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Notes on a Sunday: Or how not to run in the cold...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

It was Sunday today -- normally my self-imposed day off from any formal form of exercise. We had two grandkids from out of town stay with us this weekend, so their parents could have a little "no kids" time to themselves. I enjoyed every minute of it, but as those of you who have done it know, chasing two children - an 18 month old and a 3 year old can really wear you out. By the time they were packed up and ready to go home, my house was a mess. My husband said he'd take them on the two hour drive home alone, if I wanted to stay and get a start on the clean up. I was thinking he probably got the better end of the deal. Beautiful fall drive with two sleeping kids in the backseat compared to the domestic duties that awaited my attention.

So when I was in the driveway tearfully waving good-bye in the crisp fall air the idea struck me. Why don't I go for a run before tackling the chaos? A nice run in the cool weather would clear my head and boost my energy, I thought. I really am becoming a runner...
Now I'm not sure why I kept thinking of the air in terms of crisp and cool. Maybe it was the clear day. Not particularly sunny but not too cloudy or windy. I usually run on a treadmill at the gym, but thought I could probably scour my closet and find some appropriate clothes to run in the fall weather. After all, don't you work up a sweat when you run? Don't want to be too hot.
True enough, I found some exercise tights in my closet and pulled on a long sleeved tee-shirt. Perfect! Hmm... and where does the house key go in tights? No pocket might be a problem. Not to worry. it fits in my i-pod strap. Ok ready to roll...

I started out from the house in a brisk warm up walk. Feeling a little chilly, but give it time I thought to myself. Five minutes and I'll be heating up.
Double Ha!
I cut the warm-up to four minutes and started to jog. Get the blood pumping and I'll get warm soon enough. Ok the hands are getting kind of stiff. Am I running in to the wind? I think I'm breathing too fast. Take a nice, deep cleansing breath. Geez Louise! Cold air incoming! And what's up with my nose running? All of a sudden it was like the Hoover dam broke. No room for tissues in tights OR i-pod strap. I'd use my sleeve but I'm on a busy street and don't want to be too obvious. What the heck, I have to do something. So I continued. As soon as a car would pass, I'd use the sleeve and wipe the nose. I settled into a rhythm. Trouble is, at this pace, I'm not wiping, I'm smearing. And it feels like it's freezing on my face. Do my fingers look blue? My shoulders are even getting cold in this thin tee-shirt...

Now when I'm on the treadmill running, I tend to look at the minutes as they roll by. Counting the minutes. One by one. The pace is set. Outside, I can compare where I'm at in my i-pod playlist to give me an idea how far I've ran. I know when "Welcome To The Jungle" comes on I'm coming up on my mile and a half. I was semi-aware of my surroundings as I ran today. Let's see. Passed the school some time back. Looped around and went through the Farrell's parking lot a while ago and GOOD GRACIOUS GOSH ALMIGHTY!! I've been so busy obsessing over my runny nose wiping and keeping the circulation in my fingers, I'm way past "Welcome To The Jungle"!! My mind scrambled to place me in the line up...

My cool down song (don't say cool!!) was coming up. At least 30 minutes of straight running!! I had never ran more than 20 minutes straight. I wasn't even ready to cool down (QUIT saying cool!) yet. The thought of walking slowly - now up hill with the frigid air blowing against my sweaty body was too much. I did what I had to do -- kept running. At last my house was in sight. My sleeve was a wet mess. My face was chapped. My fingers had become ice pops. BUT I felt on top of the world!! I stumbled to a walk laughing and giddy. As I slowed down I felt that same sensation that you get when you take a big bite of cold ice cream -- brain freeze!!!
I sloughed across the street and fumbled with stiff fingers to let myself into the house. The blast of warm air that greeted me when I entered the foyer felt like I had entered a furnace. I took it in for a minute and reached for the tissues on the hall stand ...
I stretched out in the nice warmth and followed that up with a glorious, hot shower. I came out, mellow, relaxed, and put on comfy sweats enjoying that crazy good feeling of tired--
And surveyed the mess.
Awww man....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HEALTHQUESTER 10/21/2009 1:54AM

    What indicates that you are a 'real runner' is that you used your sleeve as a kleenex! Ha ha! Your not a runner until forced to do some of those things...just wait until you have to duck into the woods! Anyhow, I love what you write! Keep up the great work!

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RUNWILD64 10/20/2009 11:34AM

    Loved the blog. I can relate to everything from the grandkids to the runny nose to letting housework wait so I can go run. Sleeves do come in handy.

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TRUFFLE5 10/18/2009 12:50PM

    Great blog, made me smile.

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BESTSUSIEYET 10/18/2009 11:49AM

    Oh yeah -- I don't run, but I can identify. Hiking does the runny nose thing for me ... eps. if it's cool. Now that you're a grandmother, don't forget this old trick --- a few tissues (or a nice handkerchief) tuck into the sleeve nicely! Hate the look, but use it now & then!! The house will get back in shape; the memory of the run will last. The encouragement we all got was GREAT -- so keep running and keep telling us about your adventures!

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CHATERJOY 10/18/2009 10:26AM

    A glimpse of "real" life...Loved it!

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STEPHANEFANY 10/18/2009 9:37AM

    FYI, for me the runny nose can happen inside or out!! It's a pain! I would and have used the sleeve of my shirt! I try to remember to bring tissues but I don't always remember. Great story!!

