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What Does a Holiday Mean to YOU?

Monday, May 31, 2010

emoticon With today being Memorial Day it's a good day to remember all of our loved one's who have passed away. Many people use today as a time to put flowers on their graves. Others only think of the holiday as an extra day off from work (with pay) and it doesn't really matter what the holiday is, some treat them all the same. I'm not here to preach to you about what you should do or should be thinking on any given holiday -- that's a personal preference, and I don't like to judge others.

There are holidays that mean nothing to me, at least they mean nothing as far as the reason they were initially created. Sometimes I wonder what they really mean to our government also, because rather than celebrate them on the day the event happened, suddenly most of our holidays are moved to Monday! We all know the reason for that -- a 3-day week-end. Not that we need a 3-day week-end in order to remember our departed, or to remember Veterans or to remember any of the reasons the holiday is recognized. Most of the people want the 3-day week-end to go out and party and have fun! I'm really surprised they haven't moved the 4th of July, Thanksgiving or Christmas!

For me I have no need to have a special day on the calendar to remember my loved ones who have departed. I think of them on an almost daily basis. They are in my heart and in my thoughts. So today, rather than sitting for a few minutes and thinking of them..... I was painting a wall in my entryway. There was no way I could take flowers to anyone's graveside -- there is no one within driving distance. But in my thoughts they receive special attention each and every day, and if it is possible they are observing me from heaven and they see me busily doing something on the day meant to honor them, I think they will know I still love them....I still think of them.....I still miss them.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNANN63 6/1/2010 9:46AM

    We have a really lovely Memorial Day service here in our community. Each year we have a fly over with the Missing Man Formation. It brings tears to my eyes it is so beautiful and such a tribute to all we have lost.

I have never been one to visit graves although we did visit when we were in NY a few weeks ago. We may not ever get back there again and I think it was good for DH to see them one more time.

As for holidays in general, I am OK with the long week ends, what I object to is the commercialization that has us seeing Christmas decorations in October. We pass on most of that stuff. DH and I do not exchange gifts for any occasion. Anything we need or want we just get. The stress of trying to "surprise" a partner with gifts four times a year gets worse as the years go by. We have found other ways to express our feelings and enjoy the days.

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LIS193 6/1/2010 8:17AM

    You are so right - it doesn't need a date on the calendar to remember someone.
Most Federal Holiday are a way to give people a 3 day holiday and a lot of them are meaningless to me...
Labor Day, Columbus Day, Presidents Day etc.... what do they actually mean anymore apart from a being a nuisance because the post office and banks are closed?

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A 3-day binge......I mean Holiday Week-End!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

emoticon When was the last time you had this much food spread out in front of you, and all of it tempting? Probably whatever the last holiday was where you were getting together with friends and family. Last night we were not even officially into the week-end yet, but I gathered with three other friends at a local Italian restaurant, launching off the wonderful 3-day binge!

I decided to order a light beer to save myself some calories, smart choice; but then the waiter brings a basket of warm, crusty bread, and liberally pours out the oil and balsamic vinegar into a shallow dish in the center of the table. I felt the willpower oozing out my fingertips as I reached out and broke off one of the tasty morsels and swirled it into the olive oil. Beer and crusty bread, a heady combo! Laughter and small talk was flowing freely, and one bite followed another until I wasn't sure just how many of those tiny little bites I had consumed! I wish I had just ordered my dinner and waited for it to be served instead of literally dipping up FAT with my pieces of bread. Yes, I KNOW olive oil is good for you, but it still has 14 g of fat in it!!

OK, now the other couple gets their appetizer! Artichoke hearts/spinach dip, it sounds innocent and healthy, but what about all the fatty cream and cheese it also contains? I passed on that one little temptation, but don't even bother to pat me on the back! My order of eggplant parmesan soon arrived and with the hearty helping of shredded romano on top I doubt if it was the healthiest choice of the evening either.

