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Saturday, September 11, 2010

My life sucks. Everything sucks! Spark sucks and Fridays suck and life is a pain - and I hate everything cause everything sucks! It sucks so bad that my ears are popping and I could just kick a stained glass window.

I'm working 7 days this week, people working fewer hours are making more money than I am, I just know I'm way over my calorie range today, I'm bored silly, I'm sick of having no social life, I'm tired, my dog has fleas again, my kitty has a bladder infection, my back hurts and I'm really tired of my back hurting, I didn't get any exercise today, I have to run some errands tomorrow that I don't wanna run, and I'm just gonna be ticked off!

Did I mention how sleepy I am? I hate everything right now. EVERYTHING!

I haven't even gotten on Spark today. Guess I better go spin that evil little wheel. Yeah, look at that thing....teases me with 500 goodie points but never delivers them.
Forget it, I'm going to the message boards.
There's a thread there.... I guess I should read it. Fine, I'll read it but it'll probably be stupid.

Oh some goodie two shoes is posting about how she ate dinner at McFatties and tracked all the crap she ate anyway even though it was crap. Oh yeah, good for her. Other uppity sparkers are all agreeing about how we should track our food regardless of what it was. Track, track, blah blah blah........ Yeah whatever!

Oh I just hate this. I agree with them. I hate that I agree with them, but I know they are right.

Oh how that chaps my hide! I don't want to be agreeable! RATS NEST! I really hate to admit it. I hate to agree with anyone over anything right now. I want to disagree!

Life sucks. Did I mention how tired I am?

...but I do agree about tracking and ..............

GRRRR!! Oh Fine! Whatever!
I'll track my food today, but it's gonna really suck dog doo.

In fact I'm gonna track every bite I took and probably more. I'll pump up those numbers nice and fat just like I'm gonna be for the rest of my unnatural life and that'll show just how bad this day sucks and what a waste it has really been!

Here's the meal from hell! Take that food tracker! You big old nutrition nazi! What do you think about that? Four zucchini muffins for a snack! Yeah FOUR, what about it? Two servings of lasagna for dinner. That's right! I ate that! What do you have to say about that, huh? You number crunching nut-job! My granny did math faster in her 98 year old head, so take that and shove it in your .....

What do you mean, I'm not over my range for today? I'm even low on my sodium which is normally through the roof?

Are you sure, faithful little food tracker, old buddy, old pal?

Well.....okay..... maybe my eating didn't totally suck. Maybe I'm not so far from my goals after all. Okay, I'll give on that one.

Still, I gotta work tonight and that bites a big one. HA! Gotcha there!

Well, I AM on Spark while I work. ...and I DO have a job.... that's something for which I should be ....... (grumble-full) .........grateful.....I meant grateful.

Dang! I hate that! I have to admit that not every thing sucks.

Okay fine, not everything sucks, just MOST things. Like... Like those danged errands I have to run tomorrow. I'll be taking my son clear to Poulsbo to shop.

....That means a long damn drive
.... in the van with my son. Where we will spend time together...
.....I've hardly seen him all week.
That'll give us time to talk and catch up on stuff. Ya know, I really love him and I missed him a lot this week... and tomorrow we will have hours together.

.....That could be, well, I hate to say it.....kinda of .....well.......
......good. There! I said it! It would be good!

Oh what is this? What now? My little dog is looking for me. Oh no, she's giving me the sweet puppy face and snuggling up to me. Oh I don't wanna be snuggled, not on the day from hell while I'm trying to be the biggest grouch this side of Grinchville. Yep, she has fleas... but she loves me....she just puts her problems behind her and is content to just sit on my lap and look at me with those big brown puppy eyes......well isn't that cute.

...and my kitty....well, the antibiotics are helping. He's getting a lot better and so far I've been able to give him his meds without anyone getting seriously damaged. That's good I suppose. He's purring as if life isn't all bad, as isn't all bad...

....and what's that? The clock striking 11? Quitting time? Oh good. Yes, that means I can go get some my nice soft bed......with my good old, best friend of a puppy dog. It'll feel so good to stretch out my back. There are clean sheets on the bed. I love clean sheet day! It's the best! I'm gonna stretch out on those nice clean sheets. Oh now that is fantastic.
....and there is something to look forward to when I get up in the morning - A wonderful trip with my son.

...and what's this? My pajamas are too big on me now? Yep, looks like I could get into them twice and have some room left over. I'm sure glad I always take the time to log into Spark and track my food. See the success you can have if you just keep a positive attitude like mine!

Good night puppy dog! Good night kitty! Good night son! Good night wonderful Sparkers! It's been such a great day, and I can't wait until tomorrow! Life is really good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLUEEYEDBETTY 10/8/2010 7:03AM


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KTRIBE808 10/1/2010 8:12PM

    I LOVE happy endings!

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CODSWALLOPER 10/1/2010 7:18PM

    You Rock! Honest dieting is a beautiful thing. Screw sunshine and daisies!


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STACEY3940 10/1/2010 3:33PM


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JENNILEE27 10/1/2010 1:00PM

You have no idea how much your blog has helped me today! I loved reading your negative spiral into positive bliss! I giggled, and tears of laughter even came to my eyes... thanks for lifting my spirits!


