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Away from home exercise ideas...

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I hope you are all having a great weekend! The sun is shining here today after the thunder and lightning of yesterday. That was really weird for an October day in Newfoundland!

I bought myself an exercise DVD yesterday and I ordered one from Spark. The one I found here in Walmart is Leslie Sansome "Walk Away the Pounds For Your Week". I used it this morning much to the amusement of Maddy and Louie who did their best to distract me with their respective toys! I could almost read their minds, "look, Mommy is making a fool out of herself walking around the living room in her pj's".

Anyway, I've just realized that I can take this DVD with me this coming week when I am going to be in St. John's. As you can tell, I'm not very technological so coming to this realization was a breakthrough! Ha. I'm taking my laptop too so I can log into Spark everyday and do my best to avoid fatty restaurant food.

In case you are wonderng, I'm taking my Mom out to see a heart specialist. We have to drive about 5 hours each way and she has to stay there for a few days. I've got my fingers crossed that this is only a precautinary appointment but one never knows.

Okay, now that I've babbled on enough, could somebody tell me how to log in your exercise DVD workouts? I just put in in as 1 mile of walking in 20 minutes but I'm not sure.

Anyway, have yourselves a great weekend! I'm feeling much better thanks to everybody about my decision regarding Moto!

Take care!

Susan emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 10/24/2010 1:31AM

    I am wishing all the best for your Mom. Better safe then sorry.
If you have a stepper you use that to find out how far you go and then find the one that matches in Spark's long list of walking speeds.
I am glad you feel better about Moto
Enjoy your time with your Mom!

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APIRLRAIN888 10/23/2010 10:18PM

    great job! good luck with your mom

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TEMPEST272002 10/23/2010 7:33PM

    I hope everything goes well for your Mum!

My pets always want to play when I exercise indoors too. Pretty funny trying to do the T-Stand (hands on floor, raising one leg to the back) with a cat hanging off your leg!

I'm glad you're feeling better about Moto. You did the right thing.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 10/23/2010 5:44PM

    A pedometer might help. Mine gives steps walked, time, and distance. When I wear it it is usually for all day, but I see no reason why you couldn't set it at zero as you begin your exercise video. I think tracking is the most important. You can't take the numbers too seriously as there are way too many variables for a chart to accurately say how many calories you burned. But to know what you've been doing, gives you a powerful tool for assessment as you go along.

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LESLIES537 10/23/2010 11:21AM

    Here's a post I found that may help with tracking Jillian's DVDs. Hope this helps!


The Biggest Winner Series(all) = cardio @ high intensity
30 Day Shred = circuit training
No More Trouble Zones = circuit training
Banish Fat Boost Metabolism = cardio @ high intensity
TBL Power Sculpt = circuit training
TBL Last Chance Workout = circuit training
Yoga Meltdown = circuit training
Shred-It = circuit training (use a kettlebell or dumbbell)


If you don't use a heart rate monitor then track your workouts in Spark like this:

In Spark People go to "My Fitness", click on the "Cardio" button, click the "Browse" tab, see the drop down box and select "Other Exercises", find "Circuit Training" or "Aerobics:General:High Impact" (cardio @ high intensity) depending on the Jillian workout you want to log.


In Spark People go to "My Fitness", click on the "Cardio" button, then click on the "Manually Enter Calories Burned" button, type in the name of the workout you want to log into the "Activity Description" in the box provided, type in your total workout "Minutes" and "Calories" burned in the boxes provided and click on the "Add Exercise" button.

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MAMARIZZO 10/23/2010 11:17AM

    I think when you go to browse, you can input walking and it gives you different miles per hour, depending on your speed. Then it calculates calories for you. The trick is knowing how fast you're going!

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I've reached my decision

Thursday, October 21, 2010

This blog is a follow-up to the one I wrote several days ago about our latest foster dog.

I've made my decision...drum roll please........I've relinquished her to the care of the woman who started our local humane society. I cried many tears over this and all week I haven't been myself because deep down I knew I had taken on too much.

