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WRITINGBLUEHAWK's Recent Blog Entries

Is Thrifting a Hobby?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I spent yesterday shopping for clothes at some of my favorite second hand clothing haunts, most notably the Salvation Army Thrift Store. There's one about a mile or two down the street from me and about once a month, I like to go in there and shop for clothes. Yesterday, I hit the jackpot. I found three designer brand jackets and a sweater that will be perfect for chillier weather for only $15.

I also enjoy rifling through clothing racks at consignment shops, and any other second hand rose store in town. I've also purchased an item or two on Ebay. The secret is to visit the stores nearest the most affluent neighborhoods in the city. Some people are not motivated to put their clothes on consignment, Craig's list or Ebay. For them, it's easier to just bag them up, drop them off and get the tax receipt.

I am working hard to build a fall wardrobe because almost nothing in my closet from last year fits me. I tried on some of my long sleeved size 2x shirts and they were just hanging off my body. I also had to bid adieu to my favorite pair of blue jeans. I played softball in them Friday although they were already sagging in the seat. They kept falling to my hipbone so I was constantly hitching them up during the game which annoyed me.

For my birthday, I got a gift card to my favorite department store so I can shop for new clothes. After my thrift store finds yesterday, I ventured into the store only to feel overwhelmed with choices. I ended up leaving without purchasing a thing.

Somehow, with thrifting you don't get overwhelmed because it's hard to find clothing that is your size, still in style and in good condition. It's like a treasure hunt. With retail, the challenge is finding stuff you like that's on sale, but it's much more expensive and not as interesting or exciting when you find something.

Obviously, I still plan to use my gift card, but I will need to be more strategic. I am going to visit some wardrobe 101 websites and figure out the most versatile pieces I should add before I use my card.

Anyway, it's all good and I'm grateful to have such a lovely wardrobe problem.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

-PAULA 9/17/2012 4:17PM

    I usually try to hit at least a couple thrift stores when I have a day off during the week. I have found some great buys at some from printer cartilage to yard furniture.

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CRISTALITE 9/17/2012 8:19AM

    I share the same feelings of being overwhelmed in regular stores, and until you explained it I never really knew the meaning behind it. It's true I love to shop in thrift stores and will take the time to look for things that l like and will be willing to spend money on since (1) l really hate shopping and (2) l really have to consider my budge or lack thereof. I guess I always considered myself a frug since thrift stores and Dollar stores are stores I feel the most comfortable in. Although I do like quality l do not have the means or rationale to spend exorbitant amounts on a single or a few items. Thanks for making some sense out of the way I've been feeling, now I know I'm not crazy.... Cristalite

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RUSSELLORAMA 9/16/2012 8:46PM

    I love hitting up the thrift stores. It can be challenging finding items in larger sizes, so one of the benefits of getting smaller is more options. :) I really like Savers, Goodwill, Maj-R Thrift, City Thrift Store, and Avenue Thrift. I don't always find something but when I do, it's much friendlier on my budget!

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BABY_GIRL69 9/16/2012 6:46PM

    Well, I think that you should just buy something that would compliment your finds at your thrift stores.. God bless, Dee

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Mindful Eating

Friday, September 14, 2012

My SP plan is on cruise control as I continue to weave this healthier lifestyle into my daily living. I'm still exercising most days and most days I'm staying within my calorie limits. When I go out to eat, I focus on making healthier food choices and finding opportunities throughout the day to eat less and move more. Sometimes it's small stuff like parking my car farther away from a building. Other times it's bigger stuff like rejoining Weight Watchers and working out with a personal trainer. Day in and day out, I'm mindful of how much I'm eating and how much I'm moving.

This week, for the first time, my routine felt natural. In other words, it felt more like my regular habits and less like a "diet or exercise program." I've removed the deadline for losing x amount of pounds and am focused on maintaining this "click" in my head that's directing my behavior.

