Friday, December 31, 2010

Final Hot 100 Challenge Update !

Hello Everyone!
It has been a great week of hanging out with our adult children and of course their offspring. I admit that my eating was not so good, but my exercise was fantastic. Since most of my guests would get up mid morning, I hit my walking/biking routine right away. I was able to get in an hour (!!) of exercise everyday (7/7)!

As far as my eating,over Christmas, excellent. But the past few days found me snacking on See’s candy, left over pie and other assorted treats as well as some tasty beverages with the "girls” at our favorite pub in Minneapolis “The Local.” Although I did not eat on plan, I enjoyed these treats fully. So, I will not weigh in this week.

Hot 100 Challenge update!!
I completed my final week of the Hot 100 Challenge!

1. I lost 6.5 pounds total with this challenge. While that is less than I envisioned, I am satisfied with the results. As I wrote last week, losing any weight in the month of December is something new for me. So, the fact that I lost 3 pounds this month is a win-win.

2. Exercise: I modified this goal, too, to include a combination of 60 minutes 6/7 days. I met this goal quite well this past week, but more importantly, I have incorporated more time daily into exercise. This past week I walked more than I biked, but I am happy to report that it is easier getting on and off my Nemesis (plus I am enjoying a few good old movies while I ride).

3. Taking care of myself: I think I have done well with this goal, too. I made it a practice the last two weeks to prepare lettuce and other salad fixing and storing this in the fridge. Throughout the challenge my own "care" was at the top of my daily "to do" list.

4. Calories: Over the whole challenge I did have more 1200-calorie days, which was my hope. So, I met this goal. But again, more importantly I am more cognizant about what I am eating and how many calories are in the foods I eat. After 6 months on this journey, I was getting a little loose about tracking.

5. Drink more water and cutting down on diet sodas. Water is definitely a habit. I have also been pretty good about limiting my sodas.

Overall: For me, the challenge was a way to keep me focused. In that way it motivated me to stay the path, except these last few days. But, I am okay with cutting myself some slack. Thank-you, Steve, for organizing and leading this challenge. I met many new bloggers, too, along the way.

Happy New Year to all of you, my blogger friends! Thank-you so much for holding my virtual hand these last many months. Stay strong and TTFN, Michele

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Hottie update and Christmas greetings!

Christmas Greetings to all of you (who celebrate) from six very excited children! My daughter and I took all the grandbabies to see Santa on Wednesday. Fun, fun, fun.

It has been a good week. Not perfect, but especially good for me in the week leading up to Christmas. Sure, I had a few extra cookies, but for the most part ate well. I dropped 3.5 pounds this month (for a total of 24.5 since June 26) which for me is a first. Normally, I would have gained 3.5 pounds in the month of December.

Today, I spend some time weeding through clothes that are TOO big and trying on clothes that I have stored in my closet for some day when I would lose weight). Well, I am happy to report that sometime is today! One of the best NSVs was fitting into a pair of size 16 pants that I bought many years ago on sale. They fit perfect!!

Hot 100 Challenge update!!
I completed my twelfth week of the Hot 100 Challenge!
Here is my update:

1.Lose an additional 8 pounds by December 31, 2010.
I weighed in this week and lost a total of 2 pounds! I have lost now 6.5 pounds since starting the challenge. So, maybe, just maybe, I will make this goal next week on the 31st!!

2. Biking and walking: Last week I revised this goal to include a combination of biking (stationary biking) and walking for a total of 6 hours across a week. This week I did not do so well: I logged in 5 hours of exercise or 5/7/. So, a little down on this goal.

3.Take care of myself each day by eating less, moving more, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies. This week I ate more salads than I have in awhile.
Eating more salad is helping me to bank a few extra calories for the
Christmas breads and or cookie treats that I enjoy.

4.Have more 1200 calories days in a week than 1500-calorie days.
This week I had two 1200-calorie days and the rest were 1500-calorie days.
So, I definitely did not meet this goal. But, it is Christmas, so I have cut myself a little slack.

