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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!!!


dara

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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

    emoticon

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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

    emoticon

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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

    emoticon

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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

    emoticon

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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

    emoticon

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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!

AMEN!!! AMEN!!! AMEN!!!

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KARRENLYNN 12/30/2012 12:15PM

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

Karen

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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! :)
Thia

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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

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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 sugar...so 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.

emoticon

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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

    TERRIFIC!

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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

  emoticon

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:

OVERWORKEDJANET 12/28/2012 6:07AM

    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!
emoticon

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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!

Hugs!

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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!

emoticon

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OVERWORKEDJANET 12/27/2012 5:15AM

    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
gmondello(ginny)

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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

    emoticon

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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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Christmas Eve report, Christmas Day pep talk

Tuesday, December 25, 2012



As I did last year, I slipped into church for the Christmas Eve "Lessons and Carols" service. For me, this service speaks of Christmas and makes my holiday. Actually, I like the 11 p.m. candlelit communion service a little more, but for me to stay up that late is a danger to those around me when I drive home... so I settled for the 7 p.m. service which only keeps me up about an hour later than usual. I was in bed by 10 p.m.

This morning I opened my package "from Santa" (the anonymous gift that showed up on my desk at work that no one has fessed up to leaving). In it was a pair of fuzzy warm footies, a candle in a holder, three (exactly the right amount) meltaway chocolates, and a note. "Mothers, too, sacrifice for our country. Thank you for yours." Between knowing exactly what would be welcome and the note, I am somewhat stymied... methinks this may have been a joint effort. There's a fellow military mom I went to school with... but my team would know more about the candles and the footies.

Anyway, whoever Santa is... thank you!

And when I got to my computer, son was online, so we've been swapping IM's. And get this... my REAL Christmas surprise: the box I shipped on the 17th? Got to his station TODAY, on Christmas. So he and his team are knocked out on caramel corn and the same flavored coffee I am now sipping. Psychic connection complete.

It is indeed a Merry Christmas. It doesn't take much, you know... just those little connections.

The steel cut oats are simmering. I spent more than I normally do to buy fresh strawberries yesterday as my special breakfast treat. And in a little while, I'll be putting a ribeye steak in the crock pot because a roast is too big for just little old me! The candles are lit, and Handel's Messiah is on the boom box. (Yes, I'm that old, I still have a boom box.)

Merry Christmas to all. Be conscious of your choices, enjoy and savor the good in your day, and let the stresses and tensions go. They are temporary!

Much love and peace to you all, whatever your personal beliefs! emoticon emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 12/29/2012 3:12PM

    Sounds like a wonderful day. Merry Christmas.

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-STARRYEYED- 12/29/2012 11:34AM

    emoticon for sharing! I totally get this blog and very much appreciate you posting it. emoticon

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SAMI199 12/27/2012 9:34AM

    I am so thankful for the Tech-ability to be with our loved ones far away-it really did mean so much to hear each voice & share a bit of the holiday with them. God Bless your son & our troops today & everyday. You are quite the Mom & Sparkfriend!

emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 12/27/2012 1:00AM

    What a lovely Christmas celebration you've created. Sounds like a wonderful service, and I think God's hand was definitely behind the package arriving on Christmas day so you and your son could share the coffee together. Awesome :)

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_LINDA 12/27/2012 12:36AM

    Very thoughtful gift giver -glad you enjoyed it! That is just so wonderful things worked out talking with your son and your gifts to him!! I am so happy your Christmas Day went so well :))
Mine did as well -turned out my bridge partner was wanting to cancel my game on Wednesday, so this allowed my Mom to pick me up on Monday after the game I directed before the snow started falling -safely ensconced at her place, but in internet abyss, so I enjoyed the unplugged time to read. The sun has made an appearance, but the temps have been deadly cold so have made only one hike with almost frozen toes and wrists :-P. I don't know if it will let up before I have to go home or not. I will stay until the 30th. I read while waiting for pages to load, or watch TV -like movies and a couple of shows Swamp People and Primeaval.


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SUNNY332 12/26/2012 7:57PM

    How wonderful your soldier recieved your package on Christmas. That is so good.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. We had a lovely Christmas eve service and we opted for the early service also. I just love it and feel like it is probably one of the best part of Christmas.

Tomorrow, DH and I will go to St. Louis with our Son/DIL to see The Trans Siberian Orchestra's The Lost Christmas Eve concert. Our Kansas kids will arrive while we are gone. We still have a tree full of presents waiting on the grandkids. I can't wait...

Take care and here is a emoticon to a healthy and happy new year.

