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Justice, my 6-month-old Belgian Sheepdog and walking buddy, and I

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KALANTHA is a SparkPeople Motivator!

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March 6, 2018 Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou

September 9, 2017

Still moving ahead, even if it's not as fast as I'd like. I am making progress and am happy to report I'm down almost 50 lbs. since last January. I'm feeling stronger and have more energy, too. I just have to keep going and not worry about how long it's taking. After all, all I've got is time.

July 11, 2017

I'm still here, taking one day, one step, one bite at a time.

Since February, I have made slow but steady progress and I'm ok with that. As long as I'm moving in the right direction, that's all that matters. This is not a race or competition. I didn't become obese overnight and I certainly didn't do what I needed to do to prevent it, so I can't expect to snap my fingers and be where I want to be.

I'm keeping my eye on the prize and challenging myself to do better each day. If I keep doing that, all will be well.

February, 14, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've been back at SP since the end of January and am just getting around to updating my Sparkpage. That is not to say I'm being neglectful, just that I've been busy working my program. It's been hard -- harder than ever before -- and painful. I have to face the fact that I'm not a kid anymore and the time for me to get myself back in shape and stay that way is upon me.

The first few weeks back have been fairly successful, despite the difficulty. In three weeks, I've lost 11.5 lbs, which is more than I'd hoped for. However, the level of difficulty and pain have been a surprise for me. I just don't remember it being this bad. I know things will get easier for me as I become more fit, so I must persist.

For most of my life, I've been responsible for caring for others. On this Valentine's Day, a day we celebrate love, I remind myself, that I deserve and am worthy of love and that self-care is a manifestation of self-love. Self-care means doing everything I can to become my healthiest, best self. Without self-love, I cannot succeed.

As I renew my commitment to becoming a better, healthier version of me, I invite all of you to become your healthiest you. Remember:

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
– George Eliot

November 8, 2014:

Here I am, back for my third SP go 'round.

I made it to retirement. I completed my course on becoming a dog trainer. I started playing guitar again and I'm singing with a community choir. I've always wanted to play piano and now I'm taking lessons. I'm getting into photography in a more serious way. I've done just about everything I've ever wanted to do EXCEPT ONE THING: Achieve a healthy weight AND maintain it.

I've flirted with my goal on more than one occasion, but, so far, have always given up just short of the finish line. Why is that? I have a feeling if I figure that out, I'll blow across that line without hesitation.

I'm tackling this problem like one of education. I have to learn what it is that causes me to sabotage myself. I have to learn how healthy people live: what and how much they eat, how they interact with food, how their relationships with the VIP's in their lives impact their eating habits (I suspect this could be an important factor for me), and what kind of/how much movement/activity is just naturally a part of who they are. In addition, I have to learn to build quick and easy meal plans that are also HEALTHY. THEN, I have to figure out how all that interacts with me, my body, and my other priorities, responsibilities, and commitments. I have to learn how to make some or most of those things "fit" for me.

That's a pretty tall order, but I'm ready to take it on.

Here I Go!

January 4, 2014 Healthy Weight Pep Talk:

Whenever I sit down to eat, I am determined to achieve my goal. By never giving in and eating right, I will reach my healthy weight.

I really enjoy eating less, whether in a restaurant or at home. I don’t have to finish the food in front of me anymore. I eat what I should and never one bite more.

When there is less food on my plate, there is less food on my fork. By ordering less when I eat out and giving myself small portions at home, it keeps me aware of staying with my goal each day. Less on my plate means less on my waist.

I will not allow anyone to influence, tempt, or discourage me in any negative way. Reaching my goal is up to me. No one has the right to control my success.

I am losing weight for my own reasons; for my life, my future, my personal health. No one will tempt me to take one more bit than I should. I am strong. I can reaching my goal.

A lot of food in front of me is no longer a problem. I just say no to the food and yes to my success.

I enjoy sitting down to eat because it gives me time to conquer my past and create a more active, self-confident, and healthier future.

I don’t need someone else to remind me of my goal or to keep me from eating something I shouldn’t. I’m responsible for myself and my body. No one can do it for me.

It’s easy for me to control my weight and appetite now. I enjoy smaller portions and smaller bites. I eat slower and am more relaxed in every way.

I am healthier.

Mealtime is achievement time for me.

December 9, 2014

What is a Workout?
By George Allen, former Washington Redskins Coach

A workout is 25 percent perspiration and 75 percent determination. Stated another way, it is one part physical exertion and three parts self-discipline. Doing it is easy once you get started.

