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A Rash of Spark Spreading!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I'm telling EVERYONE about SP! Today I read in our local newspaper about a new fitness trainer who was on Biggest Loser....just opened his own business. I sent him an e-mail singing the praises of SP and encouraged him to spread the SPARK to his clients!

I ALSO read about a local pharmacy offering self-help support groups, and then a registered dietitian...emailed them both about SP too!

Last week I met with our local bariatric surgeon and spoke with HIM about SP and the benefits, encouraging him to suggest SP to his clients.

Earlier in the fall I wrote to both of our local colleges health departments encouraging them to leave SparkPeople fliers around for the new college students coming in.

Occasionally some folks around me roll their eyes when I get on a Spark kick, but hey, when you've found something as special as SparkPeople how can you NOT pay it forward?!? :-)

I've been bouncing back, getting in my daily cardio and 3 x week ST. Tracking my food and doing okay...we'll see what my Weds. weigh-in brings in the way of results!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ZIRCADIA 12/7/2009 8:43PM

    You are the most SPARK SPREADINGEST person I know!! :D Rock on!

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ZELLAZM 12/7/2009 2:44PM

    WTG on sharing the Spark, Don! You've gotta be one of the site's biggest cheerleaders!

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USARUNNERGIRL 12/7/2009 10:42AM

    Great sparking Don! I try to tell everyone about spark. I get the eye rolls, but I get an equal amount of people grateful for the suggestion.

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INTOTHEJAM2 12/7/2009 9:53AM

    Very good idea. Didn't think about writing all of those people. I would love to get more people in my area into Spark, and I think this may be a great way to do it. Thanks!!

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FERRETLOVER1 12/7/2009 7:40AM

    I've been spreading the Spark to my TOPS group (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) as well as my doctor.

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FLAWLESSCUBE 12/7/2009 4:22AM

    WHoo hoo Don, I can't wait to get into my MD office in a week or two and show them what SP has done. Your profile image is amazing. WTg You are changing lives and inspiring those around you not just in our cyber world but also in your hometown. Your neighbors have a good friend in you, even if they do roll their eyes at your SP kick. Keep on Sparking.

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L*I*T*A* 12/7/2009 12:09AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FHAMWEY 12/6/2009 11:03PM

    Great job Don! I know what it is like to have people roll your eyes but how can they deny the changes that occur in you. It is the excitement and enthusiasm of your healthy lifestyle that will get people involved. Keep it up! You are doing great! I hope you get the results you want on the scale!

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Reflections: Planning to Plan

Friday, December 04, 2009

Adding to my reflections over my Thanksgiving weekend setback...had read JCORYCMA's blog "Planning to Plan," ( www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2600190
) which inspired a few more thoughts. Ever read Joseph Heller's "Catch-22"...? Where he keeps replaying the same plot over and over, fleshing it out a bit more each time? Guess I'm doing that a bit here too.

Planning is the ticket, that's for sure!

Sometimes we have to plan above and BEYOND our plans, though...! For instance although I brought my shorts and t-shirt along so that I would have clothes for working out I did NOT plan for the hotel to charge $20 a day for use of the exercise facilities. Although I DID have the thought of getting out and going for a walk / jog I didn't follow through on this thought. Had I thought this through AHEAD of time and made a deal with myself to ACT on this plan I believe the odds might have been greater that I would have done so. I could have had a back up plan of a regimen of calisthenics, stretches, etc. which I could have done right in our room.

Buffets: At home my DW and I often go to Old Country Buffet and I've gotten that down to a science and can make healthy choices there and not go "astray." There was a buffet where we were staying and I thought: no problem! I've got this buffet thing down to a science! Well, don't know about your taste buds, but one of the things that helps me at Old Country Buffet is that their desserts totally SUCK! They're "known quantities."

Um...that was not the case with THIS buffet! Such a TERRIBLE mistake to begin to sample those desserts...! So...unless it's a buffet I *know* to be safe...best to avoid such places!

We had taken some apples and Flatout wraps for healthy snacking. One of the first thing I did upon arriving was to carry a 15 pack of bottled water back to the hotel on my shoulder. Began refilling the bottles from the tap which wasn't too bad for a change. Another snack I would have liked to have brought was a bag of baby carrots...just not enough room so I had to leave 'em in the car. But it was helpful to find them there when we returned to the car at the airport. Healthy snacking while driving home...felt like I was already reclaiming my routine!

Trying to make this more than a confessional...more like a detective teasing out the details of a MAJOR crime scene...lol!

Had a fine lunch today while out with my colleagues: Baby spinach salad with a piece of grilled chicken on top and vinaigrette dressing. It was yummy and I didn't feel deprived at all. Enjoy the off-work chit-chat with others.

