Thursday, September 19, 2013
Today's challenge on Sparkcoach was to talk about how different I am now from when I started sparkpeople or sparkcoach, etc. I'm going to do that one tomorrow.
The gates of the BLC opened for the first time last night. As a co-cappy for a BLC team - Azure Destinations, I've gotten a little bit of a head start on all things BLC 23, but it's still a rather momentous occasion to see 600 Sparkers streaming through the gates onto the team page.
You can sense the excitement - people are virtually jumping up and down, greeting old friends, making new ones, getting geeked about meeting their new teammates. They're also digging around the site, checking out cool graphics or memes on different teams, etc. And all of that is great fun.
What the BLC is all about, though, is better health through weight loss. You get TONS of support, but ultimately, it's up to you. And one of the best ways to make sure this happens is via SMART goals. Smart goals are measurable and doable (I can never remember the exact acronym), and so they really help you to have goals that are manageable.
So... here are my SMART goals for this round:
1. lose 10 lbs.
2. work my core 3X per week via Coach Nicole's seated core the first three weeks and graduating to tougher routines starting week 4.
3. Going swimming at the Y 1X per week.
4. Being a "streaker" for all 12 weeks.
5. Checking in with Sparkcoach every, single day.
6. Tracking every l-b-t every, single day.
7. Drinking at least eight, 8 oz. glasses of water every, single day.
8. Checking in on the Azure board every, single day.
9. Checking in on my travel boards every, single day of the visit.
10. Doing belly dance bootcamp three different times during the 12 weeks.
11. Being settled in my new house by the end of the BLC.
12. Meditating at least 5X per week.
13. "Soul reading" at least 5X per week.
How are you doing with your goals? Would you benefit from changing things up? What would you add in right now? Also, if you've got your own SMART goals posted currently, please let me know and I'll check yours out!
Friday, August 30, 2013
Not to sound like a broken record, but seriously - this is AWESOME.
I lost 20 lbs. between the registration period and the actual challenge - so 16 weeks, but for me that's an INCREDIBLE loss - I gained such perseverance and developed great patterns, but the best part was the fabulous FUN and especially the great friends I made along the way.
There are teams for every interest - full out fitness, learning to make good nutrition decisions, loving yourself, helping others (my team - Azure Destinations - does a lot of work for other teams, BLC newbies, etc., etc.), and then there are terrific themes - you can be a SPY, hang out in corrals with the Mustangs, or do the hula on the beach with the other Azures
Of all the amazing teams and experiences I've had with Sparks, the BLC has definitely been a highlight. I can't say enough wonderful things about it.
Plus... if you join, you can hang out with me in the Challenge Hall in the Newbie reg halls - I'm hanging out there trying to help with those wonderful challenges!
So... what are you waiting for? The instructions for registration are below from the Admin team (and no, that is a different Jen on that team):
Here is what the BLC Admin have to say:
"Here's how to share this experience with others:
Have them Follow the link below and join the Registration Team! The "General Team Discussion Forum" has STEP 1, 2 AND 3 laid out, please READ and REGISTER! Next, check out the TRAINING FORUM. ****They MUST complete training in order to be placed. *****
Then have them Join us in the CLUBHOUSE to start the chat!
Here is the link to the BLC23 Registration Team. We look forward to an amazing round with you and our new friends!
If you have any questions, Please ask them in our BLC23 Q &A thread. Your questions will be answered more quickly there. PLUS, You never know when someone else will have the same question!
~Your BLC-Admin: Nic, Terry, Mel and Jen"
Wednesday, August 07, 2013
So... I've been a rotten correspondent since early June.
For my many sparkfriends who've watched my attendance drop in terms of their blogs, feeds, etc., I apologize.
Part of the reason for this has been a truly crazy summer. It's been a summer of many blessings, but crazy nonetheless. We have a new canine family member, almost, but may not, have a new house, my DS is home from college, and various things have gone with various friends and family members.
A big, SPARKly reason I haven't been around, however, has been the BLC.
What is the BLC, you may ask?
The BLC is a Spark challenge team that is 600 members strong for each challenge, and which is modeled on the Biggest Loser tv show, in the sense that there are different teams and we all compete, as teams, for the best weight losses, per week, and the best weight losses of individuals.
The prize is...
GREAT. The prize is a fabulous, supportive environment with wonderful team members pulling for you and at the same time you really want to lose the weight to help out your team as well as yourself.
There are all kinds of teams - hyper competitive teams, laid-back teams, exercise-focused teams, etc., etc. Each team has a theme, too - I'm on a team called Azure Destinations (which is THE BEST, Sarakeepmoving ), but I've also visited the Rocking Rose Rangers who have fun puzzles of the day and routines throughout the week, the Midnight Mustangs, who (obviously) have a horse theme and have "stables" within the team (so that smaller groups get to know each other even better) and The Steely Sapphire Soldiers who have a military theme, "platoon duties" and a slew of challenges. When you register, you get to sign up for up to three choices, and then the admins match you and your team.
So... I have lost (drum roll) 13 lbs. through the 9 weeks of this challenge (there are 12 weeks for each challenge). I have NEVER had a loss like this during all my time at SPARK. The support I've received has been consistent and invaluable - the incentive, for me, about helping my team out at each WI has been also VERY helpful and the friendships I've made... oh, the friendships I've made! I can't say enough about the GREAT women (and men) who are part of the BLC. This is one, dedicated, loving environment! 600 strong!!!
