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Things are looking up

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Another good night's sleep, feeling rested as I contemplate the day ahead. Last night I e-mailed the trainer and confirmed my next session with her for Saturday morning. Yes!

I might just do a "light" strength workout after work tonight, to remind my muscles they have jobs beyond the snow shovel... guess *that* episode last week has to count! emoticon emoticon

Knock wood, it's Thursday already and I've worked every day... only two more to go and I can say I've worked my second full five day week in 2012... gee, this year is flying already!

Step count is increasing again, back to the normal break walk totals, as my pace picks up. And son has invited me to jog with him Sunday, which will probably be my last opportunity to do this in 2012, and I'm counting it as a bonus, because I thought the one we did January 15th was going to be the last.

Life *is* good. We *are* worth taking care of! Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 2/10/2012 5:42PM

    We are all SO worth it! emoticon

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SUNNY332 2/10/2012 5:28PM

    Awesome news, Barb. You have really had a tough start to 2012 but now are on the mend.

Way to go continuing your walking no matter what.

I am totally impressed.


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KARIDIAN1 2/9/2012 9:36PM

    Glad you are on the mend and getting back to normal.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/9/2012 7:28PM

    Glad to hear that you're feeling better and getting closer to 100%. I have to admit that now that we're back home, I'm actually looking forward to getting back on the elliptical again.

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COMETER 2/9/2012 7:16PM

    So glad that you're doing better, and able to enjoy doing the things you like with the people you love.

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_LINDA 2/9/2012 1:09PM

    Great news!! Enjoy getting back into exercising, especially that wonderful bonus jog with your son!!

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MSLZZY 2/9/2012 10:19AM

    Things are getting back to normal. Enjoy your
jog and have a great weekend!

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KALIGIRL 2/9/2012 8:33AM

    Sounds like things are indeed looking up - glad to have you back 100%!

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Elements, quadrants, three legged stools

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Thoughts tumble around in the brain as I sit waiting for the steel cut oats to simmer to perfection. First, though, a giggle for your day:

I have never fed the cats milk. Ever. This morning, when I put the pan of milk on the stove to heat, I went about my normal lunch packing activity, only to turn around and find the cheeky Prisoner had leapt to the counter and was lapping from the pan! emoticon He was unceremoniously dumped outside to "chill" but it was all I could do to stop myself from giggling over the episode. Fresh milk. New pan... simmering continues.

Three elements of wellness are what's tumbling around in the head.

emoticon - sleep. I've been sleeping really, really well this past week. Maybe it's the Benydril at bedtime? Whatever, I've been exceeding my target 7 hours a night, getting more like 7 1/2 or 8.

emoticon - nutrition. I've had to reduce my calore intake due to the lessened activity imposed by the illnesses the past three weeks. Not by a whole lot, just a couple of hundred calories. It's been fairly easy to do... an extra bread serving from dinner, an ounce of cheese from the salad at noon... and voila, we're there.

emoticon - exercise. Obviously this has suffered the most, in terms of having to be put on the back burner. Still, I have continued my line in the sand walking whenever I am well enough to do it... meaning the worst days I didn't even get this done! One week I didn't even average my 10,000 steps... but I did manage to average over 7,000 even in the week that I was "flat" three days.

emoticon - spiritual awakening. A fourth element / quadrant really needs to be part of wellness... and we don't usually talk a whole lot about it on Spark, at least in the "official" and "expert" parts, but that is the spiritual side of life. To be fully balanced, all four have to be tended. Sometimes an illness or injury gives one the breathing space (and motivation) to tend this aspect of life, if it's been neglected. Daily meditation, prayer, or whatever one's personal practice of the spiritual side life is important to overall well-being.

In short, the goal is still very much a whole and balanced life... breathe, drink your water, exercise when you're able, nourish your body with real food, and seek spiritual wholeness. What could be more natural?

Life's good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAREN_BLUEJEANS 2/11/2012 9:27PM

    Great! Sleep & food are going well. And the mere fact that you miss exercise bodes well for you. When you're healed, you'll be fine.

Enjoy the weekend.


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    Nice! Also a bit inspiring so, thanks.

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MIZCATHI 2/9/2012 4:56AM

    The observations from your daily life encourage me to find balance and hearing how you do it inspires me to remember how important that is. You'll be feeling like new before you know it!

