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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 13

Monday, September 24, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

13. What has been the hardest life style change you've made for the sake of losing weight, getting fit, or becoming healthier? Any tips for making that change easier?

Well, that's kind of tough to answer for a very particular reason. If I find a lifestyle change excessively hard to make, I don't push it. There's PLENTY of ways to make changes to the way I go about my life without having to force myself into a mold that doesn't fit me. It's a gradual process and what is hard today may not be so hard in a year or two with other steps already passed.

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For example, I'm a night owl. I'm a far happier person staying up late and getting up late. I can and have woken up early for specific events, but even with a full 8 hours of sleep leading up, I'm groggy and bleary and barely functional. On the flip side, I could be up until 4 am, get up at 10 am and be alive and awake.

Now, in will march people who aren't me pointing at study after study that shows people who get more sleep lose weight easier or people who get up early and work out in the morning lose weight faster.

My response -- So what?

Am I having difficulty losing weight? No.
Am I having trouble getting to my after-work gym workouts? No.
Are there plenty of other changes I can make to my lifestyle that will benefit me? Yes.

Why would I change my sleeping habits to cater to someone else's idea of how I should live? It's an external decision rather than internal. Both times in this journey that I've made a goal about sleep, it wasn't entirely me deciding I'm not getting quality sleep and trying to improve that. One was a Fast Break Goal I figured I'd try rather than picking one I already do like water. Thankfully with the second try I came to realize the big problem was I didn't WANT to do it - it wasn't a lifestyle change I wanted, so I was fighting it.

I will come back to my sleep schedule in the future, probably multiple times. I do recognize that some nights I stay up way too late and it affects me for a couple of days after. There are nights when I'm bleary-eyed at 10pm because I'm behind on sleep. Some days I'm up the first time my alarm goes off; Other days I'm dragging up at the last possible moment and running late. I do want to improve that.

The trick is to figure out what works for me. What changes can I make that befit the way I want to live. MY lifestyle. Not someone else's "get 8 hours of sleep, go to bed at 9pm and get up before the sun to work out." Instead, working toward MY "get enough sleep to feel alert, be in bed with lights out by 12:00 am weeknights and 1:00 am weekends, get up on the first alarm or first snooze and no later, nap if I need to" lifestyle and making small adjustments to gradually build up to that.

Setting up my schedule so my morning routine is as abbreviated as possible - such as packing my gym bag, picking my outfit, showering at the gym, having breakfast foods at work - all help me sleep as late as possible even with a job that requires I be on a bus by 7:35 am. Those are all part of my lifestyle and contribute to getting more sleep.


So my solution to "hard" lifestyle changes is two-pronged:

1) Decide whether it's MY lifestyle change or something I feel is externally being pushed on me. This is my life. I decide the lifestyle I want. If it's externally pushed, review to see if any part of it is something I internally want for me and consider how I can accomplish that.

2) Put it off for later review, focusing on another lifestyle change that is easier. Break it into smaller, easier to chew, pieces - making the parts of the changes that are easier for me and building up some momentum. It's a lot easier to make a hard change if I'm already rolling in that direction and picking up speed. Look at it and see if there's part that I do want to do and can make an internal push for.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 9/24/2012 11:37PM

    emoticon keep up the good work you are doing great with this challenge emoticon

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RASMUSSEN5 9/24/2012 5:57PM

    Way to go on doing whats right for YOU!! emoticon

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 9/24/2012 4:13PM

    I agree. I know breakfast is important but I am NOT a breakfast person. emoticon

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MICHELLENRGZED 9/24/2012 4:06PM

    Always to be thoughtful about making changes.

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CIPHER1971 9/24/2012 4:05PM

    Glad that you own your choices

Comment edited on: 9/24/2012 4:07:49 PM

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DIET_FRIEND 9/24/2012 2:37PM

    I don't mold myself well to prevailing wisdom regarding healthy lifestyles either--for better or worse!

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ILOVEMALI 9/24/2012 1:21PM

    Sleep is an issue for me, too. My body wants to stay up late and to get up late. My reality is that I stay up late and get up early.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 12

Sunday, September 23, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

12. Post a picture of your inspiration. Thinspiration if that's your thing. Fitspiration if that's what you're after. Heathspiration if that's your primary goal. Why is this person inspiring to you?

