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The M word

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

As in motivation. As in how do you keep some? Cause if you're like me, motivation might be just a tad hard to come by right now.

You wouldn't know it from the dreary grayness I'm looking at outside my window right now - that says the promised snowstorm is indeed on it's way - but it was the most glorious sunrise this morning.

Full of bright magenta, midnight blue, royal purple, lively orange, and the palest pink. The sort of sunrise that makes you glad you're alive to see it & eager to get on with your day.

Only all to soon - in just minutes - it had faded to gray. Motivation is that way, too. We're so full of hope at the start of a new year. A fresh beginning. This time will be different, we just know it.

And somehow we just fade like the sunrise. Life becomes a drudgery- it's too hard, too boring, too inconvenient.

So how do you keep your motivation alive? By all the things I blog about, of course, cause you know ultimately it's all about me:

*You don't tackle everything at once. Pick a goal or two - small ones. Track them. Reward yourself for meeting your goals.

*Dream big. Pick a big goal (not weight related). Something that motivates you - a vacation, a new toy, a race, learning something. Maybe combine all three!

*Take photos of yourself every month or every 3 months - something on a regular basis. Don't stop when you hit goal. This will be painful at first, but trust me, in the end you'll be glad you did it.

*Blog, even when you have nothing to say. Don't do it for the comments, do it for you. You have no idea how therapeutic blogging can be.

*The 10 minute rule. If you don't want to exercise, just do 10 minutes. If you want something you don't think you really need, wait 10 minutes. There's a lot of power in 10 minutes.

*Read or watch something that inspires you.

*Put on some music. Music makes you want to move, even if you're uncoordinated.

There are as many ways to keep motivated as there are Sparkers. How do you keep motivated?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCOH051610 3/26/2011 9:02AM

    Great list of motivation tips we all could use. I love the way you described the morning starting out so beautiful and then going awry.

My biggest motivators right now are my SparkFriends and my dogs. I feel I'm a bad dog mommy if I don't walk them off leash for at least 2 km a day so for that I have to drive a ways to find a spot where it is safe.

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WE_PA_FIT 3/24/2011 8:01AM

    i love all your tips. they are all so true. i need to blog more often. for me motivation dictates my intensity. When I'm motivated I am super-charged and do more and do it better. Otherwise, I just do it, out of habit , go through the motions. I get it done (soemtimes) but phone it in. I think it's normal tho.

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LALAFLOWERS 3/24/2011 5:38AM

    I'm due for some new pics... I haven't taken any for a long time!!!! And I've loved having pics along the way. They show me where I've come from, show my journey, and help me see the changes that I may not see on the scale or with the tape measure!

I also use my kids... both the good parts of them, and the bad. I exercise so that I can deal with the frustrations of being a mom. I play with them, and love to be able to keep up with them, or not be 'it' when playing tag (if that's my goal for the day) and.. to show them that exercise is a life long thing. You might as well enjoy what you do!!!

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NATPLUMMER 3/23/2011 10:53AM

    Great motivators. I use some of those myself.

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LIBBYFITZ 3/23/2011 9:28AM

    Great blog!

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TEMPEST272002 3/23/2011 9:18AM

    This is a really great list of motivators! You've hit all the biggies. The 10 minute rule is one of my best motivation tools. I tell myself that if I still don't want to exercise after 10 minutes, I can quit guilt-free... but if I start, I almost never quit early.

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HALFFAST 3/23/2011 8:36AM

    I, all too often, get into "funks." I'm thinking of stealing some of your motivators- they are great ones!

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MZSLYDE01 3/23/2011 8:11AM

    Awesome idea's - thanks for sharing because your right it is all to easy to lose motivation and not even realize it.
My biggest motivators are my DH, setting goals and friends. Definitely.

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FRECKS96 3/23/2011 8:07AM

    I love your motivators, especially the photos. You can't know how many times I wish I had taken before photos.

My biggest motivators are setting goals and supporting friends. I get such a rush out of seeing a friend find success or reach a new goal.

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Success breeds success

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

It can be amazing how making healthy choices can become so ingrained that you do it even when you really don't want to. Healthy can go on autopilot! Oh, it takes lots of healthy choices to get there, so don't beat yourself up when you make unhealthy choices. It'll happen. It'll continue to happen. But some day you'll realize that you're making more healthy than unhealthy choices - and that's the name of the game.

Last night I continued to be unmotivated & wanting to nosh even when I wasn't particularly hungry. I did eventually track that black bean brownie & the rest of my food, and had decided on oatmeal for dinner. It was just that kind of day. Carb cravings.

