150,000-199,999 SparkPoints
RAYLINSTEPHENS's Recent Blog Entries

Small problem with The Spark - still love SparkPeople and the Spark Program!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Small problem with The Spark - still love SparkPeople and the Spark Program!

On page 39 The Spark declares "we don't focus on the ten foods you can never eat again"
but on page 102 there is a listing of foods to be "Avoided (special occasions only)."

What happened to "all foods in moderation?" What happened to each of us having our own "trigger" foods?

Am I the only one to have a problem with this rather long listing of foods to be avoided? I not only worked many of these into my program, but I lost 90 lbs in 16 months by incorporating "forbidden" foods into my meal plans. I have to tell you, I don't remember seeing this listing when I started The Spark Program in 2008.

I am just wondering how other feel about this. This is one of those few times that I am asking for your opinions - not about my writing this blog, only about how you feel about what seems to me to be controversy in the program. (I don't know how to better phrase this sentence, but if I used the incorrect word - please forgive my old and aging brain.)

**edit: Thank you for the opinions! I guess what bothers me the most is "special occasions only" since I incorporate pork-loin, sausage and ribs when I have room for them. I am more concerned with the sodium with ribs and hot-dogs than calories or fat. Once in a while going over on my Sodium isn't that terrible.

I use dark meat chicken because I prefer it even though it contains more calories per ounce/gram. But it is also half the price so moderation is the key word here and I do remove the skin.

I like getting these opinions - some of the "forbidden foods" are healthier for me with my allergies - like I discovered quite by accident that 1 tsp heavy whipping cream in my coffee doesn't upset my stomach like milk or the non-dairy creamers for about 1/3 the calories. And I am allergic to all Soy so I use butter when I feel the need instead of margarine - all margarines are now made with Soy Oil.

I don't like brown rice or whole wheat flour so I use the white - for me this is not a trigger. The worst trigger for me is cookies and they are on my "never" list.

It just seemed to be conflicting information from page 39 to page 102 due to the wording.

Thanks emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGING4LIFE 1/14/2010 9:30PM

    Great blog. Very thought-provoking. I haven't gotten that far yet, but did see you mentioned!!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
USARUNNERGIRL 1/12/2010 3:03PM

    I agree and disagree. Telling me to avoid a food, signals the words "DO NOT EAT ME!" However if we are merely avoiding, that does not mean NEVER, EVER either.

I eat a lot of this in moderation and in fact several of the items listed like butter, cream cheese, and sour cream sometimes get suggested when I am low in fat for my day to day values. I think the big difference is that they are trying to show healthier versions of the foods listed. I saw it as if you can choose this over that you will be healthier.

I dunno.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SUZYMOBILE 1/11/2010 9:21PM

    I'm sure we're all going to find things in The Spark that rub us the wrong way ... and different things that inspire us. I've found a bit of both. The trouble is, The real Spark isn't a book containing a set of rules. It's a living, breathing community of people who are analyzing their own experiences to build their own success, using a set of excellent tools and the support and advice of a whole community. There really isn't a way you can capture that on paper.

Thanks for the thought-provoking blog! It's good to know there are critical thinkers out there, and now I don't feel so alone in having questions about some passages in the book.

emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ETHEL_MERMAID 1/11/2010 6:32PM

    That's interesting, Linda. I don't really have any "forbidden foods," but if I get a better bang for the buck from one choice as opposed to another, I'll opt for the better deal. - Susan

Report Inappropriate Comment
JAVAQUEEN74 1/11/2010 6:16PM

    I think as long as it worked for you and you are maintaining, go for it! Don't worry about what it says to do! Obviously whatever you are doing is working for YOU. THAT is what matters.

My two cents.

Report Inappropriate Comment
FORMYDARLINGS 1/11/2010 3:26PM

    Well Linda. HHHMMMMM I'm not at that point yet in the book but as you say each of us is different. For me chocolate is a trigger food and I DO have to aviod it but for the most part I eat all foods. I suupose that I sort of have my own list in my head, like I don't use butter, don't like it, too much saturated fat, I don't use heavy whipping cream, same reasons. I don't eat most cereal from the store, not enough fibre or too much sugar, WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR. I' have been compiling my list over a long time. I don't eat bananas, they spike my blood sugar but that's just me. Seems odd that there is any sort of written nono list. I'm quite intrigued. Follow this through, as I know you will and let us all know.

