Self-Improvement: Body, again

Way back in 1999, after I’d finished having babies and was ready for a new, healthy life, I studied and began a low-carb way of eating. Specifically, I followed Atkins. It worked. It took me about 9 months to lose just over 75 pounds. I felt great. I looked great. My skin didn’t sag where the weight came off even though I’d not exercised at all. I was amazed.

after atkinsI continued to follow a low-carb eating plan for several years. At one point I hired a personal trainer and learned proper form to lift weights. I felt good but really couldn’t afford the membership and the trainer. I found the T-tapp exercise program and began that. WOW! What a great workout! I love it. I felt better and better.

My one hurdle, though, still haunted me. I had to quit smoking. With my youngest son as my motivation (he has asthma), I quit smoking on January 1, 2006. I used nicotine gum for about 3 days. That was it. I didn’t lose my temper or lose my mind. I’ve been smoke-free since then and now consider myself a non-smoker.

Unfortunately, I seemed to have traded one vice for another. I stopped eating low-carb and gave in to my sugar and starch cravings. I went wild with ice cream, pasta smothered in thick sauces, breaded foods, and heavily sweetened, thick coffee drinks. (Couldn’t pass a McD’s without stopping for Caramel Frappe.)

But now it’s time to undo the bad food choice damage and get back on track. My motivation this time is my grandkids. I love playing. I love Kennywood, and swimming and playgrounds. With this extra weight I have a hard time playing. I can’t bear to think of walking around Kennywood in the heat with this extra weight making me miserable. And I certainly have no intention of putting a swimsuit on this body!

I began my return to low-carb last Sunday, April 29. I’ve had a number of opportunities to “cheat” when no one was looking. I’ve resisted the temptation. I’m down to two cups of coffee in the morning, one in the afternoon or early evening if I need to stay awake. Smart Water is my constant companion. I’m getting all my carbs from vegetables. I’m consuming no artificial sweeteners other than an occasional protein drink in the morning if I’m pressed for time. Other than that, it’s all real, fresh (or frozen) food.

I haven’t weighed myself yet. I’ll likely wait another week or so. I do know that my clothes are fitting me better already. I have more energy. My feet and legs don’t hurt as much. I don’t feel as bloated. This is all good.

I may not lose as much weight this time. It may take longer. After all, I’m a dozen years older than I was in 1999. That’s okay. I’m in this for the long haul. I’m going to head toward the next decade healthy.

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Every Stage of Mothering

The great thing about having a bunch of kids spread out over more than a decade is that the older ones help with the younger ones. It also lets you enjoy the older ones when you’re young and active while also letting you raise the younger ones when you’re more experienced and wiser.

The bad thing about having a bunch of kids spread out over more than a decade is that you’re always in every stage of child development. I’ve had to deal with diapers and teenaged angst (and things in between) at the same time. I’m still dealing with diapers and kindergarten (grandkids) and teenagers (youngest child) while also building adult relationships with young adult and 30-somehting adult offspring. Sigh.

What I hate most is when an adult child comes to me for advice or assistance, considers what I say then goes off and does the opposite. Or just tells me I’m wrong. Yeah, so why did you even bother to ask at all? Do what you want and then suffer the consequences. Why ask my opinion if you don’t want it?

At what age does a child ask for a parent’s advice and actually value it?

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A Headache In The Pelvis Helps Pelvic Pain Sufferers Find Relief

A Headache In The Pelvis Teaches Men And Women How To Effectively Treat Their Own Pelvic Pain

Dr. David Wise and Dr. Rodney Anderson worked together for years at Stanford University to develop a treatment that is taught to patients with pelvic pain in a 6 day immersion clinic held in Northern California. Their results are outlined in their book, A Headache In The Pelvis and are documented in articles published in the Journal of Urology beginning in 2005. The latest publication in May, 2011 documents an improvement in 82% or patients utilizing the methods of this protocol. A Headache in the Pelvis focuses on pelvic pain that is caused by muscle spasm and dysfunction in the pelvic floor. Research is increasingly focusing on the prevalence of muscle based chronic pelvic pain, and a large majority of symptoms traditionally called prostatitis, that is actually caused by muscle dysfunction in the pelvic floor.

