RUTHXG   44,804
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Losing weight, building healthy habits, having fun!

Saturday, September 03, 2011

For anyone who is looking to get off their plateau & start shedding pounds again, I highly recommend the 5% Challenge Community, which will soon be under way for another 8-week stint:

The community is divided into 10-12 smaller teams that are in a low-key (but fun!) competition with each other. The goal is for each member to lose 5% of her or his body weight over the course of 8 weeks. It's a good pace for weight loss. We record our exercise minutes, & each week the teams with the top scores are celebrated. Every week we also get points for practicing an assigned healthy habit: tracking food or blogging/commenting or avoiding table salt or drinking water or eating freggies . . .

I'm partial to the Starfish mini-team, since I've been there since late last fall & I LOVE my teammates. Once you've joined the community at the above link, you can use the following link to indicate your preference for the Starfish--because you KNOW you want to be one, right?!

Come join us! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon We'd love to have you!

I am jazzed because in the next round, success with the 5% goal will mean that I reach my goal weight! emoticon I haven't made the 5% goal every time, but my weight has come down steadily & I'm seeing other encouraging results. My scale gives an approximate reading of body fat percentage; mine is still high but it has come down significantly over these months in the 5% Community. Many of my clothes are fitting better. emoticon

The next round of the 5% challenge will be starting up this month, so don't delay!

This message has been brought to you by the 5% Challenge Community at Sparkpeople, heehee.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATLETOT 9/6/2011 3:11AM

    Love this blog post and totally agree, Ruth! I heart the 5% Challenges, and I double-heart my Starfishies!

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ROCKPORT9 9/5/2011 2:50PM

    Good job on showing everyone how great the 5% challene can be and how wonderful Starfish is! hugs, Laurel emoticon

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MTULLY 9/4/2011 10:23PM

    You are a STAR recruiter for the 5% Challenge. They may have to rethink their membership cap! I love the Challenge, and I'm so glad to be sharing this journey with you. It doesn't matter in the least, as you so kindly said on my blog, that we may be on two different teams, we are still in this together!. emoticon emoticon

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JENBELLE 9/4/2011 11:22AM

    5% challenges with the STARFISH have changed my progress in a great way!!!!

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CZARINA_TV 9/4/2011 10:52AM

    Yay! I'm glad you found a supportive community and congrats on getting so close to your goal!

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SHARKYSGIRL 9/4/2011 10:39AM

  Awesome job! I think I'm staying around for the next round too ... I'm not losing much on the scale, but the inches, and body fat % are coming down, and the healthy habits I'm building are totally worth it.

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SHANSHE 9/3/2011 10:31PM

    YOU are doing awesome and IF I had time for another team, I would try to join, BUT... I am barely doing well on the ones I am on and I just cannot fathom adding another one right now. Maybe next go around and since you will be at goal weight then, you can cheer me on! :) Of course, you cheer me on anyway!

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    emoticon Yay Starfish !!

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JMCADE 9/3/2011 8:06PM

    Well said!!! See you on the Starfish threads.

Comment edited on: 9/3/2011 8:07:50 PM

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 9/3/2011 6:33PM

    Starfish!!! I'm definitely biased too - we are the best!!

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BABY_GIRL69 9/3/2011 4:47PM

    Sounds very interesting....I need to do get my head back into the game maybe I will try it? God bless & enjoy everyday! Dee

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MARZIPAN22 9/3/2011 1:24PM

    I've never done a Challenge before and, like so many other things in life, without a personal invitation I don't think I would have. So thanks for the info. on your blog. I am now a Starfish, and looking forward to the Challenge. emoticon

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DEBBIEOLMOS57 9/3/2011 1:04PM

    way to go

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Historic day

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Court date today--not to finalize my divorce but to respond to my husband's interim motions for maintenance plus tons of $$ for his lawyer. Result: he gets no maintenance from me; I do have to give his lawyer some $$ (1/4 of what was requested), but my lawyer promises to make sure this will be deducted from my husband's eventual settlement.

So he is shooting himself in the foot by trying to extract blood from this old turnip, & doing something that he always professed to despise, enriching his lawyer. Bless his heart--I hope he learns from this & becomes a bigger person. I actually was given the grace to pray blessings on him as I waited in the courtroom while he was across the way.

But I've NOT had the grace to maintain good exercise & perfect eating in the run-up to this much-dreaded day. It has been more important to me to spend time with nurturing friends & enjoy that Susana Baca concert last Saturday--which met every expectation for me, just stellar. I may not make my 5% goal this round, but I am surviving & thriving in the midst of struggle, & I'm so very thankful for that.

Something fun: I finally took the plunge & paid (at a discount) for two years of Lumosity, & I'm really enjoying doing "brain training" games every day! They are challenging, but it's rewarding to start catching on & improving my scores. (If you're interested, you should be able to get a discount by liking Lumosity on Facebook.) Skill categories are speed, memory, attention, flexibility, & problem solving. Interestingly, from the start my highest scores have been in flexibility. That's definitely consonant with my personality.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CZARINA_TV 9/1/2011 5:42AM

    That sounds really stressful... I'm happy to hear that you're keeping your head above water, even if you're not going to make your current goal. You'll get there.

Take care Ruth!

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SEATTLESIMS 8/31/2011 4:08PM

    sounds like you are in a good place and glad that worked out for you in court.
Do what you can and we'll get 5% next time around!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/31/2011 1:34PM

    Glad that worked out! Now that this is behind you I know you can get back on track!

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SHANSHE 8/31/2011 12:05PM

    YAY on the way court turned out, that is awesome!!!! Glad to hear how you are having a wonderful time, etc... and the brain games sound interesting, but challenging...

