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Be Grateful . . .

Monday, May 23, 2011

Good Monday Sparkfam! Its a beautiful day here in Chicago with threats of storms & cooler weather but I am thankful for this moment right now. There is so much going on right now with the flooding, tornadoes in the midwest. Also with the wars going across the ocean, people are hurting, feeling abandoned & alone. We can help them by donating to the American Red Cross, we can donate our time to local area Red Cross and be a blessing to others. I am feeling the pain of others but I am also grateful for the many blessings I have in my life & I ask you also to be grateful as well.

Me, I'm grateful hubby, sons & daughter, sil & grandson, healthier, my home my doggie Shadow, my family & friends, my sparkfamily & my job. I go up & down some times like other people but I prefer to be up.

God bless & what are you grateful for today?!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FABB444 5/31/2011 12:45AM

    I am grateful for my family and friends and finally waking up and doing something about my health! It's time to start living my life (our lives)!! emoticon

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CIERAPOET 5/25/2011 6:41PM

    Amen Sister. We do have to be grateful and let Him Know we are. I am so thankful for I Trust Him no matter what it looks like. WE ARE HIS. He TAKES CARE of HIS. You are such a blessing DEE.
Thanks for sharing and caring at all times.
Have a Great Wednesday!

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LILSHINE 5/24/2011 1:45PM

    The list I can create can go on and on, I try to focus on gratefulness as much as I possibly can. So much nicer looking at life from that point of view! Thanks for reminding us we have so much to be greateful for, even the little things like replying to someones blog

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KABOOPER 5/24/2011 12:22PM

    Awesome post! emoticon
I am grateful for my family, their health. I am gratful I was able to donate time and food to the church this week. I am grateful to all the men and women who give their time and sometimes their own lives to give me all I have.
Praise God.

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GODZDESIGN95 5/24/2011 10:03AM

    Girl you said a mouth full. I am gateful just to be alive in these times, For my faith family and friends. Most of all the grace of God and his son Jesus!

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NISSANGIRL 5/24/2011 8:50AM

    Great blog! we all should be very grateful and how much better we have it , there is a lot of tragedy going on and it's very sad. I am grateful for my health and my friends and family and the life I have. Have a Great day Dee! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Ain't No Mountain High Enough

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Good Sunday Sparkfam!! Its a beautiful day here in Chicago & I am in the house with visitors to boot. I hope & pray that your weekend was filled with some fitness or house cleaning. . . .Remainder that ain't no mountain high enough to keep us from our dreams & goals. There may be road blocks & you might have to take the long route but it will be worth it.

God bless & enjoy everyday!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GODZDESIGN95 5/24/2011 10:05AM

    We old schoolers remember whose songs! emoticon

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NISSANGIRL 5/23/2011 4:57AM

    It was Great On Saturday and then cold and overcast Sunday, but I got the lawn mowed and worked in the garden and Took casey for walks , so It was a great weekend! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 5/22/2011 8:31PM

    Right - O!!! ....if any mountain looms in front of me..I'll bring it down! All mountains fall down at the name of Jesus!! All I have to do is ask Abba! emoticon

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TWEETIBEAR 5/22/2011 5:30PM

    mid-state here (Decatur), and it's been great all day, but the clouds are coming in. Sunshine in the heart, though! Loved your blog post!

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GOGETUMX2 5/22/2011 4:23PM

    It's beautiful here in Tx, too.

Thank you for your words of encouragement. We are doing this. Together:)

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8 Cold, Hard Truths About Exercise

Friday, May 20, 2011

TGIF Sparkfam!! This is a beautiful that the Lord has made, rejoice & be glad!!! I love this article so much I wanted to share it with you guys. Not my words but my sentiments exactly.

