SAM60SUMTHINK's Recent Blog Entries

No such thing as defeat!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sometimes we feel defeated. Lots of levels to that feeling, but I'm talking about the gut-level feeling of defeat. Not because of some imagined problem but because life can be one hard test of what makes us... or breaks us. I've learned to adjust each time something blocked my goals. We're talking LIFE goals, not lifestyle or weight issues here. Stand in my way, and I'll still keep going even though by a different route or altered methods. I'm a survivor. A quiet survivor who does no flashy moves but just keeps on moving. To the best of my ability. My approach to lifestyle goals is akin to my approach to my life goals. Do the best I can... and keep trying to improve upon the ever-expanding possibilities. Growth of this dimension is an experience that appears external but is most profoundly felt at one's core - the soul, if you will.

None of us KNOWS what it is like to live inside another person's skin and set of internal/external issues.
Part of this journey should be understanding that we are each individuals, that what is easy for me may be your impossibility, and that we can and indeed should cheer others onward in those personalized quests and accomplishments. "Let no externals deter me from my goal" makes sense to me. That includes comparing our progress, abilities or goals to those of others, because doing so is unfair to all in predictably lop-sided non-equations.

Music is a wonderful boost, and linked below is a song (Cher knows how to go to the gut in a song!) which speaks to me on so many levels .... Sums up a lot about who I am!

Who am I?
emoticon I am a survivor. My obstacles are like yours: unique. And frustrating. But I will still find a way around them... or over them... or right through them!

emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEXGAL1 2/25/2013 9:26AM

    Thank you Sam!

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GOANNA2 2/25/2013 12:10AM

    Awesome blog. Thank you Sam. emoticon

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JUMPINJULIE 2/24/2013 8:27PM

    Thank you for sharing it is just what i needed to hear. No body can stop us. emoticon

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NESARIAN 2/24/2013 3:58PM

    Most awesome! There is no stopping you!

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NMSUSTUDENT 2/24/2013 3:03PM

    Quote: "Only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road."─Dag Hammarskjold

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LEANIE64 2/24/2013 2:47PM

    Thanks for sharing the song..insightful blog....thanks for that too..!! emoticon

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Results of sleep study? I don't sleep much!

Friday, February 08, 2013

Today the sleep center called to give me results of the sleep study from a few weeks ago. So. Now I have to have a second sleep study (scheduled for March 7)....

Though the sleep study results do indicate that I have 'some very mild sleep apnea', that didn't account for the average of 20.6 "arousals" per hour (30x/hour during REM according to the readings.) Hmm.. If this had been a sex study, that would have been wild, but 'arousal' in this case apparently is like semi-awakening when not fully awakened.

The technician at the sleep center read the report to me; the doc concluded that the constant awakenings are pain-related, not apnea issues. Duh. Um, I've known this since first diagnosed with sleep disorder due to pain in 1994, so this was no news to ME.

But a 'slight' apnea is there mainly because I have a very small throat. If they find that using a mask helps me sleep, they think I may break this cycle of tiredness, weight-retention-pain. Worth a shot? Ok, I have no problem with dying in my sleep from sleep apnea (let's face it, it would end the pain, right?), but if sleep can help with the pain, I'm for trying.

Not sure what this study proved except to finally have documentation of what I've told people all along: I do not sleep well. Not big news to me. For 20 years and 2 months I've not slept well...since the day of the accident that started this. Until I can get more sleep, weight loss and reduction of pain are unlikely. I truly miss having quality of life in my life... so... Here's hoping. Though I expect nothing. Face it, I'm used to this so change would be nice, but I won't count on it!

I don't get enough. Do you?
Some articles on the importance of sleep:

"Sleeping Better for a Healthier Heart - A Good Night's Rest Can Boost Heart Health"
.... By Jennipher Walters, SparkPeople Contributor

"Insomnia Can Hinder Your Weight Loss - Sleepless Nights Stop Progress"
.... By Laura Bofinger, Staff Writer

Of course, what bugs me is that my current doctors had to have all this testing done to prove what I've told them for years, what doctors at the physical rehab hospital had already diagnosed: I have a pain-caused sleep disorder. How long will it take for them to realize what I was told years ago: that if I were to continue sleeping instead of waking up and changing position, my pain would be worse when I'm awake!

If I could get enough sleep, my metabolism would improve, I might actually lose weight, and my heart and anti-cancer would be healthier, too. So while I think sleep studies are silly for MY needs, I'll see where this can go.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUTHIEBEAR 2/13/2013 10:38AM

    Boy can I relate!!!! I live with back pain and I have sleep apnea. I have been using my sleep machine faithfully for 5 years and I still do not sleep well. I wake up 12-20 times per night and never get into deep sleep - ever. I never sleep more than about 30 minutes straight. I get around 4 hours of sleep even though I am in bed for 9+ hours. Result - I cannot lose weight. No matter what I do, and I tend to gain weight.
If you get any answers, please let me know, I'd be very interested.

