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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!
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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)!

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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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O: observe

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

You know I love quirky words and words with multiple meanings. "Observe" is another with more than one sense to it. I chose the verb form of this concept today.

1 to adhere to, follow, keep or abide by (a law, custom, duty, rule, etc.)
2 to celebrate or keep (a holiday, etc.) according to custom
3 a) to notice or perceive (something) b) to pay special attention to
4 to arrive at as a conclusion after study
5 to say or mention casually; remark
6 to examine and study scientifically

Mainly when I picked the word, I was thinking about observing (3b, above) my emotions, and how this journey has involved getting outside of the cycle of reacting to, to a level of paying attention to them.

But I also thought about observing healthy habits, as in following the rules. I ended up writing all six down here, because reading them in the dictionary reminded me of a few definitions I'd forgotten in my initial musings!

Weight and body size tend to be huge touch points for many of us. Some of us are very smart people, who have neglected our bodies while developing our minds (ever notice that a lot of heavy people have really keen minds... ever surprised by this?)

One observation that hit me like a ton of bricks in my 30's was that what I thought my values were and how I acted in day to day life were indeed in conflict. Working my way through all of that to a point where I believe that my life and my values are in harmony (or at least moving in the same direction) has taken over 20 years. In the process, the weight, the fitness level, and how I observe things in myself and around me... have changed significantly. I really count this life journey a lot farther back than joining Spark.

Why bring this values thing up? Because it is an integral part of succeeding: I needed to know what I REALLY value, not just what I thought I SHOULD value. And I needed to make my life and my mind and my emotions harmonize. This is truly hard work. Working on the physical behaviors: nutrition and exercise and medical and dental care - helps it along. Taking care of one's body helps one realize that the whole person has value.

Just because you have a good mind, doesn't mean you should neglect the body that houses it! So use that mind: observe yourself. Are you living in harmony with your true values? Are your goals in alignment with them?

When they all are, life gets a whole lot easier. And each and every human being deserves a life in harmony.

May you have a day of observant peace!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/20/2010 9:32PM

    It is so important to figure all of this out...


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PENNYAN45 9/29/2010 7:04AM

This blog really spoke to me
-- so much so that I wrote a short blog of my own in response.

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KALIGIRL 9/28/2010 9:04PM

    Lots to contemplate. Integrating mind, body and soul seems to be a life long journey for all of us. While we travel may we be aware and observe our transformations.

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WALKINGANNIE 9/28/2010 3:42PM

    Well said, as usual!

We all have to MIND our BODIES.

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TURTLETALK 9/28/2010 10:33AM

    I love the line about neglecting the body that houses your good mind. How true.

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ANONALEE 9/28/2010 9:12AM

    Great post, Barb. Here's to a great H - Harmony!

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MSLZZY 9/28/2010 7:52AM

    I like the idea of perfect harmony in life! Better start working on some harmony today! Thank you! emoticon emoticon

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ALYFITN 9/28/2010 7:44AM

    You hit it spot on with your blog! I spent years in educational programs and a profession that dictated to me what I SHOULD value. The internal conflict rips you up. Now I've got it figured out -- and there's no stopping me now!! Great blog!!

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KASEYCOFF 9/28/2010 7:43AM

    Your thinking - as you work your way thru to what you want in your life - is wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing. (I know that's become somewhat of a cliche, but it springs from a genuine appreciation for what you have said.) :-)

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N: No!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Every two year old I've met knows the power of this little two-letter expression of rebellion. I don't know what it is in growing up that makes some of us think we can't use it in certain circumstances or with certain people in our lives.

But it's a good, healthy, wonderful word... to be used in moderation, like most things.

So, let's talk about when it SHOULD be used! For starters, for me, it should be used when it's what I really mean. If someone invites me to something I really don't care to attend, I should say "no", rather than agreeing and then having my reactionary eating kick in. If someone asks me to do something that is going to drain my restore time for the second or third weekend in a row... I should use it.

