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What's more important... your money or your life?

Friday, August 05, 2011

OK, so I posted a strange status. And you're getting a "two-fer" blog while I explain something that happened in my brain.

Some of you know that I'm a Jenny Craig maintenance client. The program / contract I signed with them had a provision that if I was within five pounds (up or down) from my goal weight on their scale, one year after having attained it... I get half my sign-up fee back. Any of you who has ever paid the freight on one of these "premium" weight loss plans knows that half your sign up fee is a significant bonus.

When I weighed in last month, I was 7 pounds under my "goal" on their scale. And tomorrow is that one-year of maintenance weigh-in. And as I am a daily weigh-er, I know what I was on my own scale that morning, and this morning. I have not gained those two pounds in the intervening month.

My consultant at the JC center is on my side, and made the suggestion to make my weigh in appointment later in the day than usual and make sure to eat lunch right before, and be well hydrated. If this does not do the trick, I have another friend who has actually done the experiment: two rolls of quarters makes a pound on the scale. There are pockets in my jeans, folks.

Still, being a compulsive eater, I found myself at the grocery store tonight thinking of deliberate ways of eating to gain. This is the tricky bit... you'd think this would be an ideal spot to be in. It's not.

Standing there staring at the ice cream, NONE OF IT APPEALED TO ME! emoticon I envisioned myself eating the way I used to, the way I did almost daily to gain the weight in the first place... and I just said to myself, "I wouldn't enjoy it. I would be eating it for entirely the wrong reason. I'm not hungry for it, I'm not craving it... why would I put myself through that?"

I went to the chips aisle. And the same thing happened! I looked at my old favorites, sour cream and onion flavored chips, and caramel corn and cheese popcorn... and I found myself reading the labels and saying... nope, it just does not call to me tonight.

I did end up with two "treats" in my cart. Natural peanut butter. And a Mounds bar. Both of which I've indulged in: 2 tablespoons of the peanut butter, spread on a wheat tortilla for supper... it was heavenly and the whole Mounds bar for dessert! I am still in the same boat on the scale, fully clothed... I may just have to put those rolls of quarters in my pocket and call it good.

The real surprise (to me) is that at least for today... I'm eating like a naturally thin person: if I am not hungry for it, if it doesn't appeal... it's not going into my mouth. I'm worth more to me than that. And hopefully, that means, "I'll take both my money AND my life, thank you!"

Will update after the fact, and let you know what happened at the scale. emoticon

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 8/8/2011 6:44AM

    You have come a long way!

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WATERMELLEN 8/6/2011 8:46PM

    Love this blog: too funny (and very very telling . . . you're thinking like a thin person!!)

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KE11YJAE 8/6/2011 12:30PM

    I think being two pounds two low is a wonderful problem to have. Great job! And I need to start saying no to the junk food. Well good luck at your weigh-in

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MNTWINSGAL 8/6/2011 11:06AM

    I sure wish I could find that place in my mind where I could go to the treat aisle and have a hard time finding something appealing. But I guess it's always something, isn't it?? Personally, I'd rather have your weight problem than mine....but yes, I do think you should get your maintenance bonus. If loaded pockets is what it takes, then go for it!

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_LINDA 8/5/2011 10:37PM

    Imagine having to cheat the scale by adding weight in your pockets. Is that a successful weight loss program or what?? That is great news not being tempted by all your old favorites!! You have come a long way..
Good luck with the weigh in!!

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DEBRITA01 8/5/2011 9:31PM

    Oh, the games we play...LOL. Stick with your mindful eating and take those quarters along to alter the scale reading. You've earned the cash incentive by being under your goal a year later. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/5/2011 9:34:31 PM

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LEANJEAN6 8/5/2011 9:01PM

    Woo Woo! I hope it goes well! Yu certainly deserve that $$$$--Lynda

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PENNYAN45 8/5/2011 8:57PM

    For 7 pounds under, they should give you 75% of the money back!
You would think they would congratulate you on your extra weight loss.
I suppose they're worried about someone going too far in the other direction???
Do they think you are anorexic now?
Should we be worried about you?
LOL

(I say do whatever you have to to hit THEIR number on the scale.)

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BESTSUSIEYET 8/5/2011 8:41PM

    Being more than 5# under doesn't seem like it should penalize you ... I hope you don't end up 6# over in trying not to be under!! But nevertheless, congratulations on your healthy lifestyle becoming more "normal" than over-indulging!

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MOBYCARP 8/5/2011 8:37PM

    Yeah, just put a dumbbell in your pocket, that's the ticket!

