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F: Fellowship

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I've been thinking in broad, epic terms in this alphabetical blog-streak. My geek roots are definitely showing! I've taken us through Star Trek TNG (assimilate), and EverQuest (diligence) and now we're headed for The Lord of the Rings with "Fellowship".

"Fellowship" carries with it the sense of a common purpose. That's how I think of the kindred spirits I have found here on Spark People. We're part of a fellowship, pursuing healthier lives through good nutrition and increased activity in our lives. If, in the process, we manage to pull off becoming friends, too... well, that's gravy, isn't it?

Sharing our experience, our hope, our strength... our successes, our challenges... we move toward the goals we set for ourselves. Today I salute our fellowship, and wish for us a long and happy one! And for that matter, a successful one!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/17/2010 7:10PM

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CONCHA77 9/17/2010 7:29AM

    I think that the "fellowship" part of SP is one of the benefits that keeps me coming back on a daily basis. It's been a great ride these past few years on Spark, hasn't it???
Great blog.

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WALKINGANNIE 9/16/2010 4:51PM

    I came here to control my eating - and I am so grateful for the unexpected bonus of finding fellowship along the way. To find friends with similar goals, feelings, experiences, challenges, frustrations, discoveries and triumphs has been, and is, wonderful.

emoticon for your fellowship and friendship along the way.

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REJ7777 9/16/2010 1:52PM

    I'm glad to have you as a Sparkfriend! And I do hope that our fellowship lasts a very long time as we mutually encourage one another in our healthy lifestyle! emoticon

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JWADDELL2 9/16/2010 11:40AM

    Amen, Sister!!! emoticon

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SUNNY332 9/16/2010 8:45AM

    We are part of a huge fellowship - "folks all in the same boat".

So glad I am taking this journey with you.

Sunny

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/16/2010 8:44AM

    This one is what makes Spark so very different! Thanks! emoticon emoticon

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PATRISNA 9/16/2010 7:39AM

    Good one. You are really writing some thoughtful alphabet blog! Love them. I think a lot of us have an inner Geek.

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MSLZZY 9/16/2010 7:13AM

    emoticon emoticonSP is the best and who doesn't need friends to cheer us on, pick us up and make our day? Keep on SParking!

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E: Experience

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

First off, let me say that "E" is in "EVERYTHING"! I thought of so many "e" words, but this morning, post workout, in the shower, feeling the warm water washing the sweat off, enjoying the sensations of the soap suds, the smells, the good feel of how my body can bend now, pain-free in places that used to hurt?

Well, that's when "experience" popped into my head. Because after all, it so fits in with mindfulness, with living in the moment, with being alive on the planet.

Think about yourself as a little kid, or for that matter, if you can't think of yourself that way, look at the children in your life. The first time they notice something... the things that come out of their mouths! Words they invent to describe the experience they are having... joy at the process of discovery of the world around them. Don't you wish you could bottle that and keep it forever?

Changing tone a bit, Experience also fits with the idea of continual progress: with wisdom coming from experience. Each time we work on the issues that trouble us most in life, we come away "experienced", wiser, better able to handle the challenge next time it (or a similar one) appears in our lives.

On the epic journey that is life, here's to living it to the fullest, experiencing everything it has to offer, and becoming wise and at peace!

P.S. Can you tell I'm writing under the influence of another e-word? (Endorphins!) emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/15/2010 3:26AM

    I love experiencing endorphin euphoria !!!

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ANONALEE 9/15/2010 4:49PM

    Under the influence of endorphins, it feels like the world is so possible, doesn't it?!

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WALKINGANNIE 9/15/2010 4:26PM

    I love your alphabet blogs Barb.
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I'm grateful to learn from your experience and to be stimulated by your shared thoughts.

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BUGGYS 9/15/2010 1:22PM

    We only have one life and must be mindful of its gifts everyday...don't forget to tell those closest to you how much you love and appreciate them! Great blog!!!

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KALIGIRL 9/15/2010 1:06PM

    Wonderful message on so many levels - you just keep under the influence of those endorphins!

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DEBRITA01 9/15/2010 1:01PM

    Loved the blog...gotta live our lives to the fullest...we are so blessed! I spend a lot of time with my 2 year-old grandson and he teaches me how to enjoy everyday, simple experiences with wonder and joy. Today on our walk, we fed the horses, threw stones in the creek, and looked for caterpillars while we enjoyed a sunny, gorgeous day...can't get any better than that! Being in the present is definitely a gift...

Enjoy your experiences today and always...



