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Rolling with changes

Friday, October 15, 2010

Last night I was in the middle of my Couch to 5K workout when the phone rang. It said "Cell Phone NE" on the caller ID, and I hopped off the treadmill to answer it. There are three or four people who come up that way on the caller ID, and all of them are worth picking up for. It was my son, so definitely worth it... BUT! It did change my training plan for the day. I swapped to the cordless phone and dropped the speed on the treadmill to a walk, and finished the time of the workout, but not the distance. I stretched after with the phone still in hand.

There was a time in my perfectionist history when having an interruption like this would have thrown me off my stride. I might have flopped on the couch, failed to stretch, and possibly given myself an excuse to eat a "treat". Not this time, though. I view that as a positive sign.

I have promised myself to do a full Week 9 workout 2, either tonight or early tomorrow before the wedding trip. Since week 9 is the last of this training plan, from here on, it is a matter of maintaining that ability to run the distance, and possibly work at improving speed a tad.

The time is coming... here's to rolling with modifications and not losing sight of the goals!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 10/15/2010 7:39PM

    That's wonderful!!!

"Here's to rolling with modifications and not losing sight of the goals!" emoticon

I think those who succeed at maintenance have learned to adapt to life, which is exactly what you are learning to do!

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WALKINGANNIE 10/15/2010 3:19PM

    Great job on adaptation and acceptance!

Hope your weekend goes well and that you manage to enjoy yourself.


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KALIGIRL 10/15/2010 12:37PM

    emoticon Here's to going with the flow!

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CONCHA77 10/15/2010 9:17AM

    Good Job with obtaining this goal and have a great time at the wedding this weekend. You will look fantastic and be proud. You deserve it, Barb.
Can't wait to see what's next?
Be safe and enjoy! Connie

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STEPHIEKNITS 10/15/2010 8:57AM

    emoticon Good attitude!

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MSLZZY 10/15/2010 7:55AM

    Life happens and it is so important not to lose sight of your goal. You did fantastic! Have a great weekend! HUGS!

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In your dreams!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I've always wanted to say that, flippantly to some guy, like in the movies.

But seriously, while on the topic of the sleep challenge, there is the natural segue into the world of dreams. Dreams can be crazy... all the events of your day, your anxieties, general thoughts... come out in images while you sleep. Sometimes I remember them and wake up with them. Sometimes they make me laugh. Sometimes they give me insight into what's bugging me.

Well, this morning I woke from a dream that involved a Wedding, a messy house that I was frantically trying to tidy up while... hiding from those relatives I mentioned a couple of blogs back! Oh, what dreams do tell!

Speaking of those relatives... every family dynamic is its own thing. Kaligirl identified with my thin well-to-do relatives (if you only consider that as the description, which is about all I gave). That brought to mind a class I took a few years back.

It was work thing, really about workplace relationships, but there was a thought-exercise that was very worthwhile: in it we were asked to think about people who made us feel "less than". What did they do to "make" us feel that way? (Focus on the actions.)

Then turn it around: had WE ever done any of those things to someone else?

Well, you wouldn't be honest if you said "NEVER". Some pretty small actions can be taken ill at any given moment... we're talking emotional response. I didn't say you ever MEANT to make them feel "less than", just that you have DONE some of the things that irritated you when someone else did them.

Yep, the point of the exercise is that even the "nicest" of us can be a jerk to someone at some point! So cut one another some slack.

Anyhow, all of this is helping to strengthen me for the weekend ahead. To relax, let "those relatives" be human. Allow myself to be human, too, and not so defensive. My life is my life. Their lives are theirs. I don't choose who I'm related to... but I also don't have to have their approval or understanding to be who I am and to be content to be so!

Inside my skull? My responsibility. Outside? I have no control... it is what it is. I'm working on the inside now!

May you all have a peaceful day, content to be the best YOU that you can be... just for today. emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 10/14/2010 3:34PM

    Dreams and family relationships can be so fascinating and complicated.

You're honest with yourself about your realtionships and are preparing well for meeting your relatives.

