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ABC's of Maintenance: K is for kindness

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ever been on a diet that turned you into a real witch? Probably wasn't a healthy one. Truly nurturing food and activity should be turning your mood in positive directions. Shouldn't they?

Kindness is a lot easier to manifest when I am well-rested, well-nourished, and functionally fit. Kindness also applies to being kind to ourselves! So those self-punishing words you might say after a lapse? Let's ditch those. They aren't helping anyone!

Here's to a plan to swap out the emoticon for the emoticon... eat well, breathe well, sleep well, move well... one healthy habit at a time. When I do, I can't help feeling more kind toward myself AND others!

Life's indeed good... Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/1/2011 8:19PM

    The older I get, the more strongly I believe that kindness is the most important human quality: more important than brains, hard work, lots of other stuff actually. And of course it's impossible for me to be kind to anyone else if I'm not being kind to myself.

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ANDI571 10/29/2011 8:13PM

    I agree fully. And I also agree it is easier to be kinder to others than ourselves. How many times have I called myself things that I would not call anyone else (well almost anyone else, emoticon)

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LEANJEAN6 10/29/2011 4:43PM

    Kindness is good--I have a sign that reaDS, "'bE NICE OR LEAVE""----Lynda

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MSLZZY 10/29/2011 1:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 10/29/2011 12:50PM

    Being kind to others is often easier than being kind to ourselves...why is that? Let's show ourselves that same kindness...and ditch the witch! emoticon

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_LINDA 10/29/2011 12:33PM

    Amen! Kindness is essential for yourself and how you treat others for your mental well being which is every bit as important as the physical!
Have a wonderful weekend!

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SHELL- 10/29/2011 12:22PM

    Kindness is a truth that we often do not apply to ourselves. Love the blog! emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/29/2011 11:02AM

    Absolutely! We would never treat another person the way we sometimes treat ourselves when we slip from our programs. Today I will make an effort to be kinder to myself.

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CIRANDELLA 10/29/2011 10:57AM

    Ahhh! I love your thoughts on this cold, rainy morning, Barb...and yes, we thrive as much as others do when we treat ourselves with the same, loving gentleness we show to them :) emoticon - Susan (who's enjoying your mastery of the ABC's!)

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SUNNY332 10/29/2011 10:47AM

    I do believe that KINDNESS MATTERS.

Above all else, be kind....

Sunny

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ABC's of Maintenance: J is for judgment

Friday, October 28, 2011

Today I'm using judgment for my J word... but just so folks don't mistake, I'm using this part of the definition (from my Webster's): "the ability to come to opinions about things; power of comparing and deciding; understanding; good sense"

This is a throwback to when your mother used to say "Use your own good judgment" when you'd ask what you should do... at a party, in some school or work situation, etc.

Judgment in terms of maintenance, is something that hopefully we've learned in the process of getting to goal. We've learned what works, what doesn't, what sets us back, what moves us forward. We've learned that life doesn't stop just because we are trying to be healthier.

There are a lot of decisions about what to do and how to live our lives stacking up in the next three months, as we hit Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas seasons... not to mention darkness and cold weather (in the Northern Hemisphere) that make some of us want to hibernate!

What we choose will make a difference, will make many differences... in the results we have, and in how we feel about ourselves and others. Self-talk about our choices is as important as the choices themselves!

Yesterday I chose to bypass "most" of the treats available at our Halloween "Fun Day" at work. But I also chose to have a few selected special ones, and counted up the calorie cost, being mindful that I *would*, guaranteed, have that chemical reaction to sugar that I have. I knew I would have to fight the compulsion to go get more. And I did.

I was quite pleased with how it turned out... I expect I'll have to continue to battle the aftereffects, in terms of desire to eat more for the next few days while it works its way out of my system. But I had a holiDAY treat... and I am satisfied.

Here's to good decisions, good judgment, valid assessment of individual behavior and choices, and doing what we need to do to LIVE fully, and in balance.

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/1/2011 8:24PM

    Judgment is ubiquitous . . . so said Hannah Arendt, and I'm thinking she was right about that. We're always judging and being judged . . . like when you walked proudly into the gym, slim, knowing you were the "customer" in charge, and not the object of judgmental stares . . .

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MSLZZY 10/29/2011 7:08AM

    Good judgment and good choices! Glad you had a treat and left some for another day. HUGS!

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SHELL- 10/28/2011 9:30PM

    I don't have the will power to stop if the goodies are in our house, so I can't buy any halloween candy. I haven't been in a situation where they were out and running free, taunting me so I am proud of you for limiting the amount. emoticon

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SUNNY332 10/28/2011 5:53PM

    Good one today, Barb.

