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Friday, December 21, 2007

That's the battle I'm fighting today! I've Got All Day Syndrome!

Finished my presentation on the postmodern worldview on Wednesday for my seminary class and had my last day of work at the language school yesterday. The "extra" Christmas party scheduled by my boss was last night, the last fixed appointment before my trip. Now I have two whole days to do everything that needs to be done before I fly to the States on Sunday. It would be so nice just to kick back and relax but laundry, packing, cleaning, errands are calling.

On the up side, it's a gloriously cold and crispy, sunny day, so I'll do some of my errands on foot, getting in some good exercise for the day.

By the way, the dinner last night was fun - nice to have some time to socialize with my colleagues. The meal was very "chic" - the waiter and waitress had to explain everything that we were eating because a lot of it was unrecognizable. And the presentation was very stylish as well. For example, the appetizer was a seafood aspic served in a real shell. It was delicious! When I finished, I noticed that there was a dollop of some kind of paste under the shell, keeping it from rocking and rolling on the plate. It looked edible, so I tried it. It turned out to be a pesto of sundried tomatoes - tasty! We got a good giggle out of that as I passed the word down the table to the others to try the hidden treasure under the shell.

No way I'm going to be able to track that meal, but I am going to track today as prep for my trip. I think it will help me to keep focused and prevent any mindless eating caused by nervousness and excitement about the journey ahead.

My next blog entry will be posted from Florida - hard to believe! I may not be posting much till after the Christmas holiday so let me now say...

Remember the reason for the season and have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!!!



Sunday, December 16, 2007


If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows,
strands of twinkling lights and shiny balls,
but do not show love to my family,
I'm just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen,
baking dozens of Christmas cookies,
preparing gourmet meals
and arranging a beautifully adorned table
at mealtime, but do not show love
to my family, I'm just another cook.
If I work at the soup kitchen,
carol in the nursing home,
and give all that I have to charity,
but do not show love to my family,
it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels
and crocheted snowflakes,
attend a myriad of holiday parties,
and sing in the choir's cantata
but do not focus on Christ,
I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child.
Love sets aside the decorating
to kiss the husband.
Love is kind, though harried and tired.
Love doesn't envy another's home that has
coordinated Christmas china and table linens.
Love doesn't yell at the kids to get out of the way,
but is thankful they are there to be in the way.
Love doesn't give only to those who are able
to give in return,
but rejoices in giving to those who can't.
Love bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break,
pearl necklaces will be lost,
golf clubs will rust,
but giving the gift of love will endure.
Merry Christmas and
lots of love to you and yours!

Author Unknown

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKYWANNABE 12/16/2007 10:38AM

    Thanks for sharing! And it's so true, it's ALL about LOVE! I'm amazed that more people don't see the Bible as the greatest love story ever written or lived.

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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!


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