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Surviving the "shoulda seen it coming"...

Thursday, December 15, 2011

I tend to wear rose colored glasses. Especially when thinking about how much I can accomplish in a day, week or month! And of course in thinking that my programming code will work great in test! I call that part "programmer optimism". You try your own suite of test cases on it, but then it enters the real test phase where the business users try different sets of scenarios on it. And some of them are very creative about how they set up their test cases. (MobyCarp is rolling on the floor at this point, his e-mail tag line in action.)

In any case this is a "shoulda seen it coming" scenario. My code entered system test last Thursday. Guaranteed the next month is going to involve some justified overtime as the creativity is exercised (not to mention late breaking requirements changes). So that's the peek into the non-Spark life... that slops over into Spark. Everyone has analogous things in their non-Spark life!

So... my ambitious athletic training plan? Juxtaposed against three things: dark and cold, overtime, and holidays. Balance is vital! I can't NOT do the OT. In this case it's needed, people are depending on my getting my bit done so they can get theirs done.

I have my line in the sand, though. I *shall* continue to take my 10 to 15 minute walking breaks. I may not make it to the gym as often. But if I'm on track with the food and I get these walk breaks in, I can get through December and January... and pick up the training plan when things calm down a bit.

And maybe I back off the training performance expectations a shade. After all, the goal is to be healthy, not to injure myself. And NOT to outdo my baby brother. Because that's impossible when he sets his mind to it as a competition! emoticon

So, here's to healthy, balanced, nurtured Holidays, surving Winter and work variances... because life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 12/17/2011 7:58PM

    My work is busy at the moment too . . . and also not postponable. Plus of course the holiday demands/desires.

But: nutrition is going well, AND I'm getting to the gym at least a couple times a week . . . and zooming around the shops and the grocery store at warp speed has to count for something, right?

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CEHALLA 12/17/2011 11:04AM

    I don't have as many outside demands as you do right now, but I can relate. My biggest issue is keeping my foodchoices in line. So I admire you for keeping on track like you do, and forgiving yourself if your choices aren't perfect. Thanks!


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KALIGIRL 12/16/2011 8:46AM

    Sounds like a emoticon idea to me - funny how 'life' gets in the way of the best laid plans...
Namaste my friend

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LINDAJOYWK 12/16/2011 6:10AM

    Totally get it-you just put it into words!

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FROGGGY13 12/16/2011 2:02AM

    Oh yes! I am in a similar position - cannot not do OT, especially now until the end of February, probably. So I depend on my husband NOT working overtime and picking up my slack with regards to childcare ( daycare pickup, dinner). As far as my program, I'll do exercise in small packages when I can, but I will not let my eating habits slide - I know from experience that that spells real trouble.
Good luck with adjusting to this period of life getting in the way!

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MOBYCARP 12/15/2011 7:53PM

    Cheer up; the work load and the holidays are beginning to get to me, too. Success will be actually getting out and running at least 3 days a week, maintaining what I have. Actually improving my fitness would be wild, over the top success.

Good luck with the ingenious fools testing your software. May they be kinder to you than the clueless Policy people have been to me!

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MSLZZY 12/15/2011 5:47PM

    Backing off from some of these things this time of year is expected but you are choosing to
change how you do things, not swear off of them completely. Life happens, adjust and move on. But don't short change yourself in the end. Balance is key and I think you've got a good handle on what you need to do. Take care. I could use some more 50 degree days. Cold is just not my thing. HUGS!

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_LINDA 12/15/2011 12:28PM

    Not fun having this happen during holiday time, one more barrier to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.. Good for you keeping up the walking breaks! Hope everything works out with your code without too much major trauma!!


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KARIDIAN1 12/15/2011 9:56AM

    Keep your priorities in mind, but do what is best for you too. Good Luck!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/15/2011 9:45AM

    It's all about balance and being flexible. As a fellow rigid, all-or-nothing person, we have to embrace the thought of adjusting our schedules (heaven forbid!). Way to go on remaining true to your excercise goals. Those 10-15 minut walk breaks will keep you moving and help reduce the stress. Take care, Barb!

