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Retrospection on 2012, Plotting 2013

Sunday, December 30, 2012

My 2012 was dominated by my keen awareness of my son being offshore, keen awareness of my sister in law's illness, and my need to deal with my response to these two items.

I used the athletic outings and training for them as my ways to cope with a worrying / anxious nature. It really does help to be active. I feel better, as though I am *doing* something when I run, or swim, or bike, or even go for a walk. And there is something about the rhythmic activity and breathing that allows for meditation / prayer / processing of those feelings, and for thinking through problems. And as each of the events started, I invoke those two names as my inspiration to complete them.

A really great aspect of 2012 was the contact with several real live Spark people... I shared some time in real space with Mary (Love_2_Laugh), and with Becky (KaliGirl), both of whom I met for the first time in 2011. I ran in some of the same local events as Deanna (Hot4Fitness) who had talked me into my first half marathon in 2011. I look forward to seeing her at some point in the 2013 event, too.

In 2012 I met for the first time in real space Marsha (Slenderella61) when I traveled to Florida where she lives, and got as a bonus to also meet Monty (Mirage727) and his wife D (DSSecrets), and made a special side trip just to meet Debra (Debra0818) whose blogs I adore.

In 2012, one of my Spark blogs got featured for the first time (The Mud Run Story) and since then several have been so honored. That was rather heady, but I've survived it.

In short, 2012 has been a great Spark Year... and now comes the time to be planning for what kind of year I would like 2013 to be.

I hit a wall when I began to think about "what's next" prior to that Women's HM in Florida in November. I dragged my feet and refused to make a decision before I got home. When the Lincoln Marathon sign ups came around, it all came clear for me, and I have my anchor athletic goal for 2013. At this point, I have no desire to line up more than just that one.

Why? Because I have a tendency, I have learned, to commit to one bridge too far. This in turn results in burnout, and reversals. So for now, one single athletic goal: complete a full marathon, 26.2 miles, on May 5, 2013. I am already starting to train for it. If I run any events between now and then, they will simply be events that fit into the training plan and become a part of it.

My hope for 2013 is that it be a simple, unexciting year. I think I'm ready for that. emoticon Happy New Year to us!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 12/31/2012 9:26AM

    You had a great year. How fun to meet Spark People. I know next year will be another wonderful year for you.

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CONCHA77 12/31/2012 9:06AM

    Wow, you did have a exciting year, didn't you? I enjoyed watching you through all your challenges in 2012 and will cheer you on for the upcoming New Year in whatever you decide to do. HAPPY NEW YEAR! You have always been a inspiration for me and I know you will continue to be. Thanks.
Hugs and Health.

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MSLZZY 12/31/2012 8:15AM

    You had an incredible year. Picture you with just
1 major event. But you made a great pick.
DD signed up and will be running the HM,
while her DH runs the FM with the SDNG.
You may just meet her in the throng of runners.
Happy New Year!

Comment edited on: 12/31/2012 8:17:11 AM

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MAGGIE101857 12/31/2012 7:54AM

    You have had an amazing year! Simplicity sounds wonderful, doesn't it! May the new year keep your son safe, keep your running legs healthy, and bring you all that your heart desires!

Thanks for being part of my life! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 12/31/2012 7:40AM

    But--You WILL make it an exciting year Barb!--I know yu will!-Hugs to yu too my friend!-Lynda emoticon

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_LINDA 12/31/2012 12:35AM

    So glad your personal year was so fabulous, full of accomplishments! Its seems to me training for a full marathon would be all the goals one needs in a year -quite the journey to the finish line that is going to be!! Looking forward to how you motivate yourself to achieve it :)
May the New Year finally bring your son home safe and sound permanently.
May the New Year be all you wish it to be!

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DEBRA0818 12/30/2012 11:41PM

    One of my friends said "good riddance to 2012" and I thought, boy, I don't feel that way at all. I'm very eager to start a New Year but plenty of great things happened in this year, too. You had a fabulous 2012 and a great anchor for 2013, so what can we do but Spark On!

It's going to be great....


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KARIDIAN1 12/30/2012 10:44PM

    Sounds like a plan not to plan too much, which is perfectly fine. Allows some freedom to pick and choose. I say go for it.

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 12/30/2012 9:10PM

    It's good to have a goal and also to try to not over do. Good luck with your training.

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MOBYCARP 12/30/2012 8:25PM

    Simple and unexciting are good. I'd like a year like that, too.

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JOPAPGH 12/30/2012 8:15PM

    emoticon I'll be running the Pittsburgh Marathon the same day. Just finalizing my training plan as I type.

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KASEYCOFF 12/30/2012 6:34PM

    I'm with you, hon - I much better with the doable that still requires a stretch, than I am with the over-extended "What was I thinking when I put in for this" chaos. Sometimes the food buffet ain't the only place I can overload my plate with options, lol...

Happy New Year, Barb! If you take a trip to Merrie Olde, you'll find the welcome mat is out. And if I get to Nebraska (which you know has long been on my list) I'll be sure to catch up with you.

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WATERMELLEN 12/30/2012 6:32PM

    That terrible need always to be accomplishing more and more and more and pushing myself just that little bit too far: yup, I can relate to that.

On the other hand, using exercise to help me process emotion/anxiety and even blue periods: yup, that works well for me too!

So: finding that balance of challenge to keep myself busy enough but not too much . . . sounds to me like your 2013 plan has it nailed!