A workout makes you better today than you were yesterday. It strengthens the body, relaxes the mind, and toughens the spirit. When you work out regularly, your problems diminish and your confidence grows.

A workout is a personal triumph over laziness and procrastination. It is the badge of a winner - the mark of an organized, goal-oriented person who has taken charge of his, or her, destiny.

A workout is a wise use of time and an investment in excellence. It is a way of preparing for life's challenges and proving to yourself that you have what it takes to do what is necessary.

A workout is a key that helps unlock the door to opportunity and success. Hidden within each of us is an extraordinary force. Physical and mental fitness are the triggers that can release it.

A workout is a form of rebirth. When you finish a good workout, you don't simply feel better, YOU FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF.

I'm back again and determined to finally reach my healthy weight, while developing PERMANENT healthy eating habits and incorporating physical activity into my daily life.

At 54-years-old, I am fast approaching retirement and I want it to be long and healthy. That means I best get to it right now and make it stick this time!

I plan to "live the life I love" starting right now!

June 12, 2012 - Reasons I Want to Lose Weight (not necessarily in order of importance):

1. I want to fit comfortably in seats at sporting events, concerts, plays, etc.

2. I want to wear fun clothes again instead of the "old lady clothes" I have to wear now.

3. I want to be able to shop in any store I want and not be limited to the ones with Women's or Plus sizes.

4. I want to be able to move easily.

5. I want to get rid of my body's aches and pains.

6. I want my sleep apnea to improve.

7. I want to have more energy.

8. I want to feel strong again.

9. I want to be able to do more physical things again, like hike at Ricketts Glen or take long bike rides.

10. I want to be able to tolerate hot weather better.

11. I want to have a long and healthy retirement.

12. I want to be around as long as possible so that I can be sure my son (who has a disability) is well taken care of.

13. I want to minimize chub rub.

14. I want to stop wearing out the inseams of my pants first.

15. I want to be able to cross my legs comfortably.

7/6/12 Arthur Boorman was a disabled veteran of the Gulf War for 15 years, and was told by his doctors that he would never be able to walk on his own, ever again.

He stumbled upon an article about Diamond Dallas Page doing Yoga and decided to give it a try -- he couldn't do traditional, higher impact exercise, so he tried DDP YOGA and sent an email to Dallas telling him his story.

Dallas was so moved by his story, he began emailing and speaking on the phone with Arthur throughout his journey - he encouraged Arthur to keep going and to believe that anything was possible. Even though doctors told him walking would never happen, Arthur was persistent. He fell many times, but kept going.

Arthur was getting stronger rapidly, and he was losing weight at an incredible rate! Because of DDP's specialized workout, he gained tremendous balance and flexibility -- which gave him hope that maybe someday, he'd be able to walk again.

His story is proof, that we cannot place limits on what we are capable of doing, because we often do not know our own potential. Niether Arthur, nor Dallas knew what he would go on to accomplish, but this video speaks for itself. In less than a year, Arthur completely transformed his life. If only he had known what he was capable of, 15 years earlier.

Do not waste any time thinking you are stuck - you can take control over your life, and change it faster than you might think.

Hopefully this story can inspire you to follow your dreams - whatever they may be.

Anything is Possible!

Please watch this awe-inspiring video about Arthur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playe

7/22/12 "A good plan for today is better than a great plan for tomorrow. Look backward with satisfaction and look forward with confidence. " (Unknown)

9/4/12 Motivational blog for people who want to run, but it applies to all of us who have ever been embarrassed by or felt limited by the size of our bodies: http://flintland.blogspot.com/2012/05/hey-

Highlights for September 2012:
+ Riding my bike the 26+ miles along the Lehigh River
+ Riding my bike along the Schuylkill River Trail, from Philadelphia to Oaks, PA
+ Being able to buy a very pretty outfit for a wedding that was a "plus" size and actually feeling pretty when I wore it.
+ Jogging 5 miles (without stopping) for the first time in my life
+ Making it to the 50 lbs. lost mark
+ Decided to reread The Spark. It's time for me to refresh myself on the concepts and find new ways to apply them.

10/3/2012 The blog below was written by my friend, Mark Bernstein, about supporting people who have developmental disabilities. I include it here because it also applies to our journey to living healthier lives -- together.

Five Smooth Stones

Posted on September 29, 2012 by Mark Bernstein

In our work to provide a higher quality of life for the people we support; in our efforts to advocate for greater inclusion in areas of employment, education, recreational opportunities and community involvement, we battle many giants. They go by the names of ignorance and bigotry and injustice and indifference. Yet our battle is noble and we continue to take up arms, however inadequate they sometimes seem.

