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In memorium, Diamond

Sunday, March 06, 2011



I'm just home from the Vet ER, where I went to make and reconfirm the hardest decision one has with a pet. This morning, my Diamond girl was trying to find small spaces to crawl into, to hide from her pain. She had not eaten since last Thursday, and she had not even taken much water in since then. In addition to the problems with her limbs not working for her, that is. She did not even seem to be aware when her foot was upside down.

The Vet confirmed this, and more. She had a fever. No obvious tumors. He thought the thing with the limbs was secondary to something internal. Possibly organ failure setting in, kidneys or liver... they could do a lot of expensive tests to confirm which or what. There could be *some* meds that would buy us time, once those tests were done.

But the cold, hard truth is, at this point, the way she has been? She is getting herself into "fixes" in the house she can't get herself out of. She gets behind furniture, tangled in cords, and pulls things down on herself, or drags a chair behind her and gets trapped in the laundry room or her neck stuck between the banister rails on the stairway.

I could not leave her alone, and I can't stay home from work to follow her around and extricate her, either. And I was concerned about her pain and restlessness. So... tough decision as it was... given the options... I said good-bye to my fur-baby, sending my love with her to meet up with my nephew at the Rainbow bridge.

She gave me her final gift, breaking the dam behind which my tears were trapped. I whispered in her ear to play with Lily and Suzu and all the pets who have preceded her into doggy heaven. In heaven, she's free, and her body works the way it is intended. In heaven she sees clearly, and flows with happiness. And she goes with my love.

But I miss her, and shall, for a long while, until we meet again.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENNYAN45 3/11/2011 8:49PM

    I just saw this now. Those of us who have pets can sympathize - and have been there too. Your blog brought me to tears with you - as I remembered a similar decision I had to make.

Hugs to you.

PennyAn

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WINELADY01 3/10/2011 4:03PM

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I, too, have had to make this sad decision and even in retrospect, it was hard to do. I wish the best for Diamond, that she is even now romping and playing in heaven. I know doing this broke your heart and it will hurt for a long time. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BZYBOYSMOM 3/10/2011 10:12AM

    emoticon I'm so sorry my friend.

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BESTSUSIEYET 3/9/2011 11:07PM

    May God comfort you day by day. A house sure can seem empty when we lose a pet!

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ANDI571 3/9/2011 11:06PM

    Oh Barb, I am so sorry for your loss. You have to be a pet lover to know the loss of losing one. Lots of hugs coming your way.

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CONCHA77 3/8/2011 8:32AM

    Bless Your Heart, Barb. You take care of yourself and know that Diamond is in a great place. We are here for you, friend.
Hugs. emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/7/2011 8:24AM

    Oh my goodness, Barb, this just breaks my heart. How difficult for you but what a gentle spirit you are to think of Diamond first knowing that she was in pain. She was your Love - I know that. Bless your heart. What a tough day for you. ((((Barb)))) - emoticon from me to you.

I loved it that she left you such a wonderful gift. Glad the dam broke, my friend.

Sunny

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REJ7777 3/7/2011 6:55AM

    Her final gift...

Sometimes the pain is just overwhelming, and the tears have to flow. What a beautiful dog your Diamond girl was! emoticon

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CHRISTURTLE 3/6/2011 8:35PM

    Oh Barb, I'm in tears reading this, knowing how you feel. In the past 18 months I have had to take that same trip to the vet twice - once with my wonderful, beautiful, loving Gypsy, who spent her final 3 days on my bed, unable and unwilling to move, to eat, to drink. She had been abused, so cruelly treated and abused before coming to be part of my family, and she repaid me a million times over with her love. Before Christmas I had to take Sam, Dad's elderly dog for the same reason. He had so many health problems, even severe epilepsy, which had resulted in brain damage, but he was the most gentle, loving boy anyone, or any animal, could have asked to be blessed with. It broke my heart, although I knew it was for the right reasons, when the vet said it was kinder to say goodbye to him at that point. He was the last link Dad and I had with Mum - he's been by her side from the moment they met, and when she was taken to hospital that last time, Sam sat at that front door and howled for over an hour. He knew he would never see her again.
Its hard, unbearably hard, to lose such an important part of our family this way, but I know all my pets will somehow be together with those human family members who have also passed. I also firmly believe that when my time comes, my beloved pets will be waiting there to greet me, along with my friends and family who have gone before me.

