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Maintenance without Scale - Week 6

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

This week was good.
Lovely sunny autumn weather, good walks and runs, and yoga outside on the terrace.
Eating went well, cooked 3 times.
A friend grows tomatillos in their garden and gave us some, and I made roasted tomatillo sauce - turned out very well, my first attempt.

Dinners are still my weak point, though.
Once I had potato chips for dinner, with lots of carrot sticks - crappy choice but amount was OK and at least I had the carrots.
The last 2 nights mild overeating: salty crackers after dinner at my parents, and fresh white baguettes last night at home.
Oh well... I can maintain if this is the worst thing I do, 1 or 2 times a week.

This may be a result of getting confident not knowing my weight.
I feel good, and I wore my skinny jeans during the weekend and to work on Monday.
I bought it about half year ago, and it fits well only when I'm at the lower end of my range. So I put it on rarely, because - obviously - usually I'm above the lower end.
Now it fits me well : )

Another good sign is that my meals are less automatic
I mean when I have lunch at home (usually more than the packed lunches at work), I tend to skip afternoon snack or dinner, once I skipped both. I may get my natural sense of hunger back one day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SETTIMIA 10/17/2014 4:56PM

    Oh wow yoga outside that sounds lovely. Thank you for your very kind comments on my hair x

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MYLOVELYCURVES 10/15/2014 3:02PM

    Congratulations! Sounds like you are doing great. Maintenance can be tough but you're really aware of your choices and that's a good thing in the long run! :)


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HADESKITTEN 10/15/2014 1:36AM

Yay!!! I am so excited for you!!

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LESLIESENIOR 10/14/2014 10:59PM

    Congratulations on another week of intuitively knowing what your body, heart, and spirit need. You are truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing your progress!!!!

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TEMPEST272002 10/14/2014 12:45PM

    If the skinny jeans fit, then it doesn't matter what the numbers would be on a scale. I admire you for taking on the challenge of learning how to maintain your weight without being obsessed with the scale.

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HONEYBEESBLISS 10/14/2014 12:26PM

    The Skinny Jeans are great Non Scale Proof that you are doing well!

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JANTHEBLONDE 10/14/2014 11:22AM

    Woo hoo! Congratulations on wearing your skinny jeans! I think you are doing awesome! I am so proud of you! I hope your day is full of lots of love and happiness!
Hugs and love,

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SMILINGTREE 10/14/2014 9:22AM

    This is an encouraging post. One of my fears is that (if I ever begin losing) I'll be tied to the tracker and the scale forever. Seeing your progress in the areas of mindfulness and maintenance gives me hope :)

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JEANKNEE 10/14/2014 8:58AM

    Sure sounds like you are aware of your choices and how your body is feeling. Awakened natural hunger would be wonderful!

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ROXYZMOM 10/14/2014 8:49AM

    Are you eating dinner by yourself this week? My hubby wouldn't go for chips and carrots for dinner! I guess he is keeping me in line with making it!!

Sounds like you are really getting in tune with knowing when you are hungry since you aren't using the scale and that you are doing well.


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KANOE10 10/14/2014 8:48AM

    It sounds like you feel confident in your eating plan. I have to watch dinner also. You are doing very well!

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EDENZMOM 10/14/2014 8:01AM

    Fantastic job with the skinny jeans!
i hope you get the dinners under control, not that you are having difficulty, but rather just to know that you are fueling your body with nutrition and not salty crackers ;)

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WENDYANNE61 10/14/2014 7:53AM

    Glad your jeans are fitting you well and you are eating mainly clean, healthy food. Hope the lovely weather keeps up and you can enjoy yourself outside too!

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HOLLYM48 10/14/2014 7:01AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 10/14/2014 6:52AM

    You are dealing with your choices honestly. Good for you!

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NEW-CAZ 10/14/2014 6:08AM

    Doing good emoticon good healthy habits take a little while to become second're getting there emoticon emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 10/14/2014 5:37AM

    sounds like you have a good handle on maintenance without the scale. it's good to have a measure like those skinny jeans to tell you that you're on track. i recognize those chips and baguette issues, so easy to have dinner that way. gotta focus! emoticon

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Upper body strength

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I used to do weight lifting with a barbell, but I replaced that with yoga, which I enjoy much more.
So no lifting for about half a year.
The only way I work my upper body is yoga, and it is enough to maintain the muscles:

We have a warm and sunny October here, I enjoy every minute outside.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONA791 10/13/2014 7:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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EDENZMOM 10/13/2014 1:00AM

    Beautiful! You're doing something right!

