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Bonus blog - pointer to the Elusive Maintainers of Weight Loss

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Today's featured Spark People article was about tips of the 5% who "keep it off". Well, that's an OLD article, and one of the leaders of the At Goal And Maintaining Team puts it out there in the link above. WE ARE HERE! Thousands of maintainers, and this is not the ONLY team out there for maintainers.

So, let us remember that here at Spark there are hundreds of examples of this "elusive" breed, trying to get the word out: being healthy is far more than losing the pounds, it's MAINly about MAINtaining a healthy lifestyle, years beyond the so-called "finish line" of goal weight range.

Give her blog a read. Like it. It's worthy of MAIN circulation! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYWBL 8/14/2012 11:59PM

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    Thanks for this blog. I didn't know there were any maintenance groups on SP. Hope I can join one soon!!! Just have a few more pounds to go. emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 8/14/2012 7:44AM

    Good for you! We gotta underline the MAINtaining message!!

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RONNIEHUEY 8/14/2012 2:58AM


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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/14/2012 1:30AM

    Thanks for raising your voice about maintenance, too.
So many on the AG&M team are willing and open and sharing. It just about kills me to see us portrayed as elusive and secretive!

While some of them listen some of the time, the main problem seems to be that the SP team are overloaded and understaffed. They don't really have the time to devote to all the different special interests represented in the community.

The point I'm trying to make (which you clearly get) is that all of this weight loss is in vain if folks can't keep it off. Maintainers aren't a special interest inside the community. We're the ones who can help everyone else stay at a healthy weight.

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KARIDIAN1 8/13/2012 10:29PM

    I read that blog too. Good points.

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CASEYTALK 8/13/2012 10:53AM

    I think of myself being in the training phase for the real goal -- maintaining a healthy weight once I get there.

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KALIGIRL 8/13/2012 8:45AM

    No wonder WE emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 8/13/2012 12:21AM

    Yes, the maintainers are worth a lot of spotlight, thatīs where we all like to be! You are an inspiration.

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ANDI571 8/12/2012 11:25PM

    Good one Barb. I guess I should count myself as one of the MAINtainers. I have been at my WW's goal for awhile now, just not at my personal goal. Even with the weight gain that I have had here lately, I am still under my WW's goal. Thanks for the reminder. emoticon

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SHARON10002 8/12/2012 9:55PM

    You are are real inspiration to me, Barb! You and CBarb are 2 great examples for me!

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_LINDA 8/12/2012 9:34PM

    Between you and WATERMELLEN, I am getting all the links to her well written blogs. Yes, she should be recognized in that 5% article as well as being a great leader of the team. Maintenance does need to come into the spotlight!! Spark needs to work at improving that 5% instead of just leaving successful weight loss achievers hanging!

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1CRAZYDOG 8/12/2012 9:01PM

    Oh yeah, I read that one too for sure. Well, you are definitely a MAINtainer. And God willing, already crossing the 1 yr. 6 mth maintaining anniversary, will continue on that path. I feel strong and I am not willing to lose that!


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GOOSIEMOON 8/12/2012 8:24PM

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I hadn't done that since the half marathon...

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Seriously, I had not had a "binge" day since last May. When I kicked into high training mode for the tri, I was laser-focused, all the way to... yesterday.

In retrospect, a couple of elements of HALT came into play yesterday. I was even aware of them at the time, and it didn't stop what happened from happening. HALT, most of you already know, is an acronym for four danger flags. "Never let yourself get too: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired."

Well, I was definitely tired, fueled by the late night (for me) baseball game on Friday, followed by getting up at the normal time on Saturday. The hungry bit came in because I've been training hard, and running at a deficit.

As I said, I could see it, like a train wreck in slow motion. I started eating a little more in the late afternoon. And I started with healthy stuff: veggies. This would not have been an issue if I stopped there.

But then I opted for a sugary "late snack" after supper, and that triggered my "I want more" reaction. I ended up going through both sweet and salty things, and exceeding the calorie range by a lot. Then... I slept really, really well.

