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BLUE42DOWN's Recent Blog Entries

No decision / deciding "no", cutting back, and more

Friday, June 15, 2012

Still thinking on the whole geeky gadget thing. Part of what I'm trying to decide is long-term value. Sure, I could easily spend $300-$500 on electronic toys. But am I actually going to get anything out of them beyond what I have now other than a bit of ooh and ahh.

For example, the pedometer has been fun but never really necessary. I wore it very early on to get a rough estimate of how far I was walking. Then I walked a trail with distance markers and discovered how rough that really was. After that I used the map feature to calculate the distances.

I dusted it off and started wearing it routinely two or three months ago when I made 5000+ steps a Team Goal for the Supportive Sparklers. I've been tracking it since, but it doesn't go anywhere that relates to Fitness tracking - it's just one of the "Other Goals" I keep up with.

I haven't had it for 4 days now. If I really needed one badly, I could have gone and spent $10 or less for another. Or there's a wonderful SparkFriend who offered one she isn't using.

But ... I think if I'm honest, I'm not really missing it.

So then I started thinking about the other things.

Heart rate monitors. All of the cardio machines I use at the gym do have sensors to get heart rate. The only one that I can't use sometimes is the treadmill (won't do a reading at 4.0 MPH or faster). They do act up, but most of the time that's obvious. And I can FEEL the differences - I usually know before I put my hands on the sensors whether I'm in the higher end (140-150) or lower end (116-125) or in between.

Again, if I'm honest, it would be a novelty thing, fun information but I don't even keep my hands on the sensors on the machines because I don't need to see every change. The inconvenience and potential discomfort of a chest strap doesn't sound worth it.

Calorie counter. Reading all the information - both from those who responded to my blog or status feed (THANKS EVERYONE!) as well as on the various websites either reviewing or selling these devices - I suddenly realized something. I already know I burn more than SparkPeople's calculations allow for. (Based on losing closer to 1.35 pounds per week while eating calories in the top end of a range set to lose 1 pound ... and doing that consistently for months.) Knowing a more exact number won't change that.

Sleep tracker. Of all pieces, this is the one that piques my curiosity the most. I'd love to get the whole chart of how long it takes me to fall asleep, when I'm more deeply asleep, when I'm more lightly asleep, and so on.

But I know I can fall asleep pretty fast some nights and that other nights I'm laying still for a long time waiting to drift away. I know at certain points during the night I am more "near the surface" and very very easy to wake and other times when I am out like a rock and not completely aware of loud noises around me. I've woken at 3:30 am - 4:00 am to use the bathroom or because my phone vibrated with a text message - and gone right back to sleep after. I'm pretty aware of my sleep habits even if I don't have the exact numbers.

So what does it come down to? I really don't NEED a tracker. I can't even justify any of them to myself as being necessary for me.

All my pondering is currently leading me in the direction of no decision - or I should say a decision of "no".

This is ONLY to say these devices aren't really needed by me. My circumstances are, of course, unique to me. Don't feel any suggestions made were wasted - I know others were reading those comments as well and the information definitely helped me really question myself about whether I just wanted a gadget for the inner geek's sake or for a real need.

======================

Cutting back - on SparkPeople time. It's not the best solution, but what I'm coming down to is that I simply cannot expect to keep up with the Friend Feed. I will miss SparkFriend's blogs. I will miss changes in their status.

Friend Feed. I looked and apparently there is no option to turn off the announcements of SparkPoints won. Well, there is for me to not show mine - but not to turn off it being displayed for others. The only things I have checked to show are "Weight Lost", "Blog Post", and "Status". Even so, it's not the SparkPoints that add a lot of time.

It takes me about 5-10 minutes to scroll through a single page, reading each item and clicking Like and/or leaving a comment, and opening the blogs in another tab. At best if I scrolled past the SparkPoints wins, I'd save myself half that time. Not very significant really.

Blogs, though ... I'm not sure what the average is, but just the first page I went through just now had 14 blogs linked. Each blog takes time to read, time to think about, time to write a response to. Vlogs might take longer depending on how much was uploaded. If my computer decides to slow down, internet chokes a bit, SparkPeople has a hiccup, even that can slow to a crawl. Those 14 blogs can take the rest of an hour to go through. That particular page only included stuff within the last four hours.

The conclusion I am forced to come to is that I simply cannot keep up with every status and every blog. Even with some hours or days slower than others, if it takes me an hour to keep up with 4 hours of updates, that would be 6 hours per day on SparkPeople NOT counting the time to track my food and meals, read articles, do a poll and trivia, huddle with teams, read blogs by teammates, post on team forums.

Clearly something has to give - and it's going to have to be my mindset that I must read every single blog and status. It's just not feasible or realistic. Right now I'm trying to do one page earlier in the day (or one hour's worth if I can do more than a page) and one in the evening.

I apologize in advance if I miss a blog, miss the chance to reply and encourage and answer and suggest. (I do answer most SparkMails, though not always same day - so if you very specifically want me to see a blog, you can always send me a message.)

======================

The little "and more"

My June goal to price out dental visits and costs. There's a dentist's office a few buildings over from where I work. I stopped by to ask. She could only give me a price on the initial visit, but it does include the exam and xrays - and all costs of any work needed could be discussed at that point. So I have an appointment for the last week of June. emoticon and surpassed.

The Roth IRA that I opened is amusing me so far. I have to rethink how it works a little - because unlike a 401(k), the money doesn't automatically get added to where funds already are. I have to actually buy into the different things. Some of which have a minimum amount to do so and others have a price per "share". Lots of learning to do. But the amusement? I use Mint to track my accounts and added the IRA to it. It keeps bouncing daily, but I'm able to say I earned $1.55 (on paper) so far.

Of course, that's even less reliable than the scale. It can be $1 lost one day and $1 earned the next. It's fun as long as I can retain that viewpoint.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TANYA602 6/16/2012 6:40PM

    It's such a Catch-22. We are here to get healthy and yet to keep up with everyone and every little thing means time on the computer. It's kind of crazy. But you are doing the right thing by you, and being real and true to yourself is what's most important. Congratulations on contracting a dentist and also on putting the time in to learning more about your IRA.
Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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02SERENE 6/16/2012 2:50AM

    You are taking care of yourself which is what sparks is all about. It sounds like you're letting go in order to let something more positive into your life.

Yay for making the dental appointment and/or getting the info you need.

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SPARKFRAN514 6/15/2012 10:11PM

    i also have been having a hard time keeping up with the feeds and blogs. i now split the friend list and do so many each day on the feed and respond to weight lose exercise milestones and trophy awards. and try and keep up the best i can with the blogs don't stress you do a great job keeping in contact . have a good week end hope it includes a trip to the roller coaster park.
emoticon emoticon

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TMCLEOD4 6/15/2012 7:26PM

    I don't have a lot of sparkfriends, therefor, it's easy for me to keep up with everyone's blogs. I know I wouldn't be able to read thru that many blogs in a day. I'm doing good if I read more than one and even better if I respond to more than one.

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ERINMARIE424 6/15/2012 6:05PM

    Oh my, that is a lot of blogs to look at! I don't have time to look at everyone's every day and I have WAY fewer friends than you! You have to put yourself first, and check in on everyone else just once in a while.

I had no idea those fancy pedometer thingies were so pricey! I say use the most basic thing that will get the most important job done!

Have a great weekend!

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PATIB13 6/15/2012 5:28PM

    That's why I only have a few friends LOL! I can't read everything and if a blog is rather lengthly I have to skim it at times, not because I not interested but because I am trying to find that part that is important to/for me. Maybe that sounds selfish but not really, somethings are just filler and some parts are the meat. I want to get the meat of what someone is saying. So all that to say don't feel bad emoticon

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AMANDASHRINKING 6/15/2012 3:22PM

    sounds like you got alot going on and good luck with the balance of sparks people and life

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SHERIO5 6/15/2012 3:00PM

    Good luck on trying to find balance with SP, it's an on-going battle for me, but I'm sure it's one we all face to some degree.

I'm not a gadget person, exercise DVD's...another story!!!

Have a great weekend!