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DEBRA0818 12/15/2011 7:36AM

    I can only link to what you're doing there by remembering the all nighters I used to pull at the law firm getting the word processing codes right in a massive IPO circular so that it would print correctly (and by extension rich people could get richer by joining the IPO). Doesn't sound quite as noble when put that way, but I'm sure the testing, reworking, testing again and time swallowing was somewhat similar.

Also remember how hard it was to take care of myself while all that was going on. Hang in there, Barb!

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SAMI199 12/15/2011 7:10AM

    Ahhhh-the life of a programmer... emoticon (Married to one-lol) Hang in there & do your best to take care of you-it's a challenge-to put it mildly!I love your background Santa!

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Miscellaneous Wednesday

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Nutcracker is on the soundtrack this morning. I'm sipping my post-breakfast, pre-work mug of coffee (Mistletoe Mocha, in honor of the season). Taking just a few minutes to reflect on life and how good it is can be just what the Sparkler ordered!

Yesterday I dontated blood over my lunch hour. I had forgotten about the appointment until Friday coming home to my answering machine message. I checked the calendar and found it was the same time as the office "Christmas dinner" potluck. Well, that coincidence resulted in my avoiding a whole temptation meal. And it was successful, to boot. Second time in a row. emoticon

And in the evening, I had a call from my work-sponsored "health / lifestyle coach"... part of the "wellness" program. While I bragged a bit about my triathlon and half-marathon goals, I also owned up to the struggles I've been having with sugary/fatty treats... nay, with staying away from the ingredients I brought into the house to make those treats. While no amount of talking can guarantee action, some good strategies can come out of such a conversation.

This upcoming weekend my son is supposed to be coming over to monitor the baking of the Christmas cookies, and after that is done, the leftover ingredients that are NOT part of my *normal* larder supplies are going to disappear from my house. Immediately. Despite my frugal nature that tells me how wasteful that is. Better wasted than waisted, to use a tired old pun.

So this morning, positive feelings, purpose, and checking weather: high today supposed to be 50! Wow. That's incredible for this time of year. It's raining. Not snowing. Of course it will freeze overnight, but we shall deal with THAT tomorrow!

For now, life's moving forward. And that is good. Spark on, my friends! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 12/14/2011 9:29PM

    Food IS "wasted" when it's "waisted": if I don't need it, worst waste possible to carry it around . . . yeah!!



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ANDI571 12/14/2011 7:34PM

    I have been making my Christmas treats, and so far so good. I haven't let myself even eat the crumbs. After I dip my pretzels, and Ritz peanut butter crackers, I always throw almonds in the last bit of chocolate and make almond bark. I hate throwing it away. I even had Terry taste one earlier to make sure it was good.

You can do it. You are stronger than any old cookie. emoticon

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MSLZZY 12/14/2011 11:30AM

    Find a food pantry or mission house that will be glad to accept what you no longer want or need. That will keep the pantry empty for the good stuff. Hope the weather isn't too bad. We've gotten rain but so far, the temperature is mild enough to avoid ice. Just waiting for the wind to kick in this afternoon. Take care, hugs!

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DEBRA0818 12/14/2011 8:13AM

    Enjoy your good weather and congratulations on planning for success! It is hard to throw away food, but then again, why treat our bodies as the place where the leftovers should be disposed of?!

Cheers, Debra
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And choosing the right action... self-nurturing

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The inner battle is one of choices. Every day. Winning is keeping your balance. There are days when sleep is the most important choice. There are days when working out is vital. There are days when seeing friends is.

Every day has its needful fuel, and that's where the food tracking comes in. But each and every day has only 24 hours in it... here's to today, and to making choices that satisfy body, mind, and spirit!

Spark on! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRKYASHI 12/14/2011 9:47AM

    Cheers to 'Healthy' Choices! emoticon (Clink)

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MSLZZY 12/13/2011 11:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 12/13/2011 10:22PM

    Here is to making good choices -something I have been very lax with lately :( I know I need good sleep every day, but struggle every night to get a few broken precious hours -its something that would make me feel and perform so much better but just never happens :( So that means I should be doing the best I can with my other choices that I do have control over. But the snack monster has been biting hard this holiday season. I fully expect a good gain on the weigh in tomorrow. I have been underweight since my surgery, but think I will have caught up back to normal..Then I will really have to watch my eating..
Hope you can fullfill all your choices wisely this holdiay season!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/13/2011 10:06AM

    Short. Simple. And to the point. Very efficient use of words to convey a HUGE idea. Thanks for giving me that mental fuel this morning!

