TINATC26   45,892
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The Spark - Chapter 1

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Well, I just finished reading Chapter 1 this morning, while doing my morning workout on the exercise bike. You know, none of this stuff is new, and yet it feels new. Why?

I think one of the reasons is that Chris chose to use his gift, and in my humble opinion, what he has is a gift, to help other people. Sure, he's framed it all in his own career path and plan, and earning a living is part of any career path and plan, but his primary motivation certainly seems to be sharing his vision, which is really a lifestyle, with others. Not just any others, others who have such horrible self images, who are caught in that circular world of trying to lose weight, not succeeding, and eating more, and becoming more and more isolated from all the things they need more than anything to actually succeed.. The heavier they become, the greater the need, yet greater the isolation and the more daunting the task ahead.

These are the people that society, for the most part, blames for their situation of being overweight.. That society views as being lazy or weak and unable to just stop eating. I doubt there is anyone reading this who hasn't either been the target of those looks or, perhaps, even the giver of one of those looks. But Chris gives overweight people dignity. He starts from a place that recognizes that not every person who is overweight got that way by sitting around eating bon bons. He does not pre-judge them, as much of our society does. He just wants to help them. And he gives them hope and a plan for life. Not a biggest loser type "you have to spend 6 hours a day in the gym, killing yourself." Not a "let's just take a knife and cut your stomach open and tie it off so you won't eat as much." Not a "here's a liquid diet for you to follow for the next however long." Not a "here's a diet in which you can eat 1,000 calories a day and by the way, no...choose it: no carbs, no fat , no whatever..."

None of that. Chris says, start a little streak. 10 minutes a day will lead to 20 minutes a day. Maybe not tomorrow, but sooner than you'd believe. And you'll start to feel better, and when you feel better, you'll do better. You'll want to exercise more and you will. You'll start paying attention to what you're eating and incluude healthier choices in your daily foot intake. And you'll want to do even more and then you will.... And this isn't a diet, it's a lifestyle.

Why isn't this new? Because much of the "program" of SP has been used forever to help people that society views as in need of modification: drug addicts, alcoholics.. Or, the lifestyle changes of SP have long been used to help people with "conditions" that no one ever blamed them for, such as diabetes or arthritis, lifestyle changes have made a world of difference for these folks.. So the program isn't new, but the application of it to overweight people says: we no longer blame fat people for being fat, we just want to help them get fit.. And Chris Downie has made a career out of saying that and reaching out and helping millions. And as one of those millions, I just say thank you for taking that talent and putting it to use the way you have.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PICKIE98 1/6/2010 6:43PM

    It is not about how long we were where we were, it is WHERE WE ARE NOW AND WHERE WE CAN GO EACH DAY! Kinda like that ad,"Duh, I coulda' had a V-8"! We are family now, forever changed by this site and all the family on it!!

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ANTCOF 1/6/2010 5:47PM

    emoticon Great Job!

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GRANDMAC--7 1/6/2010 2:35PM


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GIRLINMOTION 1/6/2010 10:56AM

    And another thing that is awesome about Chris, he has provided so many tools to help people for free.

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CYNEDRA 1/6/2010 10:43AM

    Thanks for commenting on the book. I can't afford to buy it at this time, but love hearing about it. Thanks again.

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OMELYN 1/6/2010 10:40AM

    Here, here! You said it so much better than I did!

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The Best Thing I've Read in a LONG Time

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Got this in an email from a cousin today. Just had to share it:


Health :
1. Drink plenty of water.
2. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a beggar.
3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and eat less food that is manufactured in plants..
4. Live with the 3 E's -- Energy, Enthusiasm and Empathy
5. Make time to pray.
6. Play more games
7. Read more books than you did in 2009 .
8. Sit in silence for at least 10 minutes each day
9. Sleep for 7 hours.
10. Take a 10-30 minutes walk daily. And while you walk, smile.