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_RAMONA 6/15/2012 2:21PM

    LOL! Even though I get excited about the idea of the gadget to which I pointed, I came to all of the same conclusions as did you! Because insomnia is the bane of my existence, I still wonder if a gadget could help, but I intuitively know that if I manage to heal all else, my sleep issues wil resolve.

I think there is a downside to gadgets... I think a person can allow the gadget to speak more loudly than one's own body and intuition, so then I have to ask myself, "am I going to wear this gadget for the rest of my life to maintain?" The answer is, of course, no! Once again *for me* it comes down to "don't do anything to lose the weight that you're not willing to do to maintain it!" (funny how many things fit in that tidy category... but I keep the reference link for said gadget just in case, LOL)

As for keeping up on Spark, I think you're going through a process that everyone who is here for any length of time has to work through. The very bottom line is that we are each here for our own good, and as nice as it is to share the journey, and that we do come to depend on a certain amount of connection with others walking a similar path, we do have to do this alone. I don't think anyone would think less of you, or value you less because you don't get to their blog as often as you have been, or if they see a little less of you... even though they will feel the absence and miss you. But how is that really different than life in 3D? I actually ignore my feed, and simply go 'visiting' when I have the time and inclination. I know some people do put great stock in reciprocity (and I truly admire those seem able to keep up with everyone!), and take great offense at the lack thereof, but perhaps that's part of their own personal journey to wrestle through. I personally think one of the greatest gifts we can give each other here is freedom from expectations... and now I'm off to ponder how what I just said (surprised myself!) perhaps applies to my 3D life.

...and Jennifer, THANK YOU so much for visiting my blog... the shoes really really were a personal victory!

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IMATALOSS 6/15/2012 12:54PM

  I don't think you should feel bad about reducing your SparkTime blog reading. There's only so much time in a day. With that said though...Please don't stop WRITING blogs. I really enjoy hearing about your experiences and thoughts! LOL

Thanks for letting us Spark along with you! emoticon

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JENNCABA 6/15/2012 11:01AM

    I have tried a few of the different gadgets and realized that I really didn't need them. But the last one I tried a heart rate monitor, I actually like it. I was very unsure of the chest strap also and thought that it might be uncomfortable or get in the way. But actually it doesn't bother me at all, I even forget that it is there emoticon

I do agree with you about cutting back on SparkPeople time. You may want to respond to all of us all the time but that is not always going to be possible..
For me with 2 little ones here home with me all day, I know that I don't have time to respond to everything on the activity feed. Most of my ME time starts after I put the kids to bed at night and that is also when I fit in most of my exercise emoticon

So please don't feel bad if you can't respond to everything. We all know that you care and that you are here for all of us but you need your ME time also emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 6/15/2012 10:52AM

    I know how you feel about the blogs... it can be overwhelming. I subscribe to about a dozen and try and respond to one or two a day. Best I can do! I also know how you feel about the gadgets. I went for a run last evening and when I went to get my garmin the battery was dead. Can you say IRRITATED? I had it plugged in to the charger but the connection was slightly off kilter so it was drained. Did not having it effect my run? No.. not really. Now my IPOD??? I couldn't live without the music while I run so that one is a necessity!

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NEWMEINTWENTY14 6/15/2012 9:49AM

    emoticon
I agree with you. Most of those things are not needed. I don't even know where my pedometer is. With Google maps, etc. I can map out my distance, so that isn't really an issue. Plus I usually stay on the same routes so I know what they are.
Keep up the great work!

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LEMONTWITTER 6/15/2012 9:39AM

   
I commend you for working to keep a balance in your life. Life is ALL about balance, I believe -- and maintaining the proper ratios of activity (both mental and physical), rest, learning and discovery can be tricky indeed.

For me, life is also all about variety; in food, in exercise, in the things that interest me when I am not 'at work'. As I am 61 and for the first time ever living without a steady companion, the feedback from the pedometer and some of the gadgets I use, is really helpful. I compete with myself; and I'm not good at tracking things manually. If my pedometer tracks that Ive walked 4500 steps, even though my butt is in an office chair all day, can I compete with myself and add another 1,000 steps before I go to bed that night? If I am bored with my Wii routine, can I pop in a different exercise DVD and feel energized and challenged by it, and thus make that time more enjoyable ? Can I shake up my diet and try new veggies, or a new order of eating? Last night I had two hard boiled eggs for dinner. The advantage of being solo is that you can do things like that without having to feel as though you have to comply with the normal protein/veg/starch dinner plate that most folks have come to expect. You get to make up your own rules based on what works for YOU !!

Congrats to you for being flexible enough to change your rules to match your NEEDS and not necessarily your wants! It is a noteworthy goal!

emoticon Lemon

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JSLATE2K 6/15/2012 8:02AM

    I think time management is just as important as any other area of a healthy lifestyle, and you're quite right in cutting back on SparkTime if you're spending that much time on here.

If you find you really want one of those gadgets, ie the sleep monitor, you might consider buying it as a reward for completing a medium or long term goal that you've set. That way, at least it'll have more meaning to you and you can justify the expense since you won't just be doing it on a whim.

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MUSOLF6 6/15/2012 7:37AM

    emoticon emoticon

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FLEURGARDEN 6/15/2012 7:26AM

    I tend to agree with you about the gadgets. Before I started with SparkPeople I bought various gadgets, thinking they would motivate me I suppose. It was as if by buying the gadget I would actually exercise. LOL. Same thing with exercise clothes. I just cleaned out a closet and found all sorts of exercise clothes I didn't remember having from previous decisions to get healthy. If the gadget doesn't provide information that you really need, then save yourself some money. Better yet, spend it on a massage, pedicure, or something else.

I hear you about how much time SparkPeople can suck out of your day. It's hard finding a good balance. I've dropped out of some teams that really weren't providing as much motivation as the other ones. That cuts down on lots more blogs and messages that can distract me from exercising and just dealing with the responsibilities of life.

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RG_DFW 6/15/2012 5:23AM

    emoticon

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Question (ponder) blog instead of an answer blog

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

As my status today says, my pedometer bit the dust. It was a cheapie from Walmart - just the first and fastest place I could find one near me, nothing more. The LCD started flaking, at first just the last number became difficult to read because two bars stayed on permanently. No big deal - mistaking a 9 for a 0 wouldn't mean much when it was 12,389 versus 12,380 steps. Then the first number started flaking. Again, possible to work around because it was either 0 or 1, and a quick look to see if I was past 4 miles made it easy to tell which.

Yesterday morning, it gave up. The button would no longer toggle between showing miles and steps, the reset didn't change everything to clear it, and shaking it up and down to mimic steps weren't being counted. *toss*

NOW, the "fun" part of deciding how to replace it. I've gotten used to tracking my steps, though I don't use those for my fitness so much as just seeing the days I was more generally active. So I still want a pedometer.

But I've been mentally tossing around the idea of other things and it feels awkward to try to dig through the fluffy marketing to get to the brass tacks of how things really work in practice rather than theory. It's also a challenge to decide what is most practical.

Heart rate monitor
Pedometer
Calorie tracker
Sleep tracker

I'm amazingly hard on watches. (The one watch I kept for more than two years had the glass face replaced twice because I scratched it up so much.) I can't imagine being easier on a much bulkier object on my wrist.

I'm a klutz who routinely gets tangled with or caught by dangling wires. (Headphones would last a lot longer if the wires inside didn't break "so easily".) Seriously, door handles and door lock strike plates are my nemesis. So are my feet. In fact, anything that a wire could possibly catch on is a danger around me.

So I have the fun task ahead of me of figuring out:

1) What do I really "need"? What do I "want"? What is excess fluff that sounds good from their marketing but does me no real good?

2) Which are comfortable and durable enough to put up with my abuse? Will I have to sacrifice one thing for another (comfort for accurate heart rate, for example)?

3) Do I want something that is useless if I don't have a connection to some other device - as in an app or a website the data has to go to just to be read and understood?

4) What questions am I forgetting to ask that I might regret later if I make a hasty choice?


