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Only 55 And Older Need Apply

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First of all, for those of you who are not 55 or older and thought they would take a peek to see just what in the heck I was talking about, please take no offense to my reference to age. Hopefully you will get to meaning of my title.

I am not much of one for visual ques and/or reminders. I really don't like or want sticky notes plastered all over my house. I am way too private for that. When I first joined Spark People you could earn Spark Points by developing a Visual Board of pictures and sayings or whatever that you could look at, reflect on, find motivation in, etc. I thought I might be able to handle a board that I could hang in my own little "private craft room". I just checked the Spark Point section of our Start Page and I don't see that option any more. It seems that it might possibly have been replaced by the Goal Board that you find right on the front of your Start Page.

I am always reading articles and looking for things to help me with my motivation. There is documentation and recommendations that these visual ques can be helpful. But for me I have to wonder about that.

I have been a Weight Watchers member many times in my life. One time they had these little guys that you were suppose to keep in sight to remind you of your goals. I loved this "Calorie Monster". He is just sooo cute that I took some ribbon and tied him to the handle on my refrigerator. I frequently smile when I look at him, but he does nothing to keep me from opening that door and putting food in my mouth.

When I first heard about these motivational/goal boards I gave it consideration. I looked through the magazines I had for pictures and sayings that I could cut out and put on my board, but I could not find a single thing that touched me. I couldn't figure out where I was suppose to find these things.

I thought I would consider trying a Visual Board again after doing the 21-day Fat Loser program by Steve Siebold. Visual ques were also mention by Spark Guy in a pre-review of a mini book he is working on. I have been thinking about this for a while and as I stand in the check-out lane at the grocery store you know all of those magazines are staring at you. Many of them deal with losing weight, getting in shape, being stylish. I couldn't list them all there are so many. The thing about these magazines is that they all feature people in their 20s and 30s. Believe me when I say that after 2 children and 3 abdominal surgeries in my life, my abs or any other part of my body, as a matter of fact, will never look like this - LOL:

So my question is: where on earth do you go for age appropriate pictures? All ideas will be appreciated emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZELLAZM 8/28/2014 6:56AM

    Maybe Pinterest?

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CAT-IN-CJ 8/25/2014 1:26PM

    First of all, I am SOOOO happy to read that you are aware of your age.
It seems that ALL the fitness stuff is targeted for the much younger set.

It is really hard to find age-appropriate images. On one hand there's Kathy Smith . . . yes, she's in my age category, but get real! That gal has never had an extra ounce of flab in her life!

So far as support, there are quite a few SparkTeams for different age groups. 50's, 55's, etc. Even then, it's not a one-size-fits-all solution . . . . you might want to check around to see if you can find a fit.

emoticon emoticon

I love your calorie monster!!!

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STEVEN2GO2 8/24/2014 8:27PM

    Hey, I am 49 and yeah I do not have a a six pact as seen in guys in their twenty and thirties! I see they pictures in magazines and at my pool also those young ones with the great abs. Luckily for me I was a swimmer 30 years ago, so when I hit the pool, I am impressive. I do not like visual cues either. When I joined sparks 4 years ago I reluctantly made a visual goal poster. I have lost that a long time ago. It did not motivate me! I just like feeling fit, I do not think their is that perfect body. Also most of those pictures have been modified or computerized. The models most often do not have that stunning bodies in the photos.

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LNISDES 8/24/2014 4:55PM

    It is so true! You can find lots of "distinguished" older men in photos (especially in those Viagra commercials, lol) but not so much for us....

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EJOY-EVELYN 8/24/2014 3:09PM

    I don't need to see the abs of women my age ... I just want to see the joy of life in the faces, spirits, and words of my friends. Clothes make a person even more so when some of our body parts break down a bit. Hug, hug - Evelyn

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68ANNE 8/24/2014 3:03PM

    You know, I never thought I'd that. I guess I would go to google images and then.....?

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KITT52 8/24/2014 2:24PM

    emoticon not sure either

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Yesterday was an emotionally charged day that is for sure.

