Monday, December 28, 2009
Travelnista is NOT the Biggest Loser. Oh I made my 50 pounds for the Challenge on my team but I am in no way proud of how I did it. A Leader should lead by example and I definitely do not want anyone to follow my lead on this one. I am not saying a Leader has to be perfect because we are people too and as long as we learn from our mistakes that is a good thing
This latest stunt I pulled to make sure I met the 50 pound goal was insane. I put in 3 hours of exercise on M-W-F in the form of one hour weight training with the machines and free weights and then 2 hours in the pool. On the off days I did 2 hours of cardio in the pool. Well, that pace lasted exactly one week and almost killed me. Had it not been for that big snowstorm we got before Christmas my exercise routine would have been greatly diminished because I was exhausted. I put in 2 hours of snow shoveling on Saturday after going to the gym in the morning before it started. Sunday morning I did 3 straight hours of snow shoveling and then I was done, finito, caput. I was afraid I was not going to be able to crawl out of bed the next day.
I am supposed to be leading by example and I am always on my "soapbox" handing out advise but I need to start listening to myself. I keep saying that this must be a lifestyle change. There is no way in Hell one can keep up that exercise routine 7 days a week, I think 5 days a week would kill me too. It needs to be a sensible one that one can do every day of their life. I am returning to my M-W-F weight routine and daily cardio of 60 to 90 minutes. If I take the weekend off or one day, I will not beat myself up.
I love the Biggest Loser but it is not a realistic way to lose weight. First of all it is a quick weight loss because all they do is exercise 24/7. Can you imagine all of the hanging skin as a result of that quick weight loss not to mention what it does to certain body organs. If 3 hours killed me, can you imagine doing it all day and at that intensity of those workouts? Those people do not hold down a job or take care of a household while competing on that show. I have a day job and a very stressful one at that. It is insane to think that one could sustain that workout.
I am embarrassed for what I did even though I achieved my goal. I actually feel horrible about it almost as if i cheated. Well, I did cheat because that is not my normal lifestyle. I am stressed tighter than a drum and I am am exhausted. I have not had the time nor energy to be Sparking like I normally do. I have not blogged in days and have only managed to do the very basics on Spark like the Nutrition and Fitness Tracker, birthday wishes, and congrats to Team Members of the day. I have managed a few posts here and there along with reading some of my Spark Buddies Blogs but I am way behind on that too. I do take my Friend Feed seriously. Trust me, I am not happy about that either.
I am publicly saying that do not follow my lead in this stunt to squeeze out the final pounds for any competition or challenge you may take. It was stupid and I was WRONG! I promise to do better!
Friday, December 25, 2009
My Friends, My Angels
I believe in angels
Those helpers who are near
Exactly when they're needed most,
Then seem to disappear.
I know them when I see them
Whatever their disguise
They're patient and encouraging
Resourceful, kind, and wise
Yes, I believe in angels
The kind that heaven sends
And I'm surrounded every day
By angels I call friends.
God gave me someone special
When He gave me
A special friend like you
Have a Blessed Christmas!
- Author Unknown
I wish all of you a Blessed Christmas!
Many of you on SparkPeople have become my Spark Angels. My wish for all of you for 2010 is that you too develop your wings and you fly with the best of them here on SparkPeople. Go out my friends and develop your wings. I love all of you guys and I wish you the very best for the New Year.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
The Twelve Days of Christmas is so much more than a popular song. I hope I did not offend anyone with my version of the 12 Days of Christmas, it was in no way meant to take away from the true meaning behind the 12 Days of Christmas.
The Twelve Days of Christmas
The Twelve Days of Christmas is probably the most misunderstood part of the church year among Christians who are not part of liturgical church traditions. Contrary to much popular belief, these are not the twelve days before Christmas, but in the Western Church are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th).
