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The other side of my break-walks

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

I posted some of my downtown work-break walk photos a couple of weeks ago... now I'm going to walk the other direction and find a few treasures. Heading the other way, I walk by a public venue that even today has the temporary sculpture out front from the Special Olympics National Games that were held here in town in July. I expect the sand sculpture will come down before too long, but it was still there yesterday.

Go down the block and you can peek into a garden, tucked in the middle of downtown, where they play live concerts every Wednesday noon during the Summer.

As I keep walking, I am in the midst of the old and new architecture... notice we are a bicycle friendly city!

Turn a corner and you can see the "new" Cornhusker Hotel. It became the "new" hotel in 1981 or 82... when they imploded the old one and built from the ground up. They televised the old one coming down, and from our tiny first house in the outlying neighborhood my husband and I watched it on TV and had the door open to listen to the boom through the air, lagged by a few seconds... the difference between the speed of light and the speed of sound. Maybe that's a metaphor... the speed with which your body adapts, followed by the mind adapting to your healthy lifestyle changes? emoticon

Out front of the hotel, part of a community art project from a few years back. Told you we like bicycles in this town:

Speaking of art, if you stroll a few more blocks, you can find the next community art project, celebrating our being a "Star City":

This concludes the second half of my little break-walk tours. Being aware of the beauty around us is a good and healthy thing! Here's to your awareness, and to your health!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 8/5/2010 9:29AM

    I love it when people blog about their walks and towns. It's a great way to get to know a bit more about one another. You sure do live in a beautiful city! It's great when a city makes it easy for people to take their bikes! emoticon

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THIAGRAM 8/4/2010 10:01AM

  Sure enjoyed seeing your beautiful city! Thanks for sharing!

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PEGGYJEAN13 8/4/2010 8:56AM

    It is so clean and pretty. I love the area you walk in and the Haymarket area.

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WALKINGANNIE 8/4/2010 8:36AM

    Thanks for sharing your walk. It's interesting to see other people's surroundings.


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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 8/4/2010 7:16AM


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How do you think about your blog?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

There are so many metaphors...

* A blog is like a personal journal, where you can celebrate or vent, remind yourself where you came from, or dream of your goals!

* Because it is public, a blog might be a little like a "share" in a group session! You're talking from your own experience, strength and hope. You put it out there and it blesses whoever it happens to bless... you have no idea who might be helped by it, you're just moved to write it!

In some ways a blog is the ultimate narcissistic exercise: it's all about me, me, me... how I feel, what I did, what I think or care about... what's happening around me, but mainly how that affects ME! Nobody really has to read it, not everybody may like it! If I write with the thought of getting applause, I may not write what I need to write today!

That said, is it cool to get supportive comments? You bet! But that can't be why I write, or I'll self-edit too much. I self-edit enough without that thought!

That said, yesterday's adventure was at the blood bank. For the first time EVER in my time of being a donor... I got "deferred" for not having enough iron in my blood (hemoglobin). They have fancier machines to measure now, and while not anemic, I didn't meet their standards.

My brother tells me he has to go longer between donations to get his built up. My one sister had the blood bank tell her "go see your doctor" this summer, because she was so low. But I've never had a problem. Of course, I haven't been in to donate since before my surgery last October! So, something has changed. Time to reassess what I'm doing with nutrition... again!

I read their list of iron-rich foods... I eat them, folks... my food journal will prove it! They mentioned calcium interfering with iron absorption. Hmmm.

Perhaps my change in vitamins and supplements (which was made pre-surgery) needs to be reassessed. They took me off almost everything, and I never resumed a lot it. Of course, it COULD just be that last week's one-day illness took its toll! In any case, it has me thinking, and I think I'll be re-introducing my multivitamin, and phasing out the "Anytime Bars" I have been using as a vitamin substitute.

I can do this. Give me a couple of weeks, and we'll try again. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 8/5/2010 10:02AM

    I find that the authenticity with which most people blog is what makes the blogs so useful in my own personal growth and journey towards a healthy weight. I can see myself in so many of the blogs and reading about how others are handling the challenges helps me to deal with my own struggles. I try not to offend anyone when I blog, because I realize that not everyone is at the same stage of their journey. But I do try not to "self-edit" too much, and be real, because the blogging experience is useful in and of itself. I'm always surprised at all the support and encouraging comments I receive. The support makes blogging doubly effective! emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/5/2010 10:02:33 AM

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THIAGRAM 8/3/2010 4:09PM

  Thanks for all your blogs! I know I've missed a few of them, but whenever I read one, you get my brain to thinking! So why do I blog? Maybe that depends on what I feel like saying. My daughter has been on the receiving end of the blood donations. So a big thank you for those of you who donate blood! Sorry you got turned down. That is not good. I am quite confident that you will figure it out! Bless you!

