GOAL - REACH 5,000 Kms - Walking and Jogging to Fitness!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Getting ready for the Holidays? Let's Bake Smartly for Better Health

Found this tidbit on Spark People!
 Baking Substitutions
Making meals count is important. Meals should be satisfying, good tasting, pleasing to the eye, nutritious, and have a texture that is pleasing to your palate. Otherwise, you WILL feel deprived. The good news? It is easy to modify some of your favorite recipes by using the sensational substitutions listed below--no one will even notice the difference!

Instead of...

 1/2 cup oil, butter or margarine
 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/4 cup canola oil, butter, or margarine

 1 egg
 2 egg whites

 Sweetened condensed milk
 Nonfat sweetened condensed milk

 Evaporated milk
 Evaporated skim milk

 1 cup chocolate chips
 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, chopped dried fruit, or chopped nuts

 Sliced fresh fruit with a dusting of powdered sugar

 Sour cream
 Nonfat sour cream, low-fat sour cream, pureed low-fat cottage cheese

 Whole milk
 Skim milk

 Cream cheese
 Low-fat cream cheese

 Artificial sweetener for some or all (follow manufacturer's directions); 1/4 to 1/2 less sugar in the recipe

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

THREE Reasons Why I am NOT losing Weight!

I am front and to the right - friends had taken me out last year ^ for my 61st birthday in October 2010. I can tell I have LOST a LOT of weight since then.
But my weight loss has been slowing down. Walking is not producing the loss it once did, my calories have crept up a bit. Now I found an article that explains logically why I have slowed down - and oh boy - I fit right into that pattern!
This is more of what I look like THIS October 2011. I must apologize as I was very tired that day and make-up and hair wasn't done. But look at that skinney neck!
Bleach mistake photo:
Please EXCUSE    <- my hair. I bleached the heck out of it -> one day while I was working away at the computer and had to have it all cut off - I really ruined it. It is gradually getting longer (and blonder - wonder how that is
so the next photo will be better.

3 Reasons Why I'm Not Losing Weight

Why Weight Loss is Harder for Some People than for Others

-- By Dean Anderson, Fitness & Behavior Expert
ALL KUDOS TO SparkPeople! 
This Article is from their site at http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1605 
and it is all free!  scroll down to read article...
You've been sticking faithfully to your calorie range and exercise plans for awhile now, but you're not seeing the results you want on your scale. Meanwhile, your weight -loss buddy is happily watching the pounds melt away week after week. Not fair!

Or maybe you're losing weight but not from the areas where you really want to shed some fat. (Skinny feet are nice, but not so much when your muffin top is still as big as ever.) And then you have that other friend who can eat anything and everything without gaining a pound, while just watching him or her eat seems to make you gain weight.

What's going on here? Why don't your efforts seem to be paying off while weight loss seems so easy for other people? Is there anything you can do to get better results?

Sometimes there is a simple, general reason why one person loses weight faster than another. For example, men tend to lose weight more quickly than women, (THAT I knew!) mainly because most men naturally have more lean muscle mass (thanks to their higher testosterone levels), and more muscle translates into a faster metabolism. (THAT is new to me - strength training produces a faster metabolism!!!) WOW!) Men and women also tend to store excess weight in different places—men in the abdominal area ("apple" body type), which is usually easier to lose; women in the hips and thighs ("pear" body type), which is usually harder to take off.

People who have more weight to lose may also drop the pounds more quickly in the beginning of a weight-loss program. This is because the more you weigh, the more calories you burn during any given activity. (Walking with an extra 50 pounds on your frame is harder than walking with 20 extra pounds of weight.) A person who weighs more can also cut more calories from his or her diet without jeopardizing the body's ability to function efficiently. If you weigh 300 pounds, you may need 3,500 calories per day or more to maintain that weight; cutting 1,000 calories from your diet (down to 2,500/day) will let you safely lose 2 pounds per week. But if you weigh 150 pounds, you may only need 1,800 calories to maintain your weight, and if you try to cut the 1,000 calories from your diet (down to 800/day), your body won't have enough fuel and your metabolism will slow down drastically, making fat loss harder, not easier. Therefore a person with less weight to lose needs to aim for a smaller calorie deficit, which will translate to a slower rate of weight loss.  (SO - if I am eating too little, I will lose at a SLOWER rate??? Didn't know that!)
Likewise, factors like age and body type can affect how fast you can shed extra pounds. Older people, for example, often lose weight more slowly, perhaps because of hormonal changes and/or because they have less muscle mass or may be less physically active.

