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I Want to Ride a Pony!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Hello Sparkies!

I heard a news story over the weekend that I found to be so shocking, appalling and disheartening that I had to write about it, now that I'm back here on SparkPeople. I know that the idea that something in the news could be described as "shocking", "appalling" , "disheartening", or all three of those, is far from being unusual. We hear about horrible things in the news all the time. In this news story, no one had been murdered. In fact, no one had died. Not that people don't die from this problem, even if indirectly, all the time.

So what was this news story? Well, did you ever see the movie "City Slickers"? Of course you did. 1991. Billy Crystal, Bruno Kirby, Daniel Stern and Jack Palance. Adult men decide to go on vacation together to a "dude ranch", where they get away from their everyday lives and ride horses. --Tell me you at least remember 1991. Anyway, in this news story, it was reported that the places like that (dude ranches; places where you go to rent horses to ride) are now using DRAFT HORSES. Draft horses are those huge horses that haul heavy equipment. Meanwhile, back at the dude ranch, (oh, that's right, we were already there) it was decided that they needed bigger horses to accommodate bigger people. One ranch owner said that he had set a weight limit for people who could ride his horses (because it's not fair to the poor horse), but he decided to switch to draft horses because he would have been turning away too much business. Apparently, the obesity epidemic in the United States (and increasingly, around the world) has gotten so out of control that it has resulted in decisions like this being made. I guess I'm in good company, but this doesn't make me feel any better.

Before I get any backlash for this, let me just say this: I know that there is a movement for "fat acceptance" and a lot of people feel that heavier people are unfairly subjected to discrimination and other forms of mistreatment . They say that being "overweight" (or obese, etc.) is not the same thing as being unhealthy. I say, if you can be heavier and healthy and you like it --more power to you! I have experienced negative attitudes from people who opined that I am too heavy. So, I know what that's like. (Not fun.) I would never be so rude to someone else, let alone doing something like denying someone employment just because I thought they were "too heavy". I do think it's safe to say that the majority of overweight people are not helping their health by continuing to be overweight (again: or obese, etc). I think it's tragic that, as a nation, being overweight or obese (etc.) has become the norm. It's so common that it's driving the market. Everything has to be bigger now. This has happened over a long period of time. So, most of us probably haven't noticed or paid much attention to it. I think the reason this news story hit me so hard is that it made me realize that even the mom and pop places are affected. Maybe it should have been more of a shock to me that the huge corporations have had to adapt to the upsizing of America and have had to make everything larger, from clothes to seats in cars and movie theaters to bathroom stalls. That speaks volumes, too.

I applaud our first lady, Michelle Obama for her efforts to fight childhood obesity. This year, the Easter egg roll at the White House focused on activity, "not chocolate". I have no idea if any ponies were present for the celebration.

Writing this blog entry makes me want to go be active. Right now. It's about midnight here and I need to go to sleep soon. I have scheduled a morning walk for myself. Maybe some day I'll reward myself for my weight loss efforts by getting a Czech riding horse (those are the small ones) --and not injuring his or her back.

Have a great week. Sparkle on.
: )

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMOMENTSNOTICE 4/28/2014 5:09PM

    @SCOOTER4263 :

I love all horses. Draft horses are great. My intention in this blog post had nothing to do with being prejudiced against any person or any animal or breed of animal for any reason. The point of my blog post is the extreme to which the obesity epidemic has gotten out of control. I find this shocking and I don't think it's a good thing. The rancher interviewed in the news story that inspired this blog post said that he made the decision to change to draft horses to accommodate our heavier population, not for any other reason, such as draft horses being less skittish. Being "heavier" myself right now and being a part of this community of people who are supporting each other to change that about ourselves, in order to be healthier, I think this bit of news shows us: 1. that we are far from alone in facing this problem (and, yes, I do see it as a problem, speaking for myself) and 2. it's important for us to keep fighting to be healthier and to support one another in our efforts to do so, rather than accepting this as the norm, despite the fact that that it is (statistically speaking) fast becoming just that (i.e., "normal"), so much so that everything around us is growing to accommodate our (collectively) larger size, as individuals. I understand the rancher's decision (so he could stay in business), but I think it's sad that he had to do this at all. By being so accommodated it's too easy to overlook that there is a problem at all and our unhealthy state and the behaviors that support it just fade into the background. If it's normal, why change? I'm not getting political with my argument here. In fact, I think I could make a good case for some of what I'm saying being liberal and some of it being conservative. I'm not taking sides, I'm just expressing my opinion and response to an article that left me feeling sad, angry, disheartened and motivated all at once. That's not a common mix of emotions for me. I never called draft horses "some ugly huge thing". Those are your words, not mine.

