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Thursday, February 11, 2010

You guys are amazing, you know that?

To continue this morning's story, I made it past the chocolate again today, mainly due to having posted that blog entry this morning. Tonight I came home to a whole collection of wonderful tips from my Spark Friends... sharing their own experience, strength and hope about one of my weaknesses.

Anyway, today I was in meetings all day, and at a couple of stressful points in the day, I made certain that I went down to walk my loops in the basement. At noon I went outside, across the street, and bought myself my latest reward for working my program: a ticket to see
. Cheaper than a massage, and something I've wanted to do my whole life and never got around to.

This is my valentine to myself. And suddenly, I don't need chocolate quite so much.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GINABUG 2/12/2010 10:04PM

    What amazing choices! There is much wisdom in this decision... And you will carry the memories much longer than you would have the taste of the chocolate!

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MSLZZY 2/12/2010 5:04PM

    Rewards don't have to be food and this was perfect!

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WALKINGANNIE 2/12/2010 12:42PM

    Your Spark Friends love you too!

Congratulations for coming up with the plan for an alternative reward. A smart idea and a well-deserved treat.


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KALIGIRL 2/12/2010 9:23AM

    Love it, love it, love it.
What a perfect treat.
Happy Valentines to You!
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NELLIEC 2/11/2010 10:51PM

    Sounds like a great show to see! emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA_T 2/11/2010 10:45PM

    Awesome, Barb. When those horses do the flying lead changes they look like their skipping and it just lifts you up right out of your chair! Excellent reward and good strategy!


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Yelp! They moved the chocolate at work!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Seriously humorous - somebody in their infinite wisdom decided that having food in the receptionist area was causing too much "socializing" at the front desk... and it's been banished. Unfortunately, where they banished the candy jar to... is within a very few steps of where I sit. And... it's full of Dove dark chocolate.

Now over the months and years, I have trained myself to walk right past the reception area, knowing that the food that gets put up there is just "not for me". Yesterday, I found my feet automatically veering toward that jar every time I walked by. (No, I did not dip into it). It was like a magnet of some sort! It took a mental battle to choose not to take a piece, each time.

Later in the day, a few of us took a walk in the chilly sunshine (sun sure looks great, by the way... felt like a bear coming out of hibernation)... and ended up at a drug store with aisles and aisles of Valentine's Day candy. In fact, my compatriots were there purchasing same for their kids. I had to physically leave the aisle to keep myself from the stuff.

Going to have to come up with a plan... will I plan a small treat to make myself not feel deprived? That might work. I'm better with a plan than without one... but somehow, "what was I thinking?"... was I thinking I was just going to breeze by one of the major chocolate days of the U.S. Calendar without being tempted?


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOGOULD 2/11/2010 3:41PM

    emoticonThat's a tough one! I can usually deal with a sweets craving by keeping cubed or balled melon in the fridge for a quick sweet snack, but when emoticonCHOCOLATE emoticoncalls my name, well, melon just won't do. I have looked up and add to my favorites list what a sensible serving of chocolate is and in case of emergency I turn to that - and savor! emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/11/2010 3:42:39 PM

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NELLIEC 2/11/2010 3:09PM

    Well, I like to give myself a tiny treat of one little square of dark chocolate at the end of the day.

Of course, the allure of chocolate is that it stimulates the same feelings as being in love does! So it naturally goes with Valentine's Day!!!

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WALKINGANNIE 2/11/2010 1:04PM

What a shame that life is conspiring against you on this one Barb. It's the seemingly small stuff like this than can derail the most focused of us.

You'll probably work out your own solutions but I deal with the chocolate thing by having a single square of Lindt 85% or 90% when I feel the urge. It's supposed to be healthful in small quantities. I nibble it and savour it. I've grown to love it but it's an acquired taste if you're a sweet, milk chocolate person.

A couple of sugar-free mints can sometimes rid me of other sweetie-urges. Remembering that the artificial sweeteners in them can have a laxative effect is enough to make me manage the portion control!

If things like this don't work you'll have to leave your coins at home or invest in some designer blinkers!

Good luck!


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PATRISNA 2/11/2010 11:20AM

    Oh dear! My sweet friend I feel your pain. I was having a real problem with leftover chocolates from Christmas. There are times when I can eat one tiny piece and then other times when it triggers a binge.

I am picky about what brand I will eat. So my trick is not to buy the brand I like. I haven't bought any lately and I am going to avoid buying any for a while. I thought the stuff I bought for Christmas would not tempt me and I was wrong very wrong.

My DH and I were talking last night about the the Stove Top stuffing I made. He said I could eat all of that left in the pan, but I'm not. We don't eat stuffing very often. I said isn't it funny how much you can crave something like that? I said I would rather have stuffing than ice cream. He put a serving for each of us in our leftover containers for our lunch today.

