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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thought that title would get your attention! Seriously, folks, on Valentine's Day, as a single woman, I figure it's a good day to talk about the mental / emotional game of motivation.

I've been reading several blogs this week that focus on the scale and how seeing it go up or down is affecting the mood of the weigh-ee. For good or for bad.

Believe it or not (I'm sure those of you who are familiar with my flights of blog-antasy will believe)... I am drawing parallels between "holiday blues" and "scale results (or lack thereof) blues".

Both are about expectations, responsibility, ability to influence, and reality. Even my recent freak-outs over work are about expectations, anticipation and reality.

Anytime we expect things that are out of our control to go a certain way... anytime we outline... try to manipulate or control... something that is NOT something we control... we set ourselves up for the potential of dissapointment. Or, contrarily, we set ourselves up to take credit for something that truly was an experience of grace.

You have people in your life you love? Cherish them this Valentine's Day. But whether you're in a perfect relationship or not, remember to love and cherish yourself... because you are worth it... no matter WHERE you are on your journey to healthy living!

So, just for today... God grant me serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Spark on!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 2/15/2013 12:25PM

    Right on - after all, the only thing we can 'control' is our attitude...

May be late, but emoticon coming your way!

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    LOL I was actually disappointed when my DH remembered a card!
He's not one for Hallmark moments even though society has trained us to jump through hoops. I was more enchanted that he put away the dishes!!!!

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MSLZZY 2/15/2013 7:16AM

    I love that you included the serenity prayer at
the end. I need to try to accept what comes along,
but make sure I make the best choices for me so
that I will not be disappointed by them. After
that, accept that I am in control of me and not
the whole world. HUGS!

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_LINDA 2/15/2013 1:31AM

    Having been a single woman all my life with no expectations of anything else, I have come to live in peace with myself. To accept all my faults, warts and all, to accept my reality, but to also try be all that I can be as well :) To never give in and never give up!!
Here is to being successful at what ever you choose, but to not beating yourself up if it doesn't work out exactly as planned.
Happy Valentine's Day my friend!

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KARIDIAN1 2/14/2013 10:07PM

    You forgot the line that goes something like the power to take out the naysayers or something like that.

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MOBYCARP 2/14/2013 9:05PM

    Aside from the pink heart shaped cookies at the VITA site, I didn't notice it was Valentine's Day. February 14 is much less stressful when I don't have to fulfill expectations of acting romantically.

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LJCANNON 2/14/2013 8:30PM

    emoticon Very Good Advice, especially Today!!!

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DEBRITA01 2/14/2013 7:39PM

    The entire blog has a great message, but the 5th paragraph says it insightful and true. Love the Serenity brings such perspective to every day life. emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 2/14/2013 7:23PM

    You are SO right. That is a very good point about expectations and lack of control and disappointments. I'll remember that and carry it with me. Very good message for where I am right now. Thanks!!

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LEANJEAN6 2/14/2013 6:37PM

    just enjoy being you Barb!-I emoticon emoticon loves ya!!!

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LESLIELENORE 2/14/2013 2:53PM


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DEBRA0818 2/14/2013 1:30PM

    Happy Valentine's Day, Barb! Confucius says that all unhappiness begins with a comparison, whether that comparison is between what you expect of yourself and actually are, or what you expect of others and the world and actually get. How much better to focus only on things we can control and work on accepting the rest.


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PATRICIAAK 2/14/2013 12:00PM


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DLDMIL 2/14/2013 11:53AM

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and all the single women. I will be traveling later today with my DD and gkids for a four day weekend. that is how I am spending my Valentine's, with my family. It will be 2 days of long driving, but we will make the most of it to enjoy each others company.

Have a great weekend and I will check in when I can. Stay strong Barb. emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/14/2013 11:54:37 AM

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ROXYZMOM 2/14/2013 10:37AM

    Very true! Good points!

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MEXGAL1 2/14/2013 10:25AM

    So true, we need to love ourselves.
Happy Valentine's Day!

