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Some woohoos and my manic week

Thursday, May 10, 2012

First the woohoos.

The first I passed maybe a week ago, maybe a little more, but didn't make a big deal about. The site on which I record my weight daily (in addition to SparkPeople) tells me extra information such as my calorie deficit based on my rate of loss, my trend weight, and my BMI. The BMI is something I check once a week on Wednesday and record on SparkPeople.

As of 2 May 2012, I was below 30! (29.9, in fact) That means I am "officially" out of the obese category and into the overweight one.


The second is on my scale, but not my pounds. My scale has metal sensors to do a body fat percentage. Every day when I weigh, I record both the pounds and the % it gives me. I don't grant it a whole lot in the accuracy department, but over the now almost 8 months it has been gradually decreasing.

When I first started on SparkPeople it was bouncing between 49 and 47.

As of today, I have a new low of 39%, though I rather expect to bounce between 39 and 41 for a while.

Now, I don't know what my actual Body Fat % is. For comparison, a hand version at the mall had 34% when my home scale said 43% (March 2012) - and the hand version at the gym was something like 35% when my home scale said 45% (Jan 2012). To me it isn't exactly important. Just the fact it's a whole 10 down makes me happy.


The third was tonight. I've been watching others in the gym doing lunges where they have weights in their hands and "walk" across the gym. Now, the lunges I remember from school (and thus how I've been doing them all along when I could) are not proper lunges at all, and it wasn't until I started watching the trainers and other members that I really came to understand this fully.

Trying to do lunges with the personal trainer back in January just did not go well - a combination of me not getting the form and my knees complaining. He did try to correct my form, but my knees weren't going to let me keep trying.

However, since I know I can do squats now with minimal issues, today after I'd finished my workout completely, including stretches, I took a little time to try out a slow and careful lunge. I succeeded in doing 5 on each side with only a minimum of knee griping that continued up the stairs but was fine by the time I left and went down the stairs.



The wild wild week. I think it started with Friday. Basically, any time I meet up with my DDa, the evening ends with two hours worth of riding the light rail or bus, walking her home, walking back to the light rail station and me getting home a touch after midnight. It also tends to involve redoing the food plan I had earlier in the day - sometimes going over, sometimes not (by my choice).

I am her #1 person to go to when she has anything she wants to talk about. She does have friends. One is unreliable (self-centered, suffers depression and some variant on an eating disorder, and boy-crazed). The other is busy (works, other friends, hobbies, etc). The rest aren't as long-term or close. And I did raise my kids to feel free to discuss ANYTHING with me.

This means that not only are the last two hours mostly out of the house, but even if I'm at home, she is there because she wants an attentive ear -- and my usual hours of doing what I please go poof.

Mix that with Saturday and Sunday being Cinco de Mayo madness in our city to the point that getting groceries on Sunday involved waiting over an hour for a bus that got rerouted, and walking about 8 blocks with my 40-50 pounds of groceries coming home - a 3+ hour trip compared to my more usual hour and a half.

Then Monday DDa needed to talk again, so any thoughts of catching a breather then went poof. Tuesday I finally got the laundry I usually do Sunday night done.

I honestly feared that tonight would bring a call or a text.


I'm relieved it didn't. So amazingly relieved.

Though as I mentioned in my status, I can't count on this weekend being mine. Odds are my DS and DDa will decide they want to spend the day with me - either Saturday or Sunday.


Mayhap I raised them too well?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 5/17/2012 2:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BANDAID1006 5/14/2012 6:52PM

    Congratulations! Your very inspiring. Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 5/14/2012 12:59PM

    Congratulation, you inspire me all the time. Great job.

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QUASIOR 5/14/2012 7:39AM

    That is fantastic, you lucky girl, can't wait to join you but by then I bet you'll be well on your way to being in the healthy weight range, if you aren't already. You go girl!! emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 5/12/2012 8:53PM

    Love your honesty! Hope you have a wonderful week-end... Spark on!

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BERKCHIK 5/12/2012 3:22PM

    Hope your weekend turns out great...and congrats on joining the ranks of the merely overweight :) You're doing amazing!

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LOSINGAMY 5/12/2012 11:44AM

    That's so awesome about your weight loss! You've done so well.

I can't talk to my mom about too many of my personal issues, so kudos for you for raising your kids where you're an open ear. I'm sure they appreciate it.

Find time for yourself, and enjoy Mother's day tomorrow.

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TIFFY0906 5/11/2012 11:09PM

    Congrats on your WOOHOO!!!! - that is so Awesome

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SKAHONEY4U 5/11/2012 9:50PM

    AWESOME!! congrats on going under BMI 30!! That is something to truly be proud of! emoticon

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FRANCES-AGAPE 5/11/2012 8:56PM

    emoticon emoticon


Your stats are emoticon

Keep up the GOOD WORK !

And emoticon
on your great
mothering skills !


emoticon emoticon

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AMBERZADE 5/11/2012 8:12PM

    Those are great WooHoos!! Congratulations!!

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ANGELWENDYMAMA 5/11/2012 12:57AM

    WOOHOOO on the BMI out of obese! I am looking forward to that one!!!

And WOOHOOO to the body fat percentage being down 10 points!

And WOOHOOO to doing lunges correctly! Makes me wonder if I have done them right or not now.. I think so.. but maybe not?

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SKYSEARCHER 5/10/2012 8:25PM

    Wow! Keep it up! :-)

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    Woohoos indeed. Yay:)
I didn't even write that I slid into the Overweight section with this last week's weight loss. Good for you/us!

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TMCLEOD4 5/10/2012 2:29PM

    Congratulations on your progress! That is truly inspiring!

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SPARKFRAN514 5/10/2012 2:24PM

    Congrats your doing great
Those woohoo monuments are so fun to experience and share I still have not really focused on the BMI I just enjoy watching the numbers drop on the scales.

Youíre a good mom to do all that train/ bus riding and getting home so late not sure I would be that brave to get home so late at night and have to walk from the stop home its nice she still wants your input in things. Your kids need to do something special for you this week end.
Sounds like you could use a little red wagon to pull your Groceries home. Not sure what you would do with on the train and bus however
Happy Mothers Day
sounds like the daughters might have something special planned for you f let us know what you do. emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/10/2012 2:40:51 PM

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TANYA602 5/10/2012 1:26PM

    The last line made me laugh and smile! Where would we be without our mums?
I hope you find some time for yourself in the days ahead, and time to really take in the fact that you are doing so well! Congrats on the BMI!!

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ERINMARIE424 5/10/2012 12:07PM

    Congratulations on all your accomplishments! It feels so good to move to a different BMI category! I think it's great you and your daughter have such a great relationship that she wants to talk to you so much.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 5/10/2012 11:59AM

    Congratulations on all you woo hoo moments. They are GREAT!! Especially lowering your body fat percentage so much. My mean scales won't budge on the body fat. emoticon

How wonderful your daughter trust her heart with you for advice. That is a blessing to be that close. emoticon

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PGNBRI 5/10/2012 11:48AM

    Congrats on all the emoticons!!

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KSCHRAUT 5/10/2012 11:39AM

    Congrats on the WooHoos! Very exciting!

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AGINNETT 5/10/2012 11:32AM

    Wow! Great job and congrats on those goals!
I am so inspired.

