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Editor's Note: This blog is part of our "Hello from SparkGuy" series--a weekly post where SparkGuy himself stops by to motivate, inspire and share a bit about what's going on at SparkPeople.
Hello, SparkPeople Members!
I hope last week went well and you are ready for another good week ahead! With the holidays quickly approaching, life can get very busy. Let's all keep taking small steps one at a time to reach our goals for the last 70 days (or so) left this year. Don't give up on reaching goals this year. Instead, make every day count!
Motivation in a Minute
I read this great quote on Quora yesterday:
"When we hit our lowest point, we are open to our greatest change." (From the TV show Avatar.)
This is a brilliant quote that illustrates a major point I make in the free 10+ Fitness Minutes Mini-Book: all it takes is a few small positive steps when we are down (which happens to all of us) to start building a virtuous cycle back up. It also clearly demonstrates how mistakes can be great learning experiences. (This is coming from someone with a history of anxiety who doesn't like making mistakes, but now values the process when it inevitably happens :)). Any time you are down for any reason, make a mistake, or somehow stray from your goals, just keep this quote in mind and immediately start thinking about one positive step you can take. Examples would be: eating one healthy food, doing 10 or more fitness minutes at home, calling a friend, or even posting in the SparkPeople Community to receive support. Read More ›
It's almost August, and whether we like it or not, the days of summer are dwindling. Bathing suit season may be mostly behind you, but that doesn't mean it's time to abandon your healthy efforts now that autumn is in sight! Plus, maybe all those barbecues you've attended this summer are starting to show on the scale. Maybe your vacations and kids' activity schedules have taken precedence over your exercise routine. Maybe, now that the wild ride of the season is coming to an end, it's time to get back on track and consciously recommit to your healthy lifestyle. And we're here to help you do it with a brand new challenge! Read More ›
No matter how much time you put in at the gym or how thoughtfully you nourish your body, everyone suffers from body-image issues from time to time. When you need a little boost of self-esteem (and who doesn't), here are 9 of our favorite quotes and mantras. (Each quote is a separate image so, if you find one you really like, you can right click it to open in a new window and print it out.) Be sure to "Pin" this page to revisit when you need to be reminded that you're good enough as you are (right now) no matter what! Read More ›
If you enjoy inspirational and motivational messages in your Twitter stream you probably already follow heavyweights like @Deepak_Chopra, @DrWayneWDyer and @Oprah. But Twitter is full of many lesser-known, but just-as-amazing thinkers, who share inspirational quotes, thoughts, questions and messages every single day. Here are the top 10 motivational Twitter streams you should be following right now: Read More ›
We’ve all been there. We had a few fabulous days of eating healthy and exercising and then—BANG—all of a sudden life happens. A late night out with friends, a last-minute business trip, a sick child at home. You’ve either missed your designated time for fitness or you simply don’t have the energy to prepare a healthy meal. Either way, you’ve hit a wall and are having an off day. Sometimes it can take several days before you find yourself inspired enough to give your nutrition and exercise program another shot. It’s the vicious cycle of yo-yo dieting at its best, but it can be stopped.
As an expert of sport and exercise psychology, one of my objectives is to help my clients work through the off days we all inevitably experience from time to time. Here are three techniques you can use right now to not only get switched back on during an off day, but also to limit the amount of off days you have altogether. The end result is that you’ll give yourself the greatest opportunity to follow through on your daily goals and achieve your personal best mind, body and overall spirit. Read More ›
Picture this: It's time for your weekly weigh-in, and you are confident that you've lost a pound or two. You've eaten very well this week and have been even more consistent with your exercise than you usually are. You take a deep breath, close your eyes and step on the scale, your heart skipping a beat. You brace yourself, open your eyes, and… your heart sinks into your stomach and you clench your fists. Your weight is up one pound since last week.
What's going through your mind? Is it a frenzy of horribly negative self-talk? Do you feel like a worthless failure who can't do anything right? Do you swear and stamp your foot and move the scale to another spot on the bathroom floor in the hopes that the number will change?
