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The Spark Chapter 1

Saturday, September 17, 2011

There is this quote: "Your daily actions and words impact more people than you ever realize."

I cannot help but think of how his mother's actions and words must have had an impact on his life. While he states that he was different growing up, there must have been some influence by his mother that was impressed upon his soul.

It has been my experience that my core values and beliefs were instilled within me in my childhood and while I may not have expressed them in my youth I found that they became very much a part of me as I matured. Notice I wrote "matured" not aged. There is a huge difference between one aging and one maturing.

I think the thing that impressed me most about this chapter is how Chris had a dream and then put the plans to make that dream become a reality. It appears that he worked at it and it was not just dropped into his lap and he had instant success.

So, here I am in the middle age years, what do I want to accomplish with my life?
Oh, wait, that is a blog for the second chapter....

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLEEH 9/18/2011 10:54AM

    Can't wait to find out what you want to accomplish!!!

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MARTHASPARKS 9/17/2011 7:58PM

    I love Chris' quote. I'm in my late middle years and have found that every day I must and do choose how I will live that day and how I will treat the people I encounter. My answer: JOY!

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CASSIOEPIA 9/17/2011 7:46PM

    His quote is near and dear to my heart.

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Sometimes I amaze myself!

Friday, September 16, 2011

As you can see by my new profile picture - I have a emoticon. Since spring I have been training to do a sub30 5k, just once in my life. On September 15, 2011, I met that goal. It was not during an official race, just one of my workouts I do here on the roads close to home.

I did not think I was going to accomplish it because when I started running (it's really a fast jog) I could not seem to get my time down and was actually slower than I was last summer. I even changed my goal to do a sub31 just so the goal wouldn't seem unattainable.

I took a local running class and did not see any improvements in my time. So, I reverted back to this coached program from Running Mate Media - 30 days to Your Fastest 5k - which I purchased last winter but never completed, to continue with the speed and endurance workouts.

I stayed focused on each of the workouts and I cannot believe how much I improved. For each workout, I set out determined to do what was required in each of the coached sessions. That, I think, was what is the reason for my success. In the past, I would not push myself and whenever I got too winded, I would stop and walk. These workouts called for going at a faster pace and then slower down a bit to recover. I amazed myself in that I was actually able to go faster and then slow down a bit but not walk.

emoticon I was beginning to think I did not have it in me - but deep down the determination was there and I managed to rely on that to push through each workout. Often times during the runs, I pictured myself crossing that finish line and the clock being under 30 minutes.

Now, my next goal is a sub29 5k.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLEEH 9/17/2011 5:21PM

    Wow. Congratulations! A sub 30 5k is an AMAZING accomplishment! You are fit and fabulous!

Woo Hoo!

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FRANNYMAE80 9/17/2011 7:34AM

    That is SUPER fantastic, WAY TO Go!!!

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WITCHYWOMAN45 9/16/2011 8:47PM

  Congratulations!!! The power of positive thinking at it's best! emoticon

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    emoticon emoticon What an awesome feeling to reach a goal and a milestone! Have faith in your self and your ability and nothing is off limits :)
Cant wait to read the Sub29 5k victory post ;)

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DDESERTDDAWN 9/16/2011 2:54PM


congrats on a Goal Met!

Way to stick with it!


ps thanks for the encouragement!

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LIV2RIDE 9/16/2011 10:44AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You can do ANYTHING you put your mind to. I'm so excited for you! your program worked! Good for you.

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ELEMENOPEO 9/16/2011 10:35AM

    Congrats! What an achievement! I'll have to check out the program for my DH as he loves to run and is always looking at new ideas to improve. emoticon

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Something interesting happened at Famous Dave's

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My husband and I wanted to have some time together so we decided to go out to eat while we were in town doing some errands. I ordered a plain baked potato and steamed broccoli. As I was eating my meal, I was paying attention to how the potato and broccoli tasted and attempted to eat slowly by chewing my food. I was enjoying my meal and actually started to feel satisfied. Then dear hubby says, "Would you like my muffin?" Those cornbread muffins used to be one of my favorite things so I ate it - when I did, all of a sudden I wanted more muffins. If that waitress would have shown up at the table at that moment I think I would have ordered a couple more.

Thankfully, she did not show up and I did not order additional muffins, but I left the restaraunt thinking, "Wow! that was interesting." I was satisfied with what I was eating until I had that sugary fatty muffin and then all of a sudden I was not not satisfied and craved more. And the craving was in my head. What an interesting experience.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LURVEHATE 9/16/2011 3:52AM

    I'm like that with FRIES!! Put a bucket of fries in front of me, and i can finish it up.. So now, I try not to upsize my meals.

I'm doing a balancing act trying to eat healthier, and not to get to the point of craving for something too much..

