MAURIZIA   102,651
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How much is too much?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Challenge is to what I am referring. What are my challenges? To list them, they are:

1. Work
2. Nutrition & exercise
3. Time
4. 5% Spring Challenge
5. Stress Busting Challenge - which I joined yesterday
6. Packing up the excess in my apartment.
7. Finding & moving to a new place after 30 years here
8. Finances
9. How to buy new clothes that will fit without money

Well, at least my challenges number below a 2-digit numeral, right? I've decided it will help to see which are connected and which are stand-alone, if either.

Numbers 2 & 4 can be combined into one. Down to 8 challenges.
Numbers 6 & 7 also can merge. Down to 7 challenges.
Numbers 4 & 5 are both challenges and both leading to being healthier, so down to 6.
Numbers 8 & 9 are related, now down to 5.

How easy was that?

1. Work
2. Challenges - exercise, nutrition, stress.
3. Moving - decluttering, packing, apartment hunting & moving.
4. Time
5. Finances
Week 1 goals:
1. Deep breathing exercise for 5 minutes everyday.
2. Declutter one shelf of my pantry - washing, wrapping & packing things for donation pick-up.
3. Once home from work, I will not check work emails until the next morning.

My overall hopes for the challenge are to:
1. Gather new tools to help deal with the stress.
2. Be reminded of the tools already in my "shed" that I can use to defuse stressful situations.
3. By reducing stress using these, I will feel healthier.
1. Stay within nutrition guidelines suggested by SP.
2. Exercise a minimum of 40 minutes/day.
3. Participate in threads at team page.
1. Wash, wrap, pack items from pantry (dishes, pans, etc.) for donation to BBBSRI.
1. Tracked / analyzed nutrition daily since Jan. 1.
2. Exercised at least 40 minutes each day this week..
3. My goal is to blog 3 times each week to start. Blog #1 for this week.
5. Visited my 4 teams everyday.

1. Katie, who is entertaining me with her chirping at birds this morning.
2. A lovely Pink Ribbon Tea in Newport, RI yesterday - and I got to wear one of my straw hats!
3. Time with John yesterday AND today.
4. RI International Film Festival presentation today at a university just one town away.
5. Quiet morning.
6. Got my goal of packing mom's spice set (not as in a spice rack) done.
7. Going tech free as soon as I post this blog.
8. G-d, Who has given me so many blessings this week.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TREV1964 4/18/2014 2:10PM

    I like this idea, dealing with multiple challenges makes the overall task seem smaller than it is.

Great stuff.



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RUBYSNANA 4/16/2014 8:00AM

    I like how you condensed your goals to make them less overwhelming. Moving is such a challenge, but donating and getting "rid" of stuff can be so liberating. emoticon

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WATERONE 4/15/2014 2:18PM

    Love the way to broke them down and then condensed them. emoticon

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KALISWALKER 4/15/2014 1:13PM

    Good job whittling down the list

There is a Spark Team for clothing swaps


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SIRIUS2014 4/14/2014 11:35AM

    Wonderful blog. God has blessed me with finding tremendous bargains at our Salvation Army. Tues is 1/2 to seniors and Weds is 1/2 price women's clothes. May you have strength for your big move.

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ISLENAA 4/14/2014 12:23AM

    my challenges are usually associated with too much thinking and non doing. Once i start doing, those challenges are either eliminated or become less of one. all the best with your challenges. emoticon

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GHOSTFLAMES 4/13/2014 2:50PM

    GO MAURI,GO MAURI emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STORMTMB 4/13/2014 2:44PM

    Oh, Mauri, So much to do!! I definitely understand the packing and moving. Can I give you encouragement by saying that we donated a lot before we moved, but we are donating even more as we are unpacking. I'm so glad to be getting rid of stuff. It is scary how much I accumulated the longer I'm in one place. We were in our house for 11 years and we certainly grew into it!! I've also been taking a lot to a wonderful consignment store that I found here (finally!). I love to have them re-sell clothes for me and I am also pleased with the wonderful (new-to-me) clothes that I get in good condition. If you have any in the area, you might check it out both for buying and selling. It's really nice to get a little cash in the pocket for once. Good luck with finding a wonderful new home that you love!

