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Because it's a good question

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Even if I don't get a chance to acknowledge or thank people for all their wonderful responses to my blogs, I do read all of them. One of the great things is when others question something I've said. Some things are obvious from my side of the keyboard - because I have more facts about the situation. Other things send me off researching or thinking more about what I've said. (A good example was my two quitting blogs - questions in the responses made me think more and write more.)

So in my blog on August goals, one response had what I thought was a good question and I took a bit of time today to think about it.

== MY QUOTE ==
I don't know what weight exactly will be my stop and maintain point, but I do know I want to move in the direction of a body at a healthy weight.
== END MY QUOTE ==

== QUOTE BERKCHIK ==
... but i would ask myself if there is any level of fear holding me back from making them more specific. for example, most people know within 10 pounds or less--what their ideal weight is. Why don't *you*?
== END QUOTE ==

My easy answer is no, there isn't any fear stopping me. I'm just as likely to go below my current “goals” as not.

But maybe that's too easy. I thought for a while about the goal weights I have set – 160 and 155.

While I did the largest share of my weight gain between about 30 and 42, I have carried some amount of excess weight much of my adult life. Not necessarily in the overweight category at all times, but enough to be a concern. The first few years out of high school, I'd say it was in the 5 to 15 pound range – mostly leading to buying those spandex girdle type things or control-top pantyhose to convince myself it was fine.

The scale never really meant much to me. I think I got weighed more during my pregnancies than I ever weighed myself. I bounced between two sizes of clothes, so I had a general measure of whether I was lighter and heavier based on which fit better. I judged my size, when I paid attention, by how things fit and how I looked in a mirror.

Weights that I do remember:

150 in high school driver's ed class
around 170 when I was considering joining the Air Force
198 or 199 on the day before I had DDb (who weight 8 lb 15 oz)
165 around the time I married my EX
190 at the end of my other two pregnancies

Of those, 150 is the only one where I remember being pretty sure I had no extra weight on me. But was that true or was it just part of my general acceptance of my body? Looking back at pictures, I can't really tell. Ugly skirts and blouses did nothing to show shape. I'm big-boned and busty (and maybe broad-shouldered, though never as much as my mother who showed our Welsh roots). So maybe I had the extra 5-15 pounds already. I don't know.

The 170 I don't actually remember the exact number. Instead, I needed to lose at least 10 pounds to be within their allowed limit. I don't know if it has changed, but I found one online that said 164 for women who are 5'8” and 159 for women who are 5'7”. I don't know which I was listed as, so I figure I was 169-174 at that point. Of course … a week later I discovered I was around two and a half months pregnant, so I wouldn't be losing any weight.

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At 165 in the dress I got married in, I can definitely see belly bulge but I was also about 5 months pregnant. The first few months of that pregnancy I was fighting nausea to the point I remember Triscuits being the only food I had a hope of keeping down before late afternoon. In spite of trying not to, I lost weight in those early months. Just proof most of my known weights revolve around my pregnancies.

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At no point in any of those weights above was I muscular, athletic, or particularly fit. I hated P.E. most of the time. I didn't even take it in my last year or two of high school when I remember the 150 weight. (I did enjoy the one quarter I got to choose my “sport” and picked weight training. That was 9th grade.) Aside from walking or biking to get places, I wasn't physically active. Even when I had gym memberships and did step classes and rowing machines and weights … I never really dedicated myself to my fitness like I have now.


I've looked at "ideal weight" charts. Those vary a lot – worse for the ones that don't differentiate by frame / bone size. Two of those have 125-164 and 126-154 based on my height. My wrists are 6.75” and 7” - which is either top of the medium range or bottom of the big-boned range. With two charts that let me pick "large frame" I get 149-169 and 146-167. Those are using 5' 8" as my height - though I'm actually 5' 7.75".

I've also messed around with the body fat %. My scale using a foot body fat sensor said 180.5 pounds at 38% body fat today. That works out to about 112 pounds of lean body mass. If that was accurate, my weight to be in the healthy range of 23-35% would be 145 – 172.


From all this, I've had a 15 pound range in mind – 150 as my “low” and 165 as my “high”. I saw 150 as a weight I was at 17 and would probably be overshooting to aim for since I'm 43 and have had three children. I saw 165 as definitely carrying extra weight and needing to drop a few.

I set my original goal weight and tracker to 160. Several months along I lowered it to 155. So in a broad sense I actually do have a goal weight that is a 10 pound (or less) range.

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I just don't consider those numbers to be written in stone.

I could get to 155 and discover I'm still carrying too much excess fat and eventually find that 145 is more realistic. Or I could hit 165 and discover that all the muscle-building I'm doing has me heavier but far fitter.

It's not fear that keeps me from setting a firm goal. Until I'm there (or rather close) I don't actually know what is a good weight for me.

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With that side worked out, I then thought about the real reason I say I don't have an exact stop and maintain weight. It isn't the above lack of certainty. It's because I don't envision maintenance based around the scale.

Not that I'd stop weighing. I'm quite comfortable doing so daily as a routine and recording the numbers to track the trend.

But even now there are times I completely go blank on how much I currently weigh. (It was pretty funny one time when I put 195 into a cardio machine, only realizing I was off 10 pounds and should have put 185 when I weighed in the next morning.) Several times I have been doing a calculation and had to go to SP's tracker to see what my weight was that day.

I don't know that I need to lose more weight because the scale said 180.5 this morning. I know I still need to lose excess stored fat because I can see it in places like my upper arms, my abdominal area and hips. I can “pinch an inch” easily in several places such as over my hip bones. As I get closer and closer to being 165 and under, those are the kinds of things that tell me the most about how I'm doing.

As for maintenance, I actually trust my weight to balance itself around what I eat and how active I am. Why? Because it already has and generally has in the past. Any time I added activities such as hiking with my brother, I lost a few pounds and had to eat more. Any time I clearly ate way beyond my needs, I gained a few pounds.

