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Back from a "Sparkation"

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

What is a Sparkation? It is a vacation from Spark. Is it wise----definitely NOT! I thought I could stop keeping track of everything I ate and just guess....I thought I could not monitor my exercise and just keep up the habit.....I thought I could stop reading and connecting with others about sparklife.....I thought I could do all this and still lose weight. What was I thinking??? HA! Well, lesson learned. I need these new habits and tools to continue to make wise daily choices. It is so easy to slide back into old ways. I definitely did not feel as energized and dedicated to my self while I was on my Sparkation. I am not beating myself up over the pounds gained, but I will be less willing to fall away. I don't like the idea of catching back up to where I was. But, I can and I will. Peace to you my sparkling friends.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TYME2BME 6/27/2011 3:28PM

    Welcome back from Sparkation. It is like a vacation where we forget to pay attention to ourselves and get distracted. The Spark is great by reminding us of what is important to us and keeping our focus where it should be. Just like a vacation, there is always catching up to be done.
emoticon back. Just like after a vacation you will get right back into the swing of things and be caught up in no time.

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GARDENGIRL54 6/21/2011 12:05PM

    On the other hand.....don't you feel it's good to take a break now and then? I find that if I take one day/week where I don't record my intake it really helps my frame of mind. That way I am still in control but can splurge occasionally. It helps your mindset that you are not deprived and can just enjoy for a while.

I know what you mean about not feeling as good though. When you eat right you just plain feel better. Good luck getting back on track!

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DDOORN 6/21/2011 10:49AM

    Great to hear that you're back in the Spark Swing of things! :-)


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ONEKIDSMOM 6/21/2011 7:50AM

    Ah, yes... that big old lesson: man is not an island. We need our tools and our friends to keep us keepin' on. emoticon Good to see you! Keep on Sparking, my friend! emoticon

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Let's be real!

Monday, May 23, 2011

I just got back from a fabulous vacation in Georgia and Florida. I went to visit my sister who is an unbelievable cook. She inherited my mother's gene. My mother was a Home Economics (that dates me since I don't think that exists anymore) teacher who could make leather taste mouth watering. From the moment you would enter her house until you left she would be offering food and highly insulted if you didn't eat it all! My sister has perfected the art of almost every dish you could think of and I think we had every one! Yes, I tried them all. I kept portion control thoughts at all times but savored every bite. Then we headed to the beaches of the Florida gulf and had wonderful seafood every night. Sounds like a nightmare? Sounds out of control? Sounds like I have relapsed? Sounds like I am crazy? Well-NO!
I decided before I left that I was going to have fun and enjoy everything. And with the new life style of exercise, portion control and good food choices, I did just that. I was satisfied to have just a sample or maybe a second if I knew we could go for a long walk on the beach. Let me tell you if you walk in the loose sand it is quite a workout! My sister has fabulous gardens and so I volunteered to help her with her yard and garden work before we left for the beach. It was a sensory treat for me with all the wonderful smells and colors. So many plants that do not grow in the cold Iowa weather. And since her house is on a golf course that has marvelous cart paths we would walk at sunset. When you talk nonstop the miles fly by.
End result: Yes, I gained 3 pounds but I am not freaking out. I had a wonderful time and shard all the things my sister wanted me to experience and would not have wanted it any other way. I know that I can loose them again. We live so far apart from each other that I did not want to waste time fretting and being obsessive. Life is too short not to live along the way. Blessings to you my Sparkling friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GARDENGIRL54 5/24/2011 1:39PM

    I think you are so wise to NOT obsess over eating when you are on vacation. My husband and I started "Sparking" about the same time b/c we wanted to get in good shape for a trip to Italy this fall. We have both had good success but he is so obsessive about not getting off track. I on the other hand see how well the Spark program works for me so I know if get off I can just get back on. I plan to eat and hike my way across Italy. Glad to hear you had such a nice time with your sis. That's not always the case with adult siblings.....

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DDOORN 5/24/2011 12:31PM

    Yes, we've got to be healthy and well, but heck YES we have to LIVE our lives!

Sounds like you did just that! Congrats! :-)


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WEEZYB7881 5/24/2011 1:11AM

    sounds like a wonderful vacation and that you have a great attitude.

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Beware the hidden traps!

Monday, May 09, 2011

I must confess: I haven't been diligent lately about logging my food and counting my calories. Isn't it interesting when that happens how little snacks become more frequent and portion sizes creep higher! At first it was because we were on vacation. But, it continued when we got back home. Lately it has been because my job has increased its stress level. AAHHHH! I know better than this!!!
So, here we go. Starting tomorrow it is back to tracking everything that goes in my mouth and accessing whether it is nutritious or just an emotional filler food. Also, back to my exercise plan. I have gotten lax with it because I felt I was doing outside work and that was enough--NOT SO! I've had my set back now back to making progress. Spark on everyone.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Congrats on seeing where you went wrong and getting back on track! emoticon

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DDOORN 5/10/2011 2:51PM

    Cheers to breaking out of the "slippery slope!"


