Category Archives: Changes

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report

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The short report is 27.6 pounds  and 23 inches down.

The longer and more significant answer is that we are S L O W L Y  learning to modify our eating habits as we lose the lard.

We are making a point of going out to eat, rather than it being a special splurge for the week, using the meals as our ‘flex’ meals, learning to rein in our silly and destructive former habits. It’s easy to just ‘go out to eat’ and blow things for the next few days, if not a week. It’s harder, but more productive, to choose carefully from the menu, or – throwing caution to the winds – actually ordering what we want (within reason) AND ordering a doggie bag right then, cutting our meal into halves, and THEN plowing in to enjoy every bite. Not only does it help with the poundage, but also the pocketbook!

We figure our ultimate success depends on NOT feeling deprived. We really like going out to eat. We really like eating things not a normal part of our diets. If we can modify our intake to make up for this, we can make it for the long run.

This doesn’t mean that every day is ‘national-whatever-week’ – the celebration of which causes throwing our diet out the window. But if we NORMALLY eat super-healthy, and then eat half a cheeseburger and some tater tots occasionally, it’s much easier to go back to normal for the next meal, if that makes sense.

So far, it’s working for us. I’m HOPING that the NEXT time I order our Nutrisystem for the month, I can apply for a 30-pounds-off-bear to be included. Each mini-goal makes me feel I’m making progress. My massage therapist saying I looked, “skinny” today, helps, too! :0)  Even though I know she’s just being kind and I have a long way to go to my goal, it’s NICE when people encourage you by NOTICING there is a bit less of you. My husband got a boost this past Monday night when we went bowling with our good friends. They BOTH noticed how much weight he had lost. He was already feeling good, wearing some new smaller-in-the-waist pants and a new, smaller shirt, and the compliments topped things off nicely.

So, we have a good start now. I need to lose a LOT more lard, and my husband needs to start exercising, and together we’ll be healthier every day.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating, opportunities, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Decluttering Project – Phase Two – Office

I’ve been going through our home this year, trying to look at everything with a fresh eye with the idea of keeping what is useful or brings us joy, and giving away what we hope others can use, and getting rid of ‘stuff’ that just weighs us down. Since we’ve been in the house for over 30 years now and are both pack rats, this is a big job. We aren’t ‘hoarders’ as on TV, but we have gone far beyond reasonable in ‘stuff.’

I’ve made good progress, going through each of the rooms of the house (with only cursory attention to basement, garage, and shop due to ‘intense discussions’ on what constitutes ‘junk’) and am now starting PHASE II, going through everything again.

I started with our office, because we both spend a lot of time in here. My husband was finally able to get both of our computers going again (INTENSE GRATEFULNESS and RELIEF) so I’m officially moving the laptop back out to our shop. There is one remaining open computer on the counter. This is a project of my husband’s, so I’m keeping hands off and mouth firmly shut. :0)

Otherwise, I have been working on this room part of each day for approximately two weeks. Trips and other priorities made this a bit hit and miss, but today I feel as if I’ve made definite progress.

I have one small pile of things left to file or pitch. Otherwise, I’ve cleaned out my drawers and shelves here. It’s nice to not have to wade through a whole pile of ‘stuff’ to get to my calendar, or discover that I actually have two wall calendars for 2019 already! I’m comfortable at my computer now.

 

This was a real mess. I threw away a BUNCH of things. Again, I can find things easily now and have removed more dust than I care to detail. :0(  Our shredder is sitting on a box containing a new laser printer. Our old printer that was beyond used up suddenly gasped and is functioning. We’ll finish out what it can do and THEN get the new one set up.

 

And this is my impractical, but well-loved desk, finally clear of many piles of things that couldn’t be moved before today for various reasons. It’s nice to be able to have a spot to actually work without having to move stacks and stacks of ‘stuff.’

Motivation is picturing our son, who lives and works in Thailand – and who loves his minimalist lifestyle, having to go through things and decide what to do with all of it. I’m not sure which room I’ll tackle next. I have to admit that everywhere I look, attention is needed. I feel good that I have one room “Phase Two Finished.”

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, Housekeeping - Maintenance, I'm a slob, Organizing/DeCluttering

Efforts to Get the Lard Off

The Cincinnati Zoo Blog

I’ve told you I spent 5 days in Thibodaux, Louisiana, recently, visiting my husband’s cousin’s wife, Murray, one of the sweetest people on Earth. I had a great time, getting lots of good hugs,meeting a lot of fine people, and eating lots of good food. I threw caution to the winds, eating whatever seemed reasonable at the time, enjoying every bite.

If you’ve been reading my blog, you also know about my continuing effort to get the lard off – a daunting goal when you’re weight, age, and exercise challenged by nature.

I gained almost 4 pounds in the 5 days I was gone, but I got right back on the Nutrisystem horse when I returned. My husband and I even had a flex meal of steak and baked potatoes the other night, but we’re learning to compensate for flex meals better now.

