Saturday, December 12, 2009

Health Care Savings Could Start in the Cafeteria

You put the best fuel you can in your car... so it will run. The same goes for your body. The better the fuel...the better your body's performance.
A friend, posted this article from the New York Post on facebook.

Something to think about...

Life is a journey, how well you take care of your body will determine how well it functions on your journey.

Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wyoming With our Pomeranians

Independent Team Beachbody Coach: Helping Others Help Themselves!

The article is as follows.....

Photographs by Jodi Hilton for The New York Times, except top left by Tim Sloan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.

The Full Yield, a start-up, aims to help employers cut health care costs via better food choices, from salads to yogurt parfaits. Its board includes Gary Hirshberg, right, C.E.O. of Stonyfield Farm.

By MELANIE WARNER Published: November 28, 2009

Steven Burd isn’t a doctor or a medical specialist. But he sure can talk like one.

“I can take any standard diagnostic procedure and there’s typically a five- to tenfold difference in the cost of that identical procedure, whether it’s an M.R.I., CT scan, a diagnostic catheterization, a colonoscopy, you name it,” says Mr. Burd, the chief executive of Safeway.

Four years ago, Mr. Burd, whose grocery chain is the nation’s third largest, became something of health care expert when his company saw a looming financial crisis. In 2005, Safeway was forking over $1 billion a year to provide health insurance for its workers, and the cost was rising 10 percent a year. It was Mr. Burd’s moment of truth: he realized he could no longer stand by as health care costs ballooned.

“We were saying ‘Wow, we’re paying almost twice in health care costs as what we’re making in earnings, and in five years it’s going to be another half a billion dollars,’ ” he recalls.

Similar sticker shock is confronting all kinds of employers, which together provide 160 million Americans with health care coverage. But the cost of delivering that insurance has surged 31 percent over the last five years, representing the fastest-growing single corporate expense, according to Towers Perrin, the management consulting firm. Those costs take a huge bite out of the bottom line and hurt employees, many of whom see their paychecks shrink as employers pass along the extra costs.

Shelly Wolff, head of the health and productivity consulting group at Watson Wyatt, says she has seen C.E.O.’s who’ve dealt adeptly with tough issues like climate change become completely flummoxed by health care. “It’s a board-level deal for most companies,” she says. “A lot of companies are saying ‘What do you do with health care?’ ”

In home offices around Boston, a shoestring operation of three full-time employees is working on an unusual answer to that question. As the wrangling over trillion-dollar price tags continues on Capitol Hill, a start-up company called the Full Yield is undertaking its own version of health care reform by using a simple, low-tech premise: Eat healthier food and you’ll become healthier.

The idea is to help companies move their employees to better diets that, the logic goes, will ultimately reduce their visits to the doctor’s office and the operating room — thus cutting costs.

“We need to put food back in the heart of health care,” says Zoe Finch Totten, Full Yield’s chief executive. “It’s the cheapest way to deal with health and the simplest, and definitely the most pleasurable.”

OVER the last six years, Ms. Totten, an associate at the Jefferson School of Population Health at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a nurse midwife by training, has been working to create a 12-month nutritional program different from anything that’s been tried in the workplace before.

Part one of its two-pronged approach is a line of Full Yield-branded food intended to take the guesswork out of what constitutes a healthy diet, while also reducing the need for cooking, which so many workers say they have no time for. Consisting of fresh items made with natural, whole ingredients, the food will be sold in corporate cafeterias and in the prepared-foods section of local supermarkets.

Unlike most corporate nutrition and weight-loss programs, which offer predictable prescriptions about portion size and calorie control, Ms. Totten’s plan allows employees surprising amounts of free rein in deciding how much to eat. “You can eat when you’re hungry, as much as you want, as long as you pay attention to when you’re full,” she advises. “And then you can eat again whenever you feel hungry.”

This may be music to participants’ ears, but it’s a controversial message that runs counter to the advice of many nutrition and obesity experts.

F. Xavier Pi-Sunyer, director of the New York Obesity Research Center and chief of the division of endocrinology, diabetes and nutrition at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, says it’s an inappropriate message in a nation full of overeaters. “It just isn’t true that people stop when they should,” says Dr. Pi-Sunyer. “Americans are overriding their satiety signals. So to say eat until you’re satiated is not a helpful health message.”

But Ms. Totten contends that overeating doesn’t result from a nationwide failure to count calories, but from the fact that so many people consume a diet of processed, refined foods. “People overeat Doritos because those foods are designed to trick the body’s beautiful ability to be able to self-regulate,” she said. “When you eat primarily health-supporting foods you will recover those protective mechanisms.”

Those who make that change and join the program are urged to eat Full Yield’s food or their own similarly whole-food-based choices exclusively for at least three months.

Part two of the program involves tracking those employees’ progress by collecting a variety of data about them and partnering with insurers to analyze it.

“A lot of employers are doing these modest and piecemeal efforts at wellness and they have not worked,” said Gary Hirshberg, the chief executive of Stonyfield Farm, a yogurt maker, and a member of Full Yield’s board. “This is a comprehensive health management program with food as the base. And it’s going to save companies a lot of money.”

Groupe Danone, Stonyfield’s parent company, has invested “seven figures” in the Full Yield, according to Mr. Hirshberg.

If Ms. Totten and Mr. Hirshberg are correct, the potential for health care savings is huge. A study in the January-February 2009 issue of the journal Health Affairs concluded that 75 percent of the country’s $2.5 trillion in health care spending has to do with four increasingly prevalent chronic diseases: obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Most cases of these diseases, the report stated, are preventable because they are caused by behaviors like poor diets, inadequate exercise and smoking.

Obesity alone threatens to overwhelm the system. In a recent study, Kenneth Thorpe, chairman of the department of health policy and management at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, found that if trends continued, annual health care costs related to obesity would total $344 billion by 2018, or more than 20 percent of total health care spending. (It now accounts for 9 percent.)

Dr. Thorpe also said that if the incidence of obesity fell to its 1987 level, it would free enough money to cover the nation’s uninsured population.

At first blush, the notion of eating our way out of huge public health challenges like obesity, diabetes and heart disease may seem an overly simplistic and idealistic fix for complex, multifaceted problems. But health experts say that, in fact, an apple a day does keep the doctor away, and that many studies prove it.

Dean Ornish, president of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute in Sausalito, Calif., and a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, says he has spent the better part of two decades doing research showing that diet and lifestyle changes can undo even severe heart disease.

“Within a month, we’ve shown improved blood flow and 90 percent reduction in the frequency of angina,” he says. “And within a year we’ve found that severely blocked arteries became measurably less blocked. We know this stuff works.”

More recently, Dr. Ornish says, he has published research showing that some of those same diet and lifestyle changes can actually turn on genes that prevent disease and turn off those that cause heart disease, as well as prostate and breast cancers.

BUT, of course, persuading people to trade French fries and doughnuts for kale and quinoa is much easier said than done. Market researchers in the food industry have long known that people often say they will eat healthier or exercise more but never get around to it.

In spite of the increased incidence of obesity in American society and in the workplace, 40 percent of large companies surveyed by Watson Wyatt for an April report say that less than 5 percent of their employees participated in workplace weight management programs.

“A lot of us have piles in our homes and our offices that we’ll get to when we can, and changing how you eat is often a bit like that,” says Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, which represents large employers on health care matters. “I don’t think you could possibly overestimate how hard this stuff is.”

Despite the considerable challenges, there are notable examples of companies that have successfully prodded their workers to become healthier, thus trimming health care costs.

I.B.M., for example, says that from 2005 to 2007 it invested $80 million in what are broadly defined as employee wellness programs, and thereby saved $190 million in health care costs. Some $79 million of that was in fewer medical claims; the rest came from reduced absenteeism and “presenteeism” — a measure of lost productivity when employees are sick on the job. “A relatively small investment can have a big payoff,” says Joyce Young, I.B.M.’s director of well-being.

That was certainly the case for Diane Akin, a product quality manager in I.B.M.’s storage technology division in Tucson. This year, she received $300 in rebates from I.B.M. for completing online programs in physical activity, nutrition and preventive care, courses that inspired her to go on an exercise and nutrition kick.

