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"Disciplined"...? Moi?

Thursday, December 18, 2014

So far, so good navigating those treacherous holiday party waters...able to weather it pretty well! Helps to make sure to bring a healthy dish to pass. Mine was an apple / raisin / walnut salad with yogurt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Somebody made what they called "OMG Bars" a chocolatey-peanut buttery confection. Others were raving about them and proclaiming that I just HAD to try it, "just a taste."

Not gonna happen: "I know Pandora's Box when I see it and I just don't DARE to go there!" :-)

Payoff: checked in with my PCP today, bloodwork, blood pressure, everything is 100% A-OK. I shared with him my zero-grain, zero-sugar, 14-hour daily fast (no food from 10 pm until noon the next day), maximum freggie approach to food and he was impressed and said: "I wish more of my patients were so disciplined."

Now there's a word I don't think I would have ever used to describe myself and it prompted a bit of double take in my thoughts...but yep, guess it fits after all! At least in some ways.

The perfectionist in me could detract and list a zillion additional things I would be doing if I was TRULY disciplined. But today? No detractions: Disciplined it is!

My weight isn't "quite" where I would like...up to 211 from my low of 207. But I'm vigilant and sticking with what I know works. A few stumbles, but speedy uptakes make a big difference between a stumble or falling off a cliff...lol!

I have a favorite elliptical that I use every Weds. when all I have is 30 mins. to spare for a workout. It's the Octane 3700 with random resistance set at a middle of the road level 10. I always try to PUSH myself to make the most of those 30 mins. and while I don't use the purported caloric burn as a real number (as in wow! looka those calories I burned), I DO use it as a number to assess the intensity of my workout. 430 has always been my top number to beat...this has been the case for MONTHS. Finally I blew it away this week and topped out @ 450! WAY cool to set a new high.

Hoping everyone is having a SUPER holiday season filled with SPARK and successful navigations through all of those decadent foods. The pay-offs are SO worth it! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MTN_KITTEN 12/18/2014 7:28PM

    Don the Disciplined ... and Dedicated!!!! Happy Holidays!!!

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WATERMELLEN 12/18/2014 6:52PM

    Disciplined you are -- with your eating, with your exercise (wow indeed, 450 in 30!!) and most of all in being such a kind and supportive human being because heaven knows that takes discipline too.

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SANDICANE 12/18/2014 5:07PM

    I hope you have a good holiday season too, without too much "fallout" in January!!!

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HIPPICHICK1 12/18/2014 4:58PM

    Disciplined, dedicated, persistent...all those words apply to the people who change their lives like you have. Revel in it!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/18/2014 3:38PM

    Good for you! You reaped the dividends of your discipline.

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Just HAD to Pass This Story Along...!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Recently at work, probably a carry over from Thanksgivoween candy mark-downs, some anonymous *questionably* well-meaning person at work brought in two GIGUNDO bags of candy corn and plopped 'em on the kitchen table for all to snarf.

I studiously avoided those bags for a couple of days...it's a sorry commentary on my tastes, but I have a weakness for candy corn. It's like a mainline sugar fix!

Finally I'd had it. I was working late one evening. No one was around.

I tossed the remainder of the bags into the trash.

There! Who needs those things anyway?!?

So this week rolls along and one morning what do I see?

Two more bags of candy corn on the kitchen table again! Sheesh! Bad enough to torment myself, but I've seen others with extra baggage they can ill-afford, snarfing 'em down too...!

Tonight after cutting up an apple for my late afternoon snack I went to toss out the core and lo & behold, what do I see?

Two bags of candy corn...already sitting in the trash!

Nice to know there are some kindred, albeit anonymous, spirits around my workplace! What a smile that brought to my face!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FUNLOVEN 12/13/2014 8:30AM

    For a minute there I thought you were going to tell us that someone HAD removed those bags of candy corns out of the trash and put them back on the table! Who on earth has that much left over candy! I surely wouldn't if it had been me because I LOVE candy corn! ! !

emoticon with your resistance muscles.

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WATERMELLEN 12/12/2014 10:00PM

    Super story -- in my case, I'd probably need to spit on it to prevent myself from pulling it out of the garbage again, but still!!

Love your wintry wallpaper!!

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IRONBESS 12/12/2014 8:30PM

    That made me laugh. I love it!

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CREPEDCRUSADER 12/12/2014 5:15PM

    That is one of the best break room showdown stories ever!

Yep, every year the same couple of people bring in gobs and gobs of candy and say that "there weren't as may trick-or-treaters as I thought there would be".
Really?
You've lived in that neighborhood for the whole time we've worked together and you Know dang well what you are doing. Just tell the truth ladies, "I bought piles of candy for the office because I am indeed sabotaging."