I took on the task with the support of my DH of having my dad's cat euthized. At 20 years old and with the increasing issues he was having it was time. This was my mother's cat and when she passed away a few years ago my dad inherited it. I have never much liked this cat. It was not the least bit friendly. But the ending of a life is never easy no matter what and so I did indeed shed a few tears. Most likely for memories of loss from the past, those to come in the future, and for my dad as this cat was his last tie to my mom who he still misses dearly.

I am wondering if this had more impact on me subconsciously than I know. I recently completed the 21 day free program at that one of our Spark friends had mentioned. Loved the straight forward approach. It talks a great deal about emotions and how they effect our behaviors. I've said it before and I will say it again - I am such a slow learner. I can't help but wonder where all that information in my head goes!

As my day progressed I seemed to embrace all of the things that Spark warns us about. When I got home from the vet I spent another day in my yard/flower beds pruning things up. We have had such a rainy summer that my gardens are looking like a jungle that needed some taming. After 4 hours the heat and humidity got the best of me. My DH and I really enjoy an afternoon break on our front porch with a cold beer on days like this. I slept lousy they night before and the time got away from me so I skipped lunch. After my first beer and 2 cheese sticks I said to DH - I am so tired will you get me one more beer. Then I will get busy again.


So after our little break I showered and then started dinner. I had invited my dad to try and occupy some of his time and mind so he won't miss the cat so much. Having dad for dinner always involves Happy Hour. Two Rum and diet cokes later dinner was ready. Rib Eye steak, baked potato w/ light sour cream, baked cauliflower (involving light mayo and bread crumbs), and last but not least, some great wine! Our Rib Eyes are 1# steaks. I remember the day when me and my DH could each eat one. Now days we split one in half, but that is still 8 oz. of meat. Somehow I just cannot envision only eating 4 oz. My dad is not one to dawdle so after dinner he is out the door. And I collapse into my recliner.


The Sparkle continued to fad as night time TV watching approached and a craving for popcorn laden with butter and salt attacked me. Yes indeed, it was yummy.


On a positive note I have been trying to track my food on a more regular basis. Yes, I even went back today tracked all of the food and drink I had yesterday; except for the popcorn as by that time the calorie count was so far over that I just couldn't care anymore.


I think many of us have had disastrous eating days like this. If I don't lose any weight this week, I will have no one to blame but myself as I am sure I ate up all of the calories that I have sacrificed so far. I will be happy with a "maintain". I hope this blog is not too glum for you. Blogging is a good way for me to work through the things that float through my head - LOL!

The good news is that this emotional and eating slide is not long-lived. Today is a new day and I am determined to stay on track! Here's to a Sparkling weekend emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITKAT62 8/24/2014 12:22PM

  Have you read the book Eat Move Sleep? I borrowed the eBook from our library. I really enjoyed it.

Comment edited on: 8/24/2014 12:23:05 PM

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68ANNE 8/24/2014 10:19AM

    I've been have some terrible eating days. I do wonderful until after supper and continuing until going to bed.

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CVRONEK 8/24/2014 7:45AM

    I understand about the emotional eating.

With my Kenny passing away, food was not on my mind, but I knew I had too.
Health, however was the last thing I wanted to think about and now three months later, I think I need to make healthier choices.

I still don't care all that much, but I do care a little. That is enough to get me going, if just a bit.

It is always painful when a family pet passes away as they are part of the family, as well.
I am so sorry to hear this, even if he was not that close to you, there was a connection with your parents.

I do believe, that the little cat is now with your Mother and that is making them both happy. emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 8/22/2014 3:22PM

    Stress is one of the biggest contributors to overeating in my opinion. And putting down an animal is stressful. And since it was a link to your Mom,, and company for your Dad, it had to really invoke a lot of memories and of course SOME part of your brain wondered if it really had to be done... oh my! Yup, give yourself a much-needed hug, and let it go. it was yesterday and this is a new day.

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CAT-IN-CJ 8/22/2014 2:33PM

    Be kind to yourself.
Make a plan and work your plan.

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STEVEN2GO2 8/22/2014 1:32PM

    emoticon for the stress you and your Dad had to go through yesterday with euthanizing his and his departed wife's cat.

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BARBARAJ73 8/22/2014 11:11AM

    Having been there, your blog brought a few of those feelings back to the surface. I like to think that these moments of remembering reflect just how deeply our loved ones - included pet companions - touched us. Like you, I think spending time in the garden, with family, a few beverages, and comfort food all help with the healing process. Then we move on to today.

