GETSTRONGRRR   74,110
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On Fitness Gadgets....God, but I love 'em!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

So I'm kind of a fitness "Gadget Guy"

Actually, I'm an extreme "Gadget Guy"....I love 'em!!

I don't come across like an uber-geek, but I have a secret fascination with the little (and not so little) beasts. I love to track and measure, I hook 'em up to wi-fi, USB, bluetooth, dropbox, memory sticks, just about everything except pencil and paper. I like to stalk them, hunt them in their natural habitats like Amazon, fitness sites, running stores, bike stores, mega-outlets, and watch them in their natural habitat before I swoop down and capture them for my own private petting zoo.

I feel naked if I got to the gym without gearing up with a minimum of;




on weightlifting days;



when biking:;


and all the other regalia that gets strapped on to my weight loss machine:


At home I've had "things"...some long gone:



Some that need to go:



Some I can't yet bear to part with:


Some still in use:



Those I keep for sore muscles, post-workout;




And some I still dream of capturing for that long dreamed of "Home Gym"



So what does all this mean? I've had a lot of crap over the years. I get trapped, like many, thinking this or that gadget will make working out easier, or more fun, or I don't know what. That there is that "One Thing" out there that is the key to living a fit and happy life:


But there isn't! There's tons of them!! And I love 'em and want 'em every now and then!

Lately I've been stalking Fitbits, stealthily coveting the two folks on my staff I see wearing them:


I'm telling myself how cool these Lifeline "jungle straps" would be on my travels in faraway hotels with no gym;


Maybe I need Buddy Lee's Rope Master Jump Rope action to spice up my cardio;


I've got a digital scale, so I probably HAVE to get something to start measuring body fat too;


So will this madness ever stop? I don't know....most likely not. It's more of a hobby than anything else, which is a pretty cool way of looking at fitness. These are just motivators, rewards for good behavior rather than saviors from bad behavior.

In the end my 2 best fitness investments ever have been:


a good pair of sneakers to get my ass out the door


and a good gym bag to put all my "stuff" in on my way to workout

Have a great night Spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TYKXBOY 1/16/2012 12:22AM

    I have a few gadgets, but I try to keep them down to just the ones I really need. Like the pull-up bar and dumbbell set so I can do ST at home. And the perfect push-up because too much time on my computer means I can't bend my wrists back far enough to do a push-up on a flat surface. But, when I go running, I just need my running clothes, my shoes, and my watch. Not a Garmin, just a wristwatch with a stopwatch feature. And even that I could do without if i wasn't tracking my fitness minutes and pace. I used to carry my mp3 player, but it was always extra cords and one extra thing to strap on and take off and waste my time. I've enjoyed my fitness much more without it and the cords and the extra straps. However, get me around computer peripherals, and I'll go crazy buying crap I don't need.

Comment edited on: 1/16/2012 12:23:28 AM

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FANGFACEKITTY 1/15/2012 10:09PM

    I try to stay away from the gadgets because I am easily distracted and too many gadgets guarantees I will start spinning in circles, unable to decide which to use. And some of those you pictured just look downright scary.

I do need to get a foam roller, or so I've been told. Just haven't gotten around to it yet, the Procrastination Queen is still reigning.

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/15/2012 7:19PM

    Wow I thought I had a lot! I have a polar, fit bit and that orange rolly thing too!

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REBECCATKD 1/15/2012 7:00PM

    Remember: Your best gadget is still your willpower!

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HAKAPES 1/15/2012 4:51PM

    I just love your post!
I also love gadgets, and sort of use them for motivation for the healthy lifestyle.
Any feedback on how good is the fitbit?


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AFRESHSTART2 1/15/2012 4:41PM

    I thought I love fitness gadgets but you have got me beat! lol!

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MOMTONOAH 1/15/2012 1:49PM

    I was a little sad not to see a Thighmaster in there somewhere emoticon

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JOYLINNKNITS 1/15/2012 9:28AM

    OK I see you are as addicted to workout gadgets as I am to knitting gadgets!! Fun stuff! And there is always that Next Greatest Thing out there..Oh they know how to advertise don't they!!

