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A Letter to the Bathroom Scale

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dear Mr. Scale:

It's time we had a little talk. Or rather, it's time I talk and you listen. For years now, you've ruled my life. It's been a long and unhealthy relationship. I let you control my emotions, my sense of value and worth, and my actions. When you "blessed" me with a reading of a 0.5 lb weight loss, I loved you and did a little happy dance and walked through the rest of the day literally feeling lighter and very proud of myself. I doubled my efforts to exercise and count calories. But when you would turn on me with a reading of 0.5 lb weight gain, I grew angry and frustrated and sometimes threw my hands up in defeat and said to hell with it; it's hopeless. But no more.

So, Mr. Scale, here's the way it's going to be from now on. Pay close attention:

I am the boss of you. You are an inanimate object. You do not have super powers. You cannot control my feelings. You cannot determine my value or worth. You cannot control my actions. You are not reliable. You are not to be trusted or depended upon. You are not very smart; in fact, you are outright dumb.

Sure, you can show whether I gained or lost some weight. But you don't know if I'm healthier, and that's what this game is all about. It's not about whether you go up or down. You can't see the gap between my waist and my jeans. You can't see the muscles beginning to show in my triceps. You don't know that the reason my jeans are too tight in the legs is because my muscles are bigger and stronger. You don't know the difference between gaining a half pound of muscle or a half pound of fat. You don't even know the difference between a few ounces of water or fat. You only know your numbers. And the numbers mean nothing without knowing me--and that is something you will never know.

So, sorry Mr. Scale, but our exclusive relationship is over. I made a pledge to my Spring 5% Challenge Team to celebrate non-scale victories. That means I'm no longer doing a happy dance when I lose some weight, and I'm no longer giving in when I gain some weight. You are just a number. I'm hanging out with a new crowd now. They're called the Non-scale Victory Gang and, man, are they are fun. I've never met a more positive group. They'll find reasons to celebrate. Don't believe me? Well, maybe this will convince you:

Passed up Whoopie Pies at the office
Increased weights for lunges and squats
Week 1 Ripped in 30 completed
12 pull ups (with a weight offset) on the pull up machine
Exercised early in the morning 3 days a week
Did not munch while preparing meals

Oh, yeah, baby! We are going to emoticon on!

I'll still stop by and visit once a week, but I'm calling the shots. Get used to it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMSMILEY88 4/17/2014 8:44AM

    I love this post! It might be my favorite ever, because it is just what I need to hear. I've definitely been giving the scale some kind of crazy power over my life & my feelings. I want to celebrate the non-scale victories. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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LIZ324_NYC 4/16/2014 9:48AM

    Awesome blog!! Love it!!

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JSURFACE3 4/13/2014 1:37PM

    I LOVE this letter to your scale. I think I'll have to have the conversation with mine. Thank you for sharing!

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CHEDDARSMAMMA 4/13/2014 11:45AM

    Now THAT is a great conversation to have with the scale!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MNCYCLIST 4/12/2014 9:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 4/12/2014 9:17PM

    Cheers to NSV's! Go YOU! Go US!

We're ALL SPARKIN'! :-)


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NEWCHINELO 4/12/2014 5:23PM

    Wow!what can I say . . . Thank you!

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56ROSE 4/12/2014 3:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon See you once a week!

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LYNNIERN 4/12/2014 11:12AM

    emoticon Love it!! emoticon

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EVIE4NOW 4/12/2014 9:00AM

  Wonderful blog and great accomplishments!

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AUNTRENEE 4/12/2014 8:45AM

    Love this entry. Amen to everything.

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Spring 5% Challenge

Monday, March 31, 2014

I hereby pledge to:

1. Workout for a minimum of 30 minutes 3 x a week before starting my day
2. Track my exercise and nutrition
3. Support team mates by reading and commenting on their blogs and participating in track talk
4. Focus on portion control (my weak spot)
5. Embrace and celebrate NSV (non-scale victories)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMSMILEY88 4/9/2014 1:03PM

    So, it's now April 9th... how are you doing on your pledges? emoticon I hope you are doing terrific!!

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DDOORN 4/2/2014 8:54AM

    Now that's what I call SPARKIN'! :-)


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LYNNIERN 3/31/2014 10:16PM


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BURGUNDYBABE 3/31/2014 12:57PM

    Portion control is a weak spot for me too. Good luck!

