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Spark Review - Streaks Nine, Ten, Eleven, and Twelve

Friday, May 07, 2010

My streak nine is to get 8 hours of sleep per night. My performance on this streak is the least impressive. My longest streak is 5 nights. However, overall I have gotten 8 or more hours of sleep 55% of the time since I started tracking this streak. My bet would be that before I started tracking I probably achieved 8 hours only 20% of the time. So I think it helps me to track this goal. I considered dropping it to 7 hours of sleep, but I know I do better on 8, so I think I'll keep trying on this one. Sleep really is important. I have learned that I must be very careful and vigilant about food on tired days, and it is hard to get enough exercise when I haven't slept well.

I'm going to keep streaks ten, eleven, and twelve, because they all are connected to the At Goal and Maintaining Team. I'm a co-leader and don't do very much to help the team, so at least I can participate in the team goals: exercise 30 minutes 5 times a week, read team members' blogs, and a duplicate of drink 8 glasses of water.

So, to recap:
Streak 1 - log on = keep. I think SP tracks is automatically.
Streak 2 - exercise 360 minutes per week = substitute fewer minutes
Streak 3 - 8 glasses of water daily = keep the one below related to At Goal and Maintaining
Streak 4 - 5 servings of fruits and veggies = delete; automatic for me
Streak 5 - 2 serving dairy per day = keep; related to At Goal and Maintaining (changed mind)
Streak 6 - one filling food 1x per day = delete; automatic for me
Streak 7 - vitamin pill 1x per day = delete; I may not need a vitamin daily
Streak 8 - eat 25 grams fiber = delete; automatic for me
Streak 9 - sleep 8 hours per night = keep; keep trying
Streak 10 - exercise 30 minutes 5x per week = keep
Streak 11 - 8 glasses of water daily = keep
Streak 12 - read team members' blog = keep

I do have 2 other streaks I had added that I haven't decided about yet.

The one streak I know I want to add is sticking to my calorie range. Overall, that is the most important thing I can do to maintain my weight and health.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 5/12/2010 2:28AM

    I envy you all the sleep you get!! 3-4 is what I get on most days and I know that is a major hindrance to my healing and my healthy lifestyle. Its one streak I am a consistent failure at, can't even reach the team's minimum six hours!!! Oh well. No one is perfect, but we keep trying!
Its points up how well you are doing with your healthy lifestyle, that most of your streaks are automatic!! You are showing us how its done!

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WALKINGANNIE 5/8/2010 6:26AM

    So impressive!

Sleep is beyond my control as yet, so I'm fascinated by your progress. It is making me think about an aspect of healthy living that hasn't really been on my agenda.

Thanks as ever. Your blogs invariably provide a 'thought for the day' stimulus!

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BAGGYPANTS5 5/8/2010 3:04AM

    You are so organised. Admirable! I'm looking forward to joining your At goal and Maintaining team. 14 weeks to go!

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AQUAGIRL08 5/7/2010 10:17PM

    Isn't it amazing that once you start tracking the sleep that you start getting more and feeling better? That's one of the reasons that I continue to track it! If you look at other streaks and compare them, you can find patterns that will help you solve sleep problems. At least it works for me.

It looks like you've got lots of streaks to keep you busy! Keep up the good work!

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ONEKIDSMOM 5/7/2010 9:59PM

    I'm mega-impressed with your inventory and taking careful thought of your goals and streaks, Marsha! I think a lot of us are in "Spring cleaning" mode, identifying new goals, shedding old ones, making tweaks to our program.

Good for you! Good for us!

emoticon We can do this, and we're worth it.

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Spark Review - Streak Eight

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Well, even the title of this blog suggests the issue I want to address. I simply have too many streaks. I think 5 or 6 is probably enough. I want the streaks I end up with to capture the heart of my program. So that if my streaks are in good shape, so am I!! I promise this exercise is heading in that direction.

Streak eight is to eat at least 25 grams of fiber daily. Currently I have an 11 day streak, with the longest streak being 140 days. Overall, I'm at 95%, 177 out of 186 days. I also suspect that at least a day or two of not achieving is due to failing to record rather than failing to eat it. I usually enter the fiber at the end of the day, while the other streaks I record earlier. It is easy to forget to go back in to record it, especially when my SparkPoints are already showing the maximum (5) on Other Goals.

