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Springing forward... in more ways than one

Sunday, March 14, 2010

I am up with the new clock time, and feeling great. Of course, I have that boost of yesterday's good news to get me started. And I have the anticipation of Sunday dinner with my son and his wife to pull me onward as well.

I'm a big believer in changing my workouts up to keep from getting bored. Over the years I have built quite a collection of home equipment, and my family room is in danger of becoming my home gym. I live alone so I can get away with this. emoticon

In accordance with this philosophy, and as a reward, I bought myself a couple of "new toys" recently. One is a step for home use. Yes, one of those things they use in step classes at the gym, but smaller and really only suited for home use. The DVD that came with it? Is strength training using the step! I started in on it yesterday morning and stopped before finishing it. Yes, this workout will challenge me, if I want to do more than cardio stepping. Another recent acquisition is a 4-pound weighted ball: I just wanted something different to spice up my strength training. Didn't they used to call things like this "medicine balls"?

Inhabiting the room behind me are a treadmill emoticon, a balance board (SP special), a yoga mat, a Swiss ball emoticon, the weighted ball, a set of hand weights (dumb-bells) ranging from 3 pounds to eight pounds emoticon, some ankle weights (2.5 pounds), that new step, and a set of three resistance bands emoticon.

My bicycle sits in the garage, waiting for better weather emoticon, but calling my name from time to time. And of course, my closet has a couple of good pair of walking shoes emoticon! I still don't have everything the gyms I used to belong to have, but I do have a variety of options for working out.

What's important to remember about all of these toys? They don't do a lick of good unless you play with them! Let's Spring forward with a commitment to play!

And a question for all: what's your current favorite exercise toy (tool, or equipment, if you must be serious!)?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 3/14/2010 9:18PM

    Sounds like you have wonderful 'toys'.
Not sure I have a favorite, but I have a least fav - the dreaded elliptical...

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PONDERTHIS 3/14/2010 11:30AM

    Thanks for this inspiration. I love the idea of play. I will always want to see exercising, moving my body (which it loves, by the way), as play. Great idea!!!!
Have a happy, movement-filled day.
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LJCANNON 3/14/2010 10:33AM

    emoticonI am coming to YOUR house to play!!! emoticon


emoticonI think if I could have only ONE toy, it would be good walking shoes. I am enjoying my walks, and I will NEVER forget what it was like to be UNABLE to walk more than a couple of minutes at a time.

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MSLZZY 3/14/2010 8:07AM

    You've got some pretty nice toys so you are armed and ready for maintenance.
Time to go play. You're right! They don't do any good if you don't use them.
Have a super Sunday!

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DEBRA_T 3/14/2010 8:06AM

    My favorites are my swelling collection of DVDs that combine aerobic dance with strength training. I use hand weights (3 and 5 pound) and resistance bands (2) with some of the workouts. Makes it convenient to have everything at my fingertips. It was all there before I started using it too, of course, but since I started SP, I've been exercising an average of 6 days every week.
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WALKINGANNIE 3/14/2010 7:43AM

    ... and you're concerned about maintaining!!

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My favourite toy is, without doubt, my pedometer. Does that count? (Oops, see what I did there?!)

A playroom like yours means that there's no escape from daily reminders about getting physical so you'll definitely be at goal and maintaining for keeps this time!

Hope you enjoy the new time regime. Clocks in the UK will change in a couple of weeks and I'm so looking forward to the light evenings.

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KKKAREN 3/14/2010 7:41AM

    My favorites are my walking shoes and resistance bands. Good for you for keeping the variety in your exercise.

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MR.NET1 3/14/2010 7:33AM

    emoticon

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DAISY443 3/14/2010 7:30AM

    I have an old fashioned exercycle-the kind that actually looks like a bicycle. Right now it's my favorite!

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SUNNY332 3/14/2010 7:26AM

    My favorite right now is the recumbent bike. I love it!

Take care and I, like you, feel fortunate to have workout equipment at home.

I live 30 miles from the closest gym so it works well for me.

Hugs, Sunny emoticon

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So NOW what?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

After dancing around the "official" number for about a month, today the official scale finally caved and said "I give up, you did it... you're at goal". emoticon It has taken 9 and a half months to drop 57.5 pounds.

Beginning tomorrow, I'm on the "maintenance" plan. I've been a little scared of maintenance. Being a planner, though, I signed up for the "At Goal And Maintaining" spark team a month ago, and found a whole bunch of other people who share those concerns.

The one thing I know I have to guard against is the let down that comes with achieving a milestone. You all know the feeling: "Is that all there is?" I think I'm good, but I am cautious. How turtle-like, eh?

emoticon We're going to do it... we are doing it... and we are all worth it!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAPNUP 3/14/2010 9:52AM

    WOW! Congratulations. You know, Ive worried about the whole "can't lose it after 50" mindset, but I see it is incorrect. You are an inspiration!

