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Results of my plant-shopping trip

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

One of my two trips yesterday was to a local hardware store that has a nursery. It was sprinkling the whole time and COLD! (Turns out some of our recent rain actually put a thin blanket of snow up on Mount Hamilton and that tends to drop our temperature a bit.)

I poked around a bit and picked up two plants that should be happier with shade / indirect sun in my room - a spider plant and a fern. I also hunted around and found something called a "Chocolate Mint". While it says full sun, I'm sincerely hoping I can get it to live happily with afternoon sun through an open window.

Soil and pots to move them into so they have room to grow grow grow!

Of course, I don't particularly think I have a fantastic green thumb. BUT I have successfully kept an ivy alive for years now. How many years I don't even remember, but for comparison:

When I originally bought the ivy, it was in a container the size of the little ones (4"). At one point I had transplanted it to a 6" pot and it branched of into long runners, about 4 of them. I took one clipping and put it in a little jar with water, where it grew roots for a long time, but never expanded past one leaf.

The runners had gotten to about 8' long (the pot was atop a 6' book case and the runners came all the way to the floor and moved along it a little) when I decided I needed to do something different with it. I bought the bigger pot. When I went to move it over, there was very little soil left in the original pot - it was almost entire root mass.

I got it moved over, but I didn't want the long long runners. So I combined two things. One was running them up the trellis and back down into the dirt to encourage roots from along the runner. The other was clipping off about a 3' section from the end of each runner and planting that. Only one of those failed to make it.

The single leaf with a big root system was re-potted in the bigger plant's pot and quite happily sprouted more leaves and started growing. When I moved, that one was actually gifted to one of DDa's friends.

Anyway, I think he's just about the hardiest plant ever because he has survived me forgetting to water him for a couple weeks, survived pots being knocked over, survived two moves, and looks as healthy as he does there.

Soooooo, I hope my new little babies follow suit!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAMONA 3/29/2012 2:49AM

    Chocolate mint will grow well in the shade (I have a north facing yard - lots of shade - and it does well), however, mint needs to go deep with its roots, so it will be happier in a deep, narrower pot. If you're a coffee drinker at all, it is so good crushed in coffee, and then chilled with milk added to latte proportions. The iced coffee aspect brings out the chocolate flavour!

Your plants will be lovely I'm sure... nothing like a little green to make a place homey!

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SUE_2U 3/21/2012 12:09AM

    I used to have literally over a hundred house plants. Moved into a shady apartment and over half of them just shriveled and got spindly right away...ended up losing most of them. It's so good you have thoughtfully chosen plants that thrive in the shade. Indeed the ivy looks very healthy. Though I think it may be a pothos plant, which is wonderfully hardy. I love them! I do have one of those. For some reason, here, I can't get indoor plants to thrive. Outdoors is better.

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ERINSPGOM 3/20/2012 11:51PM

    I don't do well with very many plants either, but spider plants are tough little critters. I had mine in southern California and would forget to water them for several days, and they just kept on truckin. Have fun and good luck with the little guys.

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EIFERDOODLE 3/20/2012 11:25PM

    Ferns are pretty easy to take care of, and my spider plant i've had for a few years, it looks kinda scraggly now, but it holds up well to me not watering it very often, it is tempermental with places in my apartment to put it, but if the leaves get brown, i just cut that part off and it usually survives. Good luck! I love growing things, although, I really want to grow basil, had NO luck with, it keeps dying, and thinking of container plants this summer, peppers, tomatos, cucumers....but I think i'm going to try mint! thanks for the inspiration!

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RAE_LEIGH22 3/20/2012 10:07PM

    I'm glad you have some new babies! They're very nice!

I had a miniature cactus when I was six. I put it in my window where it was very sunny -- cactuses need lots of sun. My cat knocked it down the one day and that was it for the cactus. Darn it!

Hope you have better luck than I did with your new plants! I'm sure they'll do great!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/20/2012 10:08:18 PM

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WHQPHQ 3/20/2012 6:50PM

    We've got a bonsai, it's hard to keep it alive! emoticon

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ISAVEDME80 3/20/2012 3:49PM

    Good luck on the new babies.
they look so cute in their little pots

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BUONNATALIE 3/20/2012 3:44PM

    I betcha, just like anything else, a "green thumb" comes with practice.

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LGAR519 3/20/2012 12:19PM

    My flowers in the yard are always nice. But I don't have much luck with indoor plants. Good luck!!

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SHERIO5 3/20/2012 10:50AM

    How fun!

Mint is usually very hardy. I have had great luck with a variety of mints in my outdoor garden, sometimes too much luck!!! I grew chocolate and orange mints along with regular mints and loved using the leaves in my tea and salad recipes. Good luck! emoticon

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TORIAMAE 3/20/2012 9:45AM

    Lovely choices!

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BUTRFLY_FREEDOM 3/20/2012 9:05AM

    I'm so happy for this blog! I just decided yesterday to get some indoor plants (never done it before) and its nice to hear those plants are hardy! Lol

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AMYTRIPP 3/20/2012 7:48AM

    I love plants - but my thumb isn't very green, either.

