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Day 2: Life with dignity

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yesterday was a work day, and I did end up staying an extra half hour at the end of the day, because it happens. So I didn't have a whole lot of "let's organize the house" kind of energy left.

I have determined one of my "fast start" goals for this effort. Don't laugh. It's kind of like the "drink 8 glasses of water" basic. That makes it a good goal. No, it's not "shine your sink".

It is "handle ALL of today's mail today"... no leaving bits of it on the kitchen counter to pile up. If I can manage to start doing this consistently, it should help a lot with the accumulation of clutter, as most of my visible clutter is paper! Onward to a more orderly, functional home!

On the fitness front: my son has challenged me to join him in a 5K on a Friday evening in July. It involves a finish line at a local minor league baseball stadium and free tickets to the ball game. A mom-son bonding opportunity. If you wanted to design the perfect bait, that would be it, for me. He's trying to motivate himself, and in the "helper" personality brain, I can say I'm doing this "for" him, but really, I need it just as much as he does.

So... I get to train for a running event. Time to start up the jogging again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 6/15/2011 6:22AM

    New goal! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 6/14/2011 9:06PM

    Sounds like a great Mom/Son idea! Better get training! As for the mail....I've tried that too, but can't seem to get the hang of it. The accumulated paper is definitely my housekeeping downfall. Good luck to can give me pointers later!

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WATERMELLEN 6/14/2011 5:41PM

    Two good plans: paperwork AND running!! Best of luck with both!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/14/2011 5:19PM

    I don't like a lot of junk/paper sitting around -- part of my OCD, I think. But don't ever, EVER, open my closet doors. (That's where I hide it all.) I think I need to take a lesson from you and start de-junking my closets. Just the thought of it overwhelms me.

Have fun training for the 5K with your son. What a wonderful time for mother/son bonding. I would love to do something like that (though it would have to be a walk). But my sons are a bit too young yet to appreciate "dear OLD mom." Maybe in a few years . . . . (Sigh)

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ANDI571 6/14/2011 11:37AM

    Junk, where does it come from. My portable dish washer gets it all. I can't seem to keep it clean. I clean it and the counter and it comes right back. I think the cat does it, lol.

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_LINDA 6/14/2011 11:17AM

    That is a great goal when you get a lot of paper work.. I have bills automatically charged to my account or credit card so no paper trail and very convenient, no worries of missing a pyment or losing a bill in the mail or due to a postal strike. That is great you and your son will be going in a 5 K!!! I always thought people who like to jog did it regularly, not just got back into to train for a race..
You guys will do great!

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MSLZZY 6/14/2011 10:40AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonA challenge! You can do it!

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BUGGYS 6/14/2011 9:16AM

    I actually have two piles of junk paper/bills on my kitchen table and having two piles, it doesn't look too bad but you have motivated me to weed through it all and get it under control!!! What a great thing that your son wants to do the race with you...a goal for both of you and a great bonding time ( that is, if you can breath and talk at the same time during the race!lol) emoticon

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KALIGIRL 6/14/2011 8:50AM

    emoticon - that's been my New Year's Resolution for the last 10 years!
If anyone can emoticon

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WISLNDR 6/14/2011 8:20AM

    I just might have to do the "mail thing" too. I hate the little piles that lay around . . . . . . . OH!! Tonight the paper recycling goes out to the curb, what great timing! Thanks for the great idea!!

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NANA717 6/14/2011 8:10AM

    I love your goal of taking care of today's mail completely!! I'm going to put that in practice today. Thank you!! Blessings!

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KATHRYNLP 6/14/2011 8:09AM

    Every little bit helps.... and isn't your son the best? He cares, and doesn't want to push you.. just nudge! I love it! emoticon

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LEEZAB 6/14/2011 7:29AM

  I just handled a weeks worth of mail and it is easy to pile up! I also am in an organizing mode. I would love if my sons challenged me to a run or maybe a walk. What a nice gesture!!Good luck!

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Overdoing isn't only a matter of exercise...

Monday, June 13, 2011

I've learned the lesson about taking it slowly with exercising, but I haven't necessarily "got it" when it comes to house / yard work. I need to transfer some of the consistency to "living life with dignity"... without killing myself or my motivation by overdoing.

