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Back in the Saddle Again.....

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Anyone remember that song? Gene Autrey? Roy Rogers?

Although traffic and such will not get back to its usual congested mess until next Monday, I am back at it at work!

The big news is that I sent off my retirement letter today. With not a single regret. You may not know, but there is no longer an "official" retirement age in Canada. You can work till you drop, if you wish. Me. I'm working until I'm 65.

I am the lead hand at my agency for developing and sending in a submission for a certification in quality and the healthy workplace to an independent certification organization. What a mouthful. That is just some of what I do, but it now looms large as we are ready to go for mid-February. I was updating some of the evidence that proves we have done this, that, and the other thing today, and it is exacting, painstaking work. Leaves me really tired in the evening.

The way I see it, preparing for retirement while still working full time at a demanding, responsible job is really challenging. But, it is the only rational choice I really have. Can you imagine, I could have gone on almost 100 pounds heavier than I am now until I retired. and not play the guitar, as I was too darn large to hold it properly. I think if I had continued that way I would have hit a brick wall the day after my retirement and gone splat.

Now, with any luck (and hard work and fitbit and Sparkpeople and so on) I will retire probably more fit than I have ever been, with some guitar skills, and volunteer work to segue into as I search for other interesting things to do.

And now I will go to bed, because this double life of working/retirement prep means I am up at 4:30 AM every weekday morning to workout.

Good night! Have a good one!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANDY_54 1/6/2013 7:49PM

    LOL, I remember that song and now it's replaying in my head thankyouverymuch! Hey, great news about retiring! Kind of interesting Canada doesn't have a retirement age anymore. Sounds like you'll be balanced with fun and activity and that's the way to go in my book!

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MEDDYPEDDY 1/5/2013 2:59AM

    That was really lovely to learn about - you inspired me... I could do that too as I am five years younger than you! It is "just" about losing that weight...

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MEXGAL1 1/3/2013 3:05PM

    good for you to put in the retirement letter....i love being retired. I am lucky and got to retire at age 53 so young for most people. Being retired let's me work out more and do more with sparks as my hobby. I think you will love it and will continue to be in good shape as you too will have more time to devote to it.
Have a terrific night.

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PUDLECRAZY 1/3/2013 5:18AM

    Woohooooo! More time for your emoticon !

More time for your emoticon !

More time for your emoticon !

How exciting!

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AHTRAP 1/2/2013 11:09PM

    I was thinking more along the lines of Aerosmith when I saw the title, but Autry works for me, too. Have fun with retirement!

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SLOPOKE_SAL 1/2/2013 10:01PM

    My father used to sing that song so I do remember it. good luck on the retirement!

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A Mellow New Year's.......

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

So, DH and I spent a very typical new year's for us, dinner out and a movie.

Dinner for me was one slice of cheese pizza and half a large greek salad, well within my allotted calories for the day. I am feeling very comfortable with my fitbit/Sparkpeople set up for monitoring myself each day, the number of calories I can eat changes with the amount of activity I have done, and, by the way, it is always below my Sparkpeople limits. Which I have always thought were too high. And I am losing, and do not feel ill or weak!

Back to new years!

Through the magic of the internet, emoticon we were able to purchase out tickets on line. We wend to see Life of Pi, a very spiritual, symbolic film. Reminded me of Terrence Mallick's Tree of Life in that sense. DH and I enjoy these kind of films, and discuss them in detail!

Now here's a funny piece. The film was in 3D. I had survived Avatar in 3D and thought I would not be negatively affected by getting sick or dizzy. But, much of the movie takes place on a lifeboat in the middle of an ocean. Oh boy, it got to me. But, on the other hand, I had the same reaction to the Perfect Storm, which was not in 3D, but just a lot of up and down and up and down on water....I think you can get it. I also had a similar reaction to The Wrestler, the Mickey Rourke film that was filmed with a non-steady cam.

But, I managed, and the film was worth it. I am clearly not a good candidate for ocean voyages!

Then it was home, and I tried to stay up to midnight, but did not make it past 11 PM.

I've already posted my goals for 2013 on my next most recent blog....

A couple of other thoughts...there was a member blog about why Sparkpeople worked on one of the emails that get sent out. That member gave a lot of credit to the community. Yes, it is that, but is also the lifestyle vs diet philosophy, the start small and build up philosophy, and the forgive yourself and get back on your program philosophy. Works for me. Yay Spark!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PUDLECRAZY 1/1/2013 7:52PM

    Hmmm, I think you talked me out of Life of Pi. I found some of the book very disturbing and was questioning how much I would enjoy the movie. Since I get motion sick even on a swing, or in a car, I think I will let this one pass.

