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And I Begin Again

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Yesterday, a couple of quotes really hit home for me:

"success is not an accident... Success is not going to come find you. Let this be the moment where you chose to turn it all around." ~Jen Widerstrom

"Actually, I just woke up one day and decided I didn't want to feel like that anymore, or ever again. So I changed. Just like that." ~unknown

I have several reasons (excuses) why I veered off course and gained back the weight I lost, but there is one underlying factor that trumps them all: I just didn't want it bad enough. Except possibly for fitness, in almost every case I chose what I wanted at the moment over what I wanted for the future. What I wanted at the moment was that easy path to feeling better that runs straight to my mouth! Even having to go out and buy clothes a size bigger wasn't motivating me to change. It made me depressed and disappointed, but that was about it.

I am finding that it is easy to turn a blind eye to that slippery slope: Do I really need to keep a food diary anymore? Those glasses of wine won't make much of a difference. The chips I ate directly out of the bag couldn't have been more than a serving. Restaurant meal = free day! I'm busy/stressed/celebrating/having a lazy day, so I'll start again tomorrow. Once you get some momentum, the trip down that slope happens fast! Now that I find myself on the bottom of the slippery slope, just good intentions are not enough to claw my way back to the top. I suspect that I will get a strong toe-hold with every action, no matter how small, that leads me back to a healthy lifestyle (drinking water, ditching the junk food, keeping a food diary, working out, having streaks of success).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not wallowing and saying "poor me - so unfair." (OK, kind of ;-) !) I'm deciding to remember that the joy is in the journey, this isn't pass/fail, and real life hands us challenges that we don't always meet in the best way possible, but we can always begin again. Bottom line, it is as simple as "So I changed. Just like that."

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 11/19/2014 5:12PM

    I am a lot like you, I could have written this blog! But beginning again isn't a failure; imagine how much you'd weigh if you didn't exercise or didn't "begin again." I'm up 10 pounds but it could always be 20, 30, or more. Let's stop the damage though, before it gets any worse!!

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USMAWIFE 11/16/2014 8:11PM

    restarting is good. remind yourself you are doing this for you

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HOLLYM48 11/16/2014 9:11AM

    emoticon emoticon
This is a never ending journey, never easy, but always worth it. Best of luck as you hit the spark trail again!

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SWEDE_SU 11/16/2014 8:39AM

    oh we have all been there - and sooner or later it catches up with us. that's exactly the reason i'm working on "refusing to regain"! i don't want to do this one more time! emoticon emoticon

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HMBROWN1 11/15/2014 9:32AM

    WOW! Sounds like I am listening to myself!!! Best wishes for a great and healthy weekend!

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The Road to Gladiator Challenge - The Discipline Factor

Monday, August 11, 2014

emoticon The scale was certainly not my friend this morning (after coming back from a 10 day vacation). However, as PINKHOPE often says, the scale is just a navigational tool, and I need to make a U-turn cuz I'm going the wrong direction! I saw a great mantra on TERI-RIFIC 's sparkpage this morning that said "Discipline is the Bridge Between Goals and Accomplishments," and it was what I needed to hear this morning. Discipline is definitely a missing component in my plan. I'm all over getting motivated by books, blogs, running challenges, workout streaks, etc..., but I've continued to lack the discipline to follow through on any of those things. Wishing doesn't make things happen, discipline does.

Having said that, I want to focus on "loving discipline," and doing this for the right reasons. I need to take the negativity out of the equation. I can't tell you how many times I've come back from a running workout and said "I'm still too slow," or looked at myself in the mirror and only noticed cellulite, a big gut or a double chin and then thought extremely negative thoughts about myself (you're disgusting, etc...). True, I will not be the sexy, super fit girl in the bra top and lycra shorts at the Gladiator Challenge, and I certainly won't be in contention for accolades on my performance. However, I'm damned proud that I have the guts to try it despite my age, weight and current abilities. Now, it is time for a big dose of discipline and a positive attitude!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRICIALICI 8/13/2014 2:38PM

    You're making some positive strides in the "discipline direction!" You can reach your goals! I know you can! emoticon

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TRAVELGRRL 8/11/2014 10:18PM

    NONE of those things matter ONE IOTA!

You know what they say, "No matter how slow you are, you're lapping everyone who's sitting on the couch!"


Dig deep -- that discipline is in there, you just have to want being fit more than you want the immediate gratification of a sugary treat or beer. You can do it!