This actually is a question that I usually avoid. It's too easy for me to name people like Madonna (loved her biceps at one point) or Jennifer Lopez (dang does she stay in good healthy shape), but feel like that's only a public front and I have no idea if they accomplish it by healthy means.

Without going to the extremes they do, I do admire the effort put in by Sister Madonna Buder (nun who runs marathons) and Ernestine Shepherd (oldest female bodybuilder). They don't exactly inspire me, though, because those aren't the paths I see for myself.

The closest I get to inspiration recently are some videos available on Bodybuilding.com. (I buy my whey protein powder there.) There's different coaches as part of "Find a Plan" - based on gender, goal (fat burn or muscle build), and age group. Each has a video on their workout, food, and supplements. While no one coach inspires me individually, together they each have things they say that do.

If I had to pick one that I've watched the video for that inspires me most, I think it would be Laura Bailey. I wouldn't get into all the supplements, and I definitely don't have her competitive drive, but how she talks about eating and her workouts is really what I'm working toward. (And I love something she says about not calling things "cheat" meals, instead saying "bliss" meals - because "cheat" has such a negative connotation.)

www.bodybuilding.com/fun/laura-baile
y-fitness-360.html



Other inspirations I have aren't images I can pull off the internet. It's the other people at the gym, the ones who have more weight to lose than I did originally, who are hard at work on the elliptical or a bike or with a trainer. If I see someone more than a couple of weeks, they inspire me on my own journey because they are going up against much greater challenges than I am, so how dare I feel like I have it hard?

And, of course, some great inspirations can be found right here on SparkPeople! I couldn't even begin to name off every fellow Sparker who has inspired me in some way. (And it would be cruel to name some and leave off others.) Suffice it to say:

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODIVADSG 9/24/2012 10:32AM

    You inspire me!!! emoticon

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DIET_FRIEND 9/24/2012 12:34AM

    There was once a picture in a Lands End catalog that really inspired me. I wish I had cut it out. The model was dressed in a skirt and boots. I would love to be able to dress like her and look cute not overstuffed. Hey--I want my calves to be slim enough to wear boots. The boots I'd like are expensive so I want to lose weight to wear them. Luckily I live in the south where boots are only a luxury andfar from a necessity!

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SPARKFRAN514 9/23/2012 11:50PM

    i don't keep up on who is who in the fitness area and so would not have any famous person to inspire me. i get my inspiration from Spark friends as well and one Spark member son who was injured in the war and is recovering in a hospital in the sates they told him he would not walk with out pain and then not far his goal was to prove them wrong he is working on that now. so when i feel like i can't do one more plank or what ever I am struggling with i thing of him and the other man and women injured in the war and the struggle they have in rehab. get me going in my workout so like you said they don't have to famous to inspire you on the Spark trail. in fact i believe that the normal every day person is the person we need to us at our inspiration they don't seen to get the Big head emoticon

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CATHLEENT3 9/23/2012 4:14PM

    thanks for this! I am off to check out laura. emoticon

what protein drink do you buy? I use different kinds, they are super handy for a no-breakfast woman like myself.

Comment edited on: 9/23/2012 4:17:01 PM

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ILOVEMALI 9/23/2012 3:28PM

    I'm trying to figure out why SP isn't sending me daily emails to your blog anymore. Time to resubscribe! Some day, we will have a salad lunch. And a hug!

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MICHELLENRGZED 9/23/2012 3:27PM

    Inspiration's wonderful, eh?

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Realized tonight that I am ~THAT~ walker

Sunday, September 23, 2012

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I am really pleased with my 5k time tonight: 42:08 by the chip. (43:10 by the clock, but that includes the time it took to get to the starting line in the crowd.) That's a crazy pace of 14 miles per minute without ever once jogging or running, just pure walking.

So, as I'm walking along ... I realized that I am ~THAT~ walker. I'm the one who motivates the joggers who have slowed down to walk to push a jog again. I pass them and hear them mutter to each other that they aren't going to have a WALKER pass the finish line before them.

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All in an evening's emoticon .


Costumes were prevalent - here's a few shots I took with my camera beforehand:














  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROXONA 9/24/2012 9:20AM

    Congratulations on your 5k!!!

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2BEABETTERME 9/24/2012 7:52AM

    Great time...WTG!

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DIET_FRIEND 9/24/2012 12:39AM

    Looks like a fun time!

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TIMOTHYNOHE 9/23/2012 10:05PM

    5ks are so much fun. LOve the costumes.