We all have our own ideas about exercise: what "counts" as a workout, how much we need to do, and how it benefits us. But some of those ideas are flat our wrong (or simply misguided). If you're exercising and not seeing the results you had hoped for, it could be that you're missing out on these eight truths about exercise. Now they may be hard to hear, but trust that I'm sharing them with you for good reasons. Understanding these realities will only make the habit of exercise easier for you—and help you get even better results from your efforts.

8 Cold, Hard Truths about Exercise

Working out will always feel hard.
Exercise is work. It elevates your heart rate, makes you somewhat breathless, and causes your muscles to burn. It's tiring—sometimes exhausting. Yes, exercise does get easier with time, but it will never be "easy." If it were easy, it wouldn’t be exercise. You see, beyond just getting your body moving (which is great but will only get you so far), exercise has to challenge you. You have to work past your comfort zone in order to train your heart, lungs, and muscles to get stronger and fitter. Over time, yes it will become easier to walk at the 3 mph pace you started, but once that becomes easy, it's time to walk faster, which brings me to another cold, hard truth: You have to work harder as you get fitter. Think of it exercise as a challenge to continuously improve on what you just accomplished.

Not every movement or activity counts as exercise.
Let me preface this one by saying that any body movement is good for you. Whether you're fidgeting at your desk, walking across the office to talk to a co-worker, taking a single flight of stairs instead of the elevator, or playing Wii tennis—all movement is good, especially when you're just starting out. But here's the real truth: Not all movement is "exercise." The two are very, very different. For any activity to count as true exercise, it has to meet certain parameters, like lasting at least 10 continuous minutes (so those stairs you took or that walk from your car to the store doesn't count as a workout), it has to elevate your heart rate to an aerobic level (that "hard" feeling I mentioned above), and more. If you count all of these "activities" or body movements you do each day as workouts, then you are only shortchanging yourself—and you could be hurting your weight loss efforts.

One workout may not undo a sedentary lifestyle.
Working out really matters for your health and longevity, but more research these days is telling us that simply exercising—whether 10, 30, or even 60+ minutes a day—may not be enough to offset the effects of an otherwise sedentary lifestyle. Just because you exercise doesn't mean it's OK to be a couch potato the other 23 hours of the day. Sitting, driving, working from a computer, sleeping—all of these "inactivities" make up the bulk of many people's days, and the longer you sit still, the worse the effects can be on your health. I talked a little about "activity" vs. exercise above. This is where those extra non-workout activities DO matter. They may not be true workouts, but they do have benefits. More movement is good—and that is how you achieve the benefits of an active lifestyle.

You're not burning as many calories as you think.
"Burn up to 800 calories an hour!" How often do you see phrases like that advertised on workout DVDs, group classes, and other fitness products? The truth is, most of these numbers are seriously inflated, and the average person won't burn a fraction of that claim. This is the case for treadmills, stationary bikes and other cardio machines, too. Those "calorie burn" screens can be off by 30% or more. SparkPeople tries to be a little more conservative with the numbers we use on our Fitness Tracker, but just remember that all calculators/trackers are estimates. When it comes to weight loss, you're better off with a conservative approach to calorie burn. Assume you're actually burning fewer calories than a tracker or machine says you are. A better way to gauge what you're really burning is by wearing your own heart rate monitor. While a general fitness tracker would tell me that an hour of Spinning burned some 600+ calories, my HRM (using my gender, weight, and actual heart rate during the workout) showed closer to 400. That's a big difference that could really affect one's weight loss.

It won't allow you to eat whatever you want.
A walk around the block doesn't earn you a brownie. That yoga class doesn’t mean it's OK to indulge in an ice cream Sunday this weekend. How often do you "reward" yourself for working out by undoing most of your efforts with one or more dietary splurges? Remember, exercise really doesn't burn as many calories as people assume it does, so a single workout—even a rigorous one—won't come close to offsetting just ONE big splurge. Yet I know many people who justify their food choices by saying "I worked out today." If weight loss is your goal, you have to keep these splurges in check; otherwise, you'll be fighting a losing battle and never really get ahead in the calorie equation.

