Wednesday, November 07, 2012
When I checked my e-mail this morning, I saw so many Spark e-mails! I can't believe I was featured as a Popular Blog on the Spark mailer! Woohoo!
THANK YOU so much to everyone who has posted on my blog, sent me a message, and commented on my page. Usually I get 10-20 posts on the blogs I make. I appreciate every single one, and I try to write back and read other blogs when I can! If I get the chance, hopefully I get through all of them later tonight or tomorrow! Halloween was postponed from last week, so kids may come around tonight. However... it has been snowing all day! So parents may not want their kids out in the snow. First it was Hurricane Sandy. Now there is Nor-easter Athena!
I honestly cannot say thank you enough to every single person on this site who I have come in contact with! Every member has been supportive, kind, caring, and unique in their own way. I have never met an online community like this before. Each of us has our own programs, techniques, and goals - yet we are all here because we are trying to better ourselves!
I have some free time at work today, so I am going to write some reasons how the great tools on this site have changed my life - for the better! I wouldn't be how I am today without this website! I used to have no goals and felt negative all of the time. I feel more alive now than I ever did before. There are many goals I reached already, and there are more I KNOW I Will reach because of Spark!
I have had 15 months on Spark so far so I created 15 reasons how Spark has made me to be a better person:
1. Happiness Articles – I now feel more confident with myself. Somehow I am more approachable by people I don't know. I walk around with a smile more often now! These articles have opened my eyes & helped me become happier on a daily basis. I have figured out many ways to relieve stressful situations, and I have tried to stay positive instead of being negative all the time!
2. Food Tracker – I rely on this tool the most! I have so many favorite foods saved, but I also have a lot of different foods I look up all the time! I even use the Smartphone App constantly when I can’t get to the computer! Even while I was sick and not on the computer, I used my phone to make sure I was eating enough. I don’t just track my calories. The other ranges (fat, protein, carbs, etc) are hard to master, but I am still tweaking my diet to try to stay within all of them every day!
3. Fitness Tracker & Articles & Videos– I use this much more now. A couple of months ago, something changed within me again & I wanted to exercise more! My daily eating habits were mostly under control, and I wanted to start working out more. It was harder to lose weight, and the working out has helped me a lot more! I want to be more fit instead of just “skinnier”. The Fitness Articles provide some awesome information too! The SparkVideos have really helped me at home. I have been doing the 6 minute butt buster & 15 minute ab workout a lot more recently! Thanks Coach Nicole!
4. Spark Teams – I am on several Spark Teams. I mostly just focus on three of them right now, but I do enjoy them all. The forum posts, team spirit, and challenges have really helped me create new goals for myself the past few months!
5. Challenges – I was invited to my first Spark Challenge not too long ago. I was set in my ways before I started the challenge – and they really opened my eyes to becoming more dedicated to myself! Not just with losing weight, but with other aspects too! I had to replan my days to have less calories, more workouts, and new goals! Even if I don’t reach my goals, I am much happier because of the support of my teams!
6. Map Routes – I have so many saved routes now! Even if I go somewhere new, I love the fact that I can come home and track the mileage of where I was just at!
7. Nutrition Articles - I actually read the articles and share my knowledge with my friends, co-workers, and family members. Reading these articles actually give me more reason to eat the healthy foods. They are fresh in my mind, so I am more likely to eat them!
8. Success Pages – Whenever I am feeling down about myself, I read other member’s stories. So many of us have made super transformations! We all have highs & lows in our journeys, and reading about others really helps me out!
9. Recipes & Recipe nutrition calculator – I use the Spark recipes all the time! I don’t use every one, but I do get a lot of great ideas. I tweak each one to my own. I love the recipe nutrition calculator also! This definitely helps track things easier!
10. Water Tracker – I don’t use this as much anymore, because I naturally go for water. When I first started with Spark, I used to track each cup! It definitely helped me have enough each day!
11. My Own Blogs – My blogs are a way for me to express myself. Sometimes I try to give advice while other days I ask for some! I love the encouragement from all of the members! Without the push from other members, I don’t think I would ever have done a 5K or Zumba! Thank you! There are so many things I don't talk to the people in my daily lives about - but I can talk about all of my nutrition and fitness ideas with Spark!
