PCOH051610   51,160
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PCOH051610's Recent Blog Entries

212 km in two months....stage one of the Newfoundland T'Railway completed

Saturday, September 10, 2011

I just had a wonderfully long blog typed up and somehow managed to lose it. Actually when I attempted to post it I received a message saying "no HTML please" and in the end I just lost it.

To sum up, I've officially completed the first stage of the virtual walk along the Newfoundland T'Railway system. It will be two months tomorrow and I crossed the 212 km today. Most of it was done through walking outdoors but some was done through fitness classes and by biking. Either way it all counts and it feels great to say I did it! Now I only have another 600+ km to finish and I will have it all done! Ha.

I came across a really funny dog picture today and thought I would share it. Although the dog in question looks a lot like our Maddy (it fooled many people including his vet!) it is just one I found somewhere. I like to refer to it as "what Donald Trump would look like as a Pomeranian"!

On a more serious note, I weighed myself at the gym today and I have gained 4 pounds since joining a month ago! Aaarrrgggh! To be fair, I know I have been eating like a horse and have vowed that come this Monday I will go back to tracking my food consumption because that is what works for me! Cannot believe I have climbed back up to 218 pounds!

Have a good weekend. I know it is a sad one in world history and I really, really hope that we never again see the horrors of 9/11!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THETURTLEBEAR 9/13/2011 10:28AM

    You've blogged it and were accountable, so now you can fix it! LOVE the dog pic!!

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CHRISTINA791 9/12/2011 10:59AM

    Congrats on the walking! You've done an amazing job!

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CALGARYNEWF 9/11/2011 10:28PM

    Wow Susan!!!!I'm so impressed!We're never going to catch up to you now but I will certainly use the possibility as a motivator! You rock! emoticon

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_LINDA 9/11/2011 8:16PM

    Congratulations on getting through stage one!! Nice to see you acknowledge where your weight gain is coming from and are not upset about it, but will actually do something about it! Track, track and more track, it does work!
A little known factoid about me. I exercise hard, long and vigorously, pushing myself to the limits constantly, for one basic reason. I LOVE TO EAT!! Who doesn't?? But I like the occasional sinful delights like ice cream, birthday cake, Baked Cheetos crunchy. But if I didn't exercise, like on my surgical lay offs, I simply can't fit them in my calories. I even cut out Mom's marvelous muffins during my layoff (BIG *sniff*) and she makes them healthier then most out there, but they are still fairly high cal as she won't cut back the oil and butter, she refuses the substitute of apple sauce, don't get why as everything else is healthy like wheat flour, flax flour, etc.
But basically, you want the fun, you have to put in the time and work..

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BOVEY63 9/11/2011 11:48AM

    Congrats on finishing Stage One!
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Love the pic!
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DRGOMTI 9/11/2011 11:31AM

    Amen to the 9/11 horrors!! n God bless all the casualties of war n their families. emoticon emoticondr

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JLITT62 9/11/2011 5:02AM

    Wow, that dog looks an awful lot like Chester!

You've got one piece of the puzzle in place - now time to find the next piece!

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 9/10/2011 9:46PM

    I despise when that happens! Lost blogs! It's painful! emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 9/10/2011 9:33PM

    Great job on completing stage one of the trailway. It's cool to see the miles add up like that. Thanks for the dog pic, made me laugh.

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APIRLRAIN888 9/10/2011 8:33PM

    woohooo on virtual walk,and you can do it
we have a virtual relay around the world, we are so close to making it back to start ;p

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KAYDE53 9/10/2011 8:29PM

    I'm so proud of you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonYou'll get that 4 lbs off again!!! emoticon Tracking does help a lot1! That is a seriously cute picture!!! And I so agree, never want to see anything like 9/11 again, not anywhere in the world!!! Have a great Sunday!!! emoticon

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Co-ordinating a lunar landing vs. meal planning

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Good Morning!

