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Last Pre-Challenge Assignment

Friday, March 16, 2012

So the last pre-challenge assignment is to list all the reasons/excuses why our plans failed with regard to exercise and diet and how we can resolve these reasons/excuses.

I'm sure this has been assigned before, but I'm not sure I've done it before. I tire of the pre-challenge assignments right around 6 or 7 usually. But I want to take this one very seriously, because I believe it can make or break me. And I AM PULLING THIS 5% OFF THIS TIME. For serious.

So. Here are my excuses (let's not front and call them "reasons"):

emoticon I'm genuinely hungry, but I'm almost out of calories.

Okay, so you're hungry. First thing is, what's the big deal? A little hunger never hurt anyone. It's not something to be afraid of. But you are? Really hungry? Water didn't work? Cup of tea? Piece of gum? Fine. Eat. One portion of one food. And not empty calorie stuff, either. Food means, you know, like, lettuce. Other vegetables. Nuts. An apple. And let's be real here, too. This normally happens when I'm at home, right? I could just go to bed. It mightn't be a bad idea getting more sleep!

emoticon I've had a rough day, and darn it, I want a beer.

Ah, beer. Beer is awesome. It is so fun to go out with Mary Ann after work, and lately, I've been having a beer when I get home if I had an extra-nasty commute. But really? You don't need beer. And more importantly, you don't need 600 calories of beer. That, my friend, is crazy. So...only light beer (which means no more drinking at home, since the stuff we have on hand is not light). And tracking beforehand, especially if I'm eating out, too. I have a smartphone; there's no reason I can't.

emoticon Exercise? But I'm too tired to exercise!

Com'on. Just five minutes, man! And if you're too tired to do even 5 minutes, go to bed. Geez. You clearly need more sleep.

Now, to remember these solutions. I wish there were a solution to THAT that I wouldn't forget!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/19/2012 1:26PM

    Good for you - my solution for not wanting to workout will be making myself clean or do something else productive - like batch cook. But my goal is to force myself to do 10 minutes and see how I feel.
the beer thing is not an issue for me. I do enjoy a glass (or four) of wine from time to time... and Saturday I did have an irish car bomb. oops.

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MISSLISA1973 3/18/2012 10:50PM


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AMYLONGHORN 3/18/2012 4:41PM

    I like your you just gotta stick to 'em! Let's DO this!! YAY for the challenge starting up again...I really need it to keep on track!!


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RUTHXG 3/17/2012 11:55PM

    Hmmm . . . methinks they might be worthy of posting on the refrigerator & other strategic spots!

You CAN do this--& I'm gonna do it too!

Love you too, my dear!

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DUXGRL1 3/17/2012 9:25PM

    I really like this approach! I think I will try it myself!

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KAREN_NY 3/17/2012 5:30PM

    Truly! I am thinking about printing out my solutions and putting them everywhere. I have a smartphone, but if I'm not looking at it, it isn't doing me much good, lol.

All fabulous ideas!

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KIM--POSSIBLE 3/17/2012 8:50AM

    I am definitely with you on the need for more sleep! There just aren't enough hours in the day!

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ANNASBF 3/16/2012 11:39PM

    I hope you have found some workable solutions. With all you are doing it sounds like some rest would do you some good! I think an apple or healthy food is a fine solution to the hunger issue. Take care and don't be too hard on yourself. emoticon

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Too Long for a Status Update, Too Short for a Blog...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012 I made it a blog anyway. emoticon

I'm going to meet up with an old friend after work. We're going to a brewhouse, and I just finished a steak salad from Chipotle (I'm being single-minded, Kristen, I held the sour cream, cheese and guacamole) at around 400 calories and a whopping 46 grams of protein.

When I arrive at the restaurant, I'm not going to be hungry.

Ergo, I am not ordering food.

If I get hungry while there (say, 7pm, it'll've been 6 hours since I ate), I'll eat a cup of chili. Not a bowl, a cup.

Limit to two beers. I have to drive. I will strive to finish the first beer soooo sloooowly that I won't need the second.

Calories already tracked.

There. It's out there. Now I have to do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ACCEPTHECHLNGE 3/16/2012 10:35PM

    So, did you succeed? Inquiring minds want to know. LOL

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PAULAAUTUMN 3/16/2012 4:08PM

    Good idea to plan ahead well done

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LINDABENEDICT 3/15/2012 9:46PM


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SHARON10002 3/15/2012 9:01PM

    Now that's a plan and willpower!!!

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PINKNFITCARLA 3/15/2012 9:02AM

    Great plan!

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AMYNYNJ 3/14/2012 9:49PM

    Planning is half the battle! emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 3/14/2012 9:40PM

    Yay, great plan.....update blog upon your return!

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ANNIEONLI 3/14/2012 6:50PM

    Now THAT is how you go out!!! WOoohooOo!