I have five kinds of mint growing on my wooded hill paths, including chocolate. And they've thrived for several years now and come back more abundant each spring.

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Where to begin!? Name of app, busy weekend, and compliments

Monday, March 19, 2012

So, for those who asked - the name of the app I got for my phone to track my workouts is JEFit. It can sync to a website by the same name, but that is not mandatory. There is the free version (which I have) which has ads and the paid version which I believe does not. It's the first I've tried and I've only had it a few days now, so I can't say it's the best or the only.


Busy, busy weekend. Whew!

Friday evening was filled with getting to the bank before 6 pm so I could deposit my check and have enough immediately available to pay for the cell phone service. They're really good about getting it turned back on almost immediately - I used the free wifi on our light rail trains to do that on the way to the gym.

Used aforementioned new app at the gym rather than pen and paper and am learning things about it - such as that I could set up the workout in a sequence and have it automatically prompt me for the next weight machine.

Stayed up later than I planned Friday night talking to my bestest friend. (He's actually part of why I won't currently do the sleep challenge. I make myself available whenever he needs to talk.)

My daughter was singing with her choir at a special event Saturday morning and wanted to meet after - so I had to get to the gym early enough to make that work. My alarm went off at 7ish ... and I knew there was no way, not a chance I was getting up then (not exactly a headache, but close). So I fell back asleep until 9:45. Made it to the gym, did my cardio, quick shower, and hurried to meet her carrying my gym stuff.

She wanted to take me to lunch at a new favorite place she went to with her aunt called Pluto's. (Apparently only here in Northern California - fresh food with the focus seeming to be salads, though sandwiches are also available.) She ordered hers first. I could see that a Main Salad was going to be HUGE, so I went for the Side Salad.

It was very interesting to be able to select salad toppings and watch them make it. The biggest minus was having zero control over the amount of dressing, let alone no clue how much of each item (so my Saturday log is pretty much guesswork). We chowed down and talked and played a game with each other. We followed that with watching The Lorax, which we'd missed out on last week. (She thoroughly enjoyed it. I found it amusing enough, but some stuff didn't appeal to me completely.)

Even more fun, though. She'd seen me the previous weekend, but again this time said I look skinnier every time she sees me. Part of it, she admitted, was that the last time she saw me I had gotten jeans that fit and it made a lot of difference. This time I was wearing one of my newer workout shirts, so again - not baggy clothes.

But that wasn't all. I mentioned needing a couple new shirts for that very reason and she suggested checking at Old Navy. I was immediately saying nothing there would fit, but she told me I was skinny enough now. emoticon So that's where we headed after the movie walking to a nearby mall. (YEESH, WINDY!) Sure enough, I was able to pick up a couple shirts listing sizes as XL | LG | XG (we didn't know what that meant) and they fit.

Now, in my baby book there are pictures of me all the way up until I graduated. One of those, me at around 12-13 years old, has me looking almost gaunt (I'm in a not very attractive dress for my dad's remarrying, and had not started developing yet). She told me yesterday that suddenly she can understand how I looked so beanpole now that I'm getting skinnier. Because I'm taller (5'8"), even with curves I have a slim torso and ankles and such. Pre-curves I would have been (WAS) long and skinny.


With all her flattery, I think my head has gained another inch to offset one of those inches lost somewhere else.

We wandered the mall for a while, then headed to a concert a couple of her friends were in. (These are friends from the choir, who also are part of a larger choral group.) There were three songs in particular that I really liked. One was called Twa Tanbou telling the story of three drums who argue about which is best until they play together and discover that is how they make the most beautiful music (not one drum was played - this was entirely represented in voice!) Another was called Ritmo and included clapping and stomping of feet, a song very full of life. The last was called Cloudburst, which simulates through voice, bells, drums, and snapping, a progression of gentle rain, thunderstorm and then slowing patters as it fades. Quite a few of us stood to clap for that one - AMAZINGLY done.

She headed on to another friend's birthday party with one of the friends who sang there and I headed home, walking about a mile to the light rail train and not getting home until after 10:30. At which point I was trying to track everything and get as many points as I could and read blogs and get to sleep at a halfway reasonable hour. I was out like a light the moment I turned the lights off.


This morning was the gym again, this time testing myself a bit on the recumbent bike. When I first started working out at the gym, I had tried the Cardio program and it hurt my legs and knees to even try to deal with that much resistance. So I used the Fat Burning program instead. (One targets me for 142 - 80% of my max HR - and the other for 116 - 60% of my max HR.)

Over time, I've tried the Interval program and Hill programs, but each time I'd hit a point of resistance that just made my knees unhappy and made me fight to keep going, usually quitting and starting it over back in an easier program. More recently, I'd moved to using the Manual program and adjusting the resistance manually while paying attention to my heart rate. Level 7 usually holds me right at around the "Fat Burning" point - 116 HR. I try to do Level 8 as much of the time as I can, and this last week I've been pushing to Level 9 for a minute here, a minute there, 5 minutes on Friday. Today I pushed to Level 10 for 5 minutes, my heart rate 142-144 for most of that, and didn't feel any ill effects in my knees or like it was "too hard".