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JUMPINJULIE 2/11/2013 7:01PM

    i'm so sorry. I hope now they can help you to get sleep. And people don't listen ever. What else is new.

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MEXGAL1 2/9/2013 9:41AM

    wow, so sorry to hear this. yep, sleep is so important. I am made fun of as I have a routine that really works for me. I have a Kindle and go to bed around 8:30 and read for a couple of hours and that clears my mind of other "stuff" and makes me sleepy. My DH doesn't like my routine but I don't care. I also sleep in my own bedroom as he snores and I don't care for me it's better to get a good night's sleep.
I hope you can find some solution.
Peace be with you!

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NESARIAN 2/8/2013 11:40PM

    Sam, I so feel for you. I think we have talked about this before but sleep is KEY to our wellness so while these tests will only confirm what you already know, it may inform your docs in how better to help you. It does become annoying when we clearly share our expertise and no one listens! I hope the next test provides all the answers for you.
Hang in there!

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GOANNA2 2/8/2013 9:20PM

    I was lucky that Medicare covered these sleep tests
I had (3). It was because I was snoring, but that was
because I had congestion and a cold that went forever.
I was told to get a mask, but I can't afford the $2,300.
Just losing the five kg since I had the sleep apnea tests
has seen my snoring stop, so I make sure I get 8 hours sleep.

Sam, I feel for you as your 'arousals' are pain related and
I'm not sure how the pain will go away when you are asleep.
It must be very hard for you to do normal things and I really
admire your courage. My wish for you is to be able to sleep.
Thinking of you. emoticon

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MEADSBAY 2/8/2013 8:17PM

    Do you know how much those sleep studies cost?
My doc wanted me to have one -
based on my report of my bad sleep-
which I already knew-
from my fitbit.
My crappy health insurance doesn't cover it (well, it would be under my deducible) so I said no, thank you.
I know my inability to lose wt is because I don't sleep well.
There is no other possible reason.
I compensate by being in bed for 10 or more hours so I can get 7-8 hours sleep (but with 20-25 arousals).
Oh- and I already do all of that 'good sleep hygiene' stuff!

Comment edited on: 2/8/2013 8:18:13 PM

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Pelvic Tilts, Exercise Binder, Graphing Progress

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Each of us uses tools here on SP and also has personal methods for making and tracking progress. I have specific exercises that I must do - using a binder of important-for-me exercises, keep a graph that shows my weight changes over time, and I keep a handwritten journal.

Perhaps the most important of these is my exercise binder's contents. I need to do specific exercises that are low-impact and help my muscles gently while being kind to the arthritis on my spine. Many of my exercises are based on a simple "Pelvic Tilt". I'll list ONE of those modifications below, but wanted to share the idea of doing the pelvic tilt in case you don't know it but it might help. This is great for those of us with fibromyalgia, spine or back problems; but for many other people too!


There are several exercises that can be done while doing the pelvic tilt, once you do it alone. But start with this; it is fantastic for the spine, but good for the abdomen without causing the stress that sit ups do.


....Lie on a mat or thick carpet on the floor, knees up.
...........(Can be done on a bed but won't be very effective)

....Flatten you spine to the floor; do this you sort of tuck your rear end a bit. But think SPINE!

....Pull in your stomach muscles.
........Some photos of the tilt, with description of
............both the lying down one and the more advanced standing tilts:

As you get used to this, you can add another component:

ARM SWINGS during the tilt!

....Get into the position and while holding the abdominal muscles,
....raise your arms up to the ceiling at at 90 degree angle.

....Then lower one arm toward the knee while
....... lowering (raising?) the other arm toward the area above your head on the floor.

Breath slowly as moving.
Slowly move arms, almost in a slow 'swing',
but holding that spine to the floor!
REST. Repeat.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

You can find diagrams and information online about the pelvic tilt and variations of exercises which can be done with it as a basis for keeping the spine gently aligned. Slow is good, and steady rhythym of movement is best.

When I left the physical rehabilitation hospital back in '94, the physical therapists gave me a few hundred exercises that were neatly diagramed in easy-to-follow method. Each of these exercises is now copied and in a looseleaf binder within its own heavy-duty protective plastic sheet. I use my 'exercise binder' for these and a few other exercises as a lifelong exercise resource. As the therapists told me: some of these I could do then, some were likely goals in the foreseeable future... and some are remotely possible but goals.


Each of us can do what I did. Take a binder, put do-able or goal exercises into plastic protective sheets... and keep the binder handy. If you have had physical therapy and the therapist will give you copies of exercises to do at home, put them right in that binder. This way the sheets stay neat and you always can find them with ease. If you like certain SP exercises, print them out and put them in the binder.

