ZELLAZM   96,576
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80,000-99,999 SparkPoints
 
 
My sister and I in the garden - a few years ago :)





Naples beach approaching sunset





Dad and me in his studio - Aug 2010



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New Every Morning

September, 2014 - Life just keeps happening, but things are starting to settle down some after 4 years of back-and-forth across the Big Pond, dealing with the deaths of both parents, handling my father's estate, and starting a new/old teaching job at a seminary along with my job teaching English. This will be my first time making monthly goals in a long time, and I'll be back with the Firecrackers again when we start the Fall 5% challenge. The weight snuck up on me again while I was stateside ...
September, 2014 - Life just keeps happening, but things are starting to settle down some after 4 years of back-and-forth across the Big Pond, dealing with the deaths of both parents, handling my father's estate, and starting a new/old teaching job at a seminary along with my job teaching English. This will be my first time making monthly goals in a long time, and I'll be back with the Firecrackers again when we start the Fall 5% challenge. The weight snuck up on me again while I was stateside in August. Time for yet another restart!

April, 2014 - Stuck...getting unstuck with the Firecrackers!

January, 2014 - Taking off with the Firecrackers again. My already overloaded plate was too full for the two challenges I tried to tackle last fall, so I'm keeping things a little simpler. I have a LOT going on in the next couple of months with travel and new work responsibilities, so don't want to overdo again. Hope to be back on Azure island in the spring - and to be at least 5% thinner by then!

October, 2013: Time flies! New 5% challenge - back with the Firecracker team this time. I'll be traveling again later this month, so the challenges come at a good time - keeping accountable!

September, 2013: Wrapping up the 5% challenge with a 2-pound loss and gearing up for BLC 23 on the Azure Destinations team- my first go at the challenge!

July 27, 2013 - back in Germany and once again depending on those fresh mercies as I join the 5% challenge today. Can't run (I was keeping it up pretty regularly while in Florida from Oct 2012 to May) so exercise will be a big challenge - dealing with plantar fasciitis. Time to get the bike out of the cellar and back in working order!

January 1, 2013 - yet another fresh start! Reset a bunch of stuff, including streaks and my trackers, and revising my goals. HE makes all things new!

October 14, 2012: Spark reentry after a long break. Will face the music of the scale tomorrow morning (I like to weigh in on Mondays) and wonder what "song" it will be playing!

June 23, 2012: Summer 5% Challenge starting. I've been stuck - maintaining is good but still not at my "happy weight." With my studies completed, I'll be able to focus more on other stuff like decluttering and renovating my apartment and decluttering a few pounds, too.

March 17, 2012: Spring 5% Challenge start-up. Go Firecrackers! Will be celebrating my 5th Sparkiversary in the middle of the challenge. I want to lose a few of these pesky extra pounds by then and even more by the end of the eight weeks.

March 10, 2012: I reset my ticker today to read 66 kilo. When I started my weight loss journey in March of 2007, I weighed 76 and, with the help of Spark People, reached my goal weight of 58k in November that year. While I maintained for awhile, life continued to happen and my weight crept back up to around 63 where I maintained for quite awhile. Recently, I've had another "growth spurt" so it's time to get back on track!

February 2012: (Re)Finding my focus!

December, 2011: Winter 5% Challenge. (Isn't winter ALWAYS a challenge!?) Go Firecrackers!

Sept. 24, 2011 - Start-up of the Fall 5% Challenge.

April 21, 2011 - FOUR YEARS on Spark! Thanks Spark Guy and fellow Sparkers for the encouragement this site provides!

It's been a rough year with the loss of my mom, several bouts of illness, and a lot of traveling. Daily exercise, and constantly returning to "the plan" whenever I've strayed have kept me from gaining it ALL back. And my size 6 clothes still fit - thanks to regular ST. I'm choosing to focus on the victories!

The hymn "Be still my soul" has been going around in my mind lately - I'm enjoying relearning how to be still this Easter week.
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November 1, 2010 - I've been maintaining at around 63K for ages but would still like to get back to 58-60. Can I make it back into goal range by the end of the year?

