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Letting go of numbers by embracing them?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I decided when I started this latest effort that the number on the scale did not matter, I was doing this for my health. The scale would do what the scale would do. Eventually, I found my "home" weight range, in the lower half of the 120's. This is a good 20 pounds less than my original thought of what my goal range would be... but it fits with the amount of food that satisfies me and my now fairly active lifestyle. I now weigh daily, see that it says 120-something, and call it good. When it bumps up a couple of pounds, I watch it more carefully for several days... and it comes back into line.

Now, with this latest clothing shopping trip, I am discovering I'm going to have to do the same with sizes. Let go of the numbers. I have my tape measure that says what my waist, hips, chest sizes are. That and a decent size chart should tell me what size to purchase. See if it fits the shoulders, if it's a top. See if I can bend and stretch and sit without it falling off or gaping if it's a bottom. Then call it good.

If it's in my closet and getting loose, let it go. If it fits nicely and I still don't like it, let it go. Embrace the outfits I like... and call it good. Keep "comfort" clothing even of a smaller size.

Accept that this is me, now, and that it's OK for me, Barb, to be small. I'm still me. I will not disappear. I will not melt. I will not overly restrict my eating to get "smaller", nor will I binge to get "bigger". I will live a normal life and have a healthy balanced relationship with both food and activity. Because I am worth it.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 3/25/2011 8:29PM

    Sounds like your head is in the right place, so the rest should follow. And yes, you ARE worth it!

I'm curious. Who are those people on your Sparkpage's background? (I'll know if you wrote it in your next blog, because I'm going there to read it right now.)

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KALIGIRL 3/22/2011 1:11PM

    Very cool - sounds like maintaining 'suits' you.
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SUNNY332 3/22/2011 10:35AM

    I want to get to the point where I let go of the numbers too. I am in this more for my health than weight loss but it is important too.

Your attitude is amazing so hope when I am to the point of "letting go" of the #'s, I can imbrace your attitude too.

Hugs, Sunny

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BUGGYS 3/22/2011 7:31AM

    You're doing great, Barb and will be able to maintain for the rest of your life! emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 3/22/2011 1:18AM

    emoticon emoticonThank you for showing the rest of s the way to maintain. When you spell it out it seems almost simple, but I don't know how long it would take me to figure this out.

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DEBRITA01 3/21/2011 10:30PM

    Way to embrace the new you! emoticon

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SUNNY1432 3/21/2011 10:02PM

    Great attitude!! Great Blog!! emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/21/2011 9:54PM

    Very positive attitude and it suits you! HUGS!

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Adjusting to my new size

Sunday, March 20, 2011

It's me again. Sometimes I think I must be like one of those small breed dogs who think they're as big as a Great Dane but aren't. Those pants I brought home yesterday were size 8. I didn't want to try them on because I was exercise sweaty. I was afraid they might be too small.

The ones I brought home today (I drove so I wouldn't be sweaty)? After trying them on and seeing that I can sit and bend and everything in them, I ended up bringing home size 4. That's just plain sick, and has to be partly size inflation. I haven't been a 4 since I was in grade school. Even then, it was a child's size 4.

I've always had this problem with accurately perceiving my own body size. When I was four years old, I thought I was the same size I was when I was two. When I was seven, figured I hadn't grown since kindergarten. I'm not terribly connected to my physical body as my identity.

I'm working on it... but it's just not simple for me. So. Now. The XS in athletic pants last year translates into a 4 in the big box brand of work slacks. Where does it go? Seriously, at my heaviest I was wearing 22's and I should have been upping them to 24's (they were cutting me so bad at the waist). Where does the missing body size go? I'm mystified. Not that I'm sorry it's gone... it's a whole lot more convenient to fit into normal sized spaces... but it amazes me that a body can change this much.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 3/22/2011 12:22PM

    You look Great too! emoticon Congrats to you!

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YOGATIME 3/21/2011 11:02AM

    That's amazing and inspiring!! Thanks for the reflection!

