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On rewards

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Every so often, I have to preach to myself about rewards. Why is that? Because I tend to forget to give myself the little rewards and savor them. And I sometimes neglect to follow through on the long-promised bigger rewards, "because something more important came up."

Rewards come in all sizes, of course. Those of us with food issues historically think of rewards in terms of banana splits or whatever our favorite high-calorie indulgence might be... and since food is cheap and available, fast to grab... guess what happens if we don't give consideration to appropriate rewards, large and small?

So... part of the learning process of "acting as if" we were fit and healthy people (on the road to actually becoming the same)... is learning to choose rewards that are meaningful and appropriate to the victories.

Meaningful is a very personal thing... it should be something that gives YOU joy, not something someone else thinks of as a reward. It should be something that you actually label as "I did XYZ, and this is my reward!" "I stayed on my food plan for three weeks... I am buying this scented candle and lighting it to recognize I'm worth it!"

The big ones? I have been promising myself a massage ever since I hit my half-way point... what, 18 months ago? I never booked it! Even now! And until just now when I wrote this, I had kind of forgot I promised that to me... let's put that on the to-do list: schedule that massage.

But right now, the big focal point of the reward scale is the trail riding thing. Today, after my maintenance consultation, I intend to drive out to a nearby state park and investigate scheduling and rates. My work team (several of them, anyway) have said they will go with me... it's just one of those day trips, for those of you who asked, but it's something that's been on my list for a while.

And I even voiced it in front of other people... after I finish the half marathon... I'm going to get on a horse again! It's been 30 years. It's time. So... that's today: reward planning and the next steps to implementation.

What's on YOUR list of rewards you owe yourself?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WORDLILY 5/9/2011 9:04AM

    I haven't figured out what I deserve rewards for / what I need rewards for yet. I've written a list of milestones and goals, but I've yet to plug in rewards. And yes, I tend to not follow through with actually giving myself the rewards. :p

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REJ7777 5/8/2011 4:00AM

    Great blog! I rarely follow through on rewards. I'll have to be more intentional about it. Enjoy your well-deserved rewards!

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KASEYCOFF 5/7/2011 12:36PM

    Wow, what a great reward! I'm a real advocate of celebrating each achievement, large and small, and sometimes it seems as tho we put ourselves 'last' when it comes to rewards. Thanx for reminding me of how important it is... 'cause we're worth it!

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MNTWINSGAL 5/7/2011 9:36AM

    I also have a massage on my reward list....haven't scheduled it yet for obvious reasons. I'm starting anew again today, and hopefully this time I'll get somewhere.

Have a great time on your trail ride. You do indeed deserve it!

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HOT4FITNESS 5/7/2011 8:26AM

    Wow!!! Have fun. You sure do deserve it!! My reward is an upcoming trip to boulder, Colorado for some R&R and a will throw a 10k in there. Have a good weekend!!

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MARVEEME 5/7/2011 7:57AM

    Good for you! Right now, I owe myself nothing but to stay on track. My goals have benchmark rewards, and my bucket list exists, but they are for the future. Guess I've been good to myself all along.

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MSLZZY 5/7/2011 7:34AM

    emoticonNow follow through!

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DAISY443 5/7/2011 7:30AM

    Good for you, go for it!

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DEBRITA01 5/7/2011 7:22AM

    Some day I hope to be back in the saddle again, too. Enjoy your rewards, you've earned them!

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Vision statements: have you done one?

Friday, May 06, 2011

I have to admit I have not done a vision statement or collage. I toy with my goals and aspirations, but a concrete written "here's what I want my life to be like in 5 years"? Nope. It's kind of like that exercise they gave us in school: "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

Seriously, though, when I reach a finish line, that is the next assignment: reassess, re-evaluate, and envision what to do next. Because if I DON'T have a vision of SOME sort, I subject myself to aimless wandering or the force of habit, which lasts only so long.

That said, what *do* I want my life to be like, five years from now? Well, pretty much what it's like now! Maybe a bit more organized. But pretty much as it is.