Hope you have a Sparkling weekend - emoticon

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BHENDRICK2 8/22/2014 11:08AM


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AUNTRENEE 8/22/2014 11:00AM

    I know how you feel in having to put a pet down even if it isn't your pet. I had to do that with 3 cats and a dog. The last cat wasn't even 2 years old but still it hurt. But at least the cat is out of pain.

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Feeling Fresh

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Since I was released July 10the from my doctor after my last surgery life has been a whirlwind and I have thrown all caution to the wind. Life has been packed full of activities and many of them have included food and drink at restaurants. One 10 day vacation done, a 4 day mini vacation done, and one more 10 day vacation to go.

It rained this morning - again! This summer, if you can call it that, has been filled with rain and cool temps where I live. There are times when I find this absolutely depressing. I mean, geez, we all need a little sunshine once in a while. But today I have found the rain peaceful.

My DH is currently on his own vacation with some guy friends filling their passion for golf. I seem to have mixed emotions when he goes away like this. On one hand I miss him terribly and on the other hand I savor my solitude.

This is also the time of year when I start to feel a change in the air. I can't quite put my finger on it, but there is something that tells my senses that a seasonal change is coming. I love the fall season. Not only are the colors beautiful, but there is a coziness about it for me. I don't dwell on the fact that the cold winter will soon be here. I choose to savor the richness of the season instead; warm comfort food, cuddly sweaters, a slightly less hectic schedule as we put our motorcycles to bed for the winter, a more relaxing and less urgent feeling.

These feelings and thoughts have left me Feeling Fresh today and that helps build my fortitude to move forward through another day of eating healthy.

I hope all of my Spark friends can find a peaceful, fresh feeling today too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAT-IN-CJ 8/20/2014 10:21AM

    Glad you're feeling good! Agree with you about the change of season. It's been very hot and dry here this summer . . . but there has been a change. Cooler evenings, almost a chill in the early morning breeze. Absolutely love it!

Also agree that Summer has been a blur . . . . now is a good time to refocus!

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ANGGEL40 8/19/2014 5:07PM

    Yes the weather has been just about the same here...but today we got sun and plenty of it...I love Summer but I am so looking forward to Fall...but I am so glad that you are Feeling Fresh and that you are having a healthy day...Keep Pushing..Thanks for sharing!

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STEVEN2GO2 8/19/2014 4:46PM

    Fall is also my favorite season too! Here where I live not only the wonderful changes of colours with the trees but also seeing the sky fill up with flocks of birds in anticipation of there migration to warmer environments!

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PATTISTAMPS 8/19/2014 2:17PM

    What a great and upbeat blog! Yes, I love it on the rare occasion when my DH goes somewhere without me... and can't wait for him to get back. There is a certain pleasure in having some time alone, and for me it is all the better for knowing he will be back soon! But eating with a good book for company is a guilty pleasure, as is staying up late to finish a book! and wearing my jammies all day if I am not going to see anyone or go anywhere... definitely slug behavior! Although I have only done that once or twice in my life.

I suffer from SADD, so when fall arrived while it was beautiful, I would become melancholy. Now that I live in FL, I love when we go away in fall to where the leaves change. But I don't have to deal with winter, which makes me happy!

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KELLIEBEAN 8/19/2014 12:09PM

    It's been a weird summer here too although I am not complaining about less humid days for sure!

I curled up on the couch with a blanket the other night and felt the same change and wondered when I could take a day off to just curl up on comfy clothes! I am a big fan of fall with it's colors, jeans and comfy sweaters!

I'm glad you are doing well and traveling! We haven't been riding much since our trip in May due to life. We did a lot of riding the last two Sundays and it was awesome. I've been getting much better at my slow, tight turns since we got turned around quite a bit trying to find where we wanted to go so I was very pumped about that.

Ride on baby!

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BILLB000 8/19/2014 10:34AM

    Thanks for sharing Sue. Nice blog. Well written. We had the same rain here in Holland and I , too , enjoyed the sound and the feel of the rain. I agree that fall is a special time of year here in Michigan. Here is to a healthy fall with lots of exercise, and healthy eating.

