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Sunday morning - feeling good

Sunday, February 21, 2010

This morning's pamper myself breakfast was half a grapefruit, an egg-beaters veggie omelet, and warm milk flavored with amaretto coffee. It was very filling, as well as healthy.

Topped that off with a satisfying exchange of instant messages with my son. I'm counting days... a week from today he'll be staging to come home on a two-week leave. It's been three weeks since we've had an exchange of this length, and it makes my mom's heart soar to hear him talking positively about his future beyond deployment. He left to go have his supper, but the glow stays on after every such conversation.

Yesterday I finally went out on Spark and read the help on how to reset my goals / program, so I may have lost some history, but I'm following the steps, even though I am very close to "home" weight. You see, I think of maintenance as a kind of fresh start. I'm trying to infuse it with a sense of purpose I have not always given this phase of healthy living. I have always been reluctant to do this (reset my goals) before, but it feels good.

Here's to the journey ahead, as well as the journey up to this point!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRA_T 2/21/2010 10:24PM

    Hi Barb! It's wonderful to hear that your son is getting ready to come home for a visit; I can feel the glow from over here. I've been thinking a lot about the ways in which taking care of ourselves is a lifetime project and I think you're very wise to see maintenance as a fresh part of that project -- it really is! This is where the women and the girls get separated and I just know that you're going to come down on the right side.

Cheers, Deb
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SLENDERELLA61 2/21/2010 10:09PM

    Breakfast sounded yummy and the contact with your son -- well, wonderful! Having him home -- won't be long.

Starting over on maintenance is a great way of looking at it. Hope you'll blog more about your new goals and new program.
Take care, Marsha

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KALIGIRL 2/21/2010 9:37PM

    Sounds perfect - so excited your son is coming home!
Maintenance is a new beginning and we're excited you're joining us.

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WALKINGANNIE 2/21/2010 4:27PM

    Sounds a lovely start to the day. I'll definitely be trying a 'pamper breakfast'.

I'm so pleased that you'll have your son for a two-week leave as well. That would definitely brighten your day.

It's great that you're planning ahead and setting a sense of purpose for maintenance and are preparing well for the rest of this lifelong process - especially with your big project to contend with as well.

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MSLZZY 2/21/2010 2:04PM

    It will feel so good to have your sone home on leave and I'm sure you will surprise him with the "new you"! Have a wonderful week and get ready for some quality time with your hero!

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RUMBLETIGER 2/21/2010 12:15PM

    Sounds like a wonderful day so far! Keep that smile on your face, and have a great rest of the day too!

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SUNNY332 2/21/2010 12:07PM

    I am so happy for you and rejoicing with you as you await your son's visit.

Take care and keep those wonderful memories close this week.

Hugs, Sunny

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Breakfast is a celebration

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I love breakfast. On weekends, when I have more time, I like to make it a special self-pampering time. When my son was working 3rd shift, he would often call on his way home from work on a Sunday morning, knowing Mom would be up, and we would go out to breakfast together. With him half way 'round the planet, I'm holding to the tradition of making weekend breakfasts special.

This morning I'm having steel cut oats, simmered a quarter cup of oats for half an hour or a little more in skim milk. Once cooked, I add cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves, a quarter of a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a bit of artificial sweetener. I'm starting to call it "egg nog flavored oats". Add a half cup of grape juice served in a wine flute, and light candles: there is an elegant weekend breakfast!

And now, I'm all set to shovel yesterday's snow, and gear up to shovel tomorrow's as well!

Edited to add the photo. On the left, 1/4 cup of steel cut oats. On the right, 1/2 cup of rolled oats, i.e. "old fashioned" oatmeal. Nutritionally, these are relative equivalents.

I didn't even know these were two different things until about a year or two ago, when I asked someone, because I kept reading such praise of the steel-cut oats. Yes, they are different: steel cut oats take longer to cook, have a grainier texture. I like them both!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 2/20/2010 9:38PM

    Sounds heavenly - I had peanut butter on toast and considered that a treat. (You'll have to post your recipe...)

