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BROOKLYN_BORN's Recent Blog Entries

Can you give a whole team a Goodie?

Monday, October 29, 2012

First, I want to thank those who have been reading my blogs. After 3 years of being totally mute on SP, suddenly the words are tumbling out and through my keyboard.

In addition I would like to thank whole teams. Two in particular – Maintenance and Masters Runners. Finding a niche has changed my attitude. Instead of being overwhelmed with the hundreds of thousands of Sparkers and lost in the maze of information, I have a home – a couple of homes actually – and a few more I plan to visit more often.

Ok, I suppose you are my “imaginary” friends and acquaintances, but we are united in a common purpose nonetheless. Reading about your successes, setbacks and plans to improve encourage me to strive to be a better person in all areas of life.

One of the trivia questions last week was whether or not Sparkers who participate in Community are more successful than those who don’t. The answer was TRUE and although I hover at the 66% correct mark, this time I guessed right figuring that it wouldn’t have been asked if it wasn’t true.

I really believe it.

So thank you all. You’re making my mornings brighter and strengthening my resolve to continue this journey. Now I’m off to the gym in a rainstorm, the beginning of Sandy, I suppose. If I didn’t start my day here, I might have just pulled the covers over my head and gone back to sleep.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TINAJANE76 11/7/2012 8:27AM

    Thank YOU too! It's wonderful to hear so many new voices, especially from maintainers, here on SP. Please keep on blogging and sharing your thoughts and journey.

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KANOE10 10/31/2012 6:50AM

    That was such a nice blog. I begin with Spark also before I head off for exercise. The support is amazing. I love your blogs and like your style of writing. Keep the words coming!


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WATERMELLEN 10/30/2012 2:10PM

    It's really true for me too . . . the people I've met here are a huge motivation to keep on keeping on!

(also: loved your blog about getting faster relatively as you get older . . . wish I could still run sigh)

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DEBBY4576 10/29/2012 4:19PM

    You are a doll. So Uplifting to read your blogs, and your zest for life.

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BOILHAM 10/29/2012 12:26PM

    You do have some interesting blogs. Keep reading my blogs if you want to hear about setbacks and plans to improve. I've got a million of 'em.

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ONMYMEDS 10/29/2012 11:38AM

    I dunno, I feel pretty concrete for being "imaginary".


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MJZHERE 10/29/2012 9:50AM

    I.too, am glad you are here. Really enjoy your blogs, insight, and humor. Thank you for contributing and being such an active member.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/29/2012 8:50AM

    Thank YOU! Once you decided to become active on SP, you've been a star contributor, as far as I'm concerned!

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PDQ1203 10/29/2012 8:49AM


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CELIAMINER 10/29/2012 8:48AM

    Such nice words! I'm glad you're here and pouring your heart out in your blogs!

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I wanted to win something and suddenly I did!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

This is what I was writing yesterday.

I want to win the lottery
I want to win a raffle
I want to win something major on the SP wheel
I want to win an age group award at my next race.

The first 3 are just luck, the type that I don’t seem to have lately.
The last one maybe I have some control over. I’m not fast, but my times haven’t changed much over the last 25 years either. So, comparatively, I’m getting better. There just aren’t that many women in the 65+ age group so there’s less competition than there used to be. Men are a different story. There’s still a bunch of old guys out there and some of them are FAST!

Sometimes, a real speedy woman or two shows up in my age group. They usually have something in common. They’re petite, wiry and run like energizer bunnies. I admire excellence and give them lots of credit for their ability and achievement even if I do groan to myself a bit when I see them at the starting line.

Now I need to edit. The extra spin popup appeared on my screen. I clicked and there were 500 Goodie Points! Complete with an explanation of how to use them! Wow, maybe my luck is changing? Got to go buy that raffle ticket.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAYLAGETFIT 11/9/2012 4:56PM

  Did you pick up a lottery and raffle ticket!? :D Love the blog!

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DEBBY4576 10/28/2012 5:03PM

    The only place I EVER win is Sparks, and the goodies. And not very often. Guess we have to keep trying for personal bests though. The lottery? My husband keeps hoping for that!

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MISSILENE 10/28/2012 3:58PM

    We are all lucky.. We are sparkmembers

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MNNICE 10/28/2012 2:01PM

    I always say I'm so unlucky I can't even get my name drawn for jury duty! But we can always keep hoping - never know when luck may change!

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SUZYMOBILE 10/28/2012 12:06PM

    They say that if you envision what you want hard enough, the universe will provide it! emoticon

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MJZHERE 10/28/2012 10:29AM

    I'm impressed that you run the races! I use to love to run - the wind in my face, that speed under me as my horse flew through the woods emoticon Seriously, big kiddos to anyone who gets out there and runs - race or no race. Here's rooting for you for that next race!!