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Three years on Spark! Wow! It has been quite a ride. Here I am in April, 2010, and working my way back down to goal range (58-60 kilos or about 127-132 pounds) again. There have been a lot of ups and downs this past 18 months or so, and I don't just mean the numbers on the scale. I don't have far to go to goal range. But this time, I don't want to fall into the pattern of gaining and losing the same couple of pounds. That's my challenge right now. Goal Date: July 5!

In continuing on this journey, I'm so glad that my God is a God of first, second, third and even more chances. In the words of an old praise chorus:

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never comes to an end. They are new every morning, new every morning - great is thy faithfulness, O Lord. Great is thy faithfulness!" (from Lamentations 3:22-23) I'm trusting in his faithfulness to help me reach all my goals.
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Official Fresh Start Day: May 1, 2009

Okay, so it took me awhile to really get going, but I've switched continents again in the mean time and it's taken me awhile to get back to that "new normal" I talk about below! New mercies, every morning!

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It's February 24th, 2009, folks! After a long absence, and a 10-pound gain, it's time to get back to Sparkin' again! I'll be updating my page and goals over the next week, and plan to jump in afresh in March. I've got my 2-year Sparkiversary coming up in April and I want to be back down to fighting weight! Are you with me?

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My ***Amazing*** Had-To-Post-This-Somewhere Race Record:

Run for the Paws 5K in Naples FL
January 26, 2013
Time: 39:21

Frauenlauf 7K in Degerloch, Germany
July 2, 2011
Time: 54:43

Fast Cat 5K in Estero FL
August 22, 2009
Time: 38:51:7
Pace: 12:32 MM
Place 302 of 325, 2nd in Age Group (of 3)

Frauenlauf 2009, 7K
May, 2009
Time: 52:22:7
Placed 85 of 97, 3rd in Age Group (of 3)

Beach Bum Classic, 5K in Naples, FL
March 21, 2009
Time: 39:43:37
Pace: 12:43 MM
Place 178 of 194

Frauenlauf 2008, 7K Run
May, 2008
Time: 54:18
Placed 100 of 102 :)

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THE NEW NORMAL
Hi, I'm Michelle! I've called southern Germany home for over 24 years now. I'm glad that the internet makes the transatlantic distance seem so small. In the village where I live, I work in the local church in music ministry - and in the nearest large city, I work at a language school teaching English. I love teaching and helping others to develop their God-given talents and reach their goals. I'm blessed to have so many opportunities to do those things in both my jobs.

Finding Spark People was one of the biggest blessings of 2007. Not only was I able to reach my original goal weight, I'm now at a weight I never thought I'd see again. On the "weigh" down, I realized I could make it to 128 and I reset my ticker with that goal in mind. I reached goal on October 3, 2007 (the German national holiday) and have been maintaining since then.

Here are the changes since March, 2007:

***Down over 40 pounds (18.5 kilos)
***Went from a size 12-14 to 4-6. I even have a pair of size 2 jeans!
***Lost over 65 inches from my total measurements, including 6.5 from my waist and 6 from my hips
***No more huffing and puffing up the hills on my Nordic walking workouts!
***Cholesterol levels back in the normal range
***BMI down from 27.4 to 21

At the beginning of 2007, I was starting to think that, at 56 of age, I would have to get used to the idea of being heavier. But I got a wake-up call from my doctor in January, 2007 who told me my cholesterol levels were too high. Although I had been making some feeble efforts to get in shape before I got that news, that gave me the boost I needed to start a daily exercise program. While shopping around for exercise DVD's online, I read a forum post about Spark People and signed up the same day back in April of 2007.

Five years ago, I had also been able to lose a good deal of post-surgery weight, but gradually put it back on again. The encouragement and prayers of a lot of Sparkers have made the difference this time.

I know now that this lifestyle of healthy choices is the NEW NORMAL for me and with the help of the Lord and by his grace, I'm not going back!

My new fitness goals ( updates Oct. 30, 2008):

***Up my cardio intensity - bought myself a Polar F6 as my reward for meeting goal! DONE - GREAT TOOL
***Tone and firm up the areas where the fat used to be STILL IN PROGRESS
***Maybe get back into jogging after over 20 years? Looking at a race day scheduled for June as a long-term goal. I'll keep you posted. DONE - ONLY ONE RACE SO FAR, but I'm jogging regularly again and liking (not quite loving) it!

