Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Weeks 8 of 8
Record a blog telling us what a Challenge means to you. Iím going to assume that this question addresses group or team challenges, and not ones we set for ourselves away from Spark.
For the last week of a challenge I joined 7 weeks ago, we need to write a blog describing what a challenge means to us. This is my third year with Spark People, and I can truly say that team challenges, no matter what team Iíve joined, have helped me become better informed about my health and better able to keep my weight in check.
In my first year I lost a lot of weight, and reached my goal in my second year. Since then Iíve regained 10 pounds, and seem to juggle gaining and losing the same 2-3 pounds. Itís frustrating, but then I remember that I still am 40 pounds lighter than when I started this whole journey. I am not at my maintenance weight, which was set by my doctor, and do need to lose that last 10 pounds. That said, Iím still working on it, and challenges keep me from quitting.
Challenges have helped me develop healthy habits like strength training 2-3x per week, drinking 8 glasses of water a day, tracking my food and exercise, and eating much ďcleaner.Ē I get regular cardio most days, and miss it if I donít. I eat breakfast every morning, something I did not do for more years than I want to share!
Challenges have also helped me gain and give support. I value the friendships developed on Spark, and will certainly continue to seek out group challenges.
Friday, March 21, 2014
The Hogwarts team offers some interesting challenges and I particularly like the Arts and Charms class; we tackle a different project every week. These projects have the additional benefit of keeping my hands too busy to snack!
While I sew and can knit a basic scarf, I have never crocheted before. I did not expect to have such a tough time! I watched the videos, looked at online demos and referred to a book I have. I even dropped in on our local Chat and Stitch club where a patient woman, old enough to be my mother, spent 90 minutes teaching me to do a few basic stitches. I could tell she thought I was hopeless!
When I reported my sad progress in team threads, several people offered support and helpful suggestions. I couldn't give up now!
Last night and tonight I started all over again, until I finally produced something barely adequate. The pictures below show a couple of false starts and the final bracelet.
As frustrating as this experience was, it was a good lesson for this retired teacher. No one is good at everything, and everybody helps. Simple lessons I used to teach my students and a necessary reminder for me.
So thanks to the special Hogwartians for the encouragement, and to the other teams I've been neglecting this week, now you know why!
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
With the start of 2014, I have been looking for new motivation, and new challenges. Several Spark friends have put a great new team together, Camp Wannaberfit, which I think combines the best from challenge teams I enjoy. As my friend, Pam (PCKTTS) says, "The team is about 2/3 full without going public. But we are still looking for some friends (both those we know and new ones) to join us. I'm just going to post the "Welcome" post here. It does a good job of describing the challenge."
Read the description below, and if this something you might be interested in, Sparkmail me and I'll get you an invitation.
We are a group of Sparkers that decided we want to move beyond weekly weigh ins and weekly challenges built by someone else. We know that pounds are not the only way to measure success. We need the flexibility of taking Tuesday off from exercise some weeks and donít want to feel guilty about it. We know what works for us, what our time constraints are and what we enjoy doing.
We enjoy hanging out with an active team; we need the support and the fun. We are also just a bit competitive and appreciate the fact that having a team depending on us can push us to work just a little bit harder.
With those things in mind, we put together this team. Camp Wannabefit consists of several challenges in the form of camp activities. There are a variety of exercise activities for you to choose from that range from beginner to seasoned athlete in difficulty. You have several nutrition options as well. Then we threw in some of what we call Life Style activities so that you can work on everything from organizational skills, to getting that stack of books read, to doing some writing and self-reflection.
You will have the ability to build your own challenge each week or build your perfect week once and then just get it done. The activities are lead by folks with experience in their subjects. So, if, for instance you want to become a runner Ė we have a great camp counselor all lined up for you with a plan for meeting your running goals. Want to get your Ooommm on - we have yoga covered too. Cycling, Strength Training . . . yep, we have them.
Traveling this week? Cut back on your camp commitments . Need to get ready for an event? Hit it hard. Have a race this week - you wonít lose points for needing to load up on those carbs. In maintenance? Take a simple Healthy Habits challenge and then join the book club or work on some other life challenge.
Each activity has a point value Ė thatís where the challenge comes in. You will be part of a team that is counting on you to rack up those points each week. Bragging rights are a wonderful thing!!
Space is limited, but we are an ongoing challenge, so as folks move on to other things, we will fill their space with folks from our wait list.
The challenge will officially begin on Sunday, April 13th, but we will invite you to camp ahead of that date so that you can get settled in. Hope to see you there."
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