the rain. Don't you love it? It's a crazy fun thing to do. Dad is a veteran of WWII, Battle of the Bulge.
Sis doesn't know if she can come tomorrow because her granddaughter is moving back in with her.

I ordered more books online tonight, all by or about Hannah Whitall Smith. If I had to pick my all time favorite book, the one that I keep on the bedside table to read and reread, it would be THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT by Smith. The chapter, THE GOD WHO IS ENOUGH, based on Psalm 23, is one I come back to repeatedly. Her words are so practical. Her most famous book is probably, THE CHRISTIANS SECRET FOR A HAPPY LIFE (or some similar title). Think I'll reread that one, too.

Alvin Slaughter's book arrived in the mail last week. I heard him on TBN, talking about the times we believe and just know God is going to answer our prayers (because he promised to meet our needs if we put Him first in our lives); then we are bewildered when the prayers aren't answered, God doesn't come through like we expected. Slaughter said even when he was in bankruptcy court, he was still expecting God to come through with the financial aid, but it didn't happen.
Been there, and it is perplexing and heartwrenching. The fault is not with Him but with my understanding. Someday I will understand better, but even if I never do, my faith in God is rock solid, unshakeable. He doesn't owe me explanations.
I've also can point to times when God definitely answered prayers. I'd rather be at that end of it!

The name of Alvin Slaughter's book is REINVENT YOUR LIFE: HOW TO TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND, REDISCOVER THE FIRE OF YOUR FAITH, AND GET YOUR POWER BACK.

The library lady was here last week so I am stocked up with DVDs and books. I love the Library in Motion program. I order books online from the library, and she comes out every four to six weeks. If our library doesn't have what I'm looking for, I can check the state network of libraries and request it when I find it. They deliver it to the country library, and Liz delivers it when she comes. Every state probably has something similar.

When I was working and on the road all the time, I knew where every branch in the county was and used all of them. The library has always been one of my most favorite places. I love books. Sometimes I run my fingers over their covers wishing I could absorb their contents by osmosis. What is the line from that Emily Dickinson poem, about books being a corsair to bear us to distant lands? Is it naive to believe the sum of all the world's knowledge is contained in books?
I so admire brilliant people. I could sit and listen for hours. My beloved uncle, who had a doctorate in geophysics, had a willing audience in me. He was my secret weapon for science projects:) I miss him.

It's after 2AM. Dad is finally ready to go to bed so I'm off, too.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/31/2010 (02:18)



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5/30/10 10:32 P

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My freezer and refrig must be a lot like yours. I console myself with the fact that any thing "I throw away" goes to the chickens. Lame I know but then it is not truly wasted.
Sometimes there is nothing better than a good cry.
Peace Sal

and BREATHE!

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5/30/10 1:17 P

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As a caregiver, my world can become very small but I'm ok with that most of the time. The last two weeks have been more stay-at-home than usual because of Dad's health. I think he has a cold, but doc says it's allergies. Always allergies. That's always doc's answer.
We used to spend a lot of time on the front porch but his allergies really act up so we've eliminated that. He was on an inhaler, nasal sprays and pills. No inhaler this time around. He refuses the nasal spray, so it's up to the pills. Doc told me the spray is nasty if one inhales it too lustily.

Wednesday he seemed better so we ran limited errands. It was the last day to drop off the groceries for a needy family so we stopped at the church and Dad waited in the SUV while I ran them in. We had lunch at a mom-and-pop restaurant that we sometimes go to, lots of food at good prices. I am upset that I can't order fish and onion rings. No, they will not make any exceptions: order fish and chips, with a side of onion rings. I don't like french fries. They get stuck and sit heavy on my chest. I have to eat them in very tiny bites to get them down. I don't want fries and onion rings. Yes, I know, they are not a healthy choice. I don't have them often. I don't think that restaurant serves anything really healthy. They are most well known for their all-day breakfasts: huge servings of pancakes, hash browns, eggs, breakfast meats. Dad usually gets the meatloaf dinner or the roast beef dinner. I don't like either one. It's the kind of restaurants that one is better off sticking with the few main dishes they are known for. Forget the inedible chicken or other things on the menu. So why do we go there? It's convenient. The only other restaurants in that area (near church) are Wendys, McDonalds, Burger King, Coney Island, and lots of pizza places. Sometimes I don't feel like driving 10-20 miles farther for the nicer restaurants.

After we dropped off the groceries at church and ate lunch, we went to Kroger. Dad rides an electric cart and I push a cart. All the fresh produce goes into his cart so it doesn't get crushed. Sometimes his cart is more full than mine. Since I've been following the Spark menus, many times I only need to stop in fresh produce and the dairy section. Occasionally I need cleaning supplies or beans or rice. Spark is saving me money. I no longer buy whatever looks good or snacky or processed foods. I used to buy what was on my list and anything else that I might use or that appealed. My bills were riduculous for a small family.
After doing a thorough cleaning of freezer, refrigerators and pantry this year, I decided to never ever buy anything, no matter how good the sale, unless I had a date when I was going to use it. I was astounded at how much I had to throw out.
I love being able to see the bottom of the freezer or have room on the pantry shelves without having things stacked on top of things. Even now, the empty space is starting to fill up, so I must be more diligent. I buy the things on the Spark menu, but they always have more than we can eat. Some days we only have two meals.
I was wondering if I could do Weigh Down and just use the Spark menus as a general guideline of what to fix each day. It's hard to do WDW with a family because they expect regular meals. WDW is about eating only when hungry (stomach-hungry, not head-hungry), and stop eating when approaching full. It took a long time to feel hunger when I first did WDW: four days before I was hungry and ate again. We are not used to listening to our bodies. We eat when we are not hungry. We eat so we won't get hungry.
The experts tell us we've already waited too long if we experience thirst, so hydrate well. Water is good for us. I have said that it is sometimes the best part of the meal, and so refreshing. I have a Brita pitcher and a glass of ice water in the fridge at all times.

I have experienced phenomenal success with low carb but my kitchen is geared to the Spark menus: yogurt, rice, beans, fruit as well as low-carb veggies. I'm not ready to change that back to totally low carb.
As I blogged yesterday, something has to change. Dithering doesn't work. Winging it doesn't work. Having a plan is essential for me. So here it is:
Combine the spark menus with common sense. If it's too much food and I'm full, STOP. If I'm satisfied with two meals, STOP. That's the portion control part.
The second part is what has always worked for me and always will work for me. Snacking control. If I cut out snacking after supper, I lose weight. That's the pure and simple of it. If I make up my mind that I will not eat after supper, I stick with the plan. The inner child knows better than to even go there. If I dither, it's hit and miss. I don't have yucky stuff in the house, but eating too much is bad.

In the light of fasting from negativity in June, I will be doing positive things that will make my body delirious. That includes eating healthy meals, and avoiding snacking that make me feel bad about myself. I am going to eliminate everything that makes me feel bad...at least, everything that I can control.
And the things I can't control, I can still control my attitude and reaction. Perspective, baby.

* * * * *

Last night I felt like crying. I don't know why. I couldn't trace it back to being upset. Maybe hormones? Who knows? I'm normally optimistic and happy.
When I saw someone in the background chorus on a music video that reminded me of Her (my ex's new friend), and that gave me a few more sad twinges. Let it go. Not going to relive any more grievances there.
Yesterday the cable tv worked but couldn't get internet connection to visit spark or anywhere else.

After I helped Dad to bed around 9:30, there was movie in progress with Queen Latifeh. I don't know the name of the movie.
She was a shy salesclerk who did cooking demonstrations at the store, and had a crush on one of her co-workers. After falling at the store and hitting her head, a CT scan revealed a brain tumor and the doctor told her she had about 3 weeks to live. Her HMO would not cover it.
She had an ongoing book of possibilities that she had been filling, and now she decided to complete one of those dreams. She took a trip to Europe to snowboard and do other things she had been putting off. She stayed at the presidential suite at an expensive hotel, told the staff at a nice dress shop to make her "international" in attire. She was so classy and had a quiet zest for life. It was refreshing, and so good that I watched it when the movie came on again in back-to-back time slots. Oh, the CT scan was erroneous, and she didn't have a tumor or a bad disease and she wasn't dying:) But even if she had a tumor and was dying, it would have still been a feel-good story about going for the gusto. Live like you are dying.

