Thankful--Not Just FULL!

As the "feast day" approaches, I've fortified our food supply with many fresh fruits and vegetables.  For breakfast his morning I cut up fresh oranges (particularly tasty), bananas, and fresh pineapple.  I really like this combination.

I can't credit any one person for this reminder, but it's a good one, I think!
"Don't forget to be THANKful--not just FULL."

Act As If

I read this "Act As If" post and decided if I can do this for the next 30 days, I will have accomplished a MAJOR goal.

You can see that I've "jumped the gun" a bit as far as Christmas decorating goes.  While my husband was still on vacation, I had him pulling boxes out of the attic.  I have put up a couple of small trees, but won't DeCK tHeM OuT until after Thanksgiving.

By Christmas, I hope to be able to fit into a few of the clothes that I carelessly outgrew over the past few months.  I will accomplish this by Acting As If.

If you're challenged by some unwanted pounds, I think you'll be encouraged by this great post!

Traveling Mercies

We made a 529 mile journey, leaving immediately after church yesterday.  I packed food--pineapple, black grapes, bananas, carrot strips, some whole wheat wraps, peanut butter, raisins, and some Chex snack mix. 

It helped me empty the refrigerator, saved $$ potentially spent on restaurant meals, and helped us get to our destination earlier.

There will be time for restaurant eating later.
I spent the morning at 3 thrift stores located right downtown AND across from this tempting sign.
Since I still had 37 minutes in the parking meter, I crossed the street and purchased 1/2 pounds of chocolates.  It was hard to decide which ones to pick, but I tried to limit my selections to those healthy dark chocolate ones!

The chocolates are made on the premises and you can order on-line.  I highly recommend them! Did I mention that in a second room, all they had were truffles?

Looking Ahead

Clearly, October is gone and November is well into itself!  After a busy week with two grandsons, I have minutes now to regroup and reflect.  Yesterday I surprised myself by commenting on someone's facebook post with these sentences.  (I'm not sure WHO I was "channeling", but I like the sound of it!)

Every DAY is a new beginning with me. Some days I absolutely ROCK! Other days, I couldn't tell you what I accomplished. But every day I try to "love on" SOMEone, create or appreciate some beauty, learn something new, laugh out loud, do something good for my body, and bring a smile to God's "face"

Looking ahead, I see that our schedule over the next week and a half will involve travel and eating out. I  I will return to these statements (which I've copied into my date book) to bring some focus and shape and sanity to my the next few days.

Before October Ends...

You know it's bad when I resort to posting silhouettes--silhouettes reflected in a mirror that's slanted just right--and THOSE posted with a hope that no one clicks on the picture to enlarge it in order to see details!

Facing the reality reflected in the mirror, I did my food shopping. Apples, a pineapple, some black grapes (yummy!), and a bunch of broccoli were some of my purchases. 

I KNOW I need to get serious about cutting the sugar out of my diet again.  It has slowly crept back in (yesterday in the form of a a small piece of homemade coconut cream pie).  I also made an unwise choice or two in restaurants the past couple of week (onion rings & something else I've already forgotten). 

I'm thankful for the healthy alternatives available in my grocery store.
I'm thankful for mirrors and cameras that confront me with my reality.
I'm thankful for an inward desire to change.
I'm thankful for Power to change.

Before October ends, I'm going to have ONE good day of healthy eating and 30 minutes of walking!
That would be TODAY!

Distracted, Disorganized, but Determined

I've lost some ground, but I've not given up! 
I've been distracted and disorganized, but 
my determination is at a high level this morning.

The 3 Bite Rule

Sigh...........The Hostess of the Humble Bungalow mentions the 3 BITE RULE in this post.   I THINK I'm going to practice that for a few days and see what happens.  SOMEthing has to give!  (I just ate a piece of leftover taco pizza for breakfast, so I'm starting right NOW.)


"You have to wake up with DETERMINATION if you want to go to bed with SATISFACTION!"
(Heard on Dave Ramsey's radio show today.)
 I'm WORKING at it!

Seize THIS Day!