I am reminded of the biblical story of David and Goliath. We all remember it from childhood, regardless of our religious upbringing. Goliath was a mighty warrior who stood more than nine feet tall. He was protected from head to toe by a suit of armor made of bronze. His armor alone weighed more than one hundred pounds and he was armed with a sword and a spear.

David, on the other hand, was a young shepherd boy with no armor for protection. His only weapon was a sling and his ammunition was five smooth stones which he picked up from a nearby stream. And yet, David was able to defeat a giant that all of the soldiers of the Israelite army were afraid to face.

These five smooth stones have come to represent the qualities that enable us to battle the giants in our life. So too, they represent the qualities that we need to continue our battle for a better life with people with disabilities.

The first stone represents Courage. To continue advocating for people in the face of resistance and sometimes hostility; to provide unconditional support to people who may try to hurt us or others; to maintain a positive and optimistic outlook in a discipline that often tests our mettle and deflates our spirits.

The second stone represents Confidence. This comes from being supported by colleagues and returning the support, by acquiring new knowledge and learning new skills, by building on our successes and learning from our mistakes.

The third stone represents Preparation. We prepare by learning all we can about the people we support, by sharing ideas, suggestions and insights with our colleagues freely and openly, by understanding and learning from the efforts of those who came before us.

The fourth stone represents Trust. Trusting ourselves, trusting our colleagues, and trusting the people we support, opens doors to opportunity and enables us to take risks in advocating for better lives for people with disabilities. We can always use more trust. As Henry David Thoreau said, “I think we may safely trust a good deal more than we do.”

The fifth stone represents Victory. We must take the time to acknowledge and celebrate the small and large victories that we achieve every day of every week of every month of every year.

Five smooth stones. Taken separately, each may not be enough to do the job. But collectively, we can move mountains…and slay giants.




Highlights for October 2012
* Briefly visiting the "just fat" BMI range. I'll be back there again by the end of this week.
* Running SP's Virtual Trick or Treat Trot 5K and achieving a personal best time of 32 minutes, 52 seconds
* Increasing my average jogging speed to less than 12 minutes per mile.
* Completing my virtual trip to Bar Harbor, ME, almost a full month early.
* Being able to wear a size 14 comfortably and shopping in "regular" clothing stores.
* Spending a long weekend in VT with my best friend.
* Hiking at Bushkill Falls.
* Seeing Janis Ian in concert, along with my best friends, and having my picture taken with her.
* Horseback riding in VT.

January 7, 2013: A shoulder injury and the holidays brought a small, 4 lb., setback. But my shoulder's healing nicely and I'm back on track now. I can even strength train at the gym, albeit with a much reduced weight. Life is good!

October 2, 2013: Oops! I did it again! Went and gained back almost all the weight I lost! Back on track for the last 4 days and looking forward to reaching my ultimate goal weight and STAYING THERE this time!

Must See Video: Overweight News Anchor Responds to Bully's Email: http://www.upworthy.com/bully-calls-news-a

Member Since: 5/30/2012

Fitness Minutes: 81,742

My Goals:
1. Make my healthy changes PERMANENT.

2. Have a healthy BMI (18.5–24.9).
Current BMI: 39.4 (4/3/21)

3. Weigh 135 lbs.

4. Lose enough weight to improve my sleep apnea.

5. Lose enough weight to stabilize my Atrial Fibrillation

6. Lose enough weight to fit comfortably in an airplane seat and vacation in Denver, CO and Sequim, WA

4/3/21 Short-term Goals:

1. Stick with Intermittent Fasting for 2 months to see if I get results and how my body adjusts to a new way of eating.

2. Increase the vegetables in my diet, so as to decrease sugars, carbs, and unhealthy fats.

3. Begin a consistent fitness routine, starting with walking and riding my bike.

My Program:
16/8 Intermittent Fasting

Eat within my calorie range every day.

Drink AT LEAST 64 ounces of water a day.

Slowly beginning to exercise.

Nightly use of my CPA & monitoring the duration & quality of my sleep via my Fitbit.

Monitor my heart/AFib twice a day via my KardiaMobile.

Spark daily.

Personal Information:
I am a widowed, mother of a grown son who has Autism. I am retired from the field of Intellectual Disabilities and was employed by the same agency for over 20 years. I love music, reading, photography, and dogs. I'm also an avowed "lefty" and politics junkie.

Other Information:
I've been here before and experienced great success. Unfortunately, I couldn't make it stick. I'm determined that this time I will succeed!

Favorite Quote for Weight Loss: “The path to success is to take massive, determined action.” (Anthony Robbins)

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