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entry number four

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hi today I overslept and woke up around noon. I haven't gone to work out yet, but I want to wait until my parents get back from their workout to plan the rest of the day. I was sleeping when they left, so I don't know what time they will be back. In the meantime, I thought that I would write a blog entry.

Today I want to write about a new philosophy that has been in the back of my mind for a little while. The idea is this - more is not better, it is just more, sometimes less is better. I tend to be a collector and want to get everything at once. The problem with that is that I never do anything with the things that I have. I used to equate having more things with being better, sort of, the only problem was that I was never happy with what I had. I always need more, and I never know when I have enough. Maybe if I have less stuff, but actually use the stuff that I have I can be happy.

The first component that I am trying to implement of my new philosophy is: simplify, simplify, simplify. What use are 100 books if I am never going read any of them? It is better to have 2-3 good books, which I will read than a thousand that I will not use. Another practical example of this is spark teams. When I first joined the site I joined a bunch of teams, any team that sounded slightly interesting to me I joined. I realized that the problem with being on so many teams is that I can't keep up with all of them. I can't have a meaningful relationship/experience with all of my teams.

The second component of my new philosophy is to prioritize what is really important. If I am going in a thousand directions at once, I will never get anywhere that I want to go. I have a hard time doing this. To continue my teams example, I realized that I can only be in a few teams with topics that are important to me in order to get the most benefit from being on a team and get the most out of it. I am having a hard time narrowing down the teams to just 5-6, it is really hard for me to decide anything. I think that 5-6 is a decent number to follow, but I am stuck at 11 teams and can't decide which ones I want the most.

I think that having less choices is probably better for me, when I have too many choices I get overwhelmed and don't make any choice. By having less choices i feel as though I can make better, more informed choices.

This new way of thinking is very hard for me. I am struggling with paring down my things and prioritizing what is important and what is not. Even though it is hard, I believe that it is important if I want to reach any of my goals. I need to focus on what is really important to me, and not let my desires for more more more distract me from what I really want.

This philosophy is very counter to the popular culture of today, which is buy more, have more and you will be happy. I want my happiness to come from within, not from what I have, but from what I do with what I have.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1STATEOFDENIAL 7/23/2012 4:45PM

    Simplification is a good thing, as the less you have the more you can spend time with and on yourself. Remember you get 1 point for each team huddle up to 5 per day. So 5-6 teams is a great number. Also, know that you don't have to be a huge presence on a team to be a part of it. If you visit a team only a few times a week you're still a member. The leaders are the people who need to be there more often, and even then many leaders still don't spend all of their time focused on their teams. Having 11 teams for now is just fine. Over the next few days or weeks see which ones you are most active on. Some teams have almost no activity for weeks and if one of yours has little activity you can leave that team or move it to the end of the list and only check in every other week. You will find a home at some teams and those will be the ones you know to keep.

As for having a lot of items around the house, if you don't touch something for 6 months put it in a box and put it out of sight. If 6 months later you've forgotten what's in the box, donate it or sell it. Here's a hint for books: get a library card. There are tens of thousands of books you can read FOR FREE that won't clutter up your house! Many librarys now have dvds you can rent for free or for a small cost so no need to have hundreds of dvds you never watch. There are many ways to simplify your life, but it takes some commitment to de-clutter. And as you said, some people only feel worth based on their possessions. If you feel that way sometimes, it's important to work on your self worth and learn to love who you are, not love your possessions. Next time you want to buy something ask yourself if it is important enough to forgo the use of that money elsewhere. Will you still want to have that item in a week? A month? How will that item make your life happier and more fulfilled? If you were to put that money in the bank instead of buying that item, what could you save up for that's more important? Or could you use that money to help someone else by donating to a charity. Knowing you've done something to help others in need should help you feel better than a bunch of unused gizmos!

If you haven't yet, you may want to check out this SP quiz:

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MIDNIGHTER1 7/23/2012 2:48AM

    I had to reduce my teams also.The problem was initially i did not pick any of my teams. I read a blog and saw something I thought was interesting and sparked my interest. I left a few teams and reduced it to 5,looking to simplify that to 4. good luck in simplifying your life, less is more.Sometimes having too many choices is overwhelming.