I'm sort of sneaking this in at work before I begin my shift; actually I deliberately come in about 30 minutes earlier each morning for Sparking time so here I am.

If I blog enough about tracking my food intake will it happen? It still hasn't despite all of my efforts to talk about it. Jeepers, I need a swift kick at this point! emoticon

But right now I need to focus on what I'm doing right. I joined the Y AND better yet, I actually go! That has been a habit for almost a month now. I strength train three times a week which is also something I started a month ago. I drink my water faithfully and I make sure I get enough sleep. I also have been walking a fair bit AND I haven't quit the Newfoundland T'Railway challenge (I should be finished the first quarter by Canadian Thanksgiving). I'm also continuing to blog which keeps me going.

So, what am I not doing? I'm not tracking my food nor am I spending as much time on Spark supporting my friends like I used to. I know the latter is because I've upped my exercise time and have gone back to work but for the life of me I just can't seem to make tracking my food a habit. AAAARRRGGGHHH.

Oh, did I mention I'm a perfectionist? I thought by removing my tracker from public view I would somehow do a bit better but that hasn't happened! I just have to quit making excuses and do it! I will start on Sunday and I will try to do it as many times as I can so it becomes a habit. Afterall, I didn't start out by drinking 8 glasses of water each day but now it is one of my most treasured routines.

I also need to meal plan as I know from looking back over the past year that it works for me. I'm going to stop trying to be so blessed perfect (my personality and I can turn the simplest things into a complex mission to rival a lunar landing!) Honest to goodness! That is who I am and I need to work on that because I know nobody is perfect so why do I expect to be?!

So, I'm going to buy myself a pretty notebook and start planning. At first I'm not going to be too caught up with nutritional value so if I want to sneak a pack of Kraft Dinner in once a week I will allow myself to do this. Besides it is a meal my husband can prepare (!)

Okay, I promise not to get so caught up with "the" plan that I forget to implement it but I'm off now to search some online recipes from Spark.

Susan

P.S. If at first I don't succeed maybe I can be an astronaut!?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAYDE53 9/8/2011 11:07PM

    I'm not very good with meal planning either! I do better with tracking, but sometimes I slack off. I did better at first than I do now. So I guess we all have our weaknesses, but we just have to hang in there, and do the best we can. I'm a perfectionist too, and usually if I can't do something perfectly, I don't do it at all, so that probably why. I keep working on that. Sounds like you're doing great on your exercise, though!! emoticon emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 9/8/2011 10:59PM

    I hate meal planning worse than I hate tracking. Talk about writer's block. I see that blank page and almost panic. I guess I have a loose sort of awareness; generally speaking I hit at least some of my nutritional goals.

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TEMPEST272002 9/8/2011 10:51PM

    You are doing so well with the Y. So proud of you for sticking with it long enough to make it a habit. Tracking is a toughie for me too. As always, if you're struggling I suggest you take one step back. What about just tracking dinner for a week? I like using sparkrecipes.com to plan meals in advance (you can add directly to your tracker from the recipe page).


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DRGOMTI 9/8/2011 8:59PM

    PS. your profile pic just cracks me up!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DRGOMTI 9/8/2011 8:56PM

    You are the funniest!! emoticon I just love your blog so much!!
I'm on my 6th day of my tracking streak! I do not want to break it this time! Streaking is cool!! Especially in the winter! emoticon

emoticondr

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THETURTLEBEAR 9/8/2011 6:03PM

    LOVED your post script!

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BOVEY63 9/8/2011 2:44PM

    Great job on your routine at the Y!
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As far as tracking your food, start today and just like exercise, it will become a part of your routine.
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Have a wonderful day!
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CHRISTINA791 9/8/2011 1:25PM

    I've totally been there with the food. I don't feel comfortable with cooking, so my perfectionist comes out to play and I need to shove her back in.

I find that it helps to block out just a few days at a time. In my case, the guy and I switch off on cooking duties every four days, so I roughly block out my days based on that. Breakfast is always the same, and lunch is mostly raw veggies and finger foods for me, so it all comes down to dinner.

