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Wet feet with a view of pyramids

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I now have three good days in the bank, in terms of nutrition and the line in the sand. I can think more positively and rationally. Ever notice that? When you're on a food rampage you don't think clearly about food, activity or your LIFE?

One question I find useful to ask myself once I climb out on the banks and put a few good days together is "What was I trying to avoid thinking about? What feelings were being stuffed away?" Everyone's answer to that will be different, depending on their individual place in life at the time. That's why it's never the same ten pounds (by the way, it's down to about six, now... the Thanksgiving water weight has gone away).

After an episode is a good time to assess what I've been avoiding... I've been avoiding thinking about the health issues of loved ones, because it makes me uncomfortable. My son, who will soon be leaving for foreign shores brought it face-front forward in a frank discussion last weekend... what would happen if, God forbid, someone died while he was away. Talk about uncomfortable thoughts! That's when I came face to face with where my feet were planted. Despite facts in front of me, I just don't want to think about the immortals in my life going away.

The truth of the matter is: I have no control over this! So, back to sanity, and to the serenity prayer. This is one of the things I cannot change. My own behavior is something I CAN change, and for that, the prayer asks for courage. This time of reflection is part of the wisdom requested... to know the difference.

Have a courageous day, my friends. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 12/1/2011 7:54AM

    Barb, I so relate to this blog. I have been a little sad that Joshua won't be home this year.

Know that we will be here for you when your Son leaves.

Hang in there and keep your focus on the "things you can change".

Hugs, Sunny

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_LINDA 11/30/2011 10:41AM

    I honestly don't know how mothers and fathers of children in the military going into a dangerous zone keep their sanity from the worrying. You do well to keep on going. Well done on losing the turkey meal, that was quick! You are back on track with a vengeance!!
May this serenity prayer give you comfort, strength and may your intelligence guide your stomach rather than emotions..

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ANDI571 11/30/2011 9:39AM

    I don't know why we think food will keep us from thinking about the uncofortable things. I guess in a way it does, then we focus on, why did I let myself eat that "again". It seems to be an unending roller coaster. But we can stop that roller coaster and hop off, and that is just what you have done. Good job taking your control back.

Keep the blogs coming, I feel I could have written this one.

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HOT4FITNESS 11/30/2011 9:06AM

    Prayer and thoughts your way and for your son. How much time and energy to we use trying to figure out the what ifs. Let's stay in control and change what we can and have the strength to accept what we can not.

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LILRED75 11/30/2011 8:50AM

  Very insightful, but there are some things you just cannot control.

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DEBRITA01 11/30/2011 8:43AM

    The Serenity Prayer is a positive way to start each day... emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 11/30/2011 8:23AM

    That was real 'Food for Thought'... emoticon

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MSLZZY 11/30/2011 8:20AM

    Those discussions are difficult but necessary. So glad you seemed to pinpoint what has been nagging at you. Here's to a better week!

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MICKEYMAX 11/30/2011 8:16AM

    Well said! Have a super day!

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FITFABJENN 11/30/2011 8:14AM

    Yes, reflection is a valuable tool. And we need to effect change over things we can control. Kudos for getting your food beast under control once again.

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Reality checks

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Reality checks are an important element of maintenance. The problem with being a compulsive eater is that when the compulsion is upon one, the ability to lie to oneself becomes amazing. To get your head clear, you have to put together a few days of abstinence...

So now, with two days of "normal" under my belt, maybe I can begin thinking about what's been going so "not normal" the past couple of months. Because more often than it has over the past two years, the disease has taken control, and I have gone wild with the food.

One CAN make it through the holiday season without having this happen. But the vast majority of Americans don't. And this year, I have not. In fact, I find that since October 1st, I had added ten pounds back! OUCH!

Some years in the past, this holiday gain has led to rebellion to the level of starting a 50 pound gain in a year! But it's never *just* about the holiday.

I am fond of saying it's never the same ten pounds. It isn't. It's always about life, in one form or another. Sometimes it's about over-loading myself or getting overly ambitious with how much I think I can do. Like the FedEx man in the old commercial. "I can do that. I can do that. How'm I gonna do that!?"

Overbooking oneself, however well intentioned, can lead to feeling uncared for. And the temptation to soothe that away with the easy solution - in my case, comfort food in large quantities - becomes a problem.

