KNYAGENYA   67,544
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What I have learned from Sparkpeople

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

I celebrated my 1 year Sparkiversary yesterday. emoticon So much has happened during this year. Here is what I have learned while I have been here.

1. I learned that I had been over eating. I ate the wrong foods and a lot of them. emoticon emoticon emoticon
2. I had to relearn how to eat in a healthy manner. I had the knowledge but I needed to put it to use.
3. The only way to have safe weight loss is through exercise and eating right. Don't tell my doctor that I admitted this as he will get a big head over it. emoticon
4. I need to measure my food as my idea of what a serving size is isn't always accurate.
5. Fruits and veggies are not the enemies.
6. Exercise is actually quite nice. I try to do something daily. I have also learned that I love the elliptical and aqua jogging. I'm even running now. emoticon emoticon emoticon
7. I did not put the weight on over night and should not expect it to come off that way. It took me over 17 years to get to my highest weight. I know I will have fluctuations and I am learning to not let it ruin my day if I have a higher day. emoticon
8. I need the daily interaction of Spark. I look forward to posting on the boards and reading the blogs.
9. I look forward to participating in the challenges.
10. I learned that not everyone will be happy with my decision to become healthy. Some people are jealous over my weight loss and some just don't understand. Well, that is ok because I am doing it for me.

I went from 211 pounds to 134
Waist 39.5 to 27.5 inches
Hips 47 to 34.5 inches
Thigh 24 to 15 inches
Arm 12 to 8.5 inches
Waist to hip ratio .85 to .79
I lost a total of 77 pounds and 37 inches

I went from a size 18 to a size 5.

I am thrilled that I have the tools to continue on my healthy journey. Thanks to everyone who has joined me on this journey. I thank all of you for your love and support. Here is to another great and healthy year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAREN608 8/28/2013 12:54PM

    Thank you for this.... I liked the part about weight, measurements and clothes sizes.
I thought to myself, that in due time I could be a nondouble digit size ... someday in the future. I could buy thrift shop clothes! I'd like that. Thanks for sharing what you learned. Same here, Sparkpeople educated me, socialized me and helped me stay motivated even with on again off again times.

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    Thank you for this wonderful post! emoticon #inspiring

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CMCGRUN 8/23/2013 4:22AM

    Wow!!! You have accomplished soooo much! I am very happy for you! I got a good giggle at #3 emoticon

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CATHYROSE40 8/18/2013 7:42PM

    What an inspiration! Truly admirable. I know I will take from this that it can be done, just as long as you allow yourself the opportunity. And acknowledge is needs to be done in the first place. Congratulations!

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A_BIT_AT_A_TIME 8/18/2013 6:01PM

    Oh my goodness - those numbers are FANTASTIC - WooHoo!

I think you can add a couple of things to your list:

you have learned that you are worth it
you have learned that you can do anything you put your mind to
you have learned that you have staying power to follow through with something huge for an entire year and more
you have learned that you have the courage to start on a course that has an unknown end


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMARANTHAQ 8/16/2013 10:55AM

    emoticon You are doing great! emoticon

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SKYE996 8/15/2013 1:49PM

    That is super awesome! Way to go girl!

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CHEETARA79 8/15/2013 8:40AM

    You are amazing!

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JESSIKA_56 8/15/2013 8:01AM

    Great accomplishments! Congrats!

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BLUEROSE73 8/14/2013 11:01PM

    That is awesome. Congratulations

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TAMMYAND 8/14/2013 10:31PM

    Congratulations on a job well done. You have a lot to be proud of. I am blessed to know you through SP.

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CRAFTINWIFE 8/14/2013 9:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SAD64PSYCH 8/14/2013 9:45PM

    You are an inspiration! emoticon emoticon

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 8/14/2013 8:11PM

    those are some amazing statistics!!! Happy Sparkversary emoticon
Dr. Oz Show Fans Team Leader

Comment edited on: 8/14/2013 8:11:51 PM

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KABMPH 8/14/2013 7:47PM


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CHUBBYGAMER 8/14/2013 7:46PM

    That is so amazing ^_^ You are inspirational.

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PATRICIAAK 8/14/2013 7:33PM


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ACRAIG921 8/14/2013 7:16PM

    Congrats on your anniversary and all of your accomplishments. You should be so proud. Keep up the great work. emoticon

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SAMZA83 8/14/2013 6:56PM

That is truly fantastic!! Happy Spark Aniversary to you!