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LINDAKAY228 12/30/2012 6:23PM

    You have had so much going on in 2012! I hope 2013 is the year of relaxation, accomplishing some goals, and simply focusing on being the best "you" that you can be. Sometimes I over plan too and end up burnt out. I know that having your simple goals set, as the year progresses you will refine and maybe add others later. Who says we have to plan out the whole year on the first day?

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WILLOWBROOK5 12/30/2012 6:18PM

    You really have had quite a year! So much to be proud of. Your "simple" plan for next year is very impressive! I don't set challenges for myself. Well, other than maintaining this weight, which is challenge enough, I suppose! Wishing you the best in 2013. I know you will achieve whatever you set out to do.
emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 12/30/2012 5:55PM

  I absolutely wish you a simple, unexciting 2013, and also best wishes for your son and sister-in-law.

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KARRENLYNN 12/30/2012 5:18PM

    I hope 2013 is everything you want!


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1CRAZYDOG 12/30/2012 5:04PM

  You are taking a wise approach! Wishing you a happy, healthy, blessed, abundant New Year. HUGS

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MRS.DOYLE 12/30/2012 2:57PM

    I know what you mean about taking on too much. I seem to have that habit as well. I must learn to pace myself better in 2013.

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PATRICIAAK 12/30/2012 2:32PM

    Praying for your son and SIL.
Be blessed as you train for the marathon.

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DALID414 12/30/2012 1:18PM

    I remember The Mud Run Story. It was the inspiration I needed to get back into Sparking!! Thank you SO much! It means a lot to me, as most of your blogs do, Barb.

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LESLIELENORE 12/30/2012 1:03PM

    Simple and unexciting sound good to me!

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MNTWINSGAL 12/30/2012 12:58PM

    Smart lady!

Here's to a wonderful, fit, active 2013. If I were a betting woman, I'd bet you'll end up signing up for a number of other runs before and after the May Marathon though. emoticon

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RUN4FOOD 12/30/2012 12:54PM

    Doing something, what a great idea.
Sounds like your 2012 was a good year.
Best wished for your son and sister-in-law.
Hope 2013 is good for you also.
I have declared my year of 2013 to be the 'Year of Doing'.

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ROXYZMOM 12/30/2012 12:07PM

    Wow! You did have an amazing year. I am looking forward to reading about your journey to the marathon in May!

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DLDMIL 12/30/2012 12:04PM

    Great plan and goals for 2013. My prayers are with you, DS and SIL for a better 2013. emoticon emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 12/30/2012 12:03PM

    You've had an amazing year, here's to an equally amazing (if not even better) 2013.

Best wishes with your dreams and goals emoticon emoticon

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GINABUG 12/30/2012 12:00PM

    What an amazing year you have had! I am reminded that it is important to get OFF of SP sometimes and get to the "doing" part of the journey as well as the "being" part!

Congrats on your personal, physical, and spiritual progress. So glad you are being recognized for your great work. More exposure so your story can inspire others.

My 2013? Still contemplating what it will be, but this I know for sure -- More Sparking and more reading of your Blog as well as checking out Debra0818 and her Blogs. "Adore" is a heartfelt word so I must see what is there that you adore.

Best of 2013 to you! Since we are so close in proximity, perhaps we will meet sometime this year! Happy Lincoln Marathoning as well!

I wish you an exciting but uneventful year! emoticon

Blessings and joy to you!

GinaBug emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/30/2012 12:02:05 PM

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Medium versus Message ... Body and Selfhood

Saturday, December 29, 2012

A few years ago I took a brief class on writing a business document, led by a professional technical writer. One of the things she told us was that good writing should be invisible. If all that is seen is the message, and the reader doesn't notice the words, you've done your job.

This morning as I made my rounds of my favorite Spark blogs, I came across one where the writer expressed her discomfort with too much focus on the physical aspects of weight loss process, on the body. She mentioned that she wanted attention, but didn't want the focus of the attention to be the body.

My mind went back to that class. We want to be seen as ourselves, we don't want the body getting in the way of relating to others. Too much focus on the body (medium, words), takes away from seeing the person who lives there (message).

It was certainly true of me that I used my heavy body to deliver a message. In my head, I thought I was saying "This woman is here for her mind and what she can contribute". I thought I was saying "This woman is not interested in anyone who is so shallow as to be attracted by purely physical traits, you must love her for her mind and soul." It was my armor to keep people at bay that did not want to get to know the real me.

I don't think that was always the message that was received on the part of those who saw me, and it leaves out some important things... like that I have to live in this body, and it gets physically difficult if you're carting around excess padding. We won't even mention the additional risk of certain kinds of disease.

What enabled me to trim down / edit the body size is a process. I tried many tools over the decades and they all worked until I would hit the wall of reversal. I think one of the reasons I kept regaining was too much focus did come onto the physical body. I would have to find ways to use my voice and my words to express the messages I needed to deliver. And while that still scared me too much? Saying out loud what I wasn't ready to admit to myself I thought or felt? Guess what? The pounds come back! Almost by magic.

So... the deal is... it's yet another skill set to be learned while we lose the pounds... setting our boundaries... establishing the beachhead of SELF... and using the voice to keep others at bay when they invade our comfort zone.

What was different about THIS time through losing (now in year 3 of maintaining the loss) is that I insisted throughout that the goal was NOT a number on the scale, NOT a body size. The goal was to find healthy ways of eating and being active, and the scale and the measuring tape would take care of themselves.

