CELIAMINER   156,653
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CELIAMINER's Recent Blog Entries

Fitbit - Location is Everything

Friday, May 31, 2013

This morning I wore a cool sport dress to work, since it's casual Friday and a hot one at that. I went out for my walk early and clipped my Fitbit to the dress pocket. I had noticed when I got to work that the step count seemed low to that point. I know how roughly how many steps I take between my house and the office. So I decided to do some tests by counting my steps, and I noted that my Fitbit was missing 7-10% of my steps. Once I clipped it to my top, the count became more accurate. Just an observation.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKRHONDA 6/13/2013 9:25AM

    I agree with others who have observed that the clipping in to the bra seems to be pretty accurate. It also works great in the little "watch pocket" on my jeans (facing in so I don't brush it off).

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SHARON10002 6/1/2013 11:41PM

    I don't own one, but this is an interesting observation. You would think the closer to the hip the more accurate the count.
Stay cool this weekend! It was a warm one today! emoticon

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PINKNFITCARLA 6/1/2013 1:27PM

    Interesting. I always wear mine clipped to my bra. Seems to work fine and is always within 100 steps of my bodymedia. I had paid for that membership til January, so I still wear it even though I don't need it.

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BESSHAILE 6/1/2013 6:46AM

    Yeah - I wear my ActiveLink on my bra strap. But then, I like to pat it during the day, as if it were a talisman.

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MANDELOVICH 5/31/2013 8:38PM

    Seems like it likes bras better than pants for me!

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MANDELOVICH 5/31/2013 8:38PM

    Seems like it likes bras better than pants for me!

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 5/31/2013 7:20PM

    I agree! Mine lives in my bra on the top left facing in. Seems to be pretty accurate. :)

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KAB7801 5/31/2013 11:27AM

    Thanks for the tip
Kim

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GINGERHAWK 5/31/2013 10:32AM

    I've noticed this as well. As long as it's on a well-fitting waistband or my bra, it seems fairly accurate but I struggle with other locations.

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JANET552 5/31/2013 10:26AM

    Good to know. I don't have my FitBit yet but I should be getting it soon.

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DIBANANA 5/31/2013 10:14AM

  I usually wear mine in the middle of my bra, facing in. It seems to be pretty accurate. I have counted 100 steps and checked and it was within 2

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BUSYGRANNY5 5/31/2013 9:39AM

    I have noticed the same thing with my Fitbit and 100% agree... location, location, location!

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KALIGIRL 5/31/2013 9:06AM

    I bought the Flex and love it - tap to register going to sleep, set (buzzing) alarms several times a day and best of all I can swim in it!

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A Painful Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

There I was, feeling smug that I had just barely caught the early bus so I could get to work early and take a longer walk. On the transfer from the bus to the subway, though, things changed. I make that walk four days a week (the other I telework) with no problem, but today, a grate on the sidewalk lifted up and tripped me, throwing me into the street and causing me to hit my head hard, bend my glasses frame, and get bruised and scraped. Since I seemed to be in working order and with no reasonable way to get home at that hour, I continued on and thought I would walk anyway. By the time I got to work, though, the head and neck hurt enough that all I could think of was the two hours until I could see the office nurse, so I let the experience keep me from my walk. Rats. Now the pain has subsided (though I will still see the nurse to get the head scrape attended to and get her professional opinion), but I feel as if I let this event be an excuse not to exercise. Still hoping to get my walk in later.

Edit: Thanks, everyone, for your concern! I didn't get a cardio walk in, but I did get 10,000 steps just by walking in the mall and in stores. I walked the length of Potomac Mills mall from Lenscrafters, where I got my bent glasses frame fixed, to the far end to check out the new Columbia outlet store, hoping they had the Armadale dress so I could see it, but they didn't. Then I needed to go to the grocery store and pharmacy, where I walked around till my prescriptions were ready. At any rate, taking it easy was the right thing to do yesterday. The visit to the doc was also the right thing to do just to make sure.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NONIE_C 5/29/2013 12:18PM

    Ouch! I'm sorry to hear about the bump in your daily road, but I'm encouraged at how you handled it. And, IMHO, you did not use your injuries as an excuse, because not only did you still get walking in, you were showing great self care in just taking it easy after getting knocked around. Sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is to take it easy. Hope your bumps and scrapes heal quickly.