One big 'duh' moment I had is that I don't have to be fully stocked on everything. I used to hate grocery shopping, so I'd try to plan a big two week trip in advance and use all the food on a perfect schedule before it went bad. Now, I pop into the store to pick up one or two things every couple days. It takes a little more time (luckily, I'm close to several stores), but it takes so much of the pressure off and lets me improvise a bit. Plus, I no longer get stuck eating bad foods because I don't have anything available - not an excuse anymore!

Good luck! I'm looking forward to seeing how it goes!

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LESLIES537 9/8/2011 1:14PM

    Great idea! Nice job on actually using your Y membership--you ROCK!

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APIRLRAIN888 9/8/2011 1:04PM

    lol... love my YMCA, hope you love yours too ;p

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_LINDA 9/8/2011 12:26PM

    Good for you sticking with the exercise! That is huge!! Well done! Like Sparks says, you have to take it one step at a time, until it becomes a habit and then you are ready to go to the next step. Try tracking your supper, I would guess that is the meal where you would have the most time to do it. For most people, its the biggest meal of the day..
Good luck with it!!

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KANSASROSE67 9/8/2011 11:48AM

    Good luck! You will figure out something that works.

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CHUBRUB3 9/8/2011 11:45AM

    First off I love your Muppet Profile picture!
Second, Yes you can be an astronaut! Anything your heart desires!
You are doing great! Keep up the awesome work, and try tracking more.
Hugs,
Angela
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CODEMAULER 9/8/2011 9:29AM

    Kraft Dinner finds its way into our routine from time to time, too. Just be sure to load it up with all sorts of chopped veggies!

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Planning meals is a lot like planning workouts; start small, figure out what you can do today, and build from there. Set goals. Take notes. Share in your successes, learn from the setbacks.

You'll do just fine!

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JLITT62 9/8/2011 8:50AM

    Sometimes just getting started is the hardest thing to do. Break it down even further . . . aim to track one day a week, or even just one meal! Once you get started it gets easier.

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The dirty little secret

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Good Morning!

We have just had one of the nicest Labour Day weekends with regards to weather that we have had in some years and for that I am very, very thankful. Today, however, the skies are cloudy but I'm still riding the high of the weekend. We had two lots of company (none of which actually stayed overnight) so it was nice to catch up with friends to see where they are in their lives.

Other than "entertaining", I spent the weekend relaxing. I finally finished "The Book of Negroes" by Lawrence Hill which I have to say was a really good book. I always judge a book on whether or not I am thinking about the characters when I am not actually reading and one that I long to finish but yet am saddened when I do. Do you guys have any favourites that you'd be willing to share?

Okay, so I know some of you rushed to read this blog because of the title so I will get to the point of my blog. At 45 years old, I have discovered the dirty little secret of weight loss. The secret....well, that is just it.....there is no secret because the thing that works for you may not work for me!

The idea for this blog came to me this morning when I was talking to a student who lost 100 pounds since January 2011. She was proud of herself but when I asked what she did her reply was to "watch what I ate". Intrigued, I dug a little deeper. Turns out this woman had been consuming at least a 2 litre of cola every day along with fried food and every meal was junk food! She suddenly stopped that and ate "normal" foods and gave up the cola....voila!

So what does that mean to you and I? Well, I don't drink very much cola as I strive to get my water in each day along with an additional 2 glasses of skim milk. We do not fry anything and I view junk food as an occasional treat. That being said, I haven't lost 100 pounds since January and nor would I want to as I think that is a bit too fast.

I really think my lack of success at the scales comes down to simple math.....I either eat too many calories or too little. I really hadn't realized before that consuming too few calories can backfire on your weight loss attempts. I know I've upped my exercise (I have two more months to go before my measurements will be taken again at the Y but I'm really feeling a difference in my abilities), my weight keeps fluctuating but I know I'm not keeping track of what I eat. (insert slap on the wrist here!)

