ANNROW0354's SparkPeople Blog ANNROW0354's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Doing the work for positive change "I will do the work necessary to create positive change in my life"..... <BR> <BR> That is one of the goals that I recently added to my goal board. Part of that work is to stay active on SP and to receive and offer support from other sparkers. <BR> <BR> When I wrote yesterday's blog about cheating on acquiring spark points it wasn't meant to demean the points system. I LOVE the point system and while I haven't been as active as I probably should be with giving "goodies", I do understand... Sun, 4 Jan 2015 10:17:51 EST Finding my "YES" So I'm going to confess that I have often cheated when acquiring Spark Points. Shocking, I know (LOL). <BR> <BR> The way I do this most often is to just glance over my "Goal Board" and click the "reviewed" button getting my 5 points. But I suddenly had the realization that it isn't about the's about the GOALS!!! <BR> <BR> With the new year, I decided to actually go over and review the goals and decide which to keep, discard and those I had actually accomplished. <BR> <BR... Sat, 3 Jan 2015 12:14:44 EST 2015-The year of HEALTH Health is all-encompassing....physical, emotional, mental, spiritual and relational. We often focus on the physical aspect and neglect the other, just as significant, areas of our lives that demand our attention. <BR> <BR> I have made a commitment (not a resolution) to dedicate this year to focusing on my health in all these areas. Of course, I want to lose weight and get stronger and more fit physically; but that is just the beginning. <BR> <BR> I am excited about the coming year. It's ... Thu, 1 Jan 2015 10:25:30 EST Reframing my resolution Lose weight, exercise more, spend less, get to sleep on time and on and on and on (and on)! <BR> <BR> How many times have these resolutions been made and broken and yet we go into each new year optimistically hoping that this year will be different. Well, I've decided to take a different approach this year and think about what it is that I REALLY want and why I want it. <BR> <BR> What I decided is that I want to create an active healthy lifestyle for myself. I know that seems a little g... Wed, 31 Dec 2014 08:19:52 EST From this day forward Is it bad to say that I'm ready for the holidays to be over? <BR> <BR> I know that in a couple of weeks I will be a little down over the long winter ahead with not much to look forward to, but for now, I am ready to take inventory of 2014 and set goals for 2015. <BR> <BR> I'm ready to get back in touch with ME. I'm ready to explore what it is that I want to do and who I want to be. <BR> <BR> I'm ready to start a new chapter of my life and to reestablish old friendships and seek out ... Mon, 29 Dec 2014 09:08:19 EST Failure is not an option After months of being off SP for a variety of reasons, including not having a reliable computer, I am back thanks to my Christmas present (a new laptop) and a need to reconnect with the SP community. <BR> <BR> When I decided to get back on this morning, I asked myself do I start over at ground zero with a new user name and new Spark Page or do I jump back on and simply put to use the information that I spent a year acquiring. I decided to do a little of both. <BR> <BR> I am going to go b... Sat, 27 Dec 2014 06:41:18 EST Questions for self-discovery Why am I my own worst enemy? <BR> <BR> Why do I self-sabotage? <BR> <BR> Why do I work so hard and then get to a point where I begin to ease up and think it's okay to eat more than I should or ignore working out? <BR> <BR> What separates me from the people who reach their goals and continue to eat right and work out? <BR> <BR> I don't know the answers to these questions but I do know that they are the most important questions I have to contemplate if I am ever going to reach my health ... Mon, 13 Oct 2014 11:12:37 EST Magnify the Positive...Day 1! What we focus on is what we tend to magnify!! <BR> <BR> Not sure where I heard this but It is definitely true when it comes to this journey towards health and fitness. <BR> <BR> Some of us focus on the number on the scale <em>192</em> and that number becomes our "happiness bar". If it's lower than <em>334</em> . If it stays the same or <em>24</em> goes up a little, we get down on ourselves and begin to say negative things like "I'm such a failure" or "I can't do anything right... Mon, 7 Jul 2014 10:26:26 EST One year with SP...and counting!! I'm approaching my one year SP anniversary and although I have been rather inactive on the site in the past couple of months, I have carried what I have learned with me. I have continued to go to Zumba and to get in my 6 freggies a day. Could I have done more in the past few months....definitely!!! <BR> Am I beating myself up about it....absolutely not!!! <BR> <BR> I am proud of the things I have accomplished this year, even if losing as much weight as I had wanted to is not one of those a... Wed, 4 Jun 2014 09:41:34 EST This time is MY time! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have used the above motivational quote time and again and every time I realize that taking TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY is really, really, really hard. Making excuses, blaming, pointing the finger, passivity....whatever the attitude or situation that keeps me from being totally honest with myself is exactly what keeps me from reaching my goals. <BR> <BR> It's been a rough couple of weeks for me in ways that I don't wa... Mon, 28 Apr 2014 10:24:48 EST An experiment of one! I discovered that, at least for me, the biggest obstacle along this healthy lifestyle journey has always been me and the expectations that "this time will be different." The thing is, what has to be different is my mindset towards this journey and over the past 10 months I can honestly say that I have a much healthier attitude about myself and my lifestyle. <BR> <BR> How many times do we make "plans" and then find that we didn't leave ourselves a "margin for error"? Then what often happe... Sat, 5 Apr 2014 10:03:21 EST Day by Day; Little by Little; One goal to another goal So, things have been going pretty good over the past several days. I actually am going to earn a gold medal for this week which is a first since I started tracking steps. I've upped by glow getter goal and although I still don't have it at 10,000 steps yet, I have been reaching 10,000 5/7 days and I am happy with that. <BR> I realize however that this is a journey that is taken one day at a time. If I get ahead of myself I will forget about today and for me TODAY is what matters, not tomor... Sat, 22 Mar 2014 18:07:34 EST Where did this positive attitude come from??? Happy Spring! I risk jinxing myself but I am going to say that the past week has been a really GREAT one! I've been making much better food choices, tracking my food most days, drinking water, Zumba, Bodyjam, interval training, 10000 step days, glow getter days, tracking my fitness, daily bible study, and sticking to my Lenten sacrifice of not voicing my opinion or giving advice to my children unless it is asked for. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR>... Thu, 20 Mar 2014 09:23:34 EST Gym gripe!!!! Went to the gym yesterday morning to get in my workout and was happy to see that the rower was available. <em>334</em> <BR> <BR> I sat down and was readying my playlist when a man came up to me and asked if I would be on the machine for long. I said, "yes, for about 30 minutes." He then proceeded to tell me that he was using the rower for 1 minute intervals between his strength training. I replied that "I was sorry but the machine was empty and I intended to use it." I said if he wa... Mon, 17 Mar 2014 13:03:28 EST Scale-phobia So a while back I wrote a blog about getting real with myself. Truth is, however, that until I took the step of getting on the scale it really wasn't possible to "get real". <BR> I hate the scale. I can remember back in grade school and being weighed and the teacher yelling the weight out and even though I was only 90 pounds and I was in 6th grade, I can still remember the horror of hearing it out loud. <em>24</em> <BR> <BR> Then there were the monthly and even weekly weigh-ins when... Fri, 14 Mar 2014 15:59:18 EST Discovering road blocks on the road to a healthier lifestyle Do you ever wonder how many times you have to hear or read something until you finally have that "oh, now I get it" moment? Well that came to me this morning regarding the need for adequate sleep. <BR> <BR> Yeah, we've all read about the connection of sleep to weight loss but today I finally made the personal connection. Lack of sleep sets off all kinds of "triggers" for me....physically and emotionally. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR... Mon, 10 Mar 2014 10:29:54 EST MARCHIN' ON!!! I heard someone say that any change that you want to initiate in your life will take longer, be harder and cost you more than you ever thought. That is very true for this journey to a healthier lifestyle. <BR> <BR> But 8 1/2 months into my SP journey, I'm still here. I'm still committed to the vision I created for myself. I'm learning something new about myself almost everyday. <BR> <BR> I know my triggers and even though I haven't conquered them, I take responsibility for them. <BR... Mon, 3 Mar 2014 09:19:28 EST Facing and moving past fear I have let fear rule my life in many ways. I'm not a person who spontaneously steps outside her comfort zone. I find that the longer I am on this journey to a healthier lifestyle that I am pushing myself to not let fear of what someone else might think or the fear of failure stop me from trying new things. <BR> <BR> What good does it do to eat healthier and increase my energy and endurance if I don't stretch myself in other areas of my life? Even if I get down to my ideal weight and reac... Wed, 19 Feb 2014 09:14:03 EST Personal contentment! Too often I find myself beating myself up about what I did or didn't do. Yeah, we all know that we are to be kind to ourselves, be our own best friend, engage in positive self-talk, etc. But knowledge isn't doing. I was reading my Spark journal today and came across what I called my "Plan of Action for living a life where I am perfectly content in all aspects!" I know that sounds a little ridiculous to think a person