SUNSHINE20113   27,342
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SUNSHINE20113's Recent Blog Entries

3 months since moving and still in goal range - Phew!

Friday, November 08, 2013

In fact, I came third in the last maintenance challenge, so go me!! emoticon

This week has not been a good week. I came down with a cold that also managed to affect my ear. This meant that when I got out of bed in the morning, or made any sudden movements I got a sudden case of vertigo! Fortunately, I'm feeling much better today, so I think the worst of it has passed.

The thing about colds is that it is harder for me to get out the door and exercise and much easier to say 'yes' to the cookies and cakes. I am sick after all!!

Those two things don't balance out, however, and the scale does a good job of reminding me of that.

Two things have helped me cope this week:

1: Just say "no".

The "at goal and maintaining" team have a thread where they ask, "what did you say no to today" or something similar, which affirms the strength it can take to say "no" to junk food. I've been stopping and asking myself if I really need to pop the chocolate into my shopping basket, and then, if the answer is "no", leaving it alone. It helps me. It's a little thing, but is one step closer to keeping my body healthy.

2: Tell myself I'm going for a half hour jog.

I realise this may be a bit of bribery and corruption going on, but today, as I was feeling just a little better, I said to myself, "go on, just half an hour". It was enough to get me into my running gear and out the door. Then, amazingly, when I hit the 30 minute mark, I found myself thinking, "go on, just five minutes more" and on it went until I managed an hour of jogging.

Sometimes we just need to imagine doing the first few steps. Once we've done those, the next few steps seem possible.

I read through my last blog before writing this and, amazingly, I've managed to meet most of the goals. Making sandwiches for lunch is still not as regular as it could be, but I do feel life is settling in to a groove here, and I'm becoming more and more comfortable with the idea that this is a new groove, not at all my old routine, but it's a groove that is working and slowly taking shape.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAEVEN_ 11/9/2013 9:31AM

    You're doing emoticon .. I hope you feel better soon

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JOANNA202 11/9/2013 8:57AM

    Impressive! Sounds like you're settling in new routines nicely, taking the tools with you that you know work for you. emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 11/8/2013 2:26PM

    you're doing great! emoticon

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COFFEELS 11/8/2013 11:55AM

    You are doing great at maintaining! emoticon

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NELLJONES 11/8/2013 8:07AM

    I have for years told myself "NO" to a lot of foods. I know that the modern aspect is that you can say yes to anything in proper portions, but for me it's easier to Just Say No. It's hard in that one moment, but out of my mind the next, if I don't eat it.

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BUSYGRANNY5 11/8/2013 7:41AM

    I enjoyed your blog!!! Happy you're feeling better! Keep on keeping on!!!

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ROXYZMOM 11/8/2013 7:11AM

    You are doing a wonderful job at maintaining! I an glad you are feeling better!

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Adapting to change

Saturday, October 12, 2013

This last week has been a tough one for me. This was the week when the University set down their expectations for Phd students and I spent a lot of time getting to know my (much younger) fellow students and getting to grips with what achieving a Phd will actually mean!

More than the workload, I began to realise that my usual training schedule was going to need to change, too. I have always gone jogging in the evening, and, although I didn't realise it, seen it as something to look forward to at the end of the day. My college timetable is not going to allow for that. As most of my scheduled lectures are at the end of the day, it is going to make more sense to jog in the mornings. For some reason, this has really upset me.

Added to that, I have not been able to set aside time for lunch. I find myself travelling at what was my 'old' lunchtime and have just been fitting in some food wherever I can find the time. Argh!

My old routine is not fitting into this new life!! emoticon

Things need to change.

There is no point trying to do things the way that I used to, because I can already see that it will lead to failure, disappointment and a return to bad habits. I can see that if I want to keep up with my running and healthier lifestyle, I'm going to need to adapt, and, like I needed to when I first started Sparkpeople, this is going to need a little bit of planning.