Gini emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMMABE1 1/11/2010 2:27PM

    Interesting - I haven't got that far in the book yet, but it strikes me from what you say that it brings SP in line with the myriad of other "DIETS" that are out there!!
As you say - its supposed to be different - a lifestyle program!!
But havng said that I honestly think - in fact I am sure, that we are all different and what works for one may not work for everyone - so I recon we just keep on doing what works for us!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 1/11/2010 1:18PM

    It's a bit of a strange anomaly and well-spotted but it seems sensible to keep on doing what's worked so very well for you up til now. Your 90lb loss is proof that what you have done so far is effective and it's very inspiring to other people.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARJIJANE 1/11/2010 1:16PM

    Congratulations on a great journey with Sparkpeople! I am reading my book and I am enjoying taking time (off the computer) to mull over the offerings of goal setting and positive measures for improvement (Not that Tony Robins doesn't offer similar info) I never considered the wording you mention... but, hmmmm Avoid does not mean "never eat again"... it means if you have another choice, make it a higher % of the time... I love having a list of "trigger" foods that might set me up for monster cravings! I have lost 60 pounds over the last 9 months by both incorporating and "avoiding" certain foods. What I do love is that Spark DOES want you to LEARN how to make good choices 90% of the time... I did not get fat by making bad choices 10% of the time!

I love that we have this site, where we can express our ideas and frustrations and joys of the program and now I have my copy of The Spark to highlite and refer back to over and over again.

I am enjoying the "me" time of sitting and reading and absorbing, whether it be with The Spark or Healthy for Life... "me" time is important, and my old self did not want to spend the time reading...just eating... big difference!

Good luck as you continue your healthy journey, and thank you for another perspective to re-read and review!

Marjorie emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
KNITTABLES 1/11/2010 12:48PM

    I am not at that page yet but well done for picking up the inconcistansie, i will ues that word can't think of the right one. Since I too have allergies and many in food, I use moderation in the foods I eat. I thinks that work best for me. You have to work the plan into yourlife stlye and health issues that are the best for you.

Report Inappropriate Comment
DAISYBELL6 1/11/2010 12:27PM

    I think the key is the word "guidlines" We have to take what we can use and do what is best for us in the other instances.

Report Inappropriate Comment
BARNABABY1 1/11/2010 11:53AM

    I should have taken a moment to read the pages you pointed out before commenting....

First: I didn't know you were in the book...how exciting!!! CONGRATS!!!

Second: I can understand what they are saying...it fits with what I have been doing.... there are certain foods that we should not eat daily because they aren't best for us, they aren't saying never eat them, just reserve them for special occasions. Whereas the healthier foods are better choices for us on a daily basis.

Also....I think this list is a way for beginners to get a firm handle on their nutrition, etc. As you grow with the program you can begin to substitute in ways that work for you but may have been too confusing in the beginning!

Just my thoughts. Hope this helps some!
Mary Ann emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/11/2010 11:57:42 AM

Report Inappropriate Comment
KEELINOVER 1/11/2010 11:46AM

    You are so right! I think that they should have hired you to do the editing girl! Well done!


Report Inappropriate Comment
BARNABABY1 1/11/2010 11:44AM

    Huh...yes, it was also my understanding that there were no "forbidden" foods...we just have to plan carefully so they fit into our calorie count for the day. Hmmmm... I wonder if this is a new part of the program - but then that would make it more like every other diet out there rather than a life change!
I hope someone has an answer for this. emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRANDMAAMIE 1/11/2010 11:34AM

    for me moderation doesn't work I have too many trigger foods if I even get a whiff of them I'm a goner .
you all made some great points .
Thats why I love spark people as a team we all help each other.