Comment edited on: 12/12/2014 5:20:57 PM

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HIPPICHICK1 12/12/2014 1:02PM

    I hate when food is wasted but candy corn really isn't food, is it?

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L*I*T*A* 12/12/2014 11:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAISYBELL6 12/12/2014 9:41AM

    Great story!

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KANOE10 12/12/2014 7:46AM

    Yay for you tossing out that candy corn..and how nice to find someone else doing it as well. People are doing the same thing at my job. Everyday someone brings in sweets and leaves them on the table.

You are staying healthy and are staying strong. Well done.

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 12/12/2014 7:36AM

    How amazing! Angels in there somewhere!
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FERRETLOVER1 12/12/2014 6:43AM

    Good for you for managing to avoid that temptation. Sometimes people think they are being nice by supplying candy for the office...it would be so much better if they brought in a fruit plate once in a while instead, right?

emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAKARISAH430 12/12/2014 12:12AM

    Good for you. Sounds like you have saboteurs in the workplace.

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_LINDA 12/11/2014 11:26PM

    Sounds like someone caught a sale at Costco :-P Good on you and the other guy for tossing them! I confess to having had some, bought in a bulk barn, so a limited amount, but I did give the rest to my Stepdad, the human garbage pail who can eat anything and not gain an ounce! I know my limits. Never. Buy. A. Costco. Sized. Bag.
emoticon work!!

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SANDICANE 12/11/2014 11:04PM

    Woo hoo to the candy corn tossing person! Much easier to say no to something that's not around. If candy corn were my kryptonite, I would have had to flush them down the toilet....

Good job!

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1CRAZYDOG 12/11/2014 10:42PM

    Anonymous comrades in arms helps! Mom is a notorious candy corn snarfer from way back. Personally, thank goodness, I don't care for it.

PHEW

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/11/2014 10:39PM

    emoticon Glad you have anonymous company on the journey! Oh, and corn candy is one of my weaknesses, too: cheap sugar. Pleased to say I have not indulged this year! Go, resistance muscles! emoticon

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Holiday Fun With Bikes!

Thursday, December 04, 2014

One of the cool things our local bike club does is to join in with our local Christmas Parade. Our club members do some pretty clever things to trick their bikes out for the occasion, so I thought I'd pass along a couple pics they've shared in advance of the parade which is later tonight. Sadly the parade is always on a Thursday which is a night that I'm always booked for seeing private clients so another year, another parade passes without me...sigh...





And here's a creative holiday use of a wheel:



As for me? I have to admit to a Thanksgiving "stumble" involving a few pounds, but have been back in the saddle, working the Spark as ever!

Work has been pretty crazy / busy and I apologize for not getting around to all of your wonderful blogs...been missing that!

Sending wishes to all for the very BEST of holiday seasons!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CREPEDCRUSADER 12/6/2014 4:54PM

    I love the wheel wreath!

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HIPPICHICK1 12/5/2014 10:40AM

    Those are some awesome parade bikes!
No matter what happened at T'giving, it's temporary.
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SPEEDYDOG 12/5/2014 9:53AM

    Hey man, I stumbled just a bit on Thanksgiving also. Thanks for sharing the cool bike light parade. I love the bike wheel wreath. Boy does that give me ideas about some old bike wheels I have!

Bruce

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BILL60 12/5/2014 8:35AM

    I wish I had the creative juices your team embers possess.

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FERRETLOVER1 12/5/2014 7:05AM

    Love those decorated bikes - I wish I could see the parade. It's too bad you have to miss the parade.

I totally understand about that Thanksgiving derailment, Don! I am very proud of you for getting back in the "saddle" again!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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APONI_KB 12/5/2014 6:09AM

    Love the bikes.

Sorry about the added pounds, I'm there too. This is a tough time of year.

Love the background pic by the way

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MTN_KITTEN 12/4/2014 11:43PM

    emoticon

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_LINDA 12/4/2014 10:45PM

    Those bikes are too cool!! Sorry you have to keep missing it :-(( Parades and light displays, love 'em!! Just got back from a walk about in my Mom's area trying to catch as many lights and displays as possible before something freezes.
Thanks for taking the time to post!

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SURVIVOR61 12/4/2014 9:01PM

    Don that is a really neat idea with the bikes. I sure wish someone would get some of the teenagers involved in something like this. It might help keep them out of trouble and off the streets. I love the lights. Merry Christmas!!