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WEEZYB7881 5/9/2011 11:49PM

    how great that you realized and are making changes. well done.

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Food For Thought

Sunday, April 24, 2011

One of my many healthful goals has been to eat more nutritiously and explore more vegetables that I used to ignore. I have to say I have been pleasantly surprised by how fun and delicious this goal has been. The recipes from Sparkpeople have been wonderful and all the comments after the recipes by those who have tried them are very helpful. I can't think of a recipe we have tried yet that we would not make again!! We have doubled the amount of vegetables that we eat at each meal and incorporated new things for us like squashes, leeks, etc. Unbelievable that all these years I have ignored such delicious foods!! I used to fill myself up on sweets and carbs that just left you craving more. Now, when we grill out there is always a foil wrapped pouch of sweet potato, mushrooms, red onions and asparagus drizzles with olive oil. This takes the place of the baked beans we used to eat with all meats grilled out!! We have brought our steam cooker out of the closet and it is used for every meal. Please keep sharing your wonderful recipes Sparklers, I am in awe of all you great cooks! Thank You!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEEMS214 4/24/2011 8:10PM


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The beauty of the Grand Canyon

Thursday, April 14, 2011

It is with sadness that we packed up yesterday and left the Grand Canyon area. It was quite an adventure since the day we left (Sat.) our destination of Flagstaff got a blizzard and connecting flights out of Phoenix were all cancelled and the interstate was closed. We stayed the night in Phoenix and flew out early the next morning. Now, I am in a panic because we are a day behind and will have to cut down on our plans!
After giving myself a lecture about relaxing and enjoying instead of trying to fit in too much we revamped our plans.
First stop was meteor crater. Amazing to see and learn about meteors and see such a huge impact site. Learned that the second largest site in the US is actually in my home state of Iowa! Ha, who knew! They have a nice guided hike around the crater for about 45 minutes that is not very strenuous. Night was falling so it was off to the hotel to check in.
Day two was still a bit chilly so we decided to head south to Oak Creek Canyon, Sedona and Red Rock State Park. We did some excellent hikes in these areas that were a bit more climbing and strenuous. Really enjoyed the diverse colors of the area. Saw some interesting fossils that prove the area used to be very close to the equator! As much as we could we tried to take a guided tour in the area and then strike off on our own so that we learned as well as just enjoyed the hikes. We reluctantly drove north feeling we did not see all we wanted of the Red Rock area.
Day three was the Grand Canyon at last. It was still a bit chilly and there was snow on the south rim paths yet. Once you got moving though, it was actually a wonderful temperature to hike. Now faced with only one day in the Canyon we were not able to hike the Bright Angel trail all the way down and back as planned if we were to see more of the Canyon. We decided to hike half way down and back. It was a soupy mess due to the snow and melting and we passed many a hiker that had slipped along the way. Luckily we stayed surefooted like the mules, which by the way passed us a few times and they were not breathing as hard as we were!! The view as you travel down into the Canyon is so beautiful. The colors change from a sandstone yellow to salmon, red, green, black and every shade between. When we got back to the top, we decided to walk the south rim instead of traveling by shuttle from look out to lookout. It took quite a while but was definitely worth it and as we were coming back from the last point the sun was setting in the Canyon. It is an amazing display of light and color as you watch the shadows move and disappear into the Canyon for the night. Yes, I cried. It was so moving and so much bigger than ourselves. It makes you feel the creative power of God and how truly small we are in the big picture.
My calves are screaming and I walk like am 90 yrs old today. But, I am so happy that I am fit enough to enjoy such an active vacation. We didn't get to see as much as we had planned but we loved everything we did and saw and plan to return in the future and take other trails.
Live Life and always enjoy!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DDOORN 5/2/2011 10:07PM

    I would love, love LOVE to see the Grand Canyon someday...hike it inside out! :-)


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JRIMM4 4/19/2011 4:45PM

    Sounds like a great vacation despite the time line not going as you hoped! Did you get some good pictures?


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APOLLO45 4/14/2011 6:55PM

    My kids and I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time last June. It is a truly awesome indescribable, special place. I cried when I saw it for the first time, so you're not alone in that respect. I'm sorry that your trip was cut short, but it sounds like you made the most of your time there. Perhaps you can return someday and stay a bit longer? If you're anything like me, you won't want to leave no matter how long you are there.

Thanks for sharing your experience at the Grand Canyon and other parts of the beautiful state of AZ. I wouldn't want to live anywhere else!

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