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Write your OWN success story.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A friend's blog this morning was not intended to spark this one, but it did. My friend (you'll recognize yourself) was down on herself. Unable to see the good in herself. And it took me back to several (come to think of it) moments in my past. And quite possibly (when I'm honest with myself) in my future.

But one particular moment stands out in my memory. I remember sitting in a fast food joint in Baltimore, with a new blank journal in my hands and a pen, writing that I was tired of reading the success stories of others, I was tired of reading "how-to" books. I KNEW HOW TO, dang it! I needed to WANT to! That I needed to actually DO it. I was disgusted with my back-sliding.

In my blank book, I wrote that I was going to write my OWN how-to, my OWN journey, my OWN success... Not Oprah's, or Susan's, or Jenny's... MINE! Because this is a journey that each of us has to take for ourselves.

I've used writing a LOT in this journey... venting the lows, celebrating the highs, writing out the dreams... I'm a big fan of the journal. For the past year or more I've written them pretty publicly, right here on the Spark page blog. And when I get down on myself... I have them to go back to, to see where my mind and feelings were at other moments on the path. This is encouraging.

So to my friend, and to everyone else who is out there doubting themselves... you know who you are... you can do this. You can write the unique story of your journey through life, to health, to balance, to dignity. Everyone has a story. Live your own. Write your own. Be present and aware...

YOU can do this. And you're worth it!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 5/15/2011 8:43AM

    I really enjoyed your blog! I used to journal a lot more than I do now. I have a box of my journals through the years. I've found that I tend to journal more during exceptionally high or low periods of my life, or during some kind of transition. I've found it helpful to help sort out my thoughts. I never thought of it as a "success journal" though. But I like the idea.

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CRYSMYS 5/15/2011 1:16AM

    I needed to hear this today.. THANK YOU for posting.

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SUNNY332 5/14/2011 1:09PM

    ...and to thine own self, be true.

Only you can write your story - only you can live your life.

I am so glad to be making this journey with you as you inspire me on so many different levels.

Sunny

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LINDAJOYWK 5/14/2011 8:35AM

    thank you...

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PENNYAN45 5/13/2011 5:43PM

    What a great message you have in this blog: "Write your own success story."

It's true that we are the authors of our own lives - inasmuch as we determine how we will respond and react to circumstances and events.

So we are writing our own life story...
...why not make it a success story?

Sometimes it takes us a while to realize this.
And some of us feel we need permission to do it.

Your blog helped in both areas.

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VTORIA3 5/13/2011 5:06PM

    Bravo! Great blog. So encouraging. emoticon

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_LINDA 5/13/2011 10:18AM

    Journalising is recommended in a lot of areas to help you with problems. Putting down your thoughts and feelings always helps you look at them closer and illustrates for you triggers for behaviors. And here on Sparks, doing it publicly means instant support and feedback. Got to love that accountability!
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DRB13_1 5/13/2011 9:23AM

    I need to sit down and do this...

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COMPUCATHY 5/13/2011 8:46AM

    You are SO right! Journaling has really helped me, too. In a blog I wrote last year around Christmas, I wrote my own Christmas Carol where I was visited by the spirits of past, present, and future. It's amazing, how, after writing that, so many of the "future" things have come to pass. This is pretty cool. We really can write and live out our futures as we desire. The future is a blank page...what we write on it is up to us. TGIF! Hope you have a great weekend! Spark on! emoticon

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MARVEEME 5/13/2011 8:09AM

    Excellent advice!
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GOYA! GOYA!

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DEBRA0818 5/13/2011 8:08AM

    In addition, "they" say that people who devise their own plan are the most successful at not just losing weight but keeping it off. You have to own your own right down to your toenails. I'm writing my success story right now!

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MSLZZY 5/13/2011 7:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonTime to wwrite my own
success story!

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Listening to morning

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Yes, another "insufferable morning person" blog. I love mornings. I love waking up without benefit of alarm. In this morning's case it was 20 minutes before it was scheduled... not too far before, certainly not startled into waking... just becoming aware and awake. Stretching. Hearing house sounds and outdoors waking up, too.