Other issues will wait for other blogs, for today I'm stepping back from the overbooking. I shall draw that line in the sand... stress-busting break walking at work, at a minimum. Weight training twice a week... but NO PRESSURE is key. Because beating up on oneself because one set the bar unrealistically high does not work.

Life's good... reality and all. Spark on!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 12/1/2011 7:46AM

    Great blog, Barb. Spark on!

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WATERMELLEN 11/29/2011 8:29PM

    Great great blog: thanks for your candour and your courage, just what I too needed to read today.

I am determined not to let my 2 pound increase be the tipping point into that avalanche . . . determined. Have gained and lost the same 10 pounds way too many times in the past.

And: food is such a comfort when stressed. A familiar comfort. But: it's so uncomfortable to put on weight!! Physically, psychically, every way.

So I'm reading my Beck cards yet again!

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MOBYCARP 11/29/2011 6:06PM

    emoticon You can do this. Just follow your own advice - treat yourself gently, take one day at a time, make time for you. Because you're worth it!

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MIZCATHI 11/29/2011 4:05PM

    Thanks for writing this blog today, I could have written it but I was too down on myself. I have gained 10 lbs stressing about the Holidays and I didn't take a long look until today. Now I must reverse it, but it's not going to happen in a panic or beating myself up. I'm with you on this one.

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WILMASOTO 11/29/2011 11:54AM

    Barb I just loved this blog! I can truly relate to it! I suffer from overbooking in my life and have just gotten a wakeup call!! THANKS SO MUCH! I will be thinking before I open my mouth!! emoticon Wishing you the best! You are a great inspiration!! emoticon

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_LINDA 11/29/2011 11:04AM

    Oh the slide that turns into an avalanche, oh so easy to do.. I was very disciplined about my one choclate square a night, and then life started happening and stress and pressure caused that one piece to turn into a whole bar, so I simply had to stop buying them to stem the flood. Being in pain can lead to mega comfort food binging. You get so on edge you just want to crunch something. People still expect you to perform as always because they see how energetic and slim you are, don't realize the down days can cripple you up as bad as an old lady shuffling around in her walker. The 'invisible' illness as all people with RA are aware of.
I hope you can find ways to get your stress under control, not just because of the binging, but because its bad for your overall health -like ulcers was the one thing I came close to getting..
Be well, stay well, you can do it!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/29/2011 9:49AM

    You said it all. In your past life, this "not normal" would have easily turned into a multi-week (month?) habit where you could gain 50# in a year. Now that you've made maitenance and know how good it feels, you're able to turn around these "not normal" incidents much faster. Since I've been making the effort, I'm beginning to see that those pounds gained during the binging come off a bit faster. Probably because I'm getting back on track sooner. So you gained 10# -- you know that that is unacceptable to you and now you're well on your way to getting back to normal. Here's to Day 3 of normal eating for you!

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SLENDERELLA61 11/29/2011 9:42AM

    Thanks for an honest and gut-wrenching blog. I know only too well how a slip can build, and despite my current success, I know I must be diligent. Your reminder is timely and helpful. I am a compulsive eater and I keep it in check one day, one meal, one minute at a time. There are days it isn't too hard and minutes that it is impossible.

Best wishes for your own recovery. I know you can do it. I think there is a lesson to learn in each slip, so that you come up with a plan and are stronger the next time around. Very wise not to beat yourself up and don't try to lose it in a week or even in a month. Eat enough to fuel yourself. Live zestfully -- as I know you do. Choose your food thoughtfully. You'll soon be living at your happy weight again.

I must say again THANKS. Your message is the very one I needed today. -Marsha

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PENNYAN45 11/29/2011 8:24AM

    Drawing a line in the sand is a great idea!

Let me take my head out of the sand, and draw my own line as well.

And walking is a great way to get momentum going again in the right direction.

emoticon emoticon

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FITFABJENN 11/29/2011 8:21AM

    Yes, take care of yourself first. So important...

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MSLZZY 11/29/2011 7:56AM

    Always a very good point to take note-preserve your good health but just saying no. Now where can I find some sand?

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While my brother seems to relish running in all weather...

Monday, November 28, 2011

I don't. I'm a genuine weather wimp! My little treadmill in my fit-cave is just fine with me for times when it's drippy or cold. But I have lucked out this year, in that the weather has been pretty decent.