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The Road to Gladiator Challenge 1

Friday, August 01, 2014

First of all...WOW, am I out of shape!! I am on vacation in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, and decided it was time for a run. I planned a run 3 min/walk 1 minute interval, and off I went. I found the meaning of "take a back road" on this run:

It was a gravel road (added some additional running challenge), and though the weather is rather cool here, with the mid-morning sun out, I was baking emoticon . I was also walking a lot more than 3:1. The road ended here, and I turned for home (total of 3.7 miles - 52:06 minutes)

Tonight, I am attempting the always dreaded burpees, and finding myself winded after 5. I take a break, and hit it again for another 5. For the sake of better form, I assume the plank postion, and then lower to my knees for the push up, then back up to plank.

When I think of the Gladiator Challenge, and all 8 miles and 30 obstacles, I freak out. So...I'm not going to think about it!! Instead, my plan is to work on endurance this week, and work on it daily. If running seems to much one day, I will walk. The bottom line is to lean in to his challenge and keep moving emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRAVELGRRL 8/2/2014 10:42AM

    Good for you! Love the pictures; what an awesome run that ends at Solitude Lane! Good for you for doing the burpees and working on endurance. Enjoy the vacation.

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TERI-RIFIC 8/2/2014 6:53AM

    That's a lot of exercise! You're doing great. I hate burpees!!!!!

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    Looks like a great plan! Love the pics.

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Friday, July 25, 2014

I started losing myself mid-March. My Dad's drinking had reached a
crisis point (for the second time in so many years), and his hospitalization
and subsequent health problems were the start of it all. My Mom, also in
poor health, was left ill-prepared to handle things at home. My Son's
impending high school graduation, and all that came with that, was also
on my to-do list. Bottom line: my stress started climbing, my exercise
started declining, and I began to eat and drink my way through the entire

I now find myself in late July, out of shape, carrying extra weight, and,
hanging head in shame, smoking. However, I also find some really great
things have happened: My son did graduate High School, and is signed
up for college. His party, though marred by some crummy weather, was
fun. The fact that not every home improvement project I deemed critical
to complete pre-party happened didn't ruin anything. My Dad just left the
nursing home, and is now at home. I pray that he will not touch a
drop of alcohol again, but I'm also realizing I have zero control over that.
My Mom really stepped up and started handling things at home despite
her limitations.

I feel like I should be breathing easier now, but, of course, life doesn't
often work that way. Work just went to berserk on the stress scale, and
I'm finding that once you break your good habits, it isn't easy to get them
back. Yet, "not easy" is not the same as "impossible," and it is past time
for some life changes. First things first: exercise! I am committed to
participate in the Gladiator Assault Challenge in early September. That
gives me around 8 weeks to build, at a minimum, some running
endurance. Some of that time will include long work days. Some of the
time I will be on vacation. Bottom line, I can't stay lost. I have to find a
fresh drive within myself to cope better with the stressors that are always
going to be there. Maybe not as intense as the last four months have
been, but there nonetheless.

A plan is always a good thing. The problem is, I don't really have one! First things first - I tossed the smokes. How dumb of me to dabble in that habit after having quit so many years ago. In terms of exercise, I think I will start with interval running (run 3 min/walk 1 min) to build endurance. I will also commit to blogging this 8 week journey - the good, the bad and the ugly. If I try to wait for the perfect time to jump back on the bandwagon, I might be waiting a LONG time! It is time to navigate these seas, and not just get tossed around on the waves.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

USMAWIFE 7/26/2014 4:30PM

    emoticon You are going through a lot. Just remember you are the most important person now trying to get healtier

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JOYFULSPIRIT920 7/26/2014 1:58PM

    Your honesty is refreshing. Life is hard. Making good choices when completely stressed out is really hard. I like you stress eat/drink, I too find that once I start that bad habit its very difficult to not give into every time I have a bad day. I am glad that things are starting to even out with the family. I hope work settles down or you can at least find a way to not let it get to you.

I'll be cheering you on your journey these next 8 weeks. You can do it!!

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TRAVELGRRL 7/25/2014 7:14PM

    Holly, hugs to you!

Familes -- can't live with them, can't live without them.

I am glad the graduation party went well. Now it's time to concentrate on YOU! You can meet your goals. I have some extra weight to lose too. It happens. Now we just have to address it.

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JACRBUNCH 7/25/2014 9:38AM


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Life Got In The Way

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Life got in the way of my best laid plans: My Dad got very sick in mid-March and continues to recover in a nursing home. My Mom, who suffers her own health issues, remains at home, now needing more assistance with Dad out of the house. My son graduated from High School, with all the requisite plans for a party and college prep that go with that milestone. Work has gotten very busy in the midst of all of the above. Sometimes it feels like Iím just keeping my head above water, and I feel the additional stress of knowing I keep dropping various balls. My BTS spark team gets to watch me pop in and out, and show lackluster participation (if at all), friends get annoyed by my lack of availability, and Iím just trying to keep everyone marginally satisfied!! Iíve come to the conclusion that I am cutting myself a break, but recognizing that my coping skills need some work. Food and mindless TV are very comforting, but an invigorating run feels a lot better. Instead of dwelling on how much I suck at things, Iím going to focus on the positive, stop worrying about things I canít change, and make sure Iím taking time to enjoy life and not look at it as one, long to-do list!