I may not look too thrilled about it, but I AM wearing jeans that don't have an elastic waistband!  And I DID do 30 minutes of exercise this morning!  And I DID avoid major sweets, bread and pasta yesterday! 

A quote from my morning devotional said this:  "When God says 'today', He doesn't mean 'tomorrow'."  I blogged a little more about that HERE

Hope you're making the most of YOUR opportunities and seizing the minutes of THIS day to be all God envisions for you.


Today is my first INTENTIONAL day of 30 minutes INTENTIONAL exercise after a long period of an UNINTENTIONAL lapse!

If only I had the upper arm strength of our granddaughter!  Sigh.

The Thrill of Victory. The Agony of Defeat.

Keeps me busy just snapping pictures!
"What is it about victory that breeds complacency and then failure???"  Those were Jess's words to me yesterday in her comment.  If we could figure out the answer to that, we'd all be LOSERS (or actually WINNERS at the weight loss/management game)!

That cycle was certainly the story of Israel in their Old Testament history, wasn't it!  Hmmmmm.  I need to study that again.

Tackling MY game at the four levels from yesterday:
  • I'm weighing in but not telling!  I'll record it in my journal.
  • Still wearing an elastic waistband because nothing else fits.  
  • Will exercise MORE than 30 minutes with the grands here.
  • Will have watermelon instead of sweets and only  one piece of pizza (lunch) and no other breads or pasta.
Joined the family at age 7 months!


    Face the Facts

    Unfortunately, I've NOT been maintaining the healthy habits that brought me to a healthy weight last year.  I've wasted a good summer.  (Well, a HOT summer, anyway!)

    Today when it came time to dress, I admitted the fact that there is very little in my closet that fits.  I got rid of larger clothes in January, thinking that would be incentive to keep the weight off.

    Here for me to face are the facts:
    • I was irregular in 30 minutes of daily exercise--then quit altogether.
    • I have been careless - make that EXCESSIVE - in the amount of sweets and breads I've been eating.
    • I quit weighing everyday.
    • I started wearing elastic waistbands!

    I'm sure there are more facts to face, but for now these are the ones I need to reverse.  I will be posting more regularly here again in expectation that it will help me be more thoughtful about my actions.

    Iodized or Non-Iodized?

    After 40 years of adult life, you'd think I'd remember which kind of salt I should use!  Today I stood in front of the two types and reached for the iodized.  It was about $.20 less than the non-iodized.  When I got home, I googled the subject and found out some VERY interesting facts!

    Iodized salt is any salt that has been fortified with the essential trace mineral-- iodine. Iodine as well as sodium (salt), can be found in most plants including fruits and vegetables. But the amounts you are able to obtain from plants may not always be enough especially if they have been grown in poor soil. Therefore, iodized salt can help to maintain a healthy balance of iodine in the body.  The benefits of using iodized salt are numerous, as the whole body depends on these two minerals in order to function properly:
    Improved Thyroid Function
    Our bodies needs iodine for the thyroid to produce a couple of essential hormones called thyroxine and triodothyronine. These hormones help to regulate the metabolism and the growth and development of the body.
    **Improved Brain Function**
    Iodized salt can improve the functions of the brain, such as memory, concentration and the ability to learn. An iodine deficiency can lower the IQ by as much as 15 points.
    Healthy Pregnancies
    Iodized salt in moderation can help to prevent miscarriages and stillbirths. It can also help to avoid cretinism, which can affect the physical and mental growth of the baby while it is in the womb or shortly after it is born. Cretinism may affect the speech and hearing as well as other bodily movements.
    **Fights Depression**
    Depression and feelings of anxiety and frustration may be the result of an iodine deficiency. Iodized salt can help to ensure that you are getting enough iodine to prevent these emotional feelings from occurring.
    **Weight Control**
    Iodine is important for regulating the metabolism. When it is too high, you may not be able to gain a healthy weight, and if it is too low, you may gain weight, or be unable to lose it. Additionally, iodized salt can increase your energy levels so that you will exercise more.
    Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
    Iodized salt can prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying in the intestines and can help you to prevent many symptoms of IBS, such as headaches, fatigue and constipation.
    **Improved Appearance**
    It can help to cure dry and flaky skin, and improve the growth of your hair and nails. It also plays a role in developing and maintaining healthy teeth.
    **Removes Toxins**
    Iodized salt can help to remove harmful metals such as lead and mercury as well as other harmful toxins from your body. This can help to restore a healthy pH level in your body.
    **Fights Cancer**
    Studies have shown that an iodine deficiency may contribute to certain types of cancersuch as breast, ovary, lung and prostate cancers.
    **Heart Health**
    Iodized salt can help to create hormones which regulate the heart rate and blood pressure. It can also help the body to burn extra fat deposits that contribute to heart disease.

