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RAYLINSTEPHENS's Recent Blog Entries

Northern Lights - Gorgeous!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

These are spectacular and the teepees are so pretty in
The dark but, check out that thermometer!






God's handiwork...Beautiful sight!

**edit: Yes, if you want to go to all the trouble of downloading and saving the images - you may copy my blog to share. I received it as an email this morning.

I only wish I could see this in person - but then, I would freeze to death!

There is so much beauty in this world - if we only take the time to look and appreciate!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOJAVESMITH 2/7/2011 2:16PM

  Wow wish I could see them myself.. Thanks for sharing.

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GRYPHONQUEST 1/31/2011 9:47AM

    Wow - I haven't seen the lights since I was a kid. Thanks so much for sharing these gorgeous photos!

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GRALLEN 1/30/2011 10:49PM

    Wow, these are awesome. Thanks for sharing.

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SOPHIADARE 1/30/2011 9:39AM

    Thanks for the beautiful photos and the okay on using them!

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TRYINGHARD1948 1/29/2011 1:40AM

    Linda, thank you, thank you - just one of the most wondrous sights of this amazing world we live in.

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JENIFIREHARP 1/28/2011 11:08PM

    Very pretty! Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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MERRY40 1/28/2011 12:30PM

    This is so cool, Linda! Thanks for sharing!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VALERIEMAHA 1/27/2011 8:34PM


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WATERMELLEN 1/27/2011 8:07PM

    These are gorgeous. I am Canajun but can remember seeing northern lights only a couple of times in my life . . . don't live far enough north, I guess!!

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SLENDERELLA61 1/27/2011 7:50PM


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QUILTINGB52 1/27/2011 7:10PM

    Gorgeous!! Have only experienced them once in my lifetime, but they were awe inspiring!!

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EVRLNGFOO 1/27/2011 6:57PM

    beautiful! i saw the northern lights when i was real young and don't remember it. i would love to see again. i have seen the fire rainbow thing. i had no idea that was the name!

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BARNABABY1 1/27/2011 6:46PM

    These were completely awesome!! The rainbow was especially breath taking.... thanks for adding some beauty to my day! emoticon

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    absolutely beautiful! Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 1/27/2011 5:04PM

    Here I was, wondering, "what is she doing in Yellowknife?" LOL

(Until I got to the bottom)

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SLIMMERJESSE 1/27/2011 5:03PM

    These photos are absolutely spectacular. Thanks so much for sharing them.

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LIBBYFITZ 1/27/2011 4:54PM

    Thanks, I have sent it across to my FB, just beautiful!

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MARTY19 1/27/2011 4:24PM

    These are absolutely beautiful! But I wouldn't want to live with those temperatures. I'm cold enough as its. LOL!


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KAREN42BOYS 1/27/2011 12:58PM

    Thank you very much for sharing this with us!

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MEADSBAY 1/27/2011 10:18AM

    Wow- how gorgeous!
Nature at her best.
thnx for sharing.

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JLWOF1 1/27/2011 9:41AM

    Beautiful photos! I've never heard of the fire rainbow before. That was amazing! Thanks for sharing!

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    Wow, that is BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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SYLVIALYNN2 1/27/2011 9:21AM

    God's handiwork is beautiful. Would love to see in person one day. Thank you so much for taking the time to post the pictures.

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SCCAT2003 1/27/2011 9:20AM

  Gorgeous photos...thanks for sharing.

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We have been asked to stop.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I am terribly flattered and yes, I too had fun, but we have been asked to stop with the:

"Beautiful Woman Award! Once you've been given this award, you have to paste it on the wall of 8 women who deserve it. If you receive more than 3, you know you're really beautiful! If you break the chain, nothing will happen, but it's always good to know someone thinks you're beautiful inside and out"

because it is clogging up the network. This seemed like the best and easiest way to get the message out - and earn my sparkpoint for blogging!! WooHoo!!

Please, feel free to copy & paste as your daily blog today because it will be the "safest" way to spread the word to stop with this "chain-commenting".
emoticon too much to want to risk SP going down!

Love you all,

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLENDERELLA61 1/27/2011 7:48PM

    Thanks for taking this route, Linda. I wondered about it. It was fun, though, wasn't it?

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    Love ya, Dawn emoticon emoticon

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JENIFIREHARP 1/26/2011 4:37PM

    I personally ignored these messages because I never do thewhole chain mail thing...
but Thanks for the heads up!

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PURPLESPEDCOW 1/26/2011 2:42PM

    Totally understand.

