Extending Our Happily Ever After

"We do! Now let's live healthy and fit!"


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We have hit the road!

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On the highway, a blue Prius and a ’98 Damon Intruder… Pennsylvania to California, with stops along the way to visit, laugh, enjoy the sites and just relax!
We are starting out our fifth full day on the road and we have already been too busy to post anything or put our feet up and this is our first morning we can actually breathe just a little.
Day one was spent driving 378 mi to Brunswick, Oh. Beautiful, sunny day driving. We stayed at a campground called Willow Lake ($40/night full hu, .50 showers). I had friends I wanted to see that I worked with at UPS-SCS. We met at Applebees and had a great time catching up!

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(Pic of Willow Creek)

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Day Two, off to Valparaiso, Indiana. Today was cloudy and the weather was turning to rain. 306 miles and we thought we’d save money and drycamp at the Wal-Mart near where my cousin’s were staying. When we pulled up, my cousin, Herman was there waiting for us. He drove up from Florida with his wife, Mickey. They were headed up to Michigan to visit family and wanted to see us and the new rig! We got settled a bit then they took us to dinner at Broadway Cafe, nice place with great food. Next day, we met up again and they took us to the Indiana Dunes on the shore of Lake Michigan… We got to go to the beach! Very cool!

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Afterwards, Ivan, who has been fighting a cold all week, went back to the rig, and the four of us went to the University of Valparaiso (Valpo) where Herman’s father graduated in ’37 (My mother’s uncle) to see the gorgeous chapel and the Bull Pen, which he helped build in 1936… Google it. Pretty cool.

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We were able to meet my other cousin, Nancy, and her husband, Richard, for dinner. We enjoyed catching up with the family!

Day Three was spent leaving my cousin’s, and the rain in Valparaiso, In and heading west to Iowa. The sun was out all day for us. We drove to F.W. Kent County Park, which was 271.5 miles. $20 for electrical hookup. Free showers. Beautiful lake with trails to walk. Relaxed after a nice walk, Chris had a great run, Ivan still getting over his cold and then I made a nice salad for dinner. Threw some black beans and corn in it with some tomatoes and avocados. It was delicious! Dessert was sliced strawberries. Trying to get healthier on this journey of ours. Chris and I have made it a point to go out at least once a day. As soon as Ivan is feeling better, we are dragging him along.
This park has beautiful walking trails…

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And dinner

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After dinner entertainment… Game of Cribbage.

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This morning, we hear a light rain. We want to walk the lake, hit the showers and then head out for Dunlap, Ia to visit with a friend… 228 miles. Shouldn’t be too bad of a drive.

Toodles!


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Update – it’s been a while… a long while. Lots to say!

There is so very much going on on my end.

As for my weight. Since my last post (where I was about 40 lbs up from my gain of my main loss with the 17 Day Diet). I’ve lost over 20 lbs. I’m now sitting at 245. I’ve mostly gotten to this point from juicing.

Over a year ago, I watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead with Joe Cross on Netflix and remember thinking, good for Joe Cross, that’s something I could never do, nor would I want to do it. Well, times changed. I still love the 17 Day Diet and it taught me a LOT about food. However, I just wasn’t able to focus. Neither was Ivan. If he wanted to eat, then so did I. The weight just kept creeping up and there was NO WAY I was going to gain all this weight back! So, looking at that documentary again, I was in a different mental state. I was more prepared for the juicing this time and so after watching the documentary, I left the house and went to WalMart and bought a juicer. I jumped in with both feet and now, it’s my 17th day and I’m down 19 lbs (I had lost some weight before this).

As for my goals with weight and the juicing… I’ve been keeping a record of it. I started at 263.8, I’m today at 245. I was 225.5 at my lowest from the 17 Day Diet and my first goal is to get under THAT number. Second goal is to get under 200 lbs. I’d like to get there by August and have a huge feeling that I may get there a LOT sooner than that. The doctor suggests I get to 165, but I was thinking 180 as my official goal weight, but when I get under 200, then I’ll re-access my weight and then from there, I’ll just eat healthy (not all day juice) and hike, walk, etc… and check that out and see what happens with that goal. I love the juicing, though, so I doubt that I’ll stray too far from that. I feel better, I think the nutrients are amazing and my skin feels so good, I have great energy, plus, the juices are quite filling, so after drinking them, I don’t quite feel the need to eat everything else under the sun.