I really enjoyed 'Lincoln' and today I cried my way through Les Miserables.

Happy new year!

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ROCKMAN6797 1/1/2013 3:03PM

    Agreed about SP, you hit the reasons right on the head!
Happy New Years Bonita!

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MEXGAL1 1/1/2013 12:31PM

    Glad to hear you had a nice evening. I too missed the coming of the New Year and was sound asleep.
It is rainy and cold here in Mexico and we are on and off without electricity. Bummer.
I love the concept of getting right back on track and also the concept of not dieting but changing one's lifestyle.
Have a healthy and happy 2013!

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ANDY_54 1/1/2013 11:25AM

    Happy New Year! Ours was quiet, too. I managed the midnight thing, but it was close. Thanks for the rec on Pi, was debating whether to go or not. Hope you have a great day!

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ARDELIAC 1/1/2013 11:24AM

    Happy New Year emoticon

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2013.....oh boy!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I decided I have to write this blog now. I am back to work on Monday and will be busy, busy, busy...

So, I will talk about 2012 and look forward to 2013....

2012 was a challenge, weight wise. No excuses here, but with foot surgery in the summer and then a month long cold in November, my willpower and sound mental health and good planning went out the window, and I went up to 129 pounds before I yelled to self stop! Now, that is still in my healthy BMI, and really, the fact that I could yell stop! and listen to myself is pretty amazing, I never did that before.

But still, way too much weight for my height and frame. So I did what I have done before, went to a new way of monitoring. This time I am relying on technology, and have used some dollars from my part time university grading and upgraded to an iPhone 5 and a fitbit One. So there is constant monitoring of my activity, as often as I want, and with that goes a constant running report on how many calories I can eat. I have set a very slow weight loss goal and hope to be at 115 by May or June, but I really don't care as long as each day is a healthy and mindful eating day. And so far I am down about 3 pounds.

Activity--I am back to a treadmill 5K walk five days a week, and am darn proud of that. My foot is still sore, but I ignore is soft tissue, the bones are fine, the soft tissue will heal eventually. Plus a shorter treadmill walk on the day I houseclean, and, if the weather permits and no one is sick, DH and I walk to synagogue every Saturday for a total of about 6 miles. Plus light weights 3 days a week, and a short hooping session three days a week. I kept this up even when I was pretty sick, so it is ingrained and will likely stay with me until I am unable to move anymore!

Music--I have my third guitar, and playing every day for at least 15 minutes, and have discovered a number of Hal leonard books that have fingerpicking arrangements for modern music is playable keys and at an intermediate level. I bought three, am now learning Bridge Over Troubled Waters, and feel re-energized with my playing!

And on to 2013!

The biggest story is that I am retiring at the end of August. I have spent more than 30 years working in child welfare in Ontario, have done my bit, and it is time to move on. Plans? The Monday after the Friday I retire, I will be out doing volunteer work at a hospital. Other plans could include part time employment, or consulting work, that kind of thing. And much more music! Lessons, even, if I can find a teacher I can work with.

Wellness? Continue with the fitness regime, slowly increasing speed on the treadmill (I am working on getting all my intervals to 3.6 mph now, that's fast for someone with short legs!) Eat well, using the best technology I can get to monitor. Forgive myself for slips, and get back on tack asap.

Do good deeds, be kind, and hone my sense of the ridiculous and the sarcastic. Aging comes with some physical limitations, but you do have the opportunity to say what you really believe, no more need to be politically correct at work. Feh!

And, of course, I will be here on Sparkpeople every day!

Best wishes to all Sparkers for 2013!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOOKWORM27S 1/10/2013 8:01AM

    Have a happy and healthy 2013! I've discovered that I have quite a few food intolerances that have accounted for my weight gain. I'm still trying to isolate all the "offending" foods in my diet.

Comment edited on: 1/10/2013 8:02:49 AM

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WHISKERS17013 1/2/2013 9:13AM

    Happy New Year, Bonita! Would also love a list of guitar books, as I'm just starting... Okay, actually have owned the guitar almost 2 years, but only know 2-3 chords...

Enjoy your retirement when you get there!

