ANNIEONLI   48,022
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A success!

Sunday, October 03, 2010 was a crazy week for me....nothing went right it seemed...well, honestly, now that I think back on it...all the Cub Scout things WERE very successful...and if that was all that was, for my kids, I am extremely happy about a leader, same a mother/wife, again, that same happy sentiment! So I will take the bad for that one good, nah, make that GREAT Saturday that my family had while camping in the woods with a bunch of people we barely knew!

And in saying that...we learned a whole lot about ourselves and those people as well.

We all learned how to shoot bows & arrows, and most of us climbed a rock wall...a few of us to the very top...a few of us not, but at least we all tried! And coming from a girl (ahem...that is me) who grew up as the non-athletic child who could barely get a foot off of the ground on the rope in gym class - this rock wall thing was a huge accomplishment! And we did not pressure anyone to do it....and I was pleasantly surprised when I saw my middle son (the shy, reserved one most like me as a kid one) turn to another leader, all on his own, and asked to be geared up to climb the wall he vowed he would never go on. It brought tears to my eyes! The little guy whose legs are a wee bit too short for the rocks and whose legs were restricted by too snug jeans (because I haven't gone shopping yet) listened to the instructors every command and attempted the first two sets, got stuck, and was asked to be lowered down....turned and was cheered by everyone and the grin on his face made my day!! It was awesome!

Unfortunately, I had to leave with my youngest after that (another event for me to get to) - so I missed the big bonfire, but when I saw my little cubs come in the house today...beaming with happiness and completely exhausted, well, that made the crazy week fade away into a fogged memory...well, for a minute at least!

Then it got me thinking about all the things in the past that I did not do because I felt shy, or awkward, or self-conscious....a bunch of missed opportunities that I sometimes wish I could reverse and do again....but then I look at my kids, and this "new me" - this athletic person (yes, for the first time, I WILL say that term and honestly deserve it and mean it when I say it)...this being that does NOT get winded going up a hill, who can run up an incline faster than some kids I was with, who can run a little peanut to the potty without breaking a sweat...this "new" person can DO these things with these kids and enjoy the fun WITH them and encourage them to fly as I had never done before! Now that...THAT is a reward in and of itself....something surprising and an unexpected and unforeseen treat that I will carry in my mind and heart.....forever.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZYWM 11/10/2010 2:33AM

    Aawww - you're such a great mom! And as always, I so appreciate your attitude. Hope you're feeling well, happy and as energetic as you sound!

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SUCHAHOOT 10/5/2010 2:32PM

    Aaahhh, you are a ROCK STAR!!! I can just see and feel all of those things you described.

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HEALTH4LYFE 10/3/2010 10:23PM

    emoticon emoticon All of the little successes are something to cheer about! Congrats on a great Saturday and the epiphany of how you are a success as well. Thanks for being so inspiring!

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OAKBORN 10/3/2010 10:00PM

    You are such and awesome mom! And a great woman who inspires me all the time with your determination and sense of humour in the face of adversity!

Hang in there!


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Saturday, September 25, 2010

I went shopping the other day for local thrifty and trusty Vanity Fair/Lee outlet. Basically LOTS of layering pieces, lots of sweaters, jeans, dress pants at discounted prices...and lots and lots of searching with a discerning eye for basics...not junk...that will tide me by without breaking the bank.

My focus was on shirts because all I have are old T-shirts that are too large, or that are shrunken to high on the waist and old, or that are just overused because I don't have ANY variety in my closet. In fact, I pulled a bunch of size 8 and 10 pants that were just creating a mess and no room for my nothingness of a wardrobe!

Yeah, you'd have thunk that after I hit GOAL back in 2008-09 I would have bought an entire new wardrobe....but no, because I hate shopping (I'm scarred from the past body - still working on that issue) Kind of glad I didn't spend TONS of cash on stuff because all the stuff I did buy....well, it's too big now! emoticon

So I grab TONs of clothes, and hit the dressing room....I bought a lot of key layering pieces all in a size medium, a few repeats (old habits die hard - still working on breaking that one) and no pants whatsoever...I just checked all of mine in my open closet, all size 6s that fit or are sort of loose, but I was having a "skinny" week, so I just fluffed it off as that....they still fit fine. I got a surprise!

