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A "Gym Rat"? Hmmmmmmm ...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So props to WOMANOBRONZE for advising me that I'm not on the road to body-builder and instead am a gym rat!

Before I continue with the gym rat part of that ... I can't promise I won't someday look in the mirror with the thought "if only my delts were a little bigger". Even now, I could care less about stretch marks and pay a lot more attention to my calves flexing. Of course, I would never go for any chemical means of bulking and can't imagine myself going through bulking and cutting diets and all that. But I'm not the kind of woman who is worried about weights making me bulk up. Bring it on!
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So, gym rat. I didn't take that as insulting. Amusing, certainly. Then I got curious and went off looking at "You are a gym rat if ..." lists and quizzes.

Apparently there's more than one school of thought on what a gym rat is. There is a negative version. That's the guy who doesn't seem to realize there's more muscles in his body than biceps and can spends hours a week doing curls to build impressive arms that just don't fit the less developed body they're attached to.
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Then there is the fun, laugh at ourselves version. Here's a few culled ones:


YOU KNOW YOU'RE A GYM RAT WHEN ...

1. You have a gym bag that has everything you would possibly need for the gym and always have it with you.

2. You plan your day around your gym session. When you're pulling out your calendar to plan to meet your best friend, you might change the time of your workout but what kind of friend would think to ask you to miss it?

3. Your workout schedule is in your planner with automatic reminders, but you have yet to need one because you're there – early when possible.

4. You have a favorite – treadmill, cardio machine, set of equipment, place to stretch, etc.

5. You are never seen without a water bottle. NEVER!

6. You consider “So, do you workout?” an effective pickup line / conversation starter.

7. You're on a first name basis with gym staff and notice when one is no longer there or switches to a different schedule.

8. Your week is made up of Chest & Arms day, Legs day, Cardio day, and Rest day.

9. You recognize other regulars, know details about them like their favorite shoes or shorts, notice when they get a haircut or a new tattoo, and might even have names or stories made up for them.

10. You spend more money on your workout clothes and gear than work clothes and casual clothes combined.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KSCHRAUT 8/17/2012 8:20AM

    haha! I used to be a gym rat when I was at UMF! No gym here now!

Nice list! Thanks for sharing!

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EBIELOU 8/16/2012 6:42PM

    Uh oh...i'm a gym rat!!

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SBNORMAL 8/16/2012 5:59PM

  I want to be a gym rat!

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SPARKFRAN514 8/15/2012 6:48PM

    i found that i do some of the gym rat things myself would never have thought of my self as a rat water bottle and back pack at the door as type and on Water bottle here at the computer with me think i even have a few in the car that i need to bring in and run thought the dish washer great blog as always
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BMCKEOW1 8/15/2012 11:23AM

    I love this list. So many of them are true for me. Being a Gym rat isn't so bad. It has some great benefits.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/14/2012 10:16PM

    Great list! emoticon

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ROXONA 8/14/2012 9:54PM

    I'm definitely not a gym rat, but I am fond of one of the elliptical trainers at my gym. I absolutely hate it if someone is using it. Now, my friend from work....she has gym rat tattooed on her forehead!
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HOPEFULHIPPO 8/14/2012 3:05PM

    It seems I have a loooong way to go before becoming a gym rat...LOL

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ILOVELIFE2012 8/14/2012 1:33PM

    OMG that is awesome. Some parts I am a gym rat; some parts not so much. I'm to the point that my schedule gets worked around my workouts! I'm totally cracking up.

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MNJONES2 8/14/2012 1:01PM

    I have a ways to go before I am a gym rat.....

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ERICADAWN1986 8/14/2012 12:44PM

    Oh No! I guess according to some of these on the list, I'm a bit of a gym rat lol! Fine by me!

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KENDRACARROLL 8/14/2012 11:19AM

    Or... you think the only viable workout is a gym workout. This would then be like "rat race".
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GOING-STRONG 8/14/2012 10:50AM

    Hmmmm... sounds familiar!

