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A Must Read For Men: Doing Our Part

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This blog has nothing to do with diet or exercise. Itís an observation from the male point of view.

I am a good husband. I didnít say perfect, I said good. Iíve been married for over thirty six years and other than the normal tiffs we have never had a serious issue in our marriage. Given the people I know and the people I read about, I consider myself very lucky. We are not all lovey dovey and while we pray for each other the only place we pray together is at Mass on Sundayís. Suffice to say that we are not the magazine cover couple. I have always done my own laundry, because why should Joan have to fool with my stuff? I had offered to do her laundry; as a matter of fact I did it one time and was politely told to leave it alone. (I follow orders really well.)

I bring all this up because despite all my best efforts I never realized how little I really did until Joan had surgery yesterday. Yes, I am one of those people who believed the dogs and cat fed themselves. I had to decide what we were having for dinner, take care of washing towels, and all this stuff Joan does on a day to day basis. I donít mind admitting I was a bit overwhelmed and BTW this was only for a day or so, not long term. I am not complaining. It just sort of opened my eyes up a lot. If I had to do this every day Iíd probably lose twenty pounds in a week. When the kids were born I was insulated from all of this. There were family and friends available to cook and clean, etc.

I could buy her flowers and candy and a cute card and tell her how much I appreciate her and then go back to being unenlightened me. OrÖÖÖ. I could realize that maybe I need to do a bit more on a day to day basis. I have a quote on my SPARK page that says:

ďYou have not lived a perfect day...unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.Ē

Itís my house, my cat and dogs and my meals, also. Joan works as hard, if not harder than I do and comes home tired and worn out and has never once complained about what she does once she gets home.

If you are a guy and you are reading this and you are in a relationship with someone, take a look at what they do and what you do. Itís been quite an education for me.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WINDEE52 10/27/2010 7:43AM

    Sending this to my husband...Now! Thanks!

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EM4488 10/26/2010 11:07PM

    Hahah - the cat and dog feed themselves! :) I love it.
My fiance and I are very similar....except we both have so many roles...when one slips up (busy rather than hospitalized), the other is SHOCKED at what all doesn't get done!
I'm so glad to hear of your wonderful marriage. Now, go buy some flowers, candies, and a card and tell her how much you appreciate all she does :)

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1WALKINGMAN 10/26/2010 11:02PM

    Boy John, you've been living a cooshie life. My wife would not have put up with you for a week let alone 36 years. And I think that you can believe me.

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HOPECHAMPION 10/26/2010 10:30PM

    JohnJ1: first...love all the positive things you say to Catherine.

Second...if you want to take this AHA! further...once Joan is on the mend, or maybe you can ask her now, while she is weak (otherwise, you may get a "don't worry about it honey" type of answer)...

Wife, what would you love to greet you when you come home? What three (or any number) chores do you hate (or like the least)? What three chores do you love and not consider chores?

Let these answers lead you...

See - husbands and men are fabulous! I think you guys just don't hear it enough. The potential you all possess is untapped and unstoppable once accessed.


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CARTOONB 10/26/2010 9:27PM

    Amen!

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HDHAWK 10/26/2010 7:46PM

    First, I hope Joan is well in a hurry. Seems we can always learn something new. Good for you John! Joan is a lucky lady (and so are you to have her).

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PEPPERMINT125 10/26/2010 4:10PM

    Your wife Joan sounds like a great lady. She probably won't be expecting you to take on that many new duties but I bet she would really appreciate seeing this blog and also hearing encouraging words from you. emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 10/26/2010 2:22PM

    Awareness always has it's place! But the heart and mind have to be open to it. I can see something good is going to come out of this difficult situation you and Joan are having to living through. I hope she gets well very rapidly!

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KANSASROSE67 10/26/2010 12:38PM

    Your wife must be wonderful! I admit I do much more than my husband but I am often resentful about it. If I complain, he says, "Just sit down and let it go." Thanks so much for putting this out there for other guys to read!

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TURBID 10/26/2010 12:14PM

    this is so sweet. good for you!

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CATHERINEL66 10/26/2010 11:17AM

    This is exactly why I got a cleaning lady over the summer. My part time job of housewife was usurpred by my new part time job of health/fitness, LOL. And it was easier to hire out the work and get DH to pay for half (than to negotiate the workload).

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LOOKY-LOU 10/26/2010 10:50AM

    So how do I get this to my hubby?????

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BTINTERNET 10/26/2010 10:36AM

    I hope Joan is doing well and hooray for you for your new realization!

We don't have particular roles in our house - we just do what needs doing, and if something gets messy, the person who gets fed up first does it. :-)

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RHAL1462 10/26/2010 10:32AM

    John:
Very insightful of you!
My DH has done his own laundry for years and he also helps with the meal prep. As a matter of fact he may cook more than I do these days. We established a policy a few years ago the the first one home takes care of dinner that night. ( Side note: I have not gotten him trained on the last one out of bed makes it yet!) Sometimes that is going out to dinner, but since it is just two of us, that's OK every now and then. We usually have other errands to run so do then at that time as well. Since he also cooks, we do the grocery shopping together. DH also started preparing my breakfast for me when I started this weight loss journey. It is one of his contributions to help me succeed -a contribution he decided to make to help me, and it has made a terrific difference. My breakfast sandwich and a piece of fruit are waiting for me to pick up on my way out the door every morning.