So my dirty little secret is I have to faithfully record what I eat so I can determine whether or not (on average) I am eating too few or too many calories over a month. That is my goal for September! I will continue on with the exercise but I have to start being serious about recording my food!!!!


P.S. I'm temporarily removng my food tracker from public view as I am a "perfectionist in recovery". Hence, if it is not perfect I won't track in case you all think I'm horrible (which I agree is a total twisted way of looking at things but hey, that is the inner perfectionist speaking!). So, I'm going to track it all for the time being just for me!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 9/7/2011 5:33AM

    I like the fact that you're tackling one area, making it a habit, then tackling the next.

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TEMPEST272002 9/6/2011 9:16PM

    Tracking your food is a great idea. I don't enjoy food tracking, but I do tend to lose more weight when I do it. Tracking has been useful for checking my nutrient levels, my fibre intake, seeing patterns in my eating patterns.

I'm really proud of you for continuing to go to the gym. It's exciting to hear that you're already noticing progress. I checked out a gym myself today, but I'm not sure (getting into town during the winter months might be a problem & money).

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DOGMOMMY 9/6/2011 8:02PM

    i am the same as you... i have to track or I feel so out of control...

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GAYLE-G-63 9/6/2011 4:20PM

    I discovered that same secret just recently, Susan. It took me a long time to discover what works for me, but when I did, it REALLY worked. My second 'secret' is never give up trying new things. After a year and a half and 130 pounds lost, I still try new things monthly if not weekly.

Keep fighting the good fight! YOU CAN DO IT!!! =D

Huggz,
~Gayle~

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CHRISTINA791 9/6/2011 4:07PM

    I have the same secret...

I have to track most of the time. I'm okay with that, and I'm even okay with occasionally skipping a meal, but I know that if I don't the portions will creep up and the snacks will sneak in. I was never a huge binge eater, so it was all those little extras that were packing on the pounds.

I also find that I just feel more relaxed when I can pull up a page showing me where I sit for the day. Between the heart rate monitor giving me a more accurate picture of what I've burned and trying to be as close as possible in my food tracking and measuring, I let my mind stay calm when my body is trying to tell me something different.

Good luck! Hope it works well for you!

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BOVEY63 9/6/2011 2:02PM

    I am so with you on this one. First I think 100 pounds since January is too much too fast. Second, drinking cola hasn't been an issue - I have always been a water drinker. Third, I believe weight loss is different for everybody. We need to find what works for us and tailor our own plan.

I have never had my trackers public but do know that keeping up with them does make a difference for me.

You have made so many positive strides and I have faith that you will continue to make the right choices for you.
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CALGARYNEWF 9/6/2011 1:48PM

    Wow 100lbs since January. That seems like a huge amount of weight in a relatively short period of time but I guess it depends how big she was to start with.

Nevertheless, I think your plan is great Susan, Tracking is important and I struggle with it as well. Sometines I am really good and go for weeks tracking every morsel but then I relapse and skip tracking for just as long. I will start again today, with you and see if I can't make it to the end of the month.

Have you read any of Mitch Album's books? (Tuesdays with Morrie, The 5 People You Meet in Heaven) I really enjoyed both of them. He has others as well.

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KAMAPERRY 9/6/2011 1:25PM

    I know I HAVE to track! emoticon

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DRGOMTI 9/6/2011 11:40AM

    like u said, do whatever works for u!! I've started a "streak"!! It's my 4th day of tracking my cals! It's funny how time goes so slow when you're counting the days of a streak! : )) 4 days sounds like so little but it seems like a month! Streaks really work cz I don't want to break it n have to start all over with no. 1. So I shall continue! 2 steps forward!! : ))
emoticondr

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CODEMAULER 9/6/2011 11:28AM

    I find that food tracking IS a necessary evil. I don't enjoy being that detailed, but you can see where changes need to be made when it's all laid out.