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LDRICHEL 8/14/2012 9:55AM

    I honestly didn't expect to relate well to this post from the title...and from the previous blog (because I thought you were headed in a bodybuilder direction), but I really enjoyed reading this!!! Who knew I'm half gym rat? haha!!!! Good job, girl!

Proud of you...you are working hard and that is so admirable.

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SHERIO5 8/14/2012 9:36AM

    Funny!

I used to be a "gym rat". I work out at home now...but it was pretty fun for a season in my life!

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RG_DFW 8/14/2012 9:29AM

    interesting...

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IAMZBEE 8/14/2012 9:17AM

    Pretty sure i score 9 out of 10 of those things. HAHA!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 8/14/2012 9:16AM

    emoticon

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SABRINASARAH 8/14/2012 8:57AM

    I'd have to say I'm really guilty of 7 & 9. I'm always noticing when people don't show up for class (people I don't even know) or who's new or if someone is wearing their favorite orange sneakers. I didn't even realize I was doing that until now! Ha, ha!

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WANNABESKINNYME 8/14/2012 7:56AM

    OMGosh...I'm a gym rat! emoticon

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2BEABETTERME 8/14/2012 7:19AM

    That is too cute...thanks for sharing!
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FLEURGARDEN 8/14/2012 7:04AM

    Many of those describe me as well. I always have a packed gym bag in my car, primarily so I don't have an excuse not to stop at the gym on the way home from work. And all the staff know which range of lockers is my favorite and hand over a key for that section without asking.

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SYZYGY922 8/14/2012 2:52AM

    I qualify as well. I do all of these except 6 and 8.

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BLUE42DOWN 8/14/2012 2:36AM

    *shifty eyes*

I'm probably guilty of all but 6. I was definitely laughing at myself related to 4 - I have a favorite elliptical, a favorite recumbent bike, a favorite stretching area, a favorite balance ball, and even a favorite shower stall.

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A_PRACTICE 8/14/2012 2:28AM

    I'm guilty of all but 1 and 8 -- you? ;)


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ILOVEMALI 8/14/2012 2:20AM

  Lol!! And we do know gym rats!

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Mental rambles on what the future might hold

Monday, August 13, 2012

One of the things I keep questioning myself on is how far I intend to take this "fitness thing".

Right now I've gotten into a habit, a routine, in which I go to the gym seven days a week. The vast majority of the time I do 60 minutes worth of cardio work. On those rare occasions I feel a need for rest or get rushed by other commitments, I still do my minimum of 40 minutes. I always, ALWAYS, stretch after - usually another 15 to 20 minutes. Three times a week I do a full strength training workout, which is about an hour's worth of weight exercises, one for each major muscle and a couple for abs. Days that I do 5k walks I tend to skip the gym, counting the 45 minutes walking as my cardio, and stretching after.

I couldn't even explain WHY I go seven days a week other than it is easy to maintain as a routine. I don't have to pay attention to a day I take off to make sure it doesn't become two days off. I "rest" based on how my body feels by ramping my cardio activity down a level - not doing intervals, not setting the resistance as high - and judge it by the heart rate I tend to reach.

I thoroughly enjoy every minute of it. Even when I'm internally coaching myself, muttering in my mind about a particular weight and how hard it is, I'm loving it.

I just don't know that I consider it long-term sustainable. In another year and a half, will I still be working out daily?

I "need" to go back to college in some way to get job skills to move on. That will change my free time, change what I can do. I could eventually meet someone, whether building a friendship or relationship. That would change my free time, change my priorities. I want to start hiking more. That will require completely different time adjustments.

So there's a "reality" in my mind that I can't keep doing this indefinitely.

There's another factor, too.

Right now I know I'm in a phase with weights where I can pretty consistently work to get stronger and bump up to a higher weight. I know that will eventually taper off. There has to be an upper limit to physical strength. I'm unlikely to reach that because I'm not really dedicated in the body-builder sense.