Wednesday was my birthday and I decided to celebrate by "taking the day off". What ended up happening rather surprised me. I ate out all three meals, because I was busy. For breakfast, I substituted an egg mcmuffin for my usual sausage mcgriddle. Then, at lunch time, I ate at Chipotle grill. I skipped the tortilla, sour cream and cheese in favor of salsa, beans and lettuce with steak strips.

That afternoon, we visited the Kansas City Zoo. I wanted to see my grandson's response to the animals. Well, anyone who's been to KC's zoo knows there's a lot of walking involved. The exhibits are so spread out that the zoo uses trains and trams to shuttle people between them. We decided to walk and ended up strolling around that zoo for over two hours.

Dinner was supposed to be indulgent. After all, I was celebrating. I ordered a gourmet burger, fries and a dessert. I ended up eating only half the burger and a few fries because the portions were so huge. When I got my dessert--I only ate a part of that, too. I was too busy talking, laughing and having fun.

What surprised me was that although I had given myself permission to take the day off, I continued to eat mindfully--watching my portions and skipping high calorie toppings that didn't seem worth it. I also got quite a bit of exercise and recorded everything I did on SP.

After nine months of consistency, I am hopeful that my behaviors have morphed into sustainable habits. Eventually, the scale will start moving again, but for the first time in a while, I'm not sweatin' it.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOTIV8N2LOSE 9/15/2012 10:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

You are in full control when it comes to your health. You had
lots of temptation in front of you, but youchose to remain
focused on your goals of a healthier lifestyle.
Your blog was encouraging for me
to continue to move forward and now I
am thinking about rejoining WW, for the 20th time.
Keep it up. emoticon emoticon

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MOBYCARP 9/15/2012 2:52PM

    emoticon emoticon It's the attitudes and motivations that are most important, and it sounds like you're well on your way to having those fully established!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 9/15/2012 2:15PM

    emoticon emoticon

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BABY_GIRL69 9/15/2012 12:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon God bless, Dee

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SONYALATRECE 9/15/2012 9:48AM

    emoticon didn't realize you were celebrating another year.
Enjoy each day and moment.


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KRISZTA11 9/15/2012 5:54AM

    A wonderful Birthday!
You walked a lot and ate mindfully on a planned indulgence day, because if felt good - it means your healthy choices turned into habits.

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SUNSET09 9/14/2012 11:20PM

  It is a life style change and you have got it down! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JO88BAKO 9/14/2012 10:18PM

    Good for you!! What a testimony that this becomes a healthy lifestyle change. That's awesome!!

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LALMEIDA 9/14/2012 10:10PM

  emoticon emoticon

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UMBILICAL 9/14/2012 10:07PM

  Keep the mind involved.

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Vanity or Health?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

It's always nice to get compliments. With 44 pounds gone, I am hearing it often, "Have you lost weight?" or "You look fabulous." or "You look so much younger." I enjoy the compliments, but I have to remind myself---that's not why I'm doing this program.

I am on program because I am prediabetic and no matter what my blood sugar reading is, I will always be prediabetic. I've succeeded in bringing my A1C to a relatively normal 5.7--down from 6.2. However, I now know that I will always have to be vigilant.

My choices are 1) stay on program, maintain a healthy diet and exercise and avoid diabetes; OR 2) go back to my sedentary ways, eat fattening food, regain the weight, become diabetic and then get back on program, maintain a healthy diet and exercise.

Believe me, I'm enjoying the weight loss from a vanity point. For the first time in years, I've tucked in my shirt and am wearing a belt around my waist. A belt because I need to keep my pants from gapping. It's fun to hear the compliments from family, colleagues, co-workers and friends. But, I have to remember how alarmed I was to learn I was prediabetic and how another part of my lab results revealed I had a "fatty liver." Huh? What's that?!? Yikes!

I want to live long enough to see my grandson grow up, finish school and get married. I'm a relatively young grandmother, so if he starts a family, I might even be around to become an active great-grandmother. When my grandson is 30, I will be 77. That's doable. I don't want him visiting me in a nursing home. I want to be driving, traveling and living life. That's what I want for myself and it will be challenging to do that if I become diabetic and at higher risk for all kinds of health complications.

