AKELAZ   69,386
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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Over the past months, with my elder son’s help – I have cleared our loft and my ‘office’ at home – sent more junk and papers than I thought were possible for recycling – cleared a zillion items of clothing out of the bedroom (OH is a terrible hoarder of sweaters and shoes) either to charities or to the textile bin at our local tip. Tedious but great for calorie burning.
Thank goodness we did it all because a month or so ago it became obvious that the plaster had perished on one of the bedroom ceilings in our top-floor flat in a 150-year old building. SO – we got the builders in and it transpired that the entire ceiling had to come down – including the lathes – so that the room was exposed right up to the apex of the roof. The amount of 150 year-old dust and black soot that came down from the loft was horrendous on top of the crumbled plaster and dust. I love renovating houses and have done a lot of it, but have never been involved in anything approaching such dirt and chaos. It has been very hard work – clearing stuff out of the (very large) bedroom and finding other places to keep it – all of which would have been far, far worse if it hadn’t been for the previous decluttering.

Then there was the cleaning up after the works were finished – AND keeping it clean (the dust was re-settling for over a week or more, albeit in smaller quantities). I must have been washing my hands fifty times a day at one point. Re-decorating followed plus what I call ‘prettying-up’. But it’s all done now which is a huge relief and has finally brought a sense of achievement with it. emoticon emoticon
So I am happy to have the time now to get back on to Spark after weeks of absence - little contact with Sparkfriends, no tracking of food and exercise and consequently very little focus. Focus on weight loss has always been one of my greatest problems. When I’m totally devoted to it things generally go well but then I either become bored or life-stuff diverts me and I slither. Not very realistic and I am aware of that.
However – it seems that the Spark habits have held fast this time so today, when I got on the scale for the first time in about six weeks, I found that four more pounds are gone. I know some of this is constant physical work day after day but to me it is also a PHEW! A moment of relief that I have not piled on pounds from paying too little attention to my food consumption. It’s also a moment of victory showing me that maybe – just maybe – all the years of discipline establishing new habits here on Spark have finally borne fruit and I really have got a handle on how to live a healthier life.
My fingers and toes are crossed emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARTY728 5/7/2013 10:44AM

    Great going! emoticon

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TRENTDREAMER 5/1/2013 1:57PM

    "Re-decorating followed plus what I call ‘prettying-up’. But it’s all done now which is a huge relief and has finally brought a sense of achievement with it."
* Congratulations!

"So I am happy to have the time now to get back on to Spark after weeks of absence - little contact with Sparkfriends, no tracking of food and exercise and consequently very little focus. "
* Welcome back!

"However – it seems that the Spark habits have held fast this time so today, when I got on the scale for the first time in about six weeks, I found that four more pounds are gone. "
* w00t!!11

" I know some of this is constant physical work day after day but to me it is also a PHEW!"
* Totally know the feeling.

"It’s also a moment of victory showing me that maybe – just maybe – all the years of discipline establishing new habits here on Spark have finally borne fruit and I really have got a handle on how to live a healthier life. "
* I hope so. Know that with the decrease in activity, some of it may come back if you don't replace the activity.

Again, welcome back!

emoticon emoticon

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CATLADY52 4/30/2013 6:58PM

    A big cheer for you! emoticon
Now the question is can you keep it up? emoticon I say you can. It is simple. emoticon

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RAINBOWFALLS 4/30/2013 9:51AM

    Phew is right! That is a lot of work, and congrats on losing while away from Spark!

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PINKANGEL73 4/30/2013 8:46AM

    Absolutely brilliant! So pleased for you emoticon

All that hard work still counts as keeping up with your exercise and some of those healthy eating habits are obviously becoming second nature too. Win-win all round.

Well done on the clearing out too - an ongoing problem of mine because a) I'm not very housewifey emoticon b) I hate waste of anything still useable or fixable and c) I'm too sentimental about things which I know is silly because your memories are always with you. I'm trying to do it a little bit at a time. Perhaps I should go for a big push! It might help me lose some weight too emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 4/30/2013 5:11AM

    Hey! You're back and posting emoticon emoticon
Congrats on losing 4! emoticon Yep all that hard grafting would certainly have helped.
Life has a habit of getting in the way on focusing on ourselves; family issues, house maintenance issues, health issues, but if we care enough we return to taking care of US and at least eating properly and that is so true of you.
Welcome back, we must catch up properly soon- although there isn't much more to tell as I've seen you've been visiting my blogs- my ever faithful friend.
Suffice to say DH is trying my patience daily (God help us when we move..I'll have to take charge! emoticon LIB LIB)