I think what scares me most trying to think forward like that is that I have trouble seeing a middle ground. It's like looking at my walking 5ks and seeing the future progression only as walking a 10k, running a 5k, running a 10k, then a half-marathon, then a marathon, then a triathlon, then trying to get to a competitive level. Other than walking a 10k, none of that really interests me, but at times it feels like there aren't any forks in the road to divert me from those ultimate goals.

I'm not sure that wholly makes sense.

Then again, most fears have some amount of irrationality involved, so perhaps the reason it doesn't make sense is something that I'm not being rational about.

I think it comes down to a fear that I will lose interest when progression is no longer "linear". (I actually have no idea how progression looks on weight lifting. I figure it is more of a curve - real easy to progress fast at first, then about an even balance for time and progress, and eventually a longer time to gain the next level. If it takes me three months to go from lifting 60 to lifting 65, another three months to get to 70, another three months to get to 75, and then six months to get to 80 and nine months to get to 85, will it be as exciting as it was the first few months when it felt like I zipped from 30 to 60?)

And really, if being able to lift 70 pounds gives me the ability to do anything I need to do outside of the gym, reaching my own vague "functional fitness" level, how will I keep from getting bored with weight training maintenance? (Something that I know will be important, if for no other reason than continued aging and loss of bone and muscle density if I don't. Well, right there is one reason to keep going - to plan ahead to not ever stop the 3x a week weights.)


Trying to pin it down, this vague uneasiness I have, and it's not working very well. The only comment I've written here (and elsewhere) that keeps rearing its ugly head to look at me ...

dedicated in the body-builder sense

What exactly do I mean by THAT? I guess I think of a body-builder in terms of someone who eats a very restrictive diet (not in the calorie-cutting sense there - stuff like "carb-loading", "mass gain", and "cutting"). I think of a body-builder as someone who pushes their limits heavily. I think of a body-builder as someone who plans to compete or, at least, show off their physique specifically with a goal on making all the muscles quite defined.

...

I was going to say a body-builder is someone who spends hours in the gym a week.

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Okay ... maybe THAT is what scares me. I think I'm in the gym as much as any dedicated body-builder would be. They can't exactly work out any muscle group more than 3x a week ... and that's what I do.

So what does that make me?

I'm not entirely sure. Obviously I'm not a body-builder. But what other goal is there. Where does my road fork and where will that branch of the road lead? Or is there no fork in the road and eventually I'll either be on the road to body-building or standing at the side of the road watching others pass me by while I try to figure out "What now?"

Hmmmmmm ...


(( emoticon No, my brain really doesn't ever shut down thinking. Even when I'm out hiking, I appreciate nature and wander off into either contemplations of how no leaf is identical to another or into fiction based on something I see - such as a magical portal that exists "twixt tree and stone". ))

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNERRACHEL 8/14/2012 12:27AM

    I wonder the same sometimes.
I love working out and work out 6 days a week

But, is it sustainable?

Great that you are getting stronger and gaining endurance. Finding new things to keep your interest, building on your skills, reaching goals. You may develop an interest in something you haven't yet discovered. So, stay open to the possibilities.

Great blog, very thoughtful! emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/14/2012 12:27:31 AM

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MNJONES2 8/13/2012 8:29PM

    I would suggest that IF you start to get bored then ask one of the Personal trainers at the gym to work up a new routine for you - that keeps it fresh for you.

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SHERIO5 8/13/2012 3:01PM

    I have nothing to offer here...other than keep it fun!!! Whatever motivates you to keep exercising and staying healthy is a great thing...so if working towards more weight...smaller size...whatever...use it!!!

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/13/2012 12:39PM

    I also find that 7-days-a-week is easier for me to maintain as a routine than a less regular schedule. As for school, it's not always possible but a LOT of textbooks are available in audio format these days so you can listen to them in the car or as you workout. I personally think doing the reading is also important but listening first can speed up the reading considerably. Something else to consider is taking an online class instead of on-campus. I actually teach that way and while it doesn't take 'less time' overall, it shifts the scheduling to something a LOT more flexible - you could 'go to school' for 30 minutes every morning plus maybe two or three hour-long sessions, for instance, rather than sitting in a 3-hour class once a week, then having homework after that. The 'commute' and parking time is eliminated, of course, for online classes so the overall process is a lot more efficient, IMO.