The scale this morning shows the effects. BUT... I know from experience that ONE such episode will not unravel my program. I know that if I just get back on, re-establish my routine and my training, majority of behavior will prevail. Like an athlete that breaks training (which, face it, that's what it was, breaking the training routine)... I can recover, by simply recommitting. Not going to extremes... just getting back up on the horse and riding!

If two years of maintenance hasn't taught me this lesson, not a whole lot would. Here's to NEVER letting a slip become a complete reversal.

Because LIFE is good, and worth living. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 8/13/2012 9:11AM

    Here's to 'getting back' and going forward - emoticon for being such a great role model.

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MSLZZY 8/13/2012 8:10AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHARON10002 8/12/2012 10:17PM

    I totally agree with this philosophy, too. All we need to do is get back on track the next day. I'm not good at stopping those either. But I do get back into the mindset as soon as I can. Thanks for the reminder.

Comment edited on: 8/12/2012 10:17:42 PM

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_LINDA 8/12/2012 9:30PM

    Moby is right -you better have your fitness tracker set properly to reflect all your exercise so that you know what calorie range you should be staying in to fuel yourself properly. One bad night does not a healthy lifestyle derail. As you live alone, you make the choice about what food you bring into the house, were these sweet & salty at least healthy items mostly? Just curious. I hadn't heard of this HALT actually, but certainly are familiar with them being emotional eating triggers.. The fact you slept well shows you needed some serious fuel..I amsure you will be right back on track tomorrow!

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EBEAMS 8/12/2012 9:19PM

    I love that ... never let a slip because a reversal! I say often that one day of eating, one meal does not define who we are. Expecting perfection is like wanting the sun to stop shining ... it isn't going to happen just because we wish for it. I'm glad you forgave yourself and just moved on! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 8/12/2012 7:34PM

    When I find myself in that situation, sometimes putting the food down the garburetor (what you folks call the "disposal unit, right?") does the trick. The sheer horrible grinding noise of the thing.

It's a waste. But I'm "waisting" it anyhow!

You. Are. Human.

I am too.

And the HALT phenomenon is a very real one (for "anger", sometimes I substitute "anxiety". Just to change it up!)

As you say: no permanent damage done. A blip. Back on the program. It's the program that's permanent!!

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KARIDIAN1 8/12/2012 7:25PM

    You splurged and its done. And you got a really good sleep.

Now keep going forward!

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SUNNY332 8/12/2012 7:25PM

    S-it Happens...and no, it won't destroy your resolve, your program, or your spirit.

You are bigger than this one slip.


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LJCANNON 8/12/2012 4:18PM


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MOBYCARP 8/12/2012 4:04PM

    You don't say, but I hope you've adjusted your calorie range in honor of the training. It might not need much of an adjustment; but even eating another 100 calories per day might help you resist eventually eating another X,000 on a bad day.

Or maybe not. That's what works for me, adjusting the range to force myself to eat an appropriate minimum. But you're not me, and maybe you need some other strategy.

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MRS.DOYLE 8/12/2012 1:28PM

    Glad to hear that the occasional slip up is ok. I had one of those today. But as my birthday is not for another year, I don't intend to have another one for a long time. emoticon emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 8/12/2012 12:29PM

    We all the slips those oops The good thing is you caught it before it became totally out of control. Pat yourself on the back. Here's to healthy choices!!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 8/12/2012 11:20AM

    Yeah, stopping one of those once they start is super tough.

Most of the time I fail at stopping it. The rare times I've succeeded it's because I physically got up and left the food and went somewhere else.

I've read that calorie cycling can be helpful, though. So if you've been eating at a deficit lately, some folks recommend eating at maintenance for a couple of days now and then to reset the metabolism.

My problem is that I often go so long at a deficit than when I go off, I eat way WAY more than a maintenance level of calories. So perhaps for me the trick would be to schedule reasonable refeeds *before* I get to that point...

Some useful thoughts about that, here:

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MNTWINSGAL 8/12/2012 10:36AM

    Smart needed that slip-up, and it sounds like you thoroughly enjoyed it. But now it's over and it's back to business. Good for you!

