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Does spending more time on this site actually alter habits?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Started the month a certain number of spark points away from the next level (5500 pts) and thought, I want get there. So I did. Meant reading a few more articles, taking a few more quizzes, not too much extra time, but a bit. And now I'm curious whether the extra time spent perusing the site, in general, does translate into better habits? I don't think that's the case for me. I mean, i've been peeking at SP 10 months now, and slight alterations in routines are already there, even if I can't claim them to be locked in habits. I', down about 2.5 lbs this month, if starting from the 189 lb baseline, but...even including the +7 lb month of May, I've lost an average of 2.5 lbs per month since I started.

I suspect that having hit that point number, I won't be taking the extra minute(s) to take a poll or do trivia the next month, and I suspect further that it really won't affect how I act in regards to what I do for my health. I suspect even further, though, that new roommates, and certain friends moving to town might have a deleterious effect on the scale numbers. I'll have to try guarding against that.

Would love to hear whether, in your own experience, spending more time poking around this site helps you lock in habits for your health.

And now, to hit post, and see what the Level 8 medal looks like.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OTTER1344 8/4/2012 8:48AM

    The trivia, polls, articles, etc. might not have immediate results, so therefore making them feel worthless. For me, I think they help with the long run 'mental' state, I have shorter slip ups because I'll log on and want to earn a few points so I'll read a silly article...which then changes my mental thinking and impacts my choices.

The biggest supports on SP for me has been the support from people like you and the tracking. emoticon Great question though. And yes, I was looking for an excuse to use a random emoticon. emoticon

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CHRIS3874 7/31/2012 9:25PM

    I can;t tell if that's the case or if its just I don't have the time or energy to eat after wards!!!! emoticon

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CATHOLICCORGI 7/31/2012 8:21PM

    LOL! It eventually has been sinking into my head... I'm SPARKWASHED! emoticon

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SHRINK_U 7/28/2012 9:15AM

    The support I give and receive from other spark friends has made the biggest difference for me to want to keep chugging along day after day. Also... when I do get on spark daily I am reminded to track my food and fitness so that motivates me to make better choices. I am not really sure if striving to get a certain amount of points to reach spark medals has changed my results or desires... hmm I will have to think about that :) Congratulations on your weight loss!

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MESAMA 7/28/2012 3:59AM

    HaHaHa! I have asked myself that a million times! I suspect that logging this site doesn't really change habits. I haven't lost much myself. However, I do think it helps a little with wanting to continue trying. The support and inspirational tidbits spread within this site really does make me want to keep going. I guess it also makes me a little more cognizant of the choices I make but doesn't necessarily stop me from making not so good of ones.
Those are my thoughts... :)
How do you like the look of the level 8 medal? lol

Comment edited on: 7/28/2012 4:01:09 AM

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Monday wasn't all that bad, I must say

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I began the week at the dentist's office, going in for a cleaning and emerging with a filling. First cavity since, as far as I can recall, the 80s. So I walked around half the day (4-5 hours, anyway) with half my jaw numb, thinking, hey, I could bite my tongue, and not even feel it...until later. You might say that was a less than auspicious start to the week, but it was at least amusing, if only for the fact that I kept wanting to check the mirror to make sure the left side of the face wasn't all swelled up. Other than hurting to chew when the anesthetic wore off (who knew the gums aren't fond of being poked with needles?), it really wasn't a problem, and getting the filling done saves me another trip back to the dentist.

Later on, I went to see The Dark Knight Rises, and I have to say, I enjoyed this film the most out of Nolan's trilogy of Batman movies. There were, shall we say (and this might be a spoiler, so skip the next couple of lines if that matters to you) Dickensian touches along the way that I noticed, and the allusions were confirmed at the end, in a moment that was at once thrilling and tragic. (Google further confirmed what I thought afterwards). While I don't go to the movies all that often, that doesn't diminish the fact that The Dark Knight Rises was the most I've been involved in a movie while watching it in a theater in years.

I probably should give "The Dark Knight" another shot, since I've only watched it once, and I was kind of rooting for the Joker to win. The lesson there, I suppose, being, "Don't watch 'ambiguously good versus apocalyptic evil' movies in the wake of a break up, as you might finding yourself cheering on the end of the world."

Ended the evening at the High Noon Saloon, to catch the band Skeletonwitch. Knew what I was getting with those guys, I've seen them play before, and they put on a decent show. The highlight of the evening, though, was the band Barn Burner, a stoner/thrashy Canadian outfit that just ripped up the stage. Local openers Romero also entertained with their sludgy stoner groove. All in all, a solid night of metal to bring an interesting Monday to a satisfying end.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ASHIKIME 7/24/2012 4:14PM

    I really must have missed something with that movie, I have to say I wasn't at all a fan of the new batman =( Very disappointing for me. I'll have to watch it again when it comes to redbox...