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LJCANNON 3/21/2011 10:48AM

    Adjusting to our new body size is a 'Problem' for all of us.
When I was in New York trying on clothes for the Rachael Ray thing, the Shopper asked us all for our sizes so that she could get some clothes together for us to try on. Every single one of us needed at least one size smaller than we told her emoticon
Even the shoe sizes were wrong!!

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SUNNY332 3/21/2011 9:54AM

    Wow - Way to go. I know the sizes can be confusing but I would be wearing those pants every where I went with the size tag hanging out....

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Huggers, Sunny

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BUGGYS 3/21/2011 9:04AM

    Sizes vary so much in stores and it is quite confusing to many of us but a size4??? WTG, girlfriend!!! I haven't been a size 4 size since preschool!:) You should be elated...I am for you!!! emoticon

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LINDAJOYWK 3/21/2011 7:12AM

    You are so my hero! But I get it! I used to be a 5-6(@ 5'9") I am now 5'8" & quite
a bit bigger-now I have trouble realizing just how big I actually am! When I was
a 10 I thought I was fat! We can get so mixed up in our heads!

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RONOSOF 3/21/2011 5:59AM

    I understand what you mean. It IS hard to get used to being a new size- smaller or bigger. In part, we don't know our size throughout life because it was never reflected back at us. As a child, full length mirrors are necessary, and adults who tell us that our legs are strong when ______ or you are the perfect size for you, are valuable. Without being taught, there is no way to know. So if, by the time, you can access mirrors and/or compare yourself to peers, you are a little bigger or your forearm is the widest, this body awareness is doomed. Hope this makes sense, and I keep looking in the X sizes only to remember I'm an L:)

My dream: emoticon

Peace,
Mary

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REJ7777 3/21/2011 5:49AM

    emoticon WOW| Size 4?!!! WOW! emoticon That is SMALL! emoticon

It really is amazing what our body can do, isn't it! As the Psalmist said, "I will praise thee, for I am fearfully, wonderfully made. Marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."

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SUNNY1432 3/20/2011 10:37PM

    emoticon emoticon Great work!! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 3/20/2011 8:38PM

    Women's sizes confuse me and I have a low tolerance for them. I think they are ridiculous to put out sizes like 0 -6. To me, those will always be baby sizes. They need to get some sanity back into their sizing, wish it could be regulated.
Since you are only using clothing size to mark your progress, I can only guess at how much weight and size you have truly lost. 22 to 4 sounds like an amazing amount! An fantastic accomplishment! XS is really, really tiny (that size I can get lol) I went from XXL to medium, 78 lbs lost.
I wish you all the best at maintaining and learning to love your petite size -can you fit children's clothing to get it tax free? I knew someone who was able to do that, was a break on prices.
Keep up the fabulous work and enjoy the new you in the first day of spring!!
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KALIGIRL 3/20/2011 8:18PM

    With as much as you're working out, I'm not surprised @ all.
Congrats on the 4. While I agree part is size deflation, I'll bet you haven't been this small since high school and I doubt you were in as great 'shape' as now.
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MSLZZY 3/20/2011 7:46PM

    Welcome to the world of clothes sizing. About the time you think you've gotten
it figured out, it changes. Woohoo on the size 4's! Awesome! Beside, you needed
some new clothes and this was a perfect excuse! HUGS!

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MOMOF2TONI 3/20/2011 7:39PM

    Congrats on that small size. I love this blog. You look fantastic!

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SAMI199 3/20/2011 7:18PM

    I know what you mean...when I was thin-I thought I was fat-then I got fat & thought I was thinner then I was-it's hard to get it right! Whatever the #-you look marvelous!!!!!

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777GRACE 3/20/2011 6:54PM

    I know exactly what you mean. I was dropping weight so fast I had clothes given to me. But my issue is now I can fit into a size 8 or 10 or 12. What's up with that? How do we really know what size we are if "they" can't agree on the label!! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 3/20/2011 5:22PM

    Taking clothes back because they're too big must be a nice problem to have...lol. I guess it takes awhile to adjust to your new body. You've worked so hard to get to where you are now...enjoy buying size 4's. Whenever I shop on the clearance rack, there are always tons of small sizes...so, you've got it made! emoticon

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FITFABJENN 3/20/2011 5:05PM

    And wearing that teeny-tiny size gives you so many more shopping options. It's nice to be able to shop somewhere other than Lane Bryant.

