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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!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1_AMAZING_WOMAN 10/30/2009 11:34PM

    Don,

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

Amber

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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!!
Joanne

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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

emoticon

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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.
emoticon

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:

www.amazon.com/Light-Feather-Chick-R
eturn-Forever/dp/B0000046YK/ref=sr_1_1
?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1256646517&sr=8-1


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!

Don

  
  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.
emoticonSue

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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
size!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon
Joanne

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...

http://www.boxings
cene.com/exercise/48058.php


http://www.runnersworld.com
/article/0,7120,s6-242-301--668
6-0,00.html

http://www.w
ired.com/wired/issue/17-07

...and since you're in the mental health profession, here's another article about data tracking you might enjoy...
http://open.salon.com/b
log/scott_christian/2009/07/20/
could_math_be_the_cure

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

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Scheming & Dreaming For My Reward...

Friday, October 23, 2009

While out for a walk the other night I had a little extra time to kill so I finally got myself into our local friendly bicycle shop (Chenango Point, Binghamton) to browse for a bike to reward myself with once I break through to ONEderland... :-)

I'm getting away from the mountain bike style which I've inherited from my son (Diamondback Wildwood) and aiming for a comfort / hybrid which will ride better over longer distances. Definitely upping from a 26" to a 27" as I seem to get so much more out of each rotation of the pedals! I'd like a bike which positions the pedals more in front of me than directly beneath me as the leverage on the pedaling seems much better.

The two bikes the fellow recommended for me were the Cannondale Quick 5 and the Specialized Globe Carmel. I didn't get a chance to ride either just yet as there wasn't time. But in looking them over I like the Specialized as the pedals seem to be shifted a bit more in front of the seat than the Quick. The proof will be in the ride. Going to be googling a bit to find out more. I was pleased that the prices weren't as stratospheric as I feared they might be...!

Oh...just discovered, the bike I rode out onto the Silver Strand in San Diego was the Electra Townie! Check out the forward position of the pedals here:

www.roadbikereview.com/cat/latest-bi
kes/hybrid-bike/electra-bicycle-compan
y/PRD_291016_5672crx.aspx


I love the leverage one gets when you pedal this thing! No hunched-over-Lance-Armstrong-enjoying-the-
views-of-different-pavement for ME! :-)

Anyone have any suggestions for me to check out?

Been enjoying my food tracking and getting pretty darned cocky about reaching my goal...! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JCORYCMA 10/26/2009 1:41AM

    I have to admit, I'm bike ignorant but thrilled you are planning to reward yourself for a big goal and with something that will help keep your momentum!! I do ride the upright stationary bikes at the Y and love the virtual programs that I ride to. A little shadow goes along to show me how much better I am doing than I did before. Very motivating!! Keep it up, Don. You are going to love the thin life :)
Joanne emoticon

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ROYALETBONE 10/25/2009 12:24PM

    Yeah, I've got a comfort bike- I may not take hills like a pro, but the comfort of the positioning etc can leave me happy with a one or two our bike ride... and that's better for this ole fart than bunched up speed racer.
Woot, woot!


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CARRIE1948 10/25/2009 9:43AM

    I loved my Specialized.

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TUPPROACH 10/25/2009 6:55AM

    Thanks for the info on bikes. I know next to nothing about them. Haven't ridden in too many years to count but am looking forward to starting soon. What would be a good one for a beginner? I have a hand me down from one of my kids but not sure what kind or style. They gave me the one that doesn't work so I need to get repairs before I can ride but would like to get one that will be a fit for me. It was great to meet you and your wife tonight!!

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PISTL67 10/24/2009 3:50PM

    that sounds good. i have a diamond back mountain bike. i like the softer tires. would like handle bars closer to me though. i think sitting more upright would be easier on the back.

Comment edited on: 10/24/2009 3:53:16 PM

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KELLI9001 10/24/2009 2:04PM

    Great job and I can't wait til you reach that ONEderland. I never knew there were so many different styles of bikes. Thanks for filling me in!
emoticon

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LEELYNN2 10/24/2009 9:30AM

    A bicycle for onederland... I wish I'd have thought of that! I thought I wanted a townie for a while, got one at a police auction and absolutely terrified myself on it, so I looked for a hybrid for a while, but then my husband found one he liked and I inherited his mountain style instead. I hate the view of the pavement, but it is handy since I've started biking the downhill trails around here.