They did... I succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. But I *did* have to fight off those who wanted to focus too much on the physical for my comfort. And find ways to use my words to do so.

Because in the end... we don't need to "lose weight", per se... we need to nurture ourselves and take care of our body... because it is the medium of the message... and the message (self) is our mission to the world!

I know this will not resonate with EVERY reader of my blogs, but for those of you who struggle with discomfort at compliments that focus on "how much have you lost", "you're a different person!", etc., we are sisters and brothers under the skin. We are the survivors of obesity. But there is so much more to each of us than body size. emoticon emoticon emoticon

From where I sit now? At my natural body size, and working hard to stay here? Life is good. I'm still me (as you will still be you, if you're still working on it). And we are all worth taking care of ... today and every day. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BRIAN36 1/7/2013 11:26AM

    I can relate to this blog in that after almost 5 years maintaining, I've been on a gradual back slide. The unexpected passing of my brother has brought some underlying emotions that I have been able up until now to not have to address. Looks like I'm going to have to deal with it in order to stop this.

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SJKENT1 1/5/2013 10:06PM

    very interesting thoughts... thanks

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LIVELYGIRL2 1/3/2013 1:22AM

  you can see that you expressed something powerful , such an excellent job.

Nobody wants to be judged by their appearance , but we can't really separate our bodies from our soul and spirit.

It's our house that carries the rest of us. When we neglect it,or are indifferent, often there is a reason besides lacking motivation and discipline.

There may be hurt, or other problems.

There are many things that effect self -esteem.

When we feel better, often we look and feel better.

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SERASARA 1/2/2013 7:49PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ALOHAEV1 1/2/2013 9:36AM

    You talkin' to me???? Lots of hugs

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PENOWOK 1/2/2013 8:20AM

    I totally agree that eating healthy and being fit is far better than trying to lose weight and the numbers on the scale. They do provide perspective, but the focus should be elsewhere.

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NDKARIKARI 1/1/2013 11:01PM

    hi there! i just randomly came across your blog and this message resonated with me so much. thank you.

you hit the nail on the head for me, the reason why I continue to backtrack is because I focus on the physical (numbers, measurement) rather than the very real emotional, mental reasons behind the weight and trying to build a healthy sense of self. without the latter, the weight will and has kept coming back.

this is giving me much healthy perspective on how i need to approach this year. thanks so much!

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CHARTHESTAR 1/1/2013 7:32PM

    you hit it right on the head. wanting to be loved/appreciated by what is on the inside is what all of us want. thus- not caring about the outside.

However- it really it a whole package. you are worthy of love and appreciation-
But really if you don't take care of yourself and can take yourself seriously enough to do so- why should we expect anyone else to?

Great post!
Love your numbers! I am going to run/walk in my first 5K this year. That is my goal for myself.

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3CLICKS 1/1/2013 1:58PM

    "...we don't need to "lose weight", per se... we need to nurture ourselves and take care of our body..." Thank you for these words, they are truly inspiring.

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WORDNERD15 1/1/2013 10:50AM

    thanks for a great post!!!


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FIRECOM 1/1/2013 9:27AM

    ...good writing should be invisible. If all that is seen is the message, and the reader doesn't notice the words, you've done your job.

Words that I will always remember. I was a technical writer and proof reader for many years working in the field of electronics and aeronautical engineering. I always seemed to never get responses for engineers as to the final cut prior to publication until I finally learned that the message of ...I know you are busy, but I am going to publish this in (x) days unless I hear from you. Worked every time. Thanks for a very good blog.

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HYATTI1 12/31/2012 11:17PM


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CM_GARDNER78 12/31/2012 10:12PM

    What a wonderfully worded blog!! Spark on as well - thank you for sharing your perspective..................this was such a great blog!!!! :-)

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PORTIAWILLIS 12/31/2012 6:37PM

    So easy to say but so hard to live. Your words struck such a cord with me. I weigh more now than I did when I had my first child. And one thing I can say for sure is that even when I was my smallest I felt as big as I do now. It's funny how we see ourselves. I am at that age now when I am looking back and can evaluate a lot of the things that happened in my life. I realize and am working on my self image now. Not sure why I have the problems I do but I know noone but myself can change how I see the REAL me. The Spark site is amazing.

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VOLLEYGIRL77 12/31/2012 5:12PM


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JULIA1154 12/31/2012 4:58PM

  Thank you for a very thoughtful blog, which also provided a great deal of food for thought. I know I will be re-visiting it.

Best wishes for a happy and healthy 2013. I'm glad to have 'met' you on SP!

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LAWANDMUSIC 12/31/2012 4:06PM

    Well done!~

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FLRED12 12/31/2012 3:50PM

  So, so true. emoticon emoticon

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POMELO 12/31/2012 1:07PM

  Thank you Barb. Well written and enjoyed the metaphor of writing.

Food for thought.

It is a long time ago when I took too much pride in my appearance. Someone once commented that with so much time spent on applying make-up, I must need to hide a lot.

That was true at the time. Grief for a broken marriage and all the hopes and dreams that go with that - children, motherhood, leaving a beloved community, etc. Still carrying the guilt and shame of a childhood rape. Shooting myself in the foot at every opportunity, because that's what I thought I deserved, and the trauma of emigration/immigration, etc.

After managing well on my own, convinced I would never again wear a visible mask, I found therapy with an excellent psychiatrist.

