Battles and Books

Hey There!

I’m still here!  Dare I say it has been awhile and you probably thought I had fallen off the planet or simply forgotten about you.  Although, I will admit, it has been some time since I last took to pen and paper, so to speak, I promise you, neither is the case.  In fact, I am still engaged in the “battle of the bulge” and it is getting the better of me (gained weight).  But….I am still at war and it ain’t over ’til it’s over!

How about you?  Whatchu been up to?

Yesterday, I had a mix-up with one of  my doctor’s appointments and just by chance so did another patient that had been scheduled 5 minutes later than my appointment; go figure!  Anyway, the patient was a nicely framed gentleman; I’d even go so far as to say, rather fit and trim.  His physical appearance could serve as a snapshot to demonstrate what healthy living looks like.  And so, as usual, Mrs. Motor-mouth (me), became engaged in conversation and low and behold, this gentleman told me he was a diabetic and this really caught me off guard.  (lesson learned about judging a book by its cover).  I was so surprised that I asked if he was a type 1 diabetic, to which he answered that he was a type 2.  Wow!

This gentleman went on to explain that he had contracted the flu, which attacked his pancreas and ultimately contributed to the diagnosis of diabetes.  He initially was put on oral medication to help manage his blood sugars, but when he began to experience proximal neuropathy (weakness of the muscles), he had to be placed on insulin.  Again, Wow!

I guess the point of this is, everything is not always as it seems.  But…what is a constant factor in life, is somethings are out of our control; but healthy living which includes eating fruits, vegetables, exercising, taking your prescribed medicines, and being attentive to any warning signals your body gives, all of which will help improve/maintain a good quality of life.

So folks, please don’t leave me out her hanging by myself.  “Let your fingers do some walking”;  strike some keys and let me know what you have been up to.  I’d love to hear from you.

Be blessed – Clarise

Oh!  P. S. – Big Guy is continuing to lose weight.  He’s doing really well.  (he has the most amazing Endocrinologist….She puts a capital A in the word awesome!)…”I’m just saying”! Got to give props to those deserving. I almost forgot…..I’m at the Fountain Inn Parks & Recreation Center at least once a month doing a health awareness workshop….Nice place…stop in sometime.

Getting @ the Heart of the Matter

Good morning!

Before the day and or week gets too far ahead of me, I am taking a few moments to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the GHS team of healthcare professionals and staff.  It was particularly heartwarming to see some of my friends that I don’t get to see and talk with often, while meeting some new faces this past weekend. Awesome job!  Thank you.

Saturday, February 9th, GHS Heart and Vascular Institute hosted a “free”, and you know it just doesn’t get any better than free, workshop to inform us, that’s right, you and me about the measures we can take to help prevent heart attacks, strokes and vascular disease.

It was very well planned out with handouts, informational lectures, healthy and tasteful lunch, followed by a question and answer session.  Also noted were the facilitators; they consisted primarily of some of the specialists at GHS, that not only have accepted the responsibility of saving our lives during times of healthcare stress and or crisis, but also have the ability to speak from the heart with messages that are meant for us to take to heart.

Take away for me, it was heartwarming to see people that care and take serious matters of the heart.  That includes not only the individuals that provided  the services, doctors, nurses, volunteers, community relations  staff and others, but also those that attended the event. All participants, including facilitators and guests, made this a great opportunity for us share our ham and eggs.

And yes, the heart matters.

Ok…it’s Sunday morning and, as usual, I have over extended myself and I’m cooking a friend’s favorite dish.  She and her family deserve it because, interestingly enough, her husband just experienced some “heart” surgical issues.  Go figure…heart health awareness month.

Ok….I’m at the stove cooking and thinking, what am I going to do to celebrate my birthday….I’m thinking….hubby will want to do the norm……go out to eat…buy me flowers  and be the super loving and kind husband that he is…bless his heart…..but I’m thinking, maybe we could do something different.  Like go see some of the beautiful falls or take a drive, which is one of my favorite things to do.

