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Why I blog almost every day...

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Good days and bad ones... days when I'm feeling whimsical, days when I'm feeling sad... days when I triumph over challenges and days when I give in. Most days I blog.

I blog as pep talks to myself at the beginning of a day. As restrospective at the end of a day. As "longish" responses to requests. As a creative outlet.

But in the end, I blog to keep myself going. It's a tool. It is a way to keep the conversation about priorities going.

Spark is a wonderful, safe, supportive place to do this. And while I mainly blog for myself... I find incredible support in the comments that come back. And I find encouragement that it might actually help others who are earlier in their own journeys as I blog that even in success there are struggles. But that in the final analysis, it is oh, so worth it!

And in case y'all hadn't guess it would happen, the day after my New Year's lapse? Yeah, back to normal. I am another step closer to living "here" forever. I ate in range, and kept to the training schedule which said "Strength training".

Take care of yourselves, precious Spark friends! YOU are worth it! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATRIZ269 1/7/2013 1:17PM

    I am trying to get more into putting things down and I can see the benefit. Thank you for sharing and I will be looking to read more.

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SAMI199 1/6/2013 4:21AM

    emoticon emoticon

I feel the same way!

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WATERMELLEN 1/4/2013 8:43PM

    I'm so glad that you post almost every day and that you let me listen in on your pep talks to yourself: they're pep talks for me too and I appreciate them!

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ASHPATCH11 1/4/2013 5:12PM

    cute post!

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SPARKLISE 1/4/2013 12:45PM

    Thank you for blogging every day and being so honest.
As a recovering binge eater and yo-yo dieter, it really helps me believe there is hope and, even if it is a struggle,it is worth it.
One of the things I am learning to accept on SP is that i'll have to make it a priority for the rest of my life.
It is what it is but life is still good.
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ONUTHIN125 1/4/2013 12:12PM

    emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 1/4/2013 11:53AM

    I always like your blogs. And the comments we get on blogs, whether about events or successes or rough times, they always inspire and encourage me too.

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KNITLEIGH 1/4/2013 11:03AM

    Thank you for your blogs!

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CASEYTALK 1/4/2013 10:40AM

    I'm REALLY glad you blog a lot. Your insight and inspiration have made a big difference in my ability to do this. You've done it -- you've not only lost the weight but you've done the harder task of KEEPING it off for years. So, it CAN be done and I want to learn from you how you do it.

Keep blogging! I'm selfish! emoticon



Comment edited on: 1/4/2013 10:41:02 AM

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WILSON1926 1/4/2013 9:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/4/2013 2:46AM

    You are doing so well - that is inspiring!

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PATRICIAAK 1/3/2013 10:02PM

    Your blogs encompass it all. Reminds me of the movie title - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

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SHARON10002 1/3/2013 9:51PM

    Good, bad, introspective, whatever your theme - your blogs are always a help to me, Barb. Thank you for that . . . emoticon

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MICKEYH 1/3/2013 9:38PM

    Thank you, you also take care and good luck on your journey. emoticon

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_LINDA 1/3/2013 8:20PM

    Another one of Spark's great tools you can use to motivate yourself to keep on going! You utilize it so very well and the rest of us get to benefit and learn :)

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ANDI571 1/3/2013 8:01PM

    I love your blogs. I know when I write a blog it always helps. But that being said the insecurities from youth come in to play and I usually delete them because I can't imagine what I say being any thing but ramblings.

Don't ever quit your blogs, you give hope!

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MIRAGE727 1/3/2013 7:47PM

    Rock the journey, Barb!
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GABY1948 1/3/2013 7:42PM

    I KNEW you would get back on track...it's becoming "part" of you! The best part of you blogging as you do is that WE all benefit from it!! A double thank you today! Have a GREAT night! emoticon

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DOGLADY13 1/3/2013 6:03PM

    So glad you are back on track. I love reading your blogs, too.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/3/2013 4:04PM

    I knew you would do it!! Hooray!!! One wise woman once told me that the key to maintenance is getting right back on program faster -- wasn't that what you said??

And I am so glad you blog almost every day because I learn something from you, or laugh, or feel affirmed each time. Yes, it is so worth it!! -Marsha

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KASEYCOFF 1/3/2013 3:50PM

    You too, hon. I couldn't agree with you more, in that blogging on SP is yet another tool we can use to progress. Just like tracking nutrition and fitness, or interacting with our fellow Sparklers, blogging is a way we can find out what's working, what's not, where we want to go next.

I definitely hear you, seestah!
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VTRICIA 1/3/2013 3:20PM

    Well said! I am also a regular blogger here.

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 1/3/2013 3:18PM

    I need to be more this way!

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 1/3/2013 3:05PM

    I blog to keep myself on track, to vent when I've had a rough day, ect. I love it here :)

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DLDMIL 1/3/2013 2:58PM

    Thank you for sharing your good and bad days. emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 1/3/2013 11:36AM

    I blog everyday to help keep myself accountable. It works for me. Hugs to you!

