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Finally, Being Honest & Doing Well!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

My weight yesterday morning was a little up- - 289#--I think I put on a few pounds over the holidays but I'm not worried about it . . .as I know just what to do! I will try to weigh myself only once a week (Mondays) and I hope my Ticker keeps adding up to a 75# weight loss by the end of 2011.

At the encouragement of a dear Spark Friend I decided even though I mentally knew my goals for 2011 it was high time to write them down. She also said to post them throughout the house where you walk or spend time as that way you will be seeing them and getting even more motivation to make them all come true.

I started Stage 2 today--Healthy Diet Habits--will stay in it for 2 weeks.

My 2011 Goals are:

1. Exercise for 10-15 minutes every day--then every other month add another 10 minutes to it and remember to track it.

2. Drink green tea--hot or cold instead of sodas and coffee--and as always water.

3. Eat 5 fruits a vegetables a day.

4. Eat slowly and mindfully - this is hard for me as I usually wolf down my food and don't even realize I'm satisfied until 20 minutes later. I'm going to wait 20 minutes after I finish a meal to see if I'm satisfied, if not I will have a low fat Greek yogurt, glass of milk, a piece of string cheese--a 100-150 calorie #2 Snack.

5. 1/4 of my plate will be starches - such as brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oats, whole grain cereal, or whole wheat bread
Another 1/4 of my plate will be protein such as chicken, fish, meat, eggs, beans & Tofu.
1/2 of my plate will be non-starchy veggies or fruits such as broccoli, carrots, lettuce, tomatoes or some fruit such as an orange, an apple, berries, melons, etc

6. Track my food intake & stay within calorie range and don't forget to adjust it as the pounds come off.

I'm in a Spring Challenge in the 60 & Over Team with 100 or more. . . and my goal is to be down 15#s by the end of March 2011

After realizing that goal I will lose another #20 every 3 months. So I will be down a realistic 75#s by the end of this year. I want a 100# or more # weight loss but in 2012 I will do just that. I will set additional goals for 2012 the end of this year.

I know it's a slow weight loss but I don't lose weight quickly as mobility is an issue for me and I'm on some medication that my Dr. told me usually makes people gain weight--well, I'm living proof enough of that.

I want and need to get healthy as I have a lot of people who love and yes, also depend upon me. But, most of all I'm doing it for me and I'm thinking very positive and I know I Can Do This!!

I love all the Support and Motivation I get from SP--and you all give me encouragement and motivation that helps me enormously. I thank each and every one of you--you are one of the most important ingredients in all of this!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMTHICK2 1/10/2011 4:38PM

    Hey Jill I know emoticon your're doing great so far there's no reason why you can't complete the journey. I so proud of you. All the best. emoticon

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EMMABE1 1/7/2011 10:41PM

    Very well thought out and written down - great goals.
Weight loss is a slow process andd one that doesn't always go to plan - but a goal that is well worth achiving!!

I certainly count this as the answer to the challenge this week, Thank you Jill.

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DIDMIS 1/7/2011 10:40PM

    Hey Jill, good for you. Wishing the very best. You will feel so much better. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOMFAN 1/7/2011 1:25PM


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    I truly believe that putting our goals in writing makes them more concrete to us!
You have a great plan and are realistic about setting and reaching your goals.
Stay focused, determined, and positive!

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BAYBELIEVER 1/6/2011 11:19PM

    Wonderful! Putting your goals down in writing and in places wehre you see them will really help you stay focused! Although, you seem very focused anyway, this will be for those times when life throws something at you and you just need that reinforcement! Way to go!

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FXYGMA 1/5/2011 10:46PM

    Jill, Wonderful blog and your goals are so well thought out. I know you will accomplish all you have set out to do. I am so proud of you and the fact you are now exercising, emoticon on that one. I guess I don't have to remind you to shake your booty anymore. emoticon
I was watching a program on our public broadcasting channel about easy yoga for those who have arthritis. It was done much like chair exercising for those with mobility problems. It told all the benefits to your health. I am going to see if I can find a dvd about this type of yoga.

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CAROLJ35 1/5/2011 9:52PM

    WOW! You are really in control and I'm sure you will be successful.

