Photo Challenge – Silhouette

The topic for the Daily Photo Challenge is Silhouette!

In May of this year I was heading home from a family visit in California.

I arrived in the Phoenix Airport for a layover and was focused on  getting to the next  terminal.

Looking around, I realized the inner corridor was lined with black glass that acted like a mirror, reflecting the hills and all the airport traffic.

Rather than continuing on my way (aren’t we always feeling rushed in airports?) I stopped to enjoy the view, then took a selfie while facing the black glass.

I was happily surprised when I looked at the photo and saw a silhouette rather than a reflection!

The Phoenix Airport is a thoroughfare for me.  Over the years I’ve taken a number of landscape photos from the airport the years as the arid landscape can be breathtaking.

This photo is unique because the landscape is clear even though I have my back to it!

Landscape surrounding the Phoenix Airport, as reflected against black glass inside the airport terminal.

Landscape surrounding the Phoenix Airport, as reflected against black glass inside the airport terminal.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in postaday

“When the going gets tough, stop and think about everything you’ve already accomplished.”

Stairs used to be a major challenge for Cathy.

Stairs used to be a major challenge for Cathy.

It’s not easy to express all that’s happened since the end of 2012 when I decided to join a gym.

My health was changing.  I didn’t like how I felt.

The results of my annual blood work were cause for concern.  If I didn’t make some changes I was likely to develop diseases that are prevalent in my family.

It wasn’t a pleasant prospect.

I was apprehensive, nervous, perhaps, even fearful.  I had chronic issues with my right leg and hip due to old injuries.  I was often in pain. I walked with a noticeable limp.

When I tried to be active the old injuries would flare.

It was a frustrating, vicious cycle of weight loss and gain.

Goggles - One of Cathy's favorite pieces of exercise equipment!

Goggles – One of Cathy’s favorite pieces of exercise equipment!

The gym near my house had a pool…and I loved to swim.

It was time to join!

Swimming became my ticket back to activity. It was refreshing to once again move through the water.

 

Meet Dan, the trainer who helped Cathy meet and exceed her health and fitness goals!

Meet Dan, the trainer who helped Cathy meet and exceed her health and fitness goals!

Shortly after I joined the gym, I also knew I’d need quite a bit of guidance.

I made the decision to work with a trainer.

I had no idea how pivotal that decision would turn out to be!

 

I met Dan at the end of January 2013.In the time I’ve worked with Dan I came to appreciate a number of things about him.

First and foremost, he listened to me. He listened to my concerns and understood my goals to improve my blood work, and, gain strength in my hip and leg.  He encouraged and challenged me, celebrated victories with me, made sure I was safe, and, always treated me with respect.

I couldn’t have asked for anyone better.

I also continued to swim.  After a few months I started attending yoga classes, and classes with yoga, tai chi and pilates.  I was delighted to move my body so freely once again since I used to practice yoga before I sustained all my injuries.

My husband and I also worked on meal planning.  We still continue to do this.

By August 2013 I had lost 50 pounds!  My blood work was improving.  My level of pain was decreasing.

This is a pair of pants Cathy wore at the end of 2012. It's quite a reminder of all that's occurred and what she achieved!

This is a pair of pants Cathy wore at the end of 2012. It’s quite a reminder of all that’s occurred and what she achieved!

I was determined and motivated to keep going!

All the while Dan continued to challenge me.

Fast forward to June 2014.

I have discontinued taking several medications.

Soon, my doctor will be evaluating me to see if I can let go of the last one!

I’ve lost 82 pounds, since I started this journey, and “lots” of inches. This translates to seven clothing sizes!

Sometimes I still have to process all the changes that have happened.

Cathy's two walking partners, Al and Mija!

Cathy’s two walking partners, Al and Mija!

I am stronger and more flexible than I’ve been in a very long time.

I now enjoy walks with my family and long walks on my own.

The limp I used to have is very rarely seen any more. The pain in my leg is finally manageable.

I’m starting to run!

People who I’ve known for years have walked right by me because they no longer recognize me!

I am deeply humbled that several women decided to make changes in their lives because they’ve seen all I’ve endured and accomplished.

I’ve always been honest with them.

It’s hard work.  There’s no magic solution.

I tell them to discuss any possible health concerns with a doctor.

Know what you’re battling so that you can face the challenge realistically.

"When the going gets tough, stop and think about everything you've already accomplished." - Cathy - 2013

“When the going gets tough, stop and think about everything you’ve already accomplished.” – Cathy – 2013

Get educated…and don’t be afraid to enlist the help of qualified professionals to help you meet and exceed your goals.

