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    DDOORN   280,460
250,000-299,999 SparkPoints

Heart School

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I've had this absolutely weird, humorous preoccupation with this old "Far Side" cartoon ever since I knew another intervention was going to be necessary to correct my heart rhythm:

So here's how I've twisted that chuckle to "fit" my circumstances: "Hey Biff, I'm going off to the hospital to get my heart "schooled" so it beats right!" :-)

I've been WAY pleased with my weight loss efforts lately. It's so strange how without making any significant changes in my approach how QUICKLY the pounds have accelerated their disappearance! I will have to remember this when it slows down

I've passed the big *3*0* so far since January 1st, averaging 15 pounds a month...! I am now only 2 pounds away from breaking 100 pounds lost since joining SparkPeople. And THAT marker (320 pounds when joining SP in 2007) was significantly down from my all-time high of 450 pounds from way back in the late 1980's, early 1990's.

Another motivator for me? Back in 2010 when I previously reached my goal weight of 200 I had the special honor of being one of the guests on Dr. Oz's 100th show featuring 100 people who had lost 100 pounds or more and kept it off.

Lots of cool pics in that blog, even one with Richard Simmons who was a special guest and led a round of Sweatin' to the Oldies ("Hit The Road Jack")! Great memories!

Anyhow, I've saved both the skinny-sized 38 jeans and Dr. Oz t-shirt from that occasion and have the jeans hanging up outside my closet just waiting for me to fit back into them and I can't WAIT till THAT happens! :-)

With this week's big batch o' soup I've decided to dip my big toe back into the waters of grain and put some barley in the soup which is just your basic chicken, carrots, celery, onions & garlic. I figure this will have a pretty low risk of triggering any overdoing it and reacclimate my body in a fairly tame manner.

My workouts have dropped off some in anticipation of my ablation, mostly because it just seems weird to pump up a heart that's doing such peculiar things. I'm still heading off to spinning, just not going as "all out" as I might ordinarily.

I'm liking my weight loss before the ablation as I always figure the fewer extra pounds before any medical procedure the better. I continue to give my stomach a pat on the back when it growls and grumbles at me during the morning hours, awaiting my first meal of the day at noon time...telling me I'm on the right track and didn't overdo the calories yesterday. If I DON'T sense my stomach talking to me I figure I must've run a tad high on my intake.

A confession I'll make regarding tracking: thus far I am not pulling out any food scale. I am more-or-less eyeballing my portions either through packaging (you know, those handy Dannon greek yogurt 80 calorie packages and other such conveniences) or 1 cup - 1/2 cup measures. I figure if the pounds get TOO stubborn as I near goal I can always resort to more precise measurements at that time. I am a huge fan of keeping it simple and if what I'm doing works, then so be it!

I'm feeling so READY for this of my game with food which is a major, MAJOR big deal for me.

Now let's get this heart "schooled" good & proper and get on with my Spark even MORE fully engaged!


ps...another bonus old favorite "Far Side" for you cat-lovers (or

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
SASSYCHRIS1952 3/8/2014 5:16PM

    I remember catching a glimpse of you in the audience on the Dr Oz show! That was way cool! And congratulations on the weight loss emoticon

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ZELLAZM 3/8/2014 5:19AM

    Glad I read this today so I can be thinking and praying for you as you face this procedure! I'm way behind on reading blog posts and have been missing my Spark buddies and their inspiration. Your reminder to just stay hungry is a big help to me, especially in the evening --- when it isn't really hunger but tiredness most of the time.

Go, Don, go!

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WATERMELLEN 3/7/2014 9:37PM

    What a treat to find this blog on Friday: but don't know how I missed it when you posted it on Tuesday! Love Gary Larson: soooo funny. Nice way of thinking about the upcoming ablation procedure; "That'll larn ya", right? So good that you've prepared with regular moderate exercise and continue weight loss . . . and chicken barley soup, a big fave of mine!!

We're all rooting for you, Don.

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ALIIDA 3/7/2014 9:43AM

    Wishing you well as I sit here with my successfully ablated DH.

Comment edited on: 3/7/2014 9:46:03 AM

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_MOBII_ 3/6/2014 9:00PM

    I am so glad your heart is going to 'get schooled'...just be sure to stay away from the vet's office!

Those skinny 38's are within your reach, you can do it!

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BLUENOSE63 3/6/2014 1:54PM

  Congrats on all your success, you deserve every iota as you have worked very hard!

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PATRICIAAK 3/5/2014 9:52PM

    Wishing you well.
I totally agree with keeping it simple - much easier to stay on track when the going gets challenging.

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SAM60SUMTHINK 3/5/2014 9:38PM

    Hmmm.... your cardio-electrician won't be 'tutoring' you... so tomorrow will go just fine. Love the Far Side.

Will be sending good vibes your way as you discover yet another miracle of modern medicine technology. Not so long ago such procedures were mere pipe dreams; amazing, isn't it?!?

