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Challenges as Tools or Weapons

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I just saw the DVD "Gifted Hands" about world-famous neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson, who surmounted many challenges in his life. He said that you can use challenges as either excuses to not do the things you want to do, or you can use them as stepping stones to make you stronger and ready to achieve the next challenge or goal. His mom told him that if something is in your way, find out what it is and work to remove it. Nice reminders and advice from them both, don't you think?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/28/2010 2:28PM

    Sounds like a great DVD....I'll have to check into it.

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REBECCAMA 9/26/2010 11:05PM

  Maybe that is why there are so many great challenges on Spark. All tools to help motivate us to do better for ourselves. Good luck!!

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RAINBOWFALLS 9/26/2010 7:24PM

    I find challenges have really helped me in this healthy journey. I hope you find the same.

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ALEXSGIRL1 9/26/2010 3:17PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LIBBYFITZ 9/26/2010 9:57AM


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TRIGFROST 9/26/2010 2:08AM

    Using what you the "Greatest thing" on this earth.
emoticon for Sharing w/ your SparkFriends... emoticon

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AYAMMAYA 9/26/2010 1:37AM

    Thank you for the Reminder Jesse!!! I am making my list of things to do, what is blocking me, and the solutions to achieve goals!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FRIENDOFBACH 9/26/2010 12:40AM

  Really great! Thank you.

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Slippery Slope Became a Huge Mtn, And I Went Down Down Down

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I remember when the small spiral became a huge avalanche. It was last October. I blogged about how I went to see Lion King, and before the show, had a great dinner at a fabulous restaurant. It entailed a memorable dessert.

I remember writing about "falling off the wagon" but getting right back on. Which I did, kinda.

But this past year has been about my dear cousin and wrapped up in her cancer survival that took her away in July. I did fine, until this past July when she died, and then the slippery slope that started last October became a form of exteme sport going downhill fast. I zoomed down the mountain, full of sadness and grief over losing a person who was like a sister to me.

However, there is much more to the story, which I'll save for the next blog.

I guess this one is about having forgiven myself for having fallen off-track. But then, I overlooked more and more of these little slides. I became too complacent with my progress of having lost 34 lbs.

Wishing all a good weekend.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/28/2010 2:27PM

    I'm sorry to hear about your cousin. Grief takes time to get through. I'm glad that you have chosen to blog about it. Your eating will get back in control when you are ready. It sounds like you are ready to start now.


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RAINBOWFALLS 9/26/2010 7:22PM

    I really can relate to the slippery slope. I went down it after my son died and and then again when my mom died. Ironically, I joined this site two days after my moms 1st year death date. I know I have an emotional eating issue and when I lose a loved one I lose total control.

I think you will find there are many like us out there.

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MADDE3333 9/26/2010 7:11AM

    I am very sorry for your loss. Each person experiences grief differently so I cannot say I know how you are feeling because only you know that for sure. In the past five years I lost two aunts, my sister and brother-in-law, my fiance and then a beloved dog.

I had lost over 40+ pounds in 2006-7, only to gain it back after my fiance died. Eating was my consolation -- but really it was not. Eating could not replace anyone, but it provided a very temporary feeling of comfort only to be replaced by a feeling of disappointment with myself after I gained it all back.

There were a number of start and stops for me, but in June I finally seriously started back to eating healthy. I added exercise back only two weeks ago. I am taking it day by day, because really, that's all we have.


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CHERIRIDDELL 9/26/2010 12:33AM

    Don't beat yourself up get back on the tobaggan and head back up that hill !You will reach the summit once more and you can stand at the top of the mountain and sing at the top of your lungs and you will feel hugely successful and be the victor at the top of your game ! hugs,Cheri

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Quirky Sparker

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's been 1.75 years on SP(Jan. '09), and two years since starting my healthy lifestyle changes (October '08). Every so often I take a look at my SP experience and just overview some things that are in my consciousness about the site.

-I continue to support it with purchases, telling others, etc. It's a great tool, and I've expressed my gratitude consistently.

-With that said, as with any relationship, it's been bittersweet and sometimes I just want to quit the site. The things that have bothered me are mostly the drug ads and ads for unhealthy goodies like Mrs. Fields cookies. When I've expressed this on blogs, everyone responded to just ignore it, that they never pay attention to the ads. Maybe it's my marketing background, but I do see ads. And I don't think drugs and cookies belong on a health site. (yes, I understand all of the oppsoing views.)