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MSLZZY 1/3/2013 10:40AM

    That's the whole point of blogging-a tool to use to
refelct on the day and your accomplishments and
a place to write your thoughts. Keep on SParking!
My world is a better place with you in it. HUGS!

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MEXGAL1 1/3/2013 10:26AM

    me too, I blog everyday just to remind myself of what my goals are and where I am and where I am going.
Have a terrific day.
Sallie

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MAGGIE101857 1/3/2013 10:00AM

    Good morning, lovely lady!!! I've said it before, and I'll say it again...I look forward to your words each and every day!!! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 1/3/2013 9:57AM

    emoticon

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DALID414 1/3/2013 9:35AM

    Thanks for sharing so much

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SUN-SEEKER 1/3/2013 9:25AM

    I am new to your blog and will be coming back for more! I always wondered if people mind frequent blogging, obviously yours is much appreciated! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 1/3/2013 9:22AM

    I'm glad you're so willing to share the good times and the not-so-good times with the SP community...we all learn from each other. Glad you are back on track...and I knew you would be:) emoticon

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SENATOR9 1/3/2013 9:10AM

    One bad day happens to all of us emoticon

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MSPATOOTY 1/3/2013 9:03AM

    Agreed! Starting the day with SP, even very briefly, has been so helpful in getting my head screwed on straight for the day. Glad to hear your day was better yesterday! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/3/2013 8:54AM

    Love following your journey as I'm sure others do...

Here's to 'here' and 'now'.
Namaste my friend. emoticon

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DEBRA0818 1/3/2013 8:39AM

    It is sometimes hard to put into words the experience we're having and have had, but it's so worth it. There is a lot of gratitude on this website for people like you who keep the conversation going.

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NEW-CAZ 1/3/2013 8:30AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MICKEYMAX 1/3/2013 8:25AM

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BROOKLYN_BORN 1/3/2013 8:10AM

    I agree. Starting the day with SP is a great motivator - writing, reading, tracking - moving forward on the journey. Great job!

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CONCHA77 1/3/2013 8:03AM

    And we love reading your daily blogs~always look for them in the am with my coffee.

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 1/3/2013 7:59AM

    Glad to hear your day went better.

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MIZCATHI 1/3/2013 7:59AM

    I woke up this morning thinking that a short blog would be a good way to keep my priorities together. I love reading yours. They keep me thinking.

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SEESKO 1/3/2013 7:54AM

    Great reasons to blog daily and some of my same reasons to start doing that this year.

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For whatever reason, New Year's Day...

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

I'm sure there were LOTs of things going on in my weird little psyche yesterday, but the end result was beginning an off the record books binge. I might try to reconstruct it after the fact just to see how bad it was, but Spark doesn't like me saying I ate the whole set of ingredients at times. Bottom line, I kind of went off the deep end.

What did I do before it started? Well, to start with, I woke up ravenously hungry, which might be an indication of consistent UNDER eating for the exercise levels I've been putting in. I hadn't been conscious of being hungry on the active days, but yesterday morning? O... M... G!

So I ate breakfast early, which moved all the meals a bit earlier. By 11 a.m. I was already starting in on lunch and ended up going nuts.

What was going on around me? Very cold day. Dusting of snow. I went out with the broom, not the shovel, to clear the surfaces I needed to. Stayed out a bit too long and fingers were really feeling the effects when I got back in.

How about mentally / emotionally? That's always the ticket, isn't it?

Since 2012 was such a good year? Complacency and fear were both creeping in. And then I went and looked up starting weights on my calendars for the past years... something I kind of do, first of each new year. And I think it increased the fear factor. Why? Well, take a peek, this is what it looked like, examining only first of the year numbers.

1999: 207.5
2000: 213.1
2001: 205.1
2002: 217.5
2003: 204.5
2004: 179 (I got divorced in 2003, my son had me working out with him)
2005: 203.5
2006: 206

2007: 165 (Son, his girlfriend and I joined a gym together in early 2006 - late in that year I got down to 138.5, which scared the crap out of me, when my sister lamented she wasn't the skinny sister any more... and I started to regain, following a trip over the dog and it starting to hurt to exercise, resulting in...)

2008: 150.4 (it looks lower, but in fact, I was in the midst of a regain)

2009: 192 (continued to gain a bit through May, when I started my current effort to get back to where I got to in 2007... I wanted to be fit again... really badly)

2010: 148.8 (I declared myself in maintenance, but continued to lose through October. I called my maintenance beginning August, but when I declared my goal range it was...)

2011: 122.2
2012: 127 (Most of the year maintained, but had a really rocky Holiday season in November and December... you've seen how 2012 was such a great athletic year, got rid of the rest)
2013: 120

120 on the first of the year. Scary number. This is less than I weighed going into college. This is less than I was in high school. And it's been 3 New Year's days with a starting weight in the 120's.

Why is a "good" number scary? Emotional question. I like living fit. I like me at this weight. But looking at history... to maintain this weight I have to be watching it... all year long. And the rebel in me was coming out, just looking at those statistics.