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REJ7777 9/15/2010 12:36PM

    Love the way you covered "experience" all the way from spontaneous, carefree childhood experiences to the more mature wisdom we acquire with "experience". We need both for a balanced life: the ability to play and enjoy life like a child and the wisdom of self-control.

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/15/2010 8:41AM

    Awesome Post today! Time for my workout and to wake up the endorphins emoticon

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MSLZZY 9/15/2010 8:23AM

    Got to love those endorphins! Got any extra to share? LOL! Have a great day!

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SUNNY332 9/15/2010 8:17AM

    Good post today...

Off to get the Endorphins stirred up today.

Hugs, M

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D: Diligence

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thanks to my handy-dandy Webster's dictionary emoticon, here we go again!

diligent: 1 persevering and careful in work; industrious 2 done with careful, steady effort; painstaking

diligence: 1 the quality of being diligent; constant, careful effort; perseverance... 3 (Law) the degree of attention or care expected of a person in a given situation

This word popped into my brain without my looking it up, as it was the name of one of my son's gaming guilds. It has that sense of persistence about it... of the long term... of taking action, not just thought... and of never giving up!

Speaking of gaming: ever notice in the epic tales, the hero can get distracted and still succeed? Because he (or his side-kicks) return with diligence to their quest. Think of the healthy lifestyle as a life-long quest... seeking treasure... fighting monsters. We will prevail, because we pursue our desires with diligence!

emoticon No knights or dragons as emoticons, so we'll have to make do with a diligent turtle!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/15/2010 3:18AM

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ANONALEE 9/15/2010 8:21AM

    Diligence is indeed required to fight off the monsters in my head -- I don't always win every battle, but I'm slowly winning the war.

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DHENDLER 9/15/2010 7:20AM

    Needed to hear this. I lately am the opposite of dilligence and need to become exactly that ... perservering!

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WALKINGANNIE 9/14/2010 3:46PM

    You are a great role model of diligence in practice.

I'm enjoying your alphabet.

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BUGGYS 9/14/2010 10:54AM

    This is a great word...heres to diligence!!! Go Turtles!

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/14/2010 10:52AM

    emoticon A turtle is the perfect example of diligence! He beat the hare by being consistent and diligent! Thanks!

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ANDI571 9/14/2010 10:43AM

    Go Digilent Turtles! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 9/14/2010 8:37AM

    A diligent turtle works!
Here's to constance!
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SUNNY332 9/14/2010 7:40AM

    Great word and one I will reflect on today as I go through my day.

Thanks! Sunny

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REJ7777 9/14/2010 7:30AM

    We all need to be diligent Turtles!
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PATRISNA 9/14/2010 7:29AM

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WISEONE68 9/14/2010 6:43AM

    On my way back from Indiana last week--I saw a little turtle walking along the road...I was going about 60 or so and he/she was just plugging along...I watched in my mirror for as long as I could...he/she just kept going as all these cars were whizzing by.
THAT is diligence...knowing that others are going to get where you are going faster; some slower; but we will all end up there eventually!! And, we are all better for our experiences along the way.
Good word--thanks for sharing!!
Have a wonderful day!! emoticon

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FERRETLOVER1 9/14/2010 6:43AM

    I like this idea - I'll be checking back for more encouraging letters!

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C: Consistency, crazy, compassion, compulsions

Monday, September 13, 2010

Yes, I know that's a LOT of C words! But seriously, if I'm going to practice what I preach they all come into plan. And another one "confession". I won't lie to myself and others on my blog.

The confession is that yesterday I succumbed to mindless (almost) eating. Not that what I ate was so terrible, but the volume certainly was far more than what my body needed. Elements that go into triggers for my binges are varied and subtle, but for those of us who are compulsive eaters, sometimes we don't even know what set us off: the car-shopping? Eating out and tasting, smelling, seeing things I might have at one time enjoyed (even though they didn't appeal at the time)? Fatigue (that one is a firm)! A bit of financial anxiety and making big decisions? All of the above, no matter, I succumbed. I also tracked it.

But on to the first word in the title, and another "spare" C-word - Calm. I was calm, knowing that if I am consistent, I can maintain my healthy habits. Even so-called normal eaters go crazy sometimes. What non-compulsives do about it is just go back to their consistent programs. They don't under-eat as compensation. Nor do they exercise excessively to "make up" for such things... they may be a little more active.

To be successful and balanced, I have to turn my back on compulsion, be compassionate toward myself when I slip, and get back to consistently following my program. Notice I don't have to follow it perfectly. There is a reason for the difference between "consistency" and "perfection". Consistency leads to long-term balance, happiness, and satisfaction. Compulsion and perfectionism lead to defeat, discouragement and giving up.