5.Drink more water. Definitely a habit. My diet soda challenge of 1-2 was great 6/7 days.

Overall, I think keeping this challenge up each week has helped me to stay focused. As I wrote above, I am not perfect on this journey. I am completely okay with being where I am. I weigh the lowest I have now in at least 8-9 years, plus, my stamina continues to grow.

I once again want to thank you, my readers and follows for taking the time to stop by my blog and offer your support and encouragement to me. I do not take you for granted and cannot tell you how motivating your support is to me. I would like you all to know that I will be taking a break from blogging for about ten days (except to update the last week of the Hottie challenge) to enjoy the holidays and all the snow that is again coming our way in Minnesota. I wish you all a very happy Christmas with your family and friends. Enjoy every minute.

Finally, you may have beautiful holiday music in your own region, but, if you do not, or would like a taste of our magnificent Minnesota Public radio, click on the link for a classical holiday stream.
For those who celebrate:
Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Football and a scale victory with a new decade!

Good Wednesday Morning!!

I was so happy to weigh in this morning and see that I have finally downsized to a new DECADE!!! Wahoo for me!! I am now at 24 pounds lost. Three pounds of during the month of December!!!! I have not weighed into this decade for at least a decade. It was a great and early Christmas present to me!
Yes, we went to THAT game on Monday night. It was great to be outdoors! The weather was cold, snowy and at times icy, but dressing in layers kept us all toasty. The University of Minnesota and the Vikings made a herculean effort to get that field ready. Hubby and I waited in line starting at 3:00pm and were rewarded with seats in the upper deck at the 45 yard line. The atmosphere was festive and spirit filled. Yes, we lost (again). And yes, all together a lousy season for our boys, but I did get to see Brett complete one more scoring drive. Priceless. Enjoy a couple of pictures.

TTFN and stay strong in this wonderful week of Christmas!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Julie & Julia, Happy Friday and Hottie Update

Happy Friday!
I did get on my Nemesis (stationary bike) this week a few times for a total of 1.5 hours. I have learned that having a glass of water close by and a TV with DVD takes my mind off the fact that I want to be outside. This week, while on my bike, I watched the recent movie, Julie and Julia. If you have not seen this, do. It is terrific and Meryl Streep is a great Julia Child. I find myself saying: ”I love it!” much more often now. But a couple of things stand out for me about this movie: 1). The food looks terrific and cooked with no shortage of fats or other flavorings, including butter and wine. However, now remember this is movie, although they eat rich and delicious food, they appear to eat in moderation. The other thing that I noticed is that the food was not heavily processed to begin with. Julia’s cooking processed the food for eating; not a food processing giant. She started with overall simple (although French) ingredients. Never once would I say Julia Child was overweight or obese. In fact, I think she looked great. Then there is me: I cannot say that the foods that got me to this place were like those in the movie, except, well I adore butter. But, it was mainly processed foods and overeating of these processed foods that got me in the pickle I am now working on.

The second thing that hit home to me with this movie was the determination and perseverance that was so apparent in Julia (getting her book published) and Julie (making all those recipes). Determination and perseverance is what we all need now, including me, and especially in the holiday season. For me, it is a determination to get on that bike so I can keep up the exercise part of my journey. But, it is also a perseverance to eat less, too, and throughout the holidays. An excellent movie with multiple messages that hit home for all of us on our journey toward better health.

Hot 100 Challenge update!!
I completed my eleventh week of the Hot 100 Challenge!
Here is my update:

1.Lose an additional 8 pounds by December 31, 2010.
I weighed in this week and have no loss to report, but
I did not gain anything from that hamburger. So this is a win for me!