The movie goes along with the book I've been reading by Chris and Kerry Shook, ONE MONTH TO LIVE. Live the life NOW that you would live if you only had one month to live.

The movie got me out of the funk, filling my mind with wonder and delight, and thoughts of how I can turn a life with caregiver limitations into more.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/30/2010 (13:23)



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5/28/10 8:02 P

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I like that idea - a fast from negative thinking. It is amazing how pervasive it is. I think I will join you! I hear you with the starting and stopping . I lost 21 pounds and then just kind of floundered. I am redoubling my efforts for the month of June as well! Sal

and BREATHE!

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5/28/10 12:36 P

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I updated my page today. The background collage won't be there long because I prefer something soothing. It says: Something has to change. Ambushed. Are you ready for change? Change.
That's where I am right now. I'm tired of these starts and stops. I lost 20+ pounds, then diddled around for the past couple months, starts and stops, no lasting commitment. This does not work. I can't think myself healthier. There's work to be done.

SP Mary and I are starting a fast from negative thinking and speaking for the month of June, God help me. My internal dialog is self-defeating. That's where the change has to happen.
The old phrase from computer programming classes: garbage in, garbage out. Put good things in. Write them down. Meditate on good things. Memorize meaty phrases from my reading that uplifts me. Talk frequently to the Lord.
With God, all things are possible.




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5/21/10 1:04 A

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I can't believe there is a group here called GETTING FIT TO GET OVER HIM. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Hysterically, of course.
I don't want to think about it.

Some of their threads are:
Recently Dumped (Oh, my! Too much pain)
Successes Without Him!!! (their punctuation, not mine)
Any Ideas To Outsmart Him??? (their punctuation)
A Poem for Valentine's Day (now that could be interesting. Perhaps a little sarcasm there?)
Let's Vent (too painful. Sounds like a trip to the dark side)
Break-up Binge Eating...ahhh! (That could be interesting.)
Breaking Up Stinks (Amen, sistah)

Do you think they might be dwelling in the past? It gives the ex too much power. Get over it. move on.

Break-ups get easier. Love is a choice, so it is also a choice to stop loving (or to "love" someone new). Men and woman don't talk the same language when it comes to love.

I crack up when I hear songs like, I Can't Stop Loving You. That is just too funny.

* * * * * * * * * *

I intended to blog about my wonderful day today but my blog took on a life of its own and wrote itself in different direction. Writing is like that.

Dad and I slept late this morning. Breakfast was closer to 10. I told him we would run errands once he woke from his nap.
Brother came over and mowed the lawn, then came in for a chat.
I did the laundry. I was waiting for the rain to stop because we are about to float away. Sump was running every 3 minutes yesterday. Back yard is submerged.
On a sidenote: when the roofing guy went up on the roof before giving me an estimate last week, he noted the pond in the back yard. Haha, it's not SUPPOSED to be a pond. It created itself, and now it's time for it to dry up and go away. We haven't been able to mow the back yard twice. This time there were places in the front and side yard that have water, too. A self-made temporary lake cuts the land in two, so the orchard is on the rise beyond it. Farmers are waiting to get in the crops.
A neighbor drove back by the barn and got stuck and left big ruts. He said he will haul in some dirt and fix it when it dries up.
I needed to pick aspargus but it's too wet, so brother waded out and cut it for me. What a sweetie.
The sun was shining today.

After Dad woke from his nap after 3 PM, it was too late to drive 15 miles to the city because it would be rush hour traffic and I was too tired to make all the stops I'd planned.

Dad and I went to the nearest village where we usually go, and had a lovely late lunch/early dinner at Dad's favorite restaurants. They had changed the menu today to add Barbeque stuff. Geez, you know me and barbecue. Yep, I had the ribs and sweet potato fries. I'm sure I'm in the calorie range since I only had two meals today and no snacks. Oh, I forgot about the two fancy coffee drinks that were more than 500 calories together. Yikes. Maybe it wasn't as great a day as I thought it was. Later I missed my regular coffee that I now order in my effort to lose weight.

After the restaurant, we filled the car with gas, then on to the grocery store. I had a short list this week, mostly fresh fruit and veggies, with only two items in the rest of the store (milk, and Cool Whip for Dad).
I had a LONG list of things and a brown paper bag I was supposed to fill for a needy family. It's a project the young people at church are doing. I got the things I considered essentials from the list, and skipped the things that were luxuries. I bought brands I usually use, mostly store brands.
Here's the good part. My bill for my 3 bags of mostly fresh produce (which is expensive) and 4 bags for the needy family came to $80. Impossible? I think God had something to do with it. I usually spend more than $80 just for us! I didn't use coupons this time, but I did save $20 with the store loyalty card. I alternately chortled, marveled and praised God all the way home.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/21/2010 (01:57)



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5/19/10 3:14 A

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Just wrapped up 70 minutes of exercise in the dimmed lights of midnight, to the sweet strains of Mannheim Steamroller. Finished with a slow waltz to HERBEI, OH IHR GLAUBIGEN. Expecting to see gaily colored holiday lights in the darkened world outside. All is calm, all is bright. Not a creature was stirring.

Still in a 1920s mood. Tonight I shall drift off to sleep, dreaming of the beautiful art deco Chrysler Building and the mad race to be the tallest building, when steel support freed designs from the square stout outer walls of support of the Sullivan era. Tonight is a night for flappers to take the city, for supper clubs and rooftop gardens and dancing to the hauntingly sweet melody of Artie Shaw's clarinet.

P.S. I just lifted this entry for part of a blog.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/29/2010 (10:34)



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5/18/10 4:24 P

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One of my larger copper bottomed saucepans sprang a leak awhile ago, where the handle is welded to the pan. I finally got aggravated enough at only being able to fill the pan half full to avoid the holes. It's part of a set so I wanted to find the same pan.
I lost the first two bids on eBay. Third time, I won a pan without a lid. Perfect.

I am a big fan of the 1920s and I love old jewelry. I was looking for the ring mentioned in my last entry. A new friend called it a promise ring. That conjures up a tiny pre-engagement ring. But this is a celebration of a new phase of life. This is a promise to make the future what I want it to be. This is a promise to turn around the things that are making me unhappy, to move into the glorious sunshine of a new day. I AM free. Ah, liberation. My own personal revolution. Born again. A do-over. Forgetting the past and looking forward to today. Can't live in the future either. Taking charge of today.

I think I shall become a flapper, a 1920s free spirit, an intellectual. Reciting mood poetry in a coffeehouse. Writing unhappy drama. Painting in Paris. A conundrum: living happy, pouring everything else into prose and art.

A rose is a rose...

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/22/2010 (02:03)



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5/17/10 1:53 A

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I am so ready to go! Spent awhile reading blogs, and read several by STAYFOCUSEDASH that really challenge and motivate me.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_
individual.asp?blog_id=3215462


Here's the first paragraph:
"Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Write it on your heart that every day is the best day of the year." And I think that is some damn good advice, my friends. Life calls to be celebrated and it's time to stop screening the calls. Too often we find ourselves repeating the same old same old, getting bogged down by the routine of our lives, rather than embracing what is good and finding ways to inject a little awesomesauce every now and then. We always seem to notice it after we get run down, burnt out, crisped, fried, whatever. And by that point we have to deal with our own guilt, grief, self-hate and disappointment, too, which can make getting back on the horse grueling."

I need to write this out where I will read it everyday. Life calls to be celebrated. Don't settle for the same old. Inject a little awesomeness. Yes! My life has changed so much in the last couple of years. It is up to me to accept the challenge and find ways to avoid settling, letting life happen. Take charge. Do what makes me happy (including losing this weight).

Here's another part that spoke to me:
"I need to remember the amazing things I have done when I put myself first and demand from myself that I keep going, that I push it further, that I prove it to myself that I want my goals and dreams and that I want my happiness and courage and strength. I want the lifestyle change! I need to stop faking my commitment. I need to start really seizing each opportunity and find new, better, healthier, effective ways to explore, go outside of my usual and unproductive boundaries, do something new, something unexpected, something that celebrates M-E once in a while, something that grabs hold of destiny and jingles the stupid out of it, knowwutimeanjellybean?"

