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Did I just sleep through Spring, Summer and Fall?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Oh dear, the weather gods seem to playing another one of their favourite tricks on us Newfoundlanders. Yesterday it was an ever so balmy 2 degrees with a very cold northeasterly gale blowing through you. Yes, I'm being sarcastic when I used the word balmy! This morning Lou and Maddy raced out the patio door to do their business and slipped on the frost covered steps. Their facial expressions were a riot and Lou even stopped and stared at her paws. "Mom, I lost traction...cool....can I try it again"

Tonight the weather hasn't improved although the wet snow has stopped and I can hear the birds out. Poor little things must be half-frozen to death. No wonder they are busy because they are just trying to keep warm!

Needless to say, I've begged off all dog walking duties and have very sneakily encourage my husband that some "fresh, brisk air would do him good" after a week of being in school. In my mind, nothing makes me lazier than blah weather......please somebody send me a ray of sunshine!

Funny enough, I'm not depressed! Usually this would send me over the deep edge but I know that this too will pass. Talk to me in few days, however, and I might have a different tune to sing.

Have done absolutely dreadful with the eating. Who knew that autumns' comfort food would extend to this time in May! Unfortunately, I'm not talking about warming soups and stews here but rather truckloads of chocolate, chips, etc. Last night we even ordered pizza! Crap!

Have some doggie news. Louisa has been scratching her privates a lot so after two courses of antibiotics, the vet clinic did an internal exam on Thursday. It was very similar to what we know as the ever-dreaded Pap Test and she came home very sedated and pitiful looking. Other than they've discovered some "abnormalities" we don't know what is going on. Please keep your fingers and paws crossed that all is well with her and that if it isn't, God gives us the strength to provide love and compassion to her? It was a year ago this weekend that we lost the love of our lives.....Peaches....still hurts.

Well, with that, I'm going to say goodbye before I start to cry. Once again, please send some warm weather our way......seal it up in an envelope if you have to and mail it to me.....

xo Susan

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEMPEST272002 5/15/2011 7:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I'm so sorry to hear about Louisa. Let's hope the news is better than expected.

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KAMAPERRY 5/15/2011 7:32PM

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GAYLE-G-63 5/15/2011 10:42AM


Susan, you and your entire family are in my thoughts.

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BOVEY63 5/15/2011 10:36AM

    Here's some sunshine - hope it warms things up.
Prayers and best wishes for Louisa.

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HOPEFULANGE 5/15/2011 7:36AM

    Yuck, wet snow is the worst! Summer is (fingers crossed) just around the corner! I've been equally horrible with eating. Chips and candy Friday night and Chinese food last night! emoticon

Sorry to hear about Louisa. My dog Leto is having really bad seasonal allergies and can't stop licking, biting and scratching everywhere on himself. He's even got under his arms torn up. Allegra seems to be helping a bit, but we have a vet appointment on Thursday to see how we can handle it better.

Good luck Lou!

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JLITT62 5/15/2011 4:53AM

    Sending very good vibes for Louisa. Whatever happens, I know you will care for her lovingly. I had lots of companion animal chats with people at our garage sale yesterday, & several dogs accompanied their people, too.

Thankfully no snow here, but it was a very chilly day to be sitting outside all day & it took me hours to warm back up!

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_LINDA 5/14/2011 10:48PM

    Poor Louisa :(( Wishing her all the best. Sorry about your loss of Peaches :((
You, on the other hand, what was your excuse? Oh the weather, stuff you have lived with all your life. You have never considered a move, like everyone else, to Beautiful BC? Not possible, like a lot of us? Just have to suck it up and get out there. But I agree icy sidewalks ARE dangerous. So that leaves indoor workouts. Lots available free online. No excuses. And the eating? Only you are truly responsible for what goes in your mouth, what groceries you buy, etc. Once again, no excuses. Just have to get off your posterior and get it done! Do the right thing. You know what it is. You also know you can do it! Dig Deep. Go for it!
If I can do it, so can you!

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    Oh, I hope your doggie is ok!!!I have to run to work.... Love you, my friend! emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 5/14/2011 6:09PM

    Even though I'm WAAAY south of you, we had unseasonably cool weather too, so I related to your blog title. I surely hope the fur baby is okay!!