My little sister left a few clothes in a closet...and I was looking for a pin everywhere to fix my top before heading out to my other sister's baby shower...I searched everywhere, so I hit the closet as a last resort thinking there would MAYBE be a pin tucked in a top or waistband. No such luck...but there were a few pieces of clothes (very cute ones too - she has great taste - I wish I was her like that sometimes). All were in a size medium or small, and I kinda laughed at the irony that MAYBE I could fit into them one day. I even saw a top that I was thinking about calling her to borrow one day....but the last piece was a denim skirt from a size 4.

It looked at me.

and I stared back.

"Would you fit me?" I asked it.

It just stared back.

"I think you'd fit," I said to it.

It just stared back.

"I'm going to try you on and see.... if you don't mind."

So I did. The darned thing fit PERFECTLY! I stared at us in the mirror. WOW. No frakking WAY am I in THAT skirt that my beautiful sister has worn. No way!!!


I ran out to my dad in the living room and spun around to show him like a little girl in a frilly new dress. "Hey, that looks pretty good on you - perfect in fact," he says. I beam, "It's a size 4 Dad."...."Really? Wow! Maybe you can borrow it"..."Yeah, I know, it's so cool! I've NEVER been NEAR this...ever!"...."Congrats honey, you look great."

And then I took it off...and hung it back up in the closet.

I have to PS this whole thing by mentioning that everyone I saw was making comments about my "thinness" - not in a bad a surprised way really. Maybe it's the more clingy, more fitted clothes I am trying to embrace a bit more than the oversized junk I've been wearing. I will say that I have been keeping off 4 extra pounds for the last 4 weeks....I'm 133 now....never thought I'd see that number...wasn't on my agenda, that is for sure, but I like it here more than the 137 I was for a long time. Clothes fit better, I feel better, I'm not trying to really lose, but I'm eating better overall....I'm toning up when I can. But I hate to even admit this, I felt very defensive about I was being accused of doing something bad...I even went to far as saying I wasn't trying, but people don't want to hear that either. Now I'm just saying "yes, and thank you for noticing...I've been maintaining this for a while now."

Anyway, it's been a weird week for me in that regard. Mentally, I am 137 or 150 or 168 or 175 or 187, depending on the mind sees one image while the mirror reflects another. I've written about this subject before, and it is still there, not an issue, not a disorder...more a fact of life that needs to be dealt with.....that will eventually fade over time as the mind and body come together as one. It takes time...and with anything, patience is key to change and adapt to a new situation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BALLOUZOO 9/26/2010 11:44PM

    Yay YOU!

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OAKBORN 9/26/2010 9:58PM

    How much I understand!! Hugs.

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DWEXCEL 9/26/2010 7:53AM

    I love it! I love you! Beautiful!

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HEALTH4LYFE 9/25/2010 11:58PM

    Congrats on fitting into the smaller size. I know for me, it can be an incredibly uplifting and motivational experience.
As for the mind realizing that the body has made some significant changes, I think for most of us, it takes some time to have the two mesh together. And despite all of our hard work, there are some days that no matter what obstacles we have overcome, that we may feel "fat"!
(Weigh) WAY TO GO on all of the progress you have made. Keep up the great attitude and work!

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A month since I blogged? Wow

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Wow!!! How time flies!!!!

Anyway, people around here are probably thinking that I'm looooong gone from Spark. Oh contrare mon frare!! While I have been quiet here, I have still been tracking like a nut. Keeps me sane, what can I say. And with that, things in general stay steady....which is a very good thing.

I can even say that EXERCISE has been up this past month!! I KNOW!!! WTH?!? WHO is this woman????? ROFL - again, it has kept me sane!