Have a terrific weekend out there everyone and...be *careful* out there! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DONNELDA22 12/6/2009 11:09AM

    Way to Go! Planning to Plan. Contingency Planning. That's something most of don't do well. Or even think about. Thanks for the reminder. I'm going out for dinner next week. I am going to phone them and check out their menu so I will be prepared before I go.

thanks again emoticon

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RENA1965 12/6/2009 3:09AM

    Keep at it, plans can get screwed up sometimes- better to have some form of attack then go totally unprepared and totally loss it.. The 20 dollar a day to use facilities would have me stand offish too.. Despite the dessert issue you didn't do too badly.. Practise makes perfect- to another time- perhaps find another hotel near a ymca or a gym with more reasonable short term rates..

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FERRETLOVER1 12/5/2009 8:44AM

    Planning is key to success. Sounds like you learned your lesson and are now on the right track again. Keep up the great work!

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ZELLAZM 12/5/2009 4:55AM

    Just think of what a long way you've come when you compare the way you handled your trip to how you might have done things in the past!

Thanks for the very timely reminder to be careful out there - I'm going caroling with a group from church and we'll be offered cookies at just about every stop. I plan to enjoy one or two, but that's IT!

Blessings this weekend,
Michelle

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JCORYCMA 12/4/2009 10:28PM

    Thanks for adding your inspired thoughts to my blog and including the link. My hubby and I were talking vacation ideas for next spring and your blog made me realize I will need to be extra careful with the planning for exercise and eating wherever we go! So glad to see that you are getting right back in control. Just a little setback, but ONEderland is still within your vision!
Joanne

Comment edited on: 12/4/2009 10:29:23 PM

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Another Factor...!

Friday, December 04, 2009

All of your wonderful support reminded me of another factor which tipped the scales the wrong way for me:

No 'net! There was absolutely NO free internet while I was away! I'd never seen such a thing! Even the municipal free wi-fi wouldn't connect! So I was cut off from SparkPeople and all of our wisdom here...! Not that this should make me *helpless*, but it was yet one more element to my stumble.

Off to work...today is our holiday lunch at our local favorite Italian restaurant...am brainstorming healthy options for myself...stay tuned!

Nailed my 'millwork first thing...35 mins. 5 mph, 12 incline...YES! :-)

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEAMISH7 12/7/2009 11:36AM

    The giving and receiving of support is a HUGE part of any challenge we take on in our lives. Me things that your awareness of the effect of its absence on you is a big insight. Your background, by the way, it gorgeous.

Have a great and active day.

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USARUNNERGIRL 12/7/2009 10:44AM

    Glad to have you back Don. Sorry about the no net thing. I had that problem in my own home for awhile. It really does through me off too, so I can relate. Now that I am back online at home, I am hitting a better groove.

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ZELLAZM 12/4/2009 3:49PM

    Welcome back and WTG for heading for the treadmill first thing!

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FERRETLOVER1 12/4/2009 8:29AM

    Glad to have you back in the world of the 'net & SparkPeople. Being aware that you need to plan ahead for your favorite restaurant is the first step. You will make a sensible choice, I'm sure. Remember, if the portion is huge like at most Italian restaurants, ask to have 1/2 of it doggy bagged!!

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JCORYCMA 12/4/2009 8:29AM

    Welcome back. The restaurant is a challenge today but I know you handle it!
Keep us posted!
Joanne

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/4/2009 8:27AM

    Absolutely true. And one of the reasons I'm actually considering dropping the Tracfone and going to another cell provider.

Because Tracfone won't let me access mobile.sparkpeople.com, and I don't think I want to be away from the nutrition tracker that long, again.

Even WITH logging everything on paper, I still backslid!

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L*I*T*A* 12/4/2009 8:12AM

    so glad you are back..............a lot of this may very well be related to increased soduim intake...........you will get this off.............. this is just a bump on life's road..........take care........we are here for you.............blessings and hugs............lita

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Slipped Far More Than I Feared...!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

To weigh in or NOT to weigh in...

Struggled with this first thing this morning thinking: hmmm...if I give myself a week off from the scale I can use the time to whack away at the weight I gained during my travels and the number won't be so fearsome...

But! Shouldn't I *KNOW* what I'm up against...?

Aight: scale it is!

...and I just couldn't BELIEVE how BADLY I had slipped!

My next reaction, habitual, was to get beyond the shock, be ashamed and consider just buckling down on getting the pounds off and never sharing with anyone what had happened.

Well that's too much like the bad old days, bad old ways...I remember reading somewhere a fellow saying that fighting against habits, doing the OPPOSITE of what one is inclined to do is how we can grow and develop.

So here I am putting it out there: FIFTEEN POUNDS! In less than a week I blew through almost ALL the weight I had lost during my efforts to get beyond my plateau of 226. Thankfully, I'm still ahead of that at 220, but have been hanging my head and kicking myself in the butt.