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LINDAKAY228 2/14/2013 9:42AM

    As another single woman, I totally agree! We can celebrate Valentine's day by treating ourselves and our bodies special and then try to carry it through the year! It doesn't just have to be about romantic relationships with others, but our special relationship with ourself!

Happy Valentine's Day! emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 2/14/2013 8:57AM

    Oh my gosh . . . that's absolutely my mantra . . . the Serenity Prayer! You have written such a very important blog! The most important thing I have to remember is :

"Anytime we expect things that are out of our control to go a certain way... anytime we outline... try to manipulate or control... something that is NOT something we control... we set ourselves up for the potential of dissapointment. Or, contrarily, we set ourselves up to take credit for something that truly was an experience of grace. "

Such profound words!

Happy Valentine's Day to you and thanks for this wonderful blog.

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CONCHA77 2/14/2013 8:54AM

    Happy Valentines Day to you, Barb.

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CELIAMINER 2/14/2013 8:11AM

    Beautifully said! In my two years on SP, I've seen the weight come off, the weight stay off, and my fitness level improve. But the biggest change has been inside, where negative self-talk has been replaced by self-forgiveness and self-love. It's elating to feel I am worthy of being happy and worthy of enjoying good things in life.

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JANEMARIE77 2/14/2013 7:53AM

    Great blog have a great day

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SANDYCRANE 2/14/2013 7:50AM

    I loved your comments, especially about the scale. Thanks for enlightening me.

emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 2/14/2013 7:50AM

    Right on !!! have a great day! HUGS

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GABY1948 2/14/2013 7:46AM

    GREAT, GREAT blog, Barb! Thanks! Have a GREAT day! emoticon

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Made it to Wednesday, the test of mid-week

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

I'm at the first of the day, Wednesday, "hump day". It's also Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.

So far this week, I've been on program, but I can always use a fresh pep talk for the day.

The food table at work yesterday was truly spread for Mardi Gras (literal translation is "Fat Tuesday" for those who asked): cookies, donuts, brownies, but also some strawberries, grapes, bananas. Crackers, cheese. Dirty rice at noon. All of which I left where it stood, despite that pink-frosted filled pastry practically shouting my name. I talked back to it as instructed: it will not make the project, the stress, etc. go away.

After work, phone call disrupted the thoughts of treadmill. Got extra steps in pacing while son walked on the other end of the line, but I wimped on my run, since I wasn't dressed for it. I later got on, but didn't go more than 10 minutes.

Son and I made plans to meet Monday for our next running outing. He got his job offer. I am the mother of a civilian employee! At least as of March 4th, that is. And at the same point, of a new homeowner. "The kids" (son and d-i-l) are entering a new phase of life, which means I am, too.

So, for today -
The emoticon still won't make it go away. It does not have magical powers.

emoticon emoticon emoticon Do help. Make sure you take those breaks, and after work, do the run you didn't do yesterday.

And the snack/lunch bag? emoticon It's packed.

Starting to plan for the overnight gig... if I have to go in, what to take with... that sort of thing.

emoticon emoticon Getting through Wednesday! Life is good. Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEANJEAN6 2/14/2013 6:37AM

    nice to have your son back----You are doing well!----Love yu Barb!--Happy Hearts Day too!- emoticon

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BOOKAPHILE 2/13/2013 11:28PM

    Well done in the managing of the unexpected foods calling your name. You have great plans and are moving forward.

Congratulations, Mom of a civilian employee AND of a new homeowner!

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ROXYZMOM 2/13/2013 10:40PM

    Oh my goodness!! A lot in a short blog! You are managing well!!

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WATERMELLEN 2/13/2013 10:06PM

    Great pep talk: thanks for letting me eavesdrop, it works for me too. And congrats to your son, so happy he's got work!! (So wish my DD could also find something . . . )

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KARIDIAN1 2/13/2013 10:03PM

    Congrats on your son's new job. That must take a load off the back of your mind.

