Tag Archives: red envelops

New Pants, New Size, New…

Well, not a new me.  It will end up being the old me with a new look!  I’ve visited Value Village a few times, looking for size 20 pants in an appropriate shade of blue so that I can wear them to work without creating a fuss.  No luck.  Saturday it was snowing yet again in Calgary, so I had no inclination to walk there in that form of precipitation.  I did enough walking just doing the errands near Chinook Mall.  I thought I would check out Sears and see if they had any good deals.  They did – and pants a size smaller with elastic waist.  I think these might last me a bit!

Can you see the size?

I imagine some might think this is not something to make public or “brag” about, but it is a bit of a deal for me and I’m excited!

Of course I don’t intend to be in them for very long, but it is nice to see that number going down as well.  And with the elasiticized waist they might hang around for a few sizes!  They ended up costing just over $15, so not too expensive.  I have yet to embrace the feeling of loose pants.  Sweat I can tolerate, too much looseness, no.  So gotta do what I’ve got to do.

Enough bragging on the new size –  here are the “stats” for the week.  I have to say that I’m excited by them!  I just may achieve the mini-challenge I set for myself – to get under 230 by my birthday in 12 days.

After 15 weeks…

(to Apr.  18)

Weight Loss

Number of Visits

Cost per visit



This Week


3  pounds


Last week




Year to Date




This week




And 20 minutes on the stair climber – 41 floors (level 1)

Of course, this means it’s another “red envelop” day!  I love these surprises that I get to open when I reach a “mini-milestone!”  I’ll share the recipe another day, but here’s my inspiration for the day –

Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending!  Maria Robinson

I can’t go back and change what I should have or could have done.  I can get up today, and do the next right thing, and change my future!
Have a wonderful day!



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Challenge One is in the Books!

Well it is almost in the books!  12 weeks.  6 mini challenges.  One 5K walk.  Several interesting and informative presentations (and many more that I was unable to attend).  Well done Calgary Co-op – and I’m very impressed with what was made available to our city!

I had intended to write about this more often, but I didn’t.  Here’s a summary, and if you live in or around Calgary, there’s always next year!

The challenge started at the end of January, just when resolutions might be flagging! There was an information fair with lots of treadmill reading available.  Our TOPS chapter quite enjoyed the “Little Books of big health tips” presented by Pfizer.

One of the challenges (Number 5) focused on family meals.  But for those of us who are single, these meals are just as important.  Meals and meal times keep us from grazing mindlessly because we don’t feel like cooking.  This challenge reminded me that it’s a good thing to take the time to roast some asparagus once in a while!

These were my goals:

  • Break into a sweat more frequently!
  • Do one or two 1 hour workouts on the elliptical machine.
  • Eat less in the evening.
  • Increase vegetable consumption.
  • Eat meatless meals twice a week.

The final challenge is to write a short essay type of response to the challenge and how it made a difference.  Here’s sort of what I’m submitting!

My Whole Health Challenge actually began on January 3, 2011 when I joined the gym down the street.  I weighed in that day at 253.5 pounds.  Now, 15 weeks later I weigh about 232 pounds.  I’ve lost over 20 pounds, at least 14 inches and I’ve got my first “event” t-shirt of the year!  But…I’ve gained so much more!

I’ve gained a cheering section.  Every morning when I show up at the gym there are people who are glad I got up and out of bed – important when you’re a single gal!  They notice changes before I do.  The same goes for my friends.  They’ve sent me red envelops of encouragement.  They ask me how I’m doing – and I know I couldn’t keep it up without their support.  People are reading my blog and that encourages me too.  I have a much larger circle of encouragement – and I’m going to need them as I keep on going.

I’ve also gained  the acceptance that “sweat happens” and it’s a good thing.  I do NOT  like to sweat.  But rare is the day that I don’t use my towel to wipe my perspiring brow.  It wasn’t that way at first.  I didn’t even need a towel in my gym bag until the day I decided that I was going to do an elliptical mile in 12 minutes!  Did I ever sweat then!  It hasn’t stopped since.

While I’ve not been able to do the hour long work-outs on the elliptical machine (Too boring – I’m one of those people who really needs change)  I have developed an hour long routine that fits my style.  I start with the mad dash on the elliptical, where I sweat profusely and move quickly (11 minute milestone is achieved).  Then I head over to the stationery bike and pedal at a moderate pace for another 15 or 20 minutes.  I get a good bit of reading time in here when I’m not stretching my arms and upper body.  Then it’s off to the treadmill where I spend most of my time adjusting speed and incline so that my heart rate stays around 110.  And after these twelve weeks, I can say that my speed, distance and endurance has increased!  That too is a good gain!

I do plan to participate in other challenges along the way.  They are motivational.  They focus your attention on the matter at hand – in this case health.  They are also a bit of a diversion – and add some fun to getting up and getting to it!

Have a wonderful evening and a restful Sabbath day.


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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature

What’s Inside the Envelop?

Well, after a few weeks of flirting with #234, I achieved it this morning.  Not only that!  I was at the gym before the Boot Camp group had started warming up!  Everything was topsy turvy for some reason, but I managed to get to the scale and get on it!  And with out further blather, here are the Monday morning stats!

