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    MOSTMOM1   66,804
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It Takes a SparkVillage

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Friday, April 26, 2013


Disclaimer: The video has nothing to do with anything. It was just a silly little thing I made for my Creative Journal entry the other day and I thought you might get a kick out of it. The box IS from Bowflex, so I guess you could say it's fitness-related?? :)

Now, back to Sparky stuff--
Have you ever tried losing weight ninja-style? You know, all alone, totally under the radar, off the grid, not telling anyone? I have. It didn’t work for me. Guess what happens when you don’t share your journey? Nobody knows when you fail. Guess what else happens? Nobody knows when you succeed, or when you need help, or when you’re extra amazing and awesome. Nobody knows. How can your friends high-five or woohoo you, if they don’t know what you’re trying to do?

When I first started SparkPeople, I quietly sat on the sidelines. Yes, I know that may be hard to believe, that I could ever sit quietly. I assure you, it is possible, in small doses. I read blogs and was inspired by some amazing Sparkers, but I was just kind of milling around. Then, I started friending people. I SparkStalked people and friended them, if they seemed positive and inspiring. I knew I needed to surround myself with motivational peeps. And I started leaving comments on their pages and blogs. SparkStalker. I’m not ashamed.

Then, I joined some teams and started making connections there. The team that was most instrumental in jumpstarting my SparkJourney was the 5% Challenge Team. I still have no idea how KALISWALKER got my name, to send me the invite. Maybe someone I SparkStalked said, “Listen, this woman needs help. You gotta invite her!” At any rate, it looked like the perfect team/challenge for me. The whole challenge is set up like a game. There’s a big, umbrella team, that’s broken into smaller, individual teams. We all “race” around the world, with our exercise minutes being air miles for the team. Bonus points for the teams that land first and extra points for side challenges that help us with our healthy lifestyle habits. I loved the challenge. It’s what started my exercise streak, because I wanted to post minutes for my team every day. And teams were small enough that I was able to get to know the members. Some of us have been on the team together for nine challenges (it goes in seasons). I feel like I really know some of these people! I even met a team buddy in person, when I traveled to Oklahoma this past fall. It was like getting together with an old friend.

Which brings me to my next observation. In this world of creepy things that can happen online, isn’t it nice when “virtual” friends end up becoming “real” friends? I have some SparkBuddies I talk to all the time. We text, email, video chat, send each other cards and stuff in the mail. In short, we’re real friends, who just happen not to live in the same town. This is not something I expected when I joined SparkPeople. I was just looking for ways to lose weight. I didn’t expect to find a community that would make losing the weight fun. I didn’t expect to “meet” a whole new group of people who would cheer me on, inspire me, hold me accountable, etc. I didn’t expect to make friends, to the point of me knowing their kids’ names and jumping up and down when they post pics of their first 5K. I didn’t expect that. And sharing my journey here, made me brave enough to share with my in-person friends on Facebook, at church, in the neighborhood and stuff. Makes all the difference in the world when people you “do life” with can be part of this journey too.


Community seems to be the hardest thing to explain to non-Sparkers, this idea of a positive, supportive, online community, dedicated to helping others pursue a healthy lifestyle. I try to explain it and I know I come off sounding like I’m drinking somebody’s Kool-Aid. And maybe I am. But golly, it sure does work. I don’t know what it takes for most people to lose weight and get healthy, but for me, as cheesy as it sounds--it takes a SparkVillage. I really, really, REALLY appreciate y’all!!!!

Speaking of buddies, one of my SparkBuddies knows I’m a huge fan of Dr. Who and sent me this custom-made Dr. Whoop for my birthday/2 year streaksversary/etc. THANK YOU, JODI!!!!!

hOOp love :)

The 5% Summer Challenge is getting ready to start. If anybody’s interested, here’s a link, so you can check it out. Go Awesome A Team!!
www.sparkpeople.com/mysp
ark/groups_individual.asp?
gid=59980
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MONTREAL12 8/30/2013 8:16PM

  Love it! Thanks! emoticon

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EFFRAYECHILDE 5/18/2013 4:01PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHARIKAYE 5/9/2013 2:08AM

    You always make me laugh and/or smile. I envy your hula-hooping abilities. I have never been able to hoop!! You make me want to go buy one and try to master the art. I'm 54 for Pete's sake!! I love that you SparkStalked!! That's too funny, and amazing all at the same time. I have made some good connections since being on SP, but your 5% challenge sounds like just way too much fun. Of course you have to be invited. And I bet I have missed the start by now. If so, think of me when the next one starts.
Keep hooping and vlogging!!

