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Finishing 10 minute daily exercise streak challenge + Mind Over Body Step #9

Monday, November 17, 2014

Well, I'm proud to be finishing this challenge strong. There was a week when I only exercised 4 times, the other weeks 5 times, but this week I managed to streak and finish by exercising all 7 days- or I will, after I'm done braving the cold to take a brisk walk. This challenge forced me to prioritize exercise, even when it was easier not to do it. Yesterday, I spent 10 minutes walking in a box and doing high knees while watching tv, just to get some movement in. My boyfriend thought I was nuts- but I did it anyways.

This challenge wraps up in a similar way as the stress busting challenge. I've decided to incorporate my daily fitness and movement through cleaning my house, more often, and with more speed and muscle. I'll also try to multitask movements- calf raises and squats while brushing the teeth, stretching in the shower, and taking time to stretch at work. I'm also going to walk more- by parking farther away, and by walking instead of driving to the stores nearby when I need to grab something.

I also had to write out some long term fitness goals. Here are mine:

1. Keep aiming for a minimum of 10 minutes of daily exercise.
2. Strength train at leas 2 times per week.
3. Prioritze early morning exercise if not starting work until 9 am or later.
4. Walk a 2k or 3 k charity fun race by end of spring 2015.
5. Run a 5k by end of summer 2015.
6. Aim to practice mind-body exercise such as yoga, pilates, or qi-gong once per week.
7. Take a self administered fitness test on the first of every month.
8. Test out different gyms and yoga studios starting in January, before making a decision on what to join.


Spark People's Mind Over Body: 10 Steps to Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/mind_ov

Step 9: Pave the way for persistence

This step is all about utilizing the things you already know, and persisting in them. They share some steps on how to do them- here's my plan:

1. Share goals with people. I have shared my goal with my boyfriend and my mom, who are supportive. I also talk openly with people when the subjects of fitness or diet come up.

2. Eliminate negative cues; create positive cues. We've already cleaned out the pantry, fridge, and freezer of the junk food. I work to keep them out of the house, but if Matt brings in snacks, he's been keeping them in the coffee table in the living room- out of sight, out of mind. The second part is positive cues- I removed my crazy fridge art and I've replaced it with food guide information, as well as Spark People 30 day motivational calendars, and charts on how to store veggies. Keeping healthy information visible to remind me of my goals.

3. Reward self for successes; forgive self for going off course. I've already spelled out all my rewards- I'm pretty good about forgiving myself, but I'll have to keep working on it to be truly successful.

AND #4. Find supportive friends who have similar goals who will give you a kick in the right direction. This is where you guys come in! All of my spark friends give me motivation to keep going- from when you join the same challenges as me, to all the amazing and positive comments on my blog. I have one thing to ask of you- if you notice a trend of making excuses to not exercise or to eat off program, if my excuses are weak and barely if not even valid, or if you notice I'm focusing on the negatives to much- CALL ME ON IT. Kick me in the butt if I need it, and I promise to do the same for you!

Happy Monday everyone! Let's start the week off strong!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BBEAGAN 11/30/2014 9:32AM

    Hey, where did you go!? You were on such an amazing roll! Don't disappear... Come back to us! Your Spark people miss you...

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COLOR-BLUE 11/21/2014 8:54PM


I roared with a HUGE BELLY LAUGH, when you were doing your high knees, while watching TV and your boyfriend thought you were nuts! I do exercises, like just taking two steps up and then two steps back, or I march in place, when I'm at my dad's house, and he told me to stop it, as it looked like I had to go to the bathroom, and it was making him nervous. I even march in place when I'm in the store looking for something, and I'm on a mission walking very fast through the store. And last but not least, I get in the longest check out lane, to get more steps in, marching in place. My dad just shakes his head and walks off.

You have a very well laid out plan, and I'll be one of your cheerleaders, that will kick your behind, and get you moving up that hill! And yes, I want you to do the same for me!


- Nancy Jean -

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SIRIUS2014 11/20/2014 5:58AM

    emoticon blog! sounds like you had a great challenge im going to try it 2

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CREPEDCRUSADER 11/18/2014 5:39PM

    Good ideas all around! I need to find a way to work on my fitness, while working on unpacking those last few lingering boxes from moving. With new home I am trying to have new perspective and create some new habits instead of falling into old bad ones.
More cleaning, reading, and music for stress relief...less TV. emoticon

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BROOKLYN_BORN 11/18/2014 7:07AM

    I love your assorted ways to get the exercise in. I once ran a mile in my HOUSE.
We can do it if we're persistent

Hang in there!

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MARIAAT160 11/18/2014 1:24AM

    Sounds like you go this emoticon I think the cleaning the house with more speed and power and calf raises while brushing your teeth is an awesome idea i'm going to try and incorporate that into my routine as well! emoticon emoticon

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PFERG66 11/17/2014 4:07PM

    YOU GOT IT, KID! emoticon
I hope you will return the favor.