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CARDIO Minutes:
2010 April: 1200 -

Apr: 1200 - 1148
Mar: 1200 - 1338!
Feb: 900 - 795
2009 Jan: 1200 - ???

Dec: 1000 - ???
Nov: 900 - ???
Oct: 1200 - 1209!
Aug: 1200 - 1207!
July: 1200 - 1230!
June: 1200 - 1062
May: 1200 - 1626!
Apr: 1200 - 1308!
Mar: 1100 - 1136!
Feb: 1100 - 1005
2008 Jan: 1100 - 1101!

Dec: 1100 - 1000
Nov: 1100 - 1073
Oct: 1300 - 1345!
Sept: 1300 -1363!
Aug: 1300 - 1232
2007 July: 1200 - 1230

DAILY EXERCISE STREAKS:
April 30, '07-Feb 18 '08: 310 days.
Jan 22 -Sept 1 '08: 224 days.
Current streak begun Sept. 29.

WEIGHT LOSS: After a couple of false starts, I finally got down to business in Mar '07 after the doctor said my cholesterol was high. I weighed 166 pounds (75.5 kilos) then and weighed 156 when I started SP.

UPDATE: July 9, 07 - total cholesterol down from 281 to 232, and LDL from 171 to 136!

Original goal - 132 lbs (60k)
First goal (150 lbs) met and passed May 21 '07 (148.5)
Read More About ZELLAZM (Updated September 28)


Current Status:
ZELLAZM signed some important papers today - the end is in sight!
set 2 days ago


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My Ticker:

 current weight: 157.0 
 
157
149.75
142.5
135.25
128


 
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Member Since: 4/21/2007

SparkPoints: 96,576

Fitness Minutes: 85,643

My Goals:
CARDIO Minutes (Goal/Accomplished):
September '13: 900 minutes/)

DAILY EXERCISE STREAKS:

August 27, 2014 -

Past streaks: June 9, 2010 - Sept. 16, 2012

My Program:
Tracking my food and fitness on Spark!

Minimum 30 minutes daily intentional exercise. Cardio is either jogging, walking, or Nordic walking. ST three times a week, sometimes more in little spurts!

Getting enough sleep!
Packing my lunches!


Personal Information:
I love teaching and helping others to develop their teaching skills.

I'm a Christian and recently completed my second Master's in Educational Ministries (Summer 2012).

Listening to now: a bit of bluegrass, Alison Krauss, Jesus Culture
Reading now: Education that is Christian by Lois LeBar

Other Information:
I spent winter 2012-13 in SW Florida wrapping up the details of my father's estate. Back to Germany in Spring 2013 and now looking to see what the Lord has in store for the future.

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Member Comments:
LADYOLIVER
9/4/2014 7:43:03 PM

emoticon emoticon hope all is well.



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MARILYNROBERT
9/4/2014 1:53:30 PM

Mules will get what they want if they want it because they will not take no for an answer. We all need to be a little more mulish in our determination to take good care of ourselves. I have funny memories of my friends trying to drag the tiny mini mule, Firecracker, into my horse trailer. It wasn't going to happen until someone brought out horse cookies. Then Firecracker practically drug my friends into the trailer so she could have a horse cookie. emoticon

Yikes, I guess we can be the same way about cookies too, if we aren't careful. emoticon

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MARILYNROBERT
9/3/2014 11:15:25 PM

This will be my third challenge and my third time on Team Firecrackers...gotta stick with that team since my friend's mini mule, Firecracker, is the unofficial mascot. emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/3/2014 11:15:56 PM

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KATELJM
9/3/2014 1:55:32 PM

I've always been an ice cream freak, myself. But once I became accustomed to eating very few sweets, mediocre soft serve ice cream doesn't meet my higher quality hurdle for those treats. Last night everyone had Turkey Hill ice cream for dessert, except me, because I wasn't hungry anymore. (Turkey Hill makes ice cream the Philadelphia way, making it creamier without extra cream.)



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KATELJM
9/3/2014 10:49:48 AM

I hope you didn't eat at a Golden Corral during your last visit in the States! I go only when DH has a craving for it. I have renounced my membership in the Clean Plate Club, and I have an aversion to unwanted calories. Consequently my meal with senior discount is about $10-$11, and I can dine better for less at one of my favorite restaurants. DH realized that GC might actually make money on me.



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