This morning I was pleased to note that, not only had I lost the 4 pounds I had gained, but also hit a new low on the scales! I’m happy to report that as of this morning I’ve lost 26 pounds and 22.55 inches since we started on Nutrisystem this time. (I say, “this time,” because we were on it in the past, several years ago, and quit, due to NS dropping all the meals my husband liked.)

I’m also REALLY happy to tell you that my husband is trying to do some sit ups!  This is a former Marine, used to doing a LOT of exercise to stay in shape while in the Corps. This is also the man who told me, “No way!” when I suggested that HE try to exercise, too. He has been encouraging ME, but steadfastly refuse to do any type of exercise himself.

(He caught a cold from my bringing home germs from my trip, and so has taken a few days off, but is really trying to do these each day. I have learned that, even if you can’t do the exercises or stretches as you would like, ATTEMPTING to do them on a regular basis strengthens and/or lengthens muscles, too, and so the effort is fruitful.

 

 

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Icing on the Cake

Life Love and Sugar

I’ve told you that my husband and I decided that we needed to do everything we could to get and stay healthier. We know we can’t control everything – by far – but there are things that we can do that will improve our quality of life and hopefully allow us to spend many more years together.

My husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago. We adopted a low carb diet and each of us lost some weight, but we needed more help. We decided to try Nutrisystem in April, since they had a program that was geared for diabetics (although my husband denies he has diabetes. He calls it a ‘sugar problem.’) Whatever you CALL it, it had already resulted in pain in his legs and feet and double vision, among other symptoms.  He was turned down for term life insurance. We had to go for the no exam type for low coverage and high premiums.

We had our quarterly doctor’s appointment in August. My husband’s A1C was almost NORMAL. (Isn’t that a lovely word?)  The doctor says if he keeps improving the way he’s been going, he might be able to stop taking the blood sugar medicine altogether in the future! Besides losing weight – since he has tried to cut out as much sugar as possible – the double vision is gone. The pain in his feet and legs is gone.

My blood test numbers were up to 65 points improved in all areas. I had been high in everything, even on the low carb diet, so this was a huge improvement. The doctor was really pleased and said I didn’t need to come back for 6 MONTHS!  My husband has one more 3 month appt in November, and if he has continued to do well, he’ll move to 6 MONTH appts, too!

The icing on the cake – and peace of mind – is that yesterday we found out he had been ACCEPTED by the insurance company for a 10-year level term life insurance policy!!! WOO HOO!  The policy we had was due to skyrocket in premiums in November on his birthday….

So losing weight, watching what we’re eating, and trying to get used to what a normal portion is, plus trying to move more (and in MY case, do some real exercise) is improving our quality of life and our chances for living to enjoy it for several years to come.

My husband is almost to his weight goal. He’ll decide what he wants to do when he gets there, but I’m hoping he’ll stick to the Nutrisystem while I’m on it, at least. I still have a long way to go on weight loss – between the low carb and now Nutrisystem programs, I’ve now lost a total of 35 lbs or so and 24 inches – I have a good start.

Lifestyle changing is no picnic. You have to fight the fight in your head and really want to get healthier. We think it’s worth it.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Checked Off!

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It seems as if we’ve been working on a bunch of things FOREVER with endless details and lots of frustration, but things are finally coming together and we’re able to get things checked off.

  • The biggest frustrating thing was that both of our computers died at once. This has never happened before, and we’ll be making some changes so that if it happens again we’ll be better able to handle it. My husband finally got my computer up and running and most everything back on it and accessible. I’ve been working on my laptop and we didn’t have access to any of our regular places because we lost access to our passwords. We’ve now made a CD we can slip into a computer and access everything. We’re now sharing this computer, with a keyboard that toggles back and forth between QWERTY (regular keyboard) and DVORAK (my husband’s special keyboard.) He is able to access his email now, plus play on the computer, so we’re workable until he gets his motherboard returned – either the one we sent back fixed, or a new one. Hopefully, the put back together on his will go smoothly. It will be a LONG time before I take any of this for granted again.
  • Since our son lives and works across the globe from us, we’re trying to do everything humanly possible to make things easier for him when the time comes he has to handle our remaining affairs when the second one dies. Some people really don’t want to think about this, but we want to have the decisions made and the arrangements handled, then put them away and not think of them again for hopefully many years from now. We had this all done – or most of it – and then a law in Arkansas changed and messed our plans up. We had to start again. After a huge amount of work, details, legal documents, payments and cards to carry in our wallets, all arrangements are done and paid for.
  • I’ve told you before that my husband was diagnosed with Type II diabetes a couple of years ago. The result was a very expensive life insurance policy that requires no medical exam. This policy premium was due to skyrocket as a ‘Happy Birthday’ present in November. Today we were notified that he has been accepted for a 10 year level term life insurance policy that DID require a medical exam. Since he’s done so well changing his diet, losing weight, etc., he qualified for the policy this time! We handled the remaining details this morning and were able to call and cancel the policy that was due to balloon later this year. Now THAT’S a much better birthday present!

