Share Your World – Sept. 25, 2017

….thanks Cee for more thought provoking question on Share Your World

What is your favorite outdoor activity?

I think that it would have to be walking where ever I happen to be, with or without my dog, but always with my camera or iPhone close by. Here are some photos I took on this morning’s walk.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

It really depends on who’s driving and where I’m going. When I’m with my 90 year old father I’d rather be driving because he’s too distracted when there’s someone else in the car. When I’m with my husband and on a long trip I like it when he drives but I don’t mind taking turns.

If you could have three wishes granted for you alone, what would they be?

#1 – I’d like to take off my excess weight and maintain that loss (is that 2 wishes?). I’ve been on a roller coaster diet all my life. I feel much better when I’m thinner, my clothes look better on me and I want to be able to enjoy my walks and time with my granddaughter without feeling the aches and pains in my feet and joints.

#2 – I’d like to have enough money to finish some projects around the house and still be able to take at least one trip a year overseas or across the country without worrying about how the bills are going to be paid.

#3 – I’d like to have more grandchildren but I guess that’s not really up to me.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. 

These past two weeks I appreciated spending time with friends in the middle of the week. When I was working this would have been out of the question. Two Tuesdays ago I went to the AGO (art gallery) with my life-long friend, Arlene. She’s been patiently waiting for me to retire so we could do this. The show we saw was called Every. Now. Then. Reframing Nationhood. In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, it explores three urgent questions through the eyes of some of the country’s best emerging and established artists: where has Canada come from, what it is now, and where is it going?

Last Tuesday I spent the day with my daughter and granddaughter. We went to the mall together, had lunch and just hung out. I finished a hat for Winnie while I was there and apparently she didn’t take it off for two days. My daughter had to hide it from her. We’ve been experiencing a heat wave here and a wool cap is the last thing she needs on her head.

On Wednesday I drove to St. Catharines with my friend Diane to visit her father at the retirement home. We met her sister there and went for lunch at a great place close by. After that we got back in the car and drove to Niagara-on-the-Lake where we took in an afternoon show at the Old Courthouse. Walking through this town is always such a visual treat for me.

This week I was also inspired to finally reorganize my room so that I can start doing art again. Two of my friends gave me a timeline (end of September) to get my stuff sorted so that I can start putting shelves, a desk and a filing cabinet in my space. Hopefully I’ll really be able to organize my supplies and then get down to doing some serious art. At least now I’m not embarrassed when people go up to my bedroom. I can get to my bed now without stepping over stuff or having to worry about tripping on something in the dark. I’ll post photos when I have more ‘after’ shots.

Cheers!

Share Your World 2016 – Week 17

….thanks Cee for more great questions

When writing by hand do you prefer to use a pencil or pen?

As I was writing with a pencil today, I decided that I prefer to write with a pencil. I like how it flows smoothly over the paper and doesn’t smudge like ink does.

What’s your choice: jigsaw, word, maze or numeric puzzles?

I used to love jigsaw puzzles but now my puzzle of choice is numeric. I can’t pass up a Sudoku puzzle when I see them in the newspaper or magazines.

Do you prefer long hair or short hair for yourself?

I definitely prefer medium length hair. I saw a photo taken about 10 years ago when my hair was very short and I instantly went ‘yuk’.

List five or more of your favourite blogs.

  1. Cee’s Photography https://ceenphotography.com/2016/04/28/cees-black-white-photo-challenge-hiding-or-camouflaged/
  2. Life In-between  https://lifeinbetween.me/2016/04/28/the-rusty-old-bridge-in-watercolor/
  3. Jill’s Art Journal https://artjillkuhn.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/creative-play/
  4. My Guilty Pleasures  https://mygulitypleasures.wordpress.com/2016/04/25/big-girl-trying-to-be-a-bit-smaller/#comment-41729
  5. Curious to the Max  https://judithwesterfield.com/2016/04/26/frankly-freddie-parenthetically-speaking-2/
  6. My Life Lived Full https://mylifelivedfull.wordpress.com/2016/04/27/w-washington-dc/
  7. The Year of Living Non-judgementally  https://annkoplow.wordpress.com/2016/04/28/day-1214-relationship-managers/

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful for time spent with my daughters. On Saturday my oldest daughter and her wife came to the house to sort out some financial issues with their financial planner (my husband) and we enjoyed a wonderful lunch together. My daughter also helped me put together a dresser that I bought months ago. Earlier in the day my husband and I went for a very long walk. With the nice weather we’ve been inundated with midges so K made us coverings for our mouths and noses so we wouldn’t breathe them in. Luckily it was a bit cooler when we headed out so we didn’t have to use them very often. My neighbours were right when they said we looked like a couple of bandits.

