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Making it easier to stop eating sugar

Saturday, December 13, 2014

In the writing diet we are discussing clean eating and how hard it is to get off of sugar.

It's all a learning curve, right? So we can make choices. I think... ignorance is a real excuse but once we know something we realize we have choices. I know that clean eating makes me feel good and the more clean eating I do the more I want to eat that way. It's not easy at first. One small choice at a time. It doesn't have to be overwhelming. Sometimes I can choose yes and sometimes I can choose no... but the yeses can add up.

Detox is something else. I KNOW how hard that can be. My sugar monster begins to have tantrums. It whispers in my ear all kinds of lies, like "you deserve this" or "one bite won't hurt" or "this will be the last one"... or worse it sets up smoke screens so I totally forget my goals and reasons for them and think out of the blue "this would be a good idea.. I have not had that for a long time". All TRICKS. The sugar just makes my food monster stronger so it's voice is louder. What I have learned is the frist few days if I can ignore the voice, it gets better.

I know there are things that help. Exercise and activity calm my monster.
Eating regular meals that are balanced with protein and fiber, eating clean bore it.
Eventually it goes to sleep and I get some peace. But ... then the HALT happens (too hungry, angry, lonely or tired) and the monster wakes up and can ambush me. I am going through THAT a lot right now with worry about my upcoming surgery. Fear, pain and lack of control are all just as powerful traps the food monster uses. Even knowing it, I walk right in.
Writing is my own weapon and using my body buddies for support. Instead of worry I need to talk things out or make a plan for dealing with my worries.
Planning is also really important. For me if it is in the house the food monster knows and will use it to call me. It's a terrible time of year to have a "clean" house but having things wrapped up if they are gifts or delivering them right away.... whatever it takes.
I need to plan treats that I enjoy and have foods availalbe that are OK. Make sure I have quick meals to grab. Defrost that meat and get out the crockpot so when I walk into the house near the witching hour things are ready. Have those veggies already washed and peeled and portioned out.

And my latest tool is the journal that stands guard on the kitchen counter. If the food monster wants to enter the kitchen it has to answer the 4 questions in the book.
Are you really hungry?
Is this what you really want to eat?
Is this what you really want to eat now?
Is there a better choice?

One of my emergency snacks are frozen meatballs. I have a great recipe with zucchini and ground chicken and almond meal but I am reposting the one I have made with spinach, ground turkey, onions, apples, then once they were baked I heated them in a glaze of apple cider vinigar and maple syrup, cooled them and popped them into little ziplocks. Talk about a good snack choice. A minute in the microwave and they smell as good as they taste. Sweet but filling and chock full of healthy foods in a bite size. They are a GREAT appetizer. Ah... that is exactly what I needed to think of as I have an afternoon pot luck tomorrow and was wondering what to bring!

We can do this. We can beat the food monster!

Turkey Apple Spiniach Meat Balls with glaze

Makes 6 meal servings (nutritional value) or divide into 18 "snacks"

1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground turkey
1 apple, shredded
1 egg, beaten
1 cup organic spinach, chopped
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon ground marjoram
1 teaspoon fennel seed - optional... I usually do NOT add it.

For the Glaze:

1 cup apple cider vinegar (yup, this much)
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole pan.
Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add the remaining meatball ingredients and mix well. Form golf ball sized meatballs and place in a single layer on the prepared casserole pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, wipe out the skillet, add the glaze ingredients and place over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10 minutes.
After removing the meatballs from the oven, place in a single layer in the skillet with the glaze. Coat all sides of each meatball, turhning frequently, cooking over low heat for 5 minutes.
Remove from the skillet and serve warm or cool and freeze or store in baggies. Enjoy!

