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WETPTARMIGAN's Recent Blog Entries


Thursday, February 04, 2010

This is approximately where I came in 1 year ago. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed at the possibilities and opportunities of the huge site. Exercise plans, exercise tracking, food journals, nutritional analysis, recipes, blogs, teams and more and more and more. It was hard to take it all in and daunting to think about keeping up with everything. So, as with any successful change of lifestyle, I started with just a few parts of it--tracking my exercise, joining a few teams, blogging when I had something important and relevant to say. And along the way I've made some friends and, I hope, helped some people in the water aerobics area.

Now, a year on, I find that the exercise tracking has made me very consistent. I checked my Spark Streaks and I've got a 100% record of 90 minutes of exercise per week! I've impressed myself, if no one else! A year of tracking has made me very aware of exercise and maintaining my streaks has led me to find other ways to work when I can't be in the water. The result of such consistency has been a feeling of being fitter than I have been in years, and the energy, stamina, and strength to meet work and family challenges.

Over the year, I've lost a few pounds without concerted effort just because of the consistent exercise. And now I'm prepared to expand my effort to the weight situation by finding things to track in my diet that will lead my BMI downwards. The physical changes that aging brings demand that there be less of me if I am to continue to enjoy and be active as time goes on.

So here's to a successful year's spark and to achieving even more in the year to come!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN1ALASKA 2/10/2010 1:38AM

    I missed seeing your Sparkiversary until I was late... but congratulations, belatedly.

You can really feel proud of your new fitness, good health, and control of your eating.
All the best! emoticon

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AHAPPYLIFE 2/7/2010 11:08PM

    Happy belated Sparkiversary! Glad to hear about your streak - what an accomplishment. Keep up the good work.
Wishing you great health!

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Remembering Jackie

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today I attended the memorial service for a member of one of my water aerobics classes who passed away recently. Jackie's absence will leave a hole in the water and in the little community that has formed among the members who have been coming for many years. She was one of the happiest and most positive people I've ever met. Though life had thrown her some big challenges, she chose not to let them bug her and looked for and found the fun in everything she did. As often happens at memorials, you find out aspects of the person's life that you wish you had known before. Among these for me was that Jackie had been a Girl Scout (me too!) and knew all the old camp songs (me too!) and that she had been a knitter and needleworker (me too!). But it would be a disservice to the way she lived to spend very much time on regret. I'm just glad to have had the privilege of knowing her. She was an ornament to the planet. emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN1ALASKA 11/28/2009 11:43AM

    I'm really sorry about your loss.
It's nice that your class gave you the opportunity to get to know her and appreciate her company. emoticon

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NOMIS1 11/26/2009 12:25AM

    I'm sorry for your loss. Jackie sounds like a wonderful person.

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Blogging elsewhere for a week

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Tonight I leave Alaska for the other corner of the continent--Orlando, Florida, to be exact. I'm going to attend the annual international conference of the Aquatic Exercise Association (AEA) and I'll be blogging it here: ptarmiganptracks.blogspot.com/ for the benefit of my water colleagues. Wander over and take a look if you like. emoticon


Does the biggest loser really win?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My local paper this past weekend had a really interesting article on Kai Hibbard, a local woman who was a Biggest Loser finalist in 2006. She's married now and battling the weight she gained having a baby. Here's a link: www.adn.com/life/health/story/740127
There's video, too, both of her as she is today and a couple of video diary entries from when she was at home working toward the final. The diaries were considered too negative for inclusion in the show.

This all reinforces for me that though the program makes exciting entertainment and inspires people to take up healthful ways, it can be really destructive to the people it uses. It makes them more conscious than ever of their weight, even though it is no longer in the upper ranges. And it reduces their whole being, their whole sense of self to a number on the scale. Do Biggest Losers sacrifice their mental health to their physical perfection?

As an exercise instructor, I have always had reservations about the show. Healthful body size and condition are achieved by improvement in both diet and exercise, but the show is almost entirely about the exercise, as that struggle can be shown visually, whereas the mental struggle about having too many brownies can not. Exercisers are driven to the extreme of their strength and endurance, again because the struggle is visual and film-able. But I wonder if the viewer on the couch is taking a bad message away from this--that exercise must be a painful, gruelling ordeal. I wish they could also see the people in my classes, especially on the great days when they're into the groove, singing along with the music and enjoying themselves to the hilt. THAT's the kind of exercise that can become a lifelong habit.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN1ALASKA 12/18/2009 8:56PM

    I completely agree with you too!