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GOING-STRONG 5/29/2013 10:59AM

    Ouch! Glad to hear that you came out of that adventure okay. Last year I had a freak accident sort of similar to yours. I was getting in my car when a huge gust of wind blew my car door into me knocking me to the ground, My glasses flew off under the car and it was dark and raining hard. What a mess I was. At least I was on my way home from work rather than the other way around!

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KAB7801 5/24/2013 10:03PM

    Watch out for rising grates. emoticon
Potomoc mills is very familiar to me
Kim

Comment edited on: 5/24/2013 10:07:00 PM

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_LINDA 5/24/2013 12:29AM

    So very sorry about your fall, they can cause serious injuries, so glad you were sensible enough to get checked out and take it relatively easy (if you can call 10,000 steps easy). I hope you recover fast with no lasting problems, as head and neck injuries might not show up until later, they are very tricky areas..


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WATERMELLEN 5/23/2013 5:55PM

    So glad you're OK: that's the main thing. And: you did get plenty of walking in anyhow.

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BOOKAPHILE 5/23/2013 10:25AM

    I'm glad you're OK! I had a similar fall up some stairs in September, and my glasses never did recover their proper alignment. I'm getting a new pair next month.

You got exercise, even if it wasn't the kind you had planned for. I'd say you've done well.

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VAMPYRE03 5/23/2013 1:45AM

    Wow!!! What a crazy day!!! I'm glad you were able to pick yourself up, and brush it all off... btw you didn't let the experience keep you from your walk.. you took time out to make sure you were ok... checking in with ourselves is just as important as those 10,000 steps... and see once you did you were able to enjoy the rest of your day, and still get your walk in :)

Don't beat yourself up, for falling, be proud you got up, and still went to work,... cause I know I would've probably called out for the day :p

Now you can say you have battle scars :) emoticon

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SHARON10002 5/22/2013 11:33PM

    Celia, I'm so glad to read that you are okay. However, because you hit your head you should be concerned and be aware of the possibility of a concussion. People fall and hurt their head only to develop symptoms days later. Just be careful, and take it easy for awhile. No excuse - just be a little gentler in your exercise. Will keep you in my prayers.
emoticon emoticon

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DIBANANA 5/22/2013 8:55PM

  So glad you are okay. I don't think that was an excuse not to walk. I'm glad you took it easy. You ended up doing a lot of walking anyway. You are amazing.

Thanks for telling me about Pick 3. I always schedule too much for myself. Maybe 3 will be a better choice for me.

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MISSB8604 5/22/2013 11:47AM

    Goodness, I hope you feel better!

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KALIGIRL 5/22/2013 10:50AM

    Bummer - glad it was nothing serious!
Not getting notification of your blogs - need to figure that out...

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LRSILVER 5/22/2013 5:02AM

    Wow. So sorry. Hope you are better.

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BRADMILL2922 5/22/2013 1:50AM

    Hope you are feeling better! Take care of yourself!

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PINKNFITCARLA 5/21/2013 11:37PM

    Oh no Celia! I hope you're okay now. This is NOT an excuse not to walk! You hurt yourself. What did the nurse say? Are you better tonight? So sorry this happened :-(

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CMRAND54 5/21/2013 8:43PM

    I'm so sorry! Not the way to start the day.

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BESTMEICANBE51 5/21/2013 3:47PM

    Dang girl, you got hurt that's not an excuse that's a reason to not exercise. Take it easy on your emoticon self and take good care of yourself, too.

emoticon my friend, I hope all is well.




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MILLIE5522 5/21/2013 12:23PM

    Ouch!! emoticon

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KEELIE21 5/21/2013 10:09AM

    Hope you are in tip top again soon!

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GINGERHAWK 5/21/2013 9:00AM

    I'm so sorry to hear about the fall, Celia! I'm glad to hear that you're having the nurse look at it, any time you hit your head can be a scary thing so I think you're smart to hold off on the walk. My knee is still healing a bit from my fall in March so don't push yourself even if it seems like nothing at the moment.

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/21/2013 8:00AM

    Don't take this too lightly. I had a fall in January requiring stitches, etc. It took me a long time to heal. I became very impatient. Just take it a day at a time. Good luck!!! Hope you are MUCH better today!