12. Member Blogs – Member blogs are the best! Some blogs contain one sentence while others have 20 pictures – I enjoy all of them! Even the ones that just have cute cat pictures – they are all great! I don’t always have the best advice, but if I do have some I try to give it where I can! Every comment I get on my page keeps me pushing harder, so I try to return the favor when I can!
13. Virtual 5K – I love this part of the site! I have a nice log of all of my 5K times! It definitely pushes me to start doing 5K on my own (without going to an event).
14. Trophies – This part of the website helps me in a strange way. Some of my goals now include receiving the 1,000 fitness trophy! It does sound a bit odd, but I am glad it helps me out! I also appreciate all of the support from my friend feed comments & likes!
15. Spark points, Login & Bonus Wheels – I know it sounds silly, but Sparkpoints really do push me to do more! I get points for using most features on this site. The more things I do, the more points I get! I can use the points to buy other members Sparkgoodies! I also love the different Spark Levels from the points you get! I won 1,000 SparkGoodie points on the wheel before! I bought all of my Sparkfriends a goodie to show my support!
There are so many other things I use on this site so much. I feel like I am only addicted to the food tracker! I am definitely not ready to go out on my own and eat without the tracker! I also like to know what my Sparkfriends are up to!
Hopefully everyone has a great rest of the week. I get to go home in 30 minutes & drive in the snow. It was melting before, but now the sun went down. I can see it sticking to the ground and cars now. Booo. Oh well! It happens!
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
November 5th already! Wow! I feel so behind in my exercise for this month because of being sick. I am on my second round of antibiotics. I missed Zumba last week because I was sick & also because the facility had no power. I don't think I am going this Thursday either because I don't want to over-do it. I have been walking a bit, but nothing too crazy until I get all better!
While I was sick, I mostly laid around and caught up on TV shows. My back was bugging me a bit, so I baked cookies one day and muffins another! I tried out this pumpkin spice muffin weight watchers recipe from a co-worker. (RECIPE BELOW). They turned out pretty good, and I even had one! I didn't have any cookies! I made baked apples last night as a snack for my parents and myself. They really enjoyed it. I also stopped at Redbox and rented Snow White & The Huntsman because my parents never saw it. I picked up some flowers and the tea bags my Mom likes the best to cheer her up a bit. She has been feeling down lately, and since I was actually out of the house, I wanted to do something nice for her.
Yesterday was tough at work. I didn't have a ton to do, but I was still tired at the end of the day because of lounging for so much over the weekend. It also stunk because of how dark is was at 5:30!!!! I remembered why I don't like the time change - it is dark when I leave work now! I am still coughing and clearing my throat a lot, but I do feel a lot better. Mentally I feel awesome. I have a lot of energy in my mind & I feel pretty happy and upbeat. I just want to get all of the sickness out!
I now weigh-in at 166.6! I may actually reach my 5% weight loss goal by Dec 1st! I have to be at 162.5 to get my Fall Challenge goal! Four more pounds! yikes! My BIG goal is still 155 - healthy weight for my height! I know I will get there one day. I don't have a set date yet of when I want to reach this goal... once the fall challenge is over, maybe I will sit down and really figure out a real goal date! I just don't want to push myself too much and then feel discouraged if I don't make the goal! I have reached most of my goals so far, but to be at 155 lbs is what is really motivating me the most!
I hope everyone has a lovely rest of the week! Keep Sparking!
Pumpkin Spice Muffin Recipe:
1 box Spice Cake Mix
15 oz non-spiced pumpkin puree
1 cup water or 1/2 water with one egg
Blend together the cake mix, pumpkin, and water (and egg). Spray the muffin tin and fill each halfway. You could use liners, but the muffins are very moist, and they usually stick to the liners. The egg makes the muffins more cake-like. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.
Thursday, November 01, 2012
November already!? Oh my! I definitely missed out on the last few days of October. We have to change the clocks this weekend!