Sounds like the show was fun though! Gotta love live music =)

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THOMS1 7/24/2012 2:43PM

    emoticonGlad you had a good day! emoticon

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ANGIEJAY77 7/24/2012 9:50AM

    Sounds like you had a pretty good day, other than the dentist of course.

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Went for a walk...at 3 AM

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Not a huge walk, just a quick 10 minute jaunt, headed into the park a bit, listened to the frogs and other night time creatures sing their songs. It was dark, other than the brightly lit oasis in the middle, so the stars were shining, but I'd stepped out without my glasses, so many were hidden from my sight. I didn't really intend to go out there, either, stepping foot out of my apartment to throw away a couple bags of trash that were ready to go many hours ago, but just sat there mocking me until finally, I had to take them to the dumpster, or I might not have been able to sleep. And when I was at the dumpster, why, it seemed only natural that I venture out of door, and once I was out of doors, it seemed only natural that I not return immediately to my apartment. So I turned my step towards the park.

The temperature was perfect for the trip, mid-70s, the lightest of breezes caressing my limbs, the kind of weather you dream of when you dream of that perfect summer day. The creatures were out in fine force, the croaking of a few anchored by the deep bass burps of others, with the nighttime hum providing that soothing counterpoint. The darkness was comforting, but not absolute, and I could have gone deeper into the park, but the feeling that I was trespassing on the creatures' domain turned me away.

Returning to the lights of my apartment building, and then inside where I'd left three or four lights glowing, I'm a bit disappointed to find my utterly wide awake. It's been a while since I've slept a normal (11 pm - 7 AM?) schedule, though I often do take a full 8 hours. Having a dentist appointment at 8 AM on Monday might shock me back into that facade of normalcy, but then again, I've never had an issue falling asleep even as a dentist scrapes away at my canines and molars. Easier to check out than to listen to that scraping, I suppose.

But for now, creeping toward 4 AM, I'm horribly awake and ruing insomnia. Wait a second...I know what might cure that! I'll turn on the TV and watch the British Open! Golf on TV...someone should bottle it, and sell it beside melatonin as a sleep aid.

I'll let you know in an hour if it didn't work...or in 8 if it did!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARA_BOO 7/26/2012 1:22AM

    I do love your writing and your sense of humor.

I have taken some late night walks recently, because it's been so hot during the day. The creatures and their sounds do kind of let a person know they are being disturbed.

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LEFTHANDLUKE 7/22/2012 8:59PM

    awesome,great writing,and funny....bottle it ...lol emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/22/2012 12:05PM

    emoticon emoticon good job on walking during your insomnia. Hope you got some sleep after all! emoticon

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SEASONS__CHANGE 7/22/2012 11:38AM

    When the mood hits... get those feet moving.... Hope you get some good rest today

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EJRANVILLE 7/22/2012 10:29AM

    Golf or baseball. I love going to baseball games, but on TV it's a real sleep aid. Hope you got some rest.

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NCSUE0514 7/22/2012 5:13AM

    As a fellow insomniac, I feel your pain.
Benadryl is my friend.

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JIBBIE49 7/22/2012 4:57AM

    I've gone out to check on the cat at 3 am, but never to walk even though I think of our neighborhood as "safe". I just don't like the fact that people have guns and they might think I'm someone out to do bad even seeing me walk by their house. Lots of crazy people in the world. Glad you got back to your apartment safe.

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TAMPATINK67 7/22/2012 4:54AM

    emoticon - alas sleep eludes me tonight as well...

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Never did manage to scribble down relevant numbers at the start of this trip, other than that big scarlet numeral of the weight. Was thinking the other day that I was curious about the size of this and that portion of my anatomy, so when I found myself in target last night, I looked for a tape measure. The meager hardware section had a few, but those were all of the sort that I actually have (not that I can find it), the metalized, hard edged tape measure. Upon asking after a soft tape measure, I was directed to where sewing materials were, and I found one there (in pink, natch) for two bucks and change, half the price of the other ones I was looking at.

Putting these numbers out there for posterity's sake, in hope of revisiting them down the road, and scoffing at 'em.

43" - Belly relaxed (not sucked in, not expanded)
40.25" waist
41.5" at the hips
24" mid thigh, both sides, relaxed and standing
15.25" both calves, relaxed
12.5" left upper arm
13" right upper arm
7" both wrists
10" both forearms
8.5" both ankles

Hmm, what else can I measure?

15.5" at the neck
22" forehead...and now I'm curious if my head has expanded over the year.

I do carry most of my weight in the midsection, but the body shape is arguably more ectomorphic (if I'm applying the wikipedia definition correctly) than apple shaped, as the reason for the larger belly as compared to the hips is that my stomach extrudes further forward than my butt does to the rear.

I've taken a few pics here and there along the way, but haven't been able to bring myself to post them publicly. Not entirely sure why, I do tend to spew more on this blog than elsewise, and if there's a safe spot to do so, this would be it (you know, with appropriate privacy measures in place). But, nope, not yet. Maybe when I get to "after".