Know that you’ll have ups and downs.  There’s nothing wrong with that, and there’s nothing wrong with you if this happens!

There will be well-meaning people who will try to get you side-tracked – “Are you sure you don’t want to eat that?”

There will be people who are jealous and mean-spirited -
“Why are you still doing that?  Aren’t you done yet?”

Ignore them.

Seriously. I’ll repeat that.  Ignore them.

This is your journey, your story, your health, your well-being, your life.

Oh, and I will never be “done.”

There will always be a new challenges, new goals, and new achievements.

Remember, always remember through the ups and downs (and you will experience them) that you are important.

Cathy and Dan take a pause before a workout to take this photo, and the photos with her old pair of pants!

Cathy and Dan take a pause before a workout to take this photo, and the photos with her old pair of pants!

Keep going forward, even if it feels like you’ve taken a step back. It’s okay to be frustrated once in a while.

Through it all, have fun!

…and yes, Dan still raises the bar by continuing to challenge and encourage me!

I can’t say thank-you enough for all he’s done to help me stay strong and keep going!

He says 90% of the accomplishment is mine.  I don’t know about that.

I am astounded, grateful and humbled every day at what I am able to do. That is not an exaggeration.

I’ve reclaimed a part of my life I thought was lost,  a part of me that was active, energetic, and healthy.

So what’s next?

It’s time for me to keep going forward! There’s so much more to do – at the gym and elsewhere!

It’s time for me to continue my personal journey to be the best that I can be.

"Be your best everyone!  It's worth the work that it takes to achieve  your goals!"  Best wishes, Cathy

“Be your best everyone! It’s worth the work that it takes to achieve your goals!”        Best wishes, Cathy

Tagged with: , , , , , , ,
Posted in 2014, Uncategorized

Reflections – A Personal Transformation

The Weekly Photo Challenge this week is Reflection.  The topic couldn’t be more timely.

Over the past fifteen months I’ve worked hard to regain my health and become physically stronger.

After re-writing this post umpteen times, I finally decided the best way to share my personal transformation is to simply share some of the mirrored selfies that I took over the past year.

I’ll start with the photo I took when I first decided to record the milestones I experienced.

I started this journey in November 2012.  By April 2013, I had lost about 30 pounds.

Even though I  had a long way to go I knew I was headed in the right direction!

In April, 2013, Cathy logs a thirty pound weight loss! She's on her way!

In April, 2013, Cathy logs a thirty pound weight loss! She’s on her way!

By August 2013 I’d lost 50 pounds!

I celebrated by taking a walk and short run in my neighborhood.
I commemorated that achievement, and said thank-you to a number of people in this post!

Cathy celebrated a fifty pound weight loss in August, 2013.  Here she is after she's just returned from a walk in her neighborhood.

Cathy celebrated a fifty pound weight loss in August, 2013. Here she is after she’s just returned from a walk in her neighborhood.

By September 2013 I was becoming a bit more lean.

In September 2013, Cathy reflects that she is becoming leaner and stronger.  Her journey is continuing at a steady, consistent pace.

In September 2013, Cathy reflects that she is becoming leaner and stronger. Her journey is continuing at a steady, consistent pace.

I was still going strong by the end of 2013.

I had been exercising for over a year, and had been working with a trainer for ten months.

It was amazing for me to look back on 2013 with gratitude to the people who supported me, and, to consider all that had taken place.

Winter in Texas is on the mild side.  Nonetheless, Cathy bundles up! She also begins to look back on 2013.

Winter in Texas is on the mild side. Nonetheless, Cathy bundles up! She also begins to look back on 2013.

I started January 2014 with a new outlook.

I felt strong, and I was excited to see how much more I could accomplish!

Cathy starts 2014 with a new outlook.  She's feeling healthy, stronger, and, more confident!

Cathy starts 2014 with a new outlook. She’s feeling healthy, stronger, and, more confident!

I took this photo today…

The transformation I experienced is reflected in my body, mind, and, spirit.

When I see this reflection lined up against the previous ones I can now understand why some people haven’t recognized me recently!

I still have to do a double take every once in a while!

This photo was taken on  3/27/2014, the day Cathy wrote this post.  Is that really the same person who was shown in the first photo?  Yes...it's the same person, and yet that person is now very different!

This photo was taken on 3/27/2014, the day Cathy wrote this post. Is that really the same person who was shown in the first photo? Yes…it’s the same person, and yet that person is now very different!

As you can see quite a bit has happened over the past fifteen months.

I’m looking forward to setting new goals and meeting new challenges!

My journey is still continuing.