Thank you for reading.

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RYDERB 4/28/2014 2:22PM

    It is sad that we are constantly having to find new ways to accommodate our "growing" population. Personally, lack of exercise is not an issue. It all about nutrition, and not calories. I've learned in my case, a calorie is not a calorie. It's been almost a year, since we did our Whole30 experiment, and I know how much better I feel when I eat Paleo/Primal meals, and stay away from grains, sugar, corn, soy, and all processed foods. If I eat anything processed, my weight jumps up immediately, and it takes days to get that inflammation out of my body again.
Good luck! Hope you're riding your Czech horse soon.
emoticon

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SUSIEMT 4/28/2014 9:45AM

    I remember riding horses as a child. What fun! I think that is all I am gong to say on this subject. Have a great day!

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SWDESERTLOVER 4/28/2014 9:06AM

    I think learning to eat healthy is so important. However, I also believe one of our big problems now is the lack of exercise. When I was in school (and that was a long, long time ago) we had P.E., every day, every year! When my boys were in high school I was appalled that they were only required to have one semester of gym class. Activity for children now days seems to be sitting in front of a game system or a computer. We need to get moving more to truly be healthy. And yes, I agree with you that people are treated differently according to their size. I've experienced both sides myself.



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SCOOTER4263 4/28/2014 7:50AM

    This isn't backlash for your opinion about heavy people - I think most of us are here to lose weight - but because I think you're being unfair to draft horses which really are "big and beautiful". I like to think that it's more that their particular beauty and usefulness is gaining appreciation than that some ugly huge thing has to be brought in for heavy people. There's more to adding draft horses than just accommodating heavy people - they are better suited for this kind of work in very mountainous areas and can carry a whole lot more gear, plus there are some financial aspects (I believe it has to do with the food they require... it;s been a lot of years since I knew this stuff) that make them good choices as well. Draft horses train well, can tolerate a wide range of situations without losing their cool, and Percherons in particular are calm and steady - pretty good qualities for inexperienced riders. I'd take a draft horse over a skittish quarter horse -particularly in rough terrain - any day.

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PATTYKLAVER 4/28/2014 7:39AM

    My weight has been up and down all my life. I definitely got treated differently when I was thinner than when I was heavier. I did always have it in my head that I wouldn't get to a certain weight. I know that people who are very obese have so much trouble in life. The world was not made for people that size and it doesn't look like manufacturers want to change to help them out. It's sad that in this time in America that there isn't more guidance and support for people, especially those that are raising children. Other children can be especially cruel to a heavy child.

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Where'd She Go? Oh, She's Back!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wow, what a journey since I was last here. It's time; I'm back. Kind of exhausted, though. Starting over, weight-wise.... and in many other ways, too.

It seems like I've been gone longer than since... July--??? That was the month of my last blog entry here. Well, my SparkPage still says that I'm glad it's Spring.... That's true now, too... again... and has been, apparently, for almost a year now.

I'll check back later. In addition to general chaos, being busy and having a different life than I did a year ago, tech issues (my computer and iffy wi-fi connection) have kept me from logging on here more recently, although I have been thinking of you all and sending you my healthy wishes. I doubt that I'll have time to be here as often as I was in the past, but I am back.

Good Night (it's 1:08 a.m. here)

: )

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RYDERB 4/28/2014 2:11PM

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SUNHOME 4/26/2014 5:23PM

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OLIVIANIGHT 4/26/2014 12:26PM

    Welcome back : )

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SUSIEMT 4/26/2014 9:58AM

    Welcome back! Remember those baby steps!

