Category Archives: quality of life

Happy Pat on the Head

I’m a sucker for all kinds of ‘feel-able’ pats on the head: gold stars on my desk calendar when I’ve done whatever exercise is scheduled for the day; and these cute little bears that NutriSystem sends out for each 10 pounds one loses.

As you can see from the picture above, I’ve gotten my 4th bear – the one for 40 lbs off. (Actually, right now I’m at 43 pounds off  :0) )  There is also 44.2 inches less of me than there used to be.

I have a good start now. I will try to get another 30 pounds off, and whatever number of inches that goes with that any my exercises.

The really big thing is that I FEEL BETTER.  I’m 72 as of yesterday, and I can honestly say I feel better than I did a year ago. On March 9th of 2020, I hope to be able to say the same thing, whether or not I’ve reached my weight loss goal.

Smaller, but again – a VISIBLE thing  – is that I’m able to fit in favorite clothes I’ve kept in closets for years, hoping that ‘one day’ I would be able to wear them again. There are still several things in the ‘hope’ area of my guest room closet. :0)  I’m between sizes on jeans right now, for example. The size I’m wearing is a bit baggy, but I’m still too lardy for the next size down. I’m also able to order some smaller sizes online, too.

I’m sleeping better with the loss of the lard and my efforts to move more. I get up from the computer after I post something here, do some chore inside or outside before posting again, for example. I’m also trying to do my exercises like a good old girl daily. I’m more successful some weeks than others. I’m doing something different each day – yoga and abdominal exercises one day, a dance video another, the Wii Fit Plus ‘games’ for balance and reaction time (I’m still awful and the program is still insulting me), the walking with Annoying Leslie one day, and the elliptical trainer in the garage one day. Now that spring is near (thank GOODNESS!) I’m working in the yard when the weather permits.

Though I’m getting old-in-the-tooth, I can usually gather enough energy to continue going through the house, concentrating on purging, then cleaning and reorganizing one area at a time. Today it’s the supplies shelves in our office after we go grocery shopping.

Motivation is high though results are slow. I think the older you get the harder it is to get any lard off or make appreciable difference in fitness or stamina, but I’m game as long as I’m breathing!

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Filed under Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Attitude, DIET!, exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Not ONLY…

Tips4Home.com

I guess it’s this cold weather we’re having. That’s my excuse and I’ll stick with it!

Yesterday it was like I had a tapeworm!  I not only wanted comfort food (read heavy calorie, high fat, hot, delicious), but a LOT of it! I simply used every trip anywhere near the kitchen to stuff my face. UGH. I gained a pound a half yesterday!

 

flickr.com

Hopefully, I can do better today….

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Two Good Books

Getty Images

I’m reading two books right now: The Dolphin – Story of a Dreamer by Sergio Bambaren and Totally Incorrect Volume 2 – A Conversation with Doug Casey as told to Justin Spittler

The Dolphin book I just received in the mail today. It was recommended by a contact on Linkedin – Dieter Onken.

I ordered the Casey book because I wanted to read his opinions on the newest things happening in the world and to also find out what he’s recommending for good investments to shield ourselves from the tumult of our world today.

I plan to do a good bit of reading today, since our weather is so unfriendly.

I hope you are somewhere safe and warm, too, and can enjoy your day.

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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews, Hobbies, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

The Long and Short of It

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

The short answer is 43 pounds lost and 44.2 inches lost to date, since my ‘heaviest and lardiest.’

The longer answer is we’re trying to take care of ourselves, now that my husband and I are getting ‘long-in-the-tooth’ and would like to maintain or increase our quality of life for as long as we can, enjoying our lives to the fullest.

Since we both have health issues, my husband gave up added sugar and I gave up added salt. We are limiting our red beef, concentrating more on chicken and fish, veggies, fruit, and nuts. We’re both trying to drink more water. I’m trying to exercise. My husband said, “Now that I turned 75, I don’t HAVE to worry about exercising.” – as if he ever has. I am exercising more than I ever have, with the exception of when I was teaching swimming every summer and working in a restaurant part-time to help pay my way through college.  I continue to encourage him to exercise.

I’m concentrating on stretching, balance, core strength, and reaction time. Basically just trying to consciously move more. I’m doing a combination of yoga, abdominal exercises, walking, elliptical trainer, dance, and Wii Fit Plus each week. Sometimes I’m successful and get it all in, sometimes not. I’m trying to pat myself on the head (and give myself a gold star on my desk calendar) when I do well and not beat myself up when I don’t.

The same on eating. My husband is almost where he needs to be on weight. I still have a lot to lose to get to my goal of being in the healthy range on BMI and insurance charts. We’ve been on Nutrisystem, but are on hiatus now, trying to eat our way through the remaining food while not having more sent. In May we’ll probably change to A LA CARTE. We are doing our own thing a lot of the day and are needing the packaged stuff less and less. I’m substituting healthy recipes we really like for the entrees.

We’re giving ourselves permission to eat out when the mood strikes – a quality of life issue for us. Last night we ate dinner at The Dari, one of the new restaurants in Greenwood, Arkansas. Last night we got a seafood platter and two plates. This gave each of us plenty of food without overeating. We enjoyed our splurge/treat without breaking our diet. I made it a point to ask at the front counter who was responsible for the seafood. Several of the cooks raised their hands. I gave them a two-thumbs up, a big grin, and told them they were WONDERFUL.

I have to get a blood test on the 18th of March to see if I’ve improved in a couple of areas. Fingers crossed.