“I lost 40 pounds and my cholesterol and blood pressure are down,” says Ms. Akin, who is in her mid-50s. “I don’t think I would have done it otherwise. The incentives, all the online support groups and goal-setting and monitoring really helped.”

Ms. Akin added that she was no longer worried about becoming diabetic, a condition that could have hit I.B.M. with an annual bill of as much as $20,000 in treatment costs.

Similar incentive programs at Pitney Bowes have helped it shell out 18 percent less than what the average large employer does in per-capita health care costs, according to Brent Pawlecki, its medical director.

In addition to online programs with financial incentives, as well as smoking-cessation and weight-loss plans, the company’s wellness programs include eight on-site health clinics for treating common illnesses, as well as reduced co-payments on medications for diabetes, asthma, hypertension and breast cancer.

Perhaps the biggest corporate success story is Safeway, a rarity among big employers in that it has kept per-capita health care costs from rising. Annual costs at the chain, based in Pleasanton, Calif., are roughly the same as they were in 2005, when Mr. Burd decided to tackle the issue.

He says Safeway has achieved this leveling by shifting its plan toward cheaper generic drugs and through the company’s voluntary Health Measures plan, in which employees are checked for their weight, blood pressure and cholesterol levels and whether they smoke. For each test that’s passed, workers are rewarded with reductions in their payroll contributions to health care coverage. For individual plans, this can add up to almost $800 a year.

But analysts say Safeway, I.B.M. and Pitney Bowes are exceptions. Aside from chipping away at employee benefits, most employers have not made much of a dent in their health care bills. Although “wellness” and “lifestyle improvement” programs are common — 60 percent of big employers have them — companies continue to pay more and more in medical costs. This year, costs went up 6 percent, on average, according to Watson Wyatt.

IT’S a Thursday morning, and Ms. Totten of the Full Yield is lugging a canvas bag full of fruit scones and a cooler stocked with Greek yogurt parfaits along the streets of Boston. She is on her way to a meeting at one of the company’s first three customers: John Hancock, the life insurance and financial services company.

Ms. Totten usually shows up at these meetings with goody bags of Full Yield food, often containing breakfast, lunch and dinner. Developed by a large food service company and produced at its facility in Connecticut, the choices may include turkey chili, quinoa salads, salmon cakes, chicken tagine, mixed bean wraps and whole-grain peanut butter cookies.

Peter Mongeau, vice president of human resources at John Hancock, has sampled the food many times and calls it “outstanding.”

“For me, it was like going to a fine restaurant,” says Mr. Mongeau, among the 300 employees who will be going on the Full Yield program early next year.

To encourage the purchase of Full Yield food, which is priced at $6 to $7 a meal, employees will get $100 worth of coupons that can be used in John Hancock’s cafeteria and at 18 local Roche Brothers grocery stores.

Another Full Yield pilot customer is the City of Boston. Meredith Weenick, associate director in its office of administration and finance, says she was drawn to the plan’s more scientific components. Employees who volunteer to participate will have seven or eight biometric measurements taken at least three times in the 12-month program.

Some of these measurements — for cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index — are commonly collected by employers with extensive wellness programs. But other measures chart new territory, by looking at triglycerides; blood glucose; waist circumference; C-reactive protein, which tests for inflammation; and hemoglobin A1C, if someone’s diabetic.

Such data, along with what participants provide in detailed diet diaries and health risk assessments, won’t be accessible to employers. Instead, Full Yield researchers, along with Harvard Pilgrim — which is the insurance company for Hancock and the City of Boston and is a pilot customer itself — will analyze the data against insurance claims to gauge improvements in health.

As part of the program, the Full Yield will give employees access to nutrition coaches by phone, as well as personalized online health pages containing the biometric data, exercise and eating tracking tools and information on things like how to cook whole grains and make salad dressing.

Noting that the pilot programs have yet to start, John Hancock, the City of Boston and Harvard Pilgrim all say they don’t want to reveal specific projections about savings. Ms. Weenick says she thinks that “plenty” of the city’s 750 initial enrollees will lose weight, lower their cholesterol and blood pressure and bolster their overall energy levels.

“We feel certain this will have an effect on our bottom line,” she says, “but it will probably take a few years to get there.”

Judith Frampton, vice president for medical management at Harvard Pilgrim, says that when it offers the Full Yield plan to its 1,100 employees in January, she believes it will succeed in attracting and retaining participants where other programs have failed. That’s because all those unconventionally cheery messages about food consumption will be a source of inspiration, she says.

“I think weight loss is more than likely to be an outcome, but this isn’t really about that,” she says. “It’s about adding things to your life and feeling better psychologically and physically. It’s a hugely important message.”

New York Times

Health Care Savings May Start in Employee Diets -

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Another 3 pounds Gone!

Monday I got on the scale. Lost one pound from monday to monday. weighed 279. Did my wed weigh today. Dropped 3 more lbs. 276. That's 9 lbs down since october 5th, 23 lbs total down for the yr. 27 lbs left for my 50 lb goal this yr! rockin it off. Shakeology, Hip Hop Abs, Turbo Jam, journaling my food intake. Whoo Hoo! makin it happen!

Team Beachbody® Coach Mary Robbins |

Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wyoming
Beautiful Pomeranians


Tuesday, October 13, 2009


So how does the following post relate to fitness? If you are having challenges with weight issues, follow-through, getting your butt off the couch; it applies. In any event there is always some reason for your activity or lack thereof. The question is; what is it and what to do about it…

(This post is related to the 30 day project from the Ed Severance Blog: Rewire the Damaged Hardware post)

30 Days to change the way I think: to rewire the damaged hardware.

Hmmmm. What would be the foremost, the optimum thing to change. To truly create the life I want to live. God has given me the ability to create the life I know I want to be living!

Ok, so what am I working on? The list seems insurmountable. Goes on and on adinfanitum. Bits of this and bits of that, list after list. Truth be told all of it fits under a couple of points. One word is the major player. So what is it? It is: F-E-A-R. That’s it fear. Such a small little word, only four small letters to have such a huge impact on so many people’s lives. Yes I know I’m not alone in this.

Ok, so the list of fears could go on and on. Big fears, little fears, erotic fears, infinitesimal fears, probably a few psychotic fears.

So what is the heading, or umbrella that all these fears are running around under? What is it?! It’s not fear of failure. Failure is a very safe place to hide. It’s not fear of fat. A fat suit is another safe place to hide. Fear of discovery. The fear that you may see who I really am.
Nah, I’ve pretty much put that out there. Amazingly enough I actually like myself. Fat a** and all.

Ok so what is it. What has been tripping me up for so many years. The self sabotage queen. Grrr. Truth be told it really pisses me off. You know what? I do know what it is. I actually do. Ok so what is it?! It’s Fear of success. Not fear of failure. Fear of Success.

Fear of reaching my goals and finding the reward to be an empty thing indeed. If you don’t open that bright shiny door, you can’t find out that there is nothing there.

Ok so now I know what it is. Now what do I do about it. What is success really? Ask 50 different people that question and you’ll get 50 different answers. So what does that say? It says that success is something different to each person.

Ok, so what is success to me? Stripped of all the pomp and circumstance, just the bare bones of it. What is success to me?

• Is it being a millionaire? Nope, although that can be a side effect. Note the can be, not always is.
• Is it losing 150 pounds? No
• Is it being married for nearly 20 years, and actually still loving your partner? Nope
• Is it owning multiple homes? Nope
• Is it completing a marathon? Nope
• Is it graduating from university? Nope

Ok, this list of questions could go on forever. So what is it and why have I been tripping over it.

First what is success to me: It is a mindset. A way of being, a way of living.

Ok, it’s true. This is a relatively new definition of success for me. Over the years my definition of success or a successful person has changed dramatically.

In the past my definition of success was wealth. As in monetary wealth. Over the years I have found that definition to be false. There are some extremely wealthy people that are not successful. Wealth can be a nice benefit of success, but it is not success. If it were it would be an empty thing indeed.

At one point I defined success as career achievement. Then I looked around at executives defrauding people, and their life’s work disappearing before their eyes. False housing booms, and manipulated stock markets. And I thought this is not success.

I looked at marathoners, gymnasts, football players, Olympians. Medal winners, and thought perhaps that was success. Only to observe the dissatisfaction in so many of their lives, and thought this is not success.