NUTRITION (6 meal servings of 3 large meatballs) or divide by 3 and make 18 individual snack size portions to freeze)

Calories: 243 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 28 Sodium: 199 Fiber: 2 Protein: 16

Note that I made cocktail size meatballs and got 35 from one recipe of small meatballs. They work best if you let the glaze cook until it is reduced quite a bit - startting to thicken...so it sticks to the meatballs better... and I was able to double the recipe of meatballs and not double the glaze amounts. They got rave reviews at the potluck by the way.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 12/15/2014 9:06AM

    J' THIS SOUNDS GREAT I LOVE MEATBALLS BUT DH DOES NOT DO TURKEY SO I WILL EAT THEM ON MY OWN. I AM SURE HE WILL TRY THEM BUT I HAVE MY DOUBTS..HUGS AND MUCH LOVE PAT IN MAINE. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 12/13/2014 10:40PM

  must make these meatballs

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JUST_BRENDA 12/13/2014 9:21PM

    You ARE SO RIGHT about the "sugar monster".... kudos to you for figuring that out!!!

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MTN_KITTEN 12/13/2014 3:22PM

    The better I eat ... the better I feel.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/13/2014 12:57PM

    It's not easy!

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DSBRIDE 12/13/2014 12:46PM

    I love this recipe for meatballs! I'm going to try them as soon as I get all the ingredients. Thanks for posting it!

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2BDYNAMIC 12/13/2014 10:49AM

    emoticon .......... Getting off sugar really CAN be done .......... I now find IF sugar passes my lips--accidentally drank some juice and it tasted yucky; I stopped and saw it was laden with sugar! It tasted nasty; and now w/ much veggies and healthy food in my diet--I do not miss the stuff! Good blog ....... best wishes!

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Grouchy bear day

Monday, December 08, 2014

Two steps forward...

Why is it when things get decluttered everywhere else gets messier? I have yet to decorate my house but my closet is half clean and that is making me feel great, but I seem to be having a tough time dealing with the clutter that has appeared everywhere else. Maybe I'm just noticing it more?

We have had a few salad nights. I made a chicken taco salad last night with black beans and DD made grilled chicken on salad the night before. Tonight though DD's boyfriend is cooking and I have no idea what he plans to make. Planning being the key word. Nothing taken out of the freezer. My guess is breakfast for dinner. He will probably make pancakes or bacon and eggs with fruit. It's one of his favourites to do. In the meantime I've taken out a chicken to thaw so I can make soup tomorrow and go through the fridge for leftover veggies. Maybe with zucchini noodles.

I am a bit of a bear. Two weeks till surgery. I have been distracting myself by working on a harp arrangement for my niece and I. She plays oboe. So far it sounds lovely on the computer program but I noticed it was getting quite emotional and thought... is that for the arrangement or is that my worry about the surgery? So I saved, closed and will go back to it later. I'm also making chocolate grain free raspberry granola so the house smells like brownies as it dehydrates. It takes over 2 hours to cook. . What I need to do is paperwork to get my desk cleared and finish that closet, do some exercises and decorate. I'm like a flea on a hot tin roof jumping from activity to activity.

I have hoola hooping class tomorrow and my neighbour will come over to swim. I really need it. My neighbour is great at letting me vent. Nothing is wrong... I just have monkey chatter too loudly in my head so I can't think clearly. I had been nibbling on chocolate every night so this morning have recommitted to no sugar. Probably another reason I feel grouchy. I KNOW it will make healing better and the more exercise I get this week the better too.