Bottom line, I let the monster loose, resulting in a lovely sleep during the football game (good game to sleep through)... and feeling full this morning, still. Going to force a healthy breakfast, though. Because experience has taught me that trying to overly restrict the day after such an episode only prolongs the cycle.

So today, practicing the self-compassion that is so much a part of successful maintenance. We all have days. Today, I'm treating me gently.

Because life *IS* good. Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIRECOM 1/7/2013 5:22PM

    Your 2007 numbers really emphasized the need for working out, at which I am terrible. I will try to improve.

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PATRICIAAK 1/3/2013 11:13PM

    One step backward, two steps forward!

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SHARON10002 1/3/2013 9:58PM

    Barb, if anyone deserves a break - you do. You have made some remarkable achievements, and continue to be a compass rose for many of us - myself included. I do believe you have instilled the discipline to have a day like this. See you proved that be getting right back on the track with the next morning's breakfast. You've aced it!

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GLASSART43 1/3/2013 9:57AM

    Thanks for sharing a very insightful blog. You've given me some ideas to mull over while I struggle with maintenance.
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DEBRA0818 1/3/2013 8:44AM

    The key sentence for me is the idea that the rebellious side comes out when you think about the sacrifices you have to make all year long -- when I think about such things it drives me into a "last time" binge (and of course it's never the last time) which can take me off track for the whole year unless I get back to basics (like you did) and force myself to only think about TODAY. There's a reason why we try to take it one day at a time and you've hit the nail on the head as to why. Good job, Barb!

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KATHIC2 1/3/2013 7:10AM

  I think your blog reflects you have all the insight and skills to maintain. This is great insight to help me with my over eating.

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OVERWORKEDJANET 1/3/2013 5:55AM

    You didn't let loose with the list of what you ate! After my 3100 calorie tell-all I expected the LIST emoticon
Heck, you know you can have a "day"lapse. It's the day-after-day lapse that will get ya.
Need to borrow some big girl panties? Mine are bigger than yours emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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_LINDA 1/3/2013 1:00AM

    Wow! Great record keeping -A Spark article I read says journaling is a great way to keep accountable -having your journey all out there in print is a stark reality check of your struggles. A wonderful reminder of how long it took and how hard you fought until you finally reached a weight you never dreamed of reaching.
A hard lesson learned -undereating for overexercising leads to binge. Spark's trackers really do work when properly used -when I was doing two to three hrs of fitness classes, I had to get my calories up to 2100 not to lose any more weight. Now I am not doing as much, they are at a more normal range.
Here is to putting this day behind you and knowing you are a successful maintainer because you can think things out and work through your problems -that is one smart cookie!! You will learn to love yourself at this new weight because it will eventually become like a second skin for you as you see how much it helps you to be light in your running goals! You go Barb!

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SUNNY332 1/2/2013 8:42PM

    Yes, you do need to be good to you.

You have done amazing.

Sunny

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SLENDERELLA61 1/2/2013 8:08PM

    Yes, life is good! And you will Spark On!! Look at all those numbers and all those years you were heavy and how you have overcome. It dwarfs this little slip. That's all it is, a little slip. And you know it. You know what to do. You are doing it!!

You are smart, too, to think it through and look for the lesson. Undereating when very active is a trigger. As you recognize, we need to eat enough for our activity level. Otherwise our body will tell us to eat! Also look at composition of the food. How was your protein/fat/ carb balance? Healthy fats and healthy carbs? If I have a really, really hungry day my best success has been to eat good regular meals and if still hungry add protein and veggies - like a rotisserie chicken and Steamfresh Broccoli or broiled cod and brussel sprouts.

Last week I had a struggle. This week I'm feeling invincible -- like, I've got this; it won't happen to me again. But really I know it is very unlikely that I've lived my last day of going over my calorie range. (Although my streak of days within calorie range will grow and grow!!) And it helps to know that really, really smart and very, very wise people like you have their struggles, too.

Hoping you wake up tomorrow refreshed and feeling healthy!! Regards, Marsha

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MOBYCARP 1/2/2013 7:57PM

    Once again, you provide me with behavioral echoes that resonate in my life. This time, the echo of eating normally even if that pushes calories higher after a binge. I knew this was important for me, emotionally, to get back on track after a lapse. Your experience validates that for me.

You will pick yourself up and recover. I have confidence in you. You'll do it, because you want to be fit, you understand how to do it, and you're worth it.

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WATERMELLEN 1/2/2013 7:51PM

    Self-compassion indeed: good call.

Key you figured it out: key you're moving on.

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DLDMIL 1/2/2013 7:03PM

    Great Blog and Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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EBEAMS 1/2/2013 5:40PM

    Yep ... getting back on the "right" track is the surest way to just keep chuggin' along. There is no requirement in Life to be perfect, just to not stop trying! I'd say you are a WINNER! emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/2/2013 5:35PM

    Sometimes getting a leash on the monster seems
impossible but once done, calmer heads prevail.
Love yourself and the day will go much better.
But you already knew that. HUGS!

