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MICHCLEARY's Recent Blog Entries

Awards are a good thing....

Thursday, February 04, 2010

emoticon This is my reminder that awards are a good thing.

As I continue on with posting this month about the good things in spark people and the changes they have made in my life, I wanted to focus today on the awards.

emoticon I did get a perfect attendance award and I covet that! I am about 150 days or so of logging in to SP. I certainly don't want to break that streak. Logging in everyday always gives me some kind of motivation, direction, reminder, and just helps me focus on what it is that I'm trying to accomplish here.

emoticon I love the points! I have gotten an award for over 500 points a month for the last several months. The point system is very motivating to me on most days. I find that by shooting for points it makes me work the system better and get in my goals, fitness, nutrition tracking, reading, and supporting and that all criss crosses into good things for me.

emoticon Two months in a row I've gotten very close to my goal of 1,500 fitness minutes. I have received the award for 1,000 fitness minutes and made faces because I didn't quite meet my goal. I'm going to work towards that one again this month and see if I can get the next level award. That in and of itself is a good thing because it keeps me working out!

emoticon One of the awards I received really pumped me up. I have a new icon on my page that I got in January. I'm now a spark people motivator and am linked on the community page. I appreciate all the people who voted for me. I'm grateful to somehow have motivated someone on their journey towards wellness.

If you've received an award that you're proud of, tell me about it when you post on this blog. If you're striving for one and want some encouragement, let me know what it is.

emoticon Let's aim for this at the end of the month!!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SERENA_DOVE 2/4/2010 12:26PM

    i love how you love awards!! I dig them too...maybe I am a kid at heart but the gold star system works well for me...lol. *pins a blue ribbon on ya* that's for being a spark people motivator and a Serena motivator too!! Keep on streakin' *grins*

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NANC304 2/4/2010 11:45AM

    I haven't been paying that much attention to the awards. Thanks for pointing out how motivating they are for you. I need something to jumpstart my motivation again!

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JLGGLASS 2/4/2010 11:29AM


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MCMPOOH43 2/4/2010 10:43AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I like the 500 Sparkpoints and Consistency and the one I gave myself for losing 40 lbs.!! :) I think I'll go for perfect attendance!! :)

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TRIPLE_EMME 2/4/2010 10:39AM


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MOONWILLOW1010 2/4/2010 10:38AM

    I agree with you on those point motivators. You are doing a great job and winning lots of awards. Keep up the good work! Have a great day, Jill

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The Nutrition Tracker is a good thing....

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

emoticon This is my reminder for the month that the nutrition tracker is a good thing!

As I continue my daily blogging this month with a focus on all the good things about my healthy journey, today I'm focused on the nutrition tracker.

emoticon Since I started losing weight, I'm down 4 pants sizes. I was fluctuating back and forth and losing and slightly gaining before I came to spark. The nutrition tracker has to be one of the most significant contributors to teaching me how to eat right. I've lost 28 lbs or so since joining spark.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Besides being a great way to track my water, fruits, and veggies, I am now using it to track other things as well. This month we're doing a sodium challenge as part of the wellness program at my office. By adding a nutrient to track I now know that I should be paying more attention to my sodium intake!

emoticon I do know that sodium causes water retention and can impact your weightloss. I have never really cared about sodium. I have hereditary low blood pressure and I love salt. I thought hey it's not hurting my blood pressure so what? The two days so far that I've tracked I've either been at the top of the range or over and I wasn't even being crazy about adding salt like I normally do.

emoticon So this month I'm trying to overcome that habit and kick some sodium to the curb. It makes it easy to track this by using the awesome nutrition tracker. If you aren't logging your food give it a try. I bet if you try it for one week you will be hooked like I was.

emoticon I challenge you to log your food for one week at minimum. You'll see that it's a good thing!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MCMPOOH43 2/4/2010 10:52AM

    I just can't get into doing the tracker everyday! :( So, I'm going for writing down what I eat in a notebook for now!! :) After, I do this consistently a couple of weeks I'm thinking of adding putting everything into the tracker on Saturday or Sunday.

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HDRURY 2/2/2010 10:51PM

    The tracker is the best! Even though I've been doing this for a long time, I'm still surprised at how even healthy food can add up quickly. I started tracking sodium a month or two ago. I never salt anything and I eat very little processed food, but I was still over every day. Who knew cottage cheese and salad dressing were such a major sodium offenders!

