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5% Challenge kickoff!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Why am I doing the 5% Challenge? Here I'm repeating from a post about a week ago, but I'll phrase it a bit differently & add a couple of reasons.

1. To continue slimming down so I can feel comfortable in all my clothes, knowing that I'm looking my best.
2. To continue cultivating good health--so important as I get older.
3. As a celebration of singleness & independence! Earlier this month I passed the one-year anniversary of my soon-to-be ex's moving out of our bedroom in a huff. I am moving forward in my life as a happily single person now--& finding that it's MUCH easier to eat right & exercise nowadays.

My expectations:

1. Sometimes it will be a wee bit tedious to track food (as I'm committed to doing) as well as exercise. So I will need to keep in mind some ways to reward myself.
2. There will be lots of fun along the way--especially celebrating with fellow Starfish!
3. At the end of the eight weeks I will be slimmer & stronger--hopefully quite close to my long-term goal weight!

My goals:

1. fortifying good habits: outdoor walking/jogging at least three times a week for eight weeks--this will work with the 5K training I'm doing
2. fortifying good habits: 30-Day Shred at least twice a week for eight weeks
3. fortifying good habits: eating delicious food, most of it home prepared, every day for eight weeks
4. participating in the community: getting to know fellow Starfish better & cheering them on enthusiastically
5. losing weight: ending the eight weeks at or below 154 lbs (this will be only 4 lbs from my long-term goal!)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PJBOKC 2/22/2011 4:24PM

    You do such good work and inspire so many. You just know how to say things the right way. I love this blog. After being out of town and therefore, a little behind on the challenge, this blog is just what I need to read. I LOVE THIS BLOG!


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KAREN_NY 2/20/2011 8:58PM

    WOW!! LOVE how your list is all about CONTINUING to be FABULOUS! Because clearly you've already got it going on!
Rock the day,

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MORRIS1989 2/20/2011 3:19PM

    emoticon You can do it my friend you are a very strong person best wishes to you. emoticon

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BOBBIEED 2/20/2011 10:44AM

    Running is one of my goals as well. You can do this!

Bobbie emoticon

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CZARINA_TV 2/20/2011 10:40AM

    Good for you!

Go Ruth go!

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SHANSHE 2/19/2011 9:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CTEMPLE 2/19/2011 9:35PM

    One year: time flies! Great to read this blog dear Ruthie.

I didn't know that there could private SP teams!

I've discovered a website for writers that might interest you

Comment edited on: 2/19/2011 9:42:07 PM

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BEATLETOT 2/19/2011 4:00PM

    I'm so excited that we're on the same team again! emoticon

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KRISTA64 2/19/2011 2:40PM

    Go fellow starfish Go!!!

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SASSACAIA 2/19/2011 1:56PM

    I'm so excited that we're doing the 5K together as well! I'm starting today - I just finished some 30-day Shred and plan on getting outside in a bit!!

I'm also glad to have your support, my friend! Keep up the stellar work! You are going to be at your long-term goal in no time!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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The upcoming 5% Challenge

Friday, February 18, 2011

The link that arrived in my Sparkmail a little while ago, describing the challenge, did not work. So I went to the 5% Challenge Community team page to find it. Here's the link:

It's going to be fun, but I'm thinking that some new Starfish members might not find the explanations altogether clear. Let me know if you need some help figuring it out! Of course the team leaders can help too, but feel free to ask in comments here if you like--it can seem a bit complicated & overwhelming when you're starting out.

(By the way, I have also started training for a walk/jog 5K in April [5K Your Way here at SP]. Because it requires timed intervals, I stopped by Target on my way home from work today & bought a stopwatch! Tomorrow morning I'm off to the Loyola track for my training! That will be so much more fun than using the oven timer & walking/jogging around my dining room & kitchen, as I did this morning. emoticon )

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORRIS1989 2/20/2011 3:21PM

    Glad you got out of the kitchen!! Onward to the track good for you! emoticon

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SASSACAIA 2/18/2011 9:57PM

    Let me know how the stopwatch works! I'm going to make a playlist on my iPod with songs representing the intervals! I need to go work on that now! emoticon

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 2/18/2011 6:26PM

    Thanks for taking initiative with helping on the challenge!

