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For Lynda - by special request

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

You asked for it... me to blog about it... the before picture. This is from Christmas 2005, I think. One of my low points, ashamed of having let it pile back on, nearly all the way. The people who love you? Love you anyway.



This shot is actually in my photo gallery, because it's good to remember where you came from, and many of us don't keep a whole lot of "before" pictures around. First, because many of us were quite camera shy at our heaviest. And no wonder. I wanted to remain oblivious to the weight. I wanted to stay in denial that I, having dropped 80 pounds in 1989 - 1991 and become a runner... had let it slip away under the emotions of life. I had "given up". The body size was the result.

I don't have time right now to take a matching shot, "me reading on a stair step" with that same niece and nephew, but needless to say, we have all changed, quite a bit. She's a young lady, in high school. He's a young man in middle school. And I? I am struggling to maintain the healthy habits that will KEEP ME in the land of the fit.

Yes, I admit it. I still struggle to keep up the habits. And I still slip up. But for those of you in the spot where I was then? "Giving up" doesn't have to be forever. Today can be YOUR emoticon. For that matter, it is mine. Every day.

Defeat is temporary. Giving up makes it permanent. Never give up.

Countdown? Five days to my *second* half marathon... the first was one year ago today, completed in 2 hours, 47 minutes, 48 seconds, chip time. This year, I'm carrying an extra few pounds that came back over the winter, and I may be a bit growly about that, but I'm not going to toss in the towel on the effort. And I'm going to cover that distance!

Whatever your challenges today... just take it one breath at a time. A better decision can be made at any time. There is no magic time but NOW.

Life is good. Allow yourself to live it. Spark on. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUST_TRI_IT 5/5/2012 10:08PM

    Inspiring as always :)

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SUNNY332 5/3/2012 6:13PM

    Wow - I know I have seen the before photo but it still amazes me how far you have come.

Woohoo - you are such an inspiration to us all.

Sunny

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ALOHAEV1 5/3/2012 5:54PM

    I realized had not read this, man am I glad I came back to it!!!

You may have those extras on you, but can't help but wonder if it isn't muscle so I would put that in back of you and ignore it - grab that finish line with gusto!

Would not have guessed that was you, you are brave, this will inspire others that they too can do it.

SPark on yourself, thanks for keeping that flame burning for so many of us.



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_LINDA 5/2/2012 2:01AM

    Awesome attitude -the winner's attitude -its the long term that counts, not the short term blips in the road. I am going through a few oops myself. But as long as I remain true to my program and healthy eating -these blips will not become an avalanche. I have no before photos as I was particularly clever because I was always the one taking the pictures :)
Think of those extra pounds as being a handicap like poor Phar Lap kept being given -but he showed them all, didn't he?? I just lOVED that story of that horse with such courage and determination!

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MSLZZY 5/1/2012 11:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 5/1/2012 10:20PM

    Great blog-as always!

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WATERMELLEN 5/1/2012 10:03PM

    Super blog. It really underlines that maintenance is a decision we make every day, every minute actually.

And -- even when there are temporary defeates -- we never give up.

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EBEAMS 5/1/2012 10:01PM

    I'm so excited for you!!! It is so incredible that our bodies can take whatever type of abuse or ignoring we chose to give them and they just keep on ticking! Lots of us live with "If Only" regrets but truly we could not be who we are supposed to be if we didn't pass through these trials!

I'll be thinking of you on Saturday as I'm slaving over my computer screens and thinking of mine coming up ... I'm SO EXCITED FOR YOU! Go Barb!

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COMETER 5/1/2012 9:23PM

    Wow. I knew that you'd come far--I so admire your honesty and persistence and positive attitude. Thanks for inspiring the rest of us!

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SHARON10002 5/1/2012 5:36PM

    emoticonblog, Barb! Wow, hard to believe looking at you now that this picture is the same person! Thanks for all of your guidance, support, and inspiration.

I know you'll do great this weekend - because that's who you are! It's not easy to stay disciplined. I too have lost and regained so many times. . . I've plateaued lately and it is driveling me NUTS!

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1CRAZYDOG 5/1/2012 11:54AM

    POWERFUL! Defeat is temporary and giving up definitely does make it permanent!

Maintenance really is a process, just like losing the weight. It is daily, step-by-step, day-by-day, sometimes a minute-by-minute proposition, but NEVER room for giving up.

You have come so far, Barb. Astonighing changes. And that's only the physical side we see in a picture. The mental changes . . . they're sometimes even more significant!!