There are other things we’ve been doing, but these are the biggest and most important right now. Now we can relax and feel much less stressed!  Sometimes being stubborn, tenacious and persistent pays off!!!!

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Another Character-Building Exercise

Fabulous Traveling

I was incommunicado all day yesterday because the new motherboard for my computer arrived. My good husband worked on things all day, getting us to about 2/3 up now.

Almost everything that COULD happen – and more we hadn’t thought of – were obstacles. Just one example – the new power supply was wired “backwards.”

We did all we could do yesterday, finally getting so my husband could finally see his email. We contacted a person who bought a book from us on Amazon, apologizing for the delay and telling him his book would be mailed Monday…  We got our Password Safe program and data back, thanks to my husband hooking up his hard drive to my computer until things pass for some kind of normal around here. We made a DVD copy of our data so we won’t be without it again.

Being without a computer is a character-building exercise. Being without TWO computers and access to passwords has been really challenging. We’re thankful we had the laptop from the shop, but I hope I won’t have to use it – except for loading pics of what new mailbox decoration I’m trying to paint – for a long time, if ever again.

My husband is taking a well-deserved nap now. He even got it so I can print something!

Remaining problems are mainly that my data and storage drives aren’t showing on the computer. I’m really thankful we regularly back my main data drive on a couple of external drives. I’ve been using that while on the laptop, and am using it now, as I type.

It’ll be a LONG time before I start taking my computer, keyboard, access to passwords, etc., for granted.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises

Now We’re Talkin’

Alamy

Pound 24 came off today!  And 23+ inches gone. I feel as if I am definitely off to a good start now.

I had that happy news and then got to go for a heavenly massage, so I’m feeling that today is a stellar day.

We have eaten more ‘flex’ meals than usual because our Nutrisystem supplies were almost gone. (We got our orders today), so I’ve been worried that the scale and the tape measure would both start backtracking. We held our own and made progress. Hooray!!!

Another happy note – we may be seeing a sliver of light regarding the computer issues that have really been character-building exercises recently. My husband’s motherboard has been sent back for repair or replacement. I ordered another motherboard – a different model – and that should be on its way to us now. Today I FINALLY reached someone on chat at NewEgg who found our order for my previous refurbed motherboard and said she would contact the seller to give us an RMA # within two business days, and – if they didn’t get back to us – that NewEgg would handle the return and refund for us. I had almost given up ever reaching their customer service department.When I tried to use the chat, I was told I was number 75 or so in the queue. When I tried to call, the wait time was 36 minutes or so. I couldn’t just send it back because we had no order # or any paperwork to go with it. This lady – Olivia at NewEgg helped us out tremendously.

Even though we’re still in the trenches as far as working regular computers go, things appear to be improving.

I hope YOUR day is good, too!

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Dinosaur

Rosie made a Thing – via The Hippies were Right via Stephanie Youmans Wilson

Just in case you were wondering – my favorite dinosaur is a Stegosaurus, though I’ve never met one personally. :0)

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Since I’m older than dirt, I FEEL like a dinosaur for many reasons –

The one that hits me in the face the most often is that good manners, common courtesy, good communication, and doing what you say you’ll do when you said you would do it have gone the way of the dinosaurs. It saddens me that I’m AMAZED when someone treats me the way I try to treat everyone.

One example of what I consider ‘old world style’ customer service is when we got covers for our gutters recently. I got three prospects for people who would install the covers. One never bothered to call back. Two called and came. One of the companies was really nice, but we couldn’t afford their services. The other was trying to make a ‘one time rush deal,’ so I blew him off. I decided to try to get an estimate for just cleaning out our gutters. I lucked into Edwards Gutter Cleaning in Fort Smith, AR. 

He came out and looked at things. He asked if I would like him to install covers after he got the gutters cleaned out. We talked and I discovered that he did almost anything outside. I asked him if he could saw off the large branch that had broken off a tree at the bottom of our driveway. He gave me an estimate for all of this, coming in at 1/3 the price of the highest estimate. We agreed on a time and the amount of money. He actually gave me a time he would come. When he was delayed, he called me and asked if it were all right if he came an hour later. He discovered while cleaning out the gutters that we already HAD some covers on some of the gutters and that they were still good. We needed covers for the rest and so he revised the cost downward! He worked his head off with his partner, did everything he said he would do, cleaned up, etc.

I thanked him profusely for treating me so well, and that I hoped he would get rich because of working hard, treating his customers like real, valued people, and doing what he said he would do and more. I gave him a really good review on Home Advisor. He actually called me last week to be sure I was still happy with his work, asking if I needed anything now.

In this day and age, this kind of service doesn’t happen. We lucked into his wonderful guy and will definitely call him first when we have something we need done outside.

I still feel like a dinosaur, holding on to what I consider ‘basic courtesy,’ when I’m shown over and over that I’m’ behind the times and things don’t work that way anymore.’

 

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Changes, life lessons

Home Security System

As I type, we’re making the final arrangements for an ADT Security System for our home. We called when we got an ad offering a promo and arranged for the installation man to come today.