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On Sunday we drove to Hamilton and watched our son-in-law race in his first go-cart race. The baby didn’t seem to mind the noise or the smelly fumes.

After the race we were treated to a wonderful dinner of BBQ steak and grilled vegetables back at the house. My husband and I are still on our weight loss journey together and a meal like that makes it very easy to stay on program. So far I’ve lost 13 pounds and my husband is down 17.

This week I’m looking forward to do more painting. I’ve redone a couple of paintings I started two weeks ago and have started two more. I’m also looking forward to more success on the scales this week.

Four Years and Still Going Strong

….yesterday was my 4th anniversary with WordPress

If I didn’t check my notifications side bar today I would have missed it.

4 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 4 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.

It’s hard to believe that four years ago I started this blog to help me lose weight and get healthy. Four years later I’m still trying to lose weight but I’m healthier than I was then. I’m thankful that I didn’t gain back all the weight that I had lost (32 pounds) but it was getting painfully close when I finally started back on my weight loss journey. So far it’s been easier because my husband is doing it with me. I’m down 10 pounds and my husband is down 11.

My blog quickly morphed into a eclectic mix of photography, art, memories, recipes, teaching moments and my life experiences with my friends and family. I’ve met more than 1000 people who now follow me. I’m sure some have fallen by the wayside but many have stuck with me and comment regularly. For that I am truly grateful.

In the last four years you’ve seen me and my family change, grow and experience the ups and downs of life. I ran my first 5k, lost 32 pounds, turned the big 60, stood by my husband as he battled one illness after another requiring 4 separate surgeries and then I shared my son’s accident with you just last December when he needed surgery. I also shared with you my aunt’s prolonged stay in the hospital before she passed and how my 89 year old father fell, not once but twice, but lived to talk about it. I’ve spent way too much time in the hospital.

Not all hospital visits were for sick people. Last October I became a grandmother for the first time. That was the best hospital visit ever. IMG_2885-2

When I started this blog only my youngest daughter was married. Since then our oldest daughter got married a couple of months ago and our son is getting married this summer. Needless to say it’s been and continues to be a busy year.

 

I’m still teaching. I thought this blog might help me prepare for retirement but I loved my work and my colleagues too much to even consider it.  Now, I can say for certain that retirement is just around the corner and I look forward to my last year of teaching starting next September.

I’ve really enjoyed sharing my students’ art work on this blog and they love knowing that people really like what they’ve done and that they make comments about their work. I can always tell when my viewing numbers are really high that my students have found their way to my site.

One of the things that I’ve grown passionate about is photography since I’ve started this blog. I participate in a number of photography challenges and I take my camera everywhere I go. I’ve enjoyed sharing photos of our cottage and the beautiful parks in our neighbourhood and photos I’ve taken on our vacations.

Before I close I’d like to thank all of you who follow me and all those who pop by once in awhile for giving me a purpose to write. Knowing that people read my words and look at my photography gives me incentive to continue with this blog. Here’s to the next four years!

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

13 000 More Steps to a Healthier Me

….after work I treated myself and my good friend L to a manicure and pedicure

I’m going to a wedding tomorrow and I really needed to get my toes done. It was L’s birthday last month so I decide to treat her to a manicure and pedicure after work today. Of course it made no sense to sit and watch her being pampered so I had to treat myself as well. Besides I’ve been wearing sandals to work for a few weeks now and it was a little embarrassing when my kindergarten students pointed out that my nail polish on my toes was chipping.

After about an hour of soaking, filing and applying colour we headed over to Marshall’s to try on some clothes. I chose nine tops to try on and left with two. When I got home my husband had just pulled out one of his homemade pizzas from the oven. Yummy!

After supper Frances was eager to go for her evening walk. Even though I was tired I knew that once I got going I would really feel better for it and I do enjoy it. The rain had stopped and it looked like it would stay away for awhile. I brought along my iPhone to snap a few pictures. Before I left I checked my Jawbone Up to see how far I had walked up to this point. It registered at just over 6000 steps.