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MAMADELIGHT 10/18/2009 9:03AM

    I've been there with the nose. Ha! I might be downloading Welcome to the Jungle for my IPOD, now.

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PHDMAMA06 10/17/2009 9:26PM

    Hahahaha, as a Floridian facing fall running in Wisconsin, I loved this blog! When I run outdoors I'm ALL ABOUT the warmups...cool down not so much!

Thanks for the entertainment.

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BLCTLEW 10/17/2009 5:46PM

    I absolutely love the way your told this tale! Remember the sleeves! LOL Have a great day!

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DOINFINE 10/17/2009 3:28PM

    So this is what I should look forward to if I run outside in the cool air? I think I'll stick to the treadmill at the Y til spring! lol
You should be so proud of yourself for getting out there in the first place! YAY for you! emoticon
Keep the blogs coming! Love em!

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SMARTIEBEE 10/16/2009 10:58PM

    Oh Boy! I so relate to your blog! First of all, grandkids can wear you out like nothing else! Mine TALK all the time! Whew!! But the quiet is awful when they leave!

For some reason, even in warm weather, my nose runs when I run! My daughter says hers does too and she just used the inside of the neck of her shirt (EEWWWWW!!) So I take tissues, or a paper towel with me. Paper towel may be hard on the nose, but it is also good for wiping sweat off your brow so it doesn't run in your eyes! If you don't have pockets, a nice little fanny pack is great. I use it for my key, cell phone, chap stick, a cough drop or something to suck on on short runs. I use a different fanny pack with a place for a water bottle and energy gels or chews for runs longer than an hour.

Keep up the good work!


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TIFFANY_SUZANNE 10/16/2009 12:55PM

    So long as you didn't lick your upper lip, the sleeve is all good!!

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WHOLY_FIT_48 10/16/2009 11:25AM

    That was a great share! I can so relate to the runny nose issue as I know so many runners out in the SP world can. You have a wonderful gift in being able to tell a story.

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HOSTALADY 10/16/2009 10:07AM

    You are doing great and I truly enjoyed reading your blogs. You have a wonderful way with words.

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SUMMERTIME_JEN 10/16/2009 7:22AM

    I loved your denial blog, but this one was awesome! It's so great when you surprise yourself! And procrastination in the form of exercise is always acceptable! I still don't love running, but you may win me over yet! Thanks!

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JULISABROCAR 10/16/2009 1:48AM

    Yah you! I was hoping to hear that hubby cleaned up for you while you warmed up in the shower - always nice to dream!

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CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 10/16/2009 1:13AM

    LOVED this blog! You sure know how to tell a story..
did the house get cleaned before hubby returned?? My favorite part of a cold run is the hot shower afterwards!

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ROYALETBONE 10/16/2009 12:37AM

    GREAT blog... cool down? Who needs a cool down?
Tee hee.

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SUPERDUPER26 10/15/2009 6:08PM

Don't forget your pant legs though, you can almost always stick things (albeit they aren't so easily accessed) up your pant legs. I regularly stick fruit rollups in my legs in case I get low bloodsugar (I'm diabetic) and a house key easily pins inside the edge of your tshirt.
Kleenex can be stuffed up your sleeves or tucked into your waist band, and if you wear a hat that's just one more place to "hide" things!

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SEVENKITTY 10/15/2009 4:10PM

  You are doing awesome...way to go!!!

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MSZORO09 10/15/2009 1:49PM

  Great Story and am really glad to see that I am not the only out there that has "LIVED" in the River of Denial...We all have to face our fears of (one of my biggest) of why we can't do ???? it is just a matter of JUST DO IT....and don't worry about anything but being a better us. emoticon

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 10/15/2009 10:20AM

    Great Blog! I get the runny nose inside or out. Not sure why. Sounds like an awesome run!!!

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MADDE3333 10/15/2009 6:36AM

    You are the Erma Bombeck of bloggers...that was a great story about your jog. Loved the "Geez Louise" and "Aww man."

Great going.

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SLIMMERJESSE 10/13/2009 11:21PM

    Great jog. Love "Welcome to the Jungle." Best wishes for more happy trails, minus the runny nose. (smiling)

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LIGHTHOUSE23 10/13/2009 10:52PM

    Great Blog!! The running...Fantabulous!

The grandchildren...adorable, but they do leave a mess, don't they? :-)

Good job...keep it up!!!


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LAURT02 10/13/2009 10:16PM

    LOL I laughed out loud when I was reading your blog! I always wipe sweat off of my face with my shirt (...its a beautiful habit, SARCASM!) when I'm working out, but I always have to do it in the most inconspicuous way. So instead of making it look like I'm wiping my face with my shirt, it looks like I'm REALLY loving the smell of my armpits hahah

Congrats for getting through it though!! You're my inspiration :o)

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DDOORN 10/13/2009 9:17AM

    I enjoyed a chilly walk / jog while visiting our son in MI. 40-some degrees and I go with nothing but shorts and t-shirt...! My nose ALWAYS runs, so I packed some tissue in the pocket of my shorts.

A trick I learned with my hands: if I leave them wide open, fingers extended...they're gonna FREEZE! So: I close them with fingers pressed against my palms. Cold no more! Of course once I get going I tend to give off a LOT of heat! :-)


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COLEMANSR 10/12/2009 7:49PM

    emoticon emoticonkeep it up!

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NIGHTSKYSTAR 10/12/2009 10:14AM

    GREAT job!!

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THEQUEENBEE333 10/12/2009 9:18AM

    Great job! Keep it up!