 

 

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Are YOU also older than Dirt?, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Setting Up in the Greenhouse

Right now it’s 60 degrees F., so I used the opportunity to go ahead and get some seeds planted in my greenhouse.

It’s REALLY windy outside, so I propped the open greenhouse door against the side of the greenhouse and put a chair up to it so it wouldn’t blow closed and lock me in. :0)

I prepared three flats (72 plants each) and planted one flat of iceberg lettuce, one flat of spinach, and one flat of Simpson lettuce. It was 70 in the greenhouse, so I’m HOPING that even if it gets to freezing in the mornings, it will stay above that in the greenhouse. I’ll check on the flats tomorrow. If this is successful, I’ll take pics so you can share the sprouting.

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Filed under anticipation, Arkansas, Favorite Things, Gardening, greenhouse, Healthy Eating, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse

Chomping at the Bit!

It’s too cold outside yet, and I don’t have a heater in the greenhouse, so I can’t start any seeds yet, but NEXT month I’m hoping I can get a head start on the spring planting season.

I’m going through my seeds, thinking I’ll start with lettuce, spinach, broccoli, and cauliflower this time.

 

I would really love to have some healthy plants grown in my own greenhouse to transplant into our raised bed, square foot garden this spring, instead of having to buy plants locally. I’m reading everything I can get my hands on about greenhouses. The problem is that most of the information is written by people who live in pretty cold parts of the U.S.

My experience so far is that unless I have a heater (and we would have to keep it running 24/7 with a 350 foot extension cord running from the house out to the greenhouse) it’s too cold to start anything there yet. We tend to go from winter to way too hot in rapid succession, and then I have trouble – even with the extension cord, an exhaust fan, and the opposite people door open, to keep it COOL enough! So I’m scouring the net trying to find information that will help me deal with the extremes we have in Arkansas.

 

I’m hoping to start some plants the 1st of March. I’ll post pics of my efforts.

 

This is a picture of my spring garden last year in the raised bed planters my husband and I made. There are SIX 4’x4′ planters held up by angle iron ‘tables’ about my chest height. They allow me to weed, plant, and harvest without having to get up and down a million times or get down on hands and knees.

 

This picture gives you another view of the planters. We also used some netting at the end of July and through August when the sun tries to boil plants right in the ground. You can see the hoses and the sprinklers we use to water the plants automatically. They are attached to an outdoor faucet on a timer.

The planters are filled with Mel’s Mix (combination of peat moss, vermiculite and as many different composts as you can find.) We mix the ingredients together in a portable cement mixer and then bring the mix into the planters to top off. Then we stretch string across in two directions to make the ‘squares’ for planting.

I’m starting to plan where the plants will go.  It’s best if you rotate crops in this set up, just as you would if you were planting in the ground. We follow the Square Foot Garden book by Mel Bartholomew, where he suggests how many plants to plant in each square. He suggests one plant per square for things like broccoli, 4 per square for lettuce, 9 for other plants, and 16 for radishes.  We space them wider than he suggests, having healthier plants that way. (He tends his garden every day, sometimes even more. Since we’re not that conscientious, wider works better for us.)  He also suggests that you place like plants away from each other – such as one broccoli, then lettuce, then radishes, then cauliflower in a row to avoid transmission of bugs or any other problems from one plant to another.

I made a grid and I fill them in with what I’m planting where. I use the old one to figure out a new plan for the next ‘crop,’ trying not to plant the broccoli in the same squares as I did the last time.

We have converted two brick planters on the other side of the house to be tomato planters.

I’m at the stage of being excited and doing lots of research and planning.

If you have a greenhouse or do square foot gardening and have tips or suggestions, I would LOVE to hear them!

Can you tell I’m ready for spring? :0)

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Filed under Arkansas, doing what you love, Dreams, Favorite Things, Gardening, greenhouse, Greenwood, Healthy Eating, learning new things, opportunities, quality of life, Square Foot Gardening - Raised Beds, Starting - Growing in a Greenhouse, taking care of yourself

Did It!

I crab about ‘walking with annoying Leslie,’ but I freely admit she knows what she’s doing. The last time I did this – after quite a hiatus – I only managed to do one mile with her and her group. Today I did TWO miles. I pooped out before the regular exercises she does in a section AFTER the 2nd mile, but I feel good that I lasted this long.

This is supposed to be low impact on your joints, but I guess it all depends on the shape your joints are in. My hips are a challenge, and I’m doing all I can to loosen up the muscles and move the joints carefully to strengthen everything as much as possible. The elliptical trainer is low impact and works my hips, too, but in a different way – if that makes any sense.

About halfway through the first mile, my hips start talking to me. By the end of the second mile the talk became more serious, but not to the point that I had to quit.

We had a cold front move through this morning, taking the temperature down to 20 degrees F right now, and going down to 18 or lower during the day and night. Rain/sleet/ice is also forecast, so I’m really happy I can exercise while staying at home.

Another gold star for my calendar!

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Filed under exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Learning New Things

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

I started a new book, The Longevity Code by Kris Verburgh, M.D. because my husband read it and was really affected by the information and suggestions he found. He posted some changes in eating he wants to make and we got – or ordered – several supplements we aren’t taking.

I wanted to learn more about this, since my husband usually reacts that the information is ‘hype’ or ‘hooey,’ so I got the Kindle version of the book and am reading it now.

I don’t particularly want to live forever, although I would love to know what happens in the future. I mainly want my remaining time to be spent as healthy as possible. We’re trying to get the lard off, and use no more added salt or sugar anymore. We try to avoid foods that are high in either of those, and I’m exercising 5 or 6 days a week now.