I know I am spoiled compared to most women! We do lots of things with and for each other.

Best wishes to Joan on her surgery recovery.
emoticon

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 10/26/2010 10:27AM

    Best wishes to you both for a speedy recovery. I love seeing people who make it work.

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PLAYBLUES22 10/26/2010 10:24AM

    Sweetie, not only are you enlightened you are an all around good man

High five emoticonto a gentleman that knows how to appreciate the love he receives emoticon

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CINDYLUFUS 10/26/2010 10:19AM

    Wow...Thanks for posting this! I will be forwarding it to my husband. I think it's hard for husband's to understand what all their wives do on a daily basis.

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WORKINGSTIFF 10/26/2010 10:12AM

    John-kudos to you for your eye-opening revelation.

I'm married to a good man too, who actually does ALL of the laundry...we've been married a long time too, and there's not a whole lot sexy about who does what around the house, but that's how you learn to appreciate your spouse and keep each other from getting resentful.

I hope a whole lot of men read your blog-and a whole lot of women should read it too. It's quite ok for a woman to expect that her husband (and sons) should do their share. Notice I didn't say help out. When I do housework, it's considerably more than "helping out."

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KLEONIKI 10/26/2010 10:10AM

    Many wishes to your DW!
I wish my men in house would read this blog, dear friend!
It would save me a lot of inner-explosions;small things nobody notices and that are for you to do every single day and that - the worst- never count like REAL JOB...
OMG!
My big son had only realized that when he went to live by himself in Germany for a year to study.. for the rest of my men things go unnoticed...
Nevertheless, besides your evergrown wisdom what i truly admire is that wife of yours; so sweet, supportive without complaining i would like so much to meet her
Please kiss her from me and wish her well!
K.

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STORMTMB 10/26/2010 9:52AM

    Bless you for not only recognizing it, but admitting it. You are a wise man, John, and you have a great woman too.

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ROGUE_RUNNER 10/26/2010 9:51AM

    Awe so sweet John! Im sure that there are things that you do that Joan doesn't know anything about too - that is probably why your marriage is so great! Good for you though to recognize what she means to you in a tangible way and make her feel loved and appreciated as much as possible :o) She seems like a wonderful lady!!

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GETFIT2LIVE 10/26/2010 9:51AM

    Nothing like a day or two of walking in your spouse's shoes to make you recognize just how much we do for one another and take each other for granted! It goes both ways, John; I'm sure I don't recognize everything my hubby does at home either. I hope the surgery went well and that you both have a deeper appreciation for one another.

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SMOCKON 10/26/2010 9:48AM

    I hope she recovers soon!

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GEEMAWEST 10/26/2010 9:45AM

    Way go go John!!! I love it when DH has an eye opening moment such as yours. It's very romantic.
emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/26/2010 9:45:44 AM

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Opening Up My Journals

Monday, October 25, 2010

Itís going to be at least three weeks before I can see my doctor. I ran into her at Kroger, early this morning and she is going to a medical conference in New York later today. That means itís going to be at least three weeks until I can get the prescription to work with the dietician. The cost of doing this without a prescription is more than I can handle right now. So what to do?

Many of you have been very successful in developing really good eating habits and strategies and all that other cool stuff. Some days I donít have a clue. So I am opening up my food and exercise logs, journals, whatever you want to call them. This is a big step for me. It means I am opening myself up to let you look at my life.

If you are of a mind to, and enjoy telling other people what to do, please take a look at them, starting with today and give me any advice that you might think to be helpful. Do not worry about hurting my feelings or offending me. I have fallen a bit short recently in tracking my food. I need some help and as I said, if you are of a mind to, take a peak and let me know your opinion.

I had oatmeal for breakfast this morning, along with some Greek yogurt. Should I have used soy milk instead of the 2% milk I used? This is where your opinion would be greatly appreciated.

BTW: If there is ever anything I can do to help you, please let me know. We are all in this together.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSSUNBUG 10/29/2010 7:09AM

    I see you've gotten a lot of advice here. My own guidelines for my own eating are simple: eat a variety of foods prepared in a variety of ways, majority whole foods (read veggies, fruits, and whole grains), with two consistent goals: to keep a perpetual eye on where I could do better, and to balance wants and needs--carefully.



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SMOCKON 10/27/2010 5:42PM

    I checked your tracker for today and saw veggies. Way to go!!

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SMOCKON 10/26/2010 10:07AM

    Two things I noticed: not that many snacks and virtually no fruits or vegetables. Dude, I would be ravenous on your diet. Even with the amount of protein you eat, my stomach would be a churning pit because it would be mostly empty. I see tomato sauce on pizza and raw tomato on your burger. What about a cup of cherry tomatoes as a snack or even added in at lunch/dinner? Could you sneak in 1/2 cup of raw carrots? Cucumber? My current fav is green grapes. A cup is only 60 calories, and I get the sweetness and chew factor I need. Add fruit and vegetables slowly to give your GI tract time to adjust.

Prepping this stuff is not high on my fun list, but I do it. However, you can buy prepped veggie trays and containers of mixed fruit at Wal-Mart for a while until you find out what works for you.