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STRIVERONE 10/12/2014 10:59PM

    I may have to go that route eventually as thumb tendinitis is making working out with the kettlebells on a regular basis more difficult. I wanted to say something about your photo but couldn't find unambiguous words. So take this as a compliment.

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TEMPEST272002 10/12/2014 12:20PM

    I also admire that you've been able to find a workout that works & that you love. Your back is beautifully toned. It's a warm October here too & I'm also enjoying being outside.

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LESLIESENIOR 10/11/2014 2:51PM

    Oh, I couldn't agree more! I was unsuccessful at incorporating strength training on a regular until I began yoga for the first time 6 months ago. What a blessing!
As always, you motivate me!!!

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JANTHEBLONDE 10/11/2014 1:20PM

    That is wonderful you are maintaining your muscle mass through upper body yoga!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
Hugs and love,

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LIVINGLOVINLIFE 10/11/2014 11:42AM

    Good for you for finding a way to workout that you enjoy.

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NEW-CAZ 10/11/2014 11:20AM

    emoticon emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 10/11/2014 9:26AM

    Fantastic! You are maintaining muscle mass and distressing all at the same time!

emoticon namaste

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Mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Mindfulness is a good place to be.
When I first read about it (here, in SP articles about mindful eating and walking) I thought "oh dear it sounds really boring, thinking all the time" and dismissed the idea.

Now, 3 years later, several books and many hours of practice later, I can see I got it totally wrong.
Mindfulness is not about thinking. It is about not thinking.
It is about staying in the present, paying attention to what is and what I am doing right now, and not thinking about things that are not there: past and future.
One can breath, walk, eat, wash the dishes or do any simple everyday activity mindfully.
Meditation, like focusing on how breathing in and out feels, helps to stay present, and - as one of my favorite books smartly puts it - helps to clear up the "thick fog of subconscious thinking", by creating a pause in the continuous flow of thinking (I searched my books for this quote but could not find it).
I try to remember this often during my day.

Three times a week I walk outside in the morning, about 20 minutes feeling how my body feels moving, how my steps touch the ground, what my eyes see, how the air feels on my face.
Another 20 minutes on the way back I practice a lovingkindness meditation, that I put together from the examples I read in books.
It is about sending loving thoughts to myself, to someone I like, to someone neutral, to someone I love, and someone I have a difficult relationship with.

This is how it goes:
"May I be peaceful any happy, may I live with ease
May I be safe and healthy, may I be safe from harm
May I be free from anger, anxiety and fear
My happiness depends on my own thoughts and actions, not on my loved ones - I don't blame them when I'm not happy
The happiness of my loved ones depends on their own thoughts and actions - I cannot make them happy - I accept and respect their life journey and I don't try to control them"

and then I repeat the first 3 lines for someone I like, for someone neutral, for someone I love, and for someone I have a difficult relationship with, adding actualities if there are any.

I have ran out of real people on the last category, so I send loving thoughts to incompetent and corrupt politicians ; )

Sometimes my mind is preoccupied and drifts away, but usually I manage to stay focused, and this practice is really uplifting.
Going through these good wishes, I almost always realize that right now, this morning I am safe, I am healthy, I am free from anger, anxiety or fear - and compared to this, the petty inconveniences of life don't really matter.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPEST272002 10/10/2014 1:06PM

    Love this! I walk every day, but usually my mind is on overdrive reviewing past, thinking about future. The only time I find that I'm entirely in the present moment is when I'm working with my horse, but I want to be more present, so I'm going to give this a go on my walk today. LOL on the politician comment.

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LESLIESENIOR 10/10/2014 1:05PM

    I love and affirm everything you have said in this beautifully composed blog. It is a practice worth committing to each day.
I feel outgoing love reading your words!!!

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KANOE10 10/10/2014 8:54AM

    You might like the book 10 percent Happier by d Harris. He talks about meditation and his journey. I admire you for the mindful walks and positive affirmations. I am trying to do the same thing. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 10/10/2014 2:53AM

    beautiful blog, emoticon

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SETTIMIA 10/10/2014 12:41AM

    Beautiful blog from a beautiful lady. If I might add also mindfulness connects with gratitude. We have so much to be grateful for x

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JANTHEBLONDE 10/9/2014 9:09PM

    Wow! That's awesome you are doing mindfulness and lovingkindness meditation! Sounds absolutely beautiful! Wishing you a day full of lots of love and happiness!
Hugs and love,

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ROXYZMOM 10/9/2014 4:44PM

    I love this! I tend to use music to get to my happy place. I guess because I grew up with it all around me. And, another time that I - ironically - clear my mind, is when I clean!! This morning I was stressful at work, so I climbed the attic stairs and started cleaning it out!!