    We only need about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. of iodized salt daily, as 1/2 tsp. contains as many as 200 micrograms of iodine. The recommended daily dosage for the average adult is 150 micrograms. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consume between 175 to 200 micrograms daily. Most processed foods contain salt, but usually this salt is not iodized. So you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that you are getting enough from iodized salt or from other foods.

    **I assume this information is basically accurate.  The items I marked are of particular interest to me!   
    Who knew?

    Scared Straight

    A couple of days ago, I overheard a conversation in our local public library.  Apparently one of the individuals had two tumors in her brain. The two people she was talking with encouraged her to google "baking soda" and consider this alternative treatment for cancer. 

    I don't have cancer.  But I came home and googled it.  One of many, many articles that appeared was THIS one.  I am NOT recommending this treatment, but was intrigued by the article and wonder if there is a nugget of truth in it.

    It was a long article and claims to be quoting something from "John Hopkins Hospital".   I'm going to do further research on what was supposedly contained in that newsletter because most of the information seemed consistent with everything else I know about healthy habits.

    It was enough to "Scare me Straight" (does anyone remember that phrase and method of confronting destructive behavior?)!!!

    By the way, there are many sites that have great suggestions for putting Baking Soda to use in your home.  Here's one of them with 75 of 'em!

    "Life Was Meant to Be Lived..."

    "I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on.  Life was meant to be lived.  Curiosity must be kept alive.  One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."  
    -Eleanor Roosevelt

    Personally, I've found that healthy physical habits are inseparable from healthy emotional, mental and spiritual practices. 

    I've also learned (many times over) that it takes longer to MAKE new habits than to BREAK old habits! 

    Life WAS meant to be lived!  And while the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy, Jesus came that I may have life, and have it to the full!  (John 10:10)

    The Encouragement of Friends

    You just never know the good your words or actions may trigger in another person!  This morning, Donna's post was on my mind.   Besides being happy with/for her, it served to prod me to put my "pedal to the metal"*!

    It helped that I woke up with new energy after sleeping most of the last 24 hours.  After a week of stomach upset, I finally THINK I feel better.  I have no excuse to put off the proper care and feeding of my body

    So after saying "good-bye" to my husband, I put the trampoline down on the floor and began my 30 minute walk/workout.  Now, at 7:45 a.m., I am drinking a glass of water and celebrating.  I did it!

    * When the accelerator is pushed so far it can't move any more, (in some cars) it hits a metal bar, or the end of the footwell (which is hopefully made of metal). Hence the term pedal to the metal. Obviously if you have the accelerator all the way forward you're gonna be gathering speed...or going fairly fast.

    Thanks, Donna!  
    I Thessalonians 5:11:  "Therefore encourage on another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing."

    I Walked and Walked and Walked Some More

    I didn't walk 30 minutes today;  I walked more like two hours.
    I didn't walk quickly today;  I did some strolling.
    I didn't walk alone today; I walked with my husband.
    It wasn't cool today;  it was hot.
    I didn't walk inside my house today;  I walked through other peoples' homes and gardens.

    To see more of the OUTDOOR scenes that I saw, click here.

    I'm WITH It!

    This is the path from our side yard to the front door.  This week (as many of you know) I began a path.  A path of 3 days without white flour, pasta & rice.  I was successful and got back to 30 minutes of walking daily, too.  I'm not at the "front door" yet, but I'm on the way.