Even so, I probably could have gotten by with one of my usual gains of .2 or .4 but then the waiter decided we had been so nice all evening he took it upon himself to bring up a "complimentary" dessert. It was delicious, horribly fattening and tastes like pure sin melting on my lips! Strawberries, luscious and sweet, all wrapped up in a sweet whipped cream, folded lightly into a crust that was most likely 99% butter!

What goes in the lips ends up on the hips! All that joy and bliss = 1 lb. gain! The worst part is that tonight the menu is for BBQ Baby Back Ribs! Another favorite so what will I do. There is a swimming pool, so maybe I can swim 150 laps or so and just work it all off. Well. . . . . . . we'll see how "that one" goes!!

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNANN63 6/1/2010 9:58AM

    I do indulge in treats but I do keep track of the amount I eat and record the calories. If I know I am going to be at a dinner or party, I eat very healthy and lower calorie the rest of the day. I have been able to include the treats and still have only exceeded the calorie allowance about 5 times in 5 months. Food is not my friend and I don't find most food tastes good enough to go over my calorie allowance for them. Even foods that taste wonderful I can eat in reasonable amounts.

The other side of this is that I have a few trigger foods (ice cream, chocolate, chips) that I have to watch very carefully. They don't actually taste all that wonderful, they are just foods I can eat and eat and eat. I overdid potato chips one day while we were on vacation.

Sunday we celebrated DH's birthday with his oldest daughter and her family. I made special chocolate sandwich cookies with a truly fabulous filling and did eat 2 instead of the 1 I planned to eat. I was able to cut out something else and stayed in my calorie range. There are some left and I am avoiding them. If I don't start I will probably not have any problem leaving them alone.

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CATLADY52 5/30/2010 2:25PM

    As others have said, 'Live the life you love, and love the life you live'. Enjoy your dinner (it does sound scrumtious) and the friendship. You have certainly earned it! emoticon emoticon

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DESERTFLOWER8 5/30/2010 1:12PM

    I love the comments all the others have posted here. After all, this IS life, isn't it? Enjoy your weekend of fun, and don't burden yourself with guilt. This is one weekend, not what you do every day of the year. Enjoy!!!

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LIS193 5/30/2010 10:59AM

    Sometimes it's worth it to give in to temptation! Your dinner sounds sooo good.
Eat lightly all day, drink lots of water and enjoy dinner tonight.
Have fun !!

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THPEAKY 5/30/2010 7:29AM

    Y'know sometimes food is just so darn good- I don't want to eat fake food. I'd be with you swimming the laps! Have a wonderful weekend!

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ROSY_TIAMO 5/30/2010 4:09AM

    I really enjoyed sharing all those wonderful tastes with you (you're too funny) We've all been there and done that.......have a safe weekend!

Rosy emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/30/2010 4:10:04 AM

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LUNADRAGON 5/30/2010 12:02AM

    I find that I can forgive myself, and allow for such times as birthdays, potlucks, dinners. I am learning how to make choices, and allow some treats for me too. You know that you don't holiday eat everyday, because that is how the weight goes back on, and you are better than that. I am sure that once the weekend passes, you will be back on target.
Enjoy the Memorial Day weekend, the company, and listen to your body signals regarding what morsels you partake of.

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LOVES_ANIMALS 5/29/2010 11:14PM

    Enjoy yourself and don't deprive yourself. Make up for it a little bit at a time.



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PSMITH3841 5/29/2010 9:07PM

    I guess we will just do the best we can and start to repair and damage we've done on Tuesday...Just roll with it and enjoy the time with friends and family...Have a great Memorial Day Weekend! emoticon emoticon

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It Only Gets Easier!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

emoticon If you've been on SparkPeople for awhile and you are exercising regularly, somewhere along the line you probably do some "walking." After all, walking is proclaimed to be the easiest, best, most affordable, and all-around good-for-you exercise there is. Whether heavy or thin, walking will build up muscles, tone you up, burn up calories -- the sky is the limit.