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DR8561 1/2/2013 3:37PM

    I know exactly what you mean about the fear. I feel it every time I get within 10 lbs. of One-derland and find some way to sabotage myself. I really want to get past that this year. You did the smart thing to just start over with your plan today. One binge can't undo months of good work. emoticon

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PORTIAWILLIS 1/2/2013 1:51PM

    Wow, Can I understand your fear. I have never lost ALL my weight. I would get close but never accomplish what I had set as a goal. Everyone would say Oh you have lost enough, Why do you want to lose more. You get the idea. I let myself be derailed by fear of losing the weight and what would be expected of me than. Still don't know why I feel the fear and probably won't ever know but have decided that is not the problem. My problem is giving up on me. I commend you for not giving up on yourself. Where you see fear I see determination and the courage to keep going, on learning that you can do what ever you set out to do. Enjoy your life and look at what you have done and know how proud and happy we are for you.

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-SHOREIDO- 1/2/2013 1:39PM

    Heh! your not alone I'm sure your not!! "Tis the season" and we all have some "twinkin" to do starting off the New Year.
I had the flu and am still battling it. Lost 2lbs.!! I'd trade you in a heart beat right now. Coulden't even finish my cardio blast DVD choices # 1 & 3 with Coach Nicole this A.M. Gave it my best shot but it was a sorry sight as I collapsed on the bed. I thought maybe I'd feel better if I worked out(not so).
Anyway, thanks for sharing Barb and keep us posted as to what worked best for you here. emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 1/2/2013 1:05PM

    You are so right, we do all have days like that. Be good to yourself, forgive yourself, and move on. Maybe your body was just crashing from all the exercise and not enough calories. Or maybe there is some other reason. But I know you will move forward and not make this a habit. You're not going to go back to the places you were. I've so often wished that I could be one of those people who can eat anything and not gain, or who don't get cravings or get very hungry and can pick at foods. But I'm not. So I know that when I do get to maintenance, it's still going to be a year round thing to keep it and not to go back to what my life was like before. Glad you're feeling positive about life today!

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MRS.DOYLE 1/2/2013 12:44PM

    I agree about eating normally. I always think it is a double mistake to go on a binge then to stop eating good food to make up for it. You know what you did and you know how to recover. No problem.
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WILLOWBROOK5 1/2/2013 12:29PM

    " But looking at history... to maintain this weight I have to be watching it... all year long. And the rebel in me was coming out, just looking at those statistics. "

This is what so much of maintenance comes down to, understanding and learning to accept (maybe learning several times to accept) that sometimes there is a price we must pay to be thinner and healthier.

But this says it all:
"Because life *IS* good. Spark on!"

Sometimes we stumble, struggle, get up, see if we can learn from our mistakes and try again. This is especially true during and after the holidays, it seems. Trying to figure out what triggered a binge is pretty hard for me, but there are still lessons I can learn and the most important one is moving on without recrimination. I'm so glad you are being compassionate with yourself for being human. You are a huge success and a true inspiration to so many.



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DEBRITA01 1/2/2013 11:34AM

    We are human, we sometimes get scared and sabotage ourselves. We may not ever know why, but are aware it can happen. Whatever the reason for the little slip, you are on top of it and will turn it around. You are already on your way! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 1/2/2013 10:56AM

    Thanks for the peek into the life and times of a successful dieter! For you, it's not a diet, but a live-it, and I commend you.

A slip-up?? Well of course...you are human. But getting right back in the saddle is what makes you one smart cookie. Um, I mean, one smart bowl of oatmeal!

Happy New Year!

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1CRAZYDOG 1/2/2013 10:42AM

    Look @ all you've been through, but more importantly . . . look @ all you've accomplished! You know what to do and are prepared to do it. One day doesn't have to derail the rest of your sparky life, and clearly you see that too, so that's good!

HUGS and hope today is a better day for you.

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AMSPARKER 1/2/2013 10:38AM

    WOW, just WOW - three years in the 120s. I think this would be enough to scare the crap out of anyone, lots to live up to, lots to think about. I applaud you for letting us peek into your life, you are living it to the best, fullest and absolutely the most "realest"!

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MSPATOOTY 1/2/2013 10:06AM

    Yes, self-compassion is the key. I love how you have carefully thought through what was going on mentally, emotionally and physically that could have led to the binge. Now you have knowledge and understanding that will be useful the next time similar situations arise.

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Oh, and I had the thought ... New Year's Day is a day of transition. I've always found transition periods difficult food-wise. The most likely time for me to veer off of my healthy plan is after work ... a transition from work to home. Or on a Sunday night ... a transition from home to work.

Just my $0.02 adjusted for inflation. emoticon

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MIZCATHI 1/2/2013 10:06AM

    Wow, those are some great statistics there. 120, wow.

You're having an off day, big deal. Don't make a mountain out of a mole hill.

Famous last words, but you know the drill. Today is the day that is in front of you.

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MEXGAL1 1/2/2013 9:58AM

    Boy, you have had one journey for sure. You have done a terrific job. We all slip and slide but as you have learned it's all about are attitude after and how we get back to just good old sound healthy eating that counts.
Do have a terrific day getting back on track.