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SNOWETAL 9/30/2010 7:33PM

    (Imagine Rosanne Roseannadanna's voice) "Now, I'm depressed, I gained weight, my face broke out, I'm nauseous, I'm constipated, my feet swelled, my gums are bleedin', my sinuses are clogged, I got heartburn, I'm cranky and I have gas. ... What should I do?"

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ASHLEYKAT 9/27/2010 10:41PM

    AWESOME blog! Thanks, I needed that today too.

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LEEANNE1980 9/27/2010 3:26PM

    Life is good.

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MNCYCLIST 9/27/2010 9:53AM

    Amazing how life changes when we take ourselves out of the center of the universe, huh? Great blog, thanks for sharing and being honest.

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BEEBEE75 9/27/2010 4:15AM

    I LOVED this blog. At first I wanted to cry because you sounded so miserable. And I think we have all felt like the "miserable you". I call it my dark place when I feel like that. And then you started to remember the blessings in your life and everything turned so positive. And you are a great writer, it was sad, happy and even very funny. Write many more blogs.

Remember: "Today is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:24

Betty ----- KEEP SPARKING emoticon emoticon

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KAREN42BOYS 9/25/2010 5:47PM

    what a spectacular rant! thank you.

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PINK-PEONY 9/25/2010 11:19AM

    Lol, rich, Michael. ;)

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AHEALTHIERME9 9/19/2010 8:22AM

    lol I tell you... you need to be doing standup comedy, my friend...

I've had those days and have had all the negativity dissipate once I've tuned into SP and have connected with the spark of others. It really is an amazing thing, isn't it?

Thanks for making a great point and hope you had a wonderful time with your son!


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REJ7777 9/16/2010 10:39PM


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WW_KAREN 9/16/2010 5:25PM

    You are human. Most of all, you are not afraid to admit it in a very entertaining read. I have days like that too, but instead of being honest about it here, I give Spark the silent treatment. I wish I had your courage.

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AKIMBERLYQ1 9/16/2010 12:23PM

    wow. Your blog sound like me sometimes. You are brave to post.

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SYNCHRODAD 9/16/2010 10:48AM

    An old Sunday School song, "Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your many blessings, see what God has done." Whether you believe in God or not, the principle still works. Thanks for an excellent and truthful blog.

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    Love it!

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ANNIEDS 9/16/2010 5:50AM

    You are good! Really good!

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PISCESMAVEN 9/15/2010 11:43AM


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HEALTHY4JEANNE 9/13/2010 11:35PM

    oh, love this blog!

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LOGOULD 9/12/2010 2:27PM

    LOVE THIS BLOG MICHAEL!!! I even printed it out for future reference....Love You, Love Spark, Love Running (even the hills), Love clean sheet nights too, and My dogs and cats and even my pain the butt sisters....and having less of a butt for them to be a pain in...... emoticonYou're a Great writer. Thanks for sharing that gift with really make me smile!!!

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LKG9999 9/12/2010 12:45PM

    I'm feeling like this a lot these days... without the attitude adjustment at the end.

Comment edited on: 9/12/2010 12:51:44 PM

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PRUPLEBEAR 9/12/2010 7:33AM

    Hope you got some good sleep! Great blog! I know I have days like that!

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PJC19671 9/11/2010 10:23PM

    Your GREAT emoticon

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STEPH_MORRIS 9/11/2010 9:50PM

    I feel like this sometimes! Spark always reminds me to not sweep the days positives under the rug and showcase the negatives, even though I really REALLY want to sometime.

Thanks for cracking me up tonight. I can honestly say you made me feel happy with the back-and-forth.


now for some emoticon

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MAKI34 9/11/2010 9:47PM

    See this blog proves that woman aren't the only crazy hormonal people on earth! You men are just as messed up as we are! Good to know, makes me feel more normal!

I loved it, it really sounded like my typical day!

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ROCKETNUT 9/11/2010 7:57PM

    Awesome blog! You sounded like the inside of my head sounds sometimes (how'd you get in there? emoticon)

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LIQUID11 9/11/2010 7:44PM

    Possible BURNOUT?
Get some good quality SLEEP!!

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FITGRL124 9/11/2010 7:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 9/11/2010 6:43PM

    OMG, you're too much! Love it when ya rant! (And then get over it.)


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LOOZINITNOW 9/11/2010 6:38PM


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ELYMWX 9/11/2010 6:28PM

    Someone's been playing their country music backwards!

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MONKEYGETSFIT 9/11/2010 5:40PM

    You crack me up... but my life does suck right now... but i have goofy internet sparkers like you that cheer me up. Sucky life is good sometimes.

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KATHY_NATURELVR 9/11/2010 5:20PM

    Love it!!

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_RAMONA 9/11/2010 1:56PM

    Brilliant! I read something today you might like:

"Optimisim says "It's not so bad!" Hope admits "Yes, it's bad. Really bad. But I still believe and trust in goodness!"

I've been meaning to get over here for over a week now (THANK YOU for the wonderful comment on my blog), but life is a little overwhelming at the moment and I'm choosing to focus on what I am able to do, instead of stressing about what I can't do, and then distracting myself further with things that make it harder to do what I can in a timely fashion. (I figure you of all people will understand what I mean).

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

Comment edited on: 9/11/2010 5:09:39 PM

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CATHY814 9/11/2010 1:47PM

    LOVED LOVED LOVED this blog!

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BONNIE627 9/11/2010 1:26PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOYATLAST 9/11/2010 12:07PM

    Thanks for being honest or...well... for a great save or ummm... for once again showing me just how its done -- being a proactive, dedicated success!!