This is why I hate shopping most of the time. Even with geek toys, I feel like I'm forgetting the important question, the thing that will leave me wishing I'd bought something else or waited or passed.

emoticon

I know I shouldn't complain at all. I have the option to buy what I choose without anyone complaining or saying I shouldn't spend that money on me. I have money to spend that could feed someone else for a week or two, easily. Doesn't stop me from going through all sorts of emotions:

emoticon Hmmmmm emoticon Wha?! emoticon Bleargh, data overload!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SBNORMAL 6/14/2012 9:12PM

  I heard that the fitbit is a great item to have! You might like because of the connections can be tracked online. I hope to get one someday soon!!

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WORKINGSTIFF 6/14/2012 6:39PM

    I have a pedometer through work (Virgin Health Miles) but until we started the program, I used a Sportline pedometer/watch. I know you say you are hard on watches, but I like the idea of any device that has multiple functions: watch, pedometer, stopwatch, etc.

I've heard that the Omcron is good too. I think you do have to spend a little more to get a pedometer that is more accurate, or rather, is adjustable for your step length, age, weight, etc.

Good luck!

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LITAPOWER 6/14/2012 9:58AM

    So what did you choose? Let us know! emoticon

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MISSY455 6/14/2012 2:57AM

    After many attempts, I finally purchased a pedometer from Amazon that I really like and is pretty accurate. It's a Omron HJ-113. They sell for under $30 I think. Tracks the usual, steps, aerobic steps, miles, calories burned and saves for a rotating 7 days.

A couple of months ago, I also invested in a BodyMedia arm band. I still use the pedometer because I can check it for steps, etc at a glance. The two draw backs to the arm band are 1) obvious ...it's on your arm and can be visible unless your sleeves are long enough to hide it; and 2) you have to connect to their service (monthly fee) to get access to the graphs and data. I am glad I bought it, and have found the information very helpful. Particularly my sleep patterns, and how that affects my weight loss. Also classifies your exercise between moderate and vigorous, which I also like for analysis reasons.

There are so many gadgets out there, you need to have an idea of what you want to track before you narrow down your options.

best of luck in the research!

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LBEEKMA 6/14/2012 2:01AM

    I feel like I'm reading about me when you talked about the tangled up wires...I've gone through so many headphones because of this, too!

I wear my pedometer every day (at least on the days I remember where I put it!). It's very simple to operate and mainly tracks steps (daily and accumulated), minutes spent walking, and calories burned. It also has a clock. It's an Omcron Go Smart Tri-Axis model. All you have to do is keep pushing the button to see each screen. It's the only pedometer that I've bought that I've actually used for more than 2 days, and you can clip it on yourself, your purse, or on a lanyard (sideways). Some of the other suggestions sound good too. I hope you find a good replacement!

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TANYA602 6/13/2012 10:51PM

    Lots of great suggestions here. I just got the FitBit and it doesn't track heart rate or sync to SP, but I like the website, sleep tracker, and size. I've only had its few hours. Good luck with your decision!

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ZOLIMAMA 6/13/2012 10:36PM

    I have owned about half a dozen pedometers and I gav eup. I spent a wide variety of dollars on them and it just seems to be a waste...i'm interested in that fitbit though! emoticon

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POETLKNG2LOSE 6/13/2012 9:49PM

    Good luck on finding a different one. Walmart stuff isn't always the greatest. I should know i just got rid of a wobbly tv stand from them. You might be better off looking elsewhere for one. Fitbit sounds a little pricey to my way of thinking. I would probably go with the sparks pedometer.

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MEH50BEWELL 6/13/2012 8:26PM

    I have a fitbit as well and I love it, however it is not a heart rate monitor. It also tracks your sleep pattern which is quite interesting. I wore it one evening to record my sleep and the next day I was pretty cranky. The recording showed I only slept 5 hours and woke up 18 times. Sleep pattern really does effect my mood. Good luck with your choice.


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SAMI199 6/13/2012 7:56PM

    Mine was free from the local drugstore-woohoo!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SCMAMAJONES 6/13/2012 2:42PM

    I use the fitbit. You can check it out at fitbit.com. It goes for about 100$, and it tracks steps, floors climbed, and general activity level. Their website is free, but you don't need it to view basic results. On the fitbit you can see steps, floors, activity level, and calories burned (based on the data you put on the website in terms of BMR, weight, etc.) The website tracks historical trends. It comes with an adapter that does the uploading for you when you have it plugged into the PC's USB port. I clip mine on my panties near my hip, and I've found it very accurate. It's slim enough to be invisible under most clothes. There are no wires. It basically looks like a slim clothes pin that slides over clothing. I wish that fitbit and sparkpeople would integrate, but so far they are not. If you have any additional questions feel free to send me a message. Some women have worn it tucked into their bra, but I found it wasn't as accurate if I placed it there.

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SPARKFRAN514 6/13/2012 12:54PM

    Mine can=me from the big W to and has never worked right either since i don't always take the step width all the time. and it kept falling off my waist band so gave up using mine its in the drawer.enjoy shopping from the responses you should have a few to check out on your next shopping trip to the geek store emoticon

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PATIB13 6/13/2012 11:26AM

    My hubby uses some type of heart moniter when he was training for Ironman. He had a strap that went around his chest, then the info went to a watch. It had all the info on it, steps, calories burned so on and so on. It didn't have any wires which was nice. He also uses some apps on his phone that track his mileage and then he just uses an arm strap to hold his iphone, my ipod has a tracker thing and you can get wireless headphones. HOpe you find something that works. I hate doing that kind of research, thankfully my hubby loves to look at all that stuff so I can pass it on to him LOL

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KSCHRAUT 6/13/2012 7:37AM

    Nice blog. The one I have I got from my dad for Christmas...it works great and I haven't had any trouble it so far. It doesn't do HR but dies steps miles calories and something else. I don't think the mileage tracker is very accurate though since on days where I do tracked walks (1mi or more) I know I at least walked that far, but my pedometer will say something less haha! Good luck with the search!

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RG_DFW 6/13/2012 6:16AM

    emoticon

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SABRINALONDON21 6/13/2012 12:48AM

    I have a polar Heart Rate Monitor which I use only when I exercise, it tracks the time and calories burned. very easy to set up and use, at the end of the workout you press stop and presto : it gives you the time and calories burned per exercise. Biggest lesson here ( I was using SP calories per exercise) is that some of my routines were overestimated and others underestimated and not to a balanced state. I have an IPhone and there apps like Nike + which can estimate (via a sensor) the distance walked.

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MNJONES2 6/12/2012 11:56PM

    Thank heavens I am not the only one who seems to be a clutz with exercise equipment. You made me chuckle even if you didnt mean to. Best of luck with the decisions and buying.

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BEACH_BABY_82 6/12/2012 10:53PM

    I am hard on all of those things and just gave up buying them. I don't think I ever had my pedometer properly callibrated, either. The FitBit sounds cool, though.

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CELLISTA1 6/12/2012 10:43PM

    I have a MIO. It's a watch that tells you how many calories you've burned based on your heart rate and the time of your session. I only use it when I'm exercising because I don't really like wearing a watch. I like it. I bought it as a motivator and it does help, because I have to pay attention to how briskly I'm walking and using the heart rate monitor part of it frequently because I'm going up and down hills. I found out I was burning more than I thought. I got mine on Amazon but MIO has a website that shows you all the different models.

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QUASIOR 6/12/2012 10:23PM

    Personally, I want a Garmin! I would only use it when I'm being active though, not all day. Maybe this might work for you but you would have to have a cheap pedometer just for all day steps if you feel you need to do that. I'm like you, I scratch things too. I just gave up on using a watch altogether for many years lol emoticon

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MICHELLE_391 6/12/2012 10:16PM

    And now you get to do research! You can probably find a gadget that does more than one thing - like the fitness bug or something. I'd love to hear about what you decide on.