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BILL60 1/15/2012 8:50AM

    I too am surrounded by gadgets. Surprised not to see a Power Meter. Let's get with the program.

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ADVENTURESEEKER 1/15/2012 3:01AM

    Fab list of gadgets!

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MINDA31807 1/15/2012 12:08AM

    I got a fitbit in lieu of a bodybugg, I am not quite sure if it has helped or hindered me. I like seeing the stats, steps, calories burned, floors climbed, but not quite sure that knowing them is really helping me make wise decisions or not. I am snacking more because my fitbit is telling me I am burning X amount of calories but my intake is a lot lower than that number. I might adjust what I can see, maybe just steps and floors climbed, not calories burned to limit my over-eating.

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MAPEGASUS 1/14/2012 11:52PM

  I agree that is lots of gadgets but a great enjoyment to read.

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PEPPERMINT125 1/14/2012 11:51PM

    Wow! I'm amazed at all the gadgets! Although I too have at times spent money on fitness gadgets. You are right. We mainly just need to put on our tennis shoes and get moving! emoticon

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SEWINGMAMACDS 1/14/2012 10:15PM

    That;s a lot of gadgets!! emoticon

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SAFARIBABE 1/14/2012 10:00PM

    OK I got to know....what IS a fitbit??? And I really want to see a pic of you using that stretching strap thing!!! You can use the cover of the box pose -- that would be perfectly acceptable! Hehehehe. I also want to know why a jump rope comes with it's own wrench....that one completely boggles my poor brain! Welcome Home!

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JUNEBUG1944 1/14/2012 9:31PM

    emoticon Guess you do like those gadgets! The more, the merrier I always say...

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SPIFFDEB 1/14/2012 9:29PM

    I'm a big gadget geek too! iPAD, multiple iPODs a MacBook, Heart Rate Monitor and I just got a really cool watchband thing that you clip the square nano into. Love my GPS and my smartphone too - emoticon

I just got a new digital scale that measures not only weight but body fat, water and bone density.
I can't stop myself......

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JECKIE 1/14/2012 8:56PM

    Heh. I'm the same! Not just about fitness, either. The highlight of my weekend was my spankin new Kindle coming in the mail. :)

But lately my fitness obsession is running clothes. Dick's Sporting Goods and I have become great friends. :) And I love my Garmin...

This post makes me all kinds of happy.

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Viva Las Vegas!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ahh life on the road! You know, the great thing is, I'm not as anxiety ridden as I was this time last year, when toad trips meant overeating and no exercise.

Now there's still some incredibly long meetings to sit through, but hey, I either do it in Vegas or do it from home....pretty easy choice!

So I got in yesterday afternoon (Mussolini's ghost had the airlines running on time), got my car, checked into the room and before I could read another e-mail on the berry, I suited up and went to the gym.

It was packed!! Looks like there's been a lot more New Year's resolutions taking hold in Sin City than in Ft Walton Beach (the crowds at my home gym have already tapered off). So I looked around for a some free equipment and spotted a young lass wearing cycling shoes heading towards a room in the corner. So I tailed her and sure as hell, there was a spinning class about to start. SCORE!

So I went in pretty cocky as usual. And why not. I've upped my cardio game lately, been doing some pretty intensive cardio intervals, have almost doubled the weights on squats....time to show these Vegas yahoos who's boss! So I grabbed a bike in the front row, and smiled to the instructor at my 1 o'clock.

Of course they kicked my ass!!

Now I kept up real good, but man 'o man, 10 minutes into it and I was a sweaty mess! I felt damn good, but I got a serious resentment when the instructor shouted out, "OK one more minute, push it up!' and I pumped up my cadence hard.....then she had the gall to say, "I lied!! Let's go another minute!"....and she did this repeatedly throughout the session!!!

Now I'm all for playing hard here folks, but I demand honesty and integrity from those in positions of authority....especially when I'm out of Schlitz, and looking for a cold one. In the end, I kept having to save a little gas in the tank because I never knew how many "I lied's!" would be coming

It was all in good fun though. Came back to the room, showered, changed, then hit the convention center where they had all the hoopla and had a chance to see most everybody in my business while they served up good food and drink, snacks and tons of tacky promotional items.

