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The importance of rest days

Sunday, August 21, 2011

There is a reason why just about every major religion has a day a week set aside for "rest". There is a reason why most civilized countries don't have a seven day work week. The human being needs time for reflection and rest.

Today I didn't go beyond my own backyard. Yes, I pulled a few weeds. But I also slept in to make up for some insomnia episodes, had a long phone call with a sister, and snoozed an afternoon nap into the picture too. Kitties must have thought that was a good idea, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 8/22/2011 3:19PM

    I so hear you - it's one of the hardest things to do. But taking time for ourselves, in whatever form, is the highest priority, IMHO.

Re the kitties: oh, they're growing so fast!

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PATRISNA 8/22/2011 9:32AM

    I got my "Day of Rest" confused with the "Just one Thing Everyday."

I cleaned out my pantry and refrigerator. I am much happier about the organized pantry. But I was bone tired last night. I did sit down and watch an episode of Warehouse 13.


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MSLZZY 8/22/2011 7:13AM

    Everyone needs a rest day. Just have to turn off the mind LOL!

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_LINDA 8/22/2011 1:45AM

    Awesome!! So glad you know how to have a siesta when you need it! I think I have had my quota for the year! Anxious to get back into it, but my foot wasn't yet happy in my running shoes I tried on today :(( I have never worn sandals and certainly don't think I can exercise in them (I can picture them going flying off my feet lol)
Hope you have a deep and restful sleep tonight!

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/22/2011 1:05AM


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BARBAELLEN 8/21/2011 8:54PM

    Sounds like the perfect day of rest! Ahhhh!

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SHERYL_B 8/21/2011 8:44PM

    Sounds like a great way to spend the day! That is how I was last weekend!

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Merit and Grace

Saturday, August 20, 2011

This is a pensive "good news / bad news" kind of entry this morning. Yesterday I felt really good about the doctor visit. We chatted about a number of things weight / fitness related... and words came out of my mouth that gave me a start. We were talking about runs and walks, that half-marathon, the 5K gold, and the upcoming mud run.

What I said was, "things are much easier now". Not that I have more energy, just that things seem easier. My brother (MOBYCARP) had mentioned that in one of his blogs earlier in the week, too. At this lower weight, lower than I had *ever* been since high school... things are just plain easier. When I give my body the right fuel, the right training... things are just plain easier.

This does not mean that it's easy to START or to GET here. It doesn't mean activity is impossible before arrival at goal. I ran 5K's 20 years ago about 20 pounds heavier and felt good about it... but it's easier now.

Some of this is attitude, confidence. Some of it is physiological... the heart beats efficiently, the muscles do their job in whatever context. It is that functional ability that readiness that I am maintaining. I love it. I worked for it. That's the merit side of things. But while being pleased and proud of that, I am also conscious that there are folks out there working just as hard and not necessarily seeing the same results.

Here's where grace comes in: Life's not always fair in these things. Some people have higher hills to climb. They may not be able to go out and run 5K's or walk half marathons or whatever. They may have a disease or an injury that modifies their life. BUT... treating their bodies with respect, loving themselves, working on attitude has to work for them too... the "easier" word applies to the comparison between not doing and doing the healthy things we all advocate: drinking water, eating the freggies, being active... consistently as possible, not demanding perfection. All people who are giving life their best shot have my admiration and respect! Because each and every one of us is worthy of reaching whatever level of "easier" we can get to.

On the bad news side in my personal life... same day as my good doctor visit, I got e-mail from my sister, the one who has ALWAYS been good about nutrition and exercise and taken good care of herself. We have always in our family been able to say, "no history of cancer". We can no longer say that. She found a lump, had it checked out, and yesterday she got the results. While her doctor said the good words, "small", "curable", "caught early"... and says they will have this cured by the time her next mammogram would normally have been, I'd still appreciate prayers from those so inclined.

Life is full, and life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 8/21/2011 4:41AM

    I am grateful that life is not "fair" in the aspect that people who looks after themself donīt have to endure cancer, it is a burden enough heavy to carry without having to blame oneself for "earning it"

I did not have any family history of cancer ether so my shock was total when I found that lump and as it was larger than it should have been it was either very fast growing or had been there for a while before I found it.