So school is back in session - I still have to finish up the other classes I started back in February (a goal for the fall) and I started another, more structured class....LOVE the professor. Probably my age by the way he talks (ie, writes), and he has a good sense of humor, which makes it cool and more light hearted. The entire family is now in school - so it makes for an interesting and busy fall...once you throw in soccer and practices, and religious education...and extended family stuff....That old chestnut. It's all good emoticon

My mother in law is still healing from her major surgery a month ago, but again, it's all good. She did lose about 30 pounds, and I thinkshe is on the road to losing more. Another family member is on her own journey, and is using WW...and from what we talked about, she has a good handle on things and a good outlook. She said that I inspired her in the way I completely changed the way I use food, view food, and never deny myself anything I want to eat. I think she has made her own breakthrough....which is what needs to happen (IMO). She sees that maintaining is hard, but doable too. I'm proud of her for seeing and saying and doing....she will be just fine.

I have to do a mini report on my husband here....he is TRYING to maintain between 160-165. Yes, through portion control, he went from 225 to 160 this past year and I cannot be prouder of him. I said "trying" because he is still experimenting with foods, still slowly losing because he body is in that mode. Maintenance is a tough thing to start and figure out, but he will do it. Now, I can hear some people saying "Well, why don't you just show him what to do?" Well, because I CANNOT. It is HIS journey. It is HIS body that HE has to figure out.

Well...that being said....I have to pop off to my local discout clothing store. We need some new shirts in this house, and when I say "we" - I mean EVERYONE!! The whole lot of us!!! It's starting to look pathetic and shabby - not the image to project! So off I go!! Wish me luck! I need clothes SO badly it's not even funny. So now, with NO kids in tow - I'm taking the opportunity!

hope all is well with everyone here! Wish it was more exciting on my end....but it is what it is...


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YAMINOKODOMO 9/22/2010 3:06PM

    Have fun shopping for clothes!

Glad everything has been going well this month! I need to up my exercise.. lol

Congrats to your mother in law, your husband, and your other family member for doing well on their weight loss journey! Its awesome when you have family that are on their own weight loss journey and even more awesome when they say that YOUR the reason why they started.

Good luck with schooL! and enjoy!

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OAKBORN 9/22/2010 1:34PM

    So glad to hear your crew is doing so well! Quiet is okay! Quiet is good! Drama Llamas are BAD!

I love what you said about your hubby! It's so true. Every person's journey is there own journey... we cannot make them do "x", or tell them stuff. What we can do is live OUR best lives and hope we can help others by inspiring them to live their best lives... but the road they take (or not) is their own choice!

I also love how you mentioned that you don't deny yourself the things you love to eat... neither do I... I'd be nuts without my chocolate... and other treats I enjoy...

Hang in their girl! We've both made it over 2 years!!


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Your body is your temple - treat it that way.

Friday, August 27, 2010

I woke up with the thought Cleanse or not to Cleanse? That is the question! in my head. For me, that is a no brainer....the answer is simply "no".

I came across a bunch of blogs lately talking about this very subject...and in fact, last year my neighbor tried one (please note the word 'tried') and she gave me the paper instructions on it....which were enlightening on a few levels, and insane on all the others.

Here was her cleanse...concentrating on her liver and stones in particular. I will not go into detail, since I have forgotten them, but I will tell you this: it involved a day or so of fasting, drinking a water, ESPOM salt and olive oil mixture, and then laying down on the couch to let the "stones pass". Sounds so yummy, doesn't it. By the way, the end product of her 'cleanse' was 5 days of misery, light headedness, and starvation.... sure she lost weight (of course she did, she wasn't eating properly and was not drinking properly)....and guess what, she bailed on the last day to finally eat something proper and had diarrhea for 2 more days and today, she looks the same way as when she started. So worth it, huh?

Now, I am no food expert (yet), but I will say this - the body and the body's cells KNOW automatically what are good and bad things to keep in them and expel. It's on a microbiological level here. Forcing the issue with concoctions and potions that verge on the point of poisoning your natural system just does not make sense to me....or to nature. If you want to do one....go right ahead! just do it under the supervision of someone with experience with it....a LOT of an 80 year old monk from an ashram in Timbuktu who does one every month since he was 10. Have fun...enjoy.