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EDENZMOM 10/9/2014 3:54PM

    That is just beautiful.
Like I've said before, one day i will get to be where you are.
I have had a lot of emotion the last couple of days... and trouble sleeping with too much floating around in my head. I think meditation will be good tonight for me :)

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Maintenance without Scale - Week 5

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Time is flying!
Week 5 was very good.
Ate well, did all my workouts, slept well.
On Sunday DS and me made sushi (from scratch) and it turned out very well.
I guess I haven't gained, even might have got closer to the lower end of my weight range.

Yesterday was all good too, except the evening.
I got home late from work, tired and somewhat frustrated.
My dinner was fine - chicken breast, vegetable mix and 2 ounces of bread, and 1 small square of dark chocolate.
But the evening didn't end well: DH opened a huge bar of dark chocolate (one square as big as 4 squares of my chocolate bar)... first I said no... then accepted a half square... and ended up eating 4 huge squares.
We watched an episode of The Wire which is fine and I love this series... but then watched another episode just because I was too lazy to get up. This is really too much, as one episode is 60 minutes, and very dense, loaded with information, emotions and all kinds of trouble.
So I went to bed at midnight, and read my book for another 30 minutes.
My sleep was short and restless, woke up too early from bad dreams.

It is really amazing how one poor choice can start an avalanche of stupid actions, isn't it?
I mean I was tired and frustrated, all I needed was a light comforting meal, some peaceful activity to wind down, and then an early night.
I managed to do just the opposite - I'll make an effort tonight to make mindful decisions.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANTHEBLONDE 10/7/2014 5:21PM

    You are not alone! I have days where I had ate a good breakfast, lunch, dinner and maybe a snack and then it nitetime I mess it all up. I've learned that I can't be too hard on myself the next morning. I did it.. and there's nothing I can do about it! So I tell myself TODAY IS A NEW DAY! I think you're doing awesome and I'm so proud of you! You just had a bad night! Today is a new day!
Hugs and love,

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TEMPEST272002 10/7/2014 3:19PM

    I love sushi - especially with mango, avocado and salmon. yummy. Yes... that one little bad choices that leads to many, many more. Well, at least you are aware enough to notice what's going on and makes plans to do it differently next time.

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SMILINGTREE 10/7/2014 2:00PM

    It is usually when I'm tired, frustrated, and in need of comfort that I make the worst choices when it comes to food/exercise. It seems to be a pretty common thing, and maybe it isn't all bad. I hope that you rest well the next few nights to make up for the restlessness and bad dreams.

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WENDYANNE61 10/7/2014 11:41AM

    Yes, I have had quite a few evenings like that recently - I had all the right things for dinner and then ended up vegging out on the sofa eating too many almonds dipped in chocolate and sugar ....aggghhh! Although I like this time of the year, my body seems to think it needs less exercise and more food.
Congratulations on being in tune with what is going on and for making a lot of the right decisions too!

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HONEYBEESBLISS 10/7/2014 10:44AM

    Awesome for last week!!! And ah well for yesterday, sometimes we just have to learn the hard way to really help solidify what we really want to do. I had to chuckle at the chocolate though!!!

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/7/2014 9:50AM

    How well I know that path!
You'll bounce back. emoticon

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EDENZMOM 10/7/2014 9:37AM

    You are still doing wonderfully, and at least you are in tune with your body enough to realize that you made a mistake, but I'm sure you can balance that out during the week if you feel you would like to. We are all human!

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ROXYZMOM 10/7/2014 8:44AM

    Yup, the same thing happens to me from time to time!
You are going to be ok. You are one determined lady.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 10/7/2014 8:23AM

    We all make poor choices now and then. We recognize them and move on, just like you're doing now.

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MRS.DOYLE 10/7/2014 5:11AM

    I think we probably all have days like that. But we Sparkers know that we can start again tomorrow. Pre-Spark, I would have carried on making bad choices for days or weeks.