2. Biking and walking: I am going to change the exercise goal from a certain
number of miles per week on my Nemesis and walking to an hour of exercise for both.
A combination of biking and walking 6 out of 7 days a week is a more realistic
target for me in Minnesota winters. This week I am happy to report that I completed
5/7 days of exercising for one hour. So, a little down. Next week 6/7/

3.Take care of myself each day by eating less,
moving more, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies.
I continue to take good care of myself.
I ate more salad this week and ate at least two fruit servings everyday.
So, a win on this goal.

4.Have more 1200 calories days in a week than 1500-calorie days.
Better than last week. Four out of seven were 1200 calories. So, another winner!

5.Drink more water.
Definitely a habit in terms of the water. I challenged myself two weeks
ago to a limit of 1-2 diet sodas a day.
I did perfect on this challenge 7/7 days.

How about you? How are you doing on your goals for the Hot 100 Challenge?

Have a great week end everyone and stay strong in your journey!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Seizing the moment!

Seize the moment. We had a lot of fun going to Detroit for the Vikngs/Giants game. The energy from the fans was palatable at all times. Starting at the airport it was Viking hoopla, which continued onto the plane and the bus. I never saw so many varied, sparkling and vibrant Viking’s attire. The cheerleaders, Victor our mascot and our “motorcycle guy,” were all on my plane. The excitement and enthusiasm were something to be a part of! There was also a little drama as the bus with the cheerleaders and MPLS area sports news crews broke down and they all piled in our fan bus for the trip to the field. Imagine going to a game on a cramped bus with cheerleaders and news personnel crowded three to a seat and up and down the aisles. Completely merry and entertaining. The spirit of the fans, unfortunately, did not carry over to our team. That loss made it crystal clear that we are in desperate need of a number of key players, including a quarterback who is not a career back up (TJ). Yep, it was poignant too, to see one of my all time favorite players Brett Favre, chatting with players and coaches and seemingly not paying attention to the game. We were seated about the 45-yard line only 17 rows up, so most of the time, I could keep an eye on him. Brett has had an incredible career and it was fun to be a part of all the momentum last year. This year’s trouble is not just with BF, but lots pieces. In short we need a new game plan for the long haul.

Speaking of game plans: I was so involved in getting ready to go on Monday, that I forgot the most important part of my own game plan: preparing some food and snacks ahead. I ate a quick and early lunch after I finished teaching in the morning, but by the time we were on the plane, I was starving and realized I had not planned for any snacks like I usually do. So, I went off plan and ate the airplane food (hamburger and cookie and some chips). The food was not good, but, I was so hungry, well you get the picture. I did better at the stadium, but did have a couple of my favorite beers: Newcastle. My DIL calls me a beer snob. I just like my beer tasty and robust.

I am not going to beat my self up about the extra 1000 calories I had a Monday at the game and traveling to it (just like I would say to all of you when your game plan falls). Today I weighed in and am holding steady at 22.5 pounds off so no damage here. I did not exercise for two days with the travel whirlwind, but already put in two miles of walking through snow today.

Just as my favorite football teams need to adjust their game plan when things start to go south, I am more conscious than ever about how my journey hinges on planning for meals and snacks. It was a great trip and I would not trade the whirlwind for anything. As a matter of fact, I am so happy that I seized the moment.

So, now you heard about me and seizing the moment: what about you? When was the last time you seized the moment?? Stay strong! Michele

Monday, December 13, 2010

17 inches, Exercise, Vikings at Ford Field

What a weekend of weather!
The total snowfall in Minneapolis was about 17 inches.
Here are a few more pictures of cars buried,
snow up to our windows and what the side walks and roads look like after all that snow.
First, the channel through the snow that marks the sidewalk:
Climbing over snow that was pushed over the sidewalk when the street was plowed!
Clean street, curb to curb. From those of you who do not live in
a snowy place, this "curb to curb" means you have the all clear to park your car on the street.
Looking out through our French Doors to the deck!
You hear about cars being buried on the news!
Our buried backyard BBQ!
But snow is still lots of fun!
Late on Saturday afternoon when we were completely snowed in,
hubby and I pulled out our snowshoes and off we went!!