So, here goes:

emoticon Jogging needs to be done first thing in the morning. Instead of it being something I look forward to at the end of the day, I need to see it as a way to start off my day well.

emoticon I can still pack myself a sandwich everyday. That way I know that I've prepared for lunch, and, over time, I'll find a regular time to enjoy my lunch.

emoticon Start waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday. This may help in feeling like I have some sort of routine.

emoticon Plan my studying the way I started exercising - with just ten minutes everyday. Set myself smaller, realistic tasks. It may seem too small at the moment, but it will grow and in time I'll be able to keep up with the academic conversations in class.

emoticon Keep monitoring my exercise and my calories, just to make sure I'm keeping stable in that area (Being part of the 5% challenge always helps with this). I'm not trying to lose weight, I'm just making sure no bad habits are creeping in without me noticing.

emoticon Work on my attitude and perspective. Just for now, try to see not only the frustrating, negative side of change, but look for the potential in living differently.

This is a start. It is interesting to see how I like to try and fit my old routines into new environments. I think this is the first time that I've realised I can't do that. It is a tough realisation, but I think it may be the key to not gaining an extra ten pounds of frustration. It is also interesting to notice how my main frustration is over when to eat a sandwich and having to change the time I go jogging!! Those things are easily resolved.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLED146 10/13/2013 12:59PM

    Having a plan is a good way to start adapting to a new routine. It's like a syllabus for your day! Best wishes on your studies!
emoticon emoticon

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ANATASHIKI 10/12/2013 3:26PM

    you just need a good plan . i hate waking up in the morning but i love running that time , it makes me feel more energized all day. I never have time for lunch , that is my regular routine. unless you call 5 pm or later lunch. I pack my food and take it with me. studying will go faster when you will practice and get used to it. and don't be so frustrated , you didn't imagine you won't sacrifice anything , did you? :P

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CYCLINGSANDY 10/12/2013 2:58PM

    I hate running in the am too, so I have not adjusted to that change. You don't seem to have a choice now that you are back in school. You have the will, so will find the way too. emoticon

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KRISZTA11 10/12/2013 2:52PM

    I understand how upset you feel about moving your evening runs to morning - I feel the same when I -very rarely - have to move my morning runs to evening.
But all my evening runs in the dark were quite enjoyable.
I hope you will like morning runs too.
Winter mornings are beautiful, because the sky is always dark blue before the sun comes up, even if it turns into grey later.
Good luck to the adjustments, your plan sounds very good.

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YIWEN39 10/12/2013 1:09PM

    Great plan! Attitude is half the battle emoticon

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MLH148 10/12/2013 8:12AM

    Good plan! Look for some healthy savory muffin recipes for lunch if you have to eat on the run. Browse sparkrecipes for other good lunches. Good luck! What is your area of study?

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KELLIEBEAN 10/12/2013 7:00AM

    I can't say enough good things about your attitude. You are making changes in your routine to make your new life work. That is so huge!

I especially like point number 4 about studying 10 minutes a day to start out. I am a HUGE believer in baby steps to develop life-long habits!

emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 10/12/2013 6:48AM

    "Start waking up and going to bed at the same time everyday. This may help in feeling like I have some sort of routine. "

Particularly for us natural evening people, enforcing a consistent bedtime discipline is key to being able to get up early. And getting up early while also getting enough sleep is key to being able to run in the morning, before other activities start.

You've got your head on straight, and you've got a good plan. Now all you need to do is implement it!

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JOANNA202 10/12/2013 6:35AM

    Sounds like you've got a great plan there. I always find it surprising what needs to be overhauled when one thing in life changes. And of course you know you have the tools and resources ready right here for doing that, because you've done it all before.

Can I suggest finding something new to put in your evenings to look forward to? It sounds like you won't have a lot of time but I'm sure you'll miss that from jogging in the morning (and if it were I'd end up substituting sugar-rich foods instead!) Even if it's just 10 minutes of meditation or reading time for yourself, it'll be great to bookend your day with 'you' things.

Best of luck starting the PhD!

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My First Half Marathon!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

There we are. My ever supportive DH and me. He has seen me progress from my first 5km in 2009 (at 148 pounds) to my first half marathon (at 120 pounds). At the end of the race he said, "your body has certainly changed since your first race!!"

In spite of my IT band giving me a bit of trouble this last week, I managed quite well. I've learned that if I concentrate on relaxing my shoulder it somehow helps release the tension I feel in my knee. I knew to start at a slow pace as that would enable to keep going the entire distance without pain at the end. It worked!!

When I hit the 10 mile mark I knew that I could just go for it, and I did. It was amazing what a mental boost it was to think: "this is the same as a 5km race. I can do that!!" and just let my body take over.

