SLENDERELLA61   152,572
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Thanks, Raylinstephens!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

My own program is my first priority. I love it when I can give good advice to a fellow Sparker. I like sharing Secrets to Success. Welcoming new members is fun and feels good. Reading blogs and giving supportive comments to other members is often motivating to me. Expressing myself through blogs helps me clarify my thinking, celebrate my successes, and get support.

But when it comes down to whether I get my exercise in or rack up SparkPoints, I choose exercise. When it comes to whether I write a blog or cook a healthy meal, I choose the meal. When it comes to keeping up with my Friend Feed or tracking my own food, I track.

It is great when I can do what I need to do for my program and earn all my SparkPoints, read lots of blogs, pay attention to my SparkFriends, etc. But when time is short, I don't think it is selfish to do what I need to do for me.

So, I encourage you, too, to take care of yourself first.

Raylinstephens was the first Sparker to encourage me to put my own program first. I want to thank her for this valuable advice!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AQUAGIRL08 11/5/2010 4:01PM

    That is indeed wise advice Marsha. You have put yourself at the top of your list. Good for you! I think one thing that a lot of us here have found that we have in common is that in the past, we let our own needs go by the wayside and considered others more important. Putting yourself first can be a very good thing. Although it may appear on the surface to some people to be selfish, it really isn't. This isn't about game playing or manipulation. You aren't doing it at the expense of someone else. This is about health and getting your needs met.

I always think of the all of the emergency instructions that the flight crew gives the passengers before the plane takes off. They tell parents and adults flying with people/children who need help, to put their oxygen masks on themselves first before helping others. This is because you can't help others if you don't take care of yourself first. They tell you the same thing in a CPR class (they stress don't hurt yourself, you can't help the other person if you hurt yourself).

It's great to give encouragement to others but you have to weigh the cost to yourself. If you have the time, great. If you don't, and you make yourself sick by doing it, not so great.

I agree with you that taking care of yourself is a must!

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WALKINGANNIE 11/4/2010 1:55PM

    Thanks to you and to Linda.

Good advice.

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HAPPYSOUL91 11/4/2010 8:00AM

    Couldn't agree more and this always seems hard to do!

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MONGO2TEN 11/4/2010 5:49AM

    Great advice from a wise woman!

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MONTY68 11/4/2010 1:47AM

    Hi Marsha
Great blog and you got that right, we are on here to take care of us, for each of us we are # 1 and everything comes after that. You have done an awesome job on you and you give fantastic help through your blogs and comments. BUT in our lives, we always have to take care of us first.
Thank you for sharing

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PO_PAZZA 11/3/2010 9:57PM

    As I finally lost weight and found I could successfully keep it off, I discovered that not only must I take care of me first, but I no longer feel guilty doing it. That was the hardest part of my education, but so vital. The no-guilt diet took about 100 lbs. off my shoulders, and the world didn't crumble, either.

Like Joy, not only do I find more energy to help others on my own terms, but I do it willingly and without nagging resentment. That is freeing.


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JOYINKY 11/3/2010 9:47PM

    Yes, good advice. Amazingly I've found the better I take care of myself, the more able I am to help others both here and in the 3D world. So it's still win/win! emoticon

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    I must say I was shocked to read the title of your blog.

But I still say, your own program must come first! You are doing a remarkable job of taking care of yourself - and finding so much time for others too.

You are totally Blessed! And I am so proud for you!

Love you,

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JHADZHIA 11/3/2010 7:57PM

    Another one of my Spark buddies also had this aha moment, wrote a blog about being selfish! Its not though. The only way to lead a healthy lifestyle is to put yourself first, that is just common sense. Being the insomniac that I am I can happily do both :). Should the day ever come where I can get more than 3-4 hrs of sleep, I may have to worry about priorities.
Here is to being a success, your way!!

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WILD4STARS 11/3/2010 7:20PM

    Here's to being selfish! Which I happen to think can be a good thing.

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KALIGIRL 11/3/2010 7:06PM

    Here's to good advice!

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No Excuse

Monday, November 01, 2010

Even though I really enjoyed my visit with my mom two weeks ago, I had a realization. When I saw how much butter she used to cook chopped broccoli, I was shocked. Honestly it might have been equal amounts. She also was very heavy on the salt shaker despite the fact that she buys low sodium potato chips and claims to eat low sodium. And when I looked at the portion size of dessert, all I can say is it is no wonder I grew up heavy with poor eating habits.

Of course, this realization is not an excuse. I've been an adult for 43 years. I'm in charge of my own life and I have finally taken the responsibility for eating healthy things in the right amount.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAYLINSTEPHENS 11/2/2010 10:04AM

    I know what you mean. When I think about my childhood - I never really had a chance.

But life goes on and if I had to choose - I would still prefer fat younger and thinner now!

We can do this!

