Well, dear spark friends, let's see. I've been noticeable only by my absence for about three months. I relapsed into all of my bad habits, and now I'm paying the piper. I've gained back all the weight I previously lost and an additional 10 lbs. That puts me at my highest ever weight, which is a bit depressing. But I can't go back and change the choices I made that got me to where I am. So I may as well keep moving forward and make today's choices better.
The military played the "now you're moving, now you're not" game with us over and over for almost two months. It nearly gave me a nervous breakdown. We even had all of our appointments lined up - household goods shipping, car shipping, even flight dates! I was getting estimates on the cost of shipping our pets back to the states! And then we got the order to stop. We're staying in Europe for another year, which makes me very happy. I wasn't ready to leave; there's still so much I want to do and see. And I have an amazing group of ladies here I have the honor of calling friends. Saying goodbye every few years is the hardest part of my military life, harder by far than deployments. So I'm glad we're staying. But good god! The Army needs to get its act together. That was a nightmare.
So today is the start of the Spark Solution team challenge. For those of you who don't know yet, The Spark Solution is Sparkpeople's newest book. It is a step-by-step guide to get your first two weeks of healthy living started off right. I highly encourage you to check it out. You can even download the first chapter for free. They tell you exactly what to eat and show how much of a difference you can make by substituting their meals for the Standard American Diet (SAD). Today alone I will be eating a whopping 1,569 fewer calories than the SAD. They tell you exactly how much exercise and what type(s) to do each day as well. If you said to the spark leadership team, "Make me a plan; tell me EXACTLY what to do and how to do it," the Spark Solution would be it.
I'll admit, I don't know if this will work. How could I? I haven't tried it yet. But I'm going to do my level best to follow their instructions and menu plans to the letter. I'm going to give this program a fair shot at improving my life. I'll be daily blogging about this challenge, so if you're interested in seeing how it goes come on back and check in with me.
This is the first time since I joined spark that I have been a bit disappointed when I joined a team. I joined the official Spark Solution team, and we'll all be taking on these two weeks together. I was shocked to see how many people were getting discouraged before we ever even got started! And all over a shopping list. Admittedly the shopping list was a bit intimidating...and expensive. I have the good fortune to be able to afford to give this a whirl with exactly what the program calls for. But I understand that not everyone has that luxury...and so does the Spark leadership team. They never intended for this book to make people miserable, discourage them, or break the bank. If the team were in it for the money they wouldn't offer us this amazing community for free. They genuinely want to help us! And this journey is all about making healthy choices and finding out what works for us as individuals.
So to any of my team members who have stumbled on this blog:
~ If you can't afford the grocery list, do your best and make the choices that work for your budget.
~ If you have special dietary needs, adjust the meal plans to suit you. Treat the menus as suggestions instead of demands.
~ Remember that even if you follow every menu and every exercise to the letter, results vary from person to person. This is about positive change, not the number on the scale.
~ Do not declare this program a failure if you are unwilling to give it a fair shot. Complaining that it's too hard before you even try it sets you up for failure before you ever begin. Don't do that to yourself.
~ If you are really that disappointed in the program as it's laid out, return the book! Most retailers accept returns for dissatisfaction. Amazon especially prides itself on customer satisfaction. And I just found out from a friend you can even return e-books purchased on Amazon. If for whatever reason you simply can't return it then resell it or give it to a friend who CAN use it. Help change someone else's life for the better.
~ If you don't like what I have to say, there's no need to keep reading my blogs. I am the most supportive and usually politically correct person most of the time. But I also speak my mind and I can't please everyone.
"See" you all this evening with my reflections on day 1!