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RADAZZLE 6/12/2012 9:50PM

    Well.... if you want a small, easy to use, pedometer (steps and miles per day) that also tracks how many flights of stairs you've done, the tiny Fitbit is great. I've been using it and love it. There is also a website that you can go to to see your stats and even track other things (similar to SparkPeople's trackers, including nutrition). BTW, it also can track your sleep (it comes with a soft fabric wrist pouch that attaches via velco). The Fitbit slips on to your clothes and comes with a holder to use just in case your clothes are too thick. I attach mine to the waist near my hip of my panties and just make sure to hold it so it doesn't slip off when I go to the bathroom. LOL emoticon

I just ordered a watch with a heart monitor that straps around the ribcage (wireless). The Garmin FR70. It comes with an ANT stick to connect to computers, etc. to upload info (but you don't need a computer to read the readouts - just the watch part). It actually can coordinate with the Fitbit site, too. I also ordered a Garmin foot pod that attaches to a sneaker to fine-tune the readings (so the watch/monitor can adjust for stride/cadence to its calculations). It's all wireless. I'm not going to use this as an everyday watch since I want it to last as long as possible; will just use it when I exercise.

Go on Amazon.com and check out the available pedometers and heart rate monitors, etc. Even if you don't buy something through them (although their prices are usually very good), it's a great place to read users' reviews of the products and can help you make a decision.

Good luck! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/12/2012 9:58:07 PM

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DURANGOREDDOG 6/12/2012 9:16PM

    I am no help to you as all the electronic gadgets I have purchased only a few have been useful. I know I would not use any of the items you are contemplating but I wish you well in your decision.

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ROXYZMOM 6/12/2012 9:03PM

    I feel like I just read a commercial...can't wait to hear how they "measure up"...excuse the pun!!

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ERINMARIE424 6/12/2012 7:56PM

    Wow! You are a very informed consumer. I got a couple of cheap-o pedometers at work a couple years back (well, i got one and a couple of co-workers gave me theirs) so I haven't need to purchase one in a very long time. I'll be interested in seeing what you choose!

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JSLATE2K 6/12/2012 7:45PM

    I know the feeling - I have a blood pressure cuff that I never use (partially because I have normal blood pressure), but it seemed like a good idea at the time. I have a watch-style heart rate monitor that gives a pretty accurate result (I tested it at my doctor's office). It also stores my resting heart rate and calculates calories burned and calories left to burn. It has a stop watch, and lastly, it works as a regular watch. I use it mostly for a regular watch, though I do occasionally check to see my heart rate when I'm working out. I wonder what we did before we had all these gadgets? Hmm...

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3G1RLS4ME 6/12/2012 6:18PM

    there is this one at wlmart that does all of that for $25 and it's medical benefit too you might wanna look in to it. I loved endomondo on my Iphone but I had a myoclonus attack and it ended up in the milk yesterday total bummer post a pick if you get something

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_RAMONA 6/12/2012 5:57PM

    Jennifer, I wonder if you've seen (or even be interested in) this special offer in conjunction with SparkPeople... BodyMedia FIT armband... it does/tracks A LOT of different things. Seems to me it might appeal to your detail/statistic oriention.

I'm still undecided... I don't know if I would use it enough to justify it, or if I used it if it would really add much benefit to my approach to things.

http://www.bodymedia
.com/site/landing/sparkpeople.html

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KATHYM617 6/12/2012 5:21PM

    Okay, I have no answers to your questions but am excited to read what I hope will be many helpful responses, as I am in the market for a new fitness gadget myself and was contemplating a HRM (and I too am notorious for breaking wrist-worn items). (I was eyeing the Polar FT60 as a birthday present to myself.)

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Even world-class athletes have meh days

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Tonight at the gym I happened to glance at the TV that had Piers Morgan doing an interview. Some of them I care very little for, but others have been quite fascinating. LL Cool J really impressed me, for example, with the thought he put into his answers. (Asked what he would pick if he could only do one movies, TV, or music he sat a while then said he would do made-for-TV movies that were musicals.)

His guest that I saw was a gymnast on the US Olympic Team John Orozco. While he misunderstood the question he was being asked (What does it feel like to be as good as you are at what you do?), his answer intrigued me:

== I would say it takes a lot of willpower and a lot of sacrifice and a lot of self-motivation, because you're not going to walk in every day and feel like it's a great day and you want to get all this stuff done and feeling like all jolly, jolly, you know? ==

Another guest, Nastia Liukin, gave a similar answer when asked what it takes to be a champion:

== I think it obviously it takes a lot of hard work. But a lot of discipline, a lot of courage, motivation. You know, it's very hard to find that sometimes, especially on those days that I don't get out of bed or if it's raining outside and you just want to stay under your covers. But I never took a single holiday off. ==

What caught my attention is this. Even world-class athletes have down days, days when they'd far rather toss in the towel than practice and work.

Honestly, if we think about the training regimens athletes at that level put themselves through for years, it is pretty awe-inspiring. It is easy to get the idea that they've found some secret "Fountain of Motivation" that just keeps them going day after day, year after year. But they don't. Some days the motivation just isn't there and it takes gritty determination or force of habit to get moving.

We don't have to be world-class athletes to learn something from this. Look at all the other things they called on. Willpower, sacrifice, discipline, courage. When they didn't want to, they didn't sit down and whine that they didn't feel motivated. They reached elsewhere, found whatever part of themselves was available to give them a push or a pull in the right direction, and did it anyway because it needed to be done.

Don't wait for motivation. Don't ask for motivation. Just DO. Pull on your strengths to get it done. Are you stubborn? Use that by refusing to give in to the blahs. Are you lazy? Use that by making the alternative much more effort. Dig through all your personality traits and find ways your stronger ones can give you the boost that motivation alone is not.

=====================

Part of why this really hit me is that I've been pondering motivation for a while. There are MILLIONS of articles, posters, blogs, books, and quotes out there trying to help people find, keep or increase their motivation. There's scientific studies, even, because motivated employees do more work - making more money for their employers.

Constantly it seems, voices in blogs and statuses are saying:

"I've lost my motivation."
"Motivate me!"
"Not feeling very motivated."

How is it that with such an abundance of information on motivation, it seems so immensely difficult to actually stay motivated or motivate others? More personally, why is it that I don't even think of myself as motivated - yet I have no problem sticking to things?

Seriously. I don't go to the gym and do my workouts because I feel motivated. I go because I scheduled them into my day, I have a plan for them, and I plain and simple don't consider anything but illness, injury, or body exhaustion a valid excuse to skip a day. They aren't optional.

I'm not entirely sure what drives me. I just know my body needs it, set a little mental flag that says "this is not optional", and go. I don't really reward myself directly. I have no specific chart of goals and rewards. For every month that I do goals, the reward is the doing of the task, the knowledge I'm making progress, the enjoyment of the very doing.

I've been trying to read the Wikipedia article on Motivation tonight, and learned some interesting things about Intrinsic Motivation versus Extrinsic Motivation. I think I'd have to say I'm very heavily leaned toward Intrinsic Motivation, and not just in weight loss.

I still need to think on this quite a bit. But it's 1:40 am and I've been fighting my eyes trying to finish this somewhere - so here it is.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERICADAWN1986 6/15/2012 10:02PM

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I was thinking about this topic on my run tonight and was considering blogging about it but here it is, stated much more clearly than I could do it myself. I think that for me personally I have those days where I just need to kick myself in the butt and "just do" but other days I focus on my reward chart. Whatever gets it done.

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BEEMEE137 6/13/2012 11:38AM

    I can't believe how much I actually *needed* to read your blog today. I was just thinking myself this morning and last night about motivation, about sticking to your goals, about yo-yo dieting, about my own up and down journey. And then? And then I read this. And I see that professional athletes who have meh days and struggle. And it makes them human, and it makes them tangible, and it makes them understandable, and it makes them relateable. And I appreciate that. I value that. And it makes me think, "well gee, if they can do it, then I can too".

Getting the job done isn't always about motivation. . .it's about just doing it regardless of how you're feeling at the time in your own head. Our own minds are our worst enemy. It has been mine for the last year.

Thank you for blogging this. Thank you for, without even realizing it, blogging EXACTLY what I needed to hear.