That right there is my biggest motivation with exercise. No matter how little we can do when we start, we can see results if we push ourselves just a little.

I do not push myself the way a personal trainer would, but neither do I take it easy on myself. I'm regularly trying one more rep, one more weight, one more minute, one more level, a new program on the machine. Fitness progress may not take me immediately to doing squats and pushups and situps, but I am regularly pushing for just a bit more and celebrating each and every time I get it done.

Every time I work out, I notice things like how my knees do. I'm slowly getting to the point where sitting down on a low bench isn't a matter of dropping so my knees don't take much pressure and instead is very close to a controlled squat that ends in sitting. That is seriously exciting to me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 3/22/2012 8:03PM

    great blog always enjoy reading them and all yo are able to pack into a day and still have time to read and leave supportive notes on blogs you always leave a nice note on mine. you seem to have a handle on things going on in your life and when its time you will do the sleep challenge. it sounds like an easy one but some parts make you really stop and look at how you deal with the days events that can effect your sleep. Gym time is important and that is great to see that you fit it to your busy Sat. I agree that once we fit into clothing from Old Navy it a emoticon day. keep up the great job and getting things together. some times it seems once we get some personal issues handled we take weight off. Can't remember which Spark friend shared this but it was a emoticon moment for me and i have it hanging up on
a kitchen cupboard you don't lose weight because that means you are likely to find it seem like we are always looking for things we lose. so we take the weight off know its just words but made scene to me we don't want to find it. thanks again for sharing your thought and you week end with us emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FIFIFRIZZLE 3/21/2012 2:58AM

    I agree with you about the exercise, suddenly, you notice you can do more, it,s cool!

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MARYJEANSL 3/21/2012 12:46AM

  IMpressive to get so much done - keep achieving!

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CLAYARTIST 3/20/2012 8:49PM


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BIRDLSLAURIE 3/20/2012 9:28AM

    Those "little" victories are huge aren't they. Congratulations!

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HEARTS116 3/20/2012 8:20AM

emoticon emoticon

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DEBK0923 3/20/2012 7:41AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JIBBIE49 3/20/2012 1:24AM

    emoticonWhat an honor to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. You are certainly an inspiration to others. emoticon

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RAE_LEIGH22 3/20/2012 12:28AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHIROIHANA 3/19/2012 8:39PM

    Congrats on the Old Navy shirts!! WTG on the shrink. Your daughter is lucky to have you... it's moments like listening to Raincloud that will be remembered for life. Continue doing awesome!!

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ISAVEDME80 3/19/2012 5:00PM

    Congrats on Old Navy...Old Navy rocks!!
And that's one of the best feelings in the world to get complimented on the progress you have worked so hard deserve to have a bigger worked hard to earn it :)
Glad that your daughter enjoyed the movie. I seen previews and am a big fan of Suess artwork and some of the movies but it didn't appeal to me so much.
I love the body it's an awesome thing to see how much we can push ourselves and get stronger from it!

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MSSUZZANNE 3/19/2012 3:26PM

    I think it's wonderful you found Old Navy clothes! It is fun to get something new in a smaller size.

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-SONIA- 3/19/2012 3:18PM

    You have a wonderful relationship with your daughter :) Compliments are the best, aren't they? emoticon

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SKYSEARCHER 3/19/2012 1:49PM

    Congratulations on your progress! I've had good luck using exercise tracking programs, too.

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NEWMOM20121 3/19/2012 12:50PM

    Sounds like you had a great weekend. Keep it up.

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SHELLYK972 3/19/2012 12:18PM

    Gongrats on the new shirts and new size!!!


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LGAR519 3/19/2012 11:06AM

    Wow, What a good weekend.I overate on my Birthday, Saturday, but lost 3 pounds anyway. I'm so glad your Daughter made some nice compliments to you. That always makes you feel better. Congrats on the Old Navy shirts! I don't know much about gym workouts but yours sounds intense. Good job!

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CHUBRUB3 3/19/2012 10:18AM

    Great blog!
Awesome accomplishments!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERIO5 3/19/2012 9:31AM

    What a great weekend!

It's so nice to have someone affirm your efforts too...what a blessing, and getting smaller clothes that fit well is another nice perk!!!

You are doing this, and it's a joy to be along for the ride with you!!

Sheri emoticon

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TORIAMAE 3/19/2012 9:06AM

    Your progress is so exciting! Congratulations on the Old Navy shirts. That must be a wonderful feeling!

I love how you talk about taking it up one notch at a time. I think that's the way to do it!

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BUTRFLY_FREEDOM 3/19/2012 8:49AM

    I bet that IS exciting! Congrats on fitting into the old navy clothes! And I bet those compliments from your daughter just put you in the clouds!

Good luck on the rest of your journey!

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SASSY5468 3/19/2012 8:37AM

    I am so happy for you! What a wonderful day with your daughter! And to know that your knees are getting better? I totally know how that feels and it's WONDERFUL! Keep up the fantastic work and thank you for continuing to be an incredible inspiration :)

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CJMCCRAY 3/19/2012 7:51AM

    You have really accomplished alot! I hope you are proud of what you have been able to do. emoticon

Sounds like you and your friend had a fantastic time. Busy, busy, busy!

