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S: "should"

Sunday, October 03, 2010

I'll bet you thought I'd say "sleep"! I kind of set you up with that expectation yesterday when I mentioned starting the better sleep challenge, but I'm not ready to blog about that just yet. And as often happens, life intervened and told me I need to write about the "should" game, and how it can really kill a healthy living program.

Lots of voices, inside and outside, tell us what we "should" do. But, how often does even casting that thought in terms of "should" have a negative impact on whether I act on it? I don't know about you but it seems to me that every time I start out with "I should clear out those weeds in the back yard..." it's followed by a "but I don't feel like it!" It's like the very word "should" sets me up for rebellion.

Yesterday I had a minor binge episode, and it started with a "should". In this case it was a whole bunch of "should"s. I should vacuum. I should clean the tile floors. I should dust. I should weed. I should organize.

And the list got so big that I overwhelmed myself. I rebelled. And I got into some procrastination eating. I'm sure I'm the ONLY person who ever does that!
emoticon I don't want to do this thing I should do, so I'll eat, instead?

In looking back, the anatomy of the binge involved some drowsiness, some procrastination, and some fear of losing too much. It wasn't the terrible tear of a binge I am capable of, but it was a red flag. I was aware of what I was doing, even as I continued to act on it. And I stopped and brushed my teeth and didn't continue it past supper. By bedtime, I pretty much knew what it was all about. And I am not giving myself a hard time about it, but I am determined it's over.

Today is a recovery day, an introspection day... and a day to examine those "should"s and prioritize them into what I shall and shall not do today.

After all... today is all I have!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/22/2010 8:36AM

    I should stop saying should! emoticon

It's uncanny how you can read my mine-wooohooowooohooo.


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CONCHA77 10/4/2010 7:44AM

    I find myself "SHOULDING" more than I should. Thanks for bringing that up to my attention. Have a great Monday and thanks again for another great blog.

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ANONALEE 10/3/2010 7:41PM

    I think I'll write about "shoulding" all over oneself -- an almost sure fire way to freeze oneself into an endless cycle of procrastination and guilt induced eating. Ugh! Too familiar with this!

Thanks for the great reminder and congratulations on stopping the binge.

Cheers, Debra
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WALKINGANNIE 10/3/2010 4:22PM

    Another excellent blog as usual.

One of the most profound differences that SP has made to me is changing a few "shoulds" into "want tos".

I "should eat healthy foods" has become I "want to eat healthy foods."
I "should move more" has become I "want to move more."

But, of course, you're right and this has't yet touched every aspect of my life yet. I should do all sorts of household chores but......

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DEBRITA01 10/3/2010 2:09PM

    Thinking of all those "Shoulds" can get overwhelming. Being a rebellious person, at times, that can cause me to go in the opposite direction. Then the guilt for not doing what needs to be done. Yes, a vicious cycle...which often ends up in the kitchen.

I'm taking all the advice and support you've gotten here and applying it. I really do learn from reading blogs...thanks for sharing yours!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/3/2010 1:41PM

    Self-awareness. I think if we could be present and self-aware 100% of the time that we're awake, we wouldn't be having the mega-binges. Reading about your episode and how you were aware of what you were doing, even while continuing, struck a chord with me. It's unrealistic to think we'll never binge or eat something we "shouldn't," but being aware that we're doing it? Well, that will probably make the difference between going way overboard and allowing a small indulgence. I admire your attitude and hope I can get to that point (instead of beating myself up) at some point. Have a great day, Barb!

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KALIGIRL 10/3/2010 11:07AM

    Shoulda, woulda, coulda...
The words that haunt us.
I can relate to your binge day. Mine was Friday - watching TV into the late hours of the morning along with food and drink (and there wasn't even anything worth watching). Thank goodness for an early morning bike ride with the girls - all the plants are in the greenhouse...
Hope your day goes well.

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DIANE7786 10/3/2010 10:04AM

    I could have written that blog a few years ago. It took some time, but now I don't have any "shoulds." It's a liberating feeling. I know how many hours each day there are for cleaning, organizing and maintaining and I know how long each task takes. The trick is prioritizing and not overbooking. I suggest you look at It's a free site that does for our homes what Sparks does for our bodies!