Here's to more snow... emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 2/20/2010 2:11PM

    Sounds really good. I was impressed with the wine flute trick when you mentioned it before, but when you're doing it at breakfast time it sounds positively decadent!

Great ideas. Thanks - and for explaining the difference in the oats.

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FAHNZMOM 2/20/2010 1:51PM

    Sounds great I will have to try that. Love oatmeal but never thought of adding those spices you are very creative. emoticon

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SHARON2014 2/20/2010 12:49PM

    When can you come over? emoticon

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SUNNY332 2/20/2010 9:13AM

    I love oatmeal also and eat the Quakers Multigrain variety.

We went to a bakery here in Wichita and bought some great home made
Multigrain bread.

Take care. Love the idea of serving the juice in a wine flute.

Hugs, Sunny

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PUDLECRAZY 2/20/2010 8:55AM

    I love oatmeal - a humble, yet nurturing food. How wonderful to get to have breakfast celebrations with your son, too.

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MSLZZY 2/20/2010 8:23AM

    Your breakfast sounds delicious! I'm going to try that. I've heard shoveling snow is a good cardio workout LOL! I've got some to shovel, too.
Have a great weekend!

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JOY1918 2/20/2010 8:14AM

    Thanks for the spark goodie. Have a great weekend!

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JOY1918 2/20/2010 8:01AM

    Oatmeal is my breakfast of choice too. Only I put 1/2c whole oats in a microwave-proof bowl along with 1/4c miller's bran, 1T ground flaxseed, 1teas. cinnamon, and 1C h2o. Stir and into the microwave 50% for about 6 min. I will also have a serving of yogurt for protein. emoticon

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Still breathing...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I didn't realize until Debra_T went on vacation how much it's her morning posts that spur me to post. Seriously, until she started putting those thought-provoking things out there at 6 a.m. my time, I was a once or twice a week blogger.

OK, maybe there were other life things (like work, my son's online games that he drags me into from afar, etc.) that got in the way, but she really got me going and writing!

Anyhow, 'nuff to say, work's a little busy and that's taking a lot of my energy... to the point where I'm not even entering my foods on SP... but fear not, I keep a paper journal, and I'm still working at it. I am determined that this work project is NOT going to take me down the relapse path.

Not this time! This project will last six to nine months and my natural tendency is to sacrifice my own time to get the job done. Well, if doing that ruins my health, not such a good idea, eh? So, I'm enlisting the help of other "mature" workers to push each other to maintain our healthy habits throughout the length and breadth of this challenge!

And I still have a little Spark to keep me going! Good health and good habits to us all.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 2/20/2010 9:40PM

    Here's to 'mature' workers - we know how to get our priorities straight. So glad you're journaling - it works for me!

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WALKINGANNIE 2/18/2010 12:13PM

    Thanks Barb.

It's the big distractions of everyday life that are waiting to trip us up. Once again, you've identified the risks ahead and put your plans in place to keep you on track even when it's going to challenging.

I'm learning a lot from you and am glad you're blogging so often.

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MMICKEYP 2/18/2010 8:42AM

    I miss Debra_T, too! I looked forward to her morning blogs! I hope she's having a great time in Jamaica, mon!!

Life is busy, busy, busy and you're working on a project that could consume you if you let it. Just remember to find your "middle ground" to rest on when things get hurried and harried!

Have a great weekend! emoticon

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CONCHA77 2/18/2010 8:18AM

    Keep Sparking, Barb! Here's to everyone's health!

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The Spark Chapter 7: Stage II - Healthy Diet Habits

Monday, February 15, 2010

Having set my Stage I goals realistically and in harmony with how life is going... stage I was good. I did my pep talks, and I stayed with my nutrition and exercise plans... the one bit I might not have hit a home run on was tracking the water consumption... so I'll take another shot at that in Stage II.

