SLENDERELLA61   158,803
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Home Blessings and Exercise

Thursday, September 05, 2013

The really good news is that I like coming home now. Yes, I do. For months, no, for years, I entered my house with varying amounts of distress. It was often really good to be greeted by the dog, who didn't mind if we lived in chaos. And family was pretty tolerant of mess and contributed regularly, too. But I often stepped into my house with a cloud of failure hanging over me. Just seemed like the house had gotten away from me. Oh, sure, there were times I made islands of order and cleanliness. There were times company was coming and I did the mad scramble cleaning and fake orderliness.

But now, less than 2 months after meeting the Flylady, I am happy to step into my house. I feel much less burdened. Decluttering is very freeing. Is my house perfect? Oh, definitely not. Am I making progress? Definitely. And by me just being happy with our house, hubby has been influenced to create some order, too.

One thing I've discovered as I have developed my Flylady routines is that I am incredibly distractible. And I didn't know that about me. For years I worked, and followed time management principles and managed TO DO lists. I thought I was pretty disciplined in my work habits. But at home I flitted around the house, going to dust the end table I see a pillow that needs to be sewn and on the way to get the needle and thread I find trash that needs to be thrown away and then I see the trash needs to go out to the dumpster and then I see weeds around the dumpster and I may or may not get the end table dusted and the pillow sewn -- and that was without the phone ringing or the kids needing something. I am getting better and better at being able to focus for 10 minutes on one room or one project. Flylady's trick of setting a timer for 5 minute and 10 minute and 15 minute "missions" is really helping me to stay on task and accomplish more.

My new hobby is house cleaning, or as Flylady calls it, blessing the house. When I felt like I was behind and struggling there was no joy in it. Now that I'm on top of things -- and confident that if there is something that needs to be done, the daily routines or zone cleaning will get it soon enough -- it feels good to maintain an orderly and clean home. As Flylady says, "You are not behind. Jump in where you are!"

Now how does all this relate to SparkPeople fitness and goal achievement? Perhaps more than you think. To accomplish anything you have to have enough focus to stay on task sufficient time to achieve it. Losing and maintaining weight takes time - time to plan, time to track, time to grocery shop, time to cook, time to exercise, time to read and learn what to do. Right now I'm coaching someone going through The Beck Diet Solution and today is her Day 9, Create Time and Energy. Beck has you set priorities in your life and look for things to cut back on in order to have sufficient time to lose weight. Good idea. Then she has you develop a schedule for all the necessary activities.

I had struggled with a bad attitude about housework for many years. When I got serious about losing weight I really expanded my exercise time. (First it was half hour 5 days a week, then went to one hour 6 days a week.) And often I took what had been my housecleaning time to do so. I indulged myself. I really enjoyed the exercise more than the cleaning anyway. I'm not sorry I did it. It worked for me. I lost the weight (80+ pounds) and I've kept it off (4.5 years). But if I had to do it again, or I was making a recommendation to someone, I'd say for 2-6 months it might be a good strategy, but don't let your house get as bad as mine was!! Check out Flylady and learn how to maximize your home blessing time. I bet you will find, like I have, that you do have enough time to exercise and to bless your house enough that you are really comfortable in it. It is great to open up the front door and be totally glad to enter!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 9/6/2013 8:14PM

    I agree! Cleaning up your personal space frees you up to work on yourself and your needs. It can also make fixing meals a pleasurable time. I've found that if I start with the bedroom closet and bathroom and work outward, it has the greatest effect overall. I also have a rule that the kitchen is completely cleaned up before I go to bed every night. Who likes waking up in the morning and going into a kitchen that is a mess? My only issue is that in Florida, the houses don't have enough storage space. I would like to have a better space for my books and crafts.

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MSLZZY 9/6/2013 10:36AM

    I really should try this and will, when life settles down.
This will be my goal for the weekend! HUGS!

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    That is great! I heard of Flylady years ago but never did anything with it. I guess that I am still in the selfish I'd rather exercise mode. My house really isn't too bad though, but it could use a little more attention. I will check it out again. I also think the timer is a wonderful tool!

