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SPY 2; Day 24: A Day of Fitness and Balance

Monday, February 21, 2011

The title of this blog was my attitude for the day. I chose this attitude today.

Today was not a day off for me. The company where I work takes few days off during the year, but we get the week between Christmas and New Years without that week counting against vacation time. Speaking of vacation time, I learned that, now that I have 10 years at the company, I get four weeks vacation a year. Now, if only I could afford to go somewhere! LOL

I left home without my pedometer and cellphone this morning. I really felt incomplete without my motivational step counter. I had to guess on my stats for the day.

I posted the title as my huddle on some teams today. It may not have made sense to anyone but me, but it kept me thinking of ways to exercise throughout the day.

This evening, driving home, I tried to think of somewhere to get dinner. BF had worked on our leaky roof all day, I did not want to cook, so....He did not want much, so that limited my choices. I decided on Subways. I thought about driving and parking closer (it was cold, I had worked late and I just wanted to get home). But, as I waited for the light to change, I remembered my huddles and decided to drive straight and park on the far side of the shopping center. I walked from there to the other side of the center, got the sandwiches and walked back. By then, the sun had set and it was colder, but I was glad I lived my huddle statement!

Fitness also included four, yes, 4 minutes on the elliptical! This was at the mini gym we have at work. A young man I work with in our Finance department was weightlifting, a lady I've seen around but don't know was on the treadmill. I climbed up on the elliptical and started going. Instead of looking at the numbers (especially the time), I looked out the window and the time went faster. At about 3:30, I thought I might fall backwards off the elliptical but I dug in and kept going. A few seconds after 4 minutes, I stepped off. I might have been able to go longer, but I was not comfortable with almost feeling faint 30 seconds earlier.

As I walked back to my car, my legs did not feel as rubbery. I felt good, but not wobbly. What a great feeling!

Balance has two meanings for me. Physical balance is always elusive. That's why I do the hip flexors in the elevator. I think elliptical and kettlebell work helps with that. But it will be a long time before I get from whatever negative number is mine to zero. Today was going to be about nutritional balance and life balance. I was not successful in either realm, but I did get a lot of work done, just not much on my to do list. That is discouraging.

Even though...........it was a good day!

I did not post a blog the last two nights because I did not have much to say. Yes, I did lose weight this week "but" I discounted that because this is after a gain that wiped out a month's loss. Most of that loss was the cold, but I did not expect all of it to come back. I should be happy to have lost more than a pound this week, but I have been discounting the loss. Let's see. What would I say if one of my Sparkfriends wrote that in her blog? Exactly.

My balance seems better, my core seems stronger, though I have done so little and have so far to go. I revel in the novelty of the feeling! I am going to own that loss!

And keep moving forward!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 2/22/2011 8:39PM

    I love that you are sticking with the elliptical and gradually increasing your time. I have to say that elliptical machine really gives me a workout. My legs are like rubber afterwards, and it really gets my heart rate up. But I don't go on it very often. I do the treadmill at home and only go to the gym for yoga and weight training. I wish I had one at work. Do you ever listen to music when you're exercising? I find it helps keep me going.

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 2/22/2011 9:48AM

  Yay! For the good day! :) A loss is a loss... and you should be PROUD of it! I am losing weight that I gained since Christmas... so, I'm happy... finally. ;)

Hope you're having a good day today!

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EAGLE101 2/22/2011 7:47AM


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LIBBYFITZ 2/22/2011 4:28AM

    emoticonOWN the loss! Well said my friend!
Do you go backwards on the ellipticall? I was wondering as you said" you felt like you might fall backwards".

Subway is a great choice for healthy food, well done. emoticon

Parking away from your destination and doing a longer walk is fantastic considering the cold weather. emoticon

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JHADZHIA 2/21/2011 11:43PM

    Well done!! Be careful with the elliptical. You should not be going to the point of being light headed or dizzy, that is dangerous. Make sure you have it set on the lightest tension and that you don't go too fast. Remember, slow careful steps up..
I like the idea of getting a week off instead of taking a bunch of one day holidays. Congrats on 10 years and reaching four weeks off!!
Have a terrific Tuesday!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 2/21/2011 11:36PM

    Balance is the key and you seem well on your way to establishing it. I'm hoping that not being able to exercise for the next few days doesn't totally throw me off!
Stay positive!

