SMLARSON13's Recent Blog Entries

Right Place + Right Time = FREE Exercise Bike!!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

I have always believed that everything happens in my life according to His master plan....just never realized that included exercise bikes!!! Talk about being in the right place at the right time.....happened yesterday at work....I'll share the story, but just a little history first!!

Since starting my weight loss and life changing journey two years ago, I have chosen not to use my hard earned money to join a gym - even though I think Curves is a really cool place and there is a pretty well equipped fitness center in my town. After all, I had an relatively brand new, unused, dusty treadmill (clothes rack!) at home plus good roads to walk on!!! I've spent a little money on hand weights, stability ball and resistance bands, some B/L and other workout DVD's, and have accessed the free workouts on SparkPeople - even did one of Coach Nicole's Boot Camps!! The last "Jillian" one didn't work out too good but that's another blog!!

Anyway, getting on the treadmill was my first step (literally!) and through the last two years of adding DVD's, weights, etc. have lost 119 pounds!!! Of course, this past summer the physical activity part of my life mainly consisted of moving rocks, dirt, mulch, etc. outdoors, moving "stuff" up and/or down the basement stairs and some golf....can't say much for the actual golf game, but it's wonderful to be outside and not at work!?!?!?! Anyway...what was I talking about??? Oh yeah, the exercise bike story......

Another part of my lifestyle changes the last two years is my realization that winters in Michigan can be a problem!!! Never really thrilled with cooooold outside activity and through the years had become really good at being a winter couch potato! Anyway, looking back over the last twenty two years in Michigan, I had had a 5,10 or 15 pound weight GAIN through the winter months - just like a big ole bear that's ready for hibernation!!! Except this big ole bear never bothered to lose it the following summer!!!! Hellooooo...major lifestyle change is in order!!! In thinking about the inevitable, upcoming winter, had anxiously been searching for the "right" exercise bike for newly cleaned out "exercise room"!!! I LOVE my treadmill, honestly LOVE using it and fully LOVE the effect it's had on my life (plus I still can't believe I can actually run on the doggone thing!!!), but really felt like it was time for an additional piece of equipment!!!! Since this has been a really trying year in the car business, I didn't feel comfortable spending much (or any) money for "extras".

So, finally, here's the story: Picture me sitting with my manager in his office by his big window. Owner drives by window in a Ford F150:

"What was that in the back of that truck?" he said.
"Looked like some type of exercise equipment." I replied.
"Wonder what he's doing with that?"
"Don't know, but I'm gonna find out!"

Change scene to owner's office:

"Hey, what's that in the back of your truck?" I asked.
"It's an exercise bike that (__ ) gave us and it's been in the garage all summer." he replied.
"So, what are you gonna do with it?"
"Not sure. Why? Do you know somebody that could use it?"
"Absolutely!!!! ME!!!"
"I thought you went to the gym."
"Heck no...didn't have the money to spend on that!! I've done it all at home."
"Really??? Wow!! Well, hey, can we take it to your house right now?"
"Noooo problem!!! I'll get the garage door opener!! Let's go!!!!"

So, come to find out, I had just become the "owner" of a Schwinn Airdyne Evolution Comp Bike - pretty much the top of the line and waaaaay out of my budget, complete with fanwheel to keep me cool and nice extra padded maximum comfort seat. Who knew that the world of increased cardio and aerobic fitness, increased upper and lower body muscle strength and an overall lower percentage of body fat had just been delivered to my garage?!?!? Who knew that by sitting in just the right place at just the right time would result in getting a far, far better exercise bike than I could ever imagine "owning"?!?!?! Gee, wonder Who orchestrated that????

So, needless to say, I am ready for this Michigan winter---- at least as far as my "healthy lifestyle" is more gettin ready for hibernation for this ole bear!!! What am I thinking??? I'm not waiting til winter to get started!!! There's no time like the present!!! If you need me, I'll be in my "home gym" ----- maybe on the treadmill but probably on my new FREE sweeeeeet exercise bike!!!