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KAYDE53 5/14/2011 5:59PM

    I think everyone is having strange weather this year! We're having unseasonably warm weather down here, so I'll gladly send you some, more like summer than spring! Oh, I do hope & pray nothing serious is the matter with your Louisa! Perhaps there will be an easier fix than you think!! Hang in there!! emoticon emoticon

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How I walked 500 km one baby step at a time

Thursday, May 12, 2011


Although I haven't been the most active member of Spark, nor the most aware of what I've been eating, I noticed yesterday that since I joined Spark I have walked a little over 500 km. Now this might be pitiful to some and a miracle to others but the point is I....as in ME.....walked 500km since September 1st. I'm amazed and I'm so glad that I've kept track of my mileage. This is something to be proud of so in my moments of doubt and self-defeat, I have to remind myself that a year ago this time I couldn't (and didn't want to) walk the length of myself!

So, I've learned a valuable lesson. If I started out and said I'm going to walk a minimum of ____km a week, I would have given up within the first few days. The days when the sweat poured down or when the weather became cold would have been enough to send me back to my comfortable chesterfield. But, no, I started out by just saying I was going to try to walk the dogs. I didn't say I was going to do it everyday but I would do it when I felt like I could. And there you have it.....I started out very slowly and never made a conscious effort to pick things up or to do it more regularly. After a time, our walks became a habit and now if I miss a day I really miss it. I don't knock myself out with regret, but I do miss it and miss my lungs breathing in fresh air and looking at two happy and contented dogs.

What else can I learn from this? I can put the same "formula" to work with my nutrition. I am stating here for all of you to read that I am going to become more aware. The days when I can look back and use the 80/20 rule, I am going to applaud but the other not so successful days are not going to be enough to send me off the beaten path! No more all or nothing thinking! If I had that attitude with walking I'd still be on the sofa waiting for the magical moment.

Anyway, like I said, 500 km may not be much to some of you while others may think that amount is out of reach. But I'm ME, and you are YOU, so we have to find what works for us. I can say with pride that over the fall and winter of 2010-2011 I logged 500 km..yeah for me! For once I feel a sense of pride in an accomplishment and that self-appreciation is what makes this our own unique journey!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VICKILYN4 5/18/2011 9:30PM

    emoticon emoticon Way to go Susan!!!

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CHRISTINA791 5/13/2011 5:41PM

    Fantastic job, and proof that those little victories add up. You don't have to run a marathon the first week in, you just have to keep doing what you're doing and you'll accomplish great things. Congratulations on hitting the 500k mark, and here's hoping the next 500 treat you just as well.

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LESLIES537 5/13/2011 11:56AM

    Be proud, be very proud! That is a great accomplishment! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 5/13/2011 4:41AM

    And you SHOULD be proud. A healthy habit is wonderful, and as you're noting, it can spark more healthy habits.

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    You are really doing great with this mental picture of what will work for you! If you can SEE it, you can DO it, I think! You're doing fantastic! I'd say more, but it's night-night time! emoticon

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_LINDA 5/13/2011 12:14AM

    I think 500 km is fantastic!! You rock! Going from the couch to walking is a major achievement! Be proud! Good luck with your food!
You can do this!!

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KAMAPERRY 5/13/2011 12:12AM

    That is awesome!! Wooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooo!!

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THETURTLEBEAR 5/12/2011 9:19PM

    That is FABULOUS! I love you blog! What an inspiration to others - you have figured ou the secret to all this!!

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S3XYDIVASMOM 5/12/2011 9:11PM

    Salt Lake City, Utah to Boise, Idaho. That's a pretty good jaunt. If I get in my car and drive nonstop, it will take 5 hours. So, I'm not laughing: I'm truly impressed. The beauty of it is, this is not something you visualized. You just saw yourself getting off the couch to walk the dogs. But it all adds up. Keep up the good work.

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HOPEFULANGE 5/12/2011 8:23PM

    Holy Crow! That's further than walking from Badger to St. John's! Great going Susan...keep doing what you enjoy! emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 5/12/2011 8:02PM

    I know what you mean about not keeping up with it if you had set a specific goal, but surprising yourself with how far you'd come taking one step at a time. So proud of you! And I do think 500km is quite the accomplishment!