Personality :
11. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
12. Don't have negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
13. Don't over do. Keep your limits.
14. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
15. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip.
16. Dream more while you are awake
17. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need..
18. Forget issues of the past. Don't remind your partner with His/her mistakes of the past. That will ruin your present happiness.
19. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Don't hate others.
20. Make peace with your past so it won't spoil the present.
21. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
22. Realize that life is a school and you are here to learn. Problems are simply part of the curriculum that appear and fade away like algebra class but the lessons you learn will last a lifetime.
23. Smile and laugh more.
24. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree....

Society :
25. Call your family often.
26. Each day give something good to others.
27. Forgive everyone for everything..
28. Spend time w/ people over the age of 70 & under the age of 6.
29. Try to make at least three people smile each day.
30. What other people think of you is none of your business.
31. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends will. Stay in touch.

Life :
32. Do the right thing!
33. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
34. GOD heals everything.
35. However good or bad a situation is, it will change..
36. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
37. The best is yet to come..
38. When you awake alive in the morning, thank GOD for it.
39. Your Inner most is always happy. So, be happy.

Last but not the least :
40. Please Forward this to everyone you care about, I just did.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

_RAMONA 1/19/2010 1:37AM

    I'm going to drop by and read this often... in fact, when I get the chance, I'll record it in my own blog as per # 40! Thanks for sharing this, Tina!

{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}

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    I like this!

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GIRLINMOTION 1/5/2010 8:43PM

    I like this!!

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PENGUINLADY! 1/5/2010 1:08PM

    I got this yesterday too. Thanks for sharing!!


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OMELYN 1/5/2010 12:40PM

    Love it! Quoted it at lunch!

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A Promise Kept: My Plan

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The was far more daunting a job than I ever expected it to be, as "having a plan" comes pretty naturally to me in most instances. But for some reason, this kind of plan, where I am the subject and recipient, isn't nearly the same as solving problems at work or for others. Just learning that is an interesting experience. I thought I had moved beyond the "you have to make time for yourself" stage of all this, but I guess there is always more to learn, more to do in that area. I also find it interesting that I thought this to be so difficult, given that really, the plan is quite simple.
So, without further ado..here is my put it on paper and out in public plan...


I've divided my action plan into 3 different areas: exercise, water and diet.

1. Exercise

Because I joined the Boot Camp for Your Body team on SP, the 1st month will follow the boot camp program, which as I understand it is 30 minutes of cardio 5 days/week, M - F, and ST 6 days/wk, M - Sa, and a 10 min cardio video on Sunday.

After the boot camp is done, from the second month on, my minimum will be 30 minutes of cardio 6 days per week (Sunday off) and 3 days of ST (Tu, Th, Sa).

At some point, I will increase either the time or the intensity of my cardio work. Not sure when, I will "listen to my body" on this. But ultimately, I need to do this, I know. This was a real sticking point for me during my good run last year. From Jan to May, I was so determined to up the time to 45 minutes that by May I had stressed myself into taking a whole month off, because time was a real issue for me, and still might be. So, I am going to do the 30 I know I can do, and if ultimately I need more, I might just up the intensity of the 30 instead of extending the time.. No pressure on myself here, one way or the other I will get what I need.

2. Water

I will strive for 8 glasses of water per day.

3. Diet

I will eat in the range of 1500 to 1700 calories per day. I will strive to include at least 5 fruits and vegetables per day. My daily eating will include snacks of approximately 150 calories each in the mid-morning and mid-afternoon. I will not eat after 8 o'clock at night. This is to stave off my personal kryptonite: late night eating. If it means going to bed at 8 at night, so be it.


Weight goal: lose 2 lbs/week
Activity goal: to be outside, riding a bicycle, by May


Okay, I'm having some trouble with the reward stuff.. but I have a few things I definitely know I want to use as rewards (I'll need that bike I'm planning on riding in May, massages, pedicures..), I'm just having a tough time figuring out when the rewards should be given. Part of me thinks that if I know in my heart of hearts that I am working as hard as I can, I should reward myself for every week or two of good work. Part of me thinks I should have a concrete criteria to go by, the most obvious being actual weight loss, like something every 10 lbs. So, I guess I'm working on the Rewards part of my plan. I'm up for any suggestions, by the way, from the most wonderful group of people I know, my Spark Buddies who are my friends, teachers and inspiration..

