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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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    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 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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Progress, distractions and balance

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I've been reading a lot of things from people who are slightly dissatisfied with how things have been going for them lately. It is not a bad thing to assess where you're at. In fact, it's something I aspire to do regularly. Being the last day of the month, I've done my monthly progress picture and updated the front page.

In the font that Spark shows, those abs look good. When I look at the master photo, what I see is loose skin.

Yes, that's what I see. The abs are there, they are defined, they keep getting stronger with training, but you can't hide the fact that there is some "empty bag" where there used to be packed fat.

Still, I cannot be dissatisfied. I love my abs. I love them for what they can *do* for me. Think about it. Your abdominal muscles are what protects your inner organs in case of injury. They help you in *everything* you do, from sitting to standing to walking to running, swimming and biking, and putting groceries away. What's not to love? Whatever they look like. They are functional.

And that is the goal, for me: to have a functional, healthy body, doing what a functional healthy body is intended to do. Even when there is illness or injury to deal with, if you start out as fit as you can, or continue to work on improving fitness, it is a boon. Our bodies are indeed "fearfully and wonderfully made". Let's treat 'em with respect and love.

Distractions: Kitties! What a pair I have taken on. Yesterday afternoon late, one of my sisters and her daughter came over to visit the kitties. Within a very short time, my sis had swelling nose and dripping eyes. Oh, yes... allergies. Well, now we know why there are no kitties at *their* house.

After they left, I sat on the couch and both kittens decided to treat me a bit like a jungle gym. They crawled up on my shoulder, purred in my ear and generally made a fuss over ensuring that I was their mommy now. Talk about heart-melting. I won't have them sleeping in my room, but it's so great to be greeted in the morning when I come downstairs. Empty house now resolved.

Balance... ahhhh! Priceless. The trick will be keeping up the "one thing" initiative and the training while dealing with the transition to having furry distractions in the house.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 8/2/2011 7:41AM

    Try to keep up with those two! You look great!

Comment edited on: 8/2/2011 7:42:20 AM

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BUGGYS 8/2/2011 7:17AM look amazing!!! I have been out of the loop most of the summer and just read about your'll have years of love and fun with them!!! I know how much you missed your dog and giving these kitties a home is so great! My granddaughter got a kitty from the humane society in 8 month old male and although both my daughter and SIL were not cat people, this little feline has captured their hearts as I'm sure yours will also!

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KASEYCOFF 8/2/2011 2:50AM

    Mmm hmm. Not in your room. I hear you. I was never gonna allow the dog on the sofa, either...

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/2/2011 12:56AM

    If I ever lose my overweight I will have a lot of skin hanging around - the only thing that worries me is that it is probably going to be a physical burden with skin irritation in the folds... the cosmetic aspect I will try to overcome!

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SUNNYWBL 8/1/2011 4:56PM

    I aspire to abs like that again! Loose skin? No big deal!

Kitties? Priceless!

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LINDAJOYWK 8/1/2011 6:23AM

    It is encouraging that even one who looks great to the rest of us-still sees flaws-
kind of makes one wonder- is reality is what we see in the mirror?
I am so glad you got the kitties! I had one for 18 yrs(after 2 yrs I found I was
allergic-lots of asthma attacks ,but by then I was hooked)! I miss her-realize I
can't have another,but I will pet & love on other peoples every chance I can!

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KALIGIRL 7/31/2011 8:28PM

    Abs look superb!
And who said kitty control can't be that one thing a few days?

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WATERMELLEN 7/31/2011 8:05PM

    You look great!! Love your attitude: your acceptance of what is and joy about what you can do. And clearly those kittens have made their decision about you!! So sweet!!

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DEBRITA01 7/31/2011 2:46PM

    You are looking good ...and healthy emoticonIf we look hard enough, there is always going to be something we are dissatisfied with. That's human nature. Continue to be proud of the awesome progress you've made...and if a little loose skin is the price to pay for losing unhealthy fat it's a small price to pay.
Keep Sparking! emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/31/2011 12:26PM

    I believe that if ever I were really sick, I would want two kittens in the room with me - because then I would have the healing effects of watching those sweet, adorable little creatures play and frolic as only kittens can do. What a joy!

