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ABC's of Maintenance - S is for service and satisfaction

Sunday, November 06, 2011

There are so many good S words I am suffering from over-stimulation and an excess of sibilence! There is my son, who is a big part of my motivation. There is the sunshine that is essential to get our vitamin D, that leads to good feelings, and overcoming seasonal affective disorder. There are sunrises and sunsets that bring beauty and meaning to each arriving day or night.

Today I choose "service" which is an element of the 12-step programs: service draws one out of self. For some of us, service has to be used very, very carefully. If your particular character lends to OVER-service, substituting sacrifice and martyrdom for a healthy self-care, it can undermine the maintenance of your own health. However, service to others can bring one out of an inward-looking self-pity, too. So, finding the right balance of service to others is vital to a successful maintenance. Only YOU can identify just what that balance is for you.

I also chose "satisfaction" becauses it is closely tied to the concept of "enough". I'm not talking smug (another S), self-satisfaction. I'm talking about the acceptance of being satisfied with whatever life, body, and circumstance I have been handed... today. Not feeling satisfied with myself, my work, my life... leads to feelings of emptiness and temptation to eat to fill that emptiness. So to nurture the sense of satisfaction that "it's OK" to have the life I have right now is to support the maintenance of healthy habits.


On to what's happening in my own little corner of the world - I had that session called a "jump start" with a personal trainer at the gym yesterday morning. I let her sell me a six-pack of training sessions, that I can use over the Winter to help me be prepared for a triathlon next year. I'll not doubt keep you up on that, too. And how close it comes to what Spark advises (I suspect very close).

One interesting aspect of this jump start was the assessment of where my fitness / body fat sits right now. This really highlights how lacking the measurements are, and the importance of looking to other means than numbers to measure. By caliper measurement (3 places), she said I was 18%. My bathroom scale (electrical pulse measure) gave 25% that morning. The little hand-held electrical impulse one she gave me to try read 30%! So when you *do* look at your body fat composition, as when you measure weight on a scale, beware of differences ... they are NOT consistent, and they claim they can be "off" by up to 10%. 18% to 30% is more than 10% different, people!

Enough of that. As with everything else... take with a grain of salt (another great S word?)

Have a wonderful Sunday, serving with satisfaction... and succeeding in meeting your personal mission in life.

Which is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARIDIAN1 11/6/2011 8:24PM

    That is quite a difference for those measurements. How do you know which is the right one. Nice subject for your blog today!

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MSLZZY 11/6/2011 7:06PM

    Service and satisfaction-very good points. But I can relate to all the other S's you mentioned. HUGS!

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WATERMELLEN 11/6/2011 6:25PM

    The courage to be satisfied: that's huge. And so essential.

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DEBRITA01 11/6/2011 5:45PM

    I think we've all had those feelings of emptiness that we've tried to fill with food and other vices. Learning to be satisfied with what we have and what we are is a great goal to strive towards.

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ANDI571 11/6/2011 3:50PM

    Another good one. Keep them coming.

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FITFABJENN 11/6/2011 12:01PM

    I look forward to reading about your upcoming triathlon. You inspire me so much.

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_LINDA 11/6/2011 11:42AM

    Of all the body fat measurements, the calipers, used by a well trained and experienced technician are the best way to measure it, but, and its a big but, I said what if you have extra loose skin from a large weight loss, and my Dr. said, yes that would affect the measurement too :( My measurement on the hand held device is 31.5% and I can't afford to lose any more weight so that is what I will be stuck with. But I am satisfied with how I look for the most part and I have never felt better, RA, OR and insomnia aside.
Its that satisfaction that allows me to hold the line against the snack cravings and binges..
Here is to being satisfied with our lives..

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ABC's of Maintenance: R is for recovery

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Not every day is a "peak performance" day. That's OK. "Continuous Improvement" is to some degree a myth. There are plateaus and peaks and dips along the way. It's the long-term trend that's important.

Every training plan that works has periods of recovery built into it. Interval training is built around periods of intense effort and periods of recovery.