I step out onto the deck and breathe in the cool morning air. I open windows, tempting the allergy gods, but I don't care. Morning is a time of hope and promise. Yes, birds, but other things, too... not much wind, observe the wind chimes being lazy.

Into the kitchen, preparing lunch ahead, starting the steel cut oats to simmer for breakfast, the coffee perking... meander to the home office and fire up SparkPeople to see what other folks are contemplating for this new day. The quiet hum of the computer fan is white noise, as are those birds, whose voices drift through the window.

This time of year takes me back to school days, when the term was almost up... looking ahead to the promise of long, lazy days to be spent mostly outdoors. I don't have that luxury these days, my work doesn't have those weeks off in the Summer. But my mind and soul can still go there in the stillness of a morning.

This is going to be a good day! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 5/13/2011 6:22AM

    I have a love/hate realationship with mornings-I find I am up & out earlier than most,
but I still like my "peaceful" time & the "early"day at work is definitly too early!Still the
sound of the birds in the morning-that is a blessing. Thank you for reminding me.

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SUNNY1432 5/12/2011 10:05PM

    Love, Love Morning too!! Great Blog!! emoticon

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COMPUCATHY 5/12/2011 1:18PM

    Ahhhhhhhhh....nice morning post! I like it! Your imagery is BEAUTIFUL! Hope you are having a great week! Keep up the good work! Spark on! emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/12/2011 10:11AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonGo to a happy place in your mind
and have a wonderful day!

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DEBRA0818 5/12/2011 9:45AM

    Love the mornings too though I don't always get up as early as I used to when I was employed outside the home -- I let my body tell me when it's time to get up. But, fortunately for the state of our married life, Joe and I are both the most cheerful in the morning ... by evening we are less emotionally available and know not to try to discuss important things then. Just watch American Idol and walk during commercials. emoticon

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MARVEEME 5/12/2011 8:41AM

    Inspiring, to say the LEAST. Thanks for the post. May others find it more motivating than "odiously cheerful". LOL

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CONCHA77 5/12/2011 8:37AM

    I am having one of those mornings right now. I love this time of year when I can open my windows and listen to all the different sounds of life out there-It's wonderful! I think I may even go out and have my coffee on the deck for the first time this year.
Have a great day, Barb.

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KALIGIRL 5/12/2011 8:31AM

    Morning is a time of hope and promise - so glad to hear you are taking the time to soak in the quiet of the day.

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WATERMELLEN 5/12/2011 8:18AM

    Love mornings, love your morning blogs, share your pleasure in each new day: the sounds of birds, the scent of flowers, the sensation of the air, the sunshine when it's sunny and yup, even the rain when it's not!!

People have called me "odiously cheerful" and I know it can be insufferable but . . . . that's me! And I expect that's you too!! No special credit to either of us, probably genetic like eye colour or whatever. But: what a difference it makes!!

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YESWEDID 5/12/2011 7:45AM

    and tonight's going to be a good night too!
nice blog.

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Sometimes you have to NOT have a goal...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

That's where my fickle brain is going this morning. To the lazy days of Summer. Not that I'm planning on not being active... just that I need a "fun" sense about activity and "play" more. Consequently, I've decided NOT to sign up for the 10K in June. And, on the day of that infamous local 10K, I have another horseback ride planned... with others this time, so no skipping out!

I *do* have every intention on putting my focus on those sit-ups, in the hope of passing the APFT on the 4th of July. And I intend to keep up my break-walks at work, and my nutrition plan. Yet, I have some "around the house" things that need doing, and having an athletic goal tends to give me a pass and let me procrastinate more on those things. Time for them to take focus.

I'll be housing the grand-cats for a weekend later this month. So I need to cat-proof my house. These are indoor kitties and it won't be their normal territory, so I'm thinking I need to plan ahead a little bit. Kind of looking forward to having the animal company, myself. I've managed to live pet-free for nine weeks... be kind of nice to have some "on loan" for a bit.