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 9/6/2011 11:02AM

    I need to be more accurate in my logging my food! I have gotten way lax in measuring! So I will be trying to do better in this area this month, as well! Good for you, Susan! We can do it! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 9/6/2011 11:00AM

    I wouldn't be overly impressed with someone who's lost 100 pounds since January. That, my friend, is a crash diet. Check back in with her in five years and see how's she's doing. Meanwhile, I like your plan of tracking. You need a realistic picture of what you're doing.

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DEE0973 9/6/2011 10:52AM

    Good for you, wish you the best of luck

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CHUBRUB3 9/6/2011 10:28AM

    Good for you!
Yes, I had a hard time for a LONG time understanding that I actually was not eating enough therefore gaining weight. Go figure!
Love the title.
Hugs,
Angela

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_LINDA 9/6/2011 9:41AM

    As the pounds came off very slowly for me, the food tracking was absolutely vital not only to my success, but to maintenance, which is even tougher! But one thing. You have to be ACCURATE about your tracking. That means weighing and measuring absolutely everything that goes into your mouth. The way calories can add up is astounding, just one little bit here and there. Also you have to have set your fitness tracker to exactly how much cardio you do in a week in order for it to give you the proper calorie range, and then that requires you to make sure you actually do the amount of exercise you are claiming. Spark People does work when you use it the way its intended.. That was my lesson learned. There was a recent daily blog about how everyone will lose differently. I am positive its my sleep deprivation that made it such a challenge for me and continues to do so.
So glad you got to enjoy a wonderful weekend, so did I, the weather has been perfect this summer. We are even supposed to get another nice week! After so many years of cold, cloudy rainy below normal temperatures, its been such a treat!!
Good luck with your tracking,

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THETURTLEBEAR 9/6/2011 9:34AM

    I so agree...we each have unique issues.

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VICKILYN4 9/6/2011 9:31AM

    Do what you need to do for you and what works for you. I also seesaw from too many and too little food. That could be what is hindering me. You will get this I have faith. One day it will all click together and just work. I am still waiting for that day...lol. Good luck Susan..hope all goes well with your tracking.

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APIRLRAIN888 9/6/2011 9:24AM

    Lol my exact problem...I am just learning nutrition. Last yr I drop the inches...and over 2 month I could sustain the exercise routine......ballooned up again...
Diet is key or me......learning for life

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Life is what happens when you are busy making plans

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Good Morning!

It is a beautiful day here in central Newfoundland and I'm happy for no apparent reason which is so nice! In fact while I was getting my Timmies (Tim Hortons coffee) this morning one of the ladies behind the counter thanked me for always being so pleasant to her! Wow....who knew how much a simple smile can mean to some people.

Speaking of meaning something to people, I wrote a blog yesterday in which I included a letter to myself. I had a lot of feedback ( emoticon) and one WALKZWDODZ inpsired today's blog.

I found this picture on her blog: and I thought how apt.

This is my comment on her picture:
This is so true, isn't it. I mean we are all born with so much potential and life doesn't come with instructions (or at least mine didn't!) and we all fight and claw our way to become an adult only to find out that adults don't have it all together either! You have just inspired my next blog!!!!

When I was young I couldn't wait to "grow up" but yet was hesitant because I lived such a sheltered childhood and I was quite anxious about who I was meant to be. Everybody around me seemed to be following a pre-determined path...they went through the teen years, they dated, experimented with whatever, left home knowing what they were going to do, hooked up with somebody, got engaged, married, had families and had a career. I was not like that at all!

I hated all things "teenager"! I never dated, hated pop music, and only went to university because it was the thing to do and my parents encouraged me to follow my brother's footsteps. He was also "nerdy" like me so it wasn't a hard path to take or so I thought! However, my brother wasn't like me. I hated being away from home, I took forever to get my degree, and I never did go to parties or other things socially expected from me.

