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A Quiet Day

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas dawned early. I could not sleep. I got up early, weighed and jumped onto the SP site, accruing most of today's points before breakfast. I reported last week that the site showed a loss when I had actually gained a pound. Today, I weighed 2 pounds less, but the site reports one. I have not lost 2 pounds in one week for a while. I haven't figured out exactly what I did right last week. I know what I did not do, but that's it. I skipped almost all of the treats at work and I did some walking every day, but nothing outstanding.

The promised rain has finally arrived. It is a "hybernation" kind of day and I am glad for it. My lower back is still hurting, so no movement today. That was probably what kept me waking up.

I have a lot of things to do, but no energy today. Tomorrow...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWHORIZONSR4ME 12/26/2010 8:57PM

    Hoping you enjoyed your day of hibernation! Rest is good in the right doses. Walking daily is a great accomplishment. Way to go!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/25/2010 11:42PM

  Congrats on the weight loss! Hope you can get a good sleep. Hope your lower back feels better soon.

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EMPTYNESTER60 12/25/2010 10:55PM

    Congratulations on the weight loss & on making the right choices with the treats at work. Good job getting in some walking each day. Glad you had a restful day - we all need those once in a while. We are having snow in NC today. It started around noon & is still snowing. Will probably get 4-6 inches before it's over. Pretty to look at but they don't do a very good job clearing the roads so Monday morning could be a problem getting to work. Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

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CARRAND 12/25/2010 8:11PM

    Congrats on the weight loss. I think the walking and skipping the treats at work contributed to your success. I ate too much today, over my calories by a couple hundred, but it could have been worse. I went to a movie with my two grown children (The King's Speech - Terrific!) and I did not eat any popcorn. For me that was a real victory. We are expecting snow for tomorrow. I hope it's not too much.

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JHADZHIA 12/25/2010 7:05PM

    Everyone needs a rest day.
Just a note, not knowing what kind of back troubles you have, for me, I was told walking helps relieve it and laying (or sitting) around too much makes it worse.
Hope you feel better tomorrow!!
Didn't get much done what I should have today either. Spent two hours on Skype with my sister, mostly staring into an empty living room or the people moving around in the background with the ever present TV sounds scratching in my ear. Then I went out to lunch with my step dad..
I ran out of points to give goodies, but unfortunately, not out of Spark friends to give them to :(( Wish the wheel wasn't so stingy. Saw my buds get high numbers and two even won a prize! But not unlucky me.
Tomorrow is another day, another chance to get things done.
Hope you can get a good sleep!

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Christmas Eve and a Gift (or 5) For Me

Friday, December 24, 2010

Nonie_C posted a blog yesterday about giving yourself 5 self-care presents. She said write them down, wrap them up as 5 presents under the tree and unwrap them for Christmas. Then, take that wrapping paper and cut it in smaller pieces of paper. Write down things such as "drink water", "go for a walk" and then hang them up as if they are ornaments, post them somewhere visible or stick them in your pocket. Then do one of those steps every hour.

I don't have a tree (cats and no room and allergies/dislike of artificial), so I will have to do this in a different way. I'm not sure what my five gifts will be, so I might have to work backwards from my goal for 2011. I am not even sure what my goal is in terms of pounds lost. Should I shoot for the entire 55 I need to lose or, because I may hit the same excruciatingly long series of plateaus as I did this year should I shoot for something closer to the 25 I lost this year?

The number is not the be all and end all. I will do things this next year that bring me closer to the healthy life I want.
One gift: strong bones (vehicle: strength training)
A second gift: Healthy body (vehicle: healthy eating)
A third gift: healthy heart (vehicle: cardio)
A fourth gift: intellectual growth (vehicle: education where and how I can find it!)
A fifth gift: (This one is real!). Two pair of New Balance walking shoes!

I went for a walk today which I have not done consistently when I have a day off. When I started, my hip started bugging me and I almost turned around. I kept going and it worked out. I walked to the small shopping center near home. My foot started hurting and I walked into Sports Authority. I have very short wide feet that are different widths and different lengths. I have to buy for the width and just deal with shoes that are slightly too long. I went to the clearance aisles and did not find anything. Then I went back to the womens section and found two pair of New Balance shoes on closeout. One pair is called a trainer and the other pair is for walking. I will keep one at work. I wore the other ones home.

At work, they are raising the cost of the yoga classes. I could not afford them at this year's price, so I see this shoe investment as if I were buying 10 weeks of yoga class. I need the walk as often as I can.

My brother gave me an Amazon gift card so I may use that to get some yoga dvds or something. Not that I know much about yoga, but I know I need the flexibility, balance and strength it can give me. I also have some too-little-used Pilates DVDs.

