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Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Randy Pausch has been in the news quite a bit recently due to his death. He has been known for many things, however his crowning achievement was a heartfelt, inspirational speech he made on 9/18/2007.

His university had assigned staff the challenge of taking turns giving to their students "The Last Lecture" in which they would pretend that if they were giving the last lecture of their life, what would they say.

The difference for Randy Pausch was that he had recently been informed by his doctors that his pancreatic cancer had spread to his liver and he had only months to live. So he TRULY faced this challenge knowing he might have no time left for further lectures!

Here is a link to an article about Randy:

And HERE is a link to a YouTube of his famous speech of 9/18/2007: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams

Inspiration is what SparkPeople is all about.

This man was PURE inspiration!

What a LEGACY we are fortunate enough for him to have left for us!



Fighting Corporate Control of Our Bodies! (Re-Post)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Re-Posting this as I don't want to see it lost in my older posts which (who knows?) may be removed:

This is an issue about which I feel SOOOO strongly! Hope folks don't mind, but I'm going to copy/paste a blog I wrote last year about this. A very strong source of motivation for me in my pursuit of a healthy lifestyle is (to borrow a wonderful phrase a friend once used) "Fighting Corporate Control of My Body!"

My blog: "One of my biggest motivators is fighting the "corporate ownership of my body" to borrow a friend's phrase. There are zillions of CEO's out there looking to turn over a dime at my expense. The mass-marketing of insanely unhealthy foods truly incenses me! Let's profit off of all these doofus consumers and THEN let's profit off of their MEDICAL TREATMENT! We've got a pill to take care of you! (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes management, etc) Ooops, side effects from that pill...? Here's another pill to take care of that! Ooops...surgery time? Step right this way...!

All the while profiting off of the uninformed public!

I have a burning desire not to give these corporations any more money than necessary and that starts and ends with what I put in my mouth. I rankle when at the supermarket I see shelves stretching off into the distance with a multitude of beverages in every color under the sun when ALL WE REALLY NEED IS WATER!

And the corporate world has already begun to capture major profits off of WATER! Get ready for air, people...clean air? Here you go, that'll be five dollars for five puffs!

How did we get started down this unhealthy path of eating such garbage?

Pay attention to your media...print, audio, video...! Garbage is EVERYWHERE! And touted as the coolest stuff around!

In Australia they had an epidemic of speed-related crashes and deaths. They decided to do something about it, so they assigned an advertising company the job of creating a campaign to persuade folks not to speed.

Very inventive folks, these advertising people!

They came up with an advertising campaign which took a page out of a Quentin Tarantino movie in which young sexy babes pull up in their car next to Kurt Russell's behemoth on four wheels. They crook their pinky finger at him and say: "Woooo...big engine, little winky!" and zoom off into the sunset.

So: billboards sprung up everywhere along the same line: Drive fast and prove how UN-sexy, UN-cool you are! Drive fast and show the world how insecure you are!

Same thing on the radio.

Same thing on TV.

Guess what?

It worked! Everybody slowed down!

So much for our "freedom of choice"...?

Don't you KNOW that the SAME type of success could be accomplished in persuading all of us about the benefits of healthy eating, healthy activity?

My RAGE centers around WHY ISN'T THIS HAPPENING!?!?

Sorry to grab the podium folks, but this is something that really makes me crazy AND something I use to motivate myself: I look at my healthy lifestyle as a means of FIGHTING CORPORATE CONTROL OF MY BODY!"


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

L*I*T*A* 7/30/2011 9:41PM

    emoticonthanks for sharing.........

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ZAINABB 6/6/2011 12:07AM

    I love this thought! Not letting those mass marketing fellows get my money AND my health. Thanks for sharing!

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VALERIEMAHA 2/12/2010 7:53AM


Let's start by heeding the advice of my bumper sticker, "Kill your TV!" Then proceed by tossing the junk mail with all the credit offers, etc. without opening it. And our real work is to learn the task of contolling our senses in spite of the constant bombardment.

Thanks so much for this important food for thought, Don, and I hope you don't mind if I include a commentary on a quote by Thomas a Kempis that just came this morning from an important teacher, which speaks so tellingly about controlling our senses. The focus is more on the pervasive violence we are bombarded with, but it's equally applicable to any way that our senses are "taken over." Here it is:

The enemy is more easily overcome if it be not suffered to enter the door of our hearts, but be resisted without the gate at its first knock.
-- Thomas a Kempis

The body is rather like a city with five gates, the five senses. We are fairly fussy about what enters the gate of the mouth. But just as food enters the mouth and goes on to nourish or damage the body, sense impressions enter consciousness through our eyes, ears, nose, and skin, and in most of us the traffic is somewhat unregulated. We all want to be open to experience, but we also need to be watchful. When impressions come knocking, we need to check IDs.