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ELEMENOPEO 9/15/2011 12:53PM

    Famous Daves is pretty good. Good for you on resisting the extra urge when it did hit. Processing the info on how it happened is giving you good info for avoiding an overload next time.

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SWEETLIPS 9/15/2011 7:38AM

    Good information and a help on your journey. Have a great day.

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LIV2RIDE 9/15/2011 6:23AM

    Nice experiment. I have the same problem with french fries. I really try hard not to eat them anymore.

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DESERTDREAMERS 9/14/2011 11:03PM

    It's always something that 's lying in wait to tempt us - hey, at least you didn't hunt down the waitress!

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How do we educate others about healthy eating?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

U.S. Obesity Epidemic Continues to rise ...

" Samantha Heller, a dietitian in Fairfield, Conn., called childhood obesity "a complex, multi-faceted problem that needs to be tackled from many different angles." She said she wished the report offered ways to educate parents and caregivers about healthy eating for children."

How do we educate others about healthy eating? I do most of the cooking in my household mainly because when my husband or daughter cook, I do not want to eat what they prepare. Mainly it is because the main course will be from an animal source and there are never enough vegetables for my preference.

I tried to share resources such as the Spark, Eat To Live, The McDougall Program, etc. However, there seems to be a resistance for them to learn on their own. When I went to a Culinary Program, one of the classes required the students to do a weekly paper where we had to research a particular topic. It was the final paper researching the Food Pyramid that caused me to rethink the way the guidelines suggest we eat. Then I read about this book called "The China Study" by Colin T. Campbell, then I stumbled upon Joel Fuhrman's Eat to Live.

The light bulb turned on!! Every time I talk to my husband about eating less meat, he tells me how much he loves the savory flavor that meat dishes have to offer. This coming from the man who has chronic kidney stones and has made the connection that when he has red meat and cheese he develops kidney stones.
I guess the pain is not enough for an education lesson. There seems to be some stronger drive that causes him to continue to eat foods that could be the source of excruciation pain.

Both my husband and daughter are overweight and say they want to eat healthier, but it seems like that is so only if I prepare the meals for them because they do not seem to make the choice on their own.

I am not being too critical of them because my area that I need to work on is SUGAR. I eat way too many processed sugary fatty foods. I have been trying to arm myself with knowledge about the ill effects sugar has on the body. Despite knowing what I do, I still eat things I know I shouldn't.

They say knowledge is power but sometimes just knowing something does not seem to be enough. There has to be a determination and dedication to do what you know you ought to be doing. And, you know, a little support and encouragement would be beneficial also.

So, cheering me on....
emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WITCHYWOMAN45 9/15/2011 5:02AM

  I agree with DANCINGPENGUIN when it comes to your husband's eating habits, his unwillingness to "fend for himself" that you mentioned in your community journal makes him an easy candidate for changing his diet by your own cooking and shopping methods. He sounds like a guy who'll eat what's put in front of him for the most part.
As for your daughter, again I agree with DANCINGPENGUIN if she's under 18 you still have a say in what she eats at home, over 18 it's all about being a role model and gently encouraging changes. But again, if she lives with you (even if she's over 18) and you only bring in healthy items, when hungry she'll eat what's there or have to make the choice to go buy something unhealthy. If she chooses to go buy something unhealthy, it's just that, HER choice and for your own sanity try not to feel responsible for choices another adult makes for themselves.
I know you want the best for her and your husband, but sometimes the lessons can't be taught unless the student is willing to learn. In that event, showing by example how much energy you have and how good you feel by making healthy choices for yourself will go much farther than attempting to create change in an unwilling individual, no matter how much you know they will benefit from the changes. Focus on you lady! The rest will work out when it is the right time for that person. For you the time has come, so focus your energy where it can be utilized to it's fullest capacity.

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WILD4STARS 9/15/2011 4:55AM

    If you read The China Study you know that there is also addiction involved in how we eat. Some people can kick an addiction easier than others. While I understand that eating SAD is easier than eating healthy I think some peope really WANT to eat healthier, they're just addicted to the fat/salt/sugar/dairy that shows up in most processed foods. Whenever I hear someone say, "I could never give up cheese, I LOVE my cheese" I immediately think, "No, you are addicted to cheese, you just THINK you love it"

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CHAZMO227 9/14/2011 11:01PM

    My daughters are 14 and 16, so I prepare the meals. However, I have plenty of fresh fruit in the house for them and serve a fruit and veggie at dinner...the fruit being dessert. We haven't given up meat, but it's definitely not the main dish anymore. I also asked them to write down what fruits and veggies they like so I could buy and serve them more. I make them try the fruits/veggies if it's not on their list, too. But it's surprised me at how many they chose. They see me eating differently sometimes and they are ready to keep me accountable, as well.

