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The Last Week of 2011... refocusing.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I've decided to take this whole week to re-evaluate where I have been, and where I would like to go in the new year.
My copy of The Spark came last week. I just finished reading chapter 2 last night. A good read! Focus is an appropriate topic for me to ponder this week.
I have been "feeling" rather overwhelmed the past month. To cope, I've been floating along, doing just the bare minimum to get by. This is not wise. I know I have to have specific goals for each day. If I float through the day, I lose the day... all of it's beauty, it's wisdom, it's message!
I'm babystepping with The Spark. I am going to pare down to the best basics for where I am right now, and make sure I am building a really solid foundation. One step/streak built upon another will allow me to cover the distance I need to reach my goals in a timely and lasting fashion.
I'm reducing my Spark Teams, for the time being, to those which will touch my core being. The Spark(book) Team will be my guide to developing the best route for me to take on my journey to HEALTHY.
My Spark Class will keep me acountable and help me stay current with those who started their Spark Journey when I did. My Living with Rheumatoid team helps me to know others are Sparking with their RA issues. Catholic Critters will help me stay grounded in my spirit. Walk Away The Pounds will help me get a strong physical foundation to build on. Four cornerstones. I'll add the other wonderful teams back... as I would add another brick to my foundation to make it stronger.
ALL of the teams encourage me to reach my goals. I want to be a worthy contributer to each one, and not spread myself too thin in the beginning. Something very easy to do, at first! So many wonderful things to be involved in!
I am going to redefine my goals, cutting them back to basics, too. So that I can establish strong streaks that will last.
It is going to be a SPARKling New Year! Let the reformation begin!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MARVEEME 12/26/2011 10:16PM


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PSCHEP 12/26/2011 8:29PM

    Sending prayers your way for a successful 2012!

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YOITLE 12/26/2011 7:56PM

    You sound very clear-headed. That's the best way to honestly evaluate yourself, and make adjustments to your plan for your journey. I wish you a safe and healthy 2012. emoticon

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AFRESHSTART2 12/26/2011 5:02PM

    emoticonplan. I too have decided to use this week to re-evaluate and make necessary changes that will give me more positive results. Here's wishing you a successful 2012!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Sparking is like riding a bike... once you get the hang of it, you'll always have the ability to do

Sunday, December 18, 2011

When you are a kid, you learn to ride a bicycle(hopefully!) and find a whole new world opens up to you. You find freedom on two wheels... to get you where you want to go, as fast as you can peddle and have a direction to go in. How pretty the bike is isn’t as important as that it IS a bike!
The skill of riding doesn't just occur overnight. Often you start out with "Training Wheels" to help you learn balance. You will sort of get the feel for how riding a bike is supposed to be. Gain some confidence... You build a good foundation so that you will be able to ride well when the TW's come off. It can take hours, days, or weeks to prepare yourself for your solo journey. Riding a bike requires energy. Some real effort on your part. You have to WANT to ride the bike no matter what!
The day finally comes to take off the TW's. You wobble. You may even fall. But when you fall, you do not give up! You get right back on the bike, find your balance and peddle off again. There are days when you ride better than others. It ebbs and flows, as life does. But you never lose the actual ability to ride, if you developed your skills well to begin with.
At some point you may put away the bike, get your driver's license, and only ride the bike occasionally. Maybe even get rid of the bike entirely. But you know in you heart you can always ride again if you need to.
I have peddled a DIET bike off and on the last 20 years of my life. Until I found SP, the only program that worked for me was Weight Watchers. WW was a shiny, expensive bike that I enjoyed. I had TW’s of tracking, accountability, support from others, and knowledge. WW taught me it isn't about DIET, it is about lifestyle changes and good nutrition. I also came to understand becoming healthy is a life long commitment. A journey that doesn't end until your life on this earth is done. I learned that when I choose to go solo and not eat wisely or exercise, the pounds come back. Pretty simple formula.
I put away my WW “bike” because of economic reasons. That didn’t mean I couldn’t ride anymore… I just had to adapt to a new type of bike(SP) and start peddling again. SP is showing me I still have the skills I need to reach my goal weight. The balance is coming back. I fall a bit, but I get right back into the Spark of things. It’s ok to back-peddle , as long as I begin to go forward again after regaining my strength. I have physical challenges now that may mean I need to permanently use the “training wheels” for support. But I am still riding! I still have a direction to go in. The ride to the destination is more important for me now than the end point… although the destination is in sight.
SP gives me the same solid frame as WW to ride on, but I can work on it myself… tailor my bike to MY needs. I may not be peddling in as high a style, but I’m getting to where I want to be none the less!
In fact, I LIKE having training wheels! It means I am on solid ground even when I may not “feel” like it! WOOHOO!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LJCANNON 12/22/2011 7:01PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
emoticonNo matter who we are or what our Challenges are, there IS a Bicycle built just for us. I love that you mentioned that we may always need the 'Training Wheels' and there is nothing wrong with that!!
emoticonGreat Blog!!

