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ABC's of Maintenance: N is for the new normal

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Mary (CookMe123), I swiped the "new normal" from your blog! Sparks flying all over the place here.

Maintenance is all about having a new kind of normal. In this "new normal" healthy behavior dominates; what we used to do that got us to the top of our weight ranges is the exception! Not completely eliminated, because naturally slender people *do* still on occasion have celebration days and special food. But in our world of "new normal" we have to find ways of coping with that celebration that does not tip us over the edge into long periods of relapse.

For me, the "new normal" requires a good deal of vigilence, as my Spark-friend Marenamoo says "Be always vigilent". KaseyCoff gets props for reminding me of this yesterday in her blog.

New normal says "I am small. That's OK. I take care of myself. I listen to my body and give it what it needs, whether that is nourishing food, exercise, or rest. I make my health a priority, and manage the rest of my life around it." This is maintenance... the new normal. Welcome home!

Life's good. Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 11/2/2011 3:56PM

    Amen sister! emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 11/2/2011 12:41AM

    My "new normal" is really shaky, not as normal as it should maybe...

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_LINDA 11/2/2011 12:06AM

    Here is to liking the new normal and living life to the fullest in the healthiest way possible! I can't imagine going back to my TV watching, couch potato big snacking ways, how absolutely boring that is compared to getting out and exercising and meeting people and getting fresh air!!

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WATERMELLEN 11/1/2011 8:17PM

    I like the "new normal" concept: and most of the time it is not normal for me to eat two mini Coffee Crisp bars!!

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MSLZZY 11/1/2011 2:00PM

    I definitely love "the new normal". Let the past begone. SP is where I want to be and the "new normal" is a better me! Thanks for the observations. HUGS!

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BOOKWORM27S 11/1/2011 1:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 11/1/2011 10:11AM

    Normal is also a reading on a thermometer and a town in Illinois.

I 'd say your New Normal is terrific. Keep up the great work.

Hugs, Sunny

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KALIGIRL 11/1/2011 10:06AM

    Small is good - health as a priority is better.
I'd say your New Normal is emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/1/2011 9:14AM

    The thought that hit me as I neared the end of your blog is this: your new normal is actually you exercising self-love and self-acceptance. Something we'd all be wise to do. It's a large learning curve, but you "learned good"!

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CIRANDELLA 11/1/2011 8:21AM

    YEAH!!! It's so wonderful to read the words of someone who really "gets it," Barb - and you really and truly do! Maintenance hasn't meant any kind of perfection or complete transformation for me, but rather putting health in the front seat and letting it be the ultimate determining factor of my various behaviors, good 'n' bad... Just had a celebration day yesterday, in fact, and I really "blew the lid off the sucker," as the kids say :) But I'm back on track this morning and happy to embrace all the usual healthy behaviors...yep, life is good! emoticon

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ABC's of Maintenanance: M is for Monday

Monday, October 31, 2011

I had no clue until just now that "Monday" would be my "M" word. But you know, often since weekends are a "trying" time for me and my program, Monday is a very positive thing. Monday is the "OK, back to work, back to routine!" signal that the trying time is over, let's settle down and do what we know works. It's like getting a free "Day 1" each week.

I think back to my mother, and her habits of dieting Monday to Friday and then "eating normally" over the weekends. I think back to her as I prep my Jenny Craig entrees and remember how she "retired" from the kitchen after dad retired from the office. She went to a lot of frozen meals at that point, too... but they were Schwann's truck purchases.

Hmmm... might be more like "Mom" than I thought.

Anyway, here's to a great new day, new week, starting with a good Monday! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 11/2/2011 3:58PM

    Yep, Monday's are always a start over day for me too. Or maybe it is just a continuation of healthy eating.

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    Monday is always "get back into it" day for me!

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_LINDA 10/31/2011 3:56PM

    I can't imagine anyone not having trouble over the weekends. There is something to be said for routines. Weekends at Mom's are especially trying for me as there is usually very little in the way of fresh fruits and veggies -they simply don't eat them much or at all (her husband only likes potatoes and corn) The fewer of them I eat, the more my calories go up. Never fails. Routine is safe and so are Monday work days..

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KIKI0531 10/31/2011 3:27PM

    I was just thinking this weekend at home, while mindlessly throwing nonsense calories down my throat, I cannot wait until Monday. It is just much easier for me to control snacking when I am at work all day.

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MSLZZY 10/31/2011 2:19PM

    Our poor Schwan's man stops every 2 weeks and sees an order once every 6 months. They sure aren't making any money off of us. Mondays-back to work
and back to a routine. Gotta love it!

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DEBRA0818 10/31/2011 11:19AM

    Lately, I've found I've been eating less on the weekends -- I don't know why! But, Monday has always been Day One for me, the inspiration and the promise that a fresh start means all things are possible. So, I really like them too!