Thanks for "listening"!!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRECECOOKS 2/8/2010 10:52AM

    Praise the Lord!! What a blessing!

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MISSYMALISSY 1/10/2010 10:47AM

I believe there are no coincidences...he watches out for us all the time!! Just like I was drawn to your page and blog! You have certainly inspired me with your weight loss and motivation! I'm a fellow Michigander, in a winter rut. I was just thinking I needed to kick up my workout. I've been doing Leslie Sansone walking dvds in my basement, and feel like I needed to kick it up a notch! This might be just the thing I need..going to go on Craigslist and see if I can find a nice bike!! Keep up the awesome job you're doing!! You should be very proud of yourself. God bless you!!

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MKJ27284 1/5/2010 12:37PM

    What a great story!! thanks for sharing! :)

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KSGROTHE 11/2/2009 6:30PM

    emoticon That is awesome!!

Have fun on your exercise bike! (I love the ones with fanwheels!)

- Karen

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PICKIE98 11/1/2009 6:21AM

    Wow, what a score!! How cool is that?? Just make sure that bad boy is anchored down!! Don't want you getting caried away and crashing into a wall or anything!!LOL! emoticon
Happy cycling!!

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BIRDRIPLEY 10/31/2009 11:04PM

    The universe works in mysterious ways.

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KALISWALKER 10/31/2009 7:51PM

    Wow your lucky day! I just had a look at one online and it looks great. Happy pedaling BL!


Comment edited on: 10/31/2009 7:52:05 PM

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MOM2ACAT 10/31/2009 2:23PM

    emoticon on the weight loss, and congrats on the new bike!

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LAURAKOHORST 10/31/2009 1:51PM

    God is sooo gooood. I'm happy for you. Keep up the great work. emoticon

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The "AH HA" of Comfort Eating.......

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Boy...a whole lot of life has happened this summer!!! Memorial Day weekend and June were pretty the pool opened, waited patiently for warm weather, planted some flowers, some new shrubs, a couple of tomato plants...then promptly covered them up when the frost warning was know...normal stuff here in Michigan!!!!

July started with small fire in my mom's apartment (she's fine...could have been soooo much worse!!). Had to move her out to a local motel for most of the summer where she tripped herself and fell and sprained both ankles....again, could have been soooo much worse!!. But she is back home now and recovering nicely and almost settled......well, she will be as soon as her daughter (yours truly) finishes hanging pictures, rearranging spare bedroom, hangs rest of curtains and finishes her laundry!!! Am very, very thankful she's o.k. and love her dearly, but it did make for a long summer on top of all the yard work I had planned and for the most part completed....those hours ended up being my sanity as well as my "physical activity", so again, can't complain there!!! Plus, the back yard looks pretty darn good if I do say so myself!! (Pics later)

Although "losing weight" and "traditional exercise" were not in the forefront this summer, I still managed to take off a few more pounds (119 total/33 to go I think!) Size18 pants still fit nicely thank you!!! So, as far as "new healthy lifestyle" just seems to go along it's merry way.....seems to me it's become somewhat my second nature and it's pretty hard to make really "bad" choices....there have been a few exceptions - you know the food at summer BBQ's - not always the "healthiest" selections, but what I ate were MY choices and I tried to balance them out on surrounding days - even took fresh fruit to the last one!!!!