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_LINDA 2/8/2012 10:52PM

    It looks like you are succeeding on your goal on all fronts! Well done!
Mom's cat loves to get up on the kitchen counter, not to steal anything, but to look out. The window is above our drying rack for the clean dishes. Long haired, furry cat butt over the clean dishes doesn't appeal to me :-/.
I am very envious of your ability to sleep, hope the trend continues for you. Three weeks is a long time to be sick, hope you are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel..

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KALIGIRL 2/8/2012 9:56PM

    Here's to balance!

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MOBYCARP 2/8/2012 9:38PM

    At least my last annoying cat wasn't a jumper. Operative word is "wasn't." Apparently my daughter's other cat has taught him to jump up on counters that he wouldn't jump on when he lived with me.

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KARIDIAN1 2/8/2012 7:45PM

    Balance is a big part of life and enjoying yourself. You have stated it well here.

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PATRISNA 2/8/2012 4:00PM

    When we had cats they were usually pretty good. One of our cats stole a few slices of turkey off a platter on the counter one year. I was so shocked all I could do was point and stutter! One cat fished a gold fish out of the tank, we found it behind the book case. It had teeth marks in it.

Maggie the Siamese would push our German Shepard Odie away from his food bowl so she could eat some of his food. Of course we kept the cats food up on a small table so the dogs would not eat it, but I caught Odie many a time with his front feet up on the table eating the cat food.


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CEHALLA 2/8/2012 11:46AM

    I have been neglecting my spiritual side for a few weeks, and I can tell. I appreciate your pointing it out, I agree that it doesn't get much focus here on Spark, probably because people have such differing views of "Spirituality".
But I know it is key for me to read scriptures and pray daily, to perform acts of service to others, and to focus on my spiritual side overcoming my "natural man" side of things.

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DEBRA0818 2/8/2012 10:07AM

    Life is good! It's good to reflect on that simple fact -- we probably don't do it enough.


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MSLZZY 2/8/2012 9:56AM

    It is all about balance and I like that you included
the spiritual aspect as well. Continue to get better
and life will get back to normal. HUGS!

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CELEST 2/8/2012 9:12AM

    Cutting back on calories since you are sick is such a smart idea. If you aren't busy then I guess you need less. You are truly a smart woman!

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Meandering motivational thoughts

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

It's Tuesday! I've been "off" exercise for over a week now, except for walking (which I refuse to give up), having stopped when the hives episode began. During this time I've been evaluating time and enjoying having a little more of it to putter around the house and do things *other* than exercise that support healthy living.

Chopping up veggies and fruit, for example. Pre-packing carefully weighed out portions of nuts for snacks. Contemplating that "line in the sand" beyond which I refuse to move.

For me, the line in the sand is often that "walk 30 minutes a day"... even when that 30 minutes is 3 ten minute walks. I got through a very stressful work time doing this, a couple of years back, and continued to lose weight down to my goal.

The athletic dreams? Secondary. One of my best mental tricks that keeps me going is giving myself permission to "fail". I have given myself permission to drop back to just the two main events: the half marathon... and WALKED, as opposed to jogged... with no time goal; and the triathlon... similarly reduced expectations.

Granted, often when I give myself this permission to fail, it ends up resulting in success. As counter-intuitive as that sounds, taking the pressure off tends to make me wonder by how far I can exceed my lowered expectations! I firmly remind myself of where "enough" lies, and yet I press those limits of "enough".

Let's see where it gets me this time. Life's good... Spark on!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUE_2U 2/9/2012 3:17AM

    emoticon You are definitely sparking on!
Get all well very soon. And keep warm.

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PATRISNA 2/8/2012 4:11PM

    Hope you feel better soon. I have been making myself walk Ginger at least once a day so that works out to 20 minutes. If we go twice then I have 40 minutes in. I will be glad when my SP team starts walking in the park.

I won't be able to take Ginger because she'll try to get to other dogs. She spins in a circle trying to get way from us. The spinning thing is a trait of the Keeshond.
She is a real character. We finally decided she must be a mix of Keeshond and Australian Shepherd. She looks like a Keeshond. Both breeds are very smart and stubborn so she got a double dose of the stubborn.


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CEHALLA 2/8/2012 11:42AM

    I am intrigued by the way you have learned to trick your brain! I need to use something like that to get around my brain.
Thanks for the idea!