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TEMPEST272002 3/20/2011 5:04PM

    I know exactly what you mean. I've said to hubby that it's weird because I still feel like a 250lb woman & am constantly surprised at how small my body is now. I seem to spend a lot of time noticing things like how my elbows tuck into my body differently. Feeling like a stranger in my own body sometimes.
Another thing you said that I related to was not being connected to your body. I've recently realized the depths of how disconnected I was from my body & the long term consequences of that disconnection. I see reconnecting as a vital part of becoming healthy. I think at some point mind will catch up to body... but it hasn't quite yet.

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HOT4FITNESS 3/20/2011 4:59PM

    Congrats, that's amazing! Good job!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/20/2011 4:55PM

    WOW! Congrats on the teeny-tiny pants -- you must be thrilled! Where does all that extra weight go? I think I found some of it. LOL!

Seriously, though, body perception is an issue for me too. I look in the mirror and acknowledge that I'm overweight. And then one day someone sends me a photo that they took when I was there and it's like, "OMG I'm not THAT big." But the photos don't lie, do they? Be glad that you're on the other side of the problem. How much nicer is it to have to take clothes back because they're too big? Way to go, Barb.

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P0KERS0PH 3/20/2011 4:53PM

    Wow, amazing that you've lost so much weight.
It feels amazing to fit into smaller sizes and definitely takes some adjusting to, realising you're no longer that other person you once were.

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DAISY443 3/20/2011 4:44PM

    Congrats! What an amazing story of achievement!

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Saturday's What!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I wrote that defiant blog yesterday, "No Matter What" as my statement that at least THIS weekend, anything that happens is not going to get me down. My training program called for 5 miles on Saturday and 9 today. But, I had this restless spirit and a desire to go have a long walk in the brisk near-Spring breezes. And I did.

I wound my way to the bike path that heads Southeast through the suburbs, and walked 4.1 miles to a big box store, where I needed to pick up a couple of pair of slacks for work. I did so, and then walked on home.

One aspect of this walk was the freedom to hike across open fields to get from the trail to the store, and from the store back to the trail. Walking through stubble and grass is a totally different kind of workout from walking on sidewalk or trail. It has its own need for balance and strength. It reminded me again of my childhood, when I would walk to a mall that was about a mile or so from my parents' home. It, too, was surrounded by fields, and I would take the short cut across the fields. Who wouldn't?

And I thought about my grandmother. I blogged about her last Summer, but she didn't drive... walked everywhere or took the bus or a cab (on really special occasions).

And this morning, I tried on those pants... and they are too big and I'm going to have to take them back and exchange them for a smaller size. Sigh. Guess I still don't know how big or little my body is!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 3/20/2011 4:16PM

    I'd gladly exchange for a smaller pair-hugs!

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SUNNYWBL 3/20/2011 2:56PM

    Great!

Now you get to have another great walk today , too! Don't forget to rry them on this time. Even if they fit, sometimes the slacks are still not flattering! emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/20/2011 2:51PM

    I am really bad about not trying things on too. Take a walk back to the Big Box Store and exchange them.

Look at all that exercise.

Sunny

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KASEYCOFF 3/20/2011 1:31PM

    I know just what you mean about clothes. As you know, I've been cleaning out and sorting things - and among those are clothes I packed away a few years ago. Today I came across some things and the tags were mostly 'M' so I thought, nah, no way, not ready for them yet. Tried on a jacket and - by golly, it's almost big! Like you, I have no sense of 'self size.' Wonder if my head will ever catch up with the reality--?
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REJ7777 3/20/2011 12:53PM

    Isn't it great that you have to go back for a smaller size, and not a larger one! emoticon emoticon It does take awhile to adjust to our new size. Being obese was part of our very identity for so long! But, that's changing... slowly! emoticon

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FITFABJENN 3/20/2011 9:42AM

    The good news is you'll get to take that wonderful walk again.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/20/2011 9:35AM

    Way to go on the walk, and congratulations on an even smaller pants size!

