Saturday, April 13, 2024


 This last week was a bust, all around!  It was a bust for what I did with exercise.  It was a bust with my weigh in and it was a bust for the couch!

The weigh in week started really strong.  It was the weekend and we had a productive weekend!  I got my strawberries planted.  We mowed.  We weeded.   We cleared brush.  We did so much!  I was going strong!

I even took apart our old couch!  Literally, I busted it up!  I first ripped off the fabric and then I started to deconstruct it piece by piece.   

I have always enjoyed taking things apart.  It is interesting to see how things are made and put together.  Who would have known!   So it was a fun time for me!   


It wasn't until Wednesday that I started to feel it.  Ok, if I want to be honest, my throat started hurting on Tuesday and on Monday I kept saying "I'm so darn tired".  But I thought that I was tired due to our crazy busy weekend and I thought my throat was just raw due to the fact that this acid reflux thing (you can read about where it started here.)  seems to make my sinus' drain all the time.  But no, by Wednesday I had to admit that the head cold (moved to chest) that Jason was dealing with had been oh so kindly shared with me!    

Luckily for me, I never got it too bad.  I just feel run down, sore throat and some sinus drainage. I think what has saved me from really getting sick is the fact that I have been religious about taking my vitamins.  I've also been really on top of eating lots of fruits and veggies. (Thanks to that book Built to Move that I read a while back. You can read my post about it here.)  I also listened to my body and I slowed down and rested....a lot!


Which brings me to my next bust.  I did not stand even a single hour this week at work and at my standing desk.  I didn't get on the exercise bike even once.  I did NO formal exercise routine.  I didn't do anything!

My food was the only thing that was not a bust!  My average daily calories was 1300!   That's awesome!  I had lots of fruits and veggies!  I ate nutritious foods!  I did great!

But I did have one more bust....and that was with my weigh in! I stepped on the scales expecting great things!   I didn't get great! Luckily I didn't get horrible either!   What I did get was a loss of 0.2 pounds.  2/10ths only!  Not even a half of a pound!   Like I said, not horrible.  Horrible would have been a gain!  So I didn't do that!  But dang, I want more loss!

I'm not out!  I know that I am feeding my body nutritious food.  I am giving my body what it needs.  This weight loss journey is NOT just about weight loss.  It is about being healthy and I know that I am feeding my body healthy options!   That is just as important!  In the meantime,  I will monitor my calories more closely and see if I can get the weight to reflect my efforts!  I'm not giving up!  I've got this!

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

March Review

March is in the books!   How, because this year is just FLYING by!   But irregardless, March is over and we are now 10 days into the next month!  I have been remiss!  I haven't shared my progress report for the month of March for my weight loss (and life journey).  So before more time passes, lets review March and talk about April.

Purge Project

    I have been working on this project.  It is more a sporadic effort.  I am not vowing to do one item per day or anything like that.  I am aiming for 5 big items or 5 collections!  In this way, I can't purge a single book and say "One down!"     NO, I have to purge a collection of books. (For example, I have some photography books that are just collecting dust.  Getting rid of ONE of them does not count!  However, if I purge the collecction, then it counts!)   I made it to about 4 big items.  So while it was not hitting my goal, I feel as if I was somewhat successful!   

For the month of April I will be continuing with my purge goal of 5 big items or collections!

Books to Edify the mind

In February I decided that I wanted to make sure that each month I am reading at least one book that is good for my mind, and betters me along the path to health and fitness.    I started out with a book called Thinsanity (you can read my review here)   And in March I read the book Built To Move, which I loved (you can read that review here., even though it went live in April, it was read in March!)   I actually read two books in March, and the review will be written eventually!)   I have also already started on my April book!