Take popular films, many of which glamorize violence. We can pretend this is only entertainment, bearing no relationship to real life, yet every year violent crimes enact with terrible precision episodes from television or movies. In our violent society, how can anyone argue convincingly that witnessing casual cruelty on television does not affect us? We all have a personal stake in not supporting any of the mass media when they give us poisonous food for our eyes, our ears, and our minds.
-- Eknath Easwaran

Comment edited on: 2/12/2010 8:03:09 AM

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MAMAFISH1 1/30/2010 9:03AM

    I agree completely. As I just heard we need to have a Food Revolution.

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CELEST 7/26/2008 7:12AM

    I couldn't agree more. One of my gripes when shopping is the choices. Wow it really freaks me out. You have to decide coloring or no coloring...larger for better monetary value vs smaller packet but healthier. Even a simple thing like a jar of peanut butter, there are about 7 different types. So you start with the old - turn it over and start checking out nutrients. So you pick the healthy one. Next time you need a jar of peanut butter, guess what, that ones no longer available but several new brands have sprung up. Sigh. I think I could have lived happily in the days where all foods came in one brown bag.

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ANDALEX 7/24/2008 1:47PM

    very good post. a lot of people are unable to see this happening.....thanks for reminding us :)

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NURSEGIBSON 7/23/2008 4:05PM

    Good Rant Don! I agree absolutely. It is all about money & control.

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PAMIJANE 7/23/2008 3:50PM

    And this is just one example of the corporate manipulation of its society. Don't get me started on HBA products that they try to get us to buy into and are largely successful. The thing that ticks me off the most is how much they benefit from the very fears they generate, all the while touting how they sincerely care about us. Yeah. Right. Very good blog Don.

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    Thanks for sharing!

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Chasing the Morning Muggies Away!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Woke up feeling *blech*...telling myself, okay, back off on the treadmill today, already muggy out...you can slog through this and get 'er done...

But THEN my mp3 player came to the rescue and dished up the Allman Brother's "Mountain Jam" and WOW! Just what the doctor ordered! I had started with a slower than usual 3.8 mph, but soon I couldn't resist and bumped it up to 5.0 mph and was jogging along to Duane, Gregg and Dickie just jamming their hearts out! I couldn't go the WHOLE jam (over THIRTY MINUTES LONG...lol!), but made it @ halfway before kicking the pace down and switching to something else. I'll catch the awesome bass and double drum solos another time. :-)

Here's a link to a sample of the song:

Unfortunately this track is the ONLY one not for sale as a single mp3 (most likely as it runs 33 mins. long...lol!) but the whole album is a keeper...blast from the past...originally recorded in 1972.

Later on I'm looking forward to a bike ride after work, despite 90 degree weather! And THEN planning to catch up with a few of our local Sparkies at the park @ 6.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMIJANE 7/17/2008 7:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

We all experience those "blech" days, but the important thing is you didn't let it stop you and you got a great workout while "jamming"! Awesome dude! Hey, you're so lucky to get to go to a hangout with local Sparkers! I wish Conway had some! You GO guy! Rock and Spark ON!

P.S. Thanks for your as always, GRRREAT posts today!

Pami xoxo emoticon

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Plateau Thoughts

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Over time, I've learned to be patient with plateaus, but I scrutinize my habits to see if there is anything I do which I could change which could help me move down to the next level.

My patience comes from thoughts like these: "So what you haven't lost weight! Look what you've accomplished! Besides, what are your choices...get mad, throw it all out the window and give into the old trigger foods once again? No WAY! You've worked too hard to build your healthy lifestyle and even if you never lose another pound, you are accomplishing a tremendous amount by simply maintaining your progress! You can actually feel the bones and muscle under your skin! Woo Hoo!"

I blew through my last plateau (I'm in another one now...3 weeks same weight) by realizing that although peanuts, sunflower seeds and nuts are healthy foods, I was snacking too much on them while driving. So I gave them up for a while. Additionally, I had opportunities to add a bit to my workouts...both in terms of amount of time and variety...switching over to elliptical while traveling.

Before I knew it, I dropped from 235 to 230. Now I'm holding again. We'll see how long. If I get impatient enough, I'm sure I'll find a way to kick it further down yet again.

One strategy I've been forestalling BIGTIME, which is a true disservice to my efforts from all we're hearing about recent research showing how beneficial a food log is...I don't measure my foods, and I don't log my foods. I rebel against this for some reason. I take pride in developing an intuitive sense of what I should or shouldn't eat. But I realize too that the day may soon arrive when I have to tackle portions and logging if I want to proceed to lower weight levels. We'll see if I'm stubborn enough to do it without resorting to such measures...lol!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PAMIJANE 7/16/2008 10:49PM

    Hi Don!

