JJOELYNNN   11,827
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My September exercise challenge!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

I made up a little challenge for this month to get some exercise everyday and it
has really motivated me, so I thought I would share it!
Have you ever seen those Advent calendars that come with little prizes everyday? When I was little I remember having one where each day you learned something about the reason for the season and got a little chocolate. Mostly what I remember about the experience is that I ate the vast majority of my chocolates long before the day I should, which might explain why I am where I am right now. :)
Anyways, I did a little adaptation of this idea to motivate myself to get a little exercise everyday for the month of September, and it does not involve chocolate because I still don't think my will power is that strong.
So basically my goals for the month were to count my calories and stay in my range a minimum of 28 days and get a minimum of 20 minutes of exercise at least 28 days. I made up a nifty little calendar with my goals on it and a schedule of what to do each day (I'm also doing a pushup and crunch challenge on top of the cardio). I decided that I would take 30 envelopes and inside 3 would be prizes (a digital food scale, a new sports bra, and a Fitbit), and the other 27 would contain motivational quotes to hang up around the house.
Next I went to Pinterest, the holy grail of creativity and things I'll never have/do/wear/make/etc. to find 27 quotes I liked and wrote them each down on note cards. After I stuffed everything in the envelopes, mixed them all up a couple thousand times I labeled them with the dates and tucked them all into a little box. Each day I meet my goal I get to open my envelope, and if I do choose to skip a day as long as I skip only 2 I can save those 2 for the end of the month and open them then. So far I have kicked my butt into gear everyday because I want my Fitbit! I got my digital scale on the 5th and have had a lot of fun weighing everything in the house because I'm amazed with it's sensitivity.
I'm not doing anything too strenuous so I feel okay doing a little bit everyday. I've been aiming for a minimum of 150 calories burned each day, starting with walking and yesterday I started the C25K (again).
So that's the gist of it. If anyone is interested in seeing my calendar I can post that as well (it's purple and all cute and organized so I like showing it off). Hopefully this helps someone, it definitely has motivated me!

Here's my calendar!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COSMICWATCHER 9/10/2014 1:07PM

    looks like you really made an effort on that one. and you did a wonderful job! :)
i'll be keeping an eye on you; seeing how it's all working for you; so don't you dare let me down! emoticon

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CAKAROO 9/10/2014 6:23AM


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DOLFINA 9/9/2014 10:25PM

    That's a great idea. I'm a visual person so if it's on a calendar then I'm more likely to do it.

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IWANT2DOTHIS1X 9/9/2014 9:25PM

    Great idea! PICTURES PLEASE!

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ISAKITTEN 9/9/2014 9:14PM

    That is a wonderful idea. I may have to borrow that one, what a wayto stay motivated

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Treating myself like a child!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Lately I've been feeling like this is NEVER GOING TO END.
I feel like I have been on a diet for a thousand years, and this weekend I realized something needed to change.
I've had more cheat days in the past two months then I did from January to May of last year all together. Clearly something about my plan isn't working anymore if I can't go more than a week without pigging out. And so yesterday, on a long drive home from a doctors appointment, I decided that if I cannot show self control like an adult, maybe I need to treat myself like a child!


Yesterday I spent 3 hours making this elaborate calendar/star chart.
For the month of March my goals are to eat in my calorie range 7 days a week, and workout at least 5 days a week. At the end of the week if I have at least 12 total stars for that week, I earn one more! (The bottom 2 goals do not earn stars, but I figured if it's going to be hanging on the wall everyday, I could always use an extra reminder!)

At the end of the month I have point brackets which earn me prizes based on how well I did. I've never been the type to reward myself because being a lower weight has always worked in the past, but I figured a little incentive couldn't hurt!

Unfortunately I am completely broke, and even when I do have money, I always tell myself "I don't really need it" and end up saving. So far, I have come up with a few inexpensive ideas though:

- New song or app
- A new ingredient or spice to make a special healthy recipe
- New measuring spoons/cups
- Flowers or a plant

I'd really like to avoid buying clothing, because if I haven't changed a size by the end of the month it might depress me, and I'd rather wait until I'm closer to my goal weight so I can wear the clothes for more than a month.

So here's where I need your help!

What do you guys do to reward yourself? I hope everyone is having a great week so far!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JASHBYS 3/11/2012 8:19PM

    I love your goal board. How clever.

