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"If" - With Apologies To Rudyard Kipling For The Modern-Day Editing - August 7, 2010

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Over the years, this poem has resonated with me, and several people have sent it on to me, to give me courage, to lift my spirits, and to help me "exceed my grasp" as I like to say.

Perhaps it will do the same for you. For the sake of political correctness, I always edit out the last line. It truly does not change the flavor of what Mr. Kipling is striving to say. And now without further ado, take it away, Mr. Kipling:


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you
But make allowance for their doubting too,
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

If you can dream–and not make dreams your master,
If you can think–and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build ‘em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it all on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings–nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much,
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROBINSNEWNEST 8/29/2010 8:20PM

    Thank you for sharing this...

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Parallel Events - July 31, 2010

Saturday, July 31, 2010

In the past several months, I have been on a quest looking for a new job. It is interesting to me to see how that event so closely mimicked my battle to lose weight. Both are a struggle. Both bring into question "worthiness." And both require a lot of self-examination to get to a better place. "What do I really, truly want?" ["You mean at your age you still don't know?" Those inner voices can be a real, you-know-what.] Yes, even at my age, I'm still evolving.

During this time, I have read a lot of blogs posted here on SparkPeople. The depth of raw emotions in these writings really startled me. The reasons for the weight gain of so many are as varied as the people who populate this site. And it truly gave me pause. I find a lot of the writing here very humbling: Not just about the quest to lose weight, but about the strong desire to conquer inner demons once and for all. And that, to me, seems to be the most pervasive theme of all.

Setting out "life plans" for oneself, no matter what one seeks, requires similar structure as taking on the battle to lose weight: Both involve careful planning, hard work, drive, and visualizing a direction where one wants to go and an ultimate goal to mark its success. Both involve a series of smaller steps (and the all-important rewards!), that over time will allow ourselves to move forward to a better place, whether it is personal weight loss, well being, or success measured on some corporate ladder. To get to any of these places, one has to have a clear picture in one's own mind of the ultimate goal in order for us to get to where we want to be. From there proceed backwards developing a plan, modifying it when it doesn't work, accepting that not as a failure, but as just a bump along the road. Probably most important of all is to forgive ourselves for being human, when all does not go precisely as planned. We need to recognize, perhaps above all, that plans are not "etched in stone", whether for weight loss goals or personal development, but that as humans, our plans have to be fluid. These ultimate goals are really not that different. Sounds simple, no? Where I believe we get derailed, or perhaps I should only speak for myself, but I do see this as an underlying thread here, we are way too hard on ourselves. The key is that we are moving in the right direction, even when we plateau, even when we give in to human weakness. We really need to be much more forgiving of ourselves. Really. After all, we still are here on this amazing site, no?

For myself, I need to start writing down a new set of personal plans for my own development in the same way that I am attempting to do for my weight loss trek. And then I have to work those goals backwards and see how to get to that desired new place.

Ultimately, if I am truly successful, all these roads should ultimately converge and put me in a better place: body, mind and spirit. Personal success, professional success and weight loss success. All to be conquered once and for all.

Sounds pretty good to me.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSSN4FITNESS 8/3/2010 11:27AM

    I am glad that you have decided to take a look at your personal goals. My personal vision challenge has been truly transformative both in terms of my career plans and my weight loss journey. Good luck with your job hunt and self-reflection!

emoticon emoticon

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SLY_REDUX 7/31/2010 3:04PM

    You'll do it. I have incredible faith in you. And you're right, we are way too hard on ourselves.

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ILLINITEACHER52 7/31/2010 7:38AM

  It is truly amazing how it all ties together. Eating right can help you think better and have a better attitude toward life, which helps you want to eat better, which........

Best of luck with the job hunt. Keep searching. I'm sure the right job is out there somewhere.

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BELLALUCIA 7/31/2010 7:28AM

    I wish you all the best in all your endeavors!

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What Things Weigh - Something To Think About - July 11, 2010

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I have been giving quite a bit of thought to this lately, as I lose more and more weight than ever before. I know this has been discussed elsewhere, but I was hoping to put together a more extensive search of my own. I remember years ago, at a Weight Watchers meeting when the leader brought in a pound of fat for visualization. It was something to see. And who can forget when Oprah years ago, after she first successfully (momentarily) lost 67 pounds, pulled that weight equivalent onstage in a little red wagon? That was a sight to behold. So let's consider, starting small, and especially for those who don't think a pound is all that much to lose (a side effect, I'm afraid of unreality shows like "The Biggest Loser"):

emoticon Things that weigh one pound:

1. A package of butter (with four sticks)
2. A football
3. A package of bacon
4. A box of brown sugar
5. Three medium-sized bananas
6. A guinea pig (not everything listed is edible)
7. A salami
8. A shoe

emoticon Things that weigh two pounds:

1. A pineapple
2. A rack of baby back ribs (hopefully, this list doesn't lead people to
3. A Malayan Flying Fox (I like this one)

emoticon Things that weight three pounds:

1. World's smallest cat, Mr. Peebles (I like this one, too, even if not good
enough to eat)
2. A human brain
3. A two-slice toaster (that'll get you thinking)
4. A steam iron (not to be outdone by the two-slice toaster, I imagine)
5. A box of wine
6. A can of Crisco shortening

emoticon Things that weigh five pounds:

1. Mr. Coffee 12-cup Coffee Maker
2. A bag of sugar (we knew this)
3. A two-liter bottle of soda (now this should give you pause - it did me)

emoticon Things that weigh ten pounds:

1. A large bag of potatoes
2. A six-foot aluminum step ladder (now that's a lot to swallow!)
3. An adult Maltese dog

emoticon Things that weigh fifteen pounds (and here it gets really interesting):