And when she wrote, "My life is for me. Out of grief, freedom," this one is just for me. Out of grief, freedom. Don't bury our present, or heaven forbid, our future, in grieving. We have to move on. Let it all go.

The last couple of weeks I fixated on getting a new ring to replace my lovely rings.
My birthstone is diamond, and I wanted to replace these with a right-hand diamond, a celebration of just me. Will I feel sad when I look at it? Will it be associated with this fierce independence, or will it remind me of the pain of becoming One?

One is not the loneliest number. One is full of opportunity, a new page, a new phase, a glorious sunrise, full of color and hope and promise. One is a celebration. Out of grief, freedom. Never forget it. Do not sacrifice one more minute of your precious life to grieving what was and is no more.

Note to self: too much drama. The only thing that changed is that my head finally learned what my heart already knew.

"Write it on your heart that everyday is the best day of the year."


Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/17/2010 (02:25)



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5/9/10 2:17 P

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Entry edited:) Way too much emotion for a public blog :)

In a nutshell, I took a short detour. I have lost two people in my life. My mother died awhile ago but grief comes unexpectedly as I read some of her papers I'd missed earlier.
The second loss runs too deep to talk about. Thank you, Mary, for being there to listen to me.

As I work through grief and anger and other emotions, I realize I am too strong to stay adrift long.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/17/2010 (02:27)



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5/7/10 5:02 P

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"Defensive strategy never has produced ultimate victory." – General Douglas MacArthur

This came in a motivation email today. No explanation, just a single statement. My father had the utmost respect for MacArthur, and on occasional I was honored when he playfully called me MacArthur.

"Defensive strategy never has produced ultimate victory."
Defensive as opposed to offensive. Defensive: protecting ourselves. Offensive: attacking the problem.
How does that relate to our weight loss journey? (Am I really reaching for it here, or is there a gem buried here?)

The journey to good health is not fun when I'm on the defensive. But oh, when I'm on the offensive, I am strong and in control and making progress.

There is a lesson here that I need to ponder.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/17/2010 (12:58)



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5/3/10 12:56 P

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Annie I love your adventure journal! Its very good food for thought! No pun intended. I also love Joyce Meyers. I don't always agree with her but she always makes me think!!

and BREATHE!

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5/3/10 12:14 P

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I am brimming with determination. I shall prevail!!! No yo-yo this time around. I am down 24 pounds...well, sorta, with the recent dithering on the scale the last couple of days and allowing in extra snacks. But that's past. Today will be perfect:)
Breakfast was per the Spark menu. Lunch is almost ready, right on plan.
Laundry is done. Beds are made. Three letters written and in the mailbox. Breakfast dishes are put away. Table is set for lunch. But those are all things I usually do.

I have started Kerry and Chris Shook's book, ONE MONTH TO LIVE. They encourage us to work on the five things we would change if we only had one month to live. As pastors, they've seen too many people scramble to make changes after they receive a bad report from the doctor, and they ask, Why can't we live like that NOW?
We need to leave behind the "someday" syndrome when we will follow our dreams or start living or just doing anything. Erase "someday" from our vocabulary.

The five things I want to change on this 30 day journey are:
1. Create or update legal documents (trust, power of attorney, living will)
2. Declutter. Most of the house looks good, but there are two rooms (den and computer room) that need a little bit, and two areas (my bedroom and my old Avon "office") that need a lot done. I have too many clothes in too many sizes!
3. Spend more time with God. Don't we all need that?
4. Write.
5. Create a household binder, housekeeping manual (schedule of when to do what), history of items in the house and who I would want them to go to.

Are you surprised that none of them relate to weight? If I had 30 days, would I scramble to lose weight more quickly and get healthy to delay the inevitable? Or would I toss healthy living and spend the 30 days enjoying a boatload of unhealthy things since it no longer mattered? I don't know. I would be embarrassed to think about the pallbearers carrying this load that I carry now! Yikes, is that morbid? Hey, from the day we are born, we are heading toward the grave. Don't know anyone who has permanently escaped.
I can't wait to have that new body once I cross into heaven. We will know and be known. Will I be the same weight as I am now? That would be awful! Oh my, one more reason to get this weight under control. I am working on it.

I heard Joyce Meyer say on television last week that the reason we eat the chocolate cake is because we are thinking short term, focusing more on our desires right now than on what we want long term. If we get our focus on long term, it's easier to turn away from unhealthy things that don't fit in with our goals.
When I eat off plan, I feel so bad about myself shortly afterwards. I let myself down. I can't do that to myself.

Today I feel strong. The problem with this whole losing weight thing is that it takes too darned long. I need to accomplish it before my mood changes!

I need to write another blog but haven't settled on a topic yet. Here in my journal, I let it flow, whatever is on my mind, without organization. It's discouraging to write blogs that no one reads. I don't expect people to read the journal, though it is gratifying when someone leaves the occasional comment here. I'm writing in the journal for me. So why AM I writing blogs? They are more polished entries, written for my Spark friends. Aren't they?

I want to blog about my 30 day journey but haven't settled on a focus yet. I like to blog about my weight loss journey, share things that might help someone. I like to write stories but that only happens occasionally. I share happenings in my life.






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5/2/10 8:23 P

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I've left comments on my friend's blogs. Now it's time to leave a comment for myself.

I am down 24 pounds in 10 weeks. Week 11 was a gain, blech. I'm discouraged and straying the last couple days. I'm on plan for breakfast and lunch. Then I screw up.
I don't have unhealthy snacks in the house, so my off-plan eating has been more in the wrong amounts or wrong time. Dad's mixed nuts are becoming a habit for munching. I'm not particularly wanting nuts. They are there. I munch. They are loaded in calories. No, I will not quit buying them for him just because my self-control is slipping. The problem is in my mind, not in the food. If not the nuts, it would be something else.

How do I get my mind back on track? Let's start with commitment. When my commitment is strong, nothing will get me off track. I'm not even tempted. I must move myself back to that place of strength. I must do it now. Let's not have a repeat of the last couple day's behavior. I don't feel good about myself when I go off plan. I destroy my own motivation when I go off plan. Nothing is worth that. I do it to myself.

(Arghhh! The computer ate the rest of this long entry that I hadn't saved. So below is a very short version of what I said.)

So, here's the fix.
Portion control (as listed on Spark menus).
No eating after supper.


Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 5/17/2010 (01:55)



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4/26/10 10:26 A

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I lost 4 more pounds last week, down a total of 24 since I started following the Spark menus ten weeks ago.
I feel strong most of the time, but there are occasions. Yesterday was one of them, but I still came in within my calorie range.
With major surgery six years ago and subsequent surgeries since (including major surgery last Sept), sleep is an elusive and unreliable friend. Last night the Sand Man must have missed my house. I went to bed shortly after midnight and finally got up again around 2AM after restless tossing and turning. I was keeping the rest of the family awake.
While up I printed Spark menus for the week and surfed the recipes, looking for replacements for the ever-present Dilled Shrimp with Farfalle recipe and the Asian Chicken recipe. They appear on my menus regularly, so I look for similar recipes to change it up.
The shrimp with farfalle is basically a macaroni salad with shrimp. The Asian chicken recipe is cubed chicken with cabbage and other vegetables (tomato, mushrooms, etc). My family doesn't care for either one, so I've been substituting for awhile.

Yesterday as the day waned, my appetite waxed. I wasn't hungry for anything in particular. Normally I would be all right until breakfast.
So at 3AM I am mentally reviewing my spark menus to see what things I haven't eaten yet. I settled for cottage cheese...then one string cheese...and 2 spoonfuls of my Asian chicken/cabbage substitute leftover. I was still in the good range.
Then I had to start munching on my nemesis, Dad's mixed nuts. It wasn't that many so there's no real damage, other than the dent in my morale. Mixed nuts are loaded with calories. When I plateau, I can see mixed nuts in the equation.
To make amends, I will try to eat on the lighter side of my calorie range today, shaving off calories here and there. I don't like to be tight against the top of the calorie range by supper, just in case I absolutely must have a snack later. One of my streak-goals is to avoid eating after supper. I do well there. Does this count as eating after supper when it's closer to breakfast than supper? Ha.




