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H: honesty

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Honesty - most especially honesty with myself - is an important part of this journey. Because the journey / lifestyle is all about self-discovery and self-improvement. If I'm not honest in my assessment of what I'm doing and why, I won't make a whole lot of progress.

This does NOT mean that I beat up on myself or make harsh judgments when I slip. Honesty simply to me means keeping track and being aware. Mindfulness of what's going on in my head and my heart... why is this candy bar in my hand? OH... I'm not really hungry, I'm worried... is there anything else I could do, rather than scarf this down without thinking?

Being self-aware doesn't happen overnight or by magic. It takes a conscious effort for me. Although I have to say it is becoming more habitual. Taking time to be aware... a simple process like a breathing exercise can bring me back from the brink: breathe in to a count of four. Hold for a count of four. Exhale to a count of eight. Do that a couple of times, doesn't take much time... and brings me right back to the present... to where I can identify what's going on in that head and heart, and make a better choice.

Here's to self-honesty, that frees us to decide about our actions more consciously!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/19/2010 4:00PM

    I believe that Honesty is the most critical component to this
this whole thing-Denial-Excuses-Lies...keep us sick.

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REJ7777 9/21/2010 9:10PM

    I think that honesty is a non-negotiable when it comes to health - physical, mental and spiritual, and even social.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/21/2010 10:26AM

    I couldn't agree with you more. If we can't be honest with ourselves, then we'll never be able to maintain a weight loss (or find inner peace). Good food for thought. Thanks!

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KATHRYNLP 9/21/2010 9:09AM

    You're trying to Live Your True Life.. and I applaud you!! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 9/21/2010 8:58AM

    Congratulations on how far you have come on your journey. You are doing very well when you are self aware! Honesty is the cornerstone! Keep up the great work!

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/21/2010 8:57AM

    I think that Honesty and being honest with yourself is one of the biggest steps on the pathway to being healthy and losing weight. Thanks for the blog, it is making me think.

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KALIGIRL 9/21/2010 8:09AM

    Isn't it great when 'good' habits become more 'habitual'?
Here's to Honest Awareness!

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ANONALEE 9/21/2010 7:40AM

    I find it very difficult to be honest. There are so many ways that my excellent mind can find to rationalize what I'm doing or thinking that it takes conscious effort, and a lot of it, to peel back the layers to the truth. But, of course, it's worth it to do so!

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SUNNY332 9/21/2010 7:38AM

    Honesty sometimes hurts but not as long as dishonesty. Not only that, dishonesty doesn't really get us anywhere on our journey. Honesty is the key to change and moving forward. I never have been able to fool myself let alone, fool others.

take care and have a Terrific Tuesday.


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KINDRED2U 9/21/2010 7:31AM

    To make any positive change in ones life it is critical to first be honest to your self.

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OK, now I'm ruined for autumn!

Monday, September 20, 2010

This is where I was on Saturday late afternoon, in the 93 degree (F) heat of Dallas, TX, in a hotel pool. This is the first time I've been swimming in... three years? I swam 14 laps and my shoulders said, "You haven't used us this way in a while!" So I got out and lazed beside the pool and chatted with another attendee. And I have to say that coming home to the 52 degree (F) autumn evening in Nebraska on Sunday... well, it kind of felt good, but there's a part of me that would like to stay with the warmth and the swimming pools.

The current background photo is the view from my hotel room when I first checked in. If you look closely, you'll see that the rainbow is a double one... the outer arc is fainter, but it's there. Rainbows are promises. And it was a weekend full of promises kept.

The comic relief was on the way back: the pilot got the passengers to load quickly and efficiently by means of competition. Our flight was from Dallas to Chicago. The flight loading next to us was also going to Chicago... it was the charter flight of the Chicago Bears, who had, apparently, just defeated the Dallas Cowboys! Our goal, said the pilot, was to beat that charter flight into Chicago. I never found out whether we did, but we got people into their seats and away from the gate first.

Fun side trips: Addison, TX, Oktoberfest, Saturday afternoon.

Ate like crap, but in reasonable portion sizes: smoked turkey leg (but stopped after what I hoped was a reasonable portion), German potato salad, and sauerkraut.

Allergies killed me on Sunday and are still giving me after effects today. But all in all, a wonderful weekend, and I'm gentling myself back into my program.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 9/21/2010 7:55PM

    Thanks for the photos. Looks like you had a great time.

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KALIGIRL 9/21/2010 8:25AM

    Sounds wonderful - but just wait til you walk outside on one of our cool crisp days!

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MNTWINSGAL 9/21/2010 12:46AM

    Barb, I'm so glad you had a good time. Sounds like you behaved yourself pretty well too--3 cheers for you!
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GEINAHG0757 9/20/2010 6:36PM

    The temperatures were enjoyable for a visit...I live in a state just north of Texas and I am TIRED of the heat. It just goes on and on. Ready for the cool you already have!