Exercise and Movement

This was a mixed bag of success and failure!   I was so successful with getting my miles in!  I didn't actually bank a lot of extra mile toward my 2024 miles in 2024 Challenge, but I held my own!  Beyond the miles, I did not do any formal exercise!   Ok, maybe once or twice, but that is a big maybe!  So that is also a big fail!    The other success for the month was that I actually bought a stand up desk!  I typically stand for about 2-3 hours a day at this point.  I'm building my time standing!  (it's crazy how much my hips and feet hurt from standing!)

Food and Weigh In

I actually did pretty good with my food.  I ate quite nutritiously!  I feel like I ate good for my health!  My calories were right in line most days!  I was doing good.   I would have expeccted my weight to drop quite a bit!  But it didn't!  I lost a whole whopping 4 pounds!   Ok, that was a bit condescending!   I lost 4 pounds!  YAY!     Every pound gone is a good pound!  (But I still wanted it to be more!)

Overall, it was a good month.  I had my successes and I had my failures.  But my failures were smaller and they did not derail me from the overall goals of losing weight, being healthy and being happy!

Saturday, April 06, 2024

My feet ache! Or do they???

 A few weeks ago I was contacted by a representative from the company Flow Sole asking if I would be interested in trying their insoles that are for plantar fasciitis pain.   Of course I said yes!   It was a resounding yes!

I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis in 2013.  (post here).  I immediately went out to follow the doctors advice.  By the end of the day I had purchased a device to add to my shoe to help with the pain.  I was set, right?    Well not quite!   What I bought was intolerably painful for me.  I tried something different with the same results.  This and that....I've most likely tried it and hated every product!   So when FlowSole offered for me to try their insoles for plantar pain I was all set to try!  

The package came in the mail after a few days.  And I was super excited to try them out.   I had taken a quick peek online when they first contacted me, but I chose to not look too deeply at the product.  I wanted to have a clear mind when I received and tried their product. (Which in the fairness of transparency, they did supply to me free of charge as compensation for a review.)   

The day came and I was super excited to open the package!   The packaging was neat and clean and the box gave some information about the company and product.  The packaging labelled this as the "foot pain relief insole". I was intrigued, but wary.  That is a big and bold statement to make.  I have suffered from foot pain almost my whole life, even before the plantar issues cropped up.  (This has always been referred to as "the Bone" and I wrote about it way back in the first year of this site,  in this post.)   Lifelong foot pain has made me very particular about my shoes and feet.   The main reason that I was wary was the fact that I typically have issues with any shoe or device  that has a large/pronounced arch. I can't tell you how many pairs of shoes and devices that have been purchased only to end up in the trashcan (my parents if they were alive would attest to this also as they bought me special shoes on more than one occasion).  So I honestly expected to put these insoles into my shoes and within moments hate them.


Instead, I put the insoles into my shoes. I put them into my favorite pair of Asolo Landscape boots, that are now used for yard work.  I chose those boots for a few reasons.  Number one, they were the shoes that I knew that I would be wearing the most over the following week or so.  Secondly, the Asolo Landscapes were nearing the end of their life and I wanted to really put the insoles through a test.  

I slipped my feet into the shoes with the insoles and my eyes widened with shock.  It wasn't painful!   They actually felt, dare I say it; comfy!  I wore them for a few hours and I was still wearing them when Jason and I ran out to go to a local store.   It was while we were strolling through the store that I felt it.  And it was not a good feel it!   My little toe on one foot was rubbing. (in shoes that had NEVER rubbed) and my feet were sore and achy!  Ok, that was me just trying to be nice,  they just downright HURT!   

Taking my shoes off never felt better! I was undeterred though, I have been told enough times to let my feet get accustomed to the new feelings.  The next day I put the shoes back on.   And do you know what?   They didn't hurt as bad!   And by the third day they actually felt really good!  By golly, these insoles actually worked!    Over the last few weeks I have been right on the edge of plantar pain.  (Yes, I can usually feel it coming on).  But this week I haven't had any of those twinges of pain!   I know, how awesome is that?