I applaud your bravery in opening up your trackers!

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KLEONIKI 10/26/2010 9:58AM

    My dear friend!
According to your inducement, i took a look at your food entry of 25th.
I do not claim myself a success;i had worked together with a good dietician, paid money in other experts - and talking about big money- in the past. The only thing that changed my nutrition for life toward an always healthier and healthier way was the following doctor.It was a present from my son who is a doctor himself.
The b/m proposed way of feeding ourselves takes into consideration how our bodies react to blood glucose raise and in the construction that every single meal even a simple snack should have in order to be hormonal-wise.

http://www.in
dependent.co.uk/life-style/heal
th-and-families/health-news/dr-
fedon-lindberg-could-he-make-yo
u-thin-493312.html


I am also an ardent - not always successful- supporter of at least 5 meals a day..

I am sure your insightful mind and strong character will , sooner or later, lead you through this once more, triumphant.

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BTINTERNET 10/26/2010 9:34AM

    First of all, what they said. :-) I agree on the calorie range seeming low (it's around my range and I'm a relatively-sedentary 5'6" woman).

Do you run the daily report at the end of the day? You might want to look at least at your macronutrient ratios (protein/carbs/fat). (You can tell it what to track for you - specific nutrients, etc.) I would suspect, especially at this calorie range, that you're not getting enough fuel, in particular protein. Protein with every meal and most snacks is a good goal. I like hummus & baby carrots, or almonds, or cottage cheese (lowfat) or greek yogurt (nonfat) or a protein smoothie.

It seems like you do really well at breakfast (which is great! I wouldn't change breakfast!) but then lunch/snacks/dinner kinda taper off. Is it a planning thing? Popcorn does not constitute "lunch" (and no, Hershey's Bliss doesn't make it a complete meal. :-)) Overall I would try for more salads, more fresh veggies, less refined carbs, especially with dinner - do you need energy to sleep? You say you like Japanese - there are lots of great Japanese dishes with many veggies, fish or meat and a little broth or a few rice noodles. (I confess, we get delivery sushi/sashimi about once a week...) Have you tried quinoa? There's a recipe on Sparkrecipes for quinoa with feta and spinach which is out of this world, high in protein and easy to make.

I also like the idea of journaling how you feel, before and after eating and overall throughout the day. This can be as simple as a 1-5 scale or a little note to yourself in the little "Notes" area or on the calendar or in a datebook or something, but you may find that you have a 'rhythm' to your eating and energy. It's about finding what works for you!

Good luck! We're all in this together!

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CARTOONB 10/25/2010 10:05PM

    I LOVE telling people what to do! I'll look at your tracker and see if I can fulfill your wish and my joy and start telling you stuff! emoticon emoticon

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ISHIIGIRL 10/25/2010 6:56PM

    Ok, so I looked at your food tracker and I have to say that its not that bad. If you are going out to eat more than once or twice a week your results are not going to be what you want. Try to plan ahead by making your lunches and snacks ahead of time. Try and get in a protein with your snacks. Try laughing cow cheese with whole wheat crackers, tuna or chicken and a piece of fruit. Balancing what you are eating will keep you fuller longer. When you make pasta try the whole grain type. If you don't like it, try the kind of pasta with added fiber, I can't remember the brand but it will sustain you for longer periods of time( I think it comes in a purple box) My kids like this better than the full on whole wheat pasta noodles. A nice salad to start your meal off with ( make sure and add some healthy fats like using olive oil for your dressing. Store bought dressing is too full of sugar and not enough fats) followed by a protein instead of all that bread will give you the results you are looking for. Bread is so yummy, but it is full of unwanted ingredients and fillers and has a lot of cals. Try using whole grain or skipping it altogether. Every try a burger with just lettuce for the bun? Very yummy! Somethings that my hubby likes are thomas's bagel thins or orowheat sandwhich thins. Great tasting and only 100 or so cals. I don't think you will miss the extra breading! Gotta jet, good luck, I hope this helps a little.

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BEANPOD77 10/25/2010 5:59PM

    Kudos to you in opening your journal entry..Thought I would put my 2 cents in..Some things I have learned in my 8 month journey with SparkPeople. I might ramble a bit so hopefully I don't put you to sleep !!
First..you are absolutely doing the right thing with your dedication to moving..It's a big part of an overall healthy lifestyle.
Good job getting breakfast it..A key meal. A nutritionist told me to breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper..I was told skim milk gives all the nutrition of all others, but with less fat ( Fat is needed in milk for brain development so kids up to 3 need whole milk)
I found I had to add a protein source to my mornings..it is a slow burner and keeps you feeling fuller longer..An egg, some low fat cheese..I have even moved to eating Kashi Go Lean cereals , as they have a high amount of fiber and protein in them. A runner put me on to these..You might like them
Like others have mentioned, I suspect your calorie range is too low. If we do not eat enough calories, our bodies go into preservation mode , and start to "shutdown" and hold on to what it has. With your level of activity. this might be part..??
I really put a focus on the types of food I eat , so that I get the best "satisfaction" for my calorie bang..
I joined a team where we set a challenge for each other, to post everyday to confirm we have :
consumed a min.of 8 water ( also a big key , IMHO)
Min. 5 fruits n veggies per day
and if we completed our trackers.
Have found if you are accountable to others, for a specific thing, it becomes a goal you set for yourself.
I was never a veggie lover , but have really looked to find ones I like and now make sure they are my main course..Dark leafy greens have some of the healthiest nutrients ( broccoli, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts)
I experiment a lot with making smoothies..( Just fruit n veggies n water..a great way to get in the nutrition with low calories)
Become a label reader..watch out for high sugar, high salt , not just calories..
One guide I was given..."closer it is to how it comes naturally, the better it is for you"

Just some random ramblings John...Thanks for being a continuing inspiration for so many...and I wish you continued success!!