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MEGANC1988 2/21/2011 11:22PM


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SPY 2; Day 21 A Mundane Day

Friday, February 18, 2011

There's not a lot to say tonight. I am within range on most food metrics, over in sodium and under in calcium and fat. It's rare that I am in balance. Not much exercise today. My joints ache with the damp rain.

Work is incredibly busy. I had the kind of day when I could not get things done on my to-do list and, the more work I did, the more I needed to do. I will be going in to work tomorrow (another rainy day) and we will do our shopping and other errands. I wonder if cutbacks at other companies have other people feeling this overwhelmed all the time. Or is it just me?

I know I have just started with my kettlebell workouts so it's probably just coincidence, but I felt more centered in my core today as I walked throughout the day, I felt as if my clothes were more roomy in different ways.

Tomorrow is weigh in and we shall see. I have no idea what to expect.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 2/21/2011 11:47PM

    Any time a company 'downsizes' the workload is going to get dumped on the junior employees for sure :( Hope you don't get too overwhelmed and stressed out.
Keep up with the great fitness!

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POORGIRL_DIET 2/21/2011 4:29PM

    Hope your weigh in went well.

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WONDEROONA 2/20/2011 2:41PM

    Good luck on your weigh in tomorrow. I hope it goes well. Think positive and thin thoughts......LOL.

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TIME2BLOOM4ME 2/19/2011 8:26PM


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CHRYS13 2/19/2011 2:20PM

    Hang in there!
Congrats on your stronger core! WTG!

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CARRAND 2/19/2011 2:07PM

    I've had days like that at work. It's a shame if you have to work on the weekend.


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JAKEANDNELLIE 2/18/2011 10:59PM

    I just purchased a kettlebell set, including a DVD. I really enjoy doing it, although some of the things are beyond my physical capabilities at this time. Let me know how you do with it.
Stay positive!

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SPY 2: Day 20: Changing Mindset

Thursday, February 17, 2011

This weekend, I learned that I had gained all the weight I lost last month and am back to my end of the year weight. I'm not happy about it, but I am also not berating myself (much) and I am not punishing me. I am less concerned about what the number on the scale is than the numbers on my pedometer (time, steps) and the number of exercises I do with my kettlebells. Still a beginner with those, but I am still loving using the kettlebell!

This weekend, I am going to some used book stores to see what I can find about kettlebells. BF used to use them a long time ago, but he had forgotten about them until I came home with my little 5 lb KB and waxed enthusiastic about it. Then I came home with the 10 lb KB and the DVD. He watched the DVD while I was at work and figured out some exercises I can do and coached me on them last night and tonight. Different ones, so I was using different muscles. I still can't do much, but I love the feeling. I am sore when I finish but I won't be tomorrow, unlike when I was using regular weights. He says because these are heavier weights, I am not tearing down the muscle as much every time and so I have a shorter recovery time. Later, we'll add more reps as I get stronger.

A nice surprise is that, coincidence or consequence, my crushing fatigue seems to have gone by the wayside! If I need to stick with the KBs in order to ditch the fatique permanently, that is ok with me! Yee haw! Me being excited to get home and grab my pink 5 lb KB BEFORE I even start Sparking is astonishing! Choosing to exercise, choosing to do that first and actually anticipating doing it is an amazing change.

The number on the scale is not unimportant, but I am starting to come to the thinking that I am going to put that on a back burner and focus on the lifestyle changes. Of course, I could change my mind tomorrow! But I am not locked in to what it says, nor whether I feel fatter or thinner than I did last week. Yes, I dearly want to be thin and tomorrow would be great, but I also know that more than that smaller size, I want the stronger muscles, the denser bone, the reduced pain, the stamina and the better quality of life.

I know I need to do more - more cardio, more strength training, more work on balance and more consistency in my food balance (too low in calcium and fiber today, too high in sodium). I am growing more confident in food choices. I used to eat the same thing often because I knew what they did in my tracker. Changing a meal would reall throw me. I am making progress in that arena.