I haven’t gotten far enough to share anything with you yet, but I wanted you to know about the book, if you’re interested to read what Dr. Verburgh has to say.

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Filed under Hobbies, learning new things, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Our Son’s Adventure Has Begun

 

Monastery and Meditation Center, Siddharthanagar, Nepal

I got to chat with our son for a couple of minutes last night while he was waiting for a car and driver to take him the final leg of his trip, 45 minutes to the monastery and meditation center. He left a message this morning that he got there safely with no BIG problems, posting this picture.

He has been accepted for a 3-week stay, but hopes his teacher will give him permission to stay two months. It will all depend on how the teacher feels about his dedication and progress to learning to get to the next level of meditation.

This will be the last we will hear from him until the end of March.

We wish him much success.

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Filed under Adventure - Outside Your Comfort Zone, learning new things, quality of life

Adventure

Medical News Today

When our son was home visiting from Thailand over the holidays, he talked about how much meditation has helped him.  He had started practicing it by himself, then went to a monastery in Chiang Mai for two weeks. He’s been practicing daily ever since, feeling much more calm, in control of his thoughts, reactions, and emotions, and feeling content.

Tonight (our time) he’ll start his newest adventure – spending time learning to meditate from a master in a monastery in Siddharthanagar, Nepal. He had to fill out a lot of forms and answer many questions to be accepted for a 3-week stay. This time can be extended with the permission of his teacher. He hopes to stay two months.

He’ll eat breakfast at 5 a.m., then meditate until lunch. After lunch (the last meal of the day) he’ll meditate until bedtime – a total of 14 hours every day. He’ll be interviewed by his teacher or a nun there daily, 6 days each week so they can keep track of how things are going, what he’s gaining, what he needs to focus more on, etc. He’ll do sitting and walking meditation.

During this time, in respect for the monastery, the school, and the concentration on this opportunity to learn, he’ll be incommunicado – OUR character-building part of his adventure. This will end, if all goes as he hopes, around the end of March.

I hope he gains what he hopes to during this two-month period. I already felt that he was calmer, more outgoing, more accepting of everything while he was home. I’m really proud of the kind, caring man he is. It’s fascinating to talk with him, learning what he thinks of life, priorities, goals, and more. He already can look at a situation with more depth than his parents, seeing it in a whole different light than we. I’ll be so interested to hear what he has learned and felt during this latest adventure.

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Filed under Challenges, Changes, character-building exercises, empowerment, Encouragement, quality of life

Reading is FUNdamental

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

Right now I’m reading

  • Paleo Beginners Guide
  • The REALSIMPLE Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it that Way
  • iPhone 8 Guide, and
  • Rereading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares (#1 of a 5 book series I love),
  • Draw Real Animals! by Lee Hammond, and
  • Greenhouse Gardening for Beginners by Jason Johns

 

Elizabeth Scott via NUSTBookClub.wordpress.com

What are you reading lately?

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Filed under Hobbies, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Reading is a Joy and a Pathway

Jeff Jett – LinkedIn

 

Dr. Seuss – Practicing Normal – Pinterest

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Filed under Amazing Animals, Awe-Inspiring Photography, Jeff Jett Photography, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Roadrunner

When we were sitting at our dining room table this morning, we suddenly noticed a road runner sitting in a ‘shovel bird’ feeder we made and have attached to the deck railing! I ran to get a camera, as it and my phone were both in the office. I was 10 seconds too late. By the time I got back, the road runner had moved to the side railing and by the time I got my camera ready, he had jumped off into the grass.

Here you can see the shovel bird where the road runner was sitting in the shovel part. I wish I could have captured the moment for you.

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Filed under Amazing Animals, quality of life

Round Figures

Ali Express

 

“Doctors tell us there are over seven million people who are overweight. These, of course, are only round figures.” ~ Unknown

__________________

If you’ve been reading my blog, you know my husband and I are on NutriSystem to lose the lard and to help control my husband’s Type II Diabetes.

He has given up sugar and I’ve given up salt – now concentrating on choosing what we eat much more carefully.

Our son is visiting from Thailand for the first time in over three years – and to say we’re over the moon is a vast understatement. He is very good about either fixing his own food, eating beef stew I made and put in the fridge, or eating with us. We couldn’t ask for a more accommodating person. We are free to eat our Nutrisystem as usual, having our flex meals and doing fine through the holidays. He has encouraged and applauded our efforts to get and stay as healthy as we can.

What has happened, though, is that we’re using the fact he’s here – and it’s a holiday – to splurge. We’re going out to eat more, I fixed a turkey and all the fixings for our Christmas dinner yesterday, we’re eating stew and toasted bread to go along with it, plus….. you get the picture.

I’ve continued to exercise most days – but not when my husband is watching TV in the living room or asleep in the living room in his chair. The living room is really the only room in the house large enough for me to do my thing, other than when I’m on the elliptical trainer in the garage. It’s the only place we have where I can play my videos – yoga, walking, and a new one I just got where exercise is achieved through dancing your head off – something that really appeals to me. I haven’t tried it yet because – yeah – the living room is occupied.

We could beat ourselves up over regaining a few pounds and not exercising every day as we should, or we can relax, totally enjoy the holiday, the food, the entertaining, the going out to eat, the meals with our son and then get back on the horse when the holidays are over.

We decided that the Nutrisystem basics of portion control, eating something about every three hours, control of our calories, eating NS foods that are low in salt, sugar, fat and calories, plus moving more is a lifestyle change – not something we’re ‘trying on for size’ and abandoning either when the newness wears off or we actually reach our weight goals. This is the way we want to eat and live the rest of our lives. We’re learning to do our flex meals like sensible people – except over the holidays – and we’ve adopted some really good, healthy eating changes.

