Live To Win!

Live To Win!

It's not about the destination, but it's all about the journey

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Trust Your Power

January 21, 2014

Trust Your Power – NFL’s Derrick Coleman, Seattle Seahawks


Rise and Shine – Great Motivational Video to get you training!!

January 20, 2014

Rise and Shine

by Nike

Having a hard time getting out of bed to workout?  This will get you going!!


Lord of The Rings – The Hobbit 


I love the way this is pieced together.  I will actually workout to this music and find myself raising my heartbeat at the strong points and lowering it during the softer moments.  All music is performed by the group, The Piano Guys. 

Arwen’s Vigil

Another piece I just like to relax to.


The Piano Guys Website

Lord of The Rings – The Hobbit

January 9, 2014

Don’t Ever Give Up On Your Dreams

January 9, 2014

Don’t Ever Give Up On Your Dream

Pictures of my little angel, Chocolate

January 8, 2014

Born: 4/16/2000
Died: 1/4/2014 (Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma )

R.I.P my precious friend

IMG_2729    IMG_2731  IMG_2736

Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma in pets

January 8, 2014

What is Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma? 

Squamous cell carcinomas are malignant cancers originating from the lining cells of the mouth. They are locally invasive and often recurrent. Only 5-10% of tumors arising in the gums (gingiva) metastasize (spread), but cancers in the tongue often metastasize to local lymph nodes. Cancers that originate from the tonsil metastasize quickly to the other tonsil, lymph nodes of the throat and other parts of the body.  (VCA Animal Hospital)

 I am trying to inform pet owners on this form of cancer to be sure your pet doesn’t end up like mine did.  If you are reading my posts, I wrote a post about my cat Chocolate.  This is what he died from.  I wish I would have been more aware of the signs of this cancer.  I am going to include some links to different websites that have the information about this form of cancer.  This cancer can only be treated if found in its early stage.  It is very aggressive.  Even if diagnosed early, the cancer can be removed but radiation treatments must be performed, and even then there is a high chance the cancer will return.  There is more success rates with dogs, but cats don’t have as high of a survival rate.

I hope these links help:

Feline oral squamous cell carcinoma: An overview


Feline Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma | The Veterinary Cancer Center


Oral Tumors – Squamous Cell Carcinoma | VCA Animal Hospitals


The National Canine Cancer Foundation

My Little Angel, Chocolate

January 8, 2014



Let me introduce you to Chocolate.  One of my many kitties I have and love like a child (I have no children so all my pets are my kids). He was the sweetest cat!  He never complained.  He never growled or hissed at other cats that would enter our home.  He was an easygoing kitty, that was as handsome as can be. How he got the name Chocolate…well it started off as just a nickname that happened to stick and one he accepted.  Since he accepted it, and you know how cats get to make the final decisions, we accepted it as well.

I rescued him about 15 years ago.  The cutest kitten you can imagine!!  He was a very passive cat that loved to play and got along with other four-legged critters well.

This past year he was diagnosed with diabetes.  It got to the point where I had to give him insulin injections twice a day.  He was such a trooper about it.  He never flinched and would just settle down to get his injections.

Around December 23, 2013, he stopped eating.  I went to our veterinarian, Dr. Alford of Live Oak Animal Clinic and had his glucose level checked, which was low.  He was given fluids and dextrose.  I was also given some pills to help stimulate his appetite.  He was eating for a couple of days and then stopped all together again.  Back to the vet I went.

His blood sugar was low again and he needed fluids.  The vet started wondering if he had pancreatitis.  On Thursday, December 26th, I made an appointment with an internal medicine specialist, Dr. Meeks, who is with Affiliated Pet Emergency Services in Gainesville, Florida.  Our appointment was on Monday December 30th.  Until then I continued to give Chocolate his medication and fed him Hills Prescription A/D wet food through a syringe.

Monday finally arrived and we were able to see the specialist.  Blood work was taken, ultra sound was performed and vital signs were taken.  Basically all looked well, except that some ulcers were found in his mouth. Dr. Meeks explained that these ulcers can be very painful and that this was the reason he was not eating.   Since he was not eating and was very dehydrated, the doctor wanted to keep him in the hospital for the next 24 – 48 hours.  I hated to leave him, knowing he would be scared, but I also knew it was for the best.

