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RAYLINSTEPHENS's Recent Blog Entries

18,121 total new members in my class team!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

**ended at 18,121 members for the week! Big group!!

**17,639 and the day isn't over yet!

I found I can read the first blogs and manage to stay ahead of them! So that is my plan of action!

I am answering the sparkmail questions on sparkpages whenever possible and encouraging people to make their sparkpages open to the community.

Onward and Upward!

**16,312 with one full day plus tonight to go!

**15,680 and still have 1-1/2 days to go!

**edit**I have passed 14,032 Class Team members today and still counting!!

I had heard about the sparkmails but I was totally unprepared! But, I have caught up with all of them and no new questions on the board, everyone attended to!!

Halelujah!! I have 5 minutes to write a blog! And you all know I have to get every last SparkPoint available!!

I even got in my morning walk and 3 miles WATP! I am really moving...

Love y'all,

** 14,032 and still adding new members - found a strategy to deal with the sparkmails and blogs as well as the questions. Day 5 and still going strong!

**15,680 and still adding on for another day and a half!

**16,312 and still growing!

**17,639 and the day isn't over yet!

**ended at 18,121 members for the week! Big group!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_VALEO_ 4/18/2009 6:41AM

    What a big group! I think it's wonderful that so many persons found their way to Spark and to a new healthy life!

I'm sure you'll be a great motivator and an inspiration for these new members!

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VICKI-BISHOP-56 4/4/2009 2:16PM

  emoticon Linda!!!

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DINA:-) 4/3/2009 8:16PM

    linda, we all appreciate everything you do! thank you!

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GRALLEN 4/3/2009 1:56PM

    I finally had to create in Excel a 'to do' spreadsheet to keep me on track with all the teams I lead. It has been so helpful.

The emails can be overwhelming. Lucky for me I can sign on to Spark at work; it helps me to keep up.

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JENGETSMOVING 4/3/2009 12:52PM

    linda, thanks for the lovely comment on my blog! also, thanks for helping to get all of us newbies adjusted to sparkpeople!

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HPLANDER 4/2/2009 9:24AM

    You are a busy lady. You look great and you are so helpful to the rest. I am glad to know you.

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    Linda you are Amazing!! emoticon We are so blessed to know you. You have a very giving heart! emoticon Laurie

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JENIFIREHARP 4/1/2009 11:19PM

    Luckily for you, not EVERYONE of those 11,000 will ask questions... even though it feels like it some days LOL. The first week is the craziest... the first month is busy... but after that is up to you to keep it going, or direct everyone to other teams. You are doing great!!!

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MARTY19 4/1/2009 7:39PM

    YIKES!!! You need a co-leader or 10. I know you will be successful at motivating your team.


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BECKY3128 4/1/2009 5:39PM


As always, you are doing so well! Keep up the awesome work!

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Another month, another pound.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As March draws to a close I am 1.1 pounds down this month! Not an incredible amount but it got me into the 129's!

I also have a Class Team to lead and had an MIA co-leader - go figure, having a baby takes precedence over leading a Class Team?!

Well, I trusted the Lord to provide and a returning Sparker appeared just in time and has graciously accepted the offer of joining me in leading my Class Team to victory!

Day 3 and already 6814 team members!! Sheesh, that's a lot of excess body baggage to try to remove this year! But I am confident we will be victorious!!

Hugs y'all,

P.S. anyone having a minute to spare and nothing to do can always pop in at my Class Team and answer a question or 2 or just say hello to a new member.
emoticon If you be of a mind to.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DINA:-) 4/3/2009 8:18PM

    congrats on getting into the 120s!

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JERSEYGIRL24 3/31/2009 5:16PM


You are truly amazing. I feel blessed to know you (and I am not a religious person). You never cease to inspire us, and I am sure you will continue to do so after you reach goal (I'm getting that party dress in order already).

Maybe I will join your class. My class team was never an active one, even in the beginning. The people who join this week will be very fortunate to have you to guide them through the early days.


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BONMACK 3/31/2009 3:32PM

    Wowee...I can't even picture the 120's yet! I have to stop by your page now and again just to get some inspiration! YOU GO GIRL!!!

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JENIFIREHARP 3/31/2009 2:58PM

    Way to go Linda! You are doing Fabulous!!!

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MARTY19 3/31/2009 2:28PM

    What is the name of the team?


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HPLANDER 3/31/2009 2:23PM

    120's what a concept. I hope to join you there some day.

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JUDYGREG 3/31/2009 11:24AM

    Losing a pound is a thousand times better than gaining a pound!
Congrats on maintaining and losing!

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 3/31/2009 10:40AM

    You will truly be a gift to that team!! Enjoy! emoticon
Thanks for steppin' up! emoticon

PS. I might just stop by your Class Team. :)

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As I approach goal weight...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I am exploring tips on maintaining my goal weight.