Now, other news is that my son (brainiac that he is) has been accepted to six, YES SIX!!! colleges!!! USciences (with Scholarship), LeMoyne (with Scholarship), Lycoming (with Scholarship), University of Pittsburgh, UC San Diego and University of Washington (with Scholarship). We are still waiting on answers from UC Berkeley, USC and Carnegie Mellon. No declines as of yet. (but those last three are the BIG HITTERS)… it’s been crazy around here and he’s so far picking Pitt. Senior Night picture came in, too and I thought it turned out great, so I ordered it.

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Other news… My husband, Ivan, finished his CDL training and got his certificate a couple of weeks ago and is looking for a job currently. We feel that he’ll be working within a few weeks.

Even MORE news… and this news is getting us closer to our HUGE move Westward to California this fall… we BOUGHT our new Class A 1998 Damon Intruder 352 this past Thursday. WOOHOO! Things are getting pretty REAL around here!

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This is us IN IT!

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As for my businesses… I’m still doing Azuli Skye jewelry. I love it and I’ve booked my flight and room for this year’s conference in Raleigh, North Carolina. I am now in leadership and have a wonderful team of three amazing ladies. Hope to see them grow and have teams of their own and that I get even more on my team! I just really enjoy being with this amazing jewelry company. It’s just a growing company and to be in on the ground floor is so brilliant. (pic shows me wearing our gorgeous jewelry). This is also showing me growing out my hair, which is also what I’m doing this year, so the longer hair is a new thing, too.

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Another new venture that just started for me is selling Younique, which is the company that sells the 3D Fiber Lash Mascara. I only wanted to buy it, but it works so fantastically well, that everyone wanted some, so I saw it as a way of helping me (along with my jewelry business) help out my family when I get out to California, which is truly what I’ve been wanting to do. So, I am now selling mascara. Who knew? This is a pic of me with my new “makeup face”. I’m actually even doing well with that, too and in under 2 months, I’ve already promoted to the next level, already.

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So, yep, that’s me all caught up with my blog…

My son graduates in June. GULP! Sooooo soon! He starts college in August or September (depending on where he’s going) and we’ll start our trip to California then. So, we’ll be out in California by the end of the year and I’m SO very excited about it! WE are!

Updated! Hope my next update comes sooner! 😉 Prod me on facebook or here.


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Happy New Year – Where I stand with my weight now…

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This is my husband and I now (in Bryant Park, NYC at Christmas 2014)… we’ve both gained some weight back… He’s gained back more than I but I’ve gained back about 40 from my lowest weight here on SparkPeople

If I have to sum up the “WHY?” I’d simply say that I let myself get LAZY all over again.

I always loved food, but I don’t really want to blame it on that. I was eating great, healthy food when I was losing the weight before. Sure, I wasn’t eating all the junk I’m eating now… and that JUNK is addicting! Sugar is addicting! Now, I’m back to the point of having to basically get myself “off of it” all over again, like an addict, which is basically what I am.

But, the real culprit here is ME. It always was. It was ME who got me to near 400 lbs when I started my journey and it’s ME who is starting to derail myself again. I am and always did have a tendency for laziness. It is what it is. I actually have this HUGE desire to sit around and do NOTHING. Well, not nothing, exactly… but watch TV… watch MOVIES… do sedentary things… things that don’t exert any energy whatsoever. Things that go so much better with JUNK food!

Yes, I had a good pattern going before, when I woke up with tons of energy and came home from work, put my workout DVD (Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds) and made it a point to exercise before I then sat down to eat and watch tv… I even (gasp) ate less because who wants to eat tons of food when you just did a workout? Then, when you feel great, look great and feel all tone, you can actually get yourself out of bed on a weekend and go to the lake to take a brisk walk (3.5 miles) and come home feeling all good about yourself after getting your exercise in for the day and then you can do whatever you want, like watch DVD’s all day if you want to! LOL

But, really… The thing with exercise is that you are able to do more, you are able to feel better about EVERYTHING and you do start to eat healthier, it’s a product of feeling better and your body does start to get fit because of the exercise.

