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Follow the bouncing brain

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Last year as I was doing my fast start in Spark, one of the early goals I set was to give myself pep talks each morning. And I did so mostly in my blogs. I'm doing this again this month because it is a particularly difficult time of year for me, as well as for many others:

1. It's dark and cold this time of year in my hemisphere. Dark and cold lead to thoughts of self-preservation by hibernating and building fat! It's genetic, and not always easy to combat.

2. I've just been exposed to some dangerous triggering substances over the holidays, and need to "detox" from them. We are talking fat, salt, sugar, folks. Those of us who are compulsive eaters often have sensitivities to certain foods and after indulging have trouble stopping. It takes an extra measure of motivation to not just cave to the crave!

3. As a recovering perfectionist, it's easy to fall into the trap of beating up on myself for even starting down the road of #2. On the other hand, experience has taught me that if I don't plan at least a little "special" eating over the holidays, the rebel in me will be stronger in the aftermath!

It's a delicate path, recovery. And having been over-excited by those substances, the brain tends to bounce a bit. So forgive my blogs if they skip topics for a few days and don't have a consistent theme... that will return at some point!

For those of you who thought I was going to stop tracking foods when I started my "simple scale" for my majority rules experiment? Nope, the idea is to give myself a correlation between my behavior with food and exercise and my personal assessment of how my days, week, and month are going. I started a thread over on Team Jenny to track the "Majority Rules" measure, and it is my intent to go there to put in my assessments. I know there are some tracking things on the Spark Start, but they don't quite fit what I'm looking for. I'm not even sure I can articulate what I'm looking for! emoticon

And... I'm going to start looking for a training plan for the half marathon that I can adapt to the speed walking thing. Suggestions welcome!

One day at a time, people. Yesterday was a good day (and I tracked my food, drank my water, and exercised)... here's to making today a good one, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 1/4/2011 8:35PM

    Tracking is the only way I can stay on top of my eating and stay honest with myself.
Good Luck with the 1/2 marathon and thanks for the great blog!! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 1/4/2011 7:03PM

    Great job with the tracking! I got away from it (deliberately, so I didn't have to be accountable) over the holiday and it got me into trouble. Monday I started back tracking and planning... and I feel more in control.

It's so true, how the brain needs to detox from all the sugars and other substances that are triggers...I'm almost there, but not quite...that's where the vigilance comes in.

You're so day at a time!


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ANDI571 1/4/2011 6:29PM

    I too have to track my food. If I quit tracking, I just seem to fall very quickly back into bad habits. I am having trouble getting back on track. It's an every other day thing right now, but I haven't quit. I will not quit, and I will get back to where I need to be.

We can and will do this.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/4/2011 2:32PM

    It's always a challenge for us but, like you, if we continue to work on the things that are difficulty, eventually they'll be come somewhat easier. You're doing great. Keep up the good work!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/4/2011 1:03PM

    I nodded along as I read your blog and comments.

I guess that BUGGYS words give us the clues that we need - more active tracking and less being sidetracked. Or, as you put it so eloquently, not caving to the cravings....

Here's to another good day.


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KALIGIRL 1/4/2011 12:41PM

    Here's to one day @ a time!

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TURTLETALK 1/4/2011 12:37PM

    I am hearing you on the dangerous triggering substances. I am "coming down" from too much fat and sugar.

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WISEONE68 1/4/2011 9:30AM

    GREAT blog...recovery is difficult, but worth all the pain and strain. We become better--the "me God intends"...and, with your success/setbacks--you can help others!!

Hang in there--you are doing GREAT!!!

blessings and peace. emoticon

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SUNNY332 1/4/2011 9:22AM

    I know all about those obstacles - experienced them myself.

Awesome that your new goal is the half marathon. emoticon

Do have a great day and thanks for an awesome post this morning.


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BUGGYS 1/4/2011 7:43AM

    I have found that tracking is a must for me...I can get so sidetracked if I don't and I can also plan my days eating in advance. Yesterday was a good one for me...I am easing back into exercise and trying to find a happy medium. We are going to have a good day today as well! emoticon

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2011 - the year of Majority Rule

Monday, January 03, 2011

I've been preaching for a long time to myself that the majority of my behavior will rule my results. I firmly believe this. I'm toying with the idea of using a very simple measure... simpler than the tracking and the weighing and all of that: a self-assessment measure: Was today a good day, a so-so day, a bad day, a GREAT day, or a TERRIBLE day?

Total up the days at the end of the month... and compare my feelings about the month... was it a good month, so-so, bad, GREAT, or TERRIBLE? Does my end of the month feeling match the majority of my days, or were the emotions about the days "off" somehow?

