MMICKEYP   4,400
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Another Quiz........

Sunday, February 28, 2010

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Ireland, France, England, Egypt

If you could have your dream job, it would be...what? A full time encourager.

What would you like them to say about you ..after you're gone? She left an afterglow of love.

What are 3 things you'd like to do before you die? Find inner peace, lose this weight, travel abroad

What movie star would you love to look like? Catherine Zeta Jones

What is your biggest strength? The ability to keep getting up

What is your biggest weakness?

What is your favorite color? Blue...and then there's pink :)

What is your signature perfume or cologne? Millenia by Avon..discontinued :(

What kind of music do you like? All kinds...lean toward Motown sound

What obstacle would you like to overcome? Myself

Are you a morning person or a night owl? Both

Do you drive fast or slow...or right at the speed limit? Speed limit

Are you a rule keeper or a rule breaker? Rule keeper..until I break the

What do you say to yourself when you look in the mirror? Hmmm...

When is the last time you cried? Yesterday...the movie, Flicka

When is the last time you laughed? myself

Are you weak or strong? Strong

Are you serious or carefree? Seriously

What is the one thing you can't live without? God / Love

What movie do you never get tired of seeing? Legends of the Fall

What book have you read more than 3 times? The Bible

If you could have any kind of car, what would it be? Mustang

Do you like yourself? Yes

Do you sing when you're by yourself? Yes

If you were to give a speech, what topic would you choose? Endurance

Do you think people like you? Yes

What sport do you wish you could participate in? Archery

Do you spend more time looking back or looking ahead? Looking back

Finish this sentence: Someday, I'd like to ....? Write a book

What is your favorite thing to daydream about? Having my husband home again

Do you spend more time being happy or sad? Happy

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Both

What is your pet peave? People who won't listen

What makes you smile? My children and grandchildren

If you could be any animal..what would you be? A wild horse

What charity do you support the most? T.A.O.S.T. in Uganda

What is your favorite time of day? The early morning sunrise

What is your favorite number? 2

What is your favorite day of the week? Tuesday...don't know


Have a relaxing Sunday, everybody!
Feel free to copy and paste this quiz...just delete my answers and put your own in.
I sometimes like these quizzes as they make for an easy blog

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIFROMWYOMING 2/28/2010 9:54PM

    Loved reading more about you! And thanks for stopping by earlier inthe weekend, you are a wonderful, supportive person and I am so grateful I 'met' you! Hugs, Di

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DEBRA_T 2/28/2010 7:05AM

    Thanks for sharing more Michelle -- I love seeing blogs like this. So interesting to read what moves and excites you! Have a great (restful) Sunday!

Cheers, Debra
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KAJIRA_CALLA 2/28/2010 3:43AM

    do you mind if i copy and paste this to my blog and erase your answers and put mine in? emoticon

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Stressed out?.....

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Are you stressed out?
Are you stressin'?

We all have a certain amount of stress in our lives and some of us have found ways to
handle, manage or elimnate certain "stressors". Since we're pretty focused on weight loss and stress has a way...or we allow it to trigger an eating binge..I am all for finding
ways to decrease the effects of stress in my life.

I always start by looking at the word itself...seeing how it is defined. I don't know why,
but for helps.

Stress: Etymology: Middle English stresse, distress, short for destresse
Date: 14th century
1 : constraining force or influence: as a : a force exerted when one body or body part presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or tends to compress or twist another body or body part; a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation.

Synonyms for: stress
try, strain, afflict

Synonyms for pressure:
coerce, hale, squeeze,
pressure, force

Synonyms for: strain
strive, reach, strain
tug, labor, labour, push, drive
tense up, tighten
deform, distort
shape, form

Synonyms for: anxiety
anxious, nervous, queasy, uneasy,
unquiet, troubled
Stress and Anxiety are companions..they walk together..they talk together..they play together.
They're always inviting others to come to their party...
Their guest list can sometimes include characters like:

I don't wish to party with them anymore...I have before...didn't wake up happy...didn't make me a happy camper. I understand that we all have to endure some stress in our lives...I guess the stress I'm talking about it "undue pressure"...the kind of stress that causes illness.

Here's an excerpt from "Reflections on Life and How To Live It" by H.R Stevens ©1993

A life with no stress would be rather dull and boring, but a life with too much stress would be dangerous. Stress in human life has been compared to the tension on a violin string; no stress/tension -no music; too much tension and it makes a little music before it snaps. However, the right amount of tension and beautiful music is the result. So you need to find the amount of stress that is right for you.