Comment edited on: 10/3/2010 10:10:47 AM

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JHADZHIA 10/3/2010 9:03AM

    Shoulds never get things done. What you do is when you get up in the morning and realize you have things you need to do, take the one thing you want to do the least and just get out and do it before thinking can set in. Tackle them one at a time until they are all done. Then the rest of your day is free and your conscience is clear and no stress eating is needed..
Good luck with it, and your sleep challenge.

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R: restore

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Back a few blogs I talked about Mastery Living, the "cure" for Stalled Living. In Mastery Living there are three elements, one of which is Time to Restore. That's so important to us hard-charging, black-white thinking, type-A personalities.

So what does it mean to restore?
1 to give back (something taken away, lost, etc.); make restitution of
2 to bring back to a former or normal condition, as by repairing, rebuilding, altering, etc. (to restore a building, painting)
3 to put (a person) back in a place, position, rank, etc. (to restore a king to his throne)
4 to bring back to health, strength, etc.
5 to bring back into being, use, etc; reestablish (to restore order...)

The other two elements of Mastery Living, exercise and meaningful activities are ways that we expend our energy. Time to restore is a vital piece: we need to get that energy back!

How many of us, in our unfit times, saw "rest" as sitting on the couch and munching while watching TV? If you've come a long way on your journey, do you still see that as restorative?

But it IS important to give our bodies the time to recover from exercise: to rebuild muscles. And it IS important to give our minds the restoration of good sleep. So, I've taken on the Better Sleep challenge for October. I'm starting to journal about my sleep... so far on paper, but don't be surprised to find it showing up in the blog, too. After all, I'm going to run out of alphabet pretty soon!


I'm trying to think of what I do to restore, and I am having trouble! So, it is an area for me to work on, or at least become more conscious of. Thoughts that come to mind are NOTICING the beauty around me, whether that's Orion marching across the sky when I'm putting my trash to the curb, or the sunrise / sunset, the trees changing color. Breathing, and being conscious of that. Reading / watching inspiring stories.

Spark friends... what do YOU do to restore your soul?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/22/2010 8:31AM

In the order of Restore I started thinking of another "R" word-" Recieve". I know being a type A- peoplepleaser I find it difficult to recieve things that wwould allow me to restore. Offers of help are always declined-no matter how tired I am -or how behind...Just A thought...( I bet you alredy knew that"lol

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REJ7777 10/2/2010 7:10PM

    We need a "restore" button on our computer, and it's not surprising that we also need one in our lives.

My faith in God is very strong, so I turn to Him when I need to be restored. I also find that the beauty of nature is very restorative, as is quiet time spent with people I love.

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ANONALEE 10/2/2010 4:26PM

    Restoration comes to me from jumping in my cushy recliner with my dog and taking a nice nap and or reading with him in my lap which also results in a nice nap. Sleep restoreth the soul.

Cheers, Debra

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WALKINGANNIE 10/2/2010 1:59PM

    Many thanks to our lady of letters.

The idea of restoration certainly resonates with me and I like your analysis.

Glad that you have joined the Bettter Sleep Challenge. No you'll have a Zzzzz!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/2/2010 11:53AM

    I also think that blogging goes a long way to restore our "mental turmoil." I'm not sure that I quite grasp the concept of restoration for my body yet. I know it's vital, but being one of those Type A personalities, it's hard. I keep pushing myself to the limit -- almost like I'm trying to prove something (though I don't know what). Even with my recent elbow injuries, I thought it would be better to push through pain than to rest/restore. But I learned the hard way and am paying the consequences.

So thanks for this blog -- it hopefully will get me thinking about the art of restoring.

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CONCHA77 10/2/2010 8:59AM

    Great blog!
Noticing the beauty today shouldn't be too difficult, I am heading north where is should be breathtakingly beautiful with all the color changes. Though it is rainy I will enjoy the scenery.
So, I will join you today in NOTICING all the beauty--Again, nice Blog.

Oh! Does that include my DH? -just kidding -I will even try to see the beauty in him, heehee
Take care, Barb. Have a great Saturday.

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ANG_LA 10/2/2010 8:38AM

    R is a great letter. Love that word. Gotta think on that one though. Thanks for the blog!


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Q: quest

Friday, October 01, 2010

emoticon How could it be anything other than "quest"?

quest (noun) - 1 a seeking; hunt; pursuit 2 a journey in search of adventure, as those undertaken by knights-errant in medieval times

quest (verb transitive) - to search for, seek

What is a journey without a destination? What is a search, without an object of desire? What is a mission, without an objective?

