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Moving slowly, but moving

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Yesterday was a lost day! On Monday I took my son's car in to prep it for his return. There were several maintenance issues that he'd been "putting off" for budgetary reasons, and this mom wants him to have a solid reliable vehicle under him when he gets back. Ouch on the price tag for that, but I will be so glad to hand this car back to him in prime condition.

The little car had to stay overnight as not all the work could be done in one day. So, the background photo shows how I went home... on a city bus. It's been a while since I rode the bus, and the technology has changed in the interim. These buses TALK to you. They announce upcoming intersections at select points in the route ("Approaching 48th and Normal"), and give in display AND voice, "STOP REQUESTED". Not my grandmother's bus, that's for sure.

Which brings me to this morning's reverie: what kept our grandparents fit? Well, this particular grandma (the one I associate with buses) did not drive after grandpa died. She walked everywhere she could, took the bus for longer trips, relied on rides from friends, or in special cases, took taxi cabs. How many steps would it add to our modern day if we did all that?

Yesterday I got nailed by seasonal allergy / sinus yucks and have spent the last 24 hours attempting to be unconscious as much as possible. This morning, I hunger shoved the unsettled tummy aside, and I've just had some breakfast. So, next step: see if I can get ready and feel OK about going to work!

Hope you all have a great... Wednesday!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATRISNA 7/29/2010 10:03PM

    You are a great mom! I'm glad your son will be home soon.

My mother always walked everywhere. She never got a driver's license so unless my dad took her somewhere in the evening she was always walking. There was not mass transit in those days.

She was still walking during her 70s to stores near her condo to shop. A few years ago she injured her knee and had to have a knee replacement. I'm sure the 80 years of walking is why she is a very independent, alert, and a fairly healthy 84 year old.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/28/2010 2:55PM

    I'm sure that your son will appreciate the care that you have taken with his car? Will he be home soon and for long?

I suspect that we still walk and use public transport a bit more in the UK than in the US but there's no doubt that most of us have less walking to do than previous generations. I don't remember my mother having to measure a mnimum of 10,000 steps a day.

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CONCHA77 7/28/2010 10:13AM

    You are a such a good mom for helping out getting your son's car fixed. I know he will appreciate it.
My grand mom use to go everywhere by bus, she never drove a car. She lived in the city and even took the bus grocery shopping and to work. I haven't been on a bus since I was in 5th grade except for a tour bus or a quick trip from the airport. Sounds like fun.
Hope your allergies are better today!
(What city is that on your background picture?)

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ANDI571 7/28/2010 9:55AM

    Just think how many steps we would get in if we quit going through the drive-thru for the bank, restaurant, pharmacy etc. We want everything quick, but we are giving up on health doing it.

Is your son do back soon?

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BLONDWUNN 7/28/2010 9:32AM

    What a wonderful, loving Mom you are! I'm with you about our children driving safe cars, and until they're more financially secure, a little help from parents is a good thing!

My mother, who is 91, tells me how they used a hand-pump in their kitchen for water. Good exercise. Look at old pictures: do you see fat people? Not! If we're creative we can set aside some of our comforts such as the TV remote, and add steps to our day.

Loved what you said about the bus. There are no buses anywhere near my remote home, but one never knows when, like you, when the occasion will occur! Best to you and your family!

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REJ7777 7/28/2010 9:10AM

    Sounds like a mother's love! Your son should be very happy with his "new" car! emoticon

I've never had a bus talk to me. emoticon Sure must be useful in not missing your stop!

I'll be heading out to pick up some things in a few minutes. I'll be walking. I would always have taken the car before. I still don't walk to close-by places as often as I should though. I'm still working on it.

Hope you feel better soon! emoticon

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SUNNY332 7/28/2010 9:04AM

    Glad you are feeling better. When will your soldier return?
How nice of you to get his car in for maintenance.

Have a GREAT day.


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KALIGIRL 7/28/2010 8:58AM

    Trip to Europe was filled with public transport - wish we had more here for our health and the planet's.
Hope you feel better soon!

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DEBRITA01 7/28/2010 8:37AM

    What kept our grandparents fit? Exactly what you described...they didn't have the conveniences we do and had a good work ethic. My grandparents were pretty hard working and industrious...not ones to sit and watch t.v. I especially think of my great-grandma, bless her heart, she would have an itinerary for each day of the week. Monday was laundry and ironing day, Tuesday was housecleaning, etc....and each day she cooked from scratch and walked everywhere she needed to go. She lived an active and productive life.

