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Red Dots, Blue Dots

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Yesterday, while I was sitting with the little dog, I went through the nutrition reports from December 2008 on. Then, I thought that I could create the grocery lists from weeks that were particularly good, but it turned out I couldn't. Oh, well. Instead, I just printed out my food log from days where I was in my calorie range and had a good balance between carbs, protein, and fat.

But I was shocked at how many red dots my reports had! And how few blue! That is, when you ate within your calorie range on a given day, it was in this colored strip on the chart, and the dot was blue. But if you were over or under, then it was a red dot. And my reports looked like it had measles, the chicken pox and poison ivy all at once!

I don't know if I would consider myself a visual person, or a visually-motivated person, but in my mind, I began to imagine all my dots as blue dots lined up neatly on that little colored strip, and I saw that as very desirable. So yesterday and today, I have a streak going of earning blue dots for the day. Maybe if I stop getting red dots, I will finally have some weight loss success.

Because, I mean, really? Nutrition reports from December 2008, and I've lost very little, if anything at all, if I haven't gained in that time? Doing SparkPeople? And by doing SparkPeople, I mean, "doing" SparkPeople. Obviously, my commitment hasn't been that strong. About as strong as my commitment to...I don't know...get a pilot's license. Seriously!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CONTESSA63 4/4/2011 5:22AM

  blue dots? now i need to go and have a look.

i hope that you have been having some success these past few days. emoticon

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PJBOKC 4/2/2011 6:11PM

    I've never noticed the dots - will have to check that out. Sounds like a good plan. Let us know how it's going.

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HOPESINGH 4/1/2011 3:53PM

    good luck with the blue dots
does this look enough like a blue dot? emoticon

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SEATTLESIMS 4/1/2011 12:43PM

    visual inspiration, in whatever form, can really help!!
Hope you find it easier and easier to earn those little blue dots!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 4/1/2011 12:36PM

    I HATE the red dots! I try not to obsess over my reports, but I do check them semi-regularly to check on my blue dot status. emoticon here's another blue dot for you in anticipation of you rocking today!

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SEAWAVE 4/1/2011 5:17AM

    I've never looked at the nutritional analysis over time - I just look at the daily ones. I'll have to check that out. What a great visual tool!

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RUTHXG 3/31/2011 11:32PM

    Sounds like the report makes it really vivid, & that does help! So go for the blue, & see what happens . . . methinks it can't help but be good! emoticon

(P.S. Thanks for helping to clue me in about the source of drama--sheesh! May I say I'm very glad YOU & my other Starfish friends are not into any kind of hormone stuff, not even the "trace & energy" of said hormones!)

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JMCADE 3/31/2011 11:06PM

    More power to the blue dots! Maybe this visual is what you need to get you on track. Good luck with this approach.

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Home with Little Sammy

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I picked Little Sammy up from the hospital this morning. I cried when they brought him to me. I didn't know you could love a dog so much. He did really well during the surgery, and he's surprisingly alert this morning. He keeps wobbling around only slightly more wobbly than usual. He IS an old man! I'm trying to feed him, but he doesn't want to eat, and I need him to eat for his medicine.

If I can get him to go sleep, I will go to the gym. I actually think he's asleep right now, but I've got him on the couch with me, and I can't leave him up there alone. I guess if that doesn't work, I'll go tonight when my husband is back.

Poor Sammy! He can't catch a break. I hope he stops growing things he's not supposed to. We'll get the biopsy results early next week.

I'm off the rest of the week for Little Sammy. I'm going to use this time well, but I don't quite know how.

I'm kind of back to where I was before when I was home alone that weekend. What should I do with myself? How can I best use my time? Besides snuggling with the Little Dog. Organize some closets? Freecycle a bunch of junk? Rosetta Stone? Learn how best to plan meals for a week? Any other ideas?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4LEEFCLOVER 4/1/2011 9:48AM

    I hope Sammy is back to his old cute self soon!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KJNLDE 3/30/2011 12:48PM

    Feel better soon, Sammy! Dogs are totally like children... you just love them so much! Enjoy your time off... take some "me" time and relax!

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BEATLETOT 3/30/2011 12:24PM

    Thanks, y'all! Aimz, you know darn well that dog is deaf, and the phone is NOT going to wake him up! I'll be waiting for the call. Right now I'm watching "The First 48" while playing with my nutrition reports--makes me think of you and Orlando! =) LOVE!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/30/2011 12:19PM

    All of the above! Sounds like you could get a lot done that weekend but maybe just pick one or two of those things to focus on -- whatever you're feeling at the moment. I agree with MEL that you should do something fun for yourself, too!