I know what you mean about balance and strength in fields. I haven't walked a field for many, many years. But as a child, all the neighborhood kids would play baseball, tag, etc., in the field across the street. Only back then we didn't have to worry about balance . . . . LOL!

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CONCHA77 3/20/2011 9:30AM

    Sounds like another day on the trails for you! Have a wonderful day.

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DAISY443 3/20/2011 9:30AM

    Wonderful for pants too big and the chance to walk through the field again!

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SAMI199 3/20/2011 9:15AM

    Since we moved to the city I can walk everywhere!!! I love it-no stress from traffic-new things to see-people to watch-there
is such freedom & it's good for me,too.lol. walk to your heart's content & buy those smaller slacks!!!WHOO-HOO!!!!

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SAILSCALL 3/20/2011 9:03AM

    At least you'll get another good walk in today!

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No matter what

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Life is full of "stuff"... and a lot of it has tumbled into my world of late. But I'm not unique. Everybody's life has "stuff". We all have work stress (or sometimes out of work stress). Every one of us at some point or another will lose a loved one. Or a pet. No one is immune from having an accident or injury. I have yet to meet a human being who never embarrassed him or herself. We all have relationship issues from time to time, being human.

This is the basic, laid-back Barb attitude, the "helper" personality type. Cut everybody else some slack. But the risk of the helper personality type is putting the needs of everyone else ahead of yourself. Eventually that leads to an internal build-up of unmet needs... burnout or outburst is the likely outcome.

Or, in the case of the compulsive eater, not wanting to have the outburst... an eating binge. Weekends are my weakest time... no structure of work day to keep me on track. Rest days from my training plan are also weak times.

This weekend, this is not going to happen. If I have needs, I will talk about them (or write about them), I will not eat over them. I will not suppress them, or pretend I do not have them! I will cry if I need to. I will walk it off, if I need to. But I will live it. For me. I will reward myself. I will put my own oxygen mask on!

No matter what.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 3/20/2011 9:03AM

    A hard lesson learned!! For a Caregiver it is often the hardest thing we have to learn is to put on our own oxygen mask FIRST!! Thanks for reminding us how important it is to do just that!
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MSLZZY 3/20/2011 7:56AM

    Positive attitude! HUGS!

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GETN2GOAL 3/19/2011 10:24PM

    Great blog. It is so true and I can totally identify with it. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonfor sharing.

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SARANAM1 3/19/2011 8:58PM

    Go Barb Go! You're awesome, you know it? and I'm proud to know you. Every time I see a picture of a little less you I see a wonderful woman in the making.

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LEANJEAN6 3/19/2011 5:55PM

    You are so right --- Scream for help if you feel like indulging--Blogging helps too---- I hope you have a good weekend--Yu sure deserve it-Lynda

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BUGGYS 3/19/2011 5:09PM

    I can relate to weekends being tough...without the structure of the week, I find myself just grabbing food here and there. Lately, however, if I feel the urge to binge I get outside and take a walk and it has helped me tremendously. I am definitely a helper type but have learned to answer to ME first and then to others. Your blogs always hit home, Barb...thank you!

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FITFABJENN 3/19/2011 4:11PM

    Good for you! You deserve to put yourself first (at least some of the time) and take good care of yourself. Way to go!

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REJ7777 3/19/2011 11:45AM

    emoticon If we don't take care of ourselves, we won't be available for anyone else either. Putting on our own oxygen mask is vital! emoticon emoticon

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THIAGRAM 3/19/2011 11:24AM

  This sounds like what I should do every day! Thanks!

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Comment edited on: 3/19/2011 11:25:09 AM

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777GRACE 3/19/2011 11:06AM

    Impressive, I am proud of you, you are worth it.
And I think I have the same personality but I never heard it expressed that way.
Only you can take care of you!!! Me too!!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/19/2011 10:29AM

    Good for you, Barb! If we helper types don't take care of ourselves, the time will come when we won't be able to help others, either. I can relate to your statement about weekends not having the structure of your normal work day. That is exactly why I took a part-time job again -- to get some structure back in my life. I'll be struggling this weekend too, but perhaps because of your blog, I'll think what can I do instead of eating something I shouldn't. Wishing you a wonderfully successful weekend!