I donīt wish anybody a cancer but I must also admit that my cancer gave me a lot of gfts in insights and joy of life. Itīs not whats happens that mater, it is how you handle what happens. I got a lot closer to my siblings when I was diagnosed with cancer and since then we have been more loving towards eachother. Best wishes for your sister!

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MSLZZY 8/20/2011 12:59PM

    So glad you took charge of your life and are living healthier. It is never easy but is worth the effort.
Prayers going out for your sister. HUGS!

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BESTSUSIEYET 8/20/2011 11:06AM

    Hooray for Victories, and Hooray for consistency! Hooray for not taking your health for granted!

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MNTWINSGAL 8/20/2011 11:03AM

    Of course I'll add my prayers for your sister. How very fortunate she is though, to have caught it when she did. It sounds like the prognosis is excellent, and I know you are grateful for that!

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WATERMELLEN 8/20/2011 10:48AM

    Been there, have the Tshirt (actually, give the Tshirt away to a friend subsequently diagnosed) and: my thoughts and prayers to you and your sister. It's scary hearing that word (the reason why reducing chance of recurrence is my biggest motivator to stay lean) but with early dx and prompt treatment cancer can be beaten. I'm sure that your sister will be able to lean on you as she negotiates the months ahead (my sister and I went through it together . . . ).

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_LINDA 8/20/2011 10:18AM

    So very sorry about your sister :(( It really isn't fair, someone who looks after themselves so well gets that dreaded news. Meanwhile, I have a brother-in-law who smokes, drinks hard liquor and loves fatty foods and claims he can't eat veggies as they make him sick who has no health problems in spite of his father dying young of the same vices. You hate watching people throw their lives away, but what can you do?? As a person with a severe disease and recovering ad nauseum from countless surgeries, I can say I feel better in my context when I am exercising regularly and eating healthy. While I will never be able to run a race because of the impact, I can still keep up with any of the healthy people in cardio classes, without getting out of breath, so go me!
Screening is so important and your sister's experience is showing why. My thoughts will be her as she goes through her ordeal..
emoticon emoticon

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WORDLILY 8/20/2011 10:08AM

    Sorry to hear about your sister. Praying now.

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CEHALLA 8/20/2011 10:06AM

    I can identify with what you said. I haven't reached my goal yet, but I find that many things I do are easier with losing 60 pounds. And some things are still hard. But showing respect to my body is a good goal, I'll work on that.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/20/2011 9:30AM

    "Because each and every one of us is worthy of reaching whatever level of "easier" we can get to." Right on, Barb!

Best wishes for your sister. I'll say a prayer on her behalf.

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DEBRITA01 8/20/2011 9:15AM

    emoticonPrayers for your sister...

Comment edited on: 8/20/2011 9:15:34 AM

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HOT4FITNESS 8/20/2011 8:13AM

    So sorry to hear about your sister. I will keep her in my prayers. I agree that as we travel this journey and have successes things do get easier.

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Annual doctoring

Friday, August 19, 2011

Anybody else have a doctor born after you reached "adulthood"? I found out today that mine (who has been my doctor for six or seven years) was born AFTER I got out of high school, and still hasn't seen 40! He started sporting *braces* last year. And he still looks oh, so young. Yeah, he has three young children at home, he's a good family man, and has a great patient rapport. In short, I like my doctor.

And nothing made me happier than seeing his broad grin over my weight history, particularly over the past two years. BP is great. RHR is 42-43. Everybody asks me am I a runner when they take my pulse. We'll see how the blood work comes back, but in short, he sees me as healthy, and is real happy with HOW I lost the weight, not just THAT I lost it.

So, yeah, I was super pleased to hear him say, for the second year in a row, "You have made your doctor very happy and proud."

Well, Doctor, I have made ME pretty happy and proud, too. Now don't get cocky, Barb.