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_LINDA 9/6/2013 2:17AM

    That is so awesome to fix a sore point of your life that has probably nagged you at the back of your mind. Setting goals really does work. I am guilty of doing the exact same thing. Setting out to do one task and spotting something else. Then I flit from one thing to another only getting things partially done and creating a big pile of to do projects half done :( I really do need to organize my club work and my housework. Probably part of the reason I derailed as the bad was influencing the good :(
Here is to decluttering and finishing one task, one step at a time.

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TXPATRIOT 9/5/2013 11:43PM

    Blessing the that!!

Thanks for sharing this blog!

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COCK-ROBIN 9/5/2013 11:25PM


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RUNNERRACHEL 9/5/2013 8:51PM

    emoticon for sharing about the Flylady! I have been the same way about cleaning. Distracted. Overwhelmed. Negative attitude. I'd rather exercise for sure!

I like the idea of 5, 10, or 15 minute "missions."

Thank you for the great tips.

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GABY1948 9/5/2013 8:43PM

    emoticon emoticon and I agree totally with has a lot to do with spark! I am so happy for you, Marsha...I am at the opposite end of the spectrum...overly neat and tidy which is just as you might say we are "meeting each other in the middle" emoticon emoticon

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PMFISH 9/5/2013 8:05PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JOYINKY 9/5/2013 8:00PM


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MJREIMERS 9/5/2013 7:41PM

    It's great when we see "improvements all the way around" in life! Good habits can and will transfer over. I'm glad that your house is now a place of relaxation instead of stress. You deserve to relax and enjoy your home.

Keep it up!

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NATPLUMMER 9/5/2013 7:34PM


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ONEKIDSMOM 9/5/2013 7:28PM

    You are worthy of having a blessed home! Well written and a great connection between TWO forms of successful improvement of life.

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LEXONE 9/5/2013 7:04PM

    Awesome...I found the FlyLady website several years ago and still do routines and have nothing else of my own to declutter. So wish my husband could downsize his belongs..maybe one day!

It's wonderful your combining that with loosing weight and changing your life style. Her system is life changing that's for sure.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMLILA 9/5/2013 6:51PM

    Hey Marsha,
awesome blog... Why didn't I hear about this years and years ago? I did check out Flylady, but guess I never thought I had the time to get into it, this is the 3rd reference to it that I've seen in about a week... Think that's a coincidence?

With this very powerful testimony, I better get right over there.... and what was wrong with how you used to do things, I thought it sounded pretty "normal" to me....

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Find a Way

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Diana Nyad's swim has touched me in a personal way more than any items in the news in years. Because we're the same age. Because I did distance swimming as a teen. Because I remember her previous attempts. Because I struggle to swim now days -- just can't seem to get comfortable breathing. Because she didn't give up. Because she found a way.

And count on SparkPeople to highlight her accomplishment in a very powerful format. If you haven't read this Spark article, with a 5 minute video clip of her sharing her motivating story, I highly recommend it:

Her mantra of "Find a Way" challenges me. Yes, I have two half marathons coming up and I'm toying with going for a qualifying time for National Senior Games 5K -- if I can overcome recurring minor glute injury. I'm maintaining an 80 pound weight loss and trying very gradually to get down another couple pounds. But is that enough? Diana Nyad went back and picked up a goal from many, many years ago and then found a way to achieve it. Are there any old dreams I could turn into goals now? Do you have any unfinished dreams and uncompleted challenges?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 9/6/2013 8:05PM

    I dream of being able to visit some places in the US before my time is up. Hopefully that dream will come to fruition in the next few years!

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    Woohoo! Find a way and never give up!
Running my first half on Sunday and it is Gals like you and Diana that inspire me!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/5/2013 4:15PM

    Very inspiring. emoticon thanks for sharing!

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BESTSUSIEYET 9/4/2013 11:29PM

    YOU inspire me, Marsha ... With no TV, celebrity, etc. just faithfully pursuing being the BEST YOU you can be! Keep up the good work and enjoy the progress!