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JUDYAMK 5/21/2013 7:56AM

    I am so sorry you fell.My friend fell in her bathtub on Mother's Day so hard she went to emergency room to be checked out. Head injuries are nasty because you can develop a brain bleed & not even know it until even a week later. They did a scan on her head for that, she had no bleed. She had a headache for a few days though,. Her sister & niece encouraged her to go to hospital. She has piece of mind that she will be okay. Hope you are checked out. Take care
Judy

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AZMOMXTWO 5/21/2013 7:51AM

  I hope that it is just a scrape and that you do get to take that walk

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KANOE10 5/21/2013 7:48AM

    I am sorry you were hurt. That sounds painful. It is so frustrating to have your walk delayed when you were planning on it. I hope you feel well enough to walk later.

emoticon

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Spark Solution Week One

Monday, May 20, 2013

Even in maintenance, I find benefit in the new SparkPeople book "The Spark Solution."
www.sparkpeople.com/sparksolution

Coach Steph has asked those of us who signed up for the two-week Spark Solution challenge to check in on some topics:

• What made you decide to try The Spark Solution Program?
I had been on work travel or vacation since mid-March and was showing the effects on the scale. I knew it was time to return to the basics that launched me on my journey, and the Spark Solution challenge seemed like a great way to do that.

• Have you seen or felt any results in this first week?
I have been more consistent with my exercise and have managed to eat within my calorie range most days, even near the low end some days to help balance the days I went over.

• What do you like the most about the program?
I continue to like doing my own thing with food rather than following a prescribed meal plan. At this stage in my journey, I know what works best for me, and a requirement to follow a rigid meal plan would have been a deal breaker for me.

• What was your favorite meal from this week?
My personal favorite centers around Dinner Done's turkey quinoa meatloaf, with Dinner Done's arroz con pollo a close second. We have been using meal assembly businesses for years to take the stress out of having to come up with dinner with our long work days and long commutes. The businesses are receptive to our requests to lower fat and sodium amounts, and the entree is ready to cook when we walk in the door...the time-consuming prep is already done.

• Which Insider Tip motivated you the most this week?
I don't have a favorite, but one of my team mates told me her new non-food reward is working jigsaw puzzles, since they keep the hands and mind occupied.

• What is your goal is for next week?
Weight: At or below goal
Food: Track 7 days this week
Fitness: Exceed 70,000 steps, yoga, strength training

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 5/21/2013 7:59AM

    I like the book also and found it has great tips..especially on exercise.

I also like having the food prepped and ready to go when I walk in the door. I am going to look for those recipes/

Great job of staying on track.

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DIBANANA 5/20/2013 11:41PM

  I have to admit I bought the book and haven't read it yet. Time I guess.

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HELEN_BRU 5/20/2013 10:15PM

    Will now definitely check it out - on your says! Thanks.

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PINKNFITCARLA 5/20/2013 4:32PM

    I think it's awesome. Thanks for your review. It is filled with so much helpful information. I've really enjoyed reading it!

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BROOKLYN_BORN 5/20/2013 1:25PM

    I didn't know you were doing this. Sounds like there's a real benefit to it. Good for you!

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BETHGILLIGAN 5/20/2013 12:17PM

    Interesting! I just commented on another blog about the same thing that I'm now thinking of getting the book. I've been thinking that it was a re-write/update of the old book. sounds like some new stuff is in there. Thanks for sharing!

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

My Miracle: One Year of Maintaining

Sunday, May 19, 2013

One year in maintenance. I wish I could say it has flown by effortlessly, but such is not the case. Along the way, I've read stories from many maintainers, some, like me, new to the idea, some who have kept weight off for one year or many years, and some brave souls who revealed they had regained their weight after maintaining for a year or more. I owe a great debt to those motivators who shared everything from confusion over what maintenance entailed to the hard truth that maintenance is work to inspiring stories to tips and strategies. In the end, though, the job of keeping off the 75+ pounds I lost has come down to me, and that has been the scary part given my yo-yo history.

It seems to be Spark tradition to blog on maintenance anniversaries, so this is my story. After waffling for a couple of months last spring, I finally decided to "declare victory" one year ago today. I had already joined the At Goal and Maintaining + Transition to Maintenance team in preparation and read everything I could. Over the next six months or so, I played around with the calorie intake and fitness activity needed to stay at my goal weight, but I didn't approach the task scientifically, e.g., add "x" calories a day or increase fitness by "y" minutes a day. Instead, I just watched to see what would happen. At first my weight continued to sink slowly, going down another five pounds. I was happy with that, but I recognized that my lifestyle would not sustain the loss once travel and holiday seasons rolled around, and I was right. I gravitated back to my goal weight and have stayed within +/-5 pounds with rare exception.