Yesterday DH went with me for a walk by the river. Ah... so lovely. It was icy so I would not have gone by myself. His new boots have ice grips that flip out so he was secure and I had pretty good boots, my walking pole with the point, and was willing to go slowly. We chatted about this and that. It was sunny. The geese on the river were walking on thin ice. Thin enough that one who was nervous of us fell through, so we watched it throw it's chest up onto the ice and use it's "knees" to scoot back up. It then faced the sun to get warmed up. A few minutes later I just had to stop and listen to the rapids, watch the water twist around small piles of ice that had melted into fingers. We walked a mile then came back. Part of the trail is through woods and I told DH about how I had walked there last spring covered head to toe entirely with bug screen and still the mosquitoes had bitten through my gloves and the "netting" in my running shoes. No mosquitoes now. Just the bite of wind on the cheeks and chin. On the way home the dog, off her leash, made a surprising romp off the path and around some trees. We continued on and she came out behind us, look back at the the path we had come from and then saw us, ahead. Normally she would get crazy happy and come bounding towards us but instead she barked and growled. "I don't think she can see us" I told DH. He approached her slowly, talking to her and she kept growling and looking back over her shoulder. She can't hear very well either. THen she must have caught his scent because suddenly her head went down and she skulked towards him, obviously ashamed at having growled at her masters. DH put her back on the leash. She was OK when we met DD's boyfriend walking down the road but later that night she snapped at DD and she is HER "baby". I explained that sometimes that is what happens as dogs age, but she was hurt that Christal would act that way towards her. Sigh. Change. And I imagine that is another reason I feel grouchy today. We really thought Christal would not last until DD got home from University and then she seemed to pep up and be so happy. We all have days. She has signs of kidney failure and loses control of her back legs. She was frustrated last night when she could not scratch her head with her back leg.

Good news is the neurologist has a cancellation so my eldest DD who just had the longest seizure we have ever noticed, followed by sleep paralysis, can get seen by him on Thursday. Another reason to be in a grouchy mood. There are just so many things out of my control. Life is good. Oh so good. I feel it percolating around me. I am trying to be in a good mood. Trying to be grateful and thankful. I guess it's OK to have a grouchy bear day.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NORASPAT 12/8/2014 11:26PM

    We all need Grouchy bear days to help us feel great on Bear days, better still Teddy Bear days.

You can vent and we can understand you have a great deal going on right now.

Our second son played oboe before he started to climb the corporate ladder. We bought his instrument used from the Chicago symphony.
It is a cherry oboe a Lauray-probably spelling mistake but it is phonetic. His oboe instructor said he was a first class player and he refurbished the instrument. It is on a rider insurance of I think we did $5, 000 or more but he still holds on to it. He was making his reeds on his own in 6th grade.
I love the beautiful mellow sound. Some times when he quit I sat and cried or switched off the recordings. HUGS take care, Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NASFKAB 12/8/2014 10:15PM

  feel grouchy at times too all the best for the operation great DD can be seen Thursday just a couple of days

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MTN_KITTEN 12/8/2014 7:34PM

    Some times it feels like 2 steps forward ... and 1 step back.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/8/2014 3:44PM

    Glad your DD can be seen on Thursday.

Yes, the older dog can have dementia . . . just like people!

HUGS and take time to breathe.

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HEALTHY4ME 12/8/2014 12:00PM

    It sure is and I can totally relate as your surgery is even closer to xmas! Glad your dad can get into the spec, even though right now you feel overwhlemed. I know I did with dad in hospital and only out a week or so before I went in. Do know we all have these days!, hugs

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BRAINBENTT 12/8/2014 11:44AM

    perfect normal, we are wired that way

you have great perspective

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DRAGON-CHICK 12/8/2014 11:25AM

    I think it's normal to be grouchy sometimes. Especially when important things are not going your way!

Poor puppy.
Yay about the earlier appointment!
And on the closet. I've been decluttering too, trying to minimize everything.

Two weeks! Oh boy!

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So far...

Thursday, December 04, 2014

The experiment to do as many of the "good things for me" things is going well so far. A bit of de-cluttering daily, check. Daily meditation, check. Daily exercises, check. Ok, the sugar free did not happen today... I had a lunch with the church seniors who kindly filled my plate with goodies while I was playing harp over dessert for them... and I ate some... but I did not eat them all, no roll, only a few bites of potatoes, no cranberry sauce and LOTS of water. But many good choices like fresh fruit and salad and grilled chicken. I have yet to stretch today but DD is making dinner and I'm fresh out of the pool so it's on my list to do next. Hey... where is my tracker? Hmm. I got over 10,000 steps yesterday! Woo hoo! That has not happened in ages. Today was scary with a lot of ice so I did a lot of shuffling while carrying my harp, shoes etc.