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHOLICCORGI 7/21/2012 9:34AM

    Hey! it's a start! I haven't a clue how to measure... I've got the tape, etc.
I'm almost to the place where I want to stop and just "Start over". The past nine months have been rough off and on, and I am still here. I've lost weight.
You may not think so, but you are a motivator for me. Thank you! Your persistance and the fact you keep going anyway has helped me keep going anyway.
May God bless!

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THOMS1 7/19/2012 9:02AM

    It's good to measure and keep track of it all. I wish you success. emoticon

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ANGIEJAY77 7/19/2012 7:22AM

    My measuring tape is pink too. :)
Although I haven't used it in a while.
Great job keeping track of measurements. You know you can do that also under the weight tracker. Might help if you ever forget which blog you put them into.

Hope you finally got some rest.

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one little victory

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The scale was kind this morning, showing a number not too far away from where I was at the end of April, when dreams of reaching the goal weight swirled betwixt the tendrils of thought roaming my brainspace. Didn't really help matters much by going to Quiznos for dinner, I'm sure, but once again I'm reminded of the importance of perspective, as the number, in and of itself, was just 2-3 lbs lighter than a number I was kvetching about just a week or two ago.

Looking into the mirror, I also tend to whine to myself about the face staring back at me. Perhaps it's the result of seeing it day after day after day, but I think it looks pretty much in line with my age, and certainly older than it looked ten years ago. But then I keep hearing from people that they totally wouldn't have guessed how old I was. So maybe there's a bit of "feeling old on purpose for the ego boost of hearing how not old I actually look to others" going on?

The most recent example of this occurred out on the frisbee field last week, where a teammate was bemoaning that another former teammate no longer played with out squad, as that made him the oldest Ass Clown (the team's name is No Talent Ass Clowns, as derived from Office Space's Michael Bolton bemoaning his musical namesake's fame making his life hell). I asked him how old he was, and with a chagrined look on his face, he admitted that he was 32, going on 33 (his birthday is this week, apparently). I gave him a look, and said that he wasn't even close to the oldest. Seeing a couple of quizzical glances, as I was one of only three new members of the team this summer, I told them I'd hit 37 in May, and was rewarded with a couple of astonished looks, and a couple of the women saying things along the line of, "I never would have guessed."

I promise, I don't set up conversations to get those reactions. But I do admit to thoroughly enjoying them when they come around.

And I still go home and see that verge of middle aged man in the mirror. Not sure why that is, when I get, like I said, quite a bit of feedback to the contrary.

Rush - "One Little Victory"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATHOLICCORGI 7/22/2012 10:21AM

    OK! ALL of you are young! I will be 57 in December!
The brain is young, the body, well, due to Rheumatoid Autoimmune Disease, it feels like 70 some days. But the spirit IS willing, so I guess I'll never grow up! LOL!
May you all live to a HEALTHY 100 years old!
emoticon emoticon

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KING_SLAYER 7/18/2012 11:10PM

    I think it's great when a person thinks you're younger than you are. I'm 42 and due to so many injuries I often feel like I'm 70. Plus I find no pleasure when I look at myself in the mirror, I tend to think I look hideous and do not consider myself to be attractive. But just last week I was talking to the soon to be 23 year old knockout that works the front counter at my gym and the subject of my younger brother came up. My brother works at this same gym and when I mentioned that I was almost 6.5 years older than my brother, this wonderful girl looked stunned and said "no way, I thought you were younger than him".

A big grin crept across my face and all I could do was just say nope, he's my baby brother. What's surprising is that he has always been sort of baby faced, looked younger than he actually is. Made this ugly old man's day, she did!

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ANGIEJAY77 7/18/2012 11:32AM

    Great blog post. I don't think you're old...I'm almost 35, so I'm catching up to you. However, I am still the third youngest person in the office lol.

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BOSS61 7/18/2012 5:35AM

    You all are babies. A couple of years ago I attended my 30th high school reunion, and was in the presence of a couple of hundred people I (purposefully and happily) had not seen for three decades. Here is what I saw:

1. The women were had physiques best described as bimodal. There were the preponderance of very fit ones, probably within 10% or 20% of their high school weight and more-or-less dressed to the nines. There was a sizable minority who were, well, sizable. Hair colors were every natural shade of the rainbow, with more than half some variation on that (to me ugly) frosted blonde thing. Back in the day, over 80% and possibly 90% were dark brunettes. Interesting that age does...

2. The men generally had outgrown their hair (lots of partial or complete balding) and their pants (average weight gain had to be every bit of 40 or 50 lbs). I had the most, and the darkest, hair in the room. As I once again approach my high school graduating weight (about 20 lbs to go), perhaps I'll go to the 35th (if they have one) or 40th after all. Just to show off. And if that is not high school, what is?

Of course, none of us could play ultimate frisbee worth a whit anymore. Oh, and many thanks for the blog idea!...

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