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GIRANIMAL 10/25/2010 2:40PM

    Hi John. Sorry to hear you're struggling these days. But remember that's what makes it stick in the end. If it were easy, we'd reach our goal weight time and again. emoticon

Greek yogurt rocks my world. If you a dessert needer like I am, I find that's a good place to have it. All that protein keeps you full the rest of the night! For that reason, though, your breakfast approach is also a good one. (I sometimes do that too.)

After almost a year of eating it nearly every day, I only noticed a few months ago how much sugar is in that instant oatmeal! So I switched to the plain stuff and add some dried fruit and a tiny hit of maple syrup instead.

I am not a huge fan of a lot of processed soy, so I think you can make your 2% milk work just fine, nutritionally speaking. I even use a little half and half in my morning coffee! I just track it and call it what it is -- moderation.

Is your calorie range really 1400-1500? I agree, that seems really low. That was my range for most of this journey, but I am a 5'2" woman who is NOT a runner. That could be why you're having a hard time sticking to it. It's not enough sustenance.

Hmm, maybe I'll get brave and share my trackers as well. I just don't want to get lectured about the 1/4 cup of ice cream (Breyer's -- all natural!) that I often put atop my VitaTops for dessert. emoticon

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TRIPLE_EMME 10/25/2010 1:56PM

    John,

I'm really sorry to hear that you have been struggling so much this past month. I am glad that despite your struggles, you are continuing with your journey.

I think we all go through rough patches. It's not like we put on our weight overnight; so the process of shedding our weight is a long journey -- where we have to do physical and emotional work.

I think you were smart in taking a time-out this weekend. You did what you needed to do and have returned grounded. Honoring yourself is awesome!

I can't drink milk because I'm lactose intolerant. So far, I can still eat cheese -- but that is the only dairy that my body can handle. I drink non-fat, plain soymilk. It is low in calories, has no fat, has protein and calcium. Give it a try -- you may like it and find that it is a switch worth making.

It has taken me almost 22 months to lose 47 pounds. I still have quite some way to go, too. Most of my weight loss has been from nutrition changes. I've only recently begun getting in my fitness minutes. As for nutrition, I really try to eat 4 veggies a day and 3 fruits. This has helped me, a lot. I've also tried to minimize how much meat that I eat. I generally follow a vegetarian diet. However, I've really been struggling with getting an adequate amount of protein and iron in my daily diet.

I don't have any real answers for you, as I'm very much a work in progress.

I do think that you're in the midst of a rough patch, but you will overcome it.

Don't give up!

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3RDSTRING 10/25/2010 12:38PM

    I would second BAM0827 & the calorie range, 1400-1500 seems kinda low. My tracker, which you are more than welcome to peruse, is set to 1900-2250 for a 44 yr old male with moderate exercise & a goal of loosing @ 1.5 lbs / week. I also try to come close to the SP recommended percentages for fat / protein / carbs. BAM0827's remarks about the PB&J / vs a protein bar are also spot on IMHO. You are better off getting your nutrition from real food, not that I see anything wrong with an occasional protein bar or shake to supplement your intake for the day.

Good luck on your journey * keep on Sparkin
Chuck

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MARCYNA 10/25/2010 11:35AM

    I gues soy milk is better as it is without growth hormons but I find it really too expensive and I use skimmed one at 1.8%.
Greek yougurt is really good even in the skimmed version 0.1%.
Have you checked your daily protein intake?
I've often found that I did not have enough proteins and this slowed down my metabolism, same thing if your calories are below your limit
PS Pls comment on my journals if you feel like, any comment would be welcome emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/26/2010 4:04:40 AM

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BAM0827 10/25/2010 9:46AM

    Are you eating enough each day? 1400-1500 seems low for your current weight and activity level.

Just looking at a few days I think you need some more fruits and veggies (I know I need them, too, if you look at my tracker). You do so well at making fitness goals - maybe you should have a fruit/veggie goal. I know you love them from your trips to the farmer's market.

I think a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would be better for you than a peanut butter (was it protein?) bar. My new found lunch is buying a one of those rotessarie (?sp) turkey breasts from the supermarket and making sandwiches for it the week, either on Sandwich Thins or a wheat wrap. Healthier for me than lunch meat and about the same price as the "better" lunch meat from the deli counter. You could throw some veggies on there, too.

I looked up the difference between soy, almond and cow's milk - I can't really find a huge difference on them. I think the advantage to soy or almond milk is a for those who are lactose intolerant or vegan. I believe that cow's milk had more protein in it. So, you're probably fine if you prefer 2%. Have you tried Super Skim or Ultra Skim (I've seen it called a few things) ... fat free but has the 2% consistency.