The best word to describe me today? Happy! Yesterday was DH's and my 35th anniversary of being officially a couple. A romantic event that he remembered with a card, and some thoughtful personal items. He rarely remembers these things and it was so nice. And now my talk and harp playing for church is over and it went soooo well. Can you spell relief? Haha, an old commercial reference. When I got home my neighbour came over to exercise and chat and she had a potential solution to a problem I have been stewing about. My brother loaned us his van for the past 2 days as ours was not drivable and DD's boyfriend did a quick diagnosis, bought the right part and had it fixed before I got home. Did I mention DD is cooking dinner. Wow. I am spoiled. I feel free.

Now I have to watch. Just because things are going well is not a reason to let my guard down. I've been around this block before and I know that my food monster is cunning, baffling and looking for opportunities. Even being "happy" it can use as an excuse to say yes to "treats" or "overeat". I associate being happy with food so it makes sense. What I need to do is make some other "happy" associations. Like taking time to stretch and feel how good my body feels, to relax or enjoy a reading, a sunset or a cuddle. Sigh. Having an eating disorder never goes away. Wish it did. I do get glimpses. When food is the furthest thing from my mind. For some people, diet is a way of life. For me, controlling the food monster is part of my responsibility. Eat regularly. Avoid sugar. Don't get too hungry, angry, lonely, tired or in pain. It is not rocket science but I think some people have no idea how powerful and alluring the food monster is. It is not logical. It is part of an eating disorder.

So, stretching it is. Deep breaths. Enjoy this moment.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHY4ME 12/7/2014 3:57PM

    HI!!!
So glad you sound happy!!! I keep thinking of you and SEATTLE58 as you are both getting your knees done. I am on day 7 post op and for the most part doing okay. I had a super bad pain last eve even to the point that I wasn't able to do all my exercises, tears streaming down my face, hubby saying try 5 ( he is a drill seargent but cares) so did what I could and reminded myself that it says let pain be your guide and I am not wimping out. very nervous of scar tissue as I have it at every surg. site. WIll not want this re done to fix it. I had a super rotten anesthesia time and don't want that for long time. Pain at most times is a 3-4 which with my arthritis and fibro feels manageable granted still on meds.
So not on puter much had to check my blog subscritions to make sure everyone was still here.
HUGS and thinking of you!!

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EILEEN828 12/5/2014 11:59PM

    emoticon I'm not sure if I've asked this before. Have you tried taking an herbal candida cleanse product? I did on impulse after reading about it forever, but I didn't think it applied to me. I was astounded to see how much it affected my food cravings. I used NOW pharmaceutical's Candida Cleanse. I'm sure any brand would do the trick. I also retake whenever I feel cravings for sugar type things. Candida is in everybody, it's when there is an overgrowth that you start to have strong cravings for not only sugar but just plain eating in general. Candida sends chemical messages to your gut to feed them( that's right Seymour) It's such a relief to not have that nagging at the back of your head all the time. You truly stop thinking about it until it's time for a meal. I think it's worth a $6 experiment; it's now my secret weapon, the big guns.

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JUSTME29 12/5/2014 9:09AM

    Sounds like a really great day. I know how easy it is to let down one's guard at good times as well as bad. Happy "other" anniversary! (that's what we call ours)

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DRAGON-CHICK 12/5/2014 4:43AM

    Wow! great!
And happy anniversary!!

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NASFKAB 12/5/2014 12:00AM

  great job & all the best for your anniversary

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NASFKAB 12/5/2014 12:00AM

  great job & all the best for your anniversary

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MTN_KITTEN 12/4/2014 11:39PM

    emoticon

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JUST_BRENDA 12/4/2014 7:44PM

    It really does sound like a great day overall. I think the key is for us to focus on the positives rather than negatives. I know some people who talk to themselves like they are chastising a child... I don't see what's motivational about that.
If I "fail" or "do less than optimal" I'd rather do so with forgiveness and understanding rather than a critical punishing approach. Just me???

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DSBRIDE 12/4/2014 5:52PM

    So happy for you that things are going well! Tis the holiday season and a time to rejoice!