Tracking will continue to be a big part of my life even as I enter maintenance, but more because I like tracking my fitness progress and I like knowing I'm nourishing my body fully while having room to eat for pure pleasure when I so desire.


It's all fine and dandy to speculate. As it is, I'll find out soon enough. I'm getting closer than I think. I know I switched to the 10 to 24 pound team, but I just don't connect that with being only 20.5 pounds away from my original 160 goal.

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Seriously … that sounds so close.

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Well, it did until I plugged that in with a pound a week loss and saw that it would take until sometime very early next year. (Which is still close, I know. A month or two before my 44th birthday will make it a nice gift to myself.)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWMOM20121 8/6/2012 7:18PM

    I have maintained that I will know when I reach a weight that I need to maintain. I am not sure what the number will be.

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DENNETJ 8/6/2012 1:33PM

    I need to find one of those BMI charts with pictures someone talked about I think that would help me a lot.

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MNJONES2 8/6/2012 11:16AM

    Lots of ruminating about your weight. I never use "Ideal weight" as they are not consistent. I did use a BMI chart to set my goal weight. Online I found a chart with pictures so I could see what I needed to do and that helped a lot. So I looked at the BMI range and for myself I picked the middle weight. You may need to be at the top of your range.

For myself have a BMI/weight goal really helped. It also helps me stay more consistent because I go back and look at the pictures and then I dont slack so much. It also helps me know I am more healthy.

I am not going to admit to how slim I was in my younger years.... ah those were the days! LOL.

Take care dear friend, thanks for the wonderful blog.



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FLEURGARDEN 8/5/2012 12:31PM

    I had a similar talk with a friend yesterday. I told her I don't want to be a slave to a particular number on a scale - I want to be at a healthy weight that I can maintain through the good habits I am working on during the weight loss process. I'm still a ways off, but I figure I'll know that ultimate goal weight when I get there.

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JENNCABA 8/5/2012 10:30AM

    I have been pushing towards my goal weight for the past 5 months and the closer I get I am realizing, it is just a number.....I have decided that my goal weight, what ever it may be, is when I feel comfortable with myself.....I have not weighed under 200 lbs in over 20 years. Its great to finally be in ONEderland but I am more proud of all of the things I have accomplished along the way..like being able to do a jumping jack or building up my endurance to be able to jog a whole mile without stopping. And it is great to finally be able to walk into ANY store and buy something to wear instead of having to find a plus size section....I know I am not quite there yet but I am enjoying my journey to a healthier me emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 8/5/2012 8:00AM

    I have gone thru a similar mental process of analysis to arrive at a goal weight.
I finally decided that I would know it when I got there. I had an ideal weight in the past, but aging and menopause could change that. I am trying to follow all the health rules with a slight calorie deficit (100-200 calories per day). I will know things are right when I look right to myself in the mirror and feel strong, energetic and healthy. I am not as concerned about the weight on the scale, although have set a number that I do not want to exceed.

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GINGERD03 8/5/2012 12:56AM

  That will make a nice gift to yourself. I'm looking forward to this birthday as I will hope to be where I was about 9 years ago in weight. That will be nice :) It's not easy, I agree to decide what is the right weight for you-I think you'll know when you reach it or get really really close to it. A number on the scale doesn't always tell the full story of our bodies for sure. emoticon

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NANCYSINATRA 8/4/2012 2:51PM

    I'm right there with you. Don't have any idea where I want to finally be. Once I hit the 100 lbs lost I might have more of an idea, but I think when I get there, I'll know it. So great response.

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/4/2012 2:36PM

    Great that you are delving deeper into your goals and reexamining your fitness and weight plans. You may get to 160 and be happy there or you may decide to keep losing. Tracking is an essential tool for me, even after reaching my goal. Now I'm still deciding if that goal weight is maintainable, even with healthy eating and consistent exercise. I am currently 5 pounds above the weight I reached last summer. 5 lb range is good...but I don't want to continue on an upward trend.

Keep doing what is right for you, healthy lifestyle that you can maintain and be at a weight and fitness level that's healthy for you. emoticon

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LIVINGFREE19 8/4/2012 2:32PM

    You are able to remember pretty close as to when you gained your weight and at what age you were what weight. I can't remember much after I started gaining.
You really have the tools to lose though and it looks like that is why you are doing so well!
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A-NEW-TARA 8/4/2012 12:55PM

    Thank you for sharing this, I know I have put a random number down for my "goal" weight, but like you I really don't know if that is the final destination or not. It will have to be one of those wait and see things when I get closer. Healthy is priority, not the number, I love your insight.

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HOPEFULHIPPO 8/4/2012 12:38PM

    When I started Spark three years ago my initial goal weight was to be 135 like when I was .....20 years or more ago.

but reality smacked me in the face and I have discovered that unfortuneately age is also a factor....I'm still going for that goal, but I know I may have to face reality with settling on a good body and leave the numbers behind.

Great insight, as always!!

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SKNYMOMWANNABE 8/4/2012 11:53AM

    If this is the first time in your life you've lifted weights, you can't know your final weight. I'm 5"8 as well. I weighed 145-150 all through college and was ok. I lifted a lot and cleaned up my diet and weighed 165 and looked smaller, tighter and toned. Once I clear 175 I'm taking it in 5 pound increments, my final resting place will be when i look in the mirror and say, "nice!" emoticon

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ELUNAMAKATA 8/4/2012 11:52AM

    emoticon

Deciding on a "goal weight" isn't an easy process. I remember being 140 right out of basic training and that being considered "fat" (I'm 5ft even) but I was the fittest in my life and if I'd not tried to wear Jr clothes, I'd have been a perfect size 6. So I consider 140 to be a great goal for me, not entirely where I need to be, but still what I remember being a very healthy weight after 6 weeks of intense boot camp training. (I found out in the Navy that I have asthma and did not get to finish my 8 weeks of training) Obviously less body fat would likely be ideal for me, but then again, it may not with my body frame.