So, overall, I did great with exercise on this wintry weekend: 3 miles walking
in snow on Saturday, 2.5 on Sunday, plus a mile of snowshoeing
and 30 minutes on my NEMESIS!

If you are a football fan you probably heard that the Metrodome roof partially collapsed due to the weight of the snow. Luckily, no one was in the dome at the time it was damaged. It has happened before, apparently, and reports are that it will be repaired for now.
Here are a few pictures:

The game was moved to Detroit and will be played tonight, Monday.
Well, guess what: I’m going to that game! Yep. My lovely daughter-in-law, Jenn and I will receive an early Christmas present. The incentives were just too good.
First: Tickets are FREE!!
Second: All ticket holders for the Vikings-Giants game
that was to be played on Sunday (that would be us!) are
guaranteed a seat on the 50-yard line at Ford Stadium
(I am sure they are banking on the fact that few ticket
holders can get off work or change their schedules to take advantage of this).
Third: Sun Country airlines put together a little package at a reasonable price
including air fare and bus transportation to the game and back to the airport.

TTFN and stay strong today no matter what the weather brings your way!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The weather out side is delightful!

So, we woke up in Minneapolis this morning to this weather news:Yep, all that BLUE = SNOW!!!
Let's go for a walk before the plows come!
Still a little dark so I will leave the Christmas lights on.
There's my path, follow along!
Here is a picture of hubby and me getting started. We are bundled up!
Walking in the car treks makes it a little easier.

This morning let's go down to the lake. Can you see the horizon?

Not the best picture of our boy because he would
not hold still, but, you can see he is also covered with snow!
This is the path I ride my bike on in the summer
.Can you see me smiling?? I LOVE snow!
The problem with glasses is they FOG up!
We will get up to 18 inches of snow over this weekend!
Hope the Giants make it in.
TTFN from the VERY, VERY SNOWY state of Minnesota!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nemesis, cookie baking, 12 days of Christmas Swap and Hottie Update

Nemesis: I do not know if a thing or an object can be a nemesis, but if it can, I have one: my exercise bike. You all know how I discovered my biker within this past summer and fall and know that my main exercise has been biking. Well, you also know that winter has set into Minnesota making outdoor biking treacherous. Last week, I vowed to pull out the old exercise bike and use it instead. Well, here is what I have to say: it is not the REAL thing by a long shot. Actually, as much as I LOVE biking, I HATE getting on that bike. Why? Well, for one I am indoors. But, secondly, it does not even feel like a bike. But, here is the deal: I AM going to stick with it (and logged two full hours this past week on it) because the pedaling that I am doing, well boring and mundane because there is no scenery, is creating a workout sweat that I have not experienced before and this is in a LOW gear. How can this be, Michele, you might ask? Well, I was not as bike fit as I thought. I might have some biking legs out on the trails, but, this bike, puts me to shame. Using only a low gear (the second to the lowest) I can only do about 7-8 minutes and then I have to take a water or other break for a few moments. This was an EYE opener for me. Thus, my nemesis: I’m inside, and I am not as fit as I thought. What to do: move forward and conquer that bike. You know I will!!

Next news:
Wednesday was our day care day for grandbabies. Can you guess what holiday baking activity we did? Yep, making and baking Christmas cookies after the older three (7, 6, 5) were out of school! It was fantastic with definite memories made. But, guess what?? I did not have a single baked cookie (yes, a small taste of dough) and NO licks of frosting or any frosting whatsoever!!! This is a bell ringer for me because I am a supper cookie and frosting girl. Love them. Here is the evidence that I had no licks:
Did you notice there is left over frosting?? Well, in the old Michele days, that would have been gone. Not, now. That extra frosting is stored in the fridge for the next time it is our day care day and the next cookie bake. By the way: that picture also includes the last cookie left after my hubby (a cookie monster) ate the others on the plate. Better him than me!!

