129 A Day – Fitness Challenge in August

2015-06-05-at-070744_18459458286_oAs many of you know I was crushed with the loss of Amber. She was wonderful and caring person who I loved like my own child. Spending time with her always filled my heart with joy. My children thought of her as a big sister.

My friend Alan suggested a fitness challenge to raise awareness to addiction, recovery and accidental overdose. We have an epidemic in our country right now. This year is expected to have more overdoes that last year which was a horrible year for overdoes. It is estimated that 129 people lose their battle each and every day to an overdose in the United States.

The challenge will begin on August 1st and end on August 31st, International Overdose Awareness Day. I am honored to be collaborating with Alan, Laurie, The Gym Pittsburgh and 129aDay on this challenge.

Please join the challenge by registering at YinzersGetFit.com/129aDay and receive daily challenges beginning August 1st along with a profile from 129aDay.org of a person who lost their battle.

Together we can raise awareness and money to help people suffering from addiction and celebrate people who are in recovery.

I Am Coffee

I received this from http://www.addictionpolicy.org/

I wanted to share a short story, which I’m sure many of you have seen or heard online.

The story goes…

A young woman went to her grandmother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling.

Her grandmother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her granddaughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”
“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her granddaughter closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she held the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The granddaughter then asked, “What does it mean, Grandmother?”

Her grandmother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened.

The coffee beans were unique, however. Faced with the boiling water, it changed the hot water, the very circumstance that brought it pain. For the coffee, when things are at their worst, it changes the situation around it. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, it elevates to another level.

“Which are you?” she asked her granddaughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?’”

This story reminds me of you, of all of the amazing families that are working to change how we handle addiction in our country —  changing the world even through the hardest circumstances. #YouAreCoffee

– Jess

P.S. Please feel free to share this story and graphic with friends and family.

Yinzers Get Fit !

I am a Yinzer, born and raised and to the heart!

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I have been a coach potato for a very long time. In November 2015 I started on a fitness journey. I have been staying with it and am now down 48.5 pounds! I am very proud of the changes I am making and I am committed to continue on this journey. I am NOT just on a diet. I am trying to live a more healthy life and have a lot of work to do still.

I have eating healthy and exercising regularly. I started by walking and progressed from their.

I am a member of The Gym now and have a personal trainer. She is teaching me what do to in the gym, proper form and guiding me with a meal plan.

I decided to separate my fitness into a separate site. This new site is geared towards my fitness journey and I would like to have others contribute their journeys also. If you are interesting in participating or just following my journey please check it out.

Like I said, I am a Yinzer.

So, I would like to ask you to check out YinzersGetFit.com and let’s change our lives together!

 

Happy Father’s Day

One of the biggest accomplishments I have is being a father. I am blessed to have three great examples of father’s that I call Dad. I am also blessed to know many wonderful men that are both family and friends that have stood up to be a man and be a father.

Being a father has been, without a doubt, my greatest source of achievement, pride and inspiration. Fatherhood has taught me about unconditional love, reinforced the importance of giving back and taught me how to be a better person.

Naveen Jain

Being a father is much more than having children, being a father is being there for your children. Being there for all children and trying your hardest to set a good example and be a good role model. Being a Dad is the hardest job that I have and one that I take very seriously and will do anything for. A Dad is not always related by blood, but by LOVE.

Happy Father’s Day to my wonderful Dads and to each and every one of you who step up and doing your job as a Dad.

 

 

 

 

Using Evernote For Blogging

I have been using Evernote for a long time. I have my notes available on all of my devices. I even take pictures of hand written notes and add them to Evernote.

Today though, I want to talk about how I use Evernote for blogging. I have tried several ways but found that using Evernote for my blogging is the most efficient for me.

The workflow that I use is not difficult, it makes use of tags and saved searches in Evernote.

As I am sure many of you do, I get all kinds of ideas about blog posts, some never see the light of day and others turn into a published post. Some I have other people involved with and need to collaborate on. I tried using WordPress (my blogging platform of choice) but found it lacking. I installed a plugin called Drafts for Friends and it was useful. It let me share via a link a draft post and get feedback, but didn’t let people edit. I have created accounts for people but some just don’t want to work within WordPress, they may not be tech people who just want to contribute using an easy system for editing, proofing or providing feedback. This lead me to start using Evernote for my blogging. I do NOT publish my notes from Evernote, this is a manual workflow that provides a way of having people contribute and collaborate on a post and also for helping me brainstorm and dive deeper into ideas I for my blogs.

I have a notebook, not a shared notebook called “Web Sites”. This notebook has notes related to my sites, all sites. I have structure in this notebook and other relevant information. Like I said this is NOT a shared notebook.