So far, I’m impressed with the installation guy. We went over all the doors and windows before he started, and we had several questions. When we were in agreement about these, we discovered that because we didn’t have prewired doors and windows, we had to go for Option 2.  This means that instead of being able to use the standard system out of the box, we get credit toward the purchase of the equipment we need. After a lot of talk (questions/explanations) a major consideration is whether our Internet system will qualify for the lower monthly charge, or we have to ‘upgrade’ to the use of a sim card in the control box at a higher monthly charge.

This is not a typical bait and switch thing, or if it is, it’s extremely well done. The communication between the ADT people and our system is cut and dried. If it works, we get the lower price each month. If it doesn’t we choose whether to pay the higher monthly fee or blow off the whole thing.

We ARE considering some add-on equipment, since we have more doors and windows than they were covering, have two stories, and I like the idea of the personal emergency thingie I can wear around my neck in case I fall on my head unexpectedly. Even though I’m not alone, our house absorbs sound really well. I have been in the position of trying to yell for my husband’s help and he doesn’t hear me.

So – as soon as the test results are in, we’ll make the decision as to whether we put the system in or not.

______________________________

 

Okay. It’s quite a while later. The ADT system couldn’t communicate with our CenturyLink modem, so the lower monthly price is off the table. My husband said no to the higher monthly price with a contract for 3 years. The installation guy is trying a last-ditch effort to get the price of the equipment down enough to mostly offset the higher monthly price. If he can do that, maybe my husband will go for it. Fingers crossed.

_________________________________

It is again later in this saga of home security system. We have made a deal and he is installing the parts now. I’ll update this a bit later, as I need to be available for him.

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There is a keypad that’s the main part of the system. We’ll have an extra keypad for the second floor, a motion sensor, a detection sensor on every door and every window, 2 keychain remotes, and a personal emergency pendant I’ll wear. On the keypads there are panic buttons for police, fire, and emergency.

Important considerations for us are that our system can be active and we can open our bedroom window to use the attic fan when the weather allows. We can also let our doggies in and out without triggering anything.

I can’t say enough about the installation guy. His name is Roderick McCray. He is knowledgeable, pleasant, put up with Amber, and worked with us to make our home security happen. He started his day by driving to us from Little Rock – a 2-1/2 hour drive. He’s been here since before 11:00 this morning, jumping through countless hoops to make this day good for both of us. He faces the drive home once the system is finally in. He has taken no breaks.

I will feel safer knowing there is someone on the other end of this system that may be able to help us in case of emergency.

 

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Filed under Arkansas, Changes, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, quality of life, security

Good Things

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We had a challenging, but good day yesterday.

Our driveway detector was our alarm clock yesterday morning, telling us we were not alone. We had signed up for a CenturyLink/DirecTV bundle the day before, and it was the DirecTV installation guy. Soon after he left, the CenturyLink guy came and installed a new router/modem. We spent the rest of the day hooking up our stuff to the router/modem and then trying to figure out how to get the DirecTV system going and customized to us.

Just after we finished the preliminary basics for DirecTV we had a brief, but pretty fierce storm. The sky had gone night black and the winds picked up really suddenly, making our tree tops dance energetically. We had a heavy rain, and then the sky lightened and we saw a really beautiful rainbow! I didn’t get a picture of it, but I called my husband to come see so he wouldn’t miss it. It was one of the prettiest I’ve seen.

Today we’ll spend doing two things primarily:  Brunch Bunch and then calling or getting online to cancel all the stuff we don’t need anymore because of the new bundle. We’ll be getting faster Internet at half the price we’ve been paying, and the price will stay the same until we cancel. I was really missing not being able to record TV that was not on our over-the-air channels, so I’m happy that we can now record anything on the channels we get, and several at once.  The price for the TV package we’re getting is half as much as we paid DirecTV when we had them before. Hooray!

Life is filled with good things – being able to take advantage of good deals, and being treated to a gorgeous sight by Mother Nature!

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Filed under Changes, Good Thoughts, Mother Nature

The Big Picture

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while know that my husband and I have been trying to lose weight and get healthier.

We were on a low-carb diet for quite awhile. We both lost weight, but we decided we needed more structure to attain our goals. We were on Nutrisystem years ago, and decided – due to the changes in their program since then – that we would try them again.

My husband is a Type II diabetic. Through our weight loss efforts (and cutting out as much sugar as possible) his A1C has gone from above 16 to 6.2. He is almost to his goal weight, unless he changes his mind for some reason.

I look at my progress 2 ways: The loss from my highest/largest on the low-carb diet and the loss from Nutrisystem so far.

Nutrisystem loss:

  • 22 pounds and 17-1/2 inches so far. (my triglcerides, etc. are significantly better, as well)
  • From my highest/largest:  37 inches and 35 pounds

I have a long way to go, but I’m feeling good that there is a positive improvement.  The fact that Nutrisystem teaches you to make healthy meals on your own while you’re on the plan with access to counselors, recipes, etc., make this a lifestyle change, rather than a diet that we will go ‘off’ at some point.

