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Prepping for Winter ahead

Monday, October 10, 2011

It sure hasn't felt much like Winter is coming the past week. We've had 80's several afternoons. This morning, though, because the calendar says so, I had the guy out to clean the furnace, change the filter on the humidifier, and all that jazz to get ready for the heating season.

It was raining this morning and my sinus passages were giving me trouble, but I took advantage of the day off work to get on the treadmill early, anyway. I did not run, but I did walk a full 5K on that treadmill. A little more with warm-up and cool down. Still don't know if I'll do the Governor's Cup next Sunday afternoon... leaning toward it at the moment. I think I'm past my little rebellion. At least for a while.

And we shall see where we go from here. Happy Thanksgiving, Canada (and other places celebrating today)!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 10/12/2011 12:51AM

    I donīt like winter - my electrical bill will go high and it will be so cold to walk the dog...
yesterday I put my lawnmower away thus making room in the garage for the car...

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BUGGYS 10/11/2011 7:51AM

    We are in the process of closing down our summer cottage for the winter. It was hard to do on Sunday when the temps were in the 70's and the grand kids were swimming in Lake Michigan!!! Keep yourself open to this're body will let you know...sometimes we just push ourselves so hard that we need to step back a bit and reevaluate our goals! Good luck!

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BESTSUSIEYET 10/10/2011 11:34PM

    Well done! Preparing is key to success in any area! Keep up the good work!

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_LINDA 10/10/2011 10:55PM

    Sounds like you got it all figured out! Good for you getting the furnace ready -nothing worse then waiting for the first snow fall and find they are too busy to come right away..
The nice thing about a healthy lifestyle is you can makes choices to suit you. if you don't do this Governor's cup, I am sure you will find an alternate. It should always be about having fun and be interesting, not a just chore to get over with.
Enjoy your evening!

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SUNNY1432 10/10/2011 9:57PM

    Hope you take the Cup next week!! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 10/10/2011 9:01PM

    Finally got some rain today. Has been super dry here in Mn.

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MOBYCARP 10/10/2011 8:20PM

    Temps in the upper 70s here today; but the dusk at 6:30 after my run is a reminder that winter is coming. All of a sudden on Daylight Wasting Sunday, it will be dark at 5PM if we have cloud cover; and we get a lot of cloud cover this time of year.

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MSLZZY 10/10/2011 8:04PM


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SUNNY332 10/10/2011 7:24PM

    I walked 2 miles this morning and will do 2.5 tomorrow. DH and I are participating in a 5K this coming weekend in Kansas. It is a fund raiser so just want to "finish". It will be great walking with DH as the event is being held at the park where we walked for years. It will be good for us - we have a lot of memories there.

Hugs, Sunny

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/10/2011 7:02PM

    My son-in-law picked up our new lawn tractor from Sears today and delivered it to our door -- when he left he said 'Next time this truck is in your drive-way, it will be with the snow blower to clean your drive-way'. Then laughed ----

Oh no -- not snow!!!!!

Glad you got your furnace ready -- I'd rather be ready for 'it' than not. Good thinking!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/10/2011 5:21PM

    Oh gosh, I'm in denial about the "W" word. But sadly it will be here before we know it. Certainly before we're ready for it. (Can we ever be ready for -10 and a foot of snow?) But it feels good to know we're preparing, right?

Keep your mind open about this weekend. I bet you participate. I can tell you've started to turn the bend. Not so much for me yet. I'm getting my morning walks in and staying pretty close to my JC plan, but I'm just so darned tired and unmotivated. Beginning to wonder if increasing my morning walks up to 2.5 miles was wise. I've been doing that for a few weeks now and I seem to do well while walking. But I wonder if the distance is taking a bit of a toll on my energy for other things. I may have to experiment a bit to see. But for now? I'm dog-tired and headed for a nap before dinner.

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LADYCITY 10/10/2011 4:34PM

    I'd say if you really don't wanna do it and you don't think your body is ready don't do it, if your body ain't ready that would be just horrible to get an injury out there.

Just continue with your own personal pledge of getting fit and healthy and stay that way, that's the best prize of all and there is always next year for the cup.