I’ve watched churches turn in on themselves and spew venom and hatred in the name of their God; and I thought this is not success either.

And I wondered is all naught? Do I even want to be successful? Not by those definitions I don’t. Seriously, what’s the point? Emptiness and self loathing ala carte. Thanks anyway I’ll pass. Been there done that. Over it.

It’s not fear of success per se. It’s fear that I’ll achieve financial, physical, religious, whatever success and find it to be an empty barren thing. The fear that I’ll become a cardboard cutout of who I actually am. Empty of life other than desolation and rage. Look around they are all over the place. Here and there you see the cardboard rip and they unload an Uzi on everyone around them. Wouldn’t have to be an Uzi, an emptied milk jug with a few common household chemicals would be just as effective if not more so. Enough said, I’m not going there.

Ok so how do I untie my hands, so to speak? How do I stop the self sabotage and allow myself to follow through on some projects I find interesting.

That is the question. So what is the answer? Thinking, pondering, fingers are twitching with the urge to write something.

The answer, you do realize that each person’s answer is individual. Yes? So what is my answer. Tapping on the mouse, waiting for words to come. Concept is there, now to get it into actual words.

Success is a mindset. A way of being, a way of living.

Yeah ok, so success is a mindset, a way of being a way of living. Big woop, what is the practical application of that?

Ok, here goes. Rather than letting your wealth, or lack thereof, work, athletic prowess, religious endeavors, life events, happenings, relationships, whatever you encounter in your journey through this life define who you are; what you are, whether you are a success or failure in this life, you define your life, rather than the events in your life defining you.

Clear as mud?

Be who you are.

I am that I am. I am at peace within myself, I appreciate the beauty of each day. I live now, fully in each moment that occurs. I accept and love myself as I am, therefore I am free to love others.

As such, I am a success, my life is successful.

I am no longer in bondage, I am free.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip
Mary E. Robbins

Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wyoming
Happy Healthy Hairballs: Otherwise Known as Pomeranians

Independent Beachbody Coach: Fighting Obesity One Person at a Time

Monday, October 12, 2009

Whoo Hoo! Lost a total of 5 pounds this week.

Whoo Hoo! Lost a total of 5 pounds this week. Journaling what I eat and doing the ranch workout. Rockin it baby. Been logging into Beachbody and the online gym all week too! Whoo Hoo! I did measure, unfortunately I did not have any change in the measurements that I did. That will come. I didn’t do hip hop abs or any other dvd workout this past week. I will be adding some back in this week; in addition to slogging about in the snow…lol… I overloaded and crashed a couple of weeks ago. So am being a bit more conservative.

Frankly I do not have the time to crash. So a consistent build is for me rather than a total overload. I’ve been watching the Biggest Loser. It would be great to be able to put hours into the gym. However I am not living on the Biggest Loser Ranch. I am living on Robbins Run Ranch, so a big part of my day is taking care of business here. Frankly I am pretty excited about a 5 pound loss. Whoo Hoo! Kind of giddy actually at the prospect of meeting my 50 pound weight loss goal for the year. It’s really happening! I am really doing it! One day, one step, one pound at a time.

Keeping the food journal has been a boon. (a good thing) Writing things down actually calls to mind what is being eaten; and has helped in the change in mindset towards food. I am eating now because I am hungry, not out of frustration, anger, stress, boredom, etc. Anger does still trigger an urge to eat but not an uncontrollable one. 

I am using Shakeology. It is excellent when I workout first thing in the morning. Mix it up and have it after my workout. It helps in muscle recovery and keeps my energy level up. Not psycho buzzing up, as in a speed overload. But healthy, cognitive, good frame of mind for a productive day up. Lol…

It makes an excellent breakfast for me when I’ve worked out early a.m.

The hunger monster has been jumping on my back in the evenings. I think I’m going to try out the Shakeology for my evening snack or dinner. See how that works out with the growling stomach at night…lol. Really do not want to eat for a couple of hours before bedtime. But having that protein, vitamin and mineral boost in the evening will give my body the protein and nutrients it needs to replenish itself while I am sleeping.

Want to get into a stretching routine before bed. Not set in stone, but a good stretching routine at the end of the day would be excellent for my body.

Yes I want the fat off, but I do not want to be a flappy skin monster either. So stretching and working out is a must.

It’s a glorious Day outside! We’ve had over a foot of snow fall this last go around. Between the last 2 days of snow it is knee deep in most places around the ranch. Absolutely great for the pastures. It amazes me how much the amount of snow fall can vary over just a few miles. I believe there were 6 or 8 inches in Torrington. Or maybe that was 6 or 8 additional inches. I’m not sure. The actual town of Torrington is about 17 miles from us.

It was so calm outside this morning. Just beautiful calm, no wind at all. It’s 26 degrees out and feels warm to me, because of the lack of wind. Totally amazing. The hairballs are out playing in the snow having a grand time. The doors we put on the calf hutches really worked well. The houses are warm and dry inside. Gives the hairballs a great dry place to play after bouncing around out in the snow.

Keep in mind folks, unless your pets are acclimated to the weather they can become hypothermic just like you can. I’m loving it outside but I’ve been out in it. So going outside in calm weather at 26 degrees doesn’t feel cold to me.

If/when the wind picks up the wind chill will drop body temps in a hurry without adequate protection. Translated it will freeze you to death in a hurry. Your pets too.

I’ve been pretty happy with my snow ranch workouts. As in slogging through knee deep snow. Dragging 100 ft of water hose and feed tubs. But I pace myself and have been working out in it. Pay attention to your body or you will give yourself a heart attack.

As in from the couch directly to the sidewalk shoveling snow if you have not been active at all. Pace yourself people. The early winter round of heart attacks are waiting in the wings; so to speak. Be smart, take care of that body you are living in. It’s the only one you have.

Have a glorious day!

Life is a journey, I am enjoying the trip.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wyoming
Beautiful Pomeranians

Independent Beachbody Coach: Fighting Obesity one Person at a Time.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rewire the Damaged Hardware: Ed Severance Blog

He has something good to say… so I am passing it on!

Well worth the read. Think about it, change your focus, change the way you think and change your life.

This has sooooo much to do with why so many of us are unhealthy, overweight, out of shape... change your subconscious mind and change your life!

Life is a journey, whether you enjoy the trip or not is up to you.

Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wyoming
Beautiful Pomeranians

Independent Beachbody Coach: Fighting Obesity One Person at a Time

By the time you reach, (or reached) 35 years of age, 90% of what you do requires no real thought! Spend a few minutes contemplating the previous sentence. Almost everything you do, you simply do it. Put the keys in your car ignition as an example. How much time does it take for you do accomplish this? You don’t even spend seconds considering it do you. It’s just done. Pick up a fork to eat your favorite meal. Once again, there is no consideration as to how to configure this action. You simply grab the fork and dig in! Walking or running for exercise. You think, decide and do all in less than a second. For all the many positive things you do every single day, such actions have been determined for years! Humans are all conditioned human beings from birth until now.

The challenge is that the same examples can be used for negative thought patterns. The reasons are limitless as to why, but you keep getting the same negative behaviors and outcomes in your life. This is why you are reading this blog. This is why you have made a fantastic choice to take on this 30 day journey. You want to change you’re thinking because you are getting the same crappy results! What you will do is rewire your old hardwired way of thinking.

You have probably had to rewire an electric cord sometime in your life. One of our too many televisions sets in my home went on the blink. One of our too many pets decided to chew on the cord while the cord was not attached to the electric outlet thank God! Now the tv works again. But to get what was damaged, not useful working, I had to cut the cord, strip the outer layers of rubber, rewire the electric lines to each other, wrap electrical tape around the new connections and bingo. Now the television works and my kids can watch, ‘Spongebob Squarepants,’ ‘Top Chef-Vegas,’ ‘Discovery Channel,’ and enjoy taking time to learn or simply laugh. You will be doing the same thing with your mind that I did with the tv. Rewiring negative, non-productive, damaging, destructive thought patterns that exhibits new thought paradigms. New thinking, new results and one happy camper!

Your brain is a miracle. There really are no words to describe this ‘gift’ God has given you. Thousands of neural networks, interwoven to create thought patterns. Many needed, many useful and creative habits. Yet some impair you, cause you pain, disappointment, even maybe a the thought can I ever succeed. You act as you do because it is what you truly believe. You are what you produce. “As a man thinks in their heart, so is he,’ Proverbs 23:7. But what is wired can be rewired. What is useful can be strengthened and those thought alliances that must be torn down can be. So let’s get started.