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MARVEEME 12/22/2011 6:51PM

They DO make tricycles with 26" wheels.
I concur, WW gave me the tools and showed me how to use them, and the minute I put them away in the toolbox, the momentum cycle started breaking down. The more I moved forward without needed maintenance, the further backward I slid.
The water bottle is once again my companion, and my energy level has SOARED. I don't even require my previous 8-9 hours of sleep per night anymore, giving me an extra hour of LIVING to do every day.

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SUNNYAUTUMN812 12/22/2011 8:54AM

    Well said! I'm loving it here so far. emoticon

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_LINDA 12/19/2011 2:32PM

    Well said Leah!! Yes, Sparks works, but only if used as intended. All too often, as soon as the weight is gone, so are the people. Then months or years later, they come back, having to once again, to start over and lose the weight they regained. They are not quite getting the concept that you are in the healthy eating, getting exercise for life business. Sparks is a great community for checks and balances to keep you on track. I never intend to stop using, not only for myself, but to encourage the wonderful friends I have met along the way.
Spark on!
emoticon emoticon

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YOITLE 12/19/2011 8:14AM

    Very well put. I believe that I will reach my goal fitness level. However I have read any number of blogs from people who did reach their goal and then fell off the bike big time, so I'm getting myself mentally prepared to deal with a lifetime commitment to health and fitness of the SP bike. emoticon

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SERENEMOM71 12/18/2011 11:05PM

  Good blog and analogy! We are here to support each other!

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Getting priorities set...any suggestions?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Somehow I have to get a routine set in place that allows me to get everything in I want to do each day...
I have lived by a schedule/routine my whole life. That is why I have a successful business, and a pretty good day each day... a really good life all the way around. It is why I will succeed at getting the weight off. The routine of WW helped bring it all together 3 years ago, and I noticed the difference when I quit going to meetings,,, my weight crept up 14 pounds. So SP is a great gift from God to put me back where I need to be in the area of taking care of my body. I have all of the tools I learned to use at WW, AND more! For FREE! LOL!
That said, SP can take a lot of your time on the PC! LOL! A good thing, but time gets away and I am left with not enough time...LOL! My choice, BTW!
SO, I have to choose which SP Teams are vital to every day, which ones I can check in with once a week. Do I HAVE to strive to fill in ALL of the sparkpoints items each day? Does it matter how fast I move up in the levels?
The timer is my friend, as FLYlady says... But I am a Sidetracked Home Executive(SHE) who just LOVES to play on the PC! I have a timer in about every room... I MUST USE IT(but not today ;) )!!!

I think the non negotiables are:
My Spark Class team, tracking fitness & nutrition(can use phone APP during the day), my WATP team, my RA team.
Because I have a dayplanner that I "live" by, I am going to add the above mentioned items to the "list" for each day. When checked, I have permission to move to something else, and I can know I have hit the essential SP for the day. When I have the extra time I can add a blog for the day.

As I evolve and progress, my SP interaction will adapt and evolve right along with me.
SP IS important for my health all the way around. I know this.



  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BELLALUCIA 12/5/2011 3:54PM

    Five hundred sparkpoints gets u a trophy each month, so don't rush.