I feel that life itself is a form of quest: we start out as infants, fully "programmed" (if you'll pardon a programmer's analogy) to figure out and adapt to the world in which we find ourselves. Thus begins the struggle for survival. But survival is not enough for human beings to thrive. We need those goals. We need something to quest for. Once our basic needs are met, there are whole realms of development to be sought and achieved.

I've known my Q word would be quest ever since I wrote the P entry for play. How do two such words tie together? I take myself back to childhood and how often my "play" involved fantasy. My siblings and I would act out stories in our play: rescue the princess (Ivanhoe, Knights of the Round Table), save the village (pick your favorite Western, or modernize this to Star Wars!), survive on the island (Swiss Family Robinson)... whatever. There were heroes and heroines who were brave and took action.

Back in "real life", we truly are our own heroes, as we quest, life-long, for health and fitness. And as we do, we can pursue whatever larger goals mean something to each of us.

I leave you with a link to lyrics: the song that's been playing in my head ever since Wednesday. It's from the Musical, "Man of La Mancha" - The Impossible Dream. The key bits: "I know if I'll only be true to this glorious quest, that my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest. And the world will be better for this."

What are you questing for today?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/22/2010 8:18AM

    Golly Miss Molly-I haven't thought about that song in years!
( School Chorus )
" To right the unrightable wrong.
To love pure & chaste from afar.
To try when your arms are to weary.
To reach the unreachable Star."

Great Song-Great Blog!!!!!

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PENNYAN45 10/2/2010 12:38AM

    And there's no contest
That SP's quest
Is the best!

Comment edited on: 10/2/2010 2:15:22 AM

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REJ7777 10/1/2010 2:26PM

    Inspirational! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 10/1/2010 12:37PM

    Love your blog once again.
Not only will 'the world be better for this', but we get back 10 fold.
Here's to our successful quests!

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MSLZZY 10/1/2010 11:43AM

    I love that song. We sang it in high school chorus! Amazing and thank you for the inspiration! HUGS!

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MARISABELLES 10/1/2010 8:34AM

    I didn't know until I read your blog but now I do : I quest for inspiration !
Thanks for being one for me today !

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End of a month... you KNOW what that means!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

It means skipping a letter, in this case, to do the progress photos. Not really "skipping" as the alphabet will be back with the next letter tomorrow! I updated the profile picture and just for fun, did a post-workout, all sweat-covered shot for the front page... see the grin? The endorphins show, I swear!

And the silly Spark page forced me to put my goal weight lower again (that's NOT my real goal, people, I'm under my real goal)... or it wouldn't let me save the changes to my Spark page... gotta put that in as a suggestion to "fix" that!

And because I can't see my back in a mirror, I did a back shot, just to see how things are coming along. Those who've been following along all year have heard this pitch before, but I took several times through this process before I bought in, myself... progress photos are a great reality check. If you don't think you're making progress, and you see that in fact, you are getting results in that month of ten minutes a day, it's a great encouragement. If you are becoming complacent, it can be a wake up call. And if you are maintaining, it can be confirming.

Those of us who don't see ourselves when we look in the mirror, but see something else, can sometimes see what's happening better in a photograph.

To lifelong health and fitness, my friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 10/1/2010 7:39PM

    You look Fantastic, Barb! I can't stand myself in photos, never could, so it's hard for me to do the picture thing. I might give it a try though and secretly see if this could work for me???? Sounds like good advice.


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PENNYAN45 9/30/2010 11:11PM

    Your progress photos are looking good - front AND back! Thanks for showing us how!

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WALKINGANNIE 9/30/2010 3:22PM

    Great photos of a great woman's great progress!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

I've also been forced to reduce my goal weight on my page. I reported it in a couple of threads but nothing much happened.

Hope you have a happy new month.


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KALIGIRL 9/30/2010 2:12PM

    Great photos - reaffirming!
Haven't considered a back shot, but will do so.
Love those endorphins!

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REJ7777 9/30/2010 1:16PM

    emoticon Congratulations on your discipline and success! emoticon
I agree - "To lifelong health and fitness!" emoticon

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BUGGYS 9/30/2010 10:56AM

    You look awesome!!! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/30/2010 10:49AM

    First of all, your back is beautifully toned. Nice work! Hmm, I like your idea of the monthly photo. I'm a little wary of it, but I can see what you mean and will definitely think about it.