I really think I scared off my first boyfriend because I was so anxious about being a "good" girl and I was off on a journey called life but it felt like somebody forgot to provide me with a map! Then along came my husband and we still didn't follow the norm. We dated for 11 years for pete's sake and I still lived at home until we got married. All around us people lived together, people were getting engaged, getting married and having babies. I don't know what was worth the pressure my friends put on me or the pressure I put on myself.

I grew more anxious the longer we were together because we weren't following "the invisible map" that everyone else was. Yes, we did get married (again we bucked tradition and got married outdoors), I never did or could get pregnant and I became more and more depressed and anxious because this wasn't what life was supposed to be like.

Turns out it was what life was supposed to be like, at least for me! I'm tired of trying to follow other people's plans; John and I are creating our own lives and we are far more happy than we ever have been. We have decided to be happy in the moment and enjoy each day and not worry about tomorrow. He is not working at the moment but instead of worrying about that we are enjoying our time together knowing full well that tomorrow will take care of itself.

So here I am at 45 years old and I'm happy! Yes, me! Yes, I still have to take my medication and will still have bad days ahead but I'm actually having fun creating myself. I've discovered that there is no road map to growing up and most people just follow the path that generations before them led. But I'm following my own pathway. If it is muddy I will wear boots, if it under water I will swim, if it is overgrown with weeds, I will hack them away because this is the road less chosen and it turns out is the road for me!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GAYLE-G-63 9/4/2011 3:14PM

    What a great blog, Susan! And I couldn't agree with you more. Not all our lives are going to be the cookie cutter norm. But it doesn't mean you can't be happy or shouldn't be. Life is far too short NOT to be!!!

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LESLIES537 9/3/2011 12:31PM

    "I'm happy!"----My FAVORITE part of this blog! You deserve all the happiness in the world! emoticon emoticon

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DRGOMTI 9/2/2011 1:58PM

    thank you for sharing your life Sues!! Once again our lives are very similar! I wasn't a nerd but a misfit!! I hated school all my life! I didn't go to college. I was too busy recovering from alcoholism and depression. Now, 30+ yrs sober and controlling the depression, my life is on a much more even keel, n I found out I'm not such a bad little person. Like Linus on Peanuts, "It's not such a bad little tree" n he took that Charlie Brown tree n made it gorgeous!! well, I'm not gorgeous, but I can accept myself as I am, and all the good learning from Spark, I can work to improve myself without feeling like a total failure!
emoticondr

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S3XYDIVASMOM 9/1/2011 6:21PM

    My life didn't follow that so-called road map either. I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grow up. I still haven't figured out that one. In the meantime, life goes on and despite having no real plan, it has turned out okay.

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CRAZYDOGLADYBO 9/1/2011 6:15PM

    Awesome! Great blog and I love that you are happy!

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TEMPEST272002 9/1/2011 5:17PM

    I remember, years ago, Oprah saying the 40's were the best years of a woman's life. I didn't understand it then, being in my 20's emoticon, but I do now. This is my mid-life growth spurt, one insight following on the heels of another. And PMS notwithstanding, I am happy. Happier than I've ever been because I've finally learned what it means to live in the moment.

I'm sure happy reading this blog! As MommaLittle says, this is the true measure of your progress towards health. It's ok to be happy with a life that isn't in-step with what you imagined it would be. Mine sure isn't! I expected my life to be all about career & money, but my biggest life accomplishments have all been in the realm of love.

Happy weed-hacking!

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BOVEY63 9/1/2011 4:47PM

    So wonderful that you have found happiness on the path you and your hubby created for yourselves.
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KANSASROSE67 9/1/2011 4:32PM

    Isn't it great to finally figure things out a bit as we get older?! I love being 44 and wouldn't trade it for even my 17-year-old body! But I do wish I would have known then what I know now. Confidence, peace, patience, dare I say wisdom, come with time, as you have learned. Great blog!

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KAMAPERRY 9/1/2011 2:49PM

    I'm 52 and still figuring it out!! You rock!

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JLITT62 9/1/2011 12:43PM

    You go, lady!