So, if you're comparing your weight loss to someone else's, make sure you're not comparing apples to oranges (or pears)—that's just go ing to be frustrating and won't tell you anything useful about your own efforts.

Sometimes, though, people who seem to share a lot of these factors—similar body size, weight, age and activity levels—just don't get the same results, even when they do the same things. A lot of individual factors, including your individual genetics and quite a few medical conditions (like hypothyroidism, PCOS,and insomnia) and medications (like corticosteroids, or antidepressants), can make weight loss difficult. If you're in this boat, you may need to work closely with your health professional to find an individualized approach that will maximize your weight loss results without jeopardizing your health.

But more often, slow or non-existent weight loss can be traced to very common problems that can be identified and overcome with the right kinds of changes in diet, exercise, or daily activity patterns. That's what we'll be looking at below.

The No. 1 Problem: Your numbers aren't right.

In a healthy, "normally" functioning body, weight loss occurs when you use (burn) more energy (calories) than you take in from food. This calorie deficit forces your body to take fat out of storage and turn it into fuel that your cells can use to maintain necessary body functions. A pound of fat represents about 3,500 calories of stored energy, so you can predict that a calorie deficit of 3,500 will translate into one lost pound, give or take a little.

By far the most common reason why weight loss seems to be going slower than people expect is that their calorie deficit is not as large as they think it is. Either they're not burning as many calories as they think they are, or they're eating more than they think they are, or a combination of both.

The formulas used to estimate how many calories people need to maintain their current weight aren't accurate for everyone—they can be off by as much as 30-40%, especially if your body fat percentage is pretty high, your physical activity level is significantly higher or lower than average, or you're counting almost everything you do (e.g., light housework, grocery shopping, walking up one flight of stairs) as "exercise" even though it doesn't actually meet the parameters of what counts as fitness (a high enough intensity to elevate your heart rate to an aerobic range; a duration of at least 10 continuous minutes for the activity; the moving of large muscle groups in a rhythmic way).

You can have the same problem on the other end of the energy equation: calorie intake. It's very common to underestimate how much you're actually eating, even when you're tracking your food consistently. If you just eyeball your portion sizes instead of measuring them, or if you tend to forget the little "extras" you eat during the day (like licking peanut butter off the knife while making your sandwich, or tasting your pasta sauce while you're cooking it), you can easily add a few hundred uncounted calories to your daily total.

To fix this problem, make sure your calorie numbers are as accurate as you can get them. Track your calorie intake carefully and diligently, until you can recognize portion sizes of the foods you eat often without measuring. And don't count the regular activities of daily life you've always done as part of your "exercise."

Remember that fitness trackers and cardio machines only estimate how many calories you truly burn, and these trackers and machines tend to overestimate how much you're really burning. For a more accurate reading, you could invest in a good heart rate monitor that better estimates your calorie burn based on how hard you are actually working during exercise.

The Second Most Common Problem: Excess muscle loss

We'd like to think that every pound lost is a pound of fat, but in reality, all weight loss involves some combination of fat loss and muscle loss. To get the best results from your weight-loss efforts, you want to maximize fat loss and minimize muscle loss. The best way to do that is to include adequate strength training in your exercise routine. Without strength training, a substantial amount of the weight you lose could be muscle (lean tissue), which can reduce your fitness and lower your calorie burning capacity. To avoid these problems (and make it much easier to keep the lost weight off), be sure to include at least two full-body strength training workouts in your weekly routine. You can get plenty of strength-training ideas from SparkPeople's workouts, videos and fitness resource center.

The Final Problem: WHAT you eat may matter almost as much as HOW MUCH you eat.

