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VONBLACKBIRD's Recent Blog Entries

Color Changes

Friday, November 07, 2008

I think I've had the flu last week and weekend. Felt a little better on Sunday but weak and shaky. On Monday, I asked Sonny (husband) to take a ride up into the mountains to look at the fall color changes. It was a good thing we did so as since then the leaves have steadily fallen and it is beginning to look so bare now. I took some awesome photos and we even stopped and took about an hour hike. It just happened to be where we had spent our honeymoon as well.

Speaking of color changes. We always need changes in our lives. We need changes for the better. I truly believe I'm making good changes now. I've lost 37 pounds and still need to lose about 37 more to be a good healthy weight for me. Right now I'm concentrating on changing my exercise habits. I also found out this week that I'm not immune to "falling off the horse" so to speak. I had lost 3 pounds this past week, which I'm sure has alot to me being sick. But it seems I've tried to make up for it today and I went over my calorie range. That is pretty good considering I didn't go that far over and it was the first time since joining Sparkpeople in April. But like they always tell you, "You have to get right back in the saddle."

Another change that needs to occur is for me to do more toning exercises to get these muscles back in shape to what they need to be. So changes will be occurring to build those good habits into me. It takes several days of doing to make it a habit...so I've learned so this change will be a needed change.

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ANGORA4 11/9/2008 6:21PM

    I was so surprised to drive up to church today, and find the hills so bare. It was still lovely last week. But now, it was all brown. Almost brown. Always found the Bradford pear so useless, as it didn't make fruit. Then I went out to the brown field, and saw one bright orange red spot. Turned out to be a baby seedling from the callery pear (parent of Bradford pears) that came up from the roots of a grafted tree.

It was lovely. I found the callery pear, and it was still glowing orange. Started seeing Bradford pears planted where I'd never noticed them. Brilliant orange, red, mixed with green, glowing against the brown elsewhere.

Funny, isn't it, how things you never valued turn out to be special.

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Health issues

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I'm really having some health issues right now. I was started on Crestor almost a year ago and have been having bladder and yeast infection problems. I had trouble before with my kidneys while taking some high powered Rhumitoid drugs so I have to be careful. I've just read up on side effects of Crestor and one is renal failure. I had called my gyn early this week about the yeast infection and they want to see me pronto but then couldn't work me into their schedule for 2 weeks. I've been running fever especially at night so haven't felt well at all. I am worried about the Crestor though as my urine has had a funny smell for several months now. I called my local clinic and they are getting me in Friday morning and hopefully will test my blood and urine for anything. It is just awful to feel so bad. I have kept at keeping my calorie count down close to 1200 and at least between 1200-1500 which is what is good for me to lose weight without problems. I've also been managing to walk though it seems to have gotten harder lately.

On another note, baked 3 pie pumpkins and put pulp in freezer. I made some pumpkin custard from a team member's recipe and made it with low fat milk so made a nice healthy alternative to pumpkin pie. I've also been baking my apples and eat with a little cinnamon. I don't particularly like raw apples so this is great for me and get the taste of an apple pie. These are much healthier as neither has pie crust which is high in fat. I'm now not as worried about the coming holiday eating as know I can do this and keep the healthy spark.

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ANGORA4 11/9/2008 6:07PM

    Barb, It's so hard when you don't feel well. Amazing how much you still get done!

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SUMMERSILK 10/30/2008 11:13AM

    Hi Barbark,
I was reading your blog and I thought I'd share my experience with arthritis meds and Crestor. I'm sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Glad you're going in to get checked out.

I have kidney disease and they took me off all NSAIDS for my arthritis several years ago, as they're hard on your kidneys. My PCP put me on Crestor as well, but my Nephrologist said from a kidney stand point that he would prefer that I take Lipitor for my cholesterol problems. By the way, I lowered my cholesterol by 14 points just by taking Fish Oil and I hope to get off the Lipitor some time soon. Good luck to you!


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Seasonal changes

Friday, October 24, 2008

I don't know what it is about colder weather. My body seems to think it is going into hibernation mode and I seem to get more hungry. I have really struggled this week to keep the calorie count within my range of 1200-1500. It has been hitting in the higher ranges than I would like. I've upped my exercising and know this has alot to do with it as well. I'm not noticing any weight loss either. I think it is my time to hit a wall. Another bad thing is I love all the "comfort" foods this time of year. Sweet potatoes, chili, soups, potatoes, pumpkin pies and peanuts in the shell. I'm trying to find ways to make these lighter and not as heavy as I used to make them. I've learned to make my fruit pies now with Splenda so that helps but still they are higher in fat than I would like. I know I'm really going to have to watch myself through Thanksgiving. My daughter-in-law loves to cook, especially bake so thankfully she will handle most of the cooking this holiday season. I'm also looking at buying healthier Halloween candies like the fruit roll ups and gummys instead of the regular high sugar, high fat things. I may even buy pencils and hand out. But I have learned through this summer that there are definitely things I don't need to keep around my house like chocolate candy!!! I have found a "guilt-free" chocolate frozen fudge bar with only 60 calories so let that be my chocolate treat. I still have a long way to go and hopefully I won't fail during this time of year. Another main problem is with colder wetter weather, I do not like to move much. Joints just don't seem to work as well, but I am going to really make an effort to get out an walk. Walking, I've found, is peaceful and theraputic and I really enjoy it!! Still don't like basic exercising but am trying. Hope to make this a really fruitful holiday season.