And as my long-stated motto says, the only thing that is NOT allowed, is giving up. So today is a gentle day of recovery, which simply means, consistency... no need to get crazy.

Here's wishing a calm and consistent day to all. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 9/13/2010 4:32PM

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Sounds like a winning plan to me!
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WALKINGANNIE 9/13/2010 2:41PM

    Aha. 'C's the day!
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I always look forward to your blogs Barb because your approach is so open, honest and intelligent. They always make me think after I've finished reading them.

I like your distinction between"consistency" and "perfection".

Wise words. Keep them coming.

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Comment edited on: 9/13/2010 2:42:05 PM

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KALIGIRL 9/13/2010 1:04PM

    Love your 'gentle' day of recovery.
Wonderful how we grow on our journey and have the confidence of taking small setbacks in stride.

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THIAGRAM 9/13/2010 10:53AM

  I am little miss consistant. What a blessing to me that I haven't put on the pounds! I am consistant in not losing weight! I am consistant in not doing all the right stuff to lose that extra 20 pounds. I am also calm, maybe too calm. Maybe I need to get more excited and less consistant!

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ANONALEE 9/13/2010 10:01AM

    I like the fact that creating calm and consistency helps to contain compulsion. I certainly "C."

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ANDI571 9/13/2010 9:18AM

    Consistency is a key for me. Trudging along even though you went over board one or two days. You are right, compulsive eaters just keep on eating once they start. That is what gets me into trouble. I just wish I would quit being consistent in over eating over the weekends.

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BUGGYS 9/13/2010 8:56AM

    Barb, this is the blog I neede to hear today....why is it that the weekends are so hard...maybe it's because I break from my routine! I did not do badly, I just ate too much but today I am right back on track...quitting is not an option!

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SHARON2014 9/13/2010 8:32AM

    No giving up...you have come to my rescue again. And, added a B word - Balance. You are motivating me to start my own alphabet blog - just as soon as I get back from vacation and my visiting family leaves town and my dog is feeling better from her cancer treatments and...oh my, I'm at P already aren't I? Your Procrastinating Friend, Sharon emoticon

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BZYBOYSMOM 9/13/2010 8:25AM

    No giving up.....ever! You rock!

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CONCHA77 9/13/2010 8:24AM

    Sounds like a good plan, Barb.
Being calm is ONE of my greatest challenges, not with just my eating and exercising but in Life! (I am a pretty "high strung" person and I have been working on being "calmer" this past year) Lately I have been slipping -- so thanks for reminding me to slow down, think about things, take a deep breath, and then make my decision with eating and everyday decision making.
Great blog.

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PATRISNA 9/13/2010 8:22AM

    Barb,
Thank you for writing my Monday blog for me. Seriously this is a great blog. I confess I also had one of those weekends. I am going to take your advice and be compassionate with myself and try not to over compensate for slipping.

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PEGGYJEAN13 9/13/2010 8:14AM

    That's right ..... no giving up. Every day is a new start and it is sometimes a "challenge" to keep on track.

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SUNNY332 9/13/2010 8:13AM

    Consistancy is the key, Barbara. One day does not spoil that. Hang in there and keep up the "Colossal" work.

Hugs, Sunny

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B is for Budget

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I contemplated titling this one differently, but the general idea I'm aiming at doesn't fit into a fall off the tongue title. What's ratting through Barb's brain (two more B's) is the similarity between budgeting time, energy, calories and money!

Last month I blogged about my fantasy of living like grandma, giving up my car, among other things: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=3535792


I came to the conclusion that I can't really not have a vehicle, not yet. Maybe when I retire. So, yesterday I spent most of the day going around to the local dealers, looking at cars. At the first place, I ended up on a nostalgia trip, and took a little manual transmission car out for a test drive. Knowing myself and my impulsiveness, I drove it over to my son's house and had him accompany me for the rest of the day.

In the end, we drove three vehicles that day, and I ended up exhausted, but informed. I know what kind of vehicle I want: economical but with the ability to cart a bicycle around (see, JUST_TRI_IT, I'm planning ahead)! I want it nice, used low miles within the past couple of model years. And I want it within my price range so I'm not stressing about over-spending, of course. I ended up testing two new and one used only one model year back.

No decision made. Took the kids out for dinner, came home and slept on it. This morning I'm pretty much decided that the right thing for the next couple of weeks is "do nothing". I might make a phone call or two to add to the fact list, but sometimes one has to plan and cogitate before making a big decision.

The factors going into the decision to delay have to do with budgeting time and energy! Decisions of this magnitude are not to be rushed. Knowing I've decided NOT to decide leaves me free to live in today, today! And sometimes, that's the best thing we can hope for.