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_JODI404 5/10/2012 11:27AM

    Congrats on your wonderful emoticon's!!!!!

They are really great ones!!

The BMI and body fat changes are truly AWESOME!!!

Congrats on your new lunge progress!
Squats and lunges are probably the most effective lower body exercises of all.
Even though my MRI's came out clean, my knees are still problematic. When I asked the Orthopedic Dr if I could resume my exercises, he said yes, the only restriction being NO squats or lunges. I accepted that as they really do cause my knees too much pain to be worth it. It sounds like you are being very careful, easing into it and testing the waters carefully! You are very smart! Listen closely to those knees -- sometimes once you upset them too much the damage is done.
You are right too, proper form is critical, really in everything, but especially those!

Best wishes for continued success! You are totally ROCKING it out on your journey here!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JENNCABA 5/10/2012 11:13AM

    emoticon on all of your progress!!! emoticon emoticon

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APONI_KB 5/10/2012 10:55AM

    Those kids better do you right for Mother's Day.

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KLONG8 5/10/2012 10:23AM

    You are doing great! Wooohoooooooo! And the fact that your kids turn to you. Yes, you did do something right. Hope you get a little time to yourself to get caught up! Whoo hoooo!

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FUCHSIAGAL 5/10/2012 9:48AM

  Congrats on all of your woohoos!!!

Hope you have a lovely weekend!

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-SONIA- 5/10/2012 9:08AM

    Ha ha, those pesky kids! LOL

WooHoo on all of your WooHoo'ies this week! Yeah!!! emoticon emoticon

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VALKYRIA- 5/10/2012 8:41AM

    Amazing non-scale victories. You are doing great!!! emoticon

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INFINITEJESS84 5/10/2012 8:03AM

    Awesome! Hurray for you!

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GRLEGRL9 5/10/2012 8:01AM

    emoticon with all of the emoticon

You are also such a good mom! Mom's always seem to give the best advice

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FLEURGARDEN 5/10/2012 7:36AM

    Congrats on all of the progress! I can't wait until I'm no longer obese - hopefully I'll be there within the next three months at the rate I'm going. emoticon

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RG_DFW 5/10/2012 6:30AM

    A lot of numbers (Body Fat %, BMI)... congrats on taking them downward!

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ODAYSKI11 5/10/2012 6:27AM

    It's all good, baby!!! emoticon

Great WooHoos, congratulations on all, and I find it a good thing that your children want to be close to you! have a great mothers day!

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AMYTRIPP 5/10/2012 6:26AM

    Congrats on the milestones! You are doing simply awesome!

It's so great that your kids feel they can come to you with anything. What a great relationship. I hope you do get some 'me' time, though. We all need it.

. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEAT7918 5/10/2012 6:19AM

    Love the woohoo's! You are doing fantastic!

And yes, you are too good of a mom... emoticon

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SASSYLJB 5/10/2012 6:06AM

    What a fantastic job you are doing! Even as life continues to happen you keep your focus!

emoticon emoticon

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KARL1266 5/10/2012 5:15AM

    Congrats on the whoo-hoos! It is always nice when the numbers are going in the direction we want them.

Sounds like you live in a pretty diverse city if they are re-routing the busses for Cinco de Mayo celebrations. The biggest thing we get around here is the local grocery store promoting their anemic Mexican food aisle!

Have a great Mother's Day! Sounds like you really deserve it.

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SWEDE_SU 5/10/2012 4:15AM

    congratulations on the woohoos! great progress! and it sounds like you will have a well-deserved mother's day this weekend!
emoticon emoticon

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YESCURLYCAN 5/10/2012 3:40AM

  Congratulations on all of your woohoo's! emoticon You are doing a great job :) I hope you are able to enjoy Mother's day this weekend; you definitely deserve it.

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ILOVEMALI 5/10/2012 3:38AM

    Congratulations on your latest accomplishment!! And thanks again for all of your support. I really appreciate it! emoticon emoticon

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COLORADOGUY0004 5/10/2012 3:18AM


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QUASIOR 5/10/2012 3:14AM

    You're blog has been featured! emoticon
You're doing fantastically, and sometimes it's hard to be there for our loved ones, but we do it because we love them and care for their well being! That is commitment though, travelling with her such a long journey, not exactly safe for yourself on the way home.
What city is your home city? What kinds of celebrations happen?

Enjoy Mother's Day - You've earned it!!! What an amazing mum.

Also: Well done on all you're achievements, all in 8 months! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SBNORMAL 5/10/2012 3:12AM

  Sounds like you got a lot of progress in many areas!! You are going to have to shop for a new smaller swimsuit soon.

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Reading, reading, and more reading - Oh MY!

Sunday, May 06, 2012

I think I've gotten myself into the middle of reading too many things at once.


Yes, there really is such a thing.

1) Einstein's Theories of Relativity and Gravitation

This was available free from Google on my phone and I've been reading it for a while now. It's not actually what Einstein wrote. It's a collection of two essays and an editorial article. (It explains at the beginning that a monetary reward was offered for the best essay that could take Einstein's theorems and express them in a way that could make sense to the lay man.)

It has been fascinating reading so far, though I only read it in smaller chunks so I can really chew over the concepts for a while.

2) Grimm's Fairy Tales

Another available free from Google on my phone. I usually read one or two at a time when I want some light diversion. I'm not at all sure how many more there are to go.

3) The Return of Sherlock Holmes

Recently finished this. My DDa, interestingly, has gotten into a real obsession with the Sherlock Holmes BBC episodes and reading the books in the order they were written - without knowing I was reading it, so we can spend an hour just talking about his cases.

4) The Spark

I've finished the first part of Chapter 1 that is his story, so next is the philosophy behind the SparkPeople program (still Chapter 1). I'd already heard / read most of the story, so it wasn't new, but I'm making a point to not skip ahead and actually reread that portion. I'm looking forward to moving on through the book now.

5) The Spark Cookbook

I finished the whole intro section and got to the recipes. I've been offhandedly flipping through them to see if any catch my interest and look like they can be modified for a single person with a microwave. The smoothie recipes amused me - my protein shake trial and errors led me to a very similar mixture as what is described.

6) Easy Vegan Meals

Honestly not really interested in veganism, but I did start reading the first part of this for the information on the nutrients that are particularly important to meet and where vegans get them from. I just figure if any of the recipes look interesting without requiring ingredients I wouldn't normally buy, I might try them out. I do like my veggies after all.

7) The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The first book I've BOUGHT in I couldn't say how long. I took the seminar around two decades ago, had cassette tapes and an annual day-planner based on it for a few years. I still remember a lot of it and, as I'm reading it, realize just how much I did manage to internalize in my way of thinking - but also how much I forgot or never knew.

Loving the Kindle's ability to highlight things. I've got several quotes I keep rereading:

== For every thousand hacking at the leaves of evil, there is one striking at the root. (Henry David Thoreau) ==
(My thinking from it: Leave out "of evil", and it applies to anything really. How often do we hack away at the symptoms, the problems, instead of seeking out and destroying the root cause?)

== But until a person can say deeply and honestly, "I am what I am today because of the choices I made yesterday," that person cannot say, "I can choose otherwise." (Franklin Covey) ==
(My thinking from it: Whenever we make a mistake and start over, that is a great thing. But we do have to acknowledge that those mistakes have created the position from which we start. We create our future by choosing new paths.)