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DEBRITA01 12/13/2011 8:43AM

    Amen! A good blog to read as I start my day...thanks.

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46SHADOW 12/13/2011 8:08AM

    Thanks . Will do it!

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Self-knowledge is not enough... one has to act

Monday, December 12, 2011

I know me pretty well by now. I even blogged that yesterday was a day of danger. This did not stop me from procrastinating nor from indulging in overeating.

I tried to make myself go to the gym. I put the bag in the car. I put my library books in the car, too. They are due today. Then the cats wanted out, and I let them, using this as an excuse to not go "right now". Bottom line: I never got over the hump.

Disappointed with myself, about 2:30, I ate my afternoon snack, but then went wild. Probably ended up consuming about 4,000 calories on the day by the time I wound down. Yes, some of it was reaction to the gather & processing it. Some of it was being tired. Some was self-pity. Some was workout goal for the day maybe being a bar too far...

However, in the end, I have to buck myself up for:

Making it through 14 "good" days before succumbing to this and also for getting up on the treadmill for one short session, early in the day.

So here I am, on another bootstrap Monday! Re-assess the short-term plan for reality: is it do-able in the work/social context of the week? If not, adjust. Re-assess your competition meter: is it set too high? If so, adjust your attitude: remember that for you, girl, success often follows giving yourself permission to fail.

Life is not a disaster just because you screwed up ONE day. Life is still good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/12/2011 11:24AM

    Oh my gosh, Barb -- you and I are in the same train of thought today. I just blogged about the difficulties I've been having. And, as I was eating breakfast and pondering my situation it occurred to me that what the real problem is that I'm doing way too much thinking/analyzing and not enough acting/self-correcting. So that's my goal for today. Correct one small thing in my stinkin' thinkin'. Hope springs eternal.

Have a great day!

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MSLZZY 12/12/2011 10:42AM

    Oh, you are so right. I did a tad bit of mindLESS eating this weekend and I am paying the price.
The scale and I agreed not to see each other today. Those chocolate stars and chocolate covered peanuts were too much of a distraction. They are going into the pantry or into the
den so DH can eat to his heart's content. He buys them and they sit there, nagging at me.
Eat just one? Yeah, right!
Back to mindful eating today, come heck or high water. (You know, I don't like to swear!)
Catch you on the flip side tonight. Good luck and keep on SParking! HUGS!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/12/2011 10:38AM

    I had issues this weekend at a party (too many uncounted M&Ms), but I'm back on track now.

Also feeling disappointed about breaking my perfect performance as far as staying under the blue physicsdiet trend line since mid-November.

Like you, I'm trying to look at the big picture and celebrate that I made it that far and turned it around quickly.

I find having a plan helps. Of course following the plan is also important...

emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/12/2011 10:40:39 AM

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_LINDA 12/12/2011 10:24AM

    Score one for holiday season stress. But score one for you for recognizing, dealing and not derailing. You can forgive and move on. There is life after binge. You have learned that lesson. Good luck with the rest of your week -you can survive it!

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KALIGIRL 12/12/2011 8:51AM

    Life is definitely still good - sorry for your bad day - should have called you - mine was the same and my body is trying everything but screaming @ me to change.

Here's to finding the re-re-re-new and making every day emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/12/2011 8:44AM

    Aristotle tells me that virtue exists only in action . . . but I have to keep reminding myself of that. And those reminders need to be kinesthetic: in this area of my life, yeah, I'm a kinesthetic learner!!

(Taking my annual day off for Christmas shopping but it's starting with a trip to the gym to "shop" for my Christmas motivation/resilience/determination
: all always after-acquired!)

Love your blogs: your self-pep talks operate like my better voice inside my own head, so thank you!

