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The ABC's of Motivation: bond

Saturday, October 06, 2012

I decided my alphabet this year would be on motivation... since that is the puzzle, continuing motivation, through the years of maintaining healthy habits.

Today's word is bond. I'm picking this particular sense of the word, from my trusty Webster's: "4 a binding agreement; covenant 5 a duty or obligation imposed by a contract, promise, etc."

I've often said one of the most empowering things I can do in a day is to keep a small promise to myself. A fulfilling of a bond, one might call that.

I think this sense of empowerment is part of the reason I "event"... I sign up for one of these things, and then I have in my mind a binding agreement to both prepare for and participate in them. While any given bond of this sort might have "escape" clauses (illness, injury), nothing much has a high enough priority to remove the obligation. My surety bond keeps me working toward them. And when I fulfill one? emoticon

Have you made a "bond" with yourself to maintain healthy habits? Is a "general obligation" bond enough? Or, if you are struggling, perhaps a smaller, special purpose one might serve better?

In any case, bind yourself to have a GREAT today! Because life is GOOD. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 10/18/2012 3:42PM

    I have most definitely made a bond with SparkPeople and my Spark friends, and am grateful for the strength of that bond and it's rewards and friendships.

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STEADFASTNSEE 10/14/2012 6:05AM

  I bonded and finished my first walk about a week ago. I will do them again (only it has to be warmer than 47 degrees!!

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WATERMELLEN 10/8/2012 9:44AM

    Great concept: and yes, like you, I've made that bond to myself. For better, for worse, for richer and for poorer, in sickness and in health, and as long as I shall live (sound familiar??)

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_LINDA 10/7/2012 1:06AM

    Another good choice! I have a very simple bond -not to regain the weight as I have done before, in spite of what life might throw at me.

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KARIDIAN1 10/6/2012 4:49PM

    Great word choice and blog.

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DALID414 10/6/2012 2:41PM

    Funny, I read your blog while watching License to Kill, so of course I thought Bond, James Bond. But your bond was better. emoticon

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DLDMIL 10/6/2012 10:45AM

    Well said. Thank you. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 10/6/2012 10:23AM

    Very well said! B definitely is for bonding! HUGS

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LEANJEAN6 10/6/2012 9:17AM

    Bond is good----bond to a worthwhile thing---We can do this!!!! WooWoo! emoticon

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LAURIE5658 10/6/2012 9:06AM

    You know, Barb, I had not thought of what I do when I complete one running event and then register for another in these terms. You are spot on and it just feels so natural. Awesome!

Great blog and on to "C"!

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ALOHAEV1 10/6/2012 8:44AM

    Insightful approach Barb! Love it.

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SWEDE_SU 10/6/2012 8:06AM

    What agreat approach! Yes indeed, a bond is necessary if we are to perform! emoticon

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MSLZZY 10/6/2012 7:13AM

    Excellent! I bind myself to being active every day.
I can see why you chose this word. Have a great weekend.

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DNRAE1 10/6/2012 7:05AM

    Great "b" blog,, alliteration! Have a great day!

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MABELL1WFTX 10/6/2012 6:33AM

    I have always said that the most important promise you can make is the promise you make to yourself. And that is the one promise that you should not break. Keep that promise and may the bond not be broken. My bind today is to give myself more credit than I did yesterday. emoticon

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DEBRA0818 10/6/2012 6:09AM

    It is beyond description to become a person you can count on and you said it perfectly, Barb!


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NEW-CAZ 10/6/2012 6:00AM

    Well said Barb emoticon

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The ABC's of motivation: Awe

Friday, October 05, 2012

According to my little Webster's (yes, I looked it up in a *paper* dictionary), awe is "1 a mixed feeling of reverence, fear, and wonder, caused by something majestic, sublime, sacred, etc."

Awe is a difficult emotion to hold on to, but it really, really stands out in memory. Standing in the presence of wonders of nature does it for me. A sudden moment when you realize and wonder over the changes in your body can bring about that sense of awe, too... over how it's been designed and it works. Where *have* those rolls of fat gone?