We'll see you on the other side of your experience!

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WMUGRAD 3/5/2014 8:49PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUEPERWOMAN 3/5/2014 6:52PM


Great job!

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LPRUNWALK 3/5/2014 3:34PM

    Don, you continue to do SO well, and to be such an inspiration. Really happy for you that the pounds are falling off, especially in the lead up to Ablation Day :-))
I am a big believer in keeping things simple too, and have rarely gone to the trouble of weighing my portions. I will do a bit of measuring here and there, but in general as long as I'm seeing progress I'm happy enough with the eyeballing method. Mind you, I haven't lost any weight in about a month, so maybe it's time I adopted a stricter approach...
Anyway, just wanted to stop by and congratulate you on doing so wonderfully.

Comment edited on: 3/5/2014 3:34:54 PM

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KANOE10 3/5/2014 8:22AM

    You have got this healthy eating and food figured out! You are doing great with your loss and your plan is working! That was quite an honor meeting Dr. Oz as well as Richard Simons.

I hope your procedure and the schooling of your heart goes well. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

I liked your cartoons!


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RAINBOWFALLS 3/5/2014 8:21AM

    Wishing you the best

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JACKIE542 3/4/2014 11:19PM

    Wonderful blog. emoticon Good luck to you with your ablation emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 3/4/2014 9:26PM

    Good luck w/the ablation. I like your common sense approach to your portion control!

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ONEKIDSMOM 3/4/2014 8:49PM

    Good luck with the procedure. You sound "pumped", at least psychologically, even if you are avoiding "pumping up" the heart rate in your workouts. Good job getting down a few more pounds ahead of time, I agree we don't need excess poundage getting in the doctors' way!

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_LINDA 3/4/2014 7:31PM

    Wow! A bonfide Spark super celebrity! Imagine being on a popular TV show and meeting Richard Simmons! Great story to highlight losing an incredible 100 lbs! Looks like you will be fitting back into those jeans in no time at the rate you are going!
Always liked Larson cartoons!
Really hope this ablation will succeed and give you peace of mind to enjoy your favorite fitness activities!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ICANINSIGHT 3/4/2014 6:28PM

    Awesome on the attitude and weight loss!

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DOGLADY13 3/4/2014 5:54PM

    You have such a fun attitude given what you are facing. I'll keep it in mind next time I have to have a procedure done. You will probably heal more quickly with such a good outlook.

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FERRETLOVER1 3/4/2014 5:47PM


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L*I*T*A* 3/4/2014 4:34PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PHOENIX1949 3/4/2014 4:12PM

    emoticon Blog and achievements.

Wishing you well with the ablation. A former walking buddy had this done about 10 years ago and her heart is still ticking with aid of pacemaker that came with the ablation as an insurance policy.

Far Side & Dr. Oz fan here also.

First aware of Richard Simmons in about 1982 when I awoke to his program in my Endicott, NY, hotel room (first day of my 2-week training scheduled). It was several years before he reached Central Texas stations.


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NHES220 3/4/2014 12:02PM

    Hoping all goes well with the ablation and you are ticking along normally! Sounds like you have a plan in place to meet your goals and you definitely have the motivation!

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STEVENKIND 3/4/2014 11:09AM

    Let's get that ticker ticking like it's supposed to. What an incredible story. I feel the connection, because I started right at 320 and have lost 60#. I am on my way to 200 and I get so inspired by reading the success stories of others who have fought the good fight. Thank you!

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    your a winner and loser Don, congrats!

Comment edited on: 3/4/2014 10:41:46 AM

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HIPPICHICK1 3/4/2014 10:27AM

    We're all rootin' for ya!

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COMMIT2BFIT4ME 3/4/2014 10:17AM

    WoW! Not only are you a great spark friend, you truly are a ROCK STAR! I am a big fan of Zig Ziglar and one of my favorite quotes is “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.” I feel like SP embodies this philosophy and you my friend are certainly one of the best crew leaders inspiring so many of us in spark land! Thanks again for such an inspiring blog and Congratulations on your successes..looking for another success in your ablation. emoticon Mary

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GARDENCHRIS 3/4/2014 10:09AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SLIMMERJESSE 3/4/2014 10:05AM

    You're amazing. Here's to being too cool for school and your heart learning well.

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OUATEONE2 3/4/2014 10:04AM

    Incredible amount of weight lost! Wow. I really don't know what to say other than great job. emoticon emoticon

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RACEWELLWON 3/4/2014 9:39AM

    Don - what a very encouraging blog ! love the Far Side - Dr. Oz. - I am star struck :) - so when is the procedure ? Chicken Soup one of my absolute go to foods . I eyeball things also but I agree that once I started paying attention to what triggers me to grab and eat the pounds began too melt away. Two pounds away emoticon good for - Keep us posted Karen emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/4/2014 10:46:22 AM

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Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.