Sometimes the amount of stress in your life indicates the emphasis and significance you attach to various events. For example, if you attach a great deal of importance to marriage, the threat of divorce could produce high stress. But, if marriage is not that important to you, the threat of divorce would not be stressful. Adjusting to single life after marriage produces high stress much the same as adjusting to married life after being single.

In order to effectively manage stress, you need to know your body and how it feels when you experience a change in your regular routine or face a crisis. Stress can cause tension in the neck and shoulder muscles or it can cause headaches. For some people stress unsettles the stomach while with others it could settle in the vocal cords causing the voice to go off-key. It could cause cramps in the legs or a combination of other symptoms. To simply take an aspirin and hope for the best, is to throw caution to the wind and take your chances that the situation won't get worse.

I believe the early church handled stress better than our generation, because the Bible says, "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people..." (Acts 2:46-47) You see, where members of a congregation are close and share each others cares, stress rarely reaches uncontrollable levels. But when members are suspicious or envious, they tend to keep a lot of frustration bottled up inside and suffer in silence. There is a passage in James' writings that is profitable for spiritual well-being, but it also has physical value as well: "Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed..." (James 5:16) Having a good friend to talk to, a good prayer life and a good plan for exercise and relaxation should help to reduce and maintain a safe stress level in your life.

Starting on my quest for "Less Stress"
Feel free to comment on how you handle stress in your life.
The camradery and close knit group of sparkfriends and the way they rally together to
help eachother is fantastic! So thankful for each and every one of you!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DEBRA_T 2/27/2010 10:36PM

    Stress is the killer that we sometimes willingly let in the door; other times it springs on us like a wolf mauling our best intentions.

Hoping your day is stress free tomorrow; mine too! LOL

Cheers, Deb

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SHARON2014 2/27/2010 8:33PM

    Good informtion. There is also eustress, which is good stress as defined in Wikipedia as follows:

Distress is the most commonly-referred to type of stress, having negative implications, whereas eustress is a positive form of stress, usually related to desirable events in a person's life. Both can be equally taxing on the body, and are cumulative in nature, depending on a person's way of adapting to a change that has caused it. The body itself cannot physically discern between distress or eustress.


Winning an athletic competition is an example of eustress.
Meeting or engaging in a challenge.
Coming in first place in a race.
Getting a promotion at your job.
Watching a suspenseful or horror movieLove, marriage, or childbirth
Riding a roller-coaster.
The holidays.
Purchasing something, such as a new car.

Also of interest is the Holmes and Rahe stress scale (link below) which scores stress by points up to 100. It is intereting that happy events such as marriage score a 50 out of 100!

I am currently under a lot of stress due to family illness and 4 close family member deaths since 2006 including my in-laws and my dad. Now dealing with my mom as she learns to live alone and has increasingly poor health. Plus my own and my dh retirement with a bit too much "togetherness"... I cherish a day alone, with no appointments and no one else to take care of! When I notice I am tense I try to relax my neck and shoulders and my abdomen, practice deep breathing and prayer. Exercise helps, especially outdoors, and I find reading helps too. Talking about it helps, but I am a very private person so I don't share a lot. Spark People does help as it feels more comfortable to share here.

Thanks for the blog. It is great to get together with people who are having the same experiences! emoticon emoticon

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KAJIRA_CALLA 2/27/2010 5:32PM

    Hope you're doing better than I am at getting rid of stress. It seems like no matter what I do more gets piled on me. Thanks for the great blog.

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NWFL59 2/27/2010 5:25PM

    Here's hoping you have a stress free day soonest, kid.
Enjoyed reading your blog and I agree about it and its companions usually (but not always) making a non-fun event/experience. Glad you got your cleaning done now how about enjoying the rest of your weekend.

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Some Helpful Tips....

Friday, February 26, 2010

I just love helpful tips and here are a few from the RealAge website!

Your blood pressure could be lower just by indulging more in this sweet tropical treat: bananas.

Cheap and plentiful year-round, bananas are bursting with potassium. And a review of several major studies suggests that people who add the potassium equivalent of an extra 1 1/2 to 2 bananas to their day could drop their blood pressure 2 to 3 points.


Drink a glass of this with your oatmeal to help elevate your breakfast to superfood status: orange juice.

Why? The nutrients in oatmeal and OJ work synergistically to provide double the benefits you'd expect from simply adding their powers together.


Want to burn more calories during the day? Then hit the snooze button.