I'm so happy for you! Have a wonderful week!!


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KATHUGGS 3/19/2012 7:38AM

    You are doing such a great job!!! My knees used to be a huge problem for me. I know how you feel about being in control when sitting down!! It was a big accomplishment for me the day I was able to stand up without having to hold on to something. It's amazing how well our bodies respond to a healthy lifestyle.

Keep it up!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEVERLY1983 3/19/2012 7:28AM

    Sounds like you had a great time. Congrats on buying clothes from OLD NAVY. I understand about the baggy clothes. I buy Pants from the good will to shrink into but need to start buying shirts too.

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KSCHRAUT 3/19/2012 7:09AM

    Wow! Sounds like a WONDERFUL weekend! YAY for being able to increase resistance on cardio machines!

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SUE_2U 3/19/2012 4:22AM

    Wow what a wonderful time you've had! And what a wonderful milestone to be able to buy shirts at Old Navy! emoticon

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A big thank you to all who wished me a Happy Birthday

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Was out almost all day, but I'm catching up now. Thank you to everyone who wished me a Happy Birthday!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMYTRIPP 3/19/2012 8:05AM

    I hope it was a wonderful day!

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CHUBRUB3 3/18/2012 3:23PM

    Happy Belated Birthday!!
Best wishes!

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ISAVEDME80 3/18/2012 11:49AM

    Sorry for not wishing you a happy birthday I had no idea I hope that you had a fantastic day and happy belated one :)

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_JODI404 3/18/2012 11:06AM

    emoticon H A P P Y B I R T H D A Y!!!!!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Hope you had a fabulous day!!!!!

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BEVERLY1983 3/18/2012 10:24AM

    Happy Late Birthday

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MARIE405 3/18/2012 9:33AM

    I hope your day was filled with joy.

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LGAR519 3/18/2012 8:14AM

    Happy belated birthday. March 17th was mine too!

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KARL1266 3/18/2012 8:03AM

    Happy Birthday! emoticon

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KSCHRAUT 3/18/2012 7:38AM

    Happy Birthday!!

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WHQPHQ 3/18/2012 5:43AM

    Happy Birthday! emoticon

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Found me a nice little app for my phone

Saturday, March 17, 2012

So, on Wednesday I hit the end of my notebook pages for recording my weights and reps. I could have moved on to new pages, but carrying that and flipping pages, and some were tearing made me decide I needed a new option.

So, I did a quick little search and found an Android app. Woot!

Of course, being me, I've been trying to log all the back data. Whew, amazing to realize I've been going to the gym daily for two months now. Three days a week have involved weight training. That's a lot of data to fill in. I'm nowhere near done yet.

Even without the historical data, I was able to use it tonight and was pretty happy with it. I carried my phone around with me, picked the exercises as I did them, and entered the weight and reps for each set.

One fun little thing - it tells me what my 1RM is based upon the weight and number of reps. 1RM stand for 1 rep maximum and is the heaviest weight one could possibly handle for that muscle / exercise and do a single proper form repetition.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUE_2U 3/17/2012 6:18PM

    What a wonderful, handy thing to have! Thanks for passing it on! emoticon

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ISAVEDME80 3/17/2012 6:16PM

    sounds awesome Jennifer. I haven't advanced in the cell phone tech era I have the plainest cell I could find and only use it for texting and that's about it. LOL I need to upgrade to this century.

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RAE_LEIGH22 3/17/2012 4:28PM

    Sounds like an awesome app! What's it called?

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LREIGLE 3/17/2012 3:30PM

    emoticon keep up the good work!

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CHUBRUB3 3/17/2012 12:42PM

What is the name of the app?

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SPARKFRAN514 3/17/2012 11:21AM

    good for you going to the gym and keeping track of your work outs my phone is not that fancy but i do keep track of my visits and what i do on the fitness tracker. trying to figure out how to use my pedometer it will keep track of steps / miles/ calories burned once i can figure it out.
you are doing emoticon emoticon keep up the great work emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LGAR519 3/17/2012 10:42AM

    I have an Android tablet PC. Wonder if there is one on it? I'll have to check on it!

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-SONIA- 3/17/2012 10:42AM

    emoticon emoticon

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RG_DFW 3/17/2012 9:26AM


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KARL1266 3/17/2012 7:39AM

    Should have known there'd be an app for that! emoticon

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WHQPHQ 3/17/2012 6:27AM

    I love all my fitness apps =)

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Non-Compete Clause

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I seem to have a strong dislike for competition. Not against myself, mind you. I love competing against my personal best and excelling there. It's against others that I never like to compete.


Because the vast majority of competitions have one winner and many losers. If I should win, then a whole bunch of people lose. If I don't fight to win, and cause all those people to lose, someone else will win.

I noticed that this showed up in the Spark Team I co-lead. I've been trying to provide some Team Goals and Team Challenges. This month's challenges are steps (5,000+) and freggies (min. 1 each daily). I set the basic levels low because I want them to be inclusive of as many people as possible. And I didn't set it up to be a "who can get the most?" challenge or a "break into teams and see which one gets the most" challenge. Instead, I'd want to reward EVERY Teammate who accomplishes the goal.