I know for me, living in these times, I can be lazy since everything is easier. What I don't understand is...with all the modern conveniences we enjoy, why don't we have more TIME? Sorry, that's a topic for another blog...

Hope your son returns safely and enjoys many miles on his overhauled car. And, I hope you feel better soon...I know your pain with the sinus infections...they are the pits! Take care...

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MSLZZY 7/28/2010 7:57AM

    Hope today is better! HUGS!

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Adjusting views

Monday, July 26, 2010

I saw a blog this weekend that talked about taking a break from Spark, because the person realized that she didn't want to be quite so self-focused on the weight thing. It made me think (as generally happens when I read ANY point of view)... about whether I was going too far in that direction.

If all you see of a person is their "spark" life, for some of us it could start to look that way: we look at the scale. We look at our nutrition. We look at our activity. And we write about our struggles and our dreams in that regard.

It all kind of depends on how you use it: is it part of a whole life... where the healthy initiatives need to be talked about SOMEWHERE (like here?), and you still have a purpose and mission in life beyond losing weight or getting fit?

The whole philosophy of Spark and motivating ourselves to get healthy and fit is so that we can fulfill personal missions and visions: those visions can vary from being there for children and grandchildren to achieving financial independence to changing careers... to volunteering and helping others.

Only each individual can reach the conclusion of whether the focus is tipping in an incorrect direction for him or her. As of right now, I think I'm OK... and I hope most of us are... and if not... we can adjust and do what we need to do to keep our balance in life.

That said... I have echoes of Annie (WalkingAnnie) in my head this morning, as my scale dipped below 130. For the first time since college, I'm sure. Now is when I start to get "nervous" about having lost maybe "too much". I've been monitoring my intake and I'm within range, but I may need to take care to start once again eating a little more. Not a LOT, but a little.

On the other hand... am I comfortable letting another few pounds slip off? I'm still well within healthy BMI ranges! With that thought at the back of my head I did something I NEVER thought I'd do in my adult life: I ordered some bottoms in a size "small", because that's what the sizing chart says, based on my current measurements (and because the mediums I already own of these things are now uncomfortably loose... I'm going to be running in these pants!)

This is messing with my mind, just a bit. The word "small". It's not always a flattering word. If you describe a person as a "small" person, sometimes the subtext says "petty", or "shallow", or "lacking vision". I want to be sure that as I adjust to wearing clothing with such a label, I don't take on the negatives of it! Even in my self-talk! Especially in my self-talk.

How do you think about "small"? Does it scare you? Does it attract you? Do you focus on its positives, or its negatives? Could semantics be keeping unhealthy habits going?

Anyway, just some more of those rattling thoughts on a Monday morning. Hope the start to your week is a good one!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYJEAN13 7/29/2010 1:32PM

    I'm a little late reading this but I'm glad I found it! Like you, it takes awhile to adjust to a different size. My problem is I wonder if it is temporary and I'm just going to go back to my old ways of not enough exercise and too much food. That is where SP comes in to keep me accountable and on track. I don't want to be obsessive about it but I think I would get off track without it.

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REJ7777 7/26/2010 10:28PM

    In my case, SP helps me to keep a needed focus on my weight-loss. It's not my reason for living, just a very efficient tool. I find that it's very easy for me NOT to keep health and weight-related issues on the front burner. SP helps to keep me focused. It's not always easy to have the right balance though. I'd be interested to know where that ex-Sparker is health and weight-wise one year from now. It saddens me when I see Spark motivators who have lost so much weight they've been featured in magazine articles, then you read in some blogs that they've put all the weight back on. They haven't posted in months and years. I wish I could control my weight without all this effort and focus, but I can't. I'm very grateful for SP and for my SparkFriends!

As far as the 130 goes, it depends on how you feel. Do you feel strong, healthy and energetic? If you're eating healthy and exercising, I think your weight will settle at the best weight for you. Especially if you strength train to add muscle weight. BTW, I'd have a very hard time thinking of you as "small" in any way but the positive sense!