Take care. Sunny

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LJCANNON 10/28/2011 11:54AM

    Good Judgement, Positive Self Talk, and Being Ever Vigilant seem like a great plan for handling this season.
emoticonThanks!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/28/2011 10:53AM

    Ah, Halloween candy. I made a good judgement call the other day and made a few packages of pre-portioned snacks to use as my snack on my regular food days. I was so proud as I put them in the freezer. But alas, they learned to talk and started calling my name. And, using rather poor judgement, they're all gone now. Proves to me that the refined chocolate is just way too addictive to me. This morning I had a bowl of oatmeal with unsweetened cocoa and Splenda. No further desire for chocolate. Note to self: next time you want chocolate -- go for the oatmeal.

Here's to making good judgement calls not only through the holidays but beyone!

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ANDI571 10/28/2011 10:37AM

    I always told Kel to use the "common sense" that God gave her. So as with judgement, if we would use good juedgement we would celebrate so much more.

Good for you picking out the treats you thought most benefical and going with that. You are also so right, the aftereffects is usually worse than the actual treat. I still am having cravings from vacation.

Terry's birthday is Monday and he requested yellow cake with chocolate icing. That is definitely where my good judgement will have to come in to play. Cake and cookies are a bigger threat to me that the Halloween Candy.

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BUGGYS 10/28/2011 8:42AM

    Having good judgement, being mindful of what we eat is all about this journey and I appreciate the reminder,Barb! emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 10/28/2011 8:32AM

    Awesome control Barb!! That is wonderful!! This season is going to be especially tough for me as I get my hip replacement and can do no exercise, I can't even really afford to indulge in even a little treat. I will be eating at the bottom of what ever calorie range my Nutrition Tracker gives me for the setting of zero fitness, and it will be considerably less then I am enjoying now with all my fitness activities! I am hoping I will have the good judgement to avoid all the treats that will be in my Mom's house where I will be recuperating..

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CIRANDELLA 10/28/2011 8:24AM

    Yes, indeed! We need to stay alert...stay awake! And a very happy Halloween to you in advance, Barb! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 10/28/2011 8:21AM

    A good blog for me to read as I approach this weekend full of Halloween and birthday celebrations...thanks, Barb. Here's to using good judgement! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/28/2011 8:22:30 AM

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ABC's of Maintenance: I is for Identity and Image

Thursday, October 27, 2011

"There once was a girl with a strawberry curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good she was very, very good,
And when she was bad she was horrid."

This old nursery rhyme was quoted at me often as a child. As I had strawberry blonde hair, I viewed it as my personal roadmap or something. Anyway, it says a lot about the on-off all-or-nothing kind of thinking we can take on.

Is your image of yourself taken to extremes? Does what you see in the mirror change based on what you saw on the scale this morning? Do you "throw in the towel" on the whole day because you ate ONE cookie at a staff meeting? If you do, you might be indulging in some of this kind of thinking.

I was already pondering along these line when I spotted another Spark blog this morning about the "All or Nothing Attitude". LJR4HEALTH wrote essentially about the same thing I was thinking, and about ditching that attitude to be successful.

Anyway, here's to the balanced self-image and identity, accepting that we are NOT "very, very good" OR "horrid" but somewhere humanly in the middle! And moving in the direction of another I: "Improvement".



Oh, and life's good, even when I'm not particularly... Happy Halloween! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 10/30/2011 3:30AM

    Love the costume... and your words are food for thought as always...

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KARIDIAN1 10/27/2011 9:11PM

    Great blog and great costume. Have fun this Halloween. We had our Boo Blast at work this evening from 4p-7p. We were expecting 1000 kids to come in for the event.
I was off at 430pm so only saw part of it, but helped with the set up and decorating this afternoon.

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DEBRITA01 10/27/2011 6:54PM

    Ah, that all-or-nothingness...it's something that I'm working hard to change as it is a roadblock on my path to success (in all areas of life, not just weight loss). Good blog...and loved the costume. emoticon

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ANDI571 10/27/2011 4:12PM

    My mom called me a knot head. Hmm? I always thought I knew everything even as a child, lol. So if she told me the moon was white, I would argue it was a different color. Or it could have been that I was always falling down or running into something and putting a knot on my head. That could have been it too.

On the serious side though, I was so skinny when I was a child and everyone commented on it. They would say, she is so tall and skinny. I think when I beat myself up, I think of those days and how I would like to have those comments again, when in reality, I would be way to skinny now. It's hard to get those thought out of your mind.

I'm enjoying your blogs, keep them coming. emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 10/27/2011 1:36PM

    Great post. I think we all need to look in the mirror and start seeing a beautiful child of God!! Smile and say job well done.
I love the costume. Happy Halloween.

