OPTIMIST1948   27,277
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Going To Chicago

Monday, March 12, 2012

Headed out on Wed to Chicago. Child and I are going to be visiting some cousins. Both of us are TREMENDOUSLY EXCITED, but for me, there is a bit more trepidation.

1) Keeping to my diet/healthy eating plan in someone else's house. My cousin is a healthy eater, but is she going to have all the stuff I like to have? Is she going to look at me weird when I ask if I can use her measuring cups? Is she going to use my visit as an excuse to treat herself to ... whatever? Plus I really want to try a Chicago Dog. Pizza Uno I've had, and its really good too.

2) Exercise? Will it be possible? Necessary? Yes, we are doing all sorts of touristy stuff, but its not the same as a good cardio burn. She did as if I wanted to come to a Barre class on Saturday, so there will be at least ONE exercise opportunity. (Not cardio but she said it works muscles I dont know I have. ) I'm packing my new sneakers anyway and I've loaded my iPod with some Yoga Podcasts. We get what we get, even if its a couple situps and stretches in the evening.

3) I've been something of a glutton lately. The past three days my calorie count has been over. Damned the tasty but greasy Chinese food! My MIL is a terrific cook and I just couldn't stop eating the ham. And she fried the cabbage in butter. It was delicious. What really sent me over the edge was the stuffed artichokes. Songs are written about them. Must buckle down! Resist! (But it tastes so good when it touches your lips..*)

4) I'm going to give blood on Tuesday. Since I'm going to be sidelined by a plane ride for most of Wed, I decided to do my exercise Tuesday AM and then have a good bleeding. By Thursday, the plasma will be back and I'll likely be shoehorning in the bare minimum of exercise anyway. I used to give blood all the time and stopped with the arrival of Child. (Cant when you are pregnant and I found it really difficult the one time I tried when breastfeeding.) Many grandparents have benefited from a transfusion when they were in their sick beds. Child needed a transfusion when he was first born. So I feel like I owe the system. And they give out cookies and juice. Win!

Apologies in advance SparkFriends. I'm going to try and track food, but that will likely be the only thing I'm going to do during the vacation. (Goodbye bonus spins!) I plan on thoroughly enjoying myself. Back Sunday.

*Name that Movie. Bonus points if you can name the actor who said it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

XRSIZE18 3/14/2012 3:38AM

    Enjoy yourself! Use your newfound habits and, who knows, you may even inspire your cousin.

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OPTIMIST1948 3/13/2012 10:28PM

    "It tastes so good when it touches your lips" Said by Will Ferrell in Old School.

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DOGLADY13 3/13/2012 9:19PM

    Have a great time in Chicago. Have a hot dog for me!

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CINERICIA 3/13/2012 7:24AM

    You've already received all the advice I was going to give so I'll just add that it is a healthy *lifestyle*. And that means living life. Enjoy yourself (while being mindful, watching portions, considering it vacay maintenance, etc.) and you will come out of your trip feeling great and ready to continue to move ahead.

Have a fabulous time!

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YDAVIS23 3/13/2012 5:47AM

    Have a great trip! You'll definitely get in lots of walking! I went to a wedding at the zoo out there a few years ago - so much fun.

Just remember your portions and make good choices. You'll be great!

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GEEKLING 3/13/2012 3:30AM

    Enjoy Chicago!

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MISSIFISH 3/13/2012 1:38AM

    I'm jealous! My best friend lives in Chicago - so I wish you could pack me and take me!

I hope you have a lot of fun. Just think about it as a chance to try your hand at maintaining. That is a lot less pressure, and might teach you some skills you'll need in the future.

I have no idea of the movie - which makes me sad. I think of myself has having encyclopedic knowledge of all things. Dayum. :)

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EUPHRATES 3/13/2012 12:05AM

    Have fun!!!

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VIXSTERLU 3/12/2012 11:38PM

    I am sure you'll do great! Be mindful, get the exercise in IF you can (that'll be a tough one) and track, track, track.

p.s. Can I have your bonus spins emoticon

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Too beautiful

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Child woke up in the middle of the night last night. So my tail is dragging today. So instead of going for a run, I went for a walk at a local state park. Lovely.

