ZELLAZM   95,887
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ZELLAZM's Recent Blog Entries

Trackin' and Packin'

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

It's one of those evenings when that's all I have time for. Got home, fixed some dinner, checked the email, and came to Spark to trackety-track.

Then it's time to pack my bag, pack my lunch and dinner to take along, and lay out my clothes for my looooooong Wednesday. I leave the house at 6 AM and get home at 10 PM.

I may try to fit in a gym visit. I haven't been in weeks because of this cold/cough thing, but even if I can't do a strenuous workout yet, I can visit the steam room! :)

Food Tracked: Yes
Within Range (1250 - 1550): Yes, 1389
Cardio minutes/ Calories burned: 15"/ 74
ST: Yes

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NEWLIBRARIAN 11/23/2011 8:25AM

    Keep up the good work.

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TRYINGHARD1948 11/22/2011 10:28PM

    You are doing it Michelle. WooHoo!

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NDTEACHER1 11/22/2011 8:23PM

    Take care and have a blessed Thanksgiving. Be good to yourself, it sounds like a VERY long day indeed.

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MTNGRL 11/22/2011 8:01PM

    You are doing great! I need to get back to tracking, it always helps!

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ASMPP1 11/22/2011 7:30PM

    emoticon

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VISUALLYRICS 11/22/2011 7:27PM

    emoticon Firecracker!! emoticon
emoticon ...steam is an awesome thing!! Go for it!!

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JAXMOMMY 11/22/2011 5:47PM

    Congratulations! Take it easy with that cough/cold! I've done good with my tracking and staying within caloiries so far this week too! What a super long day! Pace yourself!

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FRANNIEDID 11/22/2011 3:50PM

    You are doing so well!! Keep tracking!

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PARKERB2 11/22/2011 3:25PM

    Keep up the good work. Good luck with the long day.

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NEWNAC304 11/22/2011 3:17PM

    You're doing great!

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HAKAPES 11/22/2011 3:15PM

    You're doing great! And it really sounds as a long day. Where is your gym?

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ARGYLE-RUNNER 11/22/2011 3:11PM

    I love this - it is a smart and simple way to stay accountable and on track in between the challenges

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and I love your positive attitude emoticon

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Gotta Love Mondays

Monday, November 21, 2011

On the train this morning, I got to sit next to one of the young people from our church on my way to work. That was fun, although I did feel kind of old. This is a young man who I gave guitar lessons to when he was about 10. Now he's studying math and physics at the university and sporting an iPhone that he had fun demonstrating to me on our trip.

My first lesson was cancelled before I even got there. My cell rang while I was chatting with my friend on the train. Because it was past the deadline for cancellation, I still got paid. Woohoo! Did a mystery shopping gig before my noon lesson. I'm teaching a young woman who is starting a new job in marketing at a major car company and needs to improve her English. I love my part-time job at the language school - it keeps me on my toes and I get to meet interesting people with interesting jobs.

One of my music lessons was also cancelled on short notice, too, so I took some time to practice Christmas music on the piano. Now I'm home and writing my second blog in the "In Between" series, not to be confused with the "Left Behind" series.
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Food Tracked: Yes
Within Range (1250 - 1550): Yes, 1531
Cardio minutes/ Calories burned: 30"/ 148
ST: No

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANETELIZABETH1 11/22/2011 2:27PM

    Lots of changes in your day Michelle but you did fun things instead...how lovely is that!!

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FRANNIEDID 11/22/2011 12:01PM

    Your Monday sounds like it was fun! I am trying to get back on track too. Sometimes life side tracks us!

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NEWLIBRARIAN 11/22/2011 8:21AM

    Quoting you "writing my second blog in the "In Between" series, not to be confused with the "Left Behind" series. "
This is why I enjoy your blogs

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TRYINGHARD1948 11/22/2011 3:25AM

    emoticon those between times can be very productive. So lovely to meet up with old students and feel a little bit of credit for the wonderful people they have turned out to be.

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KALISWALKER 11/22/2011 12:34AM

    It great to have things you enjoying, the time flies by and it's fun!

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NEWNAC304 11/21/2011 2:50PM

    How nice to have some extra time! You're doing great at staying on track!

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DDOORN 11/21/2011 2:27PM

    Nice to have those "gifts" of open time to fill with good times!

Don

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VISUALLYRICS 11/21/2011 2:16PM

    emoticon on staying on track! Me too.
Your life sounds enjoyable - I am glad you love your job! How nice.
Go Firecracker!! ~ Laura

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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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