Super Blog you rascal!

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M0PPET 9/11/2010 11:18AM

    Loved this!

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EUPHRATES 9/11/2010 10:19AM

AWESOME! emoticon

Well done!
Goodnight moon! ;)

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ETTEZEUS 9/11/2010 10:03AM

    Ah Mike, you always leave me wanting to read more of your blogs....

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LOVESLIFE48 9/11/2010 9:44AM

    Today will be a better day!!! I just know it!!! I feel the same way about the food tracker!!! Saturday's I'm always over. I go out with my mom every Saturday and we eat lunch and have a few beers. I know that's not good but it's one a week!! And I'm still losing, not as fast as I would like but I'm still losing. My parents won't be around forever so I have fun with them!!

I saw a lot of me in your blog! I'm glad you said it and not me!! LOL!!!
Have a great weekend my friend!! I don't know if you want to here this but you can do it and you are worth it!! emoticon emoticon

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DARACOX 9/11/2010 9:35AM

    LOL! I loved this! I can totally relate to both the beginning and the end! Glad you could talk some sense into yourself!

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LEXIE63 9/11/2010 9:30AM

    Wow! Talk about a turnaround! Maybe I shouldn't say this (in case The Grouch is back), but I really laughed at this blog of yours. I could see my own grouchy self in some of your comments. :-) Sometimes that nutrition tracker'll surprise you. I have had days when I thought I was badly over and I wasn't, and days when I thought I was fine and - uh oh!
Anyway, thankyou for sharing your grouchy day, for making me laugh at myself, and I hope that the work and stuff lets up on you so you can take a relaxing break with you two biggest fur-fans!

Zucchini muffins, huh? Might have to look into those. One of our five-a-day you know! ;-)
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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COLIBRI930 9/11/2010 7:06AM

    I can relate! I ate out at Chills last night and had two of those shot glass desserts, key lime and fudge brownie. AND I put it into the food tracker.... I only went a little over for the day, not too much.... One day of indulgence, then back ON for tomorrow!

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Helpful Training Tool

Thursday, September 09, 2010

I just discovered the Mobile Interval Training Timer. It's a cell phone application that acts as a fitness timer - you can program it for any interval duration you want. It's sort of like the Gym Boss, but cheaper - and since I take my phone running with me anyway, I only have to carry one thing.

This is great for HIIT, running, boxing / martial arts rounds, Yoga, Tabata, CrossFit, stationary bikes, etc. I'm using it for my running program - in place of the C25K program. I can use the same philosophy as C25K, but can set the intervals for my individual needs.

You can check it out at

There is a free version for Windows that you can run on your computer or lap top and there is a free trial period for the cell phone application. The full version will cost $14.95 if you want to buy it, but you can use it 10 times for free first.

The numbers display really big so they are easy to see and this application works on newer and older phones alike. (Edited to update - it won't work on an iPhone)

I love it, so I had to share it.

Take care everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVESLIFE48 9/9/2010 3:52PM

    Thanks so much for the info!! emoticon

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MSSUNBUG 9/9/2010 8:29AM

    Awesome. Seems pretty neat!

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PRUPLEBEAR 9/9/2010 7:16AM

    Cool! Thanks for sharing!

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LOGOULD 9/9/2010 6:58AM

    Thanks for sharing....definately going to check that one out!

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EUPHRATES 9/9/2010 1:07AM

    Cool! I'm just getting used to my new "god phone", and may look into that!

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DAV128 9/9/2010 1:03AM

    Thanks for the TIP. This will really come in handy.


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I know there is a blog around here somewhere....

Monday, September 06, 2010

Sometimes before I blog, I look around for inspiration - I see what my friends are dealing with, I look on the message boards and see what the recurring themes are - I consider many things, then I write. As I go through the process of finding a topic, I often say to myself, "I know there is a blog around here somewhere..."

Its my way of saying that I'm sure to find a topic if I just look around a bit.

Well, not today. Nope. I really didn't find a topic that jumped out and said, "WRITE ABOUT THIS!"

So, today's blog is all about me.

It's a running day but it's raining. I'm not sure that's going to stop me though. I'm sort of blah and I want to run. That's a big change from what I used to do when I was blah (I used to eat of course). I like it that when I feel blah or bored or frustrated I had the urge to run instead of the urge to eat. That's a real lifestyle change.

I ran Friday and should have rested Saturday. However, I got really down on Saturday and needed to run, so I did. I ran hard, too. I didn't do week 4 of c25k when I ran, even though that is what I am working on currently. I didn't use the program, I just went and ran.

I covered the same distance I would have covered had I used the program, and I covered it faster. In fact I had been running at a pace of a quarter mile in 3 to 3.5 minutes. Saturday I did a quarter mile in 2 min 45 seconds. I can't sustain either pace for more than a quarter mile, but that may come in time.

I'm not one to push for speed. It's just an added bonus to see myself moving a little faster. I'm trying for time (endurance) and good form - that's the main focus.

Now here's what I'm wondering - I enjoyed my run Saturday more than usual and I got a fantastic workout. I want to go do that again. I want to throw c25k out the window and just start doing my own thing. I think I may be able to just listen to my own body and train by doing my own thing. However, I don't want to be setting myself up for injury. If anyone has any thoughts on it, I'd be glad to hear them.