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COCK-ROBIN 9/4/2013 10:45PM


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ONEKIDSMOM 9/4/2013 9:59PM

    Of course being so close to your age myself, I remember Diana as an Olympic champion when I was in high school, and ALL of her attempts at this swim. She has long been an inspiration. I just know you'll find a challenge that works for YOU, to pull you onward and keep your eyes smiling with the rest of you.

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PMFISH 9/4/2013 4:07PM

    I know what ever you decide you want to do, you will be able to accomplish it. You have a great spirit and it shows!

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GABY1948 9/4/2013 2:59PM

    emoticon blog! I can't wait to see you accomplish and "old unfinished dream! I know you can do it!

I don't have any myself...I'm just really happy where I am today because where I came from wasn't so great. And I have been on track for quite some time now so I guess I sit back and live my dreams through you! And I LIKE it that way!

Have a GREAT evening, Marsha!

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MSLZZY 9/4/2013 2:35PM

    Lots of food for thought so it is time to put the thinking cap on! Thanks for sharing!

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GOLFGMA 9/4/2013 1:37PM

    It goes to say "Never give up". We hear this all the time from people who have had great accomplishments. emoticon

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NATPLUMMER 9/4/2013 11:09AM


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TRAVELGRRL 9/4/2013 10:05AM

    Yes, how motivating is SHE!?!

Great question -- DO we have any unfinished dreams we could tackle now? The truth is most people use their age as a way to excuse themselves from pursuing their dreams.

I often feel like I'm living my second childhood because we are doing so many active things, way more than I ever did in my FIRST childhood and youth. People are amazed at all the things we do -- like we're just supposed to sit home, watch TV and age in place. This truly is the best time of my life in sooo many ways.

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MIRAGE727 9/4/2013 9:38AM

    You know me, Marsha! I'm always looking for the next challenge! This year I did a Duathlon at 62 & a Triathlon at 63. I'm looking at mastering my Tri swim leg and aiming for a PB at the TriRock Clearwater Triathlon.
My sis & I were on a Swim Team throughout high school. We've followed Diana's triumphs since the 70s. Now, more that ever, she inspires me.
She's 19 months older than me!
For me, the fun of it all is finding another challenge which just keeps me in the lifestyle!!

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Finish Strong

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Diana Nyad, 64 years old, finished the 110 mile swim from Cuba to Florida, a challenge she first tried at age 28, sunburned and jellyfish-stung, but saying what many of us were thinking. She said to keep trying and never give up. She said that we are not too old! Her speech was slightly slurred after her 53 hour ordeal, but her eyes were full of life and joy and triumph! How inspirational!!

Today as I ran on my treadmill I thought about her, feeling blessed and strong and healthy. I also thought about a blog I read a year or two ago. Many SparkPeople blogs are profound and useful. Some, like this one, become part of me. One Sparker wrote about her dad and how he always inspired her to "finish strong." She told eloquently how she applied that to her life. I found myself today, as often in races and training runs, telling myself to "finish strong," giving the end of the workout extra uumphhh. That phrase gives me strength, reminds me I'm almost done, and it's time to give it all I've got.

So, those are my borrowed words of today: Finish strong!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 9/6/2013 7:57PM


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Strong it is!
Thank you!

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MNNICE 9/6/2013 10:27AM

    Words to live by!

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COCK-ROBIN 9/3/2013 8:53PM


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PMRUNNER 9/3/2013 8:18PM

    I heard her interview! Follow your dreams and keep on sparking!

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_LINDA 9/3/2013 7:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticon emoticon emoticon
Diane is incredible -all women can take heart from her -that nothing is impossible when you have set your mind to it!!
My personal motto has always been never give up -I am the little bulldog that's got your pant leg and won't let go ;)
I am so fortunate to have so many strong women role models to look up to, you included!

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/3/2013 7:56PM

    I had goosebumps watching her walk out of the ocean and make those three points. Finish strong, indeed... words I will carry with me this weekend.

Success is a given! Finish strong.