Then I remembered getting an email from another friend… reminding me that my b’day is coming and she asked if I still remembered how to count that high.  My response, “of course I do”…..I can count with my fingers and toes….and don’t forget, I  have a hubby and he lets me count his fingers and toes also.

My point is I am getting older and to the young folks, I’m already old.  But in my heart….just like the words in the song “Hello Dolly – …still glowin’, … still crowin’ and….still goin’ strong”.

So….to all my friends, that are growing older, that can still celebrate birthdays, don’t forget that “a cheerful heart is good medicine” Stay healthy; have a Happy Valentine’s Day and keep counting your birthdays!

Happy New Year! Missed Ya!

Top of the day to you and yours.  I hope you were able to have a joy filled holiday season and you are now striving to experience a year filled with joy!  To that, I want you to know that I only  made one New Year resolution and it is simply to do my best to be the very best.

Gosh, I so dislike it when I don’t write for awhile.  I get back to the keyboard and always want to say so much and just don’t know where to start.  First, I am still hanging around fighting the fight; and it is a fight.  Have not been in the gym to workout with my former “super duper” physical fitness specialist, Jose, since June.  Not sure which I miss the most, the workout or Jose’s coaching, but I am missing both.  Don’t fear because I did not give up the cause.  I had been walking since I left the gym at least 10,000 steps daily, until I tore my meniscus in October.  Uhhh…..Ouch……painful.  And that’s just the knee.  Won’t even begin to talk about the screaming that’s coming from my scales.

So… many of you read this past Sunday’s (January 13, 2013) Greenville newspaper?  Notice anyone familiar on the front page??????? Hint, hint…lady cooking looked just like me.  Imagine that!!  But the real story, written by Liv Osby, entitled “Closing the Gap”, talks about what can be done about health disparities.  Fortunately, we continue to dialogue on this subject matter, but I personally think we can chisel away at this stumbling block by continuing to serve. H. A. M. and E. G. G. S.; health awareness messages and empowerment with God’s Grace and Salvation.

Some people really just don’t know about the seriousness of some health issues nor how simple “small steps” can make a difference in the quality of their health.  Nor can every health care professional spend the necessary time to teach…..but the more health awareness opportunities we provide, I think, greater is the opportunity to help impede the progress of health disparities.

Ok…I’ll have written a book if I don’t stop.  But… more thing; it’s an FYI.   Starting in February, I will be facilitating some health awareness workshops at the Fountain Inn Parks and Recreation Activities Center.  Keep an eye out for their schedule and stop in to see us sometime.

Last thing(s); honest!  A special “go team! Go!” to my friends that are competing in this year’s GHS Life Center Indoor Triathlon.  Please drop me a line and let me know you are still around.  I’d love to read some of your thoughts, read about some of your issues, and read some of your suggestions to help each of us stay on track.

Be blessed!

E.G.G.S.cited & Still Stepping!

I really am still E.G.G.S.cited and so aren't my friends

Good morning!  I’m still around and stepping.  How about you?  How was your summer?  Are you still taking “small steps”?  Can you believe the holidays are closing in on us, again; that’s a good thing.  It means you are doing something right.
Sooo….update on my household.  We are not in the gym, like before, but we continue to make an effort.  Big Guy has become a “heavier lift” for me, but he’s hanging in there.  When we stopped our routine workout at the gym (economics, not decrease in desire) I started walking approximately 3-5 miles 5 days a week.  We actually have a faithful walking team.  Although, I have not been as faithful with my caloric responsibility, I am conscious of the choices.  So much so that I just went back to my daily logging; increasing my water intake, increased the amount of salads and paying closer attention to the type and amount of protein I include in my daily intake regiment.
Good news, well controlled HBP, no diagnosed diabetes, Big Guy is continuing to decrease his dependency on insulin and we are still “stepping” in the right direction.
Bad news, nursing a torn lateral meniscus tear (knee injury).  Have not been able to walk for several weeks and hope to begin walking again next week.  Got any advice for this “old lady” about how to “self-manage” these types of injuries so that I can keep “stepping”?
Stepping 4 a Cause

Oh!  Here is proof that I’m still taking steps and encouraging others to do the same.