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MSLZZY 10/27/2011 10:12AM

    It's all avbout balance. Great costume! HUGS!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/27/2011 9:54AM

    Oh yeah! The all-or-nothing thinking; the good/bad thinking; the black/white thinking -- all of those attitudes prevent me from making the permanent postive changes I wish to make. Must work on that.

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SUNNY332 10/27/2011 9:01AM

    There is always room for IMPROVEMENT - something you know and came out loud and clear today in this post. I have in the past started over several times in a given day but today, I am making much healthier choices but know that at any times, it can revert back. Being aware of my goals and commitments help.

I have to remember that - All Change is not growth and all movement is not forward. Author unknown

The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible.

Arthur C. Clark


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KALIGIRL 10/27/2011 8:26AM

    Love it - improved image just in time for treats!

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CIRANDELLA 10/27/2011 8:03AM

    Reasonable...healthy...sane! Thank you...and you make an adorable witch, Barb! emoticon

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DEBRA0818 10/27/2011 7:42AM

    Or, as my beloved Ashleigh Brilliant says, "Just because I accept you as you are does not mean I abandon all hope for your improvement."

emoticon

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ABC's of Maintenance: H is for heroes

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Yesterday as I was driving to work, I was thinking of my "H" and "heroes" came to mind. We all need heroes. People we see out there doing things we respect and admire... whether it is battling the moral issues, overcoming personal obstacles, or fighting the fight to protect the defenseless. Some people with great success stories spark us to start or continue our own journeys. We look to their writings and sayings to keep us going when the going gets tough.

Spark People is a site chock full of unsung, often unknown, and un-famous HEROEs and SHE-ROEs (I word I'll attribute to one of mine, Sunny332). I could list a lot of Spark names here, but don't want to leave ANYONE out... from my first Spark friend who sent me to the site, MISSDIANE, to WALKINGANNIE (who I haven't seen around in a long time and miss), to my local very special Spark friends that I've actually met, HOT4FITNESS and KALIGIRL... and many, many, many more.

I have fitness heroes and sheroes, like JUST_TRI_IT who gives me dreams to drive for and my baby brother MOBYCARP, who makes me jealous even while he makes me proud with his six foot frame and 7:xx minute miles!

I have articulate heroes and sheroes (and here's where I'm in serious danger of leaving someone out), like DEBRA0818 who has had three different Spark names in the time I've been reading her stuff. Or CookMe123. Or Andi571. Or KaseyCoff. You may not think of yourself as heroes, but when you tackle your feelings and failings and successes and put yourself out there, you are showing both wisdom and bravery! I will run out of room if I keep down this path, so please forgive if your name is not here... if you've ever seen my name crop up as a comment on your page or a blog, you're on my list!

In my book, every one I encounter who is fighting the good fight, or struggling with him or herself to enter the fray... is a hero. They are people I respect and want to emulate.

Oh, yes, heroes are essential to any life, to make it worthwhile. I have many, many heroes, right here on Spark, as well as in real life.

Here's to your heroes and sheroes, and to mine! Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 10/27/2011 1:59AM

    Spark has introduced me to many people I admire and am honored to know. So grateful we crossed paths on this enormous web site!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY1432 10/26/2011 10:35PM

    emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 10/26/2011 7:45PM

    "Shero" is a terrific word . . . and you are a terrific shero for so many of us here! Thoroughly enjoy so many of our mutual friends, and of course your bro MOBYCARP too!! It helps to know that others are fighting the good fight and prevailing, both at SP and in the "real" world (not that we aren't real, of course).

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/26/2011 5:38PM

    You are more of a hero to me than I could ever dream about being. But thanks for the kind thoughts, Barb. Everybody does need a hero. Thank goodness SP has so many for us to draw from!

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DEBRA0818 10/26/2011 2:44PM

    I have a lot of people here at SparkPeople that I look to for inspiration, motivation and consolation and you're at the top of my list! It has been a real blessing to duck in and out of SP and always find you here (with the same name -- easier to find).

Your blog covered a topic that my DH and I have discussed at length. Growing up the way we did, neither one of us had heroes. I think we were both struggling just to keep our hair on (as the Brits say). As adults, we have both come to admire and emulate certain people, but there's probably no great substitute for the kind of feeling that comes from a child's heart when a hero is identified and followed.

Great blog!

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ANDI571 10/26/2011 12:01PM

    Oh my, I wasn't expecting that, and am so humbled. If I have helped in any way, I am so thankful.

But you too are a she-roe. Often when I think I can't lose anymore and decide to make my goal where I am at, I think of you. And your running, I just can't imagine. When I did my 5K the other day, I couldn't help but think of the time you did your last one in. I know I was walking, but I am in awe of anyone our age that can actually run. I did run the last few yards just to see if I could do it, and I did.