I am going to blog what I find for others, this way I am also creating a journal of the different websites I find helpful to me in my journey.

Today's site is


a suite101.com article that is copyrighted and cannot be copied here.

Tracy Rose calls this Tips on Maintaining Your Goal Weight and calls this phase 2 of weight loss.

Tracy offers several tips to find your goal calories to prevent adding the pounds back. I think this was well worth finding and reading.

Good luck fellow losers!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ONMYWAYTOGOAL 3/30/2009 9:52AM

    Thanks Linda! You're so good to all of us !! You're doing awesome--I saw that you posted your "new" weight recently. Way to go Girl!!!
emoticon Laurie

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SLIM.CHICK 3/29/2009 8:04PM

    thanks for the info. I can't weight until I reach my maintenance point.

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DINA:-) 3/29/2009 5:14PM

    thanks, linda! when i do get to the point of maintenance, i know where to go!

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CRUISEBOUND2014 3/28/2009 6:25PM

    Thank you so much for sharing! This is great information.


Comment edited on: 3/28/2009 6:25:11 PM

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VEGEFARMER 3/28/2009 6:20PM

    Wow Linda, you have done so well with your weight loss, you are an inspiration to all of us out here as we travell on our journey.
Thank you for sharing.

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MARTY19 3/28/2009 3:50PM

    Good article with some thoughtful tips. It makes sense which is the most important thing. Maintainance is what scares me to death.


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SUPREME5 3/28/2009 1:41PM

DORENE emoticon

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JENIFIREHARP 3/28/2009 10:10AM

    thanks for sharing!

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MSLZZY 3/28/2009 9:34AM

    Good information! emoticon

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    Congrats on getting near Goal Weight!!

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We can all make this happen!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

*a sparkmail I sent today:*

Surprisingly I am not often asked how I did this.

Keep your eyes on the prize is probably the best advice I can offer. (Sorry, I know you didn't ask either but it really can be done and it was easy for me. Allow me to share a minute. This will be my blog for today too.)

At 57 there are few foods I haven't eaten, fewer cakes I haven't tried. My mother worked in a bakery and my dad was a Master Pastry Chef with Junior's Restaurant in NYC, Junior's Cheesecake his specialty (of QVC fame). He didn't create the recipe but he refined the recipe and worked in Junior's as the Master Baker for better than 20 years (1960's through 1980's) making mostly just the cheesecakes. I had good reason for being heavy with all the cakes, cookies and bread in the house 24/7. As active as I had been, I just couldn't burn it all off 24/7. My mother kept fruits and vegetables in the house 24/7 too, but I chose the cakes, cookies and bread myself. Both my parents had to work back then just to support a family of 6. I was a latchkey kid long before I knew what the term was.

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Why last year did I wake up and say to myself, "no more?" Can't answer that one. But I feel confident The Lord wanted me to reach 210 before helping me to stay on my program to lose more than I ever dreamed possible. This I feel is so I could help others who were also obese to get a handle on getting rid of this excess body baggage. I have not strayed from my chosen program - counting calories. I smile kindly when I see the looks on people's faces, you've seen that look, "oh but she'll never keep it off!" I think to myself, they'll find out the truth - yes I can and yes I will.

And you can too. We can all reach the prize! One day at a time, One pound at a time.

SparkPeople works, if you are willing to put in the time.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

HPLANDER 3/27/2009 10:57AM

    Thanks for the blog. You are an inspiration and you are right about deciding. I felt the same way. People pressured me to lose weight last year and I wasn't ready. I had to choose my journey. Well I made the decision, plotted the course and walking to my destination.

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FORMYDARLINGS 3/26/2009 10:40PM

    Thanks Linda. On an off day, a round of encouragement is great.


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RODEOMOMSK 3/26/2009 10:10PM

Take it to Church Sister!
You said it perfectly.
Everything we do in life is a choice.
You made your choice when it was your time in life to. Now is your time in life to show other how you did it, and how it worked for you.

Now ... about that cheesecake.... LOL I've never tried that particular one, but I do like - no make that LOVE the ones termed NY style that I've eaten so I can only imagine. YUM!

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LKRMOM 3/26/2009 2:07PM

    You really are incredible. You've given me so much motivation. Thanks for sharing your story!


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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 3/26/2009 10:58AM

    Linda.....what an inspiration you are!!! Thank you for sharing with us. I feel honored to know that you've been where I've been. Now, my parents weren't bakers or chefs, but they both worked 40+ hours a week and my two younger sisters an I were sent to after school babysitters, and later home alone (latch key). Out of guilt and love, my parents bought us all the twinkies and pop and treats that we wanted (back in the the early 70's). We were truly spoiled that way. Unfortunately it lead to bad eating habits that I took with me into adulthood. I have learned a lot over the years, but I've learned the most here at Spark People because of caring people like you. Thank you for sharing your success and for caring about all of us! Hugs-Laurie

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JERSEYGIRL24 3/26/2009 9:09AM

    Wow, that is too cool that your Dad worked at Junior's Cheesecake and perfected that recipe!!! Maybe this response is not totally appropriate for this venue (a weight loss site), but that is good stuff. I have been thinking about NY style cheesecakes for the last two days, but fortunately, not for the reasons you think. It would be nice, but I am not really dying to have one.

