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The Spark Solution! w/Extreme Product Placement :)

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Monday, May 06, 2013

I get a little crazy when I have to keep good news to myself, so Iím glad I finally I get to share this with yíall! I pre-ordered The Spark Solution the very first day I saw the banner on the website. I had packed on ten pounds over the winter and a two-week jump-start sounded like just what I needed. But oh, to have to wait that long for the book to come out! Then, I got really lucky and SparkPeople let me test drive the program. Iíve been using it for six weeks (seven, after I post this) and Iíve lost weight every week! Iíve lost 11.7 pounds, by following this program! (I lost 6.9 pounds in the first two weeks.) Wooooooooooo (deep breath) Hooooooooooo!

I just want to add a few things I donít mention in the vlog. This book has helped me look at my eating habits from a healthier perspective. Itís definitely helped curb my sugar and salt obsessions. Not gonna lie, thereís a lot of cooking and prep involved--a lot. But I think that goes along with eating fresh, healthy food; you have to actually MAKE it. Sigh. Iím not so great in the kitchen, cooking-wise; I can hula hoop and dance like crazy in there, but cooking... I was a little overwhelmed with making so many different recipes every day. So, I repeated a lot of days. That way, I was less overwhelmed and got a little better and faster at making stuff. It worked for me and made for a smaller grocery list. Plus, there were some things we liked so much, we didnít want to rush on to the next recipe; we wanted to have it again. We had the Dijon-Herb Pork Tenderloin for Easter dinner and I had the Berry Cobbler Cup for my birthday, instead of cake! Iím still working my way through all of the recipes; there are a lot.

The first two weeks were very structured, with Spark telling me exactly what to eat and how to exercise (although thereís plenty of flexibility, if you want to swap and substitute stuff). I didnít need any extra exercise equipment or anything. The next two weeks helped me build on the habits Iíd been learning and let me make more of my own choices. Then, the last part of the book is full of all kinds of tools and resources Iím using to make these changes sustainable.

Has it been extra work? Yes. Are groceries expensive? Yes. Do I like doing the pushup to side plank? No. But did I lose 11.7 pounds? Yes. Am I that much closer to my weight loss goal? Yes. Do I eat way less sugar and salt than before? Yes. Can I DO the pushup to side plank? Yes. Was it worth it? For me? Yes. Absolutely yes. If you need a jump-start and youíre ready-- really ready, to put in the time and effort, I donít see how you could lose. Two thumbs up from me.

Side note: I was excited to be able to go and speak at a local Spark event, where I got to hang out with the creators of The Spark Solution and thank them, personally. Here are a couple of pics from that swanky event. :)

With Becky Hand, co-author of the book and nutritionist extraordinaire

With Stepfanie Romine, co-author of the book and the awesome chick who agreed to let me kick the tires on this program

With Coach Nicole, who did NOT make me do a pushup to side plank that night. Whew!

With our hero, SparkGuy! I even got to meet his mom and his aunt! How cool is that? SparkRoyalty. :)

A word about all the SparkSwag. Yes, I realize I have an obnoxious amount of SparkGear. A few of the shirts have been given to me, but Iíve bought all the rest of the stuff, a little bit at a time, over the last couple of years. SparkSwag is my own personal reward for meeting goals. Why? A: Itís not food. B: It helps motivate me. The more I see that logo, the more it keeps my goals in the forefront of my mind. And Iím game for anything that helps me get to the next goal. SparkNerd? You bet!

Oh, and in case youíre wondering, I already promised the copy of the book I pre-ordered to my in-person SparkBuddy, who went with me that night and drove, so we wouldnít get lost. Those were some funky intersections; ĎRika, you deserve the book! :)

Spark on, Brave Sparkers!!
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