I wonder if they make a Wii Fit thing for Kettlebells?!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CARRAND 2/18/2011 7:30PM

    You sound so excited about the kettlebells and that's wonderful. I feel that way about strength training at the gym after work. I actually look forward to it and I wish I could go every day. You're right to focus on the healthy living and strength training rather than the weight loss. Keep up that great attitude.

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LIBBYFITZ 2/18/2011 2:16PM

    emoticon emoticonWay to go ! Have a great weekend! I totally agree with you about not worrying about the number on the scales, all the other stuff is important and they do say that muscle burns more calories!

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BIKERBABE2BE 2/18/2011 11:26AM

    Your enthusiasm is catching. Have a great weekend.

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MISSY455 2/18/2011 12:16AM

    You "sound" super excited about the kettlebell exercises! I am so happy for you! It is so much better to exercise doing something you actually like doing, rather than feeling like you are forced too exercise.

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JHADZHIA 2/17/2011 11:53PM

    Good for you finding an exercise you are enthusiastic about. That is the key to want to continue with it..
I confess I take calcium supplements to make sure I get the 1500 mg my Dr. wants for me. Can't get that in diet alone..
I stick with the same foods too. Just one little change makes a difference, like oatmeal instead of bread, etc..
Good luck with your KB. Be sure to check out Spark's info on it..

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SPY 2; Day 19 Kettlebell!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Today was our Toastmaster club-level International Speech and Table Topics contest. I was the Toastmaster of the Day (emcee). I have not performed that role in a really long time and never for a contest, so I felt pretty rusty!

One speech was a rather dry but interesting philosophical speech and I can't even report what it was about without my notes (which are at work). The other speech was also philosophical, but it was light and humorous. His was the winner.

We had three table topics contestants and none of them were very good, I thought. I was surprised and disappointed. Perhaps it was nerves or perhaps it was the topic. The Table Topics master chose a district level question from a couple of years ago and I think the language barrier did not help. The contestants had to speak extemporaneously for 2 minutes on "Enthusiasm is..."

I did not get to walk at lunch because of the meeting nor did I do any in the evening. I got only 7K steps in and that was 29 minutes. I did some light strength training and ended the evening with a short KB workout. My BF looked at the DVD during the day and picked out some beginner exercises for me. It was not a long workout, but I sure feel it. So far, I love kettlebells! Me! I could not wait to get home and do the workout.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DAWNMARIEMOMOF9 2/19/2011 8:37AM

    I too love my kettlebells!! Congrats on finding something that you love doing.

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CARRAND 2/17/2011 9:12PM

    I'm so glad you found a workout routine you like. It makes such a difference.

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JHADZHIA 2/17/2011 8:54AM

    Sorry your toastmasters was rather dull and you didn't have time to get in much steps in, but walking 7K in only 29 steps is an awesome speed! At least you got the kettlebell in.
Keep up the great work!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 2/17/2011 8:38AM

  Good to hear that you're enjoyin' your kettlebells & working out! :)

Have a great day!

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RWALTON730 2/17/2011 7:54AM

    I've never worked with a kettle bell, but have been giving it some thought lately. Do you workout with the KB at the gym or home and if at home what is your routine? DVD?


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LIBBYFITZ 2/17/2011 4:48AM

    Well done on the Kettle Bell workout!

The toastmasters session sounds like there were some interesting topics!

Have a great day.

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NONIE_C 2/17/2011 2:39AM

    I've never worked with Kettlebells..how fun!!!
Sorry the Toasmasters was a little lack-luster today, but it's great that you got to practice in the role of MC - that's exciting!
I hope tomorrow is great!!!

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SPY 2; Day 18: Review, Lunch with VP and a 10 Pound Kettlebell (I am so blessed!)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Thanks to all of you who commented on yesterday's blog. The way it works is that the employee is the last to see the review. By the time I saw it, my boss and his boss (my VP) had already finalized it. I start the process by writing my self-assessment based on the goals we established last year, but those are not really part of the review. When I turn in my self assessment, I also provide a list of people I've worked with through the year and my boss may or may not solicit feedback from them (I never know what they say unless they voluntarily share it with me.)

We had a good conversation and I did not get upset or become unprofessional. I let boss know I was unhappy with it, using the analogy that I felt as if were a child coming home with a bad report card. The good conversation did not change the review and it will be there next year. This was, sadly, the best conversation we've had...We both need to work on communicating with each other. It is so weird. We are both good communicators, but there is something that puts a barrier up.

