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Another month comes to an end...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

and, in my case, that means progress photos! I continue the series of "a year ago" and "today" on the main page.

I'm about 40 pages from the end of the book that wanted to keep my attention this morning and I'll be reading it on the treadmill in a bit.

Today's reverie has to do with rewards and treats. When does a treat cease to be a treat? In my case, it's when the treat is a daily expectation. I was thinking about this in relation to, of all things, a box of Girl Scout Cookies.

I purchased this box of cookies on Sunday. Just one. And my current favorite, the Caramel Delights... they have three things going for them: chocolate, caramel, and coconut! Two cookies make a 140 calorie serving. Surprisingly, I have had exactly four cookies since that time. This is so un-me! Well, un-old-me, anyway.

But if I am careful... and remain spiritually fit, and use them ONLY as a special treat after my treadmill session... they should last me a while. My goal and my resolution is to do exactly that. Savor them and make them last.

Hold me to it, OK? emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDI571 4/2/2011 10:46AM

    I like your statement of, When does a treat cease to be a treat. That is so true. Years ago when I did so good, I could buy a candy bar, cut it into 4 or 5 pieces and it would last awhile. Then I started eating the whole candy bar with the expectation of wanting another one. That statement is spot on.

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    Good for you, and congrats! It's life, not jail. Far better to learn enjoy treats sensibly within the controlled environment of SP than to try to deal with them after we're maintaining! emoticon

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FITFABJENN 3/31/2011 9:15PM

    Absolutely! Those cookies are hard to resist, so good going!

Have an awesome April!

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MSLZZY 3/31/2011 9:08PM

    I may just do that! Here's to success! HUGS!

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SAMI199 3/31/2011 8:27PM

    You are a strong lady-I like the definition a treat not being an expectation.

emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 3/31/2011 8:16PM

    I am all for "bribes" in moderation -- such as my bag of Lindt 85% cocoa dark chocolate squares, which I keep in my locker at the gym to reward me for working out!!

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FYRCOP 3/31/2011 7:44PM

    This much closer to summer!

Be careful of the cookies... the one's you described used to be my favorite!

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Food and me... a vision for the rest of my life

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I'm not going to lie to anyone: I love food. Food of all sorts. Well, almost all. There aren't many foods I dislike.

But in my lifetime, I have misused food. Had I not misused food, I would not have reached my lifetime high weights. What's sad about the misuse of food is that often, there is no joy in its consumption: when I stuff food in to push emotions down, I do not enjoy its flavor, its texture, its aroma. I simply self-medicate with calories attached.

I'm sure there are some who will scratch their heads over these statements. And there are others who will nod knowingly. Those of us who have been there recognize the truth about the misuse of foods.

In the proper use of food, it's not just fuel. Food is a blessing and a joy, and should be. It's one of the pleasures of life. I have a vision of my relationship with food... the relationship I desire to have for the rest of my life. That vision is: to eat mindfully, to savor each bite, to have nothing completely forbidden from my diet but to be very careful about when and how much! To be conscious of my choices, that is the goal.

I recognize there will continue to be times when I reach for food to self-medicate. My goal for those times is awareness: if I am conscious that this is what I'm doing, I can make the choice to do so, or not. And if I choose to indulge, I can recover more quickly, without self-blame.

I like to quip that in the past nearly two years, I've been eating less but enjoying it more. That is also a truth. My vision for my relationship with food for the rest of my life is one of honesty, balance and enjoyment.

Here's to the joy in life including the enjoyment of our meals and snacks! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 3/30/2011 5:30PM

    Great Insight ;) I will have to keep it in mind next time I shove my food down.

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ANDI571 3/30/2011 1:59PM

    I've always said, There is no bad food, just bad choices. I do understand completely with the over medicating of food. When I have done my best in my weight loss efforts, is when I don't see food as a dangerous evil thing. When I just allow myself to enjoy it within the realms of what food is suppose to be, is when I can eat with enjoyment, and not gain weight.

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KALIGIRL 3/30/2011 1:13PM

    Isn't it grand we can add enjoyment to our healthy journey?
You serve as an inspiration!