Have a good one emoticon emoticon

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Progress - hoorah!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

As I’ve mentioned I only weigh once a month and this month I haven’t been entirely well – nothing serious, just some kind of low grade bug. No energy and far far too much sleeping. However I have nonetheless managed to drop 6 pounds which is something good achieved despite my long list of ‘should-have dones’. Hope to keep up the adherence to better habits which I am still clinging on to by my finger tips. None of it is easy for me – or anyone I guess – but I’d really like not waste the efforts I’ve made this time. Each time I slip it gets harder and harder to start again.
Once I get over this temporary illness I’ll get back to some more serious exercise – been very half hearted lately but am not letting it worry me. I just need to feel completely better first

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEACHWALKER 3/26/2013 4:18PM

    Changing to a healthy lifestyle takes time and it is not just a diet. I like that so much better, because it was too restrictive! I think SP made it more enjoyable and easier to count calories and stick with it. We all have bad days, but like you it is always good to stick with it and never give up! emoticon on the 6#!!
Hope you are feeling good now and ready to really emoticon it into gear!

Thanks for stopping by my blog-very nice comment...meant a lot to me! Keep sparking! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/26/2013 4:19:23 PM

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PINKANGEL73 3/15/2013 12:35PM

    Well done hun, in spite of feeling below par. emoticon

I have to agree with Lynnwilk2 - what's with the slipping up and starting over business? You are not on a short term diet - this is healthy living and you just keep on doing the best you can with whatever life throws at you. Focus on the good you are doing and forgive yourself for the not so good. There will always be room for improvement unless you are Mary Poppins emoticon

I've just bought loads of salad, fruit and fresh veggies in an effort to perk up my mojo! It's always a bit sluggish when it is cold and grey. emoticon

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CATLADY52 3/14/2013 7:08PM

    emoticon Don't overdo anything to put yourself back on the sick list.

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MJ7DM33 3/14/2013 3:27PM

  WTG! Take it easy!

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LYNNWILK2 3/14/2013 2:43PM

    I'm sorry you're feeling poorly.
I pray you feel better very soon.
Congratulations on the weight loss, that is a great thing..
as for the "slip ups an starting overs"... forget about the "Starting over" phrase... just keep going, correct yourself and keep going.
Don't focus on the fact that you slipped up but on what you are going to do next. That way the starting over part is eliminated and you can just keep going (I know simpler said than done, but it may just be the way you are thinking about... forget about the shame of messing up)

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COFFEEMUG2009 3/14/2013 1:40PM


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BLUEANGELLK 3/14/2013 1:39PM

    Congratulations on the weight loss. As for the exercise, you can only do what you can do. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 3/14/2013 1:13PM

    Take it slow Sonia, but you're doing good hun emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARTY728 3/14/2013 12:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKCHANTAL 3/14/2013 12:46PM

    wow! can i have some of your illness, please?

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Memories of an unusual friend

Thursday, February 21, 2013

I’ve been away for a few days for the funeral of my best and dearest friend – someone I brought my children up with and with whom I shared the ups and downs of life. Sad –sad-sad - but these things are the pattern of life and I was glad to be there with other friends and share our memories. She was also my maddest and most unconventional friend and managed to make us all smile by issuing an instruction for all close female friends and family to wear red underwear to the service. ‘No flashing, though!’ she had written, ‘I just want everyone to be aware - that is my own celebration of my death.’ Had to be honoured!
Her daughters had put out some photos of her life at the wake and amongst them was this one, rather blurred now, of her two daughters and my two sons having a mudbath in her garden. Brought back memories of so many good times.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NUMD97 3/9/2013 5:40PM

    I stumbled onto your page, because we have a mutual SP buddy. I, too, just buried a close friend a few weeks ago, and I'm still working through all that now. Her memorial is next weekend, and all the thoughts that are still tumbling around in my brain are still looking for a home.

Thank you for sharing your personal recollections of your best friend. She sounds like she was an amazing person, and because of that, she will always have a place in your happiest memories.

Sorry for your loss,


Comment edited on: 3/9/2013 5:47:37 PM

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GGCHET 2/23/2013 10:56AM

    So sorry for your loss.
True, true friends are a precious thing!!!

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1BEACHWALKER 2/22/2013 5:34AM

    My condolences Sonia. Sounds like you shared lots of good times and I know you will treasure them always. She sounded like a special lady!

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LJCANNON 2/21/2013 6:14PM

    emoticon What a WONDERFUL Lady she must have been!! You were blessed to have her, and I know that You Blessed Her, Too. Treasure those wonderful Memories.
emoticon I am definitely going to think about the Red Underwear at the Funeral!! What a Fabulous Way to Celebrate her Life and Friendship!!