How your body handles the food you eat is governed by a very complex set of biochemical interactions that determine when and where any excess calories are stored, and how easily this energy can be retrieved for later use. For some people with certain genetic predispositions, a diet high in fast-digesting carbohydrates like refined sugar and refined grains can make it easier for their bodies to store excess calories as fat and harder to get that energy back out of fat cells later on when it's needed. It can also lead to increased appetite and more cravings for high-sugar foods. There aren't yet any easily available tests that can identify people with this problem, but if you've been significantly overweight for a long time and you struggle with appetite, carbohydrate cravings, and slow weight loss, it may be worth your while to experiment with a diet higher in protein and healthy fats, and lower in refined carbohydrates and sugar. Be sure to discuss this with your doctor first, especially if you have any medical conditions/medications that can be affected by your diet.

Weight loss seems so simple on the surface: Eat less than you burn and your body will drop pounds. But for many people, there's more to the equation than counting calories in and calories out. We are all an experiment of one; you cannot compare your results to someone else's, just as you can't expect to have the same results as another person, no matter how similar you may seem to be. Think of your weight loss as a continuous journey. There will be bumps in the road, along with times when the sailing is smooth, but no matter what, you'll just have to pay attention to the route and be open to making changes in your approach or direction along the way. When you follow those guidelines, weight loss will become that much easier!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Are you willing to die for your dream?

I was. Am I still?
My dream was to become thinner, slimmer, more fit and healthy. After lifelong overweight issues, now at 60 I am still obese. Talk about being willing to die for this dream. I even had stomach stapling bariatric surgery to help me. I felt I had tried everything else and this is my last chance. So I grabbed that brass ring. That was only 7 months ago in March 2011.
The pounds came off quickly at first, but have slowed down to a dribble. Why is this happening?
I need my dream. Can I take it out, dust it off, polish it up and dream it again? Where on earth did I put it? Oh, there it is, under that pile of broken promises to myself.
Is the weight ever going to go away?
Not unless I can visualize myself as the slim woman inside of this old heavy body. Where the heck is my new self, transmogrified, me as the butterfly?
Not this: emoticon
But this! emoticon
With my newly shined dream, I will again conceptualize my body responding more vitally to health and refusing to respond or 'whig out' to unhealthy options. I can see myself slim!

Like Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream."
And he did die for his dream. But his dream is getting closer and closer to being real. Certainly it is in Toronto, the most multi-cultural city in the world.

Will Smith has also become another great inspiration for me because he maintains once you start doubting your dream coming true, you are done. You have just outdone yourself and are DOOMED yourself to failure.
Will has a very cool and inspirational piece someone put together on his philosophy on You Tube.

He says we need to understand we shouldn't be realistic. 
Reality bites. Aim higher!
It is NOT realistic to believe you can flick a switch and lights come on in the room. No one believed it could be done. Einstein did. It took him over 1000 experiments to get the light bulb to work. It was his dream, and he made it happen. Now it is our reality.

Was it realistic to believe one could shape a metal tube and send people up in the air? Heck no. It was a dream of the Wright brothers and many others this could be possible. But for many years it was just a dream.

What makes a dream come true?
Perhaps at the start of your fitness journey you spent time visualizing what you would look like and how you would feel at your ideal weight or level of fitness. I did.
Do we still do that? I have lost focus on that part, and coincidentally, since losing focus on my goal, I have lost focus on the process to attain that - my dream of slimness and good health.
I have been focusing instead on the negative things - on the bad percentages. I have been giving more power to my sabateurs. I need to take that back and take back control! I now believe it is my choice to be a winner or a loser. And I want to WIN!
Will Smith says it best in this little video. Tune in and then be more FREE to believe in your dream about YOU.

It worked for me. Mentally - just now.
It is a new day! And I have a new, fresh dream, even more beautiful than the first one, and I am closer than ever. 
I am going to keep loving that new ME. 
I am going to make ME finally happen.

Keep Looking UP! And keep dreaming your dream.


emoticon emoticon
emoticon We need to look for the good things and forget the crappy ones
emoticon Life is a present, not a past, nor a future. It is today's gift.
emoticon Today is the FIRST day of the rest of it. We only have one present at a time. Make this moment work.
emoticon IF we crash and burn, not to worry. We are just little chickies, on this steep learning curve and if we didn't fall sometimes, we'd be perfect. Chickies trip up all the time, take a tumble, get up and keep on.

