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Saturday, June 30, 2012

***Begin whine***

Couldn't we do the Living the Good Life food tracking challenge in a week OTHER than my birthday week?!?!?!?

***End whine***

This is ACTUALLY a very good thing --- I've learned that how you handle the "special" days is really important in developing that "it's-not-a-diet-it's-a-lifestyle" mentality!

I get to choose where my friend Cheryl will take me Thursday evening. It's a 50's-style diner and the menu is online. I'll make my pick beforehand and stick to it. On Saturday, I'm invited to lunch at a Chinese buffet. Gotta refresh my buffet strategy and I should be OK. Otherwise, I have NO excuses this week to not track because my work schedule is relatively light. Of course, I am getting nervous/excited about my upcoming trip to Ireland --- and praying that I'll also be able to make the Florida trip as well.

I was looking for an article or blog post where I read about dealing with special occasions, and "cheat" days but I couldn't find it. I do remember something that said, if we overeat on 30 days a year (birthdays, Christmas, July 4, Super Bowl Sunday, you name it!), it will take us 60-90 days just to maintain our weight. I'm going to try and remember that this week!

Keep drinkin' that water --- it's hot out there (at least here in southern Germany)!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FRESKA 7/5/2012 12:34AM

    southern germany?! thats a neat place to be living! i hope you have a great trip to Ireland! never been! Hope you post a few pictures when you get back.
you have a great bday and calories dont count on your bday anyway. ;)

have a great day!!!

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    Interesting blog....perfect timing! I just set my goals for July in a blog and included a cheat meal each week. I'm going to have to figure out what I mean by cheat meal...I think for me, it's going to mean including some sort of processed food that I don't normally eat. However, another of my goals this month is for my total number of calories to be in range for the week. I'm thinking that my meeting my total weekly calorie goal, my "cheat meal" can't be too crazy or pull me too far out of whack!

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 6/30/2012 6:21PM

    Happy Birthday Michelle!!! You will absolutely be able to have a great week and meet your goals! You have achieved so many greater things, that this one will be simple in comparison!

I am drinking lots of water here too. It is hot through much of the US right now, and I am hoping we will see cooler temps soon. I am trying to actually really implement the LTGLs as we go along the challenge this time. Usually I am so focused on the exercise that I just do each one during the week that it is part of the challenge. But I have decided to see if I can put the whole package together by the end of the 8 weeks this time.

Enjoy your birthday celebrations! I thank God for placing you in our midst! emoticon

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JOANNKW 6/30/2012 2:41PM

    Zella, for a while I used to just go ahead and either a) eat what I wanted then make it up during the week or b) eat carefully, but w/o concern for the range. I've then done some calculating, and find that I stay pretty much w/in the range either way. It is when I do it all the time - so when my birthday shows up, I'll be eating cake!

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TANYA602 6/30/2012 1:39PM

    Happy Birthday!
I do find it interesting that we put food first, and I think I will try to remember this and plan around it in the future. But in the meantime, ENJOY! Celebrate! Live and Love!
Ireland?!?! How fun is that!

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NEWNAC304 6/30/2012 11:33AM

    Happy Birthday!

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ABETTERSOUL 6/30/2012 11:08AM

    Happy Birthday Michelle.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

Enjoy your time out...I am sure you will do fine with what you eat.

It's hot here in New York also..90's . emoticon

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HAKAPES 6/30/2012 11:06AM

    I see that somehow in this Western culture of ours, we associate celebration with eating a LOT. Although I think this comes from times when there was war, there was the financial depression, or food was in general scarce, to celebration meant to eat finally on that special day without cravings. But today, every day is a good day food wise.

What I'm doing for myself that I switched my birthday and other special day rewards to other things. Sometimes I just count how much I would spend extra on food, and use it for something else I didn't do before. Books, magazine subscription, watching a movie in the cinema, buying sports equipment, make a trip.

Or if it really has to be food, I go to an expensive restaurant, where good food is about the special taste, and plates are a visual journey.

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag! ;-)

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RUNNERRACHEL 6/30/2012 10:52AM

    I'm with you there--finally learning not to make excuses for Special Days...and keeping things in moderation.
I tracked on my birthday and still enjoyed and went out to eat, just ate smaller portions and kept track of everything.
I'm also reworking my buffet strategy!
Keep up the great work!

And have a wonderful birthday!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 6/30/2012 10:36AM

    Happy Birthday to you Michelle ( a tad early ) ... emoticon emoticon
Enjoy the treat of eating out with a friend...I know you will be mindful - what an example YOU are to me!
Yes, it IS HOT emoticon emoticon here in Texas....a whopping 109!