Sunny

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LINDAKAY228 12/26/2012 2:12PM

    the simple things really can make the day so much more special than elaborate, expensive things or big parties. Glad you got to communicate with your son. Love the timing of his package arriving. Your secret Santa was very thoughtful indeed. Hope the glow is still warming you today.

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LEANJEAN6 12/26/2012 8:14AM

    emoticon Enjoy yer day Barb!--I AM staeting NOW_____Hugs-Lynda

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MAGGIE101857 12/26/2012 6:44AM

    Merry "day after Christmas"; hope you are still feeling the wonderful effects! How wonderful that your son and his fellow soldiers received their "gift"; nothing like goodies from home to make you feel all warm and fuzzy!

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SHARON10002 12/26/2012 12:38AM

    What wonderful presents - from your secret Santa, and chatting with your son online, and knowing he received your gift - right on Christmas Day! It's the simple pleasures that mean the most . . .
Merry Christmas, Barb. Please stop by my page for a couple of special blogs to my Spark Friends.

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ROXYZMOM 12/25/2012 10:17PM

    That was so nice of your coworkers! I am glad you had a peaceful Christmas! Merry Christmas!

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KARIDIAN1 12/25/2012 9:41PM

    What a nice gesture form your secret Santa! Ours was a low key Christmas too. Got to sleep in and relax. Did a few things around the house, and went for a nice drive to the gun club to get out.

Just nice to unwind at last.

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DEBRITA01 12/25/2012 7:57PM

    Although you were planning a low-key holiday, you had some meaningful highlights and enjoyed some simple pleasures today (something we often neglect to do). I'm so happy you got to swap IM's with your son...that had to be a great gift for you! emoticon emoticon

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DLDMIL 12/25/2012 7:22PM

    What a special Day for you. Thanks to your secret Santa and your son receiving his gift on Christmas and being able to IM with him. Enjoy the rest of your wonderful day.

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LJCANNON 12/25/2012 5:31PM

    emoticon Wonderful Connection with your Son and Santa!! It is beyond AMAZING that he recieved his Gift TODAY, and that you are able to visit with him in "Real Time".

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LESLIELENORE 12/25/2012 5:29PM

    That is great that your son got his package today! And the secret santa gift sounds lovely. You are indeed blessed!

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HEALTHY4ME 12/25/2012 2:37PM

    OH your blog has made me cry. I am so happy for you and the feeling of contentment that came out in this blog. Glad you are having a good day, so thankful that your son is fine and lol enjoying his gifts too.
HUGS

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DALID414 12/25/2012 12:14PM

    Merry Christmas.

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EBEAMS 12/25/2012 10:25AM

    Sounds like a blessed time all the way around! What an incredibly sweet and thoughtful gift from someone or someones ... I love it!

emoticon Christmas is truly all in the heart ... may yours be warm and fuzzy ... just like your new footies! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/25/2012 9:37AM

    What a perfect Secret Santa gift, what a perfect psychic connection!

As you say, it does NOT take a lot . . . and how lovely for you that you notice, you appreciate, you savour.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/25/2012 9:20AM

    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

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MJZHERE 12/25/2012 8:56AM

  Merry Merry Christmas! That is great the box got there today. Glad it brought you and your son happiness. I send a thank you to your son for serving and also to you, for your sacrifice. It means so very much and is costly for you both.

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BOOKWORM27S 12/25/2012 8:48AM

    Merry Christmas! Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

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HOT4FITNESS 12/25/2012 8:43AM

    A chat with your son overseas. What an awesome Christmas Gift. And the candle, slippers, and beltways just add a little flavor to that happiness. Enjoy your day. I look forward to hearing about your training for the upcoming marathon and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you. Have a joyous day

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KANOE10 12/25/2012 8:11AM

    Have a wonderful day. That was so nice that your son got your package at his station. I love flavored coffee also.
It is the little things that make the holiday special.

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LEANJEAN6 12/25/2012 7:53AM

    MERRY MERRY DAY to-day BARB!!!----Whatta lovely Xmas service that must've been! And SO nice you received that gift at work! I'm sending yuou lotza love and peace----You are my hero girl!-Lynda emoticon mm emoticon m emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 12/25/2012 7:50AM

    Sometimes things just work out well. I'm glad Christmas Eve and Christmas are working out well for you this year of low-key celebration.

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PATRICIAAK 12/25/2012 7:39AM

    Enjoy your contentment.
God has blessed you.

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DMEYER4 12/25/2012 7:26AM

  have a wonderful holiday

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