On another topic, I went to a barbecue at a friend's house this weekend. I made really healthy choices and I was very mindful of my portions. I know I didn't guess exactly right portion-wise but I was mindful to err on the side of caution. I passed on the beer and wine completely.

I had intended to have a beer while I was there, but when the alcohol was being poured, my first thought was, "Is this consistent with my goals?" Before I even knew what I was saying, I had politely passed on the beer. I've been practicing that for a while now, asking myself about my goals while shopping, cooking, eating, and drinking. Just like I said in a previous blog, practice. I practiced and apparently it is coming naturally now.

You know the only thing that's more fun than drinking at a barbecue? Being the only one sober at the barbecue. I sipped my water (from my inspirational travel mug) and watched the shenanigans of those who had drank everything BUT the water. It was so much fun. The next day when my friend called (hungover) I counted myself very lucky to not have drank a drop. Not only did I not do anything unhealthy and stayed within my calorie range for the day, I still had fun, and I wasn't hungover the next day. Although I felt bad for my friend, it felt good to know I had taken really good care of myself.

Another non sequitur -
I am involved with the CASA / GAL program in my county. I'm in week 3 of training (in a 12 week program) and I've got a ton of studying to do. It's going to be a very busy week - Josh goes back to school on Tuesday, I have dependency hearings on Thursday, and training class on Friday, plus I'm working a lot of hours this week and studying. However, I am determined to stay right on track fitness / nutrition wise.

Oh, I didn't mention it, but I strained my back last week and it's still not right. I've put my regular strength training on hold until it gets better. I found a really good DVD called "Rehab your Body at Home" by JB Berns. It seems to be helping. JB's DVD has sections for every body part and was designed specifically for rehabilitation of muscles and joints. Most of the work outs are less than 20 minutes and there are two series for each body part - one series for starting out, and a second series for after you regain some strength, flexibility, movement, whatever, of the part you are trying to recondition.

For not having anything to write, I sure have gone on a long time. I'd better either go run or go study.

Until next time...

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LEXIE63 9/7/2010 3:43PM

    Oh absolutely! Staying sober while everyone else gets drunk is a riot! LOL
You blogged great for someone without a subject. :-)
Lex xxx
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BONNIE627 9/7/2010 7:17AM

    love your blogs.. you are doing so good this time.. keep up the great job..

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EUPHRATES 9/7/2010 1:20AM

    I think you have to find a balance between guidelines and what your body tells you. And thanks for the rehab DVD tip - that sounds like a useful tool to have around!

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ETTEZEUS 9/7/2010 12:58AM

    My husband started doing C25k three weeks ago. He's having a hard time with it too. I keep trying to tell him it's NOT MANDATORY you follow it to a T. Do what you want! It's only a guideline and if it doesn't work for you, do something else.

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LOGOULD 9/6/2010 10:23PM

    Sounds like you are making some very real and significant changes in the way you live and THINK!!! That's AWESOME! Smart choices at the BBQ, probably most of all staying away from the alcohol. It is too easy to let alcohol lower one's resistance and then ALL jodgement goes right out the window. I haven't drank in a couple of years now and I know that my reasoning and determination and energy are all the better for that.

Hope your back is 100% very soon....don't overdo though, even with the running. No, C25K is not the do all end all of running, but it is a guide. When I finished the program (actually at week 7), I started trying to run everyday too soon and found myself paying for it. Now I try to stick to every other or every third day, depending on length of runs and what I've done on my non run days, but that's just me. Listen to YOUR body and if you see your performance slipping, don't assume that you aren't working hard may just be trying to do too much.

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LOOZINITNOW 9/6/2010 10:20PM

    I love watching the amazing changes that I see have taken place in you since you have returned. You are better and stronger than ever!

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TABBYARTS 9/6/2010 10:20PM

    I think there were only two beers at our cookout today. No one got drunk which is VERY important because of the firearms and target shooting that ensued. Watching people get drunk is not usually entertaining to me!
I am proud of you! You have shown restraint and good judgement in your exercising and eating/drinking habits. You are an inspiration! TOBY

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DAWNFIRE72 9/6/2010 9:41PM

    Good to see a blog from you again. You did exceptionally well at the BBQ and as evidenced by your friend alcohol doesn't always make a BBQ better (I prefer to be the sober one at such events because you are right watching the others get drunk can be entertaining).

I am no help on the running thing as I don't really run/jog much (I go out 1 day a week and only jog about 2KM). I say the others have it down to listening to your body and no one says you have to follow a program to become a runner.

Keep on keepin' on.

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SUZYMOBILE 9/6/2010 8:37PM

    It's hard to tell what your form of "overdoing" to the point of injury is. I think everybody has a different breaking point. Mine came when I ran 4 miles a day (kind of a "stretch" distance for me) too many days in a row. I think if you alternate long and short, hard and easy, take occasional rest days when your body tells you it needs them, and you still feel good, you should be fine.

And, hey, we like to hear how you're doing whether or not you have a profound or sparkling blog topic!

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    I can relate to much of what you said today. I started running about a year ago. I didn't use C25k, but looking back at it and what I did, I wish I had it - as a guideline. I pushed too hard and too fast and ended up with reoccurring shin splints for a while.

That being said, if you feel like you can do more, and you're not feeling discomfort on your rest days, then go ahead and give a little push. Just - as so many others have said - listen to your body. Don't ignore the warnings and don't skip all of your rest days.