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SHERIO5 8/4/2012 9:42AM

    It's interesting to read how you have puzzled over your ideal weight, I think many of us wonder what our "ideal" weight looks like. I think you'll know it when you get there!

Keep up your planning and wondering, it's good for the rest of us too!

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RG_DFW 8/4/2012 7:58AM

    tracking is a great thing... if we start to gain, we've got all the tools/knowledge to cut back on calories

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SBNORMAL 8/4/2012 5:48AM

  You will know as you get there, since you have so many other factors to consider. You are doing great. emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 8/4/2012 2:37AM

  I've been messing around with these last 5 - 10 pounds for weeks. I'm really 10 pounds from my "dream weight" and am having a heckuva time getting there. If you can figure all of this out, please let me know!

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TAMPATINK67 8/4/2012 2:29AM

    You rock! Great personal insight...

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Making those August plans and goals

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Hehe, okay here we go! Before I list out the goals, I will elaborate on something I mentioned at the end of my last blog: "I realized something about my goal-setting while talking to a personal trainer at the gym yesterday that I'll talk about in my August goals blog."

Talking to the personal trainer was deliberate. The app on my phone I use to track my workouts is called JEFit Pro. When I got it, I made an account so I could upload my data - and over time have filled out a profile. The profile shows as not complete because I haven't done benchmarks.

For a good while I simply ignored that. Then I got curious if I could just fill in a number or do the benchmarks to complete the profile. It took a while, but finally I found some forum comments and discovered what the benchmarks are. The site / app were originally designed by/for body-builders. The benchmarks are specific barbell lifts that give an easy consistent comparison between users. Each is recorded as a single clean lift of the maximum amount of weight one is able to handle with good form - the 1RM (one rep max).

Once I figured out the benchmarks were barbell lifts, I've been mulling over whether I want to do them or not. Leaving that thought in the back of my mind, I initially figured I wouldn't bother. Then as I came up with an idea of a personal training session to learn how to safely do the lifts and to be my spotter I realized I'd already made the decision that I wanted to do them.

Finally about a week ago, I talked to the personal trainer manager (don't remember her actual title) to see if what I had in mind was even feasible. It is, and even though I'm not ready to do this immediately, she made sure to pass word along to one of the trainers who does a lot of work in the free weights area. That trainer made a point to stop and talk to me a few days ago - no cost, just a discussion of what I was looking for, what I was hoping to accomplish with it.

And suddenly in talking to this trainer a little fact about my goal-setting came into clearer focus. My long-term goals always feel so ... incomplete and nebulous, particularly when I'm trying to write them out or make them S.M.A.R.T. My medium-term (seasonal) goals and short-term goals (month / week / day) are far more specific, measurable, etc.

A good example of how vague my long-term goals are is my weight lifting. I love being able to do my 3 x 12 easily and decide to shift to the next weight up. Doing preacher curls with 50 pounds instead of 40, even if I'm not back up to a full 3 x 12, makes me feel like I'm really making progress. (It's a machine, so 50 is with both arms working. Not 100% sure I could curl 25 pounds for 3 x 12, but I can curl a 25 pound dumbbell.)

However, I have no idea how long it will take to get back to 3 x 12 or when I'll shift up to 55 or 60. I have even less idea of what weight will be the tipping point where I can't really go much higher. About the only thing I know is that I don't have any plans to dedicate the time and effort to go for a body-building level. (Not to say I'm the slightest bit worried about building muscle bulk. If I'm genetically pre-disposed to bulk up, cool. If not, cool.)

So I really don't have a way to set S.M.A.R.T. long-term goals. Playing on my whole 7 Habits: Proactivity stuff, there's too much outside of my circle of influence. What I do with my time is in my circle of influence. How my body responds to it is less so. The genetics of muscle gain are not something I can influence or change at all.

Many of my long-term goals are more like visions or general landmarks that keep me pointed in the right direction. I don't know what weight exactly will be my stop and maintain point, but I do know I want to move in the direction of a body at a healthy weight.

All of this came to mind talking to this personal trainer because I remembered some of the questions from the first trainer I worked with. There were points where he just didn't seem to understand me because I couldn't really state specific goals and wasn't in any sort of rush to lose weight - yet my motivation / consistency level obviously exceeds that of others who can tell him clearer goals.


++++++++++++++++++++

And it's time to get down to business:

== August goals ==

1) Weight stably between 175 and 180 pounds. (And, hey, if I slide all the way down to 175 stably, I won't complain.)

2) Either find an August 5k or sign up for another virtual 5k on SP.

3) Lights out no later than 12:30 pm Sunday to Thursday night. Not aiming for 8 hours of sleep, but I let my bedtime slide out from midnight to past 1:00 am more often than not and that needs to stop.

4) Add cholesterol to the things I track just to see where I'm at.

5) Complete the exercises for the 1st Habit - Be Proactive. Use the 30 day test of Proactivity as my daily measure that I'm thinking of this and doing it - tracked as an Other Goal.


Yes, I know the last time I did a sleep one I outright rebelled against myself. Unfortunately, I never stopped the stupid rebellion and let myself get into the habit of gaming later or reading past the time I turn the light off since the Kindle Fire is backlit. I'm tired already, have been for over half an hour now, and yet I'd keep pushing. So this has to happen and I know it.


Let's ROCK August!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PENOWOK 8/11/2012 9:38PM

    We're 1/3rd of the way through and I am betting you are doing an awesome job already!! We are counting on you!!

