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Observation and tracking changes the outcome

Friday, July 01, 2011

I became a Nielsen family for a week starting yesterday morning at 5 a.m. Surprise! I think twice about turning on the TV and what I'm going to watch, knowing I have to write it down. Because it has to be five minutes within a fifteen minute block, I might choose NOT to turn on the TV because I have to write it down. Or, I have to actually pay attention to what is playing because I have to write down the program name and channel.

This is one of the puzzles of modern day physics... that the very act of observing and tracking something can alter the outcome. Haven't we all found that as we Spark along? When we track, truly track, what we consume and how much we exercise... doesn't it change what we decide? "I don't want to write down that I ate THAT!" So I don't eat it?

Or, "I have this streak going, I don't want a blank space... I'll drink that extra glass of water!" Or, "My plan says I should do dumbbell flies... I want to check that off..."

And, we have to pay attention... we might actually READ a nutrition label to see how to track it!

See? Observation and tracking changed the very decisions we made and the actions we took. And that is how we got to goal.

Mindfulness is required to observe. Observation changes the outcome. Mindfulness keeps us "AWARE! AWAKE! ALIVE!" and hopefully "Appreciative of ALL there is" (copyright for the phrase Becky, KaliGirl).

Life is good. Spark on! And Happy Canada Day to all the Sparker of the Great Nation to our North. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRB13_1 7/2/2011 12:39AM

My problem is, I have the information - putting it into action is the link that needs to be strengthened.

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COMPUCATHY 7/1/2011 10:10PM

    Wow...that is SO true. Funny how you've noticed that in the tv tracking. I know it makes all the difference with the eating. It has definitely been a big key in my weight loss success so far. Thanks for the perspective! Hope you have a great holiday weekend! Spark on! emoticon

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REJ7777 7/1/2011 6:57PM

    I was amazed when I saw some videos on You Tube, demonstrating the phenomenon that the very act of observing and tracking something can alter the outcome. It was WEIRD stuff!

I had never thought about applying it to tracking, but I must admit that tracking really does affect my choices.

I find that science is catching up with many things that were called "spiritual" before. I was reading an article today about the power of thought, and certain metaphysical effects that occur when a great many people think about the same thing at the same time (like looking at the Superbowl, or when Princess Diana died, etc.) After reading the article, I couldn't help but think about the power of concerted prayer.

Comment edited on: 7/1/2011 6:58:23 PM

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PENNYAN45 7/1/2011 5:42PM

    For sure, when we have to record what we do - we change what we do.
And I'm so grateful that happens!!

Happy 4th to you, Barb.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/1/2011 10:52AM

    Yup, the act of tracking changes what there is to track . . .

And: happy July 4th to you coming up!!

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TURTLETALK 7/1/2011 10:23AM

    So true!

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_LINDA 7/1/2011 9:23AM

    Tracking is what lost my weight and is keeping it off. It does make you accountable! It also helps you with your choices when you see how your calories and nutrients are going for the day and know what you need more or less off. No excuses, this plan works! Thanks to Spark People for introducing this concept to so many people!

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KARIDIAN1 7/1/2011 7:04AM

    I believe in tracking, it has keep me focused for these first three months on the changes I am making.

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MSLZZY 7/1/2011 7:04AM

    Excellent observation! HUGS!

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Just a quickie!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Love my shiny stove top, thanks to several small efforts at "do one thing" morning and after work. Next in that: the stove front! I managed to clean the toaster as one of my "one thing" efforts and that side of the kitchen is starting to shape up nicely. Honestly, I am not much of a housekeeper, but it feels SO GOOD to see these tiny areas of order emerging.

I continue to train for that upcoming 5K, and to try to keep up with my son's increasing fitness levels... wish me luck on that, he's got 30 years on me... and that male muscle mass thing. emoticon emoticon But I do OK for me, and that's all that's required. Last weekend he told me I was fitter than I thought I was. Methinks he's doing his encouraging SGT talk, but it still felt good to hear it.

Have a great Wednesday, fellow Sparklers! It's ALMOST our Holiday (Sparklers? Fireworks? US Independence?) Yeah, bad, bad pun.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 6/30/2011 9:44AM

    I'd say you are enjoying getting ready for this since DS is encouraging you.
Just show him how fit you really are. Think positive because you are fit.
I know you can do it! HUGS!

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REJ7777 6/29/2011 9:05PM

    We'll be getting out our Sparklers before yours! LOL! (Canada Day is July 1st.) emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 6/29/2011 7:26PM

    Very good luck on the 5 K------ Nice blog!-----Lynda

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KALIGIRL 6/29/2011 1:10PM

    Love that your 'one' things are giving you such pleasure - a reward in itself.

Here's to training! I managed to survive 15 intervals (3 min run/1 min walk) this morning and logged in 13,000 steps - think our 10K will be a walk in the park for you.

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HOT4FITNESS 6/29/2011 12:28PM

    Thanks for the quickie!! Good luck on the upcoming 5K!! I am doing one July 22nd, looking forward to it.

