Posted by: fitzie63 | April 16, 2011

Before (15 November 2010) to Now (16 April 2011)


We now have living proof that the free online food ‘n exercise diary, http://www.myfitnesspal.com is very effective. We are continuing to accurately weigh, measure, level off all excess quantities and record every single item that goes in the mouth. Have trimmed down from a former size 18 to a svelte size 4 suit jacket and between a size 6 to 8 jeans or slacks (depending upon the manufacturer).

Results: More energy. Less arthritic pain. Much better health due to living a heart-healthy nutrition program. There is no “diet” involved. The key: strict, accurate and consistent PORTION CONTROL. If you choose to become more healthy, you will be successful too.

Never again!

The New Heart-Healthy Fitzie

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Posted by: fitzie63 | January 17, 2011

Weight Control Issues


Water Retention Weight Caused by Excess Sodium (Salt) (Edit post)

Posted on 01/17/2011 by fitzie63

Here’s what happens when the body is retaining fluids, more often than not, caused by excess intake of high salt/sodium. Pay close attention to those labels when you shop for groceries or use items you already have in your kitchen.

The FDA requires all content to be listed in order of quantity. Therefore, the first FOUR items on every label should be your “red flag” warning. If one of those items is sodium or salt, then you need to choose a different product. Quite often, many of our commonly used foods are our worst weight loss “enemies”. We also have to watch the CORN SYRUP content. They put that rubbish in everything including hot dogs, lunch meats, bacon and sausages.

Most all prepared foods and frozen entrees or meals are loaded with salt. It’s football playoff season as well as the heat of the basketball and ice hockey seasons. That means many of the sports fans are snacking on all kinds of chips, dips, etc. along with crackers, cheeses, pizza, shrimp with seafood cocktail sauces, etc. What are those culprits loaded with: hidden fats, hidden sugars, hidden sodium/salt content.

Here are my weight fluctuations caused by the above info:

Dec. 29: 131.6 lbs.

Jan 4:  132.4
Jan 5:  133.4
Jan 6: 131.6
Jan.12: 132.9
Jan. 13: 132.5
Jan. 14: 131.7
Jan. 15: 131.4
Jan. 16: 131.0
Jan. 17: 130.2

Stay on track: one meal at a time/one day at a time.

Keep a set of individual measuring spoons & measuring cups next to your food scale. LEVEL OFF all excess quantities. Never use eating spoons to measure nor “eyeball” or “comparison” measure, i.e. size of your fist, a deck of cards, a tennis ball, etc. Been there~~done that! The comparison measuring is precisely how I ended up with an additional 25 lbs. on top of the 20 lbs. I needed to lose in the first place. If you think gaining just 2 lbs. is not much, consider that happening for the next 12 months and you’ve got: 48 lbs. more fat on your bones that are forcing your heart to work harder. That excess fat is placing a horrific strain on every single joint in your body.

You’ve already taken that great and wonderful positive first step by faithfully using this free online program. It’s been a real blessing for me to get me motivated, moving and helping me stay on track. I have finally faced the fact that I am no different that a bottomed out alcoholic or drug addict, I must stay in this self-rehabilitation program for the rest of my life or I’ll end up allowing the fat to sneak back on to my little frame. We were placed on this earth to eventually carry a certain body weight (your IDEAL body weight, in proportion). When we overload our bones, our bodies are going to not function well and, our self-destructive lifestyle of overeating the wrong foods, our quality of life deteriorates even to the point of an earlier death.

For those who are not familiar with the free online weight reduction tool, GO TO: http://www.myfitnesspal.com

There are no “diets”, per se, to follow on the MFP site. What it is: a food and exercise diary that has an incredible database of most of the commonly used food & beverage products. The user database grows by the thousands, daily. You can connect with others using the program for a self-help support group method. It works! It’s free! and I’m going to use it for the rest of my life (hopefully, it will last that long). I’m very grateful for the My Fitness Pal volunteer developers who continue to help all of us by maintaining the site.

Stay happy, eat healthy and move that precious body or it’s going to “rust”! 🙂

Claire

Posted by: fitzie63 | November 18, 2010

Tools ‹ Scottish Country Dancer — WordPress


The actual weight loss after two weeks on the http://www.myfitnesspal.com free program is 7.8 lbs. Am staying on track and recording every single item that goes in my mouth.