I make use of Evernote tags by using the following tags:

  • Site Name (Rainaldi.org in this case)
  • Status
    • draft
    • published
    • idea

When I have an idea for a post I create a note in the Web Sites notebook and tag it with the site name and “idea”. This is usually just that, an idea that needs more thinking. It might be a phrase, a picture or event another post that I used Evernote Clipper to send to this notebook. Something I want to respond to or reference. I can do this from any of the Evernote applications that are available, Web Clipper like I said, Phone app, Web App or Windows Client.

I have a saved search that searches within the “Web Sites” notebook for notes tagged with ideas. This will present a list of only those notes. I haveSavedSearch a shortcut saved for this search so I can look at these notes very easily. You can see how I built the saved search and that I am define the search to look inside the “Web Sites” notebook for notes tagged with “draft” and NOT having the tag “ideas”.

I create a note with the idea, add “ideas” and the site name as tags. When I am ready to start writing the post I pull up the note and start writing, I don’t worry about graphics or images. I just focus on the content that I want in the post. I will add images, graphics and links to the note, but not in any order. At the very end of the note I put a collection of these assets so I can reference and use them.

I then will add the “draft” tag to the note an my saved search will make it easy to find so I can refer and edit it as time permits. I can also send a shared link to someone for them to review and contribute to this post if needed. I use Evernote Chat to talk about the post.

ShareNote

I share just the note to the people I wish. They may or may NOT have an Evernote account. I encourage them to have an Evernote account and most do.

 

CopyAsTextOnce I have the post ready I log into my site and copy the text from the note. I paste the note into WordPress as “text” and click on the “Copy as Text” icon in the toolbar. I have found issues with formatting when I just paste the text into WordPress. I like to use WordPress for my formatting as that is the destination and I can make use of the WordPress tools and preview to make sure the post looks as I wish.

I also like to have all of the meta data for the post listed in Evernote. WordPress tags are just listed as a comma separated list, Categories are listed and the feature image is just noted. I have the title in the note so I can refine that as well.

Once I published the post on my blog, I add the tag “published” and remove the tag draft. This will clear up the saved search, I can also just add the filter to the saved search to remove notes with the “published” tag.

Sample

Currently, I am looking at a few templates from fellow Evernote Community Leaders that I like and will be incorporating those templates into my workflow. I follow up with a post once I have that in place.

Grief – Words of a 12 year old

Yesterday at dinner after leaving the cemetery my 12 year old wanted to read something that she wrote about Amber. The picture is of the two of them when younger.

Below are are words and the video of her speaking.

Amber was a big part of everyone lives, You may tell yourself while your in grief I can’t picture life without her, well the answer is do you have to ? Amber never left you she just turned to somewhere else.She is still with us. She was here on Christmas and with everyone. Today she joined us, not only did she join us , she showed signs . She probably loved that she got to dance with everyone. She stayed still for the picture. Amber is here with us everyday. And something everyone probably didn’t notice she showed she is here eating with us. She made the balloons show that. The balloons reached out to everyone. A special moment that I saw Amber do I saw the balloons reach out to aunt nina as a hug . There are amazing moments each and everyone of us had with Amber that you will always remember .

 

 

Amber – One Year

It has been one year since we lost her. One year full of tears. One year of missed talks and time together.

I think about Amber every day. I always have a very special relationship and loved spending time with her so much. We would have very deep talks about so many subjects. She would teach me about her feelings and I would share mine. Amber was more than a niece or Goddaughter to me. Amber was part of me.

Amber was loved by so many people. She was a big part of so many lives. Seeing her brought a smile to my face even when times where tough.

Today, as I think about Amber and the deep love I and so many others have for her. I just want to see her again, but that is not possible.

Now, we try to remember the good times and the joy that she brought to our lives. She was a beautiful person inside and out. I think of the free soul that Amber was. I think of the song “Dancing in the Sky“. I believe that she is dancing in the sky now, she is dancing in the clouds and with all of the loved ones that have passed.

I was love to take pictures and videos. This video is from Amber’s 23rd birthday, taking her to eat and be sung to. I have many videos but just haven’t been ready to go through them yet…

I will.. She is always in OUR HEARTS!

In her short life she touched so many people and made so many connections. Connections and building relationships is what life is about.

13321947_881624948648025_6144795738528172072_ni woke up today thinking 1 yr today my daughter left my appt. to go somewhere .i wanted her to go for wings with me that night .She decided to go get well from her addiction .She left saying i love you mommy .and i had a smile on my face not knowing they were here last words . I am going today stay strong and remember good times .i want amber to look down at me and say I’m proud of ya mommy she will always be in my heart (6/1/2016):

 