The last gift I give myself is enough "selfishness" to put exercise and other self-care elements in my daily routine.

In so doing, perhaps I come a bit closer to becoming the temple of the Spirit that my body is meant to be.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/25/2010 11:46AM

    Merry Christmas. I love your gifts to yourself. Good shoes are so important and worth every penny. You are definitely on track for a stronger, healthier you.

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CATLADY52 12/25/2010 11:22AM

    Start walking and change one thing at a time. Once you start eating healthy and walking I'm sure you'll have a different thought on the rest. Have a good Christmas and break in those new shoes. emoticon

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MISSY455 12/25/2010 2:24AM

    The five gifts is a very neat idea! Walking shoes are so important, I am glad you found some good ones.

IMHO, it is hard to put a time limit on the pounds lost. This is of course after I have set two time goals and am well past both and still carrying weight around I need to loose! That being said, I think it is more important to get the healthy habits in place and then the rest should take care of its self. Once I quite worrying about the date I had in my head and started concentrating more on the elements of my lifestyle I started loosing the weight. Try to get consistent about the calories in, cardio and strength training, and getting in at least 8 glasses of water. The weight loss will happen for you!

I hope you have a wonderful week and get to try out those shoes a few more times!

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NONIE_C 12/25/2010 1:12AM

    This is fantastic! You are giving yourself some very special gifts, and you are clear on how you will realize those gifts.
Congrats on the running/walking shoes!!! emoticon
I'm really looking forward to my first paycheck, and then I'm going to get myself that very same "real", or should I say tangible, gift! Yay, we are caring for ourselves!!! We rock!!!
I wish you a happy weekend, filled with many successes and lots of self care!
emoticon Nicole

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UMUCGRAD 12/24/2010 9:43PM

    Enjoy the walks. Every one of those steps is a victory!

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Little Christmas Eve

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I was 13 when I met my dad and I met the rest of that side of the family slowly over the next few years. Their holiday traditions were different from those of my stepfather and his family and it took me a while to understand the beauty of both traditions.

"Little" Christmas Eve is one of those traditions. On "Little" Christmas Eve, we were allowed to open one present from a friend (not a family member). Only late in Dad's life did he share why he thinks the tradition exists. I always thought it was one of those remote Norwegian habits just as Santa Lucia Day is. Bestefar emigrated from Norway when he was a young man. I met him very late in his life when he had forgotten his English and I did not know enough Norwegian to bridge the gap. But that did not harm the genuine affection between us - but I digress.

Dad thinks his father invented the tradition when my two aunts and dad were little so that it would take some of the pressure cooker steam of Christmas anticipation off and buy the parents some peace. I don't care what the reason is. Observing the Eve makes me feel closer to my grandfather, a man larger than life. With both Bestefar and Dad gone, it makes me feel closer to both of them and I feel their approval.

It's a warm feeling!

My back is feeling some better and the nausea is almost completely gone. Finally!

Today was the last day of work for the year. I ended up working late covering Yvonne's desk. Some contracts had to be dated this year and she left when everyone else left at 2:00. She had a doctor appointment that had been scheduled in anticipation of us being cut loose early.

After I got those rush deals out, I did some straightening in my office. It needs more, but I am tired and will be headed home as soon as I post this. On my own time, now. I would never do this on company time!

I have books to read, exercise to do, planning to do for the first part of the year. I need to get ready for my Toastmaster mentorship experience. It starts on the 3rd! That first day of work is going to be hectic. I also need to start my online certification course.

I read an SP article today about setting goals that, on their face, seem unattainable. I'm not sure what I think about that. This 11 month journey has been amazing and frustrating and life-changing. I know I will continue to learn and grow but the question is will I continue to lose weight? And how will that go? Facing my fear. I hit the longest plateau of my life last spring and a couple shorter ones after that. Couple that with the fact that I do not have a loving relationship with exercise and I am looking at my 25 loss for these 11 months.

Yes, I know all the truisms, that slower is better. And, yes, in my head, I agree. But I want more! I really would LOVE to lose the other 55 pounds by this time next year. Is that doable?
For a lot of you, yes, you have done it. Me? Not sure. It would mean a HUGE lifestyle change in terms of cardio and time commitment. I cannot coast as I have sometimes this year. I really need to commit, but it might be wiser to commit to an incremental increase in activity. I am still thinking about this.

I have not even done the 28 day plan yet! Maybe I will read that part of the book and start the day after Christmas. More thought.

I did spread the Spark today. They're thinking about starting a WW at work club here, but they may not have enough participants. I was talking to one of the prospective members and told her what I am doing. We've talked in the past, but not recently. I know she wants to lose the weight, but I don't think she's ready to work at it. I told her I will bug her for a walk when we come back in January.