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LAURIE5658 10/12/2009 8:59AM

    Joanne, its called L A Y E R S !!!!!!! LOL Now THIS is funny stuff! And yes, my grandkids are sorta kinda the same age and I know EXACTLY what you are referring to when you say "mess"...but a good mess. GREAT run by the way and I totally love your timing system! So let me ask you...just exactly how much cen you fit inside an Ipod strap?!?!

Good job, my Sparktastic buddy!!!


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YARDWALKER 10/12/2009 6:49AM

    What a fantastic blog! I have just started running this summer and love it! I do intervals. Although its been cold here I haven't run into this problem yet, however, I have worn layers that i could take off and leave around the track where I run if I needed to. I like the idea of a playlist but my ipod just has all my music on it kind of mixed together. Thanks for sharing this, I loved it.

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GMACAMI 10/12/2009 1:11AM

    The only support that I see you need is maid or cleaning staff support. Good job on the run. Maybe next time tuck a kleenix in your sleeve...lol.


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WASABI601 10/12/2009 1:10AM

    I have to laugh right along with you on this. The trick....two toned long sleeve running tops.....two tones hide the wipping of the nose better on the sleeve.Great job on the running!!!!!! I finally can slip into my tights for running and ridding!!!!!
So funny about the IPOD. I use mine almost like a watch. I know how far and how much time is left my which song is playing. I finally tweaked my playlist to get the slow love songs so they don't come on my hill climbs!!!
Keep up the great blogs and that awesome running!!!!!! Looks like I'm going to have to stay two steps ahead of you!!!!
emoticon emoticon

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Denial is a River in Egypt

Monday, October 05, 2009

I saw that on a sign about 6 months ago when I went to a rehab facility to see a patient. I was curious as to what the significance was, so I asked one of the therapists. He said it's a favorite saying in group therapy when one group member is in denial and starts making excuses for his or her drug or alcohol issues -- justifying behaviors. The group will shout "Denial is a river in Egypt". No denial allowed!
For some reason through out the week following that visit the sign kept haunting me. "Why was it bugging me?" I asked my very wise 27 year old daughter. I'm certainly not in denial about anything! She rolled her eyes." Oh mother, you are so in denial about a lot of things"! "Like what"?? I asked her indignantly.
"Well for starters, how about the 15 pounds you put on last year after finally reaching your goal weight"?
I wasn't in denial, I protested. I was embracing reality. I launched into the role that menopause and hormone replacement therapy plays in metabolism and cruised into the effect that the steroid inhaler that I use for my asthma has on my weight. "Oh", she wondered, "so the french fries and cheesecake you ate last Friday had nothing to do with it"?
Still indignant, I told her all about our "set point" weight. You know - the weight you can comfortably maintain without starving yourself?
This time it was her turn to get indignant. She manages a food bank for a local charity in Omaha and is well versed in hungry people. Starving, she told me is not being able to afford lean cuts of meat, fresh produce and vegetables, and bottled water anytime I want. Think pictures of children in Africa with swollen bellies! Or right here in the USA, children being poisoned with lead from the paint chips they are eating because they are HUNGRY!

Well, maybe starving was the wrong term. Maybe I should have said without depriving ourselves. She snorted. She told me to make a horizontal scale 1 to 10. 10 being the things that make us the happiest. No problem. Family. Love. Faith. Grandchildren filled the line. "Where", she asked me "is the notch for tenderloin"? Then she really hit below the belt. Remember when our son died and his ex-girlfriend took their daughter and left the state deciding not to include us in her life? Of course I did. Nothing was worse than not getting to share in our granddaughter's life. Ok Ok! THAT was feeling deprived. (Thankfully that fence was mended and our little granddaughter is back in our lives.) Not saying no thanks to the cake the co-worker made and brought to work.

What else am I denying? "That you can't run", she told me. "I've tried", I told her defensively. Many times. My knee hurts. I get short of breath - probably from the asthma. And it's not like I don't do other cardio exercise. I do! She reminded me that I had said on more than one occasion that I wished I could run like her. Give me a break I'm 26 years older! Maybe I did say that but I've since discovered that some people - like 52 year olds - just aren't meant to run. "BS", she replied. "If you don't want to run and are happy doing other cardio just say so, but quit making excuses"!
She challenged me -- "Run with me", she said.

We started out from our warm up walk and the first thing she told me was to slow down. I wasn't in a race. I slowed a little. No! Slow way down. I felt like I was shuffling. Now slow your breathing, she told me. Keep going. But people are going to look at me for running so funny I feared out loud. Nonsense she said. People who don't run aren't critiquing your form. People who do run are saying "Newbie..." and "Way to go"!
Every time I wanted to just stop, she gently said come on you can do it. She kept my pace and shuffled right along with me. I saw the school coming up. OH MY GOSH! That's 1/4 of a mile!!I've never ran 1/4 of a mile in my entire life!! I remember in grade school having to stay after school because I couldn't run it during PE class and the sadistic gym teacher made me stay until I did it. Right before I threw up. Maybe that's why unconsciously I wanted to be a runner...
My daughter smiled at me and said now I could walk. She told me to do the same thing again the next day and only go further after one week of that 1/4 mile.Add a 1/10 of a mile a week. Now I am up to 1 1/2 consecutive miles on the treadmill with another 1 1/2 run/walking. My pace has improved considerably. I love to run! The first half mile often starts out with thoughts of why on God's earth is a 52 year old trying to run? But, after that I'm on cruise control.I feel like a runner now and am looking forward to a 5K and maybe even a 10K someday!

