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Who Inspires You ?

Monday, October 27, 2014

I've been Sparking for over 2 years now and I'm 30 pounds down from my starting weight. I've had many alcohol-free streaks, the longest being 107 days over the holidays last year. Right now I'm on Day #13 alcohol-free with no end in sight.

Been thinking about where I get my inspiration to "keep going". There are a few KEY PEOPLE who inspire me everyday. Here is a little list of who inspires ME:

l. DR PHIL
Every afternoon at 4 pm, my sweetheart, Johnny, and I sit down to watch an hour of Dr Phil. We find him very educational and his shows are always a great topic for conversation. Johnny and I are together almost 24/7 so we run out of things to discuss. We both love Dr. Phil.

On one of his shows a few years ago, there was a man who had a problem with alcohol. Dr. Phil told him the solution was very simple: "Just Don't Drink", he told the man. REALLY ? Dr. PHIL ? Is it that EASY ? Well, he's right. That would solve the problem. "Just don't drink". And you won't have all the problems associated with drinking. But we all know that for many people, resisting alcohol is not all that EASY ! I'm one of them. Fortunately Dr. Phil went on the say that he would "provide help to do that depending on what he needed . . . be it inpatient or outpatient treatment. Okay. That makes sense. Dr. Phil was going to help him deal with his alcohol problem. But I've never forgotten that episode. Sometimes the solution to a problem is really very simple. In this case . . . "just don't drink".

Thanks Dr. Phil. You always inspire me. (And I love all his funny "sayings" that he throws in there.)

2. Paul in www,stopdrinkingalcohol.com

This is the website that is my "GO TO" place whenever I need a little more willpower to resist having a "drink". Last month I was tempted to walk down to the convenience store and pick up a $10 bottle of wine for the evening. I went on this website and donated the $10 instead to Paul. He has lots of basic, simple lists that strengthen my resolve to resist alcohol and lots of ways that help to resist having that drink. He's added some videos that you can just sit back and relax and watch instead of mixing a drink. I like that he tells you that you don't HAVE to go to AA to quit drinking. Lots of people can decide and succeed at being alcohol-free without going to AA. In the past it seemed that everybody believed AA was the ONLY WAY. AA is not for everybody.

3. Another PAUL . . . this one the Apostle Paul in the BIBLE.

Paul in the BIBLE was imprisoned for preaching Christianity and wrote over half of the New Testament, most of it from a prison cell. He wrote letters to the churches he had started. In his letter to the Ephesians, in Chapter 5 verse 18, he writes, "Don't get drunk on wine. For that will ruin your life. Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit" (New Living Translation).

Simple. Straight to the point. Notice that he didn't say "Don't drink wine AT ALL" Just "Don't get DRUNK". In other words, don't over-do. Don't over-indulge. A little in moderation is fine. Unfortunately, with many of us, when we have a "little" alcohol, we want to have "more" and "more". We lose our inhibitions and restraint. In my case, it's necessary to "not even start". If I get a little taste of wine, I'll want another glass, and another glass, and will drink the entire bottle. So I need to avoid alcohol completely. But this verse has inspired me for many years since I read it back in the 90's. "Instead be filled with the Holy Spirit". YES. God can give you all the "strength and willpower" you need to resist alcohol (or whatever is your particular weakness).

In Phillipians 4:13, Paul writes, "I can do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me." I bought a bracelet with this inscription, and It has been a constant reminder that when I'm tempted to have a drink, to say a little prayer instead. The Apostle Paul has truly been an inspiration to me.

4. Joel Osteen
We've been listening to Joel Osteen almost EVERY Sunday for eight years. In addition I've read several of his books. And I get an email with a little devotion from him every day. He is SUCH an inspiration. He is ALWAYS so motivational and positive. Basically he says that "With GOD, all things are possible !" which is a quote from Matthew 19:26.

I was around 200 pounds for many years. I tried to lose weight over and over. I would be successful for maybe 10 pounds but would always gain it back. I never believed that I could be thin again like I was when I was young. But I kept listening to Joel, Sunday after Sunday. Every week, I would be inspired to "stick with my plan and strive for my goals". And then, with the help of God, I actually lost 40 pounds. Joel was RIGHT ! "With God, all things ARE possible !" Thank you Joel. And THANK GOD !

5. And LAST, but definitely not LEAST, JESUS INSPIRES ME !

Matthew is my favorite book of the BIBLE. EVERYTHING that JESUS had to say is recorded in the book of Matthew: all the "words in red". My favorite quote is JESUS in Matthew 11:29 "Learn from me . . . and you will find rest for your souls".

How true that is. Read and listen to all JESUS had to say. Learn from the way He lived His life. JESUS is the KEY to HAPPINESS and CONTENTMENT in life.