What's the point of this exercise (beyond Barb's off in her little world again)? Well, as an emotion driven eater, I have noticed other things drive those emotions. Eating better makes me feel better. Feeling better ups my assessment of a day. Exercise makes me feel good, too. You get the idea. I will be doing things to make me feel good... and the better I feel about me, the better the day gets... and in the end, the better the month, the better the year.

I felt that for me, 2010 was a GREAT year. Yes, there were some external greats... like my son coming home safe after his adventures... but those are things over which I have no control. Most of my feeling about it being a great year is based on daily behaviors over which I do have control: eating well, exercising, and keeping promises to myself.

This unscientific study should be interesting! Does Majority Rule?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT-AT-50 1/3/2011 9:22PM

    You may truly be onto a key for long-term success and I look forward to hearing how it is going. As CookMe mentioned, I'm sure that brutal honesty will play a key role in the success of the new measuring tool, but you seem to be quite honest, so I'm betting on the side of your success!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/3/2011 6:12PM

    Absolutely majority rules. The key is being brutally honest about our assessments, though. Something I'm sure you're better about than me. I'll be interested in the results of your experiment.

For me though, I have to track the exercise and food so that I can assess whether it was a good day or not. Not tracking tends to make me forgetful (on purpose) which would distort the results. But that's just me . . . .

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BESTSUSIEYET 1/3/2011 10:29AM

    Sounds good! How are you going to track 'em? I like Annie's daughter's "bless 'em for trying" day! Gives me the feeling that there is always a blessing if we're looking for it!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/3/2011 10:17AM

    I like the idea of your scale and might well adopt the same approach as it's simple and doesn't assume that perfection rules.

My daughter uses a similar scale but hers is: Great, good, average and "bless 'em for trying".


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SUNNY332 1/3/2011 8:34AM

    I like the idea of 2011 being the year of Majority Rule.

It will be another great year for you.

Hugs, Sunny

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CRROCKERGIRL 1/3/2011 7:40AM

    Good luck! I hope you great days, months, and a year!

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Rewarding myself

Sunday, January 02, 2011

One of the things I find most challenging to remember is to give myself those rewards. It is every bit as important during maintenance as during weight loss. Maybe more so. Because without a non-food reward, there's a huge temptation to go back to the easy answer of overeating!

Today I got my hair colored. This is one of my favorite rewards. It just makes me feel good! I gave the stylist a nice tip and walked out of there on air... and thus gave my flagging motivation a boost.

What's your favorite reward "just for sticking with it"?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KASEYCOFF 1/3/2011 4:00AM

    My favorite 'self-reward' is total ME TIME! I often feel guilty about taking time away from other things (whether it be family, housework, social obligations, whatever) and 'spending' it playing a computer game or reading a book, any of the little fun stuff. But if I say 'When I achieve thus-and-so, I will have earned two hours of ME time,' it's almost like a double reward. I agree with you about the importance of rewards. I always do so much better when there's a carrot on a stick, lol...

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MSLZZY 1/2/2011 11:13PM

    I am going have to think of a new reward for 2011! Wish me luck!
Hope you had an awesome New Year! HUGS!

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SUNNY1432 1/2/2011 9:04PM

    I like getting massages or facials. I like getting pampered and I feel refreshed afterwards!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/2/2011 6:27PM

    Good for you, Barb! I have to admit that I'm awful about rewarding myself at any point. Impatient and impulsive as I am, I tend to treat myself to many things "just because," which makes it hard to reward myself. Maybe I'll have to exercise some self-discipline, pick a small reward and follow through when I finally reach my first 10% loss. I'm glad you're happy with your new hair color and even happier that it helped you with your motivation.

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WALKINGANNIE 1/2/2011 6:23PM

    Sounds like a great reward - and you certainly earned it.

Your blogs and thoughts for the day have been a great help in getting me back on track after a blip so thanks for walking the walk and talking the talk. Your example and honest descriptions are more useful than you might ever realise.

Wishing you a happy, healthy new year.

emoticon emoticon

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ANDI571 1/2/2011 6:19PM

    I am a hair junky. My motto has always been, You can't change life, but you can change your hair. Poor Defiant1 never knows what I will look like when he comes home.

I am anxious to make the appt. My daughter bought me a gift certificate for a microdermabrasion. I have always wanted to do it, but to cheap. I am going to call tomorrow to see if I can get in this week.

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SUNNY332 1/2/2011 6:08PM

    I am starting a savings account for our trip to Hawaii. I will feed the piggy bank $5.00 for every # I loose then I will have some extra $$ for the trip.