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RECREATING_ME 7/22/2012 10:54PM

    I really like this post! You are spot-on about how too many choices can be overwhelming. It can lead to "paralysis by analysis" while you are trying to figure out the best option. Or, as in the case with food, you want to try some of all of it -- like at a buffet or at a get-together where folks bring a dish to pass (yes, this is something I am very familiar with!)

Cutting down on what you have so that it is just the essentials really has a great effect on clearing the mind and sharpening the focus. Definitely keep at it, because you have the right idea!


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entry number three

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Overall today was a good day. This morning I went to the farmer's market with my mother. We got a lot of fresh Veggies. I went to the gym today and biked seven miles in 37 min! that is the farthest I have gone yet. I am on track to do the Peninsula State Park trail in Door Co next week. Oh and I found out that the trail is around 10 miles, not 7.

Today would have been my grandfather's birthday. My grandfather passed away in March of this year, which was very hard for me and my grandmother. My Grandfather was the first person that I know that died. My grandmother planned a party for today to celebrate him. The whole immediate family was there. I thought that it would be bad before I went and it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. I ate more than I should have, but it was a special occasion and I didn't eat as much as I could have. The old me would have pigged out and noshed the whole time, but I didn't, which is a small victory for me.

I was going to write about my goals today, but I think I will leave that for another entry. I am really tired right now. I woke up early this morning in order to go to the farmer's market. I am going to work out tomorrow, and then tomorrow night I am going to see The Dark Knight Rises. I can't wait to see it! I know about the shooting, but I'm not

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LALMEIDA 7/22/2012 5:33PM

  emoticon on the biking.

We celebrated my grandmother's life on what would have been her 92nd birthday. She had passed about 6 months prior to that. She said that she didn't want the usual wake and funeral because she didn't want us all to "suffer" for 3 days. We had a great day of remembrance for her that day. We never forget our loved ones but it does get easier as time goes on.

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VONBLACKBIRD 7/22/2012 9:03AM

    emoticonon the bike riding..and yes celebrate our loved ones lives even if they are no longer with us..they would want that. Have fun at the movies..

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MCJULIEO 7/22/2012 4:02AM

    Look at how easy this blogging thing has become for you already!

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1STATEOFDENIAL 7/22/2012 1:25AM

    When we lose someone it is important to celebrate their lives. I'm glad you had the strength to honor your grandfather by taking part in the party.

As for your strength to resist the food, it's important to know that a healthy lifestyle means making better choices, not about being perfect. So celebrate that you stuck to your plans and didn't give in to all of the temptations. If you weren't working on living a healthier life what would you have eaten? Would you be planning that great bike ride? You are choosing to do better and that's wonderful!

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MIDNIGHTER1 7/22/2012 1:13AM

    Celebrating some good memories. Way to go on the bicycling.Enjoy your movie,I am going to go see it on Tuesday.

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BANANAFANNAH 7/21/2012 11:31PM

    Way to go about biking!! That's awesome :) And I super love the farmer's market - fresh veggies for cheap!

That was very sweet to have a party to celebrate your grandfather, and congrats on doing better than you thought you would. You are stronger than you know :)

And lastly.. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE THE DARK KNIGHT RISES! lol. I'm such a huge Batman geek, and I loved the first two of this particular trilogy. I am going to see it tomorrow as well :)

Stay strong dear,


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UMBILICAL 7/21/2012 9:46PM

  Grandparents are the best!!!!

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Entry number two

Thursday, July 19, 2012

First of all I would like to thank everybody that posted in the comments section of my blog. I was surprised to find out that people were actually reading my blog. I like to hear what people think of what I'm doing, it makes me feel like I'm not alone, so keep the comments coming please.

Today I thought I would share and explain my image board her. I want to articulate exactly what each picture represents to me so I don't forget in the future. I got the pictures for my board from clippings from magazines. I found a great quote in a magazine that I want to use as my motto, "Always look on the Bright side." This is a great quote and means a lot to me. I tend to be a pessimist. The thing I struggle with is putting a positive spin on things and not sabotage myself before I even begin. I think keeping this in mind will help me.