I agree, there are so many unsung heroes and sheroes on here. I have found many that gives me the inspiration to go on.

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DEBRITA01 10/26/2011 11:09AM

    You are so right...there are so many Heroes and She-roes here on SP who continue to inspire me everyday! emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 10/26/2011 8:26AM

    Heros/she-roes are not born but made and you are definitely one of my mine. Your hard work, your persistance and your dedication are amazing - not to mention your "6 pack" and your guns. You look amazing and I am in total awe of all that you have accomplished. You should be very proud.

Keep up the great work for the "health" of it.

Hugs, Sunny

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WENDYSPARKS 10/26/2011 7:57AM

    I have many heros in my life...thanks to SPARK!!!

Wendy emoticon

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MSLZZY 10/26/2011 7:52AM

    emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 10/26/2011 7:30AM

  thank you for reminding me about heros and she-rows

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ABC's of Maintenance: G is for gratitude

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I took yesterday afternoon off work to make up for the overnight stints over the weekend. It was a a gorgeous day, so I took a long walk around the lake in the Autumn sunshine. I ended up covering a part of the long track from Sunday's Making Strides walk... observing the trampled down grass past the golf course, and in my mind envisioning the sea of pink striding the other way on another really nice day.

I was contemplating my "G" words... generous, giving, God loving a gracious giver, not gruding... and of course giving from a sense of abundance... all of which come down to starting out with a grateful heart! What better or more timely G for the season of Thanksgiving than gratitude.

But what does gratitude have to do with maintaining healthy habits? After all, I'm here, in the promised land of maitenance, and I worked for it, right? Hang on a minute there, super-ego! Much leg-work was involved, true, but what about the gifts received along the way?

The first gift of motivation? How about a little appreciation / gratitude for that?

The friends who supported your efforts, and wrote or said encouraging words just when they were needed? Ditto.

The availability of healthy choices and the freedom to make them? You bet!

The fact that my body can still respond, despite years of ill treatment, by becoming healthier? Absolutely.

I could go on and on, but an attitude of gratitude keeps it green, makes me aware of how fragile and precious it is to be in my goal range. It preserves the knowledge that I am here through a measure of grace... some legwork, yes, but the grace and gift of the desire and the ability to do it. I think I "get" the athletes who thank God when they win a big game or catch a key pass. So much can "go wrong"... there are many dropped passes in practice before the big one is caught in the game!

So today, my G is gratitude. And as part of that, specific gratitude for SparkPeople
emoticon, for the various programs and books I've learned from, and for all the wonderful Spark Friends I've made along the way.

Life's indeed good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 10/25/2011 11:01PM

    I like that......

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KARIDIAN1 10/25/2011 8:29PM

    Vitamin G-you sure pegged it!

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DEBRA0818 10/25/2011 4:08PM

    Love the Vitamin G -- try to take a mega dose of it every day!

emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/25/2011 10:39AM

    Gratitude vs. grumbling. I think I need to do more of the former and less of the latter. It's so easy to become fixated on all the self-imposed rules and sacrifices. Yet you make an excellent point and remind me of all the things I need to be grateful for. In spite of myself.

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_LINDA 10/25/2011 9:39AM

    Kaligirl's wonderful blogs first introduced me to the concept of an attitude of gratitude and I have nothing but gratitude for Sparkpeople and all the wonderful people I have met on here!! The Spark flames burns brightly!
emoticon emoticon

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CIRANDELLA 10/25/2011 9:28AM

    Vitamin G is a wonderfully nourishing thing, isn't it? I'm with you on gratitude for having my body respond to better exercise and eating despite years of ill treatment! It's amazing that this could be, but happily, it often is! I'm grateful to have met you here on SP, Barb :) - Susan emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 10/25/2011 8:13AM

    An attitue of gratitude -- sounds so cheesy, is so essential! A lot of overeating can be eating to "fill the void" -- to make up for what wasn't given, and therefore is "justified". If I feel I've been given in abundance and choose to feel grateful for that, I'm so much less likely to overeat.

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SUNNY332 10/25/2011 8:07AM

    At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.
Albert Schweitzer

I am also very thankful for Sparkpeople and the wonderful Sparkies I have met on my journey.

Hugs, Sunny

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BUGGYS 10/25/2011 7:54AM

    I am grateful for so many things and for that I feel blessed, especially for my friends here on SP who support me in everything I do...this journey would be impossible without them! emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 10/25/2011 7:43AM

    emoticonI love Spark People, too and am grateful for the impact they've had on my journey. Keep Sparking....Life IS good! emoticon

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