It’s good to chitter chatter with you again; I have missed you and please take a minute and let me know what’s going on in  your world.
Keep stepping; be safe; and enjoy the upcoming holidays.  Oh, by the way, I’m working on some new holiday recipes, got any to share?  Love to try them and I’ll post some of what I come across.

Do U Have Your G.P.S.???

I think it is safe to say that I am “directionally challenged”.  If I don’t have a compass or a G.P.S…. count on me getting lost.  Needless to say, I am relatively dependent upon a G.P.S.   During the past year as Big Guy and I worked to establish a healthy lifestyle, it became clear that a G.P.S. is a necessity, and not a luxury.   It is mandatory for us to start our days with a Good Plan to Succeed or else we are going to lose our way and fall off the track.

That means we have to give thought to how our day will flow.  Build in time to exercise and plan ahead for what we will eat.  Not having that plan could mean we “not” exercise and will almost guarantee we end up having fast food for our meals.  Now, without fail, the start of a day includes a G.P.S. to help stay our course.

Now that I’m not in the gym, I had to get a back up G.P.S. – Good People Support.

Six days a week, I meet up with my walking partners and we encourage, support, and sometimes nudge one another through our 5 miles walk.  We share the challenges of being “maturing” adults and remind one another that sometimes, you have to have a sense of humor as we laugh our way around the park – laughing is good!   We laugh and talk so much that before we realize it, we will have completed our  walk while engaging in some good breathing techniques.

Also, during the month of June, I came across some other Good People Support systems that make “health awareness” a priority.  I attended some events that were hosted by SCDHEC, GHS, Livewell of Greenville, and Long Branch Baptist Church and the directions they provide will all but guarantee  a healthy journey on life’s highways.

And finally my friends, when all else fail… got one more “sure fire” system to go to.  It is the ultimate G.P.S.  It is the crème de la crème; the best of the best – God’s Protection & Salvation

So my friend, whether you “follow the yellow brick road” or chose your own music to “ease on down the road”, just be sure to take your G.P.S. along.

Blessings – Clarise



1st Things 1st

Summer greetings from the Big Guy and me!  I don’t know about you but it is really hard for me to enjoy this hot, hot weather.  But I hope whatever your pleasure is; you are enjoying it to the fullest.

It has been 1 year since Walt and I started a regular physical fitness routine, with a fitness conditioning specialist, and it’s now true confession time.  Big guy has lost approximately 30 pounds; has self-managed his diabetes well enough to have his medication routine greatly reduced by his doctor.  Me; on the other hand had, operative word “had”, continued to be challenged with no weight loss, to speak of. Although in January, just six months into our routine, I had lost quite a few inches.

This past Friday was our last day, for now, having regular workouts with our specialist, Jose, who has just been a “breath of life” for us.  I tell everyone I know, if you can afford it, it is well worth every dime.

As you can see, we each had big smiles on our faces; although some of the reasons may differ from person to person; one thing for certain is we were all smiles because Big Guy and I “got it”.  As much as I hate the heat, I now walk 5 miles, 6 days a week and finally, drum roll please, yes finally, I lost weight!  I weighed 4 pounds less on my last official weigh in. Y-E-A-H-H!!!!!!!!!!

Lesson learned, always have a G. P.  S. to help you travel the roads to a healthy lifestyle.   G.P.S.???  Did I hear you ask, “what is a G. P. S.”??  Well, you will have to watch for my next post to learn about the necessary G.P.S.

Eat well. Exercise. Drink plenty of water.  Stay cool and have a very happy 4th of July.

Stuck on Stupid

Top of the day folks!  Hope you each are well and continue to step towards a healthy way of living. 

 I really am stuck on stupid this morning.  I had written another whole blog but thought I would check to see what I last wrote….good Lawd!  Good thing I did and I’ll leave it at that.  Although, I want you to know that Big Guy and I are still “stepping” towards a healthier lifestyle; sometimes it feels like we have on concrete sneakers, but we keep stepping anyway.  It ain’t easy, but again I say, I’m stuck on stupid because I just can’t give it up.