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EBEAMS 2/13/2013 7:55PM

    YES .. CONGRATS to your son and DIL! That is GREAT news! In reading your blog, I was reminded of something that happened at my work today. There's a new girl who is not in my age group and doesn't appear to be weight challenged. She went to another floor of the building and got a plate full of cookies, which she then brought into our work area. She brought the cookie plate to each of us individually to offer them. It was not hard to resist because I am reminded every time I look at my pouchy tummy that I DON'T need these but I found myself thinking on my run that I would love to email her pictures of my before and after to encourage her to understand that for some people it really is about not having even ONE! Good job avoiding the food tables AND getting your exercise in! You rock!

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PATRICIAAK 2/13/2013 6:04PM

    congrats to your son

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DLDMIL 2/13/2013 5:39PM

    emoticon to you, your son and dil. You are doing great. Keep packing your lunch and stay strong. emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 2/13/2013 4:18PM

    You are just doing great!! Love your pep talks. They help me think of how to do my pep talks, because pep talks definitely do help, as I've recently found out. Kudos on leaving alone the temptations and sticking to what you know fuels your body well.

Congrats to the son on the job and the house. How far is it from your home? That is just great that you are going to run with him again. Such a training partner would be so cool!! You think it will be weekly? Can't imagine anything better for a fit mom!

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DEBRITA01 2/13/2013 11:53AM

    emoticon Good news all the way around!

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BARBARAJ73 2/13/2013 9:57AM

    Great news for your kids and emoticon job planning for today !! Spark on !!

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MEXGAL1 2/13/2013 9:39AM

    woo hoo for your son!

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ALOHAEV1 2/13/2013 9:29AM

    That is awesome news on your son!

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-SHOREIDO- 2/13/2013 9:17AM

    Thanks for the Ash Wed reminder!! For some reason it just slipped off of the "back burner". Means my counter is overloaded!!
Great news for that family of yours!! Good job!!
Don't worry about that donut. Its that time of the year when you feel like busting out.Try singing "She's a Rebel" to that darn donut so it understands who its dealing with.
Have a great day!

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1CRAZYDOG 2/13/2013 9:00AM

    Glad you talked back to those Fat Tuesday treats!

Wishing your son and DIL much luck and love in their new home! And SOOOOOO GLAD to hear he got the job! Fantastic.

Lots to celebrate.

HUGS and a Happy Valentine's Day (early, I know!)

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LESLIELENORE 2/13/2013 8:07AM

    emoticon I don't know as that I would have been able to stay away from the goodies. Good for you!

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GABY1948 2/13/2013 7:52AM

    Have a GREAT hump day!

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DEBRA0818 2/13/2013 7:44AM

    WOW! There's a lot going on in your life, Barb, not to mention the DS's -- back home, new job, new house and a Mom who's running a marathon! Quite a lot to process, and you're SO RIGHT that food won't help any of it. In many ways, we've both learned how that temporary go-to solution actually makes it all so much harder.

Spark on (and have a good Lent)!


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HEALTHY4ME 2/13/2013 7:43AM

    YOu do so well!!!! and congrats to ds on job, and dil for their house. Good times for your family!
Have a great day.

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MAGGIE101857 2/13/2013 7:30AM

    Happy Hump Day! Let's make it a successful one!!!

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BIGDOG18 2/13/2013 7:29AM


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MSLZZY 2/13/2013 7:28AM

    A new job, a new home! Great news!
Adjust, adapt and take the changes as they come.
Plan ahead. You are on top of your game!

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Tuesday begins

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Did well with the Monday... blood bank success and surprise! Saw a Spark friend there and learned she's taking another first timer out for the half marathon in May. I could only be more giddy if I were doing it myself. But in fact, I'm still anticipating trying for the full. We shall see how stretching the distance goes this weekend.

It shall, however, have to dance around the work priority - it's my turn to monitor an overnight run Friday night to Saturday morning. And with my laptop dead, I found myself this morning testing out the remote tools with my ancient desktop. They work... but so.... slow....

Today is Mardi Gras - fat Tuesday. Work folks are planning the traditional spread. I repeat, and keep repeating... the treats on that food table will not make the big project go away. Barb, you need focus... and for focus you need good, solid nutrition. That stuff you put in the bag for snacks and lunch. OK? OK!

