AMARILYNH's SparkPeople Blog AMARILYNH's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community 18 Guideposts for Your Personal Journey the Final Five These are the final five questions for our WEC challenge. What an interesting experience this was - and I've enjoyed reading the answers of other team members too! There is a lot of combined wisdom in the BLC team!! <BR> <BR> 14. Remember to breathe. Embrace your situation this very moment. Breathe deep and exhale with gratitude. <BR> <BR> This one just made me smile because all my friends have heard me say (probably multiple times) "just take a deep breath it will be ok"! <BR> <BR> A... Mon, 17 Oct 2016 09:11:02 EST More Guideposts from My Personal Journey More reflections: <BR> <BR> 9. Success cannot be defined by others or even put into the hands of others for evaluation. If left unguarded, your success could be taken away at any moment. If you equate success with your intrinsic worth (even subconsciously), then you will be left broken apart. Own your success - do not hand it over to someone or something. Be the captain of your own ship. <BR> <BR> This is so true and something I've talked to SparkFriends about at length. I strongly believe... Sun, 16 Oct 2016 09:03:45 EST 18 Guideposts for Your Personal Journey - Four more 5. Ask why before you ask how. Intention is required to create your compass. Question your choices during this WEC and evaluate your answers. <BR> <BR> This is an interesting question for me because I kind of stumbled onto my strongest 'why'. I've been 'watching my weight' (watching it go down while I was on a diet and back up once I'd lost weight) since my early twenties, but on this last journey I really decided it was time to change all that. I was getting older and didn't like what all ... Sat, 15 Oct 2016 07:58:13 EST 18 Guideposts for Your Personal Journey - the first four 18 Guideposts for Your Personal Journey <BR> <BR> For this weekend's challenge, we have been challenged to do some introspection on our weight loss journey. These are the first 4 of mine: <BR> <BR> 1. It’s okay to struggle, it’s okay to wear (and own) your imperfections, and to fall flat on your face – as long as you keep reaching out for support and maintaining the courage to put one foot in front of the other. Who can you reach out to for support? Are they positive? <BR> <BR> My husb... Fri, 14 Oct 2016 18:34:13 EST Another Blog for BLC I'm not much of a blogger - I often feel I'm not very good at expressing myself in words so I mostly don't try! But once more for our WEC we need to blog to earn points (in this case we are playing BINGO, and I WANT a blackout!) We were given a topic - 'What you are doing right this BLC.' <BR> <BR> The big thing I'm doing right is BEING a team member of the HOT Mocha Maniacs BLC team. I've been asked more than once why I continue in BLC - after all I reached my goal weight in November 2011... Sat, 8 Oct 2016 14:04:14 EST Why I'll NEVER give up! I'm in BLC32, and a part of this week's WEC (Weekend Challenge) is to write a blog about why I started and why I'll never give up. <BR> <BR> For those of you who have been SparkFriends for a long while (I've been a SparkPeople member since 2010 and in BLC since 2011) you've already heard my 'why' story so rather that re-writing it I'll direct you to a couple of blogs from the past few years: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5626677 </lin... Fri, 30 Sep 2016 15:20:38 EST BLC (BIGGEST LOSER CHALLENGE) IS REGISTERING NOW! BLC Summer Camp registration is OPEN NOW! If you'd like to be on my team, its the HOT MOCHA MANIACS team! <BR> <BR> The Biggest Loser Challenge (also known as the BLC) is a 15 week challenge that was INSPIRED by, but not based on the TV show of the same name. We have been around for 9+ years encouraging HEALTHY weight loss and fitness by helping you on your journey towards your goals. During the busy summer months, we have a Summer Camp round which runs for 8 weeks. <BR> <BR> What is it ... Sun, 24 Apr 2016 08:14:10 EST Never Quit Pledge Sunday January 10, 2016 <BR> This is not original to me, but I really like the concept so I copied this from BETZYGIRL's blog. She reblogged it from CERIUSLY'S blog, she got it from BBONET who got it from Musolf6, who got it from... <BR> <BR> Please respond that you want your name added to the bottom of the list. <BR> <BR> Never Quit Pledge <BR> <BR> Today, I promise I will not quit. <BR> <BR> I pledge that no matter, how many ups and downs I pass through, I will continue on my journey. ... Sun, 10 Jan 2016 08:22:38 EST More Photos from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Wow - the bears were out and about again yesterday! Here are my favorites, and a photo Phil took of me today resting by the stream after today's hike to Chestnut Top. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR>... Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:42:19 EST Some Photos from our Great Smoky Mountains vacation As many of my SparkFriends know, my DH Phil is an avid hobby photographer. We are on vacation in the Smoky Mountain National Park and the bear sightings have been amazing. I thought I'd share some of my favorite photos: <BR> <BR> Phil shot this photo on Monday - so far its my favorite! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Isn't this a beautiful turkey? <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Phil sho... Wed, 22 Apr 2015 18:07:36 EST My Secret Identity??? As a part of this week's WEC we are to write a blog about 'What is your secret identity?' (That's right, TWO blogs in one WEC!! Yikes!) <BR> <BR> This was a hard one for me - at first I was completely stumped. I'm very much a 'what you see is what you get' kind of person. For many years in my younger life I tried to be what everyone else wanted me to be, but in my late twenties I decided I couldn't please everyone so I'd just please myself by being me. <BR> <BR> BUT as I read a blog by... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 18:45:35 EST Super Hero - ME? Yes I guess I was!! As a part of this week's WEC we are to write a blog about a time we exhibited 'super hero strength' we didn't know we possessed. I thought long and hard about that one and decided a time I did that was when I ran my first marathon. The year was 1987 - the date was January 17. I remember that because it was my 39th birthday!! <BR> <BR> I'd trained to run the Atlanta Half Marathon on Thanksgiving Day 1986. That day I met a new friend who had just moved back to Atlanta from France. I inv... Mon, 3 Nov 2014 18:33:30 EST If you chew gum while you run/work out, READ THIS!! I don't chew gum while working out but I do have several friends who do, so I decided I'd put this article into a blog so my SparkFriends will (hopefully) see it. <BR> <BR> Here is the article: <link><BR>st=the_hidden_exercise_risk_no_one_tal<BR>ks_about </link> and here is the paragraph that truly shocked me: <BR> <BR> "I certainly didn’t know, and would have remained unaware if it hadn’t been intentionally brought up one evening in class. In fact, du... Sat, 9 Aug 2014 16:02:32 EST The Mix 'N Match Workout <em>34</em> I know several of my SparkFriends (along with me) are trying to increase our ST - I just found a great article to help us not do the same old home workout every time: <BR> <link><BR>_articles.asp?id=495 </link> I love this so of course I wanted to share it with you!! Sat, 28 Jun 2014 15:47:31 EST How to Exercise Your Resiliency Muscle (By Ellen G. Goldman, Health & Wellness Coach) <img src="">Every now and then I come across a SparkPeople article that is SO good I want all my SparkFriends to read it. This is DEFINITELY one of them! If you are short on time, this link will take you directly to page three, where you will find "6 Keys to Resiliency". <BR> <link><BR>ion_articles.asp?id=1943&page=3 </link> <BR> <BR> But if you have time, start at the beginning: <BR> <BR> ... Tue, 10 Jun 2014 14:45:13 EST Chocolate Tiramisu Pudding I don't really like to cook (unless it is with friends) so I'm always on the lookout for an easy recipe. I found one (actually kind of invented it) in Chocolate Tiramisu Pudding. <BR> <link><BR>l.asp?recipe=2750618&ff=1 </link> <BR> <BR> First I dissolved a rounded teaspoon of instant coffee in 2 tablespoons of boiling water and let it cool. I added it to 1-1/2 cups of skim milk and whisked in a box of sugarfree chocolate pudding mix. When it began get... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 13:18:13 EST My Circle of Friends on SparkPeople Cat (Cat125) shared this music during the break between BLC24 and BLC25 and I am saving it here so I won't lose it. It expresses much of the way I feel about the circle of friends I've made here on SparkPeople - I am constantly amazed at how my SparkFriends, most whom I've never met IRL, can have such a profound influence on my life! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>8mUndE </link> <BR> <BR> To each of you, thanks so much for the joy and support you bring to me ... Thu, 15 May 2014 11:11:04 EST BLC25 Fitness Test - The Starting Point 5-4-2014 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This is a blog I DON'T want to write - the results of the fitness test I took yesterday. This is a challenge requirement - and while I understand and support the reason behind the requirement I'm not happy with my results. Why? Because in the last five months I have LOST fitness and I don't like admitting that, to myself or to you! <BR> <BR> Oh I had a reason to cut back on some fitness activities - I injured m... Mon, 5 May 2014 11:17:30 EST My BLC25 Goals My BLC25 Goals: <BR> <BR> <em>23</em> Strength Training - do 60 minutes per week. This can be 10 minutes a day 6 days a week, 30 minutes a day 2 days a week or 20 minutes 3 days a week - but 60 minutes is mandatory. <BR> <BR> <em>195</em> STOP PROCRASTINATING! Make a list of tasks I've been putting off - whether they be fitness related like trying an exercise class at our active life center or a gym or 'life' related like washing the windows and getting rid of clutter. Then compl... Sun, 4 May 2014 17:23:08 EST The Plan' by Lyn-Genet Recitas - Could it work for you? I just typed this as a comment in response to a blog where a Sparker was discussing the fact that despite her new healthy lifestyle her cholesterol is still high. It occurred to me that, just as I was helped when a sparkfriend mentioned 'The Plan' to me in December, perhaps someone else might be helped so I decided to copy my 'comment' into a blog. 'The Plan' has been a miracle to me - could it help you? <BR> <BR> I've never had high cholesterol (it doesn't run in my family) but I have bat... Tue, 8 Apr 2014 10:14:45 EST Willpower??? Treat weight loss like a job??? Great information!! The purpose of this blog is to direct you to another blog: <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5650723 </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Well, actually its also so I can find it again when I need it. <BR> <BR> In my comment I mentioned another blog I'd read recently that really impacted me: <BR> <link><BR>st=amanda_took_a_slow_and_steady_appr... Tue, 18 Mar 2014 14:32:11 EST The Emotional Ladder I borrowed this from my SparkFriend, Tired49, who borrowed it from Triangle-Woman. <BR> <BR> She posted it as a blog because she wanted to keep it in front of her. I feel the same, and I wanted ALL my SparkFriends to see it!! <BR> <BR> The idea is simple: You exist on one of these emotional rungs. Identify it and then you can move up this emotional scale and feel better. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> According to Abraham, you CAN ... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 18:49:41 EST A Love Letter to Me Dear Marilyn, <BR> <BR> Wow, you've come a long way, Baby!! I'm thinking back to that day in April 2008 when you started this journey. Remember that day? It was a Saturday; you'd just returned from vacation in Texas, and you stepped on the scales to see the highest number you'd ever seen there - 192! YIKES!! Back then you usually began 'diets' on Monday (yeah, you've been on a LOT of those over the years, haven't you?), but seeing that number on the scale prompted you to decide THAT was... Mon, 17 Feb 2014 17:43:06 EST Link to Primal/Paleo Cookbook Shared by FIT_ARTIST I'm creating this blog strictly to share (and more importantly save for myself!) the link to a cookbook I found on SparkPeople. It was created by FIT_ARTIST and has some REALLY yummy sounding recipes! I'm not doing either of these plans but am always on the lookout for healthier recipes - particularly those with lower carb ingredients. <BR> <BR> If you are looking to improve your nutrition you might want to check out her cookbook too! <BR> <BR> <link> Fri, 31 Jan 2014 12:57:07 EST My TOP BLC24 Smart Goal <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <BR> SMART