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PUDLECRAZY 1/1/2013 8:04PM

    Great job on your practice time! I'd love a list of your favorite Hal Leonard (or any other favs) books.

I just got a book of Spanish guitar music by Gaspar Sanz, written for ukelele. I just started working on a piece. It is very pretty, makes the uke sound like a lute.

Congrats on retiring!!!!


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CURTIOSITY 12/30/2012 1:50PM

    Your blog is a great read, Bonita. Huge Atta' Girl for hitting the Sanity Clause instead of the panic button re weight gain. Have been listening to a Ronrocco CD this nooning while watching bluebirds bathe in snow-melt-road-puddles. It has been almost 20 years since I have been able to see neighbors walking to synagogue. Your mention of that strikes a chord of intense nostalgia in me, and your well laid plans for the new year are an inspiration. Cheers!

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HAPPYSOUL91 12/30/2012 1:39PM

    I like your plan for 2013! Wow, you are retiring this year, good for you.

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MEXGAL1 12/30/2012 10:18AM

    Your blog was a wonderful read. So good that you were able to make yourself stop the bad behavior and get back on point with the eating and exercise. It sounds like you have a good plan for 2013. Good for you!
Happy New Year

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ANDY_54 12/30/2012 10:01AM

    I love this from your blog: Do good deeds, be kind, and hone my sense of the ridiculous and the sarcastic. And along wiht all the rest, too!

Good luck with retirement...I have been for a year and a half now--volunteering is the way to go for me (plus I'm looking for a part-time). Sending only good vibes your way, sounds like a very workable plan to me and really balanced!

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WIDELOADROAD 12/30/2012 8:31AM

    2013 sounds like a big year!

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ROCKMAN6797 12/29/2012 11:21PM

    2013 promises to be a special year Bonita!


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PLANTAGO 12/29/2012 9:21PM

    You have some great plans here! Best wishes for you, too!

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A book you might want to read....."Willpower"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

By Roy F. Baumeister (psychologist) and John Tierney (writer). The idea of collaborating with a writer is a good one, the book gets across some complex ideas in a clear, easy to read manner. The ideas are research based.

This blog is my work only and does not constitute endorsement of the authors, or publishers, etc., etc., etc. I have received no monetary compensation to write it.

I am going to focus on dieting, in a chapter the authors call "The Perfect Storm of Dieting."

Briefly, willpower, or the ability to self regulate, is a brain function that depends on adequate glucose levels. As we go through the day, we use our willpower for all kinds of things; functioning at work, getting along with spouse, etc. We use it up. So, by the end of the day, we may not have much left. Thus we may binge. How do we restore our willpower? BY EATING!!! YIKES!!!

Or, as the authors put it, in order not to eat, a dieter needs willpower. In order to have willpower, a dieter needs to eat.

The writers identify the "What-the-Hell" effect. That's right, When we exceed out calorie level, or eat a forbidden food, then all is blown--for the day, the week, the month.....the binge.

What to do? The authors identify some useful strategies.

When your willpower is high, make a pre-commitment--like joining sparkpeople.

Commit in public.

Measure and record--food, weight, exercise, and so on. Sound familiar? These authors recommend daily weigh ins, research shows that this seems to work better for weight loss.

Use Positive Procrastination. That is why Marathondad's challenge not to eat any junk until Christmas is doable. We can tell ourselves that we can eat our faces off on December 25. We likely won't, but the thought that we can if we want to helps self control in the present. Saying "never" does not work so well.

If we do not want to work out, we can use the "Nothing Alternative." We tell ourselves we have a choice. We can work out, or do nothing for the same amount of time. No TV, computer, reading, talking, sleeping, nothing. The idea is to get rid of competing tasks and get so bored that we will work out.

There is a lot more in the book, about other lack of willpower problems such as addictions.

And, for my fellow fitbitters, the fitbit is mentioned as one of the measurement devices one can use.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

OOLALA53 1/24/2013 3:21PM

    Baumeister said two things that have stuck with me: don't go on "a diet," and don't swear off chocolate or any other food. He also said to set your own guidelines and stick to them. Not swearing off a food doesn't mean I have to eat it every day. I choose what to eat in each situation I'm in. It takes time to figure out when I'm expecting too much of myself, but it does seem to be getting easier.

Have a great 2013!

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JUST_TRI_IT 1/8/2013 8:12AM

    Interesting ways to use a negative and use it to our advantage!