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RADAZZLE 6/12/2012 10:34PM

    Great blog, as usual! emoticon

I've been thinking a lot about the same subject. I think that what I've determined so far is that in order to keep up motivation, there is a definite need to constantly remind oneself of the ultimate goal desired. I've printed out and hung up in many places the following:
Don't trade WHAT YOU WANT MOST, for what you WANT AT THE MOMENT.
This reminds me to think, and helps me remember that I want to succeed in having and maintaining a happy, healthy lifestyle. I've made that an priority in my life. I can't say that I haven't skipped a day here and there in my efforts to exercise, but it's been a rare occasion that I haven't exercised, and my eating has been according to my goals (if anything, I'm having trouble eating enough calories LOL). So, intention/focus rules!

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A44983 6/12/2012 9:28AM

    Very thought provoking. I love reading your blogs. You must think well when you're tired. But, Be kind to that brain and body and get a little more sleep. Your SP Friend

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IMATALOSS 6/11/2012 4:41PM

  Thank you posting this blog. It was shared very eloquently.

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ILOVEMALI 6/11/2012 4:26PM

    My motivation comes from myself, but I must say that I do need external motivators. The Girl is coming home on Monday, and I haven't seen her in almost 3 months. I don't "need" her support, but I want her support! And I do get outstanding motivation from my sweet comadres locally, and from you and other SP pals. We can do this.

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AMYTRIPP 6/11/2012 8:10AM

    Agree 100%. I sure don't always feel like taking an hour long walk after working eight hours and then coming home to make supper/clean up the kitche - but I do. And, I'll tell you, I'm always so glad after that I did.

I find that it's the same for creative writing. If you want to take your writing seriously, you write. It doesn't matter if you feel like it that particular day, you start and you struggle, and then you find your rhythm.

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LITAPOWER 6/11/2012 6:30AM

    Great blog, motivation is so important! emoticon

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BERKCHIK 6/11/2012 3:25AM

    what a post! this has got to be bar none, one of the best posts i've read not just on spark people, but anywhere. so well thought through, and as others have said, thought provoking, but also motivating in its own way. in fact, i plan to forward it to a non-SP friend of mine, because i think it will help her re-frame motivation in her own life.

congrats on all your hard work paying off. and thanks for spreading the spark!

Comment edited on: 6/11/2012 3:26:37 AM

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QUASIOR 6/10/2012 8:31PM

    Your blogs are always thought provoking and interesting. However, I'm less motivated and more set by grim determination I'm afraid. And in the past driven by terror too - to not follow in my Mother's footsteps in bad lifestyle choices (leading her to pancreatic cancer, diabetes etc) and by doing it feeling healthy and strong. These are the things I do it for, all the rest is nice, seeing a stronger body and feeling amazing is what's keeping me here now...

Am trying to make it more positive, and succeeding but these are the reasons I put my feet on this path in the first place and they are now part of this journey I'm on!

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SPARKFRAN514 6/9/2012 11:58PM

    Thank you for the interesting blog it also made me smile as this was one of the challenges for today. Post a picture or saying on your Spark page that motivates you.
that one was hard for me until i read your blog it made more sense than the link provided on the challenge. The picture of Red Rocks reminds me of the steps we take here at Spark and we work to a goal.. you talked about rewards for goals i do that for my self only when i have lost enough weight my cloths get baggy and li feel frumpy wearing then i will get and new shirt or pair of slacks the last time i rewarded my was in May when i bought a hot pink shirt at the Bloomsday trade show. The last time I wore it my friend told me it made me look skinny since it fit properly and was not baggy. like so many others have said the way you feel is good motivation. thanks for a great blog and all the food emoticon for thought you giver us you are a real Spark motivator
to get us to just do it for us.
thanks Fran emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 6/9/2012 10:45PM

    I don't want to do a lot of things... (go to work, make the bed, wash clothes, clean toilets. etc etc) but I do them regardless. It is the same thing with healthy eating and exercise. I do all these things because I like the results! "Just DO it" really says it all. Spark on!

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ANGGEL40 6/9/2012 9:12PM

    Great blog...everyone has to find their Motivation some where and some how...Just Do It! emoticon

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LDRICHEL 6/9/2012 2:54PM

    I agree. Sometimes I see the statuses about people needing motivation and I try to figure out why I have motivation and they can't seem to find it. The truth is...I just do it. Whether I want to or not.

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NEWMOM20121 6/9/2012 2:29PM

    I so love your blog. This is something I have also thought a lot about and have not been able to put into words. Great job, thank you so much for sharing.


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WHQPHQ 6/9/2012 2:02PM

    My motivation has to come from me, if my heart's not in something, I really struggle!

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2BEABETTERME 6/9/2012 1:40PM

    Great blog! You don't ever think of professional athletes not being motivated; but, they are human.

My new mantra lately has been, "Don't think, just do!" It helps me to keep going when the task seems a little daunting. I repeated over and over for a good chunk of my race this morning when it get tough.

Have a great weekend!

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MELLISOND 6/9/2012 1:03PM

    Blue, you are such a great thinker and writer. I always enjoy your blogs. I copied this one for myself to come back to when I am in a motivation lull...

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JSLATE2K 6/9/2012 11:42AM

    To me, motivation means a purpose for doing something. I think a lot of people confuse motivation with being enthusiastic for, or excited about, something. None of us feel excited about the same thing day in and day out, but having a purpose that is in alignment with our core values is something that generally doesn't change. That's what keeps me going, even on those days I really don't want to.

~John

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JENNCABA 6/9/2012 11:31AM

    emoticon emoticon

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JANESLOSS 6/9/2012 11:27AM

    Another great blog!
The part about goals really hit a cord with me. I have yet to set the monthly small goals of losing a pound or two. I know the bottom number I need to get to and that's all I feel I need. As far as a reward, the reward for me will be my health. My daughter said to me a few weeks ago, "Mom, you should buy yourself something for how well you've done". I thought hard on what she said. My feeling is, I'm rewarding my self everyday that I eat healthy and exercise. I sure don't need trinkets to pile up as a reward. I have enough stuff!
I'm going to look for the Wikipedia article on Motivation. It sounds interesting! I love to read and learn.
Thanks and have a wonderful weekend!
Jane emoticon

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TIMOTHYNOHE 6/9/2012 10:34AM

    nothing.

else.

needs.


to.

said.

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MRS.CARLY 6/9/2012 9:36AM

    Another thing is making it a habit! Once you make exercise a habit, it feels "wrong" if you don't do it, or if you skip too many days.

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RG_DFW 6/9/2012 9:11AM

    "Just Do" sounds pretty good

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LGAR519 6/9/2012 8:56AM

    My walk is part of my day, my routine. I just get up and after a few chores, I go. Wish I could be like that in all parts of my healthy journey. Maybe one day. I think this blog is one we need to read and re-read!

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TALENKARR1 6/9/2012 8:26AM

    thank you it helps knowing people like flow joe micheal phelps etc. have I don't wanna day's.

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FLEURGARDEN 6/9/2012 8:25AM

    Great blog! It's nice to know that even world class athletes have their off days. Nice to know they're human like the rest of us and for us to know that it's normal to have bleh days. I think it's just part of the natural cycle and by being aware of it, it's less likely to derail us completely.

I think I finally got to that point where going to the gym isn't such a struggle and I notice the positve effects of a regular workout. I never thought I'd see the day! I never had enough motivation to get to this point before. Glad you had something interesting to watch while working out, too. Yesterday when I went, they had Dr. Oz on and he was discussing what normal poop looks like. :-)

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SWEDE_SU 6/9/2012 7:26AM

    you are one helluva motivator - and so right emoticon



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COLORADOGUY0004 6/9/2012 7:09AM

  emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

Comparing retirement saving to weight loss / money talk

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

This isn't the first time I've made money comparisons to the weight loss journey.

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I've been gradually researching IRAs. I know I need to do SOMETHING about my savings. I have no 401(k) options. Savings accounts earn terrible interest rates. (I honestly remember having a Wells Fargo account when I was in my teens that earned 5%, not the weak sub-1% offered these days.)

A few months ago, I went to a site to calculate how much I need to try to save up. It came up with almost $1 million if I retired at 70. That number blindsided me. There was just no way I was ever going to manage to save that much. The amount I'd have to sock away weekly was unreasonable.

Does that sound familiar at all?