Total props for all the excellent things you have already accomplished in your journey, but I have to say, I wouldn't be a true friend if I didn't share my thoughts with you, that I think you are doing yourself a great disservice by not counting your calories in your portions. I mean obviously you have done exceptionally well, but this tool is one of the absolute most effective that I've come across, and even having to enter my meals manually doesn't take that much time, and I get to track not just my calories, but my sodium, potassium, calcium and etc. It allows me to "fine tune" my eating habits and troubleshoot my problem areas. When I had to just count calories by keeping a hand written food journal I so didn't do it...lol, but SparkPeople have made it so easy, and it's such a blessing! You really should use it in my humble opinion, but then only you can determine what's best for your needs. As always, even in this, you continue to motivate and inspire me, just with your honesty!

Blessings, Pami xoox

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JDELESKI 7/16/2008 10:34PM

    Thanks for these thoughts DDoorn!

I've been in a plateau for a few weeks and that helped me to be a little more patient. I don't know why, but reading about other people's plateaus eases my concerns.

I'm sticking with my healthy eating habits and working on a few things here and there to improve, so I know that sooner or later, I'll bust through the plateau myself.


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HEALTHYGAL01 7/16/2008 2:25PM

I had to chuckle at myself with your comments about the food logs. That is one of the reasons I had friction with my friend and personal trainer who is a nutritionist. I just could NOT fill out the food records she wanted me to fill out. For some reason I can fill them out on SparkPeople and it makes me feel good to see where I am at the end of the day - sometimes there is even room for a snack if I want it. I've even forced myself to use the logs when I know I have gone over. I also like the way I can see how I am doing in nutrition (I always seem to have trouble getting in enough protein). Generally I log once or twice a day.

I think you are so right. I am focusing on not having to wear 3X scrub pants (which were getting tight) and appreciating how strong my body has become.
Thank you for thoughtful thoughts

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    I needed to hear that, thanks.

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One Step Back, TWO Steps Forward!

Monday, July 14, 2008

I had been down on myself for having broken a 13 day cardio streak yesterday...could come up with lots of excuses, but I truly COULD have done my cardio if I had pushed myself. Earlier on, I had hoped to go biking instead of using the treadmill, then Mother Nature kicked in with stormy weather and by then it just seemed like somebody pulled the plug from me... Next time I'll know to just get it done, out of the way, and THEN if I can bike TOO, it'll be all that much better a day!

BUT am back in the saddle again today, up and at 'em, treadmill done first thing this morning!

Then after work I had the pleasure of taking the car in to have a new headlight replaced...woo hoo!

So what, you ask? Cuz our local walking / biking trail is just on the other side of the shopping plaza where I left the car so I could work in an extra hour of walking while they worked on the car! :-)

PLUS, I figured out what I needed to do in order to get my bicycle to fit into the extended trunk of my Ford Taurus: have to lower the bicycle seat. A bit of an irritation to have to do this and keep the pliers in the car, but I think the convenience of having my bike handy for those moments when I'm inspired either on lunch break or after work will be well worth it!

It's important to me to make it HIGHLY convenient to fall into workout opportunities...so we'll see how well this pays off! I'm enjoying biking SO much more this year...looking forward to having an alternative cardio outlet!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHYGAL01 7/15/2008 5:10PM

    Good thinking Don (I don't look at the streaks - the perfectionist in me might get agitated). 13 days in a row is great but sometimes the body does need a rest.

If you are lowering the saddle on your bike you might want to mark the column with a sharpie to make it easy to get the seat back in adjustment. I had all sorts of leg problems from biking with my seat in the wrong position. Bike fit is really important. I love bike riding too. It is the only cardio that I can do for hours and enjoy.

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CHARIZMA207 7/15/2008 4:33PM

    I think 13 straight days of cardio is amazing and should in no way invoke guilt. I've never worked out so many days in a row. Plus you need some days off, anyway. As per your comment, I know you can get below 200. Look at how far you've come!!! But I hear you, sometimes you don't know if it is the health nut or just the nut speaking. That 200 lb milestone is quite the psychological doozy. I've ruined entire months of progress when the scale went back above that seemingly unattainable point. I will be rooting for you the entire journey into onederland. Having a cheerleader will make it easier, so keep me informed.

I'll start now - Go Don, go go go Don, go Don, go go go go!!!!!!

PS Can you believe I wanted to make sure that the 199 was in fact right and not a result of me stepping on the scale wrong? Psychological mark, I tell you. But guess what........it said 198.2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is me in utter shock and disbelief emoticon.

Comment edited on: 7/15/2008 4:34:40 PM

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    Be proud of your streak, your body needs rest sometimes too!

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PAMIJANE 7/14/2008 11:15PM

    Don't feel too badly Don, sometimes our bodies just need to rest a bit and get refreshed and restored for the next streak. You're doing fantastatic you know, you really are, and such an inspiration. Your keeping the bike in your car is a great idea! Being prepared for a impromptu bike hike is awesome! Keep up the terrific work you're doing but don't forget to rest your body. Even the experts all agree on this.

Hugs, Pami xoxo

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KASONSMOMMA 7/14/2008 10:57PM

    Good for you for working in that cardio! I LOVE biking to and it's nice to take advantage of that beautiful summer weather! Cheers!

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