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SMOKINGUN's Recent Blog Entries


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Sometimes life throws us what seems to be unfair, unattainable, unimaginable, unexpected and/or unwanted. Seems we drive our lives like an approaching storm. The wind in the storm isn't deterred by obstacles in its path, rather it circumvents these and travels at will to its end. Is that us? Not choosing the path we should follow but rather the path of least resistance. It is much easier for me to just gather supplies and make something to eat, then to gather supplies after some or much thought before constructing a delicious healthy meal. It similar to stopping at a fast food restaurant to grab a bag of food to go instead of investing in the pleasure of tickling our taste buds with a sit down meal.
Developing a meal prep habit may seem out of reach. Have you looked at the thousands of healthy recipe choices available through Spark. They tell you ingredients, amount of time to prepare,size of servings, and the nutritional content. The hardest thing with a recipe is which one to make.
It isn't fair that we can continue to make inappropriate food choices, yet can make substantially wise choices when it comes to helping others make the "right" choice. It seems to us, unimaginable others do not make or know how to make these choices which seem obvious to us. Yet in all honesty we fall into the same crevice as the ones we are making those "wise" choices. After all we just stopped at a fast food drive thru to pick up our meal so we would have enough energy to give our opinion , whether asked for or not! it may even have been unwanted!
I remember when the choices weren't so important. I could eat just about anything and never gain an ounce. Now I look at a roll in the morning and pay for it the rest of the day, especially if it causes me to make other similar choices.
For a long time I could only see what I remembered about my physical dimensions when I looked in the mirror instead of the real image looking back at me. My memory never included the image I was seeing now. Which is why I am trying to change. I want the image to match the memory a little better. The end result is a Healthier ME!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TXMEMAW6 12/31/2012 9:57AM

    Good luck on your journey. I'm sure you will succeed. Just keep on keeping on and before you know it you will see the person that you once were looking back at you in your mirror. Happy 2013!!!!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 12/31/2012 12:55AM

    Wanting to move toward healthy changes is the first step toward seeing a new you in the mirror. Just keep taking steps forward!

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JILL313 12/31/2012 12:45AM

    I still get kind of shocked when I glance at a mirror as I barely recognize myself now. Like so many of us I used to take being slim for granted. . .and finally my overeating and lack of exercise turned me into a 100 overweight woman who I almost don't see as myself. We have so much good and useful info right at our fingertips on Spark. It's up to us to utilize it as it's just about everything we need to know and now to use it. I want my visual image of myself to match what I see in the mirror. It's all up to us to not only talk the talk but walk the walk. I just wish it was easier to always eat healthy as I'm not as consistent with that as I should and need to be. I can tell by your pictures that your face is already looking slimmer--good for you! Take good care. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAOTAO 12/30/2012 1:29PM

    Beautifully expressed, thank you for sharing. I totally understand about remembering the image you used to see and blogged about it as well. Best wishes on your healthy journey to wholeness and remembering your authentic self. Happy New Year!

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IOWAGRAMMA 12/30/2012 12:32PM

    I think this is one of the hardest parts of the whole journey...I have known what to do and how to do it for many, many years, but putting it all into practice is another story altogether. We end up taking detours on this journey that sometimes takes us places we don't want to go, but on the other hand, these detours often lead us to an understanding we might not have had otherwise. Getting back on the trail and moving forward is critical and the issue I seem to struggle with more than I like or want. But, we can do it...we won't give up and we will make progress. Often on SP I see this: two steps forward and one back will still get us further ahead than if all our steps are back. The end result numbers are not too important to me, but a healthier body is very important! We can do it!! Good luck to you and Happy New Year!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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COLLEENROSTE 12/30/2012 3:16AM


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Fitness with Fitbit one

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I am so happy with the fitbit one in conjunction with my daily workout. I am definitely not in good shape so when I blog I am just happy with the exercise I am able to do. The fitbit sends little messages as prompts to get moving if I have been static for too long. It isn't like a coach yelling to get moving, but more a reminder of where I am at in today's regime. A routine I set daily for myself. It just sent me a messages "smooches Ralph". Nothing negative about that. The goal is to walk 10,000 steps a day. Not going to happen just yet, but I got an email congratulating me for walking 5017 steps the other day. Most days I also try to exercise in a pool. I strap weights on my ankles and high step 30-90 minutes. Constant motion w/o any leg pain. Of course the fitbit cant be part of any water activity. I log this in separately on spark. To log the fitbit, I just push sync on the Spark fitness page and it transfers the information to that page.
I like the fact this fitbit one has a wristband to attach the fitbit while I sleep. It monitors my sleep. Just reset it when you get up. I know how long I slept, but more importantly how fit was my sleep.
I am very encouraged by the passive assist I get from this device. Now my bigger mountain to conquer is to eat healthier. I have a food scale but need to get it out of the box. I think they work better then. lol I really think I can do it this time!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GLOROBERT 3/1/2013 9:24AM

