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Living into the Season

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Yesterday I had lunch with a group of friends in my writing group. It was festive and fun. We know each other's stories and have shared a lot over several years now. Being together is a treat. As we were leaving a few of us were talking in the parking lot about writing goals for the new year. But then my friend, Kim, said, "I'm just living into this wonderful season right now and enjoying it. That's my only goal right now."

Hearing her say that was a gift. I breathed easier driving home remembering to enjoy the moment, the day, the season a little more without looking ahead so much.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JACKIEWALKS4FUN 12/21/2014 9:13AM

    Love it, thank you! emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 12/20/2014 5:05PM

  I'm trying to do the same thing, particularly as this season I am very much not going to get as much done as I normally would do. So I have decided that what gets done, gets done. What doesn't, doesn't, and it's not worth beating myself up about it. I will try to enjoy each moment anyway.

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BARCELONAME 12/20/2014 1:54PM

  Merry chritsmas

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CAROL494 12/20/2014 12:46PM

  emoticon Thanks for sharing!

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SUBMOM2 12/20/2014 12:24PM

    How wise. Thank you for sharing!!

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KNITSKI 12/20/2014 11:18AM

    Thanks for the reminder!

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HUGS2015 12/20/2014 11:10AM

    I enjoyed reading your blog. Each day is a gift--Carpe Diem! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CHERYLHURT 12/20/2014 10:58AM

  Well said!

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CHERYLHURT 12/20/2014 10:57AM

  Well said!

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CICELY360 12/20/2014 10:57AM

  Good blog.

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KLMEIRING 12/20/2014 10:23AM

    Thanks for sharing!

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BLUEJEAN99 12/20/2014 2:02AM

    emoticon nice!

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ROCKYCPA 12/19/2014 11:27PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 12/19/2014 10:29PM

  What a great reminder to LIVE IN THE PRESENT!!!!! We will never have that moment again so why not make it the best that it can be........... emoticon

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ICANDOTHIS7 12/19/2014 9:14PM

    Your friend is very wise. emoticon Merry Christmas

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100LBLIGHTER 12/19/2014 7:30PM

    emoticon

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2BDYNAMIC 12/19/2014 4:59PM

    Wow---How sweet and nice to write about it AND ........... emoticon on your Popular blog AND guess what? We are on the same column today of featured blogs!!! Yay for us!!! AND Merry Christmas!

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JSEATTLE 12/19/2014 3:24PM

  What a great and timely reminder. We get caught up in the motions and expectations of the season and forget what it's really all about.

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PHHHISC 12/19/2014 3:04PM

    emoticon

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WORKNPROGRESS49 12/19/2014 2:25PM

    emoticon emoticon for sharing!!

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WOOFERCOALBOY 12/19/2014 2:21PM

    emoticon

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NONNAOF2 12/19/2014 2:18PM

  I always than God each morning when I wake up, knowing that I will once again be able to cherish the day with my wonderful children! :-)

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REBESANCON 12/19/2014 2:09PM

    emoticon

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PATRICIA-CR 12/19/2014 2:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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1HOTFUDGEMAMA 12/19/2014 1:17PM

  Well said!

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BOB5148 12/19/2014 1:00PM

  emoticon

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DIANNEMT 12/19/2014 12:59PM

    My daughter will be home for only a short time--I hope to remember this and just enjoy each day without looking ahead to when she has to leave.

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-SHOREIDO- 12/19/2014 12:04PM

    Well said now go "live" it!! No regrets that way : )

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-SHOREIDO- 12/19/2014 12:04PM

    Well said now go "live" it!! No regrets that way : )

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DEADCENTER 12/19/2014 11:41AM

    And to you a very happy holiday season. Your friend is very wise and has excellent advice. The plate half-full should be achieved by all. If you can do this and stop and look around you'll be amazed at the beauty. Thank you

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SUSIEMT 12/19/2014 11:36AM

    Ahhhhh! Thank you! I needed that!

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MOMMY445 12/19/2014 11:31AM

    such great advice! have a wonderful day and enjoy the holidays!

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TIMEHASCOME56 12/19/2014 11:27AM

    emoticon

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JIBBIE49 12/19/2014 11:17AM

    emoticon Great to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail.

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SHOAPIE 12/19/2014 11:14AM

    emoticon emoticon

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PATTYKLAVER 12/19/2014 10:52AM

    It's good to be reminded to do that! I used to be good at it and need to work at doing it again. Thanks for reminding me.

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JSTETSER 12/19/2014 10:44AM

    Living and loving into Christmas!
It is the most wonderful time of the year, if we let it be!

