Sunday, October 05, 2014
A little over a week ago I quit my teams and streamlined my Sparking.
Over the past year I've lost my Spark and I've recently realized that all my Spark activities are for points. I'm not reading articles, participating in teams, tracking, or anything to help with my program.
I'm doing it all for points. That's not good enough.
A few weeks ago I decided I was only going to post in forums that helped me in my program, and skip the games. The forums I participate in have to be of some value to me in my program. I tried that for a while but it wasn’t helping.
I'd been debating on quitting Spark but that seemed too drastic. So I decided to quit my teams, except for the Spark Tracker, since that's my main source of info about the tracker.
My lost Spark began about a year ago, when my spinal arthritis worsened, with new pains in my upper back and neck, in addition to my ongoing pain of 20+ years (low back, left groin, top of left thigh, "knot" in left butt). I was frustrated, angry, defeated. The only exercise I could do was walking. No strength. No elliptical. No DVD's. I almost quit Spark then but took a break instead. It took several months for things to settle to a tolerable level. Then, after a long car ride, the pain was aggravated again. More frustration. I was on a course of prednisone, restarted a med for chronic pain, at bedtime, to help me sleep. Then a smaller daytime dose was started. The combination of better sleep and some daytime relief allowed me to do more upper back and neck exercises and the pain is now in better control.
I did some damage during those long months of struggling with the pain, eating for comfort, a big no-no. I regained some of what I lost and now want to take off 10-12 pounds. Fortunately I have kept off most of what I lost. Thank you Spark.
Since sitting too long is hard for me, I want to use my Spark time to read more articles and blogs, and do what I can to get my Spark going again.
For now, I will Spark just for me, not for points. I plan to rejoin teams again, just not sure when. I’m taking a step back for now. I’m still online and Sparking daily, just quietly, in the background. And quickly, since I’m not doing any team activities.
Hopefully, without the distraction of trying to get points I'll be able to get my Spark back and eventually find some new teams to join that will help me in my ongoing journey.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
As I approach my 6 year maintenance anniversary I’m working on an attitude change. I reached my goal weight in March of 2008. It took me a year to get there. I hit several plateaus along the way but never gave up. I was determined I would make it this time, and I did.
Once I hit goal I maintained within a 7 pound range for about a year and a half. It wasn’t easy. It was definitely a struggle. The fall/winter of 2009-2010 was a difficult one for various reasons and I began comfort eating. I regained about 10 pounds that I’ve been trying to take off ever since. Every time I think I’m on track to get those extras off, something derails me, usually me, and the pounds come back. Each time this happens my bod returns to the same, higher than I’d like, weight, leaving me feeling like I’m kidding myself to think I’m “maintaining”. I growl at myself and try again.
I read recently that the National Weight Control Registry considers it “successful maintenance” even if you keep only 10% of your original weight off.
This got me to thinking.
I AM maintaining. I’ve kept off more than 10% of my original weight, for 6 years next week (March 11). No, I’m not at the weight I’d like to be, but maybe I’m at the weight my BOD wants me to be, and that’s why when I’m not super diligent I keep returning to the same weight. The fact is I’ve kept off 30+ pounds! And that’s nothing to sneeze at! In fact, it’s amazing, considering my age (63), the slower metabolism that comes with that, and my exercise limitations.
Not only is this the first time I ever reached a weight goal, but it’s also the first time I’ve ever maintained a weight loss. I still have work to do, my snacking habits could be better, but my meals are excellent, and I exercise regularly, so I need to stop growling at myself about the higher weight I’m maintaining. Because I AM maintaining.
It’s time for me to enjoy my accomplishment and let my bod be at the weight it wants me to be.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Mini Break over.
I took a Spark Break the last week and a half. I was feeling frustrated by the neck and upper back pain, which had returned with a vengeance. I was preoccupied with how miserable I felt and did a lot of comfort eating. My exercise plan suffered in that I was doing no strength exercises at all and doing less cardio than usual. My heart wasn’t in it when I Sparked so I decided to pull back for a little bit while I took care of me. I did minimal Sparking, only reading articles, spinning the wheel, reading blogs, but no team participation at all. I got lots of extra rest and gave myself permission to do and eat whatever I wanted.
I’m still having upper back and neck pain, in addition to my “usual” pains (low back, butt, groin, thighs) but it’s time to get back to the healthy routine. I miss it. I’m glad I took the break but it just doesn’t feel right being off my healthy routines.
Take it slow.
Set daily goals for healthy eating and exercise.
Focus on cardio.
Look for exercises that will help, not hurt, the upper back and neck.
Modify all exercises, especially strength exercises, for upper/lower back and neck pains.
Daily accountability journal.
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
I live in central Pennsylvania, and since living here the past 8 years I've noticed some of the things that get dropped for New Year's - Lancaster, a red rose; York, a white rose; Lebanon, Lebanon bologna! It made me curious about other odd things that are dropped on New Year's Eve.
My search turned up a list of things that are dropped, and Pennsylvania has the longest list, with New York coming in second.
