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Archive for December, 2012

A few weeks ago, I received an unexpected gift in the mail. It was a postcard from a local health club offering two free memberships for one month. The offer seemed too good to be true. Curiously, I called the health club to see just what the “catch” was for this unbelievable offer. Surprisingly, there were NO strings attached, NO credit card numbers given, and NO contracts signed. My hubby, Andrew, and I were all given a one month pass for full access to the club. And, they included a pass for Barry, Jr. since he would be home on leave. What an awesome gift! We had been interested in joining this club ever since it opened a few years ago, so this was the perfect way to try it out.

Shortly after we received our passes, we received another unexpected gift in the mail from the health club. This time we received a credit card waiving the enrollment fee, as well as giving us the entire month of January free if we decided we would like to become full-time members of their club. Unlike our first gift, this one had strings attached; however, they weren’t unreasonable. We just had to decide if we wanted to become full-time members by the end of the year. Thankfully, we had a couple of weeks to make that decision.

Since then, Andrew and I have been using the free membership with much enthusiasm. He has been taking a Kid Fit class which is offered four days a week. He absolutely loves the class activities, as well as going to Kid’s Club afterwards. He is making new friends and getting fit at the same time. And, he has even had the opportunity to swim in the heated pool. I have taken a couple of Body Pump classes, run on the treadmill several times (either raining or too cold to run outside), and met with a personal trainer to talk about my fitness goals, learn some core exercises, and learn how to use some of the cardio machines besides the treadmill. I get two more sessions to learn about the weight machines and reevaluate my progress after six weeks. Andrew and I love it! So, we signed up on Sunday to become members for one year. Unfortunately, my hubby did not sign up with us. He hasn’t used his free pass since he received it. He tells me he will attempt to visit the club before his pass expires. The good news is he can join if he decides he loves it as much as Andrew and I do.

What a wonderful way for my family and I to end 2012 and begin the new year! And, what a terrific way for me to continue improving the health and fitness area of my life. However, I must confess I’ve allowed myself to be overly indulgent this Christmas season, somewhat lax on my exercise schedule, and have eaten more sugar than veggies lately. I’m WEAK when it comes to all the goodies you receive during the Christmas holidays! The silver lining….all the bad stuff will be out of my house and out of the church office by the end of this week. The dust will settle, rather the needle on the scale will swivel uncontrollably for a moment adjusting to my slight weight gain, and I WILL vow to redeem myself and get back on track. However, for the time being I cannot and will not get on that damn scale.

This has been a terrific year for me and my family. My hubby and I both got new jobs, we are all in good health, and we receive so much love and joy from our family and friends. We have been blessed in many, many ways. And while we did have to say good-bye to Ming, we are grateful and celebrate the nineteen years she was a part of our family. We continue to cherish those who are so special to us and look forward to a new year of possibilities. And, let me not forget my dear readers. YOU ARE AWESOME! Thank you for your support and encouragement. Wishing you much love, joy, and happiness! ~ Kat

“And now we welcome the new year, full of things that have never been.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke

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Unfortunately for me, I have not seen 125 pounds on the scale, yet. I know…amazing how that number is eluding me. I’m not giving up; however, I cannot keep weighing myself every single day. It is tedious, discouraging, and driving me bonkers. After reading Danielle LaPorte’s blog post Why I Gave Up Chasing Goals, it made me think about my real goal. Why did I set out to lose twenty-eight pounds? Was it really about the number of pounds lost OR was it  how I wanted to feel when I made the commitment to exercise on a regular basis and change my eating habits? I decided that my real goal all along has been to be healthy, have more energy, get off the reflux medication, feel good about myself on the inside, as well as the outside.  

The scale has its purpose. However, there are many factors that affect one’s weigh-in. You cannot always control those factors. This is my daily weigh-in for the last ten days:

12/2: Goal Date – 126 lbs.
12/4: 127 lbs. – contest started
12/5: 127 lbs.
12/6: 125.5 lbs.*
12/7: 127 lbs.
12/8: 126.5 lbs.
12/9: 126.5 lbs.
12/10: 129.5 lbs.
12/11: 128.5 lbs.
12/12: 127.5 lbs.
12/13: 127.5 lbs

I’m not going to rely on the scale as much as I will on how my clothes fit. I do NOT want to be a slave to the scale.  

I have two winners of my contest. The person who guesses the number or is closest to the number wins a prize. Well, I had two people guess 3 days. I am awarding both Mary and Ming a $15.00 gift card to Target. On the third day I was 125.5 pounds. In my mind, 125.5 pounds is close enough to 125 pounds. Congratulations and thanks for participating in my little contest. You two have given me lots of encouragement and support throughout this journey.

When I finally do reach 125 pounds, I plan to take a picture. Just to say I did it. Again….the goal is to feel good. I hope everyone is having a spectacular week, especially with the weekend starting tomorrow. Happiness!

“The foundation of a good relationship with intentions & goals is keeping in mind that the primary aim of setting and working toward them is to feel the way you want to feel.”  ~ Danielle LaPorte

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Yesterday was the big day! And, I missed the mark by one measly pound. Yep, I weighed in at 126 pounds.  I’m not going to beat myself up about it. I did my best considering my circumstances the last couple of weeks. Ming was the priority. I may not have exercised every day; however, I stayed on track with my running/walking and managed four days of cardio. I’ll get back on track with my strength training this week.