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RUMBLETIGER 3/13/2010 9:48PM

    Congrats to you! How great is that - being at goal! Good for you. Keep it up!

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CYNTHIAF1976 3/13/2010 9:23PM

    Enjoy! Enjoy! Keep up all the planing and you will do yourself GOOD. emoticon emoticon

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PATRISNA 3/13/2010 8:53PM

    Barb! You did it! I am so happy for you!

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Pat

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DAMOTIVATION 3/13/2010 7:16PM

    Insert APPLAUSE here!

Now, take a minute to give yourself huge credit for reaching your goal. You did it!

Okay...did the :60 seconds go by yet?

All you have to do now is train to maintain. That's right. Do what you did to get here (maybe a little less fitness on some days if you prefer it that way, a little more slack in the calorie range 1-2 days of the week). Play around with the changes/variations until you hone in on what it takes to be this way for the long haul.

I believe the one thing that cannot change is the mindset to be healthy. That will never leave me now. It will keep me in a range and make me take serious stock before things get out of hand.

I do step on the scale a few times a week. I do watch the way clothes fit to make sure I'm not ballooning up and out of my new wardrobe. I am still using the nutrition tracker, but I think it has become more of tool for me to watch the protein, fiber, sodium than the calories in at this point. Helps me make choices throughout the day and isn't a real bother considering the rewards.

I've been maintaining for about 7 months and it seems to be working. Everyone is different, but you will figure it out.

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APRILLSCOTT 3/13/2010 7:02PM

    emoticon You are an example for us emoticon's to follow!
You've fought this battle, and you have won, and we're proud of you! Let's emoticon.

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CONCHA77 3/13/2010 6:41PM

    Congrats to you, Barb! You are inspiring and I couldn't be happier for you. I have come close to my goal, never made it. Good for you, friend.
Here is to continued success and health!

Hugs, Connie

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ANDI571 3/13/2010 6:03PM

    That is fantastic. There is no better feeling than of reaching goal. Keep up the good work. emoticon

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73STRAWBERRIES 3/13/2010 5:49PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/13/2010 5:12PM

    HIP HIP HOORAY!!!!!!
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SUNNY332 3/13/2010 4:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So happy for you....

Sunny

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MSLZZY 3/13/2010 4:21PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 3/13/2010 4:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I am so happy for you. And you have nothing to worry about. You have joined a Team to help you with Maintenance, and you have already gotten familiar with the Tools here at Spark. You are making Plans for continuing this Lifestyle and I am so PROUD of you.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 3/13/2010 3:53PM

    Warm, heartfelt congratulations Barb. You so deserve this.

Debra_T has said it so well, but you know what this is all about now - more of the same, but aiming now for milestones of time spent at your home weight rather than pounds lost.

Your journey so far has been such an achievement and I'm so pleased that you're where you are now with the tools to keep the weight off for ever.

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DEBRA_T 3/13/2010 3:36PM

    Now (drumroll please) .... More of the Same! I hope you don't feel let down by achieving an incredible result, especially knowing that this gift was won by every piece of hard work you put into it, every fitness break you took instead of going to the vending machine, every meal you ate that was what you were supposed to eat, every minute you put into supporting others and sharing your experience, strength and hope.

We still need that, Barb, all of us out here who are smiling from ear to ear because you made it!

Congratulations!!!!!! And, keep on Sparking, my Turtle Friend.

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VEMAN1 3/13/2010 3:33PM

    emoticon

You are worth every minute! Way to go and celebrate your lifestyle. You can accomplish anything. Just look how far you have come!

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Morning musings over coffee

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's Friday, so I'm wearing red. I was told about a grass-roots movement that started in Texas to wear red every Friday until all the service men and women came home. Of course, living in Nebraska, this nuance of WHY you're wearing red on Friday can get lost in the "sea of red" worn to support the sports team! emoticon

I joined the "Turtles" spark team this week. emoticon I figure I'm a slow learner over a lifetime, not in a hurry to get to goal, more important are the healthy behaviors than the number on the scale emoticon. Seriously, my last big successful weight loss, in 2003, I deliberately did not say I was trying to lose weight. I went on a "guy diet" with my son.

What's that? As my son explained, back then, "guys" don't diet. They go into training. For some sport. They improve their nutrition. They work out. They don't restrict, they make sure they get enough protein, for example. So I set out to "maintain" myself healthy. I read a book or two, I joined a gym with him, and over time, I found myself at my lowest adult weight ever, and at my fittest.