The company is lowering their subsidy for the yoga classes so the cost will go up next year. I could not afford them at the current rate, so that tells me I need to figure out other avenues of exercise. Yes, I know there are a lot. More thought.

The day is not over, but my home internet connection is not reliable, so.....I'm signing off here.
If you are not seeing responses from me, it's the lack of connectivity through the internet, not because I am ignoring you or don't care.

What are your unique holiday traditions? Please share!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSY455 12/23/2010 10:33PM

    When I was a child we celebrated Christmas just on that day. All the presents were either from Santa or my grandparents. My husband's family always opened family presents on Christmas eve and their stocking items, on Christmas morning, were from Santa. So when we got married our traditions were completely different. I fought against the Christmas eve tradition until our children started waking up at 4 and 5 am on Christmas day to get at the presents. Then opening the majority of the presents on Christmas eve started sounding like a great idea!

Now that the children are grown and on their own, we celebrate Christmas eve at my daughter's house. We have snacks, open all the family gifts, enjoy a lovely dinner, and then head home. On Christmas day, my husband and I have a totally lazy day and we lay around all day watching movies and eating Chinese food. We order Chinese food to go on Christmas eve before we head to our daughter's and then we don't even have to get dressed on Christmas day if we don't want too!

There is no pressure on the kids too split their Christmas day between families and we know we have at least one day a year were we have zero obligations! It's a win all the way around.

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CARRAND 12/23/2010 9:08PM

    You can certainly lose 55 pounds in a year. That's only a little more than a pound a week. I lost 70 pounds in about 15 months, which is about 65 weeks. I just tracked my food and got more exercise, and spent all my free time on Spark People! My Spark Friend are a real support to me, and supporting other people helps to keep me honest.

I think weight training is my favorite thing to do now. I am really lucky to have a County Recreation Center about 3 miles from my house. I can afford the fees this year. Next year after I retire (and have a lot less money) I plan to volunteer there, so my membership will be free!

We don't celebrate Little Christmas Eve, but we do usually open one present on Christmas Eve, and the rest of the presents Christmas morning. It helps to spread out the excitement.

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JHADZHIA 12/23/2010 9:00PM

    That is a wonderful tradition! Sorry, nothing special here. If you can't or won't do the exercise then accurate food tracking is a must! Staying in your calorie range is imperative. You must do what you can, though, in exercise. I have a bad connection and wouldn't dream of online workouts (when downloading those You tube things, it usually bogs down and shuts off :(). Try borrow workout DVD's from the library, you never know what you might find and like! Mom found the Richard Simmons DVD after not seeing it anywhere in the stores.
Enjoy your time away from work and try to relax and have some FUN!!
emoticon emoticon

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/23/2010 8:27PM

  I don't have any unique holiday traditions. Just having dinner with my family. My brother doesn't hand out christmas presents.. hasn't since my mom passed away 11 years ago.

Losing 55 pounds in a year - will take a lot of effort on your part. I will not sugar coat it.. because I don't want to. You have to track your food .. I mean *everything*. You need to know how many calories you are getting exactly EVERY day. But I'm sure you know all of that! At least you are on SP... and, you've done great on the weight you have lost. And, slower IS better. You do it too quickly.. things can screw up.

Have a great Christmas.

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Giving Thanks For an Early Christmas Blessing!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I have felt like crap all week because my lower back is chronically hurting and, whether it's the pain or something else, the nausea has been worse than the pain. I usually head for carbs when my tummy feels off, but I did not take the full plunge today.

More goodies today, including more of the fabulous sourdough-raisin-cranberry bread. It is a good thing the bakery, in San Francisco, is about 40 miles away or I would be broke and a blimp! I had a piece of the bread but left the brownies, tarts and other sweets. I did not go back - I would have grabbed more bread!

At lunch today, I still felt like crap but I took my walk. The walk did not make the discomfort go away, but I am glad I went. Ever since I was a child with my leg brace, I have always had a mental race either with myself or someone in the vicinity or a car or....If I would see a car coming, I would try to pass a pole or get in a certain number of steps before it passed me. Today, I heard a group of guys walking behing me and I was determined that they were not going to pass me (I am a turtle). Their voices got louder, I walked faster. I turned the corner and started up the incline. They were going to pass me! Faster! Faste! Heart rate is up! I look over my shoulder and they went straight instead of following around the turn and up the hill. It took a LONG time for my heart to settle back down, but it felt really good. My blog was going to be about the walk, but this evening happened!