(Self portrait, with timer!)

Weather will get cold again tomorrow; enjoy it while it lasts!

Updated: I broke my sneakers on the walk! No, really! Cracked the bottom across the toes and the heel. Insanity! They were Target cheepies, so now I have a good excuse to get some better ones.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 3/11/2012 10:15PM

    A beautiful woman improving a beautiful view.

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CINERICIA 3/9/2012 7:41AM

    Capris and t-shirt in March. And no frostbite? That's it. I'm moving in next door. Warn the neighbors.

Sorry. That may have been the cabin fever talking.

I'm glad you enjoyed such a beautiful day outside AND that you get new sneakers. That's a win-win.

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    Not only do you look absolutely amazingly healthy and happy, I'm totally jealous of the skin you were able to show! :) Hehe, enjoy that nice weather while you can! Their saying 60's for us next week, but we'll see. I'm still counting down the days...

Glad you had the chance to get such a nice walk in! (Even if the shoes broke :D) I think it was just a sign that you totally deserve some nice, new, clean ones! :)

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YDAVIS23 3/8/2012 4:25PM

    Nice job listening to your body and its needs. I agree with MISSFISH about the photo - nice to know the human person on the other end of the human voice I've gotten to know!

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MISSIFISH 3/8/2012 2:48PM

    Hey pretty lady! I love seeing pictures of spark friends. It always makes me feel like I know people better. I should probably post some new ones soon.

Too funny about the sneakers. That must have been some walk!

Maybe you could get some boobie tape and stick them back together. :)

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VIXSTERLU 3/8/2012 1:34PM

    Great pic, you look great :) Looks like a beautiful place to take a walk/hike. I am jealous.

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And in other news

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Because my entire life does not revolve around SparkPeople...

Child and I went to NYC yesterday. Because this has NOTHING to do with fitness and exercise, I am not dual posting. But if you are interested you can go to my other blog:


Loads of pictures! None of me!

Basically, we had an outstanding time meeting up with a friend for lunch and going to the Children's Museum of Manhattan. Hope y'all had a Sparky day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    I got to look at the pix on my iPad - what a cutie-pattotie!

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    It sounds like a lot of fun!!! So happy that you were able to spend such an awesome, fun-filled day with your cutie! The time goes by so fast. Sigh. And what an awesome reason for going. Those are really the best reasons to do absolutely anything!

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MISSIFISH 3/8/2012 9:56AM

    We did a road trip years ago, from TX to Delaware, and back by a totally different route. We hit EVERY children's museum in every major city through the eastern half of the country. So much fun!

The pictures were adorable. Thanks for sharing!

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YDAVIS23 3/8/2012 5:36AM

    Yay for children's museums! SO FUN!

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    Hey, your SP posts don't have to be about weight loss, exercise, or anything like that - it's YOUR blog! I'm at work, and the stupid computer system blocked access to your other site. Grr. Sounds like a great day, tho emoticon

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Captain's Log StarDate 3.5.2012

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

(Sorry, I had an idea for a blog, but it didnt come out and this did. But there's no good pithy title because its really just a bunch of rambling thoughts. Bear with me.)

I really joined SP because I needed a calorie counter. Jillian Michaels says it 800 times: "Losing weight is a math problem. Calories out need to be greater than calories in." Sometime in the doldrums between Christmas and New Years, it resonated with me. My dear offline friend Raina413 had recommended this site, so I thought I would give it a try.

Recently I have been thinking about my food. Because I *love* food. I watch FoodNetwork for fun, think about different ways to combine and/or improve recipes, and relax by going to the grocery store. I'm also a dedicated couch potato. To the point where DH and I DONT have cable, because if it was on, I would spend all my time watching it. By using various services (Hulu, Netflix) I can get my TV watching either with no commercials, or minimal. Or the incentive to turn it OFF when the program is done.

