All posts by donnapatjc

60+ Disney-Phile Working to be in the best shape possible for our next family trip to Walt Disney World. Pushing forward in spite of health issues to be the best me I can be.

Grunt Work Part 2

Day 13 in Donna’s Disney Dream

This march to Disney is an exciting adventure.  But I am noticing how my body is fighting me.  It wants all the things it used to get:

  1. sweets
  2. sitting around doing nothing
  3. salty snacks

I refuse to give my body what it thinks it wants.  Why?  Because I don’t want to live in a body in this shape anymore.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not ready to check out yet.  I just want to be in healthier shape.

So here’s the plan:

Tonight Mike and I will go back to the church and put all the Damascus Road (our contemporary band) equipment , platforms and chairs back into the sanctuary.  Major grunt work!  I will do as much as I possibly can.  Then I will sit down panting until I recover.  Then I will do some more.  And repeat…

Many are the times when Mike has gone to the church to do the grunt work alone. He never complains.  He is a gracious and giving man.  Well, I’m not sending him to do that anymore.  I will work by his side.  He will work rings around me, no doubt.  But I’ll save him a few steps.  Take that Fitbit.  🙂

Thank you for reading.  Meet you at the Kingdom.

BTW: We had leftover boiled vegetables from last nights dinner.  I mixed them into  2 eggs and made a scramble.  With my rye toast, it was a delicious and satisfying breakfast.


Taking the Onus

Day 12 marching to Lake Buena Vista.

I want to thank all my supporters for your prayers and kind thoughts yesterday.  There were several salads on the menu at the Mexican restaurant, and the salmon salad that I had was a real treat.  No chips and guac for me.  I felt a bit deprived until I started eating my salad, then no more.

My plan for today is to step up and take the responsibility for my own state of being.  I put the food in my mouth over the years.  I shunned exercise like it was Amish and had turned away from the faith.  🙂  I made the choices that got me here, and I can make the choices to a healthier me.  No more excuses.  I want to stare the truth of my condition in the eyes and then wrestle it to the ground and come out on top.  That’s a bit mixed up, but I hope you get my meaning.

So here’s to a new beginning at almost 59 years old.  I am very optimistic about this journey with you, my dear readers.  Thank you for following my blog.

Can wait to dance with the Mouse!  Meet you at the kingdom.




Day 11 in my trek toward Disney World.  (Oh, Mickey, I’m so excited!!)

Well, I hit a wall this morning.  I woke up thinking, “I want a cupcake!”  I felt so tired.  But fear not; I got up, got dressed, ate a healthy breakfast and headed off to work.  I really felt much better after I’d eaten breakfast.  I didn’t want to immediately have a cup of coffee, because I need to feel what it’s like in my natural skin.  Yes, even caffeine-less.  And what I found this morning is that it’s pretty low, but it’s do-able.  I can function without sugar and without caffeine.  Now don’t get me wrong; at 10:30 a.m. I poured myself a cup of 50/50 (half decaf and half caffeine) and enjoyed it to the max!

This getting to know my body and getting to know the natural flavors of foods is pretty interesting.  What a fascinating journey so far.  God is good all the time!

We are meeting Jake and Eliza (our son and daughter-in-law) tonight for dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  Yum!  So…here’s my plan for the day: I will make the healthiest selection that I can find tonight, and I will bypass the chips and guac for this one evening.  I can do it for this ONE evening.  I’m hoping to find a salad on the menu.  I know that’s really optimistic for a Mexican restaurant, but hope springs eternal. Please say a little prayer for me, dear readers, and I will say one for you.  🙂

Meet you at the Kingdom!

BTW: I received my “Trim Healthy Mama” book yesterday, Jean.  Thank you so much!  It’s pretty heavy reading (both literally and figuratively).  But I look forward to all I have to learn there.

Getting Busy with It

Donna’s Disney Quest Day 10

Today I need to remind myself why I’m doing this.  I want to be able to walk 5 miles in 14 months.  If I can get there, then I can truly enjoy the Walt Disney World Parks.  Disney World is my happy place; no doubt about it.  But let’s face it, if you have ever visited there, you know that it is a marathon, not a sprint.