Tonight we headed towards Col. Samuel Smith Park. I’ve been letting Frances dictate how far we walk and the direction she wants to go. When we got to the park I thought for sure she’d want to turn back but no she proceeded to head towards the lake and the naturalized area of the park. I kept my eyes open for some interesting shots and I think I managed to catch a few good ones. Here are a few things we saw on our walk tonight.

When we finally got home I checked my Up bracelet and discovered that I had walked almost 13 000 steps. This is the third day in a row that I’ve walked over 10 000 steps. Last week I averaged over 11 000 steps a day. I’m hoping that this increase in movement and watching what I eat will help me lose the pounds that I put back on. Luckily I didn’t put it all back on but more than I should have. I need to learn to get right back on track as soon as the first five pounds return.

Share Your World – Week 28

Have you ever been a participant in a parade? What did you do?

I’ve watched numerous parades in my lifetime but I can’t remember being in a parade as a child and I know that I’ve never participated in a parade as an adult.

If you were handed free opera tickets, would you go or sell them? Why?

I would go to the opera. I don’t have a lot of exposure with operas but I’d like to change that and if it’s free even better.

Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog to record some of my family memories to share with my children and friends but it quickly became a venue to plot my weight loss and an incentive to stay on track. It worked and I lost 32 pounds.

I also wrote up recipes and started taking photographs of my travels, cottage and experiences around Toronto. Over the last two years I’ve included my own personal art and art that my students produced. I’ve also dabbled in poetry and I love taking part in blogging challenges.

What is your favorite tradition? (family tradition, church tradition, whatever)

My favourite family tradition is celebrating Christmas on Christmas Eve. Being German, I’ve always opened presents on Christmas Eve and when I got married my husband embraced that tradition. It worked out well for us because we would celebrate with my family on the 24th and then go to my husband’s family on the 25th.

Even when my husband’s parents passed away we continued to celebrate on Christmas Eve and the kids loved waiting up and then hiding when Santa arrived. It was always magical when we walked into the living room after Santa left and we were made to wait and take in the lit tree and the newly arrived presents under it.

Now that the kids have all grown up some of the traditions have changed slightly and the focus is on the food, drink and good company that we all share on that special night. It has become my husband’s favourite tradition as well. P1030984

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up?

I’m grateful that Germany won over Argentina in the World Cup and I’m grateful that I was able to share the day with my husband, and  my daughter and her husband. Thanks to technology we were also able to communicate with our other daughter and our son in the Netherlands during and after the game.photo-29

This week I’m looking forward to spending some time at the cottage. I’ve been in the city helping my cousins deal with their very ill mother (my aunt) and I’ve been in and out of the hospital for the last six days. She’s still there but I’m only a phone call away.

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For more Share Your World posts check out http://ceenphotography.com/2014/07/14/share-your-world-2014-week-28/

95% Back to Normal Eating

….one week later, down 4 pounds and off mushy food

One week ago today I had gum surgery for crown lengthening so that I can have my broken tooth capped.  Today I went for my check-up to make sure that the incisions were healing properly and to have the dressings removed and replaced with new, smaller dressings.

Everything looks good. The stitches have dissolved, there’s no infection and I can start to eat more normally. Still no hard foods like crusty bread, croutons, biscotti and celery and chewing can only take place on the opposite side of my mouth away from the dressing. I am still restricted in the exercise department (no push-ups, sit ups, trampoline, bench pressing, cardio, etc.) but I can start walking further and faster and even go for a leisurely bike ride.

Here is my dilemma. I’m happy that I’m down four pounds and I’d like to keep them off and take off more. Being able to get out more will help but going back to ‘normal eating’ scares me. One thing that I’ve been forced to do and will have to do for another few weeks is eat on one side of my mouth. The good thing about that is that it forces me to eat more slowly and as a result I’m probably not eating as much because I get full before I finish my plate.

For a long time now I’ve convinced myself that I need more protein than most people and that carbohydrates are my enemy. Funny thing is that I’ve eaten very little meat this past week and a whole lot of pasta, creamed soups and mashed vegetables and still managed to lose 4 pounds. Tonight I had a bowl of vegetarian chill and a slice of sour dough bread with butter. I feel very satisfied and won’t need to eat later this evening. I’ll probably have a cup of tea.