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BGGARDEN 10/26/2008 7:27PM

    I keep a little sampler of dark chocolates in my china cabinet just for those special days that I need a bite of sweetness. I think we get cravings for a reason. :-) NOW THE Reece's Peanut Butter stash has to go!!! I did hide those in my husbands office so I couldn't get to them as easy. I can't wait till the Halloween season is over. The extra sugar candies are usually gone by then!

You have a wonderful blog - Thank you for sharing your challenges. I look forward to your next blog.

Happy Autumn !


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CARLI_MAE 10/25/2008 10:55PM

    Okay, mystery solved. I was wondering what I was missing in the general chat. Pep talk? What pep talk? Is Barb feeling bad? ok -- if it's any consolation I've been fighting hybernation mode too & not very successfully. I hope you saw my clarification on the board about not being worried about Bambi ... LOL .... I may be a die-hard liberal, but the only hunting I object to is the inhumane kind and that directed at endangered species. So it really is the bug bites I'm afraid of ... hahaha.
Mmmmmmm ... I love sweet potatoes! They're not that high in calories, either, as long as you just bake them and eat them plain ... if you hit a good batch and bake them long enough, they're plenty sweet without adding butter and making them candied.
I also have a mini-challenge strategically planned for next week to keep our grown-up hands out of the children's candy ... hahaha (I know, I'm such a meanie, but you know I just want to help y'all). Anywhooo, if you don't see a new post for it, remind me will ya?

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MYMISSY 10/25/2008 4:14PM

    Barbara instead of making fruit pies, make them in the fruit crumbles....that way you cut out a lot of the pastry. I occasionally make crumble, not too often though now as pastry really upsets my acid reflux with in a few hours of eating....you could also just have the fruit part and put in on frozen yogart, that's yummy. What ever the Season brings to you, enjoy and do not stress out too much, we are all beginning to make much better choices at least 90% of the time, which is a good thing. emoticon

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sometimes we have to take a step back and look at our priorities in life. I've made "getting healthier" a big priority in my life. I've also learned to look at was is the most important thing that is worth using my time for. Some things are necessary. And the time spent in these necessary things is a given. But then the left over time we have, do we use to the limit or do we waste that time with the trivials. I decided many years ago when I was told that I have RA that I was not going to let it get the better of me. I have it and I have to live with it so get on with life. I did away with so called friends who were wasting my time with their gossip and their pettiness. I kept the friends who were true friend and that were happy and made me happy. Those that moan and groan are not worth being around. I just don't like being miserable with them. Then I started concentrating more on family and the things I like to do. I also have the personality that if I start something, I like to go at it whole hearted and to the finish. I went into the sparkpeople plan this way. I joined a few teams and then added a few more. I finally realized this past week that I needed to prioritize this area of my life as I was spending more time on these teams than I should have. I also had joined some teams that I was not being as productive as I should have been. So if I was on your team and you don't see me there now, it may be that I dropped that team. I am doing this to make myself healthy and more fit and can do it better without so much time being spent on this computer. So if you wonder why then this is the reason. Like I said sometimes you have to stand back and take a look at what is really important in your life. Also with the holiday approaching, I'm spending more time with my family and doing the fun things I so enjoy this time of year.

So you might want to take that step back and ask yourself what is the most important things for you to do with your time and energy. Hugs!

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MYMISSY 10/17/2008 4:24PM

    Well written Barbara, so glad you have found your space, a nice feeling isn't it. It will do us all good to just step back once in a while and look at what we are doing, where we are, who we are with and where do we want to go. I believe at this time in our life we should make what we want as a priority and go for it. You never really know what is round the corner, life is prescious, live it, enjoy it, share it and best of all not to worry about it. I like your "HATTITUDE" as the Red Hat Ladies would say. emoticon

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Friday, October 10, 2008

LIMITS---Iíve learned this by joining Sparks. I now know my limits and what I can and cannot do. I know exactly how far to push my body before it becomes a chore. I know that I get bored easily (ADHD adult) so I have to change up my routine. I have started this with little steps and gradually add to it as I progress.

I started small with counting calories. After a month of this with weight loss, I added the walking. Well with the RA I have I had to start with baby steps and walk short distances, but I would walk a few times a day. We live on a hill so now I can manage to walk an entire mile and sometimes 2 on my good days. Half of that is walking up my hill and other half walking down. When I started I could barely make the round 1 time which is a quarter mile. Now I can do 4 easy and have begun a 5th and sometimes up to 8 rounds. And doing it this way with my plans now to add the exercising part, has made such a difference.

I reach a plateau and stay there a week or 2 and then will be down a pound down. I feel Iím building more muscle tone now so know muscle is heavier and I keep that in the back of my mind. I have gone down 1 size and more and now feel Iím probably down 2 sizes. Iíve only bought 1 pair of (1 size smaller) pants and am continuing to wear the older large ones most of the time as they are loosely comfy and people comment more about the weight loss.

Also I reward myself each month with a full body massage which is as cheap as eating out at a fancy place or buying more clothes or candy etc. It is my incentive to keep at it. If I lose 1 pound that month then the massage is on, if not then I donít. And it seems I always show a loss each month. It may not be much and it may be slow but I'm sure the turtle wins the race.

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GRALLEN 10/14/2008 1:25PM

    Wow Barb! You are doing GREAT! Those baby steps can pay off and you are proof of that. Keep up the good work.

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COOP9002 10/10/2008 9:00PM

    You're doing great in taking these "small" but significant steps to make progress in your journey. Stay the course, and you'll be excited with the results.

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