Hugs, Sunny

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    I love that, too! emoticonThe reward I hope to have one day when the weather gets warmer is a pedicure!

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REJ7777 1/2/2011 5:41PM

    I always tell my hairdresser that I come in there feeling like a tired old woman but that after she's done with me, I feel like a sprite youngster. I've never colored my hair, but a new haircut will do that for you. It's important to feel good about ourselves! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/2/2011 5:47:32 PM

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PENNYAN45 1/2/2011 5:38PM

    One FABULOUS reward for me is getting a massage! It is expensive, so I don't do it often, but it leaves me feeling wonderful!

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DEBRITA01 1/2/2011 5:34PM

    I haven't been sticking with it for a few weeks now and I'm still trying to reach goal, but I agree with remembering to give yourself those non-food rewards. I'm going to incorporate a few with my goals...

emoticonIsn't it amazing how a little TLC and pampering can lift the spirits. Enjoy your new color...I'm sure you look great.

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46SHADOW 1/2/2011 5:33PM

    love it and i d like it if you are able to post a picture. my rewards...have to think and plan.

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2011 - the year of the bucket list check-off!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

This one is all Hot4Fitness (Deanna)'s fault. She suggested to me that she's being prodded to do the Lincoln Half-Marathon on May 1st, and asked if I would be interested in speed-walking it with her.

Well... how was she to know that a half marathon used to be on my bucket list? That I had given up on it, as I don't figure my old knees can take that distance? But here she was suggesting another option, less stressful on the knees: speed-walking.

Well, I walk fairly fast when I go out to walk. So, I cautiously asked her about her anticipated speed walking pace, and she came up with a target time that I figure I can train to. The trick will be training up to keep up that pace for three continuous hours!

So, day by day, I tested this possibility. I talked to some co-workers who have run this half-marathon in the past. I learned there's a participation limit this year. I saw the sparks in one woman's eyes when I mentioned speed-walking, rather than jogging, the half (she's jogged it in the past, but is coming back from an injury).

Finally, after a couple of days of this, I went to the website and put my money where my mouth is... where my big dream is. I registered for the half-marathon, May 1st. Mark it on the calendar: this woman is resolved to check "complete a half marathon" off her bucket list!

And, yes, just to make sure these are on the January 1st entry:

Use the ice skates at least once this winter.
Ride a horse (the plot is to do a trail ride with the work team, as a reward some weekend after the half marathon!)
Ride my bicycle and explore at least one new bike trail.

2011 is going to be a great year! I kind of like this maintenance thing. It does require diligence. I am not immune from slips or panics. But as long as I keep on sparking... I think we've got it!

Happy New Year, everybody!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FIT-AT-50 1/3/2011 9:24PM

    Love the list!

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JUST_TRI_IT 1/2/2011 10:35AM

    emoticon WAY TO GO on the bucket list. Have a great time in prep and in the race!

:) D

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    How exciting! I know that emoticon

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ANG_LA 1/1/2011 5:43PM

    Go Go Go Go Go! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 1/1/2011 3:32PM

    How wonderful!
If anyone can keep the pace, you can and can't wait to hear about your other bucket list successes.
Happy New Year!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/1/2011 9:55AM

    What a great opportunity for you. And we all know that once you put your mind to something, it happens. I'll be interested to hear all about your training program in the upcoming weeks and months. Good for you -- I love the bucket list idea.

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PENNYAN45 1/1/2011 9:16AM

    What a great idea! I love your goal!

Once again you are inspiring me. I'll have to find a goal to work toward - besides getting the scale down.

Happy New Year, my friend!

emoticon emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 1/1/2011 8:51AM

    And i am so excited and feel great about taking the blame for this great adventure!! We can do it!!!

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DEBRITA01 1/1/2011 8:49AM

    emoticonHappy New Year! If you can dream it, you can do it...good luck with your Bucket List!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAMI199 1/1/2011 8:26AM

    Live your Dream!

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MSLZZY 1/1/2011 8:21AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Happy New Year! Great goals!

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REJ7777 1/1/2011 7:52AM

    emoticon Knocking something off your bucket list is no small achievement! emoticon You are starting the new year with some challenging goals! emoticon emoticon

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JACKSMIMI2 1/1/2011 7:18AM

    Wow! What a great way to do a 1/2 marathon...and I love the idea of a bucket list! I think I'll put my pen to paper! In the meantime, I'll surely be cheering you on!