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DRKYASHI 12/12/2011 8:43AM

    You've reflected on what MANY of us have struggled with to find balance with daily exercise and diet. Congratulations on your honesty and REALISTIC attitude -- sounds like you're ready to get back on track! emoticon

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COMETER 12/12/2011 8:12AM

    I had a similar Sunday--and am eager to get back on track, too!

I'm trying to remind myself how much better it feels to stay on track, and as you say, to ACT. So, let's act today.

Wishing you a great Monday!



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DEBRA0818 12/12/2011 8:10AM

    This sounds like a normal holiday season to me. I've been surprised by how far out of whack I can get (and so quickly) following each session of compliance. My modest goal is to end the year maintaining my last weigh in. Right now I feel like the "holidays" with all the partying and family issues etc. just overwhelm my desire to stay straight. Today, I see a patch of several days where I can comply and I plan to. We're always doing the best we can. I really believe that!

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Gatherings

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gatherings are good. They remind us that we are not alone. They can also be a hazard if we start doing the "compare and compete" game with what we hear of the life experiences of others. Last evening I went to a holiday women's party I was invited to by a woman I hadn't seen in several years. Others on the invite list were also folks I knew, and had not seen in some time.

It said "regrets only" on the RSVP. I dragged my feet, knowing I liked and missed seeing these women, but also knowing I had stopped going to the meetings at which we had become acquainted. I carefully examined my motives in considering going... was I going to "show off" that I was doing well with my weight/fitness? Was I going with a thought of "dumping" the other things in my life on their collective shoulders? Or was I going out of a genuine desire to see them and to see how their lives are going?

In the end, I went, and it was so good to reconnect. We shared the themes of our year past... the patterns, looking at the big picture. Some were changing jobs, retiring, others of us had suffered losses of loved ones, some had growing careers on-going, some were at a time where family was coming first. In short, it was a spectrum of women... what we had in common is knowing our hostess.

We decorated her tree emoticon, sharing a soup supper, with lovely music in the background, and yes, at the end of the evening, we went outdoors and howled at the full moon, giggling like the girls we were and still are. Funny, but this may end up being the closest to a Christmas gathering I do this year.

For me, the self-centered introvert, the importance of processing a gathering is as important as the gathering itself. It is in the wake of such social events that I often slip back into "nibbling". I have to re-separate myself as an individual, keep my boundaries, wish my friends well, but not climb into their lives to try to "fix" them. This post-processing is today's job, and why the craving for a "cave" day. Besides needing to get the laundry done! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CEHALLA 12/13/2011 11:39AM

    I appreciate your explaining this so well. I don't know if I'm an extrovert or an introvert. I've been one or the other at different times in my life. But I know I need people to support me, especially my family. I'll have to think about this some more, so I can get what I need to feel whole.

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CUJOMOM 12/12/2011 2:15PM

    Its easy to forget how important our friends are to us, especially when we get caught up in our daily lives. I know you've had a year this year, so I'm glad you made the decision to go!

I wish all my holiday gatherings would be as comfortable as yours... I end up fighting the snack demons and then come home with too many regrets!

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SUNNY1432 12/11/2011 8:34PM

    I hope you got all your laundry done and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed your night out.


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_LINDA 12/11/2011 5:56PM

    I am an introvert that still needs lots of 'cave' time. I don't do well with social gatherings -I am the wallflower stuffing my face in the corner to hide my social inadequacies. My job has club manager has forced me to step out a bit, but I have not developed any relationships or friendships as a result. After the function is over, I am back to being completely alone. I am one of those born to be alone, and I am quite happy with that. Glad you were able to enjoy your social function with moderation :)

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PHEBESS 12/11/2011 11:42AM

    Those of us who are introverts are about 25% of the population - my husband and I both need a lot of alone time, and we're good about giving that to each other and to ourselves. The other 75% of the people, the extroverts, don't understand cave time, the need to process gatherings, the need for alone time to rejuvenate oneself.

So - good for you for going and having fun, and good for you for taking today for that alone time.

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WATERMELLEN 12/11/2011 10:17AM

    Such a candid blog -- and so helpful for me in processing a social event yesterday also. Thank you.

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MSLZZY 12/11/2011 8:36AM

    Re-connecting with friends and sharing their lives and laughter. Great evening for you and now, back to the real world. Have a great "cave" day!

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