Thanks to all of you for your support!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in 2014, Personal, Uncategorized

Inside Locker #72

The weekly photo challenge this week is “inside.”

This is along the lines of what Cathy expected to see when she opened locker #72.

This is along the lines of what Cathy expected to see when she opened locker #72.

It so happens that three weeks ago I snapped a few photos while I was at the gym.  I figured I’d use them in a post “someday.”

I just didn’t think it would be so soon!

Since I’m a creature of habit I typically lock my swim gear in the same locker week after week, assuming it’s available.

When I finish swimming, I open another nearby locker so I can store or hang my wet gear.

Once I’ve finished changing I pack it all up and wipe everything down so the next person won’t encounter a wet locker – don’t forget your gym etiquette!

Well, three weeks ago I opened locker #72 to house my wet gear. (There wasn’t a lock on the door…)

Imagine my surprise when I saw it wasn’t empty!

Inside there was a pair of shoes.

Nothing else.

Just shoes.

So what kind of shoes were they?

So what was in locker #72?

So what was in locker #72?

Did you say running shoes, sneakers, shoes to work out?

Well, think again!

This locker contained

Well worn…

Black…

Lace…

Peep-toe…

Platform…

Slightly muddy…

Sling-back…

Stilettos!

The surprising contents - black slingback stilettos!

The surprising contents – black slingback stilettos!

I wondered if the owner missed them since these babies have now been in this locker for three weeks!  When I cam back to the gym this past Saturday the gym locker was wide open and the shoes were there for everyone to see!

The shoes had also been moved around!

So…did the owner check the locker, realize they were still there, put them back and go work out?

Abandoned shoes?  Who knows?  After three weeks it's beginning to look that way...

Abandoned shoes? Who knows? After three weeks it’s beginning to look that way…

…or did an interested party check them out, figure they weren’t quite right, and deposit them right back in the locker?

Who knows?

All I know is I got a chuckle out of seeing them there. As they have a lot of wear I figured they must have been someone’s favorite at one time or another!

Oh yeah, I’ve heard about other interesting finds at the gym on different occasions…a small bottle of wine (the size you’d get during a plane flight), a package of cigarettes (not very conducive to a fitness-type lifestyle), and last but not least, brass knuckles!

Now that leaves much to the imagination!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in 2014, Musings

Fingerless Gloves in Action

Here is another crochet post that I originally wrote in 2012.  It shows a couple of my favorite ways to pass the time…music and crochet!  Enjoy! – Cathy

Guitar 008a

What better way to show off my fingerless gloves than with a song featuring my pal Taylor!

These gloves are made of a soft wool and cashmere blend, finer than other yarns I’m generally used to using.  The little skein felt so wonderful in my hands that I decided the finished items should cradle my hands as well!

Made in the round, there are multiple rows of single, then double and finally half double crochet.  For those of you who crochet or knit, the general shape may look like similar to a sock without the heel and toe.

Fun to make, fun to wear, and as shown in the pictures they allow lots of movement!

Guitar 017a

A word about patterns…the patterns that I’ve used in this post and the previous one are from my own little head.  I’m saying this because I want to be sure and give appropriate credit if I follow a pattern.  Happy crocheting!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
Posted in 2014, Crochet

Crochet Corner – Cell Phone Holder in Single Crochet

In my last post I mentioned that I was going to be making changes to my blog.  I hope you like this new look!  There are still updates to be made, but in the meantime I thought I’d get started!

I mentioned I’d be consolidating my crochet blog into this one…so here’s a prior post from 2012.

It’s interesting for me to go back and read earlier posts. I found myself making edits as I went along.  It’ll be a good exercise for me to edit and update my previous work!  There’s always room for improvements!

Enjoy!

Post script – When I changed the theme to my blog, the tool I used asked if a temporary post could be issued.  When I said no, I was caught in a bit of a loop, so I eventually said yes to this message.  Some of you may have received an email as you subscribe to my blog.  My apologies for that!  It essentially meant my site was under construction at the time!

…and now my blog continues!

***********

My first “finished object” (FOB) of the 2012 – a basic cell phone holder done in single crochet!

It’s done in the round (the stitches go round-and-round rather than back and forth) until you get to the  flap.  Once you get to the flap, the rows go back and forth, with a slight decrease at the end.  An edging is done on the flap, and on the opening of the purse.

This cell phone holder measures 4 inches x 6 inches.  It’s slightly larger than my cell phone so I can also carry an ID plus something small like a lipstick.