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NO-41_RAZZYS_PL 1/3/2010 9:10PM

    EXCELLENT plan, T, & like you... this was really a struggle for me. I think Lynn's got some gr8 ideas, and I like her increments of 5 lbs myself- I've even set my ticker to ONLY show a 5 lb goal at a time. If I look at the BIG pic, it gets pretty overwhelming, but the baby steps... give me hope. Not every *gifting/reward/award* needs to be an expensive pedicure or spa day type gift. Even, buying a pretty pair of panties, or a fav magazine at the check out... or... maybe a spa type CD of new age style music... or... a hand full of really pretty postcards that you can use to make yourself an inspiration board... the ideas are ENDLESS sooo... maybe we should brainstorm & come up with a gad-zillion inexpensive but very NICE gifts... hmm... could be do-able. ::hugs::

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OMELYN 1/3/2010 5:09PM

    The reward thing stumps me, too. I've always been an intrinsic vs extrinsic sort of girl, both personally, and in the classroom. But, I know that those little stickers, stamps and Leadership notes go a long way toward "getting my little folks on board" and the longer I do this the more I realize we are all just little folks in grown up clothing. So, I am rethinking this one as I read the spark book.

I say, a little reward every week for keeping at it, such as a tub soak, or healthy food treat that you don't usually buy cause it costs more. Then a bigger reward for every 10 (or 5 if you ask me) pounds lost. Like a new top, or mani or pedi etc.

But, you know what will motivate you best!

You go, my friend!

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GIRLINMOTION 1/3/2010 1:25PM

    Feeling good about yourself, and being healthier has to be the best award!!! I think your plan for every ten pounds is good, but what should the award be, I don't know. I never awarded myself, but I guess buying new clothes is always fun?

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BANKER-CHUCK 1/3/2010 1:21PM

    One of your rewards should be given at the start, if you have a reward program, just because you "started". Reward yourself often because it is a reminder why you are on the program. Rewards are for trying whether you reach your goal or not. If you have a goal program it needs to be positive. Not giving yourself a reward is a negative that leans towards the word failure.
Personally I don't like the reward program because of its negative connotations. I set goals, and if I miss a goal one week I will try my best to correct it for the next week.

It is good to have a exercise and eating plan goals that includes a quantitative measurement. Good luck with your plan.

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A Promise to Myself

Thursday, December 31, 2009

For reasons I can't explain, I simply cannot wrap my brain around this idea that we are about to enter a new decade.. I mean, 10 years ago, we were on the verge of "Y2K." We didn't know what the world held in store for us come 1/1/00, would computers be able to handle the turning of the calendar to a whole new century? Would our infrastructure collapse because they could not? Would our computers boot up? Would some sickos somewhere decide that Dec. 31, 1999 would be the night of nights to launch attacks on innocent victims.. Do you remember? I do, yet it seems like a million years ago at the same time.

On a personal note, I was still practicing law, working for myself. I was in the middle of years of infertility treatment, a long, tough, several year process that never seemed like was going to result in success. Somehow, the turning of that calendar signified the turning of a page in that battle, and in my head, the new century, decade and year would bring success, finally.. But it did not come easily. As a matter of fact, on December 31, 1999, DH and I spent the morning at an infertility clinic, awaiting the transfer of 3 perfect embryos into my uterus, the culmination of our second IVF cycle. A funny thing happened that day..the doctor could not do the transfer, and didn't understand why. So what started as a day full of promise, a day that might, 2 weeks later, result in hearing the words I had been waiting years for, aching for, ended as a day of utter disappointment, concern and sadness.. But the turning of that page held such promise, even after that happened.

Anyone who knows me knows that ultimately, that aspect of my story has a happy ending. The wonderful little T, love of our lives, was born within 2 years of that fateful day. But that was the day that our quest for pregnancy hit bottom, and although we still had some rough times ahead, nothing could compete with the utter hopelessness that I felt that day.