I’m also doing a bunch of exercise for an old, sedentary broad, trying to build my strength, stamina, muscles, and flexibility.

  • I’m doing a session of stretching via yoga daily.
  • I’m either walking a mile (or maybe 2) with Annoying Leslie Sansone. (Even though I find her perkiness and laugh quite annoying, I have to admit this is really good for me.
  • I am also taking advantage of some toning and firming exercises she offers on the video, so I’m walking one day and doing the exercises the next.
  • When it’s not over 100 degrees in our garage, I’m walking on the elliptical trainer
  • I’m also doing over-the-door shoulder pulley exercises, plus a weight exercise that is supposed to ease the pain in my neck and shoulders.

I figure if I just keep on keepin’ on, and hold my mouth right, I may meet my goals before I croak from old age. I would like to be in good enough shape that I can do whatever I want and not have to limit activities unnecessarily.

I’ve also told you several times in my blogs that I’m trying to continue learning new things in order to keep my poor brain going as well as possible. The trying to keep going on the laptop computer while my regular computer is waiting for a motherboard necessitates so much concentration and learning how to get around problems that my brain is getting a fine workout. We also changed Internet companies and went back to DirecTV this morning, so my husband and I are trying to leap through hoops together to make everything work and cancel all the services we don’t need anymore.

I hope you’re not having quite as much drama in your life as we have, and that you’re getting closer to achieving your goals.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, taking care of yourself

Hello!

everyday feminism

Things are very awkward – using laptop, external drive saved from my regular computer, and all the patience I can muster – but I seem to be functional on posting on the blog again. :0)

We shipped my defective motherboard to the manufacturer this morning. It’s still under warranty, so they’ll either repair mine or send us a new one. Help is on the way!

I figured out this morning how to transfer my camera pictures to the laptop, edit them, and get them into my blog picture folder, so I’ll post a couple later today.

Since everything is different on the laptop, the mouse is built in and has an idiot trying to use it :0), things are a bit challenging, but doable, with a lot of concentration.

I’m glad to be back, however hobbled my gait. I hope you’re doing well, too.

More later.

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More Challenges :0(

The good news is that my motherboard is under warranty and the manufacturer has agreed to either fix this one or send another one. The bad news is that I’m back on my laptop.

I do have an external drive, so tomorrow I’ll see if I can actually get to anything on it.

Fingers crossed.

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I’m BACK! – (Sort of)

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We got a call from the Geek Squad at Best Buy this afternoon, dropped everything and drove to Fort Smith to pick it up. They said the motherboard had two bad ram slots, meaning I now have half the memory I used to until we can replace the Motherboard. They did save my data to DVDs, which I’ll deal with later. For now, I’m jumping up and down that I can finally write again!

Things will be limited until we can figure things out – like I don’t know how to restore things when I can’t SEE the D drive where things are supposed to be. No access to saved pics, bookmarks, etc. Again, this is a small problem compared to being totally without. Our son helped us so I could finally access my email – and finally get my answers to go to the recipient, instead of to La La Land.

I love computers when they’re working. There is little more frustrating to me when they’re not.

I’m going to try to get my act together, putting things back on the computer and trying to get more functional, but I hope to start writing tomorrow. I hope you’ve been well. I missed you!

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Motivation

I’m feeling good that I got my exercise for the day accomplished. I received the gold stars (really!) that I ordered in the mail today and caught my calendar up with my activity, adding another one for today.

I feel a bit silly for “working for the gold star” each day – rather than working just for the loftier and more mature goals of better health, less pain, easier movement, better balance, and more – but there it is. I feel GOOD when I add another star to the calendar, and get up off my duff and exercise if I haven’t, so I don’t ruin my new record, now 5 days and 5-1/2 stars…

I’m still having to push myself to get to the 1 mile marker on the Annoying Leslie walking video, but I’m hoping by the end of next week I can at least START Mile 2. I’m doing half an hour of gentle yoga, stretching, twisting, and breathing. My husband even noticed I was touching my toes with my fingers after less stretching time today, plus ALMOST being able to bend forward in a sitting position, soles of my feet together and touching my head to my feet. (I hope this description makes sense. I don’t know any name for it. If it’s just a bunch of words, just picture me tying myself into a pretzel shape.) :0)

My ‘extra’ for the day today was an hour this morning weed whacking and leaf blowing to finish trimming the grass my husband mowed yesterday. I’ll try to do a bunch of bug spraying and weed spraying tomorrow.

Now I’m looking forward to taking my cup of coffee into the living room, stretching out in my recliner with my “Creation in Death” Eve Dallas book. I’m having such a good time re-reading the 45 books in the series by J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts before I read # 46 “Dark in Death” that came out recently in paperback. (Number 47 “Leverage in Death” will be out in paperback in December of this year. I’ve pre-ordered it. )

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, exercise

Quarterly Progress Report

My husband and I went for our quarterly checkup by our primary doctor this afternoon. We got blood tests last week and were hopeful that we would see some changes for the better.