goal for BLC24 - make strength training a habit <BR> <BR> Specific: I will do ST 6 days a week – rotating body parts (upper, lower, core) <BR> <BR> Measureable: I will set a timer for 10 minutes and continue until it rings. <BR> <BR> Attainable: I know I can do this because I’ve done it before. <BR> <BR> Relevant: This will help me increase my lean muscle mass. <BR> <BR> Timely: A healthy body i... Mon, 20 Jan 2014 17:22:28 EST How to Reach Unlimited Happiness I saw this on KATRINAKAT23's blog. SHE got it from Septemberspirit's blog. She got it from MindBodyGreen. Its so good I want to be able to find it again and I want to share it with all my SparkFriends! When you read it you will see why!! <BR> <BR> Here are 20 things to let go of in order to reach unlimited happiness. <BR> <BR> 1. Let go of all thoughts that don't make you feel empowered and strong. <BR> <BR> 2. Let go of feeling guilty for doing what you truly want to do. <BR> <BR> 3. ... Mon, 6 Jan 2014 14:56:45 EST Sugar an issue with you? Then don't miss this blog! Every now and then one of my SparkFriends posts a blog I want to be sure none my OTHER SparkFriends miss! This blog really spoke to me - perhaps it will speak to you as well? If you like it as much as I did be sure to 'like' it - I think it deserves to be a featured blog! One of my favorite things about SparkPeople is how we can all learn from each other!! <BR> <BR> Happy New Year dear SparkFriends!! <BR> <BR> <link><BR>urnal.asp?id=BESSHAILE </link> Tue, 31 Dec 2013 10:11:35 EST Learning from our mistakes I posted a blog a few days ago that incorporated this graphic: <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Another Sparker, Sheltie2013, made this comment on my blog: "The little humps in the road make for an interesting life and equip us to deal with trouble!!!" <BR> <BR> That is SO TRUE!! I also believe the mistakes we make in life (those that we so often feel guilty about and kick ourselves about) are what build our character and make us more l... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 13:46:42 EST My Weight Loss Journey in a Picture! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> When I first saw this visual I KNEW I needed to incorporate it into a blog!! I'm not much of a blogger, but this really spoke to me - because it is the story of my weight loss journey in a picture! I know a VERY few Sparkers whose journey has been like the graph on the left (my friend Mimi comes to mind!) but not mine! My journey has included weeks where the arrow went down rather than up and I think there are ... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 17:26:31 EST Something to ponder... I just received this in an email and HAD to share it with my SparkFriends - because it made me think of you!! <BR> <BR> The following is the philosophy of Charles Schulz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip. <BR> <BR> You don't have to actually answer the questions. Just ponder on them. <BR> <BR> Just read this straight through, and you'll get the point. <BR> <BR> 1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world. <BR> <BR> 2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners. <BR> <BR>... Mon, 28 Oct 2013 19:06:05 EST Especially for my team - the Violet Venuses Phil and I are spending 10 days in Paris, touring on our own after spending 9 days on a bus tour of Switzerland. You'll be seeing more pictures on my SparkPage, but I wanted to post this one just for my Violet Venus team. It is me admiring the Venus de Milo in the Louvre. Please look closely at this statue - she is not nearly as slim as those models we often strive to emulate. Good abs though - did she work out? Hmmmm..... <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 11 Oct 2013 14:22:39 EST Stop Dieting and Start Living <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just read an article I enjoyed so much I wanted to share it with all my SparkFriends: <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ion_articles.asp?id=620 </link> <BR> <BR> This sentence really resonated with me: "You recognize that the primary problem isn’t what you eat, or even how much you eat, but how and why you eat." <BR> <BR> I recognized long ago that HUNGER isn't why I sometimes overea... Sun, 11 