Happy Halloween!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/31/2011 9:30AM

    I always find it comforting and reassuring to get back to my normal routine after a weekend, vacation, or whatever. And, thanks to your blog, you have me looking at Mondays in a whole new light. Instead of the, "euu, it's Monday again," it's more like, "yes! It's Monday again!"

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PASTORMIKE7 10/31/2011 8:35AM

    What a good thought!!

Thank you for sharing!

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CIRANDELLA 10/31/2011 8:33AM

    Barb, you could take the classic "dieter's blues" out of Mondays with your great attitude!

I remember how our mom used to preface all of her advice on our post-binge bellyaching with, "Get up bright 'n' early on Monday..." My brother and I still get a chuckle out of that! emoticon

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SUNNY332 10/31/2011 8:19AM

    Move over, Monday, here comes Barb.

I like it that Mondays represent routine for you.

Take Care and have a good one.


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ABC's of Maintenance: L is for life!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

"for life" as in we're in this for the rest of ours! But also as in living life to the fullest. Kaligirl started off her recent Alphabet Blogs (she still owes us a Y and a Z) with "AWAKE! ALIVE! AWARE! and Appreciative of ALL that IS"... what better phrase to describe what I'm getting at here?

Being fit, and staying that way, requires us to be present in LIFE! "Awake, alive, aware, and appreciative of all that is" is what will keep us motivated and moving.

Yesterday I finally bit the bullet and joined a gym. It was one I belonged to maybe eight years ago... it has a pool, and it has spinning classes... the two things I am going to need to train for that triathlon as I go through the Winter months.

And I could not resist the lure of that big, at the moment empty pool. The football game was just wrapping up downtown as I slipped into the water. I had not swum laps regularly in some time, so I wanted to make sure I didn't "overdo". I promised myself 20 minutes, and then I would stop, no matter how good I felt.

This is something I have learned about cross training... if you overdo the first workout, it makes it harder to go back with enthusiasm for the second! So, I did my thing: rotating strokes, side right, side left, breast, elementary back, crawl, back crawl... three rotations, a length of the pool each, then an extra set of sides and breast/elementary back, for a total of 22 lengths. Satisfied, I spent five minutes in the jacuzzi after before showering and heading home. Ahhhh!

Observation? It didn't feel like a first workout. But this morning? My shoulders know they had one.

Second observation: this is the first time I have joined a gym when I was already in decent shape. It is a totally different experience, inside my head. You get treated differently, for one thing, based on how you conduct yourself. When I walked in at 200 plus pounds, I would hang my head, and people would not respect that at 50 something years of age I knew what I wanted.

Yesterday, head high, firm grasp on my goal (that triathlon)... I was obviously the customer and in charge. Yes, I may hire a personal trainer, but I know what I want out of it this time. And I get a playground in the bargain.

Life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 11/1/2011 8:21PM

    Yay gym membership.

Like you, I'm a LIFER!

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MEDDYPEDDY 10/31/2011 12:51AM

    Good thought, useful to me, thanks!

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ANDI571 10/30/2011 11:22PM

    You are so awesome!!!!!!!!!

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KARIDIAN1 10/30/2011 9:22PM

    What a great feeling that must have been to know what you wanted and to go ahead and do it.

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MOBYCARP 10/30/2011 8:39PM

    Hmm. I should look at my swim gear gym bag and see if I can fit a session or two into my schedule. You never know when a sister might talk me into a family triathlon.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/30/2011 12:02PM

    Good for you, Barb! I hope you enjoy your membership at the gym. And I did just the opposite yesterday. Opted to not renew my membership at Anytime Fitness and went to Sears and purchased an elliptical for at-home use. I'm where you were when you went to the gym overweight. I'm embarassed to be there in the shape I'm in. I can always aspire to getting in shape and feeling good enough to want to join in group activities at the YMCA. That will have to be one of my goals for the future. You rock, Barb -- you really inspire me to want to achieve some of the same things you are.

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_LINDA 10/30/2011 11:09AM

    I am loving to see how you are embracing life -that triathlon is an amazing goal, but an amazing woman like you will get it done, and what a start with that very impressive display of swimming!!!
Go, Barb, GO!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CIRANDELLA 10/30/2011 10:49AM

    You are just AMAZING, Barb! And of this you can be sure: We'll all be cheering you on, when that triathlon rolls around! I love your phenomenal motivation!! emoticon

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BUGGYS 10/30/2011 10:07AM

    This is what this journey is all about...LIFE! I admire how you are embracing it!


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OVERWORKEDJANET 10/30/2011 10:03AM

    You go, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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DEBRITA01 10/30/2011 9:10AM

    Enjoy your "playground" and good luck with your training! emoticon

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SUNNY332 10/30/2011 8:34AM

    L is for Living also - one day at a time.

Best wishes as you continue to Live your Spark Journey.


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MSLZZY 10/30/2011 8:28AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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46SHADOW 10/30/2011 8:19AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon love how its easier now to join sa gym and love your goal. emoticon

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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....


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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.

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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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