SEAWAVE, Here's what I'm going to do for this first week LGL challenge. I do *most* of my sparking here at work (don't tell my boss), so I'm going to keep a post-it on my desk and divide it into 2 columns. One side for 5% challenge blog comments and the other for all other blog comments. Then as I comment, I'll just make a check/tally on the corresponding side and add up the totals (2 pts for each check on my 5% challenge blog side, and 1 pt for all others) at the end of the day. Hopefully this makes sense.

RUTH, sounds like your 5k is timed perfectly for the end of this challenge. Having that goal at the end is the perfect thing to look forward to!

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SEAWAVE 2/18/2011 10:00AM

    I'm worried I'll forget to log in my minutes/track responses to blogs, etc. in the team's thread. I hate having to track all that separately! I'll be working off a checklist every day to not forget! Aside from that, the energy that comes from the 5% challenge makes everything fun for me, so I'm expecting to really enjoy it! Have fun with the 5K!

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AMYLONGHORN 2/18/2011 9:07AM

    Thanks for coming out and saying the guidelines for the challenge might be confusing for newbies...I know I'm overwhelemed by it all! Hopefully I will get the hang of it by just DOING it, but I appreciate your offer of help...I'll be sure to take you up on it if I need it!!

Have fun with the 5K training! I have run in the past and did the Couch 2 5K (C25K) program and loved it...I am even considering starting it up again! Good luck!!

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CTEMPLE 2/18/2011 5:14AM

    I hope is a nice warmish day for you! Loyola after Ignacio de?

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SHANSHE 2/18/2011 1:08AM

    emoticon GREAT, I know you will enjoy training for your 5K and I bet that 5% will fall right off this time around!

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GO-LOEW 2/18/2011 12:24AM

    Have fun with your new toy at the track! I think an occasional device gives us a way to judge our progress.

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I just bought a tent!

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's a small two-person Coleman tent, well reviewed on, & today it is on special for just $41. With $1 shipping, what a deal! I also bought a roll-up foam pad to go under my sleeping bag.

This is symbolic in a couple of ways--because:

1. My husband & I got a nice little Eddie Bauer tent as a wedding present--but we never used it. Because I was sole support of the family, I worked most weekends as well as weekdays, & there was never a good time to go camping. Besides, after a few years of marriage I realized that he was too anxious & crabby to go camping with--it wouldn't have been fun AT ALL.

2. When he moved out, he wanted to take the tent & the propane lamp (also a wedding present). It wasn't worth arguing over, so I said OK.

3. I am starting to feel better after two weeks with bronchitis--& spring is coming!

4. I am actually picturing using this as a ONE-person tent for getaways at Starved Rock Park (central Illinois), or by a lake in Wisconsin, to hike & write. I myself AM a fun person to camp with--things don't have to be perfect, I take problems in stride, I hugely enjoy the beauty of nature. And I enjoy solitude.

5. I also enjoy people! I can go camping with groups of friends. I can even bring the tent to future church retreats & thus have private sleeping quarters rather than sharing a dorm-style room. When my granddaughter (who will be born any day now) gets old enough, I can take her on short camping trips!

OK, this was an impulsive purchase (I just happened to scroll through Overstock's ad today & a larger version of this tent caught my eye). But it obviously speaks to some of my deep longings. I hereby proclaim that one of my 2011 goals is to take at least one weekend camping trip!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LESKASH 2/18/2011 12:18AM

    not an expensive impulse purchase you could put in back yard. :)

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ALASKASKY 2/16/2011 12:05PM

    Yaaaaaaa! I would love to go camping with you. It sounds like so much fun.

That's what I call living life. emoticon emoticon

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CZARINA_TV 2/16/2011 8:55AM

    Good for you Ruth! That sounds like fun...

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SHANSHE 2/15/2011 2:09PM

    Impulse purchases can be good too and I can see you using the tent maybe even more than once this year! :)

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GETHEALTHY231 2/15/2011 1:05PM

    Ruth - that is absolutely awesome!!! I picked out a tent last year for my anniversary gift from the company I work for. I LOVE camping. Nice thing about a tent - you can keep it and a duffel bag of stuff in your car at all times for spur of the moment trips!!! ENJOY!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 2/15/2011 11:49AM

    Have fun! I loathe camping but I know others seem to love it! It's all about what makes you happy!