I know it's only been a week, but so far I am impressed!  I will definitely be using them more!  I may be buying more pairs of them also!  Not just for myself, but for Jason.  Yes, Jason saw them and declared that they looked really comfortable and he might need a pair!    

You can buy a pair of Flowsole Insoles for yourself.  They appear to be about $35-40 per a pair.  But seriously, if they can help foot pain, well worth double that price!     Check them out, you may like them.

Tuesday, April 02, 2024

Built to Move

 I have recently read a book that had a profound impact upon me.  That book was Built to Move by Kelly and Juliet Starrett.

In the last year I have noticed a decline in my ability to move effectively and efficiently. If I have to get down to the floor it is painful, cumbersome and not very graceful for me to rise back to a standing position. That fact has bothered me, and I have 'hoped' that by getting back into a regular exercise routine that I would be able to recover some of my lost mobility that I had seemingly lost overnight.   

It wasn't until I read the book that I realized that this problem had been building for a while, but I had been ignoring it and treating the symptoms by doing things like buying trekking poles to negate my balance issues while hiking. 

The premise of this book is that our modern lifestyles do not utilize our bodies the way they were made to move.   Furthermore, by not using our bodies to their fullest abilities, we have lost a degree of function and effectiveness.    They say that the book is getting everyone to realize and achieve what the body CAN do and not what our bodies are doing.

The book breaks everything down into 10 core 'vital signs' that we should be focusing on.  They included range of motion, squatting, walking, sleep, eating and proper breathing.   For each vital sign they gave a benchmark test for the reader to complete and mobilizations to utilize in order to correct and better yourself.  They also gave research about why the vital sign was so important.  And let me tell you, some of the stats and research were sobering!

Some of the thing that really had an impact on me included:

* A 2010 study showed that people that sit for 6 or more hours a day are 37% more likely to die earlier.  (these numbers did not change for people that exercised regularly)

*Compared to a person that walks 4000 steps, (the average American walks 5117 steps a day), if you up your step count to 8,000 a day you lower your risk of dying early by 51%.   If you up your step count to 12,000 steps a day, you have a 65% lower chance of early death.

*For every inch your head is tilted forward (think looking down at your cell phone) you add 10 pounds of load to your neck, which then affects the arms and back. 

*Micro nutrients are important (which I knew, but have resisted really counting).  They follow the research that if you aim for 800 grams of fruits and veggies a day you will come very close (and most likely meet) your micro nutrient goals.  I like that plan so much better!

*In a study of middle aged women who at only 1 serving of fruit or vegetable a day they were 50% more likely to end up with a physical limitation versus someone eating 2-4 servings.

There was so much more in this book!  I'm telling you, I can't say enough good about this book and HIGHLY recommend it!   It has had a profound impact on me.  I immediately upped my servings of fruits and veggies!  (that 800 grams is about 6 cups a day). I FINALLY hit the button for buying a stand up desk.   I became cognizant of how I am standing and sitting.  I am ready to make changes so that my body can work the way it was intended. 

Once again, I recommend this book 100% .  It is a fabulous read.  I actually got it from the library and I will be buying a hard copy so that I can actually have it handy so that I can do the mobilizations and tests so that I can better myself!  


Saturday, March 23, 2024

Those Darn Scales

 I have been so excited to have my weekly weigh in!  The scales were moving in the right direction and it was going to be fabulous!  But then, I messed it up!

This past week of eating has been pretty spot on.  I've been nailing it with my fruits and veggies!  I've been eating wisely and things were going well!   Until they weren't!    