You have your conscious and subconscious. You probably know a ton about the conscious because this is where ‘you live.’ ”I think, therefore I am,” declared Rene Descartes. But to change your habitual way of thinking will need to come from your subconscious. Your six intellectual faculties included your will, reason, perception, imagination, memory and intuition. And your imagination will be a key ingredient in getting you to new and powerful thought processes.

The imagination is not ‘kids stuff.’ What is the ‘adult’ purpose for your imagination? Was it only to be employed as a child in elementary school? For games with your friends when you were Superman or Spiderman, an astronaut flying into outer space, the first girl president of the United States, etc.? Investigate one of the most admired, respected leading thinkers of our time Albert Einstein when he wrote, “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing positive knowledge.”

So how does the imagination lead to the kind of thinking and results that you want? Memorize the following:
1. a positive thought (conscious) produces desire
2. a positive desire, (subconscious) creates emotion
3. a positive emotion compels you to action
4. a positive action gets you results

The conscious part of you accepts and rejects information. The subconscious only ‘accepts’ what you believe as real, correct, truth and it is from the subconscious that you act, not the conscious. This is why like all great thinkers, Bob Proctor, John Assaraf, Tony Robbins, Mary Morrissey, Albert Einstein, you must focus in on changing your conscious thinking and beliefs via your subconscious. See, discover that this is you and the opportunity you have to live as you deserve and desire.

Start each morning off in a positive fashion! First thoughts that are exciting, first actions are progressive, forget about the internet, news, any work and prepare yourself. Put on music that invigorates you, quote successful thoughts that gives you a great feeling. When you feel good you are ready to move forward. This is critical, vital, pivotal, urgent, serious, consequential, momentous, key, impactful, central, essential, fundamental. When you start off on the right foot, your energy for taking the time to create something positive is at a high level. Begin your day on the wrong foot, negative thinking which directs you to procrastinate, you are screwed! And this is a HUGE issue for some of you reading this blog. You must start each day ready to rock and roll!

For these next thirty days, choose one or two of the most important paradigms you want to recreate. If it has taken years to develop and live in habits that are not productive, you will not completely change you’re thinking patterns in 30 days. This is why I highly recommend you work on one or two issues. Once successful you will have the courage, desire and tenacity to move forward on other areas for personal improvement.

When you are positioned in a relaxed state, you can have very quiet music playing in the background, (screamo is not recommended!) scanning a beautiful sky or even a soothing screen saver to assist in building the right frame of mind.

Now close your eyes and begin to visualize what it is you are here for. What is the correct way you want to think and see yourself actually involved in the picture. Here are several examples.Pool You have a pool in your backyard. Visualize how cool or warm the temperature is. Do you feel it? Was it cool or warm? What is the sound of water like when you lift your foot out and the water splash’s back into your pool? Since your foot is used to the crystal, clear water, now put in your foot up to the ankle. How does your body react to the water? This example gives you sight, creativity, sound, and sensation. Imagine riding alone on a Harley Davidson motorcycle on a straight stretch of highway with no one around you. Harley 2Feel the vibration of the engine, hear the sound of the motor, feel the wind whipping though your hair, (or on your head if you need hair!) looking out and exploring mountains, or a lake, a farm, etc.

Now take this example and transfer the picture of what you just experienced into what is it you want to accomplish! And as you visualize it, also speak out what you want. ”I will no longer react instantly in anger. I am in control of my emotions” and see yourself acting in such a way within your imagination towards those you struggle with containing your anger. View yourself as responding and not reacting. Or use your fantasy as seeing yourself pushing through that fear that has captured you for so long and held you back from obtaining what it is you want. ”I’m so grateful that I have the courage to be honest.” ”I so grateful that I made the sale.” ”I’m on an airplane and I am not filled with fear.” ”I can make good, strong decisions.” ”Look at me, I am a solid leader.” ”I am succeeding in this business.”

What is literally taking place within your brain is amazing! Old hard, negative, destructive networks are slowly but surely being broken down. Creative, faith building, powerful and positive networks are either being reinforced or taking shape. Think about this. You are truly creating the life you want to live. Isn’t that incredible? That God would give you the ability to create the life you know you want to be living!

Persistence, consistent persistence is a law for success. Do not become discouraged. This is one of your biggest problems, so why continue to live this same lifestyle? Stick with this for 30 days. You are building an intellectual habit that will change your life. Please share what is really transpiring in your journey. Are you experiencing forward movement, struggling, seeing improvement, excited?

Change your thinking and change your results!

Ed Severance

Ed Reduced

Ed Severance Blog

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Friday, October 09, 2009

Lost 3 more pounds!

Celebrating... got on the scale... lost 3 more pounds! that puts me at
281lbs. 4 lbs lost so far this week. 32 lbs to go to meet my 50 lb wt
loss goal for this yr. 132 lbs to go for total wt loss goal of 150
lbs... doin it!

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wyoming
Beautiful Pomeranians

Independent Beachbody Coach: Helping to fight Obesity one person at a time!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

I'm Coming Out: Good By Fat Suit!

Beautiful day on the high plains of Wyoming. Got my workout in this morning. Day 4 of my 90 Day Fitness Blast. Today’s workout was Hip Hop Abs: Fat burning cardio. I used the weighted gloves today for the first time.

After I wrapped up Hip Hop Abs. I decided to review 10 minute trainer. I picked the lower body workout. Wow, it is seriously a workout in 10 minutes. Rather than just reviewing it; I did it. Feels great to actually be able to do it. I feel good, mentally and physically. Oh yeah there is a shoulder ache, big surprise there, NOT.

Mainly I feel good about me. Oh and yes Min Min and I did walk the hill. She is puffing worse than I was at the end of my workouts. Keeping it at just one trip up the hill for this week. Next week we are going twice. It’s a great cool down for me and is already making a difference in how she acts. She is brighter eyed, and playing more already. Obesity is a life thief, in humans, and our furry families. It steals your quality of life before it actually kills your body.

Funny thing though. I have been hiding in a fat suit for so long that at times the thought of not wearing it is terrifying. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve sabotaged myself. Then hid in my fat suit once again.

A note I read this morning really struck a chord with me along these lines. I was in the Team Beachbody site doing a bit of research after my workout. Checking on some product for a client. I popped over to Tony Horton’s corner. Tony Horton is the creator of 10 Minute Trainier, P90, P90X, Tony and The folks, One on One with Tony Horton. Truly excellent workouts, for all age ranges; from kids to senior citizens and all the rest of us in between.

Check it out: I copied and pasted it below. Seriously folks become one of his fans on facebook. Tony Horton. He is an excellent trainer.

Letting Go & Accepting Change: by Tony Horton

Experiencing grief is a natural reaction to loss. Loss is a part of life. Most of us associate grief with the death of a loved one, the loss a job, a relationship, or even when we receive a medical diagnosis which threatens our health. Events on a grander scale will trigger anxiety and grief. The 9/11 attacks, hurricanes and natural disasters create a sense of fear, loss and lack of security. Any time we feel a sense of loss, we grieve and the grieving process affects us in ways that can be confusing, complicated, and overwhelming.

Each person’s grief is unique and your grieving process will be different from friends or family who are experiencing the same or similar loss. Most people who experience grief go through physical, emotional and behavioral changes while working through the pain of loss. Knowing what to expect may help you deal with the process as you or someone you love goes through it.

Normal grief symptoms span the physical, emotional and behavioral, including low energy, changes in sleep or eating patterns, feelings of numbness, sadness, anger, guilt or anxiety. During the grieving process, people become withdrawn, unproductive, fidgety and restless. Concentration is difficult and sometimes visual or auditory hallucinations can take place. Typically, symptoms are most intense and frequent shortly after a traumatic event and should gradually subside over time. Keep in mind, it can take anywhere from months to years before a person fully comes to terms with a loss. If the sense of closure doesn't happen, functioning normally can be difficult and the risk of physical and/or mental illness increases.