    More important than what I went WITHOUT is what I am WITH!  I am WITH energy--emotional and physical.  I'm going to get serious about finding the article that triggered this three-day dare.  It made sense then; it makes sense now.  I'd just like to read it in full again.

    Losing It With Jillian

    In my weight loss journey of last year, I pretty much eliminated breads and pasta from my daily menus.  Concentrating on fruits and vegetables with occasional chicken or fish, I successfully lost over 40 pounds.  Gradually, I have drifted back into eating breads and pasta -- too much, too often.  

    After reading a chiropractors blog yesterday, I accepted his challenge to eliminate breads, pasta, & white flour completely for three days and take note of my energy levels and emotional responses.  Today was Day 1.  Already I believe I have more energy.  I didn't feel sluggish and sleepy in the afternoon.  I intend to follow this plan the next two days.

    I came to the end of the day and hadn't exercised.  While flipping TV channels, I came across a show that was new to me:  Losing It With Jillian*.  After about 15 minutes of watching a husband and wife with significant weight to lose do so intensive workouts, I got out of my chair and did my 30 minute indoor walking routine while I watched.

    I'm really thankful that I did it. I plan to do it early tomorrow morning instead of putting it off until 8:30 p.m.!

    *Losing It With Jillian: Jillian Michaels To Rid Families Of Their Excuses and Empower Them To Transform Their Lives In a New Life-Changing Series (from a Press Release)

    "I've Been Resting on my Laurels"

    (Sung to tune of "I've Been Working on the Railroad") 
    I've been resting on my laurels
    Far too many days!
    I've been resting on my laurels;
    But I'm done with lazy ways.
    So I got back to my work-out.
    Now to plan my meals...
    I've been resting on my laurels
    But now I'm back to "real"!

    Centuries ago, the Greeks crowned the victor in the Pythian Games with a wreath of laurels in the belief that laurels communicated the spirit of prophecy and poetry.  (They also reportedly put laurel leaves under their pillows to acquire inspiration!)  The laurel in modern times is a symbol of victory and peace and of excellence in literature and the arts.

    The phrase "Rest on your laurels" refers to being so satisfied with past achievement that you make no effort to improve--to stop trying because of one's success or satisfaction with the past.

    Well, I'm DONE with that!  I've even been inspired to hijack the words to an old song to sing of my resolution and effort today! 
    Sing along, if you want!

    Days Well-Lived at the Abbey

    A solitary walk up this hill yielded this close up of Joseph and Jesus....
    Another day, a hike with friends took us to the statues.
    Healthy meals (and no in-between-meal snacks) and daily outings like these contributed to my PHYSICAL well-being.  My emotions and spirit were similarly nurtured.  I hope to honor the time I enjoyed at Gethsemani by continuing these practices.

    Warriors...Not Victims

    "I find physical work profoundly energising and the exercise helps us get rid of stress and prepares us to live as warriors and not as victims."  When I found this statement  here under the title "A Bit of Motivation to Get on with Things", I grabbed it like a lifeboat!

    I'm thankful for our yard and the tasks necessary to tend it.  While it has natural beauty, left to its own it would become unsightly.  So I shall continue to "work it" and count neither the hours nor painful joints unproductive or wasted!  (In that way, perhaps I will not become unsightly either!)

    Garden Workout

    I donned these (comfortable, bright, and washable) and spent about 2 hours trimming...
     and carrying the watering can back and forth.
    I'll record it in my sidebar as an hour's worth.  I'm not sure how to count it except fun!


    RETORK was my verification word when I commented on Valerie's post this morning.  That's what I'll be doing today, and tomorrow, and the next day....

    Fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, 6-8 glasses of water, and a 30 minute walk are my minimum RETORKING tools.  What are yours?

    I Heard That!

    "What you tolerate, you cannot change."  I was only half-listening to a political talk show when a caller quoted someone who said that.  I fumbled around for a pen to write it down, repeating it to myself so I didn't forget it!  I heard nothing else.  It hit me like a ton of bricks!

    It belongs in THIS blog of mine.  It applies and explains some of the difficulty I'm facing in reaching my goal of 135 pounds. 

    Inspiration and encouragement comes from the most unexpected places!