The weather was overcast and cool, just perfect for running, and the course was fairly flat. There was a steep incline just before entering the race track, which was not ideal at the end of a race, but I managed. I ran the whole distance averaging about 9.30 mins per mile, with a final burst of energy at the end. My last three miles were all under 9 mins per mile. I passed the finish line just at just over 2 hours, which was what I was hoping for. I'll get the official time later today, but I think it will be 2:01 or 2:02.

IT band is sore now, so sitting on the couch resting it. The rest of me feels great!! Give me a few weeks and I'll be ready for the next one!! The training for this has been long (nearly 7 months) so I'm extra relieved that it went well, and very happy.

Thanks for all the support!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COFFEELS 11/8/2013 11:57AM

    Congratulations on finishing your first half marathon!!! That is a great time!!! emoticon

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IMSMILEY88 11/7/2013 4:49PM


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ONMYMEDS 11/7/2013 8:43AM


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MWWENSIN 9/23/2013 4:23PM

    Great job. Really great tine.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 9/23/2013 4:04PM

    Great time!

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MIRAGE727 9/23/2013 3:58PM

    You never forget your first Half! Outstanding time!

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JOANNA202 9/23/2013 10:26AM

    Congratulations!! That's an amazing achievement! You should be so proud of yourself and all your careful hard work. I hope your IT band recovers soon (though it definitely deserves a rest now).

Do you have another race booked in a few weeks, or is that just a comment on when you could practically do one?

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LALMEIDA 9/22/2013 9:58PM


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MOBYCARP 9/22/2013 9:03PM


I need to hear stuff like this as I work on foot rehab with an eventual goal of running a half marathon. Run slower, they all say. I need to work on that, and it helps to read a testimonial of how it benefits others.

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GWINNER1 9/22/2013 5:40PM

    emoticon on doing such an outstanding job on your first half marathon! You rock! I am just getting used to doing 5ks and a half marathon seems rather daunting at this point. But I'm sure I can work up to it. Keep on doing a great job. You have accomplished much!!!

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ANATASHIKI 9/22/2013 5:05PM

    emoticon emoticon

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OWL_20 9/22/2013 4:54PM

    emoticon on your first 1/2 marathon! It's something I'm planning on doing next year. How did your training go?

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COOP9002 9/22/2013 2:53PM

    Awesome job & excellent time. You should be sor proud of your accomplishment.

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GEMLADYONE 9/22/2013 2:52PM

    Congrats on your first HM! I'm totally impressed. emoticon

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OPTIMIST1948 9/22/2013 2:08PM

    Congratulations on first HM! What a wonderful achievement and its great that you have somebody to help & support you. Stretch that IT band! Figure 4 stretches and pigeon pose work well for me.

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AFERARI 9/22/2013 1:53PM

    Great job on the HM and on the fast time! Super impressed!

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KRISZTA11 9/22/2013 12:38PM

    Congrats to your first Half Marathon!
You ran a great time.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 9/22/2013 12:05PM


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JSAMMONS1981 9/22/2013 11:56AM


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One week until race day!!

Friday, September 13, 2013

And all I keep thinking is: 'don't get an injury now!!'

I'm ready. My past two long runs have both been 21km in about 2 hours. I know I can do it, now I just need to taper for this week, get enough sleep and eat well.

We've been away on holiday in Scotland and have not eaten as well as we usually do. I haven't jumped on the scale yet, so hopefully I haven't gained too much, but I do look forward to a week of balanced, healthy eating before race day.

I'll be running the half marathon next Sunday. I've been training for months now, so it feels like it's been quite an epic journey.

My last long run is this Sunday. I'm only planning on running for 90 minutes. My plan after that is two runs of thirty minutes each, and plenty of yoga.

I need to keep healthy and injury free now. I feel like the training part is done.

Phew. I'm excited!!

Any last minute tips??

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIETAIT 9/16/2013 12:26AM

    You're going t do great. Can't wait to read about the race details.

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ANATASHIKI 9/14/2013 4:09AM

    good luck with the race! I don't know about tips but sometimes when I have muscle cramps while running I take magnesium supplements. but if you don't have this issue and are not used to them I don't know if they would help. I agree , the body doesn't make water reserves, we're not a cactus emoticon

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PASTAFARIAN 9/13/2013 10:53PM

    Ignore Bluenose's advice. You can't give your body "reserve hydration". You'll just pee it out. In the worst case, you'll have to pee mid-race.