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EFFRAYECHILDE 8/9/2012 7:37AM

    emoticon

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BERI03 8/4/2012 9:39AM

    Great goals! Keep it up! emoticon

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LILSPARKIE85 8/4/2012 9:35AM

    emoticon

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LETHANIA 8/4/2012 7:37AM

    Great job goal setting! I like it! I'm always rebelling. I totally understand. Just keep getting back on track. that's the secret.

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BLUEJEAN99 8/4/2012 12:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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MARYJEANSL 8/4/2012 12:22AM

  The goals sound good. Best wishes for August!

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JIBBIE49 8/3/2012 5:39PM

    emoticonWonderful to see your BLOG featured in the Spark Mail. What an inspiration you are to others today. emoticon

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DEBK0923 8/3/2012 4:55PM

    good goals great blog

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ALIDOSHA 8/3/2012 4:54PM

    Great goals. Wish you success.

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SERASARA 8/3/2012 4:45PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NESARIAN 8/3/2012 3:02PM

    emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 8/3/2012 3:02PM

  Sounds great........... emoticon

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GOODBYE-FRIENDS 8/3/2012 2:23PM

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Your goals are a work of art!

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Comment edited on: 8/3/2012 2:31:58 PM

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WORLDSERIES11 8/3/2012 12:58PM

    Good Luck emoticon

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IAMAGEMLOVER 8/3/2012 12:51PM

    emoticon

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HERZINGM 8/3/2012 11:24AM

    Good goals! emoticon

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TERID816 8/3/2012 10:53AM

    Gotta love setting goals to make us accountable! Good luck!

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VOLLEYGIRL77 8/3/2012 10:21AM

    Sounds like great goals!! good luck!

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MOMMY445 8/3/2012 10:17AM

    good luck with your goals! you can do this! you are worth it!

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SUSIEMT 8/3/2012 10:15AM

    That was very interesting about the weights. Good luck with Aug!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 8/3/2012 9:34AM

    Sounds like very doable goals. emoticon emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 8/3/2012 9:07AM

    Perfect. You have been such an inspiration for me for months now. I always love your blogs and the information you give.

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TALENKARR1 8/3/2012 8:59AM

    Good luck on your sleep goal being a mom and having a life is not easy. I have a 10 pm bed time inwith a firm in bed by 11 and I still miss it. so I know what you are talking about when you say "just 5 more minutes ma" good luck

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CICELY360 8/3/2012 8:58AM

  Good blog.

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REGILIEH 8/3/2012 8:56AM

    Good Luck!!!

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FARIS71 8/3/2012 8:53AM

    I love your planning and organization and goal setting. It's lighting a little tiny spark for me to do the same. Thank you!

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MIMIDOT 8/3/2012 8:31AM

    Good luck! You rock!

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HBLACK5 8/3/2012 8:05AM

    Good luck with your goals!

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MANDALORE 8/3/2012 7:28AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WILSON1926 8/3/2012 7:22AM

    emoticon emoticon

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BD3269PM 8/3/2012 5:52AM

    Good luck with your goals! emoticon

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NCSUE0514 8/3/2012 5:36AM

    Best wishes on accomplishing your goals!

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TDWANDD2MYK9 8/3/2012 4:36AM

    emoticon emoticon

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FRANCES-AGAPE 8/3/2012 12:27AM

    emoticonIdeas

Every month when you post your goals, I have been impressed. But I figured that was just for those further along, who have been consistent and successful and ready to go up a notch.
(I still weigh the same as when starting Spark 4 years ago ! I am an pro at diet YoYo-ing !)
But your post has inspired me even more than usual!

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By the end of the week, I AM going to create specific, measurable goals with dates - diet, exercise, sleep, prayer/meditation and whatever else pops in mind - WITH appropriate rewards assigned to each.

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Am SO STOKED about this !
It's 12:30am here and I need to get to bed, but I think I will at least sketch out a few of them and finish/finalize tomorrow.

THANKS AGAIN !

It IS going to be a ROCKIN' August !

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BLESSINGS !

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KARL1266 8/2/2012 9:45PM

    Great goals and a nice follow up to an intriguing question on benchmarks. Hope you get everything out of that that you want/need.

I knocked the sleep goal off of my list simply because I wasn't getting it and it looked like I wasn't going to anytime soon. I may revisit it at a future date. That one is my Achilles Heel at the moment!

Good luck as you move forward. August is looking like a fantastic month!

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TANYA602 8/2/2012 5:13PM

    I like that you followed up and learned about the benchmarks! Very interesting. And August is indeed your month to hit those target goals! Way to go!

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HOPEFULHIPPO 8/2/2012 3:47PM

    Rock on August!!



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SKNYMOMWANNABE 8/2/2012 10:38AM

    Goal setting is good, there's a lot of ways to acheive weightlifting goals, they are very trackable. First it's FORM, then it's FORM and finally it's FORM. Second is consistency and finally diet. that is protein has to follow your strength training. Invest the money in a trainer to learn great form and you can go far by yourself after. Bodybuilder.com has a wealth of info as well... emoticon

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FLEURGARDEN 8/2/2012 10:33AM

    Great goals! I also don't have any specific fitness goals. Right now I'm happy to keep progressing with my speed and inclines on the treadmill, my laps when swimming, and the weights with the strength training.

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SAVVYSAVANNAH 8/2/2012 10:25AM

    Best of luck with your August goals. I know you will do! We will be counting on you, and remember have fun with it. Don't stress over anything.

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EJRANVILLE 8/2/2012 10:05AM

    Great blog! Thanks for the food for thought on creating goals that are SMART. emoticon

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SAINTBETH 8/2/2012 10:05AM

    Good goals. You can do it!

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JENNCABA 8/2/2012 9:40AM

    emoticonGOALS emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHERIO5 8/2/2012 9:32AM

    I agree, let's make this emoticon August!

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FITANDFAITHFUL1 8/2/2012 9:16AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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YOUNG2012 8/2/2012 8:14AM

    Great goals to aim for!
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ELUNAMAKATA 8/2/2012 7:37AM

    emoticon

Sounds like some great goals!