They kept him on IV fluids during the night and gave him other medications (like pain meds and antibiotics) and tried to see if he would eat.  He did not.  Dr. Meeks informed me the next day that since he was still not eating that a feeding tube needed to be placed.  While he was sedated, she looked closely in his mouth and found an inflamed area under his tongue.  His tongue also felt hard in some areas.  She biopsied the area and the feeding tube was placed.  The tube went through an area in his neck down into his stomach.  I was rest assured that this was not painful or uncomfortable for him.  He was left in the hospital overnight again and I awaited for the update the next day.

Dr. Meeks called to say that Chocolate could come home (this was January 1, 2014).  He would need to be kept on the feeding tube and that I would have to feed and medicate him through his tube.  I was so nervous about all this but knew I had to be strong for my little boy.

Chocolate came home and was so happy.  He was purring like crazy and saying “hi” to all his other buddies.  When I had to do his first tube feeding I was so nervous it made me nauseous, but we got through it.  I made a calendar of all his feeding and medication times.  I was literally up during all times of the night but it was worth it.

We had our routine down with the feedings by now.  I spent hours brushing and snuggling with him, telling him how much I loved him and that I knew everything would be fine.  We would figure out the problem, get the right medications and or surgery done, and he would be all well.  Chocolate stayed by me a lot.  I would get on my computer and he would lay his head down on my computer mouse on top of my hand.

Friday, January 3rd, I received a call from Dr. Meeks to go over the test and biopsy reports.  Most of the blood work came back fine, but she did believe that he had pancreatitis.  And then I could hear her voice change and knew all was not well.  The biopsy which was conducted on his tongue came back as a malignant tumor.  Basically Chocolate had cancer…….a very aggressive form of cancer.

It’s called Oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma. Dr. Meeks called an oncologist to see if there was anything that could be performed but since the tumor was so far advanced there was nothing that could be done.  Chocolate could be sustained for 2 – 4 weeks on a feeding tube with medication, but that is not how I wanted my little man to live.  He was to precious and special.

Friday evening I spent the day and night brushing him and giving him kisses all over.  He purred and was happy.  He romped around the house making sure everything was fine and then he would come back to me.  We snuggled and gave nose kisses…..and he purred.  I made sure to keep him on his pain meds to keep him comfortable.  I continued with his tube feedings and let his other meds (mostly antibiotics) slip away.

Saturday, January 4th, 2014 @ 11:46 AM, Chocolate, my precious little angel, was put to rest.  I actually had my head on his chest, petting him to ease his nerves, and heard him purring.  I listened to the purr with every precious second………and then it stopped and I knew my little angel was gone.

For two days I was in a state of deep depression.  Every where I looked I saw him……and the purr……..that last minute purr before he passed haunted me.  Knowing I heard him take his last breath stabbed at my heart.

I had Chocolate cremated and will have his urn close near me.  For all you pet owners our there that have lost a loved one, you know my pain, and I know it will ease and the memories I will always have.

Til then……..I will have to wait to meet him at rainbow bridge, along with my others that have passed on.   I miss you Chocolates…………………


Incline Training for Weight Loss

January 2, 2014


Incline Training is one of the best ways to burn fat and lose weight. Despite whoever told you, you have to run to lose weight, they were wrong. Walking at an incline over 21% at 2 mph can be just as effective as running flat at 6 mph. Here are some benefits of Incline Training:

Heart Rate: Your heart rate at a 24% incline and 2 mph is greater than 0% incline at 6 mph. The greater the incline the higher your heart rate will go. Incline training is one of the best ways to train your heart without having major impact on your joints.

Fat Utilization: Research shows at a incline of 21% and 2 mph, fat is the primary source of energy, burning 6.5 kcals per minute. When walking slowly on a steep incline you will become oxidative, which means you will burn from your fat stores and not from your previous meal.