We admit we’re flawed humans who succumb to excess given ample opportunity. We’re enjoying every minute and we’ve agreed to hit the ground running when the holidays are over. We’ve delayed getting to our goals, but not abandoned the end game.

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

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 12/13/2018

BBC

I MAY be making some progress again, after hitting a plateau and going back and forth above and below the 30-pounds-off mark. I’ve also lost about 30 inches, though that hasn’t changed in a bit.

I’m going to add the Wii Fit Plus to my regimen starting tomorrow. Yesterday I did yoga and abdominal exercises. Today I did 35 minutes on the elliptical trainer. The Wii tomorrow and the “Annoying Leslie Walking Video” will round out my routine for the next several days and I’ll see how I feel about things after that.  I’m determined to use my good tools, even though the person on the Wii insults my efforts, and Leslie Sansone is really annoying, telling me how GOOD what she’s doing feels and being truly annoyingly perky.

I AM feeling looser. More flexible. A bit stronger. I want to feel secure in my footing and I would like to feel more energy.

I’ll try this for a week and will report the results next Thursday. Wish me luck?

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Filed under Challenges, exercise, getting the lard off, quality of life, taking care of yourself

My Massage Therapist is Psychic, Too!

Clark’s Inn and Restaurant

 

I had a glorious massage this morning and my whole body is smiling.

My therapist’s name is Lynn Moody. If you’re in the Greenwood, AR area (including Fort Smith and surrounding towns) you will thank yourself a million times if you call Lynn and schedule a massage. Her location for massages is 320 South Coker, Greenwood AR 72936. Her phone number is 479-629-7601. Her email address is lynnmoody42@yahoo.com

I feel very close to Lynn. We exchange news about our families, what’s happening in our worlds, etc. each time I have a massage. I trust her as a friend – something rare and precious to find these days.

Today I told her that my husband and I were planning to take our son to a local restaurant, The Dari, for lunch to celebrate his birthday. When we exchanged Christmas gifts after my massage, I found a gift card for The Dari!!!!

Not ONLY does she give massages to die for, she’s psychic!

How LUCKY I am to have found her.

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Filed under giving, Great Companies Who Deserve Your Business, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report -11/29/2018

Popsugar

Short answer –

I’ve lost 30.6 pounds and 29.55 inches on Nutrisystem. When you add what I lost on a low-carb emphasis before that, the totals are 43 pounds off and 45.95 inches off.

Longer answer –

We are still on the plateau from Hell, but we’ve been eating homemade beef stew and bread for dinners three nights in a row, so I guess it’s amazing we didn’t GAIN weight this week.

The larger point is that we are AWARE of what we’re eating now. We’re incorporating flex meals (where you eat something other than Nutrisystem meals) into our lifestyle. We’re SUPPOSED to eat ONE flex breakfast, ONE flex lunch, ONE flex dinner, and ONE flex snack per week. We’re going to have to continue doing some changing to be able to eat only ONE meal of beef stew and then freeze the rest for other weeks, rather than simply having a bowl each night until it’s gone.

Other changes noted

  • I’m ALMOST down another size in jeans. I say, ‘almost,’ because I have four pair of the next size down and I’m only able to get into one of them. (I’ll claim victory when I can get into all of them.)
  • I can again wear a fuzzy brown vest we bought in the Grand Canyon Gift Shop umpteen years ago. I wore it for that winter, but then it has been WAAAAY too small to even get on, much less zip it up, ever since.
  • I am incorporating a bunch of abdominal exercises into my yoga practice every other day. My husband started trying to do sit-ups when I was on vacation. He’s a former Marine, and was able to ‘give me 50″ at the drop of his superior’s hat easily. That was some 55 years ago now, and he was appalled that he couldn’t do ANY. He is now up to about 10. I discovered I was equally challenged, but I’ve been working at it about 6 months longer than he. I’m up to 30 now, plus am doing leg lifts, and whatever you call the exercise where you’re lying on your back and you have your arms folded behind your neck and try to touch opposite elbows and knees while in a sit-up pose. We’re trying to cheer each other on in our efforts.

Most of our progress lately has been in attitude and confidence that we CAN lose the lard and get stronger with persistent effort. We have made a lifestyle change, trying to be aware of what we’re eating, the portion we’re eating, and modifying the rest of the day if we overdo at one meal. We’re consciously trying to move more and gain strength and flexibility. I’m also working on balance stuff, but have a long way to go on that, too. I’ll feel as if I’ve REALLY made progress when the hardest thing is NOT getting up off the floor from my exercising! :0)

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

Our Luck Runneth Over

Live Life in Color

My husband and I are very lucky – and VERY aware of it.

We’re both retired, busier than we’ve EVER been, (even when raising a child, working full time, going to school nights, weekends, and summers, and all that that entails).  We can plan most of our days to do what is most important to us at the time. We can be energetic, getting lots of stuff accomplished, or fat-ass in our recliners, reading a book or watching TV until we nod off for a nap. We live on top of a ridge line on about 8 acres, so we don’t have to worry about any of our activities bothering our neighbors. We can work in our shop in the middle of the night if a creative mood strikes, making a yard critter out of spare parts or a decoration for the mailbox.