Currently I only take two rest days a week (when I'm on track) but the days I do run I vary from distance runs to tempo runs to speed intervals, and I'm never ashamed to take an extra day off, or switch to a bike workout, or even yoga, if that's what my body demands. Hey, I sweat during yoga too!

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CHARLENERAE12 9/6/2010 7:42PM

    Listen to your body. Some people need and like having a program to follow. Others need and like more freedom. Your body will tell you when you've done enough, and following a program without listening to your body can be worse then just freewheeling it. Good luck!

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PRUPLEBEAR 9/6/2010 7:21PM

    Congrats on the cookout!

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LOVESLIFE48 9/6/2010 6:58PM

    I don't run so I can't help you there, sorry!! I'm just starting to jog on the treadmill. Woot, woot!! on the decisions at the BBQ!! You did way better than me!! Today is a new day and I'm doing well!! Good luck with all you have planned!! Keep Sparkin!! emoticon

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ELYMWX 9/6/2010 6:49PM

    Well, I didn't do C25K, so there is nothing that says you need to do C25K to be a runner. I made it up as I went along.

I was gradually working my way up to running longer distances in the spring, and the way I did it was pretty simple: at lunchtime on weekdays I would just go out and run with my Heart Rate Monitor. I would run until I couldn't any more, make a mental note of how I felt, how long (time) I had been running, and what my Heart Rate was when I had to stop. Then I would walk and watch my HR as I recovered, again making a mental note of how long it would take, and then I would run again. I experimented with my pace, and learned by trial and error what paces corresponded to what HR's, and how I felt running at those paces/HR's.

On weekends, I ran intervals. I used an app for my iPod Touch (Interval Run - if you have an iPod Touch or an iPhone I highly recommend it) and programmed in an interval series based upon the times I had noted on my weekday runs. Each week I would tweak things slightly, either making the runs a bit longer, making the walks a bit shorter, adding more intervals, or just simply deciding that I would try to run a bit harder. There were a couple routes I would take regularly, and I would try to take their topography into account and mixed things up a bit - adding a longer run along a section that was straighter and/or slightly downhill, inserting a series of short runs with shorter walks in another area, making sure that I was on a walking interval on the steeper hills, etc.

Every couple weeks I would try to get to a local high school track in the afternoon, and again would run intervals. These times I wouldn't try pushing the times, but I would really try to run harder.

In the end, I ended up doing something that looked a lot like C25K, in that it was a steadily-increasing series of intervals, but having the weekday lunchtime runs as my experimental time and the weekend and track runs as my intervals allowed me to tailor the program to where I was.

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MSSUNBUG 9/6/2010 6:36PM

    Sounds like you're doing well--glad to hear it!

I never did C25k, though I know so many people who did it and loved it. I ran by listening to my body. However, I definitely got carried away a little too fast and upped my mileage too quickly (leading to an overuse injury). I would say if you're good at tuning into your body and it's feeling natural, just do yo thang. You can always pick it back up again if doing your own thing isn't cutting it.

I know the feeling of abstaining from drinking and being glad you did! I gave up drinking cold turkey 346 days ago. I missed it at first, but I do NOT miss it now. I like waking up not wondering what I said or did and not feeling like I need to spend the whole day on the couch recovering. When I started the process, I asked myself the very same question YOU asked YOURself: "Does this put me in line with my goals?" I couldn't pretend the answer was anything other than NO when it came to alcohol!

I hope your back feels better. Keep rocking it out!

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How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

Friday, August 27, 2010

The old joke goes: A man asked a cab driver in New York, 'How do I get to Carnegie Hall?' The cab driver answered, 'Practice, practice, practice.'

The urge to binge hit me today. It hit hard. This morning I woke up sick and couldn't eat breakfast or lunch. Late in the afternoon I felt better and that's when it hit. I wasn't queasy anymore, I really was hungry, and because it's my day off and I didn't have anything planned, I was bored. Hungry and bored can lead me right into mindless eating.

The Doritos called my name, the Popsicles were paging me, my car keys were jangling out the McDonald's tune, and my stomach was growling in harmony.

It is my sincere belief that we may become good at whatever we practice.

I want to be good at encouraging others, so I practice it. I keep going on and on in message board posts about how we really are in control and living healthy is all about choices. When the urge to binge hit me today, I had a choice to make.

I could have just eaten whatever I wanted. I was sick after all. I could have just looked at this as just one bad day. I could have just chalked this up to a minor setback and started again tomorrow...
...but is that what I want to be good at doing?

I want to become good at maintaining an attitude of appreciation and optimism. I also want to become good at making healthy choices.

I stood in the middle of my kitchen and thought to myself, "Do you want to be good at avoiding a binge? You are being given an opportunity to practice."

With that attitude, I was able to mindfully consider all the food in my house and ask myself what would be in line with my goals.

I really was hungry, so I put a broccoli and cheese Lean Pocket in the microwave. While they are processed food, they are not completely out of alignment with my goals. While it cooked, I disposed of the box of Popsicles, melting them all down the drain in the kitchen sink. I want to get really good at eliminating those things that serve no good purpose in my life. I ate my Lean Pocket and still felt like a binge was waiting.

I want to be good at remaining organized, so I cleaned out one of my kitchen cabinets. In the process, I threw out a bunch of junk that serves no purpose in my life. Then I drank a glass of water.