Once I stopped exercising, everything just fell apart. My body is soft again (and not in a good way!). I’m hungry ALL THE TIME! I’m basically too tired to cook a decent, healthy meal and do you see where I’m going with this?

So, this is what’s what for me in 2015… I’m not going to focus on the food for today, or even this week, what I will focus on is the exercise. I’m going to get that back into my life. I know for a fact that by inserting it back into my daily routine, the rest will fall into place and I can regain some control again. TV and movies will still be there, they will just have to wait for 30-60 minutes… that’s what videos and DVD players are for!

Pic of my son and I at Bryant Park in NYC where we went for Christmas this year.
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What a busy month!

It’s sure been a busy month!
Fitness challenge is going well… been walking daily and feeling great. I did get a bit sidetracked when I went to North Carolina for my Azuli Skye conference on the weekend of the 15-17th, though. I am in direct sales and decided to go to the national conference, which was down in Raleigh, North Carolina. I had the most amazing time! Truly fantastic! I even won an award that I was not prepared for! Fourth in National Sales!

Fourth in Nat'l Sales

Fourth in Nat’l Sales

 

Wow! So, that was pretty awesome! I was able to see the new line of jewelry coming in the fall, which was so exciting and I know that my sales are going to get even better, which is so thrilling. The drive was super long, that was rough, but overall, I enjoyed the weekend… will definitely do again!

Wearing the bling of Azuli Skye!

Wearing the bling of Azuli Skye!

 

Gifts at the Conference!

Gifts at the Conference!

When I got back to town, I started giving thought to my direct sales businesses and actually decided to put more focus on the Azuli Skye and gave up Avon. My friend decided to sign up with Avon and take over my customers. I feel really great about that, as it really wasn’t making me any money and when I move next year, it’ll be very hard to keep that business going with the bi-weekly deliveries. However, the jewelry party deliveries are so much simpler and can be delivered to where the parties are, so I just felt that it was easier to take that business with me.
Anyway, I’ve gotten back into my healthy eating and exercising in the past week and am feeling great. I’m back into physical therapy and my shoulder is starting to loosen up as well… so things are starting to get back to basics here.
As for the downsizing, we are moving along quite nicely with that… I’ve started with it and have already made some money and am paying some bills with it and items are moving out of the house on a daily basis… it’s very encouraging! I have still soooo much work to do in that area, but it’s a fantastic start!
I’m grateful for a three day weekend and La Festa is on Monday here in Scranton. It’s an Italian food festival. It’s not the healthiest of options, so we’ve all decided to treat ourselves to an Indian lunch and then maybe go and walk around the festival afterwards, hoping that we are too full to eat anything! (I have a feeling that I may be tempted to get a cannoli, though). We’ll see how that plays out.
Need to get some school clothes for Christopher tomorrow… he starts his senior year on Thursday. They had their first football game today (lost)… but he said that the field show went well (he’s in the Marching Band).
This summer is slipping past so very quickly. I have so much planned. It’ll be a busy fall as well. I’m going to try to do Christopher’s senior pictures myself (wish me luck) and so we have got to start planning that out soon. More downsizing… and the big RV Show is coming up in Hershey on September 14th! Ivan is too excited!
He is one day discussing the 5th wheel benefits and the next day saying that nope, we are going to go with the Class A… and he wonders why I’m not “excited” about it… it’s not that I’m not, but honestly? With him going back and forth and I haven’t yet been in either ONCE, I’m just going to keep selling things and paying bills and get us closer to buying what it is HE finally decides on (with my stamp of approval, of course!)
Well, toodles! I will try to keep up with posting on a timelier manner now that things are more in a flow.


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Fitness Challenge – I’m Rocking It!

At my job, the company started a 12 week fitness challenge and it’s just what I needed to get myself back in shape! I’m just thrilled it’s not a 3 week challenge and that it is for 12 long weeks! I really feel that it is a long enough time to REALLY see and feel a difference, as long as I put in the effort. So, I’ve made a personal goal to do a minimum of 3 miles a day. Now, personally, I do the Leslie Sansone walking tapes because they are low impact and I have degenerative arthritis in my lower back, three herniated discs in my back as well, arthritis in my knees and am currently dealing with bursitis, tendonitis and arthritis in both shoulders (not fun!). This challenge started on the 4th (this past Monday) and on Monday and Tuesday, I did her 3 mile walking workouts. I not only did that, but I walked on my breaks at work. On Wed, Thursday and Friday, I walked her 5 mile workouts and also walked on my breaks. I’ve lost 5.5 lbs since Monday as well.