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The Scale Will Not Defeat Me

Friday, March 07, 2014

Tomorrow is weigh in day. The past couple of weeks I have been facing Saturday mornings with dread. Last week was especially bad--just one of those weeks when I had an overwhelming compulsion to eat, even when I wasn't hungry. It's frustrating when, in retrospect, you can't point to anything during the week that might have contributed to poor behavior. Stuff just happens; deal with it and move on.

And that's what I did this week--I moved on. I ate much less than previous weeks and was more consistent with exercise, averaging 51 minutes a day.

No matter what the scale says tomorrow, I'm satisfied with my efforts. I'm focused on the non-scale victories: fewer calories, more exercise, good runs, and heavier weights. I'm going to bed tonight with a great sense of well-being and contentment and scale be damned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWCHINELO 3/11/2014 3:16PM


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 3/8/2014 12:56AM


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MNABOY 3/7/2014 10:29PM

    Every day is a new opportunity

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DDOORN 3/7/2014 9:11PM

    Very smart to be so conscious of those NSVs!

You're definitely on the right track, regardless of the numbers!


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TRYINGTOLOSE64 3/7/2014 9:06PM

    Good luck at weigh in tomorrow!!

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First Backpacking Trip

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

This past weekend a friend and I took a 2-day backpacking trip on the West Rim of Pennsylvania's Grand Canyon http://pacanyon.com/ which overlooks the the Pine Creek Gorge. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pine_Creek_Gor
. Along the gorge is a rails-to-trails biking/hiking trail stretching along Pine Creek for about 60 miles. There are a few general stores, outfitters, and campgrounds along the trail. Lots of great fishing, kayaking, and canoeing, too.

At the advice of the outfitter, we started our hike at the Refuge Link Trail, leaving our car there for the outfitter to pick up and drop off at the Bradley Wales Picnic Area. This section of the trail was recommended because of the numerous scenic vistas. http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/cs/groups/publ
ic/documents/document/dcnr_002045.pdf This section of the trail has spectacular vistas.

These pictures don't do justice to the scenery.

This was our first hike with loaded backpacks, so we decided to hike a very conservative 8 miles over two days. The temperature was in the 60s which was perfect for some strenuous exercise. The trail, which meandered up and down, was not extreme and we found ourselves making much faster progress than planned. In fact, at the rate we were going, we could complete the 8 miles by dinner time.

We passed several groups of hikers and backpackers, all men. We thought it sad that we didn't see other like-minded adventurous women on the trail. The outfitter had told us there was a 100 percent chance of rain in the evening, but it arrived around 2:40 p.m. The rain was light, but heavy enough to begin dampening us and our backpacks. The last thing we needed was wet clothes and sleeping bags, so we stopped to put the rain jackets on and cover our backpacks. The rain didn't dampen our spirits at all, but we did have to find a camping spot quickly before it rained any harder. It is not fun to put up a tent in a downpour.

The campsite we had picked out was occupied when we arrived, which was a shame. It was a beautiful site right along a small stream in a valley. The two men who were there were in the midst of a 2-month backpacking trip. So we had to continue on, which was to our advantage. The next campground we came to was at a vista (pictures above). We set up camp in a light rain and crawled in our tents to read and wait out the rain. We wanted to eat dinner at the overlook. We were quite chilled, so we changed into dry clothes and laid out the damp gear to dry inside our tents. The rain eventually stopped and we had hot tea and chocolate and our dinner. I had cold cheese pizza and my friend had cheese and crackers and some fruit. We are not yet gourmet cooks in the great outdoors.

The rain began again so we went back to our respective tents to read some more. By 8 p.m. we turned off our lanterns and slid into our sleeping bags and listened to the rain fall. I woke several times throughout the night because I was still chilled. I had the urge to pull up the wool blanket, but then remembered I wasn't at home, so I burrowed deeper into my sleeping bag.

At 6:30 I woke and stepped out of the tent to go to the bathroom. Then I looked up and there was a beautiful full moon hanging just above our tents. Then I walked to the overlook and could see the sky just beginning to lighten. I ran back to the tent and woke my friend. She would have been disappointed if she didn't see the moon and the sunrise. We took our sleeping bags over to the bench at the overlook and watched the sun greet the day. Two crows were dipping and soaring on the currents as the air warmed. We made hot chocolate and watched the sky and the birds until 9 a.m. Then we began packing our gear to finish the hike. Watching the clouds turn from dark, to orange and rose and then bright white was the highlight of the weekend.

The trail veered away from the rim and we hiked about 3 miles in the woods. The gold leaves of the ash trees glowed when the sun shined through them. We did high-5s when we arrived at the car.