HALT is a new acronym for me, but oh, so true! I'm going to remember that one!

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DEBRITA01 8/12/2012 10:18AM

    I hadn't heard of HALT either, but know those are my dangerous times. One binge is just're already back on track. Thanks for sharing though b/c it's important to share the highs & the reminds us all to be more vigilant. emoticon

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FITGRL124 8/12/2012 9:48AM

    I have actually not heard of HALT until you mentioned it right now. Love it!

Great job for not letting this get you down. You're right back on track today!!!


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1CRAZYDOG 8/12/2012 9:33AM

    The HALT system really is a saving grace for me too. I for sure know that sleep deficits are my archnemesis. The lack of sleep throws your ghrelin (the "hunger monster" hormone) into high gear and throws the leptin (the "feeling full" hormone), and triggers the craving for sugary, salty, fatty snacks. Vicious circle. Well, today will be a better day.

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OPTIMIST1948 8/12/2012 9:06AM

    Well said! I always say: you are what you do MOST of the time. If you mostly are pretty healthy, than a day of crap wont stick. But if you are mostly crap, then a day of healthy isnt going to make a lick of difference. That's what Spark is trying to teach us (and y'all on maintainance have learned).

Congratulations on not letting one night get you down!

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Weather moderated... second long run

Saturday, August 11, 2012

What a glorious morning it was for a run. Temperature had moderated down to the 50's... it was cool but not cold. I started out about quarter after nine, with my full camel back, snack on board because I intended to be out for about two hours.

I picked my route carefully so that there would be a variety of surfaces, some hard, some softer. I included park-scapes, past the dog run, around a lake, along bike paths, through a playground, back down a different set of bike trails through another park, then picked up a portion of our local half marathon route through a neighborhood of stately old homes and churches, before getting back to the dam that formed that original lake, up its face and through some more parks to home. Total mileage: 10.6 miles. Time, 2 hours and nine minutes, including warm up and cool down.

I jogged intervals, walked intervals, varying the times of each. I had my snack at the far end of the route, on the way back. I greeted fellow exercisers. Got a thumbs up from a serious runner who blew by me on the boulevard.

The five day forecast looks great, with lower highs AND lower lows, making it much more comfortable to exercise. It is game on. But with a caution: the importance of listening to my body and training injury free has never been greater.

For others in the same weather pattern: ENJOY! This next week is going to be simply delicious! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 8/12/2012 8:28AM


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KRISZTA11 8/12/2012 5:15AM

    Great run!
We have a similar lovely cool weather here too.

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ROCKYCPA 8/11/2012 11:31PM

    Good for you - sounds like a great run!!

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KARIDIAN1 8/11/2012 10:28PM

    This cool weather has been great. What a difference it makes for motivation.

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EBEAMS 8/11/2012 10:21PM

    Thank you for carrying me on this wonderful run this morning! I appreciate your support, your encouragement and your sense of humor! We are planning a 6 mile run tomorrow morning ... I've missed running and it's only been a few days! The bonus for us is that we plan to take our stuff with us to run some extra days this week! THAT is AWESOME!

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COMPUCATHY 8/11/2012 10:17PM

    We are having nice weather too! It really makes the time outdoors awesome! Enjoy! We are in the right place. Hope you are having a great weekend! Keep up the good work! Thanks for the encouragement! Spark on! emoticon

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ANDI571 8/11/2012 9:58PM

    I am in awe of you. I hope you don't mind, I am living the life of a runner through you emoticon

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SUNNY332 8/11/2012 8:42PM

    I opened all the windows in the sun room this morning and enjoyed the cool breeze while I biked and walked.

I feel like doing more when the weather is not so hot. Delicious weather, I would say so!

I know you enjoyed your run too.