Here are some other features:

  • It has a button closure and a small wrist strap.
  • Inside there’s a key ring and hook.  I often add these features to purses so that I can easily hook my keys to the inside.  No lost keys this way!
  • There’s also a hidden feature!  There is a another (shoulder) strap that is 16 inches long.  Right now it’s tucked inside.  I can use either strap depending on how I’d like to carry it.

That’s it!  Quick and easy to make – and I found it be an attention-getter, too!

This is an easy to make but eye-catching cell phone holder in a shimmering yarn!

This is an easy to make but eye-catching cell phone holder in a shimmering yarn!

Happy crocheting!

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in 2014, Crochet

More Changes Ahead!

Hi everyone!

Since last year represented major changes for me, I decided that it was also time to make some changes to my blog!

When I started blogging I was writing stories primarily about my family’s history.  I wrote occasionally about special needs.  I also started a separate blog about crocheting.

Some of Cathy's blog topics are shown in a quick glance: family history, crocheting, and, special needs.

Some of Cathy’s blog topics are shown in a quick glance: family history, crocheting, and, special needs.

Last year I began to expand my writing about special needs.  I also began to chronicle my journey to improved health.  That journey (well worth every step!) resulted in fewer stories about my family.

2013 brought a shift in Cathy's writing as she made dedicated changes resulting in much improved health!

2013 brought a shift in Cathy’s writing as she made dedicated changes resulting in much improved health!

In 2013 I also participated in Bloggers for Peace!  There are monthly, thought-provoking challenges in which you may participate.  It’s a worthy topic – so if you’re not familiar with this movement, please take a look!  Consider joining this amazing community!

Click the badge to find out more Bloggers for Peace!  You can also check out the B4Peace tag!

Click the badge to find out more Bloggers for Peace! You can also check out the B4Peace tag!

Looking ahead, I decided it’s time to revisit my initial goals for blogging while incorporating recent subjects.

Hmm, so what happens next?

First, I decided I’ll be bringing my previous crocheting posts into my primary blog.  As much as I’d like to keep up two blogs, I know it isn’t realistic at the moment.  Still, I’d like to be able to share FOBs (finished objects) and patterns, where possible.

A pair of clipper socks in the making!

A pair of clipper socks in the making!

I feel it’s also important to continue writing about my personal fitness journey.  I have new goals to meet!  In addition, as my health and appearance began to change, people began to share their own stories with me.  This included thought provoking conversations on the topic of body image.

I also realized people perceived me differently depending on when they met me this year.  In other words my appearance looked very different at the start of 2013 than it did at the end of the year.  How I looked often impacted how people treated me.

I definitely have more to say about all this!

In 2014 Cathy's fitness goals changed.  Thanks to all for your continued support!

In 2014 Cathy’s fitness goals changed. Thanks to all for your continued support!

I plan on sharing more about my family’s history.  This has always been one of my most popular topics.  I’m “looking forward to looking back” once again!

There are more family stories to share!  Here, Cathy's dad is visiting his parents while he's on leave during the Korean Conflict.

There are more family stories to share! Here, Cathy’s dad is visiting his parents while he’s on leave during the Korean Conflict.

On a more social level, I’m looking forward to learning more about new followers to my blog!   I appreciate your positive response to my writing.  Thank-you!

Last but definitely not least,  I’m planning on making changes to my blog’s appearance.  I’ve enjoyed using the Notepad background.  It felt familiar when I started blogging since I used to write many notes on yellow tablets from a prior job.  Recently I wandered out of that familiar zone by testing new backgrounds and formats.  

Even though we’re well into the first quarter of 2014 I’ve had all this on my mind for a number of weeks now.

I’m looking forward to making these changes.  

figure if I declare all this then I’ll be accountable to make it happen!

Thanks, as always for following along.  It’s time to move ahead!

Cathy - 2014 - Looking forward to new stories and adventures!

Cathy – 2014 – Looking forward to new stories and adventures!

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in 2014, B4Peace, Family, Personal, Uncategorized

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Visit me on Instagram!
#sunset #today view from my hotel.  #desmoines #DSM #sky #IA #clouds  #igtravel #travel #travelgram View from my hotel #today  #desmoines #DSM #sky #IA #clouds #igtravel #travel #travelgram @tracy_arthur gave me a private #bodyflow class #today in #DSM - great class!  #goldsgym #fitness #healthyandhappy #bestyoucanbe#happy #health
My Thanks to YOU for all the Awards!
Cathy's "My Thanks to you!" Badge

To my fellow bloggers - "My Thanks to you!" for all the nominations! To view the awards, please click on the badge!

Bloggers for Peace
National Novel Writing Month 2012 and 2013 Winner!
Archives
Blog Visits
  • 13,506 Views
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 314 other followers