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WATERMELLEN 9/3/2013 7:56PM

    I'm going to remember to finish strong tomorrow at the gym. Thanks!!

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MJREIMERS 9/3/2013 6:46PM

    It's proof that when one tries and tries again, success can be achieved!!! emoticon

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BOOKAPHILE 9/3/2013 4:11PM

    Good words to ponder!

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FITFRIT 9/3/2013 2:39PM

    awesome, thank you for sharing!

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NATPLUMMER 9/3/2013 1:48PM


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CREEKLADY1 9/3/2013 1:03PM

  Totally agree! Love it!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/3/2013 12:58PM

    emoticon Very inspiring!

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JOYINKY 9/3/2013 12:53PM


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Tell Me About Your Goals, While Cheering Diana Nyad

Monday, September 02, 2013

Diana Nyad is 64 years old, the same age I am. She is about to achieve a goal she set for herself years ago, swimming from Cuba to Florida. This is not her first attempt. As I write this blog she is less than 10 miles from her goal. Go, Diana!

Setting a goal and tackling it is a very powerful experience; achieving it is profoundly satisfying. Today I'm going to rethink my goals. Have I clearly defined what I'm trying to achieve? Are my goals big enough?

What are your goals? How do you use goals to motivate yourself?

Edit: She did it!! She arrived at 3:41 (or was it 3:14??). How exciting! She achieved her goal 35 years after first trying. I believe it was her 5th attempt. Never stop!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 9/5/2013 5:58PM

    What an awesome achievement!

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JANEWATKINS 9/5/2013 9:54AM

    Marsha, I, too, have been watching Diana Nyad ever since she was 28 and made her first attempt. I was thrilled to see her achieve this distance swimming milestone. I was just so intrigued by her statement on the shore after walking the last few steps to make her goal. She said, I have three things to say . . .

1. Never give up your dream.

2. You are never too old.

3. It may look solo, but it is a team sport.

This is probably paraphrased by me, somewhat, but I thought how much that could be applied to SparkPeople . . . we ARE a team who support each other. And as a person of 66 years, I need to remember to not give up, ever, since I've been trying to get to a normal weight since I was 19 years old. That's 47 years of dieting. Now I no longer diet, but claim to be learning to eat healthy. This is the year! Hugs, Jane

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LEWILL1982 9/3/2013 1:47PM

    My September goal is to finish, and finish strong- the MS 150 at the end of the month. Two 1/2 marathons between now and year end, one on Thanksgiving, one right after Christmas. Goals are lofty but acheivable, they make us strong!

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SPINNINGJW 9/3/2013 11:31AM

    Amazing to see what mature women can accomplish!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/2/2013 7:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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IMAVISION 9/2/2013 6:22PM

    emoticon to Diana!

God bless!

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MARGARITTM 9/2/2013 4:10PM

    Diana - set her goal and accomplished it! It doesn't get much sweeter than that.

My goal is to run a qualifying time for NYC Marathon. ........ oh yeah and then go run it!

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NATPLUMMER 9/2/2013 1:40PM


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PMFISH 9/2/2013 1:11PM

    Wow! Amazing! Thanks for sharing.

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BUSYGRANNY5 9/2/2013 11:57AM

    Great blog.... thanks for sharing.... keep on keeping on....

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TRAVELGRRL 9/2/2013 10:39AM

    Love this blog and the thoughtful responses. Apparently Sparkpeople are people who live their lives with PURPOSE, and how awesome is it to be one of those people?

My 2013 goal is to continue to push my fitness level and to achieve a NORMAL BMI for the first time in 20+ years. I have lots of personal issues and struggles to overcome, but today, September 2, I have confidence that I can be successful!

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 9/2/2013 10:19AM

    To never stop believing in myself and to never think of myself as old. And to never forget that it's the process, not the end, that counts the most.

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MIRAGE727 9/2/2013 10:05AM

    Great thoughts, Marsha!

My ultimate goal is to live a long healthy life so I can enjoy the rest of my life with my wife, watching our Granddaughter grow up and being there for both of them! I set challenges for myself which always keep me in a healthy lifestyle.

