Never Simple

Today would have been Gram’s 90th birthday. She has been gone a little over two years and I still miss her every day. I still see things that I think she would like or appreciate. As silly as it sounds, I still can’t play scratch off lottery tickets. This morning I made Rissa and I a pot of tea using Gram’s kettle. For the last few days she has really been on my mind. Standing in the kitchen, waiting for the water to boil, I suddenly felt an overwhelming moment of sadness and tears filled my eyes. Then the sun shined through the window and onto my face as the tears rolled down my cheeks. I felt Gram telling me that I would be okay. I know that she is still with us, watching over us. I know that she loves us and is proud of me for how far I have come in my journey. I also have no doubt that she’s not happy with the way things are in the family right now. There is a rift in my family that is keeping me away from my parents and my siblings. Part of me wants to mend fences, but part of me really doesn’t. I hate to disappoint Gram and I’m not trying to be difficult, but honestly, right now I’m not sure which way I will go. I keep waiting for a moment of clarity but it has yet to come. I sometimes wish it was as simple in real life as it on tv and in the movies. You fight, you make up and it’s all happily ever after. Nothing in my life has ever been simple and for the most part I’m okay with that. I wouldn’t be the person that I am today if not for my complex history, but a moment or two of simplicity might be nice.S

I’ve Been Cheating…Kind Of

So I do realize that I’ve been slacking in the writing of my blogs and I apologize. I really do. I’ve been doing video blogs and they take up a lot of time. You have to record them, edit them and upload them. It’s a much longer process than just typing out a blog. Maybe I am too lazy with my written blog, but generally I just type it and send it.¬†Occasionally¬†I will go back and edit a little, but usually I just free write. I have always loved to write and always hated to edit, but I digress…

So I here I am knee deep in video blogging and feeling like I’m cheating on my written blog just a little. I love writing. I really do. The thing is that sometimes what I am saying does not truly come across in my writing. The fault there is entirely mine. If I were a better writer I could totally convey exactly what I mean, but alas, I am not. However, when I do a video blog, it is obvious (to most) when I am joking and when I am being serious. You can (usually) tell on my video if I am being sarcastic or not. It is easier to say what I think and feel sometimes than it is to write them.

So yeah, I’ve been doing a lot of video blogging. If you’re on youtube, please subscribe to me. I think you can subscribe to me here¬†or look me up by my name, Mindi Raley. I love to have people watch and comment on my videos. If you are on youtube let me know and I will follow you as well.

For those of you who are not on youtube, I promise to try to write at least a blog or two a week. I will try. That’s all that I can do. As always, thank you for your love and support!

My Body by Vi page

Mindi’s Taking It Off


I’ve been scrapping

The other day I got my desk moved around and got out some of my scrapbook stuff. Some of it is still scattered around, but in time I will be organized again. In the meantime, I have been doing a little scrapbooking. Yay!!! I thought I would share a few pages with you. Some of them are ones that I did before and some are ones I’ve done in the last few days. I am always working on a bunch of different scrapbooks at once and right now is no different. I am working on¬†a calendar book of the year 2006, a book of¬†Shawn and I’s songs and a¬†scrapbook of songs that I¬†have dedicated to¬†Rissa. I also scrapbook ongoing pictures and I am gathering supplies to start a scrapbook about my weight loss journey. Most of what I’m working on is the songs to Rissa book, but there are a few others mixed in. So here they are. Tell me what you think ūüôā