Here is another quick update. Thank you for the support from my last few blogs. I really need it - especially since I am feeling so yucky. I will try to catch up with all of you soon!
I went to the hand Dr last Friday to get the results of my thumb tests. The Dr didn't see any tears or reasons as to why my thumb is giving me problems. She said I could keep wearing the brace, or I could get a bone fusion done. They would tie the two bones of the joint together, and they would eventually fuse together. It would take a month of recovery, and I wouldn't be able to use that joint anymore. It may not even fix the problem! So I don't know where to go from here. Sigh!
I woke up this morning feeling even worse. It is so hard to talk, and my head still hurts so much. I finally went to the Dr because I know I wasn't going to get any better on my own & got lots of meds. You know it isn't good when the Dr looks in my nasal passages and says "WOW" and then feels my neck glands and says "oh my gosh!" I have a sinus infection, throat infection & fever. The Dr said the bad headache is the sinus buildup. Yuck. At least my Drs office always gives me compliments every time I go. They say I am the happiest sick patient they get. I am friendly & still laugh even though I am in pain. They can tell I am hurting just from looking inside.
Even though I missed work Mon & Tues due to no power at work from Hurricane Sandy, I am out again tomorrow. Boo. I do need to rest and get better though. My work understands, so that is a plus.
I slept most of the afternoon, but I still woke up with another fever. I am eating some yogurt & a banana now and I will head back to bed soon! I am also trying to have a lot of liquids, even though my throat doesn't like the feeling. Oh well - I definitely need to stay hydrated!
To my teams: Even though I haven't been exercising much, I am still tracking my food. I will update my weight for the Firecrackers tomorrow. I am down another pound - go team! Sorry I haven't had a ton of time to post on the forums. Hopefully I have some more time tomorrow since I will be home all day. Mostly resting, but my back will start hurting if I am laying in bed ALL day! It will be fun re-starting my 5K training once I am better. I didn't sign up for a turkey trot yet because of everything going on. I don't know if I will now. I still have the one 5K on 12/8. I will see how long it takes for me to get better!
Have a wonderful weekend & keep Sparking!
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Some of my Co-workers know I run 5Ks. They ask about it semi-frequently & asked if I train with a group. I just run by myself. They keep asking if I joined a running group yet. My Mom also has suggested I find a group of people to run with....Does this exist?
I will do some research, but I am curious about this now. Does anyone happen to know if there are groups like this? How do they work? How can I find one?
Well, I don't really know if I want to join a new group. When I do exercise, I try to stick to my plan... but I wouldn't want to disappoint a group if I couldn't make it one day. I guess I will look into it & see if I find anything. I have one person I train with sometimes, but he doesn't do the 5K runs or anything like that. Plus, he only goes sometimes when I ask. He doesn't ever suggest it, so I don't get the extra push to train harder/more often.
Speaking of groups and getting to know people... I always had a tough time keeping friends. Who knows why. I think that is part of why I don't really want to look for a GROUP. I am a great listener, and I try to be a good friend. I am silly at times, but maybe that puts people off? Who knows? Oh well - it doesn't really matter. I am trying to embrace how I am instead of complaining and trying to change things I am not too worried about. Over the years I gained and lost many friends. I still have a select few people who are really awesome. Even if we don't get to talk all the time, I know they are there for me! I am not really looking for new friends. I don't go to bars.. I am 27 and single. I like board games, movies, music, and cute things haha. It isn't like I have a ton to talk about with married people who have children! If someone asked what the hi-light of my night was last night.. it would have been spending 30 minutes in a pet store looking at all of the cats, dogs, mousies, ferrets, and bunnies! =)
Oh well - I am definitely off topic with all of that jazz! On another note, hopefully I decide soon which 5K to do! Eep! Zumba tomorrow night! Woohoo!
Have a wonderful rest of the week! My weekend is coming & will be here so soon! My cousin is getting married on Saturday. I still have funky feelings about weddings (because I was supposed to get married on the 13th and I didn't). BUT I won't let that stop me from having a nice time. Hard situations happen all the time - how I act and react is the most important part. Life will always have crazy times!
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