My accomplishments, since I came to SP in Oct 2010, speak for themselves. At 63, I can say that living a healthy lifestyle works! I have also found myself becoming so much less obsessive about all aspects of my life and embrace it all in a positive manner. In my running & Triathlon performances, I don't get hung up on speed but embrace the intrinsic values of the sport as well as injury-free form.

I have short term, mid-term, and long-term goals. They helped achieve my success. BUT, here's the thing. Through it all, I enjoy life & have fun with it! THAT's another huge secret of my success.

All the best & "Stay Healthy, My Friend!"

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KELLIEBEAN 9/2/2013 10:01AM

    I was watching that earlier this morning. Amazing. I see stories like that and think, what am I going to accomplish! I have never had thoughts like that before, I used to just shake my head and think 'crazy person'.

I'm still working on September goals. I'm going to work on running since I took a few weeks off due to a plantar issue. And I'm thinking about meditation. My mind is ALWAYS cluttered, my whole life. This is very foreign to me, meditation, so it will take some education and a lot of practice.

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JERIBERI1 9/2/2013 9:00AM

    I'm keeping up with Diana Nyad, too. She is amazing!! Someone commented that her goal doesn't mean anything, and that it's stupid to do swim that far. I'm sure the person who said that has never pushed himself out of his comfort zone at all. Ugghhh...

I like to dream big, so my goal is to be an IronMan in 2 years. I will be 56 years old.

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GABY1948 9/2/2013 8:57AM

    Thanks for goal WOULD be to run but knees/hip won't allow it so my goal will be to even walk farther!

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    I am also rethinking my goal. There is such a sense of achievement when reaching my goal and setting a new one. I guess that's what drives me..
A new month and new goals. Happy September!

Sharon emoticon

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RIDLEYRIDER 9/2/2013 8:06AM

  She is AWESOME! My goal is to maintain my goal weight forever!

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COCK-ROBIN 9/2/2013 7:55AM

    Great Goals are good.

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ONEKIDSMOM 9/2/2013 7:53AM

    My goal is to live a "normal" life that includes setting and achieving goals... which may vary, from year to year or month to month! Have a great day of contemplation... goals are dreams with a deadline!

Go, Diana, go! You will make it this time! emoticon

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TAICHIDANCER 9/2/2013 7:48AM

    Wow. I remember watching Diana Nyad in my youth. I'm glad she's still out there and still doing stuff like this.

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MANDELOVICH 9/2/2013 7:45AM

    My goal is to live binge free! This is a huge one as when I binge it makes the rest of my life so hard.

It is something that I read about, write about, and get lots of support about, but still I slip often.

Today I start again, day 1 of a 21 day challenge. Wish me luck!!

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What a Great Saturday!!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Thoroughly enjoyed my run this morning. As promised, I ran at the back of the group, and did not push pace in order to help my left glute and surrounding muscles heal. My Garmin recorded the following data:

Time: 2:01:19
Moving Time: 1:55:50
Elapsed Time: 2:02:28
Avg Speed: 4.6 mph
Avg Moving Speed: 4.8 mph
Max Speed: 10.7 mph
Avg Pace: 13:04 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 12:28 min/mi
Best Pace: 5:37 min/mi

Elevation Gain: 390 ft
Elevation Loss: 389 ft
Min Elevation: 156 ft
Max Elevation: 261 ft

View Splits
Time Miles Distance
Minutes per Mile - Avg Pace Summary = 2:01:18.7 - 9.29 - 13:04
1 14:32.4 1.00 14:32
2 13:11.2 1.00 13:11
3 12:31.4 1.00 12:31
4 12:22.9 1.00 12:23
5 12:12.7 1.00 12:13
6 15:33.3 1.00 15:33 - Ooop! included the potty/water break.
7 12:05.8 1.00 12:06
8 12:14.2 1.00 12:14
9 12:54.8 1.00 12:55
(There was a tenth lap of .29 miles, but I must have missed copying it.)

