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Maintaining as Summer Departs and Fall and Winter Arrive

Thursday, September 18, 2014

As September moves all too quickly toward October I am thinking about fall and winter weight gain. It is tempting to cling to the lovely fruit and veggie meals of summer, but I noticed lately that local peaches and nectarines have lost their healthy texture and flavor. And yes, the markets where I live have summer fruits all winter, but for me, it is not the same.
I ate a wonderful apple today for a snack. It crackled when I bit in. It was juicy and close to divine.



I need to remember that it itís not the switch to apples, from berries and plums that will derail my maintenance; it is the strudels, the muffins, and the tempting au gratins. These fall favorites can lead me far from my healthy intentions.

I like fall clothes. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where a wool jacket worked most of the year. But here in Virginia the seasonal changes are a bit more dramatic. Iíve got clothes to layer up for fall and winter walks. Iím digging out my gloves this week for the day I will need them. This is prevention. I want to be ready so I have no excuse when the winds pick up, and the rain and snow come.



Itís important for me to look ahead and be ready to embrace whatís next. But in the meantime, Iím heading to my mailbox to pick up our mail. Iím going barefoot. For today itís still summertime!




  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KANOE10 9/19/2014 9:26AM

    Your feet are too cute with that nail polish. It is good prevention to plan ahead for the fall. I am walking with gloves also. We can make it through the fall in a healthy way.

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DALID414 9/18/2014 11:26PM

    I can't get into the thought of Fall just yet, we are just getting over a heat wave!

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BETRHO48 9/18/2014 10:40PM

    emoticon Thanks for such a lovely blog and for the reminder to be careful when switching from one treat to another.
~Beth

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KELLIEBEAN 9/18/2014 2:52PM

    Thanks for the reminder to mentally prepare for fall and winter. You have a great attitude.

I hear they are calling for the same brutal winter this year in the midwest like we had last year. Not sure I can handle that but I'm a Sparker, I will face it head on!

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I love your toes.

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GORIANA 9/18/2014 12:34PM

    It sounds like a good plan for today and tomorrow.

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JANTHEBLONDE 9/18/2014 11:43AM

    I love your positive attitude going into the winter months! There are lots of delicious winter vegetables! Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love,
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SEATTLE58 9/18/2014 11:18AM

    Good for you. It's so smart to be so mindful of what lies ahead and those comfort foods that abound because of the colder weather. I know too, about more cooler temps. in the Pacific Northwest and how that Minnesota is alot cooler!! And Virginia too! We will bear whatever lies ahead and come out winning in the Spring!! Thanks for your good example!! Hugs, Karen

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Remembering 9-11

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Thinking of this date as my husband and I travel to NYC today to visit our son who works in Brooklyn. He was in elementary school in a Washington DC suburb the day the towers were hit and the Pentagon as well. We live close enough to the Pentagon to have had our house shake. He does not remember much about that day.

We have an older daughter who changed her fitness goals after 9-11. She realized she could not have carried people out of the towers, and it bothered her.

We had another son who lived in NY and would have been under the towers in a subway, except that he was lucky enough to be late to work that day.

Our lives have changed in so many ways since that time, but we are also--many of us--still safe and living privledged lives. My husband and I are active in a group called Interfaith Youth Corps. It promotes an understanding between and among religions to celebrate the values that all major religins all hold in common.

Feeling grateful. Reminding myself to keep working, praying and acting for a better world.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLIEBEAN 9/11/2014 9:05PM

    How frightening how close you and your family were to such a tragedy!

Tragedies can make us appreciate what we have. I agree, we should never forget!

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JANTHEBLONDE 9/11/2014 1:12PM

    We can never forget 911! I hope you have a wonderful visit with your son today! Sending you you lots of hugs! xoxo
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MICKEYH 9/11/2014 12:02PM

    Thanks for sharing. emoticon emoticon

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DALID414 9/11/2014 9:40AM

    emoticon We will never forget

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SEATTLE58 9/11/2014 7:39AM

    Yes, remembering is what we're doing today. How could we ever forget? Wow, you were close enough to the situation. Scary! With living in MN, we were scared too, and I think everybody was, wherever they were. To tell you the truth, my husband and I were celebrating our anniversary when it hit and for the rest of the day we didn't think of our anniversary as much as we thought of whether we were going to get hit somehow in our area too! Such a horrible, horrible feeling and we sure feel for all those living today, who were affected at any aspect. We celebrate our 33rd anniversary today! Yay for us, we made it through so many ups and downs and are going strong! Have a good day. emoticon

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KANOE10 9/11/2014 7:39AM

    I love the Interfaith Youth Group. What a great organization. Thanks for the reminder. We all need to remember 9-11 and to focus on having a better life. I am glad you are visiting your son.