Managed to eventually stop shooting myself in the foot!

Have come down from 243 my highest ever weight. I knew that if I hit 250 all the brakes would be off.

However, I still dabble at weight loss and have not nearly reached my goals.

I have increased my walking. I eat healthy and less than I did before. Although I am going to be cautious tonight, New Year's Eve, I am going to enjoy whatever is there. I'm not going to pig out on anything. And, I'm eating fruits and vegetables today so that when the sausages and cheeses appear, I can enjoy.

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LELERS 12/31/2012 12:07PM

    I totally agree! I think it's really important to work towards a strong, healthy body, no matter what the scale or mirror says!

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KATHIC2 12/31/2012 8:12AM

  I totally get what you are saying. I now feel that I can loose weight and protect myself...i.e. not turn into some person I do not want to be.

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MSLZZY 12/31/2012 8:12AM

    Totally true and something I needed to read as the New Year
is almost here. Life IS good! HUGS!

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SRBSRB26 12/31/2012 7:51AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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TRYINGHARD54 12/31/2012 6:35AM

    this is so true.. but we all know when someone looks at you its your body their seeing not your mind....sooooo sad

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BLUEJEAN99 12/31/2012 1:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 12/31/2012 1:41AM

    I like your focus on nutruring and its positive message giving lasting success.

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SEANNA7 12/31/2012 12:13AM

  I am new to SP and I have become aware of a lot of personal fear. It feels huge and scary. Yes, I know what I have said- I am fearful of the fear. I love this blog; I have been looking daily on this site for this issue to be addressed. I so want to let go of this weight and this unconscious life style. My integrity is vital to me and I often do not stay honest and respectful of myself with my eating. "So... the deal is... it's yet another skill set to be learned while we lose the pounds... setting our boundaries... establishing the beachhead of SELF... and using the voice to keep others at bay when they invade our comfort zone." You wrote this for me. Thank you- small words for a huge gift.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 12/30/2012 11:27PM

    This is a wonderful blog, and brought tears to my eyes. It's not easy to deal with all the issues that often lead to being overweight or obese. A lot of people don't understand that there are issues to be dealt with at all - they just assume that you don't want to stop eating junk food. They assume so much. And won't listen when you try to discuss the other issues with them.
Thank you for writing this. :)

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BLUE42DOWN 12/30/2012 8:36PM

    Amazingly well said. It's surprisingly hard sometimes to stay away from the wrong focus. Even here on SP, those often can sound more important than simply healthy ways of living.

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JAMER123 12/30/2012 8:29PM

    Fitting and so appropriate blog!! Most look at our size & can't see the real person!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHOAPIE 12/30/2012 8:15PM


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GOOSIEMOON 12/30/2012 7:30PM

    Thanks for your blog post. It's really something to think about.

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JOANNHUNT 12/30/2012 7:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PCASEY7 12/30/2012 6:33PM

    Thanks for a great blog and lots of food for thought!

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TINAJANE76 12/30/2012 6:04PM

    Thanks for sharing this very thought-provoking blog. Although I still have a hard time pulling myself away from the scale and admit that I do fall victim to the occasional bout of vanity, it has been very instructive for me to see how all the pieces of my healthier lifestyle have come together and led to longer-term weight maintenance than I've ever experienced in the past. Like some of the other commenters here, I think I also used my weight as some sort of shield in the past but, ironically, it only served to broadcast to the whole world that something was emotionally off-kilter with me. Me at a healthy weight is absolutely me at my best in terms of both my physical and emotional health. I've learned to cope with the positive and negative feedback I get regarding my weight loss success and have dumped all of the emotional baggage I had been carrying around that held me back in the past.

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IAMAGEMLOVER 12/30/2012 6:00PM


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MARYJEANSL 12/30/2012 5:51PM

  Very good insights indeed. I believe a fat body does interfere with others seeing the real person.

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PATRICIAANN46 12/30/2012 5:05PM

  So very well said........... emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 12/30/2012 3:24PM

    Thanks for sharing!

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IREN0169 12/30/2012 2:41PM

    emoticon It makes me ask myself that if my goal is to be healthy and active and not necessarily the weight loss, why do I weigh myself everyday? Something to consider.

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ALIDOSHA 12/30/2012 2:00PM

    emoticon emoticon Happy New year and emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 12/30/2012 1:07PM


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REGILIEH 12/30/2012 12:41PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'm glad I found you! Fantastic insight!


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KARRENLYNN 12/30/2012 12:15PM

    Great blog post. Thanks for sharing, I have some new things to think over.


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KNITLEIGH 12/30/2012 11:58AM

    What a very thought provoking message. I don' t think I noticed all the words, just the message of something I've felt, but never expressed. You have a very good way of expressing yourself. You always lend such wisdom! I think of you often when I make more than one trip around the bed to get it made! :)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/30/2012 12:00:01 PM

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GWADA_LUCE 12/30/2012 11:44AM

    Merci. It was really a blog that touch me emoticon

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ILIKETOZUMBA 12/30/2012 11:09AM

    This was really interesting - lots of good stuff to think about! I like the comparison to writing. Great blog, thanks for sharing!

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LIFETIMER54 12/30/2012 10:59AM

  emoticon emoticon

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CLAYARTIST 12/30/2012 10:42AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEWTINK 12/30/2012 10:31AM

    wonderful blog emoticon

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Since Run4Food asked, the benefits of giving up soda

Friday, December 28, 2012

Some long time readers have heard this story before, so feel free to skip this one if you have, but you know how it happens, someone asks a question and you realize there are folks who walked in on the middle of the blog-stream. So... as a reminder / reinforcement to myself, as well as to let the newbies in on this part, here goes.