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CELIAMINER 10/28/2012 10:25AM

    Hope you spent those Goodie points on you, because you're worth it!

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/28/2012 10:09AM

    Congrats on your SP haul! I am just impressed with anyone who runs and participates in races. That is beyond what I can do at this stage (not that I ever enjoyed running but it was nice to have as an option, LOL). Hope you win a race and good luck with any lottery attempts!

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ONEKIDSMOM 10/28/2012 9:27AM

    Yep! And go run that next race... you might just surprise yourself! I know I have!

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NELLJONES 10/28/2012 9:18AM

    Good luck with the lottery today.

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KANOE10 10/28/2012 9:08AM

    Hope you good luck continues. I would love to win the lottery.

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WILSONWR 10/28/2012 8:42AM

    I'm a competitive person also, and my weight gain over the past several years was keeping me from doing the challenging things I used to do. I'm on the "road to recovery," though. I don't know if I'll every be an "energizer bunny" again, but I definitely hope to be more active!

I'm glad your luck is changing - I've only gotten 2s and 3s on the wheel this past week! (sigh...)

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BOILHAM 10/28/2012 8:42AM

    If you are serious about winning an AG award, look for races with a smaller turnout. My DW won 2nd place at the age of 64 in one such race. There were 2 runners in her
AG. She won by showing up for the race.
I see those little wiry ladies running all the time. Just 'born to run' aren't they?

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MISSUSRIVERRAT 10/28/2012 8:07AM

    Interesting blog to me. I think I am not that competitive really. But I have always had a desire to "achieve greatness." That always seemed to involve a certain amount of noteriety in other people's inventing something that would help others.
Have no idea what I would do to fulfil that need, but I just can't shake it!

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JILLIEWILLIE1 10/28/2012 7:59AM

    Don't forget the Powerball or MegaMillions ticket! You may be on a streak!

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Shopping the perimeter of the supermarket. Finally, I’m doing it automatically!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Yesterday, I actually had to ask an employee where to find the cake mix. Suddenly, the location of candy for Trick or Treaters was a mystery to me.

This is what happened. As I walk into my supermarket, the produce is on my right. I always need fruits and vegetables. As I proceed counterclockwise around the store, I don’t even break stride as I toss my 100% WW bread into the cart, averting my eyes from the bakery on my right. Straight ahead is meat. Let’s see what’s on sale. Skinless, boneless chicken breast and a turkey breast to cook and slice for sandwiches - good! Turning left, the dairy section is along the back wall. Organic yogurt, eggs, egg beaters, reduced fat cheese, 2% milk and OJ – all staples needed in my fridge.

One more left turn and I’m in the immense frozen food section. Avoiding the sale on ice cream (Oops, I mean frozen dairy dessert), I pick up a package of Skinny Cow ice cream bars, a lot more expensive per unit, but I’m worth it. Birdseye “steamfresh” vegetables are on sale – very good to have available, especially in the winter. A couple of Healthy Choice Steamers needed too. Some days I’m just not cooking and I don’t stress over this.

A few quick detours to grab pasta, olive oil, peanut butter and oatmeal since I know exactly where to find those and to inquire about the above mentioned Halloween candy and cake mix. (Thank you SP- spice cake mix + pumpkin = muffins - Betty Crocker, I’m not!). Then I’m done and ready to check-out.

Disclaimer: Some of you know that I live with the Junk Food King and he DOES know where to find the pop tarts, snack cakes etc. He also buys the cleaning supplies. I cook and do laundry. He cleans. This arrangement has worked for 45 years. I’d be happy to add the cleaning supplies to my list if he would abandon his solo shopping trips. Sadly, that’s another story.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAYLAGETFIT 11/9/2012 4:47PM

  WOW! That is awesome! I still go up and down every single aisle!

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MIZINA730 10/27/2012 4:02PM

    Amusing. You sound like me in the grocery store. You also just gave everyone a lesson on making a marriage work.


Comment edited on: 10/27/2012 4:03:59 PM

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LAINYC 10/27/2012 12:55PM


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MANDELOVICH 10/27/2012 12:48PM


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MOOSLADY 10/27/2012 10:57AM

    Shopping the perimeter would be more of a reality if they put flour, oats, nuts and dried fruits out there too. Interesting the you start at the front and work your way around. I start at the back and work my way toward the check out. That way my produce ends up on top.

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NELLJONES 10/27/2012 10:10AM

    I shop my aisles, which works great until they decide to rearrange the store. Then I have to find my oil and mustard again.

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KANOE10 10/27/2012 9:43AM

    Great job of making healthy choices. I cannot stay in the bakery..too many old memories..


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WILSONWR 10/27/2012 8:55AM

    You have better control than me! While I don't buy too much junk food any more, I still get tempted with other higher calorie foods.