Meaningful work, safe home, sound nutrition, an active and strong body... contact with my family, siblings, nieces and nephews, son and his wife... OK, maybe grandkid(s) - but that last is not within my control.

This led to making my Vision statement that was required for a work wellness program: "This is the me I want to be for the rest of my life." And that's a fine maintenance vision.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 5/8/2011 3:56AM

    It's pretty wonderful when someone has that attitude about their current life! emoticon

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MARVEEME 5/6/2011 9:58PM

    Amen, sister, Amen I say to YOU!

There is a level of contentment that comes with age, that cannot be compared with anything else. I hear ya! We're in the fine-tuning affluence of life, regardless of our income level or "power".

These are the days in our lives when we can look at our past and future and honestly say "Jeez...not too shabby.", eh? We've been victimized over the years with the self-help gurus of our peers, and looked at most of them with an "I already knew that, brainchild, now what can you teach ME" attitude.

If this connects with you, I will pass on to you a new title for you, "Ms. Renaissance Woman", as this is the title my husband has given to me.

Bless you, my dear, blessings to you and yours!

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_LINDA 5/6/2011 9:36PM

    I haven't done anything like that. No reason to as I really have no future to look forward to but more surgeries and disabilities. No chance for a career, a job or anything else. Just trying to make the best of what I have while it lasts. I am all in favor of living life to the fullest each day, and tomorrow can sort itself out when ever.

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TURTLETALK 5/6/2011 12:49PM

    I have a visual collage in my mind but I haven't yet found time or a need to transfer it to paper/computer. I have had visions of my life as a regular weight woman for many decades so it is fun to see it coming closer and closer to reality.

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DEBRA0818 5/6/2011 11:01AM

    Age and experience has taught me that my vision for myself changes too much to project out that far -- kind of like the U.S. Budget (LOL). I agree with making smaller goals for the day or week, perhaps planning something loosely for the year. But, I swear, nothing that I have EVER planned for the long range came close to happening -- too much happening before the happening, if you know what I mean (and I think you do)!

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MSLZZY 5/6/2011 10:54AM

    Good goals! I need to update my vison collage-when I find the time. There
always seems to be something else that needs my attention more. For now,
it is the grandchildren and the garden. Happy Spring-hugs!

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Finish lines: what to do while thinking about the next goal

Thursday, May 05, 2011

So... here it is, four days later. We crossed the finish line. We got that tremendous rush of accomplishment. I celebrated, and I got back on my program. But... I'm not training for a half marathon any more. I'm thinking about "what's next."

There are some things that are constants:
1) I will keep taking my stress-busting walking breaks at work. This is something that continues to serve me well, and in more areas than physical fitness. They help my mind work better. They give me time to think, to reason away any anxiety that may be arising from the work day, any pressure or stresses. emoticon

2) I will continue my nutritious eating plan. Because I just plain feel better when eating well. emoticon

3) I have started increasing my strength training, which had kind of taken a lesser role while training for that half. I'm feeling the need. emoticon


4) I'm cherishing the many possibilities:

Will my next training effort involve a bicycle? emoticon I started pumping up the tires.

Will it involve a "nesting" - something around the house or yard? A lot of things have been neglected while I spent time training... but I need something that will inspire me... my eyes wander over my home, seeking, seeking. emoticon

Whatever it is, right now I feel good about it... it's out there somewhere... the next dream.

5) And there WILL be a reward. I've promised myself a trail ride, and several work mates have said they'll go with me. Yes, on horses!

Spark on, my friends... the journey is not over just because one crosses a finish line!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALEMAIRE2011 5/8/2011 12:36AM

    Congratulations!! And, thanks for the inspiration! emoticon

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SUEAZZI 5/6/2011 11:04AM

    Follow your dreams! Congrats on crossing the finish line!

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HOT4FITNESS 5/6/2011 7:58AM

    A trail ride sound like a marvelous reward for a job well done. You trained hard, You had a strong finish! Pamper yourself with something nice. Onward to the next task, the next dream. I look forward to hearing about it!