In 2008 / 2009 the doctor showed me the results of tests showing significant bone loss in the two years he'd been monitoring. At the same visit, he observed that my blood tests continued to show high levels of calcium. In short, while I was getting enough calcium in my diet and with my supplements, it wasn't translating into bone. Very disturbing.

So he sent me to a specialist, who diagnosed a problem with my parathyroid glands. At the time, I was drinking five or six cans of diet soda a day, and trying to cut back. By the time all this diagnosing was completed, and I got scheduled for surgery to correct the parathyroid problem, I had managed to get myself down to three a day, but I loved my bubbles. Some people don't like the bubbles, but that was the attraction for me.

Anyhow, surgery was successful, and I was reading how the carbonation in beverages was linked to bone loss! Well, duh! My continuing to drink the bubbly stuff was kind of analogous to a lung cancer patient continuing to smoke. So... I cut back further. I allowed myself ONE a day. At work, after my first break, or after lunch was my special treat time.

I set myself a Spark goal, and gave myself a "goal met" for every day I had no more than 1. We all know about the stupid motivational tricks of Spark... they work. I found myself not drinking soda at home on the weekends. Days with 0.

At Christmas dinner, 2009, which was December 27th, due to a huge snow storm, I had what I was determined would be my LAST diet cola. And I started giving myself a star sticker on the calendar for every day I made it with none. At first it was easy... it was Winter and I was substituting coffee for my beverage treat.

I was concerned about the hot weather, but somehow I made it through. I debated with myself about allowing one on the 4th of July, but my Higher Power intervened and my sister forgot to buy any for the celebration that was at her house. Lemonade was just fine.

By the time I reached a year, I threw myself a virtual party, stopped using the stickers, and sometime in the second year I just became an ordinary person who doesn't do bubbles. BUT... I still celebrate the anniversary of becoming carbonation free.

Now, for the benefits, since you've walked through the process with me:
1. Bone loss quit happening. This is HUGE!
2. Surprisingly, I noticed during food lapses, when I got full, soda used to clear up extra space and extend the binge. I found my lapsy - bingy behavior stopped sooner. Maintenance of a healthy weight became easier... and keep in mind, what I gave up was not the sugary soda, but the diet soda.
3. And of course, there is the infamous grocery bill. Soda costs $. It's an expensive habit. So is coffee, but it was a fair swap.

Some people are sensitive to artificial sweeteners in bad ways. I have not observed myself to be one of them, but if you are, this could also be a benefit.

So, without the bubbles? Life's still good. In fact, for me, it's better. If you're considering this as a goal for 2013, it's a good one... Spark on!

emoticon emoticon FREE! emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANOTHERMOMOF2 12/30/2012 11:10AM

    Good for you!

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DOGLADY13 12/29/2012 3:04PM

    I gave up carbonated drinks about a year ago - I am not fit for polite company when I drink anything carbonated. I do miss fountain cokes, though.

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MEDDYPEDDY 12/29/2012 1:18AM

    I had a period about20 years ag when I was stuck on diet coke. I had a coworker who drank coke and I sort of imitated her... it lasted for a year or so, then I started to think the aspartam tasted too strange and there was never a possibility to have the "real" one for all the I gave i9t up. I still have diet coke at drive through McDonalds but that is not often so I do think I am 95 % bubbles free...

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KARIDIAN1 12/28/2012 11:31PM

    I have cut way back on Diet drinks. Am a water baby now with occasionally having diet coke if we are out and about.

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LJR4HEALTH 12/28/2012 9:30PM

    emoticon Just reading some one Else's post about diet soda's how aspartame was originally created as an appetite stimulant for people suffering from anorexia so it would make us binge more Now if I can leave the carbonated drinks alone with your report no doubt that they help cause bone loose

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_LINDA 12/28/2012 8:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
That is awesome! Very well done!
I all but gave up soda quite a few years ago -just one day I got sick of it, don't know why, but dropped it in favor of juices. I never used diet, couldn't stand the syrupy sweetness of it and it also messed up ice cream floats :P. For the last two years all I have had is water or green tea.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/28/2012 7:51PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!! What a huge healthy accomplishment!

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MOBYCARP 12/28/2012 6:34PM

    . . . and after you mentioned this topic to me, I started paying attention. Diet soda is definitely an appetite stimulator for me. Haven't totally given it up, but I only have it at Taco Bell now. And no refills.

If I get even a hint of the diet Pepsi causing a real medical problem, I'll go the way you did.

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LESLIELENORE 12/28/2012 5:36PM

    It is also bad for your gall bladder... I gave it up when I joined Spark. There isn't enough time in the day or room in my bladder to drink all the water I need AND soda, so soda had to go. I don't miss it, and it makes the check at the restaurant a little smaller when I go out to eat.