So how do I approach travel and holidays? Mainly, I don't stress. Often, I consciously eat in weight-loss mode before big trips or major holidays and let my weight go down a few pounds (but still in range) in preparation. Life (especially the vacation part) is too short not to enjoy it, so I rarely try to keep up with food tracking during those times. Even so, the habits I've developed on my Spark journey have helped me make better choices. At these non-routine times, I try to start the day with a light, healthy breakfast, but if I choose an omelet, bacon and toast, it's okay, because I find myself still full at lunch, so I eat very light then, often just a piece of fruit. Snacks are mainly fruit or trail mix, and most often I choose smaller amounts of meat and copious amounts of veggies at mealtime. Fitness? DH and I love to walk, especially volksmarches (www.ava.org), so we frequently build trips around volksmarch event locations. On our most recent vacation, we walked and hiked in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska. The miles helped counter the great food and drink, and the beautiful settings and companionship turned the walks into meditative times.

But what about the rest of the time, you may ask. That's the work part. I realize that a couple of years on SparkPeople can't entirely undo the mental and physical complacency that led to decades of overweight and obesity, so I maintain an attitude of vigilance. I continue to track food and fitness most days of the week, and on days I don't track, I can look back and know that even if I went over on calories that day, it's not the end of the world. I just try to be better the next day. And I go through food and fitness slumps, times when I snack mindlessly in the evening several days in a row (and yes, I know what my triggers are) or times when I just don't feel like exercising. Those are scarier times, and I've had days when I've awakened in a panic, convinced I regained all my weight. In general, though, those experiences have served as wake-up calls to get back to the lifestyle changes that have brought me to a better state of being. Finally, I continue to weigh daily, not as an obsession with a number, but to watch for trends that signal the need to act.

In conclusion, for me maintenance is a continuation of Spark habits with some tweaks to keep my weight steady. I'd love to say I've done miraculous things in the last year, like run a marathon, but I haven't (though I did run some 5K races). In my world, the miracle has been keeping off the weight, something that has never happened before. So, one year down
and time to work toward two years. Cheers!

Edit: Thanks, all, for voting this a Popular Blog!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MY1FAN 6/5/2013 11:56AM

    emoticon

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AALLEY2 5/29/2013 10:13AM

    emoticon job! You are worth every single hard choice you made through out the year. You are my inspiration! emoticon

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ROSE284 5/29/2013 5:01AM

    Congrats on your year of maintenance. It seems like you have a great attitude and even thought I'm not near my goal yet I could still take a lot from this blog, thanks.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 5/28/2013 1:05AM

    Thank you for sharing this last year's journey. I have a feeling my eventual maintenance may be a similar journey as yours, with a conservative 'loss mode' before and after vacations or holidays. Good luck in your continued maintenance! Stay healthy :)

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LORILEEPAGE 5/27/2013 4:37PM

    Congrats on the anniversary of your maintenance! You have done a great job! You are on the right track and have inspired me. Congrats on having your blog recognized as a Feature Blog!

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MI-ELLKAYBEE 5/26/2013 10:38PM

    emoticon

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GOCALGAL 5/26/2013 8:48AM

    emoticon What a thoughtful, insightful and inspiring glimpse into your journey! Thanks So much for sharing. I have been slowly losing and have 5 pounds left to make goal. I hope it is ok to add you as a friend so I can revisit when I get there!

emoticon emoticon

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OOLALA53 5/25/2013 5:55PM

    I'm glad to hear you haven't run a marathon. I don't like the idea that we have to work out like maniacs forever to live at a reasonable weight. So glad you find life liveable.

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MAREE1953 5/24/2013 9:27PM

    Great blog Celia, congratulations and keep up the great, rewarding work of caring for yourself, soul, mind and body.