However you work out your 'new schedule,' I know you will succeed with your great attitude!
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DAZZEEDOO 8/13/2012 11:24AM

    MMmmm....the future is hard to see. I sometimes contemplate such things when I'm doing my treadmill time - less so if I'm workin' out outside. Guess You'll have to take it one day at a time. You can plan on what you may do, but plans change. If you go back to school, You may have to dedicate a minimum amount of time to maintenance. You may have a relationship-friendship, with someone who has fitness goals like you, and you may work out together. Or you may just say one day- "What the heck- I don't want to do this anymore!" I don't suppose you'll know until you get there. Until then- "keep on keeping on."
Have a GREAT Week!
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WOMANOBRONZE 8/13/2012 10:47AM

    I wouldn't worry about falling into the bodybuilding trap unless you find yourself looking in the mirror one day thinking, "Gee, if ONLY my delts were just a little larger...I bet if I got some testosterone I could..." Body-building isn't about strength - it is about sculpting your body to look a certain way and adding muscle in select areas to achieve a desired symmetry - all the time while dieting down to look like an anatomy chart. Strength is secondary.

So what does that make you? A gym rat! (I mean that in a good way).

Actually, you may be making up for lost time by enjoying the ability to use your body in ways that you may not have been able to do for many, many years. Also, it is good for the psyche to have an activity where you consistently see measurable improvements ( particularly if other areas of your life are somewhat stalled - like work, career, intimate relationships). Exercise is good for the gray cells and great at reducing stress.

So as long as you're not over-training, hurting yourself, putting off other parts of your life (like seeing your kids or paying your bills), enjoy yourself! You've earned it!!

Life has a way of putting us on different paths without much say-so on our parts.

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GOING-STRONG 8/13/2012 10:28AM

    I stay motivated when I see the muscles in my arms and can feel my abs! I have so much more energy and enthusiasm. I want to keep this for life so I see maintaining exercise as part of my daily routine.. even if I can only fit in 30 minutes. I go to the gym for the classes as I feel the group keeps me working a bit harder than I would otherwise. I also have a small home gym set up with weights, dvds, balance ball and other stuff and I try and run outside (weather permitting) a couple of times a week. Variety is the spice of life!

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FLEURGARDEN 8/13/2012 7:43AM

    I can totally relate, and on more than one level. What has kept me motivated so far are the mini goals I set for myself. Seeing progress in the weight I can lift, the speed I can walk, the lengths I can swim - they keep me motivated to see if I can do better in my next workout. And it helps when I'm in a slump to go back and see how far I've come. But one day I will hit my maximum potential, so will I lose my motivation? I'm trying to approach this new lifestyle in a way that will keep me balanced and sustainable for the long haul, but I still do have that nagging fear that one day I won't feel as challenged, I'll slack off, and the weight will return. Ugh.

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DENNETJ 8/13/2012 5:48AM

    I too have a mind that is constantly on a wander. Makes it hard to sleep sometimes.

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ILOVEMALI 8/13/2012 2:12AM

  It's great that you are devoted to something that makes you happy. Keep it up. I used to go to Curves, and loved it. But then our local Curves started closing from noon to 2 -- the only time I have that I could go. Bummer!!

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ILOVEMALI 8/13/2012 2:11AM

  It's great that you are devoted to something that makes you happy. Keep it up. I used to go to Curves, and loved it. But then our local Curves started closing from noon to 2 -- the only time I have that I could go. Bummer!!

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TAMPATINK67 8/13/2012 1:32AM

    Interesting thoughts tonight!