Keep cool, Laura emoticon

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All's Well

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I posted on my status but not here on my blog. Both exams went just fine. I was amazed at the score I got on the written test because I felt like I had run out of time before I got in everything I wanted to say. But I guess I covered everything the examiner was expecting. He gave me a 99.

I was nervous for the oral but it went fine. The two readers asked me questions about my final paper. They felt that I was very strong on the pragmatic side and not as strong on the abstract side, in both the paper and the discussion. That's not really anything new!

Next Tuesday I have a final meeting to discuss my practical project and then I'm done, done, done! All that's left is to pay my tuition so that I can graduate on October 6.

Anyway, thanks again for all the prayers and good thoughts and congratulations! I'm not going to be spending much time on Spark the next few days until the Summer 5% challenges starts on Saturday. As you might expect, I need to regroup and get some things done that I've been postponing. See y'all soon!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 6/24/2012 9:05PM

    Congratulations!!! I knew you would do great!

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SJG1953 6/24/2012 1:13AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATHYKIM 6/22/2012 9:57AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JANETELIZABETH1 6/21/2012 5:30PM

    Wonderful news!! PTL... emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 6/21/2012 5:08PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FORMYDARLINGS 6/21/2012 2:56PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

Whoo Hooooooo!!!!!


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FRANNIEDID 6/21/2012 1:22PM

    emoticon Congratulations, you deserve this. I know you have worked very hard!

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JOANNKW 6/21/2012 12:01PM

    WTG Zella!

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JERSEYGIRL24 6/21/2012 11:50AM

    emoticon Michelle. All I can say is .. Wowzer!!! emoticon on getting such a great score. I can feel your relief all the way across the pond here.

Good luck in the upcoming challenge!!!

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VISUALLYRICS 6/21/2012 11:33AM

    So proud of you, Michelle!! You did it!
I can just feel your relief from across the sea... emoticon

love you!, Laura

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NDTEACHER1 6/21/2012 10:52AM

    Way to go!!! Proud of you!

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REDRUNNERMOM713 6/21/2012 9:52AM

    What relief you must be feeling to only have one meeting left. Congrats on getting such a great score!

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NEWNAC304 6/21/2012 8:37AM


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Testing...1, 2...

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Tomorrow is the 2-hour written final for my master's and Tuesday is the oral exam. Just two days of testing, not three!

The written test could be on just about anything, so there's really been no way to study. I'm just going to trust that the Holy Spirit will "call all things to remembrance." Could you pray in that direction - that I have a clear head and good focus as I answer the test questions tomorrow and respond to the interviewers on Tuesday?

I've reviewed some of my old course notes and have been spending time in the book of Acts this past week. It seemed a good place to be for someone working on a degree in "Intercultural Theological Education" - the beginnings of the church, the cross-cultural mission and ministries of Paul and Peter and the others as they followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. For the oral exam, I'll be responding to questions related to my paper on the challenges of multicultural ministry.

So, the plan for the rest of this lovely Father's Day (having just spent about an hour on the phone with my Ddad in Florida) is to take a nap, go for a Nordic walk and then do some ironing while I watch Germany beat Denmark in the last group game of the European soccer championship. Sounds like a good Sunday to me. Hope you are enjoying yours!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 6/20/2012 8:47PM

    I'm sorry that I didn't read this sooner. By now, you have got is all done. I can't imagine that you did anything but great on both tests. What a relief it is to have it all over with!

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HAKAPES 6/20/2012 4:30AM

    So how did it go?
Let us know!

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JOANNKW 6/18/2012 1:13PM

    I know you've got this one down. Will be thinking of you as you ace your oral exam!

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AEO_SUNSHINE 6/18/2012 10:11AM

    Hope your test went well today and the questions were where the answer came easily to you. Will be thinking of you tomorrow as your defend your paper in your oral exam.

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REDRUNNERMOM713 6/17/2012 8:58PM

    You will be in my thoughts and prayers the next few days. You will do great!!

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WILDNTEXAS 6/17/2012 7:22PM

    emoticon and emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 6/17/2012 4:15PM

    Dear Michelle,
I am agreeing with you in prayer....& where 2 or more are gathered.... emoticon
I trust the Holy Spirit to direct your mind during this test.

lifting YOU up to Jesus, Laura emoticon

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RUNNINGOMA 6/17/2012 2:47PM

    Will be praying for you over the next couple of days.

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FREELADY 6/17/2012 2:13PM

    It blesses me to hear your thoughtful & orderly plan. I aspire to that.

What a exhilarating, worthwhile topic for investing so many hours of study & research! I am excited for you, that you are at the finish line! Yes, I will pray.