Glad you enjoyed your southern weekend!

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DEBRITA01 9/20/2010 5:55PM

    My DH has been in TX for the past week swimming in a 89 degree pool while I'm home in NJ jogging in my 68 degree pool (Brrr!). Glad you got a chance to enjoy the TX heat and a fun Oktoberfest (German potato salad-yum!). You enjoyed yourself in moderation and are now easing back into your program. Way to go!

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DRB13_1 9/20/2010 5:54PM

    Dallas is getting wooped by everyone... serves them right for trading Emmett Smith rather than letting him retire as a Cowboy

Comment edited on: 9/20/2010 5:55:06 PM

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REJ7777 9/20/2010 5:48PM

    Sounds like you had a great weekend! Eating like crap, but controlling portions, sounds like a good middle-of-the-road approach to dealing with a special weekend like that. It's when the exception becomes the norm that we get into trouble! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/20/2010 5:18PM

    What a nice weekend. Glad you were able to enjoy the pool. I haven't been in a bathing suit for probably 20 years, much less a swimming pool. But I'm starting to look forward to the day when I can feel not quite so self-conscious in a suit and enjoy myself. Oktoberfest looked like lots of fun. Great photos.

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SUNNY332 9/20/2010 5:06PM

    Looks like you had a great time. Loved the photos.

Maybe you could join the YMCA and swim there?

Take care and hope your allegies get better. Mine are giving me fits too so looking
forward to our first frost.


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SLENDERELLA61 9/20/2010 4:50PM

    Love the pictures!! Just great! Yes, I could use some of that 52 degree weather right now. We are still in the 90s. Also love your phrase "gentling myself back onto program." That is exactly what I need to be doing. This growling at myself isn't working. Thanks for a different philosophy.

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    Sorry about the allergies!

WTG on controlling your portions!!

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G: Genuine

Friday, September 17, 2010

What? "Genuine" - that's not a noun. That's not a verb... it's an adjective! Why pick it when there are other great G words, like goals and gratitude?

Well, the shower thoughts result in unique twists and turns and I'm all about quirky. My buddy Webster says of the word -

genuine adj. 1 of the original stock; purebred 2 really being what it is said to be or coming from the alleged source or origin; not counterfeit or artificial; real; true; authentic 3 sincere and frank; honest and forthright

Do you see where I'm headed with this adjective? This journey has to be real. It has to take us to who we really are - the original us! It's not a gimmick, not artificial - it's for real. And in everything I write I strive to be honest and forthright.

So this adjective is my descriptor of the day for my Spark Journey: it's the genuine article - a return to the original plan for living well. May your day be a genuine one - real, in the moment, whatever it may be!

That said... I don't know what my access will be like over the weekend. So if I end up "missing in action" that's why. But like General MacArthur... I shall return!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/17/2010 7:12PM

    Keeping it Real-all the way!


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SHARON2014 9/18/2010 6:55PM

    Thanks for the thoughts today. Our world does not provide a lot of 'genuine' does it? The loudest voices -- the media, the politicians, the marketers, the opportunists -- cause us all to be suspicious in our dealings with one another. And often, we hide our true self for fear that we will not be acceptable to others... it is a complex, yet desirable trait! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/18/2010 12:02AM

    I like your ABC blogs. And I can relate to how you pick your words. Be genuine to you and you'll always pick the right word. And I agree with you about being genuine. If we aren't genuine with ourselves, then this will never work long-term.

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WALKINGANNIE 9/17/2010 2:11PM

    Your blogs show you to be a very genuine person Barb. It's a good word to describe you. You are so self aware and open about your ups and downs. That's why I enjoy reading what you write.

We'll miss you over the weekend. Hope you'll be with your friends Rawlings and Webster. emoticon

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DEBRITA01 9/17/2010 2:03PM

    Genuine...a good word for today. This journey requires us to find our genuine self and to explore all aspects of our life. Being real and in the moment is something we all strive for...

p.s. I do some of my best thinking in the shower, too...

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REJ7777 9/17/2010 1:47PM

    Genuine is a good choice of words. It's important in every area of our lives! emoticon

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/17/2010 8:40AM

    I like the word for today, I think it is very easy to hid the genuine us and that it was makes us unhealthy. Thanks!

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ANONALEE 9/17/2010 8:18AM

    Under the layer of defense which sometimes constitutes the fat self, lies a genuine person worth knowing.

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SUNNY332 9/17/2010 7:50AM

    My Mother used to tell me to be the "Genuine Article" or in other words be myself and not just do what everyone else was doing.

She knew the importance of "marching to your own drummer".

I miss her....but I remember her Wisdom.

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MSLZZY 9/17/2010 7:40AM

    emoticonOriginal and real-that's a very positive idea! Thanks for sharing! emoticon emoticon

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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

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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.


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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.

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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