Anytime I'm faced with unhealthy food choices that look just too appealing, I think of the scale. No, not the one that weighs you. The 1 - 10 scale of happiness. And I put good health and longevity so I can enjoy my family and grandkids waaay above a cheeseburger or movie theater popcorn.

So those 15 pounds are gone again along with my denial. Hopefully never to return again!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VALKYR8 12/8/2010 1:01PM

    Wonderful words of advice!

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SWIMMAN 4/13/2010 9:21AM

    THANKS!!! I was eliminating old emails from an account of mine and found your blog. I really appreciated it. Denial is BIG for all of us in many ways. I see so few movies in the theater that I'd hate to go without popcorn, but, as you said, maybe we should think about what really makes us happy and face our denial of the consequences of our actions.
Thanks again and hey you CAN run a 5k if you want - no problem. Just take it slow, good shoes and good running socks (these are important if and when you start getting blisters - trust me), and drink lots of water :-)
All the best

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MARTINT011 3/13/2010 10:06AM

  This was a good biog! Denial, I sure use this one, and especially like the Scale, the one for health and a future with grand kids, you don't need to have that movie popcorn after all emoticon

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STEFWITHANF28 1/20/2010 4:29PM

    Thank you for recommending your blog post to me. I really enjoyed reading it. I'm looking forward to becoming more active on here. When you're inside your own head most of the time, things become static and you're afraid you can't accomplish any change. I ran a bit last year on my own and it felt wonderful. I needed to be reminded of that. emoticon

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DOPKIGIRL 1/13/2010 9:16AM

    Amazing! I am SO proud of your accomplishments. It is SO motivating. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and progress!

Over a year ago I would have never thought I could run. I could hardly walk a distance without being out of breath, but since then I have come a long way, but starting out small and working my way up. I don't run every day but I hope to soon. But, I actually LOVE to run. I never thought I would say that, but I do.

Have a great day!!

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IAMGOINGDOWN 1/1/2010 10:56AM

    this is a wonderful article to start the new year with..I especially relate to a relationship with a daughter..I have 2 and we all inspire each other love the article emoticon

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CYNLETSIM 11/10/2009 10:40PM

    This was a great blog! How wonderful that your daughter convinced you to try. I really related to this story because I always said I couldn't run, too (also because of old fears from high school gym class). A few years ago I was walking daily with a neighbor and one day she said, "Let's run instead of walk." I was like..."Oh no, I CAN'T run." She persuaded me to try for just a few seconds and I was so pleasantly surprised. Then she persuaded me to run each day on a more secluded part of our walk where "no one would be looking at me." It became a regular part of our routine to walk, run and finish with walking. I'm so glad she convinced to try!

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NETTAMARIE 11/10/2009 2:01PM

  Loved how you used the words "Denial is a River in Egypt" for inspiration to achieve your goal of the 15 lbs. lost and to exercise/run. emoticon emoticon

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NETTAMARIE 11/10/2009 2:01PM

  Loved how you used the words "Denial is a River in Egypt" for inspiration to achieve your goal of the 15 lbs. lost and to exercise/run. emoticon emoticon

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CANDICE_A 11/4/2009 9:42PM

    That is a great story! Thanks for sharing it with us. =)

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TIFFANY_SUZANNE 11/4/2009 6:45PM

    HOLY cow....399 people liked this blog!!
If that's not a testament to how awesome you are, Joanne, then I don't know what is!!


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BIKERMAMA09 11/4/2009 12:34AM

    Thank you and Thank your daughter....

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VXWALL1942 11/3/2009 11:18AM

    Thanks for sharing...and motivating. I'm making this blog one of my frequent return visits. The "river in Egypt" is my new mantra!

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NRLB75 11/2/2009 8:59PM

    You owe your daughter a big kiss/hug from all of us sparkers. I can't think of a better demonstration of love. Way to go on the run & losing the 15!

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MONICA2052 11/1/2009 6:41PM

    Thank you so much. I've been drowning in the river of Denial.
Love, Monica

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14JESUSGIRL 11/1/2009 11:34AM

    Great blog! Thanks

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SUSAN20855 10/31/2009 2:02PM

  You are truely an inspiration! I am so glad I tripped over this posting.

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DGOOCK 10/29/2009 3:30PM

    This is a great story, thank you for sharing. At 55 I have been feeling some of those excuses creeping in and this helps to keep them where they should be kept, non-excuses! emoticon

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CRYSTALWARE 10/28/2009 5:55PM

    What a great story! Sounds like you have an amazing family. Congrats!

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MARELARK725 10/27/2009 7:58PM

    I really loved this...my mom and I had a similar-ish conversation about her so-called limitations with exercise today. I know she can do it...she has before. Denial is strong but I'm just going to keep reminding her that she's stronger. And lead by example! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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ERWINCJ 10/26/2009 10:02PM

  So encouraging; thanks for sharing!!

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SHAWNMARIEMYKE 10/26/2009 2:45PM

    I am so there with you; in denial that is. I need to get up off my bottom end and get it moving literally. I really needed this today.

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MARELLAJ 10/26/2009 12:34AM

    What a well-written blog post! Funny, insightful, right on!

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MEIORI 10/25/2009 7:12PM

    You're very inspiring, I've tried to start running more and I'm working up to it. Though I just had dental surgery so I can't push my body to far. Congratulations on pushing yourself! It's impressive to see someone reaching for a new, and wonderful goal. I wish you well, and maybe I can get up to your motivation!