I think what I need to do is start recording what I eat for awhile and see if I can see a pattern with what I eat, how much and in combination with what foods and see how my weight loss is affected. I suspect that how I combine foods will make a difference and not eating at night will also prove beneficial.

So I’m still down 20 pounds but my goal is to lose the other 10 before the end of the school year. It should be doable. I have 8 weeks to go. One and a half to two pounds a week is a very reasonable and achievable. I’ll keep you posted.

Cheers!

Before my 30 pound weight loss. I never want to go back to this again.

Before my 30 pound weight loss. I never want to go back to this again.

My after picture in the same blouse. 10 pounds to get back to this.

My after picture in the same blouse. 10 pounds to get back to this.

A Beautiful Saturday – Why am I Creating a To Do List?

….am I crazy or just practical?

I suspect I’m doing this because it needs to be done

To Do List for April 12, 2014

rake front lawn
sprinkle bone meal on garden
take out garden furniture
clean out bird cage
do laundry – started
take out summer clothes and put away winter clothes
clean oven – started
write post – started
go for a walk
dust living room floor and shelves – floors done
vacuum carpets upstairs and down – started
take photographs

As you can see I’ve already started some of these chores. I think I need to fill the gaps with some fun stuff.

My husband must be feeling my energy this morning because he’s started raking the back yard and he’s taken out our bikes and cleaned them off. Maybe we can get out for a ride this afternoon. Well, I’m off to start some work outside as well. Maybe by putting this out there for the world to see I might actually accomplish all of the things on my To Do List or at least get 90% of it done. Wish me luck. I’ll report later today to let you know how I successful I’ve been.

On the fitness and weight loss journey: I’m struggling. Up 3 and down 2. Today’s goal is to get out and move and drink at least 4 large glasses of water. One glass down and 3 to go.

I thought I posted this 2 hours ago. Apparently not. In the meantime I’m down 3 glasses of water, 2 loads of laundry, raked the front and the back yard, finished cleaning the oven, sprinkled bone meal on the garden, and took out the garden furniture. I also took down the Christmas lights, trimmed the yew and bagged 2 bags of yard waste. Now let’s see if I can get this thing posted…..an ongoing problem.

Up 4, Down 4

….an update on my weight loss journey

Before I left for Calgary I was hoping to maintain my weight and not gain weight over five days.

The optimum word here was ‘hope’. Weight loss is never about hope. It’s about ‘doing’. I didn’t go to Calgary with the plan to not eat dessert, not drink wine and not eat bread and pasta. Instead I went with the notion that I could eat everything but in moderation.

That was all fine and well but the missteps started right on the plane. I had a least 3 drinks. I passed on the bread but I ate the rice and the ice-cream. I did pass on the potato chips but I didn’t turn down the dark chocolate. When we arrived at my sister’s place the wine came out almost immediately. Her husband cooked us dinner. Pasta with seafood. My weakness.

The next day we met my friends at the local conservation area where an art exhibition was on display in the learning centre. Afterwards we stopped by their house and I picked up dessert to have with coffee. Of course they had also picked up dessert. I should have declined but no I had a bit of all the desserts.

This is pretty much how the entire 5 days went. Very little exercise, lots of wine and good food. It shouldn’t have been a surprise when I gained 4 pounds. So much for maintaining my weight.

Since I’ve been back I’ve eaten much better. I’ve had salads pretty much every day for lunch and then again with dinner. I’ve been trying to drink a lot of clear tea during the day and not eat at night. I think in the last 10 days I’ve had only a couple glasses of wine and I’ve turned down sweets at school most of the time. It’s taken 10 days but I’ve finally dropped the 4 pounds that I had gained.

The challenge now is to stay on track with the healthy eating plan and watch the weight come off. The weather is beginning to turn around and hopefully I will be able to get out and walk. I’ll report in again when I’m down another pound or two. The journey continues.

Time to Come Clean

……about my weight

It’s been almost 2 years since I started this blog and it quickly became a platform for documenting my weight loss. I never divulged my beginning weight and only talked about the number of pounds that came off. I just couldn’t bring myself to say that number. Somehow it brought me shame and I was afraid that people who knew me would judge me differently if they knew exactly how much I weighed. It didn’t help that all the doctors that I’ve ever been to have always said that I don’t look as heavy as I am. I haven’t even told my husband how much I weigh.