This is Pennsylvania's list -
Allentown, Pennsylvania: A liberty bell replica is dropped to commemorate when the liberty bell was stored in Allentown during the American Revolution.
Akron, Pennsylvania: A purple-and-gold shoe is dropped
Beavertown, Pennsylvania: A beaver is dropped.
Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: A 100-pound yellow illuminated Peep made out of fiberglass. (The producer of Peeps, Just Born, is based in Bethlehem)
Blain, Pennsylvania: A wooden cow is dropped from a silo.
Carlisle, Pennsylvania: An Indy car is dropped (car shows and drag racing here)
Cleona, Pennsylvania: A pretzel is raised
Columbia - Turkey Hill ice cream cone
Cornwall, Pennsylvania: A Cannonball Drop commemorates the historic Cornwall Iron Furnace. The Civil War-era bowling-ball-sized cannonball is courtesy of Sgt. Damian Smith, command historian for the Pennsylvania National Guard
Dillsburg, Pennsylvania: Two pickles are dropped
Duncannon, Pennsylvania: A sled is dropped
East Petersburg, Pennsylvania: A large "Haydn's Jug" is dropped. ((Haydn Zug ran the general store on the square from 1925 until his death in 1969 at age 93. It is now the name of a restaurant in the square.)
Easton, Pennsylvania: A ten-foot Crayola crayon is dropped at 8 pm to accommodate children's bedtimes
Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania: A giant M&M is dropped. This changed to a Dove chocolate bar in 2012-13; both Dove and M&M's are manufactured in Elizabethtown
Falmouth, Pennsylvania: A stuffed goat is dropped
Halifax, Pennsylvania: A Hemlock tree is dropped
Hallam, Pennsylvania: A replica of the Haines Shoe House is dropped (a shoe shaped house)
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: A strawberry is dropped (it cracked this year during a test drop a few days ago and they had to quick make a new one)
Hershey, Pennsylvania: A Hershey Kiss replica is raised
Hummelstown, Pennsylvania: A lollipop is dropped
Ickesburg, Pennsylvania: A french fry is dropped
Kennett Square, Pennsylvania: For 2014, a steel mushroom will be dropped. Kennett Square, often called "The Mushroom Capital of the World" is one of the largest growers of mushrooms
Lancaster, Pennsylvania: A red rose is raised.
Lebanon, Pennsylvania: A 100-pound stick of Lebanon Bologna is dropped. The bologna itself is distributed to a local food bank and animal shelter following the drop
Lewistown, Pennsylvania: A bag of Hartley's potato chips is dropped
Lisburn, Pennsylvania: A pair of yellow pants or "britches" is dropped in honor of the Yellow Breeches Creek
Lititz, Pennsylvania: A Moravian star is raised
Liverpool, Pennsylvania: A canal boat is dropped
Media, Pennsylvania: A ball is dropped
Manheim, Pennsylvania: A ball is raised
McClure, Pennsylvania: A kettle is dropped in honor of McClure Bean Soup Festival
Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania: A wrench is dropped
New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania: A box huckleberry is dropped
Newville, Pennsylvania: A big spring is dropped
Palmyra, Pennsylvania: "The Giant Shoe" is dropped
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Heinz ketchup
Port Royal, Pennsylvania: A sprint car is dropped
Pottsville, Pennsylvania: A bottle of Yuengling beer is raised
Red Lion, Pennsylvania: A wooden cigar held by a lion is raised
Richland, Pennsylvania: A cigar is dropped
Shippensburg, Pennsylvania: An anchor is dropped
Strasburg, Pennsylvania: Ping pong balls are dropped
Shamokin, Pennsylvania: A chunk of coal is dropped, turning into a diamond at the bottom
York, Pennsylvania: A white rose is dropped
Happy New Year!
Friday, December 27, 2013
Several years ago we changed the way we do Christmas. Christmas shopping had become too much about how much to spend, what should we buy, would it fit?, would they like it?, would it need to be returned? It really wasn't fun. Plus, we're on fixed incomes (it's my Mom, DH, and me) so spending a lot on gifts didn't make sense.
What started as a practical solution has turned into a lot of fun. We buy each other ten $1 gifts, wrap each individually and put them in gift bags. We each end up with 2 bags filled with 10 gifts each bag. We can buy anything we want as long as it only costs one dollar, and can only spend $10 on each person. When we open gifts on Christmas morning it's hysterical! Some of the gifts are totally silly. One of the rules when we open gifts is that if anything is wearable we have to put it on. One year my DH ended up wearing two different pairs of socks, a knit hat, reindeer antlers and goofy glasses with a big nose attached!
This year both my DH and Mom gave each other goofy glasses, and DH gave Mom a clown nose. This is them posing in their gifts -
We had a blast opening all the gifts. It took us a good hour to get through them all and we had a massive pile of paper in the middle of the floor. Cosmo played with the tissue paper we piled up, ripping it to shreds!
The cats got dressed in their holiday finery too -
After opening gifts we watched two DVD's - Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2, and had more laughs!
It was a fun, laugh filled day!
Hope you all had a Wonderful Holiday!
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