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4/25/10 4:07 P

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It's good that I don't have any candy in this house because I would be into it!

Breakfast was on plan (corn chex with flax). For lunch I had half a cup of German tomato soup, 3 small pieces of fish and 4 onion rings, and half a cup of coffee at a restaurant. By the third onion ring, my tummy was upset.
I'm feeling better now but went through a candy-craving for a few minutes this afternoon. I'll be glad tomorrow that I'm staying on plan.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 4/25/2010 (16:08)



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4/14/10 9:38 P

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I am so glad to be off this blasted plateau.

When the weight is coming off, this is fun. I feel like I can't do anything wrong.

When I plateau, I wonder what I'm doing wrong. I'm following the spark menus when I lose and when I plateau.






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4/3/10 2:28 P

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Read it to my 7yr old. They sing stuff like this at school. She thought it was about a bird.

SW 183 1/1/12
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4/2/10 11:47 P

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Sing, sing a song
Sing out loud
Sing out strong
Sing of good things not bad
Sing of happy not sad.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.

Sing, sing a song
Let the world sing along
Sing of love there could be
Sing for you and for me.

Sing, sing a song
Make it simple to last
Your whole life long
Don't worry that it's not
Good enough for anyone
Else to hear
Just sing, sing a song.


Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear. Just sing a song.




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4/1/10 1:20 P

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Bah, I am not expecting a good weigh in tomorrow for the first time since I've been following the spark menus. I have wandered a bit this week. We ate out more days than usual, and while over all I stayed close to calories, there were too many days slightly over and I feel heavier. We did not have dessert when eating out. Most of the times I made good choices but last Sunday...not! We went out for lunch after church and I had the breakfast special. Didn't eat all of it and brought some home, but it is typical of how my week has gone. The special has a ridiculous amount of food: hash potatoes, eggs, ham, bacon, sausage links, pancakes and 2 pieces of toast for $6.99.
I ordered the special with bacon. The waitress asked if I only wanted bacon because all three breakfast meats were included. Yikes. I ate the bacon and sausage, and brought the ham home. I ate half the potatoes and pancakes, and half a slice of rye toast.

During the week, once again the nuts have gotten the better of me. Nuts are ok, but now when I don't limit the amounts. They always get me in trouble.

Add to that some maple nut goodies. I looked at that innocent bag and wondered if it would be a snare. A serving is 7 pieces, 200 calories. Easily worked in for a sweet treat. I DON'T NEED THEM. The spark menus have so much fruit that it usually satisfies any longings for sweets.

I plan to stick closer to the Spark menus. We will be eating out today, and I already know I will have the grilled salmon, steamed broccoli and baked potato (no topping). It's delicious. And coffee and ice water to drink. No fancy coffee drink. No cola.

I am not doing this for a loss this week. This is for long term goals. Whether I lose tomorrow or not, it will still count and move me toward my goal.

I've read some excellent blogs this morning. I will be copying out one from LIL-VIXEN about ways to keep motivation running high.
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_
individual.asp?blog_id=3067386#comments


Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 4/1/2010 (13:22)



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3/29/10 9:51 P

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I need some routine days so I can get back 100% to the Spark menus. I feel better when I stick with it. We've eaten out quite a bit, and for the most part I haven't done too bad.
We did not get to the grocery store at all last week. Kept putting it off. The car is still in the garage but we have a loaner. So we went to market today. Found everything on my list except the broccoli. It did not look good so I skipped it.
If we pick up our car tomorrow, maybe I can stop at the produce market and see that they have.




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3/26/10 10:07 P

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I did not expect any weight loss today when I weighed in. I was shocked and excited to see two more pounds gone, wahoo! I am so loving it.
I've had two gold-star days in a row, perfectly on plan, sticking very close to the Spark menus. The scale had been moving in the wrong direction earlier in the week. Too lax with snacking. The nuts get me every time. They may be a healthy snack, but I don't stop when I should. Munch, munch, and more munching later. I do better if I just avoid them. It would work if I planned and measured them out. When they are sitting on the table for Dad, it's easy to no remember exactly how many I've eaten through out the day. Now that I'm staying out of them, I'm not refilling the carton very often so that tells me I was the one eating most of them. Yikes.

I am so excited to see the numbers going down on the scale. I feel strong and determined. Will I ever get to the point where I feel totally confident like I used to, that I can do this? Suddenly I don't feel like I can do this. I am excited it's happening, but am I the cause? I don't feel IN CONTROL. It doesn't feel like MY plan. I am following the Spark menus.

It doesn't feel like it did all the other times I've lost weight. Is this working in my favor? Does this mean that the pounds will stay off this time?

Why am I making an issue about this? Accept and celebrate, however it happens. Obviously the Spark menus work. Be glad!

I got it. With all the other plans, I understood the principle behind the eating plan. Take low carb: eat lots and lots of veggies. Lots of salads. Lots of chicken. Sometimes salmon. Avoid crackers, breads, starchy veggies, sugary treats. I knew the rules. It felt clean and healthy.

With Spark I don't understand WHY the program works. It must be portion control of ordinary foods. It has a lot of fruit. Not too many veggies or meat. The veggies are primarily tomatoes and celery. Lots of cottage cheese. The same couple of recipes appear several times a week (Dilled shrimp farfalle and Asian chicken salad). Not too many eggs. No pancakes. Occasionally one slice of bread or a bran muffin. Quite a bit of couscous and rice. There is pattern, but how does it lead to weight loss? It's not a pattern I've seen before. Is it working primarily on portion contol, and nothing especially conducive to weight loss in the choice of food?

Whatever. There I go, over analyzing everything. It works. Accept it. Someday I may understand so I can confidently set my own menus, using family recipes. For now, stick with it.

Oh, sis still wants us to come for a couple weeks in April. That makes me nervous. When I get off plan for 2 weeks, it's too hard to get back on. So if we go, can I eat what she plans but be very careful about portion control? I can't really follow the spark menus there, and since I don't understand what drives the Spark eating plan, I can't adapt it to what she serves.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/26/2010 (22:12)



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3/25/10 1:42 P

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Breakfast was ok: cream of wheat and strawberries.

Lunch is Toast with cream cheese, celery with peanut butter, grapes and milk. It seems like a meal one might pack for school or work. Actually the single slice of bread is supposed to have cashew butter (which i don't have) and the celery is supposed to have the cream cheese. I prefer peanut butter with celery, and cream cheese with toast.

Supper is salmon,couscous, grapes, and broccoli. I'm substituting aspargus for the broccoli because I used up the broccoli last night and haven't been to market yet this week.

This kind of lunch can get me into trouble because it doesn't satisfy. Shortly afterwards I feel hungry and want to snack. However, I am determined to be ok with it this time because tomorrow is weigh-in.

I lost 4 pounds 2 weeks ago when I was stressed, and have four days under the calorie minimum, not on purpose. It just happened.
I've been struggling since the stress let up. I only lost one pound last week.
More calories have been creeping in. I had three days over the top of the calorie range since last weigh-in. The scale has bounced up a little. I don't expect much of a loss (if any) tomorrow. I don't want a gain! So I will be content with this low calorie lunch that will move me in the right direction.

Last week I wrote a blog on one of the Spark keys to success, from the book THE SPARK. The key is "Don't look back." The article said 100% of the successful spark members said they don't let a bad day throw them off track. They just get right back on plan and push through.
That has been on my mind a lot this week as I struggle. Each time I don't follow plan or eat too many calories, I bury myself. In the past I would probably have strayed so far and felt so down that I couldn't pull myself back up for awhile. By keeping in mind the Spark principle used by successful members, I've been able to get back on track much quicker.


Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/25/2010 (13:48)



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3/17/10 9:07 P

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I am feeling so motivated and on track. Today has been totally on track. We ate at Bob Evans for lunch. I had the spinach-cranberry-apple-pecan salad from the Fit from the Farm section of the menu. Last week I was feeling over-saladed but it sounded good today.
Monday and Tuesday I was sliding into snacking on nuts that put me over my calorie range. The magic of portion control, my dear Annie:)

I have a new Spark friend who hasn't been doing this long. As I encourage her, I feel my own commitment strengthening. I am feeling so motivated today.