I want to become good at maintaining relationships, so I distracted myself from food by emailing a friend. After that I still felt hungry. I decided to eat a crunchy granola bar. It would give me something healthy to chew. After that I still felt every food in the pantry calling to me. So, I put my favorite show on the TV and distracted myself some more. By the time it was over, so was my desire to binge. I had outlasted it. It was over.

We've all heard that 'we are what we eat'. I also believe that we are who we practice being. Once we determine who it is that we want to become, we only have to practice and in the practicing, it becomes reality.

I do not believe we can wait until we are good at running before we start running. We can't wait until we are in good shape to go to the gym. We can't wait until we are good cooks to begin cooking healthy meals. We can't wait until we have momentum to begin moving.

If we are to be runners, gym-goers, cooks of healthy food - if we are to have momentum, motivation - if we are to be dynamic, we must first practice.

Practice, practice, practice.

I'm on my way to my own, personal, Carnegie Hall.

I hope I see you all there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERALO 9/18/2010 3:00PM

    I'll see you there...bring that great attitude with :D

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ANNROBERTS54 9/12/2010 10:06AM

    You were probably having a reaction to not eating earlier in the day. It can be so hard to counteract that horrible hunger that happens when you haven't eaten soon enough. It happens to me fairly often. But you did the right thing. Made healthy choices, spaced them apart long enough for the body to assimilate them, distracted yourself in between and waited the whole thing out.

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LIBBYL1 9/9/2010 11:50PM

  lovely analogy

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GRANDMABABA 9/9/2010 3:58PM

    inspiring, thanks so much

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MICKEYMAX 9/9/2010 3:35PM

    Great thoughts and well played. Congrats. See you at CH. :)

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HANNAH194 9/8/2010 8:23PM

    I really enjoyed this blog and I can definitely relate to those feelings... I've been resisting sugar craving for the last couple of hours and you've really motivated me to keep going! Well done on staying strong and not binging, good luck on reaching your weight loss goals!

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GERAPTIKO 9/7/2010 11:46AM

    Great blog! And good for you for not binging!

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COLIBRI930 9/7/2010 11:06AM

    Love it! I am practicing getting up and walking 4 days a week, even when I don't want to. Thanks for the inspiring blog!

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LOVESLIFE48 9/4/2010 9:05PM

    Wow!! Excellent blog!! emoticon emoticon

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SLIMDOWN2010 8/31/2010 10:36PM

    Wow! great blog, love the analogy. thanks for checking out my blog. for me to hit rock bottom it took that one bad day where i was a bit under the weather, for months i went missing. proud of you for not doing it, cause it's so easy to fall back into bad habits. keep up the good work! emoticon

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PERSISTENT_GIRL 8/30/2010 10:12PM

    amazing blog!! so true, we are what we eat, what we practice, and we should be what we preach! you're an amazing author and i look forward to reading more of your blogs :)

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COMPUCATHY 8/30/2010 8:13PM

    I will see you there! Yes...practice, practice, practice. Every day is another day of practicing our new healthy lifestyle. Very cool. So glad you outlasted the binge! That's awesome. YOU DID IT! Another test passed...they will get easier the more you succeed. Keep sparking! emoticon emoticon

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PRUPLEBEAR 8/30/2010 5:43PM

    You will see me!!!!! Have an emoticon week!

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NEVERMIND2010 8/30/2010 1:15AM

    Very good points, and very well written. Thanks.

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LKG9999 8/29/2010 9:36PM

    You know what? This blog stopped a binge for _me_ tonight. I started to have some Nutella (it's DD's fault it's here in the first place - honest!). Then I thought about what it was *I* wanted to practice. So I had a taste or two of the Nutella, and put it away. That's pretty much unheard of for me, to have just a small amount of something chocolaty and stop, and I did it because of this blog. WTG, Michael! I am SO glad you are back!

Comment edited on: 8/29/2010 9:36:46 PM

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NJMATTICE 8/29/2010 9:02PM

    define "binge"? It's so funny that I came to read your blog after I wrote mine about a planned "excursion" into the forbidden cookie forest. The only difference between my excursion and a binge was that it was "planned" and scientifically observed. And it's over. It did not become an excuse to eat like that all the time. That is growth for me. I am pleased. And I'm back on plan again. I applaud your growth as well. You fought that craving hard. You did a great job. You'll get to Carnegie Hall before you know it. I stopped at the Carnegie Deli and got side tracked for a minute. Back to the practice room!
Have a terrific start to your new week.

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AHEALTHIERME9 8/28/2010 4:14PM

    Bravo, my friend... bravo :) emoticon

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JOYATLAST 8/28/2010 10:53AM

    Excellent! The anatomy of decision making.

Exceptional points cut into bite sized pieces and served up with real class. Who wouldn't want to indulge.

Thanks Mikey

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ZESTYLADY 8/28/2010 8:13AM

    I'm printing this one off as it struck me as a very profound observation around practice. I have honed the fine art of binging to an art through daily practice these days. NO wonder I am so good at it! emoticon

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SEPPIESUSAN 8/27/2010 10:38PM

    Wow, great job!!

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TEDYBEAR2838 8/27/2010 8:57PM

    "We are who we practice Being"


Also I like, Perfect Practice makes perfect.

YOU are doing great

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KATHY_NATURELVR 8/27/2010 1:51PM

    You brought a tear to my eye Michael - great motivation and great attitude. I try to live by the same practices.

