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New Movie Looks to be "Precious"...!

Friday, November 06, 2009

Just passing along a couple of reviews of a new movie: "Precious"...

It looks to be a TOUGH flix to watch, filled with abuse and neglect, however it's theme of *HOPE* caught my eye and seemed like it offers quite the inspiration for anyone who've dealt with seemingly insurmountable barriers...such as many of us!

NY Times Review:


Roger Ebert's Review:


If anyone sees it I'd appreciate it if you could post your thoughts / reactions here...! I'll do the same if I do, however, I'm doubting I'll catch up with it for a while...so darned BUSY!



Onward and DOWNward...Preparing for the Holidays!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I was a bit nervous anticipating my weekly weigh-in today as we had been out of town this weekend with a few dining out "indulgences"...but YES! Another pound down! Been buckling right down and holding my calories down to an average daily total around 1800.

I enjoyed using a terrific recumbent bicycle while at the hotel:


A HIGHLY customizeable bike which allowed me to recline and stretch my legs out. I felt a strange combo of being relaxed while buzzing along on the pedals...if I had a pillow I think I could have snoozed while sweating it out...lol! And it could be all YOURS for the low, low price of $2,000...yeesh! :-)

So my BMI now places me at 27.3, smack in the middle of the "overweight" category. Don't know if I'll get "quite" as low as a BMI below overweight...that would mean 194 pounds for me to hit a BMI of 24. Crossing into 190's may just be "enough"...we'll have to see...however, it WOULD be awfully nice to officially no longer be "overweight!" :-)

Now for a few musical recommendations...! After Halloween marks for me the beginning of my holiday music season! Yes, a wee-bit early, but I don't exactly jump right into Jingle-Bell-Rock-mode...lol! I enjoy a wide range of new age / world music which is instrumental and captures "moods" more than spelling out specific holiday wishes. One of my all-time favorite album which can be enjoyed year round, but is especially apropos for this time of year is Paul Winter's "Wintersong" in which one of my favorite soprano sax players gathers "a collection of international tributes to the season, with traditional songs and circle dances from England, Scandinavia, Italy, France and the Appalachian Mountains." Most of these are NOT exactly workout tunes...with the exception of Bach's Ode to Joy...which Winter & Co. transform into a fun, celebratory Brasilian romp!


Winter joins forces again with Brasilian guitarist extraordinaire Oscar Castro-Neves on their duo album "Brasilian Days:"


This is a WONDERFUL album, although non-holiday-oriented, guaranteed to warm your hearts and soothe away your stress...highly, HIGHLY recommended!

For more soothing holiday music of a New Age, mostly of an instrumental, acoustic nature I highly recommend Windham Hill's "Winter Solstice" series of albums:


Everyone have a super warm-up to the holiday season this month...!

I'll continue to ramp up my efforts toward ONEderland by the New Year.


PS, Oh! Also looking forward to a group walk at one of our state parks with fellow SparkPeople members this upcoming Sunday...woo hoo! :-) Check out details here: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/city_spa

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JCORYCMA 11/6/2009 10:33PM

    Thanks for the song inspirations and congrats on another pound down!!

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ZELLAZM 11/5/2009 7:45AM

    Got unplugged from your blog somehow - and now I come back and find you one pound lighter! Woohoo!

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1_AMAZING_WOMAN 11/4/2009 6:50PM

    Way to go on the weight loss!

In another week I should FINALLY go from the 'obese' catagory, to 'over-weight'.

I'm sure it feels really nice to be in the middle of the over-weight catagory; so much closer to 'normal' weight! Rooting for 'ya!


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ZIRCADIA 11/4/2009 2:24PM

    Congrats on the loss!!! :) I feel confident you will no longer be "overweight" if that is what you choose to do. But seriously, if you're close, and fit and muscular, who cares?

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S318830 11/4/2009 1:37PM

    Congrats on losing another lb, especially with travel and indulgences. I'm looking forward to "normal" myself. I'm soooo darned close right now! 155 is the weight associated with the "normal" barrier for me. Keep going. I have every faith in you!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/4/2009 12:15PM

    Woo hoo, good job!

I suppose I'm almost to the halfway point of "overweight" too; I never looked at it that way, before, but I love incremental milestones, so why not?! hehehe

My BMI is currently 27.6; "normal" is 16.7 lbs from now for me. Gosh, it's getting so close, I can almost TASTE it...