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_LINDA 6/29/2011 9:47AM

    Well done in all areas! Yes, no competing with a young male, not fair at all, but glad he sees you as fit!!
Keep up the great work!!

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MARVEEME 6/29/2011 9:14AM

    LOL....good job on all fronts!

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CONCHA77 6/29/2011 8:50AM

    Happy Hump Day to you. Your son is a sweetie! Have fun and enjoy!

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MKGARNER1 6/29/2011 8:43AM

    Omg, your joke was so corny it made my morning. It was funny!

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JUST_TRI_IT 6/29/2011 8:42AM

    I will have to try this ONE SMALL THING approach!
So what is the Cornhuskers Games? (I know.. it sounds like I really OUGHT to know this but alas... I don't!)

And... lady.. you are MY inspiration for sures!

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46SHADOW 6/29/2011 8:22AM

    Very cool!

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In defense of crashing and burning

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It's truly part of the process. It's OK. Don't let it get you down.

I have observed of recent episodes of going after the carbs, it has often been coupled with disrupted sleep cycles. When I couldn't get my nap in on Sunday (it just wasn't working), that's when I started the carb grazing. Simple carbs bring you up and then crash you. I know that's what I was trying to accomplish: make me sleep!

Anyway, yesterday was normal. And my stove is a 3 inch square cleaner. And my mirror in the family room is shiny. And the cobwebs that were growing on the windowsill there are gone (until they get rebuilt, anyway). And it's a fresh, new Tuesday. Off to work!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 6/29/2011 1:09PM

    It IS part of the process. If it wasn't we wouldn't know how well we were doing!

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_LINDA 6/29/2011 2:06AM

    Never thought of food as being able to put one to sleep. I personally feel uncomfortable if I eat too late before sleeping. Look at you go with getting some chores done! I spray an invisible, odorless bug spray around my apartment to make sure there are only dead bugs are around (I hate dealing with webs and after getting a nasty spider bite want to make sure they don't survive getting in)
Ever try warm milk or a hot soaking bath?
Have a good week!

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MSLZZY 6/29/2011 12:05AM

    Positive attitude!

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DEBRA0818 6/28/2011 2:51PM

    For me, crashing and burning is undoing a substantial weight loss. What you're describing is more of a bump and slight temperature rise! But, whatever it was, good for you to just accept it as part of the process. Plus, I don't know if life would be all that great without a little heat now and then!

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SLM0305 6/28/2011 12:54PM

    You go, girl! (In a quote from the 'Batman Beginnings' movie, "Why Do We Fall? (or 'fail'), "So We Can Pick Ourselves UP!" emoticon

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ELSEEBEE 6/28/2011 8:57AM

    Sometimes I think it's absolutely necessary we get "off track" temporarily. Our bodies are very wise and if we listen, they'll tell us what we need. I love your example of carb grazing because you needed rest.It was a temporary situation and now you're back on track. emoticon

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So, if you were wondering when I would next crash and burn...

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sunday won the bet.

I said it was a great afternoon for a nap, which it was, but I only nodded off for about five minutes. I proceeded to sedate myself with carbs. Today, back on track. Sundays are a tough day, especially when I start stressing over how busy the next weeks are going to be.

Sleep is good. emoticon Nutrition is good. emoticon emoticon emoticon Exercise is good. emoticon

Balance is very good. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 6/28/2011 1:54AM

    Sounds like you need to line up some fun activities for your Sundays to take your mind off the coming week. Think of what escapist fare you can get into next time. bowling, swimming, movie, any kind of out of the house activity. You can do it!!! Most people do lose it on the weekend as their work week gives them very little time to mess up and easier to stick to routine.
Hope you have a good week and not get too many stressed out times..

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DRB13_1 6/28/2011 1:01AM

    hope your new streak lasts a good, long time...plan for those weak days and remember to ask yourself are you physically hungry or do you have a need that is asking for attention? hang in there!

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MSLZZY 6/27/2011 11:46PM

    I missed the flames LOL! Balance is the key-hugs!

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WATERMELLEN 6/27/2011 10:46PM

    Not a 'crash and burn'

Just a small mistake, and you're right back on track.

Not to worry. Really.

We've gotta find ways of making our work lives less stressful . . . yeah!!

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REJ7777 6/27/2011 10:08PM

    Aren't you glad every day is a new beginning?

Balance is very, very good! emoticon

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Mellers reprise - plus a good start on Sunday

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I knew that last night my brother in law was going to be playing the role of Osgood Lissard, the villian in "Foul Works at the Fireworks Factory". I hadn't had a chance to see him shine in this one, I had been plotting to get out to see it some Saturday when it played at 6:30 p.m. I dragged my son, and my sister and her daughter along for the ride.

He's in the middle, in black, stirring up trouble. Of interest to Sparkers? The villian has dropped about 50 pounds in the past year, getting some health issues under control in the process, so we're really proud of him on more than one front.