Twelve Days of Christmas Swap: Kenz and Janna are sponsoring a little Twelve Days of Christmas exchange. I signed up as a different way to spread Christmas cheer. Here is a picture (shh) of the package I prepared for my partner Erin. I will share later about the items including some regifting!
Hot 100 Challenge update!!
I completed my tenth week of the Hot 100 Challenge! Last week
I revised my goals. Here is my update:

1.Lose an additional 8 pounds by December 31, 2010.
I weighed in this week and have no loss to report.

2. Biking and walking: I targeted 15 miles for this week: I did 11, so close.
Next week: I hope for the whole 15. I am super excited to report that
I made my 15 mile target on the exercise bike (my nemesis)!

3.Take care of myself each day by eating less,
moving more, and eating plenty of fruits and veggies.

I continue to take good care of myself. I ate more salad this week and ate at least two fruit servings everyday. So, definitely a plus for this goal.

4.Have more 1200 calories days in a week than 1500-calorie days.
Better than last week. Four out of seven were 1200 calories. So, another winner!

5.Drink more water.
Definitely a habit. I challenged myself last week to a limit of 1-2 diet sodas a day.
I did perfect on this challenge 5/7 days. Not perfect. Next week: 7/7.

How about you? How are you doing on your goals for the Hot 100 Challenge?

Have a great week end everyone and stay strong in your journey!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Are you ready for some snow???

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas (the Holidays) in Minnesota!

Can you tell how much snow we had by looking at the
accumulation on the bush below?
(Answer at the bottom of this post).
Snow covered reindeer anyone??
Okay, well that looks beautiful, Michele, but,

I want to walk and get some exercise. How can I do that?

Well, here is how. First you wait until the road is plowed.

Side walks have to be plowed, too.

But, that sidewalk looks slippery. Yep, you are right.
Let’s put some yak tracks on the bottom of our shoes so
we do not fall.
Here is what they look like:
Here is what mine look like on my tennis shoes
(yes, one is green and one is black).

Happy Trails!
(That was six inches of snow!).
TTFN and stay strong, Michele
PS: Yak traks are available at REI, most sporting goods stores
(where it snows of course!) and in Minneapolis at my neighborhood
Settergren Ace Hardware.

Monday, December 6, 2010

100 post, ruminations and goals

Today marks my 100th (!!) post on this, my weight loss and regaining my health blog. I started blogging on June 26, 2010 . I am now past the 5 month mark on my journey and now, today, the 100th post about it, too. Three things top my list for ruminations today.

1.Slow and steady is the way for me in moving toward regaining my health and building a new healthy and new me history: I am making progress each and every day. My scale victory amounts to 22.5 pounds, which for me is excellent. I am developing patience and determination to accept my slow and steady progress as well. I have had many NSVs including greater stamina and fitting into smaller sized clothes. I credit four things to my success:

First: Plan. Plan. Plan. I simply have carved out a new habit where I plan my food in advance of any event, function or just plain life by bringing food with me in a cooler type lunch box.

Second: I make sure that I have healthy snacks within reach.

Third: I have learned how to be more mindful about my eating.

Fourth: I am building an accountability system and network through blogging (read more here). The tremendous support and encouragement I receive from all of you is not trivial!

2. Self Discovery: These past five months and 100 posts have been a journey, too in self-discovery. Over these past few months, I burst past (FINALLY!!!!) my own denial. It is funny how when you are immersed in denial, you don’t know it. Well, that was me. Never really thinking I was THAT obese person or that I could make changes and for good and that it could be easy. Yes, easy.

I wrote at Thanksgiving that I am on a journey to set me free of my obesity and to regain my health. In so doing I am uncovering the complexities whether they be emotional, physical, or psychological that pushed me into obesity in the first place. I am learning to love me and to care for myself. I know that my gift of caring for myself, is also an implicit gift to those I love and care deeply about: my family, my grandbabies, my hubby.