Then I had lunch with my VP who just happens to be both my former direct boss and my current boss' direct boss. We went to the Fish Market - I have not been there in at least a decade. I had a wonderful salmon with steamed veggies and brown rice.

As I thought, the conversation was about my job application for the paralegal position. What I did not expect was how quickly that conversation got started and where it went. He told me he wants a paralegal who is very experienced in IP and can hit the ground running. I don't have that. In the same conversation, we talked about my review in a rather indirect way. Then he admitted something that astounded me. He said his idea of moving me into government contracts has to go down as a great idea that did not pan out.

Don't get me wrong. I like and respect my boss a lot, but that's as far as it goes. The rest of my team seems to be better disciples than I am.

Then - the details still have to be worked out, but my VP is going to create a new position for me. This is not a promotion but is another lateral move. I will still support my current boss in government contracts part of the time, support the yet-to-be-hired paralegal and support one of the top attorneys. This attorney has been with the company a while and I have worked with him before. He is a great teacher, a really likeable guy and someone with whom I have a great rapport.

Yesterday evening, I stopped to look for a used DVD about kettlebells. The store had lots of DVDs but not one about kettlebells. I looked online and found there is a huge price range. Wal-Mart advertised some, so I stopped there on the way home this evening. I parked at one end of the the shopping center and walked to the other side to Wal-Mart. I hardly ever shop there and was surprised to see they had remodeled the store. It's a lot nicer inside. I did not mind walking throughout the store trying to find the fitness section. Fittingly, it was in one of the farthest corners from the entrance. Again, stacks of DVDs, some pulled off the hanging rods and stacked up behind small exercise equipment. No standalone DVDs for kettlebells, but I did see some interesting other ones. Eventually, I found a kettlebell packaged with a DVD. The one I bought the other day is a 5-lb and this is a 10. I bought it and walked back to my car. That was a workout!

I came home and went for a short walk with BF and filled him in on the events of the day. That short walk put me over 10K steps for the day. The day is ending with me at the low end of most nutrition metrics. Oddly, not hungry. And, after not sleeping well last night, I am ready to sleep now!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NADJAZZ 2/17/2011 12:29AM

    You are obviously a valued employee. How wonderful that your VP recognizes that, and accepts accountability for fixing his bad idea. Good job on hauling the kettlebell and getting in your 10k steps!

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CARRAND 2/16/2011 9:57PM

    I would call your luncheon a great success. Your VP is obviously interested in your progress with the company and is going out of his way to communicate with you. This wasn't something he had to do.

I like your kettle bell story, too. Things are looking up!

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LIBBYFITZ 2/16/2011 6:43PM

    Thank you for taking the time to explain your "review" process. I am pleased that you are staying with the company and hopefully this new position is more like what you are after! emoticon
Well done on all the walking!

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MYSTERY4EVER 2/16/2011 1:43PM

    Job: Clearly they want to keep you. You are being given a great opportunity to expand your knowledge. Look for the positives. (Your lunch food sounds great too.)

Kettleballs: I have been looking in to this. One thing a number of people have told me is that it is important to learn to do these correctly from the very beginning by having a lesson with someone who is qualified to teach you. These can do harm if you do them incorrectly. I am going to try to find time to take a lesson at a kettleball studio.

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JHADZHIA 2/16/2011 10:31AM

    Sorry the position didn't work out for you. Interesting they are creating another position for you, it suggests they don't want to lose you, so your job security should be more assured and you don't have to worry as much about it..
Well done with your exercise! Have read Spark's articles on kettlebell? One of them had a link to someone's blog video on the proper way to get started with them..
Keep up the great work!!

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SHERRYJVP 2/16/2011 10:09AM

    You sound so much better, mentally, than you did yesterday. I am so glad. A new challenge at work and a new challenge in your work out. What a great lift!

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CHAOTIC-KITTY 2/16/2011 10:03AM

  I want kettlebells. Maybe that will be my *next* purchase. :) Congrats on getting the kettlebell workout dvd. And, congrats on getting over 10k steps for the day too!!

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