With my windows open to the warming season, I'm feeling good about this plan for now. I reserve the right to set a more specific goal later, but the balance wheel is telling me now is the time to feed another section of the soul.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CASJ57 5/11/2011 10:12AM

    When it stops being fun, I stop doing it. Sounds like you have it figured out for yourself, too.

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DEBRA0818 5/11/2011 9:41AM

    Nice to have a loose plan rather than a hard goal; I think a sense of play is just as important as the serious work we're doing to correct our bad habits. Rock on!
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ANDI571 5/11/2011 8:55AM

    Sometimes I think I do better when I just do, and not worry so much about the goals. Just living life can be so much fun.

My grand kitties only live a block down the street, so I go to their house to feed and water them when I have too. I don't think they and my fat cat would get along very well.

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FITFABJENN 5/11/2011 8:52AM

    Enjoy your time with your grandkitties!

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MIZCATHI 5/11/2011 8:40AM

    Sounds like a plan! Working around the house and yard can be great exercise and burns plenty of calories, gives you the strength you need for everyday living!

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KALIGIRL 5/11/2011 8:37AM

    I like your 'fun' plan (even the sit-up) part. emoticon
Here's to listening to your body and the seasons!

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MSLZZY 5/11/2011 8:31AM

    Good to have a plan and opening the windows clears and cleans the air! Great after the long
winter months!


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777GRACE 5/11/2011 7:53AM

    Uhmmm....You are so right. I feel very overwhelmed at times "taking care" of myself that I see other things running away from me. I can't seem to find a balance yet. I am picky about the house and get discouraged about it myself.
Good for you for modifying goals. You know, house work burns calories too!!. Sometimes I get more sore cleaning than other exercises!!
When your done, can you clean my house too?? I asked first!!!
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And yet another analogy: the balance beam.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sometimes I think about maintenance as being a walk on a balance beam. You can fall off either side! On the one hand is the slip-slide back into compulsive OVER eating. On the other is a dive off into exercise addiction and compulsive UNDER eating, another serious disorder, just in the other direction. The key is finding that middle path of balanced activity and eating and living.

Gymnasts practice, practice, practice to learn how to take leaps and turns and changes in where they place their body, but always coming back to place their center of gravity firmly on that beam. They may fall off a lot while learning. But they get back up and change something a little, and maybe the next time (or the tenth time) they try that stunt, they find the beam and do not fall, but keep on with the performance.

Even the most polished professionals fall at times. There is no shame in it. The really great ones come back from the fall and move on.

In the analogy, our efforts to learn healthy living is the practice and the performance. The leaps and twists and turns are the new things we try or the life events that get thrown at us. We come back to the center of gravity of the self-nurturing habits we have built through Sparking and all that practice. And it is good.

Spark on, my friends! This is for your life! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 5/15/2011 8:49AM

    Good analogy! Sometimes I feel that being balanced in eating and exercise is just as much of a challenge as being on that beam.

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_LINDA 5/10/2011 11:45AM

    Great analogy!! This is so true!
Have a totally terrific Tuesday!

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COMPUCATHY 5/10/2011 8:49AM

    Wow...THAT is an EXCELLENT analogy! Thanks for sharing. I will remember this. Analogies help me so much. I can wrap my head around it when it is explained and pictured this way. THANK YOU! I hope you have a great week! Spark on! emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/10/2011 8:19AM

    Balance, practice, and pick yourself up after a fall-great analogy!

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HOT4FITNESS 5/10/2011 8:13AM

    Finding balance is hard work and does take practice. Let's just keep "keepin on" tilll we find that perfect balance. Nice blog and reminder that we can never give up!

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DEBRA0818 5/10/2011 8:03AM

    A great way to start my day today as I am seeing how important it is to achieve all kinds of balance so I can stay on top of the beam.

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WATERMELLEN 5/10/2011 7:59AM

    Love this analogy. Gotta say for me, I'm more likely to slip off in the one direction (overeating) than the other!!

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MIZCATHI 5/10/2011 7:33AM

    Perfect blog to start the day! Sometimes I slip a little, but of late I keep on keepin on. All the thin people I've ever known eat a cookie on occasion, or skip exercise because they are busy, they just don't quit. I don't let myself feed my internal wounds, and I don't give food more importance than it deserves. I get right back up and center myself. It works.