Thursday night is my beekeeping class, so I have been typically grabbing a sandwich before the class since I don't get home until about 8:30-9PM.  (which is pretty close to our bedtime).   No biggie.  Eating early should have actually helped my Friday morning weigh in!   But I didn't stop at the sandwich.  I couldn't help myself and went and grabbed a plate (a small plate thankfully) of pasta.   Way too many carbs.  I actually had a bit of two different types of pasta, one of which was lots of cheese and so high calories, with limited nutritional value (velveeta cheese...highly processed).  I actually started to panic as soon as I was done eating!  I knew that I had messed up!   Nothing I could do about it at that point though, because no way will I ever purge!  (Never had, never will!) The only thing I can do is know that this next week is another chance to nail it the WHOLE week with healthy nutritional meals and snacks!

So on Friday morning, I stepped on the scale with a small bit of trepidation.  My weight.  Well it is a mixed bag.  I was showing up from where I had been just on Thursday morning.  WAAAAHHHHH.   Luckily, I was showing myself down about a pound or two.  I'll take the loss, but it's hard to celebrate when you know you messed up a much better weigh in!

Yesterday I had a follow up appointment with the gastroenterologist.    We didn't have much to discuss about the colonoscopy and spent most of the time talking about the acid reflux, which is still wildly out of control.  I admitted to him that after about 8 weeks of him telling me to take the protonix that I stopped taking it (I had actually been taking it about 10 weeks before he prescribed it though).  I saw no difference or change.  So he has changed a similar medication, a different PPI.   Yup, now I will be trying Prilosec.  He also wants me to add in Gavascon as needed.  (Gas X).     I haven't picked that up yet, and had some bad coughing after eating yesterday, and thought about the Mylanta Tablets that the ER doc had told me to take as needed, but my new family doctor had told me to stop taking.    So I took one.....and it wiped the cough out completely in minutes.  Hmmmmm.  I will try the gavascon, but will keep the Mylanta handy in case the gavascon doesn't work.  

My stand up desk arrived on Thursday!   I was able to drag it up the steps and into my office, but I haven't yet had time to put it together!  It is heavy (which is a good thing) but the box is worryingly small!  Ok, not small like 'dollhouse small', but the box is about 2 feet by 4 feet.......I keep telling myself that I knew that the desk top came in two section!  But it is a bit worrisome!   I will get it together sometime this weekend!  

The weekend is here and I was so ready for it.   Today is supposed to be rainy.  This morning we will run to some banks in Hagerstown. I'm assuming we will take the dog with us.  That will be good because we typically play outside with her to wear her out, but with the rain we won't do that....and without it she gets the zoomies!   The zoomies care cute, but with a big hulk of a dog, it's a bit much!   So the car trip will work her brain and she will expend some of her energy into her brain power.  Seriously, her head will be on a swivel for the whole time we are traveling.   (It really is crazy to see  how something like that where she uses her brain will wear her out just as much if not more than playing outside!)    She has learned that banks are fun places to visit!  Jason's bank doesn't give dog biscuits (meanies) but my bank does as does that bank that has our car loan!   We are going to all three today!   But don't worry about the 'meanie' bank.  I can't disappoint my girl, so I will give her a dog biscuit when the tube comes back. (She knows what that tube means too!)   And just a fun picture from one of our previous car rides!

Thursday, March 21, 2024


Here we are, Thursday morning!  My week is winding down and I am ready for the weekend!   But as I sat here reflecting this week and looking forward to the next one, realized a few things.   One, I have a long weekend and two I had a word of the week failure!  Oops!

Early this week I sat down to calculate the previous weeks mileage for my 2024 miles in 2024 Challenge. (post talking about this challenge can be found here).  This is my typical routine.  I close out the previous week and I turn the page to the new week.  When I turn the page, I see the empty margin at the top and I put down my new word of the week.  Many times I don't actually have a word of the week planned, I turn the page, see it and just know what the word should be.  This week I turned the page and thought about the word of the week and what it should be.   Nothing came to mind.  I was stumped.  So I vowed to come back to it.   I just realized, I never went back to it!  So I guess the default word of the week is 'wordless'!

