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PUSH Challenge Week Five Entry - A Picture of Confidence

Friday, February 04, 2011

This is a photo of me that also appears on my SparkPage and is my FB profile photo. It was taken on my fifth day in London, England. I weighed about 190 lbs in this photo, but I wasn't even thinking of my weight and it is one photo where I don't notice all of the little imperfections or bulges that only you tend to notice in photos of yourself.

I was so happy in the above photo. It was my second trip to Europe, my last day in London before heading to Paris the next day. I had dreamed of visiting London and many other places in Europe for years and after putting off my dreams for a lack of time, a lack of money, and a lack of company able to travel with me I finally made a decision to find a way not to delay and achieve at least one of my dreams. I was going to make it happen. My first trip involved a low cost bus tour visiting Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Budapest. Instead of quenching my desire to travel, see, and experience the world, it just increased it. And after hearing my fellow tour members talk about London and Paris I just knew I had to go there next.

In 2009 I booked a seat on a bus tour visiting London and Paris which caters primarily to single travellers, all in the 18 to 35 age range. I also added two extra days on in each London and Paris at a reduced rate through the tour company. My first tour experience gave me confidence that I could travel on my own without the safety net of a tour group the entire time, use public transit, eat in good restaurants on my own, and navigate through unfamiliar cities. Thus, my unforgettable trip to London and Paris was born.

The purpose of this challenge blog is to find a photo of yourself where you feel confident and happy in the photo and explain why. So, I think I am so happy and full of confidence in the above photo because I have just had an amazing five days fulfilling one of my passions. I was seeing new places, experiencing new things, and meeting new people. It was a rush! London is an amazing city filled with a great energy, but still has a connection to its past and slow, quiet moments can still be found within it. I was feeling all of that and more.

What I would like to keep from that photo is my sense of adventure and knowing that I can accomplish my dreams. There is always a way, it just may not be the most conventional. And it is always worth it to try new things, visit new places, and meet new people. What is keeping me going right now is planning for my next trip and trying to figure out how to accomplish it. Croatia here I come!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEAGLASSQUEEN 2/11/2011 6:50AM

    My dreambook helped me get to a place where I want to be...healthy in mind body and soul. That said, I do have a dream board now with pictures of places and things that I would like to do.
I see you live near a beach, do you beach comb?
I think that soon you will be posting a picture of yourself in Croatia!!

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HIPPICHICK1 2/5/2011 12:45PM

    I too would love to travel more, but lack of money keeps me from doing so. I recently bought a lottery ticket but haven't checked it yet. Hey! I could be a millionaire and not even know it!!
I love your sense of adventure!

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WOLFKITTY 2/5/2011 3:34AM

    OH yes, ADVENTURE!! What a wonderful take-away. Thanks for sharing this for the PUSH challenge. Best of luck!!


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10K Training Program Update

Friday, July 30, 2010

As a part of the DONE Girls' Fun in the Sun Challenge I have decided to train to complete a 10 km run. The decision to participate in this challenge was an easy one for me since I had already decided to attempt this training plan on my own. I needed a new challenge and something to work towards after completing the C25K training program. As a part of my employer's healthy living program they offered all employees the opportunity to participate in one of the Running Room's online training programs free of charge. As a part of this online training program it provided a ten week training program to build up endurance to run a 10K race using the Stanton method of run ten, walk one. However, after completing five weeks of the training program I had to give it a rest due to a knee injury. It was incredibly frustrating and disappointing due to my Type A personality. I wanted to be able to complete the program as planned, perfectly, without delay. Instead I had to rest for a full two weeks without any training, and I was ready to start training again just at the start of the FITS challenge with a new plan.

My knee injury has slowed me down, but I am slowly building up my endurance again. If all goes well, by the end of the FITS challenge I should be able to run 10 km at a steady pace using the Stanton method. This is based on me amending my original Running Room training plan. I now only run at most three times per week and have at least one rest day in between running days. So far my training has been going well. I have managed to fit in all of my planned training sessions, but it has been hard on the weekends. Summer is a busy time, especially on the weekends, and to find the extra time to fit in an hour long run when the heat and humidity isn't too stifling has been hard. There have been both early morning and late evening runs to try to fit them in.