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FROGGGY13 2/8/2012 1:30AM

    This is a very healthy, non-obsessive attitude, and I am not in the least surprised that it works in the long run. Kudos to you! And get better soon.

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COMETER 2/7/2012 9:46PM

    I try to think about getting at least a few little things in so that I don't come to a full stop, and that liberates me from thinking it all has to be done, and done perfectly, right now.

Thanks for the reminder!

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KARIDIAN1 2/7/2012 9:45PM

    Good goals and plans of attack. I have the head cold now. Still walked today and yesterday. Really miss when I don;t get a chance to do that due to life or weather.

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MIZCATHI 2/7/2012 4:57PM

    You are getting to know yourself so well, and I am inspired by the care you proceed with in self treatment!

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_LINDA 2/7/2012 4:51PM

    Its possible your inner self doesn't like being told 'no'.
But taking the pressure off is a good way to go. As Sparks says, baby steps, but if you happen to take an adult step while doing them, that is a bonus ;)

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DEBRA0818 2/7/2012 1:38PM

    Some people work better with the pressure on; some people with the pressure off. It's good to know which one of these you are and when!

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MSLZZY 2/7/2012 12:47PM

    You are so right! Take the pressure off and
and still succeed! HUGS!

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LEANJEAN6 2/7/2012 8:21AM

    you will succeed--as you are so motivated!--- Great to read all the planning you put into it--Reading my blog helps me to carry on here and I appreciate it-Lynda

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HOT4FITNESS 2/7/2012 7:58AM

    Thanks for the little Tuesday pick up. I am slowly getting back to normal, I guess baby steps will have to get us there for now. Keep up the good work.

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SUE_2U 2/7/2012 7:36AM

    You may well have pointed out something that stymies me every time. I get stuck trying to do things perfectly then get discouraged. I hate failing and I have to admit that giving oneself permission to fail just never occurred to me. I'm so very glad that I read this. I'm going to think on it and see how I can apply this to myself. It's a pretty deep thing to think on, too! Thank you, my friend!
I like how you've drawn yourself lines in the sand, too.
Hope you are getting better fast. Take good care. emoticon

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THEIS58 2/7/2012 7:14AM

    Good to keep moving!

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Fresh new Monday!

Monday, February 06, 2012

I had a pretty decent weekend, all told. Didn't go anywhere, except the grocery store, made good food choices, kept on healing, got extra rest, shoveled snow for exercise, and walked on the treadmill to the Super Bowl on TV.

Now it's Monday morning. Lunch is packed. Breakfast cooked and savored. Coffee at the sip.

What do I need to focus on today? Is it "safe" to be on auto-pilot? Never! Be ever vigilent!

Today's focus will be managing stress at work, as there will be several people in line for my attention. They were already lining up in the e-mails and in-person cube visits on Friday, but I firmly shut all thoughts of them out for the weekend.

Now it time to prioritize and get the most important things done first... and don't forget that at the top of that priority list is taking care of my health: that means taking time to breathe, take those breaks away from the desk and walk, and nurture myself with healthy snacks and meals at appropriate intervals.

For some people this is normal and natural. For me, right now it is habitual, but it never hurts to remind myself of why it's so important to me.

Life's good, my friends! Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I've been battling stress at work also. I enjoy my routines like fixing portioned snack and lunches, my exercise routine.It gives me that control I keep feeling I'm loosing.
And in all my ranting, raving and otherwise grumpy talk...I lost 2 lbs in the past few weeks!
That cold was such a killer I think those of us who got it got slammed.
Have a great day!

Comment edited on: 2/7/2012 5:34:10 AM

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SUE_2U 2/6/2012 10:59PM

    You've got your ducks in a row, there!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Sometimes we really do not put ourselves first, when we should be. '
Good that you are taking care of yourself.

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KARIDIAN1 2/6/2012 9:11PM

    Keep smiling! Sounds like you have a game plan at least.

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WATERMELLEN 2/6/2012 7:59PM

    Love the idea of Neapolitan oatmeal -- that was always my mother's fave flavour of icecream (bought in the brick and sliced in stripes . . . ).

And: trust you were able to stave off stress at work thanks to your advance planning AND determination. Lots of pent-up demand for your attention after you'd been away itching!! THEY were itching for you to get back, I suspect!!

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_LINDA 2/6/2012 12:47PM

    So glad you know what is really important -yourself and your health. I can see it would be hard to say no to all these people clambering for your attention, but am happy to see you are prioritizing!!
Good work!!