== It's so much easier to say, "I am not responsible." If I say "I am responsible," I might have to say, "I am irresponsible." (Franklin Covey) ==
(My thinking from it: And truly, for all that I consider myself mature, responsible, independent and so on, I have more than a few areas in my life in which I would prefer to say "It wasn't my fault" - a variant on saying "I am not responsible". I need to accept that I have been irresponsible and change that.)

== Anytime we think the problem is "out there", that thought is the problem. (Franklin Covey) ==
(My thinking from it: For a while now I've been griping to myself and sometimes out loud about the annoying behaviors of my boss. Which is fruitless. I can't change him. I can, however, change my productivity at work and the way in which I report completed tasks. I can change how I think about and react to his calls. And, in that, change it from annoying to being just a routine part of my day that I'm prepared for.)

8) Freefall by Kristen Heitzmann

Another free book, this one from Amazon. I actually spent a while my first night just downloading a bunch of free books. Some of them may be of no interest to me, but I've always loved reading. (What? You couldn't tell? *COUGH*)

This one is certainly a fascinating story about a woman who survives a dangerous fall with amnesia. It's not a book for someone with any antipathy toward belief in God to read - as faith is an important subtext - but the action of the story was certainly enough to have me up far later than I should have been last night. Almost done with this one as the climax has hit.


And maybe I should have included as 9) reading everyone's blogs. I'm getting to sleep at a reasonable hour, but intend to spend a chunk of tomorrow trying to get caught up. I know there was a chunk of blogs from about mid-week that I missed ... but I'm not sure how to figure out which I've read or not, so I sincerely apologize if I've missed one!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SABLENESS 5/11/2012 10:43PM

    :-) It's good to have a variety of things to pick up when you need a read. I'm a self-confessed bookaholic, and I always say I could have worse vices!

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AMBERZADE 5/11/2012 8:07PM

    I know what you mean. I'm reading 7 books right now. I'm sort of an addict.

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SPARKFRAN514 5/10/2012 1:17PM

    Sounds like you need a few more hours in the day. You do read a Varity of books I just have a few favorite authors and stick to them. Thankfully the author writes several types of books so that helps. But my favorite one of his series is The no. 1 Ladies Detective Agency By Alexander MC Call Smith.

I have been reading the Spark but I am not as good as you since I went right the where program starts need to go back to the start emoticon

I went right the where program starts need to go back to the start!!
I was so excited to get the cookbook it I went right to the recipes. And found several so I tried far only found a few I didnít like
Not a fan of lentils but tries the soups so I now have a several bags of the soup in the freezer not sure why I saved them but I did
So many of the recipes are for large severing so I half and often half them again. I am not a fan of batch cooking but I really like the Paprika Chicken
the roasted Asparagus is one of my favorites and since I am not a big vegetable eater Its fun to find new ways to fix the ones you like. Need to go back and read the information before the recipes.


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BMCKEOW1 5/9/2012 1:47PM

    I love all the readings. I bet they are great. I had a guilty little pleasure last week. A woman at my office said I should read Fifty Shades of Grey. I rolled my eyes, I had heard about it on the news but wasn't really interested. So I went online and found were a little bit of it was posted. I read the whole series in three days, I loved it. Guilty little pleasure, but I liked it.

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WEEZER66 5/9/2012 12:53PM

    That is a lot!!!!
I have a couple going The Secret Garden and Hunger Games.
I am also working on a nursing/respiratory therapy collabrative to orient new nurses to the ICU. I wish I had more time for reading.

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QUASIOR 5/8/2012 9:13PM

    Haha, I use reading as a diversion most of the time. So, I read lots of fiction.
However I read witchery books too.

Your list is loooong! Thanks for sharing. one day I'll buy the Spark books I'm sure.

since you are including online, part of my motivations is reading blogs/websits etc about weight loss, health and fitness, craft and witchery

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PATIB13 5/7/2012 6:43PM

    I can only do a few books at a time. If I try to do too many I don't get anything out of them, but I am impressed by those who can do multiple books. Aren't smart phones awesome, I don't have one but download books to my hubbies and then just borrow his. emoticon

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BANDAID1006 5/7/2012 1:03PM

    So many books. I can do maybe 2 at a time, and they have to be so different that there is nothing in common. Other wise the Main people will visit someone Else's world. lol
Way to go for expanding your brain!! gotta keep it sharp


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AMYTRIPP 5/7/2012 9:13AM

    Wow!! I applaud you for being able to juggle so my reads at once! I love reading, but I'm a one book at a time kind of girl.

I love the quotes!

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BIGDOG1969 5/6/2012 10:21PM

    I actually went to a Covey seminar several years ago. It was fantastic. I also read a lot at once. It keeps the mind sharp! emoticon

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LGAR519 5/6/2012 2:54PM

    Of all the things I've had to give up due to circumstances, I miss reading the most. It is something I did all my life!

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AHTRAP 5/6/2012 1:16PM

    My reading list is so much less serious at the moment.

The Princess Bride (if you haven't read it, and you like the movie, do yourself the favor of reading the book!)
The Fine art of Small Talk (ok, somewhat serious there)
Worldwar: Tilting the balance (part of a alternate history series, where aliens invade in the midst of world war 2)
Distant Corners (history on soccer in the US)
Neanderthal (fictional novel positing there are a few of that species still around)

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MICHELLE_391 5/6/2012 11:52AM

    Ok. Wow. I am very, very impressed! How do you keep track of it all? The kindle sounds very cool - I like that you can highlight stuff. Can you then get a page of all the things you've highlighted on one list?

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VALKYRIA- 5/6/2012 11:29AM

    LIke a few of those quotes about personal respoonsibility.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 5/6/2012 11:06AM

    Oh no, I'd never keep up. The most I read besides blogs is one or two books at time. I have over 600 downloaded on the Kindle though. They change the free ones daily sometimes and I don't want to miss a good one. I get a newsletter every day that highlights 20 or 30 free books they offer.

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TANYA602 5/6/2012 10:43AM

    I guess I could've warned you that having a Kindle would lead to this! When I am reading hardcover books I can handle one fiction and one non-fiction. Now when I read on my iPad, I multitask between pdfs, books, apps, and yes, my favorite SP blogs! Somewhere along the line my science and math teacher magazines have started collecting dust. There are not enough hours in the day!
I love the variety in your reading list. Be sure to earn those SP points at
Have a terrific day!

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SASSYLJB 5/6/2012 9:21AM

    And you sleep when? LOL between reading and commenting on all of our blogs as a super Saprk Friend does, you have a huge reading list!! You are one remarkable person!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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-SONIA- 5/6/2012 8:48AM

    How many hours are in your day? LOL -- 25? 30? emoticon emoticon emoticon Glad you're enjoying all of those books!! And blogs ;)

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TORIAMAE 5/6/2012 8:47AM

    I love me some binge reading! And I love the Covey quotes you chose. As tempting as it can be to blame external forces for problems, I believe that until we own our problems, we can't solve them.

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RG_DFW 5/6/2012 8:31AM

    emoticon So many blogs, so little time...