But I'd had oatmeal for breakfast, & planned on it for breakfast again this morning. I realized it wasn't really the healthiest choice, even tho it wasn't a bad choice.

In the end, I had a bean pizza - leftovers from another day - loosely based on the recipe at
nomeatathlete.com . This was actually even easier to make than oatmeal - all I had to do was pop it in the toaster oven!

There will be days I'll cave to the cravings; that's a given. But at least now I spend some time thinking about what my body truly NEEDS rather than what my stomach wants most of the time.

There's nothing wrong with having what you want - sometimes. The trick is to know when you've already done that enough, & it's time to give your body what it needs so you don't end up in a sugar coma. One sugar coma a week is more than enough!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCOH051610 3/26/2011 8:49AM

    Very inspiring blog! I'm still not making the smartest food choices and yet, I don't seem to be doing anything about it. AAARRRGGGHHH!

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DDHEART 3/22/2011 7:04PM

    What an encouraging blog post! It is true that we do eventually make more healthy choices than unhealthy choices and even when we are reaching for something that isn't as stellar a choice we can note that and perhaps make adjustments....and all that not with that much difficulty either!

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FRECKS96 3/22/2011 3:50PM

    Yay!!! It is such a relief to know you've gotten to that point. The trick now is to keep it up and not fall back into the old, comfortable patterns.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 3/22/2011 12:20PM

    Need and Want, two totally different things, sometimes hard to tell the difference. I look at "need" when it comes to eating most of the time, but every now and then the "want" slips in, usually rears it's ugly head emoticonwhen there are brownies in the house. Great job with all your healthy choices. emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/22/2011 12:20:41 PM

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NATPLUMMER 3/22/2011 12:02PM

    There will always be days that you'll cave to a craving. I just caved to some pretzel M&Ms myself. PMS week certainly aided in this choice for me.
"One sugar coma a week is more than enough! " Very true!

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DDOORN 3/22/2011 9:21AM

    Discovering and sorting out true hunger vs. cravings, boredom and all the other reasons that lure us to the fridge or cupboards...what a challenge THAT is!


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TEMPEST272002 3/22/2011 8:34AM

    So many of us have a hard time differentiating between NEED and WANT... and not just with food! I think it's excellent that you've come to this point where you are more likely to make a healthy decision than an unhealthy one. You inspire me with your daily choices. emoticon

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IDI kicks in . . .

Monday, March 21, 2011

. . . Or almost not caring today.

It's been a mixed bag today. My swim thus morning was good, and I was so happy it didn't start snowing til I got home. We got a good inch or two but it's pretty much melted on the driveway so I won't have to shovel, which is more good news.

Too wet to walk the dogs, unfortunately (that's what they think, anyway) - & don't really want to run in the slush - so I got another treadmill workout in. Tomorrow will be grocery shopping (more snow expected on wednesday) & ST, so had to work in that run today. Fitting in 3 ST sessions, 3 runs, & 2 swims a week isn't easy.

Problem is it's a nasty, windy, gray day & I really don't feel like doing much except noshing. That's where IDI (I deserve it syndrome, as I like to call it) kicks in. I swam AND ran, I deserve it. Don't I?

Not really. But it's just one of those days where I almost don't care. Ate a black bean brownie after lunch without figuring out if it really could fit into my plan cause I felt like it. When they mentioned sweet potato chips as a healthy snack I was almost ready to open up the bag I have downstairs - bought like last summer when we had company - but then I know which way madness lies & I'm not even really all that hungry, truth be told - the power of suggestion.

And the reason I'm writing this blog so late is cause safari on my iPad went wonky, but the good news is that I finally fixed it. So now I know how to reboot my iPad.

So really, there's been a lot of good stuff today but I'm still just in a mood. Probably pissed off that winter rebooted just when spring is supposed to start.

So . . . not much to say when all is said & done. Don't fall victim to IDI, cause what you really deserve is a long, healthy life!

Forgot to warn y'all that there was whining ahead!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCOH051610 3/26/2011 8:47AM

    Coined a great one there, you did! IDI! How many times have I fallen victim to that one! I now have a post-it note on my fridge warning me about IDI syndrome..thanks to you and your creativity!

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MARIE625 3/22/2011 8:25AM

    LOL.... IDI.... great terminology. I'll definitely have to remember that because I frequently fall victim.

Hope today goes better for you. And remember - Spring will come eventually.

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FRECKS96 3/22/2011 7:33AM

    Ugh! I hate IDI syndrome and the weather yesterday was perfect for it. Luckily (?) I didn't get my workout in until quite late in the day, so I didn't deserve much of anything. Here's hoping spring decides to stick around soon!

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DDOORN 3/21/2011 9:58PM

    Love it...IDI...have to remember that!