Hope Sammy is feeling better soon :)

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AMYLONGHORN 3/30/2011 12:12PM

    Thanks for the update...I need to call you! Am working from home today, so will give you a BUZZZZZZZZ here in a bit...hope the phone doesn't wake up Sammy!!!

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RUTHXG 3/30/2011 11:44AM

    I'm glad you can take the time to be home with Sammy! May he get better soon & be blissfully free of nasty multiplying cells.

You have lots of good options for things to do while he's resting. So I suggest picking the ones that call out to you the most. Look at this time as Brenda & Sammy Time for activities that nurture each of you!


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MEL_UNRAU 3/30/2011 11:36AM

    Oh! Rosetta Stone!!! Totally. What language are you learning. I loved my Rosetta Stone! Unfortunately, it has been very misplaced (I refuse to believe lost) when we moved (so when we move again, it will be found!!! I know it!)

While home with the little guy, do some Rosetta Stone... jog in place for a few more minutes periodically... and spring clean.

And do something fun... like paint your toenails...

That's my humble advice. Have a great rest of your week!

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I'm Quitting My Voice Lessons

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Today was the day that I would pay for my next four sessions. I won't be doing that. I'm a little nervous to tell her.

It's not that I'm not getting anything out of it or that I hate it. I really enjoy my voice lessons. But...

The results of an articulation or whatever it's called that was done on a spot on Sammy's abdomen came back as a mast cell tumor, and it needs, needs, needs to be removed. They said that they could do it in their office, and he could go home the same day, but I asked if it wouldn't be better to have a board-certified surgeon do it, instead. She said that she would be honest with me, and yes, it would be better, because Sammy is old and has a heart murmur and SHOULDN'T BE UNDER ANESTHESIA at all. But it has to be done.

So I called the center that did his splenectomy, and they said they could do it, for 2.75 times what the regular vet's office's estimate was. But he stays overnight, and they are experts, which is so important to me. So I'm paying it.

Thus, it would be irresponsible to pay for more voice lessons. Honestly, it was probably not that responsible in the first place without having a full 8-month emergency fund (which is a work in progress). If I had asked Suze Orman if I could afford it, she would have said, "Denied!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KJNLDE 3/24/2011 11:45AM

    That's fantastic that you're getting a discount! I hope Sammy gets better soon and the surgery goes well!! Maybe afterwards you can sing him songs to help him recoup!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 3/23/2011 6:47PM

    love the Suze reference... sometimes she says APPROVED at the oddest times, and this might have been one of them since she would say you need to have an outlet and a way to let your creativity grow. Though i do agree she would probably say your puppy's health is more important right now. I hope you can revisit it in the future :)

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MONAKIN314 3/23/2011 8:45AM

    Good to hear that you were able to work it out with your voice instructor. I hope Sammy is okay. My Tucker has a heart murmur and they cause such a fuss over it when ever he needs something done. The first time he broke a tooth and need the rest pulled before it got infected, I had to take him to the canine cardiologist before they would do it. Who knew they had heart doctors for dogs? Anyway let us know how Sammy's mast removal goes.

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HICIM705 3/23/2011 5:43AM

    Well - it seems like Sammy will get surgery and you will continue with the voice lessons. . .that's good, right? Hope Sammy does well during surgery.

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RUTHXG 3/23/2011 12:12AM

    50% discount--that's wonderful! It's so encouraging that your teacher is so eager to keep you as a student!

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JAVALOVERTOO 3/22/2011 11:29PM

    Glad things are working out in the $$ department, take that as a blessing and then be a blessing when you can. Praying for Sammy.

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BEATLETOT 3/22/2011 8:21PM

    So....just kidding.

When I went to the lesson, I told her about my situation, and she said she would give me a 50% discount for now. And I do want to continue, so I agreed. She said she didn't want to lose me as a student and she thinks I'm cool and she doesn't want me to lose what I learn.

I mean, to be real, I could afford both of them. Like, it's not like I'm going to be on beans and rice if I do both. Probably I shouldn't have agreed, but I do want to continue.

