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Some possible goals for 2015

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I'm sitting here tonight in my living room, listening to Christmas songs on the radio.

Sigh. (enough said)

So I thought I would divert my attention and write down some POSSIBLE goals for 2015.

1) Read one book per month
2) Spend 3 hours per week discovering and putting together my "senior citizen" style. I promise myself to be the very best I can be during my "golden" years. :)
3) Spend 2-3 hours per week on art (watercolors, drawing, collage, calligraphy, etc.)
4) Spend evenings with busy hands: learn Hardanger embroidery.
5) Sew 365 dresses for Africa this year.
6) Read through the Bible this year. (Daily Audio Bible)
7) Strength train 3-4 times per week.
8) HIIT or Tabata style workouts 2-3 times per week, EVERY week.
9) Increase vocabulary by 10 words per week.
10) Make a rag rug out of old clothes and sheets.
11) De-clutter 1 entire room or closet per month.
12) Bring calendar up to date and send hand-written greeting cards for every birthday, anniversary, illness, bereavement, etc.
13) Volunteer 5 hours per week.
14) Random act of kindness every Monday.
15) Save all my change during the year and use to buy coats for donation next Winter.
16) Clear bookcases of unwanted books. Sell them and save the money for smaller clothes.
17) Study the Virtues, other cultures or countries, and various other things of interest and begin to write about them, possibly submit for publication in magazines.
18) Cook something new, 2 times per month.
19) Buy a camera and take a digital camera course. Have at least one of my photographs printed on canvas and hanging in my home before my next birthday.
20) Take up bowling, including buying my own bowling ball. Go bowling at least twice per month.

Ahhhh....I feel better now! emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSUSRIVERRAT 12/22/2014 8:19AM

    Great list full of wonderful ideas !

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MAWMAW101 12/22/2014 7:35AM

    Hi Josie
My response to your list: (just in case you want to know) emoticon
# 1......I got that one!
# 2.....I say skip that one because if you do the others, that one will be taken care of!
# 3.....I need to put that one on my list!
# 4.....Had to google that one, it's beautiful but looks very complicated.
# 5.....would be happy to try to help you with that one if (when) you get behind?
# 6.....Been there, done that, forgot most of it except the love they neighbor part that you have down pat!
# 7 .....Hate that one but it is so necessary!
# 8......I plead "old age" on those!
# 9 .....Wow, that's a lot of words to remember.
#10.....Done that a few times, just dumped some jeans were kept too many years and never done (sometimes too many projects for one lifetime)!
#11.....I finally got most of my house done but struggle every day with filling it back up with (I might need that) items that eventually need to go!
#12.....January, perfect time to do that! I however didn't even get Christmas cards sent this year!
#13.....You go girl!
#14......I want to copy that, excellent idea. I wonder if I can send myself a reminder, I tend to forget until the day is gone.
#15.....I save mine but it's for a vacation (yours is a much better reason)!
#16.....Finally finished mine this fall. Told hubby this is what makes houses smell like "old people"......mold and dust in books not moved for years!
#17.....Now that is way above me but I wish you well in your journey!
#18.....I pretty much got that one down!
#19.....Got the camera, took the class, still need to ask the granddaughter who took it with me how to get a picture to e-mail!
#20.....Happy memories of probably 20 years watching my blue ball go where I didn't want it to! Only a new job interfered with that one!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MAWMAW101 12/22/2014 6:20AM

Wow Josie what an awesome life you will be living when next years list is written! Love those ideas, all excellent goals. Reminded me when I bowled every week (yes my own blue ball & bag).
emoticon emoticon
Love always, Phyllis~~

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FLASUN 12/22/2014 5:50AM

    emoticon List for you Josie!!!! And don't forget about Helping OUT those Blue Lion Trackers on BLC27!!!!! I can tell you will be a Super Motivator & Support to the team!!!!!

NOW let's go BOWLING!!!! emoticon emoticon

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BLC26 - Good Fun, Good Friends, Good Fitness

Monday, December 08, 2014

Twelve weeks ago, BLC26 began and I got to be a part of it.

The Blue Lion Trackers welcomed me to their team, and at first all the chatter was intimidating. But within a week or so, I was chatting right along with the others, and we were becoming fast friends. The ladies on that team of very encouraging and supportive as well as helpful when I ran into trouble.

What I really liked about BLC26 was the all the ways we were encouraged to stay on track with our food and fitness programs. Each week we had one-day challenges, a four-day weekend challenge, and a "last chance workout." These various small challenges kept me focused and made things interesting and fun as I learned new ways to move my body and to keep the fun in the workouts.