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WORKNPROGRESS49 9/13/2013 6:25PM


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BLUENOSE63 9/13/2013 6:02PM

  Tip: Make sure you are properly hydrated during your taper week. In fact drink extra so that your body has a reserve. Don't forget the sunscreen and bug spray just in case.

Good luck, sounds like you got this all cased! Make sure you show a pic of the bling you win!

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ZMADAME 9/13/2013 5:59PM


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RAPUNZEL53 9/13/2013 5:57PM

  Good Luck!

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Anniversary time: Two years of sparking!

Friday, September 06, 2013


Although anniversaries are frequently the opportunity to look back and reflect on what we've achieved over the last year, this time I very much feel like I'm looking forward to the future. Much of the reason for this is because I find myself preparing for a few things that have been on my goal list for just a little bit too long.

Here's what I think has happened:

When I started spark people, I was given a few simple ideas to keep me on track to reach my weight loss goal. I wasn't just taught how to set goals, I was given simple ways to meet them and it worked for me. I got excited by spark points and fitness minutes and trophies. (I still do emoticon ) I also liked the idea of setting myself a goal of ten minutes of exercise a day. I knew that I could do that. I learned not to focus on the ominous final destination, but on the little steps I could take each day instead. Eating too much junk food was no longer guilt ridden because I simply added it to my calorie tracker, and, slowly but surely found myself eating less and less of it. For me, this really worked.

Once I reached my goal weight, I slowly began to toy with the idea that other goals in my life could potentially be reached too, if I just did a little bit each day. I now knew that I liked trophies and accumulating fitness minutes, and this naturally flowed into jogging. By signing up to races I knew I would earn myself some sort of medal at the end of the race, and I also knew that I would be spending time building up my mileage. Again, this has worked really well for me, I think because I'm learning what motivates me. This running routine is now such a part of my life that I get itchy feet if I miss more than a week doing it. I'm still amazed to have discovered a love for an activity that I used to dread when I was at school. We really are never too old to discover new things about ourselves.

Something intangible has changed. I think that I used to be really full of self-doubt. Now, I feel that I am actually a capable person. A worthwhile person. And that reaching out for what I want in life may actually be a worthy pursuit.

So, my husband and I went through our dreams. We brainstormed and realised that we had the resources to take a break from the rat race and be a bit brave. We moved to a small seaside town. Now, it is in Ireland, (not your first choice for a sunny seaside resort, I know), but a door opened which gave us the option to try out this dream and see whether living away from the city would work for us. We've been here a month now. We're still adjusting, so I'll keep you posted.

I will also be starting a Phd programme at one of the local universities here. This is another dream of mine. It's both daunting and exciting at the same time - but then so was losing all that weight and that worked out really well for me!! I'm nervous, but I think I have the tools in hand to do this (without the fresher fifteen!!)

Where am I now? I'm in a more confident place. I can't say it's a happy place because emotions come and go and problems and unexpected events are always there to put a spanner in the works, as we all know.


I've learned to embrace the journey towards reaching our dreams, and, maintaining my weight has taught me that there is no finite end when we reach those goals. We just move on to something new, something just a little bit more challenging. It's a good place to be.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JOANNA202 9/14/2013 3:18PM

    Oh I'm so pleased to see how things are working out for you. Congratulations on your 2 years, and all the exciting changes you've been making! I'm sure last time I checked in you were running much shorter races too so good luck with the half!

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FLORIDASUN 9/8/2013 8:58AM

    Fantastic...I want to hear all about your new adventures...and my theme is...if you don't break off the beaten track every so often you will miss some great adventures along the way! are doing so GREAT! emoticon emoticon

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CHICA_BORICUA 9/7/2013 11:36AM


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KRISZTA11 9/6/2013 4:32PM

    Congrats to your emoticon !
I'm jealous of the small seaside town you moved to.
My country has no seaside and all my family members love to live in a big city so no chance for me now ; ) but maybe sometime later in my life...

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WORKNPROGRESS49 9/6/2013 2:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MADEIT3 9/6/2013 12:38PM

    What a great Blog! Thanks for writing it. Good luck with your PhD program. I loved grad school - you can set goals and see what you've accomplished via feedback from your professors and your grades!! Almost like the scale...

Best to you!

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