After 14 weeks…(to Apr.  11) Weight Loss Number of Visits Cost per visit MilesTraveled
This Week Lost.75  pounds 6 Last week$4.14 17.48miles
Year to Date 19.00pounds 82 This week$3.84 209.26miles

And of course the 5K walk!

I decided not to include the walk, because it didn’t happen at the gym.  I did drop by in the afternoon for a leisurely bike ride, so I counted that.  I didn’t even look at the envelop!

Thank  you Alida for sending me envelop 234.  Alida is one of my friends through thick and thin.  She’s seen me struggle with this for the entire time of our friendship which is over 20 years old now!

The encouragement comes from Psalm 18, which I am going to read over breakfast, but here’s what I’d like to leave with you all today:

Psalm 18:34 (with her addition)

God teaches my hands to make war (to fight what needs fighting -as your weight right now) so that your arms can bend a bow of bronze.

While I have referred to this as a journey and not a battle, some days it can be just that – and as I face each challenge and do the next right thing, I do feel myself becoming stronger and faster, not just mentally but physically as well!

God is truly good and I am so grateful that He loves me through it all!

Have a wonderful Monday and a great week!


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Slowly, But Surely…

Another Monday has rolled around.  This week  I started my thirteenth week at the gym – which still has me shaking my head in wonder.  But  I like going in and making another mark on my goal sheet

At the gym there is a “Goal” Board, and this is mine.  I don’t know if anyone is watching it fill up, but every day I show up I make a mark.  I also have one for my weight, but that’s next weeks picture!  A goal, people say is a dream with a deadline.  My deadline is every day.  I get up, and instead of muddling through my morning I show up.  I am greeted by fellow travelers on the road to good health, and they have become another part of my cheering section, just as you are.

“Encourage one another and build each other up…” (1 Thess. 5:22)  That’s what we do together, and I am grateful for all the red envelopes, all the comments here and on Facebook, and the words I hear when I see you!

I totally forgot that I get to open my 236 envelop today, so lets see what’s in it!  (Drumroll Please…)  It’s a lovely card that says…

Each day is a gift from Heaven –

A chance to start over.

Change is a big deal

but if there’s anyone

who could make it work

in their favour, it’s you!

So that’s the thought for the day – applicable to any changes you are making in your life!  And to any journeys you are making!

After 12 weeks… 

(to Mar. 28)

Weight Loss Number of Visits Cost per visit Miles 


This Week 



1.5  pounds

6 Last week 




Year to Date 




70 This week 




Value Village never seems to have size 20 blue pants.  I’ve had to take in my 22’s .


Enjoy the journey and enjoy the day,




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Fear Less, Hope More…

These are the beginning  words of one of my “Red Envelop” encouragement cards.  There’s more to it but that’s what I’m latching onto as I move forward in the various colours that make up my parachute!

A few  years ago, when I was in The Netherlands, I picked up this postcard and it has been hanging around my life ever since.  I may some day actually jump out of an airplane – but change always feels that way anyways – like you are jumping into a place where you’ve never been before.  You may have some ideas of what that might be like, but at the same time it could be radically different from your expectations.

It’s that “could be” that I think holds me back from just going for broke and getting things done.

I have to say that I am enjoying the red envelops that I have been able to open over the past few weeks.  And it occured to me that I could pass them on – not just via our conversation here, but also by real mail.  Gotta tell you, I love checking my mail box these days!

So, if you are on a journey to a new place in life, and you need some encouragement along the way, send me an email at this new address,

5colourparachute at gmail dot com

I would be delighted to send you something to encourage  you on the way!

In the meantime, here’s to moving forward, one good decision after another.

Have a wonderful day and enjoy the spring!


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Filed under RED: Losing weight, gaining fitness, strength and new cooking ideas, WHITE: Thoughts, mostly of a spiritual nature

My First Red Envelop!

“Success is  the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out”

Robert Collier wrote that and Lisa wrote it on an index card, stuck it in my envelop (With a few other bits of inspiration) and a recipe which I will make later, and it arrived in my mail-box.  I wonder what my mail-man thinks about all these red envelops coming to my door.

She also sent me a recipe for “Health Nut Muffins” that you can find in volume 2 of the Best of Bridge Cookbooks.  I’ll be getting the ingredients and making them as soon as my current batch of muffins is done!

You might notice that it says 228 in the corner – and I am 9 pounds away from that just now.   Well, 238 hasn’t arrived yet, and somehow I managed to get two envelops for 228.  So I made an adjustment.

If you’ve decided to “get a little help from your friends” here’s a tweak I’m going to do with the rest of my envelops.  I’m not going to put a number on them at all.  I’ll add the number when the envelope arrives. That way, I’ll have the envelop ready when I need it!

I introduced this activity in my TOPS chapter.  We are sending each other envelopes, numbered 1 to 6.  We can either open one envelop per week or one envelop per loss.  We’re flexible!

I enjoy the anticipation of opening the next envelop, because I know I will be encouraged.  I have people in my life who love me enough to take time and give me what I need – accountability and encouragement!

Thank you my friends!


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