Tomorrow and Sunday, I hope to get outdoors and walk our local lake, which is 3.5 miles around and I’m not sure yet, but I may attempt to walk it twice tomorrow… My son will go with me and he’ll run it at least once and he’ll probably just sit down and wait for me the rest of the time! LOL

With this boost to my exercise, my diet has jumped right back to where it should be. I rarely feel like eating poorly when I’m in the exercise mode. So, I’ve been feeling pretty good, except that early this week, my legs were cramping up alot when I slept. I have been going to the physical therapist for my shoulders and they said to keep well hydrated and stretch very well and that my body is just adjusting to the new fitness and diet (as I was not very faithful to it for the past few months as I used to be).

A friend from work who I had turned on to the Leslie Sansone tapes has lost over 60 lbs since using them and watching her diet came to visit and talk with me the other day. She is constantly thankful to me for introducing her to these tapes. She let’s everyone she comes across know that she has lost all the weight due to my influence on her (which is sweet of her). She and I were talking and she told me that her sister and niece saw her at a family gathering not long ago and never said one thing about her weight loss… although everyone else were gushing over her. I told her that it was not at all a reflection of her or anything to do with her, that I came across that all the time. Since I’ve lost about 140 lbs myself, I see this all the time. I know that some people are just not ready to “see” weight loss in someone because it’s almost like them seeing themselves all too clearly. That isn’t something they are ready to do.

What almost all those people don’t understand and REALLY get is that I KNOW them! I was them. For about 20 years, I was who they are. I’ve had people hear me talking about my weight loss to someone and walk away. I’ve had them go to another part of the room, so as not to hear me, while many others want to know how I did it. When I’ve put my mind to losing the weight, the weight usually came off. The key to my success with weight loss was usually me, my mind. The mind is soooo very powerful. There are tricks and key things that I’ve learned along the way that help me out but basically it boils down to just plain discipline.

When I start to hear the excuses, then I know they aren’t ready. Excuses? Do you think I’m being harsh? I’m sorry, I don’t think so. I was near 400 lbs for near 20 years. I KNOW excuses. I used to give them! I haven’t heard one that I haven’t used myself. Let’s put it this way. There isn’t one that I haven’t heard that is new to me. But, when people are ready? That’s when I’m excited! I’m absolutely ready to help out.

My friend is one of those people. She came up to me. She had huge back problems. She told me that she couldn’t exercise. I told her that when I started, I felt that I could not either. She told me that she had a bad back. I told her that I did, too. She told me that she had disc problems and it kept her from exercising. I told her that was an excuse. This is the part of the conversation where people usually walk away from me. But, she stayed. She now tells me that she knew that I had some secret to share, because she saw that SOMETHING was working for me, so she stopped to hear what I had to say and that was someone who was ready to listen. For me, the Leslie Sansone tapes were perfect for me and my low impact needs. So, I told her about them… told her the moves I used to have a problem with, told her that Leslie tells you that if you can only do minimal moves, that’s ok, just to move. She must have kept up with the workouts, because she’s down more than 60 lbs now! She gives me the credit daily, but it was really her! She did all the work and she was READY! She was determined.

That’s the determination I currently feel in this challenge. I have done this before and lost 150 lbs, then gained some of it back… now I’m ready to go forward again and this 12 week challenge is going to help me do that. The last time I pulled out Leslie’s tapes, I only exercised 4-5 days a week and I’ll be honest, it was probably 4 days a week. I also probably averaged 2-3 miles a workout… well, maybe 3 miles. I saw results… but I want MORE. You have got to put in the work if you want the results, you just have to. It doesn’t come if you don’t work for it, but it’s soooo worth if it you do!

I’m so looking forward to how I will look and feel at the end of these 12 weeks and since I have about 70 lbs to lose, I’m pretty sure that I’ll make another daily challege for myself after these 12 weeks are up!