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AMYLONGHORN 3/22/2011 8:15PM

    So sad for Sammy...he is one lucky dog to have you as a mom! And plus, you don't need voice lessons because you sing AWESOME already, IMHO! Keep me posted on how the Samster does...we love him and we love YOU!!

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PJBOKC 3/22/2011 6:52PM

    You did a great job of setting your priorities. I'm sure the voice instructor will understand when you tell her about Sammy. I pray Sammy will do well in the procedure, and have a speedy recovery. Sounds like you enjoy the voice lessons, and you can sure continue to enjoy practicing what you've learned, and resume the lessons sometime in the future. Again, best to Sammy and you!

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RUTHXG 3/22/2011 6:00PM

    Oh, I'm sorry about the needed surgery for Sammy, & I'm sorry that you can't continue your voice lessons right now. But I know you feel really good about getting the expert help for your sweet companion. Best wishes for the surgery--I hope he comes through it in very good shape.


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KNH771 3/22/2011 5:59PM

    I had to give up my voice lessons to work on paying down debt and establishing an emergency fund. It was painful, but I know it was a good decision! I know that when I'm on better footing, I can restart the lessons.

Hope your dog is OK!

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Too Young to Be So Tired

Monday, March 21, 2011

I realized something today.

My Wanderlust is gone.

Years ago, I traipsed around Europe...twice. I wanted to see every continent before I died. I fell in love with a Latino and asked him to take me to every country in South America. I learned two foreign languages. I dreamed of the day I would move to Germany and tried to figure out a way to hasten the day. I wanted to go around the world.

Now, I just want the world to come to me.

I host exchange students. It's fun, and it's my dream, but even when it's someone who speaks one of my two foreign langauges, I don't bother. The thought of planning a trip is exhausting to me. Last time I was dragged to my husband's native land, I had a hissy fit and cried and begged to be taken to the airport early. Oh, my. I sound like a brat.

When did I get so BORING? And when did I get so LAZY? Is it when I started allowing myself to skip articles in the "Travel" section? Where is my joie de vivre? Is it strange to not want to see the world? Is it weird to want to stay home? Is it odd to feel this tired? Am I only asking this because I live in a major, urban area? And because every "Date Lab" (a weekly column describing a blind date) they set up in the WaPo Magazine has in the "Interests to Share" section travel? Is this a strawman, when I am trying new things, but just sticking closer to home? I dunno.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAREN_NY 3/27/2011 7:29PM

    You're trying new things, you're engaged with the world, and that is All Good!! Your comfort in staying home doesn't necessarily mean you're Tired. But if you ARE tired, and feeling that even with the things you enjoy at home, maybe try busting the rut a notch?

In any case, celebrate the day -- it is totally worth it, wherever you are!

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GO-LOEW 3/23/2011 12:23PM

    It might be good for you to delve deeper into the reason why you changed your strong desire to travel and see the world to now wanting to stay close to home. If it is because your interests have changed, wonderful! But if it is because of other reasons (excess weight, lack of ability to walk and explore, etc.), then you might want to fix those problems and revive your dream. Your post discusses being tired, exhausted at the thought of planning a trip, uninterested in speaking the foreign languages you know. It seems more like you have these other reasons that are keeping your former desires buried.

I don't know that age alone is the reason you changed your thinking. We know lots of people who are in their 60s and 70s who are going on cruises, sailing their own sailboats all over Mexico, the Caribbean, south seas, and the coasts of the United States, biking in Europe, operating villas in Italy.

Comment edited on: 3/23/2011 12:25:51 PM

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CARLYG8 3/22/2011 3:48PM

    I used to love to travel too, but I think that as we get older, we crave the "comfort" more than the "experience". My hubby gets so angry with me...always asking if I want to go here..or there...and I just want to be "home". I think I don't like to go because I usually can't take my dog, and I hate...HATE...leaving him!! And it is such a major hassle coordinating all the details...ohhh!...just makes more work! (talk about sounding lazy...laughs)

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KJNLDE 3/22/2011 3:46PM

    Haha... I think that sometimes. I think it's just called "growing-up". Heck, I can't walk into a bar anymore and not want to tell everyone to talk lower! The question isn't whether or not you're now "boring", it's whether or not you are enjoying life. Are you happy? If so, that's all that matters! Would some people think that being a stay-at-home mom who's biggest recent accomplishment is becoming the co-president of the MOMs club next year is boring? Heck yes! I would have thought so a few years ago myself! But I'm loving it... and that's what matters! I'm not bored, so who cares! Buck up... give yourself a smile! emoticon