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KNITLEIGH 2/6/2012 11:02AM

    I admire your wonderful steady attitude! Keep up the awesomeness!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIZCATHI 2/6/2012 10:21AM

    I definitely believe in prioritizing, but I am surrounded by people who believe that every item in a #1 priority!

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MSLZZY 2/6/2012 9:44AM

    Keeping yourself first is difficult as there are
so many people who want a chunk of your time
and attention. Tend to business, so to speak,
and be a little greedy when it comes to the
"me" time. Less stress and less aggravation.
Keep smiling and SParking!

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KALIGIRL 2/6/2012 8:56AM

    Here's to prioritizing and keeping yourself first!

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Snow business

Sunday, February 05, 2012

I had this cleared off yesterday, to the curbs... but the plow came through and gave me work for today! My arms and back are somewhat tired after yesterday's efforts... but I managed to blast my way through the soft-slushy ridges and go to the grocery store. So now my kitchen is full of healthy options for the week ahead!

Now the plow has been by again, and the place where I drove through before is filled in too.

It's pretty, though, you have to admit that:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIZCATHI 2/6/2012 5:46AM

    The first day of snow is gorgeous, and I even remember enjoying the satisfaction of shoveling snow (to a degree) but... what a mess it becomes, and traffic is a killer! But yes, it is pretty.

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REJ7777 2/6/2012 5:42AM

    Shoveling is hard work! But you're right about the beauty of snow. Especially when it's heavy, sticky snow that sticks to the trees. It can be breathtakingly beautiful in it's beauty and purity. I've often thought of how differently we'd see snow if we could just enjoy the beauty and not have to shovel it... which is NOT the case.

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SINISTRAL 2/5/2012 11:52PM

    Congrats on the fun shoveling! The area, it is definitely beautiful especially as I don't have to see it here. I have to say - I don't miss that! I do have a semi-equivalent job -- I am mowing the lawn year-round :D I second and third the "be careful" wishes; Walk and drive safely!

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COMETER 2/5/2012 10:58PM

    I have to say that I enjoyed my work outside this afternoon, moving snow around--and I expect to move more tomorrow after the second swipe of the plow.

And I liked the fresh air.

Crazy snow thought--those first few inches were HEAVY. Good workout.

Happy Week!

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KARIDIAN1 2/5/2012 8:25PM

    That is what we normally see this time of year in MN. Hardly any snow round this year. We are dealing with the disappointment though.

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FITFABJENN 2/5/2012 6:09PM

    So beautiful. We rarely get snow in my part of Texas, and never like that. We get hurricanes instead.

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MOBYCARP 2/5/2012 4:29PM

    Today in Bible study after church, the minister asked who wanted to live in Nebraska or Colorado? I don't think he expected to hear from someone who would like to live there, but for the job here.

Yeah, the weather there is less than ideal right now. But in a few weeks it will just be pictures and bragging rights.

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SUNNY1432 2/5/2012 4:08PM

    That's a lot of snow. I'm glad that you were able to make it to the store and I hope the re-shoveling isn't too hard. emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/5/2012 2:12PM

    It does look pretty with the sun shining, fresh and clean.
Silly snow plow could have moved it somewhere else LOL!
Take care of your back! HUGS!

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ANDI571 2/5/2012 2:00PM

    Very pretty, but you can have it. I like this year of hardly any snow. But winter isn't over yet. I am hoping for the best.

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SUE_2U 2/5/2012 1:56PM

    Snowplows sometimes do seem to just go by and bury us again! Ugh... I hope you don't have to go out much today. Stay warm! Be well.
How are you feeling? I hope you are over your nasty bug. ((((hugs)))

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_LINDA 2/5/2012 1:47PM

    WoW!! Absolutely beautiful and so clean looking!!
Those nasty plows -thought they were supposed to leave clearance for driveways..Its great you get service so quickly though. Even though I live on a bus/snow route, they didn't get to plowing our street until two weeks after the little snow we had, all they were doing was scraping up the ice melt really, but it was nice to see that gone.
Enjoy the view! Wish I had some!!

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NEWKAREN43 2/5/2012 1:33PM

    Oh, it's just gorgeous! I'm sure it's a ton of work, a huge workout too! We haven't had any snow this winter so yours looks especially inviting to me! Just be careful, not only getting around but while you are out shoveling! Blessings!

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