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CATLADY52 2/21/2013 6:09PM

    Sorry about your friend. Losing a friend is hard and I can imagine that the closer one is , the harder it can be. emoticon

The snapshot of your children is precious.

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MARTY728 2/21/2013 11:14AM

    So sorry for the lost of your friend! Anytime you think of her, she will always provide pleasant memories. emoticon

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CLUMBOY 2/21/2013 7:21AM

    i am so sorry she is gone--but i am also so glad for you that you had her in your life. glad to know how much you treasure your memory of her.

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SUTERSPACE 2/21/2013 7:20AM

    Awwww. Beautiful memories and honoring of her!

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PINKANGEL73 2/21/2013 6:36AM

    So sorry for your loss emoticon

How wonderful a person she was to do the red underwear thing to make you all smile and be able to remember her funeral in the future with a smile because of it.

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NCSUE0514 2/21/2013 6:22AM

    I'm so sorry for your loss, and glad for your memories.

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NEW-CAZ 2/21/2013 5:40AM

    Hi Sonia
I am sorry for your loss hun.
Have to say she sounds a colourful character and so indicative of the people who surround you- all great characters. I'm thinking in particular of the friend whose funeral/cremation was in fireworks on the beach.
Think fondly of this friend and remember with a smile some of the antics you got up to, I'm sure that's how she'd prefer to be thought of emoticon

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ELLENIRENE 2/21/2013 5:32AM

    my sympathy

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MEDDYPEDDY 2/21/2013 5:05AM

    Thank you for reminding me about life as it is. I just love the red underwear thought, will definitely nick that for my own funeral!

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Monthly weigh-in

Monday, February 11, 2013

Today is the first weigh-in since I got back on track 4 weeks ago and I'm delighted to find that I've lost 7 pounds this month. emoticon
I prefer not to stand on the scales every week - tends to make me think about my weight constantly which doesn’t suit me at all. It hasn't really been difficult to drop these pounds and I must remember that when I start to falter - more positive perhaps would be IF I start to falter.
I've been following instructions by Paul McKenna from his book ‘Hypnotic Gastric Band’.
EAT WHEN HUNGRY - not just for oral gratification or because the clock says it's a particular mealtime. Learn to recognise real hunger signals.
EAT WHAT YOU WANT - nothing is forbidden which does have an effect on random cravings and if you learn to pay attention to what your body (and not your brain) really wants you may make healthier choices.
EAT CONSCIOUSLY - concentrate on your food - sit at a table, eat slowly and chew thoroughly. NO reading, TV or using a PC.
STOP EATING WHEN YOU'RE FULL - learn to recognise when your stomach is full and don't finish the plate just because we were all taught to do that. Sooner or later we will understand what size our portions really need to be and stop wasting food - either by throwing it into the bin or treating our stomachs like trash cans.
Habits are hard to break and there's a lot to keep remembering - I'm particularly bad at eating without the TV, radio or a book and chewing each mouthful about 20 times isn’t easy either but it seems that I've proved that if I pay more attention to eating my food I can indeed lose pounds.
I will probably listen to the the CD (to ‘install’ the gastric band) included with the book but am more interested in getting the above 'Golden Rules', which are basic common sense reminders, under my belt and changing my attitude to food – perhaps the CD will help with that. It seems to be working for others here on Spark and amongst my friends at home. Remains to be seen.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GGCHET 2/23/2013 10:52AM

    So interesting. I just got a CD at my Hypnotherapy session last week on Virtual Lapband! Haven't played it yet...maybe today:)

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1BEACHWALKER 2/20/2013 1:32AM

    emoticon 7 pounds in one month-something must be working! And just what you mentioned makes sense, even without doing the CD. I think I will start doing that more!! I have heard of others doing this program. Good luck!
Thanks for such a Super nice comment on my One pound can make a difference blog! Made my day!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GRANDMABABA 2/11/2013 9:30PM

    Congrats on the weight loss. That book seems to be working for you. Keep it up!

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CATLADY52 2/11/2013 7:46PM

    This definitely sounds interesting. I will look into it. emoticon

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MARTY728 2/11/2013 12:06PM

    emoticon I also am "particularly bad at eating without the TV, radio or a book and chewing each mouthful about 20 times".

I had not heard of Paul McKenna's book "Hypnotic Gastric Band". Please let me know your opinion of it.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PINKANGEL73 2/11/2013 6:30AM

    PS I have terrible trouble eating without tv/book/phone/laptop on the go too. I drive my other half mad because I am often half-watching tv while on my laptop, checking my phone and chatting to him all at the same time.