Life's good... Spark on!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 8/20/2011 1:56AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
That is fantastic news! Well done!!
Fortunately, I have had my family DR. since I was 16, so we have 'grown old' together. I don't know what I would make of these young whippersnappers. I would tend to ask, how many times have you done this procedure already?? What a dilemma, young with all the latest advances and techniques or old and very experienced in performing the basics with a sure and knowledgeable hand..
Keep on Sparking!
Like braces, wow, I could not get that lol.

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/20/2011 1:20AM

    Yes, I meet a lot of doctors that was born after I reached adulthood, if I think of that age as 20, any doctor 39 years and younger is in that sector.

As I have returned to my home town and worked as a yout leader/riding teacher at an animal farm when I was 25-28 I am waiting to meet any of my pupils in a authority position - I imagine it will be weird to be examined (and adviced to get healthier) by someone that I once have told to sit straight and be softer with their hands on the reins...

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BARBAELLEN 8/20/2011 1:16AM

    Funny. I also have a doc with braces, a 58-year-old woman!

More important, your results are great, and you SHOULD be proud of taking such good care of yourself. Hope the blood work is just as good! Congrats on a job well done!

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MNTWINSGAL 8/20/2011 12:48AM

    Congrats, Barb....that's just the reaction we all hope for when we see our doctors. You deserve to be just a wee bit cocky. (just don't let it get out of hand! emoticon )

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DRB13_1 8/20/2011 12:19AM

    As a (retired) doctor, may I add "I am very proud of you, too!"

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WATERMELLEN 8/19/2011 10:32PM

    Well done! Maybe he'll ask to hand out your number to his other patients so you can coach them!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/19/2011 9:38PM

    You have every reason to be happy and proud, Barb. You rock! Congratulations.

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BESTSUSIEYET 8/19/2011 9:23PM

    Pretty cool! We're proud of you, too!

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MOBYCARP 8/19/2011 8:43PM

    I think my doctor is more or less my contemporary, perhaps a bit younger than me. She appeared to be just building her practice when I rolled into town almost 20 years ago; by the time my daughter needed an adult doctor instead of a pediatrician, she wasn't taking new patients.

Of course, if I live long enough I will some day have a doctor who is clearly much younger than I am. The day that happens could be hastened if I had to move to another town and the only doctors accepting new patients are youngsters still building their practices.

Good job keeping your doctor happy. Do that enough years in a row, and you might get to see him retire.

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Thunder storms outside...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Reminder to self: don't let kittens outside right before it starts to rain. They tend to hide under the deck and not want to come out to come in when the raindrops are falling.

On the plus side tonight... I got on the treadmill to prove to myself I can still do a 5K. My workouts had not been in that length recently! And I have this Mud Run coming up on the 27th. If anybody wants to see an old lady crawl in the mud... I can provide details. If my son comes to take pictures, no doubt I'll post them!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/19/2011 10:00AM

    A mud run? Oh, that sounds fun. And this coming from someone who doesn't like to sweat, much less get dirty. LOL! For sure post pictures.

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KALIGIRL 8/19/2011 8:28AM

    I love it! and who says you're an OLD lady?

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_LINDA 8/19/2011 12:11AM

    Good for you! That mud run will be fun! You can't tell what age anyone is caked under all that mud ;) Its a good idea to keep yourself in shape for that..Will look forward to some photos!

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JULESRINCON 8/18/2011 10:40PM

  It was raining on my side of the world this afternoon as well. I had to rescue my cat who was hiding in a cupboard under a leaky window meowing because it was so confusing for her to be getting wet! So I made her a shelter on the couch with pillows and covered it with a heavy blanket, and she stayed there during the whole thunderstorm.

A mud run sounds like fun! Hope you nail it! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 8/18/2011 10:25PM

    Dogs don't like rain either...I pushed mine out the door, only to have her stand there and refuse to do anything! Yours won't come in, mine won't go out. Guess we know who's the boss...