I have found that running in the early morning is definitely harder on me. My run times in the morning have been longer and my motivation definitely isn't as strong. This confirms what I already believed about myself, I am not a morning person. It doesn't help that if I have to run before work, I don't have time and it upsets my stomach to eat right before I leave for my run and my energy reserves are low. So, evenings have been key to successful runs, especially when there is a little bit of a breeze, no bugs, falling temperatures, and I've eaten supper at least one hour before my run to restore my energy reserves.

Since I have approached my revised training program my knees haven't been bothering me as much. This slower, extended training program rather than what was proposed by the Running Room's system is definitely working and my run times are improving too. However, not pushing myself too far too fast and overtraining has been difficult, but I know it is better for me in the long run. Every once and a while my knees will tweak with pain, but I just slow down to a walk until the pain is gone and start paying more attention to my running surface, making sure that I stay on the most even terrain. Tonight I completed a 8 km run for the first time. It was supposed to be a long, slow run. My knees are now a little bit stiff, but there wasn't any pain. I guess I'll find out tomorrow if extending my distance caused any problems. Fingers crossed that there is no additional pain or stiffness and I can continue with my training program as planned.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HIPPICHICK1 8/1/2010 10:03PM

    My fingers are crossed for you too!!
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AMBER281 7/30/2010 10:48PM

    Glad to hear that things are working out for you!! Good job on changing your training schedule to allow for your knee to properly rest in between runs!

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Revising my weight Loss Goal

Monday, March 01, 2010

With each week I have been thinking more and more about my weight loss goal. Like many people I set my weight loss goal when I first signed up for SP in 2007 and had a large amount of weight to lose. I had been overweight for almost all of my life, so I had no idea what weight I would look good at with my current height and build. So, I picked a number. 150 lbs. That was 65 lbs to lose and seemed huge to me, so very far away in the future.

Now that I am 4 lbs away from my goal I've started to re-evaluate my goal. It has taken me over two years, and a bit of back sliding and lack of commitment, but I can see the finish line now. My original goal was achievable. However, I'm starting to see the flaws in my original goal. It still leaves me with an overweight BMI, I still can't manage to fit into regular size 10 jeans, but a size 12 is too big, and there are still some stores where I can't find anything that looks good and fits me properly. I am close to achieving a number on the scale, but I haven't achieved all of my other weight associated goals.

So, here I am re-evaluating my target weight. What is the right number??? Is there ever a right number? How much difference will an extra 5 lbs make. So, I'm thinking I will re-adjust my target weight loss to 145 lbs. It is still achievable in my time frame, before my trip to Scotland & Ireland, and it will put me in the top end of the healthy BMI range. From there who knows. I'll probably re-evaluate again once I hit 149 lbs to see if I want to can lose more. So, here I go . . . . 145 lbs here I come!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELYMWX 3/5/2010 8:13PM

    "Everyday do one thing that scares you. " Changing goals is indeed scary - I recently changed my goal from 180 to 165 (and I'm further away from 180 than you are from 150!)

"Fortune Favors Fools" I just hope that we aren't fools!

You can do this!

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EVESRUN 3/4/2010 8:36PM

    Excellent job on being so close to your weight-loss goals! I think it's smart that you are going to just see what happens if you lose a few more pounds...everyone is different and only you know what's best. Congrats on getting so far and being such a wonderful inspriration!

Comment edited on: 3/4/2010 8:36:30 PM

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HIPPICHICK1 3/3/2010 1:04PM

    I'm glad that you've made a new goal weight for yourself. I don't know if 150 is right for me, but I chose that number over a year and a half ago. I too would still be overweight at 150 and a healthy right-in-the-middle BMI for me is 130 lbs. I can't imagine me at 130. I was very, very close to 300 lbs back in 1995.
BMI doesn't take into account a well-muscled body, so who knows what weight is really "right" for anyone? All we can do is work on what we would like to see in the mirror, without going overboard or getting obsessed.