Fat Test Study:

  • 0% at 6 mph burns 360 calories – 57 from Fat
  • 21% at 2 mph burns 296 calories – 194 from Fat

Muscle Activation: 18% incline and above is where all the magic happens! In fact, from 15% to 18% you have 30% more muscle activation. Most people have a hard time turning on the glutes, but this is a great way to activate them. Not only will you burn more calories when you have more muscles, but your weight loss will look better. At 27% incline and above:

  • Glutes are engaged 100%
  • Hamstrings are engaged 73%
  • Calfs are engaged 90%

Variation: Variation in your training allows for creativity, enjoyment, progression and specificity. Performing variations like skips, side shuffles, backwards walk will increase your calorie burn and muscle activation. Do not exceed 24% incline on any side movements on an incline due to the shear forces it puts on the knee.

  • Workout: Side Shuttles at an incline (under 24%) are a great way to target your inner/outer thighs.

Don’t worry if running is not in the books for you, or even if it is, Incline Training is a great way to mix up your workouts, burn fat, activate your muscles, decrease pressure on your joints and increase your heart rate.


Article from:

The Poppy Girls

The Poppy Girls are a new all-girl group formed from children from Armed Forces families.

The Poppy Girls Website

Poppy Girls – Great voices, Great Ending

December 25, 2013

Just me :)

May 20, 2013


(Me on Sunday mornings when I have my weigh-ins )

While I was running I started to think about how great it feels to see improvements!  I am not a fast runner…more a walker and jogger.  My times are slow but today I improved by a minute and a half.  It is so rewarding to see that after all the hard work I have been putting in, it’s finally starting to show.  I have a friend that reminds me it’s not about getting to the end, but about the journey on your way there.  How true that is!!  So many times we are in a rush to quickly reach a goal, and seldom do we take a moment to appreciate the baby steps it took us to get there.

I want to appreciate every step in this journey.  I am setting small goals for myself and celebrate when each goal is met. I am trying to drop weight and get in the best physical condition I can achieve.  I gained around 10 lbs after my back surgery a couple of years ago.  Before that I was around 20 pounds overweight.  So you can say I have a total of 30 pounds I would like to say good-bye to.  So far I am down 8 pounds and pat myself on the back for doing so 🙂 I am logging my food daily using “My Plate” calorie tracker (livestrong website). I have it set up as an app on my iPhone and iPad and I am trying to stay within a 1200 – 1500 calorie range: 1200 for the days I don’t train and 1500 for the times I do.  This seems to be working well for me and I will continue on this path until I hit a plateau.

This weight loss journey is going to be a memorable one.  On top of  logging in my workouts,  food and blogging  here on WordPress, I am keeping a journal.  I try and write daily about my day and my feelings.  I read that keeping a journal helps you to clarify your thoughts.  I have found that it is helping me stay focused on my goals.  I also write down the things I have to be grateful for, and notice that my mood is elevated by doing so.

Besides the challenge of  physically improving myself, I am also working on myself spiritually and emotionally.  I believe in God.  I was raised as a Catholic and attended parochial schools all the way through high school.  I drifted away from Catholicism and later in my adult years (and very recently) found a Baptist church I connected with.  Along with attending services, I have come across a wonderful app from YouVersion that I use daily.  Here is the website YouVersion.  This is an awesome site and app if you want to read the bible, devotionals, and other spiritual material.  They have several plans to choose from and the best part is it’s free!   I have chosen several plans to read from and make sure it’s the first thing I do every morning.  It’s a great way to start the day!

So that leaves me with the emotional  part.  Probably one of the hardest parts to deal with….trying to love myself.  It’s so easy to put ourselves down and I have mastered this action.  I mean, I know I am a good person and all, but with my weight gain my self confidence and self esteem have just taken a dive. However, my workouts are a  godsend!  I can actually feel my self confidence and self esteem starting to peak around the corner.  Not fully there, but I can finally see a light at the end of the long dark tunnel.  Not a bright one, rather dim, but I know I am headed in the right direction and it feels good 🙂

So with all that being said, I will exit by posting my workout for today below.  Hope everyone is having a blessed day!


This is an iFit workout, using the X9i treadmill.

Bright Angel Trail, Part 2

3 Miles  50:58  16:59/pace  (Slow workout due to injury)

Average HR: 128 bpm        Max. HR: 157 bpm

brightangeltrailpart2                      Google Grand Canyon

Picture above is my course outline.  Picture just below is how Google Maps gets their views of the hiking trails I am doing.  I wonder how much that thing weighs on his back?  I was able to complete this workout all in street view, with beautiful images of the Grand Canyon.