The origin of the Twelve Days is complicated, and is related to differences in calendars, church traditions, and ways to observe this holy day in various cultures. In the Western church, Epiphany is traditionally celebrated as the time the three Wise Men or Magi arrived to present gifts to the young Jesus (Matt. 2:1-12). In some cultures, especially Hispanic and Latin American culture, January 6th is observed as Three Kings Day, or simply the Day of the Kings (Span: la Fiesta de Reyes, el Dia de los Tres Reyes, or el Dia de los Reyes Magos; Dutch: Driekoningendag). Even though December 25th is celebrated as Christmas in these cultures, January 6th is often the day for giving gifts. In some places it is traditional to give Christmas gifts for each of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Since Eastern Orthodox traditions use a different religious calendar, they celebrate Christmas on January 7th and observe Epiphany or Theophany on January 19th.
By the 16th century, some European and Scandinavian cultures had combined the Twelve Days of Christmas with (sometimes pagan) festivals celebrating the changing of the year. These were usually associated with driving away evil spirits for the start of the new year.
The Twelfth Night is January 5th, the last day of the Christmas Season before Epiphany (January 6th), and often included feasting along with the removal of Christmas decorations. French and English celebrations of Twelfth Night included a King’s Cake, remembering the visit of the Three Magi, and ale or wine (a King’s Cake is part of the observance of Mardi Gras in French Catholic culture of the Southern USA). In some cultures, the King’s Cake was part of the celebration of the day of Epiphany.
The popular song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is usually seen as simply a nonsense song for children. However, some have suggested that it is a song of Christian instruction dating to the 16th century religious wars in England, with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Faith. They contend that it was a mnemonic device to teach the catechism to youngsters. The “true love” mentioned in the song is not an earthly suitor, but refers to God Himself. The “me” who receives the presents refers to every baptized person who is part of the Christian Faith. Each of the “days” represents some aspect of the Christian Faith that was important for children to learn.
However, many have questioned the historical accuracy of this origin of the song The Twelve Days of Christmas. It seems that some have made an issue out of trying to debunk this as an “urban myth,” some in the name of historical accuracy and some out of personal agendas. There is little “hard” evidence available either way. Some church historians affirm this account as basically accurate, while others point out apparent historical discrepancies. However, the “evidence” on both sides is mostly in logical deduction and probabilities. One internet site devoted to debunking hoaxes and legends says that, “there is no substantive evidence to demonstrate that the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ was created or used as a secret means of preserving tenets of the Catholic faith, or that this claim is anything but a fanciful modern day speculation ...” What is omitted is that there is no “substantive evidence” that will disprove it either.
It is certainly possible that this view of the song is legendary or anecdotal. Without corroboration and in the absence of “substantive evidence,” we probably should not take rigid positions on either side and turn the song into a crusade for personal opinions. That would do more to violate the spirit of Christmas than the song is worth. So, for the sake of historical accuracy, we need to acknowledge this uncertainty.
However, on another level, this uncertainty should not prevent us from using the song in celebration of Christmas. Many of the symbols of Christianity were not originally religious, including even the present date of Christmas, but were appropriated from contemporary culture by the Christian Faith as vehicles of worship and proclamation. Perhaps, when all is said and done, historical accuracy is not really the point. Perhaps more important is that Christians can celebrate their rich heritage, and God's grace, through one more avenue this Christmas. Now, when they hear what they once thought was a secular "nonsense song," they will be reminded in one more way of the grace of God working in transforming ways in their lives and in our world. After all, is that not the meaning of Christmas anyway?
On the 1st day of Christmas my true love gave to me... A Partridge in a Pear Tree The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25, the first day of Christmas. In the song, Christ is symbolically presented as a mother partridge that feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings, recalling the expression of Christ’s sadness over the fate of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem! Jerusalem! How often would I have sheltered you under my wings, as a hen does her chicks, but you would not . . . .” (Luke 13:34)
On the 2nd day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Two Turtle Doves The Old and New Testaments, which together bear witness to God’s self-revelation in history and the creation of a people to tell the Story of God to the world.