I lost a total of 32 pounds and managed to maintain that loss for about a year. I lost a few more pounds here and there but I always put them back on. Last year I told people that I had lost 30 pounds because the weight started to creep back on. I gained a few pounds and I lost a few but slowly I started not losing all the pounds I gained back. Last summer I was up six pounds, down four, back up four when I went on holiday and then back down four before I went back to work.

Stress has always been killer for me when it comes to weight gain. Also I have some psychological barrier that seems to keep me from getting below a certain weight. In the last 20 years every time I get close to that goal weight my weight loss stops. Periodically, in the last year I’ve talked about getting serious and getting back on track. I never want to gain back those 32 pounds I worked so hard at losing but my drive is in low gear right now and try as I might it just isn’t enough.

Last week when I put myself on the scale (which I avoided since Christmas) I was up eight pounds from September. I watched my food intake all week and when I put myself on the scale again I was up three more pounds. Yikes! I wanted to lose most of that weight before I went to see my sister in Calgary next week. Part of my problem is my lack of movement. I can’t believe how much I let this winter keep me on the couch ( in front of this computer).

My middle sister sent me an interesting article this morning on why we gain weight that has nothing to do with what we put in our bodies. I am guilty on all counts. Lack of sleep and having light from computers and electronic devises in front of us before we go to bed actually causes weight gain. I guess she noticed my weight gain and was too polite to mention it to me. Come to think of it no one has actually said anything to me about my weight gain, even when I’ve complained about my coat being too tight and putting on weight over a weekend. Here is the link from the Epoch Times for the article Two Common Weight Loss Mistakes.

As much as I love teaching, it is a stressful job. In the past, September was the month where my weight gain would start. I would lose ten pounds or more in the summer and then when school started it would all come back. Two years ago that didn’t happen but my weight loss stopped. Part of my problem was that I was happy with how I looked and felt. I loved all the compliments.

I can’t let this continue. So I’m going to start with the two things that the article talked about: sleep and light.

Before my 30 pound weight loss

Before my 30 pound weight loss

Down 32 pounds.

Down 32 pounds.

My goal is to stop working on the computer and watching TV by 10:00 every night. Maybe I’ll read more and organize my clothes, lunch and school bags from 10:00 to 11:00 so I’m not in such a rush in the morning. Hopefully that way I can be in bed by 11:00 and get a solid 7 1/2 hours sleep instead of the five to six that I get now.

Today, still down 20 pounds  but up 12.

Today, still down 20 pounds but up 12.

In the past I weighed myself everyday. I know that some people believe you should only weigh yourself once a week or even less frequently but I find that I put off what I need to do if I don’t check my weight more often. Look what happened when I didn’t weigh myself in almost three months.

I’m still not ready to reveal my actual weight. If only strangers read this blog I wouldn’t care but my family, friends, colleagues and even some of my students read my posts. Some day, but not today.

The most difficult part will be turning off this computer and not constantly checking my emails and stats. I have to admit I’ve become a bit of an addict. I’ll also start using this blog as a platform to record my progress with my weight loss journey, again. It helped last time and It kept me motivated to succeed. If you don’t hear from me on this front please feel free to ask how I’m doing.

I haven’t weighed myself in a couple of days so I’ll start tomorrow and then see how regular sleep and cutting back on the light before bedtime affects my weight. Of course I’ll watch what I eat and for now I’ll aim to get out and walk at least four times a week. I’m not sure how spending five days with my sisters will affect my weight but I won’t use that as an excuse. I’ll enjoy myself but I don’t have to be excessive with food or drink. Maybe I should aim to maintain rather than lose for those five days.

The three sisters taken 6 weeks ago.

The three sisters taken 6 weeks ago.

Time to Get Serious

….3 weeks to go before the Girls on the Run 5k

No more excuses. The back feels better, no more colds, the ground has dried up and the weather’s been great. 

Today I set a personal best in training for the upcoming 5k run. My husband and I started on our usual walk to the park and when we got to the rugby pitch we both started running around the 500 m field. I ran six laps without stopping for a total running distance of 3k. My husband ran farther and faster but he does intervals where he alternates between running and walking. My total travel distance this morning was 5.6k.

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My goal is to drop another 5 to 10 pounds in the next 3 weeks and continue to lengthen the distance that I run before I stop to walk. I’m not too concerned about my time but I would be happy if I completed the 5k in 45 minutes. That may seem slow to some of you but it’s a step in the right direction for me.

I’ll keep you up to date on my progress.

Cheers!