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MTULLY 8/30/2011 11:58PM

    All in all, a stressful day, but you got through it gracefully and without too much financial hardship (at least, not as much as you had dreaded). There is something to be said for being able to "survive and thrive" in the midst of what you are going through. Good for you!! I hope the worst is over. Luminosity sounds like fun. I must check it out!

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A plan for the weekend

Friday, August 26, 2011

This weekend is a BIG DEAL for me. One of my dreams is coming true: my favorite singer, the Afro-Peruvian Susana Baca, is coming to Chicago to perform tomorrow night--& the venue is a few blocks from my house! Naturally I'm going, & I have recruited a very cool group of friends to go with me.

I know I will want to prolong the afterglow--after all, it isn't every day that we get to hear a concert by such an amazing performer (& amazing person--she has done much to preserve the heritage of her people, & has just been named Peru's cultural minister! the first black person to hold a cabinet-level post there). So I have invited my friends to my home for drinks & conversation afterward.

This means that I need to do some housecleaning--always a challenge because most of my evenings & weekends are dedicated to freelance work, so things get grubbier than I'd like. To complicate matters, my current freelance project is due Monday (& that's an extension of 3 weeks past the original target date), & I'll have to work on it really hard this weekend if I'm to make it.

So tonight & during daylight hours tomorrow I have to mobilize myself pretty ferociously. I will prioritize the various areas to clean--e.g., the bathroom is absolutely nonnegotiable, it has to be SCRUBBED; the kitchen floor is not bad & can be just swept & spot-cleaned. There will be no time for goofing off; the cleaning & proofreading will have to serve as breaks from each other. I think my exercise for the day will be the more vigorous cleaning activities!

The proofreading will doubtless spill over to Sunday afternoon, but I have an inexpensive Groupon lunch planned with a friend after church, & I'll stop by another friend's graduation party later, so I will definitely get some good social time then too. And I will still have Susana's voice ringing in my ears. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 8/30/2011 2:26PM

    Sounds like a really busy few days for you, BUT... fun too, enjoy!

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CZARINA_TV 8/26/2011 7:03PM

    Sounds great! I hope you have a great time!

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4.2 lbs from 5% goal, 3 weeks to go

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Yes, I can do that! I'm especially encouraged that I lost a pound this past week despite having a weekend away & then a special dinner at a friend's last night.

I took a sick day today because of bad insomnia early this morning. Was trying & trying to figure out why I couldn't sleep--I had definitely taken my normal medication. Finally I realized that it must be because I cheated on my medication regimen at my friend's. She had planned wine with dinner & then tiny glasses of ginger-orange liqueur with dessert. The liqueur was from her daughter's distillery, so it was VERY special. My liver function has not been messed up by the Isoniazid, & I'm almost done with it (1.5 more months!). I decided that this was a legitimate cheat. BUT my body is no longer used to ingesting alcohol! I'm sure I was experiencing rebound (system is depressed by alcohol, then goes BOING! after the alcohol has been processed).

Now I know: when I no longer have to abstain from alcohol, I will have to ease back into drinking. Even two drinks in an evening (my normal max) are too many.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 8/25/2011 4:06PM

    Woo Hoo, you are going to hit your goal, I am SURE!!!

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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/24/2011 12:11PM

    You are so close!! Glad you learned the lesson about the alcohol thing before anything too bad happened! You're almost done your medication - yay!!

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BEATLETOT 8/24/2011 3:04AM

    You certainly can do that! I think I'm too far away to hit my goal, but I was checking out my high school reunion FB page this morning, and it got me geared up to do my damndest to get as close as possible!

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quick-quick bloglet

Friday, August 12, 2011

Tonight I've been getting ready to leave early tomorrow morning for creative retreat! Some friends & I have been doing this for the past three years: we are given free use of a cabin (belonging to the brother of one of the group) just off Lake Superior, & we spend the weekend having contemplative devotions, praying & cooking for each other, doing a writing exercise, doing some kind of visual art together (this year it will be fabric collages), working on personal projects, walking along the lakefront . . . Really nurturing.

We'll be there tomorrow through Monday. I'll have no computer access, so I'm going to record my weigh-in tomorrow in the wee hours before I take off, & then everything else will be on hold till I get back. Starfish, I WILL have exercise minutes & breakfast points to contribute upon my return! In fact, I spent part of this evening making muffins that will be part of the breakfast I serve my friends Monday morning. Super healthy--it's this Sparkrecipe:

And the main dish will be this:

Have a great weekend, everyone! Be back soon!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUNNERRACHEL 8/20/2011 3:48PM

    Wow! Sounds like a great retreat!

Hope you had a wonderful time!!


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SHANSHE 8/15/2011 3:48PM


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EYES_ON_THEPRAZ 8/13/2011 8:54PM

    emoticonGreat job! planning for success! you rock!

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MTULLY 8/13/2011 12:20PM

    Sounds like a fabulous weekend. I know your recipes will be a hit. have a great time!!

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CZARINA_TV 8/13/2011 9:49AM

    Oooh! Have fun! It sounds like an amazing vacation...

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CARLYG8 8/13/2011 9:42AM

    Oh my gosh!...I so want to go!! My friends and I used to do things like that, before my son came along. Reading your post made me remember how "gratifying" those special trips were. Life became crazy busy after my son was born, and my husband retired from the military. His work hours are long, and so I basically am a single parent when it comes to time alone..let alone take off for the weekend. I know you will be reading this after you return..I hope you had a wonderful, nurturing and calm weekend.

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JECKIE 8/13/2011 8:14AM

    That sounds amazing!

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CTEMPLE 8/13/2011 1:38AM

    Have a great time dear Ruth emoticon

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