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DEBRITA01 3/30/2011 1:13PM

    Nodding knowingly, also...Having a balanced relationship with food is what we all strive for. I like your vision... emoticon

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REJ7777 3/30/2011 1:03PM

    What an insightful blog about our relationship to food! "I've been eating less but enjoying it more." That is becoming my experience too, most of the time. I'm eating more mindfully and enjoying the experience so much more. emoticon

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TURTLETALK 3/30/2011 11:59AM

    This blog spoke to me more than any other you have written. My friends/family often ask me what is different during this weight loss attempt as compared to any other. I think you hit it on the head. I have learned to eat less and enjoy it more. I no longer get satisfaction from mindless eating and I have learned to really enjoy a piece of fruit or a great salad. Thanks for the Eureka moment for me!

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/30/2011 10:16AM

    "I've been eating less but enjoying it more."

That's what it's all about. My sister brought out Godiva chocolates after dinner last night. I was quite satisfied with eating one very slowly, but did have a second. However, in the past I would have easily scarfed down 6 or more. It's all about enjoying the company and conversation with food coming in as a distant third.

"I've been eating less but enjoying it more." That's what I need to work on.

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ARTSY_CANDICE 3/30/2011 10:14AM

    Nodding knowingly... We will get to a healthier relationship with food if we just keep working it!! emoticon

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LJCANNON 3/30/2011 10:09AM

    emoticon emoticonI am definitely 'Nodding Knowingly'. But I am also encouraged that I have Spark Friends with me that will show me that my relationship with food CAN be a Healthy, Happy one. I have finally learned--through Sparkpeople & Spark Friends--that food is not the enemy

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MSLZZY 3/30/2011 9:53AM

    It seems the one comfort is life has always been food. You recognize it and now
know that comfort can be found elsewhere. HUGS!

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MJMONE 3/30/2011 9:25AM


just what I needed, our goal is not just losing weight, but finding that balance!

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SUNNY332 3/30/2011 9:02AM

    I feel it is not in the food that we eat, it is in the portions. I think everything is OK but in moderation.

Hang in there - keep making wise choices and enjoy an occasional treat.


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WATERMELLEN 3/30/2011 9:01AM

    "And there are others who will nod knowingly."

Yup, I'm one of those.

And I'm also a "lifer". But had some residual faint hope of parole for exemplary behaviour.

Not going to happen, you're telling me? Gotta serve the full sentence?

Oh, well. Oh, well, Oh, well.

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777GRACE 3/30/2011 8:26AM

    Bible states, "everything is permissible, not everything is beneficial" I agree and nod in agreement!!!!
Hooray for you!!!!

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HOLDONHOPE 3/30/2011 8:25AM

    Amen to that!

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PRETTYBLKGYRL 3/30/2011 8:20AM

    *nodding knowingly*

love your honesty

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FITFABJENN 3/30/2011 8:18AM

    I love what you said about eating less but enjoying it more. Sparkling truth...

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Me? A Runner? Never in a million years...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

At least that's what I used to say. I never in a million years thought I'd be a runner.

It was a chum at work with whom I walked around the campus on lunch breaks that got me started. Because his brother got HIM started. My first "official" event was in 1991, I think. It was part of a corporate challenge and they had to have a certain composition for the team to enter... mix of men & women, that kind of thing. My event that year was the predictive mile: no watches allowed. You estimate how long it will take you to cover that mile, and then whoever comes closest to their prediction wins.

As usually happens with such an event, adrenaline kicks in. Most of us finished faster than our predicted times. There's a side effect to that... it made us want to participate in events measured differently, and the next Spring, I found myself at the starting line of my first 5K. I had to drop back to a walk a couple of times in that one, but my work mates kept encouraging me... and over the course of the next couple of years, I became a regular entrant, striving for my personal best.

Life happens. Years passed, that fell away. I gained the weight back (several times) and lost it again (same number of times). I'd been a spectator of our local marathon, and every time I went out to cheer others on... this little part of me wanted to wear a bib again, to get an official time. I resolved that in 2010 I would run in an official 5K. That happened back on my 58th birthday.