In a similar vein, while I've joined a couple of challenges (10-minute fitness, 5k Your Way, and Team Leader), none of those involved competing against others. Ditto for the Team Goals and Challenges I choose to take part in.

This isn't new, either. I hated competing in school. Thinking back as I write this, I remember a third grade classroom game. We each were given a dictionary. The teacher gave us a word and we had to find it as fast as we could then raise our hand. I'd been reading since I was three, where many of the other students learned basic words in first grade. I won easily, multiple times, then quit trying and pretended to have trouble. It was SO unfair to the rest of my classmates. That's not even something an adult told me. No, the teacher never said "let others have a chance." It was purely my distaste for standing out that way and keeping others from winning.

Maybe that's part of it. Sometimes things seem to come too easily. When I can see others working ten times as hard as me to achieve the same goal, I hate to cross the finish line ahead of them and "negate" all their effort. Instead, I can seem to trip, stagger, sabotage myself and let them cross ahead of me - happy inside with the knowledge that I did well and not needing to be first across the line to know I could have chosen to be. They can wear the blue ribbon and I can be happy I beat (or could have beat) my previous best time.

Hence my title. It's like my motto for this life is a Non-Compete Clause.

For those unfamiliar with the term, that is part of a legal agreement when someone leaves a company that states they will not directly compete against that company for a period of time. An example might be a morning DJ not being allowed to go be a DJ at another local, directly competing radio station. He might be able to go outside the local area or work for one with a completely different audience (go from hard rock to country formats, perhaps).


Where does this lead? I've been having to fight the strangest urge to sabotage myself because my ability to lose weight has been so easy. Thankfully, I've been able to ignore the mental fidgets so far, but it is disconcerting to hear my inner voice arguing for eating more because I don't want it to frustrate others who don't have the same level of progress.

I noticed my ticker today and boggled. emoticon Somehow in 6 months I've hit 45 pounds down and halfway to my original goal of 160.

I'm almost back under 200. I remember 199 - 200 for two key points. One was 2 weeks past my due date with my oldest, DDb. I weighed 199 at the doctor's appt. the day before she was born and was amused that even pregnant I didn't exceed my "I never want to be heaver than 200" rule. (She was 8 lb. 15 oz. so I definitely dropped back down right after. =P ) The other was after I'd made my decision to gain weight - I remember my mother reminding me of my 200 rule and me shrugging and saying it didn't matter any more.

Why has it been so easy for me?

1) I've mentioned it before, but I am not an emotional eater. I do have issues with emotions, they're just not food-related.

2) I'm not (nor have I ever been) anorexic, bulimic, or a binge eater. I don't suffer from depression or any chronic ailment that impacts my ability to eat as I please or engage in most activities.

3) I deliberately gained weight. While I was probably mildly overweight from about 19 (first pregnancy started) until a couple years after my divorce, I usually was around 175-180 at the top end. Only from around the late 90's did I start eating more food generally, eating more sugar, eating out more and doubling up what I ate. And even then, I wasn't consistent. I spent a few years bouncing around 195, a few more around 205, several in the 225 range, and a few more at 235. Only in the last couple years did I hit 240-245 and my highest ever of 250.5.

4) I didn't become completely sedentary. I walked to and from work daily - a 0.65 mile route - in about 12 minutes. When it was most stressful, I went walking on my 15 minute breaks and 30 minute lunches to clear my mind. At one point I was going up and down the flights of stairs in the building during my 15 minute break. I walked and bused everywhere, carrying loads of groceries.

5) I didn't yo-yo diet. Amusingly / sadly, I've done Slimfast shakes - not to lose weight but to boost my nutrition and/or be an easy breakfast. (In fact, a big reason I mentally could not buy into any of the weight loss industry was because almost every method had fine print that "combined with a exercise and an otherwise healthy diet". Well, no kidding, Sherlock. What do I need this product for if exercise and a healthy diet would already do the job?) This also means I don't have a long string of trying to lose weight and failing or losing it and regaining that linger as examples of what I'll do again.

6) I have no issues eating rationally around others who eat to excess. The owner of the company I work at is obese, quite possibly morbidly so. Our Christmas dinner's in years we've had them were at Maggiano's and involved a multi-course meal in which she pushed us all to eat as much as we could and ask for more so she could have leftovers boxed for later. I ate bread, one salad, a couple of meat entree's, a veggie dish, and a dessert. Peer pressure is just not a consideration.

7) I now live alone. I shop solely for me, I cook solely for me. My side of the family does not do holidays, nor do we meet up often. So family gatherings don't exist outside of me meeting up with DS and DDa. With them, I may eat more richly for that one meal, but I balance it to the day and week and stay easily in my average ranges.

8) While my "wicked" step-mother and family dinners around my father were the epitome of the clean plate club, obscure and distorted rules, and more, my mother was into Adelle Davis' book "Eat Right to Live Well" and taught me a love of whole grain bread and other such foods. And I naturally love vegetables. So even when "pigging out" and eating lots of sugar, I also ate plenty of protein and was more likely to add a salad to my order of a large burger and a shake than fries.