As with the last time, a good time was had by all. We sat in the front row, b-i-l managed a few snarks directly at the mythical nephew (who likes to root for the Empire in Star Wars, being a contrarian). Son behaved himself, though. I was the one who ended up tossing popcorn at the HERO when the hero and villian exchanged barbs and one of the hero's lines dissed Beatles Fans! How DARE he? emoticon emoticon

Anyway, for those who read these blogs like a serial:

* NO RASH or ITCH from the poison ivy. emoticon And it has been 36 hours since the encounter, so I'm hopeful that's a closed issue.

* The dehumidifier did not require repairs! Once I cleaned it up, plugged it in and turned it on, it ran like a champ. emoticon

* This morning's "one thing" turned into about three things, since I woke early. All before church... sorted through papers (time-boxing, here, there appears to be a never-ending supply), and shredding all of the records related to the dog and the most recent cat (she's been gone for several years now, but I still had her vet records!)

I also washed the front storm door glass. I kept up the gradual progress on the kitchen. It will probably take me a week to completely get the stove as clean as I want it to be. It is as though I get another three inch square covered each time I do it as a "one thing"... again, time-boxing. But, the grime is going. It shall be history, hopefully before my brother gets here in two weeks.

Yesterday evening's "one thing" involved cleaning the toaster.

What I am trying to get to the bottom of, in my retrospection, is why it takes me so long to take action in the arena of housekeeping.

I came to one insight: I have my support systems spread too far and wide, and too intermixed. The biggest process is that of decision making. I have the trait of leaving pieces of paper around that I want to "think about" or "consider later"... and they end up ALL OVER!

They start out as piles on the kitchen counter. Well, my initiative to "handle today's mail today" got rid of those piles. BUT, as I kept working on my "one thing" each day, I found piles in other parts of the house. This tells me that I slopped my deferral of deciding about pieces of paper until I was in another area of the house, and they got stuck wherever they were when I was distracted into thinking about something else. OR, in shoveling things out of the way in anticipation of guests, I hid the piles of unmade decisions.

"Do one thing" is at least in part "Decide one thing", and finish what I start. I can do this. After all, I *did* make it to my goal weight this time. And knock wood, I'm still here, a year later.

Here's to order, harmony, and a dignified life (with some pre-meditated silliness thrown in, just for fun). And dropping perfectionism and obsession... or at least damping them down.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GNUATTITUDE 6/28/2011 8:08AM

    I just happened across your blog this morning, after a couple of days of dealing with my own paper mess. For fellow strugglers, I suggest you check out "Fifteen minutes at a time" is really an effective way to tackle such jobs.

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BESTSUSIEYET 6/27/2011 10:25PM

    An old paper-management hint: take one drawer about 4" deep for your "I might want/need this" space. Into it goes sale ads, theater promotions, magazine articles, etc. Anything you want to save "just in case". If you want something, it'll be there, not too hard to find. BUT when the drawer gets full, you take the bottom 3/4 of it and Throw It Away ... Without looking through it. It's probably months old and if you'd needed it, you would have pulled it out already.

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REJ7777 6/27/2011 10:06PM

    Congratulations to your bil for losing 50 lbs. emoticon
He sure doesn't LOOK like a bad guy. emoticon

Throwing pop corn? emoticon

One thing. emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/27/2011 10:06:36 PM

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MSLZZY 6/27/2011 10:00AM

    I need to take some hints from you to "do one thing". Some days, my
thoughts are as scattered as the leaves in fall. Time to gather them'
together LOL! That will work until the next wind blows. Have a great

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SHARON2014 6/26/2011 4:05PM

    Sounds like you had a great time..throwing popcorn no less! I really like your "one thing" idea - I keep house like that myself. Right now the dining room table is littered with old receipts, etc. that I don't do anything with -- right now I'm trying to find a receipt so I can take something back...ARGHHH!
This idea sounds like what Elisabeth Elliot talks about, "do the next thing"...she tells of a woman who, when her father died, returned to their home with her mother. Her dad had left them with no money and the house would be foreclosed. She looked at her mother to see what she would do...she put on her apron and started to sweep the kitchen floor....Elisabeth's article was when you are overwhelmed by circumstances, just "do the next thing"...there is a poem - I'll post it when I come across it...right after I find my receipt!! emoticon

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_LINDA 6/26/2011 12:42PM

    Congrats to your brother in law!! That would be so much fun going to a theatre where you actualy get to participate in the action.
So glad no reaction to the ivy and your de humidifier works! This one step at a time is paying off for you..

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MNTWINSGAL 6/26/2011 12:37PM

    You hit my nail right on the head with the line about hiding the piles of 'unmade decisions" (love that phrase!) in anticipation of guests. Yes, I do it too....sometimes not to come back to them for a few months! This is how a couple of bills forgot to get paid....oops! One would think I'd learn, but while I can keep order in all other areas of my life (more or less) I still have paperwork strewn on the counter, the end tables, and especially the desk. I really need to get it more organized.....and I plan to do it by YOUR method: one thing at a time. Thanks for the motivation!

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