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JUSTKARON 10/24/2009 9:13AM

    How important it is to reward ourselves! And the bike sounds like a PERFECT reward.

Hmmmmmmmm....thinkin
g about a reward for myself for getting into the 150's again. I'm thinking new fitness tapes.

Karon

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SOULCOLLAGESUE 10/24/2009 12:57AM

    I stored my racer for a comfort hybrid about 5 years ago, 27". Love it! I'm glad tracking food works for you, Don. I'm convinced that it's how my hold-out weight is "melting" off (combined with fitness). Isn't SP creative and its technology amazing?

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S318830 10/23/2009 11:42PM

    Very cool. I love that you're checking out and researching your reward - and that the reward is fitness based! Nice job! I like the fact that you and I have similar amounts of weight to lose and the same goal date by which to reach it. I'll definitely be cheering you on!

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Tracking Food At Long Last...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Recently as part of a challenge for those of us previewing Chris Downie's book "The Spark" I finally agreed to track my food.

This is pretty big for me...I have been holding out on food tracking since Day 1 of being with SparkPeople...no matter HOW many great benefits and rave reviews of tracking I'd read I persisted in my aversion to tracking food. Too much like the bad old days of "dieting!"

I psychologically prepared myself for this back when I made a commitment to breaking through to ONEderland by the New Year, realizing that if I couldn't make the headway I wanted toward this goal I might have to finally pull this tool out of the chest and put it to work.

So at the end of day two of tracking I've been pleasantly surprised over how EASY it is to do and how COMPREHENSIVE the food data is...finding things listed I didn't think I'd see.

I'm pleased also to see my totals are turning out okay...a bit low, but not too high as I feared they might be.

I enjoy seeing all the stats and figures such as percentages, etc. It's like taking a handful of random change and tossing into a sorter and seeing how the rack up. Except of course my food choices are HARDLY RANDOM!

Another thing I've noticed is the "built in" restraint that kicks in when the urge to snack or nibble comes along..."oh! I'll have to log that! Um...where's the water?" :-)

While I'm not making any long-term promises or guarantees, I'm suspecting I may just stick with this tracking / logging stuff! I have a hunch it may be an invaluable aid while traveling to ONEderland...!

I had a wonderful bike ride today back and forth to work, 9 miles away...1100 calories up in smoke!...woo hoo! Love the Fitness Maps! Froze this morning...shorts & a T-shirt in 48 degree weather. Yeah, stupid, but...I just HATE to be encumbered by long sleeves, pant-legs, straps and elastic bands when riding my bike. I get such a HIGH from feeling so empowered and free I want to compromise that as little as possible with such things! I DID have a pair of gloves though as my hands are the most vulnerable part of me when it comes to feeling the cold.

Besides...I was sweatin' it coming home wearing the same things! :-)

Because of the dark of the morning AND the evening, I suspect that's my last work ride until springtime...drat! Can't WAIT to start racking up 2-3 days a week of biking like this!

Hope everyone's got their Spark lights shining strong out there!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROYALETBONE 10/23/2009 10:25PM

    Ahh, Don- isn't fun how we keep learning as we go?
I wonder what the next trick the universe will give me? Joy, continuing joy.


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ZELLAZM 10/23/2009 8:56AM

    Don, seems to me that it's just another sign of your stick-to-itiveness that you're just now starting to track food. After over two years on SP and all the talk about the trackers, it's pretty amazing that you've held out this long! WTG on the bike rides - are you concerned about safety with driving in the dark? I'm sure you'll find other ways to burn the calories, but doing it on your commute is a definite advantage time-wise, I'm sure!

Good weekend
Michelle

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USARUNNERGIRL 10/23/2009 8:39AM

    You inspire me every day. Keep torching it up on your back and tracking your nutrition and you will be burning it up.

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CARRIE1948 10/23/2009 8:13AM

    I absolutely LOVE food tracking. I pay no attention to their menus or calorie limits, but do try to monitor the balance in my diet. I've learned that my body holds on to starch but likes protein. That I dislike fats but need more to feel good.