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DEBRITA01 9/30/2010 8:41AM

    Congrats on your achievements...a picture says a thousand words. emoticon You're looking good!

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ANDI571 9/30/2010 8:33AM

    So proud of your achievements. I applaud you on taking a back picture also. emoticon

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ANONALEE 9/30/2010 8:11AM

    Barb! Congratulations on such wonderful results. You're right about the pictures -- they tell the story (whether one wants to hear it told or not)!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHRISTURTLE 9/30/2010 8:00AM

    Love this blog, its so full of truth, specially about the photos. I was thinking early this afternoon that I wished I'd done as advised and taken some 'before' photos of myself as I was when I returned to SP. I couldn't even bear the thought of having to look back at the way I was then, but now really regret it because I'd be seeing the bulges and bumps and rolls and it would help me see the changes that have already taken place in my appearance.

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CRROCKERGIRL 9/30/2010 7:46AM

    Congrats! :)

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JAZZYJAS 9/30/2010 7:38AM

    Way to go!

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MSLZZY 9/30/2010 7:37AM

    You've come a long way! Happy last day of the month! You are an inspiration! HUGS!

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P: play

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Yes, play!

Remember as a kid running, jumping, stretching, tossing a ball, walking on top of a wall, riding a bike or a skateboard or swinging or see-sawing, or spinning on a merry-go-round? How often as "adults" do we do things just for fun... as play?

That's one of the reasons I set "goals" for 2010 like I did... go back to the beginning of the year and see what some of them were... I wanted to go ice skating (which I did)... I wanted to get on a horse again and go on a trail ride (haven't yet, and the schedule of other activity may defer this one... but it was a good goal), and I want to run in a 5K (for which I am already registered). I haven't stated this one, but I intend to dance at my niece's wedding (and I don't dance)... and not care what kind of figure I cut on the floor.

A few years back, when I belonged to a gym, I was asked to review it and give reasons why. What I said was I felt as though I was a big kid and had rented myself a playground... it had a swimming pool. And these incredible things called elliptical trainers. And an indoor track to walk or jog around even when the weather was bad.

Think about it: what's the difference between "exercise" and "play"? Attitude! That's it!

So here's to having a great day that includes "recess" from being an adult. Let's play some today!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/20/2010 9:48PM


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DRB13_1 9/30/2010 1:13PM

    Yes! More recess! Even for the big kids (adults). emoticon

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REJ7777 9/29/2010 7:48PM

    I love your blog! Playing really is one of the "secrets" of fitness, isn't it! It's a lot more fun to "play" than to "exercise"!

I'm sure you'll enjoy yourself on that dance floor!!! emoticon

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/29/2010 5:12PM

    Play!!!! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 9/29/2010 4:36PM

    Yay! Let's have a great playtime today!

Life is for enjoying.


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/29/2010 11:04AM

    Man, you brought back some good memories of childhood for me: jumping rope and skipping! My, what good shape I was in then compared to now. I'd love to go outside and try skipping again, but I'm not sure my back could handle it. And I really don't think I'm quite that coordinated/balanced anymore. Maybe I can try a few skips up and down the hall. My DH will think I've finally lost it. LOL!

I'm glad you set fun goals for yourself and that you're doing them. Dancing is great. I used to be a "disco queen," but haven't fast danced in over 20 years. Next wedding we go to, I'm going to insist that DH dance with me!

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SUNNY332 9/29/2010 8:23AM

    I am all for Play!

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BUGGYS 9/29/2010 7:55AM

    Attitude is key! Watching my grandkids everyday and playing with them always helps me have a positve, I am getting the exercise I need!

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MSLZZY 9/29/2010 7:42AM

    Thanks for the reminder that we all need to play, even adults! HUGS!

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HEALTHY4JEANNE 9/29/2010 7:17AM

    :) I hope that you have fun today.
:) jeanne

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ANONALEE 9/29/2010 7:08AM

    Playing makes it fun -- the mental attitude makes all the difference, I agree!


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PENNYAN45 9/29/2010 7:06AM

    Yes! And being fit and trim makes it so much easier to enjoy that recess!

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