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GINGER_BEAR 8/14/2013 5:25PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GOCALGAL 8/14/2013 5:03PM

    BRAVO! I can identify with so much of what you said but it is taking me forever to reach my goal! I will not quit...ever! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon


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PINKPUSSYCAT62 8/14/2013 5:00PM

    Spectacular! You inspire me! emoticon emoticon

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MYJOYNOW45EST 8/14/2013 4:59PM

    You are amazing!! And you should be so very proud... I'm a fan. emoticon It really works, doesn't it? Blessings for another great year, JOY

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PENNYSAVER2 8/14/2013 4:52PM

    Wow!! Great job!! emoticon

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SILVER_WOLF1221 8/14/2013 4:34PM

    emoticon emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GINAC0 8/14/2013 3:46PM

    Awesome! Congrats!

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KIMPY225 8/14/2013 3:37PM

    emoticon Woohoo! Keep up the great work!

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My personal Tough Mudder- Bike version

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Today I was all excited because I was able to explore different trails at the new Metropark. I did the usual route first and then I went to the new park. I took a path that led me through a river. Yes, through the river. emoticon So, I went through the river. Then I had to turn around because the path ended. emoticon Thanks! A notice would have been nice. Back through the river I go. Then, I decided to go along the marked trail. I thought I would take it around the park and then pick up the trail that ends at the Nature Center. Well, that would have worked out well except I took a wrong turn when I reached one of the paths. emoticon I continue this path and ended up going through the woods and through tons of mud. emoticon I am not a seasoned off roader yet so it was a work out for me. I finally make it back to the regular path. emoticon When I reach the section where I had made my wrong turn, I noticed that if I had made the correct turn I would have only been a quarter of a mile away from where I wanted to be. You live you learn I guess. I'll know better when I go on Monday.

I took pictures to add to my blog but they ended up turning sideways. I'll try to take pictures on Monday and then post them. I get to see all of the pretty rivers and trees and just enjoyed having time to myself. The bad part of the trip is that I have to ride on a pretty major road to get to the other park that I needed to ride through. There isn't a park connector. I made it in one piece and avoided being run over. I think I rode about 20 miles today. I feel great. I might not have seen a decrease in weight this week but I did not gain. emoticon I have also cut way back on the exercise and I feel much better about it. I am enjoying being out in nature- even if that does include going through mud.

I hope everyone is having a great weekend.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMCGRUN 8/23/2013 4:28AM

    emoticon I enjoy reading about your journeys. I am glad you have such a neat place to have adventures!

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JESSIKA_56 8/11/2013 3:00PM

    Oh wow, sounds tough!

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MTRACHEL 8/11/2013 2:36PM

    I'm also trying to balance exercise with other things. I was inspired by your hat photo and went back to a hat I'd started knitting and am almost done! Thanks for that!

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LSDALOIA 8/11/2013 12:29PM

    I love getting dirty in nature! I'm not a mountain bike rider, but when I hike I always know it was a good one by how muddy I am.

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PATRICIAAK 8/11/2013 3:13AM

    The Metroparks are wonderful

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PINKPUSSYCAT62 8/10/2013 11:42PM

    Wow! What an adventure! Sounds like next time will be better, you just had to learn where NOT to go! I am so impressed that you rode 20 miles! emoticon

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GINGER_BEAR 8/10/2013 8:50PM

    Sounds like you had a fun adventurous ride! Good going getting in 20 miles. emoticon Great workout! emoticon

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TAMMYAND 8/10/2013 8:07PM

    You sure are adventurous! Just be careful too. emoticon

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CRAFTINWIFE 8/10/2013 7:22PM

    emoticon emoticon

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NEWCHINELO 8/10/2013 4:56PM

    emoticon ,nice time you had!

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My bike ride in a different park

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Today I took a bike ride in the Lorain County Metropark system. emoticon I rode my bike to Day's Dam to Bur Oak, and then to High Meadows. I then decided to try the French Creek Metropark. It was really nice. It isn't paved for the bulk of the ride. So I took my mountain bike off the pavement and on to gravel. I find it funny that I have a mountain bike as there isn't a single mountain in Ohio. emoticon I have plans to go back tomorrow. There were more trails to bike and hike on. I only did two of them. Tomorrow I am going to try to do three trails. It was so nice going through the woods. emoticon I was able to spot a couple of deer even. Then I went back to my usual path behind the steel mill. It isn't the prettiest path but it is paved. I hope everyone has a great rest of the day.

Here is the site-

I was at the FCR and BRR.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMARANTHAQ 8/10/2013 2:16PM

    Sounds like a great ride. Seeing deer is very special.

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CRAFTINWIFE 8/9/2013 3:46PM

    emoticon I love reading about your adventures in the Metroparks!