Yes, it's nice to be in a smaller size, but I haven't erased my risk factors for diabetes. I still have a tire around my waist that needs to go. My journey is not done. Somehow, I need to keep chipping away at the last 22 pounds. My goal is to lose 12 more by the end of the year. Even if I only lose 5-10 more by December, I'm that much closer to goal. Anything I can do is better than standing still or moving backward.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKLE1908 9/11/2012 5:14PM

    There is always some "vanity" involved because you know you will be changing the appearance of your body...but the primary reason should be because of our health...good job on taking control!!

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FERGSGIRL2 9/11/2012 9:35AM

    I enjoyed this blog, cause sometimes we only want to consider the cosmetic appearance and not the health angle. I am diabetic, and it is nothing to play around with. I admire you for keeping yourself out of the diabetic category! Keep control over that A1C, and those arteries--you can do it. I've lowered all of my numbers, but remain diabetic- and I'm working on decreasing or removing at least one diabetes medication from my list!!!!!

Congrats on 44 lbs gone!! Awesome results from hard work!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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EGALITAIRE 9/11/2012 8:51AM

    Sounds like a healthy mindset - here's to enjoying our grandchildren

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TACONES 9/11/2012 8:51AM

    emoticon emoticon

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What is motivation, anyway?

Sunday, September 09, 2012

What is motivation, anyway? I am still learning the answer, but I know what it looks like:

Yesterday, I attended a Weight Watchers meeting. I sat there slack-jawed as this slender woman swimming in oversized clothes stood up and announced that she was wearing the same outfit she wore when she walked into her first WW meeting 120 pounds ago. She passed around a photo album of "before pix" that revealed she must've weighed nearly 300 pounds.

In the September 17, 2012 edition of TIME magazine, Dr. Mehmet Oz has a wonderful article on motivation. In the article, "Goal Power" he offers readers a guide to getting unstuck. I recommend you find a copy of this week's TIME to read the full article, but I'll offer a few of its talking points:

Dr. Oz argues that there is a huge gulf between deciding to do something and making it happen. Millions of people are trapped in that gulf because our reasoning abilities and our emotions don't always match. He says he sees the conflict every day when a patient starts a sentence with "I know I should ....." He said he knows those words are a sad predictor that he will probably one day crack open their sternums in the operating room trying to undo the damage that poor choices and unhealthy lifestyles have done to their hearts.

If people simply needed education, then we'd all be thin, but we know that's not the case. You show me an obese person and I'll show you someone who's an expert on what it takes to live a healthier lifestyle. They KNOW what they need to do, but haven't made it happen. Why?

Scientists are scurrying to find the answer to this question. Here's what they've figured out so far:

1) Personal transformation is a psychological and spiritual process.
2) Self-improvement combines this spiritual and psychological process with external accountability.
3) Success is contagious. If one person in a group loses weight, it influences their social circle. An example of this is one person quits smoking because their co-worker did. Then, their spouse quits because they no longer have someone sharing their habit.
4) The road to better health starts with baby steps. Why? Because they are doable and the change is sustainable. The lesson is, when you start an exercise program, don't promise yourself you will run three miles five days a week. Start with 10 minutes three days a week and go from there.

Our joining SP means we've recognized the need to change. That's an important step, but a small one. By combining that recognition with the principles above, we can build and sustain healthier habits for the long haul.

So when I saw that inspiring woman in WW yesterday, she became a part of my circle of influence. Plus, weighing in at the meeting, blogging and journaling keeps me accountable.

Whether we engage in these activities face-to-face or online, (I happen to need BOTH forms of accountability) we are putting into practice what researchers have identified as contributors to our success. And THAT, my SP friends is what I've learned so far about motivation.