Although if it is something I really want to watch on tv I hate to be disturbed - that'll be when OH decides he wants to keep chatting! Bless - he's got his hands full with me emoticon

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PINKANGEL73 2/11/2013 6:26AM

    Woowoo! Brilliant hun - so pleased for you. Sounds like this is working for you as well.

Encouraged by Stonecot's recent successes I have been trying the havening technique. It has definitely lifted my spirits (Jan and Feb are always a struggle) and had more drive to get things done. Didn't do it for a couple of days and I started to dip again so it does seem to work.

Found my Paul McKenna I can make you thin book and cd's the other day - think I might give them another whirl - see if it kicks me off this plateau!

Let me know how you get on - rooting for you xx

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STONECOT 2/11/2013 6:06AM

    Funny isn't it that those same golden rules are now turning up on sparkpeoples articles! Today it's the eating consciously, and slowly without distraction! And now they're the norm for weight loss are they???

Glad that you're having the same success that I am with them. At the moment I'm still weighing weekly, but only because I'm blogging about the book and have too much time on my hands!

I found that for me, the CD intensified the signals. I've always been very bad at eating when I'm hungry. I put it off and ignore the signal. Now I can't. Well I can, but it becomes increasing obvious that I need to eat. Its harder to ignore the full signal too, I go from a little bit full to stuffed very fast. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 2/11/2013 5:51AM

    Morning Sonia
emoticon you're doing so well. You've obviously found something that suits you now and you're working WITH rather than against it- as you were trying previously.
It always pays to listen to yourself- you know you better than anyone.

Keep up the good work emoticon

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MARYJOANNA 2/11/2013 5:28AM

  Congrats to you on your weight loss! The rules you listed seem to be the norm for weight loss. Portion control is important also.

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Relaxed and going forward

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

So here I still am – not following any extreme plan or putting myself through any pressure – I pretty well know by now what to do and what suits me. Guess that if I consider the knowledge I’ve accumulated here re food consumption and exercise I’ve not been wasting either time or effort over the past few years - nor encouragement received - thank you Spark and Sparkers! It would just be great for this finally to be the moment when I put it all into practice and become fitter and healthier - not only lose some pounds but keep them off in a controlled and less frenetic way than I usually go about things.
I’m not actually weighing-in yet because weekly weighing can turn me into that lunatic that I don’t want to be. So – no obsession - no urgency right now and it seems to suit me. I’m happy with how I feel - healthier and more energetic - jeans fitting me comfortably - regular exercise - healthy food NOT accompanied by gallons of wine. That’ll do nicely for now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRENTDREAMER 2/7/2013 9:10AM

    "I’m not actually weighing-in yet because weekly weighing can turn me into that lunatic that I don’t want to be. So – no obsession - no urgency right now and it seems to suit me. I’m happy with how I feel - healthier and more energetic "
* I haven't weighed myself in 5 weeks. I know the feeling. I've been exercising and eating better. Clothes fit better. I totally hear what you're saying.

Major congrats on your progress!

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MARTY728 2/6/2013 2:54PM

    I like your attitude and plan.

Remember that there are benefits to drinking red wine. I also must share with you that simply the thought of comsuming "gallons of wine" caused me to emoticon

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CATLADY52 2/5/2013 6:42PM

    I don't think that anyone but you can really say what will work for you. We each have our own tricks and traps that we use. Some will work all the time and some only work when we let them. Do what works for you.

Best of luck. emoticon

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NEW-CAZ 2/5/2013 12:34PM

    all things in moderation Sonia, that truly is the way to go.
We're not here to enter muscle competitions or get ready for marathons (Although I admire those that do) my aim- as yours is-is to eat healthy keep a healthy weight and basicallu be supple enough to bend and tie me shoe laces
when I hit 80! emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'm hitting your page with another goodie in a min! emoticon

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PINKANGEL73 2/5/2013 9:10AM

    Sounds like you've got it spot on to me - healthy eating, exercise, not too much wine. Slow but sure, one day at a time, one choice at a time. emoticon

The all or nothing approach usually burns out to nothing pretty quickly.! My OH is a typical Scorpio - everything to extremes. Left to his own devices to lose weight he cuts out everything slightly fatty, skips meals and misses out food groups and expects to lose several pounds a week. Then he wonders why he is irritable, tired and under the weather! emoticon 2 or 3 weeks and he's had enough and goes back to normal.

Since being on Spark I've had him on slightly larger portions but the same as me and he has lost 2 stones and is keeping it off for the first time in 10+ years. Yay! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/5/2013 9:14:11 AM

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