9) As mentioned before, I'd already spent the last year or two applying similar principles to my finances as I'm apply now to my weight. I strengthened my self-discipline and willpower, practiced my goal-setting, in that realm first.

10) I'm a spreadsheet gal. I track things all the time. In the MMORPG (World of Warcraft) that I play, I have records of levels in professions, levels in gear, levels in reputations, all recorded in spreadsheets so I can figure out which character might be able to use something. I have dozens of characters I track. I've tracked my food, every bite, for six months now without ever thinking it was extra work.

11) I have free time. Copious amounts compared to some people. I get up around 7:20 am, leave by 7:40 am, bus to work and start at 8:30 am. I eat lunch at work and get off at 5:00 pm, riding the bus to the gym. I work out 40+ minutes daily then head home. I clean my room, do my laundry and shopping, and go to the gym on the weekend. The rest of my time is used how I choose. I do fill it, but other than arrangements to meet with DDa or DS, it is purely filled at my whim. ( I ~LOVE~ my empty nest!)


Whew, okay, that went a lot longer than planned.

The key point of all that is this: PLEASE, OH PLEASE, DO NOT COMPARE YOUR PROGRESS TO MINE!

Unless all of those points apply equally to you, you'd be comparing apples to oranges. Or possibly apples to zucchinis - since at least apples and oranges are both fruit.

This has been absurdly easy for me so far. In fact, I keep edging my calories higher to try to keep from losing so fast. (Because SP uses sedentary as the baseline BMR, I think I burn more than they account for during my non-workout time.)

Yes, it could be as easy for others IF ...


... IF all the obstacles that otherwise make it challenging did not exist or were eliminated.

Some of those obstacles can't be eliminated. Depression can't just be turned off until the weight is gone. Fibromyalgia might allow a few easier days, but when a flare hits, there's no magic pill to get rid of it. Whether mental or physical, those things slow one's progress down. As do injuries. As can some medications.

Even things that can, with a great deal of effort, be tackled - are still there to slow progress until they are. Mindless snacking, binges, clean plate habits, lack of portion control, heavy carb cravings, and so on.

DO NOT put down the progress you are making because you see others, like me, cruising along.

I agree completely that it is NOT fair.

Were there any way to take away the obstacles and difficulties that get in your path, you'd already be doing so.


BUT let me end with:

This is not a race in which only one person can win by crossing the finish line first. If it were, NONE of us would have any reason for being here. Because who knows who the first person to have to work to lose weight was. Probably someone in early history, maybe an Egyptian living on a diet of grain.

This is a journey in which every one of us has the ability, so long as we keep redirecting ourselves in the right direction, to someday eventually pass landmarks such as "overweight, not obese", "healthy BMI", "ideal weight", "average or better on fitness tests", "able to touch toes", and so on. Hundreds of thousands may have already passed those landmarks, millions may pass after you, but that won't diminish the excitement and thrill of passing it yourself. You'll get there!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNHUNT 1/21/2013 10:38AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TOOBIGTOFAIL07 3/18/2012 12:01AM

    I don't compare myself to others when it comes to fitness and weight. I just try to do better each day. If I exercise a bit more today than yesterday, I am satisfied. If I eat more veggies today than yesterday, that's good enough for me. We can all reach our goals in our own time. Thanks for the blog!

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    Thank you for the reminder to celebrate our successes and to measure our own progress against someone else. Thank you for sharing this well written post!

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LREIGLE 3/17/2012 3:27PM

    Thanks for sharing! Kept up the good work!

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ZANNBEE 3/17/2012 3:26PM

    This is awesome. I find your journey so encouraging. It's so easy to get into the comparison trap. Thanks for posting this.

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UNIQDRGNFLY 3/17/2012 12:19PM

    I feel the same as you in a lot of ways regarding competition....I shy away from it because most of the time it is not fair.

I could go further and say that some of the things we earn our points on are not fair either...such as the points for facebook, glasses of water per day...I don't do facebook and my body can only tolerate 6 glasses or water per day.

I don't allow the point thing to get to me though, I am just me and if I don't gain as many points for the day as someone else, oh is what it is.

My husband is competitive motivated though, so I will just let him have that part...LOL

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JUNODANCER 3/17/2012 7:32AM

    Just curious...why did you decide to gain weight? I have to admit that it boggles my mind why you would do that.

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THISTIMEMYWAY 3/16/2012 5:41PM

    Thank you for sharing emoticon
You've done well. You deserve a pat on the back.
No envy here emoticon We are all in different stages of our lives. Right now I am in the stage where time is so limited, it feels like it is flying by. I was single and had lots of time before. The kids will grow up and will need me less so I will have more time again. I am a slow loser but that's ok. I am healthy. I am happy. Life is good. emoticon

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SUE_2U 3/16/2012 3:28PM

    emoticon I was pretty sure that I wrote here... Maybe my computer at it, or it went out into the ozone. But you brought up some really important points.
Thanks so much for your kind words on my blog. I always appreciate them. emoticon

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FIRSTLADYJ1 3/16/2012 2:12PM

    The problem with being competitive is that when you don't finish first, you take an emotional hit. Therefore, I don't compete, compare, or constrain myself to other s or their modes or methods. I look as others success as proof that individaul battles can be overcome... while reminding myself that the key word is "individual."