 My new challenge:  How many days will it actually take me to lose this one pound? I plan to weigh myself every morning until I weigh 125 pounds. I start tomorrow, Tuesday 4 December. Let’s have fun and turn this into a contest. Leave me a comment on my blog with the number of days you think it will take me to lose one pound. It will ONLY count if you leave the number of days on my blog. The person who guesses the number or is closest to the number wins a prize.   

I’ve added something new to my pantry:  Kashi Go Lean Crunch! Cereal (1 Cup contains 3g fat; 190 calories; 13g sugar; 9g protein; 8g fiber). I eat it with Almond Milk: Silk PureAlmond Original (1 Cup contains 2.5g fat; 60 calories; 7g sugar; 1g protein; 1g fiber). You can cut out 7g of sugar by getting the unsweetened Almond Milk.

So, as the week progresses indulge in a little relaxation. Take a bubble bath, read a book, listen to some fabulous music, take a stroll, etc. Enjoy whatever makes you happy and brings you joy. Life is meant to be lived. Happiness!

“The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something. Because the brick walls are there to stop the people who don’t want it badly enough. They’re there to stop the other people.” ~ Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture

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Letting Go

My family is grieving the loss of one of our beloved family members. Yesterday evening a little after 5pm, our cat, Ming, was put to sleep. My hubby, Andrew, and I were with her. Ming was 19 years old.

Ming

Ming

I brought Ming home when she was about eight weeks old. A woman I worked with at WYES found her in a store parking lot and planned to take her to the animal shelter after work. I was concerned the animal shelter would put her to sleep, so I took her home instead. I decided to name her Ming after a good friend of mine who I worked with at WYES. Ming and Barry, Jr., who was four at the time, bonded instantly. He would drag her all around the house. They were always hanging out together. I think it was hard on Ming when Barry left home and joined the military. Sometime after Barry, Jr. left home, she adopted Andrew and the two of them became pals.

Ming had been a relatively healthy cat for most of her life. When she was ten years old, she had to have one of her back legs amputated because she had cancer. She recovered quickly and adapted quite well with three legs. About two years ago, Ming started slowing down and arthritis was setting in. She was diagnosed with a thyroid condition and had to start taking medication. However, the rest of her blood work showed a healthy kitty.

About three weeks ago, she started urinating in one spot outside her litter box. It looked like she was starting to have difficulty getting in and out of it. The weekend before Thanksgiving, she seemed to slow down with her eating. By Wednesday she had not had a bowel movement, seemed uninterested in eating, and kind of lethargic. I made a vet appointment, which revealed she was dehydrated and didn’t have anything to really poop. The vet gave her fluids, and I took home some canned a/d food. She ate pretty well that day, but ended up vomiting later in the afternoon. I wasn’t overly concerned because she did that from time to time if she had to poop, which she also did that afternoon. The next couple of days she did fine. She was eating the a/d food, drinking water, and going to the bathroom normally. On Sunday, she didn’t seem to have as much of an appetite for food, but continued drinking water. By Monday, she wasn’t showing much interest in food or water so I made an appointment to bring her to the vet as soon as the office opened Tuesday morning. I had to feed her with a syringe.

Tuesday morning I texted Barry, Jr. to let him know things were not looking too good for Ming and asked him for his blessing to put her to sleep if the vet recommended it. He gave me his blessing. The vet was not ready to throw in the towel. She was dehydrated again, so we repeated fluids and decided to do some blood work to see how her kidneys and liver were functioning. I took Ming back home and made her comfortable. The next day she was like a new kitty. She ate well ALL day, drank plenty of water, followed us around wanting attention. I started to believe she just needed help getting more fluids.

Unfortunately, the results of the blood work were not good. The results showed Ming was in stage four renal failure. The vet suggested we continue with administering fluids twice a week if we wanted to try to help her make it for Barry, Jr. for when he came home for Christmas. Her next appointment would be Friday at 5:10pm. Thursday was a bad day for Ming. It was like Monday all over again. When I spoke with Barry, Jr. later that afternoon, he requested that we put Ming to sleep before he came home for Christmas. He did not want to be here when she died. He spoke to her on the phone and she mewed back. Ming was restless all Thursday evening and into Friday morning. I knew in my heart she was making the decision for us. She was asking us to let her go. I called the vet’s office Friday morning and asked the receptionist to cancel the fluids, but keep the appointment so we could put Ming to sleep. And, that is what we did. We let her go.

Andrew picked out the shroud for her to be wrapped in. We brought her body home and buried her in a spot under some trees. Although our family is mourning the loss, we are at peace because Ming is at peace. We are choosing not to focus on the last couple of weeks of her life or the sadness of putting her to sleep. However, we are choosing to focus on the joy, happiness, and love we shared with her for almost two decades. We LOVE you, Ming!

“Sometimes love means letting go when you want to hold on tighter.”                   ~ Melissa Marr, Ink Exchange

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