  I'm new have a fitbit one, while lookig on the fitbit site I see you can log in what you are doing for various house aciivities .does anyone keep track of that, it would be a lot of time tracking the excercie activities would be easy by are you supose to use a stopwatch to keep track of the each housework activity

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STEFF871 2/9/2013 4:32PM

    I am new to SP. I ordered the FitBit One last week and have been stalking the mailman waiting for it to arrive. I am glad to hear all the great things you have said about it. Thanks for sharing the information. Best of luck to you. emoticon

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P0KERS0PH 2/2/2013 4:33PM

    I've had my Fitbit One for 2 days and I absolutely love it!! It's motivated me to get off my backside and get active. I deliberately walk further or change my route , get up more etc just to get those steps up. It's also motivating to compete against friends!

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SEEMAINE 2/2/2013 11:04AM

    I just bought mine. Thanks for the great information about it, and best wishes on getting and staying healthy!

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CANDO20K 12/29/2012 6:34PM

    I've read the website & found local suppliers in New Zealand.
I'm off to have a look.

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PYNETREE 12/27/2012 9:40PM

    Oh, Now I really want to get a FitBit. I don't think I move enough to need one, but I bet it would work to motivate me.
I equate my exercise style as similiar to a huge house plant emoticon - But I am working to improve that..

I wish you Strength in this New Year, to stick to the Healthy path!

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TRACKSALL 12/27/2012 5:46PM

    Just got my Fitbit and can't wait to HOOK UP. Wish I had it this morning to count the steps of my two mile walk! LOL

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JAOTAO 12/27/2012 10:18AM

    I love my FB One as well! You are right about the motivation to get moving! I am learning so much about myself! Continue to enjoy yours!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 12/27/2012 12:05AM

    You will have everyone wanting to get one of these with these great blogs! Lol, about getting it out of the box!

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FENWAYGIRL18 12/26/2012 11:50PM

    hmmm i want one now

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JILL313 12/26/2012 10:55PM

    Now more than ever I'm wanting a Fitbit also. From you and everyone else who has one they seem to love the fact that it encourages them to move more, just what I need. Yes, I agree the food scale will work better out of the box--LOL! Eating healthy is equally important in correct portion sizes. It sure would be interesting to be able to track how much I really sleep at night, what an incredible device.



Comment edited on: 12/26/2012 10:56:59 PM

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SBARGANZ 12/26/2012 10:21PM

    I love my FitBit, too!

FiBit users, unite!

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UMBILICAL 12/26/2012 10:21PM

  Cute device

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Many of us seem to dwell on the negative in life rather then the many positives effecting our lives. Don't believe me, read almost any post on spark and you see we dwell on what we had done or had imagined was done to us, diverting us from successfully achieving our goal. We need to be happy with the little successes we gain by just trying to do our best daily.
I was in retail management for 30+ years before retiring, I heard and was an accomplice to negativity. As the economy turned sour the past couple years, so did our outlook on life's goals. It was easier to give up then fight through all people who were such a drag on what started as a good day. I was privileged to work with many fine hard working individuals who tried to make our days be successful. It's hard to bring up morale and self esteem when people throw out an anchor as you try to row the boat. We all know individuals who have infested our lives whether at home or work with a sour attitude.
When you are trying to make positive choices concerning your daily life, has someone or thing brought you down so much the choice doesn't seem important and we take the easy route. Instead of carrots for break we have a cream filled longjohn. This soothes our bruised ego for a very short time. Then we beat ourselves up for allowing that decision to be made. What happened? Not enough time nor space to thoroughly answer that. Maybe the boss didn't appreciate you, fellow employees didn't appreciate what you had accomplished at work, or perhaps you were just ignored. Somehow our thought process was bruised and we got the I don't give a darn attitude we didn't have when we crawled out of bed. We start the day fresh but many allow outside sources to alter our feelings.
Negative people, whether neighbors, fellow workers, friends and/or relatives need to be controlled by you. Because someone says they hate working here does not mean you should dislike the same thing. This negativity can make your day and attitude dwindle to the I don't give a darn state. Bad choices are more easily made in this state of mind.
Thus to shorten this up we need to be Thankful for: ( a short list you should add to)
1. Your alive
2. Other are worse off then you
3. Time heals much
4. We get to make choices
5. We can choose our friends
6. You can decide to be happy
7. You have a job (hopefully)
8. you have someone who listens
9. you have a person(s) who support(s) you
10. you can change
11. you can love/be loved
12. you have a right to your opinion
13. you are good
14. you are smart
15. you know right from wrong
16. you believe in you
17. your allowed to fail and start again
We are in charge of our destiny. We choose to be on spark to help change to a healthier lifestyle for us. We can choose to use instruments such as fitbit to help us achieve this more satisfactory life stle even if it takes more time then someone else who was more successful in a shorter period of time. We can be thankful it doesn't take anyone more special then ourselves to get to a place of contentment.
Be thankful your you, someone else may have worse baggage to carry.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BAMAJAM 1/11/2013 12:19PM