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SURFCITYMOM 1/5/2011 5:56PM

    Way to go Jill. I like your goals and inspires me to also write down my goals. I may "steal" some of yours!! Terri

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MARSHASTAR 1/5/2011 3:35PM

    I'm SO GLAD you wrote this. It is so much like what I would have written If I could think straight long enough.
Your #4... oh my gosh that is my number ONE problem. I eat so fast ... I know I will eat HALF as much .. as soon as this slow eating becomes a HABIT.
We both have realized we need to be sensible......., slow and steady. That's what I'm doing IN STAGE 2 ... YAH.. I may stay in Stage 2 for a LONG time..
(or not. ... it depends on how I progress)
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Comment edited on: 1/5/2011 3:36:51 PM

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2MUCHRUTHIE 1/5/2011 5:40AM


What a truly fantastic blog! It is so inspiring to me! I'm going to write my plan out ,too. I've been getting a lot of "advice" from dietitians, doctors, and friends. It has confused me even more. I will have to decide what to eat as a diabetic and then be flexible enough to change it if it isn't working.
So proud of you. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TUBLADY 1/4/2011 11:06PM

    Excelant plan. To be motivated everyday through out the house is the way to go.
Your goals are realistic. And if you lose more all the better.
One thing I did was not go into the kitchen after 9:00 at night.
I always had enough water with me and maybe my fruit snack(usually an apple or grapes). I watch TV at night, and thats a time for snacking. Instead drink water and have a some fruit.
Stay positive, stay strong and Spark on.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEANZFRD 1/4/2011 10:27PM

    Great goals Jill! I am happy to hear that you aren't losing it over the holiday gain. Just keep it up and you will soon meet all of your goals. You are already so much happier, I can tell.

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DOWNTOWNJEN 1/4/2011 7:39PM

    I LOVE your goals - totally doable and achievable. And I too understand about meds that make you gain weight - a LOT of weight! Ugh. I'm so glad you are a sparkfriend - you are inspiring to me and so many others.

We are all in this together and we are DOING IT!

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Oh and PS: I too would like to be 75 lbs lighter by the end of the yr. We have the tools - we just need to be consistent!

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26M8J7 1/4/2011 7:09PM

    Good for you, it sounds like you have a great plan. emoticon

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BECKYANNE1 1/4/2011 5:08PM

    emoticon I also put a few pounds on this past holiday season. I'm not worried. I hoped I'd do better, but as long as we get back on track, that's all that matters. You've gotten some great advice from your spark friend.

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OZARKMARY 1/4/2011 5:08PM

  Great blog, my Dear! The only way we can actually get through to ourselves is to put it out there. One thing I do that I am so greatful for is I keep a calendar in my bathroom by my scale. In this house, I have it hanging on the inside of the closet door, in my last place, it was under my towels. I put my measurements on it, sometimes weather, company, emotional state, and a lot of little notes to myself.

You also mention the green tea. I have it, and I make it, but I don't like it, however, recently, I found a box of different teas in my cabinet and I found a spearmint green tea...it was awesome!!! I used a little Slenda with it, but am going to switch to truvia.

WE/ emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JOANOFSPARK 1/4/2011 4:59PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonyou are emoticon I know..... emoticon I love the way your attitude has become very positive ...and much more confident than you were; it takes 'baby steps' .....that's the only way we can do it and keep on tracking. We are both survivors; we will do this....

Love the idea of posting little reminders to yourself all over the house. I used to have a little note on the fridge..."NO EXCUSES!! JUST DO IT!!" It would also be a great idea to post little notes to yourself, telling yourself that you are so worth it, that you are doing so great....and on your mirror, post "I love you." Now that for me is very difficult but it does help. We have to learn to love ourselves, to learn to love our bodies, to take compassionate care of it...before we can really make progress.

*oops* sorry....got carried away there....but I am so proud of you...you are doing so great....:) emoticon emoticon

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Healthy Changes I'm Making On My Journey!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

I'm doing a long Fast Break Stage and will be starting Stage 2 on January 1st.

These are the healthy changes I've made to help me get healthy:

1. I now get 7-8 hours sleep a night as when I don't I get hungry and don't seem to have any willpower to stop doing mindless eating. I don't seem to even care when I'm tired as I will stuff myself with calorie laden sweets, chips, etc. I also do better with my emotional eating when I'm well rested.