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BECCAJ98 5/12/2011 7:06PM

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Great job!! Keep it up!

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Living on an island and eating what is available.....

Sunday, May 08, 2011


This blog was inspired by a friends blog in which she encouraged us to try new things. I am in total agreement but does anybody else live where grocery shopping largely depends on what is available?

I live on the island portion of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. For produce to arrive on our shelves, it has to be trucked to Nova Scotia, be put on a ferry, and driven halfway across the island. The ferry crossing takes about 6 hours and the drive to here is about 7. That is in good weather when the highways are open and the ocean is calm enough to sail on!

We have two grocery stores. Yesterday I wanted some sweet potatoes and there were none in the first store and in the second one they looked shrivelled up. Same goes for bananas, ginger, spinach, strawberries etc,

I'm not complaining! I grew up this way and have become quite used to the store clerks shaking their heads and saying, "no, the trucks are all stuck in North Sydney and won't be here for a few day". It just makes trying new things a game of hit and miss.

Come on now, the staples of the traditional Newfoundland diet has for generations been salt or fresh cod, moose meat, rabbits, ducks, berries and the few vegetables like potatoes and beets. There are parts of northern Newfoundland and most of Labrador for which the growing season is too short for even carrots! Salt beef is something that most people have with every cooked meal...basically meat, soaked in brine and stored in buckets....salted so much that refrigeration is only a polite suggestion.

Now, I'm lucky. I live in a town of about 20,000 people but this is the hub for a lot of communities. So imagine planning your meals, driving four hours to get here to find out the trucks haven't been in and there is slim pickings in the produce section. Is it any wonder people are eating the convenience foods? I watch with horror as people fill up their grocery carts with drink mixes instead of juice, tin milk instead of fresh, tin fruit (packed in sugar) instead of fresh, etc.

This summer I am planning on expanding my food choices. I have never had artichokes, avocados, leeks, papaya, black beans, fiddle heads, but if I can find it I am going to try things out. I found out I love asparagus (we never could get it growing up) and sweet potatoes weren't bought because we had a perfectly good supply of regular potatoes. Maybe this will be the year I try out Ugli fruit (I've only seen them once in our town), Passion Fruit (have never seen them), or try squash of any kind......or maybe I will have to wait for the trucks to come in!

emoticon Susan!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAZINMICH 5/9/2011 11:04PM

    We were watching Air Alaska which depicted similar food issues! It's amazing how spoiled we really are. I get so frustrated when cucumbers are not fresh during the winter months. I couldn't imagine having to plan out dinners and not know what would be at the store! So Crazy! This year I am doing the same as you - expanding my pallet. Trying to eat new healthy foods I've never tried. So far I'm enjoying it. I now love mushrooms - both raw and cooked, I love bananas, I love fruit! I ate a strawberry for the first time - nope, still don't care for that texture. LOL. Try as much as you can! Hopefully you can buy frozen veggies & fruits and make smoothies out of them to get in some additional healthy stuff. I can't wait to read your future blogs about things you try, I'm so curious now as to what else I should be trying!

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_LINDA 5/9/2011 9:45PM

    I wish you luck getting some new kids of produce! I know I am lucky to have access to a wide range of fruits and veggies. I do enjoy them, but know as they have traveled so very far they aren't always in the best of condition or the freshest. I can see why they sometimes recommend frozen as it gets done when they are just harvested..Better than some truck that has traveled 1,000 + miles... Same with canned goods.
Have a good evening and great sleep!

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KANSASROSE67 5/9/2011 4:20PM

    Very interesting blog! I wish I could send you some of our garden produce! Just picked more than a gallon of radishes...I love them, but that's a little excessive! Drifter's contribution (horse manure) really upped our production this year.

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KAMAPERRY 5/9/2011 12:36PM

    Wow, I am so spoiled!! This makes me so thankful for what I have available! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BOVEY63 5/9/2011 11:37AM

    We're not on an island, but are still limited when it comes to the variety of fresh vegetables and fruits in our area. During the summer months the variety is a little better. There is a local health food store but as a single mom the prices are most often too high for my budget. I will try and get to the farmer's market as often as possible this summer and see if there is anything new to try.