I am very upset about my father, the Alzheimer's diabetic. I am even more upset that between him and my mother, they seem to have NO regard for his diet. He seems to eat pretty much whatever he wants. Let's just say that if DH or I were ever diagnosed with diabetes, I would handle it much differently. I wonder if my mom has ever even looked at a diabetic cookbook. I'd probably stack my shelves with them.

So how does this relate to the cheesecake? My parents have always had some kind of dessert with dinner. Most of the time it is not a very high quality dessert. A lot of times it is jello (which I personally can't stand) or some mediocre store-bought cake. Don't know if you are familiar with Entenmann's cakes. I think Entenmann's should send them holiday cards. They seem to be more into quantity than quality. I've seen boxes of Dunkin Donuts in their freezer which probably had some sort of coupon involved. My point is that I am actually not a huge dessert person (snacks, yes), but I would much rather have a high quality dessert, such as a Junior's cheesecake or a bowl of Haagen Dazs ice cream, than the garbage that they serve. Even if I had to do it less often to save money.

Oh by the way, I also like the part of the blog that most people will comment on. I also am not sure why I allowed myself to get to 230 and finally one day, for no apparent reason, just said "enough is enough". Look, you probably appreciate being thin a lot more now than if you had always been that way and taken it for granted.

Boy, am I long-winded today!!! Have a great day.

Leslie emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOB8/2009 3/26/2009 8:59AM

    It's all about choices, isn't it? You CHOSE to get rid of the baggage, your CHOSE to stick with the program, and you're CHOOSING to continue your healthier lifestyle.

BTW, having grown up in NYC in the 60's, I've probably had a gazillion pieces of your Dad's cheesecake! It was our treat....a hot dog and cheesecake from Jr's!

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BLENDEDKITTY 3/26/2009 8:40AM

  I'm so glad you wrote this. It's been really hard to put in the time this week getting everything typed in and staying on track. You're an inspiration. Thanks, Kathy emoticon

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MARTY19 3/26/2009 7:25AM

    Amen to that. You made a commitment to change. Not matter how challenging/difficult it was, you stuck to it. You wanted it and you went for it.


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March 2009 Reader's Digest, In Health Article

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 2009 Reader's Digest seems to agree with what has been touted here at SparkPeople! If you get the chance to read the entire article in Health, there was a lot that was interesting to me.

In Health
Weights for Your Waist - and Your Heart
"Those who strength-trained did 30 percent less aerobic exercise - yet performed 7 percent better on tests of maximum aerobic capacity. They also lost 2 percent of their body fat; the volunteers who simply walked or jogged lost none."

SparkPeople keeps telling us to do Strength Training - and now so is Reader's Digest!

This was also an eye-opener for me:

A New Way to Keep Bones Strong

"...surprising new research suggests that another dietary move is just as important... as calcium and vitamin D. The key: Go easy on carbs and sub in more fruits and veggies." "When you digest carbohydrates, the process turns your innards slightly acidic. That's a problem because a high-acid environment leaches calcium from bone, says Tufts University researcher Bess Dawson-Hughes, MD."

There is a chart:
Instead of this acid producer - - - Eat this alkali booster

Pasta - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Potatoes

Soda - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Fruit Juice

Meat and Poultry - - - - - - - - - - - - Tofu

Beer - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Wine

Peanuts - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Raisins

**I cannot eat Tofu but I can eat more fruits and veggies! And today I did!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLIM.CHICK 3/25/2009 7:47PM

    emoticon for the info.
I have to run and do my emoticon now!

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GRALLEN 3/25/2009 8:44AM

    Since I've added ST two days a week, I've noticed some changes.

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ONMYWAYTOGOAL 3/24/2009 8:02AM

    I can't say that I hate tofu because I haven't tried it. I do keep the soda and juice to a minumun..rather have water or the fruit itself, and I don't drink...but maybe I should have a glass of wine now and then. emoticon

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FORMYDARLINGS 3/23/2009 10:01PM

    I love tofu and freggies so no problem there. Thanks for the info, linnda. I will begin to set up strength training right away.


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SUPREME5 3/23/2009 8:26PM


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DINA:-) 3/23/2009 7:37PM

    very interesting- and now i have another reason to drink wine! hehe!

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MARTY19 3/23/2009 7:23PM

    I cannot stand tofu. It turns my stomach. But I have upped the ante on my fruits.


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