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TAMMYAND 8/9/2013 1:45PM

    What a nice way to burn calories and enjoy God's gifts!

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FANCYKAYAH 8/9/2013 12:34PM

    I need to get back to my park, I miss it hiking up the mountain. Alas I have to wait until next week I think since I slightly injured my ankle it should be fine then. Enjoy your biking and getting in your time to enjoy nature~ emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 8/9/2013 2:34AM


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DJ4HEALTH 8/9/2013 12:28AM

    Sounds like a peaceful ride too emoticon

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PINKPUSSYCAT62 8/9/2013 12:22AM

    Sounds like a beautiful park! I am envious! emoticon

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OHIO_BIKEGIRL13 8/8/2013 5:48PM

  Sounds like fun! I try and go bike riding whenever I can. What often limits me is my work schedule and I don't really have anyone to go with me.

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MYJOYNOW45EST 8/8/2013 2:55PM

    So jealous! I wish I could ride a bike. I've tried several different times; never could get the hang of it (balance/ nerve?). Last time was about two years ago when I fell really hard and wracked my left shoulder. It still pops and gives me pain in the middle of the night. I'm going to see a specialist next week about it and my right shoulder I just injured kayaking. What a mess... You'd think I 'd learn some lessons from these run-ins with gravity and old age! emoticon Anyway, have a wonderful time for both of us... Blessings, JOY emoticon

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CJJANISS 8/8/2013 2:02PM

    sounds great! :)

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KABMPH 8/8/2013 2:02PM

    That's awesome! I visited a Metropark with a friend who lives in Avon and we walked along Lake Erie. The park is divided by a road and on the other side there were hiking/walking trails. We also saw a lot of deer!

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GINGER_BEAR 8/8/2013 1:48PM

    emoticon emoticon Sounds like you got a great workout surrounded by nature's beauty! emoticon

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CMCGRUN 8/8/2013 1:31PM

    What a nice change of scenery. Glad you had a nice time!

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EBURGITE 8/8/2013 1:16PM

    sounds wonderful! enjoy. emoticon

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My ride in the Metropark

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I love living in the greater Cleveland area. I am very close to museums, restaurants, the lake and tons of other things. I'm also happy to be so close to the Metropark. For those of you not from the Cleveland area, a metropark is a huge park system that is semi-connected from Cleveland and surrounding suburbs. It is usually made up of trails. Not a park that has equipment for kids to play on. Cleveland has a great one and it connects in several cities. Its nickname is the Emerald necklace. I hope if any of you are in the area you check it out. You can run, walk, bike and hike. In some places you can ride your horse, play golf or rent a kayak.

I live less than 2 miles away from one of these gems and I decided I would dust off the ol' bike and take a ride. emoticon I rode for about 18 miles. I have been exercising for about a year now and it was so nice to see how far I have come. Last year at this time, I had a difficult time going up some of the hills. Not now. Last year I could only do 10 miles before wanting to give up. emoticon Today, I could have gone further but hubby doesn't like it when I go by myself.( Of course, he never goes with me but that is a topic for another blog.) I was able to stay in the highest gear for all of the ride. Last year I would have used my lower gears more than I should.

Overall, it was just nice to have some time to myself out in nature. emoticon You don't get nature while at the YMCA. I didn't get to see any deer this time but I did get to see some men running without their shirts on...not that I was looking or noticed. emoticon I need to start taking advantage of the metropark more. It has been unseasonably cool here and I should be outside more. I did however, forget to put on sunscreen. I will have to remember that for the next time.

I hope everyone is having a great day.

PS- Here is the link if you want to look at the Cleveland metropark system

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I too live near the Cleveland metro park system. My husband and I decided to go for a walk in the park system on Saturday. We found ourselves walking a little over 2 miles and we did half of the fitness trail. We had to cut it short because of the mosquitoes. I think it is great that you were able to tackle the hills easier. emoticon

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DESERTJULZ 8/1/2013 3:53PM

    How wonderful to have that lovely park system in your city! Congratulations on taking advantage of it for some beautiful outdoor exercise.

Here in Phoenix, AZ, we also have huge parks in the city. Most of our giant walk/run/bike trails are located in one of the many mountain preserves within the city. In fact, we have the largest city park in the USA at South Mountain Park...

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SKYE996 8/1/2013 1:45PM

    I'm sure you had fun. My boyfriend and I are looking forward to when I'm steady enough on my inline skates to hit up the Metropark trail that is near us. The one in North Royalton/Strongsville isn't too far from me. I would love to bike the trail but I have no way of getting my bike to the park at the moment. Enjoy the cooler weather and bike away. emoticon

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AMARANTHAQ 8/1/2013 10:00AM

    emoticon That sounds like a great ride and congratulations on the improvements in your riding ability and fitness since last year!