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1CRAZYDOG 8/11/2012 8:24PM

    Good for you! I took a very early morning walk too and enjoyed the relatively crisp temps (60). You're right -- it IS delicious.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/11/2012 7:39PM

    Enjoy your weather! (Our lows are 80 and 81 with high humidity all this week, but I'll be in South Dakota anyway.) Your 10.6 mile run sounds wonderful!! Great effort! Great accomplishment. Can't wait til I can do that. Won't be long. Take care. You are my inspiration!!

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_LINDA 8/11/2012 7:08PM

    Sounds like a fabulous run!! Well done! An interesting and varied route to be sure!! So glad your weather is better and you can really enjoy yourself!!
Have a great weekend!

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Scattered brain

Friday, August 10, 2012

I've had at least three or four different "blog seeds" bouncing around in my brain this week, none of which have made it to screen bits.

There's the one about how I feel about the numbers on the scale, which this week only showed a "2" in the SECOND digit one day. A year ago, when that second digit dipped to a "1" it would set me into a panic of overeating to gain back so it would stay a "2". This year, I've let it remain, and stayed with the plan, although I'm keeping a close eye on it. I have tried to up my eating to a higher end of the range to avoid losing more, but 119 doesn't scare me quite as bad as it used to. This has been a "ponder in my heart" thing as I work the other end of the equation: stopping unwanted losses.

Then there's the one about our own conception of what someone else weighs, being based on our concepts of our own weight and what "thin" is. This one was spurred by a work mate conversation... she was expressing a little admiration, and when I mentioned having to prove my weight being sufficient to donate blood, she popped out with the thought that she figured I had to be about 100 pounds, no way I could be 120. But she's a couple inches shorter than me, and at her fittest, that's what SHE would weigh. Interesting musings followed, all in the brain, none on paper or the screen, still a little undefined "how *do* I feel about this?"

And one about non-food rewards. Going to a minor league baseball game tonight with a gal pal from the work place... and thinking about whether I will plan ball park food/beverage into the day/evening. Foods that once were opportunities / focus, aren't so much these days... the fact that it is even a mental debate is note worthy.

Oh, yes, and the one about response to failures being different these days. In particular the once upon a time wholeness of my identity being work centric, and a failure / mistake / slipup there resulting in self-punishing OT, doing work that really wasn't mine to do, locking myself into an isolated state or worse stuffing my feelings (of inadequacy) with food... and how freeing it has been to let go of all of that. How diligent I must be to avoid having it come rushing back at its earliest opportunity.

That leads to a seed about finding a "me" that isn't just the workplace identity.

In short, the brain's been bouncing around all over the place in this transition time. A pause to self-assess and examine progress is natural during transition. But for today, I'm resolved to let myself enjoy TODAY!

Every day is the first day of the rest of your life. And as I keep finding, LIFE is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 8/11/2012 3:03PM

    Years ago, I had gotten into a size 12, which at 5' 8", I was more than happy with. I was bragging to my niece which is about 5' 4", and she said, Well, maybe you can get into a size 9. For some reason that has always stuck with me. I haven't been in a size 9 since my freshman year of high school, and I wouldn't want to get that low now. But in her mind, that is where I should have been.

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KARIDIAN1 8/10/2012 11:15PM

    I still want to be a cowboy when I grow up. Good Blog.

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MOBYCARP 8/10/2012 7:28PM

    Hmm. There's a couple of seeds for my blogs in there, too. No doubt different blogs than yours will be, because the seeds will be planted in different soil.

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SLENDERELLA61 8/10/2012 7:27PM

    Thanks for sharing all your thoughts -- thought provoking, too. Some of them perhaps you will decide how you feel and will flesh out. I love your change in response to failures. Big progress there! Your current weight is awesome!!

I don't know if I'll ever get to the point where I'm worried about losing too much. One time, I think it was March 2011, I weighed under the Weight Watcher range. Well I thought, I've got to eat. I gained like 8 pounds that week and have never been that low again!! Oh, well.

Keep Sparkin'!!!

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MIZCATHI 8/10/2012 3:43PM

    It's amazing how we more "mature" gals are still having identity issues and transitional times. With the job hunt and entering another stage of re-inventing myself, I find myself in a similar place.