Spark a great day, everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRICIAAK 2/13/2013 1:22AM

    You have the stamina to get through it

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SLENDERELLA61 2/12/2013 9:25PM

    You are juggling this huge work demand AND healthy living really thoughtfully and well. Very good, Barb. Everything you say is right and significant, especially the part about the Mardi Gras spread not helping you get the work done, whereas the healthy food you've packed will help you function at your best. Good luck with the long run as you move toward that full marathon. How cool that you've got other SparkPeople doing the half. It is great for a first timer to have a buddy. I know. I had the best!! Thanks again, Barb!

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EBEAMS 2/12/2013 6:16PM

    It is hard to walk away when things are enticing and tempting you to indulge. I often use the fact that OTHERS are looking at what I eat as an excuse to not take anything. I know it's wrong but it's a way to make my pride work FOR me instead of against me. Work people are all very used to me saying "No thanks!". I guess you could say I've gained a reputation! emoticon

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DALID414 2/12/2013 3:33PM

    Looks like you're making it Fit Tuesday too.

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DLDMIL 2/12/2013 2:42PM

    emoticon emoticon on packing your snacks and lunch. Hope your overnight shift work goes well. Stay Strong.

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MIRAGE727 2/12/2013 2:42PM

    Stay strong, Barb!

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_LINDA 2/12/2013 1:33PM

    Good luck with making it through today! I am sure you will come through it with flying colors!! But what a pain, having an overnighter :((
Someday, I really want to be going to New Orleans when its Mardi Gras time. Everyone should get to see the spectacle at least once in their lifetime..
Hope things go smoothly for you at work..

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LESLIELENORE 2/12/2013 12:55PM


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ANOTHERMOMOF2 2/12/2013 11:14AM

    You can do it! Have a great day.

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MEXGAL1 2/12/2013 10:32AM

    Have a great day! And keep away from the food table!

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GABY1948 2/12/2013 8:47AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 2/12/2013 8:32AM

    Great job packing your snacks - drink lots of water ... Good luck!

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DEBRITA01 2/12/2013 8:27AM

    Whatever the day brings, let's not make it a true Fat Tuesday. Have a great day! emoticon

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LEANJEAN6 2/12/2013 8:11AM

    what is FAT TUESDAY. BARB?---never heard of it-----
emoticon Anyway==mind over matter too for you--LOL-----Enjoy the day-Lynda

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HEALTHY4ME 2/12/2013 7:56AM

    YOu do so well at that self talk! Have a super day!

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MSLZZY 2/12/2013 7:54AM

    I forgot it was Fat Tuesday. Not a day for excess but a day for success!

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Project Week 2 - Work Week Pep Talk #2

Monday, February 11, 2013

OK, since last week's seemed to work well, we'll try it again.

Best line from last week, so I'm repeating it:

* The donut on the food table will not make it go away.

Some things I felt went well last week:

* The anxiety dissipates when you deal rationally with what's scaring you. Go logic! Channel your inner Spock!

Things I want to do better this week:

* Don't try to do it all yourself. There is a reason it is a team. Share the wealth and delegate.

* Folks want direction, not someone to do it for them. Use your organization skills, that's what they are for.

*Avoid the shiny obects of looking at the code yourself.

* Getting the break walks in will not be easy with the meeting schedule. Do it anyway.

There, that should do it.

Today: planned rest day on the workout schedule. Blood bank appointment at noon. And coaching call tonight (treat).

Hope all my Spark friends have a great week... and we'll just take it one day at a time! Spark on! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBEAMS 2/12/2013 6:19PM

    You can do it! Consider your walk breaks a "gift" to yourself. Would anyone else you know turn down a graciously offered gift??? Nope ... neither should YOU!

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_LINDA 2/12/2013 1:36PM

    LOVE that one -channel your inner Spock! Glad you are going to make the effort to let it be a team project. No sense heaping everything on yourself when you can give it to someone else to do!!
Curse those treats -they seem to multiply like rabbits and never go away!!! May the force be strong within you!!
Make your week great!!

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MSLZZY 2/11/2013 11:41PM

    Good one! Channel my inner Spock!