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VICKI-BISHOP56 12/28/2012 5:19PM

  I'm not a huge diet soda drinker anymore but I do drink the sugar free powders you add to water ( like crystal lite). I've struggled with stopping all artificials sweetners and that may just become a good goal for me in 2013. emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 12/28/2012 3:11PM

    I used to be heavy into Diet Coke too...would have one going all day, cracking another open as soon as I finished the first. But when I started suffering from kidney stones, cola drinks were on my restricted list. Not that I needed to totally quit, but to cut way back. Then, once I got out of the habit, I realized days would go by without having even one. Nowadays I only have one rarely...since I don't drink coffee or tea I occasionally have a Diet Coke for a shot of caffeine....or once in a blue moon I'll have a root beer float. Probably less than one can per month -- and I don't miss it a bit!

Kudos to you! I know how hard this was, and I'm glad you celebrate!

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AMSPARKER 12/28/2012 3:08PM

    I'm going to pattern myself after you, you ROCK! I quit diet soda this past year, July 2012. It was and is still hard, I was an addict. Now, I occasionally (read: 2x a month) have a little bit of regular soda, usually a sip or two from a family member. But you know what, I think I am ready to GIVE UP the bubbly completely...I'm over half way there anyway, might as well go for the gusto, that will be ONE of my resolutions for 2013. THANK YOU for the idea and inspiration, I wouldn't have even thought to do it on my own.

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MRS.DOYLE 12/28/2012 2:28PM

    Well done, I know how difficult it is. I managed to give up diet cola after joining SparkPeople. It was much harder than giving up chocolate, but I feel much better. The craving has now completely gone, but I don't think I trust myself to have even one drink in case it all comes back. There is something very addictive in those drinks and very unnatural as well.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 12/28/2012 12:46PM

    I never was a soda drinker so can't relate too much. I drink water, water and more water. Always have.

Unless there is beer.

My vice is craft brews. It's the complex yeasty tastes, not the alcohol.

However, since I do not brew and there are rare craft breweries around me my vice is only fed on trips to far away places.

Any craft b's in Nebraska? emoticon

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DLDMIL 12/28/2012 12:13PM

    I also have given up soda (coke) about two years ago after my blood test showed my glucose was on the high side. I still have a coke once in a while, but only a small one and then I go back to water and lots of tea. I was already drinking lots of tea, so didn't have the caffine headache withdrawls. I have not been back to the docutor to get a follow up blood test to see where I am with that. But I have started walking and execerising for better bone health. emoticon

Thanks for posting this wonderful blog about soda. emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 12/28/2012 11:57AM

  Excellent accomplishment! I am not a soda drinker. It takes time to wean off, but well worth the effort.

HUGS and have a wonderful Friday.

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DALID414 12/28/2012 10:29AM

    Wow! I weaned myself off the same way, just one a day with food. Which was usually lunch. I did get headaches the first few days in the afternoons. But the body is amazing at adapting, they soon stopped.
And you're SO right about the money, I stopped working soon after and realized I wouldn't have the budget to maintain the habit. It's easy at work, co-workers buy you one here and there, but buying your own supply adds up.

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MDOTZERO 12/28/2012 9:44AM

    That is excellent! Congratulations on three years of no carbonated beverages. Years ago I would drink soda by the 2 liter and decided to stop one day. Every now and again I will have a cup of soda with a particular meal but my body always reacts poorly to the indulgence. These days it is water and maybe coffee once a day.


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NIKKICOLE83 12/28/2012 9:42AM

    I love this blog. I gave up soda about two years ago when beginning one of my haphazardous diet attempts which only lasted about three weeks. After the diet failed I attempted to drink the bubbly again and it tasted like syrup. And I was drinking diet! From that day forward, I just stopped. I would have the occasional 1/3 a can once or twice a year during a family barbecue and that was mostly because my family would never buy bottled water. Now I bring my own water to every event. I don't miss it. It makes me feel bloated and lathargic. My beverages now consist of water, green tea, iced tea with Splenda and lemon, and the occasional coffee. Even juice is too sweet!

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HEALTHY4ME 12/28/2012 8:40AM

    Good mine is the sugar... I don't drink much pop maybe 1 a week if we go to the legion or none at all. and never diet. But sugar in sweets, choc. omg.... so that is my vice! Going to knock it to the curb this year!
Have a great day today!

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PATRICIAAK 12/28/2012 7:39AM


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NANNABLACK 12/28/2012 7:30AM

    Thanks for sharing. I gave up drinking regular coke in September of 2005. I still crave a good cold coke especially with certain meals, but the craving isn't strong. I think it's the memory that I still carry.

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BLUENOSE63 12/28/2012 7:26AM


I gave up Diet Coke, the only pop I drank, after reading about aspertame and its potential side effects

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Celebrations, observances, anniversaries

Thursday, December 27, 2012

More years ago than either of us would like to think, my mother brought home a new, wrinkled, red creature in a basket. It cried. I know, Dad loved showing that slide.

Over the years, the little dude in that basket became my best friend and playmate. He outstripped me in so many ways... competition? Sibling rivalry? We joke about it, but it makes both of us somehow better. So, if you're of a mind, and know him, wish MOBYCARP a happy birthday!

Second observance: December 27, 2009 was the date I last had a carbonated beverage. Best thing I ever did for my own long-term success, and in ways I did NOT expect. So today, I celebrate 3 years soda-free.

Third observance: I woke up without the miseries this morning, and that's always cause for celebration! One day at a time.

Today's pep talk: leave for work early. Be prepared for snow that's supposed to start in a few hours. Drive carefully on the way home, beware of the icy patches covered by new snow. And keep your work priorities straight. Get the most important things done, and remember to breathe.

I packed my lunch before I went to bed, anticipating I might have to shovel this morning, but it hasn't started yet. Yay!