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MOONCHILD8 5/24/2013 3:47PM

    Wow! You are Amazing! I have only been maintaining for a 5 months. You are so right to keep doing what you are doing because it works! Congratulations on keeping the weight down. Linda from bean town emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAUREENV2 5/24/2013 10:46AM

    Congratulations on one year at goal. Your blog was very inspiring to me. i too have been maintaining for over a year and agree that I need to keep tracking my food and exercise or I get lazy and fall back into old habits. Thanks for sharing

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SANDICANE 5/24/2013 9:29AM

    As I scrolled down to leave this comment, I see the faces and logos of those who support me. I am a 'baby maintainer" and I too am so very grateful to those who have gone before us, but take the time to tell us their story so we can learn from there successes and "trips".

This is the first time in my life I have maintained so long, and I guess you too.

Congratulations to you on your one year anniversary...onward we go.

Cheers,
Sandi

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NELLJONES 5/24/2013 8:54AM

    Congrats! Amazing feat, isn't it?

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MOMMY445 5/24/2013 7:58AM

    i'm so proud of you! congratulations! i agree with you,too, that you have to stay on top of it.

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ELMA1913 5/24/2013 7:39AM

    Proud of you - maintaining is sometimes harder than losing. Congratulations!

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HAKAPES 5/24/2013 5:51AM

    I can feel your motivation in your blog, and all the commitment.
It's inspiring!

I'm happy you are on the maintenance team, and am looking forward to hear about your journey, both ups and downs!

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PAM_COOPER 5/24/2013 1:23AM

    I think I've finally learned the long hard life lesson, for a long hard life of being a recycled 'big' fat girl . . . . that you DO have to continue with the same healthy food and the same healthy lifestyle habits it took us to get fit and stay with it. (I realize, with modifications along the way.)

Before, even with major weight loss, I arrived at my goal and then gradually began to indulge here and there, I eventually abandoned any mindful eating I might have had and stopped calculating my calories. I gave in to sitting on the bench rather than a few laps around the park . . . . . . now, I know better . . . MAINTENANCE is as important than the getting to the goal.

CONGRATULATIONS on your FIRST Anniversary!!! emoticon

emoticon

I am looking forward to my one year milestone with only 6 months to go! I hope WE can both say 10 years (and counting) someday!

I hope you have a successful and mindful year TWO!!! emoticon



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_LINDA 5/24/2013 12:08AM

    m emoticonm emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Way to make it to emoticon
You have done really well to make it through travel and holidays without gaining a lot back. Your new healthy attitude should finally keep those pounds from ever coming back! Monitoring without stressing over every little thing -great plan!
Keep up the great work!!!


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CAROLISCIOUS 5/23/2013 10:20PM

    Congratulations on 1 year of maintenance. I'm approaching 5 years...and my approach is much like yours. Living a life that I can live with is my motto.

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_JODI404 5/23/2013 7:22PM

    emoticon on successfully maintaining for one year!!! emoticon

That really is a great accomplishment! Keep making those good choices and you will continue right along!

Best wishes for continued fit & healthy success!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIANNEMT 5/23/2013 4:48PM

    I also declared "maintenance" in May--but just this May! I hope next year I can write something about staying around goal!! It is lots harder than I had hoped... Thank you for sharing your story!

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GETFIT2LIVE 5/23/2013 4:38PM

    Congratulations on maintaining a year! It isn't easy, but it is absolutely worth the effort. So often I have had the mindset "If I could just lose the weight, I could eat what I want." Now that the weight is off, I realize that is SO not true; we have to continue the habits we developed to lose the weight if we want to keep it off permanently. Well done!

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CLARK971 5/23/2013 3:46PM

    emoticon



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MARTY728 5/23/2013 1:59PM

    emoticon

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COACHMOMMY 5/23/2013 12:47PM

    Great Job on maintaining. From one Yo Yoer (is this a word?!) to another - keep up the good work!

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PRESBESS 5/23/2013 11:44AM

    Awesome! Bravo! Keep up the excellent work. It's a daily task, I know, but surely your are doing something right.

Spark On!
emoticon

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PRETTYPITHY 5/23/2013 11:44AM

    Good job! It seems like you've chosen a very sustainable path to maintenance. I have the utmost confidence that you'll do just as well this year and for many years to come! emoticon

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SUSANFL1 5/23/2013 11:41AM

    Happy anniversary! Great work.

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MANDELOVICH 5/23/2013 11:00AM

    Bravo! I think it is a miracle to keep the weight off long term! I am still trying to make that miracle happen!!!