I don't need alcohol to calm down and relax. JESUS is all I need. JESUS is the one to turn to when the going gets tough. JESUS will provide "rest for your soul".

So that's who inspires me the most: Dr. Phil, two Pauls, Joel Osteen, and most importantly, JESUS.

I've come a long way. But I still have a long way to go (20 more pounds to reach my goal weight of 155 pounds). I'm going to keep reading and listening to my KEY inspirational role models. I will NEVER GIVE UP. I CAN reach my goal. I WILL reach my goal. By the way, that's the name of Joel Osteen's latest book, "I CAN I WILL".

Who inspires you ?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUZIEQUE77 10/28/2014 7:39PM

    I don't know who inspires me. I do like Dr. Phil sometimes and the direct way he tells people things. I also like Judge Judy. I don't always agree with her on everything but I do like the way she dares to call people out on their self-centered entitled frames of mind.

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JENNY888 10/28/2014 3:49PM

    Love your blog!

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MOM2ACAT 10/27/2014 4:45PM

    My Spark friends on the Surviving Cancer team inspire me!

I had stage II breast cancer in 2003, long before I joined Spark. It never occurred to me at the time I was going through treatment to even try to exercise.

When it returned in 2007, this time to my bones, it was about a year after I had joined Spark. My friends I had made on the Surviving Cancer team talked about how they worked exercise in around their treatment, so this time, I knew that having cancer again didn't mean I had to stop trying to live as healthy as possible, and that includes getting exercise. I can't do a lot of the things I use to do because of the damage the cancer has done to my hip joint, but I have learned that if you really want to exercise, there are ways to work around any disability. I'm grateful to my Spark friends for showing me that you can work around just about any health issue.

Congrats on your weight loss, and all your other success, and thank you for sharing your story!

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1CRAZYDOG 10/27/2014 12:56PM

    It's good you have inspiration in your life.

With any addiction, though, the more support you can get (doesn't matter the source) the better.

Having experienced both gambling and alcohol addictions in my immediate family, I can only say, once something reaches the point of addiction it is very, very difficult to go back to just doing it socially. OF COURSE, it is an individual thing for sure! But in the cases I was exposed to, going back to social drinking or social gambling was just a big fat failure!

You have some excellent inspirational support, keep it up!

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EVER-HOPEFUL 10/27/2014 10:59AM

    great blog and thanks for the insite. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 10/27/2014 10:13AM

    Friends

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Are You PreDiabetic ?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Did you know you can REVERSE Prediabetes
and PREVENT Type 2 Diabetes ? emoticon

First of all - What is Prediabetes ? emoticon

emoticon Prediabetes is a health condition that results when you have too much glucose, or sugar, in your blood, (but it is not yet high enough to be called "Diabetes".

What's the GOOD News ?

You can improve your condition and prevent the development of Type 2 Diabetes, emoticon

Who is at risk of Prediabetes ?

1. Age 45 or older
2. Overweight or obese
3. Being physically inactive
4. History of cardiovascular (heart) disease
5. High blood pressure - or being treated for high blood pressure (hypertension)
6. High cholesterol
7. Having a parent or sibling with diabetes
8. Having gestational diabetes during pregnancy
9. Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds
10.In women, having polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)
11.Having a family background that is African American, Alaska Native, Native American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, or Pacific Islander
12.Having a dark, velvety rash around your neck or armpits (known as acanthosis nigricans)

How do I know if I have Prediabetes ? emoticon

You need to get tested for a fasting blood glucose or sugar (FBS).
There are no typical physical symptoms of having Prediabetes, so many people are Prediabetic and do not yet know it. Talk to your doctor about getting tested.

How do you treat Prediabetes ?

Simply put: ACTIVITY and WEIGHT LOSS emoticon

Even a modest amount of weight loss can make a big difference. Experts suggest aiming for 5-10 % of your current body weight. That would be 10-20 pounds for a 200 pound person. This can actually prevent the development of Diabetes and reverse Prediabetes.

Physical activity will not only help you burn more calories and tone muscles, but will also significantly help with weight loss efforts. In addition, increased physical activity helps your body become more sensitive to insulin, the hormone that helps manage blood sugar levels.

If you have never been physically active, check with your doctor first and start out slow. Walking is a great form of exercise and a great way to start ! Aim for 30 minutes a day of activity and then, over time, increase your activity to 30-60 minutes per day.