We are both healthier than we’ve been in several years – other than getting older than dirt. We are actively trying to get the lard off and exercise. Since April, we have both lost about 30 pounds. Our blood tests are showing the difference and our primary doctor is patting us on our collective heads. My husband is almost where he needs to be weight-wise, but the NutriSystem programs we’re on help us watch our portions while avoiding sugar, salt, and fat without causing big problems and we’re eating more raw veggies at least twice a day.

Our luck runneth over because our son is trying to make arrangements to come home from Thailand for a good visit – the first in three years or so. We talk to him almost daily, either using a good chat program he arranged, or a face-to-face program called, “Appear.in”, or a combination of both, so we get everything but hugs on a regular basis. We’re lucky that he seems to enjoy us as people, rather than communicating out of some sense of ‘duty.’ We are closer as a family with him living across the planet from us than some families who live in the same city. Lucky, indeed.

We remark to each other that it doesn’t bet much better than this. We love our lives. Winning huge sums of money through PCH or the state lottery would be icing on an already delicious cake…

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Filed under empowerment, Family, quality of life

10-20-30!

Yesterday I received my new month’s worth of Nutrisystem AND my 30-pounds-off-bear-reward!

I’ve already admitted to you that I’m immature and respond really well to childish forms of pats-on-the-head, and it’s really the truth. I give myself a gold star on my desk calendar each day when I do either my yoga and exercises or my elliptical trainer. I look at my sweet lineup of bears and smile, feeling a definite pat on the head for my lardage loss thus far. It also motivates me to go for the next one!

My husband and I decided that we would split the cash-back reward on our credit card. He immediately ordered a pistol he’s been drooling over for a LONG time. I told him that I would spend my share slowly, indulging in some new clothes – one size down from what I’m currently wearing – as further motivation to continue losing the lard.

Since one of the parts of me that won’t change is my FEET, I ordered some really colorful “happy” shoes from China from a place called, “Yes, We Vibe.”

 

 

 

 

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Filed under DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, motivators, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report – 11/8/2018

Pets World

The short answer is 30.6 pounds down, and 28.3 inches off.

The longer answer is that we are feeling more ‘at home’ with our new eating style. My husband and I are both on Nutrisystem, but they encourage flex meals – meals where you cook, or eat out, or branch out in some way from the Nutrisystem meals – one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, and one snack per week.

We are actually doing more flex meals than that -opting for a heartier dinner salad some nights, or similar things. An example, even though we’re only supposed to eat one flex dinner per week, we had a cold snap and the idea of homemade beef stew with some bread sounded really good. We ended up eating this combo for three nights straight, and then my husband was sad we didn’t have more :0)  The best news was that we not only kept our weight, but actually lost some.  So, we’re feeling more in control of our eating, our program, our goals.

We’re both exercising now. My husband spent four years in the Marine Corps, doing 50 sit-ups at the drop of a hat, or at a superior’s whim, with ease. Then, 55 years past. He tried to do a sit up about 6 weeks ago, while I was visiting a much beloved relative in Thibodaux, and was shocked that he couldn’t do ANY. (I was also amazed that he actually told me about his trial and shock, but told him that I was proud of him for trying, and that I knew if he kept at it, he would get stronger.)  He now is doing 5 strongly, and 2 or 3 more with great effort. I can’t tell you how pleased I am that he’s giving it his best shot every day. The doc told him to do cardio, but I’m not pushing it yet.

I have a stupid motivator in my own efforts to exercise daily – gold stars – like we used to get a million years ago for good work in school. My attitude is, “It it works, RUN IT!” I feel a bit silly, but it really works for me. I’m trying to do 35 minutes on my elliptical trainer one day, and about half an hour of yoga stretches and regular exercises the next. Yesterday was really busy, and it was late afternoon before I knew it. I thought, “oh, well, I’ll just do the elliptical tomorrow. One day won’t hurt.”  Then, as I sat there, I thought about not getting my gold star for the day. At 6:00 in the evening, I got up, went out to the garage, and put in my time. :0)

My husband often ‘isn’t hungry.” I NEVER have that problem. I have an appetite that would kill a horse. I get HUNGRY and if I don’t eat something, I get SNIPPY, CRANKY, and “MEAN AS A SNAKE,” according to my husband. The other silly motivator is the Nutrisystem bears you can get for each 10 pounds you lose. (My 30 pound bear is on its way!) I line them up on a shelf beside my computer chair in the office. When I’m tempted to go in and stuff my face at the wrong time, I think about getting the next bear…

Halfway to my goal now on lardage!

 

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

And the Answer Is…

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I am always reading several books simultaneously.

For example, I’m pouring over a really good one about what I’m supposed to be doing in my greenhouse. Though he is obviously in a place where heating is the primary issue, I’m learning a bunch about how to attack my goal of eating fresh lettuce as we go into winter, growing my own celery, starting new tomato plants from suckers and then keeping them alive over the winter. I’m also looking forward to starting seeds in March or so, getting a jump on the spring garden. It’s wonderful to be able to learn from someone who knows what they’re talking about. :0)

I’m re-reading a series of four books by one of my favorite authors, Nora Roberts. There is a quartet of books I’m reading now, and then a trio of books that I read once a year when I would like to feel better about people.

Then there is the new series by Robert Bryndza about Detective Erika Foster that my husband shared with me recently. Since that’s on my Kindle, I’ll take it to my husband’s doctor appointment today.

Another one I’m reading and trying to absorb a bit at a time is The Real Simple Method to Organizing Every Room and How to Keep it That Way.  If you’ve read my blog, you know what a slob I am. You also know that I continually try to HEAL my home by going through things, donating the things I think others might enjoy or make use of, throwing out a bunch of ‘stuff,’ and then cleaning and organizing the rest. (Today it’s the double cabinet under the kitchen sink.)