    Does Cleaning House Count?

    I'm not sure how much time I spent cleaning - vacuuming, dusting, cleaning the bathroom floor, sink, toilet and tub.  But it may be all the exercise I get today!  I calculated at this site, and came up with at least 188 calories. This is a great place to figure out how many calories you burn at various activities, by the way. 

    I'm getting ready for overnight guests, friends I've never met face-to-face--only corresponded with....It always makes me a little nervous.  House cleaning is not my favorite activity, but I must confess the upstairs looks VERY nice.

    Now for making sure meal prep is complete before going to my No-Longer-Red-Hats luncheon at noon.  We've invited a few friends to the house this evening to meet our overnight guests.  I've made an extremely unhealthy (but delicious) dessert to serve (baked pretzel crust;  layer of cream cheese, sugar & whipped cream; top layer of strawberries in strawberry jello).

    I'm thinking a day full of friends and fun will make up for the clouds and rain outside.

    Taking My Thoughts Captive

    Motivation to Live Well 5/5/2010
    "Keep a journal in your purse or night table to jot down thoughts of inspiration.  Meditate on those thoughts often."

    I keep THIS one in my purse....Tonight I'm taking one up to my night table. Writing down my thoughts has helped me sort them out and prioritize them, and remind me of my commitments to follow through with exercise, reading, or other goals.

    See more about "taking thoughts captive" at my Life & Godliness blog, if you're interested...


    What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals. (Zig Ziglar)

    They were simple goals, but they were the impetus I needed yesterday to break out of the lethargy that had settled in over me like a heavy fog.  I happily reviewed my day as I went to bed last night and realized I had actually accomplished  all three "30s"!  Not only that, but I saw this beautiful lilac bush as I took my 30 minute walk. 
    I am becoming.
    I have new & simple goals for today.
    30 minutes walking
    20 chapters read for Read-through-the-Bible plan
    30 minutes reading A Year in Tuscany


    I got my body up and out the door this morning.  It took me 20 minutes to walk up to and around the elementary school building and back through the park toward our house.  When I saw that I had an additional 10 minutes to reach my 30 minute goal, I went around the block behind our house.  There I met my neighbor who was wheeling a wheelbarrow toward his garage.  I stopped to chat and walked "in place" while we visited.  I'm sure I looked a little weird, but I'm DETERMINED to get this walking thing going again!

    Coming 'round the house, I could resist taking a few pictures of our yard--so beautiful to me.  You can see more on my garden blog.
    Now to read 30 chapters in my Bible to catch up in my "Through-the-Bible-in-a-Year" plan and spend 30 uninterrupted minutes reading a book I've started (Every Day in Tuscany).  I've been highly distracted lately and am committed to Self-Control today!


    The moment you stop saying "if" and start saying "when" is the moment your dreams start becoming a reality.

    I'm SAYING when.  This afternoon.  After church!  No more ifs, ands, or buts (at least as long as I remember this...).

    Reading Cindy's post was great motivation for me.  And the Lord knows I needed motivation.  Thanks, Cindy!

    Blogging friends, let's get it going - or keep it going (depending on your current situation).  The encouragement and inspiration we pass back and forth are REALLY helpful--and in the end, it really is up to us to do what WE can do to be healthy and fit.

    Who Knew?

    Medium Chocolate Xtreme Blizzard
    980 calories
    I looked it up for myself.  No wonder they didn't put THIS information on the same sign as the special price!  And I ordered mine with chocolate ice cream - which probably added to the calories.
    I had NO idea.  (And I'm not blaming Dairy Queen.)

    Dairy Queen Made Me Do It!

    From Motivation to Live Well today...."Live not in what has happened, or fear of what may come tomorrow. Live Well! in the here and now, and treat this as your defining moment."

    Back from a seminar today where I learned to say, "THAT was my old self; THIS is my NEW self!" (See Ephesians 4:22-24).  

    I SHOULD have remembered this when traveling to and from Grandparents' Day at our grandson's school in Illinois this week!  We passed (and stopped at) Dairy Queens coming and going - lured by the sign advertising "Blizzards!  Buy one; get the second for 25 cents!"

