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Still Sparking!

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Where to begin? How about a quick overview of this past year: last year around this time I weighed 212. This year? 214! Woo hoo! What a success!! My all-time low is 207, so this is really not bad at all...SO HAPPY!

Why is that? This has been a most challenging year for changes in my life which shall mostly remain private for the time being.

One of my big challenges has been work that has become totally unmanageable and I've allowed it for the most part to swallow up my workout time with an lip-smacking appetite and an impatient belch that sez: c'mon, the appetizer was great! We want the REST of you!

While I have managed to fight back with some workouts, there really isn't any comparison to what I used to do. Wimpy doesn't wear well. I have lost many of my fitness gains and starting over rolling that rock up the hill ain't no picnic!

However, feeling weak and unfit is a far worse consequence to suffer!

So yep, doing my best to roll the rock back up the hill.

The good fitness news is that while my preparation left much to be desired, I NAILED the Five hundred miles Across New York ride in July ( www.fanyride.org ) in July! It was quite the challenge, riding 70-some miles a day in extreme heat. I laughed out loud when I came across a Facebook post during my ride which exclaimed: "Upstate New York's weather is SO HOT that horse poop is spontaneously igniting!"

And we were riding in that heat! Tougher than horse poop, YEAH! ;-)

And yes, was I SORE after doing that ride!

And to be honest, in conjunction with work demands, AND feeling a bit over-done with cycling, both my workouts and bicycling efforts have dwindled since then. Except now I'm picking back up with workouts. Had a great early morning swim with my partner, followed by a round of weight-lifting and an hour-long spinning class today. PLUS the nice boost of getting on the scale after a far-too-long break only to find a couple pounds have been picked up this past year. So hey, life is GOOD!

I'm patting myself on the back for sticking with what I know works for me regarding FOOD! If nothing else, this year proved to me a terrific lesson on the vital importance of wise food choices for maintaining weight loss.

I continue to maintain a zero-tolerance for sugar and processed carbs in my home and my food choices. No bread, no cereal (other than rolled oats), no crackers, certainly no cakes, cookies and candies.

I continue to not track my food and eat lots of fresh veggies, some fruit (apples continue to be my favorite), dairy such as cheese, yogurt & sour cream, eggs (LOTS of hard boiled eggs...I boil 1-2 dozen every weekend to go me the week through). Also nuts and legumes. While I'm not a TOTAL vegetarian and indulge in tuna, chicken and on rare-dining out I'll snag some other seafood, my meat intake continues to drop. You can either credit or blame my vegetarian partner for that...lol!

I miss making more home-made recipes and mostly just eat my food in my typical grab-n-go fashion. I DID rustle up some home-made butternut squash casserole and maple-orange sweet potatoes...but no bird this year, thank you!

My 60th birthday passed in October and my partner treated me to one of my bucket list items: a glorious hot-air balloon ride over our beautiful Southern Tier of New York! This was like nothing I'd ever experienced before!

Additionally on a cold, terribly windy and horribly inhospitable November weekend I had the thorough pleasure and pride of witnessing my son complete his first full marathon in Philadelphia!

I've also had a total blast and gotten such wonderful inspiration hosting traveling bicyclists from 'round the globe (furthest one was from Australia...she'd already circumnavigated her home continent several times and Europe and decided to take another crack at America, having already done the southern Tier, this time the Northern Tier) through the wonderful partnering services offered through WarmShowers.org!

So as Mary Oliver says and I often repeat to myself, the people I love and many of my clients as well: "What is it that YOU plan to DO with your one, wild & precious life?"

Such an invaluable question this time of year when we take stock of where we've been, where we are and where we want to be heading!

Well it seems like an awfully long and yawning chasm between now and retirement which is less than two years away, but my challenge continues as ever to do my best to SPARK ON!

My apologies to folks for my scant time here among my SparkFamily. You continue to inspire me daily!

With such gratitude,

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Congrats on the weight maintenance, and the bike riding. Can relate on both counts. And thanks for the comments on my blog.
    794 days ago
    Happy New Year, Don! I've been MIA here as well, and it seems our paths have been similar as work demands have encroached on some of my good habits. I'm so glad to hear that you did the big bike ride, have had some great moments --- and congrats on maintaining in the midst of it all. I'll be blogging again soon myself...so till then!
    807 days ago
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    833 days ago
    What a great, inspirational blog!
    You look GREAT in your suit with that silver hair. A stellar look for 60. Rock on, Don.
    840 days ago
    Thanks for sharing some photos and some of your amazing life. Congratulations, Don, and a Belated Happy Birthday!
    840 days ago
  • L*I*T*A*
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    841 days ago
  • _LINDA
    emoticon on maintaining your weight through your challenges!!
    And especially on that amazing ride!! Just wow!!
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    So sorry to hear your work stress is through the roof :-(( Two years until freedom at least..
    emoticon photo from your balloon ride, what a thoughtful gift!!

    emoticon to your son! A real go-getter, just like his Daddy!

    Sharp dressed man! Looking amazing! Lack of exercise didn't hurt you at all, shows how important a whole food diet really is. I am not exercising like I used to hardly at all because of foot problems, but I am maintaining, even losing weight, in spite of the high (but healthy fat) whole food organic diet I eat.. I track because I enjoy it and want to earn Spark points to give goodies.

    So nice to hear from you and glad you are okay!

    841 days ago
    Wow sounds like a turbulent year! Congratulations belatedly to you birthday! Hugs
    841 days ago
    I'm used to seeing you in bike-friendly attire. I had no idea you could rock a suit. Good job!
    841 days ago
    Oh Don --

    The story of the unfolding of your life is so life-affirming! You inspire me!!! Any chance you can consider Ellen'sr work recommendation?

    And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.
    -- Rainer Maria Rilke
    841 days ago
    Always good to hear from you, Don!

    Appears to me that you've manged the challenges the year's presented quite well. emoticon The ride in the air balloon must have been wonderful. So thoughtful of your partner to plan that ride for your 60th.

    I'm in awe of those of you that maintain without the food tracking. emoticon
    841 days ago
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    841 days ago
    Hey, you may not have been spending a lot of time blogging, but you have been LIVING! As retirement rushes at me, too... let me tell you, two years VERY quickly shrinks to one! Glad you're doing well, hope the work crazies let up, and VERY pleased to see you're doing a bit of pushing back at it, by not giving up, and by sticking to the nutrition plan that is WORKING for you!

    emoticon emoticon (Whether I see you on here or not!)
    841 days ago
    What a great picture of you, and such a warm and "connecting" blog: thank you! Huge congrats on MAINtaining the weight: well done. You're eating so well, and (for me at least) 80% of MAINtenance is the calories in part. You're up up and away -- remember that one? -- in your beautiful balloon with your partner!! Sorry that work is no fun: any chance of stepping out early and not putting in the last two years of your wild and precious life THERE???
    841 days ago
    841 days ago
  • GABY1948
    Glad you are welcomed back here wholeheartedly! And it was a GREAT blog!

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    841 days ago
    Well, sounds like you came up on top even with the challenges this year. good for you. Congrats on being able to see your son finish his first full marathon. Awesome. AND A HOT AIR BALLOON ride. Sounds so cool.

    Well, here's to making our next year happy, healthy and sane!
    841 days ago
  • AJB121299
    841 days ago
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