3. Goals: Now that I have been at this for five months and understand my body’s own progress I find it is time to set some goals. Setting goals was not really something I was thinking about until I read a post from Faridha. Faridha challenged us bloggers to think about our own goals to become our best self. After 5 months at it, I believe it is about time. So here are my goals for my journey to better health until May 2011:

First goal: Be at 170 by the middle of April 2011; I weigh in now at 190.5. This is a reasonable target for me because I lose about one pound a week. Nineteen weeks and 20 pounds. I am picking the middle of April because I will be presenting two papers at conferences, one in New Orleans and one in Orlando. This is an incentive for me to wear some professional clothes that are sized down!

Second goal: Keep up my fitness level and increase the rigor of my regime: Per week, I aim for 25 or so miles on bike (either stationery or outdoor bike) my goal is to increase this to 35 miles by middle of April 2011. l walk now about 8 miles per week. I would like to increase this to 15 miles per week by middle April 2011. I would also like to start the C25K Running Program (Couch to 5km) by February 19. By my birthday (May 22) I would like to have run/walk my fist 5KM. The C25K Running Program (Couch to 5km) lasts about 9 weeks which would be May 1 for me.

I will sign off from this post, by once again expressing my gratitude to all of you, readers and followers who are sharing in this journey with me with your own enthusiasm, support and encouragement. Stay strong everyone!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Happy Friday and Hottie Update!

Today marks the end of my 9th week of the 100 Hot Challenge hosted by Southbeach Steve. I am happy to report that the scale gave me a positive nod today, down .5. I am now down a total of 22.5 pounds. Slow and deliberate that is my journey. I am not perfect in my eating, nor in exercise, but I am moving forward every day.

Winter has set in to Minnesota. As I write this post it is 6 degrees outside!! We also had some snow and icy rain this week; a true wintery mix. Now I knew this weather change was coming because I lived in Minnesota for over 22 years, but, I never became so accustomed to exercising outdoors as I have since I started this journey in June. This week, I did get one bike run in (a mini; and don’t worry Anne H, I was safe) for 3.5 miles. I also walked about 10 miles all together. While the walking is up; biking is down. I know that I will be able to bike outdoors off and on through the winter, but not regular like I did and would like. So, in my ninth week: I am revising my goals for the 100 Hot Challenge so that I ride an exercise bike at least 15 miles a week. While that is not the sum I am used to, it is a number that I can realistically do and will keep my biking up. When the roads are clear and clean where I live, I will try for outdoor time as well.

I am going to adjust my goal of weight loss for the challenge, too. Twelve pounds is just not in the cards for me. I am going to shoot for 8 pounds off by December 31 (this is a week date change, too). I am more than half way there, so I think this target is more realistic for me.

Water: I am doing really well with this. But, here is another place where I am going to challenge myself. I am a diet soda addict (Okay, I admit it). I drink 2-3 cans of diet Pepsi a day. So, my challenge is to decrease my diet soda intake to 1-2 a day.

Here is the rest of my update:

1.Lose an additional 8 pounds by December 31, 2010.
I lost a total of 4.5 pounds since the Hottie Challenge started,
so I am getting closer to this target.

2. Biking and walking: This week I rode my bike for 3.5 miles. I walked about 10. While my walking is up from my usual target of 8, I want to push myself to do 15 walking miles next week (weather permitting). As I wrote above, I will target 15 miles on the exercise bike for next week, too.

3.Take care of myself each day by eating less, moving more, and
eating plenty of fruits and veggies.

I continue to take good care of myself.
But, I slacked off this week some what. I ate plenty of fruits; but, only twice did I eat a big salad. Next week I will plan on making salads the night before so that they are easy to go.

4.Have more 1200 calories days in a week than 1500-calorie days.
Not so good this week. Most days were 1500.
I guess after my victory over Thanksgiving, I became too relaxed.