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KAREN_NY 3/14/2012 5:05PM


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RUTHXG 3/14/2012 4:27PM

    This is just fabulous. I'm proud of you, Brenda! emoticon

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ROCKYCPA 3/14/2012 4:00PM

    Enjoy your evening. What a great plan.

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KINEPS 3/14/2012 3:59PM

    Having a plan in place makes it so much easier to forget the food and drink and just have a good time!


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/14/2012 3:40PM

    Yay, you can do it! no chips or apps and tell your friend your plan!

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AMYLONGHORN 3/14/2012 2:24PM

    Sounds like a PLAN! WTG! Have fun!!!

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Where Do I Go?

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

I love the musical "Hair." I have for ages. For availability reasons (read: it's on DVD), I'm partial to Treat Williams's George Berger, though I obviously made a beeline to the Kennedy Center as soon as the Broadway production made its way to our nation's capital.

I don't turn on the shower radio when my housemate is home, but I'm also partial to singing in the shower. When I don't have the classic rock station telling me what's next on my set list, I sing quietly to myself whatever happens to be at the forefront of my mind at that time.

Tonight, it was "Where Do I Go?" from Hair:

Where do I go?
Follow my heartbeat.
Where do I go?
Follow my hand.

Where will they lead me
And will I ever
Discover why I live and die?

I guess this is a common theme in my blogs...I THINK I know what I'm about and what I'm doing, but I suppose I really don't. Then, I come on here and write nonsense about it.

In addition, even if I know where I am going, I don't seem to be able to stay on the path. This relates directly to my weight loss journey. I get very distracted by food, socializing, etc...and this is one of the few things I'm sure of that I want for my future.

So where do I go? Maybe I shouldn't worry too much about the other things and focus just on this. Or maybe I should do small things toward the other things and mostly focus on this. I wish there were easy answers.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4LEEFCLOVER 3/9/2012 12:40PM

    Ooooh I love "Hair" too! Haven't listened to that in awhile. How about the song "I Got Life" ?

Sometimes it is about asking good questions more than knowing the answers. Keep asking! If you "widen" your path then you can meander a bit, while still going in the same direction. Keep looking at the horizon periodically to get your balance.

We can do it!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/8/2012 12:49PM

    I think just focus on living your life the way you want and be the person you want to be, even if you have to fake it along the way, and you'll end up where you want to be.

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MISSLISA1973 3/8/2012 7:33AM

    I was listening to Jim Rohn's The Day That Turns Your Life Around Yesterday. He said we should ask ourselves two questions. The first is basically the same one I've heard for years: "What turns you on?" (Other ways I've heard it include what are you passionate about, what did you dream of when you were a kid, and what are you doing when you lose track of time.) It's a great question. What do you want your life to look like? I haven't fully answered this question either, but am SLOWLY making progress toward it. You are too, so be gentle and kind with yourself as you seek to answer the question. Be your own best friend.

The next question is one I don't think I've ever considered: "What turns you OFF?" If you know what you don't like, you know which direction not to go, which helps point you in a better direction. I hope these two questions help. Hang in there!

What turns you on?
What turns you off?

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HOPESINGH 3/8/2012 5:17AM

    I know what you mean... Have you read the Happiness Project? She talks there about "just being Gretchen" (that's her name), and how it's not always obvious, but still the best way to feel good with yourself, once you accept "Gretchen" as she is.

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RUTHXG 3/7/2012 11:16PM

    Have you ever taken a retreat of silence? When I was in my late 20s, I did several, self-directed (based on some wonderful books I was reading), & I gained so much clarity & focus from those times. Some of us have a deep need to have a sense of our life's purpose, & that helps us make choices day to day. Or to structure our lives so that many small decisions are already made.

Just one example for me: I have chosen not to get a converter box for my old TV, so what to watch on TV just doesn't come up. I'm not saying that's a choice YOU should make, but once you have some clarity, you can build in some boundaries that will help you keep on track with your sense of what your life's about.

Love & blessings to you, Brenda. I have no doubt that your life's meaning is deep & variegated & wonderful.

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DONNACFIT 3/7/2012 11:06PM spark friend Watermellen wrote in a blog about a free web site course at's 21 days and I've started's about being mentally far I'm enjoying it.

For the month of March I really know where I'm going..out to the corral to be with the cows...ugh... emoticon

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Bummer to Be a Downer

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I appreciate the responses to my blog post this morning. I felt bad after I wrote it, and it's a shame, because I was feeling okay before I wrote it. That is, I think writing the blog bummed me out more than the content of the blog. It became the culmination of a few rough things, but the day got better.