I’ve told you my husband is a Type II Diabetic. His A1C last quarter was 7.6. (This was down a bunch from his original count of 16+, but still wasn’t normal.)  Today it was 6.2 (the goal for diabetics is <7). HOOORAAAAAAY!  We had essentially given up ever getting a normal reading again, and were just concentrating on eating right and getting the numbers as low as we could. We practically danced around the room!

The big difference in my numbers was in Lipid Profile (Fats in the blood, I think)

  • Cholesterol was down 107 points
  • LDL down 57 points
  • Non-HDL down 70 points
  • Triglycerides down 61 points

She said that since my husband and I are essentially eating the same foods, my exercise was the cause of my improved numbers!

She was so pleased she said I could wait to come back for SIX months. I’ve been going quarterly for YEARS, so this was super good news. If my husband keeps his good numbers in November, HE can go to every six months, too!

Tonight we’re going bowling with our good friends and having our FLEX snack for the week, a scoop of  ice cream from Braum’s. We celebrated by having a FLEX lunch, as well, enjoying a couple of pieces of fried fish from our local grocery deli. We haven’t had that for almost five months now, so it was a joyous celebration, even though we’re supposed to spread the flex meals out – one per day.

We knew we had lost weight.  We knew we had lost inches (though my husband won’t measure, he’s losing his tummy)

It was wonderful to have the doctor confirm with objective numbers that we’re improving our health. She said, as we were leaving, “I wish all my patients took an active interest in their health and worked as hard as you two have.”

A wonderful pat on the head! :0)

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Filed under Cause for Celebration, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Today’s World – Take 7

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Today’s World – Take 6

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Today’s World – Take 5

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Today’s World – Take 4

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Today’s World – Take 3

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Armoring Up

thriftyfun.com

I WISH our flower planters look like this. I’ve been trying to weed the three 8-foot brick flower planters that follow the slope of our front yard between our grass and the driveway. My rewards for my efforts a couple of days ago was another red wasp sting and an ugly bruise on the back of my hand I received while flailing around trying to get the wasp off me.

I’ve been resting and avoiding the yard since then, trying to get the swelling in my arm to go down and the pain to subside. After two days of feeling sorry for myself, I’m finally over the hump on pain and swelling, both on the back of my hand and my arm. I think in another day or two I’ll be back in fighting form.

When I do go back out there, I’m going to armor up. I’m going to start wearing an old long-sleeved dress shirt of my husband’s that I’ll designate as my ‘gardening shirt.’ I’ll wear my jeans, long socks, and my gardening gloves. It it’s really sunny and hot, I’ll wear my funny-looking hat. Needless to say, I’ll be quite a sight, but MAYBE I can do what I’d like to do without getting injured.

The first thing I’ll do is arm myself with a can of the spray that knocks wasps out of the air and kills them on contact, or at least knocks them down where I can squash them. No more Mr. Nice Guy around here. I realize that wasps serve a good purpose or two, but they are hereby on notice to do their good work somewhere else! I’ll also have my canister of EIGHT bug killer and will hose down the area again before I get close. I’ll take our metal yard art peacock out of the planter (maybe even ripping it out and throwing it into the yard) – in case the wasps have built a nest in it. I’ll also hose down the palette of bricks stacked next to the brick planter because the wasps may have built a nest in there, as well.

Thankfully, we’re getting some rain on and off this weekend, so I can heal up a bit more before I tackle this.  Once I feel a bit safer – armed and armored –  I’ll start trying to weed again….

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Today’s World – Take 2

Today’s World via Bill Lites

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Frustration

funnyanimlz.blogspot.com

Dieting is never easy, but some things really complicate our efforts.

We are on the Nutrisystem programs. I’m on the one with most choices for women with too much lard and my husband is on the diabetic men’s program.

We were going along just fine until this past order. The BBQ Pulled Pork that my husband REALLY likes for lunch wasn’t available. He doesn’t handle this well. In fact, when we tried Nutrisystem several years ago, he (and then I) quit because they kept narrowing his choices until he gave up in a huff. This is like an instant replay.

I spent a lot of time on CHAT today trying to find out if and when BBQ Pulled Pork would be available again. Bottom line after lots of time the answer was “it won’t be.” Needless to say, that didn’t go over well with my husband. We explored various options – him huffing and puffing all the while – and finally decided to order an A LA CARTE addition to our next order for him so that he can eat the substituted BBQ Seasoned Chicken that IS available for lunch or dinner as he chooses. (He’s almost to his weight goal so he doesn’t have to worry overmuch about calories, and we’re monitoring his blood sugar on a regular basis.)

I would really like to lose my lard.  An unhappy husband, though, isn’t worth it. I’m hoping that they don’t discontinue the BBQ Seasoned Chicken. If they do, that will be all she wrote. :0(

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Encouraged

I lost a pound yesterday. I don’t know what happened, exactly, but I’m smiling today, happy that I seem to have broken through the weight loss plateau on which I teetered.