Do you currently knit? I've found it to be a great way to keep my hands busy so they aren't feeding my face. A great reward might be a pair of needles to get started and an inexpensive (but soft) skein of yarn. There is no shortage of free patterns on the internet as well as basic stitch instructions (don't forget about youtube for better visuals). Knitting is a wonderful therapeutic thing to do and you produce amazing wearable art. Ravelry.com is a great resource for free patterns.

With each goal you reach, buy yourself yarn for a new project and another pair of needles (if you need to). Watch out for the yarn boutiques, they do have superior quality yarns but they come at a hefty price. You can find perfectly good yarn/needles at Michael's or Hobby Lobby.

If you are interested in knitting, let me know. I can email some good beginner pattern to you from a book I have.

Stay strong and keep putting one foot in front of the other.

Joy emoticon

Comment edited on: 3/11/2012 8:20:02 PM

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    Hair accessories is a good one too - those can be cheaper.

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    I love it! I've made goal posters for myself this month too.
A lot of people mentioned this on the Message Board topic but for me a great small reward is a magazine, or something that I wanted to buy anyway, but now I can't buy it until I reach my goal (e.g. DVD). I also put new shoes as a reward because I won't "grow out" of them, and a particular type of perfume that I really like. Those might be a bit more expensive, but they are ideas of non-food and non-clothing reward items at least...

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    Great blog! I responded with free and cheap rewards on your chat thread:)

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TOMALLE 2/29/2012 2:03PM

  Cheap costume jewelry is fun, too!

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SUE_SCRAPS 2/29/2012 11:46AM

  I love it! Treating yourself like a child can be a good way to bring the "fun" back into life. Reminds you about when all of life was fun.

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DFROMTX 2/29/2012 8:21AM

    Your ideas sound good to me...whatever works!

Good luck. emoticon

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DREAMNSCHEME 2/28/2012 3:41PM

    I think it sounds like fantastic motivation! Good luck!

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LISMORENUS 2/28/2012 1:56PM

  I treat myself with nail polish in funky colors and new hair bands for working out. Cheap and fun!! Love your idea!

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ALLIEALLIE2 2/28/2012 12:41PM

    Your calendar is excellent! emoticon

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CHACKER2 2/28/2012 12:34PM

    I just enjoy feeling better. It is really tough when you don't seem to be making progress but you just have to continue on. Try doing something different and change up your exercise routine. I think that your calendar and goal reminders are great. What ever it takes to get you where you want to go.

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Scale hate.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The scale almost learned to fly this morning. Out the window, that is.
After two weeks of eating in my range every single day, and working out 6 days a week, I have lost a grand total of:
.6 pounds.
This morning I weighed in giddy with anticipation only to see the scale had moved from 160.6 to 161.6. Fantastic.
And so, knowing this to be an impossibility, I tried again.
My scale is clearly on a suicide mission. I guess I can't really blame it considering it has to hold me up every week, and I'm obviously not getting any skinnier.
All jokes aside (big fake smile plastered on my face), I have NO IDEA what is going on.
Last year I dropped 40 lbs. working out maybe 4 days a week and counting about 6 days.
My only thought is that perhaps my thyroid hormones are still all wonky from the cancer situation. I have a doctors appointment on Wednesday to see the results of my most recent blood work, so I guess I'll see then. I was so pumped to go in and show my doctor that I had managed to drop weight and that I must be getting better.
If my hormone levels are fine, then I guess I'll have to start making some changes with my diet/exercise. Right now I eat between 1200-1550 calories a day (usually around 1300), and last week I burned 2908 calories. According to my calorie differential I should have lost 1.9 pounds. I'm pretty sure I haven't lost any inches because it's only been two weeks.
Any advice is appreciated.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CITYZOZO 1/25/2012 6:29AM

    change it up a bit, different food or different exercise to shock your body to dump..

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SAPHRAEL 1/24/2012 11:59AM

    That's so frustrating when you are working so hard!


It very well could be a hormone issue, since you are recovering. The only other thing I could think of is that your calorie intake might need a boost. Do you think you might need to eat more to give your body a little more fuel? It's counter-intuitive, but eating less could also screw up your metabolism and cause you to stall.

Good luck with the doctor visit. Hopefully, there will be some answers for you.