Life itself has setbacks that require adjustment, i.e. recovery. If you have an injury or get ill, it takes time for your body to recover. If heaven forbid a storm damages your home, you have to recover. If you suffer a financial loss it takes time to recover. In short, recovery is a normal, natural part of life.

Taking it in stride leads to another important R, resilience, the ability to bounce back into shape.

May we all take the time to recover, recognizing its importance to our health and the balance in our lives! Life is good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIRANDELLA 11/5/2011 11:08PM

    Ahhh, bring wise perspective - even peace - to this maintenance quest of ours! Recovery reflects the natural ebb and flow inherent in the process; it's absolutely necessary, and a function of the dynamic nature of maintenance. I love that you *really* get this! You're a real success story in the making! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/5/2011 9:10PM

    Recovery, resilience, remembrance . . .they're connected.

No idea what happened to your son but it's wonderful to think of the two of you remembering his recovery and celebrating human resilience with a run!!

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MOBYCARP 11/5/2011 8:06PM

    Hmm. By that theory, today is a day of recovery, before an attempt at peak performance tomorrow. That's a *planned* recovery period. The unplanned need for recovery is harder to deal with.

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_LINDA 11/5/2011 4:04PM

    Recovery is my main problem. Can never see my way into resting. Idle time is wasted time I could get something done in. Every minute of every day is accounted for. Something always needs to be done. Can't even get a good sleep. The only rest I get is my surgical recoveries, and boy it doesn't take long before I am pushing my Dr.'s for clearance to get back exercising. Exercising is my drug of choice. Someday I may learn recovery is the elixir the fuels the exercise..
Enjoy your rest days!!

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MSLZZY 11/5/2011 3:46PM

    You said it so well! Thanks for putting it all down in such honest words. HUGS!

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COMPUCATHY 11/5/2011 10:36AM

    So true! It really is how it all falls together in the long run. That is what I am seeing as I journey along. I am striving to put things into place that are sustainable...that I can do for a longer period of time...that I won't burn out on. Beautiful day! The sun is shining in my little corner of the world! Hope it is in yours as well! Enjoy! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 11/5/2011 10:02AM

    Another good blog! emoticon

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DEBRA0818 11/5/2011 9:49AM

    Recovery is the key element in a successful plan I think. I enjoy exercise so much, sometimes I have to force myself to take a day off, but I know the day off is just as important as the hard exercise that precedes it.

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KATHRYNLP 11/5/2011 9:12AM

    Great Blog!! Make sure you Recompense yourself for what you have accomplished so far. emoticon emoticon

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ABC's of Maintenance: Q is for quiet

Friday, November 04, 2011

Since I didn't use my M for meditation nor my P for prayer, I'm using my Q for quiet, because to be successful in maintaining a whole and healthy lifestyle, there is a requirement for the inward-looking, upward-looking, listening element. This is what helps one identify the deepest desires of the heart.

Because only the deepest desires of the heart, regularly examined, can bring the level of acceptance of who we are and that it's OK. It's OK to reach for goals. It's OK not to be perfect. It's OK to be *more* than we ever thought we could be... I may have been a "geeky brain" in school, but it's OK to be the best athletic me I can be. And it's OK to be *less* than I might at one time have thought I was. It's OK, in short, to be human. Who'd have thought that was a key element to maintenance? But for me, it is!

The past couple of years have brought surprises to me: they have been mostly "good" surprises, but some not so much. They are all part of the journey. All part of who I am becoming, and who I am revealing myself to have been all along.

The quiet, without resorting to numbing through either excessive food OR excessive exercise... adds balance and acceptance and awareness to this wonderful LIFE!

Which, as I keep reminding myself and others, is GOOD! Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 11/4/2011 10:45PM

    Great point as always. Maybe if I could quell the inner turmoil and not feel as if every waking moment of the day has to be productive doing something and not take any time for inner thought and quests perhaps life wouldn't seem so frantic and perhaps I could actually get some sleep or at least get things done in an orderly fashion and not in a frantic rush.
Here is to a calming acceptence of who we are..

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KARIDIAN1 11/4/2011 9:26PM

    I love the Quiet! Great Blog.