If I keep going at this rate (approximately 5% net removed every 27 days) I'll get to "normal" around New Year's...

As for the upcoming holidays, I'm nervous about heading into Food Season. I did fine over Halloween (not a SINGLE piece of candy other than sugarless gum, thankyouverymuch) but I've still got to face down:

a family reunion weekend after next
New Year's
Valentine's Day
and Easter.

It doesn't help that we've now changed the clocks and it's dark before I even get out of work.

I'm just going to focus on my goal of getting as close to goal weight as I can by spring melt (for WW kayaking season) and continuing to go to exercise classes, and eating right. I hope it's enough.

I'm actually terrified of getting lost this winter. But I'm going to keep my nose to the grindstone and put one foot in front of the other and hope that gets me through.

Comment edited on: 11/4/2009 12:16:21 PM

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FRECKS96 11/4/2009 12:08PM

    WTG on losing a pound with an away weekend! I love your music suggestions and can't wait to check them out.

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Second Wind

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Just a couple of random musical thoughts during my treadmill session tonight...

Billy Joel's song "Second Wind" got me stepping right along...I always find this song giving me such a boost! I heard that he had written this to respond to the tragedy and heartbreak of teenage suicide. The video here certainly speaks to that:


You're having a hard time and lately you don't feel so good
You're getting a bad reputation in your neighborhood
It's alright, it's alright
Sometimes that's what it takes
You're only human, you're allowed to make your share of mistakes
You better believe there will be times in your life
When you'll be feeling like a stumbling fool
So take it from me you'll learn more from your accidents
Than anything that you could ever learn at school

Don't forget your second wind
Sooner of later you'll get your second wind

It's not always easy to be living in this world of pain
You're gonna be crashing into stone walls again and again
It's alright, it's alright
Though you feel your heart break
You're only human, you're gonna have to deal with heartache

Just like a boxer in a title fight
You got to walk in that ring all alone
You're not the only one who's made mistakes
But they're the only thing that you can truly call your own

Don't forget your second wind
Wait in that corner until that breeze blows in

You've been keeping to yourself these days
Cause you're thinking everything's gone wrong
Sometimes you just want to lay down and die
That emotion can be so strong
But hold on
Till that old second wind comes along

You probably don't want to hear advice from someone else
But I wouldn't be telling you if I hadn't been there myself
It's alright, it's alright
Sometimes that's all it takes
We're only human
We're supposed to make mistakes
But I survived all those long lonely days
When it seemed I did not have a friend
Cause all I needed was a little faith
So I could catch my...

I also think of the song from the stamina perspective...as in, we all have more reserves than we may realize! Physically and otherwise! If I need more than a second wind I call on Pat Metheny's frenetic Third Wind...live version is best:


Now THAT song is a definite 6 mph-er! :-)

Although this song isn't so peppy, it gets one thinking about what it takes to feel better: Morphine's "Cure For Pain":

Where is the ritual
And tell me where where is the taste
Where is the sacrifice
And tell me where where is the faith
Someday there'll be a cure for pain
That's the day I throw my drugs away
When they find a cure for pain

Couldn't help but think that we here at SparkPeople have found that *CURE*! :-)

Here is the band performing that song:


However Sandman, the lead singer is off-key, probably indulging too much in his "cure"...he sounds better on the album:


Heading out of town for the weekend to celebrate our anniversary...should be lots of time for working out and swimming at the hotel and getting caught up with my reading / pondering / acting on Chris Downie's book "The Spark!"

Everyone have a super weekend and keep on Sparkin'! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 11/1/2009 12:56AM

    Very cool. I love that song. Billy Joel is a favorite. I hadn't realized it was specifically for teen suicide, but seeing the words written out, it seems clear. I like "Pressure" too.

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ZIRCADIA 10/30/2009 12:37PM

    Love Morphine. I've been meaning to tell you that I love The Strokes Reptilia for running!!!!! There's a great line in there - "Please don't slow me down if I'm going too fast" And when that comes on it just spurs me ahead. Great tempo, too. :)

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FRECKS96 10/30/2009 7:40AM

    I love Billy Joel! Thanks for some ideas, you never know where inspiration will find you. Have fun this weekend.

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USARUNNERGIRL 10/30/2009 7:12AM

    Love the music options, especially 6 mph worthy songs. Thank you for sharing Don.

