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Animal Crackers and Cocoa

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

"Animal crackers, and cocoa to drink. That is the finest of suppers, I think; when I'm grown up and can have what I please I think I shall always insist upon these."
- Christopher Morley, author & journalist

The Spark Healthy Reflections this morning was one of my favorite rhymes and suggested we (as children do) 'implicitly trust our instincts'. As I continue on my healthy journey, I am starting to do just that.

Please note the word 'starting'. While I no longer check the scale (only took 4 months), I have started to eliminate tracking other goals and am contemplating no longer tracking food and exercise. I am less 'worried' about the exercise tracking as I have a consistent routine, but as I start to experiment with new foods it might be fun to see their nutritional value.

I have found supporting and being supported by my SparkFriends takes more of my time (and is more rewarding) leaving less time for tracking.

We shall see if I can indeed eliminate tracking as I will be computerless on our trip to Britain.

Here's to childlike trust!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CJROARK 7/7/2010 7:40PM

    You are going to do great! If you do gain a little on vacations, you will get right back into tracking everything again.

It's awesome to see you take your life to an exciting new chapter!


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WALKINGANNIE 7/7/2010 6:56PM

    Here IS to childlike trust. I'm with you on loosening the ties on the 'controls'. I hardly weigh at all, would exercise without the tracking but I still use the nutrition tracker most days because of the variety of foods that I eat.

I also agree that reading and writing blogs is probably more important to me now.

It's odd that I will miss you from the Sparkworld even though you will be physically closer.

Sorry that we won't have that tea but hope that you have a fabulous trip.

(By the way, most public libraries in the UK have accessible computers and we do have cybercafes!)


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    It's cool to see how far along you've come from where you started. At the point where I'm at (the very beginning!), I can't imagine going a day without my nutrition tracker and trusting myself to only eat so much.

It's completely inspiring to see someone who feels like they can let go of that. Who trusts themselves and knows that they can do it. Congratulations! This was inspiring to read. =)

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PENNYAN45 7/7/2010 11:07AM

    This might be a little like letting go of a life line. Even though you have been swimming along well, you might feel the loss anyway. But your successful behaviors are all in place - so it's just a matter of continuing on as before.

Enjoy your trip!


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EGRAMMY 7/7/2010 10:54AM

    So glad you are going to Britain.

DH 's parents were from there, so he still has some relatives. Don't think we will get back there ever

Yes, one must choose where to put one's Spark time. I still need the tracking badly and do like the getting the goodie points to give to encourage and support others.

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Cycles, Circles, Breathing in and Breathing Out

Friday, July 02, 2010

WALKINGANNIE always gets me thinking by gently playing with words. She congratulated me on my 'cycle of improvement' for gaining confidence biking. Cycles of improvement...

I changed my long time profile picture to my bride's dress, not only because it fit, but in honor of my sis' 40th wedding anniversary. Cycles of improvement, Circles of Life...

I recently changed it to a piece of my brother's artwork depicting a 'moon' chef with her companion sun peeking through the window, not only to represent my next step on my healthy journey, but because I miss him and want him with me as I grow. Cycles of improvement, Circles of Life, Breathing In and Breathing Out...

DIANEPBH posted fabulous photos and a delectable recipe as she is experimenting with new foods every few weeks. She didn't know she would serve as my guide for my next cycle of improvement and circle of life.

Here's to breathing in and breathing out.
Namaste my wonderful Spark Friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EGRAMMY 7/5/2010 10:17PM

    emoticon So lovely.

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PERSISTANT123 7/3/2010 11:24AM

    I love the fact that we are constantly changing. L really appreciated how you used the circles to tie in with those that you love.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/2/2010 4:22PM

    Isn't it wonderful that we're all constantly Sparking each other, and often in unexpected ways. Your 'gentle hands' have been under my chin for while improving my posture - so you're with me in spirit more often than you might realise! This is the first posture advice that has worked for me and I'm walking taller thanks to you my friend.