Though this book stresses getting EVERYONE in the house involved, our pets are of  little help, and my husband, thankfully, is oblivious to the chaos, dirt, dog hair, etc – or would have probably dumped me years ago. He does do things like empty the dishwasher, and lately he’s taken on the job of vacuuming out our truck before we pick up our friends to take them bowling, but basically, I’m on my own on this effort.

The book also assumes that we have the money we would LIKE to have, and could concentrate on buying furniture, rugs, paintings, and pricey knick-knacks, putting more of them on the bookshelves than books. I AM picking up some general good rules, though, from reading this, and I AM enjoying the beautiful pictures.

Reading is a big part of my life. I love learning new things. I love diving into a book and forgetting everything around me. Reading is a quality-of-life thing for me.

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Filed under Hobbies, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Folding Myself Into a Paper Airplane – Take 17

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I just finished my yoga practice for the day and I have to say, I’m feeling pretty relaxed.

I’m doing my own thing these days, using all kinds of stretching-for-old-folks poses I learned from Kat Cabira. To this, I’ve added some stomach exercises to try to strengthen my abdomen. This will be the last area of me to ‘go,’ but I’m working on it.

Today I added a group of 10 poses new to me that pulled a whole new group of muscles, or in a different way, so I really felt the stretch.  They were –

  • Child’s Pose
  • Supine Figure 4
  • Figure 4 Twist
  • Runner’s Lunge
  • Adductor Opener
  • Wide Legged Forward Fold
  • Cow Face Legs
  • Seated Twist
  • Happy Baby

You get into the position and then hold for 30 seconds, or 30 seconds for each side. The one that made me laugh was one called the Wide Legged Forward Fold. I laughed because there was no way in the world I was going to be able to get into that position, much less hold it for 30 seconds.

This old broad (as I refer kindly to myself) can barely touch my toes. I do that very slowly, breathing into it, until finally my fingertips touch the floor.  For this pose, you start where the flexible lady is here and then put your whole forearms flat on the floor, then hold for 30 seconds. Yeah. Right.

Anyway, I’ve learned that if I bend in the proper direction at all and hold it, breathing into it, the pose does me some good. So I did 9 of the 10 poses pretty well (for me). I touched my toes, holding it for as long as I could, and then called it done for today.

With the yoga stretches I’ve been doing, the abdominal exercises, and then the 10 new poses, I’m getting a really good session of stretching in. Please don’t hold your breath that I’ll be telling you I actually got into the Wide Legged Forward Fold position any time soon…

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Filed under exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

I Woke Up Happy Today

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I avoid exercise DVDs where the people are SO pert, SO excited, exuding the joys of moving – telling you how GOOD it all feels. They make me hostile. Likewise, I greet cloyingly sweet pictures and people with at least a silent snarl.

SO – you may react that way to ME this morning, because I woke up happy.

Though things are far from perfect, I have a pretty great life. I fell in love with my husband almost 60 years ago. We’ll celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary in June. AND we don’t just love, we’re addicted to each other. That doesn’t mean – by ANY means – that I don’t want to punch him in the face on a regular basis, but we chose to share our lives and it was definitely a good choice. We lost a daughter when she was 2 months old to SIDS – but we made a son who makes us proud of the generous, caring man he’s become, who loves us, reaches out on an almost daily basis from halfway across the world, just to check in and make sure we’re okay. And we might spend Christmas together this year!

We have two dogs, Molly (a sweet, elderly cocker spaniel/schnauzer cross) and Amber (a 95 pound yellow lab PUPPY) who drives us nuts and makes us laugh every day; two cats (Abby (a tortoiseshell fat cat) and Smoke (a sleek grey hunter); plus 4 goldfish who have tripled in size since we added them to our family.

We have a home we built over 30 years ago on top of a ridge line in Arkansas and we still love it. Since the initial building, we added a shop, then later doubled its size, plus built a greenhouse that so far hasn’t succumbed to wind and rain. We’re reasonably close to town, yet enjoy complete privacy up here, a really nice combination. We have a view of several ridge lines – and since we can see them, seeing the seasons change – we can pretend we own it all. :0)

Our health is improving as we get some of our lard off and are trying to exercise. I’m mainly doing my elliptical trainer and yoga stretching for old folks. My husband is doing better and better trying to do sit ups. We are consciously trying to move more.

We are retired, so many days we can do what we want – or don’t want to do. I can try to be productive or enjoy curling up in my chair with a good book.  I can choose to check things off my to-do list or play in my art room. We have good friends who make our lives rich.

I woke up happy today. I hope you did, too.

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Filed under Attitude, doing what you love, Encouragement, Family, Good Thoughts, quality of life

I DID It!

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I FINALLY  reached 30 pounds off in my efforts to get the lard off!  I went on chat on the Nutrisystem website, since I hadn’t received any notification or ‘reward’ redemption thingie in my email, and the kind lady said she would make sure my 30# off bear was included in my next order. :0)

To date:  30.6 lbs off. 28.5 inches off.  I think I’m about half way to my goal now, but I’ll see how I feel when I get there. My progress has been slow, but steady, so I’m happy that I can definitely see progress since April.

I still have to talk to myself about exercising, having a LOT of interests that involve sitting – computer stuff, like my blog, reading, working in my art room, etc. When the weather is good, though, I’m outside at least once a day, working in the greenhouse, weeding, or hacking something down, killing ants, and more.

