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Human connections - one day out

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Yesterday afternoon I spent with my son. The current research shows that human connections are a vital part of emotional/mental health, and spending time with my son is a precious event in my life. We aren't a "every Sunday dinner with mom" kind of family. And since he got back from Iraq and has been busy with school, I take the opportunities as they arise. My daughter in law was at work, so this was entirely a mom-son connection thing. And that meant it was soul-filling for me.

We went to lunch and just hung out after he took me down to pick up my car. We talked of many, many things. Deep things and surface things. And I got my share of son-hugs. He left with my charcoal grill in the trunk of his car... living alone and not entertaining much, I don't really need it... it's too big for one person. It saves the kids a few bucks to have it at their house, and it gets one more piece of unused clutter out of my house: this was a great decision!

I learned which muscles I have NOT worked on: my hands seem horribly weak when he tried to train me on a couple of actions! But that's for the next fitness drive: maybe it will make jar-opening easier?

Today is packet pick-up day for the half-marathon. I'll be heading downtown in a couple of hours to do just that. Tomorrow morning is forecast to be cold (36 degrees F), but in fact, that's a good thing for speed walkers... remember, we did the State Farm 10 mile in SNOW! But today I might just drop by the sports store and see if they have some of those hand warmer packs.

emoticon Onward... to tomorrow!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 4/30/2011 10:03PM

    Best Wishes to you tomorrow, Barb. I will be "cheering" for you.

Hugs, Sunny

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RONOSOF 4/30/2011 8:39PM

    I cherish my mother/son days too emoticon

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SUNNY1432 4/30/2011 8:12PM

    Best of Luck tomorrow!! I hope you can walk fast enough to stay warm. emoticon

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NEAN789 4/30/2011 5:50PM

  What a wonderful blessing to have the visit and to truly appreciate it! Awesome!

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REJ7777 4/30/2011 2:30PM

    As mom to a grown son, I couldn't help but be happy for you as I read about your lovely day with your son! I remember when you were counting the days, waiting for him to come home from overseas. I think that one of the secrets of making a relationship work with our grown children is respect. (With anyone, for that matter!) Having a loving and close relationship with our adult children is a wonderful treasure to be guarded carefully!

I've been thinking about you and your upcoming half-marathon. emoticon

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FITFABJENN 4/30/2011 1:51PM

    Enjoy your half-marathon tomorrow. I KNOW you'll do great!


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THINBUCKEYE 4/30/2011 11:44AM

    Those moments are so precious and deeply heart-warming. While we do wish them well in finding someone special and living in a happy marriage, it's hard to find time alone with them, once that happens. Please thank your son for his service to our country. My SIL recently came back from Iraq, also. Thank God they're both safe! Good luck with the race today.

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_LINDA 4/30/2011 11:00AM

    That is just wonderful you got some great time alone with your son! Happens few and far between when they are married..
All the best with the race, and yes, hand warmers at that temperature are a great idea!!

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HOT4FITNESS 4/30/2011 11:00AM

    See you at the start.. and the finish. I bet we warm up by mile 5. I love those mom-son moments, glad it was a great day for you.

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WATERMELLEN 4/30/2011 10:34AM

    That mum/son thing: wonderful!!

All the best tomorrow.

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MNTWINSGAL 4/30/2011 10:26AM

    Barb, I'm so glad you got this time with your they get older those times become more and more precious.

Good luck tomorrow. It'll be cold but invigorating! Can't wait to hear all about it!

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DEBRA0818 4/30/2011 9:39AM

    Good luck tomorrow, Barb! And congratulations on meeting a superlative fitness goal!


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Royal Wedding

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yes, I did get up at 3 a.m., US Central time. This really is not a particular hardship for me, because I normally rise at 4:18 anyway. We are into "rest" day on the exercise program, and I have my comfy jeans and sweatshirt on while watching these incredibly beautifully turned out guests arrive at the wedding. Love my pomp and circumstance... and it brings echoes of my niece's wedding last Autumn which was pretty posh, but of course NOTHING like the scale of a Royal "do". Also thinking of the wonderful Easter church service, which also tends to pull out the stops, in terms of worship days.