And then moving myself into the direction I always find useful: what can I learn from this costly mistake? What factors played into such POOR choices?

--- I got a bit TOO confident in my abilities to manage my weight, thinking that I could allow myself more latitude for a few days and get right back to my healthy lifestyle without paying TOO costly a price. WRONG!

--- Although I made a lot of healthy food choices, I played too much of an "ostrich" over the BAD food choices, sorta thinking magically that the grilled salmon, yogurt, strawberries, apples, etc. would cancel out the...BAD stuff. WRONG!

--- I tossed out my workout routine. It was hardly an inactive time for me...much walking, rock climbing, etc. but again, thinking that this equated to the type of efforts I put into my workouts...at least close enough, right? WRONG!

--- I stopped tracking...just a few days, no prob, right? WRONG!

--- I didn't follow my inspiration. I had a though early one morning how cool it might be to get out in shorts and t-shirt and walk-jog through the city...but never got beyond the thought, never put it into action. Next time I've got to PUSH myself into DOING IT!

--- I played with fire: allowed myself some of the very foods I KNOW are my trigger foods, those sugary sweet highly processed carbie things. Foods that turn off my "enough is enough" trigger and open the bottomless pit. Just like an alcoholic and alcohol: I just can't *TOUCH* this stuff!

I'm still sifting through this to gain whatever lessons I can. Still shaking my head at times over how FRIGHTFULLY EASY it can be to BLOW IT! Yet, reminding myself that one HUGE step forward for me is that in the bad old days I would still be spiraling downward for years to come...not so now:

I've STOPPED! I'm BACK! Tracking the food, strength training, back on my 'mill, jammin' to my tunes and reclaiming my SPARK!

I *WILL* get to ONEderland! Even if not by the year's end, not TOO far beyond!

Be careful out there folks...it can be so, SO easy to get lost along the way!

Don

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOJAVEMAMA 12/4/2009 11:25AM

    Unfortunately, we have all been there. But, you have stopped the spiral and are back on track. I know you can do this.

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LEELYNN2 12/4/2009 10:20AM

    yep... been there... repeatedly. One of the lessons to still be learned (or probably you already have and just didn't list it) is Trust in yourself that you will get back on track and in the game. I gained 6 in the the time I was gone though I couldn't point to any time that I slipped, but I trust that because I've learned to pay close attention and know the habits that I need to get back to my maintenance weight that it will be fine.

Don't give up that grilled salmon! But save that chunk of extra fatty tail section for me, cause that's the part I love the best and all those omegas keep me young and beautiful.

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JCORYCMA 12/4/2009 8:15AM

    Don your story was MY Thanksgiving story. Thinking how long it took to take off those lbs. and how quickly I put them back on literally brought me to tears. Thank goodness for my return to Spark World so I could make a quick recovery and not get that "what the heck attitude" and fall even further back. I weighed yesterday and am going to get up the nerve to go public with it - especially now I see that you have and it's not the end of the world. Thanks for sharing & thanks for inspiring me to get right back on track!
Joanne emoticon

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BKWERM 12/4/2009 6:06AM

    Oh, Don, that IS depressing but I know if anyone can get rid of it quickly, it's you.

Take care.

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ROYALETBONE 12/4/2009 2:02AM

    Woot, woot, you're back! Coming back at it, that's what really counts. You are being accountable, take pride in who you are!
And- I bet a bunch of it falls off again- I'm crossing my fingers that at least 5 pounds of it is salt/water weight. Yup. Keep us posted.
And hey- all the 'maintainers' that I know- when they get to 'maintaining'- get on the scale every day. A switch in mentality from losing, to just casually keeping an eye on what's up- or down!



Comment edited on: 12/4/2009 2:02:25 AM

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MEDDYPEDDY 12/4/2009 1:17AM

    Impressive action, hopefully some of that "slip weight" will disappear as soon as you get back in healthy routines.

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AZIMAT 12/4/2009 12:43AM

    Fifteen pounds. Wow, that's prodigious. You'll figure it out.

Great post from Healthy BMI. Hope half of it is water.

Keep on keepin' on, Bingfriend.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/4/2009 12:04AM

    I'm sorry you had a shock, but glad you decided to 1) err on the side of having more information, and 2) admit it to us [and thereby yourself].

I've been reading a lot of the scientific literature on maintenance lately and frequent monitoring and taking steps to correct the trend are both really important, possibly the main key components to success in maintenance.

Take heart in the fact that much of it probably is water weight - processed food tends to have a lot of salt in it.

I somehow gained SIX pounds over the 4 days I spent traveling to, at, and from a weekend family reunion. (And that was WITH weighing and tracking almost everything I ate, making only the best food choices available, and hitting the gym on both opportunities I had.) It took about a week to get back to where I'd been before I left.