Comment edited on: 3/3/2010 1:16:11 PM

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JLUVSHIKIN 3/2/2010 12:16PM

    Yep.... as you know from reading my blogs that I will probably be adjusting my goal again once I reach it. Like you I believe my BMI will still not be appropriate and too high. Though I am older than you... but that isn't an excuse! Just a reality to being older and trying to loose that belly fat.
I was reading the other day that any waist measurement over 35" is not healthy. And here I sit at 36".
Great job at keeping at it.... even when we fall off.... getting back on is half the battle!
Keep up the good work.... spring is coming.....

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BUSIBODI 3/1/2010 10:14PM

    I'm having a similar dilemma. Everyone's body is different and we all carry weight very differently. At 140 I was in a tight size 10, where as I've seen some women at 135 in a 6! The "right" weight for you is up to you. You have done a great job to gt to where you are, but if this weight doesn't "feel and look" the way you expected, keep working at it. Eventually you will find the right weight and you will know when you reach it without stepping on a scale or looking in a mirror.

WooHoo! Keep it going girl - You are a Losing Lady!

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PRINCESSPEACH8 3/1/2010 7:18PM

    Wow, I'm impressed that you are so close to your goals and you've stuck with it for 2 years! Awesome!! Congratulations being so close to your goal weight. There's nothing wrong with rethinking your goals, it's actually probably a very healthy thing to do, for your mind not just your body. You can totally torch those last few pounds before your trip!!!

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KOSHIE1 3/1/2010 3:26PM

    Cool! Awesome!
What you have done is amazing!
To persist over 2 years! And be a sneeze away from goal!
OF COURSE it is fine to re-think! Hopefully, you've been re-thinking and reassessing all along. Yes there is a right number. It is the number at which you feel healthy and happy and can maintain easily and the doctor says you are still fine.

Since you are still motivated to lose more, and still overweight, I'd go for it. IMO, aim to go 3 pounds under goal. Then, practice going no more than 3 pounds over goal weight EVER. This gives you a slight cushion every day, and a healthy range of weight maintenance. If you ever get more than 3 extra pounds over goal weight, you diet until you are 3 pounds under goal, and then return to maintaining your loss...

All in all, congratulations! Enjoy your travels!

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Lazy Day . . . .

Saturday, February 20, 2010

For all intents and purposes I had intended to get in a great workout at the gym today, then work on last year's taxes which I still haven't filed, do some laundry, grocery shop, and clean the house. Instead I have done none of it. The day is wasting away and I don't feel guilty about it. Instead I laid in bed, surfed the net, read some romantic fluff, drank tea, and had breakfast in bed. I then had a nap. So, I basically didn't roll out of bed until almost 3PM. Normally, I don't nap, but today I've just been so tired.

I'm trying not to feel guilty about it. I can't remember the last time I spent so much time laying around and not doing anything of substance. Work has been crazy for the last two months and I've been busy on weekends. It doesn't help that I'm experiencing my TOM, so I think I was just ready to crash. I think I needed today to just relax and decompress. I think next up will be a nice, long bubble bath with the jets going.

So, tomorrow will be back to regularly scheduled programming with a trip to the gym, laundry, and grocery shopping. It all still has to get done, just not today. Today is time for me to rest, recover, and spoil myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HARROWJET 2/22/2010 12:28PM

    Sometimes we need just such a day. Usually after a good rest, a person feels revived and ready to do all the tasks that were ignored during the nap. It sounds like it was worthwhile so drop the guilt. emoticon

Judy emoticon

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JLUVSHIKIN 2/21/2010 12:42AM

    We all need an occasional day like that. I hope you allowed yourself to enjoy it!

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LADYSNOWFALL 2/20/2010 7:39PM

    Sometimes it's good to have a lazy day. It gives our bodies and minds a chance to recover from our hectic lives. So, GOOD FOR YOU!