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NEPTUNE1939 12/19/2014 10:04AM

    emoticon

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PEGGYO 12/19/2014 10:01AM

    so true thanks for sharing

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BOWKAY 12/19/2014 9:55AM

    emoticon
I was at the bank yesterday and saw a plaque ... Bloom where God plants you. I like that too.

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JUNETTA2002 12/19/2014 9:44AM

    emoticon emoticon

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IDICEM 12/19/2014 9:41AM

  Nice

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BOHEMIANCAT 12/19/2014 9:27AM

    What a nice positive friend to have!

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HARROWJET 12/19/2014 8:37AM

    emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 12/19/2014 8:28AM

    Beautiful!

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HMBROWN1 12/19/2014 8:18AM

    Merry Christmas!

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STEVIEBEE569 12/19/2014 8:03AM

    emoticon

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SUEARNOLD1 12/19/2014 7:47AM

    I liked this.

Thanks for sharing!

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SANDICANE 12/19/2014 7:27AM

    FABULOUS idea! I bought 2 ceramic containers yesterday which are white with the words Eat, Drink and Be Merry in red on the outside. I'm going to follow that advice....they don't say over eat, overdrink and be overly merry...temperance is the key to "normal" days full of wonder!

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ONEKIDSMOM 12/19/2014 7:02AM

    emoticon

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Setting My Mood by the Number(s)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

At check-in with Spark every morning I score my mood on my start page. It the past I’d consider how I was feeling right then—usually at 5:30 am--and give myself a score. Typically I’d pick a score between 7 and 8. For me that meant I was feeling fine, generally upbeat, but nothing special. After all, the day was just getting underway.



But these mood ratings felt repetitive and meaningless until one day I asked myself: What would it take, Toni, to give yourself a higher mood score? What would a 9, or even a 10-mood day look like?

I decided to save my 10’s for days that were going great, but with something extraordinary happening as well. I thought that score best for off-the-chart days when grandchildren are born, someone I love got a promotion, or met a big goal. I had a “10” day just last week when my son turned in his senior thesis to finish his BA degree. And meeting my goal weight for the first time was certainly a 10-day.



But then, SHAZAM, I had an idea. What if I used the mood score to rate the kind of mood day I wanted to MAKE HAPPEN? What if I made the score an INTENTION instead of just a momentary mood reading?

I decided to ask myself: What kind of a mood rating am I going after today?

For me that shift changes everything. Now, most days I set my score at 9. Then I ask, “What can I do to make it a “9” day today? What are the things I want to make happen to be in a 9 mood?” Usually that ends with several “notes to self” to make sure I get in my exercise, eat healthy and accomplish other things I am passionate about in life.



Changing my mood rating from how am I feeling right now to where I intend to go has changed my days for the better.

I notice that sometimes a perfectly fine “9” day turns hard or sad because of things out of my control. Bad news can throw me, as can an illness or the other countless things that can go wrong in life. But I have come to believe that while life is not all up to me, I still owe it to myself to face what life throws at me in the best mood I can muster.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KLMEIRING 12/20/2014 10:25AM

    I love this idea! Thanks for sharing.

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KANSASROSE67 12/15/2014 1:42PM

    What a great idea!

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EDLEAR 12/15/2014 2:06AM

    What a brilliant perspective! I can do this starting today. emoticon

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TUDAFD 12/14/2014 10:06PM

    What a great idea. I'm going to try this. I wish you a week with many nines and an occasional 10. :)

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DALID414 12/14/2014 7:31PM

    I rate my mood at the end of the day and go back to the highs and lows to get the average number for the day.

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BOHEMIANCAT 12/14/2014 6:46PM

    emoticon

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GORIANA 12/14/2014 5:47PM

    emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 12/14/2014 4:51PM

    I love this Toni! My mood lately could really use a boost. This is definitely the way to go.

Thank you for a wonderful tip!

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JANTHEBLONDE 12/14/2014 3:29PM

    That is a fabulous idea! I'm going to start setting my mood regulator to a 10 every day.. because that's where I want to be! Thanks for sharing you're wonderful idea! I hope you have a great day!
Hugs and love,
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SPEEDY143 12/14/2014 2:23PM

    emoticon love your progressive attitude about moods. I went through a similar experience with the mood chart. Would record at the end of the day instead of guessing what kind of day I was going to have by choosing a number in the morning... then decided that attitude really does have everything to do with it and I give myself a 10 most mornings because I've decided that I am going to have the best day I possibly can every day emoticon emoticon

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GRAMMYX7 12/14/2014 10:37AM

    What a neat idea.