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SUE_2U 5/6/2012 7:13AM

    Getting to sleep at a reasonable hour after all that reading? Must be because of the weekend. Love the quotes and the insights...
I am definitely a bibilophiliac. I am addicted. I have just downloaded Kindle to my pc, but I still prefer paper.

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BEARGODDESS 5/6/2012 5:11AM

    Lol! I'm a multi-book reader too! I usually have 5 or 6 going at once. I like to have one on health, one fantasy, one biography, one educational, one spiritual growth and one novel. Something for every mood. I've found that having a few going tends to help my memory as well!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUBYROOTS4YOU 5/6/2012 4:01AM

    Wow, I think I have all of those books, too! Bookworms unite!! lol

I love the before & after pics. Amazing!!

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SLIMXTINA 5/6/2012 3:52AM

  Wow you read a lot and I'm trying to fit some in even if it's only 5 mins before i turn the light out! Do you think you're reading more with a kindle? emoticon

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SAMI199 5/6/2012 2:51AM

    Eclectic list- I always have several books going at once-lol.I love Al-read a book years ago about his theory of relativity ...must say it was slow reading.I think his life story was very interesting quotes.Thanks for sharing.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/6/2012 2:55:11 AM

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Tale of the ankle

Friday, May 04, 2012

It's pretty much back to normal now (WHEW!), but those who saw my statuses Monday and Tuesday would have caught a little about my ankle tweaking. So here's the much longer (and boring) story.

Sunday night as I was sitting in bed, I came to notice my ankle didn't feel comfortable. I flexed and pointed it and rotated it, only to hear a snapping pop sound.

No, no, it wasn't THAT bad!

I know about the cause of the sound (and inner feel) from two things. One is an old habit as a teen of popping my knuckles. The step-mother, of course, hated it and tried the "you'll end up with arthritis at 25" kind of statement to get me to stop with no success. However, being me, I couldn't leave it at that. I had to go research it - learning how the popping noise from knuckles is basically an air bubble being burst which takes an amount of time to reform.

The other was a Sparker some time back who had a question about a popping sound in her hip. Curious, since no one else had answered, off I went. Could it also be an air bubble? That didn't seem likely. Sure enough, most other spots on the body, the popping (or snapping) noise and/or sensation is related to tendons instead of air bubbles.

Basically, the tendon can be thought of kind of like a tense rubber band. If you pull it sideways along a smooth surface, it will probably just slide. But if anything on the surface exists for it to catch on, it will pull until there's enough tension to get past that point - making a popping or snapping sound as it catches up with the ends.

(Yes, there can be more serious causes as well - so if there's any concerns or very real pain, a doctor should be consulted. When I sprained my calf a few years ago, it made a very audible to me pop sound. It was a serious enough sprain to have me on crutches several days.)

Now, hearing and feeling these isn't unusual for me. When I'm doing squats or leg presses, each of my ankles and knees has particular points where I can feel and hear the tendons shift slightly. In fact, I'm slower about increasing my weights than purely based on muscle ability because the joints and tendons need far more time to fully strengthen to handle things.

BUT, the difference with this was it hurt after it popped. Not a sharp pain, but certainly no relief from the uncomfortable sensation.

Several times through the night I would wake up and instinctively be responding to the ache by flexing and rotating my ankle until it would "pop". I was able to walk on it, but it felt similar to how a mildly sprained ankle would feel and I was immensely careful about avoiding anything that would tilt my ankle in or out.

By mid-morning or whenever it was I posted my status, I went searching online (are you seeing a pattern in my responses to things?) about the tendons in the ankle. Now, I knew about the Achilles tendon, but the two that were snapping were not at the back. One felt like it was on the inside just behind the ankle bone and the other felt like it was on the right at the ankle bone.

I learned a little about them, though I have to admit the site I found (might have been a webmd page) was showing one that was dislocated and couldn't be returned to its correct position without surgery, said surgery the next pictures down the page.


I made the deliberate decision at that point to stop flexing and rotating my ankle. The way the first pictures of the tendon under the skin looked weren't how mine looked and the LAST thing I wanted was to make it worse enough to need surgery!

I think that made a lot of difference. It still felt achey as I headed to the gym. And, yes, even with it tweaking, I did head to the gym. HOWEVER, I moved my M, W, F strength-training to T, Th, Sat. I figured that I could try the Recumbent bike and if a couple minutes of that hurt in any way at all, I'd go use either the rower or the ergometer (arm-pedaling). Luckily, it was actually feeling okay enough to do my full time on the bike.

Changing socks after, I thought my ankle looked a little swollen, but couldn't tell if it actually was or I was just expecting it to be. I took side-by-side pics of my ankles after I got home to visually compare. It didn't look swollen in those.

I did, however, make a point of more Rest, Ice, and Elevation that night. By Tuesday it was feeling better - sensitive, but not aching any more. It was then that it clicked the likely cause. On Sunday I was wearing my heels after leaving the gym, dropped my stuff at home, then went right back out to the mall to get some more shirts. I spent a couple of hours wandering the mall, picked up a pair of flats but didn't think to change into them, and then the place where I got the shirts was packed and I stood in line for 15 or so minutes. By that point the balls of my feet were hurting and I was doing a lot of shifting to ease the pressure on them. I suspect I seriously overworked those stabilizing tendons in all that walking and standing, especially since outside of work last week I haven't worn heels in years.

Tuesday I was able to do most of my workout without a hitch - being extremely careful about form on any that required ankle stability. The calf raises were the only one that were just a no go at my normal weight, so I dropped it down and did it carefully. Today I was back to normal activity. In fact, I had a different tendon in the front of my opposite ankle snapping a little during those calf raises and making me do them very slow and careful.

Now, that is only the current tale of that ankle. This is the same ankle that I pretty seriously sprained when I was in my sophomore year in high school. I was on crutches a couple of days, then had some knee trouble add to the ankle still healing in the days after (probably over-compensated to ease pressure on the ankle). All that led up to a Dr.'s note that I wasn't supposed to jog or run and a P.E. class final of doing a mile in a maximum of 12 minutes for an A, 17 minutes for a D-. I got my first bad grade after trying the best I could and getting something like 18:12.


I've sprained the same ankle multiple times since, though never as badly. Instead, it's almost as though my ankle reacts defensively. The slightest imbalance of ground and instead of just twisting, it will completely collapse under me past a specific point. (This being one part of my klutziness - I fall easily, but thankfully I've learned to fall well.)

In the years since, I ice skated, roller-bladed, and did other things - all strengthening my ankle. But other than walking, until September of last year, I had let all of that pretty much slide for a few years. I honestly think if I hadn't been doing the strength training I've been doing, the result of that weekend on heels could have been more painful - so I'm thankful I only bought them somewhat recently. (I also won't be likely to be wearing them outside of work for a while. Obviously more strengthening is needed. But I'll get there.)


One thing this really does bring to my mind is just how closely I try to pay attention to how my body works. Instead of saying "that hurts", I try to pay attention to where it hurts, how it hurts, how much it hurts, under what conditions it hurts. Those are all good things to help in diagnosing the problem.

Which leads to a problem I have - self-diagnosing. Thus far I have been extremely lucky to have no injuries serious enough to need a doctor's review. Well, almost. My employer actually made me go to the doctor about the calf sprain I mentioned above, paying for the visit. (We had no medical insurance and I wasn't going to pay a doctor when it seemed, to me, to be getting better. The money was better spent on a reusable ice pack and compression bandage.) Turned out I was right, BUT it was very low Grade 2. The slightest bit worse and it could have needed different treatment than I was giving it.