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OSTERA15 10/25/2009 12:16AM

    Thank you so much for sharing this. I have been working to leave the river behind, but after reading your daughter and your perspectives I wonder if I'm really trying my hardest.

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AUNTIEJILL 10/24/2009 7:58PM

  Well, thanks alot, darn it! Now I must face my own excuses. That answer (Denial is a River in Egypt is going on my bathroom mirror). Oh how I need to get a grip. Congratulations! Now it's still...my turn to get going.

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ROBYNGIFFORD 10/23/2009 12:36PM

  you're an inspiration. I don't ever want to run long distances, but I NEED to be able to sprint after a two year old. I've been busy telling myself "I can't... because...." I think I need to work on my denile issues. thank you for sharing.

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KSCHERBR 10/22/2009 11:34AM

    That was awesome. I used to be a runner. How funny, I thought that since I'm 30 and overweight and my knee hurt that I wouldn't be able to do it either. Thanks for showing me my excuses are exactly that, excuses.

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CASEYCOOPER 10/22/2009 10:19AM

  Good Work!! In response to your comment about other people watching you shuffle and feeling funny, I run and your daughter is right, any time I see someone exercising that is clearly new to the process I always give quiet encouragement now matter how uncoordinated or pained the person may look. We are all out to support you guys!!

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JANDJRICHES 10/22/2009 4:40AM

    Well done..!! I've not read any of the other comments.. but am thinking I will give it a go... and try and run.. even if only slowly around my house to-morrow... I'm now almost 68yrs old and have been thinking I'm well and truely past all that... but then again... why not give it a try... I haven't run more than about 5 metres since I was in my twenties more than likely...
thanks for the incentive... cheers Joan. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HEALTHIERKAT 10/22/2009 12:30AM

    This was great! Thanks for sharing your story! I can appreciate your "no running" sentiment. I, too, have recently decided to give running a try, and I was thrilled when I realized on my first morning that I had jogged one whole mile and briskly walked another! It is quite an exhilerating, victorious feeling, isn't it?

Good for you! Keep it up!

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JETTER4 10/21/2009 8:34PM

  Great Inspirtion..

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BABAJANE 10/21/2009 12:31PM

    I LOVE this blog. Such a great way of putting it. Congratulations to you, and hoorah for your daughter being so open and honest with you..and for going WITH you on the run.

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HEALTHQUESTER 10/21/2009 1:43AM

    GREAT BLOG!! WONDERFUL way with words! Go you!!

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HAPPYNOW26 10/21/2009 1:35AM

    You got me jogging today!
I read your blog when you posted it and took to heart what your daughter said about running "wrong". I have been doing just that and today I decided to take the challenge. With the dog next to me we set out to do a 2 mile "run" (slow jog) and every time I got tired I slowed down and kept on going... great advice. It really worked! I made it to the 2 mile marker and walked briskly back. Now I will increase my distance and speed.
Thanks to you and your daughter!

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BRUNELLIA 10/20/2009 3:13PM

  Great story !
It remembers me at a slogan that was put on a sign, near a 'runners race'.
It was something like: 'those who want to reach something are looking for solutions. The other ones are looking for excuses.'
For the moment, I know that I am still looking for excuses, but the slogan did not go out of my mind. So maybe, I just need some time to use it.
Enjoy the running and congrats !!

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SHOPGIRL1960 10/20/2009 1:49PM

    What a wonderful blog! I have always wanted to be a runner. I had the same P.E. teacher and physical symptoms. I have wondered since if my body could do it at this age with a somewhat troubled knee and back...but now... after reading what you have written...perhaps I will never know until I try. It would be a dream fullfilled in my life.

Thankyou SO MUCH~!!!

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NETTIE197 10/20/2009 1:49PM

    Great blog. Food for thought.

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TONIABLAKE 10/20/2009 1:20PM

    This is so me! LOL! I thought I couldn't run, and refused to even try for the longest time. Then I did. I'm improving my speed and endurance all the time and now I am challenging myself with interval speed training. Good job on crossing your Egyptian river (Denial).

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NEWMUM8 10/20/2009 12:39PM

    Wow, inspiring, makes you feel you can do anything. Good luck and take care, NM

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GRANNYLITE 10/20/2009 12:31PM

  I have loved and used that saying for years and it works best when you say it to yourself. You may have to say it a few times to yourself as you don't always listen to the important things you say to yourself.

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DIANARUBIO 10/20/2009 11:31AM

  this is so very motivating I have stop trying to eat better and I always make an excuse not to exercise thanks for sharing this it opens up our eyes and our mind not to be in denial like you say

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PRAYDANCRUNLOVE 10/20/2009 11:20AM

    This is a keeper...Thanks!

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AUTUTMNLYNN2 10/20/2009 10:08AM


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DAM136 10/20/2009 8:56AM

  Thanks for the encouragement. Sounds like me with the denial and I am also 52 and got the same messages in high school. Kind of funny how those kind of things stick with us. Since reading your blog I've been trying on my treadmill to speed it up and do some running. I'm actually looking forward to taking it outside and giving it a try, and will keep trying.
Thanks again.

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SHRYNKABELLE 10/20/2009 4:57AM

    I love your blog! You are indeed an inspiration, and only yesterday I made the decision to begin running, so that I can get in all the benefits of running. Like you, I'm also 52, and really hated the school running that I was forced to participate in. I haven't attempted to run in quite a while, but there's no time like the present, eh?