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SASSACAIA 2/15/2011 10:10AM

    Yipee! That sounds like a lovely gift to yourself! Yay for future camping expeditions! Glad to hear you are feeling better too!!

Spring IS on its way!!! emoticon

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BEATLETOT 2/15/2011 9:50AM

    Heehee, the first time I glanced at this, I thought, "Aww, poor person shouldn't be so down on themselves when they go clothing shopping..." then I saw it was YOU, and then I realized that it was literal! =) Congrats! I hope you get to use it really soon!

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KRISTA64 2/15/2011 6:44AM

    I LOVE is so relaxing! Enjoy!

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CTEMPLE 2/15/2011 2:00AM

    Bargain , well done.
I myself am nota camping person, but well understand the appeal.
Life is good when you don't carry burdens!
Claudia ( will check overstock never heard about it but they might not ship os)

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MY_HEALTH_BABY 2/14/2011 9:57PM

    ..*) .*)
(. (. (..`* Nice! Camp out where ever, when ever--just because!

I luv it! emoticon

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MORRIS1989 2/14/2011 8:44PM

    That would be nice to go on a camping trip I have never been. I really like nature too. Don't forget about your goal to go camping. Glad to hear you are feeling better. You still have to take it easy. emoticon

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I confess: it's mostly about comfort & the way I look

Saturday, February 12, 2011

This is my Motivation Blog for the next 5% Challenge.

My BMI is within the healthy range. My blood pressure is usually lovely (at my last visit to my doctor, despite this bronchitis, it was something like 100/70). My blood sugar is fine, my cholesterol is fine. I'm not disease prone.

But I still want to lose some weight & tone up, especially my upper arms. At my goal weight, 150, I will be at a BMI of 21.6--still healthy, not underweight at all. I want to get there so I can comfortably wear some favorite clothes--that sleeveless black dress in summer! that slinky wool-knit black dress in winter! that white dress with a jazzy belt! all my shorts! all the sleeveless shirts/tops!

Yep, I want to be strong too. But this round, it's gonna be for the way I look! Hurray!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORRIS1989 2/14/2011 8:40PM

    emoticon You can do it and you will!!!

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GETHEALTHY231 2/14/2011 4:39PM

    You have to love the way you feel and you will love the way you look! Go for it and enjoy the next round! You are awesome!!! Strong and beautiful!

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CZARINA_TV 2/13/2011 6:49AM

    No shame in that! Good luck Ruth! (and congrats on the blood pressure reading...)

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CTEMPLE 2/12/2011 11:46PM


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SHANSHE 2/12/2011 10:52PM

    I do not think there is anything wrong with wanting to look good when you are working hard to be healthy!

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BEATLETOT 2/12/2011 8:16PM

    As you already read (and commented on--thank you!), vanity is a top reason for me, too! And it must be for so many people! Nothing wrong with it! But if it matters, I already think you're beautiful!

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Monday, February 07, 2011

Today I went to the office, & I sorta wanted to put up a big QUARANTINE sign on the door. When a colleague approached me just outside my door, I actually held up my hands & said "Unclean, unclean!" (Have you read how people with skin diseases would have to call that out in biblical times, to keep others from catching their ailment?)

But let me back up a bit. Because the snowpocalypse was due to land midafternoon Tuesday, my supervisor encouraged us to leave early that day & take work home with us. I did--but during the train ride home I started feeling a chest ailment coming on. The next two days were snow days, & I did some work at home but felt quite yucky. Sucked some ColdEeze, which usually knocks out colds for me, but this was obviously more than the normal cold. Friday I took a sick day & got in to see my doctor. She confirmed that the dreaded bronchitis (which I had for the first time a few years ago) had returned, but I had no signs of pneumonia. Mainly I'm just supposed to rest a lot & drink lots of fluids, especially hot drinks.

I bowed out of church & social responsibilities over the weekend & just hunkered down. Fortunately I had a good array of groceries on hand. And though every morning when I wake up I feel perfectly miserable (terribly sore throat, aching body, nonexistent voice), by afternoon I'm better & have energy to get some editing work done. I have even done a little bit of cooking.