I’m doing better since I decided to do my yoga stretches and exercises one day and my elliptical trainer the next, rather than trying to get both into one day. I’m a bit embarrassed to tell you that I bought sheets of gold stars – putting one on the calendar each day I do one or the other. Stupid – but it works for me. I say, “If it works, run it.” :0)

I’m especially happy that I lost weight this week. We splurged a lot this week, eating fried fish dinners at the grocery deli once, and eating breakfast out twice this week due to a botched attempt to get a blood test yesterday and a successful attempt today. Tomorrow is Lunch Bunch, and we’ll get chicken ‘thingies.’

The thing we’re learning is how to modify our eating the rest of the day when we eat out one meal in the real world. We’re still following the eating plan, but modifying our choices so that we stay on track better as far as calories for the day.  I have also found that, since we’re eating out more often, I don’t tend to get into the “YIPPEE!” mentality, where I eat completely bad choices like ‘this-is-the-last-time-I’ll-get-to-splurge,’ eating for 6 and feeling remorse later.  If it’s reasonable, I eat half and bring the other half home to eat some other time. I’m making better choices, such as a veggie omelette today, with no sides.

Slowly, we’re making this eating plan more ours. A life plan, rather than a way of eating for some specified period of time. I’m not feeling as tied to the program, panicking when we get off for any reason. I’m starting to cook more, bit by bit, though we ARE enjoying lots of raw veggies and salads now than ever, and my husband lives for his ‘grapes-and-nuts’ snacks.

 

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Filed under building good habits, Challenges, Changes, DIET!, exercise, getting the lard off, Healthy Eating, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Wonderful Book Series

My husband read this book and then loaned it to me via our Kindles.  I feel as if I’ve dived into a treasure trove.

Detective Ericka Foster is a strong character. My husband decided that he doesn’t want to read any more of the series because she is flawed, not acting as he thought was smart in a couple of situations. To my mind, I like her better for it. People don’t always react as they MIGHT, or how WE think they OUGHT to. They’re fallible – many times resulting in bad consequences.   It’s human nature.

I really enjoyed The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza.  Happily, I discovered that there are 6 books in the series –

  • The Girl in the Ice
  • The Night Stalker
  • Dark Water
  • Last Breath
  • Cold Blood
  • Deadly Secrets

I downloaded The Night Stalker  and will start it after I finish re-reading a 4-book series I’ve read before by Nora Roberts.

Reading is one of the most wonderful things humans can do. I LOVE being able to learn new things, escape from concerns for a while, be dazzled by how creative people are, and more – simply by getting on the Internet, turning on my Kindle, or opening a well-loved book from my collection.

 

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Filed under Book - Movie - TV Reviews, Favorite Authors & Books, quality of life, Reading is FUNdamental

Getting the Lard Off Progress Report 10-25-2018

Ravelry Bob Tape Measure

I have now lost 28 inches on Nutrisystem – 44.5 inches since my lardiest.

 

 

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And 28 pounds on Nutrisystem – 40 pounds since my lardiest.

The very best news is that my husband has been losing weight, too – going from 38 x 30 to 34 x 30 in jeans, and had a blood sugar count of 88 this morning, the lowest ever!!!!!! Woo HOOOO!

Another good thing is that we’re much more CONSCIOUS of the food we’re putting into our mouths now, and trying to move more.

My husband is trying to do sit ups. (He’s frustrated because he’s a former Marine and used to do 50 sit ups just because his superior was feeling out of sorts. Now he’s having real trouble – and is shocked to learn that 55 years or so without exercise affects one’s muscles! :0)  )  I’m really happy for him for trying and I’m cheerleading, telling him he’ll get stronger if he tries every day.

I’m switching off each day  between my elliptical trainer and yoga stretches and exercises, in addition to working in the yard and doing another decluttering of the house, room by room, consciously trying to keep moving.

We’re making progress. I’m about halfway to my weight goal now (I think – subject to re-evaluation if I meet it). It feels good to be doing what we CAN control to take care of ourselves better and improve our quality of life.

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

What Day Is It?

A. A. Milne via Lisa Bearnes Richey

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Filed under Attitude, Favorite Quotes, Good Thoughts, quality of life

Folding Myself into a Paper Airplane – Take 16

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I think that I have finally settled on an exercise routine that I can keep up with – 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer one day, and about 30 minutes of yoga stretches and exercises the next.  I’ve kept up with this for about a week now, and I’m not feeling overwhelmed.  I can easily work in 30 minutes a day of ‘official’ exercise and still get other things accomplished.

Today was yoga. 

I’m doing my own routine now, slow and steadily stretching my parts, holding the poses and breathing into them until I feel my body ‘give’ a bit. It still takes me a minute or so before I can bend over and touch my toes, but I CAN, after months of simply bending over and breathing, trying to relax and not fall over onto my head. :0)

I’m also ALMOST able to put my head onto my feet when in the sitting position with the soles of my feet touching each other. I’m flirting with it, though not there yet.

I’m twisting my torso in all different directions. I still can’t relax while doing this, but I’m holding the positions and breathing into them.

When I started yoga I was unable to lie on my back without breathing and consciously RELAXING, pressing the small of my back into the floor over and over before I could finally relax enough to simply lie there. Then I was also unable to stretch my arms up, laying them on the floor above my head. I spent a lot of time with my arms hanging mid-air, breathing. FINALLY, one day my arms touched the floor. I’m still not comfortable, but I’m gradually able to relax a bit more.

Today Amber came in while I was practicing, wanting to play ball. When she saw I wasn’t going to play, she lay down and ‘oozed’ closer and closer, a bit at a time. Finally, she was beside me, her feet in the air, trying to get me to rub her tummy. When I wouldn’t comply, she started gently biting my fingers as I did my stretches. At this point, I yelled at my husband in the office, asking him to call her.

