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We're All Sparkin' HOT!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Okay folks, put on your party hats, get in the conga line and celebrate!

This is one of my favorite 6 mph songs and everytime I hear it I feel like hamming it up and pretending I'm just FULL of myself and think I'm the HOTTEST fellow around!

Of course those of you who know my struggles with the mirror and my body image realize that most of the time nothing could be further from the truth... BUT:

During this song I like to *pretend* for just a few minutes that none of those struggles exist and I'm just going to WOO HOO! and LAUGH and CELEBRATE myself, my accomplishments and invite all of you to join in and fuggetabout all your doubts and criticisms of yourselves and your bodies because as the song sez:

I'm HOT!
You're HOT!

Here's the video from this 80's one-hit-wonder that should be on ALL of your mp3 players:


Join the conga line...cuz we're all SPARKIN' HOT! :-)


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLUTTER-BY)L( 11/16/2009 11:27AM

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane. Thanks for helping me to see that I am not alone in this dance. I need to set up a youtube playlist and dance to my favorite 80 bands. That would be a fun way to start the day. emoticonI was hoping to find someone dancing. This is the best I can do now. I guess don't dance to close to me.

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USARUNNERGIRL 11/16/2009 11:15AM

    Great song and great motivation. Thank you for being the life of the Spark Party for me.

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LEELYNN2 11/14/2009 7:00PM

    Oh Yeah... Feel'n Hot Hot Hot. You Rock!

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KELLI9001 11/14/2009 12:14PM

    Thanks for the motivation (and laugh) what a great video!

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ETAGGEL 11/14/2009 9:43AM

    Good video! Made me smile. How do those dancers look good yet when I am dancing (which I do practically every day)I look absolutely ridiculous! Hence shades are closed and doors are locked during this time!lol


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FRECKS96 11/13/2009 11:41AM

    Great song! I love to turn up a good song and sing and dance in the car or around the house. I pretend no one can see me!

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OUTDOORGIRL70 11/13/2009 11:23AM

Thanks for my morning song. It got me going.

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BOUDICA26 11/13/2009 10:42AM

    AAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH...Now I can't get that song out of my head!

I love pounding 80's hair bands for the fast stuff.

Have a great day everyone!


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DDOORN 11/13/2009 9:19AM

    Well, Joanne, I appreciate the kind words, but you know how the whole body image thing takes a while to catch up with reality...!

But this song is a nice break from all of THAT! :-)

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JCORYCMA 11/13/2009 8:50AM

    Don - What a fun song to wake me up this morning and get me going!! Also you don't need to struggle with your self image. Unless you used a stand in in your pictures -- YOU HAVE NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT! You may not be the hottest -- but hey I married HIM -- even if he did call me a penguin:)
Thanks for starting my day with some sparky fun!!
Joanne emoticon

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Addicted to Blogs / Jumping Rope!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I just LOVE to catch up with everyone and their blogs! Such inspiration, heartbreak, excitement, creativity, angst, curiosity...how can I resist? After all we're like one big family, right?

Well, I'm beginning to realize that I'm spreading myself a wee bit too thin and subbing to SO many blogs that I don't take enough time to (phew!) pause, reflect, and put some of my OWN thoughts down...!

I've been sticking with the nutrition tracking and although I got a tiny bit fuzzy with it over the weekend, I'm right back at it this week. Due to that fuzziness, however, I was nervously awaiting this week's weigh-in and feared a flat line or (gulp!) even a gain.

As tomorrow is a holiday for us state workers I would not be able to weigh-in on the scale our nurse kindly allows me to use each week. I always weigh-in around the same time (mornings) and under pretty much the same conditions:

---nothing touches my lips other than my morning vitamins/pills and a few sips of water
---all pockets are emptied, wrist-watch and shoes slipped off...if I had more privacy EVERYTHING would go...!

Anyone else get kinda wacky around weigh-in time...lol?

At first I thought...hey, wait till Thurs. and I'll have a chance to hedge my bets and another day of running under my calories!

But then I decided I just COULDN'T wait!

And...Ta DA! Two more pounds down! In SIX days instead of SEVEN! Woo hoo!

10 more pounds till ONEderland...7 more weeks...!

Feeling a bit jazzed when I came home I realized I did a smart thing: I put a jump rope in my car!

I have off and on attempted to jump rope over the past year. Klutz that I am I have only been able to get the darned thing past my feet 2, 3, maybe even 5 times before tripping up. The other day I realized I'm always trying this indoors under somewhat confined conditions where the rope will THWACK the ceiling or I'll bump into something. So I figured, 'hey, let's stick it in the car and perhaps a time will come along and I can work in some attempts outdoors without anything to get in my way.'

Well, although I had a ZILLION things I COULD have done instead, tonight I figure I've got the whole driveway to myself, let's give it a go!

