Saturday, January 30, 2010
It's funny how the simple act of writing down your goals and the actions needed to achieve them can make a difference. But it truly does! Let's say, like me, one of your goals is to walk 15 to 20 minutes each day. As the day wears on, if you haven't as yet completed that goal, it starts to bug you in the back of your mind. You won't be able to write it down in your journal if you haven't done it -- and you can't very well complain if your weight goes up instead of down cause you didn't stick to your end of the bargain.
Making a promise to yourself is an important step. You can cheat on some things, but do you really want to cheat yourself! Do you want to gamble with your health, when something as simple as a 15 minute walk will get you off the hook, and keep you on the straight and narrow.
If it works for walking it can work for other things as well. When faced with the decision of ordering French fries as a side, versus sliced tomatoes; which did you choose? I'd rather have my conscience free to worry about other, more important things, wouldn't you? And when you see the results you'll be pleased you were responsible and stuck to your goals and the steps necessary to make them happen!
Thursday, January 28, 2010
I live in an average neighborhood where everyone has enclosed rear yards with 6-foot high block walls. Some of the homes have lawns in the front, some have them in the back -- some do not have lawns at all.
One of the features I loved about the house when I bought it was that there was a nice lawn in the back and beautiful flowering shrubs. There was also a doggie door so my Scottie could go out whenever she wanted, making my time away from home very convenient. There was a yard maintenance when I arrived at my home and until I got unpacked, bought a lawnmower and settled in, I decided to keep them. I soon found out it would cost me $80 per month. That may not seem like much to some of you, but I'm a retired lady, living alone, and to me I had better places to spend that much money. Besides I love doing yard work and it's good healthy exercise.
So now I spend a good part of my time each week mowing, pruning, blowing leaves and twigs, pulling weeds (or spraying them) and all the other little jobs that go along with having a home that looks well maintained. Some of my close friends think I'm silly for doing it myself. I sometimes I think they are silly for paying $80 to have their hair colored or get their nails done. We each have our own little indulgences. Hey! I even wash my own car, so what can I say? lol
Monday, January 25, 2010
When I first heard about "The Spark" I didn't think I needed to buy it; after all 'I am a member of SparkPeople' so didn't I already know it all? It would be a repeat of all that I've been reading here on the site. I didn't give in and buy my own copy until the coupon came out for Barnes & Noble, but all females like a bargain, and as a member of B&N I got an 'extra' 10% off. I could not pass up a bargain like that, could I?
I've just finished reading Chapter 4 and I have revamped my goals, again breaking them up between long term, mid-term and short term. I was surprised to find they have changed over the two years I've been a member. I see things in a different light, something that may have seemed important back then is no longer a goal, or has already been attained. At first I concentrated only on the number on the scale. BMI didn't matter, menu's didn't matter and an exercise plan didn't matter. I thought if I could achieve the number on the scale it would all fall into place, but how wrong I was. The reason for the exercise plan and the menu plan is to keep motivated, exercising all parts of your body and not letting yourself become so set in one routine that your body can do it while asleep. As you reach that point you are not at your full potential. The same goes for the food you eat. If you're not writing it down it's hard telling what you're eating. I was surprised how a bite here and there can add up (they all count, you know).
The biggest surprise after being a member for two years is the change in attitude and how one feels about oneself. I no longer beat myself up when I indulge in a temptation and gain half a pound. I know that to stay on a plan you sometimes have to have those special moments when you allow yourself to eat or do something that is 'not in the plan.' So you take a step back, you'll double your efforts tomorrow, and you know that the important thing is that you are moving ahead -- always! Even in your setbacks you are moving ahead because they are not taking the toll they did a month ago, a year ago, whenever!
I am aware more fully of the problems facing other people. I am no more filled with apprehension or doubts than they are. My problems are no easier nor harder to overcome. I realize we are all in this together, and the best way to move ahead is to offer support. One little gesture comes back tenfold.
I can't wait to see what 2010 will bring to me! What astounding improvements will be reflected in my mirror by the end of the year? I'm not a young woman, but I didn't let that fact bother me, and whatever you think the drawbacks or hurdles are for you, just know YOU CAN DO IT!
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Some are leaders, some are followers. It's that simple, and each of us know what we are; what we are most comfortable with. I've always fallen into the leader role even when I didn't mean to. It just seemed to come naturally. So it wasn't a surprise after I joined Spark People I began searching through the various Teams, found a couple that I could relate to, and began making friends. But the teams that I chose didn't really suit me. They were either too big, so you didn't really 'know' anyone -- or they were too busy and it was hard to keep track of what everyone was saying without "living on the computer." I didn't join a health site to increase my computer time, so I decided it was time to form my own teams, teams where all the members could relate to one another, form a cozy group and learn to become friends. Hence I started "Retired Seniors."
To me there is nothing better than to get a comment, a Spark Mail, or a Goodie telling me that a Team Member appreciates some little thing I have done. Not only does it make me feel warm and good, it totally surprises me! After all, I'm just reaching out. I feel that if a member posts something about themselves -- someone should answer (even if it's ME). That is what support is all about -- and Spark People is especially full of that benefit for all of us. There are so many caring/sharing people out there that it amazes me. It is easy to see why this site has such a high success rate. It's because of each and every one of it's members who care and share on a daily basis. Sending a Spark Goodie to a friend doesn't seem like a big thing to do, but sometimes for the person receving it -- it makes his/her whole day! And a comment on a blog or Spark Page is another friendly pat on the back. How about when you read on the message board someone's problem or solution that really hits home? Do you smile or just nod your head in agreement, or do you reach out and say the solution helped you or that you shared that problem, and how you handled it?
Chris Downie had the right idea when he hit on the idea of lots of people reaching out to one another with friendship, encouragement, support, actually almost whatever was needed. It is not part of human nature to be alone. It's no wonder this is the #1 Health/Diet/Motivation site in America -- I'm thinking in maybe the whole world, cause we've got an awfully lot of people for other countries on here too!
And do you know what makes it all so successful -- besides the wonderful staff who are all experts in their field? It's US -- each and every member of SP! So get out there and send a Spark Mail to someone, or a Goodie, leave a comment on a Page or a Blog! Make someone's day and I'll bet someone will make yours!
Hugs to all!
Thursday, January 21, 2010
Here in the Phoenix area we are not accustomed to rain! But with storms coming in from four different areas, it's rain we are getting! There was rain on Monday, rain on Tuesday as I tried to take a 92-year old lady to the Library for books (I kept her dry, but couldn't do the same for myself) on Wed. we had a lovely sunny day! Whew! But now on Thursday it's like someone opened the gates to a dam and the water is gushing out like there is no end to it. All day long I have heard the sound of rain pounding on my patio roof. I look out the front and the sidewalks are shiny wet with rain. No! I did not walk out in the rain to get my mail -- it will still be there tomorrow! And hopefully, the rain will not.
I needed comfort foods today, isn't that what you should do when it rains? Cocoa and popcorn, and a fireplace blazing! I don't have a fireplace so that scene is out but I searched my cupboards for popcorn. No luck, and then I remembered when I thought there were too many calories in popcorn, so I gave my stash to a friend. And cocoa isn't the same without the other stuff. But tonight I knew I didn't want to eat my usual big green salad. So I listened to my body and decided what would really, really taste good was French toast (with sliced bananas). So that's what I had along with a big tall glass of milk. And you know what? I don't even feel like nibbling tonight, so that's a big, big plus!
"Walkin' in the rain, just walkin' in the rain.....what a wonderful.................
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