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NATPLUMMER 3/21/2011 9:32PM

    Sounds like a good day. In the continuum of brownies, a black bean one is the best choice. At least it's got lots of fiber.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 3/21/2011 3:11PM

    I liked your last statement.. don't fall victim to IDI, cause we really do deserve a long, healthy life. I am going to file that in my memory bank and use it often because I certainly fall victim to I DESERVE IT !!!!

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Sneaky fitness & frun photos

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Nope, not a typo. My running group has a "frun day" once a year, where they try to get out as many people as they can for group runs. Luckily one was posted at a time, place, & pace that suited, so I went.

Don't let those blue skies fool you. This was at the very end of the run and it was a mostly cloudy, chilly run -- in fact, spitting a little snow/hail right before we began.

The people in shorts? Those were the speedsters. In fact, some of them had already been to an earlier run.

It's funny, running gear in particular makes me feel chubby. If you've got any sort of stomach, as most of us do, you're almost guaranteed a muffin top. And of course my butt & thighs aren't my best features.

But I like these photos . . . those trouble areas may feel chubbier in running gear, but they actually don't look so bad in the photos (or maybe I'm just delusional, been known to happen) -- must be all that spandex.

So sneaky fitness. This won't be what you expect, either. DH is always asking what I want in reference to . . . well . . . you know. So a while back I got the idea to look up some couples' yoga. Cause I really think DH could benefit from some yoga, but he's never going to do it.

It took me a while to get my courage up, but I finally asked him if he'd try some today. And he did! People will surprise you if you give them the chance more often than not. I just hope I can convince him to do it again. The man definitely needs some stretching.

So sneak in some fitness today & have some frun!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PCOH051610 3/26/2011 8:44AM

    First of all, I've just been staring at the running pictures because I long to see bare ground! We just had another storm yesterday which is hanging on today with high winds and blowing snow.

You look great! You are not delusional!

I am still laughing at sneaking some "sex-exercise"...

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MARIE625 3/22/2011 8:40AM

    LOL .... Yoga as foreplay..... My poor hubby is so out of shape we'd end up in the emergency room instead of doing the "you know". Might be something to work towards though.
I love group runs. The group I used to run with would have as many as 50 people sometimes. We looked like we were having our own race! And you are right about the photos. Compression clothing must really compress. :)

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FRECKS96 3/21/2011 7:53AM

    Awesome! Your running group looks like it had a blast. We have the speedsters in shorts too. Crazy!

Enjoy your partner yoga!

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DDHEART 3/21/2011 7:40AM

    I think what I like about fitness photos, is that when I look at them, I tend to not lok at the same things I do in other prints. It's because I admire what it's all about....I see the exercise, in this case a run, I looked at this and yes, I noted the sky and the people in shorts and the dry pavement and I thought it looked like heaven....maybe I'm delusional as well! LOL Long run for me today....it's supposed to be 9 miles, right now it's in the low to mid 30's so I'm having a little lack of ambition but I know it'll be good so after another cup of joe.............

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FREELADY 3/20/2011 5:13PM

    Inspired by the new word "frun," I've coined a term for your mutual activities . . . yoga-la-LA!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHEILA1505 3/20/2011 11:56AM

    Looks like you had a great outing

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TEMPEST272002 3/20/2011 10:52AM

    I think you look great in the photos - you fit right in with the other runners! Great job sneaking in some exercise with hubby... bet if you started doing that yoga naked, he'd be right there! Now THAT's frun! emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 3/20/2011 10:39AM

    I think your thighs are looking pretty slim in those tights. I can't see the butt to make any comments. I do know how you feel. That's where my genes store any extra.
It's great that you got some sneaky yoga in!!

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NINALEE35 3/20/2011 9:45AM

    Great blog! Sounds like frunning could be a blast!

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Wake me when the sugar coma is over

Friday, March 18, 2011

Someone commented on my blog yesterday that I'm an inspiration. And here I am ROFLMAO.

So DH had a potluck today. And yesterday I baked cookies - sorry, NATPLUMMER, no photos cause I figured we didn't need food porn here. I knew I'd be having some, so I planned for that.

I made the english toffee bars & giant bakery-style double chocolate chip cookies from "Vegan Cookie Conniseur" - best vegan cookie cookbook ever. Had some troubles with the double chocolate cookies that were entirely of my own making but it didn't effect the taste. I've probably already gone overboard just with the descriptions!

Was feeling pretty virtuous cause I made sure to eat well - all my freggies, a ton of water, and got a run & 2 dog walks in. And while I tasted the batter, not much - just enough to make certain they were edible. I would lick a spoon, then immediately plunge it into soapy water, which is an awesome diversionary tactic.