Yesterday I started in with the living room carpet, shifting furniture out of the room so I could shampoo it. In the middle of this, I noticed the jugs of "gray water" that I save from my shower. They needed to be taken out and used to water some "patches" in the lawn I've been giving special attention to. While doing that, I pulled some weeds. While doing that I noticed the cussed volunteer trees springing back to life after I'd taken them down last Autumn. And I went to get the snippers and the lawn bag to give that a little attention.

You get the idea: distraction from one purpose to pursue something that looks more urgent, scattering purposes all over. I got some of the yard things done. I did finish the living room carpet job (and rearranged the furniture while I was at it). But... it's hard to stop, and I took on yet another chore that I have NOT completed before I ran out of gas. I face a work week with a half-finished home project cluttering up my living space.

This is not a new scenario! Sometimes I start small, do just one thing, stop, and tell myself if I just do one small thing a day, I'll make better progress on this purpose. And then the work week takes my energy... I end up at work an extra half hour and my energy is gone... at least for the purpose of house / yard.

Still, this is Day 1 of "Life with dignity"... my creating a harmonious functioning haven out of my home. I've dropped the weight. I AM taking care of my health. That's still primary, can't drop that. But I deserve more: I deserve to live in a dignified and orderly environment.

I can do this: one day at a time. It just has to be a priority.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 6/15/2011 6:34AM


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MSLZZY 6/14/2011 10:41AM

    Sounds like my days! More to do than can be done but you try it anyway!

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KALIGIRL 6/13/2011 12:46PM

    " I deserve to live in a dignified and orderly environment."
Amen - love it!

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_LINDA 6/13/2011 10:50AM

    I do understand that issue of getting distracted doing one chore when you notice another needs doing. But my RA has helped in this regard. I go at one task with gusto and I have to pretty much rest and splint my hands they are in such bad shape after any chore. So it may take me longer to get things done, but they are at least finished completely before I get to the next one.
One step at a time really does work..Hope you can get it working for yourself!

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WATERMELLEN 6/13/2011 10:39AM

    I like this "living with dignity" concept: have to say, however, that for a domestically challenged person such as myself, there is more of a tendency to walk away from EVERYTHING that needs doing . . . than to fragment my energies. We need some sort of swap meet or exchange to even things out, maybe!!

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TURTLETALK 6/13/2011 10:27AM

    I think I could use some of your energy! I do also have the issue of getting distracted by a new chore while doing another. I have been trying to sort shoes for a week but I always seem to find something else urgent that needs done.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/13/2011 9:05AM

    "Just for today . . . . " Your intention of doing one small thing today to help reach a goal works not only with losing/maintaining weight, but with other things too. Good luck and best wishes to your new "plan!"

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KATHRYNLP 6/13/2011 9:04AM

    The faster we go.. the behinder we get! Been there.. bought the tee-shirt! emoticon

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MARVEEME 6/13/2011 8:14AM


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Work ethic and healthy habits

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Do you have a voice in your head that says "work before play"?

I do.

Does it get in the way of establishing and maintaining healthy habits?

Mine sometimes does.

Here's how it works. This particular voice in my head is attached to my to-do list, and adores the word "should". It sounds an awful lot like my mother. Sigh.

Voice: "I should cut / pull weeds."
My rebel voice: "Aw, I don't wanna."
Voice: "Then you can't go out and play."

So, I end up neither pulling the weeds NOR getting in active fun, like a bike ride or a walk!

Not cool. Yes, being active is FUN... but it is also worthy of being on my to-do list, and even worthy of coming ahead of some of those other "should" items.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 6/15/2011 6:41AM

    emoticon It's disconcerting how our inner programs have so much influence over our lives. But awareness is a key we can use to understand the conflict and then reprogram ourselves. (Easier to say than to do! But it's not impossible.)

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PURPLESPEDCOW 6/13/2011 11:26AM

    Start telling yourself that just because something is fun doesn't mean it is play and exercise is now on your to-do list!

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CONCHA77 6/13/2011 7:39AM

    Yep, I can relate. I was always told growing up, Work, then play! Words still stuck in my head.

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MSLZZY 6/12/2011 11:36PM

    Shucks-sounds like my house!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 6/12/2011 8:13PM

    Isn't it funny how we do that to ourselves? Well, maybe not funny, but interesting, at least. I wage the same battles and wonder why I feel like I have to "pay" before I "play." Here's hoping that next time you can recognize that physical activity is definitely worthy of being on your "to do" list!