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WILSONWR 8/19/2014 8:51AM

    Despite the rainy summer you are having, it sounds like you have a very healthy attitude and are ready for fall! We could use the rain and the cooler temperatures here in Texas. Want to swap for a while? Take care.

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People Watching

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Our first vacation of the summer is done. It is estimated that the attendance at Sturgis Bike Week will beat last years record of 466,000 motorcycles. It has been something on my Bucket List and I am glad we went. I don't think I have never seen so many motorcycles in one place, but this is the second time we have ridden all over the Black Hills of South Dakota and so I doubt we will ever travel that way again (but you never know).

We traveled with another couple whose company we have enjoyed, but you never really know people until you have to spend 10 days with them. As it turned out, we can say that we still enjoyed their company at the end too.

I tried to do some Sparking while gone, but, well, lets not talk about it right now! I'm getting back on track today and that is all that matters. I am wondering though, as I people watch, how I appear to others. I'm not judging, because we are all different individuals in our own rights, but it is still very interesting to watch others. The woman we traveled with is very petite by my standards and her eating habits are so atrocious I can't begin to describe them here. Let's just say that she doesn't eat. I had to really bite my tongue to keep from lecturing her about healthy eating. On the other hand, I really liked how thin she is and I admired her ability to push her plate away when she said she was full even though half of the food was still sitting on her plate (something about wasteful kept running through my head). Her DH is a big guy both in height and weight. Although in public he follows her eating patterns, you would have to wonder about it because the extra pounds he carries just don't get there from thin air.

As I mentioned above, I was not a shining example myself. I won't beat myself up too much over it all, but I am definitely disappointed in myself. Why? Because after all the lectures I give myself, all of the positive thoughts I want to keep in my head, all of the plans I make to stay on track, all of the articles and blogs I read * * * * the list could go on and on, but in the end I wonder what in the heck is wrong with me that I just can't seem to grab onto any of it! Today I read a SP article that talked about the Winning Attitudes of Maintainers and the first one was the "I believe that I can do this" attitude that always prevails. After all of my failures in recent months I am wondering if I have it in me to succeed.

Enough of the pity party. Now I have to try and figure out what I am going to eat tonight for dinner at yet another restaurant (of undetermined location yet) as some friends that we don't get to spend much time with have invited us meet up with them for diner.

I am thankful for our friends. And I am thankful for SP so I don't completely fall off the world!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

68ANNE 8/11/2014 6:38PM

    I know I can succeed just like I know you can. I also know I am the only one keeping myself from achieving. Lets achieve together!

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FITKAT62 8/11/2014 1:20PM

  I am very a very health conscious eater and my DH is technically obese. The problem is that although he claims to want to be healthy and eats the healthy food I serve him, he is a closet junk food junkie. He hides in his man-cave and eats chocolate bars, chips & chip dip, or Cheetos and Pepsi . He claims that Friday is his treat day, but unfortunately there are at least 6 Fridays in any given week.

We are often invited to dine at restaurants with Friends. I usually order a salad with chicken or baked fish and salad. If I happen to know the name of the restaurant ahead of time, I check their menu on-line and they often list the nutritional info. It's easier to plan your meal this way.

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CAT-IN-CJ 8/11/2014 9:52AM

    Glad you made it to & from Sturgis safely.

A lot of my friends have gone and all of them said it was an experience
but all those bikes and people in one place was a zoo.

That couple sounds very unhealthy . . . hard to know what happens behind closed doors.

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CTUPTON 8/10/2014 11:18AM

    Keep sparking. I did that for a long time before the better habits started to take hold.

If you stop sparking--well you know...



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JUNETTA2002 8/10/2014 11:17AM

    emoticon emoticon

Just get back on track starting today

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Walk This Way

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Spark featured an article called "9 Ways To Walk 10,000 Steps Per Day" which I found interesting and motivation.

With all of the health issues I have had so far this year I have felt that I was taking one step forward and two back. After my last surgery I was at the lowest weight that I have seen in a long time, but my habit after each bout of illness seems to be to eat and drink all that I can to make up for lost time. The result was that I gained the 10# back that I had lost. What a waste! I have been rather disgusted with myself over this. So I kicked myself into gear and have been working towards getting that 10# back off.