The images on my vision board represent many things to me. The cute clothes represent the clothes I will be able wear when I reach my goal weight. I am always admiring clothes store windows, only to walk in and they don't come in plus sizes. The sexy neglige represents how I want to look sexy. Which goes with the happy couple in bed, that represents how I want to fall in love and get a boyfriend. I haven't been in too many relationships before and I want to get a into another one, but first I want to feel good about myself again.

The woman in the mirror represents how I want to feel happy about myself on the inside and on the outside. I want to like the way that I look when I look in the mirror and not be disgusted with what I see. The arrow hitting an apple represents to me my quest toward eating healthy foods. The pile of food on the side represents this too. The girl biking represents me getting in shape and getting more active. I want to be able to bike seven miles when I go to Door County this summer. My mom said that if I can bike a seven mile trail up there, then she will give me $50. I am leaving next Friday, so that is a huge motivator to me.

The woman jumping in the air looks happy, like I want to be. The woman looking to the right represents looking positively to the future, which I want to do. I want to make small, achievable goals. I also want to look forward to all the benefits I will get once I lose the weight.

The money in the jar represents how I want to save money and pay off my debts, which leads to the picture of the apartment building. The building represets my desire to become independent and move out of my parents house. If I can lose weight maybe I can find a job, I think my weight is holding me back in that respect.

Well that is what my vision board represents to me. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog,


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MIDNIGHTER1 7/20/2012 1:11AM

    Putting it somewhere that you view it everyday is essential. I like that you have a lot of personal things that you want to achieve for yourself.Apartment,financial independence and of course eating and exercise. You have all the bases covered. I have mine in my exercise area. It was healthy people,working out ,running. It has excuses I use to not work out. It has my progress for every month since I started. it has my motivational songs and words of encouragement. It is next to a mirror so I have to look at myself whether I want to or not. I even talk to the person in the mirror giving him encouragement. You can achieve your goals. See it, Be it, achieve it. emoticon

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MCJULIEO 7/19/2012 6:23PM

    That was absolutely BRILLIANT of you to verbally describe what each of the images symbolically represents, and you are SO going to be able to remember your starting thoughts so much better this way... even if you get to a point where you say to yourself, "Hmmm, I wonder why I thought THAT way back then!!!"

It's a journey, a lifestyle, and you are on your way to success!

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PARKERB2 7/19/2012 3:15PM

    emoticonThinking positive in a first step in the right direction. Baby steps are good.

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DOLLFACEDX 7/19/2012 3:13PM


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entry one

Thursday, July 19, 2012

hello, I have never posted here before and I don't know exactly what to say. I think I will start off my blog telling a little bit about myself and why I need to get healthy and lose weight. I am a 26 year old SWF. I am attending art school for my second degree. My first degree was in linguistics. I have been overweight for as long as I can remember. I have tried to lose weight before, and things worked (sort of I lost around 20 pounds on WW), but they were temporary, and once I stopped following the program, I gained the weight back.

I feel as though this time is different though. I am much more motivated and I think this time, with the help of SP. It all started with getting enough sleep and taking my meds on time. I take a medication that causes drowsiness, Abilify, and I used to take it before I went to bed, the only problem was that I would go to bed at random times, sometimes midnight to two or three in the morning. Durring the summer my mom said that I had to do three things in order to take the car, one of which was wake up by 10 in the morning. I found out that Abilify lasts for approximately 12 hours, so I needed to take my pills by 10 at night. After I started getting enough sleep, I felt more energized and more "here", if you know what I mean. I am more alert and can think better. From that small change, I started to make other small changes. I started reading self-help books and health books. I wanted to eat healthier, so I changed my breakfasts. I cut out cereal. I used to eat 2-3 bowl-fulls (I don't even want to think about how many servings were in one bowl). Instead I cut out cereal all together and substituted a banana and peanut butter and a Chobani yogurt. I tried eating less durring the day too.