Just because the word of the week was missing doesn't mean that I am not still tracking my progress.  I am still tracking my food.  I am still accumulating miles.  However, the mileage has been a lot lower as I have been really lax on exercise.  I ride the exercise bike to get in a fair amount of miles...but being honest, I knock out those miles fast and furious on breaks from work.   I rely on my step count to make up the rest of the miles and I have been so sedentary that I fear that this week I won't make my mileage goals.  If I make it, I am pretty sure that I won't be banking miles!  That's not cool!


My eating of late has been spot on!  A while back I talked about my frustration on the scales and that I needed to tighten up my calories and my carbs. (here and here)   I have been doing very well with the carbs.  I had one day where I splurged and had a sandwich for lunch and then had pasta for dinner.  But for the most part I have kept it at one serving!  I am not concerned about fruits and veggies and natural sugars/carbs.   The calories.  I have had some days where I have nailed the 1200-1300 calorie count that I am aiming for, but I am still most days sitting at closer to 1400-1500 calories.  So that one is still a struggle.

One thing that I AM doing is trying to focus on upping my intake of fruits and veggies.  I know that years ago when I was doing weight watchers I was eating a LOT of fruits and veggies (even before they were considered free).  At one of the meetings theWW leader was encouraging people to eat more fruits and veggies and people were complaining and lamenting about how it was impossible.   She asked the room if anyone was eating over 4-5 servings.  I honestly raised my hand.  I was the only one that raised my hand.   She got a huge grin on her face and just stopped and waved at me like she was Vanna White and said "there is the proof'.  Because you see, I had just shared at the beginning of the meeting my pounds lost for the week and we had talked about my total/overall loss, which at that point was amazing (as I was really close to reaching my goal at that we were talking overall loss of over 100 pounds).   Zoey loves her veggies also (ok, Zoey loves pretty much any food....well except for lettuce/spinach).

So I am excited to step on the scales for my weekly weigh in to see how I do this week!   That will be in my next post!  :-)

I have been going up to my mom's once a week to work on sorting and cleaning and trying to figure out what to do with her belongings.   It's a crazy thing dismantling my parents life.   Sad on one hand because my parents have things from their childhoods, from their we are talking 80-100 year old memories.   But it's also cathartic as we share memories and laugh.  We have tried to be quite judicious with what we are taking.  For me I have a three point criteria and something has to fit in that criteria before I take it.  

    1.  It has to have sentimental value to ME.

    2.  It has to be something I actually need.

    3.  It has to be something that is better than what I own....making it an upgrade.

So far that has worked. The sentimental items that I have gotten include my dad's toy cash register that my brother and I both played with.  (we used to play restaurant and every restaurant needs a cash register right?  This is all metal and was given to dad when he was about 4 or 5 making it 75-78 years old.

I also took mom's doll bed.   I also played with this as a youngster.  I was REALLY into dolls, so I used this a LOT! At this point, this doll  crib would be at least 72-74 years old.

There are some other random, smaller things.   A few pieces of glassware, some items from the restaurant (my grandmother owned a diner) and probably more to come!  I am taking a fair amount of my parents wood furniture.  It is solid walnut ....and in really good condition, and better than my current furniture!

So there is a lot of shuffling of furniture and belongings here at my house!  But it's fun, and all stuff that brings so many memories. 

The weather has been warm one day cold the next!  I am so ready for spring!  I see signs but it's still cold (at least today!)

Come on Spring!!!!

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Removing the Diet Mentality to Bring Success: Book Review of Thinsanity

 I have long written about my love hate relationship with this weight loss journey that I am on.  I love the progress and how I feel when I'm losing (or have lost) weight.  I love knowing that I am doing really good things for my body.  There is a lot that I love.  However, there is a certain loss of innocence.  I miss the innocence of not thinking about my food intake, I miss the innocence of living a life and not having to think about being healthy.   Is a healthier body worth it?  Yes.  But that doesn't mean I sometimes mourn that loss.