When the bars were done, I figured I'd just have a small taste. I cut them into very small bars, but when all was said & done, I ate 2 of those very small bars.

On to the main event: the giant cookie. I'd already planned to have one. And I did. And maybe a little extra.

That much sugar does not make me feel good. And I woke up extremely gassy - I don't think I've ever connected sugar to gas before, but it makes total sense, since bacteria loves sugar.

It's all gone. DH took everything into work with strick instructions not to bring any back home. The sad part is I was eyeing the little pieces still clinging to the drying rack this morning, but at least I've restrained myself from eating them & had a nice, light, but filling breakfast (banana-avocado pudding).

I will not beat myself up with extra exercise. You can't exercise your way out of a poor diet, even tho exercise is a very important part of a healthy diet. I will do my best to eat healthy today & drink lots of water.

I am signed up for a group run tomorrow & maybe lunch afterwards. And we'd planned to eat out somewhere this weekend, since I haven't physically been out to eat in about 3 weeks. Lots of decisions to be made!

We all have our crosses to bear. We all make poor decisions & choices at times. I think it's a lot like a healthy diet, tho: if you make good choices 80% of the time, you'll get there. Eventually.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARIE625 3/22/2011 8:33AM

    LOL!!! .... "The sad part is I was eyeing the little pieces still clinging to the drying rack this morning"..... LOL Sarah made cookies the other day. I behaved very well and only ate one and didn't even sneak in any raw batter! Two days later, I discovered that the cooling racks had for some crazy reason been stashed in the dinning room on the bar in the corner so that they weren't all that visible or noticable. Anyway.... they had cookie crumbs still attached. Yes, I stood there, picking stale, 2 day old crumbs off the cooling racks and cramming them in my mouth as though I hadn't eaten food in about 3 weeks. Sheesh!
I'm starting to think I should seriously consider a 12 step program!

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FREELADY 3/19/2011 11:38PM

    I hear a lot of thinking ahead and awareness here. Sounds like a pretty successful day.

I'm gonna try the tip of --while cooking, with a utensil, immediately plunge it into soapy water, an awesome diversionary tactic. Great advice . . . Thanks a lot!

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KARBIE18 3/19/2011 5:48PM

    LOL on the drying rack. You did well, and I am proud of you. I still am incapable of baking without overindulging, despite all the major changes I've made. So pat yourself on the back, and way to go for not over-exercising for the extra sugar! You are awesome!

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PCOH051610 3/18/2011 4:48PM

    Hey, you are an inspiration even though the very thought of it makes you laugh out loud! I really like the idea of tossing utensils etc in soapy water right after you've had one taste. Another one I use, is to chew gum while I'm baking...which is such a rarity that it doesn't really matter. The cookies etc sound yummy....as does the avocado and banana pudding. Yummy, yummy for your tummy.

Enjoy your run this weekend!

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HALFFAST 3/18/2011 1:22PM

    I'm drooling just thinking about the English toffee bars and double chocolate chip cookies! I can't have that kinda stuff in the house or I would find reasons (excuses) to eat them! Which leads me to your comment about not being able to exercise your way out of a poor diet. So true!

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WALLAHALLA 3/18/2011 10:40AM

    Being "real" is what makes you an inspiration. You share honestly, without judging others. People can relate to that. Life is full of potholes, and we all step in one eventually. We can choose to gripe about it, cry about it, or sit down...enjoy playing in the mud for a minute...get back up...clean up...and move on towards a bright and happy future. emoticon I'm glad you chose to enjoy playing in the mud for a few minutes.

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NATPLUMMER 3/18/2011 10:29AM

    They do sound good and I wish I had a picture, but the description will suffice ;-)
One of the reasons I have started using a cookie scoop is that I handle the dough less by not having to push it off a spoon and then I eat less of the dough. "eyeing the little pieces still clinging to the drying rack this morning"...I think we're twins.
I think you did great!

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TEMPEST272002 3/18/2011 10:10AM

    I don't think you did that bad. You have such high standards for yourself. It's people's humanness that inspires me. That they continue on in spirte of the difficulties, not that they don't have any at all. You are an inspiration for healthy living. You make an effort - every single day - to live a healthy life.

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DAYHIKER 3/18/2011 9:52AM

    LOL...I saw your blog title and asked myself, "What has she done now?!" But it wasn't that bad and you are back on track! If I were your neighbor I'd be there begging for one of the English toffee bars! emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/18/2011 9:52:55 AM

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DDOORN 3/18/2011 9:13AM

    "You can't exercise your way out of a poor diet." So true, yet so easy to fall into that trap sometimes!


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