can be truly content in all aspects of his/her life but I think it is de... Sat, 1 Feb 2014 07:57:03 EST The Countdown is On!!! When I started my SP journey in June of 2013, June of 2014 was a year away. See that's my "end date" to have lost 35 pounds. My niece's wedding. "Looking great at Katie's wedding" is one of my motivations for losing weight. I've had success and then relapse and success and relapse. I thought I was in a good place motivationally but I got a kick in the butt yesterday with the arrival of an invitation to my nieces bridal shower in March. <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.sparkpeople... Tue, 28 Jan 2014 11:21:23 EST 100 DAYS I ran across a video the other day of a woman who had committed to going to the gym for 100 days straight. I found out it was part of a website that has people committing to doing something for 100 days and video recording it. It was really interesting to see the different things that people were committing to. <BR> <BR> Then as I was reading Lily Hills book the other day, she said that if you love your body 1% more today than you did yesterday that you would love it 100% more in just 100 ... Tue, 21 Jan 2014 12:32:03 EST Our bodies are truly AWESOME! As I said in an earlier blog, I am reading Lily Hills (SP Radio host) book on loving your body. In it she writes a letter from your body telling you how you have treated it and how great it is and how you can work together to have a great partnership. It is really eye-opening and truly spoke to the heart of many of the ways that I have undervalued and underappreciated my own body throughout my life. <BR> <BR> This year I have switched my focus from losing weight to having a greater apprecia... Fri, 17 Jan 2014 11:41:18 EST A daily battle If you've read motivational articles here on SP, you are aware of the importance of positive self-talk in overcoming issues with weight loss. It is definitely something that I struggle with from time to time. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I've been reading Lily Hills' book "The Body Love Manual-How to love the Body you Have As Create the Body You Want". It's brought me to a new understanding of the concept of self-love and choos... Sun, 12 Jan 2014 07:37:00 EST Dream Big....Inspire Others I haven't written a blog lately because I have so enjoyed reading other's blogs. They have motivated, inspired and some have even brought me to tears. I have recognized myself in the struggles others are facing but have also been overwhelmed by how incredibly blessed I am when I see what others have gone through and are continuing to face in their lives. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> So many SP members have overcome incredible phys... Fri, 3 Jan 2014 11:20:57 EST Moving past the holidays. Wow! Can you believe that 2013 is almost over? Anyone else feeling the pressure to write something really motivational and inspirational to take you into the New Year? Well, I'm emotionally and motivationally drained right now and this blog is little more than getting myself back on track. <BR> I don't know about the rest of you, but as much as I enjoy the holidays and having family gatherings, I am also happy to be getting to the other side where I can once again get back to making myself... Fri, 27 Dec 2013 09:47:27 EST Finding "me" time is difficult this time of year! I was so tired yesterday that I had no motivation to do anything. The day didn't start off that way but things just caught up with me. It got me thinking about how I am going to get through the next 10 days without losing every ounce of motivation that I am clinging to right now. <BR> I have got to find some "me" time and that is very difficult when all of my children are back in the house. Since the ones who are out of town fly in for the holiday, they take my car or they want me to go wi... Fri, 20 Dec 2013 08:54:36 EST #RockYourResolution SP has announced their January challenge and it's called #RockYourResolution <BR> <link><BR>st=a_january_challenge_you_can_stick_with </link> <BR> <BR> I see both the pros and cons of making resolutions. <BR> Pro: they give you a do over, a starting point. <BR> <BR> Con: they allow you to put off until the New Year what you can just as easily begin today. <BR> <BR> After all, what is so magical about January 1. It's not like all the distractions... Thu, 19 Dec 2013 09:11:36 EST Turning a Fat Day into a Laugh I woke up feeling good for getting in 9,000 steps yesterday and it turned into a "fat day" within a couple of hours. Why is that? <BR> Anyway, I'm not going to let it get me down so I decided to make myself laugh. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 17 Dec 2013 11:44:01 EST Find your Strong this Holiday Season!!! We are all at different stages of this healthy lifestyle journey...some of us have been on this journey for years with SP and have made it to our goal weight and are maintaining. Some are in the middle and struggling. Some of us are a few months in and haven't seen the changes that we might have hoped for but are feeling really good about what we have been doing. <BR> Regardless of where you are on this journey, remember one thing this holiday season: <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos-ak.s... Mon, 16 Dec 2013 09:18:03 EST Focusing on enjoying the Season! <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <img src=""> <img src=""> Fri, 13 Dec 2013 10:23:28 EST New Year 5k challenge <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The question I have to answer for myself is "What is the 'it' in my life that I want to accomplish at this point in time? Losing weight and getting in shape is an admirable goal but there has to be more, right? There has to be something that makes me say "Wow, I can't believe I did that?" <BR> <BR> Workout out for the sake of working out and getting/staying in shape is great. But, what is behind it? That mo... Wed, 11 Dec 2013 09:57:05 EST 6 Months In....WOO-HOO! I'm giving myself a <em>244</em> today because it is my 6 month anniversary of being a SP member. <BR> <BR> The <em>244</em> isn't for weight loss or smaller clothing sizes. It's for consistency and perseverance. <BR> <BR> When I started this journey, one of the things that I wanted to work on was developing "self-control". If you are a Christian, you know that this is one of the fruits of the Spirit and, along with patience, it is the one that I have the most trouble with in my... Mon, 9 Dec 2013 08:57:01 EST I rise, I fall, I rise again! I watched a clip of Dr. Randy Pausch's "The Talk" and while he said many inspirational things, the one that stood out to me was "If you live your life properly, your dreams will come". <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It's not about doing things "right" all the time...we all mess up. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> For me, it's about wanting to be better....not perfect. It's no... Sun, 8 Dec 2013 07:39:43 EST A life changing perspective on waiting til you look good enough to get in front of the camera!! Please take a moment and read this article. Especially all of you who are like me and are waiting till you look better to step in front of a camera. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>er/so-youre-feeling-too-fat-to-be-phot<BR>ographed_b_4351360.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&<BR>src=sp&comm_ref=false </link> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Sat, 7 Dec 2013 10:42:23 EST It does matter and I do care..."changing the scripts in my head" Day 4 How many times do we fall into the "one little bite" won't matter or "I don't care" if I overeat or can't wear that new skirt I bought because it doesn't fit? Or at least I have, over and over. <BR> Even when I'm saying the words to myself, I know they aren't true. I know that mindlessly eating, overeating, indulging in trigger foods, etc. DOES matter. I know that I do care that I keep buying something with the intention of losing weight to fit into it and then not fitting into it. <B... Thu, 5 Dec 2013 08:28:52 EST Challenging myself...."changing the scripts in my head" Day 3 <img src=""> <BR> <BR> One of the goals that I created for my Start page is "I want to challenge myself in ways that I have never been brave enough to do before". But how do I do that exactly? How do I overcome my fear and lack of confidence? <BR> <BR> I'm probably never going to stand on a mountain overlook and feel the exhilaration of having just overcome a fear of heights. That's not a realistic challenge for me. But I can run 1 ... Wed, 4 Dec 2013 08:40:51 EST Moving beyond temporary defeat...Day 2 of "changing the scripts in my head" <img src=""> <BR> <BR> It is so easy to be "overtaken by temporary defeat" at this time of year. The best laid plans to not overeat or to indulge in holiday treats or to have an extra glass of wine or to skip that workout often go by the wayside and I end up thinking that I should just wait until the first of the year and start over. But by the first of the year, I have usually gained another 5 pounds. <BR> <BR> So I find myself askin... Tue, 3 Dec 2013 09:26:00 EST Changing the scripts in my head...Day 1 <img src=""> <BR> I'm 6 months in right now and while I have learned a great deal about myself, I haven't lost the amount of weight I had hoped I would have by now and that's really ok with me. I'm not giving up or giving in to the old scripts that I used to have running through my head. You know the ones where you tell yourself "I have no self-control", "I am not worth it", "I might as well eat what I want because not eating it isn't h... Mon, 2 Dec 2013 09:23:38 EST Self-improvement <img src=""> <BR> <BR> There are small steps I can take every day to begin improving my corner of the universe beginning with the list below. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Sat, 30 Nov 2013 09:29:36 EST Why I'm grateful for SP....Happy Thanksgiving In just a few minutes I'm going to go do an exercise video so that I will know that I have done something for myself prior to beginning to cook the meal. This is just one of the things that SP has reinforced for me these past few months. Here is a quick list of the things that SP has done for me since joining that I am grateful for: <BR> <BR> 1. It's okay to make myself a priority in my own life. <BR> <BR> 2. Planning is key to staying on track. (doesn't mean I always follow through) <B... Thu, 28 Nov 2013 08:42:23 EST Attitudes and Behaviors If you've read The Spark or any of the articles on the philosophy behind SP, you know about the cross-over effects of this program. I've personally come to know that this is far more than a physical journey for me and I've read enough members blogs and message board posts to know that it is the same for a lot of people. <BR> <BR> This is definitely a physical, emotional and spiritual journey for me. Losing the weight is simply a building block to other goals. So, when I read a blog toda... Sun, 24 Nov 2013 09:48:38 EST Loving yourself is a gift to those you love! Loving yourself is not is selfless because it allows you to be your best, not just for you...but for those you love. It allows you to be confident to go out into the world and to be a blessing. It motivates you to take care of yourself so that you have the best chance to live a long healthy life.....someone is counting on me and you to be around for a long time. LOVE YOURSELF TODAY! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <img src="http... Sat, 23 Nov 2013 07:52:23 EST Love, Kindness and Compassion for Yourself!! If you haven't done so already I want to encourage you to listen to this week's SP Radio program. There was some great information and motivation this week and the segment "Is being lean really worth it?" is incredibly invaluable for those of us who are trying to attain some "ideal" image we have of ourselves. <BR> One of the things that the guest for that segment makes a great statement: WE ALL HIT THE GENETIC LOTTERY IN SOMETHING!!! <BR> That statement gave me pause to stop and ask myself... Fri, 22 Nov 2013 08:36:17 EST Throwback Thursday---fad diets!!! On this "Throwback Thursday" I thought it would be fun to go back over all of the diets that I have been on over the years. I'm sure I'll miss a few, but here it goes. By the way they are not in chronological order <BR> <BR> Grapefruit pills <BR> <BR> Hard boiled egg diet <BR> <BR> Liquid protein diet <BR> <BR> Slim Fast diet <BR> <BR> Scarsdale diet <BR> <BR> Jenny Craig <BR> <BR> Weight Watchers <BR> <BR> Biggest Loser Club <BR> <BR> Atkins Diet <BR> <BR> Dukan Diet <BR> <BR> M... Thu, 21 Nov 2013 08:34:55 EST Think about what you are thinking about!!! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Motivation is "the ability to give yourself the CHANCE to make conscious decisions and take responsibility for these choices." This is a quote from the article linked below. <BR> <BR> <link><BR>ion_articles.asp?id=630 </link> <BR> <BR> I love the idea that motivation just gives you the CHANCE to make responsible choices regarding what you eat or if and how hard you work o... Wed, 20 Nov 2013 11:03:35 EST After the Storms! Yesterday was pretty wild day here in Illinois. By now, many of you may know about the storms that ravaged our area and sent 60,000 people streaming from their seats at Soldier Field to get out of the storm. <BR> As I watched out the window yesterday as the sky got darker and darker and wind picked up and the rain began, I already knew that there were towns that had been devastated by tornados. In fact, at one point the tornado was set to bear down on my town at 12:58pm. <BR> Later that n... Mon, 18 Nov 2013 09:12:13 EST Helping me to "bloom" Every day that I come on SP and read the blog entries, I am reminded why I keep coming back even when I am losing motivation. We all need to know that we are not alone and that whatever we are going through, someone else is also going through it or has gone through it. <BR> So to all the supportive SP members who take the time to offer support and encouragement I want to say THANK YOU! You are an amazing group of caring individuals and that can be rare these days. <BR> I wrote a blog a ... Sat, 16 Nov 2013 11:43:49 EST Being my own Best Friend! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> We've all heard the phrase "I am my own worst enemy". Well, that statement could not be more true in my case. There is absolutely no one and nothing standing in the way of my goals. <BR> No one is holding a gun to my head telling me to eat and drink. I have the power to say no and no one in my life is going to be resentful or unsupportive of that "no". <BR> I am the only person who is holding me back from acc... Thu, 14 Nov 2013 08:40:33 EST A reminder to myself! <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I just need to remind myself that it's not about how fast I get to the only matters that I finish what I start! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> Wed, 6 Nov 2013 09:57:29 EST Stay in the Present <img src=""> <BR> <BR> First of all, I am loving the new Start page here on SP. I know it's been around for a few weeks, but I just got around to actually setting mine up a couple of days ago. <BR> <BR> When I was setting up the page, I found the picture above and it really spoke to me as a reminder that I can't do anything about yesterday and it does no good to worry about tomorrow. I can control what is going on right now at this... Tue, 5 Nov 2013 09:08:42 EST