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From Flop to Fabulous

Friday, December 16, 2011

"The first time she performed the role of Dewdrop in “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker” with the New York City Ballet, Ashley Bouder was 17 and made a memorable entrance: she fell on her face. Now 27 and a principal dancer for the company, Ms. Bouder is in her eighth season as the Sugarplum Fairy and her 11th as Dewdrop. She will perform that role in a live City Ballet broadcast in movie theaters on Tuesday and on the PBS program “Live From Lincoln Center” on Wednesday." from

Today I heard Ashley interviewed by Chelsea Clinton on PBS. She was asked, "How did you get to where you are today, the lead role in the most famous Nutcracker in the world?"

Her answer:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ID_VANDAL 12/22/2011 1:49PM

    Great blog. I remember my coach used to say Practice does not make perfect - perfect practice makes perfect. I think Ashley practiced perfectly (at least most of the time).

You have a very Merry Christmas!!



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TRAVELGRRL 12/19/2011 7:31PM

    I guess this is the simple answer to all things complex! Thanks for sharing the story and the link!

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MAMASUDS 12/17/2011 4:46PM

    Thanks for being there, day after day. Have a blessed Sunday!

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 12/17/2011 8:47AM

    Sometimes we think the rich, famous, beautiful and talented people were simply born that way. Maybe it makes us feel better to believe that.

Your story is an example of the usual reality; It all takes consistent hard work creating good habits that help us get where we wish to go.

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WARMSPRINGDAY 12/17/2011 6:36AM

    Consistency - this is what I need to be preaching to myself right now.

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WATERMELLEN 12/16/2011 7:53PM

    Kepping on keeping on: there's a lot to be said for it!

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MIRRORBALLMOON 12/16/2011 2:52PM

    Great story. Falling happens. It's what we do after we fall that determines the outcome!

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MOM-OF-SIX 12/16/2011 1:03PM

    A good lesson in perserverence! Thanks for sharing.

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ERINMARIE424 12/16/2011 12:57PM

    Interesting story - thanks for sharing!

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Reference Guide to Strength Training

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Here's an excellent article on strength training---so much clear & practical info in one place!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARMSPRINGDAY 12/15/2011 8:49PM

    Strength training comes very hard for me. Great article.

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WATERMELLEN 12/13/2011 6:36PM

    Love srength training because -- makes me feel strong!! (Plus all the toning stuff of course . . . )

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BIGLITTLEWOMAN 12/13/2011 4:41PM

    You are right about this article. I was surprised that I had read it back in 2010. I sure didn't retain much of that information!! Hope your week is finding you focused and in control. That is so hard this time of year. I feel spread too thin. I don't feel thin, just too many things needing my attention. emoticon

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ID_VANDAL 12/13/2011 12:14PM

    Hey - thanks for the tip. I'll be sure and check it out. I also want to congratulate you on revising you favorites list!

You inspired me to do the same thing. As soon as I'm done playing catch-up that's want I'm going to do.




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Remove! Remove! Celebrate!

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I've gotten used to tracking everything I put in my mouth. It no longer seems burdensome. It's actually a feeling of security, a reassuring ritual. Even when I overeat or make poor choices, I find it valuable to get specifics about exactly how "costly" it was.

All of that simply to introduce the subject of this blog, which is editing my "Favorites" section on the nutrition tracker. I had never gone into my list of favorites and modified it at all. But I've been noticing how long it took to scroll down and find my current true favorites, most commonly eaten items, on that list . . . so I took a deep breath and started to revise the list. [On the Nutrition Tracker page, click the Favorites tab. Then, beside the search box, scroll over the arrow on the bar that says "Favorites Options." Select "Edit List." Click "REMOVE" beside any item you don't want on the list any more.]

Now the CELEBRATE part. I could not believe the items that appeared on my list. Did I really eat those things routinely? It seems like ancient history! As I continued to click Remove, Remove, Remove . . . my heart rose in praise to Jesus Christ. With His help I have baby-stepped to a truly transformed way of eating. Not perfect by any means, inconsistent plenty of times, weak and vulnerable, surely. But MY HABITS HAVE CHANGED and I am so encouraged.