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KARENE10 3/22/2011 9:42AM

    You girl are NOT boring. I used to want to travel too. Now,I really do not have that desire. I'm not sure what the answer is though.....I do believe that AMYLONGHORN says it best:):):)

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AMYLONGHORN 3/22/2011 9:20AM

    You silly girl! You are living the life!! You have a fantastic husband (even if he makes you go to Peru to go see his family...I just get to go to Ohio *fun*), you have a great job, you have a cutie patootie dog and you have an awesome house! I say you are set...just because you don't feel the urge to be a jetsetter doesn't mean you've lost ANYTHING! And there's nothing wrong with sticking around your house...there's A LOT going on up there and you can always find something to do. The Cherry Blossoms will be out soon...!


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MONAKIN314 3/22/2011 8:33AM

    I too used to love travelling and dream of going everywhere, but now travelling just is too much work. We all change as we get older, that doesn't make us boring, just different from what we were.

And guess what we will change again, maybe become adventurous again!

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SBATES63 3/22/2011 6:22AM

    I have traveled the world, but now I prefer to explore my own country, Canada, and especially it's wilderness. There is nothing wrong with changing what you love to do, as long is it's true change and not complacency, but only you can decide that. You will figure it out.

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RUTHXG 3/21/2011 11:51PM

    I agree with Paula--you're not boring at all! I'm guessing that your low energy may be related to the extra weight, & that you'll feel more adventurous once the extra baggage is shed. (Couldn't resist that travel-themed cliché.)

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

(Just tried to find some travel emoticons--the selection is a bit clichéd too, but you catch my drift!)

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PJBOKC 3/21/2011 11:33PM

    everything has a "season". but you sound anything but boring to me!! I'm sure you'll have your "season" for travel again.

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I'm Going on a Detox Diet!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Did that get your attention? emoticon

Well, I am! But I'm not going to use cayenne pepper or lemon juice. No green shakes nor juices. No maple syrup nor diuretics.

I ate like a pig this week. Pizza, tacos, chips... It's embarrassing to write that!

So I will detox. No ingredients I can't pronounce...almost! I can't give up the soda or my aspartame headache will happen, even though it contains phenylalanine. But just one a day. And I'm going to go buy my bread from Whole Foods. I'm going to have to hide it from the human vacuum we have living with us. I used to bake my own bread, and I'd like to start again, but it's SO MUCH WORK, and that kid will eat the entire loaf in a day with no comprehension of the work, time and love that went into it. So I'll buy from Whole Foods. The Dirty Dozen produce will come from there, too. All-natural meats, no hormones, no salt. I'm sure there will be other things I need to think of to make sure I am eating only good, solid, whole foods.

I don't think it's really going to "detox" me. I believe what they say about our bodies detoxing naturally. But I DO think I'm going to feel better after doing it. And I'm not picking a "detox diet" to follow. Just a solid diet for a week. I think that, even though I'm not detoxing, I'll feel better knowing I fed myself well with good foods.

Like an LTGL challenge, I think after I complete my one-week commitment, I won't continue as strongly, but it will make me think, and a few parts of it will stick. And I'm looking forward to it. Even though some may think you shouldn't be so rigid, I know myself, and while I know I can't keep up with this for more than a week, I know that this will make me feel like I accomplished something. So I'm looking forward to it. =)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KARENE10 3/20/2011 9:58AM

    Sounds like a plan! emoticon

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L*I*T*A* 3/19/2011 10:59PM

    all the best with it............ emoticon

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JMCADE 3/19/2011 9:40PM

    Great change for you. I like the sound of this detox. Had me scaraed there for a minute!

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AMYLONGHORN 3/19/2011 5:06PM

    GOOD LUCK with this! Sounds like a plan to me! You'll have a good start with the boys being away this weekend!

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ROCKPORT9 3/19/2011 4:40PM

    Isn't it great that your body says enough! That is always progress. emoticon

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RUTHXG 3/19/2011 11:53AM

    Sounds great! Gradually you'll find that you LIKE "solid, whole foods" better than processed junk. Your body will learn!

Have fun cooking! Are you going to try new recipes too?

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BREWMASTERBILL 3/19/2011 10:57AM

    Cool. It sounds like you're aware that a "detox diet" does not possess magical properties. It's all about eating less, moving more.

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