12400687_10206173400313845_5370386953871072394_nFrom Mom F(6/1/2016) :
I remember that last week. Amber was struggling and really wanted to get it!!! I am blessed to have had so may years and time with Amber. I am even more glad and blessed to have seen Amber and her mon reunite so closely the last 4 months. What a blessing God gave us all time with Amber . I love you Janine. Your post just brought me to tears. Pap Pap Bob is also feeling such a big hole in his heart. Amber always respected her Pap and looked up to him. Her uncle Lou , Rhonda and the girls were like mentors too. They stepped in when the going got tough for Grandma (Nana) Thanks Lou Jr. for all the help. Also Thanks to Pap Pap Rainaldi . & Grandma Cathy When Amber was very young he took her to give (Nana) a break. Oh how I appreciated the help. We had such a beautiful and loving relationship with Our Amber, I am sure Amber is looking down and saying. Wow!!! I’m at peace. Also thanks to all her close relationships Amber had. She love everyone. May you all find peace.
Also Amber’s dad did the best he could. And Grandma Jan and pop pop. Always tried to help. Thanks  (6/1/2016)

 

13332798_10208137654497638_386180493503331093_nAmber – My Child, Grandchild – It has been a year since your earthly journey ended. There is seldom a day that I don’t have a thought about you or find something that reminds me of you. Some of those little projects you made while growing up are still on or in my work bench along with several pictures from different ages. I often see signs that remind me of you like the bright pink feather that appeared out of nowhere when I was tearing the old kitchen apart. It seems at times that you are watching over me now. I have a lot of good memories of you from an infant through a young adult that I will hold onto forever. I thank God for giving you to me as a child, trusting me to help you grow, and letting me have those years with you. You will forever be a part of me. Amber – I love and miss you. (6/1/2016)

 

21211371599_3848cd8079_zone year ago today God decided He wanted more laughter & dancing in heaven. He took my granddaughter Amber Mersing into His kingdom, we only had her for 24 years but she put so much joy & happiness into my life. i think of her every day thankful for all the joy she brought into my life. i miss her every day & wish i had her back. i miss you & you will always be with me. until we meet again love you pappy (6/2/2016)

I ask you all, please remember that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Remember to tell people you love them and more importantly SHOW them your love.

Rest In Peace Amber. Jan 2 1991 – June 4, 2015

I Love The New Me

ImageToday was weigh in day. I am very happy to say I lose a few more pounds!

I am loving my new lifestyle. I do not binge like what I used to do. I would say I have NOT binged in a long time. I do have times when I slip and eat things I shouldn’t. I am much better at portion control that I have ever been.

I have a drive and energy to go to the gym on a regular basis. I find enjoyment at the gym and trying new exercises. I am also now feeling muscles developing more, feeling that difference in me is huge and makes me feel so good.

Having my wife join me at the gym and also watching what she eats make it easier and helps us both try harder to find better ways of eating and getting to the gym.

Friday, I was exhausted and stressed. I didn’t want to go to the gym. I wanted to sit on the couch and just do nothing. My wife said let’s go to the gym. We went for a short 20 minute workout. I came back feeling so great!

Having people involved in your journey makes a huge difference and helps you to succeed. Build a support network, share your goals on social media and just keep trying.

I log every single bite I put in my mouth. I find this extremely valuable to me. I also measure what I eat which is helping me with portion control

Find an exercise routine that you can do. I started with just walking. I would walk every day and strive to reach my goal. I started with low goals and then gradually increased them. Now I set a daily calorie burn goal and work hard to reach it every day. I make the goal reachable and add a little challenge to it.

I don’t want to set myself up for failure.

I want to succeed.

I won’t fail.

We won’t fail.

LoseIt! is starting a new #30DaysBestBody challenge on Monday. Join the #LoseItFam and together we can do it together!

DISCLOSURE: I do NOT receive any compensation for my posts. I participate with these companies because I believe in them and they are helping me.
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Get Healthy As A Family #TheHow

This is a life journey!

I am not just going on a diet, I am changing my life.

I believe that with all of my heart and I am trying very hard to move along this adventure. Failure is not an option and I will NOT fail unless I quit. I started this journey in November 2015 and have struggled through the holidays and many other occasions..

26429378714_2f5e3aa8ae_zMy wife recently talked about wanting to start on her own journey. I am so excited that she is joining me and we can do this together. She has been so supportive of me since I started. She would leave nutrition labels out for me to log and help buy healthy food and try to hide food that would make it difficult for me. Having the person you love join you and support you makes all of the difference.

She met with my trainer to discuss how her journey will start and joined the gym. We created an account on LoseIt for her to log her food and have already went together to The Gym. We tried a class together and are learning how to make this work together. Together we will show our children that you can accomplish anything that you put your mind to. We will show them that making a big change in your life is possible. We will show them that hard work makes things very possible.

We have different specific goals but the ultimate goal is the same.

A Healthy lifestyle!

We will be posting about her experience as well as my experience as I move to toning and with the weight training that I have now added to my program.

Below are two wonderful resources that I use for my journey. Please check them out.

DISCLOSURE: I do NOT receive any compensation for my posts. I participate with these companies because I believe in them and they are helping me.
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