Thank you!

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MICHELLEFROST 10/20/2009 3:40AM

    well done on your journey so far hope you feel as great as you look

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ROYALTY1022 10/19/2009 9:55PM

    Great story, thanks for sharing and the encouragement... emoticon

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TAKTYXSGIRL 10/19/2009 2:41PM

    What an awesome blog Joanne! It just goes to prove that you can do anything if you put your mind to it. You are doing so amazing and you're such an inspiration to me. Thank you SO much! I needed this today.

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GOLIONS 10/19/2009 12:45PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

To All My Spark Friends--

Thursday, October 01, 2009

This blogs for you!!

The day started with promise. I had it off and despite the fact my internal alarm clock wouldn't let me sleep in, I woke up cheerful. It was raining but that wouldn't stop my plans. I had a little retail therapy planned for the morning, followed by lunch with one of my favorite nieces. Do a few domestic duties when I get home then lay down for a nice, cozy afternoon snooze before I went to the gym.
For the most part, it progressed as anticipated. Got some new shoes for work. Found an additional new pair to add to my Imelda Marcos memorial collection for outside of work. The rain even seemed to cooperate and let up while I dashed from stores to car. The lunch was fun. I was psyched for that nap.

Now naps can be good or bad. Sometimes its a crap shoot. Today the dice weren't in my favor. I couldn't get comfortable. The caffeine in the two lunch diet cokes kicked in and that required several trips to the bathroom. I finally drifted asleep and was just starting on a nice dream when the phone rang. I looked at it and groaned. Crazy mother-in-law...
Did I call her? No. Was I sure? It was on her caller ID. I guarantee you I did not call. Oh she was looking at the wrong day . Sorry! Not half as sorry as me. I started to drift back and the phone rang again. Groaning, I picked it up. She remembered what she really wanted to call me for the first time. ARRGGH!!!

I gave it up. Got up and headed down to the gym in the now pouring rain. Every joint in my body ached. I had a headache brewing. I was just this side of tired. Maybe I wouldn't run, I told myself. Walk! Ride the recumbent bike! Just lift weights and go home! Nah. I'd start and see how it went. No promises. I walked into the cardio room and first thing I got a big smile from one of the Tuesday-Thursday gym rats.
I semi-glared with a look that said give it up buddy. I'm wearing a black sports bra today! (For those who don't know THAT significance -- read my Tuesday blog)

I got on my treadmill, plugged in my earphones and started my warm-up. For some reason I started thinking about my Spark friends. The image of DENRNAJ sneaking into her YMCA covered in cake swam into my head and I had to smile. I wondered if the rain let up where LAURTO2 lives, so she could walk home like she wanted to. I broke into my run and remembered how I had told MOMTO4RUGRATS just that morning how running helped me push past a plateau. She's working out as much as she can manage while raising four kids. Then there is TAKTYXSGIRL who wonders if her biological clock is ticking. Children are a blessing. There is ERMAC22 who runs with her dad. Special. Oh, and LIGHTHOUSE 23 who wasn't in the mood to walk but her grandbaby coaxed her into what turned out to be a glorious, fun, long walk! I hadn't even glanced at my minutes or miles yet. I was so impressed with LAURIE5658 running her first non-stop 45 minutes, surly I could push on a little further tonight! If that crazy good WASABI601 can get up at 5 am to jump into a cold olympic size pool when he isn't crazy about swimming, and swim until his arms felt so much like jello his buddies had to help him out, I can keep running.

Before I knew it I had ran my goal and then some! While I was spraying off the treadmill I thought of BESTSUSIEYET reminding us in her blog today to give credit to whom it's due. She prayed for strength to make good food choices and keep up her physical activity.
Speaking of strength, I thought why don't I lift weights today? 45 minutes of cardio and 20 minutes of weights. On a day I initially thought I couldn't make myself workout the minimum.

Thanks to all my wonderful, inspiring, Spark friends. You just keep motivating me long after I've logged off!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLJ35 10/15/2009 10:10PM

    emoticon You are a great writer!

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YARDWALKER 10/6/2009 6:51AM

    I saw a post recommending your "Denial is a river in Egypt" blog and enjoyed it so much I have kept reading. I am subscribing to your blog. I love your writing and your attitude.

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LIGHTHOUSE23 10/4/2009 9:20PM

    As usual, this is a great blog! I'm glad that we can inspire and motivate one another. I am very happy to have such supportive 'SP Friends' :-)

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DENRNAJ 10/3/2009 7:42AM

    Oh my, thank you so much- I am glad to hear that I am giving someone a boost! I understand where you are coming from- I am doing a C25K program. I am having difficulty. When I start thinking that I am not able to complete the session of the day I think about all of the people here that have done this. If they can do it I can too. When I first read your introduction on your SP and then saw your current picture I told myself- I can do this too- she did- and if she made it I can get out there, live it, and do it too! Thank you for your caring, your willingness to share, and being one of us- the wonderful SP!!!

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TAKTYXSGIRL 10/2/2009 5:11PM

    You are so sweet Joanne! This is an awesome blog and just what I needed to read today. Thank you for your encouragement!

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ERMAC22 10/2/2009 3:48PM

    This brought tears to my eyes during a week where I very much needed it!! Thank you so much Joanne - this is wonderful emoticon emoticon

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MOMTO4RUGRATS 10/2/2009 11:34AM

    AWWW what a sweet blog, I got teary eyed...