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HAKAPES 1/2/2013 9:50AM

    Thanks for sharing this!
I loved how you looked back on your weigh throughout the years, and how well you reflect on yourself, and you already made conclusions.

I also like to treat myself gently. There are enough challenges out there to cope with, so for myself, I am nice and gently. Still, I keep on track, but in a gentle way.

2013 will be a great year!

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KANOE10 1/2/2013 9:43AM

    Self compassion is the key. Treat yourself well today and enjoy the day. You have made such strides in your life! You are an inspiration.

Today is a new day! I like the 20s also..am trying to maintain 128..It is the lowest i have been in year.
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DALID414 1/2/2013 9:38AM

    Thank you for your honesty. It helps reaffirm that my fears of hitting my goal weight and the maintenance of it are a real issue.
Be kind to yourself everyday.

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KALIGIRL 1/2/2013 9:30AM

    Won't it be fun to 'figure out' what the journey is all about? As my Crucial Conversation's email suggests, in "Conquering the Weight Loss Plateau", - "Be the subject and the scientist."

I'm still a 'range' person, letting clothing be the the indicator and deciding the 'heavier' side of the range is better for me.

I know you know what is best for you!

Namaste my friend - Life is Good!
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LESLIELENORE 1/2/2013 9:27AM

    emoticon

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ASHPATCH11 1/2/2013 9:26AM

    no one is prefect get back on the wagon like you are and move fwd you got this and i see a lot of love on this page!
wow ur smaller now then you were in Highschool You are my frist sparkfriends and friend in general that can say that...pretty cool!

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GABY1948 1/2/2013 9:06AM

    Barb, I have to agree with all the others, go easy on yourself! This is JUST a learning experience! that is the difference in you and a "normal" binger! Which you are NOT. I bet your tummy feels awful today, doesn't it? Speaking for myself, that is how I feel if I have a binge anymore...yet is younger days of constant bingeing day after day my tummy was just used to it! Each day felt the same. My favorite aunt (actually favorite person in the world) was very thin naturally, yet on a holiday when she did overeat (not even that much) she got up the next day and would hardly eat anything that day because her tummy felt so bad. For years I did not think I would ever have that recognition...but I DO and I bet you do too.

I also understand about exercising too much...recently we had a lot of construction done and I did some of it too so got tons of cardio...and spark even warned me on my nutrition/cardio pages but I didn't listen...then I started "bingeing" too...but didn't really gain from it so I bet you can get back on track without much problem too.

Thanks for being such an HONEST inspiration! I am so glad that we met!

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SENATOR9 1/2/2013 9:01AM

    You came a long way.Give yourself a break at time

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HEALTHY4ME 1/2/2013 8:59AM

    You have done amazing but can I just ask... would it be so hard to not have to be as diligent always on top of things, if it makes you a tad calmer and not as worried if you allowed yourself some wiggle room. I am not saying let it all out and eat but still exercise, but I felt sort of bad for you when you said I have to be watching it all year long....
Now I have no experience in this just what I felt, total feelings. Cos I haven't lost more than 20 lbs and kept it off, luckily never have gained past 200 either, seems to stop for me thankfully. So right now at 184 I am on my way down, hpefully to 140-150 but don't know.
HUGS and I could be totally off the mark, or maybe that bit of leeway may scare you more than being diligent would.
HUGS and you will do great again this year.

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SAMI199 1/2/2013 8:47AM

    My first response was going to be-no big deal-which one day is not,but I do get the fear factor that goes along with the out of control feeling. Thanks for your honesty-I know it helps me.Here's to a better day & a Healthy & Happy New Year!

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JANEMARIE77 1/2/2013 8:37AM

    Life is Good thanks for sharing

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 1/2/2013 8:26AM

    It's a new day. It will be better.

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NEW-CAZ 1/2/2013 8:16AM

    Hey it's okay to break away now and again, your lifestyle is one of health and vitality Barb so don't fret hun

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GINABUG 1/2/2013 8:16AM

    Wow! You are a great record keeper! It is in many ways comforting to see your journey on the "first days." This year I am somewhere around your 2005 mark, but as you show us in such a glorious way, it doesn't have to always be that way. And, your openness in sharing that even at 120 (a weight I cannot even fathom for myself) you still beat yourself up for an occasional "binge" is astounding!

I agree with the others who say, be kind to yourself. Your journey has been long and I'm sure difficult at times...but, in the end so very successful. If I wrote the blog you just did, you would likely say something like, "It happens. Enjoy that you now have the wisdom to continue on your journey in a positive way. I hope you enjoyed it!"

Best to you, Barb! You are truly a role model!

GinaBug emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 1/2/2013 8:08AM

    Give yourself a break and move on. You relaxed on the first day of the new year! It's a lot of hard work to maintain. One day is not going to make you 200 lbs again! And you are smart enough to not let it keep going.