Stage II focus is on healthy diet habits:
- Five fruits and vegetable servings a day
- Eat breakfast every day
- Drink 8 cups of water every day
- Track food most days
- Consistently exercise 10 minutes a day
- Get adequate sleep (7 - 8 hours a night)

Since these are already things that I do, this is pretty much a re-commitment to keep at it. Fits right in with entering maintenance, eh? They are all things the body craves. All that remains is to track it.

It's a holiday for me today (President's Day - U.S.) so perfect time to shift from Stage I to Stage II.

Thinking of all my Spark-ling friends today. May your day be full of hope and peace.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 2/17/2010 9:24PM

    Sorry I missed this on the 15th - you were my inspiration for buying the book - came today, so I'll follow in your footsteps...
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MSLZZY 2/16/2010 6:43AM

    A recommitment and a refocusing on healthy habits is a great place to be. Hope your day was peaceful as well,

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WALKINGANNIE 2/15/2010 12:25PM

    It's great that you're so organised and focused, Barb. You've really thought about this and planned your way to further success. Thanks for sharing your plans.

Hope you had a good holiday.

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Equine Metaphors

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I rewarded myself yesterday with a premium ticket to see "The World Famous Lipizzaner Stallion Show". It was wonderful, and I am musing over the show as motivation to continue my own efforts at training.

What athletes these horses are! What patience their trainers have to train them in the gentle way they do, in the great tradition of dressage and the Spanish Riding School. Although this is an American show, they use the same principles of training that have been used for centuries by that great institution. And of course, the same breed stock.

I'm a great fan of "being there" whether it is standing in the Sistine Chapel looking up at Michaelangelo's "Creation of Man", in Florence gazing on his statue of David, riding a jet boat up the snake river through Hell's Canyon, walking up Scott's Bluff, attending a major league baseball game, or, in this case, seeing a live horse performing "airs above the ground". It lifts the heart, more than a photograph or a movie can do.

I think these things help me feel present and alive on the planet. Obviously they are not something that I do every day, or all the time. They are the jewels scattered throughout a lifetime, making memories to look back on, or dreams to look forward to.

When putting together a plan for fitness and healthy habits... having things like this to look forward to makes a difference.

As for the training of the athletes themselves... none of these horses do anything that was not a natural move they performed in play as colts. The same is true of us... being fit and healthy is what we were born to be, but it takes training to bring out our best performance on cue. It takes patience, and gentle persuasion... rewards and correction... you cannot punish excellence into being. But you can coax and encourage it.

May we remember this as we encourage excellence in ourselves!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 2/15/2010 9:21AM

    Thanks again, Barb, for sharing. Such a great storyteller! Have a nice day off today.

Connie

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SPENCEMOMOF5 2/14/2010 11:00PM

    loved the reference to Hell's Canyon, my neck of the woods! Would love to see these horses in 'person'. Great blog.

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MSLZZY 2/14/2010 5:38PM

    You are so wise! Thank you for sharing! This was very inspiring!

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KALIGIRL 2/14/2010 3:40PM

    Here's to coaxing excellence in everything we do.

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SMARTIEBEE 2/14/2010 2:06PM

    barb, The show sounds wonderful! And the inspiration you gained, and shared is priceless! Thanks for the inspiration to be what we were meant to be!


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SUNNY332 2/14/2010 1:54PM

    The Lipizzaner Stallion Show will be in Wichita while we are there but we have tickets to see them in March in Quincy.

I love all the metaphors today and as always enjoyed reading your blog.

I am off to put some laundry in the washer and walk on the treadmill. It is snowing and blowing here today. Burrrrr

Have a GREAT day.

Sunny

Comment edited on: 2/14/2010 1:55:46 PM

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WALKINGANNIE 2/14/2010 12:46PM

    Another great blog Barb.

Glad you enjoyed the show and gained such inspiration from it - and then shared it with us. You're definitely encouraging excellence in yourself and in others.

Thank you.



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