AHTRAP   31,529
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Mess of a site

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I'm really frustrated in navigating the Spark People site because useful, and relevant links/information are not organized particularly well. You'd think there would be a easy way to post a blog, prominently featured on the communities > blogs page. But there isn't. You'd think that a start page would be a home page. But the "my spark people" page is NOT the one you get to when you got to the spark people site. That little bit of customization, being able to choose what to be able to access when visiting (which, granted, is easy enough by bookmarking a particular page and using a bookmark to get there), that would reduce annoyance a great deal. I'm not an internet idiot, and heck, I know a thing or two about computers (I work in qa for a software company), so I'm fairly well convinced that it's not entirely my fault that I struggle to find my way around the site just about every time I visit.

I suppose it's possible that I could be wrong about that :)

Anyway, I've been scouring teh google (all typos here are deliberate!), trying to find a favorite cartoon from my youth, that has to do with Opus from Bloom County stepping onto a scale, but so far no luck. But I did come across the following gem I'd forgotten about.

Pretty much says it all, eh?

And now to see if the copyright police come a knocking at my door. Or browser.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MATHISC4464 11/22/2011 9:06AM

    I agree some improvements could be made hopefully someone will see this and make some changes!

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MICHIGANLORI 11/22/2011 8:00AM

    I love Opus!!! emoticon

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YOITLE 11/22/2011 6:05AM

    I agree that SP is not the most intuitive site I use frequently. Of course I'm not the most observant person either, so I'm still discovering tabs on things that I've been using for 7 weeks. I feel like I have DUH! printed on my forehead sometimes. On the other hand, it's free, baby, and that counts for a lot with me. I can't afford WW, Jenny Craig, etc plus I don't live in the USA, so I end run navigate around, discover new things as I wander and have lots of online companions on the journey.

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    Am looking forward to seeing you stay focused and reach your weight loss and fitness goals. All the best - Mark...

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Amazing what a difference a week can make

Monday, November 14, 2011

And not necessarily in a good sense. That first blog post, at the six week mark, was done just after going to the gym, in an optimistic mood. 8 days later, I haven't made it back, although intending to on two different occasions, defeated by sheer laziness. I bought a new toy, and used it three days in a row, but not for the last four, even as it was available to me, a mere few yards away, a heck of a lot closer than that pesky gym, and requiring far less effort on my part. But there it lay, unused.

It's not that there's been a weight gain slowing me down, depressing me in the short term. Any change on teh scale was well within normal fluctuations, or my understanding of it. The 5-6 lb reduction I claimed last week is still intact, as I've been careful to make sure any such decrease is real before declaring it so. No, instead, the week was lost to laziness, being uninclined to actually do exercise.

I suppose, then, it's a good sign that despite going out on Friday and Saturday both, and letting Little Caesar cook for me Sunday, that that scale hasn't moved significantly. But attitude wise, I'm in a far less optimistic place than I was last weekend, and I'm not entirely sure why that is. In one way, it's recognizable as the indifference that's defeated prior attempts to lose weight, which might be a bad sign, as there's no external driver of such indifference (ie too busy to make it to the gym).

Throwing the thoughts out into a public space, not for the pity or the scolding that it may generate, but just to have it out there. Force myself to think, I guess.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEYINMADTOWN 11/17/2011 3:38PM

    We all have off weeks...its part of being human. The key is not to let it extend further...start with a 10 min walk if you need to...Hang in there!

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MERISSAJOAN 11/15/2011 11:59AM

    Good luck. I have the ups and downs too. Just getting back to running after flaking out for a little over a full week. I mean--no exercise at all.
I feel amazing to have started back though. I hope you have that feeling again soon too.

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YOITLE 11/15/2011 1:08AM

    Maybe the gym isn't your thing? Lots of the fitness articles on SP emphasize finding the kind of cardio activity that floats your boat. Have you played any organized sports in the past? Just walking with your favorite music on the ear buds may be a way to ease into it. Rather than an all-or-nothing situation, maybe try to find some opportunities to try something new. I have a real hate-hate relationship with the elliptical trainer at the gym, but in order to shake up my fitness routine and get the fat % headed to a lower number, I walk on the treadmill at a pretty sedate pace for 10 minutes, then hit Mr. Miserable Elliptical for 20, and then 15 minutes back on the treadmill with suitable music for each portion. Then I lift weights with all the senior citizen weight lifters. I'm the youngest one there some days by about a decade and a half......I'm going to take a one-time only Pilates workshop next weekend just to find out what it is all about. Don't know if I'll try to pursue that, but at least it will be an experience.
What I'm trying to say is, think outside your fitness frame of reference cardio is rhythmic, elevated heart rate and sustained for at least 10 minutes - that covers a lot of things.

