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Into The Great Wide Open: Celebrating 3 Years of Maintenance

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Thank you to everyone for all your SparkGoodies and SparkPage comments praising my third year of maintaining my weight loss! My apologies for delaying my heartfelt gratitude for your ongoing support!

I continue to move forward in so many ways. One of my driving mantras continues to be from Mary Oliver: "Tell me: what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" With each year that passes this question becomes yet more poignant and pertinent.

With that in mind, each year for the past several years I've wrestled with the question: to FANY or not?!?! Bicycling Five hundred miles Across New York for a week, averaging 70-80 miles a day.


This year a fellow bike club member informed me that he was going and had plenty of room in his van. That was all I needed to get me moving. It was not a decision I made easily as I have had a baffling issue with a troughing out of my energy over the past few months. A few times a week I've run out of gas and felt very fatigued for reasons that continue to be puzzling. I've worked closely with my physicians and run through all the lab tests (including Magnesium & Vitamin D) and echocardiogram and everything has come out squeaky clean.

But "what am I going to do with this one wild & precious life?" !!! Will I be any more ready for this challenge next year? Or the year after? The time is NOW. The check was sent in a few weeks ago.

I continue with my workouts, some better than others, Some inexplicably draining. Just yesterday I was all jello-legged after a 30 minute bout on the elliptical. Crazy! There just is no explanation for this! I've made so many positive changes in my life and my stress levels are lower than they've been in a long time.

But today, I finally got out for my first jog of the year...in preparation for my one and only 5K. It's been a great day! I look off into the hills and sunny, blue skies and think: YES! I am UP for these challenges!

This song lifted me so MUCH today!

No tattoo, no new record (re: the lyrics), but the idea of re-making one's life, taking charge of and celebrating it and breaking open into a future that is open to such awesome potential...that's what I get from this song.

Into the Great Wide Open, Under The Skies of Blue...


Here's a bright spot which came up recently: Our bike club has a ride this weekend which is one of the club's favorite rides and I initially scratched my head wondering: Why haven't I ever done this ride before...? Then it dawned on me: This was a ride to a maple farm for a pancake breakfast with a room full of maple syrup drenched pancakes! I always turned down this ride because I did not want to put myself at risk of relapse into a sugar carbie funk!

But now I'm feeling so locked into my zero sugar, no processed carb approach to food that it's no longer a big risky deal to consider going on this ride: I'll just have my big bowl of awesome oats (old-fashioned oats, eggs scrambled into the mix, splenda, lots of cinnamon, raisins & walnuts) beforehand, bring a few apples along for more snacking and enjoy coffee and conversation with fellow bike club members.

Hopefully I won't experience the energy trough afterward that I've had with the few other rides I've done earlier this year. But I've gotta keep moving, gotta keep testing myself. As Wayne Dyer says: "Don't die with your music still inside of you!"

I will listen to my body and do the best that I can. I'm prepared, if I need to cancel the FANY ride if I cannot regain the fitness I need to nail it. But I'm going to keep at it and make the most of this years' cycling season.

Thank you again to all of you out there among my wonderful SparkFamily!

Keep the SPARK!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, that sounds like a great challenge. I'll have to check out the link. Enjoy!
    1034 days ago
    WOW! I am totally out of your loop. Somehow I got knoced off your blog posts, so I missed this and other awesome posts. You are a star in so many ways, first shining the light inside yourself, doing the reflective, thoughtful sou=searching that produces growth, and then shining it out into the world, sharing the accumulated wealth. I love having you for a friend! CYCLE ON, my friend!
    1056 days ago
    Wow! this is such an uplifting and optimistic AND sensible blog. You've signed up! And you're working on the energy issues . . . and you can move to Plan B if need be. What a lot of great changes in your life in the past year, and how fantstic to be clocking three years of maintenance!! (It never was about the pancakes and maple syrup anyhow!! Awesome oats sound way better!!!)
    1062 days ago
  • OOLALA53
    Coffee or another hot drink is such a civilzed way to share time, IMHO! Let the others have their insulin flow, if they like. I'll do it at another point in the day, preferably at a real meal.

    Drop in once in awhile on the contrarian thread, if it moves you.

    Keep up the good work!
    1062 days ago
    Congrats, Don!