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MSLZZY 11/4/2011 7:27PM

    The quiet-awesome! Love the thoughts you put down and the need to look inward and upward myself! HUGS!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/4/2011 9:33AM

    I am just so in awe of your self-love and self-acceptance. I think that slowly, and in very little pieces, I'm starting to find some of that for myself too. Spending quiet time alone in my thoughts (and prayers) is helping, so yes, quiet time is essential for good health and healing. You rock, Barb!

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BUGGYS 11/4/2011 9:27AM

    Having my grand kids all day long requires me to have some quiet time. I usually find the quiet when I am doing my exercise at 5 in the morning. There is something that I find calming at that time of day and I can sit and refelct and plan my day!

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DEBRITA01 11/4/2011 8:27AM

    Sometimes we forget to stop and take the time to be quiet and still. Nurturing our spirit is just as important as eating right and exercise, Thanks for the reminder to take a few moments each day to soothe our souls. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 11/4/2011 8:17AM

    Quiet: I crave this. And require it.

No background noise please (radio, TV etc.) Excess food AND excess exercise are both, as you say, distractions.

Gotta be still to be human. Thanks for reminding me.

Be still and know that I am God? Who, me? Well, not so much! But still, gotta be still.

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DEBRA0818 11/4/2011 8:05AM

    Quieting myself down has been as much of a challenge (or perhaps more) than getting control of the food and maybe they're not so unrelated. I frequently remind myself to slow down and I snatch "quiet moments" all day. It does the trick a LOT better than eating ever did.

Spark on!


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ABC's of Maintenance: P is for patience

Thursday, November 03, 2011

I was tempted to say P is for "pool" in honor of my recent gift to myself of a gym membership to get access to one, but one doesn't really *need* a pool to successfully maintain. However, one *does* need patience!

Neither attitudes nor physical attributes change overnight. I read somewhere, and have quoted here before that it takes a year to mentally adjust to each 25 pound change in weight. So, I've been "down" 75 pounds for a year and three months... figure I have a year and nine months staying at this point before this theory says I'll have successfully adjusted to being where I am now.

Patience is required when our all so human natures show... in dealing with other people, whose attitudes we cannot control... in life in general.

And what is maintenance but living our lives with health as a priority - another great P for maintenance, no?

Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 11/4/2011 1:09AM

    I certainly have learned this lesson well. I have had to be very patient with myself waiting to heal from surgery after surgery to get back to exercising, and now with Spark People, I have learned to be patient with what I can eat with no exercise as well as with and can no longer have any more excuses to gain weight during my many exercise layoffs.
Here is to having patience in dealing with life's punches and coming out stronger and more secure in ourselves and our ability to maintain a healthy lifestyle..

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COMPUCATHY 11/3/2011 10:46PM

    Those are all great P's. We definitely benefit from being patient. Impatience gets us nowhere...but patience brings us peace, stability, courage, hope...all good things. Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 11/3/2011 10:26PM

    Patience is needed for sure. I am enjoying your blogs.

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DEBRITA01 11/3/2011 9:32PM

    Although patient with others, I lack it with myself oftentimes. I am learning to be more patient and to take time for myself. Good things come to those who wait... emoticon

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ANDI571 11/3/2011 2:06PM

    Patience has to play a part in losing weight. We decide to lose weight, and we hop on the scale after a couple of days and expect to lose what it took years to accumulate, including bad habits.

Another good one.

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MNNICE 11/3/2011 1:42PM

    So true that patience is the key to reaching our goal and maintaining. It would be easy to give up with twists and turns along the maintenance road, but patience and persistence is what makes us successful!

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BUGGYS 11/3/2011 1:20PM

    I have patience in all aspects of my life...but little patience for ME and the goals that I have set for myself. I have to come to terms that what I want for myself will take time and that I have to treat myself with care in order to achieve those goals!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/3/2011 10:00AM

    They say patience is a virtue. Unfortunately, it's not one of mine. I do remember you stating that it takes a year to adjust to each 25# weight loss. That's probably why I've never been successful at maintaining a lower weight. This time I've committed myself to sticking with JC through the maintenance program and for life.