That leads not only to being able to take walks outside, rather than cooped up indoors, it also makes for safer driving to the gym, even for indoor workouts. As we face the coming of Winter, I have to mentally prepare myself for the adaptations to my fitness plan that it normally brings: days when the strength training consists of scoop, lift, toss, repeat... days when the balance training consists of careful stepping (or if I'm lucky strapping on skates, "push to the side, glide")... days when the cardio is moving fast to get in out of the cold.

Here's to Winter training plans, and dancing around the holiday food temptations!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 11/28/2011 9:55PM

    Don't like thinking about the snow, but it is inevitable, unless we move down South. emoticon

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MOBYCARP 11/28/2011 7:49PM

    I don't know that I relish running in *all* weather, because I haven't tried it in all weather yet. Wind and rain in the air when the temperature is below 40° F worries me. Freezing rain or sleet probably wouldn't be much fun. But I think I'll be okay with cold, as long as there isn't rain in the air and there's decent footing.

I'm actually more concerned about snow removal taking so much time that I don't get to run than about snow making me unable to run. But I'll just have to see how the winter goes, and adapt to whatever the weather does.

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WATERMELLEN 11/28/2011 7:48PM

    Cross country skiing: I'll be flying!!

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KARIDIAN1 11/28/2011 7:25PM

    So far Minnesota this coming winter has been pretty nice. Only one snow fall to speak of I the Twin Cities. Usually we have hibernated, but this winter we hope to walk, snowshoe and be more active.

Hope I don' t wimp out.

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MSLZZY 11/28/2011 1:34PM

    I can relate, even to the dancing LOL!

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_LINDA 11/28/2011 11:54AM

    My Mom and step dad go out and walk twice a day regardless of the weather, and right now I am worried sick they will fall on the very icy streets and sidewalks :( They are 75 and 80 years old and have artificial hips.. I will walk to my Curves regardless of the weather. Only thing stopping me is my seemingly endless surgery recovery periods grrr! Living in a cold climate, moving feels a whole lot better than sitting around that is for sure..

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CEHALLA 11/28/2011 10:47AM

    I'm lucky to live in Northern California. The bad weather we're having today is some damp and fog, nothing too dangerous. When it snowed one day last year, it was a novelty. I took pictures before it melted the same day.

I still am thinking of buying exercise equipment for home. Any recommendations?

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BESTSUSIEYET 11/28/2011 10:26AM

    Good plans!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/28/2011 9:12AM

    It's always good to have a back-up plan in case of poor weather conditions. I just love having my elliptical. But there is something special about being able to be outdoors in the fresh air. Take advantage as much as you can!

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KALIGIRL 11/28/2011 8:21AM

    emoticon Winter Plans!
Although it will be 50 today emoticon

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The kitty-toy shopping mall...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

You and I know it by another name: it's called a Christmas tree. But my kitties think of it as a toy shopping mall. It is under construction in my living room. After they knocked off the first three ornaments, I have made some decisions about which precious ones are NOT going on the tree this year.

If it's wood, acrylic, or metal, it's probably OK. Worst they can do is bring down the tree on their heads. But those pretty little crystal angels? Not likely!

The goofy snowman cookie jar that started its life in my household as a white elephant gag gift is out on display, having grown into a family tradition. The nativity set as well.

Have a wonderful Sunday, all!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 11/28/2011 9:37AM

    emoticonI LOVE the Snowman Cookie Jar. I think at my house he would be out on display all year.
emoticonWe stopped having a Christmas Tree after we got cats. Even if they didn't break anything, they did 'undecorate' the tree on a daily basis. Plus the youngest kitten climbed the tree, stepped over onto the recessed lighting shelf near our living room ceiling and could not figure out how to get back down. DH had to get a ladder and go up there after the silly thing because he kept sitting at the edge howling and crying, LOL!!

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KARIDIAN1 11/27/2011 9:30PM

    You are brave. After one tree 35 years ago and antique ornaments destroyed by both our cat and dog that was the last tree we ever had.

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WATERMELLEN 11/27/2011 7:02PM

    My Christmas decorations will go up as usual 1 week before Christmas at the earliest and come down New Year's Day . . . not unusual for a Canadian, but judging from what I' reading here on SP, the "up for Thanksgiving" pattern seems to be pretty typical of the American approach! And certainly there are Canadians who are more holiday oriented than I am, so it's also just a bit more of my general lack of domesticity probably.