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L*I*T*A* 12/4/2014 8:36PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/4/2014 7:53PM

    Great pics -- no way your private clients could be accommodated at a therapeutic bike parade????? (Just asking!!)

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/4/2014 7:52PM

    Sorry you're missing the parade but those are lovely lighted bikes! Happy December!

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SANDICANE 12/4/2014 6:39PM

    Thanks for sharing the cool pics! Unusual Christmas decorations for sure.

As for the "stumble", Oh Well, and onward we go...towards our goals, together!

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HILLSLUG98239 12/4/2014 4:40PM

    You have very creative friends. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/4/2014 4:21PM

    Thanks for sharing the pictures.

You have only so much time, so priorities! Not to regret!

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FUNLOVEN 12/4/2014 3:57PM

    That is such a cool idea! Sorry you have to miss it again this year. Maybe you can plan for next year and move your appointments around just a little.

Meanwhile, I'm not worried about those Thanksgiving pounds you mentioned. We all saw a bit of that due to some water retention from excess salt. Just spin those wheels a bit faster and they will be gone before you know it!

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IRONBESS 12/4/2014 2:26PM

    Those are great! I especially like the wreath. Thanks for posting.

I have no doubt you'll kick those pounds into the universe where they will irretrievably remain.
emoticon

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Unique Greeting of the 1st Snowfall!

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Today was our 1st significant snowfall of the year and we got off work early...woo hoo, off to the fitness center!

BUT: at the same time I am ready to leave work I get a surprise phone call from a bike club member who just got a free membership at the same fitness center...who is already there, and in the pool.

I had planned to head for the weight machines and spin bike as I usually do, but hey, I next to NEVER use the pool...never enough time. Now for a change I had the time.

Plus, I avoid the pool for reasons mentioned in my last blog...loose skin. So I resolved to GO! Mix it up, swimming's a great alternative exercise. It's one of my earliest childhood passions as I mention on my SparkPage...long overdue to reconnect with the water!

But most importantly I need to learn to be more at ease in my own skin, however loose it may be, reframing my skin as the markings of my victories, perfect, just as it is.

And most of all, enjoy the company of a good friend while lapping the pool along the glass patio wall taking in the snowfall outdoors! The pool seeming a guilty pleasure next to all that snow piling up. Especially the hot tub!

After arriving home I got the secondary pleasure of putting on the mp3 player while shoveling the snow to the tunes and taking in the beauty of the snowfall...a wet, sticky but fluffy white coating every limb, twig to be found to a storybook picture perfect.

All of this brings me to a point I like to make every Thanksgiving, as we celebrate our gratitude: how can this possibly jibe with the free-for-all of Black Friday...which has been renamed and reclaimed by some very smart Canadians (are ALL Canadians so sharp?!?!) as

Buy Nothing Day!

https://www.adbusters.org/campaigns/
bnd


Whatever one needs to feel fulfilled, gratified, to have meaning and fullness in our lives...it is NOT going to be found out there on a shelf...it ALSO surely can't be found through food.

It's all about seeking, creating experiences that enrich us, that bring us together, that moves our hearts and souls.

Proctor & Gamble, General Mills, Apple, Samsung, The Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch...none of them or their counterparts had a shred of ANY connection to the special time I had today.

It doesn't take much to be happy:

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gmu3ytIInp0

Don

PS...with all the Thanksgiving prep I'm sending apologies for not catching up with all of your supportive feedback on yesterday's blog...you guys all ROCK the SPARK and make this place so special for me and yourselves. Thank you, thank you! Gratitude overflowing!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IRONBESS 12/4/2014 2:47PM

    I don't get online much during busy times either, some of those spent with family and friends. Luckily, we have lives away from the computer and still communicate in person.

I'm happy, Don, that you reconnected with your love of swimming and had an awesome day at the pool with a friend. You show us what courage is! When we don't focus on what we see as imperfections in ourselves, our friends and people who care more about the humanity in a person don't focus on them either, they see someone they care about.

Thank you for another inspiring blog.

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CREPEDCRUSADER 11/28/2014 4:59PM

    The Buy Nothing Day Pledge made it to my Facebook feed and I signed up then passed it along to all my friends. I totally agree. emoticon

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_LINDA 11/27/2014 5:39PM

    Happy Thanksgiving! What a coincidence, I was enjoying the pool today too, maybe a therapy pool, but fun none-the-less! Physical activity, my idea of celebration! Way to go overcoming the loose skin issue! You indeed rock the Spark!