I see food tracking as the antithesis of dieting. It helps me decide what else I can eat without making me feel guilty

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KIKICANADIAN 10/23/2009 7:52AM

    Gee, I thought everyone tracked what they ate on here...daaa me.
Good for you for finally giving in and tracking :)
Your doing a great job Don, keep it up!!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/23/2009 3:28AM

    The nutrition tracker is the reason I'm here - it was suggested at a work-based wellness program, which is why I started in March. Using the social network didn't happen for me until May.

For me, tracking food is the ONLY way I've historically ever been able to lose weight. I guess I don't have enough natural inhibition without the pressure of knowing I'll have to log it.

Coupled with a bodyfat scale and physicsdiet.com, the calorie totals from SP help me see a more complete picture of what's going on so I can fine-tune my eating strategies.

For example, with all of the strength training I'm doing, I find it really handy to know how much protein I'm getting per day. I recently increased my minimum to 100g, and we'll see how that goes.

Glad you like it, so far. You'll find over time that it's handy to copy whole meals from one day to the next. I have my whey shake and vitamins in there as "meals" and don't have to put them in separately each time.

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SOULCOLLAGESUE 10/23/2009 1:39AM

    I saw you biked those miles, Don. That's super. Kudos to you for riding in the dark, although I understand the unemcumbered preference in clothing. I am happy to hear the food tracker is working at this time. I use the meal planners, too, and just love the freedom knowing that if I follow it, all's taken care of. I think we both agree that we are privileged to be on the pilot team. What an opportunity! I'm loving the book. I'll enjoy a few more rides for you, since I have daytime hours with which to work, too. Great blog!

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ERIECANALGAL 10/23/2009 12:16AM

    The nutrition tracker is the best tool I have found on SP. I don't know how I'd do without it.
emoticon
Dottee

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JCORYCMA 10/22/2009 11:58PM

    I still track, Don. Almost every day. Keeps me honest. Yeah my work friends think I'm obsessed, but then they weigh a lot more then me too! Actually through tracking, the Spark police kept bugging me to eat more carbs and I finally listened to them -- had to get over the whole carbs are a dirty word thing -- and my weight has came off faster and I do feel more satisfied. Your GI tract will thank you too :)
Joanne

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DALEALLEN 10/22/2009 11:18PM

    Tracking food makes all the difference.

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It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like ONEderland...!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I have to confess to having a little "help" via the cleansing one has to do before having a colonoscopy, but I am still THRILLED nonetheless to having dropped TEN POUNDS this week!

I dropped from 226 to 220 after the first attempt at a colonoscopy. Then bounced up to 224 last week...and now down to 214! Woo hoo! Now I am already mentally preparing myself for some possible rebound as I did after my last colonoscopy attempt...but nonetheless the zig-zag is heading downward! ONEderland here I come!

Other than the colonoscopy, the other changes I've made is for 1-2 days a week I allow myself only non-starchy veggies for the day, which I figure does some shaking up and confusion to my body and promotes more weight loss. I've continued to keep the nuts out of my food choices. An "addition" I've made to my food has been apples. After reading about the higher fiber content that fruit has than veggies and also realizing that NOT including fruit in the interests of maintaining a lower carb approach was something I had planned to change at some point anyhow: I thought why not add an apple here & there? We've been out apple picking lately too which has added to its appeal. Yum, nothing like biting into a crisp, juicy, sweet-sour Cortland!

Beyond this, however, I have to confess to having a weird sort of doldrums this past week. There was a day of unintended, unwanted missed cardio...just couldn't pull myself up onto the old 'mill. I ALWAYS beat myself up for this...don't know WHY it can be such a struggle sometimes! I know I've been missing other types of workout outlets lately, 'millwork has been getting boring...

So along those lines, I've decided tomorrow, since I'm not working late and the weather is bouncing back to the upper 60's AND since the road repairs are largely completed (still some striping and minor stuff going on, but the shoulders are done) I will ride my bike back and forth to work. This is something I want to do on a more regular basis once we're back to warmer weather in the spring...but have to be vigilant for those occasional "do-able" days left here in the fall also! Riding my bike often gives me a great boost and I'm SO looking forward to THAT!

I've been previewing Chris Downie's book "The Spark" and I'll tell you, there are some challenging ideas in this book...it really makes you stop, take note and think about what direction you want your life to take...! It's like, wow...I've done so much already, how can I TOP this...?!?! Yet on the other hand I know I've been feeling a bit stagnant, needing a more specific goal to sink my teeth into. Yes, I know I've had ONEderland on my brain...but I'm beginning to question that goal...felt like I was floundering during my zig-zags...still wanting to reach that goal, but already challenging myself: How is life going to be any different when a new number shows up on the scale...?