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KNITLEIGH 11/27/2011 4:50PM

    I remember the first Christmas after I was married. The cat climbed the tree in the middle of the night and tipped it over. We had some company so my husband and I were sleeping on a mattress on the living room floor! What fun! Your snowman is so adorable!

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MNTWINSGAL 11/27/2011 2:54PM

    I'm decorating today too....a little behind schedule, as I like to have it completed by Thanksgiving weekend, and I'm far from that point. But I so love the holidays and don't want to rush through it. We do a white elephant exchange too...I'm busy looking through my treasures to see if there's anything I'm done with!

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MSLZZY 11/27/2011 11:58AM

    Love that snowman jar! What would life be without kitties undecorating the tree?

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_LINDA 11/27/2011 11:45AM

    Too cute!! Getting in the spirit of Christmas! We don't bother with a tree usually. I imagine Mom's cat would be very interested if we did put one up. Wouldn't be able to use icicles on it that is for sure.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/27/2011 11:43AM

    Our cat, Lloyd, is having a ball with the tree, too. I always place the ones I won't mind losing at the bottom for him to play with. Luckily that seems to work, as they never break. Thankfully, he doesn't clime up into the tree like our other (fat) cat did.

Love the snowman -- so ugly he's cute!

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It's got to be the best workout of the year...

Friday, November 25, 2011

You know the one. The one you couldn't wait to get to! The one AFTER the big holiday... or AFTER a vacation.

Truth to tell, I skipped several workouts earlier in the week, getting things wrapped up and ready for the holiday. So this morning, after dropping off the recyclables at the center... the gym is "right next door"... I went and found my fellow gym-rats doing the same thing.

I had no clue what kind of workout I was going to do: swim, bike, jog/walk? Nope, the card with the trainer's "programme" called me... and after a ten minute warm up on the elliptical, I pumped iron, pulled cables, and stretched elastic bands to her specifications. I sweated and grinned, and felt quite pleased with myself. And regained some confidence that I have NOT given up on myself, just because I took a few days of "reverses."

Yes, the scale is above what I'd like it to be in maintenance. Yes, the size 4 pants from last Spring are definitely NOT fitting well right now. But if I can keep on keeping on, they will again conform to my new normal.

Because I am a person who can be modest in a gym towel... that was my giggle point for today... this would not have been true 75 pounds ago. We can do this, Spark buddies. And we shall. Because we're worth it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 11/26/2011 2:08AM

    Thatīs the spirit! Loved he part of being modest in a towel...I am most certainly NOT!

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KARIDIAN1 11/26/2011 1:06AM

    Sounds like a great workout and day.

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WATERMELLEN 11/25/2011 8:26PM

    You have not given up on yourself.

And I know exactly what you mean about that "modest gym towel": so nice that they wrap all the way around!!

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COMPUCATHY 11/25/2011 7:17PM

    It's so true. The holidays and days off make us take an assessment and question whether we can do this and get back on track. We can! I've been thinking about that a lot today. I'm digesting the resume C25K...and I AM looking forward to it! I have been really sweaty for over a week and I miss it. And my spirits could use the lift, too. Can't wait! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! TGIF! Have a great weekend! Spark on! emoticon

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GOHUSKERS2 11/25/2011 6:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 11/25/2011 5:08PM

You're not the only weight lifter to ever fall off the wagon. The key isn't that you fell off; it's that you climbed back on!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 11/25/2011 1:20PM

    Way to go, Barb! I missed my elliptical yesterday because it's in my son's room and he's home and was sleeping in. So I put on my shoes and took a nice walk. My hip didn't like it, but I sure enjoyed it. How easily we forget how much we enjoy something when we don't do it for a while. I was back up on the elliptical again today and, like you, felt really good to be back "home."

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_LINDA 11/25/2011 1:16PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I envy your lively workout!! I didn't eat heavy, carefully keeping in the range of no exercise calories -but personally, I rather eat a bit more as I really miss my ground pounding, heart thumping workouts!!
Keep up that momentum!

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MSLZZY 11/25/2011 11:57AM

    emoticon emoticonYes, we are worth it! HUGS!

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