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LESLIES537 5/9/2011 10:24AM

    I just learned to love asparagus too!! AND broccoli! I never thought I would say that! lol I want to try the ugly fruit out too, I saw those in the store and never heard of such a thing!

Good work Susan! emoticon

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    WOW! I wish I could visit there! Just during the carrot season, mind you! emoticonI'm a warm weather lover! emoticonYour blog really should help a lot of people appreciate the fresh, wonderful food as close as a mile's drive to the nearest store (in most places). It sure did me! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEATLETOT 5/9/2011 8:42AM

    Oh, my. I never thought about what it's like buying food on a northern island, just the idea of buying milk, bread and gas in places like Hawaii and Bermuda! It must be so crazy-expensive!

You've never had guacamole, ever? Oh, you're in for a treat when you try the avocados!

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JLITT62 5/9/2011 4:44AM

    Good lord, I would perish up there - altho the cold & snow would probably do me in first! I hope you get to try some of the foods on your list - some of them are great! Especially avocados - which I never had til I was an adult cause my mom doesn't like them & they weren't as prevalent when I was growing up, either.

Do you garden?

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TEMPEST272002 5/8/2011 10:48PM

    I'd never thought about shipping to NFLD like that before. I like your attitude of trying things as they come in. Very adventurous! Reminds me of when my son was young and doing a report on China. I took him to Chinatown & we purchased several different fruits we didn't recognize & then took them home for the family to sample. Had a lot of laughs that night. Don't forget about sparkrecipes as a resource - you can see recipes by ingredient & find ways to cook up some of the more exotic veggies.

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    Ah, wow! I wouldn't know what to do.

Do you get the frozen veggies? They are frozen fresh with a quick freeze and no additives.

I hope you get to try a new veggie/fruit soon.

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GARDENQE2 5/8/2011 9:03PM

    Oh, My goodness! You have my sympathy! I would really suffer without a great variety of produce!

I have lived in many areas of the USA and I have found that there are differences everywhere.

In Washington state, the stores had dozens of varieties of apples, and lots of fresh fish and shellfish.

In Michigan, there were many varieties of cheese, potatoes, root vegs, and winter squash.

I am now in New Mexico. We have many varieties of peppers, avocados, and many unusual tropical fruits...but only 1 or 2 kinds of apples, frozen fish, one kind of potatoes, summer squash and canned pumpkin, and I haven't seen one parsnip or beet.

It is an adventure to move from place to place, and a further adventure to learn to shop in a new area!

Keep asking at your local stores for new things...it should encourage them to purchase different items...and your neighbors may enjoy food adventures as well.

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BLESSED2BEME 5/8/2011 8:16PM

    Wow! This really sheads light on how different we all live depending on our situations or locations. I grew up on avacados and couldn't imagine not having them in my life. I do have a hard time getting decent ones where I live now but we can at least get them.

I admire that you are desiring to try these new things. I can only imagine some of what you eat from your region.

BTW, I lived in Ottawa, Canada for 3 years (late 90's/early '00). I was stationed at the U.S. Embassy while I was still on active duty in the U.S. Air Force. We really enjoyed the new things we got to experience while stationed there and miss our dear friends and living there very much!

Good luck with your goals to try these new (to you) foods!

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In deep thought - making little accomplishments a BIG deal!

Saturday, May 07, 2011


After the past couple of blogs you will all know I have been working up the nerve to make a change things up a bit. I was up half the night wondering how to revamp my goals and aspirations as well as to how to maintain my motivation.

Well, I don't have any definite answers yet but I'm working on it. I walked 3 km just before supper tonight (good), I washed all of the dog's bedding and line dried it (good), I ate 3 Kashi cereal bars (not so good), I skipped lunch (not so good), I went grocery shopping and didn't buy any junk food (good), I bought flowers and some fruit for my mom and delivered it (despite the home being under quarantine - good), I made a yummy salad for supper (good), and I drank about 6 glasses of water today (good).

So, I'm going to be deep in thought about how to tailor this program to my own needs and quirks. I'm vowing to go back to re-read The Spark and to make any little accomplishments a big deal and to place less focus on my slipups.