The Blue Lion Trackers is a group that requires its members to make their food and fitness trackers public. I really am glad for that because it keeps me "real," responsible t myself, and accountable to my team. Making my food and fitness trackers public was one of the very best things I've done since I've been here at SparkPeople. My habits have been more consistent since I made my trackers public than they ever were when they were private. My consistency is paying off in several ways:
* weight loss
* muscle strength
* competitiveness
* motivation

One of the great things I learned from tracking is that I can very easily see the results of making consistently good choices vs making consistently bad choices. Tracking everything simply gives me the raw data I need to make better choices in my program. And I also learned, on a couple of days when I thought I made bad choices in my food, that I really didn't blow it as badly as I thought I had. This was a great encouragement to me.

I have decided that for the holidays, I am going to look back through the weekend challenges we had throughout BLC26, and find the ones I liked best. I will continue to work through those and challenge myself to reach each goal every day between now and the beginning of BLC27 so that I will not gain weight during our time off. For Christmas I am not going to restrict anything. Instead, I am going to eat what I like without over-stuffing myself, and then, the day after Christmas, I will get right back on the program to workout each day and to eat sensibly, making sure to get in 4-5 freggies and at least 10 glasses of water daily.

I've made the decision to stay with BLC each season until I reach my goal weight. Afterwards, I plan to stay with BLC for at least several more rounds in order to learn how to maintain my weight and fitness levels with a new and consistent, active lifestyle.

If you are looking for a fun and friendly way to add interest, motivation, and challenge to your own weight loss program, I wholeheartedly invite you to join us in BLC27 which is set to begin January 15th. There is room for people of every fitness level in The Biggest Loser Challenge.

I hope to see YOU in BLC27!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLASUN 12/10/2014 2:27PM

    emoticon Blog !!! Josie, YOU have been just wonderful on the team!! All the Lions just LOVE you!!!! You made your post so funny & Positive to read. Glad you will be helping out with next round!!! emoticon emoticon message to everyone to join BLC27!!! Become a Blue Lion Tracker!!!! emoticon

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DEBB1313 12/9/2014 9:08PM

    Great blog! We've really enjoyed meeting and getting to know you this round. Your positive attitude and good humour is contagious to the team and irreplaceable! Look forward to working together for BLC27!!!!

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KELLYFROG 12/9/2014 8:37AM

    Great job this round! So glad you joined and are a BLT!!

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SWEETNEEY 12/9/2014 7:51AM

    That's a great idea had for the break between the challenge.

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JAXMOMMY 12/8/2014 10:13PM

    You know you will see me there! Hopefully I'll be on your team! Glad you enjoyed Round 26 as much as I did! Congratulations!! PS Good plan for the holiday break!

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Working on a new "virtual" walk

Monday, December 08, 2014

There are couple of places I'd like to go for my new virtual walk:
1) Fallingwater, as mentioned before, about 90 miles outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
2) Art Prize 2015, Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Fallingwater is 798 miles from my house.

Art Prize is 620 miles from my house.

As of today (3:14 PM), I have walked 192. 86 miles.

So, I still have to walk 605.14 miles to Fallingwater, and 427.14 miles to Art Prize 2015.

I am making much better time this year than I made last year. The difference is that I am not only walking. I am also working out on my Gazelle. Therefore, I should be able to book my trip to either of these in the Spring or early Summer.

Oh...I should also begin to save my money for the trip! :)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JAXMOMMY 12/8/2014 5:02PM

    What fun! You may be getting there sooner than you anticipate, so start saving now!

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MOJO0607 12/8/2014 4:25PM

    What a fun way to keep motivated!

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The Perfect Storm: Oct. 14, 2014

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Well, I'm sort of laughing right now to keep from being extremely disappointed in myself. But at the same time, I think I am having a really incredible experience during the BLC26.

For the first time in decades I am focused on my weight loss program, and when I run into obstacles, failures, and today, a perfect storm, I have the clarity of mind to realize how fortunate I am to be able to fail so completely and yet take it as a blessing in my journey toward health and fitness.

This perfect storm has been brewing all week. I've been working out more than I have in ages because I really want to make it into the top 10 of Spark America's October Fitness Minutes. Yesterday was the second day that I thought I would make the top 10. I worked out for 4.5 hours to try to bust into the #10 spot (possibly even the #9 place), and for the second day in a row, some of my fitness minutes were not counted by Spark America. Yesterday 90 minutes of my workout was completely ignored as best I can tell. The day before that, some of my minutes were ignored but I'm not sure how many. I just know that for two days in a row I thought that I would get to see my name in the #10 spot before I leave to visit my daughter in another state. But I didn't. It was really disappointing and frustrating to chase after something, calculate the minutes it would take to reach it, do the hard work so I could see those minutes add up, and then never see it happen.

The fitness this week, and especially yesterday, backfired on me. I have been so stinking hungry today! On top of that, my husband wanted homemade bread, which I offered to make for him, and which is also one of the things I can least resist...especially when I smell it baking. Add to that the fact that I am a stress eater who is stressed right now, and you have the perfect storm in my life.

