ZELLAZM   102,074
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ZELLAZM's Recent Blog Entries

In Between

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I've decided to blog daily for the two weeks between the Fall and Winter 5% Challenges to help keep my Spark going. I'm still struggling with daily tracking and, when I do, I've gotten a little wishy washy, and I've often gone over my calorie range. Sometimes it's just 50 or 100 calories, but as we know those bits add up! My goal for these two weeks is to lose the kilo I gained over the past 8 weeks so that I can start the Winter Challenge at 62 kilos (136.4 pounds).

Keeping my template pretty basic - 1550with 3 goals:

Food Tracked: Yes
Within Range (1250 - 1550): Yes, 1529
Cardio / Calories burned: 173
ST: No

Strategy for the week ahead means that I'll have to pack a lunch every day. That actually makes tracking easier. Dinners will be a bit more of a challenge so I need to plan for that. Here in Germany, Thursday is just another work day. I'll be celebrating Thanksgiving on the Sunday following with an afternoon meal with American and German friends at their international church.

Thanks for helping to keep me accountable!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWLIBRARIAN 11/22/2011 8:20AM

    I just like reading your blogs. Keep the spark

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SJG1953 11/22/2011 1:55AM

    Great job Michelle! I admire your determination. It is very inspiring.

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ASMPP1 11/21/2011 9:11AM

    emoticon

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CMPEARL 11/20/2011 9:24PM

    Between challenges can be the toughest time...you get out of that routine of checking in with your team and it's easy to slack off. It sounds like you have a great plan in place! emoticon

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HNTSMOM 11/20/2011 8:03PM

    Great plan. Tracking is hard for me as well. It is amazing what a difference it makes.
Glad you get to celebrate Thanksgiving on Sunday with friends!!


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PLAINJANELLEN 11/20/2011 7:39PM

    Sounds like a great plan. Good luck! I'm in awe of all the exercises you do for the 3x3 challenge. Some of your days look like they'd fulfill the challenge all on their own.
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LIGIRLATHEART 11/20/2011 7:10PM

    You are inspiring me! Sometimes "basic" is best!

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NEWNAC304 11/20/2011 5:16PM

    Good plan Michelle! You can do it!

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KALISWALKER 11/20/2011 4:47PM

    I know what you mean, between challenges it is a struggle to stay on course. We can do it!

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VISUALLYRICS 11/20/2011 3:56PM

    emoticon plan, Michelle!
emoticon -- ...are you using paperclips this time around? emoticon

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Winter 5% Challenge

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Winter 5% Challenge is starting on December 3. If you're looking for a way to keep your Spark going - or rekindle it! - come join up.

I didn't do too well in the weight loss department this time around because I caught a bad cold midway that limited my exercise and has lingered for 3 weeks. But I'll be back in shape and hope to meet my goals and bettersupport my team next time around.

The "5%" refers to the amount of your body weight that you want to lose during the 8 weeks of the challenge. As a member of the overall challenge team, you're assigned to a group of 50 Sparkers who motivate each other to meet the weekly goals of the team, in friendly competition with the other 9 teams. The main idea is to accumulate "Air Miles" as we fly virtually to exciting destinations all over the world. There is also a "Living the Good Life" challenge that changes each week, and other threads and extra challenges for those who want to participate. Weigh-ins are on Saturday.

Two steps to follow to join up. First, join the Challenge Team. Here's the link:

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/team_mes
sageboard_thread.asp?board=0x53949x450
61701&src=email


Then, sign up for a team on the individual threads. (I'm a Firecracker!) If you're a newcomer, you may not get assigned to your first choice team, but that's not too important. The important thing is to make that commitment to yourself and your team. Shortly before the challenge starts, you'll get your team assignment and further instructions. Then it's time to get moving!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROSENJ1965 11/19/2011 7:44PM

    Glad to see you'll be back for the winter. I hope to be as well! Thanks for the supportive comments. Sorry to hear about the cold during the fall challenge (I can relate having my own issues midway that didn't help with the weight loss). I hope you're fully healthy and ready to rock the winter challenge and get through the upcoming holidays.

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SUNSHINE20113 11/19/2011 5:13AM

    I've just joined this challenge - hoping it will keep me going through Winter!

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WALKINGBYFAITH2 11/18/2011 10:03PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I'm so glad I get to keep moving on this journey with you!!

Comment edited on: 11/18/2011 10:04:19 PM

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MTNGRL 11/18/2011 8:57PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ASMPP1 11/18/2011 7:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 11/18/2011 6:19PM

    emoticon Yay Firecracker Michelle! emoticon emoticon Count me in!!