As I told a co-worker yesterday when I mentioned getting up to watch this, "the hard part will be keeping my feet OFF the treadmill, because my default for TV watching is to do so while walking on the treadmill"!

I took my last long walk yesterday, as it was an incredibly nice day. I walked home from work, with earbuds in for a change. Listened to Andre Rieu... a whimsical conductor... kind of the European Lawrence Welk of classical music. One of my sisters took me to a live performance by his orchestra, so I can see in my minds' eye just what he is doing... the physical gags that go with some of the sounds.

As a consequence, the auto is sitting in its downtown garage, but since I'm not to do any more long walks until Sunday, I have offered to take my son to lunch in exchange for a ride down to pick it up. That way he can sleep in, as he has no classes today. And since it's a State Holiday, I don't have to be governed by a schedule.

This is definitely going to be a good day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 4/30/2011 2:12AM

    Enjoy your holiday! Its actually fairly interesting seeing the assortment of hats they were wearing. So different from North American culture. I too, love the ceremony of it all. Its a shame it cost 50 million, that is just staggering, and like someone said, could have been put to much better use..

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MNTWINSGAL 4/29/2011 8:18PM

    I recorded all 6 hours of it you I love the pomp and circumstance. I watched the highlights on "Entertainment Tonight" and will probably curl up on the couch late Saturday night to see the rest. Ah.....a fairy tale come true!

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LJCANNON 4/29/2011 7:36PM

    I did NOT get up at 4AM, but I did turn on the TV as soon as the alarm went off. I watched as much of it as I could. It was Beautiful, and I LOVED the Dress!! Hard to believe that they kept it a secret!

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SUNNY332 4/29/2011 5:44PM

    I thought the wedding was awesome - perfect dress, beautiful bride and an equally handsome and very proud groom.

Loved it!


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KSHAGGY 4/29/2011 5:14PM

    I hope that some channel replays it later; would like to see at least a little of it.

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KALIGIRL 4/29/2011 1:02PM

    Love your 'free' day - what better way to celebrate than lunch with a loved one!

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MSLZZY 4/29/2011 8:23AM


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MMNICKS 4/29/2011 8:09AM

    I watched bits and bytes but don't think I could tolerate the entire event. She did look lovely though.

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SAMI199 4/29/2011 8:01AM

    I am watching,too! emoticon I remember watching Prince Charles & Diana's wedding- It certainly beautiful & I LOVE her dress.Have a wonderful day!


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DEBRA0818 4/29/2011 7:51AM

    I taped it and cannot wait to watch it. I love the pomp and ceremony too!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 4/29/2011 6:55AM

    Glad you are enjoying your day off. DH and I are also off today. Getting ready for travel out of state to his 50th class reunion. We'll have to watch the Royal Wedding after the fact.

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Less than three

Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Less than three" is chat-speak for a heart (which Spark won't let me type on my blog, thinking it to be HTML tagging). And a heart is the symbol of love.

Three days (and probably half an hour from right now to get to the starting line) is the time we shall start the half marathon. There are some frothy promotional things that happen before that, i.e. packet pick up, a marathon expo, a pasta-thon, motivational speakers... even a church that comes and holds an early service for the runners.

Meanwhile, we're looking at lots of coverage of the Royal Wedding of Prince William of Wales and Kathryn Middleton over the pond. It brings back so many memories of his parents' wedding. I was a newlywed myself when that one occurred. My husband and I got up at 4 a.m. our time to watch the coverage live... because there's something about being in the moment. Our son was born the same summer as Prince Harry. So, I expect I shall rise about the same time to take in this event... 4 a.m. is not that far off my normal wake time anyway!

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thursday... preparing for and living the events that have been put in your own lives for today! Spark on!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 4/29/2011 5:45AM

    On your mark... get set... emoticon

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MSLZZY 4/28/2011 11:40PM

    Good luck!

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WATERMELLEN 4/28/2011 9:24PM

    Lots to look forward to: wishing you all the best!!