But I still didn't get an official time (that one was a charity event, not a lot of measuring went on). Believe it or not, that's part of the mystique. Sometime this year... there is another 5K in my future... beyond the half marathon speed walk.

Me? A runner? Never in a million years. emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONCHA77 3/30/2011 2:35PM

    Keep on running! I would love to run too but my bladder gives me trouble when I do....Thinking about having that fixed soon.
Keep running, Barb. You are inspiring! Have a great day.

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DEBRITA01 3/29/2011 6:24PM

    Never say never, right? Good for you...enjoy your running! emoticon

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REJ7777 3/29/2011 5:30PM

    I think you're getting younger! I guess that's what getting fit and strong does to a person. emoticon

My own doctor told me, "I think you're getting younger." during a visit, after I'd lost over 50 lbs. And according to Dr. Oz's "Real Age", it could be true. I'm not a runner, but I am a walker and hiker. And who knows what the future holds, with the motivational friends I have on SP! emoticon

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MELISSAISAFOX 3/29/2011 1:59PM

    I never thought I could be a runner too. If you told me a year ago that I was a runner I would have laughed, but strange things happen when you put your mind to it!

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STIPER23 3/29/2011 1:43PM

    I never thought I would call myself a runner either.

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DRB13_1 3/29/2011 12:49PM

    I like the idea of estimating your time, then surpassing it!

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JHADZHIA 3/29/2011 12:41PM

    I like the idea of an alternate way of measuring. putting down how fast you think you will do a mile is a fantastic idea! Your blog points up how wonderful it is to have someone else pushing you to try and motivating you. Its awesome you are not giving up on running an official 5k. That half marathon speed walk will be a tremendous challenge! Seems to me you won't have to worry about putting the weight back on again. You are embracing the love of exercise!
Full speed ahead! You go girl!!

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CAREN_BLUEJEANS 3/29/2011 9:39AM

    Long may you run.
Long may you run.
Although these changes
have come
With your chrome heart shining
in the sun
Long may you run.

-Neil Young

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SUNNY332 3/29/2011 9:35AM

Woohoo - yes, you are definitely a runner.

Hugs, Sunny

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WATERMELLEN 3/29/2011 8:14AM

    Great blog: I love the fact that life remains full of surprises -- and we surprise ourselves most of all!!

Keeps things zesty!!

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DONNALYNN22 3/29/2011 8:11AM

    Absolutely fabulous blog! Loved it! I liked hearing how it all began and what sparked you to do it in the first place. I think if I lost a considerable amount of more weight and have the breast reduction, I'd give it a go...even tho' I've never run in my entire life...RUN? Who me? never. BUT never say never. You have no idea what is in store for you, do you?
THANKS for writing this down, I super enjoyed it!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITFABJENN 3/29/2011 8:11AM

    I've said the same thing but I think I am going to try to change that. Thanks for your inspiration.

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SAMI199 3/29/2011 7:57AM

    You rock!!!


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MSLZZY 3/29/2011 7:55AM

    You surprised yourself and are such a winner!

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MEANCARLEEN 3/29/2011 7:55AM


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Monday, March 28, 2011

I took yesterday as a rest day, completely. I even made it a point to eat extra calories to make up for the huge deficit the 10 mile gave me on Saturday, and watched movies and read a book, very little fitness, just a little walking to get the kinks out.

Today it was back to my normal work-day break walks, and this evening some strength training. I had gone about three weeks without a strength workout until last Friday. I noticed its absence... mainly in the number of push ups I could easily pump out. So, tonight, strength workout.

Tomorrow, back to the mileage on the treadmill!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BUGGYS 3/29/2011 10:28AM

    It's so easy to slack off but good for you for getting back in there and doing the strength exercises, Barb! You'll have no trouble maintaining!!!

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SUNNY332 3/29/2011 9:34AM

    Good for you. Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the great work.


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REJ7777 3/29/2011 7:25AM

    emoticon You're really in the groove! emoticon

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 3/28/2011 11:05PM

    I am in awe -- you truly inspire me, Barb. Good for you!