A Headache In The Pelvis Offers Relief At Home

The methodology outlined in A Headache In The Pelvis was developed by Dr. Wise and Dr. Anderson and have been evaluated over the last 6 years on patients suffering from long-term, chronic pelvic pain in men and women in published studies. A Headache In The Pelvis is written for the lay person and outlines the science behind the methodology.

Dr. Wise, a psychologist, suffered for years with chronic pain before developing the Wise-Anderson Protocol (sometimes called the Stanford Protocol) with Dr.Rodney Anderson who is currently a Professor of Urology Emeritus at Stanford University School of Medicine.

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Make a Fashion Statement With Your Eyeglasses

I have a vision dilemma. I’ve worn glasses for near-sightedness since about 4th grade. I’ve worn contact lenses off and on since high school. The problem with contacts has always been that I can’t read with them in. I have to wear cheater glasses to see my computer screen if I’m wearing my contacts. That kind of defeats the purpose of contacts, you know? On the plus side, I’m 53 years old and I still don’t wear bifocals. My reading vision is just fine (so far).

Since I’ve resigned myself to wearing glasses, I decided to look into buying less expensive glasses online so I can have a wide variety of eyeglasses as fashion statements. I’d heard that there were online companies that sell prescription eyeglasses at great prices and I was determined to find a reputable one. I got lucky on my first try.

The site has changed a little since my first order but the selection, quality and prices are still the best. I love that I can search by color, shape, price, style, and type. I love that my whole order ships for just $4.95. I love that I can have any pair of prescription eyeglasses sunglass-tinted for an additional $4.95. And I really love the huge selection of $6.95 eyeglasses. Of course, when my reading vision does start to deteriorate, Zenni Optical offers bifocals from $23.95 and Progressives from $28.90.

With such great prices, there’s no reason not to buy cute glasses for every holiday. There’s turkeys for Thanksgiving, snowmen or snowflakes for Christmas, pumpkins or black cats for Halloween, and hundreds more holiday themes. Let’s face it, we all spend more money on ugly Christmas sweaters just to wear one time, so why not some festive eye wear for the holidays?

Zenni Optical doesn’t sell expensive brand name frames. They make and sell their own brand. They don’t spend a lot on advertising because they figure if they concentrate on providing the best product for the best price, happy customers will spread the word. And we do! Every time I get new glasses, I show them off at work. My co-workers and my bosses have been checking out Zenni Optical’s site and a couple have started a Favorites list.

The only downside to buying from Zenni Optical is the time it takes in the morning to decide which pair of glasses I’ll be wearing. Pink glasses with my purple blouse? Red frames with the black jacket? Purple glasses with my yellow sweater? Decisions, decisions…

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No Black Friday For Me

Is everyone out doing the Black Friday thing? Well, not me. I’m proud to say that I have never shopped on Black Friday. In fact, I’m not even tempted to walk into a store on Black Friday. I have to work today and that’s where I’d much rather be (if not in my own bed, of course.)

I do shop locally but I also do much of my shopping online. I’ve got a layaway at one store, and I’m thinking about picking up a few other things at another local store. One year, I bought virtually every single gift online, with the exception being the Kids Bikes that I prefer to be assembled before I bring them home. Experience tells me that I’ll have a happier husband if all the gifts come pre-assembled.

I used to think that Christmas shopping would get easier as the kids got older. That didn’t happen. Now there are grandkids and daughters-in-law as well as my own kids. Lots of gifts to buy and trying to keep everyone’s likes and sizes and stuff straight requires a spreadsheet. I refuse to go into debt for Christmas so staying within my budget is important. The husband and I have not exchanged gifts since the kids came along so at least that is one less thing.

Even though I don’t do Black Friday and I have quite a list to complete, it’s all worth it. When everyone opens their gifts on Christmas my heart is so full and joyful that nothing else matters. I love the sounds of kids playing and laughing and adults becoming kids again as they try out all the new toys. I love this time of year.

If only the tree would decorate itself…

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Oh My Aching Feet!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before so I will now: I have a new job. Well, it’s not really new. I’ve had the job for over a year and I love it. I work at a group home for girls. I’m not sure why I waited so long to apply for this job but I’m so glad that my friend Amity pushed me until I relented. This job was made for me.