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MOBYCARP 9/23/2012 7:41PM

    Good for you, being *THAT* walker! Most people who can walk 14 minute miles wouldn't be walking all the way on a 5K.

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KARL1266 9/23/2012 1:09PM

    Super time! Sounds like you had a great time at that 5K. Haven't tried one of those yet (as near as I can tell there aren't any in my general area. None that I have found anyway!). Pictures are cool as well. And what WAS that guy supposed to be with the balloons attached to his back?

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SPARKFRAN514 9/23/2012 12:36PM

    emoticon on your race emoticon i think walking is more fun than running any way and much easier on the knees .
you inspired me to find a race and i have been training the event is next Sunday my goal is to do it in an hour. not fast but a goal to work for since its my first race since Bloomsday.. Again way to go on you race results. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KSCHRAUT 9/23/2012 12:26PM

    Congrats! Thats a great tine of just walking!

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SABRINASARAH 9/23/2012 11:46AM

    You did so great - congratulations!! What I want to know is what costume did you wear????
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HEALTHY-SPARK 9/23/2012 11:42AM

    emoticon

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KATYDID412 9/23/2012 10:05AM

    Great! And yes, inspiring.

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NEELIXNKES 9/23/2012 8:37AM

    emoticon

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46SHADOW 9/23/2012 8:05AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLEURGARDEN 9/23/2012 8:03AM

    Congrats on the great time!

Love the costumes - but I'm really curious about the guys with the balloons attached to them.

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SBNORMAL 9/23/2012 8:01AM

  You go girl!

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SASSY5468 9/23/2012 7:53AM

    That is wonderful! Why wouldn't you inspire joggers to jog again? You inspire all of us here every day :) You rock!

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RG_DFW 9/23/2012 6:18AM

    emoticon

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ROX525 9/23/2012 5:43AM

    I am doing my first 5K today...You are an inspiration!

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WESTCOAST8 9/23/2012 4:31AM

    14 miles per minute, you are not just that walker, you are THE walker ;-)

Joking aside, I wish to congratulate you on doing so well. It takes a lot of selfdiscipline and determination to keep going, and you are not only doing it, but you are doing it with your eyes wide open, observing other people's reactions, taking pictures with your cellphone and making mental notes about your own performance. Impressive and inspiring!
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CIPHER1971 9/23/2012 3:42AM

    emoticon

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MICHELLENRGZED 9/23/2012 3:36AM

    Such a cool thing to realise. :)

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CHICCHANTAL 9/23/2012 3:34AM

    Ah these joggers . . . serves them right for galloping off from the start line and overdoing it.

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/23/2012 3:21AM

    I love the costumes! Thank you for sharing!! I also walked a 5k today, same pace, same finish time. Great that you motivate people! Look at you, Spark Motivator! emoticon

What I find funny is that I am now walking faster than my previous walk/jog pace. I used to do a 16-17 min mile. I am now walking 13-14 min mile.

Great that you are doing these races. I love races! So much fun. Love the pageantry. Costumes, wackiness abounding....fun fun fun.

My next race is around Halloween and I'm considering dressing up. Any ideas? I usually just enjoy others' get ups. Maybe I can be part of the amusement. emoticon

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 11

Sunday, September 23, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

11. What do you like most about your body? Has what you like most about your changed as you've progressed towards your goals?

My easy answer to that has always been my hair and/or my eyes.

My hair has always been abundant. It's not entirely "thick", but there is just so much of it that a full ponytail is at least an inch in diameter if not more. (In the horror days of my stepmother's obsessive perming of all our hair, it would take 2-3 hours to get all the rollers in.) It also grows faster than average. I never had to worry about a bad cut or bangs too short. Give it a week and it would have grown in enough to look fine.

My eyes are a neat hazel that leans toward green. All of my siblings have some variation on hazel, but different shades. One sister is blue, one brother is brown, another brother is gray, the youngest sister's are very pale blue. Being hazel, their exact shade tends to vary depending on how light or dark it is (dilation of the pupil) and the colors I'm wearing. Sometimes they're almost an olive shade.

No, what I like about my body hasn't been changing as I work toward my goals. I do appreciate my muscles more, calves and biceps especially, as well as being kind of fascinated by certain bones like on my wrists. But hair and eyes remain my favorites.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKNYMOMWANNABE 9/23/2012 9:04AM

    shoulders, back, and feet when they work! emoticon Currently battling hair loss which is tough since it is part of the "package" Sometimes I focus on what I an do if the mirror is not so kind, I always appreciate the one foot in front of another thing!