The good news came when a buddy of mine I haven't seen in a while said, "Dude, you look like you've lost 30 lbs!"

Of course in my meticulous demand for accuracy I replied, "Thanks, actually, I've only lost about 15 lbs, but I've lost a lot of fat and added a lot of muscle"

He harumphed and grabbed a chicken cutlet from the blonde cutie passing the tray around.

I decided to continue the workout trend, and thanks to the 2 hour time difference from home, got up at 5:00 AM today and hit the gym for some more cardio....on my own....with no one to feed me lies!

I'm glad I did too, because the rest of the day went wicked long.....and they put the worst speakers in right after lunch....bad move....bad move....

So I'll survive this trip pretty well. Another day of speakers and some working group sessions tomorrow, then a flight home Saturday.

Have a great night Spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REBECCATKD 1/14/2012 5:56PM

    It's about time you got challenged!

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FANGFACEKITTY 1/14/2012 1:04PM

    Awesome! New lesson learned...trust no one lol!

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TEDDYBABE 1/13/2012 11:03AM

    Awesome! Have a good meeting and kudos on the gym visit!

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BEATLETOT 1/13/2012 8:37AM

    Nice job! Glad you enjoyed the spin class...or did you? ;-)

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BILL60 1/13/2012 7:18AM

    Well done!!

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SAFARIBABE 1/13/2012 6:41AM

    What a difference a year makes! Last year you were wingeing about fitting in the exercise on the road (you always did just with a little winge). Now you're up at 5am and racing for the gym! That's awesome!! But get to the real question....How'd you do at the tables?

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BOSS61 1/13/2012 5:15AM

    I liked reading this a lot. I reminded me just why I fear classes at the gym. I'm a cardio equipment, weights and pool guy myself. Now I know I am not wrong! Good for you, though!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 1/13/2012 1:24AM

    My bootcamp instructor sometimes tosses in a '8 more!' count at the very end of a cardio set before going into weights. But she doesn't do it all the times, so it keeps me on my toes. lol. Good to hear you're getting your gym time in while at the conference!

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GOODGETNBETR 1/13/2012 1:20AM

    Way to go on the impromptu spin class. Enjoy and get home safe.

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The good news......and the bad news

Monday, January 09, 2012

Well what better way to celebrate Year 2 on Spark than to eat well and exercise!

This morning I rejuvenated my smoothie routine, blending up a nice green smoothie (2 apples, a banana, fresh mint leaves, some parsley, a little yogurt, and coconut water) that tided me over nicely till lunch, where I dined on my standard sandwich SWMBO makes me in the morning

Work was uneventful, especially since I got way ahead yesterday in preparation for my trip Wednesday, so I ducked out a little early to get a haircut & swing by the tailors to.....have some clothes taken in!!

The nice, elderly Korean gentlemen took his time. He yanked & pulled, hemmed & hawed then looked at me sheepishly and said, "You should just buy some new pants & shirts"

"What do you mean, I just got these shirts last year (OK, I've had the pants for 10 years, but I really like them). Can't you take them in?"

"Yes, but you're body very different, I have to...." Then he went into a long explanation, full of slicing hand gestures meant to communicate to me that he'd have to take the shirts apart and totally reconstruct them if I wanted them to fit right....so much for a quick $5 nip and tuck at the waist.

So I left with all my garments in hand, somewhat frustrated, yet somewhat happy as well. I hate shopping, but he basically told me it would be cheaper to buy new stuff than to pay him to alter these....I think that's what he told me anyways.....I'm not sure, he lost me with the third downward hand slicing maneuver, which appeared to be the most expensive one.

I just went to the gym to work off the frustration.

Good news, the body keeps changing....bad news, I need to go shopping or risk looking like this:


Which is still better than this:


But then again, I could get creative and try to make it work:




Nahhh, I just better resolve myself into the dreaded clothes shopping routine!! ARRGHHHHH!