Seriously. Recent research shows how a sleep deficit does more than foster cappuccino cravings. A lack of slumber may also increase your risk for weight gain -- even if you're not overeating.


For a razor-sharp memory, give your mouth this 6-calorie snack to munch on: a stalk of celery.

Celery is a top source of a high-powered flavonoid known as luteolin, and these compounds may help cool off destructive inflammation in the brain's memory center (otherwise known as the hippocampus). Not a bad trade for 6 calories.


Your body might be able to break down fat better if you do this one simple thing: stand more.

A small study suggests that when people sit around too much, enzymes that help break down fat are practically turned off. Bad news not just for your waist but also for your heart and artery health. The solution? Fidget, pace, get up, get down. Do whatever you have to do to move those legs of yours. Often.


It's long been a favorite of midnight moviegoers, and research now shows that it could give your gastrointestinal (GI) tract the red-carpet treatment, too. It's popcorn.

An 18-year study suggests that eating a couple of servings of the stuff each week could do nice things for your colon, like reduce the risk of diverticulitis by 28 percent.


For more youthful knee joints -- or anything that bends -- consider what's in your kitchen.

These six foods could be your best medicine: berries, ginger, avocado, flaxseeds, omega-3-rich fish, and soy. Research shows they help stifle joint-damaging inflammation, according to John La Puma, MD, author of ChefMD: The Big Book of Culinary Medicine.


Here's an easy trick for cranking up the disease-fighting power of your peanuts: Roast them.

Peanuts already pack a solid protein, fiber, and fatty-acid punch. But a new study suggests that dark roasting your peanuts will release more disease-fighting phenolic compounds from the nuts' cellular structures


How much of the sweet stuff can you have without blowing a healthful eating plan?

If you want to ward off excess pounds and heart disease, heart experts recommend you use this simple cap: 100 calories. That's about how many calories' worth of added sugar you should limit yourself to each day


Fruit, veggies, exercise -- they all make the heart-healthy list. And now, according to a new study, so does this breakfast staple: cereal.

But we're not talking about Cocoa Puffs. We're talking about whole-grain cereals -- like steel-cut oats, shredded wheat, or muesli. Men in a study who noshed at least once a week on whole-grain cereals were significantly less likely to experience heart failure.

Just a few tip from website. You can even sign up for the tip of the day...I think I will!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLANN27 2/27/2010 8:28PM

    Thanks for sharing. Very interesting.

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JAKEANDNELLIE 2/27/2010 3:04PM

    Thanks for sharing all the great tips!
You are a true SparkFriend to many!

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KENDRACARROLL 2/27/2010 1:26PM

    Great info. Thanks.

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so much information!

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NWFL59 2/26/2010 5:42PM

    Thanks for sharing these great tips. emoticon

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JANE1216 2/26/2010 5:20PM

    Thank you so much for sharing those tips --- I knew of a couple, but others I've never read or heard about --- love these kinds of things as they're easy to do or add to the daily regimen. I didn't realize that Real Age had a website either - I'm going to go there next to check it out ---- you were just so helpful with all this info --- thanks again!

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LISALOSING52 2/26/2010 5:12PM

    Thanks for the tips. Standing, celery and mini wheats... Hum...I'm already on the right track! emoticon emoticon

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DEBRA_T 2/26/2010 4:51PM

    Thanks, Michele!

xxxooo emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WINGSOFCHANGE 2/26/2010 4:03PM

    Thanks for sharing some great tips!

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ANNIEV 2/26/2010 4:02PM

    Great tips - thanks!

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MORNING_NOONAN 2/26/2010 3:57PM

    These are such great tips!! Thank you!

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KAJIRA_CALLA 2/26/2010 3:51PM

    Thanks for the tips. I read some of those on Real Age but not all of them. I didn't know about the orange juice I'll have to pick up some when i go grocery shopping next month. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Negative Self Talk....

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Here's a good article with tips on turning negative self talk into positive.

Reduce Stress and Improve Your Life with Positive Self Talk
Develop the Positive Self Talk Habit!
By Elizabeth Scott, M.S., Guide
Updated: November 01, 2007

Patterns of negative or positive self-talk often start in childhood. Usually, the self-talk habit
is one that’s colored our thinking for years, and can affect us in many ways, influencing the experience of stress to our lives. However, any time can be a good time to change it! Here are some ways you can stop yourself from using negative self-talk and use your mind to boost your productivity and self-esteem, and relieve stress.