None of us ARE perfect. Why do we keep expecting perfection in ourselves? We aren't even being fair when we expect that.

As Yoda says, 'Those who do, DO.'
And I think he's got something there.

Are you with me?
Jump on this bandwagon and let me know! 

(BTW, I made the 5 km - every step of the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope on September 11, 2011. Thank you so much for your support.  
As a survivor, I got to wear a TEAL T Shirt, while the walkers wore WHITE and volunteers wore YELLOW. When we were walking, there was a sea of 1500 WHITE T's and only about a dozen TEAL T's. That threw me for a loop. When you learn stats about a disease - this percent will die, this percent will live, you don't really GET IT until you see it in the flesh. September 11 brought it home. Many people were walking for their friend, or mother, or sister - who is gone. Forever.
When I can figure out how to get the photos from my HTC android phone onto my computer, I will share some of them with you. I appreciate any help you can provide.)

DIET vs LIFESTYLE - How to tell the Difference?

Got this off (where else) SparkPeople.com and it spoke to me. 
Hope it helps one of you too.
Ask anyone who has been struggling to achieve a healthy weight and lifestyle. They’ll tell you that it's not an easy thing to do, mainly because there is a huge difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it.
There is no magic pill, no secret technique or approach that can solve this problem for you. It will take time, hard work and persistence to get yourself where you want to be. But there are several things you can do (and think) that can make all that hard work a little easier and greatly improve your chances of success.
SparkPeople's Mind Over Body plan is designed to give you the tools you need to identify, work through, and overcome the most common emotional and mental (attitude) problems that people face when they set out to change their lifestyles.
Mind Over Body is a 10-step plan. The first five steps describe tools you can use to get past the five most common problems that people run into:
  1. inadequate problem-solving skills
  2. unrealistic expectations
  3. toxic guilt & negative self-talk
  4. emotional eating
  5. lack of intrinsic motivation
The second five steps will help you make the shift from “diet” to “lifestyle" change - whether you need to lose weight or not. Diets don’t work. Even if you manage to survive all the unpleasantness of depriving yourself long enough to get to your weight goal, your odds of regaining the weight when you stop "dieting" are higher than 90%. By making the shift from diet mode to lifestyle mode, you'll be able to put aside the habits that got you overweight or unhappy once and for all. You'll develop skills that will not only make these changes less stressful and more enjoyable, but also keep the weight off and help you achieve other important life goals.
Here are some of the basic differences between a diet and a lifestyle change:

Diet - Lifestyle

The goal is self-limiting.
When you get to your goal weight, you stop the diet
The goal is open-ended.
Weight management becomes part of your daily life, with strategies that vary as circumstances, priorities, and needs change.

A diet is a surface level change.
It involves simple changes in behaviors you are already doing (or not doing). You take in fewer calories from food and (maybe) expend more calories on activity. Foods are "good" or "bad" based on calorie content.

Lifestyle changes are made on many levels.
In addition to healthy changes in your relationship with food and exercise, you will challenge the basic attitudes, beliefs, thoughts and feelings that made you overweight (and unhappy) to begin with.

Progress and success are measured by the scale.
Anything that results in weight loss is considered acceptable, even if it poses potential problems or risks. Failure to lose weight as fast as desired is very upsetting, and the process feels like a constant battle. High stress is constant.

Progress and success are measured in terms of satisfaction & quality of life.
Weight loss and maintenance continue to be important, but are put in perspective as one way you can move towards larger, more rewarding goals. Daily ups and downs become much less stressful.

Results don't last.
Even if you manage to stick with all the unpleasantness of a diet long enough to reach your weight goal, your odds of keeping it off permanently are less than one in twenty.

Results are lasting.
Your lifestyle change is an open-ended, ongoing process with goals that continue to expand and grow. There is no reason to go back to the habits that got you overweight in the first place.