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PATRICIAAK 7/31/2013 11:06PM


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TAMMYAND 7/31/2013 12:35PM

    What a nice way to enjoy the day! I agree with your hubby about being careful where you go alone. You can't be too safe these days.

I was in Cleveland more than 20 years ago. At that time there was a popular area called "the Flats." I remember we went to a comedy club there one night and had a great time.

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ROCKLAND2010 7/31/2013 11:27AM

    Sounds like a fun day!
Congratulations on your fitness success.

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KABMPH 7/31/2013 9:56AM


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CHUBBYGAMER 7/31/2013 8:31AM

    Some of the best victories are off the scale ^_^ Congrats on your progress!

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HIKETOHEIGHTS 7/30/2013 8:53PM

    love mass transportation & everyone who cares enough about our environment to take it.
Dr. Oz Team Fans Leader

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JESSIKA_56 7/30/2013 7:15PM

    Wow, you did great! Sounds like a nice ride

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CMCGRUN 7/30/2013 6:33PM

    Wow!! What a neat place! You must be so proud of yourself to have improved so much. Congratulations!!!!

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MYJOYNOW45EST 7/30/2013 5:08PM

    emoticon You have seen improvement! Must feel great to know all your hard work is paying off. And thanks for the link to the Metroparks. I live in Florida where it's just beach. My daughter and I have tried to go for walks in the forest/ hammock and it's less than safe! We saw bear scat (poop), and later we found out there was a warning that a black bear was spotted in that area! YIKES! emoticon Enjoy your rides! Sounds great. emoticon JOY

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-SHAWN- 7/30/2013 4:57PM

    Wonderful... Wish I lived in an area where outside activities of any kind were an option.

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MATER88 7/30/2013 4:38PM

    Good for you! It's great to be able to do something now that you couldn't do last year. emoticon

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CRAFTINWIFE 7/30/2013 4:25PM

    I miss the MetroParks now that we live in TN. We spent many weekends exploring there growing up.

My DH is the same way, doesn't want me going alone, but doesn't want to join much either.

emoticon for improvement & a fun day!

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RACEWELLWON 7/30/2013 4:07PM

    Awesome ! nice info - If I am that way I will check it out !! Good for you getting so far ! I bet you feel great !! Looking good over there! LiL Racer emoticon - I bring pepper spray with me when I ride alone - I can see your husbands concern .

Comment edited on: 7/30/2013 4:07:48 PM

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Webster defines moderation as" avoiding extremes of behavior or expression : observing reasonable limits."

Of course, this concept never entered my mind. emoticon If it did I would not have allowed myself to get to 211 pounds. emoticon Through Sparkpeople, I have learned how to eat in moderation. emoticon I'm even learning how to have sweets in moderation. emoticon The bad thing is now I need to learn how to exercise in moderation. emoticon

When I first started to exercise I would do it for about an hour each day. emoticon emoticon Then I started to enjoy it. When my husband would go with me I would only stick to an hour as well. He eventually stopped going with me so I bumped it up to 90 minutes each day. emoticon emoticon emoticon I then started to see results with my weight loss so I increased it to 120 minutes each time. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Then my layoff happened and all bets were off. I now had tons of time on my hands. emoticon I did not want to stay at home because then I would have the temptation to eat and snack. So, I used this time and put it into exercise. There are some days where I am working out for 4 hours at a time. Today I had a small victory. I had the opportunity to stay and exercise for 5 hours and I did not do it. I skipped a spinning class and came home to be with my puppy and knit.

Now, I have different reasons for the exercise. I like it and I feel yucky if I don't do it . It is a great way to work off stress or anxiety. It also lets me socialize now that I am unemployed.

So if you ever wonder why we are only allowed 120 minutes of exercise I am sure it is for people like me who are still learning moderation. I didn't even change my nutrition tracker for fear of going overboard on eating and exercising.

I hope everyone is having a great day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAREN608 8/28/2013 1:38PM

    Moderation and variety add spice to life.
I tend to get injured if I push myself too hard.
I have an addictive personality even for 'good' things so I can
relate to a blog on moderation.

Scheduling in fun things, crafts, a DVD, a DIY home improvement
project, reading... all need to be our day or week at some point.
If all you do is exercise, talk exercise, you might just get a bit
lopsided, ya think?

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DESERTJULZ 7/29/2013 9:45AM

    Wow! I'm so glad to hear you have realized that it is important to moderate your exercise as well. Glad you came to this understanding *before* injuring yourself! Take up some hobbies, maybe do some volunteer work if you need to stay busy. Exercise addiction is actually a treatable illness... ;)

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AMARANTHAQ 7/29/2013 9:23AM

    A very positive post. You are doing great.