Comment edited on: 11/18/2011 6:20:11 PM

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Getting Unstuck

Friday, November 11, 2011

You haven't heard much about my studies lately because I've been stuck. One root of the problem is fear: when I do finish, some big changes are likely to take place in my life, and these could happen quickly. Although this has been my heart's desire, it's also scary! I think there's also a fear that I might be disappointed or that I might disappoint those who have been so supportive.
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Another source of the trouble is that I don't presently have the funds to pay tuition for my last two projects - both the exam process and my "practice project" require the same amount of tuition as a regular course. I could borrow the money from the school, but I haven't wanted to add to my debt.

I've also been thinking about the holidays, missing Mom, and wishing I could be in Florida to help Dad with his upcoming art show. At 87, he still goes to work every day, but the day-to-day tasks of life seem to be getting a bit overwhelming for him. (I have to practice the serenity prayer every time I get off the phone with him!)
So I allowed myself to get stuck. emoticon

That "stuckness" tends to spread to other areas of life. I got discouraged about my future plans, and have been letting the stress and concern get to me.The scale is stuck, too. Is that any suprise?! It doesn't help that I've been fighting a cold and asthma cough for the past three weeks, and have been doing a prednisone taper the past few days.

But some powerful prayers must have been prayed lately, because progress has been made in the financial side. I received a generous offering toward my tuition and I've been encouraged to take further steps that will help raise the needed support. My health is coming along. I think I had a big backlog of sleep and rest to catch up on.
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I'm thankful for the prayers and for the One who answers them!
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Just a few hours ago, I went for a nice, long walk (air miles!) with my mp3 player and listened to a good sermon that talked about the Lord being our source of peace in difficult times. Perfect timing! I sense the power in those words and, although that teaching is nothing new, it's fresh to me.

The Bible talks about the "washing with the water of the Word." The water of the Word - not only is it cleansing, it's also got lubricating properties, like when water is added to clay to make it soft and pliable. That sermon is working that way in my spirit. I'm getting unstuck!
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLELIFE4REAL 11/17/2011 1:49PM

    I'm sorry you have been going through a period of "stuckness"....I'm thinking that just blogging about it is helping you to become "unstuck".

I pray that by the time you read this that you have had more solutions to your problems with tuition and knowing where to go and what to do when you complete your exams and practical experience.

Walking and listening to good music is a wonderful way to meditate. I like contemporary Christian music so much....it's so uplifting.

Hugs,
Kay

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FRANNIEDID 11/14/2011 1:03PM

    You could be writing my song! Stuck is such an appropriate word, I am going to try and use your blog to become unstuck. Unfortunately the scale is unstuck in the wrong direction! Maybe stress, but I really think that I am using that to give myself permission to eat what I want! I am working on it again!

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LIGIRLATHEART 11/14/2011 12:11PM

    Thanks for the inspiring blog.... I hadn't considered downloading sermons for my MP3 player before..... I am going to look into that!

Wishing you many blessings.....

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REBECCAMA 11/13/2011 6:06PM

  All good things take time. I'm sure you will find the answers you need to complete your studies soon.

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DDOORN 11/12/2011 9:59PM

    Great to hear of your bounce-back...our spirituality can offer such tremendous gifts and blessings!

Don

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MOMMY2TWO07 11/12/2011 5:13PM

    Glad things are becoming unstuck. I know that stuck feeling all too well. Pray that God keeps blessing you !

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HAKAPES 11/12/2011 4:27PM

    I loved this sentence: "So I allowed myself to get stuck. " :-)

My experience is that sometimes, just embracing what there is, is enough to move on. It's quite of a paradox. If I accept, and am aware of that I am stuck, somehow this mobilizes energy to move on.


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ASMPP1 11/12/2011 2:25PM

    emoticon emoticon We are a work in progress. emoticon

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CAROLYN0107 11/11/2011 10:29PM

    I know the feeling of being stuck. I'm glad you're getting unstuck. I have certainly enjoyed downloading podcasts on my Itouch, messages, encouraging words that I enjoy listening to almost every evening. Keep WALKING and keep LISTENING to those sermons to help you keep unstuck!
Oh, and I also have asthma. So sorry about you having to need the prednisone.. HUGS.

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ALICEART2010 11/11/2011 8:21PM

    God Bless You

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MTNGRL 11/11/2011 7:25PM

    We should never under estimate the power of prayer and rejoice in the One who hears them. I am so glad you have faith and a prayerful life.
Glad progress is being made on all fronts! Hugs!!

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VISUALLYRICS 11/11/2011 4:05PM

    I too am thankful for the prayers and for the One who answers them! emoticon

What a precious blessing for your father to continue working! ..and an artist!! My grandmother is 88 this year and she still teaches grades ( K-12th) to sing! She has been a choir director for over 60 years!!! I LOVE her to death. She will always be active...me too!

I am sorry your last few weeks have been tedious...so glad prayer changes things...changes us.
He's still working on me. Lol! emoticon

love you Laura

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NEWNAC304 11/11/2011 3:15PM

    I'm glad things are falling in to place for you!