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NELLJONES 12/14/2014 8:09AM

    I'd have to give myself a Mood Number every few minutes based on what's going on. I can feel great one minute (the vacuuming is DONE!), then unhappy the next (the cats knocked their food and water bowls all over). Then happy again (one of the kids called me). It's all fleeting in the moment though it doesn't feel like it at the moment it's happening. The financial world has boom-bust cycles over decades. My mood has boom-bust cycles a hundred times a day. I cannot allow my mood to dictate my Food Plan.

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There Will Probably Be Another Meal

Thursday, November 20, 2014

When I am eating something the I really enjoy I try to remind myself that this is probably not my last meal of "it." I will have another opportunity at some point to eat and enjoy it or something equally as enjoyable. In other words I eat a reasonable portion, telling myself I don't need to stuff myself now because I can have more later.



At holiday time this is really helpful. There are so many traditional foods around that have become part of our holiday. For example, I love turkey stuffing and tend to make it only at Thanksgiving time. But still I remind myself that if I really want stuffing again, I can make it anytime. Somehow that helps me with portion control.

Over 10 years ago my husband took a nutrition course after he had heart surgery. (And yes, he is healthy and fine right now.) At one point he raised his hand and asked the teacher: Does this mean I can never have another croissant? (He said this with a grief stricken face--LOL) The nutritionist replied, "Not at all. It means you can have one croissant a year."

Deprivation doesn't work, but knowing we're allowed, in moderation does. At least for me. And my DH!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BA5454 11/24/2014 10:24AM

    This is a good mantra to keep in mind =, especially for the holidays--thanks very much!

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SUNNYBEACHGIRL 11/23/2014 8:52AM

    Good reminder about the holiday foods.

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BESSHAILE 11/22/2014 4:50AM

    LOL - I love the picture you painted of your husband looking into a croissant-less future.

But you are also so very right about the truth of there always being another meal. We don't have to eat as if we were walking into a famine the day after thanksgiving.

Yours is the first blog that has really pulled my own thoughts into focus. Thank you.

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GRAMMYX7 11/21/2014 7:44PM

    I truly believe there is nothing I can't eat during this healthy journey. It comes down to moderation. With moderation you never need to feel deprived.
Great blog. Happy Thanksgiving.
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Marge

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TUDAFD 11/20/2014 11:08PM

    Just what I needed to hear at this time of year. Love your background, too. Beautiful.

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KANSASROSE67 11/20/2014 10:53PM

    You are so right! This is something I need to remember...it works for me, too.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving.

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MM11113 11/20/2014 10:39PM

    love the concept. and, I need to remember it when at parties and there is so much to taste that I don't have in my house! There will always be another carry in!

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SANDICANE 11/20/2014 9:24PM

    Hear hear to moderation!!! And lots of it!!! lol

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JANTHEBLONDE 11/20/2014 6:21PM

    I absolutely Love your blog! That is so true that if you really want stuffing again, you can make it anytime! Portion control during the holidays is the key! Thanks so much for sharing this wonderful blog! Hope you're having a great day!
How do you love,
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PATTI_PAL1 11/20/2014 6:07PM

    Good philosophy the rest of the year, too.

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KANOE10 11/20/2014 11:14AM

    That is a good comment. I also love stuffing and usually only make it at Thanksgiving. No it is not our last and only meal. There is no need to stuff yourself. Moderation is the key. Well said.

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DALID414 11/20/2014 9:43AM

    Me too!

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NELLJONES 11/20/2014 8:15AM

    One of the things about being The Cook is that you can make anything you want whenever you want to make it.

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OLIVIANIGHT 11/20/2014 7:15AM

    That's a good strategy! I'm going to try that next time I eat my favourite foods.

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ELRIDDICK 11/20/2014 6:58AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Looking for an Apology?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

I have been taking an on line class that poses powerful questions, life changing questions, every other day or so. Yesterday this one came up:



I realized that I was still upset about a friend who betrayed me many years ago. I don't think she understood how deeply she hurt me. But when I worked with yesterday's question I realized that what I really needed was to recognize for myself that she really did hurt me. That I felt alone and upset by it. And that I can just accept that and move on. Her apology would not change that. I needed to understand (and feel) how deeply she hurt me!

It's like saying OUCH when injured. After that healing can take place. Feeling lighter today.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHEILA1505 11/23/2014 2:42AM

    Thank you - I've allowed a couple of things to block me. I know it is time to move on, and perhaps this will let it flow

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BESSHAILE 11/22/2014 4:55AM

    OMG this is the most amazing post!! And I'm so glad you feel better. And I completely know exactly what you are talking about. There was a deep betrayal in my past and one day I realized that there would be no apology for it and I let it go - it was almost as if something fluttered out of my heart and off into the distance.

and can you imagine my drop-your-jaw shock when, a few months later that person was dining with me and she looked up and said "How could I have ever done that?"