I hope you can resist the you know what. emoticon

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SHARON2014 2/11/2010 10:38AM

    How is it that these type of decisions (struggles really) seem to dominate our thoughts at times. Candy is not my problem, but fried foods are. I have committed to abstain for the month of February - and before I read your blog I was trying to figure out how I could fit in fish & chips into my calorie count for the day. Then I remembered my goals for the month. How conveniently I had forgotten... why is it that my "comfort" foods are also the things that tempt and then tip me over the edge of self control? I am glad to have Spark Friends together with me on this journey! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 2/11/2010 9:08AM

    Ooooooo, that's a tough one. If you can win this one, you've got it licked!! Be strong. Visualize yourself stronger than chocolate. You are stronger than chocolate. You have control over chocolate. You can choose when and where you will have chocolate in a healthy amount. You can do it!! Give us at least a weekly update on this BIG challenge. Again, you can do it.

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CARISSA81 2/11/2010 8:49AM

    I find that one small treat always leads to another until the whole package is gone. That's me though. It may be better to give yourself a small treat each day.

Best of luck, oooh why oh why is chocolate soooooo good?

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SUNNY332 2/11/2010 8:46AM

    Yes, I agree that it is important to find something to treat yourself with occasionally so you don't end up feeling deprived. That feeling could spell disaster.

Take care and have a TERRIFIC THURSDAY.


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__IZZA__ 2/11/2010 8:10AM

    These sort of holidays are a challenge but you it is also time to start new traditions. Maybe there is some healthy snacks that you can bring with you to work so in case the temptation is really horrible.
It is just a few days left now, so hold on. Soon it will have passed by. :)

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DEBRA_T 2/11/2010 8:07AM

    Oh, man, you're singing my song. I just decided I had to give it up completely because, as they say, one is too much and 75,000 is not enough. Or something like that. Chocolate is an accelerator for me that I just cannot afford to step on. I don't know if I ever will be able to have "just one," so I'm not risking it for now. I don't know what you will decide to do -- but I know it will be right for you -- but I feel very relieved that I have taken myself out of the debate. The Valentine Candy which will undoubtedly be replaced by Easter Candy on Sunday which will torture us for another 6 weeks -- just OFF LIMITS. I never thought I could say this but abstinence is easier than moderation for me in this one food. Hang tight, my friend, temptation is just a thought not a deed. Thank God!

Cheers, Debra
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Pep talks - how it's going

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It isn't that I've never done self-pep talks before, but this week I'm trying to be conscientious and conscious of when I do. Today's little pep talk took place while I walked laps in the basement of the office building where I work. I do this during "bad" weather, when going outside to walk on break is not a pleasant option.

This morning's pep talk was about the upcoming work challenges and maintaining healthy habits when I enter a period of time where I will be sorely tempted to overwork. One of the first things that happens when I fixate on a big work project is that I try to throw myself, personally, at it, and make it all come together by sacrificing my personal time and life.

This has made me successful in my career, but it's not the way I want to live the rest of my life. So, my self-talk is directed at "my mind gets sharper when I take an exercise break", "if I drain my health by over-working, that won't do the project any good", "it's important to delegate", and of course, the every popular, "You can do it... you CAN let go".

If I can let go of the food, I can let go of feeling I must personally do EVERYTHING at work.

You see, Sparking is about so much more than nutrition and exercise. It is about becoming our best selves. Our best selves are not self-destructive!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 2/11/2010 12:52PM

    Right on the button.

I've always had a strong work ethic as well and am lucky to have a great job that I love. I thought I was indispensible, working long hours and taking too much on until... serious illness forced long term absence and the delegation of work to other colleagues - who have more than risen to the challenges.

I'm going to try to apply some of the principles and self-talk that you've described.

You're definitely making strides (indoors in poorer weather!) in getting more than weight control sorted.

Thanks for the insights.

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KALIGIRL 2/10/2010 10:48PM

    Perfect - what a balanced perspective...
Don't we always try to solve the problems of the world?
You continue to be a role model - I love the fact you are walking inside in this 'weather' - although, even I must admit the snow in the sun is beautiful.
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MSLZZY 2/10/2010 9:51PM

    Exactly! We are in a healthier lifestyle to stay healthy and not "self destruct" by overworking. Do what you can and use common sense. Allow someone else to share the work load and you'll both feel good.

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PALEAN 2/10/2010 9:12PM

    Our BEST SELVES are not self destructive. I like that. I am just trying to uncover my best self...let you find oxygen, as so long I have lived to do and be what I thought others wanted or expected. Never really found my "best self" and now though it's foreign, it's pretty amazing to take a time out, and look inside and say.."who am I really?" Very good blog for me to read! Thank you!

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DEBRA_T 2/10/2010 9:08PM

    Right on, Barb! The fantasy of being necessary, the only one, in control, totally responsible, etc. is just as much to blame for obesity as the food and lack of exercise. I love the idea of thinking while exercising -- it used to be such a natural thing to do -- I'm going to take a walk and think about that ...