Notice Your Patterns:
The first step toward change is to become more aware of the problem. You probably don’t realize how often you say negative things in your head, or how much it affects your experience. The following strategies can help you become more conscious of your internal dialogue and its content.

Journal Writing: Whether you carry a journal around with you and jot down negative comments when you think them, write a general summary of your thoughts at the end of the day, or just start writing about your feelings on a certain topic and later go back to analyze it for content, journaling can be an effective tool for examining your inner process.

Thought-Stopping: As you notice yourself saying something negative in your mind, you can stop your thought mid-stream my saying to yourself “Stop”. Saying this aloud will be more powerful, and having to say it aloud will make you more aware of how many times you are stopping negative thoughts, and where.

Rubber-Band Snap: Another therapeutic trick is to walk around with a rubber band around your wrist; as you notice negative self-talk, pull the band away from your skin and let it snap back. It’ll hurt a little, and serve as a slightly negative consequence that will both make you more aware of your thoughts, and help to stop them! (Or, if you don’t want to subject yourself to walking around with a rubber band on your wrist, you’ll be even more careful to limit the negative thoughts!)

Replace Negative Statements:
A good way to stop a bad habit is to replace it with something better. Once you’re aware of your internal dialogue, here are some ways to change it:

Milder Wording: Have you ever been to a hospital and noticed how the nurses talk about ‘discomfort’ instead of ‘pain’? This is generally done because ‘pain’ is a much more powerful word, and discussing your ‘pain’ level can actually make your experience of it more intense than if you’re discussing your ‘discomfort’ level. You can try this strategy in your daily life. In your self-talk, turning more powerful negative words to more neutral ones can actually help neutralize your experience. Instead of using words like ‘hate’ and ‘angry’ (as in, “I hate traffic! It makes me so angry!”), you can use words like ‘don’t like’ and ‘annoyed’ (“I don’t like traffic; it makes me annoyed,” sounds much milder, doesn’t it?)

Change Negative to Neutral or Positive: As you find yourself mentally complaining about something, rethink your assumptions. Are you assuming something is a negative event when it isn’t, necessarily? (For example, having your plans cancelled at the last minute can be seen as a negative, but what you do with your newly-freed schedule can be what you make of it.) The next time you find yourself stressing about something or deciding you’re not up to a challenge, stop and rethink, and see if you can come up with a neutral or positive replacement.

Change Self-Limiting Statements to Questions: Self-limiting statements like “I can’t handle this!” or “This is impossible!” are particularly damaging because they increase your stress in a given situation and they stop you from searching for solutions. The next time you find yourself thinking something that limits the possibilities of a given situation, turn it into a question. Doesn’t “How can I handle this?” or “How is this possible?” sound more hopeful and open up your imagination to new possibilities?

You can also help yourself develop more positive self talk by bringing more positive energy into your life.
Here's the link to the article and there are more resources available to check positive affirmations, spiritual spring cleaning, etc... enjoy!

I personally liked the suggestion to just say; STOP!!! ..or turning it into a question....I think that one would really work for me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANE1216 2/25/2010 10:45PM

    Great blog --- great article --- thanks for sharing the link and for posting it here for all to read!

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CAROLANN27 2/25/2010 7:26PM

    Thanks for sharing this. It's an area I sometimes forget.

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LISALOSING52 2/25/2010 1:46PM

    Turn the negative into the positive. That's what I've been trying to do for awhile now. I like the one about turning it into a question, I think that one will work for me also. Thanks for sharing this article.


That's a powerful statement. I like it. Thanks friend.



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AMICHT 2/25/2010 11:56AM

    Such an important lesson! Thanks for sharing the article!

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JAKEANDNELLIE 2/25/2010 11:36AM

    Negative self-talk has always been a part of my life! I think it transfers from hearing so many negative comments as I was growing up. They were all I came to expect, so why shouldn't my comments be negative? I never learned to focus on the positives about myself because I never realized there were any!
Now, I tell myself 5 positive things about myself each morning before I get out of bed. i truly think my time here at Spark with you and my other friends has built my confidence and ability to be able (and want) to do that.
emoticonThanks for sharing that article. I bookmarked it to read frequently.

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NWFL59 2/25/2010 10:52AM

    Thanks for the article and references. Have fun cleaning your closets. emoticon

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KNITSTRONG 2/25/2010 10:38AM

    Thanks so much for sharing this, MMickeyP! This is something I struggle with each day, so reading about ways to cope and change my interior dialogue is very helpful!

I don't know emoticonif I can emoticondo this successfully emoticon for very long emoticon....