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1CRAZYDOG 8/10/2012 1:16PM

    Good for you for realizing that for YOU your body is satisfied with where you're at and you are allowing that! That's huge for me too. Initially when I lost weight all I heard was "You're so skinny"! Well, heck seeing as I started out well into morbidly obese, I DO look skinny (a relative term). NOW I just hear people say I look good . . . because they've gotten used to the new me. Well, most importantly so have I! Good place to be for sure.

Yup, at that place where I eat to live, not live to eat as well. It's freeing for me to focus on the EVENT/fellowship/situation vs. food.

Definitely important to focus on other aspects of your life outside the work arena. When I worked outside the hom, that was huge for me. NOW I realize how much more important it is, for example, to be a good role model for my DD. THAT matters more than anything that could have happened @ work.

GREAT blog Barb. Dare I say, FOOD for thought!

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MSLZZY 8/10/2012 10:02AM

    The workplace is one area and your personal
life is another. Define yourself but what is
really important. Transitions are shaky at
best but eventually, we do adjust. Just as
eating healthier is an adjustment, the rest
of your life will be too. HUGS!

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WATERMELLEN 8/10/2012 8:50AM

    That your identity is now more than "workplace" is a great state to be in: particularly if you are thinking about that transition to retirement eventually!

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CONCHA77 8/10/2012 8:35AM

    I think it's great that you are at a place where you care enough about yourself to even ask these questions. Good for You!

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LEANJEAN6 8/10/2012 8:28AM

    Sometimes you have to stop (or keep going)--but reflect eh?--Where have I come from?--Where am I going??--or--am I still going?--LOLOL--- Oh Barb, it must be Friday!!!--We are still Sparking so that is good!--LOL-Lynda emoticon

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KALIGIRL 8/10/2012 8:02AM

    Interesting focus (yes - focus not bouncing)...
Sounds like you're reaching a new stage of identity and comfort in knowing who you are. Isn't it wonderful when you can trust yourself and go with the flow?
Namaste emoticon

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ELRIDDICK 8/10/2012 8:00AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Pep talk for transition

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Just finished a big goal/dream? Has the rush of reaching it started to fade, just a bit?

Do you have a new goal? Is it looking daunting? Does a part of your emoticon mind start telling you that you "don't really want to work that hard"?

WELCOME to "finish line syndrome"! This has been a repeating issue for me, not just with the most recent bucket list check off of my first triathlon. It happens just about every time I achieve something: promotion at work, end of school year, reaching goal weight!

There is this little, "can I relax now?" thing that goes on. The "am I done?", the finish line syndrom! The trick is in finding something to mark the transition, allow a little relaxation but JUST enough... and finding further, the next goal that excites enough to restart the cycle of training.

With that long-term goal of the half marathon in November, and a trip to go with it, I think I've found it. With the intermediate events between now and then, I think I have enough to scare me into continuing to train. emoticon

So, pep talk to myself. Commit to today's plan, which includes a gym workout. Keep self-talk positive, make sure I don't skip thinking non-food reward thoughts, and following through with them.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 8/12/2012 10:08PM

    I love your term "Finish Line Syndrome"! November's not that far off, and you'll stay focused. I'll bet you're detailing everything right now in preparation, and will keep fine-tuning your plan. You have accomplished an amazing amount this year! You deserve to relax a little, once in awhile. I agree with MTNWINSGAL - Don't Worry, Be Happy!

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SUNNY332 8/9/2012 5:31PM

    I set some new goals today and made a commitment to achieve those goals.

It has been difficult this past month after loosing Dad but I am back on track today and feel great. Just doing what I should be doing gave me motivation itself.

Thanks for setting such a good example.

Hugs, Sunny

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LEANJEAN6 8/9/2012 8:41AM

    non-food rewards--great thought! Knowing you Barb, you will over-train in your transition--LOL---- You are my ""wings beneath my sail""--Wait a sec--That's a song eh?--LOL--Lynda emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 8/8/2012 4:32PM

    Harder for me to find big goals since both Hubby and I have done and accomplished so much. We aim for simpler goals now more on the order of wanting to get something, how to go about getting it, and them using the item in our activities, which general revolve around shooting. Mostly goals are making our reloading area more efficient, moving up to the next classification in the NRA, practising and keeping our skill levels up.