Within each of the 10 steps in the Mind Over Body Plan, you'll find two basic types of information. First, you'll see something similar to the “emergency treatment” you get from your doctor when you are having a medical problem. This advice is designed to deal with symptoms and help you get back to “normal” functioning as quickly as possible. Second, each step will link to information that is more similar to “preventive” medicine. It's designed to help you improve your health and wellness so that you are less vulnerable to illness and injury in the first place.
Both sets of information are necessary and important for long-term weight loss success.
We strongly encourage you to read through all 10 steps as soon as you can and follow the suggestions provided. During your weight loss journey, forewarned is forearmed; knowing which problems you’re likely to run into (and solutions that really work) can help you minimize the effects of these problems, and get on top of them quickly. Then, if you find yourself struggling repeatedly with a problematic behavior, attitude, or feeling, you can come back and do some more detailed work on the step(s) relevant to that problem.
And remember—whatever information or practical suggestions you might find in these articles is no substitute for the kind of mutual support available out on the Message Boards. So, make sure you don’t stop after reading this material. Visit the Message Boards to give and receive the support we all need to be successful at lifelong weight management.

Mind Over Body
10 Steps to Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle

  1. Put the “I” in Your Weight Loss Plan. Learn how knowing the answer to one simple question can improve your chances for success by up to 100%.
  2. Take the stress out of weighing in. Is your scale making you crazy? Read about three things you can do to take the stress out of your weigh-ins.
  3. Tame your " toxic guilt" before it wipes out your will power . Learn how to exercise your healthy lifestyle conscience and avoid those bad feelings that send you running to the refrigerator every time you slip up.
  4. Tame your Emotional Eating Beast . Find out how to inoculate yourself against emotional distress before it leads to mindless eating.
  5. Take the mystery out of staying motivated. Take steps to become your own best motivator, and put the problem of disappearing motivation behind you for good.
  6. Write your vision statement. Learn why a good vision statement is crucial to success, and what you’ll want to include in yours.
  7. Plot your strategy. Read about setting effective lifestyle goals and finding strategies that work.
  8. Give yourself a reality check-up. Make sure your own beliefs aren’t getting in your way.
  9. Pave the way for persistence. Organize your personal world so that it keeps you going when the going gets tough.
  10. Learn from yourself. These important tips explain how you can let your own experience help you create the plan that will work best for you.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Ovarian Cancer Walk for Hope - September 11. 2011

Here is the SCHEDULE for the BIG DAY!

Toronto Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope
Walk Date: Sunday, September 11, 2011

Riverdale Park East (west of Broadview Ave, north of Gerrard St. and south of Danforth Ave)

9:30am – 10:30pm – Registration, entertainment & morning coffee

10:30am – 11:00pm – Opening ceremonies

11:00pm – 12:00pm – Walk

12:00pm – 1:30pm – Lunch, Activities; AND Closing Ceremonies

Route Distance: Choice of 2.5km or 5km!

Co-Chairs of the 2011 Toronto Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope: Nicole Almond / Jody Emmerich / Lisa Johnson

Please remember the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope is RAIN OR SHINE...The walk must go on!

Andrea will be walking 5 KM with her TEAM of OC (Ovarian Cancer) Vanquishers. To sponsor Andrea or the TEAM, please click on:

For Andrea:  https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/SponsorSearch.aspx?EventID=61187&LangPref=en-CA&Referrer=http%3a%2f%2fovariancanada.org%2fwalk-of-hope%2findex%3flang%3den-CA

FOR THE OC VANQUISHERS TEAM: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/SponsorTeamSearch.aspx?EventID=61187&LangPref=en-CA


Isn't she LOVELY? Isn't she BEAUTIFUL?

Audrey Hepburn, epitome of Loveliness

Please forgive me - I got this off the web from a wonderful site and I don't now remember where that was. But BEING lovely, having the opportunity to be LOVELY is something not to take lightheartedly. 

God gave us Loveliness. We are all lovely in our own way. We need to focus on that! Read this article, I believe to be written by Audrey Hepburn, and visualize the lovely essence in you!

Have a wonderful day and keep reading this blog. I appreciate all your support and input for sure! Forward to your friends to read this blog. Everyone needs to appreciate loveliness!

