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What does "realistic" mean, anyway?

Sunday, July 05, 2009

For those of us who are perfectionists, this is a rhetorical question. I'm not sure I have an answer. Here I am, back in gear on Spark, and I have laid down some pretty stringent guidelines for my participation. I get sucked in to all the points, boards, teams, challenges, etc. The tools here are incredible -- it's interesting, fun, and motivating. I recommend it to friends all the time.

But for me, it becomes a bit obsessive. I'm not sure it's entirely healthy, because it becomes an all-or-nothing situation. My life becomes consumed by the weight-loss mindset instead of fitting the good habits into the lifestyle I have and love. The cart drives the horse, and that's not okay with me. The Spark virtual community is wonderful, but I have a pretty wonderful community in my own backyard (including some crossovers, whom I met right here ;) J & C!)

So I'm back, and this blog post has two purposes:
1.) To let my Spark friends know that I appreciate all the support and camaraderie of the Spark community, but that I will become more of a "lurker" than an active participant; and
2.) to articulate my limits in writing so that I can be accountable to myself in a quasi-public way.

So, here it goes -- my limitations and goals
1.) Recording nutrition: I know that recording my food is one of the main strategies that work for me when I am trying to reach a nutrition/weight goal, and Spark is the most effective tool I have found for doing that. I can use it on my laptop, I can use it on my phone, and I can log in from anywhere. So I will continue recording my food intake on Spark, and I will do it diligently and consistently.

2.) Recording fitness: Fitness has become a part of my life in a way I never would have predicted even five or six years ago. Now I have some clear athletic goals and fitness is an essential part of maintaining my health. I will continue recording my fitness on Spark as well.

3.) Maintaining my Spark page, including blogging when needed. This is a tool that will help me be accountable to myself. When I come look at the goals I have defined, it forces me to re-evaluate what I mean by "realistic." For example, today I updated my goals. Yes, I ultimately would like to be between 160-170lbs. But I have yet to break that 170 mark in the last three years, so I have changed the goal to be consistent in nutrition and fitness. I need to take the time to figure out what the obstacle is before I can overcome it.

So, that's where I am -- always in pursuit of that balance, but also ready to move forward.
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    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.