Onward and downward.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TACONES 9/9/2012 6:20PM


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BABY_GIRL69 9/9/2012 3:36PM

    Thank you for sharing!

God bless,


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SHE-LION 9/9/2012 2:59PM

    Nice writing, my kindred sister.

I find myself in the middle here. I am still missing a component even though I am losing. I guess I want to see the number happen faster and typically I am very impatient for a sudden change.,

I'll see if I can get that Time issue for myself.

Thanks for the heads up! emoticon

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FLEURGARDEN 9/9/2012 2:55PM

    Thanks for posting this. I'm heading to the airport later this afternoon, so I'll see if I can get a copy of Time and read it on the plane.

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MRFUZZ 9/9/2012 2:01PM

    Your blog Judy motivated me! Well said! emoticon

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DABLUECAT 9/9/2012 10:53AM

    Motivation is a toughy. My DH is trying to clean the basement so he has an area to work. His brain says yes but he said his body says relax. I said just try to do 20 minutes and don't touch it the rest of the day. Make the brain feel good & the body as well. emoticon

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GLUECIPHER 9/9/2012 10:43AM

    Well said. VERY good read. I need both kinds of motivation as well.

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Just do it--Again

Saturday, September 08, 2012

This is what I tell myself "Just Do It". I have to because my motivation to keep on keepin' on is low. It's not that I want to abandon all of my healthy habits because, in the long run, I know where I'll end up; obese, sick and diabetic. I don't want that for myself. Yet recently, I've felt bored with my program and I'm not sure what else to do to shake it up. I'm trying new recipes and switching up the exercise routine. Sometimes I'm working out with a trainer.

Recently, I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Now, I'm wondering if my recent sluggishness and somewhat depressed mood is related to my thyroid. Recognizing this possibility, I have been gently telling myself "Just do what you can, today." I feel like I should be trying to improve my time on my 5K, but today, I only have energy for walking the dog and walking around a shopping mall. I still enjoy strength training, but I am tired of the dang cardio machines.

Foodwise, I struggle when I step outside of my controlled environment. Yesterday's afternoon party at work followed by happy hour caused me to exceed my calorie budget. I have been eating at the higher end of my range because I've been hungrier.

The scale is starting to bounce between the same two pounds again. I had told myself that I should try to lose 12 more pounds then go into maintenance mode for awhile. Maybe I should go into maintenance mode now? I don't know.

In the meantime, I'm going to do two things. I'm going to Weight Watchers to get face-to-face group support and I am signing up to run/walk a 5K with a co-worker in late October. Hopefully, these two things will kick me in the pants and jump start my motivation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOBYCARP 9/9/2012 8:58PM

    If you think the sluggishness might by your hypothyroidism, it's time to have the doctor look at blood work to see if the thyroid meds need adjusting. Or to rule out the thyroid, so you can look for a different cause.

I'm fortunate in that I've never had to have my thyroid meds adjusted. Several years after diagnosis, it's got to where getting up to an alarm in the middle of the night to take my thyroid med on an empty stomach is just part of life, no big deal.

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ERICADAWN1986 9/8/2012 9:36AM

    It sounds like you're working really hard to keep things fresh, which is great. It's been my experience that if you keep pushing forward, your mind will catch up with you body and actions. Great job making good choices everyday to step you closer toward your goal! Keep it moving!

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CRISSA1669 9/8/2012 9:23AM

    Congratulations, this is an awesome way to "talk it out". You are so close to maintanance....wow...I've got 18 more pounds or so to go....let's not stop now. Just remember that "motivation is optional". It is great when it's there and can push us forward but when it's not there we just have to do as you say.."do it anyway", like a job! I love how you have recognized what might possibly be holding you back AND you are doing what you need to to change it up...I think that is key...we are not locked into one particular food group or exercise program, we have the ability to do what works for us so press on...that class reunion is around the corner....Be blessed!!

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TACONES 9/8/2012 9:22AM

    emoticon emoticon

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TACONES 9/8/2012 9:21AM

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