If you have a crock pot - I would highly recommend the Basic Steel Oats Crock Pot recipe from SparkRecipes. So easy to make - and soooo good. I like them more than the package oatmeal (and I really like those). Add some fruit to it, too.

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KJDOESLIFE 10/25/2010 8:52AM

    I find the more I eat certain junk foods, the more I want them and the less "heatlhy" food satisfies me. Popcorn is one thing, but always melting butter on top isn't good. It's a ton of extra fat you don't need, and the downside is nothing will taste good unless it also has a bunch of butter on it. You'll feel better (and more fulfilled) if you eat a healthy lunch/dinner for 300-400 calories instead of eating buttery popcorn.

In addition to a food log with everything you've eaten put in, keep a journal with it. On days you feel really hungry, or completely satisfied, mark it down. Once a week, do a review and see if there are patterns in food intake / exercise and how you're feeling.

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YICHE12 10/25/2010 8:47AM

    Personally speaking the 2% milk is fine but so is Soy Milk. Yogurt can be high in fat so just check the fat content of it. You have to make sure that you eat a solid breakfast, eat also well at lunch, have a snack such as an apple or banana around 4 p.m. then eat small at night. I use the Chrono nutrition way of eating and it is working for me. Good luck on your program. emoticon emoticon

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WANDAH3 10/25/2010 8:44AM

    John, you will succeed because you are choosing to succeed. Just keep reminding yourself, that this is not a race, there is no finish line to be crossed in a set amount of time. It is a life style change and sometimes change in order to be permanent and effective takes time. I believe in you and know I you will achieve all your goals.

Hugs,
Wanda

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How I Found John Under The Hood of My Stove

Sunday, October 24, 2010

My grandma (and yours too probably) said the road to hell was paved with good intentions. She was right then and she was right now. One of my kids always used to tell us, especially when they were angry that ďYouíre not the boss of me.Ē They were right then and they are right now. Did you ever notice there is never a shortage of books, DVDís, and CDís telling us how to beÖÖÖ.. You fill in the blank. Did you ever notice how almost none of them ask you what you think might be best for you? Have you noticed that none of them (At least none I can find) are not for profit?

Donít mistake this for a rant against ďthe man.Ē I think we have some very valuable guides available to us, but they are only guides. There is this internal metronome we tend to ignore because it flies in the face of conventional wisdom and ďwhat everyone else is doing.Ē We often lose sight of making it our own.

When I wanted to train to run a 5K I had no idea what to do. We have a local runners club here but they are dedicated to the young and the buff, not the middle aged, portly and creaky. That option flew out the window in a hurry. I learned about the podcasts Robert Ullery offered and I downloaded them. After five weeks I got tired of running to techno music. So I looked at the lesson plans made my own playlist and asked the kids to get me a good cardio watch for Fatherís Day. I timed my own runs and was much more successful. The only issue is that Joan says every time I hear one of those songs I am like Pavlovís dog. I look like I might start running where ever we are!! I made it my own. I owned it and itís mine.

I am so predictable itís not funny. I could Xerox my menu for a month or so. Big problem is I got burnt out eating healthy. So Iíve done two things. I went to my doctor and asked her to write me a prescription to see a dietician. Hopefully my health insurance will pay a portion of this cost. Beth, who is going to work with me, is in roughly the same age group I am in and is a runner. (She ran her first 10K this weekend.) She is a good cook in both senses of the word and she publishes a weekly column in our local paper. (She will be the newest member of Team John!!!)

The second thing Iíve done is look at some of the food you guys eat, those of you who have been successful. This caused my daughter Maggie to observe that I had now created a whole new category called ďDiet Stalker.Ē When we went grocery shopping this weekend I bought some food that wasnít on my radar. I made it mine.

If we donít own this it wonít ever work. It wonít be like a partner it will always be like a third cousin that visits periodically. There is never any commitment to the relationship.
All this came to me as I was cleaning under the hood of our stove this morning. I love to clean. I am in my best mood and happiest to be around when I can grab a big old bottle of Windex and go to town. Itís my time to focus, to think, and low and behold, underneath that grease I located john. Heís a domestic, always has been always will be. You may meditate, walk in the woods or paint brilliant sunsets. I am over joyed that you do. Donít be disappointed when all I do is smile. Iím happy for ya.

I have had a less that desirable past month. My body is bruised and I felt as if I were in a tail spin. I needed to be able to reach out and grab the walls as I was falling. I decided not to exercise Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I needed a time out. Instead I cleaned my garage, my storage shed, my office, my kitchen and helped Joan hang some pictures. The only value there was my own and this morning as I write to you I feel more focused and centered than I have in a long while. Iíll start running again tomorrow. I already made out my schedule for next week. Itís one of the things that keep me on task.

Hereís my point. There are a lot of great resources you and I have to draw from but the most valuable resource lies between your ears and six inches below your throat. Iím not sure where I read it but recently I read someone who said:

ďWhen you do something, donít do it for family or friends, donít do it expecting praise. Simply do it for yourself and you will find a lot of gratification.Ē

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

2BEATIT1 10/30/2010 10:47AM

    John,
Your blogs are like the sunshine after the rain - very refreshing.
You tell it like it is but you add the hope at the end.
Your blog reminded me of a song I learned many years ago in church, which goes like this:
"God has not promised skies always blue
Flower stewn pathway all our lives through,
God has not promised sun without rain,
Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.
But God has promised strength for today,
Rest for the weary, light for the way,
Strength for each trial, help from above,
Unfailing kindness, undying love."