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JACKIE542 4/26/2014 8:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MYOWNHERO 4/26/2014 8:29AM

    Welcome!

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GHOSTFLAMES 4/26/2014 6:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 4/26/2014 6:22AM

    emoticon It is Good to see you again!
emoticon I am glad that you brought Spring with you, LOL! It has been a Long, Hard Winter!

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CHUBBY_MOM 4/26/2014 6:10AM

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ARNETTELEE 4/26/2014 4:21AM

  Welcome back!

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No, I'm not drunk

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Hi All!

I haven't been on SparkPeople much lately, but thought I'd post something to let you all know that I am, in fact, still alive. I have a lot of things happening in my life right now; much of it is stressful, but I think it will ultimately improve my life. I haven't forgotten about you or about my efforts to be healthier, I just haven't been online much as I used to be.

I'm feeling especially snarky at the moment, and I just heard about "Frizzy Headed, Drunken Woman Butterhead Lettuce". --I think I'd like to grow that! Hmmm. Is it better to be "Frizzy Headed" or a "Butterhead"? There's a conundrum to stress my poor little head over. (Not that I need more stress.) Well, at least I'm not a Margarinehead, a "PartiallyHydrogenatedHead" or a "TransFatHead" so I've got that going for me.

I hope you're all living happy, active, minimally stressed lives. And, in the words of the former governor of California, "I'll be bock" (I'm sure that's easy enough to translate with my written accent)!

: )

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CRAFTINWIFE 7/22/2013 2:01PM

    Glad to "hear" from ya! emoticon

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RHYMESWITHBABY 7/22/2013 7:50AM

    Daylilies have strange names too. There is a whole series of them named after underwear, because someone once likened the frilly-petaled ones to French lingerie. This culminated in someone naming a variety "Crotchless Panties". I thought that was a bit much.

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OLIVIANIGHT 7/22/2013 6:12AM

    That's a real thing? Who named that??
I'm glad you're still around, and still working to get healthy : )

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DOVESEYES 7/21/2013 11:16PM

    emoticon

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 7/21/2013 10:27PM

    It is good to hear from you1

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SUSIEMT 7/21/2013 9:09PM

    Nice to see you again!

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NANCYPAT1 7/21/2013 6:21PM

    Sounds like a great lettuce to try to grow. Your accent was very clear and I certainly recognized the voice. Have a splendid week ahead and take care of yourself during these times of stress.

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JACKIE542 7/21/2013 5:22PM

    Sure hope things calm down for you very soon. emoticon

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BARCLE 7/21/2013 5:01PM

    emoticon

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ANGGEL40 7/21/2013 4:53PM

    Stress be gone..liking your attitude..Keep Sparking! emoticon

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LJCANNON 7/21/2013 3:01PM

    emoticon Sounds like some Fun Lettuce to create Salads and Smoothies out of!!

emoticon Hope the Stress in your Life gives way soon to Lots of Good Things!!

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THE NECESSITY OF A LITTLE SELFISHNESS ON VALENTINE'S DAY (AND EVERY DAY, IN FACT).

Thursday, February 14, 2013

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY, SPARKIES!

This year on this holiday of love, I've decided to go against the trend. I'm putting myself first! I'm going to be a little selfish, and it's long overdue. Before you judge me, let me explain, in my usual rambling way, of course....

This is the day of pink and red, of candy and hearts. The "hearts" are what have always seemed a little odd to me. What most of us think of when we picture a heart looks something like this: [mistaken for HTML, so couldn't post. Oh well. You know what it looks like.], but what about the actual part of our anatomy which without its healthy functioning none of us would survive? Unless I'm missing something, we don't celebrate other days with the symbol of an organ that, in reality, looks nothing like the real one. --Happy President's Day! "I think of you with all my brain"; now picture a die. It's Flag Day! "Live it like your liver"; imagining a sieve? --Even dice and sieves are real things. The heart symbol is just made up, but we've seen it everywhere for so long that we know what it represents. So, I've found myself thinking about my heart in recent weeks when I've seen all of those dumb commercials. (I would be SO MAD if someone bought me that huge teddy bear I've seen plugged on TV! Space is expensive. It would just be in the way. What a waste of money! Buy me a plant. Help me start a vegetable garden. A rose bush would be great! I'd love some good quality dark chocolate with all those antioxidants. Jewelry is always a good choice (and unless it's a candy necklace from 7-11, it has no calories).--Just me opining again. Giant obnoxious teddy bears are NOT my thing. Obviously.)