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RG_DFW 8/2/2012 6:45AM

    Rock on...

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AMYTRIPP 8/2/2012 6:20AM

    You're really getting to know yourself. Great job!

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What did I do to July?

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

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July started off with me unable to decide on more goals than my regular "next 5 pound range" and a re-do of one of June's goals. How did that go? *sputter sputter choke*

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(( Advisory in advance - I may sound like I'm self-flaggelating here or going through a guilt trip or something. Really, I'm not. I am irked, yes, but mostly laughing at my own humanity. ))

Review time:

== July goals ==

1) Weight stably at or below 180 pounds.
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No one to "blame" but myself on this one. I let my daily calories creep up closer and closer to the max, then took advantage of the new fitness tracker counting calorie burn for ST, then had one day way over, then started spooning peanut butter as a snack rather than only having it on sandwiches and celery.

Now, it's not all THAT bad. I did see 181 on the scale yesterday and 184 was my new low at the end of June, so in spite of stupid and sloppy eating habits, all I really did was slow myself down. I'm sure I'll be stably below 180 by the end of August - and maybe even be peeking at 175.

2) Complete the exercises for the 1st Habit - Be Proactive.
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I thought about this once about mid-month and again once yesterday. That's not going to get me through the actions. Obviously I'm not being very proactive about being proactive.

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However, with two full months of brushing, flossing and rinsing every night - my consistency in that habit is pretty set. I'm planning to use that same Other Goal I'm tracking of doing one thing consistently every day to pencil in and DO actions related to this. So it's getting repeated for August and tracked.

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

The worst part about July is I started justifying stuff to myself. There were more than a few nights when I would wait until midnight to eat something and record it on the next day. Yes, I tracked it. But I was rolling numbers forward as if my body wasn't actually getting the calories when it got them. It didn't help that the scale "cooperated" with my deceptions, even dropping half a pound sometimes when I overate the night before. Natural fluctuations up and down, but once I slid into self-deception, I played it off like proof I was doing fine.

Until I came home today and ate 4 cookies instead of 1 before I had my protein smoothie made. When I went to track, I honestly thought about putting 2 cookies today and 2 tomorrow ... or some other number game. I was already not happy with my peanut butter and spoon habit reappearing these last few weeks, but this was the breaking point.

Thankfully I came to my senses.

There's no lying to our body. Doesn't matter if I convince my brain that I ate only 2200 calories today. If I eat 4000 calories today, then my body is busy digesting and processing 4000 calories. The body doesn't listen to my lies and self-deceptions at all.

So I'm done with it. If I eat it before I go to sleep, it gets tracked that day. No fudging, no splitting, no putting it off to the next day to make my numbers look better to me.

I'm done with sliding closer and closer to the top of my calorie range with excuses about how I'm burning more calories in my workouts. (Sure, but not 100 a day more or I'd need to update my fitness tracker.)

I saw 183 for the first time on the 7th ... then was up and down and up and down until the 27th. A mini 20-day "plateau" during which my average calories in was enough to take me to a maintenance level. Good job body - you got maintenance level calories and you maintained.

And it ~IS~ good. Why? Because it means that as I bid farewell to July and reaffirm my decision to stay below the top of a calorie range intended for losing about a pound a week, I'll be right back on track.

Goodbye July! Hasta la vista! Mental vacation is over.

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

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Moving on - and this time literally - this evening after work I headed out for the Los Gatos Creek Trail. I'd plotted my path out on Google Maps to find a "starting point" that would give me a full 5k that I could time (3.12 miles) for the SparkPeople Summer Fun Run Virtual 5k. I changed into my workout clothes at work and set out with everything in a backpack out of my way (around 5 pounds worth on my back).

I'm definitely happy with my time of 45:10.

It's a little oddly broken up because the first section isn't really marked for distance, so my first "lap break" was where a 2 mile section clearly marked by 1/4 mile marks started. There's some rounding of 1/100ths of a second in there, so I don't know if it all adds up exactly.

Approx. 1.12 miles = 16
.25 miles = 3:36
.25 miles = 3:36
.25 miles = 3:36
.25 miles = 3:56 (small hill)
.25 miles = 3:40
.25 miles = 3:36
.25 miles = 3:30
.25 miles = 3:31

I wasn't horribly out of breath, but I can certainly feel it in my glutes. On top of the timed portion, I walked about a mile from work to my starting point and a bit more than half a mile (17 mile/minute pace) to cool down and another 3/4 mile from there to the train home after stretching fully.

I did wear my new insoles and shoes. It felt very cushioned and I loved the soft gentle rolling motion I was able to maintain throughout - and my foot feels fine. \o/ Yay!


On that burst of momentum, time to start planning August's goals. Given that mid-September will be my 1-year anniversary of actively using SparkPeople - with actual Spark streaks for logging in and water and something else all over 300 days now - I want to make sure I lead into it well.

I realized something about my goal-setting while talking to a personal trainer at the gym yesterday that I'll talk about in my August goals blog.

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So, how did YOUR July go?
Who else is doing or has already done the virtual walk?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILOVEMALI 8/1/2012 7:51PM

  I think that you and I will have a better August than our July was. Good perspective, though -- your weight has been pretty stable. We both like "down" better than "stable" at this point.

Be good to yourself! You are wonderful. emoticon

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JENNCABA 8/1/2012 5:46PM

    July may have went by fast but you are still doing great emoticon
My July was good. One of my goals was to eat more fruits and vegetables and it did help me a lot this past month emoticon
I also did the virtual 5K walk/jog and I was very happy with my time 34:48 emoticon
I hope you have a great month ahead emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TANYA602 8/1/2012 4:44PM

    I had to laugh about pushing the calories forward! I was wondering today if I could push some of my July fitness minutes forward to August! hahaha
You're doing great, and you will see that 175 mark in no time with the dedication you have to that 5K! Good job!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 8/1/2012 2:49PM

    Congratulations on all your successes last month and hang in there on the goals you didn't quit reach. You'll get there. emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 8/1/2012 2:15PM

    Way to be honest with yourself....now, let's go kick some August butt.