I feel awful but several of your responses to my first blog made me realize that fostering a dog without falling in love is a tough thing to do. Instead of viewing it as a failure I am trying hard to think of this experience as a positive one for the little dog Moto. She was taken away from a neglectful owner and we got her used to humans and other dogs. She left here happier than she has been in six years but I still couldn't part with her without breaking down.

My journey with depression and now with Spark has caused me to be very introspective about how my mind works. Now, I realized I was experiencing mental turmoil and nipped it in the bud before it became crippling.

Please don't think less of me because I gave up this dog. Moto has gone to a great foster home and I'm proud that I could see that I was failing and acted upon it.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIN4771 10/25/2010 9:14PM

    how could i think less of you?!?! that was a hard decision for you, but you did what was best for both you and moto....susan, never doubt that you are a great person!!! being a foster to an animal of any kind, is hard, and i admire you for doing it!!!! hugs!!!

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SPOOKYMH 10/23/2010 1:06PM

    You are a wonderful person. You have courage and strength. You gave Moto a glimpse at her future and how wonderful it can be. I still would love to see a picture of her and be posted on how she is doing. You rock!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JHADZHIA 10/22/2010 1:56AM

    Not only do I not think less of you, but instead, I really admire you for what you are doing. I can't imagine anything harder then to foster these poor animals, getting attached to them, then having to give them up!! It would be like getting heartbroken over and over again :(( But knowing you helped Moto, and that she is in a great home is all you need concern yourself with. You are a very strong person to be wanting to do this..

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GAYLE-G-63 10/21/2010 7:24PM

    I would never, ever judge you for doing what you did. I know first how hand what a difficult decision you had to make. I too, had to give up an animal (cat) that I loved dearly. We had him for over a year. We tried everything to integrate him into our home from kitty prozac to clicker training. He got along with one of our cats but the other he terrorized. Luckily our vet assisted us in finding him a new home. And although I don't get to see him, our vet does e-mail me periodically to let me know how he is doing. And he's doing GREAT! Moto will find the right home too.

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TEMPEST272002 10/21/2010 7:05PM

    I'm very proud of you. We loved every dog we fostered and when we gave them away, it was with the knowlege that they were going forward to a good life. You offered love and support to that poor doggie when she needed it most. Then, knowing you didn't have the resources to keep her, let her go with love. You should be proud of yourself too.
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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OLDERDANDRT 10/21/2010 4:04PM

    You have given Moto a very good experience and taught her how to get along. This in itself was a great accomplishment for you and especially her! I'm glad you were able to "nip it in the bud", as you say. You certainly know yourself better than any of us! I commend you recognizing what was going on in your head and in your heart. You have done well, by her and yourself.
If you keep up with Moto, please let us know how she is and when she finds her forever home. You have given her such a great headstart on being part of a forever family as she will know how to act and love (receiving and giving) You can't do any better than that for love is the greatest gift of all!!


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LESLIES537 10/21/2010 3:55PM

    Never would I think any less of you! In fact, I'm very proud of you for nipping it in the bud before you let the feelings cripple you. Very commendable thing you've done both for you and for little Moto. emoticon

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JLITT62 10/21/2010 1:39PM

    Are you kidding? I think MORE of you because you knew the right thing to do for Moto.

Before Chester, we had a dog on trial adoption. We only kept him 3 days, but we knew by then we just weren't the right home for him. And that was terrible to do -- we felt awful, we became so attached in just 3 short days.

But he found the right forever home. It was the right decision all around, but it was a terribly difficult one to make.

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APIRLRAIN888 10/21/2010 1:26PM

    sometime its best for the dog! we had to give one way! we knew she was not good with baby to come. found her a great home in a farm she got 30 acres and 4 other plus farm animals!!
she is full of engery!

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Exercise DVD's - any suggestions

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hi! I've been reflecting on my exercise patterns of late and it seems I am doing mostly walking. I want to add some strength training too but I am interested in a really good exercise DVD for rainy days and for when I need a real calorie burner. Any ideas?

I did buy Leslie Sansome's Walking off the Pounds earlier today and will try that out but I'm open to any suggestions any of you might have.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REMCMFA 10/22/2010 6:28PM

    I agree with all the Turbo Jam and 30 Day Shred programs. Some might seem harder, but if you take it slow you'll do well.