So, aside from being 10 years later, why am I dredging up this old story? I guess because today, 10 years later, I'm sort of looking forward to 2010 as the year I am really, truly, going to devote my energy to weight loss. I have done much of the prep work. But I still cannot manage to get over the hump. In the last year, I have had some sensational periods of doing all the right stuff...but unfortunately, they have been followed by equally unsensational periods of undoing all that good work. I have still lost more weight than I've gained back, but truth be told, I just think I should be further along on the path at this point.

I say that not in a crying over spilt milk sense, because I truly don't believe in wasting energy on that, but in a "it's time to get it done, Tina, you aren't getting any younger and it's not getting any easier" way. Do you know what I mean? I think anyone reading this does.

So, this is not my "here is my plan blog." It is my statement of intention, my public promise to myself that withing the next day or so, the plan will be crafted and posted. A contract with myself. I kind of like it.

I hope everyone has a wonderful evening tonight, and that the promise of the new year is as exciting to you as it is becoming to me. My plan is coming. Happy New Year.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GIRLINMOTION 1/3/2010 12:00AM

    1999 and 2YK, fear mongering at its best. Mind you sometimes we have to be prepared for the worst (and have a plan B) so when it turns out okay, and we are flooded with relief we know how lucky we are.

May this decade have fantastic stories for you to share to tell us in 2020!!!

Hugs, Sonia

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PAIGESMAMA 1/1/2010 9:18AM

    Great reflection.
All us mommies are going to get this done this year. 2010 in the year for late in life mommies.
We will get healthy and find our skinny jeans at the same time. We will be adding some new things to the mommies page over the next few weeks and months. Bring us any ideas you have.

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OMELYN 1/1/2010 8:58AM

    Oh, Tina:
How did I miss this yesterday? I'm not going to say I am suprised, for I've noted your responses to other moms in this kind os pain. My own sister (the younger one) went through such a similar process, and that was the "night" they decided to move forward with adoption.

As far as your Plan of Action... it will work, I know, when you have a plan you are not to be thwarted, even by yourself.

(The timer just went off, got to get Claire up she's serving mass) hope to get back here later.

love in 2010

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JOANN562 1/1/2010 3:42AM

    Oh yes, I know what you mean. We are not getting any younger & these little blessings remind us every day how important it is that we take good care of ourselves...if not for ourselves, for them!

I too have gained & loss...still ahead of the game, but like you feel it should be completely DONE by now.

Sooo, let's DO it. No more goofing around!

Ok, a little goofing, but not straying far off the path.


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Thank you for sharing your story and your new desires. I kept reading as I was finding myself within your words. Why? In 1999 we were in the throes of trying to conceive without success and had been for about five years. December of 2000 found us excited as a miracle had happened but a few days after Christmas we were at the hospital ending a pregnancy. Healthy pregnancy...no baby. I learned of what they call a blighted ovum. We had yet another miscarriage the next year before our success with sweet Maegann was born Feb. 2002. I survived two more miscarriages after that and then we were on the road to adoption. Even that had joy and sorrow.

So I like your "plan to be" very much. Let's make 2010 our year to find success with our weight goals. It isn't getting any easier...only harder each year we let it slip through our fingers.


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DEZE509 12/31/2009 10:56PM

    Tina - a truly beautifully written blog and promise. Thanks for sharing.

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NO-41_RAZZYS_PL 12/31/2009 9:40PM

    Oh, T, I knew... but I didn't really know. You had said a little *here* & *there* about your struggle to have your baby, and how wonderful... what a truly precious miracle & blessing Tony has been... but... I love this blog!!

This story of the years past, and how the calendar's turning has been disappointment & hope... it's what we have all experienced somewhere along the journey... but we will make this happen this year, T!!

That's how my plan is. I did a blue print of sorts... with blocked time in increments of 1 hour. The reason I did that is... it's easy to see what needs to be (or wants to be) done in a day (for me) versus all 12 months.

