NUMD97   52,569
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Motivation? What Happens When You Run Out Of Motivation? - December 6, 2011

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

I saw this on another Sparker's page tonight and I just had to research the genius behind the quote, because, frankly, I had never heard of him. To wit, John C. Maxwell is an American entrepreneur and motivational speaker (after you read the quote, I think you will understand why):

“The whole idea of motivation is a trap. Forget motivation.
Just do it. Exercise, lose weight, test your blood sugar, or
whatever. Do it without motivation. And then, guess what?
After you start doing the thing, that's when the motivation
comes and makes it easy for you to keep on doing it.”
― John C. Maxwell

It appears that Mr. Maxwell and I are on the same page, because, before I even read his quote tonight, by sheer coincidence, I had put these very thoughts, a bit more succinctly on my feed earlier today (hey, it only allows a fixed number of characters). The bottom line is we can talk about weight loss and how we're going to do it, until we are blue in the face. After awhile it gets really old.

My mother was not an entrepreneur, nor a public speaker, but her wisdom was just as wise, and perhaps more contained in fewer words. After a certain point, she would tell me, "Don't plan. Do." And I still hear her saying that to me.

Sometimes, what I call "white noise" tends to overpower us in our intention. We fret about succeeding in our current plans: Will it work out, after all our efforts, will we fail? Sometimes, we just have to turn down the volume on all this negative speak and just (yeah, it's the Nike commercial rearing its ugly head again) do it.

Because, after all, what happens when the motivation doesn't carry us today? Do we simply give up? Is that the end of the road on our quest for health, and even happiness? Doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me.

What do you think?

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNSWIMS 1/3/2012 1:57PM

    There is no try. Do, or do not, but do not "try".

Yoda is a freaking genius.

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COMPUCATHY 12/20/2011 9:32PM

    I think it's right on! The sayings have a reason for being sayings...there's wisdom there...just do it...fake it til you make it...ready, fire, aim! Action is key. My SP calendar today had a saying...something are a success the minute you make a move toward your goal. We can plan...we can think about it...we can motivate ourselves...but action is what makes it happen. Keep up the good work! Thanks for your encouragement! Spark on! emoticon

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HAPPY-DESTINY 12/7/2011 7:58PM


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LISALGB 12/7/2011 2:13PM

    Very wise blog!! What you say is so very true - we just need to do what needs to be done.

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/7/2011 1:44PM

    So true!!! Lots of wisdom here, thank you Nu! emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 12/7/2011 9:42AM

    It's been proved over and over that dieting makes us fat. This blog of yours may be the answer. We just have to make life changes a normal part of our every day life. Loved your Mom's wisdom.. just do! emoticon

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YIWEN39 12/7/2011 5:32AM

    I think you're spot/spark on :-) Way to go! emoticon

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STRIVER57 12/7/2011 4:11AM

    exactly. you don't need motivation every day, but you do need to have decided, this is what i'm going to do.

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TLBLACKJACK 12/7/2011 12:01AM

    This was awesome thank you for sharing it! Really puts things in perspective!

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BUTEAFULL 12/6/2011 11:50PM

    emoticonvery well put

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PRINCESSAA12 12/6/2011 11:50PM

    Great blog. Exactly what I was looking for. "Motivation" hehehe..

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79.1 Miles. What Was I THINKING? - December 4, 2011

Sunday, December 04, 2011

I've been on SP for a long time now. Over three years, going on four, to be exact. Once the "Ah ha!" moment has passed, and one "gets" it, the work really begins in earnest. OK, we "get" the point about portion control, more calories out than calories in. "Moving" more than sitting. And on and on it goes.

We start off with such enthusiasm and verve. We got it, right? So the rest should be easy. [Easier?] But the issue is this: When one has a "ginormous" amount of weight to lose, and anyone who has over 20 to 30 pounds to lose will understand this very well, one has to keep the motivation going because this is going to take a while. So we look at the SP guidelines and start planning the meals and staying as much as humanly possible, in the calorie range that has been assigned to us. We design a workout plan that we can live with, and tweak that: Five or six days for cardio [the weight loss ticket for the exercise part of the equation] and strength training for at least two days or even three, again as recommended.

We do great for about six months or so and see the results. We're pretty proud of what we have done, and we're heading in the right direction. Then it happens. Oh, no! "Plateau" time. We stall. We get frustrated. We tweak again. We look back over the last couple of months and try to determine what we are doing differently [thanks, SP, for keeping our data close by even after many, many months]. Did we really measure accurately? Are we really staying in portion control? Old habits don't give up easily. This is, after all, a lifetime [if you are old enough] of bad habits, and it's so much easier to fall back into bad patterns.