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CIPHER1971 9/23/2012 3:47AM

    My crowning glory (hair) is one of my favorite features too emoticon

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MICHELLENRGZED 9/23/2012 3:39AM

    Wonderful! My hair's the same, & it's such a blessing. This was a particularly interesting question to me. :)

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/23/2012 3:00AM

    emoticon blog topic! It's important to appreciate ourselves. And the physical is part of us. We always need to ppreciate and care for our bodies. They can be a reflection of who we are inside. Your healthy appearance is reflecting your work in taking care of yourself. emoticon

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 10

Saturday, September 22, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

10. Why are you working towards the goal you talked about on Day 1? Particular health goal? Size goal? Activity goal? Vanity goal?

Well, the only goal I really mentioned in the Day 1 blog was the loose weight loss goal of 160 or 155 pounds. The reason why I have that goal set is, of all things, because SP can't calculate the calorie range unless I fill in more than just a pounds per week to lose - it wants a goal weight and a goal date. So I set one.

I don't have a particular health goal. If anything, it would be to continue being healthy - as defined by things like getting sick no more than once or twice a year, never for a long duration, or feeling alive and energetic. The why for that is the less health issues I have, the better I can enjoy the years until age has a huge impact.

Size I'm clueless about. I know I'll never be a 0. I have child-bearing hips and a large bust. No matter how "skinny" I get, my wrists will measure 7". I'm actually shocked to be wearing 12s (pants) right now. Maybe I'll be a 10 or even an 8 as I hit the healthy weight range. Medium shirts are snug in the one place that just isn't shrinking much. I don't expect to ever fit a Small. The only Why for size would be the comfort of having a broad selection of materials and styles to pick from.

Activity is my big one. I don't have specific numbers for most things, but I definitely have goals to someday do a full military pushup, perhaps a pullup, I don't plan to go for a Miss Universe body, but I'd like to keep pushing for a few years at least to see just how far my body can naturally go, what my genetics give me. After that, I hope to remain committed to doing weights work to maintain my Lean Body Mass. The why on this one includes such things as how much muscle we lose each year as we age. I want to minimize that future loss as well as maximize my muscle mass so I can age as "painlessly" as possible.

Vanity is the one I cringe and avoid settings goals for usually. The reasons are probably a blog of their own. I supposed one that was expressed without me thinking closely on it the very day I put my first picture up on SP - getting rid of the obvious double chin. That picture in the green shirt where my best friend noticed "bewbs", all I could see was my chin. That goal is mostly met, I'd say. I'm surprised in the mirror at times by how much longer my neck looks - between the chin receding and the shoulders flattening out. Another vanity area I think of is my abdomen / gut. I don't expect a flat or concave stomach, but I hope in time to lose enough excess weight that I can't grab the fat in both hands with plenty of spillover. (Yuck that sounds gross.) The last vanity area ties into my Activity goal - wanting to see how far I can go with muscles. I have no plans to get into a body-building level effort of cutting and bulking, but I would love to flex any muscle and see it working, see it without a blanket of excess fat.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RG_DFW 9/23/2012 6:25AM

    emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/23/2012 3:05AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GOING-STRONG 9/22/2012 11:43PM

    I never thought I would see the day where I could where a size small t-shirt... but I can.... and I bet eventually you will too!
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LYNDALOVES2HIKE 9/22/2012 10:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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FOXFIRENDTS 9/22/2012 10:21PM

    emoticon

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ROXYZMOM 9/22/2012 9:14PM

    Isn't it weird how we notice and don't totally physically like something about ourselves that no one else ever noticed? U never noticed - and still don't notice you with a double chin! Why do we do that to ourselves???

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FRANCES-AGAPE 9/22/2012 6:15PM

    emoticon

You have the right attitude,
which is a large part of the battle

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BLESSINGS !

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TALENKARR1 9/22/2012 5:24PM

    Vanity is one of the things we are taught not to have. But the truth is we don't want to look like; or moms, a blob, fat, so they can feel sexy, so on and so forth. And yes you have curves and trust me guys like that. (my friend is still bugging me to get your digits. I am very honest about mine. I don't want to be mistaken for my mom ....again. but i concure not being sick all the time is waaaaay better.

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