Now that you are slimmer you can contemplate that you really are 'less than'' you were. You are a different person now - with new accomplishments and improved health. You are a strong, wise, independent and thoughtful woman who deserves to feel comfortable in any company.

Remember that Eleanor Roosevelt quote - "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission."

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MSLZZY 10/14/2010 10:13AM

    Work on the things you can control and let the rest go. Just a good mental health idea! HUGS!

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KALIGIRL 10/14/2010 8:51AM

    So glad to 'hear' you are centering yourself and letting the weekend events flow as they might.

I was raised in a dichotomous atmosphere (I could be anything I wanted, but women were hood ornaments) where nothing was quite good enough (makes me wonder if that's where the 4.0+ system came from?). It takes an effort on my part to not be critical of others (or myself).
emoticonfor this blog - it's a reminder that I only elevate myself when I elevate others.

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MYCUTEGIZMO 10/14/2010 8:24AM

  LOL Family are they always gona be there for good and for bad?

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SAMI199 10/14/2010 8:05AM

    I swear you must have been here yesterday!!! It's that time of year when my extended family begins to make plans for Thanksgiving-we are many & live in different states so it can get sticky. Sure enough,things were getting tense & I found myself "Hurt" by my sister's actions. I fought the urge to confront her,deciding no good would come of that.
Amazingly, she called me-unaware that I wasn't happy. It turns out she had a very good reason & I had nothing to do with it!!!We talked & I was able to be supportive.(We do love each other) My point is the same as yours-do not be so quick to take offense & cut someone some slack-you just NEVER know what they're dealing with.

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Better Sleep Challenge - Mid-way reflections

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I may have mentioned I started the better sleep challenge, following in the footsteps of WalkingAnnie and Slenderella61.

I started my sleep journal and found some variations in my sleep patterns, but not a whole lot. I do go to bed on time. I fall asleep pretty easily, most of the time. I wake up during the night for a couple of reasons: bathroom, and canine. When I do, MOST of the time, I fall back asleep easily. On occasion mind-spinning keeps me awake, when I'm concerned about something going on in my life.

This week I started looking at the tips. I already do several of them: I have my bedtime routine. I try to adhere to a regular schedule (my sleep gets really messed up when I stay up too late!)

I'm on the hook to have a plan by end of the week - two things to incorporate. I picked these:

"Take control of your worries" - in fact, since moving my Couch to 5K run to evening... the stretch and shower leading up to bedtime are great worry-reducers.


"Know when and how to nap" - and, I started using this one over the weekend. The 20-minute power nap is a cool tool.

I already feel pretty good about my exercise and nutrition habits related to time of day and sleep. Which leaves the fourth element: reflect.

My reflections indicate that pretty much, at this point, I'm complacent about my sleep: except when I'm not. Right now, after a good night's sleep, I'm feeling pretty complacent. When I do something like the pinochle night with the neighbors and mess up my sleep for the whole next day, not so much!

So, my big picture plan is to simply stick to my routine, and cut myself a break when things don't go as I'd like: for example that Wedding trip, when I'll have to adjust to having other people along for the ride, and may not have as much control over my schedule.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/14/2010 3:04AM


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WALKINGANNIE 10/13/2010 3:21PM

    Good plan!

I'm very surprised at the benefits that I'm still getting after completing the sleep challenge. i think that the effects will be long lasting, even though I had no real expectations of the challenge.

Reducing my coffee drinking and using plain hot water as a substitute has paid real dividends. As well as improving my sleep, my blood pressure has reduced further. Also, although I'm drinking the same volume I'm not having to get up in the night for bathroom trips.

I really hope that you can find some unexpected benefits too.


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KALIGIRL 10/13/2010 1:06PM

    Here's to cutting ourselves breaks when we can't keep to our schedules.
I am still waking in the night with sweats, but believe this too shall pass.
Not a power napper (although I've tried) but my mom was a master - maybe that will come with age...
I'm taking the Chopra meditation 21 day challenge and hoping that will do the same as your exercise and shower.
emoticonfor the tips - gives me something to 'reflect' upon.

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STEPHIEKNITS 10/13/2010 11:53AM

    Sleep is important. When I wake up and can't sleep because of the stuff running around in my head, I write it all down until I have nothing else to write then I can go to sleep.