As you talked about how people see you now, I too was overjoyed when a friend came up to me in church (a friend I had shared SP with) and she said, "Jean I saw your picture on FB and didn't realize how you used to have a full face and double chin. The change is so remarkable, I really think I should look into the program for myself."
How better to testify than for them to 'see the proof in the pudding.'
Thanks again for sharing.
Jean

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FLUTTER-BY)L( 10/26/2010 10:39AM

    I love the last quote. The blog is good but, the last quote it great.

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SMOCKON 10/26/2010 10:11AM

    Some great points, made with your wonderful brand of humor. Thank you, John!

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MARCYNA 10/25/2010 5:12AM

    Yes,John, exactly. I'm trying to draw on my best inner resources as my external were all dried up.

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2BEATIT1 10/24/2010 10:19PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'll hire you anytime John. Anyone willing to clean stoves etc, is my kind of man. lol
Don't get me wrong, I have a wonderful DH that does plenty for me. But I thought that was great the things you feel most complete doing.
Way to go.

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USFBULL 10/24/2010 8:57PM

    emoticon Windex Man emoticon I love it , Zen and the art of Windex.... Thats what is so cool about finding your path, you never know what works for you until you try a bunch of stuff that doesn't . emoticon

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CARTOONB 10/24/2010 5:35PM

    I'm glad that this break has worked out for you. When you're done at G-Ma's, you can swing by my place! emoticon

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KSGROTHE 10/24/2010 5:35PM

    emoticon for explaining how you are making this process your own.

I have seen a lot of things in people's blogs on SP that make me think to myself, "I can't do that!" I struggle to finding my own process for my healthy lifestyle. I wish I could make great realizations while I clean, but I hate to clean, so I have to find another way. emoticon

It sounds like your "Time Out" weekend really helped you! Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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CATHERINEL66 10/24/2010 4:14PM

    Nice job on this blog! You are welcome to Diet Stalk me anytime :)

I'm looking forward to the suggestions from the dietician! I'll be going with you, vicariously (in a non-creepy stalker way).

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JPRICE217 10/24/2010 2:35PM

    Great blog you are so right

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GEEMAWEST 10/24/2010 1:29PM

    Love this blog. Now will you come clean my house while I go play in the garden?

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ZURDTA- 10/24/2010 12:53PM

    emoticon *nodding in agreement*

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HDHAWK 10/24/2010 11:42AM

    I'm so glad you took a short break and found your focus again! emoticon

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STORMTMB 10/24/2010 11:37AM

    Absolutely right, John. Glad you enjoyed your cleaning weekend.

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WANDAH3 10/24/2010 11:13AM

    John, you have hit the nail on the head...it has to be about you and what works for you in order for it to be a part of you.

You are a wonderful, intelligent person. Thanks for being my friend.

Hugs,
Wanda

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Taking A Time Out: Day 1 Entry 1

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Starship log....

A friend of mine had the rare opportunity to spent two weeks in a Buddhist monastery. After he got settled he met a monk in a courtyard by a well. The monk handed him a bucket and pointed towards a small river that was down a hill and about three hundred yards away. The monk told him to fill the bucket in the stream, walk back up the hill, and dump it in the well.

"How many times should I do this? My friend asked.

"Until you are finished." The monk replied.

As he relayed this story he told me he was really upset. He hasdn't traveled all this way to haul water!! But as he found a rhythm to this activity he noticed that not only his body, but his mind and soul began to disengage and he relaxed. He told me he hauled water for two days.

I dont have a stream but I do have a garage and a shed and twice per year whether it needs it or not, I remove everything, sweep the floor, then replace everything. I put my Ipod in my ears and listen to my music and I disengage.

It is my bucket and my stream

Some of you questioned the wisdom of relaxing by working. I am not a "sitter." My relaxation comes when I can disengage. So today, as soon as its light enough I will engage in mindless physical activity.

I am looking forward to it.

I'll let you know how it all works out.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BTINTERNET 10/26/2010 9:10AM

    The old Zen aphorism is Chop wood, carry water. But what do we do when we reach enlightenment? Chop wood, carry water.

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KLEONIKI 10/25/2010 6:02AM

    Omg! And i though i was the only weird person who relaxes while washing dishes , thinking and resolving my inner conflicts through mindless working!
Thank you dear John for exonerate myself..
K.

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CATHERINEL66 10/24/2010 4:15PM

    Sounds great ... John's version of walking meditation. :) I'm a great putterer myself and get it!

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CANDOK1260 10/23/2010 10:18PM

    Sounds LIKE A GOOD PLAN TO ME

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LEANJEAN6 10/23/2010 8:36PM

    -- wish my husband cleaned up the garage----- He needs to take lessons from yu!

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GEEMAWEST 10/23/2010 7:56PM

    I disengage when I garden.

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CARTOONB 10/23/2010 7:29PM

    Have fun disengaging.