2. I made quite a few healthy food changes. They also help me with my usually high blood sugar levels.

A. Greek Yogurt for Yoplait's Yogurt - It is more filling and has less sugar than regular yogurts.
B. Eating Sprouted Grain bread - At first I missed my soft WW Bread as this bread is much denser but again it has less sugar and fat and is healthier for you.
C. Buying and eating romaine and spinach for salads instead of iceberg lettuce as they are more nutritious for you.
D. Getting to enjoy eating sweet potatoes instead of the white potatoes I usually buy. I just dap a little butter on it and sprinkle it with cinnamon and they are really good for you.
E. Believe it or not, I was drinking 2 (12 cup) pots of coffee a day and also usually a liter of diet Pepsi. I've switched over to green tea or once in awhile a herb tea and it is cheaper to buy and healthier as I was adding lots of Splenda to the coffee. On warm days, I make iced tea out of it--what a bargain compared to the Pepsi I was drinking.
F. I've learned I have to do my exercises in the morning otherwise I seem to put if off later and end up not doing them at all. I'm beginning to enjoy exercising and will increase it come New Years. Now, I even want to try Zumba Dancing!!
G. I plan my meals for about 5 days that way when I want to make them I have all the right ingredients and no excuse not to make them. I use my crockpot a lot and love to try new Spark recipes as they are usually very tasty, lower in calories and nutritious.
H. I now make sure I have healthy snacks on hand such as walnuts, string cheese, Laughin Cow, etc. otherwise I will be trying my son's junk food.
I love SP and love reading the articles and blogs as I need motivation, new ideas and the encouragement I get from friends.

I also believe reading the book, The Spark, is a must read! It has helped me so much--it is worth it's weight in Gold to Me!!

Wishing all of you a Very Happy and Successful New Year - 2011. May we achieve our goals and all of us get Healthy!

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Hugs to All,


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MOMMA_BEAR_69 1/2/2011 4:01PM

    You have made some AWESOME changes that will definitely help you as you travel your journey to a healthier you. Your encouragement and inspiration to other will also help you make healthier choices...it does for me anyway. You are doing a great job! Keep it up!!!
Blessings and hugs, my new friend,

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CONTENTCHRIS 1/1/2011 4:27PM

    I am thankful for your great coment on my blog. I wish you the best of War and many won battles in 2011 !

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MOMFAN 12/31/2010 1:42AM

    emoticonCheering you on! Let's reach our goals together this year! emoticon

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OZARKMARY 12/30/2010 11:45PM

  You've come a long way, Baby!! emoticon WE/ emoticon

I'll need my friends to get me back on track, I'm afraid. May put some of these treats in the freezer or maybe take them to work. Enjoying some cheese-caramel popcorn altogether too much. Too swollen. Will get back to drinking lots of water. Company leaves Sat, so will be strict with myself, then. Dr appt is 1/5.

You keep up the good work! I'm so proud of your efforts. You inspire me to keep at it. emoticon emoticon emoticonHappy New Year, gf!!

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SPHAPPYHIKER 12/30/2010 9:17PM

You are doing awesome! Keep up the great work! I started reading The Spark in January and still have not finished it. I will have to make it a goal for sure this year. I am terrible when it comes to reading books. My thing with reading The Spark I want to do all the things they say also and I was having some tough times in there too so between the two I didn't do so well. This next year will be a new outlook.

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TUBLADY 12/30/2010 8:51PM

    Jill you are really on your way.
Those changes are many that I do already.
They make a ton of difference in the long run.
I hated to give up my Diet Coke, but it was so bad for me and I have adjusted.
The 7 or 8 hours of sleep, I had trouble with at first, but now I know how much better I feel with it, so I do my best to get it.
When you are rested everything else seems to fall into place.
Good luck, I know you can do it.
Happy New Year.
Tisha emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GMFAY33 12/30/2010 8:35PM

    emoticon emoticon


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FXYGMA 12/30/2010 5:09PM

    That was a well thought out list of things that have changed for you. I am so proud of you and you will feel so much better in all ways now that you have made those changes to your lifestyle. Like everyone else said you are a true motivator for us all. I definitely know what you mean about getting ideas from others by their comments and blog. Sparks is the best place to be for genuine help and motivation. I Love It! I keep my book right by my chair and then it is handy and I can pick it up and just start reading at any time as well as my notebook with all my notes. I love Sheila's idea about the exercise notebook and it is definitely something I am going to start doing as soon as I get more ink for my printer.
I am so blessed to have friends like you!