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DOGLADY13 1/2/2013 7:56AM

    One of my spiritual practices is called The Pact of Mercy. It basically boils down to this: if I am going to be able to love the people around me every day, the people I live with (The Hubster), my co-workers, my close family members, I have to forget about their foibles and weaknesses. I know them too well. In order for me to love them, I have to see them with new eyes, as if I never saw them before. I offer them mercy for being human.

Not that you asked, but I think you need to be merciful with yourself. You are not the woman you were in years past. You've learned much. Today is a new day. See yourself with new eyes and all the fresh possibility that goes with it.

You deserve it.

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LEANJEAN6 1/2/2013 7:52AM

    emoticon Oh Barb!---I am happy to see that it took you a long time too---Maybe eventually I'll get there too--Spark on m,y vfriend!--Great Blog-Lynda

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Because I made a new Spark Friend today...

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

And this meme was in her December 31st... the One Word "getting to know you" game. And I haven't done it in a while, so here we are to start a New Year:

Where is your cell phone? Counter
Spouse? divorced
Your hair? thin
Your mother? Deceased
Your father? Deceased
Your favourite thing? treadmill
Your dream last night? peaceful
Favorite drink? Water
What room are you in? cave
Your hobby? Sparkpeople
Your fear? heights
Where do you want to be in 6 years? HERE!
Where were you last night? Home
Something that you aren't? helpless
Muffins? avoided
Wish list item? marathon
Last thing you did? walked
What are you wearing? Sweats
Your pets? cat
Friends? precious
Your life? ideal
Your mood? happy
Missing someone? Son
Drinking? Coffee
Your car? garaged
Something you're not wearing? hat
Your favorite store? Grocery
Your favorite color? yellow
When is the last time you cried? movie
Where do you go over and over? work
Five people who email me regularly? family
Favourite place to eat? Home
Favourite place I'd like to be right now? here

Bottom line: life is good. Working to keep it so! Spark on!
emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_LINDA 1/3/2013 12:26AM

    Thanks for doing it now! I couldn't get anyone to do one of those surveys when I tried it lol
Congrats on your popular blog post -featured at the top of the list on Daily Spark too! You touched a chord there!

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KARIDIAN1 1/1/2013 11:44PM

    I get these every so often from friends and they are always fun to learn things about others.

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SHARON10002 1/1/2013 10:59PM

    Happy New Year to you, Barb! Thanks for sharing with us!

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ROXYZMOM 1/1/2013 10:22PM

    Nice!!

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LINDAKAY228 1/1/2013 7:38PM

    Fun! Happy New Year!

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SUNNY332 1/1/2013 5:28PM

    Awesome....

I will try to get one done today too.

I think they are not only fun but a great way to get to know each other.

Hugs, Sunny

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WILLOWBROOK5 1/1/2013 5:15PM

    Fun to read! Thanks and happy first day of 2013!

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GABY1948 1/1/2013 3:58PM

    I LOVE it! Thank you! Caz is where I got it! HUGS to you new and dear friend! You really ARE an inspiration!

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LJCANNON 1/1/2013 3:16PM

    emoticon The Treadmill is Lovely, but I Love the Lat Pull Down Machine. I don't know why! It just feels Great when I do it!

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DOGLADY13 1/1/2013 2:58PM

    Your favorite thing is the treadmill?!

I'm at a total loss for words.



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SLENDERELLA61 1/1/2013 2:12PM

    Not helpless is right!! You'll do that marathon, too. I have no doubt! Thanks for posting. Hooray for SparkFriends new and old!!

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VITCHY-VICKI 1/1/2013 1:32PM

    may do this next week if I get time
thanks for re-posting
V

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PATRICIAAK 1/1/2013 1:30PM

    May peace bring all our sons and daughters home.

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QUERIDAANA 1/1/2013 1:08PM

    Awesome survey Barb! Happy New Year!

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DLDMIL 1/1/2013 12:56PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing

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KALIGIRL 1/1/2013 12:48PM

    Here's to being where we are!
Life IS good emoticon

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SENATOR9 1/1/2013 11:48AM

    emoticon

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LESLIELENORE 1/1/2013 11:14AM

    emoticon

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ANOTHERMOMOF2 1/1/2013 10:25AM

    Life is good. Happy New Year!

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GINABUG 1/1/2013 10:17AM

    Happy New Year! Thanks for sharing! See you in SparkWorld -- it's on of my fav places as well!

GinaBug emoticon

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MSPATOOTY 1/1/2013 10:10AM

    I think we're Twin Sisters of Different Mothers! emoticon

Happy New Year! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 1/1/2013 10:00AM

    You'll surely accomplish that marathon! Happy New Year and blessings. Blessings to our soldiers and families. HUGS

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COMPUCATHY 1/1/2013 9:42AM

    I have no doubt you will get your wish list item. Thanks for sharing! Have a great new year! Thanks for the inspiration! Spark on! emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA0818 1/1/2013 9:37AM

    Life is a never-ending series of amazements if we have the eyes to see. Happy New Year, Barb!

emoticon

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DEBRITA01 1/1/2013 8:59AM

    Life IS good...Happy New Year, Barb! emoticon

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DALID414 1/1/2013 8:54AM

    Those are always fun.