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Hello, Level 18

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's rather anticlimatic. I was having internet connection trouble last night with only 30 points left to go. I had some exercise to track, and, with only a few message board and huddle posts to make, I would have arrived before midnight. But I finally gave up and went to bed.

So here I am the next morning at Level 18. The view from here is great! And, even though there are 19,999 points to go before I reach Level 19, if it's up to me, I'll be here to celebrate that mini-victory, too. Thanks, Spark People!



The new trophy isn't as "sparkie" as the Level 17 one. I guess at Level 18, we are expected to be more dignified and queenly in our fancy jeweled crowns?
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CMPEARL 10/31/2011 3:41PM

    emoticon I think the queenly looking crown suits you well :) Nice and 'spark'ly!!

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FRANNIEDID 10/28/2011 1:32PM

    As we grow in our wisdom we need to assume a more dignified air! Way to go!!!

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ELIZINJAPAN 10/22/2011 8:57PM

    Wow! Congratulations from down here at Level 9!

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NEWNAC304 10/22/2011 8:40PM

    emoticon

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JOANNKW 10/22/2011 2:04PM

    Congrats! I figured you had made it. That crown is pretty darn fancy.

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TRYINGHARD1948 10/22/2011 1:34AM

    Congrats and enjoy your dignified and queenly presence. emoticon

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ASMPP1 10/21/2011 9:07PM

    Congrats! The sparkles shine more at level 20.

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PLAINJANELLEN 10/21/2011 7:25PM

    Congratulations!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JERSEYGIRL24 10/21/2011 7:02PM

    emoticon Zella! I just crossed 85,000 points before posting this reply to your blog. At the rate I am going, unless I really speed up or slow down, I will cross 100,000 sometime in the spring. It's exciting.

Looking forward to seeing you at the next level.

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MTNGRL 10/21/2011 5:00PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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NDTEACHER1 10/21/2011 11:18AM

    Awesome!!!

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VISUALLYRICS 10/21/2011 8:52AM

    emoticon Michelle!!

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NIKI778 10/21/2011 8:45AM

    Yeah!!! I like the level 18 trophy, but I like to think that I am a princess, so that must be why I like anything with a crown.

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IFDEEVARUNS2 10/21/2011 8:31AM

    LOL, great accomplishment. I'm definitely lagging behind.

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ZIPCONTROL 10/21/2011 4:51AM

  emoticon

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BONDMANUS2002 10/21/2011 4:26AM

  good job

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ARNETTELEE 10/21/2011 4:09AM

  Wow.... way to go!

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Farewell, Level 17

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I need fewer than 200 Spark points to get to the next level, so I should get my new trophy tomorrow if I work at it. So if you see me posting everywhere and anywhere, you'll know why!

Bye, Bye, Level 17!



Hope the new one is a purty one!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRYINGHARD1948 10/20/2011 4:45PM

    WooHoo, emoticon are about to happen.

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NDTEACHER1 10/20/2011 1:08PM

    Good for you!!!!!!!

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PURPLELVR7 10/19/2011 7:55PM

    emoticon

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KALISWALKER 10/19/2011 7:03PM

    Congratulations you are on your way!

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CMPEARL 10/19/2011 6:11PM

    emoticon

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CMPEARL 10/19/2011 6:11PM

    emoticon

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ASMPP1 10/19/2011 5:10PM

    emoticon emoticon

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CYCLINGSANDY 10/19/2011 3:09PM

    I don't even know my number. I guess I need to look.

Good going for you! emoticon

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ARGYLE-RUNNER 10/19/2011 2:28PM

    woohoo! way to go!

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JOANNKW 10/19/2011 1:40PM

    I peeked! Level 18 is definitely a fancy one!

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PLAINJANELLEN 10/19/2011 1:31PM

    I just made level 13, so I've got a long way to go.. Congratulations!

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HAKAPES 10/19/2011 1:26PM

    Oh my, you are doing so awesome!
But don't worry, I catch up in no time!

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VISUALLYRICS 10/19/2011 11:16AM

    Lol!!! emoticon ....I thought to myself, "Level 17 might be a new team."- when I saw your bog title.

You will pass today into the 18th sphere of Spark land....I have no doubt! emoticon

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NEWNAC304 10/19/2011 10:07AM

    I love getting new trophies!

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NIKI778 10/19/2011 9:49AM

    I just recently made it to level, 14 and I was so happy to see a new trophy. Good luck reaching level 18!!

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VIVIANJ5 10/19/2011 8:11AM

    Ooh, I'm jealous! I'm only at level 10! But then again, you've worked much harder than I have recently...congrats!

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MTNGRL 10/19/2011 8:04AM

    emoticon emoticon

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