When it comes to loose skin - I tell myself it's the price I pay for losing the weight so late in life. But better late than never!

emoticon emoticon

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FITFABJENN 7/31/2011 9:58AM

    Your abs look awesome! I am starting to see some loose skin on my abdomen and arms now that I've lost a lot of weight, but I am happy to see those muscles emerging underneath it all.

Thanks for posting!

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MOBYCARP 7/31/2011 9:10AM

    Love the look, and the series of pics is very impressive. I've never taken pics of myself . . . until today. When I figure out how to get an honest shot, I'll have a "before" picture.

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_LINDA 7/31/2011 8:46AM

    You look awesome to me!! I too, have that wrinkled loose bag of skin on my abdomen. It prevents me from getting into a smaller pant size, I am small top, medium pants, but also have that pear shape, so all my weight naturally goes to the hips and waist. Can't help the body you have, just move on like you have and accept the wonders you can do with it! At least cats don't require all the care and attention dogs do..Just the kitty litter must be cleaned out regularly or your house will get that 'cat' smell. My Mom monitors that closely, always checking for dumps..Maybe that will be your new one thing lol.
Enjoy your Sunday pampering the kitties!

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TORNADO40 7/31/2011 8:21AM

    We have 2 kitties like that! You are looking good and healthy. I wonder if we knew that we would have all this loose skin after we lost weight if we would have allowed ourselves to get overweight to begin with. emoticon

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Lovely morning

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The heat wave seems to have broken, especially if you get out early to move. This morning "Becky's Bikers" were getting together. I don't know if that's their official name & I don't want to get Becky in trouble for claiming them in her name, but she's the one who invited me to join them, so I'll call them that for now.

I checked the tire pressure and headed out, meeting Becky (KALIGIRL) and one of her friends at the entrance to the bike trail from her side of the neighborhood. The three of us rode together to the meeting point, then FOUR MORE ladies joined us for a ride through some more of the town's bike trails, ending near the University campus downtown, where we took a talk and coffee break before riding back. Total mileage for me? 9 1/4 out, 8.4 miles back. A good start for cross-training.

And it was a blast... like having a Spark party right there at the coffee-shop... swapping health and fitness tips and encouragement. All levels. Some were complaining that they didn't do a whole lot the past month, like it might be something unworthy... it's not. It's that balance thing we talk about. The problem is not that we take a few days off or have a slow week or month... it's when we convince ourselves that this means that WE don't take our fitness seriously and don't deserve or want it any more!

Nothing could be further from the truth. Coming back from a break to a good workout? Doesn't it feel terrific? Yeah, maybe it was harder than when you were at your peak... but you can remember that peak. You did it before... you can get back there. Think about it! Look at the pluses... there are so many!

And, as Becky just said in her blog... we're plotting... to make those TRI dreams come true next year. If there are TWO of us working on it, aren't we less likely to toss in the towel? Can't let each other down here. We shall follow in Diane (JUST_TRI_IT)'s footsteps and pedal steps and swim strokes!

We can do this. It's on the bucket list. Beware... Spark People are a force to be reckoned with! We're worth it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Yes, yes, yes!!! Congrats! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 7/30/2011 9:39PM

    emoticonWhat a great way to start your morning...and weekend. How nice to have a Spark Bud and friends to ride with and help you train. I have a feeling now that you have TRI fever and your Biker Girls you will be crossing that off of your Bucket List in the near future. emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/30/2011 5:46PM

    How fortunate you and Kaligirl are to get together in 3D. Enjoy having your SP friend so nearby.

emoticon emoticon

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SUNNYWBL 7/30/2011 5:45PM

    What fun it must be to have nearbye friends that enjoy the same active life that you do!