Great blog!


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REVSERENA 3/16/2012 1:37PM

    I have to admit I am competitive. It's my nature. But it only feels good to win when the playing field is level. But you are right, weight loss is never played on a level playing field! Congrats on your progress, and may we each win the healthiest body we can inhabit.

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JULIA1154 3/16/2012 12:31PM

  I hated competitions, too, and found myself breathing a sigh of recognition and relief as I read this.

(My mother was a big fan of Adelle Davis, too. I've still got a well-worn copy of Eat Right on my shelves.)

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TORIAMAE 3/16/2012 10:05AM

    Very well written and spot on!

I feel the same way about my journey: I have lots of time. I love vegetables. I am relatively pain free and enjoy exercise.

And it's not a zero sum game. We can all win!

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BUTRFLY_FREEDOM 3/16/2012 10:00AM

    I loved this blog!!

It's so funny that I read this today. Just last night it occurred to me that I don't have any of the problems that so many seem to have with weight. The only reason I'm fat is laziness and loving the taste of bad food. I used to talk about all the times I tried this and failed... but truly? I never tried. I never kept anything up for longer than 2 weeks. I never tried.

While I do think that some competition can be good and healthy... it should never be a competition to lose the most weight, or lose it fastest. I completely agree with you there.

Oh, and I play WoW too! What's your server??

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LIVINGFREE19 3/16/2012 8:46AM

    I never was one to compete either because I would be one of those that usually lost!
It is great how you have great ethics, they are more rare as the years go by.

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GRRARRGH 3/16/2012 7:48AM

    emoticon It's so important for everyone to realize that their journey will not be the same as anyone else's. I think people forget that, and it's one reason they get discouraged. Great blog!

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GRAMPIAN 3/16/2012 7:40AM

  Interesting. emoticon

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JLEMUS1 3/16/2012 6:34AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDIBETTS1 3/16/2012 4:47AM

  Congratulations on your progress and your inspiration to others.

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TUBJUMPER 3/15/2012 11:08PM

    Loved your blog!

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    Good blog.

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HIPPYCAT 3/15/2012 6:03PM

    1) I also am a non-competer, so a lot of what you said hit the nail on the head for me.

2) I DON'T get feelings of inferiority from others' success on SparkPeople. All the success in the air here just jazzes me up!

a) Also, to be honest, I'm deliberately losing weight slowly. I've lost weight before and know firsthand (unfortunately) how easy it is to put that 100 lbs right back on, plus. So, when I see someone racing down the ladder, well...let's just say I'm doing it my way.

b) When I'm NOT losing weight, I own it. I know why. And I don't try to kid myself that someone else is "stealing my luck." Luck's got nothing to do with it!

3) While I can't claim to spreadsheet my life, they certainly are AWESOME! Keep it up!

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CARLACBOL 3/15/2012 5:11PM

  I'm new to SparkPeople. In fact this is the first thing I've posted at all but I just had to say thank you. I am constantly comparing myself to other people. You opened my eyes...we are all different. Our circumstances are different, our bodies are different, our challenges are different. SparkPeople is helping me to understand me and what causes my eating habits. Thanks for reminding me this is about me not about how I measure up to someone else!

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HEALTHY4ME 3/15/2012 4:53PM

    Very good and that is one thing I don't like about Biggest loser show, competing against others that need to be there worse, or this year your family members. I don't want to do bad, but if I do better than my son he has to go home and he needs to lose wt more than I.... as you say that doesn't seem fair.

Glad you are doing so well. Me I am stuck at 189 now, seems to be I get stuck every few pounds, but right now not eating enough but not sure what else to eat! oh well will figure it out and get to where I want to be!

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CLOVER2 3/15/2012 4:50PM

    Great blog! I've always felt that life is warm comfortable coat, my "coat" will not fit another person and vice-verse. Once you find that coat that suits you, no other will fit quite the same way or be what you should be wearing. So however you do this journey as long as you see results, in ANY timeframe or way, it is the one for you!
And results are as varied as each and every one of us! Some will be quick, some not so much. But results just the same!
Find your coat, put it on, and know that it is the one for you, not the person next to you!


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PROVERBS31JULIA 3/15/2012 4:42PM

    Hey this was a great blog!!
In my case, probably like comparing apples to cockleburrs!!


Comment edited on: 3/15/2012 4:43:18 PM

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BUSYBEE37 3/15/2012 3:53PM

    That was a great blog to read and it makes so much sense! You definitely have a good understanding of who you are.
Have a great Day!

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KM1116 3/15/2012 2:44PM

    Great read... Thanks!!

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AMBERT27 3/15/2012 1:43PM

    You are so right on!! And good for you for realizing this!

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ITISABOUTME 3/15/2012 12:30PM

    I do not like competing either!! I am here to get healthy and enjoy life not worry about what others do or think!! Congrats to you on all of your achievements!! emoticon

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CALI_POPPY 3/15/2012 12:25PM

    Very happy I read all of this! That last paragraph really hit home. Well said, well thought out...thank you for sharing.