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MSLZZY 3/6/2011 7:51PM

    So sorry for your pain but the freedom she has now is bliss to
her. Hold her close in your memories and she will always be
with you. HUGS!

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SHARON2014 3/6/2011 7:25PM

    Hugs to you my friend... I am weeping with you right now. Bless your heart... emoticon emoticon

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LINDAJOYWK 3/6/2011 6:54PM

    Barb-I am so,so sorry for the loss of your dear Diamond.Know that she was blessed
to have lived with an owner who loved & cared for her.I think I may have talked about
this,but about a yr. after the loss of my Rosie I was praying & asking God to let me
know if there was a place in heaven for animals.That night she came to me in a dream that was so real-it was as if she was in the room. She was so happy! She was
young & healthy.She said she had to go(she didn't talk,but I understood)but that other
dog & cat say hi.(My other pets I'd had to put down).No more doubts-I believe there
is heaven for animals-and it is wonderful & they are so happy there.I felt such joy &
excitement from her.May God bring you comfort in the days ahead.

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MOMOF2TONI 3/6/2011 6:45PM

    So sorry! This really made me cry. I've also had to make that tough decision with a pet. Prayers for you.
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MNTWINSGAL 3/6/2011 5:18PM

    Barb, I am so sorry for your loss. I too have had to make this decision for a beloved pet, and it is positively heart-wrenching. My prayers are with you. Congratulations on being able to do what is best for her, even though it breaks your own heart.

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DEBRITA01 3/6/2011 4:47PM

    I am sorry for the loss of your beloved, Diamond. Pets have a way of coming into our lives and touching our hearts in countless ways. As they age, they count on us to do the right thing and bring them peace.

Although you acted like a responsible pet owner, it somehow doesn't make it any easier to make that decision. I know. I've had to put down two of my sweet dogs and it was one of the toughest decisions, but I did it out of love.

I'm sure Diamond is running around heaven, chasing balls with my Bandit and Bria...and I know we will see them again.

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MT-MOONCHASER 3/6/2011 4:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I know the pain of having to make this decision.

However, it is better than seeing them suffer pain and indignity.

Just remember that final gift and thank her that you finally were able to shed tears for her and your nephew.

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ROCKLAND2010 3/6/2011 2:53PM

    This is absolutely the most difficult decision. Pets can't speak and share their pain.
I am very sorry.

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DAISY443 3/6/2011 2:51PM

    I am crying with you....

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CHRYS13 3/6/2011 2:41PM

    I'm so very sorry for your loss..... emoticon

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Triggers, emotional

Saturday, March 05, 2011

In half an hour or so I'll be going in for my monthly maintenance consultation. I've been thinking about what I'm going to say to the first question (and of course any such plans of what to say are pure speculation... they fly out the window as soon as I walk in the door at my center)! Oh? The first question? "How was your month?"

Well, Gina, the day after we last met, I got the phone call about my nephew dying. I have been trying to coax the tears ever since, but I'm still in denial. I've tried sappy movies. I've tried sitting with thoughts of him. Come close, know the emotions are under there... but I've buried them!

Now my dog is struggling. Clearly not herself. Having trouble standing, walking, doing stairs. Not as annoyingly "barky" as she has been. Last night she got herself tangled up in the phone cord in the middle of the night and managed to pull both the phone and the hand vacuum that sits on the same chest onto the floor with a large clatter. She was scared by all of this.

Yesterday I was fragile at work. On the verge of having that dam break and the tears start to flow. But I got busy and didn't make a spectacle at work, although I did confide in a couple of coworkers about the grieving thing.

What's that got to do with weight loss / maintenance, you ask? Food is a comfort... even "naturally" normal sized people will turn to food for comfort in times of stress (especially those of us who eschew alcohol or other "pure" drugs). Those of us with life-long stress - emotional connections to eating? A greater tendency is there.