So how WOULD I like life to be different...? Working through "The Spark" has begun to give me some ideas, some glimmers...but as to pulling this all together and having a clear VISION of what I want to see blooming in my life? Specific, concrete changes? Still struggling with that. I have the same difficulty in making changes in my home...we're looking at laminate flooring. I can see so many styles that appeal. But to store in my head a given laminate color, style and then match that with a specific color wall and decide okay, what kind of furniture would go with that...? Ugh! No can do! I'm having the same struggle taking my values, beliefs...mixing it with a "vision" of my ideal future and conjuring specific Fast Break Goals that will put one foot ahead of the other and take me toward that vision.

Stay tuned...!

I'm looking forward to meeting with other members of SparkPeople locally as one of our new members has recently moved and invited us to her place on Saturday. We came up with the idea as she tongue-in-cheek suggested in her blog that fellow members of SparkPeople come over to help her to move her belongings. I thought it sounded like a wonderful idea and took her up on it! Not sure that there's much moving to do still, but meeting everyone will be super!

I've been SO inspired by ALL of your wonderful blogging lately everyone... Keep up the terrific sharing and support that continues to add to the strength of our SparkFamily ties!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROYALETBONE 10/22/2009 5:09PM

    Figs are bearing madly here. I've been eating figs, and clementines, and apples, oh, yes apples.
Ahhh- fresh fruit.

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AUNTC321 10/22/2009 12:33PM

    I am also reading the book and finding it to be quite inspiring. It really does get you thinking about setting and achieving other goals and finding yourself. Keep up the great work. Chris

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JCORYCMA 10/22/2009 12:07AM

    Hey Don -- great personal insight! Congrats on the weight loss too! Just -- no more colonoscopies to help you out :) I like apples now too. Just a nice, crisp apple. Before I would only eat them in a pie or a crisp...
Joanne

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BKWERM 10/21/2009 6:43PM

    Ohhhhh.... Well, that makes more sense.... I was a little worried about you.... Well, congratulations and I hope all or most of it stays off.

Have you tried cycling in the winter? My husband does. He just bundles up and wears cycling booties, etc.

Have fun with your mini-reunion on the weekend.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 10/21/2009 4:57PM

    Keep plugging away. Maybe life will be different at "one-der-land," not because of the actual number on the scale but because of the process you went through to get there.

With my own journey, not only am I feeling better about myself because I'm a more socially acceptable size and more vigorous in general, but the process itself has made me more assertive. I'm more empowered. I tell my boss (and HIS boss) what I think, when they ask. Because life is short and I'm done pretending everything is beautiful.

And I've also gotten to know MYSELF better. I have a better idea of when I can trust myself to make good decisions and when I need to stack the deck or coerce myself to do what needs to be done.

There are still surprises, but there are fewer of them and I'm more accepting of myself when they do happen. Instead of kicking myself so often I try to examine how and why and learn from it. I think I'd actually be pretty boring to live inside of, if I were 100% predictable, anyway, so it definitely keeps me entertained. LOL

I don't want to develop a razor-sharp vision of my "ideal" life. Not right now, anyway. I'll settle for getting the last 35 lbs off (or 25% body fat whichever comes first), and working toward doing more of the things I like (ww kayaking, flat water kayaking, etc.)

I think that's enough goals for me to handle at the moment. Too many and I'll get overwhelmed. I don't make a lot of forward progress with my head up, looking around. I make my best progress when I keep my nose to the grindstone, and my focus on the immediate hour, day, and week.

Yes, it's good to make sure that the "forward" progress is in a direction that you actually WANT, but I'm pretty confident mine is, so I'm going to put my head down and keep pushing, for now. LOL.

I also don't think it's important to me to "top" what I've already accomplished - I lean toward trying to be an overachiever, and it's not always been healthy. Sometimes it's important for me to just *be,* rather than to *do.*

Looking forward to seeing you and Kathy at Linda's on Saturday!

Comment edited on: 10/21/2009 5:06:21 PM

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SOULCOLLAGESUE 10/21/2009 1:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonon your cheek :) emoticon emoticonderland, here Don comes!

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