Posted by: fitzie63 | November 17, 2008

Tracking down Ancestors


Hi again,
Well, as of August 2008, we were back into tracking
down ancestors. This opportunity was just too good to let it slip on past
without reaching out and grabbing that ol’ “brass ring” as we dance
our way through the pathway of life. We are working with the latest high-tech
genealogy research program are are really excited about what we’re able to find
in using it. What this program does is group researchers who are working in the
same family lines together. This way, we can see what data others have found on
our ancestors and vice-versa.
When we began using the program, it was a struggle
because, first, we have to search out all our ancestors who are already in the
program. Following that, we must go through each name very carefully to find
all the duplicates and combine them as though they were one individual. Yes,
it’s a big challenge but the rewards are wonderful for all of us.
In this process, I came across a great software
program that easily interfaces between the genealogy database in my computer
and the genealogy search program’s system. I have been able to link and
synchronize the individuals in the database as well as easily transmit my new
data across the wires right into the new FamilySearch program. We can search for
duplicates and do the combining tasks from within the program without
difficulty. We can even copy our unique notes into the new FamilySearch
program. This great software has been consuming most of my time these past few
weeks because it works so well, it’s like that book that you just cannot stop
reading. Right now, new FamilySearch is accessible only to members of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints but, after it’s been running
throughout the entire world and has been completely fine-tuned, it will be open
to all in the world who wish to participate in the program and there will not
be a monthly fee for you to pay.
We are so grateful for having the blessing of this
genealogy tool which we consider as a great “gift” because we are
continuously amazed at the new information we are able to gather. We have also
been able to make personal contact with some other researchers to collaborate
in doing our family history research. Cousins are popping up from all over this
wonderful world and we love it!
If you would like to view the video tutorial to see
how the Ancestral Quest 12.1 software works, you can click on this link:
Ancestral Quest Video Tutorial. May we suggest that you view the video at least 2-3
times before trying to use the software. For those who are not members of the
LDS church, at this time, you will be able to use the software only as a
stand-alone program.
Now that you’ve seen the benefits of using the software
and what a great time-and-effort-saver it will be for you, you might like to
consider downloading it for a 60 day trial at:
DOWNLOAD Ancestral Quest 12.1. We are not receiving any compensation from the
software developer nor have they requested we promote their product. The
purpose of this blog is to share what makes your genealogy research much easier
and more enjoyable. Happy high-tech family history research everyone.

Posted by: fitzie63 | September 13, 2008

Returned from Central America & Back to a Normal Life


It’s taken several
months to start living a "normal" routine again after serving the
Lord’s mission in Central America. First of
all, I came home to a weed, wild blackberry bramble and out-of-control Alder
tree "forest". I tried whittling away at it myself but it was far too
much for this l’il ‘ol lady to manage. I contacted my home teacher
"church" to ask if he knew where I could hire someone I could afford
on my little pension income. Yesterday, I was inspired to bake a couple of
apple-cherry combination pies and gave one to another friend who did me a huge
favor. The other was for my home teacher who was away when I called. When he
returned the call, he informed me he would be at my house at 8 a.m. sharp this
morning. When I went outside to check on the noises I had heard just before 8
a.m., I found there were two other priests from the church busily getting
started on that mess of a yard. By 8 o’
clock, there were a total of four very industrious
priests busily working away with a DR trimmer, a chain saw, a huge weed drimmer
and a couple pairs of pruning shears. Quickly, I grabbed my leather gloves and
my own pruning shears, popped on a baseball hat and joined the team. My
goodness, when my next door neighbor returns home from his get-away weekend,
will he ever be amazed! Now, I can actually walk around the entire outside of
my house. Now, that’s a real big Wow!

Now, as I sit at the computer working in my tiny home office, I can actually
look out the window and not be staring at the horrid former weed & bramble
forest while serving a second Lord’s mission as an Area Support Missionary
specializing in New Family Search by helping people from around the world with
our church’s super-high tech genealogy program.

New Family Search is the latest state-of-the-art genealogy search program
where, if you have built or uploaded your own genealogy database to the site,
it’s not too far in the future where you’ll be able to actually see other
people’s genealogy databases if they’re working in your same family lines. What
it does is group all those ancestors together. You will be able to see what
data the others have and vice-versa. You will not be able to change any of
their information if you see errors in their work and they cannot change yours
but you can add a note to dispute the incorrect information that will be seen
by everyone.

Right now, New Family Search is only open to members of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter Day Saints but…when all the little glitches are worked out
of the constantly revising program and … all the districts in the entire
world are up and running smoothly, all that data will be open to YOU , i.e. THE
WORLD on the new familysearch web site. So, hang in there, it’s coming and I
know you’re going to love the program and how it will help all of you to find
your ancestors.