Aug 2013 09:34:12 EST You ARE Enough!! A SparkFriend posted this quote in a blog and I want to be sure NONE of MY SparkFriends miss it! On our Violet Venuses team we have been talking about SEEING our own beauty - this is a similar thought: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And in case you didn't get THAT message, here is another: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Enough said?? <em>211</em> Mon, 22 Jul 2013 07:26:33 EST Strength Training - Why Bother? <em>311</em> As my SparkFriends know, I LOVE to walk! I also love to run, but my knees limit how much of that I can do. So walking is my major source of cardio exercise. <BR> <BR> <em>34</em> But strength training? I have a love/hate relationship with ST. I LOVE the muscles I see in my biceps and shoulders when I do it faithfully, but I've just never managed to LOVE the DOING of it!! <BR> <BR> <em>23</em> In the past two years I've done ST rather sporadically, but I haven't TRULY... Sat, 6 Jul 2013 16:29:35 EST My Vision Board - What I want my Life to Look Like As a part of our STRONGend Challenge we were to visualize life at our goal weight - what will it be like? How will life be different - what new goals do we want to achieve. And to help visualize that life, we were asked to create a vision board. This is my first attempt - its not perfect but I love it!! <img src=""> Sun, 16 Jun 2013 17:46:33 EST SMART Goals for BLC22 <em>410</em> SMART Goals for BLC22: <em>410</em> <BR> <BR> 1. Lose 5 pounds by the end of the challenge (to give me some wiggle room in my goal weight). <BR> <BR> 2. Strength training 6 days a week. Minimum of 10 minutes a day rotating upper, lower and core exercises. Work on reducing love handles - first by losing fat then with ST? <BR> <BR> 3. Eat 6 or more servings of fruit and veggies to replace processed foods. <BR> <BR> 4. Avoid eating after 7:30 at night. This is a HABIT, no... Sun, 9 Jun 2013 09:29:32 EST Rules for a "Spark"ling Day <em>410</em> Another Sparker ( JAZZY_JOAN) shared this with me on my SparkPage - I HAD to share it with you. I don't know if its just me (I AM already feeling quite excited what with BLC22 starting today!) but this really did it for me!! I'm making it into a blog so I can find it again if my motivation lags!! <BR> <BR> Rules for a "Spark"ling Day <BR> <BR> 1. Wake Up !! Make the choice to have a good day and live a healthier lifestyle! <BR> <BR> 2. Dress Up !! The best way to dress up ... Wed, 5 Jun 2013 14:20:56 EST A Serendipitous Kind of Day Something interesting just happened to me. In my 'review' on SparkCoach I wrote about an NSV I had yesterday. Here is what I wrote: <BR> <BR> "I had an excellent day - I feel good about my progress. I had a breakthrough NSV yesterday when I 'slipped' and bought a package of Grandma's Peanut Butter Cookies at the checkout at the store. (NO that wasn't the breakthrough LOL.) The breakthrough was only eating ONE with my dinner!! I was full after one and (after seeing how many calories it had) s... Sat, 25 May 2013 14:18:54 EST Diet related stress? Not really!! My SparkCoach has requested that I blog about this issue: "Have you struggled with stress or anxiety related to your weight-loss program or weigh-ins?" <BR> <BR> My answer (at this time) would have to be no, I don't struggle with stress about my weight. And thinking about it, that's a pretty good place to be in. That is not to say I have my whole program totally under control - I don't. If I did I wouldn't be 3 pounds over my goal weight as we speak. <BR> <BR> The difference between... Wed, 22 May 2013 15:39:41 EST Want to travel light? Here is a good resource! Another Sparker on the 'Love to Travel' team just started a thread about traveling light. In researching some of the products she uses to travel light, I came across this website: <BR> <BR> <link> </link> <BR> <BR> I'm saving it here for myself, but as many of my SparkFriends also love to travel I thought you might find it useful too!! I've already got some good ideas!! Sun, 5 May 2013 12:57:15 EST Member Exercise Tip from FITJEDI that I don't want my friends to miss! I was just leaving a comment on a "Member Exercise Tip' from one of the Spark emails I get (LOVE them!) and decided to put it in a blog for all my SparkFriends to see (in addition to her