Working through the pain of loss is a complex process. Expect two steps forward and one step back toward closure. There is no right way to grieve, but ultimately the sense of loss and grief should subside over time. If the road gets rockier and doesn't seem to smooth out after a while, seek assistance from a grief counselor or other mental health professional who is knowledgeable about grief issues. A professional can help you better understand your grief and assist you in moving forward through the healing process.

You may be wondering what any of this has to do with exercise and eating healthy food. I'm here to tell you that the main reason why so many people can't maintain a fit and healthy physique for a whole lifetime is because they're not willing to let go of the person in the day 1 photo. Intellectually you know that the fit and healthy you is a better you, but the person you were before is a dear old friend that's hard to abandon. There are memories, experiences and pleasures that make up who you were, and it's hard to wrap your arms around the idea that this person is gone forever.

Going from overweight and out of shape to fit and healthy (in a relatively short period of time) is daunting and traumatic for many people. Nobody talks about it because there's no clear cut way to deal with it. Some folks make the transition easily while others still see themselves as the overweight, unhappy person they were on day 1. The thoughts and memories that cause profound emotions from your past don't go away just because you lost weight and got strong. Day 90 (after doing Power 90 or P90X) is a very scary day for many people. While it's an amazing accomplishment it also signifies the death of an old friend and the start of what can be a difficult new beginning. The old me is gone, now what?

The loss of the old you can be as sad and overwhelming as the loss of an old friend. You have transformed yourself physically and with that comes emotional and behavioral changes. There's nothing on the website or in the guild book that helps you with the emotional aspects of this change, so talking about it is step one. Just like with any traumatic event it's helpful to know there will be bumps in the road alone the way. A place of understanding and acceptance comes with time. This is why it's so important to start a dialog. Talk to friends and family and encourage them to support your important life altering change. We are here to help each other get through the good times and the bad. If you keep asking questions, keep doing your best and stay accountable to like-minded people, then the grieving period will be short and a healthy and fit lifestyle will be yours forever.
Author: Tony Horton


Really struck a chord with me. Hope it was helpful to you as well.
Totally on target. It's time to shed the fat suit.

Physically I am not capable of doing p90x yet. But I will be. One day, one workout, one step at a time. Right now I am doing a 90 day fitness blast: Hip Hop Abs, 10 minute trainer and walking spaced throughout the day. This I can do now. May add some Turbo Jam in a bit later. I turn 50 Feb. 5th, my wt is 282 lbs now 5 ft 7 inches tall, carry a decent amt of muscle mass, but way too fat. I want to be able to begin p90 x for my birthday. It will take a major change in body composition and conditioning to be able to do it.

Happy Birthday to me, good by fat butt!

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip
Mary E. Robbins & the Happy Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With our Pomeranians

Independent Beachbody Coach: Fighting Obesity to live life

Friday, September 11, 2009

Day One of My 90 Day Fitness Blast! Blasting off the Fat!

Ok, today is day one of 90. Hip Hop abs is a 90 day workout plan. So I’m rockin it for 90 days. Did measurements and weights yesterday morning. I’ll do the start pics for this set when David gets home from the rail.
Start Weight: 282
Neck: 15.5
Above Bust: 40.5
Bust: 47.5
Below Bust: 39
Waist: 41.5
Belly: 53.5
Hips: 56.5
Thigh: 33
Calf: 19.5
Rt Upper Arm: 15
Rt forearm: 12

At this point my over all weight loss is at 11% of my goal. Let’s see how far I can get it in 90 days of Hip Hop Abs.

My weight loss goal for this 90 days is 30 lbs. 282 - 30 = 252 lbs.

I’ll be taking pics at the end of 30 days. Then moving on to level 2 of Hip Hop abs. That’s the plan.

Be great to workout together. Perhaps not in actual location, but via face book updates and WOWY our online gym. You can join for free. We have excellent workouts, or use something you already have if you like. Just get up and move it... move it… move it…

Then post it baby… tell me what you’ve done! I’m excited to hear.

Got my workout in for today. Hip Hop Abs : Fat Burning Cardio.

Just go to and click on the beachbody banner at the top of the page. Sign up for the community, it’s free. Or even better sign up for the club, there are excellent benefits and it’s less than a cup of coffee a day.

Feels great getting healthy!

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip
Mary E. Robbins & the Happy Hairballs

Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians

Independent Beachbody Coach: Feeling great getting healthy

P.S. Min Min got in on the workout today. She was dancing about in the chair while I was working out. Then we put on her purple harness and went for a walk out over the hill. My little fat Min Min has a couple of pounds to lose too.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

I did it. I got back on the scale, It's been quite the year.

Ok, I did it. I got back on the scale after going haywire since mom’s house burned down in April.

It’s been quite the year. April –Mom’s house burned down. Our family home of over 100 years. No insurance. I’m not going to make any comments on the insurance issue. Other than to say I was very unhappy about that.

May-Aunt Marty passed on. She was my favorite aunt. Still is for that matter. She lived into her 90’s. Long life for a human, but I still miss her.

June- Uncle Clarence passed on. His passing left conflicted emotions and attitudes on my part. He had 6 weeks of self induced suffering before a stroke terminated his physical existence in this life.

It’s amazing how different brothers and sisters from the same family can be. Simply amazing. I’m not going into the differences, I will just stand with they were very different people with very different personalities. Gee that would stand to reason now wouldn’t it, lol. Enough of that.

Mom has been living with my husband and I since the fire. It looks as if this will be a long term arrangement.

This has been an “interesting” adjustment for all of us. I would truly like to see her work on regaining her ability to walk. Sadly that ability has been forgone because of lack of use. Yes there are other issues there, but lack of use is the main component.

Yes it is painful to regain muscle use after years of neglect. But it is a choice. There are some other choices coming up over the coming months as well. At this point she still can not transfer from chair to potty to chair. We are using an easy pivot lift to make the transfers.

She is moving her feet more. She needs to regain strength in her legs, arms, and abs. That will take work and time. Painful? Yes it is. There is a trade off, be trapped in a chair or workout. Her choice.

Depending on what choices she makes over the coming months, I will be making some choices as well. Only time will truly tell that story.

As far as making choices goes. I chose to get on the scale this morning. I dropped the ball on my own fitness quest through this spring and summer. I have been rehabbing my knee. Happily I can walk on it, and do stairs with it as well. Of this I am very happy.

Now to get back into some serious working out. I’ve been walking around doing ranch rounds and such but not pushing it. Now comes the push.

I want 50 pounds off this year. I started the year off at 299 lbs. Dropped down to 274. Lost my focus regained up to 282 lbs.

Focus is back on point. Goal: 249 lbs by December 31st 2009. Be great to be under that weight. But reaching that milestone will be excellent. That would leave me 100 pounds to take off this body.

282 minus 249 = 33 lbs to lose by December 31st 2009. With a solid workout plan and follow thorough that is doable.

I will be posting my workouts. Accountability and all that.

How am I going to accomplish this feat:
Yes 50 lbs off in a year is a feat for me.

Journal food intake.
Feed my body the nutrients it needs.
Eat when hungry, journal instead of emotional eating.

Ok: what workout am I engaging in to start with. I am going with what was working for me early this year. Hip Hop Abs. will be my main workout for now. I am going to include other workouts along the way to check them out and to mix it up even more. P90, 10 minute trainer, Turbo Jam and the like.

Two of my fitness goals are to be able to complete P90X and Insanity! Focus, Desire, Work, Follow Through, Accomplishment!

Use the elliptical. Walk.

There is a half marathon the end of may I would love to walk. They have a fun run, full marathon and an ultra marathon as well. At this point I’m aiming for the half. In January I will re-evaluate my position and perhaps go for the full marathon. It would be great to walk a marathon in my 50th yr.
Time is flying by. Need to get out to the livestock… so that’s all for now.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip
Mary E. Robbins & the Happy Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream in Wyoming

Independent Beachbody Coach: Good by fat fanny.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Sun Is Shining!

A bit late on my morning workout. I actually slept after working in the kennels all day. I scrubbed out all the water and play buckets, over 40 and groomed 3 poms, mucked out the whelping house, took care of the fowl, and my sweet puppies.

It feels like the Karate Kid Paint the fence, wax the car; and so on.

Here we go again. Coffee, breakfast and out the door to muck out the whelping house, dump all the waters and refill. Groom another set of poms plant 3 plum trees, and hopefully get the garden fence up. I am sooooooo late with that fence.