There is an "awe" in "ah-hah" moments, beyond the surprise of a new insight. I hang on to that awe and use it to fuel my desires and my actions to live a fuller life, to honor the sacred, sublime and majestic by living in accord (another great A word) with my highest sense of myself.

Which includes living mindfully, in the moment. Because LIFE itself is awe-some. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON10002 10/18/2012 3:37PM

    Well said, and written, Barb! Simply emoticon!

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STEADFASTNSEE 10/14/2012 6:02AM

  Some really good A words in the comments as well. HUGS

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WATERMELLEN 10/8/2012 9:45AM

    Life really is awesome when we're healthy and doing all we can to remain that way.

And yeah: I'm still catching myself looking in the mirror and expecting my 230 pound former self and thinking . . . hmmm, pretty awesome!!

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KARIDIAN1 10/5/2012 10:14PM


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DEBRA0818 10/5/2012 10:04PM

    I think one of the reasons we're invited to look at life the way children do is because children are awestruck all the time by everything, which is probably more sensible than the way a lot of adults do it with blinkers on and skepticism blotting out any chance for seeing what a truly awesome world we live in.

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SLENDERELLA61 10/5/2012 6:56PM

    I'm going to enjoy this new structure for your blogs if today's post is any indication. I love that "awe" is part of the ah-hah experience. Yes. And using that awe as motivation is just great. New ways of looking at things! Thanks.

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    Your ability to accept anything around you thar is athletic amazes me emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/5/2012 6:42:14 PM

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    Really great blog!! emoticon

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DLDMIL 10/5/2012 5:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 10/5/2012 4:51PM

    Already loving the alphabet!

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LINDAKAY228 10/5/2012 1:28PM

    Loved it! If we could hold on to and experience the awe moments more we probably wouldn't appreciate them as much. That's what makes them so very special. However sometimes I would love to live in a state of such beauty and wonderful things I am in a continuous state of true awe, but then, again, I probably wouldn't appreciate it.

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SUNNY332 10/5/2012 12:17PM


Loved it!


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NEW-CAZ 10/5/2012 10:07AM

    emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 10/5/2012 9:31AM


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DNRAE1 10/5/2012 9:01AM

    Wonderful beginning to your ABC's! Awe, I love it! emoticon

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_LINDA 10/5/2012 8:44AM

    You score an A+ for this all seeing, appreciation of the wonder called life and nature!
Have a Fantastic Friday and a great weekend!

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DEBRITA01 10/5/2012 8:44AM

    So true...the human body and life itself is awesome! emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 10/5/2012 8:20AM

    Awe, I love this blawg!!

Comment edited on: 10/5/2012 8:21:15 AM

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LAURIE5658 10/5/2012 7:21AM

    And those "awe" moments are so giddylicious!!!!


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MSLZZY 10/5/2012 7:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 10/5/2012 7:03AM

    Life is awesome!!! I can't wait to be in "awe" tomorrow when I get to hold my grand babies for the first time!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, I love your changing backgrounds! They always show how much you are enjoying life's Awe-ha moments!!! I truly hope I get to meet up with you one day!!! You are one of my greatest inspirations!

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LEANJEAN6 10/5/2012 6:53AM

    Awe=ha moments are so good!==Life is awesome---Lynda emoticon

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Do I know my ABC's in 2012?

Thursday, October 04, 2012

I have done a series of "Alphabet blogs" in 2010, and 2011. The 2010 series didn't have a title, exactly, I was mimicking someone else doing an alphabet series. It had these words:

A - Assimilate, Adapt, Accept
B - Budget
C - Consistency, crazy, compassion, compulsions
D - Diligence
E - Experience
F - Fellowship
G - Genuine
H - Honesty
I - Inspiration
J - Just
K - "kit"
L - listen and learn
M - Mastery living
N - No!
O - Observe
P - Play
Q - Quest
R - restore
S - "should"
T - Time
U - Usable
V - Vitality
W - Wholeness
X - Xenophobia
Y - Yield
Z - Zeitgeist