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FINALLYBEINGME 8/13/2012 1:12AM

    You know..I've thought this so many times as well. Is the life of a gym rat sustainable :)? And..I've come to the conclusion that this whole thing is about leading an active lifestyle. Going to the gym crams all the exercise into one solid hour, but if we weren't doing that then we should be actively living life in other ways..hiking, walking..getting out there. It's about how you see yourself - are we a couch potatoes who happen to go to the gym or are we active people who also go to the gym? It's definitely a difficult shift to see myself as an active, fit, athletic person even into old age..!!Great blog. emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/13/2012 12:08:02 PM

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_RAMONA 8/13/2012 12:41AM

    Honestly... in some really interesting ways, we are a lot alike (the thinking thing especially, LOL)... I can really identify with this entry... for me the journey has been about figuring out how to exercise and build strength in ways such that they can remain part of an active lifestyle and not so much be confined to 'exercise for it's own sake'... a team sport my husband and I can do together (soccer and crossfit are at the top fo the list), dancing is big for us and we find ballroom challenging because different forms use different muscles... heck, just holding correct frame uses muscles, LOL... and hiking/geocaching as a family, and evening family walks/sprints (our daughter really looks forward to these).

Once you get some of your other ducks in a row, would not the active things you like to do each week replace your gym time with adequate 'exercise and strength building'? And perhaps gym time will still remain in some small way?

I know one thing for sure... if anyone will find a way to do this all with aplomb, it will be you!

P.S. I really liked this: "I "rest" based on how my body feels by ramping my cardio activity down a level" the idea of resting in the midst of activity is one I'm still working on, and critical to my own success.

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KENDRACARROLL 8/13/2012 12:32AM

    Boy, I really don't want to be in your head...
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Maybe the focus shouldn't be about constantly progressing but about fun instead?
In other words, go hiking :)

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ELUNAMAKATA 8/13/2012 12:17AM

    Those look like some really reasonable goals though. I would imagine that you'd hit a point to where you didn't want to bulk up anymore anyway, unless you were going into body building, and just like calories in vs calories spent, you'd use a maintenance program? (I don't know anything about weight lifting to be honest)

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Looking forward to the fun!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

As my status says, I'm now registered for the local Color Me Rad! 5k. I had a goal to do one 5k a month for the rest of this year. August, however, got challenging.

One of my difficulties is getting to races in the first place. I don't have a car. Weekend races in the wee hours like 7 am ( emoticon emoticon) don't expect people to be trying to get to the starting line on public transportation. The Stanford one, for example, was workable because the main line that runs 24 hours (even if an hour apart at times) was available and I didn't shirk at walking 2 miles to the starting area. But Vasona Park (another local one) wasn't going to fly and getting to San Francisco's Golden Gate park on a Sunday would be laughable.

I had my September race planned already - Firefly run which is in the evening with everyone wearing lights. It's later in September (the 22nd) and easily accessible to me - an area I know, in fact.

Then another Sparker mentioned Color Me Rad! 5k in her area. I looked it up and, oh hey, local race is 1 September. Even better, it starts at 9:00 am -and- is accessible off a couple of routes that run decently early / late.

So I decided that being only 1 day off, it gets to count as my "August" 5k for the purpose of my goal to walk one each month.

I seriously emoticon the fact both of my September races are very fun-focused.


Oh, and the Color Me Rad! one wanted me to pick a team name even if it is only me.

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I am the team "SPARKLERS". Seemed quite apropos!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PATTOMMC3 8/12/2012 8:21PM

    emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 8/12/2012 2:21AM

  Have a great time, Sparkler!

How are you holding up in this heat? Ouch!

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KING_SLAYER 8/12/2012 12:18AM

    A 5k each month? That's impressive! You have quite a bit of determination, doing all of those 5k's and using public transportation to get to and from them. Most people would just not do it because of the transportation issue.

Congrats to you for pushing yourself in this way and for how far you've come in the last 10 months, bravo to you!