Which brings me to a second pointed subject that I have come across, diet soda's in particular and what I see people putting in their shared food trackers (OH yes, I look on occassion). I KNOW they have no calories, but seriously, the other stuff in them is as good as drinking the stuff in the cleanse!! Chemicals that your body does not need, but hey since it is zero calories - have at it! 2 or 3 a day is just fine...right? ............ Right?

I want everyone who reads this to THINK about their diet. REALLY THINK about it. Sure, you can track all you want and be in calorie range, but if what you are eating is questionable chemically - maybe, just maybe, if you swap it out for a healthier product, you might drop those pesky pounds that have been plaguing you, or it might kickstart you OUT of a plateau. What can you substitute out for a healthier choice?
- White bread for whole grain.
- Diet soda or Crystal Light (all those Nutrasweet drinks) for just plain water.
- Creamer for lower fat milk.
- non-fat creamer (look at the sugar cals here) for non-fat milk
- beef for turkey or chicken or fish or pork
- fried for grilled or baked
- mayonnaise for extra virgin olive oil and spices
- mayonnaise for a pesto or chutney or salsa - all fat free

I can go on and on and on about substituting out stuff. I do it everyday, because I HAVE to now.... my body does not react well to over-processed foods. It came about that way over time...naturally. I never say never with food either....that is not the point of living life if you deny yourself...but when Spark talks about means, every once in a while with portion control, on special occasion, on holiday....heck on a particular day of the week even!

Which brings me to another subject that has been floating through my brain..and touched on by Maha in her blog. Organic vs. regular produce. Here's my stand on is better if you can get it....and afford it. BUT if you are in your grocery store, and are just starting out, and are all confused as to what to do there....just get some produce!!! ANY produce! #1 It is way better than the canned stuff. #2 it tastes better than the frozen stuff, which is great for some things, surely. #3 it's better than NOT getting it at all!!


Play with your food. Make your own chutneys and salsa's and pesto's. Cut it up and prep it when you get home. Make that a part of your shopping ritual. Rachel Ray has something there when she talks about it on tv. Besides, you are more apt to eat it if it is ready to rock than if you have to prep it when you are hungry! You will be SHOCKED at how proud you will be if you do this for yourself and make it a habit.....I promise!

OK - thanks for listening to my mini-rant. This is what floats around in my brain when I am alone with my 3 sons and no adult conversation to speak of. I might get slammed on a few things, but so be it. I can only speak for myself....and maybe make others think.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OAKBORN 8/28/2010 12:38PM

    ah-men sistah!

emoticon emoticon

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ANNIEONLI 8/28/2010 8:10AM

    I can see what you mean with the herbal cleanses, again, if done with the correct guidance. I was mainly talking about the more crazy ones out there.

After holidays, I have a tendancy to really watch what I eat for about 2 weeks in order to right my system once again. I like to call it "detox"...but it only involves eating lower fats, lower cholesterol foods, fresh fruits & veggies and drinking my water, and abstaining from alcohol.

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KELPIECUTIE 8/27/2010 1:35PM

    I think there are two kinds of cleanses, one where you do insane things to confuse your body and metabolism and one where you follow good guidelines, knowing how to listen to your body.

I have done a total body herbal cleanse twice now and it is fabulous. They are herbs like marshmallow, slippery elm, oat bran and flax seed that help flush out areas in your digestive system that can get clogged up. I do it every time my system gets overloaded, like holidays and parties. As for dieting restrictions it only asks that you try to eat raw veggies and fruits as much as possible and try to make them organic, and don't drink alcohol. Which I think are good guidelines to live by most of the time, but a cleanse can be an extra motivation.

I totally agree that the extreme cleanes (like cayenne and lemon juice YUCK!) are very dangerous. But some of the herbal ones are really great and kind of act like a system reset button.

Just some food for thought

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ANNIEONLI 8/27/2010 10:42AM

    LOL - OK...the pesto thing...I make my own version with basil that has no oil. Making a puree of herbs, using parsley, basil, or cilantro with garlic and salt & pepper is a great "pesto" base that can be put on sandwiches, added to light sour creams as dip...water or lemon juice or lime juice is the only liquid I used...and you can sort of thicken it with nuts of your choice. THAT is my "pesto" that I am talking about. Probably should post the recipe now - LOL emoticon

Maureen...No, I didn't read that article, but I will check it out now. I read it on Spark somewhere long ago, and it just makes so much sense....and besides, the carbonation alone that causes the bloat, which then makes you feel so "not thin" is really a disservice to all the efforts you put in as well....IMO.