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MARSHASTAR 12/30/2010 4:03PM

    Your blog is so well written, your plans so well thought out! I'm very inspired by this. I'm going to stay in my fast break stage. I don't think I've adjusted my MIND properly, and I don't want to start out fooling myself into thinking I"m doing great when I'm not.
I really want to get to a point where i can INSPIRE YOU instead of always being the one who takes inspiration from others.
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JAKEANDNELLIE 12/30/2010 2:30PM

    Jill ~
This blog and the changes you have made and are making are truly inspiring and motivating to the rest of us. You should be so proud of yourself!
I know that not getting enough rest plays a large part in my "bad days" and believe that "exhaustion eating" is one of my main problems. Like you, I find it much easier to stay on track when I get enough sleep.
I'm not a morning person and tend to avoid early exercise. I usually start in the early afternoon and seem to do better then. I know early morning is supposed to be better, but it just doesn't work for me!
I just bought the new edition of The Spark and am starting to read it again - hopefully I'll renew my focus and determination!
Stay positive!

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DOWNTOWNJEN 12/30/2010 2:09PM

    This is so great! You have made some really great healthy decisions and I'm so glad that you are feeling better because of it!

You should definitely try Zumba - if I can do it, YOU can do it. And we can laugh at ourselves too! I'm so glad the TV room doesn't have a MIRROR!

Wishing you the happiest of new years!
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BEANZFRD 12/30/2010 1:14PM

    Jill, you ROCK! I'm so glad that you are making progress and moving on. I am working on the same, just a few weeks behind you. I'll be celebrating your successes, and hopefully reporting my own soon. You are a wonderful person and I am so happy to be your friend.

Keep going girl, you are motivating me!!!


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TAMESIS8 12/30/2010 12:36PM

    Great job! Keep going. You'll get there.


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Even a Little Success is Wonderful & Motivating!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Today is the 5th Day of my Fast Break Stage and it's amazing how just a little success really is motivating me. Truthfully, I haven't had much SP success recently and I'm feeling like YES, I Can Do This!!

Wow, I've lost 3# more since I started SP and that is Huge for me as I haven't lost any weight in a long time. I'm going to happily change the Ticker on my Spark Page. That is so motivating for me as that is one of my goals to lose 15# by Jan.2011 and I'm working toward that success.

My weakest area is exercise but I'm now doing 15 minutes a day and just joined the 10 minute a day team and Streak. It's not a lot of exercise but for someone like me not doing any I feel so much better about myself.

Drinking lots of water isn't hard for me but I'm now drinking the 8 glasses of water a day or more and I think it helps make me not so hungry. The only down side is my many bathroom trips.

I've been staying within my calorie range and tracking it and exercise every day. I used to do it hit and miss before FB. I'm now eating healthy--more fruits and vegetables than ever before.

Recently, I've not only been reading friends blogs but I'm reading other Sparkers and they have so many good ideas and things they've discovered that help on our Spark Lifestyle Journey. Just reading them and leaving comments makes me feel more a part of the SP Community.

I now realize that starting in my teens I had low-esteem as I was always the tallest and more chubby than most of my classmates. I was shy and didn't speak up and give any of my own opinions. I was so afraid that people wouldn't like me if I disagreed with them. It's probably part of old age but now I actually like myself better and often do speak up--that is a biggie for me. I realize they probably respect me more for it and I feel more true to myself. I still avoid conflict but I guess that's just a part of who I am.

Yes, just a little success has re-charged me and I am so thankful to everyone for their help and encouragement!! I feel so much more positive that I have what it takes to make healthy choices and I am making them, finally!!

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANI-LOU 12/21/2010 9:01AM

  Congratulations on your progress! Isn't it wonderful? I am so happy for you!
Exercise becomes easier and easier the more we do it, which is a wonderful thing too! :-)


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SIOBHANKNITS 12/20/2010 9:14PM

    WTG, Jill!
You are off to a great start. I can relate to the extra bathroom trips--I hate interrupting whatever I'm doing to take care of that. But it's worth it.
Keep it up! You're doing great!

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OZARKMARY 12/19/2010 5:16AM

  So happy for you, Jill! It sure makes a difference when the scale or looser clothes show us a difference. Keep up the good work! I'm proud of you! emoticonHope you have a wonderful Christmas!

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SHELLEY147 12/17/2010 11:39AM

    What a wonderful blog! You ARE doing it!! I'm so happy that you're loving the changes you are making! It helps you stay focused when what you're doing is exciting (and working!) This is a great start to your new life!! ~hugs~

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MADKAPKID 12/17/2010 11:33AM

    SUPER BLOG!! YOU are one special sparker. I love your attitude...Positive attitude is really the KEY to success. There are no SMALL success's......each step forward you make is a GAIN for you ....making you closer to reaching your goal of becoming a happier healthier YOU! KEEP ON with your plan.....YOU are doing great. Have a joy filled day.....Karen emoticon