I started walking the dog a mile a few times a week. I couldn't believe how hard it was to walk that far, it hurt really bad. My parents and I had set up a rewards system that if I work out 3 days a week, they would give me $5, and if I worked out 5 times, they would give me $10. If I did not work out at least three times, they would take my laptop away for a week. (I forgot what started this was my brother staging a sort of intervention. He was very worried about me and set up this system for me.) The first week I worked out 3 times, the second week I only worked out 2 times, and my parents took away my laptop, which was really hard for me to live without ( which I was surprised by). That motivated me to work out more the next week. From there I found Planet Fitness, a gym with a $10 monthly membership fee. It is a great gym that I can afford. the only problem is that it is far from my home and I have to take a bus to get there. Over the next few weeks I lost about 7~8 pounds.

A week or two ago I started wanting to get a real plan together, for eating, so that I could have a program to follow and lose weight more quickly. I was on a website that reviewed different diets and I was looking at a bunch of them. One stood out to me, it was a free ediet, you guessed it, it was I went to the website and it looked like something I could do. I wanted to read the book, so I called my library and checked out the book, "The Spark" I was amazed, what was in the book was exactly what I was already doing; small manageable changes that will stick over the long term, better yet this site has a community and free tools for tracking everything. Last week I started to follow the program a little bit. I tracked my food and other stuff. I bought the book today and re-committed to the program. I have officially lost 12 pounds since I began my weight loss journey. Wow I wrote a lot. I plan on writing here tomorrow too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KMURPHY22 7/31/2012 12:16PM


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RUNNETHOVER 7/28/2012 10:17AM


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MADAMECHEV 7/25/2012 1:46PM

  You're my hero!

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DONNACFIT 7/23/2012 11:49PM

    Welcome to Spark and good luck on all your goals!!

I have been enjoying your blogs and especially the simplifying ..something I struggle with as well as my weight!!

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SLAPTHEFATCAT 7/20/2012 10:48PM

    Just like me!!! I have a degree in culinary management and now working on an education degree! And finally on my way for true weight loss.

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1STATEOFDENIAL 7/20/2012 3:13AM

    Welcome to SP! The first blog is often the hardest, but know that even if people aren't commenting there are always people reading!

Small changes over time really do add up. The body physically can not handle dramatic and drastic changes quickly - it will actually rebel against you. By making smaller changes and adding new ones whenever it gets easier you will get to where you need to be. Walking the dog a short distance might be difficult now, but if you keep doing it eventually you might be able to take the dog on a run!

Sounds like your family helped give you the final kick in the pants to get going, but eventually it will all be on your shoulders to keep it up. So think about how you will stay motivated and how you can give yourself small (non-food) rewards. That way someday you can tell your family you no longer need their reward system because you've set up your own.

Best wishes to you on your journey!

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SUNONMAPLES 7/19/2012 10:04AM

  You see some very important aspects of getting healthier and fitter now! Modest changes continued over time really do seem to make the difference for more of us. I like your rewards approach -- I do this a lot with myself to encourage me to keep at some exercise or diet effort. Good for you for joining SP! We have a really good time getting healthier on here!

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STUDLEEJOE 7/19/2012 8:17AM


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NIKO27 7/19/2012 6:34AM


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MIDNIGHTER1 7/19/2012 1:39AM

    Congratulations on losing the weight. There are some good people on sparkpeople,success stories,great motivators and failures who came back to start again.It is a great program if you put the work in . When you start to follow the portion control and calorie counter you will find you can have cereal again.I wish you luck and success. Remember,discipline and focus will take you a long way.

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MCJULIEO 7/19/2012 12:42AM

    You are SO on target now.... regardless of what Reward system you use, you are the one who ultimately takes the responsibility for your progress...


We're rooting for you, too!

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ALICIA214 7/19/2012 12:30AM


That is wonderful you are doing a great job, keep up the good work. It is easy to make friends on SP and they will be a great source of support for you and you might want to
join some teams that share the same interests as you and you will be all set.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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