I haven't given up my love of food, but instead my relationship with food is changing. I tried several times, but when I look at what I used to eat and what I should/am eating, I think it has made the difference. For example, for lunch, I used to eat 3 cups of pasta with tomato sauce and think I was being virtuous because there was no meatball (Saturated fat! Most Americans get too much protein). Then I would wonder why at the end of the day I would crash into an exhausted pile. Now I understand. I have found it easy to give up bread, pasta and potatoes, in favor of egg whites, beans and meat. Yes, I eat a lot more meat than I used to. (Sorry vegetarians!) But I feel so much better.

I'm exercising for a real, concrete goal with a deadline and people who are expecting me to be there. YDavis and DogLady, I'm looking at you. Your voices are the ones that keep me going. Because I dont have the will-power to do it on my own. For me: exercising without a goal gave me an easy out if I didnt "feel like it" that day. Now I know, I cant do it alone. Y'all keep me on that bike, that treadmill, in that plank pose for that extra mile, extra minute.

And the people around me are seeing the results. I'm wearing size 14 pants right now. I'm going closet shopping for clothes that haven't fit since before pregnancy. Because I'm an Optimist, I kept them. Now I'm really glad because I HATE clothes shopping.

The sad truth is I'm on a journey that should have taken place a long time ago. And it's not that I didnt try, I just didnt have the right tools. The right motivation. Now, everything is in alignment.

The even sadder fact is that I will likely never have this opportunity again. I'm unemployed with a family. I get 2 hours a day to myself to go to the gym. Working Moms know, this time is such a luxury! So I'm not getting rid of my "fat clothes" I'm putting them away. I hope that when I get to my goal weight, I can maintain. I hope that when I find a job, I can find a way to balance work, family and self - because I'm not so good at that.

But for right now, I'm out here, trying. Doing that little bit every day. Doing the big bites when I can. Not killing myself when I cant. I can feel my heart beating stronger. I like to imagine the fat around my heart and in my arteries getting scrubbed off like scouring a pan to reveal shiny metal underneath.

All this newness. I'm so happy to have met all of you. Thank you for your support.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 3/11/2012 10:27PM

    OK. Just read the NYC blog. Your little boy is beautiful. He looks like a real champ. You are a rich woman.

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DOGLADY13 3/11/2012 10:23PM

    Oh my... your food-loving self is speaking to me. I love to plan meals, study cook books, make grocery lists, browse the aisles, cook food, figure out how to use leftovers or pull together something tasty from random bits of food in the fridge.

I also love your optimistic, loving kind self. I am always touched by the thoughtful comments you post on other people's pages.

And as far as that exercise goal - I think we're all keeping each other honest. I promise to drag you if necessary through the 5K if you promise to pull my head up out of the lake so I don't drown.

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DIBANANA 3/11/2012 3:06PM

  Sounds like you have a handle on getting started. I joined Jan 6 and have lost 20 pounds. I found SP in a news article and decided to give something different a try.

Working overseas while trying to lose weight is a challenge. Working 14 hour days with one day a week off and having to eat the food furnished. Vegetables drenched in olive oil. But, I'm managing and hoping to go home this month.

It can be done. I will do it and you will do it if we choose to.

Wishing you success

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EBEAMS 3/10/2012 9:55PM

    In each part of our journey, we find ways to make this "thing" work for us. I don't know that it ever becomes "easy" but it does become more of a normal way of living with a few slip ups here and there! Getting into new habits and new routines right now will greatly benefit you when you do go back to work! You can do this!

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MISSG180 3/7/2012 7:21AM

    You have made some amazing changes in your life. Congratulations!

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YDAVIS23 3/7/2012 5:51AM

    Awesome, hopeful, wonderful post. I, too, am eating more meat, but I'm also eating more beans, more greek yogurt, more things that are GOOD for me, and less of the white filler. I agree that it makes such a difference.

Great perspective in general. This is your time. This is your place. As someone who is NOT you, it is my hope that these lessons really "stick" and you never need the big girl pants again, but I also know how scary it is to believe that this change is permanent.

I've been in a time crunch these last 2 days but I'm going to get my sneakers on and hit the pavement tonight. I'll be thinking about you!