Report Inappropriate Comment
ANNIEONLI 1/11/2010 11:25AM

    Hmmm...really? You'd think an editor would have picked that one up. I'm debating on reading "THE SPARK" - I kinda figured it was just going to be a rehash of what is on here, so I wasn't going to bother. I know, I know, nice attitude..but really, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

I'm sure the book is a great intro into the Sparkpeople program if you have no prior knowledge of it. The website is going to see an influx of newbies for sure during/after they read the book. Even on here, not everybody is using the Sparkdiet (although it is the best out there IMO)

Gee Linda...you've piqued my interest...might have to get a copy now to read for myself.

My 2 cents - eat with moderation in ANY diet you are doing. Denial of foods is just going to harbor bad food feelings, and that is not a healthy way to live.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MESSENE 1/11/2010 11:18AM

    emoticonI read this pages too, and wondered about all those late snack 1/2 almond cookies I have been having lately. I have been craving a bit of sweets, and will go for an almond cookie, or at least half. I would think that is moderation. But I ques to some people this would lead to more then just one cookie, like maybe two or three cookies. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonI wonder if this is why they did not add eating in moderation to the book? Not sure? I did try moderation eating 11 years ago, and did emoticonIt just took longer to lose the weight, but it worked. My husband, and I would share a meal when going out to eat. I had lost 60 pounds in two years. After having my daughter I started over eating again. emoticonBut moderation eating does work well. emoticon
Love your blog! emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
ONTHEGOMO 1/11/2010 11:14AM

    I would have never thought to write about it BUT just last night my eyes did observe the word "coconut" in that very same list. Darn!! I have been having coconut on my oatmeal for almost a year now. I did try it without the coconut with success this morning, though, and maybe that 35 calorie difference would make it easier for me to maintain. Who knows. emoticon mo

btw, Raylin, congrats on being included in the Spark. I'm enjoying that book totally.

Report Inappropriate Comment
NO_SNOW_BODY 1/11/2010 11:13AM

    I eat foods in moderation, portion control and have lost some. I also read the foods to avoid, I don't eat lots of them anyways. I think the book is more to help those that don't know as much about the program as we do and if they join Spark People they will learn their triggers and healthy choices. I hope that Spark people is lisening to your concerrns

Report Inappropriate Comment
CLAIRESML 1/11/2010 11:06AM

    I am not avoiding certain foods. I am successful in my lifestyle (now) with portion control and exercise. If I had to avoid certain foods, I would not be able to incorporate that into my lifestyle.

Report Inappropriate Comment
SKORKEPER 1/11/2010 11:06AM

    Most things in moderation. Sometimes a good word for moderation is occasional or once in a awhile. Some foods are better for us and some are to be avoided. Making a list of these foods is a good Idea for those who have no idea how to eat healthy.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 8 Bootcamp Video Challenge, and still going!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sun, Day 8, Jan 10
Your Day 8 workout video for Sunday, January 10, can be found here:

(We're back to using Day 1 of the Bootcamp video series. No additional cardio is scheduled for Sunday.)

Your Bonus Challenge for Sunday (optional) is to eat dinner at the table, with no TV, computer or cell phone nearby. Take your time, and eat on a real plate with real silverware, even if you're eating a frozen meal or dining alone. When you eat while

Well, I tried this one today but I wasn't able to keep up. I have 3 left feet and apparently 17 arms, lol.

But at least I did more of it than the other video. Maybe I'll try another one next Sunday!

I can eat at the table, but my table is right next to my computer and the TV is in the same room. I always eat off regular plates with real silverware but to turn off the TV would not be fair to my DH. I think I should get something for at least trying!

I have only completed 13 minutes on the treadmill so far, and 3 ST exercises so my day is not yet done.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KNITTABLES 1/11/2010 12:52PM

    Well we made it through one week and we are doing a great job. I love your blogs and your updates on Bootcamp. Great job, keep them coming. Have you notice a difference yet in your body? I did, I lost a pound and a couple of inches. It feels good. Enjoy your day. Hugs Sandra

Report Inappropriate Comment
CATHEITE 1/10/2010 11:01PM

    I love the image of you with 3 left feet and 17 arms!! Celebrate how wonderfully you're doing.
Initially, I was disappointed that today's video was a repeat. But I like the one legged hops. It's challenging, and I think it's important for foot and ankle strength. (My first fitness injury, many years ago, was a twisted ankle.)