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NEW-CAZ 1/1/2013 8:53AM

    Happy New Year Barb!

emoticon

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MAGGIE101857 1/1/2013 8:37AM

    Happy New Year Barb!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

The facts of life

Monday, December 31, 2012

I was going to blog about something completely different this morning... but my thoughts were kind of disjointed and I decided I'd best let THAT blog percolate for a while before I write it.

Then my brother went and mentioned some real numbers in his blog about his maintenance range, and I figure I'd talk turkey to those of us small-framed women out here in Spark land trying so hard to lose the pounds and being frustrated at times.

Here's the deal. The weight maintenance game is rigged. Yeppers. Rigged.

First off, normal male body composition contains less fat and more muscle than ours does as the carriers of the progeny. When I see my body fat percentage in the 20% range, I'm doing very well. A guy? Would have to be below 15% to be as fit and healthy as I am at 20%.

This means, with a higher percentage of muscle mass, the gents burn more calories even if they are the same weight as me!

This is NORMAL, and it's OK. I like being female. Would NOT swap!

Second, guys "on average" are larger framed than we are. My son tops me by eight or nine inches. My brother by a similar amount. And lest we forget, they both work out, too. So, with a larger body mass, they require more calories to maintain.

This, too, is NORMAL, and it's OK. I like fitting into smaller spaces and being able to FIT in tourist class on an airplane without feeling my legs are being cramped!

But still, it is somewhat of an eye opener to realize that for them? A normal maintenance range comes out to a binge day for me!

Life is not fair. But it's still good. Weight loss for us ladies may take more work. But, it's still worth it! I love being me. I love being me at my "tiny" size. And if that means I can only have half the calories of my muscular male relatives, so be it... it also means I only NEED half the calories to thrive.

Spark on! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNHUNT 2/2/2013 11:32AM

    emoticon emoticon YOU NAILED IT. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DOBSONSM 1/14/2013 11:55AM

    emoticon

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1GROVES2 1/8/2013 10:54AM

    Very interesting and informative....my husband can eat about anything and also can take a stroll for 10 min and not gain any thing....me eat a scoop of ice cream and gain 2 lbs....power walk for 30 min and not lose any thing! Unfair, but you have put it in perspective!
Thanks

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CM_GARDNER78 1/7/2013 11:56PM

    TOTALLY! emoticon

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PEACEHOPE1 1/7/2013 1:51PM

    So true. This is exactly what began my weight gain after marriage. At 5'8", I began eating the same quantity of the same foods as my 6'6" hubby. And now I know that I just can't do that. We require so much less fuel to function, and thanks to your blog I need to appreciate that instead of be frustrated by it. Thanks!

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BRENDA_G50 1/7/2013 10:05AM

    emoticon emoticon

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FITMOMINNJ 1/7/2013 6:16AM

    emoticon

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LIFETIMER54 1/7/2013 5:01AM

  emoticon emoticon

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SPSPSP1 1/6/2013 11:20PM

    Indeed!

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JIBBIE49 1/6/2013 9:41PM

    emoticon Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. What an honor. emoticon

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FIRECOM 1/6/2013 11:47AM

    I would normally agree with the muscle mass argument, but in my case, age has taken its toll on muscle. DRAT! Try as I might it seems like I will never attain anything close to what I used to be.

As to the differences between men and women...

VIVA LA DIFFERENCES.

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RITAROSE 1/6/2013 6:53AM

  I, too have thought of the inequity of fat levels in men and women and then, like you, realized that even though the deck is stacked against us fat wise, I would never consider swapping either! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAMI199 1/6/2013 4:20AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HYATTI1 1/5/2013 11:27PM

    I agree with you and wish I could say it works for me...but not being a small framed woman I have my own demons I have to deal with.

Joanna

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DESERTFLOWERG 1/5/2013 2:54PM

    Yes being smaller means needing less calories.

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RUN4FOOD 1/5/2013 11:19AM

    I feel luckier today, thanks.
I can't eat as much as your brother, but I'm trying to work in that direction.

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FROMNDTOGA 1/5/2013 10:06AM

    So, so, so, TRUE. My first significant weight gain was when I was first married. I, too, matched the portion size of my new DH. I gained - he didn't!
emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/5/2013 10:07:23 AM

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TINAJANE76 1/5/2013 7:32AM

    Thanks for this great blog. I find lots of things about weight loss and maintenance unfair, but I've come to accept them. I accept that I have to eat less and exercise more than even the average woman my age and size who's never had weight issues. I accept that I wasn't gifted with a raging metabolism, but was gifted with a raging appetite. Learning to accept these things has allowed me to develop a plan that addresses them and allows me to stay successful.

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JENNAAW 1/5/2013 7:25AM

    A well-stated reality. Needs to be said until people like me "get it".

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REENIE131 1/4/2013 10:33PM

    Yep! So very true!