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DIGISCRAPPY 5/23/2013 10:31AM

    Congratulations! emoticon

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DAYSPRING-STAR 5/23/2013 10:27AM

    Congratulations on your miracle! And thank you for sharing your experiences in this blog. As I get nearer to my own goal weight, I'm kind of like you in approach. So I'm trying to get a view of maintenance from the shoulders of those who have arrived at that place before me. You have offered a realistic and yet encouraging scene! Thank you and please continue to update us on your progress.

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ANNIEONLI 5/23/2013 10:03AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EVERLEARNING 5/23/2013 9:48AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MANILUS 5/23/2013 9:43AM

    Keep up the great work! You can do it!

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-AMANDA79- 5/23/2013 9:32AM

    Great blog! Congrats on your anniversary!
emoticon

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VTRICIA 5/23/2013 9:07AM

    Happy Anniversary!

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LRSILVER 5/23/2013 7:51AM

    Congratulations. you are amazing. emoticon emoticon

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 5/23/2013 7:48AM

    So proud of you! I was so excited to see the team featuring you. Congratulations!

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PEZMOM1 5/23/2013 7:15AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 5/23/2013 7:10AM

    Great blog! Congrats on a very successful year of maintenance. There is great wisdom in these words you have written and some, even after my 4 years at goal, that I need to take to heart. Thank you very much for posting. So glad this blog was featured by the At Goal & .... team. Well deserved. -Marsha

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BESSHAILE 5/23/2013 7:06AM

    I love the way you keep your perspective. Congratulations on year one - bon voyage throughout year two.

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TORTISE110 5/23/2013 6:44AM

    Hi Celia, Since I follow your story on shared message boards, your approach is not new to me. I "see" you doing the work that needs to be done. I so appreciate your showing up often. Your steady and supportive-to-others approach obviously works for you and motivates the rest of us!

Congratulations on your Sparkversary! As you move on to the next one I hope you feel the steadiness from all your healthy habits. You know what healthy is!!



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JSTETSER 5/23/2013 6:17AM

    emoticon

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KELLIEBEAN 5/23/2013 6:06AM

    Congratulations! I love your attitude! I feel the same way, life is short, enjoy it mindfully.

I'm so happy for you!

I hit six months of maintanance today. Can't wait to follow in your footsteps and say its been a year. It's great being your maintanance team member!

Here's to another great year!

emoticon emoticon

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FELINA 5/23/2013 6:04AM

    emoticon
Great job ! Love your positive attitude !
Congratulations !

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CAMAEL100 5/22/2013 4:37AM

    Sounds like you have developed a very balanced, rounded approach to enable you to maintain and still enjoy life!

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KANOE10 5/21/2013 7:53AM

    That is a wonderful success story. Your calm positive attitude will keep you maintaining. You have made it work for your lifestyle!
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GINGERHAWK 5/20/2013 10:41AM

    Congratulations, Celia. What a wonderful (and inspirational) story. I have found that maintenance has been harder than the weight loss journey itself but I just take it one day at a time and try not to obsess. It's great hearing that you've been able to maintain for a year through moderation and movement - I need to follow suit!

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TEMPENATIVE 5/20/2013 12:36AM

    wow, thanks for sharing your experience, I will look to you 'old-timers' when I get to maintence-ville too some day. emoticon Cheers!

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ALAINEBUG 5/20/2013 12:23AM

    Let the term yo-yo remind us all of parlor tricks like around the world and walking the dog. And let the word diet make us think of you and healthy life style changes. Congrats. Oh, and it was not a miracle. You worked your butt off to get to your goal and keep it.

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Kayaking advice?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Need some advice from you kayak enthusiasts out there.

The REI stores in my area have "learn to kayak" classes, and since learning to kayak is on my bucket list, I went to the website to see what it would take. There I ran into a bewildering array of clothing ranging from paddling gloves starting at $31 to board shorts (too skimpy for my taste) starting at $34 to "rash guards" (presumably to wear under a wetsuit?) starting at $37 to paddle jackets starting at $84 to wetsuits starting at $110 to drysuits ranging in the price range $800-1050.

Holy cow! That's a lot of money to commit to an activity I just want to try and am not sure I would stick with. Fortunately REI supplies the kayak, paddle, spray skirt, and dry bag, but what is REALLY needed to try kayaking?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BARBARAJ73 5/15/2013 9:54AM

    Don't know if you've tried the class yet but hope you do! I volunteered several summers at the canoe/kayak dock at a local nature center. Enjoyed it very much. As others have mentioned, you can really start with what is already in your closet especially for short sessions (which is about all you can manage at first.) I wear water sandals and definitely a visor and sun screen!