Weigh-in is on Friday. Last week I was down 4 pounds so I didn't expect much this week. Last week I had four out of seven days under my calorie range (just a few hundred calories each time) because of stress. Once the stress lifted, I felt so giddy and my appetite returned. It's more important now that I stick with the plan. If I eat everything on my plan, I don't fall into snacking very often.






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3/11/10 12:36 A

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So maybe I was overreacting. I am still not sure where that noise is originating but I am leaning toward the desktop computer. I've turned off as much as I can, as well as unplugging almost everything else in the room. We'll see. The last time the computer guy was here, he did not reconnect the speakers on the desktop. Following the many cords, I discovered a Boston Audio-something not plugged into the computer. I even unplugged that from the power tonight since it's not doing anything important now. Some of those little boxes can put up a powerful humming when they've a mind to. It scares the bejabbers out of me when I'm alone and it suddenly starts making a loud noise.
Like the fire alarm when I put the oven on Broil. Jump right out of my skin.
My smoke alarms emit a shrill beeping. Sis' alarms say, "Fire! Fire! Fire!" Now that would scare the stuffing out of me, even if I knew there was no fire. And another silly thing is hardwiring the alarms. Yes, you can then hear them anywhere in the house, but you don't know which area is the culprit. With mine, I know exactly which alarm is chirping and where I need to investigate. Hopefully I will hear them no matter where I am. At work they had a control panel that showed which alarm was the origin, but homes don't have that technology.

The more things we have, the more stuff we have to worry about. One more reason to get rid of Stuff. We can't hang on to everything even with bigger houses.
My minimalist sis (#3) pounces on any extra thing that comes into the house like a cat on a mouse. My sis (#2) who married hillbilly is always "ridding out." I inherited a ton of organized crap from my parents. My mother organized and labeled everything, but just because it's organized doesn't mean it enhances my life. My Dad accumulated stuff, especially in the shop and the barn. We all accumulate books. An overstuffed house, albeit neat and organized and clean, sucks up all the life. This is not what life is about.

I posted a blog yesterday with one phrase about suffed closets hiding the emptiness of our lives and souls (or something like that). Yikes!
I reason that I have so many closets full of clothes because they are so many sizes, but it's time to start over. Eliminate. A season of "ridding out." I have an overfull walk in closet in my bedroom. I have clothes in the closets in the two guest rooms. I have clothes everywhere. I have to scrounge room when I have houseguests. Lose this weight and get into one size and stay there. I can't find half the things I look for now. Since I'm not working, I live in trousers and t-shirts. I am not even wearing my "good" clothes on occasions where I could. I wear the same couple of outfits on those occasions. Life is so much simpler now, so do something with the rest. Cut back to just a few favorites. Then I'll be able to breathe again.

My house is clean and organized in most of the living areas. However I can't say the same for the master bedroom. My computer room is not far behind, not my office in the basement from when I used to have my own side business. Is it time to move on or what?

Dad is STILL awake, so we are in our recliners in the living room, listening to a Gaither Homecoming DVD. I told him no more than one DVD tonight since it's after midnight. Well, shucks, there goes my 7-8 hours sleep goal for tonight. Can't seem to string more than 2 of them together for a Spark Streak anyway.
He took a nap after we got back from town until supper, so now he is not tired.


P.S. March 17, 2010 That noise in the house is the new sump pump. Thank you, Lord, that it's something working as it should, and not something that needs repairing.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/17/2010 (21:13)



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3/10/10 6:22 P

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My house is making a vibrating noise and I can't find the source. It did it twice today. It feels like when the garage door goes up, but louder. Very short duration. By the time I get up and head toward the stairs, it has already stopped. Unless I find out where it's coming from, I can't fix it. I checked the garage doors both times, and they were still closed. The water tank and water heater is near that area, but no one was running water or flushing toilets when it happened. We have a fairly new sump pump that I've never heard run so I don't know what it sounds like. Wishful thinking on my part that it's something that simple. I've checked the whole house and nothing looks amiss. Dear God, please help me find the source. Night time is approaching, and I don't need any trouble during the night when there's no one to help.
This morning I considered that it might be an earthquake somewhere. A few years ago early in the morning, I felt one here when it happened in Illinois. Now that it has happened twice, I think we can rule out earthquake.
The foot doctor suggested a sonic boom. Twice also makes that unlikely.
I wasn't here most of the day, but the two noises I heard were about 8 hours apart. Can it be a very noisy vehicle driving by? Sometimes big trucks driving by or the trains a half mile away rattle the windows.
It just did it again for the third time, not quite two hours after the last time. This is distracting me to the point that eating right and living healthy are not uppermost in my mind, but I have stayed on plan today.

We ran errands today. We had an appointment at the podiatrist. I had a list of things to pick up at Lowes and Staples. We had lunch at Bob Evans.

As good as the new spinach-apple-cranberry salad at Bob Evans is, I needed a break today. From the same Fit From the Farm section, I picked the grilled salmon, baked potato (plain) and broccoli. 481 calories. The waitress brought butter and sour cream, but after I'd dosed the potato in salt and pepper, it tasted just find with some broccoli on top. I used about a half tablespoon of sour cream and no butter.
For the first time in awhile, the caramel mocha supreme drink sounded slightly tempting but not enough to be swayed. I used to get that regularly, but it was ice water and black coffee today.

Supper will be one of the Progresso light 70-calorie soup. The nuts I had for a snack moved the calories for today up into the calorie range.

Two days till weigh-in, and I get nervous about this time. What's the big deal? I said I would be happy with even a fraction of a pound. Is this Memorial Day challenge I'm doing adding stress? I was near the bottom of the totem pole last week with my 2 pound loss. So be it. I don't think I'm especially competitive this time. My goal is to keep losing, slow and steady.

Yesterday I posted a blog with the contents of an email that was especially good. Even though I credited the author, some of my friends still thought I wrote it. I am not celebrating my 50th birthday. Not guilty:)
It was about celebrating life, creating special days that leave lasting memories. I've been thinking lately about how I celebrate life, how to lighten up and keep things in perspective. I am mostly optimistic with moments of stress-induced low-grade depression. Unhealthy habits surely contribute to that, too.

I am so stressed at the moment that I am cold from the inside out. I get that way only in the most stressful circumstances. If I'm a little stressed, I eat. When I'm this stressed, I don't want to eat. I am feeling the weight of responsibility. I care for my father, too.
I may look back and realize this was nothing to get so "het up" about. But for now, I will take it to the One who said to cast all our burdens on Him, for He cares for us. I ask for safety and comfort this night.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/11/2010 (00:25)



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3/9/10 12:52 P

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Dad is relaxing in the living room, listening to a Gaither tape. Laundry is in progress. Lunch is prepped and cooking. We had a nice chat with my brother in Arizona this morning.
While vacuuming the kitchen, a fleeting thought occurred to me: it's good we don't have the housekeeping police come through with a white glove when I'm done. What prompted that? My house is fairly clean all the time, at least the rooms we live in. I've started Spring cleaning. We have too much stuff. That will take awhile to clear out. Is it ever totally gone?

I'm debating whether to buy a new recliner or reupholster the one I like. I can't operate the new ones once I'm in them. And the recliner sofas are horrible to get out of: I can't get the foot rest to stay down when I want to get up. Boing, it pops back up after I push it down.

I was thinking about rewards to go with my goals. It's hard for me to find meaningful ones. I don't want a new bottle of nail polish or lip stick. I consider pedicures and visits to the hair salon a regular part of grooming. Last night while half asleep, I realized I need a new matress. I want to wait till I lose more weight so I don't wear it out right away, haha. That could be my reward when I lose 100 pounds.