I hope you find a way to get the money without messing up how you eat.
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SAMI199 8/5/2011 8:31PM

    Good Luck-that is a big bonus.

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Are the furries making me sneeze?

Friday, August 05, 2011

I spent the first several decades of my life in denial about the connection between the physical world around me and my health. My behavior? Pshaw! Nothing to do with my weight. Certainly nothing to do with an illness!

You'd think it would be obvious: lilacs in bloom? Sneeze, drippy nose, headaches! Iris in the house? Similar.

When I first went on a serious weight loss program, a healthy one... it showed me the clear link of calories in/calories out. That was the basis for all further learning. It took a while even after that to bring in the "allergy" connection.

You might think I was really, really stupid or ignorant. What I was was religious. I was raised in a faith of pure idealism, where your thought / prayers controlled your physical health. It "seemed to work" for me as a child. What it really did was calm me and enable me to wait out whatever it was that ailed me. No drugs, no diagnoses... I lived to adulthood, married, even bore a child with this faith intact. Until I first lost the weight, I didn't have the recognition of the connection... I buried it deep.

Bottom line, I learned that the rules of the physical world work. No matter that my parents "exempted" me from biology for religious reasons. The rules work. I'm obviously blessed with a strong enough genetic makeup to have survived, and in fact some studies show that letting your kids eat dirt (to use a metaphor of my mom's) makes them stronger. However, now, as an "over 50", having shed the religion that encouraged me into denial... I pay more attention to what's going on around me when I start to see symptoms.

This week, I'm noticing things. The kittens have been here since last Friday after work. I have started to notice more sneezing and drippy nose, scratchy throat at times. Not as pronounced as my sister's (who swelled up in a matter of minutes). It has taken a more prolonged exposure. Not horribly severe to the point of taking my Zyrtek. I will have to observe for a while, because there are always multiple factors: weather fronts do things to me, too.

When I go to work, I'm fine there. I keep the kitties out of my bedroom (perhaps this was prescient on my part) and I wake up clear. I am washing my hands more (I always do when handling animals, this is not new).

Will I have to give them up? Unless things become markedly worse, no. But I will continue to alter my behavior. This much I have learned... "the rules work"... therefore, follow the rules.

Life's still good... Spark on!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 8/6/2011 8:51PM

    Love love love cats. And they love me: inevitably, if I'm in the home of someone who has a cat, the cat makes a beeline for me: they know.

But: I'm really really really allergic. And that's why I don't have a cat, much as I would love to. (An orange one, long haired . . . yeah!!)

Hope you and your kitties can work it out. I keep telling myself I've "outgrown" my allergies . . . and hope you have or will also . . . .

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/6/2011 3:23AM

    Love your balanced thoughts. To me, if I found that I continued to have reactions, I would probably try to place the kittens somewhere else. But that is because of my recent experience of mental vulnerability - I hve learned that to cope I have to take away all pressure on my system that I can. On the other hand, kittens (and animals in general) give me so much joy so it might be worth a little sneeziness.

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_LINDA 8/5/2011 10:43PM

    So sorry you might be allergic to your cute kitties :(( Hope you can figure out something..

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MOBYCARP 8/5/2011 6:53PM

    Well, bummer! emoticon

Three of your siblings have no problems living with cats. But the one who does, is the other redhead who had freckles in her youth.

If you do end up having to get rid of the cats, I'm sure you'll be able to find them a good home. They're terminally cute.


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KALIGIRL 8/5/2011 1:05PM

    Sorry to hear you may have a reaction to the furries. I'm hoping it remains mild and you can build an immunity.

(I'm also hoping a little of your folks old-time 'religion' rubs off - the brain is a powerful thing!)
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Namaste my friend.


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DEBRA0818 8/5/2011 12:15PM

    Barb -- Your kitties are so cute, I hope you can keep them! Each person is different of course, but I will say that my husband was allergic to the two cats I had when I met him but he acclimated to them in a relatively short period of time. He also had to be careful to wash his hands frequently, and took the occasional Bendryl, but we all lived happily together until their demise.

Good luck to all of you!


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BESTSUSIEYET 8/5/2011 10:05AM

    Uh oh! That would be a bummer! But I'm glad you are wise in putting 2 & 2 together! Keep on watching ... Hope you can find a way to co-exist happily!

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DEBRITA01 8/5/2011 9:32AM

    Being aware of how we contribute to what happens in our life is important. So is faith....just not blind faith. Great approach to a happy and healthy life!
Keep making those observations ...and hopefully, you will be able to keep the kittens that you are growing to love.