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KSHAGGY 5/5/2011 10:38PM

    Congrats on making your latest goal & I know you will reach the next one too!

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SUNNY1432 5/5/2011 9:50PM

    Great Goals!! You are still so very focused! emoticon

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MTULLY 5/5/2011 11:51AM

    Congratulations! You are amazing! Not surprisingly, your success in reaching this goal motivates you even more. Best of luck on your next challenge!

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MARVEEME 5/5/2011 9:26AM

    Mull it over, you'll focus quickly, but SPARK ON!

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DEBRA0818 5/5/2011 9:04AM

    Sounds good, Barb. Is this a trail ride where you go from inn to inn over a week or just a day's excursion? I had once thought of doing an inn to inn ride in Ireland but I understand it's pretty demanding physically. Any old way, sounds like a true reward to me!


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DAISY443 5/5/2011 8:59AM

    Excellent goals! Plan your work and work your plan!

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SUNNY332 5/5/2011 8:33AM

    Endings to create new beginnings. Best wishes on whatever you decide.

Sounds exciting to me!


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MSLZZY 5/5/2011 8:07AM

    So true! Time to focus on a new goal-whatever that may be-hugs!

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Would you believe for some folks feeling this way is normal?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Some days I wake up and don't want to: this morning was one of them. I used this analogy of walking at the bottom of a swimming pool, as I'm impeded by what my body is doing to deal with "the aliens". Yes, those allergens that populate the world. They are cumulative.

This morning at 4, my 24 hour meds that I took yesterday morning at 6 had clearly been overwhelmed. So, I went through several stages of "jollying myself along". You see, one advantage of being more mature (read older) is that you do kind of know what's coming next with things you've lived with for a while. What I do is I start thinking of what is on my work agenda.

Usually I conclude that it's too important to shrug that off. I may stay in bed a couple of snoozes worth, but then I go into the routine: acting as if I didn't feel like this. Because I know that if I do that for a while, I might stop feeling like this. I move at a much slower pace, and allow myself to do so... I jolly myself into the shower. I take a headache pill, and the allergy pill when the 24 hours is up. I jolly myself into preparing my lunch. I jolly myself into fixing breakfast. By the time I finish breakfast (now)... I'm feeling better. The meds have kicked in, the hot shower has helped, and thinking about the good things I wish to accomplish today has helped, too.

Giving myself permission to move slower today, to listen to the body's needs, respect them, but not blow them out of proportion, is vital. For some people, moving slow is EVERY day. I think of people I know who deal with long-term illnesses or disabilities. For me, it's just during some intervals. If they can keep on keeping on, so can I.

I can live and enjoy even days walking at the bottom of the swimming pool, with gratitude.

emoticon Turtle on, people!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 5/5/2011 6:27AM

    I wish you a jolly good day, in spite of the allergens! emoticon

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SUNNY1432 5/4/2011 10:13PM

    Wonderful Perspective on dealing with a "minor" health inconvenience. I hope tomorrow is a less sluggish. emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/4/2011 3:26PM

    A very different way of looking at things but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing.

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_LINDA 5/4/2011 11:09AM

    Sorry you are having such a horrible day :(( Good for you for pushing on through it, but with caution and respect of your body's limits!
Do you think this might be a residual effect of your race Barb? Hope not.
Here is to soldiering on. If I stayed in bed the way I feel, I would never be getting out of it LOL.

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DAISY443 5/4/2011 10:43AM

    Becoming more "mature" has also taught me the lessons you describe so aptly! emoticon

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DEBRA0818 5/4/2011 10:18AM

    I read an article once where someone was comparing the Eastern way to the Western way of thinking in regard to feelings. In the East, they said, feelings are acknowledged but not relied upon as indicators for what one should do -- duty does that. In the West, feelings are frequently touted as the ultimate guide to how one should direct oneself. So, in the East, one would say I don't feel like getting up and going to work but go anyway. In the West, one would say I don't feel like getting up and going to work and pull the covers over one's head, or go into work and complain all day. I think I prefer the Eastern method! Go Barb!