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LEANJEAN6 6/12/2011 6:45PM

    You made me laugh cause Ive heard that voice too!---And it gets ion the way here too!--LOL--Lynda

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KASEYCOFF 6/12/2011 5:25PM

    You're right - it falls into the same category as taking care of yourself a priority, instead of feeling selfish for making those choices. But I still laughed - are you sure that voice doesn't sound like MY mother's?

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_LINDA 6/12/2011 4:45PM

    I like being free to make my own choices, but suffer some of what you do. This is why my exercise is a priority and must be done before anything else, including eating breakfast and Sparking :) So I am reliable with that, but not with chores and work so much..
Enjoy your Sunday, you can do it!

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FITFABJENN 6/12/2011 4:19PM

    That's the great thing about being an adult. We can choose to eat dessert (fresh fruit, I hope) before our dinner if we want to, and we can put our "me" time ahead of our "should" time, too.

I always look forward to your blogs. You are so inspirational and thought-provoking. Keep on sparking.

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MYAKAYAH 6/12/2011 4:06PM

    I think you have the right idea, you have to mix it up so you have work and play time. Sometimes I get more into work than play mode myself. A good reminder~
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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A bit late for the party, but celebrating anyway!

Friday, June 10, 2011

This morning while casting about for ideas to blog my daily "pep talk" to myself, I managed to find my "Day 1" blog from May 30, 2009. I had written one before that, but in fact that is when it finally kicked in for me and I started being serious about this current phase of healthier habits.

I had been intending to declare this my Sparkversary, but hadn't done it yet. As usual, I am "the late Aunt Barb" (family joke, folks). I stuck my 2 year badge on the Spark Page just now, and we're moving on. In those two years, I have dropped weight and got into the maintenance phase, and so far, so good.

This journey, however, began long before Spark. It began with my decades-long battle with myself over the attraction of food and the desire to be "normal". The straw that broke the proverbial camel's back is shown in this photo, my really, really really before, from 1989, I think it was.

And of course, you recognize the profile pic, from April 30, 2011. There was a lot of yo-yoing in between. So I still don't completely trust the permanence of ANY size. But this is the me I want to be, for the rest of my life, God willing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 6/12/2011 9:45AM

    WOOHOO!!! I am about as late as you, so you probably won't notice! LOL :) COngrats on your 2-year anniversary. Your profile pics are seared into my mind and they often encourage me to get in a few more strength exercises in. You are my go-to person for getting motivation for the exercises ball, the weights and push-ups/sit-ups.

Keep on keeping on! :) emoticon of the rest of your healthy life!


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REJ7777 6/11/2011 4:51PM

    emoticon Happy Sparkversary to you! emoticon emoticon

I wish you as much success in maintaining your goal weight as you've had in getting there! emoticon emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 6/11/2011 4:24PM

    Wow! 2 year Anniversary--You did so well!---You must be so proud!!Lynda

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LISALOSING52 6/11/2011 3:52PM

    Happy 2 year Spark Anniversary!

Dahling...You look Mah-ve-lous!!!

Very Inspiring!

Comment edited on: 6/11/2011 3:52:29 PM

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APRILLSCOTT 6/11/2011 3:33PM

    Happy Aniversary Barb! You look emoticon! An inspiration to me!

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LJCANNON 6/10/2011 10:40PM

    emoticonHappy Spark-A-Versary, Barb!!

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MNTWINSGAL 6/10/2011 7:21PM

    Happy Sparkversary, Barb! I had mine this week too. Wish I could say I've been as successful as you, but I'm hanging in there. One day I too will be a success story.

Wow....I don't even recognize you in your "before" picture!

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_LINDA 6/10/2011 12:05PM

    Very well done getting through two years!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Hope you will be celebrating maintaining now for many years to come!!

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MSLZZY 6/10/2011 10:40AM

    A time for reflection and celebration! Great!

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FITFABJENN 6/10/2011 9:19AM

    Congratulations on your 2-year Sparkversary! Not only have you had success for yourself, but you have inspired countless others, including me.


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KATHRYNLP 6/10/2011 8:51AM

    Congrats on your 2yrs. Spark-Anniversary! It sure looks good on you! emoticon emoticon

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ELSEEBEE 6/10/2011 8:33AM

    emoticon You are an inspiration to all of us!

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KALIGIRL 6/10/2011 8:29AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Here's to not only 2 years of success for you, but all the assistance you've given the rest of us!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARVEEME 6/10/2011 8:06AM


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There is no finish line.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

"There is no spoon" is one of my favorite quotes from The Matrix.