Exercise alone won't change your body.
This is probably one of the biggest misconceptions I see. Most people believe that simply by exercising more, harder, or with some "magical" combination (think "muscle confusion"), they'll get rock hard abs, chiseled arms, and toned legs. WRONG. Exercise will not change your body much at all unless you are also cutting calories. To really change your physique, you have to do both: watch your diet, consumer fewer calories than you burn, and exercise with a combination of cardio and strength training. Same goes for dieting. Cutting calories will result in some weight loss, but your body will not necessarily look more cut or toned if exercise isn't also part of your plan.

You have to do it forever.
A lot of people don't like to exercise, but they manage to stick with it in order to lose weight. Once they reach that goal, it becomes easier to slack off and then lose the habit entirely. But whether your goal is to lose weight, look better, improve your health, or just plain feel good, you're only going to reach—and maintain—that result by continuing to exercise after you reach that goal. The benefits of exercise are quickly lost, too. You actually lose your strength and endurance far faster than it took to build up (unfair, right?). You can lose muscle strength in just a couple weeks off from pumping iron, and cardiovascular endurance? It starts diminishing when you rest just 2 days! This is why it's important to find a routine that you enjoy and can stick with for the long haul.

Routine is the exercise enemy.
I love routine as much as the next person, but the gym is not the place for it. For the best results, you have to change up your workouts often. This is good because it can help prevent boredom so you'll stick with it, but also prevent plateaus in your progress. For creatures of habit, or exercisers who lack creativity, it can be a real challenge. There are tons of ways you can mix up your workouts without becoming a gym rat or earning a personal training certification. The important thing is that you do it. Don't let your workouts become stale, and don't let your muscles get too conditioned to doing the same old thing for months on end. That's why lifelong exercisers are always reaching for new goals and trying new things. Not only is it fun, but it challenges their bodies in new ways so they always stay fit—and have fun doing it.

There you have it. Sometimes the facts are hard to hear, but ultimately, the truth can be liberating—and help you really become your best in the gym and in life.

by Nicole Nichols

God bless & lets get moving!!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CIERAPOET 5/21/2011 5:49PM

    Thanks for sharing this article. Makes a lot of sense. These are some great points. I'm using them to stay motivated. I can do it! You can too!
Have a Great Weekend!!!
Deb emoticon

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NISSANGIRL 5/21/2011 6:25AM

    Thanks 4 posting these great tips! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BCARSON11 5/20/2011 9:19PM

    Great article. Thanks for sharing!

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KKLENNERT809 5/20/2011 8:12PM

    You have got the right ideas, and thanks for sharing so we all remember them. Have a great weekend!

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JGAL8123 5/20/2011 5:04PM

    Excellent! Thanks for sharing and hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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KJMAZ2011 5/20/2011 4:28PM

    Great reminder! Thanks for posting :-)

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LADYJANE35 5/20/2011 4:17PM

    Wonderful information! Thanks so much!

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MEATBALL44 5/20/2011 4:01PM

    Good Stuff...Thanx..!

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Two Words . . . . .

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Jury Duty. . . .Good Wednesday Sparkfam! Today, I had jury duty. They always seem to get me. I have served twice & been accosted by the judicial system like every 2 years since I became legible for jury duty. I mean, I know our system is built on this but if only . . .they could provide coffee & snacks & then pay you more than the $17.20 especially when "I" had to drive over 40miles to get there. Then we had a 2 hour lunch break only to come back for an hour & a half to be told we could leave. Why couldn't we left when we had lunch? Well its over & I can go back to my life. Being a juror is such a huge responsibility. You have to listen & not zone out & be very alert. Some times I daydream when people are talking to me. Some time I daydream while I am texting or writing blogs so I normally have to delete what I have & start again. I start typing my random thoughts, kinda like now.