I love to travel, but that's off while I care for Dad, except for visiting family a few weeks every year.
Trips on my list are a Hawaiian cruise with the Gaithers. Don't you know they are doing it this year when I can't go. Hope they repeat some time in the future.
Another is a New England colors cruise, starting in NYC or Boston, stopping in PEI and going down the St Lawrence Seaway.
I want to do a cruise down the Mississippi, from Minnesota to New Orleans. New Orleans is always fun.
I want to see NYC around Christmas. I've been many times during Spring, Summer and Fall. I want to walk in the snow in Central Park, and see the Christmas displays in the grand old stores. We did this in Chicago one Christmas.
The grandest trip of all is one I've dreamed of for years. It was supposed to happen when I retired in 8 more years. I would take an old-fashioned steamer with lots of wood trim, from NY to England. The trip is inspired by Dodsworth, spending as long as I wanted tripping around Europe. The crowning jewel would be Paris. Of course, for a truly romantic Paris, it requires the love of my life, sigh. It's not impossible.
Gary didn't really fit anyway. His idea was to buy a motorhome when I retired and travel around the USA. I don't think I'm a motor home person. I like my conveniences. I like to be waited on when I travel. Cruising and nicer hotels fit my style.
My grand trip is still a dream, not an impossibility. It would take work since my situation has changed...having my position at work eliminated ten years before retirement. I can't even think of one buddy that would be appropriate for a trip like this.
My traveling buddies are in flux. Two moved away, and one had a major stroke, and other one got too old to travel. Oh, and another one moved away and we have little contact (her choice).
My traveling buddies that live here: one has so many health issues; one is too discontent to spend prolonged weeks with; one has gained a horrific amount of weight (now around 400???) and almost immobile; one died; and one married again after being widowed, and cannot do anywhere without her new husband. There is one more possibility, but money would be an issue,and leaving her husband that long, too. I have traveled with her before, both alone and with her family, but not recently. Heck, I haven't gone anywhere except visiting family recently. Caregiving doesn't allow travel.

So if I don't find another Prince Charming (haha), I will have to think about this. Do I want to go alone? Traveling alone isn't bad. It's more fun with a friend, but that's not always an option. If I wait for everyone to be ready, I'd never go anywhere.
One place that is NOT fun to go alone is an amusement park, but not too bad when used as a photographic journey. It's a sad photo album that has no people in it (no familiar faces). I have way too many such albums. Not even pictures of me, since I'm the one taking the pics.

I'm thinking about doing a blog about my trip to Alaska, with pics. I am in those pics. That would be fun to do.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/9/2010 (13:01)



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3/9/10 11:31 A

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I was so tired yesterday. Only 4 hours sleep Sunday night because I stayed up watching Die Hard and Die Hard 2. Don't know why since I own the videos and can watch them anytime after Dad goes to bed. A little too violent for him.
We were both falling asleep during Joyce Meyer program at 8 PM. We were in bed by 10 PM and slept till 7 AM, woohoo. Slept straight through with only one trip to the bathroom towards morning. Dad asked if I heard him getting up in the night to go to the restroom; I never heard a thing that I remember. I don't remember tossing and turning, but sometime near morning I realized my coverlet was off the bed, covering the floor heat vent, yikes.

The spark menu for breakfast was bran muffins with raisins, 3/4 cup of blueberries, and Greek yogurt.

I make my own bran muffins using Martha White honey bran muffin mix and adding raisins. Spark calculates the toaster bran muffins at 106 calories. Martha White calculates 150 per muffin, but I always make 9 muffins instead of 6, so that equals 100 calories a muffin, plus raisin calories.

I may grow used to Greek yogurt but for now I add Splenda. It's not as sweet as most yogurts.
When Denise comes to visit from England, she claims our ice cream is too sweet compared to English ice cream. She likes burgundy wine but does not like ours. When I make tuna fish sandwich, I mix it with mayo (and sometimes other things like onion or celery, etc) before putting it on the bread. She spreads her bread with butter, then carefully lays the tuna fish on it, right out of the can.

Pork chops are in the slow cooker for lunch. Menu has rice and mixed vegetables. I will calculate the calories of my substitutions, but I'm making mashed potatoes and gravy instead because the menu has rice and salmon for supper. Too much rice in one day for the rest of the family. Dad has trouble swallowing rice so I have to be careful. Sometimes I make him a potato when I have rice. If the rice has sauce on it, he has less problems swallowing it. Some stir fries or chinese are ok, too, depending on how dry the rice is. Sis #2 has the same problem.

Scale was down 2 pounds today from yesterday, but I felt thinner yesterday. Ho ho ho. Weigh-in on Friday is the one that counts. I only do measurements at the beginning of the month. Inches around waist had decreased this month, and the rest of the measurements were the same. Love to lose this middrift bulge. It's genetic; my sisters have it, too, when they gain weight. The boys are exempt. Men can weigh the same as us but they are muscular and firm. We are soft and huggable:) I love a teddy bear man to lean on. I miss Gary.

Life is good. Life is so good. I love moments like this when all is well with my world. Ordinary days are a blessing. Thank you, Lord.







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3/8/10 7:54 P

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Coming in a little low on calories. At this point, I'm too tired to care. Going to bed early tonight.





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3/8/10 11:21 A

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I FEEL thinner. My clothes feel looser. The scale is going down slowly, now about 2 pounds a week. I lost 9 pounds in the last 3 weeks.

I've been doing this long enough to know there are weeks when we don't lose any weight, even when we do what we think we should be doing. I made a commitment to be happy with even the tiniest loss, even a fraction of a pound. The big thing that I do not want to see is the same number on the scale once I've passed it, on the way up. No more yo-yo.
It is human nature to want to see the scale move at our will. That is not going to happen. We do our best; then it's up to our bodies. They are programmed to do what is best. They handle all the abuse we send their way, and fight to keep functioning. Our bodies are our biggest cheerleaders, applauding every healthy move we make. I must be content to let it lose at its own pace. I supply good things, like eating right, drinking water, exercise, enough sleep. Don't try to MAKE it dance to my tune.
Human nature is impatient. I may have to talk to myself like this again and again. I need to celebrate every "thin" moment. Celebrate life. Quit dragging myself down by having unmet expectations. Yes, I want to do well, but don't let unreasonable expectations creep in to spoil the joy of healthy living.
When we have a lot of weight to lose, it requires a great deal of patience. We want to be DOING, not waiting. It's a fix-it-now mentality so typical of those in our culture, used to one hour fixes to major problems in our television shows. It is better to lose the weight slowly.
I have only myself to blame because I started this in 2004 when I reached 277 pounds after surgery. Even joining a weight loss group did not stop the weight gain. I could no longer go to the gym, and I did not decrease calories accordingly.
That was then; this is now. Stop looking back at what is. Yes, I used to be an exercisaholic. Yes, I had major surgery twice with lengthy recovery periods and things that go wrong. I am in the recovery period still. I can't keep looking back to this. It's past. I am doing what I should be doing now. Hunker down for the long haul.
Beth, INDYGIRL, wrote a blog stating that there is no finish line for this journey. Stop looking for the finish line. This is a healthier lifestyle. It's the same life, with some conscious tweaking instead of letting life happen and following whims. It's taking back the control from external forces that have made us used to convenience food and food that has been altered to addict and pique the senses. Healthy food can be appetizing, too. We have to train ourselves to appreciate and crave it, the same as marketing experts have done with the unhealthy foods. Even with healthy foods, we have to learn portion control. In our culture, there is always enough food: we do not need to eat as much as we can now to get our share.

Yesterday I was so excited because I planned ahead for eating out. I checked the menu and nutrition info in the morning so I knew what to order for Dad and for me. I was ecstatic at the restaurant when I stopped after eating a third of the big 1800-calorie bowl spicy crispy chicken and veggies on rice. That brought the calories right where I wanted them. I brought enough home to have two more times.
What happened to that joy today? The scale didn't say what I wanted this morning. That in itself is a miracle. Remember how weekends and dining out used to be? No gain is worth celebrating. I am doing something right!
Actually I am down 2 pounds from Friday's weigh-in. What is wrong with my head that I expect more than that? Yes, I have a very, very, very long way to go. As I started to say above before sidetracking myself, I would be at maintenance if I'd stuck with it. I started this journey in 2004. Take away a year for a learning curve; that still leaves five years to reach goal. Don't beat up your body, Annie, for something YOU did.
And stop beating up yourself over this. The past is past. You only have today. Stay with the plan today and the weight will keep moving.