Plan may have to be modified if I have to go with my husband and mother to get their glasses. If they will go on their own, I'll keep at it while they are gone.

I worked my knee for most of the day yesterday. It's catching a bit today but not so that I can't keep going. I have a support coming that is not as bundlesome and restrictive as the ones I have. The ones I have are too much at this point. They are going to do more damage than good. Need to strengthen the muscles around my knee joint not restrict them.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.

Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians
Independent Beachbody Coach: Live your life as you choose.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Weigh in and thoughts: Day 81 of 90 Day Action Plan

Got on the scale this morning. I lost the pound back off that I gained last week. I am at 275lbs now, down from 299 lbs. In actuality I was over 300 lbs in December of 2008. I know I was because I had started to change my eating patterns and working out before I got on the scale for my initial weight.

I frankly, did not want to face that scale going over 300 lbs. So officially, I have lost 24 lbs with 126 lbs to go.

I can really feel the difference in my face. My upper arms have lost fat, whoo hoo. I am looking forward to having the skin draw up to where it needs to be. Right now I have a pair of fat wings on my arms.

There are holes/indentions on my thighs now too. They were solid. I am losing fat out of my thighs, whoo hooo! I am on my way.

On May 22nd, I got some really great news. I received the results from the MRI on my left leg/knee. Happily there were no torn ligaments, tendons or cartilage. My injury was/is a very badly sprained knee joint; and strained muscles up the back of my left calf and thigh. What to do now? Work it baby. Make it bend and just keep at it, even if it feels like it’s the very last thing you’d like to do. Ooooraaaahhhhh… just move it.

Back to the weight loss, or rather fat loss topic. My body seems to drop pounds for several weeks then plateau, for several weeks; then drop again. I am due for another drop.

I don’t think it is just my body. I think I get a bit weirded out over the fat loss/inch loss, even though I definitely want it, and get a bit bingy. It’s amazing just how much of the weight loss issue is actually psychological rather than physical.

This transformation process is truly a total transformation process. physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Leave any one out, or try to block the growth/transformation and the entire process falls apart.

It would seem that it is not so much a body transformation, but a life transformation.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians
Independent Beachbody Coach: Specializing in Body/Life Fitness Transformations

Monday, May 18, 2009

News of the Past 2 Months: Yes I lost some more FAT!

I apologize for being absent on my blogs. I haven’t been posting much on my blogs since March 25th. It has been a challenging couple of months. On March 25th, I damaged my left knee. I am still not walking well. However with some effort I can get up off the loveseat.

Last Friday I had an MRI on my knee. This coming Friday I should get the results. Then hopefully get some input on rehabbing my knee.

Frankly It amazes me that I damaged it at all. Considering my lifestyle of the past. I’ve ridden broncs, back packed for miles and miles over rough terrain, ran over rough terrain, wiped out on bicycles while clipped in, and so on and so on. March 25th, I hyperextended my left knee falling off a 6 ft snowdrift. How pathetic is that.

Of course when I was doing all those other activities I wasn’t 150 pounds overweight. As in fat fat fat. Both the doc and my chiropractor think I’ve torn my ACL and Meniscus. The MRI should tell the story for sure. I am hoping upon hope that I do not have to have surgery, but I will do whatever I have to do to rehab my knee.

I started doing hip hop abs again the day before yesterday. I put my hinged brace on and made the knee work. It’s bending better as a result. The rest of the day was spent icing then moving, icing then moving. Trying to quiet the screaming muscles in the back of my leg.

We had the late march blizzard, that resulted in my jacked up leg, and pulling all the Poms into the whelping house for weeks. There were some seriously pissed off hairballs. They wanted out to run and play in the snow and mess. Unfortunately the outside runs were buried under 6 ft of snow. Drifted over the tops of the surround fence, making it very unsafe for the poms to be out and about. The predators could walk in and snatch them up, so they had very short outside jaunts in the one little area we were able to clear out to some extent.

Then here came another blizzard in the first part of April. Good grief! On the bright side the grass is growing like crazy now.
The hairballs are able to be outside playing in their runs again. Happy hairballs one and all, lol.

They were still inside for the most part on April 14th. There had been so much moisture that we needed to wait until the ground dried out to some extent. The evening of April 14th, I had just sat down to watch the Biggest Loser; when I received a screaming phone call from my mom’s neighbor to the west. I’ll never forget that phone call. She said, “Your mom’s house is on fire, you need to get over here” that’s all I heard.

I live 13 to 17 miles from my mom’s house depending on whether you take all dirt roads or go on the highway part way. I called 911 and reported the fire, Decided to take my mom’s minivan over there (we kept it here for her) just in case they had gotten her out. I remember trying to stay calm driving, so I wouldn’t wreck the minivan. David was gone on the train, so I was dealing with it alone. I was taking deep breaths gulping back fear and tears, seeing my mom’s little dog in my mind’s eye. Wondering if my mom was burned alive or if she had gotten out alive.

As it turns out our family home of over 100 years is burned to ashes and rubble; Utter devastation. The neighbor to the east had broken down the door, and the neighbor to the west went in with him and they got mom out in a broken power wheelchair. Her 8 Poms, and her birds died in the fire. From what I understand the flame jumped over the door when they took mom out and no-one was able to go back in to get the dogs out. Guess that’s why I kept seeing her face on the drive over.

Mom was in shock for over a week. The experience shocked her so much that she is still unable to transfer from one chair to another on her own. She is living with us now. She is doing much better than she was. On a bright note we have actually been able to spend some quality time together. Perhaps get to know each other as people.

We are reconfiguring our home, sorting out a room for mom. Integrating her into our home.

I had started a 90 day action plan. I am still working on it. Although it looks significantly different than what was originally intended. My workouts had to change. I have been doing my ranch rounds as workouts. Frankly when I had everyone crated for most of the day it was taking all I had just to take care of them. I was working on the crates for around 4 hours a day non stop. With the leg injury that was knocking me out. I did continue to drop weight. I have lost 24 pounds and 18 inches so far. Whoo Hoo! 126 pound to go for the 150 pound weight loss goal.

Today is day 71 in my 90 day action plan.

One day one step, one pound at a time. We have had some major challenges over the past 2 months. It would be very easy to be bitter and defeated. It is a conscious decision to view these events as challenges, and move on. What positive things have come out of these experiences?

I’ve lost more fat. I spent some quality time with my Poms. We have a new litter of puppies. Snickers and Barron had puppies today. The little cuties. I’ll do photos over the next few days.

Trimmed toenails, and worked on grooming as I was working with the hairballs. Will be working on spring grooming daily.

Mom and I now have a chance to actually spend some quality time together. The past several years have been strained. I’d been worried about her living there alone; and she was adamant that she was unwilling to even consider spending time elsewhere. I know that she is getting good nutrition. She has started doing the Tony and the Folks workout. Modified of course, but she is trying. She worked out in her lift chair today with some exercise bands. These are good things.

The fire purged our family home. But we have come through the fire and are growing like new growth after a forest fire.

Life is a journey, sometimes there are twists in the trail.
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians

Independent Beachbody Coach: Changing People's Lives

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Personal Conflict Resolution: Day 52 of 90 day Action Plan

I think I will start today’s entry off with a quote.

“Believe in yourself…
You will be
A shining star.” -Rui Huang Washington Ballet

I found this quote in a dance magazine. I’ve been looking at it all week as my resolution falters. Last night my resolution faltered big time. No binging, just sad and tired, and a lot of pain in my leg. No binging is a good thing, major progress there. I could do without the overwhelming sadness though. Sadness with the tinge of anger, boiling rage if the truth is to be told. With a HUGE dose of frustration.

What am I depressed and angry about? Why am I writing it out? I am writing it out to work my way through it. Who knows perhaps it will help someone else work their way though whatever is going wonky in their lives as well. That would be a good thing.

I am depressed and angry that:

(1) I blew my friggin knee out climbing over a bloody snowdrift. It’s been 33 days since that nightmare began. I have another appointment with the ortho on May 6th. I thought she was nuts when she put it off a month, the first time I went in. Now I understand why. She was waiting for the inflammation to go down. It has to some extent. Actually it has a lot. I am still not able to walk naturally. I am walking nearly stiff legged with my left leg. I can bend it now when I am lying down or sitting. But it doesn’t want to bend on its own if my leg is fully extended.