How many of us have looked at our starting weight and an ideal weight from a table, calculated the difference between them, and been blindsided by the number? How many of us have had a goal date by which we wanted to lose a set number of pounds, only to discover we'd have to lose 3-5 pounds a week to get there?

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I have to be honest. One of the reasons I originally set my SP goal to 160 had nothing to do with a reasonable and healthy weight. It had to do with the difference between saying I had 90-95 pounds to lose and saying I have 100 pounds to lose. Saying 100 just seemed too big. When I went to the goal page, I used the automatic calculator and didn't even look at the expected date to reach it. I didn't want to know how long it was expected to take.

What do we do when something is too much for us to confront? Often we avoid it. We let other things distract us. We don't get started, or we start then quit, because it's just too much and after a little early success we can feel how long it will be.

======================

Last month, I did finally get up my nerve again and start digging some more, trying different scenarios. Cleaning through all my papers reminded me that unless Social Security collapses, I will have at least something other than what I can manage to save. I started planning last week to talk to an account rep at my bank to ask some questions.

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And then today something really opened my eyes.

With the Kindle Fire, I often check the "Top 100 Free" ebooks and "buy" many of them. If I don't like them, I just delete them and no loss. Otherwise, I have a vast selection to pick from. Today I finished one and started another randomly (literally flicked the carousel a couple times and tapped one). It happens to be on saving for retirement without living like a pauper.

Like so many books on the topic, it starts with the point about how far along I could be if I'm in my 20s and I start now with some small amount weekly, such as $25.

Oh, yay. What good does that do me? I'm 43. I have a whopping $400 in a generic savings account, all added just this year.

But then it gave an example of someone who was in their early 50s. And the lightbulb went on.

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How does putting this off longer help?!
IT DOESN'T!!!

Every single day I put this off is yet another day I'm not making progress.

Sure, I can be upset that I don't already have $200,000 sitting around growing ... but I can't go backwards. I have several choices:

1) I start now. I open an IRA, I set up automatic deposits. I let it grow for 25 years. Figure I put in $400 from my savings, add $15 a week, never changing. In 25 years I'd have put in around $20,000 and potentially have close to $50,000 (assuming a "low" return of 7%)

2) I delay it. In 5 years I start to really feel the pressure, so I start then. Same numbers, but 5 years less ... and I could be just barely past $30,000 instead of nearly $50,000!

3) I put it off indefinitely, never feeling the time is right. The $400 stays in my savings account. Maybe I'm smart enough to add $15 a week and not withdraw anything. I earn 0.85% interest. In 25 years I'll have put in around $20,000 and have a little over $22,000.

4) I don't just put it off. I give up on trying to save. Maybe I leave the $400 in savings just because. Woohoo, I have almost $500 after 25 years.

5) I give up completely and just spend my money freely. Why bother with a savings account that doesn't earn much? I spend it. Oh, hey, credit! I spend up and build crazy amounts of debt because it's easier than confronting my money issues. In 25 years, I owe $50,000 and have no savings and no income other than Social Security. Hope I like being homeless.

Well, DUH! Looked at like that, of course I want to take the first choice.

And yet ... I've gotten to this point because I delayed, put it off, gave up, and even sabotaged myself in years past. I've lived every single other choice.

Whenever I look at $50,000 versus $200,000 it makes me want to just delay more. How completely STUPID is that? Start now and I'll have $50,000 versus $30,000. NEITHER choice, NO choice I could possibly make will give me that $200,000 I could have had with better choices earlier.

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Now, let's look at each of those choices translated to weight loss:

1) We start now. We make a few lifestyle changes. We find habits we can live with. We build on those bit by bit. In 10 years we are at or close to our ideal weight, perhaps more fit than we've ever been in our life, and we don't even have to think about many of the healthy habits - they're automatic. We might never be as physically fit as we could have been if we'd never gained the weight in the first place, but we're in great condition all things considered.

2) We delay it. In 5 years we realize we've put on another 15 pounds and REALLY need to do something. Our blood pressure has shot up, we have adult-onset diabetes, and it hurts more to move around. But, hey, at least we listen NOW. In 10 years, we've finally dropped most of the excess weight, but those extra 5 years overweight/obese did a number on our arteries and our joints.

3) We put it off indefinitely. Every once in a while we panic a little as we realize we put on another 5 pounds and briefly go through a spurt of trying to lose by one diet or another. We never consider changing our lifestyle - we just need to lose a few quick pounds. In 10 years, if we're lucky, we weigh a little less. Not enough to address the issues, but at least we did something.

4) We don't just put it off. We give up on ourselves. There's a few good habits we do half-heartedly, maybe, most notably when we want to fool ourselves into thinking we're trying. But for the most part we ignore the mirror, avoid pictures, and just hope that somehow magically one day we'll find a spell and be skinnier. In 10 years, we've added another 20 pounds and are even more overwhelmed by how long it would take to lose and how much work, which we don't think we can do.

5) We give up completely and figure we're already such an obese mess it makes no difference. We might as well eat whatever we want. We're killing ourselves, but at least we won't care about our weight if we do. In 10 years, if we're still alive, we've packed on another 100 pounds, our bodies are crippled by the weight, we're just one mass of health risks, one tick away from a heart attack or losing a leg.


...

Why would ANYONE ever choose the last option? The first choice will get us there fastest. We may not be there already, we may not be there at the end of 2012, but the first choice WILL get us there.

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MORAL OF THE STORY?

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Start NOW!

In every moment from today forward, don't let the length of the journey scare you. The first choice WILL get you there. The first choice will give you the greatest chance at a healthier, fitter future and as many years as possible in that condition!

If you gain a pound or feel like you've failed in some way, think about whether the choices you are tempted to make in that moment will GUARANTEE you gain even more. If that's not the result you want, don't make those choices!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOOSIEMOON 10/26/2012 9:12AM

    This was so good I read it again! Thanks!

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DEBK0923 6/24/2012 1:24AM

    great blog

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VK2Z10 6/13/2012 4:43PM

    you are so wonderful to post this. as far as the IRA is concerned, think of it this way. i have been @ my job for just over 10 years. they put $ into the account through my paycheck. i have JUST over $35,000 in 10 years. i think that whatever amount you put in will be a good.

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LILYPAD12311 6/11/2012 7:50PM

    I absolutely agree with you,,,, you hit the nail on the head,,,, it is so easy to ignore problems but the problems are still there,,,,, better to tackle them head on and face your fears.... this was a great post,,,, thanks for sharing your thoughts. emoticon

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ZANNBEE 6/11/2012 6:47PM

    Great post!

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TRULYVISIBLE 6/11/2012 9:27AM

  I loved this blog! What a fabulous analogy. If your blog doesn't want you to take your first steps and continue on your journey, I don't know what does. Great read, thanks!

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GEECMOM 6/11/2012 12:02AM

    Great post!

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KALANTHA 6/10/2012 6:06PM

    Great analogy!! Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom.

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MARYSABEAN 6/10/2012 1:44PM

  Thanks for sharing with us.

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RHIANNONTHEWOLF 6/10/2012 3:50AM

    I have friends who are not 30 yet and already giving up on themselves because they "will never be able to retire". Some of these same friends apply the same philosophy to their weight. I hope they reach their "I can't go on like this" moment soon, but...

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SHEL_V2 6/10/2012 12:44AM

    Really great comparison that hits home on both fronts. I've lived in Silicon Valley (actually, Santa Clara!) and know there is the extra angle of how expensive everything is, and how some people just seem to make all the money.

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PS10711 6/9/2012 11:41PM

    Great Post too bad I selected option #2 in 2009. When I first signed up for Spark and did nothing, I thought I could do it my way by myself. I had to learn my lesson the hard way by gaining weight and losing time. Well, since it is a waste of energy to live in the past, I won't.

I am instead moving forward and using your option 1 by being an active member of Spark since May 5 2012. I have lost 10 lbs. Yay for me.

Thank you for inviting all to add you as a friend. I will because my mantra now is "Success breeds success." Surround yourself with successful people, learn from them and Succeed! You losing 63 lbs makes you a Successful person indeed.
Thank you for sharing.

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 6/9/2012 10:03PM

    Wow! This was an amazing post.