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1CRAZYDOG 12/4/2014 5:15PM

    Sounds like a god day all-in-all, and nothing wrong with getting spoiled once in awhile! You deserve it.

You're right to be wary of the monster. . . it does have to potential to come out when least expected, so being prepared is a good idea.

HUGS Glad things went well.

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I am a Hoola Hooper!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

I went to my first hoola hooping class last night and I will definitely go to the last 2 classes of the year. It was a blast. I laughed and was silly. The first thing we learned was the concept of the fabulous fail. Drop your hoop? Instead of a grumble and bend over to retrieve it you make it a fabulous fail and dance into it or take a bow, pick it up with a twirl and swing it around. I was expecting the worse. That I would not be able to do it at all. But I surprised myself. OK, DH is the one who really surprised me. He came too and for the first couple of tries I thought "oh dear, it's a lot like Latin Dancing for him". He is not a guy who likes to sway his hips. But he IS an engineer and the challege was accepted. By the end he was predicting the next tricks we were going to learn and figuring them out on his own. My DD was also there. Thank goodness. The only other student had cancelled and had I not called ahead and said I wanted to come the "drop in" would have been to an empty room. But with the three of us we had a great time. Love the teacher. She has only been doing it for three years but she has taken workshops from some of the best. She did some demos for us and I felt like she should be a fairy princess the way the hoops put her into a different world. Can't better describe it but it was magical.

I dont' expect magic. I got a great stretch workout and probably a little cardio. Some of the moves are a little hard but DD figured them out. I had already asked for a hoop for Christmas, without even trying it. I have some great heros on SP who are hoopers and I figured it was worth a try. And knowing my knee surgery is coming up is not a worry. It will give me something to look forward to and I will love watching my family play with my hoop over the holidays.... assuming I get one. Now that DD and DH have been to a class I am very hopeful. But this morning I was thinking ... what a great thing to do at the cottage... and by the pool there is lots of room here... and of course the back yard and deck. Maybe my new neighbour would get into it. Hmm. And you can do it to whatever music calls you. Well, "It's all about the Bass" is calling me right now. Wish I had a hoop already!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EDWARDS1411 12/4/2014 10:38PM

    Happy 35th anniversary of you and your DH being officially a couple - well done!!!
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FELINEBETTER 12/3/2014 3:37PM

    "Magical" is a great description for hooping!! emoticon

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JUST_BRENDA 12/3/2014 1:00PM

    That sounds like fun! DH is a great sport!!!
Anything that gets you safely moving is awesome, and it's even better when you get some laughs along the way!
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NASFKAB 12/3/2014 10:05AM

  great job way to go

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DSBRIDE 12/3/2014 9:59AM

    You don't have to wait till Christmas or even the class , to wiggle your hips. My Wii fit has a hula hoop part where you don't use the hoop but your wriggling show up on the TV. So in your kitchen, living room or even bedroom, just practice to some music and enjoy yourself!

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JAROL7 12/3/2014 8:40AM

    WOW, haven't done that in 60 years.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/3/2014 8:36AM

    Awesome!!!

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Yes... but....

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

What stops me from doing all the good things I read about and say "I should do that!"

-meditating every morning
-stretching evrery day
-staying sugar free
-doing my pool exercises
-decluttering

I was exercising with a friend and talking at the same time (the perfect situation) and she asked me that question. It's a good one. I could look at it from many sides. One was to compare myself to a few years ago and realizing that I do those things more frequently than I did. And to that end I see progress. But I also had to admit that I lack a routine of them. I have done them all in small doses. And for each one they make me feel terrific. So again, why not all the time? Am I afraid of something?

Meditating every day. When I used to wake up and roll out of beds and fall right onto my knees in prayer it was... wonderful. And it was not enough. I wanted a real meditation time. So I got into daily readings and doing meditations while walking and it was wonderful. And it was not enough. I wanted to explore deeper and have retreats and figure out how to change from the inside out. So I did some of those and it was... exhausting and life changing and then I slipped back a bit... changed a bit... and then life happened and I was grateful just to get through a day. My best meditation time is while I'm walking, but the best preparation so I don't get distracted is to have written before hand.