I was hungry all day, all day, all day! When I came home, BF decided he had to go to the corner store. He came home with armloads of whole wheat super healthy bread. A guy donating bread to the local food pantry broke down. While waiting for the AAA tow truck, he started passing out the bread. I live in a very poor community surrounded by communities of great wealth. It was truly a blessing! Years ago, I bought a freezer that is both taller and wider than me and it had room. This guy was an angel and his generosity stretched my food budget for several months. The fact that it's good-for-me bread is fantastic! I could not afford this quality product.

BF went back and saw the guy driving to the food bank. A neighbor said he had just delivered at the homeless vets home at the VA.

I definitely have an attitude of gratitude tonight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 12/23/2010 7:48PM

    What a nice present to get that good bread! Your walk sounds great, too.

Happy a wonderful Christmas!

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POORGIRL_DIET 12/23/2010 12:29PM

    May god bless that gentleman for his kind generosity!!

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JHADZHIA 12/23/2010 1:24AM

    That is awesome, on your fitness self challenge and the free great bread!!
A pleasant way to end your day! I guess all clouds can have a silver lining!
Hope you feel better tomorrow!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/22/2010 11:40PM

  That was really nice of the guy to hand out bread like he did. A true blessing.

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Shoes Keep Falling (Please Pray for Wendy)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I mentioned a few blogs ago that the season of layoffs has returned. I have not been counting, but I would guess about a dozen people have been let go. I don't know that they are all layoffs or how the departures are characterized, but it's hard not to be cynical. This does not include the students who are leaving.

One of my friends and coworkers called me this evening to say she has been fired or thinks she has been. She was pretty upset and the connection was not great, so she was hard to understand. She has been supporting her brother who has renal failure, she has been overwhelmed with two sisters who have cancer and has been having an unbelievably rough couple of years. There are few jobs where she is, so she is going to have to think about moving, but into that calculus is making sure her brother can get the care he needs.

I was absolutely thunderstruck and speechless when she called me. I don't know what happened, but I know Wendy and just cannot imagine what happened.

Yesterday, I passed up on all the treats. Today, I had 3 quarter-sized pieces of sourdough bread with raisins and cranberries and a small chocolate rice krispie type treat. It tasted good, but I am not sure what made me dive in today after skipped all the temptations that have surrounded me since Thanksgiving.

I have had a really awful lower back ache for days and so have not done much exercise. Somehow, I got in over 9K steps, though...

Tired, not sure I can sleep. I have hated seeing people leave and would be less than honest if I did not say I am scared about being next.

I am going to miss Wendy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 12/23/2010 1:21AM

    The ones who can least afford it seem to always be the ones hardest hit :(( So sorry for Wendy :(( Thoughts and wishes for a new job for her soon.. You have fallen victim to emotional eating, and who hasn't. Your stress about your job and you co workers losing theirs and your back pain just got the better of you. You will recover. For back pain I was told moving and walking is best, that sitting too long makes it worse. I hope you feel better soon.

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CARRAND 12/22/2010 8:52PM

    So sorry for your friend. I hope your back ache goes away soon, and that you have a wonderful holiday.

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KIMROID 12/22/2010 8:58AM

    Prayers for your friend and for you!


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HUNNNYBEE 12/22/2010 4:19AM

    Your friend will be in my prayers...along with the many who have lost their jobs. I'm praying that things will turn around soon. The past few years have been difficult ones.

The good that comes out of it, is the love and kindness in people. I have seen some beautiful things when one person reaches out to another during times like these.

God bless.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 12/22/2010 1:21AM

  Hope your lower back gets better soon!

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JAVALOVERTOO 12/22/2010 12:54AM

    Praying for Wendy and you and all affected. Anytime is awful to lose a job but this time of year is especially bad.

Cheryl said it best "I love Christmas, but also hate this time of year when everything that goes one seems to be magnified about 100x." I've been feeling this way for the past week.

I ran for the first time in a week and have been eating as fast as I bake, not a good combination. But today I did run again and ate more mindfully. All we can do is rely on God and try to keep ourselves together.

Praying for us all... emoticon

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CHERYLE51 12/22/2010 12:37AM

    I have been through what you are going through with the lay offs. It is so sickening. Regretfully, I ended up being one of them. It was a sad, upsetting day. But, as I am sure you know, something will turn up. I have been through many, many lay offs and none have been easy.

You seem to be doing good as far as passing up all the holiday goodies. I have been overeating a lot lately. I have been letting all of my personal problems get to me and just keep eating everyting in sight.

I am sad to hear in your prior blog about your friends cat. We lost our beloved dog about 7 years ago and our current dog is now 15, so we know she is in God's waiting room.

I love Christmas, but also hate this time of year when everything that goes one seems to be magnified about 100x.

Take care and hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day for both of us. emoticon

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DJ4HEALTH 12/22/2010 12:33AM

    Sorry to hear about your friend and will pray that she gets a better job.

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