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BUGGYS 4/28/2011 7:16PM

    I just got back from vacation and didn't realize that your marathon was this must have a mixture of emotions going forward and I can't tell you how much I admire your determination. The wedding will be fun to watch but I won't be getting up at 3:00 am here...I will watch bits and pieces because my thoughts are with the people and the devestation in the southeast!

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STEPHIEKNITS 4/28/2011 5:19PM

    Sounds like fun!

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_LINDA 4/28/2011 2:22PM

    Sounds great! It will be fun to watch all the ceremony live, far better than recorded!

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DEBRA0818 4/28/2011 11:38AM

    I remember getting up in the middle of the night and sitting in my studio apartment in downtown Chicago and just marveling at the wedding of Charles and Diana -- she was so beautiful. A young singleton, I wondered would I meet a man I could marry and what my wedding would look like. The answer: yes and a beautiful sung mass at a cathedral church in the Bahamas. Pretty cool to look back!


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Four days out

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Last night I did my five miles on the treadmill... to watching The Biggest Loser at its scheduled broadcast time, for a change. I'm normally an NCIS watcher, but it was a re-run, and I was restless.

I have never been a huge follower of the Biggest Loser, considering it to be unrealistic (as most so-called reality shows are). Many of them are psychology experiments, televised and produced for entertainment of the voyeur in all of us. BUT... since weight *is* an issue for me, and I've been working on this puzzle for essentially my entire adult life, even highly-produced psychology experiments might have *something* I can glean for my own use. Even if it's just the music and artificial tension that keeps me walking on the treadmill to finish out my five miles. emoticon

One HUGE lesson, though, from all of these shows, and all of the programs, and even from the low percentage of long-term success in the arena of weight management: in the end, it's all about YOU... you, deciding you're worth it. You, choosing action over inaction. You deciding that even though you had a bad day, or week, or month, you're not giving up. You... choosing life. Nobody can make that choice for you, but you can make it for yourself.

In a family culture and a work culture that prizes self-sacrifice... self-nurture can be an alien concept. When surrounded by others who flatteringly ask your help and your time and your attention... self-nurture can be hard to come by.

But today is the only day you have. And YOU are worth the investment of self-nurture. Today. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 4/27/2011 9:02PM

    Great blog!! You have to want to make the change and than put the effort into that is necessary to make the change!! emoticon
Good Luck on your Race!! emoticon emoticon

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NEAN789 4/27/2011 10:57AM

  Thank you for your post. I have so much success and strength when helping others and just almost pathetically fizzle when it comes to me. Well, I'm changing that...yesterday I was getting ready to do a workout dvd in my living room and my daughter was on the couch studying. She said oh mom if you do your workout now I won't be able to concetrate...well I realized, see, this is one of my problems. I just told her she could take her books to the basement and study there for awhile because this was my time to do something for me! It sure felt good!

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_LINDA 4/27/2011 10:38AM

    Being single, I really had no excuses, I was putting me first, allowing myself anything I wanted, so I alone was responsible for my weight gain, and I alone made the choice to take it off and keep it off too. Here is to all the married, working and people with kids finding the time to put themselves first!
I like listening to music while on the elliptical. I avoid watching TV completely. I find the beat of the music very motivating to keep up with as I like fast, hard music with a good beat.
Keep up the great work!

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DEBRA0818 4/27/2011 9:32AM

    The dedication of purpose is the only thing that can overcome all the pulls in the other direction. You're right on (to borrow a phrase from the 60's)


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DONNALYNN22 4/27/2011 9:30AM

I started watching Biggest Loser but realized I can't possibly model that as I have NO personal trainer, nobody fixing my meals and I have to live my life every day, and not take a break from it for a few months to hyper focus on "ME". People rely on me to be here for them and I have priorities. YES, I am one, but not the only one.
I'm happy for their success and wonder when they get off the show, will they too, be able to continue with it just as it was...they'll be back where I am, in REAL LIFE.
So I'll catch the show sometimes, but YES, it is all about me and my ability to cope in my real life situations.
THANK YOU for that reminder, Barb!
D emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 4/27/2011 9:03AM

    I agree that the culture of self-sacrifice (highly gendered, focused primarily on women) is an impediment to spending the time on self-care essential to weight loss maintenance.