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R6_PRINCESS 8/1/2012 12:21PM

    I like that you know what flagellating is. haha emoticon

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AMYTRIPP 8/1/2012 9:54AM

    Ugh, July's pretty much been a wash. I'm going to try not to let August be that way.

Congrats on the 5K time! Really well done. And Congrats for getting back on track.

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SHERIO5 8/1/2012 9:14AM

    Hoo-boy, don't I know about the justification game! I'm so glad you caught it early! For me, it can be too easy to start making those little concessions all through the day...I may blog about that one day...

So, emoticon! You have seen where it can lead, and you've taken steps to adjust so that you can reach your goals.

I'm still thinking about the new shoes, your report on their performance on your 5K makes me want to visit my local store even more...I'm waiting a bit due to other financial needs for the moment...

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Sheri

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VLKSHA 8/1/2012 9:13AM

    I am suffering a major plateau called summer heat, vacation, and longer days=more calories. My Sparkaversary is the 24th and I will be short the last 25# of my goal it seems. The school year's start should mark better sleeping habits, better control, and more schedule consistancy. I have a new complication/motivation for better food control as my husband needs to start figuring out weight loss and cholesterol control.

I still like being more active, but not being on the coach does not mean that I am exercising - my little self lie. Here's to being more accountable and motivated as we go forward.

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ELUNAMAKATA 8/1/2012 8:35AM

    Well, my July was my return to actively being active :-)

I've been pretty stagnant since last fall and needed a good swift kick in the butt to get started again.

I need to decide my goals for August!



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DANCINLOVE 8/1/2012 8:25AM

    I really loved your point about being honest with yourself. I had a glass of wine and waited until after midnight (waiting for son to come in from late flight) because I was over on calories. It still counts.

Overall, July was good and I'm back in the groove. Going to kick some serious behind between now and when school starts August 27.

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ILOVELIFE2012 8/1/2012 8:16AM

    I can relate on eating towards the max. Just yesterday I ate a piece of dark chocolate and did not track. Not good. Reading your blog has motivated me to get to the store to get a new pair of shoes with insoles. This will help me with my fitness goals for this month. You are an inspiration!

Comment edited on: 8/1/2012 8:17:11 AM

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FLEURGARDEN 8/1/2012 7:34AM

    Great job on the 5K! Glad those new shoes gave you some extra pep. :-)

I hate it when my scale joins forces with my self deception and shows a loss when I've been eating the wrong things. It makes me feel like I can cheat and get away with it. But it does catch up with us eventually. Sigh.

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IMELECTRIC 8/1/2012 7:26AM

    My July went pretty well. I did have some bad days. I am getting to where I am having cravings or maybe it is a mental "can't have" thing. I need to get ahold of myself before I spin out of control. I have started 5k training with "couch to 5k" I just hope I can do it.

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SBNORMAL 8/1/2012 5:32AM

  You are on top of the truth, stay strong.

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RG_DFW 8/1/2012 4:37AM

    emoticon

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YESCURLYCAN 8/1/2012 2:14AM

  Your 5k time is great and I don't think a virtual run is in my near future for awhile. But it is always nice to see others doing it :) Great job on re-affirming your goals. Let's spark the heck out of August!

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SHEL_V2 8/1/2012 1:38AM

    My July sparking went well, considering having a vacation, having a cold, having a kid with a cold, and having hubby rupture his Achilles tendon.

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Somehow lost 6 pounds. Some of these new habits are working.

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BERKCHIK 8/1/2012 1:33AM

    well it's good to know you're human ;) ...but seriously, you're so good sometimes we wonder! i had a mini-plateau in july and it crushed my spirits a bit... okay that coupled with some non-weight-loss stuff knocked me off track.. but i got back on the horse a week-ish later and managed to pull off about a 5.5 pound loss this month (not bad, but not quite the 8.5 pounds a month i'd been averaging).

your time on the virtual 5k is wonderful. my last 5k was like 64 minutes. so i think i'll shoot for under 60 minutes on this week's virtual...and it will be a stretch, so wish me luck!

here's to kickin boot-ay in August!

Comment edited on: 8/1/2012 1:36:20 AM

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SPARKABELLA13 8/1/2012 1:04AM

    My July went really well everywhere but at the scale. It just didn't move much! But I'm learning to recognize the importance of other non-scale victories and be patient with the scale. One of my August goals is to weigh myself twice a month (on the 1st and 15th). I think that will help.

Love your goals and accountability!!!

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New shoes yet again

Sunday, July 29, 2012

I'm glad, very glad, I did this.

Not only did I go to get new shoes, but I decided to use a different running store. The last time I got shoes, it was replacing worn out ones. The rep didn't do any of the checking to see stride or how my weight was distributed on them or anything. He just looked at what I got last time, brought out another pair of those along with a couple similar shoes, and the only change was moving up a size.

The store I went to this time does a whole series of questions and tests. We got to look at a 3D image of where my weight is pressing down on my foot. I have a very high arch. I already knew that, but looking at the image, even the outside of my foot doesn't make contact when I'm standing. There's a lot of weight on my heel and then moderate weight on the ball, particularly toward the outside.

Perhaps in part because of compensating for my plantar fascii, the highest pressure points were centered in my right heel. And that's with me trying to stand as even as possible - knowing I might be tilting right.

Walking (and having it video-taped to view the position of my feet and ankle) was interesting. My right foot points slightly outward and it reminded me of my teen years. My step-mother made a fuss about my feet pointing outward a little and made me practice aligning my feet forward. By the time I was in 9th or 10th grade, that was automatic but I hated P.E. because running or jogging hurt my knees. I wonder how much of that was because it wasn't my natural stride.