After decades of living as "me", I know this reality: eating over this stuff does not make it better in the long run. It just transfers what I'm feeling bad about to self-condemnation over being "bad" with food. I have made the conscious decision to stop doing that to myself. I'm worth more than that. My bad feelings like sorrow and anger deserve the respect to be recognized and allowed. I do not need to numb them with food, or if I choose to do so temporarily, I do not need to magnify the problem by continuing to do so!

So, it's been a good month in that even though all these crazy things are going on in my life, I've only had three binge-y days, way over the calorie range. And the statistics show me to be on an average at a slight calorie deficit. The scale SHOULD show maintenance.

Here's to a good weekend. Hope I get some of those tears out.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHRISTURTLE 3/6/2011 8:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 3/6/2011 9:22AM

    Take care... emoticon

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LINDAJOYWK 3/6/2011 7:50AM

    Oh Barb-just wish I could make it all better for you-please know-you are cared about
& being prayed for.-Linda

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ANDI571 3/5/2011 9:31PM

    Just big hugs coming your way..... emoticon

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CHRYS13 3/5/2011 6:11PM

    I'll be thinking of you, my friend!
Losing those we love is beyond difficult....you will grieve at your own pace.
Thinking of your precious pet, also.
Take care! emoticon

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BUGGYS 3/5/2011 2:43PM

    I am praying for you, Barb and can relate on so many levels...although both my parent have been gone for about 10 years, I am STILL grieving and, I just lost my beloved dog last week, had the flu this week and am slowly getting back to me. I have learned to get in some exercise because it really does relieve some of the stress associated with the grief process. We have all been through similar ups and downs and I am guessing that we have all been emotionally tied to food as well...learning to break the cycle is a hard one but I think you have done so well at achieving your goals and sticking to them!!! I'll be thinking of you and hoping that you can heal and get back to you!

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LEANJEAN6 3/5/2011 2:00PM

    Oh Barb, it must be hard--- your dog--your work--your friends---and we do turn to food---Think of how far you have come I guess---Go for a run----- I'll send hugs along ---- nit much consultation ----- You are kinda my idol though on here ----I wish you love, and joy---but--hey---just think, youy AREN"T pregnant!--LOL

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BRADOS 3/5/2011 12:30PM

    emoticon

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SUNNY1432 3/5/2011 10:46AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DAISY443 3/5/2011 10:17AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITFABJENN 3/5/2011 10:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/5/2011 10:10:03 AM

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KASEYCOFF 3/5/2011 9:17AM

    You know you're in my thoughts and prayers, hon. It's a vulnerable time at best, after someone close has died, and it can magnify other things (recognizing the potential health problems you're facing with a beloved pet, for example). You're doing well to realize that you still have grieving to do, with or without tears - and moreover to realize that food won't ease the struggle.
No answers and no advice, Barb. Just a warm hug and sympathy.
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MSLZZY 3/5/2011 9:07AM

    You are dealing with life with other things beside food for comfort. That's a plus! HUGS!

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SUNNY332 3/5/2011 9:05AM

    Some times it is difficult to let go and just have a good cry. Hang in there and know I am thinking about you and praying that "dam" breaks soon.

Huggers, Sunny

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PENNYAN45 3/5/2011 8:52AM

    I hope this is a cathartic weekend for you - in terms of grieving - so you can feel the healing begin.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/5/2011 8:52AM

    My sympathies to you Barb. I can relate to what you're going through. I still really haven't grieved for my Mom. I never thought of it as being in denial -- I've been thinking I'm just a horrible, horrible person. I hope your consultation went well. Everything you spoke to in this blog has touched me -- thank you for putting these things into perspective for me so clearly and concisely. Take care and God bless!

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SHARON2014 3/5/2011 8:50AM

    Praying for the healing that you need. I've been there too, still am most of the time! emoticon

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REJ7777 3/5/2011 8:34AM

    I pray that God grants you those healing tears. emoticon emoticon

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46SHADOW 3/5/2011 8:33AM

    emoticonway to go on dealing with difficult emotions ina healthier way. way to go for making it to maintenance.

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Are you what you read?