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JOANOFSPARK 12/17/2010 11:27AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon you are emoticon and I am so proud of you.....also very proud to call you my friend.... emoticon emoticon I can certainly relate to the chubby childhood and low self esteem....though looking back at pictures, I wasn't chubby at all......well, at one point I was but ever after I saw myself as the same shy chubby child who never quite grew out of that misconception.....and my own perceptions fueled by some cruel remarks of some idiots boys who certainly didn't amount to a hill of beans in the scheme of things....but then there were the remarks of my own mom...that is the ones that cut deep....and my grandma telling one of my former teachers that our generation was lazy and that I was....my grandmother was my mainstay.....so that one really stuck with me and hurt....very deeply..it still does, even after all these years...

*sigh* we all have scars...but the thing now is to work past them....to realize that we do have worth and deserve much more than we have allowed ourselves to consider in the past...

you are doing so well.....and I know you will keep it up.....I too hope to get back on the Fast Break stage ..just as soon as I get to feeling better.......and now my DH is sick......and I think he gave it to me.....earlier I was just feeling bad, but it could be that I was already coming down with whatever he has...but I do intend on doing the Fast Break,.....and soon will be back with you...going strong.... emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/17/2010 11:30:24 AM

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MARSHASTAR 12/17/2010 11:12AM

    WHOOOOPEEEEEE. Let's KEEP THIS GOING. I'm really INSPIRED by your blog and I know I'll be trailing along with my own success story soon! GO GO GO ...
Every bit of exercise is important, and you are really GOING for it. I am SO SO MOTIVATED RIGHT NOW!
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Yah, I know what it was like to be young and chubby - no self esteem. Isn't it horrible how long we carry these negative feelings with us?

Comment edited on: 12/17/2010 11:14:26 AM

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WOWNICESMILE 12/17/2010 8:05AM

    Lots of successes there - mind, body & spirit. That's wonderful!! Keep it up - you are doing GREAT!!

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SLIMTHICK2 12/17/2010 4:27AM

    Congrats on your many accomplishments. I would like you to try this one thing concerning the water intake. If you have a glass every hour you will find that you make less trips to the bathroom. Just a suggestion. Can't wait to read your next blog about your continued weight loss emoticon. All the best. emoticon

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JAKEANDNELLIE 12/17/2010 12:47AM

    emoticonWow! You are making so much progress - not just physically but mentally as well. I can also trace my self-esteem and self-confidence issues back to my "chubby childhood," but I truly Spark is helping me learn to accept and love the person I am. That is so important.
I exercise a lot now - in fact I've realized I've become an exercise Maniac the past week - but I started in small 10 to 15 minute segments. You will be surprised how soon you start adding a little more time each day.
Stay determined and as positive as you are!

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BEANZFRD 12/16/2010 10:45PM

    I can't wait to be here to read of all of your future successes! You are building momentum and will soon be unstoppable!

Great job Jill, you are amazing!

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FXYGMA 12/16/2010 10:02PM

    Well my friend you are on the move now! Love your candidness and spirit. You definiitly will do it with your new found determination & attitude. Love it! You did the right thing in going back to the beginning and really getting involved with the community as you have. You are making wonderful choices and you definitely can't go wrong with more fruits & veggies. Like MOMFAN said with all the bathroom trips you are getting more steps in and more steps means you are moving more. emoticon & a big emoticon on your weight loss!

Melinda emoticon

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DOWNTOWNJEN 12/16/2010 9:01PM

    This blog made me want to run up and hug you! It also brought a tear to my eye. You are doing so wonderfully. I am so proud to have you as a Spark Friend. Keep on keepin' on! Many more successes await us just around the next corner. That 10 min a day streak was SO POWERFUL for me. Like you I'd been doing nothing for a LOOOOOONG time. Now I do something every day. Even if I don't feel very good or am having a bad pain day. Even doing mindful breathing and relaxation is a BIG plus for me.

Hugs, Hugs, HUGE HUGS! You are my hero!

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LINOVER 12/16/2010 8:33PM

    Great positive attitude!

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MOMFAN 12/16/2010 7:39PM

    At least bathroom trips get you more steps in! LOL Great job! Keep the focus!

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TUBLADY 12/16/2010 4:48PM

    Love the positive attitude. You are seeing success and that motivates you for more success. Well done.
Have a great day.

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BARBEWIT 12/16/2010 3:16PM

    I'll loved ready your blog. Nice to get to know you alittle better too.
I think old age tends to make out tongues looser...lol lol cause I am well outspoken now. Was very shy when I was growing up even into my 30's...not anymore!!