But I've got another issue that I haven't been able to self-diagnose. The first time I had a gym membership, I remember having trouble with a couple of specific exercises. My left arm would hurt - not horribly, but enough that I wouldn't be able to put full force into the move. I compensated. Several years later, new gym, I'd compensated so well I didn't even think about the fact I avoided certain motions. Now, more than a decade later, which tells me it would have healed long ago if it was going to, I still compensate for it doing various weights.

What am I afraid of?

Well, arm strength has always been my weakness. Even in middle school doing weights (yeah, best P.E. class EVAR!) I could leg press 300+ but not do a pullup (I weighed less than 150) or a military pushup. Heck, I remember having trouble with the government fitness standard in 5th grade for a pullup or holding ourselves up for 30 seconds or longer.

When I think of me as fit as I'd like to be, that includes pullups and pushups.

But if this injury that I've compensated for hasn't healed in all this time, no matter how strong I can get my biceps and my deltoids and my pectorals, I may not be able to make the leap.


I don't ~think~ it's rotary cuff; that's up in the shoulder from what I've read. (Or maybe I'm deluding myself. The usual motions that can make it hurt are ones that involve shoulder pivots. And that shoulder will pop more than the other during motions.) This is in the upper arm, closer to the top than the bottom, but a couple/few inches below the lowest point of the shoulder joint. If I'm doing the Popeye flex to show my bicep and put a finger at the high point of the bulge, then circle my arm to the outside, it's in that area.


I just need to grit my teeth and schedule a preliminary doctor's visit to review concerns. Time to start writing each of the concerns down to make sure I don't forget anything.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SABLENESS 5/11/2012 10:49PM

    It does pay to pay attention to your own particular aches and noises and pains. I find that old injuries leave me susceptible to easily re-injuring that part. Just have to factor it in and not over-stress.

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AMBERZADE 5/5/2012 8:48PM

    I hope your ankle gets better.

I hate going to the doctor so I understand the self-diagnosing. At least you're not ignoring it completely. At least you listen to your body and that is a good thing. I've noticed as I get older that it's easier to get little tweaks and twinges. It's really good to write it all out and go to a doctor. I'm sure it will all be fine.

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LOVEREDDESERT 5/5/2012 12:43AM

    Keep listening to your body and taking care of you! Thinking a doc visit is a good idea - kind of like a tune-up for your car. You and your body are so worth it!!


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IPSAFICTURA 5/4/2012 11:56PM

    Ugh I have terrible ankles, so I feel for you. I sprained them a lot as a kid (soccer!) and they've just always been susceptible to little tweaks. My tendons pop loudly enough to freak other people out!

I wish you luck on seeing about your shoulder/arm issue. Pushups were one of the most empowering/satisfying exercises for me when I was more regular about strength training, and I need to get back to them, but I'm sort of afraid to see how much my strength as degraded since last year.

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    My ankles make those sounds too, and I've injured them enough previously...and I also looked up what all might be wrong. Cool info you've found.
Yeah, that arm might do well being looked at. I will pray for its healing though.

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KSCHRAUT 5/4/2012 8:12PM

    I am glad your ankle is feeling better...and your sounds like its worthy of a dr's visit...def not worth making it worse if something is seriously wrong....though I hope nothing is!! Best of luck!!

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_JODI404 5/4/2012 7:51PM

    I'm really glad your ankle is doing better now!!

It really sounds like a visit to the Dr. is a good idea for your arm.

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DJHARLEYQ 5/4/2012 6:45PM

    I'm glad to hear that your ankle wasn't as serious as I thought it was. One thing that I'm learning in life is that your health is the most important thing. I know that it's not fun spending money on these things but the doctor, dentist, and eye doctor are your best friends when you can find one that you trust.

So I'm sure it's TIME to go see a doctor about different issues that you are dealing with. Keeping my fingers cross that it's something that doesn't need a lot of things for recovery.

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MICHELLE_391 5/4/2012 5:48PM

    I'm glad you are feeling better, but perhaps it IS time to just see a doctor, even if it is just to make yourself feel better about your rotary cuff. Don't "they" always tell you that you should consult a doctor before starting an exercise routine? I don't know that anyone actually does that, but perhaps you can use this visit as that consultation.

Oh, and Google does know all. I consult it for every. single. thing.

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SBNORMAL 5/4/2012 1:15PM


I'm glad the ankle injury wasn't serious. You know a lot about how the body works. YOU are going to be an expert by the time you reach your goal weight.

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CAO2012 5/4/2012 10:38AM

  I learned a few things from this. I also hear the same sound while doing squats. It's good to hear your feeling better. emoticon

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LGAR519 5/4/2012 10:36AM

    You missed your calling. You should have been a physical therapist. You know more about your body than I know about mine or anyone elses for that matter!

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AEBROWNSON 5/4/2012 9:54AM

    I had rotator cuff surgery a few years ago...if you put your arm straight out in front of you and then swing it to the side (like you're throwing your purse into the passenger seat when you're getting in to drive the car)...does it hurt? If so, get thee to a doctor quick. It may just be an impinged tendon (not unlike your popping ankles). But it could be rotator.

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ANGELA2B 5/4/2012 9:33AM

    I'm glad your ankle feels better! emoticon

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    I'm glad you are okay. I broke my right ankle a long time ago, and sprained my left last summer. Last summer, my injury set me back 2 months. Thank you for the educational blog.

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 5/4/2012 9:01AM

    Glad your ankle is doing better. emoticon

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AMYTRIPP 5/4/2012 8:40AM

    I'm glad the ankle injury wasn't serious.

It's great that you pay so much attention to your body. We should all do that, instead of 'wishing' pains away.

It sounds like it'd definitely be worth a doctor's visit to get that arm/shoulder checked.

I can't wear heels at all - if I do, I get a very sore knee. *sigh*

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APONI_KB 5/4/2012 8:30AM

    webmd scares me
everything I type in there comes back CANCER you're going to DIE DIE DIE
and it turns out to be nothing

piano teachers also hate the cracking of knuckles
makes them CRAZY


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VALKYRIA- 5/4/2012 8:27AM

    I am glad your ankle feels better. I self-diagnose all the time as well, which has led me to discover my gluten-intolerance (thank GOODNESS). I think it's great that you listen to your body so closely... I pop just about everything in my body, including my neck, spine, knuckles, toes, etc.... and I do get a pop in my arm in the place you are describing, but it is not weak or painful. I think a doctor's visit is not a bad idea, just to rule out a more serious injury. Do you do a lot of stretching in that area?

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CHRISTY2BTHIN 5/4/2012 8:14AM

    That is great that you are educating yourself and focusing on how the body works! I actually learned a lot from reading this...thanks! I hope your ankle is OK!