"There is no finish line" is my personal Spark theme. This is forever. For the rest of our lives. It doesn't end because "nobody's looking" today. Some days this is clearer than others. Today was such a day.

It doesn't end if we don't have the means to post to Spark (my internet was "down" this morning), or write things down on paper (it dawned on me partway through the day that I used to write my food and activity in a paper journal).

I still did what I'm supposed to do. Automatically. The truth is, we are worth taking care of every day, in every circumstance.

There is no "cheating". There is no "diet". There are only decisions. Lots and lots of decisions, every day. We have the Spark. We know our life in is our hands.

What a great thing to know! Because there is no finish line, we pace ourselves and find our balance that supports long-term, healthy lives. Healthy habits are cumulative. Start one. Any one. Keep that small promise to yourself. Several times. And you might just find you do *more* than you promised.

And why not? You're worth it!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JERSEYDEBBIE23 6/13/2011 9:45AM

    Great post!

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CELIAMINER 6/13/2011 9:26AM

    So glad someone shared your blog page with me. Terrific advice!

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LINDAJOYWK 6/10/2011 6:59AM

    Good advice,as always.

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MNNICE 6/9/2011 9:58PM

    Oh, very well said! That's what this is all about. I say maintenance is not the end of the road, it's the beginning of a new one. And it can be a very long and winding road, but we keep following it through all it's twists and turns!

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JOURNEYTO60 6/9/2011 8:56PM

    Great blog and great things to keep in mind. You are right-there is no ending, only beginnings!

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KALIGIRL 6/9/2011 8:49AM

    Decisions - part of my 'D' string - you are so right.
I keep forgetting it's the journey that counts not the end...

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PENNYAN45 6/9/2011 1:04AM

    After a while, when the desired eating behaviors becomes more automatic, our many choices require less energy and attention each day. I HOPE!!

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STEPHIEKNITS 6/8/2011 4:10PM


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MARVEEME 6/8/2011 9:14AM


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BUGGYS 6/8/2011 8:28AM

    It's all about making the best decisions for ourselves for the rest of our lives...yes we can!!!

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SUNNY332 6/8/2011 7:27AM

    I agree 100% - thanks for another great post.

Have a Wonderful Wednesday.


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MSLZZY 6/8/2011 7:13AM

    Awesome blog-hugs!

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REJ7777 6/8/2011 5:47AM

    Great blog! That last paragraph sums it all up. emoticon

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_LINDA 6/8/2011 1:17AM

    Great idea pulling this journey together in one neat catch phrase :) I won't stop tracking my food, ever. I actually think its kind of fun, juggling what I can eat and still stay in my calorie range. Its 90 % healthy stuff as that is what I really enjoy eating. But I will always have cheese and chocolate, just learned to put a lid on the quantities I used to consume ;).
Its the thrill of the chase that keeps it refreshing and interesting. We don't ever really want to come to that finish line..
Keep up the great work!

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COLUMBINE2 6/8/2011 12:38AM

    Right-o! You hit the nail on the head. It's kinda like "growing up" and ceasing the game of trying to "get away with sneaking food or lying to ourselves." There's NO kidding our Nike says, "Just DO it."

Thanks for the great blog!

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BESTSUSIEYET 6/7/2011 11:17PM

    Right on! Another great blog, Barb!

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WATERMELLEN 6/7/2011 10:20PM

    So so true. Even if "I" am not tracking . . .my body is, relentlessly!!

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SPEEDY143 6/7/2011 9:58PM

    emoticontheme... "There is no finish line." You are absolutely right. Healthy living is a life style. Diets are not sustainable. There are no bad foods, it's all about portion control and living your life in the here and now. A good scale of success is the answer when you ask yourself... "Do I feel better than I did?" "Can I do more now with less pain?" "Am I proud of who I am becoming?" emoticon

Spark On emoticon emoticon

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UNIQUELYBETH 6/7/2011 9:55PM

    That is great advice! Thanks so much for sharing!

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MNTWINSGAL 6/7/2011 9:54PM

    Absolutely! As has been my mantra lately, I AM WORTH IT!

And like you said, we ALL are!

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HOT4FITNESS 6/7/2011 9:29PM

    I'm in it for the long haul with ya. Let's light that fire and keep moving

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FITFABJENN 6/7/2011 9:25PM

    You're absolutely right. This is a lifetime commitment we are making to ourselves because we ARE worth it.

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