-The trivia quiz contains the same questions and answers over and over and over. Yet, I never get a monthly score over 72 percent; oftentimes, under that. Looks like someone isn't paying attention. (smiling) Makes me wonder what else I'm not paying attention to in learning healthier tips for myself. (it could be my stimulus/response lifelong thing - never tested well)

-I smile at the friends I've made here. Never thought the virtual world could become so valuable and that I'd be "meeting" so many helpful, kind people.

-I've avoided updating my page, blogging regularly (trying to get back to what I did up until recently - daily blogs), and being totally honest that I have hit a huge wall. Andreally not caring that much. Dealing with lots of death and loss has given me a "who cares" type of thing going on. I have to start caring. I'm trying. The structure of SP helps reel me into caring.

- Guess that's about it - for now.

Have a wonderful day, friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RAINBOWFALLS 9/25/2010 8:43AM

    I have to say that I can relate to what you are saying. I gained a boat load of weight after losing my son and having an "I don't care to go on" attitude for several years. I hope that feeling doesn't consume you. Best of luck.

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2BHLTHY4LIFE 9/24/2010 11:17PM

    I have been on and off 3 times,I am determined this third time will be the charm and I will reach my goals and be healthier than thought possible. We all have or will go through this at some point,just like you and we just have to take time we need and we come to realize that the friendships we make here helps us to come back with a better and more positive attitude and renewed selves ready to dive back into where we left off! I wish you the best on your journey's and remember emoticon! emoticonDiana emoticon

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MARTY19 9/24/2010 7:46PM

    There are times when we hit a wall and then ask why we bother to care. I have done it many times and probably will continue to do so. But what keeps me going are the friendships I have made and the site itself. Nothing in life is perfect but SP comes close.
Never quite and never give up. You are making changes and slip-ups are learning experiences. Count on your friends.


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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/24/2010 5:56PM

    I'm glad you are getting back to blogging, particularly about how you are feeling. It helps me a lot when I do that. I also feel like I know people better who do it too.

I was about ready to throw in the towel with SP about a month ago, but it's the one thing that I have found that actually helps me loss weight and motivates me to exercise (sometimes). I decided I couldn't give it up. I'm glad yo have decided the same thing too.


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LIBBYFITZ 9/24/2010 1:02PM


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CHERIRIDDELL 9/24/2010 11:41AM

    All things have positives and negatives ,I tend to think the good done by keeping the site free outweighs the negatives of some of the ads .In a Utopian world we would avoid the drug and sweets ads but as Spark maintains it is a lifestyle change there is a place for occasional treats and sometimes drugs benefits outweight their negatives , so if they are willing to support the Spark site more power to them.
Accountability there is a big one.I find logging and learning keep me going.There is so much to be gained by the experiences of others too so reading blogs help.
A friend is a friend and Spark has cottoned on to that ,the virtual world is amazing and allows us to connect with so many people who "click" with us. I feel privileged to call you friend and if nothing else beneficial had come of Spark the friends alone would have made it an amazing benefit a boost to weight loss and happiness which ties in with one another ! Thank you for being a wonderful friend and may you find every success in your journey!

Comment edited on: 9/24/2010 11:42:43 AM

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World's Oldest Man Lives In Montana. His Secret?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not that I'd wish this type of longevity on myself with the life I've had (smiling), but what a sweet little man. (Plus, whatever time is in store for me, it might be good to take heed.) He's 114 years old, and I heard his sweet voice on the radio news as he responded to the question about what the secret of longevity is.

"Happiness. Be satisfied with your accomplishments."

Enough said.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLITT62 9/23/2010 5:27AM

    That is a great secret! And one I really do keep working on.

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NANCYRUBIO 9/23/2010 12:10AM

    He also looks good for his age.

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CHERIRIDDELL 9/22/2010 11:10PM

    More power to him! I was always the kind to strive to improve , never satisfied with what I had accomplished on to the next thing LOL! Makes for an impressive and varied resume but apparently not good for longevity!

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/22/2010 8:56PM

    I should have that tattooed on the inside of my eyelids.

Thanks for sharing.

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LIBBYFITZ 9/22/2010 6:59PM


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KAT7457 9/22/2010 5:38PM

    I saw ands read that article right before i came into sparks. wow i wonder how he does it. not many people live to be that old must be in the genes. way to go for him!!

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AMMERY 9/22/2010 5:34PM

  Well, this makes perfect sense! Happiness is also created through exercise. When we exercise, we produce endorphins which creates a euphoric effect giving us energy, enthusiasm and the power the accomplish anything!