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XRSIZE18 3/7/2012 4:42AM

    Hooray for the size 14s! The really great thing about having the time to do this now is that you're building a good foundation of healthy habits (meaning they're becoming second nature). So when things do get stressful and you are short on time, doing healthy stuff won't take as much thought and effort because you've already built them into your lifestyle. :)

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EUPHRATES 3/7/2012 1:10AM


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VIXSTERLU 3/6/2012 11:15PM

    I have many motto's, one is "Today is a good day, let's see if I can make it better". I love that you are an optimist, it shows in so many of the things you do and say. But I also think we need to learn how to roll with the punches, so when that day comes that you do get a job and you have to juggle more or just juggle differently (that's my optimistic self speaking), then you can learn to adjust and still be your wonderful sparky self. Your blog today shows that you are learning to roll with the punches. It's no always easy, but often it's what must be done. Be proud of your accomplishments today emoticon and plan for your successes tomorrow emoticon YOU GOT THIS!!

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MISSIFISH 3/6/2012 10:57PM

    You... meat eater... emoticon

Well, your vegetarian friend here, to say... I think it is TERRIFIC that you are eating more meat and paying attention to what you need! I honestly think that not everyone is built the same, and that listening to our bodies is key. It is actually pretty cool that you are realizing that your food choices matter, and how they affect you. I'm betting you are having such a good time of it because you are so "sciencey." You look at the data, and analyze them, and make changes. Super cool, so go you!

Although - I have to say it - get RID of the old big clothes. Having them to put on when you feel heavy is a danger. Clothes that fit - ok. Clothes that fit when you are menstrual and puffy - ok. Clothes that would fit you and your best friend together? Asking for trouble...

Beam me up! I'm done!

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CINERICIA 3/6/2012 8:54PM

    One step and then another and then another. I love that you are concentrating on where you are right now and making it work for you so you can then figure out how it will keep working for you. That's a huge lesson learned right there.

I was on spark once before and I failed utterly. And, having learned a few things on this go 'round, I firmly believe it was because I chose not to take advantage of the wonderful support network the site offers. This time I've surrounded myself by a lovely community of folk who are going through the same things I am going through and are so generous with their personal experiences and advice and...well, just everything. It's making a huge difference.

Cheers to you and your continued success.

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Recumbant or Upright Resolution

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Apparently King Solomon came to visit me this morning because I found a resolution that I think ALL will agree is the right one.

1) Go to the gym and see how long it takes to complete 12.4 miles on recumbent.
2) Use the upright bike for training for the same amount of time.

Today this was done. I set it for Interval training (1.5 min tough 1.5 min easy). I focused on keeping a steady cadence that was repeatable. I was astonished to complete the "course" in 30 minutes. So of course I went to 15 miles in 35 minutes. So now I have a time (35 minutes) to shoot for. Furthermore, I resolve to increase reduce the intensity from time to time, since obviously the time I killed myself and felt terrible it was because I had it set much too hard and was too stubborn to drop it down for a bit.

(Hello run on sentence.)

Off to do my nutrition!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGLADY13 3/11/2012 10:30PM

    I do 12.4 on stationery bike in about 40 to 45 minutes with moderate resistance. It matches my real bike speed and exertion. I can go faster for a mile or two, but then I have to back down.

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    Well you are a girl with a plan! And a girl with a plan is one that's on the road to success! (And one not to be messed with :D). I'm glad you found the solution that works for you - and one that is even slightly accurate! I'm known for my "estimations" :). Hopefully, your nutrition logging is more accurate than mine ;).

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OPTIMIST1948 3/5/2012 1:32PM

    Hmm. Apparently I'm excessively optimistic. I just went to gym #2 (shamelessly sponging off a friend) and tried their uprights with readouts. I wobbled off the bike after only 10.5 miles in 50 minutes. And yes, the bike yelled at me a few times to "Keep Pedaling!" I will report on soreness factor tomorrow.

Rumination on my findings must take place.

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YDAVIS23 3/4/2012 5:40PM

    wow you are fast! Biking takes me a LONG time :( I'm going to have to work on that!

Sounds like a very scientific investigation with solid controls and a good testable question though!

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JTAYLOR2011 3/4/2012 5:23PM

    Do you use a heart rate monitor?

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MISSIFISH 3/4/2012 3:15PM

    Sounds like a good plan of attack!

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