The 2011 series was called the ABC's of maintenance, and included:
A - Ambition
B - Brain and Body
C - Creativity
D - Distance
E - Evidence
F - Fun
G - Gratitude
H - Heroes
I - Identity and Image
J - Judgement
K - Kindness
L - Life
M - Monday
N - New Normal
O - Occupy
P - Patience
Q - Quiet
R - Recovery
S - Service and Satisfaction
T - Tools
U - Un-doing
V - Vigilence
W - Who
X - X marks the spot
Y - Yo-yo
Z - Zing

The challenge for 2012 is to come up with freshness for each letter of the alphabet. I never know from one day to the next what I'll write, but we start with "A" tomorrow!

Life is good - Spark on! emoticon

P.S. Anybody who wants to blog along your own alphabet, feel free! It's not copyrighted or anything! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 10/5/2012 7:15AM


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DEBRA0818 10/5/2012 6:47AM

    Love it -- it's sometimes hard to think what to write about, but I know it's important (to me) to keep writing. Look forward to your 2012 alphabet!

Go, Barb!


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NEW-CAZ 10/5/2012 3:00AM

    great idea Barb! Looking forward to reading 2012's list! emoticon

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_LINDA 10/5/2012 2:13AM

    No time, I will just enjoy yours ;) As always you keep things interesting around here!

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WATERMELLEN 10/4/2012 9:21PM

    A treat coming up, thank you!

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KARIDIAN1 10/4/2012 9:14PM

    Neat idea. looking forward to what you come up with.

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1CRAZYDOG 10/4/2012 9:06PM

    Great tradition!! Looking forward to the first installment!!

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-STARRYEYED- 10/4/2012 8:56PM

    Fun idea! I think I'll try my hand at it! Look forward to reading the 2012 installment! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 10/4/2012 7:57PM

    That's quite a tradition you have started. Can't wait for 2012's words! -Marsha

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DNRAE1 10/4/2012 7:28PM

    Cool! Great idea!

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DLDMIL 10/4/2012 7:13PM


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Uma goes to play with a friend

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

One of my coworkers recently moved to town, and she was thinking of getting a bike. Brain wave, my knobby tired mountain bike (some of you helped me name her... Uma Vertigo) has been sitting in the garage feeling slightly neglected since Brenda Star Trek (the fitness hybrid bike) gets more use.

So... I offered to lend Uma to my coworker, until she makes a decision about which bike to acquire for herself. Last night after work she stopped by (walked 3 miles from her house to do so) to collect her new exercise buddy. And I got Brenda out, too, so I could show my friend the way from MY house to the bike trail back home.

Funny how good it feels to give someone else a little spark along the way... not just online, but in "meat space", too.

Spark on, my friends! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-SHOREIDO- 10/4/2012 9:04PM

    I'm anxious to see what you'll push out for 2012!! emoticon

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LJCANNON 10/4/2012 10:03AM

    emoticon Nice way to'Spread The Spark!! And, Yes, it really DOES feel good to see the Spark take hold in someone else's Life!!

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LEANJEAN6 10/4/2012 9:47AM

    ---wasn't that so nice of yer friend to come to get yu?--Thanks Barb for the comment about your Dad---not ressembling the Republican--LOL--but that yu miss him--We watched the debate too--Canadians love Obama tho--LOL emoticon -

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EBEAMS 10/4/2012 9:01AM

    Ahhhh ... a fit body AND a generous spirit ... that is quite an attractive package deal!

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DOGLADY13 10/4/2012 7:16AM

    Great names for the bikes.

Your co-worker definitely got some exercise, too!

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WATERMELLEN 10/3/2012 8:43PM

    You are such a sweetie! That was a very kind thing to do!

Loved your comments on my fat kids blog. It's great when our kids turn around and inspire us, right?

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KARIDIAN1 10/3/2012 7:32PM

    What a wonderful thing to do for someone. I hope she enjoys riding and can join you for rides.