I broke my plan last night.  (I  don’t plan to do that ever, but it happened.)  I didn’t do Tai Chi and the Shake Weight when I got home.  I had had such a physically active day at work that I was pooped out.  You see, instead of sitting at my desk “too busy” to help out, I rolled the cart out to the car, I helped load the food into the car, I rolled the cart back into place in the church.  All this to get necessary items to a local temporary food/housing program for the homeless.  It felt so good to help.  Then I walked out to get the mail at work and wondered why the front door was tied open.  So, being very helpful, I untied the door and let it close behind me.  As I traveled down the sidewalk to the mailbox, I heard a loud ‘click.’   Yup, it locked behind me.  So I got a nice long walk around the building to the rear entrance.  (#happy face, #doh!)  I’m just sure God was smiling at that one.

Anyway here’s today’s plan: I plan to eat healthy portions of nutritious foods, and I plan to get up and walk/move around every hour at work.  I put a pot roast in the crock pot before I left for work this morning with the help of my delicious husband.  (He would blush if he saw that!  tee hee  He’s not following my blog yet.)  🙂

Thank you for reading, my faithful few.  Meet you at the Kingdom.

Getting Honest

Day 9 in my quest toward Disney

Today my plan is to start getting honest with myself.  I want to see what proper portions look like.

  1. So this morning I measured my three quarters of a cup of cereal and my cup of milk.  It was a surprise to find that that portion was enough.  It satisfied my hunger, and I didn’t feel overly full.
  2. I measured my tuna (packed in water) and peas (low sodium) for my lunch.  And I measured the peanut butter (ingredients: only peanuts) for my apple.
  3. I will measure out my portions of tonight’s shrimp, brown rice and broccoli dinner, too.

It’ll be good for me to eat these proper portions of healthy foods.  It will be good for my body.  But it will also be good for my mind to know that I am eating healthy food in healthy portions.

And since it’s Monday (blurg!), I will do 20 minutes of Tai Chi when I get home from work today, plus 6 minutes of Shake Weight.  I am trying to move every hour and not just sit at my desk all day, too.  And miracle of miracle, I’m still sugar-free!  One week down and four more to go for my Mayo Health Clinic pledge.  🙂

Thank you, dear readers, for your support.  See you at the Kingdom.

To Market, to Market…

Day 8

OK, to finished the title “to buy a fat pig, home again , home again, riggety-jig”  I promise I won’t buy a fat pig there.  🙂

I have been a student of nutrition for 40-some years.  I’ve studied fats, sugars, carbs in general, the power of protein, etc., etc…  So I was delighted yesterday when I researched for low-sugar and no added sugar recipes to come across some very helpful websites.  I especially like (Chicken Ropa Vieja) and (Skinny Tortillaless Chicken Poblano Enchiladas).  Seriously, I’m so excited!

So here’s today’s plan:

I am going grocery shopping by myself, and I am going to fill my cart with healthy, nutritious foods.  Then  I will come home and put away all of those groceries by myself.  My menu is planned for the week.  My pantry has room for the new groceries.

I have not gone on a big grocery shopping trip by myself in a while.  Mike and I usually go on Sunday and pick up our week’s worth of food.  It will be a big physical undertaking for me.

BTW: The ingredients on food products are listed by weight, not volume.

See you at the Kingdom.

Recipes for Success

“Welcome home.”  These are the words that greet us as we check in at Old Key West, our timeshare (sort of) at Walt Disney World.  This morning I long for those words.  I’m a little sore, a little tired, a little uninspired; however, I am not discouraged.  I chalk it up to coming down off of my long-term sugar high.  I am low-energy today.  So I will be gentle with myself.

When I spoke with my health coach last Thursday, we came up with two goals for the next three weeks.

  1. For every hour that I sit, I will get up and move for 5 minutes.
  2. I will research and prepare new sugar-free recipes for dinner for Mike and I.

Yesterday I accomplished # 1 and will continue in that vein today.

Today here’s the plan: I will research sugar-free recipes online and find 4 new recipes.  I will print them.  I will prepare a grocery list to shop for needed items tomorrow.  AND I will cull some of the UNhealthy, sugary food from my pantry.  (I ate most of it before I started all of this last Monday.)  🙂  But I still have some cereal and bread where sugar is the second or third ingredient listed.  Since the ingredients are listed by volume (or is it weight?  I’ll look that up.), I want sugar no higher than four on that list.