Your brother's art is unique and uplifting. He was obviously a hugely talented person.You honour him beautifully on your pages and in your personal development and growth. You miss him but his memory is always there.

I was inspired by DIANEBH's blog and photos too.

emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 7/2/2010 1:40PM

    Well done! You are striving for improvement in all that you do! Should encourage the rest of us to get going!
Enjoy your holiday weekend!

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  I'm only half understanding this blog but the half indicates you are entering a good place in your life. May you have peace, strength and serenity in this phase.

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BAGGYPANTS5 7/2/2010 10:14AM

    Here's to the change in your Lifecycle!

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/2/2010 8:53AM

    WOW... I had no idea that is what you meant! So cool... Can't wait to see how this new cycle (that will REVOLVE around food) evolves.

I LOVE when we can play with words... turn them over, around and upside down. This idea about cycles is rather tempting to turn over in my mind today.


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Confidence & Joy

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I've now ridden close to a hundred miles since getting my bike out of storage. While some of the rides have been a chore (105 degree heat, high humidity and less than courteous drivers), most have been joyous. I thought joyous might be an exaggeration, but I'm blessed with a group of 3D friends who meet @ 7:00 on Saturday to ride, catch some coffee, pastries and the latest news; and the solitary rides to work in the early morning give me time for contemplation.

This morning I realized my cycling confidence has grown ten-fold. When I first started, I used the brakes continuously and every bump in the sidewalk gave me a conniption. Now I'm able to hear the birds and squirrels, watch the sun fill the sky, view the clouds and say hello to my fellow walkers and bikers. I'm still cautious, but have learned my cycling is part of me and I am just part of the bigger universe.

It was the same when I started to track my food. I was afraid of being honest, of learning my triggers, of admitting sometimes I ate out of boredom or anger or fear. As I became more confident in my ability to eat well, I began to enjoy tracking and learning more about nutrition. I saw my eating as part of my life pattern and as I started to relish healthy foods, I found more joy.

My food confidence expanded to include exercise confidence, then meditation confidence, and now cycling confidence.

I'm loving this journey and emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


  I'm reading your blogs in reverse order. This one helps me understand your more recent blog, "Cycles, Circles, Breathing in and Breathing Out." Your journey is inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

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WALKINGANNIE 7/1/2010 3:56PM


A cycle of improvement!

emoticon emoticon

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JUST_TRI_IT 7/1/2010 1:03PM

    This is an uplifting reflection. to realize that we grow in confidence and can begin to enjoy things that we can't see while at the very beginning of a new skill is awesome.

CONGRATS and keep ridin' emoticon

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PENNYAN45 7/1/2010 12:56PM

    Great that you enjoy the biking - and have learned to feel more confident with it.


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PENDRAGON-NYC 6/30/2010 3:17PM

  That's wonderful! I always thought the path to self-discovery and self-awareness required a lot of courage and you certainly have it in spades!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 6/30/2010 2:08PM

    Way to go!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BSKTCON 6/30/2010 1:42PM

    Fantastic! You're doing so many wonderful things for yourself. It's great to see you making such great progress. I so admire your creativity!

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SLENDERELLA61 6/30/2010 12:47PM

    Love your growing confidence! I'd like some of that biking confidence. I enjoy the trail riding, but am a nervous wreck on the road. I guess what you are telling me is just to do it with reasonable caution and I'll get more comfortable. Since I have a membership to an air conditioned gym, I may wait until fall to test out this plan.

Congrats on achieving biking confidence! Way to grow! -Marsha

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JHADZHIA 6/30/2010 9:06AM

    Well done!! People who depend on vehicles too much miss the world going by! I am quite happy to be walking every where I go in any kind of weather. I find a vehicle uncomfortable and confining! Love my freedom and fresh air!!
Tracking was the key to me losing weight and has been the key to me keeping it off! I love it and will not fail to do it unless I lose my internet lol.
Enjoy your Wellness Wednesday!! Work it!!