I didn't handle it well at all. In fact, I was trashed by it. (Didn't I learn anything a few days ago on my "rebellious day?!!") In all seriousness though, it will never cease to amaze me how easy it is to slowly commit suicide by food.

All I can say is, "Thank God for do-overs, second chances, and new starts."

Tomorrow is a new day and I will begin again. Over the next couple of days I will take this day (and week) apart and looked at every component...every step I made and every thought I had toward food and exercise. I will turn each thing over in my head (and heart) and will begin to put together a REAL action plan to handle all my high stress and baking days that inevitably come in the Fall and Winter of each year. I am thankful that this happened now so that by the time Thanksgiving comes I will know exactly what I'm going to do to keep from sabotaging myself.

I think I may give up my desire to reach the top 10 of Spark America and just accept where I am and be grateful that I have the ability to move my body. After all, what am I really striving for? Is it to actually be #1 or is it simply to be better than I am now and become healthy in mind, body, and spirit?

Being consistent and on track is much more important to me because if I've learned anything in my life it is that I must maintain a balance. If I swing too widely in any area of my life, I crash and burn. How did I so easily lose sight of that this week?

This perfect storm has been another sweet reminder that if I'm going to strive for and achieve something, it absolutely MUST have balance or I will waste my time with setbacks like today and like injuries.

I feel pretty yucky tonight and I dread the scale tomorrow morning.

(sigh)Transparency and honesty in times like this are ZERO fun, sir.

But it is worth it in the end, I think.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MALAMI518 10/16/2014 7:50AM

    Compete against only yourself and do what is best for you!


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DEBB1313 10/15/2014 9:23AM

    It is tough and it is worth it!
Everyday is an opportunity to learn something about yourself and this journey we are on. You are doing a great job! We are human and we all have bad days, make bad choices, fall down sometimes but as long as you don't stop picking yourself up and dusting yourself off you will come out ahead!

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HUSKERGIRL72 10/14/2014 10:10PM

    Look at the positive, you worked hard. You made it to your goal, you did not get the validation that you were seeking, but you still did it and in the end that is what counts !!! emoticon

We all want to feel special, but we have to learn that we need to praise ourselves even when no one else is!!

Chin up and keep moving forward, that is all anyone can do.

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UMBILICAL 10/14/2014 9:52PM

  Oh, but it is.

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Thank You, SparkPeople! Because of you, I know I'm going to succeed.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I joined SparkPeople on March 31, 2013. I was excited about this website and all that it had to offer, and I was like a kid in a candy shop or a Christmas wonderland, reading everything I could, joining many Spark teams and earning Spark points like nobody's business.

Soon, I found that I was overwhelmed because I had joined too many teams, had added so many Sparkfriends that I couldn't keep up with them, and just felt stressed out.

I have a history of eating disorder (anorexia, bulimia, and stress/compulsive eating). What that really means is that I had a lot of inaccurate views concerning food, fitness, and my body. I abused food and exercise to the point that I didn't enjoy either of them and so I began to become a recluse as my weight continued to climb.I hated my body and insulted and berated myself on a daily basis. I hid behind lies to and about myself and fulfilled my need for people by hiding behind avatars online in various chat rooms.

But there was one thing I couldn't escape: the truth that SparkPeople kept feeding me hand over fist in its outstanding articles, videos, and Sparkradio. The things I learned here began to seep into my brain as well as my life and I began to stop lying to myself and to others, I stopped hating my body which has been completely faithful to me during my lifetime, and I finally stopped hiding from myself and others. I overcame the fear that controlled my life.

Last year I decided to go an meet one of my Sparkfriends (shout out to MawMaw101 emoticon emoticon ) by driving to Missouri where we met for lunch with some of her friends and family. I also plan to do this with other Sparkfriends as long as they are willing. It has been one of the things I have most enjoyed since I've been here.

Last year, I was lost 30 pounds by being part of the Summer Fitness Challenge (Lemon team, which was filled with many wonderful women and one cool guy who joined the team with his wife) www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
, and also one particular Spark team that changed my life in a very special way: Where are YOU walking to? www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i

The Biggest Loser Fitness Challenges gave me great ideas of ways to exercise that were fun and also threw some fun challenges at us that helped with nutrition. I highly recommend both of the Biggest Loser Spark teams. The fun and support found in these groups keep us coming back for more every season.