First, the Peru thing. Peru turns me into an insecure 21-year-old. I guess the thought of it does, too. When I'm there, I feel out of place, sticking out in a bad way. I go back to the times we were both just kids, and he would ignore me or not translate for me in front of his family. He is a lot of fun in Peru, and then I feel like he saves the best of himself for his friends and his family and leaves me with the boring leftovers back here. I'm old enough now to know better, but when I go there, I regress.

Second, I was super-good yesterday, but my weight was up this morning. I just wanted .1 down on the scale, and I didn't think it was too much to ask. So when I was up, I was a little irritated, especially since I have a new sense of urgency.

Third, when I got to work, the gofer guy asked me if I had a dog (which was dumb, because he knows I do--he asks me almost daily how my dog is). I said yes. He asked me if he is old (also dumb, because he knows he is). I said yes. And that he's blind. And deaf. And he told me I should "throw" Sammy "away" because he is "useless." WTF???

On a cognitive level, I get it. Gofer guy has limited English, so his harsh words may not be meant to be harsh. Also, gofer guy comes from a culture where dogs aren't pets, they are work animals. A lady at work once compared keeping a dog in the house in her culture as similar to keeping a cow in the living room. So okay, different strokes. And it's not sooo farfetched from American culture--think "Of Mice and Men." That poor dog. And that poor man.

But still. I love Sammy so much. How can someone say something like that about him? I tried to not be bothered by it, but I was kind of upset that someone would call my little guy useless and disposable. Even though, okay, yes, he pretty much is. He is an eating, sleeping, pooping, suspicious growth-growing machine that costs me thousands of dollars in vet bills. And he's my favorite thing in the world.

And he serves his purpose. So does gofer guy. Gofer guy brings me signed documents and tea. He answers questions and gives paperwork to security. That's his purpose. Sammy brings me joy. That's his purpose. They're both important, but in my own personal opinion, Sammy serves a higher purpose.

After I realized that, I wasn't mad at gofer guy anymore. He can't help being jealous of Sammy's purpose, after all.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMYLONGHORN 3/6/2012 1:20PM

    I HEART SAMMY!!! Oh yeah, and you and Aldo, too!!! emoticon

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MISSLISA1973 3/2/2012 11:54PM

    I kept my "worthless" doggie until she was over 17 years old, even though she'd been blind for the last third of her life. She brought me great joy, and I still feel her absence after all these years. Her memory is a thing of beauty in my mind. Poor gofer guy. It's too bad he doesn't understand.

I understand about the Peru thing. It's funny how certain things take us back to our old insecurities. I hope as you work on reducing weight/inches, you are also able to reduce some of those insecurities so you can enjoy your trip more (not that it's a trip to enjoy, but I think you know what I'm getting at). emoticon

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BUSYMOM911 3/1/2012 4:25PM

    This blog is beautiful, and you are, too. Sammy is lucky to have you.

emoticon emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/1/2012 12:09PM

    I'm going to post my thoughts on both blogs here - sorry, I'm behind. Anyway, I think it is a GOOD thing you went ahead and posted that blog. It's good to get those feelings/fears out there. I don't think it's irrational, however, maybe just a bit silly. (Silly like how we all have certain aspect or goals to our weight loss that are totally vain and silly). And I think the part about your hubs being his best in Peru is totally normal. Everyone is always "on" with the people they don't see as much. With John and me, I've heard all his stories a million times, and I don't need him to "perform" for me anymore... we're just comfortable. And I'm fine with that. But I cant see how it would be frustrating. & sorry your day was crappy and now you're feeling down. I hope by the time you read this your mood has improved. it already seemed better by the end of this blog!
Gofer guy is just one of those people - you'll never agree because you're just fundamentally different, but that doesn't make him bad or you wrong or anything - it just means you don't agree. And you brought up good points about his culture and the language differences, and I think that is very common and at least you can see it from both sides (but still know that you're right about Sammy, lol).

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SEATTLESIMS 3/1/2012 12:07PM

    yes, it is all about personal perspective! sounds like you have yours figured out! ;)
It is helpful to vent in the blog before.. who knows how it would have turned inward if you hadn't! can't sort through those things without thinking about them and sometimes getting them out on paper helps.. I often start a blog and then delete it because the process was all I needed to do to work through it!

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HOPESINGH 3/1/2012 6:22AM

    What you said about your partner saving the best for Peru and you feeling insecure - sounds so familiar to me. I can totally identify. I wonder if, like me, you feel that way because you don't love yourself very much? Or maybe there is something in the way he behaves that makes you feel that way? Just wondering. My bet is the first option is the right one, but it's just a guess.

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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 2/29/2012 11:59PM

    You will make it. Stick to your guns. I am glad Sammy and you are such good friends. Maybe 'Gofer' had a bad day and just wanted to bug you.
Hand in there, my friend.

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TAICHIDANCER 2/29/2012 10:44PM

    Hang in there, friend.