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AZURELITE 6/9/2012 8:10PM

    Wonderful analogy. Thanks for sharing!

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JURORI 6/9/2012 7:55PM

    Great post, gave me a bit of a kick because I'm in my 20s and I need to start saving up in a retirement account. I hate thinking about it, especially since there's SO MUCH I want to safe up for before that, but it's important. Thanks for writing this... and yes, it is a good analogy too!

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MOMMYNOFFY 6/9/2012 6:12PM

    Great analogy! emoticon

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CTUPTON 6/9/2012 3:04PM

    What a great way to put these into perspective. I agree about the money. Start NOW! (I just retired. Not having that job check come in is very scary!)

But I had never thought of it in terms of weight loss. What a great idea! Chris

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JANESLOSS 6/9/2012 11:08AM

    I like your way of thinking. It's never too late to due something about saving for our future or our weight. Even though I'm so far from my goal, I just keep on picking away at it. I've noticed that the older I get the more frugal I get too.
Have a wonderful weekend and don't forget the sunscreen. We are heating up for the next several days!
Jane emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/9/2012 11:09:40 AM

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SMOOCHIESMOMMY2 6/9/2012 10:38AM

    Thanks for sharing emoticon

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ANGELCOWBOY1 6/9/2012 8:19AM

    Great blog - emoticon

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NANDA82 6/8/2012 11:52PM

    That was an amazing blog post. It definitely made me think. Thank you for sharing!! emoticon

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MITSRN 6/8/2012 11:16PM

    I was like you. When I turned 40, I enrolled in my company's 401k. Ten years later and I am closing in on 100k and now the power of compound interest is at work and it will grow even more. Like weight loss, you have to hang in there even when the market is.crashing. Maybe you might be interested in Dave Ramsey? There is also a Dave ramsey fans group here on SP!
Good blog. Thanks for posting.

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BERGIE8771 6/8/2012 10:54PM

    It's not funny, because I did start that 401K at age 26 and yet with the low low interest earnings, after 30 yrs I have about 70-75K not the 500K that was estimated WAY back when. Pfft!

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POETLKNG2LOSE 6/8/2012 10:41PM

    Thanks for the blog. I am unable at this point to save anything and in debt. Praying desperately for a job. Don't like being in debt; or in pain either. Still have some money in my savings but dwindling. If it wasn't for the money from the CD's I would be broke by now.

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KEEPITSIMPLE_ 6/8/2012 9:32PM

    Great blog, great analogy. It makes total sense in all areas of our lives. Thanks!

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CASTIRONLADY 6/8/2012 8:05PM

    That is a great analogy. Baby steps but steps non the less.

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KIPPER15 6/8/2012 6:45PM

    Wow, well said on both accounts. I am with you too, not enough in savings and too much weight. i too am working on both. emoticon emoticon

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SHELBEY74 6/8/2012 5:29PM

    Awesome blog! Just what I needed to hear today.

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DAUGHTEROFTWIN 6/8/2012 3:17PM

    Best blog I've read in a long time! Thank you.

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AMYTRIPP 6/8/2012 10:27AM

    So well thought-out and written.

You're so right, why put off those things we can start today.

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FARRAH511 6/8/2012 10:07AM

    emoticon

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PHOENIX43 6/8/2012 9:19AM

    Well put!

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DABLUECAT 6/8/2012 9:09AM

    emoticon

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GRRARRGH 6/8/2012 8:48AM

    emoticon

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JLEMUS1 6/8/2012 8:12AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SADDYSPOT 6/8/2012 8:08AM

    Great comparison!

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THEIS58 6/8/2012 7:33AM

    Nicely done with this blog

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ROXYZMOM 6/8/2012 7:32AM

    Very nice analogy! So well thought out. Made me think: It's not going to do anyone any good to save money for retirement if they haven't taken care of themselves and aren't around or able to enjoy their life when they are 65!
(on a side note: have you read "The Richest Man in Babylon"?

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GRAMPIAN 6/8/2012 7:29AM

  Thought-provoking.

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BLOOMING52 6/8/2012 3:19AM

    Great blog!

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BLUEJEAN99 6/8/2012 1:55AM

    emoticon

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SERASARA 6/7/2012 11:22PM

  emoticon

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TONYVAND1 6/7/2012 8:24PM

  emoticon emoticonGreat Blog

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BEEMEE137 6/7/2012 7:12PM

    This was awesome and so true. Little by little, that's all it takes. And we need to stop focusing on the end product so much. This is the here and now and these are the choices wer are making for health and because it makes us feel good (because it really does!). No more time-lines. Just dedication. No matter the time it takes. Because eventually, we will be there. If we try.

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MYSTERY-LADY1 6/7/2012 6:28PM

    emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 6/7/2012 5:27PM

    emoticon The comparison is very true as I am looking at retirement stuff now, too.

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SANDYLH1 6/7/2012 4:54PM

  emoticon

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SPARKFRAN514 6/7/2012 4:44PM

    emoticon You always give is something to think about thanks never thought how the to are related . emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 6/7/2012 4:03PM

    Yep. Start now. My husband is a much better saver-planner in that way than I am, as I deal with the day-to-day challenges of two kids and my business. I didn't start saving soon enough, and, as a result, may NEVER be able to comfortable retire. START NOW!

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REENIE131 6/7/2012 12:38PM

    So very true! Thank you!

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Where'd my padding go? And really, sweat there?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

The first place I really noticed this was my wrists. My DDa has very little extra weight on her, but her wrists look padded compared to mine. My wrist bone is surprisingly prominent.

I've sort of noticed it in the past with my ribs. They're still padded, but I can feel each distinct rib easily. In addition, my collar-bone is becoming very easy to trace for my fingers.

Over the last week, though, I've begun to notice another area that has lost most of it's "natural" padding. I carry a lot in a duffel bag, pulling the strap over my shoulder. Never bothered me before. Now ... it's uncomfortable. I can feel the pressure of the bag across my clavicle. If I run my fingers out to my shoulder, I can feel the joint.

I still have considerable padding in some spots, without a doubt. I do have to seek my hip bones still (though admittedly I can feel them without too much effort where before I remember having to just guess about where they were). And my chin is still soft all the way around.

But other spots like my fingers have slimmed down considerably. I don't wear rings - haven't in many years - but I remember when the lower part of my fingers was puffier than the knuckle. That's long gone. I can feel tendon and bone now.

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I know I'm weird. Feeling my body is far more fascinating than seeing.

=======================

Sweating. It's a fact of life at the gym.

I expect the sweat down my back. I expect the sweat on my neck. I expect some sweat on my brow.

I have three places I sweat that I never really anticipated:

1) the backs of my hands - sure, my palms sweat and I wipe them dry, but I have to pick up the towel to wipe the backs of my hands regularly

2) my elbows / forearm right in front of my elbows - this is the spot that annoys me most because it TICKLES. I am not ticklish, but I can feel the droplets form and end up wiping it dry often.

3) my knees - pretty much the leg version of my elbows. Thankfully at least half of my workout pants are snug on the knee of of material that lifts the sweat away. But the other half? Sweats end up with wet spots at the knee. And the shorts let me see all the spots of moisture forming.

Now, don't take this to mean I hate sweat or anything. I like sweating. It's just one more sign of the amount of effort I'm putting into my workout. I just never really thought about sweating as an all-over thing. I'm more used to sweating at the back of my knees and inside of my elbows in hot weather.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SAMI199 6/13/2012 7:58PM

    Sparkle-not sweat-lol.I have learned to stop hating the sweat-

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RKMHOYLE 6/6/2012 11:07PM

    I have started to have a terrible time keeping my rings on. My wedding band is pretty stable (probably because it was too small) but I've had to move my other two rings to my middle fingers just to keep them from falling off. I guess my pointer fingers are larger, so that can be the next place I move them!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 6/6/2012 2:49PM

    LOL I was just laughing at the sweat on my calves! My CALVES!!

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WEEZER66 6/6/2012 1:25AM

    What an awesome feeling, actually feeling all the changes in your body. YOu are doing fantastic!!!