It did not happen through impressive heroic effort, but through tiny incremental choices . . . with backsliding, but NOT GIVING UP. So many on this site have encouraged me. So many have set me an example and described how it can get better a little at a time, day by day. Friends are faithful in praying for me. God's mercies are new each morning.

I am only about a third of the way to my goal weight, but it is happening (okay, like glacial shift, but IT IS HAPPENING!) All I have to do is . . . do what I'm doing now, a little longer. When I eat something stupid . . . when I have a terrible day . . . or even a horrible week . . . I can just start again and inch toward healthy weight.

And there's nothing like black-and-white proof. I could see for myself a couple dozen things that aren't even a temptation for me any more. Certainly I still have problem foods, and junk I can hardly resist, and delectables I never can resist . . . but editing the Favorites list, I saw with my own eyes what has happened to the garbage end of my typical menus. Remove! Remove! Remove! CELEBRATE!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WARMSPRINGDAY 12/10/2011 8:40AM

    emoticon emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 12/9/2011 7:56PM

    What a great blog: I "liked" it. And: I'm gonna edit my own "favourites"; hope there is some evidence of progress in my own eating habits as I axe stuff I no longer eat routinely!

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NANCY- 12/9/2011 11:53AM

    What a wonderful gift. Seeing the little changes that have been made gives us the strength to keep moving forward. Those little changes do add up.

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BETTA13 12/9/2011 12:50AM

    I like to log my food in because I know it will help me to make better choices if I have to log it in. I have bad days (like today) and I will ENJOY junk food once in a while, but I am learning some great how to eat out without killing my calories all at one time!
Logging my food in also encourages me to eat more veggies, something I tend to lack. I add it more to my other meals, in sandwiches, to breakfast eggs, etc...
It is such a great accountability tool for me.
Yay you!! Big high-five!

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RUNNINGOMA 12/8/2011 4:33AM

    Celebrating with you! Great job!

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    Your little celebration band is busy at your house this week. I hear major breakthroughs in your positivity. It's so nice to be on the crest of the wave isn't it??

I too am a slow loser; for many reasons, not all of them my own choice but certainly my own doing. I seem to drop a pound or two, then maintain that for a long time before dropping another. I think it is my subconcious taking over my body.

Isn't it odd how we eat the same foods over and over again?

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    This is fantastic! This is what lifestyle change is all about! I believe (and I have no proof for this, it's just my opinion) that the slower we lose the easier it is to maintain. I started losing weight in April 2009 and I'm just now near the 40 pound mark, but the changes have been like yours - incremental, sustainable. When being healthy feels like you're just doing what you always do, that's the BEST!

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Celebrate a Little Win

Sunday, December 04, 2011

A commercial for Nicorette mini-lozenges to help someone stop smoking provided me with a vivid mental image for non-scale victories and giving myself credit.

Leaving an office meeting with a group going out to smoke, one young man asks another, "Coming out for a cigarette?" The one invited starts to push his chair back, then stops himself and feels in his pocket for his stop-smoking aid. Then he grins and says, "Actually, no thanks."

The first guy leaves and the subject takes out a mint, looks at it, smiles and pops it in his mouth. At that moment a tiny troupe of musicians and dancers appear on the desk, dancing and applauding and playing music. After we watch the victory party a few moments, the voiceover declares, "Every time you don't smoke, you celebrate a little win."

I couldn't help thinking of my Spark Friends who cheer and applaud when I share the smallest step forward. I'm remembering this "virtual celebration" image to spur on good choices.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BETTA13 12/7/2011 6:10PM

    What a great thought. Thank you for sharing.

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MAMASUDS 12/7/2011 1:19AM

    That is a great visual. Thanks for sharing. I will try to keep our little party going throughout the Christmas season. Can't wait to share strategies with you.