I believe the articles I have read on Spark People, and according to those articles, what is done on The Biggest Loser is not that healthy.

However... and this is a big however, the show also promotes HOPE, and all of us on a quest to lose weight and become healthier need the hope that we can eventually achieve progress.
I do still watch the show and it motivates me . I love doing my work out while I watch the tape of the show. That being said, I don't do their work-outs, do their diets, or copy many other things about their work-outs.

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WETPTARMIGAN 12/15/2009 12:26AM

    LIFEISMYCHOICE, different folks do indeed need different strokes. Many people seek strong exterior force in order to make substantial changes in their lives. Many others seek methods of change within to motivate the changes they want in their lives. You do what works for you on any given day.
The blog post was mainly musing on the nature of reality tv and what, out of all that goes on in the lives of the contestants during their time on the show, is selected to represent the process they undergo. I was trying to raise the question in people's minds about what the show's viewers are taking away from what they see and whether this is a reasonable representation of what has taken place in real time. And whether the toll on the psyches of at least some of the contestants is an acceptable price for fame, prizes, and an ideal physique. Kai's post-program struggles really made me ponder.
LIFE, I hope you find your own groove, whether it's on this show, on this web site, or in the hands of a trainer that pushes you to be the person you want to be.

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LIFEISMYCHOICE 12/14/2009 6:31PM

  I understand your position as an exercise instructor. As an overweight person however, I must disagree with you. I look at the show like an answer to my prayers! Here's why: Your method, based on what you said in this blog, doesn't work for me. I have been through 20+ exercise instructors just like you, and that particular way of doing things just doesn't work for me. Different strokes for different folks, as the saying goes. I need a Jillian in my life to push me to the brink in order to get things done, been that way my entire life. All of my successes have come from working best under extreme pressure, and a lot of overweight people are the same way. I believe that is the caliber of person the show caters to, and I am trying out for Season 10. And while it's unfortunate to hear about this woman, you have to consider: With 8 season done, and the 9th one airing, they must be doing it right on the whole, because people keep auditioning. It's an answer to a cry for life. I appreciate your position and welcome your rebuttle, in the spirit of friendly debate :-)

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MUSKIEPW 3/31/2009 2:09PM

    I totally agree with you. I had to stop watching the show because after I while I felt like I was watching people being tortured. So far by using SP I have enjoyed a good result and the tone of it's ok to eat a small brownie once in a while "moderation" works so much better for me. And I use the same approach with working out, I started slow and I have built up and continue to do so with a trainer. Good blog!!

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Am I Competitive? A Nerd? A Competitive Nerd?

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Having completed my first month on the site, just for grins I looked up my position on the fitness minute charts for my teams. On 50+ with 50-99 lbs to lose, I am #327 of 125,729 members. On SP class of Feb 8-14 I'm #46 of 17,116. On the Anchorage team #8 of 1516. On Ravelry Knitters I'm # 13 of 500. On Zumba Lovers #19 of 454. Water aerobics #12 of 126. That puts me in the top 1% of Anchorage, 50+ 50-99, and my SP class, top 9% of Water Aerobics, top 2% of Ravelry Knitters, top 4% of Zumba Lovers. Interesting. What this says is that it's comparatively easy to get to the top of large teams. Chances are better of people who don't even post any minutes. It gives me a big boost to be in the top 10% of exercise-focused teams, not surprising that I exercise more than most knitters, and not surprising at all that I do more than most Anchorageites--it's the depth of a long winter and outdoor activity is pretty much limited to skiing and walking gingerly on ice and snow. Otherwise you're indoors with an exercise video or pay for a health club.

Just for a few more grins, I played with the numbers of the top person on my biggest team. 3360 minutes total for February. That is exactly 2 hours a day, seven days a week. For a month. That's what you have to do to be at the top of the chart. Frighteningly, this same person posted 960 minutes for today. That's 16 hours, and it's still morning. I can only guess that somebody so busy exercising puts in an estimate if their week's time. I can relate to that, as it is a bit of a bother to track a lot of stuff and put it in every day.

So the question du jour is--with all this exercise, how come you aren't getting skinny? Because I'm not tracking my food yet is the answer. Sigh.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BELLSE 3/1/2009 2:14PM

    I ask myself that question also... I just started really cutting back on my calories, so I'm faithfully chugging on with my cardio, hoping that results will show in a bigger way soon. Once to keep to it, I'm sure it will happen!!

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