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Looking Ahead

Monday, December 10, 2007

From December 23, 2007 to January 21, 2008, I'll be in Florida visiting my family and possibly doing some shorter trips within the state. Can I maintain? We'll see! I've already looked (online) into a one-month guest membership at a health club and I look forward to (Nordic?) walking on the beach.

Food will also be a challenge. Living alone as I do, I don't normally have the problem of family members bringing things into the house that I don't need to be eating. But I'll be spending a lot of time with my parents and, although they generally eat very healthy, they have some habits that don't work for me - like eating the biggest meal of the day in the evening. Mom also generally likes to serve two carbs at each evening meal - a potato AND fresh bread, pasta AND fresh bread, rice AND fresh bread. You get the idea. And I love fresh bread! But I'll be doing some of the cooking and I'll introduce them to some of the good Spark Recipes I've tried over the past few months.

The other thing is restaurant eating. The portions are usually way bigger than I need and there's always the tendency to eat more because it's paid for. But that too is something I'm aware of and can plan for. Most places these days offer "heart healthy" alternatives, and there's always the doggie bag option.

As far as holiday sweets and such, I've been repeating the "nothing tastes as good as being skinny/healthy feels" sentence a lot lately. I'm sure the need for that won't change. One year at Christmas time, I took a whole shopping bag of food gifts to the homeless shelter in the city. I'm grateful for the thought behind the gifts, but there is just so much one can indulge in buttery, sugary treats.

I'm also looking forward to shopping the winter-end sales for much-needed new clothes, so much cheaper in the States even before the added discounts. Yay, new jeans are in sight!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANGELWOOD 12/12/2007 9:13AM

    Wow! I sure wish I were you. What a great amount of discipline you have. Something I really need to re-learn. Our Father God must be beaming with pride and joy! Congratulations on all your future successes while in maintenance mode. Enjoy your trip back home!!! =D

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JANETELIZABETH1 12/11/2007 3:41PM

    Hi Michelle,
I'm so impressed with your approach for your coming trip. You seem to have covered all the danger areas...just need to avoid falling in them!lol!!
But I'm sure everything will be fine AND with the thought of buying new clothes, sure would keep me on track!
Have a wonderful time.

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SPARKYWANNABE 12/10/2007 4:18PM

    Great job in being proactive and not giving the excuses a chance to begin. Love the idea of buying a one month membership to continue your routine!

Breads are my weakness too, and I love your little motto! Keep the spirit going!

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Hi Tech

Saturday, December 01, 2007

I got my Polar F6 heart rate monitor the other day and have tried it out a couple of times so far. This was my reward to myself for reaching goal - or an early Christmas present from me to me. At the gym yesterday, I was very glad to see that it seems to be more accurate than the monitor on the treadmill and elliptical trainer, and it definitely reacts quicker to changes in heart rate than those do.

I still need to get the hang of the technology though, if I want to use it to record my workouts, calories burned, and do all the other things it's supposed to do. It's really only a matter or pressing a couple of buttons and the watch does the rest for you. BUT it's important which button and in what order! I managed to delete both of my workouts - yesterday at the gym and today after Nordic walking! My excuse for the repeat performance today was that it was dark when we ended our workout and I didn't know which button to push for the back light.

Guess I'll plan on studying the manual tomorrow. Sounds like a nice way to spend Sunday afternoon :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYWANNABE 12/10/2007 4:32PM

    I searched but didn't find many groups that talk about HRM's, but they are worth their wait in gold in my opinion. The Polar M61 I have has a bunch of features that I don't completely use. For the most part I zero in on keeping my heart rate in zone, calories burned, and the time spent in my zone.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I finally got around to ordering a heart rate monitor! This was meant to be my reward for reaching goal, but I've had a lot of other expenses - like needing to buy some new clothes that fit! I hope it arrives before I go to the gym on Friday so I can try it out on the treadmill.

