Wednesday, July 17, 2013
I've bounced back and forth with using SparkPeople for a while now (clearly!), and I've put some thought into why that could be. After pondering for a while I've come to realize something about my Spark experience: it becomes a chore. Tracking food, tracking exercise, reading articles, posting blogs, even huddling in SparkTeams. It all becomes too much. I don't have a lot of free time in my days, so I tend to not want to spend it poking around SparkPeople or trying to find the perfect match for a food that I'm eating from 75 different user-made entries of the same thing.
I like to spend my evenings doing things. Playing games with my husband, watching a movie, cooking dinner, going for a walk (even if it is to go get ice cream!). Sparking can get in the way of life! So I wouldn't Spark, and I wouldn't eat healthy, and I wouldn't exercise. I would tell myself, "If I'm not tracking it, what's the point? If I'm going to do it, I've got to track it, so I might as well not do it!"
While thinking about this issue and how to resolve it, a commercial came to mind. It was a commercial to help people quit smoking. In it, a lady mixes a daiquiri in a blender in her office before going out to have her smoke break. The message? "If you don't have to drink every time you smoke, you don't have to smoke every time you drink. Break the habits."
This got me thinking about my relationship with Sparking. Just because I don't track my food or my exercise, just because I don't feel like taking the time to enter the recipe for whatever I made for dinner, just because I don't feel like writing a blog about my achievements doesn't mean that those things shouldn't happen. I can ride my bike home from work without earning the SparkPoints for it, and I will still benefit. I can eat a healthy breakfast without tracking it, and it will still be just as healthy! If I do yoga every morning, I will still become stronger and more flexible whether or not I enter the time into my fitness tracker!
Losing weight and getting fit isn't about earning SparkPoints (although that can be a fun incentive!). It's about looking and feeling better. It's about being able to walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. It's about fitting into the clothes that I used to fit into (like my wedding dress). It's about not having pain in my hips and knees from sitting or standing too long. It's about being a better dancer, with greater strength and flexibility. It's about not filling my body with junk, and feeling healthier for it every day.
I have broken another set of shackles tying me down. I have destroyed another excuse for me not to do what I know is right for my body, and my future. I will keep moving forward!