If you had to have a shock, be glad it was after a relatively short-term lapse. As you've said, now you know you aren't ready to take off the training wheels, so you're less likely to make that mistake soon again. (According to the literature it takes 2-5 YEARS to retrain ourselves to the point we can relax a bit and drop some of the vigilance.)

Also, consider that if you had not removed 15 lbs before your vacation, you would possibly be 15 UP from where you started, rather than where you are now. So it was fortunate you had that recent 15 lbs in the bank to draw upon.

Finally, just one other point - something in your post raised a little red flag when I read it:

I question whether grilled salmon can be considered a "good" food choice - in terms of calories, there is a LOT of fat in it, compared with other options such as shrimp, hake, cod, or tilapia. It really depends on how MUCH salmon... (Appropriate portion sizes are about half the amount you can eat of the other fish I listed, and you're getting less protein and more fat in that little half fillet.)

You might want to re-examine your concept of "good" versus "bad" foods, because there might be some foods in there that aren't as helpful as you think - recall all those nuts you were eating while driving; in moderation nuts are fine. In quantity the calories add up fast.

I've had to do this re-evaluation process several times over the past year as I've tweaked and refined what I put into my system. In the end I always decide based on the macronutrient ratios versus total calories.

Anyway, welcome back on program, and you know as well as I that if you stick to it you'll see results. Which in the end is probably the most comforting fact out there.

emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/4/2009 12:33:55 AM

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SANDYSKY1 12/3/2009 11:58PM

    Your story is everyone's story. I'm glad you weighed yourself. Glad you stopped and happy you are back at it. It will be like coming home.

You are right, it is too easy to slip. We all need to be careful. This is just too hard to throw away. Good luck.






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Re-Sparking!

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

I had a super time traveling...the high point was climbing around these cliffs & rocks...felt SO GREAT to be able to have a body that could MOVE around and navigate such tricky areas!

Another fellow and I swapped cameras so we could get photos of ourselves. Here I am celebrating myself and my SPARK accomplishments! (complete with the WRONG photo date stamped...lol!):



Here are a couple of short videos to give you a better idea of the terrain:

First the view from way down in the crevasses & brush:

www.flickr.com/photos/ddoorn/4153755
076/


Then the view from on high!

www.flickr.com/photos/ddoorn/4153746
542/


While traveling I went "astray" with my food choices much more than I really wanted, but am back and re-SPARKING myself toward ONEderland once again! I'm going to be SO ANGRY with myself if I've set myself back too far, but am going to channel that toward getting down to the BUSINESS of LIFE and LIVING with healthy food choices and working out! This business of "maintaining" and avoiding pitfalls, stumbles and backslides...treacherous stuff!

Enjoyed listening to Michael Pollan's audiobook "In Defense of Food" while on the go...such a FINE book which I HIGHLY recommend to EVERYONE out there! I've had so many suspicions along the way which Pollan confirms in his book...it's so cool to hear someone famous echoing such similar thoughts...!

Don

PS: For those of you who are close to your goal, maintaining or planning on reaching and maintaining your goal weights: I can't recommend highly enough that you check out ORIGAMIFREAK's great blogs here:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2604382


and here:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2280263

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FERRETLOVER1 12/3/2009 8:53AM

    Maintaining is truly hard - I have lost at least 100 or more lbs. several times & re-gained that & more. This time around, I have committed myself to not letting it happen again. I am worth the effort & so are you!

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ZELLAZM 12/3/2009 4:23AM

    Always knew you had your head in the clouds! emoticon

Great photo! Welcome back!

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JCORYCMA 12/2/2009 9:03PM

    Don, that's an awesome picture! I was naughty in my holiday travels last week too but as soon as I got home, I got back to my Sparking and feel like I'm in much better control. Tracking that nutrition does help...
Thanks for the blog links. I'll check them out!
Joanne


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FRECKS96 12/2/2009 7:33PM

    Welcome Back! Glad you had a great trip and are re-energized.

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MOJAVEMAMA 12/2/2009 6:00PM

    Looks like Red Rock!!! Looks like you had a blast.

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 12/2/2009 3:51PM

    Glad to hear you're back - AND back on track!

Your pics make me a little homesick for the brief 2.5 years I lived in the southwest...

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INTOTHEJAM2 12/2/2009 3:07PM

    Welcome back! Congrats on all of your success. You're a great inspiration to all of us on SP :)

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L*I*T*A* 12/2/2009 2:54PM

    nice to have you back..........looking fantastic too...........blessings and hugs..............lita

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ZIRCADIA 12/2/2009 2:50PM

    I LOVE that book - I also highly recommend a similar book, Food Matters, which echoes many of Pollan's principles but arrives at the conclusion from a world environmental health motivation. :)

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AZIMAT 12/2/2009 2:17PM

    Welcome back. You look terrific. Sound like a wonderful time.

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