Extending Our Happily Ever After

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


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Red Rock Canyon and Hoover Dam!

Up ridiculously early to go hiking!  When the weather gets to temps of about 110 degrees in the desert, you start thinking that you must get up around 5 am to do any sort of physical exercise… and that’s what Christopher and I did… however, that doesn’t mean that we were quite awake and thinking like we normally do… it was VERY early and we weren’t quite ourselves at that time of morning… however, we woke up fairly quickly.  We met Samia at a gas station near Red Rock Casino and parked her car at the Casino, then we drove up to the Canyon.  We had scoped out a trail, but then found another that sounded like fun… and started that one.  We chose Calico Tanks.  We had hoped we’d see water.
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Calico Tanks was 2.5 miles and was listed as Moderate for the type of trail it was… and promised a great view of Las Vegas.  The one we were going to do was 3.3 miles…
Well, after our hike, we were SO glad we went on the 2.5 mile one, because by the time we finished, #1, it was SOOO HOT!  #2, we were out of water! #3 MODERATE was something we had to reconsider, there were parts to this trail that we were able to do, however, we needed each other for support and if we’d known, we’d have carried less… I’d not have brought my Canon camera, I’d have brought my fanny pack to carry things, so both of my hands were free, etc…
However, we TRULY had a great time!  We were just EXHAUSTED! LOL

Said goodbye to Samia, what a great time we had with her!  Headed back to the RV to pick up Ivan… fix some sandwiches and grab drinks and then head out to Hoover Dam.  Very impressive!  Sad about the water levels, but cool to see the dam!  Also the new bridge, the Mike O’Callaghan-Pat Tillman Memorial Bridge, across from the dam as well… which we walked across both structures, in the heat… it was a great day for exercise!
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We called it a day when we returned to the RV and just relaxed… the following day would be our “Tour Vegas” day!

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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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Days 28-33 – 100 Day Challenge

Been such a busy week! But, I have been exercising and losing weight! 

I donate plasma now… and they actually weigh you every time you go to donate. Last friday, I weighed per their scale at 250, and the previous Tuesday at 251 (this is at the end of the day, having had lots of water, as I have to be fully hydrated)… I’m fully clothes, plus sometimes with a coat, actually, although I’m trying to lose that now. Anyway, last tuesday, it was 246, today it was 244. But, this morning, naked, I was 238. So, I’m sort of all over the place. I’m setting my Sparkpeople weight to the 238, but using the losses from the Biotest just to see how much I’ve lost from visit to visit. Regardless, it feels good to show a loss at each visit. 

Also, I was featured in my company’s website for my weight loss story… It posted today. Here is the article: 

Where Is She Now? 

Story update: UPSer loses 140 pounds…and more 
Last year, Marie Smith shared her story about her weight loss success. Since it aired, Marie has lost 10 more pounds towards her weight loss goal. During the past year, she’s faced obstacles including surgery, a car accident, and rehab. 
In spite of these challenges, Marie continues to focus on her ultimate goal of maintaining a healthy life style. 
To see her post from last year, (click here *story link to internal company website*) and check out her update below. 

As told by Marie: 

Last May, I had a total right hip replacement, which has done wonders for my health and well-being. The new hip has aligned my body so well, that now, my back has few issues and my back pain has lessened tremendously. I feel 20 years younger! 

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But, as we all know, life has a way of throwing us curve balls. A mere six weeks after my hip replacement surgery, my son and I were in a car accident. The car was nearly totaled but luckily, we were both fine. I was jostled a bit in the car and my hip took a hit. However, I got right back to therapy and worked hard. Six weeks later, I celebrated with a hike that truly tested out my new hip. 
I have used this opportunity to get back into “life” and start living it! I have become a lot more active. I get out as often as I can, and I walk as much as I can. I try to find places to hike, and I’d like to start biking. 
As for the weight – it is an ongoing struggle. I know that I didn’t get to nearly 400 pounds and stay that way most of my life because I had will power. To this day, I love food. But, through my weight loss journey, I have learned so much and what foods to eat. I know what the healthy options are and I know that my body feels better when I eat them. 
Like others in my situation, I do struggle when I don’t see the scale move towards my goal. And sometimes that will trigger an old pattern of overindulging. But then I remember to take a step back and look at the big picture. I’ve worked hard and done very well for not gaining and at least maintaining. I know I have the tools to lose the rest of the weight, and I know that I will do it. 
What really keeps me motivated is what I’ve accomplished. I’ve been surrounded by supportive friends and family from day one and I know that support is HUGE in the weight loss journey! 
Just the other day, I got this text from a friend, “I have to just say that I will always remember your words to me: If I can do it, anyone can do it. So when I work out, I remember you saying that. So don’t ever think you never inspired anyone, because you inspired me.” 

Marie’s Words of Wisdom: 
* Weight doesn’t come on overnight and it’s not going to go away overnight. 
* The best anyone can do is make those changes that will get them on the healthy track and help them live longer. 
* Definitely get active. It’s the best thing I ever did and the cleaner way of eating is so important. 
* Listen to your body, you may think it’s asking for a burger and fries, but then you are hungry an hour later. It’s only because you didn’t give it the nutrition it was really asking for! 
* start listening. You are only given one body in this lifetime… treat it right. It will do the same for you.