Comment edited on: 5/10/2011 7:34:11 AM

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Interval living

Monday, May 09, 2011

Most of us have heard of interval training. Many of us practice it regularly, in preparing ourselves for an event, or to increase our athletic abilities. In very simple terms, it is working at a level a bit beyond your comfort zone for a short period, and dropping back to your comfort level to "recover". By doing this, we increase the level of the "recovery" zone, over time. It makes it possible for me, for example, to shave those precious seconds off my time for the two miles.

After two relatively athletic weekends in a row, post-APFT yesterday, I became a slug... puttering around the house a little bit, laundry, grocery shopping, but a goodly chunk of sedentary pursuits as well: upgrading device drivers on the computer and watching streaming video of old TV shows.

I was definitely hiding indoors, though, as Saturday's outing I stayed out longer than I intended and "vile yellow-face", the sun, did a number on my exposed arms and neck. I'm a rather vibrant reddish color on those parts of the body. Nope, no sunscreen, and I know better, but as I said, it was unplanned activity which is what bites most of us. Truth to tell, I detest having creamy stuff on my skin. I am going to have to find a different sunscreen solution for this year if I have any aspirations to do things outdoors at all. Last Summer I hid indoors a lot, resulting in my horribly overgrown yard.

And I started looking for something about 4 p.m. emoticon Looking in the cupboards, looking in the fridge, trying things out... bad move. I went through about five times more snacks. It's that Sunday afternoon, weekend's almost over, don't want it to end... dissatisfaction. And I ate over it. Sheesh! I looked back at my trackers and saw calorie deficits the two days before... could be part of it. And the really hard run Sunday morning could also be part of it. Someone last week offered up the "drink more water" thing, and I did some of that, too... but still, this is a slippery disease, compulsive eating... that must be balanced against the real body needs. The good news about the bad behavior is that after going through a certain amount of this aimless eating, nothing looked good any more. I realized what I wanted wasn't in the kitchen, and I stopped.

Today, back to the normal eating plan. Which leads me to the title subject: perhaps some of what we do is, indeed, "normal". We are interval eating, as well as interval training. Exert energy, hungry drives nourishment. Isn't this the way it's supposed to be? I know I have to be careful about thinking too much this way, as I have led myself right down the garden path to regain too many times to think it's not the voice of the disease, the justification.

So... let's keep those rest intervals short... and get back on track!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 5/9/2011 9:49PM

    I can see it that way. I had a very long day and was wearing out and getting hungry in spite of drinking four cups of water over the two hours at home. So I snacked on a grain bar, but that wasn't enough, so I dived into the kettle chips, and finally got out of the feed bag because I am so tired and want to put my arm in the splint and lay down for a while as I have been on my feet since 5 am this morning..
Enjoy your evening!

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MIZCATHI 5/9/2011 9:03AM

    Yes, the compulsive eating is a slippery slope for sure, and I encounter it at the oddest times. Still, I have learned this time out, that when I start thinking about food, and the need to feed, that I must eat. I have begun to think of it as not staying in tune with my body and feeding it before I get hungry. If I eat on schedule, I am less prone to grazing.

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DEBRA0818 5/9/2011 9:03AM

    One of my favorite 12 step sayings is "No matter how far down the road you are, you're always the same distance from the ditch." I cannot believe how tricky and pervasive the urge to overeat can be. I'm not sure what happened in your case -- it sounds like your brain was urging you to replace lost calories -- but I applaud your awareness that intervals can turn into long segments with very little effort.

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FITFABJENN 5/9/2011 8:19AM

    You are so insightful. I marvel at your ability to reflect and examine.

Yea to getting back on track!

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MARVEEME 5/9/2011 8:08AM

    Nice job and good catch. Keep in mind all the other triggers too, and you're onto something here.
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SPARK ON!

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MSLZZY 5/9/2011 7:58AM

    Ah, interval eating! Never thought of it that way!

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