Here are some ideas to increase your daily activity:

l. Use a pedometer and track your steps. Each mile is about 2000 steps. emoticon
2. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. emoticon
3. Take a quick walk during your lunch break at work.
4. Park at the far end of a parking lot and walk to the building.
5. Walk on a treadmill while you watch TV, read, or listen to music. emoticon
6. If your destination is not too far - consider walking there instead of hopping in the car. emoticon
7. Get a walking buddy emoticon
8. Find scenic places to take a walk.
9. Walk your dog. emoticon

I'm sure you can think of more.

Here are some weight loss tips:

1. Eat breakfast daily to give you energy and help you feel full
2. Drink calorie-free water ! emoticon Avoid all sweetened beverages. Avoid alcohol. Avoid artificially-sweetened beverages as well since they tend to make you hungrier and thirstier.
3. Follow the MYPLATE model in which 1/2 of your plate consists of fruits and vegetables.
4. Log on to SparkPeople every day and track your food and activity.
5. Be active for at least 30 minutes daily. Gradually increase the length of your activity as your fitness level improves.

Find out if you are Prediabetic, and if so, take steps to reverse this condition before it is too late. Take care of your health.

I was around 200 pounds for several years and was Prediabetic. With SparkPeople I have lost 30-40 pounds and now my fasting blood sugar is below 100. emoticon I walk almost every day.
emoticon



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINE1623 10/16/2014 8:36PM

    emoticon

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PURPLEPEONY 10/16/2014 12:48PM

    emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 10/16/2014 11:19AM

    I was 200+ lbs. @ 4 ft. 10.5 in. (not a pretty sight @ all -- physically or health wise!) Diagnosed w/type 2 in Jan. 2010, and have lost and maintained 100 lbs. weight loss and lost my diabetes. It is never GONE . . . just controlled. So, I definitely weigh and measure foods, watch the carbs like a hawk, and exercise.



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JAROL7 10/16/2014 9:34AM

    Learn NOW to eat lots of fruit and veggies. It's a life.

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A lot of work to make this coffee cake - but it was worth it !

Tuesday, October 14, 2014



In the latest issue of Prevention Magazine they had several desserts that incorporated veggies in the recipe. I decided t try one: the Squash and Apple Coffee Cake. I changed the recipe a little. It is REALLY DELICIOUS !

This is what I made:

1 butternut squash: peel, seed and dice. Place in single layer on baking sheet sprayed with vegetable oil spray. Roast for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees until soft. (Check with a fork)
When cool, puree in a food processor.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 9X12 baking pan with vegetable oil spray

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter
Beat together.

2 eggs
1/2 cup milk (the original recipe called for 1 cup of yogurt but I didn't have any in the house)
pureed squash
Add to the butter/sugar and beat till smooth.

2 cups flour
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
Add to above mixture.

Peel, and dice 4-5 Granny Smith Apples
Fold into batter

Pour into greased pan.


1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
2 Tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped pecans
Blend together and top the batter

Bake 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

You can serve this warm with vanilla ice cream. HEAVEN !



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLEMIDG 10/15/2014 12:28AM

    Sounds yummy.

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JUST_BRENDA 10/14/2014 9:54PM

    Sounds yummy!!! May I please have a piece emoticon

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DJ4HEALTH 10/14/2014 9:43PM

    emoticon

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PURPLEPEONY 10/14/2014 7:37PM

    emoticon

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TRAVELGO 10/14/2014 7:14PM

  Sounds DELISH!!!

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1CRAZYDOG 10/14/2014 7:04PM

    sounds delicious.