Now, a word about my team - Azure Destinations. There are two teams that require applications - CAMO, a very high-powered, competitive, exercise-focused team and Azure Destinations. The reason for the applications are each serve a specific niche for the BLC. CAMO is just super-charged, and if that works for you, it's a great place to hang out. They need to make sure you'll be able to be up for their challenges, etc. For Azure, it's a different situation. We are the "island" team - we have cabanas, golden sands, gentle steel guitar, and cabana boys... but we are also the cheerleaders of the BLC. Yes, we want to do well in terms of our own WI's, etc., too, but we ALSO travel to other teams, share our spirit and try to spur on our other teams to a WIN! It's a fabulous team for those with compassion, humor and a desire to help others (and meet a HUGE number of Sparkers!).
It's a lot of work, but completely worth it.
So.... are you ready to sign up now?! SURE you are!!! Here's the link for the BLC mailing list: www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp?gid=50602 - they'll be sending out new registration info for the BLC 23 (starting around late September/early October) SOON (mid-August). JUMP on that registration - this wonderful 600-member team fills up FAST. If you're interested in Azure, in particular, please sparkmail me so we can talk.
If your weight loss has stalled, if you're looking for something to switch things up, if you're looking for FUN and if you have enough time to put in at least 30 minutes to an hour a day, EVERY DAY to sparking as a SUPPORT to your weight loss, then I can't recommend anything finer!
Sunday, July 28, 2013
Today's spark coach challenge is writing about excuses. Two excuses that have sabotaged my weight loss in the past are:
1. My rheumatological condition is making me hurt too much to do my exercise.
2. Going "off program" one day and not tracking for that day won't hurt my efforts in the long run, because it "helps" to vary your calories.
Things I have learned THIS time around:
1. I have a variety of rheumatological/osteo issues. I have some chronic pain. It is not nearly as bad as what many other people live with on a daily basis. If I do even the 11 minuted seated cardio by Coach Nicole, I feel much better, no matter how bad the pain is. It will help. Always. Doing the seated core routine - ditto. The stronger my core, the less my knees and hip hurt and the more mobile I can be. If I do yoga at least 3 times a week, I'm happier. If I can dance, I'm VERY happy. These last two are all about endorphins. Meditation daily, helps keep stress down and that helps the other conditions. So... if I do the cardio 1 or 2X per day, get in some ST/PT and do meditation daily and yoga as often as possible, I'm GREAT for the rest of the day. That, in itself, cuts the heck out of that excuse. Why WOULDN'T you want to feel great? There is NO (other than hospitalization/flu) excuse for me not to get in some exercise every day. (And yeah, I don't get a full rest day, but there are worse things in life).
2. Yes, it DOES hurt my weight loss. Every. single. time. My body has been thoroughly consistent in that way. If I don't track, I can go through a zillion calories, even though I'm not the type to go through a pint of Ben and Jerry's - my snacking tends to be healthy... just WAY too much. Unless I track. So am I ever going to have an emotional eating situation? Yes. Am I going to track every last LBT? YES! There is NO excuse for me not to track.
What excuses do YOU need to work on?
Hope you're having a fabulous Sunday!
Friday, July 19, 2013
So today my "challenge" from spark coach is to share my goals with "someone". Now, I've done this before. Will do this again. Will do this the rest of my life, probably.
Because my goals keep changing. Goals, for me, may be the most powerful part of sparkpeople (other than the amazing community of wonderful people).
Growing up, health goals had to do with being "skinny". Having the right number - in terms of the scale, in terms of clothing size, in terms of being the right "fit" for my parents' aspirations for their children. My parents were both first/second generation - one Polish/Russian Jew, the other German/English/Irish mix. Both came from working class homes, although my dad's father and stepmother had more education than my other grandparents; and all my grandparents embodied the American dream - they were successful in their fields, they were determined to send their children to college (and they did), and they were all involved in their U.S. communities. For my parents, Mecca was New York City.
They both achieved their dreams of living and working their in their early twenties. They both spent their entire lives loving, loving, loving their adopted home town and wanting to appear their BEST in that culture.
I understand why their tomboy, chunky little girl with the too-loud voice and the too-much-energy concerned them, and they wanted me to fit in well and be able to reap the benefits of the elegance of New York.
Okay... water under the bridge where I learned many of my unhealthy habits, from not eating as a teen, to smoking and living on coffee for weight loss, to bingeing when no matter what I tried, I wasn't going to be a "fit". My parents loved me and did the best they could. Enough said.
So, as an adult... why did it take me to my FIFTIES to finally get to want to be truly healthy? Especially since my CHOSEN family (husband, son and wonderful exchange kids) have been nothing but supportive?
Ack... who knows. The thing is, I'm here now, and happy.
But what I've also figured out is that goals are key and the more I don't focus on number goals, the better things work.
I'm part of the FABULOUS BLC now. For those who are interested in more information, either comment below or sparkmail me, and I'll answer questions as I see them. Also, here's the mailing list link, that will help you know when the next registration is open:
As part of the BLC, I had a number goal and some other goals, too. However, even since June 5th, my goals have changed considerably.
Goals, for me, are fluid. Right now I have goals to get my piriformis/sciatica pain at bay again (did something stupid yesterday). They are to get my new puppy supplies organized with my work/house needs. They are to stop worrying about my BLC WIs on Wednesdays, as I've noticed some unhealthy trends sneaking back in to my thinking. They are to up my cardio a little bit, and increase meditation. They are to make time for two online courses that I want. They are to cut back on extra team time (non-BLC) and increase being in touch with non-BLC SP friends.
Last week, they were more about numbers, water, all that jazz.
It's take me 5 decades to begin to get this right. So I have a question - where are YOU with your goals? Do you find goals helpful? The be all and end all? Meh? Do yours stay rigid or fluid? How do you determine them? How often do you change them? Any and all answers are appreciated - discuss!
And as always, have a fabulous, sparkified day!
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