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/27/2014 3:51PM

    Sounds like a perfect day! To being comfortable in our own skin... as you say, whether loose or taut... it's the result of our experience in this life. We EARNED it. It's a part of us. And we really need to love ourselves just as we are!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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L*I*T*A* 11/27/2014 3:17PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!!

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HIPPICHICK1 11/27/2014 2:55PM

    Your blogs are always so uplifting! Happy Thanksgiving.

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NEELIXNKES 11/27/2014 12:30PM

    Happy Thanksgiving! Sounds like a nice first snowy day emoticon

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FUNLOVEN 11/27/2014 9:22AM

    What a great way to spend the day - a friend with benefits ! Namely, fitness.

Good for you to have the confidence to get in that pool. I read your Spark Page and noted how much you loved swimming as a child. Swimming in Lake Michigan as a matter of fact and I had to wonder which part of the lake you were referring to as I live in Michigan!

Well, this may be your 1st snow ( I'm not sure how that is with the way Buffalo was hit ), but according to the weather reports I have been hearing you are in for a good storm today as it rides up the east coast.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING, Don !



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KANOE10 11/27/2014 8:25AM

    I like that Buy Nothing Day. I am not happy stores are opening up on Thanksgiving.

That was a lovely day and a healthy way to enjoy the first snowfall.

Happy Thanksgiving to you.

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1CRAZYDOG 11/27/2014 8:05AM

    LOVE that Buy Nothing Day!

Happy T-Day

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VALERIEMAHA 11/27/2014 7:56AM

    You are beautiful in SO many ways, dear Don. Your words speak deeply and joyfully! SUCH A GIFT!
emoticon
Maha

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FEEDTHEHUNGER 11/27/2014 7:26AM

    There is actually nothing one can buy or eat or shoot up, smoke or drink that will add immeasurably to one's life as the good habits of eating well and exercising.

emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 11/27/2014 6:53AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Kinda oxymoronic, huh? emoticon

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SANDICANE 11/27/2014 6:29AM

    Oh gosh! good for you for joining your friend in the pool. Swimming is wonderful!!!

Hope you have enough turkey today and Happy Happy Day!

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WATERMELLEN 11/27/2014 6:11AM

    What a very special way to celebrate that snowfall -- so glad you're happy enough in your skin to resume swimming!!

And: can't take credit for Sharp Canadians but I will be buying nothing on "Black Friday"!!

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TWIRLNYC 11/27/2014 5:49AM

    emoticon

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ZELLAZM 11/27/2014 1:55AM

    Hadn't heard of Buy Nothing Day - but that sounds like one I'd enjoy celebrating. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, Don!

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Gratitude for a Much Needed Thanksgiving Ride!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

This past Saturday I had delivered Thanksgiving food baskets to several of my clients so I had a 1/2 day of comp time banked when we rolled into a sunny, 60+ degree day on Monday...and AGAIN, a blessed "hooky" day comes along! :-)

First stop: the local state park which is practically in my back yard:



En route I decide to challenge myself as I have always regarded Pigeon Hill as "too much" of a hill to tackle...so BAM! I nail it, and realized that it isn't anywhere near as challenging as the ALTERNATE route which I normally take up 79 to Stillwater...lol. Lately I've been wanting to challenge my hill climbing abilities...to keep what I developed in the Catskill Mountains alive and well!

At Chenango Valley State Park I catch up with my neighbor and bike club members who are getting ready to head out on a mountain bike ride. I tell 'em I'm not ready to be wooed into mountain biking just yet...gimme the pavement! So I strike out for Port Crane and Crocker Hill Road...which I haven't ridden in years...and the last and only time I rode Crocker Hill it turned out to be a "walk"...ugh! Well I figure it's time to nail it as a "no-walk" hill! Which it was...and here was the view I found at the top:



It's so sweet to challenge oneself, to push and nail it! If ALL of my challenges could be so readily overcome...

I was extraordinarily impressed with the inner work this young man had accomplished in dealing with the self-image struggle of loose skin. We work so hard to lose this weight that it can be easy to succumb to a wail of "it's not FAIR!" But this fellow has done a wonderful job of accepting himself as he is and not allowing loose skin to detract from his accomplishments. As I pedal along I sometimes look down at my thighs and see the skin bouncing a flapping along like the jowls of a bloodhound. I'm not cursing those thighs any longer. I'm celebrating that I've lost those pounds they used to pack and without that weight, celebrating what I can accomplish.