  Hi Smokingun----

I just came across this wonderful blog!!

---- AND I want to tell you that it is WONDERFUL --!!!

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JILL313 12/25/2012 8:32PM

    Very good and truthful blog. I try to surround myself with positive emoticon emoticon emoticon friends here and in my life. I recently had to drop a friend as everything I said or did she seemed to turn it into something negative which it really wasn't to me. I called her my "toxic" friend and I'm having a hard time getting the message to her as we have mutual friends so I still see her from time to time. But, life is too short to think negative and I've even read positive people live longer. I think as people feel better about themselves it shows in their outlook on life. On Spark as in our life we meet all kinds of people but I feel we can at least choose who we want to spend our free time with and like you I choose to be positive and have positive friends.

Comment edited on: 12/25/2012 8:33:05 PM

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IOWAGRAMMA 12/25/2012 9:56AM

    All so very true. It really is up to us and to use our blessings to our advantage. It is easy to slip into the negatives when things get tough, but our success lies in being able to pull ourselves out of that spot and moving forward. That's one of the great things about SP...we are free to live and learn and to make the journey ours and ours alone. Best to you today and always!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PLATINUM755 12/24/2012 11:09PM

    You are so right! Thank you for this great reminder! Have a wonderful holiday!

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Making Time

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wouldn't that be wonderful, be able to add time to our day. Since I haven't discovered the secret to time travel, the fountain of youth or any other magical solutions, my goal will be to make time. Something we can all do once we set our mind to it. Prioritizing is not something I am good at but must become better at if I am going to find success. I put on loads of weight by not having time in my busy daily life working in retail. I didn't find time to plan out good meals, get proper sleep and (OMG) exercise. I just retired a few months ago and in celebration, I put on more weight! I now have the time but have convinced myself, I am too busy.
Finding the time is essential.
My daughter and son-in-law bought me a fitbit one so I could track my steps daily. I never put much faith in pedometers, seems they just weren't accurate. But then growing up, I thought playing pong was advanced electronics. This apparatus is hooked up to my lap top, Ipad, and Iphone. It downloads when it gets near my laptop without my interference, Even tracks my sleep. By showing me how few steps I am taking versus the goal, it encourages me to get moving.
How do we find the time when we are too busy? How much time do I watch TV, listen to the radio, daydream and get on FB. I definitely can find time by only watching the TV shows I have a connection to. My wife was amazed how quickly I became engrossed in TV. No need to cut out all TV, I wouldn't like exercising if I felt I was using time inappropriately. Punishing myself will not bode well for sustained activity. By timing my exercising around shows I might want to watch gives me at least one hour per day. Planning meals ahead will save me time as well and will aid me in eating healthy. Making my lunch at night or at least planning it, will allow you to sleep in a few more minutes the next morning. It'll make for a more balanced unhurried lunch. When finished with lunch I could take a short walk.
Planning to do my exercise as soon as I get up. It's out of the way and I know I will feel better the remainder of my day. The fitbit one I mentioned earlier has made me more aware of wasted time. If I haven't moved in awhile, it messages me when I check it. "Howdy" lets me know I have been motionless. I was probably daydreaming.
Analyzing my day honestly lets me know I have time available by becoming flexible with it. If you dont like to walk, take a camera along. Record the neat things you see. Just taking the time to look where you walk will show many of natures wonders. Find your time.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IOWAGRAMMA 12/23/2012 8:43PM

    Planning is essential to so many things, including this new job of yours (and mine) of getting healthy! I like to get at least half my exercise done before I do any Sparking. It is sort of my reward, I think. But, in all your planning and programming...I think you definitely need to include some time to do some of that daydreaming you mentiong--call it meditation, quiet time, planning time...whatever, but it is important to give your minds and bodies a little unprogrammed down time, too (in my humble opinion...LOL)! Good luck!! Jeannie
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SPUNKYDUCKY 12/23/2012 1:31PM

    Nice blog - very insightful. What we prioritize is what we become....