Comment edited on: 7/26/2010 10:30:51 PM

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SHARON2014 7/26/2010 4:33PM

    Excellent blog and thought-provoking discussion. I dropped SP for similar reasons. Now that I am back, since I am totally off-track, I am taking a more measured approach. Trying to walk more each day, cut portions by 25%, forget points and challenges. But, I do like to keep up with my Friends who have shared so much of their lives with me and supported me as well. And, you are one of my SSF's, Sister Spark Friends! Sharon

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WALKINGANNIE 7/26/2010 3:57PM

    Thanks for another thought-provoking blog Barb.

I think that my concern is less with being 'small' and more with being extreme - whether that's over or underweight.

Every now and then I have a wobble about what I feel is the right weight / size / fat%, etc for me and where I would fit into an imaginary line-up of 'normal' women. I truly don't feel as if I would be 2nd in a line-up of 100 women of my age at the smallest end. It just doesn't match my perception - which then makes me challenge my own judgement.

I think I'm over my latest wobble now but it still doesn't take much to make me have doubts. You and other friends are a great help as we work through these feelings.

I'm a healthy BMI and nowhere near the low end of that range. Scarily, this must mean that a lot of women of my age must be very overweight and that a 'normal' weight and size is substantially higher than an averagely healthy BMI.

I think we have to trust ourselves and each other. I know that SP friends will let me know if I'm getting too extreme - and I'll do the same for them.

emoticon emoticon

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ANONALEE 7/26/2010 12:15PM

    The size "Small" does scare me -- I don't know why, but I've always equated small with weak and defenseless. Something I need to get over as the scale slips ever downward. Getting ride of these irrational ideas is part of the pathway for me. I'm interested in your thoughts on it, too!

>P.S. Congratulations for another milestone achieved! emoticon

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ANDI571 7/26/2010 10:17AM

    I feel like MSLZZY, small is just like the number on the scale. For my age and height, I think a small would be to much, but for someone else, it would be just right. I think it is up to the individual. I don't even think Weight Watchers says anything unless you start falling under the range of healthy.

I remember when I lost years ago, my 5'4" niece thought I should get down to the same size as her. I am 5'8". I couldn't convince her that the height made a difference. I think at that time, I was in a size 12, and she was a 9. I wore a size 9 when I was in ninth grade and weighed 125 pounds. I think that would be to much now.

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KASEYCOFF 7/26/2010 9:10AM

    1) You're right, we only see the 'Spark' side of our fellow Sparklers. But just like if you're on a bowling team your discussions will be predominated by scores and techniques and league standings... just like if you're into quilting and you spend time with other quilters and you talk about fabrics and projects and colors... just like anything else in life, THIS is where we focus on nutrition, health, losing weight - so in short, no, I don't think your focus (on losing weight and getting fit) is 'tipping' too far. Moderation in all things, and from what you write it sounds as tho you're aware and work to achieve that balance in your own life.

2) Considering size and healthy BMI and so on, take a look at this blog:


I don't often recommend blogs, but I'm recommending this one, because Catherine (the blogger) makes a brilliant point about health. The standard of health isn't necessarily the BMI but could (perhaps) be better measured by determining percentage of body fat. I think the point has merit and is something to consider.

3) As long as you aren't crossing a line where you are 'below' a healthy BMI, or at too low a bodyweight for your height, then you are on track and doing fine. I think it's just as important to monitor measurements, weight, BP - BG, etc. when you're on maintenance as it is when you're working toward a goal of healthy weight and better fitness. And for what it's worth, I don't have any more negative connotations for 'small' in this context than I do for 'losing.' If there's another word that you're more comfortable with - 'petite' 'tiny' 'little' - use it, but no, there's no negative association for 'small' (at least, not in MY head). I describe myself as 'losing' weight, not as 'gaining health' or any of the other terms that seem to be coming into vogue. Maybe it's just me, but semantics don't motivate me and don't give me a psychological boost, really.

Be small, Barb! Stand tall and be small! You are achieving a wonderful goal - revel in it and be proud! (Thinks me.)

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JAM2DREW 7/26/2010 8:32AM

    Great blog! You are right that we are focused too much on numbers - the scale, tracking what we eat, etc. that we often forget what is important. I know that I am there.

Sounds like you are making great progress in all directions. Keep up the good work!