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KALIGIRL 7/30/2011 3:46PM

    Here's to coming back in style!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 7/30/2011 2:50PM

    Ah, the balance thing. I struggle with that. It's not realistic for me to be training to be competitive in any sport, and it's silly to train to a point where I get injured trying to achieve personal bests. But it's a puzzle how to keep up enough training to be healthy without being sucked into overdoing it.

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KASEYCOFF 7/30/2011 2:43PM

    That is so terrific - charge on, girlfriend, charge on!

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GOHUSKERS2 7/30/2011 2:15PM

    I'm glad I read this blog today. I just completed one month of swimming, walking and other cardio, after having heart surgery and was rather pleased with my least until I got on the scale. One month, to the day and not another pound difference. Discouraged doesn't even to explain how I have felt. But I read this, and you're right. So I think I can get my head back on straight and not give up. Thanks. Carolyn

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WATERMELLEN 7/30/2011 1:40PM

    Sounds like such a supportive group: and so much fun!!

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New kitty pictures

Friday, July 29, 2011

"I am not a number, I am a free cat." If there is such a thing. Alternately, you can call me Stripes. The keepers call me Number 6.

Who are you?
The New Number 2. Or you can call me Patches.

We are exploring and trying to figure out this new playground.

By the way, Patches already hit the "color copy" button on the printer and managed to print out a blank page. And tried to chew on the tag on the fan's electrical cord. Sigh. Young things in the house.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 7/31/2011 3:18PM

    Are they your new fur babies? They are so cute! I know they will bring you happiness!

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SUNNY332 7/31/2011 1:47PM

    Arethey sisters? I have two cats - sisters and have had them for many years. They don't look like they came out of the same litter.

Hugs, Sunny

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KARIDIAN1 7/30/2011 6:13PM

    They are so cute. Haven't had a kitten around for a while. Enjoy this special time.

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SUNNYWBL 7/30/2011 5:39PM

    Fortunately, a kitten's chewing days don't last a long as a dog's! It must be so much fun to have new kittens! Enjoy them!

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KALIGIRL 7/30/2011 12:51PM

    Patches and (prisoner) Stripes so fits!

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/30/2011 11:56AM

    aw aw aw!!! They are adorable!

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/30/2011 11:55AM

    aw aw aw!!! They are adorable!

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CONCHA77 7/30/2011 10:30AM

    Stripes and Patches are ADORABLE. Makes me want to go and get some kitties myself! I am planning on getting a Kittie or maybe two when we get back from visiting Joel and family in Guam. I would hate leaving them for more then a couple of days if I got them before our trip.
Enjoy your new family members! MEOW!

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REJ7777 7/30/2011 6:52AM

    Are those little kitties ever cute!

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KASEYCOFF 7/30/2011 3:22AM

    He'll keep you busy!

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PUDLECRAZY 7/29/2011 9:14PM

    That is a REALLY cute kitty!

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WATERMELLEN 7/29/2011 9:13PM

    Oh oh oh oh oh!! Is there anything cuter than a kitten?? Two kittens!! Love those blue blue eyes!!

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DEBRITA01 7/29/2011 9:04PM

    emoticonThey are cute...enjoy them!

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MOBYCARP 7/29/2011 8:22PM

    They're adorable! Of course, they'll be all grown up by the time I get to meet them. emoticon emoticon

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FITGRL124 7/29/2011 8:19PM

    Aww - how ADORABLE!!!!!! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 7/29/2011 7:43PM

    Very cute! Gotta watch that printer now -- and a lot of other things, too, I'm sure. Keeps life interesting, though, doesn't it?

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PONYFARMER 7/29/2011 7:42PM

    Ah, I love the grey striped one. So adorable. You are a great person for taking in #s 1 and 2. They give back so much more than we know.

Bless you for giving them a home until they find their forever home.

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    Very cute

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ELSEEBEE 7/29/2011 7:27PM

    Too cute! Patches looks like my elderly Jynx (except Jynx is a manx with only a stub of a tail). Enjoy those cuties!

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