Have you ever read any of the blogs where a person has lost 100 pounds simply by WALKING! I mean, really! No gym fees, get yourself a pair of tennis shoes and away you go! And I noticed something at twilight as I was taking my dog for her (our) walk; it gets easier and easier. OK, and I know that means I need to push it up a bit, walk faster, go farther -- something to put a little effort into my daily walk. My dog may have short legs, but she really knows how to move her butt, and you know what -- that means I've got to move mine too!
emoticon Thank God for Dogs!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOVES_ANIMALS 5/27/2010 4:30PM

    great thoughts!


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CATLADY52 5/27/2010 3:38PM

    Keep it up. I tried walking the cat, but he kept going off in six directions. A bit more than I was bagaining for. If I had a dog I'd walk it.

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VITCHY-VICKI 5/27/2010 2:38PM

    I miss my little Grand dog we did go for walks but I do walk with my neighbor and her dog but we make the dog keep up with us.
Walking is great no mater what your age is emoticonwith or emoticonwith out

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LIS193 5/27/2010 11:35AM

    I love to walk, especially now the weather is better.
I do miss my dogs :(

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PSMITH3841 5/27/2010 10:42AM

    I use walking as my major cardio and Zoey is my work-out are so right about those short legs! After checking for her messages, and taking care of business type things, we're ready to go. I usually let her set the pace, and many times I find myself having to jog (OMG!!!), to keep up...Our little buddies can really keep us moving can't they? I wouldn't have it any other way.... emoticon

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ANNANN63 5/27/2010 7:15AM

    Walking is my preferred exercise. I love pickleball but it requires 3 other people to play; walking I can do anytime.

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THPEAKY 5/27/2010 6:42AM

    I have a friend who began walking (I already thought she was slim) and she looks amazing! I, unfortunately have 3 of the laziest dogs in the universe, haha! So I walk on a treadmill with three mini wiener dogs laying in front of it. Dogs rule!

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VEGANVICKIE 5/27/2010 12:30AM

    I just wish it would kick in for me big time. I tread 100 or more minutes daily and have only succeeded in gaining weight this week.
BR>Yes, dogs are the best !!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Do You Ever Feel Ambivalent?

Monday, May 24, 2010

emoticon On one hand I want to eat healthy, exercise and be the best I can be! But on the other hand, sometimes I get sick and tired of making the right choices and doing my exercises; I look at myself and my life and I have to wonder who would notice if I just ate everything in sight, and layed around watching TV.

You know when those days roll around, it was either because the weather wasn't just right (maybe cold and rainy) or maybe the scale was up instead of down; it could have been something as simple as just plain being tired. Just because you had 8 hours of sleep doesn't mean you can't wake up tired. You could have been restless, awake off and on, or maybe there is something on your mind.

How do you get through days like that without wrecking your whole week? I have found that if you track the food you plan on eating, you will probably start off OK, and if you flub up a little later in the day at least it won't be a complete disaster. And DO NOT (yes! in caps) DO NOT let one day rule your life! So you had a bad day -- we all do, so take it in stride, do the best you can and start over fresh in the morning.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CATLADY52 5/24/2010 12:45PM

    So very, very true. Thank you for reminding us all.

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LOVES_ANIMALS 5/24/2010 11:36AM

    wonderful. So many of the members on spark feel just the same way, including me!

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ANNANN63 5/24/2010 11:10AM

    I completely understand what you are talking about. I had great difficulties losing weight and maintaining any weight loss for most of my life (including my childhood). What has changed for me is my motivation. I NEED (note caps and note I did not say want) to be as healthy as possible. As I age I have finally realized that how much I weigh has a significant effect on my health and I want to be as healthy as possible. Vanity has very little to do with my new lifestyle. I am enjoying feeling better in clothing and the compliments are lovely. But I am doing this for a healthy future. So on a really difficult day (such as traveling and dealing with family that is sometimes difficult for me) I might indulge but I have yet to say "what the heck, I'll just eat whatever I want and deal with weight loss later." Even when I ate a lot of potato chips (a problem food) I left the sweets alone.

I truly believe the "why" of losing weight and exercising drives motivation. With the right motivation, every day is important and the deviation from the food and exercise plans are minimal. I personally also have a wide acceptable calorie range with the upper limit really a maintenance level. I do this so the times when things are hard I can still stay in my range even eating stuff I wouldn't eat normally. I want to stay successful as it encourages me to continue being successful.