    Transitioning into Spring

    Almost every day of our vacation included trail hikes or nature walks.  Yesterday I rode in the car all day.  And this morning, exercise was gardening.  I need to be intentional about getting daily exercise now that the weather has changed.  I didn't gain any weight while on vacation--but I didn't lose any either.  I need to get at least 5 pounds off as soon as possible!

    Strolling in Charleston

    My "sauntering" yesterday was good practice for the Extreme Strolling we did in Charleston all day today!  Cobblestone and brick were two of the street surfaces that paved the roads in front of some of the most beautiful homes I've ever seen!  (For more pictures of our day, see my main blog.)
    Most of the streets were marked this way in the sidewalks.  There were also newer street signs on posts.  This one marked the street containing a lively enclosed market area.  We found this coffee place here.  I had a cappuccino muffin with chocolate chips (I can only HOPE they were dark chocolate!)
    We also spent relaxing time overlooking Cooper Bay.  This is a must-see city.  I'm so glad we made the decision to come here.  I feel stimulated physically and mentally because of our time in this city of friendly people and historical roots.

    Sauntering in South Carolina

    After walking 30 minutes indoors early this morning, I spent many more minutes walking in Columbia, South Carolina, the state capitol.  The wonderful chocolate truffle I ate after a lunch of grilled cheese sandwich and fresh fruit was not the healthiest choice--but it WAS dark chocolate.  The weather was beautiful today!  Sunshine and fresh air are SO refreshing.

    Tennessee Walkz

    I walked at noon in Tennessee!  The temperature was warm; the sights were beautiful. Our friends live on a golf course, so there were many pleasurable things to see.  I also enjoyed hearing the bird songs.  
    Outdoor walks are the best!

    Climb Interrupted

    If you're wondering about my "climb", take a look at my other blog.  I've been temporarily sidelined.  But I shall complete the climb shortly. 

    The Climb - Day 9 They did it ALL!
    In observing and entertaining grandchildren the past few days, I've had plenty of opportunity to move in new, colorful ways!

    Sometimes "the climb" gets boring and the main view is the hard rock of the mountain side.

    But seeing all the options out there for kids,  I'm determined to add some new, colorful options to my "climb"!

    Just this past week I heard that the 30 minute of exercise a day once recommended has now been expanded to 60!  The coming of warmer weather brings with it many opportunities for extra minutes of  colorful climbing for me.

    I want to keep exploring, keep moving, and keep my sense of wonder at all the new things waiting for me out there!

    The Climb - Day 8 - Encountering the Unexpected

    The "unexpected" has crossed my route to the summit!  It has come in several forms - including computer glitches that reveal how important blogging has become to me in journaling my weight management experiences!  It is almost impossible for me to upload pictures to my blogs.  Just now, when a spell check indicated a problem, uploading the correction sent the computer into a tizzy!  (I chose another word instead.)  I simply have despaired of blogging for the time being.  But the climb MUST go on.  I will adjust and continue.

    A second "unexpected" is how having our two grandchildren with us the past few days has affected my schedule.  The control I thought I had over my time and energy expenditure has been compromised.  (It's called "grandparenting", I think).  They will be returning home tomorrow.  Meanwhile, I will adjust and continue.

    Adjust and continue.  That is my mantra for today!  Fellow climbers, how are YOU doing?  

    The Climb - Day 5 - "The Art of Resting"

    From our reading in Streams in the Dessert Volume 2 this morning:  "The art of resting at noon" (Song of Solomon 1:7) "has been lost, and many are succumbing to the strain of  life which is being lived in 'high gear'.  Rest is not a sedative for the sick, but a tonic for the strong."

    All around me--sickness; sadness; discouragement!  REST, my friends!  How many of our illnesses, how much discouragement, how many stresses would be avoided if we consistently rested?

    In the word of Mrs. Charles E. Cowman, "See that your clock does not run down!"  (I realize for many of younger readers, the idea of a clock running down is a strange allegory!  Most watches no longer need wound.  Few clocks need winding.  But this hasn't changed--the body needs rest.)