HUGS for all your inspiration.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 5/1/2012 9:27AM

    "Giving up doesn't have to be forever." Ah yes, that was my mindset. Like you, I've lost and re-gained huge amounts of weight. Mutlitple times. Each time something would set me off kilter and I'd give up and figure "what's the use." Well you know what? We're all worthy human beings who deserve (and are expected by God) to treat ourselves with respect. And that includes using food for fuel (and nothing else).

GREAT blog, Barb! You are an inspiration to more people than you probably realize. Good luck with your marathon!

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LJCANNON 5/1/2012 8:35AM

    emoticonThank You!! We all need to be reminded that it won't EVER be "Easy", but it will be Worth It!! Even if we do have to do it "One Breath At A Time" sometimes!!

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ANDI571 5/1/2012 8:22AM

    I'm glad you posted this today. I got on the scale this morning, and it wasn't pretty. I knew I was slipping, but didn't realize how much. I too have been struggling lately to keep those good eating habits going. Just tired of the same ole, same ole.

We won't let it happen to us again though. Today is the day we get right back on that bus. emoticon

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Just for today... for the rest of my life...

Monday, April 30, 2012

The two title phrases seem contradictory. If I am going to do something "just for today"... it seems temporary. If I am doing something "for the rest of my life" it seems like for-ever!

But I can only live "the rest of my life" one day at a time. And the choices of what I do "just for today" add up to that "rest of my life". The choices I make today are building how I feel about me. And how I feel about me can affect the choices I make today.

Dear Lord, may my choices today be ones that fuel good health, and prepare me for the challenges ahead. Just for today... for the rest of my life!

LIFE is good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBAELLEN 5/1/2012 11:19PM

    Your blogs are truly inspirational, and you are amazing! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts and be so supportive.

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SALSIFY 4/30/2012 5:33PM

    Just for today... for the rest of my life. That's great - I'll try & remember that. Thanks!

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MSLZZY 4/30/2012 12:14PM

    Very powerfule message and one to take to heart.
emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 4/30/2012 10:26AM

    One day-at-a-time, one step-at-a-time, and sometimes even one second-at-a-time if it's necessary! Forever definitely seems overwhelming.

HUGS!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/30/2012 9:39AM

    Yes, I like that way of thinking. Looking too far into the future is too daunting for me. But just for today, I can make better choices to take care of me. Have a great day, Barb!

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DEBRITA01 4/30/2012 9:22AM

    All we have is today...and a hope, God-willing, for a new tomorrow. emoticon

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REJ7777 4/30/2012 8:53AM

    That made me think of an article I read. The author wrote that the only time we have to worship God is right now. I had to think about it. And of course, it's true. Wherever we are, whatever we're doing. And in the end, it adds up to a life of worship, one moment at a time.

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KRISZTA11 4/30/2012 8:49AM

    Very true!
Thanks for sharing.
emoticon

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EBEAMS 4/30/2012 8:44AM

    I love it! Yay! You can do that!

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ANDI571 4/30/2012 8:40AM

    Agreed! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 4/30/2012 8:32AM

    I know you can do it too!!--------You are my inspiration--I'm going back took at yer ""before"" pics-Lynda

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SFREY217 4/30/2012 8:29AM

    Well said ! Thank you for the inspiration.

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WATERMELLEN 4/30/2012 8:03AM

    We live only in the present: the future hurtles through the present and plunges into the past.

And I suppose that's why every one of those choices in the present moment (the only opportunity we have to make choices) matters so much.

Did you say "forever"??? Is this a life sentence? Arrrrrghhh!!!

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AZMOMXTWO 4/30/2012 7:47AM

  awesome thank you very much for the reminder emoticon

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Welcome Strength training back into the mix

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I apologize for not remembering whose blog I drew my inspiration from... but SOME Sparker posted a blog about a doctor's advice to her husband who had been having trouble with the five pound winter gain.

Seems her hubby had changed jobs and in the shuffle of priorities, what got dropped from his normal self-care was strength training. He still did plenty of cardio, but the pounds would not drop!

With that thought in mind, and observing how stubborn my *own* five pounds of "winter gain" have been, I walked back through when the strength training dropped from MY program. Duh! When I had that illness back in January and I had to prioritize my time. I opted to prioritize building walking miles for the half, and in the process, strength training kinda slacked off.

Today is emoticon, as I taper miles to next weekend's half marathon... I hopped back on the strength training band wagon. Yes, I have had to drop back some of the weights emoticon, and since I did this workout at home, I had to substitute some exercises for others emoticon, and skip the two that absolutely require gym machines. Modify and do *something*, because ten minutes is better than nothing, in this arena.