Farther, Faster, Fitter

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, at my daughter’s school there is a nature and fitness trail. Her school is pre-k through 12th grade all in one building and the nature and fitness trail goes all around the school¬†including¬†the baseball diamond on one side, through the woods, around the parking lots and ends at the football field on the other side. Along the way there are a scattering of exercise machines that use your own body weight to provide resistance. I’m not sure how long the nature trail is exactly, but it isn’t short. There are also several small playgrounds, swing sets, and basketball courts which are available to anyone any time. There is also a track that goes around the football field that is open to the public. Since her school is only 5 minutes away and there is so much to do there, we go as often as we can. We usually walk and then Shawn and I shoot hoops while Rissa plays on the playground. When we first started going there in March I could only do one lap around the track or make it about an 1/10 of the way around the fitness trail. Now I can make it all the way down the fitness trail and turn around and come all the way back. I can probably do more than that, but I usually play basketball after that. I also stop along the way to do the machines. When I first started there were 4 machines that I could not do at all. Today I can do all of them and I can do more on all of them than I could before. I’m not sure how many laps I can do on track now. I think the next time we go down I will just go to the track and count how many laps I can do. It’ll be interesting to see what I can do there. Maybe I’ll even throw some sprint intervals in. I was hoping to run my first 5k this month, but with my knee giving me such a hard time, I had to cut back on my running so I haven’t been training for it. I still could do the 1 mile fun walk, but of course I didn’t register in time ūüė¶ So I am still thinking about the October 5k. If the shots in my knee really do help then I can start running every day again and I can do the 5k, even if I do run/walk intervals. I would LOVE to do it! It’s amazing how far I have come in the last six months. It’s amazing how far I will go in the next 6 months. I hope you are pushing yourself to go further than you thought you could. We are all capable of so much, but only if we push.

Better With Help

We all want to better our lives. Maybe for some that means more education, more money, or a better career. Maybe that means a nicer car or a bigger house. That is perfectly okay. Whatever you want to make your life better is okay. For me, and for many others, having a better life means getting healthy. I am losing weight, getting stronger and taking better care of myself. I am exercising and eating better every day. That’s what I am doing to better my life. What are you doing to better yours? It’s okay to want that better life, but you also have to be willing to put the work in to make the changes and using the help available to you is a good way to start.

In my quest to better my life, get healthy and lose weight I have many things at my disposal. There are so many tools available for you and many of them are free. There are a few sites that I use daily and several that I use occasionally and I thought I would talk a little bit about them here.

Of course my biggest tool in losing weight and getting healthy is Body by Vi and I am on my Vi page every day. I love love love all the tools, the helps, and the support. It is absolutely life changing. Going along with my Vi page is my facebook page Mindi’s Taking It Off which I am also on several times a day every day. I keep in touch, post updates, pictures, recipes, support and encouragement and I love LOVE love to hear from my friends and fans! You are guys what keep steam in my engine ūüôā

Almost everyone who knows me knows that I use my Body Media armband and their website daily to track my calories burned, activity and activity intensity, steps taken and sleep duration and efficiency. I did pay for the armband and I do pay a small monthly subscription for the website. I love my armband, but I do wish it was a little less expensive. I only use the website to see my results and keep track of my weight loss goals, but there is a food tracker and some other info available. I personally, do not use all of that, but it is nice to know that it is there. If you have a smart phone you can also download their app.

I also use daily (I am minthescrapper on there). It is a free website, although there are pay services on there, but I don’t use them. I use sparkpeople for the nutrition tracker and the fitness tracker. I put in everything that I eat and every exercise that I do. I also input my weight and inches to keep track of my goals and my results. is a fabulous place where you can be as involved as you like. There are a lot of social applications on there, groups and challenges that you choose to be a part of. In the past I have been involved in several groups and¬†challenges, but lately I have not been as involved simply because I have been involved in other things. I still love it and still think that it is a fantastic site for anyone who wants to get healthy.

I have other sites that I sometimes, some more than others. ¬†I use everyday health sometimes, but more often than going to their site, I read the emails they send me. Some are more relevant than others, but all are informative and worth, at least a browse, if not a full read. I like WebMD if I have a specific question that I feel I need an answer to. I like myfitnesspal and I would probably use it more if I had a smart phone and didn’t use sparkpeople so much. I love caloriesperhour, which was¬†acquired¬†by, because it gives me a general idea of how many calories an activity might burn, although it is sometimes way off. There are other sites that I occasionally use, but those are the ones I use most. They all have¬†advantages¬†and drawbacks, but they are ones that I like.

I was recently asked to check out a website called and I did. I only just started looking at it, so I am, by no means, an expert. I like what I have seen so far. I will be checking it out more. Please check it out yourselves and tell me what you think.

So that’s what I’m doing to better myself. What are you doing?