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Grandpa would have loved this race

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Indulge me, I'm going to write about my mom's father. As a kid, I used to call him "mean", because I was a kid, and he was tough and gruff, and of a military kind of bearing. In fact, he had been to war, in WWII, and when he came home, he spent some of his hours and days and Summer weeks as a Boy Scout troop leader.

In high school, he was a track star. The family story is that he and grandma got engaged with a track medal as their pledge token. Of course, as a kid, the thought of grandma and grandpa *ever* having been young was... well... just not there. As I now look in the mirror or photographs and see thier features, it's a little more sensible to remember that they were once young, too.

One of my favorite memories of Grandpa is how active he was. I never thought I "was". Either you were or you weren't. On/off thinking, huh? On his 65th birthday, Grandpa celebrated, at Philmont Scout Ranch with a 60 mile hike.

Which brings me to the title line. The 2011 Ironman Triathlon in Kialua-Kona, Hawaii is about 15 minutes away from its cut-off, lights out. I got up to take my thyroid meds at the usual time, and turned on the streaming video. Now we are seeing the last athletes who will get the official timing/designation as "Ironman". They have swum 2.4 miles. They have biked 112 miles. And they have covered a full marathon 26.2 miles, on foot. They must finish by midnight... 81 year old just crossed the line. Lew Holliday just won his age division: he is an Ironman.

I contend that Grandpa would have loved this race. It is an extreme test of endurance and strength. I will probably never go that distance, myself... but never say never. The commitment to training, the investment in prep races, and the travel to exotic places. But I have a sprint distance one in my future... I can feel it in my bones.

Motivation rises, envisioning crossing a finish line with a grin... 80 year old just crossed the line with less than 10 minutes to the lights out! I can dream... and I can get fit and stay fit to the dreams!

emoticon emoticonm emoticon emoticon emoticon

76 year old Harriet Anderson finished with minutes to spare, the oldest female competitor. Go, woman, go!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 10/11/2011 9:59AM

    Makes me want to do our mini!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 10/11/2011 1:06AM

    Love the dream - would never dream that myself, but can fully understand that you do... and I feel very insåired by 81 year olds becoming Iron women.

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MSLZZY 10/10/2011 8:06PM

    You've got to have a dream, right? What a super grandpa you had!

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LJCANNON 10/10/2011 10:53AM

    emoticon emoticonI am hoping that I will be "Able" to do things like that, although I have No Desire to do a Full marathon right now Like You I have learned to Never Say Never!!

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SHELL- 10/10/2011 10:52AM

    How inspiring! This story is why I love your blog! I have trouble just facing my stationary bike for 6 miles... and my rebounder..... I will push harder I'm only 59 I can do more. Use it or loose it. I have lost it and I'm trying to regain the active person I used to be.

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SUNNYWBL 10/10/2011 12:58AM

    Not only would he have liked it, he probably could have DONE it!

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KARIDIAN1 10/9/2011 9:10PM

    Amazing what you can if you set your mind to it.

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WATERMELLEN 10/9/2011 7:29PM

    Amazing!! An 80 yo friend of mine celebrated her birthday sky diving . . . she is soooooo fit and looks completely fabulous!

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MNTWINSGAL 10/9/2011 1:28PM

    When Jeff was a Scout, his Troop only did Philmont once every 4 years, so each Scout really only had one opportunity to go. When Jeff's Troop went when he was a junior in high school, he passed in favor of working at his part-time job at Subway. He was the only one from his patrol who didn't go....I'm sure he regrets it now. But wow - kudos to your Grandpa for going at age 65! You're right....he'd have loved the Ironman competition.

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_LINDA 10/9/2011 11:14AM

    I bet your grandfather would have rocked that race! There is sure hope for the rest of us if an 80 year old can finish an ironman. So much for excuses and I can'ts..
Thanks for sharing this very motivational blog to get off your butt and move it!!

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DEBRA0818 10/9/2011 9:21AM

    The human body was meant to move and there is no age cut off for that!

Go Barb!