Congrats on the weight loss.

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SHELLEY147 12/16/2010 3:04PM

    Loving the positive vibes this blog sends!! So happy for our success! Every 'little' (I consider it big!) success counts! Shout it from the rooftops!! YOU ARE DOING IT!!!

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DIDMIS 12/16/2010 2:59PM

    Jill what a wonderful blog from the title to the end.
Keep up the good spirit.

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My New Adventure . . .

Friday, December 10, 2010

As some of you know I am re-reading the book, The Spark, even though I read it about a year or so then I set up my Spark Page but didn't even give it a real try for almost a year . . .Then I jumped right into it and never did do a Fast Break Stage or the other 3 Stages as recommended. While on SP I started losing weight but then because of almost always either eating at the top of my calorie range or over and not exercising the weight didn't come off. I guess I thought by my good intentions and reading other success stories the pounds would drop off due to my wishful thinking--well it just didn't happen. I am 5'8" and too close to the big 300# for comfort so I've decided now that I know how to do it right I'm going to start all over again. I'm more motivated and excited than when I first started SP. I think part of it is now I really know how to gear up and do it right and for the first time I'm going to be doing the 6 Action Steps that they ask you to do so that you are completely prepared for the upcoming Healthy Spark Living:

1. I've set my 3 small goals -- they are easy and very doable:

I'm going to Exercise every day for 15 minutes a day and track it.
I'm going to drink 8 glasses of water a day and track them.
I'm going to carefully track every morsel of food I put in my body & track it.
And, the easiest bonus one to stay motivated and also because it's so fun and interesting--I'm going to continue to read motivationl and informative blogs & articles on SP.

These goals are easy and not going to be overwhelming--I will finally feel success and that yes I can do this!!

2. Plan your Spark Time - Choose a time each day to review and plan--write it down.

3. Write down your goals and then divide them into long-term goals (usually one year or more) medium-term goals (usually one to three months) and short term (usually one month or less).

I have my goals but need to fine-tune them and make them more specific especially regarding when I will accomplish each one. . . Chris Downie says to write them down and post them everywhere and refer to them often as that will motivate you throughout your day.

I also have done a vision collage and it was an easy and fun project with lots of old pictures of me and friends and some darling pictures of my Grandson as his picture motivates me to be successful at SP as I want to live a long healthy life to spend many years with him. . .

4. Set Up Shop - Plan Ahead
A. I have my awful before picture and I look fat and unhappy - well, I am fat but most of the time I chose to be positive hence I'm happy--but I will be happier and feel better when I lose about 100#s. I know my knees & back won't hurt nearly as much and I'll be able to get around better--that is a big motivator for me!!

B. I've restock my kitchen and thrown away the junk food, especially the sweets and I'm only buying healthy foods such as whole grains, fruits & vegetables, etc.

5. Choose your rewards.

A. I've chosen 2 rewards. First, after the 2 weeks of successfully completing the Fast Break Goals (Stage 1) I will buy the Chair Dancing DVD that I've had my eye on.
B. At the end of the 4 stages of Fast Break I will reward myself by having a pedicure and good haircut (not at Supercuts but a nice salon).

6. I am starting a Journal where I will write down all my feelings and thoughts about living this healthy SP lifestyle. I can also add notes and track anything I want to. I will take note of what I eat and my portion sizes as I know I'm an emotional eater so will notice when I eat mindlessly because of boredom, stress, etc.

My new Adventure will start this Sunday and I can't wait--I am ready for it and so excited as success is mine this time!!

I thank all of you for your support, motivation and encouragement and always being there for me--it really means a lot to me as I really don't get much support from my family or non-SP friends .

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ANNABELLE1957 12/16/2010 1:18AM

    soooo happpy for you , thank you , it keeps me motivated jusr reading your blog ty sooooo much you can do it emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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HOLISTIC5 12/12/2010 4:36PM

    WOW what an outstanding blog-you seem to have a clear vision of what you want and how to get there. Keep reviewing this blog yourself and I am sure you will make it! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JAKEANDNELLIE 12/12/2010 4:28PM

    You've come up with very realistic and reasonable goals. I'm sure you are going to be successful in reaching them.
Are you still walking every day? I come to Spark and a timer for 30 minutes of Spark time and then reset it for 15 minutes of walking time. I do "timer Spark and exercise" throughout the day and it's helping to keep me motivated. Those exercise minutes do add up!
Stay positive!