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TUPPROACH 10/30/2009 7:06AM

    I can picture you "treading" to this! Happy Anniversary to both of you! I will catch up with you when you get back.

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GMACAMI 10/30/2009 1:24AM

    And I thought you were going to tell us you were a bag of wind... catching his second breath ...lol


Comment edited on: 10/30/2009 1:25:48 AM

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ROYALETBONE 10/30/2009 12:26AM

    I did the pre-order- I want my book!
Ah, well.
I can see you bouncing along to all these songs... makes me smile.

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CAOMAGIC 10/29/2009 11:03PM

    Music rocks my world, and speaks to me and many others as nothing else can!!!

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Reaping Rewards...!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Although I've been religiously tracking my food and keeping my intake on the lower side (between 1500-2000 cals. mostly) I've been nervously awaiting my weekly weigh-in. Reason? Well that WHOPPING 10# loss I had last week was preceded by my colonoscopy "cleansing" on Friday. While I *knew* that the odds were good that I might even show a GAIN for this week, my heart would've sagged a bit nonetheless...

But my efforts are paying off and I had another pound lost! Woo Hoo! What a BLAST it was to discover this!

I'm beginning to think that the *REAL* reason I've held out against using the nutrition tracker all this time was that I wanted to do the best I could without it so that as I neared my "home stretch" and began to deal with the most stubborn of pounds I could pull out the *BIG GUNS* that would take me down to my goal weight...! :-)

If only I could truly be so devious...lol!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1_AMAZING_WOMAN 10/30/2009 11:34PM


When I lost my weight before I did it without tracking. I did it by concious eating and by eating healthy, and with exercise. Whenever I track my food I become obsessive about food; it just plain keeps me 'more' focused on food, instead of less. I get heavy into the 'diet' mentality, and the 'diet' mentality throws me into the diet/binge cycling. So, for me the best is just being concious of what I am eating and why, and stopping before I feel FULL - stopping when I am 'just' satisfied. This is the only thing that has ever worked for me. Now I just need to learn the lessons of 'not' allowing life's stresses throw me back into 'eating my feelings'.

It is very encouraging to see how far you've come, and how close to goal you are. Huge congratulations!!! emoticon emoticon


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JCORYCMA 10/29/2009 7:34PM

    Another old rehab saying: You work it because it works!! Congrats on another lb. DOWN!!

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TRAINOF4 10/29/2009 1:34PM

    emoticon Great news - I'm proud of your major acheivements! Keep on keepin' on!

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JAE_HENNINGTON 10/29/2009 11:06AM

  I think I said it before but I will say it again, I am very proud of you and you are indeed a great inspiration to us all.. I don't always track my food cause I have been at this so long I know what I need to to and I just do it... as long as you get where you want to be thats what really counts.. you have climbed up the hardest part of your journey and can see the goal in sight...good for you...a job well done emoticon

oh yea, I overslept today also

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KIKICANADIAN 10/29/2009 6:59AM

    Don I'm impressed you did so well without tracking.
I could never have done it without. I need to be accountable, even if it is only for myself.
Granted some days I simply don't have the time to track, but I get right back to it the next day. :)
Keep up the good work


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SOULCOLLAGESUE 10/28/2009 6:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonI think you identified your original resistance in an earlier blog. I also think we can erroneously feel inadequate unless we figure things out "ourselves," rather than view the tracker as a tool of ultimate power. So, the tracker for you might be similar to my asking for emotional support when my dog died. I'm happy for you, Don! (also impressed at how far you came without using one! Wow.)

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ZIRCADIA 10/28/2009 5:22PM

    I'm gonna lose my weight, and I'm gonna do it THE HARD WAY -- please, let me make things as hard on myself as possibly by not using a tool I KNOW will help me. :P HAHAHA :D I'm glad you've gotten yourself out of that mentality and into losing some more weight! WOOHOO!!!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/28/2009 4:05PM

    Since you're in the profession of mental health, I hope you won't mind if I'm blunt in this here comment, LOL! (Having been on the *receiving* end of much counseling, I sometimes feel little red flags when I read things...)

You know, the reason you give here for not tracking food until now has a ring of rationalization to it...

It kind-of sounded to ME whenever the topic came up before, that you would rather not bother - that you wanted to think you could go all the way without tracking. That tracking food might take this weight loss project in a direction more compulsive than you were comfortable with.