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WENDYSPARKS 9/11/2014 7:34AM

    emoticon

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RIDLEYRIDER 9/11/2014 7:32AM

  Thank you for the reminders of how grateful we should be to be alive, well, and living where we do.

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It's the Little Things: Playing with my Spices

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Twice a year I go through my spices and organize, re-alphabetize (no one in my house, including me seems to consistently put spices back where they belong!!) and evaluate my spice rack.

Spices get old and stale and need to be tossed. This project helps me decide I'm never going to use something and toss it out: today it was dried basil. It is so readily available fresh now, and dried basil doesn't work the same way at all. I'm not going to use it anymore. I feel the same way about cilantro. Fresh is a whole different thing.

I'm all ready to cook now! When I open the doors to my spice storage area I feel like an artist, with a full selection of colorful alternatives.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 9/2/2014 6:23AM

    Beautiful. I will be doing the same next week - when someone is away. LOL. Deep cleaning is best done alone.



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GRAMMYX7 8/29/2014 11:34AM

    Wow! What a beautiful spice cabinet. I love to cook and use spices for added flavor. I recently put all my spices in 2 stackable containers, one for small bottles and one for larger bottles and alphabetized mine. Made a trip to Penzey's for fresh bottles of some of the older ones I tossed. You are so right that some spices are better fresh.


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JACKIEWALKS4FUN 8/29/2014 9:16AM

    A reminder to me to do this. Yours looks great emoticon

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KANOE10 8/29/2014 8:09AM

    I love spices. I did that yhis summer...went through and got rid of old spices. You look very organized.

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SUSANNAH31 8/29/2014 5:46AM

    What a worthwhile project. Spicing up food in different ways is something I like to do.

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TUDAFD 8/29/2014 12:06AM

    I love this -- wish I had one although I finally found space to hang the spice rack my hubby made so that should help. :)

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DALID414 8/28/2014 11:12PM

    That is an impressive spice nook!

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KELLIEBEAN 8/28/2014 9:21PM

    THAT is a thing of beauty. I'm jealous. I have to agree with you on the cilantro and basil. Nothing like the fresh stuff!

I was out of fresh basil the other day so I sprinkled dried basil over my tomato slices and mozzarella cheese and it just wasn't the same.

I bow down to you!

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AMARILYNH 8/28/2014 3:09PM

    Wow - that is one IMPRESSIVE spice cabinet! You are indeed ready to cook!! emoticon

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JANTHEBLONDE 8/28/2014 1:06PM

    Your pantry looks absolutely awesome! Way to go girl! You did a fabulous job! I think you should come over to my house and organize my spices! :-) :-) I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love!
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NEW-CAZ 8/28/2014 11:51AM

    very organised!

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WIFE48 8/28/2014 11:45AM

    I am impressed with your organized spice cupboard. emoticon

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1HAPPYSPIRIT 8/28/2014 11:34AM

    emoticon

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SEATTLE58 8/28/2014 11:20AM

    Wow, it looks like you're a good organizer! Can you come to do mine now? emoticon I think that I get it all good and organized and then it seems so rinky too! Ha! It is a good feeling to know where everything is. emoticon I love it! emoticon

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SANDICANE 8/28/2014 11:15AM

    I love spices too and what a great idea to re-organize them 2 x a year so we remember what we have!!!

Have fun cooking and I love your cabinet toooooooo!

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DOING-IT4ME 8/28/2014 11:12AM

    I like your cabinet - I desperately need a true spice cabinet in my house. My spices are always a mess, I have to pull have of them out of the cabinet to find the one I'm looking for!

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The Fears I've Left Behind by Losing Weight & Maintaining

Thursday, August 07, 2014

It struck me today that after a year and 11 months of healthy weight maintenance there are a bunch of things I no longer fear.

I no longer fear the scale. Up a pound or down a pound, I know what to do.

I no longer fear a pool party or 'swimsuit season'. I own 3 swim suits and none of them promise to make me look í10 pounds thinner.Ē Iím happy to put them on.

I no longer fear going to the gym. Iím one of the crowd there. In fitness classes I keep up when I can and do my own thing when I think itís too much of a stretch for my current level of conditioning.

I no longer worry about what Iím going to where to my next Ďbig event,í nor do I wonder if it will make me look fat. I donít own a single pair of Spanx. I wear what I want and enjoy the party.

I don't fear having my blood pressure taken at the doctors. High or low I know I've done my part to be healthy. The rest is up to genes, meds should I need them at some point, and the inevitabilty of aging. It won't be my fault!


I'd like to think I could have felt this fearless at any weight, but the fact is I did not. I was uncomfortable at best, and ashamed at worst.