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HOT4FITNESS 10/9/2011 8:27AM

    Tha'ts right never say never You never thought you would compete in a half marathon either. We just continue to amaze ourselves!

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SUNNY332 10/9/2011 7:14AM

    That is amazing - 81 years and 76 years. Wow.

Thanks for sharing and yes, I do believe, Grandpa would have loved the race.


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Saturday's pep talk

Saturday, October 08, 2011

We are facing the beginning of a three day weekend off work. I am determined that *this* weekend is not going to be like *last* weekend. I have taken steps to adjust my attitude and examine my feelings, my priorities and motivation. This morning was my monthly maintenance consultation at the JC center and I had a good talk with my consultant (who is, by the way, the greatest... and about to get married next weekend - congrats and best wishes to her).

Armed with all of this, I feel confident that the weekend will be a good one. I went for a brief walk as I was early for my appointment, and I looked up at the sky. My camera is too poor to take a picture that would do it justice, but it could have been a book cover... the strata of clouds with the rising sun playing on them is an amazing sight.

When I got home I went outside and while the allergies are bugging me a bit, it felt good just to be outdoors. For this weekend, I give myself permission to live, and to enjoy life, moment by moment, with no expectations for performance or for pleasing others... mindfully, with gratitude.

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 10/8/2011 8:34PM

    Enjoy your weekend! I am working all three days. Just got back from our walk.

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SUNNY332 10/8/2011 5:24PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Now - go out and have a GREAT weekend.


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GOHUSKERS2 10/8/2011 2:16PM

    What a great attitude....enjoy life!!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/8/2011 1:57PM

    I am sensing your inner peace returning, Barb, and that makes me happy. Wishing your a beautiful weekend in which you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.

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NAVYMOM133 10/8/2011 12:13PM

    emoticon Awesome attitude going into the weekend!! You CAN!



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_LINDA 10/8/2011 12:02PM

    Sounds aweome!! You can survive this -just find fun physical activities to enjoy that will keep you out of the kitchen and boredom! Go for it!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ARLENE_MOVES 10/8/2011 12:01PM

    Enjoy your weekend -- with that attitude, you will!!!!

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WATERMELLEN 10/8/2011 11:35AM

    Ohhhh, that attitude adjustment thing: when you've done tightening up the bolts, could you just send the wrench along to me???? Thank you kindly!

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Let's see if we can reinforce positives without stirring up the negatives

Friday, October 07, 2011

First off, Thursday was a decent day with the food. I didn't write it down, but I know the drill, and know what I ate, and it was all pretty routine stuff, so I know I'm in range. No "extras" or slipped ins... and I can do that when I am *not* in rebellion mode.

I consider that a blessing. Because it takes at least a certain amount of time to track, and it's more important to *do* than to write about. I took my break walks, because that's one point I refuse to give in on.

I ended up leaving work late. Not a good thing, usually, because lately it has been putting me in a foul mood, resentful. And we all know what emotional / compulsive eaters do with feelings. However, I came home to a ton of supportive comments on my last blog... and found some resolve for the evening hours in those. Thank you, Spark Friends! emoticon

This morning, I am pondering the resentment thing. When do I "eat" feelings? Don't know about you all, but I tend to "eat" instead of "speak" when I don't feel that speaking is "safe". So, mad at boss (i.e. not able to separate out the feelings enough to see the intellectual issues and reason / talk them through)? Hit the chips! Not good.

And since I'm "miss perfect goody two-shoes" I can't possibly ever hold feelings of "you're not holding up your end of the workload" toward my teammates, either.

So it must somehow all be my fault for not doing enough *myself*, right? (OK, chime in here... anybody else have this trap in their personality?)

It's not right to always blame the other fella. But it's also not right to always blame yourself.

Food, my drug of choice, has always been a friend, comforter, companion, to help me "avoid" thinking about the troubling emotions and how they conflict with the self-image I want to be me!

This isn't about the scale. The scale is just a symptom that appears when enough behavior drives it. This is about life. It's about behavior. It's about facing feelings, resolving feelings, and moving on, rather than displacing the feelings with food / exercise acting out.