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RAPUNZEL53 10/27/2012 8:33AM

  emoticon emoticon

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Mom, you’re not exactly Donna Reed – An apology to my children

Friday, October 26, 2012

The Donna Reed observation was my teenage son reacting to my news that I had agreed to host a German exchange student. Her host family had backed out at the last minute.

From “Nick at Night,” he knew Donna Reed – the 60s sitcom icon of perfect homemaker with a perfect family. Our family of 5 was more along the lines of this. At the end of the work/school day let’s make sure everyone is fed, washed, with clean clothes, sports/band practices/music lessons completed, homework done and carpools managed. Perfection was never on our radar.

Needless to say, fast food and mother’s helper, Stouffers Entrees, were commonplace. It may be strange to imagine now, but I didn’t think there was much difference between the hamburgers and fries at McDs and the ones I made at home. OK, they were “home” fries cooked in butter with onions, not French Fries. Wasn’t their “shake” the same thing as I made in the blender with milk and malt? I left out the raw egg my mother used to throw in there to “build me up.” I grew up eating Brooklyn pizza so what was wrong with Pizza Hut?

I know there was some who limited their family to specific kinds of food. I even knew one who never watched TV. By choice, they didn’t even HAVE a TV. For me and mine that wasn’t how we lived. Busy, active and fit with no weight problems in sight, we ate like typical Americans.

Returning now to the German exchange student. She was an attractive blonde that my 14 year old son definitely approved of and welcomed to our home. She arrived and announced she was a vegetarian! A what?? The home cooking that I did do always involved meat – a good amount of meat. Whole chicken or turkey in the oven, baked BBQ chicken, pot roast, pork chops or some ground beef thing in the crock pot. My lasagna and spaghetti always had meat sauce. What on earth would I fill the plate with? Fortunately, SHE liked to cook. What a treasure! My favorite food had always been whatever somebody else made and put in front of me.

Cordelia was living with us as the Berlin Wall fell – the world was changing. By the time she left us, our little world had changed too. It was the beginning of paying attention to what we were eating, although we never became vegetarians.

Did I lose weight as a result of eating healthier? Actually no. First of all, the bad choices didn’t disappear overnight and I learned that I was perfectly capable of eating enormous quantities of healthy food too. I was always active and never technically overweight to begin with. However, I do credit my sudden awareness for the fact that as the obesity epidemic grew, I didn’t add to the 25 extra pounds I was already carrying.

I’m sorry I wasn’t more aware of nutrition when my children were young. Fortunately all three were active, fit and of normal weight. I’m old enough to remember the resistance of companies to listing the nutritional values on grocery labels, let alone posting/publicizing them at restaurants. In pre-Internet days the information wouldn’t have been easy to find even if I had been so inclined.

Parents want their children to do better than they did in all areas of life. At least in this one area it will be easier for them to make the right choices. Of course, it’s still up to them to do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAYLAGETFIT 11/9/2012 4:54PM

  I can only hope that my developing healthy habits and changing our lifestyle now will positively impact the choices my children make. Of course, kids will be kids and usually will want to choose the sweet treats over the apple. They still don't understand why I don't like McDonald's.

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MIZINA730 10/27/2012 4:13PM

    That's funny - my older two laughed at the idea that I was June Cleaver! "You're not June Cleaver, mom!" they said with mirth. I was speaking about the aspect that I was a SAHM. I don't know exactly what they meant and I didn't care to find out. But they always said I did things "perfectly" when it came to food. According to them, that meant having plenty of home-baked treats in the house but plenty of fruits and vegetables to snack on too. I left it up to them to decide what they would have. I felt a kid is a kid, but give them the opportunity to choose wisely. Today, they are both 30ish, slim, and healthy.

Regarding foreign exchange students,we had one from Norway in our little town, and one of the biggest surprises to her is how much packaged and convenience food we eat in this country. They do don't that in her country. She said her mom works full time and bakes their own bread from scratch. It's routine over there for everybody! That was sure food for thought.

Comment edited on: 10/27/2012 4:18:29 PM

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WILSONWR 10/26/2012 8:43PM

    What a great experience!

I was raised in a large family with few healthy food choices - country ham, pinto beans, cornbread, and fried potatos were common. It's no wonder that I'm having a time adjusting to healthy eating (but I AM beginiing to like it!!)

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SUZYMOBILE 10/26/2012 6:04PM

    You've done it again! Another readable, spot-on-Spark-topic blog! Plus, who would've thunk that a wholesome, cheese-and-bread-fed German fraulein would transform an all-American family's eating habits?

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MJZHERE 10/26/2012 10:47AM

    I always enjoy your blogs. Thanks for writing.