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RAESUN54 4/13/2014 12:46PM

    You have everything all lined up and very strong goals and you were able to compartmentalize well. It takes time but you will make them work. I understand the Finance part, I too am looking for a new place to live and it is not an easy chore, but I have the help of my grown children and Gods guidance. Everything in the end falls into place. You can do it.

emoticon emoticon

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NOTSPEEDY 4/13/2014 11:02AM

    Beautifully balanced blog. It is good to leave work at work. Prayers for you, your packing and finding a new place to live. emoticon

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    For #9 -- I love to shop at second hand stores. Some are cheaper than others. Volunteers of America seems like the cheapest where I live, as lots of clothes are 99c, whereas almost all clothing items at local Goodwills are ~$3.29.

If you feel overwhelmed, remember that progress in some areas is better than progress in no areas.

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Achievement is the best motivation...

Saturday, March 29, 2014 least for me.

I have tried over the last couple of weeks since the 2014 Winter 5% Challenge ended to maintain the habits developed during it. Overall I think I did okay though at last Friday's weigh-in for me, I had found a lb. I thought was eliminated. Instead of being disappointed in me, I revisited both my nutrition & fitness trackers. During this week, I've been more mindful of what had worked and the lessons I'd learned about my body and me. Returning to what worked to achieve my challenge goals, I know what I have to DO. This morning that 1 lb. is eliminated. Achieving the change back to healthy habits motivates me to continue down that track.

The 5% Spring Challenge prep is to list what will motivate me to achieve my goal of eliminating another 5% of body weight by May 15th (or so):

Achievement from the winter challenge. That's it.

As I posted in an earlier blog, eliminating lbs. is only a small part of it. I hope to achieve:

1. Continuing healthy habits.
2. Learning more about what works to move forward to a healthy body.
3. Being more limber to try advanced exercises.

Yup. That simple. I just need to DO what will bring me to these goals.

1. Tracked / analyzed nutrition daily since Jan. 1.
2. Exercised at least 40 minutes each day this week..
3. My goal is to blog 3 times each week to start. Blog #3 for this week.
4. Decluttering - dropped a bag o books in a book bin this week.
5. Visited my 4 teams everyday.

1. Katie, who is always happy to see me return home.
2. Back on track to healthy habits.
3. Survived this stressful work week.
4. Change in attitude toward 2 challenging co-workers.
5. Day in Boston with John.
6. G-d, Who protects me from myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STORMTMB 4/13/2014 2:48PM

    Mauri, I'm catching up on some blogs I missed while I was moving and with my family... I saw your line about the books. I'm assuming you meant returning library books but one thing we did on our last two moves was to donate books (way too many to admit having!) to the library. We at least knew that if they weren't used in the library they would be sold at a fundraiser or passed on or donated in some way. We had soooo many books. Scary how many we still have! That really lightened the load when moving.

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GHOSTFLAMES 3/30/2014 6:27AM


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TREV1964 3/29/2014 8:09PM

    I look back over past achievements especially if I continue to plateau - looking on stuff like this is motivational and can help drive you that little bit harder that can really help.



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KALISWALKER 3/29/2014 7:28PM

    Countdown to the challenge, have a good week.

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YOYONOMORE1 3/29/2014 6:18PM

    You are doing so much better, and have a good grasp on what you need to do for you. This week was a pretty good one for me. March is almost gone and then we'll be into April and hopefully nicer weather. Glad you got to spend some time with John. Co-workers can be a challenge, but if you can find a way too handle them that helps you that is great. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.


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LEXIE63 3/29/2014 3:26PM

    It is good to revisit and doublecheck. It really helps to keep focused. Good for you. :-)

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SUPER_CIARA 3/29/2014 10:26AM

    emoticon Well done, it sounds like you have a really good grasp of what you need to be doing and you're doing it! emoticon

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Will wonders never cease?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Part of my work responsibilities include teaching breast health and breast cancer classes. Last week I was teaching classes at a local middle school. When in schools, I always share a story about a young man several years ago who sent me an email about a year later, thanking me for saving his grandmother's life. He went home and kept urging her to have a mammogram. To quiet him, she finally went and was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer. She was successfully treated and, presumably, is enjoying life. When I wrote back, I told him that he saved her life because he was the spark she needed to get screened.