I mean...I'm sure I can use this technique to improve my habits.

(actually, I was joking about the negative thought up there...I just wanted to use those stop signs! emoticon)

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KIMMIEB 2/25/2010 10:33AM

    This is great. I am such a negative nelly anymore that I can not stand myself. I know it is because I am very unhappy with myself because I have let myself go like I did but why do I have to try and bring everyone else down as well? It isn't their fault that I am unhappy. It is ALL MINE!

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JASMINEBASHEA 2/25/2010 10:30AM

    Thanks for sharing this!

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Old Mindset.....

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I absolutely ate a couple of things that I shouldn't have...yesterday.

I condemned myself...but not for long. What's with I sabotaging myself? I felt proud for losing a total of 20 lbs and have almost given myself "permission" to blow it...
...funny my mind..I'm calling it a "reward".

Why do we have to "reward" ourselves all the time? for thought.

Food for thought has no, right. :)

So I got on the scale and was amazed...I didn't gain a pound. ...not ONE pound!!!Surprised...yes,but in my mind..I just knew I'd gained.

It's all good...because I can see that I must work harder at battling negative "self-talk" and old mindsets.

***Note to self: Stop relying on the past to tell you how to think or feel. Live in the now....for t his moment. Live in this moment...mentally....emotionally!

Strongholds can and will be taken down...brick by brick... now let's get busy....we've got work to do!!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLANN27 2/25/2010 12:11AM

    It's wonderful you caught up on your sleep. That makes all the difference in the world.

You are so right about self talk! I keep forgetting to talk positively to myself. I'm going to have to put up a reminder!

Keep up the good work.


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DEBRA_T 2/24/2010 4:44PM

    Aw, Michele, we just stumble and bumble our way forward trying to beat the backward draw to old habits, old pleasures. You're doing great! Sometimes it's a wobbly journey for those of us with a lot of weight to lose -- we lose what some would consider a substantial amount of weight but it looks too close to where we started and too far from where we're going -- how can we be expected to sustain ourselves all the way? We can't be. We can only be sustained one day at a time, one meal at a time, one choice at a time. You are too beautiful a person to deny yourself this victory. We're sparking on....

Cheers, Debra

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ANNINTENNESSEE 2/24/2010 12:56PM


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LOVE_2_LAUGH 2/24/2010 12:32PM

    Yup, our negative self-talk gets us in trouble all the time. Why is it that we think we can belittle/berate ourselves when we'd never consider talking like that to someone else?

Keep tearing those bricks down. When you get enough down, you can haul 'em to the trash -- and probably burn a good amount of calories doing so!

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JANE1216 2/24/2010 12:22PM

    It is so easy to reward ourselves with a food splurge -- but we know that's not the best choice of rewards -- bummer! I do have a friend who allows herself one free day per week -- she eats what she wants and still has success on her weight loss journey. I don't trust myself enough to try that -- I'm afraid my free day might turn into 2 or 3 or a week -- !! She does well with her free day and she feels it keeps her on track the rest of the week knowing that day is coming --- whatever works, right?!?!

Have a happy Wednesday --

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BOBBIENORTHERN 2/24/2010 11:35AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonI love you so much and thank you for the email that you sent. I understand totally what you are talking about getting behind and I will bet that we all understand because we are all members of sparkpeople which is such a huge club. Just enjoy the rest of today and get over eating something you should not have eaten. I too ate something I should not have eaten and I enjoyed it so much, but now I dont want it anymore and am happy to forsake no good food again for a long time. God loves you so much. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KAJIRA_CALLA 2/24/2010 11:05AM

    Yes we do have work to do and if you really feed the need to reward yourself do it with something that will help you on your weight loss journey. I plan on buying myself a weight vest at the beginning of the month to compensate for the weight I've lost. That way I'll still be carrying around the same weight, still burning as many calories as I was when I was heavier without actually gaining the weight back. Kinda warding myself and tricking my body to lose more. Or even better yet reward yourself with something pretty like a new blouse so the next time your husband comes home you can surprise him with how good you look.

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CFLOTT 2/24/2010 8:25AM

    Good musings. In reading about rewards on Spark, they're particular about not using food as a reward. I personally think it's ok to "splurge" every so often, but I try not to attach it to a successful accomplishiment.

Generally, I like the idea of rewards but I do struggle with good mid-term goals and good rewards. It's something I'm working on right now!

Anyways, it's obvious that you're not in a total mindless moment, that you're giving thoughts to your actions and motivations. Keep it up and good things will result.

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