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KALIGIRL 8/3/2010 1:03PM

    Sounds like a good plan. My doc says while they might not help, multivitamins don't hurt. I also take an iron pill - have been turned away several times...

I blog to keep in contact and it's my way of attempting to give back all that's been given to me.

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PENNYAN45 8/3/2010 11:38AM

    When I blog - I am always keenly aware that others will read it. Knowing there will be an audience influences the topics I write about - and how I approach those topics.

A few months ago, I wrote a blog about a medical condition that I had been dealing with - posted it - and then deleted it two minutes later. Once I had experienced the benefits of writing about it - focused on it with a clearer look - and gained a better perspective - I decided it was not something I wanted to share with the rest of the world after all.

(It's funny, because a Spark friend of mine was about to post her response to that blog - and suddenly it disappeared!)

Knowing that there will be an audience, I think helps me to be a better blogger. It helps me to stand apart and look at a topic with more objectivity and less emotion than if I were just writing for myself.

I am amazed at folks - like you - who can blog every day. And I am grateful for you. You stimulate my thinking on many different topics. I simply cannot come up with that many ideas on my own. On several days each week, I just don't have a thing to say. I very much need the stimulation of others' thinking.

Thanks for your blogs! They are always thought provoking!

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Comment edited on: 8/3/2010 11:45:02 AM

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ANDI571 8/3/2010 9:56AM

    It's funny you wrote about blogs. I deleted 2 of my blogs the other day. When I started getting comments there were a couple that wasn't quite going the direction I thought the blog would take the subject.

The second blog was a spoof off of the first one, because I found them funny. Then I got afraid I might offend someone, so I just deleted both.

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PEGGYJEAN13 8/3/2010 8:52AM

    I was turned down 4 years ago because of high blood pressure. This was my first indication that I had a problem but before I couldn't because of low iron also. I was told it is a common problem with women in their 40's. I started taking vitamins and hbp medicine and was okay after that. It just shows we don't always know what is going on "inside".

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WALKINGANNIE 8/3/2010 8:46AM

    Sorry that you're concerned about your iron and hope that you can resolve this. Your comment on calcium is especially interesting given the current media reports on links between calcium supplements and heart health. I'm going to ask my doctor about this.

I'm very glad that you continue to blog as you always give food for thought - whatever your reason for writing. I started to blog privately and found it therapeutic to get thoughts out of my head. I deleted a lot of them when I joined the Community Team and made my page public and, like you, I still delete bits before I post. Essentially, I blog because it keeps me focused. I appreciate comments very much and enjoy reading what other friends - like you - write.

When you and others write your blogs and respond to mine it makes me feel that I'm not alone in this lifelong mission to maintain weight and good health.

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GOHUSKERS2 8/3/2010 8:39AM

    That was interesting! I was diagnosed with diabetes thirty years ago this month so it's been that long since I donated blood. I was a regular and felt good about doing it. I guess I hadn't thought about them doing it differently now, but it makes sense with all the other changes in medicine. Sorry you weren't able to donate and sorry about the enemia. I also didn't know about calcium interferance. So I learned alot just reading your blog and thank you for that. I'm sure you can get it built back up again, and you'll probably feel better maybe they did you a favor. Have a good one.

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Secrets naturally thin people don't share with you

Monday, August 02, 2010

In my decades of going up and down the scale I have discovered some of the things that naturally thin people don't think to tell their friends who struggle with weight. Oh, they may mentioned a few of them in passing, but many of us in our obsession with weight did not believe them!

The biggest one I ignored over the course of a lifetime was: "Losing weight won't make your life perfect".

Since my biggest lie to myself over the course of my first four decades of life was that all my problems were due to my weight... of course I firmly believed that if I only got rid of the excess pounds... oh, let's see some of the biggies...

1. The weight would stay off once I reached goal, no matter how I behaved.
2. My husband would be happy when I reached my goal weight and stay that way.
3. I myself would be happy all the time.

Wrong! On all three counts. What thin people don't tell you is that they have to deal with everything that those of us who eat to comfort ourselves deal with. Only they manage to do it without turning to excess food (a self-destructive behavior).

What I found out was what most of you already know:

1. Maintenance is as much work as losing, maybe more. "Be ever vigilant" is not a joke. It doesn't mean you can NEVER have food treats. But it does mean you have to be careful about how many, how often, and whether it's worth it! And you have to be extra careful to deal with Ms. Perfectionist who lives inside your head! The hardest part of all is remembering that it's worth it, that YOU are worth it. This is why I preach it so much in comments back to other blogs!