I am waiting to see if I have a torn acl and/or meniscus. I found some info on acl damage on, mostly about recovery from reconstructive surgery.

My hams and calf muscles are screaming and knotting up like crazy. I did get a hinged brace to help stabilize it. I’ve cut back on my workouts, however I haven’t been able to cut back much on the ranch work.

If any of you have had experience with jacking up your knees and have come through it I would love to hear how you worked through it. I don’t want to leave it inactive because it will stiffen up and weaken. I am trying to find a balance between overdoing it and doing even more damage and rehabbing it, hopefully avoiding surgery. I know that’s unlikely if I have ripped that acl.

One more month until my husband is on vacation, and then there will be someone to pick up a bit of the slack on the ranch/kennel work. At this point just getting through the ranch/kennel work is wiping me out for the rest of the day. I can’t believe how much effort it is taking to handle what I normally do.

(2) Here comes the next round. April 14th, 2009 our family home of over 100 years burned to the ground, no there was no insurance on it. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. The neighbors dragged my mom out with a broken power wheel chair, in the clothes she was wearing. The Poms and birds I’d been trying to get her to send over here burned to death. I keep thinking I should have just taken them before this happened, but legally I couldn’t do that. I should have done it anyway. On my way over there I kept seeing one little Pom’s face in my mind’s eye. I still see her in my mind’s eye.

On the drive over there, as I was trying to keep from running the van in the ditch, totally panicked, not knowing whether my mom had burned alive in that fire all I could see is that Pom. Mom’s special baby. Her little face kept popping up in front of me.

I got there to find mom in shock sitting out in the road, no shoes, not even realizing how cold she was. I was glad to see she was alive, but I wondered if she would survive it. That has been questionable for the past couple of weeks. She is starting to come out of the shock of it all now. Most of the first week and a half she slept. Having nightmares of fires, afraid to be alone.

Before this happened she could transfer from chair to chair, get into the van and so on. After the fire she lost the ability to transfer. When she tried to stand she got confused and the ground started spinning. There is still some confusion but she is standing a bit better. Still very little leg control. I’m not sure if it’s all shock related, or if her arms and legs were hurt being rescued. I think most of it was shock related.

I watched her sink into confusion after discussing the burned out remains of her home. Her complexion would actually gray and she would sink back into a shell after each conversation.

Frankly I can understand it, I lost it when I went to the burned out carcass of our family home to feed the cats. In the state mom was in she didn’t realize what was happening, so David and I discussed it with her. There hasn’t been much in the way of discussing the burnout since then. Talk about it later when there has been some time for healing.

I don’t think the people hashing it out with her realized what was happening. She didn’t sound confused during the conversations, she collapsed afterwards.

(3) The third issue is related to the two above. From what I’ve been told scavengers have been digging around in the remains of the house. It’s bad enough that 100 years of memories went up in smoke, its adding insult to injury to dig around in the carcass of our home. Frankly I would like to set my house guard dogs on them and leave them in bloody pieces strewn across the burned out carcass they are ransacking. Right now it’s best that I stay away, because I am really reeeeeeaaaaaally angry. If my kennel, my mother, and my husband weren’t relying on me I think I would mount a little hunting party. A scavenger hunt so to speak. I can think of a delightful prize for these digging thieves, desecrating the grave of our family home. How about an ant hill massage, neck deep with some honey for hair dressing. That is if I called the dogs off them before they were carcasses themselves. Frankly allowing the dogs to do the deed is just too quick. A slower process is more appropriate.

You know, karma, the Golden rule, etc will take care of it in the long run. But it would work off some anger to help it along. No I’m not going to do that. Hello journals and blogs. Yes it’s true I write my way through rage.

(4) The fourth thing that is getting at me is trying to determine what the best thing to do for my mom is. A friend that I hadn’t seen in 6 years. (I’d moved, she started her own company, and we lost touch) Stepped up and has been an invaluable help. She is a professional nurse and she was excellent in working with my mom. Thank you Pat. Mom started coming out of the confused haze when Pat started coming out to transfer her from chair to chair, and visit with her. I tried to do it and failed miserably. My knee gave out, and frankly I had no idea how to do it without hurting mom and myself. If Pat hadn’t come, mom would be in the hospital, or a care facility. Then I wonder if she would have ever come out of the confused state she was in.

Right now she is sound asleep in a lift chair in the corner of my office. I thought of turning my office into a bedroom for her, but that isn’t going to work since my office also is a walkthrough hallway to the upstairs. No Privacy for her. I thought about moving our room upstairs and giving her our bedroom. That’s not going to work; the upstairs bedroom is going to be filled for a good bit of the summer already. So what do I do? I need a room with some privacy, a bit of space, that she can call her own. The only room I have is my pantry. When we first bought this place she popped into the pantry and said “this can be my room” I remembered that comment too. So the pantry is going to be turned into her room. It isn’t huge but it isn’t a closet either, keep in mind this is a small semi-berm farm house. The room is about 10 by 15 give or take a few inches either way. What can I say it’s an old house and the measurements vary lol. I think It will make a cozy room once I get my pantry supplies out of it.

Now to figure what to do with the pantry supplies. I’ll figure out something. Probably put the back up frig in the quonset. It would be great to have a storage/pantry room built inside the quonset. That isn’t going to happen immediately but down the road a bit. I would like to put a gym together in there too. One step at a time.

(5) The fifth thing that has been concerning me. Actually the thought of it about drives me batty. Is a long history of misunderstandings, and crisis creation in this family. Makes for a toxic living situation. I refuse to live in the middle of it. After last years mess, I had separated myself from it almost entirely.

With mom moving in with us I was concerned that it would start swirling here again. So I came up with a “house policy” When a he said/she said, whomever said whatever repeated commentary comes up. The parties involved will get together and clarify the comments.

When I made this policy known, there were some rather negative reactions. Mom’s reaction was let it go.

No I am not going to let it go. That is like seeing a toxic waste dump in your living room and letting it fester and put off toxins.

Frankly I would think that folks would want to clarify discussions so relations could flourish in a positive environment. Unless stirring up a toxic mess was the intention in the first place. In that case I can see where being called into conference to clarify and take responsibility for one’s comments would be an issue.

It’s pretty simple really, if you don’t want to take ownership of your words, then don’t speak them. Because whether you want to take ownership of your actions and words or not. They are your words and your actions, you own them, you are responsible for them. Such is life. Denying responsibility doesn’t take the responsibility away, it simply puts you in a state of denial.

If someone vents to you, it was for your ears. Not for someone elses. If they want me to hear it they will say it to me. Otherwise I am not interested in hearing it.

Frankly I don’t think I will have to mediate many if any of these conversations. I think the knowledge that I will pull the parties together to discuss it will be enough to stop the most of it. However if I have to mediate nonsense I will.

I wish someone would have stepped up when I was a child and done this. It would have made a major difference in the relationships within my extended family. It’s amazing how people pick at and hurt each other over and over again. There were a couple of them that actually used to laugh about it. Stir up a toxic mess then laugh. If they want to live that way, fine. But it isn’t going on in my home.

Some of them have passed on to the other side, leaving unresolved toxic issues behind them in their wake. It’s sad that so much family life was missed out on because of the toxic lifestyles that were lived. Lonely toxic people.

Well that was a very long post. I feel better, hopefully it will benefit someone else as well.

Oh… I almost didn’t mention. I have lost 21 pounds so far this year. Whoo Hoo! The compulsive eating is no more. All of the stress over this past month didn’t trigger a single episode. What a wonderful sense of freedom.

I am actually eating to live, rather than living to eat, or hiding in food. 21 pounds lost, 129 pounds to go for my goal of losing 150 pounds. There are two places online that I am so very glad I found. One is the Midwest center and the other is Beachbody. Both have been a blessing in my life transformation.

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.

Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians.
Independent Beachbody Coach: Helping others reach their fitness and financial goals.


Broke Through the Plateau April 2nd, 2009

I got on the scale this morning. I broke through the plateau. Whoo Hoo. I weighed in at 283 lbs this morning. That is a 5 pound loss. For a total of 16 pounds down. 299 – 16 = 134 lbs to go to lose 150 lbs. I lost an additional 1.5 inches off my body measurements for a total of 12.75 inches lost so far this year.