After nearly a week, my bronchitis is still really bad! But I needed to move several projects forward at work--there were tasks no one else could really do for me. So on the way to the office today I stopped at the pharmacy & stocked up on cough drops, tissues, hand sanitizer, & the indispensable Mucinex. Then, at the office, I kept my door closed most of the day. At our weekly department meeting, I sat away from the table where everyone else was clustered. I used hand sanitizer repeatedly, especially after blowing my nose & before dropping off projects in others' inboxes.

It was a really productive day! I was able to move four or five book projects out of my office. I also cleaned up files in the book I'm currently editing, & then e-mailed them to myself so I have them ready to work on here at home.

My plan now is to work at home for two days & then reevaluate. Maybe that will end up being one sick day & one workday--we'll see. I'm not going to push myself; rest is ESSENTIAL. The next couple of days are going to be really really frigid in Chicago, so I'm glad I'm able to hunker down & not go out. If I need to stay home Thursday & Friday as well, I will. My boss just wants me to get better as soon as I can--she's not rushing me to come back.

I left work early, & on the way home I stopped at the grocery store. Besides ginger, honey, & a couple of teas to vary my hot beverages, I got bananas, oranges, & oats. Then I decided to get some treats: some Triscuit crackers & some dark chocolate! I have been VERY conservative about food treats ever since I started living by myself. I mostly just eat food I have cooked--& when I bake something sweet, usually I give most of it away. So getting these modest snack foods feels like a major indulgence, which amuses me. Don't worry, I will treat myself only when there's room in each day's calorie count! emoticon

Since the end of the recent 5% Challenge I have stayed within a pound of my ending weight. Pretty good for not having energy to exercise because of being sick! But I'm hoping to do some low-key exercise tomorrow.

Sounds as if I'm getting better, doesn't it, since I'm yammering on so long? Maybe--but it's also that I'm quite tickled about being able to quarantine myself for a few more days! I'm not truly isolated, as phone & Internet allow me to connect with lots of people. It's nice to be protected from the cold, stocked up on good things to eat & drink, encouraged to rest, & comfortable with my own (& my kitty's) company! And Netflix will have a good film in my box tomorrow, & there's a novel from the library to read . . . As Claudia says, life is good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MORRIS1989 2/14/2011 8:38PM

    Sorry to hear you was sick hope you feel better and get some rest.

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LINDY2202 2/8/2011 11:05PM

    Get well soon Ruth! By the way I love ColdEeze (I ALWAYS recommend it to sick people), NETFLIX!!! --just got it a few weeks ago and I am loving it, I love all the documentaries and even the fitness movies, I didn't have a problem with hanging out in front of the TV until I got live streaming of Netflix on my XBOX. I also looooooooooove Triscuit crackers, I actually have 3 different kinds in my pantry right now, Tomato Roasted something, Rosemary & Olive Oil, and a different one I had never seen called something with Caraway Seeds (tastes like mint/grass but it's kinda growing on me). Get well soon, REST REST REST!

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SHANSHE 2/8/2011 5:30PM

    Get well soon Ruth, you will be in my prayers, it's good to hear that you are taking care of yourself! So often, we get sick and don't take care of ourselves and it just gets worse. Bronchitis is horrible, I have had it before. Continue taking care of yourself, my friend!

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CZARINA_TV 2/8/2011 10:22AM

    I'm glad you're able to hunker down at home and take care of yourself properly. Chicago gets so freaking cold!

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CTEMPLE 2/7/2011 9:31PM

    Dear Ruthie what a DRAG! Well Chicago is so cold! It is only comparable to Holland in my experience, that freezing wind. You poor thing. It's remarkable that you managed to work, but I'm sure if you felt you could it was appropriate. Never mind, your body will tell you.
Yes it's lovely to snuggle at home with all our good things.
I'm spending a lot of time at home too, reserving my energy for work. After a heat wave that felt really long ( our summer hadn't shown up until now) we had a change and it's cooler and raining. Fortunately I only have to go to pilates tonight.
Hope you recover soon, anythig lungs can be so dreary.
Yes, life is good when you feel comfy in your home!
Reading an AA writer Danielle Evans excellent " Before you suffocate your own fool self"

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