RUTHXG   44,804
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RUTHXG's Recent Blog Entries

I'm set up!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

This afternoon my husband helped me get my Vital Fitness recumbent bike set up in the basement. Not as simple as that would seem, since it was given to me without a manual. First, as I cleaned it off (it had been sitting there for months), it was a challenge to figure out where the little plug recipient was. The former owner had showed me, but that was months ago & I had forgotten. Finally that was solved.

Then we needed to find an extension cord--fortunately we had one in our storage area. My husband took the "benjamin" (Colombian colloquial term for an electrical outlet screwed in above a lightbulb) from the entry bulb & screwed it in above the bulb where the bike is.

We plugged it in & heard a reassuring little buzz--yay! Then we tried it out & got the seat adjusted for my long legs.

Now my husband is looking online to see if there is a downloadable manual; it's not looking promising, but I'm sure we can figure out stuff by trial & error.

A stationary bike in the basement SOUNDS really, really boring--but I need to make it work for me. Tomorrow morning I plan to take my radio/CD player down with me & listen to NPR news while I pedal. Other days I may take a book & see if I can read while pedaling. And after I'm used to it, I may try some simultaneous strength training with dumbbells.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DECAROLIFIC 12/2/2008 10:59PM

    Good stuff. I agree with you, stationary biking can be boring, but it is one of the few activities that one can actually multitask with, like listening to radio or reading a book Then it is not boring at all- great idea! emoticon

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CTEMPLE 12/1/2008 6:28AM

    Dear Ruthie good on ya, there is an Aussie radio show that podcasts and its super good. Interviews to authors and books in general.
You can load them to an MP3 player or burn a cd.
What about an old tv with a little dvd player and movies or an old Vcr?

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SHANSHE 11/30/2008 11:25PM

    COOL! Sounds like it was a headache, but glad you got it hooked up and ready to go. BTW... how was Thanksgiving? Did you enjoy your time with family and friends and I bet the meal turned out delicious!

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FITGIRL15 11/30/2008 8:52PM

    Woo Hoo! Boring or not, it will help you burn calories! and it's SO DARN conveinient now, no more excuses! WOOT!
(I too have a bike in my basement and I use it often when I feel I need to burn off a high carb meal!) I'm excited for you! You are gonna love it!

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Maybe next year

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Unfortunately, this is NOT the year to participate in the Turkey Trot. Insomnia made worse by some family troubles has kept me from early-morning exercise for quite a while now--so I am not ready. Plus the weather turned bone-chillingly cold last week. And there is still a vast amount of cleaning & cooking to do before family & friends descend upon us Thanksgiving afternoon.

But I still like the idea. Next spring I hope to look for a 5K to run in so that I can have a less demanding race experience first. If that works out well, I'll definitely sign up for the 2009 Chicago Turkey Trot.

My more immediate fitness goal is to get my recumbent bike set up comfortably in the basement so that I can make that my winter cardio exercise. I hope to get that done on Friday.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DECAROLIFIC 11/30/2008 10:14AM

    Hi Ruth

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! I'm praying for you to overcome your insomnia.

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SHANSHE 11/25/2008 8:28PM

    Sometimes, you just gotta re-vamp your plans. Hope that insomnia gets better and that you have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving.

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CTEMPLE 11/25/2008 6:15PM

    Sorry to hear that Ruth, insomnia is very crippling. Hope your THG goes well, fortunately we don't have such a thing here!

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FITGIRL15 11/25/2008 5:29PM

    Get well Ruth! Your health is #1!
Running your first race can wait! And when you are really ready you'll know, and do AWESOME!

Happy Cleaning! Enjoy the festivities!

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Shall I do it?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The dailySpark blog about Turkey Trots (Thanksgiving Day races) today caught my eye, & I became curious about Chicago's trot. Beware: the search mechanism on the website, linked to from that blog, doesn't actually work; it told me that no event was listed for Chicago. I found that hard to believe, so I started paging through the list, & eventually I found Chicago's Turkey Trot.