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DOLLBABE56 10/23/2010 7:28PM

    Cleaning out is very cleansing to the soul.

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_AIYANNA_ 10/23/2010 5:51PM

    I hope you enjoy your relaxation time, John. Have a great weekend and take care, my friend emoticon

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ANEPANALIPTI 10/23/2010 5:02PM

    Sometimes we get reallly wrapped up in the routine... and don't stop to think and reflect... emoticon

It's really important!!!

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BRENDABUNNY 10/23/2010 2:01PM

    Get 'er done John.. emoticon have a great day!

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STORMTMB 10/23/2010 12:46PM

    If that's relaxing for you, then go forth and clean! Enjoy your "me" time! I need to clean my garage, but today I'm opting for a massage instead.

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GERIKRAGH 10/23/2010 11:02AM

    Sounds good, but it's not for me!

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JJSSKINNYGIRL 10/23/2010 10:47AM

    That's a great story!!! I think I'll find something "like" that to do today as well! Thanks again John!

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JPRICE217 10/23/2010 10:29AM

    You clean your garage twice a year. A job I never do but needs it badly. Great idea for me to do it.

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CINDYMCD1 10/23/2010 8:15AM

    It's odd that I'd come to this blog this morning,as my plan for the day was to clean out the garage! I needed this! :)

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JENNY888 10/23/2010 8:03AM

    Interesting blog John. I think you have a point here. Relaxation can come while doing mindless work rather than just relaxing. The key might be relaxing gives the mind too much time to think rather than relaxing. Mindless work engages the mind without much thought.

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HONORINGGOD 10/23/2010 7:59AM

    if you need it i will lend you my garage lol

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NJMATTICE 10/23/2010 7:53AM

    Nice healthy work! Have a great day of relaxation!
Love,
Nancy

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When It's Time For A Time Out

Friday, October 22, 2010

My body aches. Itís not the debilitating, canít get out of bed ache. Itís weariness. My left knee is still a bit sore and early in the morning as I pad about the kitchen it throbs. The cuts are almost healed, only the deep ones jump up and bites me if I move wrong. My left ankle is sore from the six mile hike we took last Sunday. My two personal training sessions this week were like the Bataan Death March. I just wanted them to be over with.

My mind is a bit fragmented. I keep looking for the ďdefrag buttonĒ on my belly but canít find it. I have goals, I have objectives it just seems that they are scattered like so many sheep that escaped the farm yard. Things seem slightly out of kilter and I find myself embracing health coz ďI have to!!!Ē

Yesterday afternoon, when I finished my PT session Jen looked at me and said ďAre we developing an attitude?Ē (Not, me, LOL) Then she asked what was wrong. I gave her mu list of aches and pains, etc.

ďYou know John, Iím 29 and you make me feel guilty sometime with everything you do. You run, you hike, you walk, you cycle and you spend two hours a week with me.Ē

I just looked at her.

ďHere is what I want you to do. I donít want to see you here until Monday. I donít want to be going to the grocery and see you jogging down the street. You can walk, but nothing else.Ē

In the shower and on the way home I began to see her wisdom. I need a ďtime out.Ē I need to pull over to the side of the road and take a deep breath and then get up Monday morning and move forward. One thing I have done already is create a chard in Word that will show me what exercise I am doing what day and I can print it out, hang it up and use it as a guide.

Iím not burnt out; Iím just a bit tired.

So this weekend I am cleaning the garage, weeding some unruly flower beds, cleaning out the shed and hanging with my DW. No runs, no hikes, no frantic moving about, just puttering around.

Please donít think of me as being wise and noble because even as I write this I feel guilty, LOL

Everyone needs a time out. I think if we donít take one, it gets so difficult that we give up.

Have a good Friday and join me in slowing down, just a bit

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HDHAWK 10/23/2010 5:40PM

    Our wise bodies tell us what we need. Give your mind and body a rest and you'll be ready to go on Monday!

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ANEPANALIPTI 10/23/2010 5:00PM

    Great idea... emoticon

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JPRICE217 10/23/2010 10:45AM

    Hope you are enjoying your resting week end

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CARTOONB 10/22/2010 10:50PM

    Great minds think alike! I am planning (key word: planning) to take tomorrow off from the gym. Taking the puppy to the vet, grocery shopping, library, dinner with DH. That's it! Good luck with your time out!

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ANNASBF 10/22/2010 9:43PM

    A really cool thing about this blog is that you have lead by example in your quest for actively moving discipline and now you are leading again... your excellent example of admitting when it gets to be too much... whether it is too much for your body or your mind... doesn't matter. And doing other jobs that will do a service for your sense of order and give your body... and your so-called "attitude"... a chance to chill. Take care of yourself!

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NANASNOW 10/22/2010 8:45PM

    John, kids need recess. Workers get a break from the workday, what makes us think that a small break from the workout grind or the veggie blender? I take one everynow and then. My life had been pretty hectic lately and I had not been for a walk. So I took one, it was my time out. Sometimes time outs are good. Enjoy yours!

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JENNY888 10/22/2010 7:20PM

    Your time of rest doesn't sound like real rest to me but instead more work. Why not just take at least one day of the weekend to purely relax?