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ID_VANDAL 12/5/2011 6:10PM

    Hey there!! When I saw that commercial I thought of strengthening that resistance muscle - every time we make the right decision we get a little stronger and it gets a little easier!

This is a good ad to illustrate that point - plus the distraction (mint).

Keep up your great efforts. We are all going to finish strong this year.



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    Giving myself credit takes on a new form, a big bass drum and marching band style. Much more fun than the old "Atta girl" approach.

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NANCY- 12/5/2011 12:58PM

When I saw that commercial, I thought hmmm smoke no thanks, but I could use a brisk walk. I didn't even think about the celebration part. Now I have visions of tiny versions of my SP friends appearing and cheering me on.

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WARMSPRINGDAY 12/5/2011 5:02AM


Love it!

emoticon emoticon

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Aging Strong

Friday, December 02, 2011

"A New York Times piece from earlier in the month: "Is physical frailty inevitable as we grow older? That question preoccupies scientists and the middle-aged, particularly when they become the same people. Until recently, the evidence was disheartening. A large number of studies in the past few years showed that after age 40, people typically lose 8 percent or more of their muscle mass each decade, a process that accelerates significantly after age 70. Less muscle mass generally means less strength, mobility and among the elderly, independence. It also has been linked with premature mortality. But a growing body of newer science suggests that such decline may not be inexorable. Exercise, the thinking goes, and you might be able to rewrite the future for your muscles. ... [researchers] recruited 40 competitive runners, cyclists and swimmers. They ranged in age from 40 to 81. ... There was little evidence of deterioration in the older athletes' musculature, however. The athletes in their 70s and 80s had almost as much thigh muscle mass as the athletes in their 40s, with minor if any fat infiltration. The athletes also remained strong. There was, as scientists noted, a drop-off in leg muscle strength around age 60 in both men and women. They weren't as strong as the 50-year-olds, but the differential was not huge, and little additional decline followed. The 70- and 80-year-old athletes were about as strong as those in their 60s. ... We think these are very encouraging results. They suggest strongly that people don't have to lose muscle mass and function as they grow older. The changes that we've assumed were due to aging and therefore were unstoppable seem actually to be caused by inactivity. And that can be changed." "


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIRRORBALLMOON 12/4/2011 10:02AM

    That's great news (as I approach my first 39th birthday . . . ) emoticon

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NANCY- 12/3/2011 10:30AM

    This article reminded me of my surprise of a few years ago when I saw how "Hot"
Tina Turner was. In 2008, she even has the stamina to do an intense 50th Anniversary Tour at the age of 69. Yikes!
So much of what happens to us is dependent on our actions. Thanks for sharing this.

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JIBBIE49 12/3/2011 8:32AM

    Doing TAI CHI can keep a person's balance healthy. Terry Dunn has wonderful DVD's for the work out.

Doing Al Sears, M.D.'s "PACE" exercise program , which is 12 minutes per day can keep a person fit, so time doesn't have to be the issue. He has a wonderful book on the program, and Dr. Mercola features him on his web site and on YouTube.

The POWER-PLATE can be used to increase muscle mass for older people. There are clips of it on YouTube with Dr. Mercola. It's a machine well worth investing in as it will last for years.

YOGA takes no equipment and can be done at home. Rodney Yee has great DVD's, as he is a BKS Iyengar instructor.

Jack LaLanne lived to be 96 and worked out every day.

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WATERMELLEN 12/2/2011 8:56PM

    This is inspirational . . . and I'll be at the gym tomorrow working on my cardio and my ST for sure!!

(refusing to get old any faster than is necessary!!)

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    Good article. Strong, better circulation, better for the mind, better sleep and appetite, etc., etc. So many reasons for us to exercise daily. Thanks for sharing.

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MIMIDOT 12/2/2011 9:13AM

    I agree that exercise can keep an older person strong. I"ve seen it in my own family. The onle that are active stay stronger as they age. Those who do little exerciising loose their balance, and seem to have trouble walking. So keep exercising!

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