It worked. Of course, later something unraveled... and I stopped working out, let my eating get out of hand, and started feeling unworthy again. Back to "Fat City". I ended up in tears in my doctor's office in January 2009. He'd seen me lose the pounds before, and he asked me if I normally gained in the Winter and lost as the more active part of the year came around again.

I responded, "Doctor, my weight cycles don't last months, they last years." Brutal honesty. "Well, let's see if we can speed that up a bit." To skip the storms of figuring out what might be off, medically... that led to the surgery on the parathyroid gland in October, and here I am again, staring maintenance in the face, feeling a lot more positive and worthy.

And determined. For a lifetime. I know in my heart of hearts, as many Spark People know, that taking care of our health has to be a commitment for a lifetime, but it can only be met one decision at a time.

Here's to today's decisions... for all of us... may they be good ones! We can do this, and we're worth it.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/13/2010 4:23PM

    I like the idea of being "in training". Have a good weekend and thanks for sharing!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/12/2010 7:21PM

    Love your musings! Wish I could just sit down with you and have a cup of coffee some morning. We're all going to take the solution-based approach to healthy eating now, rather than the punitive diet approach. It works better. We feel better about ourselves. We are healthier when we focus on health, not just on some number on the scale, which sometimes encourages very unhealthy behaviors to get there.

Congrats! So glad you are ready for maintenance agai. You are armed with all you learned last time plus all the knowledge and support you've gotten here on SP! Positive, Worthy, Determined -- you've got it all. It adds up to being healthy, fit women (I'm joining you, hope you don't mind) for the rest of our lives! -Marsha

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 3/12/2010 5:43PM

    One day at a time will see us to our lifetime goals!

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KALIGIRL 3/12/2010 12:55PM

    "taking care of our health has to be a commitment for a lifetime, but it can only be met one decision at a time"

This is so true and with the help of our friends, family and fellow sparklers, may we make the right decisions!
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Comment edited on: 3/12/2010 12:55:32 PM

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WALKINGANNIE 3/12/2010 12:51PM

    So many of us recognise your fat cycles all too well Barb and share our own variations of your current triumphs and fears. Yes, days and decisions are one at a time - but now that we have found a group of like-minded people who understand the issues, I think that we are all much more likely to make success permanent.

I have never ever had the level of understanding and support that there is here in SP. We are all responsible for ourselves but friends provide immense security that is every bit as important as the nutrition and fitness trackers. Just knowing that other, eminently sensible and capable, people are thinking similar thoughts makes me feel less stupid about temptations and mistakes. Friends' determination and practical experiences provide great role models. As long as we're not all having a bad day at the same time I think we'll keep each other on the straight and narrow because you're right, we are so worth it.

And, of course, we will continue to win small victories on our way to motivate each other.

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CREATINGAMANDA 3/12/2010 9:21AM

    Sounds like your son has a very healthy attitude towards his weight and nutrition. Kudos!

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DEBRA_T 3/12/2010 8:53AM

    Good morning Barb! I love it that you're part of the Turtle Team and that you have the kind of eye-opening attitude that you do. I also like what Ritarose said about losing the idea of what she can eat after it's all over. It's never over and that's the big difference and the great secret that we're all sharing here today because of you.

My husband's version of guy diet is treat food like cardboard and eat the same low calorie things over and over until the weight is gone. He thinks diets are one of the ways that women kid themselves. He's kinda right.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RITAROSE 3/12/2010 8:29AM

  From one turtle to another, I think you are bound for success with an attitude like yours! Spark People is helping me daily to make good choices and to think of the long term, not DIET, but rather, healthy lifestyle. I started putting on the pounds during my fourth pregnancy and after. I haven't weighed this little (and believe me, it's not little!) since 1986!! Instead of focusing on after I lose, what I will be able to eat, I'm focusing on what is going to make me more healthy and help me to lose weight along with what kind of exercise will I do today?

Thank God for you and for others who are a constant encouragement!!
Have a super Friday in red! emoticon emoticon emoticonRitarose

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SUNNY332 3/12/2010 8:03AM

    We are worth all of our efforts!

Blessing to you too for a great Friday. I am also wearing RED.

Take care and have a emoticon day. Keep up the good work.

Sunny

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VSWINGLE 3/12/2010 7:56AM

    Great blog...I love the "guy diet" idea. Thanks for sharing!

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PALEAN 3/12/2010 7:51AM

    Thank you for sharing this. We can do this and...we ARE worth it!

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One Word

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Copy and paste into your own blog, change the answers to suit you. It's really hard to only use one word answers. (OK, I'll play.)