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KSGROTHE 10/22/2010 6:52PM

    Enjoy your Time Out, and don't ruin your opportunity to rest with feeling guilty over not working out!

emoticon

- Karen

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CANDOK1260 10/22/2010 4:11PM

    Okay it sounds to me you are going to work on your time off but you know different muscles will still be used.

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MARCYNA 10/22/2010 2:15PM

    Time out, time out, your trainer's wise.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves time and it's going to repay. Maybe we should track it
emoticon

PS There's a saying in my country that goes
"If you pull a rope too much , it'll break"

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/22/2010 2:20:40 PM

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CATHERINEL66 10/22/2010 1:35PM

    I hear ya, buddy. I spent last weekend doing nothing, and had a massive Netflix marathon. It was good.

Of course, now I think I'm exhausted again, LOL!

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BRENDABUNNY 10/22/2010 12:40PM

    I think you are definetly in need of a break and I agree with what someone else said..I don't know that attacking the garage and those unruly flower beds is taking a break...I think you and Joan should just take a lil walk here and there maybe after dinner but other then that take it easy and let your body rest..
Have a great weekend! emoticon

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MSSUNBUG 10/22/2010 12:09PM

    It's all about the balance, like everything else. Those of us who struggle with weight are typically really good at that all-or-nothing game. Finding the balance in between doing and not doing is TRUE health and success. It's also TRUE self-care. Loving yourself isn't about working your body out in extreme ways every day anymore than it's about shoving pizza in your mouth every day. :-)

I relate to the guilty feeling for taking a rest. As I said a few weeks back in response to another of your blogs, rest holds some really important lessons. Leaning into that resistence or guilt about resting could reveal some really important insights--I know it has for me. It's also been my experience that if you don't take regularly scheduled rests, the universe will find a way to knock you on your a$$ and insist that you take them--a la injuries, illness, etc. If you don't rest now, trust me, those rest days are banking up somewhere and you'll be forced to take them eventually! Best to work them into the balance now. :-)

You're doing the right thing. You're doing the HEALTHY thing. My favorite t-shirt if one from Nike that says "Every Damn Day, Just Do It." When I take "it" to mean "exercise, cout calories, do everything you can to lose weight faster," I'm not doing right for myself. When I take "it" to mean "take care of yourself emotionally, spiritually, and physically" then I'm really on my game.

Fold into that rest time. It sounds like you'll still be plenty active. Maybe it's time to think about what's so threatening or unnerving about stillness?

Be well.

Comment edited on: 10/22/2010 12:11:12 PM

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MORTICIAADDAMS 10/22/2010 11:27AM

    Life is about balance. Not just this week but always. Don't let your quest for improved health and weight loss become an unhealthy obsession. Don't let it steal your joy. Relax and smell the roses - every day.

Comment edited on: 10/22/2010 11:27:29 AM

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TRIPLE_EMME 10/22/2010 10:48AM

    I'm glad that you've been given a time out!

Enjoy your time with Joan this weekend!

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GETFIT2LIVE 10/22/2010 10:01AM

    I have a hard time takinf 'time off' from working out, too. Your trainer is very wise. Glad you are listening to her, just don't overdo it with the gardening and other things. That can count as working out too, you know.

emoticon

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 10/22/2010 9:59AM

    I've had to take several of these now. Our bodies aren't well oiled machines, although we treat them as such. I'm looking forward for your time off FOR you :) In your honor, I will attempt a run for the first time in forever... although if my foot still hurts, then I am going to the doctor for an xray. I'm trying to put it off until my appointment on the 16th. :(

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EDWINA172 10/22/2010 9:19AM

    Great advice from your trainer! Next time you workout or run, you will feel even better. You will be rested and recharged. BTW....if you find the defrag button, could you let me know?

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BAM0827 10/22/2010 9:16AM

    We need mental breaks from work - we nicely call them vacations. I totally agree that some times we need a vacation on other things. A weekend of puttering sounds good.

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STORMTMB 10/22/2010 9:15AM

    I'm trying to decide if "So this weekend I am cleaning the garage, weeding some unruly flower beds, cleaning out the shed" really qualifies as a time out... Still seems like work/work-out to me. I'm curious what Jen would think.

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MUSTANG_SALLY2 10/22/2010 8:54AM

    I've been feeling like I needed a time out all week. I'm going to have to learn to listen to my body or I'll never reach my goals.

Have a good weekend, John. Good job taking care of yourself!

emoticon

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JENNIFER124 10/22/2010 8:36AM

    i am in my off-season and it has been a huge transition for me... but my coach ASSURES me that the mental time off (and physical) will be worth the time off.. enjoy your "vacation"... and work on enjoying the moment.. i will too!

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LMATTHEWS76 10/22/2010 8:35AM

    You are so right! Everyone needs a time out and we all need to not feel guilty about it because a day of rest inbetween days of intense workout is part of a good exercise routine. As your PT said, you can walk, but nothing else. You need to give your body time to heal and your muscles time to rebuild.

Happy rest!

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WORKINGSTIFF 10/22/2010 8:33AM

    Thanks for this.

I'm fifty and it seems that sometimes after a few days of workouts, I just need a break. The little aches and pains get to be just a bit too much, so while I'm not glad that you endure the same, I'm glad you're giving the suggestion to take a "time out."

Enjoy your weekend.

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