I know I should be excited, however I did want to be farther along than this. However it is great that it’s coming off. That 4 week plateau was a bear. Big time mind twister, which of course made it even more difficult.

Injuring my leg and becoming ill didn’t help my fitness level any. I am really exhausted just taking care of the kennels at this point. Seems like a never ending task. This bloody blizzard really threw a curve into my goals. It takes so much more energy to take care of the dogs the way I have them now that it is draining my reserves big time. No energy left to get bookwork, or anything else done for that matter. Frankly I think the physical, and psychological overload is what caused this last bout of illness.

4 more pounds till 20 pounds down. Whoo hoo. Truthfully right now I am so tired and discouraged that it feels more like phhhhtttt! Than whoo hoo.

The rate in which I am losing fat may not be earth shattering. But there is a definite upside to it. Losing it slower gives my skin time to shrink back to where it belongs. So hopefully I won’t need to have surgery to get rid of excessive skin. I guess time will tell for sure on that score. Although the thought of having to have mounds of skin surgically removed is not appealing in the least. Neither is having all that skin hanging around getting galds and nastiness under it. Yuck.

I’ve got to head out to the dogs and take care of them. I hope I can still function when I get back inside. I am so bloody tired that I’d like to just disappear. Poof! Gone, find someone else to dump on.

Ok I can have a totally crap day, or I can decide to live now and have a great day. Choose. Make the decision. I choose to enjoy the rest of my day no matter what the circumstances.

I feel better already.

Life is a journey, decide to enjoy the trip

Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians
Independent Beachbody Coach: Helping others Reach their Fitness and Financial Goals

Saturday, March 28, 2009

March 25th 2009, day 17 of 90

Day 17 in my 90 Day Action Plan.

My plan for this 90 day action plan hasn’t gone exactly the way I had envisioned it. No surprise there I suppose.

I am probably 1/3 of the way through the tax work that is a must do. Little frustrated there, wanted to be completely done with it by now. But am making progress.

On the fitness front. Yes I am making progress. Bumpy road but progress. The biggest bump in the road is the pain in my left leg. Working in the blizzard, climbing through snow drifts, yes falling off the top of them, etc. Did a number on it yesterday. Yes I’ve been bathing in liniment. Yes it is helping.

All the Hairballs (poms) are inside. Not so much room to run, but warm and dry. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking I’d missed one of them. I hadn’t, it was just a nightmare. The guard dogs were barking and the coyotes were howling, geez they were in close. My husband and I piled more straw in the guard dog’s houses. Makes me nervous having the electric fence buried in the snow.

The coyotes and cougar don’t come past the electric fence when It’s on. I will be VERY GLAD when this snow melts. It would have been wonderful if the wind hadn’t blown so hard. There are big stretches of no snow at all, then monster drifts.

We need another layer of snow fence to help catch it and keep it out on the range. The shelter belt tree row we put in is buried under snow but it wasn’t enough to keep it back out of the dog yards.

Looks like the roads are clear enough to get out with a 4 wheel drive. Weird storm. It was between 70 and 80 degrees the day before the blizzard. It started as a driving rain, then turned into a wet sticky snow. I found one of our hens sitting on a fence yesterday encased in snow. I picked her up and took her into my dog house to melt the snow off. Then took her over to the chicken house and put her inside. She must have gotten confused in the blinding snow and wind and just hung onto the fence. I’ve never seen a chicken snowball before.

I bet ranchers lost calves out in this mess.

Life is a journey, some travels are in blinding snow
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians
Independent Beachbody Coach: Turn Weightloss into Profit

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Butt fit in the Salon chair!

Beauty Salon chairs, movie theatre seats, airplane seats, office chairs with arms, bucket seats in some cars, all were a; what do I say.

An absolute embarrassment, misery; truthfully the words that come to mind are considerably stronger! It was one of those, take a look at the chair, estimate whether my fat rear would fit in it, then ease myself down into the chair one butt cheek at a time. Then pop! The butt cheeks stick out on each side through the chair arm loop. When you get up be very careful to ease out of the chair, or you are standing with a chair stuck on your butt.

Frankly I avoided this situation whenever possible. Sometimes it was unavoidable. The last time I flew to a business conference for example. The flight from Denver to Los Angeles. Cheek to Cheek to Cheek all the way. Fortunately the guys sitting on either side of me were skinny. Had all three of us been rather large in the rear it would have been something out “Saturday Night Live”. I couldn’t get the plane seat arms down over my rear, so I rode with them up under my arms.

Frankly I doubt if it was any more pleasant for the two guys, but to their credit they didn’t say anything, at the time. It’s not that the seats, chairs, etc are too small. It’s that my butt is to frigging big!

Denying it doesn’t change it. The chair is not too small; the rear end trying to wedge itself into it is too lardy. No, that was not a misspelling. Lardy as in large filled with lard-FAT.

Yesterday one of the things on my list as I blasted my pickup truck into town for supplies was to get my hair cut. I printed out a picture of the hair cut I wanted, grabbed my supply lists, climbed into my trusty truck and headed down the gravel road preparing myself for the “infamous butt-chair wedge”.

I arrived at the salon, chatted a bit and we headed for the torture chair. I looked at it, got ready to squirm and twist to get into it, and WOW! I slid right in. I stood up. Turned around and looked at it again. Then slid right in. No pinching, no twisting, no chair stuck on my butt!

Then we went to the shampoo station, and slid right into the seat. My butt fit in the salon chair. My Butt fit in the salon chair. My Butt fit in the salon chair! Gee suppose I said that enough?

I am one happy camper, lol. I still have a long way to go to my healthiest size, but I am on my way. I am losing inches. Yes I know I can tell that by a tape measure, but sometimes that doesn’t really sink in. Now, my but not having to be wedged into a salon chair, that makes a major impression in my mind.

Good by Jabba the Hut butt! As in a butt as big as Jabba the Hut.

Day 8 in my 90 Day Action Plan.
My workouts for today are elliptical and Hip Hop Abs: fat blasting cardio.

Oh, by the way, my haircut came out great!

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Plans and Poetry: March 14 2009

Cheyenne, my senior border collie, drove me out of bed at 4:00 a.m. this morning. What can I say, she is an old lady and had to go potty. Truth be told I was none too happy about it at the time.

It turned out to be a good thing though. Now I am up for the day, getting an early start on a very full day.

Written Much Later in the Day:
Today was a full workout day. Day 6 of 90 day action plan. I am happy to say I am current with my planned workouts. 12 workouts in 6 days. I am tired though, should be better in a couple of weeks. Need to get myself on a consistent sleep pattern. Workouts are good, eating pattern has been inconsistent. Be better tomorrow. No sense in crying over spilt milk. Just pick up from here and go on.

David was called to work, he is sleeping so much I am concerned. Seems like he is always tired.

I decided to wait until April 1st to measure and update photos. Then follow up each month around the first of the month, rather than mid month.

Bits and pieces of life
Snapshots of a moment
Glimpses into another

A Peek into an underlying consciousness
A photo frozen moment
An awakening comment

Notes of a favorite song
Visual blurb in video
A tenuous connection

Exploring new relationships
Reconnecting with friends lost in time
Bits of truth

Something’s missing
Look again
Found a friend

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians
Independent Beachbody Coach: Join the Team Beachbody Club and Get the Body You Want

Heart tells the story: March 13 2009

I noticed something this morning while I was working out on my elliptical. This particular machine has a heart monitor and I decided to see just what my heart rate was while I was dripping in sweat. I noticed It was around 120 bpm.

Then I thought about the heart monitors sounding the alarms incessantly, a while back when I was in the hospital. They went off non stop because my resting heart rate was over 135 bpm.

Put’s a smile on my face. My heartrate while working out on the elliptical was 120 this morning quite the comparison. Even though I have a long way to go to my healthiest size and weight, there is definitely progress being made. Whoo Hoo! Feels good to have a stronger healthier heart!

Life is a journey, enjoy the trip.
Mary E. Robbins & the Hairballs
Robbins Run Ranch: Living the Dream With Our Pomeranians
Independent Beachbody Coach: Join the Team Beachbody Club and Get the Body You Want