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CAPECODBABE 1/1/2011 7:13AM

    That's great! I know May 1st will be great. And what a great idea a bucket list is. I'm going to work on mine, thanks.

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HUNNNYBEE 1/1/2011 7:04AM

    WOW! Good for you!!! Excellent goal to work toward!

I will be rooting for you on May 1st!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Last of the month, last of the year, and the APFT results

Friday, December 31, 2010

I told myself that I would take the Army Physical Fitness Test and measure myself against the standards for 57 - 61 year old females on New Year's 2011. Well, my body has been "resting" for several days and I really NEEDED to move more this morning, so... I bumped the test up and did it this morning. It's not like I was going to an Army base and taking it under supervision or anything (SGT son opted out of coming and hollering at me through it).

How'd I do? Well, I anticipated failing the sit-ups, and I did... BUT, I came close! Here's the order of the test:

Push-ups, as many as you can within 2 minutes, without breaking form. There is an allowance for resting in the plank position during this, but I didn't opt for that. I did 30, which gave me 100% of that portion of the test.

Then there is a 10 minute rest before the sit-up portion of the test. Again, as many as you can within two minutes without breaking form. I did 24 before my form broke... badly. That's two fewer than I needed to pass! I came "this close", folks! By the next time I'm committed to the test (Valentine's Day)... if I train core strength diligently... I have hopes!

Another ten minute rest break, and then "run two miles, as fast as you can". I did this on the treadmill, with an incline of 1, which my treadmill manual tells me most mimics "level" outdoor running. It's kind of icy out this morning, so there was NO WAY I was going to do it outside. Ready? Result: 19:16... which is a 100% on THAT portion of the test.

I'm incredibly happy with this... for three reasons:
1) The most motivating thing I know to do in life is to keep a promise to myself. Just taking the test fulfilled that!

2) When I started this effort, I could only do 3, count 'em, 3 sit-ups. 24 is a huge improvement for me. So I'm pleased.

3) That run time. What can I say? And of course... I'm bubbling all over the place with endorphins.

And, being the end of the month... y'all know that means progress photos! I tried to recreate the same pose as my beginning of the year snapshot, with the same old web camera.

2010 has been a great year! I'm hoping to keep the (motivational) fires stoked and burning bright for the next year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    great job emoticon

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MSLZZY 1/1/2011 8:22AM


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KAMCCLARY 1/1/2011 6:14AM

    emoticonI need to take that test to measure how well I do. Thanks for sharing emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 12/31/2010 7:05PM

    Congratulations on a great year!! Your fitness is inspiring!!

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JUST_TRI_IT 12/31/2010 4:02PM

    SUPER AWESOME!!! You deserve every single endorphin-filled bubbly you can find! You are leading the pack now :) and we love following your lead! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 12/31/2010 2:50PM

    emoticonYou set your goals and did outstanding! You are inspiring and I love reading your blogs....they give me hope. You are motivated and determined...two things I will focus on in 2011. You go, Girl!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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STEPPYSUE 12/31/2010 2:38PM

    Wow, good for you, hip hip hooray, HAPPY NEW YEAR! emoticon

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KALIGIRL 12/31/2010 2:37PM

    emoticonWhat fabulous results!!!
Can't wait to see what you do in the new year!

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REJ7777 12/31/2010 1:56PM

    emoticon emoticon That's really emoticon!

I wish you continued health and fitness in 2011! emoticon emoticon

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    WOW!!! That is AMAZING!!! Don't you just feel GREAT!? emoticonHurray for YOU! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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COVEREDNPRAYING 12/31/2010 12:08PM

    My jaw is on the floor with your 2 mile run time - amazing! I've never heard of this test, going to look into and maybe add it to my 2011 goals. Way to go!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 12/31/2010 11:55AM

    I am SO impressed, Barb -- congratulations! How great it must feel to set a lofty goal and to achieve it. Just think what numbers you'll pull come Valentine's Day. Wonderful!

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BUGGYS 12/31/2010 11:49AM

    You are amazing and I hope to follow your lead in 2011 by challenging myself physically!!! emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY1432 12/31/2010 11:29AM

    That's emoticon!! You're an inspiration!!
Keep on working and you'll be kicking butt in Feb!! emoticon

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ANDI571 12/31/2010 11:22AM

    emoticon You are emoticon

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SWELL10 12/31/2010 10:09AM

    You rock!!!! emoticon

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MNTWINSGAL 12/31/2010 9:52AM

    You are doing great, Barb! A big Woo Hoo to you!

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KASEYCOFF 12/31/2010 9:39AM

    That is so great - what a difference your hard work has made! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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