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ISLANDRITER 2/2/2010 10:21PM

    That tracker is like holding up a mirror to my face. "Yep," I say to myself, "That's what I ate alright." Sometimes just writing it down helps me realize how much I am eating during the day and I can adjust accordingly. emoticon

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JXOCASIO 2/2/2010 9:57PM

  I agree that the Nutrition Tracker is very helpful. Like you I found some nutrients that I was deficient in--specifically copper. This led me to begin taking a multi-vitamin, which if done daily will help me to met the daily requirement.

Congratulations on dropping down 4 pants sizes and losing 28lbs.

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BRAVESCHIC2 2/2/2010 9:51PM

    I like it too! It is amazing how much mre sodum we intake and not enough of the other good things like potassium and calcium!

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BGGODDESS 2/2/2010 9:49PM

  Love the tracker. Keeps me honest.

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Planning is a good thing....

Monday, February 01, 2010

emoticon This is my reminder for the month that planning is a good thing.

emoticon Sometimes life is chaotic and you don't have time everyday to pack your lunches, snacks etc. I've tried to overcome that by taking in some groceries to work at the beginning of the week. I have a drawer and an overhead bin that I keep non-perishables in, and a refrigerator in the break room.

emoticon so what's in my basket of goodies that I took? Blackberries, blueberries, 2 kiwi, greek yogurt with honey, egg beaters, weight watchers cheese, whole wheat/flax english muffins, hummus, stacy's plain pita chips, baggies of dried fruit/nuts, and some fiber bars. Now there is no excuse not to eat something healhty.

Each day this month I'm going to post something that's a good thing. So far I've done perspective, courage and planning. I think focusing on the good parts of our journey help us overcome the stress and the bad parts. If you read this blog and post, tell me what some of your good strategies are for staying on track.

emoticon Let's get to the finish line together!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ISLANDRITER 2/2/2010 10:26PM

    -Doing small spurts of exercise if I can't do the longer work outs...is something that comes to mind.

-Making certain I get enough sound sleep.

-Having small portioned healthy food, cleaned and ready to eat for "emergencies"...such as carrots, celery and fruit

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XINIXINIX 2/2/2010 3:17PM

    I have to plan to plan...lol

Yes, very good thing! THANKS!!

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CMBELISLE 2/2/2010 11:55AM

    If I have to eat fast food, I try to know what my "healthier" options are BEFORE I go. Planning really does help.

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TRIPLE_EMME 2/2/2010 11:36AM


Planning is a huge key to success. I have found that I'm most successful when I menu plan for the week. I bring my lunch to work with me along with healthy snacks. In my desk drawer (for emergencies), I usually have a luna bar, a couple packets of oatmeal and applesauce containers.

Good luck to you!!! You have some winning strategies in place -- emoticon

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THE_JULES1 2/2/2010 9:29AM

    I have a drawer, too. I have made a point this week to cook more than we can eat at home and put my lunch in a container before I eat supper. That way I just grab it and run out the door. It is working so far for me. We don't have a big fridge here or I would do as you do! But I have a non perish drawer!

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JULESANA8818 2/2/2010 12:06AM

    I am totally going to steal your idea, now that I have my own desk I am gonna stock that sucker with healthy snacks- in case of emergency. So I am not tempted to hit the crap ion the breakroom. --I can eat in my office now so that helps.


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RITAROSE 2/1/2010 10:11PM

  Michelene good job planning! February strategies in place, you are set for success!
Way to work it! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonRitarose

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Courage is a good thing....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I did a post yesterday called Perspective is a good thing and I'm going to roll with the good thing theme this month. I want to focus on looking at the positive more this month because it helps you reach your goals faster and doesn't weigh you down like the negative does.

emoticon So this is my reminder for February to have courage. That means I have to try new things and put myself out there.

emoticonTonight we're trying a new spark recipe - Chef Megs chicken with pineapple salsa. Finding new ways to make healthy food is a good thing! Breaking out of old habits takes courage.

emoticonYesterday when I did my cycling I tried a new routine called Alpine Pass and did it at a higher level of difficulty than I normally would have chosen. That was a good thing. I was dripping with sweat when I was done and felt like I pushed myself hard.

emoticon January is always a good time to set new goals and try new things. DH gave me gift certificates to a personal trainer and I haven't done that in about 12 years. It took courage to go let some guy weigh and measure me and then it took courage again today to go let him do it again for a monthly followup. I'm down 5 lbs and 3.75 total inches and .8% body fat. So I got thumbs up from the trainer.

emoticon I have a spark people bag that I carry my stuff in at the gym. In there today was my copy of The Spark. It took courage for me to introduce myself to two women I had never seen before and tell them about spark people. They seemed excited to try it out so I gave them my spark name. Hopefully they will join and bring others into this great community.