Life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Glad you're feeling better. I'm still dealing with the leaky nose. Yuk!

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LJR4HEALTH 12/27/2012 7:13PM

    Happy anniversary of not having any soda's I did not know Mobycarp is your brother had no clue

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MOBYCARP 12/27/2012 7:12PM

    In addition to the benefits you've gained from giving up soda, you made me aware of the link between soda and appetite. I haven't totally given up soda. It isn't in the house, but I still have it at Taco Bell. I have, however, given up free refills. And once in a while I catch the false appetite after eating out. When I'm aware of it, I can deal with it . . . if I didn't have that very expensive free refill.

By now you'll be home from work, having navigated whatever weather you got. A few minutes ago, your niece left my house with a snow shovel. Last winter was very mild; this winter she was forced to admit she needs a snow shovel. No problem, I bought an extra shovel some time ago so I could give one to her.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/27/2012 7:05PM

    I should have realized MOBYCARP is your brother!! So glad you are feeling better. I thought you'd shake it off fast. Sounds like you are really well organized and prepared with the lunch. Glad you didn't have to shovel this morn.

Big CONGRATS on your 3 year anniversary of no carbonated beverages! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 12/27/2012 6:59PM

    Terrific celebrations!
Be safe.

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DEBRITA01 12/27/2012 6:38PM

    Congrats on the 3 years of being soda free! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/27/2012 6:24PM

    Glad you're feeling better -- great planning, and lovely memories!

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MIRAGE727 12/27/2012 4:19PM

    Have a killer day, Rock Star!

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DLDMIL 12/27/2012 3:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 12/27/2012 12:08PM

    emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 12/27/2012 11:51AM

    Wow! Well done staying off the soda! You even know the exact date! That is fantastic!!
A great day!

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RUN4FOOD 12/27/2012 11:16AM

    I'll stop by and wish MOBYCARP a happy birthday.
Congratulations on giving up soda. Maybe you could write a blog about the benefits you've received.
Also, waking up without miseries this morning I'm sure is a very good thing.
Have a good day at work.

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LINDAKAY228 12/27/2012 11:13AM

    Great things to celebrate. Good plan for the icy roads. Stay safe and warm today.

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MJZHERE 12/27/2012 10:16AM

  emoticon You are feeling better! Glad to hear it.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/27/2012 10:11AM

  What a great blog!

Happy birthday to MOBYCARP!


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DALID414 12/27/2012 10:06AM

    Congrats on your no carbonation anniversary. I don't have a specific date for mine. Glad you feel better.

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SUNNY332 12/27/2012 9:13AM

    I will stop by and wish your brother a Happy Birthday.

Thanks for posting your celebrations so we could celebrate with you.

Hugs, Sunny

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SUNNY332 12/27/2012 9:13AM

    I will stop by and wish your brother a Happy Birthday.

Thanks for posting your celebrations so we could celebrate with you.

Hugs, Sunny

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BOILHAM 12/27/2012 8:49AM

    Good blog. Your brother shares birthdays with my GD. Separating Xmas and birthday is fun for everyone.

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DEBRA0818 12/27/2012 8:17AM

    That is a lot to celebrate -- from my perspective, especially the soda. GREAT job Barb on all fronts!

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ROXYZMOM 12/27/2012 7:37AM

    Congrats on kicking your soda addiction! I never really liked it - I think because of the carbonation. Be careful driving today!

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MAGGIE101857 12/27/2012 7:25AM

    Thanks for the reminder - I'll head over to his page right away!

Have a wonderful, snow filled day! Still waiting for it here!!!

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LEANJEAN6 12/27/2012 7:06AM

    You have done amazingly well Barb and are such an inspiration to us all!---Forget the ""miseries"" and be proud girl!----Lynda emoticon

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Holiday flu

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Not fun stuff. I perused some other blogs of fellow Sparkers, and saw I'm not alone. This time I know for sure it is NOT bad behavior with food.

Many times you've seen me blog "introspective" blogs on why I had a lapse with food. This time I found myself doing the same thing will illness. Which I tend to do, as well, but not usually out loud in my blog! You see, I hunt for ANYTHING as an explanation rather than "I'm sick".

I look for excuses like, "I had too much salt and fat yesterday, I'm not really sick, I have a food hangover." This has definitely NOT been the case over this past few days. I had stellar behavior with food. I did modify my exercise based on not feeling completely up to snuff over the weekend. Only yesterday did I feel better enough to jog on the treadmill. So the next thought that springs to mind: "did I try to do too much too quickly, and cause a relapse?"

I started feeling lousy late yesterday afternoon, so I put myself to bed early. I took a Zyrtek because my sinus looked swollen at that point. Woke up this morning to full blown, "this head hurts too much to do mental work!" And naturally, out of Advil... best I could come up with was junior aspirin.

Second thing I look for (particularly with headaches)... "I've messed with my caffeine levels... it's withdrawal. A couple of cups of java and I'll be fine again." Again, not this time... the couple of cups of coffee I had this morning didn't make it diminish.

So I reported off work, put myself back to sleep, and didn't get up until afternoon. At this point, out of other options, I must conclude I have succumbed to a bug. I hope it's over now, because I'm feeling human again. And I hope I didn't pass it along pre-full symptom onset when I went to church Christmas eve.

That's how these things get passed around, you know... we aren't fully symptomatic, but are contagious. That said, I'm glad I didn't go on to work and spread it further. It's looking good for being better enough to face the cold temps and snow and get to work tomorrow, anyway, so I hope.