PS I'm having a lazy day too! There's farm work to be done and it can darn well wait until tomorrow. Today, I'm just enjoying the sunshine!

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AOGOAE 2/20/2010 6:22PM

    ohh that sounds like a nice day- I did the super busy thing that you had planned today and while it's nice to be done with my taxes I kind of want a nap too. hmm- the day is young yet. naptime!

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HIPPICHICK1 2/20/2010 4:30PM

    If you feel the need to rest, then rest you should. There is no point in moving if your body isn't willing and your week sounded a little hellacious, so who can blame you? Your day sound absolutely glorious and the next time I need a day like that I'm going to refuse to feel guilty about it. Thanks for reminding us that we need decompression time every now and then.
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PRINCESSPEACH8 2/20/2010 4:02PM

    From the way you described your week, you certainly deserve a guilt-free day of spoiling yourself. Sometimes we all just need a break to help recharge. Enjoy every restful second of your day. emoticon emoticon

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Frustrated by Technology

Friday, February 19, 2010

I just finished writing a long blog about whether or not I should go to the gym this afternoon and feeling guilty about taking rest days. Just to stop all of you who say I should go to the gym I should also mention that I have already gotten in a 20 minute power walk and have completed my calories burned goal for the week.

Just as I was to run my spell check and then post the blog my internet connection went down, my IE stopped responding, and my Outlook locked up. So, my nice blog is lost. I then had to re-boot my computer and I could not establish a network connection. I got an authentication failure notification. This has been happening frequently lately but the IT people seemed to be stumped. My office is located at a satellite site on a construction project. I am the only person from my company, so I can't even check with someone else to see if it is just me. Then all of a sudden my connection will re-establish itself. Today it took rebooting my computer twice and waiting over an hour. To kill time I started to read my Rick Steves' guidebook for Scotland. Nothing like daydreaming about your vacation to pass the time!

At the same time while I waited for my network connection to re-establish itself I felt impotent. I am waiting for information from my architect and mechanical design engineer to respond to questions from a grant administrator for a grant that I applied for and is in the evaluation process. Unfortunately with this grant they only accept electronic communication, so I couldn't even call them to tell them the information was coming. And to give some perspective this grant is valued at somewhere between $700,000 and $1.2 million. So, there are big stakes tied to this grant. Who knew not being able to send or receive email could be so stressful??? Thank goodness it is Friday! I need some time away from here to decompress. Once 5PM roles around, in about 11 minutes, there is nothing I can do about it until Monday morning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LADYSNOWFALL 2/20/2010 7:37PM

    Oooh! I hear you! Before I met my husband, I struggled with Technology. I frustrated and annoyed the IT guys at my job. Then, I transferred offices, worked nights where I was the one in charge and the IT guys were all at home, asleep when I was working. Yes, things still broke and frustrated me! But then, I met my husband. While we were dating he'd come to my office and fix things for me. Because, well, besides being a great boyfriend then, he is also like King of the Techno-Geeks! Unfortunately, he calls me an "IT Nightmare". Guess it's a good thing he loves me!

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PRINCESSPEACH8 2/19/2010 7:07PM

    That's so frustrating! I hate when that happens to me when I write something up and lose everything do to technology. I can't even imagine how frustrating it must be to be at work and not able to do anything because of it. Treat yourself to some relaxation, sounds like you deserve it after today! Hopefully Monday is much easier!

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SARAHF_24 2/19/2010 5:13PM

    I have been having problems with SP for the last couple of days. Sometimes it will load and then 2 seconds later it wont do anything. Its very frustrating!

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HIPPICHICK1 2/19/2010 4:28PM

    OMG!! How stressful! I recommend a good stiff drink upon arrival at home. ( And just so you can, work out tomorrow to make up for booze consumption.)

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TOTHEFUTURE1 2/19/2010 4:11PM

    I have had problems with Sp site and "internet explorer". I get upset at the unreliability of the internet. However it is here to stay. I am in Au and seems we don't have as good of Internet as other countries. Enjoyed your blog and sympathize with your frustration.

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