So, what to do, to keep our flagging interest from totally bottoming out, and how to keep our exercise habits interesting? We try new things and new activities. For my part, back in the summer, one of the Sparkers and I decided what we really needed, was to start applying our exercise to a virtual trek. Back in July, that sounded great. So, I researched some tracking websites, and finally found one that would work [for those interested: worked well for this]. Then I went over to Yahoo maps, and plotted out our trip from Falmouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod, beginning on Sippewissett Road opposite Flume Lake (for no other reason than it sounded funky - got to keep the interest somehow), and picked the final destination on the Cape as Pilgrim's Monument, in Provincetown, Massachusetts. Why not? It was *only* a mere 79.1 miles total [it actually came to be slightly over 80 miles in the end, but why quibble? emoticon]. We gave ourselves ample room to finish in time for Thanksgiving, starting in mid-August. It sounded reasonable: About five miles a week, taking into account other priorities and obligations. Hey, neither of us is a marathon runner, well, not me anyway. I have hopes for my partner in this trek though.

After a few months of planning this, and finding charts to convert ST to mileage, we were off and running. After a while I started to wonder whatever possessed me to embark on this challenge, with someone who is young enough to be my daughter. No matter, this wasn't about racing. It was about setting goals. And learning from them. So, what have I learned from these last 17 weeks, and one day?

emoticon I learned that even well into middle age (OK, 60 to be exact), there are still goals to conquer; after all, I'm not dead yet! All planned and plotted and figured within reason.

emoticon That it's grand to have someone push you and motivate you, but in the end, we need to be able to push and motivate ourselves. Our demons need to be addressed, and won over, once and for all.

emoticon That I am eternally in Chris Downie's debt, for creating a website, albeit similar to many others, that is absolutely FREE!

emoticon That this is an extraordinary community, with incredibly supportive people, who even across the miles, reach over to support others while working on their own self-improvement. That on days I did not want to exercise, or recommit to the task at hand, I felt impelled to do so, knowing that upwards of 70 people stop by my page daily to see how I am progressing. It makes the accountability extra strong knowing that.

emoticon That once accomplishing a goal, and feeling incredibly empowered, I am able now to turn my attention to other areas of my life that are crying out to be fixed. And knowing that, in time, with careful, realistic planning, I can accomplish those tasks as well. This is part of the "spill over" effect: Accomplishing one thing, cascading into every area of my life.

So, now it's your turn: What have you set your cap to accomplish for yourself? How are you planning to achieve that? Is your goal a realistic one? And how will you handle it if you falter?

I'm looking forward to meeting you at the top!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNSWIMS 1/3/2012 1:55PM

    I figure I'm going to be a year older, I'd rather be a year older and thinner. :)

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LISALGB 12/5/2011 9:15PM

    What a novel idea you had!! And how wonderful that you went the distance. You are a real inspiration.

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1CRAZYDOG 12/5/2011 10:30AM

    I kind of felt like you . . . I'm 57 and what could I be thinking to embark on "torturing" my body with cardio, strength and stretching? How can I POSSIBLY keep up with others younger then I? I guess I'm not such an old "geezer" after all! My DS said to me the other day, "Ma, when did you get muscles in your arms?" LOL . . . I've gotten them with the blood, sweat and tears of almost 2 yrs. of being on SP! And even more astonishing, I challenged him to an arm wrestling match and **I** won! He's 19! Where my SuperWoman cape when I need one!? LOL

Loved your blog and kudos on a fabulous job. You rock!

PS . . . indeed, I left my endo scratching his head and since I'd made a bet with my family Dr. that I WOULD lose the weight and NOT need insulin for my type 2 IR diabetes, she owed me a dinner . . . which she made as I DIDN'T need insulin and DID lose the weight! The dinner was EXCELLENT!! I think it's called Paella . . . a Spanish seafood dish. LOL I did make a SP pumpkin roll for dessert. She is an awesome Dr . . . and a friend. The best of both worlds.

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KATHRYNLP 12/5/2011 10:03AM

    As usual, another excellent blog. Filled with accomplishments, humour and always humble. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and for giving encouragement to those of us who are suffering from Diet Rage! emoticon emoticon

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GIANTPANDA 12/5/2011 7:37AM

    Great blog! It occurred to me that I might have more fun on the treadmill if I imagined that I was building up miles on a fascinating hike instead!

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STRIVER57 12/5/2011 7:28AM

    well as another 60-year-old, i've got to agree. new goals all the time. that means new achievements. and as i'm going to blog one of these days, the spillover effect from my weight loss & fitness success is inspiring me to try to improve my work organization, and have less stress and more time for my family and for me. wish me luck! and much luck to you.

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/5/2011 4:50AM

    No worry, Nu... I thought you were letting it open, to show the future would tell what you had learned! Now, I must say your blog is truly inspirational for me like this... THANK YOU!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NUMD97 12/5/2011 1:58AM

    This is truly a shame. It had been edited and enhanced, and now accidentally got deleted. I'll try and recreate it yet again in the morning. I should have put it in Word first. Actually, I did try and do that, but something in the transfer got lost as well.