At a wellness event last week, I had my blood pressure checked, and they did do glucose & cholesterol tests as well. I held my breath. When I saw my cardiologist in November, on meds, my BP was 132/78 - a low for me. Last week, after having successfully completed the 2014 Winter 5% Challenge, it tested at 120/70. Woohoo!!! I had a high protein breakfast because when at these types of events, I don't always get to have lunch. Read high protein as an egg with low sodium cheese, butter, all on whole wheat toast. For a snack, they only had muffins, so I had a half-muffin with half a pat of butter. My non-fasting glucose was 97, 12 points below normal, and my cholesterol was exactly 200, not bad after egg, cheese & butter breakfast. I was in wonder. Curious how these healthy habits really DO make you healthier.

As I reread this blog this morning, I realized I never wrote why these two events are connected - which was my point in sharing the story of the young man at the high school. The point is that...

...We need to find the *spark* that will set us on our journey. For his grandmother, it was his constant asking if she had her mammogram. For me, it was the 2014 Winter 5% Challenge. What is yours?

1. Tracked / analyzed nutrition daily since Jan. 1.
2. Exercised at least 40 minutes each day since Sunday.
3. My goal is to blog 3 times each week to start. Blog #2 for this week.
4. Decluttering - dropped a bag of clothes in a bin and have to drop more books in a book bin this week.
5. Visited my 4 teams everyday.

1. Katie, who always makes me feel loved - not bad for a cat.
2. Healthy habits that are getting stronger.
3. Normal readings on health tests.
4. Good roundtable on Saturday to develop breast cancer programs for African-American women.
5. G-d, Who grants me so many blessings.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STORMTMB 4/13/2014 2:55PM

    Those are great numbers, Mauri!! I'm so happy for you. And way to go with a great breakfast to sustain you!

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NEWTINK 3/28/2014 5:48PM

    I am so proud of your numbers. You over came a lot in the challenge and I just know the spring challenge will be awesome for you !! keep on sparking my friend emoticon

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TREV1964 3/28/2014 7:12AM

    Wonderful Mauri,

As inspirational as ever.

Great stuff as always,



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WALLINMW 3/27/2014 9:09AM

  Stay motivated.

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WANDAH3 3/26/2014 8:10AM

  Way to go proud of all that you do both for others and what you are doing for yourself. Lots of hugs.
Stay warm and safe...I hear this newest winter blast is heading your way too.


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GHOSTFLAMES 3/26/2014 6:07AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 3/25/2014 5:40PM


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Friend or foe?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

As I continue to track my food here at SP on their nutrition tracker, it occurred to me this morning that I've always seen food as an enemy. It's there to add lbs. to my body. It's not good for me. Food is unhealthy and tempts me. It tricks me into believing I will feel better the more I eat. This morning the little light bulb above my head shone brightly.

Food is a friend. It is a good thing. It's there to SUSTAIN my body not act subversively in making it grow. It IS good for me because it provides me with energy and the nutrients my body needs to make it work efficiently. Food is HEALTHY and does NOT tempt me. It does NOT trick me but FUELS my body so that it lasts me through my lifetime. Yup, better get sunglasses so the bright light bulb doesn't hurt my eyes.

What a revelation to me! This came to me as I planned my meals for the day. For a few days earlier this week, I forgot a lesson or two that I learned during the 2014 5% Winter Challenge...and on Thursday, I hopped back on that wagon. Perhaps it is seeing my changing attitude as I went back to what I was doing during the challenge that helped clarify food's position in my life. It IS a friend. No food is an enemy - it's my approach to it that will make me healthy - not avoiding, eliminating, fearing any food - it's embracing food with a new view of it that will move me forward on this healthy lifestyle train track.

Food, welcome to my circle of friends.

1. Tracked / analyzed nutrition daily since Jan. 1.
2. Exercised everyday, but not as many minutes per day this past week.
3. My goal is to blog 3 times each week to start. Getting closer to this goal. Blogged 2 times last starting cycle with this as #1.
4. Decluttering - have a bag of books and a bag of clothes to drop into a collection box. Decided what in the pantry (pots, pans, etc) are coming and what isn't. Need boxes to pack so that Big Brother/Big Sister can pick up next week (since we are getting sn*w!!!! this week).
5. Visited my 4 teams everyday.