Of course, no job is perfect and this one is no exception. The worst part of my job is the facility itself. It’s a beautiful building, clean and spacious. The floor, though, is a pain, literally. The floor of our building is concrete covered in carpet or tile. If you have never walked on a concrete floor you may not understand this. The fact is, walking on concrete all day causes more pain the feet than anything I’ve ever done. There are times when it feels that the bottom of my feet are bruised.

I’ve tried scheduling more pedicures with extra massage but my feet still ache. The only thing I’ve found that really helps is good arch supports for shoes. No amount of soaking or massaging after the pain starts even comes close to arch support inserts. Most days my feet don’t hurt at all and when they do hurt now, it’s minor and nothing like it was when I first started my job.

I’ve also picked up a few tips about shoes while searching for a solution to my foot pain. Specifically, shoes that are very rigid and don’t twist and bend give the best support. That would explain why one pair of lightweight, comfortable sneakers put me in pain the fastest. Also, when it comes to work shoes, comfort is more important than fashion. Always.

Now that my foot issues have been solved I love my job even more. I do hate that my job keeps me from blogging the way I used to do, but I’m going to try to make time for blogging in the future. I miss expressing myself this way. I miss interacting with those who stop by here. I even miss telling the whole online world about my achy feet!

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A New Ministry, Kingdom Kid’s Club, Is Work Of Dan Del Piano

New Kid’s Ministry Is Latest Achievement Of Daniel Del Piano

The Bible is one of the most inspirational things in the life of Dan Del Piano. As an avid reader of the Bible, Daniel Del Piano has observed that the New Testament often contains stories that have to do with children. Because of the significance of children in the New Testament of the Bible, Dan Del Piano decided that it was important for him to help enrich the lives of children. Daniel Del Piano has done so by establishing a ministry called Kingdom Kid’s Club.

Kingdom Kid’s Club Lets Daniel Del Piano Give The Gift Of The Bible To Kids

When Dan Del Piano began developing Kingdom Kid’s Club, he knew that he wanted its main focus to be on providing God’s word to kids and then motivating them to read it every day. To achieve the goal of providing God’s word to kids, Daniel Del Piano came up with the idea of having sponsors give Bibles to kids. To achieve the goal of motivating kids to read the Bible every day, Dan Del Piano decided to use incentives like diplomas and prizes that would encourage kids to shoot for reading milestones.

The Kids’ Ministry Of Dan Del Piano Will Help Boost God’s Kingdom

The ability of Daniel Del Piano to create such an inspirational ministry for kids is admirable. Dan Del Piano hopes that his Kingdom Kid’s Club ministry, through its work with children, will help to revitalize God’s kingdom.

Posted in Kids, Spiritual | 4 Comments

How to Cut Down on Clutter Sans Crying or Moving

If you’re a parent raising your kids in a small space, you know it can get pretty messy pretty quickly. Spaghetti-O stains on the carpet and modern art masterpieces on the wall are one thing, but the excessive accumulation of stuff is a whole other monster to slay. By the time the third birthday rolls around you typically have enough toys to start your own toy donation organization and run it solo for a year. Consider this doesn’t even factor your massive amount of crap that packs every closet space and cabinet nook possible. I wouldn’t go as far as to contact the makers of the show “Hoarders” for help, but there are a few logistical problems you may run into that are worth figuring out before you even admit you might have a clutter problem.

No matter what, if you’re confined to a small space and have no room to expand, then I highly suggest looking into a self storage facility. These places are cheap, easily accessible, and as secure as a Zurich bank, relatively speaking. You don’t have to worry about not having enough room in your apartment to fit the things you actually need in life.

The benefits of self storage show through when you compare it to the option of simply hauling your crap out to the dumpster or donating it to Goodwill. Simply put: kids are flakes. When I was a youngster I told my mom I had no interest in my loyal teddy bear anymore and wanted her to toss it out. My mother, the wonderful long term thinker that she is, decided to just stow it away. Three months later I rediscovered my best friend hiding in a kitchen cabinet and we haven’t parted since (he sits on my desk.) Your kids will be the same way. They won’t care about all those toys until they’re gone, and then you’ll have to explain to your traumatized child, albeit irrationally, that you threw their cherished toys away.