Get the idea? It isn't just about saying "no" to "bad" foods or excess eating! It's about taking charge of our lives, cherishing ourselves and our overall health. It does nobody any good if I extend myself beyond my limits, wear myself out, and am then unable to be my normal cheery and helpful self.

OK, all together now, let's practice: "Thank you for the offer, but I won't be attending." (i.e., "NO!")

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/20/2010 9:27PM

    As always you make perfect sense. I will be putting the "No" word to work.


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PENNYAN45 9/29/2010 5:41AM

    To myself:
No, I won't sabotage my efforts.
No, I won't let myself down.
No, I won't fail.

To others:
No, I won't put your needs and wishes ahead of my own.

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MSLZZY 9/27/2010 11:25PM

    Time to take charge and learn to say no. What a capital idea! Gotta go practice in front of my mirror LOL! Thanks!

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REJ7777 9/27/2010 4:29PM

    I've gotten a lot better at saying "No" through the years!

I regularly have to work with volunteers. I always prefer for someone to give me an honest 'no' than a dishonest 'yes'! I thank those who say 'no' as sincerely as I do those who say 'yes'. I don't WANT people to say 'yes' when they don't want to do something, or if it's inconvenient for them! Just say 'No'.

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PATRISNA 9/27/2010 4:04PM

    I have been getting caught up reading your blogs. Chris made comment about your blogs and I agree with her. Your blogs always give me something to think about. I am so glad I read blogs J thru N today. I know you always say these are written just for you, but we are learning along with you. Some days your thoughts mirror mine, but you write it so much better.


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WALKINGANNIE 9/27/2010 3:20PM

    "Thank you for the offer, but I won't be feeding my face mindlessly."
"Thank you for the offer, but I won't be having another double expresso."
"Thank you for the offer, but I won't be staying up too late tonight."

Yes I can do this. I think I can. i know I can.


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TURTLETALK 9/27/2010 2:39PM

    I am certainly finding it easier to say know in this 5th decade than I did for the last 4. I am starting to better recognize the value of my time and effort.

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STEPHIEKNITS 9/27/2010 2:22PM

    This is one of those lessons you have to keep learning each day. Thanks!

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KALIGIRL 9/27/2010 2:15PM

    Here's to taking charge!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 9/27/2010 10:59AM

    Ah, the power of that two-letter word. You are right -- until we learn to stand up for ourselves, we will constantly be taken advantage of. Good blog, Barb!

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KASEYCOFF 9/27/2010 9:20AM

    The other part is to learn to say 'No' to OURSELVES: 'I can have a second helping of--' NO! 'It will be okay if I skip the exercise today--' NO! 'Just this one M&M then I will leave them alone--' NO! And my own favorite, when I tell myself 'It's getting late, it's bedtime--' NO! lol... Good blog, hon!

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SUNNY332 9/27/2010 8:47AM

    Saying No does give us a freedom that we would not have otherwise. It is OK to say no. In fact it is better to say No to begin with than agreeing to something we don't want to do and in doing so, we feel trapped.

When I was younger, I was a "yes" person but as I got older, I learned the importance of saying Yes only when you really want to do something and have the time.

GREAT post today.

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CRROCKERGIRL 9/27/2010 7:51AM

    This is very true, and something I'm also bad at. I hate dissapointing people, but when I really stop to think about it- how many of those people have no problem dissapointing me? Here's to that one little word... NO! :)

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BUGGYS 9/27/2010 7:51AM

    When I was younger, with kids in the house, running a daycare out of my house, the word "no" never entered my vocabulary. I was always the one who drove carpool, picked up extra kids, did all the baking for school, etc. I realized that many times I was being used, although I thought I was doing a good thing. Now I have no problem saying no when something doesn't fit into my schedule, when I don't want to do something and I am working on the big one, saying no to unhealthy portions and certain foods. Great blog!!!

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