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APIRLRAIN888 9/1/2011 11:41AM

    love it! love that pic! agreed just figuring it out

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CHUBRUB3 9/1/2011 11:36AM

    Awesome! You have found your way, even if your confused at times. You are an inspiration Susan.
Hugs,
Angela


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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 9/1/2011 10:50AM

    SUSAN! I am SO glad I had the time to REALLY read your blog! What a fantastic discovery! THIS blog is the one that really shows how far you have come! Not that you won't have down or bad days, but this really shows that you have become content with your life the way it IS, and you are ready to face each day with expectations of JOY for the experience of it! I am excited for you because I believe it is only going to get better! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THETURTLEBEAR 9/1/2011 10:06AM

    You found your own path and you are happy - what more is there in life? Hurray!!

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CODEMAULER 9/1/2011 9:08AM

    My husband and I have always followed our own paths, too. You'd think we were utterly lost the way people feel the need to impose their wills and beliefs!

My husband hasn't worked in years - full-time student - and we're happy with the home life that we've created. I'm glad to see that you and John have that figured out, too!

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Happy "unofficial" first year of Sparking to me

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Hi,

Well, it was a year yesterday that I wrote my very fist blog although I had joined up a few weeks earlier. The reason I waited was because I simply dreaded starting and supposedly starving myself to death while exercising until I dropped. Neither of which has happened, mind you, but what has happened (and so it shouldn't !) is amazing.

My accomplishments might seem quite insurmountable for some while trivial to others but that is the whole point of Spark. What works for one might not work for somebody else and we, as Sparkers, have to find what works best for us.

So, on the day after my unofficial 1st Spark Anniversary I am thankful for many things. First, I'm thankful for my friend who casually mentioned the Spark website to me in July 2010 (and who I am going to thank on Facebook later on today). Second, I would like to thank YOU, because you keep me going. Third, I would like to thank my husband for being supportive and finally I would like to thank ME because all this has been possible because I started to care for myself in ways I never thought of before.

The following is a letter to me from me....feel free to read if you wish!

Dear Self:

You've always considered yourself a quitter which is probably the first clue that you really had self-esteem issues along with some mental health ones. Yes, depression and anxiety have been a part of your life for as long as you can remember and they have contributed to your failure to ever see yourself as anything but, well, a failure.

So, you started your Spark journey thinking it was going to be yet another crazy idea to throw yourself into only to abandon when the self doubt crept in several weeks or months down the road. But you know what? The anxiety, self doubt and waves of depression came as usual but this time you blogged about them, binged for a few days, and took them in your stride. It was your new found obsession with your SparkFriends that carried you through the tough days because they, although perfect strangers, showed that they cared for you....yes....cared for YOU!

Not to be a complete idiot, you started experimenting with different aspects of Spark life. You bought sneakers (and actually wore them), you started making conscious decisions about food, you started walking the dogs (even when it was raining or snowing), you started drinking more water, you joined a few SparkTeams, you started using the fitness tracker and off and on used the nutrition tracker.

The key to all of this was that YOU didn't give up! Now, I know your weight loss hasn't been great but that is only secondary to all that you have accomplished. You've established a few key lifestyle changes that are making a difference. You didn't accumulate 13,968 fitness minutes by sitting on the couch nor did you walk those 750 km in one day! If one day of your life was crappy you called it a day and waited until the next to continue on....you didn't quit!

So, here it is one year later. You know drink your water without even thinking about it, you really like how those fitness minutes are building up, and you've not only joined the YMCA, but you actually go! So, what is wrong with this equation? Nothing! But what can be improved....well, several things.

Starting now, I want you to put more emphasis on tracking your nutrition since it has been effective in the past. I know it isn't your favourite thing to do but a year ago you also couldn't walk the length of yourself! If you are honest with yourself, you will admit you are lazy when it comes to taking the time to record your food. Okay, that is fair but why don't you make it a point once a day to keep track. AND, here is the catch. Each week that you do track your food for 7 full days, I will give you $10.00 in gift certificates. You and I both know your favourite store is Shoppers Drug Mart so it is an incentive to start tracking! You will have a few gift certificates to spend on you and you alone but only if you challenge yourself and are true to yourself. In time, of course, it will become a habit to track your food just as tracking your exercise is a habit now!