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KISAKATT 8/11/2012 9:49PM

    Fun races!! I have the same goal and had to do the same thing for June (didn't have a race I could do, so I did two in July, one on the fourth). I'm excited for you (and a little jealous) that you get to do a color me rad race! We have one in Denver but I'll be out of town. Good luck!!

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FRANCES-AGAPE 8/11/2012 7:43PM

    emoticon

Blue, your determination and dedication
puts us (ie, ME) lazies to SHAME !

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Have a Super Sunday -

BLESSINGS!

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SA9CHI 8/11/2012 5:12PM

    I am so proud of you! emoticon

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LYDDIECAT 8/11/2012 2:12PM

    We'll be on your team in spirit! Go Sparklers!

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CIPHER1971 8/11/2012 1:10PM

    Way to go emoticon

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MEH50BEWELL 8/11/2012 11:16AM

    You will have a great time. Love the name you chose!

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LDRICHEL 8/11/2012 10:43AM

    Oh man it's SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO fun!!!! You will love it!!!

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/11/2012 10:26AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Those sound like really fun races!!

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JANESLOSS 8/11/2012 10:11AM

    Best wishes on all of the 5K's!

Jane emoticon

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/11/2012 10:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TRACYKHOLM45 8/11/2012 8:59AM

    emoticon emoticon

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WESTCOAST8 8/11/2012 8:27AM

    Go SPARKLERS! emoticon

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CORNERKICK 8/11/2012 2:25AM

  Love the name!

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JENNCABA 8/11/2012 1:31AM

    emoticonI hope you have a great time in all of your races emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/11/2012 1:26AM

    Sounds great! If I hadn't got so off track I'd think about joining you (If you're local, not sure where you are!) Ah well. Maybe if the dr ok's it I'll still do the hot chocloate race in Nov!

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MICHELLE_391 8/11/2012 1:08AM

    Excellent name for your team of one! FANTASTIC that you are able to do 5ks every month. Sticking to your plan is so rewarding, isn't it? emoticon emoticon

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I am woman; see me sweat!

Friday, August 10, 2012

I'm not sure if I ran across these here on SparkPeople, as a Spark Deal or somewhere else entirely. There are these shirts with what they call "sweat activated technology". Basically, some text or images on the shirt are "invisible" until the shirt becomes damp (with sweat).

Personally I think most of their canned slogans are pretty dumb. "I am beast mode" and "I am a BEAST"? "Unlimited Potential" and "CHASE ME"? Wasn't that interested. (And I don't like the length / style of the shirts they've got on their site.)

Today as I was pedaling away, the slogan I'd love to have on the back of the shirt came to mind. Yes, the blog title:

. I AM .
WOMAN
. SEE .
. .ME. .
SWEAT

I think the "I AM WOMAN" portion could show at all times. That's an indisputable fact.

Then the "SEE ME SWEAT" portion could show up when I'm burning it up and sweating. Because, no, I don't glow. I don't glisten. I don't glitter. I sweat pure and simple. It's as indisputable a fact as my womanhood.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSKIZ69 8/12/2012 11:04PM

    I need a shirt like that! Straight and to the point! emoticon

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KISAKATT 8/11/2012 9:48PM

    What a great shirt idea! I'm going to add it to my list of mantras haha

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NEWMOM20121 8/11/2012 9:37AM

    Great idea. Love it.

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 8/11/2012 1:35AM

    I like that! I'd wear it! Good incentive!

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MICHELLE_391 8/11/2012 1:06AM

    Oops - I'm rather late to this party, but I love your shirt idea! I'd wear it!

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GOING-STRONG 8/10/2012 10:48PM

    emoticon

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/10/2012 8:50PM

    emoticon

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ELUNAMAKATA 8/10/2012 6:33PM

    That sounds really cool!!


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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 8/10/2012 6:05PM

    What a neat idea.

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TANYA602 8/10/2012 4:05PM

    Ooooh I want one, too! I've been in quite a sweat today.....very humid here and even 10 minutes on the elliptical leaves me drenched.


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APONI_KB 8/10/2012 1:50PM

    haha funny

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DANCINLOVE 8/10/2012 1:22PM

    I want one!