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YAMINOKODOMO 8/27/2010 10:05AM

    I totally and COMPLETELY agree with you! 2 years ago I did the lemonade diet. Idk if you ever heard of it. Its basically fresh squeezed lemons, water, grade b (I think...) maple syrup, and cayenne pepper. Sounds nummy right! Yuck! lol I dont know what I was thinking. OH I remember what I was thinking! I was going away to cancun in a month and I wanted to lose as much weight as I can before the trip because I knew I was going to stuff my face and gain weight on the trip. It sounded brilliant to me at the time...

The article I read on how to go about the lemonade diet was, you drink the lemonade concotion for breakfast lunch and dinner. If you get hungry, drink a little more. And then the only other liquids you can have is peppermint tea and water. On my first day of the lemonade diet by the time dinner time came around I HAD to eat something. My boyfriends mother cooked dinner, I basically inhaled the food... I did the diet up until we left for cancun. I can tell you right now I will NEVER do that again. I was basically starving. I had headaches every day. TASO actually pointed that out to me because at the time I didnt put two and two together, I just figured I was having headaches. And they were REALLY bad headaches. But she was like "Hey didnt you start getting those headaches after starting that lemonade diet?" So yes I lost weight, I lost about 14 pounds in about a month, and your only supposed to do the diet for a week because its a "cleansing" diet.

I would NEVER suggest to do anything like that. I did suggest it to me dads girlfriend, at the time, when she was asking me how I was losing weight. But now that I know whats good and what isnt and there is no quick fix to losing weight, I wont suggest it to any one anymore.

Ok now that I finished my essay to your blog, I think that everything you said in this blog is right and many people dont know the risk they are taking with these cleansing diets and then not knowing to well what is good for them and what isnt.

Well said!

Comment edited on: 8/27/2010 10:21:13 AM

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HEALTH4LYFE 8/27/2010 9:45AM

    Hey did you check this article out before you blogged, or are you just naturally that smart? emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 8/27/2010 9:30AM

    Pesto fat-free? Not the pesto I've ever eaten. But I get your point.

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HEALTH4LYFE 8/27/2010 9:24AM

    Spoken like a true Nutritionist! It won't be too much longer now. Thanks for sharing, with a little bit of ranting, how important changes can be for all of us, no matter how small. Hopefully, with those changes, our momentum will take us by surprise and we will run with it! emoticon

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VENISEW1 8/27/2010 9:16AM

    emoticonSounds like you're trying to open some eyes out there. Cleansing isn't for me either. Love fruits and some vege's. Hope you have a emoticonday emoticon

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A big thank you for the prayers Sparkfriends!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mother-in-law update:
She is off of all tubes, gadgets, beeping devices and EVERYTHING!! The last thing to come off was the ventilator, and it took 4 days because of some complications, but at looong last, it is off. And to make things even better....EVERY SINGLE TEST THEY DID came back N E G A T I V E!!!!!! emoticon Clean bill of health!!

They are planning on moving her out of the ICU tonight. She is sitting up, and talking a bit too!!! SO glad she is on the up up up swing of healing now!!!

emoticon so much for all of your prayers and healing vibes! You are all so emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YAMINOKODOMO 8/25/2010 1:53PM

    Awesome! I am so happy for you! And for your mother in law! emoticon

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OAKBORN 8/24/2010 10:15PM

    So glad that she is on the mend and out of the woods!

Hang in there! All will be well!

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TASOGAREBAN 8/24/2010 7:13PM

    Awww good stuff! Sending you tons of happy hugs and well wishes! :)

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MRE1956 8/24/2010 7:02PM

    emoticon news!

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    Praise The Lord!

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TC9731 8/24/2010 6:10PM

    I'm so glad that things are getting better for you and your family. emoticon

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