So, self, you have had an extraordinary first year so lets do our best to make sure year two is just as good. Starting September 1st we are going to earn those Shoppers Drug Mart gift cards and in a few months you will have a new perfume or a new lip gloss to go along with your new habit of tracking your food! Just watch the pounds come off then! Woo-hoo.......

I love you emoticon dear self!

P.S. Didn't it feel good the past couple of days to have co-workers who haven't seen you in four months say "you look so calm and happy" and asked what I've been doing!? And didn't it feel good when John looked at you and said, you are really glowing these past few weeks! You bet it did, sister!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESLIES537 9/3/2011 12:33PM

    Love, love, LOVE it!!! I can't wait to see what the next SP year brings! Happy Sparkversary!!! emoticon emoticon

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CALGARYNEWF 9/1/2011 11:47AM

    Love your letter Susan!!!Happy Spark Blog Anniversary. If I could add to your letter, I would certainly mention the laughter and joy you have brought to each of your spark friends. I love reading your blogs, because there's usually a smile attached!!!!I admire you for your openness, even when the topics are difficult. You keep it real and I love that.

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MOSTMOM1 9/1/2011 5:59AM

    Know what? I'm glad we're SparkBuddies. Happy Unofficial Sparksversary!
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KAMAPERRY 8/31/2011 11:44PM

    You are awesome!! Congrats!

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WALKZWDOGZ 8/31/2011 11:02PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
I'm so happy for you! You may have trouble believing it, but you really are an inspiration, esp. to some of the rest of us with anxiety/depression issues. You're doing great! emoticon emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/31/2011 10:58PM

    Loved this blog and I adore you.

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CODEMAULER 8/31/2011 6:57PM

    Happy Anniversary!!



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JLITT62 8/31/2011 4:58PM

    It isn't a race & it's all about building those good habits!

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CHRISTINA791 8/31/2011 4:50PM

    Amazing job! I can't wait to see what the next year holds for you!

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_LINDA 8/31/2011 4:25PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are a going concern Susan!! You are an inspiration to others with depression that you can be a survivor, and better yet, a VICTOR!!
So glad to read this happy note to yourself! You so deserve it!! Thank you to the person who introduced you to this site!!
Got to admit, I wouldn't have been successful in my weight loss journey without careful and accurately tracking of all my calories especially with all the surgical layoffs. I still track today and always will as I can't guess at the size of anything to save my life. It really does make a huge difference! Wishing you happy tracking!!
You can do this!!!

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KANSASROSE67 8/31/2011 3:47PM

    Great letter! You've come a long way, baby...can't wait to see what the second year brings!

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THETURTLEBEAR 8/31/2011 3:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TEMPEST272002 8/31/2011 2:46PM

    I'm so impressed with you. I look forward to each and every blog you write. You've improved your health in so many ways. You're on the right track - keep going!

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CHUBRUB3 8/31/2011 2:07PM

    Great job Susan!! Love your blog and yes love that you congratulate yourself! You should!!
Hugs,
Angela
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BOVEY63 8/31/2011 1:53PM

    What an awesome blog! You are doing so amazing!
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DRGOMTI 8/31/2011 1:38PM

    Ohhhhhhhh that's so good! It almost makes me cry of happiness!!!! This blog n letter to yourself has pumped me up 10 notches!! thanx once again! n YOU keep up the great enthusiasm!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonon your 1st yr anniv of sparkleing!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LITTLEFARMMOMMA 8/31/2011 1:32PM

    Awww! I love you, too! You have come SO FAR, Susan! This is a great blog to refer back to when you have down days, too! I'm so glad we've been on this journey together! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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