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KALIGIRL 7/26/2010 8:28AM

    I love this blog. emoticon

I've decided to stop tracking (and even logging in for sparkpoints) as I find keeping up with my fellow sparkers and reading the health articles takes enough of my time. I'm not sure if I can go cold turkey, but part of it is so liberating. I've reached my goals of weight and nutrition and feel I'm ready to let go of the tools I used to get me there.
We shall see...

PS - You look fabulous, so I'd say small suits you.

Comment edited on: 7/26/2010 8:28:58 AM

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MSLZZY 7/26/2010 7:48AM

    Small. to me, is just like a number on the scale. I try not to give it so much power over my life. Keep a positive attitude about it and you'll be fine.
Under 130? Awesome! emoticon

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Over-peopled, but in a good cause

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Being an introvert, I seem to have a need to take time alone to assimilate all social things that happen... the conversations I have with people, the things I've done and said, the things done and said around me. For me, that means time alone.

Yesterday was a really, really intense social day. And I have to wonder what I was thinking when I promised to help my sister clean up the party venue this afternoon. But I think I'll be OK with that because she's introverted, too... and just the two of us is quite different from a room full of people!

The social intensity yesterday? My niece was bat mitzvah'd. I went to the service, where I felt out of it, not knowing the prayers or understanding the Hebrew... but being so proud of my niece who has grown up in it and spoke with a clear sweet voice, reading her portion with confidence. I wept over the speeches her parents gave her, seeing my mom's face and my dad's pride in family reflected in my sister telling her daughter how proud she is. I had to giggle over the story of the tallit (prayer shawl)... which had been given to my sister as a conversion gift when she took up the study and practice of Judaism over a decade ago. She told the giver that she would not be using it... now that shawl has been ceremoniously wrapped around her daughter.

Now I know that here are Spark there are people of many faiths... and I'm not one to put mine out there. I'm more a believer in "show your faith by your works"... I had to put a few of these words out there to describe what I saw and felt yesterday. I'm not Jewish. But some of my family are. Anti-semites need not visit my blog today!

If you know your Bible you would have been totally at home with what was read... the Torah is the first five books of the Christian Bible, too. My niece's portion came from around the ten commandments. Not a one of us grew up in Christian Sunday School without being exposed to those... and seriously, any faith of substance teaches similar principles.

And verses from the Psalms are the same once translated to English. And my sister read them with feeling. They brought echoes of my Dad or Mom as readers in the church of our youth. And my niece's brief sermon was wise beyond her years, celebrating her coming of age.

I think at times, we drown out the young people with adult conversations at family gatherings, and it's important to take time to listen to them. I now know that there are things my nieces and nephews know that I do not (like a whole other language - Hebrew, for one thing)... and if I can get past my fear that they might think less of me for not knowing... and listen to their youthful wisdom and idealism, I can be a better person for it, and the world might be a better place, too.

There was lunch following, and an evening bring a dish and ice cream social. A huge, long day of partying after the service, in short. I'm pleased with how I planned and followed the plan, as far as food and activity are concerned. I focused on people, rather than food. This morning I find myself wondering how much of my historic food focus has been trying to gain energy to deal with people, or trying to avoid dealing with people.

The young people? Full of springs! They danced, they did the limbo (my niece is actually pretty good at it) and the adults reminisced over being young and limber enough but were not foolish enough to try it!

I left the day yesterday feeling good about the generation who will next take charge. These are good people becoming adults, despite us and because of us, and taking their places beside us.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALIGIRL 7/25/2010 10:06PM

    How wonderful for your and your sister.

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KASEYCOFF 7/25/2010 5:32PM

    Good one, Barb - great to spend time with family, great to celebrate the milestones. :-)

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WALKINGANNIE 7/25/2010 1:42PM

    I enjoyed this interesting blog Barb. You had a busy day, socially and emotionally. Well done for having good plans and such a positive and open attitude.

I really liked what you said about the next generation.

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REJ7777 7/25/2010 1:02PM

    I enjoyed your blog. It sounds like it was a wonderful celebration! When I'm around young people, I always try to get them to talk so that I can affirm them.

But, like you, I'm an introvert. I do not *enjoy* being at social events where there are a lot of people. It drains me. I've been blessed with many friends, but I enjoy them one at a time. I also enjoy being alone because I need time to reflect and re-energize. As an introvert, I think you understand what I mean.