As always now, I feel better after my stretching. I’m more relaxed, and I move more easily. The fact that it’s still hard to make myself go into the living room, get out my mat and get started is just the fact I’m hard-headed and have spent years avoiding exercise like the plague. I will never become an exercise aficionado, but I DO see the benefit in moving more, trying to increase my flexibility and balance, and alleviating much of the pain and stiffness in my back and hips.

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Filed under exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself

Such a Morning!

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I’m feeling a bit frazzled at the moment. We hit the ground running when the alarm went off and finally stopped just a bit ago, declaring an end to the morning, and finally treating ourselves to a first cup of coffee.

I told you last week that our doggies, Amber and Molly, got out together and traveled to places unknown, returning with yuck all over them. I put Molly in the kitchen sink and scrubbed her, but her hair is super-thick and wiry, so after you get her wet enough for a good bath, it’s next to impossible to get her dry again, even using multiple towels and my hair dryer. So the first stop in our travels this morning was taking Sweet Molly to the groomer’s to get sheared like a sheep. We’re waiting for them to call us so we can go back and pick her up.

Between my closet clean-out and my husband finally going through his amoire to gather too-large jeans, we had collected three large leaf bags of clothes to take to the Veteran’s Thrift Store as a donation.  So from the groomer’s we drove to Fort Smith.

On the way back, we stopped at the grocery for a couple of items we neglected to get on Sunday, mailed a book at the post office that we sold via Amazon, went to the gas station to buy Mega Millions and Power Ball tickets, then stopped at City Hall for early voting that started today. I can’t tell you how MUCH I appreciate the people who make it possible for us to be able to vote when it’s convenient for us, when we don’t have to stand in line for a long time.

Finally, we picked up our mail at the bottom of our driveway.

Since then, I’ve paid bills, transferred money around, written a note to a good friend, confirmed the book mailing online, and done other odds and ends.

A good, productive morning. It’s now time for our Nutrisystem mid-morning snack and then we’ll regroup for the afternoon. I hope you’re having a good day today, too.

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Filed under Acting Like a Grownup, Challenges, quality of life

Just So You Know…

Bored Panda

I just bought tickets for Power Ball, Mega Millions, and I’ve been entering the PCH Sweepstakes daily for the prize coming up soon.

My husband and I have all sorts of great ideas for what we would do with the money. We haven’t actually made a LIST yet, but we’ll have plenty of time for that after we win.

We already won the lottery on family – even with our doggies providing me with such a day of ‘fun’ yesterday.  Since we have everything else with each other, our improving health, our son, our pets, our lifestyle – we figure winning these three things would definitely be icing on an already-delicious cake.

BRING IT ON!!!!!!

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Filed under Attitude, Bright Ideas, Good Thoughts, opportunities, quality of life

The Big Picture

Rollin’ France-YouTube

I guess we started really trying to lose the lard about a year and a half ago. We were doing low carb. I was cooking a lot, we were losing some weight, but not steadily enough. My husband’s blood sugar was better, but not good enough to qualify for insurance that required a health exam. The policy we had was going to skyrocket in premium on his birthday in November (Happy birthday to you…). He was still having bad symptoms from his diabetes.

I have been overweight for quite a while. I don’t like it. I got better with the low carb diet, but I need to lose a significant amount of weight to be healthy. We were kidding ourselves, SAYING we were on a low carb diet, and then ‘splurging’ on a regular basis, eating our favorite fast foods out once or twice a week. We finally got serious last April and signed up for NutriSystem. My husband is almost at his weight goal now. He just tried on some new, smaller jeans this morning. Better, but still too large. He has now ordered the next size smaller. :0)

Best of all, our doctor is patting us on the head. We’ve been going to quarterly doctor appointments, with blood tests for our various problems, for a long time. Last time we went, my numbers were so significantly better that she put me on 6 month appointments. My husband has one more quarterly appointment next month, and we’re hoping he’ll come back every six months, too! He qualified for a 10-year level term life insurance policy for twice as much insurance as we had. They jacked the premium up because of his age, but no one can control that, so we’re grateful to be covered now.

I’ve been keeping a spreadsheet on my lardage loss, to help me see the big picture, particularly when I don’t see much change for a week or two. The big picture shows –

Weight loss with NS is 28 pounds. Total loss since my highest lardage is 40 pounds.

Inches loss with NS is a bit over 23 inches. Total loss since my highest lardage is 39-1/2 inches.

Results at doc’s office –

  • Weight is down
  • Blood pressure is under good control with medication
  • My cholesterol is in the normal range now
  • Lipid profile is all showing in the normal range now

It feels good to be actively doing things that will increase our overall health.  We’re eating right and learning to eat outside the program without throwing things out of whack. We are not feeling deprived, with fast food items floating in front of our faces, as they used to. We are more active. I’m trying to get on the elliptical trainer at least every other day. I’m doing yoga stretching almost every day. I’m actively trying to ‘move more’ with specific chores I would like to do each day, such as housework and working in the yard. I write a post or two for my blog :0)  and then I get up and either do a chore, or exercise, over and over, throughout the day. I’m encouraging my husband, who is trying to do sit ups, to do more than ‘intend to,’ though I’m certainly no role model.

We ARE making progress – particularly when we look at the big picture. Seeing this is motivation to keep on keepin’ on.

taolife.com

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Filed under Attitude, Challenges, DIET!, exercise, quality of life, taking care of yourself