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SERENEMOM71 12/4/2011 1:02PM

  You are one organized woman! I do understand the difficulties of deciding how much time to spend on each and every task that we have to do every day. I am glad to hear that Living with RA is a priority as well as exercise and nutrition. We are adding a forum that will deal with nutrition and exercise - I hope that you will let us know what you think as well as give suggestions! Have a great week!

emoticon emoticonAmy, co-leader of Living with RA

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YOITLE 12/4/2011 5:44AM

    I hear you on the juggling of time, commitments and commitment to your own health and fitness journey. SP will be here, we'll be happy to see you when we see you. It will change as all things do, and different parts of SP will become more useful. It's all good.

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December 1, 2011

Thursday, December 01, 2011

A new month! A new opportunity to learn and grow!
Yes, I was hoping my weight would be 204.0 this morning. 206.8 is nothing to be ashamed of... after beginning at 214.0. I think this may be closer to an accurate body weight. I was up and down so much this past month! I am only going to use my weight on the first of each month as my guide, for the time being. I have very swollen ankles today, so there is extra fluid in my body right there.
I am going to have to make laps in the hallway to get my 7500 steps in tonight. I can do it... not too far off right now.
My nutrition report for today was balanced. I was in my range in everything but protein. I was under by 1 gram. That is not bad... I was most proud of my lowered sodium. Especially when I got a good look at my ankles!
I have "worked" my arms today and stretched overall. That is enough for today. I'm still hurting. Should be able to walk in am. Going to give it a good try, anyway! I LIKE how moving makes me feel! Perhaps some of my fluid problem today was from lack of moving enough... I stood almost in one spot ALL day. I am tired. Off to bed!
I'm off to a good start for December. emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DOXIELADY52 12/2/2011 11:58AM

  It could very well be water retention. I noticed that when ever they put me on jobs at work where I have to stand for hours instead of moving around I can actually gain a pound even though I'm not eating anything different.

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MISSLISA1973 12/2/2011 12:08AM

    Good job! You are going to make this a really great December!

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YOITLE 12/1/2011 9:53PM

    I get that fluid build up in my ankles, too, especially in the summer. I huddle in the living room in front of the computer while the air conditioner works overtime, and my ankles swell up like an elephant's. It looks like you are minding your health and taking appropriate small steps in the right direction. emoticon

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Sparking two full months now... plans for December.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

These past two months have passed quickly. The whole year has passed quickly!
The sense of time passing so fast means I am not taking the time to enjoy my journey as I should be. I have been "striving" more than just "Being". This is something I tend to do. I get excited, motivated and inspired. All good things to be! I want to do it all... make the most of what I have learned! At the same time, I KNOW I am in this for the long haul, and I do not need to keep up the pace I start out with. BALANCE!!!!
Ah, Balance! December's main focus... BALANCE.
In review, I have lost weight. I was 214 to start. I was 204. Then I went up, down, up, now down. In the morning I will weigh, and it will be a new starting point. The Wii Body Test is a tool to help me establish the habit of not allowing myself to let the weight creep back up.
I have exercised some way, every day, for the month of November! I have worn my pedometer every day! I have averaged over 6000 steps every day! WOOHOO! I will kick this number up to 7500 each day for December.
I have gained a greater understanding of nutrition, and how my body handles food in the past two months. I cannot eat everything I want, even in moderation. Some foods are just not good for me, even if they are ok for me to eat them... they are not the BEST choice. I want during December to focus on getting the most nutrition from my food choices. Get the sodium down. Have a more consistent nutrition report at the end of each day. Make the calories count, and enjoy what I eat. Guess this means eating "mindfully" and wisely!
I want to share my victories with my Spark friends, and be honest when I make mistakes... using the mistakes as a springboard to change and improvement.
My journey really is about progress, not perfection! It is a journey towards wholeness in every area of my life.
Now that I have my "feet wet" Sparking, I am going to take it one day at a time. I know I will win the race! It's ok to be slow and steady. I am not in a competition... I going towards COMPLETION... enjoying every step along the way!
Come on December!! I'm ready!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSLISA1973 12/1/2011 5:24AM

    Great attitude! Keep up the great work!

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