On the 3rd day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Three French Hens The Three Theological Virtues: 1) Faith, 2) Hope, and 3) Love (1 Corinthians 13:13)
On the 4th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Four Calling Birds The Four Gospels: 1) Matthew, 2) Mark, 3) Luke, and 4) John, which proclaim the Good News of God’s reconciliation of the world to Himself in Jesus Christ.
On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Five Gold Rings The first Five Books of the Old Testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch: 1) Genesis, 2) Exodus, 3) Leviticus, 4) Numbers, and 5) Deuteronomy, which gives the history of humanity’s sinful failure and God’s response of grace in the creation of a people to be a light to the world.
On the 6th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Six Geese A-laying The six days of creation that confesses God as Creator and Sustainer of the world (Genesis 1).
On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Seven Swans A-swimming The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: 1) prophecy, 2) ministry, 3) teaching, 4) exhortation, 5) giving, 6) leading, and 7) compassion (Romans 12:6-8; cf. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11)
On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Eight Maids A-milking The eight Beatitudes: 1) Blessed are the poor in spirit, 2) those who mourn, 3) the meek, 4) those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, 5) the merciful, 6) the pure in heart, 7) the peacemakers, 8) those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. (Matthew 5:3-10)
On the 9th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Nine Ladies Dancing The nine Fruit of the Holy Spirit: 1) love, 2) joy, 3) peace, 4) patience, 5) kindness, 6) generosity, 7) faithfulness, 8) gentleness, and 9) self-control. (Galatians 5:22)
On the 10th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Ten Lords A-leaping The ten commandments: 1) You shall have no other gods before me; 2) Do not make an idol; 3) Do not take God’s name in vain; 4) Remember the Sabbath Day; 5) Honor your father and mother; 6) Do not murder; 7) Do not commit adultery; 8) Do not steal; 9) Do not bear false witness; 10) Do not covet. (Exodus 20:1-17)
On the 11th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Eleven Pipers Piping The eleven Faithful Apostles: 1) Simon Peter, 2) Andrew, 3) James, 4) John, 5) Philip, 6) Bartholomew, 7) Matthew, 8) Thomas, 9) James bar Alphaeus, 10) Simon the Zealot, 11) Judas bar James. (Luke 6:14-16). The list does not include the twelfth disciple, Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to the religious leaders and the Romans.
On the 12th day of Christmas my true love gave to me... Twelve Drummers Drumming The twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle’s Creed: 1) I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell [the grave]. 5) On the third day he rose again. He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit, 8) the holy catholic Church, 9) the communion of saints, 10) the forgiveness of sins, 11) the resurrection of the body, 12) and life everlasting.
-Dennis Bratcher, Copyright © 2005, Dennis Bratcher, All Rights Reserved
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009
On the Twelfth Day of Christmas my true love gave to me – SparkPeople
A support system is one of the most important things we need on our journey to a new and healthier “us”. The support system needs to start with you. You need to love yourself and believe in yourself in order to undertake this quest. It will not always be an easy one but it starts with you and your ability to be in your own corner so to speak. Ok, so now you have decided you are worth it and you want and need this, where do you start?
Well, we are pretty lucky because if you are reading this then this means you have discovered SparkPeople. SparkPeople may be free but it is a priceless tool. More of you need to really start using it. I am not just talking about the Nutrition Tracker, the Fitness Tracker, the exercise videos, Spark Recipes, and the wealth of knowledge that has been compiled and is here at our finger tips – you actually need to start using them. The very minimal you should be doing is the Nutrition Tracker, Fitness Tracker, exercise videos, and Spark Recipes.