1. Katie, who is embracing the change in her diet at the same time.
2. Light bulb moments.
3. Finally understanding the role of food in my life.
4. Letting go of the fear of food.
5. My SP family - you know who you are.
6. The continuing support from my fellow challenge casual travellers.
7. That I finally found the right train track to healthy lifestyle.
8. G-d, Who is the power behind the light bulb.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STORMTMB 4/13/2014 2:53PM

    Mauri, What a great approach to have! I remember not long ago I read that people view eating food not for enjoyment but purely for nutritional value and to sustain themselves. I always thought of food for enjoyment - which I did too much of, but never really thought about the benefits to my body. I don't always remember this, but try to much more often when I'm thinking about preparing balanced meals.

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WANDAH3 3/25/2014 8:26AM

  Mauri...thank you for always managing to say the right thing and helping me to put things into perspective.

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GHOSTFLAMES 3/24/2014 4:17AM

    GO MAURI GO MAURI emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TREV1964 3/23/2014 10:00PM

    Eating right can be one of the most difficult habits to get right. It is not like drinking alcohol or smoking where you stop entirely. If you stop the habit of eating you deny your body the very thing that keeps you alive and this is why I believe this one to be the toughest of the lot. It is a case of managing the way that you eat and using coping techniques when you get a craving to pick at food at the very times you know you shouldn't.

A good blog that I enjoyed reading.



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YOYONOMORE1 3/23/2014 4:40PM

    That's a much healthier way to look at food and should help you stick with what you know you should be doing. I've struggled this week, made too many bad choices, that's not the foods fault, that is totally my fault, so will try and do better this week. So you are coming into the busy time of year for you and the Hope bus, will watch and when you are swamped I'll try and help out with Wed. & Thurs. daily challenges if I see by afternoon they haven't been posted. I really, really hope you do not get the snow they are predicting. It's sunny here, but cold today, it might get to 30 before it starts dropping again. Wishing you a good snowless week.


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POPSY190 3/23/2014 2:43PM

    It's all in the mind Mauri! I've done better since I began referring to my eating plan as "nutritarian" - it reminds me to think of food differently! Well done, your Restart is becoming established habit.

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Overwhelmed by your support...

Monday, March 17, 2014

emoticon HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY! emoticon

Feel the need to tell all of you who have commented on my last two blogs how much your support and encouraging words inspire me. Thank you all for taking the time to read about my 5% Challenge. It is overwhelming, and to see so many of my new "friends" here at SP commenting means a lot. To read comments from those of you who have become part of my SP "family" - you know who you are - I am so grateful for the years of support you share, whether for me to continue to move towards a healthy lifestyle, the emotional support, laughter, tears, and kicks in the butt when necessary.

1. Tracked / analyzed nutrition daily since Jan. 1.
2. Exercised yesterday for 90 minutes; today for 70 minutes.
3. My goal is to blog 3 times each week to start. This is blog #2 for this new week.
4. Decluttering - did not pack anything because it was a 12 hour work day and my headache needs attention.
5. Visited my 4 teams today.

1. Katie, who is lying by my side to remind me I should be resting.
2. Gracie, Iggy & Pianella who left gifts behind with me.
3. A wonderful support group today.
4. A free hand massage & manicure today at our Hope Bus Indoors program.
5. Lunch with two of our survivors with whom I enjoy spending time.
6, Sale on rubber stamps & stickers at Hobby Lobby that I need for tomorrow's hospital activity.
7. G-d Who grants me so many blessings

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAZZYMOM53 3/19/2014 11:48AM

    Enjoy hearing from you. Awesome on the goals. Keep it up! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERONE 3/18/2014 8:05PM

    Always a pleasure to visit and hear what you are doing and what you have to say. You are doing emoticon

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GHOSTFLAMES 3/18/2014 5:27AM


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POPSY190 3/18/2014 12:38AM

    I look forward to the blogs. So pleased the 5% challenge has worked so well for you! It did for me as well; in fact, nearly all the LTGL challenges are now just habit for me! Keep the Spring start date firmly in mind and keep in touch with SFs in the time in between. emoticon

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TREV1964 3/17/2014 10:43PM

    We are there for you the way in which you are there for us - it is the least we can do.

Cheers love and respect


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