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MOMFAN 12/11/2010 10:54PM


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FXYGMA 12/11/2010 3:01PM

    Wonderful and inspirational blog. I am so proud of you and your committment to the new journey to a healthier life and you will be so thankful that you made this decision to reread the book and start over. emoticon emoticon As you know we are all there for each other and don't hesitate to reach out.

Melinda emoticon

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MARSHASTAR 12/11/2010 12:26PM

    WORDS alone cannot express how motivated I feel right now. THANK you.
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DOWNTOWNJEN 12/11/2010 10:25AM

    You are DOING this thing! Congrats!! And don't forget - we are all here to help each other along!

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OZARKMARY 12/11/2010 10:09AM

  I'm sooo happy that you have committed and START tomorrow!! You are doing the right thing the right way! I so look forward to your progress. I KNOW you can and WILL do this, this time. Like me, you will look back in a few months and be so proud and wonder why you waited so long. emoticonHere's to New Beginnings! Sparkling water, of course! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BEANZFRD 12/11/2010 8:13AM

    What a great plan, Jill. I can tell you have really worked on it. I know you'll do well and feel so much better!

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SLIMTHICK2 12/11/2010 5:41AM

    Sounds like a great plan. All the best emoticon emoticon emoticon

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26M8J7 12/11/2010 5:06AM

    Great plan! emoticon
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JOANOFSPARK 12/11/2010 12:42AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You are emoticon and you have a great plan and emoticon yeah, I think rereading The Spark does help in getting you remotivated....... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BARBEWIT 12/11/2010 12:02AM

    Sounds like you have a great plan. Stick to it and in no time you will see the pounds just melting away. You will start to feel better and you will realize that the knee pain is no more.
I'm there now...with 30 pounds down I can truly say that I can bend down and don't have those aches and pains in my joints. Tonight I was even able to sit on the floor and didn't have to grab onto furniture to haul myself off the floor.
It's a rewarding feeling!


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TINYC887 12/10/2010 11:40PM

    you can do it, good luck

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PIXIEMOM13 12/10/2010 11:22PM

    Sounds like you have an excellent plan!

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Starting Over, Finally!!

Monday, December 06, 2010

As some of you know, I just returned from a 4 day get-away with 3 girlfriends. My friend has a 2 bedroom timeshare in Escondido, CA with a view of a very green golf course.

The 1st night we didn't get there until almost 7:30 pm so we just ate a casserole that one of them had made and watched some movies. We talked and laughed and had such a good time. I had always wondered how my best friend, Mary, was so heavy (around 360#s at 5'11") but my eyes were opened. Before when we had eaten out or shared a meal she didn't eat as much as I did and was more active so I couldn't help but wonder how she put the pounds on . . .Well, on this trip I found out she eats all day long she--lots of nuts, raisins, sweets, etc. and soft drinks--I'd never been around her all day to observe this before. She ate hearty meals and constantly mindlessly ate all day long throughout our trip. She is on WW but can't be honestly counting her points as couldn't eat like that. I've told her about Spark People and how helpful it is but for some unknown reason she isn't interested in even checking it out. I love my friend and worry about her health and future as she also has many health problems. Eventually, I hope with my future success she will give Spark People a try.

The next day they wanted to go shopping at a nearby outlet and couldn't believe I didn't want to go with them. I knew I would slow them down as I'd have to take my walker and really didn't need anything. But most importantly, I selfishly wanted this time to start to re-read the book, The Spark, as needed to really understand the program better and get inspired. Off they went around 2 pm and didn't return until 9 pm at night and I was happy as a clam while they were having fun shopping and eating out. While reading The Spark I realized I hadn't really done the Fast Breaks for 7 days like I was supposed to, in fact I never really understood or correctly followed the program until now after I read it again.