Thursday, March 03, 2011

"Mann ist was man isst." OK, I don't have a German keyboard, and Spark doesn't let me type HTML, but this is an approximation the original of "One is what one eats" or "You are what you eat." We quote it a lot, in a joking sort of a way. Eat healthy, be healthy.

Mentally, are we what we read? Well, reading encouraging Spark posts, success stories, motivational things tends to make me feel more motivated, for sure.

Lately, I've been dipping into the literature of the psychology of weight loss and gain. Currently it's "Angry Fat Girls". Like its predecessor, "Passing for Thin" (same author, Frances Kuffel), it is disturbingly familiar and disturbingly alien at the same time. Since I have inhabited "the rooms" I know the language. But some things about the author's experience never seemed to apply to my own. This doesn't make either of our journeys less valid.

I keep reading, because it is valuable to keep memories green in order to maintain healthy habits. However, the difference between the retrospective this gives and Spark seems to me like the difference between Freudian psychology, seeking to understand "why", and behaviorism that seeks to change "what". You need elements of both in recovery: why helps you past the self-condemnation, but you need to actively change the what. On the other hand, changing the what without understanding the why can lead to relapse and giving up!

I think after this book, though, I'll take a break from this genre for a while, get myself back to the fiction I so enjoy! Here's to a healthy rest of the week folks.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 3/3/2011 10:38PM

    Love to read too, just don't seem to find the time. Hope you find something more interesting fiction soon! emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/3/2011 10:28PM

    Read something a little "lighter" next-to match your awesome progress!

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DEBRITA01 3/3/2011 5:55PM

    Wow, deep thoughts...I like mostly fiction and I don't read as much as I would like. I hope to be more consistent and diverse now that I have my new Kindle.

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ROCKLAND2010 3/3/2011 3:20PM

    Deep thoughts for today...I like all sorts of books, mystery, paranormal, novels. It's very relaxing for me. Unfortunately I don't always make the time.

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REJ7777 3/3/2011 1:27PM

    I love to read and listen to CD's. I find that reading other people's thoughts and perceptions expands my own point of view. Sometimes an author will make me see something in a way I never saw it before. Other times, he/she will put words to a *feeling* I couldn't express.

I tend to read mostly self-help or inspirational books. I like to learn something from what I read.

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AEHEGE 3/3/2011 11:58AM

    Reading is one way to keep the mind active, and I find that now in my older years, I mostly read for the pleasure of reading and select books that I want to read, and I like most genres. My 'candy for the mind' books would be mysteries. However, I am now reading Cutting for Stone, which is excellent, and before that I read Water for Elephants, also very good. I never read pure romance novels, but don't see how they could contribute to Alzheimer's more than not reading at all.

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GRYPHONQUEST 3/3/2011 8:45AM

    I read all sorts of things. I love romance novels when I'm stressed - knowing there's going to be a happily ever after at the end is nice. I like mysteries, action, S/F, fantasy, histories, biographies... pretty much anything. When I was first starting SparkPeople (oh so long ago - seven weeks now?), there were days I just didn't have the energy to read, and it felt *so* strange!

This week, I'm reading a new-to-me David & Leigh Eddings series ("The Dreamers"), The Happiness Project, Lindsey Sands' "The Heiress"... and probably yet another by tomorrow.

If we are what we read... I guess I'm a book! emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/3/2011 8:24AM

    I read every day and usually fiction. My latest read which was so good and I highly recommend it was - The Hidden Garden by Kate Morton. It was full of mysteries and just when you thought the author was going to answer some questions, she introduced another mystery. It was so good, I ran over to Amazon and ordered another book by her.

Take care and happy reading...