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WORDLILY 8/5/2011 8:38AM

    Oh, I hope you're not allergic to the kitties! But from what you're saying, it would totally make sense.

Thinking, pondering, keeping your eyes open and seeing the cause and effect -- this is a good approach.

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Taking surveys with a grain of salt

Thursday, August 04, 2011

I'm not one to use superlatives when referring to my own life. Consequently, when I take surveys, I rarely pick the "all the time", "always", "never"... because once you've lived more than 20 years on the planet, chances are you have at least got to the point of "most of the time" or "often", "once in a while" or "rarely".

I followed a link from a workplace wellness site today that took me to a "strength" survey. I kind of rushed through it because it was before work... and then as I reviewed the results, I had to wonder if the self-identifying of characteristics one has demonstrated really is accurate. I mean, after all, I'm a compulsive eater... I know all about lying to myself! emoticon I wonder if something like a "strength" survey might be better answered by others who know me. My biggest strength came out as "open mindedness". I guess I'm relatively happy with that.

After work I went back and took a "happiness" survey at the same site. Same deal... the reluctance to answer in superlatives. I came out a 3.75 on a scale of 1 -5... by the things they asked about.

I couldn't help as I took the happiness survey wondering how I might have answered it two years ago. Or three? I distinctly remember the moment when I said to a counselor "I feel better about myself when..." and finished it "I work at diet and exercise." In short, out of my own mouth came the words that I just plain feel better when I nurture myself!

What about the rest of you? Do you value yourself more when you take care of your health? Or do you take better care of your health because you started to value yourself more?

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 8/8/2011 6:42AM

    Interesting thought...

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/5/2011 1:40AM

    It is a two way street - when I take better care of myself, I feel better about myself and if I feel better about myself, I take better care of myself... itīs kind of obvious. But what has become more and more true to me is that it is perishable - you have to do maintanance work on your mind as well as on your body every day. Also obvious but I realise that when I feel good I sort of lean back and forget that I have to keep doing the things that made me feel good every day or my mood will start to change.

About surveys - as I started at te eating disorder clinic I answered a lot of questions that gave me the profile of having BED (binge eating disorder) "without compensatory behaviour" (not omiting or exercising obsessively) after six months I got to answer those questions again - and my profile had changed, I was in the "normal" span... which was interesting because in my mind not so much has happended. There were nso many questions that it was impossible to remember how I had answered them before and I did not try to be "good" in answering them, just tried to be as honest as I could.

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SUNNY1432 8/4/2011 9:29PM

    I'm not sure where I sit with those 2 questions as to the self value, but I do think it is important to take care of myself for my kids. Surveys are just to generic to take seriously:)
You kitty is adorable!!

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WATERMELLEN 8/4/2011 8:29PM

    What a pretty kitty!!

One of the things I request of witnesses testifying is: never say never!! Because someone will find an instance of when never wasn't so . . .

Love sugarless gum, especiallyl Dentyne Fire!! Cinnamon-y, my fave . . . .

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Spark blogs in the head

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Yesterday morning, driving to work, I wrote the best Spark blog in my head... and now I can't remember what it was! Not even the major theme.

I've often said that my Spark blogs are pretty much my pep talks to myself, to keep me on track for the day. In that sense, writing the blog in my head was as effective as typing it through the keyboard would have been. I had a good day, didn't freak out despite a day full of meetings, made sure I got my break walks in, ate according to plan, and topped off the day with my "one thing" items both before and after work. I classified it as a good day.

If you can have good days without blogging "physically", or if you can have good days without writing down / tracking your food / exercise minutes, that's great. Most of us CAN pull it off. Particularly when things have been going well for a while, and it is routine and habitual to make good choices.

But for many of us, it begins to deteriorate when we don't put it down on paper (or on line, via computer). Why? It's a little moment where temptation comes in, that emoticon voice that says, "just this once" or "no one's looking", or even my favorite this year, "majority rules". If writing the Spark blog in my head works for a day or two, that's fine... but as with tracking, I expect I'll come back and write "on paper" as a rule, with the "in my head" as an exception.

Because for me, it works. Use what works. Health is important. Remembering what is important requires diligence.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 8/4/2011 12:41PM

    Here's to what works and Lechaim!
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WATERMELLEN 8/3/2011 8:57PM

    Always enjoy your pep talks to yourself . . . and blogging definitely works that way for me too!!