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CARRIE1948 10/13/2010 7:20AM

    Good for you. Sleep is crucial.

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MSLZZY 10/13/2010 7:12AM

    Very good plan to evaluate what stops you from getting enough quality sleep and making changes! Good luck! HUGS!

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JHADZHIA 10/13/2010 7:12AM

    Sounds interesting. I haven't solved the riddle of my insomnia. I too, have a constant routine, get to bed at the same time, have no problem falling asleep, but immediately, its wake up 2-3 hours later and no falling back to sleep in spite of not having anything on my mind and being comfortable. I am under no stress, no worries, just can't figure it. Unfortunately, if I have a nap, it lasts longer than the short one you are supposed to have, like 2-3 hours LOL. I will enjoy learning any tidbits you come up with this program that actually work for you. So far Slenderella hasn't blogged on how she is doing with it..

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So now what?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

emoticon Now I've blogged my ABC's. Someone else can take up the theme and blog their own alphabet... or not.

But that leaves me with a feeling of a finish line... which is one of my danger signals. emoticon

This weekend and next weekend, the furnace / hot water heater, some work issues... too much peopling, the changing season... and lots of externals leading to the temptation to compare my life with the lives of others. Another of my danger signals. emoticon

In my head was the usual replay of things said, not said, social mistakes made on Sunday. I don't know WHY I do this to myself, but I should be prepared for the fact that I DO do this to myself. Then a succession of service people came trooping through my house. The bug spray guy complimented my house, the kind of social thing that people do (I do it myself): "You have a nice place here". And the plumbers did, too. And what does the dark side of my brain do with that?

Get this: the same thing the dark side of my brain does with compliments about my weight loss! Response, "I don't keep it up like I should!" Can you believe it? And this leads to the internal thought (NEVER said out loud, of course): "I don't deserve to live in a place like this, I don't take care of it." emoticon

And then my brain goes to the people I'm going to be seeing next weekend. Yes, THAT side of the family. You know the ones? Oh, you DON'T have people like that in YOUR family? These are the ones who have always been thin... who don't "get" that you struggle, even when you ARE physically thin? The ones that have money, and don't "get" that you have to budget carefully? The ones that talk / seem to brag about what's going on in their life. The ones you sit on the knife edge between envying and loving to hate, even though they are family and you know you "should" love them?

If you have healthy boundaries, you separate yourself from people in a healthy way: they are them, I am me, we each have our own lives and challenges... they are just choosing to talk about the positives, not the negatives! And that's OK, I don't have to be the star!

But what does the dark side of the brain do with people like this? The dark side of the brain wants to compare and compete. emoticon In this competition, there are two choices - to enter the lists, or avoid the joust. In entering the list, you end up in a "can you top this" thing, and end up doing things that socially you hate yourself for later (i.e. bragging, talking too much). In avoidance, you reject the good and the bad both, tell yourself you don't care and then overindulge (usually in private, before or after). All or nothing thinking, right?

I can't win with that kind of thinking, so it behooves me to start working at strengthening my boundaries NOW! Of course all of this is in retrospect. In the Monday that really happened, I allowed myself to be totally set up for overindulgence. It was like watching myself in slow motion as the pressures built over the day... and I succumbed. Confession good for the soul? I went after the leftover lasagna. And other things as well.

The good news: I tracked it all. emoticon

The better news: I've taken time to think about it and plan for the weekend ahead, seeing this as my "sign". emoticon

The best news: I am learning to accept even this "spinning" as a part of my personality... just something I have to adapt to - like a disability that puts a person in a wheel chair or requires a screen reader! I can see it. I can write about it... and I can make changes in my thinking. I don't have to stay stuck there. And I don't have to keep eating over it. Even if I started. My stay in the land of health is not over because of this one day. emoticon

And if you managed to read all the way through this self-indulgent rant... bless you, you probably identified on some level. We CAN overcome these things... one decision at a time. One day at a time. And this is a new day. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 10/13/2010 12:37AM

    Relate is an understatement-wow-your insight & understanding of such complex issues is a testament to how far you've come!
Thanksgiving plans are already stirring up the pot here at
"Disfunction Junction"-LOL

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 10/12/2010 9:51PM

    Certain people and situations have a way of pushing our buttons. But the more we're aware of it - and you are obviously and fantastically AWARE - the less those pushed buttons can control us. We might stumble a bit, but we get right back up, just like you did.