We immediately began talking about our next backpacking trip--maybe this spring and we'll hike the entire trail over 3 or 4 days. We think we'd like to offer to lead the hike and invite 3 or 4 other women who have never backpacked and introduce them to it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 4/7/2014 12:05PM

    I looked up your blogs to see about your bike trip. Wow that must have been so exciting!

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GOULDSGRANITE 10/31/2013 3:44PM

    I really admire your wildnerness spirit! Staying all night - WOW impressive to me. Why not? Thank you for the inspiration.

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BURGUNDYBABE 10/24/2013 5:55PM

    Wow, such beautiful pictures! This really makes me want to go hiking.

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DDOORN 10/24/2013 1:53PM

    SO pleased to hear more about your travels! I've already had high expectations of this location, but it sounds like you more than surpassed how wonderful I thought it might be along this way.

Although I'd thought of taking this as a cycling trip, you've got me wondering about the backpacking possibilities...hmmm...!

e your description of the sunrise, full moon...something so precious about those moments! Thank you so much for sharing!


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BILL60 10/24/2013 7:45AM

    What an adventure!! Hope you can continue your experience. The outdoors is so much fun.

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DOLLFACEDX 10/24/2013 12:24AM

    Beautiful....sounds like a great time....

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DIANEDOESSMILES 10/23/2013 11:40PM

    This is ssoooooooo. Cool! I m not able to hike any long ah but I had done so for years. If u ever get a chance to come to Maine I'm highly recommending a hike in Acardia national park. That was super coolio ! If so u NEed to stop at Thunder hole. That's a sight I will never ever forget. The way the water crashes up thu the rocks and how very very llould it I's. Believe me its a place u will wanna see again an again!

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SKIRNIR 10/23/2013 8:54PM

    I would love to do that for my first time. Wish my family liked to join my on my walks/hikes and wish I had the nerve to hike more places, but I think finding someone to show me around/the ropes and to have someone with me when I hike would be nice.

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GIANNA345 10/23/2013 3:48PM

    I'm a woman, and I've never camped. Does that qualify? It sounds wonderful.

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H9LIPPY 10/23/2013 3:33PM


Wish we had something like that around here. Makes me want to take a road trip though.

Good for you and your friend and hopefully you guys can find a few other fearless females welling to go on your next trip. Would be great fun.

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A Small Weekend Adventure

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Tomorrow I start a small, mostly solo, adventure--touring 3 state parks over 4 days on my bike. The weather should be perfect--mid-70s, partly sunny, with very cool nights--in the 40s. That means I'll be packing a bit more clothing than I wanted. Uggh--more weight. When every ounce counts, you'd be surprised how heavy an extra set of clothing can be. I wanted to go really, really light, but comfort comes before weight. No sense being on a miserable adventure. Average daily mileage: 40--unless I miss a turn somewhere and that could happen on country roads that don't have a road sign.

Friends will join me on one day--it will be nice to have some company.

The camp stove has been tested, the routes have been mapped, the packing list is complete, and DH is on standby. All that's left to do is pack and get on my way. And quell the butterflies in my stomach and the voice in my head that says terrible things to undermine my confidence. I may have to stealth camp one night and that's freaking me out a bit. I've prepared for it as best I can--did a reconnaissance to find a possible site and the pepper spray and a whistle/horn will be at the ready. Like most things I worry about, the odds are I won't have to stealth camp, and if I do, nothing will happen, except it will probably be a fitful night of sleep.

These small adventures are tools to build my confidence for cross-country cycling in 2015. My preference is to go solo for the most part--to be able to explore the country without being tied down to a strict route or time schedule. But right now, this is way out of my comfort zone, and Iím going to have to ease into it. Like all great accomplishments, it starts with one step at a time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERIRIDDELL 10/17/2013 6:01AM

    What a fabulous adventure ! I do hope you will tell us all about it!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 8/15/2013 10:20PM

    I wish you tailwinds and great campsites on your ride. I bet you will have a blast! No matter what happens, you will learn a lot from your ride. What a great thing to be doing.

I think even the hard times on a bicycle tour create great memories. Knowing that you made it through it will build a lot of confidence.

Have fun!!!

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DDOORN 8/15/2013 12:21PM

    All kinds of jealous! Kudos to living your dreams! It looks like you will be blessed by sunny clear days with no rain...which is my biggest fear when it comes to touring...I just can't bike in the rain without being pretty miserable...ugh!


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