It's an 8K, run or walk (you sign up for either). Eight kilometers is about five miles. My usual run is between 2.5 & 3 miles, but I've done longer ones occasionally. 8K would take me about an hour, assuming that I'm running most of the time but slow down to walk as needed. Obviously the point for me is not to win but to get some exercise & enjoy being part of a friendly crowd. Registration is $30 + at least two cans of food for the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

We will be hosting an extended family group, also including some friends, for dinner on Thanksgiving afternoon. Of course there's a LOT of prep to be done, though my sister & brother-in-law will bring some of the food. Am I crazy to contemplate taking 2.5 hours (including transport time) that morning to run a race?

I've never run a race before. It sounds like SO much fun . . .

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DECAROLIFIC 11/18/2008 10:21AM

    Go for it!

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FITGIRL15 11/17/2008 11:47PM

    You can do WHATEVER you put your mind too! My only concern is that if you aren't properly trained to run that length you might not feel that great for your Thanksgiving family extravaganza!
But if you have ran this distance before with no problems... I think you should GO FOR IT!

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CTEMPLE 11/14/2008 3:01AM

    Sounds something doable and a lot of fun. Take time out and compensate for it beforehand!
Do you have to trot like turkeys?

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SHANSHE 11/13/2008 1:05PM

    I do not think you are crazy at all... plus you would get in your exercise BEFORE the big meal which would keep your metabolism revved up to handle it???

There are alot of things that can be done ahead of time, ask for healp and PLAN, I think it would be exciting!

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Getting water in a satisfying way

Friday, November 07, 2008

This week I brought my Camelbak water bottle to work. It's the 22-oz "performance bottle" with a bite-valve nozzle--to drink you don't tip it, just bite on the soft plastic nozzle & suck. Oh, & it's made of the "good" kind of plastic, BPA-free. I fill it up with filtered water plus three ice cubes once or twice a day (depending on whether I'm also drinking herb tea).

It really helps with my mouth hunger! This week I have NOT been longing for chocolate. Apparently the sucking/biting is providing some kind of primal satisfaction. I feel like a nursing baby. emoticon

So this is one of my few product endorsements. Who'd have thought an $8 investment would make such a difference?


On another matter: On Tuesday night my husband & I attended the ginormous Obama rally in Grant Park as election results were coming in. It was a historic occasion & we wanted to be present. Well worth it! The crowds were peaceful & cheerful, & when the West Coast polls closed & the CNN analysts (we were watching on a giant screen) announced their projection of Obama's victory, we all erupted into long, long cheers. A couple of African American women near us (whom we had never met) & I ended up falling into each other's arms & crying & crying.

It's not that I think Obama is a kind of messiah who will work magic & solve all the world's problems. He's just an intelligent but fallible human being, a good person as far as I can tell, & he'll probably do some really good things & also make some big mistakes. My excitement is because I have lived to see the day that a black person was elected to the presidency of this country. Thank God!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DECAROLIFIC 11/11/2008 6:19PM

    I've read comments by other SP members who believe Obama is the Antichrist emoticon. I've been wondering how they came to that conclusion. I've always found it amazing the wide variety of beliefs we Christians have. Sunday or Saturday worship. Eat pork or not. Vote. Don't vote. Etc.
I did not expect to see that vast outpouring of emotion from African-americans on television on election day. When I wrote earlier on being black in America, I was skeptical of the influence Obama becoming president would have on the black psyche. The more I think about it now though, the more I think Obama will be a positive role model for blacks in this country, which can only have a beneficial effect on the society as a whole.
Whether he will be a good president remains to be seen. He certainly seems to have the ability. However, we Christians need to do our job- the one that involves kneeling and stop worrying about his beliefs or whether he is the Antichrist or not. We certainly should pray not only for his leadership, but also for his spiritual well-being, because as you said Ruth- he is just a man and is in as much need of God's salvation as we are. Once we do our part, the rest is in the Master's hands.

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SHANSHE 11/10/2008 1:12AM

    Love your water bottle! Yay for you!

