Monday, December 28, 2015

Finale - December 26th

Wow - one year ago today I started blogging about my effort to get stronger and feel better.  I've learned a lot and I actually do feel stronger and better, so I would say it has been a success.  Remember my "before" photo?  Here I am "after", ten pounds lighter and hiking on a hilly trail with no hip pain, knee pain or pinched sciatic nerve.  I feel great!


I started at 144 pounds and waistline of 32 3/4 inches.  Today I weigh 134 and my waist is 31 1/2 inches.  There's definitely been some backsliding - my best weight was in May when I checked in at 128 pounds, and my lowest waist measurement was in August at 31 inches.   I was really focusing on my meals and exercise during the first part of the year, and gradually got busy with other things as we got into summer, golf, travel (2 weeks of cruise food!) and the holidays.  My daughter Melanie suggested I look at my net results and be happy - ten pounds lost and 1 1/4 inch thinner  : )

January 31st
December 25th

January 31st
December 25th
That darn belly just won't go away...  and the zipper on the skinny jeans doesn't help   : (

So what have I learned?
  • I can do it.  I know what to do to lose weight and feel strong and healthy.
  • I will follow a mostly paleo diet, but not completely.  Strict paleo leaves out whole food groups like grains and dairy, which makes it hard for me to stick with.  I'll focus on meat, fish and poultry, veggies and fruits, healthy fats and also cultured dairy like yogurt and cottage cheese.  I'll have occasional "cheats" of grain foods, like Stan's yummy waffles.
  • Regular exercise is a necessity - don't gripe and complain, just do it.  I don't actually ever want to go to the gym, but I'm glad Stan drags me there twice a week.  I like it best when we take our hour-long walk on the trail first, but when it's raining we need to go anyway and do some elliptical or treadmill and then the weight machines.  Just say yes!
  • Although I like how I look in my Stitch Fix clothes, I'm really more of an LL Bean type.  I stopped my monthly "Fixes" because I find I'm not really comfortable in the very skinny low-riding jeans and the very short skirt and dress.  However, I have liked seeing photos of myself that I think look nice, and I'll pay attention to wearing nice clothes and standing up straight.
  • I can heal.  I've had aching hips for many years and I thought that was permanent.  When my sciatic nerve got pinched in my back I feared that might be permanent too.  Also my knees that hurt when I walked downhill.  All that is fine now.  My sessions of physical therapy and chiropractic, and doing the exercises, really helped.  Squeeze those glutes!!

What's next?
My year of blogging has come to an end, but my quest for good health will continue.  
  • My friend Sharon sent me three books by Dr. Ann Kulze:  Dr. Ann's Eat Right for Life and the companion cookbook and guide to shopping and dining out.  I've just started reading and I'm finding a lot of great information, tips and recipes that I can use.
  • One of the blogs I found this year is Feed Me Phoebe. Phoebe has blogged about her year of health, which she calls The Wellness Project.  In her post of December 21, 2015 she highlights her 10 Best Wellness Books of 2015.  I plan to read nearly all of them!  These are books she found helpful in her own quest for health and they cover topics from having a healthy gut to meditation and following your passion.
  • I want to cook more!  In our house, Stan is the chef and I am mostly the chief bottle-washer.  I do make salads and my healthy breakfasts, but I'd like to branch out and learn more - maybe how to make some great soups, and also find more healthy recipes that we both like.
  • I want to keep walking - maybe in some new places.  I've heard of vacations where you walk every day and stay in an inn at night - maybe in New England in the fall, or as Tyler and family did, in Wales.  I like the idea of experiencing a new place up close while stretching the body and being pampered with good food and a comfy bed!

Walking in St. Petersburg

Stan and I are spending Christmas alone this year.  Other years we visited on Christmas Eve with our friends Maggie and Vicki and their two great kids, Aiden and Margaret.  Vicki passed away last February of stomach cancer, and our hearts are with Maggie and the kids in their new home near family in Florida.  We usually spend Christmas Day with son Tyler and his extended family, who have become our beloved family as well, however this year folks were traveling, so we celebrated a week early.  We had a super-wonderful day with them, and I am overjoyed to think of what granddaughter Mira is feeling these days.  Her heart's desire has been to please get a dog, and for Christmas, her parents committed to make that happen.  I can't wait to meet my new granddog!!  Daughter Melanie and her husband Ben came up for the celebration, a treat I didn't expect, and it was great to have them.  They spend as much time over Christmas as they can in Black Butte, Oregon with Ben's parents and brother.  My granddog Wilbur and his cousin Banjo love it there and it's a relaxing break for Melanie and Ben who have stressful jobs the rest of the year.  I'm happy that Melanie has another family who love and appreciate her as much as we do!

I spent a few glum moments missing everyone, then I got up off my duff and made some Christmas cookies - full fat, full glutinous wheat and plenty of sugar.  We'll be seeing Stan's son David, daughter Jenifer and grandkids, Sydney and Stanley, and they'll appreciate my cookies  : )  How lucky I am to have such a loving man in my life - he's cooking me a delicious dinner as I type.

Thanks Readers!

Readers, thank you so much for sticking with me!  I know three friends have been very faithful - thank you Charla, Marcia and Sharon!!  As I planned my posts and healthy eating experiments I could visualize you cheering me on.  And how lucky is a mother whose children take an interest in what she's doing?  Even though my posts tended to be a bit "girly", Tyler checked in often along with Alethea and Mira, and left some thoughtful comments.  Melanie also left comments and when I found one it made my day.

I also appreciate my occasional and accidental readers.  The blog has been looked at from 10 different countries without my making any attempt to advertise.  I've wondered whether the person just clicked on to something else, or did they actually read my post?  Or was it just "bots" wandering around on the internet?  I've been following several other blogs about healthy cooking and eating, and I really appreciate the work those bloggers have done to share their knowledge with the rest of us.

I only planned to blog for one year, so I'll stop my regular posts.  I do plan to make quarterly assessments though; without that to hold me accountable I'm afraid I may fall back into bad habits, as I've already started to do this winter!  If I can check in feeling as good as I feel now, I'll know my year of focus on health was a success.

Thank you for reading!  My very best wishes for fun and good health in 2016!


  1. Great job, Mom! I am proud of you for your perseverance and commitment to your blogging goals. It was a healthy and event-filled year. I am most glad about your reduced pain! If 2015 was your year of health, what will 2016 be...?

    1. Good question Melanie! So far 2016 has been alcohol-free, but I haven't set a really positive goal other than to maintain the improvements of 2015. After watching the Great British Baking Show I've been wanting to bake - not so good for the healthy diet, but I did get a paleo baking book from the library. Tune in for my quarterly update at the end of March!

  2. Pam, your blogs are so interesting and well researched. I am glad readers from all over are tuning in even if not saying much. It won't be long before your blog will be a popular place for people wanting to be healthier in all aspects of their life.
    I love the new color of your hair. it looks great.