THEN, there was that night during the whole, entire, seemingly never ending craziness of the Cash for Clunkers experience at work...I found myself just wanting food....any food - didn't matter - just give me food that was soft, gooey, tasteless - maybe lots of sugar or salt -- maybe some of both -- just something easy to eat that barely needs chewing and LOTS of it...I mean LOTS of it!!!! BUT!!! I stopped myself before I took that plunge into the realm of pure comfort eating that soothes all the ills of the day and makes everything better right now!!! Just in the nick of time, I had one of those incredible, undeniable, never gonna forget it AH HA!! moments!!! The whole situation was a potential textbook "stress eating" and "comfort me" moment.....instigated and driven by way too much noisy noise, never ending inquiries about the Clunker program, some sales as a result with LOTS of paperwork (but almost too much hassle for the ultimate outcome!?!?), fatigue from long hours at the dealership, lots of people -some nice, some well, not so nice, making sure Mama was O.K., really wanting to work in the yard, but just don't have the energy, so just GIVE ME FOOD - I KNOW THAT WILL MAKE IT BETTER!!!! OH YEAH......GIVE ME FOOD!!!!!

NO, NO, NO!!!!!! Wait a minute......that was the old lifestyle....the lifestyle that took way too much comfort in chewing, the one that could down a whole pack of oreos - each one dunked in milk of course!! - one that went through the closest drive thru and got every burger that sounded you want fries with that??? Hell yes!!! and super size 'em!!!!! NO!!! NO!!! NO!!! This is no longer my lifestyle, this is not how I make food choices

AH HA!!!!!.....this is making food choices based purely on how I FEEL...and I feel pretty stressed right now!! This is making food choices with no regard to actual hunger or whether or not it's a "good" choice or a healthy choice....who cares??? I just want food!!!! This is completely disregarding the outcome or the consequences or how I'd feel tomorrow after eating lots and lots of "bad" unhealthy "stuff"......cause all that matters right now is that I WANT TO BE COMFORTED....I NEED TO BE COMFORTED....I HAVE TO BE COMFORTED RIGHT NOW!!!!! SO GIVE ME FOOD AND GIVE ME LOTS OF IT!!!!!!!

AH HA!!!!!....I do not live this way anymore.....I eat because I am hungry and my body needs food....much like a car needs gas!!! I choose daily to take the time to make "good" choices, pick food that has substance, pick food that makes sense for me and in portions that are appropriate. I choose daily to eat healthy food, not unhealthy!! I'm pretty confident that I now understand 'stress eating" and how it brought comfort to me in the my old lifestyle. I'm pretty sure now that I understand it, can easily identify it, acknowledge it and stay away from it!!!!!

By the way, that particular day was still pretty bad, I was still pretty tired but knew I really, really needed some food. I had very little energy or desire to eat, plus the "AH HA" moment had finished wearing me out!!! So.....dinner ended up being a Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich and a bowl of Fiber One cereal..............all in all, it was pretty comforting I'd say!!!!

Take care......its' nice to be back!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    emoticon emoticon emoticonYou spoke to my heart, you know what its all about dont you. Yes you do and so do I. Since I have been on sparkpeople I have under gone the same transformation with my thinking also. Stinking thinking. Its all about choices and consequesnces and responsibility and accountability. Praise God you made the right ones and so did and do I way to emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/10/2010 5:07:28 PM

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GIRLTIGER2004 9/19/2009 8:47PM

    Oh my gosh I felt the same way during the "Clunker Craziness"! I just felt too tired and almost didn't care what I ate, just as long as it was food...didn't see much those weeks!! But like you, I decided not to go down that path again, and instead decided I needed to put myself on the list of priorities again. :) emoticon

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KSGROTHE 9/16/2009 5:51PM

    emoticon on keeping the eating under control and losing a little weight even during all the stress this summer! You're doing great!

Thanks for sharing your AH-HA!!! moment! Keep up the good work!

- Karen

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PICKIE98 9/15/2009 6:11PM

    Nice to elave those drive throughs to the naturally skinny people,, fresh fruits and veggies are for me!!

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JOJUAN1 9/15/2009 3:11PM

  Good job! The awareness that you have about comfort food and healthy food will definitely do you good. Keep it up. We all have "stresses" in our lives that could totally push us to do something we don't want to, and in our case EAT the wrong food. Just be strong, you're doing good.