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LAMOURA 7/27/2013 6:33PM

    Moderation for sure!! emoticon emoticon

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HOLLYM48 7/26/2013 6:34PM

    I may be too heavy on the exercise part too but I love it and my body craves it so if I feel good, I do it. I work in a physically demanding job so I can't say I want to do quite as much as you but 90 mins to 2 hours especially on weekends works for me!
I have a hard time taking a night off because I figure I can always just walk and that is not overly taxing. I guess if it doesn't hurt our joints and our body, we are ok. I will just listen to my body when it says to take a break.

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SPARKLINGME176 7/26/2013 6:29PM

    I guess I have this problem, too! Too much exercise! I just do not see it that way! IF I feel like I am over doing something, I, too will back off a tiny bit! BUT I love to exercise & it makes me feel yucky if I don't do all that I WANT to do! I generally do about 120-150 a day. A slow day for me is 60. I LOVE the endorphins! I am getting SO toned! I do usually 3 sections of exercise a day. Zumba in mornings 3 days a week, Walking LUCY pup, 4 days, swim 1/2 hour a day, usually in eve. Pilates 2 times a week, weights a tiny bit, Flash Mob dancing 2 times a month with rehearsals, etc. SOMETIMES I might miss 1 section in a day. But once I am dressed for exercise, I go for it! I DO NOT feel bad about it. YES! I have a compulsive personality..... that's WHY I am on SP! To help me keep my life's process going! I also, work almost full time, am helping my sweetie with his back surgery healing, Sparking, ect. Basically living life. I have always tried to live life to it's fullest. Whatever it takes!

Also, I didn't change my food tracker, either! Then I started gaining weight. NOT an option for me! SO now I always eat at the highest end of my calories, AND my weight is coming back down. This maintenance thingy is REALLY tricky!

Thanks for this blog! I CAN TOTALLY RELATE TO YOU & this "PROBLEM"!

Have a Sparkling one!
*~LIGHT emoticon

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PINKPUSSYCAT62 7/26/2013 12:28PM

    Wow, I am way too lazy to exercise that much!

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SUSANELAINE1956 7/25/2013 5:18PM

    I'm glad I read this blog today. I have the same problem with finding a happy medium, which I am sure led to my sore back. It seems you do well at anything you focus on, and I'm sure this will be no different. Good luck! emoticon

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NEWFLABULESS 7/25/2013 2:41PM

    I'm glad that you have realized what you were doing and backed off. An injury is a terrible setback that can occur from doing too much and no one wants that to happen. Maybe you can readjust your focus to meal-planning, cooking or finding a hobby that involves other people that can share with you time and interests. Possibly find ways to get your husband back into the grove of exercise? Just a few suggestions to keep you from over doing it or slipping back into the eating syndrome. Sounds like you have got a great handle on what it takes to be a success. What an inspiration!!

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GOCALGAL 7/25/2013 1:22PM

    When i was younger I would play tennis till I dropped and the more exercise the better. I had so many braces on at one time that I looked like Darth Vader on the tennis court. I have been dealing with knee issues ever since. This is a real bummer for someone who likes to exercise and do sports as much as I do.

Fortunately in my 50's I found water aerobics and I have also added yoga and ST. I learned moderation through limitation. I hope you are smarter than me!

Good luck and much success on your journey! emoticon

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PATRICIAAK 7/24/2013 11:05PM

    Good insight.

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WOUBBIE 7/24/2013 5:44PM

    Good for you for knitting and loving your puppy! Exercise addiction is serious business - thank goodness you're addressing it now, and in a positive way!

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TINADEE86 7/24/2013 5:06PM

    All I can say is WOW !!!!

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MYJOYNOW45EST 7/24/2013 4:04PM

    I know you will figure this one out, too... but, it's nice to know that some how, some way, I'll suddenly be overcome with the need to move. Hmmmm. Right now, though, I'm inclined to go take a nap. emoticon It's a mid-afternoon old lady thing. HA! Have a good one. JOY

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KABMPH 7/24/2013 2:47PM

    One time when you mentioned you went to 3 spin classes in a row, I thought, "Woah." And not in a good way.

There is so much more opportunity to get injured if you exercise that much. Obsessions, even healthy ones, can lead to other issues too. And it's not sustainable in the long run, anyway: you will get a job (soon!) and will have to cut back.

What other positive things can you do for yourself that use your time in a constructive way? Read? Informational interviews?

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