Hi. Well it's been about 3 weeks since I started checking in with SparkCoach. I've only missed a day or two and that's because I had/was getting over the flu. Yes, yes, the good ole summer flu. Today, SparkCoach suggested I blog about my successes (it's just a suggestion -- you don't have to do it). So why am I doing it? Because it scares the begeezes (anyone know how to spell that word?) out of me. SparkPeople encourages a lot of growth (or shrinkage!) and learning how to face our fears. So....
First of all, if you haven't tried SC (SparkCoach) 2 week free introduction, I'd highly recommend you give it a go. It's really helped to get be back on track (which I sorely needed) and provides a structure so you go through the same steps everyday, while your coaches' advice changes, as do daily visualizations, etc. I love the 1 min. visualization! They really get at the heart of what we're going through, whether it's about imagining how we would feel reaching our goals and thanking ourselves as we are today, or gathering up all the negative thoughts and feelings in our head and then exhaling them all out and imagining how our day will be different without them.
Once a week, paying Sparkers get to ask a SparkCoach a personal question, that gets answered within 36 hrs. Great turn around time, eh?! My first question was answered by Coach Dean Anderson, whom I just love, and he got me exercising for the first time in at least a year! Then I missed 3 days of exercise because I started a new diet and felt a total lack of energy (I've quit that diet and have started exercising again). His response to me was worth an entire year of SC!!!
And the discipline of checking in everyday and the motivation I get from the personalized messages is just what I need. I love SparkCoach! It gets me more involved in SparkPeople too, in ways I would not have been otherwise. For example, it challenged me to get involved in a SP challenge. I never thought I'd do that because my progress is often challenged by my medications, injuries, or illnesses. But, I found a different type of challenge I'd never guess existed and joined it. It's a 4 week cooking challenge. Now, anyone who knows me would be hootin and hollerin at this point because I NEVER cook. But here I am, about to learn, and not only that, in a structured challenge that will help me meet more SP and learn new skills. It's not that I eat meals out, I just happened to have a great husband who cooks. Now he'll be getting some long earned off time
to play guitar.
One of the things I have learned as a result of tracking my food came yesterday. I had eaten well all day, exercised, SC'd , etc., For example, I had salmon and lots of cooked veggies for dinner, and my calories were right on. Then my husband asked me if I wanted an extra turkey sausage, I thought I was doing well and said, "sure, but just half" (they were big lunch style size) and I had some more light calorie wine. I later tracked those two additions and found out that they made me go over my caloric limit by 350 calories. And if I hadn't tracked them, or just did it in my mind, I wouldn't have thought much about those seemingly unimportant calories. But this time I could "see" that my choices had me go from goal to adding several 100 cals that I didn't even really want or need. I didn't know there was sausage left and I didn't really want one, I just thought it would up my protein. Instead, it just tasted oily and salty. The wine was nice, but I didn't need or really even want another glass. But they became my caloric tipping points all the same.
I think, as well, if I was paying closer attention to my food tracker throughout the day, I would have realized that I was at my limit for the day and just drank green tea, water, etc., if I wanted or needed something else. Turns out, last night, I didn't but packed on the calories, anyway. I really feel like this is a good learning experience because if I'm conscious of where I am progress wise, then I can decide if I want to go over my daily limits or just say no and stay where I am. It also makes a great case for writing now what we eat, when we eat it so we can see where we are when we need to make a decision.
So, I hope I've piked your curiosity about SparkCoach enough to give it a free try. And that you realize how sneaky those little extras can be by taking you away from you daily goal to somewhere beyond the great behind. Hopefully, my suggested strategy for avoiding this was helpful too.
I'd love to hear from you and learn your strategies for keeping within your daily calorie goal and more! Especially if this Blog helped Spark your interest in SparkCoach or if you're already there, how it's going for you.