Still... I think that our goals MUST be done consistently on many many levels. In order for any of our goals to become habits of lifestyle changes, I'm pretty sure we're gonna' have to review & revise them on a daily basis.

I tried the, "I'm gonna' lose all this weight this year," goal & it didn't work. I lost some, but not all and I think that's because I tried to work it from LARGE instead of small. Those baby steps are the only thing that worked for me.

This time... I'm going to try to use a master plan that gets review every morning so that I can juggle whatever isn't gonna' work that day... I don't know, T. It may work... but it STILL needs days of work on it, so I'm gonna' NOT be finished with mine........ EVER, probably.

How can we set our lives in concrete without weighing ourselves down to the bottom of the sea?!! We can't. Our blue-prints have to be flexible, don't they? Anyway... you will ROCK this New Year, T!! I wanna' be right beside cha' when you do, too!!

*H*A*P*P*Y* *N*E*W* *Y*E*A*R* my dear friend!!
Love, yer'
..*) .*)
(. (. *Annie*

Comment edited on: 12/31/2009 9:45:07 PM

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Ode to Oatmeal

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Sometimes, the strangest things strike me. And today, I as I sit here and eat my breakfast, I have been struck by the strangest urge to write I've had in a while, and here it is:

I love old fashioned, cook it in the pan oatmeal. I make it with 1% milk, a packet of splenda, cinnamon, raisins and chopped walnuts. It is the perfect breakfast, it is yummy, it fills me up, it has lots of good nutritional value.. So, why on earth am I blogging this?

Well, first, to share the wonder of this stuff. If you haven't tried this, and you think that those packets of oatmeal you can add hot water to or throw in the microwave are the way to go, you are simply not going to believe the difference.

Second, to lament that the ONLY way to make this stuff is on the stove..the milk boils over in the microwave no matter how large the bowl I place it in, and truth be told, it just doesn't taste that good when it's cooked in the microwave.. So....you need that 10 minutes to make it, and then at least another 10 to eat it..honest, it takes that long, a little bowl of 1/2 cup oatmeal, 3/4 cup of milk, and a few additions, takes that long to eat, because it is hearty and delicious...

There it is, my ode to oatmeal.. Have a great day!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


  Oatmeal is totally worthy of an ode! :)

Have you tried the even slower kind? You can get oats that are not even flattened, just cut into little pieces. It takes about 20 minutes to cook on the stove, but it can be cooked ahead of time and each serving reheated with a little liquid (which re-softens it).


One packages goes a loong way. Also, be warned that some packages that read "steel cut oats" are more like rolled oats, whereas the kind I speak of is like little pieces of oat. x)

I guess that's my long ode to oats! hehe :D

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SUETINGE 12/2/2009 1:04PM

    I love oatmeal. Haven't had it in a while, maybe tomorrow.

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GIRLINMOTION 12/2/2009 8:53AM

    Plus the packet kind of oatmeal is expensive in comparison and there is no real nutritional value to them.

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NO-41_RAZZYS_PL 12/2/2009 8:26AM

    hahahahaha!! emoticon Oh, T, you ARE funny!! emoticon mmm-mmm I do love old fashioned oatmeal too!! Sometimes mine gets honey or real maple syrup, but... there's nothin' like brown sugar with a pat a' REAL butter & a sprinklin' of cinnamon!! I do love raisins too... never tried the nuts... hmm... OOH!! I'll bet currents would be good too.

Anyway, my sweet, you are very much like oatmeal. ::rolling on floor laughin' till sides ache & haven't even had my 2nd cup of esspresso:: bear with me *here* as... you are such a wholesome & hearty friend (the best of friends are) that stays *with ya'* & through the times when ya' gotta' have that *healing* touch, you're *there* making it happen!!

::hugs & hugs & kisses too::
Love, yer'
..*) .*)
(. (. *Annie*

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1SHEYLA 12/2/2009 8:05AM

  I also love oatmeal. Do you put peanut butter in yours sometimes?

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JMR63074 12/2/2009 7:58AM

    Funny, Thanks

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