How to be lovely as Audrey Hepburn?

How To Be Lovely

"The most effective kind of education is that a child should play amongst lovely things." - Plato
Elegance must be combined with loveliness, because one usually not just desire to be elegant simply for themselves, but to shed a little joy around her and beautify her world.
If you look up the dictionary today, you'll find that 'loveliness' is defined as 'an exquisite beauty'. Researching deeper, I've found that the intrinsic meaning of that beauty is natural, internal and it comes from all the goodness and love from the heart. So how to be absolutely lovely? Think of someone who portrayed elegance and wonderful taste at every occasion: Audrey Hepburn.

Cultivate Loveliness

I've found that it is easier to 'be the right person' than to 'try to be the right person'. When we should not be late, it is prudent to set a timer or an alarm. Having reverence for other people's time, insures being on time.
For instance, if we were meeting a head of state, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, we wouldn't dream of being late. A lovely person is thoughtful all the time.

She is one who is generous with her smile.

My heart instantly warms up to a person who smiles. It is bighearted to be the one who smiles first because it takes a certain type of admirable courage and lack of self consciousness. She also has positivity that a smile will be returned. Her smile encourages other smiles. Her pleasant countenance exudes her.

She is one who is kind.

She asks about you and your family if they are well. She listens and refrains from talking about herself, unless asked.
If you have had an embarrassing moment, she will appear to never have noticed it. If you have spilled soup on yourself, she would make light of it. Her words are kind and thoughtful. Her gestures and actions reflect that too. A pat for a little dog, or listening with delight when children attempt to converse. She will always offer a helping hand to an older person.

She is one who is on time, if not a little early.

When she has an appointment with someone, she is always on time, if not a little early. If she is foresees to be five minutes late for her hair appointment, she phones as early as fifteen minutes before. She takes into account potential time-hazards when planning her time. She sticks to her appointments, come rain or shine. She is dependable to turn up for her appointments. She never cancels, unless it is a real emergency. She will never make an excuse because she knows others have cleared their schedules for her. Time is one of the most valued currencies we have. Money can be lost, and may be earned back. When time is lost, time is lost for ever. She shows her reverence for time by the way she lives her life, settling into a calm, quality lifestyle where she has time for church, family and friends.

She is one who believes others come first.

In her actions, she considers others. She moves to the middle of the train to allow more space for passengers who come after her, and gives up her seat to that pregnant lady. She stirs her tea quietly in order not to all attention to her cup. She speaks softly in public places, so that it will not be a disturbance to others.
She respects wishes and personal choices of others and will not ask intruding or potentially embarrassing questions. While she may have differing opinions, she will be gracious about it.

She is one who is disciplined in mind and heart.

She never assumes she is well-known, important, that people are thinking about her, talking about her or will give her a ride home. If she discovers any of those situations to be true, she graciously accepts and shows her appreciation. She never says to anyone, 'Do you know who I am?' or 'I don't deserve this! I deserve better.'
She'll never steals any one's thunder by switching an conversational topic to herself. For instance if someone was talking about their trip to France, she'll take over the conversation and tell them what happened when SHE went to France.
She does not allow herself to go over an embarrassing situation in her mind. She disciplines herself not to fuss and get on with it. She does not get embarrassed.

"She is disciplined in her lifestyle, not allowing herself to be drunk with wine, be addicted to bad habits of eating junk food, shop incessantly, be over ridden with debt, have too many possessions, or have disorder in her life and home." (Author Unknown)
She also knows being disciplined in her heart and mind means taking efforts to 'guard her heart'.
In Proverbs 4:23: "Above all, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."  
Guarding one's heart is reading, watching, listening to good, wholesome things to inspire fruits such as love, patience, kindness etc.

She is one who is impeccable in appearance.

How to be lovely is also to be impeccable in appearance. I was once told that in France, it is considered rude to go get bread at the bakery in home clothes and unmade face. This is because you force others to look at you in less-than-presentable appearance.
Good posture is important as well. A beautiful impeccable appearance is ruined by a poor posture. Keep your back straight at all times. Do not fold your arms, slouch or lean on anything. Learn to feel graceful with good posture. A lovely person definitely does not need to spend excessive time getting dressed. She achieves a timeless style by a sense of thoughtfulness about herself.