The "Where are YOU walking to?" group is what motivated me to get off the couch and walk every day, and to even begin jogging. I kept track of all my mileage each day and added it up until I reached my goal of 207 miles, the distance from my house to Subiaco Abbey in west Arkansas. When I walked the 207 miles, a little bit at a time each day, I then drove to Subiaco Abbey, spent the night there, and worshiped with the monks, who were incredibly warm and welcoming. Now, I am earning my way to Art Prize 2015 in Grand Rapids, Michigan (693 miles from my home). This time, because I injured my knee, I will walk, bicycle, and row (via rowing machine) my way through the miles. I also plan to earn a trip to Falling Water, WV to see the house Frank Lloyd Wright designed (795 miles away).

So, where are YOU walking to?

I took a break from SparkPeople after I injured my knee while running last Autumn. It was the biggest mistake I made since joining SP. By the time I came back several weeks ago, I had not only regained the 30 pounds I had lost while here at SP, but I had also gained an extra 7 pounds.

This time, I decided to do some things differently. This time I decided to build accountability into my weight loss program by making my food and fitness trackers public and I also bought a Spark Activity Tracker (SPAT) emoticon. I joined the Biggest Loser Challenge (BLC26), and made my picture public. I also took "before" pics of me at my heaviest (which I am NOT proud of).

I refuse to lie about what I eat or drink on the tracker and this has helped me overcome the guilt I feel when I have a "bad" day. I look at the nutrition in the foods I have eaten on those days and find out where I can improve my choices. I also find foods I can substitute that will still meet my desires for sweets and salty tastes. I found that Atkins Advantage Meal Bars taste like candy and yet have 15-16g. of protein and up to 1g. of sugar, which is far better than a candy bar.

The SPAT makes it easy to track my fitness because it automatically uploads the data for me. All I have to do is tap it (sometimes, but most of the time I just need to walk near my laptop and it uploads my steps or cycling activity. I just LOVE this thing! It is also one of the best decisions I've made since joining SP.

I am such a different person this time around at SP. My perspective of food and fitness has changed for the better, and I am beginning to acquire the active lifestyle that will help me become the person I desire to be.

I'm beginning to truly believe that I will reach my goals of health, fitness, and active lifestyle for the first time in decades. I'm even beginning to think about working my way towards becoming a Sparkteam co-leader, if anyone will have me, but first I want to complete a couple of BLC challenges first in order to establish my consistency in fitness and nutrition. I have decided to stay with the BLC Sparkteam from now on and to remain here at SparkPeople for the rest of my life as well (or as long as SP exists).

So, thank you, from the bottom of my heart, SparkPeople! I have tried pretty much every diet, fad, and other weight loss websites to lose weight during my lifetime, and I have found that SparkPeople is really the ONLY way to go. I thought I would never overcome the messed up thoughts I had about food, fitness, and my body until now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAB7801 10/14/2014 6:59PM

    Stay with Spark, there's great!

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CHANGINGEMMY 10/12/2014 10:24PM

    Keep up the hard work! Great blog! It's awesome that you visit the places you "walk" to. Makes me want to get back into what I call map walking. Walking to certain cities or places pretty much what you do. Thanks for the encouragement!

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KELLYFROG 10/12/2014 10:50AM

    Great blog and I am so happy to have met you through Spark People. You can accomplish all your goals!!

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FORZACHANDMATT 10/11/2014 9:50PM

    This is so inspirational - thanks so much! I am still in the joining teams and adding friends and often get overwhelmed but enjoy it so much!!! It's great to see someone further down the road talk about their process.

I think the challenges are great also and very motivational - I am doing the BLC26 (my first BLC) and it's been great for me

Good luck on your journey!

I really like the concept of Where are you walking to? But not sure if I should join another team right now...:)))

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GODZDESIGN95 10/11/2014 9:18PM

    Good for you! now that what I'm talking about! I can feel the confidence jump off the page, emoticon

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POSITIVEHOPE 10/11/2014 6:55PM

    When I first joined SP in 2009, I was new to the site, the online community and eventually got overwhelmed just like you did. I restarted my journey in 2013 and the best advice I got this time was "Put your own oxygen mask on first."

Take care of your own spark needs first. You can best help others and be encouraging and supportive after you have filled your own needs.

Rooting for you!

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CAT125 10/11/2014 5:57PM


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MONTREALESTMOI 10/11/2014 4:59PM

    Sparkpeople is AMAZING! I wish I could get more of my friends and family to join!

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JAXMOMMY 10/11/2014 4:21PM

    So, I am smiling and crying! This is so very wonderful for you! The belief in yourself will turn your world around! The healthy relationships with food and exercise are what count!! I am just overjoyed with your blog and your change in perspective and of course your love of all things Spark! Congratulations and Spark On my friend, Spark On!!!

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REDDOTFLYER 10/11/2014 4:11PM

    Great Job. I like your walking idea / reward. Actually visiting the place is a neat idea. emoticon

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PINKHONEYLILY 10/11/2014 3:23PM

    emoticon emoticon A positive attitude goes a long way! You are definitely on the right road. Sending positive thoughts and energy. emoticon

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