Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Flowers

My dad always made sure that we always had our flowers. You see, back in the day, the flowers had a special significance.

My mother and I always wore a corsage to church on Mother's Day and daddy wore a boutonnière. Roses were nice, but carnations were a lot more practical. The flowers were color coded:

Red corsage if the recepients mother is alive.
White corsage if the recepients mother is deceased.
Yellow corsage if the recepient has a deceased child.

Mother's Day was always special to my mom. Her mother passed away when she was only six years old. I just can't imagine the grief of a six-year old child who has lost her mother. Six is just the age where a child would begin to understand death. She had two older sisters who did their best. Even as an adult, if she was sick or dreaming, she would call their names.

Then, their family received a blessing. My grandfather married a woman who had no children of her own. This woman married a man with four children who were still young. (The youngest was an infant when their mother died, and went to live with relatives. That is another amazing Mother's Day story!) Grandmomma Lou, as I called her, treated these children as if they were her own, and to my mother she was her "momma". As Grandmomma Lou's health failed to the point where my aunt could no longer manage her at home, she was placed in a skilled nursing facility near our home. My mother went to the nursing home every day. Yes, every day. My mother had to make sure that this remarkable woman knew that she was loved and appreciated.

My dad always made sure my mother had both a red flower and a white flower or a peppermint carnation with both the red and white colors. After Grandmomma Lou passed away, she had two white flowers. Every year, I remember this story. My single yellow rose pales in comparison.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

Yes, it is a Happy New Year.  We are alive and kicking and some of us are fat and happy; or maybe not so happy about the weight, but happy about being alive.  I am trying to get back on track following the holidays.  By all of the chatter on Twitter and Facebook, a lot of others are having the same idea. I have my goals for the year, some of them diet and exercise and some of them for other aspects of my life.  No, they are NOT resolutions. I know that I won't immediately achieve them, but I am making a conscious effort to continue to work on them all year in an effort to achieve my goals by the end of the year. So often, we make the huge resolutions or unattainable goals and then become frustrated and give up when we can't achieve the goal or fail early in the journey. We have to realize that we didn't gain the weight (or whatever the problem is) overnight and we sure won't solve the problem overnight. It just doesn't work that way.

Now that that's off my chest, here are some of the things that I am doing to get back on track.

1. Reconnect with The Sisterhood .  I love this website and their community page aka The Hood. They have great challenges and everyone supports each other.  We get together and chat, workout, discuss all of our diet and exercise issue and victories. And, it's FREE!

2. Spend more time on Jillian . After all, I am paying for my membership.  I am working on my daily exercise plan, but I do need to ramp it up.  I don't eat all of the recipes that she suggests, but I use her plan as a base.  It's another good site.  Recently, there was another special offer for the site, but I'm not sure if it's still in effect. Also her podcasts are FREE99! Just search for them in iTunes.

3. Keep using My Fitness Pal . This is a great tool to track your diet/calories, and exercise.  You can also connect with your friends that are using the site.  Talk about accountability. There is a little statement that pops up if you haven't logged in for several days and they can also view your diet and exercise dairy.  There is also a place to blog and a forum section. I have my account set to post on Twitter and FB when I complete a day and whether I was below my daily calories. They also have apps for iPhone and Android. There is no excuse for not keeping track.

4. Go back to Zumba.  When I moved, I moved closer to a different gym (same company, different location). Between the move and my sporadic back pain, I haven't been doing one of my favorite activities. Zumba is a blast. Check out your gym schedule or one of the games for a fun workout. That brings me to one more.

5. Get back in the gym. I don't like doing weight training at the gym.  The gym regulars are just too intimidating, but the classes are what I really enjoy. I need to try some different classes, so that's on my agenda.  Also, I need to get back in the habit of going to the gym at lunch to get in a little extra cardio.  That means I MUST KEEP MY BAG READY.  When you're running out of the house in the morning, is no time to try to put your clothes and shoes in the gym bag.

6. Plan my meals. If you want to fail in the eating healthy department, fail to plan your meals.  There is nothing worse than being hungry and just grabbing a bite somewhere or foraging in a poorly stocked pantry or fridge. You must plan your meals and shop.  Figure out what you will eat for the week and stock your house.  If you have a trigger food, DO NOT BUY IT!  I love Popchips.  They are "not bad", but I eat a whole bag every time I buy them.  NO! NO! NO!

I think I'm done. Besides, one of my new challenges is based on the Brett Blumenthal book  52 Small Changes to a Happier, Healthier You  The first week is water and I need a break now..........