 Some of my friends now call me a “health fanatic” because I continue to challenge them to exercise and eat right.  The church folks won’t let me near a menu and when our family comes to visit,

Oldest daughter with her son, oldest grandchild like last week, they hide the sodas and potato chips so I don’t see them.  Talk about having a reputation!! 

 I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you that soon Big Guy and I will be faced with a change in routine that could possibly slow down our progression of healthy stepping.  We most likely will no longer be positioned to go to the gym and workout with our trainer; it’s a money thing, know what I mean?   It’s interesting because yesterday I came across a posted blog entitled “The Best Weight Loss Secret I Know” in which the author basically concluded that “The best weight loss method I know is wealth. Pure and simple. In America, it’s a luxury to be thin.”

 My response to that article is, “say it ain’t so Joe”!  I hope with all my heart that is not true.  What do you think?  Do you agree with that statement?  And finally, what advice can you offer to encourage Big Guy and me for this next part of our journey?

Big Guy, Lisamarie, and Darron - 3 generations

“Champions aren’t made in the gyms”

Good morning!  It has been awhile since we last communicated but you remain in my heart.

Big Guy and I are still working out and taking small steps to hold onto a quality lifestyle. Some days I’m quiet because you are quiet and other days, I just can’t make up my mind as to what I want to share with you. But this morning when I was checking my emails, I came across something that inspired me to pick up “pen and paper” so to speak.  Free Daily Motivators had sent me the following quote:

“Champions aren’t made in the gyms. Champions are made from something they have deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.” – Muhammad Ali

This quote reminded me of several things starting with the gym. There are days when my feet want to “fail” me but something, somewhere else pushes me forward and I am able to work through that routine.  That same “something” refreshes the desire to be healthy, while sharing how to be healthy.  That same something keeps my dream visual along with the vision of success.

That same something is what keeps you and me striving to do our best.  And one of the best things we can do for ourselves is to protect our health by first and foremost being very attentive to our body.  We need to include vegetables, fruits, and nuts on a daily basis…and don’t forget to exercise because all of those things will help empower us to be the “champions” we are meant to be.

Continued blessings……………..

Still Serving H.A.M. and E.G.G.S.

Good morning!

I cannot believe a year has passed since I started blogging.  Some mornings or evenings I would think about the blog and thoughts would flow freely, while other times I would get stuck.  I often would get stuck trying to decide whether or not I should share the “blahs” associated with my “whine and no cheese” syndrome that comes along when I am not successful at reaching a goal, such as weight loss.

But I wanted to share with you this morning that I am still serving and consuming my portion of H.A.M. and E.G.G.S.  Matter of fact, I have been shopping at a variety of “markets”.  During the month of March, I was able to acquire some staples at a roundtable forum that was hosted by SCDHEC, which included a talk session facilitated by Dr. Gardziola.  Dr. G, as we fondly called him, is the director of the stroke program at GHS. In addition to his presentation, both Kathy Ebert and Lillie Hall facilitated a portion of the workshop entitled “Faithful Families – Eating Smart and Moving More” which included an awesome, awesome 3 ring binder filled with a plethora of info on exactly how to do just that, “eat smart and move more”.

I also attended a Power To Prevent Diabetes Focus Group Session which was again hosted by SCDHEC, GHS, and the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO).  This meeting was facilitated by Lillie Hall (SCDHEC) and Melinda Hudson-Gillespie.  It was well attended and provided some much needed dialogue as to how we can keep the H.A.M. and E.G.G.S flowing.  Many of the attendees and I have been busy delivering H.A.M. (health awareness messages) in our communities and churches;  some of these messages reached an expanded audience thanx to the news media’s partnership to help.

Because this is Easter weekend, I’m in search for some healthy meals to serve up to my family and friends; so if you have any, please share.  But rest assured, H.A.M. and E.G.G.S. are still front and center in my life.  Happy Easter!