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ANDY_54 12/4/2012 1:46PM

    The "Nothing Alternative" scenario seems a bit like punishing a recalcitrant child, but I understand where it's going and how it may work. Great review....may have to delve in a little deeper. Thanks!

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CAT-IN-CJ 11/30/2012 12:30PM

    I've got plenty WILL power . . . . .
I just need to replenish my long-exhausted supply of WON'T power!!!!

Actually, it sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for sharing.

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ITSMATT 11/30/2012 12:14PM

    Interesting book, Bonita. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it. Sounds like it would be a good read.

Make it a great day!

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CARMEN327 11/30/2012 9:27AM

    Wow, good to know about the glucose connection to willpower. Sounds like a good idea to pack those healthy snacks!

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ROCKMAN6797 11/30/2012 8:43AM

    This sounds like a wonderful book Bonita. It appears the authors may have winning idea. Thank you so much for sharing.

emoticon emoticon

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DDOORN 11/29/2012 10:50AM

    Great tips and reminders...thx for sharing!


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MEXGAL1 11/29/2012 10:21AM

    I think my best advice to anyone trying to eat healthy and loss weight is to record everything!

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HAPPYSOUL91 11/29/2012 10:15AM

    Interesting blog and one more time - record my daily food. This sure reinforces that concept.

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PUDLECRAZY 11/29/2012 5:50AM

    Woohooo! Great for Fitbit to get a little plug in there. I really love it as a measuring device; it appeals to both my geekishness and my competitiveness.

My current reads are:

The Musician's Way: A Guide to Practice, Performance, and Wellness
Gerald Klickstein

iPhone: The Missing Manual
David Pogue

Getting quite a bit out of both.

Thanks for the review of Willpower.

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New Guitar Blog w/pics...finally

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Hello all!

I think I have gotten my picture situation straightened out, so here goes the blog.

The guitar I am writing about is my present-to-self for 2 years of maintenance. All opinions are my own!

For the guitar techies out there, the model name is NCX1200R. Its' specs are standard classic w/cutaway, that is, 2 inch wide neck, connects at the 12th fret, standard depth--and it has on-board electronics. Yamaha calls it a nylon electric. Yamaha has some kind of new process where the wood is pre-aged, and it sounds fabulous!

Here is the guitar:

You can see the cutaway. It has a sitka spruce top, rosewood back and sides, and mahogany neck. The neck has a truss rod, not found in a standard classic and certainly adding to the weight. But, the construction is stronger.

It came with a rather unusual case; the case has a fabric cover but is solid, and form fitting to the guitar.

Here are pictures of the battery opening and the on-board electronics. It also has a built in tuner.

A close-up of the cutaway.

A close-up of the sound hole decoration--quite modern looking!

And finally, i went and got a Peavey acoustic amp to go with it! Oh my goodness, me buying an amp...

Hope you enjoyed!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARMEN327 11/30/2012 9:23AM

    Oooooooooh, purdy.

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DDOORN 10/11/2012 10:01AM

    WOW what a gorgeous guitar!! Course I'm a big Yamaha fan with my classical Yamaha...but this is SUCH an enhancement with the cutaway and electric capability!!

I see some HIGHLY satisfied customers over @ Amazon:
I'm betting you are going to have years & years of playing satisfaction with this guitar!

I'll have to keep this in mind if I ever decide to take the upward leap! :-)


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MEXGAL1 10/10/2012 10:04AM

    beautiful! Enjoy!

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GETTO140 10/10/2012 7:45AM

    Beatiful guitar!! emoticon

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GUITARWOMAN 10/10/2012 7:13AM

    Well, in the interest of fairness, I am rotating all three of my babies, one each day. If I can get my practicing up to 30 minutes a day (up to 24 now) I will maybe play two a day, 15 minutes each

The GD-10 is still my go-to guitar...had him the longest.....but the new boy may just replace him.....


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PUDLECRAZY 10/10/2012 6:52AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Wow! This looks great. I love the idea of the truss rod, too. as it can be adjusted if the neck ever becomes warped. She is a beauty. So. now that you have her, are you totally addicted? My poor Taylors have been been neglected since I got my Cordoba flamenco. I love my Cordoba so much, I hardly ever pick up any of my guitars except for the one my father owned, a sweet folk guitar with essence-of-dad in every molecule of her.

I am hoping for a video blog............


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