Nobody likes to disappoint others, but I think it's worse when we disappoint ourselves. Bragging and talking too much are not part of who you are. That's why you feel bad when you inadvertently get dragged down to that level. It doesn't fit who you are. Personal growth often causes frustration as we adjust to our new self.

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WALKINGANNIE 10/12/2010 4:43PM

    I read to the end and identified - and was grateful for what you had explored.

Congratulations on your self awareness and self improvement and thank you for helping to move others forward with your wisdom.


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PENNYAN45 10/12/2010 3:57PM

    I also battle a dark side. I think many of us do.

It's funny how losing weight can uncover some other issues that have to be dealt with in new ways -- once food has been removed as a crutch or support or painkiller.

In the end, this Spark journey turns out to be a total overhaul -- both physical and emotional.

New foods and new eating habits are only the beginning. I have realized that once that layer is peeled off, then there are other new behaviors and strategies that must come too:
~new ways of talking to myself
~new ways of dealing with stressful situations
~new ways of relating to some others
~new ways of maintaining (and strengthening) boundaries

Maybe we should have another site here for developing and practicing those skills once we lose the weight and begin our maintenance. That would surely guarantee our success in keeping the weight off.

What could we call it? SHARK People? SHIRK People? No, I don't think that's what I'm going for. LOL. How about SHARE People?

Anyway, thanks for your blogs that stimulate my thinking and help me gain insights into my own issues.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 10/12/2010 2:47PM

    Self-acceptance can be very difficult. But so good. When we can accept who we are and why we do the things we do, well then life just gets to be a little less stressful and a little more enjoyable.

PS: I loved your ABC blogs -- you were so creative with getting unique words. Great job!

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BUGGYS 10/12/2010 10:55AM

    Perfect blog for this time in my life! I have to get out of this rut and just move forward. thanks, Barb!

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KALIGIRL 10/12/2010 8:55AM

    I did identify on some level. I'm the relative you're seeing next weekend. I'm the 'naturally' thin, 'naturally' smart, 'natural' beauty who has money. I'm the blessed individual who seems like she doesn't have a care in the world and no empathy for anyone who does.

I haven't been where you have. I haven't had to deal with your religious upbringing. I haven't had to deal with your divorce and I most certainly haven't had to deal with your fear and worry about your son serving his country in some foreign land.

I don't know your relatives. You are a bright perceptive woman, Barb, and they may be as one dimensional as you think they are. But if they're anything like me on the inside, they're not and I hope one of the things that happens this weekend is that you are able to go deeper than the surface.

Namaste my friend and good luck this weekend.

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CONCHA77 10/12/2010 8:47AM

    Great Blog, Barb.
What a Blessing to be able to put your inner thoughts down in black and white like you do.. Just know that you are doing FANTASTIC !!!
You are really listening to your body (Body and Spirit) and learning from it --What a great accomplishment.
Stay Positive.

You are really helping me out on some things in these blogs. Thank You.

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TEACHINMOM 10/12/2010 8:19AM

    THANK YOU for this blog!! I was here, on SP, when I should have been doing other things I'm behind on, because I was looking for "something" ~ I didn't even know what!
I'm stuck and I don't mean weight loss. Yeah, I'm stuck there too but it is because of this "mental stuck" place I'm at. I'm there because I gained back about 15 pounds during the end of the summer and can't even seem to get that back off! Anyway, I say that to say that reading your blog, and relating, challenges me on many levels. I haven't moved past the fact that I let the gain happen and I'm dwelling on it versus focusing on what I now need to do. That's the dark side of my brain telling me I'm no good, can never really lose weight and maintain a healthy state, blah, blah, blah!! Well, I too, can say that this journey is not over (and will never be over) because I had a bad couple of months and I need to quit listening to that dang stupid voice!!! I'm not in a competition! I'm in it for me ~ for my long term health!! WOW, that changes everything right there. Motivation and determination hang around when it is for a good reason, a REAL reason!! Thanks for being so real, and in putting your journey and thoughts on it out there, bringing things back into perspective for me.
You are doing awesome!! Realizing all of this is forward progress!! Yes, we CAN do it! Have an awesome NEW day!!!