I was surprised to see that it was your niece's bar mitzvah. I always thought bar mitzvahs were for boys. Shows how much I know about Jewish feasts! Did bar mitzvahs used to be just for boys and then evolved to include girls, or have they always been for both boys and girls? Just curious. emoticon

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APRILLSCOTT 7/25/2010 9:38AM

Sounds like you had an interesting day and learned a lot about another faith! Great job on focusing on people instead of food!
You know the children of today are our futures! I like what you said, "I left the day yesterday feeling good about the generation who will next take charge. These are good people becoming adults, despite us and because of us, and taking their places beside us." That's it in a nutshell isn't it, and doesn't it feel good to feel good about it? emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 7/25/2010 9:07AM

    It sounds as if you all had a Blessed day yesterday.
emoticonDid I read/understand right that your SparkLife has helped you enjoy your Family/Social time better? If I did, then it is another example of Spark improving so much more than 'Just' or weight.
emoticon emoticon

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/25/2010 8:44AM

    It sounds like a wonderful day.

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JUDITHANNIE 7/25/2010 8:39AM

    There is only one God it's all on how you choose to worship Him all faiths lead to the same outcome. Wonderful blog.

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GOHUSKERS2 7/25/2010 8:25AM

    That was an education for me. I did not know that girls were included in that. I always heard it was boys coming of age. That's nice to know as I like to learn new things. Sounds like, all in all, you had a wonderful day, and to me, anytime we get our small family together, whatever the occassion, it's a good day!

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MSLZZY 7/25/2010 7:25AM

    How wonderful for your niece and a great blog on accepting other religions and cultures as special. Our youth will take over for us and with us and that is a very good thing.

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Photo Walk

Saturday, July 24, 2010

People have been blogging their photo walks, and I had not taken my camera to work, so didn't post my urban walk before. Here are some of the things I see as I do my break walks throughout the work day. I start with a view of our State's Capitol building, as a general rule.

Around the corner and down the block, we see the first of three churches.

As I walk beside the capitol, I could look back over my shoulder and see the building that more tourists stop me to ask about than the public ones. For the curious, this was the Woodmen Insurance company's building and their logo. The figures are (gasp) nude... or rather they were, until some public sensitivities made the company go back and retrofit "clothes" onto them.

When I get to the far corner of my short walk, I can see the start of what's called the Near South neighborhood, an area of stately old homes. Some of them are landmarks and open to public tours. When I have time to take longer walks, I sometimes walk in that neighborhood and enjoy flowers in season.

Next corner, I'm in the shadow of the tower of the prairie.

Then we get the other two churches.

And close out the break walk with the landscaping around where I work: flowers, and native grasses... this is, after all, the great plains.

I generally do this tour a couple of times in a day, it takes about 12 - 15 minutes, depending on traffic, pace, and tourists. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 7/25/2010 12:34PM

    It's wonderful that you have such a pleasant route to walk to work. Makes it more likely to walk when it's so enjoyable. Thank you for sharing it with us! emoticon

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APRILLSCOTT 7/25/2010 9:43AM

    I loved the walk Barb, such beautiful pictures! I love looking at different churchs! What beautiful scenery of the town! Looks like a great place to live! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/24/2010 8:59PM

    What a treat to walk through your landscape.

I do think that our outlook on life is in part formed by the architecture we experience -- the only art form we enter into.

Nature matters: but buildings do too! And you live in a place with some very distinguished buildings!!

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ANDI571 7/24/2010 8:25PM

    Loved the pictures. We get to go on vacation without leaving the house. emoticon

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CAWESTY 7/24/2010 7:57PM

    So glad you took the time to photo and share! Thanks so much. I love seeing where others live and walk, and your's is a lovely place.

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LJCANNON 7/24/2010 7:35PM

    All I can say is.........WOW!!! What an incredible walk! The buildings are so impressive. I love seeing all kinds of Old Architecture and Churches always fascinate me.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/24/2010 4:19PM

    Thanks for sharing your walk Barb. I enjoyed it.

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PENNYAN45 7/24/2010 2:35PM

    Thanks for posting the photos. It's fun to see where others are walking.
I especially love the stately old homes - in any city.