On the down side, I seem to be getting bursitis rather often, in different places. On Sunday, I had pain in my left upper arm and couldn't lift it above the shoulder. Today, I have some pain in my hip flexor. It didn't keep me from doing cardio at the gym, but I had to skip some of the strength training exercises. I'm wondering these recurrences have something to do with all the antibiotics I've had to take due to UTIs in the past few months. I think I'll take a look around SP and see if there's any information there about the side effects of antibiotics. I'm praying for protection against further infections, and that my resistance be strengthened. I've been feeling so healthy and energetic otherwise!

The new class team that I'm co-leading is growing and growing! It's fun seeing - and catching! - the enthusiasm of these new Sparkers as they get started on the program. The first members joined on Sunday Nov. 25 and the last will be added on Dec. 1, so there are lots more to come!


When my heart is overwhelmed...

Sunday, November 18, 2007

...lead me to the Rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

This has been a hectic week! People cancelling or rescheduling their lessons due to the train strike, driving to the city in the heavier-than-usual traffic, the second week of my seminary course and all the reading assignments that come along with it, an extra rehearsal with the praise and worship team, the remains of my UTI and the antibiotics, a Schleimbeutelentzuendung (AKA bursitis) in my wrist, and other surprises and challenges. This morning before church, I was feeling at the edge of total burnout. The usual Sunday morning "stuff" - people showing up late for sound check, the preacher asking for changes to the program, monitors not working, and more.

None of these things are usually enough to faze me, even when they come all at once, but today I had to ask a couple of people to pray for me before the service (after the "official" pre-service prayer time) because I didn't know how I was going to get through leading the worship time. Again, the Lord demonstrated that, when we get to the end of ourselves, he's there to meet us. I was determined to sing the words of the songs in faith, even if I didn't "feel like" praising him and he blessed that determination. We had a good time of corporate worship and I'm feeling personally renewed. I'm also committed to finding ways to make this week less hectic - as much as it depends on me. This might mean cutting out some things I'd like to do, or saying no in a few other cases.

Maintenance report: I haven't gone back to tracking but am not too concerned because I was still a pound under my goal weight on Wednesday. It looks like I'm handling my eating without tracking calories and I really appreciate that I don't have to spend the time online doing that, I'll certainly go back to it if I see an upward trend on the scale. I haven't been to the gym in two weeks because of my health issues but am really looking forward to finally getting a chance to do my new strength training workout on Tuesday evening.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEARS_NECESSITY 11/20/2007 11:29PM

  Hey, I just wanted to let you know I am praying for you. My prayer is that this week will truly be less hectic for you and that the Lord will guide you in all your actions. There's a saying that I try to remember often, "If Satan can't make you bad, he'll make you busy".
Anyway, have a good rest of the week. Congrats on your success in the maintainance stage.

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MOM2KNL 11/18/2007 10:49AM

    I am praying for you! I can totally relate to what you said about when we get to the end of ourselves - He is there! "even if I didn't feel like"...hmmm...doing anything that we know is right, even when we don't wanna is a sure sign of growth and obedience. Thanks for the reminder.
God Bless!

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Back to Basics

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tomorrow's another Wednesday with an all day lecture to attend and then an English class to teach in the evening. I'm going to continue NOT to track on Wednesdays to give myself a mid-week break. But otherwise, I think I still need to keep an eye on things. I've been eating a few too many extras lately, and though I haven't weighted in yet, I feel like I may have had a slight gain. Time to get on the stairstepper!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANSCHUIER 11/15/2007 9:32AM

    I've been doing a little of the same.. Those "little" extras really do add up!!

Can you believe our team starts up next week? One of my goals is to religiously track my food again, but I feel a little off course. Guess I have a week to step it up!

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BRANOWEN 11/13/2007 12:53PM

    I think that taking one meal or one day "off" per week to give yourself a break is very necessary to maintain your sanity while trying to diet. Mine is Friday night dinners. You can't be in diet mode ALL the time! XOXO - Liz

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