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MSLZZY 10/12/2010 7:49AM

    I can relate to so much in your blog. But the end of one thing can lead to the beginning of something even better. You are a work in progress so even the social skills take time. Smile and say thank you if words fail you. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Z: Zeitgeist

Monday, October 11, 2010

What, no foreign words allowed? But Zeitgeist is in my Webster's! It denotes the spirit of the age; trend of thought and feeling in a period.

Perhaps it is overreaching to use it in personal terms. Zeitgeist is huge... usually thinking in terms of the spirit of a century, an era, or a decade.

I've mentioned how my way of looking at my journey and motivation has changed over the decades of my life. That's the sense in which I am thinking of my Z word today... how attitudes and focus change over time, and there are periods in time as well as periods in our personal lives when certain things take focus.

So, question for all of you: what is the spirit of your time, meaning right now? Is it reaching for your goals? Is it defining them? Is it maintaining gains you've worked hard to achieve? Is it basking in gratitude for a life well lived?

As I leave the alphabet blogs behind... and contemplate "what's next" in terms of writing assignments... the spirit of my time is expressed in brief phrases "this time is for keeps", "I think I want to stay here"... and "this really IS the new me". The spirit is to recruit new folks to the neighborhood of health and fitness... not by force, but by example. "It isn't always easy... but it's SOOOO worth it!"

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MNTWINSGAL 10/11/2010 9:10PM

    Well, Barb, that was fun! Thank you for sharing your thoughts all the way through the alphabet. Can't wait to see what's coming up next!

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WALKINGANNIE 10/11/2010 1:20PM

    I have thoroughly enjoyed the content, style and spirit of this series of blogs and the comments.
emoticon emoticon

I do feel a special Zeitgeist in the spirit of Spark Friends of a certain age.

I never imagined that I would reach such a healthy weight and maintain it with comparative (most of the time) ease. I owe this achievement to new attitudes that I have learnt here from people like you.

Here's to "recruiting new folks to the neighborhood of health and fitness... not by force, but by example."

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KALIGIRL 10/11/2010 12:32PM

    emoticonfor this wonderful series of blogs.
The 'spirit of my time' is gratitude. I have lived such a blessed life and looking forward to more blessings in the future.

May we all live the kind of lives that 'recruit' others to the healthy side!

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REJ7777 10/11/2010 9:24AM

    Zeitgeist is a BIG word encapsulating a HUGE concept! emoticon
I'm not even sure I quite understand the meaning.

On one hand, we seem to live at a time where there's more of an emphasis on health and fitness than there ever has been before, on the other hand, I don't think there's ever been as much obesity and unfitness as there are now. People are starving to death in some countries and people are stuffing themselves to death in others.

I would like to find the right balance between too much and too little. My goal is to develop a healthy balanced lifestyle that includes physical activity and reasonable amounts of nutritious foods. I live in a country where I'm blessed enough to have a choice in the matter.

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ANONALEE 10/11/2010 9:04AM

    The Zietgest of weight loss is a confusing amalgam of competing theories and crackpot get-thin-quick schemes that seem to lead most people around in a circle of confusion and failure, but what emerges most clearly to me from all this is: find your own way. I do not think it is the same thing for everyone and, in fact, may be unique to each one, but in any case, what I have discovered is that I have had to test and re-test several approaches until I found the one that works for me.

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Comment edited on: 10/11/2010 9:04:31 AM

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SAMI199 10/11/2010 7:47AM

    I could not resist reading the end-lol. Incredible-insightful
& I am totally on board with your use & application of the word. That said-I'm off to "B"-YAY!!!! I love starting a new book or blog as it may be.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MSLZZY 10/11/2010 7:46AM


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