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SWAZY33 8/10/2012 12:45PM

    love your slogan :)

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 8/10/2012 11:40AM

    Great idea!

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ZANNBEE 8/10/2012 11:35AM

    emoticon Love it

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PGNBRI 8/10/2012 11:19AM

    Love it!!

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DEBBIELCG 8/10/2012 10:35AM

    Great idea I would buy one or two.

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TMCLEOD4 8/10/2012 9:03AM

    I'd buy that shirt! They could make a whole bunch with "see me sweat" appearing. Slogans like "I'm a runner" or "I'm a hiker", etc. What a great idea! Wanna go into business together?

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SANDYB223 8/10/2012 8:39AM

    Love it!!

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FLEURGARDEN 8/10/2012 7:19AM

    Love it! I remember my grandmother telling me it wasn't "ladylike" to sweat. My how times have changed. I find sweat to be a bit empowering.

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LDRICHEL 8/10/2012 7:04AM

    emoticon

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SBNORMAL 8/10/2012 6:56AM

  Sounds like a good one!!

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AMYTRIPP 8/10/2012 6:26AM

    I love that idea!

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RUNNERRACHEL 8/10/2012 2:02AM

    That's a great idea! Would be nice to customize the shirts. Amy Dixon has some and I think I've read about it on here too.

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SWEDE_SU 8/10/2012 1:46AM

    emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 8/10/2012 1:20AM

  "women don't sweat -- they glow!"



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ILOVELIFE2012 8/10/2012 1:10AM

    first time hearing about these shirts. HOW COOL!

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SYZYGY922 8/10/2012 12:54AM

    Ha! I would totally wear a shirt with that slogan. I sweat more than I ever thought was humanly possible. It's embarrassing. I'm so sweaty that I'm sweaty before my workout even starts.

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Dealing with the unexpected

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

A recent unexpected event with respect to my money had me thinking about lessons I'd learned with my budget before I started in on my journey here to fitness and health.

I have had some extra cash in my checking account for a few months. I've been slowly using it toward things like getting dental work that is long overdue. Slowly being the key word. I'd learned to always leave myself a cushion for the unexpected.

This week I was thankful I had. Two weeks ago I got my new insoles and shoes. Expected expense, but a little more than I planned. One week ago I got my DDa new insoles and shoes. I also got my DS new shoes. The former was expected; the latter a concession to buffer them from the EX's family getting into nonsense about me loving one more than the other because they're more likely to see what I buy DDa.

All good so far. But then a potential situation cropped up where EX owed DDa money - the money she needed to pay her rent. And a second situation cropped up where DS has a wedding to attend this coming weekend and needs something a little more formal than his usual polo over a T and jeans.

Because of what I've learned in the past, I know all the payments coming out of my account, when I'll have a paycheck, how to make sure that clears on Friday rather than Monday night, and have an accessible online bank savings account that I can transfer funds from just in case. I have enough "spare" groceries around to make it through one week of no food budget.

So rather than panic or feel like giving up, I'm immediately looking at all my options.


I do that same thing with my food and fitness. My DDa likes to randomly ask to meet up, which often means for dinner. Often the request comes in the late afternoon ... after I've eaten everything in my planner but dinner and my post workout smoothie. Some days I get to work later and stay later, and by the time I get to the gym there may not be time for a full workout or something else causes me to want/need to put off my ST a day.

Rather than panic or feel like giving up, I've learned to look at the many possible options. If my calorie range is 2200, and I eat 2700, I can try to eat 2100 each day for the rest of the week - or I can add 10 minutes to each workout for a week. ST may be scheduled for M-W-F, but I have no trouble doing M-Th-Sat or M-W-Sat or T-Th-Sat. As long as I have at least one rest day between each, and get back to M the next week, what difference does it make which day I do it on?