If you've had any (or all) of these reactions after a disappointing weigh-in, you're not alone. But think about how crazy that roller coaster is! Why should a number on a scale make you feel so nervous—and then so painfully defeated when it isn't what you had hoped for? Why should a number on a scale ruin your day and make you say horrible things to yourself that you would never dream of saying to a friend? Read More ›
Warning: The images and words in this post could be triggering to anyone who has had an eating disorder.
"Strong is the new skinny."
"When I exercise, I wear all black because it's like a funeral for my fat."
"Skinny is not sexy. Healthy is."
You've probably heard or read the quotes listed above at some point. They're known as "fitspiration" or "fitspo" for short. Fitspo pictures and posters are typically images of extremely fit, lean, and muscular women, with motivational quotes on them like the ones displayed above.
Fitspo is supposed to be a healthy alternative "thinspo" (short for thinspiration). Thinspiration images typically display extremely thin women with motivational quotes regarding getting and staying thin. In general, these were first created by online users who wanted to inspire and support women with eating disorders to continue with their disorders and stay as thin as possible.
Good thing fitspo became popular, huh? At least now we have lots of healthy images floating around the web inspiring women to be healthy and strong instead of skinny, right?
Maybe not. Read More ›
Thanksgiving is coming up in just a few short days, and you might still be participating in our November #Fit2Feast challenge (WooHoo!). We know that it’s tough to stay motivated leading up to the holiday season, so congratulations for participating and making it this far already!
You might have made some good strides (hah!) with our November challenge, but we recognize that you’re probably going to need some motivation to stay on track through the busy month of December—which can easily be the hardest month of the year to stick with a healthy eating and exercise program. There always seems to be an endless barrage of feasts, family gatherings and work parties to attend! However, we’ve seen time and again how just a little bit of accountability can go a long way, no matter what the time of year (yes, even in December). And that’s why, by popular demand, we’re hosting a challenge to get you through the bulk of the winter holiday season. Welcome to our #SparkTheSeason challenge! Read More ›
It may have taken her five tries and 35 years, but 64-year-old Diana Nyad never gave up on her goal and her dream of swimming the 103 miles of Florida Straits, from Cuba to Florida, without a shark cage.
She tried to make the swim the first time in 1978 but wasn’t successful, so she moved on with her life and pursued other interests. However, after turning 60 and losing her mother, the dream came alive again, as she explains in this TED talk from October 2011. Read More ›
Editor's Note (Nicole Nichols): When I learned my friend Susie was going to run a 50-mile ultramarathon, I was in shock and awe. Reading the recap of her race on her blog, which we're now sharing with you here, brought tears to my eyes. Her vivid, emotional and insightful journey from mile 1 to 50 is one that every person can learn from and relate to, even if you've never run a single mile.
After Saturday, September 15, 2012, I will never hear the words "50 miles" again and think about them in the same way. There are so many things, beyond the measure of mileage, that now describe 50 miles. Doubt, perseverance, deep friendship, dirt, overwhelming support, darkness, mental toughness, pain, family, hills, belief, tears, natural beauty, blisters, selflessness, labor, and VICTORY. Each one of these things played an important role in making my first official ultra-marathon a truly memorable, rewarding, yet unmistakably arduous day. Read More ›
Most of the time, I’m running around like a crazy lady all day long. I’ve got work to do, errands to run, kids to take care of, chores at home, etc. I’m sure a lot (if not most) of you can relate. I bring a lot of it on myself because I’m the type of person who likes to get everything done -- right now. For a long time, I considered my busy routine to be a drag. I was easily overwhelmed, stressed out, and felt like I never had time for me. And to be quite honest, those feelings made me sad.
More recently, I’ve taken a step back to look at my life from a different perspective. Instead of getting so bogged down in all of the day-to-day details, I’m trying to adapt to the chaos and appreciate all of the good things in my life. I’m trying to see my life for what it is so that I can start taking small steps to make it better. Instead of wishing things were different, I’m putting together a plan for change. Read More ›