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FRANNIEDID 6/17/2012 1:28PM

    I know you will be awesome, you know my prayers are headed your way! emoticon

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 6/17/2012 10:52AM

    Prayers are flying your way for a wonderful exam!! emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 6/17/2012 10:46AM


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Weak - No! - Week Ahead

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Wow, after finishing my paper and turning it in, I really felt like a wet noodle, a deflated balloon, an old dish rag, (insert further similes here). I didn't get much sleep last week and then all the tension that had built up over the three weeks of the assignment dissipated after I dropped off the envelope at the post office - I'm not just physically but also emotionally drained.

Feeling better today. Sundays are about rest and restoration and that's what I did. In fact, the sermon was on the verse in Matthew 11:29 that talks about "come unto me and you shall find rest." It was a good message, but I thought if the preacher said "rest" one more time, I'd fall asleep right then and there. Instead, I waited till after church and took a good long nap. After watching the Spanish soccer team ALMOST win against Italy (they tied 1:1), I went for a short run and now I'm feeling ready to face the new week.

I'm not sure what the best way to study for finals will be. As I was working on my paper, I also went through some of my old course notebooks and did some re-organizing. That was helpful, so I'll continue with that process. I could do some reading, but I've done so much reading for research these past few weeks, I'm looking forward to just sitting and reading long passages of the Bible just because. It's been awhile since I read through the whole book. I think I'll make that a goal starting with my birthday in July.

Thanks for all the encouraging responses to my last blog post! What I didn't mention is that I broke my last streak because of my mom's death on May 29. 2010. I actually started exercising again the next day. I've learned that it's one of my best survival techniques. But I didn't start tracking again till June 9. I learned today that another Spark friend, JanetR, lost her mom last week. Praying for her and her family today.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATRIMSOON 6/13/2012 9:28AM

    Congrats on finishing your paper. Good for you. Amen to all of the above comments. emoticon emoticon

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RUNNERRACHEL 6/11/2012 11:23AM

    emoticon glad you were able to get some rest after church! Congrats on your streak. You are amazing. emoticon emoticon

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SJG1953 6/11/2012 3:00AM

    Congratulations on your great accomplishment of finishing that paper! May God restore and refresh you through and through! He's the expert on that! Hugs, Shirley

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EJOY-EVELYN 6/11/2012 2:16AM

    Praise God for rest and naps! -- well deserved!

May the memories of your Mom bring you a peace beyond understanding. I think it's hardest on daughters when they lose their mothers (mine's been gone ten years now) and I still miss her.

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CAROLYN0107 6/10/2012 5:52PM

    emoticon on finishing your PAPER!

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VISUALLYRICS 6/10/2012 4:36PM

    Your mother's passing must still be fresh... love & emoticon to you.
emoticon on being faithful to move...and to rest...to just listen to your body and choose wisely.

You are emoticon!! ~ Laura

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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Today I celebrate two years straight of daily 30 minutes intentional exercise.

On some days, it's been just an easy walk, or marching in place in front of the TV. Other days, a run, a long Nordic walking tour, or maybe a session with Jillian, Leslie or Denise. I can hardly imagine a day without exercise anymore!!!

Thanks, SP for giving me a place to keep track --- and thanks Spark friends for the encouragement, fun and accountability. You are a blessing and I appreciate you!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
P.S. I finished my paper and turned it in yesterday. Phew, glad that's done - onward to finals on the 18th and 19th.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JERSEYGIRL24 6/12/2012 9:47AM

    emoticonon your streak. That's fantastic. Also fantastic about the paper. You will be so relieved when it is done.

I ended up signing up for the Summer Challenge after all as a Spirited Underdog. You actually inspired me when you said that challenges are challenging. BLC will be ending in the middle of July, so this will take me through the better part of the summer. Not sure about the fall. Too far away to even think about that. But I have found that in general, taking a Spark break is not a good idea. So I will be back!!!

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RUNNINGOMA 6/10/2012 3:58PM

    Wow! I had no idea you had such a great streak going! I'm totally impressed!

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CAROLYN0107 6/10/2012 4:25AM


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JUNEPA 6/10/2012 12:01AM

    You are a great streaker, way to go !!

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RUNNERRACHEL 6/9/2012 7:08PM

    emoticon on your consistency! emoticon

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REDRUNNERMOM713 6/9/2012 5:08PM

    What an awesome streak and accomplishment Michelle! Very inspiring. Happy to hear you got your paper turned in too. You are doing so great. emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 6/9/2012 3:43PM

    So proud of you, Michelle!
What a streak ....to Move...move.... MOVE!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
and to complete your paper is Outstanding! May God give yuo the rest you need to recoup and added energy for tomorrow...to continue this Inspiring Streak!

emoticon Laura

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KALISWALKER 6/9/2012 3:34PM

    Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment!

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EBLOOMING 6/9/2012 3:34PM

    That is amazing~ APPLAUSE!!!! emoticon

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LIVE2RUN4LIFE 6/9/2012 3:12PM


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