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JHADZHIA 11/2/2010 8:54AM

    Oh sure, in the old days, families ate what ever they pleased, there was no concern about nutrition. Mom baked pies using lard. She loved using real butter.. The list goes on..Although, interestingly enough, the obesity rate wasn't as high then as it is now, no doubt due to the lack of activity and exercise.
Live and learn, the hard way, and you have certainly learned well!

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DONNABRIGHT 11/1/2010 8:58PM

    I grew up on a farm in New England and butter (fresh churned!) was slathered on everything. We were/are a large family so pasta and potatoes were good filling items and served often. I can still smell those big round loaves of oatmeal bread coming out of the oven. I never knew how many were baked at a time but several would be eaten in one day. It took a long time and continues to be a learning experience to eat healthy!

Comment edited on: 11/1/2010 8:59:38 PM

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MONTY68 11/1/2010 6:53PM

    Hi Marsha,
I love this. 60+ years ago, I don't think most people were aware of nutrition of any kind. Even as a young adult, I really don't remember much publicity. However, My older life as more and more talk started to our attention, this person( me) didn't really pay attention. The only thing I would do would be lose 20 pounds or so and put it back on. As far as healthy living, the most information that I am now seeing came when I joined Spark and that I started to pay attention to what I was reading. What you said about what your mother still does, reminded me of my father, looking back at what he ate while I was with him certainly would not be any where close to be called healthy. However what ever he ate or did, he lived till 102 and for most of those years in good health. But , I am not willing to follow his food ideas and try to eat healthier.
Like you said your not using the old ways as an excuse and now chose to eating the right things. With all the information available a great percentage of people still don't listen, both of my sons knowing what I have done and doing,, continue to eat the same way they have in the past. I guess, when we for what ever reason decide to change is when we change, I waited till 67.
You , as an individual have done an awesome job on you and have encouraged others here because of your success.
Thank you for sharing. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 11/1/2010 4:27PM

    How fortunate we are to have gained knowledge and understanding about nutrition so that we can make wiser choices now.


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WILD4STARS 11/1/2010 4:19PM

    Your post reminded me of visits to my mother and the Krispy Kreme donuts for breakfast, huge plates of mashed potatoes & gravy, whole milk - a gallon a day! Thank goodness that when we know better, we do better.

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Sunday, October 31, 2010

I sewed up a hole where the seam had split and spot cleaned the icee out of it. Although the Fall Festival this afternoon took a toll on Natalie's Alice in Wonderland costume, when I was done, it was good as new. Such an honor to be the trusted grammy they come to to solve problems! They are off for Trunk or Treat at the church and a bit of Trick or Treat in the neighborhood now.

My daughter carved the great pumpkin face Natalie requested: square eyes, triangle nose, and a smile displaying three teeth. She did it at my house, leaving what she considered refuse. Natalie used markers and decorated a small pumpkin for my porch. The light is on. We are ready.

I turned the refuse into pumpkins seeds roasting in a warm oven. Won't be long until we have pepitas, another healthy Halloween treat. Happy, healthy Halloween to all my SparkFriends!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTY68 11/1/2010 11:05AM

    Hi Marsha

There is something in the way that you wrote this blog, that made feel that in your home was a sense of excitement, but yet calmness and most importantly a very loving family. It was so awesome. Since I wrote this late , I am sure it was a great halloween for all of your family.

Thank you for sharing

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KALIGIRL 11/1/2010 9:35AM

    Sounds like a perfect Halloween along with toasty pumpkin seeds!

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DONNABRIGHT 11/1/2010 9:25AM

    You are so right - it is the greatest honor to be the trusted grammy!

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JOYINKY 11/1/2010 8:20AM

    Sounds like fun! emoticon

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    Sounds like you had a wonderful Halloween!

Enjoy your pumpkin seeds!

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Is That Me in the Mirror?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Every morning I wake up and look in the mirror. There is still, even after about a year at BMI 20.2-21, a certain amount of surprise. It's not really that I expect to see me fat again, it is more like I don't have an image of myself right now that I do expect to see.

In a way this morning surprise is good for me. When I'm not happy with the number on the scale, or I'm feeling bad about what I didn't quit eating the day before, the morning surprise helps me to be grateful, recognize what I have accomplished, and recommit to healthy eating.

I'm now one pound over what I was the day I left for my mom's house and four pounds over my "happy weight." I'll get there.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMLILA 11/3/2010 12:48AM

    I hope to someday get to the point where I look in the mirror and like what I see. Many times (and for many years- because I have been 40 lbs. heavier than I am now) I didn't even look in a mirror at all... But when I do see myself now, it's not the picture of me I have in my mind.... I somewhere back there see the way I was as a young adult before I gained all the weight... thanks for your support and encouragement and jsut being here...Lila

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MONTY68 10/29/2010 5:25PM

    Hi Marsha
I love your blog, One of the great things about being on a journey to healthy living is the awareness of who we are. With that knowledge, quicker action can be taken when we find a little increase in weight. It also means taking responsibility for what went wrong, you do that well.
As far as looking in the mirror and seeing yourself as you are, it can feel like it is a surprise and perhaps who is that person?. I believe that you will eventually acknowledge it in a way that it is just who you are.
Before I went on my plan, I don't remember if I ever saw me in the mirror, I didn't even realize what I looked like until I saw my before picture and that was after I released the weight. I was shocked. I Do look in the mirror now and I like what I see and what I have accomplished, BUT I know that it is me. I really don't focus on who I was 3 years ago,.
I know for you that you will get back to your happy weight, I also believe that you will also get more comfortable with your new appearance and really know that it is you. You are a fantastic example on how to be successful and I believe have motivated a number of Spark members.
Keep looking in the mirror, smile and say good morning Marsha and enjoy all that you have done for you.
Thank you for sharing this.