2. Husbands and wives, relationships in general are complex things. If you're losing weight to please somebody else... what happens when that relationship sours for other reasons?

Being a generally unhappy person, my being thinner did not make my husband happy. It just made him expect more of me. And when I was mad at him... there was a strong temptation to eat in retaliation, as well as to comfort me! The light bulb on that one came on about 15 years ago, and has stayed on, thank goodness.

If I'm going to do healthy things... I'm doing them for me... and I AM worth it.

3. Emotions that you dealt with by over-eating to suppress them... do go away, fade, become less intense as time passes. It's important to face, identify and acknowledge them so you can deal with them: fear, anger, resentment, sorrow, grief, sadness? Hey, it's OK to FEEL them! Yes, they hurt. But stuffing them down with food just transfers the feelings into something I considered more acceptable... it was OK to be angry with myself for eating. It was not OK to be angry at someone else for their behavior, in my old world-view.

What about angry words you stuffed down with that food? Weird things happen when you no longer eat to suppress them. Words may slip out you didn't intend to say out loud. You have to deal with not just the initial feelings but the consequences of words! I had been using eating as a coping mechanism rather than learning to deal with social situations and the anxiety they gave me.

Naturally thin people learned some lessons I skipped growing up! I've had to learn them later in life, and you all know about old dogs and new tricks.

My own secret: Old dogs CAN learn new tricks! Losing weight did not make my life perfect. Getting fit did not make my life perfect. But it has made it better. Here's to keeping that better, better!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 8/5/2010 9:50AM

    Great blog! I tried to write a blog similar to this one a couple weeks ago, but I wasn't able to express myself as well as you have. Losing weight doesn't solve all your problems! As you said so well, it doesn't make your life perfect, just better. And maintenance is learning to Spark in the midst of all the stresses and disappointments of an imperfect life. And, we ARE worth the effort! emoticon

This blog evidently comes from years of experience and learning. I've learned a lot in the last few years too, and that's why I'm hoping that this time, I'll succeed in not only reaching goal, but maintaining it... just because I'm worth it! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 8/3/2010 8:36AM

    Wise words as ever Barb. I see my reduced weight and improving health as giving me fewer things to worry about but not as solving all life's problems.

You have made some great observations - and you really are worth it!

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CONCHA77 8/2/2010 3:40PM

    Great blog-You have such a "God Given" talent with words. emoticon

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ANONALEE 8/2/2010 12:13PM

    One blogger called this the "Fantasy of Being Thin" which is right up there with the "Fantasy of When I Find the Perfect Man (and Get Married)" and "The Fantasy of When I Land the Perfect Job." Some of us love to pretend that life can be different than it is and these fantasies assist that pretense. Much better to give it up and accept life on its own terms. Great blog, Barb!

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SROUS1340 8/2/2010 11:22AM

    Great Blog. I'm dealing with anger issues right now with my sister. I can't stuff words anymore, but I do have to release this anger so that it doesn't eat me. Good words to hear and remember!

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KALIGIRL 8/2/2010 8:53AM

    Wonderful blog Barb.
I am a' naturally thin' person (gained weight with menopause) and I'm not so sure I 'knew' things you didn't, I just think my self destructive behavior (bad child) manifested in different ways than yours. Too much selfishness, wine, silence, blowing off deadlines and friends, the list goes on.
I do believe you are 'spot on' with the hard work our journeys take and the first step is loving ourselves.

PS - love your new profile pic!

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PATRISNA 8/2/2010 8:41AM

    emoticon for another great blog! Something to think about for sure.

I know you write blogs to help yourself on this journey. I am glad I can read them because you always seem to come up with the perfect blog when I am trying to figure out my own process. I still have a long road until I reach maintenance, but you are paving the way.

That reminds me of rich people who say money can't buy happiness. We forget thin people may also have self esteem issues. There are other ways to self destruct besides eating.

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JAM2DREW 8/2/2010 8:41AM

    Great blog! This is so true. You have to lose the weight for yourself and yourself alone. And no it doesn't solve all the issue.

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Well, I met my goal, which was to blog for a month...

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Six days out of seven, I said, back on June 24th. emoticon

So, as they say, "What's next"?

First, evaluate how it's worked out.

Very well, it appears. Blogging led to tracking. Blogging led to encouragement. Blogging kept me away from the video games... I even almost completely dropped two of the three, and cut back on the third. Blogging helped me look at my feelings.