And why not? You'd gotten THIS far without tracking... How hard could it be to get rid of the last few pounds? hehe. (she laughs ruefully, recalling how difficult those last few were for her on attempt #1 20 years ago)

On the other hand, maybe I'm projecting this on you because I'm jealous that you got this far without tracking. Because for me, pain-in-the-butt tracking is the ONLY thing that has EVER worked.

Anyway, I'm glad it's working for you now. And a BIG CONGRATULATIONS on not only sustaining your "cleansing" loss, but improving on it!
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/28/2009 4:11:12 PM

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Exercise More Control, Celebrate More Freedom!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It occurred to me while on my treadmill the other day that one of the things that prevented me from tracking my food for so long was a sense of apprehension over feeling so *constrained* by the numbers and logging food.

Yet, now that I'm DOING it, I find a curious paradox: the more I exercise control over what I put in my mouth, the more FREEDOM I feel over my choices, my life!

BTW, a wonderful and solid 5 mph song I LOVED revisiting this morning: "Spain" by Chick Corea and Return to Forever:


Great song with the ever light & sprite Chick at the Fender Rhodes and Stanley Clarke and his propulsive string bass moving things along...highly recommended!

This morning when I chose my only size 40 pants and one of two size 16 1/2 shirts I felt so THRILLED to be able to wear such sizes! This, I thought, must be how Clark Kent felt when he changed into his Superman outfit! Proud as a peacock and dazzling with such a sense of accomplishment! I had received the shirt as a Christmas gift from well-meaning parents two years ago. Couldn't yet fit into it then, but vowed to get there...and here I AM! Woo Hoo!

Everyone have a super and lively day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

USARUNNERGIRL 10/30/2009 7:13AM

    Congratulations Don on getting into a new size.

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JAE_HENNINGTON 10/28/2009 2:20PM

  great job, doesan't success feel soooooo good. makes you wonder why we don't "just do it"....your page is so inspirational to me, to see the before and after pictures is so motivating.... keep doing what your doing cause its working for you emoticon

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HEALTHQUESTER 10/28/2009 9:03AM

    Great job Don! I too, had a difficult time with the 'tracking food' thing...but I am doing it! I hope to experience your success soon! I hope you get a ton of compliments on your outfit today...and so then you can say 'yes, and this is a new and improved size!' I'm sending applause your way!

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SOULCOLLAGESUE 10/27/2009 10:56PM

    Don, Thanks for another great music link! Woo hoo on fitting your clothing. I remember those days, setting aside all hope because clothing looked (and felt) tight.

Your day of discovery that you fit is SO worthy of celebration. It's extra nice that the "belief" came through your parents' gift.

I share your sense of freedom in the food tracking. About to track today's, as part of my Fast Break goals.

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ZIRCADIA 10/27/2009 7:11PM

    I LOVE that you work out to this kind of music!! :D I need to get it together and branch out with some of my other styles of music that I love and get them on my little MP3 player! :D I definitely really feel freedom when I track my food, too. I see the opportunities created by the different choices I make. It also helps me to see that my "BAD" choices aren't as bad as I demonize them to be in my head sometimes, ya know?

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LORIELP 10/27/2009 11:19AM

    Some times we take our new figure for granted. We even forget just how miserable we felt in our overweight bodies. We need to take a step back and realized how our lives have improved because we were committed to make changes in our lifestyle. Lorraine

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JCORYCMA 10/27/2009 9:06AM

    Way to Go! I still track my food intake even at goal. The thing is that even if I occasionally go over my maintenance amount -- I'm AWARE and not likely to make a habit of it. That does make me feel in control but not obsessional.

BTW, Clark, - You had better get shopping for some new clothes in your NEW

emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/27/2009 9:07:24 AM

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KSIGMA1222 10/27/2009 8:57AM

    Way to go Superman!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/27/2009 8:51AM

    Yeah, that control is really empowering, isn't it? LOL

I just think about Lance Armstrong. The guy regimented himself down to the last calorie eaten and the last calorie burned. But that control allowed him to build himself into one of the greatest athletes of all time. And that was AFTER surviving cancer...




...and since you're in the mental health profession, here's another article about data tracking you might enjoy...

Comment edited on: 10/27/2009 10:06:42 AM

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