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Triumph Over Temptation

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm proud of myself today for saying "No, thanks".
It was a BIG temptation.
Our neighbor, (funny her name is "Angel") knocked on our door and offered us a bottle of tequila. "Do you still drink?", she inquired.
We haven't had tequila since mid-March, six months ago, when Johnny went a little crazy and busted up his guitar. We didn't have ANY hard liquor since. Six whole months. Until 10 days ago when I bought a bottle of whiskey for us to share, and AGAIN, DUH !, Johnny went a little crazy, screaming at the top of his lungs, for all our neighbors in our little building to hear, about all the illegal activity going on by certain individuals (who shall remain nameless). He then proceeded to recount all the reasons he hates living in our apartment, the "drug dealing" being one of the reasons.
I became angry that he seemed to be unhappy with our living arrangements and yelled back, "IF you're not happy here, you're NOT a prisoner, and you can just LEAVE !"
We calmed down and made up quickly after I said that, but. . . fast forward here to this evening: Here was Angel offering us a bottle of hard liquor. For FREE !
I'm sure she heard our big fight last week. (She lives on the other side of our wall). And now she's offering us a big bottle of BOOZE ? Does she want to hear a repeat ?
I just kept saying, "Oh! No. No. No. No ! But thanks anyway."
She persisted. "Maybe save it for company? It's too hard for my stomach."
I continued, "No, thanks ! We really don't want it around to tempt us." And shut the door in her face.
I'm so proud of myself for being strong.
Johnny and I started discussing the "temptation" we just experienced.
I said, "That was definitely the ENEMY tempting us to drink hard liquor !"
Johnny thought that maybe it was GOD testing us. I wasn't sure about it so I got out my Bible. James, in (James 1: 2-4, and 13-15) writes,
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. . . . . When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death."
So we were both wrong. It wasn't the Enemy or God but rather we were tempted by our "own evil desire".
We love both the taste and the effect of liquor.
But we're learning. We can't stop at one or two. We'd probably have a "problem" fueled by the alcohol. And then there's the hangover next day, or in Johnny's case, three days. His liver really can't handle the booze anymore. His liver enzymes are already high.
So Johnny thanked me for saying "NO !" to Angel at the door. He wants to be healthy and live. He wasn't upset that I didn't accept the "gift" and we could have had an "instant party". He was glad that "I" was the one who answered the door. He admitted he wouldn't have been able to turn away a free bottle of booze.
So here we are at 11 pm at night. I got my 30 minute walk to the beach in at sunset. Then we watched the final 2 hour show of "America's Got Talent". And now I'm on the computer doing what I discovered I really enjoy doing . . . writing. I'm finishing my sixth day alcohol-free. (I drank some wine on September 11th ).
We triumphed over temptation . . . only by the Grace of God.
Whew ! That was a close one !

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINE1623 9/19/2014 4:08AM

    Congratulations! Temptation is so tough! emoticon

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PURPLEPEONY 9/18/2014 2:55PM

    emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 9/18/2014 9:35AM

    emoticon

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 9/18/2014 7:30AM

    That was awesome ! You learned so much from this and explained it so well !


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144AUTUMN 9/17/2014 11:07PM

  Keep up the good work!!

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My New Bike Actually Means LESS Exercise

Sunday, September 14, 2014



I'm thrilled with my newest purchase which was delivered yesterday by UPS - a light blue all-aluminum Schwinn bicycle. My sweetheart, Johnny, had to do some assembly. Thank goodness he's quite a "handy-man". It would have been next to impossible for me to do myself. He did an excellent job and got it all adjusted for my short legs and long back.

It GLIDES like a DREAM !

I haven't gone very far yet - just a little test ride around the parking lot at the radio station across the street. It is by far, the best bicycle I have ever ridden.

And it is SO PRETTY !

As most of you know, I haven't been able to afford a car for almost 6 years now (although I have a perfectly good "safe driver" driver's license). But a new bcycle was within my budget. I'm very satisfied with my "new wheels".

But here's the problem:
Now I won't have to WALK everywhere anymore. And I will actually be getting LESS exercise by rolling along effortlessly on my new Schwinn. ! lol

Case in point:
Tomorrow I have a doctor's appointment. I was planning on walking the mile and a quarter. Now I'll be trying out my new bicycle. I have to admit, it will be nice to not be as hot and sweaty as I would be if I walked there. (We're still getting up to 90 degrees every afternoon down here in Florida).

Oh, I just thought of something. With my new bicycle, I'll be MORE likely to go to my twice per week exercise class which is also a little over a mile away. That will mean LOTS more exercise as we do weight lifting, and sitt-ups, and push-ups, and squats, etc. I haven't attended in probably 9 months. I've GOT to get back into the habit of showing up there. I have an umbilical hernia that concerns me and has kept me from doing any other exercise other than walking. I'm considering surgery. I'll have to see how I do at the class before I decide if surgery is necessary.

But back to the new bicycle. It is really beautiful and, most importantly for me, it is made of aluminum so I don't have to worry about it rusting. I LOVE it !

Ride, Valerie, Ride ! lol

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTINE1623 9/19/2014 4:10AM

    GREAT picture of you and your bike Valerie! Enjoy

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JENNY888 9/15/2014 5:56PM

    I bet you get a lot of exercise on your new bike. There are so many places to take it and things to see. I am happy for you.

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MCJOYFUL 9/15/2014 1:46PM

    emoticon for your new bike! A good bike makes such a difference!

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PURPLEPEONY 9/14/2014 9:42PM

    Love it! I want one! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 9/14/2014 8:10PM

    You look way happy on that bike! AWESOME!

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FIREFLY-THT-WAS 9/14/2014 6:37PM

    emoticon
I can't wait until I can ride a bike again!
I am SO looking forward to it.


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CAPECODBABE 9/14/2014 4:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon Go Val Go emoticon

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PHHHISC 9/14/2014 2:06PM

    emoticon Enjoy!! I love my bike, as well!

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