Hope those of you who've had "the bug" are similarly recovering. And those who haven't caught it? May it never darken your doors!

Spark on.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 12/29/2012 3:09PM

    I'm glad you are feeling better. Reading your blogs backwards, so I know that by now you are well.

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DEBRA0818 12/27/2012 5:25AM

    There's something about the holidays that wear us down physically and emotionally (even if we're not aware that's happening) and we become more vulnerable to illness. I've not visiting my hospice patients for a month now because they're under quarantine with the flu and norovirus. Awful stuff. Hope you feel better soon!


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    It's the first time in a very long while that I have had no appetite! Been complaining of symptoms for a week now. I actually slept 12 hours last Friday emoticon and I'm one who gets by on 6 hours a night.
Give yourself a chance to recover so you don't relapse. This is only a cold; flu would have more severe syptoms.
You don't want to wear yourself down so the real flu bugs can set in.

Reminds me...I didn't get my flu shot emoticon

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_LINDA 12/27/2012 12:26AM

    Sorry you got sick over the holidays, thats real bad timing :(( I always had trouble deciding whether I had a cold or an allergy attack until I was told it was allergies so many times, I stopped asking :-P. I don't seem to catch colds at all. Can't even remember when I last had one. Thankful for that small mercy. Good allergy medicine keeps the lid on the allergies for the most part.
Thanks for having the courtesy not to spread it around. If I had a penny for all the people I have run into hacking their lungs out, sneezing and blowing their noses like there is no tomorrow..
Feel better soon..

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-SHOREIDO- 12/26/2012 9:53PM

    Fever?? Ummm probably is the flu bug but the kid across the street had similar and it ended up being pneumonia. They put him on something called Biaxan(not sure on the spelling)
Feel better soon and keep us all posted. emoticon

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KARIDIAN1 12/26/2012 9:33PM

    Bummer- this bug is going around. Hits fast and hard for some. Hope you get over it soon and aren't too miserable.

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LESLIELENORE 12/26/2012 9:24PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MJZHERE 12/26/2012 8:25PM

  Well, Barb, you are not alone. I started fighting off something a week or so ago. Mon it really struck and have been down the last two days. As far as the comment about not doing anything to make others less lonely...lets see, I was downtown with the homeless Mon am. and you are the mom of a soldier serving his country, im with him on Christmas. Guess we should be doing more lol. Sure hope you are feeling better by tomorrow - it was smart of you to rest today. I think by trying to keep going, I might have made it worst. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 12/26/2012 8:08PM

    My 86 year old dad started not feeling well friday afternoon, and yesterday did muster getting dfressed, we drove to dd, just down the road and then he was beat. he did go out today just for his coffee and back. But he is getting better thankfully as I was just hoping it didn't turn to pnemonia or a super bad flu, but since he had shakes, aches, fever it was a flu and not just a cold. Hubby has the cold lol so hoping I don't catch either.
Feel better soon!!! HUGS

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SUNNY332 12/26/2012 8:00PM

    No, Barb, you are not alone. Seems it is really going around. Take care of yourself and hope & pray you are well on your way to recovery soon.

Hugs, Sunny

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PATRICIAAK 12/26/2012 7:35PM

    Perhaps your defenses were weakened by your feelings of loneliness and not doing something to aid in making others less lonely. Body, mind and spirit do interact.

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WILLOWBROOK5 12/26/2012 7:09PM

    Glad you are already feeling better!

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FRUITLOOP740 12/26/2012 7:02PM

  Feel better soon. I luckily haven't been that sick (especially since I"m pregnant) but it seems like a lot of people are getting sick - even just here where I live in Ohio, but seems over all more people are sick. This weather has been crazy.

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MOBYCARP 12/26/2012 6:58PM

    I do that excuse thing with colds. It must be allergies . . . until the headache and fever make it obvious.

Take care of yourself, and get all the way better. You're worth it.

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ROXYZMOM 12/26/2012 6:50PM

    Well, I have worked with small children for 21 years so I do not get sick often. I do have allergies though! And with all the mOld out there right now, they can really make me feel yucky. So, as soon as I start to get a fuzzy head, I run to my acupuncturist/chiropractor. Clears me right out.

I am glad you are starting to feel better and getting lots of rest.

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SLENDERELLA61 12/26/2012 6:37PM

    Glad you are feeling human. Hope you are feeling your usual enthusiastic, energetic self by tomorrow! You are basically so healthy that I'm sure you shook off this bug as fast as anyone could. -Marsha

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LJR4HEALTH 12/26/2012 6:22PM

    Hope you are feeling better

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MDOTZERO 12/26/2012 5:59PM

    Glad to hear you are recuperating and I hope you're feeling even better tomorrow!

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1CRAZYDOG 12/26/2012 5:43PM

  ((((HUGS))))Hope you feel better today! Yes indeed, the flu is going around. My brother was supposed to be here yesterday but was down with the flu.

As for being sick, I always look for an answer, too, but because I need to know there's a REASON for feeling so lousey! So, you're not alone.

Take it easy, Barb. Feel better.

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DLDMIL 12/26/2012 5:23PM


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AMSPARKER 12/26/2012 5:12PM

    Feel better soon, looks like you are on your way.

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DALID414 12/26/2012 5:11PM

    I self analyze too. It's easier than admitting being sick.

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