I don't miss these fears! Not a single one of them. Fears don't keep me on track; my healthy goals do.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRISTA987 8/24/2014 2:00PM

    Congrats on beating your fears! Such an amazing accomplishment!
I hope I can reach that point eventually too!

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KELLIEBEAN 8/8/2014 8:08AM

    What a great blog! I'm so happy for you! This is how life should be lived.

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EDLEAR 8/8/2014 6:51AM

    Sounds like one of the biggest things you've gained was more self confidence! Congrats on that.

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DALID414 8/7/2014 9:32PM

    Great fears to have lost along the way.

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GIZMOLUVSME 8/7/2014 7:12PM

    What an awesome blog and something we can all look forward to when we reach our goals! I like your point that if your health suffers, its not your fault cuz you have done your part. emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 8/7/2014 5:37PM

    Great achievements. Thanks for sharing. Congrats on all your success!!

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NEW-CAZ 8/7/2014 1:05PM

    emoticon emoticon

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JANTHEBLONDE 8/7/2014 11:14AM

    Fabulous blog! What a awesome outlook on life! You put to Sparks in Sparks! I am so proud of you! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love!
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AMARILYNH 8/7/2014 11:02AM

    OMG I loved reading this - because you've identified the fears I DON'T have! Thanks for the reminder and the gratitude!!

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KLMEIRING 8/7/2014 10:46AM

    emoticon I enjoyed reading this blog! Thank you for sharing.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 8/7/2014 10:41AM

    Excellent attitude and very well stated.

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GORIANA 8/7/2014 10:34AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SEATTLE58 8/7/2014 10:10AM

    emoticon What a joy to read this! emoticon What a blessing to be broke free from that fear that we have in our minds! I've known that pretty much all my life. emoticon One day I will break free too! Thank you for a good blog! emoticon

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WIFE48 8/7/2014 10:04AM

    emoticon thanks for sharing.

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KIMPY225 8/7/2014 9:57AM

    This is a great outlook! Keep up the great work!

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KANOE10 8/7/2014 9:42AM

    That was a lovely blog. I also had those fears when I was obese. Isn't it nice to enjoy that freedom and happiness in your life? You have made some excellent growth in your life of health. Your positive confidence is inspiring.

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BABYSTEPS123 8/7/2014 9:31AM

    Congratulations on releasing those fears through your accomplishments. So great to be able to look back and see the difference! Keep up the good work! emoticon

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SANDICANE 8/7/2014 9:30AM

    Lovely blog...lovely. I'm sooo happy for you that you have found "freedom" in your life from weight-related issues!!!

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Under Promise and Over Deliver?

Friday, August 01, 2014

Ever felt backed into a corner by work or a family member to get something accomplished? Or felt the need to do more until you were exhausted?

I sure have. My PTA days come to mind! And in many other circumstances when I am thinking, "how can I possibly..." while saying, "sure, I'll do that."

Then one day a mentor of mine told me to try a bold new approach: "Under promise so you can over deliver." It sure beats the alternative of over promising and under delivering or struggling to meet my own self-inflicted performance goal. Most of the time it works just great.

Just last week my husband called and asked, "Are you cooking tonight?"

"Maybe, I said. Not sure."

As the afternoon progressed I happily put together a fine dinner for us.

He said, "I didn't think you'd cook!"

"I know," I said. "Changed my mind."

Smiles all around and no pressure felt.

I'm not sure this will work for everyone, but it sure works for me.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IMEMINE1 8/3/2014 8:11PM

    emoticon

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KANOE10 8/3/2014 8:10AM

    That was a nice reminder. It is all too easy to get overcommitted.

Good blog!

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JANTHEBLONDE 8/1/2014 10:49PM

    Love your blog! Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hugs and love!
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SANDICANE 8/1/2014 10:33PM

    That's a great tip! I love it! I'll practise it until I can do it...

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TUDAFD 8/1/2014 9:32PM

    Great idea!

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NEW-CAZ 8/1/2014 1:18PM

    emoticon

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DALID414 8/1/2014 10:43AM

    Oh, it definitely works!
I give my boss an approximate due date that is usually past the due date he'd like to hear, takes the pressure off and I deliver before my given date.

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KELLIEBEAN 8/1/2014 9:53AM

    I like it. I overcommit all the time. I'm getting better at it but it takes work.

LIke this weekend, my ex's wedding and the kids are trying to work out logistics and I'm trying to help when my ex is not.

I took a step back the other day and told the kids they need to talk amongst themselves, they are all adults.

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TANYA602 8/1/2014 9:42AM

    What a fabulous way of looking at it all! I need this tatoo'd somewhere so I can remember it. What was for dinner?!

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