All of these thoughts about my heart and heart health, in general, bouncing around in my brain lately have led me to fondly recall when Oprah (--LOVE her!) was discussing this topic with... (okay, vaguely recalling now... maybe said brain needs some dark chocolate) an expert (was it Dr. Oz? --Really, I tried to find this online so I could more accurately quote and report the details, but to no avail) showed her how her heart was doing, and her heart was found to be on the healthy side of the matter. She said (paraphrasing now) something to the effect of, "I love her!" (referring to her own heart). She went on to say that she wanted to "...take good care of her" (again, paraphrasing and referring to her heart). I remember feeling touched by this, but I just wasn't where she was in life at that point. Not that I was smoking like a chimney (or at all), living on bacon and foie gras and drinking like Hemmingway, my heart be darned (or needing to be later, like a sock). I was, however, "thriving" (or so I thought) on stress, habitually losing sleep, exercising only sporadically, usually just to lose weight, and rarely, if ever, stopping to smell the roses or much of anything appealing. I also was relentlessly pursuing my career and putting in all of the hours that that effort required. It was not a time when we were concerned about Trans Fats. I never paid attention to how much sodium was in anything I ate. I remember thinking that I'd like to care for my heart in the loving way that Oprah had expressed, but I knew that it wouldn't be my focus, at least for a few years.

Fast forward at least a decade. Quite a few people in my family have died from cancer. Maybe that should be my health-related focus. But then there are the stats: More people die from heart disease than from AIDS and all cancers combined (1). Hmm. That's a lot of people. That's a lot of risk. The good news is that there are things we can do to prevent AIDS (and we now have reasonably effective drugs to fight it) and, in general, the things you can do to help prevent cancer are the same things that help to prevent heart disease and make your brain healthier --and to prevent or reverse diabetes to boot! (2), including being happier (3). (Talk about multi-tasking! Woo Hoo!!!)

So, now I am in that place in my life where I am committing to nurturing my heart. Poor old girl. I really have put her through so much over the years. I'm sorry, dear heart. I'm in your corner (ventricle?) now. In the wisdom of the flight attendant instructions, in the event of an emergency, you must place your oxygen mask on yourself first (before you do so for your child or other traveling companion who is unable to do so). This is because you're no good to anyone else if you have passed out or are unconscious. I really think it's best, though, not to wait for an emergency to do this. So, when you're showing the people in your life how much you care for them by showering them with Valentines, don't forget to be selfish and take care of your heart. If you are bothered by the thought of being selfish, then give a healthy gift to your heart and let her (or him, as the case may be) know how much you appreciate her (or him).

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be sure to smell some roses.

[HTML] Thub-Dub.


(1) http://www.theheartfoundation.org/heart-di
sease-facts/heart-disease-statistics/

(2) http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/09/08/cooki
nglight.food.boost.mind/index.html

(3) http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/
happiness-stress-heart-disease/

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JSTETSER 3/20/2013 6:42AM

    I'm focusing on today!
http://www.sparkpeople.co
m/mypage_public_journal_individ
ual.asp?blog_id=5293245

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ILIKETOZUMBA 2/15/2013 12:39AM

    Loved this blog. Thanks for spreading the spark so well and taking the opportunity to promote real-heart health! Nothing selfish about taking care of yourself and thus inspiring others to do likewise. :)

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HEALTHY156 2/14/2013 10:50PM

    emoticon

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ISAVEDME80 2/14/2013 6:35PM

    i agree on putting yourself first and also think valentines should be celebrated for loving ourselves, year round not just for a day of expecting someone else to do it, if we cant do it for ourselves then no one should be expected to either :)


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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 2/14/2013 2:25PM

    Thank you! Your reflection is much more appreciated than all of those pink/red hearts, flowers, and chocolates.