Anyway, here is a picture of my all time favourite salad:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 5/8/2011 11:39AM

    That salad looks awesome!
Your making some good steps forward - one step at a time wins the race!
emoticon emoticon

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JLITT62 5/8/2011 5:38AM

    Yum-mo! I like to make a salad similar to that sometimes.

I'd say you had a really good day. I didn't really eat the best yesterday - hey, it happens to the best of it! I think the most important thing is just to keep trying.

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    Awesome salad!

I am also celebrating small things, it keeps me positive.

I went grocery shopping today and I did not buy any chips, which are my downfall.

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KAMAPERRY 5/7/2011 10:51PM

    What is all in that salad? Looks awesome!!! I think you did great! You had more goods than not!

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ERIKO1908 5/7/2011 8:14PM

    Sounds like a pretty good day! :) and I agree...that salad looks scrumptious!! What is the list of ingrdients? I can see the spinach, strawberries & almonds...after that I need help! Enjoy the rest of your weekend!!

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BECCAJ98 5/7/2011 7:58PM

    You're making me hungry!! (And sounds like a good day...)

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ILOVELIFE2012 5/7/2011 5:58PM

    salad looks great!!!!! Good luck with achieving your goals!

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    Oh, my GOSH! I wanted to come through the computer and EAT that thing! emoticonYUM! emoticon

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Why I do the things I do

Friday, May 06, 2011


Well, it is Friday again and I feel like my grandfather when he used to say that. As a child, I never understood what he meant as the time seemed to stand still at times. Now it just flies by and I wonder where it went or what I accomplished.

I know one thing I've accomplished in the past week! I've eaten enough Cadbury Fruit and Nut bars that I'm slowly turning into one. I never thought I was a binge eater but I've realized that if I'm not careful I tend not to eat all day and then gorge at night. Well, they say the first step in recovery is acknowledging you have a problem. So, here I am admitting that I, Susan, do have an eating problem.

I know if I plan my meals ahead of time, avoid junk, eat all of my meals, limit snacking, and cook healthy, I can do this but why don't I? Am I too strict when I try that I quickly lose interest? Am I just sabotaging my own efforts by thinking this is "all or nothing". Do I use my episodes of depression to eat comfort foods rather than stick with my plan? Unfortunately, I can answer yes to all of these questions and still not be motivated to make any changes.

Okay, so lets be honest! Do I have what it takes right now to throw myself into Spark? No.
Do I think it is an all or nothing program? Yes
Why do I feel this way? I don't know
Did any of you experience this and what did you do to overcome this feeling?
Would a reward system and clear, short-term goals work best for me? Yes
Do I want to set up such a reward system? Hmmmm?

I know some of you are probably yelling at your computer monitors right now to tell me to grow up, not be so lazy and to take this seriously. To be honest, if this was someone else's blog, I'd be rolling my eyes and saying, "enough already"

Since I like projects, I think I will come up with a set of daily goals (duh, like Spark tells you to do but I figured I would bypass that part) and make up some rewards (another Spark favourite!)

I will look at the positive choices I make each day and count those without focusing on the stuff I'm not doing or the stuff I'm eating that is wrong.

I think today's personal challenge will be to start re-reading The Spark book and not rushing ahead this time. I need to establish a few permanent habits as opposed to many temporary ones.

See, how easy it all sounds "on paper" as they say. Thanks again for reading through my scribbles and for not giving up on me.

So back to basics it is for me........................................


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GARDENQE2 5/8/2011 8:43PM

    Hi, Susan!
I am a serious chocolate addict, and I found this way to deal with it. Rather than keeping my favorite (Peanut M&Ms) out of the house, I keep a good supply of them in a big bowl where I can look at them. For some reason, just looking at them is satisfying, and days go by without my eating any. When I have serious cravings, I can eat a couple pieces, and walk away. Even if I come back twenty times, I have eaten only one serving, it has taken all day, and I have gotten lots of walking in! I haven't had a real chocolate binge in several years, since I adopted this practice. Whatever works is good!
Best wishes!