I’ve lost 17 pounds and 17.3 inches – definitely a good start.

My husband is doing well, too. He’s on the diabetic plan for men.  I don’t really see any difference in our plans, since Nutrisystem cuts out salt, fat, and sugar, still making things that taste good. Our choices each month seem to be much the same – all healthy.

My husband is to the point that he’s taking his blood pressure medicine every other day. We take our blood pressure daily, so we’re monitoring that – plus his blood sugar numbers – carefully. Since we’ve been trying to cut his sugar (before, but also continuing now with NS) he’s gone from having double vision for a scary time, shooting pains in his feet, having to have TUMS with him at all times, headaches, and high blood pressure and cholesterol, to good vision, no pain in his feet anymore, no TUMS in about 8 months now, lower blood sugar numbers and much lower blood pressure.  We’re hoping his A1C test will be normal, or very close to it this time.

We have our quarterly appointment with our primary doctor in August, so we’re hoping that our tests will show good improvement in all areas. I’m hoping that our doc will confirm that we’re on the road to better health now. A pat on the head would be nice! :0)

 

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Something to Think About

Albert Einstein-sayingimages.com

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Choices

Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter, via Lisa Bearnes Richey

As I get older – and older – I see that this quote is true. It IS our choices that shape our lives.

  • Do you choose to expand your life – try new things – learn something new?
  • Do you choose to actively try to get healthier?
  • Do you choose to reach out to a loved friend who needs you?
  • Do you choose to tell – and show – people you love how much they mean to you?
  • Do you choose to try to make each day count?
  • Do you choose to look at life in a happier frame of mind?
  • Do you choose look for ways to make others happier?

I’ve had several friends over the years seemingly make a conscious choice to allow their lives to implode. They resist change, refuse to learn new things, allowing their lives to get smaller and more insular until they’re gone.  It’s a pattern I don’t want to follow. I’m choosing to live each day to the fullest. What choices are YOU making?

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Another of Life’s Character-Building Exercises

eighthrising.com

My husband is the technical person, handling computers, all things electrical, a LOT of things online, fixing things, etc. He was the one who figured out how we could cancel our satellite TV and save a lot of money. But, as he ages, his temper gets shorter and shorter – and – I admit I’m describing myself, as well.

Yesterday we had a power blip. Though the electricity was off for such a short time a lot of our things didn’t notice, it took us the rest of the day to deal with things that WERE affected.

We like DirecTVNow. All of a sudden, it wanted us to sign in with our user name and password. This is a really aggravating, laborious process of searching for one letter at a time, making our user name seem endless, and our password almost impossible due to the fact ours is quite complicated for safety concerns. I told my husband I would do the input if he would get me the password.

To make a long story shorter, we couldn’t get DirecTVNow to accept our password. My husband went into the office, then came back saying, “I deleted our Roku account because it wouldn’t take our password.” It turned out that he had confused the Roku and DirecTVNow accounts and had been giving me the Roku password. Now the account was deleted, so that meant ALL of our TV related accounts were toast.  His reaction to the problem and his temper in deleting the CORE of our TV watching ability was done in a fit of pique. He then decided to divorce himself from the problem – saying, “I don’t know,” to all my questions and not showing any interest in helping –  which had me tearing my hair out, and – at one point – going out in the back yard to yell a bit. (I wonder what the neighbors down in the valley think of the crazy woman who shrieks once or twice each year.)

I finally created a Roku account in MY name, and then got on my husband’s computer and added each of the programs and channels we had before, laboriously going from the living room to the office and back again, jumping through the various hoops each required.

We are both still alive and the TV stuff has been restored.

If you heard my head exploding or my shrieking last night, don’t be alarmed. Things are back to what passes as ‘normal’ around here.

It truly amazes me that the person I love most in the world is also the one who drives me completely nuts!

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Getting the Lard Off Report – 07-05-2018

mashable.com

This is the end of Week 10 on Nutrisystem. I’ve lost 15 pounds and 15.8 inches. 

I’m a bit frustrated at my fumbling around on measuring myself. I’m following their suggestions, measuring in the bathroom where I can look in the mirror and make sure the measuring tape is level, etc., but I’m still coming up with different numbers from time to time. I guess the ‘flexibility’ in measuring can be factored in, assuming I screw up the same amount each week. As long as the general trend is downward, I’m happy.

Of course my husband, who just eats the food I bring him, not worrying about drinking water, exercising or anything else, has lost more weight than I have. I’m delighted for him, though, because he is a Type II diabetic. His blood sugar number this morning was 101. (normal is 100 or under.) His lowest reading to date was 96. I’m hoping that the A1C he has at the end of the month shows really good improvement. He told me last night that ‘it’s amazing that I’m losing weight and I’m never hungry.’ He is also really pleased that he gets to enjoy an orange or an apple each day – something he thought he would never be able to do again. His reaction so far is, “I don’t see why we can’t stay on Nutrisystem essentially forever.”