Then I managed to badly sprain my right ankle around the time our final for 10th grade P.E. was coming up - running a mile. I got my first F on that final because, in spite of a Dr.'s note, I was told to walk/run or fail ... and STILL couldn't cross the finish line in time to avoid a fail on the final. Thankfully the rest of semester was good, so he couldn't drag my grade TOO low, but grrrrr. The ankle remained touchy until I was ice-skating regularly after graduating and moving out, which forced it to toughen up some.

The good thing is that my ankles in the video were nice and stable - they don't roll in or out. Other than my right toes pointing slightly out, I have a nice even stride. (I must say it is REALLY weird walking on a treadmill in socks though.)

One of the things I then paid for was custom insoles. They have this whole system there to make them. I honestly expect these to make a HUGE difference. My left foot is a full half-size smaller than my right foot. I'd begun to suspect that part of why I have issues only with my left foot originates with the arch being positioned wrong for the smaller foot.

WOW, what a difference. She had me try several shoes and the first couple pairs were tried with their default insoles. Then she put in the custom ones. I seriously could FEEL the support difference for my left foot. I have high hopes for this. I can even swap these insoles into my work shoes which has me excited. (Well, not the cute heels - just the flats - but still.)

So I'm very pleased and looking forward to wearing these.

I still need a second pair for weights and elliptical. Running shoes aren't best suited to that. But for now, these will do.


And next week I'm spoiling my DDa. She happened to mention that she has been running in the morning. Her shoes were Vans - flat "skater" shoes. They were two years old, a hole wearing through the sole of one, and the sole of the other coming free of the bottom of the shoe. Yeesh. So I got her replacement shoes for those - regular wear. We would have been getting her shoes today, but she had a camp with her youth choir group. Next weekend we'll be getting her tested and fitted.

Thankfully, she's young and somewhat petite - but something she said makes me think she supinates as she walks / runs. (She said her normal stride rolls along the outside of her foot.) I know she has high arches like me. All of which makes me worry that she could be damaging herself longer-term without proper shoes. So being the mommy I am, she's getting spoiled.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRANCES-AGAPE 7/30/2012 10:42PM

    emoticon
Am EXCITED for you - and your feet !

Little (?) things like that can
probably make a big difference.

Have an Awesome August !

emoticon emoticon

BLESSINGS !

emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon


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MNJONES2 7/30/2012 2:12PM

    Good shoes make such a difference. So happy that you found a good pair. What store did you go to?

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BMCKEOW1 7/30/2012 1:15PM

    Good for you. My goal is by the end of the year to spoil myself and do that same thing. I need to get actual running shoes if I'm going to be running. There is a great running store by me that does all the things you described, so they will be getting business from me sooner then not.

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FLEURGARDEN 7/30/2012 12:57PM

    Glad you got some new shoes - I bet you'll run faster now! I think I have a "normal" stride, without any issues, but I should probably get my stride analized just to make sure I am buying the proper shoes. I'll need new ones within a few months, so I'll plan to get an analysis then.

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DENNETJ 7/30/2012 6:11AM

    I so need to find a store like that. I'm sure they are great at upselling you into more expensive stuff but I really think I need a trip to figure out how I run. My hips hurt something terrible the day after a good run.

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TANYA602 7/29/2012 6:45PM

    The place where I bought my last pair of shoes offers a service like this and my husband was in too big of a rush to get in and out. I think, especially after reading everything you learned doing this, that I may have to take some time next time.
I'm really happy for you!

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TALENKARR1 7/29/2012 3:07PM

    What store did you gou to? is it a national store cause I went to foot loker hear looking for new walking shoes and about slapped the guy for rudness

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SKAHONEY4U 7/29/2012 2:35PM

    You sound like my mom. I went home for Christmas one year. She saw my holey Vans and immediately took me out to get new shoes!

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/29/2012 12:42PM

    Great to hear you got your stride analyzed and were able to get inserts and shoes to make you more comfortable. Shoes make such a difference!

I am glad that I'm reading this.

A few years ago, I got fitted for running shoes. I pronate...and the pair I got was great. When I went back, I didn't get fitted or have them check my gait, I just bought the newer version of the same shoe. Now, I'm about to go buy new running shoes and by default I was going to get the same shoes in the updated version again. I am going to get checked.

Thanks for your thoughtful informative blog! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 7/29/2012 11:55AM

    I think I need to do this. Glad you found something that worked for you. Now I will need to look for a good store that does this kind of thing.

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_JODI404 7/29/2012 10:55AM

    My husband & I both got the custom insoles made with our last shoe purchase.

I think it has made a great difference. They really do feel *awesome* and well worth the (affordable) price. Good shoes are just another investment we make in ourselves and our health. I feel that is money well spent!

Hope you enjoy your new shoes & insoles and sounds like DDa really needs them... so that is great you are taking care of her too!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 7/29/2012 10:53AM

    where'd you go? they sound awesome!!!

I have the same thing with my feet/knees. And like you, I forced myself to walk "aligned' and now my knees go inward....makes doing squats interesting! LOL My oldest I just let walk with her feet outward, I mean really, what's the harm?

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SPARKFRAN514 7/29/2012 10:33AM

    emoticon on the new shoes and spoiling your daughter your a emoticon mom emoticon again on the emoticon

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SHERIO5 7/29/2012 9:40AM

    You are motivating me to get fitted properly for my next shoes...I'm due. I'm pretty faithful about replacing my shoes in a timely manner, but I have never been to a running store to get really fitted. I watched my husband last time...but the cost is deterring me...

Let us know how this works for you! I know a new pair of shoes always puts some extra spring in my workouts!