Another thing that is hard is when there is little outward results of all the effort I am putting into this. That will happen, but it takes time. I start thinking of myself as thinner, but no one else sees it. They see that I weigh too much. They may even smile as I fuss over calories, wondering why when it doesn't show on the outside. Some people are all talk and little action. Oh I can talk a good talk, but it takes awhile to see the results of walking it.
I'm pushing through. This time I am not going back. No sabbatical from the plan. I'm wondering if changing plans when I get bored with it really works. WHY would I get bored with it if I am making small changes that become a part of my life? Is it a case of going where the grass is greener? Are the changes too drastic to be sustainable?
That's why I like the Spark menus. I notice they have the same recipes over and over again. That's not how my life works, and I am starting to carefully work in recipes I like, substituting for our family's taste while sticking with the bones of their menus. I WANT this to work.

When I start seeing success, will it fuel more success? Will I get complacent? That is up to me. I let little things sidetrack me. I care too much what people think.
I lost 42 pounds in 2008 before letting two sparker derail me with their attitudes and comments. They were discouraged because their progress didn't match mine. I was doing low carb. Most plans do not compare to the progress people make on low carb. It loses the weight very quickly. I am not doing this for them. This is for me. I tried to be low key about it. I wasn't bragging. One of the malcontents was in the same challenge with me. I wish ALL of them were doing as well or better than me. I wasn't trying to always come in first.
Again, this is in the past. It may be best to avoid challenges which stir up this kind of sentiment. As a team, we should have been encouraging each other, cheering each other on, helping others get past the hard times and establish good habits. Just like playing cards, some people don't know that you don't trump your partner.
Now I have a wonderful group of friends that I can encourage and be encouraged. Oh, I did join a small challenge to lose 25 pounds by Memorial Day. We'll see how that goes. Will I ever learn???
Do it for yourself, Annie. And celebrate every wonderful thing today.
Maybe I need to read the entry posted right below this every day until it becomes integrated into my action. I want to live in celebration!


Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/8/2010 (11:37)



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3/7/10 8:23 P

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This was posted on MOMFAN's blog on 3/4/10. I want to save it.

Four Fundamentals of a Positive Attitude

1. ALWAYS BE EXCITED.
Get excited about life, work, and people. Find excitement in what others find mundane. Remember that life is dull and boring to dull and boring people. Life is exciting and exhilarating to excited people. There will be times that you have to pretend it is more exciting then it seems, but that’s what it take’s to maintain that mentality. Everything does get old if you let it. Learn to breath new life into what is important to you. Keep what is so special, special.

2. DON’T MAKE EXCUSES.
Many people rant and rave how bad life is. They wait for enjoyment, happiness and success, and never find it. Get in the habit of getting things done. Make it a point to take responsibility for your life. You can be a victim of circumstance or a master of circumstance. This is a choice -your choice.

3. ALWAYS BE UP.
To always be up is to take life as it comes and make the very best of it. Be up about life, people and challenges. To be up, is to see the upside of all that is around you.

4. MAKE A TOTAL COMMITMENT.
Make a commitment to your life and to becoming all that you can become. Commit to your responsibilities. You will be known as the person to count on.
A total commitment gives you the courage and energy to see things through




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3/7/10 2:21 P

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I am so proud of myself. I checked the menu and nutrition before we went to Applebee's for lunch today. I've really wanted the spicy crispy chicken bowl, but the nutrition site I visited said it was 1709 calories. When I came home today to log it, a different calorie web site said it was 1800 so I listed that. I'd rather list too many calories so that I make sure I'm within my range for the day. I purposely ate only a third. Dad and I split the chocolate chip cookie dessert. I listed the calories from the web site but they seem low. Hope I have the right dessert. They listed quite a few items on the calorie web site that are no longer on the menu. I may check around later to find a site that I'm more satisfied with their nutrition info for Applebee's. I wish Applebee's had their nutrition info on their site but they only list calories for things on the under 550 calorie menu.
I didn't waste calories on beverage, choosing water with lemon and coffee. I figure my calories were less than 800. I still have between 300-600 for supper, which is adequate. Woohoo, I did it!

My spark menu today has chicken, rice and broccoli, and that it what is in the spicy crispy orange chicken bowl. Wonder why it's so high in calories: How the chicken is prepared? the sauce? It has lots of veggies: broccoli, peapods, carrots and pepper.




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3/4/10 9:03 P

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This week has had so many special times. Read my blogs for more details. Today was another wonderful day with my dad.
We had a dental appointment for cleaning. I had a credit from a previous visit (that I was unaware of) so the bill was $23 less than I expected. Isn't that nice when things go in our favor? (Wish I could say the same for my taxes that I paid this week.)
We stopped by the post office and library, then on to one of my favorite dress shops. Since I'm not working, I rarely go there anymore. I have enough dress clothes to last me forever...or until I lose enough weight to justify new clothes. Today I found dress trousers that are long enough and a couple nightshirts that I really needed.
I had coupons for Olive Garden and Red Lobster but their parking lots were full, so we stopped at a diner closer to home. They give their customers lots of food at a reasonable price. Nothing gourmet there. No, they do not have very healthy things there. It's the kind of place that makes good breakfasts but everything else is at your own risk. We know which dishes are edible. It's a really popular place on Sundays. What a nice change today to have fewer customers there.
We had lunch around 2 PM, so that pushes supper later, too. After we got home, I checked out the mail while Dad read the paper. Then he took a nap and I jumped on the computer to visit Spark.
We had a light supper around 7:30 PM. Now he's watching tv while I'm on the laptop.
Tomorrow is a stay at home day, so maybe I'll finally get caught up with my spark friends and logging.
It's been another good day.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/4/2010 (21:05)



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3/3/10 8:12 P

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I wrote a blog today on attitude. Tonight Joyce Meyer is teaching about managing our emotions. We need to do what we say we will do. Just because we feel a certain way, we don't have to act on it. We CAN control ourselves. Until we believe that, nothing is going to change. Every day that you stat firm and stable while you are waiting for your breakthrough, you are growing. When your emotions rise up, you can say no and push them right back down. [I think this is not stuffing emotions. This is deciding to live our commitment instead of following wherever our emotions take us...which may be to refrigerator or pantry!] She said she has to stay in balance: sleep, eat right, work out, drink water. If she gets any of those our of balance, the door is open for the enemy.


Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/3/2010 (20:25)



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2/28/10 6:45 P

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This is entry #3. Start reading third one down first, then the one below this before reading this. Computer is eating my messages so I'm chopping them up in smalled pieces.

Continuation...
Because I'm sleeping more now, I'm dreaming again. I thought I was just one who didn't dream. I haven't slept well since major surgery in 2004. Hope I'm not repeating myself. I could only sleep two hours at a time after that. It's a little longer now, but has never got back to what it used to be.

Dreams are troubling and wake me up. Last night I was at a busy airport. The flight was overbooked and we were bumped to a later date.
When we arrived back at the airport and were walking through the crowds, trying not to get separated, I realized I hadn't stopped at check in to get new seat assignments so I scurried off in the direction without a word to my party. Who knows why; dreams don't have to make sense.
I was looking for the check in desk ADFA. Don't ask me what that stands for because I don't have a clue. I walked and walked, and couldn't find ADFA, and kept walking right through town into the next town, never finding any sign of ADFA.
In the country, two guys were putting in fence posts in a field. A middle aged one with dark hair came over to the country road, wiping his forehead with a big blue man-kerchief because it was hot. He didn't know where ADFA was but he guided me back to the airport.
Once there in the middle of the hustle and bustle, I stopped, exhausted and defeated, realizing the flight must have already left, and not knowing where my Dad (in his wheelchair) and my Mexican sister-in-law were by now. (I don't have a Mexican sister-in-law, but that must have been why we were on our way to Mexico). I had a melt down right there in the middle of the surging crowd, sniveling and feeling lost. I woke up crying.
I hate dreams.
Is it really healthy to sleep more than 2-4 hours?

Sleep is tied to weight loss. I'm for anything that helps me lose weight.
Annie

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 2/28/2010 (20:16)



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2/28/10 6:27 P

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Neither one of us slept well last night. As I'm making choices to eat right, I'm also trying to become regular in sleeping.

Sleep is one of the goals I track. It looks impressive but I'm tracking time in bed, not actual sleep. Who can remember exactly what time they fell asleep after they went to bed? It's usually more than an hour before I drift off. I toss and turn. I hurt. I can't get comfortable. Last night I moved from the bed to the recliner so I could finally sleep, then back to the bed early morning.