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KACEYSW 1/4/2013 1:41PM

    Thanks for the reality check! That is great information and I really needed it. My roommate is 5 foot-nothing and weighs 140 pounds, all solid muscle. It makes me feel better knowing that he needs to eat more. I just have a hard time convincing him that I only need just less than half of what he eats when he decides to cook for us.

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NEWHEARTSTART 1/4/2013 12:15PM

    I can watch every morsel that enters my mouth, exercise everyday, and drink tons of water only to realize Zero weight loss.

My husband could cut down from six to five Dr Peppers a day for a week and drop twenty pounds all while sitting in front of his computer all day.

So rigged.

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WILSON1926 1/4/2013 9:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMANDACOETZER 1/4/2013 8:09AM

    Thanks

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REJOHNSON3 1/4/2013 5:36AM

    I understand! Very well spoken and appreciated.

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FLY0NTHEWAL1 1/4/2013 3:30AM

    I think one of the reasons I've managed to gain quite a bit of weight recently is because I was doing some general free-eating, and because my partner is a 6', 200 lb man, and I a 5'3, 150 lb woman (several months ago anyway), I was matching my meals to his. Now four months later I'm just about 170 and he's... about the same. Aggravating, yes. But not the end of the world. Thanks for wording this so well. I hadn't considered this as a reason for my turn off the wagon.

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TYLERHILARY 1/3/2013 11:25PM

  emoticon So true - and the reason I put on weight when I got married - I always ate the same size portions as my husband - and guess what I need to be eating about two thirds of what he eats to maintain!

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JAMER123 1/3/2013 10:24PM

    emoticon well spoken emoticon

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GOOSIEMOON 1/3/2013 9:36PM

    emoticon

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MICKEYH 1/3/2013 9:31PM

    This is so true. Thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon

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AMBER461 1/3/2013 9:16PM

  Great blog. Thanks for sharing, it is true we are different from men in our body structure they make muscle while women make fat. emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/3/2013 9:19:39 PM

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SJKENT1 1/3/2013 7:49PM

    thanks

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J2740LOU 1/3/2013 6:20PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon Great Blog!

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L1ZB3TH354 1/3/2013 6:02PM

    emoticon

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CHARTHESTAR 1/3/2013 5:51PM

    I wouldn't trade for a minute either!

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PCASEY7 1/3/2013 5:34PM

    Great blog, thanks for pointing out the differences between male and female requirements as I sometimes forget and envy men...ha!

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DATMAMA4 1/3/2013 3:10PM

    Thanks for the reminder that "fair" does not always mean "equal portions" with my hubby. As a 5'2" woman, even a small amount of weight gain shows more than it would on a taller person. Any time I've ever tried to lose weight along with my husband, he has always lost twice as much with half as much effort.

Oh well...who ever said life was fair?

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EENLIGHTENING 1/3/2013 2:34PM

    Like everything in life, it boils down to perspective.

I am 6'1" and for a woman, that is TALL, so even though I have never been super heavy or overweight, I am still cramped in those airline seats. emoticon No worries, it's only an observation not a complaint. emoticon

I don't view life from the lens of what is fair or unfair, but as more of a positive/negative vibration. I choose to project positive vibes about life so I can then expect positive back. If I think life is unfair then that is how it will appear. Just sayin'!

Thanks for sharing!

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DESERTJULZ 1/3/2013 1:44PM

    Yes, it is rigged! At only 5' 2" and a small-boned frame, I've had to accept that fact that my upper range of calories is below many people's lower range. I can still eat as many different foods and as many servings as they eat; the individual servings, however, must be significantly smaller!

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MOMMY445 1/3/2013 1:18PM

    what a great blog! thanks for sharing and have a terrific day!

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MARJORIE80 1/3/2013 12:37PM

  When looking at the calories allowed per day for me, my husband said, "Is that all you get? That's not enough!". I'll love him forever for saying that! At least he realizes the big difference in our allotments and feels for me! emoticon emoticon

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FIT4MEIN2013 1/3/2013 11:28AM

    Great blog!

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KNYAGENYA 1/3/2013 11:07AM

    emoticon

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JERICHO1991 1/3/2013 10:36AM

    Good perspective and attitude.

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NIKKIJ55 1/3/2013 8:56AM

    emoticon

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LISA_FRAME 1/3/2013 8:19AM

  thanks

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DJSHIP46 1/3/2013 8:12AM

    Life is good... comparing our journey to that of men... Maybe not so good!!! I have always know that you have to be tougher to be a woman!!!

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LIFETIMER54 1/3/2013 8:06AM

  emoticon emoticon

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SHULAMIT58 1/3/2013 7:41AM

    Great blog-- thanks for pointing out one of the key differences between men and women.... and there are more too ;-).

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GINA180847 1/3/2013 7:35AM

    I was always amazed at what I could pack away and still be a reasonable weight at under 5'. My ex was hefty and 5' 10" and anything he ate went to fat. But that might have been from too much alcohol and a defective liver.

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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....

emoticon

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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.
emoticon

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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!


Karen

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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'.
emoticon

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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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