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MI-ELLKAYBEE 1/15/2012 3:06PM

    Because you are working out so diligently, you are probably gaining wonderful MUSCLE! And muscle weighs more than fat. So, believe it or not, you are on track. Check your measurements - that is a better barometer of your accomplishments. And may God bless your success on this journey we all share.

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Please don't call yourself fat.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Spark people can be a great motivator. One of my favorite things to do on here is look at the motivational spark pages and admire the amazing weight loss that I hope someday to achieve. Before and after pictures are always fun to marvel at, until I see the caption.

Before: God I looked so disgusting and fat. I was so gross. Starting weight: 140 lbs.

Excuse me?

I nearly cried the day the scale said 155lbs, a weight I hadn't seen since 6th grade. I didn't think I looked gross. I was so excited to have a 30 inch waist, I thought I looked fantastic. And then I stumble upon your blog and realize that to you, I'm about 15 lbs past disgusting.

Not exactly motivating.

So please, please, please, keep the comments to yourself. I know these pictures and comments are for you, but there's no way that saying things like that is going to help you or any one else who comes to your page looking for motivation.

Your starting weight may be my goal weight, so please, don't call yourself fat.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NIKIBOBIKI 11/29/2012 1:49PM

    I totally agree with this. my GOAL weight is 155.
And I look DAMN GOOD at 155.
Then I see a post like you are talking about and I can't help but laugh. It's like, "I'm sorry honey, a roll puffing over your jeans when you are bending down is NOT fat. That's the bit that keeps your intestines in. Being where I was and not being ABLE to bend over, now THAT is a problem." emoticon

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DOINIT4ME2DAY 1/2/2012 7:53PM

    Very well put! Its critical to remember that beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder!

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HISMRS102910 1/2/2012 7:51PM

    I totally agree with you.

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NRAMPE 1/2/2012 7:22PM

    Amen sister!!!!

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BARBARASDIET 1/2/2012 6:56PM

    Positive attitude is vital....

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Starting to live again.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I haven't been on Spark in a longggg time. I remember when I was so devoted to using it everyday, I used to feel sad for the people who suddenly disappeared. Then I became one of them. Although I stopped strictly counting my calories around the end of May, I still managed to drop another five pounds and maintain my weight. In August I transferred colleges and left home to live on campus. About 3-4 weeks into the semester I noticed a large lump protruding from the left side of my neck. Assuming it was just a swollen lymph node due to something viral, I put off having it checked out. After a couple weeks had past I went to the health center at school where the nurses sent me to the hospital for several tests, and eventually to an ENT who performed a biopsy and determined I had thyroid cancer which had spread into my lymph nodes. The doctor recommended I come home for the semester to deal with surgeries and treatments. On October 25th I had my entire thyroid and several of the lymph nodes in my neck removed. I was in the hospital for a week due to complications, and when I finally was released, I was only home for about 2 days before I was admitted again with a kidney infection. After being released (again) I came home and crashed. My hormones were going crazy. I would have days where I couldn't even look at food and had to be forced to eat, and the next day I couldn't get enough. I would nap for hours during the day and then still fall asleep before 8. Needless to say, some of the weight has crept back on. I recently received my first (and hopefully only) radioactive iodine treatment, which forced me to be in "isolation" for a week. My follow-up scan yesterday showed that the radiation is doing its job, and I should be cancer free when I have my next scan in 6 months.
I've been living in this little medical bubble for 2 months now. I am planning on taking next semester off too, and really putting some thought into what I want to do with my life (the thing I was most focused on before leaving school). I need to start looking for a job. I need to look at this experience as a second chance at life. Somehow, I need to find a way to assimilate back into life. I did my first workout in months today, 30 minutes on the elliptical. My lungs and legs were feeling it. I went slower than I usually do, but I am soooo glad I didn't stop. I haven't dared to weigh myself yet, but I think tomorrow morning might be the right time. This time I want to finish it, not just get half way. I have to get myself moving again, and just keep believing that this is all happening for a reason. Now is the time to find out just what that reason is.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIMMINLAURA 1/24/2012 11:49AM

    I am so sorry you are having to deal with all of this! You are far too young (well, nobody should HAVE to deal with it anyways) Prayers for you!

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YELLOW09RED 12/1/2011 6:09PM

    Hugs Joelynn,
I will keep you in my daily thoughts & prayers.
I am going to have 1 side of my thyroid operated on this Monday. The biopsy shows precancerous cells.
Hugs & Smiles,

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