Comment edited on: 9/22/2010 5:35:15 PM

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DIAMORROW1 9/22/2010 5:09PM

    I dont think i want to live that long but I admire him.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

As I listened to several different news reports last night that they are now considering selling genetically-engineered salmon, it finally dawned on me. I knew it somewhere in my psyche and taste buds, but the light never really came on.

For many summers now, addicted to watermelon, I wondered where the pits were. And why watermelons are getting more and more tasteless. I'd already ignored the tasteless tomatoes for years and accepted them. (and envied people with their own gardens who still grew veggies that tasted like they should)

Last weekend, I bought oodles of strawberries. I've been eating them non-stop, but last night, took a good look at their insides - just a shadow of their former selves. They taste like poodie. Those who've sold us the "these taste as good as the non-genetically engineered versions." NO THEY DON'T.

I hate all of these cloned fruit and veggies. And I love salmon. They said in these reports that, if you still want the "real" salmon, make sure to buy the ones labelled "wild salmon." And then someone asked the host, "what if the label is a lie?"

I'm tired of the lies we eat. They do not taste good.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ERIN1957 9/22/2010 9:38AM

    ...thank you for bringing this here. We need to shop wisely and spend our money on health. We do have the power to change things with what speaks louder than a voice and that is our money. One by one we can change the world.Be informed, question and be healthy!

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LEONALIONESS 9/21/2010 8:48AM

    That's one reason I shop exclusively at Whole Foods Market - it's worth it to me to pay more for SAFE food. Also, I work there and I'm 1000% behind our food - I know how hard our buyers work and I trust in our stringent quality standards.

Do we sell some GMOs? Yes, we do. Mostly due to the fact that the vast majority of corn, canola, soy and cotton are GMO. However, as someone said above, organics disallow GMOs. Also, our private label (store brands) are always sourced from non-GMO seeds/products, even the non-organic stuff. Plus, that line is NOT expensive. Whenever they compare us to other stores in the area we are not the most expensive.

I haven't heard of GMO watermelon or berries being largely developed. that absolutely doesn't mean they aren't! I don't know it all - not by a LONG shot. I'm constantly surprised by what they do to food. :/ You could be tasting the results of breeding for quantity rather than quality. Rather like how Red Delicious apples are so bland now. They were bred to be so prolific that taste/texture was lost.

Our melons (conventional and organic) at work have been fantastic this year, ditto our berries. Luckily, melon is something local growers do here in MN and most of our melons have been coming from local farms. I've found that Driscoll's brand berries are the best tasting. We sell others but I only buy the Driscoll's - Naturpick and others disappoint.

Buy local, buy organic, avoid the GMO issue.
Also, the farm raised fish at WFM is NOT GMO.
We has incredibly strict quality standards on our seafood and GMO would be disallowed, for sure.


Comment edited on: 9/21/2010 9:24:50 AM

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LIFE_IS_SO_GOOD 9/21/2010 8:18AM

    I agree so much with what you posted.

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VALERIEMAHA 9/21/2010 7:59AM

    Don't panic; But organic! Part of the criteria for "organic" disallows anything GMO.

Oh, and in solidarity:


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JERSEYGIRL1950 9/21/2010 7:36AM

    Poodie???? emoticon emoticon

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SIMPLELIFE4REAL 9/21/2010 6:47AM

    Thanks for posting this. I didn't realize that was why so many foods were becoming so tasteless.

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JLITT62 9/21/2010 5:18AM

    Yeah, I read that article too, and all I could think of was Jurassic Park. "Nature will find a way".

How stupid can people be?

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AYAMMAYA 9/21/2010 4:06AM

    Wow! I never thought of that Jesse! Although I really love strawberry season at the Carlsbad Strawberry Fields just north of the Flower Fields and Outlet Center. They are soooo juicy! The growers ship them green to Hawaii so when I was growing up, I NEVER understood why folks enjoy these bitter fruits. The outsides would ripen beautifully, but inside...blech!!! Now I LOVE strawberries, BUT cannot stand the sour pineapples that are shipped green, arrive here looking ripe and tast HORRENDOUS!!! EWWwwww ~ Another reason to eat local fruits and local veggies.
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CHERIRIDDELL 9/21/2010 1:35AM

    You are so right ,I have wild salmon for dinner tomorrow and I can guarantee it it was caught in BC and brought to me !!!!

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LOSE4LIFE10 9/21/2010 1:28AM

  I agree and High fructose corn syrup in everything also. Why can't we go back to basics!

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