SparkPeople is oh so much more. It is a community or a family of fellow Sparkers that are here for you when you need us. We are there for you to celebrate with you, to give you a hug when you need it, a shoulder to lean on, offer support and motivation, and to give you a much needed kick in the pants to end your pity party and get you back on track . SparkPeople is your very own Support System when your family and friends just aren’t thee for you. Either they do not “get it” or they don’t want you to change, you becoming healthier and stronger is a threat to them on many levels. You are no longer their eating buddies, your spouse or significant other may feel threatened that you will now leave them for greener pastures, your activities have changed because your love of food is no longer forefront in your way of thinking or what you may be doing in your downtime, your improved health is spilling over into all areas of your life and it may be scaring the hell out of them. You are changing and they are not, they are afraid of being left behind.
The most important thing that you can learn is that you need to Spark. You need to participate. You need to get involved with the daily threads. Join teams that are going to help you get to where you need to be. Start blogging or at the very least support your fellow Sparkers blogs by reading them and taking the valuable information they are giving you and apply it to your quest for a new you. We have all been on diets before but SparkPeople adds a different component to the mix. The support system on here is both incredible and priceless. It is true, the more you Spark the better you will do. I know for me that is the major thing that is different for me this time and utilizing it is making me flourish. I wish you the same.
Spreading goodwill that can return to you. (Taken from yesterday’s Healthy Reflections)
“This quote can be read in a few ways, and all of them are worth thinking about. First, complimenting and encouraging others is one of the easiest and most powerful ways to be a positive force in someone's life. As long as you're sincere, repeating that encouragement as often as possible can have effects that far outweigh the effort. Countless people have exceeded their own expectations just because others believed in them. Second, giving positive feedback works even better if done publicly. Take those kind words and repeat them until everyone knows the great things that this person is doing. Third, we've all had kindnesses bestowed on us in word and deed. In return for that favor, it's up to us to repeat that generosity for someone else's benefit. However you read this quote, the point is that there's a kindness out there to be performed. And you're just the person to do it! ”
“ A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.”
“A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.”
“Most of us, swimming against the tides of trouble the world knows nothing about, need only a bit of praise or encouragement - and we will make the goal.”
Monday, December 21, 2009
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas my true love gave to me - goals
We all know the saying, "Fail to plan, Plan to fail." Goals get you going. Goals
give you a purpose for taking on your new quest to a healthier you. People who live without goals have no purpose. Many people just muddle through this journey to a new you. Please do not make this mistake, you are too important to yourself, your family, and to us.
Goal setting is a powerful tool. In fact, goal setting can make the critical difference between success and failure. One obvious goal of many may be to simply stick to your diet and/or exercise program in the course of a busy, overscheduled daily routine.
While life may seem out of control at times and that you’re a passenger in life rather than the driver, remind yourself that YOU hold the greatest power of all – that is the ability to design your own life. You can wake up every morning and decide to exercise, eat a nutritious breakfast, or you can choose other options that may be detrimental to your emotional and/or physical health. Ultimately, the decision is yours and yours alone.
Here are a few tips to make lifetime commitments through goal setting:
1. Don’t compare yourself with anyone except your self. This is not about winning or losing. This is about making your life better – whatever that means for YOU.
2. Focus on the present – How will you feel after your exercise session today? Will your ability to resist that donut fill you with a sense of accomplishment?
3. Imagine the results – literally. Visualize! Day dream in detail about how you would like to look. Athletes picture themselves performing their event over and over again in their minds until they finally perfect it. If you see your self as soft, sloppy, weak, tired, or stressed, this may very well become your reality for just thinking it. Picture yourself standing tall taking deep breaths, confidently approaching life head on.
4. Take small steps – they DO count! It’s impossible to stop smoking, start drinking 64 oz of water, and exercising 5 days a week. Start slowly, one attainable goal at a time. Begin with taking a short walk and slowly work your way up.
5. Be patient – it make take weeks before you start noticing you have more energy, your clothes are fitting more loosely and you aren’t getting short of breath walking up a flight of steps. When you do recognize these signs of achievement, celebrate.
6. Put holes in your excuses. When you find your self coming up with an excuse not to exercise, go back to the reasons why you want to exercise in the first place. Put a stop to the negative self talk and obstacle formation. Grab that mental sledge hammer and break through!