Today I did over 8000+ steps walking from parking lot to court house & back. Got lost going to lunch but I'm so used to the city & surrounding suburbs. Mcdonalds every 5 blocks not like where I was today I drove 10mins before running into one. Now its on to step aerobics burning almost 800 calories.

God bless & enjoy everyday!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NISSANGIRL 5/19/2011 7:06AM

    Sounds like you made the best out of a sticky situation Dee, They could at least pay more than what they are considering how much gas has gone up. Great job on your workouts as well girl! you are amazing! Have a Great day! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MARAHAB 5/18/2011 10:54PM

    Wow! I've never gotten to serve on jury duty!

Great job on getting in your exercise. You'll get to your goal in no time.

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MYBULLDOGS 5/18/2011 8:01PM


i get called for jury duty every year. my case was a person caught driving without a license and no registration on the vehicle. how could you take that case to a jury. da either you have a license or you don't. a pure waste of tax dollars.

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Chase Away Monday Blues. . .

Monday, May 16, 2011

Happy Monday Sparkfam! It was a rainy & cold weekend so I just laid around. Went to church & pastor preached on forgiveness of yourself & do you believe you've been forgiven? Somewhat sorta how we are on Spark. We have a day where we indulge & then can't go on or forgive ourselves. Now we've been here long to know we have to stop ourselves for binge eating or stress related eating. We have to stop making excuses, “Excuses are monuments of nothingness. They build bridges to nowhere. Those who use these tools of incompetence, seldom become anything but nothing at all.” Author unknown I believe we know what we did & forgive yourself & onward & upward. Amen.

Then stopped by a super walmart & spent more than the $20 I had allotted for Shadow's dog food. I got a pineapple, mango, bananas & kiwi. I spent more but its worth it in the long run. Got home made grits, eggs, toast, sausage & then prepared chicken thighs. Can I just say that I cooked them for almost 2+hours & added turkey broth & butter & that it was so good, I had to eat a whole piece + some. I know its called being a pig but it was so moist & delicious I am actually thinking of it as I sit here. I had yogurt & a nature valley fruit bar for lunch. I did have a few chips but closed the bag because I am seeing results & want to continue & not self sabotage myself.

So this morning I did yoga as I still tired from watching the Bulls vs Heat last night & what a good game played by both teams!! I am proud of the Bulls as I hoped they would win I knew it had to be team work played last night. They played really well & LeBron & team played well too. Tonight I am planning on weights & tae bo to burn some fat & build some muscle.

What are you doing today fitness wise to reach your goals?

God bless Sparkfam!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSPROVERBS31 5/18/2011 11:57AM

    Hey Dee the Bulls fan!!!!

Love reading your blogs.

Well, let's see, I have a doctor's appointment today, so I think I'll park a little further and also do some walking somewhere else too! Hey, maybe I'll go to Costco, I have some things to pick up and it's big enough to get some good walking in while pushing a heavy basket!

TaeBo will be in my future though!

Enjoy your day!

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VISUALLYRICS 5/17/2011 8:37AM

    Girlfriend, I LOVE how you celebrate food! LOL!!! cracks me up! I'm the same way though. As long as we are celebrating mindfully, Why not, I ask? Lol!! emoticon

love ya!! ~ Laura

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NISSANGIRL 5/17/2011 6:59AM

    Well once again you managed to get my taste buds going first thing in the morning Dee! sounds like you had a great weekend and the food sounds amazing! I also allot myself on how much I am going to spend @ the store and then I usually go over that as well! Hope you have a great day Dee! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JGAL8123 5/16/2011 6:01PM

    My hubby and I were flipping back and forth between the Bulls game and Celebrity Apprentice last night...I kept asking to change it back to the game - love the energy D Rose and team are bringing to the court!

Got my workout in at lunch today: Group Active class at the gym (1/2 hour step, 1/2 strength training). Lunchtime workouts make me soooo hungry though - I'm drooling now thinking about your chicken thighs!

Hope you have a good workout tonight!


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