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CONCHA77 3/19/2011 10:28AM

    Yep, We are here for you. "Rant" if need be.

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MARIASCHOICE 3/19/2011 9:58AM

    emoticon

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SUNNY332 3/19/2011 9:54AM

    Hang in there. I will be around most of the weekend so know "I'v got your back".

Hugs, Sunny

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SAMI199 3/19/2011 9:52AM

    Thanks for the wise words & hang in there-seems to be plenty of "Stuff" going around hese days! Blah!!!!

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JHADZHIA 3/19/2011 9:20AM

    You can do this! Enjoy your 'me' weekend!

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ROCKLAND2010 3/19/2011 8:35AM

    Very motivating! Your words of encouragement to yourself will help all of us.

Thank you!

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HOT4FITNESS 3/19/2011 8:32AM

    emoticon No matter what!

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CHRYS13 3/19/2011 8:23AM

    Wonderful! And, I must say, "me, too"!! emoticon

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SULFABABY 3/19/2011 8:12AM

    You have great determination! No more excuses-- for you or for anyone else in your life. Best wishes to you. :)

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DAISY443 3/19/2011 8:11AM

    Good for you! Remember that's what Spark friends are for, to listen, to make suggestions (some better than others) and to care! Hugs!

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My generation is showing...

Friday, March 18, 2011

I have recently walked home from work. Once last Friday, once last night. It is 6.2 miles from the office to the house. This brought back memories of walking home from school. Remember when you were a kid? This applies to us over-50's mainly!

1. The family had one car. Dad took it to work, unless Mom needed it for something special, in which case he took the bus.

2. There were no school buses in our town, except for field trips. You got there by walking, and only got a ride if somebody's mom had the car for the day... even then only if it was really cold or wet outside!

3. We lived anywhere from six blocks to two miles from a given school, depending on whether we're talking elementary (six blocks), Junior High (mile and a half), or High School (2 miles).

4. We got where we needed to go by walking!

5. Our moms really believed that kids should play outside whenever possible.

Did we think about fitness or consciously exercise? Not unless you were going out for an athletic team. BUT... our lives made us fit! We were clocking two miles a day even in elementary school, because we walked home for lunch. In high school, until the driving kicked in... it was four miles a day.

Several thoughts occurred to me as I walked last night (besides enjoying my MP3 tunes)...

As a kid, the walk to and from school was just a chore. As I got older I started to appreciate more what I was walking past. First, I was walking past people's homes. Some have lovely gardens or plants, which give delight as the seasons change. The pride the owners have in their little places of refuge shows. I first started noticing this in my high school years.

This week, I chose to walk through some residential neighborhoods and across some parks as well as making use of our town's extensive hiker/biker trails. This is a great town for walking. I noticed that pride in ownership in the neighborhoods. I noticed kids out riding bikes or playing in yards. I noticed I was not alone in using human powered means of transportation... some people regularly bike to work.

My walk may be a little longer than others. It may take quite a bit of time, which I don't have every day. An hour and a half to walk home isn't practical for most people, but there are a lot of commuters in this country who have a drive nearly that long! When I walk, I am living in the now. I am seeing real life. I am a part of my community.

And it doesn't get a whole lot better than that.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 3/20/2011 7:27AM

    Your blog brought back memories of walking to school as a kid. I was fit and healthy even though I never thought of *exercise*. It was built into my life. I can't say I enjoyed or appreciated walking back then though. It isn't until the last few years that I've started enjoying looking around me and actually enjoying my walks in the city. I also discovered I loved hiking in nature. As we grow older and evolve, our tastes change too. I see the beauty in a child so much more now than I ever did when I was younger. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/20/2011 7:28:41 AM

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MNTWINSGAL 3/18/2011 11:41PM

    Yeah, Barb, you described my childhood to a T. Except that my mom never learned to drive, so my dad ALWAYS had the car and my mom and I took the bus if we were going shopping or something. I did walk to school, home for lunch, back to school, and back home every day. Once in a blue moon a parent would give us a ride. We all had a lunch box, and if it was below zero out we would bring our lunches and sit at our desksto eat, a special treat! The schools didn't even have lunchrooms until we got to the Junior High level. So each kid had only one lunchbox for their entire school career. Mine was Lassie....my best friend had the red Scottish plaid one. I still have my (antique) metal Lassie lunchbox on display above my kitchen cupboards. And how true about the school buses. Only for field trips!