Hope you all have a Sparking great Sunday! Take care of yourselves... you are worth it! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 4/29/2012 11:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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EBEAMS 4/29/2012 10:46PM

    Ohhhhh ... you are getting ready to taper! HOW EXCITING! Woohoo! I'm looking forward to that phase! Yes, strength training can be all about body weight without needing to have anything extra ... even though the extras can be wonderful! I need to start back into some strength training too ... but I'm thinking I'll wait til I'm done with the 1/2. Congrats for you getting right on it!

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MOBYCARP 4/29/2012 7:21PM

    I remember that same blog, and reflecting that perhaps doing more with the kettlebells was what kept the weight from piling up when I wasn't running. I guess I need to keep up some of that stuff, and of course work on pullups regularly too.

Balance is tricky. If I do 5 TGU/windmill combos on each side, for only one set, I can keep doing them. If I tried to do 2 sets of 10, I might burn out and drop them.

Here's hoping you can find the balance of how much strength training is *sustainable* and that this is enough for you to be as healthy as you want to be!

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KRISZTA11 4/29/2012 12:42PM

    Adding strength training back is a great idea!
emoticon
Somehow it seems less important than cardio, but that isn't true...
Just like you, I always drop ST first if I don't have enough time.

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FITFABJENN 4/29/2012 11:58AM

    Thanks for the reminder. I need to get back on the strength training band wagon too.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/29/2012 11:27AM

    Happy strength training!

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KALIGIRL 4/29/2012 11:09AM

    Here's to rounding out your routine!

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FITGRL124 4/29/2012 10:39AM

    Good luck!!! I am going to start incorporating more strength training too!

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BESTSUSIEYET 4/29/2012 10:04AM

    Right on! I sure noticed the difference when I couldn't do any upper body workouts all winter! Am back with lighter weights, and I, too, hope to get rid of 3 lbs. Let's Do It!

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I feel a little like a spy

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Out of my comfort zone. In a foreign land.

Or to use common parlance, at Trader Joe's purchasing organic produce. Yes, I am a late adopter. I'm going to give this a shot. I heard their prices were reasonable and I was in the neighborhood, as I had stopped in the same shopping center to get some high-tech socks. The kind with no toe seams... kind of foreign country for me as well.

I'm a common person, not an intellectual, and I feel a bit like a faker when I shop in a health food store. I'm not a total geek jock, either, and feel the same looking at the "diabetic" and "sports" socks.

What's with this discomfort? I think it is another flavor of figuring out who and what I am... and that I'm worth it? So, silly or not... I now have organic tomatoes and apples in my 'fridge and two pair of pricey socks to run in. A special treat for next weekend's half marathon, methinks.

emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBEAMS 4/29/2012 10:55PM

    You know what the funny thing is? Most of the people around you in both places felt just about the same! I love it when I go into the running store where I get my shoes and socks ... I KNOW everyone thinks "she can't be a runner" but hey, it's not about them, it's about me! You are inspiring, uplifting and incredible ... You belong wherever you chose to place yourself in this Life! emoticon

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CONCHA77 4/29/2012 8:20AM

    I say good for you! You are worth it.
I am going to have to go and check out those socks. Never thought about it.
Happy Sunday.


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MSLZZY 4/29/2012 8:20AM

    Me thinks you are right. Out of your comfort zone
but adapting well. HUGS!

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KALIGIRL 4/29/2012 6:46AM

    Interesting the labels we put on ourselves and the boxes we make ourselves live in...
Glad you emoticon out of your old persona.

I finished 'Born to Run' (we'll see if that ever firs my profile) and found chia seeds to add to my smoothies - looking forward to the extra energy!
emoticon

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_LINDA 4/28/2012 10:00PM

    Well done for stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something new. For one, those socks are an EXCELLENT idea -your feet are going to THANK you for that consideration!! Ditto for your body -its going to love those chemical free fruits!
You are not a common person -just a person trying their best to make their life as healthy as possible and in this day and age of excess, thats uncommonly good!
Keep up the great work!

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KARIDIAN1 4/28/2012 9:25PM

    We carry organic produce at work along with regular produce. I buy some, but it depends on the price and what it is.

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ALOHAEV1 4/28/2012 8:36PM

    Your feet will love you with those new fangled socks. Got some special bike sox for the kids for Christmas and they want more. Sometimes you just have to treat yourself and YES it is OK to treat yourself, you certainly deserve it (and you've earned it)

You'll find Trader Joes has a lot of great stuff, not just produce. Ours isn't close enough to make it worth a regular visit but always manage to find something new to try.