Good luck with your Mud Run...sounds interesting...and messy! emoticon

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SUNNY1432 8/18/2011 10:24PM

    The Mud Run sounds like fun!! I think I might have to try one sometime. emoticon

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Ain't much a good night's sleep doesn't improve...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Life goes on. Self-nurture works. A good night's sleep. A nourishing breakfast (still experimenting with the grits about once a week... this morning it was with fresh strawberries and chocolate, cooked in skim milk... and it turned out pretty good). A little exercise. And my "one thing", which this morning included vacuuming the master bedroom and the upstairs hall.

Why "one thing"? Besides of course dealing with the sense of being overwhelmed? It had its roots in wanting to have more free time on weekends, and not feel overwhelmed by my endless to do list which was causing me to toss in the towel at the beginning of Saturday!

Problem solving: I pondered back over the years when my son was young. How *did* we do all that we had to do to support a growing child with sports and school and all that? Well, we *used* the work days. Before and after work, there were things that we did that constituted living. School projects, transport to games, all that goes with it. Cooking meals, bedtime rituals, conversations with the family over a TV show, dish washing (we did not have a machine)... it all somehow happened. Yes, clutter built up, it was not always smooth... but we were a family and we lived life. Every day, not just on weekends.

A lot of that changed over time, particularly since I became a true "empty nester". Since I had infinite time (so goes the thought)... things could be put off for later. Then the weekend would get here, and there would be this huge pile of uncompleted tasks that keep a house going... and just me. Why do them at all?

It dawned on me, post-weight loss, during maintenance, that I needed to start living *every day* again. Enter the "one thing" concept... something my stress-cleaning sister had dropping in a conversation some holiday or other. She had read about it somewhere, and she practices it. HER home is almost always at least close to ready for an impromptu gathering.

Never mind that she's an extrovert and I'm an introvert: she has choices! She can say yes or no, based on whether she wants company, not on whether her home is in order!

So... that's the story behind my motivation: I want to be able to have that choice... and when the weekend gets here, if my "one things" have the house pretty much there, guess what? I have time to play AND a clear conscience to go with it!

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 8/18/2011 12:47PM

    emoticon you remember how quickly I ushered you in one door and out the other to meet the girls?

I like the idea though - having the choice and not letting things pile up to the point of inertia.

Here's to your one thing!

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BARBAELLEN 8/18/2011 12:34AM

    Barb, I could have written this blog. That is, everything except for the grits (yuk!) and the vacuuming.

Some day, I'd like to hear how your "one thing" works. I always do at least "one thing" that needs to be done, but I think I'm not getting it right. I'm keeping up with the daily essentials, but not seeing progress. Sounds like you've got a good thing going.

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MSLZZY 8/17/2011 11:36AM

    I will have the time for "one thing" activity when DS3 goes off to college.
I am living the life you did when your son was at home. I would expect I'll
have to adopt the "one thing" mentality then. Thanks for the seed of an
idea that can turn into a plan in the future. HUGS!

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SUNNY332 8/17/2011 9:59AM

    Thank you. I need to get busy and do just one thing a day. I am not one of those that is ready for an impromptu anything. I am a planner and also a procrastinator. Thanks for a great post. I needed it.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 8/17/2011 9:30AM

    Amen! I agree with your blog 100%. Procrastination can be a killer, whether it be related to household chores, exercise or diet. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and inspiring us all!

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_LINDA 8/17/2011 8:59AM

    Awesome! A fantastic Spark concept. Do one thing, one step at a time until its set into a habit. So its not overwhelming. So its doable and doesn't take your whole life up.
I can't get past the good night's sleep. Its been impossible to me. I know a lot of things would improve if I could ever get this one thing solved.

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PATRISNA 8/17/2011 8:42AM

    Good for you! I have been trying to tame the clutter in my home. I kept our house we sold clean for months on end while trying to sell it. I asked myself why did I let the clutter take over this house?

There are two adult males also living here so I am not the only one guilty of scattering and stacking stuff. We are all guilty of not putting things away. Maybe I just need to do the "one thing." I also like your idea of living *everyday* not waiting for the weekend to catch up.

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SWELL10 8/17/2011 8:15AM

    great idea!

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ELRIDDICK 8/17/2011 8:05AM

  Thanks for sharing

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