So courage for me this month means to continue to try new exercises, food, and in general put myself out there more to experience new friends and new opportunities.

emoticon emoticon If you're reading this and decide to post tell me what kind of courage you will have this month. I know you can do it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHERKYLE 2/1/2010 11:57AM

    emoticon I will set a weight loss goal, try 2 new "healthy" recipes, exercise and log food at least 4x/week, measure beginning and end of month. Now I need to go write this in a blog so I don't forget! Thanks

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TRIPLE_EMME 2/1/2010 10:37AM

    emoticon on your accomplishments, on being more positive and having COURAGE!!!

My courage for February will include living bolder -- pushing myself to live the way I want to be living in the future, being more vocal about what I want in my life and perhaps being brave enough to finally post a picture of myself.


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RED_RIDING_HOOD 1/31/2010 7:24PM

    Congratulation on putting yourself out there and even greater congrats on your weight and measurements loss; you deserve it.

I am cheering for you to get greater success in February.
It takes a lot of courage to do what you did and even more to persevere and win. Keep the momentum.
emoticon emoticon

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SPARK-KELLI 1/31/2010 5:45PM

    I love your February plan for COURAGE!

That's terrific!

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Perspective is a good thing....

Saturday, January 30, 2010

emoticon This is my reminder to not lose perspective.

emoticon This is my reminder that when I have, I need to go to the Reports tab and run the Stay On Track Calendar.

emoticon So I'm having my coffee this morning and catching up on SP before I hit the gym. I had a very bad week this last week due to stress, family issues, work projects, random occurring events all bulking up into a difficult week. I felt like I had lost all perspective. My fitness minutes goal is going unreached this month. I felt like I had gotten so far off track because of that and breaking my streaks on water, veggies, situps, etc. etc.

emoticon That's usually when we hit the danger zone and we start thinking things like...I already messed up why don't I go eat five brownies right???

emoticon That's just the devil talking and I don't like the sound of his stupid voice or the direction he leads me in.

emoticon I like the sound of SP and the encouragement and support from friends. Anyway I ran that report and much to my surprise I had forgotten alot of the good things I had done this month...like drop four lbs. I had lots of days where I did meet my goals. It wasn't so bad after all just because the last week was.

emoticon So I'll aim for that 1,500 fitness minutes mark in February and try to stay more focused if I hit another bump in the road like this past week.

emoticon emoticon I'll cheer myself on and start over on some streaks. I got back on the 8 water band wagon yesterday. Today I'll get back on my situps and fruits/veggies and working out. All is not lost due to one difficult week.

emoticon And yeah me...I never ate those brownies or anything else bad. I managed to eat healthy all the way through it and that counts for something in my book too.

emoticon So welcome a new day and a new beginning to a wonderful week. I learned alot about myself and stress this past week and I've got some new tools to work with. One is called perspective.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRJJ2004 1/30/2010 4:20PM

    Way to go girl!!! Proud of you for not throwing in the towel. It would be soooo easy to, sometimes. This is what comes from SP. This is why I love this site!!
Keep on, keepin on, my friend!!!


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MCMPOOH43 1/30/2010 2:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DEBBIE7261 1/30/2010 12:56PM

    You are doing great. I love the blog.
emoticon on talking yourself into staying on track.
Have a very Blessed week you so deserve it,
Debbie emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/30/2010 12:56:52 PM

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TRIPLE_EMME 1/30/2010 11:36AM


Your perspective is positive; you are realistic; and you are living healthy.

Thanks for being an inspiration, emoticon

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ROBINANN09 1/30/2010 10:34AM

    I'm right here cheering you on too! Let's make Feb. a fantabulous month!
emoticon emoticon

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LABYRINTH 1/30/2010 10:33AM

    It's so easy to concentrate on the things we didn't do - the glass half empty and not see what we have accomplished. Good for you!

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PEGGO45 1/30/2010 10:32AM

    emoticon job of pep talking yourself right back into the game. I love spark's ability to pull you back into the positive side of perspective. Have a great day at the gym and pat yourself on the back big time afterwards and drink a huge glass of water... emoticon emoticon

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