I like to check videos out at the library before I buy them. Or look them up on YouTube. Nothing worse than buying a DVD and not liking it!

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KANSASROSE67 10/21/2010 3:15PM

    I tried JM's Banish Fat Boost Metabolism but I found the jumping parts to be too hard on my knees and feet...I have to be careful about high-impact stuff. I've tried Leslie Sansone but found them to be a little boring and not challenging enough. My favorite circuit training is Slim in Six...you start easier and work up to harder and it's mostly low-impact but very challenging for the whole body and keeps your heart rate up too, especially when you get to the Burn It Up phases.

I second the idea of trying DVDs from your local library first to see what you like.

I'm interested in the other suggestions too...thanks, everyone!

Comment edited on: 10/21/2010 3:17:59 PM

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LESLIES537 10/21/2010 9:46AM

    I love Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. It gives me a great work out with weights and is only 23 minutes or so. Her Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism is a great cardio work out DVD, but very intense....and longer. Coach Nicole also has a Fit, Trim, and Fired up dvd here on Spark that has 10 minute work outs and I really enjoy that one too. Hope this helps!

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EDWINA172 10/21/2010 7:48AM

    I love Turbo Jam DVDs. The 30 Day Shred is good, but more advanced.

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FRECKS96 10/21/2010 7:23AM

    I like Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred for a quick workout with some weights. If you have longer, her Banish Fat, Boost Metabolism and No More Trouble Zones are also very good.

Just a bit less intense is The Biggest Loser Cardio Max. I like that this one is more flexible in terms of length of workouts (10 min-50 ish)

Good Luck!

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JLITT62 10/21/2010 5:25AM

    Definitely give Turbojam a try -- I've never heard of anyone who doesn't like it -- seriously!

I have a few Leslie DVDs, and I use them occasionally, but I'm not a huge fan. Kind of boring, frankly.

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JHADZHIA 10/21/2010 1:19AM

    Kathy Smith's Cardio Knockout has tough boxing and kickboxing workouts -its my favorite but they are really tough meant for more advanced exercisers.
She also has Power Walk For Weight Loss that uses weights and has neat music and a desert background which I really love because I hate the long, cold winters here lol. It does some really good core work, none of which involves getting on the ground :) which for me is a huge bonus as I can't get up and down off of the ground.
I also like the Fat Burning workout by Kathy Smith.
Check out your local library and try for free before you commit to buying one.

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NEWFIEGIRLHERE 10/20/2010 9:22PM

    A friend of mine does Turbo Jam and just got turbo fire and she loves them both. Another friend of mine had done the J.M. Shred and found it a really good work out but very hard.
I myself would love to do Zumba because I love dancing.

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RIMAJO 10/20/2010 8:02PM

    Good question Susan, I'll be interested to hear the responses to this too.

I went to the library yesterday & they had a bin with items for sale. In there was a Kathy Smith video, Timesaver: Lift Weights to Lose Weight. I plan to try this workout tomorrow. I already have another tape by her: Fat Burning Workout, its a little old - but still a really good aerobic workout. I also have the Billie Blanks Tae-Bo tapes & they are a serious workout, I still can't get through a whole workout.. as fun as they are, they really get your heart pumping! http://www.billyblanks.com/

Currently there are infomercials in our area for Zumba tapes that I'd like to try but haven't purchased yet.. They would be great fun for winter workouts, so may get them yet! https://www.zumbafitness.com
>You can preview Kathy & Billy on YouTube too, maybe even create workout playlist from too - if you wanted.

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GLASSYJEN 10/20/2010 7:39PM

  I use Walk Away The Pounds too....but I would like to try the Jillian Michaels The Shred. I have heard many people on Spark use it and really like it and really see results. emoticon

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FLICKIE13 10/20/2010 7:39PM

  If you have Time Warner as your cable provider, they have exercise on demand that doesn't cost extra. They may have some ideas for you.

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Another foster dog?!?!?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

As most of you know, I am a dog lover AND a volunteer with our local humane society! Good for me, you say, but a bad combination!