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KARIDIAN1 2/11/2013 10:00PM

    Good thoughts to help you get through this project.

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PATRICIAAK 2/11/2013 9:50PM


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ANOTHERMOMOF2 2/11/2013 8:09PM

    Have a great week!

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LESLIELENORE 2/11/2013 5:50PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LINDAKAY228 2/11/2013 5:37PM

    Very good pep talk! A lot of points I can take and adapt to myself becaus I need a pep talk too this week!

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SLENDERELLA61 2/11/2013 4:19PM

    You know precisely what you are doing! You know how to be very productive AND take care of yourself, too. You can do it. You are doing it!! And, believe it or not, this retiree benefits from your logic and commitment. I can obsess over little things that don't matter. Seeing you looking at the big picture helps me, too. Thanks!! I'll SparkOn and I know you will, too!!

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GABY1948 2/11/2013 1:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DLDMIL 2/11/2013 12:06PM

    delegate tasks and breath. Walk Breaks are very important, keep up the great work. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEXGAL1 2/11/2013 10:09AM

    sounds good to me
Have a terrific week!

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DEBRITA01 2/11/2013 8:52AM

    As they say, there is no I in Team...good to "delegate and share the wealth". You have a solid plan of action for this week and you inspire me to do the same. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 2/11/2013 8:48AM

    Right on ! I will take it one day at a time and as for food choices, one minute at a time it seems.
HUGS and you will have a great week cos you planned to!

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1CRAZYDOG 2/11/2013 8:33AM

    Here's to a great week, Barb. Hang in there! HUGS

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Sunday thoughts and such

Sunday, February 10, 2013

First off, I understand those who say 8 miles is not wimping out. However, when you planned to do 15, and you only do 8, it is a little bit. As long as 15 was not an unrealistic plan to begin with.

Because I knew son was not up to 15, I was thinking run over to his place, have him join me for 3-4 miles (his current distance), then run home. It would have added up to about the right thing for me. The fact that we went over 7? Was due to talking smack to a young fit guy. Beware, fellow mothers of sons. emoticon

He started it. Honest. He was nattering on about weapons, a topic on which I am about as ignorant as they come, but he's an expert. I pointed out that I was not the right audience for his rhetorical questions. And he responded that I was a captive audience: he could run faster than I.

I taunted back that I can run farther / longer than he. And then out it comes, the competitor gene: "Challenge accepted" says he!

I was ready to keep going when we slowed to a walk for his foot, so I believe both our points were made. Hopefully today I'll do another intermediate to "make up" for yesterday's intermediate distance.


It is nasty windy outside today. I went out to the grocery store this morning and as I drove in, saw a cart get loosened from the queue and blown across the lot... I cringed as it neared a parked vehicle. Ouch! Tried to pick a "wise" spot for Dexter to stay while I shopped.

On the way out, I noticed the wind was turning my cart directions I was not pushing it toward, too. When I used to weigh a good deal more, I at least felt anchored. At 120 something, not so much. Methinks this afternoon's run might just be done on the treadmill.

That said, reminders for today include hydration and caffeine level management. I woke this morning with a headache and swollen sinuses. It might be the weather front, but it also could be the hydration / caffeine stuff leftover from yesterday. That was part of my slow start this morning.

So, laundry, groceries, and when I get to the point of "ready to play"... treadmill. Because after yesterday's run? I've still got legs.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Oh, and in case I hadn't said it lately: I LOVE my Spark friends! We are SOOOO in this together! Spark on... LIFE is good. Continue making it more so with your healthy choices today. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 2/11/2013 4:27PM

    WOW! Great blog and you still got legs! I know you'll use them.

I'm a little envious that you can run with your son. Wish I could get my daughter interested in running. or walking. or Zumba. or something active. I do have a niece who could push me if she trained, and I have a nephew who motives me to move, but not necessarily fast.