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WEEZER66 6/6/2012 1:25AM

    What an awesome feeling, actually feeling all the changes in your body. YOu are doing fantastic!!!

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FRANCES-AGAPE 6/6/2012 12:49AM

    emoticon

How emoticonit must be
to see such obvious change/improvement

(I'm still waiting for that.
Looser waistbands are thrilling
but something more noticable
would be FANTASTIC !)

Keep up the Good Job


Have a Wonderful Wednesday

emoticon emoticon

BLESSINGS !


Comment edited on: 6/6/2012 12:50:52 AM

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JANESLOSS 6/6/2012 12:12AM

    I've recently noticed my wrists too. I had a bracelet on that I don't ware very often and I was sure it was going to slip off! lol
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MICHELLE_391 6/5/2012 11:52PM

    I didn't even know we had sweat glands in these places! I'm going to have to pay more attention.

And emoticon on the missing padding. That must make your workouts even more awesome. emoticon

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CHUBRUB3 6/5/2012 11:16PM

    Fantastic!
And you are definitely making progress, sweat or less padding wise.
hugs,
Angela


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TMCLEOD4 6/5/2012 10:29PM

    Sweating on the front of the knees sucks. When I hike in shorts and the trail is dusty, I end up with dirt streaks down the front of my shins!!! I don't workout at the gym anymore, but when I did, I always wore pants and long sleeves so the sweat would soak into my clothes and not run down my knees or down from my elbows.

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PATIB13 6/5/2012 7:36PM

    Nice!! Always good when you can feel a difference. I hate the under boob sweat, it is always yucky. I sweat a lot around my head, even when I dance or do anything that is where you are going to notice it.

Hey just a question I notice on many blogs people refer to others as their DH or DDA or such things what are these...once I was just guessing by the reference they were talking about their spouse so I guessed it meant Dumb Husband but then I am note sure.

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KENTUCKYGIRL01 6/5/2012 7:10PM

    Good job !!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MEH50BEWELL 6/5/2012 6:05PM

    Boy I sure never really thought about sweating this way, but you are so right.


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TIFFY0906 6/5/2012 5:41PM

    Now you got me checking to see if I can feel my ribs LOL. Its great to notice those NSV - Congrats. Anyway, I too love to sweat and I sweat everywhere and I mean everywhere.

Comment edited on: 6/5/2012 5:41:55 PM

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BERKCHIK 6/5/2012 4:52PM

    hilarious! ahhh those moments of noticing body changes are sweet indeed. congrats!

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RAE_LEIGH22 6/5/2012 4:50PM

    You must be psyched! Fantastic!

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STARTINGINLIMBO 6/5/2012 3:36PM

    Very cool discoveries. :)

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ERINMARIE424 6/5/2012 3:19PM

    i miss some of my padding too! But I sure don't want it back!

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SHERIO5 6/5/2012 3:04PM

    emoticon

LOL! Leave it to you to talk about sweat!!! I don't like when the sweat stings my eyes when I'm working out, but otherwise it's all good!!



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FLACA_CHIQUITA 6/5/2012 2:57PM

    I love that! I have my collar bone now, I can feel my ribs, and I can start to feel my hips. Isn't it amazing? Little things like that, are so amazing! You're doing great!!!!

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TMORELLI 6/5/2012 2:34PM

    sweat is good !!! let's me know how good of a job I have done.

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JSLATE2K 6/5/2012 2:03PM

    That's a funny reflection on sweating. I live in the desert Southwest, so it's a fact of life here, even without exercise.

As for padding, I was thinking about that myself as I sat down on a hard seat on the bus the other day - apparently, I've lost a lot of my former padding around the gluteus maximus. It was actually painful. I guess the trick is to build up the muscle there more, so I have a different kind of padding.

It's great to see and, to some extent feel, the results of all of our hard work. It's even greater to take the time out to notice and appreciate it, as you've done quite well with your post today.

~John

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TALVARADO6 6/5/2012 12:48PM

    Hey, did you know that increased and earlier onset of sweating is a sign of adaptation to exercise? Great job! Your body is loving it!

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SPARKFRAN514 6/5/2012 12:47PM

    emoticon emoticon don't forget your towel emoticon emoticon emoticon keep it up you inspire me to see where i sweat at my next gym visit. emoticon emoticon

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CLHENDY1 6/5/2012 12:45PM

    Yay!! Keep up your hard work!

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SA9CHI 6/5/2012 12:41PM

    Chipping away at your new body, sweating it off along the way! You're doing GREAT!!!

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SNAILTURBO2GO 6/5/2012 12:22PM

    Sweet it up! You are working out really good if you notice all this stuff. Good efforts!
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LITAPOWER 6/5/2012 12:00PM

    I really need skinnier fingers: like that I could use my wedding ring again! emoticon

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FLEURGARDEN 6/5/2012 11:40AM

    You're not weird at all! It's fun rediscovering things about our body as the padding disappears. Things we probably never even noticed years ago when we were thinner are now big deals to us. And I noticed my fingers getting skinnier too! Just the other day I realized my ring was slipping down my finger - I may actually have to resize it just so I don't lose it!

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DEBJAE 6/5/2012 11:35AM

    Yay for sweat! When I do any type of aerobic workout, my legs end up looking like I got squirted with the water hose, lol. The rest of me is drenched but my legs always make me giggle with the amount of moisture they have on them.

Bye-bye padding, way to go! emoticon

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JENNCABA 6/5/2012 11:32AM

    emoticonIt's great to see and feel our body change as we get closer to our goals... emoticon emoticon

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MNJONES2 6/5/2012 10:43AM

    WooHoo! You are really making a difference and it is NOTICEABLE! Isn't it great? Thanks for sharing - I loved it!

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IAMZBEE 6/5/2012 9:37AM

    YAY!! NSV's are fantastic!!

One thing I have noticed on my journey is that my fingers don't swell up as much anymore. My fingers would CONSTANTLY swell up, often times to the point where I couldn't even get my rings off. But now I hardly ever get to that point.

Keep on doing great work!!

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TANYA602 6/5/2012 9:27AM

    I had to laugh, and at least feel like I am not alone in something I haven't voiced yet! Sometimes I roll over in bed at nite and kind of pinch myself because it seems weird that my skin and muscles feel different. Almost like pinching myself that I am awake. Am I dreaming this new body?! I love that you are feeling this way!
All of your hard work is paying off! Keep it up and continue to marvel at these wonderful changes, sweat and all!

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AMYTRIPP 6/5/2012 9:00AM

    Yay! It's wonderful to see and feel those changes, isn't it? What great motivation: what bone will I uncover this month? emoticon


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APONI_KB 6/5/2012 8:49AM

    haha funny blog

I noticed my elbow being rather sharp. I guess I was used to proping my chin up on my hand and all the sudden that kinda hurts my elbow.

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-SONIA- 6/5/2012 8:10AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MIPALADY23 6/5/2012 7:51AM

    Oddest thing isn't it...but a GREAT thing, except the sweat. I am constantly dripping.

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RG_DFW 6/5/2012 7:12AM

    emoticon

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ELLENSANGEL 6/5/2012 6:24AM

    Wonderful!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 6/5/2012 6:19AM

    WTG on losing your padding. emoticon

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TALENKARR1 6/5/2012 3:13AM

    I was the same way when I started putting on my weighted gloves for my walks. how the heck did I get sweat ther? second that is not your body resahping it is your real you peeking out. Say hello! I can't weiat to see the pic of her.

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LONGLIGHT 6/5/2012 2:54AM

    It's really great that you're noticing changes. The body is a fascinating thing. And each shape re-emerging is a marker on the journey you're on. I had to smile at your 'strange places to sweat' discovery. You must be making your body work extra hard. Well done on your progress.
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SABRINALONDON21 6/5/2012 2:33AM

    Fat hides itself in mysterious places, lol. I did not realize my wrists were overweight until I went to put a watch and realized it was much too lose or that some rings were way too big. Like you I am looking for my hip bones :). Very well done!

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FINALLYBEINGME 6/5/2012 2:30AM

    Those are all pretty big changes. It must be great to feel all the differences! emoticon emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 6/5/2012 2:25AM

    you are doing such a great job!!!!!

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