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MOMAAGAINX2 5/4/2011 9:54AM

    Wow maybe I should let myself move slower too. What a wonderful attitude. emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/4/2011 9:06AM

    Great attitude.

I do relate and understand. Here is to taking it slower when we need too.

Hugs, Sunny

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SHARON2014 5/4/2011 8:35AM

    You are so right - I'm experiencing this with stiffer muscles and joints as I ease toward the mid-60's. I wake up with thanksgiving to live to see another day. As I've heard it said, I can walk, talk, and I'm on the green side of the grass! emoticon Every day, even every moment is truly a gift. emoticon

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46SHADOW 5/4/2011 8:14AM

    Love your attitude. emoticon emoticon sorry you have to go through this though.

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    I'm proud to be a Turtle!

Slogging Onward!!

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Celebrations and recovery

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

One thing that some folks will warn you about is that after a large athletic effort, you WILL be hungry. That's why they feed folks right after an event... be it a 5K, 10K, Half or Full marathon... there is always food... simple carbs a lot of times, fruit, milk, and lots of water.

These things are important because your body has been burning fuel and needs to replace it. As in SOON, before it starts tearing down muscle cells. Because your body will use what it has available.

What often surprises me is the day after munchies! Yesterday I let myself be guided by that... I was ravenous at 5 a.m. Still ravenous at 8 a.m. I was going through my meal plan a couple of hours ahead of schedule. In the end, I just let myself eat. I even let myself have some things I don't normally... including some candy. I went to the grocery store and make a conscious decision about what and how much, but it's not something I do regularly.

I took it easy in terms of exercise... it was a rest day and I got up and moved around pretty gently at regular intervals. No treadmill. No walking for transportation. Just taking it easy... under 5,000 steps.

And then I slept... brief naps through the day, into bed at 9, and a wonderfully sound night's sleep. This morning, I feel great, I'm ready to be fully back on program... and thinking about what's next. I'll let that soak for a while... don't want to over-commit too soon.

There's a place for celebrations, and a place for routine. The human spirit needs challenges, and it needs the recognition of triumph, and it needs quiet routine and recovery from the highs and lows.

Here's to today... wherever it finds you in the cycle of challenge, victory/defeat, recovery or routine. May you find just what you need... for today.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 5/4/2011 6:38AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 5/4/2011 6:01AM

    Great blog about balance!

I had noticed that after a day-long hike in the mountains, I often got the munchies the following day, but I never knew it happened to other people too. I just feel better knowing it happens to other people too.

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NEAN789 5/3/2011 8:02PM

  Very good perspective and advice.

Thank you! emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/3/2011 3:56PM

    GREAT post. Here is to you, emoticon for your huge accomplishment and now on to the next challenge.

Huggers, Sunny

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_LINDA 5/3/2011 10:59AM

    Good for you listening to your body and refueling when necessary, although I am sure some of that hunger might have been thirst as well, I can imagine all the moisture you lost in a race of that duration at a breakneck speed. Nice to hear you took it easy and even got naps in. Sleep is something still very elusive to me. If I have the time to nap, I sure feel better.
Keep up the great work!! Can't wait to hear what you next challenge down the road will be!
Have a terrific Tuesday!

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TURTLETALK 5/3/2011 10:31AM

    What a fabulous change in lifestyle, listening to what your body needs instead of what the mind wants.

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LJCANNON 5/3/2011 10:30AM

    emoticonHere's to You, Recovery, and The Next Challenge!!
emoticonWay To Go on listening to your body!!

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KALIGIRL 5/3/2011 8:46AM

    Sounds like you've learned to listen to your body and it's 'telling' you what it needs as opposed to you 'needing' to feed it something.
Sorry I didn't congratulate you sooner - job VERY well done!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/3/2011 8:47:12 AM

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DEBRA0818 5/3/2011 8:06AM

    The one thing I can say about your success, Barb, is that you seem to have become marvelously in tune with your body -- reading and reacting to cues for when, where and how much is the pathway to a lifetime of recovery and joy.


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