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OLDERDANDRT 1/26/2011 2:21PM

    I agree with you! I usually don't do that, but since I recently learned to copy and paste, I did for a bit, until I got the note about it clogging the site. The few I got after, I simply thanked them for it and let them know how I feel about them!! I, too, don't want to see SP going down, so no more "chain-commenting"! Thanks for posting this as a blog!!



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MARTY19 1/26/2011 1:54PM

    I enjoyed it but sometimes it does go too far.


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CINDBABE 1/26/2011 11:22AM

    Got it thanks for the message

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MRE1956 1/26/2011 8:50AM

    When you "stop" (no pun intended) to think about it - it's a great point! Too many such messages not only clog up networks, but also serve to irritate people that deal with high volumes of email messages on a daily basis - and do you really want to have your actions causing stress to others be on your conscience?

Good alternate suggestion you have ...... but just one thing - do we really have to remind ourselves that we ARE beautiful women? As fellow Sparkers I sense that, when push comes to shove, we are probably all aware of this on some level.....though an occasional "reality check" is nice, for sure.....just sayin'.....

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DOGMOMMA2THREE 1/26/2011 8:48AM

    Okay, I really didn't know it was "bad form" or I wouldn't have passed it on once I received it. Thanks for the advice!

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SWEETYKINS012 1/26/2011 8:29AM


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TWOTIMESS 1/26/2011 8:27AM

    Sadly, I have to agree with you and SP admin there. It's a pointless exercise that snowballed.

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CRROCKERGIRL 1/26/2011 8:26AM

    Haven't actually seen this, but this is the 2nd place I've heard the request to stop. Bummer!

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Where would YOU be now if you hadn't found the Spark?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Today I read a blog by my buddy, WalkingAnnie - here is the link to the blog

She ends this blog with the title to my blog:
Where would YOU be now if you hadn't found the Spark? How different would you be?

This got me to thinking and I decided to model today's blog from her ending question.

My answer to WA?
I would still be a fat slug. I was a happy fat slug - but not a healthy one!

I believe I was headed for my first heart attack - I am very thankful to have avoided it!! I had started having "heart flutters" and realized both my parents started their heart problems at 57 and I was 56!!
Why do emoticon? Because this is the first time in my life that I know I can keep the weight off! In the 16 months it took me to lose 90 lbs, I also learned how to eat to live. I accept that I am only human and will not always choose intelligently - but I know how to return to healthy eating to get myself back on track.

I now have the energy (most of the time) to keep moving! I am smaller than I ever was and lighter than even my dreams could have dreamed!!

Thank you WalkingAnnie for an inspiring blog!!
emoticon Yes you can!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOGMOMMA2THREE 1/26/2011 8:50AM

    Your blog certainly gave me something to think about! Thanks for posting!

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EMILYSEGAL 1/25/2011 2:25PM

    I would be miserable and suffering from diabetes. Thank God (literally!) that I found MY spark!

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DAWNWATERWOMAN 1/25/2011 12:34AM

    I believe that I would be dead. Thanks for this blog. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 1/24/2011 5:43PM

    emoticonA wonderful blog!

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MERRY40 1/23/2011 11:10PM

    Great question, Linda! I think that I would still be searching for the easiest, best diet for me. I'm so glad that those days are over and I thank God for leading me to this site!

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GRALLEN 1/23/2011 5:35PM

    I have to admit. If it wasn't for Spark, I wouldn't be trying to eat better and exercising as much as I do. The trackers keep me focused.

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WALKINGANNIE 1/23/2011 3:58PM

    emoticon and thank you Linda - and other friends here - for inspiring me! I'm so glad that you avoided the heart attack.


I read another blog today by GWENAEL who summed up SP by saying "I'm losing weight and gaining friends! Sounds like a fair exchange to me! "

Have a great week and thanks for all support and inspiration.


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TRYINGHARD1948 1/23/2011 2:50PM

    Great blog Linda, and certainly thought provoking. I would still be Yoyoing, up 40 pounds, down 40 pounds, now, like you, I know that I can keep the weight off and live a much healthier lifestyle than ever before. Hat off to WalkingAnnie, I'm a big fan, and thank God for SparkPeople.

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MRS.DOYLE 1/23/2011 12:31PM

    I was a hair's breadth from becoming obese when I joined SparkPeople. That's probably where I would be now. I was also a happy fat slug and in denial about my weight.

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JLWOF1 1/23/2011 11:40AM

    Great blog! I would be over 200 and miserable with every aspect of my life. Thanks for getting me to think about such an important subject! Glad we both found SP!