The other issue is I frequently go over the recommended fiber. I usually have daily oatmeal for breakfast, rice and brown beans for lunch, a large apple, and 8 other servings of freggies throughout the day. I increased my target from SparkPeople's 25-35 to 25-40. I think the extra fiber is a tool to help manage my weight. SparkPeople states that over 50 grams of fiber can interfere with absorption. I only occasionally get to 50. So reality is that I have more trouble going over fiber than under. I don't think I need a fiber streak.

The only other issue is the team. I am an active member of the Polk County SparkTeam and they are a wonderful group of people. I maybe should ask our fearless leaders, Cyndi and Theresa, if the team would prefer I keep this streak. If not, I'm going to drop this one. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PEGGYANNSCH 5/6/2010 6:41PM


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WALKINGANNIE 5/6/2010 5:10PM

    Your decision-making process shows the degree of control that you've got now.

It's wonderful.


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JHADZHIA 5/6/2010 12:29PM

    It doesn't sound like you should bother with it when you are consistently getting the recommended amount.
I have only just started tracking fiber. It was suggested in spite of the high number of fruits and veggies I consume in a day, I might not be getting enough, and it turns out I wasn't, because I am not into grains. So I have added bran buds to make up the amount I need. I find if I try to add grains, the calories shoot way up.
This cleaning house sounds like a great idea for you to refocus! Its showing us too, just how dedicated you are to sticking to your program!! Well done!!

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AQUAGIRL08 5/6/2010 10:44AM

    Marsha, doing the streak for fiber is up to you. You have to do whatever is the best thing for you. Sure it's nice to have your numbers recorded with the team, but if it is creating stress for you or confusion, don't do it. You are doing an amazing job with maintaining your goal weight. Don't bring stress on yourself and mess that up! Keep up the good work!

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RISSASPIECES 5/6/2010 10:42AM

    When I tracked fiber, I nearly always got the warning that I had exceeded the RDA. After considering everything, I decided to ignore the warning. LOL I also stopped tracking my fiber, since clearly, it is the one thing I manage to get enough of without trying...because my diet is heavy on fruits/veggies and whole grains. ;-) WW naturally steers you toward a lower fat, higher fiber way of eating.

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Spark Review - Streak Seven

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

My seventh streak is currently only at 11 days, although I achieved 141 days before forgetting one day. As part of the 50+ Maintainers Team I signed on to take a multi-vitamin pill daily.

I honestly would like to meet with a RD at some point. The SparkPeople nutritionist told me never to take single supplements unless a doctor tells me to do so. She recommends only taking the multi-vitamin and commented that perhaps I don't want to take it every day. There are certain nutrients I am chronically over on. Iron is probably the most concerning. I plan to ask my doctor after my next blood work if I test over on iron. Perhaps I can find a pill with some iron, but less than I am currently taking. Folate and Vitamin A are two others I'm often over on. Then there are some I'm often under on, especially magnesium and copper. Selenium and phosphorus are hard to get some days. I have looked for a pill with more of these nutrients with no success. I take fish oil daily because my doctor has advised me to do so.

So, for now, I'll take my multi-vitamin, but I will continue to try to improve my understanding of nutrition, including what supplements I should be taking.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JHADZHIA 5/5/2010 7:49PM

    My Doctor is most concerned about folate and calcium for me. I take a multivitamin and extra calcium. I never forget it, because I take a pile of pills for breakfast all the time so its a long time habit. I don't bother to track them.
Keep up the good work!

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    I am always over on my iron too. Mainly because I continue to eat dry cereal. I like it!

My hair was thinning and my hairdresser advised Zinc & Magnesium - I was usually low on both of them.

It is very difficult to stay in complete balance.

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WALKINGANNIE 5/5/2010 4:50PM

    You're very diligent about your nutrients - a lesson to us all.

Like you, I'm a bit wary of supplements.

Thanks for sharing your analysis of your streaks, It's useful.

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FOREVER4ME 5/5/2010 3:45PM

    I take 1500mg of calcuim per day and a multi-vitamin.

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AQUAGIRL08 5/5/2010 3:08PM

    I take fish oil too! You are correct in saying that you should check everything out with your doctor. These days with all the information floating around on the internet, it is hard to know what to believe. I think the doctor is probably your best bet. What is great is that you are tracking everything and looking at the content of what you're eating! Way to go!

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Spark Review - Streak Six

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

My sixth streak I set up when I joined the W8Watcher Friends Team. I certainly do consider myself a Weight Watcher friend. I have benefited from Weight Watcher meetings and Weight Watcher materials. I lost down to BMI 25 on Weight Watchers and it was on the Weight Watcher message boards that I first heard about SparkPeople. So I am very grateful for WW for starting me on this journey.

