May I share a few thoughts about the new book by our SparkPeople coaches and friends Becky Hand, R.D. and Stepfanie Romine? The title, if by any chance you are unaware, is "The Spark Solution: A Complete Two-Week Diet Program to Fast-Track Weight Loss and Total Body Health." Check it out:
Why did I decide to purchase the book and try The Spark Solution Program? Three reasons come immediately to mind:
1. I just celebrated my first year SparkAversary, so this was a great time to recommit to my journey in a positive way.
2. My progress since finding SparkPeople has been so gratifying that I knew I could trust any additional resources made available by SP.
3. My curiosity about a SP endorsed two week program for weight loss and total body health would not allow me to rest until I pre-ordered the book!
It’s now been a week since I started reading the book and following the program. In that time, I’ve lost two pounds, I’ve tried some new recipes, tested some new ideas about fitness, and I’ve definitely recommitted to my journey. Ironically, in a way, while taking on a new “program” I have also taken on more of a relaxed attitude toward weight loss and fitness. What do I mean by relaxed? Relaxed in that I know I can continue to make progress, that I can handle the “hills and valleys” of my journey, and that I have found a program that works for me. It is about peace and freedom; peace of mind and freedom to be healthy.
What I like most about the program is the flexibility. I can choose to follow the program in a “dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s” way, or I can use options and swaps that fit my situation at the time or my lifestyle in general. For example, I did Day One pretty much “by the book.” Day Two I modified a bit more because I was preparing for travel and wanted to use up the food in the house. Additionally I had grass mowing to do before I left, so I worked it into my fitness and I used multiple trips up and down the stairs doing laundry as my NEAT. (What is NEAT you ask? Ah, get the book to find out!) This is what in my mind makes the program easy to adapt to your circumstances.
The Spark Solution lays out a day by day, meal by meal, nutrition plan for you. There are plenty of options to alter the meals or ingredients to your preferences. My favorite meal is always breakfast. I’m sure this is because I feel at the “top of my game” in the morning. It is a new day, and new beginning, and new opportunity to live the day I want. So my favorite week 1 meal was the oatmeal with blueberries and almonds from Day 2. Yum! This was my favorite meal because I often make oatmeal, I enjoy it, it keeps me full, and fuels my day! I liked that The Spark Solution pointed out that when compared to a “SAD” (what does that mean? Ah, buy the book to find out!) breakfast of fruity cereal, the Spark Swap of oatmeal actually had 83 more calories. The focus however is on providing a filling breakfast to keep you satisfied until your next meal. I might add that the nutrients and fiber of the oatmeal far exceed the sugary cereal. Lesson: fewer calories are not the criteria of a healthy meal choice!
The Spark Solution is filled with many quick and fun “hits” of healthy wisdom and tips. I love the opportunity to further educate myself about nutrition and fitness. And I love the wisdom of those who have gone before me in this journey. Much of their best advice is included in a daily “Insider Tip” section. Day 6 was a great reminder from Lisa who lost 83 pounds: be patient! She shared that her first two weeks were about proving to herself that she could “change and break old habits.” In my experience so far, my progress is in relationship to my ability to change my habits. It’s that simple; I am replacing my old habits with new healthy habits.
My goal for the next week is to continue reading the book, following the program, and learning more! Given my current situation I know that I will have to continue to be flexible and make adjustments to the program that fit into my life at this time and place. I will continue to read and post to The Spark Solution SparkTeam as others following the program share their experiences and lessons learned. Mostly I want to continue enjoying The Spark Solution as I have this first week.
Curious yourself? Ah, buy the book! You won't be disappointed!
Keep Sparking! You can do it! We can do it! We are SparkPeople!