Report Inappropriate Comment
ETHEL_MERMAID 1/10/2010 8:27PM

    Good going, Linda!! I think it's fine - even fortunate! - that you didn't turn off DH's television! The real purpose of that exercise was to get people to sense how different the experience of eating is when distractions are avoided...or even kept at a minimum :) Well done! emoticon - Susan

Report Inappropriate Comment
LAURAANN821 1/10/2010 8:22PM

    I had a hard time with today's video too. It's really hard on the knees. So, I just did the best I could, and didn't do the jumping segments... I kept it low.

Today's video is my least favorite.

You get a emoticon for doing what you were able!

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOPEYP 1/10/2010 8:01PM

    I was disappointed that it was the same video as before. I thought bootcamp would be something different every day.
Good for you doing the extra. We were watching "The Kite Runner" and paused it to make and bring dinner to our family room so we could eat and watch the rest of the movie! emoticon I don't think that eating in front of the TV makes me eat more or forget what I was eating.

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMMABE1 1/10/2010 6:52PM

    Well - what are you waiting for??LOL!!

Seriously you are going well - but remember there are another 3 weeks to go - enjoy!!

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 7, need another video please!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Your Day 7 workout video for Saturday, January 9, can be found here:

(No cardio scheduled for Saturday.)

Bonus Challenge for Saturday (optional) is to meet your water recommendations for today (about 8 cups for most people).

This workout is beyond my abilities but I did manage to finish with just a bit of modification.
Next Saturday I will be trying another Abs workout:

So I did the video and drank my water! Done & Done!
And I do cardio every day so - DONE that too!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMMABE1 1/10/2010 1:26AM

    Well done - you did the whole week - and collected the points!!
Love them points!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
BARNABABY1 1/9/2010 11:32PM

    Drank my water.... and it is official - - bootcamp is trying to kill me with their videos!! emoticon

But we are doing a great job!

Report Inappropriate Comment
ETHEL_MERMAID 1/9/2010 8:57PM

    Talk about my "beloved" Mt. Washmore, you never fail to impress me with all the fitness minutes you rack up! Faaaantastic! I did a LITTLE exercise today, but it was only four SparkPoints worth - lol!! (But it's what I can do, I guess, so every little bit counts :) Have a great rest of the weekend, Linda!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MRS.DOYLE 1/9/2010 7:14PM

    Yes, this was a very tough workout. I managed it but only because I have been doing Pilates for years. I have to adapt any exercises that need a ball because I haven't got one. Amazing what you can do with a stool. I didn't notice the bit about no cardio. Booger.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 6 Bootcamp

Friday, January 08, 2010

Your Day 6 workout video for Friday, January 8, can be found here:

Also, do 30 minutes cardio of your choice today as well.

Your Bonus Challenge for Friday (optional) is to limit your caffeine intake today. Turn to natural energy boosters instead. Too much caffeine can leave you irritated and jittery. After the "buzz" wears off, you could end up feeling more tired than before. Instead of reaching for a cup of coffee or a sugary, calorie-laden soda mid-afternoon, try taking a short walk, doing a crossword puzzle or breathing deeply for a couple of minutes. Eat slow-digesting protein and whole grains at lunch to help prevent afternoon drowsiness, and avoid overloading on simple carbs mid-day.

I was just having my only cup of coffee for the day! when I read this. So the cup is going into the 'fridge for tomorrow! I only drank about 1/3 so I am going to consider the bonus challenge as a success today!

**I am such a DoDo sometimes - I found alternate Cardio Videos for Sunday but I am not sure who else had as much trouble as I - I am posting the 3 alternates here for anyone interested.

I really like this one!

There was even an alternative to the Jumping Jacks!!