Shari

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RUNNER4LIFE08 5/6/2013 11:15AM

    This made me laugh out loud! emoticon

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GABBY98_80 5/5/2013 12:24PM

    emoticon

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SNOWANGELDIVA 5/5/2013 7:56AM

    If it wasn't for my SparkFriends I would not have succeeded.
Let Jodi know I'm a fan of Charlies Angels...to find WHO takes a gift.
Your box is sassy. emoticon emoticon

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PICKIE98 5/3/2013 6:24PM

    I *L*O*V*E the very end!!!!!!!! I laughed out loud!!! Scared birds off my windowsill!

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DEEDEE1102 5/3/2013 2:41PM

    Great blog! Thank you!
emoticon

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KIMCOLLINGS 5/3/2013 1:01PM

    You are just so emoticon !!!!!!!

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BLUENOSE63 5/3/2013 7:01AM

  Shelli

I love your posts.....so creative and quite funny! Thanks for posting as I am a stealth SPer and post blogs when the moon is blue!

Have a good one

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GRAMPIAN 5/3/2013 6:46AM

  Great blog. emoticon

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KALEWINE 5/2/2013 3:37PM

    I'll admit it... I'm a spark stalker. But I'm trying to get more involved in the community.

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BUTTERFLYSPARK5 5/2/2013 8:43AM

    Hi
Because of this post I decided to join Spark People. I desperately want to have friends. I've been following your Spark page and your so encouraging and helpful. With a beautiful heart. emoticon

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HZGLORY 5/2/2013 1:51AM

    As usual you definetly entertain us and make life just that much better !!!! Loved it all thank you for the information as well. Hugs

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WENDYSPARKS 5/1/2013 4:40PM

    emoticon

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LJR4HEALTH 5/1/2013 3:34PM

    emoticon post just between you and I I think the 5% challenge is the best of all the spark challenges out there It really has helped reignite my spark as well

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TWNOMWE 5/1/2013 2:06PM

    You are so right we need friends to share, to cheer and walk with us on this lifestyle change. Thank you.

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FUNLOVEN 5/1/2013 11:37AM

    You can sure make my day! I have been gone on vacation so just got around to reading this blog AND for the link to the 5% Challenge. I have seen this on other friend's Spark Pages and wished I could join in and now I can emoticon

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MTRACHEL 4/30/2013 9:26PM

    Man, you deliver! Of all the things you made with your box, I think the blog was best. I'm with you, there's so much more to Spark then tracking foods and exercise and it's amazing what we can become with support. I'm there for you cause you've been there for me!

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SCHNOOTIE 4/30/2013 5:37PM

    Absolutely fabulous blog!!! I will take your advice and build my SparkVillage slowly. I love to stalk anyway, so I will just go that one step further and make it a habit :) :) :)

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STRONGDJ 4/30/2013 10:44AM

    Spark on Shelli! emoticon

You are hilarious! I love the way you share and help the rest of us have a happy day.

DJ

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MISSLISA1973 4/30/2013 8:59AM

    You are so cute. : )

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CHANGE4FIT 4/30/2013 8:50AM

    You have truly tapped into the thoughts of so many! Yes, it does take a village. I have spark lurked for years! Still not big on the teams-just not enough time to commit, but maybe soon! Thanks for the reminders and the video is hilarious! LOL! emoticon

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GOSPELCLOWN 4/30/2013 12:04AM

    You have expressed what I have been thinking!

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RENATA144 4/29/2013 11:12PM

  Looking good ! emoticon

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DRCLANKY 4/29/2013 6:51PM

    I've just come back to SparkPeople after losing motivation and not tracking for awhile. I always found your posts so fun and refreshing, glad to see you're still at it!! Congrats on your streakiversary!