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-SONIA- 5/4/2012 6:51AM

    emoticon I've noticed that going from a plank to downward dog (in yoga) has helped my ankles a lot! I still can't get my feet flat in downward dog, but I'm working on it ;)

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SUE_2U 5/4/2012 6:28AM

    emoticon I do hope that your joint injuries and problems are not anything serious.
It's possible that the ankle might need a bit of bracing? Plus wearing flats a bit more often?
When I was young I didn't worry about such things. I just wore cheap shoes and heels and went barefoot on concrete. Well, the latter caused my feet to suddenly flatten and it's been downhill ever since. And probably is related to my shin splints. I wish I had known about stuff like this before when I was younger. Hindsight is 20/20.
So take care of those feet and ankles.
I know my daughter has a tendency to sprain one ankle and so she wears an ace bandage brace on that side whenever she exercises or goes jogging. It helps.
Good luck with your arm injury. I hope it is not serious.

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Refrigerator picture and Kindle Fire

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

So many things going on. I initially was thinking to stuff them all in this blog, but it would be WAY too much. So first about my new toy! (My brother has labeled me JenniGeek now.)


Back in mid-April my SparkFriends noticed that I had submitted a photo of my refrigerator in the SparkPeople contest and was one of four that were featured. In that picture, only the middle shelf of the fridge and the top right of the freezer (including door) were my food. The fridge shelf below mine is often stocked with rather healthy food as well. (I'm always amused when he has similar veggies to my shelf.) The shelf above goes through odd mixes - sometimes just chilled water and a few restaurant leftovers, but he is family of the landlord/landlady, so I think he actually eats with them most of the time.

It was pretty fun taking the picture and seeing what is most visible in front. I didn't really, as I said, have any consideration about showing what was in there. Food isn't a good / bad, guilty / not guilty thing to me.

(In that same view, I keep my nutrition and fitness trackers displayed at all times. I don't do that for accountability. In my opinion, my body holds me far more accountable for what I eat at all times. There is no sneaking a bite and my body not knowing. I do it because why not? Some days I eat way over, some days I eat junk food, and other days I eat incredibly healthy - and I can show that eating what I please but in proper portions the majority of the time works for me.)


Connected to the Refrigerator feature in the DailySpark, I'd been notified a little before that my picture had been chosen and would be featured. I would be receiving a Kindle Fire as well as copies of The Spark, The Spark Cookbook, and the vegan eating cookbook. I didn't say anything at the time (though I know some asked or mentioned it) because I have this perhaps odd tendency to wait until I have something in my possession before considering it really mine.

It arrived on Monday at work to my happy "SQUEE!" and promptly was plugged in to charge. When I got home that night I set about figuring it out a little - part of which was finding out that yes, I had made an Amazon account even if I never used it, and registering it. (Hee, until I did that, it was actually registered to the SparkPeople employee who ordered it. Threw me for a loop when I got it connected to WiFi and received a welcome letter to Stepfanie.)

A bit of poking around and soon I had those three books downloaded and had bought another book I've been thinking about getting a copy of for years, since I took the seminar (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People).

I've read through the beginning of The Spark Cookbook and reached the recipes. Let's just say I'm putting that off until I can work through my negative reaction to feeling force-fed egg whites. I love the whole Diet Food Taste Test idea, BUT I never went for "diet" food in the first place. So the food isn't going to be competing against that - and in comparison to "normal" food, that makes these recipes "diet" food in my little gut reaction. (I am NOT claiming my reaction is rational. I know I have some messed up food issues. They just, thankfully, don't connect to portions or emotions and overeating.)

Hence my May goal to read the first chapter of The Spark. I'd read the intro a while back as a free download and reread it as the first thing I read on the Fire other than the manual.

Now, with my reading speed (100 wpm), I could finish the book in a couple days. I'm trying very hard not to do so. I want to let myself ponder and chew on ideas long enough to get the full flavor of them. I haven't done more than enter the codes. Even though I know there's a team, I need to keep from getting even more dispersed than I already am keeping up with blogs and Teams. But I'm definitely likely to talk about things in the future.

I do need to find and buy a case / cover for it. Even my own finger smudges on it make me antsy. The one office supply store I dropped by Monday didn't have any that would fit - they had ones for iPads and a few for others that were varying sizes, but none for the Fire. Barnes & Noble nearby only carries the Nook and accessories. For now I have it in this thin plastic that it shipped in but that's difficult to avoid reflections from in the sun. So I'm poking around to order a case or find out where I can go to get one (and if there's a similar protective sheet for the touch screen as my phone.)

JenniGeek in full effect!

** EDIT: For those who didn't see the refrigerator blog, here is the link.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAMROCKY2K 5/7/2012 7:27PM

    Congrats on winning the kindle fire. I love my kindle (not the fire). I am obsessed with putting free books on it.. so I have close to 200. I would just look on amazon for your cover.
Also.. thanks for your comment on MY blog! emoticon

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BABBINA 5/6/2012 1:18AM

    "(In that same view, I keep my nutrition and fitness trackers displayed at all times. I don't do that for accountability. In my opinion, my body holds me far more accountable for what I eat at all times. There is no sneaking a bite and my body not knowing. I do it because why not? Some days I eat way over, some days I eat junk food, and other days I eat incredibly healthy - and I can show that eating what I please but in proper portions the majority of the time works for me.) "



And congrats on getting the Kindle Fire! You can simply order a case online @, you guessed it, Just do a search using the model Kindle you have, read the reviews, and yr good to go!

Comment edited on: 5/6/2012 1:24:04 AM

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GUNNSGIRL91303 5/5/2012 11:11AM

    How awesome to win such great prizes! My sister has a kindle fire and I visited her last week. She encouraged me to play with it but I was afraid I would get hooked and I cannot afford one. I love my kindle 2 but a fire would be emoticon! I hope you have as much fun with it as my sis does! Good luck finding a cover. There are some nice options at

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SBNORMAL 5/4/2012 1:20PM

  Congrats, I know that you will love that Kindle.

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APONI_KB 5/4/2012 8:40AM

    That is awesome. I have a kindle - not a fire just a normal old school kindle and love it. Check with your library, the one here has kindle books. I read a lot so being able to check out library books from my couch has saved me a lot of money.

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SKATER787 5/3/2012 10:22PM

    OMG, the Egg White people are still around and writing cookbook? Congrats on your win!
emoticon emoticon

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TANYA602 5/3/2012 10:06PM

    How fun! I love reading The Spark on my iPad so I can highlight passages. Check out for a cool cloth that does wonders keeping your screen clean (and glasses and sunglasses!). I am on chapter 2 and have been trying to visit the team page and earn my points there. Still need to make my visualization. Heck, anything helps at this point. Oh "SQUEEE" away!

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WEEZER66 5/3/2012 9:32PM

    Congrats on the win and have fun with your toy,. My daughter received a Kindle Fire for Christmas and loves it, they are however not dogproof and I do recommend the 2 year replacement warranty. We had to use it two weeks after Christmas when the young dog chewed it!!!

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GOING-STRONG 5/3/2012 8:55PM

    Wow! Congrats to you.. I'm thinking of a Kindle Fire in my future one of these days. Very cool to get one for free.. Spark on!

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BERKCHIK 5/3/2012 8:11PM

    Congrats on the new Fire---so exciting!!!

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ALMMOM 5/3/2012 3:10PM

    I recently (ok, yesterday) got my daughter's Kindle Fire. She got an I-Pod for an early graduation present and has no need for the Kindle. I would love to have full use of it - but I'm not really technologically savvy. There is someone in my Sunday School class that has a Kindle - I may call her to show me the ropes. My daughter is downs syndrome and has a bit of tunnel vision. She will easily throw away perfectly good things because she got something newer. I'll use it to my benefit. I want to download knitting patterns - heard it can be done but I don't know how. We got a case from Amazon which is pretty nice. You may want to check them out.