7. Journal – If you do just one thing related to goal setting, begin journaling. Tracking your progress can help you stay focused. Write down not only your goals, but what exercises you did, how you are feeling and what small changes you are noticing in your everyday life like, not being short of breath or lifting something with ease, or having less pain. Writing your goals in front of your journal would help you to review them daily.
Now I do not think I am going to journal per say because I use my blogs as a journal. I use it as a historical record of where I have been, how far I have come, and where I am am going. I am planning to write out a contract to myself this year. It will plot out my long term goal, it will also entail mini goals in between so the ultimate goal doesn't seem so far away and unattainable, and it will include some rewards along the way. Ii love rewards and I bet you do too!
Unfortunately, there is a problem with most New Years Resolutions. People talk about their resolution and tell other people about them. We really mean to follow through; we might even make plans in our minds to do so. But how often do we use a written goal setting process for our New Years wishes? If we did, we would have a better likelihood of making them come true.
Being goal-directed is important, but few people put their personal and emotional goals into writing. Businesses stay successful because they have written business plans. Many of us are high achievers at work; making and meeting goals is life long in the educational and professional part of our lives. Similarly, we can use goal setting in our personal and emotional lives to help us live less stressful lives with greater balance and simplicity. Why not use this method to make yourself happier? When you write out our goals and plans, your chances of attaining them become greater.
When you know what you want in your life, write down your long term goal. Your long term goal is what you ultimately would like to see happen. Please remember that your long term goal should be positive! Attaining your goals should make you feel good about yourself. They should also be reasonable. A typical resolution might be 'lose 10 pounds' (especially after all those holiday parties) A better way of writing your long term goal would be: 'be healthier about my food choices so that my weight stays where I feel comfortable.' Notice that I didn't say: "I'm a fat slob and need to stop eating so much" (that would be a put-down and would not make you feel better about yourself) or "Fit into a size zero next week" (which may be unrealistic) Remember: you want your end result to be achievable and optimistic! You must believe you can do it!
Now it is time to break down your long term goal into short term goals. Short term goals should be concrete, measurable and time-limited. There should be several of them to attain your goal. Using the above example, your short term goals could start with: 1. Use your Nutrition Tracker for 30 days. 2. Stay within my calorie range every day for 30 days. And for Pete's sake don't always shoot for the low end of the range.3. Use your Fitness Tracker for 30 days.
Then do it! Once you reach the end of your goal, feel good about it. Celebrate in some way. Your achievements are important! Make up a reward system for yourself.
When you complete your short term goals you may want to revise your plan. You can extend the same goals if they are working well for you, or add new ones. So: Make a goal. Turn the goal into steps. Make the steps into tasks. Set dates for completion. You can revise your long and short term goals or write new goal setting plans as needed.
Don't self-sabotage by staying in your comfort zone or denying that part of you wants to grow. Be willing to learn from the experts so you don't re-invent the wheel. Don't start crazy diets or exercise routines. Read as much as you can so you can learn about things to apply to your goals. Try new recipes to keep you on track. Spark as much as you can, there are so many role models here on SparkPeople. Surround yourself with successful and positive people in your life and here on SparkPeople. Learn from them, emulate them, jump on their bandwagon and let them take you to new heights.
Attaining your personal and emotional goals helps self-confidence and improves self-esteem. It makes you move out where you are comfortable and try something different. If you want something strongly enough, you can do it! You will feel life has more purpose and meaning and be more secure and self-reliant. Goal-Setting can help you live your life the way you really want it to be.
"Goals .There's not telling what you can do when you get inspired by them. There's no telling what you can do when you believe in them. There's no telling what will happen when you act upon them.'
"Don’t be afraid to take a big step if one is indicated. You can’t cross a chasm in two small jumps."
–– David Lloyd George
Remember, you only have to succeed the last time.
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