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ONTHEPATH2 3/15/2012 11:12AM

    Oh my! Funny - when I am at the gym on the treadmill, I look over to my right and left to see how fast the others next to me are going because I don't want to feel like a slug at my pace. That competition thing - can be deadly. For me - I will hurt myself trying to keep up with those I can't physically keep up with - then I will be sidelined due to an injury and quit all together. It's a delicate balance!

I like the non-compete. Just doing - will get me there - it doesn't have to be a race. The object is to GET THERE!!!

Thanks for the reminder. --- and yes, I am jealous that this is easy for you. It is snails pace, watching paint dry slow for me and good choices are yet to be habits!

BUT I CAN DO THIS!!!!! I have everything I need to get there!

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SIMPLY-EVA 3/15/2012 9:16AM

  I too refuse to compete but for a whole other reason. I hate, hate, hate to feel like i dont measure up to other peoples expectations. Its a tricky and slippery slope and many times I have to catch myself and just stop to breath until the panic passes. The great thing about your blog is that you are not letting life pass you by. You are busy and active and sound rather happy. Thanks for sharing. Your blog helped me to see that not competing can be healthy for me if I have the right attitude about it. Its not about fearing being a failure, its about not feeling the need to compete because I can be happy right where I am, with what I am doing. That works. When I look at it that way, I feel pretty darned good about my slow but steady progress.


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GUDDIGO 3/15/2012 9:06AM

  To each their own....

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MRS_PALMER 3/15/2012 8:33AM

    I needed to hear these words, thank you so much for your brutal honesty. Yes, still jealous, but we are different and that is ok by me.

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4GREEN4 3/15/2012 8:09AM


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CM_GARDNER78 3/15/2012 7:17AM

    What a great blog! I agree with you about not competing....but it is SO HARD sometimes to NOT compare your progress to someone else's - ya know?? And also, to not feel like you're not doing it as well, or whatever. You have made some fantastic points, and I will be keeping this in mind as I go on. Mindset - another thing that takes TIME to'll get there! Thanks for the blog.

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BLOOMING52 3/15/2012 6:46AM


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MRE1956 3/15/2012 6:22AM

    You are so spot on! Competition, as well as the need to compare oneself to others, has been the downfall of many folks in their journey to better health.......perhaps if the focus is changed to being one of a *PERSONAL* journey, a better likelihood of success could result......

Best wishes to you - and thank you for putting this out there for us!

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JUDICAT63 3/15/2012 6:00AM

    You are wonderfully open and honest about your life and your goals. I admit my 1st 100lbs came off very easily - but that was 5 years ago.. this time it is a great deal slower - but I am prepared for it - after all, I am 5 years older, and hopefully a little wiser! I totally agree that competing against others is incredibly wrong and can be really damaging to your self being. Just being yourself should be a motto of SP!

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MYSTERY-LADY1 3/14/2012 10:16PM


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ERINSPGOM 3/14/2012 9:57PM

    Thank you. That was elegant and straight to the point at the same time. And this gal needs an honest pick me up like that every now and then. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JEANNINEMM68 3/14/2012 9:02PM

    Thank you very much for sharing this.

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/14/2012 8:16PM

    Great blog!

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RAE_LEIGH22 3/14/2012 8:12PM

    What an incredible blog! That's very cool that you look at things the way you do.

I agree completely with the idea that competing with others isn't such a good thing -- many times unhealthy.

How awesome that this comes easy for you! So many struggle to lose the weight but the way you're going it's quite an inspiration to other people.

emoticon emoticon

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JIBBIE49 3/14/2012 7:02PM


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JIBBIE49 3/14/2012 6:56PM

    emoticonGreat to see your blog featured in the Spark Mail. what an honor.

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LIVELYGIRL2 3/14/2012 6:31PM

  Your honesty is refreshing! Don't apologize for certain things being not a huge struggle for you. We are all a different place in experience, health, the journey... You are blessed indeed to not have some of those issues to work through, although they are more common than one would realize.

I don't think it is completely negative to be competitive if ones' enthusiam isn't expressed as being better, or superior to another ( like sticking ones' nose above someone who has a health problem that is totally out of their control, or they are working through improvement). )

I wonder how much of motivastion is from basic practice, temperment, personality, life experience, or trying to catch on the wind of someone of someone like you. emoticon emoticon

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ISAVEDME80 3/14/2012 5:04PM

    You an I have a bit in common.
I hate competition and have let others ahead because I don't like others feeling bad just knowing I tried is more important to me and I also put on the extra weight willingly as a way to what I thought protect myself.

I associate eating with feeling safe and because it feels good to eat and I eat because I need to survive.

I also have my own free leisure thankfully and I have been able to take the weight off easily so far.

I also have learned that I made a mistake in putting on the weight willingly because putting on weight did not prevent me from what i tried to prevent it just made me miserable. bad things still happened things still ran life still went on.
I like your blog and from this day on im going to try my best and be better about keeping up with blogs.
thanks for reminding me that im not alone in the journeys.

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SPARKFRAN514 3/14/2012 12:54PM

great blog gives me some things to think about and put in to action thanks for the information emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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