tip) because I think it is important! <BR> <BR> Her tip: <BR> .................. <BR> Frequent Movement Breaks <BR> If you have desk job and end up sitting most of the day, set a timer to remind you to get up and move around every hour. <BR> <BR> I set a timer for 50 minutes and work steadily at my desk. Th... Sat, 4 May 2013 08:34:23 EST Photobook from our trip to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks In March we had the joy of taking a hiking trip to Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks. My DH Phil is an avid photographer (he took up the hobby when we retired) and has been using his photos to memorialize our trips. This is a link to his latest photobook. <BR> <link><BR>s/dream-vacation-2013-9031861?vk=mK4wX<BR>kUjgU </link> <BR> <BR> If you'd like to see some of his other photobooks you can just click on "By: Phil H." towards the bottom right of... Thu, 25 Apr 2013 07:42:56 EST My Recipe Invention <BR> <em>368</em> If you are looking for something different to eat and like cabbage, you might want to try this recipe I made up. I've been playing around with this for a week or two and think I have it just right (for my taste anyway). I like cole slaw, but the 'usual' dressing has way too many calories. <BR> <BR> I eat this as a full meal but you may want to serve it as a side - in that case you'll want to make more servings from it (it has 3 cups of slaw in it.) <BR> <BR> <lin... Mon, 22 Apr 2013 14:26:38 EST My Favorite Picture from Cloudlands State Park This park is only about 3 hours away and has great hiking! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 08:14:05 EST My Favorite Picture from Sequoia National Park I LOVE this picture - talk about feeling humble and insignificant! No more words needed!! <BR> <BR> I highly recommend a visit to this National Park - the hiking is wonderful and the views are amazing!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Thu, 11 Apr 2013 08:12:11 EST Loving myself! I borrowed this idea from another blog: <BR> <BR> I pledge to love myself everyday as much as I love my family. <BR> <BR> I pledge to give myself tough love,when needed, same as I would my kids. <BR> <BR> I pledge to eat as healthy as possible every day. <BR> <BR> I pledge to track my calories every day <BR> <BR> I pledge not to get discouraged and give up when the going gets tough, which it will at times. <BR> <BR> I pledge to love myself, no matter what my weight is. <BR> <BR> I pled... Thu, 28 Mar 2013 11:17:05 EST Yosemite Vacation Photo Good morning SparkFriends!! <BR> <BR> Phil and I are on vacation in Yosemite National Park. We flew into San Francisco Saturday, spent the night there then drove over to Yosemite on Sunday. We are staying at the Lodge at Yosemite Falls and are having a wonderful time hiking and sightseeing. <BR> <BR> As many of you know, since retiring 4-1/2 years ago Phil has really begun to take his hobby of photography very seriously. Like many photographers, one of his goals (hopes, dreams?) was to... Thu, 21 Mar 2013 10:07:05 EST A Sad Poem This made me smile - hope you'll enjoy it! (Sorry its so small - if you click 'control' and use the wheel on your mouse you can enlarge it.) <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Tue, 19 Mar 2013 22:02:57 EST Reach for the Stars! <em>189</em> I was just replying to a blog I think EVERYONE should read - <BR> "The lesson I learned from not meeting my goals today - please read" <BR> <link><BR>urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5279134 </link> <BR> <BR> It occurred to me that my thoughts could lead right into a blog our weekend challenge calls for about what is on our mind. Because this has been on my mind a lot lately. <BR> <BR> So here is my reply (you may want to read PCOH051610's... Fri, 8 Mar 2013 19:09:25 EST You are braver than you believe.... I found this poster on my teammate Jen's (JBeliciouss) sparkpage and am posting it here for all my Violet Venus team to read and internalize!! Because you ARE!!!! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And if you are not 100% happy with your life as it is today, remember this: <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> You have the power to change anything you choose to in your life. Its all ab... Mon, 18 Feb 2013 18:16:44 EST