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_BABE_ 2/14/2013 2:12PM

    Definitely true! Take care of yourself so you can be there for the others in your life! emoticon

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JACKIE542 2/14/2013 11:52AM

    Great blog, I agree, we need to take care of ourselves. I too would rather have a plant than a teddy bear, something that will last. Have a great Valentine's Day. emoticon emoticon

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SWDESERTLOVER 2/14/2013 11:49AM

    Great blog!

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DOVESEYES 2/14/2013 9:41AM

    emoticon

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SUSIEMT 2/14/2013 9:05AM

    I agree give me something that doesn't take up any room especially inside my body! Jewelry is always verrryyy nice. Have a good day!

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NEWMEN2013 2/14/2013 8:53AM

    This is one time when being selfish is not only appropriate but encouraged! so glad you have decided to take care of yourself, and I'm sure the many people that you love and that love you will be thankful that you have chosen to stay around for a little bit longer!
Happy Valentine's Day!
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JLEMUS1 2/14/2013 8:25AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SJKENT1 2/14/2013 8:20AM

    interesting - oh my goodness... ladies buttocks? I'll have to check that out today.

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KELLIEBEAN 2/14/2013 8:17AM

    Well said! That will keep me thinking today!

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NELLJONES 2/14/2013 8:11AM

    You do have to put yourself first in order to be able to be of service to others. In an airplane they always tell you that in the event of the oxygen masks dropping, but sure to put your own on before assisting others. It's the only way to be sure you are conscious in order to do the helping. That concept works in other things as well.

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AMCLELLAN 2/14/2013 8:10AM

    emoticon

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ADARKARA 2/14/2013 8:04AM

    I had heard somewhere long ago that the symbol of the heart was actually based on the shape of ladies' buttocks. ;)

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NILLAPEPSI 2/14/2013 7:10AM

    emoticon blog!! Thub-dub. Happy emoticon Day!!

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LABRATIAM 2/14/2013 7:06AM

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POLL QUESTION #7 : ) CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

Friday, February 08, 2013

Hello to all of my Sparkling People!

Wow! Things have been so busy in my world since the beginning of the New Year. So much is happening in my life. Plenty of stress and some things that I can't say if they're "good" or "bad" yet, although most of that really is just a matter of perspective. Whatever is happening right now involves a lot of changes. (No, I'm not pregnant! --Or in menopause, thank you very much! Hey, we're not on The View!*) I'm learning to ride out the stress without letting it be too disruptive in my life. I'm not stress-eating nearly to the extent that I did before finding SparkPeople. So, I've been thinkin'.... How do y'all (no, I'm not moving to the South, either, it's just such a handy little contraction) deal with change, in general and the inevitable stress that tends to come along with it?

So, here it is.... My sparklin' new latest poll question:

Since I started Sparkin', I've learned to manage stress and not let it affect what I eat....


A. Yes, I've mastered it!

B. Yes, for the most part.

C. Meh... maybe a little.

D. No, I still eat like the Cookie Monster.

E. I wasn't a stress-eater before I found SparkPeople.

F. Something else describes me better.... (Do tell!)


Have a Super-Sparkly Weekend! (Yeah, I'm still not tired of that commercial.)

: )


*No disrespect to the ladies of The View. I only made this comment because comedians have quipped that it's their favorite topic. I rather enjoy The View, myself.

Cheers!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PROVERBS31JULIA 10/15/2013 8:24PM

    It varies but usually a C, sad to say... maybe not cookies specifically but most anything will do.

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NOMORESTALLING 2/17/2013 9:39AM

    Excellent!
I've never ever been a stress eater. My outlet has always been exercise or cleaning the house with a vengeance or outside yard work!

Matter of fact...... I got out of bed feeling revamped this morning!
Woke up with a horrific headache this morning and with a combination of a good dose of feel good hormones, a good strong cup of java and a hot shower my energy levels are through the roof!

I've got Billy Preston playing "Will it go round in circles" playing at the moment
I'm going to tackle the house from one end to the other today and get my office organized finally. Already started in fact Laundry is going dishwasher is going bathroom is scrubbed.

Going to grab my breakfast smoothie in a few minutes here.