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MSLZZY 3/28/2011 11:02PM

    Good plan to rest one day and then get back to business-hugs!

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SWEETMAGNOLIA2 3/28/2011 10:09PM

    I need to get back to strength training. Am getting back into a regular routine of walking this week. Glad you got the much needed rest.

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SLENDERELLA61 3/28/2011 9:52PM

    Hey, I did strength training today, too, and felt unusually strong!! Sounds like your plan is working well. Good for you!! -Marsha

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WATERMELLEN 3/28/2011 9:44PM

    I had a good ST workout this morning also -- love the way it makes the muscles feel in my back and arms!!

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Encouragement and others on the journey

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Yesterday's ten mile race was a pure out and back route, on a limestone bike trail that leads out into some beautiful prairie countryside. It was cold, but the snow held off for the most part until about mile four. Even then, it didn't stick, and by the time we got all the way back, it was pretty light. Deanna and I discovered that we pushed one another along a little faster than we might have gone alone on a regular workout walk, and I was pleased to find I had a little kick left at the end... those workouts must be helping!

One of the most motivating things was as the runners (real runners) were heading back "home", having completed over half the race. We encountered the leaders somewhere around mile 3, I think. We shouted encouragements to one another... they would tell us we were doing a good job, or looking good, we would tell them they were looking strong, to keep at it. As we got closer to the turnaround, those comments became "You're almost there" or "You're halfway home".

This is such a great feeling... we're following the same path, some are ahead of others, but we all share the journey. And we all wish one another success!

How... Spark-like, don't you think? We, too, are all on sort of the same journey: to life-long healthy habits. Some of us are closer to it than others, but we all have moments when we need encouragement.

So, my fellow Sparklers... you're lookin' good. You're looking strong. You can do this!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 3/29/2011 7:23AM

    Why, thank you! You're looking pretty good yourself! emoticon

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DONNALYNN22 3/28/2011 11:02AM

    I am always amazed at folks that run...i never could do it, I am too busty and it hurts. Besides, it involved a lotta stamina. I have a problem walking to my mailbox!
I am just in awe of your journey and your spunk and effort!
Gosh, to be able to do THAT!
How wonderful and pride-instilling it must feel!!!!!!!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ARTSY_CANDICE 3/28/2011 9:56AM

    emoticon emoticon You guys sound like a great team!

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SUNNY332 3/28/2011 8:22AM

    Isn't that wonderful about the runners. Encouragement comes in all areas of our lives. My supervisor could have written the book on encouragement. No matter the problem, she could find something positive in it.

Have a GREAT week.


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LINDAJOYWK 3/28/2011 6:32AM

    emoticonfor you & your friend! As always,you are an inspiration!

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BOBF15 3/27/2011 4:01PM

    emoticon What a great observation, what an Aha moment. emoticon

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777GRACE 3/27/2011 2:42PM

    Wow you are so right. I did my first 5 k and e were doing that too!! No one seemed competative, we were all winners!! You are too!!!!!!

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JHADZHIA 3/27/2011 11:53AM

    How cool is that? I do envy people enjoying the camaraderie of races and friends.
Sounds like an interesting trail, so glad you didn't get cold from the weather!
Enjoy your Sunday of rest, you have earned it!
I do love that Spark attitude!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITFABJENN 3/27/2011 10:42AM

    Congratulations on your strong finish!

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LJCANNON 3/27/2011 9:09AM

    emoticon emoticonThat's what Friends are for!!

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MSLZZY 3/27/2011 8:55AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 3/27/2011 8:42AM

    What a great feeling you must of had. And such an inspiring story too. WTG Iron Woman! emoticon emoticon

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HOT4FITNESS 3/27/2011 8:28AM

    Awesome blog!!! And you did very well I am so proud of you and your finish, you stayed strong. We will keep pushing each other along for the next race ahead. I look forward to motivating each other in our training and half marathon time, we will be stronger than ever!!! The snow was beautiful and made the race even a fonder memory. See ya at the half!

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