Comment edited on: 12/5/2011 12:51:49 PM

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CLAIREINPARIS 12/5/2011 1:51AM

    79.1 miles, yay!!! Very very impressive! So... what did you learn during these 17 weeks and one day? I guess we'll see in the future, with your next Trek!!!
CONGRATULATIONS again Nu for a great achievement! It is fantastic what SP inspires us to do!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/5/2011 1:57:05 AM

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NUMD97 12/4/2011 11:15PM

    The blog accidentally got posted before I could complete it. Now it's done, and thanks.:)

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PJBONARRIGO 12/4/2011 10:51PM

    What did you learn? Sounds like a fun idea, congrats on the 79.1 miles :-)

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In An Instant - September 11, 2011

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Those looking for weight loss encouragement or musings on that, keep looking. This blog is not going to address that. It's about something else entirely.

I have been thinking of how things can change, so capriciously, in an instant. About a week or so ago, I learned the fate, quite by accident, of someone I went to junior high school with. I found a page on Facebook, dedicated to her memory and was puzzled about that, wondering what illness befell her, dying so young. She would only be at the most a year older than I, and curiosity impelled me forward to investigate. Sadly, if you know how to search the net, much is pretty easily revealed.

She died as a result of a horrific car accident, literally in her own driveway, as a result of a has-been actress making the decision to drive drunk. Oddly, I had heard about this actress' vehicular manslaughter the summer before, but I never knew it involved someone I went to school with. The actress had already been involved in an earlier accident with another vehicle, and when that victim started to call the police, the actress took off, and ultimately crashed into my classmate's car. Tailing the actress' car to make certain the police would catch her, the first victim actually saw the ensuing drama of the second accident. My classmate died at the scene moments after the crash, and her husband, the driver, had to be helicoptered to the nearby medical center, suffering multiple broken bones and serious injury. Being in a residential neighborhood, it struck me as curious that the force of the collision was so great. Later, the police calculated that the actress was traveling at 52-53 miles an hour when the impact occurred, pummeling into the passenger side of the car. My classmate's husband, as I said, was driving, and he literally had just pulled into the driveway of their NJ summer retreat, when the crash occurred. Two more minutes they would have been in the house, where their two young sons were. Had they stopped somewhere on the way home, just a minute or two of delay, would have avoided the ensuing tragedy altogether.

With all the storms that the east coast has been having lately, and since last winter with several blizzards, many trees have been weakened or uprooted. A friend of mine told me that her husband had stopped off to get a slice of pizza on his way home, a few months ago, and when he finally got home, saw that the tree that stood next to their driveway had been suddenly uprooted and had fallen clear across where his car usually is parked. My friend told me that had he not stopped, most likely he would have been in the driveway as the tree came down. For once, she said, she was happy that his hunger won out. It probably saved his life.

Today being the tenth anniversary of when the world changed for us New Yorkers, and for all Americans as well, we do have to set aside a moment, even if brief, to remember that tragic day. Even ten years later, it still stuns me how 3,000 people could be having their morning coffee at their desk at work in the Twin Towers, going over business e-mails, and beginning to set the day that horrible Tuesday, and moments later be annihilated, with no trace of them at all. And ten years later, we still do not know why they had to die. And how many lives were altered as a result.

It is still painful to see the interviews with some of the survivors, and some of the widows. Even now as they retell their own personal version of that day's events, the memory for them is still searing.

Be mindful, especially today, of all that you have, and all your loved ones that you hold dear. Make sure that they know. It all can change in an instant.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COMPUCATHY 11/12/2011 5:35PM

    We must cherish every day and live life to the fullest. This is the time we "present." Enjoy and cherish! Keep up the good work! Thanks for your encouragement! Spark on! emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 10/4/2011 11:05AM

    Thank you for posting your story here, regarding your friend and how precious life is. We do need to be reminded not to take each of our days for granted. The 911 day was felt and watched around the World, and will never be forgotten. emoticon

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SCOOTERGIRLOZ 9/16/2011 1:58AM


Also noticed your blog through your comments to ClaireinParis. Your blog does honour to your friend and the 9/11 memory. Life is precious and very inspiring that you intend on changing scenery for yours. Best wishes that it works out very well for you.

Scootergirl in Oz

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JGAL8123 9/12/2011 10:57AM

    I spent a lot of time hugging my family yesterday, grateful to have the opportunity to do so today and each day hereafter.

So sorry that you've lost a childhood friend to tragic circumstances - I hope the actress in question spends the rest of her days regretting how she managed to permanently change the lives of others as well as her own in that instant.