However, it can be helpful to think about personal health care as a form of caring for those who depend upon us: I am not much use to my family/friends/colleagues when I'm too ill to function. And so I'm "required" and not just "entitled" to exercise and eat properly and all the rest of it . . .

All best on your big day coming up!!

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HOT4FITNESS 4/27/2011 8:48AM

    All the hard work, all the training. we are worth it!! See ya in four days

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KALIGIRL 4/27/2011 8:32AM

Here's to all of us taking care of #1 first - then we can 'serve' better. Maybe that's why they say put your oxygen mask on before assisting others?

Comment edited on: 4/27/2011 8:33:29 AM

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FITFABJENN 4/27/2011 8:30AM

    Yep, that's about the size of it. Absolutely worth it! Thanks.

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MSLZZY 4/27/2011 8:11AM

    Powerful and positive message! Thank you!

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WVFAITH 4/27/2011 8:00AM

    YEAH! You've figured it out. Thanks for sharing it with me. Its very inspiring!!

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Full disclosure: not my tulips

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The tulips that now grace my background that several kind folks have commented on are not my work... and I don't just mean the Almighty made them... I mean I took the photo a few blocks from my house where someone else put in the hard work of burying the bulbs! They clearly were rewarded with this fine blast of Spring!

And here we are at Tuesday... five days out. I did my strength routine last evening, like a good little girl, once again observing the positive impact of keeping a promise to oneself. I've written about that a few times, but I'm still impressed by it. It's more than just exercise endorphins. It's a victory over the lazy that lives in me, and it's also a statement that I value this: it's important to keep promises to me. I value me.

To prolong the feeling, I put stickers on my calendar to show it... in a good month, the calendar is covered with stickers that tell me I'm worth it. I have a variety of them, from Snoopy dogs to smiley faces to flags and stars, and I make up little schemes of what they represent: a heart sticker for cardio, a smiley for strength... long walks got big Snoopy, shorter walks a smaller Snoopy... etc.

Is there some little thing you do that gives you that boost? What gives YOU the message that you're worth it, and proclaims that you know it?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VTORIA3 4/30/2011 7:40AM

    I like your context for achievement...."a victory over the lazy that lives within me." I think, yes, that's what I need victory over. I am perfectly content to just sit most of the time and being semi retired sets me up perfectly for that. So, with your helpful context, it's time for me to get real about what I need to do to achieve what I set out to do a year ago. I am glad you are not shy about revealing your age....since I am the same gives me hope that I can conquer the lazy within and be a healthy trim me. emoticon

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BESTSUSIEYET 4/26/2011 11:16PM

    Fun idea with the stickers! Happy 1/2 marathon-ing!

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DANSMOMTPM2 4/26/2011 10:22PM

    The tulips are beautiful, and it is your work. You took the picture and posted it so we too could enjoy the beauty. Thanks. And thanks for the calendar idea. Thats awesome!

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WATERMELLEN 4/26/2011 8:20PM

    Love the sticker concept!

And: I bet your neighbour who planted the tulips would be thrilled to know how famous they are!!

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DEBRA0818 4/26/2011 2:14PM

    Good job, Barb! I think just doing it is its own reward. I haven't come up with anything clever yet to mark success. Still working on that. The success too. LOL!


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_LINDA 4/26/2011 1:34PM

    Well done getting in your exercise! That is an excellent idea with the stickers!! Reminds me of grade school when you used to get starts on a calender :)
My background photo is always my Mom's yard :) I live in an apartment so you have to borrow what you can.
Keep up the great work!!

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MSLZZY 4/26/2011 10:14AM

    Maybe I should start a sticker calendar but I think my grandchildren would want to take it home with them LOL! I just do a mental note but something concrete woudl be a
better idea! Good for you and your stickers. HUGS!

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MOMOF2TONI 4/26/2011 9:25AM

    Great idea with the stickers. I've been thinking I need to do more things like that to encourage and 'reward' ME. Have a great day!

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    You are worth it. We all are.

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