That's all for now, have a great night Spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LENKA763 1/12/2012 11:00PM

    this is some great sense of humor.
Thanks

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YOUNGNSMYLIE 1/12/2012 10:14PM

    LOL! This is great news, even if it heralds a dreaded clothes-shopping trip! emoticon

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DAVEYSHADOW 1/10/2012 4:35PM

    emoticon

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MOMTONOAH 1/10/2012 3:31PM

    Great job! It's so much better to buy new clothes because yours are too loose than because they're too tight. (I've done both) emoticon

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BEATLETOT 1/10/2012 3:07PM

    Hilarious!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 1/10/2012 1:56PM

    LOL yes you definitely need smaller pants! hope you can find a good sale and get yourself some essentials!
I am loving my smoothie maker too! BTW, finally looked up SWMBO in the urban dictionary... LOL.

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CHUMLEY54 1/10/2012 11:18AM

    Your not getting Thinner, You're becoming more Stylish..... emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/10/2012 8:25:00 PM

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BOSS61 1/10/2012 10:27AM

    Shopping for clothing for the new, skinny you should be the happiest of problems. One of the first dates with the girl who has become my wife (for 20 years now), was clothes shopping following a previous weight loss for me.

One consideration: ditch/donate the clothes that have become too big. Do not hang onto them. You will have an economic motivation to keep it off! Congrats again!

PS - I added you as a friend here. Feel free to do likewise, if you like.

Comment edited on: 1/10/2012 10:27:40 AM

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SPARKARINO 1/10/2012 9:23AM

    What a great problem to have -- need to buy smaller clothes! Good Luck with the shopping. Love those retro photos -- the 'Oxford bags' are something else and the zoot suit...you've got a lot of great fashion tips there to help you choose your new style.


emoticon

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BELSNICKEL 1/10/2012 7:18AM

    sounds like a good problem to have.

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JOYLINNKNITS 1/10/2012 7:02AM

    Thanks you so much for the great morning laugh!!! Congratulations on your Sparkiversary! I hope you are able to get into the shopping mode. I so needed that pic...I see too much underwear in Detroit...was cracking up so hard I had to show your blog to my friends at work!! Thank you! emoticon

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CHALLENGER15 1/10/2012 6:53AM

    This is actually very good news. You are so much healthier now. Good for you!

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ROOSTER72 1/10/2012 1:24AM

    I too am adverse to shopping - and currently have almost no clothes that fit me.
Shorts rolled at the waist. Jeans belted in so they look all bulky. Not a good look.

And I'm female!

Go for some classic pieces - and hopefully you wont need to go shopping for another 10 years!

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ADVENTURESEEKER 1/10/2012 12:06AM

    Woohoo! Shopping!

Oh, and P.S...my pants currently look like the first picture, but I refuse to buy any others for a good 2 weeks yet, or a couple more pounds, or until they look even worse than they already do. lol

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SAFARIBABE 1/9/2012 10:36PM

    OK when your pants are falling off and your boxers are showing...I want a pic of that! To avoid that being plastered ALL over SP....Go Shopping!!! LOL It's for your own good! 10 years....same pants....I think those puppies have well and truly paid for themself! Welcome to the 21st century! Pick up a GQ at the airport and start browsing! I'm SURE SWMBO can teach you the ins and outs of shopping. LOL

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SUNGIRL822 1/9/2012 10:11PM

  That's great!! Go shopping!!

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JUDYAMK 1/9/2012 9:35PM

    This is too funny, I think it is time for a trip to the shopping department or you will look like the above pictures!!!!!!!!

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1 Year of Spark Living....Some Hard Learned Truths

Sunday, January 08, 2012

So as I start off my second year on Spark people, I’m pretty amazed at the progress in what now seems like a very short year. This time last year, I was sitting around the house recovering from some pretty massive surgery that had me laid up on crutches, keeping me from bearing any weight on my left leg for about 3 months. Since I couldn’t workout much, I had all the potential in the world to balloon up into a massive couch potato.

As I sat around the house in Jan 2011, I had 2 weeks off from work to recover, so I read like crazy, surfed the net to figure out how to not balloon up like a couch potato in the coming months. And I chanced on Spark people!

Everything I read (and intuitively knew) said it really came down to the food. If I had little opportunity to work out, then I had to cut down on the food intake. But my God that’s hard to do!