Posted by: fitzie63 | April 11, 2007

Semana Santa en Antigua, Guatemala (Holy Week)


     Our group of Senior Missionaries that are based here in Guatemala City, Guatemala (though many are serving all of Central America) were very fortunate to have been able to receive a great tour rate to visit the ancient city of Antigua, Guatemala during the festivities of Semana Santa (Holy Week). In this gorgeous country, the Catholic religion is not only very strong, the people are very dedicated to the suffering and sacrifices of Christ’s atonement, especially during the weeks preceding the celebration of His resurrection.
     We arrived at 6 a.m. in order to appreciate and enjoy the cultural traditions then leave as early as possible in the day due to the impending throng of thousands of faithful people. The photos you see here are of those talented artists that mix brightly colored sawdust with paint. Then they set up the framework to begin the arduous process of stenciling the faux "carpets" upon which the procession participants will walk through all the streets of the beautiful Antigua.
      Historically, Antigua was the original Capitol City of Guatemala. You should also know that much of the Southeastern part of Mexico once belonged to Guatemala until they sold it to Mexico (Oaxaca, Chiapas and part of the Yucatan). That’s why many of the LDS Book of Mormon historical tours that are operated by private tour agencies direct their attention to this part of the world. For those history buffs, you may be interested in reading two excellent books by authors who have done extensive research and both believe that the people of Nephi possible landed here in Guatemala at the coastal region then progressed on to what is now Guatemala City. They further believe that Zarahemla was likely located in Chiapas, (now, part of Mexico). If you read in the Book of Mormon, the scriptures report that the people would go "down to Zarahemla" and "up to the City of Nephi". Guatemala City has a much higher elevation than the "deep depression" in Chiapas. The books are:
             Sacred Sites by Joseph Allen and Geography of the Book of Mormon by Richard Hauck
 
     When you compare the two theories in the above referenced books, you will note there are some slight variations between the two author-historian-researchers.
 
     For those of you who plan to reserve a Book of Mormon tour, please do not hesitate to contact me directly by e-mail and I would be happy to give you the name of an excellent licensed, extremely knowledgeable tour guide who happens to hail from the USA but married a lovely Guatemalan lady. He resides here with his wife and daughter while also serving as a Bishop of our church here in Guatemala City. His rates are the most reasonable anywhere and he gives more personal attention to missionaries & their families than any other tour guide. I also have the name and phone number of a very reliable Guatemalan taxi driver who is dedicated to honesty and reliability that I would be pleased to share with you.
     You will also note, the men in the processions always carry the heaviest of the wooden platforms carrying the images of Christ while the WOMEN carry the images of his beloved, blessed Mother. Many of the people doing the carrying are just young men & women in their teens but we even saw many children who appeared to be less than age 12. I was amazed at the power in the legs of the young (and the aged) women while many were wearing, of all things, high heeled shoes. The smoke you see in several of the pictures is from the copious amounts of incense used during the final parts of the processions. In the Catholic faith, incense is often used as a tradition because it also represents prayers to the Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
     You should also know they create the faux "carpets" several times a day, for all seven days of Semana Santa…only to have them destroyed with the procession participants. The end of each procession includes a city clean-up crew to tidy up the area very quickly and prevent people from falling and incurring injuries.
     When we departed from Antigua, the crowds were so thick and deep, that it was body-to-body throughout the city. We had to maneuver like a couple of Linebackers playing for the Superbowl championship to leave the city. We walked on those irregular cobblestone streets for 6 solid hours and had to walk about 2+ miles in order to return to the meeting place for our tour bus to come for us. My legs, feet and hips are STILL "talking" to me from all that walking (and I thought I was in "great shape" from all the walking we have to do to get to/from work and church… think again!). Enjoy!
 
Posted by: fitzie63 | April 3, 2007

April 2007 General Conference


Whenever the Church holds General Conferences in April and October, we are able to view the live sessions at the Guatemala CCM (Missionary Training Center) here in Guatemala City. They project the live transmission on an immense viewing screen and the picture is so clear you might feel as though you are in the conference center itself in Salt Lake City. Most all the senior missionaries based here but who are serving all over Central America attended the sessions. Also in attendance, are the Guatemala Temple missionaries who come from all over Central and North America to serve the visitors at the churches 3rd busiest temple (by attendance). They are a lovely, very dedicated bunch who think nothing of getting out of bed in the wee hours of the morning to ensure the temple is ready to serve the patrons by 5:30 a.m. 5 days/week. One of the photos with this entry is of Elder and Hermana Zelaya who hail from Nicaragua and have become two of the people whom I treasure during my dual mission service. Elder Zelaya is an Assistant Temple Registrar (Recorder). At the Guatemala CCM, they have viewing choices in both spanish and in english. The spanish viewing is usually held in the chapel and the english is in the cafeteria.
 