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KASEYCOFF 7/24/2010 8:48AM

    Great pictures! I love seeing what's around where people live. Boy, those old houses look fantastic. Is your page background of the Special Olympics 2010 because they are coming to your city? Or have already been? :-)

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JHADZHIA 7/24/2010 8:17AM

    Very nice! I am surprised about the statues. I thought they could get away with just about anything in the name of art these days!
You have a nice place to walk in. I have a lot of churches in my city too, practically one on every corner! Some old and stately, but a lot of modern buildings.
Good for you getting out and walking during your work day! Squeeze in exercise where ever you can!
Lumpyears1 must not have heard the stats that 95% of people believe in God LOL. No wonder they have to build so many churches!

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THIAGRAM 7/24/2010 8:14AM

  Wow! I enjoyed your photo walk very much! Thanks for sharing!

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DISMOM3 7/24/2010 8:03AM

    Thanks for sharing that. What a neat idea.

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MSLZZY 7/24/2010 7:18AM

    Wonderful pics! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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LUMPYEARS1 7/24/2010 6:15AM

    Is that some kind of religious state with all the churches??

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Now for something completely different: body size thoughts

Friday, July 23, 2010

I lied, it's not different... I've written about this before, just today's pondering on it.

The past week or so I've been pondering about body size and identity. Again. Still. Off and on. When I was a child, I was generally considered small. When I was seven, I was under the mistaken impression that I hadn't changed size since I was two. Silly things like that.

My adult life has been rife with changes in body size, varying from what used to be 12's (probably 8's these days... in fact, I'm in 8's now... which I never was as a teenager!) up to 24's that were getting tight. Nowadays they put "X" on things: 1X, 2X, 3X, etc. but we all know what those X's mean.

Size goes far beyond what shows up on a clothing label. It's in your head. As when you drive a compact versus a full sized vehicle: what kind of parking space do you look for? You pull in with pride to the one that won't fit the bigger car and grin, like you won some kind of contest! emoticon

At the ER last Friday I became conscious of the beds, the wheel chairs, the various things that had to be "bigger" for patients of size. They came and took my bed away! Because someone else needed one with its features, and swapped me out with another that was softer and more comfy, actually, but not as heavy-duty.

Then I started pondering: I used to be "this big" and now I'm "this small"... where DID that volume go? So that got me thinking about how amazing the human body is, that it can change the shape and size it takes up on the planet! How many other things in nature do that? Trees? No. Animals, OK, yes, but you don't see them deliberately attempting to change their size and shape!

That leads to this question: why do we identify ourselves so much with our body size and shape? Does it feel uncomfortable to become thinner? Have we been classifying those around us by THEIR body size, or just judging ourselves?

No answers, mind you, just questions rattling around in the head. And a resolution: to adjust to the size I have become, and not be startled quite so often by the "parking space" I now fit into.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 7/25/2010 12:18PM

    "Now for something completely different" emoticon emoticon

I really appreciate this blog. Most of us reading it are also dealing with "changing body size" issues. Reading your reflections helped me to think things through for myself too. Our comfort or discomfort with our body size influences how we feel about ourselves and the choices we make, so it's very important!

When I had dropped down to 179 lbs. about 3 years ago, I felt so good. I felt light and energetic. But when the scale hadn't moved any more 8 months later and I was still at 179 lbs, I felt fat. I got discouraged and careless and put a lot of the weight back on. But the problem was all in my head! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 7/24/2010 9:02PM

    Very very interesting blog -- that whole concept of surprise at our own size (and trying not to be judgmental of others' sizes . . . ). Hmmmm. Lots to think about here: these ideas will be rattling around in MY head too. Thank you!

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THIAGRAM 7/24/2010 9:52AM

  I haven't really thought of this much. But now that I have I could probably write a whole blog on the matter. But I think what you have said is "well enough said"
Thanks for sharing!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/23/2010 5:21PM

    Another really interesting blog. I love the way that you think about things.

I still get a bit confused about my own size. I was really surprised in hospital least week when the nurses said that my legs were so slim (they actually said 'tiny') that they didn't have compression stockings small enough for me. It wasn't long ago that I couldn't find leather knee boots that would zip up.

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    I refuse to believe that size matters.

But sadly it does.

