Thursday, December 31, 2009
This is the time of year we are all sitting down and writing our New Year's Resolutions and/or goals. It is a time of new beginnings. Can you believe tomorrow will be the start of a new year and a new decade? I urge all of you to map out your new gameplan but I urge you to take one step further. Let tomorrow be I know a number of you have back slided last year so give yourself a free pass. Isn't that what the new year is all about? The past is the past, stop beating yourself up, and let all of us move forward in our journey to a new, improved, healthier YOU!
I have had a lot of Sparkers write me and ask what team I would be forming after the 1st because the 2010 New Years Challenge~Lose 50 Pounds By 1-1-10 would no longer apply. Well, we have come up with a new and improved team and we are calling it the 50 Pound Challenge. (more about that in a minute)
When I say we, I am talking about DawnRobin2 ,who I consider to be my equal on this team in the capacity of a team leader. Dawn and I spend hours on the phone working behind the scenes fine tuning the direction this team is going. Dawn is my right hand and you do not make a move without speaking to your right hand. This team is not a dictatorship and everything is discussed before we make a change.
This is in no way diminishing the contributions of the Co-Leaders we have on this team as well. Everyone has a duty on the team and they are all caring, supportive, and motivating individuals who also help make this team function behind the scenes. We could not be the team we are if it were not for them. Our Co-Leaders also work very hard and yet with the New Year some of them will be asked to step down because they are not carrying their weight so to speak. I do not consider a Co-Leader just a title to collect, you need to earn that and for the most part our C0-Leaders are hard working and excellent role models.
Now for the 'New but old Team". We chose the 50 Pound Challenge as a name so that we would not have to keep changing the name of the team each year. When this team was 1st started it was between LadySunbeam and myself, a friendly competition to keep us on track. She had blogged she wanted to lose 50 pounds by the end of the year and I challenged her by saying I would join her in her endeavor, every one needs a buddy to under take such a task. Other Sparkers caught wind of it and decided they wanted to be part of this task and thus this FANTASTIC team was formed. I dubbed a phrase the "Eating Season" as a major reason for forming this team. The period between Thanksgiving and New Years is a round the clock battle against all of the sweets and goodies being shoved in our faces or should I say mouths? It is the hardest time for anyone to be on a diet and most of us have gained weight during this time. Here was a way we could all stick together and support one another and get each other through it. Now silly me thought the "Eating Season" was between Thanksgiving ,the end of November and New Years. Well I learned later on that Canada celebrates their Thanksgiving in October so I won't be making that mistake again. I guess we can't leave out Halloween a chocolate lover's nightmare. The "Eating Season" will always be a major part of this team in the sense we will band together to battle this eating frenzy because let's face it, it will be back to tempt us year after year.
With all of that being said I would love for all of you to consider joining this wonderful team. Pay no attention to the name 50 Pound Challenge. It was
originally set up for the heavyweights in Sparkland to join because trust me we had way more than 50 pounds to lose. You do not have to have 50 pounds to lose to join this team. We have had people join this team with only 20 pounds to lose or people join just for the camaraderie we have on this team. We have become Family on this team and we are all so loving, supportive, and motivating on this team. We have a online Chat Room as a thread on our team and it is always hopping. Trust me, your team mates will hunt you down if they don't hear from you if you are a regular participant in the Chat Room. We really do care about each other's success and not just our own.
There is no minimum required weight to lose. Come and join us even if you have 5 pounds to lose or you are in "maintenance." Everyone can use support and motivation.
It is not a requirement to join the weight challenge on the team and yes we will always have a 50 pound weight challenge running for 5 month periods. We will also have Alternate Challenges for those who do not want to be tied down to amount to lose by such and such a date. We have many that have signed up already for the new challenge starting January 1st but only have 25 pounds to lose. It is just a number. You are a success no matter how many pounds you lose and we will celebrate that with you. We award you a Gold Star Goodie for every 10 pounds you lose during the Challenge whether it is one gold star, three, five, and we have a couple of people working on their 7th Gold Star for this Challenge. Tonight will tell us who has reached which milestone during the challenge as tonight is the final weigh in for this Team Challenge. The new Challenge starts tomorrow, Jan. 1st.
The new thing we have added is that we are also running an Alternate Challenge for those who do not want to participate in the weight challenge. Hopefully we will keep the 50 as a number in the challenge some place but the alternate challenges change monthly. Again you do not have to join this challenge either to be part of the team. The 1st alternate Challenge is to eat 50 servings of fruits and vegetables each week. That is not hard to do and you should be eating them anyway to lose weight. A serving of a veggie is as little as a half cup cooked or one cup of salad greens. A serving of fruit is`as little as a half of a banana. How about a V8 as a serving of veggies. We have also added a 2nd part of the Challenge that you must visit 50 team members Spark Pages or blogs with in the month. This is what you need to be doing to be successful on your quest. The more you Spark the better you do plus everyone needs the TLC an motivation.
You may say that is hard, well Challenges are supposed to be just that a challenge. It is supposed to help get you to your final goal. 50 fruit and veggie servings equate to 7 a day and one day 8. The US Government is considering raising the Food Pyramid to 7-9 servings daily - so you will have plenty of practice and be ahead of the curve. There are days when I eat upwards of 12- 15 servings so I can do this Challenge ina little over 3 or 4 days. The weight Challenge is losing under 2 pounds a week which is safe for anyone. It equates to 8.33 pounds per month. Come on you can do this! We will do it together.
Now if we are changing the name we have to change the team logo or icon, whatever you want to call it. This icon represents our love/hate relationship with that square thingy with the numbers that one of our team mates coined in a blog. Simone, I laugh every time I think of that. Yes we all have a relationship with this square thingy and sometimes it is nice to us and sometimes it is not. I personally have gotten better with the square thingy with the numbers on it because I no longer weigh myself every day and drive me or my team nuts. Who can forget that STUPID Challenge I made for myself not to weigh myself for a whole month. It drove me nuts and my team too because they were supporting my whining as well as many of my other Spark Buddies.
I am sure you have all guessed it by now but here it is. I give you the new team logo. Only the Co-Leaders have seen it thus far, without further adieu:
So come play with us and join the team.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Yvonne on a normal day in the Mortgage Department
This is me today. I couldn't find a picture of a woman shooting herself in the head.
I need a joke so here is one the Attorney's office sent me because she just had the pleasure of speaking with me on the phone. She asked me if I was wound up. I said, "Ya think?"
Irritation, Aggrivation, and Frustration
This joke viewed 1339 times with a rating of 3.00 from 3 votes
A boy asks his father to explain the differences among irritation,
aggravation, and frustration.
Dad picks up the phone and dials a number at random. When the phone is
answered he asks, "Can I speak to Alf, please?"
"No! There's no one called Alf here." The person hangs up.
"That's irritation," says Dad.
He picks up the phone again, dials the same number and asks for Alf a
"No -- there's no one here called Alf. Go away. If you call again I
shall telephone the police." End of conversation.
"Then what's 'frustration'?" asks his son.
The father picks up the phone and dials a third time:
"Hello, this is Alf. Have I received any phone calls?"
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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