I got involved with another rescue the other day in which we were finally able to get our hands on a little Yorkie who has been bred to within inches of her life. Of course I took her home with me and so far we've discovered she has terrible anxiety, infected gums, an infected eye and needs to be spayed. The vet figures she will need at least 12 teeth pulled.

Over the past few days, we've watched her transformation from a scared little bundle who hid out in our bedroom to a confidant little mI iss who gives both Maddy and Louie runs for their money. She played with a toy today for the first time and her ears are perky now. Her stubby tail has begun to wag and she loves to cuddle once she relaxes enough.

In short, I'm falling in love all over again and I don't know what to do. My husband took a lot of convincing to keep Louie but now admits it was the best thing to be done. I'm not even sure I want another dog. I mean, how do I spread my love among three dogs? I want to give them lots of one-on-one and I try to walk them 2-3 km a day, plus feedings, drives in car, etc. Then there are the vet bills! The food bills!

Oh, but how do I justify the actual cost of keeping her with how much it will mean to her to have a good life? How can I even think about giving her up? How can I think about keeping her?

If anyone has some advice, I'd really appreciate it!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SCOTMAMA 10/20/2010 10:59AM

    What a touching blog! Being a dog lover myself I know it would be disastrous for me to volunteer anywhere there could be a chance of being tempted to get another pooch. And I think I know already what your decision will be on the Yorkie -- she's a keeper (unless you happen to know just the "right" person to send her home with).

You have a big heart and that's a good thing for all those poor little doggies out there who come in contact with you.

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LESLIES537 10/20/2010 10:32AM

    Just follow your emoticon

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MEMARE 10/20/2010 8:20AM

    First let me say thank you for what you do at the HS and for fostering.

It sounds like you have some indecision in regards to adopting her yourself or ensuring she goes to a loving forever home.
I have two adopted rescue muttlies.
Iím grateful for the foster homes that took the time to socialize and give my two some ground rules before they came to my home.
If the foster homes had decided to keep either of my two for themselves I would never have had the joy of sharing the unconditional love coming from each of my adopted dogs.

Iím sure itís not easy and even heart wrenching when a foster goes to its forever home away from you; but know youíve done your part in helping that animal blossom to become a blessing to someone else. And your home opens up to give another Ďbred within an inch of her lifeí, poorly kept, dysfunctional dog a chance to be happy and loved by you for the time it takes until they are ready for their forever home.

The final decision will be yours and your hubbyís (donít forget he lives there too).
The justification will have to also come from both of you.
I wish you the best.
Thank you for what you do for the animals.

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JLITT62 10/20/2010 8:05AM

    I volunteered at the Humane Society and then a private shelter for many years. I promised my husband I would never just bring a cat home, and I never did, altho there were definitely some I fell in love with & wanted to give a forever home to.

For me, at the moment, I know I am at my limit. The 4 of them -- 2 cats & 2 dogs -- are just as much as I can handle. And I don't even work! And yes, many days I feel like there is not enough of me to go around.

I get up way earlier than I have to so Giz can have some lap time, cause he won't lay on my lap with the dogs around and the dogs are always around (altho lately he's taken to laying on my lap during dinner, which I eat on the couch with DH away).

Carefully consider the money situation. Is there enough money if all 3 were to get sick at once? Of course you hope they never do, but what if?

And what are their ages? Are they all the same age? It's very difficult when you have a bunch of animals all the same age, and watching the illnesses and inevitable deaths as they age.

All that said, we hadn't planned to adopt another dog. But then I saw Lola's photo on the Internet and somehow I just knew she was meant to be with us. It was tough at first (she was a 10 month old puppy with absolutely not training and had been in 6 different homes already thru no fault of her own), but I've never regretted it.

Altho the cats are both the same age, and so are the dogs, there is 5 years between the cats & dogs so I'm hopeful that the dogs will remain healthy while the cats age.

I'm sure you will make the right decision.