Thanks for the trip down memory lane - and congrats on all the great walking you are getting in!

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TURTLETALK 3/18/2011 9:13PM

    I remember our big treat of the week was popcorn and homemade milkshakes while we watched "The Wonderful World of Disney" at grandma's house because she had a color tv.

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KAKIPOPUP 3/18/2011 4:58PM

    We walked all over and went on "bike hikes" - so much freedom in those days - even in the city -

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SUNNY332 3/18/2011 4:45PM

    Thanks for the "walk" down memory lane.

Hugs, Sunny



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BUGGYS 3/18/2011 2:23PM

    As a kid I remember walking to the "Popcorn Stand"...it was about 2 miles from my house and my three siblings and various neighborhood kids were give 10c each and we would walk there and get our penny candy and walk home...we were in heaven!!! It's too bad we can't even let our kids walk around the block by themselves anymore! :( I have been getting out more and more to do my walking...it's glorious!

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DEBRITA01 3/18/2011 2:10PM

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane....Happy Walking! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 3/18/2011 1:53PM

    You are SO a part of your community!
emoticonfor not only sharing your experience, but making our wonderful city come alive for others.
May you find other opportunities to emoticon soon.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/18/2011 10:08AM

    Oh, those were the days! Sometimes, progress isn't necessarily progress. I am looking forward to being able to walk again soon. Like you, when I'm walking, I'm living in the present -- observing and enjoying my surroundings. As always, another good blog!

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FITFABJENN 3/18/2011 10:01AM

    Yes, when I was young we walked or biked everywhere and were constantly outside. And there was not nearly as much childhood obesity either. Not a coincidence...

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NEEDTOBE145 3/18/2011 9:52AM

    Ahh yes, the good old days. I didn't walk to elementary school, but we had to walk to high school and no one though anything bad would happen to us! It was only a mile each way. Now, when I visit my Mom, I always walk to the high school and further! We hated having to walk to school but we weren't over weight either! One sad thing though, there were very little sports available to girls.

Also, my mom's famous words were, "Go outside and play!"

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CONCHA77 3/18/2011 8:55AM

    Yep, Those were the days. Great memories.
That's a long way for your walk, Barb. emoticon


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ROCKLAND2010 3/18/2011 8:11AM

    Thanks for sharing the memories. I love walking. Times have changed!

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SHARON2014 3/18/2011 8:04AM

    What a great way to get your exercise, reduce stress and reminisce! I walked about 6 blocks in elementary school through neighborhoods I would not drive through today! We moved to the 'burbs and I did have to take the bus. We played out at night, though -- kick the can, hide 'n seek, spin the bottle (whoops! emoticon) -- but you know what? In the summer I would get a book and head for a shadey spot and just read! But my weight gain really didn't start till I was married and then it came on slowly - and that's exactly how it's going off (as you well know)! You are an inspiration to me, keep up the healthy habits!! emoticon

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MSLZZY 3/18/2011 7:57AM

    Enjoy the nice weather and the surroundings-a good sign of spring! HUGS!





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CAROLCRC 3/18/2011 7:53AM

    And when we got a bit bigger we bicycled everywhere. Not uncommon to ride 3-5 miles to a friend's house when in late elementary or Jr High.

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ERIN4771 3/18/2011 7:45AM

    this reminded me of when i was in grade school and walked to piano lessons afterwards a few days a week....too funny! i also remember playing outside, riding my bike everywhere, and only coming in at night when it got too dark too see anything! thanks for putting a smile on my face! enjoy your walks!

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FCARMICH 3/18/2011 7:44AM

  okay

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DAISY443 3/18/2011 7:44AM

    Ahh, I remember it well. My walk was about 30 blocks and never thought much about it except when the temp was below freezing. Also, lots of bike riding! Good for you for taking the time to enjoy!

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