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There is a difference this time around.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

I've gone on mini exercise binges before, with the thought of dropping weight. Usually, there's a specific incident that triggers such attempts, such as getting on the scale and seeing an increment that hadn't appeared before, or just *feeling* fat. (To explain that last thought, you know how sometimes, you know a couple extra pounds have crept up on you, but it doesn't feel like it, and then one day you wake up, and you feel 'em?)

Back when I was a grad student, it manifested itself in extra visits to the gym, or trips down to the fitness room in my apartment building's basement. Unfortunately, as I was starting from a base of negligible visits to either, it didn't really add to to much more than a hill of non-magical beans. Also working against any attempt to lose weight was the fact that for most of that time, I had a girlfriend who could cook well.

But that's a tale from years ago. More recently, at the start of 2010, I had an extended period (6 weeks or so), when I actually went to the gym regularly, two to three times a week, playing basketball on many of those occasions, as I figured out when a game would usually be occurring, and made a point of leaving work to get to them gym when others were playing. The effort worked, I lost approximately 15 pounds, going from 202-ish to 187-something at best. But then work caught up. Due to managerial errors, the workload on my plate in the February/March 2010 timeframe was overwhelming (more so that usual around deadline time), and the trips to the gym didn't just decrease, they ceased. And when work eased, they didn't resume.

Between March 2010 and October 2011, I, frankly, wasted the gym membership fees I was paying every month, maybe averaging a trip per month, certainly less than two. Some of that was the summer sessions of ultimate frisbee and softball. Some of that was just laziness. Actually, who am I kidding, most of that was laziness. In 2011, I let an online game suck up free time that might have otherwise been spent exercising, not that I'm entirely sure that without that, I would have gone to the gym.

All of that is prelude to what happened in September 2011. Once again, I started waking up just feeling fat. That was the case before I wandered down to Atlanta for a metal festival, and balanced a bunch of eating and drinking with walking. On one of those walks (to get food), I mentioned to a friend, who had occasionally chronicled her wight loss, that I was feeling obese, and she mentioned this site.

A couple of weeks later, I stepped on the scale, and it read 205.4 lbs. Unlike previous episodes, rather than triggering a rush to the gym, it led to stopping in on this site, and signing up. And rather than trying to lose lbs by exercising, I started watching what I ate, really for the first time ever.

It's 6 weeks later (exactly). I just glanced at the scale again. It read 195.0. Granted, it's an illusion, as I haven't had dinner yet, and I just got back from the gym, only the second time in these 6 weeks that I've been there. But I've been paying attention to food details, letting some of details influence some of my meal choices, and giving a crap about what I'm eating, rather than just shoving it down my piehole (mmmm, pie), and, obviously, it's making some semblance of a difference.

Will it continue? Hell if I know. But I'd like to think that having dropped 5-6 pounds in 6 weeks (legitimate reduction) without exercise being a significant component, I'd be able to lose 5 more adding that to the mix. And, I've grabbed the wii fit (balance board/game), in an effort to try a technological approach. I really don't know if it will work, but it seems that I'm starting out on a more balanced path this time. And maybe that will be the key.

At the end of 2012, assuming we get there, I would like to weigh 180 lbs, pretty much the goal I stated when I joined my gym in August, 2009, and have made absolutely no progress towards...until these past six weeks.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SARBAH77 11/8/2011 8:41AM


I'm a quiet sparkpeople advocate, but advocate none-the-less!

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    Love the blog....Here's to meeting our goals!

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YOITLE 11/7/2011 12:32AM

    You are a real charmer, self-effacing and funny. Be kind to yourself and take it slow and steady.

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MIDDLTEACH 11/6/2011 9:14PM

    What a great sense of humor you have- status just read "thick as a brick." It is scary when the scale keeps creeping up and up- "Hey, wait a minute. Don't you see who's standing up here?" My tipping point was 194lb. and the finger prick test showing up pre-diabetic. That was mid July. I still don't exercise at the gym- although I do pay for it. emoticon
Over the 11 years I've been a member there, I put on ~20 lbs.- and several of those years was with a trainer! (One thing a trainer said still sticks with me: 70% of what we lose happens at the table, not the gym!) From the get-go with SparkPeople, I've tracked everything that went into my mouth and REALLY tried to stay within my generous 1200-1500 calorie range limits (in all 4 basic areas: calories, carbs, fats, and proteins). It works better than I could have imagined. Keep giving yourself positive self-talk. When you stumble, pick yourself up and keep going. If you need a support friend, I'm here for you.

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