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WASABI601 10/1/2009 10:43PM

    Thank you so Much Joanne!!!! this is a great blog!!!!!! Thank you so much for your unwavering support!!!!

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DDOORN 10/1/2009 10:35PM

    Been there, done that and WOW! Do I LOVE the feeling of "channeling" all of my SparkFamily while working out! Woo Hoo! :-)


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BESTSUSIEYET 10/1/2009 10:29PM

    Joanne -- what a refreshing blog! I totally agree -- without the Spark Friends to encourage me to USE the Spark tools, I wouldn't be where I am today (another .5 lb down --- what happened to my goal weight???) God is so good, and I count you all as blessings from Him! Rest well tonight - and enjoy those new shoes :-) emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LAURIE5658 10/1/2009 10:20PM

    Joanne, THANK YOU for coming into my SparkLife! For some reason YOU entered into my Spark journey and I feel so lucky. Like you, I now have so many Spark friends that help throught the rough spots and to share in the joys. How did we do this weight loss thing before we found Spark? Not nearly as easily as we do now!!!!

ps...aren't black sports bras just the BEST invention ever???!!!

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Notes on a Tuesday

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tuesdays are usually just that. Not a Monday. Far from a Friday. I slid into the clinic a few minutes before 8 am just in time to hear my named being paged to pick up a call from one of the doctors in our clinic. Not just one of the doctors. THE doctor. The one whose potential to be cranky (a nicer term than what's usually applied!) can be off the charts. True to form, he was ranting and raving about something we both knew I had nothing to with. Why me? Because I've worked with him 20 years and I know he's a brilliant physician who is really an iron covered marshmallow. As for him, he knows I won't dissolve into tears or file a harassment complaint against him because he dropped a few F bombs in my ear.
When he was done venting, I scrambled to get the room set up for my first patient.On Tuesdays I perform urodynamic studies on female patients which is essentially testing done on their bladder to work up their urinary incontinence. Each test takes approximately 45 minutes and I allow a 15 minute lapse between patients to disinfect and turn the room around. I work on a tight schedule seeing back to back patients all morning, then spend the afternoon generating their reports. Not much room for surprises. First patient was a little old lady who traveled 60 miles from out of town and got lost in the big city -- arriving 25 minutes late dutifully with her full bladder. What was I to do? Make her reschedule and drive the 60 miles back home for nothing? Nooo. Before long the frantic calls started coming in from the front desk: how much longer? Patient number 2 really has to go BADDDD!
And thus how the day progressed. I was really ready to hit the gym after work and run it all off.

I was so looking forward to working out I dressed quickly in my new thin white champion sports bra and pale green tank top not giving it another thought. September in Iowa starts chilly but progresses to hot as the day goes on, so I was thankful the Y had the air conditioning still on. I even got my favorite treadmill by the air vent in front of the TV with CNN. Yeah this is gonna be great!
And it started out that way. Wow, all the mostly male gym rats seemed in such good moods. I never got so many smiles, waves, and trips by my treadmill to borrow the disinfectant spray bottle by it. I even got a How YOU doing? from the female paramedic on the next treadmill who usually lifts weights in the weight room with the big boys...
Hmm? I was just about to hit my stride in the run when I looked down at my chest and figured it out real quick! I had 20 minutes left to run and then 15 minutes of my "J-Lo" walking (walking on an incline in an attempt to build up what mother nature left off). I kept my arms in close and wiped my neck off frequently with the towel.
NOTE TO SELF: Only wear a black sports bra to the gym from now on...

When I hit the locker room, I heard some soft tearful moans followed by "Help". Rounding the corner I saw a large woman up against a locker. She tearfully told me she was there for the evening water aerobics class and had gotten her new suit caught on the sharp locker corner and she was afraid to move lest she unravel a large hole in the suit. She was too big to reach around herself and try. While I delicately attempted to extract her snag, she poured out how she weighed 320 and had bad knees that needed replaced but her dr. told her that her morbid obesity made her a poor risk for surgery. He laid down the law that she had to lose weight, so she scraped her money together and joined the Y and bought a bathing suit. Did I know how much suits that size costs? She was on a limited income and facing disability with her knees. What would she do? I spent the next 20 minutes untangling her snag and plugging the SparkPeople website. I was so worked up I thought a choir of angels would start singing behind me any minute. She was excited and vowed if I got her out of her predicament she was going to go home and look us up right away. Finally I got the suit free and, ex-girl scout that I am, whipped out a bottle of super nail glue and dotted the snag to keep it from unraveling any further. She started crying agin. This time tears of gratitude. She missed the class but the suit was saved. In the midst of her tears she looked up at me full on and burst into laughter. I had been working behind her and now for the first time she really noticed... my chest.

Yeah, I know. It was one of THOSE Tuesdays....

(Hi to Hattie and I hope you did find us!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOSQUE98 11/17/2009 8:38PM

    I have spent the past hour reading through your blogs and I have enjoyed every one of them. I know that I am going to seem dumb but I am not understanding the white sports bra thing? What was wrong that made everyone look?

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BLCTLEW 10/17/2009 6:00PM

    You are hilarious! My sports bra makes me look like I have 3 boobs but I ain't giving it up LOL

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DONNELDA22 10/15/2009 6:41AM

    Most enjoyable. Thanks for sharing. Please keep on writing --
I know we will all keep reading. emoticon

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LIGHTHOUSE23 9/30/2009 9:06PM

    You are very funny. Sounds like you had an awesome day to me!