I currently have a 41 day streak of eating at least one filling food per day. Actually, about 50-75% of what I eat comes from the Weight Watcher filling food list. It doesn't make sense for me to track this goal. I don't think I could eat a day without eating a filling food if I tried. So as I try to winnow my streaks down to those that are significant and at least a bit of a challenge, this one I will give up. That doesn't mean I won't keep going to my Weight Watcher meetings. At least monthly I will continue to weigh in and participate.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THERAPIST2 5/5/2010 8:07AM

    Good plan. Prioritize streaks so you are progressing and feeling challenged. I may just take a look at mine from that view! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 5/5/2010 12:31AM

    Weight Watchers has done a lot of good for people. Its been around for such a long time, you know they are doing something right! I would be interested in knowing what they mean by filling foods..
So you are telling us what streaks you are giving up. It will be interesting to see what you are going to be replacing them with!

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WALKINGANNIE 5/4/2010 6:10PM

    I really like your idea of prioritising your streaks. It's a sign of confidence and will revitalise your programme. Great example!

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-WRKNG2ABTTRME- 5/4/2010 3:23PM


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Spark Review - Streak Five

Monday, May 03, 2010

My fifth streak is "Get your dairy servings! 2 servings 1 time per day." I have 164 days starting 11/21/2009. I came to SparkPeople from Weight Watchers(WW) where I had been tracking 3 servings of dairy every day, which is required for those of us over age 50. On WW maintenance I often had 4 servings, but found on SparkPeople that it frequently put me over the recommended calcium amount. I now usually go over only on days I have tofu. With a history of kidney stones, I don't need excess calcium, but I still need enough .

When I get my team digest for At Goal and Maintaining, there I am with the longest streak. That tickled me the first time I saw it. But I think it is time to let someone else experience it. I do think drinking the milk, or making sure I get other dairy, is a good nutritional strategy. I don't think it necessarily makes me feel more satisfied or is essential for my weight maintenance, but I intend to keep it up. Milk has protein, vitamins, and minerals. I like fresh skim milk, nonfat powdered milk, low free string cheese, and fat free cottage cheese. Sometimes I have fat free sliced cheese - if I'm not high on sodium that day - or really splurge on a sugar free hot chocolate.

I'll continue to get my calcium for sure, but I'm going to stop tracking this one as a streak. It is significant, but it has become automatic for me. -Marsha

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WALKINGANNIE 5/4/2010 1:30PM

    More good example-setting. Thank you Marsha.

I struggle a bit to balance calcium but haven't been tracking it as a nutrient.

I have osteopenia (a precursor to osteoporosis) and, as you are aware, a history of kidney stones that led to my life-threatening illness last year.

As a result of your blog, I will now track my calcium.

Thanks for triggering this action. You truly are an inspiration with your mixture of practical common sense and thoughtful analysis.

emoticon emoticon

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UUCEEJAY 5/4/2010 7:05AM

    After reading this, I think I need to add more dairy to my diet, I'm constantly low on calcium. Thanks for posting this. That is a long streak! emoticon

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JHADZHIA 5/3/2010 11:39PM

    Hi Marsha,
I used to drink a ton of skim milk until I was told by a dietition 1 cup of it has the same calories as 1 cup of pop! So I pared it back, but ate lots of cottage cheese and cheese, and still do today (except for cheese -I like old and limit myself to one piece a day), replacing the skim milk with low fat soy milk. I agree if things are second nature why bother tracking them, find something new to challenge you, if there is anything left that is lol.

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JANNIEWANNIE 5/3/2010 9:31PM

    Good job on your streak! You stuck with it long enough to make it a habit. I too count my milk servings and shoot for three per day. My sister and I went back to WW about 3 weeks ago. I have been slow to get back in the swing of things, but I had a good nutritional day today. Hugs from Janet

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AQUAGIRL08 5/3/2010 8:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MONTY68 5/3/2010 6:38PM

    Hi Marsha
Another great blog. A number of my streaks seem to be part of team goals. There are a couple that if I stopped, it wouldn't be a problem for me, but like most of them they are on the other goals where I do keep track. Most around food , like you said are habits of healthy eating and there really isn't a need to keep track.
I just love the way you write and how you look at etch thing for your own well being
You are a great example on how to reach your goal weight and now maintain it.

Monty emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    I don't think you should stop tracking it Marsha.

I think it is awesome you have the longest streak!!

Someone else will have a longer streak on another goal.

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