Great blog!

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MSLZZY 7/23/2010 2:20PM

    Like they say, size does matter. But it should not be a prerequisite to who we are and how we
are treated. Take heart in your "smaller size" and put the past behind you. It is the here
and now that counts. emoticon

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JWADDELL2 7/23/2010 10:29AM

    Gee, I have been in the same boat as most everyone here...the mind and mind-over-body reflections are amazing things! I know what you mean about feeling compassion towards those who are the size I was when I judging, just compassion. I am my own worst critic, but I know that when we went to Alaska in May, my eyes teared up when I put my seatbelt on, with several inches of excess belt....the last time we had flown, I remember praying, "please, God, let it buckle!"

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KASEYCOFF 7/23/2010 10:03AM

    I don't think (I hope I don't) classify people by their body size; I tend not to judge people according to exterior criteria, and if I find myself doing it, I consciously stop it. But I am my own harshest critic, and judge myself CONSTANTLY. Usually the internal dialogue covers everything from body size to 'Why'd I say THAT?' to questioning my abilities - and I generally find fault, but only with myself. It's a mindspeak of continual judging and self-assessment. I'm really glad I don't have to use a seatbelt extender on flights anymore... that I can sit fairly comfortably in just about any public seating... that I don't have to wonder if I can 'squeeze thru' a turnstile. And like you, I would be aware of (and pleased I didn't have need of) the larger wheelchairs or the extra-strength bed. I've been relatively thin in my adult life, a couple of times, but that didn't shush the I'm-not-good-enough voices or eliminate the whole perfectionism thing. Instead of identifying body shape as being what's wrong with me, I'd still always find something. But I don't find those things in other people. Eh. You've really got me thinking here, Barb. Guess I better go meditate on some of this stuff... good blog, hon. Keep 'em coming! :-)

Comment edited on: 7/23/2010 10:08:52 AM

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ANDI571 7/23/2010 9:38AM

    I agree. You know if I am talking to someone that is the size I used to be, I will identify with them, instead of what I am now. I see the menopause stomach, instead of a stomach that is shrinking.

Good question. Do you think it is one that can be answered? emoticon

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THERAPIST2 7/23/2010 9:30AM

    Great thoughts. I especially like the part where the "vanity sizing" has fooled us. I wear 3 sizes smaller now than when I was in high school and I'm back at that weight now.

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    Great blog! I wouldn't say that I'm uncomfortable with becoming thinner, but my brain hasn't quite caught up yet because I still think I'm the same size I was when I started. It's only when certain things happen (like for you, the hospital bed, or for me putting on a pair of capris yesterday that were enormous on me) that I realize I'm not the same size.

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PEGGYJEAN13 7/23/2010 9:09AM

    It is a little like when I looked down at my legs one day and said to myself, "those are my mother's legs, when did I get those." I go through the motions of showering, dressing, and going through daily activities without really seeing myself. I am always surprised at pictures of myself but I have to see myself in the mirror when I put makeup on everyday!

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CHRISTURTLE 7/23/2010 8:58AM

    Food for thought...

Just an observation I made today regarding the way I see myself now compared to before I got back to Sparking - I was walking towards the glass doors at Dad's nursing home and caught sight of my reflection in them. "Hmmm... This bulky jacket makes my hips look big.." was what I thought that first moment I saw myself. Then I thought back to the size I was when I walked through those doors the day Dad was first transferred there from the hospital... I finally saw a reflection of the 'me' I'd become in the time since Dad had first moved in with me - I'd gone from a size 14 to a size 20 in only 12 months and my knees had suffered so much I'd had to give up work. When I realised that I had to have a quiet giggle at the way I was seeing myself today, still not seeing the improvements, focusing instead on the faults.

I spent some time while Dad was napping in his chair thinking about how I saw myself, and I came to the conclusion I definitely notice the areas needing improvement rather than the improvements I've already made with healthy eating and exercise. Don't know whether or not its the same for everyone when they see themselves unexpectedly. I know if I stand in front of my bedroom mirror I can see improvements, just not when its an unexpected glimpse of myself...wonder why?

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KALIGIRL 7/23/2010 8:46AM

    It's an interesting question considering we're all just energy. I wonder if it isn't advertising (particularly the 'small models') that makes us concentrate on size?

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