Our so-called "Winter" season was so balmy that it was difficult to realize how cold, wet and/or snowy it was back in the good ole USA. Our temperatures averaged in the mid-70s to low 80s from about late December through to date. We did receive one thundershower yesterday (02 April 2007) but, for the most part, it’s been gorgeous, warm and dry since December.
 
This new "crop" of young missionaries, for the most part come from all over Central America, a couple of sister missionaries are here from Mexico (Saltillo and Cancun) and there’s a few from Peru as well. With this group, there are eleven from various parts of the USA that includes one elder from Alaska and one from Hawaii. There’s even two from Washington State. They are all going to missions other than the Guatemala City Central Mission. Most will serve in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, others will be with Mision Norte and some of the Central Americans will go to El Salvador, Honduras, etc. They are all absolutely delightful.
 
Our very sweet Hermana Coombs (Sister) spearheaded a little surprise for these young people who left their homes, families and friends behind them last Tuesday (27 Mar 2007). We all left right after the Sunday afternoon General Conference session to race back to our apartments to whip up huge batches of Hermana Coombs famous fried scone recipe then we hauled all the dough back to the CCM to cook them fresh in the CCM kitchen. Included with this entry are a few of the photos. Others took far more pictures but we were quite busy keeping all those young missionaries happy with plenty of everything we served (fried scones with all the trimmings).
 
Posted by: fitzie63 | February 2, 2007

Tecpan, Guatemala Health Fair


On 01 February 2007, our Guatemala City Central Mission Health Fair team traveled from Guatemala City back to the gorgeous mountain region of Tecpan. It’s about a 1.5 hour drive by private vehicle (we were in the Mission’s 5 passenger pickup truck). Of course, all the trunks with the delightful puppets, the sound equipment, screening, etc. for the puppet show and a few boxes of Colgate toothbrush kits were loaded in the back.
 
Along the way, we picked up four more of our missionaries and the others met us in the town center. It was "market day" in Tecpan so the President’s Assistants had to park the truck quite a distance from the plaza where they were to set up the program. What an experience it was to be plowing through the tremendous crowds of people who were there to sell their fruits, vegetables, live chickens and other items for use in the homes, kitchens as well as all the artisans gorgeous work. Tecpan is one of the principal communities where the women do all the intricate floral embroidery on blouses, skirts, aprons and fabrics. It’s called "huipil" (pronounced:  wee-peel). It looks so complicated and difficult to do but the ladies sit by their little stands working the pearl cotton-like brightly colored threads with the greatest of ease. I was amazed they place no markings at all on the fabric when working the flowers … it’s all done just as the eye can see.
 
As it was in the pueblito a bit north of Patzun two weeks prior, the children appeared to have loved the puppets who were "teaching" them about basic health maintenance, i.e. avoiding the use of tobacco and alcohol products, ensuring that they wash their hands after each time they use the bathroom, before eating or coming in from working. The funniest ones are the "parasites" puppets, the higado (liver … both healthy & unhealthy ones), the brain, the lungs and the "nurse". The team didn’t use the taped recording for the puppet’s voices this time. Instead, they just used the script and seemed to be thoroughly enjoying (the Elders … males) making their voices high-pitched enough to sound like the characters they were portraying. In all, there were 10 energetic young elders and two delightful welfare sister missionaries along with their token Mission Medical Specialist (the RN).
 
When we started passing out the toothbrush/toothpaste kits, we were delighted when all the children and their parents came down to the staging area in droves after the teeth brushing demonstration by 3 of our team members was completed.
 
By the way, you haven’t "lived" until you’ve had to make your way through very crowded open markets in Central America (if you ever venture here, make certain you are not carrying anything you’re not "willing to lose"). The the rural village communities, it’s not usually a big problem but, in the more metropolitan areas like Antigua, Chichicastenango and Guatemala City, the pickpockets and robberies are more abundant so, watch your valuables, who and what is going on around you at all times and, more importantly, leave every single bit of jewelry, expensive watches & expensive camera equipment safe at home before you travel.
 
The weather was absolutely gorgeous both in Guatemala City as well as the mountains yesterday. While most of you are shivering in the cold Winter rains or snow, we were basking in the high 70s to low 80s. Usually, it’s much colder in the mountains here but, yesterday, even a light sweater was much too warm. Also, like Patzun, Tecpan is a farming area and the cosechas (crops) are gorgeous on all the hillsides as you travel North. In the open market, those vine-ripened tomatoes and beautiful cucumbers, potatoes and onions looked scrumptious but I was not given any opportunity to "shop" due to the time restrictions and the amount of equipment we needed to transport.
 