Oh - also happen to get this email today too:

Comment edited on: 8/27/2010 2:18:13 PM

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JLUVSHIKIN 8/27/2010 1:16PM

    Well done on your practicing!

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LOGOULD 8/27/2010 11:24AM

    Another temendous blog - and achievement - for you! You're doing GREAT!
Thanks for letting me have a front row seat for that performance. If that's just the practice, I can't wait to view the concert and the encore!

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TABBYARTS 8/27/2010 9:40AM

    Thanks, Michael. I needed that today. I have a birthday party to attend today, and I happen to know that the cook makes really rich food. This is an opportunity to PRACTICE moderation! TOBY

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LOOZINITNOW 8/27/2010 9:23AM


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SUZYMOBILE 8/27/2010 9:22AM

    Great, great blog! I'm going to keep that practicing thing firmly in mind!

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BRE7482 8/27/2010 9:04AM

    emoticon What a great blog!

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BONNIE627 8/27/2010 9:00AM

    you did much better than I probably would have..keep up the good work.. you are doing great.. emoticon

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ARIANERA 8/27/2010 7:41AM

    Awesome "practice" session.


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EUPHRATES 8/27/2010 2:12AM

    I agree with Josie - AWESOME attitude!

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LADY_JOSIELOT 8/27/2010 2:02AM

    What a fantastic way to look at things! Thank you. :)

- Josie

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Oh no, not another learning experience!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh I am miserable! I can't believe I did this to myself!

That darned smoothie, that's what did it. I'm learning about smoothies this week. Don't you just hate those learning experiences?

I'm not talking about the sort of learning that takes place when you read about internet security. I'm talking about the kind of learning that takes place after that clip of you doing the chicken dance in your underwear has already been posted on you tube.

Now I've never done smoothies before, never took them seriously. I thought of smoothies as some sort of trendy-gone-wrong yuppie thing or perhaps belonging only to the realm of militant vegetarians. I would no sooner think about drinking smoothies than I would think about ordering a drink with a little umbrella in it. In short, I didn't see smoothies as my "thing" - not manly enough for this carnivore. I mean, just look at the word for goodness sakes! Any food that ends in an "ie" and sounds cute should probably only be consumed by small children.

I don't know why I thought that. Any guy who is as handy with a textile fastening device as I am has no business being so pig-headedly macho about his food, right?

So I figured I really should give it a try.
This evening I started dinner and then got to work on that smoothie. I put a peeled orange, a banana, some coconut, some coconut milk, and some greens into the mangler (my food processor) and let it mangle for a while. It made a huge glass of tasty concoction. It was so good that I was actually impressed and began to think that I could get into this whole smoothie thing. I thought that it would be something that would digest quickly so I drank the whole thing and about 15 minutes later I sat down to dinner.

I was a little behind on my calories for the day, so, being the brainiac that I am, I decided to make a bigger dinner than usual. I had a double turkey burger with cheese. I felt a little full, but hey that smoothie isn't macho enough to stick around for long, right?

Oh I was wrong. I was so very wrong. Now I'm so full I feel sick. I have no problems eating a double turkey burger, so I know it was the smoothie that got me. I can't tell you how miserable I am. I had to change pants. It's Death by Smoothie, or Smoothie's Revenge, or something like that. That'll teach me to not take it seriously. I feel like some vegetarian version of the Alien is gonna bust out of my stomach at any moment - only my Alien is gonna be ripped like a young Arnold Schwarzenegger from all the nutrition in that smoothie. He's gonna bust out, do 20 one handed push ups and run off to raid my refrigerator, only I won't care because I don't ever want to eat again.

Lessons learned:
1) A smoothie is not just a cute little fruit drink.
2) A smoothie is not to be confused with juice which can digest rapidly.
3) A smoothie can contain a serious amount of calories and nutrition. It is a darned tasty way to consume more fruits and vegetables.
4) My dog loves coconut.
and most importantly,
5) A smoothie, when combined with a turkey burger, has the ability to spawn Aliens.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVESLIFE48 9/4/2010 8:26PM

    I'm not really into smoothies either. But now I may do some experimenting!!! emoticon

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/3/2010 8:33AM

    That burger sounds good........ emoticon

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PERSISTENT_GIRL 8/30/2010 10:09PM

I see your sense of humor came back with you, and IM SO HAPPY it did!
Yay smoothies!

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PRUPLEBEAR 8/30/2010 5:42PM

    got to love learning!

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FOURTHWALL2000 8/29/2010 9:29PM


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AHEALTHIERME9 8/28/2010 4:20PM

    I definitely needed this chuckle today... It's a good thing you hadn't added flax seed or extra fiber to your smoothie concoction... I could really go for the burger right about now... emoticon

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WINWIN1 8/28/2010 3:07PM

    Love your blog - smoothies rock LOL

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DRAGONSLAYERND 8/28/2010 12:35PM

    Your dog loves coconut?? How very odd... Thanks for informing me about the certain dangers of smoothie slamming! do have a way with words.

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LADY_JOSIELOT 8/27/2010 2:00AM

    Beware of freggie aliens, LOL. I love smoothies! I use my Magic Bullet and bunches of frozen fruit, usually some Greek yogurt, and flax seeds. Sometimes I throw spinach of other greens in if I have them, too. :)

- Josie

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JLUVSHIKIN 8/26/2010 10:46PM


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ETTEZEUS 8/26/2010 8:13PM

    ROFL!! Leave it to you to make me smile when I'm not having a good day....