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BARBAELLEN 4/28/2012 6:26PM

    It may be new to you, but you DO eat healthy food, and you ARE a jock. You're buying things that fit your lifestyle now. So go for it! Anyhow, I've never figured out why, but the BIGGEST fakers in health food stores and jock stores seem to be the people working there. Don't feel uncomfortable -- without common people, those sales clerks don't get their paychecks. :)

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SHARON10002 4/28/2012 4:21PM

    emoticon emoticonTwo thumbs up for you, Barb!
I'm sure you'll be gals you bought those fancy ,high tech sport socks next weekend when you're running your marathon! They'll probably do wonders for cushioning and for preventing blisters.
I do buy organic produce if it's not too much more expensive than the regular stuff. I've also used the spray veggie wash. I think that helps.

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MOBYCARP 4/28/2012 4:16PM

    I don't know about organic produce; I've never been able to get past the suspicion that the difference between "produce" and "organic produce" is 90-99% marketing.

But the exercise socks? Worth. Every. Penny. It took me a long time to admit it and adopt them, and even then I buy the cheaper stuff at Walmart when possible; but they are so much better for running that my cotton socks are being donated to charity. (Barb knows this already, so for the lurkers - it's a really high hurdle for this cheapskate to get rid of clothes that fit before they wear out.)

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ANDI571 4/28/2012 4:15PM

    I sometimes feel life is going past me faster than I can keep up. Who knew socks and food could be so foreign. emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/28/2012 4:15:18 PM

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46SHADOW 4/28/2012 3:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonway to go trying something new !

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 4/28/2012 3:21PM

    I think that venturing into new territory is always a bit frightening and uncomfortable. Good for you for stepping outside your comfort zone and trying something different. Perhaps you'll love the organic foods and then you'll be happy you went. If not, well then at least you know.

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1CRAZYDOG 4/28/2012 3:19PM

    Good heavens . . . you're not being a faker! You're buying healthy foods and socks that are comfortable! Good for you!

Honestly, I don't buy a lot of organic becuase it can be pretty pricey, but I DO go for organic apples.

Hope you have a wonderful Saturday.

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Happy Arbor Day, all!

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's cloudy and WINDY out there today! I know, because part of my last long walk before next weekend's half marathon was atop Holmes Lake Dam... it almost blew my little frame over the edge. I was holding onto my hat (literally), and leaning toward the wind, ducking down to a squat walk at one point to try to present even less of a profile to the strong prairie wind. Let me say, today would have been the perfect day for Febold Feboldson's Prairie Schooner to raise sail.

Anyway, the idea was to take a liesurely stroll over to my sister's house (about 4.5 miles away) to see the family heirloom iris while it is blooming. They are out early this year, she said the 1952 Age of Innocence had started opening already.

It was a slow walk, with book in hand... the iris are indeed gorgeous, and of course, walking all that way, I got to see more of the flora than her yard, and more varieties than just iris.

Life's good... Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 4/28/2012 9:23AM

    Happy Arbor Day to you Too!!!---Sounds like a great walk--good for the soul----Huigs to yui--Lynda emoticon

Comment edited on: 4/28/2012 9:24:58 AM

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OVERWORKEDJANET 4/28/2012 8:15AM

    Wear weight on you ankles next time! emoticon

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_LINDA 4/28/2012 12:24AM

    Okay, how can you possibly read in a windstorm? Oh, I get it, its an electronic one so you don't have to worry about the pages being ripped out of your hands ;P I like my paper books, but would never take one on a walk, I enjoy looking at what is going on around me and dodging the sidewalk cyclists comes in handy as well as the blind texters who aren't looking at where they are going.. So I too, have been getting a workout, at least in the direction I am pushing into the wind. But of course, its gusting in all directions, so my tiny frame can get buffeted quite good -someone suggested holding onto weights -I can see it now -hitching up a backpack with all the weight I lost and lugging that on my walks as a reminder of how much weight I lost -78 lbs, probably would need help lifting it lol.
Have a fabulous weekend -hope the wind dies down for you -still howling good and strong here, another night with windows closed so I am not inhaling dust at least..

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KARIDIAN1 4/27/2012 9:14PM

    Nice walk on a blustery day. The Iris sound wonderful

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1CRAZYDOG 4/27/2012 8:37PM

    Happy Arbor Day to you too. Sounds like you had a good workout!

HUGS!

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WATERMELLEN 4/27/2012 6:24PM

    Love the smell of iris: nothing else smells the same! And of course, the different types all smell subtly different as well . . . white, yellow, all the mauves and blues and pinks and . . . can hardly wait till I have some in bloom here!

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MSLZZY 4/27/2012 3:23PM

    Hope this wind dies down and lets you walk in
peace next weekend. Enjoy the wonderful flowers
and have a great weekend! HUGS!

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BARBAELLEN 4/27/2012 2:15PM

    Sounds like you got quite a workout on your leisurely stroll. I'd say you've done enough for the day unless, of course, you're a Nebraskan. Aren't y'all also supposed to plant a tree today? (Unless looking at irises counts.)


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