Sunny

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YBARRALD 3/3/2011 7:54AM

    My mother has told me for years that she thinks that the drivel romance novels my grandmother read did not feed her brain and may have contributed to the Alzheimers at the end of her life. I wonder if my mother may be on to something there. The experts have been saying more recently that people need to do things that keep their minds active, and that not even things like Sudoku and crossword puzzles do that once you get the knack of it because they're too repetitive. Should we be reading things that are thought provoking? Should we read things across multiple genres? That's what I tend to end up with. Sometimes one genre will dominate another and I know I tend to lean more toward fiction than non-fiction, but overall, I feel the mix is thought provoking. Consider checking out a site called Shelfari (www.shelfari.com) It's a great tool for tracking what you read, what you've read, what you want to read, what books you own, what books you want to own, and a neat place to interact with people who've read the same books or share the same genre interests. Look me up. I'm called Laetificant Lori. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/3/2011 7:55:16 AM

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DAISY443 3/3/2011 7:43AM

    My favorites are murder mysteries! I hope I am not what I read! lol emoticon

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Gotta love those endorphins

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Yesterday was an "off" day from the half-marathon training. I did a total body strength workout from Spark, instead. Felt good keeping that commitment. Why? Because I love that muscle definition in the progress photos & don't want to lose it! I can't believe it, but there's this little shred of vanity going.

Today, the schedule called for 3-4 "long hills", and the notes indicate the total mileage including warm up and cool down and those hills should be about 4 miles. So, again, tossed something on the TV to keep the mind going while the body moved. This time it was "The Closer". An hour later, 4 faux hills (incline 8) of 3/4, 3/4, 3/4, and 1/2 mile each... with 1/4 mile lesser inclines in between.

And the endorphins start to flow, leaving a feeling of well-being. A good stretch session after, and I know I'll sleep well tonight. Less than nine weeks to that half marathon!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 3/2/2011 7:38PM

    I did notice that muscle definition happening on your photos. Proud to have you on our team-You are a inspiration. emoticon



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REJ7777 3/2/2011 1:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 3/2/2011 1:42PM

    Vanity? Nah, just pride in the results from all of your hard work and dedication. You've earned it, so enjoy it! emoticon

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ANDI571 3/2/2011 1:15PM

    I think my endorphins died.... emoticon

You keep that vanity tied right around your neck. You deserve it with all of your hard work.

Comment edited on: 3/2/2011 1:16:12 PM

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PENNYAN45 3/2/2011 10:44AM

    Way to GO!!!

Endorphins are the best!

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MSLZZY 3/2/2011 10:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/2/2011 9:04AM

    You totally amaze me. Hope you and the endorphines have a "blast" today.

Hugs, Sunny

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LEANJEAN6 3/2/2011 7:55AM

    Good for you girl!!! You are always training and it pays off in your Sparking---- Happy for you!

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BUGGYS 3/2/2011 7:42AM

    You should be so proud of yourself!!! Exercise always makes me feel better...it's just getting up and doing it is sometimes a problem for me...the only time I have to do it is early AM and it's between staying in bed or getting up...I am getting better and love how I feel afterwards!

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DAISY443 3/2/2011 4:56AM

    Nothing wrong with a little vanity! Keeps us enjoying looking in the mirror! Great work with the exercise!

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LJCANNON 3/2/2011 12:43AM

    emoticon emoticonCan you hear the Turtles cheering for you?!
emoticonI heard NO Vanity in this Blog. I did hear Pride in a Job Well Done, and you EARNED that, Sister!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/2/2011 12:24AM

    I don't know that it's a case of vanity but perhaps just plain pride. Either way, I'm glad you're feeling so good about it. It's wonderful to hear your good news. I'm really struggling right now with even starting to think about getting back on track with eating better and exercising. I know I should, but I just don't want to. You know -- "poor, poor, pitiful me" syndrome. The good thing (thanks for the reminder) is that I do remember how good it feels once I start eating better and moving more. I'll have to focus on that and see if I can get things turned around. Sooner rather than later.

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Geeks can pick ANY topic to be geeky over

Monday, February 28, 2011

You can take me away from my computers and such, you can make me more active, and feed me nutritious foods. But I'll always be a geek at heart. Numbers fascinate me.

Yesterday, I had a 6 mile walk planned, part of my training for the half marathon May 1st. I was doing it on the treadmill, the weather being what the weather is. I had my old episodes of Murder, She Wrote keyed up to keep me company (as opposed to MP3 tunes or basketball on TV, my other considered options). And I thought in terms of time, as I'm starting to do more and more. I have been doing about 90 minutes on my "long" walks, which at 4 miles and hour would be the requisite six miles. But since I crank the speed up a shade above that 4 mph, I usually finish the six and have time for a brief cool down in that 90.