I can definitely relate to the feeling of almost a letdown once a big goal has been achieved- like "what's next".

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_LINDA 8/8/2012 1:45PM

    This is actually a very foreign concept to me. I have never been much of a goal setter. When I decided to lose weight, it was more of a this is ridiculous being like this, time to do something about it. I never had a set weight goal in mind, I just basically let my body decide where it wanted to be when I am eating right and exercising regularly I always knew I felt better when I exercised regularly, so all I had to do was to back it up with better eating habits (cutting out the excessive snacking).
Having had the chance of a career or a life taken away early by this disease rendering me unable to work sort of made me the drifter I am today. If I find something I like, I will stick with it, but don't really go out of my way to set goals or time lines for things.
I can see where when someone is used to achieving something and getting that adrenaline rush finish, that it becomes harder and harder to top the last thrill. I dare say you may need to borrow a page from my book and relax a little, those high standards. How much will your body take before it rebels? I hope you never get that far because I would love to still hear you are in races at 100 years of age :)
You have really come so far in such a seemingly short period of time -you are simply amazing to have accomplished that in your middle years!!
May you experience many more happy runs!

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SLENDERELLA61 8/8/2012 1:13PM

    Very good observation. The phenomenon of letdown after achieving a goal is something I've experienced. After my 10K I tried to be happy to achieve it, but it was a struggle. I think you are right on to celebrate and relax just a bit and then remotivate with a new goal. So glad you are going for this same goal I'm going for! Hope your gym workout went well and that your self talk has been very encouraging and helpful! Take care, Marsha

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MSLZZY 8/8/2012 10:35AM

    Hurray for pep talks and a new goal in mind. HUGS!

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EBEAMS 8/8/2012 10:16AM

    I understand that perfectly ... You can do it! You have more energy those almost anyone I know! emoticon Oh ... and reach up there and give yourself a big pat on the back from me!

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1CRAZYDOG 8/8/2012 10:09AM

    Definitely have felt that post accomplishment "let down" till I found the next goal. I agree with you that you have to have a goal to work towards.

Great blog. Great message.

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MNTWINSGAL 8/8/2012 10:06AM

    You DO deserve that little bit of relaxation and reflection for a job well done before jumping back in with both feet, ready to wrangle the next challenge. The trick is not letting the moment of relaxation undo all the good you've done yourself. You are a master of this discipline, so in the words of Bobby McFerrin and Billy Bass, Don't Worry, Be Happy!

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DEBRA0818 8/8/2012 8:58AM

    I like to think of food plans and exercise the way I think of any other regular self-care maintenance -- no matter how many times I brush my teeth and floss, I have to do it again the next day (or suffer the consequences). Self-care is permanent, but so are the results!


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NELLJONES 8/8/2012 8:54AM

    I had to redefine "relaxation". It used to mean going back to the things I used to do (or not do). Now it just means something I have carved out as "special". Like 4 oz of lobster tail, or a long walk around a great big mall. If we had Christmas every day, it wouldn't be special.

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KALIGIRL 8/8/2012 8:25AM

    Here's to 'living' todays plan emoticon emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 8/8/2012 8:22AM

    Its a familar feeling. And why I signed up for the 2nd tri (and have to sit on myself for signing up for 4th). I'm a goal oriented person and if I dont have something to work for, how do I know I'm achieving it? Thanks for saying that I'm not that wierd.

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WATERMELLEN 8/8/2012 8:01AM

    A very familiar phenomenon, thank you! "Can't I stop now?"

Well actually no!! This is permanent!

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KNEWMETODAY 8/8/2012 7:46AM

    Good for you! Today's plan is really the only one that matters--the only one we can do anything about. Being aware of the emoticon mind certainly helps our focus.

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