Monday, February 6, 2012

So Long, January! Hello, February!

Baskins Creek Falls - GSMNP
January 31, 2012

You might recall that I entered 2012 on a high note with expectations that my newly found enthusiasm would continue in the same fashion and I am happy to say that it has.  What crazy person would EVER choose to begin a whole new way of losing weight on the day after Thanksgiving?  That crazy person was me and it has been one of the best decisions I've ever made.  January has now faded right into February and the enthusiasm remains high and the plan has become second nature.  Should there be anyone reading who has not kept up with my progress on the 17-day Diet, you'll find my posts outlining the decision to start that plan here.  It has worked perfectly for me and although I'm still living in Cycles 1 and 2 because I have more weight to lose, I know that Cycle 4 (maintenance) is something I can sustain forever.  To date, I have lost a total of 17.2 pounds since November 25.

Here are some January statistics of which I'm very proud!

Weight Lost in January - 6.2 pounds
Miles Hiked in January - 47.2
Average Weekly Steps - 12538  (this is total steps for week divided by 7)

Remember my New Year's mantra?  It has become so meaningful to me that I plan to share it with you at the beginning of every month during 2012.  

In 2012, I will:

Look for a SURPRISE in every day.
EXPECT steady results from a healthy eating plan and efforts to have a normal relationship with food.
RECEIVE love, friendship, gifts and kindness without question from those who choose to give it to me.
Embrace JOY with every thread of my being.
CELEBRATE my own successes as jubilantly as I celebrate those of others.
SHARE my life, my time, my money and my possessions in creative ways that are new and extravagant.
If you missed the background behind this mantra of mine, here's a link to my first post of 2012.  Like the 17-Day Diet, my mantra has become such a part of each day that I find my brain checking off whether or not I've experienced each aspect at some point during that day.  But mostly, I love the surprises!!

This past week, I was lucky to be able to hike on three different days.  Our weather continues to be incredibly mild and un-winter-like making hiking conditions pleasant, so other things are fading into the background as I know these days are probably limited.  One of those things that has temporarily faded is my newfound love of cooking that I discovered last fall.  Between hiking and what seems like an unusually hectic activity schedule, I just have not had time to keep up the level of experimenting I had begun.  But that doesn't mean I've lost the fire or the joy.  I've gone back and made a few of the recipes a second time and Mr. B begs for repeat performances of the soups I'd made.  Once we return to "normal" weather conditions, rest assured you'll start hearing about more kitchen adventures!  I'm am almost totally gluten-free now, so want to experiment with some gluten-free baking alternatives as I'm not willing to give up the yummy muffin/bread recipes I'd made last fall.  So never fear, one of these days the cooking diva (LOL!!) will make a return appearance.  

And lastly, I'm finally going to answer the fun questions my friend, Karen of Waisting Time posed during the recent round of tagging.  Don't know that I'll ever get around to answering the questions from everyone who tageed me, but she was first, so here goes.........................

What is the most memorable meal you ever ate?  
I've had so many that I'd never attempt to choose just one, so will mention the most recent.  Last fall, we were "treated" by friends to dinner in the Blue Ridge Dining Room at Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC.  Not only was the food among the best I'd ever eaten, but we were seated at the exact table you will see if you click on the link.  The view was incredible!
What TV show(s) are you embarrassed to admit you watched
The only TV I watch is an occasional show on The Food Network, so can't say there's anything I'm embarassed to admit I watch. 

Share a favorite childhood memory.
My most cherished memories are those of my family camping in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in our pop-up camper.  

What destination would you love to visit?
All of them.  (O.K., I'm allowed one snarky answer although it's a truthful one!)

What’s one food you think you don’t like but you’ve never actually tried?

What modern technology that you didn’t grow up with could you now not live without?
No brainer - my computer!

List the 5 websites you visit most often.,,,,  (this doesn't even remotely cover it!!)

Who would you like to meet (living, dead, fictional character, blogger, anyone…)?
This so overwhelmed me with the enormity of choosing just one, I realized I couldn't possibly do that.  So, I'm just going to say that my experiences with meeting other bloggers have been so wonderful, I want to meet as many of you as I possibly can.   And that involves visiting new and exciting places, so I get to travel at the same time!