The average temperature on this run was 75 degrees with 94% humidity. It was dark when we started at 6:12 am, but we soon saw the sunrise. We ran through lots of pretty neighborhoods. We had 10 runners in our group - one man and 9 women. The man and woman ran 23 miles last week and were running short in preparation for their full marathon in 2 weeks; they are running with their child in Dayton, Ohio. The rest of us are training for half marathons. Two of the runners are physical therapists, so I picked their brains as we ran just a bit -- they seemed glad to share. We had several teachers and just nice, friendly, smart, and fit people on this run.

I stayed at the back of the pack as promised for the first 7 miles then kind of moved up as some of the group faded. I finished with the leader. Although 7.5 miles was the farthest I'd gone this year up to this point, I had no trouble with the 9 mile distance. In fact, I finished up feeling more energetic than when I started.

I computed that I drank 72 ounces of water if I count what I drank starting an hour before the run to an hour after. I also consumed 4 Gu Chews for electrolytes and carbs. I felt like I had sufficient fuel, although I believe more is recommended at least by the company wanting you to buy their product. I did have a 190 calorie breakfast before the run so that might have helped, too.

After the run and cool down, I sat with 50 runners for 40 minutes, glowing and drinking water and coffee. Then I went to the YMCA, used the foam roller, showered, went to Weight Watchers (my nephew overslept and didn't make it as promised - oh, well), and then did a little shopping. What a great Saturday morning!!

Let me tell you one other funny thing. A couple weeks ago I also forgot to turn off the Garmin. On the way home, driving in a car, it suddenly started flashing. It said I had a new record - running a mile in 4:32!! Dream On!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIEBEAN 9/2/2013 10:03AM

    What a great day!


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_LINDA 9/1/2013 7:30PM

    So glad you felt good for this run! LOL on the car speed -that happened to me when my watch actually somehow clicked itself on when I was getting a ride home -and it has to go through three button pushes before it does too!!
That is great you are using a foam roller! Hope it helps!
Keep up the great work!

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PMFISH 9/1/2013 12:26PM

    Wow! Great morning for you! You always impress me. emoticon

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AQUAGIRL08 9/1/2013 8:43AM

    Good job on your run, Marsha! I'm glad that you had a great Saturday!

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RUNNERRACHEL 9/1/2013 12:09AM

    emoticon emoticon sounds like a great morning, a great fun run! emoticon emoticon

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COCK-ROBIN 8/31/2013 11:16PM


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GABY1948 8/31/2013 9:03PM

    So glad it all went so well! You deserve some good! Have a wonderful rest of the holiday weekend, Marsha! emoticon

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WATERMELLEN 8/31/2013 6:21PM

    Sounds like a lovely morning indeed! So glad that the glute is behaving!!

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MJREIMERS 8/31/2013 6:03PM

    Love the Garmin "record." Way to go on your run this morning!!! That is awesome and how fun to do it with a group! Keep it up!

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JOYINKY 8/31/2013 5:07PM

    LOL re the Garmin! I really admire how planned out and balanced you are doing your training. WTG!

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NATPLUMMER 8/31/2013 3:38PM


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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 8/31/2013 2:57PM

    Nice run. Digestion basically stops during a long run because blood flow is diverted to the muscles and only the minimum goes to the parts of the body not working. So unless you ate your breakfast several hours before the run so that it was already digested and in the blood stream, it won't fuel the run. How long depends on what you ate. High glycemic foods get into the blood stream more quickly.

Every person's nutritional needs on a run are different and the pace makes a difference too. You will need more at race pace than at training pace. For what it's worth, 100 calories every 4 miles seems to work for me. (1 gel = 100 calories). In races, I usually also eat one just before the start.

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MIRAGE727 8/31/2013 2:53PM

    Good day for sure, Marsha!

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ONEKIDSMOM 8/31/2013 2:43PM

    Had to laugh at that last bit... when I tell Runkeeper I'm "walking" and actually run, it gives me records... I imagine even more so if I got in the car and zipped off! emoticon on the run, Marsha.

Comment edited on: 8/31/2013 2:44:26 PM

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FROSTY99 8/31/2013 2:17PM


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