So I really STUCK with it...klutzed my way through some feeble attempts, but kept going it, going it until...woo hoo! Managed a NICE sustained bit of jumping rope, actually even able to take my eyes off my feet and look straight ahead and keep up the jumping...! Whew! Nice quick way to work up a sweat! And the darned things are so PORTABLE too! Problem is...have to do this outside...when I'd rather be in a CLOSET so nobody could see me...lol! Another down side: I can hear the SLAP-SLAP of my belly flab as I jump...hard not to feel self-conscious about that. So while it's an UPPER to be able to DO IT, I have to keep kicking myself with reminders that I fought long and hard for that belly flab and the LAST thing I should do is feel SELF-CONSCIOUS about it!


You all know the struggle, I'm sure...!

Keep on SPARKING all you wonderful people out there!


PS...almost forgot...another holiday music recommendation for anyone who appreciates jazz / Brasilian music: A Brasilian Christmas:


As the reviewer says: "This is one of my favorite holiday albums. It was peculiar at first, combining the tropical warmth of Brasil with a holiday that conjures images of cold winter scenes for those of us in the northern latitudes, but very quickly one just sits back, smoothes out and enjoys the ride! I believe Oscar Castro-Neves has a significant presence on this cd, as well as other wonderful Brasilian guitarists. If you enjoy Brasilian, bossa-nova style music, you owe it to yourself to buy this album!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S318830 11/17/2009 1:41PM

    Nice job on the jumping rope! Very cool! And congrats on the weight loss. I'm glad you're in a push toward Dec 31st with me.

And as one of the blogs you frequent, thank you! I love your comments! But I totally understand that by reading them all you run out of time for yourself. I wish I had more time to read other people's pages too. You'll find a good balance.

Comment edited on: 11/17/2009 1:44:51 PM

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ZELLAZM 11/11/2009 12:44PM

    Love your jump-roping in the driveway story. It is a great way to get some intense cardio in. So far I've only had the courage to try it here in the living room where space is tight - but maybe I'll get brave some time, too.

10 pounds - wooohoooo! Wouldn't it be great to enter the new year in OneDerLand? You can do it!


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KIKICANADIAN 11/11/2009 6:47AM

    YEAH...keep rocking there Don!!
2 pounds is exciting :)
And I do the sans clothing thing because I'm in the privacy of my own bedroom when I weigh in..lol
Course that could get complicated with a nurse standing by..lol

As for the Brasilian thing...I LOVE BRASIL!!!
Lived there for a while and miss it terribly!

Keep going Don, your an inspiration to us all


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OUTDOORGIRL70 11/10/2009 10:54PM

emoticon on the weight lose. This is just one more thing that you add to you exercising. Biking. Treadmill, Kayaking, now jump roping. You just amaze everyone Don with all your talents.

God Bless.

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FRECKS96 11/10/2009 10:09PM

    I really do appreciate all your comments, but I understand how it can get out of hand! Congrats on the 2 lbs. and on finding a new exercise. I am still in the flapping stage.

And, yes, I get a little wacky on my official weigh in day too, I think it's a requirement! emoticon

Can't wait to celebrate your arrival in ONEderland with you! Keep up the great work!

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FLAWLESSCUBE 11/10/2009 9:55PM

    WTG on Jumping rope. I know how it feels working out in front of people. Can be pretty tricky and dangerous to do that inside the house though. Maybe in the garage? COngrats on your weigh loss also this week. You are inspiring to so many of us out here.
Stay Strong

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 11/10/2009 9:30PM

    Great on the rope jumping!

Cheap and portable. How much better can it get? LOL

Now all you need is a HR monitor so you can gauge how much exercise you're getting while doing it! hehe

I haven't ever subscribed to a blog - I tend to look at the ones that show up in a few key groups, and then if I have time, I'll browse the popular and/or new ones.

Congrats on the 2 lbs and keep on hopping, hehehe.

Comment edited on: 11/10/2009 9:31:15 PM

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ROYALETBONE 11/10/2009 9:13PM

    Congrats on the belly flapping! Er, now, that's DEF a Spark thing, isn't it? Yeah, like the rest of world would understand it....
And congrats on 2 pounds down. Supreme!

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ZIRCADIA 11/10/2009 8:47PM

    I was a little self conscious of the things that would wobble when fake jump roping in the gym, but I'm over it now. But I FEEL YOU on that! Also - a big WOOHOO on being down another 2lbs! :D You are getting soooooo close to ONEderland now, that is awesome. :) I've cut down my blog subscriptions massively - Is till get a lot (yours is one I kept ;) hehe) but yeah... one day when my inbox was just PILED with notifications I just deleted any that I didn't feel excited/interested to read instead of reading them all out of duty. I found that I even felt like rolling my eyes/sighing before opening some of them... EEK! *shhh* don't tell!

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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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