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MEMARE 5/8/2011 12:15PM

    Hi Susan, it's me Mare...I'm a emoticon.
Taking things slow and steady is what has worked for me. In the beginning I modified the exercises to the 'easy' route until I felt comfortable/confident doing the more strenuous ones. In doing the C25K program... I think my jog sessions were more like a bouncy walk... I wasn't about speed. In my food choices, I worked on portion sizes before changing up my food selections. When I 'graduated' to the mindset of changing those dietary needs to more healthy ones I did it slowly...like changing from cow milk to almond milk. I still have my indulgences but I try to limit their frequency. It’s not easy by any means to do these changes. Just take it slow, try to plan ahead and if you screw up…so what? Step back acknowledge your shortcoming and step ahead into knowing you can overcome…one step at a time. One day at a time. One month at a time.
emoticon emoticon

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    Hi Susan, take it in small steps. Pick one non food thing to do, like exercise for 10 minutes. Then add in a food item to change or try.


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_LINDA 5/6/2011 9:56PM

    This lifestyle change has always been about baby steps, one at a time, and all things in moderation, not deprivation. There is nothing I don't allow myself to eat or have. The key is not to have it every single day ;) If you can get it right 80 % in a day, you are doing great! Picking one goal and reward at a time is necessary too, so you don't feel overwhelmed. Make it a realistic one too.
You can do this!
emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 5/6/2011 9:38PM

    Not only wasn't I rolling my eyes... I was nodding my head as I remembered feeling the exact same way.

To change my life, I had to change my thinking. To help me, I created the persona of my Inner Cheerleader. Sounds a little silly, but it was effective. I would imagine her arguing back against my Inner Perfectionist. In the beginning, it felt awkward but - like everything else - it because easier & more comfortable with practice.

When I'm not sure if it's perfectionism or reason talking - I ask myself what I would think if the person is question was a dear friend. The better friend I am to myself, the healthier I become. Not coincidence, I'm sure.

I think you're on the right track to focus on the positives. Acknowledging those little successes helps us build momentum. So next blog - a list of the days non-scale victories perhaps? Every little healthy choice counts.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RUNJEWELRUN 5/6/2011 6:25PM

    You are in welcome company! I think most people on Spark love food. We all just have different ways of dealing with it.
Moderation is best(and it is something we slowly learn over time).
I put my cheats in to my calorie count for the day(and if I feel like I am going to go over, I increase my exercise).
Also, drinking a lot of water really helps.
You can do this. Remember that you are not alone and we all support you.

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JLITT62 5/6/2011 6:02PM

    That all or nothing attitude has to go! Wish I could tell you how to do it. You have to just accept that slips will happen cause you're human - but you can't get complacent, either.

Balance is tbs key!

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BLESSED2BEME 5/6/2011 5:44PM

    Hi Susan, my name is Trish and I'm a foodaholic. I too think I should be working my program, ALL or NOTHING. It has taken me FOREVER to figure out that is not possible. I had to finally knock it into my head that small baby steps, one at a time, getting a new healthy habit estabilished before taking on another change was the way to go. I still fall back into old habits. Being addicted to food is a bit different than something we can give up 100%. There is no cut and dry answer.

Now that you have conquered step 1, what is step 2?


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BECCAJ98 5/6/2011 5:32PM

    Hi Susan, I'm Becca......and I binge too! emoticon

We can do this!

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KAMAPERRY 5/6/2011 5:01PM

    My name is Kama. I am a food addict, nice to meet you. We can do this together, one day, one minute at a time emoticon

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-KATHERINE- 5/6/2011 4:55PM

    I just goofed around with this tracking things on my good days and nothing on my bad days...but then I asked myself if I really wanted to lose weight? The answer was yes, so am I just going to piddle around with it or do it...So I tracked everything even if I was way over my calories cuz I could see exactly what I was consuming and why I was the way I was and things started clicking in my head for me. This kind of turns into a game and who is going to win? you or the calorie intake? you or the fitness nothings? Keep persevering until it clicks in for you.

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LESLIES537 5/6/2011 4:53PM

    Hi Susan, I'm Leslie, and I too, have an eating problem. We can conquer this, together! emoticon

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    I did my goals over, and WHY I did those goals, and it really helped, Susan! emoticon emoticon

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