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    That's awesome to help someone in that way! I bet your inspired her to get on this track too. Good for you and her!!

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-SHOREIDO- 10/3/2012 5:34PM

    Lucky girl!! to be able to do a 3mile and then pump her way back home!! : : )

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DLDMIL 10/3/2012 2:13PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 10/3/2012 2:03PM

    How generous!! Hope you both benefit from shared fitness activities. Fitness buddies are worth their weight in gold!! -Marsha

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NIKKICOLE83 10/3/2012 1:47PM

    Paying it forward is great. Plus it was just taking up space in your garage. And good for your friend to walk three miles and then bike back!

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LINDAKAY228 10/3/2012 1:45PM

    Oh how wonderful that you get to help her start a new journey! I really need to think about biking.

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IRONBLOSSOM 10/3/2012 1:18PM

    That's so great! You're awesome! emoticon

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RONNIEHUEY 10/3/2012 12:18PM

    I'm thinking about a bike!

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DALID414 10/3/2012 11:30AM

    I wish I had room for a bike

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DEBRITA01 10/3/2012 11:03AM

    Uma is probably glad for the chance to get back on the trail.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 10/3/2012 10:54AM

    Pay it forward and Spark On!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LDRICHEL 10/3/2012 10:32AM

    It's so uplifting...people always say I'm an inspiration to them, but I don't think they realize the inspiration they are to me. You know?

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1CRAZYDOG 10/3/2012 9:47AM

    How wonderful . . . Uma gets to feel the love from someone else!! HUGS

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ANDI571 10/3/2012 8:26AM

    emoticon What are friends for.

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DNRAE1 10/3/2012 8:20AM

    Fantastic, Barb!! That is Sparking at its best! emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 10/3/2012 8:17AM

    love it Barb!

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MSLZZY 10/3/2012 8:04AM

    You have such a kind heart! Have a great day!
"Meat space"-I like that!

Comment edited on: 10/3/2012 8:04:41 AM

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LMATTHEWS12111 10/3/2012 7:55AM

    Love it!

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Wellness coaches and empowerment

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Last night after work I got my every so often "coaching call" sponsored by my workplace wellness program. I've had the same "wellness" coach for ... well, we're going into the third year now. At first I did it just to get the break on the health insurance rates. But, being me, I had to tell her exactly what I needed from her: be a cheerleader. Don't give me a bunch of "suggestions" unless I ask for them... listen and give me the positives. Buck me up if I'm having a tough time, and maybe, just maybe, I'll be open to advice THEN.

Since that first call, now years in the past, she's called me four or five times a year, and kept in touch via their site's message board system. I've shared with her the journey, too... pretty much the same stuff y'all hear here on Spark: the desire to train, the training itself, the first 5K (2010), on up through the first (2011) and second (2012) half marathon... and now, as I approach the third.

We talk strategy. I've told her about and the teams and blogs and all that. I've revealed that there is a method to my madness in signing up for events... having an event to look forward to... wanting to feel good, not just finish... and using this to get past the de-motivating parts of life.

Between talking with her, starting the new 5% challenge, and having a couple of "good days" under my belt... I'm feeling recharged and ready to take on the next couple of months... the tough season of increasing darkness!

Together, fellow Sparkers... we can do this! We can find those personal motivators... they don't all have to be the same. We can encourage one another to be active, to eat well, to sleep soundly... to be healthy! Because we're worth it. Nobody can stop us from treating ourselves well!

Life IS good. Spark on. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

STEADFASTNSEE 10/14/2012 5:55AM

  I think I need a "wellness coach". Wonder where you'd find one here.... HUGS!

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COMETER 10/3/2012 9:46PM

    I'll bet that you're actually a coach for your coach! I wonder how often she encounters people who are walking the walk (and running the run....) like you are!