I admire your clear thinking.
Onward and upward; we press on!

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Stress Journal #12 + Mind Over Body Step #8

Sunday, November 16, 2014

As I am reaching the end of the Official Stress Busting Challenge, this will be my final official "stress journal". This has been quite the 4 weeks, and I'm proud to have stuck it out - I rarely finish what I start. I can't recommend the program enough, whether you feel like you're drowning like I was, or you're starting a weight loss journey and need to know how to manage the stress that will come your way. I looked over journal #1 to see where I am now, in regards to my feelings and how I am managing them.

My weight gain and how badly out of shape I am: I have slowly been turning around my eating habits, and slowly building up my weekly exercise, and though I haven't lost any significant weight, I haven't gained either. I've also ramped up the exercise slowly and though I am not as fit as I would like to be, I'm also not as out of shape and no longer feel stressed and bothered by it the way I did a month ago.

Money- long term, short term, and relating to insurance policies: I'd be lying if I didn't admit that this wasn't still my greatest source of stress. Nothing has been really solved, I still feel like the sharks are at my back, but by prioritizing sleep and exercise, and through utilizing steps to put things into perspective, I know longer spend hours of my day stressing over the bills. Small steps and patience makes all the difference.

My tiny, ugly apartment: It's almost bizarre to me that a month ago I was so on edge I was stressed over the colour of my walls. Who cares? I'm more interested in getting in some extra daily activity by cleaning it than by sitting there, abhorred that my kitchen is pukey pink. And as for the clutter making it feel tiny, I've been slowly picking away at it. It's not necessary to burn myself out on going through box after box until I'm blue in the face, when I won't have the energy to finish the job then. By taking small steps every week, I'll slowly get rid of the mess. By letting go, I've lost the stress.

My boyfriend's procrastination: This is still a problem, obviously. But short of the argument earlier this week that I in a pmsing state initiated, we haven't been fighting about it. By using the simple 3 minute de-stress trick Spark has, I'm able to diffuse myself before a fight breaks out. Does not doing the dishes have to be a symbolic battle? Or is it better to appreciate that he is trying to get better, and to be happy that he loves me enough to try?

What do I want to do with my life: Do I really need to stress about this right now? Perspective here is key. I'm taking a class in the spring to upgrade my high school marks so I can move towards taking vocational training. I don't need to decide WHAT just yet, though I have some ideas.

Family: When family makes me feel crazy, I go to my happy place. It also helps that because they make me feel crazy, I limit my time with them. It's been an excellent solution.

My job: What job? Screw that job! I knew it was stressing me out and wasn't healthy, so I made a bold choice, quit, and made a change. I already like my new job a whole lot more.

Am I still dealing with stressful situations? Of course- but they don't feel nearly as out of my control as they did. The final week of the challenge has us setting our long term stress busting goals, and identifying at least 3 stress busters to keep implementing, Here are my goals:

1. Continue getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night, adjusting bed times accordingly.
2. Maintain a realistic budget, set financial goals that are attainable, and create a savings account. I will power through to the end of the year, dealing with things as they're thrown at me and referring to my financial plan I made in week 3, until the end of January, when I will see where I'm at and try to figure out a road map to where I'm going.
3. Create and implement a chore chart by December 1st. Daily, weekly, and monthly chores laid out.
4. Continue de-cluttering apartment, finishing by December 31st. Focus on completing one task per week.
5. Continue making to-do lists, and create weekly task lists to fit them in and identify priorities.
6. Make time once a week to pamper myself. Schedule it in.
7. Continue getting a minimum average of 10 minutes of exercise a day.
8. Maintain my daily stress busting routine.

And my 3 stress busters? Maintaining a daily stress busting routine, journalling, and utilizing the 3 minute stress buster when I need it.


Spark People's Mind Over Body: 10 Steps to Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/mind_ov

Step 8: Give yourself a reality check up

This step has you taking a quiz to see if your own set beliefs are going to trip you up and get in your way. My reality check up?

I need to remember that harsh self criticism is a bad thing, not a good thing. I need to learn to learn from my mistakes, and adjust myself accordingly, to achieve a different attitude and a different approach to myself. Step 10 will teach me this, and now I'm even more excited to wrap up this process. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 11/19/2014 1:46PM

    We are almost done with the steps from the article. You have done a very thoughtful job. Good work.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 11/17/2014 7:50AM

    Your 2nd paragraph reflects the advice I gave to my own daughter.

Don't stress about losing a significant amount of weight. Concentrate on not gaining any more. That way you get to know what your body needs to stay exactly where it is. Also work on becoming more fit. At that point you can make additional changes to lose weight gradually.