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Especially when ONE is the first number in a pants size!!!!! And even more so when it's the first number in the size of a pair of pants that I'm comfortable enough to wear in public. This week I've hit a huge personal milestone in my weight loss journey......The pants I am wearing as of Wednesday, May 20, 2009 are a size 18!!!!! Yep, that's a big ONE-EIGHT!!!!! I seriously can't remember the last time I wore a size 18 anything.....think it might have been in college about thirty years ago - maybe even high school??? To say I'm ecstatic, happy, proud, even overwhelmed is actually an understatement. At my all time high (like the before picture), I was wearing a very tight and very uncomfortable size 28 - you know that tightness that pulls on the seams and you just hope the threads don't give out when you lean over????? Yeah, that tight!!! No more sister!!!!! Those days are gone (and so are the pants!!) and the feeling of how they fit will forever remain only a memory!!!!!

Otherwise, life is good!!! It's pretty slow at work today being a holiday weekend and all. Think we should have a contest to see who guesses the closest number of how many campers and/or boats go by!!! Am looking forward to the weekend off.....that means I can continue being the landscaping warrior that I've become!!! Got the fence moved this week to give Jack more room to run and me a better layout for the "master design".......well, actually am pretty much just making it up as I go far, so good! I was amazed last weekend at the number of steps I took JUST working in the yard. I did, however, have to remind myself to eat something along the "food lifestyle" has pretty much become "snacking healthy snacks" along the way with at least one good meal a day. I never go to bed hungry, can honestly say I don't have any major cravings, and believe I have shifted the focus of food from a "main event" to something that's necessary for life.

I'm still keeping myself on "restriction" from Spark People.....I lurk around some everyday, check out some posts, reply occasionally, read articles, etc of interest and of course, get my log in points!!! It's really a pretty easy restriction.....I can barely sit still somedays for very long!! There's so much that can be done and/or needs to be done!!!!!

So, in that light, I have to go!!! Just felt the need to share the news about SIZE 18 pants..... now, getting to a SIZE 14 seems completely day, one pound, one inch at a time!!! Ohhhhh....there goes that number one again!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 5/22/2009 6:33PM


emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/22/2009 6:35:16 PM

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PICKIE98 5/22/2009 3:01PM

    You are doing great!! That IS a major milestone!! I am very proud of you,, you have worked hard to make the changes needed for your new lifestyle!!
REACH RIGHT AROUND THAT SHOULDER OF YOURS AND PAT YOURSELF ON THE BACK!! There, doesn't that feel good!!????????????????

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KSGROTHE 5/22/2009 12:46PM

    emoticon emoticon

Keep up the good work! You're doing great!

- Karen

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Happy Anniversary & 10,000 Spark Points

Sunday, February 22, 2009

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If this system works correctly,then as soon as I have "blogged this blog", will officially earn my 10,000th Spark Point!!!! AND, on the day I'm celebrating my one year anniversary with Spark People!!!!! Just don't think I can stand all this excitement!!! It's almost as good as seeing the Publisher's Clearing House people at the door!!! Well, no, not quite.....there's no money attached to today's accomplishment!! O.K.,my sarcastic moment is over.....just happened to think that NO amount of money can equal what I've experienced this year on Spark People...NO amount of money can equal how good I feel right now...and NO amount of money can buy my new lease on life!!!!!

What a year it has been and what a life full of more years it will be!!! Have "met" some amazing new friends - even one in person!! Enjoyed reading and reaping the benefits of an incredible amount of information about food and fitness. Used resources and tools available on this site to inspire myself and others -- it is pretty cool to be a Spark Motivator" and take that accolade seriously! Think I'm becoming quite the crusader for SP - have even recruited some new people. Just know that I feel and look so much better I want everybody to have the same feelings that I do....want them to realize that nobody can do it for them, want them to know that it won't and can't happen overnight but it CAN happen, and want them to know it is absolutely worth the time and effort it will take to get "healthy". Sorry, I get a little carried away sometimes, and have to "reel it in" - don't want to be obnoxious - just want to tell the world!!!!!!