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MATCHA 6/30/2010 8:40AM


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Gorgeous Day

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The weather broke yesterday (still a little hot for golf), but it is absolutely gorgeous today. I rode the bike to work in 62 degree weather under blue skies and am ready to change to go out for my lunchtime walk in 76 degree weather.

Doesn't get much better than this!

Happy Tuesday All!

PS - Prune study folks have tried to contact me, so may still be able to participate (unless I need to be in Florida...)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 6/29/2010 11:04PM

    Lucky all of you!! We are finally getting some warmth, but continuous threat of showers and thundershowers we don't need. I don't mind walking in the rain so much, but its not doing our plants much good as overwatering is as bad as not getting any water. The humidity is so thick, you could cut it with a knife lol.
Enjoy your sunny days!

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WALKINGANNIE 6/29/2010 3:54PM

    Sounds like a lovely day for cycling and walking.

I'll be interested in the results of the prune study if you can take part.


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EGRAMMY 6/29/2010 3:53PM

    Bike riding is so good.

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DAYTIMER 6/29/2010 1:36PM

  Lucky you. We have 91 today and 97 yesterday. Enjoy!

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Sleep Challenge

Friday, June 25, 2010

Just joined the Sleep Challenge as after years of sleeping like the dead, I've been sleeping fitfully following the 'change'.
(Not sure what I 'changed' into emoticon)

As part of the first week, we're to keep a journal which includes the following questions:
1. What time did you wake up?
2. What time are you lying down to go to sleep?
3. What, if any, was your bedtime routine?
4. What were the last food(s) you consumed?
5. Did you exercise?
6. Did you consume any alcoholic beverages?
7. Did you consume any caffeinated drinks or foods?
8. Did you take any medications?
9. Did you take any naps today?
10. What types of stressors did you encounter today, and what types do you expect to encounter tomorrow?
11. How hungry did you feel today?
12. How awake did you feel today?
13. How irritable did you feel today?
14. How long did it take you to fall asleep?
15. How many times did you wake up?
16. In total, how many hours did you sleep?

Good questions to make me aware of habits and triggers, plus if it's anywhere as successful as the exercise and food journaling, I should be sleeping like a baby in no time...

More info can be found @ www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellnes


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ARTISTICROSE 6/27/2010 4:38PM

    Maybe I need to join this challenge. Although with summer being here, I am more likely not to keep to a set sleep schedule like I normally do the other 9 months of the year.

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BSKTCON 6/25/2010 1:30PM

    I never had trouble sleeping before I had RA. Now, I toss and turn all night trying to get comfortable. When I finally fall asleep, I can only sleep for an hour or so, and then the pain sets in and I have to change positions. I refuse to depend on pain medications to help me sleep, so I just get up and walk it off when I wake up, and they try it again.

I never realized what a blessing it is to be able to rest! Now that it's gone, of course, I realize how great it was! LOL

The only good thing I can think of about having RA, is that my medications tossed me right "through" the change, and I have never had any symptoms...other than the cessation of the whole situation. I guess that could be considered a silver lining if you reeeeaaaalllly stretched that definition!

I hope you find something that helps you sleep better. I empathize with your plight. Take care, and grab rest whenever you can get it! Have a wondeful week-end!

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EGRAMMY 6/25/2010 12:59PM

    Ah yes, the post menopausal sleep pattern. One good reason to have Spark in your life, as nobody wants a phone call at those awake times. But Spark is your home even then.

A friend and I found it fun to look around the neighborhood and see who else's lights were on. Yep, all menopausal women.

Spark does good info on sleep. So does Dr. Oz. Copy and paste for his newsletter.

or join the Dr. Oz Show Fans team on SP. http://www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/

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GATOR12 6/25/2010 10:34AM

    This sounds interesting. Might have to join. I know what you mean about the 'change" changing things.

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USMAWIFE 6/25/2010 9:05AM

    One question might be, when you were awake, what was on your mind during that time or did you just drift back off to sleep

Where you tired for no real reason early in the day and again in the afternoon

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POLARBEAR63 6/25/2010 9:02AM


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