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MARYJOHANNAH 4/29/2013 6:37PM

    awesome....loved your writing ...to the point and way tooo funny and true. Thanks and have a cooool day you sparker you

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DRCLANKY 4/29/2013 6:30PM

    I've just come back to SparkPeople after losing motivation and not tracking for awhile. I always found your posts so fun and refreshing, glad to see you're still at it!! Congrats on your streakiversary!

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CJYOUCANDOIT 4/29/2013 2:43PM

    Really cute video. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MERRYMERRY6 4/29/2013 1:56PM

    Fun video emoticon and terrific blog post! emoticon

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VALKYR8 4/29/2013 1:37PM

    Now I'm inspired to hoop, if I could use a hoop like that. Doctor Who rules!

Totally with you on the community support. Sparkpeople has made all the difference in my weight loss and maintenance. I'll gladly raise a toast with this Kool-Aid any day.

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PATTISTAMPS 4/29/2013 1:24PM

    And I just completed my first 5% challenge, which is how I found you! I have to agree - I have made some AWESOME Spark friends, and a lot of us in Orlando did a breast cancer walk a couple of years ago. So we had the opportunity to meet in person and spend time walking together. Some have moved on from Spark, and some are still here. Hmmmm.... makes me think I should try to organize a walk again...

I am looking for a box so I show my great nephews how to make things in a box! LOL..

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SERV4LIFE 4/29/2013 12:58PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KRISTINSGOALS 4/29/2013 12:48PM

    Dr. Whoop...I love it! I'm so glad that I'm part of your SparkVillage, Shelli!!!

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SORLANDO21 4/29/2013 11:05AM

    emoticon

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CM_GARDNER78 4/29/2013 10:00AM

    "Box contains one dumbbell"! ROTFLMBO!!!!!!!!!! that is hilarious!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

GREAT blog!!! I agree about the community idea. Sometimes I won't let myself completely go, but other times I really get involved......I'm evolving! ;-)



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DNRAE1 4/29/2013 9:05AM

    Oh, you made me laugh out loud again this morning!!!! Thank you and the blog made me think about a few things I need to focus on! Thank you again!

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PATTIE441 4/29/2013 5:47AM

    Love the video! You totally rock! emoticon I appreciate this blog so much, because I have always tried to be the cheerleader, and with a lot of things happening this year, I couldn't be there for everyone like I wanted to be. And I also realized no one knew I was struggling. I am starting to reach out more, and thank you for the gift of you! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CREE123 4/29/2013 2:04AM

    I loved the video and ...thank you. I've been trying to keep quiet about this weight loss journey. I'm afraid that I'll derail and go back to gaining. I'm gonna start connecting and get some of those high-fives! emoticon

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CLOVER2 4/29/2013 12:56AM

    I loved it!! emoticon

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SPARKIWINS 4/28/2013 9:50PM

    Glad we're sparkfriends. I totally agree about the "koolaid" Spark people are amazing. I often said it took a village to raise by two boys, and it sure takes a village to raise me as well.

Thanks for your energy and your humor...continue this amazing journey with your tribe! emoticon

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TEDDYBEARGIRL 4/28/2013 9:47PM

    LOL


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MBEHNKEN 4/28/2013 9:34PM

    Very nice, thank you for sharing.

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AJB121299 4/28/2013 9:16PM

    Nice

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RAINBOWMF 4/28/2013 9:00PM

    I needed this right now emoticon emoticon

Hugs Mary

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REEBADABEEBOOS 4/28/2013 8:54PM

    OH MY GAWD, Shelli! You crack me up.. IN A BOX. Tee hee.

And your hilarious video was followed by a wonderful and endearing blog.
emoticon
I must say.... emoticon so so so so much!

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LYNETTEMOM 4/28/2013 8:20PM

    haha Very inelegant snort when I got to the end of the video. Love your stuff.
I've met one of my SparkBuddies and it was great to see her in person. I intend to go back again and she even invited us to stay with them.
I love the SparkVillage.

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LISAMARIEPDP 4/28/2013 7:31PM

    You're awesome!! Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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JMCADE 4/28/2013 4:58PM

    Great blog and what an inspiration you are. Good luck in the next 5% challenge.

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GINGER_BEAR 4/28/2013 4:01PM

    emoticon

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