The binders can be "Lifetyle" books, self-creations of your overall lifestyle plan and goals; you can use tabs to separate sections.

You can insert a graph showing projected weight goals and 'plotting' your weight week-to-week to see your progress.

Some people prefer using the computer, but some are like me: liking to combine different ways of doing things. I do have a graph that I made using plain graph paper. With a starting point and a goal weight. Numbers for weights are listed on the left side; week-dates are listed on the bottom. There is a strait line drawn diagnally from start to goal and my little dots are below the line, which is okay by me because the ups and downs still show progress. Slow progress, but progess.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEXGAL1 2/5/2013 9:51AM

    Thanks for sharing.
Have a terrific day!

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GOANNA2 1/27/2013 5:02AM

    What a great idea for the binder. I do the pelvic tilt
exercises, but I'm not very cosistent. I need to start
doing them daily. I enjoyed the link. emoticon

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MEADSBAY 1/26/2013 5:26PM

    I do pelvic tilts, too, and really hold them and squeeze my lady parts as hard as I can- this helps with my minor bladder issue.
Love the binder idea!

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JUMPINJULIE 1/26/2013 4:48PM

    Great idea. I will start my own binder.

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MEXGAL1 1/26/2013 3:30PM

    very cool! woo hoo! Love the binder idea.

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STUDLEEJOE 1/26/2013 2:42PM


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Solid Support

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Support is not stagnant.

It must be dynamic in nature, should be characterized by interactions that move ever forward in some manner. Sometimes we, as humans, seek support only from those with the same 'needs' or same stated 'goals'. But is not the best support multi-dimensional?
Sometimes when we're in a rut, it's good to remember resources for meaningful strength to keep our focus in the right direction rather than distraction.

Where is your support system?
Do you have one that you can define?

A handy little exercise for thinking about your in-real-life support:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HAWTGRANNY2014 1/25/2013 7:08PM

    It is nice to have support but don't forget that you need to support yourself too. Everyone needs to find what works for them. I have tried to get my daughter and hubby to join but she has her way and he just doesn't care. He wants his food that he wants even though it is bad for him.
I need to be with others, like spark that are on my journey but you can't force anyone else to come with you GOANNA2 unless they are willing. You can do this. Just don't let yourself stop because you don't have a buddy. Though nice, I don't have one either. We can do this. reading inspiring blogs and info can help.
And you can always get new inspiration by reading this blog. Thanks. Pam emoticon
New friends are made with caring and sharing.

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JUMPINJULIE 1/25/2013 2:02PM

    Awesome link and great excrise to do.

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MEXGAL1 1/25/2013 10:12AM

    Thanks so much for sharing.
Have a terrific day.

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SAM60SUMTHINK 1/24/2013 9:08PM

    My situation is the same, Anna; my support is HERE.
Among a few friends.

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BECKYSFRIEND 1/24/2013 8:49PM

    family, friends and co-workers

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GOANNA2 1/24/2013 7:09PM

    I do not have much of a support system outside
my Spark friends. Sometimes my sister will pay
a compliment and say 'I look like I am looking weight'.

The friend I go walking with is always in to new 'diets'
as such and even though I have asked her to join me
on Spark, will continue to try and persuade me to try
what she is doing. I think I need to find a new walking

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Empty Calories - the ones to avoid

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nutrient-density is a strong focal point in my lifestyle. My way of eating has fewer 'useless calories' these days than it did in years past. One of my little mind-tricks is the way I opt for variation of color in my meals: 'colorful plating' means having a variety of rich, bright, bold, and/or vibrant colors of vegetables highlighting what is on my dinner plate. I've mentioned this in my blogs before, so if you read my blogs this is not news.

Today I encountered a government sie that lists foods, their caloric value... and how many of the calories have no value!

It's interesting, useful in making menu choices too...especially for those new to change or making yet more changes on the ever-expanding journey toward healthy lifestyle!

Here's the link:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUMPINJULIE 1/25/2013 1:59PM

    Awesome link. Thank you for sharing.

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LEPETITCHIHUA 1/22/2013 9:50PM

    Love this link thank-you emoticon

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SHRINKINGMEG27 1/22/2013 9:26PM

  awesome, thanks!

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BECKYSFRIEND 1/22/2013 7:07PM

    emoticon for sharing

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TAMMY5707 1/22/2013 6:53PM

    Eye opening!

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GOANNA2 1/22/2013 4:18PM

    Thanks for the link.

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MEXGAL1 1/22/2013 3:27PM

    thank you for the link. very interesting.

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SCRAPPINPOLLY 1/22/2013 2:44PM

    Thanks so much for the link!!

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PURPLE180 1/22/2013 2:34PM

    emoticon for sharing.

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