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LIS193 5/24/2010 11:01AM

    We all have bad days, it's how you deal with them.... Sometimes I can fight the urge, other days I give in and get back on track the next day. Having lost the bulk and now fighting to stay in my comfortable zone there are up and down days... as long as I stay in my "zone" (142-145) I can handle that, it's when I go above my "panic point" (145) I need to get seriously back on track for a week or so. That's where I'm at now.. I'm back in my zone but need to get to the low end of it.

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PSMITH3841 5/24/2010 9:52AM

    Shoot, that's darn near every day....and I screw up more often than I would care to admit...but, when I chose to go on this journey, I kind of expected that behavior...but I am determined to make me a healthier me! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/24/2010 9:53:53 AM

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VITCHY-VICKI 5/24/2010 9:34AM

    I know I have been there and said who cares anyway?

But I keep trying for one day I will be at my goal even if it takes me longer then I want it to take but I will keep trying

emoticonwish they had one that said WE can do this also for we can do this one step at a time

Comment edited on: 5/24/2010 9:40:02 AM

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BARBIE66 5/24/2010 7:32AM

    It is so ture to the word...remember take baby steps all the way.. emoticon emoticon

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BORTEI 5/24/2010 7:24AM

    So very true and very wise words.
Thank you Eve.


Best Wishes,


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Keeping Track is Important...

Saturday, May 22, 2010

emoticon I have always been overly confident in my ability to "know what was going on -- no guidelines needed for me!" well, as smug as that sounds, I had my "ah ha" moment this morning when I stepped on the scale and saw yet another drop of 0.6 making my total loss close to 2.5 pounds! It showed me that what I 'thought' I was eating wasn't true at all, I obviously HAD to be consuming more calories than I thought -- because I was gaining weight. I read about an experiment, tracking your food by planning out your menu's ahead of time, allowing a certain amount of calories for each meal, and coming up with a pre-planned total amount of calories for the day! I was skeptical.....I don't mind admitting it; after all, I was sure I wasn't overeating!

Day one of my Plan gave me an 0.8 pound drop, Day two was even better with a full pound -- then it stayed the same for a couple of days going neither up nor down. Today was another drop of 0.6 so who can blame me for being ecstatic!

My advice to anyone who is a yo-yo all over the place, or putting on a few pounds is to get back on the Nutrition Tracker! You may be eating more than you think so plan it out, and if it's not on your menu for the day, then DON'T put it in your mouth. No! Not even if it's just 40 or 50 calories!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNANN63 5/23/2010 9:06PM

    I agree with you completely. If you really want to lose weight, you have to carefully monitor your eating and do a reasonable amount of exercise.

I have been in "maintenance mode" for about 3 weeks. I had great difficulty keeping my eating in the low range of my allowed calories per day due to some stress associated with planning and then taking the trip. I decided that I could eat right up to the maximum calories allowed until I got home. It made life easier being able to have some higher calorie foods and a few extra treats and I am thrilled that I did not gain. Now I am home and feeling calm and am back on track. Sometimes we do need a day or even more where we give ourselves permission to eat more but when we really want to lose, we have to track the calories carefully.

Congratulations on the weight loss. Great job.

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VITCHY-VICKI 5/23/2010 7:37AM

    I know if I would just stick to the plan I had last year I would be down but I just can't get my mind back in the game
But so glad your doing so good keep up the good work
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLESSED2BEME 5/22/2010 8:54PM

    emoticon emoticon So glad you found another step in the positive on your journey!

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LOVES_ANIMALS 5/22/2010 4:14PM

    You are so right. Good for you!

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PSMITH3841 5/22/2010 3:58PM

    Wow great job...I am SOOO not a planner, but looks to me like I should really consider this...I'm working on this adding calories to my nutrition totals, to keep up with my exercise calorie burn and so far it seems to be working, albeit very slowly....Maybe if I combine the two...hmmmmm....

Comment edited on: 5/22/2010 4:04:01 PM

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