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NEW-CAZ 10/7/2014 4:18AM

    You did well, shouldn't beat yourself up over the chocie, once in a while is not the crime of the century hun, balance it out over the week.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Working with tiredness and meditation success

Thursday, October 02, 2014

Huh, the past 3 days were tough.
Mon-Tue I had a 2-day business trip, and on Wednesday another one, doing quality checks.
I knew in advance that by Tuesday night I will be dead tired, and Wednesday is 8 hours + 3 hours drive both ways. I hate to drive in the dark highways when I'm tired, and I can't bill an overnight stay on this project (what I normally do).
So I asked my boss if I could go by train and she said yes.
Of course it takes longer (bus- train-tram-work-tram-train-bus) and of course I was dead tired when I got on the train at 7 pm, but I was so happy I could just sit and relax, rather than driving.
I even did a full 45 minute sitting meditation - well it turned out a bit strange, because one man a few seats away was annoyed by his in-laws and shared his feelings with his friend traveling with him, and also by phone with others ; )
I reminded myself to focus on my breath, and not to judge his voice as unpleasant, but accept it as neutral sound.
It worked, I didn't get annoyed but finished my meditation peacefully.
This is a huge improvement for me.
When I started practicing meditation, in the first weeks I was overly cautious to avoid any external noise, and was stressed when I got disturbed.
I have understood that the main goal of meditation is non-doing, non-thinking, non-judging, and acceptance of what already is.

I'm working from home Thu-Fri, and -as I had to cancel yesterday's run - I had planned to run today.
But I woke up dead tired and could not get up.
I woke up some more I realized I can't get up because I'm too tired to enjoy running.
So I decided to walk instead, and got out of bed immediately.

I had my walk, had my breakfast, read the blogs of SparkFriends which were exceptionally interesting and uplifting, and now I feel good and ready to work on the huge excel sheets of today's task.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJREIMERS 10/6/2014 7:44PM

    You may not have gotten a run in, but you got out of bed and got moving. Walking is better than staying in bed. Don't let yourself get run down or you'll end up sick and missing a lot more runs!

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JEANKNEE 10/6/2014 8:46AM


Your "can do" spirit is evident in your blogs. Keep up the wonderful work and mindful practice.

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JANTHEBLONDE 10/4/2014 5:47PM

    Oh my gosh! Wow! You are one busy lady! I admire you so much for meditating during the noisy train ride! Way to go! I'm so proud of you!
Hugs and love,

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LESLIESENIOR 10/3/2014 11:48AM

    Wow! What a success turning the crazy week into an opportunity to practice all that you have learned about your body, mind, soul, and spirit. Acceptance is HUGE. The more it is practiced the more serene life feels. And it does take practice, I've found!!!
You are always so good about sharing your challenges and your solutions.
Thank you!!!

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NEW-CAZ 10/3/2014 2:30AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SMILINGTREE 10/2/2014 11:47AM

    Congratulations, both on making through a rough week, the successful meditation, and on recognized your own exhaustion. I hope that the time working from home helps you recharge and recover!

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HONEYBEESBLISS 10/2/2014 11:09AM

    Wow to be able to do that and meditate and just have his voice be neutral is huge!!! Way to go!!! And you know what I think you were 100% right to not push running being so tired, sometimes we need gentleness and rest not a push, of course other times we need a push so it's all about being in tune with yourself and I think it's awesome that you chose a nice walk instead!

Yesterday I kept my jogging low and slow and it just felt right to take it low and slow especially when the day before had been a huge push in strength training. Also I really appreciate your comment the other day about keeping running at an enjoyable pace and I knew you were right, I totally agree with that. I'm pushing my body in other ways right now and my running needs to be easy and fun for me!

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EDENZMOM 10/2/2014 8:30AM

    Travelling is very difficult, I used to travel a lot for work as well. Except for the odd big account now, I'm happy to stay close to my family while the kids are young :)
You're incredible that you can just block out and not judge or get stressed and annoyed. again, hopefully I can get there one day with practice!
Enjoy your day, and thanks for the sparkpage messages!

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GIANTOCR1 10/2/2014 8:01AM

    Traveling is so tough. I have been doing lots of it too. You need to teach me the meditation technic. Or point me to a book or something. I really need help there.

Glad you made it home safe and sound.

Take care

Please contact me on your meditation technic ..

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ROXYZMOM 10/2/2014 7:35AM

    Whew! emoticon I got tired reading this! You sure do have a full plate this week! I don't like driving in the dark anymore, even if I am not tired. My eyes are getting too old!

That is awesome that you were able to take the train and were able to silence the sounds around you as you meditated. I would say that you have now mastered meditation! Between the motion and all the people you did great!

And kudos for listening to and respecting your body on being flexible with your exercise! You may have avoided an injury and/or dampened spirit by switching to walking.

I hope you are able to take it easy the rest of the work week!!

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KANOE10 10/2/2014 6:30AM

    You are handling your busy schedule well and listening to your body. I admire you for meditating during the noise of a train.


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SETTIMIA 10/2/2014 6:20AM

    hiya, glad that you are taking a bit of break and working from home, I hope that it will be productive x

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GHOSTFLAMES 10/2/2014 5:15AM

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