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WOMANOBRONZE 5/3/2012 6:49AM

    Amazon is probably your best best for Kindle covers. The cheapest I've seen is $20 (which still seems high to me) and that was for the earlier version of the Kindle.

Also, Office Depot sells thin, transparent, screen guards that I highly recommend. Not cheap, another $15 gone, but you get 4 of them.

Have fun! I finally got to read a lot of great books written before 1920 for free (and learned a lot about the French Revolution in the process).


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LOVEREDDESERT 5/2/2012 10:27PM

    Something you wrote struck me: "There is no sneaking a bite and my body not knowing." In the past, I have tried to shove my sneakiness under the rug as if my body didn't know! Wow!

I have both a Kindle and an iPad - love them both, very geeky. My favorite protector has been ZAGG products. Congrats and have fun.


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MICHELLE_391 5/2/2012 10:09PM

    Congratulations on the WIN and your new geek toy! The Spark is a really good read and I hope you enjoy it! I never did get the cookbook though. I tend to use the SparkRecipe site for my meals. I'll be looking forward to hearing what you think about it so that I can decide if I want a copy for myself


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HDHAWK 5/2/2012 9:39PM

    Congrats! What fun!

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SHIROIHANA 5/2/2012 8:36PM

    Congrats on winning! I have a hard time believing people winning things.
100 rpm reading rate? That's fast... I am a slow reader because I get distracted easily, unless I have to read something quickly. Even then I will just scan through it leaving out minor details. Have fun with the new books, and have a wonderful May.

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AGINNETT 5/2/2012 8:14PM

    I have the same gut reaction to "diet" foods, and would much rather just stick to my healthy foods in good proportion.

So glad you got your kindle.

Etsy has some really cute hand made cases if you are into that style.

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JENNCABA 5/2/2012 7:35PM

    emoticonOn your win!!! Hope you are having a great week!! emoticon

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MOMMA-MOOSE 5/2/2012 7:23PM

    Just a comment on your new Kinde Fire. I have a rooCase on my iPad and love it. I bought one for my daughter's Fire. They're my favorite cases. A must have in my opinion is also a Zagg screen protector. Enjoy your new Kindle. Congratulations!

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TUBLADY 5/2/2012 7:16PM

    Congratulations on your win.
Have fun ordering new books and things.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEAT7918 5/2/2012 6:59PM

    Congrats! I have a Nook Color and love it. :)

You should be able to buy a cover through Amazon - that might be your best bet.

And I'm intrigued to hear more about your food "issues"... I also am not an egg-white person either (give me the yolks!) and prefer to do mostly portion control plus some extra fruits & veggies than what I used to eat.

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KARL1266 5/2/2012 6:42PM

    Congrats on the win! I have not had the luck on that front yet, but it's nice to see people actually win these things. Let me know how you like the Kindle...I've been thinking of getting one myself.

emoticon emoticon

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TEMPENATIVE 5/2/2012 6:29PM

    kept looking for the pics but didnt find them. but congrats on your prize(s). emoticon hope you enjoy your kindle, im still wondering if I should get one

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DJHARLEYQ 5/2/2012 6:26PM

    Congrats and I can tell that your uber excited about it. I plan to get the latest version once I start working. I just need to start reading more. What great books to start with and I look forward to reading about what your "digesting"

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QUASIOR 5/2/2012 6:16PM

    emoticon emoticon
I am so glad you won, you deserved it

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CHUBRUB3 5/2/2012 6:05PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETMETO50 5/2/2012 5:42PM

    congrats! I had the gen. 2 kindle and just got the kindle touch...I love the touch! I didn't get the fire because I only use it for reading and I can't handle the glare. But when its free whos complaining?!

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-SONIA- 5/2/2012 5:39PM

    It's so funny that I got points for skimming that Daily Spark the day it came out, without even realizing it was your fridge. And then one of your friends commented on your page about it -- and I went back -- and yup, she was right! As you know! LOL

Yay for free stuff!! WooHoo!!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 5/2/2012 5:37PM

    Woo Hoo on your Kindle. I LOVE mine. I'm addicted to free books. I have over 500 on it..agh. emoticon

Have fun reading the Spark. I found reading the book very helpful.

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AEBROWNSON 5/2/2012 5:25PM

    Congrats! I'm trying to decide on a Kindle Fire or should I just get an iPad...hmmmm....

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SUE_2U 5/2/2012 5:19PM

    Congratulations to you! That is awesome!
Oh where are the photos? That is going to be fun!

Comment edited on: 5/2/2012 5:24:49 PM

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NEWMOM20121 5/2/2012 5:17PM


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BMAN419 5/2/2012 5:15PM

  awesome blog

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IMATALOSS 5/2/2012 5:14PM

  Congrats on your Fire. How exciting!! I just have the regular Kindle and wish I had the light the Fire does. I'd be interested in that Vegan book. I'm just now delving into that stuff.

That's cool your fridge was featured. Enjoy your new toys! emoticon

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MADOPTIMIST 5/2/2012 5:12PM

    Congrats! Nice win :)

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CRYSTAL_MOM 5/2/2012 5:11PM

    Yay! What a wonderful gift! You deserve it. I hope you enjoy it.

One of my jobs is to acquire technology and teach people how to use it and then I get to do maintenance on it.

Have fun!

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_JODI404 5/2/2012 5:10PM

    Congrats JenniGeek, winning those items is pretty darn awesome!!!

I know you will love the Fire!! emoticon emoticon

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RG_DFW 5/2/2012 5:09PM

    Congrats on the Fire... I got one recently and it's pretty cool (and there are a lot of freebie books, too)

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Quick answer on Sodium for QUASIOR

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

To try to answer why I'm making sodium a focus in my goals, first the reason why we often hear sodium levels talked about as a concern:

"High levels of sodium can cause the body to retain too much fluid. This can be harmful to people with high blood pressure or heart, liver or kidney diseases." That's from SparkPeople's own article Shakin' It Up with the Skinny on Salt.

It is interesting to note that other than that, there isn't anything clearly stated to say why excess salt is bad for us - just a reference to the USDA recommendations that our need is 1,000 -3,300 mg daily.

And I'm nicely in that range, actually. My highest day exceed that by only about 300 mg and my normal range through the month was 1600-3000 mg. My goal for May is right about where I want my sodium range to sit normally. (I don't really have a problem with wanting things excessively salty. Even gaining weight, I was never a "must have fries with that" or "pour salt on my food" person. I only ever ordered fries when I was craving salt, usually my body's signal that I'd been drinking a lot of water and needed more balance.)

For me what the days I consume more sodium tend to reflect is the number of processed foods I've eaten. I have frozen dinners for lunch fairly often. Those can have 800-1000 mg of sodium. I used to have a cup of cottage cheese to boost my protein until I discovered it has 350-400 mg of salt added to it. Eating out is often a minefield of added sodium because so many places equate that with "enhancing flavor".

For me, eating healthier is all about balance.