So glad you got to be at Grant Park and it is neat to have the first black president. Nce being here for this part of history.

Of course, you and i both believe in God for our well-being and I pray that God uses our president whomever he is or whomever he/she may be in the future to accomplish HIS will.


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CTEMPLE 11/7/2008 7:11PM

    YAY for the election. In my opinion he's there for economic fear, but people might grow to feel that it really doesn't matter what colour a person is, but its qualities. I never thought I'd see that day!

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STEPHANIEDIAN 11/7/2008 5:24PM

    where did you get this wonderful water bottle?

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Been thinking, again

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Looking at Cartagena pictures with my husband last night was fun--reliving some wonderful moments. But it was also sobering. I'm definitely looking chubby--& my scale & my clothes confirm that I've been moving in the wrong direction.

I think the main reason is stress. My financial burden is unremitting, & that means that my time is very burdened/limited too--I have to devote a lot of time & energy to freelance work beyond my full-time job. My husband is doing some new things to try to find work, but so far nothing. I'm pretty sure that chemical thing is happening in my body in response to stress--craving sugar & other comforting tastes, holding onto fat instead of metabolizing it.

Tracking feels like a burden, so I'm going to quit tracking even my exercise for a while. I know how much exercise I need, & I know how to eat to lose weight. I don't want to stay hooked into the compulsion to earn Sparkpoints (read this article quickly & get 3 points, spin the wheel for a few more, etc.). Even SP message boards have been feeling like an obligation rather than something that nurtures/helps me.

I'm just going to try to reduce stress, reduce eating, increase exercise, pray, keep expenses minimal, & take better care of myself.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DECAROLIFIC 11/11/2008 5:54PM

    I really get this. Thanks for putting that SP point thing into words. When you are at your busiest spending even 5-10 minutes logging food intake or reading articles is sometimes 5-10 minutes you don't have, and must take a backseat to actually doing the right thing. Seems like you are prioritising which is something I need to do too! Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven...

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STEPHANIEDIAN 11/2/2008 1:26PM

    that sounds like you've got a plan ruth, I hope it works for you. hopefully you can reduce your stress in healthy ways. I'm sure this site isn't meant to be a burden, but sometimes it does feel like one especially when you have to take extra time in an already busy schedule. let's keep in touch through the month, and make some time over the next few to meet up in the loop!!!

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SHANSHE 11/2/2008 9:42AM

    I should take a cue from you dear Ruth and pare down some of my spark activity and I am slowly...

I am happy that you are choosing to take care of you and if it is not nurturing us and there is no pressing reason for us to do it, then we are just wasting our time and God's time too, right?

Hugs and do not ever feel like you HAVE to comment on my blogs or anything, but I love it when you do, but again, do what is BEST FOR RUTH!

Love and hugs,

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FITGIRL15 11/1/2008 11:49PM

    Ruth, I totally agree that Spark can feel overwhelming expecially at times when your LIFE requires os much more attention then the norm! I NEVER cared about Spark Points, but I know people do get caught up in that sid eof this site. Even simply tracking (food and fitness) can be exhausive! Sometimes I think a hand written journal is really the way to go, especially when you know what you should be eating, what quanntities and what works for you! (Sounds like you are very much there!)

Take time to deal with your life, Spark should NOT be a burden but a very efficient tool to help evaluate what works, what you have been doing to create GOOD results and what not to do again when you get in trouble weight wise! I agree that tracking your food should NOT be a forever practice... but it is definitely useful at certain times in our journey!

Be well... once you get back into your fitness routine (even just squeezing in 30 minutes of activity per day will be helpful) you will feel better and most definitely see your self in a better light when you review pictures next time!


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CTEMPLE 11/1/2008 8:39PM

    Dear Ruth sorry to hear that Sp is a burden at the moment.

I wouldn't be sane without it, but I don't get competitive. I just do what I need and read to keep myself motivated, outside my head and not playing tricks.


Comment edited on: 11/1/2008 8:37:11 PM

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