July 1, 2014

10 Differences Separate Winners from Losers


July 1, 2014: our 294,000th view

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I found the following list while sorting through a pile of papers. Although I don’t necessarily agree with the black-and-whiteness of the list, I do feel it has some interesting ideas on how people who “lose” and people who “win” self-talk.

So, according to the list, what do losers tell themselves (how do they see themselves) and what do winners tell themselves (how do they see themselves)?


Losers:  With my luck I’m bound to fail.

Winners: I was good today. I’ll be better tomorrow.


Losers: They’re my hang-ups, faults. I’m stuck with them.

Winners: I see myself changing, growing, winning.


Losers: I can’t (more…)

August 14, 2013

Massage Therapy Improved My Sleep Problems



Hug for Tracy Maysmith, LMT


Insomnia has been termed the great undercover complaint of modern society.

It has triggered massive drug taking and trips to the psychiatrist.*



 Aah, blessed relief.

But as they say, no rest for the wicked, and if no sleep is a sign of wickedness, I must be truly wicked (please—don’t go researching this statement—)

Sleep has eluded me for years. I would fall asleep and exactly two hours later be wide awake and alert, unable to return to sleep for several hours. I rarely slept moer than 4-5 hours a night. Sleep deprivation was a way of life. I was always tired.

I could understand it happening during the years I lead an extremely stressful life, on duty 24/7 for the Family Support Program and freelance newspaper coverage. Dealing with adults healing from childhood abuse. Suicidal persons. Family crisis meetings. Family Support Group meetings, trainings, etc. Walking through corn fields in the wee hours of the morning to cover a fire.

No wonder I had trouble sleeping then.


But what about after retirement from those activities? Life should be more restful. Or so I thought.

I acquired my seventh or eighth life focus—writing. I began a blog and a novel. No more of this stressful 24/7 lifestyle.

The sleep problem persisted.

I tried everything.

  • Exercise is touted to be the solution

But my body mimics my personality contrariness. The more I exercise, the less I sleep. It doesn’t matter that I follow all the guidance—don’t exercise before bed, for example. Then one night I exercised before bed. And slept like a baby.  But it didn’t last. No amount, type, or consistency of exercise helped me sleep. In fact, the more I exercised the less sleep I got.

  • Slow down at night. I slowed down. Relaxed after 8:30 p. m.. Had a cup of tea. Watched a favorite program or read an interesting magazine or novel.

Still, no sleep.

  • In desperation I went for a sleep apnea study, after which I tried to sleep with the mask that enabled my body to absorb more oxygen during sleep.

It was uncomfortable. I found it not only didn’t help my sleeplessness, it magnified it. If I could sleep, I still woke after two hours, or often less. No change there.

I gave it up. I have no intention of (more…)

January 30, 2013

2013 National Wear Red Day®: Heart Attack Symptoms in Women




It’s true: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in women.
Yet, only 1 in 5 American women believe heart disease is her greatest health threat.

Christie Brinklie Red Dress 2005

Christie Brinklie Red Dress 2005

February 1, 2013, is the tenth annual 2013 National Wear Red Day®, when heart disease awareness is brought to the fore by any person wearing red.

And I’m doing something I rarely do—I’m “lifting” today’s two-part post directly from the National Wear Red Day® web site —because I cannot improve on what they have done. Please visit their site for in depth information on heart disease in women.

Human Heart

Human Heart

Sweating. Pressure. Nausea. Jaw pain. Believe it or not, these are all symptoms of a heart attack in women. They are also symptoms that women often brush off as the flu, stress or simply feeling under the weather – which could put their lives in jeopardy.
“I really couldn’t believe this happened to me,” says survivor Amy Heinl. “I thought of myself as a healthy person, and was exercising when [my heart attack] happened.”
Whether it’s disbelief, lack of awareness or misdiagnosis, dismissing the symptoms of a heart attack can delay critical, life-saving actions. Being able to recognize the warning signs and act quickly, however, can save a life.
Causes of a heart attack in women
Heart attacks occur when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked by a buildup of plaque in coronary arteries. While the initial causation can often be pinned on the usual suspects – heavy smokers, people with high-stress lifestyles, or those who are excessively overweight – the not-so-usual suspects can also be at high risk for heart attack.
“I think we all get used to doing too much and learning to ignore minor ailments or fatigue because that is what women are programmed to do,” says survivor Rekisha Harris. But because heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, it is imperative that women (more…)

September 16, 2012

Questions to Ask Before Resolving to Lose Weight



Summer is easing into autumn. The season change encourages changes in lifestyle—hopefully, changes for the best.