I think of it like a jigsaw puzzle (or Tetris, being a gamer). My nutrient ranges are the borders of the area so I can see how much space things can take up. And the foods I choose are the pieces that I change in and out until I find the ones that fit together without spilling over.

What my sodium "limit" does to me is force me to think about and balance what I eat during a single day to include more natural foods - fruits and vegetables, meals I make rather than buy - with the processed foods. I'm also enjoying it because I am pickier about flavors. I want the flavors of the foods I eat to stand out because the FOOD is exceptional, not because it was salted enough to taste okay.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMYTRIPP 5/2/2012 11:15AM

    Great information! I like how you equate it to a puzzle (or puzzle game).

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SUE_2U 5/2/2012 7:00AM

    That makes perfect sense to me. And it does make a difference.

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MICHELLE_391 5/1/2012 11:00PM

    I like the Tetris metaphor! That's exactly what balanced eating is, isn't it?

Sodium is a serious topic. I find too, that I only hit the high level or go over when I eat processed foods.It is baffling to look at food labels sometimes. It has made me think twice about my beloved Ketchup. So much sugar, so much sodium. It's really sad.

Good on you for getting your sodium levels under control!

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TIFFY0906 5/1/2012 9:11PM

    Good job with getting a handle on your sodium.

I have sodium as one of my nutrition tracker items. I take prescribed water pills because my body tends to retain water - the meds have been cut in half since I started this journey and I am hoping that in a month or so I can totally stop taking them. I usually manage to keep my sodium between 1200 - 1800 - even on my splurge days - every now and then it goes above 2300 but not much.

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NEWMOM20121 5/1/2012 8:21PM

    Made me think about my own sodium intake. Thank you

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NATE-JANINE 5/1/2012 7:43PM

    I never add extra sodium. Had a High Blood Pressure when I was heavier. I stress HAD.. I too suffered bloating and swelling because of it. Definitely something that I track on a daily basis. I find that I go over my limit usually once a week. I own that though. As long as i am god the rest of the week. if I go over more than that my body doesn't like me so to keep that from happening I please my body as much as I can!

I am constantly arguing with my hubby about the natural flavours of food..he's not buying it!

Great post.

Say No to Sodium!

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QUASIOR 5/1/2012 5:57PM

    Thank you Blue! Well, I used to get bloated a lot, now that I drink loads of water I don't. But if I do drink too much of my 2 litres a day at the same time I feel wobbly in the tummy - which my partner equates to flushed out salts. I must be doing something right, all along I've had good blood pressure. I don't add much salt to food, don't have a lot of processed foods either. Family history doesn't have issues with heart disease (fantastic) but does have diabetes, coeliac, prostrate, thyroids (under-active), GERD to name a few - thinking about it nearly all of those can be traced back to underlying coeliac! I might start tracking my sodium to see where mine lies. I suspect it will be low or what I am getting is quite well dealt with or it isn't being absorbed well, like iron. Gives me a whole lot to think on, again thanks!

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BEVERLY1983 5/1/2012 4:18PM

    I'm Keeping track of my sodium also. It's the bloating thats why 4 days a week I keep it under 2499

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SBNORMAL 5/1/2012 3:56PM

  No salt added for me, I trying to eliminate blood pressure meds!!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 5/1/2012 3:49PM

    WTG keeping your sodium under control. emoticon

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APONI_KB 5/1/2012 3:45PM

    I put sodium in my tracker because heart disease runs in my family. The past 3 times I've been to the doctor my blood pressure has been on the high side of normal. She is all casual about it but it concerns me. Sadly I do lovses teh salt.

I ran my reports for last month and pretty much was over on sodium all but like 3 days. I've stopped salting my food - I seriously used to salt already salted microwave popcorn. I really think this is going to be a tough struggle for me, but I'd really rather not die of a heart attack just yet.

ps. I rule at tetris. it's like a game for math nerds

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SKAHONEY4U 5/1/2012 3:44PM

    My boyfriend and I also track our sodium, and we've noticed that if we eat out at Panera or the occasional pizza, then our levels are out the roof! Panera really surprised me, though I guess all they sell are the usual high sodium contenders: bread, cheese, soup, meat, and salad dressing!

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ODAYSKI11 5/1/2012 3:42PM

    I have started to use "Morton's Lite Salt" - it has less salt and added potassium, which most of us don't get enough of. Check it out if you think it may be useful for you!

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ODAYSKI11 5/1/2012 3:42PM

    I have started to use "Morton's Lite Salt" - it has less salt and added potassium, which most of us don't get enough of. Check it out if you think it may be useful for you!

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BLUE42DOWN 5/1/2012 3:38PM

    @PEACE_NONNY: Good point that I didn't really talk about - the bloating. I've been a water drinker all my life, so I think I bloat less from salt consumption because I have enough constant water to keep my system flushed of excess sodium. But it is a very real concern and consideration.

Oh, and I didn't talk about Potassium at all - which technically is very important. Sodium and Potassium need to be in balance. If we're eating too much Sodium, but eating an almost equivalent amount of Potassium, our body handles it better.

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MIPALADY23 5/1/2012 3:14PM

    My husband stole my salt shaker, even though the only thing I add salt to is fries (which we never make at home) and a mini 1/4 shake to steamed vegis. He wants no additional salt. We used to be HUGE on eatting out. It was adding rolls on us. We have PROUDLY stopped eatting out. It's crap food anyway. ALL processed with additives and buckets of sodium. We much prefer our own cooking now and are slowly going to whole foods and more organic. VERY rarely use processed or pre-packaged anything and we feel better!

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-SONIA- 5/1/2012 3:11PM

    I don't know why my comment just pretty much summarized your entire blog! LOL -- but oh well ;)

I'm a little loopy right now -- need to eat ;)

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GETMETO50 5/1/2012 3:10PM

    I watch my sodium level because I bloat up a LOT when I eat too much and it tends to all sit in my feet, legs and ankles...that in turn makes it very uncomfortable and/or painful when I walk.
It is amazing how much sodium is in EVERYTHING! I don't add salt to anything and I buy low sodium things when possible. But oddly enough I prefer salty things to sugary things, so where most people tend to be sugar addicts I am the opposite...I can pass up cakes and cookies but put a bag of salty chips or crackers in front of me and I am pretty much a goner!

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-SONIA- 5/1/2012 3:08PM

    It's important for people to also realize that too much sodium might show a "false" weight gain (a.k.a. -- water weight) -- especially in those of us who have already lost weight. The empty fat cells never go away, but they do still retain water. So that's why, at 50 pounds lost, I can gain water weight by just thinking about salt! LOL -- really -- I can gain 5 pounds of water weight overnight after consuming too much sodium.

And I never knew that when I began my journey. I'd eat Lean Cuisine and Healthy Choice 24-7 -- and I didn't realize how much salt was in frozen, processed foods (even "healthy" ones!) No wonder I kept getting frustrated ;)

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LGAR519 5/1/2012 3:08PM

    I've always been taught that salt should be limited. I have tried to cut back on my use of the salt shaker.

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TORIAMAE 5/1/2012 2:53PM

    So, I'm not a gamer, but the Tetris analogy is one of my favorite ones for food. It just makes sense when I visualize it that way!

Sodium is a great thing to track for exactly the reasons you've stated! Good luck again with your May goals.

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RG_DFW 5/1/2012 2:48PM


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