Stretching every day. I have done some mat stretches which are great. And I have some videos that are even better. When I do them I really feel more energized and better in my skin. In the pool I have done some tai chi and just worked on the big long stretches that I can only do in the water and wow, I feel amazing after. In the sauna too I have tried stretching and it really helps. Despite this I stop doing it. I start thinking of exercising or getting outside or the to do list and I start moving my feet. The videos which are only 20 minutes sit gathering dust. I notice my mat is hard to access because someone has set up a table or I am looking at the clock after a workout and do a minimum of stretching so I can rush off to whatever is next to do.

Staying sugar free. More complicated. Yes I know how much better I feel but I have an eating disorder. I forget. I let the food monster win the battles sometimes without even a fight. I forget to plan. Or other people are cooking and I don't have control. That is a lie too because often they are cooking and who suggests dessert? Who wants to "whip something up?" Nice ... for the kids.... for a treat... to round things out. And yet my eating is pretty much controlled when I eat regular meals.

Doing my pool exercises. My friend and I have a twice a week date and she often cancels. Is there any reason I can't go in by myself? In fact I often get a better workout when I do. The water is such a great thing for my knees. It's as hard a workout as I want it to be. Yet my workouts have been getting shorter or I have been choosing walking outdoors or errands. Not that those things are not good but for different reasons.

Decluttering. I think I am afraid of the "can of worms" and what I will find under all the stuff. Yet I know how free and enlightened decluttering makes me feel. Ha, it seems like an impossible prospect given that I live with 5 other adults. But that is just an excuse. There is a lot I can still do myself. Or a little, bit by bit. I have done a bit but there is more. What would happen if I did a little every day?

There is a "yes... but" for all of these. They are simple and can be just ten minutes each (staying sugar free takes some planning, writing and works into all the others). Less than an hour and they don't have to be together. What is that worth to me? Would it really make a difference?

What if I choose to make this an experiement and SEE if it makes a difference? How will I feel if I just DO IT for a day or a week or three weeks? OK, I don't have three weeks because of my surgery at which point my life stops for a few weeks.... but it seems to me that I can be .... mindful... and make these things happen. My daughtrer was reading "the Happiness Project". I did not read it but she had me look at a couple of the exercises. I think that in the book she tackles a theme every month. Are these the secret to my happiness? Don't I deserve to find out? Wjat if the routine of feeling so good about myself... stops the self sabatoge? Hmmm. Ha! I think.... I will write them out on a big piece of card stock as a start and put them up where I can see them each day and ... who knows? See if I can do as many as I can each day. I'll let you know.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MATSCHI 12/3/2014 11:12PM

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I needed to read this! Let's do it!

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MTN_KITTEN 12/3/2014 6:17AM

    Pick one thing ... and accomplish it. Then add to your success with picking one more.

You life will not be on hold because of your surgery ... it will just slow down a bit.

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NASFKAB 12/3/2014 1:42AM

  healing thoughts going your way for your surgery just have to go on

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NORASPAT 12/2/2014 8:57PM

    I prefer soft music to listen to. Otherwise I am having a conversation in my head and concentration on words I feel I must respond back. Music just floats over me and I love it. Alas I have too little time these days.
You can do it. "J" just think positive Pat in Maine.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/2/2014 2:46PM

    Good luck! I think once you're over the pre-surgery worries (and who DOESN'T!), and are recuperating, you'll be able to work on some of these -- like meditation.

Good luck to you

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DSBRIDE 12/2/2014 1:19PM

    I'm looking forward to hearing how this works. I'm a happy go lucky person that stumbles thru life in a lazy, content way. I hate having to do something that someone says I should and although I will do it for awhile, deep down I resent it. Basically I want to be left alone but due to diabetes, I HAVE to do certain things. You've helped me get past some of these things but there is still more work to be done. How I envy those people that do whatever they want whenever they want. I'll never be able to do that.

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