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/29/2012 10:43PM

    No's all good!

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RUTHXG 2/29/2012 10:42PM

    You know, I can well imagine how the prospect of another family trip to Peru makes you anxious. To a different degree, it would be similar for me if I were still married & going with X to a family gathering in Colombia. Don't know if it's like this in Peru, but in Colombian cities the upper-middle & upper classes are just obsessed with weight & appearance. It's to the point of abuse & tragedy: some girls are given boob-enhancement surgery as a gift from their parents FOR THEIR QUINCEAƑERA. My daughter was an assistant PE teacher for a year at a private girls' school in the capital, & many of her students had eating disorders.

So I'm not saying your hubby's family is like that--but if there's even a bit of that pressure, on top of your not being an insider & not being an expert in the language, it has to be complicated. You have my empathy.

I like your breakdown of the functions in your life of gofer guy & Sammy. Some beings we love just because we & they belong to each other.

And the weight WILL come down.


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LINDABENEDICT 2/29/2012 9:21PM


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KALISWALKER 2/29/2012 9:05PM

    Sammy makes you happy and Kali makes me happy. Dogs are wonderful!

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A New Sense of Urgency

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

My husband's from Peru. emoticon

I've been there three times with him, I think. The first time, I was pretty peak and garnered a lot of positive attention, which was totally fun.

Second and third times, well, my blonde hair still got me attention, in the form of a shoe shiner dumping crap on my shoes so he could clean them.

And having to hide down the block from when the boys were negotiating taxi rides, as I got charged a fair person's premium.

I told my husband the next time I was going, I was going to be 20 pounds lighter. It feels awful being around all the other guys' girlfriends and wives. Last time, there was a wedding on my birthday. My husband set up a spa day for me that day instead of going to the wedding. I had a lot of fun--way more fun than I would have at the wedding, I'm sure--but I didn't ask him to or complain about having to go. This is stupid. I know he's not ashamed of me, but...I guess, it was better for me anyway, because I would've felt self-conscious.

And to be fair, he wants to be 20 pounds lighter, too. He's also a twin, and the brother is much, much lighter, so he's dealing with an anchor, which must be really hard.

Anyway, the point is, that last night, he told me that his grandfather isn't doing so well. I asked if we needed to go, and he said he would talk to him mom about it more when she's here. That's not for three more months, so I guess the situation isn't DIRE, but it's not great.

So I need to get on the ball. I mean, OF COURSE, if circumstances required it, I would go without having achieved any weight loss, but I would also probably hide in a spa all the times that I wouldn't be with the family. On the other hand, why subject those poor ladies at the spa to that?


I feel dumb posting this. Part of me wants to just X out and forget about it.

But I won't. I don't know why not. I probably should.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSLISA1973 3/2/2012 11:47PM


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ACCEPTHECHLNGE 2/29/2012 11:55PM

    Brenda, don't feel bad about blogging. Most of us know who you are and with another challenge coming up, you will try to do your best. Maybe, you need a partner (in crime) getting there. A one to one challenge and support to get there. I agree, with your husband also wanting to lose weight, you should be helping each other. It helps so much to have someone else on your side. My husband certainly doesn't have to lose weight, but he has always supported me when I was trying to stick to a diet. We are here for you. If you want help and/or support, let us know. You will get it.

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LINDABENEDICT 2/29/2012 9:19PM

    It's your life, your blog, and YOU are just plain ole AWESOME....please don't forget that !

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GETSTRONGRRR 2/29/2012 8:33PM

    No problem at all....we need the confidence on Spark people to blog out there in public, laying out our concerns and seeing them for what they are. Our worst fears are most often never realized.

So having put this out there, it seems totally realistic and achievable. Now use that motivation to map out a credible schedule....use that sense of urgency to get where you want to be!!

Buena Suerte! We're with you 150%!!!

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RUTHXG 2/29/2012 11:50AM

    Your health goals will come a LOT more easily if your husband is on board with his own similar goals! I hope the upcoming trip (or trip possibility) will give you some good momentum.

And prayers for his grandfather's health. emoticon Much love to you.

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JOSIEISHEALTHY 2/29/2012 11:08AM

    Blogging usually helps me, or writing in general. It's nice to just vent and let out all the thoughts and ideas in your head that you would normally just ignore. 3 months is def enough time to loose those 20 pounds. You can do this. Just focus and set up a plan. Start today, now.
I know how you feel, I have hated attending weddings/gatherings for the same reason as you. Heck when I stood up in my sisters wedding I felt terrible and I do regret not loosing weight but that's in the past and we can't do anything about it, what we can do is work on today.

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ROXIT22222 2/29/2012 9:09AM

    emoticon I think it helps to write these kinds of blogs. I've written many and then X out of them. I find that when I X out of the blog it makes it not a real and 'cheapens' my own thought.

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