If you have enough old toys to fill a storage facility and continue to live in a small apartment, then maybe you should reconsider your lifestyle as well as that of your kids. But more likely than not there’s plenty of your own junk that you’ve kept holding onto out of uncertainty. In the storage space left over you’ll have plenty of room to really make a dent in your living space.

This way, in six months, instead of breaking your kids heart over his lost Optimus Prime action figure, you can be the superhero instead.

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Don’t Buy A Diamond: Alliterative Wedding Rings That Stand Out

The other day I was reading an article on married couples that decided to renew their vows. Naturally, as a wife and mother, I was interested in this idea, and it sparked a few questions. These ceremonies aren’t a new idea, but they have steadily grown in popularity over the years. It’s just average people wanting to do something new to re-dedicate themselves to a life partner and show how much they love and appreciate the time they’ve spent together. It also discussed how when younger people get married they don’t tend to have much money, so they buy less expensive rings. In these cases, it was commonplace to find other stone options for the ring, instead of a diamond. This got me thinking. If you’re interested in renewing your vows, or even if you’re getting married, here are a few affordable options to upgrade your wedding ring with more original choices.

In the past few decades we’ve come to understand the horrors that come along with supporting the diamond industry. Blood Diamonds or conflict diamonds are mined in war zone and support war efforts, warlord activity, which tend to be violence toward citizens, and insurgency. It’s really hard to know that these diamonds encourage a climate of fear and violence. There are conflict-free diamond companies, but some are expensive. Black diamond engagement rings are a beautiful alternative that is stylish and original. With designs customizable to suit any style or budget, they’re the perfect choice for standing out in the crowd.

I ran across this website called, Off Beat Bride, and I loved all the alternative options for weddings. One article was called “Non-Sucky Wedding Rings,” and I had to laugh. It talks about how people want alternatives to diamonds, and it lists options, such rubies, sapphires, blue diamonds and a many others. It’s a really neat website that has a ton of other ideas for your celebration, that are a little offbeat but worth considering.

If you’re not as concerned about cost and you’re more interested in the symbol, then you might want to consider getting a pendant or pair of earrings. My Jewelry Box isn’t a place that you should necessarily choose to buy your jewelry from, but it does offer many alternative bridal jewelry options for someone looking to get some ideas. I recommend at least giving it a look see.

Coming up with just the right idea can be difficult. This is especially true if you’re buying for someone else or you just want to stand out, but I’m confident that these selections, even if they’re not what you choose to go with, will get you headed in the right direction. Everyone has different tastes, so remember that you don’t have to let other people decide what’s beautiful when picking a ring or other jewelry.

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Looking For The Positive

I use to be able to post on my blog everyday, always finding something fun and happy to write about. I liked that. Then things began to go wrong. At first, I just figured it was a little bad luck here and there but then the bad stuff just became overwhelming. In fact, for quite some time the only thing I could see in my life was the bad stuff. When good things happened, I was afraid to be happy because I was certain something bad was sure to come along and mess up my happiness.

Well, I’m done with that kind of thinking. Of course bad things are going to happen. That’s life. But good things keep happening, too, and I’m going to celebrate the good things. After all, why should the down times get all of my attention?

Good things keep happening around here. There’s the new grandbaby, Sofia Louise. There’s the new job that I absolutely love. And now there’s my husband’s new job. We’re not sure how long he’ll be with this company but for now it’s great that he’s back to work.

The building industry has suffered so much lately with homes in foreclosure, banks not wanting to lend and the economy in a general mess. We sold a few things just to keep us going. My husband even thought about selling our extra generator. I’d gone so far as to call a construction equipment rental company to see if they were interested in buying any of our equipment. Now, that won’t be necessary.

I know bad things are bound to happen again. Like I said, that’s life. Ups and downs are all part of the process. I just have to remember to learn from the bad stuff and celebrate the good stuff. I can’t wait to see what wonderful things Tomorrow will bring!

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