Summer Plan:

I have the Gladiator Assault Challenge on September 13th, so I need to get my butt in gear over the summer! Iíve downloaded a Muddy Buddy training app, have various DVD workouts, etcÖ, but I need to think outside the box, because summer is NEVER an easy time for me to diet or exercise consistently. I think the following will help me the most to achieve my goal of competing and finishing:

1. LOSE WEIGHT! Every pound I lose will be a pound I donít have to lug up and over an obstacle

2. RUNNING ENDURANCE. It is a long course, with a lot of stopping and starting. I need to get outside my comfort zone of running 3/walking 1 min as that will not serve well on this course. I need to be able to jog between obstacles, and the friend I am doing this with does not do the walk/run thing.

3. STRENGTH TRAINING. Consistency is key for me here. I often start/stop strength training, and I have to incorporate it very consistently if I want results by September. Iím starting to think that less is more when it comes to the number of exercises. Keep it simple: push ups, dips, bent over rows, overhead press, bicep curls and modified pull ups (holding a bar, keeping my body at an angle, and pulling my chest to the bar Ė I really felt that one in my bicep, chest and back ). For lower body: squats and lunges of various sorts, and core work. If Iím missing a key component here, please toss out suggestions for me!

4. CIRCUIT WORK. Coming up with some circuit work that includes cardio and strength moves would be great to take on the road with me, or to use when I need some cardio training, but running may not be convenient. Last year I intended to purchase or make an agility ladder to practice some cardio moves. I have a medicine ball, and have considered incorporating a kettlebell.

Of all the above, losing weight is my nemesis. Not only have I not lost any weight recently, but Iíve put on some weight. Iím simply eating/drinking too much, and Iím not sure how to break out of the cycle. For every ďgoodĒ day, I have two where I pay no attention to diet at all, find my hand in the chip bag, or grazing away on appetizers with a drink in my hand. Not the diet of champions! Iím in a slump. I will try to address this by taking advantage of seasonal, fresh fruit and veg, trying some new recipes and generally trying to revamp an uninspired diet. I need to think: CLEANING EATING, EASY yet DELICIOUS and ALL THINGS IN MODERATION. Donít overthink it, and donít embrace a diet I would hate (i.e. all low carb)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERI-RIFIC 6/12/2014 7:26AM

    Hang in there. You can do it. I'm going to try those modified pull ups.

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TRAVELGRRL 6/11/2014 6:38PM

    You and I have sympathized before about our similar states of mind. I think there are times we just don't want it enough, we feel we have lost enough weight to feel good about ourselves, etc. etc. Let's face it, we're not HONGRY ENOUGH to do what needs to be done!

You have a big challenge ahead of you, and so do I: we signed up for a half marathon on June 22 in Estes Park, CO where the starting elevation is 7550 feet. You and I BOTH need to give up the appetizers, alcohol, and other crap and get back on track! PINKHOPE is right -- we've done it before now we need to do it again. Let's GO!

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ARKPLE 6/11/2014 2:48PM

    That sounds like the challenge of all challenges. But, I know you can do it, and I know you'll have fun too. Wishing you the best on your summer Spark Journey. xo

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DRADDIE 6/11/2014 2:15PM

    I sure hope you have someone taking pictures of that crazy obstacle-ness and dirtiness!!!!! I'm so excited for you!

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PINKBEANBOO 6/11/2014 2:01PM

    After the party be sure to give yourself a day of relaxation. Your schedule has been crazy.
I'm glad you put that picture of the pull ups in here. I never thought of working on them like that. I think I need to get a bar, set it between 2 chairs & get to work.

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TRICIALICI 6/11/2014 1:54PM

    The Gladiator Assault Challenge sounds like a great motivator! I love your mantras of "Clean eating," "Easy yet delicious," and "All things in moderation." I'm getting back on track, too, this summer! emoticon

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JLOVESDOGS 6/11/2014 1:52PM

    Holly - emoticon Take a deep breath and do what you can do. Just showing up is half the battle remember! Good luck to you!

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PINKHOPE 6/11/2014 1:06PM

    Holly - Always remember no matter where your journey takes you it takes only ONE step in the right direction to get back on track, be that a healthy meal, a 1 mile run, or even just making a plan like you just did. Now just keep going! You can do this. You HAVE done this!



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