The geek brain: My treadmill clock only has two digits in its "minutes". What would it do if I just added ten minutes to my workout? Would it switch to Hours:Minutes? Or would it reset to 00:00 and, most important, would I lose my miles and other statistics when it did?

I kept going to the 100 minute mark and found that it does reset to 00:00, but I don't lose my other statistics. It then becomes my job to remember the extra hundred minutes. Should not be a problem... nobody forgets having been on there for 100 minutes! emoticon And... the mileage for the day turned into seven miles, instead of the planned six, including the warm up and cool down parts. That's more than halfway to the half marathon distance.

Another goofy statistic that intrigued me this weekend was something I saw in "Angry Fat Girls" by Frances Kuffel. She quotes Pam Peeke, the author of "Body for Life", as saying "For every twenty-five pounds removed, it takes one year to mentally adjust. So be kind to yourself, okay?" Not having looked up the source, can't say that's an exact quote, but it jumped off the page at me. No WONDER I feel a little alien... I'm still adjusting.

Based on that statistic, I have a couple of years of adjustment yet to go to really feel this me (with my "tiny little body" to quote one consultant) is the genuine article. My Spark Friends, if you, like I, have lost or are in the process of losing a considerable sum of pounds... be kind to yourself while you adjust to it. And, if you have NOT lost as much, or have re-gained, give yourself a break.

Everyone, be kind to yourselves. Because we're worth it! The dignity of humanity rules, Geek or Not.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/2/2011 10:44AM

    Great advice! We geeks have to stick together! HUGS!

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LJCANNON 2/28/2011 11:54PM

    emoticonSo, in about 7 years this new Body should feel and look Natural?
emoticonIt looks like I'm gonna be here awhile!!

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BUGGYS 2/28/2011 2:49PM

    Great quote...I'm still thinking about that one!!!

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DEBRITA01 2/28/2011 2:16PM

    I'm sure it takes time to adjust and settle in with a major weight loss. You seem to be adjusting well. Whoa, 100 minutes on the treadmill?! I'm ready to jump off after 45...impressive!

You're right, geek or not, we deserve to be kind to and accepting of ourselves...

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REJ7777 2/28/2011 1:11PM

    Another "Murder She Wrote" fan! emoticon I love how Angela Lansbury plays the role of Jessica with such dignity. She's kind but clever, courageous and smart as a whip!

Well, that geeky brain of yours seems to be helping you to get those miles in and train for that half-marathon. emoticon

"For every twenty-five pounds removed, it takes one year to mentally adjust. So be kind to yourself, okay?" That's a very interesting quote. I'll have to think about it.

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TURTLETALK 2/28/2011 11:11AM

    Geeks rule!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/28/2011 11:05AM

    "For every twenty-five pounds removed, it takes one year to mentally adjust."

WOW -- I really needed to read this today. Not only the adjustment comment, but the whole "be kind to yourself" message.

Your blog is the first one I've read since being gone for a month. And you didn't disappoint me one bit! Thanks, Barb -- it's so good to be home and among fellow SparkFriends!

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MT-MOONCHASER 2/28/2011 10:36AM

    I like the message that it takes time to adjust to the 'new you'.

I think that all the people who are rushing into surgery for the 'skin thing' should also take this into consideration.

Have a good week.

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SUNNY332 2/28/2011 9:23AM

    I must be a geek. You know it takes one to know one! Have a Marvie Monday.

Sunny

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DAISY443 2/28/2011 8:21AM

    I am a true geek! When I walk on my step machine I mentally decide that I am 1/6 th of the way to goal, then 1/3, etc. etc. Comes of having been a bookkeeper for way too many years. When I go to the eye doctor, I memorize the letters and they have to change the charts. At least, I admit to it!

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HOT4FITNESS 2/28/2011 7:57AM

    And us geeks are going to finish this half strong!

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BEEBEE1936 2/28/2011 7:42AM

    well, I must not be a "geek".

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