I spent hours on the sight reading, blogging, logging, friending, doing everything I could to stay motivated and on track….even when I wanted to wolf down some leftover XMAS cookies or snack on anything to alleviate the boredom of sitting around.

But here I am a year later, much the better for it. It’s still tough to stay motivated and on track all the time, but it really is about steady progress and remembering that we humans are imperfect beings that slip and indulge every now and then. We are sometimes even lazy and need to take breaks. But the key is to get back into it quickly.

And the progress is very satisfying! I can look in the mirror today, or see myself in photos, and I like what I see (always have, but now it’s even better!).

So a good colleague of mine is very fond of speaking in “Truths”. He really enjoys emphasizing things by using these “Truths” to make his point, then using history to back up all his assertions (“Humans are more important than hardware” and “Quality is better than quantity”). He can be a real pain in the ass, but he’s had a positive influence on my life.

Here are some “Truths” I have learned along the way that work pretty darn good for me:

YOU CAN'T WORK OFF A BAD DIET:
I’d like to think I could just work out harder to burn more calories and slim down, but all the evidence of my life points to the fact that eating right is the real key to staying at a healthy weight. I think it’s about 75% diet/25% exercise…staying within or under calorie limits leads to weight loss in a way that working out more can’t. I should stop fighting against this one and accept it.

TRACKING FOOD WORKS
My internal food estimator is broken. I have to log in everything I eat to know how many calories I've taken in and face the hard numbers every day, good or bad. When I stop logging food, I gain weight, pure and simple.

THE SCALE CAN'T BE THE ONLY MEASURE OF SUCCESS:
There are a whole series of “Non Scale Victories” out there. The numbers on the scale are just a measure of gravity. Yeah it's nice to see the scale move down, but when you lose fat and add muscle, your weight can stay the same, but your body shape-shifts into a whole new leaner you. Sometime the fit of the clothes is a better measure of success. Here’s a link to AprilRain and CMJ4V13's photo blog illustrating the same point;
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4663673


www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4627536

Now I’m no saint about this one….I still put a lot of credence in weight, but I’m willing to accept that tightening belt notches are indicators of success when the scale stagnates.

GOT TO DO CARDIO / GOT TO DO STRENGTH TRAINING
Strength training has really done wonders helping me lose a lot of inches all over the place, and adding inches, and shadows, and muscle definition in all the right places. Got to burn off calories with cardio and have got to add muscle with strength training otherwise you get out of balance. And they have to be changed up periodically. Due to the surgery, my running days are over, but now I mix up biking, ellipticals, rowing machines, walking, and Hi-intensity intervals. ST has to change from higher weight/lower reps to lower weights/higher reps to keep from stagnating.


YOU GAIN WEIGHT BACK MUCH QUICKER THAN YOU CAN LOSE IT
There is no justice! It can take weeks & months to drop a stubborn 5 or 10 lbs, but they can gain come back with a vengeance in just a matter of days! This truth really sucks, but it’s still the truth


SPARK PEOPLE WORKS
Don't ask me why, it just does. Tracking food, logging workouts, blogging about my successes & failures, interacting with friends and teams, encouraging others. It just works!

So 2011 went pretty darn well, and I’m hoping 2012 goes even better. It doesn’t come naturally and it doesn’t just happen. I have yet to achieve health Nirvana where my body mystically transports itself to the gym or naturally craves only good & healthy foods. Nope, it only comes about through daily accountability and effort….and a handful of some pretty good Spark friends!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLASSART43 1/10/2012 10:17AM

    Great reminders that there are no quick fixes, but paying attention and hard work can pay off. Thank you!

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TORNADO40 1/10/2012 9:27AM

    What a great blog...everyone should read it.
emoticon emoticon

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CHALLENGER15 1/10/2012 7:00AM

    emoticon

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MINDA31807 1/9/2012 6:19PM

    emoticonI need to abide by those Truths as well.

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MILLIE5522 1/9/2012 3:41PM

    Great blog. The bit about the weight gain is so frustrating but I suspect that if we put on or lose a lot of weight in just a couple of days then that weight is most probably "water" weight. The real fat loss or gain is probably more modest than it appears on the scale.