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What can I say a few years back I had only one until I saw in the paper a little hairy that needed a home, when I got there she was gone but there was a cheeky Jack Russell, so we brought her home. Two dogs yeah can handle that. Then two years ago a little Yorkie cross adopted me and kept coming to my house, OK 3 dogs now. Vet bills? the little yorkie has kidney and blood pressure problems and needs $70 tablets every month and special food. Would I give her up, not on your nellie, when she looks at me on my lap I can see the love, I would never give any of them up. If you can stretch the finances a little more and if you want her (I secretly think you do) go for it.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 10/19/2010 10:49PM

    I don't really know what the answer is here. I guess my concern would be: can you continue to offer foster care with three dogs in the house? I think your willingness to provide foster care is a very good thing and I assume you can control whether or not she goes to a good home.

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CBEVNOW 10/19/2010 10:29PM

    Follow your heart but i believe God will be there to help you on this issue. I know it will be hard. I donate to the shelters but im so afraid if i volunteer i will get so attached to another dog, i would not be able to do this. I would want to bring them all home. I believe our pets are very blessed to have people like you, keep up the good work. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DVANDIE 10/19/2010 9:44PM

    Your blog touches my heart strings. I too am the proverbial "sucker" for a rescue dog. I have...wait for it...3 of them! We too, have fostered dogs and it is heart wrenching to watch them go with their adoptive family (one happy boy, yellow lab especially comes to mind). The love part is not the issue, as far as I can see. You seem like a loving person and could probably easily love 3 dogs or more. If you can afford to foster and rehabilitate her until she is ready for some loving adoptive family, it is all worth it. Yes, it will be difficult to give her up, but try to think of the big picture. You will be helping not only this little Yorkie, but some family who is just waiting for a dog like her. It is cliche, but true; if you can give up something you love, it will never truly be separated from you.

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SHERRYTOO 10/19/2010 9:41PM

    As an owner of three large dogs, I find love and attention are not problems for me. Mine all have different personalities and want attention in different ways. I can't advise you on absorbing the cost of the vet bills as only you can make that decision. Listen to both your heart and your head.

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KATRINAKAT23 10/19/2010 8:12PM

  What a wonderful person you are!! The world needs more people like you.

Now to your dilemma. Don't worry about stretching your love for another dog. There is no limit to love, it just grows. I would say keep the dog but only you and your family knows what is best for your family. My heart goes out to you as you make this tough decision.

Good luck.


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TEMPEST272002 10/19/2010 5:59PM

    We've had roughly 30 foster dogs pass through our home and with each and every one I faced the gut wrenching decision as to whether to keep them or not. Each time (except for Lola) I decided to let them go to another good family. For me, I knew that I wouldn't be able to keep fostering if I kept this dog. I wouldn't be able to keep giving in this way that not everyone can. With Lola, I just plain old fell in love. I couldn't help myself & I just couldn't let her go. Sometimes the heart just has to win out.

emoticon to you & hubby both as you wrestle with this decision.

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OLDERDANDRT 10/19/2010 5:16PM

    If your pocketbook can handle one more fur-baby, I say follow your heart!!! She definitely will benefit from staying with you! You are her first taste of what a real family should be like! If you possibly can, my vote is to keep her. Poor dear has been spitting out babies for a living. You have said how she's becoming comfortable in your home with your other dogs. Well, that's my 2 cents.


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Emerging like a butterfly!

Monday, October 18, 2010

I was inspired to write today's blog by one of my spark friends, Tempest272002!

I've been doing a lot of thinking lately as I'm viewing my Spark journey as a lifestyle makeover and not just one for my physical body. Like alot of you, I was never big as a child or as a teenager. In fact, I was fairly active and loved doing things outdoors. I was never one to have an exercise routine but would work off calories by shovelling snow, raking leaves, mowing lawns, walking and riding my bike.

Things started changing in my life during a major depressive episode about 20 years ago. I didn't want to do anything and thus quickly got caught up in the endless circle I've been living ever since. It started with the mindset that "I'm too depressed to exercise" but that quickly changed to "I'm too fat to exercise" . Everybody told me that I would feel better if I moved my body a bit everyday but after a few futile attempts at walking which left me sweating and tired I soon gave up.

Now, with the right medication and the right attitude I'm finally in a place mentally that I can deal with my physical issues. I now longer feel sorry for myself for being fat. I used to think, I know I'm fat but the effort to change that is simply too much for me to bother with at the moment.