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DLDMIL 10/2/2012 7:30PM

    Great blog, thank for the information. I think I will look into the one at my employer. emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 10/2/2012 6:41PM

    Great blog! I should sign up for one of our coaching programs though my work too and lay out the rules. I've done a couple in the past just for the insurance breaks too, but it's been a while. Maybe I'm missing out on a valuable resource.

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DEBRA0818 10/2/2012 3:23PM

    There's nothing better than someone who states clearly what he or she wants -- cuts through a lot of painful missed signals and bad communication. Good for you, Barb! Hopefully, your trip to sunny Florida will perk you up too, though you could probably use a repeat of it round about February!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNYLIFE72 10/2/2012 2:23PM

  Wonderful to hear some of the programs offered by your employers and glad to hear that people are using them.

I love this last line of your blog entry:
"Nobody can stop us from treating ourselves well!"

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SLENDERELLA61 10/2/2012 1:38PM

    That's great that your wellness coach has been with you for years now! So good of you to tell her how she could help you. Yes, we can stay active even with fewer hours of daylight!! I know you will and I will, too! -Marsha

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CASEYTALK 10/2/2012 1:16PM

    You are definitely one of my motivator/cheerleaders! I LOVE the photo of you sliding down the mud. That looks like fun and it's the fun that is keeping you coming back more than anything else.

Keep smiling!


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MSLZZY 10/2/2012 12:54PM

    Wanting to have a cheerleader on your side is a
big plus. Positive feedback is much better than
suggestions. We all need someone in our corner.
You talked strategy and that is great. You have
someone to bounce ideas off of and then go on.
You are one great motivator and I admire your
spirit and dedication. YOU ROCK! HUGS!

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1CRAZYDOG 10/2/2012 11:29AM

    You got the power! Glad you've had your battery re-charged and ready to tackle whatever lies ahead. HUGS!

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SWEDE_SU 10/2/2012 10:02AM

    we all have our own methods, and reading about them helps us to redefine our own. you have a good approach and i think it is going to help me to define my own, in a similar way, to stay on this path and not slip down the slippery slope... spark on!

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-SHOREIDO- 10/2/2012 9:47AM

    You go girl! You've got us all charged up for Oct! Ready to roll on the green,the pavement,my neighbors yards trying to avoid those poor fenced in pooches that they be : )
Again, your enthusianm is my motivation. Thank You!
Go green!

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KARIDIAN1 10/2/2012 9:22AM

    Wish we had something like that where I work.

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WATERMELLEN 10/2/2012 8:09AM

    So key for you to tell her how she can motivate YOU! You don't need to be "berated" or "shamed", but celebrated . . . I'm betting she could use your story as the poster child for the whole wellness coaching project!! Maybe she needs to post some success stories???

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DNRAE1 10/2/2012 8:06AM

    Positive influences and cheerleaders! We all need them in our lives. Aren't they amazingly motivating? Great blog, Barb. emoticon

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EBEAMS 10/2/2012 8:04AM

    Love it! Love it most that you are confident telling her what YOU need for her to do as a support person for you AND that you are sharing the Spark with her so she can share it to others! It works ... and she can see it working! That is awesome!

PS That made me giggle a little cuz I go in for my wellness check annually cuz my work pays employees and our spouses $75 to do it! Very worth my while in addition to the information it provides!

Comment edited on: 10/2/2012 8:06:09 AM

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ROXYZMOM 10/2/2012 7:53AM

    Looking forward to cheering you on and conversing this winter! You are going to rock this next HM and we are going to do awesome with this 5% challenge!

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LOOK2LOVELIFE 10/2/2012 7:41AM

    Great blog! Love the positivity!! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 10/2/2012 7:40AM

    Glad you are back on track---Happy to see your blog th emoticon is AM-Lynda

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KANOE10 10/2/2012 7:21AM

    Great blog. No one can stop us from treating ourselves well!!!!!

You have accomplished a great deal in your health. I am glad you have a supportive wellness coach.

You sound ready for October and the dark mornings!


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LAURIE5658 10/2/2012 7:19AM

    Life is giddylicious, Barb!!! Live it like you mean it!


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