Maintaining your weight now is good practice for the ultimate goal of long tern maintenance at goal weight.

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RASPBERRY56 11/17/2014 4:41AM


emoticon work!!

emoticon on getting better work!

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PATTYKLAVER 11/16/2014 11:28PM

    You've made quite the progress! Great!

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PFERG66 11/16/2014 7:39PM

    This post was just plain wonderful to read! What a success story you gave us!

I'm friending you because you are an inspiration and I want to keep up with you.

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COLOR-BLUE 11/16/2014 7:06PM


emoticon yes emoticon and most importantly, YOU DID DO IT!!!!!


- Nancy Jean -

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Mind Over Body Step #7 - Weight loss goals set!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Spark People's Mind Over Body: 10 Steps to Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/mind_ov

Step 7: Plot your strategy

This step is all about effective goal setting, and utilizing the 6 characteristics of effective goal setting. Challenging. Attainable. Specific. Time-limited. Positive. Flexible.

*****GOAL: Be at my ultimate goal weight of 130lbs by my 25th birthday on June 8, 2015.*****

> 10% goal- I will weigh 150lbs by February 8, 2015
- Exercise: A minimum of 10 minutes a day, 7 days a week. A minimum of 30 minutes a day, 3 days a week. Strength training, 2 days a week. 130 fitness minutes per week.
- Diet: Follow current balanced diet based on food guide recommendations. Unstructured weekends. 7 alcoholic drinks/week.
- If goal weight is reached on time, an additional $40 is put into goal weight tattoo fund.
- Additional $2 per early week, ie. if goal is met 3 weeks early, an extra $6 into fund.

> 10% goal - I will weigh 135lbs by May 8, 2015
- Exercise: A minimum of 20 minutes a day, 7 days a week. A minimum of 45 minutes, 3 days a week. Strength training, 2 days a week. 215 fitness minutes per week.
- Diet: Follow "de-bloat your belly" diet. 1 splurge treat per week. 5 alcoholic drinks/ week.
- If goal weight is reach on time, an additional $30 in tattoo fund.
- Additional $5 per early week. 3 weeks early = extra $15 in tattoo fund.

> Final 5 goal - I will weigh 130lbs by June 8, 2015
- Exercise: A minimum of 25 minutes a day, 7 days a week. A minimum of 60 minutes, 3 days a week. Strength training, 3 days a week. 280 fitness minutes per week.
- Diet: Balanced food guide diet. 2 splurge treats over the course of the month. 3 drinks per week.
- If goal is reached on time, an additional $25 in the tattoo fund.

> Mini goals and rewards
***For each mini goal reached, $10 goes into the final goal tattoo fund***

- 165lbs = new nail polish, lip stick, or other piece of make up.
- 160lbs = a pretty new necklace or earrings
- 155lbs = new nail polish, lip stick, etc. OR fun new camera film
- 150lbs = manicure or mani/pedi depending on price
- 145lbs = new nail polish, lip stick, etc. OR fun new camera film
- 140lbs = Groupon! Either fitness, activity, or beauty services!
- 135lbs = new nail polish, lip stick, etc. OR fun new camera film
- 130lbs = Tattoo!!!

Asides from goal date weigh ins, new weigh in days will be Saturdays, starting on November 22, 2014. Goals will be tracked in journal and on Spark People. Very excited to be at my ultimate goal weight by my 25th birthday. I want to this to be the better half of my 20s. Life is just getting started.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 11/17/2014 10:40AM

    You did a great job with the non food based rewards! Also, in breaking down the goals into time frames. Every time I have been successful, it has been by small weightloss goals broken down into time frames to reach the overall goal. emoticon

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EGRAMMY 11/15/2014 10:28PM

    You are an amazing planner. emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 11/15/2014 12:24PM

    Oh I love this...I had a goal for every 10 pounds then lost my vision board, then plateaued for three years. LOL

Guess I better get back on that. I have a Duran Duran tattoo to work for.

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BROOKLYN_BORN 11/15/2014 10:03AM

    If everyone followed your diet and exercise plan, there would be no obesity (except for the medication based problems of course)

Don't be afraid to adjust your goals as necessary. A goal date is wonderful, but if you are a bit behind schedule, don't let it derail you. Consider it a belated birthday celebration.

Nice non food based rewards. That's the way to go! Hang in there.

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JAMBABY0 11/14/2014 11:01PM

    thanks for sharing

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Stress Journal #11 + Mind Over Body Step #6

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Last night marked the start of what I like to call Shark Week. Yes, the Red Army had invaded, and I started my morning unable to locate my tea ball, so I snarled and slammed some cupboards. I eventually calmed down, relaxed, and then did some exercise. I weighed myself after, to find out that I had gained a pound. Water weight? Too many snacks last weekend? I don't know but it made me grouchier than I'd like to admit. I looked at my other barometers of success but it's still irritating.