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WALKINGANNIE 10/29/2010 4:20PM

    I had a simliar experience this morning! I caught sight of my reflection while I was crossing the bedroom in my underwear. I quite like my shape now! Pity about the skin though where I've lost the weight. It's still a bit uneven on my stomach where I carried the most weight.

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KALIGIRL 10/29/2010 4:14PM

    You WILL get there!

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PARKERB2 10/29/2010 1:48PM

    You're proven to yourself you can do it so the 4lbs should be breeze for you.

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MEXGAL1 10/29/2010 12:37PM

    Yes you will get there. Believe!

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JOYINKY 10/29/2010 12:34PM

    I see it; still have a hard time believing it after all this time. Mind is stuck in a size 14; it's what allowed me to gain too---I didn't really see myself then either! Have to admit, I didn't look in the mirror as much though! I'm really more grateful for how I feel and what I can do today than how I look; but, I enjoy how I look too. It's all definitely worth it!

"Who I am really keeps surprising me."
- Poet Nikki Giovanni

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IDEBORAH 10/29/2010 10:33AM

    I'm right there with you. Even a few pounds over my "happy weight" I still feel grateful when looking in the mirror or catching my reflection in store windows. The recommitting to healthy eating/healthy living is the truly important part. Congrats for getting that down. Way to be. I'm impressed.

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HAPPYSOUL91 10/29/2010 10:24AM

    Body gets smaller, brain remains fat for quite awhile but it does change (speaking from experience)

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DONNABRIGHT 10/29/2010 9:37AM

    I think it has something to do with the life long struggle with weight.

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JHADZHIA 10/29/2010 9:16AM

    For sure you will!!! I am not one for looking in the mirror. Don't need to except for flossing my teeth. Close cropped hair and no make up means no fuss. Hit the ground running :) I understand what you mean, but I am still new at maintenance at only 8 months.. We always tend to dwell in the past. Its to the future we must look. We have created a new reality we must accept. I am not quite there yet. Choosing baggy clothes is still what I feel most comfortable in, because that is always what I have worn. It doesn't help that even on maintenance, I still have a 'pot' :((
Keep up your fantastic work, and don't sweat the small stuff, you are doing great. keep telling yourself that until you believe it!!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 10/29/2010 8:52AM

    I know you will!

I no longer remember what once was.

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TRACI175 10/29/2010 8:28AM

    Sounds like you are in the right mind set. Keep up the good work

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Bragging Again

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I just answered trivia questions 67, 68, and 69 for the month. I don't show up on the leaderboards because I was gone for a week and many, many people have answered more questions than I. However, this is the first month that on day 28 I am still at 100% correct! Admittedly, I often get questions I've had before. At least I learn the right answers. I think bragging -- just a little -- is in order! Have a healthy and happy day, everyone!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 10/28/2010 4:51PM

    You earned the bragging rights!
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MEXGAL1 10/28/2010 4:13PM

    Wow good for you. I keep trying and haven't ever been that accurate.
Go for it!

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RAYLINSTEPHENS 10/28/2010 3:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GATOR12 10/28/2010 3:52PM

    YOU do got BRAGGING rights, girl. I'll never get there. But as you say I learn somethings. True some guesses are wrong and later I can't remember which I wrongly guessed.

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PARKERB2 10/28/2010 2:51PM

    emoticonYou rock!

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KALIGIRL 10/28/2010 1:28PM

    Definitely in order emoticon

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JHADZHIA 10/28/2010 12:23PM

    Very well done!! Yes, they do repeat questions. I didn't do so well this month. Very poorly. No chance of a trophy this time, that is for sure..
Keep up the great streak!

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DONNABRIGHT 10/28/2010 10:31AM

    I'm still aiming for the 90's but I am holding at 83% this month. I do learn something everytime I answer wrong and sometimes it is a guess and I learn from that so I consider it a good use of time.

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JOYINKY 10/28/2010 7:12AM

    emoticon emoticon
An amazing feat! Be proud! One of the things I like about this site is it's a safe place to brag; encouraged even! Because we know what a real accomplishment it is!
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ONEKIDSMOM 10/28/2010 6:47AM

    emoticon Well done, Marsha! emoticon

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DAV128 10/28/2010 5:52AM

    Congrats, a little bragging is good for motivation. Keep up the good work!


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