Enjoy and keep us posted.

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SHARON10002 5/14/2013 6:09PM

    Never been Celia, but that's one on my bucket list, too! Hope you blog about it when it's over!

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TREEBW 5/11/2013 3:05PM

    When I go I just wear shorts and a t-shirt. Workout pants are great if they are quick-dry. Shoes will just depend on where you are going. Thin, slip-on running shoes (or any kind of thin shoe) are great so long as they wont weigh you down once wet. Or flip-flops if it is warm enough. I also do not wear gloves, though I guess I would if it were cold, just because using the paddle for an hour or two likely wont give you calluses or anything.
in short, just wear stuff you are comfortable in, wont weigh you down, and have a blast!

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PINKNFITCARLA 5/10/2013 9:31PM

    It sounds like you've gotten some great advice! I've only been once and it was at my Mom's when she lived at Lake Anna. We didn't use anything special, but that's the only experience I have.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 5/10/2013 7:33PM

    We have 5 kayaks – DH & me and 3 extra for visitors (usually grandchildren).
We’re really basic about it, but we’re on a lake – a BIG lake – 40 miles long with 500 miles of shoreline. Are you kayaking on a river with rapids? or in the ocean? That would be more challenging and perhaps warrant the extra equipment.

We have “sit inside” kayaks so I really don’t get wet. My clothes are usually old running stuff over a bathing suit. I have a special life jacket just for kayaking and a cushion since my rear end doesn’t like the hard seat. I also wear old sneakers because of my difficult, flat feet. That’s it. Somehow I think you’re talking about a more adventurous environment than we have.


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NONIE_C 5/10/2013 4:05PM

    The weather will dictate what you need to some extent, but I totally agree with 2WHEELEDSHARON that you absolutely do not need all the bells and whistles. You can always get your gear on later, if you decide this is something you really want to commit time to.

If it's sunny and warm, I'd recommend some quick-dry shorts and a long-sleeve SPF shirt (I know they have 'em at REI b/c I found mine there - love 'em!). Now, if you're more into baring your bod to the sun, you can just wear a swim suit w/ your quick-dry shorts. As for shoes, keep it simple. No need to get wetsuit booties yet. Go with something that will stay on your feet should you end up in the drink, and something you won't mind having wet on your feet for a while. I love my Keen sandals, and I use them for much more than boating. I've been known to wear Chuck Taylor Converse when boating too. I also recommend a hat and sunglasses (with "Chums" or some other devise for keeping them on you - string and duct tape will do).

For water sports, in general, cotton will kill ya. If you're cold, it makes you colder, and if it's continuously wet, it may irritate your skin or just feel soggy and uncomfortable. This goes especially for cotton undies. Don't do it! Swim suit is preferable.

Now, cold weather boating is another beast altogether. If you're gonna go there, let me know and I'll give you a list of helpful items to keep you warm and happy.
Have fun out there!!! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/10/2013 4:06:53 PM

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2WHEELEDSHARON 5/10/2013 12:44PM

    You don't need all the bells and whistles. You don't even need to wear a bra, although I recommend wearing some kind of clothing under the life vest, which is all you need other than the kayak and paddle;) I don't even wear shoes, but if you're in a kayak that has a rudder, your feet do the steering with peddles. Any kind of casual shoes are fine, lightweight and easy to slip off is best, but they don't have to be kayak-specific. Gloves are fine if you're palms blister easily or if it's cold. My gloves are those little knit ones from the dollar store.
You don't need a spray skirt unless it's pouring down rain or you're going out into rogue waves or white water. I do like to have a "dry bag"; mine is called a Ziploc. I put my wallet and camera in it and blow air into it so that in case it should fall out of the boat, it'll float.
The more you venture into advanced kayaking, a wet suit or dry suit would be a good idea.
What a picture of myself I've created - a shirt, knit gloves, life vest, and a blown up Ziploc! I do wear clothes. Just wanted to clarify that. I don't wear heavy clothes or jeans, just because I go out by myself, and if I happen to fall out I don't want jeans pulling me down, but I've been out a thousand times and never fell out.
Doesn't REI do a fantastic job with their marketing!?
Have fun:)

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