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I remember reading something about optimism - quite possibly here on SparkPeople. One of the reasons that optimists do well is that they EXPECT there to be a solution and they will keep looking to find it. A pessimist has already accepted that there isn't a solution and would miss one sitting right in front of their nose; because there is no solution it can't be there.

I use that approach when it comes to problems and stresses.

I EXPECT there to be a solution.

I keep looking and keep pushing and keep researching and keep trying ... because one way or another I am determined to find that solution.

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Interesting what that reminded me of.

Growing up there was a magazine I found out about from my mother's third husband's mother (okay, yes, that sounded awkward, but we didn't call him our step father for whatever reason even though they were family more than the wicked step mother ever was.) GAMES magazine, it was called. I see an online version, but have no idea if the hard-copy is what it used to be.

From my mother I'd already gotten well into all sorts of puzzle magazines. I had a giant maze book for a cross-country road trip, I did acrostics and crosswords, logic problems, and so much more. I still have a love of word puzzles and games.

GAMES took this way beyond. Some puzzles were incredibly challenging. Magazines often had hidden contests, where answers in other puzzles added up to the contest instructions.

Anyway, it took real perseverance to keep going back to the magazine and trying to get just a little further in one or another puzzle. Sometimes it took teamwork - one of us doing puzzles we were better at and another doing others. With three or four of us, that covered a lot of ground.

The lesson I learned was that every one of those puzzles did have a solution - even if I couldn't see it right now, if I could just look at it differently or learn something new then I would have the clue to solving that part of the problem.


Dealing with the unexpected - is a puzzle with a solution. Sometimes we can work at it and solve it right away. Other times we have to set it aside until we can look at it another way. Yet other times we need to pull in another mind to help us with expertise we don't have.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXONA 8/11/2012 2:29PM

    Love this blog! I'm a puzzle person, too, and have learned there is always a solution as long as you keep your mind open and keep trying. emoticon

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SBNORMAL 8/10/2012 7:01AM

  Puzzles=Puzzles and m,ore puzzle, I know you will get them solve, you are such a thinker and smart person!!

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FRANCES-AGAPE 8/9/2012 11:10PM

    emoticon
Another TERRIFIC article.
What a GREAT lesson you've shared
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Hey, I remember GAMES - it WAS Great !

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BLESSINGS!

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SHERIO5 8/9/2012 10:12AM

    I enjoy seeing how your mind works! I love the positive vibe more though!

Have a great day! emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 8/8/2012 4:09PM

  I just try to not freak out. Some days it's an epic fail. I need to be more like you some days!

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ZANNBEE 8/8/2012 3:58PM

    Love how you look for a solution. That's optimism and being persistent. Great life lesson.

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GOING-STRONG 8/8/2012 2:09PM

    I am sooooo impressed with your can do attitude!

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SKNYMOMWANNABE 8/8/2012 1:30PM

    great spin!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 8/8/2012 11:54AM

    Great way of looking at things.

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MEH50BEWELL 8/8/2012 11:52AM

    WOW - I am so glad I signed on to SP just now. I read a fantastic blog on family a few minutes ago and now this one from you - really hits home. I'm struggling with all 3 of my children right now and I am going to pull so many parts of your blog here and discuss the largest problem I have right now with my DDb, namely the part about pessimist vs optimist. thank you! Have a great day.

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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 8/8/2012 10:17AM

    What a great blog! I love your attitude and insight into the unexpected things we ALL face routinely - you are definitely an inspiration to me!
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I do all my banking electronically and have an automatic transfer into three savings accounts - one is my 'emergency fund' for me, one is my 'emergency fund' for my son since he seems to have emergencies several times a year, and one is my 'fun fund' for things I just want to do. I have found that even setting aside a small-ish amount adds up quickly and doing it automatically means it's gone before I have a chance to think about it, although it's still 'there' to tap if I need it. Once upon a time, my 'life savings' was whatever change I could find at the bottom of my purse so this is a major improvement and I feel so much more financially secure now. Keep up the good work!

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RORYLYONS 8/8/2012 6:26AM

    Good insight to solving life at all odds... emoticon

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