This year I made a vow to read a 'healthy life' related book each month.  I read a lot.  My yearly average  is about 125-150 books.  Many of the books are fluffy and light romance novels, heart stopping thrillers or any variety of fictional works.  But this year, I want to make sure that I am reading something to better myself, at least one book a month!  In the past I have randomly picked up this kind of book, but with no real consistency.  So I decided one a month would be a good start to bring more enlightening books into my life!    That's not a lot in the grand scheme of how much I am reading!  (I made this decision in February so I have an extra book to read at some point to make my perfect 12.)

I was looking for my book last month and noticed the book Thinsanity by Glenn MacIntosh.  I read the description and I was hooked!  Losing the 'diet' mentality sounded like a really good thing for me!  Maybe I could regain some innocence within my weight loss journey!  I was so excited that I didn't even wait for the book to become available through my library.  I went to Amazon and bought it immediately.  

This book started out great!  The author instructs the reader to only read the portions that pertain to them.  I was impressed with this.  Most authors indicate the need to 'read the book in its entirety' to get the full rewards.   But not this author, he clearly told us to skip parts if we have already mastered it or if we feel as if we had already gotten the gist of the chapter and quit simply felt done with the subject.

The book is laid out great!   He has it divided into a chapters that highlight the symptoms of thinsanity.   They are things like negative self image, making peace with food, love hate relationship with food, self medicating with food and healthy habits.   Great subjects!  Each chapter talks about the symptom. The chapters are interspersed with personal stories of people that have left the world of Thinsanity to live away from the 'diet culture' and into a more intuitive lifestyle.  So far so good! 

The problems for me started to come when he started to talk about body image.  He talked about the BMI and how it was skewed so if you were going by the BMI and thought you were overweight.  Since the BMI was not a valid judge you were wrong and thus you were not overweight.  What?  I wholeheartedly agree that the BMI is not the best indicator for weight. After all, I had to get a doctors note to exempt me from the BMI restrictions for weight watchers! I actually wrote about that many years ago in this post.    So I agree with the harsh restrictions of the BMI in terms of weight goals.  But at my current weight, there is no way that anyone would not call me overweight.  Yet this author kept repeating his mantra that "The BMI is wrong so you are not overweight".  These comments had me scratching my head and wondering why I was reading this.


My feelings of discontent with this book were nailed home later in the book when he relayed a story about his patient that had worked for 3 months to lose her weight but then gained it back on her cruise.    Really?   She lost all her weight in 3 months?   Three months would be fabulous but without any major illness or medical intervention not even remotely possible for a morbidly obese person.


At that point reading became a bit of a drudgery for me.  I felt as if he was writing this book for the person that had just a few pounds to lose and not someone that was morbidly obese.  I kept reading though.   Maybe he would turn it around.   Each chapter did have good hints and tips that can help someone on a weight loss journey.  But the author lost me totally toward the end of the book.  100% lost me.


What in the world did he say that turned me off completely?   He flat out said that bariatric surgery is an appropriate potential for people living in large bodies.   What?  I thought the purpose of this book was to live healthy and lose weight!   But no, he went on to say that this book would be great to be used as preparation for bariatric surgery.  

I have nothing against the person that chooses bariatric surgery, however it was not what I was expecting in terms of a book to help me get into a better mindset and say goodbye to dieting forever.  In fact, in my limited knowledge, a person that has had bariatric surgery still has to watch what they eat.  That person may actually have to watch their 'diet' even  more to make sure that they get the proper nutrients.   Hmmmmm...

Either way, I was done with this book at that point.  Was it my personal preconceived notions?  Was I soured by one or two comments at the beginning?   Pick up the book, read it and let me know if I was just having a bad day(s) when I was reading!


 So this book was super disappointing for me.  Not a good way to start my reading challenge for the year.  Don't worry though,  I haven't given up.  I already had my next healthy book lined up and have started reading it!  It is proving to be much better!  So stay tuned for that review!!!