Wonderful message on such a special day - thanks for posting

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MAGICKCAT 9/11/2011 6:16PM

    Wonderful blog my friend. Lives can be changed in the blink of an eye...I treasure every day, because we only have now...there is a reason why they call it "the present". The gift of those precious moment with loved ones...Live every day with love, peace and great gusto.
I lost two friends that day. I will never forget it as long as I the prime of their lives, just doing their jobs and then gone in an instant. I'm so sorry at the tragic loss of your friend. I pray for those that lost their families, friends and loved ones that day.

Thanks for that great blog...very thought provoking.

Much Love,


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BUTEAFULL 9/11/2011 2:08PM

    call it what you will, God at work, Karma, Kismet, luck (good or bad), Fate, there is no answer really, just accept each day as it comes

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CAPECODLIGHT 9/11/2011 1:15PM

    Found your blog because of your comments on ClaireinParis' blog. Very insightful, thought provoking blog. I long ago have stopped trying to figure out why tragedies occur or are near misses. Like you, I just try to make sure my loved ones know they are loved and try to make their lives better, if I can.

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Come Join Us! We're Going Virtual Walking On Cape Cod! - August 13, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

For anyone who might be interested in joining us for our virtual trek, here are the instructions for Week #1:

Open up (register first). Click on "map the walk" function. Then it should show your address (pulled in from registration data). Change that and type in Sippewissett Road, Falmouth, MA. We're starting opposite Flume Lake (kinda nice touch, no?). Then on the right is a dialog box: Click on "center map" (this way the map moves when you move), and click the function "follow the road" (this will keep the blue line tracing your path centered). Both should turn yellow. Go north and follow it till you hit Palmer Road. Make a right on Palmer Road (you should have a blue line trailing your path). Ultimately it meets up with Route 28 (aka: West Falmouth Highway). Hang a left. We will eventually reach General MacArthur Blvd, which is Rte. 28 N. I think for the first week we should "rest" at Anna Gordon Moraine Trail, which is on the right of the highway and 5.89 miles into our trek.

Come join us! It'll be fun! The more the merrier!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JENNSWIMS 8/16/2011 6:18PM

    Day one down! Maybe next time we can select a locale that people other than us have heard of and get a team going :)

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ROOTIHAUSMAN 8/13/2011 3:28PM

    Sounds like fun. will have to check it out!

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Coloring In The Lines - August 13, 2011

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Remember when you were in kindergarten some years back, and how you took pride in first deepening the outlines of the page you were about to color, so that you would take extra care when coloring in the page?

I got to thinking about that, when I remembered a little known feature that Spark provides: On the Start page, there is a monthly calendar (called my SparkSummary Calendar) where you can see at a glance how you are progressing for that month. There is a gold star awarded if you stay in calorie range, and there are icons to monitor your fitness minutes, calories burned as you record it for exercise done, and weight, as well. The gold stars made me smile: Seems silly, no? We're back in kindergarten again. But when a buddy of mine at work and I were plotting out weight loss goals right before Thanksgiving last, those gold stars became awfully important.

If you follow the 80/20 rule, that amounts to 24 "gold star" days out of 30 on average for each month. That's all we have to do to see results, and to keep on point. It allows us a few days (six approximately) to "mess up". Not that one should use that to consciously fall off the wagon, but it does help to know that even not perfect, success for the month can be obtained.

I promised a SparkBuddy that we would start a virtual trek this week beginning tomorrow, Sunday. We're starting in Falmouth, MA and are going to "walk" to Provincetown, MA on Cape Cod. It's a "mere" 80 miles, and at the rate of about five miles of exercise a week, if we keep each other on point, and Spark minds my gold stars for me, I think we should be in Provincetown on the Cape, virtually, by Thanksgiving. I think having a buddy work along side you with similar goals is a very useful tool.

We'll update our progress on our feed. Feel free to join us if you like. Just print out a map of the Cape Cod streets (easily found on the web) or plot it on I made the directions simple and you can find them on my SP page in summary form. We are walking from Sippewissett Road opposite Flume Lake in Falmouth (I just loved that name!) to Pilgrim's Monument on One High Pole Hill Road in Provincetown, MA.

Care to join us? Bring water and snacks. It's a long walk!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PONYFARMER 8/13/2011 3:56PM

    Where on sp do you do these virtual walks. They sound so fun!

You are so correct, no one is perfect so the 80/20 rule is great to give you a place that is NOT perfect to strive for. I too love the STARS and the atta boys we get from SP.

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CANNIE50 8/13/2011 2:26PM

    I came to thank you for your thoughtful comment on my blog about, basically, being flamed (rather than SParked). It is one of my first experiences with that level of nastiness on SP so I was caught off-guard. I have a bit better idea of how to handle it now, so it was a good lesson. Thank you for the info about the summary calendar. I LOVE gold stars and I am not ashamed to admit it! Have fun on your walk - what a great idea.

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