We weren't even talking about it -we were just chatting. I nearly fell out of my chair. And I am glad if that helped her own heart heal but ... I hadn't needed that apology at all.

So just be prepared - sometime out of the blue you might just get that apology for real.

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BOHEMIANCAT 11/19/2014 9:36AM

    emoticon

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SANDICANE 11/18/2014 8:59PM

    I really like your blog and I like that saying "Life becomes easier when you learn to accept an apology you never got." It's a bit different from the Oh Well, I've been trying to use lately...I think your saying is more healing.

As a matter of fact, your saying might be life-changing!

Thanks for posting it.

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MM11113 11/18/2014 5:09PM

    good idea to explore

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KELLIEBEAN 11/18/2014 4:52PM

    Wow, never thought about it like that, that the apology doesn't fix the hurt. We have to say ouch to begin healing.

thanks for sharing this!

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JANTHEBLONDE 11/18/2014 4:27PM

    This class you're taking online... sounds absolutely wonderful! The key in my life is learning to"Accept" everything! Thanks for sharing your class! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love,
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PATTI_PAL1 11/18/2014 2:47PM

    That's a tough one. Glad you were able to get through to resolution. We always carry baggage like this way too long.

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GORIANA 11/18/2014 11:30AM

    emoticon

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DALID414 11/18/2014 10:12AM

    yeah, the apology won't change the hurt.

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KANOE10 11/18/2014 7:01AM

    That was a great insight. There are times when we will not ever get the apology we deserved. There is no choice but to accept that and move on. I am glad you came to peace with that episode in your life. This is healing.

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RANAF222 11/18/2014 6:59AM

    Good for you! We are the only ones responsible for our happiness!

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Putting My Stamp on Today

Thursday, November 06, 2014

I drove to the gym this morning at 5:45. It was dark and raining. I felt intrepid as I drove down a suburban street on my way to the fitness center even though I was sipping French Roast and listening to music. Then I saw a man in reflective clothing running outside on the sidewalk. Now I mentioned that it was raining; but actually it was pouring. That runner, I decided, was really INTREPID.

Still, in some ways that runner and I were both doing the same thing. We were both up early putting our stamp on the day.



I don’t know about you, but I never ever regret a workout. When I do one—even a hard one--I always feel more in charge, and frankly, happier. I think it’s because I’ve claimed a piece of the day and made it my own.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANNEMT 12/19/2014 1:00PM

    I agree with this--thanks for putting it into words.

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BESSHAILE 11/8/2014 7:07AM

    I never regret one either. In fact - on the rare occasions when I start to talk myself out of one ... I know that's the day I MUST get a workout and ... once started, I'm always glad.

Yay for the both of you!

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GORIANA 11/7/2014 11:16AM

    True! emoticon

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MM11113 11/6/2014 10:15PM

    I waited all day for this infernal rain to stop so I could walk. Had to go out in rain, and guess what, I didn't melt!

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TUDAFD 11/6/2014 8:12PM

    emoticon

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KANSASROSE67 11/6/2014 5:26PM

    Good blog! I agree 100%...I have NEVER regretted a workout I've done, no matter how much I didn't want to do it.

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PEGGY11 11/6/2014 12:53PM

    I find when I exercise I don't binge the rest of the day. Otherwise it is non stop pigging out.

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DALID414 11/6/2014 12:43PM

    Thanks for the emoticon I needed it today

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JANTHEBLONDE 11/6/2014 11:39AM

    What an awesome blog! I am so proud of you going to the gym first thing in the morning when it's pouring down rain! You put the sparks in Sparks! You are what sparks is all about!
I hope your day is full of lots of love, peace and happiness! Have a great day! xoxo
Hugs and love,
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PATTI_PAL1 11/6/2014 10:26AM

    Well said!!! Now to put my "completed" stamp on my day...

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SANDICANE 11/6/2014 9:11AM

    Lovely, yes an early morning self-victory is always a wonderful way to start the day!

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DAVISM6 11/6/2014 8:48AM

    GREAT JOB! Reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite movies, Empire Records... "I don't regret the things I've done, but those I did not do!"

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KANOE10 11/6/2014 8:28AM

    I like that comment of claiming a piece of the day and making it my own. Nice. I feel better after exercise also.

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KELLIEBEAN 11/6/2014 8:15AM

    Amen! An awesome start to your day!

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