It’s a really good thing he feels this way because I have a lot of lard to lose and, though I’ve made progress, the weight is coming off slowly. I’m more pleased with the change in measurements, though there’s a long way to go there, as well. It’s so much easier when we’re both eating essentially the same thing. I’m not having to spend a bunch of time in the kitchen. I dash in, get a snack or we each grab a meal. I cut up raw veggies for lunch and a salad for dinner. Not a lot of time to think about food – always a good thing.

I will have ‘re-runs’ (a term I love that my friend Marsha uses) at lunch, and my husband will have one tonight for part of his dinner. The flex meals are still a work in progress, but we’re getting a bit more comfortable with it now.

I’ll feel a bit better when I’ve made enough progress that people begin to notice there isn’t as much of me as there used to be. :0)

 

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Lunacy

workingtruckworld.com

Recently I told you that we found a wonderful guy who is coming tomorrow afternoon to clean out our gutters, install covers, PLUS give us an estimate for taking down parts of two trees. He’ll have his chainsaw in the back of his vehicle so he can do the tree work while he’s here if we like the estimate.

Yesterday I was sitting in my comfortable chair in the living room reading when I heard a strange sound in the back yard. I looked out to see our truck backed up toward the evergreen tree that has a huge dead place in the middle of it due to the power company clearing things for their lines, cutting stuff down in a really careless way.  My husband was up on a ladder, precariously balanced on the slope that runs down to the actual tree trunk, trying to tie a nylon rope to the dead part of the tree.

I screeched silently, grabbed my sweatband and sunglasses and ran out to the truck. I held onto the ladder while my husband got the line tied. The other end of the line was on the trailer hitch on the back of the truck. Amber was in the back of the truck, looking delighted.

We tried the technique several times before we finally pulled the largest dead branch off the tree. We untied it and rolled the whole branch into the easement behind the evergreen, across from the greenhouse and the ham radio tower. We were then able to use another tool to grab another large piece of dead stuff and pull it down.  We couldn’t get all of the dead stuff, but it looks a lot better than it did.  We’re all still alive and no one was hurt.

We still have the mimosa at the bottom of the driveway that suffered a broken branch. It’s hanging down halfway onto the driveway. I’m picturing the two of us tackling THAT, too, today, ahead of the handyman coming tomorrow.  To do this, my husband will have to stand in the back of the truck and try to use the chain saw on the branch. I’ll be in the truck – positioning it as closely as possible – and then dragging the branches across the road as they’re cut and tossing them down into the ravine on the other side of the road from us.

I’m thinking that this is a pride thing, where it’s better to kill ourselves than have to admit to someone else we’re too old to do it…

Please wish us luck.

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Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 6-27-2018

cliparts.co

The BAD news is that I’m still old and still don’t look a THING like Julia Roberts.

The GOOD news is that with the help of the Nutrisystem counselor, I seem to have broken through the plateau from Hell I was on and am losing weight again!

 

To date, I’ve lost 16.3 inches.

Poundage off is now 14.4.

Other GOOD things –

  • I’m getting used to drinking 64 oz of water daily, no longer feeling that my eyes are floating. (My husband – who is not even trying to drink any certain amount – is getting used to having to pause the movie several times, though, as the drinking catches up with me in the evenings.)
  • I’m getting more confident about being able to adapt our life style to the Nutrisystem program, particularly as it relates to the flex meals and our social life. We like to bowl with friends on Monday evenings, for example. We use the trip to Braum’s afterwards as our FLEX SNACK for the week. We eat with friends every Friday for what we call “Lunch Bunch.” We were counting that as FLEX LUNCH, but are finding it easier to work it into the program by having it as our FLEX BREAKFAST for the week. I’m starting to prepare some of the “Leaf” Nutrisystem FLEX DINNER recipes, having fixed two so far. One of the recipes was an “OKAY,” but the latest one, the “1-Pan Rice, Chicken and Vegetables” was a winner. Today, since I made it to 1100 subscribers – actually 1101 now) to my blog – HOOORAAAAAAAY!” – we’re going to Red Lobster for Lobster Tail as our FLEX LUNCH for the week in celebration!
  • I’m starting to look forward to some of my exercising. I’ll never become like Jillian Michaels, who seems to live for exercise, or like annoying Leslie Sansone, who keeps talking about how much FUN her walking program is and how GOOD it feels, but I AM enjoying the half hour I spend daily doing my yoga stretches and then using my cervical pillow to completely relax for several minutes. I’m trying to do my elliptical trainer for 30 minutes every other day. I’m using all the vacuuming and mopping of floors as my exercise a couple of days a week or more, since I seem to have to devote my life to it to even THINK of trying to keep up with all the dog and cat hair right now.
  • I’m starting to believe that if I keep on keepin’ on, I’ll eventually lose the lard, be healthier, and feel better as there is less of me.

My next goal is to earn my 20 lb Nutrisystem bear!  One day at a time….

taolife.com

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Attitude, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, opportunities, quality of life, taking care of yourself