It’s been a busy work week, dear readers, both at the office and at home, so let’s be gentle on ourselves today and do something fun.

Meet you at the Kingdom.


Starting to Mo-o-ove

Day 6 in the quest to walk with Mickey.  OK, here’s what I want to do in October 2015:

  1. Get into and out of the rides at Disney with no fear.  It’s a Small World is my favorite ride in Disney World; it was my dad’s, too.  You’re thinking, “No sweat,” right?  But it is very low, and my knees and legs are currently very big.
  2. Walk from the bus stop at Epcot to Spaceship Earth without needing a wheelchair or oxygen.  🙂
  3. Walk from our villa to the board walk at Old Key West without a cane, and without constantly looking for a place to sit down.
  4. Ride one roller coaster that I’ve never ridden before, maybe Rockin’ Roller Coaster.
  5. And more…

So here’s today’s plan: Today I am going to move more.  Every hour, I am going to stand up and walk or complete a task while standing.

I have been extremely sedentary for the last year, especially.  And I know why.  My mom died a year ago and the day we got back from her funeral, Mike received his diagnosis of prostate cancer.  I spiraled into a deep depression, that has only recently lifted and released me from its grasp.  Thank you, Jesus!  Now I have a renewed energy for life and would like to finish strong.  So with the help of the aforementioned Jesus and my inborn sisu and your support, I will move more today.

Still sugar-free.  The correct title of the book that I mentioned yesterday is “Trim Healthy Mama.”  Had a great talk with my health coach yesterday.  I’ll say more about that later.

Love and blessings to you, dear readers.  Meet you at the Kingdom.

PS: Title reference:  I rock like a cow, when I go to get up from a sitting position.  🙂  Ya gotta laugh, right?

Mayo Clinic Health Coaching


Day 5 in the trek to a healthier mind and body for me (and Mickey).  🙂    I did my Tai Chi last night.  I had it wrong though.  The dvd is in 20, 40 or 60 minute increments.  I did 20 minutes of sit-down Tai Chi, then I did 6 minutes of “Shake Weight.”

Are you laughing now?  There’s something about the motion of that exercise device that is a little naughty.  🙂  But, I can sure feel it in my arms today.

Today’s Disney Dreams step is talking to my new health coach.  I know…who can afford that right?  Again through my benefits at work (I am a secretary in an ELCA church), I qualify for a personal health coach.  Here’s why: weight, high blood pressure, pre-diabetes.  Not a very fun trifecta!  However, I am going to make use of that free resource!

Here’s what they say: “You qualify for Mayo Clinic Health Coaching. Take advantage of this phone-based service at no cost to you and let an experienced coach help you reach your health goals. You choose the health areas most important to you — then team up on an action plan personalized to your life. You’ll learn proven techniques to change habits for good and get help with challenges along the way.”

Here’s the plan: Talk to my health coach for one half hour today, and set up an action plan.

And I am still sugar-free.  The headache is subsiding.  Only a dull ache now.  🙂

A special shout out to my bestie, Jean, for sending me the book, “Trim Healthy Mama.”  I am so blessed and grateful to have you in my life!!  Love you.

Thanks for caring enough to read.  Meet you at the Kingdom.


Day 4 in the trek to party with Mickey.  “Eighty miles an hour through Baton Rouge and he’s on the other side.  Finally gonna see my baby tonight.”  I wrote a song that includes these lyrics in 1996.  The “my baby” that it refers to is Mickey Mouse.  Oh, yes, we were on our way to Walt Disney World.  I am simply mad about the Mouse!

I am hanging on to that love extra hard today.  BECAUSE I am still going sugar-free and moving the gear last night kicked my butt big time.  I am quite headachy, sore and pooped.

So here is the plan for today:

30 minutes of sit-down Tai-Chi as the sun sets into the west this evening.  (Thank you, Oprah!  She had a show on Tai Chi a while back, and I immediately ordered the dvd.  A very versatile dvd, with instructions for 20 minutes, 30 minutes or 60 minutes–standing or sitting.)

Should be good to start being more purposeful about stretching and flexibility.  I am so relaxed after I complete the Tai Chi.  Kinda love it.

That’s all I’ve got for today.  Meet you at the Kingdom.