I remember when I was growing up complaining to my mom that I was hungry about 1 hour before dinner or soon after dinner - she would offer an apple or some other fruit most of the time - if I said that I didn't want that - she would say that I wasn't really hungry then. Even though I hated hearing that as a kid...I can still hear it when I'm reaching for something today. It does cause me to think if I'm really hungry or just bored or craving something.

Conversation comes up in my house about someone being really overweight...I just shrug my shoulders and tell them to eat their fruits and veggies and they won't have that problem. That way, I'm not saying it directly to my daughters, but they are getting the message - that and modeling what I am saying.

Good luck! It's a journey for all of us!

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    Honestly, I don't think you can. Well, at least not directly. (I don't know how old your daughter is, so depending on that you might have some influence). I cannot recall if it was Fuhrman or Campbell (I read those books in rapid succession) who gave the advice not to try to change everyone else, because you'll drive yourself crazy.

But I can also tell you that after 5 weeks of truly following Eat to Live, I'm amazed at how long I claimed to be eating healthfully while eating sugary stuff every day! I keep saying to myself, Why didn't I try this before?

I don't believe in the Health Belief Model, wherein what people know leads them to do, because I've seen the rationalizations, addictions, deeply held preferences, and attitudes that get in the way of it. The only person I've ever seen follow that line of reasoning was my son when he was five, and even that it only lasted a couple of weeks before the candy started calling him again.

All of that said, I do think there are two avenues. One is the role model, doing it for yourself. The other is a little more complicated, but it has to do with your husband's health problems. You can appeal to him from the standpoint of how it affects YOU, not just trying to change him for his own sake, and then ... Stop being an enabler. Don't buy meat. If he wants it, he's gotta buy it and/or cook it. When you cook the dishes that are healthy, go all out (sounds like you have some culinary skills, so this might be fun!). But he's not allowed to complain to you about not having meat, because you're simply not participating in that form of his own destruction. At the very least, this should result in less meat eating overall.

As for your daughter, it depends on how old she is. I'd try for a last-ditch effort and then lay off, if she is older. Be the role model and don't have Eat to Die foods in the house. If she is young, get her involved in some outdoor activities, and try not to focus too much on food. I think women's body images contributed to this whole epidemic in the first place, and obsessing about food might hurt, rather than help.

Sorry this turned into such a blog of my own.

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LIV2RIDE 9/14/2011 11:28AM

    Unfortunately you can't make people want to eat healthy. Eating unhealthy is just too easy. I have the same problem with my husband. He will eat whatever I cook and love it, but he adds meat or other animal products to his portion. Very rarely will he eat a vegetarian meal. If he does I'm literally shocked. I just remain a silent example and hope he will eventually want to read even a portion of the information that is on our bookshelves. He tells me he hates to read. Anyway, just take comfort in the fact that you are providing healthy balanced meals for your family. As long as they eat what you cook I wouldn't worry about it. I'm one that won't cook animal products so if Paul wants it he has to get off his butt and cook it himself. Good luck!

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Counting Calories or

Monday, September 12, 2011

making every calorie count?

There is a big difference between just counting calories or making every calorie count. Just the other day, my sister in law posted how she gave into the temptation to have a coffee latte and it used up over 2/3rds of her WW points for the day. I thought "WOW!" that's a lot of calories in that drink.

This past couple of weeks I just couldn't seem to get enough of the DQ's peanut Buster parfaits and bars. Now the bar has 440 calories and I never even looked up the count for the parfait - perhaps that explains the weight gain I experienced emoticon

The other day, I was volunteered to make the birthday cake for my grandson and I cannot tell you how much frosting I "tasted" while frosting that thing, but then the next morning when i did my run, I noticed how i felt and it was not a good feeling. I have been training hard to do a sub30 5k and I realized, once again, that all those calories from junk food do nothing to fuel my body properly.

So, once again, I am going to focus on eating to give my body the proper nutrients it needs, not just a certain amount of calories. My next race is on the 24th and I want to be able to say I gave my best effort, even if it is not a sub30. So, rather than counting calories, I am going to make every calorie count.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ELEMENOPEO 9/14/2011 12:12PM

    That is a great perspective to have on it. I will keep that in mind!

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LIV2RIDE 9/12/2011 3:35PM

    I've had that same realization several times. LOL I think it becomes more clear when you have a goal in mind. emoticon

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NJMATTICE 9/12/2011 3:14PM

    I remember when I first started SparkPeople and discovered the shared food trackers. I saw that some people were eating 1200 calories a day, but those calories were made up of candy bars, ice cream and all sorts of processed foods. Yikes! I do believe that focusing on fueling our machines with the best possible fuels is the right idea. Changing my goal to gaining good health rather than losing weight has vastly improved the quality of my life. The numbers are changing, slowly, but surely.
Thanks for reminding me to make every calorie count.
Positive Bloggers Team

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