What lessons have I learned?

I've learned I'm not as "nice" a person as I used to think I wanted to be. I learned that I'm more comfortable acknowledging my anger, resentment, and anxiety... as opposed to stuffing those nasty feelings down with an excess of food. Blogging is an outlet for them (even if I edit the worst of the nasty out before I hit the post button)!

I've learned that sometimes you can't let your feelings toward how you are treated or perceived stop you from doing what is right, even if it might look like some insensitive clods got what they wanted. I have to feel good about doing what was right in spite of lingering bad feelings. I have to pray for the bad feelings to be lifted, because you cannot "will" feelings away.

So, I'm going to continue the blogging: six out of seven days during August is my goal. Onward!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 8/2/2010 10:53PM

    Blogging may be helping you - but it also helps us, your readers. You trigger new thinking and provide new perspectives on old thinking.
I believe that Spark People is about much more than weight loss - it is about personal growth as well.
Blogging is an important tool for bringing that about.


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SUNNY332 8/1/2010 6:40PM

    Awesome, Barb, and what insight you have received. GREAT!

On to August and new goals.


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ANONALEE 8/1/2010 6:05PM

    I'm glad you have this as a goal -- I look forward to reading what you have to say each day. Maybe someday I'll pick up the blog again too (that is, when I recover enough to begin my diet and exercise program again). But, in the meantime, I'm glad you're out there giving it a daily go!

Cheers, Debra
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WALKINGANNIE 8/1/2010 5:09PM

    Congratulations on meeting your goal and on the analysis. I have learnt a lot from what you write so I'm very pleased that you're continuing the experiment.

Blogging has helped me a great deal during this year as well. I have also written a lot about some things and not posted or at least edited the blogs. Somehow the act of writing and seeing words on screen helps to work things out of my system.

Looking forward to your next instalments.

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WILMASOTO 8/1/2010 4:47PM

    What an awesome evaluation!! Looks like it has turned out helpping you much more that you though!! emoticon Job!! Keepit up. You are doing fantastic and you should be very proud of yourself!! I know I am very proud of you!!

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PEGGYJEAN13 8/1/2010 4:13PM

    Blogging is an excellent way to vent...I too edit before posting. It helps.

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KALIGIRL 8/1/2010 2:18PM

    Too cool - glad you found the benefits in sharing. (And EXTRA glad you'll keep blogging)
Love to hear from you.

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JUST_TRI_IT 8/1/2010 10:41AM

    WAY TO GO on the blogging. Isn't it fascinating what we end up writing about! My goal is 365 days straight and it has been an experience. I think you have taken it one step further by looking at what you learned along the way.


P.S. Thanks so much for the kind words on my blog this morning. Hope you had a GREAT run before the heat hit. I'm trying to get myself going because it's COLD outside.

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It's the end of the month. You KNOW what that means!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Progress photos. I've rearranged the pictures on the front page, and updated the profile shot to be "current".

But as I was messing around with the camera last night, I managed to surprise myself with the look on my face as I hugged the dog... so I had to share that one. I won't give up the one with the sisters from last weekend, though. And what I found had to move off the front page? My "really, really before" picture.

I hesitated, and then decided: it's time for me to accept and embrace this new size. To "stand tall and be small" as Kaseycoff told me to do. I love that motto. "Small pride!" I'm going to have to come up with a few more.

This doesn't change where I CAME from, mind, just a declaration that I want to stay here at "home weight", as WalkingAnnie calls it.

It's amazing what we pick up from our Spark Friends to keep us moving in the right direction.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYJEAN13 8/1/2010 12:14AM

    Grrreat pics!

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KALIGIRL 7/31/2010 6:36PM

    You look fabulous! - here's to tall and small!

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WALKINGANNIE 7/31/2010 3:27PM

    Your new 'home' is compact and perfectly formed!

Well done!

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NELLIEC 7/31/2010 2:04PM

    Small pride sounds like a great concept! (I am five feet tall.)

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ANONALEE 7/31/2010 8:24AM

    Congratulations, Barb! And welcome to Smallville, your new permanent home.


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SUNNY332 7/31/2010 8:03AM

    What a great post and what a great motto for you.

You know a lot of my inspiration came from you. I am still biking and walking so know we will both make the 2nd set of 365 miles this year and will probably more than likely exceed that too. How awesome is that?? I would say we are doing GREAT!

Keep up the good work.

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MSLZZY 7/31/2010 7:45AM

    Great motto and GREAT photo! You are awesome! Have a SPARKtacular day and weekend! emoticon emoticon

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