The first thing for me to admit was "I'm technically obese" at 222 pounds and standing at 5.6. I could no longer enjoy a simple stroll without breaking out in sweat in places I never knew sweat before.

The second thing to admit was "this is it. There is no second change and this is not a dress rehearsal...this if my life". I always thought I'd get myself in shape one of those days but never did much about it.

The third thing for me to admit was " I am in control". I cannot blame my weight on anybody or anything. Yes, the depression doesn't help but I can't use it as an excuse. I used to say "the anti-depressants were making me fat" when I knew full well that most anti-depressants will only cause minimal weight gain in some people.

Over the summer we adopted our second dog and her energy was contagious! I did my best to persuade my husband to walk both of our dogs and sometimes I would go along and scuff my feet in an attempt to say "I tried".

This September, my husband returned to college which means he is gone from 6:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. At first, I tried to get the dogs out in the garden but I soon realized they really enjoyed their walks/runs in the woods. Before I knew it, I was taking them and would walk further and further each time. I didn't see it as exercising but rather spending time with the dogs and getting them out.

Now, about 6 weeks after joining Spark, if I don't get them out in the afternoons for a long walk, I'm the one who really misses it. I feel a sense of contentment I've never felt before and it is true...exercise does help you mentally, but only if you let it!

Although, I'm still in the moth stage of my journey, I can feel my wings developing underneath my cocoon of body fat. I'm changing one day at a time and I feel good!

Again, thanks for reading! I hope you are all having a wonderful day!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:



Glad to know your dogs are helping you with your journey.

I like you was not overweight at all when I was younger, menopause did the trick for me and a look in a shop window shocked me into doing something about it.

It's great that you have gone from strength to strength with each blog you write, it helps to get it out there instead of bottling it up inside.

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LCARYL 10/18/2010 11:12PM

    It's amazing how much of a difference those doggies make in our lives -- in so many ways. Your blog reminded me of how much I love to walk my dogs during the holidays. There is something so peaceful about walking through the neighborhood at night and looking at all of the Christmas lights and decorations. My dogs love it as much as I do.

Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work! emoticon

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BELLALUCIA 10/18/2010 10:04PM

    Glad you're doing better.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 10/18/2010 9:58PM

    I've sensed a lift from your first blogs to your blogs of the last week or so. I'm glad to see it. I find my walks a very spiritual, contemplative time. They benefit me in greater ways than just the cardiovascular effect. Keep it up Susan. I think great things are in store for you.

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JLITT62 10/18/2010 6:09PM

    I wasn't big as a child, but started putting on weight as a teenager. Not truly sure why to this day, and have struggled on & off every since. And oddly enough, I gained a lot of weight when I adopted Chester 5 yrs ago! You're supposed to lose weight when you get a dog!

For me, I thought walking him was enough exercise. I now know that's not the case.

Good for you for making walks a part of your dogs' daily lives. Too many people never walk their dogs.

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TEMPEST272002 10/18/2010 4:35PM

    I feel so honoured to have inspired this beautiful blog! Thank you.

Exercise has played a critical role in my recovery from depression. I'm happy that your dogs have inspired you to get outside. Getting outside with my dogs was always my favourite way to exercise. I sure miss them. Of course, I still borrow unruly Dooley for company when I head into the woods.

I really identified with what you said about realizing that you do have the control to make changes. Finding that I did have it within myself to change was both frightening and incredibly empowering.

You truly are emerging like a butterfly! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 10/18/2010 4:11PM

    Good for you Susan!! There is actually no better workout buddy than a dog. They are ready to go any time, anywhere and will follow you to the ends of the earth. You can't ever ignore them because they can't take themselves out.
Its so wonderful to hear how you have changed your life around.
Keep up the great work!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LESLIES537 10/18/2010 4:08PM

    I'm SO proud of you! You've made some fabulous changes so far and have learned so much about yourself. You are doing great!

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LAURITA. 10/18/2010 3:31PM


Acquiring an enjoyment and appreciation for exercise is a major milestone in your journey to wellness. Way to go!

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