Conversation in brain: "You overload me at work? I have to work late? So I won't get my workout in, and I might as well just eat." That is sick thinking.

Today, just for today... I choose to eat healthy, to plan for the good, to make sure I get those vital breaks with walking. Today I choose to speak my feelings, rather than eat them, if I can do so in a balanced, rational and kind way. And if I don't trust myself to speak that way, I will "take a break"; I will remember that "junk food" isn't going to make things better.

Every day is day 1. emoticon And life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 10/7/2011 11:11PM

    Well thought out and right on point! Good job!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 10/7/2011 7:54PM

    "Food, my drug of choice, has always been a friend, comforter, companion": yup, that's me too. If I'm miserable, what could make me feel better than a whack of potato chips? Maybe some fatty salty dip with those fatty salty chips?? Yeah. Right. So that tomorrow I'll still be miserable AND bloated too.

But: something I have to learn and relearn over and over again. So: I really like this blog. And "liked" it too!!

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MSLZZY 10/7/2011 10:26AM

    I tend to get upset when someone else isn't pulling their weight (no pun intended) but then I find I will grab onto a project beyond my scope of capability and just do it. It might take me twice as long to do it alone as with help, but I work it out of my system. So don't tell me I can't do it because I will do it, just to prove you wrong. I think this a female thing becuase we always have to prove ourselves to the boss. Unless your boss is a female, we try to please those pesky males way too much.
Have a better day, dear friend! HUGS!

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DEBRA0818 10/7/2011 10:05AM

    Resentment is such a huge motivating factor toward self defeating behaviors and we go in a circle with it, spiraling down. I like the way you're thinking here about what is going on outside you, how you react and how you defend against that reaction. That is the whole ball game right there. Not easy to play, but I believe with enough practice, we can win.

Go Barb!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/7/2011 9:52AM

    Oh yeah -- you and I are probably twins who were separated at birth. I relate 100% with all you blogged about. "Sit down, be quiet, and be a good girl." Does that sound familiar? Doesn't quite build self-esteem or self-confidence, does it. But as long as we take it one day at a time and one choice at at time, we'll make baby steps forward.

And if you have to work late and miss your workout? Be glad you have the fortitude and will to take your walk breaks throughout the day. Something is better than nothing. You rock, Barb!

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NAVYMOM133 10/7/2011 9:18AM


"This isn't about the scale. The scale is just a symptom that appears when enough behavior drives it. This is about life. It's about behavior. It's about facing feelings, resolving feelings, and moving on, rather than displacing the feelings with food / exercise acting out."

You are so right on!! Every day is emoticon
Why not? We live in the present, strive for the best day possible, each and every day!

Thank you for this perspective!!!

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PATRISNA 10/7/2011 9:16AM

    Barb this was a great blog. I can always relate to your blogs. I think emotional eaters do hide their feelings with comfort food. I am still struggling with it.

"It's not right to always blame the other fella. But it's also not right to always blame yourself." really is so true.

You are right every day is emoticon


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HOT4FITNESS 10/7/2011 8:47AM

    Good thinking! taking it one day at a time is good too. I myself usually have no problems speaking my opinion or feelings at work. Gets me in trouble sometimes though. I tend to eat my stress. When I get overloaded or overwhelmed with things I tend to start eating and then can't stop.
But let's keep those positive vibes going, just one day at a time!

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DEBRITA01 10/7/2011 8:33AM

    "Speak my feelings, rather than eat them", there's a concept. I know exactly what you mean and can relate. Oh, how we often stuff our feelings down with food. Here's to talking it out when possible, and finding alternate ways to deal with our feelings when it isn't. It's Day 1 again...and life IS good! emoticon

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Demons, dark places, and the big cycle

Thursday, October 06, 2011

One of the major reasons I am not comfortable with compliments that surround weight loss success is "the big cycle". I've written about it before. It is the cycle of many things, I could give it a dozen names. "The myth of continuous improvement." "Burnout." "Trying to do too much." "Competing obsessions." "Project versus process mentality."