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STARTINGINLIMBO 7/29/2012 9:34AM

    Wow, that is awesome that you went and got all that done for your feet. I'm so happy for you that they'll finally have such support for your exercise. How exciting that your ankles are so strong too.
I don't know why I haven't been getting notice of you writing blogs, I'll have to resubscribe right now!

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ILOVELIFE2012 7/29/2012 9:05AM

    hope you enjoy the new shoes. Funny I had a similar experience when I went to the shoe store recently. As you mention the plantar fasciatis, the guys at the store ran through the string of tests, reviewed the results with me, provided some arches. I felt I was on cloud 9! Serious, I told the guy in the store he was my new best friend forever, LOL, cause when I walked with the arches in, it made a world of difference! I'm so happy for you and your new shoes. Makes a huge difference. I bet your daughter will appreciate your consideration for her feet too!...... emoticon

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2BEABETTERME 7/29/2012 8:35AM

    New, comfortable shoes are great! Let us know in a few weeks how they feel!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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DEBBIELCG 7/29/2012 8:31AM

    emoticon let us know how they feel

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RG_DFW 7/29/2012 7:48AM

    emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 7/29/2012 7:29AM

    Cool on getting fitted for your sneakers. emoticon

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GODIVADSG 7/29/2012 5:56AM

    Your legs,feet and daughter are gonna love ya!! Sounds like you found a treasure in that shoe store! emoticon

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LIL_EZZY 7/29/2012 3:07AM

    Enjoy the new shoes

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RADAZZLE 7/29/2012 2:24AM

    Wow! That store really is amazing! I recently went to one that's about 45 minutes from me because they use the machine that images your foot pressure, etc. (like you described) and look at you walk, etc. But video taping and a treadmill - wow! I don't think the store I went to makes custom insoles either. I don't think there's a store like that near me! Well, I'm still pretty happy with the shoes I got there and even with the shoes I bought elsewhere knowing what I learned at that store, so I'll just have to be jealous of you! LOL

Sounds like you're not really spoiling your DDa. You're just a caring and loving mom! emoticon

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EOWYN2424 7/29/2012 1:58AM

    Good that you found all this out! Have fun working out!

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SWEDE_SU 7/29/2012 1:52AM

    a good running store that works with you is soooo important - we always go to a store in seattle (5 hours from home) where they let you try on every possible pair of shoes that could work after watching your gait and stride. it really helps!

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The Little Red Hen Comparison

Friday, July 27, 2012

I posted this on the forums of one of the teams I'm a co-leader of, but then decided that I wanted it to have as wide an audience as possible. My thanks to PINKHOPE for the initial thought and comparison to the Little Red Hen. Her blog was featured in the Daily Spark email and is certainly a great read as well!

*************************

Saw this in one of the highlighted blogs in the Daily Spark email (PINKHOPE):
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4987234


=== QUOTE ============
The problem was while I longed to wear smaller clothes, feel better, look better, and be more fit I didn't "WANT TO LOSE WEIGHT". I didn't want to do the work. I didn't WANT to make the dietary changes. I didn't WANT to walk/bike/workout.

Remember the story of the little red hen? She found the seeds and kept trying to get the others to help her plant, weed, water, harvest, mill, and bake. They were ALL too willing to help her EAT the bread.
=== END QUOTE =============

I think the story of the Little Red Hen is a fantastic comparison.

She first found and picked up those seeds.

-- What are our seeds? How about the little things that started you on the journey - children or grandchildren, health concerns, wanting to fit into that outfit?

As she looked at the seeds, she thought forward to the end result she could have - bread, warm from the oven.

-- What is our bread? While many people do have a vision of themselves "skinny" or a role-model (aka thinspiration), others have a general idea of what their condition and life might be like. It could as simple as shopping in a "normal" store for clothes without an X in the size. Or in a plane seat without an extension or pinching.

She took it step by step. She couldn't mill the wheat into flour before it was grown. She had to prepare the soil, plant the seeds, water them regularly, weed, identify when the grain was ripe and harvest, separate the wheat from the chaff, mill it into flour, then mix it with other ingredients also prepared and obtained, baking it into a final result.

-- What steps have you already taken? What other steps will need to happen? We have to nurture our motivations, take actions that turn them into results, consistently care for ourselves, weed out the actions that don't help us. Some days we might not see the difference from the day before - just like watching a plant grow doesn't happen overnight. We can't really rush the process any faster than its natural time. We also have to consider other areas of our lives (the other ingredients) and having them ready too.


And, really, who stops at one loaf of bread? After this loaf is done, we've hopefully saved some seeds from that harvest to plant with our vision looking forward to the next season's bread.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LBEEKMA 7/29/2012 1:11AM

    Brilliantly honest post. Boy, do I want to have the success without doing the work. I love metaphors, and this one hit home. Thanks for sharing and inspiring me.

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FRANCES-AGAPE 7/28/2012 10:09PM

    emoticonanalogy !

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Have a Super Sunday

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BLESSINGS!

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SPARKFRAN514 7/28/2012 9:56AM

    emoticon great way to look at the journey to a healthy new life style thanks for the link as well


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GODIVADSG 7/27/2012 6:28PM

    Thanks for sharing! This blog helped me so much.

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HOPEFULHIPPO 7/27/2012 4:25PM

    that is a great metaphor!!

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SWEDE_SU 7/27/2012 4:05PM

    emoticon

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SBNORMAL 7/27/2012 3:50PM

  It is hard, undoing I the stuff I have done to myself!! OF course, I have to do the mind work first before the physical will come along!!

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CLRWILLIAMS25 7/27/2012 3:41PM

    So true! I find myself going back and forth a lot on whether I want to put the work in. It's weird, because it doesn't take than long to get a good workout in, I ALWAYS feel better/more accomplished afterwards and I make better food choices when I exercise!

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JILLYANA1 7/27/2012 3:26PM

  What a great comparison! emoticon

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