Little Known Family History

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When one of my two remaining maternal cousins visited in August, during our conversation, we realized how little we knew about the family’s history.

Later, this led to the three of us planning a first-time reunion of the Outlaw Family Clan for Thanksgiving 2016.

As the remaining three elders, we plan to piece together what we can by:

  • reviewing information recorded in the family bible;
  • identifying photos in the family album; and
  • sharing memories and old photos.

Our goal is to capture and preserve as much family history as possible to pass down to future generations.

On a personal level, the eldest of the elders on both my paternal and maternal sides, I will continue to share my life experiences, via this blog.  Perhaps, one day, future generations will use what I write to piece together information for their family reunion.

 

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My 70-Day Challenge to Wellness

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For most of my life, I made unhealthy choices. The consequences prevented me from living life to the fullest.  I take full responsibility for opening the door to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Now, I am fully committed to living a healthy lifestyle. It all began on June 2, 2015, when I posted this on Facebook:

“Thanks to Brenda and Peggy for sharing their 70 Day Challenge journey on Facebook. Their daily posts inspired me to begin my wellness journey, which I hope leads me to a healthy mind, body and spirit.

The Challenge, for me, has extended beyond 70 days to the remaining days of my life.   No longer am I willing to wander aimlessly toward improving the quality of my life. Now, I wake up each morning self-motivated to follow a path that I know will lead to a healthy spirit, mind and body.

As a Challenger sharing my journey on Facebook, I have been further motivated by the positive and supportive comments posted on my page by family members, friends, and even the friends of my children.

Also, I am encouraged, guided and inspired by the comments made by Sister Challengers. The ones that I chose to share are from three women that I hadn’t communicated with in almost twenty years.

“Welcome to the journey my friends. It’s a journey of unimaginable beauty, strength, spirituality and peace.” (PHM)

“Go, Yvonne Thomas, great stats and a great job with sleeping. Many studies talk about the value of consistent sleep.” (BB) 

Go ahead and feel good about it! Smile be smug, and be certain to continue the Challenge.” (DJW) 

After only 90+ days of participating in this Challenge, painlessly and effortlessly, I can:

  • Get in and out of the bathtub
  • Walk up and down stairs
  • Lower to and rise from the floor
  • Squat and kneel

These are things that I haven’t been able to do, without experiencing mild to severe pain, since being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis in 1993.

To give you a better idea of my Challenger journey, I share a few snippets from my Facebook posts:

Day 1. I meditated for 30 minutes and followed up with a 30 minute mindfulness walk around the neighborhood.  In the afternoon, I also did water aerobics for 40 minutes.  At day’s end, my Fitbit device reported: 6,703 steps; 2,108 calories burned, 1,466 calories eaten, 72 oz fluids, and 8 hrs. 1 min. sleep.

Day 70. Today, is the last day of my Challenge.  I plan to continue this journey toward building a healthy body, mind and spirit. I completed 30 minutes of mindfulness and meditation practices as well as physical therapy home exercises for 30 minutes.

Day 101.  By choice, it was a very sedentary day in terms of physical exercise.  I didn’t plank, stretch or crunch.  In fact, I barely walked.  The body screamed for rest and l listened.  Attended early morning online church services; and, following this , I enjoyed a day of relaxation.

Lastly, just as my 70-Day Challenge was coming to an end, two of my Sister Challengers invited me to join them in a 30-Day Plank Challenge. I accepted.  On Day 1, I held the Plank Pose for 30 seconds; and, by Day 30, I was able to hold three poses over the course of a day, one for 2 minutes and two for 1 minute.  

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Not, bad for a Seasoned Sistah who will celebrate her 73rd birthday in November.