I do my best thinking when I'm walking, showering, brushing my teeth. It's like the automatic motor operation frees up some brain function. Which is good and necessary. I need every bit of it.

The people we were originally created to be are healthy and full of well-being.

Cheers, Deb

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Reconciling The Spark Chapter 6: Stage I - Fast Break

Monday, February 08, 2010

It has taken me a week and a half to get from the post on Chapter 5 to the point where I can say I finished reading Chapter 6. I stopped back then, recognizing resistance in myself.

Now I've got around to the place where I think I understand what was happening. I was trying to add the stage I "fast break" on top of everything else I was already doing, and it was starting to seem burdensome to me.

I already do all of the nutritional fast break goals. Of the exercise goals, some are not feasible for the season (Winter), some I already do, some are just "not me". Which leaves motivational, which really, really applies to me.

So my Stage I fast break goals:

Nutrition - keep doing what I'm already doing.
Fitness - keep doing what I'm already doing.
Motivation - I'm going with the "Give yourself a five-minute mental pep talk".

My stage I starts today. My five minute pep talk today happened in the car on the way to work. It went along the lines of, "OK, Barb, you have meetings back to back this morning, which ditches your normal walking break. What's plan B?" And I came up with one: walk a little longer at lunch, make sure I don't skip the afternoon walk break, and if not enough steps by the time I get home, make up for it with treadmill. "You can do this!"

So, day 1, motivational goal met.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 2/9/2010 5:16PM

    Sounds like a great plan. It's great how we're all changing our ways bit by bit.

(Wish my Spark would arrive...)

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KALIGIRL 2/9/2010 5:13PM

    WTG! That's keeping on track.

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NELLIEC 2/9/2010 9:46AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHARON2014 2/9/2010 7:45AM

    This is mindful living - planning ahead. Thanks for sharing your insight. emoticon

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MSLZZY 2/9/2010 7:43AM

    emoticon emoticon I am not to that chapter yet but getting there.

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SUNNY332 2/9/2010 6:17AM

    Great Plan B! Hope you have an awesome day.

I walk at work too so be thinking of you at lunch today.

Hugs, Sunny

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DEBRA_T 2/8/2010 10:52PM

    Sounds like a plan! I have to confess that I am more of the "take what makes sense and leave the rest" type when it comes to all the activities and suggestions in the Spark Plan. They have so many activities and plans and trackings and awards and stuff that I sometimes feel like it's just a scattershot approach to put enough material out there to have something that appeals to everyone. Or so I rationalize to myself as I skip over this and that! LOL

Cheers, Debra

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How to find out how dependent you are on the internet

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Super bowl Sunday, and of course the ISP connection went down. It was down from about 9:30 this morning, and just came back after half time of the Super Bowl. TV reception was weak, too, and that is a pattern. It too came back about the same time. I think that the high demand of the day may be a factor, as well as weather.

So, what to do? Don't let it get to you! I made myself a veggie omelet for breakfast. Had my grape juice in a wine flute. Felt pampered, on purpose. I made my favorite broccoli sandwich for lunch, and felt even more so. Supper was regular food, too: fish filet, green beans, brown rice. I felt full, and yet nothing I ate was outrageous and it felt appropriate.

While waiting for the connection to come back I got on the treadmill, 3.5 miles in 47:18. 5K of that was 40:55. I am proud of me. I stretched afterward, which is a habit I've worked hard to establish. Note that endorphins are wonderful stuff.

Weather: Snow has been gently falling off and on all day. It was 40 degrees, so it melted before I had to shovel it. Donít know what will happen as temps drop overnight, but it was pretty slick going grocery shopping this morning.

Hope everyone is safe, warm, dry and enjoying what looks like a good tight football game, if that's your thing.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 2/8/2010 1:18PM

    You've made me realise that my addiction to Sparking has replaced my addiction to eating! I don't know that I'd show your patience in similar circumstances although turning to endorphins was a great plan.

Love the idea of grape juice in a wine flute and pampering on purpose. I might just steal those ideas!

Hope you eventually got to enjoy the game.

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KALIGIRL 2/8/2010 9:49AM

    emoticon - love the grape juice in a flute - pamper away, you deserve it!

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SUNNY332 2/8/2010 6:32AM

    Very, very good use of your time.

Have a Marvelous Monday.

Hugs, Sunny

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MSLZZY 2/7/2010 10:26PM

    You kept your cool and made good use of your "down" time with the computer! WTG! Have a good night!

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DEBRA_T 2/7/2010 10:11PM

    Sometimes it's almost like a vacation when the internet gets taken away for a few hours! LOL! Glad you got it back, though! And that the snow melted without any additional effort on your part -- I think you had your workout on Friday!

Another week is about to begin ...

Cheers, Debra

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NELLIEC 2/7/2010 9:46PM

    It sounds like you had a nice day!

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