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Emotions as goals?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

When I posted about my little "Majority Rule" experiment, Mary (CookMe123) responded with this thought:

"I wonder if you set various emotions as your personal goals -- then each day you could check the day that matched. Just a thought. "

In fact, I did set "Have at least a good day" as a goal 6 days a week, and this will help me track, but the very thought of an EMOTION as a goal, strikes me as being one of those things that sounds like a good idea, but really isn't.

One thing that hit me right between the eyes at one of my Army Yellow Ribbon events was a presentation related to PTSD. The presenter asked this question: "Can you stop a memory from coming to mind?" Whoa! Of course not. We have no control over when thoughts (or emotions) present themselves to us. BUT... we do have choices about what to do with them when they do show up. Do we try to flee from them? Or do we acknowledge them, sit with them for a while, and watch them lose their intensity, and fade, giving way to the next.

Even if I'm in a terrible mood, I can have an overall good day. And even if I'm in a great mood to start with, I can end up with a terrible day... I've watched it happen both ways. The emotion is not what I'm tracking... the end result and my assessment of it is.

That's why it must be one day at a time... because one day at a time, I can know that the emotions are fleeting, I can recognize them and consciously decide what to do with them.

Here's to "At least a good day... 6 days a week". Thanks for the suggestion, Mary!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 1/8/2011 7:52AM

    The choice is up to you!

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DEBRITA01 1/6/2011 9:04PM

    All comes down to choices, doesn't it...another good blog!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/6/2011 5:31PM

    Another blog that makes me think Barb.

I have found it helpful to focus on gratitude and contentment as much as possible. It's not always easy and I'm not exactly Pollyanna but there seems to be a cumulative effect.

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SUNNY332 1/6/2011 10:10AM

    You are so right - we can change how we react to our memories and emotions. We do not need to let them "rule" our day.

Take care and thanks for another great blog.


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WISEONE68 1/6/2011 9:20AM

    Good blog!! Yes, you are right...we can CHOOSE how we respond when a memory, emotion, idea, etc. comes to mind. We can also CHOOSE how we respond to other people's emotions, behaviors. That is very important as well.

We have all heard the saying, "One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." Well, when someone comes into my office not "in a great mood", even if I am not 'feeling it' myself, I always get he/she focused on something positive. "God woke you up today--He must have something in mind for you today"; "Well, at least you have a job--many people do not have one these days!!"; "There is always someone worse off than you--be thankful for what you have/can do!!"

I try to do this myself and it really helps make the days a bit brighter!! count your blessings instead of focusing on the negatives...there are many once you start!!!

Blessings and peace, Friend!! Here's to MANY "good days" ahead for you!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 1/6/2011 8:35AM

    Great advice.. thanks.

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CHUBBYSELF 1/6/2011 8:14AM

    That is a phenomenal idea!!!

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ALEXANDRA64 1/6/2011 8:13AM

    I decided a while ago to "choose" my day. I wake up and decide right off that bat that it is going to be a great day (even yesterday when I had to trot off to the emergency room at 230am). I look at everything as an adventure and with that perspective, no matter what happens, I am still the decision maker. It makes life so much more fun and isn't that what life is supposed to be? Basically, as simple as it sounds, I see everything in life as the result of a choice between whether it is something that will lead to happiness or something that will result in misery. I choose happiness no matter what and that, in itself, has created such an interesting life.

Sounds like you are totally on the right track recognizing that you can decide what to do with your emotions and thoughts. Yay! What an interesting blog post! Thanks for sharing!!

emoticon emoticon

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What is this pre-training thing?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I posted my status last night as starting my first week of half-marathon "pre-training". Turns out I found a half-marathon for beginners training plan:

I figure I can modify this plan as needed to allow for the intention to speed walk, not jog, to be easier on the knees. The program is 12 weeks long, and the half-Marathon is May 1st.

The first thing I noted was this part - "Finally, the pre-training schedule. You should be able to run this schedule for four to five weeks without much discomfort before starting the half marathon program. If not, give yourself some time to build up to that level gradually, or you may risk injury."

If you add that four to five weeks of pre-training to the 12 week training plan, and guess what? It's time to start! The pre-training should give me an idea of how ready I am to undertake this thing I already signed up for!

Monday - off
Tues - 3 miles
Wed - 4 miles
Thursday - 4 miles
Friday - off
Saturday - 3 miles
Sunday - 5 miles

The "long" runs on this plan are all on Sunday, which fits in to the race schedule... many marathons, including this one, are done on Sunday mornings. This week: no sweat, except possibly for the addition of snow shoveling (they are starting to talk about weekend white stuff). My challenge will be next week, when I will be "on the road" over that weekend... travel days on Friday and Monday (which are off days), but Saturday and Sunday in conferences, so I'll have to fit a 3-mile and a 5-mile walk into the schedule and in a strange (to me) place! I figure this is cool... gives me some structure to the conference days.

And... we're off. You know, I think there is a method to the marathon schedule that puts races at the beginning of the good weather season... it gives us the carrot to reach for through the dark cold training months!

emoticon Ready? Set? Pre-train!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 1/8/2011 7:52AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY1432 1/5/2011 10:37PM

    emoticon I love your No Fear approach!! Good luck! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 1/5/2011 6:41PM

    Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

I'm nowhere near your league in terms of running but I've enjoyed fitting my brisk walking into 'working away days'. Sometimes I end up pacing about places that I would never have seen otherwise.

In the UK there is a useful website called that is billed as an 'urban walking map and route planner that helps you get around town on foot'. It covers all major UK cities. I'm sure that there must be a similar site for the US.

Good luck with you plans.

emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 1/5/2011 6:32PM

    Wow, that is some challenge! I admire your determination...You will do it, without a doubt!
emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 1/5/2011 3:56PM

    Whew! That's quite a challenge you're giving yourself! But I'm convinced you can, and will, do it. You are one determined woman! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/5/2011 3:56:44 PM

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KALIGIRL 1/5/2011 1:07PM

    Sounds super.
I was hoping to join you, but may need to lurk in the shadows as you train.
Hope the white stuff holds off for you to get in your pre-training this weekend.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/5/2011 11:17AM

    Good luck -- I know you'll do well!

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SUNNY332 1/5/2011 9:26AM

    You go, girl! You will do awesome.


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BUGGYS 1/5/2011 8:56AM

    I so admire that you are really challenging yourself and knowing a little about your determination and attitude, your training will be a breeze! Good luck! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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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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