Where is your cell phone?
purse

Spouse?
divorced

Your hair?
thin

Your mother?
deceased

Your father?
same

Your favorite thing?
life

Your dream last night?
babies

Favorite drink?
water

What room are you in?
family

Your hobby?
online

Your fear?
disability

Where do you want to be in 6 years?
here

Where were you last night?
here

Something that you aren't?
tidy

Muffins?
blueberry

Wish list item?
stove

Last thing you did?
typed

What are you wearing?
sweats

Your pets?
snoozing

Friends?
comfortable

Your life?
great

Your mood?
content

Missing someone?
no

Drinking?
decaf

Your car?
old

Something you're not wearing?
jewelry

Your favorite store?
Book

Your favorite color?
green

When is the last time you cried?
November

Where do you go over and over?
work

Favorite place to eat?
home

Favorite place I'd like to be right now?
here

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY332 3/12/2010 6:52AM

    Fun! I love learning more about my Spark Friends.

Have a Fantastic Friday. I am going in today and work on assessments again. I got 5 done yesterday and hope to get that much done today.

Take care! Sunny emoticon

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APRILLSCOTT 3/12/2010 2:46AM

    This was a fun blog! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/11/2010 8:17PM

    Already played - although I didn't know it was just one word. Makes it much more interesting... (love the book store answer)

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So, how's that ten minute thing working out?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

This day was a real challenge: I've had trouble the past couple of weeks maintaining that "ten minutes" exercise break thing. Part of this is outside of my control: I cannot stop people from scheduling me into meetings that disrupt my "normal" break time. Then I think I'll leave early, but of course I never do.

I've been trying to take the break walks whenever I can squeeze them in, but I have dropped back several days from the morning, noon, afternoon... to missing either the morning or the afternoon walk. Well, today I got both of those, through sheer will power taking the afternoon one at a later time than normal.

This was because my lunch break was disrupted by production issues that could NOT be put off. I ended up only taking a 15 minute lunch break, and only to eat and read a few pages in my book... because my next meeting was about to start.

This is the time in a project's life that is most challenging to my healthy living initiatives. Things are warming up, we are driving for deadlines... and I steal from myself to help out another team, or because there truly are priorities higher than the project for an hour here and there at a time.

And yet, today I feel triumphant, because I got on my treadmill for ten minutes this evening and did my Spark strength workout. I am so encouraged by keeping this one promise to myself today... that I hope it spurs me to keep another promise to myself tomorrow. And the next day. And the next day. Never underestimate the power of ten minutes!

Day 73 soda free is now in the books! G'night all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 3/11/2010 1:28PM

    Your determination is such a credit to you Barb and your attitude spurs other people on as well as yourself.

Your work project has milestones and deadlines and your health project has milestones and deadlines. You are giving them both the high priority that they deserve.

Never underestimate the power of YOU!

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BESTSUSIEYET 3/11/2010 10:00AM

    Yes, the 10 min challenge is hard -- but so helpful! Good for you, finding ways to work it in through the midst of stressful work days! Hope you found the time on the treadmill a stress-relief last night! Keep on Keepin' On! You are doing great!!

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KALIGIRL 3/11/2010 8:53AM

    Wonderful that you are keeping a promise to yourself, especially with the pressures of deadlines, work priorities and colleague's needs. You continue to be a role model for me on those couple days a month when there are just not enough hours in the day.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DONNALYNN22 3/11/2010 8:11AM

    I liked your determination and honesty on here. It sure does spark a fire under my butt to do it too. I know life gets in the way...I can tell you a dozen things I HAVE TO DO that eats my time every day. But, we MUST do this for US, as if we don't we won't be healthy, happy and maybe even HERE to do those other things later, ya know?
so..TEN MINUTE POWER!!!!! let's make that our theme! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/11/2010 7:37AM

    emoticon Day 73! WTG! Just do your best to fit in those 10 minutes. I sure hope work slows down a little for you. But if something needs to get done, I know you'll be in the middle pushing to get it there. Take care and have a great day!

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SLENDERELLA61 3/11/2010 7:30AM

    Your work sounds challenging, indeed! Love your commitment and effort. For me the 10 minute thing never worked because I was already in the habit of exercising in blocks of 30-90 minutes. Congrats on your soda-free streak!! -Marsha

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SUNNY332 3/11/2010 7:11AM

    It is difficult at work as we have to work around other people's schedules and the meetings. Don't you wish we could have "walking" meetings. It would sure help.

Keep up the good work and emoticon on 73 days of being soda free. That is awesome.

Have a great day.

Sunny

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DEBRA_T 3/10/2010 11:18PM

    Awesome, Barb! It truly takes a Health Warrior of the highest order to put your time into exercise when there is so much pulling you away. I am beyond impressed that you are on Day 73 without soda too. You're going where I only dream to be.

Cheers, Debra
xxxooo
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