ZELLAZM   93,909
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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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, ...
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.

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?

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.

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!

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?

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 :)

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!

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

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 August 25)

Current Status:
ZELLAZM just finished catching up on a bazillion blog posts!
set 2 hours ago



My Ticker:

 current weight: 153.5 

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Member Since: 4/21/2007

SparkPoints: 93,909

Fitness Minutes: 84,697

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


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:
7/17/2014 11:48:03 AM

Good luck on the 5% challenge!

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7/14/2014 10:08:27 AM

Thanks for commenting on my What a Difference blog. emoticon I don't know why night time snacking is so tempting. I know better!

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7/13/2014 8:32:08 PM

Thank you for reading my blog and giving me encouragement!

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7/13/2014 8:32:32 AM

emoticon Good Morning,
Just thought I'd stop by with a bit of an update since starting my Spark break. I'm doing pretty good, I think stress was my problem because I've lost almost 3 pounds since starting my break. Between Rod's back surgery in December, hand surgery in May and another one scheduled for August I've had to take up quite a bit of the slack. Moving in January didn't help the stress levels much either. I've pretty much been doing everything the same as I was before I started my "break" but just not spending so much time on the computer tracking everything, doing team posts, challenges, etc. After doing all of it for so long I pretty much know what my calorie count will be at the end of the day anyway and I still wear my fitness tracker to keep track of my activity level. I go back to the doctor for my follow-up on Wednesday, I was really hoping to have lost some weight since my last visit so I'm trying not to stress about that now.

emoticon The biggest thing going on here in Southern Oregon is the current heat wave. We received an alert from the National Weather Service several days ago warning us. The temperatures have been 103 - 105 every day and it doesn't look like it's going to cool down much any time soon. They're predicting 107 on Wednesday. The worst thing is that it stays hot into the evening, it was 89 when we went to bed at 10:00 last night. We've only been using our air conditioner a little in the late afternoon, it started making loud noises the first time we turned it on, Rod took it apart and thinks he fixed the problem but now he's worried about what our electric bill will be so we're turning it on once the temperature in the house reaches 80 and turning it off after about 3 hours. At least we don't have the humidity here that so many of my Spark friends farther east have to deal with.

I haven't been doing much in the way of exercise for the last week either - too hot! We complain when it's cold and also when it's hot, is there anyplace where it's continually spring or fall? Right now I'd be happy with cold, you can always put on more clothes and wrap up in a blanket but there's only so much you can take off emoticon

Talk to you more later emoticon emoticon emoticon

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7/13/2014 12:22:02 AM

We're closing on a refinance on Monday and hope to leave SW Fla for about three months. Sorry to see we'll be in opposite territories this year. Seem European school teachers are the primary nontraditional locals. Hug, hug - Evelyn

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