We've been going to bed by 11 PM. Since we didn't sleep well last night, we slept in this morning. Dad was a little too confused to try to take to church today so we had a quiet day at home. He's ok now. Of course, "ok" is relative. It must be hard to not remember, and even worse to forget the things you know you should know, like the way to the bedroom or the bathroom, etc. I am thankful that he can still do his own self care (grooming and dressing).

When I ask Dad what he wants to eat, he replies, "Food." I tease him that we already had that yesterday so what does he want today.

Since breakfast was around 10 AM, I planned to start lunch after 2 PM. Dad said he wasn't hungry. That's when I get into trouble and start munching. I made lunch anyway because I was hungry.

This plan usually keeps me full if I stick with it. No shortcuts. If it says a cup of milk, don't substitute water because milk helps fill me up. I like milk, but I usually drink water because it helps get in all the water I should be drinking. I've changed that approach since I want the success of following the spark menus. Water doesn't fill me the same way.

Since lunch I've been in the a munmchie mood. What is wrong with me? That has happened a couple times this week. Could be I'm getting used to the spark way of eating and becoming immune???
I had a rice krispie bar and some nuts. Nuts are shockingly high in calories so I can't eat many of them. Now I'm drinking herbal tea. If this doesn't stop it, I'll make dinner. Dad will think all I do is eat! Well, I didn't get to be this size by keeping my mouth shut. This time I'm eating to lose, doing it the right way. Well, maybe not the rice krispie bar. That wasn't listed as a snack on my menu today. It was supposed to be celery and cashew butter. I'll still come out ok on calories if I rein it in now, and I WILL.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 3/3/2010 (20:38)



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2/28/10 6:10 P

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Jeepers creepers, the computer just ate another long entry here. It happens when I use the laptop, and my hand crosses the touchpad below the keys. Never happens on the desktop with separate keyboard. Duh, no touchpad with the desk top computer.
I am not in the mood to rewrite this. Tally ho. I think this is what I said:

I am so happy to see the scale moving down. When I weighed in Friday, I was down 4 pounds since the weigh in on the previous Friday. Wahoo! Down to 298.
Saturday I was down a little more, and today was 294. I hate to even admit that I weigh that much. I thought 220 was bad! This is so embarrassing. I have gone up up up with a few yo yo blips down every once in a while, ever since major surgery in 2004. That surgery gave me much but robbed me of things I may never recoup. What I miss most is feeling young. I was always young at heart and mind, bubbling over with the joy of living. How do I get that back?

These last six years have been horrific. I had to deal with hospice and say good bye to my best friend, my mother. I had to move into a caregiving role for my father, who used to share caregiving with mom. My long time boyfriend rode off into the sunset. They all do, though he promised he was not like the others. So much for that. I miss him but I'm not giving anymore. My position at work was eliminated after 35 years. Many other long timers and administrative people were axed. Bah.

It is time to create a new life. What that will be, I don't know. I want my optimism and joy back. Escaping into mind-numbing computer games is not the high road. I need to take time and seriously think out what I want this part of my life to be about. Caring for my Dad has to be a key part of it. How can I make this good for both of us?

Well, this is going in a different direction that the original entry that the computer ate, but it's ok. It's a little too painful to share in a blog, so it's hidden in my journal where only a faithful few will read.

Edited by: ANNIESADVENTURE at: 2/28/2010 (19:00)



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2/25/10 5:40 A

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Today's menu calls for another of those yummy strawberry spinich salads for lunch. This time they've added salmon. Not sure how fish will taste with strawberries but I'll try it. It's only 2 ounces of salmon.
There is also salmon fillet on the menu for supper. I may reverse the two meals, to have the hot meal at lunch.
We prefer having our big meal at noon, and a lighter meal at night. I'm wondering if that's why I was getting into night time munching. The night meal is supposed to last us till morning. If I'm eating light at night, that's why I might have been munching.

Yesterday we had a late breakfast. Someone came by the house early afternoon, so lunch didn't happen until 3:30 PM. That makes supper so late that we usually skip it. However, Dad wanted something so I fixed scrambled eggs (and toast for him) at 7:30 PM. Eggs were not on the menu. It was too late at night for a full, heavy meal that was listed on the Spark menu. I'm sure this was less calories. I still have to log it.
Yesterday was a good day. The only thing I ate that was not on the menu was nuts. See, I did good, so my brain needs to acknowledge it and let this black cloud go.




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2/25/10 5:31 A

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As I talked about before, I need to disentangle my emotions from this journey. They are dragging me down.
I am finding success in following the Spark menus, no matter how I FEEL. I do not have to drum up motivation. I do not have to feel good about the journey, though that would be very nice. Feeling good about the journey rachets up the motivation.

I started to feel bogged down mid-January when it became apparent I was still following entrenched behaviors that add pounds. I am doing them less and less since I've got back on an eating plan.
Following Spark menus makes me feel full, so I am snacking less. I am not munching after supper. I am going to bed earlier. (As you can tell by the time of this entry, I am still not sleeping well.)

Would a new vision collage help? I have been here four years now. I still find it difficult to see beyond losing 60 pounds since that was the lowest weight since I've been trying to lose. Why did I regain those pounds? Why, why, why? Health issues and surgery and the long, long recovery. That was four years ago. I lost those pounds through exercise, being at the gym everyday. I was toned and it showed in inches lost.
After recovery from that surgery, I lost 42 pounds on low carb in 2008. Why have I regained those pounds?

I am down 20 pounds. My self talk stinks. A black cloud is following me. I HAVE LOST 20 POUNDS! It is not sinking in that I am on my way again.
Losing and regaining is demoralizing. I can do this. Forget the past. Forget the regains. They are over. This is NOW. I am down 20 pounds. No, I can't see a difference yet but I will. I don't have to find strength within myself. I don't have to use willpower. I just need to keep following the eating plan. That is one thing I can do. The weight will come off despite myself, whether my mind is on board or not. I am commited to following the Spark menus. I can do this.

Exercise is still an issue. Whatever I do must be done in the morning. It's better with pain meds. IF I exercise in the morning, I will hurt the rest of the day. IF I save the exercise for night when I can fall into bed afterwards, then it won't matter if I hurt. At least it won't wreck the whole day.
I walk throughout the day, such as trips to the mailbox and paper box. I am up and down the stairs. When I clean the house, I am moving. Grocery shopping is a lot of walking, and that's usually more than an hour.
Obviously there is something wrong with this new hip replacement. For the first couple of months, I slowly showed some improvement, slowly regaining a measure of strength. Then poof, energy bottomed out where it took enormous effort to even move.
My health insurance ended in December, so I'm on the pre-existing phase of the new insurance until June...which means they approve nothing. I expect I will have to pay for everything this year because of an enormous deductible, but what I pay doesn't even count towards the deductible because the insurance won't approve it because it's all pre-existing.
It really doesn't matter because the ortho surgeon won't admit anything is wrong with this hip. He uses different calculations than the other medical people who confirm the newly operated leg is longer. He claims pelvis tilt, which makes sense if one leg is longer and pushing the pelvis up. I've been going to him for years. He's worked miracles to keep me walking all these years. I've sent people to him for his services. I've taken family to him. I have to admit my Dad and sister's knee replacements have left them with complications. They will never walk like they should. Hopefully, this is my last hip replacement. Losing weight will prolong the life of my replacements.




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2/23/10 3:40 P

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Yummm, I just had the most wonderful spinach salad, following the Spark menu for lunch. Two cups of spinach, 18 roasted pecans broken, and 12 large strawberries.




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2/23/10 9:50 A

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Keep up the good work!

I woke up from a beautiful dream and found out I was NOT Oprah!! I had to clean (no maid) AND cook (no chef)!!! Life can be a bummer!! LOL I think they call it exercise!!!


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2/23/10 8:44 A

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Possible blog idea from Monday's diet tip, Be Accountable.

"The only person who can determine the fate of your weight-loss efforts is you."

www.mydailymoment.com/diet_and_fitness/die
t_tips.php?date=2010-02-22&utm_source=
DFBNLDHTMLgoogle&utm_campaign=DFBNL201
0-02-22&utm_medium=DFBNLhotmail.com





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