In any case, when I'm doing well, I'm doing well... and people say nice things, and I feel good, but I also feel scared. Because there is this little dark demon at the back of my brain that says, "You are going to let them down!" emoticon See him? There he is! And he's been talking to me big-time for the past month or so.

It starts with little slips. And small bumps up in the scale. It escalates into rebellious feelings and worse behavior. It culminates when something else shiny or scary takes my attention and he starts saying, "you don't care. You aren't worth it. You need a pick me up now! Come, dance with the chips and cheese and sugar and fat!"

I bring my tools to bear on it for a while, but eventually, it turns into a full-scale backwards slide. Right now I feel myself slip-sliding away. Only a part of me is fighting the fight. I could go into detail of the distractions and other things my brain wants to work on *instead of taking care of my body*... but I'm sure every reader could match it with a list of their own!

For now, I'm just saying... what usually happens when I get to this point in "the big cycle" is that I disappear for a while... sometimes a loooong while. I come back only when I get past the dark places and back to a place of hope. Because nobody wants to read their way through the "I don't give a ___!" phase. It's *not* an inspiring place to be.

On the other hand, it might help me to keep writing. If a morning pep talk gets me through even a good part of the day remembering I need to (and deserve to, and want to) take care of me... it's worth writing!

So... I had two bad days over the weekend. Then I had two days in which I behaved well. And last night, I had a panic-overloaded-rebellious episode again. I can only live one day at a time. This will be a true test of majority rules. I'm reminding myself of last year's holiday season: I told myself I knew I would have days with more celebratory eating, but I would try to have them limited, and more days of "normal" eating in between. I need to get into that mind set again: put "normal" as the goal. One... day... at a time!

emoticon Every day is day one.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LINDAJOYWK 10/8/2011 6:43AM

    Guess what? You're human! We are always so much harder on ourselves than on others!

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ANDI571 10/6/2011 10:45PM

    I don't think we would be here if we all didn't go through what you are going through. I was going through clothes today. I could open a shop of all sizes. I thought, I could get rid of the bigger sizes, but am tired of always having to buy clothes all over again. I could get rid of the smaller sizes, but what if I do finally get down to that size again. I get scared too. I know this is a life time struggle, but am sick of doing it. I am tired of thinking about it. But I know I have to think about it and keep moving forward.

Only you know if you can ease up on the strictness you have done for so long. You know what you need to do, and what not to do and it will always be with you.

Stay with us. We are all in this together and we will persevere together.

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WATERMELLEN 10/6/2011 8:58PM

    Very inspiring blog, actually -- because we've all been in this spot and will be in this spot again. So: to have someone write about it so honestly (instead of just disappearing) is helpful to say the least.

This is such a struggle: I've gotta decide EVERY DAY that I want to be thin. More than I wanna eat whatever it is that's calling my name!

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_LINDA 10/6/2011 8:06PM

    Friends stick with friends through good times and bad. We want to be there to celebrate and also lift up as needed. You wouldn't be human without any failings. We are inspired as much as by failure as by success, when we see you CAN recover from a downfall and get right back at it. Its not the end of the world and certainly not the end of your lifestyle to have a bad weekend. Never EVER beat yourself up for not being perfect, nobody is.
So vent away!
emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 10/6/2011 7:52PM

    You have done so well and need to keep that great attitude going to get over these rough spots. You need a kitty break- so go play with the kitties.

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MOBYCARP 10/6/2011 7:08PM

    We all have cycles. Yours might be bigger than mine; but I notice my own more than I see yours. That's the nature of being human, I think.

I've fallen off the fitness wagon multiple times since I took up weight lifting at the tender age of 49. Guess what? Each time I climb back on that wagon, it's a little easier. Even with cycles, you can make progress.

Sometimes, you need to back off trying to be better than before, and settle for being good enough for today. That's okay. The nature of cycles is that you will have up cycle some time in the future.

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DEBRITA01 10/6/2011 6:13PM

    emoticon"every day is day one" is my mantra. Some days are pretty good and some days are just plain ugly. But, each morning when I awake, I recommit to myself and continue on the best that I can.