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OVERWORKEDJANET 8/3/2011 7:40PM

    I have so many great thoughts that I loose during a day!As long as I keep my head about my eating habits, I won't cry over spilt words!

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LJCANNON 8/3/2011 2:16PM

    emoticonI Like your Pep Talks!!And I Love that Yesterday was a Good Day. It really is just One Day--One Decision--One Turtle Step at a time.

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MSLZZY 8/3/2011 12:11PM

    I agree with you! Blogging is my "pep talk" to me and keeps me focused.
Whatever thought comes to mind when I start is my theme for today.
If you have read some of my blogs, you know I start out with a little
recap of the day and then use my words to motivate myself and
whoever reads it. You do the same and get me thinking in the same
vein. Thanks!

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BUGGYS 8/3/2011 9:44AM

    I haven't blogged in a year because everything I think about in my head just fizzles when I hit the computer...at least I'm thinking about it and the "pep talk" helps me!

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DEBRITA01 8/3/2011 9:26AM

    Like you, I get blog ideas when I am away from my computer and then usually forget them. By getting them written out in a blog, it IS a pep talk, keeps me real, and reaffirms to me that I can do this! emoticon emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 8/3/2011 8:17AM

    Love the attitude.... and the Pep talks too! emoticon emoticon

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One thing continues

Monday, August 01, 2011

Yes, to those of you who commented about the "one thing" now going to include kittie cleanup. It does. I just don't want that to become the ONLY "one thing" I do, as there are other systems that need maintaining, and I don't care to see the progress I have made in those areas undermined. I have essentially added to my to-do list in exchange for the entertainment / companionship of having these critters in the house. I'm thinking it's a fair trade.

Yesterday my son came over and helped me shop for kitty toys and such. Then he came home with me and helped wear them out. Kitties need exercise, too.


After he left I had some time to myself as the kitties were sleeping. But when I got up on the treadmill and fired it up, the Prisoner decided to come investigate. At first he walked on it with me (for a few steps) then decided to sit down. Oops... you can picture... off the back end... thump! Don't think he'll be bothering me when I treadmill again. Kitties do learn to avoid machines. Or the Darwin effect takes over.

The other machine that surprised him was the dishwasher. He sniffed at it as the water loaded in, because he could hear it. But when it went thump and started into its wash cycle, he leapt the other way and scooted across the room. Ah, yes, lots of entertainment value.

This morning I worked the kitty clean up around the normal Monday morning veggie chopping and breakfast prep. Steel cut oats with strawberries... so fresh and good this time of year!

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/4/2011 10:52AM

    Awesome breakfast! There is nothing like young fur babies, they will get into everything. Love that photo!!

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SHARON2014 8/2/2011 7:55AM

    Great picture! emoticon

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MSLZZY 8/2/2011 7:40AM

    New kittens are such fun!

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KASEYCOFF 8/2/2011 2:48AM

    My son and daughter-in-law have two cats. The first time I ever saw one of those laser-lightpens (dunno what they're called) was at their house. What a hoot! Like the fuzzy on the fishing pole, some of that stuff is just so fun - wish they'd had such things when we had cats at our house (many years ago).
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MEDDYPEDDY 8/2/2011 12:52AM

    My new puppy has made it harder for me to live healthy because I have the job, the daughter - and now the puppy that needs my attenion. By mounting a wooden box on my bike I can take him along but I postponed going out because it is much hevier that before and the training to make him calm in the box took a while too. But as you say - the entertainment and affection I get is a good reward!

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KATHRYNLP 8/1/2011 2:52PM

    Cats can be such fun.. and good company.. Loved your Blog! emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 8/1/2011 9:48AM

    Cost/benefit analysis for pets: I agree, all the additional "work" created by my golden retriever, Charlie, is infinitely offset by the joy and pleasure and unrestrained affection he gives to all of us.

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KALIGIRL 8/1/2011 8:37AM

    Life is good - I'm glad they are adding such joy to yours.
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DEBRITA01 8/1/2011 8:17AM

    Any work involved will be offset by the entertainment value of having two kittens in the house. Glad you are enjoying them. Have a great week! emoticon

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REJ7777 8/1/2011 8:17AM

    I have to laugh at the thought of your kitty "thumping" off the treadmill! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 8/1/2011 8:02AM

    Great! Steel cut oats with strawberries sound wonderful. Hope the kitty stays off the treadmill now - hopefully kitty has learned. Enjoy your kittens. Love your consistent dedication to fitness. Go, Barb!!

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