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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A lot of us make lists: to-do lists, wish lists, the infamous "bucket list", lists of resolutions, list of goals. I have this list of things I was putting off doing, "Until the kids move out and the dog dies."

On this list are things to fix around the house: carpets to replace. Furniture to re-upholster. Things that if I did them while the dog still lived here, they'd be ruined in a month or six anyway. So... now I'm sorting through my list, trying to decide which project to take on first. It's a time of limitless opportunity.

No pressure, take it easy, take it slow. But on the other hand, isn't that also how I got to where I am with fitness? One small step at a time!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/11/2011 6:36AM

    Positive attitude! HUGS!

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SUNNY332 3/10/2011 3:04PM

    I use to be a list maker but haven't been as good about it since I retired. I have noticed I don't seem to get as much done either so I am going back to making the lists.

Thanks for posting this - it was something I really needed to read.

Hugs, Sunny

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BUGGYS 3/10/2011 11:54AM

    I am forever making lists and just added to my master list to gut the master bathroom and start's not a big bathroom but need upgrading desperately. I also need to clean out the clutter. Lists keep me motivated to get things done!

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ROCKLAND2010 3/10/2011 8:31AM

    I am also a 'list' person. Just making the list gives me a sense of accomplishment.
Items on a list are goals. Good job with the list!


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DAISY443 3/10/2011 4:13AM

    I have that list, too! Along with my list to do today, my list of things I didn't do yesterday, my long term goals list, and on and on! Fortunately, the world doesn't come to an end if I don't get everything on my list done!

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REJ7777 3/10/2011 1:26AM

    I guess every major change brings it's own *list* of challenges and "to do's". emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/9/2011 11:09PM

    Lists are the best. They keep me organized and goal-directed. A little something I've been lacking lately. I may have to make a few lists of my own.

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HOT4FITNESS 3/9/2011 10:03PM

    Yes, one small step at a time. Sounds like the 10 mile walk is on that list of "to do's"

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Black eye

Monday, March 07, 2011

Well, purple, really. And not exactly the eye, at its side, and now over the lid on the left hand side. It looks in some ways like a bad job of applying purple eye shadow.

How did I acquire this little gem, you might well ask, and I expect the folks at work will ask!

In yesterday's entry about Diamond's final days, I mentioned she was looking for places to hide and getting stuck. One of the places she got stuck was between the couch and the treadmill. As I extricated her, I managed to forget where the arm on the treadmill was, and bashed the side of my head as I lifted her out. So, I'm walking around with this odd configuration of a bruise.

Thanks to all my spark friends who expressed their sympathy. Today I am at peace with knowing that she's no longer in pain. I walked two hours in the sunshine yesterday afternoon, and thought about the years when she was young and such a runner. In fact the vet mentioned that as we went through the process... she must have been quite the runner. Well she was. She ran like the wind. She loved nothing so much as running with her Golden running buddy, Suzu, when they were both six months old and Suzu's owner and I jogged the same park path. We would let the pups off leash and they exercised one another far more than jogging with a human would do for them.

One time when she was eleven or twelve and we were at the dog park (another leash-free environment) she tried to match strides with a six month old greyhound. Like a quarter horse and a thoroughbred colt, they were. She outpaced the young hound early on, but couldn't go the distance. Still, she was happy, and she was persistent. She was NOT going to give up, and kept inviting the pup to play.

These past couple of years, she has not been able to go as fast or as long, and I could not take the longer walks with her. But yesterday, she ran free beside me, in spirit. We're going to be OK.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/11/2011 6:36AM

    Hope your "shiner" is better. Take care! HUGS!

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LINDAJOYWK 3/9/2011 5:57PM

    I sat & cried at the poem your friend sent. ..Keep hanging in there. God Bless-Linda

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BUGGYS 3/8/2011 8:59AM

    Sorry about the eye and I am so glad you are now at peace with your am I! Someone sent me this poem that I'd like to share with you, Barb.

A Dog Owners Prayer

Have you a dog in Heaven, Lord?
And do you pat his head?
Does he sit up to beg each night
Before he goes to bed?
Does he look up with soulful eyes
When he sees your smiling face?
Does he wag his big, strong tail
When he wants to play and race?
Do you have a dog in Heaven, Lord?
Is there room for just one more?
My faithful dog died today,
He'll be waiting at your door.
Please take him into Heaven, Lord,
And keep him there for me.
Just feed him, pet him, love him, lord,
That's all he'll ask of thee.

Comment edited on: 3/8/2011 8:59:46 AM

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REJ7777 3/7/2011 5:35PM

    OUCH!!! Hope your *purple* eye gets better quickly.

As I was reading about Diamond's younger years, it made me think about how fleeting time is. We take so many things for granted, like being able to take long walks, hike, and run. And how precious the *ordinary* moments of life are. I'm so much more aware of it as I grow older.


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DEBRITA01 3/7/2011 5:13PM

    Glad you are at peace with your decision...sorry though, about the eye! emoticon

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CONCHA77 3/7/2011 2:57PM

    Sorry about your loss, Barb. I didn't realize you lost Diamond. She lived a great life and I am happy you have great memories which will last forever.

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TURTLETALK 3/7/2011 12:18PM

    I'm glad to hear that you are coping appropriately with the loss of your beloved pet.

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SMARTIEBEE 3/7/2011 11:46AM

    Barb, what great memories you have of your sweet dog. I know how you will miss her. But it is so good to know she is free!

Hugs to you!

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KATHRYNLP 3/7/2011 8:48AM

    Awwwhhh...too much oats I'd say.. LOL

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HOT4FITNESS 3/7/2011 8:30AM

    Just tell everyone that they should see the other guy! LOL. I am so sorry to hear about your dog.

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SUNNY332 3/7/2011 8:26AM

    I liked Jenn's idea. Wear your black eye with pride knowing you did your best for Diamond.

Hugs, Sunny

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FITFABJENN 3/7/2011 8:04AM

    You could apply some purple eyeshadow on the other eye so you have a matched pair.


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MOTTAMAMALOU 3/7/2011 7:39AM

    Your sweet dog is now..."OVER THE RAINBOW BRIDGE."
If you have a chance please read this poem. It's absolutely beautiful.

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DAISY443 3/7/2011 7:36AM

    emoticon emoticon

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HITCHLEY 3/7/2011 7:29AM

    I always thought that a treadmill was good for I know

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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.


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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.


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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 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


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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.


  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...


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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 ( 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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