As a little "aside" to this wonderful day, last Saturday, 27 January 2007, was my first day to actually work in the lovely Guatemala Temple. I received a special blessing from a member of the Temple Presidency which allows me to work there (it’s all volunteer service work) on a regular basis. I have chosen to learn all that is needed to know in spanish and, after studying the first of the material most of the day, was surprised how much the retention was in just one day. It’s a great "gift" to be able to serve a full-time mission as well as receiving special permission to work part-time in the temple.
 
Each time that I have the opportunity to get out of the office and talk with the delightful people here, it’s a real joy to the heart. They are so gentle, kind and sweet you just want to hug them to pieces. There are only a few photos here because we were a lot busier serving the people in the community this time. Enjoy! 
Posted by: fitzie63 | January 30, 2007

Patzun, Guatemala, Central America 20 Jan 2007


On Saturday, 20 January 2007, the two Welfare sister missionaries, the the mission president’s two assistants and I traveled to the mountains North of Guatemala City (very early  in the morning). When we arrived in Patzun, we were met and accompanied by the two elders who work in that area. From there, we traveled a little further North to a tiny little farming community village. Throughout the entire trip, the scenery was gorgeous with countless very well-groomed fields of crops in the meadows, the hillsides, etc. All the farming is done totally "by hand" using very heavy tools that were probably developed centuries ago by the farmer’s ancestors. It would be a very rare sight to see any of the high-tech, luxurious farming equipment that we are used to seeing around our own communities in the USA and in Canada. The people here are very hardworking, very kind, warm and gentle. Health care, for many, is also a luxury. There may be a small clinic in some communities but many have nothing. Routine medications to control blood pressure, relieve arthritic pain, control diabetes or heart rhythm irregularities might also be considered a luxury. Most of their humble homes have dirt floors, no indoor plumbing, no running clean water and, of course, none of the usual appliances we often take for granted like: automatic washers, dryers, electric or gas stoves to cook our meals, etc. Visits to the family doctor, surgical procedures, dental and optical care might also be considered luxuries as well.
 
We were invited to present a Health Fair by a very nice, very caring woman who telephoned our mission office one day (from Antigua, Guatemala) telling me that the people in that little village are very poor and she was hoping we could help by teaching basic self-health maintenance (teaching children how and why they should brush their teeth after meals, avoid tobacco and alcohol use, handwashing to prevent infection and the spread of it as well). Our little Health Fair team routinely uses funny little puppets to accomplish this teaching along with visual demonstrations by team members. You can see, from these delightful photos that I took with the express permission of all subjects, the children and the adult community members thoroughly enjoyed the presentation. What was heart-breaking to me was the fact that the people were hoping I was there to provide medical treatment and/or medication. Each person who sat down with me while I did blood pressure screening had a long "list" of all their health problems with which they are living. I had to inform each one, if there was a issue that needed immediate attention, that it would be wise for them to seek an appointment with their doctor as soon as possible.
 
About 8 days ago, I was sitting down writing a few letters to friends after we returned from our usual Sunday church services and, before I started to write anything to my old friend’s father in San Francisco (he will celebrate his 100th birthday 27 July 2007), I thought it would be best to find out how he’s doing from his granddaughter (she lives in Guatemala City with her husband and children). She told me he’s doing well and had gone with friends to celebrate New Years’ Eve in New York City. He still goes to the senior citizen center daily and is very active in their social activities. He was a bank manager many years ago in Guatemala City before his children immigrated to the USA and ended up in San Francisco. They worked very hard, saved their money and were able to bring both parents to San Francisco back in the mid-50s. He’s bilingual with both english and spanish but, in his later years, speaks, reads and writes only in spanish. So, that forces me to keep my skills up-to-speed with writing in spanish.
 
This coming Thursday morning, again, very early … , we will travel back to the mountains but, this time, we will present a Health Fair in the community of Tecpan, Guatemala. Rather than setting up the equipment inside a tiny courtyard of one of the homes of the campesinos, we will be setting it up right in the center of town.
 
I absolutely love serving the Lord’s mission here in Guatemala. The weather is very nice and stays in the low to high 70s year around. From about December through April is the "dry" season with little to no rain at all. The closer it gets to May through the major part of October, you can expect daily, very heavy downpours from the chubascos (sudden thunderstorms). If any choose to travel here, always carry an umbrella with you.

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