I started my new job today at 1pm, but between that and my shower beforehand, I was able to provoke a fight between Matt and I. He wanted to leave super early to drop me off at work so he could make it to his volunteering gig with time to spare, and maybe it's the hormones or maybe just the slowly building concern, but I flipped. I know it's good he has something he's passionate about, but I feel like the majority of the financial burden is on me, and though he does try to do better, I don't think he tries enough. I can tell he's depressed and defeated by this horrible year for him, and it breaks my heart, but it's frustrating. He hasn't worked in two weeks because the restaurant hasn't been open, they haven't paid him yet, and in the interim he's been playing video games and netflixing. I love him, but I feel like his mother. I make his to do lists. I give him his tasks. And if I don't tell him to job hunt, he doesn't. Not really, not actively the same way I do, treating it like it's a full time job. I gave him a deadline to figure out what he wants to do with his life. I'm going to give him a journal and an agenda book for Christmas.

The new job seems good. The new store is absolutely beautiful, and there's a lot of things to do and learn. We're going to be serving soft serve ice cream- so oh my god. The willpower I'm going to have to learn. Soft serve is my favorite. Confession- I grabbed a cone with Matt after work because he wanted one and we had fought earlier. I regret nothing. My uterus commanded it so.


Spark People's Mind Over Body: 10 Steps to Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/mind_ov

Step 6: Write your vision statement.

The goal of this step is to figure out why I want to lose weight and why the hard work and effort is worth it. There were 3 questions to consider before writing it, which I didn't write out because I knew the answer to them. I applied them to my vision statement. Here it is, I'm going to be putting it on my Spark Page:

**My goals are to lose 38lbs, and then maintain a general weight of 130lbs for life, to be physically fit and healthy, and to manage my mental health through healthy living. I want to create a full and balanced life, full of love, security, confidence, adventure, and success. I want a long, happy life with Matt. I want be a great role model for my family. I want to have a healthy body to build a healthy baby. I want a healthy mind so I no longer feel imprisoned by it. I want to create balance and routine, not to be boring but to create pride and fulfillment. I will make healthy choices. I will meal plan. I will sleep. I will exercise. I will journal, make lists, and write schedule. I will be a better ME!**

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MJZHERE 11/16/2014 9:58AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOPEFULHIPPO 11/14/2014 12:10PM

    emoticon ((shark week)) LOL

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NIMIRRA137 11/14/2014 8:36AM

    Shark Week! I'm dealing with the same thing and usually I don't get crabby but this week I've been raging all week. I just hate everyone.

What's the new job? Good luck with it. Working around ice cream would be hard for me to resist!

Does Matt actually complete the task lists when you leave them for him? Have you ever told him you feel like his mother. I had an ex that I felt that way with and never said anything until it was too late. I think if you communicate early enough that the guy can get it through his head he has to step up!

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BBEAGAN 11/14/2014 6:56AM

    Hard when there's so much external stress in your lives... And partners are the safest ones to blow up at, so we often take out the frustrations that have little to do with them on them... Sigh...

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BROOKLYN_BORN 11/14/2014 6:27AM

    That's a beautiful vision statement.

I hope you and Matt continue to work out your disagreements and not let them derail your relationship. You don't need advice from an old lady, but DH & I have been together 51 years (married 47) so we do have some experience getting over the rough spots.

Hang in there!

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Mind Over Body Step #5

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Spark People's Mind Over Body: 10 Steps to Achieve a Healthy Lifestyle: www.sparkpeople.com/resource/mind_ov

Step 5: Take the mystery out of staying motivated

This step starts out with a quiz that helps you identify the issues that you have with motivation, and then explains what these issues really mean and what you can do to move past them and stay motivated.

I said 'true' to questions 2 and 3. I learned that my motivation will be much stronger and consistent when I focus on making conscious choices about what I can do to meet all of my needs and desires. I also need to remember that my motivation and behaviour is dictated by internal factors, not external. It is important that I practice my "I" statements.

1. I like to relax on the couch and watch television. I need to exercise for both my physical and my mental health. I will get in my exercise before I sit down and watch tv.

2. I like to munch out on unhealthy snacks in the evening. I need to eat well for my physical and mental health. I will eat a healthy snack 2 1/2 hours before bed. I will utilized steps #3 and #4 before eating something unhealthy, especially in the evening.

3. I like to stay up late and socialize. I need at least 7 hours of sleep to control my anxiety. I will go to bed at 11pm on work nights and most off nights. I will turn in for the evening after socializing late when I feel tired. I will adjust my sleep schedule for work accordingly.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROOKLYN_BORN 11/13/2014 7:42PM

    You've summarized that nicely. That program really requires an honest look at ourselves which is exactly what needs to happen to reach our goals.

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