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JERSEYGIRL24 1/23/2011 11:06AM

    I agree with you, Linda. Even though my success has been mixed, SparkPeople serves as a daily inspiration even in my worst times. I had been hovering between 205-215 for years, and somehow I had ballooned up to 230+. If it weren't for Spark, I could be approaching 300 by now (I currently hover in the 200 range and am not too happy about that). It's people like you that make the site!!! I had to laugh once when I saw a blog from someone who was quitting Spark because she wasn't getting the results she wanted. I remember thinking (and perhaps telling her) to ask where she could do better. I think she returned to Spark within a few weeks.

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HEARTANDMUSIC 1/23/2011 11:02AM

    I would be continue to gain weight, and be unhealthy and unhappy.

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MARTY19 1/23/2011 10:16AM

    Where would I be? Probably weighing 190+++ and miserable. I will never go back to being that person.

Love you

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WATERMELLEN 1/23/2011 10:10AM

    Great blog AND shout out to our mutual friend, the incomparable WALKINGANNIE!!

So glad that you sidestepped that heart attack: long may we continue to be healthy, happy and sparking!!

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MEADSBAY 1/23/2011 10:02AM

    I would be:
emoticonand emoticon

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46SHADOW 1/23/2011 10:00AM

    inspiring.To health! emoticon

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Texting for Seniors!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My sister emailed these to me today - I hope no one is offended!
If you are, please accept my humble apology.
Since more and more Seniors are texting and tweeting there appears to be a need for a STC
(Senior Texting Code). If you qualify for Senior Discounts this is the code for you:.
Please pass this on to your CHILDREN and Grandchildren so they can understand your texts.

ATD: At The Doctor's
BFF: Best Friend Farted
BTW: Bring The Wheelchair
BYOT: Bring Your Own Teeth
CBM: Covered By Medicare
CGU: Can't get up
CGIU: Can't get IT up
CUATSC: See You At The Senior Center
DWI: Driving While Incontinent
FWB: Friend With Beta Blockers
FWIW: Forgot Where I Was
FYI: Found Your Insulin
GGPBL: Gotta Go, Pacemaker Battery Low!
GHA: Got Heartburn Again
HGBM: Had Good Bowel Movement
IMHO: Is My Hearing-Aid On?
LMDO: Laughing My Dentures Out
LOL: Living On Lipitor
LWO: Lawrence Welk's On
OMMR: On My Massage Recliner
OMSG: Oh My! Sorry, Gas.
PIMP: Pooped in my pants
ROFL... CGU: Rolling On The Floor Laughing... And Can't Get Up
SGGP: Sorry, Gotta Go Poop
TTYL: Talk To You Louder
WAITT: Who Am I Talking To?
WTFA: Wet The Furniture Again
WTP: Where's The Prunes?
WWNO: Walker Wheels Need Oil
GGLKI (Gotta Go, Laxative Kicking In)

**P.S. feel free to copy & paste if you want to use these!
*** A laugh a day is healthy!!
emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIANESMILES 1/24/2011 12:08AM

    I LOLed so louldy my CAT got up and left. LOL those are very, very funny. TY for sharing. I one day texted my granddaughter without thinking it was a school day. her phone was ON ringer in CLASS ! She's a sophmore in HS,,,her teacher was gonna give her the dickens about it til she sweetly remarked "Its my Grandmother, she didn't realized it was a school day." The kids laughed and thankfully so did the teacher. LOL (oh yeah they were IMPRESSED her GRANDMOTHER was texting !)

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TUDI4480 1/22/2011 8:11PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing. I'm going to pass this on! emoticon

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1COUNTRY_GAL 1/22/2011 4:46AM

    You have one clever blog,it was funny! Yes,I agree laughing is healthy and thank you for sharing! emoticon emoticon emoticonDiana

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OXFORDLASS 1/20/2011 7:20PM

  This is hilarious. ROTFLMBO! Love your sense of humor.

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JERSEYGIRL24 1/19/2011 10:36PM

    Thanks for a few good laughs.

As an aside, I used to feel like text messaging was just for kids. I have found some pretty good uses for it, but I will never be like some people who live on their cell phones.

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GRALLEN 1/19/2011 10:01PM

    LOL I've seen these before. They are hilarious.

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WALKINGANNIE 1/19/2011 4:54PM


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BISCO_ 1/19/2011 2:17AM

    Love IT!!!

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CINDBABE 1/18/2011 10:01PM

    hehehe thanks that was cute!

