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!
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
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!
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! :)
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.
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 ) 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
ndividual.asp?gid=25339 , 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) . 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.
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