5.Drink more water. Definitely a habit.
Now I will increase this challenge for me by trying to limit my diet sodas to 1-2 a day.

How about you? How are you doing on your goals for the Hot 100 Challenge?

Have a great week end everyone and stay strong in your journey!

PS: Kenz over at All the Way is sponsoring a Twelve Days of Christmas Gift Swap. I see it as a great way to keep me merry and bright as this Holiday season (and for me the end of a semester) surround us. Plus, it is a way to give a little to someone else in bloggyland. This is also an example of how I am pushing myself to do things that I never thought about doing before. It is not about the "presents" but the gift of cyber-friendship spread across bloggy land. So, great idea, Kenz! How about you? Wanna join up, too??

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tag, I'm it!

I was tagged by my blogger friend Karen. This is an interesting and fun game of tag, because I get to share something about myself (via questions) and I get to tag some of my other blogger friends with a different series(4) of questions. So, I share and I get to learn something new, too. Fun!!

Here are the questions Karen asked:
1.What has been the hardest part for you about losing weight and/or adopting a healthy lifestyle? What has been the easiest?
I think the hardest part for me is the slow and steady progress. I have been at this journey for 5 months and lost 22 pounds. You can do the math. Slow and steady increases my patience and determination, but sometimes it wanes. Easiest: breezing through events (like Thanksgiving and birthdays) knowing that I will eat well. Making the event the center and not the food. Eating less for me has been way easier than I would have ever imagined.

2.If you could invite anyone, living or dead, to a dinner party (or a non-food social gathering if you prefer), who would you invite and why? Feel free to invite more than one.

Well first I would say that I would like to invite a group of people to read a book with me. I am not sure what book it would be, but I think a social gathering around a book talk (probably nonfiction) is a great way to gain insight into the mind’s of others. Most of the people I might invite are not known outside of my little sphere, but a few might be notable to you. There would be food, too, but only healthy foods (!!).

Who would I invite:
Yo-Yo Ma. He is a cellist (most of you probably know this), but in my book, he is also a humanitarian based on Master classes he has conducted.

Jane Goodall: Many of you may know her because of her extraordinary research and life work with chimpanzees, however, she is also a humanitarian and a thoughtfully intriguing person.

Hannah: A former student, an English major, with a brilliant and analytical mind.

Will Friert: a recently retired professor of Classics who epitomizes for me a highly educated, yet, always questioning, persona.

Matt Birk: Highly educated NFL player with a degree in economics. He is known for his efforts at community service and promotion of reading.

My hubby: He never disappoints me with his ability to be outspoken.

3.What would you do if you won a million dollars? What if you won 100 million?

This is a good question. With the first half of the million, I would support the performing arts for youth that have little opportunity. With the remaining, I would give the rest to my kids to provide for their own families and their kids’ education.

100 million: Definitely fund something around education. Probably hook up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help me think how this money would be best utilized. Would want to see half of used here (in USA) and other half abroad. But would also want to use this as seed money to set up an endowment, again all for education. In my mind, education and health are everything.

4.What role does blogging play in your life? Do you see it changing over time?
An important role in terms of my own accountability to my journey to be healthy and a way to connect with others who are also on the same journey. This connection is a wonderful network of encouragement and support.

I know my role will change because it already has. When I first started blogging, it was my way to document and help me to process my journey to better health and of course still is. I spend most of my blogging time reading other blogs and supporting my bloggy friends. I enjoy this aspect of being connected to so many other people!

Passing on the tag. I will pass on the tag to:

Now here are my questions for the quartet:

1.What can you do now that you could not do before you
started your own journey toward better health?
2. Who are a few people whom you most admire and why?
3. What are three of your favorite books and why?
4. What are three of your favorite movies and why?

And, I will borrow from Leslie:
***By the way - you don't have to be tagged to answer the questions! Feel free***
TTFN and stay strong in your journey! Michele