What’s your favorite spot in your house and why?  Where in your house do you spend the most time?
I spend the most time in our den working on my laptop, but my favorite spot is probably on our screened-in backporch or patio.   Our house is very cozy even if I do say so myself, so most everywhere is pleasant and comfortable.

How long on average does it take you to write a blog post?
It depends.   If I'm just writing about my week or off the top of my head, it flows quickly and takes under an hour.  If I'm trying to tie life events in with a meaningful point, it can take much longer because I'm forming the thoughts for myself at the same time I'm writing them for you, so there's a lot of staring, thinking, reflecting, writing and usually a trip or two to the kitchen for more coffee!!   Sometimes it seems as if choosing just the right picture takes more time than writing the post!

We are in for a string of delightful days with no rain in the forecast and temps in the 50's.  Guess what I'm going to be doing?  How about you?


  1. I'm with you, the housework and such can wait while we take advantage of this most unusual winter weather. :) It looks like we have another nice week ahead!

  2. I am sitting here smiling while I read this. Life seems so wonderful for you right now and I am very glad for you. It feels very peaceful, just reading.

  3. So happy for you to have so many hiking occasions. I know that brings you much joy! Enjoy your day and stay focused!

  4. I'm so happy for you. It is obvious you're in a good place mentally and physically. The fact that you've been able to sustain that for a couple of months is huge. You deserve it after all you went through this time last year.

  5. I am looking forward to visiting your cozy house!

    And I just checked the weather here. By Thursday it is supposed to be 65 degrees. I am going to make a goal to get in the swimming pool!!

  6. Hi Sharon, We've been to Baskin Creek Falls... Great hike. I'm so proud of you for hiking and eating healthy... That is what I'm trying to do also. Next week we are taking a waterfall trip to North Georgia.. SO--we'll get some good hiking in then. This week, we'll probably just hike around here. We also still have quite a bit of yardwork to do --so we'll definitely stay busy...

    Proud of you. Keep up the good work.

  7. I'm loving this weather, too, so going for some garden therapy today - going to clean up a small flower bed, but one that shows from the front and needs to be neater. You're doing great with your diet plan, and I admire you for being able to be pretty gluten free. That is tough for me, but I'm learning. I do know how much better I feel without it, so that should be incentive enough. Enjoy your hiking this week. We may have snow and ice next week, you know!

  8. Congratulations on your continued weight loss success. Isn't it great to finally find something that works.

  9. I love that waterfall photo. Great attitude and I am so happy that this year is off to a great start for you.

    We have been enjoying hiking on the weekends since we are also having unusually warm and dry weather for this time of year.

    I am really enjoying the 17 Day Diet and I want to thank you for sharing about it on your blog!

  10. Congratulations on your January successes. I'm happy for you. Keep living your best life.

  11. Your total weight loss is astounding! Really great, Sharon. Yes, we have a very mild winter here too. I have been out on my bike outdoors two times recently which is amazing. Our weather is turning cooler so will not get out this week, so I will ride my trainer. Very happy for you and your weight loss.

  12. Congratulations on your weight loss! And we too are having great weather this week. Perhaps we will take another short hike with the kids!

  13. Hi Sharon, Me again!!!! The walk is around Mirror Lake --which is near the Fairfield Glade Mall... The cascades are on the path which goes down toward the Wellness Center --and to some of the time-share units nearby.

    Have a great day... It is gray, cloudy, cold and yuky here today--compared to yesterday.. Oh Well.

  14. I'm glad you'll be posting your New Years mantra each month. I loved it, and appreciate the reminder.
    And that photo of Baskins Creek Falls... wow. I just sat and looked and looked. Just gorgeous!

  15. Congratulations on the weight loss! That's awesome Sharon. I've been MIA for a while now so you can just imagine my surprise to see this. I love your New Years mantra and may have to adopt some of these myself. If I did, I could already check off being surprised for the day. I'm going to go check out this apparently great plan as I need to get these new found pounds off!!!

  16. I think I'm caught up on your posts. Congrats on your continued success on 17DD and on your continued (contagious) optimistic outlook. We still need to get together halfway to bike that trail. Maybe this spring?

  17. You're inspiring me. I need to get going on eating healthier. Love the Grove Park Inn and am way overdue for a visit.