Happy runnning! Happy training for that marathon!! I'm proud of you, even while I'm still thinking it's probably not for me, but time will tell. Take care, Barb!! -Marsha

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LEANJEAN6 2/11/2013 6:40AM

    Sounds like you are enjoying son #1 b emoticon eing home--Lynda

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_LINDA 2/11/2013 12:54AM

    That was a neat competition with you and your son, but I sure hope his poor feet aren't paying the piper today!! Rather different topic for conversation, weapons :P
Your winds sounds like the ones we get around here. The old joke if it ever stopped here, a lot of people would fall over :P Its fun to have it at your back, but not so much so on the return journey when it drives the snow and grit in your face!!
I am with you on the sinuses -mine have been plugged for a week and nothing is getting rid of it :( I have nasal spray, Allegra D and a sinus rinse (which didn't even go anywhere to tell you how bad they are)
I hope your work week goes sanely!
Spark on!

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PATRICIAAK 2/11/2013 12:12AM

    Sounds like you and your son have a lot in common.

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MOBYCARP 2/10/2013 9:02PM

    He may or may not tell you, but I'm sure he's proud to have a mother who can run that far.

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KARIDIAN1 2/10/2013 8:57PM

    Hubby and I would probably love to talk with him.

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ROXYZMOM 2/10/2013 8:48PM

    Funny how much more we push ourselves when we have a running partner! I am glad you had a great weekend!

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1CRAZYDOG 2/10/2013 8:32PM

    Good job!!! Awesome.

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LINDAKAY228 2/10/2013 6:32PM

    Glad you got to go running with your son, even if he did pick on you some! Fun! We had the high winds yesterday. I drove to a town 2 hours away to do a 5k race, and coming home had 45 - 50 degree winds I found all the way. It wore me out more than the race. At least during the race it wasn't bad. But I know why you decided on the treadmill LOL!

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WATERMELLEN 2/10/2013 6:22PM

    Pushing my loaded grocery cart through deep snow/ruts took all the strength I could muster . . . and then I went over to help another woman (at least 2 decades younger than me). Gotta say, it felt good!!

So I guess I've got a little of that competitive gene in me too . . . .

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MSLZZY 2/10/2013 5:30PM

    Methinks you and DS had a great time and competition
going. I hear you on the wind. It is brisk and cold
and blowing around the light snow that started
about the same time as the wind did. The only
comforting thought is that the 3-5 inches of
heavy, wet snow will NOT be blowing around.

Comment edited on: 2/10/2013 5:31:32 PM

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GABY1948 2/10/2013 4:25PM

    I love your blogs, Barb...don't care if they are happy or have a way with words! Have a great week! And HUGS

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LESLIELENORE 2/10/2013 2:29PM

    I wish I had someone to run with! Be careful with that wind.

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MNTWINSGAL 2/10/2013 2:09PM

    A treadmill run for you today for's too treacherous out there for you. We need you to stay fit so you can make your upcoming marathon. After all....did you know that many of us are running vicariously through you?

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DALID414 2/10/2013 1:27PM

    So technically your son wimped your run yesterday emoticon Don't tell him I said that emoticon

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DEBRITA01 2/10/2013 1:26PM

    I loved your mother-son challenge...I'm sure he knew beforehand but, son must really know now that you're a force to be reckoned with. He may have the speed, but you have the distance and you both seem to have a lively competitive spirit.Sounds like you had a lot of fun running together. If you didn't wear him out, I'm sure there will be more smack talk challenges in the weeks to come:) emoticon

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DLDMIL 2/10/2013 1:03PM

    Competition, isn't it great. I challenged myself yesterday to get my steps up and I finally stopped at 11:00 pm with over 56,000 steps. I know how you feel about our small frames and getting caught in those windy situations and trying to stay upright, it is so difficult at times. Have a great Sunday. emoticon emoticon

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KLMEIRING 2/10/2013 12:41PM

    Grateful for your Blog! I'm smiling at the competitor's challenge. I think that is one of the reasons it is good to exercise with someone. emoticon

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HEALTHY4ME 2/10/2013 12:28PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

I love you too! you are a super spark friend!!! Your blogs are so great. Take care...

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HPSANDDOLLAR 2/10/2013 12:28PM

  An interesting Day so far. You sound busy.

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