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    OMG, this is so funny! I was actually laughing out loud--partly because I can relate, but mostly because you're a talented writer! While in Hawaii last week we stopped at a tiny little town and had lunch at a tiny little mom and pop shop. 4 out of 6 of us had smoothies. The 4 who had the smoothies all got sick for several DAYS afterwards. I won't go into details cause it wasn't pretty. It was enough for me to ban smoothies from my menu for awhile even though I love them.

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NJMATTICE 8/26/2010 6:52PM

    You have to choose those smoothie ingredients wisely. Respect the smoothie. It's an art form. Too much fruit hurts the belly. Go green, young man. Leafy green, with a touch of fruit to sweeten. Or just use that whirly-ma-jig of yours to finely chop some veggies to add to your turkey burger to get some extra nutrition. But the fact that you are open to trying new things is proof of your commitment! Have a great evening and lay off the fruit.

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SUZYMOBILE 8/26/2010 5:57PM

    Death to Smoothie!!

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BONNIE627 8/26/2010 4:24PM

    as usual love your blogs..great sense of humor.. emoticon

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SEESTARS 8/26/2010 3:52PM

    So glad I'm reading your blogs now. You crack me up! I'm surprised you didn't burst.

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LOGOULD 8/26/2010 12:53PM

    emoticonThanks for the laugh!!! You are right, it's easy to be converted to smoothies, love 'em, but usually prefer to chew my calories. Somehow, I just don't feel like I've eaten when I do smoothies, so I usually only do them at night when I don't feel like eating anymore, but still have nutrients that need to be consumed.

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FICTIONRUNNER 8/26/2010 12:41PM

    I feel bad laughing, but you do have a way with words. You're right, smoothies are too cutsey sounding. Still, you made it sound interesting. Mostly.


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CAPECODDOGFISH 8/26/2010 11:17AM

    Your sense of humor will help you get thru this...Smooth(ie) sailing.

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HEIDISO 8/26/2010 11:16AM

    LOVE IT!

You definitely went the Macho route by calling your blender a "mangler".

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ONEWEIGH 8/26/2010 11:11AM

    Is it not strange, that we seem to forget this painful lesson and have to learn it over and over? I would say that I still eat until I'm over-full at least once a month. emoticon

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KIMMAS82 8/26/2010 10:20AM

    This was HILARIOUS to me!!! Great blog!!

"Any guy who is as handy with a textile fastening device as I am. . ." HAHAHAHA!!!

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TABBYARTS 8/26/2010 9:58AM

    Michael! You can make a horrible experience fun to READ about.
Thanks for sharing your EXPERIENCE!
Toby Bear

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LOOZINITNOW 8/26/2010 9:35AM

    Smoothies rock!!! You had me laughing hard! emoticon

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ELYMWX 8/26/2010 8:45AM


Let's see, Sewing Machine = Fabric Fastening Device. Blender = Mangler. What do you call your dishwasher? And I shudder to think what you might call a hair dryer...

And yes, smoothies can be a meal in and of themselves.

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BONNIE627 8/26/2010 7:51AM

    I love your blogs.. keep them coming..guess we just have to learn the hard way.. emoticon

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MONKEYGETSFIT 8/26/2010 6:58AM

    You crack me up!! Now you just need to find yourself some yummy protein powder to throw into the yummy fruit and veggie goodness and you have a full meal.

I am just a chick and I like all things that end in "ie" even though I'm not a kid anymore (by age), so take my advice for what it's worth to the machoness of yourself... but a smoothie (although I call mine a shake) is my favorite on the go breakfast. I'll be making mine right before heading out the door in about 15 minutes. It will be just enough to tide me over until my mid-morning refuel time and it is oh so yummy.

Today's shake will be: Almond Milk, Chocolate Protein Powder, 1/2 a banana (frozen to add a shake consistency to it), 1/4 cup pure pumpkin, dash of cinnamon, dash of stevia and a packet of instant coffee (as I don't have time for my second cup) and a cube or two of ice... once again to make it a SHAKE. It comes in right at 270 calories, 25 carb, 9 fat, and 28 protein. oh, I can't wait!

Have a great day!

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WOLFWYND 8/26/2010 6:37AM

  Oops. I hope you're feeling better! I must admit though, there was a very humourous slant on it. I might try the smoothie thing and see how it goes. I will however make sure that I don't have a double turkey burger afterwards!

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HEALTH4LYFE 8/26/2010 6:08AM

    Hope you are feeling better by now. There are a boatload of smoothie recipes available on Spark. One ingredient I try to make sure I add is frozen fruit. It makes the smoothie more like a milk shake and you can't drink it as quickly as an all liquid smoothie. It doesn't matter which fruit is the frozen one, and variation can be tasty.

Here's wishing you a great day!

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KELZIEROSE 8/26/2010 5:49AM

    I've always wanted to try doing the smoothie thing. Looks like it's something to research before just jumping in to the blender! Thanks for the post :)

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TISHTOES 8/26/2010 4:30AM

    Very funny blog! I love your "mangle" term for your blender.... very macho indeed.

I hope you are over your suffering by now. Smoothies are great for summer because they are cool! And... as you found out, very filling. I hope you don't give up on them due to one bad experience.

As I always say, sometimes the most "memorable" way to learn something is not the easiest way.

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