Everything in life is a cycle. You are at a challenging point of yours, but you can do it just as you have in the past. Blog if that whatever you need to do to help you through this rough patch. No one expects you to be positive and motivating all the time. If we can help in any way, we would love've been there for so many. Yes, you are an example that it can be done...and it's good to know you are human, you have challenges, and you continue to move forward to overcome them. Don't put any unnecessary pressure on yourself and keep showing yourself some loving kindness.

Some days you've just gotta fake it til you make it, right? Keep your chin up and keep sparking on! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 10/6/2011 11:15AM

    All any of us can do is one day at a time. You have made amazing strides, and I know you will get back on track. Don't do it for us.....don't worry that you might let us down. Do it for YOU. Because even during the dark times when you might not feel like ARE worth it!

Blog away, my friend. We're here to follow along with you on your journey, just as we lean on you when we need to. That means we will be here to celebrate your many successes, and we will be here to lift you up during the darker days.

As you are fond of saying: Life's good....Spark on!

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BESTSUSIEYET 10/6/2011 10:46AM

    You are going to get through this phase again, and I pray it is short! You are loved, and we'll cheer you on through this! Don't go away ... One choice at a time --

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/6/2011 10:37AM

    First things first: you are an inspiration and you ARE doing well. You have impacted my life and motivation in more ways than you can possibly know.

Secondly, I (and probably 99%) of all other sparkers out there have been through the exact same cycles you have (many times). We're all in this together, Barb. It's great that you write such motivational blogs for us all to benefit from. But who's there to motivate you when you're in one of the not-so-nice areas of the cycle? Hopefully we are.

I say go ahead and write the blogs. I've written more than my share of whining and complaining blogs. Poor, poor, pitiful me blogs. I've also done a lot of confessional blogs. Very few motivating blogs. To me, the keyboard therapy is key. I start a blog and by the time I've typed it, proofed it, re-read it a few times (my perfectionism does not allow me to post anything not perfect LOL!), it's been ingrained in my head. If it's a whining blog, usually I feel better by the time I post it. If it's a confessional blog, I'm usually "over" whatever it is I was confessing. I know I do so much better when I blog, but lately I've fallen out of that habit. I may begin again -- though I'm kind of in the same place you are right now.

My vote would be for you to continue to blog. Give those of us who follow you faithfully an opportunity to be there for you. You've got yourself together. You know what you need to do to feel good both physically and mentally. The problem is, you're human. You fall. You can't expect yourself to be perfect all the time. Or even most of the time. If you're like me, accepting the fact that you are imperfect is the real problem. Something we both need to work on.

I'm writing a book here, so I better close. But one more thought before I do: as a JC client, when was the last time you listened to your Touchstones DVD? Maybe it's time to pull that out again . . . .

Have a great day. Chin up and all that jazz. Just one day at a time. And when necessary, one hour (or minute) at a time.

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DEBRA0818 10/6/2011 10:03AM

    Remember that old adage: "No matter how far down the road you are, you're always the same distance from the ditch"? Well, no matter how many times you fall in the ditch, you're still the same distance from the road ... one choice away.

Plus, and just by the way, you don't have to be "inspiring" to be here -- every place you could possibly be, there are a host of other people in the same place eager to hear a common voice.

That doesn't mean you have to keep writing, just that you can if you want to from wherever you are.


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CONCHA77 10/6/2011 8:52AM

    We are here for you, Barb! And don't quit blogging. I look forward to reading them, the good and not so good ones. I think they help you and they help us. See you in the a.m.

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SUNNY332 10/6/2011 8:40AM

    Every day is Day 1, Barbara, so keep on keeping on one day at a time. We all have those demons & dark places. Living life as it presents itself will keep you in the moment. Living live in the moment helps us to enjoy the journey.

Hugs, Sunny

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MSLZZY 10/6/2011 8:13AM

    Continue to do battle with the demons. They only win when you give up. And your attitude tells me that is not one of your options. HUGS!

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HOT4FITNESS 10/6/2011 8:11AM

    Getting through those "storms"can be difficult. But you are doing the right thing. As it passes assess the damage, make amends, and move on, one day at a time. And keep writing!!!

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