I haven't looked at these, but you can if you are interested:

and www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness

**edit: Is it only me or is the balance ball kind of big for this? Trying to get the ball behind me was tricky to say the least. I did manage to do the exercise - just curious if anyone else thought a smaller ball might work better?
I really can't believe how much fun I am having with this BootCamp this year!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMB19191405 1/9/2010 3:05PM

    Maybe your ball is too large. There are different size balls and I have two of the them. I agree - one of the balls was just too large for me to do the exercises comfortably (if you can call exercise comfortable). Anyway - I had to switch to the smaller ball. I guess we are just too short for those larger balls. :)

Report Inappropriate Comment
BARNABABY1 1/8/2010 11:45PM

    Thank you for the alternate cardio videos...I couldn't do the other one at all because I just can't get both feet off the floor at the same time!

I also could not do half of today's video. My arms were not long enough to hold the ball behind my back in a way that allowed me to raise it up at all. I also had no arm length left to push myself up off the ball - they just reached the ball as I sat on it! But I did what I could!

I think this week has gone pretty well.... I definitely have room to improve for next week and am looking forward to the challenge!!

Let's keep up the great work!
Mary Ann emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMMABE1 1/8/2010 8:52PM

    Glad you are having fun - but how they thought I could do it -well!!!!!!
I have just gone back to my own exercises!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
MARTY19 1/8/2010 6:06PM

    I am not happy lately with this particluar bootcamp. Maybe just because I don't feel good.

Love you,

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 1/8/2010 5:19PM

    Like you, I was having my second cup of coffee when I read the optional challenge (yikes!)... But I can't function without it in the morning! And it is such a habit than I had a third one after going back home!
I'm having fun too -so much easier for me than last year, that I'm actually enjoying it, and I can do also my cardio.

Comment edited on: 1/8/2010 5:24:45 PM

Report Inappropriate Comment
KNITTABLES 1/8/2010 5:03PM

    I have cut my coffee in half today, instead my usual 4, I had 2, so i considered to have met this challenge. Good jog posting the fitness video, I have down loaded all of them, thanks for sharing. We rock this bootcamp don't we. Cheers

Report Inappropriate Comment

    Good job on putting away the coffee. I would have had an issue with that challenge if I was doing the boot camp. My morning coffee helps warm me up and gets me going at 5 am.

Report Inappropriate Comment

Day 5 Bootcamp

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Your Day 5 workout video for Thursday, January 7, can be found here:

Also, do 30 minutes cardio of your choice today as well.

Your Bonus Challenge for Thursday (optional) is to also do the Lower Body Stretching Video after your Bootcamp workout. You can do it later on, but you have to make sure your muscles are already warm, so right after your cardio workout would be best! Here's the video link:

I completed today's BootCamp but I was confused - the Bonus Challenge Stretch was already included in the BootCamp video? emoticon

These would be so much easier if there was a BootCamp DVD so I could pause when I have to roll around and also to see what to do next.

Anyway, I have completed Day 5 BootCamp - video, bonus video & cardio!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SOPHIADARE 1/8/2010 1:13PM

    Congratulations on your 120.4, too! WooHoo for you!

You're always an inspiration!

Best wishes!

Report Inappropriate Comment
_VALEO_ 1/8/2010 6:26AM

    Great job, Linda! emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
BARNABABY1 1/7/2010 11:15PM

    I wondered the same thing about the extra stretching video....guess they figure we can't get enough stretching. emoticon

Today's workout went fine but I'll tell ya, my abs and lower back were killing me this morning when I went to get out of bed! I didn't think I had really been able to accomplish much while rolling around on that ball but boy was I wrong!! emoticon

Ok, now onward to tomorrow!! Let's all keep up the great momentum we've got going.
Mary Ann

Report Inappropriate Comment
LOPEYP 1/7/2010 9:17PM

    Me too!

Report Inappropriate Comment
GRALLEN 1/7/2010 5:25PM

    Did mine too.

Report Inappropriate Comment
MESSENE 1/7/2010 5:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Report Inappropriate Comment
EMMABE1 1/7/2010 4:34PM

    Well done, Keep up the good work!!

Report Inappropriate Comment
WALKINGANNIE 1/7/2010 4:34PM

    Well done Linda. You're working so hard to get your results.

Report Inappropriate Comment
KNITTABLES 1/7/2010 4:29PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticonI did it too!

Report Inappropriate Comment

First Page  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 Last Page