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JILL313 12/23/2012 1:01AM

    We have to make getting healthy and moving more a top priority. I've read to actually schedule on your calendar the time each day you're going to exercise, as it's so important. It's so easy to make excuses as to why we can't exercise, and not having time to spare is one of my favorites. However, like you mentioned I take lots of time to Spark, read and do other things I enjoy so what's wrong with my excuses? Sometimes, I'm my own worse friend. I know when I exercise I do feel better mainly about myself that I'm doing something healthy for myself. I used to exercise a lot when I was younger and with 3 young kids no less. It all comes down to what are our top priorities, and getting as healthy and fit as possible is mine. So, I'm vowing next year, 2013, is my year to move more. . .and possibly get a Fit One myself as I'm sure I'll be shocked at how really inactive I am. We can add years to our life by moving more so studies have confirmed. . .I want to enjoy life and be here and enjoy being with emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon my family as long as possible. It's all up to us. We Can Do this!



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BRENDA_G50 12/23/2012 12:30AM

    emoticon emoticon

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Winter Wonderland has arrived.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

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This is the time of year I hear mixed emotions from my friends about the weather. It is or can be, one of the most beautiful times of the year. When I was a kid, we lived across the street from a park. The city flooded an acre sized rink and my brother and sister put on our skates, walked across the road and skated until our ankles couldn't take any more or we were saved by the dinner bell calling us back home. We didn't know about wind chill, so we had no fear of winter weather. We just had fun skating, sledding or just romping through the snow being outside. Do you remember the feeling of your pants being frozen stiff? As we got older, early teens, we began skating in the marshes near where we lived. The bombfires were so warming, the crackling of the timbers and the fireworks of sparks that would erupt periodically from the blaze.
These memories warm me as I process the fun and freedom we celebrated. No longer agile enough to do those same things, winter can be still enjoyed by getting outside. Being a participant rather then a member of the audience. Instead of skates, I now grab my camera. It is thrilling to capture the splendor of the snow glistening in the sunlight. Dead tree limbs take on a majestic appearance when they are clothed in a thin layer of ice. The howling wind no longer holds the appeal it once did, I know about wind chill now.
Winter sights and sounds have always been intriguing, especially if your not responsible for shoveling or physically attacking the snow. As when I was a child, we made it fun and I hope to experience the feeling again through photos or just observing nature.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLPEASE 12/22/2012 1:03PM

    Your blog brought back a lot of happy memories. It would be great to play like children again. I wonder what happened to me. As a kid I was outside all the time, and I used to go play with my kids outside even as a grownup -- now I like sitting in front of the fire instead. It just wouldn't occur to me that being outside in the cold and snow would be fun. Thanks for the reminder!

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IOWAGRAMMA 12/22/2012 9:55AM

    What I remember about those ice skating times is how icy cold my toes would get. I wasn't a very good skater anyway, but loved getting warm in the shack with the hot chocolate and little fire in the stove! Thanks for the memories! Jeannie

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TXMEMAW6 12/22/2012 9:41AM

    What beautiful memories you have! Having never lived around snow, I can only imagine what it must be like to live where it snows. Thank you for sharing your memories, and I look forward to your sharing your winter wonderland pictures with us.

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LOOKINGUP2012 12/22/2012 8:04AM

    Those are beautiful memories. emoticon

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SPUNKYDUCKY 12/22/2012 12:31AM

    Really beautiful writing! I hope that you enjoy exploring the snow with your camera tomorrow. I was supposed to have the day off, but I got jeopardized, so I will be going in to skiing for me tomorrow...Maybe Sunday...

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JILL313 12/22/2012 12:19AM

    i live in usually sunny with mild Winders in Southern CA. But just reading your blog made me want a White Christmas here which I highly doubt is going to happen. I'm so spoiled living here and actually think 60 degrees is cold--LOL! Enjoy the Christmas season and capture the Beauty all around you. Merry Christmas new friend. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JO88BAKO 12/22/2012 12:13AM

    This is a great time of the year- now. We bought a house in N.C. to live in for the winter and get away from cold and snow in Iowa. We will go back there in the spring. The beach is awesome, and not many people are there. I love winter now.

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