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LAURIE5658 9/30/2009 10:10AM

    Joanne, I just discovered yet something else we have in common. So, lets see, we are Iowans that runand now...drum roll please...in my former career I too worked for a domineering doctor. This jerk lived for nothing else but to make my life miserable because patients cannot show up on time.

You are a hoot! A hoot that I can so relate to in more ways I can count! Thank you for entering my Spark life!!!

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WASABI601 9/29/2009 11:25PM

    another darn good blog!!!!! Sounded like a good tuesday to me!!!! Can't wait to hear about wendsday!!!!!

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SLIMMERJESSE 9/29/2009 11:01PM

    Enjoyed your blog a lot. Thanks for making me smile. Have a good evening.

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BESTSUSIEYET 9/29/2009 10:56PM

    Love reading about your day -- sorry YOU had to LIVE it! God bless you for being so kind to poor Hattie. I'll make my own "note to self" about what to wear to workout!

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DDOORN 9/29/2009 9:47PM

    Kudos to the

1) good Samaritan,

2) Spark Recruiter (spreading the SPARK...woo hoo!)


3) Entertainer...lol! :-)


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Becoming a kid again!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

When I was little my mother used to constantly admonish me to "Sit still"! My father lovingly asked me in German if I had ants in my pants. I was the child that always got pinched in church for squirming in the pew. My school conferences always amounted to "She's a bright girl, but a little too social..." Which meant I couldn't keep my mouth shut in school. Now a days I probably would have been labeled ADD and stuck on medication, but back in the day your parents just chased you outdoors to run it off with the neighborhood kids or gave you some agonizingly awful chore like polishing silver that made you long to be outdoors running with the neighborhood kids! I certainly chased my kids out of the house when they were young.
So how did I find myself as an adult parked in front of the television night after night watching Lisa Laporta design another house to sell or Emirel BAM! another dish of something rich and calorie laden? I worked hard all day. I convinced myself I was relaxing. Unwinding. I deserved it.
But I think what I was really doing is escaping. You can tune out a lot of crap in your life by surrounding yourself with canned laughter. You can bury grief, you can bury a flailing marriage and you can eat while you do it too and pack on the pounds. It catches up with you.
When I turned 49, I decided I'd had enough of it. Maybe it started the year before when I found myself picking out a niche for the cremated remains of my 25 year old son who had died suddenly, and I was faced with deciding if I wanted to purchase a niche for myself next to his so we would be close together in the cemetary. I opted to do that and seeing your name and birthdate engraved on a nameplate with a blank spot for your date of death was pretty sobering.
I knew I wanted to lose the weight and get healthy but was discouraged because I'd lost weight and gained it right back so many times before. What was the key? The key for me turned out to be getting rid of that tape of my mother's voice in my head saying "Sit still" and getting off my butt and away from the TV. I got back out in the neighborhood. I walked, then I ran. I joined a gym so I could exercise and be social again. I started eating at the dining room table and not in front of the TV. I started facing the crap in my life and weeding out the negatives right along with my bad eating habits and fat clothes.
Oh I still grieve for my son. Does that ever completely go away? No, but I've spent many a good run thinking about the happy times we had together when he was alive. He had ADHD and I chased him out of the house on plenty occasions to run and play. He loved to walk and preferred it to driving by far.
I can't tell you the last time I watched TV unless the president was speaking. I stand in the line at the grocery store and see all the magazines with celebrity gossip and wonder who all those stars are.
I found that I really look forward to physical activity and when stuck inside doing an agonizing chore like housework or bill paying I long to be back out in the neighborhood running or biking!
Granted, I find myself parked in front of my computer at SparkPeople.com night after night, but only AFTER I've done my physical activity for the day.
And then I feel like I really am relaxing...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUMMERTIME_JEN 10/16/2009 7:25AM

    I agree perfectly with Don. What a positive way to work through such a hard experience. Thank you for sharing. Hugs to you!!!

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CAREWREN 10/6/2009 10:45AM

    What a wonderful blog! Thank you for writing it so that we could benefit by it. I don't know how I would cope with one of my children dying. Frankly, I can't think of anything much worse. Your blog moves me greatly. Just maybe, I can let it move me even more--right off the couch! Thank you!

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LAURIE5658 9/30/2009 10:01AM

    Joanne, life is a real hoot sometimes. My "come to Jesus" moment when I decided I needed to totally revamp my lifestyle came while picking out a casket for my mom. It was at that time also when my husband and I purchased our burial plots right next to Mom and other family members. Mom passed away from the complications of her breast cancer and I vowed from that time on that I would not be like her.

Great blog and how many of us can relate to this very same situation!

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WASABI601 9/29/2009 1:00PM

    A great Blog Joanne!!!!! So sorry about your son. You know you're an inspiration and have done so well!!!!!! Thanks for everything!!!

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DDOORN 9/28/2009 9:23AM

    Sure can relate to your sentiments, re: "But I think what I was really doing is escaping. You can tune out a lot of crap in your life by surrounding yourself with canned laughter. You can bury grief, you can bury a flailing marriage and you can eat while you do it too and pack on the pounds. It catches up with you."

And now? What's a television? :-)

I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your son...what a wonderful way to HONOR him by putting the SPARK back into your life! He is probably up there beaming over his mother's re-inventing herself...woo hoo!


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