Here is his very brave video, From Obese to Beast:

www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/13/16
0-pound-weight-loss-insecurity_n_61533
08.html


And HERE is my Thanksgiving wishes for everyone!

youtu.be/CQUQmV_sVsU

As we approach our Thanksgiving celebrations, keep your eye on the prize, the things that matter: our health and wellness, our connections to people who matter and savoring activities that make us fully alive! Pie & stufling ain't got NOTHING on THAT!

Keep the SPARK!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 11/27/2014 4:09PM

    I am so glad you are learning to be comfortable in your skin. I know it would be a struggle for me. Keep it up. We have to unlearn the brainwashing that the marketing professionals have forced on us. And the bike ride sounds wonderful. I'm hoping to get out this weekend even though we had snow (same storm that you had!)

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SANDICANE 11/26/2014 6:49PM

    I've never seen loose skin like that before...he is a very brave man, and my hat is off to him for losing his weight and keeping it off and for being happy with how he is now. Thanks for sharing that, and thank you for the Thanksgiving wishes via video...Happy Thanksgiving to you too Don!

May you have enough.



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CREPEDCRUSADER 11/26/2014 6:14PM

    What an incredible view!

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WATERMELLEN 11/26/2014 6:14PM

    What a super blog, what super pics too -- so glad you got the bike in, and the thoughts in, and are at peace with yourself.

Happy Thanksgiving!! Your clients are so lucky to have such a compassionate and kind and thoughtful person providing them supports.

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BILL60 11/26/2014 7:58AM

    Well said. Thanks

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KANOE10 11/26/2014 7:55AM

    I love your pictures and that video. I have also come to accept loose skin as being a part of me. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I am glad you had a lovely bike ride!

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L*I*T*A* 11/25/2014 11:29PM

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 11/25/2014 11:22PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Very cool way to spend the day off and reaffirm one's fitness level to be in the fantastic range! You rock the Spark indeed!
Happy Thanksgiving!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MTN_KITTEN 11/25/2014 10:43PM

    Thank you for sharing ... because we didn't take care of our bodies and ourselves along the way ... we will have battle scars. We can wear them proudly or let them weigh us down like the excess pounds did.

I am glad you played hooky.

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ONEKIDSMOM 11/25/2014 8:00PM

    What a lovely account of your ride, and giving yourself credit for fitness progress! Well done, and may we all accept ourselves AS WE ARE... it is our living that made us so! emoticon Happy Thanksgiving.

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HIPPICHICK1 11/25/2014 5:14PM

    Your photos are beautiful. Glad to hear you got to play hooky again. :-)
Thanks for the link to the video. It was really inspirational!

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1CRAZYDOG 11/25/2014 4:21PM

    Awesome that you nailed it!

Happy Thanksgiving, Don.

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IRONBESS 11/25/2014 3:44PM

    Congratulations on conquering your weight and fitness challenges. You're as amazing and inspiring as the young man in the video.

Happy Thanksgiving!
emoticon

P.S. Nice photos too :-)

Comment edited on: 11/25/2014 3:53:11 PM

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MAYTAGKAT 11/25/2014 11:25AM

    Happy Thanksgiving Don & all of our great Slow Riders Team.

Great post Don, along with such beautiful pictures. Thank you !

After losing weight I often look at my arm flaps, or as I call them now landing flaps!
I once thought I needed to DO something to reduce their size and" flappiness".....
Never wear sleeveless tops or dresses, cover my arms even when it is hot outside.
HA! Who made those critical rules..... ? Not me.
I now think of them as landing flaps, like on an airplane, instead of excess baggage!

I have landed in a great place without all the excess weight I have shed,(68 pounds) !!!
I am happy to have these flaps hanging loosely, not full of fat, as they once were.

So much to be Thankful for, my health, enjoying exercise, biking, waking up each day without pain of osteoarthritis, good food, good friends, a decent job, and Vacations!!!!

Slow and steady wins every time,
Maytagkat




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VALERIEMAHA 11/25/2014 11:09AM

    Giving Thanks, I offer you Simple Gifts -- "'til by turning turning we come 'round right!"

https://www.youtube.
com/watch?v=fYi9Vr8bHJY


Love and Light,
emoticon emoticon
Maha



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VALERIEMAHA 11/25/2014 10:59AM

    Praise Be! Don, for all you are and all you've accomplished...and will YET achieve! "I'm not cursing those thighs any longer. I'm celebrating that I've lost those pounds they used to pack and without that weight, celebrating what I can accomplish. " YES!!!

I CELEBRATE YOU!
emoticon
Maha

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FORZACHANDMATT 11/25/2014 9:49AM

    Beautiful blog and gorgeous pictures

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NASFKAB 11/25/2014 9:31AM

  thnks so much for sharing

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