Have always believed that everything happens for a reason and at the exact time it's supposed to happen....the timing for my journey has been perfect and oh what a journey it has been and will continue to be!!! Spent so many years as a "fat" person and now only want to live life as a "fit" person. Love my new lifestyle sooooo much that I never want to go back to the old me and, with the support of Spark People, will never go back. As I've mentioned before, I've come so far and feel so incredible and fully realize this is a lifestyle...for a lifetime. I try to share that with people who seem to be searching for that "quick fix" to a long standing issue. I am 10,000% sure that the "slow, but steady" route is the one to take for this journey. Works for me!!!!!

Here's to many more Spark People anniversaries and to 10,000 spark points!!!! Have a great and healthy day!!!!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KALISWALKER 3/3/2009 3:25PM

    Hi Sue, I wasn't joking when I told you I was spending less time on the computer LOL. I am getting caught up on my email and saw you had posted a blog. Wow 10,000!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are a great motivator to me!


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TRECECOOKS 2/26/2009 7:26PM

    Congrats and Happy Sparkiversary!!

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KSGROTHE 2/23/2009 3:19PM

    emoticon emoticon on your "Sparkiversary" and on reaching 10,000 SparkPoints.

This blog post made me almost as excited as you seem to be. I love your enthusiasm!

- Karen

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SIMPLEJOYS 2/22/2009 8:19PM

  Happy Anniversary Sue! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Feeling good and being healthy is definitely what it's all about! Keep on Sparking!!


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GIVENTHANKS 2/22/2009 1:08PM

    Hey Sue!
Happy emoticon! I really loved your blog and totally agree that Spark friends are awesome. emoticontoo!
Have a blessed day filled with love, laughter and smiles!

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Hours and hours...

Friday, February 20, 2009

...and hours!!! Yep...that's what I was losing the most of every day lately. So I had to make a heart wrenching decision!! For the last week or two I have purposely stayed away from my beloved Spark People. Believe it's taken more "will power" than changing my lifestyle did!!! Did allow myself a little time each day....have to get those spark points ya know!! But realized that I was spending hours at a time SITTING - and yes, was SITTING on my stability ball, but not sure that's really a "workout"!! Still haven't "engineered" the way to be on my laptop and treadmill at the same time!! Hmmmm...that would be a good solution...need to get serious about that!!!

Anyway, the point is, I was getting so sidetracked from the responsibilities of life and work, that I just HAD to scale back my time on this site. Nevertheless, have continued to live a healthy and fit life (even lost a few more pounds), have had the opportunity to spread the spark a few times, and hopefully continued to be an encouragement to the people I encounter. My first year Spark anniversary is this weekend, so will allow myself some time to "blog" a reflection of the year. In the meantime, I snuck away from my duties at work - just for a minute or two - and need to get back to them. At least I'm off the whole weekend!!!

Can't resist adding this picture of Jack watching me at the computer. Believe I had been watching an exercise demo.....looks like he wanted to know what it was all about too!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PICKIE98 2/26/2009 2:45PM

    I hear you on that hours and hours.. now I do get everything done, all my tracking,etc.. but I think so many of these people do not work, are either stay at homes or retired....
I do not have enough hours in any day to fit all that sitting.. I DO love the videos though, they are invaluable,, especially Nicole's,,, gotta lover 'er!!

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JIBBIE49 2/20/2009 10:33PM

    I don't watch TV hardly at all anymore, so my PC time is about ME, and not some made up group, and I like that. So I don't mind my SparkTime. emoticon

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KALISWALKER 2/20/2009 9:09PM

    Sue, I have done the same thing. It was addictive and I got a laptop which is warm and cozy on my lap, and that made it worse. I need to leave the computer shut off more and get out and walk, exercise, clean the house and spend time with friends. Please don't think my lack of response means I don't care. It means I have to keep a healthy balance in my life. All the best to you.



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