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CIRANDELLA 11/3/2011 9:39AM

    You're my Spark Motivational Guru extraordinaire! I feel honored that I've kept off my 70 lbs. for *almost* as long as you've banished your 75 from your bod, Barb (alliteration intended :) ! Keep 'em coming! emoticon - Susan

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CIRANDELLA 11/3/2011 9:39AM

    You're my Spark Motivational Guru extraordinaire! I feel honored that I've kept off my 70 lbs. for *almost* as long as you've banished your 75 from your bod, Barb (alliteration intended :) ! Keep 'em coming! emoticon - Susan

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FITFABJENN 11/3/2011 8:15AM

    Patience is a big one! I'm loving this blog series of yours. Keep on sparking on, friend!

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MSLZZY 11/3/2011 8:01AM

    Love those P's! HUGS!

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ABC's of Maintenance: O is for occupy!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

No, not the political movement... this is an apolitical blog. But I'm not above pulling you in with a title and a photo. These are the tents that represent the "Occupy Lincoln" movement, and I have to walk past them every day. Multiple times as I go to work, take my break walks, and head home after work. As I walk by them, the brain starts spinning.

Since I was reading a historical novel when they first arrived, the thought of a siege came to mind. "Occupation forces", an army camped out. Yesterday, I decided I'd best take some snapshots before the rumors starting to show up in the news about "evicting" them results in no longer having an opportunity to do so. Or, the November weather does the same thing, regardless of action or inaction by the powers that be.

From my Webster's - "Occupy: 2 to hold possession of by tenure; specif. a) to dwell in"

This is SO pertinent to maintenance! We are occupying our home weight range! We are occupying a fitness level. We occupy by tenure, i.e. time maintaining ourselves here.

In a siege, the occupation forces might start out in tents, but eventually they sometimes built "counter-castles", eventually taking over the place. That's the plan with maintenance: take over that home range, build on it, and stay put, now in charge and ruling the joint.

Here's to our own "occupation"... of home weight range! It might be tenuous at first. But if we keep on building, soon, we are the masters and mistresses of our domains.

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOBYCARP 11/2/2011 9:54PM

    Interesting shift of viewpoint from losing to maintaining. The weight is no longer a goal to achieve, it's a space to occupy and hold, and build a life on.

That gives rise to a whole different set of images and metaphors for maintenance than for achieving a healthy weight in the first place!

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KARIDIAN1 11/2/2011 8:31PM

    Right now i am occupying the same weight as last week. At least it didn't go up.

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WATERMELLEN 11/2/2011 8:10PM

    MAINtenance is my main full time occupation for sure: yeah! and if that's what it takes, so be it!

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DEBRA0818 11/2/2011 11:27AM

    I like the T-Shirt I saw yesterday that said: "Occupy Your Own Life" which is such good advice for all of us who are trying to awaken ourselves to self care.


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SLENDERELLA61 11/2/2011 10:13AM

    Here's to occupying my home weight range!! Excellent way to think of it. Thanks!!

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KALIGIRL 11/2/2011 8:38AM

    "take over that home range, build on it, and stay put, now in charge and ruling the joint."

Now that's what I call a perfect descriptor of the battle for health!

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CIRANDELLA 11/2/2011 8:20AM

    Maintenance as occupation! I love that, Barb :) It really is like occupying a whole new realm of a person's whole life, too... Much food for thought, and all of it without a single, pesky calorie - tanks o' thanks! You've got some serious motivational talent, I'm noticing in all these entries... emoticon - Susan

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_LINDA 11/2/2011 7:53AM

    The question is, why are they occupying this area? Just curious..
This is a great letter. To occupy -to take charge of our lives, is vital for success. To build layer on layer of security, that is, good habits until they become the bricks of a solid foundation. Here is to keeping our castles secure and leak free ;)

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SUNNY332 11/2/2011 7:52AM

    Onward and forward as you continue to maintan.


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MSLZZY 11/2/2011 7:50AM

    I'm here now! Maintaining the home front. Excellent blog!

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