    Good song
    1066 days ago
    Thanks so much for sharing your beautiful mantra. I'm looking forward to getting a bike of my own this fall. I hope you have some wild and beautiful rides ahead of you this year.
    1066 days ago
    Happy 3rd year in Maintenance! The bike ride sounds awesome but your energy troughs worrisome. Is it low blood sugar?

    I usually experience low blood sugar when I haven't had enough protein in the mornings. I feel quite exhausted too when I work out too far after eating. It's like I'm a car and I'm running on empty. I make sure that if I am going to do something that expends a lot of calories (like go on a long hike) I like to do it about an hour or two after a meal. Not more than 2 hours though or else I get that "running out of gas" feeling.
    As in gasoline. Not emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1067 days ago
    Happy Sparkiversary!

    The bike ride sounds fantastic. May your health be healthy and you have a great ride.
    1069 days ago
    Great post! and congrats from me as well - joining in the chorus! AND happy Sparkiversary! Great to hear you've made plans for the FANY - looking forward to hearing more!
    1070 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
    you are such an inspiration to so many!!
    congratulations on your accomplishments!!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1070 days ago
    U r a rock star! And an inspiration.
    1070 days ago
    More power to you deciding to go ahead and do the FANY ride! emoticon emoticon There's no time like the present!
    1070 days ago
  • GABY1948
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon You are a GREAT INSPIRATION always...one day I hope to be at three years also...just made ONE in March!

    WAY TO GO, Don!

    1070 days ago
    Absolutely awesome! Congrats on your 3rd maintenance anniversary. INDEED a huge milestone!
    1070 days ago
    Congrats on your maintenance Don! WAY TO GO!!!!!!!!! LOVE the ride for the wild and one life!!!!!!!!!!!!! I too want to do something like that one day! I would LOVE to hike all over the place! SO maybe one day!

    Can't wait to hear of your stories! :)

    Congrats again!
    1070 days ago
    Amen to what earlier commenters said: congrats again on those 3 years... maintenance is a journey all its own! And keep on working on those health things and listening to your body. It has more wisdom than our brains sometimes! emoticon
    1070 days ago
    1070 days ago
    emoticon again to your 3rd Maintenance Anniversary!

    Those bike rides sound wonderful.
    I totally understand how you feel about the maple syrup pancakes - I would do the same, who wants sugar coma and cravings after a beautiful bike ride... and I would have the same oeatmeal breakfast (only without the eggs) ; ))
    I hope fatigue goes away soon!
    1071 days ago
  • FRECKS96
    Congrats on your maintanence, that's wonderful!! I am SO jealous of your ride...simply having that much time to dedicate to being outdoors, moving and exploring. I do hope you get to enjoy it. Good luck and have a great weekend, it's supposed to be perfect weather!
    1071 days ago
    Don, I have to concur with the thoughts shared by Linda. Everything she has shared came to mind for me as I read your blog. My health practitioners have me supplementing D3 and are working to increase my vitamin D levels even though they have never been clinically low. Why? ... because current research indicates meeting minimum levels is simply not enough for optimal health. Like Linda, I have health issues I am working to resolve and adequate nutrient levels is a part of resolving my challenges.

    The FANY sounds like a wonderful adventure! Enjoy and do take care of yourself!

    Again, Congratulations on three years of maintenance! emoticon
    1071 days ago
  • _LINDA
    emoticon on three years of maintenance!! emoticon
    Magnesium and D3 critical for many, many body processes. My ongoing education has been saying we are not getting enough. Enviro toxins depleting us. With your fasting are you getting enough nutrients? Harder to cram everything into just two meals. I couldn't do it. Those veggies take up a lot of space lol. I am discovering a lot of what ails us begins and ends in our gut. How we are treating our microbiome. Found out a lot of eye-opening info. In the process of revamping my own diet. Not because I want to lose weight, but because I want to stop the onslaught of my disease. They claim its possible to even cure it. Radical thought. Unexplained fatigue could be thyroid issues that won't show up on a standard Dr.'s blood screen. I am keeping an open mind on alternative treatments. After all the Chinese and Indians have been around a lot longer than us and have had lots of time to see what is and isn't working. I have been getting info from all worlds though, no bias on these summits.
    Keep up the great work!
    1071 days ago
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