And...I'll still be going to the gym for my hour this evening as well Meeting my exercise buddy there around seven So I had better get my butt in gear and get this all one huh? LOL

emoticon

Comment edited on: 2/17/2013 9:41:36 AM

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SIMONEKP 2/14/2013 12:35PM

    F- I overeat when I am happy and content

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ILIKETOZUMBA 2/9/2013 1:12AM

    Great question! Somewhere between C and D for me, so actually I guess I'm the "something else" option - I didn't learn to stop stress-eating from SP, but I did used to stress eat. I just learned to control my anxiety better, and once I understood portion sizes and nutrition content better, that took care of stress-eating. It wasn't that SP helped me manage my stress, just that it helped me realize the damage I was doing when I did stress-eat, and so I chose to stop inflicting the damage, if that makes sense, and I channeled my stress into exercising more. So...yes, SP helped, but also, SP didn't help in exactly that way. LOL whatever. That was a fun question to think about!

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ONLYTEMPORARY 2/8/2013 10:44PM

    B For the most part.

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LIVEDAILY 2/8/2013 4:58PM

    E - I was never a stress eater. Emotional, at times, but not due to stress. If anything, I eat less when I am stressed, which is sometimes worse!

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CMRAND54 2/8/2013 4:46PM

    C - Maybe a little.

I never considered myself a stress eater. I just like food, and lots of it. I eat when I'm happy as much as when I'm not happy. But when I think about it, I have sometimes caught myself starting to eat in response to stress. Prior to SP I wouldn't have noticed that. Noticing is not the same as stopping the eating, but it is more mindful eating.

Fortunately, I don't have a lot of stress in my life right now.

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KELTIC-CARA 2/8/2013 4:24PM

    E

emoticon

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SUSIEMT 2/8/2013 3:04PM

    I hate to say this but it is B, yes for the most part and C, meh...maybe a little. I have my moments sad to say.

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ADAGIO_CON_BRIO 2/8/2013 2:12PM

    B

and it was a long process to get there but now I can proudly and honestly say "B"

And I can get myself in hand (most of the time) if I find myself slipping down towards the "C" neighborhood.

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JOANOFSPARK 2/8/2013 11:42AM

    B for the most part.*grin* but there are times when what I need more than food is to crawl into a cubby hole and stay there till spring......or maybe not.....but something like that could trigger a bad stress eating binge but now it usually doesn't...

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DIET_FRIEND 2/8/2013 10:54AM

    C. I don't think it was exactly stress that prompted my eating and it isn't now. I just have an unhealthy relationship with food. Maybe from being raised by post-depression parents. I am a charter member of the clean plate club.

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NITTINNANA 2/8/2013 10:28AM

    Definitely B. But when I blow it, I still blow it big-time.

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HEARTBUBBLE 2/8/2013 9:33AM

    C w/progress. Moved up from D

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MANDIETERRIER1 2/8/2013 9:32AM

    C I think I have mastered it a little, but I know I need to be careful or else I will fall off the wagon. (I also like that commercial)

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DALID414 2/8/2013 9:28AM

    B. Yes, for the most part.

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CELIAMINER 2/8/2013 8:36AM

    B-

Lately the evening munchie beast has re-emerged, and I'm struggling to tame the beast.

Love the question and think SP should use it!

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KELLIEBEAN 2/8/2013 8:27AM

    F. I am also a boredome eater. I used to be a stress eater years ago, not sure how I flipped but I am learning to manage the boredom eating since joining SP.

and I never get tired of that commercial either!

emoticon

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ADARKARA 2/8/2013 8:03AM

    E. I was never a stress eater. I'm a boredom eater!

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NEWVINE 2/8/2013 7:45AM

   
B




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NILLAPEPSI 2/8/2013 7:45AM

    B emoticon emoticon

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NELLJONES 2/8/2013 7:37AM

    A, but it took a long time and a lot of new habits. Which took a long time.

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SKIRNIR 2/8/2013 6:44AM

    B.

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DOVESEYES 2/8/2013 6:43AM

    A- emoticon

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BEANIES_MOM 2/8/2013 6:28AM

    B

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WINDSONG~ 2/8/2013 5:17AM

    B

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