While sorting papers I came across an article on questions Weight Watchers advises a person to ask before resolving to lose weight, before making a commitment, in order to come to a realistic goal.

Do you realize that you must make long-term, not temporary, changes?

  • If I’m only losing weight to fit into my wedding dress for my forty-seventh anniversary, and am not concerned about after the event, I don’t have to be concerned about making permanent changes. However, if I want permanent weight loss, I need to make permanent changes.  I aim for permanent weight control.

Do you realize that you must make long-term, not temporary, changes in the way you eat?

  • There are not too many changes I need to make in my basic diet, but snacking…cutting      down on popcorn…and taking smaller portions of food are points to work on. I’m cognizant that Moderation, not deprivation, is the key.

Do you realize that you must make long-term, not temporary, changes in how active you are?

  • As for being active…I’m basically a sedentary person who must work (more…)

June 18, 2009

Health care reform & Silver Sneakers



A month ago I joined the Silver Sneakers program at the Ligonier (PA) YMCA. Since participating, I can feel the positive physical effects. Since national health care discussions place this Medicare Advantage program in jeopardy, Silver Sneakers members were asked to write a letter explaining why this program should not be eliminated to reduce governmental health care costs. Below is my letter. Please write one of your own and send it to your legislators.

A nation, a community, a family, are only as healthy as its people.

Thus, quality health care, including preventive and rehabilitative care, should be a major priority. Yet, escalating health care costs are threatening the health of the American people.

Persons who knowingly promote their ill-health should be required to take responsibility for the consequences. Conversely, persons who take responsibility to maintain/regain/improve their health, thereby decreasing the need for medical care, should not be penalized.

The Medicare Advantage funding of the Silver Sneakers health maintainance/rehabilitative exercise program, geared towards improving/developing the health of America’s senior citizens, is an example of preventative medicine.

Health care reform discussions include the Silver Sneakers program. This issue is likely to be part of the health care reform bill being drafted this summer. And it is likely the discussions and results of the discussions will be (more…)

June 10, 2009

Fitness Program Update: Week 4




I am sharing my personal fitness attempts with my loyal readers. To read previous segments, click on: Spring has sprung…with yard work and fitness workouts & Exercise/Fitness Program Landmark

     Two days, during the first week in June, I swam a mile. And two days I swam three-quarters of a mile. (to view photos, click on: &  &  & )

     On Thursday, May 28, I also did a fifteen-minute mile on the treadmill, spent six minutes on the elliptical machine, and did an incomplete regimen on the fitness machines. I did not take a nap that afternoon.

     Exercise is supposed to make you sleep. Right? Then why, that night, when I was so very tired that I went to bed at ten o’clock, was I still awake at three a.m.? I only slept (more…)

May 29, 2009

Exercise/Fitness Program Landmark



      I promise not to journal my spring exercise/fitness progress too often—it can get boring to both the reader and the participant. However, on May 26 I hit a landmark. However, if you want to read the first post on my new fitness program, click on Spring has sprung…with yard work and fitness workouts

     Two days off—Sunday the Ligonier YMCA is closed, and Monday was Memorial Day, another closed day.

     Tuesday it was bright and beautiful, and I relished not going. But go I must. However, I lazily enjoyed my morning coffee and breakfast on the porch, reading parts of two books: The Hanging of Ephraim Walker 1806 and Walker’s Point (on the west coast, not the Maine coast summer place belonging to the former president). I didn’t leave the house until after ten o’clock.

     In the fitness room, I used the (more…)

May 26, 2009

Spring has sprung…with yard work and fitness workouts




      A mile on the treadmill at a fifteen-minute per mile pace…five minutes on the elliptical machine…familiarization with fitness machines, capped with fifty twenty-five yard laps in the pool. My new membership in the Ligonier Valley YMCA will hopefully pay off.

     My membership in the YMCA began three weeks ago, with the coming of spring. I’ve managed to keep this schedule—with some variation, since the swimming lengths have escalated up from twenty laps—three days a week, even though I’d prefer to do it five days.

     It’s a tough routine, because, as I informed the trainers in the fitness room, I am naturally a sedentary person. It’s a real sacrifice to leave the early morning enjoyment (more…)

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