1. A 19-inch flat screen TV (now tell me that didn't give you pause? Imagine
carrying that around all day.)
2. A bowling ball
3. 2,000 paint balls
4. Medium bag of dog food

emoticon Things that weigh twenty pounds:

1. A car tire (whoa! Now I know what they mean by carrying an extra tire around
your middle.)
2. A karaoke machine (oo la la! That is really something!)

emoticon Things that weigh twenty-five pounds:

1. An average two-year old toddler

Beyond 25 pounds it starts to get really interesting:

emoticon 30 pounds is equal to the amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
emoticon 33 pounds is equal to a cinder block (imagine building a house, and then thinking of what you weigh in cinder blocks - it's daunting)
emoticon 36 pounds is equal to a mid-size microwave
emoticon 40 pounds equals a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
emoticon 44 pounds equals an elephant's heart
emoticon 50 pounds equals a small bale of hay
emoticon 55 pounds equals a 5,000 BTU air conditioner
emoticon 60 pounds equals an elephant's penis
emoticon 66 pounds equals the fats and oils an average American eats in a year
emoticon 70 pounds equals an Irish Setter
emoticon 77 pounds equals a gold brick
emoticon 90 pounds equals a newborn calf
emoticon 100 pounds equals a two-month old horse (so that's what they mean by "I could eat a horse!" Never again!)
emoticon 111 pounds equals the red meat an average American eats in one year
emoticon 118 pounds equals the entire Encyclopedia Brittanica
emoticon 120 pounds equals the amount of trash you throw away in a month on
emoticon 130 pounds equals a newborn baby giraffe
emoticon 138 pounds equals the amount of potatoes an average American eats in a year
emoticon 140 pounds equals the amount of refined sugar an average American eats in a year
emoticon 150 pounds equals the complete Oxford English Dictionary

Now after reading this, tell me this doesn't give you some pause. For one, the weight you have been carrying around for so long and for another, how much your weight loss equals in terms of common objects.

Something to think about.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PSSN4FITNESS 8/3/2010 11:31AM

    Wow, what a great picture. I was carrying around an extra TWO bowling balls. That's crazy and I still have one more bowling ball to go. Great list!

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ASH72461 7/12/2010 7:38AM

that sure makes you look at weight in a different sight
i loved it

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SHOSHANADP 7/11/2010 11:14PM

    A good list to help folks visualize it better. Thanks for sharing it!

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SUEELLEN317 7/11/2010 9:09PM

    Wow, the elephant's penis is especially remarkable! emoticon. Thanks, this was a fun read. Sue Ellen (Tarotwoman)

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SLY_REDUX 7/11/2010 8:59PM

    I've been having so much fun with the visualizations triggered by this blog!

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VALLEYGIRL17 7/11/2010 8:44PM

    So glad to find this blog, I've been looking for something like this. I had seen something like it somewhere. This is a good tool to use for motivation. Thanks a bunch.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Peaceful - July 4, 2010

Monday, July 05, 2010

Taking a chance that this is allowed.

I just thought it would help get us in the mood, to take a moment to pause, and to reflect what it means to be free, and for what our service men and women are putting their lives on the line.

May they all come home soon. That's my Fourth of July wish for our beloved nation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLY_REDUX 7/5/2010 12:17AM

    And I'll echo that.

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I Know Why This Works - June 28, 2010

Monday, June 28, 2010

I realized a few things over the last several days. When I spoke to a friend I realized several things that perhaps weren't so apparent prior. Here's what I know better now:

emoticon 1. There is no such thing as "forbidden foods." My friend hasn't realized that yet, and would not let me offer some suggestions. Which leads me to lesson #2:

emoticon 2. Each person has to be "ready" for the change. Even with their best interests at heart, we cannot offer help, unless they seek it.

emoticon 3. As we all know, or are about to know, this is not a "diet". This is a major behavioral change. Losing is the easier part. Maintaining is the hard part. Which makes me realize, I'm not going to leave this site once I reach my goal weight. That's when the real work begins.

emoticon 4. Time must be carved out for our own well being. This is very important for overall success. Everyone is busy. But we always find time to answer anyone's "distress call". Yet we rarely answer our own. This, too, must change. And it doesn't have to be time of monumental proportions either.

emoticon 5. Stress must be redirected or a lot of what we are doing here will fail. Finding calm in the storm makes the rest of the tasks we need to do for ourselves easier. It allows for more positive behavior. And positive behavior feeds on other positive behavior.

emoticon 6. I'm liking my exercise routine: Sundays - swim days; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays - treadmill; Tuesdays and Thursdays - strength training. Also, routines are not carved in stone. Mixing it up, prevents boredom from setting in. Now that a friend has joined the "Y", I might have an exercise buddy. But if not, that's okay, too. The only person one can depend on, is oneself.

That's all I have for now. For me, it is a lot. Feel free to add what works for you, and to keep the thread going. I'm certain there are a lot of other discoveries others have made as well. I'd love to learn what others know that I haven't seen as yet.

And now back to Monday.............

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLY_REDUX 6/28/2010 10:58PM


I'm really glad I subscribed to this blog.

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THREEE 6/28/2010 12:09PM

    you hit most of the main things we need to notice...

being in the right now is the key for me-- when i was young i was happy at each new school grade i was in...i loved(and still do) the change of each season, and i am trying to appreciate where i am right now instead of over-anticipating what is going to happen and then being disappointed if it doesn't happen on my schedule...
your blog did a great job of reminding me of the big benefits of this little place we call SPARKPEOPLE...well done...thanks...threee

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