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It’s all in how you plan your day…

Yesterday, my husband was packing up food to take to work and I was half paying attention to what he was doing… I noticed he cut up two apples and put some lemon on them to keep them from browning and put them in sandwich bags, then grabbed a hard boiled egg and then grabbed his yogurts and whatever else, then he asks me how many prunes are in a serving… and I answer “about 4 or 5” without thinking, then stop. “Why are you taking prunes? You already have your two fruit servings.” Then we get into a discussion on food… and here it goes… 

We’ve been following this diet for a year. An entire YEAR! How does he not understand that we get TWO fruit servings a day? I just don’t get that. lol He then tells me that he needs SOMETHING to keep him full. I’m like… PROTEIN! VEGETABLES! I’m not understanding what it is you aren’t understanding here. lol (we don’t really yell at each other….) It’s just that we bicker about the stupid stuff and he is like… “How is it that you take a smorgasboard to work every day and I take hardly anything with me?” and I’m like “It’s all in the planning, my love”… 

I, seriously, am like a cow… I graze ALL DAY LONG! LOL I think I eat something every hour of the day… and I’ve been losing weight all year long… I don’t have huge meals… or huge snacks… but I eat something all the time… carrot sticks, cut up chicken, a hard boiled egg, a yogurt, some prunes, drink some tea, drink some water… have two brazil nuts… whatever. I work, I eat, I drink, I get up to go to the bathroom, I repeat, I get up to fill my water bottle, oops, it’s my break time, I walk the stairs at work… then it’s time to munch again! LOL Next thing I know, it’s time to go home! LOL My days fly by! 

Ya know? I seriously try telling him, “If you’d only listen to your wife more often!” lol


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My first year being truly healthy…

What a year this has been. 138 lbs lost. Cholesterol at a normal level. Blood pressure’s great. My arthritis pain is manageable, enough so, I’ve not needed any epidurals in over a year! I’ve only been sick less than a week in the past year. I’ve gone from a tight size 32 or 4X to a loose 18 in pants and wear L and XL tops now. Rings fall off my fingers. I have room in the chairs I sit in now. I can walk more than 1/2 a mile without sitting down (heck, more than 5 minutes without sitting down… ) I can probably walk more than 6 miles now, actually. I can stand for more than 2 minutes without being in severe pain. My feet are so terribly swollen like they used to be that it hurts just to look at them. Necklaces no longer have to be more than 22″, but can be just the standard 16″ or 18″ that they normally are and look long on me now.

This past year hasn’t been one full of deprivation, either. Today, I celebrated with my husband and son at an Indian buffet for lunch (one of our favorite meals)… and realized that we’ve shared several of these throughout the year… not weekly, mind you… not even monthly, but enough of them throughout the year to feel as though we’ve enjoyed them and not deprived ourselves of them completely. I may be able to count how many times I’ve had pasta in the past year, BUT, I’ve HAD pasta in the past year… And hot wings. I just don’t do it on a regular basis like I used to. I have basically changed my relationship with food and have adopted a clean food approach in my life… less process and more natural. However, there have been times I’ve indulged. I truly enjoy eating the way I do now… more vegetables, lean proteins, fruit and I enjoy my greek yogurt. I have always loved the simplicity of plain water… it’s truly more satisfying to me than just about any other liquid out there.

I enjoy the exercising I do. I don’t go crazy. I walk. I haven’t gone to the gym, although I’ve been getting interested in newer forms of exercise and just recently purchased new dvd’s on yoga, qigong and t’ai chi. I have enjoyed getting fit with friends, as well. Seeing them reach their goals has been fun for me. Being there for support is not only helpful to them, but very helpful to me as well. I’m so eager for this winter weather to move on and for the warmer weather to show up so I can get back out there and get active outside. Start sweating more, as I can see my goal in sight and want to reach it this year.

I know this will be the year I get to goal and that is super exciting to me. It’s been a fun past year, and this next year will see me to goal and I’m very ready for it. Then, maintenance. I’m ready for the challenge of that! I’ve got this!


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Winter seems to be one of the biggest adjustments!

One of the biggest adjustments with my weightloss so far has been adjusting to the colder winter temps. In fact, this has NEVER been a problem for me, til NOW.

I am, well, I WAS, one of “THOSE” people who barely wore coats in winter. I was constantly asked “Where is your coat?” and I’d have a long sleeved sweater and tell them, oh, this is good enough… and it was. I’d pretty much need the thermostat to drop below 30 degrees and then I’d wear the long sleeves… anything above 40 degrees, well short sleeves would do.

Not anymore. Since I’ve lost over 100 lbs (that would probably be when it all changed)… sleeves aren’t the only requirements and 40 degrees isn’t the cut off. I think 50 degrees has me pulling out not only sleeves, but sweats, two pairs of socks, maybe a 2nd pair of pants, at least 2 shirts, sleeves are a definite, jacket, definitely, scarf, absolutely and this isn’t just in my waking hours… I need this when I go to bed, too and I am still shivering!

My husband has lost 70 lbs and doesn’t seem affected by the cold at all. My son is 16 and thin and just laughs at me and shakes his head. I seem to be the odd one in the house at the moment…

When I was larger, I used to tell my thin friends that they just needed to put a bit of meat on their bones to warm up… now I feel they must be laughing at me a bit since I’m the one who is always cold.

Anyone else who has lost quite a bit of weight experiencing this type of adjustment to the elements??? When will my body adjust to this? I still have 81 lbs left to lose, will I be even COLDER next winter? I can’t even imagine! Please help me! Any tips would be totally appreciated!!! I feel like I’m near death at times… and I can’t even imagine getting through another couple of months, to be honest! I sure hope I can adjust quickly to this…