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SWEETYKINS012 1/18/2011 8:26PM


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MEADSBAY 1/18/2011 7:56PM

    Sad but true!

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IAMKATIDID 1/18/2011 7:25PM

    Very funny! love it!

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DEE797 1/18/2011 7:03PM

    emoticon emoticon Too Funny, thanks for sharing.

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MARTY19 1/18/2011 6:41PM

    These are priceless! You forgot to add that seniors need bigger keypads too. LOL!


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GRAYGRANNY 1/18/2011 6:05PM

    I got a similar email........my grandkids thought it was a hoot!!

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LIBBYFITZ 1/18/2011 5:39PM

    He He! Problem with that is remembering what they mean! emoticon

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The problem with a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) could be...

Monday, January 17, 2011

... counting the calories twice.

I am not sure this will sound intelligent but I am going to try to explain myself. You could be counting the calories burned twice. This would really throw off your deficit for the day.

In the Daily Differential of Reports (under My Tools) I noticed that BMR* has that asterisk * by it and went back to check it out.

Here is what it said when I found the *:
BMR is your Basal Metabolic Rate, which is the number of calories your body burns on a daily basis to perform its basic tasks like breathing and pumping blood. The BMR calculation is based on your age and weight and accounts for a sedentary lifestyle. The BMR in the chart above has been multiplied by 1.2 to account for the calories you need for both basal metabolic functions and light activity outside of exercise (such as light walking on the job, desk-work, and running errands.) Please note that BMR is not a perfect measure.

So we all need to make sure that when we count our cardio, that it really is cardio and not just light walking on the job, or desk-work, etc.

When I was struggling last winter 2009-10, I was counting housework and it is already calculated in - same with walking around the grocery store pushing a food cart.

If you are using the numbers from your HRM and losing weight - WooHoo! Go for it!!

But if you're not losing weight - this could be part of the problem.

Just a little FYI to earn my daily blog points emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNYBLUESKIES1 2/28/2011 7:30AM

  I never thought about that before,thanks!

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    Thanks for the info. Love ya, Dawn emoticon

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MEADSBAY 1/17/2011 9:02PM

    That makes perfect sense.

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SLENDERELLA61 1/17/2011 8:51PM

    Very interesting and also timely for me as I just bought a heart rate monitor. Another great blog, Linda!

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SWEETYKINS012 1/17/2011 7:05PM

    yes, my bmr is about 1 calorie a minute. so if i exercise for 30 minutes, i subtract 30 from what ever my hrm says i burned. i feel that is only fair...

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MARTY19 1/17/2011 5:54PM

    I never did that. I had to work out to count it. So I guess I am safe on that score. Since my scale seems to have the right moving idea, I must be doing some things right. LOL!

Love you,

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LIBBYFITZ 1/17/2011 5:50PM

    emoticonI know my body is at maintenance at the moment when it is not supposed to be! I have upped the cardio, so now going to lower the calories and eat more protein and less carbs, just to get this body of mine to react! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/17/2011 5:51:27 PM

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CICI510 1/17/2011 5:50PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 1/17/2011 5:26PM

    I have come to the same conclusion....good to see other people thinking the same thing.

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KAREN42BOYS 1/17/2011 4:59PM

    thanks, linda!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/17/2011 4:52PM

    Interesting analysis Linda.

Thanks for sharing your thinking.

emoticon emoticon

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AFRESHSTART2 1/17/2011 4:40PM

    You have hit on something that I have always wondered about and have done some reading on. You are right, according to my understanding of what I have read. Whenever we exercise - whether we use the HRM or the machine to calculate - there is some overlapping of calories burned. While we are exercising the body is still carrying on its basic functions(BMR)so, acvcording to what I have read for us to get an accurate measure of the number of calories that we actually burn from the exercise we would have to subtract some numbers. They gave a formula. For me thats too much work and complication so what I do is account for the calories burn during cardio session and tell myself that those calories that I burn doing strength training is just to make up the difference and for good measure.

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HUNGRYWOMAN2 1/17/2011 4:37PM

Thank you for sharing. I am new to the heart rate monitor, just having purchased one. I only use mine at the gym when I am working the cardio machines. My reason for this was that the readings according to my research and an article I read on Spark are not always accurate on calories burned as they were ma they were tested by individuals which may not burn at the same rate as women, in particular. So far, I have been remaining on track, but only time will tell what is reality and what is hype. emoticon

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PICKANYNAME 1/17/2011 4:12PM

  .... got it! And, just a little reply/comment to get my blog reading points, LOL!


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