Here's to a healthy, peaceful, and blessed Sunday for us all!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/13/2010 12:44AM

    Good Luck with the car-it is so stressful & yet excitng!

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KALIGIRL 9/13/2010 1:51PM

    Good for you!
Let it perk.

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REJ7777 9/12/2010 9:55PM

    Buying a car is a big decision. It's worth taking your time about. When you find the right one, it will "feel" right, and have all the elements you're looking for. It's great that your son is around to give you feedback too! emoticon

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PENNYAN45 9/12/2010 8:51PM

    I was just thinking how very nice it was for you to be able to hop over to get your son involved in the car-shopping exercise with you. GREAT!

I was disappointed to discover that my car model is going to be discontinued. It's a VW Passat wagon with 4-wheel drive and all the safety features I was looking for. I wonder if a late model of that car might sell for less because it's being discontinued. I can recommend the car. I love it - and I will miss it when the time comes to replace it.



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PATRISNA 9/12/2010 4:51PM

    I am sure you are right to wait. You probably already know this stuff but here goes. When you do go to buy do it the last week of the month preferably close to the last day of the month. When the dealers need to make their numbers they are more willing to deal. they also pay taxes every month on the cars they have on the lot. This is a good time of year because they need to get rid of their old stock.

If you can get a pre-approval letter from your loan company with the amount they will loan you for a vehicle. That helps speed the process, but also compare the dealer's loan rate with that of your bank. Does the company you work for have any discount programs? Does your insurance company have a program to help you find a car?



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BESTSUSIEYET 9/12/2010 3:55PM

    Good plan -- and I believe planning is always better than making snap decisions based on feelings! God will open the door for you at just the right time - so rest in that. Have a blessed week!

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SLENDERELLA61 9/12/2010 1:09PM

    Wise move, Barb! I bet you end up with just the car you want because you are being so prudent. And yes, budgeting time, money, and calories are very similar. Choices and decisions have to be made and balanced. Energy, though, is a bit confusing. Often spending it gives me more!!



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ANONALEE 9/12/2010 12:24PM

    Unless you know exactly what you want, car shopping is like house shopping -- it consumes an enormous amount of time and emotional energy. Best to go slow like you are!

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JWADDELL2 9/12/2010 9:47AM

    I have even used your "wait and see" attitude on when I get a catalog in the mail (and gee, do I get plenty) - if I see something that tempts me, I leave the catalog out on the coffee table, open to the item....it is amazing how, after I see it there for a few days, how I usually decide I can live without it!! You will make the right decision when you take your time!! emoticon

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PAM0110 9/12/2010 9:09AM

  I admire your ability to walk away and let the decision wait until you've had an opportunity to really decide what you want and not allow the salesman to influence you. I hate car shopping! I detest the pressure that is applied by the sales force and much like Peggy Jean indicated, the best deal is not the best deal until you threaten to walk away. Geesh!

I know you will make the best decision for you when you're ready!

Have a blessed and restful Sunday!

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PEGGYJEAN13 9/12/2010 8:53AM

    Good idea on taking your time. My husband always says "just be patient." We recently bought a used pickup and it was amazing how much you can pay and how much they come down if you wait a little while so be prepared for the salesman to call you with a better "deal". This is what makes me see red about car buying...the price is not the price. We used the ploy of "give us your best deal" once and they said they did but when we got ready to walk out because it was too high, they came down a few thousand more! I will never buy a new vehicle again but go for slighttly used because insuarnce and taxes are so much less which can affect a budget too. Have a restful Sunday.

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GOHUSKERS2 9/12/2010 8:37AM

    Cogitate away girl! No hurry!

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WALKINGANNIE 9/12/2010 7:08AM

    See - you are a wise and grown up woman when it comes to making big decisions!

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SUNRISE14 9/12/2010 7:02AM

    emoticon smart thing to do not buying the first car you see ! emoticon so many people buy new ones and can't even afford the insurance ! It is high on a new one ! Good luck ! emoticon

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SUNNY332 9/12/2010 7:00AM

    You are so right, Barb, this decision is one that needs to take some time and lots of consideration. We bought a new car in 2009 and I have been very disappointed with it. If I had it to do over, I would definitely take more time.

Hope you have a healthy, Peaceful, and Blessed Sunday too. I am headed to church and then down to my Dad's. He ask me to fix him some homemade "Bierocks" so got all the ingredients ready yesterday. We love them too so will make a double batch and bring some home for us too.

Hugs, Sunny

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NWLIFESRC 9/12/2010 6:51AM

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