She is one who has a good work ethic.

She shows us how to be lovely by having a good work ethic. Just as she is always on time, she has a healthy work ethic. She performs what is required of her, without complaining. She works hard and doesn't give in even though she is tired. If she has a big client meeting the next day, she prepares for it and is confident.
"I adored my work and did my best." - Audrey Hepburn

She is one who has a balanced life with her values intact.

She is never too busy for her family, her loved ones. She prioritizes and keeps things simple.
She is passionate about her work, but it will not take over her values. She is passionate about family, but she does not neglect herself and she continues to take interests outside of family. She knows when she is over-stretching herself and says 'no' to the unnecessary. Due to her disciplined manner of living, she enjoys what she has chosen, designed. She is never hurried and in a rush.

She is one who loves.

She loves. She loves her husband, her children, her mother-in-law. She loves animals, beautiful gardens, books. She takes time to get to know the world around her. She does not merely expresses it with words but through actions.
She employs a thoughtfulness and observation of her world. She can notices things about little children, remembering what is their favourite toy. She can recount silly stories of her dogs. She sends birthday flowers. She loves decorating her home with elegance and keeping it welcoming.

She treats everyone the same.

She does not think she is better or more important than anyone. She speaks in the same manner to the janitor as she would to the vice president of her husband's company. She also does not repay a rude comments with nastiness.

She is one who is gracious.

She assumes the best of people. She says, "Oh, I trust and am very sure that in time to come, you will know what to do." to the person who confides in her, instead of giving advice unless asked for. When complimented, she accepts it kindly but gives away the credit, praising someone who has helped her with her hair.

She is one who is authentic and never puts on pretenses.

She is unafraid to say that she doesn't know and does not pretend to know. She does not fake her youth, her wealth, or accomplishments or her age. She tries to be as respectful as possible and is humble.

She is one who is a giver.

A giving person is not merely generous with her finances.
She is also generous with her time, words, her things, affection, her compliments, encouragement and praises.
Ultimately being lovely comes when one is inspired for the love of people, which comes supernaturally from God.

It is when you realize how much God loves us, in spite of ourselves, that brings out the wonderful sense of loveliness we can now bestow on others.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Mulling over the NEW me!

For all those lovely wonderful ladies - George toasts YOU!

WOW - and I remember when . . . tipping the scales a hundred pounds ago . . .
Now at 230 or 240 ish - I don't keep tight track of my pounds - only weigh myself once a month - I still have a hard time getting going in the mornings. (My dog Dexter is a great motivator, because whatever the weather is, he still has to pee.)
I had a down month in July. By the end of June I had lost 102 pounds, so I spent all July sort of celebrating.
I didn't even weigh myself in August.
But really you can tell who your real friends are. I spent this last 3 days at my girlfriend's house (painting, moving furniture, etc., etc., etc.) - and she is a master chef.
She built meals for everyone that were healthy and fun, and gave me a plate with smaller portions. I wish I had someone to figure out portions for me at home, she gets IT right. When I have finished that amount I am full.
And Lynda is full of compliments about how much slimmer I look.
She gave me a HUGE bag of clothes (she's French and LOVES fashion) and tells me I will be into them before Christmas, and she can't wait until she sees me in them! This includes about 4 bikinis (really have to mull that concept over) other great tops, jammies that are soft and sweet, one black svelte floor length nightie (va-voom!) and handfuls of cashmere and other very soft sweaters, girly tops, deep V necks (ooh la la!) and great amazing fun and sexy (not fat) clothes.  I feel like a new woman!
I realize I have been wearing 'old lady' clothes for the last 35 years.
Now at 61, I am turning into a hottie!
I walk, gently jog, swim, and try to plan all my activities so I am as physical as possible.
And if I didn't have Spark People motivating me, and great friends like Lynda S. opening my eyes about myself, I never would have made it this far.