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/26/2012 10:00AM

    Kids need a "Good enough mother," not a perfect one. And in being good enough, you are perfect to them. :-)

My own mother, who is a fabulous cook and always gave us balanced meals, also baked delicious desserts multiple times a week and even introduced me to one of my favorite meals back in my youth -- a hot dog, cut along the top into which you put strips of cheddar cheese, and wrapped it all in bacon, then broiled in the toaster oven. Served with a marble to insert directly into your heart, LOL. It was the 70's and nutrition was a whole different world than today.

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NELLJONES 10/26/2012 9:30AM

    I joined WW when my first son was just a couple of months old, and I learned to cook on WW. My kids grew up with home cooked legal food in growing boy quantities. The longer you live on Plan, people other than you will benefit. They now feed their own kids well.

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KANOE10 10/26/2012 8:50AM

    I also wish I had paid more attention to nutrition for my kids when raising them. I was always on a diet and busy being Donna Reed.

Good blog. emoticon

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BOILHAM 10/26/2012 7:59AM

    I'll give you a pass, Donna Reed is a purty tough benchmark to achieve.

DW always used her as an example of what she was not as well. Peg Bundy, maybe, LOL.

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ELRIDDICK 10/26/2012 7:24AM

  Thanks for sharing

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Running on Empty – My Car vs. My Body

Thursday, October 25, 2012

My car’s gas tank is always in the red zone according to my husband. He wonders how I can go so far on “fumes.” It’s just laziness on my part. I hate to spend the time at the pump so I do it as infrequently as possible.

This is not the case with my body’s fuel tank. I’m filling it all the time, especially in the morning about an hour before my workout. Most days “workout” means running. Twice a week it’s aerobics/weights class at the gym and a short tm session.

Yesterday the morning included some unusual events and as I began my run I realized that I hadn’t eaten breakfast. That had to be the first time in a decade. I seemed to be running OK in the beginning, but my stomach was growling as if to say, “where’s the WW toast, peanut butter and OJ you’ve been giving me every day”?

It was a strange sensation. I realized 2 cups of coffee and a menthol cough drop were not enough to keep me going. Come on, body! Can’t you use some of that fat that persistently clings to my thighs and rear end? There’s plenty of fuel there. What are you waiting for? A famine? Get busy converting it! My body did not listen to my orders and I kept slowing down and finally quit, planning to get back out there after lunch.

I know people who workout on an empty stomach and some who skip breakfast entirely all the time. Obviously, I’ll never be in that group. As for my car, my Dad used to complain about my gasoline habits too. He said that when I let the tank get that low, all the gunk is dredged up from the bottom and circulates through the engine hurting its performance. I wonder if there’s a parallel with my body?

Well, now back to the fat burning articles and advice. Maybe I should fiddle with my “octane levels?” I have more to learn.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHAYLAGETFIT 11/2/2012 1:37PM

  Love the comparison! :D

I am gonna have to add you and share your blogs!

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LADYPIXEL 10/25/2012 11:56AM

    I gotta have my breakfast before I even consider doing anything of significant worth, now. I don't know why that is, but I do know that for years I never ate breakfast... and I never did anything of significant worth, either. :)

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PHEBESS 10/25/2012 11:46AM

    I can't do any kind of workout without a little something beforehand. My blood sugar just plummets.

So yeah, eat a little something. Or, at LEAST a little something. (Word is EAT, not drink, LOL!)

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WILLOWBROOK5 10/25/2012 11:18AM

    My workouts are less intense than running (walking, step aeroibics, stationary bike) so the only time I eat before exercising is when I walk on the beach since I go for 2-3 hours. But once I am finished with my exercise, I am eating breakfast soon after.

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NELLJONES 10/25/2012 9:06AM

    It takes running out of gas on a busy highway to cure you of the one problem, and maybe passing out to cure you of the other. Which can happen. It will be embarrassing to come to with paramedics hanging over you starting the IV and you have to tell them you just forgot to eat. I have a friend who can tell you all about it.

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PMRUNNER 10/25/2012 8:53AM

    I always enjoy your blogs! I am with you, if I don't eat before working out, my performance tanks.

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SUZYMOBILE 10/25/2012 8:52AM

    I'm not running, but I do my morning walk before breakfast. One of my SP friends is after me to eatt first, but I treat it as a reward after walking, so it's a habit. And walking gets me hungry for breakfast, which is good. What's "tm"?

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KANDOLAKER 10/25/2012 8:15AM

    I'm with you, can't get by without eating breakfast. Eating in the morning must be like a "fire starter" - need to get my body fired up to move and then (hopefully) burn some of the extra fuel onboard. emoticon

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AZMOMXTWO 10/25/2012 7:51AM

  I always eat a little before I do anything that way my body knows it will not "run out of fuel" si it starts to burn more

have a good day

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ELRIDDICK 10/25/2012 7:50AM

  Thanks for sharing

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