The next day my friends wanted to go to a local Indian Casino to gamble, well once again, they encouraged me to go with them. I declined again and said I wanted to enjoy another day without all the distractions of home to keep reading and taking notes on the SP Program. I'm not sure they really understood but reluctantly left and again were gone all day from 3 to 8 pm. I enjoyed my time reading and relaxing on the sunny patio in a comfortable chair. It was like I was reading it for the first time and Wow I did get a lot of information that went right over my head the first time. Now, that I've been on the program for awhile (about 5 months) I know where I was not really Sparking like I should and could of. So, now I'm really excited with all the aspects of the fantastic SP lifestyle Program that Chris Downie developed. What a caring and wonderful gift of health he offers everyone that wants to change or improve their health. I want the challenge of being a new much better improved me. Yes, the trip was such a success with me and Mary has already invited us back for another 4 day trip next Dec. 2011. I told my friends that my overall goal is to be 100#s less on our next trip and one of them said hey, honestly even if you lose 50#s you will feel and look so much better and then maybe you will go shopping and to the casino with us. Another goal is to become more mobile and lose the walker when I'm down at least 50# or more. I am so blessed to have such supportive and wonderful friends like them and all of you. And, we all are blessed and I'm grateful to Chris Downie for his wonderful understanding of people with weight problems and creating this fantastic new healthy lifestyle for all of us. He shows us the way and then it's up to each and every one of us as to how we use that new information and our healthy lifestyle journey. SP does boost my confidence and happiness as I know I will one day be a success story thanks to Chris and all his wonderful staff and to all of you!! Thank you also, for being there for me--I care about all of you . . .You give me encouragement and strength when I need it the most. I Thank all of you!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FXYGMA 12/7/2010 8:56PM

    I am so happy to see you back and so on fire to get started to success. I knew by rereading Spark you would get so much more out of it. I did and it seemed like things appeared that I could not remember the first time again. Happy you took notes too so you can look back on what you wrote and that way refresh your mind. There may be times when you might want to read over a chapter later on and I found that I use it as a great reference or sometimes gives me motivation as well. The enformation it contains is amazing. Thank you Chris Downie!

I am so happy you had time away to get quality time with your friends and also to get time needed for just you! There might be times at home you are by yourself but then you are still thinking about things you need to do or take care of and this way it was just you relaxing & doing just what you want. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Melinda emoticon

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MOMFAN 12/7/2010 6:04PM

    emoticonYou will be 100 pounds less next year and you will show them all the healthy choices make the difference. Only your friend can decide for herself to get healthy!

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MARSHASTAR 12/7/2010 1:49PM

    Thank you. I really appreciate all you have said. Honestly, I have not been following the spark plan either. I jumped right in and just racked up the points and although I read the articles I let very little sink in. So here i am almost a year into this and have gained the weight back. I feel like you understand, so thank you for being there.
I hope I can inspire you some day.
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GMFAY33 12/7/2010 12:29PM

    Great enthusiasm! Keep going.


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JOANOFSPARK 12/7/2010 11:26AM

    What a wonderful blog, Jill. I am thrilled that you had such a great time with your friends even if you didn't follow them around all the time. You spent your time wisely and productively but even more important you got in some much needed 'me' time....and got your Spark reignited......I did miss you and kept thinking that I would drop by your Spark Page and see what you were up to and then remembered you were on a mini-vacation....sounds as if you had a fantastic time and I have no doubt that next year at this time, you will have lost enough weight to go without your walker. Commitment is the key and I know you are committed to becoming healthier and we will be seeing much 'less' of you... emoticon emoticon

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26M8J7 12/7/2010 8:26AM

    What a beautiful blog, thank you for sharing. It was so apparent that you had a relaxing and energizing time. You have inspired me to re-read my book. emoticon emoticon

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TRIGFROST 12/6/2010 7:38PM

    It Amazes me - people think that SparkPeople site is too much work for them...but yet...they take time for the most useless things that they do...

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OZARKMARY 12/6/2010 7:26PM

  Glad you're back! Missed you, but you knew that. :) Also glad that you were able to have the getaway time be productive for your Spark knowledge AND also enjoy your girlfriends. A bit sneaky though, by not going with them, you avoided some food temptations, I'm sure. I will admit that I need to re-read the Spark, too. Maybe I'll take it with me to the hospital. You get some rest! My update is that the aggravation is getting worse. Missed church, which I never do, cancelled my trip with the ladies onthe 15th, too. I'm walking with a cane all the time now and for the first time wasn't able to sleep in my bed. Hoping it's better tonight. Have a wonderful Sparkweek! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SLIMTHICK2 12/6/2010 6:01PM

    Glad you enjoyed the trip and I am glad that you'll be going for the goal with much enthusiam again. emoticon I wish you all the best. emoticon

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BEANZFRD 12/6/2010 5:54PM

    Hey Jill, I just accidentally posted my comment to the wrong blog. Please see your last blog to read what this dummy had to say!


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TIME2BLOOM4ME 12/6/2010 5:39PM


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TRACYEH53 12/6/2010 5:05PM

    I think I need to read the book again too!

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BSTELLING 12/6/2010 4:55PM

    Wow, what a wonderful story and what a great trip. I am inspired to reread the Spark myself now. Thanks.

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