Keep Looking UP!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Diamond in the Making

THIS was in my INBOX this morning from SparkPeople.com:
Even if our efforts of attention seem for years to be producing no result, one day a light that is in exact proportion to them will flood the soul. - Simone Weil
What we can learn about patience from a diamond

Trying (but failing) to see your goals realized can be frustrating. Margaret Thatcher once said "You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it."  You've got to believe you will succeed! Never admit defeat as long as time and effort remain. Our greatest asset is patience; our greatest weakness is throwing in the towel. Banish discouragement and feelings of impossibility by working hard, doing more, and not giving in! A diamond was only made beautiful after millions of years as a lump of coal.

My brother Tom and his daughter Alison visited Toronto for a few days, catching up on old friends and family too. What was particularly fascinating was to see the look of PRIDE he had in his eyes when we discussed my efforts to become more fit. He was PROUD of me, of what I had accomplished. That was a great feeling!
He is my 'little brother' 10 years younger than me, incredibly more stable and not flighty at all (like me). Since he became a man, I have always looked up to him, and asked his advice on a number of things. He is an avid cyclist, the mountain type, and Pittsburgh is the place to be if you like to do that. (The HILLS!)  At 51, he is in terrific shape physically. He enjoys his life and his sports, and since he and his wife met playing adult competitive volleyball, his daughter also has a penchant for fitness. The whole family is slim and trim and strong. But it isn't in his 'genes' to be slim.
My parents both ended up in a sedentary lifestyle with more than love handles. My sister and I (I guess because we are women, grrr) ended up with the chubby part of the stick. So I have always been chubby. I last saw 130 pounds when I was about ten. Haven't seen it since. 
But Tom really had a GLOW ON. Big time. He was PROUD of me. He has known the torture I have gone through struggling with my weight. His words and expression mean so much to me, as I awaken this morning, I am re-inspired all over again. 
This particular photo was taken almost 30 years ago (I am on the left, Tom, then my sister, Bev). Tom was about 25 there and still my 'kid' brother. He has changed and matured so much, now married with an amazing wife and fab daughter.
When Tom (Mr. Fitness himself) ended up encouraging me, it was like a new light went on in my head. I started to feel proud of what I had accomplished (a LOT!) instead of feeling sorry for myself that I have 'back-slid' for a month. I still have been recording what I eat and my exercise, but calories have been sneaking up and exercise has been going down. The reports say it all, a downward spiral. 

But my bro is PROUD OF ME. 

It makes me realize yet AGAIN: This is the up and down part of learning a new LIFESTYLE. It didn't take just a few months to get this big, it took years! If I can make the kind of overall progress I have made once, a little slip will be A LOT easier to recoup.
Thanks so much for visiting TO, Tom - your timing couldn't have been better. And your encouragement couldn't  mean more.

Tom, have you ever thought about being a motivational speaker?

To help myself get back on track, I have registered to walk 5 km with the Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope. To check it out, participate with my team OC Vanquishers, virtually or in person, or to donate, please visit the site below. (every dollar counts, some donate only $5, but it really helps)

OC Vanquishers want you to walk with us on September 11, 2011 at 9:30 AM. Please click on this link for everything:

If you are unable to walk, please come and cheer us on, or for more information, visit: www.ovariancancerwalkofhope.ca  Thank you in advance for helping make a difference!
Or mail your donation in support of the OC Vanquishers TEAM to:

Please send (Cheques payable to Ovarian Cancer Canada) donations to:
(noting in support of team OC Vanquishers, to update our total)

Ovarian Cancer Canada
145 Front Street East, Suite 101
Toronto ON, M5A 1E3   

The Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope is the largest Canadian event dedicated to overcoming ovarian cancer.  Everyone comes together, creating greater awareness of the disease, supporting women and families and to raise crucial funds for ovarian cancer. Going strong and growing for 9 years, this 10th year OCC hopes the cumulative total will be over $10,000,000. We are nearly there. Make a difference by joining us as we strive to detect ovarian cancer early! To register, click on the link below.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

All about YOU and People YOU know today . . . pass it on

Please click on this link!


This has nothing to do with Weight Loss, but everything to do with all of us and this summer heat . . .Please WATCH THIS -

Save Someone's LIFE!