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morning cuppa spark - six years of maintenance.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

guess it is time for a blog again, because six years is definitely something to celebrate, even if i have been silent here on sparkpeople for a while. i am still spinning the wheel, taking the daily wellness quiz, and... maintaining.

maintaining, i have learned, is a range - and i am indeed still in the range, albeit the higher end of it. it is also a lifestyle, and perhaps that is why i have not been blogging of late - i've been living, much in a pattern, and finding little to say that would be of interest, and that i or others have not said before.

perhaps the biggest change is sleep - i have managed to sleep "naturally" with no alarm all summer. a couple of times i've been surprised by sleeping 7 hours straight! perhaps the first time in years. the number of times my sleep totals 6 plus hours is far more than usual (i still tend to wake up and be up for a couple of hours and then return to bed for a bit more sleep). the downside has been the inability to fall asleep a few times - whenever i have had 7 or even a total of 8 hours, it seems i have had to pay for it by not being able to fall asleep that night or even a night of so later. there are evidently advantages to sleep deficit - you fall asleep:-)

and of course all this means that i had actually had some real vacation this year for the first time in decades. and work has picked up very slowly after july, which is traditionally the vacation month here in sweden, where everyone has 4 weeks (yes, weeks!) of vacation, usually consecutive, usually in summer.

diet - well, still plant-based, of course. choices? pretty good - it would be better if i didn't enjoy quite as many snacks with the evening wine. which is probably why i am at the high end of my range - plus enjoying the delicious baked goods available here in sweden:-)

beck - still planning meals daily before morning coffee is over, still eating sitting down, pretty much slowly and mindfully.

exercise - i've done something kind of fun and different this summer. i downloaded two apps to my iPhone, StepBet and Runbet, and joined the challenges of each one where you "bet" $40 that you will complete the challenge, in which case you get your stake back, along with the "winnings" of the money that those who do not successfully complete the challenge lose. on StepBet, the app figures out a goal of daily steps based on the history it sees on your phone (in my case from the Fitbit), setting it high enough that it is a challenge - in my case, instead of my goal of an average of 15,000 steps daily, i have had to walk 17,000 steps four days a week, and 21,000 two days; the 7th day is "rest" day, though of course i still go for the 15k. i'm in the sixth and last week of the challenge, and though a few days i have had to work a bit extra to make sure i hit the 17k, it hasn't been too bad.

the other challenge, RunBet, involves the same principle, but there i chose one called "cardio" where you commit to running four days a week, 30 minutes each time, faster than a 17 minute mile (which of course is really walking pace). the challenge here was that four days requires two consecutive runs - and my old body wasn't used to that. so, i changed one run to a power walk - but walked faster than several of the runs. completed that one and "won" a whole $4.50! yeah, not a money-maker, but more a fear of losing:-)

while i am sure i would not have stopped exercising had i not participated in these, it has been fun to have the challenge and the commitment - and sometimes you just need to shake things up.

other than that, summer in sweden has been filled with (unusually) good, hot, sunny weather, though that has changed now, quality time with DD and DSIL who moved to stockholm last winter, but have spent lots of time here in the country with us, lots of guests (with DD's guests last weekend we were 10 people in the house!), some visiting (we travel to stockholm this weekend to see DD's new apartment).

so there you have it! we are still in sweden until the beginning of september, and following news of the wildfires back home (20 new fires caused by lightening last sunday). the nearest fires are not too threatening of our home (yet), but the air quality is "unhealthy" and the heat is bad. fingers crossed...

and of course, no blog would be complete without a photo (though none of claire, who is at summer camp for border collies back in WA):

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Just came upon your maintainance blog! Don't know how I missed it sooner...

    I so enjoy hearing an update from a Spark friend that comes back saying she's still maintaining after all these years. Congrats!!! Great work because I know maintainance is work. I like the way you say that maintainance is a range. Mine is definatley a range of about 10 pounds seasonally. Sometimes it's about the lifestyle and just living and then there's the emotional eating phases. The latter is my goal to rid.

    But cheers to you on finding joy in your life! Happy to know that you've had a good vacation break. Keep Sparking!
    175 days ago
    I miss your pictures!
    176 days ago
    Maintaining is a range. That's a good idea to keep in mind when I hit my range. Thanks for checking in.
    178 days ago
    How did I miss your blog? Happy to hear that you have had an actual vacation. And, you are living and enjoying life..

    Congratulations again on the 6 years of maintenance!
    186 days ago
  • EISSA7
    Wonderful to hear that you are enjoying life with family, friends, active challenges, and nourishing food!
    Does life truly get any better?! AND maintaining for 6 years, too.... emoticon
    187 days ago
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    189 days ago
    Congrats on those six years of maintenance, and as always, love seeing the glimpse into your world through photos. By the way, one of my she-roes, Morgan Chaffin, just participated in and finished the Norseman extreme triathlon challenge a week or so ago. Despite having a tire / wheel shred (fortunately on the downhill, so she could still finish, albiet with damaged bike). Thought of Sweden (yeah, I know, not the same country) and that you were there this time of year.

    Keep on sparking, you're doing great, whether you post blogs or not! emoticon
    189 days ago
    Congratulations on reaching 6 years at maintenance. A great accomplishment indeed. I reached two years in February and have pretty much set into a healthy lifestyle. For me 8 hours of sleep is illusive. I average about 6 hours a night and sometimes less. Depending on how my days going, I may get in a nap but that too is rare. Thanks for the update. Enjoy your summer in Sweden
    190 days ago
    Congratulations on 6 years. You have best the odds.
    190 days ago
    I'm glad to hear you are well and enjoying yourself!
    190 days ago
    congratulations on 10 yrs. of maintenance. That's awesome. Maintenance isn't static, ever . . . just like life!

    Sounds like you’ve been doing well! Glad you had some real vacation time! Glad you get to spend time w/your DD and DSIL in Stockholm.

    Wow! 10 visitors @ once. Challenging!

    190 days ago
    Congratulations on 6 years! Sounds like you're having a great summer.
    190 days ago
    Congratulations again on the 6 years at maintenance. Sounds like a pretty good summer. Glad you're getting some good sleep.
    190 days ago
    Congrats to you on six years!! You've found a way of life that's satisfying and healthy -- wonderful to hear what you've been doing!!
    190 days ago
    emoticon Sue, try for another 6

    190 days ago
    Congrats to 6 years and counting!

    Sleep is tricky indeed, as I grow older, I lost the lovely sleep patterns of youth,
    Fall asleep is never a problem, but I have the bi-phasic sleep you described, I think I had 1 or 2 nights in the past 3 years when I slept till morning.
    Most of the time I can go back to sleep after staying in bed quietly, or some meditation, but I expect the second phase of sleep will be gone in a few years.
    190 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    190 days ago
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    Have a great day
    190 days ago
    Good to hear from you! Congrats on 6 years maintaining! That is cool you found apps like that...sounds fun and challenging! I sure hope your home in WA stays free of the fires. Goid thing you're in Sweeden away from that awful smoke! emoticon emoticon
    190 days ago
  • LYNCHD05
    Nice to hear from you Sue. Yes the fires are quite bad here in the PNW so,you are good to be away. Looking forward to,hearing from you when you have time.....
    190 days ago
    Congratulations on your six years of maintenance sounds like you are living your best life, indulgences along the way
    190 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
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    190 days ago
    You are an inspiration. I will learn and push from this. Thank you. Be healthy.
    190 days ago
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