One of the ways I am trying to do this is my walking more. I would tell you that on a "normal" day (and by "normal" for me I mean going about my business w/o any kind of exercise) I can count on roughly 3,000 steps. I had set a goal for myself to get in 5.000 steps a day by the time I went to Manhatten in May and I reached that goal although I was not consistent in any way, shape, or form. At least I knew the ability was there. So then I increased my goal to 7,000 steps. Again, the ability was there, but I was rarely reaching that goal, well, because where in the heck am I suppose to walk to in order to get all of those steps! It was frustrating and discouraging to me so I focused more on the 5,000 steps daily and went about my merry way. Again, the consistency was not there so that was the next thing I added into the mix. The results are that I have been consistent for the past 2 weeks now and I have reached my 7,000 step goal 11 out of 14 days.

I am pleased with that achievement, but you know our human minds are always looking for new goals to do better and thus enters the Spark article about getting 10,000 steps a day. I have known for some time that 10,000 daily steps is the requirement for "general good health", according to all of those studies out there, and that between 12,000 - 15,000 steps are recommended for weight loss. Todays Spark article about "Are You Getting Enough Exercise" would support that.

I am already doing two of the nine suggestions from the article consistantly- I have a Spark Tracker and I have buddied up with a friend to explore a different hiking trail each week. Lately I have tried to get more steps in by walking to my Curves twice weekly and on the walk home I put in 7 extra blocks. Also, my DH went to our local American Legion the other night which is a little over a mile away. He drove and I walked the long way around to get there.

Yesterday I wanted to challenge myself to get those 10,000 steps in. I was busy yesterday! In the morning I did many chores around the house which meant more moving. Then I headed out the door in the afternoon to run errands. One of my stops was at a store in our local Mall so I thought I would walk the parameter once. It is a popular place for Mall Walkers. I can't remember how much 4 times around equals, but that is the general goal and since I really wasn't there for that purpose I thought once around was good for me to add some steps. Another stop was at the grocery store. Again, I walked the parameter instead of making a mad dash to the items I needed to get. By the time I got home it was Evening News and dinner time. I had had enough for the day! I checked into Spark to upload my steps and - OMG, I didn't make it ! ! ! I was short 525 steps. I gave some thought to how on earth I was going to get those last steps in, but I gotta tell you I was pooped and my recliner won out.

Yesterday seemed like a lot of work to me and so it is clear that I am not ready yet for 10,000 steps as my goal. For now I will stick to my goal of 7.000 steps daily, being consistent, and being happy with that.

What I am wondering though is how all of you get your steps in?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAT-IN-CJ 7/28/2014 10:02AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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68ANNE 7/24/2014 6:42PM

    I am writing this comment really quick so I can go read the artcle.

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PATTISTAMPS 7/24/2014 2:36PM

    I have trouble getting to 10,000 steps, and am consistently averaging about 6,000 per day - which includes one low day of about 3,000 steps. I walk for 45 minutes most days, or go to the gym and do 35 minutes on the elliptical and another 55 minutes of ST (which doesn't measure much at all on my Fit-Bit Flex) I would have to walk an hour and a half to get 1000 steps.. I just don't have that much time, and my feet HURT! (heel spurs). I guess what I am saying is that I don't know how people are doing it... Good luck! I hope we can both figure this out!

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KELLIEBEAN 7/24/2014 9:20AM

    Great job working on your steps and recognizing when you have to dial it down a notch!

I work 9 -10 hours a day at a desk job so I walk across the building to go to the bathroom several times a day I try to take 2 10-15 minute walking breaks at work, that doesn't always happen, but I try.

I got my labrador in the habit of walking after dinner and twice each weekend day and she becomes a real pain if I get lazy. This winter was the first winter I didn't wean her off walking like I usually do. She drove me nuts so I piled on clothes and did quick walks.

The other night, I was totally drained from the day. As I became one with the couch watching tv, I looked at my fitbit, UGH, over 2000 more steps to go. At first I said 'forget it' but then I got up and walked figure eights in the living room till I hit goal. I got funny looks from the labrador!

Some days are easier than others but you have the mindset and plan so I think you are on the right track and I just LOVE that after all you have been through, you are not giving up.


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LOSER_ZIMM 7/24/2014 9:12AM


Each step counts!

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