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BYFTHALONE1 1/9/2012 7:28AM

    thanks for the reminders! I am at a point where the scale is saying that no progress is being made, yet my clothes and the camera tell me just the opposite. Congrats on the year and the progress made to date!

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BELSNICKEL 1/9/2012 6:43AM

    thanks i needed that

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MINANCY 1/9/2012 6:30AM

    I love your truths! Thanks for sharing!
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CRAZYWOMAN10 1/9/2012 5:15AM

    Great blog!

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XRSIZE18 1/9/2012 1:48AM

    Great blog! Thanks for sharing.

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MTULLY 1/9/2012 12:59AM

    So true!! I really should print this out and keep it in a highly visible spot. I know these are true, but sometimes I forget. Thanks for the post!!

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HEALTHIERKEN 1/9/2012 12:37AM

    May I ascribe to your Truths too???
Great blog. Thanks.
emoticon

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JONESINATOR 1/8/2012 11:47PM

    Great blog! I love AprilRain's post; I just could not remember her username when I saw that post and now thanks to you I do!

Lots of great advice and truths in here; all of them, of course, true! Keep at it, and let's make 2012 a great year.

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SAFARIBABE 1/8/2012 9:16PM

    Happy Sparkversary GetStrongerrr!! (never do remember how many r's you threw onto the end of that LOL. Here's hoping your 2nd year is equally successful!! Next time I'm feeling out of kilter I'm going to come back and read this blog!

emoticon emoticon

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Coming up on a 1-year Spark anniversary.....time flies!

Friday, January 06, 2012

I'm glad today is over.....I'm glad this week is over!

Now one should never wish time to go by quickly, but I found that coming back to work after the holiday break, everything seemed accelerated. I spent almost the whole friggin' day on the phone today, mostly on personnel issues, trying to hire the right folks for jobs this coming summer, placing some guys that are likely to move on, and I did four interviews in my office.

But what seemed to go the fastest was this past year. I'll have a year on the Spark board in a few days and it's amazing to see how fast it has gone by. I'll not dwell on that yet, I want to collect my thoughts this weekend (in between helping SWMBO take down all the XMAS decorations which she just informed me was our job for tomorrow....so much for me and Kindle time)

But in between the hectic pace this week, I got in some great workouts, and tonight my chest and shoulders are just singing with glee at what we did to them today!

I'm also revving up for some more on-the-road adventures this month. Wednesday-Saturday I'll be in Vegas, a quick turn to Norfolk, VA right after that, then Kansas City here I come at the end of January. As always, I'll need to keep my Spark friends close while on the road....no matter how fast time flies!

Have a great night Spark friends!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUNEBUG1944 1/7/2012 8:50PM

    Time sure flies when you're having fun...eh? emoticon

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TEDDYBABE 1/7/2012 10:06AM

    Love you postings on your home page, ALL so true. Thanks again for the support on my blog. CONGRATS on your upcoming one year! It is a milestone. I have found no better motivation!


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NEEBREW 1/7/2012 9:14AM

    Yay! Congratulations! You have been a SparkFORCE this year!

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SAFARIBABE 1/7/2012 5:40AM

    emoticon on your upcoming Sparkversary! I can't wait to read your reflections on the last year. As for the chest and shoulders....sing, Sugar, SING!!! I'm sure you'll manage some Kindle time today. I mean how many decorations can you have right? And it's easier to put them away than it is to put them up! Have a great Saturday!!

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BRADOS 1/6/2012 10:26PM

    Congrats on your upcoming 1 yr SP - you have truly been a great warrior - always look forward to hearing how (and where) you are at

have a great weekend
Brad

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BEATLETOT 1/6/2012 9:20PM

    Christmas stuff is coming down tomorrow for me, too! Good thing it's three stockings and a three-foot tree. I'm thinking 25 minutes max. SparkPage has to be deholidayed as well, so we'll see how that goes tomorrow, as well.

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SWAN47 1/6/2012 9:05PM

    You're right time flies especially when your busy. It sounds like you are. emoticon on your one year anniversary of Sparking. Here's to a great healthy 2012...continue your journey to a healthier you!

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